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  1. Donation ketchuplover
    G.O.A.T.
    20 Mar '16 04:43
    Learn one opening completely and play it exclusively
  2. Subscriber Kewpieonline
    since 1-Feb-07
    20 Mar '16 08:01
    that should help with half your games anyway.
  3. 20 Mar '16 11:12
    Not really, most openings have developments transposing into other openings and their variants. You end up having to learn most of them! But I guess one could try to avoid all those siituations (is it possible?). The biggest danger however might then become boredom. 🙂

    Another thing, if the opponent figures out how uncomfortable and afraid White is to get into any kind of complication or out-of-the-book situation, he might start to press for it!

    That said, I do think it's good to pick one or two openings and learn to understand all aspects of it. Opening gambits have in my opinion a lot to offer when it comes to showing the big advantages of initiative and position over material when the time is right.
  4. 20 Mar '16 12:28
    What opening do you get to play exclusively.

    It would have to be as Black. A Pirc/Modern/KID set up and as White a KIA set up.
  5. Donation ketchuplover
    G.O.A.T.
    20 Mar '16 13:55
    2 words...thematic opening(s)
  6. Standard member Schlecter
    The King of Board
    20 Mar '16 16:34
    Originally posted by ketchuplover
    Learn one opening completely and play it exclusively
    bobby fischer did that, he played Ruy Lopez with white, and sicilian with black.
    .
    i agree.
    .
    but rivals just know your game.
    .
    so from time to time we prepare something diferent.
    .
    for example one year playing 1. e4, next year change to 1. d4
  7. 20 Mar '16 19:00 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Schlecter
    bobby fischer did that, he played Ruy Lopez with white, and sicilian with black.
    .
    i agree.
    .
    but rivals just know your game.
    .
    so from time to time we prepare something diferent.
    .
    for example one year playing 1. e4, next year change to 1. d4
    Along with a chit load of other openings he HAD to know besides the Ruy and the Sicilian.
    Jebus.
    He studied and played all manner of openings just like ALL GM's do.
    http://bobbyfischer.net/repertoire.html
    Same thing with Capablanca, contrary to the urban legend that he "never studied chess openings". He looked at openings and discussed them with other players all the time.
    Nobody at that level of chess plays just "a couple of openings".
  8. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    20 Mar '16 21:24 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by greenpawn34
    What opening do you get to play exclusively.

    It would have to be as Black. A Pirc/Modern/KID set up and as White a KIA set up.
    This is what I did when I first started in the late 1980's. Then GM Seirawan recommended exactly that combo in his book Winning Chess Openings and exposed my scheme.

    GM Matthew Sadler and Natasha Regan cover this topic in their new book Chess For Life, citing GMs Sergey Tiviakov and Keith Arkell as successful examples.

    At the same time, they point out GMs Miles and Capablanca as examples who varied their openings and played almost anything, adapting what they played as they grew older.

    It's an interesting book, and overlaps this topic nicely.
  9. 21 Mar '16 13:46 / 1 edit
    Though Fischer primarily played the Lopez as White and
    the Sicilian as Black being a 1.e4 player he could not specialise
    as a White KIA player can.

    !.e4 invites the French, Caro Kann, Pirc, Centre Counter....

    I know Keith, he has been playing the Caro Kann for an eternity
    and being one of the very few players who makes a living from playing
    in tournaments in Britain you can honestly say he makes his living
    from the Caro Kann.

    But he is also a very good endgame player and has the knack of converting
    endings typical to the Caro Kann into wins. Without this and a keen middle game
    sense knowing an opening or specialising in it would lead to a lot more draws than wins.
  10. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    22 Mar '16 01:49
    Originally posted by FishHead111
    Along with a chit load of other openings he HAD to know besides the Ruy and the Sicilian.
    Jebus.
    He studied and played all manner of openings just like ALL GM's do.
    http://bobbyfischer.net/repertoire.html
    Same thing with Capablanca, contrary to the urban legend that he "never studied chess openings". He looked at openings and discussed them with other players all the time.
    Nobody at that level of chess plays just "a couple of openings".
    "He studied and played all manner of openings just like ALL GM's do."

    This is not a very accurate description of Fischer's play. The "studied" part is reasonable, but that's about it.

    He did start to vary his routine a bit on the way to the Championship to keep the Soviets guessing, but his repertoire was still very narrow compared to many top players.
  11. 22 Mar '16 16:51 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Paul Leggett
    "He studied and played all manner of openings just like ALL GM's do."

    This is not a very accurate description of Fischer's play. The "studied" part is reasonable, but that's about it.

    He did start to vary his routine a bit on the way to the Championship to keep the Soviets guessing, but his repertoire was still very narrow compared to many top players.
    Agree.
    In his last active years he did try closed games as White - inspired by the famous caricature of Boris and Leonid - "Boris, what if he doesn't play 1/ e4" - and maybe feared of how narrow his repertoire was - but you can notice in his games as white that he uses first opportunity to convert position into an open kind.

    He played King Ind Attack often, and he just reverted what he developed from Boleslavskiy's games (he was the only man in the West who had read that book!).

    But I say this only and simply because it's true.
    It's not a criticism.
    It is even more amazing how he managed to emerge as the best with such narrow repertoire when he knew that his opponents might had prepared for him.
    He saved a lot of his variants during Palma de Mallorca interzonal by playing KID Attack etc., or by playing reversed Sicilian (into which 1. b3 turned in his interpretation) but what he did against Spassky wasn't real change in repertoire:
    he just did amazingly what Spassky missed - to prepare for enemy's repertoire
    - Fischer's play against Makagonov-Bondarevsky Queen Gambit
    or his application of KID tricks in Nimzoindian - it was one time tricks, not real conversion into closed games [edit - or quitting KID and Ben Oni].

    That narrowness only adds a legend to Fischer's rise.
  12. 22 Mar '16 16:55
    Alburt and Bagirov - Alekhine's defense
    Robatch - he played only one variation of 4 Knights Sicilian
    Uhlmann - French on 1. e4 and KID on 1. d4
    Taimanov - his variaion in Sicilian
    Ujtelky - Modern defense
  13. Standard member Schlecter
    The King of Board
    25 Mar '16 16:55
    well in the other hand there are chess GM with a very broad openning repertory... maybe Larsen? or Carlsen?
  14. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    26 Mar '16 03:14
    Originally posted by Schlecter
    well in the other hand there are chess GM with a very broad openning repertory... maybe Larsen? or Carlsen?
    Both excellent examples!
  15. 29 Mar '16 05:36
    Before deciding on a wide vs narrow repertoire I think there are few other questions-

    1.What is the end rating goal?
    2.When do you feel "imbalancing the position" is necessary?
    3. Memory ability/time available
    4. The need to be popular vs being a rebel of sorts.

    Depending on the results of that perhaps learning many many systems is best.. or maybe just one.


    As for myself I'm thinking of doing a deep study of IQP positions and just filling up an OTB rep with those lines. (Tarrasch and 4N Sicilian as black, PBA, Tarrasch French, Alapin Sicilian, fast Italian game etc as white)