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  1. Subscriber Scotty70
    Super IT/Telco man
    11 May '16 01:32
    I have been playing chess for quite a long time but had no real interest in strategy. I just played a standard opening and adjusted my strategy according to the flow of the game.

    But If I wanted to get a book for practice to expand my openings and gambits (queen pawn openings kill me), what would be a good book to start out with?
  2. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    11 May '16 15:58
    Originally posted by Scotty70
    I have been playing chess for quite a long time but had no real interest in strategy. I just played a standard opening and adjusted my strategy according to the flow of the game.

    But If I wanted to get a book for practice to expand my openings and gambits (queen pawn openings kill me), what would be a good book to start out with?
    HI Scotty,

    I recommend Strategic Chess: Mastering the Closed Game by GM Edmar Mednis.

    It is a great strategic survey structured around annotated games and arranged by openings.
  3. 11 May '16 20:29
    Originally posted by Paul Leggett
    HI Scotty,

    I recommend Strategic Chess: Mastering the Closed Game by GM Edmar Mednis.

    It is a great strategic survey structured around annotated games and arranged by openings.
    The reviews I'm reading say that the book is for 1.d4 players.
  4. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    11 May '16 21:41 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by Eladar
    The reviews I'm reading say that the book is for 1.d4 players.
    That is correct, which is why I referred it based on the OP, as he indicated a particular issue with queen pawn openings.
  5. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    11 May '16 21:49 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Scotty70
    I have been playing chess for quite a long time but had no real interest in strategy. I just played a standard opening and adjusted my strategy according to the flow of the game.

    But If I wanted to get a book for practice to expand my openings and gambits (queen pawn openings kill me), what would be a good book to start out with?
    Another great book would be Foundations of Chess Strategy by GM (and Dr.) Lars Bo Hansen.

    The book itself makes the connection between strategy and style, and is useful for helping a person determine what openings might be a better fit for a person's style.

    I am dramatically oversimplifying the book's content (it is full of games demonstrating various stylistic approaches by a selection of great players, most of whom were World Champions), but it is eye-opening, and I think it might occupy the gap you wish to fill.
  6. 12 May '16 01:14 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by Scotty70
    I have been playing chess for quite a long time but had no real interest in strategy. I just played a standard opening and adjusted my strategy according to the flow of the game.

    But If I wanted to get a book for practice to expand my openings and gambits (queen pawn openings kill me), what would be a good book to start out with?
    The complete idiot's guide to chess 3rd edition by Patrick Wolff.

    That book helped me to get from 1300 to 1600 in less than a year. I donated my copy to my local chess club and I've always heard good reviews from the guys that borrow it.
  7. 12 May '16 03:09 / 1 edit
    Hi Scott,

    Had a look at a few games. It's not the QP opening that is the problem it's your French Defence.

    If as Black your opponent opens 1e4 you reply more than 1,000+ times 1...e5 No French Defences.

    If they open with 1.d4 your most common reply is 1...e6 (300+ times)
    If they then play 2.e4 , as they usually have and you reply as you have
    been doing in most cases with 2...d5, then it's a French Defence.


    It's a pretty unique opening plan. Transposing a 1.d4 openings into
    a 1.e4 defence that you do not actually play if you meet 1.e4.

    But it's not the opening or the need for strategic play that is the concern.
    You have too many games on the go and making one move piece dropping blunders.

    Here is a recent example played in March this year v Tom Moitie.


    As Black you played Rxg2 leaving the Queen hanging.
    These one move blunders are cropping up all the time.

    Cut the games to 4 at the very most. Ideally two so you can
    give them your full attention (I enjoy just have one on the go). and get
    passed the piece hanging stage because you are playing too fast
    and not giving yourself a chance.

    You are putting some nice moves together but spoiling it all
    with one move.

    With just a few games going then you can start to think about
    strategic plans, though the guys you are playing it's all about tactics
    and two move tricks. They is very little strategic play going on.
    it's who ever attacks their opponents King first usually wins.
  8. Subscriber Scotty70
    Super IT/Telco man
    12 May '16 05:43 / 4 edits
    Thank you for your analysis. I didn't realize that I was using the French Defense in response to a queen pawn opening. It just felt like the safest move to make at that time.

    I do realize that I play way too many games and pay with really bad mistakes at times.

    I will get ahold of one of these books and put in a little work on my game. All of them are good suggestions. Hopefully in the near future I can break 1400 by playing better players out of my league with my new skills.

    My Union (IBEW Local 827) has been on strike for the last month against Verizon and it looks like we will be out for a while, so I will have plenty of time to study between picket duties 🙂

    BTW, The one and only book that I read on chess was "Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess", and that was 30 years ago.

    Thanks again.
  9. 12 May '16 16:13
    Weapons Of Chess by Bruce Pandolfini.
  10. Standard member DeepThought
    Losing the Thread
    13 May '16 02:15
    Originally posted by Scotty70
    Thank you for your analysis. I didn't realize that I was using the French Defense in response to a queen pawn opening. It just felt like the safest move to make at that time.

    I do realize that I play way too many games and pay with really bad mistakes at times.

    I will get ahold of one of these books and put in a little work on my game. All of them ar ...[text shortened]... t I read on chess was "Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess", and that was 30 years ago.

    Thanks again.
    I had a look at your French Defence games, after 1. d4 e6 2. e4 d5 3. e5, the advance variation, you almost always play 3. ... Nc6. You could try 3. ... c5 attacking the base of white's pawn chain.
  11. Subscriber Scotty70
    Super IT/Telco man
    13 May '16 02:38
    Originally posted by DeepThought
    I had a look at your French Defence games, after 1. d4 e6 2. e4 d5 3. e5, the advance variation, you almost always play 3. ... Nc6. You could try 3. ... c5 attacking the base of white's pawn chain.
    Looking at it on a chessboard now. Never thought to try it that way. Thought the knight was a natural response..attacking both pawns and preventing the Bb5 check.
  12. Standard member DeepThought
    Losing the Thread
    13 May '16 03:10
    Originally posted by Scotty70
    Looking at it on a chessboard now. Never thought to try it that way. Thought the knight was a natural response..attacking both pawns and preventing the Bb5 check.
    The problem with 3. ... Nc6 is that it gets in the way of the c pawn. After 3. ... Nc6 4. c3 the knight's biting on granite, but after 3. ... c5 4. c3 the c pawn can just take and leave the base of white's pawn chain floating on d4. The line I play goes 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 c5 4. c3 (4. Nf3 cxd4) Nc6 5. Nf3 Qb6 and black builds up on d4.