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  1. 22 Mar '10 09:48
    Yes, Tactics-tactics-tactics but how do I overcome Opening Phobia? I always feel cramped playing the black pieces. What would be the antidote?
  2. 22 Mar '10 10:03
    Never play black? Alternatively get yourself a good book on the basics of openings. Before Greenpawn starts thundering about the evils of opening books I am not talking about the latest tome on the left handed sub variation of the unpronounceable Russian name variation of the dog's bollocks defence. Something like Seirawan's Winning Chess Openings or Pritchard's First moves. Either of those should give you enough opening principles to survive the opening as white or black.
  3. 22 Mar '10 10:38
    Thank you! I think I have a very basic understanding of Opening Principles (still room for improvements!) but I need some guidance on how to proceed. There must be a few intermediate steps between basic stuff and Opening Books?
  4. 22 Mar '10 11:26
    Either of the two books I mentioned (or anything similar) should provide you with a selection of reasonable sound openings to choose from. Try a few and see what suits your style. That's what I did 40 odd years ago. Experiment, try different things. What is the worse that can happen? You lose a game and learn something!
  5. 22 Mar '10 14:56

    I see you played the French (1.e4 e6) you cannot play that and then
    moan about your pieces being cramped. It was you who cramped them.

    At the lower levels forget opening lines. You will never see any of the main
    lines you have memorised. You need that for the other end of the market.

    Get the basics sorted out, develop, develop develop and beef up the tactics.

    Actually the lad was right. Don't play Black.

    Imagine you are White and have somehow lost a tempo. Fight for it back.

    Play 1...e5 against everything (1.Nf3 Nc6 and then 2...e5)

    Flood the board with your minor pieces, castle and attack.
    If you have lost a pawn don't worry about it.
    It means you have an ½ open file for your Rooks to attack down.

    You may lose some but your wins will glorious and uplifting.
    Relish in the new you and sac with gay abandon.

    Be glad you have Black because that means your opponents blunder
    will come one move sooner and you will jump all over it.

    Look at Petrov playing Black from 1844 - he will show you.
    Development is everything, it's value is worth even more than a Queen.

  6. 22 Mar '10 15:59
    Best advice ever: Don't Play Black

    Thank You!
  7. Standard member nimzo5
    22 Mar '10 16:44 / 1 edit
    Play Classical chess- e5 and d5, contest the center, mobilize your forces and then use pawn breaks to get counterplay. Look at some annotated games of the old masters in those openings. Look to play actively as Greenpawn suggests- passive shuffling of pieces behind a pawn curtain is a recipe for disaster.

    sidenote - I noticed my win % is much higher with the black pieces in OTB.. anyone else have that? Maybe it's just being paired up in the swiss system...
  8. 22 Mar '10 17:00
    I have heard that a lot players have a + score as Black, much better
    than their Whites.

    My OTB score is better as Black.

    Think it is because we tend to put more effort into our Black book lines
    than we do our Whites.
  9. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    24 Mar '10 00:44
    Originally posted by greenpawn34
    I have heard that a lot players have a + score as Black, much better
    than their Whites.

    My OTB score is better as Black.

    Think it is because we tend to put more effort into our Black book lines
    than we do our Whites.
    I was the same way OTB until I switched to the King's Indian Attack for white, so now my "white" percentage for OTB is much better, but I'm really cheating by playing black with an extra tempo.

    I think I did better as black because it was easier to keep the opening in "my territory", so I knew what we would play after white's first move, but he didn't.

    I see this as a related theme to your ideas on how we study "black" more.
  10. Standard member nimzo5
    24 Mar '10 17:44
    I looked and on average over 130 tournament games I am exactly even as white and something like +15 as black. More notable the average rating of my opponents in my White games are something like 200 pts higher than with Black.

    That and having to face any of multiple different openings systems more than eliminates the advantage that having the first move gives.