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  1. Standard member paultopia
    High Priest
    19 Aug '08 17:59 / 1 edit
    This is the perennial problem: I'm totally dissatisfied with everything that black has for e4. I've tried various versions of the sicilian, but tend to get eaten alive by early attacks. I've tried alekhine's, but it seems to either lead to a mass of piece trades and a boring, inferior, endgame or me never being able to dent white's pawn center. The Caro is hopeless -- I lose practically instantly whenever I play any variation of it.

    This can't be a general problem, e.g., tactical deficiency, because I don't have nearly as bad results as white even in highly tactical openings (my main opening as white is, after all, the KG) or as black vs. d4.

    I'm considering:
    - the latvian gambit. Pros: it's just my style. Cons: have to actually learn lots of theory or spend huge amounts of time calculating lines right from the start, or die on spot.
    - Some other bloody e5 thing. Pros: I haven't played the ruy, petrof, etc., for years and years. Maybe it'll be interesting. Cons: I remember hating the ruy, petrof, etc. when I did play them, plus gives white too much control over where things go, again will have to learn scads of theory.
    - Pirc. Pros: it seems to generally go along with my style -- I've found that the kings indian makes me quite happy as black, for example. Cons: isn't it basically busted? Plus, I always see obnoxious streetcorner blitz players playing this, and it annoys me.
    -French. Pros: I always have trouble beating it (avoiding the french is the main reason I adopted the KIA as white against non e5 openings). Cons: it's for sissies, I hate closed centers and stupid battles over central pawns.
    - Scandie: Pros: see French. Cons: it can't be good. Really.

    Your wisdom? I'm thinking maybe one of those obnoxious gambit versions of the scandie?
  2. Standard member irontigran
    Rob Scheider is..
    19 Aug '08 18:04
    Originally posted by paultopia
    This is the perennial problem: I'm totally dissatisfied with everything that black has for e4. I've tried various versions of the sicilian, but tend to get eaten alive by early attacks. I've tried alekhine's, but it seems to either lead to a mass of piece trades and a boring, inferior, endgame or me never being able to dent white's pawn center. The Caro ...[text shortened]... sdom? I'm thinking maybe one of those obnoxious gambit versions of the scandie?
    i always played the caro kann on here but then started to play live chess and wanted to play something more aggressive so i switched to the latvian.
    yeah, theres a lot to know, but youll know more than your opponent!
  3. 19 Aug '08 18:31
    Tiger's Modern or the hippo. Sounds like you want to play a game of chess, but don't fancy all the theory behind it. Both openings are flexible with scope for creativity and probably better than their reputations.

    Disclaimer: wouldn't touch them with a bargepole myself as black, but not everyone is happy playing the Dragon
  4. 19 Aug '08 18:33
    Originally posted by paultopia
    This is the perennial problem: I'm totally dissatisfied with everything that black has for e4. I've tried various versions of the sicilian, but tend to get eaten alive by early attacks. I've tried alekhine's, but it seems to either lead to a mass of piece trades and a boring, inferior, endgame or me never being able to dent white's pawn center. The Caro ...[text shortened]... sdom? I'm thinking maybe one of those obnoxious gambit versions of the scandie?
    wow.

    1. (contrary to what you said) there is a good chance that it's you and not the opening, I rather suspect that you play well with the initiative and simply don't take the time to consider your opponents plans
    2. you may be a bit impatient to attack if you are losing instantly in the Caro, there is no way that should happen.
    3. Which sicillians have you played? They vary greatly from each other. Once again if you are losing to early attacks, it's probably not the opening.
    4. The Roy is not a choice black gets to make.
    5. Pirc is a fun opening.
    6. The french is for sissies?? You clearly don't understand a thing about the french. It's a counter attacking opening and while play revolves around central pawns, they don't necessarily survive once black has played f6 and c5.
    7. The scandinavian is solid and takes most white players out of their book. I suggest e4 d5 exd Nf6
  5. Standard member paultopia
    High Priest
    19 Aug '08 19:24
    Originally posted by zebano
    wow.

    1. (contrary to what you said) there is a good chance that it's you and not the opening, I rather suspect that you play well with the initiative and simply don't take the time to consider your opponents plans
    2. you may be a bit impatient to attack if you are losing instantly in the Caro, there is no way that should happen.
    3. Which sicillians ha ...[text shortened]... ndinavian is solid and takes most white players out of their book. I suggest e4 d5 exd Nf6
    1. I definitely play better with the initiative than without, but, then, doesn't everyone? That's why I'm thinking of picking up some gambit or hypermodern things.

    2. my problems in the Caro: a) in the advance variation, never ever getting to develop both the kingside minor pieces, and, in the process of struggling to develop them, getting slaughtered by an attack. (i.e., trying to find a square for the knight that leaves the bishop somewhere to go). In the main line, not so bad, but I never get the main line. In the exchange, just having nothing to do -- no obvious plans or anywhere to go.

    3. Mostly pelikan and najdorf.

    4. Right, and that's my complaint with e5...

    ...

    6. Get a sense of humor about the for sissies part. :-)

    7. Thanks -- it feels like some kind of surrender to take an opening like the scandie, but I might have to...
  6. Standard member Korch
    Chess Warrior
    19 Aug '08 19:27
    Originally posted by paultopia
    This is the perennial problem: I'm totally dissatisfied with everything that black has for e4. I've tried various versions of the sicilian, but tend to get eaten alive by early attacks. I've tried alekhine's, but it seems to either lead to a mass of piece trades and a boring, inferior, endgame or me never being able to dent white's pawn center. The Caro ...[text shortened]... sdom? I'm thinking maybe one of those obnoxious gambit versions of the scandie?
    I would suggest you Pirc and Scandinavian. These openings are played even in GM level which means that in your level they should be playable too.
  7. 19 Aug '08 20:01
    Originally posted by paultopia
    This is the perennial problem: I'm totally dissatisfied with everything that black has for e4. I've tried various versions of the sicilian, but tend to get eaten alive by early attacks. I've tried alekhine's, but it seems to either lead to a mass of piece trades and a boring, inferior, endgame or me never being able to dent white's pawn center. The Caro ...[text shortened]... sdom? I'm thinking maybe one of those obnoxious gambit versions of the scandie?
    Play the Fred defence!

    1.e4 f5 2.exf5 Kf7
  8. Donation !~TONY~!
    1...c5!
    19 Aug '08 21:00
    If you like having the initiative, you can really knock these off the list right away:

    - Center Counter - Unless you play something like the Portuguese Variation, this opening leads to positions and structures similar to the Caro-Kann.
    - Caro Kann - Well, it's solid, but not really a choice for an attacking player.
    - Pirc / Modern - It's double edged, but it reminds me of the Sicilian in some ways. Black very often has a compact structure and COUNTER-attacking chances, but you never start off with the intiative.
    - French - Not as lame as you might think, and a common choice for players who like complicated, tense positions, but again, you won't have the initiative.

    I would suggest the Marshall Attack, but you'd have to be willing to play other 1...e5 openings as Black. That said, you can normally find lively choices vs. the Scotch, 3. Bc4 if you really want to. If you're also willing to learn some theory, the Dragon is a great choice (my choice). Since most lines are opposite sides castling, it's of you defending and trying to win, and more of you trying to mate the other guy first. That said, there are a lot of lines where Black just tries to grab all the material and win, which I'm okay with, but you might not be.

    Also, you're almost never going to find an opening where everything is perfect. For instance, if you play 1..e5, you'll have to deal with things like 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. d3. Or if you play the Sicilian you'll have to deal with the Closed, or 2. c3, both of which you may not like. If you play the French or the Caro, there are the Exchange Variations. You can't always get what you want, especially as Black, so you'll just have to make a decision and grit your teeth through the games you really don't want to play!
  9. 19 Aug '08 22:18
    play, 1..g6, 2...Bg7, 3...c5 against anything and everything that white has to offer! with the exception of 1.b4 or 1.b3.
  10. 20 Aug '08 06:57 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by paultopia
    I've tried alekhine's, but it seems to either lead to a mass of piece trades and a boring, inferior, endgame or me never being able to dent white's pawn center.
    BORING???? MASS TRADING???? most of mine are fireworks and liquidation of white's pawn structure (decides to looks at paultopia's games...back in a few)

    Game 713915 this isn't Alekhine...there are some interesting though probably inferior lines with 2....d5. I would recomend playing 2....g6 followed by a Bg7, d6, and 0-0...should play solid. But as for the game...if you like the initiative, then 6....Qb6 would have been very strong!! But you were timed out in a SUPERIOR endgame...


    just going through alot of your games, you seem to give away the initiative by CHOOSING to exchange, when superior moves are available...also you are timed out in many games, making any advice hard to give
  11. Standard member paultopia
    High Priest
    20 Aug '08 07:02
    Hah, sadly, I mostly use it in realtime, but enjoy. :-)
  12. 20 Aug '08 07:13
    Oh you're on!!! I can give you some blitz games on RHP blitz if you wana see how I use it!
  13. 20 Aug '08 08:59
    Originally posted by paultopia
    1. I definitely play better with the initiative than without, but, then, doesn't everyone?
    No. When I have the initiative, I find myself flailing about for a plan, and blundering into places I shouldn't be.

    Richard
  14. 20 Aug '08 10:27
    I think the Pirc / modern is overrated as an opening for someone who doesn't want to study too much. It's difficult to play well and you'll have a lot of losses before you start to get a feel for it.

    The Scandinavian (with 2. ... Qxd5) is an excellent choice. Comparatively little theory and unlikely that White will be that experienced at facing it. The positions which arise can be a bit boring though, and White tends to get a small plus if he just plays sensibly.

    The French is a good option if you don't want to be attacked too quickly. I play it myself. Black can remain cramped for quite a long time and it's worth learning some theory and going over lots of games by strong players to see the sort of things Black can try to free his position.

    Has anyone mentioned 1. ... e5 yet? You have to be prepared to face an awful lot of different openings, but along with the Sicilian it is probably Black's best move if he is going for a win.
  15. 20 Aug '08 11:47
    Have you ever thought of using the St. George? I am a 1413 rated player USCF and used it in a tournament against a 2000 rated player and almost won! I wound up drawing though. It works excellently!