Originally posted by CrazyLilTing
Sorry, but before answering your main question (I'll do later) I note some disparity in your selections, e.g:
Why Benko (Volga Gambit)? I think that Modern Benoni is a better election for a French Defence player.
CKL: KG/Caro/Nimzo selection
seems ok, but here the KG seems to be out of place.
For the Mustangs ...[text shortened]... ou've said, it lacks punch.
(compared against the other opennings in the set).
My 2 cents.
It's simply a matter of openings that I am familiar with, or in the process of becoming familiar with.
For instance, my first opening ever was the king's gambit. A local master suggested I play more traditional openings first like the roy or italian game. After playing around for a couple of months I played the scotch because everyone else played the other two...
I needed a d4 defense and everyone said the nimzo was a solid, gm defense to d4. I also picked up the najdorf sicillian as a fighting weapon against e4. After playing the scotch for a year or so, I went back to my beloved kings gambit. In accordance with my risky style of play, I took up the benko and now played 3 aggressive openings KG/Najdorf/Benko.
I took 5 years off from chess and when I came back my skills were rusty and I played more positionally and spent less time studying openings. in accordance with this I took up the french and soon, the english. I have played those trusty openings for about 1.5 years now. At some point, I started the french defense lovers clan, and in return for being my first member, I joined Vovochka's excellent Caro-Kahn clan.
So now, I have a plethora of openings that I play and enjoy despite how disparate they are. After some foolish losses in french exchanges, I want to sharpen my practice in symetric games, so I am looking to adopt an opening as white, and later, one as black (I don't have that much time to study!).
As an aside, I don't know why the Volga is so known in some places, and known as the Benko in others...
If you would care to suggest a different set of openings, here are the few that I will not abandon...
English, french, benko, Caro-Kahn.
I do enjoy the kings gambit, but as I face stiffer and stiffer competitiion, it becomes more and more painful to play...
and for those of you who don't read the announcements forum, check out my games in the all new RHP games exporer.