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  1. 11 Dec '06 13:35
    I decided to shake things up and try some new openings, so now my repitoire (by clan) looks like this....

    FDL: English/French/Benko
    CKL: KG/Caro/Nimzo
    Mustangs: Scotch(Open Sicillian/Winawer/150 attack)/Petrov/Nimzo

    When reading up on my new* openings MCO 13(? circa 1995) said that the real problem with the petrov is that if white wants a draw, he can have one and black has no say in the matter. Have there been new developments in the Petrov, or is this still the case?


    * I have played almost every opening imaginable in blitz before, but not in serious practice.
  2. 11 Dec '06 14:11
    Originally posted by zebano
    I decided to shake things up and try some new openings, so now my repitoire (by clan) looks like this....

    FDL: English/French/Benko
    CKL: KG/Caro/Nimzo
    Mustangs: Scotch(Open Sicillian/Winawer/150 attack)/Petrov/Nimzo

    When reading up on my new* openings MCO 13(? circa 1995) said that the real problem with the petrov is that if white wants a draw, he ca ...[text shortened]...

    * I have played almost every opening imaginable in blitz before, but not in serious practice.
    The Petrov Defence rightly has a reputation for being very drawish.

    One of the problems that Black faces if he is playing for a win is the following position, which White can easily force.



    This arises after 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.Qe2 Qe7 (otherwise Black loses the knight) 6.d3 Nf6.

    Not surprisingly about 80% of games on the Chessgames.com database are drawn from this position. The queens are coming off in a symetrical positon. Black cannot really avoid this.
  3. 11 Dec '06 14:20
    Originally posted by David Tebb
    The Petrov Defence rightly has a reputation for being very drawish.
    ...
    Not surprisingly about 80% of games on the Chessgames.com database are drawn from this position. The queens are coming off in a symetrical positon. Black cannot really avoid this.
    So as long as I limit my use of it to clan games and tournament games against higher rated players, I should be fine...

    I can't imagine any case other than a lower rated player wanting any easy draw where white would willingly play into that position (seeing as they then lose most, if not all of their winning chances).
  4. 11 Dec '06 14:26
    Originally posted by zebano
    I decided to shake things up and try some new openings, so now my repitoire (by clan) looks like this....

    FDL: English/French/Benko
    CKL: KG/Caro/Nimzo
    Mustangs: Scotch(Open Sicillian/Winawer/150 attack)/Petrov/Nimzo

    When reading up on my new* openings MCO 13(? circa 1995) said that the real problem with the petrov is that if white wants a draw, he ca ...[text shortened]...

    * I have played almost every opening imaginable in blitz before, but not in serious practice.
    Sorry, but before answering your main question (I'll do later) I note some disparity in your selections, e.g:

    FDL: English/French/Benko

    Why Benko (Volga Gambit)? I think that Modern Benoni is a better election for a French Defence player.

    The
    CKL: KG/Caro/Nimzo selection
    seems ok, but here the KG seems to be out of place.

    For the Mustangs set:
    Scotch (Open Sicillian/Winawer/150 attack) /Petrov/ Nimzo
    seems ok for me, except the Petrov... as you've said, it lacks punch.
    (compared against the other opennings in the set).

    My 2 cents.
  5. 11 Dec '06 15:01
    Originally posted by CrazyLilTing
    Sorry, but before answering your main question (I'll do later) I note some disparity in your selections, e.g:

    FDL: English/French/Benko

    Why Benko (Volga Gambit)? I think that Modern Benoni is a better election for a French Defence player.

    The
    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.

    http://www.chessatwork.com/gamesexplorer/index.php?flip=1&co=w&u=193748&c=-1&a=1
  6. 11 Dec '06 19:46 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by zebano
    I decided to shake things up and try some new openings, so now my repitoire (by clan) looks like this....

    FDL: English/French/Benko
    CKL: KG/Caro/Nimzo
    Mustangs: Scotch(Open Sicillian/Winawer/150 attack)/Petrov/Nimzo

    When reading up on my new* openings MCO 13(? circa 1995) said that the real problem with the petrov is that if white wants a draw, he ca ...[text shortened]...

    * I have played almost every opening imaginable in blitz before, but not in serious practice.
    At this stage in your development I wouldn't fret too much about an opening's "drawish reputation," I'd worry more about not losing.

    PS -- I've been playing the Caro-Kann lately and hardly ever seem to draw. In fact, almost every game seems to be decisive -- either for me or my opponent.
  7. 11 Dec '06 20:06
    I play the petrov every now and then... I think that against players rated below 1600 you have a chance at gaining a small advantage if they are unfamiliar with the opening. But, it is very drawish and I have never gained a decisive advantage, only small ones such as winning a pawn or two in the middle game or gaining a slight positional edge.
  8. 12 Dec '06 00:22
    Originally posted by der schwarze Ritter
    At this stage in your development I wouldn't fret too much about an opening's "drawish reputation," I'd worry more about not losing.

    PS -- I've been playing the Caro-Kann lately and hardly ever seem to draw. In fact, almost every game seems to be decisive -- either for me or my opponent.

    ChessJester
    I play the petrov every now ...[text shortened]... es such as winning a pawn or two in the middle game or gaining a slight positional edge.
    Thats true. What I was worried about is what David Tebb posted. If some 1200 plays that, I will have to work some serious magic to turn that into a vicotry. The big problem is that on RHP, it's not win as white, draw as black since a draw is only 1/3 the value of a win. Then again, there is something to be said for white giving up all his chances...

    Jester, If I can't convert a pawn into a win vrs. someone rated 200 pts below me, I don't deserve to be rated 200 points above them... As a french player and english player, converting that pawn is something I do regularily.
  9. Standard member buffalobill
    Major Bone
    12 Dec '06 04:37
    Originally posted by zebano
    Thats true. What I was worried about is what David Tebb posted. If some 1200 plays that, I will have to work some serious magic to turn that into a vicotry. The big problem is that on RHP, it's not win as white, draw as black since a draw is only 1/3 the value of a win. Then again, there is something to be said for white giving up all his chances...

    Jester ...[text shortened]... ... As a french player and english player, converting that pawn is something I do regularily.
    Yes but ....

    In the hands of good players (like David Tebb) it's drawish. In ours, it's not. If white wants a draw he could force one, but if not then it leads to some very sharp play. For example: http://www.geocities.com/TheGOTMman/gotm_oct-03.html
  10. 12 Dec '06 06:07
    white can play 5.Nc3 instead of 5.d4, this knight move leads to dynamic and intersting play with white castling long
  11. 12 Dec '06 18:39
    Originally posted by zebano

    Jester, If I can't convert a pawn into a win vrs. someone rated 200 pts below me, I don't deserve to be rated 200 points above them... As a french player and english player, converting that pawn is something I do regularily.
    Exactly. But this is the best you will do, unless pieces are dropped. I think it involves simple strategic play, so if you like that then by all means, play it, but I personally don't find it too exciting.
  12. 12 Dec '06 19:14
    Originally posted by ChessJester
    I personally don't find it too exciting.
    You don't like the slow, strangulating death of crushing your opponent with a solitary pawn advantage? As they watch in horror as they try desperately to stop your "insignificant" pawn as it steadfastly marches on to be promoted?

    Man, I *love* that.

    Different strokes for different folks. I've been surprised by a number of my opponents that come on strong, throwing combinations and great attacking chess at me, only to come out even into the endgame and eventually lose because at that point every single move is critical and a wasted tempo can easily cost you the game.
  13. 16 Dec '06 00:23
    The "Draw Variation" (1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nf6 3 Ne5 d6 4 Nf3 Ne4 5 Qe2 Qe7 6 d3 Nf6) is decidedly NOT drawish if Black's next move is ...Be6, avoiding the Queen trade. If White plays Qe7 before Black can play ...Be6, then it is Black who has a slight advantage.