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  1. 08 Apr '11 15:27
    Hi all
    Just back playing chess after a long long rest. Currently have 5 games on the go but playing totaly obscure openings of a Basman flavour. In the past ive dabbled with the colle,stonewall etc (plug in and play openings) scandinavian. I have looked at and played Scillians, ruy lopez QGD/A but usually get lost and lose. Problem is I just can't be bothered or have time to study openings. So what openings can I look at where the theme is more important than having to know reams of theory but I won't get board with.
  2. Standard member bill718
    Enigma
    08 Apr '11 15:34
    Originally posted by rob39
    Hi all
    Just back playing chess after a long long rest. Currently have 5 games on the go but playing totaly obscure openings of a Basman flavour. In the past ive dabbled with the colle,stonewall etc (plug in and play openings) scandinavian. I have looked at and played Scillians, ruy lopez QGD/A but usually get lost and lose. Problem is I just can't be bothered ...[text shortened]... re the theme is more important than having to know reams of theory but I won't get board with.
    You might consider the Caro-Kann against e4 and the Slav against d4. Pieces and pawns are in nearly the same squares for both. As for what to play as white, I'd say Birds or KIA. You will have to do a little study no matter what your choices are.
  3. 08 Apr '11 16:06
    If you are having problems losing, it probably isn't because of your knowledge of openings. Openings are over with after the first few moves. When you go to obscure openings, then you might as well forget about memorizing at all. You are out of book after a couple of moves!

    You've got to figure out where you like your pieces and why. Once you do that, you can find an opening that will allow you to do it.

    I really like 1.b3 because I like having my bishop on an open a1-h8 file. I also like it because I can develop my pieces quickly and effciently, allowing me a fairly open board to play.


    As far as black goes, I'm not very satisfied with anything I've found. But then again, I haven't spent nearly as much time on my defense.
  4. Standard member nimzo5
    Ronin
    08 Apr '11 16:27
    Ignoring the whole subject of IF you should be spending anytime on openings at all, here is my suggestion based on what seems to work for aspiring scholastic players.

    As White - Play 1. e4, duck the stuff you dont want to face. For example

    vs the Sicilian play the Grand Prix Attack. That should stand you in good stead till you are knocking on the door of 1800 or so.

    vs 1...e5 play something like the Italian game/Bishops opening. Focus on opening principles not theory so much.

    vs the French play something like the advance variation

    etc. keep it simple and then as you grow comfortable choose more demanding variations.

    As Black there really isn't a particularly good way to avoid theory so your best bet is to play 1.. e5 and 1. d5 and just focusing on good, classical play. There is no need to mess around with anything more complex until you can solidly defend in the classical openings.
  5. 08 Apr '11 16:43
    Nimzo,

    Why is classical better than hyper modern? Seems to me that they are simply two different philosophies. Classical is what has been traditionally taught. The new stuff is new. So why is the older stuff inherently better than the new stuff.


    If I play a modern attack, then why not play a modern defense? It seems logical to me.
  6. Standard member nimzo5
    Ronin
    08 Apr '11 17:14 / 1 edit
    Classical Openings, and specifically Open games evolving from 1.e4 e5 and 1. d4 d5 should be played by players below 2000 fide strength- (this was GM Yermolinsky's contention among many others) b
    1) A sub 2000 player needs to develop their tactical strength, the open games practically force development of this.
    2) In general, the scheme of development in the opening adheres to general principles of central control, space, time and king safety. Understanding the principles of the opening will stand you in good stead in these openings.
    3) You are developing a deeper understanding of the fundamental concepts that will carry with you into almost all openings later in your advancement.
    4) These openings have been around for ages, so by playing through master games chronologically, it is easier for an aspiring player to see the nuances of the variations develop as new generations discover defensive resources etc.


    I strongly reccomend this path, and let me give you an example.
    When I started out I was recommended by a GM to follow this guideline and play the Italian game, the gpa etc. as white and then play 1.. e5 open spanish and 1.. d5 the Tarrasch vs d4.

    I was playing mostly 1 min chess in that time so after getting squashed for about a month I decided to play the french vs 1. e4 and the kid vs d4 and switch to 1. d4 in the hopes of surviving longer in my games due to the closed nature of many of the positions.

    I am sure that without a doubt that set me back at least a year in my play until I switched to more open systems as I wasn't developing the necessary tactical strength (not to mention my positionsal chess stunk as well).

    If I could do it all over, I would have followed that GM's advice
  7. 08 Apr '11 17:22
    Originally posted by nimzo5
    Classical Openings, and specifically Open games evolving from 1.e4 e5 and 1. d4 d5 should be played by players below 2000 fide strength- (this was GM Yermolinsky's contention among many others) b
    1) A sub 2000 player needs to develop their tactical strength, the open games practically force development of this.
    2) In general, the scheme of development in th ...[text shortened]... al chess stunk as well).

    If I could do it all over, I would have followed that GM's advice
    this actually makes great sense and is very practical too. I started as a 1.d4 player
    and found that i was getting hammered tactically, so I switched to 1.e4 in the hope
    that it would hone my tactical awareness, which, to some extent it has, although i dont
    do very well in really complicated positions, but its better than it was.
  8. Standard member hedonist
    peacedog's keeper
    08 Apr '11 18:55
    When I first started playing this game I bought an beginners book. The advice it gave was to play classical openings and concentrate on basic opening principles rather than on memorizing lines. Being a bit lazy by nature I soon thought stuff that and started buying opening books looking for the line that would make me unbeatable, a cureall for all my chess weaknesess.

    20 years later and I still have not found it. I'm begining to think it doesn't exist.

    20 years later and I'm not much better at this game than in my first year.

    If I had my time again I would of studied that beginners book til I new every word and remembered every lesson it tried to teach me. I looked through that same book not that long ago and was sad to find that I still don't know basic king n pawn endgames.

    I should of spent the last 20 years on that book and I might of been world champ by now:'(
  9. 08 Apr '11 20:01
    Originally posted by nimzo5
    Ignoring the whole subject of IF you should be spending anytime on openings at all, here is my suggestion based on what seems to work for aspiring scholastic players.

    As White - Play 1. e4, duck the stuff you dont want to face. For example

    vs the Sicilian play the Grand Prix Attack. That should stand you in good stead till you are knocking on the door o ...[text shortened]... mess around with anything more complex until you can solidly defend in the classical openings.
    Excellent advice.

    By the way, in my feeble opinion, I would stay away from the offbeat 1.b3. Go with 1.e4.
  10. 08 Apr '11 21:59
    Originally posted by moon1969
    Excellent advice.

    By the way, in my feeble opinion, I would stay away from the offbeat 1.b3. Go with 1.e4.
    If most people actually liked 1.b3, it wouldn't be so offbeat!

    I view it as a Colle Zukertort that can actually use it's bishop! 🙂

    Perhaps later I will learn a bit of the polar bear. Roar.
  11. 08 Apr '11 23:29 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by Eladar
    If most people actually liked 1.b3, it wouldn't be so offbeat!

    I view it as a Colle Zukertort that can actually use it's bishop! 🙂

    Perhaps later I will learn a bit of the polar bear. Roar.
    I do like the Colle Zukertort better than the Colle. Yet, both seem kind of drawish and not to fully take advantage of white's first move initiative, but I don't really know.

    Anyway, for the inexperienced player, I agree with Nimzo in the sense I recommend the open 1.e4 (i.e., the Italian game, or the advanced variation against the French, or a simple response to the Sicilian), combined with playing basic principles.
  12. 09 Apr '11 09:46
    Originally posted by moon1969
    I do like the Colle Zukertort better than the Colle. Yet, both seem kind of drawish and not to fully take advantage of white's first move initiative, but I don't really know.

    Anyway, for the inexperienced player, I agree with Nimzo in the sense I recommend the open 1.e4 (i.e., the Italian game, or the advanced variation against the French, or a simple response to the Sicilian), combined with playing basic principles.
    lol, more Colle madness, ol GP and Nimzo are having their work cut out for them!
  13. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    09 Apr '11 13:34
    Originally posted by rob39
    Hi all
    Just back playing chess after a long long rest. Currently have 5 games on the go but playing totaly obscure openings of a Basman flavour. In the past ive dabbled with the colle,stonewall etc (plug in and play openings) scandinavian. I have looked at and played Scillians, ruy lopez QGD/A but usually get lost and lose. Problem is I just can't be bothered ...[text shortened]... re the theme is more important than having to know reams of theory but I won't get board with.
    This may sound really simple, but I think you should expose yourself (insert joke here) to a variety of games from sites or magazines or player anthologies, and then just play something you like or that appeals to you in some way.

    The whole point is to have fun, and sometimes we get caught up in all the esoteric/statistical/chess dogma stuff, which ignores each player's unique perspective on the game.

    I think it is worth noting that you mention Basman, whose approach to the game is very unique, and whose opening repertoire would never be confused with any of the World Champions.

    He could have confined himself to World Champion-approved openings, but then he wouldn't be Basman, and the chess world would be worse off for it.
  14. Donation ketchuplover
    G.O.A.T.
    09 Apr '11 14:06
    Originally posted by hedonist
    When I first started playing this game I bought an beginners book. The advice it gave was to play classical openings and concentrate on basic opening principles rather than on memorizing lines. Being a bit lazy by nature I soon thought stuff that and started buying opening books looking for the line that would make me unbeatable, a cureall for all my chess ...[text shortened]...
    I should of spent the last 20 years on that book and I might of been world champ by now:'(
    You would've been the greatest ever!
  15. Standard member nimzo5
    Ronin
    09 Apr '11 21:11
    Originally posted by Eladar
    If most people actually liked 1.b3, it wouldn't be so offbeat!

    I view it as a Colle Zukertort that can actually use it's bishop! 🙂

    Perhaps later I will learn a bit of the polar bear. Roar.
    *slaps forehead*