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  1. 14 Oct '11 21:43
    I've played chess on and off for about 6 or 7 years, and in that time there has been one part of the game where I've definitely spent way too much time for such little payoff: The opening. Seriously though, who can disagree that playing around with a whole bunch of different openings isn't fun? Naturally, I have tried my best to keep a somewhat limited repertoire, only looking at other openings when I'm bored or just curious to see what other people are trying. Typically, I play the King's Gambit (Classical 3.Nf3) which is a great opening, particularly for new players. It helped me with tactics, learning how to exploit weak squares (particularly f7), how to play with the initiative, and sometimes how to defend with material disadvantage. Recently though I've been playing some 1.d4 stuff and just using a kingside fianchetto almost regardless of what black plays, which very typically ends up in the Catalan Variation. So far, I'm really enjoying it, I might even stick with it for a while.

    The purpose of this thread, however, is to hear what you guys have been playing recently. I want to see interesting opening ideas, strange variations that you're trying, dubious but still interesting opening lines, etc.
  2. 14 Oct '11 21:49
    Originally posted by UnderPromote
    I've played chess on and off for about 6 or 7 years, and in that time there has been one part of the game where I've definitely spent way too much time for such little payoff: The opening. Seriously though, who can disagree that playing around with a whole bunch of different openings isn't fun? Naturally, I have tried my best to keep a somewhat limite ...[text shortened]... strange variations that you're trying, dubious but still interesting opening lines, etc.
    Side note:

    If you typically use the KG you should learn the Bishops gambit (2.Bc4) as sometimes you run up against an opponent who knows the classical lines very well but hardly ever will you find an opponent who knows both 2.Nf3 and 2.Bc4 lines equally well.
  3. 14 Oct '11 21:51
    Originally posted by UnderPromote
    I've played chess on and off for about 6 or 7 years, and in that time there has been one part of the game where I've definitely spent way too much time for such little payoff: The opening. Seriously though, who can disagree that playing around with a whole bunch of different openings isn't fun? Naturally, I have tried my best to keep a somewhat limite ...[text shortened]... strange variations that you're trying, dubious but still interesting opening lines, etc.
    I always play 1. g3 as white and 1. ... g6 as black. Why? I get positions I like and don't have to learn much theory but can get into "proper" openings by the backdoor if I want to.
  4. 14 Oct '11 22:08
    Originally posted by Diophantus
    I always play 1. g3 as white and 1. ... g6 as black. Why? I get positions I like and don't have to learn much theory but can get into "proper" openings by the backdoor if I want to.
    I like you have experimented with everything , now I play 1.b3 as white, and against
    the queen pawn, Nimzo and Queens Indian, and 1....b6 against the king pawn. No
    more Sicilian, Frenchies, Caro Khans, Moderns, Pircs or Aleknines.
  5. 14 Oct '11 22:12
    Originally posted by tomtom232
    Side note:

    If you typically use the KG you should learn the Bishops gambit (2.Bc4) as sometimes you run up against an opponent who knows the classical lines very well but hardly ever will you find an opponent who knows both 2.Nf3 and 2.Bc4 lines equally well.
    I am at least somewhat familiar with the 3.Bc4 lines, but I almost always choose 3.Nf3 regardless of how well I think my opponent knows the mainlines. I would welcome any variation of the King's Gambit (3.Nf3) from the white side. There are certainly more challenging lines than others in the KG (3...g5 comes to mind immediately) but I have lines that I am prepared to play against these variations and I am always happy to have black provided challenging opening lines - if nothing else they are usually very instructive.
  6. 14 Oct '11 22:19
    Originally posted by Diophantus
    I always play 1. g3 as white and 1. ... g6 as black. Why? I get positions I like and don't have to learn much theory but can get into "proper" openings by the backdoor if I want to.
    Good stuff, I like this idea. I feel like this should be more popular. It would be interesting to see a game transpose into a Dragon, for example, from that move order.

    1.e4 g6 2.d4 d6 3.Nf3 c5 4.Nc3 cxd4 5.Nxd4 Bg7 etc.
  7. 14 Oct '11 22:28
    Originally posted by UnderPromote
    Good stuff, I like this idea. I feel like this should be more popular. It would be interesting to see a game transpose into a Dragon, for example, from that move order.

    1.e4 g6 2.d4 d6 3.Nf3 c5 4.Nc3 cxd4 5.Nxd4 Bg7 etc.
    If I am playing we are likely to end up with something a little different to a Dragon. 1. e4 g6 2. d4 Bg7 3. Nc3 c5 and now white usually hacks the pawn off. I have no idea why that happens since white could just carry on regardless in Sicilian fashion, but that is the commonest move I get. Then we have 4. dxc5 Bxc3+ 5. bxc3 and much fun and games around the queenside mess.
  8. 14 Oct '11 22:31
    Originally posted by Diophantus
    If I am playing we are likely to end up with something a little different to a Dragon. 1. e4 g6 2. d4 Bg7 3. Nc3 c5 and now white usually hacks the pawn off. I have no idea why that happens since white could just carry on regardless in Sicilian fashion, but that is the commonest move I get. Then we have 4. dxc5 Bxc3+ 5. bxc3 and much fun and games around the queenside mess.
    It probably happens because white is either trying to avoid the Dragon or feels that if you wanted to play it then you should have done so in the first place and taking the pawn is punishment for not doing so.
  9. 14 Oct '11 22:34
    Originally posted by tomtom232
    It probably happens because white is either trying to avoid the Dragon or feels that if you wanted to play it then you should have done so in the first place and taking the pawn is punishment for not doing so.
    Maybe so. I'd think that Nc3 is quite sufficient Dragon avoidance anyway.
  10. 14 Oct '11 22:35
    Originally posted by Diophantus
    If I am playing we are likely to end up with something a little different to a Dragon. 1. e4 g6 2. d4 Bg7 3. Nc3 c5 and now white usually hacks the pawn off. I have no idea why that happens since white could just carry on regardless in Sicilian fashion, but that is the commonest move I get. Then we have 4. dxc5 Bxc3+ 5. bxc3 and much fun and games around the queenside mess.
    I'm not surprised to hear that you don't often reach the Dragon from 1...g6, but I am surprised that white hacks that pawn. Personally, I'd probably go with 1.e4 g6 2.d4 Bg7 3.Nf3 c5 4.d5 or 4.c4 looking for Benoni type positions if I were white. You would certainly have to like that big center and all the space.
  11. 14 Oct '11 22:40
    Originally posted by UnderPromote
    I'm not surprised to hear that you don't often reach the Dragon from 1...g6, but I am surprised that white hacks that pawn. Personally, I'd probably go with 1.e4 g6 2.d4 Bg7 3.Nf3 c5 4.d5 or 4.c4 looking for Benoni type positions if I were white. You would certainly have to like that big center and all the space.
    Yes, I do find it strange that white wants to play Nc3 rather than Nf3, but that is what usually happens. Maybe thinking that it will turn into a Pirc or that I am likely to go down the more usual Modern Defence route. And why not d5 even after Nc3?
  12. 14 Oct '11 22:44
    Originally posted by Diophantus
    Yes, I do find it strange that white wants to play Nc3 rather than Nf3, but that is what usually happens. Maybe thinking that it will turn into a Pirc or that I am likely to go down the more usual Modern Defence route. And why not d5 even after Nc3?
    Perhaps players from the white side are wary of those Benoni type positions? Maybe the pawn is just too tempting? I can't really make sense of it. To me it seems that d5 is certainly more testing for black than taking that pawn on c5 is.
  13. 14 Oct '11 22:56
    Originally posted by UnderPromote
    Perhaps players from the white side are wary of those Benoni type positions? Maybe the pawn is just too tempting? I can't really make sense of it. To me it seems that d5 is certainly more testing for black than taking that pawn on c5 is.
    It may be that they see the only way for black to regain his pawn is with Qa5, which then leaves the queen as a lovely target. However, black doesn't have to recover the pawn immediately, or ever. He can just make a mess of white's queenside and see what happens after that.
  14. 14 Oct '11 23:10
    Originally posted by Diophantus
    It may be that they see the only way for black to regain his pawn is with Qa5, which then leaves the queen as a lovely target. However, black doesn't have to recover the pawn immediately, or ever. He can just make a mess of white's queenside and see what happens after that.
    Wouldn't you think that most 1600+ players would be aware that black usually welcomes moves like dxc5 though?
  15. 14 Oct '11 23:18
    Originally posted by UnderPromote
    Wouldn't you think that most 1600+ players would be aware that black usually welcomes moves like dxc5 though?
    Yes, if they had ever seen it before. It is possible people simply haven't ended up in this position by this move order before. Generally white will have just played d4 and black will be the one to capture, whereas in this position it is white's move, he is apparently a tempo up. Also, after Nc3 we are in Closed Sicilian territory and maybe white feels that d4 likely wouldn't happen under normal circumstances so perhaps he can get away with dxc5.