Originally posted by LogicNinja
I have no idea which opening to use!
Im a 1400ish player and I want something that most players wouldnt be prepared for and that would take them out of their comfort zone, but I want it to be a relatively established and well respected opening. So I dont really want 1. e4
I dont want an opening that leads to me playing defensively. Maybe somethin ...[text shortened]... at takes control of the center and leads to more wins and losses than draws.
The problem is that you can´t choose the opening. You can decide to play the Queen´s gambit and start 1. d4, but as soon as black plays 1. ... f5 it´s the Dutch. You simply can´t choose one single system. You have to identify a set of openings which lead to either similar positions or at least positions you can cope with.
The difficulty you had with 1. e4 was that it doesn´t take opponents out of their comfort zone. The problem is nothing else does either. Chess opening theory exists to give grandmasters lucrative publishing contracts for opening books. Your opponents read this stuff and know how to cope with all sorts of wacky lines. In correspondence chess your opponents will be able to use databases as well.
woodworms suggestion of 1. f4 is sensible, you get an attack and it´s not 1. e4.