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  1. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    13 Aug '10 15:13 / 3 edits
    I am curious to know how others approach the subject, and perhaps I can explain better with myself as an example.

    As white in over-the-board tournament play, I exclusively play 1. Nf3 or 1. g3, steering for the King's Indian Attack/Pirc-Modern in reverse, although I transpose to the Reti or Closed Sicilian with certain move orders. I am very careful and particular about my move order and approach-logging some 400+ OTB games in a 20 +year span. I have become comfortable with a huge number of positions and plans within that scheme, and opening play as white is a strong point for me there.

    Here as a CC player, I have (as white) played 1. c4, 1.d4, 1. f4, occasionally 1. e4 or 1. b3, and only rarely will I roll out 1. Nf3 or 1. g3- and that's usually because I really want to win or I am in a theoretical discussion with my friend on the other side of the board.

    My goal in CC has been to broaden my horizons and experience by exploring strange new positions, to seek out new ideas and new positions- to boldly go where I haven't gone before!

    I always try to win, of course (especially in clan games), but my attitude is far more experimental here, and my favorite and most interesting games aren't necessarily wins here.

    I'm just curious to know how others view the various forms of play, and how they approach them.
  2. 15 Aug '10 04:14
    I'm barely 1400 OTB so CC and OTB I treat the same. I look at the position and decide on a move. I don't use the analysis board and I don't look up any opening lines.
    I do study though and that of course will affect my decisions at the board in OTB and CC.
    As white 1.e4 in OTB and CC
    Against 1.e4...e5 1.d4...d5 and anything else I just try to develop my pieces and get a playable game.

    "IF" I were to get over 1800 OTB I would treat CC in a completely different way.
    I would then look up the best lines and try to perfect my openings. I would also use more time per move and really find the best moves instead of "playable" ones.

    Just my 2 cents.
  3. 15 Aug '10 04:47 / 1 edit
    Although I've expanded my repertoire to include 1.e4, I am still primarily a 1.d4 player. Here I generally play a lot of e4 games to continue getting some practice, and because I really have nothing to lose. I usually play 1.d4 in OTB because I don't have enough confidence in my abilities as an e4 player (although the few times that I have played e4 I've actually gotten decent results)
  4. Standard member nimzo5
    Ronin
    16 Aug '10 15:52
    In general-

    1) Opening preparation doesn't decide many games at sub-master level. One's time is much better spent developing calculation - via tactics or stoyko style exercises.

    2) Club players love studying openings because it pushes back when in a game they have to calculate and it gives the feeling have some concrete knowledge about chess.

    3) The best reasons (imo) for studying openings is achieving a desirable middle game position and developing one's sense of using their forces in harmony.

    OTB (keep in mind I am mostly facing fide 2000 and up players)
    1) One has to be practical, I am still replacing openings that I patched together when I first started playing tournament chess. I spend probably 80% of my effort on the anti systems as black and the absolute mainline positions of White.

    2) Since time controls are short- my goal is to achieve a middle game where I am more comfortable than my opponent and have more time on my clock. In practical play that is all += you need.

    CC
    1) Originally, I played my OTB openings, which really helped in developing my endgame play as I learned quite a bit about typical endgames I would get.

    2) Now I use CC solely for research. For example, I am adding an e4 repertoire so almost all my games on RHP will be 1. e4. With Black I am adding systems to my existing rep.

    3) In general I feel like in CC a lot of openings don't really play out well, increasingy my best results have come from sticking to very specific, topical systems.
  5. 16 Aug '10 16:42
    Originally posted by nimzo5
    stoyko style exercises
    Sorry for being off topic, but is that the term for the exercise mentioned by e.g. Kotov in the classic "Think Like a Grandmaster" that Dan Heisman decided to attribute to some FM instead?
  6. Standard member nimzo5
    Ronin
    16 Aug '10 16:56
    Yep, but if you say the Kotov Method I would think that the point was to analyze every branch in a sequential order all the way to a decisive position. I accept the convention of calling them Stoyko's solely for that reason. It's stupid I agree, but with a general audience Heisman is more of a touchstone than Kotov.
  7. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    17 Aug '10 00:46
    Originally posted by nimzo5
    In general-

    1) Opening preparation doesn't decide many games at sub-master level. One's time is much better spent developing calculation - via tactics or stoyko style exercises.

    2) Club players love studying openings because it pushes back when in a game they have to calculate and it gives the feeling have some concrete knowledge about chess.

    3) The ...[text shortened]... well, increasingy my best results have come from sticking to very specific, topical systems.
    I agree with all of this, although the #2 of the OTB part is more true for me than the #1 in the general part.

    In OTB my openings tend to give me a position where I am comfortable and ahead of the clock, and I do well that way, which makes me give credit to my opening prep, even if I win in the endgame.

    I think this is mostly a semantic point, but I thought the distinction was worth making.
  8. Standard member nimzo5
    Ronin
    17 Aug '10 00:49
    One of the problems I had to overcome in OTB was that until I was on my own in the opening I was sort of on autopilot. Often I might wander using general principles and I wouldn't click on my calculative mind until I was worse. I found that vs players in my rating (1700) at the time it didnt matter, but against stronger players I was already lost.

    Now, even if I am in my prep, I make myself at least spend a few seconds visualizing 5 ply or so of the upcoming sequence so that I am already in the right state of mind when I am on my own.