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  1. 15 Apr '11 11:44
    Hi all
    Now that I have a basic idea on what repertoire to choose 1... e5 bishops, 1...c5 GP attack 1...e6/c6 Advance and reply with 1...e5/d5 (thanks nimzo5) Are repertiore books anygood, any reccomendations or are there any better sources to obtain information on opening ideas. I just don't fancy spending loads on different books??
  2. 15 Apr '11 11:57
    In my personal opinion, since you're never going to play more than 8 moves into most openings at the amateur level, it's better to study principles in your favorite openings.

    Study annotated GM games, both wins and losses, that use your favorite lines. It'll give you a real gut sense of how to approach the openings you favor.
  3. Subscriber Paul Leggettonline
    Chess Librarian
    15 Apr '11 11:58 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by rob39
    Hi all
    Now that I have a basic idea on what repertoire to choose 1... e5 bishops, 1...c5 GP attack 1...e6/c6 Advance and reply with 1...e5/d5 (thanks nimzo5) Are repertiore books anygood, any reccomendations or are there any better sources to obtain information on opening ideas. I just don't fancy spending loads on different books??
    This may sound a little unorthodox, but I like to use the games of my favorite GM or GMs in the opening, and structure my repertoire around what they play.

    For instance, when I started studying Alekhine's Defense, I noticed that GM Edvin Kengis' games kept popping up, and his style and approach really appealed to me- when I saw his moves, they immediately made sense, and I was comfortable with how he progressed in a game.

    Realizing that, I used a database to collect every game he played with Alekhine's Defense (at one point he played 25 straight games with it without a loss), and I went through the games and moves to make my own repertoire. It worked very well for me, especially OTB.

    Even in games here, when I use chessbase to consult a database on the moves, I only glance at the stats, and instead use the "reference" tab where I can see which GMs use which moves. If I see a strong GM favoring a move, I look at the games and usually go in that direction. Stat lie, but a GM's opinion can be a very useful human opinion.
  4. 15 Apr '11 12:03
    Hivemind.
  5. Subscriber Paul Leggettonline
    Chess Librarian
    15 Apr '11 12:31
    Originally posted by EinZweiDrei
    Hivemind.
    Says the 1. e4 2. Nf3 3. Bc4 player.
  6. 15 Apr '11 12:47 / 1 edit
    EinZweiDrei is close.

    At the lower levels games very rarely follow theory for longer than 8-10 moves.
    so it's important you get into the spirit of the opening by knowing all the little tricks
    and traps and plans hidden within.

    To this end looking at GM games is pointless. (in another thread you said you
    could not be bothered studying openings, you want just the themes.)
    You will only end up with a head of theorectical moves that you will never see OTB.

    You won't see the 1400 plausible blunders getting played or exploited
    in GM games and very very rarley do they add them in their notes.
    Few write for the buyer of the books, they cannot or will not stoop.

    Rep books are OK they should give you the 'feel for the opening' usually
    they have well chosen (though one-sded) examples.

    but remember you don't have to take every suggestion.
    Just the middle game positions and themes that suit you.

    Example: Davies in Gambiteer 1 recs

    The Wing Gambit v the Sicilian and French OK.

    The Danish v 1...e5 OK

    5.a3 v The Pirc. (not OK - not me).

    Should you get better (2000ish) and face better players nick a rep from a GM
    whose style you like, one that appeals to you. I stole Nunn's rep.

    But here is the rub. You have to start putting the hours in.
    You will only get out of the game what you put into it.
  7. 15 Apr '11 13:11
    on my little chess computer, orion 6 in 1, it has one hundred Fischer games, one
    hundred karpov games, one hundred Kapsy games and some deep blue games
    against various opponents, because of this it has the provision to guess the moves.
    Fischers ones are the easiest to guess as his opening repertoire is quite narrow and i
    can usually score between sixty and eighty percent guessing his moves, Karpov i do
    not even attempt, his play is unintelligible to me and Kaspy i cannot understand
    either. Of course the point is, that if you are going to find a player and emulate their
    openings, try to do so with one that you can at least understand or feel comfortable
    with, aping Kaspys openings will do more harm than good i reckon, especially if we
    dont understand them, understanding is the key.
  8. Subscriber Paul Leggettonline
    Chess Librarian
    15 Apr '11 13:15
    Originally posted by greenpawn34
    EinZweiDrei is close.

    At the lower levels games very rarely follow theory for longer than 8-10 moves.
    so it's important you get into the spirit of the opening by knowing all the little tricks
    and traps and plans hidden within.

    To this end looking at GM games is pointless. (in another thread you said you
    could not be bothered studying openings, ...[text shortened]... ve to start putting the hours in.
    You will only get out of the game what you put into it.
    I stole Nunn's rep, too, back in the early 1990s when I was a 1300 player. When players varied, I noted, studied, and learned.

    I think that sometimes people assume that when you study a GM game, you have to concentrate on move 30, when usually it's the first five that set the tone.

    For instance, with Kengis and Alekhine's Defense, the typical pattern starts 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. Nf3 dxe5 (Black could also play ...Bg4 here)5. Nxe5.

    Here the main ideas for black are 5. ...c6, 5. ... g6, and 5. ... Nd7. Miles played ...c6, Kengis plays . ... g6 (so much that they named the variation after him), and crazy wild people play ... Nd7.

    As a long-time KID/Pirc/Dragon player, the ...g6 appealed to me, and there were a bunch of Kengis games to play through and learn the themes.

    This is at move 5. I know a 1200 player could make a meal of this as a starting place. Of course, some of their opponents will play 2. Nc3 and dodge the opening, and others will play 4. ... dxe5 instead of recapturing with the knight, but by studying the GM games a player learns how things ought to be, which makes it easier to identify weaker moves and to be alert to exploit them.

    Even more, a good annotated GM game usually has "XXX is bad due to YYY". At the amateur level these can often be the most important part of the GM game in the practical sense, because our opponents are far more likely to play XXX.

    Here in the 21st century, we even have the luxury of looking at the GM game on a computer, where we can play through the game with an engine and ask "Why not this move", and get a tactically-sound answer. Engines are also getting better at the positional answers as well, but I still prefer the GM's opinion, which is why I am looking at his games!
  9. Standard member nimzo5
    Ronin
    15 Apr '11 13:23
    First off, I am not sure that one needs to buy repertoire books anymore. Tons of resources on the internet.

    Now if you decide you do want a book, I would first check your local book stores for used, slighlty out of date books that serve your purpose. For example, I got a decent amount of mileage out of an old Hodgson book published by Batsford from the mid 80s on the GPA. Obviously the lines are outdated but a lot of the plans you need to understand to build on don't change.

    Another alternative is to find one of those "Play e4" type books which tries to cover most replies to 1.e4

    This will be less comprehensive but at least you will have something on everything.


    A couple cheap books and the willingness to play though master games (ideally with a stronger player to toss ideas against) should get you well on your way.
  10. Standard member Thabtos
    I am become Death
    15 Apr '11 14:32
    There's two kinds of rep books. There are well-annotated games, there is well-written analysis and there is crap analysis database dumps.

    I love the French. I'd say a great book for anyone would be "Winning with the French" by Wolfgang Uhlmann. It's a collection of games that the author actually played himself and gives a lot of great instruction.


    Then there are analysis books. I love the way Lev Psakhis plays the French, so I bought his book "The Complete French." It's mostly analysis, so you have to be careful not to try to just commit move order to memory with that one, but sit back and figure out for yourself why he recommends the moves he does and take it upon yourself to evaluate the positions move by move.

    Although it's a lot of analysis, Psakhis has some very amusing prose in there as well.

    "The French is like a proud woman..."

    On a chapter about playing 3..c5 against the Tarrasch he writes,

    "I hope you're not planning to play against Anatoly Karpov like this."

    It's a lot more work to understand analysis like in the Psakhis book, and maybe sometimes you have to have to ask other people about certain variations. (Making patzer comments about openings on RHP threads has proven to be educational for me).


    Then there is John Watson. I can't recommend a word he's ever written. Most of the time he doesn't bother to write anyway so it's no big deal. But you'll get as much just going through a database of games as you will from any of his books.
  11. Subscriber Paul Leggettonline
    Chess Librarian
    15 Apr '11 14:49
    Originally posted by Thabtos
    There's two kinds of rep books. There are well-annotated games, there is well-written analysis and there is crap analysis database dumps.

    I love the French. I'd say a great book for anyone would be "Winning with the French" by Wolfgang Uhlmann. It's a collection of games that the author actually played himself and gives a lot of great instruction.


    Th ...[text shortened]... ch just going through a database of games as you will from any of his books.
    I have the Uhlmann book, and that is a perfect example. He writes from personal experience, and he has a passion for his subject.

    I've never played the French in a tournament game, but when a great player writes a book about his favorite opening and it features his own games and annotations, anyone can learn from it. It's all complete annotated games, so you learn from the middlegame and the endgame, not just the opening moves.

    In addition, the French pawn structure is one that appears in a wide variety of openings, and learning it is good for your chess, even if you never play the French per se.
  12. Standard member nimzo5
    Ronin
    15 Apr '11 15:01
    Originally posted by Thabtos
    Then there is John Watson. I can't recommend a word he's ever written. Most of the time he doesn't bother to write anyway so it's no big deal. But you'll get as much just going through a database of games as you will from any of his books.
    Interesting, I liked his old book on the French and his two books on strategy.
  13. 15 Apr '11 17:53 / 2 edits
    I have Watson's book on the French as well. It's OK.
    Never read his strategy books - heard mixed things.

    Wolfgang Uhlmann. Great player, has dozens of simply
    brilliant games on his CV.

    Hi Paul.

    I answered the OP. Know nothing about him and his current games are
    still in the opening phase so have to assume, becaused he asked...

    (...good player don't ask. When was the last time you saw Tebb, Atticus etc
    coming on here pleading to help them with an opening?)

    ...that he is 1400-1600 (and ...cannot be bothered studying openings.) 😉

    There is a difference between you looking at a GM game and him.

    You mentioned Kengis and The Alekine.

    My DB has 83 Alekhines by him W.16 D.43 B 24.
    A good plus record as Black - average number of moves = 37.
    Tells me the lad has a plus or = in the opening and squeezes home in the
    middle game..
    Far too long for the games to be won soley in the opening. (25 moves max).

    Let's look at those 16 losses. Not one under 38 moves. (ave 43 moves)
    This lad knows this opening, he must be equalising and then getting done
    in the middle game.

    Cannot see much a 1400-1600 player can pick up here.
    You are asking him to look at and understand GM middle games.
    That is beyond 99% of us here.

    "a good annotated GM game usually has "XXX is bad due to YYY."
    Very very rarely. Your best bet is to stroll through under 2000 games
    and see what's happening in the real world.

    I Mentioned Davies, you Mentioned the Alekhine.
    Davies has a book on the Alekhine.

    From memory not one game before 1980 and the complete games list reads
    like a GM's who is who with some games going deep into an ending. 😕

    I'm not singling it out, most modern opening books follow this trend.

    We want the chaff, the crap, the obscure, they stuff we are likely to face.
    Not a pile of 'over our heads' GM games plodding on and on into endings.

    The obscure?

    Recall EinZweiDrei

    "since you're never going to play more than 8 moves into most
    openings at the amateur level."

    2.Nc3


    Often relegated to 'Other White Tries' sometimes you do get
    a chapter and one or two games with it.

    A few GM's have spun this out but it is very common at the lower levels.

    (You cannot argue with this Paul - I have you playing 28 Alekhines
    and you have faced 2.Nc3 10 times - with two losses. ) 😉

    2.Bc4 (not mentioned by Davies and giving just a small mention in other books)


    For those of you who do not know the trick.

    2...Nxe4 3.Bx7+ Kxf7 4. Qh5+


    Winning back the piece.

    Under 25 moves RHP has 27 White wins, 7 Draws, 30 Black wins.

    In my main DB under 25 moves:
    White=24 Draws = 15 Black = 22.

    You will not be surprised to hear that I have no GM's games with this line.

    My 2.f3 which has served me well in the past.


    Does not rate a mention anywhere.
    Except me and 2.f3 get a mention in 'Black is OK' by Adorjan. (a proper chess book) 😏
    The plan being if 2....e5 3.f4! a pure Latvian!



    So what benefit will the OP or most of us on here for that matter
    get from looking at openings of GM games if:

    A) They will face moves they have never seen before or
    even been mentioned in GM notes.

    B) They have to accept a middle game, not of their choosing and suddenly
    play it like a Grandmaster.
  14. Standard member nimzo5
    Ronin
    15 Apr '11 18:27
    GP- I am going to have to think that anyone shifty enough to devote themselves to the Alekhine would have a good response for your trickery.

    i.e.

    after the clever 2. f3

    Black realizes the key idea of attacking the f5 square with his pawn, so he prepares a future pawn break with the shocking.



    2... Ng8!!! staying true to tempo losing Alekhine style. Now White has to decide if they want to play for the big center with 3. d4 or nudging up that that f pawn to make space for the poor g1 Knight.

    if a big center than bam!





    3... Nf6?! taunting White to play e5. If e5 than suddenly we have an Alekhine where White's extra moves are only somewhat better than the mainline and Black is still able to play typical ideas like Nb6 d6 and then possibly a sneaky Bf5.

    The resulting position-


    Cramped, painful and thoroughly reminiscent of the actual Alekhine opening.
  15. 15 Apr '11 18:36 / 1 edit
    Hi Nimz.

    It worked for a while, then the word was out.
    Player stoped playing 2...e5. I met 2...d5 or 2...d6.
    Just another game another opening. Won some lost some.
    Nothing to do with the opening.

    Actually if I recall my White latvians were P.6. w3. D0 L3.
    Did not feel right playing it was White. All cockeyed.

    Had the same with the Modern 1...g6.
    Good score, well respected Black opening. Some cool wins.

    As White 1.g3 result in two miserable losses.

    Chess?

    Ps



    3.Bc4 and sac on f7.