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  1. 27 Sep '08 20:56
    Hello. I'm hoping someone can offer solid but sharp openings for a 1400-1600 - I'm 1685 on gameknot O.o? - corr rated player. I've been playing the Ruy Lopez as white, which I'm not so fond of, and the sicilian as black, which could be replaced.

    An early thanks to anyone with a good suggestion.
  2. 27 Sep '08 21:29 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by WriterAnathema
    Hello. I'm hoping someone can offer solid but sharp openings for a 1400-1600 - I'm 1685 on gameknot O.o? - corr rated player. I've been playing the Ruy Lopez as white, which I'm not so fond of, and the sicilian as black, which could be replaced.

    An early thanks to anyone with a good suggestion.
    I don't think it's possible to have both solid and sharp at the same time. It would be like wanting to be an attacking player, but not be willing to sacrifice material once in a while.
    Having said that, a good "balanced" opening is the English Opening. Since there is seldom an immediate clash of forces in the English, in many of your games you can achieve a setup with which you are familiar, but one that is more aggressive than "paint-by-the-numbers" openings like the King's Indian Attack (1 Nf3 2 g3 3 Bg2 4 O-O) or the London System (1 d4 2 Nf3 3 Bf4). The English is of course more time-consuming to learn that the "paint-by-numbers" systems, but requires less work than being a 1 e4 player and having to learn a system against the Sicilian Defense, the French Defense, the Caro-Kann, and so on.

    I highly recommend The Dynamic English by GM Tony Kosten. The book isn't all that up-to-date (it was published in 1999), but it's an excellent book based on playing 1 c4 2 g3 3 Bg2 and 4 Nc3 against most Black setups. This opening is as close as I can think of as being a good balance between "solid" and "sharp."
  3. 27 Sep '08 21:35
    Originally posted by WriterAnathema
    Hello. I'm hoping someone can offer solid but sharp openings for a 1400-1600 - I'm 1685 on gameknot O.o? - corr rated player. I've been playing the Ruy Lopez as white, which I'm not so fond of, and the sicilian as black, which could be replaced.

    An early thanks to anyone with a good suggestion.
    Queens Gambit/Albin counter as black or Kings Gambit/Falkbeer Counter as black. Ruy has been quite popular over the last couple of years, and from my experiences 'tends to' lead to closed positions. I only play Ruy against higher rated opponents, when I'm hoping to draw
  4. 27 Sep '08 22:46
    Originally posted by WriterAnathema
    Hello. I'm hoping someone can offer solid but sharp openings for a 1400-1600 - I'm 1685 on gameknot O.o? - corr rated player. I've been playing the Ruy Lopez as white, which I'm not so fond of, and the sicilian as black, which could be replaced.

    An early thanks to anyone with a good suggestion.
    A Soild but Sharp opening....

    Sounds like it's the opening we all want.
    Sharp aggressive chess but at no risk to oneself.

    Give me a buzz when you find it. I've been looking for it for 30 years.
  5. 28 Sep '08 04:04
    I would definitely suggest the King's Gambit as White if you want a sharper but still solid option to replace the Ruy Lopez.

    Many of the KG positions seem chaotic for White, but you get plenty of attacking chances.

    As with any solid opening, there's plenty of theory to learn.
  6. 28 Sep '08 13:02 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Squelchbelch
    I would definitely suggest the King's Gambit as White if you want a sharper but still solid option to replace the Ruy Lopez.

    Many of the KG positions seem chaotic for White, but you get plenty of attacking chances.

    As with any solid opening, there's plenty of theory to learn.
    I don't agree with you in KG being solid. Maybe that's my misinterpretation of the word "solid", but with solid, I understand things like there are no immediate tactical battles involved, not too many risks, not too "thin" main lines in which the first to deviate has to be really careful.

    I like solid openings for example, and to me, the KG is even too difficult to watch, leave aside playing in a real rated game. I would have to spend months for preperation to have the guts to play it. it's just thrilling.

    I think KG is a perfect example of sharp openings, and being not solid of course doesn't mean it's sound.

    I think the KIA could be a little closer to being sharp-solid at the same time, I have no actual experience with it, but I read that altough it seems rock-solid for the first phase of the game, usually ends up in very tactical-combinational kingside attacks.
  7. 28 Sep '08 13:15
    Originally posted by diskamyl
    I don't agree with you in KG being solid. Maybe that's my misinterpretation of the word "solid", but with solid, I understand things like there are no immediate tactical battles involved, not too many risks, not too "thin" main lines in which the first to deviate has to be really careful.

    I like solid openings for example, and to me, the KG is even too ...[text shortened]... rst phase of the game, usually ends up in very tactical-combinational kingside attacks.
    Ok then - sharp & unrefuted may be better.
  8. 28 Sep '08 14:09 / 2 edits
    Yes but there is still an element of risk invovled in the K.G.

    Perhaps it's my Interpretation of the words 'solid' and 'sharp'

    A solid reportiore is what Karpov had. Kasparov's reportiore wa sharp.

    At their peaks Kasparov lost more than Karpov,
    but Karpov drew more than Kasparov.

    Too me a sharp opening is one that encourages a tactical melee
    sometimes involving the sacrifice of a pawn (or two).
    In the chaos that follows anything can happen. It's risky.

    A solid opening (1.d4 2.Nf3 for example) is the reverse.
    One can still lose of course but not usually with the cut and thrust
    play that you usually associate with the sharp stuff.

    So a solid but sharp opening does not exist.

    A risky opening that has no risk at all...?
  9. 30 Sep '08 22:18
    Sorry, maybe I should have elaborated on solid.
    I want something sharp and tactical, after having played many closed games correspondence. When I say solid, I should say legitimate. You can disregard that if you'll just suggest a sharp opening.
    I'm deprived of tactics!!!:'(
  10. 30 Sep '08 22:57
    Scotch Gambit.

    1. e4 e5
    2. Nf3 Nc6
    3. d4

    plenty of options after that.
  11. 30 Sep '08 23:02 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by WriterAnathema
    Sorry, maybe I should have elaborated on solid.
    I want something sharp and tactical, after having played many closed games correspondence. When I say solid, I should say legitimate. You can disregard that if you'll just suggest a sharp opening.
    I'm deprived of tactics!!!:'(
    Here are some "legitimate" Black defenses that often lead to highly tactical games:

    vs 1 e4: The Sicilian (of course!), especially the Dragon Variation (1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 g6) or the Najdorf Variation (1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 a6).

    vs 1 d4: The Modern Benoni (1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 c5 4 d5 exd5 5 cxd5 d6, followed by 6...g6), or Tchigorin's Defense (1 d4 d5 2 c4 Nc6).
  12. 30 Sep '08 23:54 / 3 edits
    Originally posted by WriterAnathema
    I'm deprived of tactics!!!
    Before setting off down the sharp opening path you have to
    have faith in your tactical ability to create problems for your
    opponent to solve.
    Pins, Skewers, loose piecese, Kings trapped in the centre,
    the initaitive, (very important that one - if you have sacced a
    pawn and lost the initaitive you will have to sac another),
    mating patterns (especially mating patterns) etc etc.

    Also, if your opponent is under 1800 then know he will blunder
    when defending. They often see threats that are not there
    and play weakening pawn moves or misplace their pieces.

    Here is a 3/0 bliitz game from a few days ago (I'm Black)
    I'm seeing a lot of the Bishops Opening because more and more
    players know I play the Latvian.
    So I'm saccing my b-pawn to mess things up.

    Don't ask me for the theory on it - I don't know it. (is there any?)
    In my games both White & Black b-pawns are often put to the sword.

    You will see all the tricks I just mentioned.

    15.Kf1 is a typical blunder - 15.Bd2 and I have nothing.
    But at the back of his mind was an old trick based on a Rook
    coming to e1 (10...Nxe4) so 15.Kf1? (ghosts)

    After my 22...Nd4 my opponent took a while to move.
    I thought he had seen my mate trap (mating patterns again).



    But he went for it. Expecting no doubt 23....Ne2+ 24.Kf1 NxR+ 25.QxQ.
    Or perhaps he was looking at 23.Qxc5 Rac8 when he can
    sac his Queen. Either way he missed the mating pattern.



    I did not get a 'gg' I always give a 'gg'. This lad just flaked off.
  13. 01 Oct '08 01:07 / 5 edits
    hey greenpawn dude, not a bad game despite the rather unorthodox approach to the opening, what i want to ask is this, is the bishops opening an anti Latvian system, is it not possible for black to play 2...f5 anyway or is it just too optimistic and risky, perhaps suicidal even, or totally playable.? I cant quite remember, but i am sure that either Keres or Bronstein tried to develop a repertoire to try to tackle the Latvian based on 2.Bc4, although admittedly i dont know nuffin about it myself, guv.

    And not being pedantic or anything, this was not a true bishops opening in the strictest sense, 3.d3 would have been the order of the day, not 3.Nc3 which is Vienna game, ahem, strictly speaking, although they often transpose.
  14. 01 Oct '08 02:08
    Originally posted by greenpawn34
    Before setting off down the sharp opening path you have to
    have faith in your tactical ability to create problems for your
    opponent to solve.
    Pins, Skewers, loose piecese, Kings trapped in the centre,
    the initaitive, (very important that one - if you have sacced a
    pawn and lost the initaitive you will have to sac another),
    mating patterns (especial ...[text shortened]... Rxf1 Ne2[/pgn]

    I did not get a 'gg' I always give a 'gg'. This lad just flaked off.
    Are you playing the Evan's Gambit as Black?
  15. 01 Oct '08 02:38 / 3 edits
    Originally posted by exigentsky
    Are you playing the Evan's Gambit as Black?
    from what i can tell he likes wing Gambits, for example he posted a rather excellent game as white against the French in which he played the wing gambit b4, no doubt he has even tried the same against the Sicilian. like any good player he likes to get people out of their preparations in order to create chances and counterplay, like Botvinniik said of Tal, 'all he needs is space for his pieces', and he will try to outplay his opponent tactically, and it usually works! whether he plays the Evans gambit as black, i dunno, it would not surprise me, although if you have ever read what he has to say about opening books and opening theory, i doubt it, although it is to greenpawn youre question is addressed and therefore no doubt he will give answer, tomorrow, as its 3.30 am in Scotland at the moment.