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  1. 10 Nov '07 23:05
    I have been studying the Art of Learning presentations by Waitzkin in the new Chessmaster. One thing he stressed was being true to yourself and playing chess that reflects that. I see myself as a fairly balanced player but with a strong preference for initiative, dynamic factors and attack when appropriate. My nightmare is having to sit on a position and simply defend without having any meaningful counterplay or active pieces. Even if the position is objectively equal, this is not in my nature. On the other hand, I need to know that I'm doing all this from a sound foundation. I would not play the Latvian gambit in any serious game and could probably not play it well anyway because I would lack confidence. Against e4, I enjoy playing the unbalanced positions arising from the Sicilian, particularly the Najdorf. I feel it suits my temperament and style well.

    Considering all this, I have to wonder if the Nimzo and QID meet this criteria and keep me true to myself. All my Nimzo/QID games have been against players below my strength so of course I had a dynamic game, initiative and often attacking chances. The question is if these openings still offer this kind of play against those that are equal or better than me. Do players like me go for these openings or are they more likely to go for something like the Semi-Slav or KID. I wondered about this before too but I felt that these openings, by generally not having a static center and predetermined piece placement are inherently dynamic and that they are so flexible that it's possible to mold it into almost any style of game. What are your thoughts on this? I would like to know how Nimzo/QID players here would define their style and what they play against e4.
  2. Standard member bannedplayer306509
    Best Loser
    10 Nov '07 23:22 / 1 edit
    I'm a sacrificing tactician all the way. Very Tal-inspired play.

    Any sacrifice that leads to a complicated game, gives me an attack w/ tempo is a sacrifice I will consider.

    I play e4 and e5 when possible leading to a very tactical game. I will, at times, choose lines that leave 'the book' very quickly, but only when I consider it safe.

    If I see a forced draw I will probably take it unless I think I can win (usually because i'm down at least a piece by the time the chance arises )...

    That's me in a nutshell .
  3. 10 Nov '07 23:41
    I'm not materialistic at all. I'll give up oodles and scads of material in order to attack the opposing king. Draws are evil!

    To learn about my philosophy of chess, feel free to visit my blog:

    http://www.chuckychess.blogspot.com
  4. Standard member c00ushion
    I'll take the Draw
    11 Nov '07 00:49
    Originally posted by exigentsky
    I have been studying the Art of Learning presentations by Waitzkin in the new Chessmaster. One thing he stressed was being true to yourself and playing chess that reflects that. I see myself as a fairly balanced player but with a strong preference for initiative, dynamic factors and attack when appropriate. My nightmare is having to sit on a position and ...[text shortened]... ike to know how Nimzo/QID players here would define their style and what they play against e4.
    After all the Years ive played this game Ive always been very reckless with the game, I learned this being a 1400 player back when I was a teenager in OTB I always seemed to throw almost everyone off just playing Reckless, Ive given up my Queen even both Rooks for a Mate I had seen in the future but as a 1400 player over looked many things and normally after I Sac my queen I didnt have a forced mate after all and would have to soon Resign.

    Now that Ive moved up to a 1900 rating Ive become a much more Tacticial player, I also love a good defense 'Let your enemy come to you and let him make the mistake then make him pay' I've taken that to heart and it has worked out fine for me.
  5. 11 Nov '07 04:04 / 1 edit
    I'm more of a defender/counter-attacker, and I prefer slightly sharper openings where there is some room for my opp to either over extend or create a weakness for me to exploit.

    If you like to grab the initiative early and attack, I recommend the Budapest Gambit instead of the Nimzo. The Budapest is a sound defence for black that offers an early initiative with lots of attacking ideas:

    1. d4 Nf6
    2. c4 e5
    3. dxe5 Ng5 (gambit accepted)
    4. Bf4 Nc6 (mainline)

    From here black can either increase the pressure on f7 with 5... Bc5, or after 5. Nc3 Bb4 he can subsequently play Bxc3 (after Qe7 first), doubling the c pawns and attacking c3 again with Qa3. Or he can try other ideas like f6 and exchanging off e4 to open the e file and the long diagonal, and in some variations he can even play a bayonet attack on the Bf4 with g5. He even has ideas like a5 and Ra6 to lift the queen' rook and swing it along the 6th rank to aid in an attack against the castled king. The opening is very rich in attacking potential for the enterprising player.
  6. 11 Nov '07 06:16
    This thread didn't pose the general question about playing style. It was specifically for Nimzo/QID players as I am trying to decide if it appeals to players like me. I'm mainly debating between the Nimzo/QID and Semi-Slav (which is not to say that other choices are at all bad). The question is which better fits the style I describe.
  7. 11 Nov '07 18:26 / 1 edit
    exigentsky: From your description of your style, I do not believe that you would be particularly happy playing the Nimzo and QID, because, in general, these defenses aim for equalization rather than fighting for the initiative. You are more likely to be happier playing a KID, Benoni, Dutch, or Gruenfeld. As far as the Slav is concerned, some lines are quite exciting and some are pretty dull.
  8. Standard member wormwood
    If Theres Hell Below
    11 Nov '07 18:34
    Originally posted by AlboMalapropFoozer
    [b]exigentsky: From your description of your style, I do not believe that you would be particularly happy playing the Nimzo and QID, because, in general, these defenses aim for equalization rather than fighting for the initiative. You are more likely to be happier playing a KID, Benoni, or Gruenfeld. As far as the Slav is concerned, some lines are quite exciting and some are pretty dull.[/b]
    I agree. nimzo & QID are the cardigan of openings. nothing wrong with them, if you like cozy and safe.

    solid is for sissies.
  9. 11 Nov '07 21:53
    Originally posted by exigentsky
    This thread didn't pose the general question about playing style. It was specifically for Nimzo/QID players as I am trying to decide if it appeals to players like me. I'm mainly debating between the Nimzo/QID and Semi-Slav (which is not to say that other choices are at all bad). The question is which better fits the style I describe.
    I have played the nimzo- Q.I.D tandem for quite a while now , otb and correspondence.

    The nimzo is a great weapon but in queen indian games against people who know what to do , you are usually just equalising even if they dont play the most critical lines,
    this is all great if your name is kramnik or karpov, but it might not be the right way for you ( or me, but im already in too deep )

    maybe if 3. Nf3 you could play 3.. c5 making it a benoni, it sounds like that is more your style.
  10. 12 Nov '07 22:58 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by sannevssr
    I have played the nimzo- Q.I.D tandem for quite a while now , otb and correspondence.

    The nimzo is a great weapon but in queen indian games against people who know what to do , you are usually just equalising even if they dont play the most critical lines,
    this is all great if your name is kramnik or karpov, but it might not be the right way for you ( ...[text shortened]... aybe if 3. Nf3 you could play 3.. c5 making it a benoni, it sounds like that is more your style.
    Ok, so basically your opinion is that the Nimzo would suit a dynamic player striving for initiative but the QID might be harder to win with. To me, this seems true enough if White plays g3 and knows what he's doing. However, White really gives up the fight for a serious advantage. Fortunately, with Ba6, Black can get interesting and very diverse structures but the 9. Nbd2 variation main-line does seem very drawish. Here it is:

    1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 4. g3 Ba6 5. b3 Bb4+ 6. Bd2 Be7 7. Bg2 c6 8. Bc3
    d5 9. Nbd2 Nbd7 10. O-O O-O 11. Re1 c5 12. e4 dxe4 13. Nxe4 Nxe4 14. Rxe4 Bb7
    15. Re3 Bf6 16. dxc5 Bxc3 17. Rxc3 Nxc5 18. b4 Qf6 (Ne4 works too, but this is more direct.) 19. Qd4 Ne4 20. Qxf6 gxf6
    21. Rd3 Rfc8 22. Nd2 f5



    The game is equal and greatly simplified, but the fight has barely begun. If Black wanted to complicate things more, he could have taken on c4 instead or played some rook move, or even refrained from Bb4+ and played BB7. However, this variation with dxe4 is the surest path to equality and almost guarantees a draw. If the White player is this unambitious and Black doesn't want to risk anything, this will have to do.

    What do you think?

    BTW: I've looked at the Modern Benoni and while it's certainly an interesting opening, I wouldn't want to use it as my primary weapon because I"m not sure I could play it reliably.
  11. 12 Nov '07 23:10 / 1 edit
    Here's how it would look if Ne4 instead of Qf6:

    1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 4. g3 Ba6 5. b3 Bb4+ 6. Bd2 Be7 7. Bg2 c6 8. Bc3
    d5 9. Nbd2 Nbd7 10. O-O O-O 11. Re1 c5 12. e4 dxe4 13. Nxe4 Nxe4 14. Rxe4 Bb7
    15. Re3 Bf6 16. dxc5 Bxc3 17. Rxc3 Nxc5 18. b4 Ne4 19. Re3 (19. Rd3 Qf6 20. Qe1 a5! 21. Nd4 Qg6 22. bxa5 Nc5) Qf6 20. Qd4 Rfd8 21. Qxf6 gxf6 22. Rae1 f5



    White players must really not desire a win to play such variations. It is not so much Black's opening that is to blame as it is the White player.
  12. 12 Nov '07 23:54
    Since I can't put multiple diagrams in one post, here's how it looks after the 19. Rd3 variation I gave.



    My point is that however White tries, after 9. Nbd2 Black has an equal game with easy drawing chances.
  13. 13 Nov '07 04:29 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by exigentsky
    I have been studying the Art of Learning presentations by Waitzkin in the new Chessmaster. One thing he stressed was being true to yourself and playing chess that reflects that. I see myself as a fairly balanced player but with a strong preference for initiative, dynamic factors and attack when appropriate. My nightmare is having to sit on a position and ike to know how Nimzo/QID players here would define their style and what they play against e4.
    Against e4 I play the scilian mostly and if I do play e5 then I play the Berlin defense or if they play the italian opening I am starting to play the traxler when white has the balls to play into it.
  14. 14 Nov '07 23:29 / 1 edit
    I've found that dxc4 is pretty good at generating some winning chances against opponents that want less than nothing from the opening.

    Here is how it looks like with best (as far as I can figure) play from both sides:

    White to move

    1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 4. g3 Ba6 5. b3 Bb4+ 6. Bd2 Be7 7. Bg2 c6 8. Bc3
    d5 9. Nbd2 Nbd7 10. O-O O-O 11. Re1 c5 12. e4 dxc4 13. Nxc4 Bb7 14. e5 Ne4 15.
    Bb2 b5 16. Ne3 Nb6 17. Nd2 cxd4 18. Nxe4 dxe3 19. Nf6+ gxf6 20. Bxb7 Rb8 21.
    Qg4+ Kh8

    But really, I doubt my opponents would know everything so the winning chances are probably even higher than in the above position.
  15. 14 Nov '07 23:37
    No, Nxf6 is way too cooperative. If White wants a draw he won't play that. So let's see after Rxe3:

    White to move

    1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 4. g3 Ba6 5. b3 Bb4+ 6. Bd2 Be7 7. Bg2 c6 8. Bc3
    d5 9. Nbd2 Nbd7 10. O-O O-O 11. Re1 c5 12. e4 dxc4 13. Nxc4 Bb7 14. e5 Ne4 15.
    Bb2 b5 16. Ne3 Nb6 17. Nd2 cxd4 18. Nxe4 dxe3 19. Rxe3 Qxd1+ 20. Rxd1 Nd5 21.
    Red3 a5

    It's really annoying that there are White players that really seem to want to draw.