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  1. Standard member Eric LeFavour
    The guy
    17 May '09 19:36
    I'm an improving player and am getting to a point that I want to have some tools in my trick bag. I primarily open e4 as white and e5 as black. I have some variations I try but I wondered what you folks would say your "top 5" openings for white and black would be. There are so many different ways to open the game, I was just looking for a narrow few "common" things to study and watch out for. Any advice is always appreciated. I just broke 1200 (was a goal) for my rating. I know it's not astounding, but I feel good about it. I basically play a "center game" but against better players, they know how to derail my feeble strategies. I tried a few games with the "Polish opening" I believe. Did so-so and saw a few things I liked, but ran into problems late in the game. Just advice searching. Thanks folks.
  2. 17 May '09 20:09
    Originally posted by Eric LeFavour
    I'm an improving player and am getting to a point that I want to have some tools in my trick bag. I primarily open e4 as white and e5 as black. I have some variations I try but I wondered what you folks would say your "top 5" openings for white and black would be. There are so many different ways to open the game, I was just looking for a narrow few ...[text shortened]... ked, but ran into problems late in the game. Just advice searching. Thanks folks.
    Don't bother too much with the opening,regardless of your choice you'll always run into problems later in the game.There is no winning openingline for either side.

    To answer your question.My OTB 'repertoire'
    As White I play 1.e4
    vs 1....,e5 I aim for an Italian game (any variation) or a Scotch game or gambit,sometimes a Göring gambit
    vs 1....,c5 closed sicilian
    vs 1....,e6 King's Indian Attack
    vs 1....,c6 exchange variation
    vs 1....,d6 still searching for something
    vs 1....,d5 still searching for something

    As Black
    Two knights defense vs the Italian
    Closed Ruy Lopez,Keres variation
    Fischer defense vs King's Gambit
    2.Nf6 vs the Vienna but without knowing theory
    Nimzo or Bogo-Indian vs 1.d4
    Symmetrical variation vs the English also without knowing theory

    Versus anything else I poke around like a blind man
  3. Standard member Eric LeFavour
    The guy
    17 May '09 20:22
    Thanks Romanticus, I'll look into those. I've looked at a few openings and I understand that the opening isn't necessarily going to "win" the game for me. I'm just trying to avoid any of those obvious traps that come with some openings. There is some method there that I am learning. I'm getting better at the exchange in the middle game and have improved my rooks in the endgame. Still have a lot to learn, I just recognize that in the opening, I may leave myself open to a later problem. Like I had said, there are so many variations. At my level, they are all pretty new, so I would rather learn to recognize the more common things first. Then add to it from there. I read a lot of posts where people are talking about specific types of games and I struggle to understand without researching. LOL I just want to improve my game and am eager to hear what people have to say.
    Thanks again.
  4. 17 May '09 21:08 / 3 edits
    Originally posted by Eric LeFavour
    Thanks Romanticus, I'll look into those. I've looked at a few openings and I understand that the opening isn't necessarily going to "win" the game for me. I'm just trying to avoid any of those obvious traps that come with some openings. There is some method there that I am learning. I'm getting better at the exchange in the middle game and have im ...[text shortened]... st want to improve my game and am eager to hear what people have to say.
    Thanks again.
    dude if you like playing 1.e4, check out John Emms book, attacking with 1.e4, which is essentially a repertoire opening book for every defense that black has to offer, for example

    1..c5 , closed Sicilian is good idea, for if black wants to play Sicilian, he must play by our rules, it avoids a lot of specialist Sicilian lines and is easy to learn. i dont play it myself, but it good for woosies like Romanticus

    2...e6 Kings Indian, plans are also easy, but it leads to closed games.

    3...e5 Bishops opening (1.e4 e5, 2.Bc4!), an excellent choice, plans are easy and simple, very tactical. cuts out a lot of blacks choices, no boring petroffs or crazy schlieman variations of Ruy Lopez

    4...c6, he suggests 2.c4, but i don't like it, prefer exchange variation.

    5...d6, we play the so called 150 attack, (1.e4 d6, 2.d4 Nf6, 3.Nc3 g6)

    6...g6, the modern defense, again he suggests 150 attack (1e4 g6, 2.d4 Bg7, 3.Nc3 d6)

    7...d5, Scandinavian, 9 (1.e4 d5, 2.exd5 Qxd5, Nc3 ..Qa5, ...Qd8, ...Qd6)

    8....Nf6, Alekhine defense, (1.e4 Nf6, 2.e5 Nd5, 3.c4 Nb6, 4.d4 d6)

    9...Nc6 2.Nc3

    10...b6 and ...a6, just try not to laugh.

    these are some of the suggestions in the book as quoted above, as black against all white setups with the exception of 1.b3 and 1.b4, i play 1...g7 2...Bg7 and 3...c5, the super mega hyper accelerated Loch Ness monster variation of the dragon!
  5. Standard member Eric LeFavour
    The guy
    17 May '09 22:03
    Thanks Robbie, I knew some of you guys would give me a bunch of good info to stew on. I'm curious about your statement about b3/b4. The reason I bring it up is I believe b4 is the "Polish" opening? I've tried a handful of games with it. I like it some and I think it catches some players off balance in the middle. Here is a game I used it in and won. I was particularly proud of the en passant trade in the middle of the board that opens my d file. It was intentional on my part. I am white. Game 6305189
  6. 17 May '09 22:49 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Eric LeFavour
    I'm an improving player and am getting to a point that I want to have some tools in my trick bag. I primarily open e4 as white and e5 as black. I have some variations I try but I wondered what you folks would say your "top 5" openings for white and black would be. There are so many different ways to open the game, I was just looking for a narrow few ked, but ran into problems late in the game. Just advice searching. Thanks folks.
    As an above post said, don't worry too much about the opening right now. Pick some out and stick with them, as you gain in strength you can explore. However, it is good to get a sound repertoire started.

    I used to play 1.e4 as white, but then switched to 1.c4 2.g3. and use Tony Kosten's "Dynamic English" as my main source. If you do like 1. e4, I really like Collins "Attacking repertoire for white" which gives very good secondary lines for white, such as the scotch against 1...e5 (1.e4 e5, 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4), the french advance 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5. 3.e5, The panov-botvinnik attack against the Caro-kann 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.c4) and good lines against other black responses.

    I like 1.c4 and the Kosten recommendations because it's a bit more positional, but can lead to nice attacks, plenty of good plans, and not a whole lot of theory. Many time black won't be all that prepared either.

    As black I love the Caro-Kann vs 1.e4 (1.e4 c6), super solid, yet does have dynamic capabilities. Very easy for white to overextend while trying to get an attack giving black an advantage.

    Vs 1.d4 I like the Slav: 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6. Again, very solid, but very dynamic with lots of possibilities. Plus, you threaten to take and hold on to the gambit pawn in many lines which I like. Queen's gambit declined 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 is another line I play time to time and is very solid. I also play that type of setup vs uncommon openings as it should give you a solid opening setup to play out of.

    Read around and try to play openings that fit your style and tastes. Again, don't put too much emphasis, study and practice tactics and basic positional ideas, they will get you much farther, and you begin to see how the opening fits in with your play. Also, I recommend playing over annotated master games, you then get the whole package!
  7. 17 May '09 23:18 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Eric LeFavour
    Thanks Robbie, I knew some of you guys would give me a bunch of good info to stew on. I'm curious about your statement about b3/b4. The reason I bring it up is I believe b4 is the "Polish" opening? I've tried a handful of games with it. I like it some and I think it catches some players off balance in the middle. Here is a game I used it in and wo ...[text shortened]... board that opens my d file. It was intentional on my part. I am white. Game 6305189
    yes very well done Eric, little moments like that are worth savouring,

    if my plan as black is to play 1...g6, ...Bg7, ...c5, this would be impossible after the polish opening, for white could play an immediate 2.Bb2 after 1.b4 and either my bishop or my rook will need to leave the board

    the move 1.b4 seems certainly playable, and probably not very bad, it would be hard to argue that it was whites best move, or even that it offers the initiative, but its also hard to argue with success.
  8. Standard member Eric LeFavour
    The guy
    17 May '09 23:32
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    yes very well done Eric, little moments like that are worth savouring,

    if my plan as black is to play 1...g6, ...Bg7, ...c5, this would be impossible after the polish opening, for white could play an immediate 2.Bb2 after 1.b4 and either my bishop or my rook will need to leave the board

    the move 1.b4 seems certainly playable, and probably ...[text shortened]... s best move, or even that it offers the initiative, but its also hard to argue with success.
    Thanks Robbie,
    I had tried this opening a few times before this game. This is just the one that came together and showed me what I maybe could do with it. The bishop sitting on b2 is a strong position across the board. You give up the center early, but if you play it right, you can end up with some very strong positions. At least in my opinion. I did put it in my bag-o-tricks with the memory of the en passant sacrifice setting up the strong middle. I'll get somebody with it again someday. .........if I'm lucky!
  9. 18 May '09 00:06
    Originally posted by Eric LeFavour
    Thanks Robbie,
    I had tried this opening a few times before this game. This is just the one that came together and showed me what I maybe could do with it. The bishop sitting on b2 is a strong position across the board. You give up the center early, but if you play it right, you can end up with some very strong positions. At least in my opinion. ...[text shortened]... g up the strong middle. I'll get somebody with it again someday. .........if I'm lucky!
    Lol, no no my friend you are not giving up the center, you are controlling the center from afar, with that beautiful bishop of yours posted on b2. let black put his pawns in the center if he wants, they will simply become big juicy targets.

    I just been reading a book about how ideas about development progressed, first there was Paul Morphy who developed his pieces with gain of time, if you had more pieces in play, you opened the game up and your superior development would win out.

    but then came Capablanca, and he had the idea, that instead of developing pieces for developments sake, even with the prospect of winning time, it was better to develop with an overall strategy in mind.

    thus if you like putting bishop on b2, maybe you could think of how you could augment your bishop, with a knight on f3 perhaps, maybe a pawn on f4 etc etc etc.
  10. Standard member Eric LeFavour
    The guy
    18 May '09 00:15 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    Lol, no no my friend you are not giving up the center, you are controlling the center from afar, with that beautiful bishop of yours posted on b2. let black put his pawns in the center if he wants, they will simply become big juicy targets.

    I just been reading a book about how ideas about development progressed, first there was Paul Morphy who d ...[text shortened]... how you could augment your bishop, with a knight on f3 perhaps, maybe a pawn on f4 etc etc etc.
    I have played that f3 knight. Strengthening the kingside of this set-up seems to me to be the kicker. I've put the pawn on f4 as well to fianchetto my bishop. Thanks for the encouragement. I don't ever want to get too predictable, I like having some options and I like to know what my opponent is doing before he/she does.
    Oh yeah, as much as I love watchtower, play it, sing it, hear it and appreciate your quote of it. I think someone other than Dylan wrote it. I don't know the name of the group, but Dylan wasn't the first to sing it.
  11. 18 May '09 00:57 / 1 edit
    Hi Eric.

    Had a look at a game like I always do when somone posts like this.
    I look at the first loss I find - Game 6315608 'cos it's the
    last loss you had.

    You are still at the blundering pieces stage so for now concentrate on
    where you are you are putting your pieces.

    Look at the board before you click 'send'.

    Ask yourself - can they be taken for nothing?

    In the game in question 10...Bxd2+ was a better move than chasing
    after pawns. 10..Bxd2+ 11...Nf6 12...0-0

    On your 12th move you threw away a Bishop.
    On the 13th move you gave him a Rook.
    Not long after that you allowed your Queen to be skewered.

    You did spot his opening threats - -a good sign.
    So your opening plan is to get out the pieces and castle.
    Don't go off on pawn hunting expeditions.
    Develop develop deveop.

    In the middle game get every piece you have onto their most
    active square and THEN look for a weakness in his position and
    plot against it. Watch your pieces, do not give them away for nothing.

    PS:

    Dylan wrote 'All Along the Watch Tower'. it's on the his 'John Wesley Harding' LP/CD.
  12. Standard member Eric LeFavour
    The guy
    18 May '09 01:48 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by greenpawn34
    Hi Eric.

    Had a look at a game like I always do when somone posts like this.
    I look at the first loss I find - Game 6315608 'cos it's the
    last loss you had.

    You are still at the blundering pieces stage so for now concentrate on
    where you are you are putting your pieces.

    Look at the board before you click 'send'.

    Ask yourself - can the ...[text shortened]...
    Dylan wrote 'All Along the Watch Tower'. it's on the his 'John Wesley Harding' LP/CD.
    Yeah, I admit I still blunder some pieces. I was waiting on your post. I was sure you would have something to add. (I appreciate it too). tilloat has been givin' it to me. I'll get him sooner or later. LOL
    I think you are right about "Watchtower" too. I grew up in a music store and was always told of another band doing the tune before Dylan. I heard the version was really creepy too. You are right about the John Wesley Harding statement and it does give Dylan credit for writing it. So my music history is as bad as my chess. LOL
    Thanks for the advice and the correction.
    P.S. I did recognize his opening, I thought it was some version of "Damiano's"? I think...?!
  13. 18 May '09 03:46
    Hi

    His opening 1.e3 is odd - but it's nothing to do with Damiano.

    Interesting to note that imnewtochess User 467429 plays that opening. (1.e3)

    Who he?

    He is the lowest graded person on here. Graded 489 and is number
    19206th on the list.

    He like to activate his King for the ending.....in the opening.

  14. 18 May '09 05:41 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Eric LeFavour
    I'm an improving player and am getting to a point that I want to have some tools in my trick bag. I primarily open e4 as white and e5 as black. I have some variations I try but I wondered what you folks would say your "top 5" openings for white and black would be. There are so many different ways to open the game, I was just looking for a narrow few ked, but ran into problems late in the game. Just advice searching. Thanks folks.
    Interesting openings?

    How's about as White:
    1.e4 e5
    2.f4 King's knight's gambit
    or
    2.Nf3 looking for an Evans gambit
    or sometimes
    2.d4 Danish gambit

    1.e4 c5
    2.d4 Morra gambit

    The advance variations against both the French & the Caro Kann

    And Black:
    1.e4 e5
    2.Nf3 f5 Latvian gambit
    or sometimes
    2...Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 going for the 2-Knights Traxler Variation
    or
    3.Bb5 f5 Ruy Lopez Schliemann
    2.f4 d5 Falkbeer counter-gambit

    1.d4 e5 Englund gambit
    or sometimes
    1...f5 looking for a Leningrad Dutch

    1.c4 e5 reversed Sicilian against the English
  15. Standard member Eric LeFavour
    The guy
    19 May '09 00:17
    Originally posted by greenpawn34
    Hi

    His opening 1.e3 is odd - but it's nothing to do with Damiano.

    Interesting to note that [b]imnewtochess
    User 467429 plays that opening. (1.e3)

    Who he?

    He is the lowest graded person on here. Graded 489 and is number
    19206th on the list.

    He like to activate his King for the ending.....in the opening.

    [pgn]
    [Event "Challeng ...[text shortened]... Na5c6 14. Kb4c5 Nc6e7 15. Ng1e2 b6 16. Kc5d4 c5 17. Kd4e5 Qd8c7[/pgn][/b]
    Is this particular game for real? Weird and entertaining. LOL