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naamloos ♡ 285 ( +1 | -1 )
opening repertoire For quite some time I wanted to make some opening repertoire, but I can't seem to make decisions. The first blockade is that I don't know what kind of style I have, altough I usually like playing slightly open games and especially like piece activity. I am very sure I do not like gambits (It sets a pressure on me which I don't like) or very sharp play. However, I don't mind playing queens gambit and its sollidness attracts me. I have a very bad feeling for endgame and altough I'm trying to improve it, it does seem a liability to exchange too quickly. I like playing on initiative and on strategy. I prefer the more classical openings to the modern openings.
When I started I adopted the Ruy Lopez (as many other beginners), but never felt very comfortable in it and examanation of my games revealed that I had a horifying result with it. Sticking to 1. e4, I then chose the Scotch, whose very open character seemed to fit me very well. But I noticed that black usually gets easy development (sometimes more easy then white) and equalises easily. Furthermore, lately I had some bad games with it (I do however stand first in a Scotch thematic tournament) in clubplay and I'm starting to have some doubts. This I have so far:
1. e4 (I'm still considering d4)
-Scotch (Nf6, Nxc6, bxc6, e5 (this one I'm having much trouble with, is Nc3 saver/better for white?)) and (Bc5, Nxc6 (actually have not played this one yet, altough I like Bc5 a lot when playing black against Scotch and have good results))
-French (not sure about this one yet. Mostly play the advance variation, but it does not seem to be my type of position. I think exchange variation might be better.)
- Sicilian (I tried grand prix once, but really did not like it. Usually I play open sicilian and try to do the most natural moves)

Against d4:
-Queens gambit, orthodox (Im seriously thinking about adopting the Tarrash defence which seems to give good development te black with active piece play, does anybody know something more about the Tarrash defence?)
- other: usually just natural moves and trying to get a reasonable from it)
Against e4:
-I mostly go along with the e4 player to what opening he likes to play (e5), in the Ruy Lopez I now play the closed Ruy lopez, but am considering the berlin and the open Ruy lopez. I tried the petroff, but did not like it much.

Can anybody tell me something about how they got their own opening repertoire and maybe give some advice at what sort of openings would probably suit me. If you have the same kind of preferances, what is the opening you use?
I have tried a lot of internet sites, but could not find much information and those repertoires recommanded did not seems to fit me.
naamloos ♡ 32 ( +1 | -1 )
opening repertoire, My rating and games on Gameknot might give the impression that I'm a lousy player and first have to look up a decent tacticsbook. I'm in OTB-play somewhat better though (probably close to 1500, altough it is save to say that it varies), because I have the tendancy to play a bit quick on Gameknot (understatement).
dysfl ♡ 65 ( +1 | -1 )
Modern Defense for a change I play modern defense as black against almost anything. At your level 1300-1400, it would provide lots of games with pretty quick break in 10 moves for both sides.

I like it myself, so just give it a try. Against a strong player, you will get pushed down and choked out in most cases till you get the hang of it. Among similar level players, the main idea is the invisible Bishop at g7.

For White, I play London System. Again, it is chosen mainly because you can play against in most of the time whatever black is doing. Some nasty tricks on h7 is the main theme.
ionadowman ♡ 19 ( +1 | -1 )
Foe White... an alternative to the London system, you might consider the King's Indian Attack (KIA in chess does not mean 'killed in action"!!). Nothing wrong with the London system, though... :-)
naamloos ♡ 133 ( +1 | -1 )
I thought, I I had read somewhere that the kings indian is not as effective for white as for black except in some lines, for example french, is this true or am I know talking rubbish (very possible)?
Sounds intersting, but I'm very used to playing somewhat classical and the modern defence is not exactly classical. I don't think I have the heart to just give the centre up (I know the idea is to attack it later on, but I have doubts in my ability to do this). I'm not that familier with the London system, but the idea of a 'system' always seemed suspect to me. With all the many replies black can give is in everyone of these white at an advantagious or at least in a dynamic equality? Many thanks for the reply though.

I think I will stay with the Scotch for now (my clubresults may be bysmal, but I think it suits me and it can't be that bad if there are still grandmaster playing it). The Tarrasch defence seems very interesting, but I'm wondering how much of a disadvantious the isolated pawn is. With my current endgame ability, the pawnstructure can be serious consideration even if it is - according to some sources - in most cases drawable for black. At the moment I'm playing e5 as black against king pawn openings, but I'm considering to play the Sicilian, which line seems to be dynamic with active pieceplay, yet not too sharp?
Thanks for responding dysfl and ionadowman.
ionadowman ♡ 144 ( +1 | -1 )
Concerning the Tarrasch... ...and its isolated queen's pawn (IQP) I read recently, I think it was Ray Keene, remarking that if it worries you, don't play lines that give you the IQP. Such are aggressive, attacking lines, so you need to get the enemy to worry more about his king! Yes, it is a liability in the endgame, so you can't afford slack play! Get stuck in! :-[]
By the way, by the look of the last half-dozen of your recent games, you seem on the whole to handle the openings pretty well. The Two Knights' Defence is a fine opening (though after White's 8.Ba4 you might want to try 8...h6 9.Nf3 e4). Your last two losses were certainly not the result of your choice of, or handling of, the opening, but by overlooking short range tactical shots.
At this point, I'm going to recommend the Giuoco Piano - a classical line that to my mind would suit your style of play. White can choose at move 4 from a couple of interesting possibilities: 4.c3 (the main line of the Moller Attack runs 4.c3 Nf6 5.d4 exd4 6.cxd4(say) Bb4+ 7.Nc3 Nxe4 8.O-O Bxc3 9.d5 Bf6 10.Re1 Ne7 11.Rxe4... with some attack)
or 4.b4 (The Evans Gambit, which Kasparov has played a few years ago. A great line!). 4.O-O or 4.d3 are playable lines, but lack 'decision' in my view.
If the opponent enters the 2 Knights', you can choose between 4.Ng5 or 4.d4 (or even 4.O-O).
I'm not saying the GP ought to be a permanent part of your repertoire, but rather a kind of stepping stone towards developing one. But you will need to play it a lot...
I hope you don't think I'm being presumptuous, and that this helps! Cheers,
naamloos ♡ 321 ( +1 | -1 )
ionadowman Let me first thank you for taking the time to answer my post and even look into my games to get additional information.
No, I don't think you are being presumptuous. Trying to give advice to someone you don't know, can't be done without making some assumptions and I think you are close with them. I do worry too much about openings at the moment and thanks to this I'm very doubtful and unsure in the opening - especially in clubgames(more pressure I suppose).
The losses I made recently in my games on gameknot were definately due to tacticall misses (more precisely: overlooking mate in one) and I can't denie that this is still a big factor in my games. But on gameknot I have the tendencie to play very fast (much faster as in OTB, which is my real concern) and I was last week and probably this week also in one of mine bimonthly tacticall dips (does anybody else experience this: I go steadily up untill one day I can't see anything and play awfull for about a one or two weeks, the last one resulted in my posting a fearfull post here and giving up gameknot for a month) as is beautfully illustrated by my inflated Ct-Art score which dropped this week from 1970 to 1900 . This causes my rating on gameknot to be somewhat lower than my estimated OTB rating (1400-1500). I have been practicing my tactics a lot the last half year and this is why I am so keen - probably too keen - in getting some more structure in my openings. This is a bit unnecassary as most of the times I have no problems in the opening.

But you didn't post to be replied with some rubbish talk so I will look at your suggested openings. My last clubgame was actually a two knights opening ( I have always responded [3. ... Nf6] to [3. Bc4]) and I lost in a dreadfull manner (combination of high rated opponent and my tactical dip), but was able to get an advantage out of the opening which white played a bit too passive (extremely passive compared to your line). Also, believe it or not, I have considered the opening about as month back, but dismissed it because I liked the Scotch a lot (this was before my white games in the club which went not that good (desastrous (I'm using way too many brackets))). I have used the evans gambit some evening when I was in a very aggresive mood, but wasn't able to get much for the pawn (untill he blundered his queen away) which is also my main critic on the openings you suggested. I'm usually not that aggresive. I like open games and put much emphasis on development and initiative, but usually am not the type that goes all out for the kill. I'm also very vulnerable to pressure and playing gambits usually puts even more pressure on you (you have to prove that the attack was worth the material invested). Despite the buts I have given I am surely going to try it out here on gameknot.
I'm still not sure about the Tarrasch, but probably will not do it as it pressures black to play for an attack. Also, I have had not much trouble with the queens gambit declined orthodox.
I'm also not sure about taking up the Sicilian as for now I'm doing good enough with [1. ... e5]. I have borrowed a book by Emms about it, it seems sort of like an overview book and should be helpfull.

More: Chess
ionadowman ♡ 154 ( +1 | -1 )
I wonder, naamloos... ...if (in chess games) you like to feel that you are in control of situation? Even in games in which your opponent has the initiative, you want things not to get too out of hand. I'm guessing of course! There does seem to be two ways to go here: (a) play aggressive - even risky - openings in order to 'acclimatise' oneself to tactical complications or (b) to play what I think of as 'systematic' openings, that is, openings in which your moves follow a standard sequence not much influenced by what your opponent does. Tactics are not so much a feature of such openings (though they aren't absent either!!). The KIA, English, Reti (for White) and the Benko Gambit or Dutch Defence -in particular the Stonewall - (for Black) come into this category. Possibly the Caro Kann does too, but I don't know the opening at all, so can't say for sure. The Colle System was a long-time favorite of a friend of mine - a standard sequence of moves, intending a direct attack on the King. It has its limitations (White's Queen's Bishop can be a problem), but it is easy to play. That one doesn't need to think much in the first few moves can lead to trouble adjusting once thought becomes necessary, though! Maybe pawns are more influential in these kinds of openings than you would prefer?
I don't know if any of this is helpful, to be honest. Possibly the problems you are experiencing have more to do with the middlegame than the opening, but one has to acknowledge that feeling happy with one's choice of opening goes far to feeling comfortable in the middlegame too.
Cheers, Ion
spurtus ♡ 80 ( +1 | -1 )
Try playing passive openings, just to see how you get on, eg. 1.e3 or 2.d6

... in playing with central occupation in mind on move one, your kindof taking the fight on big style and could easily be sucked into a number of tricky gambits etc, eg. if you where to play 1.e4 I'd hit you back with 1 ...d5, hoping to through any repertoir out the window?

In playing on move one a passive but developing move you can still have a solid repertoir in playing reactively and naturally to your opponents moves. Further your likely to be able to exercise such opening play more often.

If this works, try next to transpose your passive move into other more aggressive openings.

This might not work for you, but it might reveal things about the opening to you that you might not find out otherwise.

schnarre ♡ 84 ( +1 | -1 )
Hmmnnnn... I believe it was Seirawan who said to have both a Classical & Hypermodern defense to 1. e4 & 1. d4. I'm not sure if this would be of help to you, but it's probably good advice to start by.

As White, I would recommend the Torre Attack (1. d4, 2. Nf3, 3. Bg5) because it fits well to any style of play--gambiteer, conservative, unorthodox, passive, whatever. It's easy to learn too!

As Black, I would recommend the Caro-Kann vs. 1. e4 for solid & careful play, & the Pirc for aggressive & scrappy play (the latter has been used by GM Keene to good effect, & the former by a number of candidates for the World Title & GM Karpov when he was champion). As for a line against 1. d4, I've gotten good results by playing a Torre reversed (1...d5, 2...Nf6, 3...Bg4), though you might give the King's Indian Defense a try! I also play the Albin Counter-Gambit, but it might not be what you're looking for.

I concur with spurtus!
ionadowman ♡ 30 ( +1 | -1 )
I agree... ...the Torre Attack is a pretty good line to consider, can't think why I overlooked it. Probably because I don't know it well, but from what I've seen (the view being similar to that of a startled hedgehog seeing the headlights bearing down...) it would appear to be a fine choice!
alice02 ♡ 37 ( +1 | -1 )
For those of you who know as much about openings as I do:)

I thought i would try to look up the Reti opening. I found the site below which is interactive so you can play through the opening.


I have tried the site

but there wasnt an opening of the first 10 games that was labelled as the Reti opening so I wasn't sure which game to look at.
naamloos ♡ 155 ( +1 | -1 )
In case In case you are still wondering, Alice02. The Reti opening opens with [1. Nf3]. It transposes a lot into other openings and is usually not recommended to beginning players, because of the many transpositions. Maybe this site is useful for you to find openings:


I also use a lot, the opening explorer does not go far for non-payers though. If you want to find games of the reti, try typing in 'reti opening' in search. It should give you games with the Reti opening. I believe Kramnik plays the opening so if my previous suggestion did not work you can try typing Kramnik into the search. Hope this helps you.

The Torre attack seems very interesting, but black seems to have more options than [2. ... Nf6], what if c6 is played for instance. That would transpose into a Caro-Kann or a Slav defence.
Caro-Kann has the reputation to be dull and somewhat passive. Pirc seems interesting, I know really little about this opening. At the moment I have reasonable results with the open game [1. ...e5], but am annoyed as white gets to decide what line to get in and probably knows more about that line. I have recently been looking trough some Sicilian defences. The Najdorf/Scheveningen variation seems interesting.
I think that for now I'm just going to try out some openings on Gameknot and stay with the Scotch (for now at least) for serious games.

Thanks for all the responses!
schnarre ♡ 8 ( +1 | -1 )
Cheers to ya! Glad to help however much/little I can. Best of fortune in thy endeavors!
fujiwarano_sai ♡ 10 ( +1 | -1 )
naamloos ♡ 76 ( +1 | -1 )
fujiwarano_sai Thanks for the link.
I believe I had already seen that page some time before, but I wasn't interested in openings then. I don't think you can just use a whole repertoire they are suggesting as players don't usually fall within wide generalizations and it remains opinions, but some of the suggestions are very useful.
Looking at the openings I like, I seem to fall mostly into the 'Controlled agression' group of Nigel Davies. I agree with the Scotch and am very interested into the Sicilian defences he recommends and the gruenfeld and the Kings Indian. I don't know if I agree with the exchange variation of the Fench though, it seems like black equalises easily.
Thanks again for all the responces, I think I know sort of know what to do.
ccmcacollister ♡ 44 ( +1 | -1 )
naamloos ... i agree with you, on the Exchange Var. vs the French; and would go a bit further to suggest that BL not only equalizes easily, but should have the better chances. Positionally, WT's 'good' Bishop can invariably be forced to trade. And tactically WT often gets viciously mated if he trys to engage in opposite wing attacks; with little thought required to play the BL side successfully. One time sac'd two Rooks vs an Exch. Var.
Ah, that felt good ... }8-))