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taoistlunatic 141 ( +1 | -1 )
opening repertoire I am having a hard time deciding upon an opening repertoire for over-the-board play.

I like E4 as white I think. As black against e4 I am undecided between 1.....e5 and 1...c5 I really like the pettroff defense and I know it has a reputation of being extremely solid for black, but everybody says the sicilian is the way to go for counter-attacking chances. I like the sicilian but the sheer volume of memorized theory needed to play it well scares me, not to mention the numerous opportunities for white to launch a nasty king-side attack in the sicilian.
Against 1.d4 I am undecided totally. I like the queen's gambit declined the best, but everybody says the king's indian is a good counterattacking defense. Also interesting are the queen's indian and nimzo-indian.

My main question is...should I just play the petroff defense, and the Queen's gambit declined since I like them, or are they too 'drawish'. The last thing I like to do, even as black is to play a boring opening, and trade off down to a draw right away.

Am I being stupid....Does the pettroff and QGD offer good counterattacking chances also...any other openings recommended.

Also if anyone out there has a chess database, I am wondering which openings have the best win ratio....

For white and for black...... Fore example I think I read somewhere that the sicilian defense actually has a slightly lower win record than 1....e5 defenses.
v_glorioso12 22 ( +1 | -1 )
i am probably not certified to answer this, but..... against 1.e4, the sicilian is one of the most popular openings played today. against 1.d4, you can play the king's indian, the queens indian, and Budapest Gambit, QGD, QGA.

I play Kings Indian, and Sicilian Hyper-Accelerated Dragon
gunnarsamuelsson 14 ( +1 | -1 )
Dont worry friend play for initiative .. dont mind about variations keep using your own brain ..and study Morphys games for inspiration,,
atrifix 99 ( +1 | -1 )
Play what you like to play. In fact, now much of the Sicilian is more drawish than the Petroff merely because much of it has been analyzed to a dead draw.

IMO the Petroff is not drawish but it can be if White decides not to play for an advantage. Neither is the QGD drawish. I should suggest considering playing the Semi-Slav or regular Slav defense vs. 1. d4, either the Meran, Botvinnik, or Noteboom variations. If you haven't looked at any of the KID or similar defenses, you should consider playing the KID or Benoni/Benko (although these require a great understanding). I think the Nimzo-Indian might be in your style.

Playing for a draw is not particularly bad, in fact, many GMs will almost always try to play for a draw with black. However, you should be able to at least create different situations vs. weaker opposition and, say, if your standing in a tournament would demand it.

You could even try to win in an ending rather than the middle game if it suits you. At any rate, play whatever you feel comfortable with.
taoistlunatic 98 ( +1 | -1 )
thanks Atrifix! You are the first to give me the type of response I was looking for.
I have looked into the King's Indian and tried it a couple of times, but I really don't understand how to play it properly. Maybe I will give it a try when i gain more experience. The slav is nice, but I like the semi-slav positions better.

The nimzo-indian is very interesting, but to be honest this opening also seems a little bit advanced for my level.

I have decided to play what I like. I have had very good success with the sicilian, but only against lower- rated players, and besides I really like the open games better, (1.e4 e5). I am sticking with the petroff and QGD for now, they suit me well.

I have recently won a string of victories on gameknot in the middlegame, but also I am studying endgame, and I have finaly developed my endgame patience to the point where I actually like dragging my opponents through a hard fought endgame and slowly grinding my way to victory. :)
atrifix 81 ( +1 | -1 )
One more suggestion I would suggest looking at the Semi-Slav Noteboom. I used to play this exclusively until very recently when I began broadening my opening repertoire to the KID + Benoni/Benko. The usual move order runs something like 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 c6 4. Nf3 dxc4 5. a4 Bb4 6. e3 b5 7. Bd2 Bb7 8. axb5 Bxc3 9. Bxc3 cxb5 10. b3 a5 11. bxc4 b4 12. Bb2 Nf6 13. Bd3 Nbd7 14. 0-0 0-0 15. Re1 Re8 16. e4 e5 or similar. Black gives up the two bishops and gives white a passed c-pawn in the hopes that his two connected outside passed pawns will cause difficulties for White. Black can sometimes have a tough time repelling a kingside attack by White in the middlegame, but due to the outside passers Black almost always has the better ending. At any rate, it leads to some complicated and tense positions and I've had some good victories with Black.

Good luck.
taoistlunatic 29 ( +1 | -1 )
Atrifix... I noticed you play the sicilian dragon as tactics seem to be your strength. I have not yet tried this opening but was always attracted to it, due to the enormously complex tactical situations which arise.... this is definitely a good strategy for winning...so long as you can out-calculate your opponent!
brobishkin 167 ( +1 | -1 )
Opening repertoire... Developing an opening repertoire is a task which should not be taken lightly... There are many ways to build an opening set... You can examine the games of strong players and emulate them... You can also consult the many books devoted to opening theories...

There is some opening advise on opening repertoires, but much of it is very poor... Many teachers simply pass on their own opening preferences to their students, regarding less of wheather the openings are suitable for the less advanced players... The openings you choose early in your chess career should be respectable and in common use among strong players, not neccessarily modern stars but nisible at some point in the hands of top professionals...

I'd like to expose one of the myths that continue to appear in books which are supposed to help you become a better player... You often read that it is important to choose opening styles which fit your "style"... Unless you are an accomplished master, the term "style" is irrelevant... You don't have a style, you have a set of weaknesses... Using only openings which attempt to avoid those weaknesses will leave you feastering like a didease, with no cure in sight...

That said, it is certainly true that most players who enjoy a sharp attacking game prefer to open 1.e4, though, as the great David Bronstien says, that can be "Somewhat dangerous because of tactical complications can arise almost immediately"... He recommends 1.d4 or 1.Nf3... Most top players have played at least two of the three moves... None, as far as I know, have more than a transient belief that one is better than the other...

Bro...
atrifix 113 ( +1 | -1 )
taoist I select different openings, usually based on time control. In blitz, I play the Sicilian Dragon or other fairly sharp openings..in a tournament I usually play the French Defense. I was playing the Dragon just for its tactical strength in correspondence/turn-based chess, but recently I'm becoming disillusioned, and I might switch to the French...the problem is that White can practically force a draw if he wants one by playing any of several lines. I played the Sicilian Najdorf for awhile too, but the problem stands there as well. I probably will switch to the French.

But, well, that's just me. The best suggestion I can give you is to play things that you feel comfortable with and are in your style (I believe everyone, even class E players have their own style; it just might not be evident yet). If you try to adopt someone else's repertoire and ideas you often find yourself trying to get out of difficult situations. Make sure experiment with various openings--don't get too attached to your repertoire--but don't let anyone tell you that you absolutely must play the Danish Gambit or the Vulture to create complications.
peppe_l 145 ( +1 | -1 )
Just my 2 cents If one is studying openings, it certainly sounds logical to choose Petroff and QGD. Especially QGD can lead to variety of positions where ideas and general knowledge about chess strategy (isolated queen pawn, hanging pawnsetc) are more important than memorizing variations. IMO choosing openings like Sicilian and KID is appropriate only after one knows at least the basics about "classical" openings, such as QGD and Petroff. Also, since you need less theoretical knowledge when playing QDG&Petroff, you can use your time for endgames, tactics, strategy, instead of learning endless variations by heart.

"Also if anyone out there has a chess database, I am wondering which openings have the best win ratio...."

IMO as far as good openings are concerned, this is totally irrelevant. First of all it doesnt matter is win ratio 55-45 or 54-46, and secondly, those ratios are most likely based on high level play. For example some openings are theoretically very strong but efficient only in the hands of very strong players (openings like Sicilian Najdorf etc).

WHOOPS! I missed this post (quoted below)!!!

"I have decided to play what I like. I have had very good success with the sicilian, but only against lower- rated players, and besides I really like the open games better, (1.e4 e5). I am sticking with the petroff and QGD for now, they suit me well."

Wise words, taoistlunatic
brobishkin 204 ( +1 | -1 )
Taoistlunatic ... In answer to your thead in (Caro-Kann by Peppe1) I will try to shead some light on choosing an opening... Hope I dont seem tall while doing so... I will try not to talk down to you...

After many centuries of experience, it should be possible for scholars to determine the best opening stategies, but it is one of the pleasures of chess that remains an impossible task... The complex interplay of the factors described above makes simplistic statements just seem vain... Nevertheless lets try to narrow the candidates...

In choosing the best openings as white... The first pair of obvious candidates are 1.e4 and 1.d4... Each occupies and controls important central territory and allows a Bishop to get into the game... The pawn at d4 is protected by the Queen, and this is sometimes used to argue 1.d4 as slightly better... But this is not an important factor, because the goal of either opening is to establish pawns at both squares (e4 and d4)...

Choosing the best opening for black is a personal matter... The various openings have different characteristics... Some, such as the Spanish Game, are classical in nature, relying on an early contest for control of the center... Others, like the Modern Defense, allow white to fulfill the opening ambition of creating an ideal pawn center, only to work against this formation later on... These are openings which create blocked centers, such as the Old Benoni, and those which ignore the center entirely... Though those are considered rather unorthodox...

Therefore your choice of openings for black is based to some extent on stylistic preference... It is generally advised for beginners and intermediate players (not stating you [TAO] as a beginner) to choose a classical opening, answering White's first move with symmetrical choice, for example 1.e4 e5, 1.d4 d5, or 1.c4 c5... More advanced players can afford to break the symmetry immediatly, for example 1.e4 c5 (Sicilian Defense), 1.d4 Nf6 (Indian Defense), and 1c4 e5 (Kings English)...

Hope this helps in the choosing of an opening repetoire that suits or to some creates your style...

Bro...
brobishkin 65 ( +1 | -1 )
And to answer the main question... Whites advantage in the Russian Game tends to be microscopic... This tiny advantage can easily disappear after just one imprecise move by White... Many good defensine players are quite comfortable defending the Black side... It is not often used when a win is required by Black, because of its (as you know) tendency for the game to end as a draw...

As for the Queens Gambit Declined... Yes it's a slow game... But you didn't choose the first d4-pawn move... These games usually turnout to be a positional fight to the long and outstreched end... You're not being stupid by no means in choosing the Pettroff or the QGD... They are extremely acceptable and playable... Keep on pushing wood...

Bro...
bullmoose 14 ( +1 | -1 )
Bro Schiller's Encyclopedia of Chess Wisdom?

How do you rate this book? I've just got it & am learning a lot, however it's going to take a while to sink in!

}: )
jbmac 24 ( +1 | -1 )
Brobishkin What are your opinions about the Danish Gambit? This is my favourite opening and i was wanting some views of it from other people, and you seem to know what your talking about when it comes to openings etc.
brobishkin 25 ( +1 | -1 )
Bullmoose... I rate the book at intermediate level... I like the quote though "Every science borrows from all the rest, and we cannot attain any single one without the encyclopedia"... Have fun with it... It's rather general with info but covers a lot of ground...

Bro...
atrifix 55 ( +1 | -1 )
My opinion is that the Danish Gambit, is, well, tame.

Compared to, say, the Ruy Lopez or King's Gambit, etc., rather than a long struggle, there's a brief flurry of fireworks which usually ends in a worse game for White. For example, looking at the main line: 1. e4 e5 2. d4 exd4 3. c3 dxc3 4. Bc4 cxb2 5. Bxb2 d5 6. Bxd5 Nf6 7. Bxf7+ Kxf7 8. Qxd8 Bb4+ 9. Qd2 Bxd2+ 10. Nxd2 and Black already has a slight advantage in the resulting ending.

I did experiment with the Danish Gambit when I was beginning to build a repertoire, but I never kept it for very long.
brobishkin 18 ( +1 | -1 )
Jbmac... I would tend to agree with Atrifix... His opinion hit the mark on the reality on the opening position which usually ends in a worse game for White... Thank you Atrifix...

Bro...
__mda__ 47 ( +1 | -1 )
The Danish Gambit.. I've played this extensively as white ( in blitz ) and would agree with the previous posts.

I would say,

1) save it for blitz
2) save it for players with elo ratings below 1800 or so, since most higher rated players know the line atrifix gives above. Lower rated players that don't know atrifix's line often have a great deal of trouble with this opening and the results can be extremely gory =)
taoistlunatic 29 ( +1 | -1 )
Brobishkin.. I have read those exact words in a book somewhere...but I can't find it. Which book is it from and why don't you give credit to the real author? The other day you wrote a huge quote form one of Silman's books, word-for-word, but did not even mention his name in your post...
bullmoose 30 ( +1 | -1 )
TaoistLoon See my last post...
}: )

Bro - yep I like the layout & lots of good quotes
e.g. "What the chess public needs is a method of winning easily without first mastering the difficult & unnecessary technique of making good moves." - MacMurray 1933

Pity no-one's found that yet! - see you in a few years time....
taoistlunatic 12 ( +1 | -1 )
yes, but WHO wrote it. The encyclopedia is a colection of different chess writings. I have read that somewhere but not in the book you mention bullmoose...
bullmoose 38 ( +1 | -1 )
T-Loon Eric Schiller wrote it. The book is his work, filled with acknowledged quotations and "chess concepts as passed down from generations of teachers, players and scholars".
The text is his own & Bro's post of 8/7/2 19:01:51, entitled 'Opening Repertoire' is word for word from Schillers text on P. 46 in the section entitled 'Opening Repertoire'.

Unless you were talking about something else?
taoistlunatic 15 ( +1 | -1 )
thanks, I knew I read it somewhere! I own Eric Schiller's 'Standard Chess Openings.'

The first chess book I read since I started playing seriously this January.
taoistlunatic 81 ( +1 | -1 )
GM Alek Wojtkiewicz gives advce on building an opening repertoire, suggesting that you choose an imbalanced, sharp opening to play against weaker opponent's or when a draw will not suffice, and to choose another very solid type of opening when playing against superior players, or when you want a draw. Not only is this advice very practical, but he also points out that this way you will study two different styles of openings, which will help you be a well-rounded player with skilss in both types of games.
This advice seems to be the best, and for me it means I am playing sicilian and King's indian as sharp defenses, and petroff's and QGD as solid defenses. I will probably study at least two different opening moves as white also...
paulvalle 1 ( +1 | -1 )
schiller is crap
elyhim 46 ( +1 | -1 )
Openning Rep Myself I have been exploring the Modern Benoni. I know a lot of poeple may think that it is a weak openning. However it does provide balck with some strong counterattacks. Another plus is that the openning theory itself is still unexplored. The down side of the openning is that black must play active game. He/she can not just sit back and wait for white to attack. As for drawing, it is hard to make a draw.
jcgarcowski 25 ( +1 | -1 )
Opening Statistics homepage.ntlworld.com/adam.bozon/stats.htm

Statistics compilied from most GM games since 1991.

HTH,
Jason C. Garcowski
nottop 48 ( +1 | -1 )
drawing lines There are drawish lines in almost any opening. Petrof and QGD are good openings.
Unless you are playing against a player much weaker than you, it is up to white to make something happen.
Even in wildest Sicilans, if white plays for draw it is hard for black to go for more. So don't worry about that.
If you are playing against much weaker player, then you can play nebulous openings - like modern.
But why play against much weaker players as black?