chess openings

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ctrl-reset ♡ 81 ( +1 | -1 )
How do you play against top rated players? I am asking this because I have to play against olympio (no offense) who is too good for me. And I am demorilized by his rating. The first game ended after a few moves because I hung pieces when I dont usually do such silly mistakes in the opening face of the game.

I am not asking for any help in the game. I am just wondering how the rest of who cope when you play such a good player -- how do you get over the mental block, and fear.

I know some of you will think that I am silly to have this fear, but I do :(, I really have this fear of making the wrong move and knowing that life is hell after that.

What do you guys / gals focus on when playing these efficient killing machines??

Any and all advise much appreciated.

Cheers, Ctrl.
baseline ♡ 10 ( +1 | -1 )
forget about your opponets rating and play your best game, If you lose, learn from it and don't lose that way again!
nelsonnewman ♡ 26 ( +1 | -1 )
Baseline is correct. Also, play the position on the board,
not the player. This is true in over the board chess, and it is imperative in correspondence chess.

Remember, People with high ratings were once at the bottom themselves.


Best wishes,

lordnguyenvo ♡ 42 ( +1 | -1 )
just play your best.this is just a game anyway.the worst thing could happen is you lose,there isnt "hell after that".unless u bet your house on it,which i hope u didnt ;).
a little "strategy" from me:dont play popular opening lines if u dont know it really well 'cause they tend to be very good in the opening.
error ♡ 36 ( +1 | -1 )
sometimes I'll set up a game with a specific range of ratings, and then when it's accepted I wont even look at the persons rating. If it's higher, im always looking for a move that will change the whole game, or I try to do more even trades to do for a draw. If it's lower, i'll take them easy, and I might miss a good combination they have.
macheide ♡ 26 ( +1 | -1 )
ctrl-reset Dear friend,

Play the board.

Don't permit to be impressed by any rating, let the opponent the opportunity to subestimate yours

Fear? What does that word mean?


Post data: I hate to lose, but lost games teach a lot.
v_glorioso12 ♡ 33 ( +1 | -1 )
ive found that... if u r against a high rated player, just play how u normally would play. if u play like u normally dont, u wont learn anything from it... if u play how u usually do, u can learn from it, and u will KNOW what u r doing, opposed to playing different, where u wont know what u r doing.
youngglor ♡ 29 ( +1 | -1 )
Play without fear...i mean according to Elo if your opponent is like 700 points over you its like 99% you lose...Enjoy your game with him...look at how he plays. Everyone loses once in a while. AND when you do lose, see what caused you your defeat!

coyotefan ♡ 48 ( +1 | -1 )
And play sound (not just for ctrl-reset) This goes for any encounter. Especially when you have a 99% chance to lose. I will give you a 100% guarentee that nobody rated over 1400 will lose to any early mate. Do not play moves like 1.e4 c5 2.Bc4 or 1.e4 e5 2.Qf3. You will lose to a better player.

Fundimentals: concentrate on the middle, Knights before Bishops. Queens and rooks stay at home.

Another helpful hint. Check his past games. See which openings he favors, and aviod them!
calmrolfe ♡ 93 ( +1 | -1 )
hints Don't play hurriedly, allow yourself adequate thinking time. Consider your opponents likely counters to your move. If possible support your advanced pieces with pawns rather than with other pieces. Try to create outposts for your Knights.

Once the pattern of the game begins to emerge against a stronger player I start thinking about the endgame and what pawn structure I would like to carry into the endgame. I then use the middle game to try to create my preferred pawn structure whilst at the same time trying to weaken my opponents pawn structure and break it up into several pawn islands.

Against top players I find that long term strategy is a better ploy than the use of short term tactics. Whilst for playing lower rated players the opposite may well be true !!

Kind regards,

torre_tinorete ♡ 108 ( +1 | -1 )
Against higher rated opponents... I usually play my favorite openings in long games. Why? because I caN usually find the tactics and strategy in long games since I have more than enough thinking time on the clock. I usually find that in long games, the number of blunders that I make is considerably low.

Before, when I was rated at around 1600 in OTB, I usually tried to muddle up the game. I tried for complex positions where tactics reign. Why? because I knew in simple positions I won't stand a chance against a higher rated opponent. Higher rated players 2000+ usually knows the basic theories in endgames. Its hard to beat them in that aspect when you have little knowledge of it. Hence, in the middlegame, I try to take the upperhand.

Nowadays, since I have learned the basic in endgames and tactics, I play what is the most familiar openings against higher rated opponents. The plus side of this is that even if you lose, you would know the defect of your play and have a basis for improvement.
ctrl-reset ♡ 70 ( +1 | -1 )
:) >> Another helpful hint. Check his past games. See >> which openings he favors, and aviod them!

That's a good one. Never thought of that. Will try. Thanks.

thanks for all your kind advice. What you've advised is for me to play my normal game. That's going to be tough, but I will try. After all, what else do I know how to do other than to play my usual moves.

I only know how to play the 1.e4 opening..the rest being dictated by how my opponent moves. I guess when facing a strong opponent, I will have to take a longer time and to make sure I dont hang any pieces.

Ok, we'll see how the rematch goes.

Thanks and take care.
peppe_l ♡ 358 ( +1 | -1 )
My two cents I have to confess GK top players have whipped me pretty easily so far :-) and therefore I am merely sharing my (rather unsuccesful! :-) way to play stronger opponents...


1) Play theory moves if you can.

Opposite to what some people believe going out of book ("because he knowstheory better than me") is not so logical in a correspondence game vs strong opponent. You have books and databases compensating lesses theoretical knowledge, but if you go out of book you both are own your own, and you have nothing compensating the fact that your opponent is stronger at tactics, strategy and endgames.

2) Stick to what you know & like

(Unless you want to try something new for learning purposes) Do not choose your openings based on guessing what your opponent MIGHT dislike. Most likely you cannot know what your opponent dislikes, and even if you can, you can expect him to play well anyway (after all he IS a top player!). Plus what is the point of trying to "choose something your opponent MIGHT dislike" if you end up to positions YOU dislike? Play what _you_ like and know - forget your opponent!

As GM Yrjölä says, most important thing about opening is to reach a position you like!

Sometimes you have lots of options to choose from, so if you can, make sure you will reach a position you like and know how to play. If you feel positional play is your forte, do not choose a line leading to crazy tactical melee (and vice versa).

3) Your opponent wants more than draw

Sometimes - especially when playing black - stronger players deviate from theory in order to unbalance the game and skip "equal and drawish" positions that may arise if both players follow theory lines (this depends on opening of course!). Usually deviating from theory is a concession, so unless you have very special reason to deviate from known lines, let your opponent play the first "out of book" move!

4) The rest has already been pointed out by others!

Take your time for each and every move!!!

No unsound plans. Do not go for desperate king hunt when you have to defend. Be objective! Sometimes it is better to gain a hard-earned draw than loss after suicidal attack...

Always assume your opponent finds the best move!

Be ready to change your plan! For example sometimes you can feel certain players want to choose certain plans despite of what the position calls for. For example you have players who always want to "castle on opposite sides and lauch a pawn storm" - and in the game they castle on opposite sides almost regardless of position! Be flexible - you cannot always go for your "favourite plan" :-)

Be ready to play all phases of the game, do not automatically refuse to exchange queens because "you dont like endgames" :-) Choose the best move.

Do not fear making a bad move! For comparison, have you ever had a cup of coffee that is too full? If you focus on negative action ("I must NOT spill the coffee") you will end up spilling the coffee :-) Human mind cant really see the difference between _I must_ and _I must not_ do smth. That is why you focus on positive action - keep the cup in balance...walk slowly...forget the expensive baroque furniture surrouding you :-) Focus on process itself, in this case finding a good move.

Ah well, before I start sounding like B-class Aristoteles, I wrap up my message by saying...

Good luck!

Yours, Peppe

victord ♡ 143 ( +1 | -1 )
Top Players I haven't played many games against them here, but when I did get the chance ( Thematic Tour.) I enjoyed very much the lesson. That's what it is to me .. a lesson.
I played florinserban and brunetti and all 4 games I unraveled like a cheap suit ;=) I think it was Evans Gambit games.
I never expected to win and was not humiliated by the crushing. Both were true gentlemen (they never laughed at me once); both were willing to give tips (after the games) and both offered encouragement.
Their is no shame in losing a game of chess; no fear either. It's a game, ones ego should be checked at the door.

My advice: Take your time on each and EVERY move. Look at ALL candidate moves and select what you determine to be your best move. DO NOT play a passive game ... be aggressive when the position grants you the chance. And above all ENJOY the oppertunity, if it's not fun for you don't do it.


When the game is over you may want to ask 'The Master' to go over the game with you. It can be a great learning tool if you let it and many of GKs top players are true gentlemen who are more than willing to help. Their love (and knowledge) of the game is obvious.

Enjoy, and good luck in your chess future.
ctrl-reset ♡ 58 ( +1 | -1 )
Thank you... ... for the advice. I will take my time for this game and play my best moves. And my Master opponent (who read this thread) has gratefully agreed to go over the game with me. So I will learn something from it and I hooe to use this opportunity to improve my game.

I guess this is the best part of mini-tournaments, the chance to play against the best, and the best part is that these Masters are willing to help me improve.

What more could I ask.

Thanks for your kind support.

Take care friends.

Cheers, Ctrl.
gunnarsamuelsson ♡ 239 ( +1 | -1 )
My opinion These statements r generalizing and not true for all of course, some play 100 of games and dont care so much for rating at all.
ll rated players, but especially lower rated players Most players overestimate their understanding of the game. They feel that the main difference between themselves and higher rated players r that they make "stupid misstakes" and do not know "opening theory".
Lower rated players lack the ability to think what if? so they r easily tricked. Just threaten a pawn and u know your opponent gonna defend it even though it will trap his queen.
They cannot understand counterplay.This means the principle that u have to give a little to gain something else. For example they can make all their pieces protect 1 pawn and then quickly be overwhelmed by an attack because their army consisted of babysitters.
They cannot understand development and tempo. This translates into that they develop a bishop in the opening only to sac it in the next move and feel this is quick development.they used two moves and developed nothing.
They dont understand what common sence is, which means that ll they trap their bishop behind pawns to avoid theory and because Bobby did it once. Which means that they will have to play perfect to get the poor marksman kicking.

But the wost sin is the naive wish to play creative games, because lower rated players like myself seem to think of themselves as inspirated creators of sh** that actually means something. A better player would never fool himself like this!
To beat a better player the best idea would be to try and make your opponent play vs chess ..that is ..knowing opening lines down to move nr25 or more (studying beforehand) and being rigid as a boring hag..this is what the higher rated does to u all the time!Players like myself maybe know theory up to move nr 4 ...some players know up to 30 or more ..entire set of games is nothing to remember if u have the interest. U also have to know when your opponent leaves theory and then try to understand if its bad in anyway and how to exploit it.
flyerguy1012 ♡ 6 ( +1 | -1 )
gunnarsamuelsson I knew there was a reason I had a hard time defeating you..............
drdesoto ♡ 118 ( +1 | -1 )
The secret of ... the top rated players:

1. Normally they could evaluate a position (its quality and pros/cons ) much better and on far more dimensions as not so high rated/experienced players. Advice: Create a position where its difficult to make a clear judgement.

2. Its far easier for them to generate plans in different positions, if positional, long-term strategical or tactical, and they usually know when to change a plan. Advice: Bring them in positions, where it is very complicated to find the right plans.

3. They could hold the balance in most positions. As gunnarsamuelsson mentioned above strong players know the principle to give a little to gain something else. Advice: Bring them out of their balance (which sometimes means don't look for the "best" but the most unbalanced move).

Problem is, that also doing all this, most weaker player would snare in their own traps, until they have played some years.


ctrl-reset ♡ 58 ( +1 | -1 )
:( I guess now I know why I the 3 points drdesoto mentioned, I know neither of them...

Like, how on earth shall I bring them into a position so complicated that they themselves cannot find the right position ... I dont know how to do that? :(

What I have learned from all the precious posts is that I need to learn how to give a little to gain an advantage. This is an interesting idea for me. I shall strive to learn more about this.

Thanks for the advise, although I am having problems comprehending some of them.

loreta ♡ 7 ( +1 | -1 )
My 2 cents GO and crush their skools...
So simply, so easy!
Just GO and crush!