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Author: psuasskicker Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 9208  
Subject: Favorite Openings Date: 3/5/2002 1:20 PM
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On a slow day, I'm gonna come out with something that hopefully forces people to talk about something, rather than only to read and soak it up. :-)

What's everyone's favorite openings and why? What makes for good play, or what do you try to avoid? Doesn't have to be complex, don't even need to put a name to it or anything.

I'm learning my openings right now. 1. e4 is pretty common for me when I'm playing as white, but I'm gonna start reading up on 1. d4 because I think it makes for some dynamic play opportunities and tends to throw off some lesser experienced people.

As of right now, I'm enjoying the Sicilian 1. e4 c5 opening for black. I like a few different variations for a few different reasons. The Accelerated Dragon is particularly intreguing to me, opening 1. e4 c5; 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 g6 looking to fianchetto (sp?) the bishop quite possibly before the knight moves to f6. I'm experimenting a bit at this point with a few different Sicilian openings, and really haven't determined which are my favorite.

One of the ways I'm intregued by is an opening I can't remember the name for (for white) in response to the Sicilian opening. 1. e4 c5; 2. d4 cxd4; 3. c3 dxc3; 4. Nxc3. White is immediately down a pawn, but is compensated by two open files to use for his rooks, and initiative. I've read this isn't popular in professional tournaments, but is pretty popular in the amatuer circles (which I would fit in). Something else I'm playing with as well.

Right now I'm still studying openings. Trying to get a good handle on what's what and what they tend to lead to in the middlegame and endgame. So let's open it up for discussion, cause I don't wanna be the only one talking about what I like. :-)

Chris
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Author: cnfrost Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 422 of 9208
Subject: Re: Favorite Openings Date: 3/5/2002 1:50 PM
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What's everyone's favorite openings and why? What makes for good play, or what do you try to avoid? Doesn't have to be complex, don't even need to put a name to it or anything.

Personally, I like the Ruy Lopez. Probably because that's the only opening I've really studied. Playing against it, I don't like 3. ... a6 as I think it is too passive for me. I like very sharp games with quick exchanges, so I can clear the board and get to the endgame as quickly as possible, which is the strongest part of my game (not that it's all that strong). I can also play fairly well against the Italian game, although I wouldn't choose it as white.



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Author: cnfrost Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 424 of 9208
Subject: Re: Favorite Openings Date: 3/5/2002 1:54 PM
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I'm learning my openings right now. 1. e4 is pretty common for me when I'm playing as white, but I'm gonna start reading up on 1. d4 because I think it makes for some dynamic play opportunities and tends to throw off some lesser experienced people.

I would also like to study up on 1. d4
I have noticed in my Informants, that 1. e4 is pretty rare as opposed to 1. d4
I suppose 1. e4 is fine playing against amateurs, but I figure as long as I keep playing like an amateur, the longer I'm gonna be one. <G>



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Author: psuasskicker Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 426 of 9208
Subject: Re: Favorite Openings Date: 3/5/2002 1:58 PM
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cn (and others as well) - When noting openings you like, please note what the opening consists of (moves), cause I know I don't know many of the names yet, and I'm sure others don't as well.

Thanks.

- C -

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Author: Guppy738 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 429 of 9208
Subject: Re: Favorite Openings Date: 3/5/2002 2:17 PM
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1. e4 c5; 2. d4 cxd4; 3. c3 dxc3; 4. Nxc3 is, I believe, called the Smith-Morra Gambit. Don't hold me to it, though.

Guppy738

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Author: psuasskicker Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 430 of 9208
Subject: Re: Favorite Openings Date: 3/5/2002 2:21 PM
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1. e4 c5; 2. d4 cxd4; 3. c3 dxc3; 4. Nxc3 is, I believe, called the Smith-Morra Gambit. Don't hold me to it, though.

I think that's right. I'm 99.9% sure it's right actually... It makes for some very interesting play. I've found (and I do this too...look at my last game with Clones) that beginners and amatures tend to almost give up the game once they get a material advantage, expecting the game to win itself. The best is when you can turn your own inbalances into weapons to slice and dice them once they start to relax...

Chris

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Author: cnfrost Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 431 of 9208
Subject: Re: Favorite Openings Date: 3/5/2002 2:23 PM
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cn (and others as well) - When noting openings you like, please note what the opening consists of (moves), cause I know I don't know many of the names yet, and I'm sure others don't as well.

Sorry...wasn't thinking.

Ruy Lopez

1. e4 e5
2. Nf3 Nc6
3. Bb5



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Author: Guppy738 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 433 of 9208
Subject: Re: Favorite Openings Date: 3/5/2002 2:29 PM
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As White I always play e4. I like to play the King's Gambit (1. e4 e5 2. f4), the Four Pawns Attack against the Alekhine's (1. e4 Nf6), and the Yugoslav Attack against the Sicilian (1. e4 c5). As Black I end up playing a Pirc/King's Indian type of position, although I have recently been looking at the Benko Gambit. So, those are some of the openings I enjoy playing. If I am facing a French (1. e4 e6) or Caro-Kann (1. e4 c6) defense I generally play the exchange variation, because I am not up to speed on those defenses and I am just trying to simplify the position.

Guppy738

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Author: DoctorBombay Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 437 of 9208
Subject: Re: Favorite Openings Date: 3/5/2002 3:14 PM
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I always like the Gambits. It gets pieces moving on a still developing board and allows for some creative combinations.

TJ
Hopes he sounds like a chess guy

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Author: ortman Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 438 of 9208
Subject: Re: Favorite Openings Date: 3/5/2002 4:21 PM
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What's everyone's favorite openings and why? What makes for good play, or what do you try to avoid? Doesn't have to be complex, don't even need to put a name to it or anything.

I'm still a fairly new player, and am still paying more attention to my middle and end games. I usually play e4 for white, as I enjoy the sharper games that seem to come from it.

However, one game I was playing Black, and was exposed to an opening which I later learned was dubbed the Fried Liver Attack (ChessMaster told me so). I've played it once or twice since, and think it's quite a bit of fun.

The moves:

1. e4 e5
2. Nf3 Nc6
3. Bc4

I believe that's the Italian opening?

3. .. Nf6

Two Knight Defense (I only learn the names of the openings when I review the games in ChessMaster).

4. Ng5 d5
5. xd5 Nxd5
6. Nxf7 Kxf7

King has to take the knight.

7. Qf3 Ke6

King has to protect the knight.

8. Nc3

Start to build up pressure....

It was a cool game (at least I thought). White gave up a knight for a pawn, but was able to bring my king out to the center of the board. I eventually lost the game - though I'm sure that was more due to my lack of skill than the position itself.

I hope my notation is correct - it's been a while.

-Ortman


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Author: rinjr715 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 440 of 9208
Subject: Re: Favorite Openings Date: 3/5/2002 5:57 PM
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Ortman, the only guy I ever remember using the Fried Liver Attack on me kicked my ass with it. That was in college 25 years ago and I've never seen it again in many hundreds of games over that time.

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Author: TheJTrain Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 443 of 9208
Subject: Re: Favorite Openings Date: 3/5/2002 7:08 PM
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Re: the Fried Liver opening, which certainly looks pretty cool -

The trouble I always had with memorizing certain openings and certain sequences is what happens when the other guy does one thing different? Such as:

1. e4 e5
2. Nf3 Nc6
3. Bc4 Nf6
4. Ng5 d5
5. xd5 Nxd5
6. Nxf7 Kxf7
7. Qf3 Ke6

What is black's motivation for 4. ... d5? It sends a pawn to a center square, but it's inviting a trade that gets white a knight advantage. Why in the world would black do that? Why might not black move 4. ... h6 to threaten white's knight? Granted, that does nothing to stop white's move to get black's king moving, but that's a more likely move for black at that point. Then with black's knight still on f6, there's no need for the king to move out another space to protect it.

I don't know, I guess I'm missing something, or just can't get it, but I'm still not convinced that using a certain scripted opening is worth it. It just seems like all it takes to thwart it is for your opponent to make one unexpected move, and all of a sudden you've developed for a certain position, only to have that position denied to you, and you're unbalanced to change your strategy.

Anyone care to try and educate me and convince me that scripted openings are worth memorizing and employing?

JT,
rookie

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Author: warypioneer Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 447 of 9208
Subject: Re: Favorite Openings Date: 3/5/2002 7:19 PM
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I guess it's good to know scripted openings,
but that doesn't mean that you can't change it
a little to try and throw your opponent off.

Myself, I play by the seat of my pants.
This board though is giving me an opportunity
to analyze my game.(and yours)

Wary

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Author: Counterattack Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 449 of 9208
Subject: Re: Favorite Openings Date: 3/5/2002 7:25 PM
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One of the ways I'm intregued by is an opening I can't remember the name for (for white) in response to the Sicilian opening. 1. e4 c5; 2. d4 cxd4; 3. c3 dxc3; 4. Nxc3. White is immediately down a pawn, but is compensated by two open files to use for his rooks, and initiative. I've read this isn't popular in professional tournaments, but is pretty popular in the amatuer circles (which I would fit in).

This is the Smith-Morra Gambit. You are correct that you won't see many Grandmasters playing it in tournaments, but it is popular in amateur tournament play. I once had to face it 3 times in one tournament. I can usually do well against it if I have time to think, but I do much worse against it in a speed chess game.

CA

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Author: ortman Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 456 of 9208
Subject: Re: Favorite Openings Date: 3/5/2002 8:12 PM
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The trouble I always had with memorizing certain openings and certain sequences is what happens when the other guy does one thing different? Such as:

1. e4 e5
2. Nf3 Nc6
3. Bc4 Nf6
4. Ng5 d5
5. xd5 Nxd5
6. Nxf7 Kxf7
7. Qf3 Ke6

What is black's motivation for 4. ... d5? It sends a pawn to a center square, but it's inviting a trade that gets white a knight advantage. Why in the world would black do that? Why might not black move 4. ... h6 to threaten white's knight?


If black moves h6, then white will follow up with Nxf7 and fork the rook and the queen. The king won't be able to help out as the knight will be defended by the bishop, which how has control over f7 as black did not block it off with d5.

I don't know, I guess I'm missing something, or just can't get it, but I'm still not convinced that using a certain scripted opening is worth it. It just seems like all it takes to thwart it is for your opponent to make one unexpected move, and all of a sudden you've developed for a certain position, only to have that position denied to you, and you're unbalanced to change your strategy.

As I said, I don't play very often - and when I do I focus on my middle and end games. Most good players (that I have spoken too) advise that you don't study openings until you're already an established player.

Still, it's fun to study certain openings - and it helps to the extent that I at least know the types of games that some of the openings usually result in.

-Ortman

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Author: psuasskicker Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 457 of 9208
Subject: Re: Favorite Openings Date: 3/5/2002 8:19 PM
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I think this is the problem a lot of amateur (yes I realize that is the third way I've spelled that word today...one of them has to be right!) chess players have. There are so many variations, how can you memorize them all? Especially considering that one opening can easily morph into another one because there is no scripted way that you have to reach a certain position.

I'm reading a book on openings now, basically just for illustrative purposes and to try to see if I can follow what some major advantages and disadvantages are. Does one set of openings lead to a closed game or open? Are there certain imbalances opening X tends to create that I know well and find favorable to play with?

One of the reasons I'm so intrigued by the Smith-Morra Gambit is because you are playing with a material disadvantage. I figure that if I can practice up on playing with a material disadvantage and use other imbalances, it will help me down the road understanding how to work with position rather than material when I'm playing against someone that I'm losing the material battle to.

One of the reasons 1. d4 is so interesting is because many chess players do not know how to respond to it. I certainly don't, and I want to teach myself how to.

I think it's worth memorizing many openings if you are a very serious player and looking to work your way to expert level and potentially make a living of playing the game. If you're not, more than likely you'll either play the opening by the seat of your pants; or read a book or two on them, and start to pick up a good number of them along the way...as you see them more often. That's certainly the way I'm learning right now.

What's truly amazing is that, knowing that chess was invented more than 500 years ago and how many millions of games have been played, there are still a good number of openings that people do not understand how to react to or are still working out the implications of.

Example: This opening led to the game that I used for my puzzle #1 with my father (who played as white)...
1. e4 c5; 2. Qh5 d6; Bb5+
Does anyone know what to do with that opening? My guess was to jump either the knight or bishop (depending on if you want a straight trade or a bishop vs. knight battle) to guard the king, and then jump the g knight to f6 to chase the queen and take the lead in development. So many opening possibilities...none will ever fully be discovered, and many will likely rarely ever get played because they could be so lop-sided.

One of the first thing the book notes is how statistical analysis on openings is meaningless because of all the different factors that must be taken into consideration. Example, an opening could be found to be an incredibly powerful one in which one side nearly always comes out the victor. Hundreds of games get played and recorded like this until someone finds the one way to completely counter this opening, and it's discovered that playing said opening is actually suicide due to the counter. In such a case, the statistical wins may be very high for the one opening, but because it can be proven to be easily refuted, it is nearly never played, keeping those statistics high.

It's an amazingly complex subject. The whole game of chess itself is. I'm not going to make a living of this game, so I'll read a book on openings and pick them up along the way.

Chris

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Author: Manfreud Two stars, 250 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 460 of 9208
Subject: Re: Favorite Openings Date: 3/5/2002 8:49 PM
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Before anyone falls in love with the Accelerated Dragon in the Sicilian, please look up the Yugoslav Attack for white, which invariably smashes Black's position if unexperienced.
White castles queenside and unleashes a pawn storm on the kingside,with moves like f3,g4,h4-h5, opening files,exchanging dark coloured bishops, and mating Black.

The Yugoslav attack is the same idea as the Samisch variation on the king's Indian.

Good luck

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Author: Counterattack Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 461 of 9208
Subject: Re: Favorite Openings Date: 3/5/2002 8:51 PM
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One of the reasons I'm so intrigued by the Smith-Morra Gambit is because you are playing with a material disadvantage. I figure that if I can practice up on playing with a material disadvantage and use other imbalances, it will help me down the road understanding how to work with position rather than material when I'm playing against someone that I'm losing the material battle to.

Chris,

You raise a lot of intersting points in your post, but I will focus on this one. If you are just starting out (assuming you know the rules and the basics of course), tactics are very useful to learn. In a roundabout sort of way I think that may be where you are leading to by focusing on the Smith-Morra. After all, it is a "gambit", so by definition you are sacrificing material. But you are sacrificing material for a reason, i.e. for quicker development of your major pieces. Fast development can often lead to tactical situations -- situations where you may regain your lost material, perhaps win material to give you -- yikes! -- a material advantage, or perhaps you may develop a mating attack. After all, if you do not regain that material or checkmate your opponent you will likely lose the game. I see you referring to imbalances (sounds like you are reading Silman) which leads me to believe that you are thinking along these lines.

I'm not so sure I agree with your thought that you should learn how to practice playing with a material disadvantage, hoping that that will mean that you will play better when there is material equality. Your mindset should be on using the quick development of your pieces to attack your opponents position. If you are not studying tactics you definitely should do so if you are playing the Smith-Morra.

You will be surprised how much your game will improve by studying tactics and basic mating patterns. For now I do not think you have to devote tons of time studying openings. However, there are literally million game databases out there and thousands of books on openings, so, when you are ready, it is worthwhile to spend some time learning a few pet openings. You might as well benefit from other people's research.

CA


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Author: warypioneer Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 463 of 9208
Subject: Re: Favorite Openings Date: 3/5/2002 9:00 PM
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Example: This opening led to the game that I used for my puzzle #1 with my father (who played as white)...
1. e4 c5; 2. Qh5 d6; Bb5+
Does anyone know what to do with that opening?


I freaked when my Dad did that to me also.(8yrs old) Panicing I moved without
thinking, and he had me checkmated shortly after.
It seems to me that If White opened with 1. e4 wouldn't you possibly
counter with Nf6 to keep the Queen at bay.
Or maybe move a different pawn?

Wary

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Author: cnfrost Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 472 of 9208
Subject: Re: Favorite Openings Date: 3/5/2002 9:53 PM
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Anyone care to try and educate me and convince me that scripted openings are worth memorizing and employing?

JT,

Here's my opinion on it. Memorizing openings is basically a time-saving device. For each move you make there are a certain number of reasonable/expected responses. Then there are a certain number of reasonable/expected responses to your opponent's response. Now if you already have all or most of these variations memorized, it can save you much time in a tournament setting (which is very, very important), and can also potentially intimidate your opponent if it seems like you are moving so quickly that you make it seem you already know what he is trying to do, and how to stop him. But as you stated, what are you to do when your opponent strays from the main line, or doesn't react as anticipated? Do you assume that he made a mistake, or do you worry that he knows something about that line which you don't know? That is where book players get lost. I believe that a certain amount of studying/memorizing openings is good, but one should never rely on them completely.


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Author: gahamuvo Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 474 of 9208
Subject: Re: Favorite Openings Date: 3/5/2002 10:04 PM
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Here's my opinion on it. Memorizing openings is basically a time-saving device. For each move you make there are a certain number of reasonable/expected responses. Then there are a certain number of reasonable/expected responses to your opponent's response


alert!


Big Blue has registered at TMF, under the username of cnfrost ;)


-gabe

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Author: cnfrost Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 480 of 9208
Subject: Re: Favorite Openings Date: 3/5/2002 10:51 PM
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Before anyone falls in love with the Accelerated Dragon in the Sicilian, please look up the Yugoslav Attack for white, which invariably smashes Black's position if unexperienced.
White castles queenside and unleashes a pawn storm on the kingside,with moves like f3,g4,h4-h5, opening files,exchanging dark coloured bishops, and mating Black.


Is this the same thing as the Maroczy bind? I've heard that it can be very nasty in the Accelerated Dragon, but there is supposed be some new-fangled way to get out of it. Haven't read up on it, though.


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Author: rinjr715 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 482 of 9208
Subject: Re: Favorite Openings Date: 3/5/2002 11:07 PM
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Manfreud, I once used to be a member of the Pittsburgh Chess Club and played in dozens of tournaments there over the space of approximately four years, then infrequently thereafter. The last guy I ever played in a rated game was an expert level player named Jeff Schreiber. When Jeff had Black, he REFUSED to ever play the Dragon Sicilien against e4, because he knew how much trouble the Yugoslav Attack you mention can be and he feared it. I play the Sicilian myself, but usually not the Dragon. I prefer to keep the fight in the middle or on the queenside. Although as a low rated player, I usually lost in Sicilians, they are more fun to play in than a more closed game is, so if I ever get back playing a lot I will play some Sicilians. When I finally start playing here, you will see me play it for sure.

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Author: psuasskicker Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 483 of 9208
Subject: Re: Favorite Openings Date: 3/5/2002 11:16 PM
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I'm not so sure I agree with your thought that you should learn how to practice playing with a material disadvantage, hoping that that will mean that you will play better when there is material equality.

Thanks for the notes all. Good discussion going...

CA, I'll note that this wasn't what I was trying to say when saying I was interested in the Smith-Morra Gambit. I meant that I would hope that it would help me to play better when I would be playing a different game/variation and someone would take material from me. It used to be that I would lose material and unless I had a clearly better position (very active pieces, lots of space, and the material I lost was unimportant) that I would panic and inevidibly make moves scrambling to win back the material and end up hurting myself worse.

Now I'm more focused on what other imbalances (yes, I've been reading Silman...how'd you guess <ggg>) lie in the game rather than just a material advantage or a significant spacial or initiative advantage. I'm nowhere near the complete player I'd like to become...not saying I want to be an expert... Basically I've improved my game significantly in the past year, but know I still have a ton to learn. I'm reading up on openings, but very briefly at this point just to get a sense of what types of moves lead to what types of games, and what options I have for standard openings. Next I was disputing (with myself) whether I should read a book on tactics, or start reading some grandmaster recaps (Bobby Fisher's My Best 60 Games or Alekhine's two book set or whatever). I'm leaning toward tactics, moving towards grandmaster's books later.

Silman's teaching style I found incredibly easy to read through and learn from. He suggests rereading the book a few times, which I may end up doing at some point. I know there are specific chapters I'd like to reread (such as the bishops and combo chapters), but would likely benefit from rereading the entire thing. It did a great job at teaching me how much more to chess there is than just grabbing as much space as possible, developing your pieces the fastest, and looking two moves ahead to try to avoid losing material and trying to win it. His book is a great book for beginners who have knowledge of how to play the game and some of the basics around what is good play, but don't have an understanding of the real inner-workings of the game.

It also deals mostly with the middlegame, and I felt left me fairly clueless of how to reach some of the advantageous positions and play that he taught. I felt like when I was playing, I had to fight through the opening, hoping not to make a blunder and eventually land in a spot that could be considered a middlegame that I could break down and play from there. That's why I went for a book on openings...so that I wouldn't have to fight through them as much with that same helpless feeling.

CA, and any others, perhaps you could suggest some good reading/teaching material (in another thread titled appropriately). Keep in mind that most of us on this board are at or below the 1200 rating level...many of us may be well below this level (I know I have no clue how high I would be rated in tourney play).

Chris

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Author: psuasskicker Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 485 of 9208
Subject: Re: Favorite Openings Date: 3/5/2002 11:26 PM
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It seems to me that If White opened with 1. e4 wouldn't you possibly
counter with Nf6 to keep the Queen at bay.


There are many variations worth playing or at least trying. Something found is that developing the queen very deep and/or very early, unless playing someone with very little experience, is a dangerous thing. Remember the discussion on chasing minor pieces with pawns? The queen can be easily chased with minor pieces, and can really do nothing about it. You cannot just protect a queen, you must run her because the material loss (without the threat of a devastating combo) will be far too significant to overcome. Chasing minor pieces with pawns can overextend a player (see Clones vs. psuasskicker recap for a good example with Clones' 4. e5?) to a severely detrimental point. But chasing the queen with a minor piece (or better, with a few of them) tends to work in favor of the chaser because...
1) The general rule is that you should not move the same piece twice in an opening so that you can develop ALL your pieces to use as weapons, rather than letting some or many sit idly by watching the action.
2) Chasing the queen with minor pieces forces your opponent (who is running their queen) to move a piece more than once in the opening, while enabling you to develop your minor pieces by forcing them to continue moving the same piece.

This is why 1. e4 c5; 2. Qh5 d6; Bb5+ isn't such a great way to start a game. Getting the queen deep into enemy territory so early is easily counteracted after defending against the check, and then playing ... Nf6 which will chase the queen from h5 (if not in retreat to another spot where she is easily chased and another black piece is developed), essentially gaining a move for black as he's developed his knight and now can decide on another piece to develop.

Clear as mud? :-)

Chris

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Author: bobcat713 Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 486 of 9208
Subject: Re: Favorite Openings Date: 3/5/2002 11:27 PM
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What is black's motivation for 4. ... d5?

JT,

Aside from the tactical consideration of protecting the pawn at f7, this move conforms to some of the basic principles one should follow in the opening. First, it fights for control of the center, which is very important in all phases of the game. Second, it opens lines so that Black can develop his bishop and queen. When I looked this up in MCO, the only other variation listed was 4. ... Bc5.

In this opening, White deviates from "accepted" practice by moving his knight twice early on. In return, he gains a strong attack on the King Bishop pawn, which is notoriously weak. It leads to a position where even a small error can be deadly.

I don't know, I guess I'm missing something, or just can't get it, but I'm still not convinced that using a certain scripted opening is worth it.

IMO, most players should concentrate on learning only one or two openings at first. There's just too many to memorize all of them. It's better to learn the principles of opening play so you can avoid obvious mistakes that your opponent can exploit. Some of these principles are:

1. Aim for control of the center of the board (a square with the diagonal c3-f6). A good way to do this is to move a pawn out there.
2. Develop your pieces quickly and try to move them only once. Usually, you should develop knights before bishops and whenever possible develop a piece so that it threatens your opponent in some way.
3. Don't make a lot of pawn moves - just enough so you can get your pieces out. This is why so many openings begin d4 or e4 - they open up room for the bishops to move out.
4. Don't bring out your queen early - especially if it can be easily attacked by your opponent.
5. Keep your king safe - castling is often a good way to do this and it has the added benefit of bringing a rook into play.

These rules have exceptions (for instance, White violates rule 2 in the "Fried Liver" attack), but you should probably have a good reason for not following them. There are other rules as well, but these are some of the most important. You'll notice in this opening that White gives up a knight for a pawn, but Black's king is in a very exposed position, so he gets some advantage for violating the rules. For me, knowledge of these principles helps me to feel more confident when I inevitably get into an unfamiliar opening.

Anyone care to try and educate me and convince me that scripted openings are worth memorizing and employing?

I won't take you up on that. I will say, however, that it would be worth while to look into a couple of openings. One that you like to play as White and maybe two that you like to play as Black (one in response to e4 and one in response to d4, for example). Serious study of lots of different openings is more useful for the advanced player. For beginners, getting away from the standard book moves can be an equalizer.

Bob

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Author: rinjr715 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 490 of 9208
Subject: Re: Favorite Openings Date: 3/6/2002 12:00 AM
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If you're a low level player, you better learn middle game and endgame tactics before you learn a lot of book openings. There is no easier way to blow games than to bungle your tactics in mid-game or in the endings. I have blown prize money in tournaments a couple of times by botching endgames when I was equal or ahead, so if I ever return to frequent tournament play I will study up on endgame tactics.

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Author: pikapp383 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 567 of 9208
Subject: Re: Favorite Openings Date: 3/7/2002 5:47 PM
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I have blown prize money in tournaments a couple of times by botching endgames when I was equal or ahead...

Ha, I've got you beat.

I was playing in a tournament about 10 years ago in I think Class D. Anyway, I was in the middle game, pretty exciting, I had sacked a bishop for the 2 pawns in front of his castled king, all kinds of attacking opportunities. Then I made what I like to call my $100 move. I had been attacking for like 10 moves in a row and I made the mistake of trying to move my other bishop into the attack and hung it. I was so rattled that I dropped another piece and resigned a handful of moves later.

Replaying that game I found that if I had moved my Queen 4 spots forward, I would have mated the guy instead of dropping my bishop. Losing that game instead of winning it moved me from 1st to 3rd in my class, from $150 to $50 prize money.

That also taught me a lesson that someone else already brought up, NEVER RESIGN. I also like its corollary, "Always give the other guy a chance to screw up."

pikapp383
Lapsed chess player

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Author: cnfrost Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 576 of 9208
Subject: Re: Favorite Openings Date: 3/7/2002 8:42 PM
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Regarding not surrendering....I said I would dig up that Yahoo! game where I was glad I didn't resign. Finally got it translated from computer to algebraic notation.

G/15

lmt-owner (me) vs. scottiebigballs

1. e4 e5
2. Nf3 d6
3. Bc4 h6
4. d4 exd4
5. Nxd4 c5
6. Nb5 a6
7. Nxd6+?? Bxd6
8. Qf3 Nf6
9. Bf4 Bg4
10. Bxf7+ Kxf7
11. Qb3+ Be6
12. Qxb7+ Nd7
13. e5 Qb8
14. Qxb8 Rxb8
15. Nc3???? Bxe5
16. Bxe5 Nxe5
17. O-O-O Nc4
18. b3 Ne5
19. Rh-e1 Nf-g4
20. f3 Nf2
21. Rd6 Kf6
22. Nd5+ Kf5
23. Ne7+ Kf6
24. Rxa6 Rh-e8
25. Nd5+ Kf5
26. Ne3+ Kg5
27. Ra5 Ne-d3+
28. cxd3 Nxd3+
29. Kd1 Nxe1
30. Kxe1 Rb-c8
31. b4 Kf4
32. Kf2 cxb4
33. g3++

I made some incredibly stupid blunders in this game, and was playing out of position and with a massive material disadvantage. It was his game to lose. I wasn't even trying to mate him, just hoping to win on time or maybe get a stalemate. The mate came up very accidentally. So the moral of the story is: no matter how bad it is, go ahead and play it out. If you resign, you're guaranteed a loss. If you play it out, what's the worst that could happen? You might lose. You might also get a stalemate or even an occasional win. NO SURRENDER!!

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