Safe and solid?

From a recent email
"The most important single feature of a chess position is the activity of the pieces... (opening, middle, and especially endgame)... The primary constraint on pieces' activity is the pawn structure."
-- Michael STEAN
[Event "Merseyside League"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2019.10.15"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Blades, Tony"]
[Black "Webb, Tom"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A45"]
[PlyCount "49"]
[EventDate "2019.??.??"]

The Swiss Defence

The Swiss Defence gets its name from Henneberger, a Swiss player who, among other games, tried it in a smul against Alekhin in 1925. He played strongly, and that may have alerted Alekhin to its potential:
[Event "Basel sim"]
[Site "Basel"]
[Date "1925.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Alekhine, Alexander"]
[Black "Henneberger, Walter"]
[Result "*"]
[ECO "D63"]
[PlyCount "106"]
[EventDate "1925.??.??"]
[EventType "simul"]

The Caro-Kann

Firstly restrain...

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5

Black counters in the centre, provoking an immediate crisis. White must defend or dodge.

The Caro Kann has a reputation of being a boring defence. It is quite deserved, I believe. Black aims for a solid position where White's space and activity can be held in check and in the end neutralised by exchanges. It is a system free from weaknesses and has been popular among top Grandmasters for many years.

It is not, however, your best choice if you want to play for a win, unless your technique is very good.

Modern Classics - the Scotch Gambit

The old Italian-style attacking openings for White have not been played at the top level of chess for a long while. Was Jonathan Penrose the last master to venture the Scotch Gambit? Anyhow, even if the masters have got it all under control, the rest of us can still play in the Romantic, gambit style. It's also easy to recommend to juniors. In pursuit of nostalgia, several people have been posting material on the web about the Scotch Gambit and related openings.

Novel Opening Play

Jonathan wanted to have something on this session thinking about the English Opening, but, in case you don't play that system, I'll broaden it out a bit.

The experience of meeting novelty

It needn't be a completely new move, of course, just new to you. Let's see if we can create that experience for you. Some examples that we came up with: As White, facing 1.d4 e5!? As White, facing 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nd4!? As Black, facing 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d4!? Some examples for more experienced players, can be found in

Nice things happen

Nice email from Robert Janninck:
I am a fan of your site. It helped me getting started with openings. In return I put the Italian game for you in chessbase format. For me when i see things happening on the board it always help, so i thougth maybe that will help others too.
My motivation: I like to help youre concept (site) to get better/easier and help others in having more fun in chess. Make it reachable and not for the money.
Thanks a million Robert!

Original handout:


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