Openings

Some basic openings

You have to be able to make a decent start in a game of chess, or you risk being blown away by your opponent's better development. Knowing a few openings in a bit of detail is some insurance against traps and ideas that you haven't seen before.

So, here are some variations in common openings that you can -- and should -- learn. At each turn, try and learn not just what is the right move(s) but why that move is preferred.

Opening Workshop 2015

A bit of perspective

Your opening choices are determined by:

Your style: are you a Steady Eddie or a Bonkers Billie?

Your memory: can you commit the key traps and variations to memory?

Your study time: can you find and absorb what you need to play this system well?

Your aims: are you trying to get a playable position? are you trying to set your opponent problems, so they make a mistake? are you inviting your opponent to waltz with you blindfold on the edge of a cliff? are you trying to lure them into unfamiliar territory, or a trap?

Trouble with b6

How to lose at losing chess

strong1.e4?? nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;/strong nbsp;nbsp;nbsp; nbsp;nbsp;nbsp; nbsp;nbsp;nbsp; br / nbsp;nbsp;nbsp; nbsp;nbsp;nbsp; nbsp;nbsp;nbsp; nbsp;nbsp;nbsp; br / nbsp;nbsp;nbsp; ( {The simplest loss is} 1.d4?? e5 2.dxe5 Qg5 3.Qxd7 Bxd7 4.Bxg5 Kd8 5.Bxd8 a6 6.Bxc7 Ra7 7.Bxb8nbsp;nbsp;nbsp; nbsp;nbsp;nbsp; nbsp;nbsp;nbsp; br / nbsp;nbsp;nbsp; b6 8.Bxa7 a5 9.Bxb6 g6 10.Bxa5 Bb4 11.Bxb4 Ne7 12.Bxe7 Rf8 13.Bxf8 h6nbsp;nbsp;nbsp; nbsp;nbsp;nbsp; nbsp;nbsp;nbsp; br / nbsp;nbsp;nbsp; 14.Bxh6 g5 15.Bxg5 f6 16.Bxf6 Bh3 17.Nxh3 0-1 )nbsp;nbsp;nbsp; nbsp;nbsp;nbsp; nbsp;nbsp;nbsp; br /

Gambits galore

We welcome to the club a bunch of new members, among whom is Ian
Simpson, who comes to give us better weather, or, at least, better
weather forecasts.

Ian is a big gambit fan and is looking forward to the Rex Willis
Memorial Gambit Blitz Tournament in the Spring.

Ian has his own website which discusses lots of gambit lines:
http://tws27.weebly.com/
Looks good! And essential revision material for the Rex Willis event...

Opening Workshop 2014

Work in progress...

How to decide if the Dutch Defence is good for you -------------------------------------------------- Just taking the Dutch Defence as an example...

Do you think it suits you? (Do your friends think it suits you?) Do the ideas you read about go into your memory? Do the ideas you remember actually turn up in your games? Do you get good results with it? Do the results in your games have anything to do with the opening? Can your opponents avoid the lines you like to play?

Openings juniors should know

1. The first system to learn and play for both sides
2. Another system to learn and play against 1.e4
3. One system to play against 1.d4
4. Six openings for White with 1.e4 (and therefore six openings you need to defend against as Black)
5. One defence you can try as Black after 1.e4
6. Eight other Black defences you will meet as White after 1.e4
7. Six other systems you will meet as Black after 1.e4 e5

Lesson 1. The first system to learn and play for both sides

 
Italian Game (Giuoco Piano) with c3
 
1. e4 e5

Don't touch the pawns in front of your King!

[Event "Berlin Jubilee"]
[Site "Berlin"]
[Date "1907.??.??"]
[Round "9"]
[White "Von Scheve, Theodor"]
[Black "Teichmann, Richard"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C53"]
[PlyCount "34"]
[EventDate "1907.??.??"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. c3 Qe7 5. O-O d6 6. d4 Bb6 7. a4 a6 8. a5 Ba7
9. h3 Nf6 10. dxe5 Nxe5 11. Nxe5 Qxe5 12. Nd2 Bxh3 13. gxh3 Qg3+ 14. Kh1 Qxh3+
15. Kg1 Ng4 16. Nf3 Qg3+ 17. Kh1 Bxf2 0-1

The Bogoljubow Paradox

"When I am White I win because I am White, when I am Black I win because I am Bogoljubow." - Efim Bogoljubow.

I'm still thinking about this, so bear with me, and comments invited...

I pounced on Nunn's Chess Openings when it came out, and found some things that I found puzzling.  Openings like the Dutch Stonewall, which I had always thought of as being fundamentally flawed, were being shown as equal, while the Classical Dutch - which I thought was a superior approach - was coming out as +=.

Opening Workshop 2012

Two open gambits

Richard was interested in the Urusoff Gambit and Eddie in the Scotch Gambit. Gambits offer a pawn for fast development and/or control of the centre. I approve very much of this way of playing, and it's the first thing I offer juniors as an alternative to playing Old Stodge with both White and Black in every game.

Here's a starter for each:

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