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:
[Event "Urusov Gambit"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2012.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "White"]
[Black "Black"]
[Result "*"]
[ECO "A00"]
[PlyCount "19"]

Making it up as you go along?

"I thought I would try something different."

This doesn't usually go well! Here are two examples:

[Event "Exeter Juniors vs Sidmouth"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2012.04.28"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Warburton, Ralph"]
[Black "Royle, James"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A60"]
[PlyCount "49"]

1. d4 e6 2. c4 c5 3. d5 Nf6 4. Nc3 d6 5. Bg5 h6 6. Bh4 b6 7. e4 Bb7 8. Be2 Nbd7
9. Nf3 g5 10. Bg3 Nh5 11. O-O Nxg3 12. fxg3 Nf6 13. e5 dxe5 14. Nxe5 exd5 15.
Qa4+ Ke7 16. Rae1 Qd6 17. Bf3 Ne4 18. Nxf7 Kxf7 19. Bxe4+ Ke7 20. Bxd5+ Kd8 21.

What's the point of learning opening theory?

A four-board match played away at Exmouth one Saturday:

The top board players each made a mistake on move 5: 1.c4 e5 2.g3 Nc6 3.Bg2 f5 4.Nc3 Nf6 now 5.e3(?) was possibly inaccurate, allowing 5...d5! (see Kosten’s book) but Black didn't play it, preferring 5...Be7.

Updated 'First repertoire' materials

Kevin Hurst has kindly been through the one-stop starter repertoire booklet and found a few errors, mostly small but one was absolutely colossal.

Updated files:

Oh, the colossal error? I left out some vital moves in a line of the French Advance:

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.c3 Nc6 5.Nf3 Qb6

6.Be2 cxd4 7.cxd4 Nh6 (these moves were omitted)

When the Black Knight comes to h6, White might want to take it.

Junior Openings - Beginners and Improvers

Basic Opening Repertoire for young players You want a standard opening to learn?

A first opening repertoire

A First Chess Opening Repertoire: [DOWNLOAD PDF | PGN]

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!?

Opening development and coordination


There are useful opening 'rules' (really, guidelines) which should be known and adopted at least until you know better.  Sadly, even strict obedience to the rules can lead to trouble, so you have to learn some specific opening lines.  You don't have to know every opening, but you need at least one system for White and a couple as Black.  Which ones you choose depends on your style and your appetite for study.

Opening principles

It's useful to review and rehearse the

Openings Workshop 2011

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Chess Quotes

"The great master places a Knight at e5; mate follows by itself."

  "Some Knights don't leap - they limp."

  "A chess game is divided into three stages: the first, when you hope you have the advantage, the second when you believe you have an advantage, and the third... when you know you're going to lose!"

— Savielly Tartakower