Openings

The London System

I once heard the Torre Attack described as The Old Man's Bad Habit (Aagaard), and no less a tribute can be paid to the London...

"One problem is that this is actually a pretty good opening"
-- Christof Sielecki

The original idea of the London System was as an Anti-KID weapon in the tournament in our capital in 1922, fighting for the control of central dark squares.

[Event "London BCF Congress"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "1922.??.??"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Alekhine, Alexander"]

Opening workshop 2018 part 2

White tries against the Budapest Gambit

An appetiser: the Englund Gambit

Brian complained that he lost quickly facing this line. You might guess he fell into a trap which may be the main hope of Black when playing this line:

[Event "?"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2018.07.24"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Opening Workshop 2018"]
[Black "?"]
[Result "*"]
[ECO "A40"]
[PlyCount "16"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
[SourceDate "2018.08.07"]

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.

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

1.e4??
( {The simplest loss is} 1.d4?? e5 2.dxe5 Qg5 3.Qxd7 Bxd7 4.Bxg5 Kd8 5.Bxd8 a6 6.Bxc7 Ra7 7.Bxb8
b6 8.Bxa7 a5 9.Bxb6 g6 10.Bxa5 Bb4 11.Bxb4 Ne7 12.Bxe7 Rf8 13.Bxf8 h6
14.Bxh6 g5 15.Bxg5 f6 16.Bxf6 Bh3 17.Nxh3 0-1 )
( {The most complex is} 1.d3?? g5 2.Bxg5 Bg7 3.Bxe7 Bxb2 4.Bxd8 Bxa1 5.Bxc7 Bc3 { and white loses no matter which capture he chooses: }
6.Bxb8
( {Or} 6.Nxc3 d5 7.Nxd5 Nf6

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?

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