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  1. Philadelphia
    Joined
    19 Oct '07
    Moves
    18082
    13 Jan '21 04:05
    Hi everyone, happy New Year!

    Back to the site after a few years away and addicted to chess again. I love the (possibly) new games explorer feature where you can view your old games and can see which openings you prefer.

    I experimented quite a lot in my openings when I first started playing but I seemed to have settled into certain openings that I really like - I like cautious, strategic openings that don’t have a lot of tactics from the very outset which I think kind of reflects my (can’t think on my feet) approach to life in general.

    I’m curious if those of you who have settled into certain openings have also noticed certain characteristics about them and wondered why you chose them as the way to start a game?
  2. Joined
    10 Jan '08
    Moves
    12740
    13 Jan '21 06:45
    It’s a curious one, sometimes I’ll mix it up a bit but if I’m playing a game I want to win more than enjoy I have one opening for white and one for black that I’ll go with. Obviously the following moves depends on your opponent but if you’re comfortable and getting some wins, why mix it up?
  3. YNWA
    Joined
    03 Apr '19
    Moves
    13547
    13 Jan '21 10:40
    Just tried the thing where you view past games. When you click 'info' it lists 'opening' amongst other things. Does the opening named refer to what white did regardless of what black did about it or does it refer to how the game opened between the two players? Also what is the opening called "Fred".
  4. Standard memberDeepThought
    Losing the Thread
    Quarantined World
    Joined
    27 Oct '04
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    86835
    13 Jan '21 14:33
    @relentless-red said
    Just tried the thing where you view past games. When you click 'info' it lists 'opening' amongst other things. Does the opening named refer to what white did regardless of what black did about it or does it refer to how the game opened between the two players? Also what is the opening called "Fred".
    The Fred Opening should probably be called the Duras Opening after the Czech grandmaster Oldrich Duras who used it three times in an exhibition match against Ossip Bernstein in the first half of the last century. It goes 1.e4 f5, I wouldn't recommend it, Duras was probably playing it to entertain the crowd rather than for its intrinsic merits.

    The opening depends on what both players do. For it to be a Ruy Lopez, for example, then 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 has to be played in that order. If the same position is reached via 1. e4 Nc6 2. Bb5 e5 3. Nf3, or some such, then it's the Ruy Lopez by transposition. So, typically there's a specific position and a canonical move order to get to it. The letters and numbers before the opening name, like A00 or B30, are called ECO codes and are a cataloguing system used by the Encyclopedia of Chess Openings, which has become standard the openings have names because no one can remember the ECO codes...
  5. Subscribervenda
    Dave
    S.Yorks.England
    Joined
    18 Apr '10
    Moves
    70873
    13 Jan '21 14:451 edit
    @relentless-red said
    Just tried the thing where you view past games. When you click 'info' it lists 'opening' amongst other things. Does the opening named refer to what white did regardless of what black did about it or does it refer to how the game opened between the two players? Also what is the opening called "Fred".
    I think it just refers to the first few moves depending on opening theory.Common openings will sometimes "transpose" into different ones so I don't really know how far it goes.Others will know more,"Fred" is a documented opening that you can google.
    Inevitably on here,you get to play the same players over and over again.
    Before I start a game,I sometimes look at my record against a player and see what openings I have used previously and occasionally try something different than my usual standard openings just to add some variety.
    With players I have played lots I don't tend to bother doing this.
    I don't consider myself to be a "serious" player but play mainly for fun so I'm far too lazy to study opening theory with a view to becoming an expert in one opening or another
  6. Standard memberDeepThought
    Losing the Thread
    Quarantined World
    Joined
    27 Oct '04
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    86835
    13 Jan '21 15:34
    @double-g said
    Hi everyone, happy New Year!

    Back to the site after a few years away and addicted to chess again. I love the (possibly) new games explorer feature where you can view your old games and can see which openings you prefer.

    I experimented quite a lot in my openings when I first started playing but I seemed to have settled into certain openings that I really like - I like c ...[text shortened]... ticed certain characteristics about them and wondered why you chose them as the way to start a game?
    Before I knew there was such a thing as an opening, before about 1990, I'd just make moves. Someone showed me the Kings Indian Attack in about 1988 and misinformed me that it was the best opening, so I'd just adopt that set up in every game. Later I started playing 1. e4, aiming for a Spanish, the open Sicilian or the Nc3 lines against the French. As black I'd play the Najdorf against 1. e4 and the King's Indian against 1. d4. In the meantime I've started playing any old thing. Recently I've come to the conclusion that a system like the following for selecting openings is the right thing to do, but I need to explain something about what the ratings system means first.

    A ratings difference of 400 implies that the stronger player can expect a score of 90% against the weaker one. As the stronger player we want a simple position the weaker player will misplay. As the weaker player we want as complicated a position as possible, we need to take them into a dark forest.

    A ratings difference of 200 corresponds to the stronger player expecting a score of 75%. This means that the weaker player can play for a draw as white, which can be a pain.

    A ratings difference of 100 corresponds to an expected score for the stronger player of 65% (ish), so the weaker player starts needing to win with the white pieces.

    It is difficult to play for a win in things like the exchange variation of the Slav defence.

    A major weakness in my game is that I'm bad at symmetric positions.

    I dislike the term "friendly game", since it implies that tournament games are somehow "unfriendly". Skittles games are ones where nothing is at stake, they are no more "friendly" than a tournament game.

    1. Play all sorts of openings in Skittles games.
    2. It's generally easier to play for a win as White, so just choose whatever opening suits you for competition games.
    3. With black play something like the Dutch Defence against 1. d4 from players around 200 points weaker as it's easy to play for a win.
    4. Keep it simple against really weak opponents, i.e. about 300+ points weaker, you can just outplay them in the ending. Exchange variations become attractive.
    5. Play something wildly complicated like the Botvinnik variation of the semi-Slav as black when you are rated more than around 200 points less than your opponent, you only need a draw as white and can afford to lose as black so complicate.
    6. Choose as complicated a line as white as you can against opponents more than 400 points stronger than you.
    7. I'm not sure what to do as white against opponents in the 100 - 200 points stronger range, playing an opening you're comfortable with is probably the best plan.

    So my current repetoire includes the Spanish, the Italian game, the Scotch, Birds opening, the London System, the Queen's Gambit, the French defence, the Sicilian aiming for a Najdorf, theoretically the King's Indian, the Dutch defence and a bunch of gambits - so I can choose lines depending on my opponent's rating relative to mine and whatever other information I have about them.
  7. YNWA
    Joined
    03 Apr '19
    Moves
    13547
    13 Jan '21 17:01
    Thanks guys. Really value the thought that has gone into the answers to my post.
  8. Philadelphia
    Joined
    19 Oct '07
    Moves
    18082
    14 Jan '21 00:10
    Thanks for the replies. Really interesting to see how people choose openings. I might start experimenting a bit more along the lines that Deep Thought described.
  9. New Braunfels, Texas
    Joined
    22 Aug '07
    Moves
    70896
    14 Jan '21 02:54
    With White QGD (QGA) because it is a solid opening that gets me to a playable middle-game.

    Black against e4, I use c5 and some version of the Sicilian because I like the unbalanced positions.
    Black against d4, I use d4 and a Semi-Slav.
    Black against c4, c5.
    Anything else, play a center pawn 2 spaces.
  10. Zugzwang
    Joined
    08 Jun '07
    Moves
    2120
    14 Jan '21 04:051 edit
    @deepthought said
    The Fred Opening should probably be called the Duras Opening after the Czech grandmaster Oldrich Duras who used it three times in an exhibition match against Ossip Bernstein in the first half of the last century. It goes 1.e4 f5, I wouldn't recommend it, Duras was probably playing it to entertain the crowd rather than for its intrinsic merits.

    The opening depends on w ...[text shortened]... ings, which has become standard the openings have names because no one can remember the ECO codes...
    I would add that there's not universal agreement about chess openings' names,
    given that nationalism often influences it.

    For example, 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 c5 3 d5 b5 was called the Volga Gambit in the USSR.
    It's called the Benko Gambit (after a Hungarian-American GM) in the West.

    Napoleon played the Alekhine's Defence before Alekhine was born!
  11. Standard memberFerdyred
    Ferdyred
    Santiago de Chile
    Joined
    12 Oct '20
    Moves
    1862
    14 Jan '21 09:33
    @Double-G
    Hello, Double Gambit. I am an authentic chessnerd, that is, I play chess variants. My preferred ones are Fischer random chess (Chess 960) and Carroll chess (Alice chess). I have also tried Shatranj. Re wild variants (say, antichess, atomic chess, chicken chess, &c.) I really don't like them cause they don't abide by the laws of chess.
    I am a Chilean subject, that is, a Sudaka. English is my second language, Spanish is my first one. I am a regular member of the British-Chilean Institute of Culture. We created the first newspapers published in English, The Santiago Times. URL http://www.santiagotimes.cl/ You are invited to have a look at it. 🙂
  12. Standard membermchill
    Cryptic
    Behind the scenes
    Joined
    27 Jun '16
    Moves
    2473
    14 Jan '21 21:142 edits
    @double-g said
    Hi everyone, happy New Year!

    Back to the site after a few years away and addicted to chess again. I love the (possibly) new games explorer feature where you can view your old games and can see which openings you prefer.

    I experimented quite a lot in my openings when I first started playing but I seemed to have settled into certain openings that I really like - I like c ...[text shortened]... ticed certain characteristics about them and wondered why you chose them as the way to start a game?
    I’m curious if those of you who have settled into certain openings have also noticed certain characteristics about them and wondered why you chose them as the way to start a game?



    I like the English as white because it's not something most OTB players prepare for. This may give me the advantage of superior knowledge, additionally it does not normally see multitude defenses to prepare for.

    Against e4 I prefer the Caro Kann, for the same reasons as above, and because I like slow developing, but solid defenses that have stood the tests of tournament play

    Against d4 I prefer the Slav. Similar pawn and piece patterns as the Caro Kann.

    Unlike e4 as white or the Sicilian as black , all of these openings have a somewhat limited number of variations, which cut down greatly on opening prep. and rote memorization. This usually allows me to get out of the opening with a minimum of difficulty and directs the fireworks to the middlegame where I prefer to concentrate. 🙂
  13. Joined
    03 Jul '13
    Moves
    72923
    15 Jan '21 13:14
    @deepthought said
    Before I knew there was such a thing as an opening, before about 1990, I'd just make moves. Someone showed me the Kings Indian Attack in about 1988 and misinformed me that it was the best opening, so I'd just adopt that set up in every game. Later I started playing 1. e4, aiming for a Spanish, the open Sicilian or the Nc3 lines against the French. As black I'd play the ...[text shortened]... depending on my opponent's rating relative to mine and whatever other information I have about them.
    Hi Deep Thought,
    I was interested to read your views on how to play against stronger and weaker opponents - to look for simple positions against weaker players, and complicated positions against stronger players.
    I think all these years I have been viewing it differently - I’ve thought that if I’m playing a weaker player they are more likely to be able to find the correct continuation in a simple position, and thus I prefer to complicate. And if I’m playing a stronger player, I often try to simplify on the basis that in a complicated position, they are going to find the correct continuation and I’m not!
    So if when playing white I come up against the Slav for example, I’m more likely to play the Exchange Variation against a stronger player than a weaker one, which seems to be the complete opposite of what you recommend!
    And I shy away from playing the King’s Gambit as white against stronger players, in case I get hideously embarrassed, but against weaker players, although I’m certainly not able to play the opening well, I tend to find my way through the complications better than my opponents do.
  14. Subscribervenda
    Dave
    S.Yorks.England
    Joined
    18 Apr '10
    Moves
    70873
    15 Jan '21 13:42
    @ferdyred said
    @Double-G
    Hello, Double Gambit. I am an authentic chessnerd, that is, I play chess variants. My preferred ones are Fischer random chess (Chess 960) and Carroll chess (Alice chess). I have also tried Shatranj. Re wild variants (say, antichess, atomic chess, chicken chess, &c.) I really don't like them cause they don't abide by the laws of chess.
    I am a Chilean subject, that ...[text shortened]... glish, The Santiago Times. URL http://www.santiagotimes.cl/ You are invited to have a look at it. 🙂
    If you like chess variants,it might be a good idea to look at Shogi.
    I made my own pieces , played against friends and found it very interesting and good fun.
    I expect you can play it online these days.
  15. Zugzwang
    Joined
    08 Jun '07
    Moves
    2120
    15 Jan '21 22:26
    @tommovich said
    Hi Deep Thought,
    I was interested to read your views on how to play against stronger and weaker opponents - to look for simple positions against weaker players, and complicated positions against stronger players.
    I think all these years I have been viewing it differently - I’ve thought that if I’m playing a weaker player they are more likely to be able to find the correct ...[text shortened]... play the opening well, I tend to find my way through the complications better than my opponents do.
    I played a training game with a student (rated about 1800).
    He played, as White, something very solid like the Slav Exchange variation.
    We soon reached a equal position where it seemed almost impossible to create complications.
    I decided (for instructional purposes) to take a big risk and try something objectively
    bad just to create some complications and make my student think a little.
    At first, he played well enough and reached an about winning position.
    I thought, "If he knows what I know, then I shall lose this game."

    As I recall, my student was a pawn up in a rook endgame. He had two advanced
    connected passed pawns supported by his king. Fortunately, I had potential counterplay
    in the the form of a passed pawn, but I knew that it would be too slow to save my position,
    if my student knew what to do. All that he had to do was to use his rook to blockade
    my passed pawn, and I would have no counterplay. Once my rook ran out of checks,
    I could not stop his connected passed pawns.

    Instead, he wrongly concluded that he could let my pawn promote and he would
    still win with his advanced connected passed pawns against my rook. Although
    advanced connected passed pawns can defeat a rook in some positions, this was
    not one of them. So my student lost the game.

    Although his position was objectively winning, my student lost because he did
    not understand that endgame nearly as well as I did.
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