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Lately I have been playing Larsen's Opening 1.b3 as White with success. For one thing, it avoids many sharp variations that my opponents may have prepared against 1.e4. Here is a recent example.
Your pawn structure looked pretty awesome around move 6.
Good game! White's complete domination of the black squares was the theme of the middlegame and I think that is the whole idea of the Larsen Opening.
Nice game -- I've been playing 1.b3 lately more and more. I've got the Odessky book and the Jacobs and Tait book for reference.
I find I get into the early f4 lines often -- so I've also got the Taylor book for that.
To keep up with what are the main ideas against these openings, I picked up the "Beating Unusual Openings" as well (which also made me want to get his "d4 attacks book".
Great game, I too enjoyed the ending!
In my opinion, Black's 5...Be7, though sound, is tame. It's better to contest e5 with 5...Bd6. Though White can win the battle for the e5 square with 6.Nh4 0-0 7.Nxf5 exf5, it is at the cost of the e4 square. The position is equal.
Quite often Larsen's Opening will transpose into positions considered under the Reti system or the English Opening.
I wonder if unusual flank openings aren't a good way for class players who are playing opponents of relatively equal or lesser rankings to avoid prepared and pet openings, and have the opportunity for fresh tactical thnking, before they gain enough general experience playing the game to decide on some standard openings that fit their style. I've been looking at Hugh Myers games some lately with those ideas in mind but have not really felt comfortable with any of those openings so far.
Interesting game and instructive endgame too. Thank you!
JimWestJames WestKearny, NJ, United States
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