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The beginnings of a repertoire

Hey everyone

So i feel like posting and didn't know what to post. My main concerns at the moment are in my opening repertoire and so i thought i'd explain my analysis when starting.

Firstly, I was watching a lot of chess.com tv coverage of the us championships and norway chess championship and saw d4 as the most common 1st move by white. So if the pro's are doing that then i naturally assumed thats what i should do.

So i start my repertoire with 1.d4

 

So what to do now? I found a great opening explorer to study at http://www.365chess.com/opening.php  so looked there for what to do next.

I could see why d4 was so popular, although e4 seems to have a slight edge in win% for white, the drop vs e4 in win% for black more than compensates for it. I also noticed that the most common second move for white was 2. c4. So clearly my next step was to study when NOT to play 2.c4. I firstly narrowed my repertoire the the more common replies to 1.d4 then looked into those.

Nf6, d5, e6, f5, g6, d6 and c5 were the more prominent replies, with a large gap down to anything else. Of these the only move where 2. c4 is a statistically unwise reply is  1. c5 (arguably 1. d6 or 1.f5 also but it's played often enough for me to allow that to slip, for now at least). So my second move is c4 unless black replies to my 1. d4 with 1.c5 (known as the old Benoni defence) in which case i should push my d pawn to d5.

 

Okay that's all i'll go into for now, next post i'll go more into the Old Benoni (the exception the the 2. c4 rule in common openings to 1.d4) and then in future posts i'll look more into the 2. c4 openings.

 

andymac1989

Comments


  • 3 days ago

    hijodeluna

    Dandy,

     

    My focus is on 1.Nf3, not 1.c4.  I just want to make one interesting note about 1.c4 

    after 1... e5 we have a Sicilian with colors reversed, so you have to know it anyway.  No shortcut there.

  • 4 days ago

    DandyDanD

    So we got on this topic because I said:

    "Opening repertoire is a quite extensive subject.  As a practical matter it may be simplest to learn 1. Nf3 or 1. c4, but there is value in taking on the challenge of studying all 1. d4 openings."

    I agree, it's possible to study all openings that 1. Nf3 or 1. c4 could transpose into - for example, 1. Nf3 c5 2. e4 - you could learn the entire Sicilian.  But this isn't necessary!  I recommend the unambitious setup: 1. c4, 2. g3, 3. Bg2, 4. Nf3, 5. O-O for those who lack time to study openings and who just want to play a game.

  • 4 days ago

    hijodeluna

    @ Eluba,

    Your inclination for derrogative comments or insults are uncalled for and, frankly, you are nobody to be doing this to me or to anyone else. 

    I will explain what I mean -

    An ambitious opening repertoire as White based on 1.Nf3 is a very very deep, comprehensive, flexible, and can or will cover much more ground than 1.e4 or 1.d4 will cover.

    One example, it is proposed to meet 1... g6 with 2.e4, so 1.Nf3 g6 2.e4 c5 and now we have a very likely accelarated dragon if White goes for the most ambitious ( in many world class theoreticians view) continuation.  I employ this.  GM Khalifman in his world class book, An opening repertoire for white according to Anand, recommends this.  Bryan Paulsen also recommends this, and others as well.

    1.Nf3 g6 2.e4 might also lead to a Pirc or a KID.   As White you have to be ready for all of it.

    1.Nf3 c6 2.c4 d5 and now we are reaching the Reti Opening or various systems for White against the Slave set-up, and all of them are very rich and complex with a ton of material to cover as well.

    1.Nf3 Nf6 can lead to many many possible continuations from an Anglo Nimzo to a King{s Indian, or an English, and so on.

    I play 1.Nf3 a lot, and I have had to collect material on just a ton of possible areas covering the opening in a plethora of systems.   It is a very daunting task and does cover more ground than 1.d4 or 1.e4 alone.  Why?  The availability of transpositions to take advantage of the most ambitious continuations for White at any given point of possible transpositions.  If you want to be able to exploit this to the fullest, as White, you have to do the hard and dirty work to cover all these possibilities.

    Additionally, White places a strategic or a logistical trap with 1.Nf3.  How?  Lets talk about this - If you don`t play 1... d5 versus 1.d4, then you cannot risk playing 1.Nf3 d5? here.  Players who study you can or will exploit that and be ready for 2.d4 or 2.c4 then 3.d4 and they have won a major opening battle.  If you don`t play the Sicilian as Black, you cannot risk 1.Nf3 c5?   Again, someone who is prepared to play you can or will exploit that with 2.e4.  I have won several games because I have prepared what to play vs the Sicilian vs players who don`t play the Sicilian as black or the queens gambit declined as black.  If you don`t play the Tarrasch defense as black vs the queens gambit, you cannot risk some opening move orders with ...e6 and ... c5 versus 1.Nf3 2.c4 3.Nc3 or 3.g3, and so on, because once White pushes d4, the best way, in many of those move orders to fight for equality, is to transition to a semi-tarrasch or the full tarrasch defense. 

    Another tool - 1.Nf3 d6  2.d4  Nc6  3.e4 and now we are very likely landing in a 1.e4 opening, but it is one ambitious manner to play for White for an advantage and I have used this as well. 

    I cannot go into all the little details, but I will tell you, for sure, 1.Nf3, with a very ambitious and hard drive to try and secure an advantage out of 1.Nf3 entails more work than just 1.d4 alone or 1.e4 alone.  In order for 1.Nf3 to be as powerful of a tool for me as white, I have to do a vast amount of work to execute the best or most ambitious lines to push my opponent into trouble or try to gain an advantage.

  • 5 days ago

    Elubas

    Well, hijodeluna, I'm not sure how to measure simplicity in this case. Do you mean that the positions are strategically more difficult? You could argue that. But if we're just talking about the amount of reasonable possibilities, I'd say 1 e4 and 1 d4 are way richer (although those possibilities are more played out, there are more of them to begin with) If you consider all of the defenses for black to say, 1 e4, I would think there is a much greater variety of positions compared to 1 Nf3 -- sicilian, french, caro kann, alekhine, pirc, ruy lopez, king's gambit, all with pretty distinct pawn structures.

    1 Nf3/1 c4 has quite a few distinct structures too, sure, but you can pretty much always count on a kingside fianchetto, and someone playing b4/...b5 or d4/...d5. Or maybe someone will push the f pawn. That's an oversimplification of course, but I feel like you can pretty much always count on there being a somewhat closed structure for a while, and I don't know, 1 Nf3 feels like one really big opening with a lot of choices, but it's hard for me to imagine that one opening is going to amount to more than all of the defenses to 1 e4 combined. Even the sicilian in itself, hell, even just the open sicilian, has a massive amount of possibilities, possibly more than that of 1 Nf3. And that's just one 1 e4 opening.

    Another point is that even though there is tons of room for subtlety with 1 Nf3/1 c4, a lot of the themes and development schemes are quite similar (again you can count on a kingside fianchetto), making it easier to blend one's knowledge of certain positions with other similar looking positions.

    But ok, you always have to be right, because your ego depends on it.

  • 8 days ago

    hijodeluna

    My last comment was directed against 1.d4 , not 1.c4.  I said it had nothing to do with the other subject.

  • 8 days ago

    DandyDanD

    Honestly, OTB sometimes I just play 1. c4, 2. g3, 3. Bg2, 4. Nf3, 5. O-O, etc. and I don't worry about openings.  Like I said, it's not optimal, but it leads to positions where all the pawns are mobile and White isn't compelled to play book moves or even opening formations.

    So 1. c4 e6 2. g3 d5 3. cxd5 and sure, Black equalizes, but there's more to the game than the opening.

  • 8 days ago

    hijodeluna

    On another note, just not the same from what I wrote below at all, is the case of What to play against 1... e6?  

    Black may be holding his intent on what to play.  He can use 1... e6 to play a Nimzo Indian or a Bogo Indian or a Queens Idian or a Benoni or a benoni hybrid, or a queens gambit declined or others.

  • 8 days ago

    hijodeluna

    I am not saying they have to transpose.  I am saying there are too many transpositions available to either side and, in case of 1.c4, into King pawn openings with colors reversed or no color reverse.

    So my point is this - your statement that 1.Nf3 or 1.c4 may be the simplest is just simple wrong and it is the opposie.  They are more complex and not the simplest than a central pawn opening.

  • 9 days ago

    DandyDanD

    But there are 1.c4 lines which don't transpose to 1.d4 openings.  Case in point: just never play d4!  Sure, these lines aren't objectively optimal, but they are a crutch which allow you to just play chess.

  • 9 days ago

    hijodeluna

    1.Nf3 and 1.c4 are not more simplified.  They are far far more complex than 1.d4 is, and that is mainly because of all the transpositions into many other areas.  Those two, 1.Nf3 and 1.c4 may be the most complex and the openings with the most material to learn and memorize than anything else.

  • 2 weeks ago

    andymac1989

    Yup, i know Dan. Thats why although there are better replies for white to 1.d6 and 1.f5 i've already simplified my range at move 2 by "getting away" with 2.c4 for those situations, for now at least.

  • 2 weeks ago

    DandyDanD

    Opening repertoire is a quite extensive subject.  As a practical matter it may be simplest to learn 1. Nf3 or 1. c4, but there is value in taking on the challenge of studying all 1. d4 openings.

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