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Recently I've been a little frustrated using 1.e4 because of the sheer volume of theory one has to amassed against many different defence systems. I'm thinking of switching to 1.d4 however without an early 2.c4. (Again, this is because of I don't wish to encounter main stream theory so early on) Currently I'm reading a book on the colle system and the colle-zukertort system, both of which seem to be quite playable and easy to play.
My question to the chess.com community is.. which of the minor 1.d4 systems do you prefer and why? I would esp like to hear any debates on london systems vs colle systems.
There's always the Blackmar-Diemer gambit too......
I went thru the same progression many years ago ( got tired of trying to beat the ancient Novag Super Connie with 1. e4 and started using the Colle after seeing it in a book).
I spent many years switching between the Colle, Torre, BDG, KIA, etc. while always avoiding 1. d4 with 2. c4... I can now say it's better to learn the standard D4 playing method (2. c4) than to be "stuck" in these systems for a long time-- you sort of create your own chess prison, in a way.
That being said, if I were you I would invest alot of time looking at the London System--- it can be used against almost any black set-up; it's easy to learn and to play; the K.I.D. would be the biggest challenge to meet and this opening works well against it; it does contain venom against those who develop mechanically or those who aren't used to seeing it; and, people seem to hate playing against it and despise the London itself!
There is an excellent London System book out (by Gambit, I think) that can go a long ways toward helping newcomers to this d4 system.
I still play the London sometimes because it's easy and fun to play!
Plus, the bishop on f4 is more dangerous than in the Colle with the bishop on c1 or banished to b2 in the Zukertort.
Also, the Stonewall and Colle don't work well agaisnt the KID-- another disadvantage of these two openings.
I play the London every game. The reason is I want to take away the difference in memorized lines my opponent knows more of than me and maximize my chances to capitalize on mistakes. There is quite a bit of venom at lower levels, one wrong move on turn 4 or 5 and they'll lose a rook or double pawns with a knight fork. The bishop is very active there and not closed in like many other openings.
I agree with everything Mr. Torture said.
I've also played the Trompowski some as well.
They are both rather controlling openings by white and that's what makes people hate them, they don't have a choice of moves usually. It's forcing alot of reaction from turn two. I've had people complain when I play it but I think that's silly. Somebody told me I played "boring chess", which to me sounded like I wasn't giving away pieces or trying gambits.
Memorising lines really isn´t a problem untill you are somewhat higher ranked anyhow, so for a sub 2000 player to chose a opening system based solely on avoiding memorisation is just, well to be honest, stupid.
If you're going to play the Colle-Zukertort, be sure to get the book "Zuke Em" by David Rudel. Very well written, and it covers not only the Zuke itself, but also most anti-Colle lines quite well.
There's something ironic in thinking about playing the Colle because you wouldn't have to know much theory, and then immediately reading a book about it.
As the person who recommended the Colle book, I want to point out two things.
First, I would never say that the Colle lets you avoid opening study. That generalization is clearly not true.
Second, I wouldn't recommend sitting and reading a book on the Colle, or any other opening, to an amateur player. Just try the opening in your games, and use the book as a reference, both during "turn based" (correspondence) games, and in doing post mortem analysis on real time games. You'll pick up a little bit of knowledge at a time, until after a dozen or more games, you start to get a good feel for the opening. Maybe skim the book for ideas. But don't sit and read it cover to cover. There are better uses of your time.
the torre attack is the best choice
well the colle zukertort is the one that you might see at gmlevel. i think gm yusopov played it and not just as a supriseweapon.
its not as stupid as this guy says. you get more time for training at middegame, endgame, tactics and so on.
I once tried the colle for some rapid games, and the e4 break and the dark square bishop comming out from c1 after that can surprise some lower opponents, but none of these systems will impress the players above 17 or 1800. You can score some decent results with it but it's really not so fun to play.
It isn't as stupid as tricklev says, but at the same time, I think if you are switching because of memorization, that you are either playing people who are too high above your rating, or you aren't really grasping the opening principles, chess fundamentals, etc. involved in each of the openings arising from 1.e4. I think that switching to a 1.d4 line is going to give you the same problem, but in a different way. You will instantly be less familiar with the systems you are working with, and make mistakes anyway. My suggestion would be to force yourself to understand what's happening in the e4 games by continuing to play them. That's what I've been doing, and I find I've had some great success with it. Also, if there is a particular system you are having trouble with, say French, Pirc, or Sicilian, try playing that opening consistently for a while, to get a feel for it, and then go back to what you normally play as Black.
Seing as how you shouldn't waste time memorising lines in the pirc, scotch or whatever at his level anyway, he gains no time at all.
And when he finally reaches the level where opening memorisation is important, he's probably going to be tired of the colle, and he will have to start memorise openings from complete scratch, instead of learning a new idea here and there during his normal progress.
I have a fair amount of sympathy with anyone who says that playing e4 can land you in theory overload.
I also happen to believe that d4 is a better opening move, for one reason that pawn is protected, many many black openings are based on the vulnerabiity of the e4 pawn, Alekhine's, Centre Counter, French Defence etc.
Once you get your head round the idea that there is no magic opening that guarantees you a win or +- whatever that is your Chess will go forward in leaps and bounds.
I would recommend a London or a Torre, or perhaps even a reverse-Nimzo Indian (although playing 1. f4 and 1. b3 can also transpose into other systems, so you have to be careful about that).
When I was playing a lot of tournaments 15-20 years ago, the Colle was THE choice to avoid theory among sub-expert players. I saw it so frequently that I studied how to deal with it. People used other approaches too (such as the London system, KIA, Stonewall Attack and many others) but the Colle was far and away the most common.
Wow, I see that's there's plenty of recent interest in this thread.
I have adopted the london system for now and am using 'Win with the london system' 2008 by Johnsen and Kovacevic. Scoring quite well with it at the moment on the internet.=)
When i'm bored of using this, I'll probably switch to colle/tromposky. D4 minor systems allows room for quite a bit of expansion. =) Quite a fair body of theory here.
There is something of a contradiction here. Players initially chose most of these lines to avoid learning a lot of theory, but as more people try them, a body of theory develops.
So if you have to learn theory anyway, why choose the supposed "off" lines in the first place? The late Jim Snapp, who played all over the US, used to say of well-booked players, "Aw, he plays all the good stuff!" It's the good stuff for a reason.
Haven't the forums got quite quiet recently?
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