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Are Open Games Just Theory Fests?


  • 20 months ago · Quote · #1

    AnthonyCG

    I like playing the open games with Black because you don't have to worry about space disadvantages or development problems. What I don't like is the theory involved. In a lot of openings like the two knights defence, king's gambit, italian gambit, and Evan's gambit it's easy to lose very early in the opening if you forget a move. I really don't like losing because I don't like memorizing theory.

    When I played semi-open games I was not memorizing any theory at all and got out of the openings fine. Even though my play was not accurate I would not lose immediately because of it. I've played things like the dragon, Alekhine's defence, Nimzowich defence, French defence and many others without a clue of what I was doing but I rarely ever lost early in the opening. Of course I would then also be left with problems that I could not solve that led to me losing the middlegame rather easily.

    I notice that even my opponents can sometimes be beaten easily because of one move. Here is a game I won easily:

    I can see how some people would enjoy this but I don't. I prefer to be dropped into a random position where I have to find tactics on my own. Can this be achieved with the open games?

  • 20 months ago · Quote · #2

    finalunpurez

    Apparently, white forgot his theory when playing this line of the scotch gamibit by transposition. I have to say any opening has some theory involved be it little or large. Hence, i came to the conclusion that when i play certain openings, i must be familiar with certain pawn structures and piece positioning and lastly arrive at a favourable position in the middle game.

  • 20 months ago · Quote · #3

    AnthonyCG

    finalunpurez wrote:

    Apparently, white forgot his theory when playing this line of the scotch gamibit by transposition. I have to say any opening has some theory involved be it little or large. Hence, i came to the conclusion that when i play certain openings, i must be familiar with certain pawn structures and piece positioning and lastly arrive at a favourable position in the middle game.

    Yes I agree but a lot of the time in open games tactics tend to override positional points. In openings like the king's gambit White has isolated pawns all over the place but his threats are too strong to do anything about them immediately. So the entire game tends to revove around tactics.

    This isn't such a bad thing until you realize that these tactics have been mapped out so far into the middlegame that you have to memorize a bunch of moves or you won't even have a middlegame!

    Then you have openings like the sicilian where although opening theory can be a pain, you can still try to play offbeaat things and try to get by on things like piece placement and pawn structure. In the open games it feels like everything is just "attack this, attack that" with nothing to fall back on if you forget something.

    I have taken great notice of this also because in most of my games my opponents have opted for the philidor after 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 possibly 70% of the time as opposed to 2...Nc6. I like to pay 1.e4 as White but I haven't memorized anything at all and I seem to do ok even in open sicilians.

  • 20 months ago · Quote · #4

    finalunpurez

    Maybe u should try the caro kann as black.  Its the same type of pawn structure and piece positioning again and again. U wont lose the game if u forgot some theory. 

  • 20 months ago · Quote · #5

    ponz111

    Eventually, if you want to improve to a high level then you will have to learn theory. 

    But now it would/should be ok to try for openings where theory is not so important.

  • 20 months ago · Quote · #6

    hicetnunc

    It's true that the most commonly used open games, being venerable in age and very prone to tactical resolutions, are largely mapped out.

    There may however be some areas which are a bit less explored or less clear for your opponents. Here are some suggestions :

    • 1.e4 e5 2.d4 exd4 3.Qxd4 (Center game) - a very typical open game, but slightly offbeat
    • 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.c3 dxc3 5.Nxc3 (Göring gambit)
    • 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d4 (Urusov Gambit)
    • 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.0-0 Nf6 5.d4 (Max Lange gambit)

    I think these should hold enough potential to annoy your opponents OTB, up to a certain level of course.

  • 20 months ago · Quote · #7

    Expertise87

    If you don't want to memorize lines, try learning the position-specific tactics and understanding when they can be applied? You really don't have to memorize lines by rote if you know what the positions look like and why the move-orders are what they are, and this actually helps your chess, while memorizing lines but not the associated tactics will not help.

    I don't see why it's a problem for a certain level of tactical knowledge to be necessary in the most tactical openings (double king-pawn and double queen-pawn openings in particular, although there are of course other highly tactical openings) but if you don't like this, there are plenty of lines with less theory you can choose from. I like the Caro-Kann for Black, and I play 1.e4 as White but as White I like to win in the opening, which happens about 50+% of the time against lower-rated players (100% of Sicilians, plus whatever odd opening blunders my opponents try)

  • 20 months ago · Quote · #8

    Da_Garcka

    [COMMENT DELETED]
  • 20 months ago · Quote · #9

    IWTCIRD

    [COMMENT DELETED]


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