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Orthodoxy regarding openings is, by definition, a measure of frequency. The more an opening is played, the more "orthodox" it becomes. As time goes on, players start learning from their mistakes and seek to improve such orthodox openings. Also, the opposing color seeks to counter the "best lines" for their opponent's likely responses.
If you ever read some chess opening books (see Nunn's Chess Openings, Modern Chess Openings, Chess Openings: Theory & Practice, etc.) nearly all main lines tend toward equality. The reason for this? Because most sidelines of certain variations may create or fix weaknesses for either player, enough where players of equal strength can capitalize on those weaknesses. At GM level, this is obviously complex.
But an opening that is not played often (the "unorthodox openings") does not mean it is unsound. It is LIKELY that way back when the first chess players who played White experimented with the results of each one of White's 20 possible first moves. Then they saw which one's gave White the most promising advantages. Then Black had to repeat the procedure: what move gives me the best chance to gain equality, or better yet secure an advantage? Then the most promising moves begin to create orders of moves, and lines, and bigger lines, and more analyses and eventually it turns out that 1.d4 gives White a MUCH better game than 1.g4. Play enough chess and experience will prove that some openings do create weaknesses that cannot be readily repaired or eliminated assuming players of around equal strength. But chess is nice because you CAN make some mistakes in certain openings without suffering a forced loss. It takes some extremely bad moves and likewise fairly good moves to lose a chess game immediately in less than 10 moves. So, Unorthodox Openings may or may not be unsound: but with enough games played experimenting with them, new ideas will inevitably emerge, with new plans for either color, with new main lines, and eventually a plan for equality! History repeats itself!
Some comments on your latest statement:
"There are players that have magazines and work tirelessly on certain openings like say 1 e4 e5 2. Nf3 f5? and refuse to admit to the fact it is bad"
Yes, there are players, who refuse that "their" opening is bad, but thats the minority. Most Gambit-players know exactly, that "their" opening is unsound, but they play it for several reasons. I play the Soller-Gambit out of the Englund. Do you really think, that i dont know, that this line is theoratically refuted??? Yes, it is 100% unsound, but i play it
"once a player studies the key line and idea black suffers and can only hope for a draw against equal opposition."
Too good, that most of my opponents dont do this :-) You are absolutely right, but which serious d4-player deals with the preparation for the Englund-Gambit, when he is so busy to learn the sidelines of the Tarrasch. Thats reality and iam happy about it...
"The point is if your going to invest your time to hold your pet opening together then it should fit into your long term goals"
I dont have long term goals in chess...i have long term goals in my company and with my wife, but not in chess
"the one-trick pony openings"
But you dont really classify the Blackmar-Diemer as a one-trick-opening, do you?
The new and very objective written BDG-book from Christoph Scheerer has 336 pages, a little but too much for a one-trick pony opening. Everyone knows that the BDG is a theoretical monster and even today, its full of new ideas for both sides. So 100 years later people will still discuss if the BDG is sound or not.
"Main lines tend to be more resiliant and if you make a mistake your position usually doesnt collapse around you in flames"
Yes, thats right, but in these openings it also applies for your opponent. One false move and the game is over, for black or white!
"The same can not be said once a player has figured out a response to the 'tricks' in an opening."
Thats correct, therefore you have to mix your gambit repertoire...f.e. when you play 1.d4 e5 you cant stick on one line, you have to know and play all sidelines from time to time...
1.d4 e5 2.dxe5
a) 2....Sc6 3.Qe7
d) 2....Sc6 3.f6
Anybody can play any opening sequence they like but if they constantly lose with a particular opening then only a masochist would keep banging their heads against a wall trying to make it 'playable'. Chess is like two different worlds - the professional game where drawing with Black against an equal or slightly higher rated opponent is a great result, and the amateur game where draws hardly exist and games are rated by their excitement value, not on how sound the moves are.
Professional players need openings that give them a chance to equalise with Black or give them nagging pressure or a slight positional advantage with White. Thats why Opening Theory has distilled to what are regarded as 'acceptable' systems to play, but its always from a GM's perspective! A 2600 player doesn't expect to blow another 2600 player off the board in 20 moves but for amateurs who like gambits with White thats exactly what they are looking for..I often wonder if any sub 2000 players who buy loads of opening books and DVD's ever actually get any benefit out of them, given that the final evaluations in most lines is = or += at best?
Thats so true...the book says in the endposition youre += and then leaves you alone...nearly all of us are amateurs and, as Vease stated, we will not play like GM´s even if you know all their opening lines...
Agreed, but once again not all unorthodox openings are unsound and their connoiseurs masochists, they are simply out of style with GM's and others follow suit.
I need to comment on this, because I don't think that is reality, even though you are happy about it.
I used to be a BDG player with white. In 6 years I played it exclusively with white, allowing my opponents to prepare for it. I recognize the arguments you make in this thread and in others, because at one point I've made them myself.
Now I've switched to queens gambit and other more respected lines. I never play anything I consider unsound anymore, even if there is a trap in there. I play sensible moves in the opening, and then I look up the moves I played after the game.
There are huge holes in my knowledge of the white openings I play, so you may catch me relatively unprepared in the Englund (I don't cling to the pawn, but play e4 and develop, and always seem to get nice positions without knowing anything more). But you can catch me equally unprepared in a queens gambit accepted or in the Tarrasch!
Now to my question: If you know that your opponent doesn't know more than... say... 8 moves of theory, would you then still prefer to play against him in what you call the "100% unsound" Englund or would you rather face him in a sound position, for example in the queens gambit accepted or the Tarrasch (which I don't really know anything about either)?
Thanks for your comment...my answer to your question is, that i would still play the Englund, because it fits more to my style as the QGD. Also i spent a lot time in studying this Gambit, i dont have the time to begin a new study on a completely different opening with all the ideas and themes in the middlegame.
As i stated above, as a White player, you will have to prepare not only against the Soller. After 1.d4 e5 2.dxe5 Black can choose between several Gambits and its really important that you have as a the Black-player the most, when not all in your repertoire, otherwise its more easy to outplay the Englund-player.
I know its a risk, but its OK for me. As long as my results are above expectation, i will continue to play this stuff...i dont expect to blow every opponent off the board with it, but you also dont win every QGD with the black pieces. If i start losing my games in series, i will consider to witch to a serious defense...maybe the Medusa-Gambit
You can play the Englund, the Soller, the Felbecker, the Blackburne, the Hartlaub and finally the Zilbermints-Gambit...six different Gambits after move 2...much stuff to learn, but if you are chasing active play with the black pieces its an option for tactical players (i dont say the Englund is the holy grail).
@CorfitzUlfeldt: You switched from BDG to QGD??? Thats harsh...so you not only switched your opening, you switched your hole concept from tactical to strategical chess or am i wrong?
you do realize that Kasparov played the queens gambit as well as about every other tactical player. Blackburne was a wild attacker and pillsbury both have systems in the queen's gambit mainlines.
The simple fact is that playing a gambit early forces the complications too early and black can often find a line that equalizes. I do suggest playing them as experiments but spending time trying to patch and hold together an artificial system is a bad idea for long term advancement.
What I have noticed is that the ideas in the BDG are applicable sometimes and knowledge of when they are is helpful and increases your knowledge base. the fear of gambits and tactical complications is just as much of a problem as the fear of quiet , strategical positions.
I am just as criticial of players that play systems that are intentionally quiet such as the London or stonewall systems because they lead to a mental state that fears certain positions (either unconsicious or conscious) . My advice is to find what your weaknesses are then play systems that help strengthen those areas. Most gambit players that insist on playing these are those all or nothing players that when they lose try to find the tactical shot they missed using a computer to prop up their moral justification for playing that system. The same is true for the other group of players that insist on being a wet blanket and trying to just set up a patterned attack.
Study your systems but try out closed systems too and you will find your over all knowledge base is done.
BTW I dont really care if a whole book was printed on the BDG , the compensation for the pawn is not sufficent long term. There are books printed on many openings that are unsound. There are whole websites on the BDG as well but ask ANY IM or GM about their feelings on the opening and see what they say... (other than ones trying to sell their book)
Hey, my friend Tony is back...
When iam happy and successful with the BDG, why should i ask a GM or IM? I know that most, if not all, GM´s and IM´s are declining it and the second problem is, i dont know any GM or IM, except of IM pfren and he doesnt like me that much...
And please, tell us the final refutation(s) of the BDG, i would be very happy, maybe it would convince me to stop playing such a crap opening...
My teaching rate is 40.00/hr
Sorry, too expensive for a chess coach with a blitz rating of 1900...
"I do think however that white doesn't get enough for the pawn. White gets unclear play in familiar positions, but the pressure is on white to prove that he got enough for the pawn, and I think blacks defensive moves are way easier to find than whites attacking ideas."
I think White gets open lanes & diagonals, a slightly better development, familiar positions and most time a scared opponent..i think thats many compensationfor a poor single pawn...
And you have to consider that we are playing on an amateur level, that means that both sides are doing many inacurracies, mistakes and even blunders.
As a premium member, i often use the chess.com-computer-analysis after a match.
Its horrible, how high the average rate of false moves in a match is and i talk about games on a level of 1800 to 1900 in correspondence chess!!!
So it is not surprising that in a match between amateurs, you will seldom lose a match because you lost or sacrificed a PAWN in the opening, but most of the time you will lose your matches, because of the mistakes and blunders in the middle- or endgame!
I also dont agree, that Blacks defensive moves in the BDG are easier to find then the attacking moves for White, both sides have to play very accurate...BUT, if the Attacker moves inaccurate, he will often lose a tempo, if the Defender moves wrong he often loses the match.
This is a standard principle which not only applies to the BDG
"If you enjoy playing the same attack over and over, then of course you should stay with the Colle or the BDG"
And in the QGD you will have thousands of new ideas every week or what?
I think, every opening has its standard ideas and position, filled up with sidelines and other stuff...
The QGD is more and deeper analyzed than the BDG, not more, not less...
"Personally I also started to feel that the BDG was holding me back - I kind of get how to attack the black king when I'm a pawn down, but have an open f-file and a bishop pointing down on h7, and I wanted to learn something new."
Thats OK, everyone has to find his own way...but BDG is more than an open f-file and bishop pointing to h7 (sometimes he is pointing to b7 ). This is defined by the pool of several plans and reactions, which Black can choose from.
"Basically I think that is unfair. When I am white it is black who is supposed to be having a hard time, fighting for his half point - not me! "
Most players play the BDG for the full point and they score it against unprepared opposition very often and most opponents are unprepared, because who will prepare hours and hours for an opening he will face once in a lifetime?!?
Even when both sides are well prepared the situation is unclear or even!
good point lol
i doubt i would charge more than 5US per hour if i were to teach qgd
5 $ for QGD? I think thats fair...!
chess opening is theroy so anything goes what wins wins that is important if it is a good opening it will become adopted as an orthodox opening
i disagree seems that the declining the gambit lines are good for black as well as the the ziegler defense. A review of the recent book by am IM was summarized by GM Hansen as follows "
Scheerer has assembled an amazing amount of material; however, the main problem for White lies in the Ziegler Defence: 3…Nf6 4 f3 exf3 5 Nxf3 c6. This is perfectly playable for Black and, as Scheerer tells us, recommended in several books as the answer for Black to the BDG. Scheerer attempts to make it work for White, with plenty of analysis and a little bit of bias, but it still appears as if Black is doing rather well, even if he hides the critical line in a comment and presents the main line as OK for White.
So, despite all the smoke and mirrors, the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit still isn't viable beyond club-level or rapid-play games. Yet for those purposes it does represent a fun and entertaining opening that will offer White some chances without being completely sound, mainly because the level of opposition will hardly have sufficient time on the clock or understanding on the board to be able to punish White for his indiscretion.
The most important declining lines the Lemberger Counter Gambit (3...e5) and the Bromberger Counter Gambit (4...c5) give Black equality, not more and not less.
The Langenheinicke Defence with 4...e3 is not totally sound and gives White the better play in several variants.
I agree with you that from the actual point of theory the Ziegler Defence is the most critical system in the BDG, but with 8. Ng5 White can still play for an advantage, although there is still much to be discovered in this line.
i thought that chigorin and tango were played but some people say they are unorthodox...
Everything else being equal, they can hurt you.
If your opponent is unfamiliar with the opening, then it can help you.
If it's trappy enough, then it can really help you!
... but it's a gamble :)
As Tony says:
"Yet for those purposes it does represent a fun and entertaining opening that will offer White some chances without being completely sound, mainly because the level of opposition will hardly have sufficient time on the clock or understanding on the board to be able to punish White for his indiscretion."
Thats why i play the BDG..its funny and entertaining and most of the opposition dont know how to handle it correctly. Iam searching for the opening, that gives me on my level the practical chances, although it is not the best choice from the theoretical point of view.
You see, Tony, in the end, after all the (interesting) discussion we come nearly to the same conclusion...
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