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Good Openings for a Positional Player?


  • 23 months ago · Quote · #1

    ApexKiller

    I need help in selecting my opening repritore and I need suggestions.I tried a few openings and white I liked the Queens Gambit as im a positional player and I play well in closed positions and prefer knights over Bishops. I like slow manuevering play and don't prefer open positions. I figured my opening as white and need help as black. I thing the slav and semi-slav as black and the caro Kann against 1.e4. I dont want to play e5 because theres so much he can throw at you.Please give me suggestions as black against d4 and e4...

    ThxSmile

  • 23 months ago · Quote · #2

    jtd200

    I think you're probably on the money - Semi-Slav against 1.d4 is good, and caro-kann or French defense against 1.e4 would be good, also.  If you're playing the Caro against 1.e4, and you want a closed, "positional" game, then your biggest fear will probably be the panov-botvinnik attack, so I would study extra on those particular lines.

  • 23 months ago · Quote · #3

    sapientdust

    Do you prefer positional play because you don't do as well in open or sharper positions? If so, then there is one school of thought that says you'll improve the most by playing openings that work on your weaknesses. So rather than playing to your positional strengths, which won't improve your play in open and/or more tactical games, you should play open games in order to improve your skill in those kinds of positions.

    I recently switched to 1. d4 after always being an 1. e4 player, in order to work on my positional play and get more experience in quieter positions than I typically sought with 1. e4, and I've improved as a result -- including after 1. e4 when I'm better able to take advantage of positional factors and steer the game into quieter lines that ensure long-term positional advantages.

  • 23 months ago · Quote · #4

    ChessisGood

    Well, assuming you are an extremely positional player who loathes tactical minefields and complex positions with loads of theory, I'd suggest the following openings for Black:

    • Najdorf Sicilian: Poisoned Pawn Variation, Main lines, etc.
    • Benko Gambit: Main lines with modern ...Ra6, ...Qa8 move order.

    For White, though you currently play 1. d4, switch to 1. e4 and play main lines of these openings:

    • Italian Game, Ruy Lopez, Scotch (interchangeably)
    • Open Sicilian (Yes, main line theory. Learn it.)
    • Panov-Botvinnik Caro-Kann
    • French: Choose any line
    • Main lines against various opening choices not mentioned

    So...you think I'm a nut for suggesting this to the positional player? Well, not really. Assuming your strong suit is positional play, you should work hard to improve your tactics. Play these openings for a year, and then switch back stronger than ever. I believe Kaidanov used this idea once to help him improve positionally, and when he returned to 1. e4, was stronger than ever.

  • 23 months ago · Quote · #5

    The_Gavinator

    Why play closed positions, when you can play open ones and win like those in the Parham?

  • 23 months ago · Quote · #6

    ApexKiller

    thx any more suggestions?

  • 23 months ago · Quote · #7

    ApexKiller

    i like the Guico Piano with c2-c3

  • 23 months ago · Quote · #8

    pellik

    For white I find the catalan tests my positional knowledge far more then QGD ever did. Though maybe that's because I was cheap and played the exchange variation with thoughts of f3. With the Catalan you are frequently sacrificing pawns for positional compensation, and it works!

    For black I find the Slav to be much more effective at reaching a calm (what 'positional' usually means to people) understanding based game then the Semi-Slav. While some games with the semi-slav are extremely positional, many of the lines (such as after Bg5) are based more around preperation and concrete calculation then positional understanding.

    The caro is probably right for you against e5. The French can become closed but it's struggles are based around fighting for the center, not locking the position and playing a closed game. 

  • 23 months ago · Quote · #9

    ApexKiller

    I like the Sicilian, Dragon Variation playing Nc6 before g7-g6

  • 23 months ago · Quote · #10

    ApexKiller

    Im playing the trompowosky and the QGD

  • 23 months ago · Quote · #11

    TonyH

    wow guy your kinda all over the board. You like positional play but like the dragon siclian? Thats like saying you dont like spicy food but love to eat scorpion peppers. (the worlds hottest pepper)

    in all seriousness my advice is to play things you dont like. The reason people like or do like something is usually related to a lack of experience and knowledge in an area. best way to get better at sharp positions is play them! queens gambit can be very sharp btw just depends on how you play it.

  • 23 months ago · Quote · #12

    VectorVictor

    I find the French to be orders of magnitude more likely than the Caro to lead to closed, locked positions.  This is particularly true if you choose to play Nf6 against Nc3 and the Tarrasch.  Pick that as a repertoire, and you get a locked pawn center and closed, strategic manouvering game against pretty much everything but the exchange.

  • 23 months ago · Quote · #13

    VectorVictor

    alexlaw wrote:
    pellik wrote:

    For white I find the catalan tests my positional knowledge far more then QGD ever did. Though maybe that's because I was cheap and played the exchange variation with thoughts of f3. With the Catalan you are frequently sacrificing pawns for positional compensation, and it works!

    For black I find the Slav to be much more effective at reaching a calm (what 'positional' usually means to people) understanding based game then the Semi-Slav. While some games with the semi-slav are extremely positional, many of the lines (such as after Bg5) are based more around preperation and concrete calculation then positional understanding.

    The caro is probably right for you against e5. The French can become closed but it's struggles are based around fighting for the center, not locking the position and playing a closed game. 

    woah don't advise catalan so early. Most don't get it yet. I agree with caro, but sometimes i tend to get blown up on the kingside...

    Most don't "get" the Colle, either.  Catalan games are fun.  Let the guy enjoy his chess.  This idea that certain openings ought to be "off limits" to all but the enlightened few is absurd.

  • 23 months ago · Quote · #14

    ApexKiller

    I tried the french but its too aggressive. I liked the trompowosky d4 Nf6 Bg5

  • 23 months ago · Quote · #15

    ApexKiller

    what about the Parham

  • 23 months ago · Quote · #16

    ApexKiller

    thx i am playing the Caro-Kann as black but im really stuck on the Advance Variation and need some suggestions

  • 23 months ago · Quote · #17

    TonyH

    why are you stuck? I think ACG nailed it on the head. EVERY OPENING has positional components and tactical ones. And no named opening is 100% tactical free. and every opening has sharp lines that are a tactical mess. Even tactical openings  I often find that players that want to play positionally are just scared of tactics or are lazy and dont want to calculate (a personal weakness) . The problem is tacticals are based on positional issues I have felt like I have gotten positionally stronger now that I have sharpened my repertiore. 

  • 23 months ago · Quote · #18

    ApexKiller

    then itll become a closed french center

  • 23 months ago · Quote · #19

    transpo

    ApexKiller wrote:

    thx i am playing the Caro-Kann as black but im really stuck on the Advance Variation and need some suggestions

    Very good.  ACivilizedGentleman's post is the best advice.  It is exactly on point.  If you would like detailed insight in between the lines of what he advised you to do, I will gladly post it for you here.  But, I am reasonably certain that you have "been there, done that."

    The Caro-Kann has been one of the openings in my repertoire.  I use it tournaments as a drawing weapon, because the Caro-Kann is an impenetrable underground bunker.  I use it against 1.e4 or 1.d4 as Black in a tournament when my score is 2-0 or 3-0 and I am paired against the highest rated, usually the strongest player in the section, I am playing in.  I can't tell you how many times I have nicked a higher rated player for 1/2 point and sometimes even a full point.  It is the perfect weapon for staying with the leaders on the standings board, and in the hunt for 1st place and the money. 

    The Advance Variation.  The main advantage of 3.e5 for White is that it gives a space advantage on the Kingside; that is, more room to manouver his pieces there.  Extra space for White means less space for Black:  the pawn on e5 has a cramping effect on Black's position and prevents his King N from going to its best square, f6.  If Black castles on the Kingside (as he generally does), White plays for a Kingside attack.  There are various ways to do this:  (1) playing Qg4 (after Black plays ...e7-e6) and attacking Black's pawn on g7; (2) manouvering his KR to g3 or h3 via f1, e1, and e3 for on g3 or h3 the R is well placed for attack against g7 or h7;  (3) advancing his f-pawn to f4, f5, and, if possible, f6.  All these attacking plans can be very dangerous and require careful defensive play by Black. 

    The disadvantages of 3.e5 for White is that it is a very commital move.  Black no longer has to wonder how White may set up his central pawns; with the central pawn position fixed. Black knows the general character of the ensuing play and can plan the development of his pieces accordingly.   Black's basic strategy is to complete his development and then undermine White's pawn center with ...c6-c5 or (more rarely) ...f7-f6.  After ...c6-c5 Black should make good use of the c-file.  The Advance is nowadays considered a fairly harmless continuation against the Caro-Kann defense.  If Black plays sensibly he should have little trouble reaching a middlegame with equal chances. 

    3...Bf5 Black develops a piece on a good square and prepares ...e7-e6 followed by the mobilization of his Kingside pieces.  Other plans lead to an inferior position for Black.

    4.Bd3 A natural developing move.  Alternatives 4.g4, 4.h4 are inferior.  4.c4 is not dangerous for Black.  Black should continue with 4...e6 5.Nc3 dxc4 6.Bxc4 Nd7 followed eventually by ...Nb6, ...Ne7, and ...Ned5. Black's well posted N on d5, which can no longer be driven away by any White pawn                , assures Black good chances.  4.Ne2 e6 5.Ng3 Bg6 6.h4 is another harmless attempt to harrass Black's B.  Again the correct antidote is 6...h6, after which Black has a satisfactory position.

    4...Bxd3 Black cannot satisfactorily avoid this exchange
     of Bs, but there is no reason to avoid it.

    5.Qxd3 If 5.cxd3 Black should be in no hurry to play ...c6-c5 after 5.cxd3.  He should first complete his development with such moves as...Ne7, ...Nf5, ...Be7, ...0-0, and ...Nd7.  Only then (in the light of what White has been doing in the meantime) should he ecide whether to play ...c6-c5 or whather an alternate plan such as ...f7-f6might be more appropriate.

    5...e6 Black prepares to develop his Kingside.  He also prevents the positional pawn sacrifice 6e6!, which would be a strong replay to 5...Qb6.  The point of 6.e6 is th6at if Black accepts the offered pawn by 6...fxe6 (in fact Black has no better continuation) he will find it difficult to develop his B, and in the meantime White can quickly build up an atack with such moves as Nf3, 0-0, Re1, and Ng5, soon regaining the pawn with advantage.

    6.Nc3 If 6.Nf3, a satisfactory continuation for Black is 6...Qa5+, followed by 7...Qb6, leading to a position similar to the main line we have been following.

    6...Qb6! It is usually not a good idea to bring out the Q so early in th game.  However, in the present position Black has a specific reason for bringing out the Q.  The Black Q has to be able to move to a6 in case White plays 7.Nge2 or 7.Nf3 with which White plans to obtain a Kingside  attack by 8.0-0 followed by such moves as Ng3, f2-f4, and f4-f5.  But Black can interfere with White's plans with 7...Qa6!  White must now either allow the exchange of Qs, after which he can hardly hope to obtain any advantage from the opening, or concede to the Black Q undisputed control of the useful diagonal a6-f1.      

    7.Nge2 Qa6! 7...c5 is also a satisfactory for Black.  It was Capablanca's move. Both moves are equally good, but 7...c5 is more ambitious, since it does not offer the exchange of Qs.  Black intends with 7...c5 to exchange his c-pawn forWhite's d-pawn and White cannot prevent this.  [Because I use the Caro-Kann in my repertoire as a drawing weapon I do not use this move unless I am playing blitz or up against a much lower rated player.]  

    8.Nf4 8.Qxa6? Nxa6 helps Black to develop his QN.  Avoiding the exchange of Qs by say 8.Qh3 leaves Black with slightly better chances after ...Ne7 followed by ...Nf5, ...Be7, ...0-0, and ...c6-c5.

    8...Qxd3 9.Nxd3 The exchange of Qs has slightly increased the likelihood of a draw, but there is still plenty of play in the position.  Black should complete his development with such moves as ...Ne7, ...Nf5, ...Be7, ...0-0, ...Nd7, and ...Rac8, and then start active operations on the Queenside with ...c6-c5. 

    If you have Chess Openings Wizard (Book Up) and Chessbase 5 milion+ game database, your opening tree was automatically built by the software.  You should be able to practice this opening with Book Up, and games you play.

    If you don't have this software, there is a free 4 million+ game database on line with a red clickable explore the opening of your choice button.  The clickable website is :  www.chessbites.com 

    Good luck, hardwork/study in becoming a 'professional gunslinger' (a very strong player.) 

  • 23 months ago · Quote · #20

    LavaRook

    @Transpo

    "The Advance is nowadays considered a fairly harmless continuation against the Caro-Kann defense.  If Black plays sensibly he should have little trouble reaching a middlegame with equal chances."

    The Advance Caro is the most played continuation these days (not necessarily the one with the MOST games--its the one which has the highest "HOT" bar if you are familiar with CB 11) according to Megabase.

    I think you are confusing the Advance Caro-Kann with the Advance French.


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