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There are better openings, but for someone around 2000 USCF strength who wants to reduce theory, which do you think brings the best results?
I would think that if your sole purpose were to avoid theory, you'd be much further ahead with the London. You can go very, very wrong quite easily in King's Indian games. The basic solidity of the London makes it perfect for the get-to-the-midgame-and-play-chess mindset.
KIA is not KID. Even if you play a reversed KID (quite rare) there is not too much theory involved.
If you are 2000 Elo or USCF, you should probably not be messing around with opening systems like these. You can narrow the theory you need to know, but if you want to compete OTB with masters, you need to have something besides a beginner's plan.
The idea that there is not too much theory involved is completely inaccurate. KIA's are very complex, and not at all to be recommended to the squeamish.
It's a good way to get to a playable midgame, and I think for that reason has developed a reputation as a beginner's system sort of attack. But if you don't know your theory on it, you'll mostly get there and find yourself facing a small advantage for black. Early e6 defenses are almost the only exception. But even then, the middlegames are very complex and very easy to go astray in.
The KIA is a poor choice for anyone hoping for an easy road in chess.
I didn't say that it's not complex (though it's complicated, not complex). I didn't say it's an easy road. Just saying that it's less theoretical than most other openings and it's far less theoretical than the KID.
I think I'm going to take up the English Opening. However, if it somehow doesn't pan out for me I'm going to go with the London because it's the simpler way and seems to suit my style better than the KIA. I've played the London quite a bit and the KIA a little bit before.
Kamsky still uses the London against high rated opponents, I'm no Kamsky but I could still try to use his games to map out a more precise repertoire. I think the London can be played by someone like me up to almost master, which I might be content with.
I'll give the English a go though, it's a step up in quality over the London. I've looked the English over a lot in the past and have played it some and I've found it somewhat difficult to handle well, but the English takes time imo, so that's what I'm going to do, give myself much more time with it, I guess.
I've read it said that the English is ideal for club players, but I've also read it said that the English really shouldn't be messed around with by anyone below 2200 strength. I'm not sure what to think about that. Any opinions on it?
The KIA is a poor choice for anyone hoping for an easy road in chess. I agree!...Why not the Colle system? (Zuckertort variation)...Easy to learn, quite efficient! (A. Summerscale wrote an excellent book about it.)
The Colle does poorly against ...g6 defenses, and therefore not really considered a stand alone universal opening. It's usually supplemented with a g3 setup or the Torre, or in the case of Summerscale's book the 150 and Barry. I'd rather just stick to the London before doing all that, they are hardly any better than the London.
I'll my partial agreement to several posts above on the KIA ... despite its name it is a positional opening and Black has a number of responses that vary widely in character. Theory is deep, not shallow.
On the other hand, if you take it up? You will suffer and suffer and suffer until you learn positional principles.
Just play the reti....
How about growing a pair and playing real openings?
Following the masters in Tata Steel without computer, guessing the moves, is a great way to learn the openings. And you rarely see the london in for example Tata Steel. Even though Jobava played 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Be2, the masters usually play the main lines.
If you're trying to compete with Masters in OTB chess, then you really should avoid playing stuff like the London system as your main opening. There's a big difference between playing something for surprise value and as a main weapon against everything, and if you're looking to fight for an advantage with White, then stay away from surprise value openings.
Gata Kamsky plays the London on a regular basis (see his recent Gibraltar games).
Why not go for either the Averbakh variation or fianchetto variation against the King's Indian and build a repertoire off the Catalan setup? If 1...d5 then 2.c4 or 1...Nf6 2.Nf3 (avoids the Budapest and leaves the immediate Nc3 on the table against the Benoni) then 3.g3?
I know a guy that mained the KIA until he became an IM. I think he only used it occasionally after that. But obviously he was studying other things as well.
And then there's Yaccov Norowitz, the guy who used the stonewall in blitz and became over 3000 on ICC. He even got some norms and played in the US open recently although he didn't use the stonewall there. Some GMs even use it otb on a rare occasion and the games aren't all dark-squared bishop endings or matting attacks.
And there was Larsen who would play weird stuff against anyone but especially against lower rated players. He played stuff like 1.b3 and the hippo a lot.
And there's that Carlsen guy who plays just about anything.
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