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You should play less commonly know replies to 1. e4, just to confuse the opponent!
Against 1. e4, I would play 1. ... f5 (Duras Gambit).
After playing around with it around a while, I am confidently enough to play against anyone!
I wouldn't call on person's opinion as 'PROOF'. I hear all the time the claim that masters are often not as good at teaching beginners as club players are. All that being said, I agree with most of his points. I still feel that one should start learning how the pieces work with basic endgames first. Less pieces on the board allow for an easier understanding of what's going on with piece strength and weakness. Then from there, you can start working on tactics once they understand how the pieces work.
It's not a chess thing. Some people become very proficient at something and simply lose their ability to connect with those that don't understand it as well. They always say things like "you just know" because they truly don't know how to explain the concept in a simple way.
Such knowledge is then fairly useless in my opinion. If it can't be shared then it just dies unless someone else can share it. Luckily there are those that can explain these things.
A thin, but very nice book, which has essential knowledge and is written lightly enough to be usable even by very new players, is "Practical Rook Endings" by GM Mednis. There is a hell of a lot to be gained by studying these rather simple endgames, including your tactical ability (as in the endgame, one has to be very precise down to the last detail).
I know the book Pfren and its a good one.
The problem with most endgame study is that its dry! there is a lot of maneuvering that goes on behind the scene that takes a lot of understanding to get why move X was played over moves A - W. This takes experience. ...
A lot of endgame study was done via late night analysis for adjourned games, now we have to know things at the board. Practical study would involve a natural progression with what happens in games you as a player will achieve OTB. if you want to study endgames Mednis has asome great books as Chernev's capcblancas best endgames show a natural way endgames are created and why certain things are avoided for those of us that are ignorant about certain lost endgame positions.
Silmans book breaks it down for the U2200 level pretty well and Dvorestky endgame manual takes it from there to 2500.
Play the cousin of the Dragon -- The Modern Defense!
After 1.e4 g6 2.d4 Bg7 3.Nc3 d6, the 2 most common moves are 4.Be3 and 4.f4. The latter leads to play similar to an Austrian Attack, but with the N still on g8 instead of f6, the e5-threats are not nearly as potent for White. The former is actually the most common, and after 4.Be3 a6, White can steer the game one of two ways. He can play an early Nf3 which leads to Classical Lines, which are plenty Sharp but slightly safer than the main line dragon. The other option is f3 and g4, going all out on the Kingside with extreme similarity to the Sicilian Dragon.
The Scheveningen is a calmer but still aggressive line in the Sicilian. I prefer the restricted-center positions that you typically get in the Scheveningen, rather than playing the Dragon.
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