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Modern chess is all about the Classical Dutch and the Rubinstein French. All else is noise.
I like the Czech Benoni. It might give White too much at the master level, but in between a lot of White players don't play the closed positions well. I don't know how many times I've had people play an early f4 when Black can capture with the e5 pawn and plant a Knight on e5. Even if White plays better than that Black has interesting plans. Andrew Martin has a good Chessbase ABC trainer on the line some games by Nisapeanu(sp?) and there's a book recommending the line too called "how to play against 1. d4" I think but it recommends more the older "classical" setup with the weird "Fiancetto" of the knight which I don't like as much as the "modern" Nd7-f8-g6-f4 plan. If you like slow manuvering, it's worth a look... otherwise there are other sharper Benonis not yet mentioned here too... also KID which is a huge can of worms.
to each their own I guess. personally the thought of playing such cramped positions makes me feel somewhat ill.
After the knight maneuver I already mentioned all Black's pieces are good... the f8 Bishop is wide open, the e7 Bishop has opportunities outside the pawn chain via g5 (unlike White's often bad Bishop behind two pawns on d3) and ok maybe one knight is not very active beyond supporting the other, but f4 is a great square for one supported knight to occupy. Sure it takes time to get into that setup, but with a closed center you do have the time. Plans are slower and deeper in closed positions but that's no reason to be put off by them entirely. Alternately there's the older "classical" plan built around the f5 break. Obviously the position can be cramped if you don't play it right, but there are at least two sound plans to "untangle" at Black's disposal. Rather than run other people's sound, GM-approved suggestions down if you'd like to suggest something more open, something you do like to play, that does appear to be what Trapper4 is asking you.
This is a better version of the Queen's Gambit for black since it is a "looser" position.
I took a look at 1.d4 b5 2.e4 Bb7.
White can simply play a reversed Sokolsky a tempo up after 3.Bxb5 Bxe4 4.Nf3.
If after 1.b4 black is already better, you can imagine how it would be for white to play the same thing a tempo up.
It's still a chess game of course, as always the strongest player will prevail and not the strongest opening. But white should be happy to see 1...b5.
What the advocates of these bizarre openings don't understand is that we don't study opening theory just by memorizing moves. Studying theory we learn strategical (and even tactical) concepts that can be applied to any position. So you're not really "avoiding" the preparation, but simply playing inferior lines that we're happy to see because they can more easily be exploited than a solid defence.
There's plenty of defenses for black after d4!
See? There's SO many defenses for black that I don't like it for white after d4!!
that was a really instructive post.
^ yes, intensely hoping for 3.e3?.
Nf3 followed by Nbd2 and I think you already regret it.
EDIT: mmm ok no, I take it back. The Albin is really interesting and full of play for both sides.
Thanks for all the responses guys! I think I'm going to start learning the Dutch, Albin Countergambit, Budapist and possibly b5.
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