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I was recently reading some of the posts in a topic called "Whats Your Opening Repertoire"? I couldn't help but think, there is both a good and bad side to doing this. I found if I really analized what people were saying, I could learn things about other lines I don't play. I have also figured out, I don't play many of them for particular reasons.
I decided that if I give away my train of thought, a really good player would quickly see how to get me out of my element, perhaps even why I have chosen what I play, and then really rattle my cage. I also considered my opponents might just look at my past games to try to see how to do these things to me anyway. So I am not really sure if I am safe not sharing.
I think I would be more interested in why you choose what you play, instead of what you do. Once moves are played, its a matter of figuring out the best way to counter. In the begining of the game, the best way IMO, is to know why someone has chosen what they have.
I guess the mark of truly being a master would be, telling your opponent what you intend to play before you do and still find a way to win. That idea seems far fetched to me, to be able to accomplish. I am curious as to what others of you think. Feel free to weigh in...
I can't even find a name for the opening I like to play. To call it a line of the Dunst is a bit silly to me. I play a defensive that has a name, but I end up transposing to a line of the Caro-Kann that I can't find a name for either. I'll admit I didn't check the Chess.com game explorer, but it doesn't seem to have some of the more obscure lines.
If you are not a professional, then who cares?
I am of the opinion that more information is a good thing. It makes you a better player and it allows you to see your weak areas. In addition, most of the players here are of class level so the minute advantages that GMs use to convert to wins are of far less value.
If you deviate from my repertoire, than I am usually the better prepared player. The only time there is a weakness in a repertoire is in move order transpositions or simply omitting preparation against standard responses.
I mean, if you really wanted to, you could play 1.d3 as white and 1...d6 as black agaisnt any response and you have a repertoire. As a player, you know those positions inside and out since you get the chance to play them every time.
A "really good player" doesn't need to worry about your preparations. They have their own preparation and whatever you play has already been taken into consideration at some point. Against a really good player, you just have to keep on your toes, don't drop anything and be careful not to fall for any sucker punches.
So this does bring us to the whole question of why we put this and that together to be our A-list material. My stuff is built on the need to have some chance at keeping the initiative as White: Evans Gambit & Ng5 in 2 Knights Defense. Panov-Botvinnik vs Caro-Kann, Qg4 raid against Winawer/Alekhine-Chatard vs Classical French, 150 Attack vs Pirc. My Sicilian response now is in flux. Was Bb5 stuff, now trying Closed.
The other consideration is limiting opponent's play, especially as Black, and then counterattacking. Thus I usually play the French Defense (Classical 3...Nf6) though I will play 1...e5 if I feel like a fight or am desperate. My anti-d4 stuff is now in flux as well. Was the Dutch for over 20 years, now QGD either Tarrasch or Tartakower. Now I'm leaning toward Tartakower. 1...e5 vs English. All those minor d4 games are usually such garbage, they aren't worth worrying about (Veresov, BGD, London).
I am under the impression, no one other than me who has posted here so far, seems to think that people on Chess.com don't study their opponents past games and posts, before and while playing them, for clues to their tendencies. It seems that also having this information is being down played as helpful. This is peculiar to me.
Your repertiore has no reason to be hidden. If your opponent finds an idea you dont know in your system they might win but you learn and thats the real goal right?
I am solely an 1.e4 player. Knowing this, how would you respond?
I am comfortable playing against any response by black. I don't fear the Sicilian, I like 1...e5, the Caro-Kann is interesting as is the French, and the Scandinavian is easy to play against. So what advantage is there to know what I play?
Your game history (all 200+ games) are available for anyone on chess.com to analyze. You don't really reveal any secrets by writing about your opening repertoire on the forum.
Repertiores are good for altering your play style.
White: Ruy Lopez, Sicilian dragon
Black: Sicilian (Scheveningan), King's Indian
I used to try to keep my opening analysis secret, until I read a quote from Spassky, "Opening analysis is collective." After that I started openly writing and talking about the openings I play.
In my local chess club, I'm the highest rated player. Two weeks ago, after I beat the number two player, I gave him a copy of the grandmaster games I used as examples when preparing to play him. My jope is he will look at the games and get better. The next game he may beat me but if he does it will teach me about a hole in my preparation and then I will be challenged to also improve. It's win-win.
As for the question of how I select my opening repertoire, it comes down to finding pawn structures that fit with my strengths. I'm stronger in positions with one or two sets of center pawns exchanged and weaker in positions with locked pawn chains, or with all the pawns still on the board. I also like to play sidelines that are sound and not too aggresive. All I want is a solid and unbalanced position with a chance to maneuver.
I don't care what my opponents play. I play what I play and they play what they play. I really can't be bothered looking up anything to alter my approach to the game. Changing what you do just at the last moment is unlikely to end well.
Of course you should share.
That is the beauty of chess: Everything is in front of your eyes.
I do like the choice of words here, and the points stated,
Thank you exactly how I feel too! and what I teach my students! It is all just an opportunity to learn, regardless of the result
I never cared much if anyone prepared for my openings - I expected opponents to play the good lines anyway, and it's a good test of my own preparation.
That said, I rarely play the exact same lines for long - to keep my play fresh, I would alternate between main alternatives and play lesser lines from time to time. So anyone "preparing" for me would have to do a fair amount of work to have all contingencies covered. My main object is just to get to a type of position I like to play and understand fairly well.
Also, I always try to find my own improvements or new ideas - and even those that don't end up being completely sound often fair well in a first OTB outing.
Strong moves don't depend on your opponent playing bad ones. Unless you are looking to play unsound traps I don't see the problem.
If anyone out there is wasting their time by studying lines and preparing to face me, God help them.
I've replied to some of those "what's your repertoire"-threads.
If someone good enough to spot my weak points, and good enough to take advantage of knowing them, took the time to do it against me, I would be honoured (and they would be better players than me anyway)
Besides... if it ever became a problem, you could just change your name.
Its bad if ur professional, u lose rating points. Here, its for fun right?
it doesn't make a difference.
I could share mine, but:
1. I must first recall which my repertoire actually is.
2. I would need a lot of paper.
3. I would frustrate the recipients a hell of a lot.
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