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Sicilian defense


  • 19 months ago · Quote · #21

    plutonia

    pfren wrote:
    plutonia wrote:
     

    Oh, are you jealous that people with a life outside of chess play the cool lines? Would you like them to be reserved only to you and your "elite"?

    Let me tell you what. If GMs know the 6.Bg5 theory until move 40 this has absolutely no relevance to us class players. If a line has complicated theory we just need to know as much theory as our opponent. So if a 1700 knows, let's say, theory until move 15 (understanding it, not just memorized) he's not going to be outbooked by another 1700.

    And studying theory of complicated stuff (with moderation) is the best way to improve the positional understanding.

    I might have the chance to intoduce you to an IM who hardly knows any opening theory. Sometimes he got crushed in a few moves because he ignored existing traps- yet he had reached at a time a rating around 2440 by playing stuff like 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Qe7 and such.

    May I kindly ask what YOUR rating is and how much studying opening theory had benefited you? Take your time...

    For the record, you remind me of one of my best OTB "clients". He is always booked/armed with the latest opening trend and GM novelty. He has scored against me half a point in nine games, and the recipe was always the same: I played complete nonsense in the opening, borderline not losing by force, yet complex and non-book. Most of the games ended in less than 25 moves. He is a FIDE titled player, yet he plays badly- it's just that his opponents do not apply the correct recipe.

    Do you really envy such players?

     

    I made huge improvements thanks to studying opening theory. Importantly, these improvements are not limited to the lines I play. I will agree with you that obsessively studying lines and GM novelties like a parrot will not do much for your game, but understanding the main lines can give you a wealth of positional concepts and common themes. It makes you think about the position, and a complicated position such as one arising from the Najdorf can't be evaluated (by me) without the help of an opening book.

    While on the other hand, if I keep playing simple positions such as the London, do you expect my understanding of chess to improve at the same rate? Having dull and equal positions VS making a real effort to understand what's going on in a game full of dynamic potential?

    And that's the key, I need to understand why I'm playing that move that is theory, and not just doing that because GM X played it in that one game.

     

     

    I honestly don't understand why you suggest people to play trash such as the Alapin. "Trash" not in the sense of score, in the sense that it's boring as hell. What you should say is "be aware that to do 6.Bg5 you should be happy to study a lot of theory". The coolness of this variation will more than make up for the work that needs to be put in. And it's not that much anyway, because you don't need to know the amount of theory that GMs do.

     

    By the way I study 6.Bg5 Najdorf theory until move 15. At this point I have a good idea of where the game is going so that I can continue on my own against a player of my own strength. Am I going to be outbooked by anybody with a rating less than 2000 FIDE? I don't think so.

  • 19 months ago · Quote · #22

    -waller-

    Oh, the Alapin is boring is it? This isn't the best game by any stretch, but it was sure as hell fun:

    Openings are what you make of them, not what they are reputed to be.

  • 19 months ago · Quote · #23

    plutonia

    2...Nc6?

     

    Your opponent had no idea of what he was doing. Goes to show how knowing a bit of theory is important.

  • 19 months ago · Quote · #24

    -waller-

    plutonia wrote:

    2...Nc6?

     

    Your opponent had no idea of what he was doing. Goes to show how knowing a bit of theory is important.

    That's missing the point, and 2...Nc6 didn't lose him the game by any means, but I'll respond: This opponent is a better player than you (by ratings) in blitz, so maybe that shows that you don't need to know theory at all to be a good player!

    I guess you'll say the 185 ECF player I drew with at the British Uni Championships two weeks ago, who played the 2...Nf6 version of the Alapin but then didn't know any theory past move 5, didn't know what he was doing either. I got a nice edge out of the opening, but that didn't stop him from outplaying me most of the game, so that in the end I was slightly fortunate to get the draw. Or that when I beat a 173 player with 4.d3 in the Two Knights, depsite not knowing anything past that move, I had no idea what I was doing, either.

    Maybe a bit sarcastic of me, but I'm genuinely trying to make the point: these lines will get you the same, if not better results, and are a ton of fun to play, since you are often starting to think from early on in the game!

    I have been experimenting with English Attacks recently, and it hasn't given me better positions out of the opening (vs. players of my level) than lines like the Alapin and the 4.d3 Two Knights. And they have their own positional themes and ideas - which are maybe even easier to understand when not shrouded in an incredibly complex position.

  • 19 months ago · Quote · #25

    gundamv

    pfren wrote:

    You can find some semi-correct sideline to play... but entering stuff like the Poisoned Pawn, where endless sheets of mixed human and computer generated crap is widely available, sometimes exceeding move 50, makes no sense at all for a class player. Same goes for mainline Dragon, as well as other openings, e.g. the Ruy Marshall. Even if you manage to absorb all that crap, it's not nice polaying against a woodpusher who just happens to eat books for breakfast, and draw or lose against him, while you could have a very easy life against him using 1.e4 h6.

    I would suggest (for Black) to class players either the Kan or the Sveshnikov- the former is mainly a matter of sane positional play, while the latter is quite theory-heavy but easy to understand, and it will also help you improve your positional understanding (at least it will teach you that offering your opponent d5 on a plate, or leaving the d6 pawn permanently weak aren't the end of the world, if they are dynamically compensated).

    Thanks for your reply.  I think that the Sicilian Kan and Sveshnikov are vastly underrated, especially the latter as it has been played even by Grandmasters in recent games.

     

    Being somewhat of a beginner who is trying out different openings, I would appreciate it if you could just let me know what openings are less theoretical and more about sane positional play (which I like).

  • 19 months ago · Quote · #27

    Gloomshroom

    pfren wrote:

     

    Personally I saw a jump of 150 FIDE points in my rating when I began playing random things in the first few moves and focusing in "real" chess.

    This. So much this. Also, random things / unorthodox / borderline moves will let you know very early on just what kind of player you're up against, based on how he plays. Gief moar ?!'s. Or just the old neglected lines. Hell, Morphy played 6. e5 in the open Italian regularly, and to this day it still makes me happy as a clam to sneak into one of the lines where the Knight pair (!?!) is a strategically winning advantage :D

  • 19 months ago · Quote · #28

    blasterdragon

    -waller- wrote:

    Oh, the Alapin is boring is it? This isn't the best game by any stretch, but it was sure as hell fun:

     

    Openings are what you make of them, not what they are reputed to be.

    a little bit of analysis

  • 19 months ago · Quote · #29

    plutonia

    pfren wrote:

    2...Nc6 against the Alapin is a perfectly good move, if followed by a quick ...d5, factly it's just a transposition to regular 2...d5 lines.

    Oh, and plutonia still did not reveal his actual rating. He probably wants his "huge improvement" not being well known... 

    Personally I saw a jump of 150 FIDE points in my rating when I began playing random things in the first few moves and focusing in "real" chess.

     

    If I recall correctly you wrote some time ago that you were really into studying opening theory until you reached master level. Has it ever occurred to you that the reason you can now play random moves successfully is because you acquired positional understanding of the openings, and that was built upon understanding opening theory?

     

    Or to put it in another way, I assume you'd agree that studying a book like My System is necessary. Well, it happens that opening theory is based on those very concepts that Nimzovich taugh us.

     

    My rating, or my rating improvement is irrelevant to the discussion. You might want to google "ad hominem" to understand why.

    And besides, I do agree that opening theory should not be the primary focus of a club player. But when you said that a club player should stay away from certain lines, I'm sorry but that just doesn't make sense. You think club players are not "qualified" enough to play 6.Bg5 against the Najdorf and that's just ridiculous.

  • 19 months ago · Quote · #30

    TetsuoShima

    nc6 looks like an absolute crap move in my honest opinion but then again there might be a reason im not a master

  • 19 months ago · Quote · #31

    TetsuoShima

    [COMMENT DELETED]
  • 19 months ago · Quote · #32

    TetsuoShima

    [COMMENT DELETED]
  • 19 months ago · Quote · #33

    Expertise87

    Pfren, thanks for your advice in this thread. I'm rated a bit over 2000 and have just started to wet my feet with some actual opening study. I'm looking for a response to the Ruy Lopez that gives me a chance to crush weak players, while choosing the Caro against strong opposition. what would you recommend? Tactics are my relative strong suit, I'm about 2250 on chesstempo and 2370 ICC 5-minute.

  • 19 months ago · Quote · #34

    Draithor

    Archangelisk variation, Schliemann defense, Marshall Attack

  • 19 months ago · Quote · #35

    Expertise87

    I've looked at the Schliemann but white was able to force a draw in too many lines


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