The Opening for Beginners - Part #4

Sep 15, 2007, 12:00 AM |
6 | For Beginners

This is my last Opening for Beginners Article, and I hope you all enjoyed them and learned something too. Its basically a wrap up, I'm going to try and avoid repeating things from past articles, and focus on the things that don't quite fit anywhere else, like common mistakes. And also a few helpful traps. Because who doesn't like a few traps.

First off, the Damiano Defence, named after the Portugese master who condemed it as weak. this is the result of a blunder by Black which has helped me win many games against patzers. It goes 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 f6 and here white can take the advantage with 3. Nxe5!. Black best response is Qe7 followed by Qxe4+ but after Be2 White has a large lead in developement. After 3...fxe5 4. Qh5+ Ke7 (g6 drops a Rook to Qxe5+) Black needs to sacrifice to avoid mate.











Now are some common mistakes that I've played against before. See if you can guess what is wrong with each series of moves, highlight the space next to the moves to see the answers.

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Bd6? Blocks the other Bishop, and hinders the Dark-Squared Bishop.

1. e4 c5 2. Bc4? The Bishop is misplaced here, Black will play e6 and Nf6 and White will be unable to stop the pawn thrust d5, which will force the Bishop to move, inevitably losing a tempo.

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Bb4? Trying  to be ready to pin the Knight, but c3 and then d4 allows White to get a large centre, and win a tempo. Note that 3. Nxe5 doesn't work very well (not atleast, compared to the plan of central expansion with c3 and d4) because of 3...Qe7 4. d4 d6 5. dxc4 Qxe5 and White's pawn weakness give Black good compensation for the pawn White took)

1. d4 h6 Moves like this, when one plyer wastes a turn trying to keep the enemy off of g5 (or sometimes b5 if a3, or a6 is played) are often wrong and time-losing, only play them when they seem absolutely necessary. This early it is just losing a turn. A possible exception is 1. a3, where White makes this useless move so he or she may play the game as though they were Black, but with a pawn on a3. Only recomendable if you really prefer Black.

1. Nh3 Misplaces the Knight, and loses a tempo, because it will take another move to put it on a useful square.

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Bxc6 bxc6?! Not completely incorrect, as Black can use this to get a strong center. But dxc6 is much better because of the open lines and cohesive pawns it grants Black.

And here's the shortest game I ever won in a tournament (junior tournament), he plays the worst move possible in each position (except the first, where his move is only really bad, not the worst)) 1. e4 Nh6? 2. d4 f6?? (loses a piece) 3. Bxh6 gxh6?? 4. Qh5#

Now he are the basic (and sometimes not so basic) variations of some common openings.

The Ruy Lopez, named after the Spanish Priest Ruy Lopez de Segura. 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5

This is the Meran Variation in the Queen's Gambit, it is an excellent way for Black to play the QGD and avoid the near infinently complex QGD book (OK, so it is, like most Gueen's Gmbit Declined Variations very analyzed, but not nearly as much as a lot of others. It's also slightly offbeat and it can be used as an aggresive surprise). It starts with 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Nf3 c6 5. e3 Nbd7 6. Bd3 dxc4 7. Bxc4 b5 8. Bd3 (Not Bb3) Bb7 9. 0-0 The Meran accepts a temporarily bad bishop on b7, in exchange he gets the potential for great Bishop activity on the long-diagonal and a potential attack. But I will need to double check the variations I give.
The Italian is a very basic opening, popular with beginners. The fact that both players attack their opponents weakest squares (f2 and f7) mean that sacrifices and quick attacks are common in many variations.
The last opening I'll talk about, for now at least, is the Halloween Attack. This is actually a gambit, which is either a very dubious (Read: Completely Insane) opening or a complete refutation of the Four Knights opening. Either way use it wisely.





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