Jun 2, 2012, 3:04 PM |

I've decided to try to start devoting time to the blog portion of the site, which I hope will help my rating as I plan to try to annotate a game a week, as well as making learning variations, tactics, and other general chess themes easier. I'm located in Columbus OH for the foreseeable few years having just started a graduate program and hope to get into the chess scene here a bit. There is both a university club and a city club so I hope that there's lots to be had, there's already a tournament coming up at the end of June in Columbus, although I unfortunately cannot make it. To start out my current opening repertoire is 1.e4 almost exclusively although I am relatively comfortable playing 1.Nf3 and 1.c4 as well and have done so OTB. I've had success with 1.b3 as well but haven't played it in a serious tournament setting and probably never will. As black I play the sveshnikov sicilian almost exclusively against 1.e4, especially OTB. Against 1.d4 I've always struggled, I played the Budapest gambit with some success but as my online and USCF ratings started to notch up I found it less and less useful. Although I still love it for Blitz I may not play it OTB again without some more serious study. I played the lesser known Kevitz-Trajkovich defense as well, which I find to be good but slow and you need to be quite careful to avoid becoming overly cramped.








I've decided that what my game needs is another good response to 1.d4 (although it also needs more OTB play and more confidence as white...possibly with an eventual shift to 1.c4 full time or even learning 1.d4 theory) and have decided to learn the Dutch Defense. I started a themed mini-tournament and hope that some good games will come out of it!I haven't committed to either the Leningrad or Stonewall systems yet, it seems that both have merits and perhaps I'll add them both to my book and choose depending on opponent and tournament situation. I found a good website that lays out the basic points of the Dutch for Black and includes some opening variations. It's not very helpful for players over ~1700 but since my USCF is still below this (1600s) and I'm just starting to learn the opening it was a great fit to get the feeling for the opening. I hope anyone else interested in learning the opening finds it useful as well! Good Luck in all you games and I hope to see you over the board :)