Transitioning from e4 to d4

Jul 3, 2008, 12:41 PM |

I have always been an aggresive and attacking player.  e4 had become a faithful companion of mine.  Sure I dabbled in other openings for a little bit, but I always ended up going back to e4.  I began playing stronger opponents with e4 and got dissatisfying positions.  They constantly played the Sicilian and I had trouble against it.  I first played the Open, but in the end it required way to much theory in way too many lines.  So, I implemented the English Attack against every Sicilian setup.  While it worked against the Najdorf and Dragon, it didn't really work against systems like the Taimanov and Sveshnikov.  So I found myself slightly worse in an endgame that they were more familiar with!  This was not what I wanted for an opening.  I switched to the Grand Prix Attack and did fine unless they refrained from playing g6.  Then I was barely fighting for equality and my "assured attack" did not materialize.  I was scratching my head for answers.

Then I had a little trouble playing against the French.  This was odd to me because the French is my native opening, but I could not get a good position.  The Poisoned Pawn Variation lines were outrageous and the Classical had a lot of lines, so I refrained from playing Nc3.  I determined that I did not like the positions with the Advance and the Exchange, so I relied heavily on the Tarrasch.  The problem with the Tarrasch is that I hated playing against the c5 variation and dreaded playing against the French.

I also realized I was on shaky ground when dealing with the Caro-Kann.  I played the mainline Nc3 at first and played the Burris Gambit against the Capablanca Variation.  But against 4. Nd7, I could not find a way to get any kind of advantage.  So I began to study d4.

At first, my impressions with d4 did not begin well.  I was tired of playing against the QGD because Black could get in c5 sooner or later and my center would be demolished.  But I discovered the Exchange Variation and my interest soared.  I could implement a minority attack and a couple of other ideas at my disposal and get most of the winning chances.  After I solved that problem, I quickly went to work on the other variations.  I wanted to avoid the Nimzo Indian, so I found some lines of the Queen's Indian to be of my interest.  My repertoire quickly formed and now I can play d4 without any hesitation.  This can happen to others easily, so I wanted to let people know how to make this transition smoothly.