Building an opening repertoire

Building an opening repertoire

Feb 21, 2015, 4:55 PM |

From time to time chess players ask me help with building an opening repertoire.

My opinion is that one should find out the following :

  • What your strong and weak chess skills are.
  • What chess positions you feel comfortable with, and apply that on the opening lines that you're going to test.

About 20 years ago I played Modern Benoni as back exclusively, and studied it and analysed it.

I felt happy with it, because I like tactics on the chess board.

I was kind of lucky because I had a little booklet by IM (now GM) David Norwood about a peculiar Modern Benoni line. A fascinating little booklet with an unsound line, leading to unbalanced positions !

Also, at my chess club there was another, and good chess player playing Modern Benoni as well, namely Tom bus !

Here's that player :

We would analyse together, and also we would play hundreds of blitz games otb, which helped me to improve my chess. Thank you Tom ! :)

Here's a line from David Norwood in that time, and even though that line was interesting, it was not correct and good enough for black in general, but entertaining and useful for playing with unbalanced material on the chess board :

So, how to continue building your opening repertoire.

Earlier this month I started to play Caro-Kann again as black, with fairly good results.

However, a few days ago I did a surprising big discovery.

I found out that I like playing the Alekhine defense, and so far I'm scoring very well with it.

Almost 70% in 80 games.

Here's a few games :

My advice is to experiment with various opening lines.

Blitz is perfect for experimenting, or playing in thematic slow-time-control tourneys.

Try it. You might find out that after playing the Ruy Lopez for years and years with mediocre results, another new opening will bring you more joy and better results.

See also :

Modern Benoni, Taimanov Attack :

Paul E Littlewood vs David Norwood
"Out of the Woods" (game of the day Mar-07-07)
London (England) (1985)  ·  Benoni Defense: Taimanov Variation (A67)  ·  0-1