Everything Openings #1: My First Opening Bomb
Photo courtesy of NM @Anhao's blog Opening Bomb Diary #1.

Everything Openings #1: My First Opening Bomb


    Hello and welcome to a new series, just my second series since the formation of this blog! Let me take a moment to tell you what Everything Openings is all about.

    Ever since I hit 1400 about 18 months ago, I've had a penchant for opening preparationI know what the mindset is on Chess.com. Chesster, you shouldn't be studying openings at your level. Tactics are far more important. But I heartily disagree. Opening preparation, even at the class level, is more than just looking for the +/=.

    It's about saving clock time. It's about making sure your middlegames stay playable. It's about familiarity and giving yourself positions which you can play better in than your opponent. It's even about toying with forced draws when it suits you.

    In Everything Openings, we'll explore those faces of opening preparation as well as others as I take you on a tour of my extremely low-budget home laboratory and attempt to remember prep from many monnths ago with just the online Chessbase database and a cheap mobile copy of Stockfish.

    As a matter of fact, there's one other face of opening preparation which happens to be my personal favourite. What better way to kick off this series than with my first opening bomb?

     Turn the clock back to early May 2016. The time of my first SCL game ever has been agreed upon and I'm sitting at my PC, looking up @David_A_Bardsley on Game Explorer. I take a short look at his defense to 1. e4 and decide it's not worth playing into, Then I start on 1. d4, and as I look around his games archive, I notice this position...

    ... and I think to myself, Does he know any theory? I never knew any when I played the QID in my 1300 days. And in any event, isn't there a dangerous pawn sacrifice in this line?

    As the idea crystallizes inside my head, I crack a smile and run to get my iPad.

null    Over the next couple of days, I booked up extensively, having to convince myself of several things in this position:

    - That Black couldn't simply kick the knight out of f5 by ... g6.
    - That there was no convincing way to trade some pieces and soak up White's compensation.
    - That even against the best defense I could get at least equality.
    Here's the sum total of my preparation.
    A dangerous and sound pawn sacrifice and an opponent who knew zero QID theory. It was the perfect opening bomb. Sadly, though, this one just didn't want to happen. After some mutual inaccuracies in the opening, I quickly built up a winning position, only to play not one, not two, but three howlers and lose through a disconnect in a worse rook ending.
    Now read a fragment of his summary, one which I remember all too clearly: Your opening took me out of book at 4. g3, but I stayed calm, applied tactical pressure and built up a won position. I have some advice for you: develop all your pieces before doing other things.
    What?!? That's not how it was at all. It was enough to be made to look stupid in a game, but to read that afterwards? 
    He's lucky I'm a nice guy, but even so, I can't resist a little bit of sweet revenge: all of my Chess.com ratings are higher than his.
    Thank you all in advance for reading my first real post as Top Blogger! My intro has been a real success so far, racking up 127 views in its first week. Your comments are greatly appreciated, and I'll be sure to get Everything Openings #2 out for Saturday. One last thing: for all fans of blogs and blogging, Blogosphere is the first ever Chess.com club for you! We feature an extensive blog index, official blogger forum threads, and more to come!
    Bye for now!