After >1 year of playing almost exclusively 1...e5 in response to e4, I've finally decided to change as I find that I dislike many of the positions I encounter as black. To narrow the responses down, here are some things about my play, and what I'm looking for in the opening:
-I hate positions such as 4 knights game, guico piano, (closed) ruy lopez... I find them a tad boring. I know they can be tactical when certain lines are played, but white often plays symmetrical, boring lines.
-I don't care if it's hypermodern or classical, as long as it's a well-respected opening. I play classical (1.e4) as white, but use indian systems against 1...d4. (No borg defense or anything of the like)
-I've played a couple games in the sicilian (dragon and 2...e6), but haven't found a line that particularly appeals to me.
-I've dabbled in the French, but generally dislike closed games with locked, immobile pawn centers.
-I prefer sound openings if possible, but not scared to play sharp, aggressive lines. (True chess.com rating of probably 1850ish)
Thanks for the responses and your help!
As you likely know, I recommend the French. The pawn centers are not immobile if you know what you are doing. I found that the French is great for beating lower rated players and for hanging in there against the masters.
I like the French because it is not hard to learn. There are many forms of counterplay I have found.I use it agaqinst lower rayted players and it gives me(Ibelieve) better drawing chances against much higher rated players.I also use the Sicilian, but there are so many variations, I tend to use only 2 or 3 of them.Higher rated players tend to know more about the Sicilian, so I use it mostly when I am bored against lower rated players.Note: I'm not a good player.
I prefer 1....e5 but the french solid, even if the center gets locked black gets good play get good counter play on the queenside.
1...b6 and the rest is easy.
Interesting, but could you tell me the benefits/plans of this response? I've heard of the French defense, but not much about this.
1...b6 can be played against everything...even 1.g3.
You fianchetto the bishop and play for the light squares with moves like e6,Nf6,f5 etc etc.
It ends up looking like a Dutch/Queens Indian hybrid that is solid yet avoids theory.
Finding out where the other Knight goes can be tricky but usually it goes to a6 and a later c5 or c7.
There is a great book titled "Play 1...b6" by Christian Bauer
Of course I am biased because I play 1...b6 as black and 1.b3 as white in every game.
b6 is playable, it's more flexible than the french, but white get's control of the center and easy development. Here is a typical line
you could look at the pirc. it fits your first point, is hypermodern, is the 5th most popular response on the game explorer (behind c6, e6, e5, and c5), can resemble indian defenses, and can be dangerous but is sound. source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pirc_defense
Thanks for all the responses. Although b6 looks like a solid, flexible move, I would like something a little more forcing and a little less out of book. I'm looking at the pirc and french, and they seem solid, yet aggressive and I will try them out to see which I like. I am still open for more input as I may find something I like more.
Oh, and as I'm considering learning the French, does anyone have good lines against the main four variations (Classic, Tarrasch, Advance, Exchange)?
I am learning the center counter and i like it. it starts the game fast like a smack in the face! 1..D5 2 ExD5 QxD5 3 Nc3...
It is at least forcing!?!
The Scandinavian is a good choice as you can get it in all your white games against 1.e4 without deviation.
Still, 1...e5 really is the best for beginners.
That's why I played 1...e5 for my first 4 years of dabbling around and first full year of competitive chess =) And yes, although the scandanavian is forcing, I think white maintains a solid advantage through the opening and in to the endgame.
I don't know about the Qxd5 lines...
But I had a look at the Nf6 lines briefly maybe a month ago and according to the latest theory black was doing fine in all the critical tries. For those interested chesslecture.com came out with a 5 or 6 part series on the Nf6 scandi a year or so ago that was very good.
try the sicilian kan. easy to understand.
1. e4 c5
2.Nf3 and then
I kinda like the Petroff's.
The borg defense to d4? Now that sounds like an interesting one... gonna have to learn that one :Þ
Sorry about that. I originally didn't have the second sentence in there. Then I edited it and didn't read it through again
Don't forget the Caro-Kann. Rock solid.