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Tony, I disagree with you there. A line that is out of fashion (For example, the Ruy Lopez Exchange Variation is not common at high levels of play due to its drawish nature) is absolutely not "unorthodox". Unorthodox means openings which are almost never seen due to being generally regarded as junk (the Englund, the Latvian, anything named after an animal except the hedgehog). There's also another category of dubious openings which occasionally resurface but should not be a first option, such as the King's Gambit, the Albin Gambit, or the Danish Gambit which aren't good compared to normal openings but for some reason are still kept alive.
Valeri Lilov defines the following as Unorthodox Chess Openings:
Some of them are perfectly playable. Any well researched unorthodox opening can be an affective weapon against the unprepared.
Center Game and the Danish are not "unorthodox", just rarely played.
They are Satan's spawn!
I want Satan's pawn(s)!
On amateur level up to a rating of 2000 or maybe 2100 you can play most openings even the unsound ones, if you know all the the main- and sidelines and and the traps and the standard ideas for the middlegame, because most of the (amateur) opponents are rarely prepared.
I dont say that you automatically crush all your opponents if you play a wild gambit or other unorthodox stuff, but you often have practical chances, because humans tend to make errors, and they make even more errors if they are in unknown waters.
Yes, its a fact that i would lose 99,9 - 100 % of my games if i play the Englund Gambit vs. a GM. But i would also have the same ratio if i would play the Queens Gambit Declined.
actually I have read (and heard) GMs say that up to IM most openings are playable. (the benko gambit is fine against sub IM players but after that GMs just smile and wave, smile and wave....
Your response also is that you would lose with out the hope of doing anything else but i guess you can at least blame the opening and not your ability to play....an excuse is always good to have. I would see playing a GM in a serious opening an opportunity to learn.
Where do i stated that i blame a bad opening for my losses??? i said, i would have the same results against a GM with any kind of opening, because the soundness of openings on amateur level is completely overestimated...if you quote me, then do it in a correct way.
you assume you would lose for 'any reason' but if you play a bad opening and know you will lose from the start then thats the point your giving up already. Its like starting a foot race and staying well it doesnt matter if I burn out early becuase I would have lost anyway so I am just going to sprint and thats it.
Why not play something and then see when your position gets worse. if you playing something and you know your losing from the start then its just a waste. Amateurs have drawn and beaten GMs and strong masters before and still do it to this day. You could play a great opening and middlegame and then lose an ending. You study the game and find out that you arent as bad at decisions as you thought but what do you do when you are lost from move 10 and it just takes them 20 moves to show you how your lose? Shouldnt you correct the mistake BEFORE you sit down and play? Knowingly doing something 'wrong' because you can get away with it against a certain class of player is just perpetuating bad habits and retarding the growth. There is greater opportunity in learning openings that at least have positions/structures that can be similar to more serious ones. I consider these systems just a more advanced form of "hope" chess. Played with the hope of a trick working and if it doesnt then well the process is continued because some people do fall for it.
Sometimes yes and sometimes no.
Was reading "1.d4 beating the Guerrillas" last night which gives ideas against a collection of unorthodox responses to 1.d4. The author was having lots of problems showing anything against Keres Defense 1.d4 e6 2.c4 Bb4ch, even in line 3.Bd2 a5 4Nc3 Nf6 5e4 d5 6e5 Ne4 white didn't seem to have much. So think depends a lot on which unorthodox line, and especially as black, how ambitious try and be.
Is it too much for you, to accept that people prefer a gambit and not an orthodox line, because they like this kind of chess. In your opinion, every player who doesnt play the popular and sound openings is a "hope" player, a gambler, who is only playing with tricks.
I disagree, you have to think more about each move, because every inaccuracy can be fatal for both side, the attacker and the defender.
Iam successful with these openings and i have fun, playing this style. Take a look at my games and then judge, if its hope chess...i think not.
I agree with you, that many hope players are out there, but isnt it the same, if you are bad gambiteer, who is only successful with traps or if you are a player who memorizes a standard opening till move 25 and hopes, that his opponent is not going the right way and then he defeats him with his theory knowledge without having an own idea?
Even on chess.com are many gambit-players with a rating of far above 2000. do you really think they have reached that level only with hope chess?
The orangutan is a good opening as well- that's after an animal...
Who knows, maybe the GM slips up once in a critical spot because he is distracted by the additional calculation necessary, thus getting confused, or is a GM more because of amazing memory that spatial reasoning.
I especially like the Dunst Opening and Albins Counter Gambit. Both of these give you good opportunities against inexperienced players to gain a quick advantage, that is generally easy to increase. Even if your opponent plays the best moves to neutralize the advantages they offer immediately, you still aren't in a horrible position and have a chance to win.
I like the center counter game against inexperienced players. Good players quickly neutralize blacks new found initiative or as I've learned to do, avoid giving to them altogether.
I wanted to say that I disagree with your assessment of someone playing differently against different opponents. My Chessmaster program seems to think that the King's Indian Attack is the best opening for white to use. Imagine if everyone got the idea that only way to win was to play the King's Indian with white and we all only took the time to learn the best retorts and hoped our opponents would make a mistake. The game would become very stagnant. One of the things that make this game so wonderful, is the many ways it can be played.
For everyone who goes on about hope chess vs. real chess:
Take a mental note...
Unless you have memorized all the best moves in every situation, every move you choose otherwise, isn't completely calculated to mate, so therefore, you always hope you made the right move.
You aren't always in a position to necessarily have a best move. If you find yourself in either a zugzwang or a situation that has two lines that are about equal in strength, but the ability for them to work is totally contingent upon your opponents choice of moves, because you don't have a forcing combination, you have to make a choice and hope it works. Any good GM will take calculated gambles based on either intuition,opponents tendency, and/or the fact that I stated above, they don't have a choice.
I think that the idea of Unorthodox Openings can be divided into 2 categories: Bust Openings and Rarely Played Openings. But, even Bust Openings are not useless as they can be played as surprise weapons. It's not just you who decides the outcome of the game, it's also your opponent. So throwing him off balance can have a profound effect.
yes it is hope chess. There are players that have magazines and work tirelessly on certain openings like say 1 e4 e5 2. Nf3 f5? and refuse to admit to the fact it is bad. against some people you will gain points but once a player studies the key line and idea black suffers and can only hope for a draw against equal opposition. Another opening the infamous Blackmar Diemer gambit is also questionable but strong enough against opposition that can miss tactical shots that it is certainly annoying. Even the more infamous smith morra gambit has claimed the rare GM scalp since who dares to play that against them...
The point is if your going to invest your time to hold your pet opening together then it should fit into your long term goals. if your goals are to have fun , fine. Then accept that the opening will also limit you to a certain level of play once players have patched their repetiore to meet the one-trick pony openings. Main lines tend to be more resiliant and if you make a mistake your position usually doesnt collapse around you in flames and you can feel confident the next time you play the line with some study. The same can not be said once a player has figured out a response to the 'tricks' in an opening. What does a player do that has invested time in a system that has a critical weakness and known weakness and faces an opponent that knows its weaknesses? They sit there and know the are going to suffer for the next few hours and hope for a draw or a lucky tactical shot. Its like MMA where people thought that a blackbelt in Karate would just knock out a blackbelt in Jujitsu. People quickly learned that they need a strong skill set in take down defense or they would get demolished once they got taken down or get really lucky and knock out their opponent before that happens.
If the off beat opening is played for the purpose of study and exploration then by all means, I strongly encourage that. Positions are linked at certain points and related systems can help a great deal in learning them in relationship to other systems but only as a piece of a larger puzzle.
and yes I am saying that 2000 players are playing hope chess if they only know these systems. You might find that they know other stuff too and play those in serious competitions.
Orthodoxy regarding openings is, by definition, a measure of frequency. The more an opening is played, the more "orthodox" it becomes. As time goes on, players start learning from their mistakes and seek to improve such orthodox openings. Also, the opposing color seeks to counter the "best lines" for their opponent's likely responses.
If you ever read some chess opening books (see Nunn's Chess Openings, Modern Chess Openings, Chess Openings: Theory & Practice, etc.) nearly all main lines tend toward equality. The reason for this? Because most sidelines of certain variations may create or fix weaknesses for either player, enough where players of equal strength can capitalize on those weaknesses. At GM level, this is obviously complex.
But an opening that is not played often (the "unorthodox openings") does not mean it is unsound. It is LIKELY that way back when the first chess players who played White experimented with the results of each one of White's 20 possible first moves. Then they saw which one's gave White the most promising advantages. Then Black had to repeat the procedure: what move gives me the best chance to gain equality, or better yet secure an advantage? Then the most promising moves begin to create orders of moves, and lines, and bigger lines, and more analyses and eventually it turns out that 1.d4 gives White a MUCH better game than 1.g4. Play enough chess and experience will prove that some openings do create weaknesses that cannot be readily repaired or eliminated assuming players of around equal strength. But chess is nice because you CAN make some mistakes in certain openings without suffering a forced loss. It takes some extremely bad moves and likewise fairly good moves to lose a chess game immediately in less than 10 moves. So, Unorthodox Openings may or may not be unsound: but with enough games played experimenting with them, new ideas will inevitably emerge, with new plans for either color, with new main lines, and eventually a plan for equality! History repeats itself!
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