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How to force queenless or closed/strategic positions with White

  • #21

    Falcon's two sentences words of advice to you is trolling?  If someone tells you something you do not want to hear it is trolling? and you call him stupid?

    I would give you much the same advice so that makes me a troller?

  • #22

    A post that only contains "Ever tried checkers [...]?" is clearly trolling to me. And trolling in itself is just stupid imo - it should be obvious that "stupid" referred to the trolling. Why would I want to call random unknown guys in a chess forum stupid?

  • #23

    Falcon's tone was much too agressive, whatever the content...Sealed

    @carnivalia : your opening selection should suit your needs, but you're in for some very complex strategic games. One word of warning : despite its positional look&feel, 4.Qc2 Nimzo very often bursts into pretty sharp lines, as black tries to unsettle white before the bishop pair tells.

  • #24

    Horowitz proposed a system for beginners in his book "How to think ahead in chess". He suggested the Stonewall attack when playing as White & the Grunfeld & Sicilian Dragon as black, one for d4 openings & the other for e4.

    I've seen success with this system at club level. While it is not perfect it means you can focus on 3 solid openings for a while & then learn more when the time is right.

    Its not for everyone but it may be worth checking out

  • #25

    This game shows what kind of game you might like but look how I ended the game, 100% strategy in the beginning, BUT 200% tactics made me win, my positionnal advantage wouldn't have given me a sufficient advantage. What you need to do is work on tactics and become more agressive, your positionnal side will still be there but like this you will be more balanced and confident in all kind of positions.

  • #26

    Umm, 4. Bg5?! dxc4 5. Bxf6 exf6 6. e4 b5 is an unsound gambit. 5. e4 b5 6. e5 Nd5 7. a4 h6 8. Bd2 e6 9. axb5 Nxc3 is not impressive compared to the Tolush-Geller Gambit. 5. a4 Qa5 is good for Black. 6. Bxf6 exf6 only accelerates Black's devolpment and gives him the bishop pair, 6. Nf3 Ne4. Everything else is a lose of time.

    Playing "positional openings" is not an excuse for refusing to learn the opening.

  • #27
    carnivalia wrote:

    Thx for all of the good advice! Indeed I will try 1.d4 and have a closer look at the following variations (in case there is someone like me out there who's interested). I'm intending to still play objectively good openings to be able to evolve as a player and not just play some system.

    QGD: Exchange Variation with later Bg5 vs 3.Nf6 and Bf4 vs 3.Be7

    This is a good choice, as it usually allows white the choice of two good plans: a3/Rb1/b4 with a minority attack, or Nge2/f3/e4 with expansion in the center and a possible kingside attack. I have obtained many great positions with White using the second plan. See the games of Botvinnik for some examples/inspiration. The Catalan is also a good choice, but due to its less forcing nature it allows Black a greater variety of set-ups, and is less strategically straight-forward, and thus takes much more study time IMO. Perhaps save it for once you have a couple years of 1.d4 under your belt.

    QGA: Quiet setups with 3.Nf3 and e3

    I am sure this is fine but won't comment as I have only played 3.e4.

    Slav: The one I'm still not sure about. At the moment I found nothing more suitable than the exchange with an early Bf4 (admittedly it can get quite dull)

    I'd look for something else here if I were you, as it is important to press for an edge with White. Either play the mainlines and find something you like against the Slav, Semi-Slav, and Chebanenko Slav, or play 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.e3, which is more positional. Often white will go for the bishop pair if Black plays his bishop out to f5 followed by ...e6 (with Nh4).

    Nimzo: Classical with 4.Qc2

    This can get pretty sharp in some lines, and White has to be ready to accept a position where he is quite far behind in development in some lines (you get space + the bishop pair but it can still be quite tricky to finish your development safely). IMO White has very little chance of getting a theoretical edge against the Nimzo anywhere (part of the reason I am learning the Catalan with White) but 4.e3 is certainly a good choice if you want to put Black's knowledge to the test without entering the complications that can arise in some of the 4.Qc2 lines. If nothing else, my limited experience with 4.e3 makes me think it is a bit easier for White to play than Black.

    KID: Smyslov/Petrosian line (thx TitanCG for the tip. There are many interesting games from Akobian in this one). I like this one a lot - it should frustrate the typical KID-player because he usually has no attack.

    I am not familiar with this line, but the fianchetto variation is also good for stiffling Black's kingside attack as far as I know.

    Grunfeld: Setups which keep the center with e3

    Again, I am not familiar with this, but I would expect it to frustrate many Grunfeld players who are used to more open positions that involve White having a big pawn center.

    Benko Gambit: Lines that involve pushing to b6 instead of grabbing the a-pawn. Objectively nothing special for White but Black's a-pawn stays weak and White seems to have the clearer plans.

    I have no experience here either but at a glance I would probably prefer White. If you are feeling like studying a bit of theory, and often defending your queenside/center for the first part of the game, then the line where White accepts the pawn, followed by fianchettoing his king's bishop, is quite challenging for Black to deal with and really questions the viability of his opening gambit IMO. It can go horribly wrong for White if he is not precise though (still happens to me once in a while)!!

    Benoni: Since I think this is just good for White I will not shy away from it but experiment  with lines that involve early f4

    These lines are certainly challenging for Black, but don't seem to fit with the style of play you are trying to achieve. Personally I would recommend looking into the Modern Mainline or the Fianchetto variation -- both are theoretical but fairly challenging for Black, though the Taimanov variation (f4 followed by Bb5+) certainly is as well. It really depends on how aggressive you want to play here. I play the Modern Benoni with both sides and personally I think Black is basically fine in all lines (maybe slightly worse but not more than that). 

    Albin Counter Gambit: 4.a3 seems to limit counterplay

    I would recommend 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.a3.

    Dutch: 2.Nc3 lines look interesting

    A good choice. 2.Bg5 is also good, as are the mainlines with g3/Bg2 if you don't mind giving Black the choice between Classical/Stonewall/Leningrad setups.

    against 1...e6 I go for the French which I play with black, so I at least know something about it

    If you do decide to play the French with White, then I would suggest 3.Nc3 or the Tarrasch variation. 2.c4 would probably be less work to play, though Black may try to get into a dutch with 2...f5, while avoid your 2.Nc3 anti-Dutch system.


    I have inserted some comments in bold text above! They are mostly based on my opinion as a 1.d4 player though, rather than on objective facts, so take it with a grain of salt! I have tried to tailor my suggestions to fit with some of the themese you are looking for, but of course I am no expert on theory!

  • #28

    A late "thank you" to all that responded, especially BigTy! I'm trying the above lines over the board at the moment and it seems to work out quite well - I'll continue gathering some sample size but I'm happy with them for the moment

  • #29

    Franky2929 said what I wanted to.  Sounds like you need to work on personal weaknesses rather than going out of your way to avoid certain positions.  By trying to avoid certain things to a great extent you'll end up creating even more opportunities for them usually. 

    I'd recommend hitting ChessTempo, make sure you don't sign in or else you'll get progressively harder problems and those 1200-1500 warm ups will be behind you.  I don't bother signing in as much but do the guest puzzles as they're simpler and more suited for a warm up than 2000+ rated puzzles. 

  • #30
    carnivalia wrote:

    A late "thank you" to all that responded, especially BigTy! I'm trying the above lines over the board at the moment and it seems to work out quite well - I'll continue gathering some sample size but I'm happy with them for the moment

    Here's a book on your exact topic -- (all lines with early Queen exchanges).



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