Forums

Looking to complete my repertoire

Sort:
ThrillerFan
Morfizera wrote:

As black, against almost anything other than e4 you can try any variation of the Dutch. I'd recommend Leningrad or classical. 

Against caro-kann the fantasy variation hasn't been mentioned yet and is quite tricky and aggressive.

against the french, kings indian attack is somewhat systematic but if you're feeling adventurous there's also the almost sound super fun to play wing gambit

1.e4 e6 2.Nf3 d5 3.e5 c5 4.b4

 

Wing Gambit is no good.  4...d4! Is equal at best for White.  One slight slip-up and White is dead.  It is not a good line for someone that does not want to spend for ever trying to find that very thin line to survival.  It has about the same level of soundness as the Latvian Gambit.

PTERANODON7
ThrillerFan wrote:
PTERANODON7 wrote:

I'm not a strong player by any means, but I've found that by understanding my openings, I find middlegame positions easier, which translates to more success. Currently my repertoire is quite limited, consisting of the Scotch as white (I feel very comfortable in this opening), and the Petroff as black against 1.e4 (I only picked this up a few days ago, so I'm not 100% sure yet). I like openings that open up the board and lead to attacking positions (I'm not sure if this is the correct terminology or if it makes sense, it's just what came to mind).

What I'm looking for:

- Responses to the French, Caro, Sicilian, KID, etc, that I can learn and thematically suit my style.

- A response to 1.d4 openings as well at 1.c4 and 1.Nf3

- Of course, if there are any suggestions for alternatives to the Petroff I am willing to take those into account.

Any help would be appreciated  

 

Well, some of these lines are indeed aggressive, but not necessarily open.  In some cases, you cannot have both!  For example, the Exchange French is open, but White gets no attack what-so-ever.

 

I see your point. I think it is essential as part of my improvement as a player that I can navigate closed positions as well, and form attacks from a more diverse range of positions in order to refine my repertoire and see more overall success in games. Thanks for your suggestions as well.

RowenX

Caro: Fantasy or Panov lead to more attacking positions, so look them up to see which you like more.

Sicilian: People recommend the closed but I honestly had much more fun and saw more improvement just learning the open sicilian which scores better anyways, I switched from the closed after some time (Sicilian is an aggressive opening and the main lines can lead to crazy games with both players racing to attack the other faster, where the better player will usually out tactic the other, though it takes more time to learn).

d4: You are basically bound to play a more positional, slow game when your opponent plays this, so just choose an easy response like QGD to not waste too much time here. Don't know how QGA or other lines like Slav goes in terms of playstyle, so investigate more here if one of those can suit your needs.

You can learn the Sicilian yourself if you want something more attacking than the Petroff but it is usually not recommended for lower level players as you need a lot of knowledge and studying, so I would stick with the Petroff I guess and you can still practice those games by just switching to open Sicilian as white. E5 could be another one but you will be on white's territory and have more openings to learn. 

 

hehakfy

The Petroff isn't a good opening at lower levels imo. I've played it for a while and eventually gave it up for the French and am much happier now. There are so many good ways for White to try to get an advantage against it and it's hard to understand the lines for Black, it oftentimes feels like you just have to keep memorizing theory/computer lines until your in an end game.

PTERANODON7
hehakfy wrote:

The Petroff isn't a good opening at lower levels imo. I've played it for a while and eventually gave it up for the French and am much happier now. There are so many good ways for White to try to get an advantage against it and it's hard to understand the lines for Black, it oftentimes feels like you just have to keep memorizing theory/computer lines until your in an end game.

Hmm, I've enjoyed my usage of it so far, but I see your point. Would you recommend anything else specifically?

hehakfy
PTERANODON7 wrote:
hehakfy wrote:

The Petroff isn't a good opening at lower levels imo. I've played it for a while and eventually gave it up for the French and am much happier now. There are so many good ways for White to try to get an advantage against it and it's hard to understand the lines for Black, it oftentimes feels like you just have to keep memorizing theory/computer lines until your in an end game.

Hmm, I've enjoyed my usage of it so far, but I see your point. Would you recommend anything else specifically?

I switched to the French because it seemed like it is very economical in terms of theory if you play 3 .. dxe4 in every position where it's possible. You can also try some straightforward Sicilian like the accelerated dragon.

 

PTERANODON7

I switched to the French because it seemed like it is very economical in terms of theory if you play 3 .. dxe4 in every position where it's possible. You can also try some straightforward Sicilian like the accelerated dragon.

 

Neither suits my playing strengths super well, that's why I like the Petroff - I really like the positions that come out from it. Unless I learn a non-dragon Sicilian, I don't think I can find that kind of play.

Duckfest

Against d4 there are two openings that would fit you: The Englund Gambit and the Queen's Gambit Declined.

Englund Gambit
This is a bit of a controversial one. There are multiple people in this thread that provided better and more reliable answers to your question, but I think you should at least consider it for the following reasons:

  • At you rating level, not many players will know how to refute it effectively
  • Most of your games are in shorter time formats.
  • It's not the most solid opening, but it is very dangerous. Your opponent has to know how to play or needs time to calculate.
  • Most of your games will be chaotic and unique, which means neither player will understand the position. If any of the players understands the position a little bit, it’s going to be you.
  • You prefer open positions that can lead to attacking positions. The Englund will never lead to a closed position and will always lead to attacking positions. This goes both ways, so prepare for war.

Queen's Gambit Declined.
In general, this is the safest choice, the most solid choice and probably the best. It is also the most sustainable choice: it’s not likely you will reach the point that it’s not good enough.
The main reason I think it suits you is that you said: “at my current level, I feel that I can make most relatively sound opening work as long as I feel comfortable in the position.”
Before I knew anything about the opening I played it multiple times by accident, or more accurately, I’ve played it many times without knowing any moves after 2.e6. And I did well, just playing normal intuitive moves. 

Both Queen's Gambit Declined and the Englund Gambit would fit you.

 

Caro-Kann
When you play e4. I can only say something about the Caro-Kann. Against the Caro-Kann, it depends on how far you want to go and how much time you want to invest. The Panov is good but no one plays it at your level, I never see it at my level. Maybe for good reason, maybe it’s a hidden gem, I don’t know but I wouldn’t recommend it.
The obvious choice as a good opening is the advance variation. It’s good and pretty reliable. White has an advantage, but it’s not easy to exploit. It’s the opening I’ve seen most as a CK player, so I’m prepared for most of the positions/variations. 
The Fantasy variation is the most difficult line to play against and is overall the best performing line for white (at the lower ratings, below 2000), but might require some dedicated studying.
Two Knight variation would be my recommendation, because it’s difficult to play against and as far as I can tell, looks fairly intuitive.

 

This is just my take. I'm open to criticism. 

PTERANODON7
RowenX wrote:

 

You can learn the Sicilian yourself if you want something more attacking than the Petroff but it is usually not recommended for lower level players as you need a lot of knowledge and studying, so I would stick with the Petroff I guess and you can still practice those games by just switching to open Sicilian as white. E5 could be another one but you will be on white's territory and have more openings to learn. 

 

I've always wanted to learn the Sicilian, and I have the motivation to study it, but I am just afraid that my overall chess knowledge is too weak and I would spend all my time learning Sicilian theory without actually improving as a chess player.

najdorf96

indeed. My recommendation is to keep an open mind. Be a slow learner. You think you have an understanding now... but alas my friend, I'd say you still have a ways to go...you have more yet to experience. The Best lines recommended aren't always going to be what is best to play for you and your developing your own unique Chess Understanding ( or how I like to call it, One's Own Chess Philosophy). And another thing... whatever lines you do play and lose with~its not necessarily the end. It is, to me, Only the Beginning. Best wishes🤙🏼

swarminglocusts
I hate playing e4. That’s why I switched to c4, the English. It’s flexible and has opportunities to create complex games with less forced draws.

I think you need to learn the pawn structure for the openings you play. Currently you are playing the scotch so when the pawns on e4 and e5 meet there is a pawn break at d4 and f4. Let’s say you switch to playing d4, then… d4 d5 c6 c4 is another pawn break since the pawns on the d file are locked. When you know when the files need to be opened it will show you where your pieces should go.

Philidor-

“Pawns are the soul of chess”
LeoTSimoes26

I have the same issues you do! Will keep an eye at this post and check the suggestions

PTERANODON7
hehakfy wrote:

The Petroff isn't a good opening at lower levels imo. I've played it for a while and eventually gave it up for the French and am much happier now. There are so many good ways for White to try to get an advantage against it and it's hard to understand the lines for Black, it oftentimes feels like you just have to keep memorizing theory/computer lines until your in an end game.

I owe you an apology. I have began to thoroughly dislike this opening - I think I just dislike 1...e5 in general as black. Looks like the search continues.

GMegasDoux

As white. Exchange French. Exchange Caro. Against Sicilian play Smith Mora. Thes are all open games. As Black Scandinavian can be quite open. Against d4 it is harder as these are closed positions. The Dutch is asymetrical but not open unless white succeeds in destroying your central control.

1983B-Boy

against the sicilian, SMITH MORRA GAMBIT!!! i love it! i was NEVER able to beat sicilians with the advance, the exchange, the grand prix and the LOUSY wing gambit (the FRENCH wing gambit is much stronger and possibly even the best, at amateur level, but i'm liking the diemer-duhm which has stronger stats. i haven't played it yet, but the numbers tell me wing or DD the french.

 

i found the morra super easy to learn (i went up 200 points in sicilian only games with just 40 or so lines of EASY TO LEARN theory where the basic formation happens in most lines! then, once you get into it, it's a tactics gold mine! black is under defensive pressure and you have pieces all over the board ready to deal with ANY tactic that presents itself. in about 50 games, i only last half a dozen, if that, and NEVER to a lower rated player, but i did take half a dozen higher rated pelts along the way. it's my favorite opening EVER. try it out. there's a video where a 1700 beat a 2400 with it on youtube. don't believe the haters. NO-ONE plays grandmaster good enough to really exploit that pawn at the amateur level and i won MOST of my games in the middle game with tactics.

 

french winawer is solid if you want to do mainlines, but as a fellow attacker, methinks you really want to learn gambits. king's gambit is super fun. i'm testing the diemer duhm next. was -PLANNING on orthoschnapp or monte carlo gambits, but they have worse stats. if it DD doesn't work, THEN i'll try the wing gambit. i'm biased against it because the sicilian version SUCKS!

 

carokann -  1.e4 d5 2.d4 c6 3.e5 Bf5  4.h4 h5 5.Bg5 is 59:37 in 15,643 1600-2000 games AND when i studied the GM theory on it, i found that all black can get is equality in ONE LINE! stockfish tore up EVERYTHING every other engine, including itself threw at the cave man. it's a bit closed, but it's strong

 

scandinavian? 1.e4 d5 2.d4!? Nf6 3.Nc3, the blackmar diemer gambit by transposition. i'm studying it right now as i hate 2.e5 from either side of the board, the stats are awesome at the amateur level. in fact, i've dug up a 1 out of 8 games line that is 70% winning ON AVERAGE with advantage in pretty much every line by move 15. that, and no one plays it, so maximum surprise value. i won my first game and probably more without even looking at the board for the theory i've been notating. 

 

against hypermoderns, pirc, modern, alekhine etc. it SEEMS like big pawn centers are strongest, but i don't like them. the alekhine is so rare, i might not ever book up on it and just keep playing the REASONABLY sound krejcik 1.e4 Nf6 2.Bc4 Nxe4 3.Bxc6+!? which takes black's castling rights away and nabs the knight. alekhine players tend to know what they're doing and defend like badgers, but it's just so much fun chasing black's king while you keep developing pieces. it's not the strongest line, but it has surprise value and i'll do ANYTHING to steal a castle if i can.

 

that's my 2 cents as a tactician.

 

smith morra! my favorite of ALL openings! try it... you'll like it!