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need opening for black against e4

  • #1

    For white, I  always play KG, for black against d4 always semi-slav. Both of those I could stick with forever.  

    But I have yet to find an opening I'm satisfied with against black e4, something that's viable long term and with some complex theory about it but comprehensible, and not something gimmicky.

    I haven't been satisfied with the the Scandinavian, Sicilian or the French.  The French is what I've given up on most recently. I'm definitely not going back to any one of these.  Any ideas based on the above. 

  • #2

    Carokann is the obvious answer based on the systems you are familiar with.

  • #3

    if you dont mind me asking, what are the reasons for not being satisfied with the other openings?

  • #4


    For the French - just my own personal impressions,  it always starts out very promising, but white always ends up equalizing for unknown reason.  Parenthetically, I do not find the French for me to be closed and defensive,  its seems like there's always a lot of play - it just doens't materialize into anything good.

    Here's some videos I've used for the French:


    Incidentally, that guy's videos are great in my book.

    The Sicilian - just never panned out for me, Most people say you have to play just scores and scores of games with it before it sinks in - for me it never did.

    The Scandinavian,  come to find out that many people despise playing against it,  think its bogus and unchess-like, And actually playing it you're always doing the same moves and over and over.

    Bottom line is, none of those work out for me, though I'm not a very good player.

    As far as the semi-slav, everything just falls into place for me when playing it - I use this video for reference:


    Same for me with the KG.

  • #5
    Interesting view about the French. The French is great and after about a year or 2 the Sicilian will sink in. The French is great for counterattacking
  • #6
  • #7

    i would second giving the caro-kann a try. the advanced variation is a thing of beauty.

    and although they havent worked for you yet, i wouldnt give up on the others. even if you dont enjoy them, there will be more than a few occasions the knowledge from playing them, and the positions that arise, will help you in your other games.

  • #8

    the king's indian defense is one i use for playing with black (and white)... 

    it is a closed opening and provides a really nice defensible position for the black king while providing extremely sharp lines which lead to a very promising end game positions for black, if played correctly

    Since i've started using it, my chess rating in the correspondense has jumped about 400 points (that might also be the result of the tutoring i have been taking for chess;)).

    You can play positionally until you can find a tactical solution (which present itself eventually).

    The dragon bishop usually positioned on g7 gives me a strong control over the board, (and lower rated players occasionally forget it is there :))

  • #9

    kings indian defense is a reply to 1.d4 :)

    if you play Nf6 as a reply to 1.e4 that usually comes with the response of e5 which takes you into the alekhines defence.

    if you like the idea of the kings indian defense but for a kings pawn opening, have a look at the pirc or modern.

  • #10

    Dont play Alekines defense  try french defense  e6  if he plays d4  u play d5  its much easier to learn than the sicilian  which takes a lifetime to learn

  • #11

    check out the Pirc by Virgus and everyman chess.

    Also you mentioned you couldn't catch on to the sicilian. There are quite a few of them and all are different. With a chess engine you might find one that seems to meet your needs better. IE if you were playing the najdorf quite a fit try the dragon or accelerated dragon, maybe the timinov (mispelled) 2...e6. If you disliked the sicilian because black has pieces splattered all over the board try the pirc where you get immediate development of pieces. Watch out for the pawn storm on the King side though. A white favorite in the pirc (not at the highest levels).

  • #12

    If you don't like the Scandinavian then you are not going to like the Caro-Kann.   The Scandinavian is basically an attempt to get into a Caro-Kann type structure.

  • #13
    benonidoni wrote:

    check out the Pirc by Virgus and everyman chess.

    If you disliked the sicilian because black has pieces splattered all over the board... 

    That's the crux of it.

  • #14
    PawnDrone wrote:

    Dont play Alekines defense  try french defense  e6  if he plays d4  u play d5  its much easier to learn than the sicilian  which takes a lifetime to learn

    Thanks for mentioning the Alekhines, I think that's the most intriguing of the hypermodern defenses I've seen, and haven't ever played hypermodern before so will take a stab at that.

  • #15

    i'm going through similar feelings with said openings, but i figure that if i stick with the sicilian then i'm surly gonna get a reasonable game from it. so thats my plan, good luck with yours

  • #16

    play a6 and make them wonder about move 2!

  • #17

    Thanks a lot yeres30, you've gone above and beyond, will come back and check all that out. have to go play this tournament.

  • #18

    1...e5 if 2.Nf3 Nf6 Petroff's Defense which will cut out a lot of other openings right off the bat. If Petroff's doesn't work out for you or you refuse to follow my sage(?) advice here, try a non-Morphy defense to RL such as the Schliemann Var which  might suit your style since you like the KG as White. You could try the Marshall Var (a Morphy Defense, ie with 3...a6) but you won't always get to play it, so you'll also end up facing the exchange var, Worrall Attack, anti-Marshall lines etc. 

    In general since you don't like the FD concentrate on Double KP Openings as Black because the FD is a semi-closed opening (usually) and your preference for KG indicates a taste for open games which is what you will frequently end up by playing 1.e4 e5. 

    Whatever you decide on, GOOD LUCK!

  • #19

    Only one person has mentioned e5. I mostly play it and like it very much. Here are some of my favorite lines, and one of my most despised lines.

  • #20

    If you decide to play Nimzivich - 1.e4 Nc6 go to the :


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