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OTB Club Repertoire help

  • #1

    Hey guys, I could use some suggestions for improving my repertoire.

    As it stands, for black I play 1. ..c6 vs both e4 and d4, hoping for a Caro advanced.
    For white, I frequent the guioco piano with  e4 Nf3 Bc4 and c3.

    What are the biggest lapses you guys see in my repertoire, and what are your suggestions for filling those gaps?  I'd like openings that are competitive vs Class A and B players in slow G120 time controls.

    I'm planning to pick a tournament several months out and prepare well for it.

    thanks,

  • #2

    Well, my rating is similar to your but I really love to see 1. d4 c6 2. c4 d5 3. cxd5!

     

    And now you are in a Slav Exchange.. not sure how you feel about it, but I love that position from the white side.  In contrast, I dont' really like to see the KI Def as white.. have you thought about trying it out?

  • #3
    APG817 wrote:

    Hey guys, I could use some suggestions for improving my repertoire.

    As it stands, for black I play 1. ..c6 vs both e4 and d4, hoping for a Caro advanced.
    For white, I frequent the guioco piano with  e4 Nf3 Bc4 and c3.

    What are the biggest lapses you guys see in my repertoire, and what are your suggestions for filling those gaps?  I'd like openings that are competitive vs Class A and B players in slow G120 time controls.

    I'm planning to pick a tournament several months out and prepare well for it.

    thanks,

     

    You have a number of huge lapses:

     

    Black:  You say you "hope" for a Caro-Kann Advance.  You need to know what to do against:

    • The Exchange Variation
    • The Panov-Botvinnik Attack
    • The Classical Variation (3.Nc3)
    • The Fantasy Variation (3.f3)
    • 1.d4 openings such as:
      • Slav Defense (Or Semi-Slav)
      • QP Openings - Colle, Torre, London, Veresov, Blackmar-Diemer Gambit, etc.

     

    White:  You can't just assume 1.e4/2.Nf3/3.c4/4.c3.  That only works after 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.c3.  Here, you severely lack in numerous areas, including:

    • 3...Nf6 (The Two Knights Defense), which you can play 4.d3 intending 5.c3, so not a "huge" issue
    • 2...Nf6 (Petroff Defense - This is what I play as Black whenever I play 1...e5 and White plays 2.Nf3, otherwise I'll play the French or Caro-Kann against 1.e4 - so you never get a Guioco Piano against me!)
    • 2...d6 (Philidor's Defense)
    • 2...f5 (Latvian Gambit)
    • 1...c5 (Sicilian Defense)
    • 1...c6 (Caro-Kann Defense)
    • 1...e6 (French Defense - My "primary" defense to 1.e4)
    • 1...d6 (Can lead to a Pirc Defense, Modern Defense, or Philidor's Defense)
    • 1...g6 (Can lead to a Pirc Defense, Modern Defense, or King's Indian Defense [if White plays c4])
    • 1...Nf6 (Alekhine's Defense)
    • 1...d5 (Scandinavian Defense)
    • 1...Nc6 (Nimzowitsch's Defense)

     

    In terms of White, many of those responses by Black cause your moves to be total garbage.  For example, if Black's first move doesn't attack d4, why play 2.Nf3?  Why not grab the center?  For example, 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 or 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 are both viewed as best 2nd move for White, but after 1.e4 d6, 2.Nf3 is garbage!

     

    For example, 1.e4 d6 2.Nf3 g6 3.Bc4 Bg7 4.c3 Nf6 and White's position is nothing!

  • #4
    APG817 wrote:

    Hey guys, I could use some suggestions for improving my repertoire.

    As it stands, for black I play 1. ..c6 vs both e4 and d4, hoping for a Caro advanced.
    For white, I frequent the guioco piano with  e4 Nf3 Bc4 and c3.

    What are the biggest lapses you guys see in my repertoire, and what are your suggestions for filling those gaps?  I'd like openings that are competitive vs Class A and B players in slow G120 time controls.

    I'm planning to pick a tournament several months out and prepare well for it.

    thanks,

     

    ThrillerFan, beat me to it as far as White goes.  But I do want to say that choosing 1. e4 is a good choice according to the counsel of players much stronger than myself.  They say young players should start off with e4, get good at open games, then if they wish, move over to d4 or c4.

  • #5

    Personally I love the Slav and Caro-Kann and think you should be fine with them.  Remember that your usual plan, if you get the Advance Variation is to attack White's P-Center at its base with ...c5 or ...b6 where your N at d7 supports them.

    As White, I like 1 e4 and vs 1...e5 I go for the Bishop's Opening or Vienna Game vs lower ranked players and am tending to the Giuoco Piano against higher ratings: all three have somewhat common setups. Against 1...e6 I like the Advance Var, against 1...c6 I like the Panov-Botvinnik attack because I hate it when playing 1...c6 myself.  Against 1 c5 I usually play the 2 c3 (Alapin) Sicilian but play the classical moves on occasion.  If my opponent plays the Dragon Var. I try to make sure I control the critical d5 square.

    Occasionally, I play 1 d4 and aim for the London System: which is basically the Slav or Caro-Kann in reverse with a move in hand so that getting a pawn to c4 can often be done in 1 move instead of 2 to get to c5 in the Caro or Slav.  1 d4 2 Nf3 - aiming for the London - sometimes transposes to a favorable position for White in the King's Indian Defense where you can often castle Q-side and launch a Pawn Storm K-side.

  • #6

    I appreciate all the feedback guys - it's a lot to go over. I'm guna try to come up with at least a fundamental response to some of those openings.

    What do you guys think about this offbeat line in the slav? Was going for something caro-kann-esque, but my opponent blundered early..



    Seems the main deviation for black was 4. ..Bf5.

    Thoughts?

  • #7

    why not look at the book "pawn structure chess" by Soltis?look at the structures resulting from openings in there and pick an opening which has a position you like...just a suggestion☺

  • #8

    Thanks for the suggestion fowler - i actually managed to find a pdf for the original in algebraic notation pretty easily.  I admit I've never specifically studied pawn structures up to this point, but in my play I try to get structures I'm familiar with. Guna start on this book today!

  • #9

    anytime ☺ i haven't read the book yet but i have it and have heard from Blueemu here that its very good☺ had a look through it though and it does seem quite interesting...another book he suggests is the power of pawns by Kmoch...I hope IM Pfren could pop in to give some thoughts on these books☺

  • #10

    One quick tip: If you've already opened your h-file with hxg6, you're usually better off not castling, since you can develop your rook just fine along the h-file. If you need to bring your king out of the center, just play Kf8 and (if necessary) Kg8.

    Another tip: You don't necessarily have to play Bg6, you can simply continue developing with Nd7. Speedy development is always a good thing! If Nxf5 exf5, the forward f-pawn is not a problem for you. White can't play e4 without trading it off, and if necessary you can play g6 to protect it. That would leave you with all your pawns on light squares after trading away your light squared bishop, which is kind of ideal for black.

    Anyway, I wouldn't worry too much about expanding your repertoire at your level. Worry more about understanding the nuances of the openings you already play. Hopefully these tips will help with that.

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