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When beginner's don't follow opening principles

  • #1

    Hello everyone,

    I'm a roughly 1350 player in standard live games. I've been following the beginner's study guide for openings ( http://www.chess.com/article/view/the-principles-of-the-opening   if you haven't seen it, it's very useful) and I have a couple questions about what to do when your opponent doesn't follow these principles.

    Here's a quick example: Rule 4 is don't move the same piece twice before move 10, since the goal in the opening is to develop... So what if this happens?

    Already your opponent is tempting you to move a piece twice, namely exd5, which is the dominant second move but against the opening principles. What's better, following the principles or taking advantage of an opportunity such as this?



    Here's an example of where it seemed like taking advantage of an opportunity was a better choice than sticking to principles:

    What do you think? Is sticking to the opening principles always the best choice, or are there times where taking advantage of an opportunity is a better decision? 


    Thanks for the feedback!


  • #2

    The first game, there is several things you can do, including taking that pawn. It all depends of what kind of game you want to play. 

    The second game, I think you bishop sacrifice is unsound adn the only reason why your atack prospere was becouse a bounch of blunders the oponent made. better was to actually pull back the bishop and see if the oponent is actually going to destry his own castle pawn structure the way you show in the analisys, or maybe just take the knigth instead. Reconicing that you are poor developed and still thinking this is a good condition to start ataking is not good fowing of chess principles. About your analisys, pulling back the bishop will mo be traped becouse you can take with pawn, so and so, and then the white king will be expose.

    Move 8 you are badly developed and still decides to trade the few developed material you have.

    Move 10 white should have played Nh2 instead of the blunder he actually play giving up material and bringing up your queen in front of his broked castle. In move 11, after giving you back the material of your unsound sacrifice he should have bring the queen to g4... etc. Move 15 another questionable sacrifice. Move 19 it was knigth takes bishop and then you run out of material to keep ataking going 1 pice down. And after he blunders the queen there is not much to say.

    I think in this second game you did 2 unsound sacrifices. When you are going to sacrifice make sure you are going to gain something, don't just trow out pices becouse eventually you will be finding stronger oponents that don't blunder them back to you. Be more prudent on this your game will improve.

    On your final question, yes there is times where you have to prioritice the principles in a different way. Still they are general ideas that makes lots of sence and it is good practice to consider them when you play.

  • #3

    I feel like an idiot telling you this since you're rated several hundred points above me in live chess, but maybe you should take a look at the intermediate study plans.  The beginner principles are just that: principles for beginners which you really aren't any more.  In your first example, your opponent played the Scandinavian and the main line is to take with your pawn, he captures with the queen and then you kick him by developing your knight.  I was frankly a little annoyed when I read the intermediate study plan and it turns out we really do need to know the first 8-10 moves of 20 or so openings.  Unfortunately if you don't learn them then other intermediates are going to take you to "smashtown".  I hate learning openings so I just loved the beginner advice to just follow solid principles.  Only works for so long and sounds like you need to hit the books (or however you choose to learn).  So far I've just been doing turn based exactly because I don't know my openings.  One of these days I've gotta get rid of the "training wheels" and learn my openings also.

  • #4

    Hello everyone,


    Thanks for such quick feedback! My second example was simply a game I found where I went on the (unsound) offensive instead of applying the opening principles in order to generate some discussion. My main question was whether following the opening principles was always a good idea, given that many times an opponent will threaten a piece prompting you to move twice before move 10, etc.

    Thanks for the heads up baddogno, I hadn't taken a look at the intermediate plans yet as I wanted to dilligently follow the program in order.  Sounds like moving on to that material is a good step now. 

    Looking at my game in hindsight, I agree with a lot of the suggestions provided here, but this is what I was thinking at the time - blunders and all. 

  • #5

    The real rule is:Don't move a piece unecessarily before move ten.

  • #6
    helltank wrote:

    The real rule is:Don't move a piece unecessarily before move ten.


    A better rule is:  NEVER move a piece unnecessarily.

  • #7
    Estragon wrote:
    helltank wrote:

    The real rule is:Don't move a piece unecessarily before move ten.


    A better rule is:  NEVER move a piece unnecessarily.

    What about when you want to waste a tempo to force zugzwang?

  • #8

    The principles have an "importance rating".That means that some are more important than others and that depends to the position.For example in an open position a lead in development is more important than in a closed position.

      Principles are like extra pawns or pieces on the board.When you don't follow them is like sacrificing them and when you are sacrificing them you should get a compensation.In chess you always give something(even if that something is not entirely obvious) to take something else.You should always try to take at least the same or more than you give.When you give a pawn you should take a pawn or preferably 2 pawns or even better a piece(if possible of course).That is the basic "material balance/superiority" principle.The same applies to principles.When you "give" a principle you have to take a compensation.By time you will learn to understand which principle is important , how important it is and how much compensation you need to take when  sacrificing it.

    For example, after 1.e4 d5 white's e4-pawn is threatened.Since we are only at the 1st move the most important principle is the "material balance" principle.You need to "protect" your material equality.That means exchange , protect or adavance e4-pawn.Neither is bad , but the first will force your opponent to recapture with his queen.So your compensation for violating the "don't move the same pawn/piece twice" principle  is:

    a)You keep the material balance(very important)

    b)you force your opponent to violate a principle.

    More than enough I think. 


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