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The London System is for Chumps ?

  • #21
    pellik wrote:

    I've had no less then three masters play the London against me. It's not just a good choice for amatures looking to avoid theory. Many (mostly older) masters want to avoid prepared lines and theory battles when playing down, and the London is a fantastic way of doing such. 

    I managed draws in those three games without ever feeling a lot of pressure, but I used to play the London and I know what to watch out for. I've seen friends of mine (expert+ as well) lose against the London, usually due to endgame mistakes or other mishaps in technical positions. 

    If you're a good techincal player who is willing to grind out a 60 moves in an equal position waiting for mistakes then the London is nice low-risk choice.

    If you're a great attacker who thinks the London will get you beautiful sacrifice attacks on h7 all the time you've been mislead by a fancy opening book. It's not really that hard to stop all the mate threats.

    Yes this is why I will probably move on to other openings in the near future. While the London that I learned was what I played has worked out well for me and my study habits so far I'm beginning to feel "short changed" in my ability to generate attacks, especially against higher level opponents.

  • #22

    Indeed, 90+ percent of the time the black-side (if they knows this opening) will get an equal position (against the London System) after about 10-15 moves, or sooner.  So what?

    And those are the lines I study closely, using Rybka to provide insights into the tactical nuances (when I have the time).

    It's all about the middlegame and endgame EXCHANGES.  Compare two books by Gennady Nesis, former World CC Champion, on Tactical Chess Exchanges (1991), and Exchanging to Win in the Endgame (1990).

    I like to EXPEND all my pieces in the battle, and I'm perfectly happy entering a level endgame.  Then I play for a win, regardless of the position.  Smile 

    Nothing Flashy.  Steer for the endgame, but damp down the opening surprises to a minimum.  Simple.

    And leave the "opening system choreography" to the professionals.  Or just take it up LATER, after you finish your other studies of the Royal Game.

    I have about 15 books queued up to study, presently.  NONE are "opening books."

  • #23

    A nice video on the London form FM Grant Szuveges is here:


  • #24

    You was said on my thread as follow:

    You win only 43 percent of your standard games -- against opponents whose average rating is 100 points below you,


    Consider taking a chill pill, it might decrease the public embarassment.

    Do you like post your loses? Ok, I will help you to post your loses :



  • #25
    zborg wrote:

    White has many options to keep an even game by playing a Reversed System with the white pieces.  A Reversed Slav, or London System, is just one example.

    White should always get at least an even game in the opening.  That's not an ambitious goal, but can be useful if you want to "bypass" the first 20 moves of your game, and instead concentrate on your middlegame and endgame practice.

    So in this Game in 15/5 below, my opponent believed he was "on the attack" with the black pieces.  Until he wasn't.

    Perhaps my 9) Qg3 was dubious, but I spotted a tactic that my agressive opponent (apparently) overlooked.  Seems he was entirely too focused on the e5 pawn break, and believed he was still "pressuring" my perfectly sound position.

    After the dust settled, he simply abandoned the game.  Whatever.

    Arguably, the "best" opening system is the one you know, and your opponent doesn't.  Build up a decent (and simple) repetoire starting with the black side, then simple turn this system around, and your initial opening system work for the white pieces is effectively done.  Very simple.

    White has dozens of easy-to-learn Reversed Systems to choose from.  Under USCF 1800, this is a VERY safe and simple way of enjoying your chess at Game in 10/5 up to Game in 60/5, yet still keep improving (through focused and judicious study) in the other two phases of the royal game.  Not studying white-side opening theory (at least initially), provides you with an IMMENSE amount of study time to foucus on middlegame and endgames, tactics and strategies.  Very simple.

    Nothing Fancy, in the game below.

    Black is faced with losing at least a piece, with 11)...Be5,  12) BxBe5, NxBe5  13) QxNe5 with a winning advantage for white.  Otherwise, Black will lose his queen for a Bishop.

    Personally, I prefer endgames.

    IMHO, Chess Openings are like a blizzard of "choreographed dance moves," built up over 500 years of study by Chess Masters, CC players, and more recently chess engines.

    Instead of this blizzard, just give me a level position after 20 moves, thematic knowledge of the characteristic middlegame, and a modicum of endgame technique.  Then, I'm as happy as a clam.   

    Compare, Win with the London System, by Kovacevic and Johnsen, Gambit Publications (2005).  Imbibe (and know cold) this book of less than 180 pages, and you're ready to go with the White pieces.  


    You won ! Smile

  • #26
    zborg wrote:

    I almost always steer for the endgame.  Except when my opponent is clueless about how to play the black pieces against a Reversed Slav system (from the white side).

    Indeed, in about one of every 30 games (using a Reversed Slav), white gets the kind of attack shown below.

    Nonetheless, I still prefer endgames.

    Game in 15/5. Black resigned at move #23.


    Playing "defense" with the white pieces is the easiest way to get a decent 40-60 move game.  I recommend using Reversed Opening systems (with white) to anyone who will listen. 

    The safest and simplest "formation" that I am aware of is a Reversed Schlecter Grunfeld.  Do a kingside fianchetto, pawns on c3 and d4, Knight on f3, and castle kingside.  VERY simple.

    That particular "reversed formation" requires no specialized chess knowledge, (unlike the English, or KIA).  But you should almost always get a decent game from the white side, without the headaches associated with studying lots of openings, or deep variations within openings.

    Just a thought.  Feel free to disregard everything I have asserted. 

    And, Best Wishes to All.

    You won again ! Smile

  • #27

    Another stalker -- @Ronald_Aprianto (aka, bullet moron).

    He's only the 2nd person in 4 years that I needed to block.  Whatever.

    Those games he quoted (in posts #26 and #27) will be loading for eternity.

    Great thinking, Brainiac.

  • #28

    Then I guess GM Gata Kamsky is a chump.


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