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When I was very young, I liked Larsen's style very much. So, I began to play 1.b3 frequently, and stopped after a while because my results were very bad. Reason? Not that 1.b3 is a bad move, but simply because it does require very good positional understanding, which most class players lack.
Heck, even Larsen himself had some pretty good reasons to reconsider, after some painful losses- this one being rather humiliating:
(the comments come from the tournament bulletin- and getting mated as white in twenty moves is not particuraly inspiring, is it?).
On the other hand, 1.a3 is way easier to play: You just play your favorite Black systems as White, where the extra a2-a3 tempo might (or might not) prove useful.
I like playing the Nimzo Larsen as white because you can get into some nice tactical lines if all goes well. However, all doesn't go well as often as I would like it.
I have a 33% win ratio when playing 1.b3 but a 55% win ratio when playing 1.e4 or 1.d4. It seems obvious that I should not play 1. b3 but I think I am a little addicted to it as it creeps back every now and then ..any constructive suggestions are most welcome.
probably 1. b3 can make you a better chess player. Figure out why you lose, correct it, and you will have become a better chess player.
I read pfern's comment very carefully and I did not see no "insult". GM norms or no, he is a very stronger player then ever you will be.
1.b3 is rubbish, its the opening that can win you only against a weaker opponent. Against a strong opponent you will fight for equality and probably fail to achieve.
thx for your contribution you have really added to the discussion . please come again
thx for your illustrative example of things going wrong for the best players when playing 1. b3..that is the whole point of my thread ...now i respect your jugement pfren and i am sorry if i offended you earlier in the thread
however if i give up on b3 it is ridiculous to consider that i must go to a3 ;there is a big wide world of openings out there..i like the look of an earlier poster's suggestion of a combination c4 , nf3 and g2 looks like a very good set up with a great diagonal for the light squared bishop.
My objection to 1. a3 is chiefly on aesthetic grounds..it just looks ugly.
There may have been some confusion between us trotters64. Either way, Aron Nimzowitsch and Seigbert Tarrasch had a fued going on about their clashing chess styles. Tarrasch called Nimzowitsch's style 'ugly' and Nimzowitsch responded with something like, "The beauty in a move isn't how it looks on the board, but the ideas behind it," or something to that effect.
1.b3 is still interesting way to start a game? Experimented with it for a long time. (66 games) and managed 57.6% win ratio!
Am willing to do the same with 1.a3 soon and see how that goes. :)
Prudentia, beauty is said to be in the eye of the beholder and for me a3 is too ugly to even consider the ideas that lay behind it..maybe that is irrational but there it is.
Nimzowitch by all accounts was a great character ..I was reading a story about how he missed 1st prize in a tournament when it became clear that he was losing his game against Samisch , whereupon he stood up and shouted out loud "that I should lose to this idiot". lol.
I think pfren thinks sometimes when he posts on these forums "that I should post to this idiot".
1.b3 is still interesting way to start a game? Experimented with it for a long time (66 games) and managed 57.6% win ratio!
good luck with your a3 adventure ..maybe you can post how you got on after 50/75 games .cheers.:)