Opening Plan

One of the things I’ve struggled with since my return to chess is the formation of a true opening repertoire.

I’ve bounced around playing “A little of this and a little of that” and haven’t ever really solidified what I wanted to do.

Last week I started working with a coach again and one of the questions I asked at the end of the lesson was how much sense would it make for me to play a narrow repertoire vs not worrying about it.

At the end of the conversation it was clear that while it’s certainly not critical, there are some very good reasons for me to narrow what I play.

While I haven’t made up my mind at this time, I need to determine what style of openings I want to pay.

One thought is just to play the same sharp stuff I’ve played for a long time. Sicilian and KID along with 1…e5 vs 1.c4 with the idea of sometimes playing a reverse Grand Prix setup.

Another thought is that I could group some openings, such as the Caro-Kann and the Slav, which have related pawn structures.

I’m not sure which direction I am going to head. To stay sharp or to become more of a grinder. I am leaning in the latter direction, in which case you’d like see my repertoire look something like this:

White: English, and then setups against the various 1.c4 Nf6 lines, which I generally play as mainline queen pawn stuff. So I’d need something against the Nimzo, KID, QID, and QGD/Slav. I’d also need something against the Slav for those who respond 1…c6 against 1.c4.

Black: 1…e5 against 1.e4; Slav against 1…d4, and 1…e5 against 1.c4 as well. 1…d5 against 1.Nf3, again with the plan of going into the Slav.

I’m going to be giving this a lot of thought over the next couple of weeks. In the meantime I will be taking weekly lessons.

Til Next Time,

Chris Wainscott

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2 thoughts on “Opening Plan”

  1. Jude practiced his interview question for Fischer 10 times.
    Here’s Jude’s account from “Hurricane II”:
    ‘Bobby, even cursory examination of your career shows fantastic self-improvement. Study? Talent? Written analysis after all your games? I have wondered. Please look back at one specific case for me:
    Bled/Belgrade/Zagreb 1959 international chess tourney. You lose by six games to the Soviet players, lose all four games to Mikhail Tal. Then like a bomb flash two years to Bled, 1961. Nineteen games. You mow down Tal, (Tigran) Petrosian, plus score the Russians, go undefeated in all 19 rounds. Naked improvement, there it is. Bobby, how does a player do this? Get better while all other players are standing still?‘
    Fischer instantly said, ‘Simple. First, learn the chess openings, really learn the ones you play for White and Black. Second, keep the pressure on them every second–they all crack. No exception, play every game to the end, never give up.’

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