11 januari 2011

Which opening should i play?

Are you a 1. e4 or 1. d4 player? Or an addict of another openingsystem? Why do you play the openingsystem you play?

For many years i was a fan of 1. d4 . I liked to play positional chess. Colle(-Zuckertort), london system, had my preference. Other players of my club called me a woodpusher. "You just move your pieces without real action" they said "you bore your opponents to dead".

So for a short while i started to play 1. e4 openings. Just to prove my club friends that i could play active chess. I got a good score in the short period i played e4 as openingsmove. But after awhile things went the wrong way since i did know nothing about e4 openings. So i changed back to 1. d4 .

Helas, i did seem to have lost my d4 mojo. So now i have a problem. I dont know what opening to play anymore. Do you have suggestions? Which opening should i play?

16 opmerkingen:

blogeurix zei

If you like to play positional chess...take a look of "A strat├ęgic opening repertoire" by Donaldson.
The lines presented are based on 1. Nf3 2.c4 and 3.g3


other players of your chess club are going to hate this new opening ;)

chesstiger zei

Without reading the pdf file (no time, need to get ready for work, this smells like Reti opening and some changed move order of 1. d4 opening.

Temposchlucker zei

Have a look at the Polar Bear. It is strategic with a lot of bite. I play it for 3 years now and are very content with it. Few opponents know it well.

chesstiger zei

@ Temposchlucker

"Polar Bear"

Where can i find info about it?

Rolling Pawns zei

"Polar Bear System" is a combination of Bird's opening and the Leningrad Dutch, see for example:
Maybe you should stay with 1. d4, but try some sharper variations, for example Catalan:
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 d5 4.Bg2 dxc4 5.Nf3 Nc6 6.Qa4 Bb4+

blogeurix zei

The Polar Bear System...was developed by the Icelandic GM Danielsen wich is based on the Bird opening.

I played this for one year but whitout much success in standart games,mainly because I could not play the main tabia.

It's true that very few opponents know it well and in club game this opening can be a very effective weapon.
But you must be prepared to cope with "creative play" by your opponent.

An introduction to The Polar Bear System on youtube : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFfQASWu-Bk

The chess video lessons by Danielsen are really entertaining.

LinuxGuy zei

There are plenty of "d4-ish" ways to play 1.e4. I have switched to c3 Sicilian, for example. Nd2 against the French is another "d4-ish" variation, for example.

chesstiger zei

@Rolling Pawns

It seems to me that the Polar Bear can lead to many different openings. Which means that besides the Polar Bear one must also know the plans of those other openings. A big load of work.

chesstiger zei

@ Rolling Pawns

Catalan looks intresting. But need some more information (games) about it before i can decide if its something for me or not.

chesstiger zei


The Nd2 variation of the French is a bit passive, not?

Dont know the c3 sicilian well. Can you give an example game of this opening where white plays actively?

Signalman zei

I'm hardly the most qualified to suggest, but how about a Gambit repertoire ? Many people approve highly of Nigel Davies' "Gambiteer I & II". A radical change to inject some pizazz into your opeining ?!!

Otherwise, classic 1.e4 plus something like Bird's Opening occasionally !

LinuxGuy zei

Actually, my most recent post had an example.

Don't judge an opening by dry theory; one has to play it to come to that conclusion.

I've gotten into more tactical mischief with the C3 Sicilian than I got into with Open Sicilians.

The Caquetio Knight zei

Dear chesstiger,

I used to be a Colle player too. But after a while a had the feeling my d4 opening had no bite. My opponents were playing the right setup. And my score was not improving. So I started to play the QG again and played knight c3 at move 3. But after doing an extensive survey on openings I realised that on move 3.Nf3 was more accurate than 3.Nc3. My results improved and my understanding of the opening grew larger after reading the right books on opening and strategy. My repertoire evolved around the first 3 moves 1.d4 2.c4 and 3.Nf3. So my advise is to stick to your d4 opening and explore the moves 2.c4 3.Nf3 or Nc3. Play mainlines this will give you a better understanding of what is going on in the opening. And if you have Zurich 1953 pick out the openings you are playing and replay the games. Bronstein will help you to make the leap to a higher lever.

chesstiger zei


pizzazz in my opening is nice and welcome but going from relatively passive openings to the other outer end i find a too big step to take.

Call me chicken.

chesstiger zei

@The Caquetio Knight

Knowing your opening (especially the plan behind the moves) is a big step in the right direction. Your suggestion is good but ... . I played these kind of openings you mention for about 15 years now. So time for change (to surprise opponent more)

chesstiger zei


Indeed an impressive game. Well played!