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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) What's your "Bogey opening"? (Read 5317 times)
Stigma
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Re: What's your "Bogey opening"?
Reply #36 - 04/20/18 at 17:52:11
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gillbod wrote on 04/20/18 at 00:02:06:
But I don’t like facing that ...Bd7 stuff that Williams’s repertoire book advocates.

I have no idea about the current theoretical status of the ...Bd7 and ...f6 lines, but there is a feeling that Be2 is a more useful move than a3, so it's harder to believe Black is fully OK after 6.Be2 f6.

I tried to follow Williams back when only the DVD (The Killer French) was out. There one main line recommendation was 5...Bd7 6.Be2 Nge7 7.0-0 Nf5!?, when the critical independent try for White is 8.Bd3 (8.Na3 instead transposes to other lines). After 8...cxd4 9.Bxf5 exf5 10.cxd4 Williams reached a standard position type (that Moskalenko is a big fan of). But he didn't mention 10.Nxd4! instead, which leads to a very "un-French" position that looks uncomfortable for Black to me. Though I know Antic and Maksimovic try to defend Black's cause here in their repertoire book.

P.S.: The contents of The Killer French is now also an eBook, and the free excerpt just happens to contain the parts on the Advance! https://www.gingergm.com/shop/killer-french-the-book-ebook

In general I have the impression Black has many different tempting answers to 5...Bd7 6.a3, while the road is narrower against 5...Bd7 6.Be2.

bragesjo wrote on 04/20/18 at 08:27:59:
About French, as white I have tried the Kupreichik variation (1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.c3 Nc6 5.Be3) in several games.
The funny thing is that in each game my opponets was out of book very early and I usually got the better position out of the opening even if I lost the game or if the game became a draw. Only problem is of course that the line can not be forced since Qb6 instead of Nc6 rules it out.

At one point I believed I had found good replies to the Kupreichik, but it's played so rarely I would probably have forgotten my lines when I finally faced it! So yes, if Black uses ...Qb6 lines it is tempting to just rule the Kupreichik out with 4...Qb6. ...Bd7 fans don't have that luxury.
  

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bragesjo
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Re: What's your "Bogey opening"?
Reply #35 - 04/20/18 at 08:27:59
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About French, as white I have tried the Kupreichik variation (1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.c3 Nc6 5.Be3) in several games.
The funny thing is that in each game my opponets was out of book very early and I usually got the better position out of the opening even if I lost the game or if the game became a draw. Only problem is of course that the line can not be forced since Qb6 instead of Nc6 rules it out.
  
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gillbod
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Re: What's your "Bogey opening"?
Reply #34 - 04/20/18 at 00:02:06
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I also had great results with the Advance when I briefly dabbled with e4 and used it exclusively against the French, and have also gone for 1.d4 e6 2.e4 since returning to d4.

But I don’t like facing that ...Bd7 stuff that Williams’s repertoire book advocates.
  
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Stigma
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Re: What's your "Bogey opening"?
Reply #33 - 04/19/18 at 19:32:31
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ErictheRed wrote on 04/19/18 at 16:32:06:
Regarding all of those people who hate the French, it's funny that I often used to answer 1.d4 e6 with 2.e4!.

[...]

Playing 3.e5 is kind of funny; on the one hand, you might think that it's exactly what Black wants to see.  On the other, White can control the structure and type of game to a large extent:.

I also go 1.d4 e6 2.e4 quite often, as the French was not the reason I ditched 1.e4. I must admit I find the Rubinstein and Fort Knox a bit annoying; maybe the flip side of your point on 1.d4 players being happy with pawn chains!? Though luckily people mostly play 3...dxe4 when they really want a draw, so usually weaker players I may beat anyway.

The Advance is underrated. I also used to think it was what Black wanted, but I have yet to find lines I'm comfortable defending against strong opponents. My attempts to follow Ntirlis and Aagaard were a disaster; those ...c5-c4 positions just aren't for me. Earlier I tried copying French defense legend Wolfgang Uhlmann with 5...Qb6 6.a3 c4 7.Nbd2 f6, but if White knows the main line against it there's not much fun for Black.
  

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Re: What's your "Bogey opening"?
Reply #32 - 04/19/18 at 16:32:06
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Regarding all of those people who hate the French, it's funny that I often used to answer 1.d4 e6 with 2.e4!.  Then again as a 1.d4 player, I am perhaps more accustomed to play with pawn chains than many 1.e4 players are.  My results were always fine, and I just played main-line stuff: the Advanced or the Tarrasch.  Perhaps luckily, I very rarely faced 4...Qxd5 in the Tarrasch, and then I switched to the Advanced.

Playing 3.e5 is kind of funny; on the one hand, you might think that it's exactly what Black wants to see.  On the other, White can control the structure and type of game to a large extent: there is no Winawer, Rubenstein, MacCutcheon, Steinitz, etc. to prepare for.  Also I find that many club players who play 3.e5 just want to play the Milner-Barry Gambit, so a more sophisticated positional player can play 3.e5 to pose somewhat different problems than most Black players face.
  
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Re: What's your "Bogey opening"?
Reply #31 - 04/18/18 at 23:13:54
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The thing about the French is that Black often gets the type of structure that they are aiming for.

Anyway, I definitely struggle against the Nimzo. But I have a great record with the QGD exchange, so I don't really fancy going to the QID quite yet.
  
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Stigma
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Re: What's your "Bogey opening"?
Reply #30 - 04/17/18 at 23:17:35
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ReneDescartes wrote on 04/17/18 at 18:46:15:
But you're playing 3.Nc3! That's really asking for it theoretically, like painting a big target on your chest and saying "I'm booked in the main line, so hit me with your medium-level deviations."

[...]

I think the need to know some theory on these deviations is just the price of doing business in top theoretical lines like the Steinitz or the Winawer. Ask a Sicilian player how often he gets to play against the Open Sicilian...


Exactly. You said it better than me.

Both 3.Nc3 Nf6 and 3.Nc3 Bb4 are strategically difficult to play for both sides, especially the quirky Winawer. A knowledge/experience advantage really counts for something here, so White can't just wing it and play by intuition against deviations that are likely the opponent's home turf. The only good options are a) doing one's homework or b) playing something less demanding.
  

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ReneDescartes
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Re: What's your "Bogey opening"?
Reply #29 - 04/17/18 at 18:46:15
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Bancrates wrote on 04/17/18 at 11:58:13:
Stigma wrote on 04/16/18 at 17:41:16:
I wonder if the posters here who struggle so much with the French are hampered by a feeling they have to play serious main lines against it. There's no shame in specializing in, say, the King's Indian Attack or the Exchange if that's what you have to do to get results you're happy with.

With White I tried the KIA and the Two Knights against the French before I realized the Tarrasch leads to a lot of position types I like. But I don't necessarily play the most critical, cutting-edge lines within the Tarrasch.

Bottom line: Personal taste and skills can be more important than theoretical evaluation when choosing the right openings.


Very true. But the problems I have with the French are not really the mainlines, but the infinite number of little sidesystems at Black's disposal, all of which your opponent seems to be an expert at, yet you've never seen before. I actually quite like the big mainline positions for White (I'm basing my repertoire on Negi, so I avoid the PP in the Winawer).


But you're playing 3.Nc3! That's really asking for it theoretically, like painting a big target on your chest and saying "I'm booked in the main line, so hit me with your medium-level deviations." If you played 3.ed ed 4.c4, you'd get equal IQP positions and those sidelines would be unavailable to your opponent. If you played the KIA, you'd get one of a few equal systems you'd be familiar with or some unclear stuff where you are both winging it, and most games would leave theory pretty soon because so much maneuvering can take place before the forces make contact.

I think the need to know some theory on these deviations is just the price of doing business in top theoretical lines like the Steinitz or the Winawer. Ask a Sicilian player how often he gets to play against the Open Sicilian...



« Last Edit: 04/18/18 at 00:12:59 by ReneDescartes »  
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Re: What's your "Bogey opening"?
Reply #28 - 04/17/18 at 11:58:13
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Stigma wrote on 04/16/18 at 17:41:16:
I wonder if the posters here who struggle so much with the French are hampered by a feeling they have to play serious main lines against it. There's no shame in specializing in, say, the King's Indian Attack or the Exchange if that's what you have to do to get results you're happy with.

With White I tried the KIA and the Two Knights against the French before I realized the Tarrasch leads to a lot of position types I like. But I don't necessarily play the most critical, cutting-edge lines within the Tarrasch.

Bottom line: Personal taste and skills can be more important than theoretical evaluation when choosing the right openings.


Very true. But the problems I have with the French are not really the mainlines, but the infinite number of little sidesystems at Black's disposal, all of which your opponent seems to be an expert at, yet you've never seen before. I actually quite like the big mainline positions for White (I'm basing my repertoire on Negi, so I avoid the PP in the Winawer).
  

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Re: What's your "Bogey opening"?
Reply #27 - 04/16/18 at 17:41:16
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I wonder if the posters here who struggle so much with the French are hampered by a feeling they have to play serious main lines against it. There's no shame in specializing in, say, the King's Indian Attack or the Exchange if that's what you have to do to get results you're happy with.

With White I tried the KIA and the Two Knights against the French before I realized the Tarrasch leads to a lot of position types I like. But I don't necessarily play the most critical, cutting-edge lines within the Tarrasch.

Bottom line: Personal taste and skills can be more important than theoretical evaluation when choosing the right openings.
  

Improvement begins at the edge of your comfort zone. -Jonathan Rowson
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Re: What's your "Bogey opening"?
Reply #26 - 04/16/18 at 17:22:11
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One time when I was especially fed up with the French (and also doing badly in a tournament), I gave 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.c4?! a punt.  It worked well enough that one time, but I wouldn't fancy playing it against anyone who'd seen it before.
  
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Re: What's your "Bogey opening"?
Reply #25 - 04/15/18 at 23:21:32
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I play the Steinitz to avoid the MacCutcheon.
Still, there are so many little side systems that Black has that are dodgy but dangerous. Recently encountered

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e5 Nd7 5.f4 c5 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.Be3 h6
8.Be3 g5!?

Not challenging theoretically, but dangerous OTB in a rapid game.
  

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Re: What's your "Bogey opening"?
Reply #24 - 04/15/18 at 15:46:54
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Bancrates wrote on 04/07/18 at 13:13:43:
I hate the French. No matter what line of it occurs, I always manage to duff myself up against it. Don't know whether I'm pushing too hard or not hard enough.


The French was my problem opening as well until I gave up 1.e4.  I think the line I hated playing against most was the McCutcheon. 

Although, there was one player at my old club who always played the French against me, and he used to play it so passively that I'd get a great attack and win some fantastic games.  If it wasn't for that guy, I think I'd have switched back to 1.d4 years sooner.
  
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Re: What's your "Bogey opening"?
Reply #23 - 04/13/18 at 02:19:51
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Stigma wrote on 04/12/18 at 22:43:35:
The setup with Bc4 and d2-d3 can also annoy Black players, since there's no potentially weak d4 pawn to play against. It's probably only a serious try against 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qa5, but it must be playable even against other lines.
Yes it can be quite humorous if white plays Bc4, d2-d3, Nge2, f2-f3, with a sort of kingside Scandinavian setup. If black plays routinely with Bf5, e7-e6, Nbd7, c7-c6, there arises an almost symmetrical position around the h1-a8 diagonal. I saw a strong master do this once against a class player. At first I did not understand white’s plan, but then the picture became clear. The class player understood it even less and proceeded to flail about, wreaking havoc with his own position.
  
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Re: What's your "Bogey opening"?
Reply #22 - 04/13/18 at 01:59:35
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Stigma wrote on 04/12/18 at 22:34:51:
2) Turn the board around. Take up your bogey opening from the other side of the board, even if it's just for a few games or only in training or blitz. This should give you a deeper understanding of the opening's themes and also where the critical lines and maybe the psychologically uncomfortable lines are. With luck, you may even score well with your own bogey opening and have a permanent addition to your repertoire right there!

I second this motion. At one time I did not have a defense to the English Opening. Just a terrible record against it. I was already an expert (2000 USCF) but simply clueless in this opening, partly because it was so rare in my games. So I started playing it for white and let my strongest opponents teach me.

When you don’t know enough about an opening, for totally abstract reasons you reject certain counters that are actually quite good. Turn the board around and strong players who do know the opening will choose the good counter. Then you go home and analyze, and realize that your abstract “reasons” were largely irrelevant.
  
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