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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) Tango players: what if white doesn't play 2. c4? (Read 11905 times)
Zebano
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Re: Tango players: what if white doesn't play 2. c
Reply #18 - 12/10/06 at 14:46:31
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Antillian wrote on 12/09/06 at 12:29:30:
Zebano wrote on 12/07/06 at 15:59:06:
[
Out of curiousity, at what point would you leave those classical opening behind and play one that you like?



Well, I am by no means an experienced chess trainer. But I would say up to about 1800 at least, it is better to stick to classical openings. But it really depends on what your goals are too. If your goal is to reach 2200+, then this advice is probably more important. But if that is not your goal, then just play what you enjoy.



Thanks for your thoughts. I mainly play chess because it is fun. However, it is more fun when I win  Grin and my current openings give me the best opportunity to do that. My goal is to become an expert (350 points) in 5 years which I think is modest enough that I can attain it. Toward that end I do about 15 min of tactics each day and try to either 1. study an endgame or annotate a master game and compare my thoughts to the masters annotations/lines actually played.

That said, I get bored with what I play about once a year and change up my openings just to keep the game interesting and fresh. When you say to play classical opening, does playing the petrov as black qualify?

As to the original topic (the Tango w/o 2. c4), these articles http://www.jeremysilman.com/chess_opng_shrtcts/archive.html by Joel Benjamin are the sum of my knowledge on the tango. He doesn't really address it, but I doubt you can avoid transposing into a Tromposky/colle/london system if that is what white really wants to play.
  
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Antillian
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Re: Tango players: what if white doesn't play 2. c
Reply #17 - 12/09/06 at 23:26:58
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MNb wrote on 12/09/06 at 15:26:46:
The last sentence contains the best advice for amateurs. An amateur is someone, who does something for fun.


MNb,

I am not sure what you are getting at.   Huh Many amateurs have ambitous chess goals. One might be playing chess for pure relaxation and enjoy playing offbeat unsound systems. Another amatuer might have a realistic goal of becoming a master or candidate master/expert. That person might be better advised to not play such systems even if they are fun to play.
  

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Re: Tango players: what if white doesn't play 2. c
Reply #16 - 12/09/06 at 15:26:46
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The last sentence contains the best advice for amateurs. An amateur is someone, who does something for fun.
  

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Antillian
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Re: Tango players: what if white doesn't play 2. c
Reply #15 - 12/09/06 at 12:29:30
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Zebano wrote on 12/07/06 at 15:59:06:
[
Out of curiousity, at what point would you leave those classical opening behind and play one that you like?



Well, I am by no means an experienced chess trainer. But I would say up to about 1800 at least, it is better to stick to classical openings. But it really depends on what your goals are too. If your goal is to reach 2200+, then this advice is probably more important. But if that is not your goal, then just play what you enjoy.
  

"Breakthrough results come about by a series of good decisions, diligently executed and accumulated one on top of another." Jim Collins --- Good to Great
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Zebano
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Re: Tango players: what if white doesn't play 2. c
Reply #14 - 12/07/06 at 15:59:06
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Antillian wrote on 11/09/06 at 01:21:36:
Having said all of that, I am not sure if at 1200, this would be the best use of your time. You might want to consider a simpler more classical opening like the QGD or the slav; and spend less time worrying about opening  theory (which is a lot less important at the 1200 level) and more time on other parts of your game.


Out of curiousity, at what point would you leave those classical opening behind and play one that you like?

When I first started out, I had no idea what to do beyond 1. e4 and usually played what I now know is a Giucco Piannisimo. At my first tournament, I learned about a faboulous opening called "the kings gambit". I got a provisional (USCF) rating of 800 and took up the KG which shot me all the way up to 1000 (against other scholastic players). Someone told me to play classically, and I had learned basic opening theory (develop, occupy center, safeguard king) so I took up the Scotch (black I always played the two knights with moderate success). I was soon a 1200 player and went back to the KG as it was more fun. I ran into a few d4 playeres and after 2 debacles with the QGA I took up the nimzo/bogo. I then took up the sicillian najdorf to spice up my black game and a year later graduated high school with a 1400 rating and a repitoire of KG and najdorf sicillian.

7 years later I started playing again and realized I had mellowed a bit and took up both the french and english. I am now a 1650 USCF player (1800 corr) who plays the benko, french and english. I feel like I never really got a good handle on symetric games, and it shows up every so often when someone plays a simple french exchange against me. I have considered going back and trying out symetric games for awhile, but I'm not sure I would get anything out of it.
  
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Re: Tango players: what if white doesn't play 2. c
Reply #13 - 11/16/06 at 12:17:48
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It must be said that it helps if Black is a little familiar with both the Nimzo and KID (for 3 Nf3 e6 4 a3 d6) aims if he wants to play the Tango, but is that really essential? Unless Black is sub-1600 and a complete novice, I'd have thought that Tango to be fine: it's not too hard to learn, is quite thematic and will surprise many opponents. Furthermore, one can think of it as a good stepping-stone to the Nimzo proper for when one gets much stronger.
  
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Re: Tango players: what if white doesn't play 2. c
Reply #12 - 11/09/06 at 21:36:22
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kylemeister wrote on 11/09/06 at 19:16:32:
As an aside, I wonder if, in your apparently voracious sampling of chess books, you've ever come across "Chess Openings," by (British IM) Michael Basman.  It is perhaps my favourite basic-level book, and is broader in scope than the title implies.  My standard book recommendation for less-experienced players (up to something like USCF class C) used to be that and Littlewood's (whether John or Paul I can never quite keep straight) book on tactics.


Basman's is my favorite opening book. Principles rather than tons of variations. I go there for understanding, Collins' 'Understanding the Chess Openings' to get a broad overview of things, and then to specific books once I've chosen a repertoire.
  
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Re: Tango players: what if white doesn't play 2. c
Reply #11 - 11/09/06 at 19:16:32
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neuronet wrote on 11/09/06 at 18:47:37:
Keilmeister: Thanks fore the ideas. Soltis' pawn structure chess is pretty beyond my level at the moment. I got it, realized it was more advanced than I am, and traded it for My System. Smiley

EricTheRed: You've convinced me to use the Aargaard book. I'ver ordered it for one-day delivery.  This is good: frankly I don't like fianchetto openings as I usually end up with my space all gone and I never recover.


Fair enough; I had some concerns about the level of my suggestions.    For what it's worth, I think the Tarrasch and Aagaard may suit you well.  

As an aside, I wonder if, in your apparently voracious sampling of chess books, you've ever come across "Chess Openings," by (British IM) Michael Basman.  It is perhaps my favourite basic-level book, and is broader in scope than the title implies.  My standard book recommendation for less-experienced players (up to something like USCF class C) used to be that and Littlewood's (whether John or Paul I can never quite keep straight) book on tactics.
  
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neuronet
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Re: Tango players: what if white doesn't play 2. c
Reply #10 - 11/09/06 at 18:47:37
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Keilmeister: Thanks fore the ideas. Soltis' pawn structure chess is pretty beyond my level at the moment. I got it, realized it was more advanced than I am, and traded it for My System. Smiley

EricTheRed: You've convinced me to use the Aargaard book. I'ver ordered it for one-day delivery.  This is good: frankly I don't like fianchetto openings as I usually end up with my space all gone and I never recover.
  
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Re: Tango players: what if white doesn't play 2. c
Reply #9 - 11/09/06 at 18:32:28
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I also think the Tarrasch is an excellent idea for a starting defence to Queen's pawn openings.  In fact, it's what I recomment to most people who are under 1400 or 1600 or so. 

The Slav is another great opening; a book I like on that is Winning With the Slav, which is a little older than Sadler's but still excellent and cheap if you find it used.

Regarding your other comments, you have a big misconception about the Leningrad Dutch; it's not really a "system" where you play more or less the same moves against most of White tries.  And in any case, that's not what you want to do when learning openings...you don't want to play a pre-determined set of moves leading to a certain formation or whatever; you want to develop all your pieces (and pawns) to good squares quickly--that's about it.  Playing an opening like the Tarrasch or QGD will teach you how to fight for space in the center and how to get your pieces to the best possible squares for the middlegame, not to always aim for the same set-up.

Anyway Aagaard's book is probably good for you, because it's good quality-wise (infinitely better than anything Schiller did) and it offers a repertoire against lines where White' doesn't play 2.c4.  Aagaard's book is probably the only book you'd need to play against 1.d4 until you get to 1800 or so; there aren't a lot of other books like that!
  
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Re: Tango players: what if white doesn't play 2. c
Reply #8 - 11/09/06 at 18:24:37
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As a sort of holistic approach I might suggest taking a look at

(1)   Play the Queen's Gambit, by (Croatian GM) Drazen Marovic.  It would allow you to explore the Slav, Semi-Slav or 2...e6 QGD (except the Tarrasch), via succinctly-annotated illustrative games (with a page or so of text introducing/summarising each major system).  It's not a repertoire book for White, as you might think from the title.  Many of the games are older (Capablanca, Petrosian etc.), as Marovic thinks those tend to be more instructive.

(2)  (relevant parts of) Pawn Structure Chess by (US GM) Andrew Soltis, e.g. the chapters on the QG family and Caro-Slav structures.

True enough, maybe nothing in these books gives specific recommendations on playing against non-2. c4 stuff.  A couple of thoughts:  regarding the Colle, a Slav player would probably be happy to play 1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. e3 Bf5, and if 4. c4 (recommended by every Colle book I've seen) c6 and voilà, it's a Slav.  3. Bg5 is also basically innocuous (one American GM actually called it "a horrible move") due to 3...Ne4.  In any case, I'm so old-fashioned that I think everyone should have a decent opening reference book such as MCO, which could provide guidance on lines such as these.

A final practical thought is to use interlibrary loan as a way of previewing books.
  
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Re: Tango players: what if white doesn't play 2. c
Reply #7 - 11/09/06 at 15:52:42
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Thanks for the suggestion about the Tarrasch: indeed, after posting last night I found that Aasgaard book which focuses on the Tarrasch. It got a so-so review at chesscafe. One limitation is that there is no index of variations, not in the end and not even in each individual chapter! What was Everyman thinking? However, it is supposed to be very strong on the Tarrasch, though. I'll pick it up.

I am also considering the Dutch Leningrad. I know this goes against the above advice to play classically, but one thing about it is that it a 'system' against d4, and the books on the Dutch actually cover different moves from MOVE TWO from white! (This is very unusual in opening books which often avoid discussing moves like 2. e3, 2. a3, etc. because you should be able to just "play it out." Well, yes, I could just play it out, or the book I bought could actually explain, clarify, weigh, and teach.) Also with the Dutch I think you can play the same moves in many different situations. Because I don't want to focus much on openings, this might be a better use of my time, as it'll free me up to study tactics more!

Maybe I should learn the Dutch to get a quick and dirty start with d4, and then when I am better with tactics start with the Tarrasch etc..

The amount I spend on opening books is just ridiculous, given how much I suck at this game... Shocked
  
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Re: Tango players: what if white doesn't play 2. c
Reply #6 - 11/09/06 at 12:11:02
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The Slav by Matthew Sadler got some good reviews. It is good with explanation of the ideas and has complete games. However, it does not cover deviations.

http://www.amazon.com/Slav-Matthew-Sadler/dp/1901259005/sr=1-2/qid=1163074052/re...

The Tarrash might be worth considering as well. There is book called "Meeting 1. d4" which deals with playing the Tarrash as well as any non 1. e4 openings White might throw at you other.

http://www.amazon.com/Meeting-Everyman-Chess-Jacob-Aagaard/dp/1857442245/sr=8-1/...


I would suggest you stay far away from any books by Schiller. I have never read a good review on a Schiller book.
  

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Re: Tango players: what if white doesn't play 2. c
Reply #5 - 11/09/06 at 06:56:30
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I appreciate the advice. The slav looks very attractive to me (it deals with that pesky bishop problem). I tried the QGA for a little bit, but it just felt wrong for my style. Too risky and sharp.

If anyone has any suggestions about books on the Slav that actually explain things a bit, not just data dump....

But even if I play the Slav, I'll still have to deal with it when white doesn't play 2. c4, right?

So, I guess I should ask what a good d4 response book is for patzers and then I'll take a leave from the deviants. Smiley  I have a beginner book by Schiller but frankly it is awful: few lines covered etc.. To give a sense for what I like: my opening bible for white is Emms' 'Attacking with 1. e4.' It is great. I have had trouble finding similarly helpful (for patzers) opening stuff for black on d4 that recommend playing 1...d5 (something on the level of Play 1e4 e5 by Davies).

I was excited to try Rizzitano's book, but after a couple of weeks with it I realized I hate the QGA. I want to play the Slav, but don't know what to get bookwise (that is a relatively complete repertoire in one or two books). Anyway, any suggestions for d4 full repertoire books that actually recommend 1...d5 would be much appreciated.

Note I know I shouldn't focus on the openings much. I try to focus on tactics, but the opening is beautiful and fun to study so it is something of a compulsion.
« Last Edit: 11/09/06 at 08:59:08 by neuronet »  
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Re: Tango players: what if white doesn't play 2. c
Reply #4 - 11/09/06 at 03:23:26
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ErictheRed wrote on 11/09/06 at 02:26:44:
I suggest not playing a "tricky" opening like the Tango at your level.  I bet you're getting killed in queen pawn openings from lack of space that results from blocking the c-pawn in; that's a very common symptom of games I see played by U-1400 players or so.  It's very hard to know when you can bend the rules (i.e., don't block your c-pawn by a knight in Q-pawn openings) and when you can't, especially when you don't have much of a level of sophistication.  

Why not play one of the myriad of other sound openings that allow you to get a playable middlegame?  There's the QGD, the QGA, the Tarrasch, the Semi-Tarrasch, the Slav, the Semi-Slav, Nimzo-Indian, Queen's or Bogo Indian, etc...  Of course there's nothing wrong with the Tango, but I question whether you could really play it effectively without first understanding the related ideas of the main line QGD, Chigorin Defence, and Nimzo/Bogo openings.


Yeah, that's what I think too.  It reminds me somewhat of another recent thread/debate on this board, and of something John Donaldson once wrote, approximately "I'm a firm believer that everyone should play classical chess at the beginning of their career, and I cringe whenever I see a 1600 player wheel out the King's Indian Attack."  (And no, I'm not saying that playing the Tango is exactly comparable to playing the KIA.)   
  
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