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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) Recommend Black repertoire for my style (Read 9611 times)
MNb
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Re: Recommend Black repertoire for my style
Reply #6 - 10/21/10 at 10:34:39
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You definitely should play some mainstream stuff, but still modestly ambitious ones. So the Tartakower comes to my mind, combined with ...c5 against 5.Bf4.

3.Both players always keep at least one centre pawn eacht.
4.Black's play is based on sound positional principles.
5.Pawn moves are directed at gaining space.
6.Manoeuvring skills are a pre in these openings.
7.Black tries to get the initiative and evt. initiates an attack against White's King if the necessary positional conditions are fullfilled. Eg there are some lines the Tartakower in which Black opens the position with d5-d4 against a king on e1.
8.See 7.
9.Defending usually revolves around subtle positional points.
10.Most positions are quite standard, still require imagination to get out the most of it.

Later edit:

ErictheRed wrote on 10/21/10 at 00:31:33:
I think I'm more of a "positional" player than a "tactical" player.  I'm a very good "builder" and can maneuver well.  However, I consider myself not a prophylaxis-first player like Karpov.

You should reconsider this. When he was WCh Karpov in fact was one of the most dangerous attacking players around; not the messy type, but always based on solid positional ground. His wins with the Keres Attack made the Scheveningen look like refuted. Don't forget either that he is about the only player who defeated Kasparov as Black by playing a gambit (Kasparov declined and still got creamed).
He turned to a prophylactic style after he had lost the title, could not beat Kasparov against the Najdorf and grew older.
In fact Karpov from 1970-1985 very much fits your description of your own style.
« Last Edit: 10/21/10 at 15:14:00 by MNb »  

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Re: Recommend Black repertoire for my style
Reply #5 - 10/21/10 at 06:49:39
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It sound like you definitely should have the Caro-Kann in your repertoire, either as a main defence or backup. True, you have less space, but it's easy to learn, very solid and gives black a fundamentally sound position. If you're a good defender and positional player then you'll be extremely hard to beat and outplay a lot of players who're either weaker or overextend their positions.
It's not the sharpest weapon available but if that's OK for you then the Caro sounds like an excellent choice.
  
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BPaulsen
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Re: Recommend Black repertoire for my style
Reply #4 - 10/21/10 at 04:34:07
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ErictheRed wrote on 10/21/10 at 03:53:33:
By the way, what other information would you think helpful in making a recommendation for me?  I tried to give an honest assessment of my play, likes and dislikes, etc.


Identifying what is/isn't a messy position to you. The Botvinnik Semi-Slav/Winawer Poison Pawn are complete chaos, but the question is how chaotic are certain positions like the Anti-Moscow?

Clarifying what you meant about the center earlier - ie: are blocked centers okay, or do you prefer an open file?

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  It might help you to know that we knew eachother pretty well at one point (basically lived together in Arizona one summer), but I think we've both come a long way since then. 


Ah, I had no idea that was you since the screen name didn't match your real name.

I'd like to think we've both come a long way not just as chessplayers, but in life. That was a real low point for me aside from the chess, it didn't seem much better for you either.
  

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ErictheRed
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Re: Recommend Black repertoire for my style
Reply #3 - 10/21/10 at 03:53:33
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Thank you very much for the post, Bryan!   I had a feeling you'd be the first to respond.  I'll think on what you've said, but I don't want to comment much until I've given it some thought and allowed some other people to respond (I don't want to influence their recommendations by talking about which openings I've already tried, etc).

By the way, what other information would you think helpful in making a recommendation for me?  I tried to give an honest assessment of my play, likes and dislikes, etc.  It might help you to know that we knew eachother pretty well at one point (basically lived together in Arizona one summer), but I think we've both come a long way since then. 
  
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Zatara
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Re: Recommend Black repertoire for my style
Reply #2 - 10/21/10 at 03:51:45
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Hi Ericthered,
NO I am not a master.  But you helped me so I might give you some things to think about though Bpaulsen did well.  First I would say play 2 defences as Black and maybe add a positional 1.e4 rep or try NF3 or c4 as white. 
But you asked about Black:
I think the 2 best defences for you are the slav and Nimzo/ragozin  and vs 1.e4 play Caro Kahn and Berlin vs Ruy Lopez defence! 
slav buy Vigus's book and Nimzo buy Dearing's book and Ragozin just study recent GM games!  The Caro buy the recent book by Quality chess books!  and Berlin buy Cox's book.  These books are extremely well written which is another reason I recommend these repertoire suggestions!!

Now I go through your criteria as best I can for the openings I recommend above!
1. You like main lines hence the Berlin Ruy caro, slav and Nimzo  That was easy
2. Good memory: this will allow you to play 2 defences vs 1.e4 and 1.d4! 
3. pawn centers: the Nimzo/Ragozin are good for pawn centers and slav similar this fits best with the Berlin caro not a much but as with the slav you get good levers
4. Position not a mess: Berlin makes real sence.  Caro sometimes the advance lines like shirov's line can be messy, but at least it is not the Winawer!!!  slav and Nimzo/ragozin fit pretty well maybe Ragozin too messy then play QID!
5. space: Berlin and Slav and Nimzo are good here
6. Positional: Berlin is great then maybe SLav more positional then Nimzo maybe!
7. initiative all are pretty active Berlin less so, but you can't have everything!
8. you say you are not materialistic: none of these are gambit lines, you can add gambits vs weaker players especially in the Nimzo with b5 moves
9. You defend well, Caro is good and berlin good too and you will use your defence with the Ragozin as it gives somewhat an airy king sometimes
10 you are a Capablanca or Botvinik: I think they will be smiling from heaven about the caro/Berlin and slav/Nimzo!

If I were to choose 2 they would be the Berlin!  and SLav!
hope this helps!,
Zatara
  
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BPaulsen
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Re: Recommend Black repertoire for my style
Reply #1 - 10/21/10 at 01:26:43
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Your post is a tall order, you put all this emphasis on space, when the reality is black isn't going to get a space advantage of any sort the vast majority of the time. The key difference is black's responses need to off-set white's space due to requiring white weaknesses, etc.

I'll list candidates based on your statements, then a summary at the end.

1. Based on your desire to play main line openings that keep winning chances versus lower rateds, and rich play versus higher rateds the candidates are:

1. e4 - 1...e5, Sicilian, French, Caro-Kann.

1. d4 - Nimzo-Indian paired with either the Queen's Indian with 4...Ba6 or the Ragozin/Vienna QGD along with some sort of Catalan response, King's Indian Defense, Grunfeld Defense, Semi-Slav, Dutch Defense.

2. Every opening listed above is heavily theoretical.

3. As black I would say the emphasis is less on pawn center than having a central majority with the potential to become a pawn center. Also, you're not clear by what you mean pawn play in the center - fluidity of structure, or blocked center? Anyway, the closest I can identify to this is:

1. e4 - e5 (black tends to stake out an e5/c5 pawn front in a lot of Ruy Lopez defenses), Sicilian Defense (black obtains a central majority in the main lines)

1. d4 - Semi-Slav stands out as black erecting a firm pawn structure in the center, and defining the nature of the play. The hypermodern defenses (NID/QID, Grunfeld, KID) tend to cede space for counterplay other benefits.

4. Your idea of a mess is pretty vague - the Botvinnik Semi-Slav is a mess, but is the Anti-Moscow Gambit?

It's hard to make a recommendation.

Anyway, I'd say that retains 1...e5 versus 1. e4.

If the Anti-Moscow doesn't scare you it'd keep the Semi-Slav as a possibility. Aside from that, the NID/QID (or QGD) complex are notorious for giving white little to chew on positionally.

Same for the Slav.

5. You're not going to get a space advantage as black most of the time as said previously. All you can do is play openings where there's a chance the middlegame sees black take over the space advantage.

6. If this indicates a liking for blocked positions than suddenly the Caro-Kann, and French Defense become very real options. There is a lot of maneuvering and positional feel necessary to play those openings well.

As someone able to maneuver the NID/QID complex springs to mind as being positional without incurring too much of a space deficit.

The Chebanenko Slav is another candidate, or just the main line Slav.

In the Dutch black seeks out his own space.

7. That doesn't do a whole lot for me any player has to be able to do that regardless of opening.

8. That doesn't do a whole lot for me any player has to be able to do that regardless of opening.

9. That does give certain openings some unique leverage - it means that so long as your opening choices incur as few weaknesses as possible in your position that you can go toe-to-toe with anyone.

Against 1. e4 - that'd be 1...e5 and 1...c6. Both go over great with natural defenders.

Against 1. d4 - that'd be the NID/QID, the QGD (alone or in tandem with the NID), Slav, Semi-Slav.

10. That cuts out much of the Sicilian against 1. e4, and the Grunfeld/KID versus 1. d4. It's tenuous in regards to the Semi-Slav.

In summary:

Versus 1. e4

1...e5 stands out perhaps the most as fulfilling the criteria that you like space, pawn centers, aren't afraid of theory, the idea that you're a good defender, and that it offer good chances regardless of opponent. In the case of the Ruy Lopez (perhaps the main line to 1...e5) your maneuvering skill comes in handy as well.

I mentioned the Sicilian a few times previously in some of the criteria you mentioned, but unfortunately your weakness with messy positions stands out too strongly to really recommend it. It also cedes space in the hopes that eventually black can use his pawn center, so I can't recommend it.

The French Defense really only fulfills your requirements that it provide winning chances, it provides for maneuvering, and defenders can do well with it. In comparison, black is ceding a space advantage (something you've put a high premium on) from the get-go. It is a possibility, but not as strong a one as 1...e5.

The Caro-Kann heavily plays to your strengths as good at maneuvering, it has central play, winning chances versus everyone, is great for defenders, and theoretical knowledge is a must. The downside is black tends to operate from less space than 1...e5.

So in order of possibilities of recommendations versus 1. e4:

#1) 1...e5
#2) Caro-Kann
#3) French Defense
#4) Sicilian Defense

Versus 1. d4

The NID/QID (or QGD) complex is theoretical, offers winning chances, sees black assume assume his share of the center (or obtain central majority), is good for maneuvering, and great for defenders. The downside is this requires you have a defense to the Catalan.

The Semi-Slav complex is theoretical, offers winning chances, great for defenders (particularly if going the Cambridge Springs route). The downside is that some of the positions are messy - ie: Anti-Moscow Gambit.

Your emphasis on space rules out the KID/Grunfeld, the most glaring examples of black ignoring space for other benefits.

The Slav provides winning chances versus all, is theoretical, favors maneuvering, and favors defenders.

The Dutch seeks out space, provides winning chances, black absolutely has to know theory, however in some ways 1...f5 is just as much a curse as a blessing.

So in order of possibilities for 1. d4 (in parenthesis the openings that are universal to 1. d4/1. c4/1. Nf3 in that the set-up works in a satisfactory manner theoretically)

#1) Slav with 4...a6, or Main Line (Universal if paired with Caro-Kann due to 1. c4 c6 2. e4)
#2) NID/QID (or QGD)/Catalan complex (Universal if played with QGD)
#3) Semi-Slav (Universal if paired with Caro-Kann due to 1. c4 c6 2. e4)
#4) Dutch Defense
#5) King's Indian Defense (Universal)
#6) Grunfeld Indian Defense

Going with the top choices that'd leave you as a 1. e4 e5, and Slav player. If aiming to be completely covered everywhere you might go Caro-Kann and Slav/Semi-Slav.

The recommendations might be different if there were more information. If you felt I weighted something too heavily, the second, or even third choices could be chosen instead.
  

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ErictheRed
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Recommend Black repertoire for my style
10/21/10 at 00:31:33
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I'm re-evaluating my Black repertoire and I'm turning to the experts on ChessPub for advice.  Please read this post carefully and make a recommendation for my Black repertoire (vs. 1.e4 and 1.d4) that you think would best suit my strengths.  I'm not interested in having you post your favorite lines as recommendations--if you can't show how the lines you recommend meet my play style (listed below), don't respond.

First off, I'm 32 and currently rated about 2130 USCF but have been higher in the past (I took almost 2 years off from playing, and I'm a little rusty).  I'm trying to get my rating above 2200 and keep it there (I was 2203 after one
tournament)!

As White, I play 1.d4 and I'm fairly happy with the positions I get.  My repertoire consists of the Catalan, Saemisch vs. the KID, Modern Exchange with 8.Rb1 against the Grunfeld (though I'm not super comfortable here), main lines with 2.g3 against the Dutch, both 3.Nc3 and 3.Nf3 against the Slav (with main lines to follow), and usually 3.e4 against the QGA.  Here's a breakdown of my style:

1.  I want to play main line, sound openings, that offer good winning chances against weaker players and rich play against stronger ones.  Sometimes I wish there were a little more winning chances as White in the Closed Catalan, but you can't have everything!

2.  I have a good memory and am not afraid of learning some theory.

3.  I like pawn centers.  I generally don't like wide-open positions with no pawn play in the center. 

4.  I like having a "position" and not a mess.  I read somewhere that back in the 70s, someone was watching some young masters analyze a position in the Sveshnikov Sicilian, and they exclaimed: "Black doesn't have a position, just a collection of weaknesses!"  That's not what I'm after.  The Botvinnik Semi-Slav and Poisoned Pawn Winawer are out.

5.  I like space and play very well with a space advantage (though it's rare for Black to get a space advantage in the opening).  After 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 0-0 6.Be3 e5 7.d5, for instance, I have a tremendous score.   

6.  I think I'm more of a "positional" player than a "tactical" player.  I'm a very good "builder" and can maneuver well.  However, I consider myself more of a Smyslov type positional player, not a prophylaxis-first
player like Petrosian or Karpov (I realize this is a generalization).

7.  Though I'm a "positional" player, I like the initiative and am a pretty dangerous attacker when I have it.  Here's a game excerpt (G/45) I played against a 2350 player to show you what I mean:

[White "ErictheRed"]
[Black "2350 Player"]
[Result "1-0"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 d5 4. Nf3 Be7 5. Bg2 O-O 6. O-O dxc4 7. Na3 Bxa3 8.
bxa3 b5 9. a4 a6 10. Ba3 Re8 11. Ne5 Nd5 12. e4 Nb6 13. Qh5 Qf6 14. a5 Na4 15.
Nc6 (15. Nxc4 $1) 15... Nxc6 16. e5 Qd8 17. Bxc6 Bd7 18. Be4 $1 g6 19. Qh6 Nc3
20. Bf3 $1 c6 21. Rfe1 and I went on to win.  However, I sometimes conduct a nice attack but fail to find the knock-out punch at the critical moment.

8.  I'm not materialistic: I like making positional sacrifices of a pawn or the Exchange, etc., for long-term compensation.  However, I generally want clear positional plusses that I can work with.  I don't like complications just for the sake of complications.  Here's an example of an intuitive sacrifice to change the course of a game that had gone my opponent's way (G/60):

[Date "2010.06.30"]
[White "ErictheRed"]
[Black "2203 Player"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. d5 e6 4. Nc3 exd5 5. cxd5 Bd6 6. g3 O-O 7. Bg2 Re8 8. Nf3
Bc7 9. O-O d6 10. Re1 a6 11. a4 Nbd7 12. h3 Rb8 13. Bf4 Nf8 14. Qc2 Ng6 15. Bg5
h6 16. Bd2 b5 17. axb5 axb5 18. e4 Bd7 19. b3 Bb6 20. Rab1 Qc7 (Black basically has everything he wants, so I sac the exchange!) 21. Nd1 Ra8 22. Bc3 Ba5 23. Bxf6! Bxe1 24. Nxe1 gxf6 25. Ne3 Re7 26. Kh2 Rae8 27. Rc1 Qa5 28. Nd3 Rc8 29. Qb2 Kg7 30.h4 Ne5 31. Nf4 Ree8 and I unfortunately missed the knockout 32. Nh5+ and went on to only draw.

9.  I was told by an IM where I used to live that I am a very good/tenacious defender, and that the local Masters had a very hard time beating me.  Perhaps that makes me similar to Lasker or Korchnoi?

10.  I think the weakest part of my game is my intuitive feel for messy, complicated, tactically charged, non-standard positions.  I admire Tal, Bronstein, Kasparov, Alekhine, etc., but I'm more of a Smyslov, Capablanca,
or Botvinnik.

Please recommend a Black opening repertoire for me, and if possible justify it by how closely it matches my chess playing charecteristics listed above.  I would especially like to hear from people who are stronger players than me.  Thanks in advance; I hope to get a lot of food for thought as I try to make Master for good this time!
  
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