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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) What to play as White vs the Symmetrical English? (Read 4709 times)
RdC
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Re: What to play as White vs the Symmetrical English?
Reply #10 - 07/27/15 at 20:53:36
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Marc Benford wrote on 07/26/15 at 18:34:35:
But what I am sure of is that I won’t play it on move 3 against 2…Nf6 because I don’t like the sound and strong gambit: 1. Nf3 c5 2. c4 Nf6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 e5 5. Nb5 d5 6. cxd5 Bc5 7. N5c3 O-O


If you want to avoid that line, then you will need to know how to play positions where playing d4 is difficult to achieve. The sequence 1. Nf3 c5 2. c4 Nc6 3. Nc3 e5 leaves White in effect himself defending an English admittedly with the extra tempo. In a more restrained manner, Black can also play something like 1. Nf3 c5 2. c4 Nc6 3. Nc3 g6 4. g3 Bg7
  
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Sauron
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Re: What to play as White vs the Symmetrical English?
Reply #9 - 07/26/15 at 21:40:21
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Marc Benford wrote on 07/26/15 at 18:34:35:
I dislike these kinds of mass quotes, they’re difficult to read and often lead to big off-topic discussions.

Anyways I have already searched in ChessBase, I navigated through so many variations for hours… I honestly have no idea which variation to choose. Perhaps for some people like you it’s easy, you just look through some variations and you instantly know which one you want to play, but unfortunately I’m not one of those people.

I already provided six important points to explain what I’m interested in. I’ve seen many many threads which were much less ‘specific’ than mine, so my thread should not be completely impossible to answer.



I’m not sure if I want to play d4 early, play d4 late, or not play d4 at all. But what I am sure of is that I won’t play it on move 3 against 2…Nf6 because I don’t like the sound and strong gambit: 1. Nf3 c5 2. c4 Nf6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 e5 5. Nb5 d5 6. cxd5 Bc5 7. N5c3 O-O

Ideally I would have wanted to play g3, Bg2, O-O, Nc3, d4 (in some order) against everything. But unfortunately that’s not possible…


Look at Wojo's weapons and Openings for White according to Kramnik. Both give an ambitious enough repertoire for you.
  

1.Nf3! -  beat your opponent by killing his zest for life.
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Re: What to play as White vs the Symmetrical English?
Reply #8 - 07/26/15 at 19:59:39
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Again, maybe the games of Ulf Andersson. There is also a book by Donaldson and Hansen, A strategic opening repertoire, that deals with much of the same stuff.

For a repetoire with 1. c4, 2. g3, there are Marin's books. Three of them, which says a bit about the choices there are after 1. c4. But since you play 1. Nf3 2. c4, you only "need" two of the volumes  Grin. And you still have to do some work, because there are improvements in quite a few lines. Many have been commented on here at Chesspub, thus a subscription can help you. I have also been using Damian Lemos book Opening Repertoire: Fianchetto System. Might help you with your choices.

My two cents again, and what Tony seemed to mean, is that
"I want to play variations that tend to lead on average to the most positional, solid, safe, quiet, slow, boring and strategic positions (i.e. the least sharp and tactical positions)."
is NOT compatible with

"I want to play variations that are objectively strong for White. I am only satisfied with the best. They need to be played very often by Grandmasters."

and to a certain extent "I would like to limit Black’s options as much as possible." (especially since there are so many transpositional possibilities within the English complex).
  
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Marc Benford
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Re: What to play as White vs the Symmetrical English?
Reply #7 - 07/26/15 at 18:34:35
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I dislike these kinds of mass quotes, they’re difficult to read and often lead to big off-topic discussions.

Anyways I have already searched in ChessBase, I navigated through so many variations for hours… I honestly have no idea which variation to choose. Perhaps for some people like you it’s easy, you just look through some variations and you instantly know which one you want to play, but unfortunately I’m not one of those people.

I already provided six important points to explain what I’m interested in. I’ve seen many many threads which were much less ‘specific’ than mine, so my thread should not be completely impossible to answer.



I’m not sure if I want to play d4 early, play d4 late, or not play d4 at all. But what I am sure of is that I won’t play it on move 3 against 2…Nf6 because I don’t like the sound and strong gambit: 1. Nf3 c5 2. c4 Nf6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 e5 5. Nb5 d5 6. cxd5 Bc5 7. N5c3 O-O

Ideally I would have wanted to play g3, Bg2, O-O, Nc3, d4 (in some order) against everything. But unfortunately that’s not possible…
  
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Re: What to play as White vs the Symmetrical English?
Reply #6 - 07/26/15 at 16:04:04
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Marc Benford wrote on 07/26/15 at 13:26:46:
Should I play for d2-d4? If yes, when exactly should I play d2-d4?


You play d4 if you like the typical positions that arise. That's both with and without a Black capture on d4. In some variations, you have to play it sooner rather than later, for example the sequence 1. Nf3 c5 2. c4 Nc6 3. Nc3 e5 prevents it and you would have to prepare d4 with e3. There's also the plan where Black plays c5, Nc6, g6 and Bg7 where again you need to play e3, or play some line where you go d4, they play cxd4, you go Nb5 etc.
  
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TonyRo
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Re: What to play as White vs the Symmetrical English?
Reply #5 - 07/26/15 at 15:56:52
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Marc Benford wrote on 07/26/15 at 15:18:25:
I first need to ask knowledgeable people what opening I should play (what opening fits my criteria), and only after I know which opening to study do I buy books on this specific opening and do I study it deeply.

I was suggesting that you do some of the recon work up front, e.g. opening Chessbase/SCID, inputting the moves 1.Nf3 c5 2.c4 in, perusing around the usual lines you're concerned about, checking out the win percentage, viewing some games, seeing which players play what, etc. You can very easily do this, and most likely would preclude the need for a post like this period. Your follow up posts would likely be a lot more specific, and a lot more productive to boot - you'd know approximately what you're interested in, and people can provide more analysis and guidance than they can now.

Marc Benford wrote on 07/26/15 at 15:18:25:
In fact three years ago I actually did what you’re suggesting me to do today: without first thinking about which openings I really wanted to play, I picked some books about some openings (the Sicilian and the Benko Gambit) and I studied these openings very deeply…
This has been the greatest mistake in my entire chess career - a complete waste of time. And I definitely won’t make the same mistake twice.

I'm not suggesting you do this again (my apologies if my post sounded like I am), that would indeed be foolish. But you can very quickly get a sense of what lines "feel" like by doing a bit of work yourself. I'd also throw my opinion out there that any work on chess is not wasted - yeah, perhaps you don't play those lines now, but you might in the future, and learning about chess is learning about chess!

Marc Benford wrote on 07/26/15 at 15:18:25:
know that Black has different systems against 1. Nf3 c5 2. c4, I’m searching for what to play against the most common ones:
- the Hedgehog
- the normal Kingside Fianchetto without a Queenside Fianchetto
- an early …d7-d5
That’s not “a ton”.

You might not think it's a ton, but perhaps you're wrong. After 1.Nf3 c5 2.c4,

- The Hedgehog might start via 2...Nf6 3.g3 (or are you playing 3.Nc3 or 3.d4 here?) 3...b6 4.Bg2 Bb7 5.O-O e6 (oh wait, there's the double fianchetto variation with 5...g6 here) 6.Nc3 and now there's 6...Be7, 6...a6, and 6...d6, all of which contain different ideas and subtleties. And even with 6...Be7, there's 7.Re1 or 7.d4, and even after 7.d4 cxd4 8.Qxd4 d6, there's a ton of different plans - 9.Rd1, 9.Bg5, 9.b3, 9.e4, etc.

- The label "kingside fianchetto without a queenside fianchetto" is incredibly vague - is that with ...Nc6 and without ...Nf6, with ...Nf6 and with ...d5? You see how it's more complicated than that? Are you planning on playing g3 here too, or would you rather try and enter the Bind and meet 2...Nc6 3.Nc3 (or is it 3.g3 here?) 3...g6 with 4.e3?

- With an early ...d5? Preparing it with ...e6 to enter the Tarrasch? Or without? Grunfeld like setups, or setups without ...g6?

Marc Benford wrote on 07/26/15 at 15:18:25:
I’m not asking what I should play up to move 10! Just up to move 5-6 and it would already be enough – and for the rest I’ll get the info in books.

Do you really expect to get constructive answers like this? Ignoring the fact that there are tons of move order subtleties and difficulties in this specific line that would make answering up through move 5 very time consuming, some lines you mentioned above, e.g. the Hedgehog, don't even reach tabiyas by move 5. And would answers as vague as your post be helpful at all? How about this:

Fianchetto versus every line, enter the Hedgehog, take on d5 if they play it, dont' enter the bind, play the Tarrasch if it's offered, consult databases for details. Check Kramnik's games.


Marc Benford wrote on 07/26/15 at 15:18:25:
And as for “Every single one of these posts has had basically zero insights in it about your previous work, what you're playing currently”, well if you had actually read my thread you would have seen that I actually do speak about the other openings which I play: “I also play the Catalan, the Queen’s Indian Fianchetto Variation, the King’s Indian Fianchetto Variation and the Grünfeld Fianchetto Variation, so transpositions to any of these openings are welcomed.”

I read your posts in detail. I have read all of your posts in detail. What I meant was, your previous work on this variation. What are you playing now when people play 1...c5 against you? What analysis on these systems have you done already? What are your conclusions? My issue is that you ask all of these super vague and really, really broad questions that require a detailed response, except that you provide no detail. 

Marc Benford wrote on 07/26/15 at 15:18:25:
Telling me that my thread is unanswerable because Black always equalize against every single opening is just pure trolling. When I said “it must not forfeit White's advantage” obviously I just meant that White must score around his usual 55% that’s it.

It wasn't trolling at all, honestly. At least that wasn't my intent?  Grin

What's the point of writing this then? Given your previous comments, you're worried that someone is going to suggest a line up through moves 5-6 that's losing?

Marc Benford wrote on 07/26/15 at 15:18:25:
That’s how a Forum works: if someone doesn’t like a particular thread that’s fine because nobody is forcing him to post in the thread which he dislikes ; and if someone likes a particular thread that’s also fine and he can freely post in that thread.

Indeed, this is how a forum works. But great forums work when posters post in such a way that all people reading it and posting it benefit in some way. And so when you post in a way that basically receives and never gives, you don't foster healthy and fruitful discussions. Your repertoire contains a lot of similarities with mine, and with the book BPaulsen is writing at this moment. If you would have posted something along the lines of:

"Hey guys, I have been working on building a repertoire that's to my tastes against 1.Nf3 c5 with 2.c4 for a bit, and here's what I came up with:"

Followed by some detailed analysis and breakdown of the move order issues, people would surely jump in, myself included, with what they play, their analysis, opinions on lines, etc. There have been some really amazing posts on ChessPub, and they all start like what's above. Posts I've been really proud to be a part of. But when you do nothing, ask for everything, and place all kinds of silly constraints on the types of answers you'd like, you're likely to receive little in return.
  
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Re: What to play as White vs the Symmetrical English?
Reply #4 - 07/26/15 at 15:49:19
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TonyRo wrote on 07/26/15 at 13:47:16:
aggravating and tedious


hear, hear
  
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Marc Benford
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Re: What to play as White vs the Symmetrical English?
Reply #3 - 07/26/15 at 15:18:25
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TonyRo wrote on 07/26/15 at 13:47:16:
I don't want to come off rude, but these posts are getting a little aggravating and tedious for me. If I recall correctly, you said you were 1900 in another one of these threads - at that rating, shouldn't you be doing a lot of opening work by yourself? Or at least starting it, and only then asking questions? Every single one of these posts has had basically zero insights in it about your previous work, what you're playing currently, and a paltry level of detail within the variations themselves. Start working through variations in books, databases, the internet, by yourself, and then come back with specific questions and with some direction. This one in particular is absolutely absurd, since after 1.Nf3 c5 2.c4 you didn't specify a move for Black - there are a ton of possible ways Black can play here, and in each one White can play quite a few different ways himself.

And each of these posts also has this ridiculous preamble about insisting on "positional, safe, solid, boring, sterile, slow..." but "I am only satisfied with the best" or "it must not forfeit White's advantage". The reality in chess is that with reasonable opening play, Black equalizes. White will forfeit his advantage at some point. This is especially true when you refuse to enter a certain type of position - sometimes you have to be able to play the sharp positions, drive home that attack, grab the initiative, etc, and sometimes it's the opposite. Even the best positional players know when it's time to change gears. You can't have it both ways - for the most part, chess is a very sophisticated race, and trying to slow down the race (not all the time, but in very many positions) will not pay off for you in a theoretical sense. But it can in a practical sense if you really prefer those positions, so I'd go with what you like and don't worry about who's playing your variations or if some yahoo on the internet tells you that this is your best option.

Check out the Wojo books, the Khalfman Kramnik books, consult a database, do some research on Kramnik's games, etc, and come back with what you find.
Total nonsense.

I first need to ask knowledgeable people what opening I should play (what opening fits my criteria), and only after I know which opening to study do I buy books on this specific opening and do I study it deeply. Not the other way around (which would be foolish), like you seem to be suggesting me.

In fact three years ago I actually did what you’re suggesting me to do today: without first thinking about which openings I really wanted to play, I picked some books about some openings (the Sicilian and the Benko Gambit) and I studied these openings very deeply…
This has been the greatest mistake in my entire chess career - a complete waste of time. And I definitely won’t make the same mistake twice.

Telling me that my thread is unanswerable because Black always equalize against every single opening is just pure trolling. When I said “it must not forfeit White's advantage” obviously I just meant that White must score around his usual 55% that’s it. I was speaking of the practical aspect, not the theoretical aspect (theoretically everything is draw, yes, but who cares?).

I know that Black has different systems against 1. Nf3 c5 2. c4, I’m searching for what to play against the most common ones:
- the Hedgehog
- the normal Kingside Fianchetto without a Queenside Fianchetto
- an early …d7-d5
That’s not “a ton”.
I’m not asking what I should play up to move 10! Just up to move 5-6 and it would already be enough – and for the rest I’ll get the info in books.

And as for “Every single one of these posts has had basically zero insights in it about your previous work, what you're playing currently”, well if you had actually read my thread you would have seen that I actually do speak about the other openings which I play: “I also play the Catalan, the Queen’s Indian Fianchetto Variation, the King’s Indian Fianchetto Variation and the Grünfeld Fianchetto Variation, so transpositions to any of these openings are welcomed.”

If you are getting “aggravated” by my threads, then I have a simple solution for you: don’t reply to my threads.
You can just close your eyes, put me in your ignore list, and never read my threads again.
That’s how a Forum works: if someone doesn’t like a particular thread that’s fine because nobody is forcing him to post in the thread which he dislikes ; and if someone likes a particular thread that’s also fine and he can freely post in that thread.
  
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Re: What to play as White vs the Symmetrical English?
Reply #2 - 07/26/15 at 14:51:01
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I fully agree with what Tony writes above. I'll emphasize that your points are extremely contradictory imo, for the reasons Tony mentions.

Anyway, based on what you start with solid as your first criterion (solid etc), maybe you can look into the games of Ulf Andersson. There is also a book by Donaldson and Hansen, A strategic opening repertoire, that deals with much of the same stuff.
  
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Re: What to play as White vs the Symmetrical English?
Reply #1 - 07/26/15 at 13:47:16
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I don't want to come off rude, but these posts are getting a little aggravating and tedious for me. If I recall correctly, you said you were 1900 in another one of these threads - at that rating, shouldn't you be doing a lot of opening work by yourself? Or at least starting it, and only then asking questions? Every single one of these posts has had basically zero insights in it about your previous work, what you're playing currently, and a paltry level of detail within the variations themselves. Start working through variations in books, databases, the internet, by yourself, and then come back with specific questions and with some direction. This one in particular is absolutely absurd, since after 1.Nf3 c5 2.c4 you didn't specify a move for Black - there are a ton of possible ways Black can play here, and in each one White can play quite a few different ways himself.

And each of these posts also has this ridiculous preamble about insisting on "positional, safe, solid, boring, sterile, slow..." but "I am only satisfied with the best" or "it must not forfeit White's advantage". The reality in chess is that with reasonable opening play, Black equalizes. White will forfeit his advantage at some point. This is especially true when you refuse to enter a certain type of position - sometimes you have to be able to play the sharp positions, drive home that attack, grab the initiative, etc, and sometimes it's the opposite. Even the best positional players know when it's time to change gears. You can't have it both ways - for the most part, chess is a very sophisticated race, and trying to slow down the race (not all the time, but in very many positions) will not pay off for you in a theoretical sense. But it can in a practical sense if you really prefer those positions, so I'd go with what you like and don't worry about who's playing your variations or if some yahoo on the internet tells you that this is your best option.

Check out the Wojo books, the Khalfman Kramnik books, consult a database, do some research on Kramnik's games, etc, and come back with what you find.
  
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Marc Benford
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What to play as White vs the Symmetrical English?
07/26/15 at 13:26:46
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Hello.

As White I always start with 1. Nf3, and then if my opponent plays 1…c5 I play 2. c4 which is the English Symmetrical.

But what exactly should I play in the English Symmetrical?
What move order should I choose precisely?
Should I play for d2-d4? If yes, when exactly should I play d2-d4?

In order to answer these questions, there are six important points to note:

  • I want to always make a Kingside Fianchetto whatever Black plays (except if doing so would give Black equality).


  • I want to play variations that tend to lead on average to the most positional, solid, safe, quiet, slow, boring and strategic positions (i.e. the least sharp and tactical positions).


  • I like having a space advantage. And I love Queenless positions.


  • I want to play variations that are objectively strong for White. I am only satisfied with the best. They need to be played very often by Grandmasters.


  • I would like to limit Black’s options as much as possible.


  • I also play the Catalan, the Queen’s Indian Fianchetto Variation, the King’s Indian Fianchetto Variation and the Grünfeld Fianchetto Variation, so transpositions to any of these openings are welcomed.


Thanks in advance for your answers.
  
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