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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Is it time for me to say farewell to the Pirc? (Read 19277 times)
brabo
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Re: Is it time for me to say farewell to the Pirc?
Reply #13 - 10/27/15 at 18:15:16
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JEH wrote on 10/27/15 at 15:00:52:
P.S. There was another reason for choosing 1. ...e5 as a defence, as an analysis of my results with 1. e4 indicated it was the defence I scored worst against, thus a double benefit of studying 1. e4 e5 more, plus overall chess knowledge and new positions.


MNb wrote in a reaction on my blog that he finds switching sides a very questionable decision: http://schaken-brabo.blogspot.be/2013/02/kleuren-omwisselen.html

There is definitely some truth in this. It is well possible that a specific opening can be unattractive irrespective of the colour. On the other hand it is possible that you like to play against isolani but you don't like to have the isolani. Finally it is also possible that you like both sides as I presented in my article http://chess-brabo.blogspot.be/2015/06/switching-colors-part-2.html

So to summarize, it is not really possible to make any firm statements about the usefulness of switching sides in terms of finding the optimal repertoire. Anyway trying it out in a few games won't hurt of course.
  
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Stigma
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Re: Is it time for me to say farewell to the Pirc?
Reply #12 - 10/27/15 at 17:48:57
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I don't think I'll ever give up the Pirc completely; it's very handy against clearly weaker opponents (say, below 2000 FIDE). But there are some really tricky repertoire problems to solve, especially (for me) how to find sound lines against both 4.Be3 and 4.Bg5 that combine in a move-order-proof way.

But it is a risky opening against strong players, and also it's become more theoretical than many Sicilians! Personally I've branched out with various Sicilians (decent results) and with the French (quite bad results, but perhaps not due to the opening itself).

Re: statistical model for creating a repertoire:

I do this myself (though not in a very systematic way). But it's never obvious what should be done when you notice you score poorly with a particular opening. Learn the theory better? Learn the typical middlegames and endgames better? Try it with opposite colors to understand it better? Stop playing it? Only a look at the games themselves and even the thinking process before and during them can answer these questions.

Fitting a repertoire perfectly to one's own style sounds excellent. But then we may also lose opportunities to expand and develop a feel for new position types that could have taken us to a new level, if only we had stuck with that opening we didn't understand at first instead of returning to the safe and well-trodden.

For example, I have added ...e5 Sicilians to my repertoire several times (Sveshnikov, Kalashnikov and Boleslavsky), and always had horrible results. I just can't play with that gaping hole on d5 in my position! But maybe I had been a stronger player today if I had stubbornly stuck with these lines and eventually mastered them?
  

Improvement begins at the edge of your comfort zone. -Jonathan Rowson
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JEH
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Re: Is it time for me to say farewell to the Pirc?
Reply #11 - 10/27/15 at 15:00:52
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brabo wrote on 10/27/15 at 14:39:22:
Use a scientific model based on statistics of your own results to build an optimal personalized repertoire


P.S. There was another reason for choosing 1. ...e5 as a defence, as an analysis of my results with 1. e4 indicated it was the defence I scored worst against, thus a double benefit of studying 1. e4 e5 more, plus overall chess knowledge and new positions.
  

Those who want to go by my perverse footsteps play such pawn structure with fuzzy atypical still strategic orientations

Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, stuck in the middlegame with you
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JEH
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Re: Is it time for me to say farewell to the Pirc?
Reply #10 - 10/27/15 at 14:52:33
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brabo wrote on 10/27/15 at 14:39:22:
Use a scientific model based on statistics of your own results to build an optimal personalized repertoire


To some extent I was using this approach within the Pirc to select variations. For example, against the Austrian, I've wheeled out a Modern a6 (risky), 5. ...c5 (the most played but declining performance for me), 5. ...0-0/Na6 (worst results), and 5. ...0-0/Nc6 (best results but not brilliant). So for various reasons I wasn't happy with any of the systems. Same with e.g. the Classical and Be3.

I have thought spending more time on one, but am thinking, hey, playing  1. ...e5 is actually much easier!



  

Those who want to go by my perverse footsteps play such pawn structure with fuzzy atypical still strategic orientations

Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, stuck in the middlegame with you
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JEH
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Re: Is it time for me to say farewell to the Pirc?
Reply #9 - 10/27/15 at 14:41:50
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CarriedbyGg wrote on 10/27/15 at 14:14:33:
To add something of my strange humour, just buy "the modern tiger" by Hillarp Persson and you will love the Pirc/ the modern again! http://www.chesspub.com/yabbfiles/Templates/Forum/default/wink.gif


Already have it. Nice book, but when he says transpose to the Pirc... Huh
  

Those who want to go by my perverse footsteps play such pawn structure with fuzzy atypical still strategic orientations

Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, stuck in the middlegame with you
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JEH
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Re: Is it time for me to say farewell to the Pirc?
Reply #8 - 10/27/15 at 14:40:59
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Bibs wrote on 10/27/15 at 14:03:38:
May finally join you on the 1...e5 bus....


Meep meep. I see another open games for Black rep book is already on the way by Martin Lokander.


  

Those who want to go by my perverse footsteps play such pawn structure with fuzzy atypical still strategic orientations

Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, stuck in the middlegame with you
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brabo
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Re: Is it time for me to say farewell to the Pirc?
Reply #7 - 10/27/15 at 14:39:22
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Bibs wrote on 10/27/15 at 14:03:38:
Well, if your results are better, follow the findings from the data!

Use a scientific model based on statistics of your own results to build an optimal personalized repertoire: http://chess-brabo.blogspot.be/2015/03/openingchoices.html
In fact I already referred once to that article here earlier http://www.chesspub.com/cgi-bin/chess/YaBB.pl?num=1426109357/15

Not so long ago the chess-engine progammer Vincent Diepeveen stated that it could be very useful for professionals to have a program which helps building an optimal openingrepertoire. He was not aware of the existence of such program so it still needs to be written.
  
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CarriedbyGg
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Re: Is it time for me to say farewell to the Pirc?
Reply #6 - 10/27/15 at 14:14:33
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To add something of my strange humour, just buy "the modern tiger" by Hillarp Persson and you will love the Pirc/ the modern again! Wink
  
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Bibs
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Re: Is it time for me to say farewell to the Pirc?
Reply #5 - 10/27/15 at 14:03:38
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Well, if your results are better, follow the findings from the data!
Tough decisions these aren't they?
Me, I never settled with anything either. May finally join you on the 1...e5 bus....
  
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JEH
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Re: Is it time for me to say farewell to the Pirc?
Reply #4 - 10/27/15 at 14:01:26
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brabo wrote on 10/27/15 at 12:38:42:
In fact I wrote earlier this year an article about this topic on my blog: http://chess-brabo.blogspot.be/2015/03/identity.html


Thanks. Great blog as ever and very close to my thoughts. Even players much lower than 2200 can be well prepped, especially with me having many years of games on databases.

I'm not sure if it's just preps worries though. I think I've developed an identity of a "Pirc player" having invested much time in it and thus finding it difficult to drop completely.

On your blog - "Nevertheless when I am convinced an opening is beyond salvation then it immediately and forever disappears from my repertoire. More precisely I only keep the variation in blitz/ rapid. "

Yes, keeping it just for blitz/rapid is a great suggestion so I keep some benefit of my experience with it  Cool


  

Those who want to go by my perverse footsteps play such pawn structure with fuzzy atypical still strategic orientations

Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, stuck in the middlegame with you
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brabo
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Re: Is it time for me to say farewell to the Pirc?
Reply #3 - 10/27/15 at 12:38:42
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I believe many amateurs have a rather fixed openingrepertoire. We experience joy, grieve, excitement,... by playing our preferred openings so naturally it becomes part of our identity. Giving up an opening can be painful and isn't always easy but we should also realize that after 1,2 or more decades we are not the same person either anymore.
In fact I wrote earlier this year an article about this topic on my blog: http://chess-brabo.blogspot.be/2015/03/identity.html
  
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Re: Is it time for me to say farewell to the Pirc?
Reply #2 - 10/27/15 at 12:20:33
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I've never known how people find the time to maintain a working repertoire in more than one answer e.g. to 1.e4 at a time ! There's also the psychological issue of when to choose which opening and why. For example, if you played both and then choose the Pirc to "keep it more complex", are you already putting more pressure on that game ? In recent years my goal has been to get to 100 over the board games with each single opening to feel confident. I guess you've well passed that with the Pirc if you've played it for 30 years !
My advice would be fully commit to the new opening i.e. 1.e4 e5, get to 100 games and then consider whether you want to reintroduce the Pirc for means of variety.
  
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Re: Is it time for me to say farewell to the Pirc?
Reply #1 - 10/27/15 at 12:16:11
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Well you couldn't say you didn't give it a fair run Smiley I'd have switched at least partially well before 30 years!

Suspect you'll probably find it gets rather more effective once people have to prepare a bunch more ideas as well though. Even at club level one (slightly risky) opening is a bit risky nowadays.
  
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JEH
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Is it time for me to say farewell to the Pirc?
10/27/15 at 11:33:51
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Dear Aunty Chesspub,

The first e4 defence I "learned" as a teen was the Dragon. I knew little theory. When I got to a point of thinking I needed to learn some, I got a bit scared  Shocked

Then I found this lovely defence called the Pirc, where I got a Dragon bishop, but without all this Sicilian theory  Smiley

That was over thirty years ago, and despite the Pirc being my long standing friend against 1. e4, I now wonder if I'm just in denial about its soundness, and it is time to say farewell  Cry

I go back through my games, and my results against all levels of opposition really look bad now. Even lines where previously I had done quite well. I check the theory, but find difficulties playing the accurate abnormal moves required to survive some positions.

In contrast, I have been adding 1. ...e5 to my repertoire. My results with it have been excellent against non-Lopez lines and a good rating performance against the Lopez, from just a few months play, as compared to a few decades!

I was considering keeping both defences for variety, but am now thinking, should it be time to ditch my old friend completely?  Undecided





  

Those who want to go by my perverse footsteps play such pawn structure with fuzzy atypical still strategic orientations

Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, stuck in the middlegame with you
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