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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Should the opening sections be reorganised? (Read 4492 times)
GMTonyKosten
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Re: Should the opening sections be reorganised?
Reply #15 - 08/17/19 at 16:27:37
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fling wrote on 08/17/19 at 08:58:16:
1. The subscribers' interests, which for sure differ somewhat
2. The change in popularity of different lines over time


Obviously the first is the most important as far as I am concerned, they pay for the material after all. Smiley
However, the 2nd is also important, for example, looking at this month's Anti-Sicilian update I wonder whether we should rename it the '3...Nd7 Moscow' section, instead!
Also, as David wrote to me (about the Dragon, but it could also be about the French, etc.) "it's hard to find that many relevant games in this opening... Many games are rehashes of 'White fell into this trap again'." Which is true, and while some sections can afford to mostly annotate games between really strong 2700+ players, others have to make do with games between much, much weaker opponents Sad!
  
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fling
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Re: Should the opening sections be reorganised?
Reply #14 - 08/17/19 at 08:58:16
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I agree with the points Trw give.

If there should be a split of the existing sections, I'd say split the Open Sicilian, not the Flank openings or 1. e4 e5.

Furthermore, I guess there are considerations that somewhat might go against each other when deciding the structure. Basically, I see these three:
1. The subscribers' interests, which for sure differ somewhat
2. The change in popularity of different lines over time
3. How easy it will be to find good contributors for each section

It seems that partly why this thread was created is because of 2 and 3. If these in practice dictate what the site practically can offer, I am fine with that, because I subscribe to all sections anyway Smiley However, of course a commercial site also needs to consider the subscribers' wishes. But if I have to choose between not getting updates at all (as was the case for 1. d4 d5) or having some updates with lines that are not directly what I want, I'd rather have updates. What matters the most to me is having good quality analysis in the updates.

As a side note, though, I would like to see a bit more interactivity between the updates and the forum. There are for sure updates which consider lines discussed in the forum, but I don't think it happens too frequently and not in all sections (correct me if I am wrong, I haven't done any analysis of this). In this way, point 1 is considered as well.
  
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trw
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Re: Should the opening sections be reorganised?
Reply #13 - 08/17/19 at 03:55:18
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tipau wrote on 08/14/19 at 13:25:49:
11) English
12) Other Flank (Reti + KIA + irregular lines)


Massively against this suggestion. The Reti and other flank (b4, g4) do not warrant being broken out on their own. The English is the only real serious try seen in real play.

TopNotch wrote on 08/14/19 at 16:14:33:
What I really miss was the added value section like Paul Motwani's excellent 'Double Trouble' column that provided many spicy Opening ideas to spruce up your repertoire. This was terrific value for All Section subscribers and I wish something similar was brought back; Andrew Martin also had A 'Repertoire Guides' (Or something like that) column which was also interesting.

The Sections as they are know just analyse games randomly based on what's trendy, but the updates, even when taken together, tend to lack the cohesion necessary to build a durable and complete repertoire. This is a vacuum worth filling and an idea I may expand upon in future posts.

What say others.



I also really miss the other bonuses for all sections.

GMTonyKosten wrote on 08/16/19 at 08:12:02:
mn wrote on 08/15/19 at 23:27:44:
mn wrote on 08/14/19 at 23:47:39:
Can I suggest splitting the 1 e4 e5 section into Spanish and non-Spanish, as on the forum?



Are there enough sufficiently fashionable theoretical lines in the non-Spanish to justify an entire section? Whereas these lines are popular on the Forum, there doesn't seem to be too much going on in any of the lines at the higher levels (apart from the Italian), if Mikhalevski's updates are anything to go by.


No, there are not.

GMTonyKosten wrote on 08/14/19 at 10:17:35:
  1.     1.e4 e5
  2.     French & Caro (there are not many more French games than Caro)
  3.     1.e4 ...
  4.     Open Sicilians (could split into 2...d6 Sicilians, but hard to compress another section)
  5.     Anti-Sicilians
  6.     1.d4 d5 2.c4
  7.     d-Pawn Specials
  8.     King's Indian & Modern Benoni (more work for me! but often there are logical transpositions, especially in 4 Pawns and Samisch with ...c5)
  9.     Nimzo, Queen's Indian, Bogo
  10.     Grunfeld & Anti Grunfeld (many of these are E60, so they are easily missed. Grunfeld has a lot less games than KID overall, but it is so theoretical)
  11.     Daring Defences (all from ECO 'A': Dutch, Benko, Czech Benoni, Modern, Old Indian, etc)
  12.     Flank Openings


What do subscribers think?


I don't know that I have strong thoughts in general on Vigorito's suggestions... I do find that it makes sense to combine KID and Benoni since move order wise you sometimes are forced into the other one.

I never really understood the French being stand alone as it's one of the easier openings to learn... meanwhile something like Anti-Moscow is a minefield all to itself with correspondence changing the evaluation constantly. But what to do with the Sicilian is the real question? I have found that opening very hard to learn with it's transpositions... and often one line moves into some inferior version of a different Sicilian line. Perhaps that's the reason that the Dragon was on its own to begin with?
  
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GMTonyKosten
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Re: Should the opening sections be reorganised?
Reply #12 - 08/16/19 at 08:12:02
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mn wrote on 08/15/19 at 23:27:44:
mn wrote on 08/14/19 at 23:47:39:
Can I suggest splitting the 1 e4 e5 section into Spanish and non-Spanish, as on the forum?



Are there enough sufficiently fashionable theoretical lines in the non-Spanish to justify an entire section? Whereas these lines are popular on the Forum, there doesn't seem to be too much going on in any of the lines at the higher levels (apart from the Italian), if Mikhalevski's updates are anything to go by.
  
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mn
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Re: Should the opening sections be reorganised?
Reply #11 - 08/15/19 at 23:27:44
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mn wrote on 08/14/19 at 23:47:39:
Can I suggest splitting the 1 e4 e5 section into Spanish and non-Spanish, as on the forum?

  
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Re: Should the opening sections be reorganised?
Reply #10 - 08/15/19 at 14:58:00
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About Dragon its logical that is has it's own section since many Dragon players only subscribed to that section (at least I did) and are uninterested in other open Sicilians and may only be given a Dragon game in a new section  with open Sicilian games one per half years if lucky depending on who runs the section. For my part I have been thinking about returning to Dragon since now that I play French 75% of all over the board games vs club players are in exchange variation. French however leads to interesting play in corr chess.

Several sections are logical since many players combine Nimzo Indian with Benoni and plays Nimzo in Benoni style but I agree that some sections are a bit odd.
  
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Re: Should the opening sections be reorganised?
Reply #9 - 08/15/19 at 11:13:07
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I think David's suggestions are fair.

I like the idea of moving the delayed/modern benoni stuff to KI.

I have a soft spot for the Dragon section because it was Chris's books that inspired me to play the opening 25 years ago.
  

"As Mikhail Tal would say ' Let's have a bit of hooliganism! '"

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GMTonyKosten
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Re: Should the opening sections be reorganised?
Reply #8 - 08/14/19 at 23:17:11
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Stigma wrote on 08/14/19 at 20:50:17:
Is the number of sections written in stone?

No, it's not, in theory I can add a couple more (assuming that the software still works) ... but I can also remove some, too!
  
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Re: Should the opening sections be reorganised?
Reply #7 - 08/14/19 at 20:50:17
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Vigorito's idea of a separate Grünfeld section is interesting. For purely selfish reasons I wouldn't mind getting even more on both the Grünfeld and the Dutch. Though Glenn Flear has been handling the current "Daring Defences" bracket very well.

But only one section for the Open Sicilian sounds even worse than the current Sicilian situation. To my mind it makes more sense to have, for instance, one section for 2...d6 Open Sicilians and one for all the other Sicilians. Or any roughly even split the authors would be comfortable with.

That the French and the Dragons get as much coverage as all of 1.e4 e5 and 1.d4 d5 2.c4 does look a bit strange (and even stranger from titled players' point of view, I imagine). Though the French and the Dragon do have some of the most "zealous" adherents!

One thought: Is the number of sections written in stone? Maybe this would be easier with 13 or 14 sections... or maybe not.
  

Improvement begins at the edge of your comfort zone. -Jonathan Rowson
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Re: Should the opening sections be reorganised?
Reply #6 - 08/14/19 at 19:36:43
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On reflection it occurred to me that building repertoires may not be the aim of chesspublishing at all, but rather the unbiased presentation of current theory from both sides point of view. That being the case, perhaps the mission statement could be expanded to offer more as there is certainly a market for it.
  

The man who tries to do something and fails is infinitely better than he who tries to do nothing and succeeds - Lloyd Jones Smiley
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Re: Should the opening sections be reorganised?
Reply #5 - 08/14/19 at 19:24:26
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Hi.

GMTonyKosten wrote on 08/14/19 at 10:17:35:
Following on from the discussion about the need for a separate Dragons section (which sprung-up in a 1 d4 d5 post!) David Vigorito sent me some of his thoughts:

Quote:
Here is my suggestion for restructuring the sections. I have been of this opinion forever, but I know there are operational details. You know when I wrote my Dragon book it was kind of easy, because there were so few games to follow, even when it was relatively fashionable. I would guess that Roiz has to follow about 20x more games in the Open Sicilian section. For subscribers that get 'broken' sections, perhaps you could allow them to choose a section, and then as a courtesy have a download for whatever games they are 'missing' for a certain period of time. Like Nimzo subscribers would get Benoni games as broken down below.

Anyway...

  1.     1.e4 e5
  2.     French & Caro (there are not many more French games than Caro)
  3.     1.e4 ...
  4.     Open Sicilians (could split into 2...d6 Sicilians, but hard to compress another section)
  5.     Anti-Sicilians
  6.     1.d4 d5 2.c4
  7.     d-Pawn Specials
  8.     King's Indian & Modern Benoni (more work for me! but often there are logical transpositions, especially in 4 Pawns and Samisch with ...c5)
  9.     Nimzo, Queen's Indian, Bogo
  10.     Grunfeld & Anti Grunfeld (many of these are E60, so they are easily missed. Grunfeld has a lot less games than KID overall, but it is so theoretical)
  11.     Daring Defences (all from ECO 'A': Dutch, Benko, Czech Benoni, Modern, Old Indian, etc)
  12.     Flank Openings



What do subscribers think?

Not a subscriber(...heh). Since I quite like chesspub though and certainly could learn to play openings better, I promise I will subscribe to at least one section in short order.

The suggested section structures in this thread seem better in my eyes compared to the current. Not that the one now is so terrible, although it feels non-optimised. Since this seems mostly like as suggestion thread right at this moment I will just post what I think would be a decent structuring (mostly by adopting ideas from other posters Grin). Love it or hate it:

Current structure:
1) 1 e4 e5
2) French
3) Dragon Sicilians
4) Open Sicilians
5) Anti-Sicilians
6) 1 e4...
7) 1 d4 d5
8) d-Pawn Specials
9) King's Indian
10) Nimzo & Benoni
11) Daring Defences
12) Flank Openings


Suggestion (bolded = no change):
1) 1 e4 e5

2) French & Caro Kann
3) Open Sicilians
or
3a) Najdorf, Classical, Scheveningen
3b) Remaining Open Sicilians
or (some more detailed partition, where a possibly unattainable one would be something like:)
3a) d6 Open Sicilians - Najdorf, Classical, Scheveningen
3b) Nc6 Open Sicilians - Sveshnikov, Kalashnikov, Lowenthal
3c) e6 Open Sicilians - Kan, Taimanov, Four Knights
3d) Dragon Sicilians - Dragon, Accelerated Dragon
3x) Open Sicilian Sidelines - Mainly second moves. Dunno. Whoever wants them I suppose. Most other sidelines fit in sort of naturally imo.
4) Anti Sicilians
5) 1 e4... (but without Caro Kann, not that it matters to me greatly)
6) 1 d4 d5
7) d-pawn Specials
8) King's Indian & Benoni
9) Nimzo, Queen's Indian, Bogo
10) Daring Defences
or
10a) Daring Defences
10b) Grünfeld
11) Flank Openings
or
11a) English
11b) Reti, KIA, Irregular first moves

I don't know how realistic the optionals are however. With these it adds up to a lot of sections in the end.

Have a nice day.
  
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TopNotch
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Re: Should the opening sections be reorganised?
Reply #4 - 08/14/19 at 16:14:33
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What I really miss was the added value section like Paul Motwani's excellent 'Double Trouble' column that provided many spicy Opening ideas to spruce up your repertoire. This was terrific value for All Section subscribers and I wish something similar was brought back; Andrew Martin also had A 'Repertoire Guides' (Or something like that) column which was also interesting.

The Sections as they are know just analyse games randomly based on what's trendy, but the updates, even when taken together, tend to lack the cohesion necessary to build a durable and complete repertoire. This is a vacuum worth filling and an idea I may expand upon in future posts.

What say others.
  

The man who tries to do something and fails is infinitely better than he who tries to do nothing and succeeds - Lloyd Jones Smiley
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Re: Should the opening sections be reorganised?
Reply #3 - 08/14/19 at 13:59:16
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Plainly, yes, the current section organisation is bonkers.
Reminds me of world religions - if there were to be an apocalypse and things started again, no new religion would appear as now. Same with this:) 

Anyhow, armageddon back to the ranch...

I'm largely in agreement with Msr Vigorito. Obvious to have KID and Benoni together, yes.

Possible variations:
*lump in Grunfeld with KID and Benoni
* separate out 'Open' to 2 sections: 1) B60-99 d6 sicilians (Classical, Najdorf, Dragon, Schev, from 2) e6 (Kan, Taimanov) and Nc6 (Svesh, Kalash, Lowenthal etc). But I'd have to see a data breakdown on that for games volume.

Change is good!
  
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Re: Should the opening sections be reorganised?
Reply #2 - 08/14/19 at 13:25:49
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Currently there are 6 sections for 1.e4, 5 for 1.d4 openings and 1 for flank openings. In David's recommendation this changes to 5,6,1 respectively. I haven't done an analysis on game volumes but if the openings I face myself are indicative maybe the Flank Section could be split into 2:

1) Open Sicilian
2) Anti-Sicilian
3) e4 e5
4) French (+ Caro?)
5) 1.e4...
6) KID + Benoni
7) Other Indians
8) 1.d4 d5 2.c4
9) Daring Defences
10) d-pawn Specials
11) English
12) Other Flank (Reti + KIA + irregular lines)

Not sure about the French + Caro. Some openings have a more fanatical following than others. Even though the French may not be played as much on a high level, I play/encounter significantly more French defence than Caro-Kann fans.
  

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Re: Should the opening sections be reorganised?
Reply #1 - 08/14/19 at 10:18:41
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GMTonyKosten wrote on 08/14/19 at 10:17:35:
David Vigorito sent me some of his thoughts:


David also writes:

Quote:
I did a little experiment. I searched my TWIC database (from 1249 on, as the rest I have in Megabase) and searched some ECO groupings. I did not differentiate by rating, but that could be useful (like both players over 2200, as a start).

A00-A39 has 19,000. This is the most, but obviously the theory is generally less critical than in something like the Grunfeld, at least in a large percentage of the games.
1.e4 e5 is 17,000.
1.d4 d5 is D10-D59, and about 14,000.
The French has about 8000, Caro 7000, B00-B09 7000. Really I do not see what is special about the French. The Caro is definitely more popular at GM level (I think!)
E00-E59 has 12,000+ - and keep in mind that does not include the Modern Benoni, which is part of the section now.
KID also has about 8k, Grunfeld about 4500, but it is highly theoretical.
It's harder to check everything, as Open Sicilians and Anti-Sicilian ECO codes are kind of mixed together, but The Dragon has less than 1500. The B60-99 (2...d6) is close to 8k - more in line with French and Caro.
Obviously Daring Defences, d4 deviations, and Anti-Sicilians will be smaller, but that's intentionally specialty stuff.

food for thought?
  
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