What do you prefer to open up with as white?

Technical questions regarding Openings, Middlegames, Endings etc.
Timothy Hilton
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What do you prefer to open up with as white?

Post by Timothy Hilton » Thu Aug 30, 2012 9:30 pm

I personally prefer 1. d4 but I also like 1. e4 but the sicillian tends to be a nightmare to face, what does everyone else like to open with as white?

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Greg Breed
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Re: What do you prefer to open up with as white?

Post by Greg Breed » Fri Aug 31, 2012 12:06 pm

I played 1.a3 2.b4 in the pub last night. I can't remember how it ended but i probably lost! :oops:
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Jon Mahony
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Re: What do you prefer to open up with as white?

Post by Jon Mahony » Fri Aug 31, 2012 12:18 pm

I’ve played 1.e4 for the last 3 years, but I’ve come to the conclusion there is just too much theory to study. Lately I’ve started going back to d4 - I’ve found I’ve been able to draw with players graded 20 points higher than myself, and I’m winning the easier games - a slightly conservative way to play with the white pieces, but it beats getting taken apart.

I always enjoyed playing against the Sicilian, it was the French (which I believe you yourself beat me with Tim, in a rapid play last year) which mainly bugs me - I love playing it as black, so psychologically I hate been on the white side of it
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Timothy Hilton
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Re: What do you prefer to open up with as white?

Post by Timothy Hilton » Fri Aug 31, 2012 12:22 pm

Greg Breed wrote:I played 1.a3 2.b4 in the pub last night. I can't remember how it ended but i probably lost! :oops:
Interesting way of gaining early queenside expansion ;)
Jon Mahony wrote:I’ve played 1.e4 for the last 3 years, but I’ve come to the conclusion there is just too much theory to study. Lately I’ve started going back to d4 - I’ve found I’ve been able to draw with players graded 20 points higher than myself, and I’m winning the easier games - a slightly conservative way to play with the white pieces, but it beats getting taken apart.

I always enjoyed playing against the Sicilian, it was the French (which I believe you yourself beat me with Tim, in a rapid play last year) which mainly bugs me - I love playing it as black, so psychologically I hate been on the white side of it
Yes that trap you fell for in the winawer at bury ;) I love facing the french but because I play it myself it means I know the theory well I guess

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Paolo Casaschi
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Re: What do you prefer to open up with as white?

Post by Paolo Casaschi » Fri Aug 31, 2012 4:20 pm

For a long time I played exclusively d4 type of schemes (sometimes starting Nf3 or c4), trying to leverage a relatively narrow repertoire.

At some point (possibly out of boredom), I had an epiphany: I'm a lousy amateur that likes chess, why should I leave out from my chess experience the half of it that starts with 1. e4?

Ultimately, I believe a player like me rated about 2000 can (and should) play almost any opening as either Black or White with minimal preparation. Many years of following top chess tournaments (and few books) apparently gave me enough patterns to play almost anything.
After almost a couple of years into this experiment, the results (and ratings) have not been impacted negatively... and I had a lot of fun, especially in some wild lines against the Najdorf (think of Bg5 f4 Qd2 and a piece sacrifice in b5/d5/e6). Some opening disaster also, but I cant really say they never happened before :-(

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Re: What do you prefer to open up with as white?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Fri Aug 31, 2012 4:23 pm

Paolo Casaschi wrote:Many years of following top chess tournaments (and few books) apparently gave me enough patterns to play almost anything
Team chess can help as well, you can borrow ideas and styles of play from those you sit next to.

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Paolo Casaschi
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Re: What do you prefer to open up with as white?

Post by Paolo Casaschi » Fri Aug 31, 2012 4:50 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Paolo Casaschi wrote:Many years of following top chess tournaments (and few books) apparently gave me enough patterns to play almost anything
Team chess can help as well, you can borrow ideas and styles of play from those you sit next to.
Certainly; please don't tell anyone, but I feel free to borrow ideas and styles also from complete strangers sitting next to me at individual tournaments :D

Andrew Bak
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Re: What do you prefer to open up with as white?

Post by Andrew Bak » Fri Aug 31, 2012 7:38 pm

1.e4 - Best by test!

I have dabbled with 1.d4 a couple of times - without success, simply as I have never played it so I am not quite as familiar with the types of position that are reached. I guess it would probably help my chess if I just tried playing exclusively 1.d4 for six months and see what happens.

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Re: What do you prefer to open up with as white?

Post by Niall Doran » Sun Sep 02, 2012 9:03 pm

1. e4
Don't fear the Sicilian, there are plenty of anti-Sicilian systems out there. You can even play 2. c3 with little preparation. A quick look at the main lines and you'll be fine.

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Clive Blackburn
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Re: What do you prefer to open up with as white?

Post by Clive Blackburn » Sun Sep 02, 2012 9:51 pm

For the last 20 years or so I have played almost exclusively 1.Nf3 as white.
I often end up in a Queen's pawn or English type system, very occasionally I play 2.e4.

This season all that is going to change and I will be playing 1.e4 and 2.Nf3, to bring a bit more excitement to my games. Against the Sicilian I will play 2.Nc3.
I have already played e4 for the last 3 months or so in online games with a long time limit and my results are actually slightly better than they were before. Of course in online games I can look up the opening theory as necessary - when I start to play league games at the end of September, I am going to have to try and remember it! :roll:
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Re: What do you prefer to open up with as white?

Post by Niroshan Ganeshan » Mon Sep 03, 2012 10:32 am

Well depends what yhou feel comfortable im only 12 but i use to open up with e4 all the time but this season i will open up with 1.d4 as i find it easier and more complex to win! You also have to keep revising all the devised varistion as if you make 1 mistake in sharp opening you will be bashd a hell of a lot :)

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: What do you prefer to open up with as white?

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Mon Sep 03, 2012 1:40 pm

"Team chess can help as well, you can borrow ideas and styles of play from those you sit next to."

Absolutely - I sat next to Robin Haldane for most of a season where he was playing exciting lines as white, whilst I had dull QGDs as black. When I got white at last, I played one of Robin's favourites. I will treasure the look on his face when he noticed. (Our opponents must have wondered why we were trying not to laugh. We explained afterwards.) For a change I got the 20 move win, whilst Robin was fighting on to time-control.
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Simon Louchart
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Re: What do you prefer to open up with as white?

Post by Simon Louchart » Wed Dec 11, 2013 10:50 pm

I used to be an exclusive e4 player, but sometimes it is just too "forced" and when your opponent plays a line he's expert in, it is a bit too easy for him to reach a completely equal position.
So I have been testing the "hypermodern" approach with Nf3, trying not to move the "e" and "d" pawns for as long as possible. That's quite funny actually: without a fixed pawn structure, the battle becomes very strategic, and flexible pawn structures allow you to outplay your opponent on a strategic basis rather than on a tactical one. Good fun I have to say.
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Barry Sandercock
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Re: What do you prefer to open up with as white?

Post by Barry Sandercock » Sat Jan 11, 2014 11:34 am

How good is the Barry Attack ? I see Mark Hebden no longer plays it and he was one of the main protagonists.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: What do you prefer to open up with as white?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sat Jan 11, 2014 1:16 pm

Barry Sandercock wrote:How good is the Barry Attack ? I see Mark Hebden no longer plays it and he was one of the main protagonists.
He played it at Torquay in the British, but seems to have given it a miss at the London Classic Open and Hastings. As to how good it is, that's one of the reasons why he made it work for so long. His typical Congress fodder, players in the 2000-2200 range don't really know.

It might be this game, played just after the British that has caused a rethink.


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