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Re: what openings?

Posted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 11:37 am
by Gareth Harley-Yeo
This advice might be all wrong but if I were you i'd ask him. Quiz him as to what kind of middlegame positions does he enjoy playing. Is he more comfortable with a large pawn centre and lots of space or does he prefer a more modern approach of attacking the centre from the wings. This along with working out if he's more positional or tactical should lead you to which openings would suit him best.

If he has no idea of the above, let him try a few different types/styles out. Make him explain to you how he feels about each etc.

Re: what openings?

Posted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 11:43 am
by Jon D'Souza-Eva
This book by John Walker is very good for helping juniors decide what sort of openings they should play: ... 0551446510

However you might want to research the author before giving the book to a youngster. I've bought and given away half a dozen copies of this book over the years but I usually rip out the author bio / dedication page first.

Re: what openings?

Posted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 11:55 am
by Gavin Strachan
looks good but at 1p is a bit out my price range. :oops:

Re: what openings?

Posted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:04 pm
by Steve Rooney
Not at any price. I don't think this author should be the subject of any recommendations and would hope that Jon might reconsider and remove this link. If not I urge people to take his advice and check out the author's conviction.

Re: what openings?

Posted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:06 pm
by Jon D'Souza-Eva
Lots of copies on Amazon as well: ... ition=used

Same exorbitant price, but postage is higher. Obviously the sellers are making their money on the postage, which is at a rate fixed by Amazon.

Steve: I understand that viewpoint and I always explain about Walker's background to parents before I offer them his books, but they are second-hand and so he doesn't get any money from them. I have to say that he is one of the best chess authors I've ever read, all of his books are great for children.

Re: what openings?

Posted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 1:51 pm
by Matt Mackenzie
Warren Kingston wrote:We have a young player at our club, who is an excellent chess player, his end game technique is spot on. The question from me is, what style of openings should he play? He plays the Nf3 second move against the Sicilian and c4 against the French, I am wrong in thinking he should be playing sharper openings?

Remember I know nothing!!
Isn't that the main line - or did you, perchance, mean 2Nc3??

Re: what openings?

Posted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 1:57 pm
by Matt Mackenzie
The 2Nc3 or "Closed" Sicilian can - despite its latter name - be pretty sharp. Check out some of Spassky's crushes with it back in the 1960s :wink:

Re: what openings?

Posted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 2:17 pm
by Geoff Chandler
Hi Warren.

Good to see you are interested enough in this young lad's play to post.

Awkward one this. This young lad seems to be doing it in reverse.
Usually juniors are opening daft and can reel of 15 moves of theory
without telling you why.

If his ending is good perhaps getting him to sharpen up by saccing pawns
in the opening is not on.
This could undermine and take away his greatest assest. His endgame.

You may have a wee gem there so any bad advice now
could take years to undo (if at all).

I'd leave him alone and let him develop at his own speed.
If he is turning around middle games on the strength of his endgame play
then don't tamper. He will in time come up with his own 'systems' that suit him.

I bet Capa's Best Games by Reinfeld would do no harm.
Great games, light notes written by a man whose profession was teaching.
Capa often side-stepped mainlines (usually because he did not know them)
and out-played his opponents usually in the late middle game and ending.

I'd seek out a known and qualified teacher, someone who
has had such a challenge before. See what they think.

Oh and keep him away from anything I write.

At this stage if he gets the opening trappers bug or reads things like:

"...endgames are only played by gimps who cannot play a sac-sac middle game."

Then he is doomed. ;)

On the subject of Walker's book.

Never read the book but will now get a copy.

Jon is a parent, so am I and so are many reading this.
If Jon, who I understand is an excellent teacher is open-minded
enough to accept that what this lad wrote is good then I'd like
to see if I too can read it without remembering who wrote it.

I reckon, without yet reading it, it must be good because there is no
way on God's earth would Jon even mention his name if it were not.

There is a thread on music knocking about somewhere.
I have about 100 songs on my mp3 player. Mostly old 60's classics.
But also 'Rock n Roll parts 1 & 2' and 'Everyone's Gone to the Moon.'
It never really bothered me who did it. I like the songs.

Will swap Leyton Orient v Arsenal Programme for a copy of the book :)

Re: what openings?

Posted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 7:59 pm
by Richard Bates
Why would someone showing particular strength in middlegames and endgames want to seek out sharper openings, thereby increasing the chances of the game being decided before they get there?

Re: what openings?

Posted: Tue May 10, 2011 10:57 pm
by Simon Louchart
It probably depends on his level, but an idea could be to play a large number of games with random openings (why not blitzs on the web), see what he likes/he is more comfortable with/he has better results, and try to focus on these openings.
Also I think that openings are not critical up to a certain level.