Saturday, 5 May 2007

More thoughts on selecting chess openings

Earlier we looked at selecting chess openings to suit your style of play. In "Train Like a Grandmaster", Alexander Kotov gives some additional thoughts, based around your goal from the opening phase, that could help you decide on the openings that will form the basis of your repertoire:

Three main currents of thought may be distinguished in the mind of a modern grandmaster playing White in a tournament game:

  1. The method of quiet maintenance of the advantage of the first move
  2. The method of the swift strike
  3. The method of the 'coiled spring'

The advantage of the first move by his opponent forces Black to adopt rather different approaches to the opening. One distinguishes in modern praxis for Black:

  1. Play for equality
  2. The method of carrying out an independent plan
  3. The 'coiled spring' method

"Train Like a Grandmaster", Alexander Kotov

Amongst his examples, he gives, for White, the Carlsbad variation of the Queen's Gambit, the Keres attack against the Sicilian Defence, and the King's Indian Attack respectively. For Black, Capablanca's simplifying manoeuvre in the Queen's Gambit, the Sicilian Defence, and the King's Indian Defence respectively.

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Chess Tales by Roger Coathup: A collection of online articles about chess and chess players.