Three main currents of thought may be distinguished in the mind of a modern grandmaster playing White in a tournament game:
- The method of quiet maintenance of the advantage of the first move
- The method of the swift strike
- 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:
- Play for equality
- The method of carrying out an independent plan
- 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.