chess tactics

Chess Tactics

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doctor_knight 157 ( +1 | -1 )
d4 defense ok, I know I've posted about this several times now, but I'm really looking for advice. I've pretty much settled on a repetoire for white and for defense against e4, but playing against d4 has given me trouble lately. I was considering playing the Chigorin, but I'm not sure, it seems like it might be a tad too quick for my tastes. I'm the kind of guy that likes the long-term, solid benifits more than immediate momentary ones (though they can be converted to long-term advantages).

If it helps, my white repetoire is the Nimzo-Larsen attack and the colle system depending on who I'm playing and how I feel (I especially like the Nimzo-Larsen against less experienced, lower rated, or very aggressive players). My defense against e4 is basically just the caro-kan and sometimes I like to transpose into the french from the advance variation.

I've found after trying different things and doing further analysis that I mainly like to control the center (doesn't everybody :D). Mainly I like to put pressure on the center and get a feel for it before working my way to central dominance. I don't really care a whole lot for wild attacking positions though I will certainly play them if I have to. I've found that this kind of controlling the center matches well with the way I do other things like martial arts and wrestling. I hope I explained this well enough.

Anyone have any suggestions about what openings might be good for me? What d4 defenses do you think might match with my playing style?

ionadowman 182 ( +1 | -1 )
Several possibilties... I was going to suggest the King's Indian, but maybe that's not so much your style (though you mention your liking for the Nimzovitch-Larsen which also seeks to undermine the centre). Go in for the ...e5 and ...f5 pawn breaks.

If you prefer more of a pawn presence in the centre, how about a Dutch Defence, aiming for the Stonewall set up (pawns on c6, d5, e6, f5. Botvinnik used to play it - for a while, at least. It's solid in the centre and has aggressive intentions on the K-side. It does have a down side (mainly the hole at e5), but it's not so easy for White to break it down.

Another scheme is the Benoni, but with the specific view of playing the Benko Gambit. The line runs: 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 b5 4.cxb5 a6 5.bxa6 Bxa6...
Here is Pal Benko's own assessment of his opening (My paraphrasis):
1. Advantage in development, having overtaken White in effectiveness as well as in tempo. White will think twice about playing 6.e4 (though it is a playable line: 6...Bxf1); and Blacks a8-rook already stands on an open file;

2. Black's compact and sufficiently flexible pawn structure. Black will usually fianchetto the K-side bishop and castle, meanwhile considering such possibilities as ...e6, ...f4 and even (after White plays b3) ...c4, making way for a piece to stand at c5, at the same time seizing control of d3;
3. The pawn sac has drawn off a pawn from White's centre, leaving Black with a majority there. White would like to break e4-e5 later on, but given the lack of solid defence for the d5 pawn this won't be so easy to arrange;

4. Black's game is easy to play, with the clear-cut plan ...g6; ...Bg7; ...0-0; ...Qc7/b6/a5; ...Rfb8 with huge pressure on White's Q-side.

5. Black has the initiative, possibly a long-term one.

If you prefer positional play to tactical you might well take to this line - that rather rare thing: a positional gambit.

fmgaijin 9 ( +1 | -1 )
If You Like the Colle . . . . . . then you're suited to the Slav and will already know many of the main ideas.
spurtus 14 ( +1 | -1 )
d4, d6 - aiming for a Pirc or Modern setup... passive but solid & quite easy to learn, useful to know should you ever meet it.
marinvukusic 39 ( +1 | -1 )
It is obvious Just reverse your White setups.

Nimzo-Larsen => Queen's Indian -

Colle => Semi-Slav ("the triangle") -
djole73 6 ( +1 | -1 )
My vote for Semi - Slav, very solid opening.
easy19 51 ( +1 | -1 )
I recommend.. As black against the queen pawn opening.
I play Nimzo indian.. 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4

If white plays 4. a3 play the > (Samisch Variation)
And if white playes 4. Bg5 then play the > (Leningrad Variation)

If white try,s to avoid Nimzo indian with 2. Bg5 (Trompowsky Attack) then play 2...d5

If white just playes the Queens Gambit 1. d4 d5 2. c4 then play Queen's Gambit Accepted and the Semi Slav. then if you white plays 5. e3 then go for the (Meran Variation)

I agree with most of the former posters. :)
spurtus 12 ( +1 | -1 )
try budapest defense with 1.d4 nf6 2. c4 e5 ... for surprise value usually not in opponents 'opening book', most effective in OTB & blitz
More: Chess
tugger 48 ( +1 | -1 )
i used to get panned as black when playing against 1. d4, then i diecided to give dutch a try, and i've found it a very solid defence, though one mistake and you get slaughtered. i think i was above 50% win, but my personal database is telling me i have played no games, which is a mystery.

anyhow... dutch...

1. d4 f5

i use the leningrad variation, which involves g6 folled by Bg6 and castling behind, with the long term goal of a kingside pawn rush... you'd be surprised how often this tactic works.
easy19 9 ( +1 | -1 )
Dutch Defence 28% win for Black 30% draw 42% win for white
out of 2.3 miljon matches.

So i try to avoid playing it..

ganstaman 135 ( +1 | -1 )
"Dutch Defence 28% win for Black 30% draw 42% win for white
out of 2.3 miljon matches.

So i try to avoid playing it.. "

This kind of advice is given often, but it is, in all honesty, horribly misguided. Take the Schliemann Ruy Lopez, for example. On ( ) it has stats of "White wins 43.1%, Black wins 27.4%, Draws 29.4%" and yet Radjabov used it today to draw in the Linares-Morelia tournament (he actually seems to have a dead-even record with it).

So, especially if you aren't on the super-GM level, then don't worry about the stats achieved by strong players with the openings. We can get good positions out of the Dutch down here at our level. If you understand what's going on with it, then your losses won't be a result of the opening.

Also, stats don't play the game. You can try, but you won't be able to refute the Dutch Defense. So if you find lines you're comfortable with, you can play them and not be forced to lose.

However, I would not recommend the Dutch. marinvukusic seems to make the most sense -- Semi-Slav and/or Queen's Indian (maybe Nimzo-Indian too). They're more solid and more closely related to your other current openings.
the6th_dimension 92 ( +1 | -1 )
1.d4 strategy... Many possibilities here,but why not try an opening that is somewhat irregular,misunderstood,is still evolving and is sound with fairly accurate play?
I'm talking about the Trompowsky Attack.(You play as white)
1.d4,Nf6 2.Bg5 or 1.d4,d5 2.Bg5.The sub variations begin on move 2 as black,but the "real" Tromp.generally involves Bxf6 for whites 3rd move. The tromp. has more bite to it than alot of other irregular systems with subtle defensive maneuvering and a slow buildup attacking style,but it works.I have several books on the Tromp. one of which is by GM Andrew Soltis.
MCO-14 on Pg. 497 states that GM Hodgson and Benjamin "have made much use of it,beating not only lesser players,but grandmaster opponents as well".A surprise weapon,I call it!
I have used it quite alot when I was active with USCF tournaments,with a fair amount of success.Immediate attempted control of the center it is not,but wing sting it can be!
ganstaman 3 ( +1 | -1 )
the6th_dimension He wants an opening for black.
ogedei 186 ( +1 | -1 )
re: the dutch I do think that the dutch makes a strong defence for people rated under, say, 2500. If, that is, you've taken the time to study the basic strategies for Black (as well as the basic strategies available for White). The fact that GM's can bust it more often than not is no reason to not play it below GM level...

On a side note regarding "unsound" opening choices, I've had a lot of experience with the Black side of the Hanham variation of the Philidor (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 Nd7) in both blitz and OTB. I usually got fully playable positions against players below, say, expert level. (Which is fine because that's roughly where I am). I attributed this to a few things, not least of which was the psychological effect that playing a "bad" opening had on my opponents. "Hmmm, Kasparov never played like that so it must be bad. I'll just attack..." Expert level players and above understood the truth (that it's perfectly solid, but lacks chances for counterplay--that is to say that there are only two possible results if White plays reasonably, 1-0 or 1/2-1/2). They'd sit back and reduce me to passivity and eventually break through.

I think that the dutch could do something very similar (granted, with far more dynamism and excitement than the Hanham), potentially against players up to the master level if you learn to counter White's most common plans effectively. Plus, it has very clear cut strategic aims for the Black side, meaning that you don't have to memorise reams of theory to prouce high quality chess.

And one last thing: if White plays 1.d4 and you reply 1...f5, it's a Dutch (or at the very least, very Dutch-like). There's no way for White to avoid it. If you go for other systems like Slavs or KIDs or QIDs or Benonis or things like that, White can avoid it if he wishes... It's up to you to decide if that's something that matters, though.
the6th_dimension 15 ( +1 | -1 )
yes.... I stated the Trompowski for white,but there are = chances for black as well,in playing the Tromp,that is of course,if white agree's to try this opening.
easy19 18 ( +1 | -1 )
Dutch is a good solid opening but wen they use the opening database in a correct way it just favors white.. and if you opponent is around your own rating and skill.. I find it hard to win..

tugger 83 ( +1 | -1 )
easy... if dutch doesn't work for you, then you're right to avoid it. i honestly think it's a defence that will only suit certain styles of play. it's actually my favourite defence, as it gives me the opportunity to be aggressive as black. i certainly agree that it's ideal for the lower rated players, especially as it's not used often, so those lower-end players will have no idea how to counter it, more often than not. that's why i achieve approx 50% win ratio with it. any defence as black that gives me those sort of odds i'll snatch with both hands. even sicilian doesn't favour me that much.

but maybe as i improve, i might need to find a different defence. if i start getting busted too often, i may well need to follow more conservative options.
ionadowman 117 ( +1 | -1 )
tugger... ... raises a very good point that ought to be borne in mind.

Remember when adopting an opening, you are doing so for the time being - really until something better turns up. To illustrate the point - if I may digress a little - I read somewhere that most players of Master level have, at some time or other in their careers, have played the King's Indian Attack. I'm not talking the odd game, here, but as a major item in their opening repertoire. Eventually, they move on to other things, but in the meantime they have developed quite a fund of knowledge about the kind of game that develops from this line.

I mentioned earlier that Botvinnik (as World Champion, mark you) played the Dutch for some time, and with success. Eventually he discarded it as being strategically a bit limited, but we have to bear in mind that this was based on his vast experience and knowledge of the game, and of the opening.

If one were to adopt the Dutch - or any other opening - again, it is only for the time being. And whilst using it, you build up your understanding of the kind of game that emerges.
doctor_knight 107 ( +1 | -1 )
the benko gambit The benko gambit really seemed to stand out to me, and I really liked the point you made about adopting an opening for the time being. It seems that the benko gambit might be the best for me for the time being mainly because you are trading a pawn for a strategical advantage, something that I feel quite awkward about. I think a big barrier in my game has been the fact that I am very materialistic and usually only play for a material advantage. I think it would help me expand my understanding to learn to trade a pawn for a long term initiative on a regular basis.

Does anyone have anyone have any recomendations about the benko gambit? Any websites, books? Any tips on tricky ways to maneuver the game into a benko gambit? Just anything really. I think that later I might try the queen's indian or slav, but not right now. I might also look at dutch sometime.

I used to play the KID, but found I didn't really like the kind of games it gets you. The same with the pirc
ionadowman 116 ( +1 | -1 )
Benko wrote a book ... ... on his opening. Very dated now, and long out of print, I daresay, but if you can scare up a copy, it will give you a grounding in how the game is supposed to shape with this opening: Pal Benko, "The Benko gambit" (Contemporary Chess Openings, Genl Ed. R.G. Wade) Batsford Press, London and Sydney, R.H.M Press New York (1974). Naturally I have a copy of my own.

If you have access to a machine readable database or other anthologies, you might find any more modern wrinkles the line has to offer both sides.

At any rate, in many games, the absence of the extreme Q-wing Black pawns means White's a- and b- pawns come in for a tremendous battering. I haven't looked myself, but it might be an idea just to have a look at what games are in the GK database (actually, I might do that myself). The quality might not be top notch, but that can often mean that certain tactical features come to light that might not be so apparent in Master level games.

I have to admit I haven't played the Benko yet on GK, and only one Benko-like game that arose out of a King's Indian Defence. That might change...
spurtus 71 ( +1 | -1 )
i agree with 6d on the tromp, fantastic opening with novelty factor, although it looks bad most of the way for white you can be sure your opponent is equall;y scared.

When i meet it I know a steady,reasoned head should beat it, but it still fairly annoys me!... and with which pawn to take the exchange!!

I do recall being smashed by the tromp OTB, i didnt know it when i met it but was a wonderful game of chess, really like no other. amazing tension in the game and even when I was technically lost the counter play I got against it was about 10 consecutive only move stuff for white, yet he got them and i lost.

Classical it is not, but a very good game of chess is the tromp.

ccmcacollister 19 ( +1 | -1 )
MORE about d4, the Tromp, etc.
the6th_dimension 104 ( +1 | -1 )
The Tromp.... Thanks Spurtus for agreeing with me on the Tromp.In the right hands it can and has been a very successful weapon for me.Black does not necessarily have an edge unless he knows precisely what to do for say the first 15-20 moves or so.Since the tromp. has not been analyzed in depth as much as other variations such as the Ruy and there is not tons of material on that variation(relatively speaking),and there are alot of sub variations and ways to proceed for both sides,black can lose any "edge" he has,theoretical or real very quickly.The Tromp.can also transpose into the Torre Attack,or a similar position.
GM Soltis 132 on the Tromp,while printed in 1995 I still cherish and use
on a regular basis.Without going into details here,it shows many games where black loses between high rated players as well as GM's.As MCO-14 puts it on pg.
497,"GM Hodgson and Benjamin have made much use of it,beating not only lesser players,but grandmaster opponents as well".So,it does go way beyond a "novelty factor",however.
the6th_dimension 109 ( +1 | -1 )
Oh... and i'm not trying to get away from the original post of a better or best response against 1.d4 for black,ect.,but for black this tromp.also offers rich possibiilities.Doctor_Knight can,for example,post a challenge and ask that white opens up with a Tromp.line.I've seen this before with other postings.
In any case,I would trust playing "against" the black before playing the Dutch defense as black,which I consider risky and certainly more risky than the Sicilian.
Everthing is relative,however.My successful utilization of an opening or defense against it does not insure success for the next opponent.I can't tell you how many times I responded against 1.e4 with 1....g5 (Basman Defense),and have won against players in excess of 2000 rating.I certainly do not "recommend" the Basman,but if i manage to find out my opponent has not studied this relatively obscure defense,even though it is weak(but only slightly weak),I may use it as a surprise weapon.In blitz,for example I use it quite regularly on a site where my rating has reached approx.2400.
schnarre 24 ( +1 | -1 )
Hmmnnn.... I would recommend the Slav for long-term, solid games as opposed to flashy play. It also steers White away from openings like the Trompowski (though Black can always play Nf6 at a later time).
the6th_dimension 117 ( +1 | -1 )
yes,I agree with you schnarre.The slav is also one of the best for black,and as black I use it quite alot.My feeling is that a more solid game like the Slav is safer,but depending upon the well analyzed book lines,how safe is it against a player that is say,100-200 rating above Dr Knight,for example?If it partially transposes to a complex Semi Slav-Anti-Meran he could be in alot more trouble using the safer but more complex slav lines than say,a Trompowski game playing as black,simply because the Tromp.can quickly go into "uncharted waters" and the stronger player then does not have as much of a well versed book line to reinforce his play.My feeling here is that the lesser rated opponent can atleast then,by using an opening that the stronger opponent has had little experience in or simply because the opening does not have a large number of versed lines and is still evolving,a player like Dr Knight may find a key advantage in playing "out of book" from the beginning or atleast find his "own" line to win or atleast equalize,which of course,is better than losing.
banerobik 18 ( +1 | -1 )
i haven't read the above replies but e6 is a universal move. i play it as black against everything. plus it coulld transpose 2 the french which u like or QGD. with a lot of pressure.