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As I was looking for advice on Colle-Zukertort as described here, I found additional info about 2 other attacks that can be used to improve my repertoire pretty efficiently. Here is the information I found:

  • Colle-Zukertort and Barry attack combined should provide a working repertoire for about 85% of my games played.
  • Colle-Zukertort, Barry attack and 150 attack combined should provide a working repertoire for about 90% of my games played.

What are your thoughts on this? I'm surprised that having only these 3 tricks in hand seems so effective?

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Post some games so we can examine them, please. –  Tony Ennis May 5 '12 at 13:49
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3 Answers

There is a book which recommended this repertoire, A Killer Chess Opening Repertoire by Summerscale. I used those lines myself when I was in the 1400 to 1800 range, but had to give them up as they were holding back my development as a player.

As a beginner, frankly you shouldn't be worrying about it. Choosing a repertoire should be near the bottom of your list of 'areas to improve.' How many games have you won/lost because of familiarity with the opening? If anything, try to play good, normal, open lines, like 1.e4 e5, and just focus on the chess. You'll get more out of that than by studying the nuances of the Barry Attack.

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I used the Colle-Zukertort for a while. The 150 attack is fairly well known to Pirc players, and the Barry Attack is not good enough to hold you through if it doesn't work. You can get by at the club level with this reportoire, but you're limiting yourself because, aside from the few examples given in books about those openings, few if any players over 2000 ever lose to them, because they can think them through. If you're OK with just throwing away your advantage with the White pieces to players over 2000, go for it, but personally I would advise you to go with something more sophisticated.

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I am approximately 1850 USCF (ELO) rated and have played the Colle-Zukertort system pretty religiouysly when allowed by the opponent. I would tend to agree that that the Colle-Zukertort, Barry, and 150 attack provide a pretty broad set of potential response (but I would also have at least some idea of how to play against 1.d4 f5, and 1.d4 e5. Although 1. ...e5 is known to be inferior it can lead to disaster if played incorrectly by white. I believe at lower club levels below expert rating that a limited repertoire of openings that is well prepared can give your higher rated opponents fits as I have found (at least to low expert level. I do agree in general though that if you really strive to improve at chess for the long term, it is better to expand your opening choices.

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