4

I am new to chess and know only a bit of opening theory and understand some general ideas like developing my pieces, threatening and controlling the center of the board, etc. but I struggle against players who follow no opening and just bring out the queen and run amuck on the board.

How does one wanting to stick to principles deal with such unorthodox play? Am I just too new to understand that there are book responses to such moves or should I focus on repulsing pieces before I develop or should I just follow my plan for development?

Also, I would really appreciate any recommendations about resources for beginners.

4

Some beginners bring out their queen early, looking for "game."

Just make sure to defend everything the opposing queen attacks. In the process, you will develop your pieces and control the center, while the opponent has only the queen out. Then you'll win.

When you are a bit more advanced, you can offer some of your pieces to the opposing queen while you concentrate on building a winning attack. Here's an example of such a game

10

Just do what you would do against 'normal' players. Develop your pieces, occupy the center, castle your king, but at the same, watch out for tactics (which, against a lone queen, means: don't leave pawns or pieces undefended).

You can harass the queen during development to gain extra tempi (e.g. 1. e4 e5 2. Qg4 Nf6), that never hurts, but you can also just wait until your development is complete, and only then attack the queen. There are no 'book moves' for this.

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For the first question I think Glorifindel just said the important, against whatever type of moves you always want to play good, reasonable chess.

For the second question, when I was beginning my chess career, I loved books of Czech author Ludek Pachman (Modern chess strategy, endgames, middlegame...) and even today I think I liked them not only because they were written in my native language. Imho they are way better than popular Nimzovich's My System. I have no doubt there is plenty of good material out there, this is just what I have good personal experience with. Good luck with studying chess!

3

The idea behind opening theory is that it is such because, besides showing what to do in opening situations, it also show what not to do; namely this means that a good way to practice opening theory is to take one line and purposely move a figure otherwise, so that you understand how to punish it (for example try the standard Spanish opening without the book and see how White/Black can capture this or that other pawn if played otherwise). This helps on the long run to understand in general how to punish moves that are out of book (if they were sound they would then be in the book, somewhere).

Coming to the actual question we see few different points:

How does one wanting to stick to principles deal with such unorthodox play?

this depends very much on what you mean by "unorthodox play": if unorthodox means, say,

1.e4 b6 2. d4 Bb7 3.Nc3 e6

that is not really unorthodox, rather it follows a different principle of occupancy of the centre via indirect control; it is sound and it is indeed in the books, just not on Chapter 1. As a consequence either you just play following natural development or, if you wish, you can go deeper into those lines and learn their theory. If, otherwise, your opponent plays manifestly wrong moves, blundering pawn protections and the like, well, you just take that pawn on, say d5, left as a gift.

I struggle against players who follow no opening and just bring out the queen and run amuck on the board.

Well, if the Queen is running wild on the board then just developing the two Knights in their proper squares (f3-c3 vs f6-c6) will definitely make your opponent spend many tempi, resulting in their pieces not being developed. As a consequence you will then have major figures development and initiative; this, obviously, unless the Queen is there for a good reason (see for example all the lines containing the "poised pawn" on b2-b7 or the old-style King's gambits and Cambridge Springs variations).

Am I just too new to understand that there are book responses to such moves or should I focus on repulsing pieces before I develop or should I just follow my plan for development?

I would say it is half-half: improvement in chess follows the path of both ideas/principles and book analysis. Continue doing what you are doing and the improvements and the results will come as the time goes by.

0

[chess joke]

First, you don't know "a bit of opening theory". You might have a few pet lines, but a better player would mop you up regardless of how much 'theory' you think you know, and will quickly turn that 'theory' into a poorly formulated hypothesis.

:)

[/chess joke]

Anyways:

Play dogmatically. You are young in your chess-age, and dogmatic play will punish those who want to bring their queens out. Play like Steinitz, Tarrasch, Rubinstein, in a classic sense.

What does this mean?

The Theory of Steinitz - http://exeterchessclub.org.uk/content/theory-steinitz

Rule #6 applies to you:

6.At the beginning of the game a player should not at once seek to attack. Instead, a player should seek to disturb the equilibrium in his favour by inducing the opponent to make an error - a preliminary before attacking.

...'equilibrium in your favour' being a lead in development for you caused by him bringing his queen out too early and playing cat-and-mouse with your knights and bishops.

And, maybe it's time for a basic strategy book, something shiny and new?

Chess Training for Post-Beginners

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