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?

  • Post some games so we can examine them, please.
    – Tony Ennis
    Commented May 5, 2012 at 13:49

5 Answers 5


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.


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 repertoire, 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.


I am approximately 1850 USCF (ELO) rated and have played the Colle-Zukertort system pretty religiously 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.


To some of you so called experts on opening play...

Thinking that what opening you play hinders your middle and endgame technique is totally false. Blaming getting out played in the middle game and losing on the opening you choose is also false thinking.

Many GMs and IMs use these systems. If you can't get these openings to work for you then your not going to get a main line to work either. Learning main line openings does NOT improve your chess. Chess is really about tactics, the middle and the end game. The opening is only a part of the over all game.

Here is a quote from John Cox who is an IM 2400ish FIDE rating from his book "Dealing with d4 Deviations" "In the 1930's the top guys didn't know whether these openings or the Queens Gambit were better. These were the 2700s of their day; They understood chess a lot better than I do, and if something wasn't obvious to them, it was arrogant of me to think it would be obvious to me if i just figured it out over the board. I could list easily a hundred 2550+ players who have succumbed to the openings in this book"

He admits he's been torched many times by these opening systems too...

Here is a clue... 99.9% of his book doesn't bust any system... all his book does is get you to a level position as black. Then what are you going to do then... Wing it?

Alekhine, Lasker, Capablanca etc all used these openings.. Currently Kamsky Blatny Kovacevic Hodgson Yusupov Hebden use these system against top tier GMs.

People who think an opening effects their chess technique or skill are the type that chase openings over and over, never really mastering a single one.

  • 3
    How does this answer the question that was asked?
    – ETD
    Commented Jan 25, 2015 at 14:40

1.d4 2.Nf3 is the main line for me. I use to play 150 attack and Barry attack very frequently in my games. They are very good openings and best thing about it is that you attack without any weaknesses. That's great isn't it.
But these two attacks are played by me only when the opponent responds with 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6. The g6 move tell us that black is going to develop his bishop fianchetto and play a King's Indian.
For other lines you must go through Graham Burgess' "Cunning chess opening repertoire for White".

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