I really want to play some positionally rich openings. Openings which require strategic planning and understanding, and not much direct attack and defence. I want the battle to be a "who can improve their position the fastest" sort of battle and not a "who can attack the quickest" sort of battle.

What openings would you suggest? (FYI, I'm 1700 rapid, 1700 blitz, rapid being what I take the most seriously)

  • The Scotch often gives both sides an unwieldy pawn structure, and the positions are clearly different from other openings. Is that the sort of thing you're looking for? Oct 27 '20 at 9:35
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    "who can improve their position the fastest" sort of battle and not a "who can attack the quickest" these two mean the same thing
    – David
    Oct 27 '20 at 10:07
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    Queen's Gambit Exchange, Slav Exchange with Bf4, Spanish and Italian (both sides), Semi-Slav, Botvinnik-Carls Gambit in the Caro Kann, Nimzo-Indian (although this one has to be handled sharply sometimes) paired with the Bogo-Indian. I feel like in those openings an early attack has to be allowed by the opponent or will let the attacker stand worse after 10 precise moves. The proper handling of the positions demands you demonstrate your positional understanding.
    – B.Swan
    Oct 27 '20 at 11:24
  • Can you clarify what do you mean by Positionally Rich? For example, is an opening resulting in isolated pawn Positionally Rich? On the one had it is interesting strategical battle, but on the other hand it is a very well known position type and plans and ideas for both plans very well explored, so it is hard to come up with original positional creativity.
    – Akavall
    Oct 28 '20 at 2:31

d4 would be the best choice as white, for sure - generally leads to more positional situations.

Against the slav- Exchange Slav is an option if you aren't annoyed by the drawish nature.

Against the QGD- Exchange QGD (with a Nf3 0-0 setup like Karpov) is a good option.

You should probably avoid the Nimzo and Benoni (so, after d4 Nf6 c4 e6, play Nf3, and after d4 Nf6 c4 c5, play Nf3).

Thus, you'll have to learn the Queen's Indian, Bogo-Indian, and the line d4 Nf6 c4 c5 Nf3 (which transposes to a line of the Symmetrical English)- none will be too difficult to find something against that you like (main lines should suffice).

Against the Dutch, you can pretty much do the main line and it'll suit your wishes.

Now, as black- my recommendation would be the Caro-Kann, with a couple notes: 1) play 3...c5 against the Advance variation, as there are m any sharp lines if you play the main line Bf5. This appears to lose a pawn, but black has few issues getting it back. 2) It might be worthwile to play a sideline in the 3. Nc3 line such as 4...Nf6 or 4...Nd7 instead of 4...Bf5.

Versus d4, I would choose the Chebanenko slav (d4 d5 c4 c6 Nf3 Nf6 Nc3 a6) - a good video on it can be found here

This has the nice bonus of having a built-in rep vs c4, since you can just reply c6.

There are good courses on chessable for both of these defenses.

Personally, I've played almost all of this repertoire and have found it to be both good and positional.

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