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23

At a basic level, what we want from an opening and a defense, is: we want to be fighting for the center squares (1), we're trying to develop our pieces and get good squares for them (2), and thirdly, we want to have a safe king (3). This is as modest a expectation as one can have for a good opening. Now roughly speaking, there are two types of defenses (say ...


19

9.dxc5? is a horrible positional blunder. The Grunfeld for black allows white a big center, and his idea is to chip away at it, or force it to advance, and then chip away at it. That center controls a lot of nice squares, and is very desirable. 9.dxc5? by white voluntarily does what black is trying to achieve in a very bad way, and worse, it turns the Bg7 ...


13

You might be looking for two separate, but related types of books. First, and I have an extensive library, I could find no books that do not organize the openings somewhat by sub-variation. The problem is that the ideas between various sub-variations of a specific opening, like the French, are just too different to lump into one chapter, so the answer to ...


12

It's still one of the best moves White can play. There's no clear consensus on whether 1.e4 or 1.d4 is better, but it's played frequently at the top level. Due to advancements in theory, I'd say 1.e4 isn't regarded quite as highly as it was in the past, but again it's most likely White's best/second best move. Advancements in AI aren't really affecting ...


11

You do not have enough control of e4, and if white gets to play e4-e5 here, your king is a goner. It is an absolute must here to stop that plan, and the only way to do it is d5. Making your Bb7 bad for now pales in comparison to letting your king get mated, or loss of significant material, which will happen after e4-e5.


10

The main reasons it is OK for black is that he is still down only one tempo in piece development, but he has traded off his bad bishop for white's good bishop, and his position is still very solid so he will catch up in development eventually. The downside is that white has more space. Black can eventually fight back with c5 after finishing his development, ...


8

Other than controlling the e4-square (as noted by PhishMaster), there are some additional reasons ...d5 could be useful, which I'll list below. But even if these reasons didn't exist, ...d5 would still be best since controlling e4 is necessary. 1) It gives Black's queen more space. 2) It controls the c4-square, potentially stopping White from playing Nc4 (...


8

The main reason is to exchange black's good bishop, and what would probably end up being white's bad bishop after a later e3. Another common way of doing this is Bg5xNf6. This also highlights black's dark-square weakness problem that he will have to watch out for for quite a while. This exchange on a3 leaves black's other bad bishop on c8 more markedly bad, ...


8

It is funny since 1.Nf3 scores better than any other opening move per Mega 2020 at 55.5% winning percentage for white, compared to only 52.8% for 1.e4, 54.3% for 1.d4, and 54.4% for 1.c4. I think a lot of it is psychological regarding the types of positions that can arise. 1.Nf3 is the most fluid of all the moves I mentioned, and I think that players simply ...


8

Questions of this nature seem to have become a reoccurring theme recently here on chess SE, but that's a good thing because understanding basic opening ideas is understanding fundamentals of chess strategy. So let's tackle the question from this angle, in an attempt to objectively relate the merit of first moves for white to their popularity. Why 1.e4, 1.d4,...


8

it's actually impossible to keep the material advantage since after 9.dxc5 black has the move 9...Qa5 which puts a second attacker to the c3 pawn and also prepares to recapture the c5 pawn. All that white would be doing is giving up the strong center which is a huge deal in this line of the Grunfeld. Black, on the other hand, would be left with a more active ...


7

c3 by white is called the Moller Attack. The reason you do not see it at high levels is that the sting has been taken out of it over the years. Basically, it comes down to breaking up the center with Nxe4, or hitting back in the center with d5, before white can finish developing and fortify the center. There are a few lines you need to know. [FEN ""] 1. ...


7

You're right that players who choose 1...c6 must be fine with the Caro-Kann, which is one reason why it's not that popular. However, there are some people who are fine with the Caro-Kann, and so the move gets played occasionally. In the case of 2.c4, there aren't many benefits I can see for Black. He has the option of playing a la King's Indian with ...Nf6, ....


7

tl;dr: Wrong move order by black in the opening: the c4 advance must be prefaced with Nd7 in the played Zaitsev variation. That said, and although your hunch about the early c4 is correct, I'm afraid there's no simple answer that immediately explains why the immediate c4 is bad and why Nd7 is so crucial, since the Ruy Lopez and the Zaitsev are highly ...


6

I would add one little thing to Inertial Ignorance's answer: The reason it is so unpopular is probably that the Caro seems more passive than the Slav, and I say this as a long-time Caro player. E4 openings, being more open games, give white more chance to pressure black is what I mean. Still why let your opponent dictate what line you will play when you can ...


6

The first moves 1. Nf3, 1. d4, 1. e4 and 1. c4 are all good. It is a matter of taste which one you prefer, as they usually lead to different types of position. All these moves have their advantages and disadvantages. After 1. Nf3, you have to consider the black replies 1. ... d5, c5, Nf6 at least. 2. c4 is a fine continuation in all these cases. Of course, ...


5

I think that the biggest myth about chess is the one that you actually pointed out in your question. I am talking about the one about learning openings before learning endgames. I am a strong believer that endgames contribute much to your play than openings and openings. As the great chess player Capablanca pointed out that Endgames can be studied ...


5

Since 1.e4 and 1.d4 are considered equal by most experts, the value will really depend on your style: If you are a tactical player, you are more likely to get the types of positions that you favor. I am older, and a positional player, so I play 1.d4 for the same reason: I tend to get more positional games, and I am a pretty good positional player. Whether ...


5

In the pawn structure of the Stonewall Dutch the light squared bishop is the sick piece in black's position and the dark squared bishop is the star. If white can exchange the dark squared bishops then white already stands much better because of all the resulting weak dark squares in black's position, particularly e5. Consequently it is a mistake for black ...


5

There is a huge difference here, and that is first, that you will get the bishop pair for white's big center, but also that your Bf6 is beautifully placed for they typical black move in the Queen's Indian, c5, which will cut across the a1-h8 diagonal. Also, the white center can be successfully attacked. In the other example from the other question, cxd4 ...


5

Yes. ICCF: Says nothing about it, or assistance of any kind, and you can even use computers legally. Here are their rules. USCF: "3. You may consult chess books and periodicals but not other players." Here are their rules. With regards to the ICCF rules, my guess is that they just decided it was too hard to police computer used, so they just allow it. ...


4

This is a very complex question. First, by nature of moving first, white can clearly control whether the game is open, or not, more than black can, but black does have a say next. If white plays, 1. d4, 1. c4, 1. Nf3, or even moves like b3 or g3, we know that the game tends to be more closed than after 1.e4. After 1. d4, for example, black can attempt to ...


4

In general White has more freedom of choice due to going first. He can play a move that is slightly suboptimal and still be around equal. But if Black does the same thing, he could quickly find himself in a bad position. However, it's obviously not always necessary to play dubious moves in order to get the kind of position you want. In general you should ...


4

It really depends on how broadly you want to define the openings. For example, while not popular at that level, GMs have played the Smith Morra. Of course, a standard open Sicilian is better. The same goes for those, who have played the King's Gambit when trying for the Ruy Lopez is better. The Ruy Lopez is probably objectively better than the Italian ...


4

We can only imagine that he somehow had a human moment, and messed up. The normal move instead of 16...c4 is 16...Nd7 17.Ra3 and only then 17...c4. The way it was played, it was almost the forced loss of a pawn. He had the option of Qb6, but it left him with a miserable position anyway. [FEN "r2qrbk1/1b3pp1/p2p1n1p/1ppP4/Pn2P3/5N1P/1P1N1PP1/RBBQR1K1 b - -...


4

First, it is important to know that in many Sicilian positions, not just the Kalashnikov, if black gets in d5, he has equalized, and has a very free game. Thus, taking on c6 helps black reinforce the center, and he will often get in d5 soon. White following up the trade with Bc4, which scores only 20% for white despite white out-rating black 2376 to 2192 per ...


4

This answer does not use modern analysis. One can always consult the old masters for advice. One of the first epic rivalries in chess was between an Irishman and a Frenchman: Alexander McDonnell and Louis Charles Mahé de la Bourdonnais. In the course of their six-match slugfest in 1834, this opening line arose thrice, with de la Bourdonnais taking 2 points ...


4

Yes. All correspondence chess always allowed written materials. Now they may also allow computers, and AFAIK also do so as it would be impossible to know if someone was using one or not. Many people now complain that CC is just one computer versus another. I always suspected that Hans Berliner had used a computer when he worked at FSD in Gaithersburg ...


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