Sunday, May 21, 2006

I'm sorry I cheated. Take me back, BO?

Two weeks with the controversial Blackmar-Diemer gambit are enough. Typically I end up with a mangled pawn structure, down material, and hoping for an attack against black's kingside. While I had some fun attacks as white, and I have learned something about the initiative (i.e., if you have the initiative, you need to take advantage of it or you will lose it), it ultimately leads to middle-games that I am very uncomfortable with. Call me crazy, but I just don't like creating a bunch of weak squares/pawns and putting complete trust in my tactical prowess to win games. Maybe when I actually have some tactical prowess...

Hence, I have gone back to my old friend the Bishop's Opening (BO). I am adjusting some of the main lines within BO to get to a more open, tactical middlegame than I was getting before. I am performing this repertoire surgery with the help of Emms' excellent book Attacking with 1 e4. I think I am ready to move up from Schiller's First Chess Openings, which is not a very good book.

With the BO I am much more comfortable with the resulting middle-game positions. Besides, I've already put a lot of time into the BO and I don't want to spend time learning a bunch of new stuff in the BDG when I should be focusing on tactics anyway.


Blogger Edwin 'dutchdefence' Meyer said...

Comfortable middlegame positions is exactly what you should be looking for in an opening. My advice is; If it makes you feel uncomfortable, don't play it. But still you could ask yourself what exactly it was that atracted you in the first place to playing the BDG. Because maybe you are a 1.d4 player instead of a 1.e4 player. Sometimes i wonder about this myself. now i'm not talking gambits, i am talking about a solid 1.d4 opening like the Catalan Opening. An opening which i tried out myself, and which for some reason made me feel quite comfortable playing it right away you know? As in a something i was meant to play kinda thing... Just a thought ;-)

5/21/2006 04:57:00 PM  
Blogger Calvin said...

you better watch out. jadoube will have a field day with this post.

5/21/2006 05:16:00 PM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Edwin: What attracted me to the BDG was the open lines for my rooks and bishops, the crazy lead in initiative you get (unfortunately at the expense of your general pawn well-being). The variants of the Bishop's Opening I am now working in give you a little bit of that openness, but with a little sanity thrown in.

5/21/2006 05:25:00 PM  
Blogger Pawnsensei said...

Hey BDK,

I agree, d4 openings are quite advanced for someone under 1600. Bishop's Opening is excellent for our level though.


5/21/2006 06:03:00 PM  
Blogger Pendrax said...

Do you ever actually get to play your Bishop's Opening after e4? How often to you get e5 rather than c5 or something else?

That's why I gave up on the idea of e4...I can't afford the time it takes to deal with the Sicilian, et. al.

Play d4, most people will respond d5 or transpose into something familiar. I probably don't win more often, but it seems more predictable.

5/22/2006 03:47:00 PM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Pendrax: I get e5 most of the time. Of course, I have to use something else for the Sicilian. I don't mind, as it forces me to learn it and I'll probably play the Sicilian as black someday. Emms has a chapter for each of the main responses (e.g., Sicilian, e5, French, Pirc, etc). It's a great book.

5/22/2006 10:37:00 PM  
Blogger Gambitz said...

I often play the Scandinavian in blitz games, and come across the BDG alot. Blitz games are all about the initiative, and I think it's a great blitz opening that provides awesome initiative early on. However in long games I don't believe white gets enough compensation for his sacrificed pawn, especially after his early initiative typically fizzles out after 10 moves or so.

5/23/2006 03:57:00 AM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Gambitz, that is an excellent point. The quality of the opening depends on the length of the game, how likely it is your opponent will be able to be thoughtful :) I play mostly slow games, which may be the reason the BDG seemed so damned uncomfortable.

I guess if there were an opening magic bullet, chess would be a lot more boring.

5/23/2006 10:47:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Regained your sanity, you have!

Traveled the Dark Path, young padawan, and returned to the True Path, you have.

Great things I foresee for you, padawan learner. . .resisted the Dark Side and returned to the Way of the Jedi you have.

Much work to complete your training we need. Study you must. Not give in to the easy path which leads to the Dark Side. . .


5/23/2006 10:43:00 PM  
Blogger phorku said...

After trying out several white openings the Bishop's is my main opening for white. There are many tactical shots that can occur early and I play it against many non ...e5 openings as well. I like the Vienna options that you can play too. There is a chapter on it in the book:

The Bishop's Opening Explained by Gary Lane

When I get time for some more opening study I may switch to the Vienna entirely. There is also an older out of print book on the Bishop's by Gary Lane but it does not have a chapter on Vienna options.

Keep an eye out for opponents who pin your knight on your queen with the bishop before they castle.

1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 d6 3. d3 Nc6 4. Nf3 Bg4 5. Bxf7+ Kxf7 6. Ng5+ Kf6 7. Qxg4


5/24/2006 03:23:00 PM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...


I am playing the Vienna variation (Nc3 instead of Nf6, so I can play f4 for a kingside attack). Emms' book uses the Vienna variation. In the few games I've played it (blitz, just to get a feel) it feels good. I like the middle game, I like not having to get into boring two-knights defense type of crap, and I have had lots of tactical opportunities. All without the feeling that I'm fighting for my life like I had with the BDG.

This time, instead of just copying the repertoire into Bookup so I can memorize it, I am working very slowly through each line, coming up with obvious responses to each white move until I feel like the position settles into a middlegame that I am comfortable with (this is rarely more than 8 moves, but sometimes the obvious continuations take me up to move 14).

Problem is, I like opening study too much, so I don't let myself do it until I've done at least ten tactical problems on my circles that day. :)

The Bishop's Opening has forgiven me, and even trusted me with more of her secrets.

5/24/2006 04:34:00 PM  
Blogger Zweiblumen said...

I'm also patterning my white opening rep off of Emm's e4 book. I like his style, and the BO with f4 fits my style: aggressive.

The other thing I like about this is it avoids the Petroff, and I don't have to learn the Ruy or the white side of the Two Knights (which I play as black, my black rep coming mostly from Emms "Play the open games as black").

Finally, and you hit on this, the BO with Nc3 has a lot of transpositional possibilities, and since I'm interested in someday adding the King's Gambit to my arsenal I think that the BO with f4 could be a good stepping stone. Emms himself says that some of the positions we get are similar to some KGD positions.

I'm also hoping to learn the Urusov gambit at some point, and this starts out as a BO before getting a little wild.

Finally, can you tell that I'm bored at work and trolling through your blog yet?

8/24/2006 02:34:00 PM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

I still really like that book's response to 1...e5. I don't use the Siclilian line (I hate fianchetto openings, so switched to the grand prix attack which, sweetly, has a similar pawn structure to the bishop's in Emm's book).

8/24/2006 03:43:00 PM  
Blogger Zweiblumen said...

I've been reading your comments about the grand prix attack...I'm not particularly partial to the closed sicilian, it's just what I have access to (in Emms' book). I tend not to like closed openings, but it still seems somewhat tactical....I'm not a huge fan of fianchettos either, but I do like the attack _against_ the black fianchetto that often arises in the Nc3 sicilian.

At my low level I still see e5 more than c5 though. I'm pretty comfortable as white, but as black I'm often sad. I'm helpless against d4 and have nothing against the Ruy. Suggestions?

8/24/2006 04:09:00 PM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

My response to the Ruy is stolen from Nigel Davies book 'Play 1. e4 e5!'. It is excellent for the Ruy. My response to other e4 e5 openings is mostly from Emms' great 'Play the open games as black.'

As for d4, I don't have anything good yet. I tend to get demolished. I was playing the Queen's gambit accepted, but have realized I just don't like it, so I'm thinking about going for something more traditional like the Slav.

8/24/2006 04:23:00 PM  
Blogger Zweiblumen said...

Simple though it may seem, my "plan" (if you could call it that) with black against d4 is: d5, e6, Be7, Nf6 and OO and then look for a good time for c5. This is mostly insipred by

Sad though it is, I feel like I've played more "good" chess out of this than out of any openings I actually claim to know.

8/24/2006 04:37:00 PM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Cool, thanks for the tip! I'll give it a shot. It looks like a great article.

8/24/2006 05:04:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home