Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Morning After... and I Need A Good Black Repertoire

Funny, last night I went to bed after losing to Dennis and slept quite soundly.

And this morning after waking up and doing my normal routine, I wasn't even depressed. Sure I had pangs of regret that I blundered about the game last night but other than that, nothing.......

The better player won. Simple as that. And it's time to move on. Fritz also kindly let me in on where I went awry and how to grab the initiative out of the opening which would have given me good counterplay.

Was I angry? A little, at myself but I chose to tell myself that I blundered because of improper time management. Had I taken a bit more time and calculate, I would have given Dennis a run for the money. So I definitely need to manage my time better.

2 weeks from today, I am up to face an even tougher player, Arthur Hyunh (a 1800++ player) and I desperately need to prepare an opening repertoire.

My opening knowledge is terrible. I need to choose suitable repertoires more akin to my playing style.

I am an attacking player and love to attack. I have no problems sacrificing pawns to gain an intiative or to open lines if it means gaining a long-term advantage.

Any ideas for a good opening repertoire for Black geared towards a player who loves attacking and dynamic play, anyone?

The remaining list of players I need to play against are as follows:-
02 Apr 2008 - Bye
09 Apr 2008 - Black v Huynh, Arthur (1837)
16 Apr 2008 - White v Kuru, Argo (1716)
23 Apr 2008 - Black v Kitchen, Ray (1456)


  1. How about Sicilian against 1.e4, and a mix of Benoni/Benko vs 1.d4?

    See Topalov.

  2. The Chigorin Queen's Gambit (1. d4,d5; 2. c4, Nc3) is an idiosyncratic response to 1. d4 in which Black strives from the first to take the initiative. Now that Morozevich wrote his fantastic book on it, there's up-to-date information with recent games to help prepare. One does need to know what one is doing, however...

    I can't think of a better choice than the Sicilian against 1. e4.

  3. tcoem: The Benko/Benoni are interesting structures. I have some ideas/familiarity with the Benko (Volgar) Gambit but not the Benoni.

    Greg: Hmmm... I've never played the Chigorin Defence before. I'll have a pop at the Morozevich book in the bookstores and give this opening a whirl (after next week, of course).


    I guess I will take up the mantle and seriously add the Sicilian to my repertoire. I've been dillydallying it on it for far too long and have not been reading it because I got scared off my pants by the amount of theory available.

    The Sicilian is incredibly dense:

    Two Knights
    Accelerated Dragon
    Hyper Accelerated Dragon

    As of now, I'm leaning towards the more flexible Sicilian Kan.

    Of course if White chooses, he can adopt anti-Sicilian measures like the Bb5/c3/Smith-Morra.

    My brother-in-law recently adopted the Accelerated Dragon into his repertoire and so far, I've only managed to beat him once with it but lost twice to him in rapid games.

    Many thanks for the suggestions!

    It's certainly gave me a lot to think about.

  4. To me, the so-called Modern Benoni is closely related to the Benko Gambit structural wise. I like to play them myself so i study them both, plus a little bit of King's Indian Defense on the side as that also seems related structural wise. That way, i can play either one of those openings while implementing ideas/strategy's from all three. Btw, speaking of Sicilian, it is worth looking into the O'Kelly variation.

  5. My humble opinion is that the Centre-Counter ("Scandinavian") 1. e4 d5 is a great response for players with the right style. Black is almost sure of at least getting out his pieces and into a playable middlegame, and White has usually spent so much time on the Sicilian that he doesn't know much of the theory of this opening, anyway.

  6. I second the Sicilian. That a line has a mountain of theory is not necessary a bad thing. That makes it very easy after the game to find out how and why you went wrong. :)

    For d4, the Benko or Gruenfeld are dynamic openings that often put White on the defensive.

    But, keep in mind that aggressive openings may not be what you want, especially as Black, when facing higher-rated opponents.

  7. I am up to face an even tougher player, Arthur Hyunh (a 1800++ player) and I desperately need to prepare an opening repertoire.

    One thing, you speak of preparing an opening repertoire almost like it is cramming for an exam. Not so much the case, unless you're aware of openings that your opponent favors and are studying anti-[whatever] lines.

    It's going to be a process, and there's no substitute for playing lots of games and getting a feel for how the openings work.

    Make sure to have something in mind against e4 and d4.

    Unfortunately, I have no tips for opening since my style is turtlish as Black. Well, except don't play what I do (KID/Pirc).

  8. Chigorin as black vs. 1d4 or the Dutch although the rub there is that you need to learn all 3 Dutch formations as you can be thrust into either one during a game. At the level you play at most opponents probably follow up 1d4 with 2c4 so I would recommend the semi-slav. I like to play it but most folks my level end up playing a London or a Colle System.

  9. tcoem : thanks, i'll definitely do an investigation into them.

    Wahrheit: I've seldom played the Scandinavian as i'm a total newbie at this but i will try to give it a whirl and see if i am comfortable with it.

    likesforests: I'll prepare a line in a Sicilian. I am still uncomfortable with Sicilian pawn-like structures but the tactics are definitely there to be exploited if White wants to have a go. I've always avoided the Sicilian (silly, me) as Black but I never have a problem playing against it as White. :)

    LEP: This is not so much as an exam but an opening repertoire that is more in tune with my style of play. Arthur is a strong player (at my level) and I just need a repertoire that allows me dynamic counter play as Black.

    This doesn't mean I 'book up' on the opening, rather I just want to understand the concepts, strategies behind the opening instead of plain mindless rote of opening moves.

    I definitely agree with u on there's no substitute for playing lots of games.

    Btw it's ok to play the KID and Pirc. My brother-in-law used to play the Pirc with good success over the board. There are lots of KID heroes abound, Kasparov, Radjabov, Fischer and Pirc lovers like M. Gurevich, Nunn. So if you like your opening, stick with it. There's no shame in picking an opening that is not the current 'fashion' of GM play. :)

    wang: Hmm.... I've never thought of the Semi-Slav because I don't like to lock in light-square bishop although funnily enough, I play the French quiet a number of times.

    many thanks to everyone for their suggestions. i'd very much appreciate it!

    as i estimate this to be a 4 month work in progress, it will take me a while to understand these openings.

  10. Don't worry about the bishop my friend it normally comes to b7 and has good prospects. Be advised you have to be ready for the Botvinnik or Anti-Moscow variation. You get active play but advanced pawns on both wings, you have a pawn for your troubles but you have to play acurately.

    That Bishop doesn't fare so well in Dutch structures however and may requires some imagination to get it into play. But