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derouin 59 ( +1 | -1 )
Black Def for Beginners Hey everyone. I am playing my friend next weekend, and I will be playing black for all of the games (don't ask).

I am certain that he will start with e4. I have a book on the Caro-Kann defense (From the starting out series). I am working through it, but I don't think it is useful to someone of my pathetic level.

I even read somewhere that you should meet e4 with e5 on almost every match, especially for beginners.

I am just not comfortable with the c6 defenses yet, as they are more complicated.

QUESTION: What defense should I study? Or should I just concentrate on having a strong centre??
indiana-jay 91 ( +1 | -1 )
That's right.
1. e4 e5 is usefull for beginners because it will train the player on tactics. It is also where most basic principles or theories can be implemented or excercised. It creates positions that are easier to understand (what will justify your option between 2 moves if you don't even understand which move is better?)

I think you should try the c6 (in serious games) and see if you find too many dont-know-what-to-dos. If so, you should concentrate on e5 as you have understood about the strong centre.

BTW, I believe that 1. e4 (as well as 1. ...e5) is the strongest opening. It is just well analyzed so that for the highest level players, it may reveal what I call it "basic chess axiom": If both sides don't make mistake, the game is drawn.

1. e4 e5 also brings a problem to intermediate players. This is because many first moves are well known to both sides so that basically it is a test of endgame skill.
derouin 45 ( +1 | -1 )
Thanks Hoosier Good advice. I am now attempting to play a bunch of c6 games here, but I do get caught two ways:

1) My opponents don't follow the proper Caro-Kann 'plan' at all, so

2) I am left with an unfamiliar position!

I have a great book on openings by Horowitz (How to Win in the Chess Openings). I LOVE THIS BOOK!

Instead of memorizing a bunch of lines, I understand that the control of centre is EVERYTHING (for my level especially!).

So I guess I'll just meet e4 with e5 and go for control!

raimon 49 ( +1 | -1 )
yes 1...e5 is a good way to start - do not worry about whether your moves are correct, just play logically.
It is a good idea to keep a record of your moves so that you can find out later:
(a) the name of the opening
(b) improvements that can be made to your play
(c) whether you understand the basic ideas behind the opening e.g. control of the d4 square etc.
When analysing new openings, it is best to just concentrate on the first 10 or 15 moves or even less until you clearly understand the principles.
chessnovice 27 ( +1 | -1 )
... I agree that for this weekend, practicing a new opener would be risky, and therefore 1. ... e5 should be your reply to 1. e4.

But I completely recommend study of Sicilian (1. ...c5) and Caro-Kahn (the two best black openings, in my opinion, when you know what you're doing) for the future.
More: Chess
derouin 58 ( +1 | -1 )
Good idea Yeah I am going to write down all of our moves. We are playing a best of 3 for $20.

It is at his house, so he demands that he start off as white, and the loser always gets white. It is on a Saturday night, many of our friends will be there, so there will be plenty of drinking.

To prepare for this idiotic display, I am doing 4 things:

1) Playing many games!
2) Working through many 2-move-mate problems
3) Working through Practical Chess Endings and Combinations: The Heart of Chess; both by Irving Chernev
4) Working through The Amateur's Mind by Jeremy Silman

raimon 25 ( +1 | -1 )
One thing to watch out for with e4-e5 openings, is your f7 square - particularly if white has a bishop on the a2-g8 diagonal.
My advice is: nothing fancy, pieces on good squares, early kingside castling and good judgement as whether the position calls for attack, counterattack or defence.
derouin 33 ( +1 | -1 )
Thanks raimon! Good times. I'll post and tell you all if I won the $20. Best of 3, and he counts a win if we draw/stalemate, so I have to checkmate him twice in 3 games to win. He has not played since high school (about 12 years ago for him).

Several weeks ago, we had an 'exhibition' of 2 games. I fooled around as white for the first game and lost. I destroyed him in the next game as black.

So we shall see....
white_disc 20 ( +1 | -1 )
go for French Defence My personal experience is that the French defence for black, advance variation, is a tough nut to crack, especially if white does not know his lines well enough.

i.e.

1. e4 e6
2. d4 d5
3. e5 c5

Just my own opinion :)

Thanks :)
furryfunbundle 22 ( +1 | -1 )
Kings Gambit If playing e5 in response to e4 then I suggest you also do need to consider a reply to 2.f4 by white. It will put you into a totally different chess game and if you are not appreciative of its ideas you will be wondering what to do next maybe.
raimon 41 ( +1 | -1 )
Very true furryfunbundle it's about 16 years since I last played 1...e5 in reply to 1.e4 so I am more than likely way out of date, but just looking back through my games - on the odd occasion that I met the king's gambit I played the king's gambit declined in: 1.e4 e5 2.f4 Bc5 3.Nf3 d6 and although there are some traps that need learning, if black manages to keep the blacksquared bishop (a6 may need to be played) I think he has very good chances.
peppe_l 166 ( +1 | -1 )
Derouin "Good advice. I am now attempting to play a bunch of c6 games here, but I do get caught two ways:

1) My opponents don't follow the proper Caro-Kann 'plan' at all, so

2) I am left with an unfamiliar position!"

Whenever your opponent doesnt follow the proper Caro-Kann plans, you have a good reason to be happy. Instead of fighting vs most challenging main lines you get easy equality or even advantage if your opponent goes for (too) dubious plans. In my humble opinion - feeling uncomfortable when your opponents refuse to follow proper Caro-Kann plans indicates it is a bit too early to focus on openings. If you study tactics and strategy first (not to forget endgames), you will soon be able to find a good tactical/positional reaction vs out-of-book lines. Many folks say "I lost the game to a 2-move fork because I ran out of theory in move 15. I will study theory till move 25..." - and lose the game to a 2-move fork in move 25. But if you study tactics...

"To prepare for this idiotic display, I am doing 4 things:

1) Playing many games!
2) Working through many 2-move-mate problems
3) Working through Practical Chess Endings and Combinations: The Heart of Chess; both by Irving Chernev
4) Working through The Amateur's Mind by Jeremy Silman"

Sounds like a great plan! Dont forget...

1a) Analyze your games
5) Play trough annotated master games

Anyway, good luck for the match! Even though there is money and glory on stake, dont forget to enjoy playing :-)

Oh and remember,

"Most surprises are pleasant ones"

- GM Yrjölä