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What is/was your first serious opening?

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  • What is/was your first serious opening?

    Maybe you haven't progressed to the point of seriously studying an opening yet since as a beginner you shouldn't focus on openings.

    Not as just the first few moves of a game, but what is/was the first opening you are studying or did study seriously?

    "Slow down and the world comes to you." A Cat in the Hat cartoon

  • #2
    When I first started I just played out of the books I had, with no concept of why I was making the moves. I spent time memorizing lines like crazy.

    I used A Startling Open Repertoire as White (1. e4 with lots of gambit stuff etc), the Scandinavian (2..Nf6 Portuguese) as Black vs e4, and anything I felt like vs anything else.

    Based purely on tactics and memorization I was able to get to the mid 1600s before I stopped playing for about 10 years.


    • #3
      Alekhine’s Defense. I know just about every line backward and forward because I studied it so intensively. I’ve given no other opening that sort of attention to date.

      I’ve held my own OTB with it vs. candidate masters. Of course, I lose the games because of blunders after the opening, but that’s for another thread.
      Alexander Alekhine is my chess hero.

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      • #4
        King's Gambit.

        Followed by the Alekhine Defence and Dutch Defence.
        Have you read the Forum rules?

        Queeg: Pawn to King Four. Holly: Horsie to King Bish Three.
        Rimmer: It's called a "knight," actually, Holly...
        Queeg: Knight to King Bishop three. Holly: Queen to Rook Eight. Checkmate.
        Queeg: That's an illegal move. Holly: Oh, sorry. Queens don't move like that. I was thinking of poker.
        Holly: Cleudo? You could be Colonel Mustard.
        Cat: If it's any help, I've been studying his tactics and there's a pattern emerging: Every time you make a move, he makes one too. *Winks to Holly*
        Holly: *Winks back* Thanks, Cat.
        --Red Dwarf


        • #5
          The Reti-Larsen Attack. I was deathly afraid of 1.e4 openings for either side. The key word being was. Now I am more aggressive, anything else other than 1.e4 won't do for me!

          Active Library (updated 07/11/15)
          *I found I needed a change in study material as what I felt there was a difference in 'just studying chess' and 'studying chess for tournament play'.

          The King In Jeopardy
          Perfect Your Chess
          Sharpen your Tactics
          The Middlegame, Book I
          ICC Tactical Trainer bot

          "It's not the book. It's what you can understand and learn from it."


          • #6
            I was told as a kid that moving the King's Pawn two spaces forward was the way to go when playing either side. Follow that up with one of your Knights, and castle quickly thereafter. That gave me enough mileage for a couple years, and I got to face alot of openings I didn't know the names of then. I know now that I got alot of experience with the Danish Gambit, and the Ruy, but didn't at the time realize that they even had a name. Most of the time, they weren't played right, either LOL

            I don't truly recall the first opening I consciously studied, but I do believe it was the Ruy, when I borrowed a book from the school library, as an 11 or 12 yr. old.

            No internet back then, and very little chess culture in my area of the backwoods. Even books were hard to come by--harder yet to understand, usually me and a school-pal poring over them, trying to decipher the words and the notation and getting it wrong more often as right.
            Last edited by Celadonite; 12-18-2013, 06:36 PM.
            "They work at the pace of amnesia."--M. Bloch


            • #7
              I am not too good. I lost it on my year break. However, I learned some patterns playing board games. They always seem to try to do the best "logical" moves in reply. So you can always eventually study and win. However, with people it is not always that way.


              • #8
                I think Spanish opening is what I have studied more, coz it just seems too logical. Centre control, pieces development, King's castling... All good principles in any opening, and it just lets you get ballistic quicker by getting safe first.
                Don't drive faster than your guardian angel can fly.


                • #9
                  Actually, when I got into competitive club play, I had some sort of a system for both white and black.

                  London (3. Bf4) vs g6 systems
                  Torre (3. Bg5) vs e6 systems

                  French vs 1.e4
                  Tchigorin vs 1.d4

                  1.d4 d5 2.c4 Nc6 and incase I run into the BDG 1. d4 d5 2. e4 I have e6

                  Active Library (updated 07/11/15)
                  *I found I needed a change in study material as what I felt there was a difference in 'just studying chess' and 'studying chess for tournament play'.

                  The King In Jeopardy
                  Perfect Your Chess
                  Sharpen your Tactics
                  The Middlegame, Book I
                  ICC Tactical Trainer bot

                  "It's not the book. It's what you can understand and learn from it."


                  • #10
                    First openings I studied in any real way was Colle as white and Sicilian Dragon as black against e4 and KID(King's Indian Defense) against d4.
                    With the KID, I picked up the book 'Play the KID with the read and play method' at the 1991 National High School Championships. Read the first chapter. Few weeks later I was playing in a G/20 OTB tournament against a 1700s(I was 1000s). Crushed him with a k-side attack in the Classical KID Mar del Plata and was hooked for years. Though I have since transitioned away to more QGD/Nimzo stuff.
                    Quit the Colle halfway thru the World Open in either 2001 or 2002 and have not played it since except for 1 blitz game 2-3 years ago.
                    Transitioned Sicilian Dragon to Accelerated Dragon 15 years ago and still play it almost exclusively.


                    • #11
                      I studied the Philidor as White because people would play this opening to me quite frequently.
                      Recently I have discovered the Nimzo-Indian defense as black and more particularly the d6-c5 setup that I enjoy very much playing.
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                      • #12
                        e4,Qf3, Bc4 and a prayer
                        " Deep calculation is not what distinguishes the champions. It does not matter how far ahead you see if you don't understand what you are looking at. When I contemplate my move, I first must consider all the elements in the position so that i can develop a strategy and develop intermediate objectives"

                        -- Garry Kasparov--

                        "Tactics must be guided by strategy"

                        --- Garry Kasparov--


                        • #13
                          When I started, I played the Giuoco Piano from both sides, but I didn't know any "book" moves beyond move 3, so it ended up being the quiet, boring lines most of the time. In other words, the stuff you usually see from timid scholastic beginners, but I was in my 20s at the time.

                          Then I bought the book "Action Chess: a 24 Hour Chess Repertoire" by CJS Purdy, which was really a collection of articles he wrote for a magazine recommending an easy to learn repertoire for the beginner. It recommended the Colle as white, the Rubenstein French as black against e4, and the "All Purpose System" for black against most everything else, which I believe is now known as the Tarkatower variation of the QGD. So basically, e6, d5, and c5 against everything as black.

                          Now that I know what I'm doing, I really regret following that repertoire. Playing quiet openings like that at 1300-1400 rating does absolutely nothing for your development as a player at that level. Playing wild, tactical openings will force you to learn tactics or die trying.

                          There were so many games where I felt I'd played well because it took my 1600+ opponents 60+ moves to beat me, but when I looked at the games afterward, I couldn't tell you why I lost. Material stayed even most of the game, until I just happened to end up with the slightly worse position in the late middle game or endgame, which cost me material and let my opponent win. I wasn't learning tactics enough to improve quickly, and the subtle, positional maneuvering and endgame mechanics were lost on me when studying the games by myself. Quick, bloody losses are far easier to learn from, because the mistakes are bigger and more obvious.

                          I actually ended up getting so frustrated from my lack of improvement that I stopped playing. When I returned nearly 4 years later, I switched to a "nothing but wild gambits" repertoire to force myself to learn tactics or die trying. My rating dropped from 1400 to 1300 before suddenly shooting up to 1500+ when I started to get a better feel for playing that way.

                          "Don't be afraid of ghosts! Always play the moves you want to play unless you see a genuine tactical drawback." --Grandmaster Neil McDonald


                          • #14
                            I don't remember what was my first opening, and at the time I didn't even know them. I know that everything was 1. e4 e5 at the beginning and it ended up being like this for quite some time. I also remember I thought I discovered Traxler Counterattack and Lativian Gambit .
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                            • #15
                              In the 60's no computers. The openings that were popular were the ones Fischer, Botvinnik, and Tal played. Fischer: 1. e4. Botvinnik and Tal: Caro Kann and French. Reinfeld wrote a book on the young Alekhine. How Alekhine learned which openings to play particularly from the Black side. If you studied Capablanca at the time, and a few of his books were in trade paper, you tried 1.d4.