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Best 1. e4 defense for beginners?

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  • Best 1. e4 defense for beginners?

    I'm new but I'm sure most of you know that. I just wanted to ask what the best 1. e4 defense is for beginners and why it's best for beginners to use.

    I've already deducted that anything hypermodern like the Pirc and the Modern are definitely not for beginners. I've also concluded that the French Defense is really boring and that Alekhine's Defense is too complex for beginners like the Pirc and Modern. The Caro-Kann probably won't dive into tactics which is what beginners need to practice. The Scandinavian Defense involves moving your queen out early which was one of the first things I was told not to do.

    So, that leaves the Sicilian and the Double King's Pawn. The Sicilian has mountains of theory but can get into tactics as well as the Double King's Pawn. Both actually have mountains of theory to them, so I'm not sure which of the two is better for beginners to use. I'm guessing it's either the Sicilian or Double King's Pawn then.

    Thanks.
    Chess is similar to life.

  • #2
    I'd stick to e5 for now. There is some theory involved in some of the openings that come up, but it's easier stuff to understand and improvise than in the Sicilian. When you play the Sicilian, you have to know what you're doing. When you play e5, it's easier to get away with making it up as you go along. You'll want to compare your games to established theory afterwards to learn as you go, but it's not that hard to learn the basics in most of the openings that arise from a double king's pawn formation.

    --Fromper

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

    Comment


    • #3
      Tell them to, make the best move on the board (the one that makes the most sence to them), if that is the Pirc (a hypermodern opening), then so be it, if that is the Sicilian or double King Pawn, that is also fine, just as long as its an opening, that they can learn and attach the basic principles to (remember chess is a thinking game) and style should not be confused with other things. It is alright for them to experiment with openings! (that is part of learning them) Also, after they have learned a reasonable line (simplify it for them, and study end-games first) -- this may sound a little wierd or ackward, but it will teach them alot. And then do, complete game anaylsis, including middle game tactics..... just teach them whatever they seem to question, any improvement is good, and we all have our weaknesses, whether it be this phase, or that phase of the game. The key thing to remember is -- give them an opening book, and learn MCO-13 (Modern Chess Openings 13th edition) as a refrence, not as a favorite memorized opening, and given that I hope they will greatly improve and learn fast.
      "Without sensibility, no object would be given to us. Without understanding, no object would be thought. Thoughts without content are empty. Intuitions without concepts are blind." Immanuel Kant - "Critique of Pure Reason."

      Comment


      • #4
        This is how I generally break down openings:

        1. ... e5 - Double King Pawn
        1. ... c5 - Sicilian

        1. ... e6 - French
        1. ... d6 - Pirc

        1. ... c6 - Caro-Kann
        1. ... Nf6 - Alekhine

        1. ... Nc6 - Nimzowitsch
        1. ... d5 - Scandinavian
        1. ... b6 - Queen's Fianchetto


        I wouldn't recommend the Sicilian for beginners. That is because frankly, I'm definitely not a beginner anymore and I still don't understand the Sicilian enough to play it properly.
        The Double King Pawn openings work fine, 1. ... e5 is equally just as good as the Sicilian, albeit different. I didn't play this when I started playing, but I would recommend it to anyone.

        The French is the next best thing. I don't think it's technically as good as the above, but highly playable. Wouldn't recommend it to beginners because of its inherent passivity.
        The Pirc is a little less committal. Hypermodern by nature with some more classical themes. A good option for beginners, but be warned, you are going to be calculating a lot.

        The Caro-Kann is a relatively easy defense to learn. It's somewhat slower than the French and hardly less passive. I wouldn't recommend it to beginners.
        The Alekhine is what I started with. Hypermodern and different. A good defense, but it definitely takes time to get a taste for. I would be hesitant to recommend it to beginners.

        As for the other defenses, I wouldn't recommend them to anyone.
        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

        Comment


        • #5
          It tries to study the Petroff, involves tactics, but the Siciliana is not so complex how much.

          Comment


          • #6
            I think both of you must watch a chess tournament video at 1001 Checkmate Styles

            Caution : the video shows you how fast two opponents play the chess game!
            Last edited by Funiatra; 09-11-2007, 02:52 AM.
            www.ChessPlayingGuide.com/SolutionWithStrategy
            add mehttp://myspace.com/funiatra

            Comment


            • #7
              Yeah ... What those guys said

              Hey,

              I also recommend e5. You'l be learning tactics, tactics, tactics with that opening, which is what you likely need now. I'm no begginer either, but just coming back to chess after a long chess rest!

              I'm looking at Pirc and Alekhine stuff and getting my pants beat! But it'll take me awhile to learn the positions.

              Good Luck!
              "Hatred is the coward's revenge for being intimidated."- George Bernard Shaw

              Comment


              • #8
                Thanks to everyone for their replies.

                Apparently we have three different opinions here. One is saying DKP, another is saying DKP and the Pirc are good (although I used the Pirc in five games against friends and went 1 win, 2 losses, 2 draws), and the other opinion is to use what in my opinion is the 'best'.

                Basically the third opinion is that the best for beginners is what is best for them.

                Is it true that it doesn't really matter what response to e4 beginners use as long as it isn't a garbage defense such as f6? Will some defenses slow the beginner's progress?

                From what I see, responding to e4 with e5 is clearly the correct choice. Kasparov suggests that beginners should play 1. e4 for a year and then get into closed games, so how long should I play 1... e5 for?
                Chess is similar to life.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by NitrousPeak View Post
                  Thanks to everyone for their replies.

                  Apparently we have three different opinions here. One is saying DKP, another is saying DKP and the Pirc are good (although I used the Pirc in five games against friends and went 1 win, 2 losses, 2 draws), and the other opinion is to use what in my opinion is the 'best'.

                  Basically the third opinion is that the best for beginners is what is best for them.

                  Is it true that it doesn't really matter what response to e4 beginners use as long as it isn't a garbage defense such as f6? Will some defenses slow the beginner's progress?

                  From what I see, responding to e4 with e5 is clearly the correct choice. Kasparov suggests that beginners should play 1. e4 for a year and then get into closed games, so how long should I play 1... e5 for?
                  For as long as you see fit. There is a whole world of openings in there you know.
                  I would recommend going into (inheritantly) closed systems when you have advanced enough to recognize some of the subtleties. You can't get into strategy without mastering some tactics first.

                  At any rate. You haven't played chess until you have played the Ruy Lopez. It's a highly educational experience from both sides.
                  (I'll be honest, I've started with the King's Gambit and Alekhine defense to avoid main-lin'ish openings; but looking back I should have played the Ruy Lopez...)
                  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

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by BrillatSavarin View Post
                    Hey,

                    I also recommend e5. You'l be learning tactics, tactics, tactics with that opening, which is what you likely need now. I'm no begginer either, but just coming back to chess after a long chess rest!

                    I'm looking at Pirc and Alekhine stuff and getting my pants beat! But it'll take me awhile to learn the positions.

                    Good Luck!
                    I think e5 is not very good one. Because you'll let your opponent moves their primary Bishop and backed up by their Knight and Pawn. This is not very good idea to make a move. Moving Castle's Pawn first, then your knight, then start with e5 and above...this will not slow down you.
                    as math, chess also has their formula.....so this must be test and track. Which best to you!
                    www.ChessPlayingGuide.com/SolutionWithStrategy
                    add mehttp://myspace.com/funiatra

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Funiatra View Post
                      I think e5 is not very good one. Because you'll let your opponent moves their primary Bishop and backed up by their Knight and Pawn. This is not very good idea to make a move. Moving Castle's Pawn first, then your knight, then start with e5 and above...this will not slow down you.
                      as math, chess also has their formula.....so this must be test and track. Which best to you!
                      Moving the rook's pawn first is a poor opening choice. Yes I know that someone once beat Kasparov (or was it Karpov?) with it but that only happened once. 1.e4 e5 is a fine choice no worse than most of the alternatives and better than many.

                      All mainline openings are sound according to Kasparov and he should know.

                      Crash

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        There is absolutely no doubt that the best response to 1.e4, for a beginner, is ... e5.

                        Yes, you may have to deal with a wide variety of offbeat gambits. That's good for you. Suck it up and deal. But you're dealing with those gambits with a foothold in the center and active piece play. You're not giving up a combination of a kingside space disadvantage and a development disadvantage. You're not playing for an endgame. (All of the later are bad ideas for a beginner).

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          In regard to openings. Get a copy of Reuben Fine's How to Play the Openings.
                          Or even Edward Lasker's Modern Chess Strategy.
                          For everyone, including myself when I started to learn chess, start at the basics. Play e4, e5 or e6 openings. Learn 1 or 2 openings then go on to the Sicilian.
                          You can even go over Alekhine's early games, and Fischer's.
                          When new to the game you have to find what you are comfortable at, and
                          what you can not play. Alekhine had trouble with the Caro Kann, and it took
                          hard lessons to avoid. Reshevsky, Capablanca, Flohr, and Botvinnik had the style and feeling for the Caro-Kann.
                          Chess is a 64 square game. the Opening moves were given names.
                          Learning those names does not mean learning to play everything.
                          It is easier to play e4 openings as White, and 1 or 2 defenses as Black.
                          In the words of Bobby Fischer "All of a Sudden I got good".
                          Not everyone is a Capablanca or Reshevsky. Or has the steel nerves of Botvinnik.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I do not understand the initial question, but 1e4 I play 1e5. Sometimes I may put a knigh, but generally e5 is good enough

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Here are the reasons why 1.... e5 is the beginners best response to 1.e4

                              First, it fights directly for control of the center. It says to white, "If you want to dominate the center ... prove it!" (Other openings, like, say, the French or the Sicilian, fight for the center in a much more subtle way. Openings like the Pirc essentially defer the fight for the center, hoping white will overreach. Beginners don't have the defensive technique for htat to be a worthwhile strategy.)

                              Secondly, in enables rapid development and quick kingside castling. Development, along with control of the center, is one of the few positional considerations that beginners know how to use.

                              Third, it refuses to cede a space advantage. A space advantage = an attack, to beginners, who lack the defensive technique to score well against even unsound attacks.

                              The sicilian - often recommended - is one of the worst choices a beginner can make. It neglects both development and control of the center. It gives white a kingside space advantage - and an easy attack.

                              Even among grandmasters, the sicilian is know for putting black in a position where he has to find "only moves" in order to survive. That's a recipie for disaster for the beginner, and studying opening theory isn't going to help you, because there are too many reasonable options for white that require precise knowledge from black.

                              I can't tell you how many games I've won - even against B-class players - simply because I got them out of their sicilian prep and they completely lacked the understanding of how to defend properly. It's rare that you'll find easier points as white.

                              None of this is to suggest that the sicilian is bad choice at a high level - and there's a lot to be said for hypermodern chess.

                              But not for beginners. Not even for intermediates. Fight for the center the old-fashioned way. Your results will improve.

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