Thursday, January 24, 2008

Attack on the King.

Last night was a successful night in my adventures to chess mastery. I performed exceptionally well against decent opposition at my local wednesday night Coronado Chess Club. My first round opponent was a 1400 USCF who I beat in a strong attacking game which went down to an endgame. The second round was against a 1578 USCF player who went into game really cocky. I taught him a strict lesson on how to conduct a Kingside attack. After the game he complained that I must have cheated when he got up to go to the restroom because it seemed like my pieces were moving too fast for him to even realize he was under a strong attack. He didn't let me checkmate him so he was very respectable in the fact that he resigned 21 moves into the game. I'll provide the game without commentary:

On top of this nice victory was the fact that I was putting up tough resistance to some of the club's strongest blitz players. Keep in mind that just three weeks ago these guys considered me a laughable opponent and now they're holding their breath when I'm sitting across from them. I beat a 1700+ blitz player twice and a 1900+ blitz player once. Granted I lost more games than I had won, but the point is that I'm not putting up a fight and giving these guys competition.

There are some things I've been pondering lately. For the last 4 months I've been playing 1.d4 as White and have had some good successes with it, but for some odd reason I'm thinking of switching back to 1.e4. I don't know why I want to make this switch, only that I'm thinking I made the switch to 1.d4 prematurely. What are your thoughts on this? I feel comfortable with 1.d4 like I used to feel comfortable with 1.e4... but now I no longer feel comfortable with 1.e4 like I did in the beginning. Perhaps I don't really need a change, who knows. I'm open to all opinions and thoughts so please feel free to give me your $.02.

Nemo, out.


Sir Augusto said...

Nice sac! You played very well with that 1578! Congratulations! =]

I played 1. e4 for a long time, and then, changed to 1. d4 and start wining lol.
1. e4 is more direct, full of little traps and some specialists says that you don't develop your positional skills...
Well, I prefer 1. d4, is more simple to study in my opinion.

With 1. e4 you need to know the french, sicilian, center game, petrof, four knights...

Good luck on your quest!
Great game on playchess! =]

drunknknite said...

Bh7 is very strong.

The e4/d4 debate is a tough one. I started out playing e4 (I think everyone does/should). Then I switched to d4 when I read in Seirawan's book Winning Chess Openings that d4 is easier and there is less chance of a slip. For a long time I avoided any opening study and just played the middlegame. Then I switched back to e4 and studied a lot but built a very strong attacking repertoire that I love playing, although now I think I have reached a point where I want to switch back to d4 so that as I progress into the open section I can play both when necessary. I also want to know more about the themes of d4.

d4 is definitely easier to play, e4 develops your tactical ability but as you play stronger players it takes a significant amount of preparation to be able to come out of the opening with the game you want. With your current style I would recommend e4, and if you run into problems with any lines let me know and I'll give you some good games/lines to look at.

nemo said...

Thanks for the thoughts guys! I really enjoy 1.d4 but the more I study tactics, the more I want my games to be wild and full of tactics and 1.d4 really doesn't present me with those kind of positions unless I really work at it or my opponent blunders.

I've been playing all my latest games on with 1.e4 just to test drive it out. I really enjoy playing the Scotch Gambit, I think mostly because it was the first opening I learned and I know it pretty decently. I used to love the Ruy Lopez but there's so much theory and I really don't want to study more theory right now.

The thing is, I know 1.d4 really well and I can play fairly well against most of Black's responses and with 1.e4 I get lost after move 3 or 4.

If we weigh my options, they would sort of be as follows:

1.d4 - closed/semi-closed positions with hardly any tactics(usually the case).

1.e4 - open positions with wild tactical possibilities.

So once again, I'm at sitting with a blank stare as to which route to take. I suppose I shall give 1.e4 a try for awhile and see where it gets me and If I don't notice much progress or I'm getting slaughtered right out of the opening, then I'll switch back to 1.d4.

Glenn Wilson said...

Great game and results!

I pretty much only play e4. I should play d4 sometimes just to widen my horizons.

In terms of learning a repertoire against all of the e4 defenses -- my advice is to learn the King's Indian Attack. You can play it against anything. Then, over time, add specific lines for the French, Caro-Kann, Sicilian etc as you have time.

takchess said...

D4 looked like an attacking opening in this instance!

nemo said...

Glenn W. - Thanks and I'll keep that in mind. I have a book on the KIA so perhaps I'll take the time to learn it. I tried once but didn't have much success with it.

Takchess - This is very true, but incredibly rare. My opponent in that game blundered a lot in the opening so it was a little one sided. Most of my opponents are well versed in responding to 1.d4, thus leaving the positions very tight with very little attacking chances.

Chessaholic said...

nice game nemo, way to break down his kingside defenses.

I've never played e4 in OTB games (I'll play it online occasionally), since d4 is what I started out with when I first learned chess (it just happened to be what my dad taught me). My approach nowadays is similar to drunknknite's approach earlier in his development - I don't study openings much at all, only very few lines in a very limited repertoire. I'm generally able to get into good middle game positions with this limited book knowledge combined with plain logical thinking. If I were you I'd stick with what feels comfortable to you and don't worry about the openings too much until you get to around 2000.