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tomrh 71 ( +1 | -1 )
Ruy Lopez. What do i do as black. Hi. I am quite new to chess but i have studied a few of the openings such as the Italian game, FRence defence, caro kann, laskers defence and a few others but up until now i have been avoidin what is apparently the most popular open game. I have tried to avoid
any chance of having to play against the Ruy LOpez by playing the French or Caro Kann because i have looked at the ruy lopez and seen there are literally hyundreds of different variations. as black which one should i choose. at the moment i play Schliemann's defence but i have found it to be potentially risky. Please contact me and give me some tips for playing the black side. Beleive me i need.

Regard

TomRH
dysfl 54 ( +1 | -1 )
Keep it simple I would play Modern Defense. It is 1..g6 and 2Bg7 as black. You can also try Pirc Defense, pretty much similar.

Even though I play Modern Defense in virtually all my black games, I would not recommend it to everyone. As youre trying to avoid playing Luy Ropez lines, a simple system like Modern or Pirc is worth a look.

Initially, I had a lot of below 15-move games using this defense. So it is not a quick fix. You can find lots of games played by masters from the net, or you can browse my past games just to get the idea how Im using it.
ionadowman 113 ( +1 | -1 )
The Schliemann is risky... ... I agree, but don't abandon it on that account. It has the virtue of aggression, you do have some choices in how to continue, and it leads to a tactical fight. It is not unsound, though maybe Black has to work harder than White.
But you might want to vary your responses to the Ruy Lopez. Consider the Siesta Variation of the Modern Steinitz: 1e4 e5. 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 d6 (5.c3 f5) - another aggressive line for Black.
Possibly you want a continuation for the Exchange Variation. Standard lines are fine, but I like the Alapin Gambit: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Bxc6 dxc6 5.O-O Bg4!? After 6.d3 h5 7.h3 Bd6!? 8.hxg4 hxg4 Black hopes that the attack down the h-file is sufficient for the piece... A game "myntzky vs ionadowman" went: 9.Ng5 Nh6 10.Nxf7 Kxf7 11.g3 g5 12.Be3 Qf6 13. f3 (Now watch Black's heavy pieces scuttle off the f-file!) 13...Kg7 14.Nd2 Qe6 (approximately =) 15.f4? exf4 16.gxf4 Nf5! 17.Qxg4 (During the game, I nearly rejected this line owing to this move, but Black has a winner...) 17...Qh6! 1-0 The continuation 18.Qxg5 Qxg5+ 19.fxg5 Nxe3 looked pretty dire for White.
Try these. I, too, try and avoid the main theoretical lines, as i figure regular Lopez players will no doubt have a considerable advantage in theoretical knowledge...
Cheers,
Ion
alberlie 34 ( +1 | -1 )
I... simply avoid the Ruy as black completely. Every e4 player is familiar with the Ruy and has probably at least the same depth of theoretical understanding of it as you. So why not sidestep that by playing something that's not his most common answer to e4? Stick with the french (or the Caro Kann if you feel ok with it) and study that in somewhat more depth...
kewms 76 ( +1 | -1 )
My advice is a little different. Either play the Ruy or don't, but if you're going to play it, learn how to play the popular lines. Usually, the popular lines are also the best lines for both sides. (At least for the first ten moves, which is probably all you need to worry about at your level.) Trying to avoid them might save you some theory, but is likely to land you in an inferior position. That may not matter much now--you'll win or lose games for reasons other than poor pawn structure -- but you don't want to be limited by your opening repertoire as you improve.

Though there are plenty of alternatives to the Ruy, you might want to consider taking the plunge. Learning how to play that kind of wide open, tactical game is useful.

Katherine
ccmcacollister 45 ( +1 | -1 )
Look to Grandmaster games ... You can obtain basic understanding of the strategies and tactics of the Ruy from them. I studied Fischer, Bronstein, and Tal primarily for my white side play. Then you can see what will be coming at you. And Pillsbury earlier.
And for Black, Keres and Gligorich have made important innovations. Before that Steinitz, Morphy and Marshall. I'm not sure who is playing it well today.
But it is interesting to start with earlier games and see how it has progressed and developed thru the years. G/L
}8-)
stendhar 41 ( +1 | -1 )
If you really want to play... The Ruy Lopez, I can suggest the Berlin defense, it's extremly solid and has a very good reputation with GMs. But if you want some tactical play, it may not suit your taste. Also, if you're searching for an alternative to the Spanish game, forget about the Caro-Kann and the French defense and try learning the mother of all defenses the Sicilian. It has so much to offer, that once you'll master it you'll never trade it for anything else.
alberlie 10 ( +1 | -1 )
yeahh... the important part there is "once you master it"... He tries to avoid the theory of the Ruy and you suggest the Sicilian?? *lol
lucasbeauchamp 53 ( +1 | -1 )
Do not be afraid Play the Ruy Lopez/Spanish Opening as balck and as white. Study games of other players, and play some more.

No opening is better for learning the rudiments of tactics and strategy, and how opening theory contributes to the middle game and endgame.

As for a good line as black, try the Berlin defense. The Marshall is good, but most white players are afraid of it and will play 8.h3, so you've got to prepare for the anti-Marshall if you want to use the Marshall. The Marshall is also one of the Spanish variations where you'll encounter an important theoretical novelty on move 23 or so.
tomrh 37 ( +1 | -1 )
Ruy lopez ok guys thanks for all the advice. BUt i am never gonna try the sicilian defence in the near futuere. It is to difficult. I will stick with playing the caro kann or french. Anyone who wants to play me just challenge me. Oh and 14 days per move plz. I dont take that long but sometimes i have more important games.

THanks again. Regards.

TomRH
stendhar 52 ( +1 | -1 )
I was just making a point That the Sicilian is the best, IMHO, defense out there and anyone who thinks he/she plays good chess should give it a go. Yes it is difficult, but it is certainly worth it. You'll rake up more points with Black than you'd ever thought possible plus it is just that sweet to play.
The problem with 1...e5 is that it allows King's Gambit, Vienna Game and other replies that just steer you into not so known territory. With 1...c5 the work effort is indeed greater, but so are the rewards.
misato 44 ( +1 | -1 )
A club-mate of mine usually opens 1. e4. Of course, he knows some Sicilian lines, the main ideas of Caro-Cann and French, even a bit of Aljekhin.
"I were surprised if the answer is 1. - e5, I have no idea what to do in that case." he told me some time ago. Okay, this is not the whole truth, but a bit of truth is still in it.

So don't be afraid to play 1.e4 e5 with Black as long as you feel well with it (and/or your opponent might be my club-mate).
coyotefan 48 ( +1 | -1 )
tomrh I disagree. I find both the Caro and the French way too binding for a newer player. My teaching experiance is that newer players make the next 20 moves only because it is their turn, and with no purpose. All of a sudden they are lost, and cannot figure out why. I suggest the Sicilian. A much more open game, and much more exciting than the other two. If you pick one reply for 2.Nf3 you will be prepared for 90+ % of all games and not play the next 20 moves in cramped quarters.
ganstaman 76 ( +1 | -1 )
Sicilian for beginners? I have to disagree, coyotefan. The Sicilian is too complicated for beginners. They won't understand most of the moves they make and will likely play many inferior moves. Also, very few players at these levels play open Sicilians as white. Therefore, our beginner needs to understand the posiional nature of the closed Sicilian as well if he wants to undertake it.

On the other hand, 1...e5 is easy to understand. You can achieve open positions that aren't as positionally complicated. A lot of emphasis will be placed on tactics, which is good for beginners to practice a lot.

Every expert/master and article on openings that I've seen suggests that beginners play 1.e4 e5 and leave the Sicilian until later on. To me, it seems like sound advice.
ccmcacollister 540 ( +1 | -1 )
Sicilian s .... (Danger, long post following.) Seems to me that alberlie and stendhar have Both made good points about playing it!
True that certain Sicilians are among the most complex systems, and One move Wrong or even Out Of Order can kill you as Black.*
...................................................................
(Which hardly seems fair since WT can often make a little inaccuracy and survive, except at the most critical times.)
[Certainly, playing ...e5 is no harder, tho there are also lines there, such as some King's Gambit Accepted variations that are at least as complex. imo.]
............................................................................................
*Yet, tho that is the case, it is also true that when one begins playing A Sicilian, they tend to get a feel for all types of Sicilians since the play and objectives can often be very similar ... and having developed that sense of it, they may be more able and likely to select a correct move thru analysis and strategic sense.
...................................................................................................
Thus like so many aspect of the game, it may well depend much upon the level of players involved, as to degree of success. Probably not first choice of opening for a player in the lower classes to face a GM with. But probably favors them in their games with those near their own level. It my own belief that Chess favors Black in most openings at that stage where players are beginning to learn openings, because it stands to reason they will know their one or two black openings better than the plethora of lines a WT player requires to be equally adept. And that in such regard, the Sicilian may be even more tipped towards the BL side at that time.
****
My thought for anyone that really wishes to understand Chess, aor become very good at it, would be that eventually they develop one main defense for each of WT's initial moves, and a secondary opening vs the same WT move. And especially their #1 openings they should learn to the N'th degree. Well beyond the middle game and into knowing what the likely endgames will be that usually result from it.
...............................................
But in the beginning of their Chess career, I believe they should try to gain understanding of all types of middlegame positions; and one good way to do that would be using each of the main Openings for some period of time, until they do have an understanding and feel for it. It will also serve them in more than opening understanding, because they then also see different types of endgames resulting.
And those most common to each opening. Thus will be able to know something of those and endgames you prefer or excel at may well be a consideration in which openings you ultimately chose. Besides learning which feel best and work best for you in the opening and middle game phases.
...........................................................
Often times certain openings may be grouped together for learning purposes too. For instance in the book by Kmoch, about positional understanding of pawn play and formations, he groups a number of openings together based upon the similarity of pawn structure and objectives to play.
I forget exactly which he puts together. But some with similarities might be: Benoni
& Pirc, King's Indian and Ruy Lopez (similar yet differently played, and so the reasons why is quite good to understand), Caro-Kann + Scandinavian + Queen's Gambit Declined Slav Defense, French Def.+ Nimzo-Indian + Queens Indian + some
QGDeclined's. Bird's opening + Dutch Defense + ...b6 Nimzo-Indians.
***
When I first began otb tournaments, I used the French Defense a lot and got pretty cramped and didnt do well with it. Then switched to the Sicilian Dragon or Najdorf and did better. It definately had a different feel to it, and one that I could understand and apply better at that time. Yet later, after Watson published his first Play the French book, I took that up again for Postal play and did very well with it then. {After that it became harder to go back and play the Sicilian, and would take an adjustment period to do it and get back into that Siclian frame of mind. But once you understand it you can get back into it, just it may feel a bit awkward until you do ! }
***
So, if you had a short timefactor ... a definate deadline by which 'you must play good', then sticking with the same narrow opening selections till mastered may serve you best. But as an ultimate proposition, to be truly strong in all phases of Chess and types of position, and a great all around player like a Fischer or Kasparov, and certainly to ever reach your full potential, whatever that may be, it seems better to experience the game as broadly as possible at first.
***
And someday when you are such a great GM that seeing one more Ruy Lopez which you know thru move 77, just seems more boring than you can bear ... then you've got a Sicilian that you only know to move 40 to fall back on! :)
***
}8-)
***
[I have a theory anyway, which says that "when Chess starts becoming boring to you, it may be that you are beginning to get Good". Think about it ... and how very many games a GM must play in the first 1/2 of a Swiss, that present nothing at all new to them ... suppose? ]
tomrh 40 ( +1 | -1 )
Sicilian!? I fail to see the point in suggesting tyhat i should try the sicilian. I bel;eive it to be to complicated for a player of my level although i do not appreciate being called a begginner. THanks any way.

THanks for all the help people have given. HOw about we continue this chat by discussing your favourite opening. For example: my favourite opening is the Guioco Piano/Italian game. Have your say.

My regards

TomRH
ganstaman 86 ( +1 | -1 )
tomrh I think I speak for the others when I say that we did not intend any malice by using the word beginner. However, I fail to see how you can be offended when your first post started out "I am quite new to chess."

Regardless, I've always enjoyed the Italian game, though as black you can't really force it to happen (I almost cry when my opponent tries for the 4 Knights :) ). I think my favorite opening is Bird's Opening (1.f4), though it is quite different than everything we've been talking about here. As for my favorite black opening against 1.e4, I'm still searching for what I like best.

If you're still looking to avoid the Ruy Lopez, I think the Petroff is the way to go (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6). It gives black a good easy game with clear plans. It's more fun than its reputation (yes, it can be somewhat boring if white wants it to be). Good luck with whatever you eventually choose to play.
tomrh 17 ( +1 | -1 )
Petroff defence. THanks for the advice. I have allways considered the petroff tobe a worthy adversary to 1.e4 e5 2.nf3. I might try that. Do you know any sort of offbeat openings.

Regards

TomRH
tomrh 5 ( +1 | -1 )
Offbeat openings. Well do you know any and whAT DO YOU THINK OF THEM.
ganstaman 353 ( +1 | -1 )
Offbeat openings I've tried many of the offbeat openings, but this was when I knew little about openings and really should have been focusing on just getting normal development and letting the opening go as it should. As I started learning more, I started to realize just how bad these openings were on the board and in terms of me getting better. But here are some of my opinions (very much opinions, not in any way facts):

--Halloween Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5?!) -> www.chessville.com
This is just barely unplayable. You sacrifice a knight for a pawn and lots of space/initiative. Many players can't defend accurately as black, and so you can end up winning. But with the right defense (which isn't terribly hard to come up with), white struggles to show adequate compensation. You do get lots of space and quick, easy development, so it's great if you love attacking without worrying about losing terribly.

--Bird's Opening (1.f4) This is sorta offbeat, but in my opinion very much sound. It can lead to a very level game for both sides, or give white a very strong kingside attack. Black has numerous gambits (especially the Froms Gambit 1.f4 e5) that steal the initiave from white, though. It's the only thing holding me back from playing this opening more.

--Most of those systems where you hold back all your pieces, and put most of your pawns on the 3rd rank (like the hippo), I don't like much. You are relying on your opponent to make big mistakes in order to win. In other openings, at least you actively provoke mistakes. Here, you passively wait for them. Not enough fun for me.

--Grob (1.g4) is terrible. I played a good number of games with this. Your plan is for black to play 1...d5, and then you attack that pawn with Bg2, c4, Qb3, Nc3. If black plays ...Bxg4, then you have lots of pressure on the b7 pawn (and the a8-h1 diagonal). But black just needs to not get greedy, and then I'd find myself as white without a g or c pawn, and therefore no place for my king. 1.g3 is much better as it just isn't worth it to provoke ...Bxg4.

--Nimzo-Larsen (1.b3) This is lots of fun to play. You can also play 1.Nf3, 2.b3, or the Bird-Larsen (1.f4, 2.b3). The key is control of the e5 square without presenting any targets for your opponent to hit. Certainly not as passive as it looks. Fischer and Larsen and others have played this, so while I think it is techniquely offbeat, it's a very playable opening.

--Orangutang (1.b4) Somewhat fun to play, but doesn't give white enough. After 1.b4 e5 2.Bb2 Bxb4 3.Bxe5, black can still get a lot of space and force white into a more passive position (for one thing, the B on e5 needs to move again). Also, 1.b4 d5 2.Bb2 Qd6! 3.a3 e5, and with that queen move black threatened the b4 pawn and prepared for the e5 push. Now black has a solid center, with a developed queen that can't really be attacked, and white's got not much. Better in my opinion is Santasiere's Folly (1.Nf3 d4 2.b4). -> www.chessgames.com They can end up looking similar, but I think the Santasiere's Folly ends up a lot more like the Reti (usually 1.Nf3 d4 2.c4), and is a sound, playable, hypermodern opening. I've had some good games with this opening.

I'm sure there's more, but that's what I can think of for now. Hope you find something you like.
1301313y_f15h313 3 ( +1 | -1 )
play the caro kahn!
e4e6 283 ( +1 | -1 )
I see that people are going back and forth, basing their response on their own opinions about certain openings. IGNORE ALL THE HOGWASH AND READ WHAT FOLLOWS IN THIS MESSAGE!!!

Choosing the right opening is like growing up as a baby. A parent should not force a child to become left- or right-handed. It should come to them naturally. The same is to be said about what opening you should learn and play. I first started playing chess in 1983 at the age of 8, and picked up my first chess book (Winning Chess Tactics) in 1995. I didn't get my first opening book (Winning with the French by Uhlmann) until November 1995. Prior to November, I knew nothing about names of chess openings. I played what "felt" right, and asked someone if what I played had a name. He said "Yes, that's the French Defense." Since then, I've studied just about every reasonable defense to 1.e4, and here's my assessment of how I am at each of them, now being a player with an OTB rating right around 2000:


French Defense: Playing strength of about 2100 (Rating is only 2000 because I still have problems defending 1.d4, and even worse, playing White). I have a clear understanding of almost every variation, including offbeat lines.

1...e5: I do decent with this, not as well as the French, but I've gotten many satisfying wins against higher rated players. This is my main back-up to the French.

Caro-Kann: Fair Results. Too boring though, and get antsy sometimes and lose because I push too hard.

Scadinavian: Again, Fair Results. Can't seem to grasp a clear understanding when White goes offbeat on me though. Can use occasionally for surprise if playing someone I face frequently.

Alekhine: Great results when White avoids the Exchange Variation. Not something you can force. White plays the Exchange and actually KNOWS IT, I'm dead!!!

Pirc/Modern: Not my cup of tea at all

Sicilian: Refuse to touch again with a 10-foot poll!!!



All of that said, does that mean I should go preaching that you should play the French because it's the best opening for me? UHM......NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I play the French because it's what suits MY style and the way MY mind thinks more than any other defense to 1.e4, and you should do the same.

Don't just play the Ruy because it's the most popular.
Don't just play the Sicilian because it has the lowest draw ratio and about a 1/2 of a percent better results for Black in GM play (We are not GMs!).
Don't just play the French because the author of this message does.
Don't just play the Modern because some goof ball here says you should when he's never met you.

Play what suits YOUR style and STICK WITH IT!