Saturday, February 16, 2013

Moving Away from an Automatic 1. e4

For as long as I can remember I always opened games with 1. e4.  It was in my blood.  Perhaps it was because I started playing at the age of four in 1977 with adults who had caught chess fever during the Fischer Boom.

I rarely gave it a second thought.  Tournament game?  1. e4.  Blitz game?  1. e4.  Correspondence game?  1. e4.  Skittles game?  1.e4.

I was one of those guys who thought that queen pawn openings were boring and that playing them was tantamount to admitting to cowardice in battle.  Somehow I just refused to acknowledge that since Garry Kasparov, my chess hero of the late 80's and early 90's (and now!) played them that there must be something to them.

Maybe this is a sign of having matured as a player as well as a person, but I have started to play more 1. d4 and 1. Nf3.  I even played 1.c4 in a game and plan on taking up the English from time to time.

Currently I am reading FM Steve Giddins excellent book The English: Move by Move to better learn some of the ideas in the English.  You may purchase this excellent book here.

I think that as a player learning these openings has helped tremendously and I have only played moves other than 1. e4 a few times.  However, in those few times I have played positions I had never faced before.  Such as playing against hanging pawns on the White side of the Tartakower variation of the QGD.

In the long run it seems to me that this can only help me by making me a more complete player.

No comments:

Post a Comment