Finding my way in the chessdevelopment- and training jungle in order to improve my rating.
Saturday, January 02, 2010
Finally an opening with black
. . . I don't really want to study openings anymore. Especially not now since I'm preparing for Corus. Yet sometimes events have their own momentum.
I have looked for a suitable opening against 1.d4 for about 10 years now. My main problem with 1.d4 always has been that you are almost obliged to play e6 at a certain moment, thus leaving a hole on e5 where sooner or later a piece or a pawn appears. Sofar I have tried the Pirc, KID, Slav, Semislav, Benko, Budapest, Fajarowitsch, QID, Classic Dutch, Nimzo-Indian, Albins Countergambit, Englund gambit, Benoni. I might have forgotten a few. At the moment I play the Polar Bear. That works fine, but the Polar Bear has a lot less "punch" with black than it has with white.
Against 1.e4 I have played the Najdorf, Scandinavian, French, Petroff, Polish, Italian, Spanish, Alekhine. At the moment I play the Caro-Kann.
A lot of these openings have started with a very nice initial idea. But due to refutations and novelties as answer to refutations, overtime most of these openings have becom monstruosities where the initial idea has disappeared out of sight long ago. Leaving behind a waterheaded opening with little more merit than being "playable".
The past two months I have been studying the Black Lion for Margriet, since she complained about her black opening against 1.d4 too. And so it happened that I stumbled upon the Hanham variation of the Philidor. In previous years I considered this opening as too unambitious and only suitable to bore your opponent to death. But I have changed my mind the past years due to positional study. Now I see that the positon of black is full of potential. Much like a hedgehog-position. You must bring the opening alive yourself! This is the same as in the Caro-Kann which I'm playing now. But I always felt the positions of the Caro-Kann as somewhat alien to me. While the positions of the Hanham feel familiar and trusted from the first time I delved into them. I could have invented it myself:)
The Black Lion provides me with the Pirc moveorder which is the only trusted way to reach the Hanham. It can be played against 1.e4 and 1.d4. I will give it a go at Corus.
In the mean time I'm busy to read My System for the second time. Now in the new English translation which is much better than the old one. For the moment doing exercises has fallen to the wayside, but I intend to give the Phaedrus exercises a go.
There are a few promises from me about which I would write (a reaction to the comments at the previous post, a reaction to Robert Pearson's question) , but I cannot substantiate that at the moment due to Corus preparation. I will not forget it though. I must be careful with my time.