Saturday, January 22, 2022

Black openings

 With the London system I scored 8.5 out of 9. So it might seem logical to try to find a similar system for black. But that is not as easy as it seems. When you try to claim the same amount of space as white, you continue to feel the disadvantage of being a tempo behind. Besides that, there is a tendency to end up with symmetrical positions.

 So I adopted a different idea for playing with black. I  take an asymmetrical approach as soon as possible. Thus dictating the course of the opening from the first moves on. Giving white a space advantage, usually at the cost of pawn minority in the center. So the long term prospects of black are OK, if I can ward off whites attack. The only problem being that I have to learn how to play chess.  But since that is something I wanted to learn anyway, that is just a minor drawback. It only takes some time.

Learning a total new repertoire with black against everything  that white can throw at you is time consuming. How timeconsuming is that? We are talking about 547 variations. Sofar I learned 130 variations. That took me around 130 days. So I have my work cut out for me.



  1. One interesting fact is that the Dutch Stonewall is one of the very few openings in which Black can create a space advantage. That and its asymmetry is one of the reasons White often finds it difficult to play against.

    1. I am familiar with the Dutch. It is a good idea to keep in mind when I can't make my current plans to work.

    2. After a long term study of the sniper I noticed that the positions that arise after inviting white to play d4 and e4 are difficult to handle without a general plan. Charlie Storey, the inventor of the sniper, doesn't provide plans, but just moves.
      So I decided to adopt the Leningrad Dutch. I played the Polar Bear with white for several years, which is basically the Leningrad reversed. Since I have found a good book at Chessable about the Leningrad, I decided to give it a go.

  2. Interesting approach to the opening - emphasis on space when White, fighting against space when Black.

    I just finished reading the "Look inside" excerpt of the book Gyula Breyer: The Chess Revolutionary by Jimmy Adams. It's available on Amazon Books at:

    Gyula Breyer: The Chess Revolutionary

    ISBN: 978-90-5691-721-0 © 2017 New in Chess

    I'd love to have a copy, but at $49.95 for the hardcopy, I'll have to pass.

    I have little knowledge of Breyer's contribution to the Hypermodern school of chess. Apparently, he was one of the foremost chess thinkers of his time, which is astounding when you consider that he died at age 28 (1893-1921), having joined the Budapest Chess Club at age seventeen and becoming competitive with world-class competition in approximately two years(!). His first significant tournament was the Koln Main Tournament 1911. I guess playing 50 games per day against masters in a chess club is probably a good route to improvement!

    What I found most intriguing was the assertion that while Nimzovitch focused on "negative" strategical aspects such as overprotection and blockade, Breyer focused on "positive" dynamics and "potential," those indispensable aspects which have only become emphasized in modern chess (at least since the Hypermodern "revolution"). Reti originally played in the classical style, only adopting Hypermodern approaches after Breyer and Nimzovitch elaborated on the new dynamic ideas.

    Breyer introduced the Budapest Gambit (1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e5) to the chess world. He also introduced the Breyer variation of the Ruy Lopez, which is still played to this day.

    The modern Grandmaster that I think most closely aligns with Breyer's ideas on dynamic potential is GM Mihail Suba. He uses similar ideas, elaborated on in his book Dynamic Chess Strategy. Given that both hail from the same general region (Hungary and Romania), perhaps that's not so surprising. Great minds often think alike!