Chess / chess openings
What Openings do you Like?
Your favorite opening defines you as a player. And if you list out your favorite openings they definitely show how you like to play the game. Most casual chess players don't know how to categorize openings or how to get to resources to review different openings. So if I ask your opinion of the London or the English, Scandinavian, or Grunfeld would you know what I was talking about? Fortunately, it doesn't have to be that complicated. There are three basic types of openings. I think the old people label them as open (e4), closed (d4) or mixed (ex, Nc3 or Nf3). I see them mostly labeled as classical (center), modern (I think this is queen's gambit territory as an off-center attack) or hyper-modern (passive and delayed attack developing minor pieces first). In any case, most people use all three at various times but have a couple of favorites that most aptly represents their style of play. The way I look at it is if you like a king's pawn opening (open) you are more of risk-taker and will tend to play a more aggressive game. Not only are you throwing an unprotected pawn out there but also opening the diagonal for the bishop and queen with one pawn move. A queen's pawn is more defensive. That pawn is defended and only one diagonal is opened. Most importantly for me, it preserves a four pawn chain in front of a kingside castle and the f pawn can remain on f2 blocking the king's diagonal. I consider the queen's gambit to be a hybrid that preserves the defensive structure but opens up more offensive opportunities. Not surprisingly this is the most popular. I learned about a couple of hypermodern openings - the Reti and Grunfeld while I was exploring alternatives. We all get tired of doing the same old thing all the time and the hypermodern openings afford me the opportunity to change things up. I really like these openings theoretically speaking. By that I mean I usually lose so I can't play them that often. It takes a little more skill to attack the center passively at first, get everything in position and then, just at the right time, make your move. Still, it's fun to try so I throw them out there every now and then. The best place to learn about openings is at Chessopenings.com hosted by Dereque Kelley. He is by far the best teacher I have run into in the chess world. He teaches openings specifically but he is constantly informing you about overall chess strategy. I highly recommend him if you want to improve your chess game. There is a lot of free content on his site. So what are my favorite openings? I like the English (c4), Queen's Gambit (1.d4,d5 2.c4) if I am white and the Grunfeld (Nf6) when I play black. The English makes the most sense to me because it gets the c pawn out of the way and allows for the development of the knight early. While a lot of openings use the bishops down the board early I tend to hold back unless I see an opportunity. I want to develop the knights first but I want to push them to the third rank instead of the second. And this is the way I tend to play the game. I take a defensive position that allows for a quick offensive attack if I see an opportunity. I usually don't push up the board too quickly. And this is the way I tend to live my life. Mitigate risks but always be on the lookout for opportunity. When it comes don't be afraid to jump. Your chess and thus your opening says a lot about your personality. Even if you don't know anything about chess you can probably describe the opening you would like just by describing yourself. So back to the original question, what openings do you like?