The Opening Solution Secret

What is the best way to open your game as White?

Many players like to jump right in the chess firing line with 1.e4, they will say "that it's best to learn how to play tactically in open positions before retreating to trench warfare best suited to more experienced players. Only wimps hold back their center pawns. It takes to long to win a game with other opening moves. Or your opponent has more chances to make a fatal mistake early in the game if you choose 1.e4"

Many players like to begin their games with E4 an open game opening because they will tell you that E4 is an excellent opening move because the move enhances the principles of opening play. Controls the center, quickly prepares to get a safe King, and prepares for a equal middle game. It makes perfect sense. With this first one move White will attempt to create the ideal opening to control the center. It occupies the e4 square and controls the f5 square and the d5 square, the sweet center. It opens the diagonal for the f1 Bishop for quick development and helps to prepare for the King to castle early. It opens up a diagonal for possible queen development. White has now seized half of Black's sweet center and if allowed, white will seize the other half of the sweet center with d4.

What more could you possibly ask for on your first move as White?

Others may say that it was the favorite opening move of Bobby Fischer for many years, and no one has ever played as brilliantly as him. He would not have use it if it was not a sound way to open the game as White.

Others may argue that in the Chessbase Opening Book only E4 is given a +1 by Fritz. Which means that E4 is Fritz's preferred first opening move as White and no one beats Fritz except only a handful of the very strongest Grandmasters.

And others will point to the statistics that may show that those that open with E4 have a better chance of winning the game than with any other first move. For many years, statistics were used to evaluate chess openings especially in the early years of the computer age when computers were used to perform statistical analyses on openings. Even today, there are many who persist in this largely irrelevant activity However statistics are useless when evaluating chess openings, for the following reason.

The result of a chess game is not directly tied to the result of using one opening over another. May twists, turns, blunders, mistakes, and brilliancies lie on the road between the opening and the endgame, and sometimes a game is lost by over stepping the time controls in a winning position. Also keep in mind that a player may have spent a considerably amount of time in the study of a particular opening and may have spent a considerably amount of time playing it, giving that player an advantage in using it.

Let us look at a comparison between the King Pawn opening and the Queen Pawn opening.

In the King Pawn Opening.
1.Sharp play ensues immediately.
2.Calculating variations is fundamental
3.One opening slip could cost you the game.
4.Certain lines require a great deal of memorization.
5. The game is often shorter.

The Queen Pawn Opining
1.The fight is delayed until later in the game.
2.The King is less vulnerable,
3.Strategic play is fundamental.
4. Opening slips aren't as meaningful.
5.Memorizing lines is less necessary
6.The game usually last longer.

As you have just seen, each of the two classical openings have different appealing aspects. So we may conclude that if by nature you prefer to attack early in the game and you enjoy sharp forcing lines, then the king Pawn opening is a natural choice for you. However if you prefer to build up your position slowly by collecting small advantages, then may be the Queen Pawn opening is for you.

Although E4 may at first glance look like the best way to start your game as White, as you might expect in chess, there is no perfect opening, right way or wrong way. Every choice has advantages and disadvantages. If you play e4 and black plays e5 you now have the classical open game. This classical Black response is designed to discourage White from playing an early d4. Indeed, in those cases where White chooses to attempt to create the ideal pawn center with pawns at e4 and d4, the d4 pawn is quickly captured and White then has little hope of obtaining a serious advantage. This is seen in such openings as the Scotch Game and the Goring Gambit.

Instead, White usually chooses to develop the kingside forces normally with a 2.Nf3 and 3.Bb5 Spanish Game or Ruy Lopez, or 3.Bc4 Italian Game, also known as the Giuoco Piano followed by castling.

What do skilled players tell you is the strongest way to open a game?
Most skilled players will tell you that the strongest way to open a game as White is with either e4 or d4 because both moves immediately take control of the center, open lines for the quick development of your pieces and there are no known guaranteed equalizers against either of them. Failure to try to immediately obtain a level position as White in the beginning opening moves puts White at a disadvantage. Also playing e4 or d4 gives white a lead in development in that he now can develop his pieces. Either of these two moves also gives White an advantage in space. White can be better if he uses his Bishop pair to help control the center and maintain a healthy pawn structure which either of these two moves do by opening the diagonals for the Bishops to be developed.

What is the biggest drawback to using either E4 or d4 in your first opening moves?

However there is a drawback with opening with either e4 or d4 with your first move in that you have now shown your hand of how you intend to play the opening and just like in a poker game once you have done that you have given away any advantage you may have had in not disclosing to your opponent your plans so that he will not know how to play a proper defense against you.

The reason for this seemingly paradoxical statement is that opening with either e4 or d4 comes the unavoidable obligation to disclose your strategy one move earlier. This makes it easier for your opponent to choose an appropriate defensive plan. Even worst is that as soon as you move out a Bishop your opponent may have a good guess as to which side of the board you intend to castle on for your king and so may begin his plans for the attack on it. If he knows anything about opening principles he knows that it is very important to develop your pieces and castle as soon as possible.

What is the biggest drawback to using E4 in your first opening move?

Unless you can play like Bobby Fischer did with E4, it is going to give you a lot of vexing problems to solve right away before you even get started in the opening phase of the game. Black can harass you in many ways, and incite a gallery of irking bothering and annoying provocations to make you wonder if your choice of e4 was worth trying to get out of the mess that Black has just put you in.

You're going to come up against people who may smile when you choose e4 because they may have spent many hours to become a specialist in an opening that defends against it and there are many. The King's Gambit, Petroff, Scotch, Ruy Lopez, French, Caro-Kann, Modern Defense, Alekhine Defense, Scandinavian, Nimzowitch, Evans Gambit, Vienna Game, Center Game, Philidor's defense, Giuoco Piano, The two, three and Four Knight' Defense, Bishop Opening and the Great Grand Daddy of all against e4, The Sicilian with more than 20 sub-variations.

You're soon going to wonder if you have to become a specialist in every defense against e4. As soon as you find a line to deal with the Sicilian Dragon, you find you now have to deal with the Sicilian Scheveningen and you still lose because you don't know the latest wrinkle in the Keres Attack you are trying to use against the Scheveningen. You may now become very upset because you read that the much-feared Keres Attack is White's greatest disincentive to attack the Scheveningen. Or, your opponent may arrive at the Sicilian Najdorf to avoid the Keres Attack, and you're not as familiar with the lines of the Najdorf as your opponent is and so again, you lose.

The same problems do not disappear however if you instead use d4 as your first move as White. You're still facing the same possibilities of meeting up with people who are more experienced and more expert in a defense to it and again may have studied it to become a specialist that can play like a master in just this one defense.

Is there a way to avoid all these opening problems with these two openings, E4 and D4?

One way that might be is to sharpen your tactical skills and build your opening repertoire with nothing but gambits. As White play 1.e4 and against 1e5 try the Goring Gambit or King's Gambit. Against the Sicilian, use the Smith-Morra Gambit etc. There are dozens of Gambits to play against most any defense Black may throw at you, but again you're going to have to do a lot of home work to be familiar with all these various Gambits against all these defenses that Black may use.

The Opening Solution

The greatest problem with choosing either e4 or d4 as a first move as White is that Black knows immediately what defenses he can choose to play against it. You're now going to be forced to play his game and from there you will probably be forced to castle on that side that is in that book's defense. Another words you are now going to face playing against classical book defenses, where your opponent may have studied his intended defense to the point that now he is a specialist in it. He now also can immediately guess on which side of the board you intend to castle on and so may make preparations for an attack on that side of the board to annihilate your king's defenses. If you were playing poker this way, you probably would not stand a chance of winning a hand.

The solution is to keep your opponent guessing as to which opening your going to use as long as possible while you develop all your pieces and also to keep him guessing as to which side of the board your going to castle on. Doesn't this sound more like Grandmaster play?

So you're wondering what kind of opening does all this for White? You should look to the hypermodern flank openings for this kind of play and avoid the traditional opening book play that most engage in on their first few moves. In the Flank Games, White shirks the responsibility of building the ideal pawn center and avoids the resulting fight for control of the center. Using the hypermodern strategies of flexible restraint of the pawns and the fianchetto of both bishops, he develops his pieces to attack the center from the flanks. Instead of trying to occupy the center with either 1.e4 or 1.d4, he may start right away to prepare for the safety of his king to castle early. He can choose innocuous, inoffensive first moves like Nf3, and just because White opens with Nf3 does not mean that White intends to castle on the King's side. White's first move in the flank openings may take subtle forms with pressure on the center and there are many possibilities of expansion in all sectors to the board.

What are some of the first moves of the Flank Games? These are not necessary the first moves but can be or usually are.
1.The Reti 1.Nf3, King's Indian Attack 1.Nf3, E4, The Catalan 1.g3, c4 or d4, The Hungarian Attack 1.g3, English 1.c4, Nimzo-Larsen Attack 1.b3, The Bird Opening 1.f4, The Van Geet Opening. This opening is traditionally known in American as the Dunst, but in Holland and most of Europe, it is the Van Geet. And, 1.Nc3 is the Van Geet Opening.

Reveling the Secret word to the Opening Solution

What is the secret word that is the key to the Opening Solution? The key word is "Transposition"! If you want to avoid an immediate confrontation in the center in your first moves and keep your opponent in the dark about your plans, you need to choose a opening move that can transpose into many different opening plays and there is no better way to do this than to start out with 1.Nf3 and the Barcza Opening.

1.Nf3 can be the first move in several hypermodern flank chess openings. 1.Nf3 can be the first move in the Reti and the King's Indian Attack. Or we can open with the Reti 1.Nf3 d5 and then start the Barcza System with 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 Bf5, here, White's first move starts the development of his Kingside before playing 4.C4. Or, White can choose to fianchetto the other bishop as well, or independently as in the Nimzo-Larsen Attack. (1.Nf3 2.b3 3.Bb2)

Hypermodern Flank opening transpositions are a different story than 1.e4 or 1.d4. Why? Because this first move in particular can make you into an opening alchemist, suddenly converting you into a totally different character of a chess player. Now that's real power!

The option of playing a non-1.e4 or 1.d4 can be one of the most confusing moves to Black, as White holds back his intentions of a classical opening. As soon as white pushes e4 or d4 we have moved outside the scope of the hypermodern flank openings. One of the primary functions of the flank openings is to postpone a d4 or e4 until White can enter a a position that he is comfortable with and often bypassing known classic defenses in black's repertoire. Flank openings can be a new style for you and demand different preparations for black if he wants to meet them successfully.

Gedeon Barcza (1911-86) was a Hungarian grandmaster who enjoyed playing the "quiet" opening moves against nearly every Black defense. White's first four moves were always the same. 1.Nf3 2.g3 3.Bg2 4.0-0 only after the King was tucked away safely in his castle fortress did White turn his attention to controlling the center. Just about every World Champion at one time in their careers has played the Barcza Opening. Garry Kasparov used it against Deep Blue in his celebrated 1997 match. World Grandmaster Vladimir Kramnik has used it throughout his entire career. The Barcza can transpose into many other openings and defenses, this choice is entirely up to White.

Why is the Barcza Opening (A07) a good choice to open with?

When you play 1.Nf3 instead of trying to occupy the center with either 1.e4 or 1.d4 this opening move is the starting move to building your castle to protect your King. This move controls the d4 and the e5 squares and leaves it up to Black to choose his defense. After 2.g3 3.Bg 4.0-0, White now has his King protected and can now concentrate on the center and face the future with confidence that you now have a solid pawn shield for your king from this formation.

Kasparov - Deep Blue

The magic of Transposition

These first four opening moves for White, 1.Nf3, 2.g3 3.Bg2 and 4.0-0, create the Barcza Opening. After these initial moves, if White follows up with c2-c4, the opening often transposes into an English Opening. If he plays d2-d4, a likely transposition is into a Catalan. And, if White plays for d2-d3 and e2-e4, the opening becomes a King's Indian Attack. The KIA can be your favorite opening because the ideas are quite easy to grasp.

If Black plays d5 White can play c4 and it transposes into the Reti Opening. Normally the Reti Opening is 1.Nf3 d5 2.c4 and is perhaps the purest version of this strategy. Developed by Richard Reti in the early decades of this century, it offers a temporary custody of a pawn which if captured by 2dxc4 can be regained later with Na3 or Qa4+. The Reti Opening is thoroughly hypermodern. White plans to attack Black's central formation from the flanks, while operating on the queenside with the help of a long-range bishop, which will be stationed at g2, which is what you have done if you had created a Barcza Opening from the start of the game.

More Transpositions

The Hungarian Attack
In the Hungarian Attack (A00) the move, 1.g3 allows Black a great deal of flexibility in choice of replies, but White is preparing to follow a formula and doesn't really care. The Hungarian Grandmasters Barcza, Benko, and Barczay have been among the best-known proponents of this system. This position also represents the fianchetto approach by White in the Pirc, and if White plays an early c4, the game can transpose into the Fianchetto Variation of the King's Indian Defense. This opening has been a favorite of players who do not like an early confrontation in the center. White builds a solid formation while hanging on to the ideal pawn center. Black must do something about the center eventually, choosing either c5 or e5 to accomplish this goal. White will play primarily on the queenside, and much of the action will take place there. In 1962, Benko beat Bobby Fischer using this opening. It started out as: 1.g3 Nf6 2.Bg2 g6 3.e4 d6 4.d4 Bg7 5.Ne2 0-0 6.0-0 e5. In move 40 with the time controls reached, White was able to advance his pawns to the point that Fischer resigned.

The English
The English Opening 1.c4, is the third most popular opening behind 1.d4 and 1.e4. It often transposes to closed games or Indian Defense Games. Sometimes Black even dares to play 1e5 inviting a reversed Sicilian Defense where White enjoys an extra tempo.

The Reti
The Reti transpositions are interesting. You can drop into a standard Reti position from a number of different move orders. 1.Nf3, 1.g3, 1.c4, 1.d4 and even 1.e4 this underscores the richness of the Reti and tells us something else about chess, that it is highly significant that a move as alien to the Reti move order as 1.e4 can still twist and turn and find its way back into typical Reti channels as often as it does. But, it's not likely that anyone will ever aim for a Reti structure by opening with 1.e4.

The King's Indian Attack
The most flexible way to get into the King's Indian Attack is with 1.Nf3, but far from the most common. The KIA is often used by strong players to shore up their own opening repertoires by avoiding variations that they are unfamiliar or uncomfortable with. For example, a player who likes to play the King's Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.f4) and who feels uncomfortable facing the Sicilian (1.e4 c5) can play an early d3 instead of the normal d4 and transpose into the King's Indian Attack. This chameleon-like flexibility is especially valuable when you are facing a know French (1.e4 e6), Sicilian or Caro-Kann (1.e4 c6) specialist, and you want to play the game in your own ballpark.

Here are five KIA formations for you to study.

1. Queen's Indian Formation
If Black plays the Queen's Indian against your KIA, here is your best line of play.
1.Nf3 Nf6 2.g3 b6 3.Bg2 Bb7 4.00 e6 5.d3 (54% Opening Report:B30, 5.d3)
When black plays coy and also refrains from play in the center, white scores well with the KIA with 5.d3 (over 54% from Chessbase's Opening Report) This is a crouching Queen's Indian formation, black biding his time in the center and developing his pieces. 5c5 (5d5 6.Nbd2 Nbd7) 5Be7).

2. King's Indian Reversed Formations
1.Nf3 d5 2.g3 c5 3.Bg2 Nc6 4.0-0 e5 5.d3 (50% Opening Report:A08, 5.d3)

3. The King's Fianchetto Defense
1.Nf3 d5 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 g6 4.0-0 Bg7 5. d3 0-0 6.Nbd2 (52% Opening Report:B30, 6.Nbd2)

4. The Keres System
1.Nf3 d5 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 c6 4.0-0 Bg4 (51% Opening Report:B30, 4...Bg4)
This aggressive bishop posting at 4...Bg4, is apparently black's most effective defense against the King's Indian Attack, holding white to a meager 49%. The important thing is that black developed his bishop BEFORE playing ...e6. The additional pressure and the extra kingside defender make a successful kingside attack much more difficult to mount.

5. The Lasker System
1.Nf3 d5 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 c6 4.0-0 Bf5 (45% Opening report:B30 4....Bf5)
In this important variation, white holds his own a bit better, scoring more than 55%. Black's basic idea is the same, developing his bishop before commiting to ...e6, but the bishop is subject to attack after white's inevitable e4. The bishop ultimately seems to have less influence on the game from f5 than it does from g4.

Summary
In general White scores very well with the KIA in variations where black plays it coy in the center or locks his bishop in at c8 with an early e6. Black can hold his own with an early Bg4 or Bf5.

The most important factor in a player's ability to solve a chess problem is previous familiarity with a position. The KIA is a great way to make sure that you stay on familiar grounds at you opponent's expense by forcing him to play in your ballpark by using transpositions.

Transposition is defined as reaching an identical opening position by a different order of moves. For example, the French Defense is usually reached by 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5, but 1.d4 e6 2.e4 d5 transposes into the same identical position.
Remember this definition well when playing your next chess game and see if you can snooker you opponent into a bad choice of opening moves that will benefit you to take advantage of your newfound information on transpositions.

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