Four Knights Game – Scotch Variation: Opening trends change all the time. People play whatever is played the most at the top level, whether that opening suits them or not.
Many players like to follow the latest trends, dictated by the leading experts in the opening.
I have some VERY interesting insight to share with you today… that will make opening play whole a lot simpler for you.
IM Milovan Ratkovic was going behind the scenes into the opening preparation of his students.
The best approach for dealing with the Sicilian Defense depends on your personal playing style and preferences. As White, you can choose to play sharp, theoretical lines or adopt a more positional strategy.
If you prefer to avoid extensive study of theory but still want to take the initiative from the start of the game, the Smith-Morra Gambit may be a suitable choice.
If you want to play for a win with Black pieces, you should have fighting openings in your repertoire. Such openings keep the game tense and don’t allow White to trade many pieces early. It is also nice if it gives Black attacking possibilities.
Against 1.d4, one of such openings is the Dutch Defense. With 1…f5, Black breaks the symmetry and grabs space on the kingside. The Dutch is flexible. Black can choose to play the Stonewall, the Classical, or the Leningrad Variation. The latter option is favored by many strong grandmasters.
Wing Gambit: Sicilian Defense is one of the most common responses against 1.e4.
So, if you play 1.e4 you really have two options…
Petroff Defense is one of the most solid and reliable openings in chess.
White has always been struggling to find an advantage against it. It usually leads to symmetrical and balanced positions where it is hard to complicate the game.
It makes Black’s play rather simple and straightforward.
Owen’s Defense: When it comes to studying openings, most of the players look for shortcuts and skip studying the rare ones. It gives their opponents good chances to surprise them with off-beat openings. One such option is Owen’s Defense. It is a flexible hypermodern opening. Black allows the first player to conquer the center and plans to counterattack it later.
Looking for a very sharp opening with White pieces? FM Viktor Neustroev recommends… Max Lange Attack.
This is a perfect choice for attacking players that will always keep your opponent on their toes.
And if they don’t know the theory the game will lead straight to a HUGE upset!
Scandinavian Defense: Need a low-theory, and a simple-to-play response to 1.e4?
FM Viktor Neustroev recommends one of the oldest and most well-tested openings… the Scandinavian Defense.