Wednesday, 19 August 2009


I know i have had big gaps of non playing in my chess playing life,and for the last 11 years i have run a school chess club so no time to play adults.
I have not kept up to date with opening trends,not that i did much of that when i did play.

But in the last 3 weeks i have played 4 games as black against 1.d4.
I only met 1.d4 2 times before in perhaps 150 games,and both games where decided on time (not the opening)1 win 1 loss.

I have replied 1..d5 each time and the games have gone off into different openings,not stayed as queens gambits.
I just feel uncomfortable playing this,i know this sounds silly.

But i would appreciate some suggestions/help of what is good for you against 1.d4 and why.

I think some players know i am weak/weaker aginst 1.d4 so they play it.


Rolling Pawns said...

Your problem is familiar to me. Some time ago I chose to play Grunfeld against 1. d4. Since then I played quite a few blitz/correspondence games with pretty good results. OTB I played just once against 1.c4 some kind of hybrid - Anglo-Grunfeld, and was OK after the opening (could even have advantage if I would know the line deeper). You can try it, it's an active opening with a good reputation. 1... d5 I find kind of boring, too positional for me and I hate to play against these Colle schemes, still not fully satisfied with positions I get when White plays d4 and e3.

CHESSX said...

Thanks Rolling pawns i will give the Grunfeld a look.

Fritz 11 is massive i think it will take me a long time to get to grips with it.

The chessbase playchess site looks interesting.

Tommyg said...

Hey ChessX!

I am WAY in the beginning stages of learning but I had a great time and pretty good results against 1.d4 with the King's Indian Defence.

It is fun and can go a lot of different ways.

I scored better with the King's Indian then with the French or with any time I played the White pieces.

Rolling Pawns said...

The manual for Fritz is very good, so read it carefully. Don't worry, you will get it. I still don't use all the options, just found "Opening training" where you can choose the opening from the list and then start to play with computer.
Regarding playchess - I noticed, that there are more people playing 1.d4 than on other sites, like FICS, so you can get opening training there too :).

Anonymous said...

I would advise against the Grunfeld. There is an insane amount of theory in many lines (Exchange 7. Bc4, Exchange Nf3+Rb1, Russian System (5. Qb3), 5. Bf4, Bg5 lines, g3 systems etc.) Not only that there are also anti-theoretical lines that can be pretty dry (4. e3, Bg5 with 8. Nf3)
Also 1. c4 and 1. Nf3 tend to be annoying (I don't trust the Anglo-Grunfeld in the Khalifman Qa4+ lines or the Kosten g3 Bg2 lines) So instead I would suggest the Slav, King's Indian or Semi-Slav. Personally I like the Semi-Slav but following James Vigus in Play The Slav or Golubev aren't bad either.

CMoB said...

I am not going to tell you what you should play, but i play 1... c5. Aiming for Benoni type systems. Or even a King's Indian from time to time. Die hard d-pawn specialist hate it :)

CHESSX said...

Guys thanks thats a lot of advice,i will check all these out.

I think 1..c5 may be a bit aggressive for me as i tend to be more shall we say timid.
Thats why i like the games of linuxguy and rolling pawns,they seem to play aggressive and force the play.

welcome and thanks for your comment they are very interesting.

Rolling pawns
I find on playchess you have to be quick to click accept or that challenger is paired up with someone else.

Yes the kings indian is a possibility,i shall have to try them all to get a feel for which is right for me.

Any thoughts on 1..c6 or 1..e6 trying to turn it back to an e pawn opening,like the french or caro kan?

LinuxGuy said...

You can probably try to turn it into a Pirc (which should become a King's Indian) or a Sicilian with ...e6 and possibly ...c5, but I would tend to advise against it.

The reason I picked the QGD and French to play is Black is because I was bad at closed games and wanted to get better!! Last time I played QGD, I beat an Expert. I've "come a long way, baby." haha.

CHESSX said...

So let me get this right if i play the pirc it could become a kings indian(thats tommyg suggestion) followed with ...c5 (thats CMoB covered),i could slip in 3...d5 and thats Rolling pawns covered as well.

The pirc is a tame opening which should be made for me,so perhaps i need to give this some study.

I have been looking at Rolling pawns suggestion the Grunfeld this looks pretty good,its worth a closer look.
It's pirc/kings indianish.

I am looking for something that is reasonably easy to learn and remember,as the chances of me playing against it very often is rare.

LinuxGuy said...

Easy to learn and easy to play can be two different things.

Online, I've invented this difficult system to play against the French Exchange variation, for instance, but mostly because it's problems have amused me the most, positionally.

The KID can be very cramped and double-edged, but it can be like walkin' ta grandma's house for up to the first 10 moves. I started out with the KID against d4. Was looking at one of my old games from D level days, even played Bg7 against Torre attack. Probably, the better player can win in KID, yes.

You could play Pirc and KID, if you want to keep your openings repertoire on the simple side, sure, I don't see a problem with that.

LinuxGuy said...

One thing in the Pirc is that you can look for ...Ng4, hitting Be3 and also intending to recapture a pawn back with Ng4xe5 or exd, threatening, White recaptures, then Ng4-e5. Otherwise, White "can" play dxe, sorta dynamically stale looking position, but Black's bishop on g7 is sorta suddenly bad, and it's MUCH harder than it looks for Black to equalize. You have to know your stuff, positionally, but I've seen it done. Heck, I'll probably even play that as White next time since the d5 push is hard to make something positive out of.

LinuxGuy said...

Actually, Pirc is not so bad. Black gets Qc7, after ...c6, but most importantly, you can get your light-bishop out to a nice square like e6, not to mention possibly Bg4, so there aren't a whole lot of weaknesses associated with the Pirc.

Black can end up giving up a lot of space, but in return can and should remain flexible in counter-attack; i.e., don't always castle early, but that is an advanced concept.

CHESSX said...

The late GM Eduard Gufeld openings as black against 1.e4 sicilian dragon (Bg7.
against 1.d4 the kings indian also (Bg7), this bishop on g7 became known as the gufeld bishop.

The pirc is an opening that looks like you let white do all the work,by sitting back and waiting.

I quite like that because as black you are not forcing anything early on.

LinuxGuy said...

I once had a personally autographed copy of Gufeld's autobiographical book, but gave it away.

There have been a number of authors that played Bg7 rather exclusively, but I guess he was one of the strongest players to do it, popularize it.