The place for general opening discussion

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The place for general opening discussion

Post by Blue Devil Knight on April 13th 2009, 3:42 pm

The opening module is structured much like the main ICS module: a new bit of information each month. In this subforum, we can talk about opening bits not directed toward a particular month.


Last edited by Blue Devil Knight on April 16th 2009, 11:33 am; edited 1 time in total
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opening module curriculum

Post by lotus on April 14th 2009, 7:52 pm

Do they provide an overview of the openings they will cover in the months to come? For example, I know they offer a repertoire for both 1.e4 and 1.d4, but what lines do they plan to cover?

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Re: The place for general opening discussion

Post by fanat on April 14th 2009, 8:48 pm

lotus wrote:Do they provide an overview of the openings they will cover in the months to come? For example, I know they offer a repertoire for both 1.e4 and 1.d4, but what lines do they plan to cover?

I'm just finishing month 2 so I can comment on what I've seen so far.

They have 2 sections - d4 and e4 section. I guess you can study just one or both depending on your preferences or how much time you can devote.

For d4 they introduce Catalan opening as a main d4 opening. They provide lots of lines/variations and typical plans.

They also show a small overview of several different defenses to d4 like Benko, Modern Benoni, Grunfeld, Kings Indian, Dutch. Just a small overview for this systems with typical plans and recommended lines which are pretty good if you are facing something you have not faced before.

For e4 they introduce Ruy Lopez for month 1 and 2. I think total of 6 different systems for Ruy Lopez. I'm not an e4 player so I didn't study them yet and I can't comment on it.

The opening material is very good but I wish they gave some guidance as to how much is expected of the student for each month. Like what is the goal for month 1 or 2 because the amount of material is a little overwhelming I think.
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Month 3

Post by TXChess on April 16th 2009, 10:08 pm

Just a heads up, the openings module is somewhat of a disappointment for month 3. It starts the openings for Black, but you only get a few lines of the Sicilian Najdorf. It states more will come in the second half of the year.

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Re: The place for general opening discussion

Post by Blue Devil Knight on April 17th 2009, 12:02 am

TXChess wrote:Just a heads up, the openings module is somewhat of a disappointment for month 3. It starts the openings for Black, but you only get a few lines of the Sicilian Najdorf. It states more will come in the second half of the year.

It seems this is their piecemeal approach. I'm considering taking up the Najdorf, but frankly the Sicilian scares me. I just recently started playing the Caro, and while it can be a little boring, overall I like it. I plan to wait until I have a fairly full repertoire from them, then I'll evaluate it. It seems like their general chess course and the way they ration it is good, but this is a sort of odd way to learn an opening.

This weekend I'll finish making forum categories, incidentally, such as the rest of the opening months.
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Re: The place for general opening discussion

Post by fanat on April 17th 2009, 9:23 am

TXChess wrote:Just a heads up, the openings module is somewhat of a disappointment for month 3. It starts the openings for Black, but you only get a few lines of the Sicilian Najdorf. It states more will come in the second half of the year.

Can you give us more details on what they provide on white/black, d4/e4. I'm very curious and impatient! Very Happy
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Re: The place for general opening discussion

Post by TXChess on April 17th 2009, 11:56 pm

For month 3, that's it (just the Najdorf).

For month 2, White d4 it's a number of variations in the Slav, and for White e4 it's 2 more variations of the Ruy Lopez for e4, but still no Open Ruy. I get month 4 next week; I'll let you know.

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Re: The place for general opening discussion

Post by fanat on April 18th 2009, 9:27 am

TXChess wrote:For month 3, that's it (just the Najdorf).

For month 2, White d4 it's a number of variations in the Slav, and for White e4 it's 2 more variations of the Ruy Lopez for e4, but still no Open Ruy. I get month 4 next week; I'll let you know.

You mean just the Najdorf for both d4/e4 sections?
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Re: The place for general opening discussion

Post by TXChess on April 19th 2009, 3:05 pm

That's it. It's just the Najdorf as Black.

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Re: The place for general opening discussion

Post by fanat on April 19th 2009, 5:10 pm

TXChess wrote:That's it. It's just the Najdorf as Black.

Thanks.

I guess it's a good month for some catching up on the month 2 opening material.

Did you go through all the month 2 material? Did you think it's a lot or just enough?

I wish they gave us some complete games for the openings!
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Re: The place for general opening discussion

Post by TXChess on April 19th 2009, 5:19 pm

There's a fair amount of material in month 2, especially if you're truly doing all of it ( including tactics and openings).

I agree with your statement that they should provide complete games for the openings. Remember the openings intro where he talks about going over good example games for your openings. I wish he'd give us a bunch of games that fit that requirement for the opening lines provided.

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Re: The place for general opening discussion

Post by Bilbo on April 20th 2009, 11:10 am

Yeah I agree the structure of the opening program is pretty bad. It's not in a way that you can even logically follow.

Why would they jump to the Najdorf for month 3 they havn't finished with 1.d4 yet!

If I was them I'd just do 1.d4 and nothing else until that was done, then 1.e4 then go on to openings for black.

It doens't matter to me as I'm not going to start the opening program until I've completed the whole main course in a year or so but it would be annoying if I was trying to learn openings from this course.

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Re: The place for general opening discussion

Post by cofresi on April 20th 2009, 2:28 pm

They are going to continue jumping from one opening to another it seems. But remember the suggestions for studying openings: The course suggested going to a database and choosing 50-100 games and playing through them very quickly. I guess there isn't much point in writing in depth about each opening -- we'd never finish the course! So it would be contradictory to annotate whole games in depth when the focus is on opening moves.

I think the Main Module also gives you a map with plenty to think about for the opening developments. I'll have to try the 50-100 games blitz and see if that is helpful or confusing...

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Re: The place for general opening discussion

Post by Bilbo on April 20th 2009, 2:49 pm

Hey Corfresi.

I certainly expect them to cover instructive games for all the major openings.

According to their website they will do and the first few months are just an overview of the reportoire.

Here's what the website says


Introductory lessons
At first, we present the opening systems by a set of introductory lessons so that you can get a global picture on the whole. This will also help you understand the main ideas for each system. Download a free sample of introductory lesson (in .pdf format) (Note: "CQS" = consequences of a move; "TO DO" = what you have to do in that position).

Study of games and plans
After the introductory lessons, we will start analyzing instructive games, plans and middlegame typical strategies and tactics for every system. You will also get the selection of the most instructive or good games played by strong players. After this stage of preparation, you should already know how to play that opening system very well, being able to deeply understand the subtleties and ideas behind every move.

Exercises and problems
To make sure the information is well digested and correctly understood, there are some sets of exercises with many and different kinds of questions, some of which are even tricky. Afterwards you will have to solve some more difficult problems as like playing against a good opponent, well prepared too. The given solutions are comprehensively explained and very instructive.

At the end of this course, you will master the openings and, more importantly, you will know how to play at a high level the middlegames resulted from your openings.

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Re: The place for general opening discussion

Post by fanat on April 25th 2009, 9:56 am

What concerns me is that in each opening system there are several major lines and it's not easy finding good annotated games for each line.

Let's say we are talking about Catalan. There are several main lines for open system and closed. I have a book called "Winning with the Catalan" which has annotated games for all the lines but the level of annotation is not that great. It mostly concentrates on the opening. There are no great strategic plans or anything like that.

I've recently discovered a great website. www.chesspublishing.com Anybody had any experience with that?

It's a chess website that has sections for each major opening and they have GMs annotate recent games to great detail. Obviously it's aimed at fairly advanced players but it looks interesting. Unfortunately, it's not a free website and they require yearly subscription.
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Re: The place for general opening discussion

Post by Chess? on April 25th 2009, 1:58 pm

Time?
Is anyone having an issue with how much time you can spend on the material?
Life in general is just too busy to continue sometime. I can see this program lasting longer than a year or blasting through the material and not receiving the full impact of the course.
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Re: The place for general opening discussion

Post by Randy on April 25th 2009, 2:23 pm

as i understood ICS will send later the games and more details about the proposed opening lines. in the first months they sent only introductory material. About chesspublishing site, it is good for us to be kept updated with the latest trends in theory, but less for building our opening repertoire. So basically can be used after we have our repertoire, to see what new games were played in our lines. I guess it aims to more advanced players, professionals or correspondence players. you may check their forum, to make an ideea about who use the site, it is free.

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Re: The place for general opening discussion

Post by Bilbo on May 9th 2009, 12:29 am

TXChess wrote:For month 3, that's it (just the Najdorf).

For month 2, White d4 it's a number of variations in the Slav, and for White e4 it's 2 more variations of the Ruy Lopez for e4, but still no Open Ruy. I get month 4 next week; I'll let you know.

Hey TXChess can you give us an update on what month 4 covers yet?

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Re: The place for general opening discussion

Post by mrhollywood95 on September 24th 2011, 11:54 pm

I'm loving the opening repertoire suggested by ICS. It took me a while to learn them, but I am reaping the benefits now. I've been getting great positions against all opponents, especially with the white pieces. The Catalan is a nice opening! My opponents have been mostly 1900-2100 rated players and if I ended up losing, it wasn't until much later in the games.

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Re: The place for general opening discussion

Post by PawnCustodian on September 26th 2011, 9:31 am

mrhollywood95 wrote:I'm loving the opening repertoire suggested by ICS. It took me a while to learn them, but I am reaping the benefits now. I've been getting great positions against all opponents, especially with the white pieces. The Catalan is a nice opening! My opponents have been mostly 1900-2100 rated players and if I ended up losing, it wasn't until much later in the games.

I agree, having a comprehensive and sound repertoire is a great advantage, and the ICS repertoire is that. I've now been able to employ it both in OTB and Correspondence games with good success.

I'm now in preparation for my 2nd correspondence tournament on the ICCF and downloaded all of the correspondence games on their website to see just how well my (ICCF) repertoire would hold up. Although I had good success with the Dutch and Scandinavian defenses in my first correspondence outing they do not appear to have a good record in correspondence chess at the higher levels. So, now I'm starting the move to the Sicilian and Slav ICS repertoires for Black.

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Re: The place for general opening discussion

Post by lovro on June 22nd 2012, 5:28 am

This theme was dead for a long time and I will try to reopen it, as I have a basic question. I reach a point in my chess where I feel, that I need solid opening repertoaire. Till now, I follow general advice not to take too much time for openings, so I play some systems following general opening principles. But I feel now, that I need a better openings to advance. And here I have a problem what to choose. I am an e4 player till now for 20 years, and I play French defense against e4 and I play Nimzoindian or Bogoindian against d4. How to choose my repertoaire?

Few positions I understand the most and play best chess are: Maroczy bin against Sicilan defence, some lines as black in Nimzoindian (with Sc6 c7-d6-e5 pawn setup) and Bogoindian (with same setup), etc. For example I have great result in French defense with black in advanced variation (3. ... b6 with exchange of white coloured bishop), mediocore results against exchanged variation lately and terrible results against Winawer variation. So, I am really confused as I know that choosing correct opening repertoaire is essential.

I also took an opening module at ICS, but still can not decide to switch to 1. d4 altough I think that I am much more positional and endgame player then tactical. I also have big problem when am I attacked (Winawer French with Qg4 lines f.e) So, any advices would be very usefull....

What to choose as white and what to choose as black. That is the question now.Wink

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Re: The place for general opening discussion

Post by PawnCustodian on June 22nd 2012, 10:32 am

I think the d4 repertoire as white is pretty solid, and more importantly is the first recommendation of the course authors.

The recommended black repertoire is essentially non-negotiable you are given a couple of lines (dutch and semi-slav against 1.d4 and scandinavian and sicilian against 1.e4). I've now finished my second tournament using the repertoire on the ICCF with success up to the 2400 elo without any losses (although I'd like to convert some of those draws to wins).

The important thing is that I am now seldom surprised in the openings, the coverage of the main and secondary lines is quite comprehensive.

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