Openings Module Updated

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Openings Module Updated

Post by Bilbo on May 18th 2009, 9:41 am

Just wondering if the rest of you have noticed they have changed the opening module again.

Now in my Month 1 section I have all the rest of the 1.e4 reportoire, the Scandinavian, Pirc, French, Caro Kann etc. They have included the complete Ruy Lopez and Sicilian reportoire in Month 2 as well.

This is much better, the course is following some logical order again now.

Anyway if you havn't noticed yet check it out, nice to get the completed 1.e4 reportoire now especially for those of you who open with it Very Happy

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Re: Openings Module Updated

Post by chesstiger on May 18th 2009, 10:07 am

Update by me aswell. Also month 13 is update, atleast they made a start with it since previous month 13 didn't excist.

Yes it's a burden when you have paid all at once since then you get access to all months at once so that you have to compose yourself to work month by month and spend a month for each month. Razz
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Re: Openings Module Updated

Post by hoopy on May 18th 2009, 10:11 am

I confess I had not noticed. I am however, really struggling with month 1 openings- not because they are difficult. But from the angle of them teaching me what to do if the opponnent does not follow mainstream but goes offline before we learn what mainstream is. Seems a bit boring the order but I'll keep working on it.
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Re: Openings Module Updated

Post by hoopy on May 18th 2009, 10:32 am

chesstiger wrote:Update by me aswell. Also month 13 is update, atleast they made a start with it since previous month 13 didn't excist.

Yes it's a burden when you have paid all at once since then you get access to all months at once so that you have to compose yourself to work month by month and spend a month for each month. Razz
CT I note you have all 13 months. Can you tell me if & when the instructive games, quizzes and problems kick in. Do they go back to the non-core elements in month1? :
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Re: Openings Module Updated

Post by chesstiger on May 18th 2009, 10:49 am

It seems that in months 10, 11 and 12 they do some review of the openings and add then and there lots of games for you to browse aswell but helas the games are just the moves.

But that doesn't mean that they will not update this when they have the time for it. Afterall they just update the openings module for month one.
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Re: Openings Module Updated

Post by Blue Devil Knight on May 18th 2009, 1:48 pm

I have just converted to the Catalan. Last night I learned about it, and read over their bit on the closed Catalan. Today I played two blitz games to get a feel, and won both.

It is a great opening. It is solid, active, and black seems to not have a great idea what to do.

Of course I am in love right now and reality will set in, but for now I love the Catalan!

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Re: Openings Module Updated

Post by fanat on May 18th 2009, 2:52 pm

I've been actually playing or rather trying to play Catalan for a little while now. I've taken English opening as my main opening for white and put off Catalan aside for a little bit.

The reason is simple - many experts agree that Catalan is actually pretty difficult opening and you need to have pretty good level to play it correctly and get benefits from it. So for an amateur like me, English opening would be a bit easier while many games will look similar or even transpose to Catalan.

After I'm further down in our ICS course and have gained a better foundation overall I will try to study the Catalan again.

Nigel Davis is supposed to come out with "Play the Catalan" book this month! So, hopefully it will be a very good introduction into the opening for amateurs as opposed to just games with variations for experts.
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Re: Openings Module Updated

Post by Blue Devil Knight on May 18th 2009, 3:02 pm

My attitude is, why wait to play a top-level opening? If that is what you plan to play eventually, why not start now? Every opening it takes a lot of time to learn, some more than others. So start now! What a Face Thank goodness the ICS explains the moves in terms of CQS and TO DO lists (I want to do one of their recommended openings, as they integrate with the language and principles of the chess school).

Keys for me are 1) Do I like it? and 2) Is it something that will grow with you, or is it considered "broken" at high levels? 3) Is it so sharp I will have to spend a ton of time memorizing lots of variations?

Catalan passes on all acounts. I like it, it is solid, and because it is solid there aren't tons of super-sharp variations you must memorize. So far it has been fun. Plus, none of those annoying e4 sidelines like the French, Scandy, etc.. If I could be guaranteed black would always play e5/Nc6 then I would always play e4. Smile

This book is supposed to be kick-ass, and feature the Catalan:
1.d4 (Grandmaster Repertoire) (v. 1) by Boris Avrukh

Also, I really like the 'Winning with the X' series, as they focus on strategy, and there is one on the Catalan from Angus Dunnington. It is old, but I don't care. Principles/strategy don't change very fast.

Plus, Davies book coming out soon.

I'm a d4 player now. Scary stuff. First time.

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Re: Openings Module Updated

Post by fanat on May 18th 2009, 3:14 pm

I have the book from Dunnington and it's really good! It gives good games with explanations for all the variations that ICS provided. So it goes really well to supplement ICS material!

Grandmaster repertoire is well... for almost grandmasters! Very Happy Reading all the different opinions about the book on www.chesspub.com it's clear it's VERY advanced book for experienced Catalan players.

I think it's a good idea to start learning it early. Still, if you are going to play Catalan there is also tons of other stuff you you will have to learn. What if black doesn't want to play Catalan and wants to play: slav, semi-slav, tarrach, orthodox, queens indian, gruenfeld or King's indian! The amount of this theory kind of put me off

At least with English, the amount of stuff you will face is much smaller. I'm going through "Dynamic English" book and it's really great.

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Catalan and hope to return and study it very seriously in a few months hopefully!
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Re: Openings Module Updated

Post by Blue Devil Knight on May 18th 2009, 3:31 pm

What lines of the Catalan do you have in mind that make you scared to touch it now?

I've thought of doing the English, also. It looks like a very solid opening, and I've heard good things about that book.

I'm putting my trust in ICS for this year, and have decided to do the same with one of their main opening branches. That 'd4 GM repertoire' book I look at almost as a database. To get narratives, explanations, strategy, I need to go elsewhere. For instance, my coach, the ICS material, and other books. But as a reference, they say it is top notch. I'll use it like MCO.

People get their knickers in a bunch over openings, and like to argue about them, but the openings really don't matter at my level. I listed above the three key criteria to use for choosing openings, and the most important is whether I am comfortable with it, and like it. At my level, my opponents won't know theory. I won't know much theory. We will be playing chess from an early move.

At any rate, I need to work on my ICS, and stop talking about openings. Good luck with the English. It's not like there aren't tons of sidelines there too! (For every line of the Sicilian, there is a line of the English, as you know--Grand Prix, etc etc etc).

One bonus of playing a mainstream opening is the beautiful choice of high-quality games to go through in my database on 1 d4. I'm sick of playing weird lines with only 21 games in my database. I'm going mainstream baby!

Incidentally, it was Randy's games with the Catalan, in addition to being sick of meeting e4 deviations, that got me.

I should add, I don't understand the desire to study one opening, but to put it off for months. ICS has the repertoire, we are all here to talk about it, what better time than now? Why spend time learning the English when you plan to take up the Catalan? The Catalan, for me, is quite elegant and simple at least at my low level. Perhaps you are at 2000 level so things are messy and nasty and you must memorize many lines. I am grateful I am a chess mortal and can play five moves in and we are both off book.

What is it about openings that makes everyone an expert, anyway, even patzers like me? I'm not sure there is any such thing as a "Grandmaster repertoire." Grandmasters are people, repertoires are just lists of moves. I guess everyone can have an opinion on short lists of moves.

lol!

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Re: Openings Module Updated

Post by fanat on May 18th 2009, 3:43 pm

I'm not planning to "throw out" the English! I hope to built on it! The games that come out of English are very exciting and often lead to more open games than Catalan. The book "Dynamic English" has been sitting on my shelf for months and I've finally picked it up and started looking at it seriously 3 weeks ago.

I'm definitely not anywhere near 2000. Very Happy

In general, I'm trying to limit the time required to study the openings. This is why I'm not even touching Sicilian.

It's strickly, English as white, (Calatan later) and French as the main defense for e4 and I still have to start studying something against d4. I'm thinking Nimzo/QID because this is what ICS will start teaching.
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Re: Openings Module Updated

Post by Blue Devil Knight on May 18th 2009, 5:23 pm

"This is why I'm not even touching Sicilian."

And why you play the Sicilian with colors reversed affraid

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Re: Openings Module Updated

Post by fanat on May 18th 2009, 10:09 pm

Blue Devil Knight wrote:"This is why I'm not even touching Sicilian."

And why you play the Sicilian with colors reversed affraid

LOL.

While c5 ed5 is considered reversed Sicilian, white is a tempo up and in general the positions are not razor sharp like they are in actual Sicilian.

Sicilian requires tons of hours of studying. I am trying to cut down on the amount of opening theory required! Sort of.
So it's strictly, English and Catalan as white and French and Nimzo/QID as black. I don't want to study anything else.
I need to concentrate more on endgames, tactics and keep up with ICS load

Very Happy
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Re: Openings Module Updated

Post by Blue Devil Knight on May 18th 2009, 10:23 pm

fanat wrote:I need to concentrate more on endgames, tactics and keep up with ICS load

Right on, Bro!!!!

I got Avrukh's book today. It is amazing. A bit advanced for me, but for a reference work it kicks serious ass. Compared to the ICS recommendations on the Closed Catalan, it is more up-to-date and picks lines that score much better for white in practice (though note these variations are at move 10, so won't matter for me in practice Smile).

I am excited to be playing white again....

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Re: Openings Module Updated

Post by fanat on May 18th 2009, 11:04 pm

Regarding Avrukh's book, can you give us your opinion on it? What are the pros/cons? Does it have enough explanations, complete games or just tree of variations?
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Re: Openings Module Updated

Post by Blue Devil Knight on May 19th 2009, 12:25 am

I need time to work with it longer to have a stronger opinion, but I can report a bit.

It isn't just a list of variations. He offers quite a bit of explanation at key points, but most of those points are after move four, typically not until move 8 to 10. The focus is on the repertoire, not complete games. There are many game fragments he follows until the evaluation becomes more clear.

As I said, it seems like it will be an excellent reference book, but as a first book on playing d4? No freaking way. Like other opening books it focuses on what is being played in higher-level tournaments, so for us club players there will be lines not covered. This isn't unique to this book, but to nearly all opening books (except perhaps Greet's book on the Ruy).

Overall first impression: it is a beautiful and thorough book, and needs to be supplemented for those of us that are beginning the d4 journey. I am using the ICS material to supplement it (well, vice versa really!).

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Re: Openings Module Updated

Post by Randy on May 22nd 2009, 6:23 am

fanat wrote:I'm not planning to "throw out" the English! I hope to built on it! The games that come out of English are very exciting and often lead to more open games than Catalan. The book "Dynamic English" has been sitting on my shelf for months and I've finally picked it up and started looking at it seriously 3 weeks ago. .
Hi Fanat,
i had a very similar path like you. I started with "Dynamic English", very easy to follow and requires relatively a short time for study. When I felt the need for more, I studied "A strategic opening repertoire" by Donaldson. This is basic a repertoire for English with 2.Nf3 instead of 2.g3 (like Dynamic English). A very coherent repertoire, but less for Catalan and Slav. Now I am trying to use ICS d4 repertoire as base repertoire and I hope to get the Avrukh book soon, as a complement and maybe to fill some holes (for the moment I miss QGA and some weird benoni's). Clearly, Avrukh book is more advance.
Chess.publishing: is more advanced. it can be used mostly to maintain a repertoire, not to build one.

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Re: Openings Module Updated

Post by fanat on May 22nd 2009, 7:37 pm

Randy wrote:
fanat wrote:I'm not planning to "throw out" the English! I hope to built on it! The games that come out of English are very exciting and often lead to more open games than Catalan. The book "Dynamic English" has been sitting on my shelf for months and I've finally picked it up and started looking at it seriously 3 weeks ago. .
Hi Fanat,
i had a very similar path like you. I started with "Dynamic English", very easy to follow and requires relatively a short time for study. When I felt the need for more, I studied "A strategic opening repertoire" by Donaldson. This is basic a repertoire for English with 2.Nf3 instead of 2.g3 (like Dynamic English). A very coherent repertoire, but less for Catalan and Slav. Now I am trying to use ICS d4 repertoire as base repertoire and I hope to get the Avrukh book soon, as a complement and maybe to fill some holes (for the moment I miss QGA and some weird benoni's). Clearly, Avrukh book is more advance.
Chess.publishing: is more advanced. it can be used mostly to maintain a repertoire, not to build one.

I'm glad I'm not the only one learning English! Do you play it currently? Do you find it "easier" or harder compared to Catalan?

Chesspublishing is definitely geared more towards very advanced players but they have hundreds of annotated games for each major opening! So if we are talking about English or Catalan or Nimzo-indian, they would have literally hundreds of well-commented games for all major variations. So it will definitely go well complement ICS theory or theoretical book like "Dynamic English" which doesnt' have any games.

Chesspublishing is not free and requires a subscription. I've gotten very tempted and pulled the trigger and signed up for it Very Happy Obviously I won't get the full benefit but commented games will come very handy.

If anybody is interested to learn more I could provide some samples of the games they cover.
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Re: Openings Module Updated

Post by Blue Devil Knight on May 22nd 2009, 10:06 pm

That sounds very tempting, but I need to resist!!! Smile

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Re: Openings Module Updated

Post by Randy on May 23rd 2009, 12:42 am

fanat wrote:
I'm glad I'm not the only one learning English! Do you play it currently? Do you find it "easier" or harder compared to Catalan?


English as taught by Tony Kosten is clearly easier than Catalan. btw, very soon will appear book by M. Marin, "Grandmaster repertoire 1.c4".

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Re: Openings Module Updated

Post by Chessbud on June 11th 2009, 9:54 pm

I just signed up for the course and opening module a few days ago. Haven't had much time to look at it yet but was following your discussion on the English versus Catalan. I have been torn the same way. Do I play d4 main lines or the English. I used to play the KIA and still do every now and then but recently took up the English after reading some of the dynamic English book. Excellent book. There is also a new Fritz tape on the English by grandmaster Davies. I am about half way through it. The English is a good opening but it is every bit as complex as 1.d4 in my opinion. Soon there will be two grandmaster repertoire books on the English opening by quality chess. One book for 1.c4 e5 and the other book for all other replies by black. I have had good results with the English even beating a GM in a recent tournament. My First GM win... His rating was only 2360 though. I played c4 and he replied b6!...Now that I am signed up for this course I plan to look at their d4 repertoire as well. My rating is around 2100 ELO and I have been trying to break 2200 for over 20 years. Tried everything so now I will try this course. Reading this forum convinced me to give it a try.

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Re: Openings Module Updated

Post by hoopy on June 12th 2009, 7:37 am

"Only 2360"!

Fantastic. lol!
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Re: Openings Module Updated

Post by Chessbud on June 12th 2009, 8:57 am

Thanks - He was still an extremely strong player though at one point he had a rating of 2650 or something like that. He said he used to be 17 ranked in the world in his primeā€¦. Though by grandmaster standards 2360 is now on the low end of the scale right now. The English was a good weapon against his play as I am sure he was well versed in opening theory. It was about my 8th English game in tournament play. I took up the English because I wanted to play something more main line instead of Kings Indian Attack, or b3 or something like that. I have always hated opening theory but it's hard to beat masters with offbeat openings in my opinion. The English is a good opening to transpose over to d4 as well. Many strong players open with c4 only to transpose to a d-pawn opening a few moves later. They do this to avoid certain d4 pawn openings like the Grunfeld..

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