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doctor_knight 151 ( +1 | -1 )
expanding my repetoire I've gotten solid enough at my openings to play anyone within 200 points of my OTB rating (in the 1500's) in OTB and get an even initial middle game (and often with a little advantage too). I'm really working on my middle game right now, but I want to expand my opening repetoire a bit. I think a new opening would make it more fun for me and make the game more fresh.

Right now I play the Reti opening as white with a queenside fianchetto. As black I play the Pirc Defense and the King's Indian Defense. I really like to play modern because it fits me really well. I like to be flexible and not commit too much until I get an idea of how the game will go. I like the flexibility of my white opening and I don't know if I want to learn anything new as white (I've already got some experience with the colle system and a little experience with QGD that I can always use), but I think I want something different to play as black.

I was thinking maybe the queen's indian defense. I saw this in a book and it kind of appealed to me. Also I think I might like something kind of off the wall that will surprise oponents expecting me to play my usual repetoire. I think I would still like it to have a more modern feel though.

What is modern that's good against e4? The sicilian of course, but that seems a little too wild for me.

I will still play my normal openings a lot and keep getting better at them, but I'm looking for something to freshen up my game.

Any ideas?
daverundle 9 ( +1 | -1 )
For a surprise tactic try hte Scandanavian, i play it occassionally and have quite a lot of success with it.
spurtus 109 ( +1 | -1 )
I'll second the Scandinavian, although I'm now shifting from it to the Sicilian.

The scandy is best OTB, I used to play the mainline? Qa5 variation, but there are various lines you can also try.

Both players can lose quite early on if they overlook sharp stuff... but with accurate play it really looks drawish, Black can go wrong and can spend a few moves on Queen relocation, although never lost my queen on a5 to intense space pressure there, youve got to live on the edge a bit.. just make you only relocate it only when you need to and keep the pressure up, you might need to prepare escape square by playing c6 though... the timing of this move is crucial. Be prepared to transpose into playing against the Blackmar Diemer Gambit though with 2. d4

Best to try it and see how you get on, cos its quite a good opening that usually destroys your opponents repertoire. It also means that you can cut a lot of opening theory out, as there are a tonne of openings that you need never learn. Also I love it when they spend a few minutes pondering move 2!

ganstaman 71 ( +1 | -1 )
Alekhine's Defense Maybe 1. e4 Nf6? It seems like you'd like it:

"I like to be flexible and not commit too much until I get an idea of how the game will go." --- You hardly commit at all. In fact, you get white to over commit himself leaving you with the choice of how to tear apart his center.

Also, against 1. e4 Nf6 2. Nc3, many like to play 2...d5, which is supposedly the Alekhine's Defense type of move. But I prefer 2...d6, transposing into a Pirc, which I also enjoy. And I see you do too: "As black I play the Pirc Defense and the King's Indian Defense."

If you do try it out, check out: ->
It has games and shows nearly every possible line, with some explainations for each move.
zenbum 7 ( +1 | -1 )
ganstaman are you still hawking that refuted opening? . . . . just kidding ;)
ganstaman 14 ( +1 | -1 )
zenbum Well, I haven't played it in a long time. Now I'm just trying to get everyone else to play it so that I can win more with white :)
doctor_knight 30 ( +1 | -1 )
what are you guys talking about zenbum and ganstaman? refuted? trying to give me a bad opening? eh? eh?

I think maybe I'll look at the Alekhine's Defense and Scandinavian. Thanks.

Also, any suggestions against d4 (or any first move by white other than e4).

And what are your thoughts on the queens indian.
far1ey 41 ( +1 | -1 )
Keep it simple. Don't try anything too fancy. I probably wouldn't recommend the Alekhine as it is very risky and if you don't defend well you can end up with an awful position. Instead just play e5 or c5. Also perhaps c6 and e6 but c6 usually ends up with a boring drawish position and with e6 you must defend well.

d4 I recommend the Queens gambit declined or one of the indian defences (which is pretty much all the options anyways:D).
coyotefan 37 ( +1 | -1 )
Maybe a stupid question Why expand your repetoire? I am rated almost 2200 and have a very small repetoire. I keep improving the repetoire I have. Narrow and well understood. IMHO, low and middle rated players want to play many openings poorly rather than a few openings very well. In chess familiarity does not bring contempt, but wins.
ionadowman 154 ( +1 | -1 )
coyotefan asks a good question... ... There is a great deal to be said for being very expert in a narrow repertoire. Bobby Fischer seems to have had a similar policy until he had developed into a very powerful player indeed. At the highest levels it began to show a down side (predictability), but the up side was that since he knew possibly more about certain lines than anyone else, it wasn't all that easy to surprise him.
With a high level of expertise in a narrow repertoire, you will be more comfortable in the kinds of middlegames and endgames you will reach.
However, I can think of any number of reasons to expand your repertoire, or at least to try alternatives. If you are starting to feel a bit stale playing the same kinds of things, or your play feels as though ot were becoming a bit stereotyped, then some kind of change or variation is probably indicated. This can be a permanent expansion, a temporary change, or just the addition of an 'occasional' opening for use once in a while.
The change can be radical, or fairly subtle. doctor_knight, you seem to be looking for the latter - something just little different from your usual Reti or Pirc, not too far removed from the familiar, yet retaining enough difference to refresh the chessplaying spirit.
If so, you want advice from someone a deal more expert in the opening than I am!! But a couple of suggestions you might consider:
As White: the English, or the Catalan
As Black: the Grunfeld, and maybe the Caro-Kann
Of course, I could also plug for my favorite: the Modern Benoni!
doctor_knight 93 ( +1 | -1 )
thanks I think you hit the dot ionadowman. I don't know about the openings you suggested, but what you said about what I want is very true. I'll look into these suggestions. Thanks.

I guess what I want is maybe to learn more about the openings I already know. I'll probably mainly play through annotated games so I can work on other parts of my game too and get a better understanding of the opening that I'm playing.

Of course, I still want something to freshen up chess a little for me. When you play four games in a row and you play very nearly the same game every time, things can get a little stale. And I'm not really all that concerned with my rating right now as I am a fultime college student studying aerospace engineering. I don't have all that much time and energy to commit to chess and chess is more of a relaxation for me. I am serious about improving, but only as much as my schooling allows me.
kewms 118 ( +1 | -1 )
I'm interested in your comment about playing four very similar games in a row. How similar were they? Certainly any opening has characteristics that will repeat from one game to the next, but most openings also have lots of relatively unexplored sidelines. If you're following the same sequence of moves for more than 10 moves or so (maybe more in a main line Sicilian or KID), it might be time to do some digging and figure out what the alternatives are.

On the other hand, some of the problem might have to do with your opponents. I quit playing the French because very few people at my level seem to have seen it, and so I kept ending up in boring drawish Exchange French positions instead of the dynamic Tarrasch and Winawer lines that attracted me to the opening. GMs play those lines because they want to win with White, but lower ranked players seem to be less ambitious. Playing through some higher level games in your opening may show you how to spice things up, or may convince you that you need an opening with more opportunities for counterplay.

Good luck!

doctor_knight 145 ( +1 | -1 )
the openings are plenty sharp enough for me. I know that I still have tons to learn about them. I guess when you reach a breakthrough (which I have reached with my openings however small the breakthrough may be) you naturally want to move on to the next thing. Maybe I thought learning a new opening from scratch was the next step. Perhaps a better question would be does anyone have any interesting ideas or suggestions about the Openings that make up my repetoire.

There's a lot of territory in the Reti that I haven't even begun to explore. Does anyone have any thoughts or suggestions about playing the Reti? Maybe some specific variations that seem to fit my character? Maybe a good book on the opening or of annotated games played by Reti?

With the pirc and KID, I almost always end up playing Nf6, g6, Bg7, 0-0, d6, and e5 within the first 6 moves. I like the games that I get with this. The games seem to follow a very similar thread in which I can usually at least force equality against the players around my rating. I think I'm ok for now with these but openings, but would be glad to listen if anyone has some interesting ideas or suggestions here.

(I'm not rejecting any of the other ideas, but I understand now that maybe I was approaching the situation in the wrong way. I'm still going to look into the other openings for the heck of it. I may find something I really like, who knows?)
far1ey 39 ( +1 | -1 )
Don't get too complicated with the reti! Your rating is only in the 1200's so you would play many people who do not know a single thing about the reti and you end up with weird positions. Like what kewms said with the French an people not knowing what to do and her rating is sky-rocketing!

Keep it simple with e4 until your rating goes somewhere.
far1ey 68 ( +1 | -1 )
There was in particular your recent game against heikyn , the position you reached at move 5 is one which can be subjected to criticism. You as white have made 5 very good moves opening lines etc while black in effect has 4 moves, cannot move his light-squared bishop. Furthermore, you have more space. If this had happened in an e4 e5 game there would be plenty more chances of a quick attack to take advantage of blacks lack of development. You don't need to listen to my advice if you really have a good reason for sticking with the Reti but just a thought...
doctor_knight 109 ( +1 | -1 )
I am mainly an OTB player. I do not care about my rating here hardly at all. My OTB rating is in the 1500's. I have a friend in the chess club here who is very close to my strength. I am a little stronger tactically, but he has a little bit better positional understanding. I can definately put my openings to the test against him and we study together when we get the chance. I would probably lose if I played classical king pawn openings because he as well as most of the others that I play against know them better than I do and are much more comfortable in those openings.

When I say that I have solidified my openings a little, I am talking about my play OTB. I mainly just use gameknot as a experimental testing ground to practice openings and get some help like what I'm doing right now. I feel much happier and I play much better OTB when I use the openings that I have stated. They fit my character. I use to play classical openings a lot, but I grew tired of them. I like modern openings much better. I am just way out of character when I play classical openings.
far1ey 5 ( +1 | -1 )
Ah now we're getting somewhere! Sorry about the misunderstanding!
doctor_knight 7 ( +1 | -1 )
no problem.

So what is the best way for me to continue my study of the reti opening?
coyotefan 15 ( +1 | -1 )
I am confused You appear to be searching for openings because you are bored with the ones you are playing. IMHO there is no opening more boring than the Reti.
ganstaman 74 ( +1 | -1 )
I agree!! I agree with coyotefan. I stopped playing the Reti because I got bored with it. Even when I tried to make it exciting (Santasiere's Folly, though I may have misspelled that, 1. Nf3, 2. b4), the games were for the most part not so exciting. Though I do think I understand doctor_knight's point anyway: he enjoys the Reti, and so isn't bored by those games, but still wants variety. I would recommend 1. e4 or 1. d4, then. You'll end up getting many different responses from black, and so there'll be variety built right in.

I played/play 1.f4 a lot. I really enjoy the games, but after a while many seem to be the same thing (some responses are just so common). And so I looked at other first moves just to change things up.
doctor_knight 157 ( +1 | -1 )
I don't necessarily want variety. What I mean by flexibility is basically being noncommital until I understand the direction of the game. e4 and d4 openings are very commital. You have already declared your intentions with these moves. I like to put the pressure on black to worry about what to do since white is hungrily waiting for black to do something. Many players I've played against are irritated when they have to play against the English or the Reti OTB because they don't know white's intentions. These modern openings can make people anxious if they have not learned the theory for them. The player that I mentioned that I practice with began to prepare to play against the Reti just because he knew that I played it and it troubled him that he didn't know how to play against it. Of course you can always use opening principles and build a solid center so white won't have much to attack, but this is like setting up an army while having negligible knowledge of the enemy's movements. This is especially true for those who have not played against modern openings very often (very common). At higher levels this may not be the case, but modern openings seem to be very good at my level. (I'm sure they're still really good at higher levels, but they probably don't have the same psychological effects)

Also I understand that in Correspondence Chess, you can have the recourses needed to find the best play against a modern opening, but not in OTB.
ganstaman 15 ( +1 | -1 )
I'm a bit confused, and tired "I think a new opening would make it more fun for me and make the game more fresh."

"I don't necessarily want variety."

What is it that you want?
kewms 27 ( +1 | -1 )
"I like to put the pressure on black to worry about what to do since white is hungrily waiting for black to do something. "


If White wants to give up his initiative while he waits for me to build a nice solid position, that's fine with me.

doctor_knight 59 ( +1 | -1 )
ganstaman you should read the whole topic. I realized that maybe I shouldn't be looking for new openings, so I asked if there were any new ideas or advice on the openings that I already play.

I might just get "Hypermodern Opening Repertoire For White" by Eric Schiller on which goes thoroughly into the Reti though it wouldn't hurt to have opinions from others. I think I like my openings as black and I'm currently working on middlegame, endgame and tactics. So maybe all I need for now is to go through this book while working on the other parts of my game.
schnarre 30 ( +1 | -1 )
Hmmmnnnn..... Have you tried the Torre Attack as White? It's a solid, flexible Opening!

The Pirc is fine for 1.e4, but probably going to the Scandinavian is a good addition (both begin with the same pawn). Of you can find a copy of Lev Alburt's, 'The Alekhine for the Tournament Player' check it out & see if it fits your style.