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Monday, October 19, 2015

The Universal Opening/Defense

     About 15 years ago a book called The Beginners Game came out.  The author was someone named Pafu.  He advocated the opening moves for white, in just about any move order: b3, d3, e3, g3, Bb2, Bg2, Nd2, and Ne2. Black can adapt the same setup as a defense. Of course there will be circumstances where all the moves can't be played. The problem with this formation is that the most that can be achieved is equality because the setup does not place the pieces in attacking positions and the opponent is granted free reign in the center and a substantial advantage in space. At one time the book was a free download, but it's no longer available. 
     I run into this opening/defense a lot in online games because, apparently, many players think they can automatically play the moves without giving any consideration to what their opponent does and then, after the setup is complete, make an appropriate P-break. While it is true you can play it against just about anything, the resulting positions are generally not very promising. The first time I ran into it was in a CCLA game about 12-15 years ago. A long time correspondence master played it against me and lost. In Internet games I like to set up a BIG P-center and then make a Pawn thrust that cracks open my opponent's position. Against the guy I played in this game, who was rated in the mid-1600's, he tried it in all three 15-minute games we played, including one as black against my Grob Attack; he lost all three games. My advice...don't play it!


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