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Subject: Last minute changing opening OTB

For your OTB opening repertoir... If you had lost faith or simply knew it wasnt likely to work against your opponent... what alternative openings would you try?... perhaps you know little theory about it, perhaps you expect to make it up as you go along, or hope that your opponent has little hope of knowing it either?

But for a last minute ditching of your plans... what could one try?




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The Grob or the Hippo

Depending how serious you are, The Grob (f4) is pretty funky, but probably not all that sound.
Lately I've been studying GM Miles and IM Wohl who were friends and tried different openings sometimes. One of my faves is the Hippopotomus which usually results in a symetrical layout with pawns at a3, b3, d3, e3, g3, h3 and knights at d2 and e2.

Haven't actually played The Grob in a serious OTB game, but I've won with the Hippo (vs a lower-rated opponent though).



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grob typo

f4 should be g4 for the grob.
i have never played 1.g4 before, but i would say it can work if your opponent is unprepared and you know it well i'm sure.

i play the bird, 1.f4, now and then.
1...e5 (the from gambit) is the sharpest and probably played equally as often as 1...d5. against the from gambit, i just play 2.e4 and now it's a king's gambit.

with 1.f4 you can go into popular dutch defense sytems in reverse. if you have a favorite dutch system, you might like to play that. right now i like to play e3 (to develop my king bishop no f1-a7 diagonal) and b3 (developing queen bishop on a1-h8 diagonal).



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I play the Bird also (actually almost exclusively lately), and from my experience I can say that in practice I encounter the From gambit very rarely, as opposed to 1...d4 probably about 80% of the time.

The From is indeed the sharpest response for Black, and white must be wary of many dangers in the resulting lines... but if white plays accurate defense, he has a strong chances. I've actually had quite good results playing white in From's gambit.

Of course, white doesn't have to accept the gambit... instead he can turn the tables, and play 2.e4!?... turning the game into a King's Gambit! :)



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Seing it's a double post I'll post my reply here as well. I didn't notice until after I posted in the other tread. Well well.

"If white; I'd try 1. g4. For real. Since it'll probably take my opponent straight out of book, and I'm a very tactical player, so my best chances are when there are lost of pieces on the board and my opponent doesn't know what to do ^^
Or inverted black defence (attacking with your favorite defence, and an extra tempo, is, at least for me at club level, often successful).

If black; something you don't play alot, but you don't believe your opponent has much knowledge in. Ie not choosing the sicilian, but go for the latvian gambit (that's the name, right? 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 f5) or something else that's suspicious ;).
Acctually, I don't know. I'd just try to deviate to unknown lines in my favorite defence as soon as possible. "

I love to play white against From's gambit. I often get that extra pawn with me to the endgame, and then you sit there making faces at your opponent since he was stupid enough to play that silly gambit. ;)



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I usually use the Queen's gambit, though I occasionally use Ruy Lopez and the Danish Gambit.



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i think...

spurtus mentioned opening transitions.. did he??



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Well, an easy opening to learn and play is KIA. It's safe, effective, and usually my opponent has never seen it before :-) Just start out with 1.Nf3, and do some other moves like g3, Bg2, 0-0, d3, Nbd2, e4, etc...

-White Boy Slim

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