Tricky King Pawn Openings: Chess for Club Players

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Tricky King Pawn Openings

Understanding tricky openings can help you sometimes win quickly and avoid losing quickly. Sometimes its the other way round, either way they can be great fun.

Using text and + large clear color diagrams, FIDE Master and former Australian correspondence champion Bill Jordan shows you how.

The Open game (1.e4 e5) offers better chances for an early tactical skirmish than any other openings. Both players have made a first move that activates their pieces as much as possible. Its also likely both sides will castle quicker than after 1.d4.

This book is designed to give an overview of tricky openings. It is not meant to be an exhaustive analysis of every tricky opening. It is meant to make readers aware of some of the tricky openings that exist. You are encouraged to research openings in depth that you wish to play.

What Is A Tricky Opening?

Tricky openings vary in their soundness. Some offer equal chances, others are inferior against best play. Whether they are worth playing depends on the context. It depends on the strengths of the players, the time limit and the seriousness of the game. In unrated blitz games, it is worth playing any tricky opening that interests you. In games where rating points, tournament places etc are in stake, then whether to play a risky opening and which one may need to be made carefully.

Tricky openings can be introduced by either player. Some tricky openings can be met with even trickier responses.

Some players play the same opening over and over. This was more common in the pre-computer era. These days it sets you up to be met with well prepared opponents who have used databases and engines to study your tricky opening. If you vary your openings, you keep your opponent’s guessing. If you know you opening is someone who doesn’t bother preparing, then you may not need to.

What are some tricky openings?

Balanced, including symmetrical positions tend to lead to solid openings. Unbalancing the position, especially with gambits and sacrifices, tends to lead to tactical dynamic positions. Both sides castling kingside early is more likely to lead to a quiet game. Castling on opposite sides or one or both kings not castling at all, tends to lead to a more dynamic game. Open positions tend to more tactical than closed positions, though some closed positions can be quite tactical.

Why play tricky openings?

Tricky openings tend to lead to more interesting positions, at least in the early part of the game. You may play tricky openings just for fun. Playing tricky openings for fun can be especially good in social games or blitz games.

You may play tricky openings to practice your tactics and play in dynamic positions. They may help you understand the initiative better.

You may play tricky openings to increase your chances of winning. This is especially the case if your opponent knows less about the opening than you do!

You may want to be prepared if an opponent plays a tricky opening on you.

GM Nigel Short gave a lecture in Adelaide in 2016. His topic was the Evans gambit, which definitely falls in the category of tricky openings. He said to club players, “Don’t play something dull like the Berlin defence to the Lopez (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6) which often leads to an early queen exchange. Play sexy chess”.

Types of tricky openings

Tricky openings vary from lines where White is taking no risk at all, but play is tricky, to openings that take huge risk, like the crazy Halloween attack (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5!?)

White and Black tricky openings

Either White or Black can initiate a tricky variation. Sometimes a tricky opening move can be countered with a tricky reply.

Inventing your own tricky openings

The more tricky opening moves you become familiar with, the easier it will be to stump your opponents with your own outrageous moves.

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