Switching from e4 to d4, just like you did b4

and back again, or vice versa.

Anand put this topic back in the headlines a bit when he surprised (?) Kramnik with 1.d4 in their recent world championship match.

In the Olden Dayes I played both, which didn’t trouble me because I knew no theory in either.

When I realized I better learn openings to compensate for the deterioration of my middlegame, I stuck with 1.e4.

Then when I further realized I’d better learn to play classically before my brain locks up, I started playing 1.d4 exclusively in online blitz.

The funny thing is, it has resulted in no change whatsoever in my results. And when I struggle as white against a good player, Inigo Montoya tends to pop into my mind. “You are amazing – but I know something you do not know – I am not left-handed!” 

(Hence the post title, an ode to Fezzik.)


12 thoughts on “Switching from e4 to d4, just like you did b4

  1. Fear is the mind-killer. (Didn’t you see Dune?) :)

    My chess improvement theory is that whatever you’re afraid of is exactly what you should be playing. More on that next post perhaps, in the specific context of openings.

  2. I don’t play it but in answer to 1.e4 c6 I respect 2.c4. It’s like saying, “Oh, you think you’re going to bore ME to death? No, I’ll bore YOU to death.” Boredom brinksmanship.

    PawnShaman – Nice. Which also reminds me of Danny Glover in Silverado: “Now I don’t wanna kill you, and you don’t wanna be dead.”

  3. I just now posted on my playing the Caro–something I had avoided almost completely for 20+ years. I’m not finding it dull or too drawish, actually. I myself tried 2. c4 against it a number of times after seeing it in Keene’s Nimzovich book, but so far no one has tried it against me…

  4. Westley/Dread Pirate Roberts: “There’s a shortage of perfect breasts in this world…it would be a pity to damage yours.”

  5. I was just funnin me too. Taking off on my recent post, maybe if we called the Caro-Kann the “Beefed-up Center Counter” or the “Macho Center Counter” or even the “Improved Center Counter” it would get more respect. I always vaguely thought of it as Wimpy Older Botvinnik opening, which is why it took me so long to try it. I should have remembered that M. Botvinnik used it to help him kick Tal’s butt in ’61…

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