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.)

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

  1. I’ve never played e4 – too afraid of all those crazy Sicilians, Frenches, etc. My idea of branching out was to move from c4 to d4.

  2. 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.

  3. 1. e4 c5 2. d4! 1-0

    1. e4 e6 1-0 :)

    1. f4!! 1-0 (if 1… e5 2. e4! 1-0)

    1. d4 1/2-1/2

    ’nuff said.

    -Matt

  4. 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.”

  5. 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…

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

  7. 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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