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qpawn
26-02-2006, 05:14 PM
The rocky music plays...

Here is a link where I am arguing with some chess expert/coach from Romania about how an absolute beginner should be taught chess.

His view: a beginner should always be taught 1.e4 as a first opening.
My view: Both 1.d4 and 1.e4 are fine for tecahing a complete beginner all the basics of chess.

The fight so far: This Romanian dude thinks he is a bigshot because he teaches chess etc. He didn't think much of this rookie fighter called Qpawns [my handle on that site] who was swinging all thses ludicrous punches that he thought were rabbit punches. But then Qpawns came up with this awesome punch and knocked the Romanian down for the count!

Ding ding ding! Kicked his butt!

The link where he is Macaulin and I am qpawns:

http://www.chessarea.com/chess-forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=42&PN=1

Kevin Bonham
27-02-2006, 01:08 PM
Well, let's wait and see if he replies. :P

I find this a useful topic to debate because there are a range of opinions even among serious coaches. While there is the orthodox view that everyone should start with 1.e4 e5 for both sides, I see a lot of juniors playing mainly kingside fianchetto systems very effectively because those systems are safe and easier to understand thematically, and I know some very good coaches who recommend this approach to their charges. I think all beginning players should play open games regularly with one side or another for the tactical experience. Not necessarily both. No matter what you play you must be able to function on an open board if required.

A good point was made in a letter to the ACF Bulletin a few weeks ago. The author was an Australian chess parent who had taken his son to the USA and his comment was that in scholastic chess over there it is nearly all 1.e4 e5 but here you get a much wider range of openings in junior events.

qpawn
27-02-2006, 02:37 PM
Yes...you could start someone off with reti/King's Indian attack systems :D

Not all chess coaches begin with the opening: don't thye tecah the endgame first in Russia?

I think I knocked that guy senseless in the thread! Don't you love the references to Velimirovic attack and Tony Miles? :)

All the beginners books I have ever read such as Reinfeld, Morrison & Bott etc, all teach 1.e4 e5 first. I have never seen any beginner book that starts the student off with 1.d4 d5 or 1.d4 Nf6 etc. That said, I see no reason why a beginner could not get a sound grasp of chess that way. If anybody knows any beginners' books that recommend 1.d4 I would be interested. Of course I am not a beginner but it is still of interest to me.

Libby
27-02-2006, 05:53 PM
Not all chess coaches begin with the opening: don't thye tecah the endgame first in Russia?

Actually even gumby coaches (and yes, using the term very loosely) like me have discovered that you need to start with the endgame when you are working with juniors.

Turn up at any beginner's tournament (for example try an interschool event) and scream (silently ;) ) in frustration at the huge material advantages that cannot be turned into wins because the the player has no clue how to deliver a mate.

Given nearly all beginners will run out of opening theory (or forget it, mix it up and generally murder it) after about 5mins, the more important part is definitely being able to deliver the win from a won position - even, occasionally, from a lost position if your opponent is a bit of a wally :lol:

Just teaching (exhaustively :doh: ) a two-rook mate, famously known at my school as the "electric fence" can turn 0 or 1 point at a schools' comp into 4 or 5 points.

They all want to know openings, but they need to know endgames. They just need to understand more complex endgames as their play improves but the principle remains the same.

Southpaw Jim
27-02-2006, 06:24 PM
If anybody knows any beginners' books that recommend 1.d4 I would be interested. Of course I am not a beginner but it is still of interest to me.

Whilst it's not strictly a beginners book (ie not "Chess for Kids" or sumfin), Seirawan's book on openings gives a sort of world tour of KP openings, QP openings, the major defences to both, and then concludes by recommending the Reti/KIA as white and the KID/Pirc/Modern as black.

I think this is probably good from the point of view of the solidity of these systems, as Kevin said.

As Libby says, for beginners, the opening is going to matter very little in any event.

pballard
01-03-2006, 01:29 PM
All the beginners books I have ever read such as Reinfeld, Morrison & Bott etc, all teach 1.e4 e5 first. I have never seen any beginner book that starts the student off with 1.d4 d5 or 1.d4 Nf6 etc. That said, I see no reason why a beginner could not get a sound grasp of chess that way. If anybody knows any beginners' books that recommend 1.d4 I would be interested. Of course I am not a beginner but it is still of interest to me.

Not quite a beginners' book, but a book for low-level players by Horowitz and Reinfield called "How to think ahead in chess" recommended the Stonewall attack (1 d4 2 e3 3 Bd3 etc. against almost anything). I noticed a few juniors using its recommendations in the 70s.