Developing an Opening Repertoire  

SIGNUP SHEET - Please fill out and give to TD at Club, or email  Mark_LaRocca AT cca-int.com

COURSE MATERIALS - Homework assignments, PGN files, etc.

 Of course, it is impossible to offer a concise repertoire that offers the advantage to White against every response, or, conversely, offers Black certain equality.  But, striving towards that goal is, in itself, exceptionally challenging and useful in developing our chess understanding and knowledge.  In this first series of six classes, we will begin the journey to solidify our opening play and perhaps, in the process, discover a suitable chess style that can serve us well throughout our amateur careers.

 The basic text we will investigate is The Chess Advantage in Black and White”, by IM Larry Kaufman.  Noted chess authority John Watson in reviewing this best seller…  “It is simply the best comprehensive repertoire book that I have ever read.“  (See his review, #67 In the Beginning There Was Theory, at http://www.chesscenter.com/twic/jwatsonbkrev67.html)  Watson considers this book suitable for players rated 1400 to 2100 and “even Grandmasters” could learn something from reading it.  I will try to accommodate players rated a little lower and provide material of interest to those who aspire to Master level.  Mr. Watson goes on to give legitimate criticism on specific variations.  His analysis should prove useful in expanding our own study since in class we will delve more deeply into Mr. Kaufman’s ideas.  The interested student should read this review carefully.

 We cannot cover Mr. Kaufman’s entire 500 pages of analysis in just six classes; thus, my reference to this as the “First series”.  Therefore, I have chosen to begin our study as outlined below.  The first two classes will investigate a popular “anti-Sicilian”, 3.Bb5… system for White against most Black Sicilian defenses, and an alternate recommendation when 3.Bb5… is not appropriate.  In the next four classes we will concentrate on Black’s response to 1.d4… 1.Nf3…  1.c4… or any non-e4 first move by White.  The basis of Mr. Kaufman’s recommendation is the Semi-Slav defense; but, in reality, it goes well beyond just the scope of this defense.

 In his book Mr. Kaufman advocates 1.e4 for white and 1...e5 against e4 with a Semi-Slav against 1.d4, more specifically, White: Spanish Exchange, Bb5 against the Sicilian, French Tarrasch and Caro Kann advance. For black, Berlin against the Spanish and a Semi Slav set up against 1.d4….

 Whether or not you intend to play Mr. Kaufman’s system, a serious student of chess must understand the openings he recommends.  If you play the English as white, you must understand the Semi-Slav setup.  If you play the Sicilian, you must know how to combat 3.Bb5… systems. If you ever hope to accomplish anything in chess, you must grasp the basics of the Ruy Lopez.  And, in general, you must understand the principles of classic chess Mr. Kaufman uses to help the student understand who has the advantage… two Bishops, pawn structure, and space.  In this class we will offer expanded theory and instruction to be used as a starting point for further study.  A detailed course outline is provided below.


Guest Appearances

SM Josh Friedel
Thursday, June 9th – Class 1
– Anti-Sicilian opening 3.Bb5 for White


Senior Master Josh Friedel, USCF rating 2502, is, at age 18, one of the New England areas up-and-coming young players.  He achieved the National Master rating at age 13.   His tournament victories are many, including the 2001 Pan Am Open, and the 2005 Queen City Open, and most recently, Josh gained an IM norm at the 2005 Foxwoods Open.

From: http://www.worldchessnetwork.com/English/sitePros/images/spJoshFriedel.jpg


Josh confirmed by email that he will be appearing Thursday, June 9.
He also played in Minnesota and did quite well with 6.0 total out of 9 rds.
His performance was amazing. In rds. 3 to 8, he played 6 GMs in a row, two of whom were rated over 2700, scoring 4 draws, one win and one loss. Josh started 3.5 out of 4 before losing to GM Motylev (2780) in Rd 5. His great start set up a "murderers row" of competition.

Rd 3 -- GM Stripunsky, Alexandr, USA, rating 2663 - result, 0.5
Rd 4 -- GM Vasquez, Rodrigo, USA, rating 2651 - result, 1
Rd 5 -- GM Motylev, Alexander, RUS, rating 2780 - result, 0
Rd 6 -- GM Shabalov, Alexander, USA, rating 2689 - result, 0.5
Rd 7 -- GM Goldin, Alex, USA, rating 2705 - result, 0.5
Rd 8 -- GM Becerra, Julio, USA, rating 2644 - result, 0.5


IM James Rizzitano
Thursday, November 10th – Class 6


International Master James Rizzitano is the author of the forthcoming Gambit Publications book "How to Beat 1 d4" and the author of the bestselling Gambit Publications book "Understanding Your Chess". Winner of five international tournaments including the 1985 Windy City International, 1983 Chicago International and 1982 Continental Chess Summer International.

 Other notable results include: 1988 National Open Co-Champion, two-time New England Open Champion, four-time Massachusetts Open Champion and 1980 United States Open Speed Champion. Former National High School (1979) and National Junior High School (1976) Champion. Mid-1980’s trainer of Grandmaster Ilya Gurevich.

Class One:


Researching Openings on the Web

What are “Anti-Sicilians”

White’s 3.Bb5…  System.

The Sicilian Moscow (1.e4,c5 2.Nf3,d6 3.Bb5+,…)

Home assignments


Class Two:

1.       Review of assignments

2.       The Sicilian Rossolimo (1.e4,c5 2.Nf3,Nc6 3.Bb5,…)

3.       Black avoids 3.Bb5…

a.       Sicilian with 2. …,e6

b.       Others (2. …,Nf6, or 2. …,g6, others)

4.       Home assignments


Class Three:  A complete System against 1.d4,… or 1.Nf3,… or 1.c4,… and others

  (Where White doesn’t play 1.e4,…)

1.       Review of assignments

2.       Introduction to the Semi-Slav

3.       The Meran Defense (White keeps his/her queen’s bishop behind the pawns)

4.       Home assignments


Class four:

1.       Review of assignments

2.       The Anti-Meran systems

a.       White employs early queen moves

b.       The Botvinnik System (usually 5. Bg5,dc)

3.       The Moscow variation (Black avoids the Botvinnik)

4.       Home assignments


Class five:

1.       Review of assignments

2.       The Anti-Moscow Variation

3.       The Marshal Gambit

4.       The Exchange and Symmetric Variations

5.       Home assignments


Class six:

1.       Review of assignments

2.       The Catalan

3.       Queen Pawn games

4.       Others (The English, The Reti, etc…)