Grivas Training: Building a Repertoire

4/18/2011 – "In contrast to the middlegame and the endgame, where theory is objective and accepted by everyone, in the opening each chess player makes his choices in accordance with his emotions and his personal experience. Noopeningloses, noopeningwins." World renown chess trainer GM Efstratios Grivas explains how you should build your repertoire in Part 3 of his lecture series.

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Training by GM & FST Efstratios Grivas

10:30-10:50

Physical and Psychological Factors; Getting to know Ourselves

11:00-11:50
Building a Repertoire; Chess Literature
12:00-12:50
Activity of Bishops and Knights
Break
 
14:00-14:50
The Backward Pawn
15:00-15:50
The Art of Exchanges
16:00-16:50
The Golden Rules of the Endgame; How to Think in Endgames

The aim of this series of lectures is to enable participants to teach young and gifted players in schools and chess clubs, and to educate trainers and chess teachers not only in their own countries but also on an international basis.


Successful chess trainer GM Efstratios Grivas


Training session in the ChessBase office with young talents from Germany


The program for the day, projected on the screen

Building a Repertoire

By GM Efstratios Grivas

The theory of the middlegame and the endgame (see next chapter) is essential in the struggle for victory. However, just as important is our theoretical preparation in the opening, so as to lay solid and sound foundations on which to build with our knowledge of the stages that follow.

In contrast to the middlegame and the endgame, where theory is objective and accepted by everyone, in the opening each chess player makes his choices in accordance with his emotions and his personal experience. No opening loses, no opening wins. All other viewpoints on the openings are pointless and harmless to the progress of a chess player. Opening knowledge is important and essential, but it cannot constitute the panacea of chess education, nor can we possibly demand to win solely thanks to this knowledge.

Selection of a chess player’s openings is a purely personal matter. It is his duty to study in depth and comprehend topics such as the correct move orders, the ideas behind these moves and the plans to be employed in the middlegame.

One great paradox is common among young chess players (and not only them). This phenomenon is called ‘fear of the opponent’s preparation’ and is expressed by a disproportionate appreciation of his own abilities with regard to the openings he has chosen. In simple words, the concept of ‘falling into the opponent’s preparation’, a concept that is so commonly encountered on a young chess player’s lips, is nothing other than a deeply hidden insecurity regarding the mediocre or even weak understanding of the chosen openings.

A chess player that has studied and understood the openings he has chosen cannot possibly be afraid of his opponents in this particular field. How is it possible, after having gained so much experience and played a specific opening so many times, to be afraid that his opponent will prove more ‘informed’ or more competent than him? It would practically amount to ‘suicide’ for our opponent to enter an opening that we have mastered when he doesn’t possess analogous experience.

Naturally, there are occasions when the opponent’s preparation can prove deadly. It is possible even to lose games due to a specific opening discovery by the opponent; this has happened before and will surely happen again. We can however learn from our defeat and delve even deeper in our chosen openings.

Choosing which openings ‘suit us’ is a tricky process. Every chess player will, during his competitive career, change several of his openings or variations within them. Personal experience, difficult situations, alterations in his personality will to a great extent determine these changes, that are considered natural and desirable in his quest for his general progress.

The charts that follow offer a general overview of the desirable ‘repertoire tree’ that a chess player must have:

If the chess player opens the game with 1.e4, he must prepare (make a selection) in the following openings:

White 1.e4

Preparation (selection) in:

Alekhine Defence

Caro-Kann Defence

French Defence

Italian Game

King’s Gambit

Modern Defence

Petroff Defence

Pirc Defence

Ruy Lopez

Scandinavian Defence

Scotch Game

Sicilian Defence

Vienna Game

Various other replies

If the chess player opens the game with 1.d4, 1.c4 or 1.Nf3, then he must prepare in the following openings:

White 1.d4/1.c4/1.Nf3

Preparation (selection) in:

Benoni Defence

Catalan Opening

Dutch Defence

English Opening

Grunfeld Defence

King’s Indian Defence

Nimzo-Indian Defence

Old Indian Defence

Queen’s Gambit Accepted

Queen’s Gambit Declined

Queen’s Indian Defence

Queen’s Pawn Game

Slav Defence

Tarrasch Defence

Various other replies

Naturally, preparation must continue with the black pieces as well. Against 1.e4 the chess player must select one or more openings among:

Black 1.e4

Preparation (selection) in:

Alekhine Defence

Caro-Kann Defence

French Defence

Italian Game

King’s Gambit

Modern Defence

Petroff Defence

Pirc Defence

Ruy Lopez

Scandinavian Defence

Scotch Game

Sicilian Defence

Vienna Game

Various other replies

Likewise, against 1.d4, 1.c4 or 1.Nf3 he must select his opening(s) among:

Black 1.d4/1.c4/1.Nf3

Preparation (selection) in:

Benoni Defence

Catalan Opening

Dutch Defence

English Opening

Grunfeld Defence

King’s Indian Defence

Nimzo-Indian Defence

Old Indian Defence

Queen’s Gambit Accepted

Queen’s Gambit Declined

Queen’s Indian Defence

Queen’s Pawn Game

Slav Defence

Tarrasch Defence

Various other replies

Openings, unlike the middlegame and the endgame, demand perpetual study, refreshment and proper information.

Of course, the role of the experienced trainer is always in need. His/her knowledge would allow us to build a more or less acceptable repertoire and avoid losing precious time asking ourselves what is good and what is bad for us. A potentially very strong chess-player clearly understands why it is important to save time…

It must be noted that the chapters on Physical and Psychological Factors, Getting to Know Ourselves, Building a Repertoire and Middlegame & Endgame Theory, were first published in my series ‘Chess College’ (Gambit 2006). In this book they are re-published with some additional notes which came ‘naturally’ from questions raised by trainers at various seminars I conducted over the world behalf of FIDE & TRG.


FM Hagen Poetsch, 19, is rated 2408. Jonas Lampert is 13 and rated 2127


IM Elisabeth Pähtz, 26, the highest ranked female player in Germany

Grivas lecture series


Efstratios Grivas

Efstratios Grivas is a grandmaster and highly experienced chess trainer and chess author.

e lives in Athens, and he is also a FIDE Senior Trainer (Secretary of the FIDE Trainers' Commission), an International FIDE Chess Arbiter and an International FIDE Chess Organizer. He has represented his country on a great many occasions, winning the fourth position in the World Junior Championship 1985, an individual gold medal at the 1989 European Team Championship and an individual silver medal at the 1998 Olympiad.

In 2010 he was awarded the worldwide highly important FIDE TRG Awards – the Boleslavsky Medal (best author) for 2009.

Training DVDs by Efstratios Grivas


Chess Expertise Step by Step Vols. 1 and 2. Click for more informantion


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