Sports & Gaming

Openings - Part 1

Garry Kasparov

Lesson time 14:01 min

Garry played e4 as a child prodigy and stuck with that move as the under-18 chess champion of the USSR and under-20 champion of the world. Learn when and how he grew his repertoire.

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Topics include: Garry’s Openings Journey • Expanding His Opening Repertoire


And now, after we learned about a few tactical patterns in the middlegame, about some of the key motifs and positions in the endgames, talked about some general things in chess strategy, it's time to talk about the openings-- chess openings. But if you do expect me to share some secrets that will make you better players, I'm afraid I have to disappoint you. There are no big secrets to be revealed. I'll share my knowledge and you tell me whether it was helpful or not. I believe it will help you to understand better who you are and to improve your choice of the openings. There is no room, there is no time to talk about all the openings. Now, with millions and millions of games in the databases, you can do all this work by collecting games, looking at the games, analyzing the games. And every chess engine can offer you better advice, in certain positions, than Garry Kasparov or any other strong player. Where I can be helpful is to go through my own journey-- how I chose certain openings when I was a kid, a decent player, a strong player, a world champion, and so on. And we'll talk about general ideas behind the openings. Because at the end of the day, in the endgame, you have to follow certain patterns. There are rules. You know that you cannot move right or left, you have to go straight forward, stay in the center. In the openings, it's very much about your character. It's about your own preferences, tastes. That's why certain people play e4, many players play d4, some play c4, Nf3, b3, g3. Some of them-- often, strong players-- make all the moves, depending on the character, depending on the mettle of the opponent. Because you want to play an opening where you feel comfortable, but you also have to make sure that you can create most problems for your opponent. But before you go that far, you should think about your own choices. I started playing e4. And the reason why I played e4, playing six-year-olds, seven-year-olds, eight-year-olds, one of my first books that I read was David Bronstein's 200 Open Games. And open games-- e4. And then you have-- after e5, you have all sorts of gambits. Of course, King's Gambit. And then you can do Nc3, and then Vienna Gambit, and then you can play the Bishop's Opening-- Bc4. All sorts of gambits, open games. And of course, then classical Ruy Lopez. So this was Bb5. But then, of course, Bc4. And then Evans Gambit-- which, by the way, I played, as the world champion, quite successfully, quite a few times against players as strong as Vishy Anand. And I would say it's a natural choice for most of the young players. Because when you're young, you want to play something sharp, something interesting, something exciting. You are not afraid of sacrificing some material. But some players are not happy, even at an early age, to do that. They can play d4. They can even play c4, which, I think, is not as useful at an earl...

About the Instructor

At age 22, Garry Kasparov became the youngest world chess champion. After beating Bobby Fischer’s peak rating, he outranked his fiercest competitors for over twenty years. Now, Garry is ready to share the chess strategy that made him a six-time world champion. Through detailed lessons, including his favorite openings and advanced tactics, you will develop the instincts and philosophy to become a stronger player.

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Garry Kasparov

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