Game Spotlight: Playing Against Oddities

While most players choose to begin the game in a fairly well-established manner, there’s always someone attracted to the less explored side of Chess.  All you want is a nice traditional game, and instead your opponent gives you the Polish Opening, Bird’s Opening, or the Latvian Gambit.  Even when it looks like they’re giving you a Ruy Lopez, suddenly you’re on the receiving end of Schliemann’s Defence.  It’s not worth booking up on an opening you’ll see very rarely, so what should you do when it appears on the board?

Most importantly, don’t panic.  Recognize that your opponent is probably aiming for a sharper game, where you get lost in the tactics.  So take your time.  You’re going to use up more of your time early in the game, but when you’ve worked your way through the complications and steered the game to calmer waters, you’ll end up in a position that’s easier to play and you can move faster.

You’ll notice that once the game calmed down around move 11, it became much easier for White to play.  This may happen later in your own games, but if you give proper consideration to working your way through your opponent’s game plan, it will happen.  As a final note, this is a game.  Try to have fun with the unknown — you don’t get to face it often.

Our biggest event of the year is coming at the end of August!  NCC’s 60th Anniversary Open Championship will run from August 24 to 26 at Goan Gymkhana with three sections: Open and Under 1800 sections running all three days with a 2 hour time control, and an Under 1600 section running Saturday and Sunday with a 1 hour time control.  All sections will be FIDE rated.  You can register here.

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