Chess Lessons by Lee Duigon: Lesson Fourteen

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I want to get you started on chess openings. It’s a complicated subject, and I’ll take it slow. Openings are probably my favorite part of chess.

A few general remarks. A lot of players don’t bother to study openings. For one thing, there are too many of them; no one can learn them all. For another, players get annoyed when they study and opening, want to use it in a game, and the opponent just won’t do what the book said he should do. I dream of the day when, as Black, I play the Albin Counter-Gambit and White stumbles into the Lasker Trap. This has happened for me only once, ever. *sigh*

I recommend two things. First, learn general principles that apply to most openings, if not all of them. Because you’re bound to encounter openings you’ve never seen before, and you don’t want to be confused and surprised. So learn the general principles that govern them all. More on that next time.

Second, study a few favorite openings thoroughly–very thoroughly. I, for instance, like unusual openings that may make my opponent underestimate me. I favor gambits over safe, uneventful openings. As White I’ve carefully studied the Polish Opening, 1.b4, because most opponents see it and think I must be stupid. As Black I favor Philidor’s Defense (1.e4, e5; 2. Nf3 [or something else], d6) because Black’s second move, d6, makes him look timid–but you’d be surprised how quickly the Philidor can be turned into an offensive campaign. If White opens 1.d4, I favor the Albin Counter-Gambit (1.d4, d5; 2. c4 [offering the Queen’s Gambit], e5) which can turn a dull Queen-pawn game into a real brawl. The point is, I’ve spent much time studying these openings and little time on others, trusting in my grasp of general principles to see me through to the middle of the game.

Regardless of whether I’m playing White or Black, I try to go on the attack as soon as possible. Chess is more fun that way.

– Lee Duigon on March 2nd, 2019

Thank you, Mr. Duigon, for the chess lesson!

I highly recommend you read The Bell Mountain Series by Lee Duigon! It’s a Christian fantasy series and you will find it hard to put the book down once you start reading it!

Stay tuned for Lesson Fifteen!