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spurtus 27 ( +1 | -1 )
e4 We have all seen it!

Please tell me if you know,what is the *'ideal' response (and subsequent moves) for an OTB club player?

* 'ideal' could mean many things, for me at my level I believe it is NOT simply 'best by test'

Your opinions greatly received!

premium_steve 166 ( +1 | -1 )
my favorite response to 1.e4 is 1...Nf6.

the most normal continuation is 1.e4 Nf6 2.e5, where white tries to build a strong center and make space for normal piece development.
as black, i usually try to find ways to put pressure on white's center with moves like d6, Nc6, and Bg7.

i'll try to outline some common variations that i see:

1) four pawn attack >> 1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Nd5 3.d4 d6 4.c4 Nb6
(the knight might be a bit out of place here, so it might be a good idea to keep an eye on it as black and look for ways to activate it later... possibly with Nbd7. i don't really know.)
and white has a big center.
i think there are a few options here for black.... but i usually play
5...dxe5 6.fxe5 Nc6
seems okay to me.

2) modern variation >> 1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Nd5 3.d4 d6 4.Nf3
white supports his strong pawn on e5
here, i play 4...Bg5, but i think 4...g6 and 4...e6 are played now and then.
4...e6 doesn't seem very good to me, though, because it blocks in the queen bishop and it might be tough to develop it.
with 4...Bg5, the bishop puts pressure on the center in a way, because the pinned knight doesn't support d4 and e5 as well as it could.
4...Bf5 might be another option.

3) 2.Nc3
sometimes people play 1.e4 Nf6 2.Nc3, and i reply with 2...d5.
(2...e5 is fine too, though. :) )
in this line 3.e5 Nd7 4.e6 really tears up black's kingside a bit and makes development difficult, but i think black's doing alright. 4...fxe6
(4.Nxd5 Nxe5 is about equal, i think....)

4) Bc4
sometimes people play this instead of pushing a pawn there and most often i try to play Nb6 and then maybe c5, but it would probably depend on the situation.
the bishop can be strong on this diagonal, of course, so it might be good to close the diagonal with e6 after you develop the queen bishop.
or maybe it's good to support the knight on d5 and leave it there. who knows.....
premium_steve 55 ( +1 | -1 )
i think i misunderstood your question.
or maybe i ignored it completely because i wanted to say something myself. ;)

anyway, if you're wondering what i think is the ideal response for most club players in their view.... then i would say 1...c5, the sicilian is usually favored.
maybe the najdorf would be most popular.

it shouldn't be seen as much as it is, though, i don't think. other openings are fine.
i've always found the sicilian to be too complicated.

i think 1...c5 is played too often by club players and they miss out when they don't try other openings.
ionadowman 134 ( +1 | -1 )
The 'ideal' response... whatever you feel comfortable with. I reckon 1...Nf6 is for 'premium_steve' an ideal response, and hence his answer quite appropriate to the question asked. Many swear by the 'Sicilian', others curse in 'French'; some like the traditional symmetrical King's pawn openings, whilst others take a more 'Modern' line, still others think the 'Caro-Kann' can. Is a general answer feasible? Seems doubtful!
It helps to know what kind of middle game you prefer, and don't overlook the endgame. I've seen a Capablanca game in which he played a King's Gambit, aiming for the endgame! (First 3 moves were: 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Qf3 - the Breyer Gambit). But also to bear in mind is how quickly you want to begin active operations. Counter-gambit lines might be the caper if you want plenty of action early on (things like the Latvian, Schliemann, in the 1.e4 e5 lines). If you prefer to let White make the running and to hit him when he's overextended then maybe the Modern lines (Pirc, Modern, Hippopotamus...) are the way to go. Sicilians and Caros lie somewhere in between. The French aims for solidity, but is not without its aggressive points.
Speaking of which: do you like to attack, or to defend; do you like a tactical melee or positional manouevring; do you like fluid positions or solid; open or closed?
A lot to think about to determine an ideal response!
More: Chess
thunker 39 ( +1 | -1 )
Not an OTB player, but.... I like the French - simply because I've tried others and the French seems to suit my style better.
I concur with ionadowman - play the opening you play best!

P.S. I've played 1.e4 Nf6 as black before, the Alekhine defense isn't it? For my style, I've found it quite playable. Takes a bit of strategic manouvering though I've found.
spurtus 17 ( +1 | -1 )
I prefer trappy openings,gambits and rapid attacks and positive development usuallyover and above notations of holding till endgame with say a pawn advantage.
coyotefan 12 ( +1 | -1 )
spurtus I would suggest

1.e4 1-0

When playing against me :)

Otherwise, there is no answer to this question. It is all a matter of comfort.
ionadowman 193 ( +1 | -1 )
That tends to narrow it down... ... You would probably like the Sicilian (Najdorf, Pelikan or even the Dragon), Counter-gambitty lines in the symmetrical King's Pawn openings. I think you will just love the Two Knights' Defence - e.g. the "Main" line [1e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 d5 5.exd5 Na5 (you do have other options here, all fun)] or the Wilkes-Barre [1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 Bc5!? - and if White plays 5.Nxf7 Bxf2+! a line I've played once on GK, my opponent went horribly wrong in the defence and resigned at move 11].
The Two Knights' isn't regarded as a Countergambit, but it sure behaves like one!
You might play the occasional Pirc/Modern for variety, and, of course...the Alekhine defence. The Petroff (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6) has its adherents. Here's what Bill Hartston had to say about it: "...generally White has the option of leading ... into complex or very simple paths. some lines this defence looks like a vigorous counter-attacking weapon, while against other systems it looks like a very dull attempt to equalize." You pays your money and you takes your choice...
For mine, the "ideal opening" is the Two Knights' - my all-time favorite for Black. So why do I play the FrencH? Because to enter the 2ND Black relies on White to play 3.Bc4 or maybe 3.d4.
With 3.Bb5 (The Ruy Lopez) Black (I feel) has to accept an uphill fight, though not without chances. The Schliemann can be fun (though it is limited). Here's a Schliemann game to warm the cockles of your heart, an off-hand game (I was Black):
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 f5 4.Nc3 fxe4 5.Nxe4 d5 6.Nxe5 dxe4 7.Nxc6 Qg5 8.Qe2 Nf6 9.f4 Qh5+ 10.g3 Qh3 11.d4 a6 12.Ba4 b5 13.Bb3 Bg4 14.Qf1 Qh5 15.Be3 Bf3 16.Ne5! 0-0-0 17.Nxf3 exf3 18.a4?! Bb4+ 19.c3 Rhe8 20.Kd2 Rxe3!? (Better was 20...Ne4+) 21.Kxe3 Re8+ 22.Kd2 Re2+ 23.Kc1 Ne4 24.cxb4? (Loses. 24.Be6+ seems to hold for White: 24.Be6 Kb8 25.g4) 24...Nf2 25.Bc2 Nxh1 (Now white embarks on a truly remarkable idea that just falls short.) 26.axb5 Qxh2 27.Bf5+ Kd8(!) 28.bxa6 Nxg3 29.a7 Nxf1 30.a8=Q Ke7 0-1 (e.g. 31.Qxf3 Re1+ 32.Qd1 Rxd1+ 33.Kxd1 Qd2#).
Instead you might try the Marshall Counterattack, though the Anti-Marshall is a bit of a bummer. Personally I avoid the Lopez for the most part: mainly because White gets most of the fun...
lucasbeauchamp 12 ( +1 | -1 )
1.e4 e6 -+ Need I say more.

In truth, however, ionadowman is correct. The best response is the one you feel comfortable playing. 1...c5, 1...e5, 1...d5. 1...e6, 1...Nf6, and 1...c6 are all excellent.
helenlupset 12 ( +1 | -1 )
The question is not 1e4 but 1d4 I like all responses to 1e4 except 1...e5, French, sicilian, scandi-all great. If only there was a
response to 1d4 that I like...
ganstaman 69 ( +1 | -1 )
I know it depends on style and comfort with each opening, but you've told us what you like. So here's my opinion:

I see you play the BDG (or at least in a thematic tournament?). I think the Scandinavian (1.e4 d5) would be good for you. It opens lines for your pieces, removes your opponent's center pawn. It's not a gambit, but gets you the same type of exciting game.

Hypermodern openings are less open and not immediately wild, so it doesn't seem to be what you'd like. You could play 1...e5 too. After 2.Nf3, I'd recommend the Latvian Gambit (2...f5) or the Elephant Gambit (2...d5) if you like gambits. Google should help you find some nice articles on each (at least one for the elephant that I've read several times).
ccmcacollister 24 ( +1 | -1 )
Sure the Scandi IS the perfect answer to e4 Spurtus ...! 1...d5
Everytime I see it I go "OH NO, not again!" because I know the only good reply is exd5 ... and so they are in your clutches already, as you dictate the game to them, for having audaciously thrust forth an unprotected e-pawn ! :))
ccmcacollister 6 ( +1 | -1 )
PS unlike a Petroff ... which makes me go "OMG NOT THAT Again" ... but I get to dictate the follow-up ... :)))
ionadowman 86 ( +1 | -1 )
spurtus... you seem to be an adherent of the Blackmar-Diemer (great name for an opening!), you might indeed want to consider ganstaman's suggestion of the Latvian and the Elephant (and other QP Countergambit lines), together with the Schliemann, and, dare I say it, the Siesta Variation of the Ruy Lopez, a line that also features an early aggressive ...f5 by Black: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 d6 5.c3 f5 6.exf4 Bxf4 7.0-0 Bd3 The central bind seems to hold long enough for Black to get ahead in development.
Incidentally, if instead of 5.c3 White plays 5.0-0, Black can try 5...Bd7 or the tricky 5...Bg4 6.h3 h5, hoping for 7.hxg4 hxg4 with an attack down the h-file. The similar Alapin Gambit emerges from the Exchange Variation: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Bxc6 dxc6 5.0-0 Bg4 ...
So even if you stay within the Symmetrical King's Pawn openings, you have considerable variety in ways to establish the kind of game you want - assuming, of course, these openings provide it!
far1ey 24 ( +1 | -1 )
Pirc? No one has mentioned the Pirc/Modern defence! Which is just as good as all the other defences mentioned.

Am having same problem as black at chosing a good responce to e4 and now I use the Sicilian

btw haven't we allready had this debate 100 times before?

ionadowman 28 ( +1 | -1 )
The Pirc/Modern has been mentioned... ...though perhaps 'en passant'. Likely this debate has been had before, but it's always fun to revisit. After all, old forum threads do tend to drop out of one's awareness...
Such lines, it seems to me, are for the patient, and require low cunning of Byzantine standard. If you have what it takes, go for it!