"Wisely and slow. They stumble that run fast." -- William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet.

How to play the opening 2

Don't play Old Stodge.

A lot of you play Old Stodge.

This is Old Stodge.

 [Event "Don't play Old Stodge"] [Site "Old Stodge"] [Date "????.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "?"] [Black "?"] [Result "*"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. d3 Nf6 5. Nc3 d6 * 

Don't play Old Stodge

Why?

It's usually blocked and difficult and boring, and your Rooks will sulk for a long while about being left out.

You need to swap some pawns and (half-)open a file to get your Rooks working.

Also, if you open up the position, it's usually more fun, and you get to play nice tactics, and that's good practice.

Getting an open position as White

This is pretty easy -- just play d2-d4.  You can do this straight away or after some preparation.  Here's three ideas:

Scotch Game

 [Event "Don't play Old Stodge"] [Site "Scotch Game"] [Date "????.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "?"] [Black "?"] [Result "*"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 * 

Open Italian Game

 [Event "Don't play Old Stodge"] [Site "Open Italian Game"] [Date "????.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "?"] [Black "?"] [Result "*"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. c3 (4.b4 Bxb4 5.c3 Ba5 6.d4 exd4 7.O-O) 4...Nf6 5. d4 exd4 6.cxd4 (6.e5) (6.O-O) (6.b4) * 

Ruy Lopez with d2-d4

 [Event "Don't play Old Stodge"] [Site "Ruy Lopez with d2-d4"] [Date "????.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "?"] [Black "?"] [Result "*"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 O-O 8.c3 d6 9.h3 Bb7 10.d4 {at last!} * 

Getting an open position as Black

This can be harder, if White wants to keep it closed.  Here's three ideas:

Scandinavian Defence

 [Event "Don't play Old Stodge"] [Site "Scandinavian Defence"] [Date "????.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "?"] [Black "?"] [Result "*"] 1. e4 d5 * 

Petroff Defence

 [Event "Don't play Old Stodge"] [Site "Petroff Defence"] [Date "????.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "?"] [Black "?"] [Result "*"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 d6! 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. d4 d5 * 

Two Knights' Defence

 [Event "Don't play Old Stodge"] [Site "Two Knights' Defence"] [Date "????.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "?"] [Black "?"] [Result "*"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4.Nc3 (4.d3 d5?! (4...h6 5.O-O d6 6.Re1 g5!?)) 4...Nxe4! * 

The Two Knights' Defence is great no matter what White plays, but if White plays 4.d3 it's not so easy to open things up.  4...d5 is risky and it will take you a long while before you can play ...f5. But try and play ...f5 anyway! Or you can playing ...g5 to scare them...

Remember: the RSPCR* says: Don't play Old Stodge -- Open a file!

Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Rooks

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