Wednesday 5 September 2018

Knowing as little as possible

What is the minimal amount of knowledge needed for a viable opening repertoire? By that I mean, what is the minimal number of openings you need to know to deal with 95% of situations?
Obviously an opening like 1.e4 is out, as Black has too many replies. 1.f4 springs to mind, as Black usually plays 1 ... d5 or 1 ... e5!?, and so learning systems against this are not too difficult. Related to this is even 1.b3 although Black has a little more variety. 1.b4 is another choice, as Black is probably not expecting it, and will react with obvious moves.
With the Black pieces, Pirc/Kings Indian may work against both 1.e4 and 1.d4, but White has a lot of lines against both. Playing 1 ... c6 against anything might also be possible (Slav/Caro Kann). Of course you could take the Basman route and simply play 1. ... a6 and 2 ... h6 against everything and  decide that the middlegame has started on move 3!

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