Monday, September 05, 2011

Am I normal?

Already a week gone by since Twyford. Not to worry. There'll be another one along in a fortnight.

I've been filling the time between tournaments by having a look at my recent stats. One of the things that I've noticed is that there's been an imbalance in the opening moves that I've been facing when I've had the Black pieces.

In my four Blacks at Twyford I had 1. d4 three times and 1. e4 just once. This came after my two 1. d4s, one 1. e4 and one flank opening at Benasque and three queen's pawn openings and one flank opening in the Slater Kennington. Gatwick and my previous Sunningdale went the other way - combined I saw 1. e4 three times, 1. d4 once, flank openings once - but that still leaves me with a total of five games against 1. e4, nine games against 1. d4 and three games against flank openings out of the 17 tournament games I've had with Black since the end of the league season back in May.

As it happens, club chessing in 2010/11 gave me completely the opposite result: nine games against kingside openings, five games against queenside openings and two games against flank openings. Also, when I looked at my games form 2009/10 I noticed that although the numbers were smaller, the pattern was similar. In the season before last I saw four 1. e4s and three 1. d4s in tournaments (Paignton and Torquay) and four 1. e4s, two 1. d4s and one flank opening in club chess.

So, have I been getting these results because tournament chessers are more likely to open with the queen's rather than king's pawn? Am I normal? Or am I merely normally distributed?


ejh said...

I don't know whether maybe there's a fad for 1.d4, but my reckoning would be that over the last twenty years I've faced 1.e4 about three times for every time I've faced 1.d4.

Above 2100 that gap might narrow, but 1.e4 would still be well ahead.

It's possible, I suppose, that the theory-avoidance systems which appeal to a lot of club players (Colle, London System etc) tend to start with 1.d4 and so that might be having an effect. As you don't, I think, play either 1...d5 or 1...Nf6, you presumably wouldn't know whether those systems, rather than QGD and Indian lines, were intended.

Jonathan B said...

I'm not sure d4 specials are driving things. Every d4 game I've played since the start of the season (i.e. September 2010) has featured d4 and c4.

I wouldn't be surprised if 1. d4, 2. other systems were pretty common at various levels, however.