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lexherman 28 ( +1 | -1 )
Most solid defence Suppose your aim in a particular game with black and white against a stronger player is to attain a draw. What are the most solid openings for black as well as white??
This is not a hypothetical question, i have someone in mind to use your advise.( Florinserban)
sigve 20 ( +1 | -1 )
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 is very drawish, also the Caro-kann. Against 1.d4 probably the Slav and Indian Defences with 2...e6 are the most drawish.
1.Nf3 2.c4 3.g3 4.Bg2. Difficult for black to win against this. But also for white??
indiana-jay 153 ( +1 | -1 )

About the 1.e4, I'm agree with sigve. If you want a draw, do your opponent want it too? May be not. Being passive against Ruy Lopez or similar opening in the e4 line is very dangerous, so what might happen is the center pawns break and an excessive material exchanges, which is drawish.

The less possibility for a sharp play, the more drawish. Reject pawn exchanges, create a locked pawns structure. Exchange heavy materials. Exchange bishops of diferent colors. That's if you think simple pawn ending is drawish!

BTW, what is the definition of a stronger player? Against a stronger player, there's no way I can expect a draw. Against stronger players, I will create complexities, so it will be a win or a lost. And there will be no endgame! Players who are better than me, must be better at endgame. Knowing what to do is the sign of a strong player. It is easy to know what to do in the opening than it is when the pieces are getting less.

Don't ask expert to analyze moves, but ask him to assess certain situation. Who is in the winning or loosing side? (Why?) What should or should not be done by black or white? (How?) Experts know the answers without complex calculations. (I remember now, this was what I used to ask to myself: OK, look carefully at the situation. Can you find something unusual in this position? What do you see? Something critical?).

If you're good at endgame, you will always have an objective in the middle game. It is funny when we don't know whether we are in a loosing or winning or equal position, while for somebody else it is obvious.
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atrifix 32 ( +1 | -1 )
I think sigve's suggestions are excellent, although White can create a lot of imbalances with the Nimzo-Indian. Probably the easiest way to obtain a draw against 1. d4 is with the QGA. Against an English setup the most drawish option is probably something like 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. g3 Bg7 4. Bg2 c6 and 5... d5.
komei 37 ( +1 | -1 )
Just go for Ruy Lopez... ...with both Black and White - it was all the rage in 1993 with the Kasparov vs Short matches in the UK (the first and last time I've ever had any real interest in 'World Chess' play - it brought back a brief frenzy of chess playing in schools throughout the UK back then)!

Short, the weaker player (by far ahem!) often managed draws this way!
superblunder 236 ( +1 | -1 )
I like your question Lexherman I have often thought about this very subject.

Many Masterclass players carry an assortment of opening repertoires, some openings they use when they are playing weaker players or playing for a win, then when they are playing for a draw in a super GM event they play a completely different opening.

But I don't have a supervast memory, and I am always trying to narrow my repertoire down to one opening with white, and one for black against any possible white opening.

My theory (perhaps stemming from laziness) is to choose the absolutely most solid black openings, and thay way I can go for a draw against superior opponents, and even if the opening is 'drawish' I should still be able to create a win against weaker opponents. (of course lately I have realized this is unwise as when a weaker opponent playing with the white pieces wants a draw it takes some sharp, imbalanced play to break out of the equality with the black pieces.)

The choices I have made as the most solid, and "go for the draw" lines are as follows.

Petrov defense against 1.e4, If you are super careful and solid this opening creates rigid equality.

Against 1.d4 I am undecided, as it seems white always has ways of stirring up an imbalanced position, but I prefer the slav defense as a drawish option, though I am not yet an expert with it in that I don't know which lines are 'safest' for black.

Against 1.c4 I would play the symmetrical, one line I know is very drawish is 1.c4 c5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.g3 d5! 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.Bg2 Nc6 6.d4 cxd4 7.Nxd4 Ndb4 8.Nxc6 Qxd1 9.Kxd1 Nxc6 10.Bxc6+ bxc6.....and you are already headed into an equal endgame with queens and many minor pieces off the board.

Against 1.Nf3 I would respond Nf6 and head into the slav or symmetrical english as mentioned above or if my opponent chose the king's indian attack I would select a very symmetrical system which steers towards equality.

In my opinion 1.Nf3 is the most sloid option for white, and after this you can simply react to black's attempts to imbalance the position with the most solid, symmettrical responses.
Though I personally have been addicted to 1.e4 lately and have been playing for a win against absoloutely everyone with the white pieces...though of course I often do draw or lose :(
baseline 36 ( +1 | -1 )
forget about your opponets rating and play your best game! Play to win! Play what you know best! If you lose a game against a much higher rated player, be sure to analyze that game completely...not just to your first mistake... look at the entire game and learn as much as you can from that game. You'll do better next time.
edmaster 14 ( +1 | -1 )
white_disc 22 ( +1 | -1 )
Is the old benoni a solid defence ? By the way, if u look at the statistics, white usually have a higher winning rate (60%-40% for example).. and that is for a lot of defences... so I wonder how solid a defence can really be. Initiative gaining should be the way, imho :)
white_disc 24 ( +1 | -1 )
dwelling on the types of defences to use, does anyone here advocate Philidor ? Its a bit passive, granted, but I find it quite okay. Not as cramped as the French, and I like it for its ability to transpose to a 4-knights kind of play...

anyone any comments ? Thanks :)
white_disc 29 ( +1 | -1 )
Against 1. d4, does anyone recommend the K.I.D or the modern ? I have not met with spectacular losses with K.I.D/mordern against stronger players.. so I suppose it is a fairly good option ?

The loss of the fianchetto KS bishop does create some problems though... need to be careful wth that...
tovmauzer 44 ( +1 | -1 )
White_disc I play KID myself, and I would say that "drawish" is not a KID word:) I hardly can recommend anything to the much stronger player than myself, but if I would play for the draw Sigve recommendation sounds very reasonable for me. I would only replace Nimzo-Indian by QGD and remove Petroff, which is indeed drawish by stat, but only if you really know how to play it:)

white_disc 53 ( +1 | -1 )
tovmauzer Do you often win the the K-I-D, or lose ? My personal experience, though not very vast, is that once black exchanges off pieces in the center, black can look to a even game... one thing is that I do not push the e-pawn for black, so there is no pin, if white so desires, on the f6 knight... I also add a twist to my K-I-D recently with a c6 push.. making it somewhat a hybrid between caro-kann, K-I-D, and maybe hedge-dog is u go on to place pieces behind the pawn... no real weakness except finding a place for the f6 knight if white pushes for e5...

what about you ??
baseline 29 ( +1 | -1 )
Chosing Openings Black openings to keep a draw in hand?

Caro Kan or Slav/Semi-Slav
French or Nimzo/BogoIndian

Rock solid pawn structures, with good endgame chances

To win:

Sicilian or KID

unbalance positions with better chances to score the whole point.
white_disc 18 ( +1 | -1 )
Baseline I do not play the french, but I think a draw is quite possible... one question --- how do u handle the c8 (light) bishop for black ?

The semi-slav is d5,c6 in response to d4,c4 ? What are its idea, for the semi-slav ?
atrifix 49 ( +1 | -1 )
IMHO Caro-Kann, Petroff, Slav, and QGA offer much better drawing chances than QGD, French, Semi-Slav or Nimzo/QID. For example, one of the currently popular semi-slav lines: 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 e6 4. e3 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nbd7 6. Qc2 Bd6 7. g4 seems hardly drawish, and the Botvinnik/Meran systems are also pretty complicated. The QGD has largely fallen out of favor due to success of the Slav and QGA.

These are all perfectly good openings, but I think White has some ways to create unbalanced chances against the latter openings.
raimon 43 ( +1 | -1 )
In my opinion from a psychological viewpoint, to deliberately set out to play for a draw, can increase your chances of losing.
Surely when playing stronger players, having a strong intention to win does more for your chess self esteem.
However choosing an opening that is solid and has a better chance of drawing can very often be a good way of playing for a win, because your opponent is more likely to overextend in his search for a win.
tovmauzer 32 ( +1 | -1 )
White_disc I generally lose more often than win:) But I have very few draws with KID. Sometimes you really need to win the game and draw would be same as loss. In this case KID is a good choice - I think you have more both winning and loosing chances with it.

And, in my previous message I meant QGA, not QGD:)