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The Colle System
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Author:  fad3r [ Tue Nov 18, 2003 12:20 am ]
Post subject:  The Colle System

I am trying to start playing one opening with consistently (I would like to do this for a year to get familiar with the patterns that come from one using one system. A friend suggested this system and pointed out to me that chessbase has released a cd about it.

My questions are what do the gurus think of a system like this for an intermediate player and if anyone has any experience with the cd and any thoughts about it.



Author:  Caissa [ Tue Nov 18, 2003 10:12 am ]
Post subject: 

UPDATE: The Colle System Fritz Trainer DVD by Nigel Davies (2008)

The Colle System, with 1.d4 followed by 2.Nf3 and 3.e3 is an unpretentious set-up for White but one which contains considerable venom. White’s pieces can suddenly be unleashed to create devastating attacks, as can be seen in the games of Artur Yusupov, Evgeny Bareev, Vlatko Kovacevic and others. The Colle also has many practical advantages in that it doesn’t require much theoretical knowledge and can throw people on their own resources. For all these reasons it is an excellent choice for players at club level and beyond. On this DVD Davies explains the various plans and ideas at White’s disposal. Whilst his main recommendation is to play 3.e3 after 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 and 1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6, he also shows how it can be made into a viable system against the King’s Indian, Benoni and Dutch Defences. ... system.htm

Back to old post:

Here is the info on the Colle CD

Dmitrij Oleinikov: The Colle System
The Colle System is rather a playing scheme than an opening. White plays d4, Nf3, e3, Bd3, 0-0, Nbd2 and possibly c3 - nearly regardless of what Black replies. Opening knowledge is of secondary importance. Exactly this is where the author starts his work, prioritizing on explaining plans, patterns and typical mistakes. For example, two chapters are titled "Ten inspirational games" and "Eight warning games". However, Oleinikov naturally also deals with opening theory in the classical sense and discusses the critical variations, at one point showing himself surprised: "To my amazement, none of my opponents has reached this crucial position so far". Certainly a hint that the second players know too little about the Colle System and rather play it by ear.

ChessCentral will have it by week's end. I have always found the Colle to be a very solid opening. But then I can't tango with intermediate players and not get my toes stepped on.

Author:  fad3r [ Wed Nov 19, 2003 5:16 pm ]
Post subject:  2nd Colle Question

Hi everyone,

No one answered my first question about the playability of this opening so I will ask a follow up question: After d4, Nf3, e3, Bd3, 0-0, Nbd2 isn’t white's bishop on c1 in an ugly predicament (blocked by it a knight and pawn?)



Author:  Mike Thomas [ Thu Nov 20, 2003 1:32 pm ]
Post subject: 

In the Koltanowski line, where White plays c3, he plays for e4 which frees the bishop. In the Zukertort line, with b3, the bishop on b2 helps to control the e5 square.

Author:  Tang Pau [ Sat May 22, 2004 6:55 am ]
Post subject:  I love this opening

Hello this is my frist post I ran across these forums searching for info on the Colle System. I have not got the CD but I plan on ordering it next week. I also have decided to start using this opening for the next year atleast and nothing else.
Are there ppl who are experinced at this opening system to ask technical questions to when I run into them.
Also one more question; the difference between this "system" and a standerd "opening" is that you do the same 8-9 moves no matter what black does in repsonse. So my question is, is this a viable opening system for black also? like playing all the same moves on blacks aside of the board no matter what white does.

Author:  Nero [ Mon May 31, 2004 12:25 am ]
Post subject: 

Regarding playing a Black line that uses the same moves no matter what White does, the closest I know to this is the Pirc Defense (Nf6, g6, Bg7, d6, 0-0). However, I think that there is a danger in this, namely that one should really be thinking of what the opponent is playing (after all, they may well make a mistake in the first five moves that can be exploited), not simply "pushing wood" (to quote the brilliant and truly objectionable Bobby Fischer). Still, using this kind of opening means that one doesn't have to go through reams and reams of opening theory, so it does have its advantages.
Try the Pirc, it may be what you are looking for.

Author:  kapilgain [ Wed Jun 02, 2004 5:46 am ]
Post subject:  The Colle System

The Colle set-up is most effective when Black has a pawn on d5 (Although I don't know why, but I read it in one of those good opening books.). White sets up a solid position and breaks with e3-e4, hoping to build up a King side attack. Watch out for the chance of a Greek Gift sacrifice (Bxh7+)! Although White can play the Colle regardless of what Black replies, there are positions where White can not be too inflexible. If Black does something unexpected the White player may have to change his plan.

If you're playing the Colle, e3-e4 will either exchange off or drive back (with e4-e5) the Knight on f6, weakening Black's King's defences and giving you the chance of a king-side attack.

Author:  Jerry Taylor [ Tue Jun 15, 2004 2:04 am ]
Post subject:  Colle

I've played the Colle on and off for years, but I like the Colle-Zukertort line best (wherein White fianchettos his queen's bishop). I haven't seen Olienkov's CD, but I will swear by a couple of books; Aaron Summerscale's "A Killer Chess Repertoire" (London: Everyman Chess, 1998) and Gary Lane's "The Ultimate Colle" (London: Batsford, 2001). Both provide excellent coverage of the Colle and round out your White repertoire for all sorts of off-beat replies where the Colle might not work as well as other lines.

What I like about the Zukertort line is that it has more sting than the standard Colle (which I also used to play) and allows one to either play for a kingside attack or more positionally on the queenside. At club level, the former is usually effective, but the queenside strategy is the way to go at the top levels - GM Yusupov is a commited "Zukertortian" in this manner and GM Yermolinsky plays it upon occaission as well.

Note of caution - the Colle, if you want to play it well, demands as much work as many other lines. Sure, you can use the standard setup against most anything, but if you want to beat strong competition, you've got to learn a lot of other related set-ups as well.

Author:  kevos [ Thu Jul 08, 2004 12:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Black defence

I agree with a previous post the best setup is a pirc/king's indian with g6/Bg7

White's plan just go for a king side attack - if you can stop it by play in the centre or queen side then you will have a good game. You need to get a c5 or e5 in to knock out a white center pawn and to give you an open file for count play.

Author:  kapilgain [ Sat Jul 10, 2004 9:28 am ]
Post subject: 

(For the Black player)

If you play the Pirc, attack on the Queen's wing, and close the King's wing. :idea:

If you play the KID, throw your king-side pawns at the White player (especially when he castles on the K-side, when the Black player can sometimes give up a pawn or two to open lines.).

Author:  Viceroy [ Thu Jan 27, 2005 5:41 pm ]
Post subject: 


I'm no guru, but I started playing the Colle system a couple of months ago. I took an instant liking to it and I think that's the most important thing - play an opening you feel comfortable with.

For an intermediate player, I don't see the need for buying a cd/ book for one specific opening, especially one like the Colle, who's main strong point is its relative simplicity.

Chernev's Logical Chess Move by Move has 3/4 Colle system games which are well worth looking at. If you have a database of games such as in Fritz you can select a dozen or so examples of games listed as D05. Seeing the patterns and threats that emerge by clicking quickly through those examples would seem to me to be more useful for getting the general ideas.

And then, as you said, practice it and learn the traps and pitfalls the hard way. That way you'll be flexible in how you use the Colle. Remember that most of the people we play won't repond to our moves according to the main lines that are in the books/cds we study.

Author:  kansasjohn5 [ Thu Apr 28, 2005 9:59 pm ]
Post subject: 

Just about everyone on my chess team uses this opening, I do not really like it because so many people here in kansas know it now because of my team. From what I know when my team first started using it they won state and we had the top couple people in state. But now that other teams study the opening they find weaknesses and know how to beat our team most of the time. If you are playing a normal 1200-1700 you should do good with opening as long as they have not studied it in great detail over 2 summers like these other teams did.
With this opening it is easy to get into either a very open or very closed position so it works good for getting use to. If you use it you should be ready to play a very positional game and take advantage of your opponents weaknesses. A lot of the time black bishops get traded off so you should get use to playing with a knight and bishop in endgames.

Author:  SlimmeZ [ Tue Nov 29, 2005 11:57 am ]
Post subject: 

how about playing this line with black? 1)d4-d5 2)Nf3-NF6 3)e3-c5 4)Bd3-Nbd7 5)0-0 -Qc7 6)Nbd2-b6 7) c3- Bb7? Maybe the move order is wrong(I dont have a bord at my side), but this should be the position. If white wants to play e4(after preparing), than his white bishop will be changed, so no much attacking chances and an equal game. I play this set up and don't have any problems with black.

Author:  OverDjinn [ Tue Dec 06, 2005 9:10 pm ]
Post subject: 

The system is solid and often picked up by novice players as an introduction to positional and tactical middlegame ideas.

The two lines I run into most often are below, with black getting good play similar to Vaganian-Torre, 1994 with reversed colors in line 1 if white folows typical ideas, and a quick win if white tries for too much in the opening in the second line.

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 g6 3. e3 Bg7 4. Bd3 O-O 5. O-O d6 6. c3 Nbd7 7. Nbd2 e5 8. e4 exd4 9. cxd4 c5 is similar to Vaganian-Torre, 1994 colors reversed

3. Bf4 Bg7 4. e3 O-O 5. Bd3 d6 6. c3 Nbd7 7. O-O b6 8. Nbd2 Bb7 9. Re1 Qe8 10. Qc2 e5, and now the vulnerability of the Colle against the KID setup is revealed: The bishop is misplaced when black plays e5 threatening e4. To boot, e5 is gotten in with tempo when the bishop is on f4 and this wins material. Many many games against players 1200-1600 are won this way.

This group of Colle players sees black's "modest" opening play as an opportunity to get an improved version of their system with the dark square bishop outside the pawn structure to begin with. I often have occasion to win games on these trappy

Author:  chuckychess [ Tue Jan 23, 2007 7:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 2nd Colle Question

fad3r wrote:
Hi everyone,

No one answered my first question about the playability of this opening so I will ask a follow up question: After d4, Nf3, e3, Bd3, 0-0, Nbd2 isn’t white's bishop on c1 in an ugly predicament (blocked by it a knight and pawn?)



One of the drawbacks of the Colle System is that it might take some time to effectively develop the c1-bishop, which in turns makes it hard to complete your opening task of connecting the rooks.

For over twenty years I've been playing the London System, which is similar to the Colle, but it can be played against virtually any defense, unlike the Colle which is really only good against 1...d5.

Here's the London:
1 d4
2 Nf3
3 Bf4
4 e3
5 Bd3 (or Be2)
6 O-O
7 c3 (or c4)

Back in the eighties, a master named Raymond Jones played the London exclusively as white which excellent results. At the old Labate's Chess Centre, the London System became known as the "Jones' System"

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