By International Master Vitaly Neimer
There is no dispute between chess experts that the opening is one of the most important phases of a chess game. One’s opening can ensure fighting chess which will lead to victory, or make one’s game go down in flames. Either way, choosing an opening repertoire might be one of the most important decisions a chess player can do in his or her career.
Most of the time, our coaches decide the openings which are to be played by us. This is natural, because it is easier for coaches to teach their students something in which they are familiar. However, in my opinion, this is a wrong approach. I think an opening should be selected according to a player’s style and goals. Some openings are better for long time controls, some for rapid chess, and some for blitz games. In addition, there is a difference between choosing a main weapon repertoire and other sidelines which can be used less frequently.
Since becoming a full-time professional chess coach, I had to decide what would be the best route for my students. Do I teach them something I know or follow their spirit? After doing some thinking, I decided to take the best path for my students and hardest for myself. Today, my method involves teaching the top rated openings combined with some surprise elements. In addition, I invented my own opening system for my students, which I call “The Hydra.” “The Hydra” chess system is a secret recipe for white to develop his armies and conquer the chess board. All of my students have great success using it and continue to explore it's ideas.
Some benefits of “The Hydra” system include: following the opening principles, controlling the center, developing your pieces, and castling. It is broken down into four stages of piece development, which makes it very easy to remember. It is considered a very safe structure for, white while having venomous plans to attack black's forces. It is a great opening for all levels – beginners, intermediate, and advanced chess players. It fits both chess playing styles, tactical and positional. Lastly, it can be used against almost every reply of black! (so you don't need to prepare for dozens of replies).