Todd V Show Episode 11: How to Open Like a Chess Prodigy and Create Value Verbally
- Why perfectionism is killing your game
- STOP using the best game lines
- Go-to openers that HIT HOME
- 00:00 – Intro
- 02:33 – Question: How do I eliminate negative beliefs about my value?
- 03:15 – Dealing with lukewarm reactions
- 06:25 – Reliable ways to get a killer response
- 11:15 – SYMBOLISM of accomplishments > accomplishments
- 14:50 – Question: Should I use canned lines?
- 17:10 – Canned lines for approach anxiety
- 21:07 – Todd’s go-to openers
- 24:45 – How to force predictable responses
- 27:40 – Opening for beginners vs advanced
- 29:53 – DON’T use the best lines
- 32:15 – Ideal opener template
- 35:55 – Questions to ask yourself before you open
Todd: The more you can kind of make an impression on a girl with your opener, the more you can make the conversation unique with the opener, as opposed to a boring small talk conversation, the more you can kind of have the girl a little off balance and make the conversation more memorable in that way, right off the opener, the better off you’re going to be.
And, I’ll talk to you next time.
Hey, what’s up? We’re back with Episode 11 of the Todd V Podcast and, exciting news. We have a brand new studio to shoot these in so, we should be up in the quality. Also, we are able to do video recording of the podcast now. So, you will occasionally see clips coming out on Todd V Dating YouTube channel and the AskToddV YouTube channel. So, check them out there.
I can’t guarantee if there will necessarily be a video clip from this podcast, but there will be video clips from various podcasts going forward. So, check them out if you want to see my lovely face as well as hearing my voice, as far as that goes.
A couple of great questions from today. We have an audio question and, by the way, quick little shout to you guys. If you want your question answered, it’s a really good idea to send it as audio. It definitely gives it priority. I think that audio questions do add a little bit of extra oomph, a little bit of extra reality.
First of all, you know that it was a real question asked as opposed to something I just made up. But also, it adds a little humanity to the question being asked. So, I like to do the audio questions. So, if you want your question answered, by all means, I obviously do answer non-audio questions too, as you can see. But ask it as audio, it’s a good idea.
And then, after that, we have the question that I am most excited to answer that I can remember in quite some time on the podcast, which is going to tell you just how much of a nerd I am. But also, I think it’s a really good question and also a good kind of insight about game, and a really deep question. So, I’m looking forward to that one as well.
But, we are going to start with the audio question. I remember reviewing this question and choosing it, but I don’t remember what it is so, I’m going to be coming at it pretty fresh. This’ll be me coming very off the cuff on this question but, let’s hear the question.
Gabriel: My question to you has to do with normal conversations in social circles and in between escalations with a girl. I know I have value, and the things that I am doing with my life are valuable. I.e, hobbies, work, fitness university, et cetera. But when I talk to people and girls, oftentimes, I find myself thinking negatively about these values in the sense that people will either respond with an “Okay, cool.” And just end the conversation. Or, won’t ask a followup question to become engaged in what topic we’re talking about.
Therefore, my question is how do I eliminate these negative beliefs about what value I add to conversations? And, what actions should I take to engage groups, and people, and girls in positive, meaningful conversations that they will also feel happy to be a part of?
Todd: Okay. So, this is an interesting question in a few different ways. Firstly, this idea of not believing in your own value, I think, is a big problem for a lot of guys. And, I’ll definitely address that. But what I want to kind of address first is this idea that you’re worried that your story will get an “Okay, cool.” Or, that someone won’t ask you a follow-up question or something like that. That’s a worry you should not really have, okay.
If you lived in a world of total scarcity where like, say, I gave you a challenge and said, you have to go pick up this girl. And you’re allowed to tell these three stories. And if you haven’t gotten a number by the end of these three stories… Or, you can tell these ten stories on a date, and if you haven’t gotten, you haven’t slept with her by the end of these ten stories, then it’s over. You’re never going to see her again.
In that case, there would be a scarcity of material. And in that case, it would be hyper-critical that every single thing you say, get a reaction, everything you say, be effective and have an outcome. But, we don’t live in that world. All right. You don’t have three stories you can tell. You have all the stories that have happened in your entire life you can tell. And some of them you can tell, some you can leave out, some you can tell to one girl and not another girl, et cetera.
But you are not required to tell some limited number of stories and your stories are not limited to certain topics or anything like that. So, any time you put some information into the conversation and it doesn’t result in massive engagement, or a huge compliment, or a girl chasing you, that doesn’t mean it was wasted. It doesn’t mean it was lost.
It still continued the conversation, it still provided information about you, it still engaged in to some degree, it still made you more real, it still allowed you to spend some time with the girl and just made more of a history of the two of you existing together with nothing weird happening.
There are all kinds of good things happening when you tell a story. Also, you were the center of attention, you were leading, et cetera. So, even if a story doesn’t get 20 follow-up questions, and even if a story is, you’d say something cool about yourself and someone doesn’t get massively impressed by it, it didn’t hurt you. It was totally fine.
So, you have to lower the bar for what was good or effective in conversation. It doesn’t have to knock her socks off to have been good. It doesn’t have to get her chasing you and dripping wet for you in order to be good. A lot of conversation is going to be, we’ll call it, filler plus, okay.
It’s not just total nonsense, random conversation. It’s not just small talk. It’s maybe about you and her in some way, or it’s conveying some of your beliefs, or telling an interesting story, but it’s not absolutely critical. It’s not one of those pieces that, after the conversation, she’s going to look back and remember vividly and think, “Oh, that’s the moment that I decided I liked him.”
Right? Most of the conversation, by definition, isn’t that. There are a few memorable moments, and what makes them memorable is they stand out. If everything stood out, nothing would be memorable. So, the point is, not everything you say has to get such a good reaction.
If you’re holding that standard that if I said it and it didn’t knock her socks off, it was bad. Well, that’s going to lead to bad consequences. Like, you judging everything that comes out of your mouth, like you being hyper analytical, and very much in your own head, and overthinking things. Rather than just being yourself and going with the moment of saying what’s on your mind.
So, having this idea that every single thing you do has to be amazing, ironically, is going to make a lot of the things you do and say, worse. It’s going to make it over-thought, it’s going to make it try-hard, it’s going to make your delivery, maybe almost like, pleading or begging for a response which, ironically, is going to get you less of a response.
The best way to get a response, at least a positive response, generally, is to say the thing because you want to say it, because you think it’s good enough, cause you’re excited about it, and that’s going to, hopefully, get you that response.
But trying to get a response, and especially trying to get a specific response, and then constantly monitoring it for getting that response, and waiting for that response is one of the best ways to be needy, try-hard, uncharismatic, et cetera, et cetera.
Okay. As to the second part of this question, which is actually the first part as asked. So, the second part I’m addressing, but the first part he asked about not believing in his own value, right? He understands intellectually that he has certain things that are valuable, but he doesn’t think that maybe they’re going to be valuable to the other person. Or, he doesn’t think that he’s going to get enough credit for them or whatever. Or, if the other person might not be impressed, who knows?
You need to really think about what is value and what is not value. So, the things that may appear to be value in a resume sense, the things that you may think of as your logical value are not necessarily the things that are going to resonate with a girl at all.
When I was in, for example, middle school and high school, I was a very accomplished person in a lot of ways. I won competitions and tournaments, I got good grades, et cetera, et cetera. I had a lot of things that I thought of as impressive resume items. But, I didn’t have a lot of girls impressed by them.
I would have occasionally a few girls that were just very into that thing. And so, I was good at it. But they weren’t even impressed by the item itself. They’re impressed by my competence or my comparative excellence. The fact that I’d beaten somebody else at something more even than the accomplishment itself.
Because, what girls are responding to as value is a lot more related to what would have been valuable in an evolutionary environment. They’re responding to what would have helped you survive and replicate back then. And, a thing like getting good grades has no translation to that. Right? There were not classes, there were not grades, there was not writing in that environment, et cetera, et cetera.
However, getting a claim and the esteem of your colleagues will resonate. So, getting good social response will matter a lot and will help you a lot. Getting good grades will help you almost none. So, what a girl is going to respond to as value is not that resume stuff, it’s what would have made sense in an evolutionary environment.
And that’s going to be a lot more of the social cues and responses around it than the thing itself. So, for example, when I was in middle school and high school, I got good grades, was a competitive athlete, got a lot of accolades and that kind of stuff. And, a certain small amount of girl, most girls didn’t care to be fair, but a certain small amount of girls liked it because of the fact that I had beaten somebody else at something. Not because I had run a race in a particular time, but because I had finished first.
So, comparatively, there was some status there. Or, for example, they wouldn’t care that I had won a chess tournament, but they might be impressed that I was called to state the stage to present a trophy. Or, they might be impressed that there was an announcement about me, I got some sort of accolade about it. Even if they didn’t care about chess, and even if chess itself was kind of nerdy.
So, the social recognition and sort of those intangible things about an accomplishment will matter a lot more in terms of value than the accomplishment itself. And that’s because the accomplishment does not have a sort of metaphorical equivalent in the evolutionary environment. So, getting good grades is irrelevant in the evolutionary environment because there’s no such thing as grades, or classes, or academics, or even writing. So, that doesn’t really mean anything.
But having people praise you and having her see people praise you is going to make you seem a lot more high value. And things like, having other girls have a good response to you is obviously really big. Being generally competent is very, very big. Being confident, which indicates that you’ve had good social response in the past, is really, really big. That’s all probably more important than any of the specifics, right?
So, a girl isn’t going to care how much you bench press. She might care a little bit if you are extra physically fit. She will care if you’re massively physically out of shape. If you’re morbidly obese, she’ll probably care about that in a negative way. But between being in pretty good shape or being in extraordinary shape, it probably makes a very small difference to her in most cases. Unless she’s just really into fit guys and that’s a type for her, in which case she may really respond to that.
But if you got an award, and recognition, and acclaim for your fitness, and other girls seem to like you because you are a fit, that would actually go much further than the fitness itself. And so, you need to kind of have some idea of what is actually the most important factor or the most important factors in conveying attraction.
And it is those social factors and the sort of effect factors rather than the literal factors in the modern world. So, anything in the modern world that didn’t exist in the ancient past world, in which we evolved, is directly irrelevant. That doesn’t mean it’s completely irrelevant. It means it’s directly irrelevant, it’s symbolically relevant still.
So, for example, having a nice car is irrelevant evolutionarily because cars didn’t exist back then. However, having a nice car is a symbol of success, and success, and affluence, and having your life together, and having abundance, and material wealth of some kind was useful back then. And so, it will carry over symbolically to that. Okay. But the car itself doesn’t make sense to her genetics. The response you can get from the car or what the car says about your character or your accomplishments, that actually is meaningful.
So, when you’re looking at your accomplishments and what’s valuable, you should be focusing on conveying them in that way and through that light. Convey them through the idea of what is the social significance? How is this conveying my personality, my character? How is this providing a positive life experience for her rather than what is the literal fact of the thing?
And I think, as men, we tend to be very, very literal about the things that we think of as value. Like, I make X amount of dollars. For example, if you make $80,000 a year versus a $100,000 a year, it probably is not significantly going to change how you’re viewed by the girl.
To you, it’s a huge difference, and it’s nice to have that extra spending money for sure. Or, a slightly nicer apartment or whatever it is that that ends up getting you. But, it really doesn’t actually matter. However, having, again, the status and esteem of your colleagues, having work that you seem to be into and that seems important to you, looking cool while doing your work, all those kinds of things are actually going to matter a lot more in terms of the attractiveness quality for a girl.
Now, obviously, those who are making $80,000 a year and $1,000,000 a year, yes, there is a big status difference there. Although it’s not going to be literal, it’s going to be symbolic. So, the actual number doesn’t matter, but the sort of order of magnitude of the number. And more importantly, what it says about you relative to other people in society. Whether it says that you’re really winning and getting ahead, whether it says that you are the best at what you do, those kinds of things are going to be tremendously attractive. And those kinds of things do legitimately matter.
So, I want you to think about your accomplishments through that lens, through the social lens, rather than the literal lens. So, the two things that I want you to do as takeaways from this is one, think of your accomplishments through the social perception rather than the literal accolade, right? So, it’s how it’s perceived, how it comes off, how it reflects on you rather than the literal fact of the matter.
The second one is that you should not be saying things looking for a reaction, for a couple of reasons. One, because in looking for that reaction, you’re going to be less likely to get a reaction. You’re going to come off needy, and try-hard, and less charismatic. But also, understand you’re not operating from a frame of scarcity. Saying something and not getting a reaction, it may not have helped you as much as if you had gotten a reaction, but it didn’t hurt you. Okay.
It was not a negative, cause it’s not like you have some limited number of things to say, and then you run out like, the tank is empty, right? As long as you can keep putting stuff out, not everything you say has to hit like crazy. Not everything you say has to completely knock the girl off her feet. So, do keep that in mind and put a little less pressure on what you are saying and how it goes over. It doesn’t all have to be amazing. Yeah, you got to do some stuff to stand out, but it’s not like, every single thing out of your mouth has to be gold.
So, I thought that was a good question. I want to say thank you to Gabriel, that’s the name of the person who sent it in. So thanks, Gabe. I appreciate it. Or, Gabriel. I don’t want to shorten your name if you know, people have their preferences. But yeah, thank you for that. And, thank you also for putting it on audio, taking the time to record it. It does make it just, I think, better for the listeners and just, it humanizes things. So, I appreciate it.
Okay. Now, on to the second question, and this is the one I’m going to tremendously nerd out on. Please bear with me. I think the nerdiness won’t be too off-putting but baked inside of this is a really, really good concept, I think. And that’s why I’ve chosen this question, on top of it being a topic that I also like relating to game. So, a lot of times, I will draw parallels between poker and game, or investing and game, or soccer and game, or in this case, chess and game.
And interestingly enough, I’m not the one drawing this parallel. The person asking the question is actually drawing this parallel. And they came up with a metaphor that I hadn’t even thought of myself, but I think is really, really good.
So, without further ado, here’s the question says, as someone new to game and still nervous about approaching, I’m wondering if it’s advisable to just use the same exact opener pretty much every time so I don’t have to think of new ones on the spot. And then, maybe have a few pre-planned follow-ups, too. There’s probably an analogy to chess here because I know personally, I play as white, I open every single game with E4. And then, they respond with E5, I always respond with D4, the Danish Gambit, pretty much every single time.
For those of you who don’t know chess, don’t worry about those moves. It doesn’t really matter. It doesn’t really matter. You don’t need to know chess at all to understand this question. So, just get over that part. Okay. So, I don’t have to think about those first two moves. I’ve already decided on a line that I enjoy playing and I can just practice getting good at the kinds of games that develop out of that one opening.
Is this pre-planned approach tenable and smart in game, at least as a newbie? And if so, are there opening lines you recommend for a newbie? Or, can you give tips for developing our own go-to opening pass? Thanks. And, he just gives the initials, LM as his name. So, thank you, LM, for that question.
Okay. This is a great question not just because it deals with chess and game, but also because it is a really good metaphor that he’s drawing, and it’s actually much deeper than even he imagines, I think. So, I’ll answer his first question first and then, I’m going to go into some depth.
So, his first question was basically that is it advisable to do the same exact opener every single time as a newbie so you don’t have to think of new ones on the spot. And the answer, like the answer to everything in game is it depends. That’s the answer to everything in game, you just have to deal with it. And here’s what it depends upon. It depends on what areas you’re weak in and what areas you’re strong in.
If you have a lot of approach anxiety and you’re nervous about even saying anything, should you have a canned opener that you can say every single time? Absolutely, yes. Right? Almost emphatically enthusiastically, yes. Because that just gives you one less thing to think about, it gives you far fewer excuses, and it keeps you from tripping over that first thing in getting your own way.
So, if your major problem is approach anxiety, you’re just flat out scared to approach then, having something canned, at least until you get over that approach anxiety and having something that’s a go-to that you’re gonna say every time, I think is totally fine and good. All right.
However, once you are past the approach anxiety, doing exactly the same thing every single time is a bit of a crutch. And also, it will start to, over time, get old. It will start to get stale and it will start to actually work less well because you are no longer in the moment while saying and doing this thing. So, the very same thing that worked at first will likely stop working.
There’s an old sort of a phrasing game. They say, a yesterday’s epiphany is tomorrow’s crutch. Right? So, it does get old, it does stop working to the same degree. Also, if you say the same thing every single time, it will be uncalibrated. For example, if you’re saying something very cocky and hard hitting that may work really well in one environment, it might not work as well in another environment.
Now, you could solve that, obviously, by having a different go-to opener for a few different environments but now, you are expanding your repertoire even there. So, that lack of flexibility could be a problem as well.
The other problem that comes up when guys do this one-opener-every-single-time approach is that they get very comfortable with the conversations that come off that opener, which is a good thing, at least to an extent as this person mentioned in the question. However, it can mean they become complacent and miss a lot of other things going on.
So, let’s say you start with a stock opener like, “Hey, you’re cute. I hope you’re not crazy.” Right? Let’s say that was your opener, which that’s more of an online opener than live opener, but I use it because it is polarizing and because it’ll get very specific responses. And, you get used to all the things she might say like, “Oh, I’m not crazy.” Or, “crazy can be fun.” Or, “who the hell are you to call me crazy?” Or, “is that your pickup line?” You get used to these various things, you might get off of that.
And then, what if all of a sudden… And so, maybe you get used to following up by explaining your thoughts on crazy and then, following up with your name. Cause those are your invisible threads, those are the conversation topics that usually come up. So, it’s the, “You’re cute. Are you crazy?” And then, you follow up with how some girls are crazy and then, you follow up with giving your name. Well, that’s all well and good.
But, let’s say that the girl says, “You’re cute, but I’m in a hurry. I have to go right now.” And then, you’re like, “No, it’s cool. But my opinion on crazy is…” And, instead of going ahead and closing, and taking advantage of the fact she’s responding too quickly, and understanding there’s a time constraint, instead, you’ve just wasted your time. Or, you’re wasting her time and you’re trying to keep her too long, she’s probably going to get anxious and not be happy about it. And, you may lose your chance to close.
And if anything, you’re showing that you’re socially uncalibrated, and socially unadept, and probably losing value in the process. So, blindly following a pattern without thinking about it is actually quite problematic after a certain point.
Now, again, if your problem is just with approach anxiety, by all means, use the same opener every single time. If your problem is with game in general, and you’re learning game in general, now you might want to expand your repertoire a little bit, or at least be a little more flexible in terms of what you’re going to say and how you’re going to follow up on it.
Now, even at an advanced level, I do think it’s a good idea to have a plan in your back pocket. So, I have a few go-to openers, I have a few openers that I can use if I don’t come up with anything. However, most of the time, the way I open is by going up and then seeing what the opponent gives me or the opponent gives me.
I’m thinking of the chess analogy already seeing what the girl gives me in this case. That’s funny, girl, opponent, opponent, chess player. But you want to see what the girl gives you. So, my typical opener is going to be something like, “Hey, excuse me.” And, that’s it. “Hey, excuse me.” And then, pay attention, see how she responds. And then, depending on how she responds, I’m going to interact accordingly. And I trust myself to operate from there.
Now, if I say, “Hey, excuse me.” And I’m getting nothing or I’m not getting anything that I seem to be able to work with, then maybe I’ll follow up with a stock opener. “Hey, excuse me. I need your opinion on something, yada yada, yada.” “Hey, excuse me. I got to go in a minute, but you seemed interesting. I wanted to find out if you’re crazy.” For example, that’s not even a stock opener I have but it could work. So, you will use one of these stock things as a backup, but it’s not your plan. It’s not your go-to, it’s your just in case. And I think that’s a good way to have a plan.
So, now, I’m going to give some interesting sort of theories on chess openings, and philosophies behind them, and explain how they relate to game as well cause I think this can get pretty insightful pretty quickly.
And the answer to what opening to play in chess is a very personal one. There are a lot of unique philosophies and unique ideas on exactly how to do it, and each of these different philosophies and ideas have their pros and their cons. Okay. So, one philosophy would be that when you’re learning, you should just play the best moves, the “best moves.” And in chess, it’s very easy. You’d get a high powered chess computer, and you just crank it up to take extreme depth. And you just look at what is the computer rate as best, you just play the best move in every situation.
Now, that seems like that should empirically be the right thing to do, right? You’re playing the best move. What’s wrong with this? Well, there are a couple of problems with this. One problem with this is depending on what your opponent plays, you’re going to be playing a wildly different things every single game, and you can only memorize moves so far. You can memorize maybe up to move four or five of most common variations you’re going to get, and maybe up to move ten or twelve or so of the really, really common lines, pretty realistically.
But, if every single game you’re playing is completely different, as soon as you reach the end of those memorized lines, you’re going to be in completely unfamiliar territory and you’re not going to know strategically how to play that game. So, while the computer may empirically rate that position as good, if you don’t know how to play it, if you don’t know the strategies of that position, if you don’t know that nuances of that position, if you don’t understand what the computer was even doing with the previous three moves and don’t understand the plan. Well, then, you’re going to be really left hanging and you might not be so well off. You’d probably be better off playing something that’s slightly less optimal, but that you understand it so that once your memorization runs out, you can actually follow through.
So, that’s one of the aspect is, the best thing to do on the open is only as good as you are to follow it up. So, for example, I might, as an advanced guy, want an opener that’s very polarizing and will elicit shit tests because that’s going to allow me to convey my personality very quickly. It’s going to initiate a banter very, very quickly as well.
However, if you are a beginner and you’re terrified of shit tests, that’s probably not a very good opener for you. So, even if it’s the empirically best way to game, it might not be the best way for you to game. It also might not be the best way to game in every scenario. So, doing something rather polarizing might be a great way, in general, to work a cold approach scenario, but it might be a terrible way to work a social circle scenario.
So, if you work what are just blindly the best moves or the best lines, they might not be properly calibrated for that situation. Or, you might not personally know how to follow through with them. And so, that can actually be very, very problematic in a practical sense.
The other thing that can come up, or actually, well, when we’re talking about knowing lines and not knowing lines, that brings up another opening philosophy which is the idea of trying to have an opener that forces certain lines.
So, for example, in chess, there are certain openings where you’re going to kind of make contact with the opponent’s position right away. So, maybe there will be a threat within on move two, maybe you’re attacking a piece on the second move. Well, that automatically very much narrows and dictates the responses your opponent can give cause he probably has to protect that piece. Whereas, if you have an opening where you’re developing on your side of the board, and he’s developing on his side of the board, and your pieces aren’t coming into contact.
Well, now, the range of available moves to your opponent is tremendously large. And so, it becomes exponentially harder to prepare against all the different possibilities. And you’re probably going to run into a lot of positions you’re not familiar with, a lot of things you haven’t seen before. Which is fine because your opponent also can’t prepare for all the possibilities, and he may not be aware of everything that’s gonna come up either. But understand that you’re going to be able to rely a lot less on kind of opening theory in that kind of a scenario, same kind of a thing with a girl.
If your opening strategy doesn’t make a lot of contact with the girl, if it doesn’t force things in any way, if it doesn’t create action, then you’re going to be in a very random situation. A lot of your interactions, your sets are going to be very, very different. So, if your plan is to have five minutes of small talk and then, you show premise for the first time and then, make it man to woman for the first time after five minutes, by the time you get to five minutes, by the time you get to the relevant part of the game, every single interaction you’re having is already wildly different.
On the other hand, in an extreme case, the other way, if you were to walk up to a girl and you were to open with pretending she’s your ex-girlfriend like, “Oh, my God. What are you doing here? I thought you didn’t – I thought you hated these kinds of places.” And you start talking to her like that and truly pretending like she’s your ex from moment one. And not even like, when she’s like, “Who are you? How do I know you?” You’re like, “Oh, my God. Look, I know we ended badly, but you don’t have to act like you don’t know me. That’s a little extreme, don’t you think?” And truly playing it up.
There’s only so many different threads you can get, and you’re going to have a very similar start to the conversation, very much, because you’re dictating certain things. Or, if you open with like, “Hey, you seem like trouble.” Which is an old opener I used to use a ton, that dictates certain conversational threats.
So, that’s an example of making contact early in the opening, and dictating things. And in game in general, the more you can dictate things, at least the more predictable things are going to be and the more you’re going to be in control of it. It’s not to say that it’s always the best, there are situations where it’s not, but there is some value to it.
The problem though, in game, is that when you do these openers that are dictating things, you’re also kind of, what’s the word? You’re telegraphing that it’s game very early on. So, you are potentially losing some value. You’re trading off a little bit of inherent value for a lot of predictability and a lot of progress in the interaction, and that’s a philosophical decision. How much do you care about making progress in the interaction versus how much do you care about maintaining value and then you trust yourself to deal with it later.
And, in general, in game as well as in the game of chess, the more sophisticated you are, the more able you are to gain an advantage from an even position or from a neutral position. The longer you can wait and the more you maybe even should wait before really telegraphing your interest, right? You should be a lot more subtle about it. If you are more highly skilled, more highly advanced. If you’re more of a beginner, you should just get to the point.
So, extreme example of this, if you are an extreme beginner but you’ve worked on your opening, opening with something very direct, like, “Hey, you’re really cute. I wanted to come and say hi to you.” And just meaning it and then, probably trying to close relatively quickly, may actually be one of your best strategies because staying a long time is likely to end up with you not doing as well in the actual interaction. On the other hand, if you are extremely skilled and potentially you’re maybe approaching a group set where there might be some resistance or their friends might have issues with you going straight up and targeting a girl and hitting on her from moment one, in that case, getting to know the group, building some value, throwing off a tease here and there, and then being a little indirect about things is probably an actually better approach for you because the longer you spend in her presence, the longer you spend with her group, the more tension you can build before you show interest, the better off you’re going to be. And you’re going to be able to handle all those variables very well because you’re a more advanced guy.
So, keep in mind that your skill level is going to dictate what the best opening is as well. One final, there’s actually a lot more I could say on chess openings, but I’m not going to nerd out too, too, too much on this, on this audio and video. I really could though, actually.
But, okay. So, one of the things that I will say about chess openings, and this goes to some of my own personal opening theory, is that there are, in chess, there’s what’s called, the main lines. The lines that are very commonly played, the lines that are very computer approved, and the grandmasters play them and stuff like that.
And, the thing about those lines is they are empirically the best by an infinite testable margin, by some tiny fraction, they are the best. But there are lines that are just beneath those that are not quite the main lines that are almost as good. But the advantage is your opponent hasn’t prepared against them because they’re unexpected, they’re uncommon lines.
And so, when I’m devising my own particular opening repertoire, what I usually try and do is I try and get those lines that are almost as good as the main lines, almost as good as the established lines that everybody’s prepared against and knows the first fifteen moves of. But I don’t want to memorize fifteen moves of every possible variation. So, instead, I take an unusual, almost as good move at some point early on. And then, we’re in a situation where maybe I haven’t maximized my advantage right at that point, but I still am okay. I still either have minimized my disadvantage black or kept some advantages white, hopefully. And, it’s a position I’m familiar with and have seen before, and my opponent hasn’t.And so, everything from there on, I’m going to do theoretically better than him through experience and what-not.
And there’s a lot of value in your opener to how well you can follow up from it. Okay. And also from how much you’re taking your opponents out of their comfort zone. So, same kind of thing when you’re talking to a girl. The more you can kind of make an impression on a girl with your opener, the more you can make the conversation unique with the opener as opposed to a boring smalltalk conversation, the more you can kind of have the grill a little off balance and make the conversation more memorable in that way, right off the opener, the better off you’re going to be.
So, it’s not about trying to say the exact perfect thing, necessarily always, with a girl. It’s about saying the thing that’s simple and familiar for you, but is going to put her just enough outside of average, everyday conversation so that it is a little bit memorable, and that’s really what you’re going for. You don’t want to be, the example would be, if you were so scripted that you came off as though you’re quoting Shakespeare. That would be way too weird, and way too much, and unusual, and bad, right?
Or, if you came off like everything you say came straight out of a Hollywood movie, that would be technically really good game. But, it’s really kind of obvious and predictable, and it’s also kind of like off-putting in its fakeness, right? You want to be genuine and unusual enough while still triggering a lot of the good responses and while still generally moving in the right direction.
The best way to open, I’ll end it with this, the best way to open, which I’m going to get away from chess. I’m just gonna go directly game on this. The best way to open is typically to do something that is fairly simple, and gets a response, and that you can personally follow up with, and that you can personally live with, and it doesn’t give your value away too much. That’s what you generally want to do.
And the best idea is to have an idea, the best idea isn’t to think in terms of opening lines, but think in terms of opening ideas. And this actually relates back to chess as well, I mentioned knowing the strategies for the positions, right? Having sort of opening ideas.
So, for example, I may know that in the first thirty seconds, I want to establish some level of cockiness, I want to be a little bit dismissive, but at the same time, I want to indicate some kind of complementariness or something that indicates the girl is female to me. Right? Those are the three things I want to do in the first thirty seconds.
So, regardless of what I opened with, I’m going to have things that I follow the opener with that are going to lead me down that path, and I’ll have a variety of different ones of those. And similar to the opener, some of those will be canned, some of those will be things I pre-planned, and some of those will be things that are coming up spontaneously on the spot. And then, some of them will be similar to things I’ve said before, et cetera, et cetera.
So, it can all get very, very complex. But the key thing with any of this, with an opener, opening in game, with an opening in chess, et cetera, is to know what you want to accomplish. Have a clear idea of what you’re trying to accomplish and then, keep going in that direction.
And so, I’ll go one more time to the chess openings, I guess, here. Which is that every opening has an idea. So, this guy in this question, he mentioned the Danish gambit, right? Danish gambit is a pretty aggressive gambit where you’re going to gambit at least one pawn, even two pawns.
You’re giving your opponent one or two of your pawns right up there to start so, you’re accepting that disadvantage. And, the idea is that you’re going to get peace mobility off of it. You’re gonna get your pieces developed on better squares hopefully, you’ll get some kind of an attack out of it. That’s the idea of a gambit, in general.
Now, where you could go really wrong is if you didn’t understand that. If you play an opening where you’re giving up two pawns, and then you play slowly, and don’t put any pressure on your opponent, and just let him catch up in development. Now, you’ve just given away two pawns for nothing.
So, in playing the Danish gambit, if you don’t play actively, if you don’t get an attack out of it, you’re losing against good competition every single time. If you do get an attack, you could be all right.
Same thing, there are other openings that are very positional. They’re based on getting small positional concessions and winning in endgame. If you play that opening and then, you try and attack, attack, attack, and go for it, you’re going to overextend and lose. So, it’s very important that the opening that you play be congruent with how you want things to go afterwards. If you’re a positional player in chess, play positional opening. If you’re an attacking player and aggressive player, play an aggressive opening.
Same thing in game. If you like interactions that are very, very man to woman and very, very charged, you should go with an opener, and first thirty seconds, that is quite polarizing and that does make your man to woman elements very obvious or, at least, apparent to some degree. On the other hand, if you’re more of a finesse player, so to speak, you could go with more of a smalltalk thing, and just start subtly inserting little man to woman barbs, and suddenly frame controlling, and suddenly leading the conversation in various ways, and get a very, very good result. But it would be a little bit of a slower build, and that’s going to deal with what your skills in game are, and also what your temperament in game is.
So, what is the answer to what openings should you play in chess? Well, I can tell you the ones I play and stuff, but the real answer is it depends on you. It depends on you. It depends on how much you’re willing to memorize. It depends on whether you want to be forcing or not at the start. Or, whether you’re willing to play a little bit of unfamiliar position. It depends on what type of game you want to end up with. It may depend on who your opponent is. Are you playing for a draw or a win, for example. Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
So, there are all these different factors, and it really depends. Same thing in game, right? What is the situation? Who is the girl? What types of interactions do you like? What opening conversations you’re familiar with versus unfamiliar with. Things like, what is your skill level, right? Do you want to be very direct because more time and set is not going to help you as much because you’re kind of a beginner? Or, do you want to be more indirect because every single minute you spend with the girls could be building more and more and more value?
So, there isn’t a right or wrong opening choice per se. But, there are right or wrong general ideas around opening, depending on all these factors like, where you’re at in game, what you’re looking to do, who the girl is, et cetera, et cetera.
So, hopefully, that helps you to take kind of a holistic approach. I actually, in terms of chess opening theory, only scratched the surface. In terms of game opening theory, probably only scratched the surface there as well. But, I hope it was informative. I’m sorry if I leaned really heavily on that metaphor, but I liked it a lot. I liked the fact that he was asking that question in that way. Because I do like the analogy, I hadn’t really thought of that analogy to compare chess openers with game openers. But I do think there are a lot of similarities, and I’m glad I got asked it. So, thank you again, Mr. LM, initials LM. I appreciate that.
And, that is a very verbal game topic, which brings me to one more thing I wanted to address to you guys on this program which is that, verbal game is coming soon. We’re going to be releasing it in the very near future. You can get a free sneak peek, almost an hour long infield video at verbalgameacademy.com. So, go check it out there. And also, by going there, you won’t miss any of the updates, the exclusive content that’s coming out over the next month or so. So, I highly encourage you to check that out.
I also highly encourage you to ask questions for this podcast. We do use your questions, and how cool would it be if you’re a regular listener of this show and then, all of a sudden, you’re like, wait, that’s my question he’s answering. So, let that be you.
It’s not that hard. Send in a question. Ideally, send it via audio. If it’s a good question, if it’s on topic, generally, any good game question will be on topic. In particular, we’re going to take verbal game related questions probably for the next couple of shows. So, that’s a little hint. But any really good question is potentially answerable, and audio questions are preferred. So, send them in. I would love to hear from you. And thank you, once again, for tuning in.