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PostPosted: 27 Sep 2013, 17:02 
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Forum member Kees once described defending away from the table (or was it playing defensively in general) as the highschool of table tennis, requiring a lot of time and effort. Skills, tactics and techniques are even more important for the defender than for the attacker.

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This new subsection is about defensive chopping with long pimples. Many things can be discussed here:

- Strokes and techniques
- Tactical aspects of chopping with long pips
- Combinations with other techniques (f.e. LP chopping + Inverted chopping) or comparisons with related techniques (f.e. SP chopping vs LP chopping; OX chopping vs sponge chopping);
- Specific LP Chopping equipment with pro’s and contra’s
- Experiences with or stories about chopping with long pips
- Other?

So, if you have a question regarding one of these aspects of LP chopping, just create a post and we can discuss it. But also, if you have information, a specific experience or a specific advise you want to share, make a post, so we can elaborate on it.

Even though there is a specific video section, we can still use video fragments here to illustrate a certain chopping technique. Those videos can be your own recordings or existing video fragments of (top) defenders.

A lot of fantastic things have been written in the past OOAK years, so it might as well be interesting to revive some of these older posts in this new section.

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PostPosted: 27 Sep 2013, 21:16 
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Great introduction! :up:

I think some of these great topics should probably be moved into this section...it's a waste if they get buried elsewhere in the forum where people can find them.

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PostPosted: 27 Sep 2013, 21:54 
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This sounds like the right section for me :D
Since you have already mentioned Kees in the introducion Pipsy, I thought it would be a good idea to insert his great article on strategy for defenders with the example of Panagiotis Gionis (or perhaps this should be in another thread or section for LP strategies since it does not concern chopping technique?). This article is the single one at this great forum that has helped me the most :clap: :clap: :clap: . First, here is the link to the original thread in the Long Pimple rubbers section: viewtopic.php?f=11&t=4494

Then the article (The links to Megaupload won't work, but I am sure those matches can be found in the videosection dedicated to Gionis: viewtopic.php?f=35&t=7822):

Kees wrote:
An example of defensive strategy: Panagiotis Gionis.

For some time now I’ve been trying to come to understand the particulars of defensive styles, especially styles that combine defence with frequent, well-planned attack. At present I am focussing on the interdependence between footwork and tactical placement which to me seems to be one of the most important parts of the whole a certain style is. In this article I’ll try and outline this interdependence the way I think I have seen it in the style displayed by Panagiotis Gionis, who is in my view a great example for modern defensive table tennis. I asked Bogeyhunter, who has been cheering me on (thank you BH!), to read it and I worked in his comments, so this is a joint effort really. He suggested among other things that videos would be helpful, so before or after reading this, you might want to watch these: http://www.megaupload.com/?d=N2LHKW6M (Olympic Games, 1st round, Panagiotis Gionis versus Gustavo Tsuboi) and/or http://www.megaupload.com/?d=IVZ295MV (Olympic Games, 2nd round, P. Gionis versus Ko Lai Chak).

There is a famous line in Virgil’s Aenaeid, spoken by the old priest Lacoön when he is frowning at the Wooden Horse standing on the beach before Troy and warns: “Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes - I fear the Greeks even when they are bearing gifts.” Anyone who finds Panagiotis Gionis standing at the other side of the table does well to remember this classic lesson in caution. The entire game of this cunning Greek is built on deception and manipulation of his opponents in such a subtle way that few are able to refuse the presents he seems to make them, even after finding out again and again that these presents are meant to be their ruin.
Gionis’ basic or main plan of attack – for that is what his defence actually is – seems to be the following. It consists, I think, of four parts.
The first part is a sudden ferocious attack at the very beginning of each and every game; it doesn’t matter whether he is serving or returning serve, he will go for the kill, first ball he gets. It also doesn’t matter much to him whether or not he is winning the point (although it will help if he does or at least comes very close), for he is making one – he is warning his opponent that a short placed ball will be attacked, no matter what. In this way he is trying to make certain that his opponent will think twice before pushing back a chop.
Having cut off his opponents’ easy way out, which is an essential part of modern defence, he is ready to lay siege to him.
To begin with he will chop a few balls (two, sometimes three or four) from his left (backhand) corner diagonally to the right corner of the other half of the table. He will do this when confronting a right-handed player or a left-handed one; it makes no difference to him. If he is receiving serve and the ball is directed to his middle, he will step to the right to take it with his backhand. If the ball is coming too far to his right, however, he will attack again, but generally his opponents do not serve to his forehand anymore after his first attack or two, so he will be able to take almost every ball with his backhand. His two or three chops will be slow, low, saturated with backspin, and placed really deep so that there is practically only one option for his opponent: loop it back with a high arc. This will establish a rhythm.
Next, the sly Greek is breaking that very rhythm – he will chop the third or fourth ball down the line towards the left side of the other half of the table. Both a right-hander and a left-hander will have to move now in order to be able to use their forehand. The previous chops have convinced his opponents that the chop is too heavy to attack outright, so, again, they will loop. But they don’t have much time for it, since they will avoid looping a dropping ball; so they will loop rather hastily; since they have to move to get to the ball, their timing will be less than perfect. A few of them will be induced by this haste and the breaking of the rhythm to neglect their footwork and body-position and do something different (i.e. foolish) now and try and attack fast (on intermediate and lower levels, players may well loop into the net because of this; in fact, even a world-class player like Zhang Yinin made this mistake repeatedly in a game against Park Mi Young I watched recently); but be it with a low arc (which might very well end in the net) or a high arc, all of them will tend to loop diagonally - to Gionis’ ready forehand.
For this is exactly what the Greek has been waiting for: he will go for an all-out hit along the line to the right-hand corner of the table and in many cases win the point.

It is a simple pattern and it seems obvious, yet it works beautifully because it really leaves his opponent very few options. They cannot very well push the first balls (or any of them), because there is so much backspin on the balls that they will definitely bounce off the table when pushed and will be attacked by Gionis. Besides, his first ferocious attack - part of his psychological warfare - will have killed the desire of his opponent to even try this “safe” push. If the push, very skilfully executed, comes anyway and is too heavily loaded with backspin to attack, he will just chop and start over. When he breaks the rhythm and moves his opponents to the left, returning down the line is not at all their first option, since returning diagonally must seem safer; if they do return down the line, however, Gionis himself will return diagonally, chopping, and simply pick up his luring sequence from there. And if for some reason he decides at the last moment he cannot make the final kill, he will float the ball back with his forehand and start all over again. So the pattern may be simple, but it is very effective as well.

To carry out his basic plan Gionis needs a strong, dependable backhand chop and as strong and dependable a forehand kill, but he also needs footwork to match these strokes.
First of all, he needs to stay relatively close to the table, or else he would lose the threat of his attack against safe pushing. So he hasn’t much room to manoeuvre in. This means his choreography needs to be laid out with the same precision he needs for his placement, for it is impossible to perform a stroke really well if you are not at the right spot at the right time, and stand there balanced at that.
Gionis’ basic position is behind the left half of the table, close to the middle line, at three or four feet from the table, more or less crouching so he can easily chop down and take the ball low. Whenever he is placing the ball deep – that is, most of the time – the Greek will start from this position, moving just a bit to the left if he has placed the ball to the right, and to the right if he has placed the ball to the left, covering the most likely angles. He will almost never go back much further, because about half a table-length from the table is the maximum distance from which he still can attack; if he would back off more, he would lose much of his offensive potential; but if he would stay closer to the table, he would have trouble chopping well.
His stance is also in line with this twofold purpose of chopping and attacking. He will normally keep his left foot slightly back, so that his shoulder-line is at a slight angle with the baseline of the table; in this way he is ready to chop with his backhand any incoming ball. Anyone who wants to play a successful game in Gionis’ style should be aware of the fact that this body position really is crucial to the game; you simply can’t chop well if you are not low (crouching) or ready to receive the ball (angle of shoulder-line).
When he wants to attack or float the ball back with his forehand, he will first come parallel with the baseline; he is ready to float the ball or attack it quickly, now; but for strong attacks he will put his right foot back a little, like any attacker would do when he’d want to loop. This way he does not have to adjust much, so he is able to do it quickly, not losing any time when going from offence to defence and vice versa.
He keeps his feet pretty far apart, even when moving from side to side; this helps him keep his balance and be able to react fast, as he has to at this distance. When he moves, he does it the lobster way; that is, he goes sideways, even when going diagonally backwards to the left or the right. The only exception is when he has served or returned a ball his opponent will attack, then he backs off quickly – he goes straight back, right foot first, keeping on his toes. But this he does only when things get out of hand a bit. Most top-class defenders try to control their game, so they will have time to move. As Bogeyhunter pointed out to me, Chen Weixing for instance basically has two kinds of serve to achieve this. Either he will serve very short with some backspin, forcing his opponent to push slow, buying himself time to step back; or he will serve longer with massive backspin, inviting his opponent to loop with a high arc (since it is difficult to push a long ball safely), again to buy himself time to get into his favourite position right away.
So his pattern of movement is this: following a backhand chop from pretty close to the table going back a little, moving sideways, chop again, back up a bit more (because, since he is using long pimples, there will be more backspin in his second chop and therefore more topspin and speed on the return), repeating that maybe, or chopping down the line now, moving to the centre a bit, changing the angle of his shoulder-line (coming parallel with the baseline), getting ready, and kill with the forehand, or float and move to the left and forward a bit and start over. Almost everything else he does seems to be a variation on this theme.
He may go further to the right or the left when he needs to, but never much – except to his right, when he has to counter a return that is cutting the sideline, which doesn’t happen much because his chops are so good. As a result he doesn’t seem to move much at all, while he is in fact moving all the time. Because he is moving to the right position, covering the possible angles of a return, always ending up behind the ball, he doesn’t have to move much to take the ball when it is returned. And he doesn’t have to make split-second decisions either, since he is working according to a pattern and knows what he can expect; so most of the time he seems to move suave, almost at his leisure, creating the impression he is playing his game effortless. He also pretty much stays in the rectangle behind the left half of the table, half a table long, half a table wide; he doesn’t have to cover much more of the court, because his placement is tactically so sound. Of course he gets his share of surprises, as all players do, but the pattern stands out – at least to me.

Gionis is not ranked as high as Chen Weixing or Joo Se Hyuk. But beauty is a value in itself and it is certainly a mark – maybe the mark – of Gionis’ play. His game, perhaps even because it is somewhat less sophisticated and intricate (or spontaneously creative) than the games of Chen and Joo, outlines very clearly what modern defence is all about.

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PostPosted: 28 Sep 2013, 09:16 
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haggisv wrote:
Great introduction! :up:

I think some of these great topics should probably be moved into this section...it's a waste if they get buried elsewhere in the forum where people can find them.


I'll figure out this weekend how to move these posts (like the Gionis article mentioned by Def-attack) here!

Def-attack wrote:
This sounds like the right section for me :D
Since you have already mentioned Kees in the introducion Pipsy, I thought it would be a good idea to insert his great article on strategy for defenders with the example of Panagiotis Gionis (or perhaps this should be in another thread or section for LP strategies since it does not concern chopping technique?). This article is the single one at this great forum that has helped me the most :clap: :clap: :clap: . First, here is the link to the original thread in the Long Pimple rubbers section: viewtopic.php?f=11&t=4494


That's indeed one of the epic articles that I've read too. It is so inspirational and is written so well... almost like poetry. Thanks for reminding!

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PostPosted: 28 Sep 2013, 19:36 
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Greggy posted some really good guides on chopping as well... tips from one of his Korean coaches. :up:

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PostPosted: 30 Sep 2013, 22:57 
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haggisv wrote:
Greggy posted some really good guides on chopping as well... tips from one of his Korean coaches. :up:

Where it is?

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PostPosted: 14 Oct 2013, 20:38 
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manofan wrote:
haggisv wrote:
Greggy posted some really good guides on chopping as well... tips from one of his Korean coaches. :up:

Where it is?

+1

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PostPosted: 15 Oct 2013, 07:16 
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saif wrote:
manofan wrote:
haggisv wrote:
Greggy posted some really good guides on chopping as well... tips from one of his Korean coaches. :up:

Where it is?

+1


I'm going to look for Greggy's thread whenever I find the time to do so. If somebody else finds it in the meantime, the better! The idea is also that soon a list of interesting older LP chopping threads will be placed under this particular section so they can resurrect again.

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PostPosted: 15 Oct 2013, 11:33 
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Looking forward to this section!


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