Latest Updates:
1  Chess Publishing Openings / French / Exchange / Re: Fishbein on French Exchange
 on: Yesterday at 22:38:01 
I don't have Fishbein's book but may get it. Many authors cover the exchange variation briefly and this seems to be the only book that covers it thoroughly.

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 exd5 4. Nf3 Nc6 5. Bd3 Bd6 6. c3 Nge7 7. O-O Bf5 as suggested by AOC and agreed upon by MNb seems to be a good way to go. Moskalenko, The Flexible French, plays 7Qc2 and Black has to work a little harder before he's able to play his bishop to f5 (still with a good game).

Probably a few of us have been attracted by the prospect of opposite side castling, with mutual attacks. After 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. ed5 ed5 4. Nf3 Nc6 5. c3 Bd6 6. Bd3 Nge7 7. O-O Bg4 8. Nbd2 Qd7 9. Re1 AOC's reply 27 mentions 9...0-0-0, 9...f6, and 9...0-0. 9...0-0-0 is provided by Lakadawala, but it is probably too risky. It's a bit of a gamble. Will White find the best moves? And what if he does?

Here is the what I came up with using Stockfish (my apologies). 9. Re1 O-O-O?! 10. b4 Ng6 11. b5 Na5!? 12. Qa4 b6 13. Ne5 Ne5 14. de5 Rhe8! (It can be important to keep a rook on the d file to support ...d4.) 15. Nb3 Be5 16. Na5 ba5 17. Bd2 Kb8 18. Qa5 Qd6 19. h3 Bc8. Material is even. Stockfish claims an advantage for White but then maneuvers pointlessly. It seems that Black is ok.

Larsen said "long analysis, wrong analysis." Perhaps I missed something and Black is lost somewhere along the way, or even in the final position. Yet it seems to me that Black is ok.

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2  Chess Publishing Openings / 1. d4 d5 2. c4 / QGA / Re: What do QGA players do against 1.d4 2.Nf3 or 1.c4?
 on: Yesterday at 17:03:09 
re Bacrot:
He will make a repertoire book by end 2024 with these lines. It is the sequel (vol 2) of S'entrainer aux Echecs [Practice Chess](vol. 1), so far French only, issued 2023. His books are unusual since in vol1, he has the commendable aim of taking false beginners or online players up to 1800 classical FIDE with selected training positions (not the play-and-win kind), and in vol2 he will add up a Black repertoire based on Classical Sicilian againt e4 and Bf5 systems (when safe) against 1.d4. He says this is good enough up to 2300+ FIDE, and demonstrates the lines while streaming his Titled Tuesdays (and more, but all in French) on his Twitch:baki83a and Youtube:bacrot channels. While not a core bullet player, he holds his own again the strongest players and especially shines in endgames. Many valuable insights and great judgement, but again, only in French.

3  Chess Publishing Openings / Flank Openings / Re: King's Indian Attack
 on: Yesterday at 14:40:10 
Nernstian59 wrote on 06/09/24 at 22:41:25:
Finally, I wonder if Keene's comment on overprotection was due to a heightened awareness stemming from writing his Nimzowitsch biography. Incidentally, that book, Aron Nimzowitsch - A Reappraisal, was my first exposure to "The Immortal Overprotection Game".

I too thought of that book, which is 50 years old this year. I don't know if the comment on overprotection appeared in the two editions of Flank Openings which preceded it (1967 and 1970).

In Becoming a Grandmaster (1977), Keene wrote that "I had turned the literary skills acquired at Cambridge towards a 'Reappraisal' of my chess hero, 'Aron Nimzowitsch' and the end of 1972 and much of 1973 was spent in contemplation of his games in preparation for the relevant volume. Several masters have observed a marked upswing in their own play after a deep study of a great predecessor. Kotov was another example. He made great strides after his book on Alekhine, and this kind of creative examination is certainly a course I can recommend to any aspiring GM."

4  Chess Publishing Openings / Flank Openings / Re: 1.c4 e6 from Black's point of view.
 on: Yesterday at 08:41:05 
White can move order you out of playing a catalan with Bb4ch. Being dependent on a nicety like Bb4ch, Bd2 Be7 doesn't look like it should be important in club chess, the closed positions with Be7 immediately shouldn't be so different. It is what recommended in "Countering the Queen's Gambit" by Prusikin, a nice book which gives full rep against c4 and Nf3 based around e6, d5.

There are quite a few Queen's Gambit books/courses these days. "Keep it simple for black", "Playing 1.d4 d5" Quality chess book, a chess stars one and the most recent modernised Queen's Gambit from Thinker's Publisher's. Some of those fit with their Catalan recommendation by playing d5xc4 early, otherwise can think about an early d4 like in a Nepo v Carlsen world championship game.

5  Chess Publishing Openings / Dragon Sicilians / Re: Chessable Dragon Course Wing attack Williams
 on: 06/08/24 at 09:41:33 
I have played several blitz games in this line and I got very good position. The line has surprise value. I dont know if I agree to every recommendation in the base but still interesting. Many players have started to play early Bc4 to avoid the line.

6  Chess Publishing Openings / French / Classical / Re: Positional approach vs. McCutcheon, almost a TN
 on: 06/07/24 at 10:40:08 
Curiously SF even gives black a (really) tiny edge after 5 Ne2 de, which does match the database results.
(47% - 53% in black's favour.).

5 e5 h6 6 Be3 Ne4 7 Ne2 isn't that good either mind. Since 7 ..c5 8 a3 just fails, the idea was always 7.. c5 8 dxc5!? o-o 9 a3 to play with tripled pawns. That's interesting after 9 .. Bxc3, but SF points out that 9 .. Bxc5 works quite cleanly.

6 Bf4 Ne4 7 Ne2 c5 lets white go 8 a3, then you either get tripled c pawns if black goes Ba5, or swap it all off in c3. Attractive in getting fairly standard pawn structures (minus one pair of knights), positional no.

Maybe the Bc1 or Be3 pawn sacrifices are more positional.

7  Chess Publishing Openings / 1. d4 d5 2. c4 / Catalan / Re: Catalan: what happened to 6...dxc4 7.Qc2 b5 ?
 on: 06/06/24 at 07:18:06 
Brehn wrote on 11/14/11 at 23:19:27:
Note that this line is not covered at all by Avrukh and 9...Qxd4 appears to be a novelty (correct me if I'm wrong).

Avrukh, Sielecki, L'Ami, Narayanan, Cheparinov and Stockfish all prefer 9.Nfd2.

8  Other / Chess and Computers / Re: Nimzo 3d Chess GUI for Windows
 on: 06/05/24 at 17:46:04 
!!! BUG ALERT !!! for Nimzo 3d

If you have downloaded version 3.3 of Nimzo 3d
before 18.00 GMT on the 5th of June 2024 then
the version you have has a bug in it that causes engine
tournaments to crash. 

I was alerted to this bug by a Nimzo user
and have now corrected it.

If you download the program again from one of the same links as before,
although the zip file has the same name, when you unzip the file
there will be an installer or update program for version 3.4
which will install the corrected program.

My apologies to all Nimzo users for any inconvenience.

Yours sincerely,  Roy Sawyer

9  General / General Chess / Re: When should we capitalize the name of a piece?
 on: 06/05/24 at 13:58:10 
Slightly a quibble perhaps but,

I could add that notation such as 3.Nf3 will have the identifier for knight capitalized. But actually, this practice is not specifically noted in either of your links, AOC. For example:

Names of chess pieces are never capitalized unless starting a sentence.
- from the first link. I suppose we could consider "N" for the knight piece in 3.Nf3 to be a form of title.

10  Chess Publishing Openings / 1. e4 e5 - Non-Spanish / 2 Knights / Re: Ulvestad Variation
 on: 06/05/24 at 00:19:20 
When I last looked at that line I thought there was still a fair amount of play in that position after 14.Qh4 (which John Emms discussed in 2000 in Play the Open Games as Black), but maybe it has been analysed in more depth sucking the life out of it, I don't know. I have sometimes played this 6.0-0 line myself with White but my opponents have never got as far as 9...Qd3, so I haven't really been tested in it. Black could consider 6...dxc3 heading for double-edged Göring Gambit positions after 7.Nxc3 d6 (7.e5 d5 8.exf6 dxc4 is also possible), which offer more winning chances for both sides, although it can be tricky to play as Black unless you really know what you're doing. 9...Qe7 instead of 9...Qd3 is another possibility, though I didn't really trust it when I last examined it.

I agree that there are more drawish options available for White. My main objection has tended to be 6.cxd4 Bb4+ 7.Bd2, where 7...Nxe4 8.Bxf7+ Kxf7 9.Qb3+ Kf8 10.Qxb4+ Qe7 is quite drawish and after 9...d5 White gets decent attacking chances in the lines where Black doesn't force an early queen trade. After 7...Bxd2+ 8.Nbxd2 d5 9.exd5 Nxd5 10.Qb3 Black must choose between allowing a draw with 10...Na5 or go relatively passive with 10...Nce7, which isn't bad, but I tend to prefer White in the resulting IQP positions.

I recently played in a team vote chess game on with the Ulvestad line 5...b5 6.Bf1 where we allowed the transposition to the Fritz with 6...Nd4 7.c3 Nxd5 8.cxd4 Qxg5, and won quite convincingly, but White must have erred somewhere after move 8 because that line is known to be better for White with best play. I saw Levy Rozman (GothamChess) analyse the Magnus game with 6...Nxd5 7.Bxb5 Bb7 etc., which looked nice. Magnus should really have won it but missed an opportunity late on and Gukesh then found a number of accurate moves.