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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Schliemann Defense to Ruy Lopez - 4...Nf6 (Read 36371 times)
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Re: Schliemann Defense to Ruy Lopez - 4...Nf6
Reply #23 - 04/27/07 at 19:22:24
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Markovich wrote on 04/25/07 at 12:36:35:
Alias wrote on 04/25/07 at 11:49:52:
For the d3-variation, there are the books by Kaufman and Greet to study and there's also a NiC yb article.

Before a recent team match we noticed that one of the players in the opposing team always used the Schliemann. A quick study of the section in the Kaufman book helped our player to get a large advantage right out of the opening. He didn't know the line before.



I can only think that Black was the worse player, or that he didn't know what he was doing.  4. d3 is for people who would rather try to nurse a borderline += into an eventual win with scant risk of complication, than book up suffiently to play 4. Nc3! and actually win.  In other words, it's for sissies.  (Oh all right, it's a simple way to pursue the point if you're the better player -- well, what unambitious system isn't?)

Ivanov and Kulagin is a most excellent and indeed essential Schliemann reference.  So by all means, try to find a copy.  However, I'm not sure if it treats 4...Nf6.

There actually are some strategic considerations in the position that arises from the theoretical main line, 4...fxe4  5. Nxe4 d5  6. Nxe5 dxe4  7. Nxc6 Qg5  8. Qe2 Nf6  9. f4"!" (9. Nxa7+!) 9...Qxf4  10. Ne5+ c6  11. d4 Qh4+  12. g3 Qh6  13. Bc4 Be6.  Black will enter the middle game with a grip on the kingside light sqares, a passed but isolated e-pawn, and his king in a somewhat rickety queenside castled position.  The position is dynamic and there is nuance in the play; notably, how to deploy each side's the rooks.  Having completed his development, Black sometimes just plays ...Kb8, ...Ka8, because there's nothing much better to do and it increases the security of his king.  Typically Black's knight goes to d5 and dares White to play c4.  Speelman famously beat Timman in this position, for the very good reason that he understood it better (Timman played c4 and d4-d5; Speelamn played c6-c5 and then blockaded).  So it's not quite true that there's no strategy in the Schliemann.

If that were really White's best against this defense, I'd still be playing it.  Black is no worse there than he is in the other lines of the Spanish, or not much worse, anyway.  But unfortunately, as I have said elsewhere on this board, I have never found anything against 9. Nxa7+! Bd7  10. f4!.  It seems that Black's best is 10...Qc5  11. Nb5 Qxc7  12. d4! Bb4+  13. Kf2 Qxe2+  14. Kxe2, after which Black's pawn-down ending looks quite dreary.  Ivanov and Kulagin say +=, but I think that's optimistic.  Maybe +=, if you have Capablanca's endgame technique, but to defend such endgames is not why I play 1...e5.  If anybody has an antidote to 9. Nxa7+! I'd like to know about it.  It is amazing how 9. Nxa7+! gets ignored in modern theory books.  Offbeat Spanish, for a very notable example.

My impression is that White played imprecisely at the Melody Amber.  After 4...fxe4  5. Nxe4 Nf6  6. Nxf6+! Qxf6  7. Qe2 Be7  8. Bxc6 dxc6  9. Nxe5 Bf5  10. 0-0! (I hope I remembered that correctly!), White is supposed to meet 10...0-0-0 with 11. d3 and 10...0-0 with 11. d4.  Instead if I recall correctly, at the Melody Amber, 10...0-0  11. d3 was played.  I don't have the score; am I wrong?  In any case, I hardly think that it is a ringing endorsement of the Schliemann that it was used to win a blindfold game.  Also it is perhaps notable that 4...Nf6 was not chosen.

Before people became aware of 10. 0-0!, the old theory was 10. d3 0-0! =, 10. d4 0-0-0! =.  But with 10. 0-0!, White waits to see where Black castles, then plays the d-pawn accordingly.  This works because Black has no way to temporize, and because 10...Bxc2 is disastrous for him.



i wanted to point out the following variation for white:

....  9. f4 Qxf4 10. Na7+!

i played this in a game 1 month ago

10... Bd7

the other replies:
10... c6 11. Nxc6 Bd7 12. Nd4 ...
10... Kd8 11. Nxc8 ...

11. Bxd7 Nxd7 12. d4  Qf5 13. Nb5

for me it seems even better than the line with the immediate 9...Na7!,  since the queen can't go to c5 once she has taken the pawn on f4. how could black have improved?


  
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Re: Schliemann Defense to Ruy Lopez - 4...Nf6
Reply #22 - 04/26/07 at 20:50:29
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Alias wrote on 04/26/07 at 08:45:22:
I think that before doing lots of studies on the main lines, one should have a look at the d3-lines.

From Black's point of view I disagree, as 4.Nc3 is critical. The 4.d3 variation must be the second one to look at.
I don't like 4...Nd4 very much because of deviations like 5.0-0 and 5.Bc4. As a thumbrule Black should play x...Nd4 in answer to x.Nxe5.
  

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Re: Schliemann Defense to Ruy Lopez - 4...Nf6
Reply #21 - 04/26/07 at 16:15:20
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Quote:
MnB

in the Kramnik game he played 0-0 but followed up with d4 not the d3 idea.

But in a later round Radjabov played 10 ......qe6 - I haven't analysed it to see if stands up to scrutiny.

[Event "Amber-blind 16th"]
[Site "Monte Carlo"]
[Date "2007.03.17"]
[Round "11"]
[White "Leko,Peter"]
[Black "Radjabov,Teimour"]
[Result "1/2"]
[Eco "C63"]
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 f5 4.Nc3 fxe4 5.Nxe4 Nf6 6.Nxf6+ Qxf6 7.Qe2 Be7 8.Bxc6 bxc6
9.Nxe5 0-0 10.0-0 Qe6 11.Re1 Bc5 12.Nf3 Qxe2 13.Rxe2 d6 14.d3 Bg4 15.Be3 Bb4 16.a3 Ba5
17.b4 Bb6 18.Bxb6 axb6 19.Re7 Bxf3 20.gxf3 Rf7 21.Rxf7 Kxf7 22.a4 c5 23.b5 Ke6 24.Kf1 d5
25.Ke2 d4 26.Kd2 Ke5 27.Re1+ Kd6 28.Rg1 g6 29.Rg3 Ke6 30.Rg4 Rxa4 31.Re4+ Kd6 32.Rf4 Rb4
33.Rf7 h5 34.Rf6+ Ke5 35.Rxg6 Kf5 36.Rg7 Rxb5 37.Rxc7 Rb1 38.h4 Rf1 39.Ke2 Rc1 40.Kd2 Rf1
41.Ke2 Rc1 42.Kd2 Rf1 1/2

Back on the 'wimpy' 4 d3 - Magnus Carlsen played this v Radjabov and it looked like Black was under pressure.

By the way anyone know what's so wrong with 4......Nd4 which may originally have been Alekhine's idea


OK, I stand corrected.  Here it was 9...0-0 instead of 9...Bf5.  I'll have to consult my sources before I can say any more about it.
  

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Re: Schliemann Defense to Ruy Lopez - 4...Nf6
Reply #20 - 04/26/07 at 08:45:22
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MNb wrote on 04/25/07 at 20:10:44:
Alias wrote on 04/25/07 at 13:21:57:
As I see it, d3 is an excellent short cut, but I'm probably a sissy.  Roll Eyes


Certainly, but if I recall correctly, that was not what Fuster's question was about ....


You're right, but the d3 was discussed later in the thread and I think that before doing lots of studies on the main lines, one should have a look at the d3-lines.
  

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Re: Schliemann Defense to Ruy Lopez - 4...Nf6
Reply #19 - 04/26/07 at 08:37:39
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MnB

in the Kramnik game he played 0-0 but followed up with d4 not the d3 idea.

But in a later round Radjabov played 10 ......qe6 - I haven't analysed it to see if stands up to scrutiny.

[Event "Amber-blind 16th"]
[Site "Monte Carlo"]
[Date "2007.03.17"]
[Round "11"]
[White "Leko,Peter"]
[Black "Radjabov,Teimour"]
[Result "1/2"]
[Eco "C63"]
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 f5 4.Nc3 fxe4 5.Nxe4 Nf6 6.Nxf6+ Qxf6 7.Qe2 Be7 8.Bxc6 bxc6
9.Nxe5 0-0 10.0-0 Qe6 11.Re1 Bc5 12.Nf3 Qxe2 13.Rxe2 d6 14.d3 Bg4 15.Be3 Bb4 16.a3 Ba5
17.b4 Bb6 18.Bxb6 axb6 19.Re7 Bxf3 20.gxf3 Rf7 21.Rxf7 Kxf7 22.a4 c5 23.b5 Ke6 24.Kf1 d5
25.Ke2 d4 26.Kd2 Ke5 27.Re1+ Kd6 28.Rg1 g6 29.Rg3 Ke6 30.Rg4 Rxa4 31.Re4+ Kd6 32.Rf4 Rb4
33.Rf7 h5 34.Rf6+ Ke5 35.Rxg6 Kf5 36.Rg7 Rxb5 37.Rxc7 Rb1 38.h4 Rf1 39.Ke2 Rc1 40.Kd2 Rf1
41.Ke2 Rc1 42.Kd2 Rf1 1/2

Back on the 'wimpy' 4 d3 - Magnus Carlsen played this v Radjabov and it looked like Black was under pressure.

By the way anyone know what's so wrong with 4......Nd4 which may originally have been Alekhine's idea
  
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Re: Schliemann Defense to Ruy Lopez - 4...Nf6
Reply #18 - 04/25/07 at 20:10:44
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Alias wrote on 04/25/07 at 13:21:57:
As I see it, d3 is an excellent short cut, but I'm probably a sissy.  Roll Eyes


Certainly, but if I recall correctly, that was not what Fuster's question was about ....
  

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Re: Schliemann Defense to Ruy Lopez - 4...Nf6
Reply #17 - 04/25/07 at 16:27:47
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Alias wrote on 04/25/07 at 13:21:57:
Btw, real chess players play 2.f4.  Wink


I am immune from criticism on this point since I always play 1. d4 (unless you meant to endorse 2. f4 in that context).  However, I admit that I do enjoy a good quiche now and then.
  

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Re: Schliemann Defense to Ruy Lopez - 4...Nf6
Reply #16 - 04/25/07 at 13:21:57
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How often will the Ruy Lopez player meet the Schliemann? Following the thoughts of Shereshevsky in "Soviet Chess Conveyor" one should not spend a lot of time trying to refute rare (and poor) systems but rather use good simple lines against them and spend the studying time on the main lines instead.

As I see it, d3 is an excellent short cut, but I'm probably a sissy.  Roll Eyes

Btw, real chess players play 2.f4.  Wink
  

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Re: Schliemann Defense to Ruy Lopez - 4...Nf6
Reply #15 - 04/25/07 at 12:36:35
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Alias wrote on 04/25/07 at 11:49:52:
For the d3-variation, there are the books by Kaufman and Greet to study and there's also a NiC yb article.

Before a recent team match we noticed that one of the players in the opposing team always used the Schliemann. A quick study of the section in the Kaufman book helped our player to get a large advantage right out of the opening. He didn't know the line before.



I can only think that Black was the worse player, or that he didn't know what he was doing.  4. d3 is for people who would rather try to nurse a borderline += into an eventual win with scant risk of complication, than book up suffiently to play 4. Nc3! and actually win.  In other words, it's for sissies.  (Oh all right, it's a simple way to pursue the point if you're the better player -- well, what unambitious system isn't?)

Ivanov and Kulagin is a most excellent and indeed essential Schliemann reference.  So by all means, try to find a copy.  However, I'm not sure if it treats 4...Nf6.

There actually are some strategic considerations in the position that arises from the theoretical main line, 4...fxe4  5. Nxe4 d5  6. Nxe5 dxe4  7. Nxc6 Qg5  8. Qe2 Nf6  9. f4"!" (9. Nxa7+!) 9...Qxf4  10. Ne5+ c6  11. d4 Qh4+  12. g3 Qh6  13. Bc4 Be6.  Black will enter the middle game with a grip on the kingside light sqares, a passed but isolated e-pawn, and his king in a somewhat rickety queenside castled position.  The position is dynamic and there is nuance in the play; notably, how to deploy each side's the rooks.  Having completed his development, Black sometimes just plays ...Kb8, ...Ka8, because there's nothing much better to do and it increases the security of his king.  Typically Black's knight goes to d5 and dares White to play c4.  Speelman famously beat Timman in this position, for the very good reason that he understood it better (Timman played c4 and d4-d5; Speelamn played c6-c5 and then blockaded).  So it's not quite true that there's no strategy in the Schliemann.

If that were really White's best against this defense, I'd still be playing it.  Black is no worse there than he is in the other lines of the Spanish, or not much worse, anyway.  But unfortunately, as I have said elsewhere on this board, I have never found anything against 9. Nxa7+! Bd7  10. f4!.  It seems that Black's best is 10...Qc5  11. Nb5 Qxc7  12. d4! Bb4+  13. Kf2 Qxe2+  14. Kxe2, after which Black's pawn-down ending looks quite dreary.  Ivanov and Kulagin say +=, but I think that's optimistic.  Maybe +=, if you have Capablanca's endgame technique, but to defend such endgames is not why I play 1...e5.  If anybody has an antidote to 9. Nxa7+! I'd like to know about it.  It is amazing how 9. Nxa7+! gets ignored in modern theory books.  Offbeat Spanish, for a very notable example.

My impression is that White played imprecisely at the Melody Amber.  After 4...fxe4  5. Nxe4 Nf6  6. Nxf6+! Qxf6  7. Qe2 Be7  8. Bxc6 dxc6  9. Nxe5 Bf5  10. 0-0! (I hope I remembered that correctly!), White is supposed to meet 10...0-0-0 with 11. d3 and 10...0-0 with 11. d4.  Instead if I recall correctly, at the Melody Amber, 10...0-0  11. d3 was played.  I don't have the score; am I wrong?  In any case, I hardly think that it is a ringing endorsement of the Schliemann that it was used to win a blindfold game.  Also it is perhaps notable that 4...Nf6 was not chosen.

Before people became aware of 10. 0-0!, the old theory was 10. d3 0-0! =, 10. d4 0-0-0! =.  But with 10. 0-0!, White waits to see where Black castles, then plays the d-pawn accordingly.  This works because Black has no way to temporize, and because 10...Bxc2 is disastrous for him.
  

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Re: Schliemann Defense to Ruy Lopez - 4...Nf6
Reply #14 - 04/25/07 at 11:49:52
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For the d3-variation, there are the books by Kaufman and Greet to study and there's also a NiC yb article. (The article is in yb #73. The title, taken from a Kaufman quote, is "Sending the Schliemann to the Museum".)

Before a recent team match we noticed that one of the players in the opposing team always used the Schliemann. A quick study of the section in the Kaufman book helped our player to get a large advantage right out of the opening. He didn't know the line before.
  

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Re: Schliemann Defense to Ruy Lopez - 4...Nf6
Reply #13 - 04/25/07 at 09:45:13
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FusterCluck wrote on 04/25/07 at 03:27:05:
Paddy,

thanks for the recommendations.  i found and ordered "winning with the schliemann" as well as Flear's "Offbeat Spanish", which appears to have 40 or so pages on the Schliemann.  unfortunately i couldn't find a copy of the ivanov work.   do the schwarz and adams books have particularly good strategical explanations on 4...Nf6?  if not, i suppose i'll be happy with the more recent books.


The Rolf Schwarz and Jimmy Adams books were good sources of Schliemann games when these were hard to find, in the pre-database era. As I think MNb has already pointed out, these days we would call the Jimmy Adams book a database dump.

I forgot to mention Opening for White According to Anand Vol. 1 as modern source of info.

Strategy? What strategy? It is mostly basic 19th century stuff: try to control the centre, use the f-file, activate the pieces and attack the white king. It's an opening to play, rather than to study. The more you study it, the more refutations you will find. Be happy with an active position, often a pawn down, but with practical compensation. And be prepared to learn something more main-stream once over 2000 FIDE if you are ambitious. Meanwhile, have fun with the Schliemann.

Incidentally, the related line 3 Bb5 Bc5 4 c3 f5 is also worth considering - dubious therefore playable, as the great Tartakower used to say.
  
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Re: Schliemann Defense to Ruy Lopez - 4...Nf6
Reply #12 - 04/25/07 at 07:49:24
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I know it's slightlyoff topic but I  would point out at the Melody Amber Radjabov played 4 ...fe and Nf6 v Kramnik and Leko and held easily even though it's not really much of winning attempt. In fact Kram had to struggle for a draw !

I am beginning to think 4 d3 is the best move !



  
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Re: Schliemann Defense to Ruy Lopez - 4...Nf6
Reply #11 - 04/25/07 at 03:27:05
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Paddy,

thanks for the recommendations.  i found and ordered "winning with the schliemann" as well as Flear's "Offbeat Spanish", which appears to have 40 or so pages on the Schliemann.  unfortunately i couldn't find a copy of the ivanov work.   do the schwarz and adams books have particularly good strategical explanations on 4...Nf6?  if not, i suppose i'll be happy with the more recent books.
  
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Re: Schliemann Defense to Ruy Lopez - 4...Nf6
Reply #10 - 04/25/07 at 02:24:03
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I remember that Larry D. Evans (an American IM, by the way) article.  It basically regarded the ...Nf6 Schliemann as unsound (in fact, I think the article was titled "Play Something Unsound"), but as offering various practical chances against an unprepared opponent.  He spoke of the First Bulgarian Variation and the Second Bulgarian Variation ("anyone who can remember this much Schliemann theory must have lived in Bulgaria").  At the end of the main line (where White has avoided all the pitfalls), Evans wrote something like, "Even now, after all he has been through, it is doubtful that White will have the energy to convert his extra pawn.  If you happen to encounter such an opponent, I can only suggest that if you face him again, play the Caro-Kann."
  
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Re: Schliemann Defense to Ruy Lopez - 4...Nf6
Reply #9 - 04/25/07 at 00:33:31
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FusterCluck wrote on 04/24/07 at 17:35:31:
Paddy wrote on 04/24/07 at 10:30:56:
I wonder whether the club/weekend players of today (plus internet players now I suppose) are really any better prepared than when Barden was writing (1980).

Be warned though that there is actually a lot of theory on this line


I'm really beginning to like the 5...Bc5 gambit ideas.  How much analsys of this line is in Barden's book?  Or could you recommend other sources?


Barden gives not much more than I've already quoted (though the book itself is well worth getting hold of second-hand, since it has much of interest and instruction for club and weekend players, e.g. on the Von Hennig-Schara Gambit, the Vienna Gambit and the Grand Prix Attack). Barden refers to an earlier article on 4...Nf6 by Larry D Evans in Chess Life and Review - perhaps one of our US-based readers can track it down.

The best Schliemann book sources in my experience are:
Spanisch II by Schwarz (1970)
Schliemann/Jaenisch Gambit by Jimmy Adams (1982)
Winning with the Schliemann by Tseitlin (1991)
Play the Schliemann Defence! by Ivanov & Kulagin (1994)

More recent Lopez books by Flear, Emms and Greet should also be checked out of course.

If Schliemann expert Jonathan Tait reads this, he will no doubt be able to recommend other sources.

Of course, most analysis of the Schliemann was done in the "pre-fritz" era, and careful computer-assisted research will probably yield a lot of fresh resources for both sides, but more for White than for Black, I fear. Markovich is almost certainly correct - the Schliemann is not fully sound theoretically, but below a certain level that does not matter; after 4...Nf6 especially, a good attacking player will be far more comfortable with the Black pieces than an unprepared Lopez player will be with White.





  
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