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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) C40: New move in the Latvian (Read 129864 times)
Stefan Buecker
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Re: New move in the Latvian
Reply #102 - 09/03/10 at 22:04:43
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I am very glad to see AMM's fine report. Only rarely so much valuable material is published on this site. It is fascinating to see all these ideas and new attempts. In my ChessCafe articles I had hoped to present 3.Nxe5 Nf6 as a playable line for Black, while the part on 3...Qf6 was more meant as an overview on the available alternatives, to put 3...Nf6 in a context. However, 3...Nf6 4.Bc4! offers good chances for White, so I am now inclined to share AMM's view that 3...Qf6 represents Black's "hopes".

I understand SWJediknights doubts ("I really don't think finding ways for Black to draw after long variations changes the assessment"), but I see the distilling of this "long variation" as a search for the truth, which can also teach us a lot about opening theory, the value of a pawn, the use of PCs and more. The assessment +/- may not be changed, but it may change our view what +/- means.

The result can be a line which refutes the Latvian Gambit. But if such a line cannot be established, it would also be interesting. Some people solve tactical problems to improve their tactical vision. Studying the "Latvian ending" can be at least as useful, as a case study about how to draw a rook ending, or how to create winning chances in such an ending. 

AMM wrote on 09/03/10 at 12:55:31:
Any thoughts?, maybe 23.Rf1 Bd7 24.Rxf8+ Nxf8 25.Rd2 ?, or 22.Nxf5 Rxf5 23.Be3 looking  for an endgame where often Rook+Bishop is better than Rook+Knight ?; perhaps 17.Qxf6 Rxf6 18.Nxb7 Ng6 19.Bg5 etc. Or finally 16.Nxb7 Bf5 17.Qg5 Bxd3 18.Qxf6 Rxf6 19.cxd3 Ng6 20.Bg5 Rf8 21.Nc5 Nc6 22.Rac1 another time preserving the Bishop in an open middle game  ?. Anyway in all variations Black has good prospects on drawing endgame, even with a pawn down !!.

I'd slightly prefer 19.Bxg6 (instead of 19.Nd6) hxg6 20.h3, e.g. 20...Bf5 21.Nd6 Rab8 22.c4 dxc4 23.Nxc4 or perhaps 20...Nb4 21.Re7 Nc6 22.Rc7 Rac8 23.Rxc8 Bxc8 24.Nd6 Bd7 25.Kg1 Rb8 26.b3 Rb6 27.c4. The doubled g-pawn is a handicap, any combined R+B attack on g7 would be almost fatal. Pawn a2 is difficult to attack, a7-a5-a4 hardly possible. In spite of the opposite bishops White has substantial winning chances. 
  
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Re: New move in the Latvian
Reply #101 - 09/03/10 at 15:00:34
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Your analysis is very interesting, but IMHO doesn't change the assessment that with best play after 3.Nxe5 Nf6 4.Bc4! and 3...Qf6 4.Nc4! Black ends up fighting for a draw in inferior endings, often being a pawn down and trying to neutralise White's resulting pawn majority.  Even if Black can draw them (which I think will probably turn out to be true with best play) it isn't what your typical gambiteer is looking for, especially when playing as sharp and risky a gambit as the Latvian.

So, to recap on that question, "is the Latvian playable?".   I really don't think finding ways for Black to draw after long variations changes the assessment (though it can be interesting).  Like with various other unsound-but-trappy gambits, it depends more on the level of opponents' play rather than the opening's objective merits, because ultimately what matters is that you get out of the opening with a decent middlegame.  For example, many players meet the Jadoul Gambit (1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Nf6 3.d4 Bg4) with 4.Nf3 or 4.Be2, rather than the critical 4.f3 Bf5 5.g4, and many meet 1.d4 e5 2.dxe5 Nc6 3.Nf3 Qe7 with the harmless 4.g3 rather than the critical 4.Bf4, as Stefan Bucker has observed.  Many Latvian Gambit players appear to report much the same thing, with White often ducking out of the critical lines, or misplaying them on the rare occasions that White employs them, and for as long as that happens at a particular level the Latvian remains playable regardless of how unsound it is.  But once Black starts being presented with difficulties in the opening regularly it becomes hard to justify.

Of course it's also more of a risk to take for players striving to improve (who are likely to hit a barrier unless they move to more mainstream openings) than for players who strive mainly to have fun, which is also a consideration to bear in mind for those thinking of taking up the opening.
  
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Re: New move in the Latvian
Reply #100 - 09/03/10 at 12:55:31
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SEE ABOVE first part of the article - written the same day as a continuation -

I continue thinking Black best answer to 3.Nxe5 is 3..Qf6 despite of two tempos down with the Queen ( you know, afterwards will place on ‘g6’ or ‘f7’ depending circumstances ). Is well-known White can play 4.d4 or 4.Nc4 moves. Assuming 4.d4 is chosen, best reply in the Main Line as Black is 4..d6 5.Nc4 fxe4 6.Nc3 Qg6 7.f3 and now 7..Be7!; see two recent examples:

8.Ne3!?  Nf6 ( 8..exf3 9.Qxf3 Carlsen-Melchor, corr. LADAC Thematic, 2006-07 and now 9..Nc6 10.Bd3 Qf6 should be played ) 9.Be2 0-0 10.0-0 Nc6 ( better 10..exf3 ) 11.Nxe4 ( better 11.fxe4 ) 11..Nh5 ( also a bit preferable is 11..Nxe4 ) 12.Bc4+ Kh8 13.Nd5 Bh3 ( 13..Bd8!? ) 14.Qd2 Bh4 15.c3 Rae8 16.Bd3 ( 16.Ng5! ) 16..Qf7 17.Nf4? ( 17.Ng5 ) 17..Nxf4 18.Qxf4 Qxf4 19.Bxf4 Bxg2 20.Kxg2 Rxf4 with slight advantage ( Matisone-Kretainis, Riga, 2010. 0-1, 49 )

8.Nxe4 ( 8.fxe4 Nh6!? 9.Ne3 Nc6 of Zielinski-Melchor, corr. LADAC Thematic, 2008-09 and other games is more common answer ) 8..d5 9.Ne5 Qb6 10.Nc3 Nf6 11.Be2 0-0 12.0-0 Nc6 13.Nxc6 Qxc6 14.Re1 Bb4 15.Qd2 a6 16.a3 Bd6 17.Bd3 Bd7 18.Qg5 h6 19.Qh4 Rae8 20.Bd2 Qb6 21.a4 c5 unclear ( Melchor-Vicary, corr. VI LG World Chsp., 2010, 1/2-1/2, 50 )

Instead, if White move on 4.Nc4 directly, I think Black has several good replies; of course 4..fxe4 5.Nc3 Qf7 ( also it has been discussed 5..Qg6 6.d3 Bb4 7.Bd2 Nf6!? and other sidelines ) 6.Ne3 d5!? , very large played in our Final of VI LG World Chsp. – started on February of this year -, but the new great surprise come in a theoretical “refuted” line which it has given a good result in a game of this Tourney:

The “sources” of classical line in this variation follows 6..c6 - instead of 6..d5!? – ( so because it cannot cope with Bc4 and Nxe4, with this move is abandoned the pawn to your destination in exchange for a slight progress in development ) 7.d3 exd3 8.Bxd3 d5 9,0-0 and we reach to the critical position. Black has proved the most of the legal movements - up to 9 ! -; 9..Bc5 has always been the first line that was tested but from five years ago is known 10.b4! refutes whole System. However, what’s about ancient 9..Bd6 ?, Black has achieved some strategic advantages in long-term. So soon, has strengthened a central extra pawn and the position of his Queen will be quite useful when castling since it will pressure along ‘f’ column. Moreover, quickly will show he did achieve a showy game if complete the development of his pieces ..Bd6, ..Ne7, and ..0-0, the King will be safe while the White knights are poorly placed. The central  Black pawns prevent the Knights moving forward and e3 one also blocks the Bishop of ‘c1’. The only problem for the Black is in most of the lines must be observant to the sacrifices Nexd5 or Nc4 for the purpose of which is not another that obstruct the castling. After 10.Re1 ( 10.Nexd5!? cxd5 11.Nb5 can be replied by means 11..Bc7 – safer – or even 11..Qd7, rest of moves are weakers ) 10..Ne7 11.Nexd5 ( considered by GM John Nunn as best continuation, it is the more direct way of assaulting the solid Black centre. The other move 11.Nc4!? is out of date nowadays, after 11..dxc4 12.Bxc4 Black can answer 10..Qg6 or 10..Bxh2+! which leads to a safer equality after 13.Kxh2 Qxc4 14.Bg5 0-0 etc. ) 11..cxd5 12.Nb5 ( 12.Nxd5?? is a blunder, 12..Qxd5 13.Bg6+ Kd8 leaves the Queen defended ) 12..0-0 ( other 12th. deviations are bad ) 13.Nxd6 Qxf2+ 14.Kh1 Bg4 ( the only reasonable try 14..Nbc6 of French F. Destrebecq  is not valid after 15.Bg5 Qc5 16.Nxc8 Raxc8 17.Qg4 with strong attack ) 15.Qd2! ( better than simply 15.Be3 Bxd1 etc. ) and now instead of 15..Qh4 ( the endgame that follows exchanging Queens favours White and also if 15..Nbc6 16.Qxf3 Rxf2 17.h3 Bh5 18.Nxb7 Analysis, 1997 ) which is answered with Strautin’s  idea 16.b4! etc., in a game from myself, still in progress, Melchor-Trofimov, corr. VI LG Final World Chsp. , 2010 Russian player tried 15..Qf6 precisely considered as insufficient by an owner game from 1997 !!. My game have proceed 16.Qg5 Nbc6 ( in 1997 against Michael Downey I played weak 16..Qxg5?! 17.Bxg5 Nec6?! – or 17..Nc8 18.Nxb7 Nc6 19.c3 with advantage – 18.h3 Bd7 19.Nxb7 Nb4 20.Nc5 Nxd3 21.cxd3 with clear game ) 17.Nxb7 Qxg5 18.Bxg5 Ng6 19.Nd6 ( in Borrmann-Sánchez Ródenas, corr. LADAC Thematic, 2008-09 changed on 19.Bxg6 hxg6 20.h3 Bf5 21.Nd6 Rab8 22.c4 dxc4 23.Nxc4 Rb5 24.b3? – 24.h4 – 24..Bxh3 drawing in 62 moves ) 19..Nb4 20.h3 Nxd3 21.cxd3 Bf5 22.Rad1 Rab8 23.b3 Bd7 ( 23..a5!? ) 24.Be3 a6 25.Rf1 Ne7 26.Bc5 Bf5 27.Rfe1 Rf6 28.Nxf5 Rxf5 29.g4 Rf6 30.Kg2 Rc8 31.b4 Re8 32.Kg3 h6 33.Rxe8+ Bxe8 34.Re1 Bb5 35.Bd4 Rc6 36.Kf4 Bxd3 37.Re7 g5+ 38.Ke5 and I don’t see how can White win this endgame.

Any thoughts?, maybe 23.Rf1 Bd7 24.Rxf8+ Nxf8 25.Rd2 ?, or 22.Nxf5 Rxf5 23.Be3 looking  for an endgame where often Rook+Bishop is better than Rook+Knight ?; perhaps 17.Qxf6 Rxf6 18.Nxb7 Ng6 19.Bg5 etc. Or finally 16.Nxb7 Bf5 17.Qg5 Bxd3 18.Qxf6 Rxf6 19.cxd3 Ng6 20.Bg5 Rf8 21.Nc5 Nc6 22.Rac1 another time preserving the Bishop in an open middle game  ?. Anyway in all variations Black has good prospects on drawing endgame, even with a pawn down !!.

Sumarizing, Is still playable the Latvian ?
  
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Re: New move in the Latvian
Reply #99 - 09/03/10 at 12:05:05
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To sum up this debate:  Essentially FM Stefan Buecker wrote a series of long articles at www.chesscafe.com ( see above noted links in previous threads ) where he attempt to demonstrate us Line 3.Nxe5 Nf6  as “last hope” for Black in the Latvian, after analyzing relatively in depth the “consequences” of 3..Qf6 (http://www.chesscafe.com/text/kaiss44.pdf ) with latest evolutions of Theory between 2008 and 2009 ( see also my own article “Latvian gambit refuted? of December, 2008 at http://www.ajedreznd.com/visor/leton1.htm - in two parts -, ... but in Spanish ).

From the publication of his articles ( at Summer 2009 ) the move have focalized some attention in the LG circles, f.i. some games of the VI Final LG World Chsp. have played with the move 3..Nf6.  With this answer 4.Qh5+ is avoided, and at worst Black loses totally a pawn but avoiding complicated variations as is usual in the rest of lines. Often a premature exchange of Queens is also produced with a subsequent exchange of flank pawns; Black gets good drawing prospects in this King flank on the later resulting three pawns against two. I will not explain the reason why 4.d4 and 4.Nc3 are considered marginal moves, but often 4.exf5 and 4.Bc4 have been tested as the most promising ones.

- 4.exf5 Qe7 ( 4..d6 5.Nf3 Bxf5 6.d4 is known as inferior ) 5.Qe2 d6 6.Nf3 ( 6.Nc4 could to seem a more ambitious approach but we will see White’s resources are much stronger after 6.Nf3, mainly because when the knight is redeployed to d4, it appears to be strong there. After 6.Nc4 a recent and fine defence as Black was shown in Pecis-Melchor, 2010 of the above noted Tourney: 6..d5 – 6..Bxf5 directly is also valid – 7.Nxe5 Bxf5 8.d4 Nc6!? – or 8..Nbd7 9.Nc3 0-0-0 – 9.Nxc6 bxc6 10.c4 – 10.c3 is analyzed extensively by Buecker; to me 10..c5!? comes into consideration – 10..Kf7 11.c5 - 11.Qxe7+ Bxe7 12.Nc3 Rab8 with counterplay – 11..Re8 12.Nc3 Qd8!? 13.Be3 g6 14.h3 Bh6 15.Nd1 Rhf8 16.Rg1 – 16.Qa6!? perhaps – 16..Kg8 etc. game still in progress, Black has almost equalized) 6..Bxf5 and now White has several possibilities: 7.Nd4 and 7.d3 are the most common moves, very well analyzed by Buecker in the second part of his article; I like the series of 7.Qxe7+ Bxe7  8.Nc3 – 8.d3 Nc6 transposes usually to 7.d3 – 8..c6 9.Nd4! (now ) 9..Bd7 – if 9..Bg6 then 10.f4 – 10.Be2 c5 where White maintain a slight initiative; but  I enjoy very specially with 7.Nc3 directly only played at once time in Koronowski-Hunstock, corr. ICCF, 1990-91. The idea of this move is not so much to avoid Queen exchange but first player is trying to gain time; either Black gains time with White playing Qxe7 or White gains time by having Black playing Qxe2. By maintaining the tension like this, White is basically limiting blacks options, so 7..Nc6 ( any of Black alternatives doesn’t seem to be better either, if f.i. 7..c6 first player can get the edge in two ways 8.d3 Na6 – 8..c5 9.Bg5 – 9.Be3 or 8.h3 c5 – 8..Nbd7 9.Nd4 Bg6 10.d3 – 9.Qxe7+ Bxe7 10.Bc4 ) 8.Qxe7+ Bxe7 9.Bb5! ( Making an uncomfortable move !, by transposition 9.d3 0-0-0 was already known in two games and also analyzed by Buecker; f.i. Jackson jr.-Diepstraten, corr. Thematic, 1985-87 continued with 10.Be2 and now instead of 10..Nb4?! Black must play 10..d5 11.0-0 Rhe8 – menacing ..d4 - 12.Bd1 h6 13.h3 g5 14.a3 a5 15.Re1 Bc5 German theoretician says that “Black controls more space and his pieces are placed on the “classical” squares,  while White’s position is somewhat cramped” ) 9..0-0 ( as we see later on a bit better should be 9..a6 10.Bxc6+ bxc6 11.de Bg4; on the other hand, logically, 9..Bxc2?? 10.Nd4 loses ) 10.d3 Nb4?! ( Black pieces aren't really coordinated to attack anything so they  have to expect moving the same piece a few times in order to get it into a more active position. The big problem with 10..Nb4?! is that moving the Knight to quite a bad square where it can be chased later and this will make second player loose quite a bit of the temporary activity, therefore 10..Bg4 is relative and probably best move in the position ) Now White consolidate his advantage after 11.Ba4 c6 12.0-0 d5 13.Re1 or model game 11. Bc4+ d5 12.Bb3 c6 13-0-0 etc. Come on with the second “Main” line:

- 4.Bc4(!) a jungle trip analyzed by myself in my previous thread, although now I MUST  RETRACT of my own  words !?. The game follows 4..Qe7 5.d4 ( defending the Knight and opening up the game; 7.Nf7?! and 7.Bf7+?! are weaker ) 5..Nc6 and we have entered, via transposition of moves,  in the Morgado System referred to the Argentinean GM after their successes  in earlier 70s ( 5..d6?! is weak for 6.Nf7 or even best 6.Bf7+! Kd8 7.Bb3 dxe5 8.dxe5+ Bd7 – 8..Nfd7 9.e6 Qd6 10.Bg5+ etc. – 9.exf6 – paradoxically now 9.e6 Qb4+ 10.Nc3 Bd6 already studied in 1907! is not so strong – 9..Qxe4+ - objectively 9..Qxf6 is a bit better – 10.Be3! of Downey-Destrebecq, corr., 1990-91 is White’s favor, if 10..f4 11.Qd4 or 10..gxf6 11.Nc3 etc. ). Now, for our interest, 6.0-0 is the correct move; the other main and “old” line was 6.Nc3!? Nxe5 7.dxe5 Qxe5 8.0-0 fxe4 9.Nd5 returning pawn, but opening the position and leaving the Black King and Queen in the same row, besides threatening Bf4. Due to it was correctly analyzed – by transposition, indeed - in my previous thread  ( game Fragola-Valverde, 2006-07 ) I will not stop here again. After 6.0-0 White has “only a slight advantage” according Tony Kosten, but this is not entirely correct; in the first stages of the System Black played 6..Nxe5 7.dxe5 Qxe5 ( 7..Nxe4 faces 8.Nc3! winning all the games ever played ) 8.exf5 Qxf5 and now instead of very long Buecker analysis on 9.Nc3 more lineal way is 9.Re1+ Kd8 – unique – of Grava-Grivainis, corr., 1970-71 where instead of played move 10.Be6 answered by 10..Qh5! 11.Qxh5 Nxh5  or 10.Nc3 Bc5 11.Be3 Bxe3 12.Rxe3 Qf4 where the exchange of Bishops can make Black’s task easier ( Rybka3 ), White should try 10.Be3 d5 11.Nc3 c6 12.Bd3 -12.Bd4 Bd6 13.Bxf6+ gxf6 J.Swaffield – 12..Qd7 13.Bf4 with advantage; maybe 10..Bd6 11.Nc3 Ng4 12.g3 Rf8 Rybka3 again, is better.

But returning to our way, after 6.0-0, the other known line, true “acid test” and wherever LG is under a cloud is the move 6..fxe4 because of 7.Ng4! ( before 7.Nc3, 7.Nf7 or even another moves less clear was played ). Buecker give the continuation with 7..d5 8.Nxf6+ Qxf6 9.Bxd5 Bf5 10.Nc3 0-0-0 11.Be3 concluding  Black has no compensation for the pawn, but I myself tried to improve Black’s play, ...athough it seems I didn't get it: ( now I will analyze more deeply my game noted in the previous thread ) 7..Nxg4 8.Qxg4 Nxd4 ( 8..Nb4 9.d5 Qe5 10.Re1 d6 11.Qd1 or 8..d6 9.Qd1 Bf5 10.f3 0-0-0 11.fxe4 Qxe4 12.Rf4! Qxc2 13.Qf1 both of Buecker are also not enough ) 9.Nc3 ( better than 9.Re1 d5! 10.Qh5+ Qf7 11.Rxe4+ Be6 12.Qd5 Rd8 13.Qa5 Be7 14.Bxe6 Nxe6 15.Nc3 0-0 solving little by little all the problems, Hjortstam-Zanolin,ICCF, e mail, 2008-09 and 11.Qxd5 Qxd5 12.Bxd5 Bf5! 13.Bxe4 0-0-0 14.Bxf5+ Nxf5 15.Bg5 Be7 etc, where Black has a pawn down but his position is not bad ) 9..c6 10.Qd1! b5 ( as I've pointed, logical 10..Ne6 seems dubious, f.i. 11.Re1 d5 12.Nxd5! cxd5 13.Qxd5 Qf6 14.Re1 with an edge, and also 10..Qe5 11.Nxe4 d5 12.Ng5 Be7 13.Re1 with attack ) 11.Qxd4 bxc4 12.Nxe4 ( or 12.Qxc4 ) and as we see White’s advantage is enormous Jendrian-Melchor, corr. VI Final LG World Chsp., 2010 game still in progress. Ironically White didn’t found best plan to increase the initiative and now Black’s game have counter played !?: 12..d5 13.Re1 ( 13.Bg5! ) 13..dxe4 14.Qxc4 Bb7 15.h4 (!? – but not 15.Rxe4 0-0-0 ) 15..0-0-0 16.Bg5 Qd7 17.Bxd8 Qxd8 18.Rad1 Bd6 ( 18..Qf6 19.Rxe4 Be7 20.Rf4 ) 19.Qd4 Bc7 20.Qxg7 Qg8 21.Qe7 Qg6 22.Qxe4 c5 23.Qxg6 hxg6 24.Re7 Bd8 25.Rf7 Be4 26.c4 ( better 26.Rxa7 Bxh4 27.Ra4 with advantage ) 26..Bxh4 27.Rdd7 ( 27.Re1 Bf5 28.Rxa7 was better again ) 27..Rd8 28.Rxa7 Rd1+ 29.Kh2 Bd8 30.f3 Bc6 and now is not easy for the first player intend to win, so both Black Bishops whisper the Rooks !.

TO BE CONTINUE BELOW
« Last Edit: 09/03/10 at 13:29:28 by AMM »  
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Re: New move in the Latvian
Reply #98 - 05/10/10 at 20:40:10
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AMM wrote on 12/29/09 at 16:11:14:
Stefan and "Conquistador PREVIOUS THREAD":

The Main Line from 4.Nc4 fxe4 5.Nc3, allows besides 5..Qf7 6.Ne3 d5!? ( which it must be analyzed in depth, so although Black sacrifices a pawn, his development is up, and  practice has shown it is very difficult for White to win ), the former move 5..Qg6.

The move was already quoted in http://www.chesspub.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1239692688 . I wrote something more in my own blog (http://amm-ajedrezando.blogspot.com/2009/11/gambito-leton-analisis-1.html in Spanish ), but now I will translate it here:

After 5..Qg6, as I have quoted, Black Queen is a bit exposed and White often proceed with its relentless with d3 and after the exchange of pawns recapturing with the Bishop. Although it was the initial line, was gradually abandoned ( in favour of 5..Qf7 ) until recently amateur David Zimbeck in his web http://www.zimbeckchess.com/chess_site_006.htm may have recovered somewhat its value.

Zimbeck maintains after well-known and natural White moves 6.d3 Bb4 7.Bd2, Black must now play directly 7..Nf6! ( instead of 7..Bxc3 8.Bxc3 Nf6 so it permits 9.Bxf6! gxf6 10.Ne3!? or 10.dxe4 Qxe4+ 11.Ne3 where White returns the Bishop pair for a more stable advantage in pawn structure ) so even losing a whole pawn, allows second player remain in the game:

- 8.dxe4 0-0?! 9.f3 d5 10.Nxd5 Nxd5 11.exd5 Bc5 first played in Melchor-Valverde, cr. LADAC thema prel., e-mail, 2006/07, ( 1/2-1/2, 47 ) led to a difficult ending where White never seemed with possibility of win; my position was always better, but the Black position was sound.

Only recently this idea was refuted by myself !: 12.Be3 Bxe3 13.Nxe3 Qb6 14.Qd2 Qxb2 15.Rd1 Qxa2? 16.Bc4 Qa3 17.d6+ Kh8 18.dxc7 Nd7 19.Kf2 Nf6 and now new improvement 20.Qd8! Ne4+ 21.Kf1 h6 22.Qd4 Nf6 23.Qd6 +- with a technical winning position, Melchor-Pecis, cr. IV LG World Tourney final, e-mail, 2010

- 8.dxe4 Bxc3 9.Bxc3 Nxe4 10.Bd3 0-0 11.0-0 Nxc3 12.bxc3 is known, by traspostion on 7..Bxc3 8.Bxc3 Nf6 9.dxe4 Nxe4 - but avoiding 9.Bxf6! etc. -, from first thematic tournaments of 1970's ( also Hagen Tiemann in the second 1989 edition of his book of Latvian, page 22 ). I have 26 games, from this position, it has been tested 12..Qg5; 12..Qh6; and 12..Qf6. I believe this last move, 12..Qf6 ( 12 games ), is pehaps best one. I cannot deny after 13.Qh5 g6 14.Qa5 Qd8!? (N) ( I don't like risky 14..Nc6 of Tiemann, or 14..c6?! played in several games, buy maybe 14..Na6 is possible so White had a only s small pull after 15.Ne3 c6 16.Bxa6 bxa6 17.Qc5 in Zaniratti-Neumann, cr. IV LG World Tourney prel., e-mail, 2001/02 ) and with the help of ... engines, the position, although "nasty" and  poorly developed for Black, is perfectly playable, … at least in postal chess ( I myself have tested in dotens of lines ). For instance: 15.Qd5+ Kh8 16.f4 ( 16.Rae1 Nc6 17.Ne5 Qf6 18.f4 Ne7 ) 16..d6 17.Na5 Qf6 18.Nxb7 c6 19.Qb3 Nd7 20.Na5 Nc5 21.Qa3 Bd7 22.Rae1 Kg8 with a comfortable play. Truly it's a sad Black recourse on these lines, but what else? if we have so tight margin !. At first glance, 6..Qd8!? seems paradoxically retrogade, but is in fact the strongest possibility; since it also posts the Queen on a relatively safe square and clears the way for the development

- 8.Nxe4 Bxd2+ 9.Qxd2 ( American player also gives 9.Nexd2 0-0 10.Ne1 d5 and both 11.d4 or 11.Nf3, then 11..Ng4! ) 9..d5!? ( 9..0-0 of Rozzoni-Gaard, cr. LG III World Tourney final, e-mail, 2002/03 is also possible, but not so good: 10.0-0-0 d5 11.Ne5 Qf5 12.Nxf6+ Qxf6 13.d4 ). This position was known from a game Ginzburg-Perez Pietronave, Argentina, 1995 which it followed according to the recommendation of the "engines" 10.Nxf6+ Qxf6 11.Qe3+ Be6 12.Ne5 0-0 13.Be2 ( 13. d4 Nc6 Zimbeck, and now could be continue 14.Bd3 Bf5 15.0-0 Bxd3 16.cxd3 Qd6 without problems ) 13..Nd7 14.d4 and now diverting from the game, Black should play 14..Nxe5 15.dxe5 Qg6 ( or even 14..Qf4 ) which it takes to a comfortable position, and also recovering the pawn.

It is already noteworthy Zimbeck show next beautiful line: 10.Ne5 Nxe4! 11.Nxd2 Nxg6 12.Nxf1 Nxh8 etc. subject of debate linked above and although engines spend a few time in viewing, just give reason Black side.


Hmm,... as I told you previously I think we should write another book  Cheesy so i'ts impossible to talk all time on Latvian !?




"Djy" member Also another counter-analysis without any pretention just on refuting your line !! and to advocate on 5..Qg6 and 7..Nf6! :

8.Nb5 Bxd2+ 9.Qxd2 Na6 10.dxe4 Qxe4+ 11.Ne3 0-0 12.Bc4+ Kh8 13.0-0 d6 14.Rae1 ( or 14.Nc3 Qf4 - 14..Qh4!? - 15.f3 Nc5 16.g3 Qh6 17.b4 Ne6 18.f4 Ad7 = Slavchev-Garcia E., cr.LADAC thema prel., e-mail, 2006/0714..Bd7 15.Nd4 Qf4 16.g3 Qh6 17.f3 Rae8 18.Bxa6 bxa6 19.Qc3 Bh3 20.Rf2 Qg5 21.f4 Qg5 = give an easy equality Elburg-Melchor, cr. IV LG World Tourney final, e-mail, 2010; game still in progress

READ above Thread answering Stefan and "Conquistador" so I've updated it for this mail
« Last Edit: 05/11/10 at 14:28:12 by AMM »  
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Re: New move in the Latvian
Reply #97 - 05/09/10 at 17:25:27
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Yiou've enterely right, OTB  below 2200-2300 the better opening is the opening you know! Wink
  

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Re: New move in the Latvian
Reply #96 - 05/09/10 at 14:52:19
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The "philosophical" controversial on LG is essentially futil, Latvian Gambit is not for everyone nor anyone. Latvian gambiteers know how much are they risking, and they enjoy it !!.

It is my main weapon against 1.e4 in OTB's time control ( level 2100 FIDE rating ), but also it's interesting in fast time controls so is really dangerous weapon as unprepared opponents . There are many chances to fall in openings traps and even if they don't fall into them, they spend more time than I do and usually I'm more familiar with typical middle game positions which arises from the opening.

In CC, email games or analizing positions all is very more easy, Theory has evolutioned so much and every day all new analysis are shown ( for instance, see long articles above ).

SWJediknight indeed, old Keres 'positional refutation' 3.Bc4 is not true after 3..fxe4 4.Nxe5 d5! or even with the Poisoned 'g2 pawn' after 4..Qg5!? already analyzed at http://www.chesspub.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1194567910/15 . After 4..d5! 5.Qh5+ g6 6.Nxg6 hxg6 ( 6..Nf6!? ) 7.Qxh8 Kf7 8.Be2 Nc6 9.Qd4 Be6 10.Qe3 ( 10.Qa4 Bc5! ) 10..Bh6 for the exchange and a pawn, Black has a significant lead in development and a formidable pawn center; it remains for practice to determine if Black's compensation is adequate, but tests so far have been in his favor, f.i. 11.f4 and second player can choose 11..Nge7 or 11..d4 etc., and finally 11.Qg3 ( retaining the possibility of challenging Black's center by f3 ) and Black can try 11..Nge7; 11..Nf6 or 11..Nd4. Anyway I prefer 7.Qxg6+ hoping to profit from the exposed state of Bkack's King before Black's extra minor piece begins to assert itself; after 7..Kd7! 8.Bxd5 Nf6 where if White don't play for the attack and completing his development, he can soon find himself in trouble.

Refering on 3.Nxe5 Nf6!? 4.Bc4(!) variation, analyzed deeply by FM Stefan Buecker at www.chesspub.com ( see Archives - Over the Horizons - "Lower life in the Latvian gambit" part 3 http://www.chesscafe.com/text/kaiss46.pdf ), I myself wrote to German theorist he has some innacuracy in their analysis. After 4..Qe7 5.d4 Nc6 6.0-0 fxe4 7.Ng4! Nxg4 8.Qxg4 Nxd4 (N) 9.Nc3!? ( 9.Re1 d5! was quoted previously and 9.Qd1 directly, then 9..Qe5 ) 9..c6 10.Qd1 c6 ( logical 10..Ne6 seems dubtious, f.i. 11.Re1 d5 12.Nxd5! cxd5 13.Qxd5 Qf6 14.Re1 with an edge ) 11.Qxd4 bxc4 12.Nxe4 d5 of Jendrian - Melchor, LG World Tourney final, cr. email, 2010 ( game still in progress ) is far to be clear after 13.Re1 dxe4 14.Qxc4 Bb7 15.Rxe4 0-0-0.

Finally, also 7.Nc3 Nxe5 8.dxe5 Qxe5 9.Nd5 was reccomended by Buecker ( or trasposition via 6.Nc3 Ne5 7.de5 Qe5 8.0-0 fxe4 9.Nd5 ) where White returns the pawn but leaving Black's King and Queen on the same file in an ever opening position, and now even threatens Bf4; so after 9..Nxd5 10.Bxd5 besides correct Buecker's reccomendation 10..Bd6!? I think 10..c6 11.Be4 Bd6 12.f4 can be answer by 12..Bc5+ 13.Kh1 Qd4 14.Qxd4 ( 14. Qe2 or any move, 14..0-0 without problems ) 14..Bxd4 15.c3 Bb6 = Fragola - Valverde, LADAC thematic prelim., cr. email, 2006/07 ( by trasposition ! ) while 12.g3 0-0 13.Qd3 h6 trasposes again (!) to the noted Buecker analysis after 10..Bd6!? 11.g3 c6 12.Be4 c6 13.Qd3 h6 "when Black can probably hold" in his own words

   I think the eternal debate is complicated, more if "theoretically" speaking anybody can analyze f.i with Rybka or other engines. At present much of the Latvian theory Main lines leads to positions where Black is just a pawn down. ( f.i. "key" position after 3.Nxe5 Qf6 4.Nc4 fxe4 5.Nc3 Qf7 6.Ne3 d5!?. The relative "adventage" of using in OTB is most opponents has lack knowledge, and with my own experience is playable below 2200-2300 FIDE rating, so any White player will know encyclopaedic work on his head. I completely agree to the fans that if you win games with the Latvian ( or anything else ), and if you love playing it, then you should continue to play it. However, I also make clear that at the highest levels it's just not going to hold up.

« Last Edit: 05/09/10 at 20:11:35 by AMM »  
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Re: New move in the Latvian
Reply #95 - 05/09/10 at 12:20:54
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Some very quick analyse without any pretention just to be more concrete

Site "?"]
[Date "1999.10.18"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Analyse 5.-Qg6"]
[Black "?"]
[Result "line"]
[ECO "C40"]
[Annotator "Dji"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "rnb1kbnr/pppp2pp/5q2/8/2N1p3/2N5/PPPP1PPP/R1BQKB1R b KQk - 0 5"]
[PlyCount "72"]
[EventDate "1999.??.??"]

5... Qg6 6. d3
(6. Nd5!?  Na6
(6... Bd6?!  7. Nxd6+ Qxd6 8. Qg4 Kf8 9. Qxe4 Nf6 10. Nxf6 Qxf6 11. d4 Qf7 12. Bd3 d5 13. Qf4 Nc6 14. c3 Nd8 15. O-O Ne6 16. Qg3 c6 17. b3 Kg8 18. f4 Qc7 19. Ba3 g6 20. Rae1 Kg7 21. Qh4 Re8 22. f5 gxf5 23.Rxf5 Bd7 24. Rf7+ {1-0 Malmstrom,J-Mc Allister,K/Latvian Gambit Thematic (A) 1997})
7. d4 Nf6 8.Ne5 Qf5 9. g4! Qxg4??  10. Nxf6+ {1-0 Malmstrom,J-Giancotti,E/Latvian Gambit Thematic (A) 1997})
6... Bb4 7. Bd2 Nf6! 8. Nb5 Bxd2+ 9. Qxd2 Na6 (9... Kd8 10. Ne3 Nc6 11. O-O-O ) 10. dxe4 Qxe4+
(10...Nxe4 11. Qd4 O-O 12. Ne5 Qf5 13. Bc4+ Kh8 14. O-O Ng5 15. Bd3 Qf4 16. Rae1 Ne6 17. Qxf4 Rxf4 18. g3 Rf6 19. f4 d6 20. f5 dxe5 21. fxe6 Rxf1+ 22. Bxf1 Bxe6 23. Rxe5 Bxa2 24. b3 Nb4 25. Nc3 b6 26. Re7 c6 27. Rc7 Kg8 28. Bg2 Re8 29. Bxc6 Nxc6 30. Rxc6 Bb1 31.Nxb1 Re1+ 32. Kf2 Rxb1 33. Rc8+ Kf7 34. Rc7+ Ke6 35. Rxa7 Rb2 36. Rc7 Kd6 37.
Rc8 )
11. Ne3 Qe5 12. O-O-O Ne4 13. f4 Qxb5 14. Bxb5 Nxd2 15. Rxd2 Nc5 16.Re1 O-O 17. Bc4+ Kh8 18. Nd5 c6 19. Nc7 Rb8 20. b4 Na6 21. Bxa6 bxa6 22. a3 a5 23. bxa5 Kg8 24. g3 d5 25. Rde2 Bg4 26. Re7 Rf7 27. Na6 Rb5 28. Nb4 Rxe7 29.
Rxe7 Rxa5 30. Nxc6 Rxa3 31. Rxa7 Rxa7 32. Nxa7 Bd7 33. Kb2 Kf7 34. Kb3 Kf6 35.Kb4 Kf5 36. Kc5 Ba4 37. c3 Kg4 38. Kxd5 Kh3 39. Ke4 Kxh2 40. Kf3 Bb3 41. f5 line

I know long variation, bad variation!


  

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Re: New move in the Latvian
Reply #94 - 05/09/10 at 10:26:12
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It's astonishing how much computers have changed the assessments of such chaotic opening lines.  Batsford Chess Openings 2, for instance, assesses 3.Nxe5 Nc6 4.Qh5+ ("?") as leading to -/+.  As for the line itself, I wasn't completely convinced by the 8.d3 line (Black does get some practical chances, even though White is probably winning with best play) but Stefan Bücker's paradoxical suggestion 8.Nc3 Nb4 9.d3! looks very convincing for White.  (Black has other 8th-move tries but they all seem to be refuted by 9.d3 as well).

I think White may objectively be better in the analogous line 3.Bc4 fxe4 4.Nxe5 d5 5.Qh5+ g6 6.Nxg6 hxg6 7.Qxh8 Kf7 8.Qd4!, though Black's practical chances are excellent there.

I don't play the Latvian but often take an interest in these sorts of tactical lines.  It will be interesting to see if Black can make either 5...Qf7 or 5...Qg6 playable but as Craig Evans said earlier, White has all the fun there, unfortunately for Latvian fans (as the other lines bar 3.Nxe5 Qf6 4.Nc4! or 3...Nf6 4.Bc4! don't look too bad for Black).
  
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Re: New move in the Latvian
Reply #93 - 05/08/10 at 21:30:27
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I was writting a long article which demostrates that 5..Qg6! is totally playable too, but suddenly my PC crashed ! and I lost all the material.!!

So if some players suggest 5..Qf7 is relatively unplayable ( I'm not allright ) I think 5..Qg6 Main line is reasonable as alternative after 6.d3 Bb4 7.Bd2 Nf6!

Latvian is not dead yet ...
  
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Re: New move in the Latvian
Reply #92 - 05/07/10 at 23:15:01
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It's nice to see you ever-enthusiastic about Latvian, Alejandro.  Wink Well, maybe idea would be simply to protect g2 pawn with a rook? 20.Rg1 (in the b1 variation)?
20...Nd8 21.Raf1. Now if Black exchanges rooks, it leaves him with unpleasant choice whether to give up b7 pawn immediately, or to allow Qc7. To prevent the latter 21...Ne6 looks essential, 22.Rxf2 Rxf2 23.Qe1 Rf8 (23...Qf4 fails to 24.Nf5 Bxf5 25.Bc1!) and b7 pawn is probably eatable by this time 24.Nxb7, followed by Ba3 or even Nc5.
  
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Re: New move in the Latvian
Reply #91 - 05/05/10 at 02:16:18
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CONTINUATION:

.. players played this, but after 17.Qg5! his position is ruined; 17..Qxa1? is loser and relatively best continuation 17..Nbc6 gives comfortable adventage after 18.Qxg4 Qxd6 19.Bd2 or 19.Bb2 etc. ) 17.Bb2 and now follows the NEW analysis, specially with 17..Rad8:

b1) 17..Rf2 Objetively, is a reasonable move ...but his idea is very proof and even the engines can not see it !! ( 17..a6 18.Qc3 Rf6 19.Nxb7 ) 18.Qc3 Qh6 ( in other four games 18..Qg5? was played but White got excellent position with fine moves: 19.Rf1 Raf8 20.Rxf2 Rxf2 23.Qe1! and in all games first player won inmediately ) 19.b5 we are following a game Elburg-Viola, corr. email IV LG World Tourney, 2002 when suddenly Black did a surprising move 19..Raf8!? ( perhaps a home preparation, so one year later Black mistake with 19..Bf3 20.Rg1 d4 21.Qe1) White, unwary, replied with the simple 20.bxc6 and then 20..Rxg2!! was a bomb!. The game was drawn ten moves later, but can the reader see the best moves of the rest of the game ? ...

I don't remember where, but this game submited the glance of FM Stefan Bücker and I know he published some analysis starting with 20.Bf1! Nd8 21.Qg3 but I lost them, so I've tried on rebuilding some, f.i.:

21..Rxc2 ( 21..Bd7 22.Bd3 ) 22.Ba3 ( 22.Rxe7 Rxb2 23.Qxg4 Rbf2 with counterplay ) and now:

- 22..Be6? 23.Bd3 Rd2 ( 23..Rcf2 24.Bc1; 23..Rff2 24.Bxc2 Rxc2 25.Nxb7 ) 24.Nxb7 ( probably 24.Bb4 or 24.Tf1 are also possible ) 24..Nxb7 ( 24..Rff2? 25.Bc1 ) 25.Bxe7 Re8 26.Bb4 Txd3 27.Qxd3

- 22..Bh5 ( better ) 23.Bd3 ( in view of future evaluation with "Main line" maybe it would be neccesary to improve with 23.Rxe7 Qf6 24.Nf5 Qxa1 25.Qxg7+ Qxg7 26.Rxg7+ etc. ) 23..Rxg2 24.Kxg2 ( maybe 24.Qxg2 is best ) 24..Rf3 25.Txe7 Rxg3+ 26.hxg3 Qd2+ 27.Be2 h6 28.Rf1 Qxa2 29.Rf2 Bxe2 30.Rfxe2 Qxa3 31.Re8+ Kh7 32.Rxd8 Qd3 33.Re7 Qd2 34.Kh3 Qd1 35.Rdd7 Qh1+ 36.Kg4 Qd1+ = and I think White king can not scape of pepetual check. Anybody can deny it's a nice line

b2) 17..Rad8 18.Qc3 ( maybe 18.Nxb7 directly or 18.Rf1!? are possible too ) and now the surprise. In all games Black only played 18..Qg5 19.Nxb7 Rb8 etc. losing relatively quick, but why not 18..Rf6! aiming square f8 for the other rook if White capture in b7 ? ( But not 18..Qf6 19.Nxb7 Rb8 20.Nc5 Qxc3 21.Bxc3 ). So:

- 19.Nxb7 Rdf8 ( 19..Rb8? 20.b5 Txb7 21.bxc6 Nxc6 22.Qc5 Ne7 23.Bxf6 Qxf6 24.Rab1 ) 20.b5 R8f7! 21.Qxc5 ( a pretty lines are 21.bxc6 Rh6 22.h3 Bxh3 24.Bxh7+ Kh8!; or 21.Ba3 Rf2 22.Bf1 Be2!! - 22.Rg1 Bf3!! - ) 21..Rh6 22.Qg1 ( displacing the queen in an "ugly" square ) 22..Nb4 23.Be5 Nxd3 24.cxd3 Ng6 25.Nc5 Nxe5 26.Rxe5 Rf2 27.Re8+ Kf7 28.Rae1 Rxa2 29.Na6 Rf2 30.R8e7+ Kg8 31.Nb4 R8f6 32.Re8+ Rf8 33.Rxf8+ Rxf8 and Black seems to resolve the situation.

Ideas?,

             Alejandro Melchor.

« Last Edit: 05/05/10 at 22:27:29 by AMM »  
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Re: New move in the Latvian
Reply #90 - 05/05/10 at 00:18:15
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Recapitulation: ( Update and English translation of a well-known article by myself originally published in Spanish at www.ajedreznd.com over the refutation of Latvian gambit and extensively analyzed in this Forum and older ones ).

Summarizing, Latvian gambit reputation is nowadays under a cloud if White choose critical 3.Nxe5 Qf6 4.Nc4! with Budovskis' line 7.d3! so first player position is very strong and Black can only hope to get a draw in difficcult endgames with a pawn down, but I think I've found new resources from known positions of Latvian theory

Let's go with my long article:

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 f5 3.Nxe5 Undoubtedly this move is the only way to question the Black game. Traditionally has been considered strongest one, and additionally is the most natural. Older books suggested 3.Bc4 but this move it's not easy to learn. After 3..fxe4 4.Nxe5 d5! or crazy 4..Qg5!? you need to have quite an amount of concrete knowledge to play it. That is not unlike many other openings, but here the consequences of forgetting something can be fatal due to the very tactical nature and so I don't recommend it. It may be fine for White, but it involves too much study for a line that doesn't come up very often. Also it's impossible to remember all the tricks, but if someone plays this, it's very likely that they at least know this line and White players have to constantly be on their guard.

3...Qf6. The possibility 4.Dh5+ should be avoided. The other Main Variation starts with 3..Nc6.  A great amount of theory it has accumulated with this move in which Black offers a pawn (at least) to get the initiative. The devotees of the Fraser variation tend to ignore the merits of the main line 3...Qf6, because this covers a territory very broad and requires a very thin judgement. Obviously, there are two moves that we see quickly: 4.Cxc6 and 4.Dh5+. With the last one, White enters to the speculative game that allows his rival and is going to win material after 4...g6 5.Cxg6 etc. With 4.dxc6 Cxc6 one feels that is playing with Black: the smaller pieces came into play quick and easily, pressing in open central columns, especially when castling Queens flank; meanwhile, White has not moved his‘d’ pawn to give life to his bishop of 'c1', even more, it doesn’t have pieces in the King flank and if try castle in this corner, this deficiency will launch Black the attack. Although is extensively analyzed, sceptics can point out all of this discussion is sterile due to it doesn’t take into account the supposed refutation of GM John Nunn with the move 4.d4, but really the variation is on whole refuted from long time ago and paradoxically with the classical 4.Qh5+ g6 5.Nxg6 etc. in several ways

There is another move which we should focus some attention: 3..Nf6 analyzed in www.chesscafe.com by German theorician and FM Stefan Bücker ( see "Over the Horizons" into the Archives file ). It is not the purpose of this article but the importance of this move is one of the last resources as Black on Latvian gambit.
With this answer we avoid 4.Dh5+ and at worst Black loses totally a pawn, but avoiding complicated variations as is usual in the rest of lines. Often a premature exchange of Queens is also produced with a subsequent exchange of flank pawns; Black gets good drawing prospects in this King flank on the later resulting three pawns against two

4.Nc4 The most obvious move is 4.d4 but it’s necessary to know amount of theory. Usually the way follows with 4..d6 5.Nc4 fxe4 and now White can choose between the positional manoeuvres 6.Be2 or 6.Ne3, and more open lines from 6.Nc3 Qg6. The move chosen as Main variation, was an invention of Leonhardt, which intends a rapid game pieces and allow the possibility of attacking the pawn ‘e4’ with ‘d3’ at sometime.

4...fxe4 5.Nc3

5.d3 immediately is very innocuous

5...Qf7 At the beginning of the gambit, the moves 5...Qg6 and 5...Qe6 -, by the way, often they transposes - were invariably played, but for years have forgotten; the queen was subject to persecution by White - even if it was necessary sacrificing pawns- thing that allowed a rapid development mounting devastating attacks. In 1970, the German theoretical Gerhard Gunderam proposed 5...Qf7!, here the queen is safer, and with it the Black prepares to solve their problems of development,  ( to be threat ..d5 forming a solid center and released box f6 for the knight ), but all this implies neglect their own pressure on 'e4' and that many times the pawn is slaughtered. This variation is by far the most practiced from long time ago, specially by CC players. The other one is the IMPORTANT 5..d5!?

6.Ne3 Stops ..d5 and threat Bc4, so the Black should make a move that paralyzed such a possibility, otherwise will have a great difficulty of development. There is another alternative considered by Minev as even better, 6.d4!? but Black has sufficient resources to equalize, but should play with caution. Of course not 6.Nxe4?? d5 7.Ne5 Df5 -+ losing the knight.

6...c6 As it has been said, because of it can not stand up to Bc4 and Nxe4, with this move the pawn is abandoned to your destination on exchange for a slight progress in development and a large amount of fun !. In other words everything that is denied on the other lines !. Now for the first player is open two possibilities: to refuse the pawn with the move of IM CC Inesis Budovskis 7.d3, - known for a long time - or capture with 7.Nxe4. Both are considered as the critical lines of the whole of gambit, and where from few years ago has been built his prosecution. It is difficcult to predict which is the most successful and really is almost a matter of taste: 7.d3 leads to a very much alive game with constant sacrifices that will need to know well, while 7.Nxe4 leads to a game very technical and positional where it closes in extreme and White has difficulties to assert the advantage material. We will focus on 7.d3 because it leads to the "refutation" we are looking for and we will leave 7.Nxe4 to another day.

7.d3 exd3 8.Bxd3 d5 White has a substantial progress in development, but the Black has achieved some strategic assets at long term. He has an extra central pawn and the position of his queen will turn out to be quite useful if he castles kingside since it will pressure along the f-file. Indeed, it becomes apparent that Black will have a fine if he has a few tempi to complete his development. After ..Bd6, ..Ne7, and 0-0 his king will be safe while the white knights are poorly placed. Black's central pawns prevent the knights from moving forwards and the e3 knight blocks bishop c1. The only problem for Black is in most of the lines he must put attention to the sacrifices by Nexd5 or Nc4 to disturb Black before he can castle.

9.0-0 and we have reached to the critical position; Black has tested most of the legal moves - up to 9 !! - but finally only two of them has been called to be satisfactory:

A) 9...Bc5 has always been the first line that was played, it was considered refuted during years but Black got some success with the rehabilitated line 10.Na4 Bd6 11.c4 Ne7 12.cxd5 cxd5 13.Nc3 0-0! ( or 12.Nc3 0-0! 13.cxd5 cxd5 ) where it was also spurred thanks to a series of games wherever Black achieved comfortable positions; see for instance http://www.jeremysilman.com/chess_opng_anlys/040703_anthr_olk_atth_ltvn_gmbt.htm...

However, at the end of the year 2005 the amateur English player Steve James proposed the surprising move 10.b4!! analyzed firstly in www.jeremysilman.com/chess_letters/040223_splat_the_lat.html and one year later again by the same author ( so I myself found new defensive resources ) in www.jeremysilman.com//chess_opng_anlys/040223_more_splat_the_lat.html ) and the strong player Swedish Magnus Rosenstielke was the first to put it into practice in three of his games. Long analysis and definitive refutation was also noted HERE in the forum http://www.chesspub.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1194567910/15 and the collaboration of Russian I.Terenin was highly appreciated. As we know, this variation is being a true massacre for Black in last games and we can finish is nearly lost, and subsequently many people told Latvian was definitebely refuted, BUT ....

B) 9..Bd6 Trickiest, this move it was also well-known, and objetively was the first tested. It was rejected after strong Novelty of CC IM Viiljams Strautins at 16th. move in the Main Line. Come on with the analysis:

10.Re1 ( 10.Nexd5!? cxd5 11.Nb5 is also dangerous but at present is known 11..Bc7 or 11..Qd7!? are sufficient ) 10..Ne7 ( Unique, any other move is loser so White prepares for instance 11.Nexd5 ) 11.Nexd5! ( the exclamation mark is on NCO; Kosten say " this move is better than 11.Nc4!? so focuse on this more direct way of assaulting the solid Black centre" ) 11..cxd5 12.Nb5 White has translated his lead in development into an attack. Most opponents will not last long in such a position, but even if they know the best moves they will still stand worse. This is a highly tactical position and it is easy for Black to make fatal missteps; logically 12.Nxd5?? is a blunder so after 12..Qxd5 13.Bg6+ Kd8 leaves the queen defended. 12..0-0 ( Any other move as 12..Qf6?; 12..Bxh2+? and 12..Bf4?! are bad and there are many games about ) 13.Nxd6 Qxf2+ 14.Kh1 Bg4 the only reasonable try 15.Qd2 ( better than 15.Be3 Bxd1 16.Bxf2 Bxc2 17.Bxc2 Rxf2 = as played by myself in 1989 ) 15..Qh4 ( the exchange of queens isn't good: 15…Qxd2 16.Bxd2 threatens Rxe7 and Nxb7, but the big point is White's lead in development and Black's weaknesses such as e6 ) 16.b4! ( Strautin's idea. White prepares to bring his bishop to the a1-h8 diagonal, whilst at the same time b4-b5 can be a useful resource. 16.Nxb7 is the other played move, but is too time consuming; in the seven known games Black has easy play ) 16..Nbc6 ( First Black reaction would be to play 16..Qf6 menacing the rook, in fact many play  



 
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Re: New move in the Latvian
Reply #89 - 02/09/10 at 16:28:25
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Yes, while there's room for some argument over the extent of White's advantage I think you've shown enough to illustrate that the 4.d4 d6 5.Nc4 fxe4 6.Be2 line is less critical than previously assumed because of 6...Qd8!, which I overlooked when I last looked at the line.  9...0-0 is an improvement over the 9...c6 given in Fritz's openings book, more flexible and making it harder for White to mount a serious attack on the e-pawn.

I had a closer look at 7.Bh5+ g6 8.Bg4 Nf6 9.Bxc8 Qxc8 and 8.Bh5+ g6 9.Be2 Bg7 but they don't appear to offer white much, indeed in the former case I suspect that Black gets equality.

So the conclusion must be that 4.Nc4! is indeed far more critical than the 4.d4 d6 5.Nc4 fxe4 6.Be2 which is merely +=.
  
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Re: New move in the Latvian
Reply #88 - 02/09/10 at 00:14:55
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SWJediknight wrote on 01/22/10 at 23:40:31:
AMM wrote on 01/22/10 at 19:37:58:
[quote author=16120F20212C2E2B2C222D31450 link=1262014233/81#81 date=1264170662]SWJedinight suggested 6..h5, perhaps White should not be tempted 7.Bxh5+ g6 and play so most natural 7.Nc3 Qg6 8.0-0 Nf6 9.f3

I think that was Craig Evans's suggestion.  I must admit as White I'd have been tempted by 7.Bxh5+ in that position, and then 7...g6 8.Bg4 should be better for White.  Alternatively 7.Nc3 as you say is probably even better.

Upon 6...Qd8, White can develop with 7.0-0 Nf6 8.Bg5 Be7 9.Ne3 with a space advantage and Black's pawn on e4 is a big problem.   Maybe White can also consider throwing in Bh5+, g6, Be2 in at some stage, weakening the black kingside at the cost of a tempo.  But admittedly White only has some advantage, rather than the possibility of a quick kill as per those 4.Nc4 lines.


After 6..Qd8; 9.Ne3 (Keres), White has only a small adventage; f.i 9..0-0:

- 10.Bc4+ Kh8 11.Bxf6 Rxf6 12.Nc3 ( VF Kozlov-Hayward, corr., 1990 ) 12..Nc6 =

- 10.Nd2 d5 11.c3 (11.c4 Ng4!) 11..c6 12.Qb3 ( Frederiksen-Benatar, corr. email, 2002 ) 12..a5!? Kosten,T

- 10.c4 (most played, White is targeting the e-pawn) 10..c6 ( far from forced says Kosten, another possibilities, maybe surest are 10..h6 or 10..c5!? 11.d5 Na6 ) 11.Nc3 (11.Qc2 Re8) 11..Nbd7 12.Qc2 Re8 played in several games but I don't like 13.Rad1 Qa5 - unique - 14.d5!

- 10.Nc3 Nbd7 11.f3 exf3 12.Bxf3 Nb6 13.Qd3 slight advantage
« Last Edit: 02/09/10 at 23:48:10 by AMM »  
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