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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. Nf3 what to play? (Read 13784 times)
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Re: 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. Nf3 what to play?
Reply #58 - 02/03/17 at 08:47:47
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I thought the westerinen line was under a cloud. I know Lakdawala gave it a chapter in his book, but it isnt a line that i'm too familiar with (it doesnt seem to come up in discussions with other Alekhine players for example or feature in the few Alekhine games i've seen in articles).


An annotated game on this site would be good, however I cannot find a single one in the games archive
« Last Edit: 02/03/17 at 09:57:35 by GMTonyKosten »  
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Re: 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. Nf3 what to play?
Reply #57 - 01/29/17 at 13:07:38
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helmet wrote on 01/23/17 at 03:06:23:
Slightly different move order but Westerinens anti main line means you are not forced to choose any of the above.

1.e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 Nb6 Nf3 d5

The idea is to move the Knight to b6 before it is forced there, which means d6 can be ommited in favour of d5  aiming for a caro cann / french advanced type position, closed but with the bad bishop outside the pawn chain, and the option to play c5 in one move unlike the Caro

Positions are richer and less grinding than the normal c6 alekhine main line and less risky than some of the alternative Alekhine methods of meeting Nff3 the added bonus is it confuses opponents
If white does not play Nf3 on movve 4 you can transpose back to normal Alekhine lines with d6.



I thought the westerinen line was under a cloud. I know Lakdawala gave it a chapter in his book, but it isnt a line that i'm too familiar with (it doesnt seem to come up in discussions with other Alekhine players for example or feature in the few Alekhine games i've seen in articles).
  

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Re: 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. Nf3 what to play?
Reply #56 - 01/29/17 at 00:34:38
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kylemeister wrote on 06/13/16 at 07:49:55:
Keano wrote on 05/16/16 at 21:27:03:
I think the "old main line" is worth a punt, the old guys knew a thing or two


I noticed that Rapport "took your advice" and scored 1.5/2 with it in his match against Navara.  I wonder what the players thought about this kind of thing:  4...Bg4 5. Be2 e6 6. O-O Be7 7. h3 Bh5 8. c4 Nb6 9. Nc3 O-O 10. Be3 d5 11. c5 Bxf3 12. gf, which as far as I know has long been considered +=.


Indeed. Rozentalis is also a believer.

It looks like the comps are laughing in the face of the old theory.
  
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Re: 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. Nf3 what to play?
Reply #55 - 01/23/17 at 03:06:23
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Slightly different move order but Westerinens anti main line means you are not forced to choose any of the above.

1.e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 Nb6 Nf3 d5

The idea is to move the Knight to b6 before it is forced there, which means d6 can be ommited in favour of d5  aiming for a caro cann / french advanced type position, closed but with the bad bishop outside the pawn chain, and the option to play c5 in one move unlike the Caro

Positions are richer and less grinding than the normal c6 alekhine main line and less risky than some of the alternative Alekhine methods of meeting Nff3 the added bonus is it confuses opponents
If white does not play Nf3 on movve 4 you can transpose back to normal Alekhine lines with d6.

  
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Re: 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. Nf3 what to play?
Reply #54 - 11/12/16 at 12:24:04
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To Ig:
1.e4 Nf6  2.e5 Nd5  3.d4 d6  4.Nf3 dxe5  5.Nxe5 c6  6.Be2 Bf5  7.0–0 Nd7 8.Nf3 Qc7 9. Nh4 Bg6 10.c4 Nf4  11.Bf3 Bxb1  12. Rxb1 g5
13.g3 (13.Nf5 is advocated by Ig and it is a good alternative) O-O-O 14.Nf5 e6  15.Ne3

Ig (Reply #53) has advocated, that 15.Ne3 is a strong move, but I believe that black still has dynamic play. After 15.... Ne5 possible continuations are 16. Kh1 Ng6  17.b4 f5  18.Be2 f4 =
or 16.gxf4 Rxd4  17.fxe5 Rxd1  18.Rxd1 Qxe5=
  
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Re: 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. Nf3 what to play?
Reply #53 - 09/24/16 at 22:59:18
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Kam

perhaps White need not be so "nice". I guess that 15.Ne3 (instead of 15.gxf4) keeps the pressure; perhaps 13...e6 may be better

also after 12...g5 white can play 13.Nf5 at once (transposing or not); if we are worried with this move
perhaps the move order 12...e6 13.g3 g5 is better (although here 13...Ng6 is playable)

anyway i am less convinced with 10...Nf4
  
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Re: 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. Nf3 what to play?
Reply #52 - 09/24/16 at 12:42:20
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To Ig: (Reply #51)
1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Nd5 3.d4 d6 4.Nf3 dxe5 5.Nxe5 c6 6.Be2 Bf5 7.0–0 Nd7 8.Nf3 Qc7 9.Nh4 Bg6 10.c4 Nf4 11.Bf3 Bxb1  12.Rxb1 g5 13.g3

The move 13…. e6 is slightly better and it should at least get equality with best play. The white knight is restricted to staying on the rim, and black’s initiative on the king side can be sustained for quite a long period. A mistake by white could easily result in a fine crushing black victory.

After the move 13...0–0–0 white can play 14.Nf5 which leads to neutralising of the black initiative on the king side, but surprisingly after today reviewing my analysis in response to your question (I initially thought 13…. O-O-O was totally good for white), black has resources and equality may also be achievable.

I have looked at 13....  O-O-O  14.Nf5 e6 15.gxf4 exf5 Black has a nice king side pawn mass, but the unprotectable pawn on the f5-square can be easily captured. 16.Qd3 Bd6!? (move discovered today) (previously only explored 16...g4 17.Bg2 Bg7 18.d5 cxd5 19.cxd5 Nb6±) 17.Qxf5 White exploits the weak f5-square and the white queen becomes a spanner in the works of blacks kingside attack. 17…. Bxf4 18.Kh1 Bxc1 19.Rbxc1 Qd6 20.d5 Qf6 21.Bg4 Kb8 22.f4 h6 =

Would you have some analysis, which would support or challenge my claims?
  
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Re: 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. Nf3 what to play?
Reply #51 - 09/23/16 at 19:52:14
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Kam

any reason you prefer 13...e6 to 13...0-0-0, after 11...Bxb1
12 Rxb1 g5 13.g3 ?
  
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Re: 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. Nf3 what to play?
Reply #50 - 09/23/16 at 05:25:14
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1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Nd5 3.d4 d6 4.Nf3 dxe5 5.Nxe5 c6 6.Be2 Bf5 7.0–0 Nd7 8.Nf3 Qc7 9.Nh4 Bg6 10.c4 Nf4 (I really love this move and black’s king side pawn just  may stampede towards the white king)
11.Bf3  (mentioned by Tonyro on post #47.) I would play 11…. Bxb1 and a possible continuation is 12.Rxb1 g5!? 13.g3 e6. I wonder how Tony would continue after  11….Bxb1?
  
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Re: 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. Nf3 what to play?
Reply #49 - 09/22/16 at 22:47:22
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TonyRo wrote on 09/22/16 at 14:55:19:
Tony - after 10.c4 cant Black play 10...Nf4 ?
I looked at 11.Bf3 and didn't really understand why Black would want to play this position.


Right ! I mixed the move order (you are suggesting c4 after having played Nh4) I like this (for White)

  
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Re: 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. Nf3 what to play?
Reply #48 - 09/22/16 at 21:06:39
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Bibelette wrote on 09/22/16 at 13:09:45:
I think one reason the Kengis went out of fashion is the variation 5...g6 6.c4 Nb6. Black should play a quick ...c5 which is not to every Alekhine player's liking.

Perhaps, but the line seems theoretically totally fine to me. And what Alekhine player is not going to want to start chipping away with ...c5? That's thematic in quite a few lines...
  
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Re: 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. Nf3 what to play?
Reply #47 - 09/22/16 at 14:55:19
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lg wrote on 09/22/16 at 10:10:14:
Tony - after 10.c4 cant Black play 10...Nf4 ?

I looked at 11.Bf3 and didn't really understand why Black would want to play this position.
  
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Re: 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. Nf3 what to play?
Reply #46 - 09/22/16 at 13:09:45
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TonyRo wrote on 09/21/16 at 23:22:11:
Also, what's wrong with the Kengis?


I think one reason the Kengis went out of fashion is the variation 5...g6 6.c4 Nb6. Black should play a quick ...c5 which is not to every Alekhine player's liking. As you must know, after 5...c6 6.c4 is not so strong because of 6...Nb4, which makes the variation quite attractive.

On the other hand, after 5...c6 6.Be2!, playing Kengis style with 6...g6 (instead of the more common 6...Bf5) becomes dubious because of 7.0-0 Bg7 8.c4! Nb6. Black has spent a rather useless tempo on ...c6 and doesn't really have the time to play ...c5.

This is why some players prefer to retreat the knight on c7 instead of b6, but I do not find this too convincing.
  
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Re: 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. Nf3 what to play?
Reply #45 - 09/22/16 at 13:04:37
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Hi everyone, I'm glad to join this Forum. I've been playing the Alekhine for 28 years so I hope I can bring some useful insights (FIDE 2100).

TonyRo wrote on 09/21/16 at 23:22:11:
I think I'd start with 8...e6 9.c4 N5f6 10.Nc3 Ne4!?


This is indeed acceptable for Black, but as mentioned by Sveshnikov Jr. in his recent blitz repertoire book, White can start with 10.Nh4!? and the problem with the Bf5 remains.
  
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Re: 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. Nf3 what to play?
Reply #44 - 09/22/16 at 10:10:14
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Tony

after 10.c4 cant Black play 10...Nf4 ?
  
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Re: 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. Nf3 what to play?
Reply #43 - 09/21/16 at 23:22:11
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Kam, in your preferred line, that being 5...c6 6.Be2 Bf5 7.O-O Nbd7 8.Nf3 Qc7, what are you doing after the common 9.Nh4 Bg6 (assumed to be the move) 10.c4? Seems solidly better for White. If I had to make this line work for Black, I think I'd start with 8...e6 9.c4 N5f6 10.Nc3 Ne4!? - seems natural to me - most Alekhine middlegames are far more comfortable for Black with 3 or less minors. It also has an even score in some high level OTB and correspondence games.

Also, what's wrong with the Kengis?
  
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Alekhine's Def. Modern with - 4.Nf3 Bf5 5.Bd3 Bxd3
Reply #42 - 09/21/16 at 09:29:22
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Re: 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. Nf3 what to play?
Reply #41 - 09/14/16 at 21:36:27
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There are many ideas to develop. I have seen interesting games (among engines) with 5. ... Bxd3 6. Qxd3 e6 (7. Qb5+ Nd7 8. Dxb7 c5 is even) 7. 00 or even 6. ... dxe5 7. Nxe5 Nd7... (this line lead to a very complicated endgame) white is slightly better but he is always in every line with Nf3. Anyway i have a lot of analisys on 4. ... Bf5 i'm trying to put online....
  
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Re: 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. Nf3 what to play?
Reply #40 - 09/13/16 at 21:25:27
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I know that some old theory had 5. Bd3 as leading to a clear advantage for White; is there a particular way of playing against it which seemed to be fine for Black?
  
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Re: 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. Nf3 what to play?
Reply #39 - 09/13/16 at 20:43:46
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No one has ever tried 4. ... Bf5? It's an old variation with no charm... anyway i tried in some matches with interesting results... maybe my opponents were too weak, so i began a tournament among many strong chess engines (Stockfish, Komodo 10, many SF clones) forcing that opening line... very often black was fine. Do you think  this line could be playable?
  
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Re: 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. Nf3 what to play?
Reply #38 - 06/14/16 at 06:29:56
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I think 4...Bg4, 4...g6, 4...dxe5 and 4...c6 are all about the same - a little better for White, but quite playable for Black too. Some nice ideas for both sides can be found if you let the machine lead the way.
  

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Re: 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. Nf3 what to play?
Reply #37 - 06/13/16 at 07:49:55
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Keano wrote on 05/16/16 at 21:27:03:
I think the "old main line" is worth a punt, the old guys knew a thing or two


I noticed that Rapport "took your advice" and scored 1.5/2 with it in his match against Navara.  I wonder what the players thought about this kind of thing:  4...Bg4 5. Be2 e6 6. O-O Be7 7. h3 Bh5 8. c4 Nb6 9. Nc3 O-O 10. Be3 d5 11. c5 Bxf3 12. gf, which as far as I know has long been considered +=.
  
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Re: 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. Nf3 what to play?
Reply #36 - 05/16/16 at 21:27:03
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I think the "old main line" is worth a punt, the old guys knew a thing or two
  
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Re: 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. Nf3 what to play?
Reply #35 - 02/03/10 at 16:36:58
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The 1st half of video #4 is on 5...c6 and the 2nd half on 5...Nc6.  I think he might have said that he'd cover 5...e6 in the next one.

In the 5...Nc6 line he briefly mentions that 6.e6 isn't as good here for White with the bishop out in front but he only gives 6...fe without any follow-up.  The only analysis he does is for 6.c4 which he does cover in some detail.  His main line is 6...Nb6 7.ed ed and give Blacks main idea as ...Bf6...Re8...Nc5...a5 and not allowing White to capture the e file.

So there is still nothing new on the critical 6.0-0 line. 
« Last Edit: 02/04/10 at 01:31:13 by Net Warrior »  

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Re: 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. Nf3 what to play?
Reply #34 - 02/03/10 at 14:41:08
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Net Warrior wrote on 02/03/10 at 11:35:44:
GM Ronen Har-Zvi has a 4 video and counting on the Alekhines.  #4 covers 4...Bg4 5.Be2 Nc6 and he concluded this line is perhaps slightly worse for Black but very playable...so far his most favorable line for Black in this variation.   


Fascinating.  It's remarkable that Har-Zvi would devote an entire video to this obsure and not-well-esteemed line.  What's he say about 4...Bg4 5.Be2 c6 and 5...e6?

Since Mikenas was no idiot and returned to this line repeatedly, I'm sure his idea was that yes, Black is worse, but it's a 'worse' that can be fairly readily survived.  Personally though, I don't have the strength of Mikenas, so I would be worried about holding the ending with those crappy queenside pawns (on c7, c6 and a7 after Bxc6).
  

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Re: 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. Nf3 what to play?
Reply #33 - 02/03/10 at 12:17:31
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Oh, sorry, I forgot to mention that the videos are available to ICC members for on line viewing but alas, it's not very thorough. 
« Last Edit: 02/03/10 at 14:24:00 by Net Warrior »  

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Re: 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. Nf3 what to play?
Reply #32 - 02/03/10 at 11:38:21
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Where can we get that video?
  
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Re: 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. Nf3 what to play?
Reply #31 - 02/03/10 at 11:35:44
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GM Ronen Har-Zvi has a 4 video and counting on the Alekhines.  #4 covers 4...Bg4 5.Be2 Nc6 and he concluded this line is perhaps slightly worse for Black but very playable...so far his most favorable line for Black in this variation.   
  

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Re: 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. Nf3 what to play?
Reply #30 - 01/04/10 at 17:10:09
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Markovich wrote on 01/03/10 at 19:34:36:
lg wrote on 01/02/10 at 22:19:16:
however, looking at the variation with 4...Nb6 (which seems quite interesting, deserving much more attention than it had - despite the Karolyi NYC yearbook articles) I dont see many games followed
by Nc6


That's a non sequitur, isn't it, since here you have ...Bg4, Be2, ...Nc6 and O-O thrown in?


Yes, but 4...Nb6 is played with a reason in mind.
the move 6...Nb6 after the mentioned sequence appears the choice of a lesser evil
  
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Re: 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. Nf3 what to play?
Reply #29 - 01/03/10 at 19:34:36
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lg wrote on 01/02/10 at 22:19:16:
however, looking at the variation with 4...Nb6 (which seems quite interesting, deserving much more attention than it had - despite the Karolyi NYC yearbook articles) I dont see many games followed
by Nc6


That's a non sequitur, isn't it, since here you have ...Bg4, Be2, ...Nc6 and O-O thrown in?
  

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Re: 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. Nf3 what to play?
Reply #28 - 01/03/10 at 16:40:27
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I ran across a game in chessgames.com from 1977 between Sigurjonsson and Larsen which the "Great Dane" won in 42 moves, though White seemed to be holding his own into the endgame.

1. e4 Nf6; 2. e5 Nd5; 3. d4 d6; 4. Nf3 Nb6; 5. a4 c6; 6. a5 Nd5; 7. Be2 g6; 8. 0-0 Bg7; 9. c4 Nc7; 10. exd6 Qxd6; 11. Nc3 0-0...

Of course Larsen might have simply won because he was one of the strongest players in the world at that time.
  
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Re: 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. Nf3 what to play?
Reply #27 - 01/02/10 at 22:19:16
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sure, usually good players motivate and play "sound" variations

however, looking at the variation with 4...Nb6 (which seems quite interesting, deserving much more attention than it had - despite the Karolyi NYC yearbook articles) I dont see many games followed
by Nc6
  
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Re: 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. Nf3 what to play?
Reply #26 - 01/02/10 at 22:13:50
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lg wrote on 01/02/10 at 21:48:39:
take a look at Bogdanov, (by the way just noticed it) as well
and did Mikenas win?


In three games that I have the results of, he only scored 0.5.  However, since he returned to this quite a few times (he first encountered the line with 7.h3 in 1962 and faced it as late as 1979), he must have thought that it was O.K. for Black.  It would probably be worthwhile to try to find some more games of his with this.  Some that I know of but do not have complete scores of are Aronin-Mikenas, Riga 1962; Lindergarten-Mikenas, Riga 1962; Mnatsakanian-Mikenas, USSR 1967.  I am not advocating 5...Nc6, or 6...Nb6, just saying that with this provenance, it deserves a serious looking at.
  

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Re: 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. Nf3 what to play?
Reply #25 - 01/02/10 at 21:48:39
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take a look at Bogdanov, (by the way just noticed it) as well
and did Mikenas win?
  
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Re: 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. Nf3 what to play?
Reply #24 - 01/02/10 at 21:40:57
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lg wrote on 01/02/10 at 20:33:55:
After 4. Nf3 Bg4 5. Be2 Nc6 6. O-O

why is 6...Nb6 the only independent move?
Both 6...dxe5 and e6 (this even appeared, although, Black's moves 5 and 6 have been reversed, in one of the main games of Davies book) lead to lines NOT appearing in other variations.

I also thought that 6...Nb6 has been dismissed a long time ago as weak, no?

7.h3 ! (in Burguess) Bxf3 8.Bxf3 dxe5 the recommended move is  first 9. Bxc6+ (instead of dxe5) bxc6 and only then 10. dxe5 and this gives White a very good game



Either Burgess exaggerates White's advantage, or Mikenas was dead wrong. Since Mikenas returned to this many times, I wouldn't dismiss it on the say-so of Burgess, who merely quotes Bagirov's main line and sticks a stronger conclusion on it.  Personally I think 7.a4, not 7.h3, probably deserves the exclamation point.

6...e6 just transposes into the OML.  But yes, 6...dxe5 can be played.  7.Nxe5 Nxe5 (7...Bxe2 8.Qxe2 Nxd4? 9.Qc4) 8.dxe5 Bf5 9.Qb3 += for example.

[I wonder if we could transfer the discussions of Mikenas, the man, to another thread.  Monitor?]
  

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Re: 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. Nf3 what to play?
Reply #23 - 01/02/10 at 21:10:41
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Schaakhamster wrote on 01/02/10 at 18:41:57:
One of those delightfull unknow Soviet masters that in their time would have beaten the crap out of most contemporary non-Soviet Grandmasters.

That's quite an exaggeration. For one thing there weren't many GM's in Mikenas' time. Being from 1910 "his time" was between about 1935 and 1955. Mikenas did not exactly beat the crap out of Capablanca, Euwe, Eliskases, Fine and Tartakower. In 1939 he failed to beat Van Scheltinga (one of those fine unknown Dutch masters hehehe) twice at the Buenos Aires Olympiade.
After 1940 he did not (was not allowed to) play in the west, but in 1948 Mikenas also lost at least twice against Nezhmetdinov. His results against Alekhine are impressive though and so is his 5th place in the URSch of 1944.
  

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Re: 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. Nf3 what to play?
Reply #22 - 01/02/10 at 20:33:55
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After 4. Nf3 Bg4 5. Be2 Nc6 6. O-O

why is 6...Nb6 the only independent move?
Both 6...dxe5 and e6 (this even appeared, although, Black's moves 5 and 6 have been reversed, in one of the main games of Davies book) lead to lines NOT appearing in other variations.

I also thought that 6...Nb6 has been dismissed a long time ago as weak, no?

After

7.h3 ! (in Burguess) Bxf3 8.Bxf3 dxe5 the recommended move is  first 9. Bxc6+ (instead of dxe5) bxc6 and only then 10. dxe5 and this gives White a very good game

  
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Re: 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. Nf3 what to play?
Reply #21 - 01/02/10 at 19:59:52
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Korch wrote on 01/02/10 at 18:29:54:
Schaakhamster wrote on 01/02/10 at 16:30:32:
Mikenas only became a honorary GM in 1987 but certainly was of GM-strenght.

And he was from Lithuania. It`s true that he was born in Estonia and emigrated to Lithuania in 1931, but he had Lithuanian nationality.


Thanks for the word.  Funny, I assumed that someone of his stature just had to be a GM.  After all, his name comes up in many games, and he has at least two notable variations named after him (in the English and the Modern Benoni).  In those days, they were pretty stingy with the title, though.  He is listed as "EST" in my data base, a clerical error, no doubt.

Concerning 6...Nb6, Bagirov says "This attempt to deviate from the main lines was proposed by the Lithuanian player Vishomirskis and has often been used by Mikenas." 


  

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Re: 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. Nf3 what to play?
Reply #20 - 01/02/10 at 18:41:57
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Korch wrote on 01/02/10 at 18:29:54:
Schaakhamster wrote on 01/02/10 at 16:30:32:
Mikenas only became a honorary GM in 1987 but certainly was of GM-strenght.

And he was from Lithuania. It`s true that he was born in Estonia and emigrated to Lithuania in 1931, but he had Lithuanian nationality.


Indeed, he played for the Lithuanian olympiadteam in the '30ies before the USSR annexed the Baltic states. One of those delightfull unknow Soviet masters that in their time would have beaten the crap out of most contemporary non-Soviet Grandmasters.
  
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Re: 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. Nf3 what to play?
Reply #19 - 01/02/10 at 18:29:54
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Schaakhamster wrote on 01/02/10 at 16:30:32:
Mikenas only became a honorary GM in 1987 but certainly was of GM-strenght.

And he was from Lithuania. It`s true that he was born in Estonia and emigrated to Lithuania in 1931, but he had Lithuanian nationality.
  
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Re: 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. Nf3 what to play?
Reply #18 - 01/02/10 at 16:30:32
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Markovich wrote on 01/02/10 at 15:04:36:
Net Warrior wrote on 12/31/09 at 15:06:30:
Then I was looking at the old main line and found 4.Nf3 Bg4 5.Be2 Nc6!? in a book from the '90's.  The author only gave it sparse coverage but the more I looked at it the more I thought it was playable.  I analysed what I figured would be the 3 main continuations with Fritz 10 and and black was close to equalizing in all three 6. c4, 6. ed, and 6. e6.  It was particularly nice to have the Bishop out in front in the  6. e6 line.  I think there is room for some original play in these lines.   Oh, and keep in mind that I'm only a USCF "A" player so none of this is solid gold.   


I looked into this, and it turns out your judgment of this line is pretty good.  It was played on many occasions by the strong Estonian GM Vladas Mikenas.  I have four of his games with it in my database, and Bagirov mentions others in his 1973 book.

The first thing to understand is that after 6.0-0 the only line of independent significance is 6...Nb6!?, since leaving the knight on d5 permits White to transpose into a version of the Old Main Line where Black's knight appears early on d6.  This is considered disadvantageous, because White will play exd6 followed by d5.  So 6...Nb6, which is the way Mikenas played it, and now there are two challenging moves.

7.h3 Bxf3 (not 7...Bh5 8.e6) 8.Bxf3 exd5 (8...e6 doesn't work out well) 9.exd5 Qxd1 10.Rxd1 e6 and sooner or later White will exchange on c6, debilitating Black's queenside pawns.  Mikenas must have felt that Black could hold the game, however, since he went for this repeatedly.  In the last game in my data base, he is defeated in this line in 1979 with Kengis, of all people, in command of the white pieces.

7.a4 is a very big challenge.  The main point is that 7...dxe5 8.a5 e4 9.Ng5 is very good for White.  Black must try either 7...a5 or 8...Nd7!? 9.a6 b6.  Here Bagirov, aped by Eales, gives 10.dxe5 Ndxe5 11.Nxe5 Qxd1 12.Bxd1 Nxe5 13.Bxg4 Nxg4 14.Bf4 as favorable for White.  This is utter crap, since Black is a pawn up and perfectly safe after 14...e5.  But White also has 10.h3 and 10.c3.  10.h3 Bxf3 11.Bxf3 Nxd4 12.Bxa8 Qxa8 looks about equal to me.  But 10.c3! is a challenge and I will let others now have their say about it.


Mikenas only became a honorary GM in 1987 but certainly was of GM-strenght. I think I'll give this Nc6 stuff a test-run. Bit offbeat but should surprise a few people.
  
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Re: 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. Nf3 what to play?
Reply #17 - 01/02/10 at 15:04:36
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Net Warrior wrote on 12/31/09 at 15:06:30:
Then I was looking at the old main line and found 4.Nf3 Bg4 5.Be2 Nc6!? in a book from the '90's.  The author only gave it sparse coverage but the more I looked at it the more I thought it was playable.  I analysed what I figured would be the 3 main continuations with Fritz 10 and and black was close to equalizing in all three 6. c4, 6. ed, and 6. e6.  It was particularly nice to have the Bishop out in front in the  6. e6 line.  I think there is room for some original play in these lines.   Oh, and keep in mind that I'm only a USCF "A" player so none of this is solid gold.   


I looked into this, and it turns out your judgment of this line is pretty good.  It was played on many occasions by the strong Estonian GM Vladas Mikenas.  I have four of his games with it in my database, and Bagirov mentions others in his 1973 book.

The first thing to understand is that after 6.0-0 the only line of independent significance is 6...Nb6!?, since leaving the knight on d5 permits White to transpose into a version of the Old Main Line where Black's knight appears early on d6.  This is considered disadvantageous, because White will play exd6 followed by d5.  So 6...Nb6, which is the way Mikenas played it, and now there are two challenging moves.

7.h3 Bxf3 (not 7...Bh5 8.e6) 8.Bxf3 exd5 (8...e6 doesn't work out well) 9.exd5 Qxd1 10.Rxd1 e6 and sooner or later White will exchange on c6, debilitating Black's queenside pawns.  Mikenas must have felt that Black could hold the game, however, since he went for this repeatedly.  In the last game in my data base, he is defeated in this line in 1979 with Kengis, of all people, in command of the white pieces.

7.a4 is a very big challenge.  The main point is that 7...dxe5 8.a5 e4 9.Ng5 is very good for White.  Black must try either 7...a5 or 8...Nd7!? 9.a6 b6.  Here Bagirov, aped by both Eales and Hort, gives 10.dxe5 Ndxe5 11.Nxe5 Qxd1 12.Bxd1 Nxe5 13.Bxg4 Nxg4 14.Bf4 as favorable for White.  This is utter crap, since Black is a pawn up and perfectly safe after 14...e5.  But White also has 10.h3 and 10.c3.  10.h3 Bxf3 11.Bxf3 Nxd4 12.Bxa8 Qxa8 looks about equal to me.  But 10.c3! is a challenge and I will let others now have their say about it.
« Last Edit: 01/02/10 at 19:51:06 by Markovich »  

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Re: 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. Nf3 what to play?
Reply #16 - 01/02/10 at 12:24:38
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However I do not play the 5...ed Exchange, and consider the move inferior (at least in terms of dynamism) to 5...cd. Sitting for ages in a symmetrical position is not fun for me.

5.Bb5 is also a bit of a pest in the 4...Nc6 variation, though I do not mind the resulting positions as black, as they are at least open and unbalanced.
  

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Re: 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. Nf3 what to play?
Reply #15 - 01/02/10 at 02:26:56
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I thought 4... Nc6!? 5. ed ed wasn't supposed to be that big of a deal if you play the 5... exd6 exchange as after 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. c4 Nb6 5. ed ed 6. Nc3, black's most accurate move is 6... Nc6! as played by Baburin to prevent the Nc3, Bd3, Nge2 setup.
  
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Re: 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. Nf3 what to play?
Reply #14 - 01/02/10 at 00:16:46
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For what it's worth, I do not feel 4...Nc6 to be any worse than any other option, I feel black's position is fully sound and white may be able to get a small edge, but he probably can in any of the main lines of the Alekhine. Nothing has ever put me off playing the position, other than the transposition to the exchange.

I am becoming more and more interested in the move 4...Nb6 - it may be risky and provocative but I like it's spirit, and this is where I am currently devoting my attentions. Again I'm not sure it is more risky than any other move, and it is lesser-known - I'd definitely give it my Patzer seal of approval.
  

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Re: 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. Nf3 what to play?
Reply #13 - 01/01/10 at 21:48:22
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Markovich wrote on 01/01/10 at 20:52:22:
lg wrote on 01/01/10 at 20:39:40:
sorry, clicked on "post message" before writing down everything

the game is interesting but I dont think that is the critical version against 5....Nc6


Bogdanov says that 6.0-0 is probably White's best.


Yes, after

6. O-O dxe5 7. Nxe5 Nxe5 8 dxe5 Bf5
Bogdanov recommends 9. c4 Nb6 10 Qb3 with initiative.

This is also recommended by Khalifmann and much more developped

But the analysis by Kolev in the NIC 87 is simply great and apparently he "kills" this line
  
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Re: 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. Nf3 what to play?
Reply #12 - 01/01/10 at 20:52:22
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lg wrote on 01/01/10 at 20:39:40:
sorry, clicked on "post message" before writing down everything

the game is interesting but I dont think that is the critical version against 5....Nc6


Bogdanov says that 6.0-0 is probably White's best.
  

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Re: 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. Nf3 what to play?
Reply #11 - 01/01/10 at 20:39:40
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sorry, clicked on "post message" before writing down everything

the game is interesting but I dont think that is the critical version against 5....Nc6
  
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Re: 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. Nf3 what to play?
Reply #10 - 01/01/10 at 20:37:50
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thanks
  
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Re: 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. Nf3 what to play?
Reply #9 - 01/01/10 at 20:14:42
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[Event "ESP-chT Hon Gp1"]
[Site "Cala Mayor"]
[Date "2008.09.05"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Kasimdzhanov, Rustam"]
[Black "Avrukh, Boris"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B05"]
[WhiteElo "2679"]
[BlackElo "2656"]
[PlyCount "82"]
[EventDate "2008.09.03"]
[EventType "team"]
[EventRounds "5"]
[EventCountry "ESP"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2008.10.01"]

1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. Nf3 Bg4 5. Be2 Nc6 6. c4 Nb6 7. exd6 exd6 8.
Nbd2 Be7 9. d5 Nb8 10. Nf1 O-O 11. Ne3 Bxf3 12. Bxf3 Bg5 13. Qc2 a5 14. h4 Bf4
15. Be4 h5 16. g3 Bh6 17. Bd2 Na6 18. O-O Nc5 19. Bg2 g6 20. Rae1 Bg7 21. b3
Nbd7 22. Kh1 Re8 23. Nd1 Rxe1 24. Rxe1 Ne5 25. f4 Ng4 26. f5 Qf6 27. Rf1 Qe5
28. Bf4 Qxf5 29. Qxf5 gxf5 30. Ne3 a4 31. b4 Nd3 32. Nxf5 Nxb4 33. c5 Nxa2 34.
Nxg7 Kxg7 35. cxd6 cxd6 36. Bxd6 Nc3 37. Bb4 Ne2 38. Re1 Nf2+ 39. Kh2 Ng4+ 40.
Kh1 Nf2+ 41. Kh2 Nd3 0-1

I pasted the game from Megabase 2010 (pfcourse it is also in mega2009)
  
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Re: 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. Nf3 what to play?
Reply #8 - 12/31/09 at 16:56:17
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I believe the last posts have been dedicated to the variation 4.Nf3 Bg4 5.Be2 Nc6!?.

When I saw the first reply by Markovich here on this thread I wanted to give my opinion on the several answers to 4. Nf3, but somehow, for other reasons, was not able to, but hopefully will in the future.

However, I would liek to go back to this line since I even mentioned it in the past (perhaps more than 1 year) as feasible. I was not able to find that post which contained a few variations. Unfortunately, now, i would probably fix a ?! to 5...Nc6.

As far as I remember the "good" line for White is
6. O-O and then 6...dxe5 (which was the line I thought nice - any of you has something better?)
7. Nxe5 Nxe5 8 dxe5 Bf5 (which was the move that I thought made this line playable and was recommended in the secong Burguess book).
By the way, in my previous quite old post, I remember
suggesting the (possibly bad) gambit 8....h5 (instead of Bf5).

However, Khalifman is not fond of it and perhaps you should look at NIC yearbook 87 at the game Kolev- Panchenko (which appears the main player of this variation) - by the way this is given in the forum at the beggining of the issue. The game is annotated by Kolev and I dont see any reason to contradict what he says. He simply kills the line.

Amenotatitos - could you please let me know wherei can find the Avrukh game? Thanks
  
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Re: 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. Nf3 what to play?
Reply #7 - 12/31/09 at 15:55:48
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Actually, i think this move was used by Avrukh to beat Kasimdzhanov. I remember sawing this game and then searching for some annotations in the Megabase to figure out what is going on (because Cox is not mentioning this move in his book) and i was dissapointed with Black's chances and i thought that this was used by Avrukh only as a surprize weapon. But we can look at that and maybe revive it! My personal choice always was the Miles by the way, and i don't see anything wrong with that.
  
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Re: 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. Nf3 what to play?
Reply #6 - 12/31/09 at 15:06:30
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Markovich wrote on 12/30/09 at 14:02:15:
Schaakhamster wrote on 12/30/09 at 11:58:13:
So I used to play the Miles a few years ago. But it was  a bit to passive to my liking. So what is viable at present? Alburt, Kengis, 4. ... Bg4?

1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Nd5 3.d4 d6 4.Nf3 Bg4 5.Be2 e6 (Old Main Line) 6.c4 Nb6 7.0-0 Be7 8.Nc3 0-0 9.Be3 +=, and White has some other good tries as well.  The rap on 5...e6 is that it may hold, but Black must play long games for only two results against White's better attempts.

4...Nc6 is dicey after Rubinstein's 5.c4 Nb6 6.e6, and White can also opt for 5.exd6 with a slightly improved version of the Exchange Variation.


The Modern has always given me trouble too up until recently.  For the longest time I tried to get confortable with the 4...Nc6 line but after all was said and done I felt my positions were too cramped.  Then I was looking at the old main line and found 4.Nf3 Bg4 5.Be2 Nc6!? in a book from the '90's.  The author only gave it sparse coverage but the more I looked at it the more I thought it was playable.  I analysed what I figured would be the 3 main continuations with Fritz 10 and and black was close to equalizing in all three 6. c4, 6. ed, and 6. e6.  It was particularly nice to have the Bishop out in front in the  6. e6 line.  I think there is room for some original play in these lines.   Oh, and keep in mind that I'm only a USCF "A" player so none of this is solid gold.   
  

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Re: 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. Nf3 what to play?
Reply #5 - 12/31/09 at 08:28:22
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Schaakhamster wrote on 12/30/09 at 18:56:04:
Thanks a lot. I was thinking about the Kengis so I'm happy you consider it viable. As I have only the Davies book, what would you recommend as an additional book? Nothing too advanced as I'm a 1700 player (no worries, I have played 1. e4 e5 regularly the last few years, so something elso wont hurt me Cheesy)

Markovich is right when saying that the Alburt can be difficult to play for black as, up to theory, it might not be the best choice.
Nevertheless I am using it at my level (1800-1900) and have no real problem with it even against players who know what I am playing. White tends to overpush from the opening. I'd you get a very regular scheme: white goes in the attack from move 6, around move 15-20 he sacs (or must sac) something to keep the initiative and after some more moves it is clear that he (white) will have to defend with one or two pawns against a piece, black's pieces are getting active and white gives up around move 40-50.
So, at our low level, it is quite a good weapon.
  

Yusupov once said that “The problem with the Dutch Defence is that later in many positions the best move would be ...f5-f7” but he is surely wrong.
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Re: 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. Nf3 what to play?
Reply #4 - 12/30/09 at 22:46:22
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Markovich wrote on 12/30/09 at 20:58:34:
Cox is good.

If it were on topic, I would strongly advise you to stick with 1...e5, but since it isn't, I won't.


If it were on topic I would say you are probably right. But lets say I got tired of it for now.   
  
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Re: 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. Nf3 what to play?
Reply #3 - 12/30/09 at 20:58:34
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Cox is good.

If it were on topic, I would strongly advise you to stick with 1...e5, but since it isn't, I won't.
  

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Re: 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. Nf3 what to play?
Reply #2 - 12/30/09 at 18:56:04
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Thanks a lot. I was thinking about the Kengis so I'm happy you consider it viable. As I have only the Davies book, what would you recommend as an additional book? Nothing too advanced as I'm a 1700 player (no worries, I have played 1. e4 e5 regularly the last few years, so something elso wont hurt me Cheesy)
  
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Re: 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. Nf3 what to play?
Reply #1 - 12/30/09 at 14:02:15
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Schaakhamster wrote on 12/30/09 at 11:58:13:
So I used to play the Miles a few years ago. But it was  a bit to passive to my liking. So what is viable at present? Alburt, Kengis, 4. ... Bg4?


I think Kengis' variation  is viable.  I like it more than Miles' variation, though both are Scandinavian-like, because Black retains the option of ...c7-c5 in some lines.  Also Black's minority attack with ...a7-a5 and so forth can sometimes produce a win.  However after 4...dxe5 5.Nxe5 g6 Black has to be prepared both for 6.Qf3 and 6.c4.

You can read the discussions here about Alburt's.  Personally I think it's difficult for Black to play, though recent research by Marin, of all people, suggests that it may be sound in spite of theory's current judgment against it.

1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Nd5 3.d4 d6 4.Nf3 Bg4 5.Be2 e6 (Old Main Line) 6.c4 Nb6 7.0-0 Be7 8.Nc3 0-0 9.Be3 +=, and White has some other good tries as well.  The rap on 5...e6 is that it may hold, but Black must play long games for only two results against White's better attempts.

1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Nd5 3.d4 d6 4.Nf3 Bg4 5.Be2 c6 (Flohr's) 6.c4! Nb6 7.Nbd2! (another strong try is 7.Ng5 Bf5 8.e6 fxe6 7.g4 Bg6 8.Bd3 but the stronger player will still win there, I opine) 7...Nbd7 8.exd6! exd6 and Black has an Exchange Variation with his b8 knight on the wrong square; it would much rather be on a6.  However Black can probably defend this, and the better player may even yet win.  Since Black otherwise has pretty good play after 5...c6, I remain quite interested in it.

4...Nc6 is dicey after Rubinstein's 5.c4 Nb6 6.e6, and White can also opt for 5.exd6 with a slightly improved version of the Exchange Variation.

4...Nb6 is much more serious than it appears to be.  Black aims to fianchetto without letting White's bishop to c4.  There's a two-part series about it by Ftacnik (am I right that it's Ftacnik?) in recent NIC Yearbooks.  Black clearly takes on a lot of risk, however.

All in all, alternatives to 4...dxe5 aren't terribly pleasant to contemplate.  My current favorite among them is Flohr's.
  

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1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. Nf3 what to play?
12/30/09 at 11:58:13
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So I used to play the Miles a few years ago. But it was  a bit to passive to my liking. So what is viable at present? Alburt, Kengis, 4. ... Bg4?
  
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