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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) "The Big Clamp" (Read 24963 times)
ErictheRed
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Re: "The Big Clamp"
Reply #23 - 12/03/12 at 07:45:27
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A few months back I had this game against a reasonably strong club player; yes there was mutual "chess blindness" on move 11 (11.f5! is very good for White):

[Date "2012.08.05"]
[WhiteElo "2131"]
[BlackElo "2171"]
[PlyCount "70"]

1. e4 c5 2. d3 Nc6 3. g3 g6 4. Bg2 Bg7 5. c3 e5 6. Ne2 Nge7 7. O-O O-O 8. Be3  d6 9. a4 Be6 10. f4 b6 11. d4 exd4 12. cxd4 d5 13. Nbc3 dxe4 14. dxc5 f5 15.cxb6 axb6 16. Qxd8 Rfxd8 17. Rfd1 Rxd1+ 18. Rxd1 Bb3 19.Rd2 Bxa4 20. Bxb6 Bb3 21. Bc5 Bc4 22. Kf2 Kf7 23.Bf1 Rb8 24. Nc1 Bxf1 25. Kxf1 Bxc3 26. bxc3 Rb1 27.Rc2 Ke6 28. Kf2 Kd5 29. Be3 Kc4 30. Ke2 Nd5 31. Bd2 Na5 32. Be1 h6 33. h4 Ra1 34. Bf2 Nb3 35. Na2 Rxa2 0-1

I suspect that this kind of move order is White's best if he's determined to play a Big Clamp.  By the way, White didn't need to dither with 9.a4 in that game; just 9.Na3 Be6 10.f4 looks better to me.  I don't think White can really get an advantage, but the game is equal and the position has play.

1.e4 c5 2.f4 would be ideal if it weren't for 2...d5, as has been pointed out.
« Last Edit: 12/03/12 at 18:10:01 by ErictheRed »  
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RdC
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Re: "The Big Clamp"
Reply #22 - 12/03/12 at 01:01:09
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Just to mention that the day after my posting, I was sitting next to John Shaw in the London Classic FIDE open who opened 1. e4 c5 2. f4 . After 2. .. d5 he played 3. Bb5+ and after 3. .. Bd7, played 4. Bxd7 Qxd7 and then 5. d3 . The game continued with 5. .. dxe4 6. dxe4 Qxd1 7. Kxd1, after which I paid more attention to my own game. White eventually won, whether this was down to the opening or the 400 points or so rating advantage will be left to the analysts.
  
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RdC
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Re: "The Big Clamp"
Reply #21 - 11/30/12 at 08:14:02
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The term "Big Clamp" was used thirty years ago to describe pawn formations by White against the Sicilian of e4, f4, c3 and d3. The problem comes as to what move order to use to set it up. If you try 1. e4 c5 2. f4 you run into the reply 2. .. d5 and then if 3. exd5 the reply 3. .. Nf6 4. c4 e6 (Tal Counter Gambit) is regarded as strong, or at the very least not the position you are aiming for. So Grand Prix Attack players use the move order 1. e4  2. Nc3 and 3. f4. Gawain Jones even suggested the idea of playing Bb5 on move three and deferring f4 to later. With the Knight on c3, Big Clamp structures are difficult to reach. Thus it becomes necessary to use the 2. d3 move order if you don't want to allow the Tal line.

An off hand suggestion of one English GM is the move order 1. e4 c5 2. Be2 thus retaining some flexibility on where the pawns are going and keeping the possibility of going into a main line Open Sicilian with d4 at some point.
  
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urusov
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Re: "The Big Clamp"
Reply #20 - 11/29/12 at 21:49:32
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Readers of this thread may find the following helpful:
http://kenilworthian.blogspot.com/2011/02/big-clamp.html
  
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parisestmagique
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Re: "The Big Clamp"
Reply #19 - 02/10/10 at 08:44:07
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Daniel King deals with the big clamp in a few games in his book "the closed sicilian".
  
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nyoke
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Re: "The Big Clamp"
Reply #18 - 02/10/10 at 08:05:37
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Quote:
I know IM Lawrence Day wrote a slender book on it (published in the 70s?) but it is hard to get hold of a copy ......


No, it's not. I got mine just recently in two days, at an affordable price...
  
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Michael Ayton
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Re: "The Big Clamp"
Reply #17 - 01/22/10 at 20:13:12
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Thanks for these, Paddy -- very useful. I fully agree that it's best to think of the Big Clamp in terms of a strategy, not just an opening. Without wanting to be pedantic about it, though, we can still ask (regarding both the opening line [i]and[/i] the strategy, in fact), what conditions have to be met for the term 'Big Clamp' properly to apply?

  
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dfan
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Re: "The Big Clamp"
Reply #16 - 01/22/10 at 14:44:27
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GabrielGale
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Re: "The Big Clamp"
Reply #15 - 01/22/10 at 06:00:56
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Thanks Mnb for that clarification. Yes, it was the idea of playing 2 d3 as a sort of waiting move that piqued my interest and then I chanced upon Palliser's Closed Sicilian and away we went.

I have been trying to practise good training strategies with my son and I have spent the last year getting him stabilised in a set of opening moves (won't call it a proper repertoire) for both White (1 e4) and Black (1 d4 Nf6 and 1 e4 c5) that he is comfortable with and enjoys playing. Then we concentrated on tactics, middlegame and endgame.

I am hoping that if my son's interest continues, he will switch to the Open Sicilian at some point and use the Closed and the Big Clamp as surprise weapons. I am still undecided as to how to approach a basic beginner's Open Sicilian repertoire. I have read various post including Mnb's suggestions. Now I will head over to Michael Goeller's excellent website to check that out (I am a regular visitor but cannot remember this but then my adult memory is very faulty!!!)

[Mnb I just popped over to Goeller's website and could not locate the Open Sicilian repertoire you mentioned. Could I trouble you with a pointer or two?]

Thanks guys. If anyone wishes to provide me with a basic repertoire in Open Sicilian, thanks in advance.
  

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MNb
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Re: "The Big Clamp"
Reply #14 - 01/22/10 at 02:30:48
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GabrielGale wrote on 01/21/10 at 04:40:25:
and also Mnb's enigmatic posts in the Closed Sicilian/KIA threads on the merits of 1 e4 c5 2 d3 ......


Huh Now I don't exactly remember all the sense and nonsense I have written here. The line of thinking though was this. 1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 e6 3.g3 d5 is not that interesting. So White may opt to prepare for ...d5 by 2.d3 intending to answer x...d5 with either y.Nbd2 or y.Qe2 and get a more interesting game a la the KIA - or play f2-f4 anyway. After 1.e4 c5 2.d3 Nc6 3.g3 g6 4.Bg2 Bg7 5.f4 and 6.Nf3 White has the choice between the Closed Sicilian or something independent.

Btw I am not sure why your son should be not strong enough to play the Open Sicilian. Neither will his opponents, will they? Michael Goeller also called Urussov has proposed an easy to learn repertoire on his website The Kenilworthian, mainly based on an early f2-f4.
No English, Yugoslav Attack and that kind of stuff; in the end not that much more (if so) to learn than most Anti-Sicilians.
  

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GabrielGale
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Re: "The Big Clamp"
Reply #13 - 01/21/10 at 04:40:25
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Thanks Paddy for the list. Much appreciated. Good advice as usual (I like your stuff on the Giucco Piano as well).

Re beginners/inexperienced players, yes, I agree. Actually I don't play it but my son does. Yes... I know the oft-repeated advice about open games etc ... but this is the only closed opening type he has in his "repertoire" ... and his anti-sicilian (Not strong enough to start on the Open Sicilian as yet.). As mentioned we got into this via Palliser's Closed Sicilian book (as anti-sicilian) and also Mnb's enigmatic posts in the Closed Sicilian/KIA threads on the merits of 1 e4 c5 2 d3 ......
  

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Paddy
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Re: "The Big Clamp"
Reply #12 - 01/21/10 at 01:13:12
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[quote author=2023292F4E0 link=1263047423/10#10 date=1263895353][quote]By the way, there are a dozen or so Big Clamp games annotated here at Chess Publishing, the latest being Movsesian-Dancevski, 2008, with good notes by David Vigorito.[/quote]

Very interesting thread. If it's not too much trouble, could you identify the other games, Paddy, esp. if they occur in non-anti-Sicilian sections?
[/quote]

Day's articles/book tried to show ways of pursuing a Big Clamp strategy against various defences to 1 e4, but mainly the Sicilian, French and Caro Kann. In some of his examples the f1-bishop went to g2, in others to e2.

Recent books have tended to apply the name "Big Clamp" specifically to a particular white set up against the Sicilian, namely a Closed Sicilian set-up with f4 but with the queen's knight being left on b1 in the early stages. This line is usually reached via 1 e4 c5 2 d3 or 2 g3, but is also often reached via 1 g3 or 1 f4.

The system's flexibility can make it hard to hunt for genuine examples. One way would be to search (using Chessbase) for games in say B20 or B21 with the most characteristic Big Clamp pawn structure in the opening phase: a2, b2, c2 or c3, d3, e4, f4, g2 or g3,h2.

I've attached (in unannotated PGN - people will have to subscribe if they want the annotations) some relevant -I hope  :) - BC games that have been annotated here at Chess Publishing.

By the way, I recommend weaker /inexperienced players to stay well away from closed manoeuvring strategies such as the Big Clamp!
  

ClampCPub.pgn ( 11 KB | Downloads )
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GabrielGale
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Re: "The Big Clamp"
Reply #11 - 01/20/10 at 03:00:00
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Firstly, thanks everyone for their posts. Really instructive! My queries arise from the fact that IM Lawrence Day's games from the early days of the Big Clamp show a much different opening series of moves. My first exposure was from Palliser's book which appears quite different way to play it. My puzzlement at the moment is what happens after the "clamp". Kingside-attack?

If it is a strategy, what are the elements of the strategy? I would like my hand held here at this point and would appreciate a nod to a book or publication where this is explicated at length, preferably using words and not just variations.

The way I have seen it played, there are two possible types of games, 1) games are tactical and position opens up fairly quickly after the initial clamp and then it is a straightforward race between White's K-side attack and Black's Q-side attack (I have been following the discussion in the KID forum on the Nakamura game, absolute riveting, and read about this description of the KID 9...Ne8 in GM Golubev's book);
2) The position clamps up indefinitely and there is a lot of "positional" manoeuvring ... (one of McShane's and Movsesian's games?) Obviously this aspect of the game presents the most difficulty for me ...

Secondly, I had a look at ChessPub but could only locate a few games, ie, McShane's game, two Movsesian games. So I would like to second Michael's request and ask Paddy to id the games. The index is not really helpful unless someone can tell me a quick way to search??

Thanks again. (Now if only someone can answer my query on the Caro-Kann in that Forum) sigh ......
  

http://www.toutautre.blogspot.com/
A Year With Nessie ...... aka GM John Shaw's The King's Gambit (http://thekinggambit.blogspot.com.au/)
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Michael Ayton
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Re: "The Big Clamp"
Reply #10 - 01/19/10 at 10:02:33
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[quote]By the way, there are a dozen or so Big Clamp games annotated here at Chess Publishing, the latest being Movsesian-Dancevski, 2008, with good notes by David Vigorito.[/quote]

Very interesting thread. If it's not too much trouble, could you identify the other games, Paddy, esp. if they occur in non-anti-Sicilian sections?
  
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Re: "The Big Clamp"
Reply #9 - 01/10/10 at 16:55:15
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Quote:
it's a strategy rather than a variation

Ah, yes, that is a better way of looking at it!
Quote:
By the way, there are a dozen or so Big Clamp games annotated here at Chess Publishing, the latest being Movsesian-Dancevski, 2008, with good notes by David Vigorito.

There is also McShane - Van Wely in the September 2009 update. The November 2009 update has the amazing game McShane - Cheparinov classified as a Big Clamp, but I would call that one a Grand Prix! Yes, the bishop is on e2 (like Larsen played a number of times), but the Qe1 - Qh4 plan is typical of he Grand Prix.
  
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