Latest Updates:
Page Index Toggle Pages: 1 [2] 3 4 
Topic Tools
Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) The Corn Stalk Defense (Read 19245 times)
Stefan Buecker
God Member
*****
Offline



Posts: 1315
Location: Germany
Joined: 02/11/09
Gender: Male
Re: The Corn Stalk Defense
Reply #32 - 10/09/10 at 11:59:17
Post Tools
Stop the press! Black doesn't equalize: 1.a3! a6 (1...h5? 2.a4) 2.b4 (2.a4? a5) 2...a5 (what else) 3.b5, White has gained the move a2-a3 (Rybka4: +0.05), while 1.b4 a5 2.b5 is only -0.00. 
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
TN
YaBB Moderator
*****
Online



Posts: 3297
Joined: 11/07/08
Gender: Male
Re: The Corn Stalk Defense
Reply #31 - 10/09/10 at 10:25:32
Post Tools
Chapter 1: For Those Cowards Who Didn't Buy the Corn Stalk Book

1.e4 h5

* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
*

This is the starting position of the Wheat Stalk Defence. White has fatally weakened the d4 and f4 squares with 1.e4, while exposing the white king along the e-file. Practice has shown that 1...h5! is clearly Black's best reply to 1.e4, as Black controls the key h5- and g4-squares which are the main squares that White uses to generate a kingside attack based on the old games of Kasparov. The h8-rook immediately enters the game, and Black's kingside space advantage is a key factor. Further kingside development is prepared as White cannot target the usually weak f7-square anymore. True, the g5-square is slightly weakened, but this is not an issue at all as Black can always play ...f6, protecting the key kingside squares and preparing to strengthen Black's initiative with ...g5.

It's important to remember that White is actually in zugzwang in the initial position. Any move he makes will weaken squares and, unless White plays 1.h4 or 1.a4, he will worsen the placement of his pieces in general. By playing 1.e4, the moves h4 or a4 are ineffective because these now fatally weaken the dark squares. Control of the dark squares is a key theme for Black in this variation, like in a souped-up King's Indian.

Now that we have given a brief introduction to this variation, let us examine an illustrative game.

Carlsen-TN, ICC bullet 2010

1. e4 h5! 2. d4 White's most popular move, but 2.Be2!? is an interesting alternative. e5!? This reaches an improved version of the Englund Gambit since White's pawns are more vulnerable than usual and he cannot easily castle kingside anymore, as the game shows. However, I think there are better tries than this. 3. dxe5 Nc6 Playing as in the old Englund Gambit, but 3...g5! is more to the point, preventing White from developing his g1-knight actively. If 4.Nc3, then 4...c6! 5.Nf3 g4 6.Ng5 Bh6 is much better for Black as White's g5-knight is out of the game and this combined with White's horrible pawn structure gives Black a significant positional advantage. 4. Nf3 Be7 A more subtle way of preparing a kingside pawn storm. In these positions, the computer's evaluation is usually incorrect. In my games with 1...h5 against computers, you would be surprised by how often the computer gives +1 or higher only to be losing within another dozen moves. 5. Nc3 White develops a piece, but it is clear that the knight is completely misplaced on c3. White should prefer 5.Bb5, although 5...Nh6 6.Bc6 dc6!! 7.Qd8 Kd8 is an improved Berlin Wall for Black where White's kingside pawn majority is actually a liability and Black can play for a win with ...a5-a4. a6?! Unfortunately I began to see ghosts at this point. 5...g5! is instead slightly better for Black as White cannot keep his extra pawn and his knights are very unfortunately placed. 6. Bc4 Nh6 Black prepares to develop his forces. 7. O-O d6? After this horrible move, White is better. Black should prefer 7...b5 8.Bb3 Bb7 with dynamic equilibrium. 8. exd6
Bxd6 9. Bd5! A very powerful move, placing the bishop on the outpost square. Instead the knight would be misplaced on d5 as it blocks the scope of the b3-bishop and protects the d6-pawn. The computer likes 9.e5, but then 9...Be7 10.Qe2 Bg4 secures the usual compensation for Black. Black's control over the dark-squares is again a sight to behold. Bg4 10. Bxc6+ Why are you giving up a bishop? Bishops are worth more than knights. I've never heard of this Carlsen dude but he seems to appear in all these random magazines.  bxc6 I don't get these chess players. Why was my husband TN so happy after this game? 11. h3? Putting the question to the bishop, but after this callous error Black converts his initiative into an advantage. Qe7!! Now Black has a very strong attack. White should leave the bishop on g4, but, being greedy, he cannot resist the temptation. 12. hxg4? hxg4 With the h-file open, White will not be able to resist the offensive. 13. Bg5 f6 Also strong is 13...gf3 14.Be7 fg2 and all I need is for my bughouse partner to take a knight and I've got mate. 14. e5 I had missed this move, but fortunately it's not dangerous. (Instead 14.Re1 gf3 15.e5 was the best chance to save the game.)  Qf7
15. exd6 O-O-O?? This is just horrible. I missed a chance to crash through with 15...Qh5! 16.Bf6 Nf5!! 17.Qe2 Kd7 18.Bh4 (forced) 18...gf3 19.Qc4 cd6!! (this quiet move seals the deal) 20.g3 Nh4 21.g4 Qh6 and Black wins. 16. Ne5! This is the reason why. Now Black is lost, but Carlsen had only 10 seconds to my 35, so I went for the big trick. fxe5 17. Bxd8 Qh5 Black is dead lost, but Carlsen couldn't find the only winning move and instead blundered in severe time pressure. 18. f3?? It's not easy when your opponent throws their entire army at you. 18.Qd3! would have been completely winning as 18...Nf7 19.f4! safeguards the king and leaves Black down too much material. g3 19. Re1 Ng4 Now White can resign as he only had 7 seconds to my 30. 20. Kf1 Qh1+ 21.
Ke2 Qxg2+ Collecting the harvest. 22. Kd3 Nf2+ 23. Kc4 Nxd1 24. Raxd1 Rxd8 0-1 and White lost on time in this completely hopeless position.

In this game, Black gained a slight edge out of the opening. Try getting the edge with Black against Carlsen using the Petroff instead!

In the next game, I beat Nakamura with the Wheat Stalk Defence after White's creative approach backfires badly.

Nakamura-TN, Dos Hermanas Final 2010 (this was a classical game)

1. d4 h5 2. h3!? Not a bad reply. White wants to prevent Black from playing ...Nf6-g4, but this does give Black the opportunity to secure a superior pawn structure with ...h4. a5 3. a3 Following suit, but 3.Na3!? offers better chances of equality.  d6 4. c4? In the position after 1.d4 d6, 2.c4 is White's best move. So why is it a mistake now? I'll show you why. a4!! A brilliant novelty - instead Karjakin played 4...e5 against Le in Vung Tau 2010 and lost badly. Now Black has a decisive advantage in pawn structure on the queenside and a space advantage on the kingside. The rest requires no comment. 5. Nc3 Qd7 6. e4 Nc6 7. Nxa4 Nxd4 8. Nb6! cxb6 9. Qxd4 Qa4 10. Qxb6 Nf6 11. f3 h4 12. Ne2 Nd7 13. Qb5 Qxb5 14. cxb5 Nc5
15. Nc3 Be6 16. Bg5 g6 17. Be2 Bg7 18. Rc1 Nb3 19. Rc2 Nd4 20. Rc1 Nb3 21. Rd1? Recklessly playing for a win. Instead White should have taken the draw with 21.Rc2.
Bxc3+ 22. bxc3 Rxa3 23. O-O Ra2 24. Rfe1 f6 25. Be3 g5! Black's positional bind is complete. White is completely lost. 26. c4 Kf7 27. Rb1 Ra3
28. Red1 Rc8 29. c5 dxc5 30. Rb2 c4 31. Bf1 c3 32. Rc2 Na1 33. Rcc1 c2 34. Re1
Nb3 35. Kf2 Nxc1 36. Rxc1 Rb3 37. Be2 Rb1 38. e5 Rxc1 39. Bxc1 Rd8 40. Ke1 Bb3
41. Bd2 fxe5 42. Bxg5 Rd1+ 43. Kf2 c1=Q 44. Bxc1 Rxc1 and White gave up. 0-1

Conclusion: If you didn't buy my book on the Corn Stalk Defence but made it this far, you are forgiven. If you were sensible and bought my book even when your Grandmaster chess coach was begging you not to, then even better. The reason your coach wanted you to avoid my book is because he didn't want you to learn how to ignominiously outplay him with 1...h5. As my games show, even the World's very best players lack a proper antidote to this deadly variation. 



  

All our dreams come true if we have the courage to pursue them.
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
TN
YaBB Moderator
*****
Online



Posts: 3297
Joined: 11/07/08
Gender: Male
Re: The Wheat Stalk Defence
Reply #30 - 10/09/10 at 00:31:16
Post Tools
Time for some meat and potatoes!

Bibliography

I was tortured in a Pasadena Jailhouse by Bobby Fischer
Najdorf for the Tournament Player by John Nunn
The Complete Pirc by John Nunn
Nunn's Chess Endings vol 1 and 2 by John Nunn
Standard Chess Openings by Eric Schiller
Starting Out: 1 e4 by Neil McDonald
Opening for White According to Anand volume 5 by Alexander Khalifman
The Italian Gambit and A Guiding Repertoire for White by some dude
The Chess Advantage in Black and White by Larry Kaufman
A Startling Chess Opening repertoire by Chris Baker
Attacking Repertoire for White by Sam Collins
Starting Out: 1.d4 by John Cox
Starting Out: The Reti by Nigel Davies
Play the English by Craig Pritchett
Mega Database 2011
Mega Corr 2011
ChessBase Magazines 1-140
Yearbooks 1-98
Informants 1-110

I made use of all the free chess engines I could find.

Foreword by Magnus Carlsen

Hello chess friends. I don't have much to say, I'm afraid. My seconds have been analysing this opening non-stop for the last week, but we aren't any closer to the truth. They haven't even found an equaliser for White yet. I'll report back in the second edition.

Introduction

Years ago, when people were inquiring about my first move, or even looking at my games, they used to facepalm, because I always played 1...h5. It was not uncommon to be met with comments such as "Are you a lunatic?", "How did you get a good rating with this garbage?" or "You really need to play the Open Games".

Time has moved on, and it is not only because I beat Carlsen that these comments have stopped. Over the last few days the trend has changed and players such as Carlsen, Anand, Aronian, Topalov and Ivanchuk, who used to play mostly Sicilians and 1...e5 against 1.e4, are all now relying on 1...h5 more and more for important games.

The most recent indicator of this trend was my blitz match against Dmitry Andreikin, where it was expected that TN would play some rook-pawn advance, but a pleasant surprise that Andreikin, who otherwise exclusively plays the Sicilian, Semi-Slav and 1.e4 e5, also decided to open with 1...h5.

Alexei Shirov expressed the sentiment behind this slide in his usual ironic tone in New In Chess Magazine 8/2010, when he said that 1...h5 was "quite a popular weapon against the main lines, sidelines, and so on". As Black struggles to get more than equality in the Najdorf, Ruy Lopez and Caro-Kann, many have found that life as a farmer is indeed greener.

Obviously there are still many players who stick to their Sicilian, Ruy, French, Caro-Kann or Alekhine, but increasingly these lines are only employed by the inert, who are not ready to embrace the rapid change.

So for this reason I feel sorry for anyone who is writing a White repertoire book!

By utilising the information in this book you will be able to eliminate the top players' advantages. Only a few players in the world may be able to equalise. However, the point I am making is far more important than separating fact and fiction: I want to draw the reader's attention to the things that a well-prepared grandmaster does remember. In the first game of the Dos Hermanas grand final match between TN and Nakamura I introduced the stunning novelty 1.d4 h5 2.h3 a5 3.a3 d6 4.c4 a4!!, which I had actually prepared for Gata Kamsky. When I was asked why I played like a total beginner, my answer was that I remembered some key points and conclusions, but of course not the analysis.

What I would like the average reader to take away from this book is the general feel of this opening which, when fully grasped, will win you many games over the coming years. Grandmasters using this book would be overjoyed if they could understand any of the main lines, but because they work on their opening, they will often find for themselves the moves they have forgotten, except in the Corn Stalk and Wheat Stalk.

Enjoy the book, and I hope you will learn and improve from studying these pages.

TN

Acknowledgements

I have too many people to thank. So I will list the most important ones, out of order.

It has been an honour to work for Quantity Chess, and I am grateful to Eric Schiller for helping me write a book in 24 hours.

I would also like to thank my wife who wrote fillers and padding for the book during my coffee breaks.

I'd like to thank all the players who did not resign or abort the game after 1...h5.

Finally, I'd like to thank one of my friends, known only as 'Anonymous', who found many key sources that I would have otherwise overlooked.



  

All our dreams come true if we have the courage to pursue them.
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
SWJediknight
God Member
*****
Offline


Alert... opponent out
of book!

Posts: 889
Joined: 03/14/08
Re: The Corn Stalk Defense
Reply #29 - 10/08/10 at 15:26:12
Post Tools
Some sample lines to whet people's appetites for the line.

1.e4 h5 and now:

A) 2.Nc3 Rh6 3.d4 Re6 4.Nd5? Rxe4+ winning a pawn,

B) 2.d4 h4 3.Nf3 h3 4.g3 d5 5.exd5 Qxd5 6.Be2 Nc6 7.0-0 Bg4 8.Ne5?? Qg2#
« Last Edit: 10/08/10 at 19:38:10 by SWJediknight »  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
TN
YaBB Moderator
*****
Online



Posts: 3297
Joined: 11/07/08
Gender: Male
Re: The Wheat Stalk Defense
Reply #28 - 10/08/10 at 14:43:19
Post Tools
Collecting the Harvest

Tired of Creativity Famine? Try the Wheat Stalk!

Contents

Bibliography
Foreword by Magnus Carlsen
Introduction (why the titles are in caps)
Acknowledgements

Chapter 1: FOR THOSE COWARDS WHO DIDN'T BUY THE CORN STALK BOOK
Chapter 2: THE FARMER WANTS A LIFE
Chapter 3: THIS IS A WHEAT STALK
Chapter 4: HEROES AND COWARDS
Chapter 5: THE THEORY THAT YOU WANT TO AVOID BUT CAN'T
Chapter 6: NOVELTIES BEFORE MOVE SEVEN
Chapter 7: CONVERTING THE ENDGAME
Chapter 8: RELATED IDEAS FOR WHITE
Chapter 9: FINAL ILLUSTRATIVE GAMES

...

Schiller? Schiller! Is this a good contents page? What does Jacob Aagaard say about the Caps Variation?
  

All our dreams come true if we have the courage to pursue them.
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
TN
YaBB Moderator
*****
Online



Posts: 3297
Joined: 11/07/08
Gender: Male
Re: The Corn Stalk Defense
Reply #27 - 10/08/10 at 14:32:26
Post Tools
mangler wrote on 10/08/10 at 13:08:51:
Are you going to do a book on the Wheat Stalk Defence 1.e4 h5? That is vastly superior to the Corn Stalk defense!

1) Wheat is healthier than corn
2) It prepares kingside castling
3) In the Wheat Stalk, defence is spelled with a C, not a S.

Be sure to include the following sources in your bibliography:

1) I was tortured in a Pasadena Jailhouse by Bobby Fischer
2) Najdorf for the Tournament Player by John Nunn
3) The Complete Pirc by John Nunn
4) Nunn's Chess Endings vol 1 and 2 by somebody (I forget the author).
5) Standard Chess Openings by Schiller (768 pages!!)

Also be sure to create an index featuring key words, like pressurize, so i can find them quickly. To make it perfect, please publish the whole book (or books?) in UPPER CASE, in honor of you know who...


I covered this line in 'Shucking the Corn Stalk Defense' using my win against Carlsen as the main game. However, I can see that one chapter just wasn't enough.

Everyone is tired of equal positions, so...

Everyone wants to play the Wheat Stalk Defense.

I think a new book is needed!

I have 24 hours to write the entire book for Quantity Chess. I'll do my best.
  

All our dreams come true if we have the courage to pursue them.
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
TN
YaBB Moderator
*****
Online



Posts: 3297
Joined: 11/07/08
Gender: Male
Re: The Corn Stalk Defense
Reply #26 - 10/08/10 at 14:28:41
Post Tools
TicklyTim wrote on 10/08/10 at 13:03:20:
I noticed the bibliography was quite small. Will there be a lot of computer checked original analysis?
Don't forget to check out correspondence games databases! Quite a few authors seem not to.


Remember the publisher: Quantity Chess. You don't need to waste all your time finding other sources when they don't contribute to the theory of the variation. Who cares about what Ware played in 1870?

All of the variations have been double-checked with Deep Rybka 5 on the BlueGene supercomputer. You have nothing to fear.

I looked at correspondence databases but unfortunately could not find any relevant games.



  

All our dreams come true if we have the courage to pursue them.
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
mangler
Full Member
***
Offline


I Love ChessPublishing!

Posts: 151
Location: Orlando
Joined: 10/30/06
Gender: Male
Re: The Corn Stalk Defense
Reply #25 - 10/08/10 at 13:08:51
Post Tools
Are you going to do a book on the Wheat Stalk Defence 1.e4 h5? That is vastly superior to the Corn Stalk defense!

1) Wheat is healthier than corn
2) It prepares kingside castling
3) In the Wheat Stalk, defence is spelled with a C, not a S.

Be sure to include the following sources in your bibliography:

1) I was tortured in a Pasadena Jailhouse by Bobby Fischer
2) Najdorf for the Tournament Player by John Nunn
3) The Complete Pirc by John Nunn
4) Nunn's Chess Endings vol 1 and 2 by somebody (I forget the author).
5) Standard Chess Openings by Schiller (768 pages!!)

Also be sure to create an index featuring key words, like pressurize, so i can find them quickly. To make it perfect, please publish the whole book (or books?) in UPPER CASE, in honor of you know who...
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
TicklyTim
Senior Member
****
Offline


can I take that back,
please...

Posts: 274
Location: England
Joined: 05/29/09
Gender: Male
Re: The Corn Stalk Defense
Reply #24 - 10/08/10 at 13:03:20
Post Tools
I noticed the bibliography was quite small. Will there be a lot of computer checked original analysis?
Don't forget to check out correspondence games databases! Quite a few authors seem not to.
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
TN
YaBB Moderator
*****
Online



Posts: 3297
Joined: 11/07/08
Gender: Male
Re: The Corn Stalk Defense
Reply #23 - 10/08/10 at 12:54:03
Post Tools
TicklyTim wrote on 10/08/10 at 12:15:44:
TN wrote on 10/08/10 at 10:13:05:
Because Quantity Chess publishes a book every 12 hours, you can purchase 'Shucking the Corn Stalk Defense' for only $US 20.


Will it be a repertoire book covering 1.d4, 1.c4 & 1Nf3 also?
Can you be move ordered by the move 1.d4 or can you still play 1..a5?


No, yes, no.

The book is not a repertoire book as it covers all of Black's main possibilities after 1...a5.

The book will cover 1.d4 a5, 1.c4 a5 and 1.Nf3 a5. I might add something on the other sidelines, but I'd have to add a new chapter in the 2nd edition. Quantity Chess might not like that.

You can play 1...a5 against any first move by White.

SWJediknight wrote on 10/08/10 at 12:38:44:
I'd have thought 1.d4 a5 2.c4 could be met effectively by 2...Ra6! bringing the rook into the game without being chopped off by Bxa6.

Perhaps 1.b4!? could be the antidote?  1...a5 2.bxa5 Rxa5 3.d4 followed by Bd2 gaining time on the rook.


If you want to know my analysis on 2...Ra6, buy the book. You can't have your cake and eat it, unless of course you are eating Corn Stalk Cake.

After 1.b4 a5 2.ba5, 2...Ra5 is imprecise because it commits the rook to a poor square. I recommend instead 2...Nc6!, when 3.Bb2 e5 (also possible is 3...Na5 4.e4 d5 with a slight advantage) 4.c4 Bc5 5.Nc3 d6 and Black was better in Conticello-TN, Washington 2007. Interestingly, my 2...Nc6! idea is not covered in 'Play 1.b4!', possibly because Black won the aforementioned game in 23 moves.

  

All our dreams come true if we have the courage to pursue them.
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
SWJediknight
God Member
*****
Offline


Alert... opponent out
of book!

Posts: 889
Joined: 03/14/08
Re: The Corn Stalk Defense
Reply #22 - 10/08/10 at 12:38:44
Post Tools
I'd have thought 1.d4 a5 2.c4 could be met effectively by 2...Ra6! bringing the rook into the game without being chopped off by Bxa6.

Perhaps 1.b4!? could be the antidote?  1...a5 2.bxa5 Rxa5 3.d4 followed by Bd2 gaining time on the rook.
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
TicklyTim
Senior Member
****
Offline


can I take that back,
please...

Posts: 274
Location: England
Joined: 05/29/09
Gender: Male
Re: The Corn Stalk Defense
Reply #21 - 10/08/10 at 12:15:44
Post Tools
TN wrote on 10/08/10 at 10:13:05:
Because Quantity Chess publishes a book every 12 hours, you can purchase 'Shucking the Corn Stalk Defense' for only $US 20.


Will it be a repertoire book covering 1.d4, 1.c4 & 1Nf3 also?
Can you be move ordered by the move 1.d4 or can you still play 1..a5?
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
TN
YaBB Moderator
*****
Online



Posts: 3297
Joined: 11/07/08
Gender: Male
Re: The Corn Stalk Defense
Reply #20 - 10/08/10 at 10:13:05
Post Tools
Because Quantity Chess publishes a book every 12 hours, you can purchase 'Shucking the Corn Stalk Defense' for only $US 20.
  

All our dreams come true if we have the courage to pursue them.
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Stefan Buecker
God Member
*****
Offline



Posts: 1315
Location: Germany
Joined: 02/11/09
Gender: Male
Re: The Corn Stalk Defense
Reply #19 - 10/08/10 at 08:52:42
Post Tools
TN wrote on 10/08/10 at 00:48:04:
Now all I need is a publisher...

Quantity Chess?
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Conquistador
Junior Member
**
Offline


WWAD-What Would Alekhine
Do?

Posts: 53
Joined: 11/29/09
Re: The Corn Stalk Defense
Reply #18 - 10/08/10 at 03:41:41
Post Tools
Personally I like the Crab Opening better 1.h4 e5 2.a4
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Page Index Toggle Pages: 1 [2] 3 4 
Topic Tools
Bookmarks: del.icio.us Digg Facebook Google Google+ Linked in reddit StumbleUpon Twitter Yahoo