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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Cambridge Springs Defense (Read 14287 times)
FreeRepublic
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Re: Cambridge Springs Defense
Reply #26 - 12/06/17 at 17:56:18
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MNb wrote on 12/05/17 at 11:01:35:
As White I'd rather try a minory attack with 11.a3 h6 12.b4 Qc7 13.Nf3.


I apologize for not addressing this. I got distracted by other lines!

That is certainly reasonable. Here's a possible continuation:
1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 Nbd7 5. e3 c6 6. Nf3 Qa5 7. cxd5 exd5 8. Bd3 Ne4 9. O-O Nxg5 10. Nxg5 Nf6 11. a3 h6 12. b4 Qc7 13. Nf3, now Bd6 14. b5 O-O 15. bxc6 bxc6 16. h3 (to prevent Bg4) Bd7 17. Na4 Rfe8 18. Qc2 Qc8. The threat on h3 seems to give black dynamic counterplay. Again, I'm sure each side has alternatives and perhaps improvements.
  
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Re: Cambridge Springs Defense
Reply #25 - 12/06/17 at 17:50:08
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FreeRepublic wrote on 12/05/17 at 15:55:30:
As White I'd rather try a minory attack with 11.a3 h6 12.b4 Qc7 13.Nf3


I apologize for not addressing this. I got distracted by other lines!

That is certainly reasonable. Here's a possible continuation:
1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 Nbd7 5. e3 c6 6. Nf3 Qa5 7. cxd5 exd5 8. Bd3 Ne4 9. O-O Nxg5 10. Nxg5 Nf6 11. a3 h6 12. b4 Qc7 13. Nf3, now Bd6 14. b5 O-O 15. bxc6 bxc6 16. h3 (to prevent Bg4) Bd7 17. Na4 Rfe8 18. Qc2 Qc8. The threat on h3 seems to give black dynamic counterplay. Again, I'm sure each side has alternatives and perhaps improvements.
  
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Re: Cambridge Springs Defense
Reply #24 - 12/06/17 at 14:23:01
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MNb wrote on 12/06/17 at 08:21:28:
I don't get 11.e4 in your first line. Then the black bishops become active and the queen isn't so misplaced anymore.


Black is behind in development and still two moves from castling, so white is tempted to open the position with 11e4. However, as you rightly observed, the bishop and queen are brought into the game.

White has plenty of alternatives at every move, as does black. There is a thicket of variations.

In general, keeping the game closed gives black time to regroup. Here's an alternative from ChessPublishing:

1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 Nbd7 5. Nf3 c6 6. e3 Qa5 7. cxd5!? exd5 8.Bd3 Ne4 9. O-O Nxg5 10. Nxg5 Nf6 11. f4!? h6 12. Nf3 Bg4 13. a3 Bd6 14. Qe1 Bxf3 15. gxf3.

This interesting line and position is judged to be slightly better for white by ChessPublishing. Stockfish disagrees and finds black equal.

Using my own eyes, I was a little surprised by 15gxf3, preferring 15Rxf3. On further consideration, the open g file could prove useful for white. I wondered it SF underestimated white's attacking potential. So I played on a little: 15. gxf3 O-O 16. Kh1 Rfe8 17. Qf2 c5 18. Rg1 Qd8 19. Bb5 Re7 and black is hanging in there.

We have looked pretty deep here and there are many alternatives and perhaps improvements along the way. But I have yet to see a position where I can judge black to be clearly worse off than the the QGD Exchange variation (which is no piece of cake either).
  
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MNb
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Re: Cambridge Springs Defense
Reply #23 - 12/06/17 at 08:21:28
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FreeRepublic wrote on 12/06/17 at 00:15:10:
Is the queen really misplaced when it brings pressure that later leads to winning the two bishops in an open position? (1st line with 8Bd3).

That's why I don't get 11.e4 in your first line. Then the black bishops become active and the queen isn't so misplaced anymore.

FreeRepublic wrote on 12/05/17 at 15:55:30:
black has obtained the two bishops. That's an accomplishment which offsets the loss of time from relocating the queen from a5.

Sure - but does it on top of this also compensate for a permanent weakness on c6, especially if White manages to keep the position closed (ie avoids e3-e4)? I don't think so. Rybka disagrees, but I think WHite has a nice persistent edge.
  

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Re: Cambridge Springs Defense
Reply #22 - 12/06/17 at 04:34:49
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I can't claim to have innovated. I found 360 games with 7c:d e:d. Nor is a transposition to the QGD exchange variation guaranteed; it can happen after after plausible play.

The line resembles the exchange variation - basically just another variation. No surprise really as this the QGD with cxd exd.

At first glance the black queen seems misplaced on a5. However the pressure on c3 forces a decision by white. He can play the natural 8Bd3 and give up the two bishops. I think that is what I would play.

Krzysztof Panczyk and Jacek Ilczuk (and I think others) prefer  8Nd2. It effectively discourages 8...Ne4. However, it costs a tempo, and takes a defender away from the king side.

I'm not convinced that 7cxd exd here is worse than the standard QGD exchange variation. However with so much theory and so many games involving 7cxd Nxd5, people are reluctant to look elsewhere.

An imperfect analogy is the Marshall counter gambit in the Ruy Lopez. The influence of Capablanca's victory over Marshall, relegated the counter gambit to the side lines for decades. Only after a few generations of chess players had passed did it become, arguably, the main line of the closed Ruy Lopez.

As Rod Serling said, "presented for your consideration." At present this line exists in a twilight zone, but perhaps it should come out into the light of day.
  
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Re: Cambridge Springs Defense
Reply #21 - 12/06/17 at 02:52:28
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I mean that if your claim is true and that Black can transpose back to a normal line of the Exchange (which I'm not entirely convinced of yet), that's interesting and important to note from a practical perspective.  But from a theoretical perspective, it could explain why the move has been dismissed, as it's (at best) not independent.

Interesting find, though.
  
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Re: Cambridge Springs Defense
Reply #20 - 12/06/17 at 00:15:10
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Is the queen really misplaced when it brings pressure that later leads to winning the two bishops in an open position? (1st line with 8Bd3).

In the second line, 9Nd2 seems to misplace a knight, especially as white may later sensibly defend his king side with 14Nf3. How bad can the position be when it has transposed to a standard exchange variation?
  
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Re: Cambridge Springs Defense
Reply #19 - 12/05/17 at 23:03:53
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FreeRepublic wrote on 12/05/17 at 15:55:30:
Theoreticians have dismissed 7cxd exd saying that it's the Exchange variation with black having misplaced his queen. I don't think it's so simple.


I think that's sufficient to dismiss its theoretical significance.  That doesn't mean that it isn't playable from a practical perspective, though, just that theoretical works are not going to spend much time analyzing it.
  
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Re: Cambridge Springs Defense
Reply #18 - 12/05/17 at 15:55:30
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MNb wrote on 12/05/17 at 11:01:35:
FreeRepublic wrote on 12/04/17 at 21:44:18:
But I think the almost universally rejected 7cxd exd is OK. Here's a sample:

7. cxd5 exd5 8. Bd3 Ne4 9. O-O Nxg5 10. Nxg5 Nf6 11. e4 dxe4 12. Ngxe4 Be7 13. Nxf6+ Bxf6 14. Re1+ Be6 15. Bc4 and now black can castle on either side with his fair share of chances.

As White I'd rather try a minory attack with 11.a3 h6 12.b4 Qc7 13.Nf3.


Certainly a reasonable response. In general, this exchange variation Cambridge Springs resembles the Exchange variation of the QGD, with all its pros and cons.

Theoreticians have dismissed 7cxd exd saying that it's the Exchange variation with black having misplaced his queen. I don't think it's so simple.

If you consider the position after move 10, you see that black has obtained the two bishops. That's an accomplishment which offsets the loss of time from relocating the queen from a5.

The second line I gave:
7. cxd5 exd5 8. Nd2 Be7 9. Bd3 O-O 10. O-O Re8 11. Qc2 Nf8 12. Rab1 Qd8 13.b4 Bd6
After 14b5?! black has Bxh2ch 15Kxh2 Ng4ch and ...Qxg4ch.
So I gave a line above with 14h3. White could have defended without weakening his king side pawn structure by playing 14Nf3. This would have yielded an exact transposition to the QGD Exchange variation!

Krzysztof Panczyk and Jacek Ilczuk provided good analysis of 7c:d e:d in their book on the Cambridge Springs defense, published in 2003. I bought the book. It's a bargain at $9 from Kindle (electronic download) at Amazon.
  
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MNb
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Re: Cambridge Springs Defense
Reply #17 - 12/05/17 at 11:01:35
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FreeRepublic wrote on 12/04/17 at 21:44:18:
But I think the almost universally rejected 7cxd exd is OK. Here's a sample:

7. cxd5 exd5 8. Bd3 Ne4 9. O-O Nxg5 10. Nxg5 Nf6 11. e4 dxe4 12. Ngxe4 Be7 13. Nxf6+ Bxf6 14. Re1+ Be6 15. Bc4 and now black can castle on either side with his fair share of chances.

As White I'd rather try a minory attack with 11.a3 h6 12.b4 Qc7 13.Nf3.
  

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Re: Cambridge Springs Defense
Reply #16 - 12/04/17 at 21:44:18
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Black must attend to both tactical and positional considerations in the Queen's gambit declined. The Tartakover variation leads with positional considerations, development of pieces including the queen bishop. Plenty of tactics typically follow. I'm not so happy about black's chances if white responds to h6 with Bxf6.

The Cambridge Springs defense starts off tactically, but likewise black must eventually attend to the development of his queen's bishop.

My limited CS experience as black has both players solving tactical problems in unfamiliar positions. It's fun.

I'm discouraged by the results from 7cxd Nxd5. But I think the almost universally rejected 7cxd exd is OK. Here's a sample:

7. cxd5 exd5 8. Bd3 Ne4 9. O-O Nxg5 10. Nxg5 Nf6 11. e4 dxe4 12. Ngxe4 Be7 13. Nxf6+ Bxf6 14. Re1+ Be6 15. Bc4 and now black can castle on either side with his fair share of chances.

also

7. cxd5 exd5 8. Nd2 Be7 9. Bd3 O-O 10. O-O Re8 11. Qc2 Nf8 12. Rab1 Qd8 13.b4 Bd6 14. h3 h6 15. Bxf6 Qxf6 16. b5 Qg5 17. f4 Qd8 18. Rfe1 c5 19. Nxd5 cxd4 20. exd4 Be6
and black is OK.

Of course both players can vary in almost endless ways but, as far as I can tell, black is hanging in there in dynamic positions.
  
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Re: Cambridge Springs Defense
Reply #15 - 08/23/11 at 20:09:37
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Regarding that sequence, Paul Boersma's article had 16...cd 17. ed e5 and 16...Ba6 as leading to = or unclear (with a few annotated/cited games).

(edit:  the 16...Ba6 part is less clear; he did give one line as leading to +=.)
  
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D52: Re: Cambridge Springs Defense
Reply #14 - 08/23/11 at 19:12:56
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Here's the opening sequence in one of those correspondence games:

  
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Re: Cambridge Springs Defense
Reply #13 - 08/23/11 at 18:50:21
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My main reason for saying this was a couple of correspondence games I played where Black got ground down in long positional battles.

That, and the games that are available to everyone that seem to show White's edge.

Which begs the question: what games and analysis did the Yearbook article refer to that made it look like 11.a3 isn't good for white?
  
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Re: Cambridge Springs Defense
Reply #12 - 08/23/11 at 16:23:58
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I'm not sure what the basis is for saying that "Schandorff's" 11. a3 gives White "a tremendous pull"; a Yearbook article a few months ago didn't seem to think so, for example.
  
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