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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Classical Dutch - White Seems Better (Read 40877 times)
MNb
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Re: Classical Dutch - White Seems Better. Or not.
Reply #94 - 03/22/18 at 08:10:15
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1.d4 e6 2.Nf3 f5 (perhaps I should take another look at the Blumenfeld Gambit) 3.g3 Nf6 4.Bg2 Be7 5.O-O O-O 6.c4 Ne4 7.Nc3 d6 8.Nxe4 fxe4 9.Nd2 (9.Ne1) d5 10.f3 Nc6 11.e3 fxe3 12.Nxf3 b6 13.Bd2

Stefan Buecker wrote on 03/04/18 at 08:01:34:
It seems to me, however, that the earlier move 13...Bb7? is inaccurate. In some lines Black might want to play Bc8-a6. Thus it seems more urgent to play 13...a5 at once, to take White's threat b2-b4 out of the position. For example 14.cxd5 (14.Rf2 Bb7 followed by dxc4) 14...exd5 15.Qb3 Kh8 16.Rac1 Bb7, and now:
(a) 17.Nh4 Rxf1+ 18.Rxf1 Ba6 19.Rf5 Bc4 20.Qc2 g6 =.
(b) 17.Ne1 Rxf1+ 18.Kxf1 Nb8 19.Kg1 c6 20.e4 dxe4 21.Be3 a4, and again it's an open fight, about =.

I hope I haven't missed any follow up on this line. For now I'd like to point out that 14.Rac1 Ba6 15.cxd5 Bxf1 16.Qxf1 Qxd5 17.Qe2 Qd6 18.Ne1 Nb4 doesn't seem to give White much.
Instinctively I'd prefer 10...Nc6 to 10...Bf6. In my experience the Classical Dutch has one thing in common with the QGD: Black needs to answer the question what to do with his/her queenside or White will be better.
  

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Re: Classical Dutch - White Seems Better. Or not.
Reply #93 - 03/14/18 at 22:59:02
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You are right, 10. e3 c5 is unplayable. This leaves 10...Na6.

brabo wrote on 03/13/18 at 18:48:11:
Besides transposing there is also 10.e3 Na6 11.a3 c5 12.b4 as interesting. I don't believe it is stronger however.
I also had a quick look at your long line 10.f3 Bf6 11.e3 exf3 12.Nxf3 Na6 13.Bd2 dxc4 14.Qc2 c5 15.Qxc4 Bd7 16.Ne5 Qe8 and now 17.Nxd7 Qxd7 18.Bc3 is more natural than 17.a4 This can be a big improvement.

My analysis after 18.Bc3 went cxd4 19.exd4 Rac8 20.Qd3 Rb8 21.Rad1 Nc7 22.Be4 h6 23.Qe2 Nd5 (23...b5?! 24.a3 might be similar, but also allows 24.Rxf6!?) 24.Bd3 Bg5 25.Qe4 Rf5 26.Rxf5 exf5 27.Qxf5 Qxf5 28.Bxf5 Kf7, which looked like a draw in spite of White's extra pawn. But I admit that it looks shaky - there exist strong alternatives, like 26.Rfe1 Re8 27.Re2. So I have to accept that this is a refutation.

brabo wrote on 03/13/18 at 18:48:11:
There is also 10.f3 Bf6 11.e3 exf3 12.Nxf3 Na6 13.b3 b6 14.cxd5 exd5 15.Ne5 Re8 16.Qh5 Be6 17.Ng4 or even a move earlier 16.Ng4. I only spent a couple of minutes at it but it all looks scary for black.

Both moves lead to the same position, 17.Ng4 Bxg4 18.Qxg4 c6, for example 19.Bd2 Qd6 20.Rac1 Rad8 21.b4 b5 and it seems to me that Black defends his (passive) position. - Since 13.Bd2 seems "strong enough" after your Nxd7, we don't need to discuss 13.b3 further.
  
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Re: Classical Dutch - White Seems Better. Or not.
Reply #92 - 03/13/18 at 18:48:11
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Stefan Buecker wrote on 03/13/18 at 12:31:11:
In my database the move order 10.e3 was chosen in 10 games, versus 10.f3 in 134 games. The main reason could be 10.e3 c5 which scored 50% in five games.

The standard games are of a very low quality.
10.e3 c5 11.dxc5 Nc6 12.b4 (This is a beautiful novelty which my engine discovered a couple of months ago) Nxb4 13.cxd5 exd5 14.Qb3 Nc6 15.Bxe4 and white is clearly better

Besides transposing there is also 10.e3 Na6 11.a3 c5 12.b4 as interesting. I don't believe it is stronger however.
I also had a quick look at your long line 10.f3 Bf6 11.e3 exf3 12.Nxf3 Na6 13.Bd2 dxc4 14.Qc2 c5 15.Qxc4 Bd7 16.Ne5 Qe8 and now 17.Nxd7 Qxd7 18.Bc3 is more natural than 17.a4 This can be a big improvement.
There is also 10.f3 Bf6 11.e3 exf3 12.Nxf3 Na6 13.b3 b6 14.cxd5 exd5 15.Ne5 Re8 16.Qh5 Be6 17.Ng4 or even a move earlier 16.Ng4. I only spent a couple of minutes at it but it all looks scary for black.
  
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Re: Classical Dutch - White Seems Better. Or not.
Reply #91 - 03/13/18 at 12:31:11
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brabo wrote on 03/12/18 at 16:56:38:
Stefan Buecker wrote on 03/12/18 at 12:01:57:
Even 13...a5 may be "too late" to generate chances for Black. It's too solid for that. If I were pressed for a suggestion, I'd say that 10...Bf6! looks "messier" to me than 10...Nc6. For example 11.e3 exf3 12.Nxf3 Na6* 13.Bd2 dxc4 14.Qc2 c5, tackling the center. 15.Qxc4 Bd7 16.Ne5 Qe8 17.a4 Bxe5 would then create a position evaluated by the engine as better for White. But I don't think this is true, [...]

I already had 12..Na6 in my notes. The analysis continued with 13.b3 b6 14.cxd5 exd5 with some advantage for white.
Also I already remarked on my original post that white can inverse the move-order by playing first 10.e3 and only after 10...Nc6 play 11.f3. Then 10....Bf6 gives white the extra possibility of 11.b4
Anyway many continuations for both sides are possible. Till now I like the most 13...a5. I would need to spend a week at it to come to a more complete verdict but I will not do. For sure black needs to memorize a lot of only moves against a whole bunch of interesting white lines. It is not practical for standard chess.

In my database the move order 10.e3 was chosen in 10 games, versus 10.f3 in 134 games. The main reason could be 10.e3 c5 which scored 50% in five games. If Black wanted to transpose to my line, it would be via 10.e3 Na6 (not Bf6?!). For example 11.f3 exf3 12.Nxf3 Bf6 with a transposition (or perhaps 12....dxc4 13.Ne5 Bf6 +=).

After 12...Na6 your reply 13.b3 b6 14.cxd5 exd5 may be best. A possible continuation: 15.Ne5 Re8 16.Qh5 Be6 17.Ba3 Bxe5 18.Qxe5 Qd7 19.Rf2 c6 20.Raf1 Rad8 21.Qh5 Nc7 22.e4 a5 23.e5 Nb5 24.Bb2 c5 25.dxc5 bxc5 26.Qe2 with a choice between 26...c4 27.a4 c3 with a likely draw, and riskier attempts of 26...Qc6/b7 inviting h4-h5.

The variation 10.f3 Nc6 11.e3 exf3 12.Nxf3 b6 13.Bd2 Bb7 (13...a5!?) 14.Rc1 Qd7 15.Qa4 a5 16.a3! Rf7 17.Ne1! Bf6 18.cxd5 exd5 19.Nd3 Nd8 20.Qxd7 Rxd7 21.Nf4 c6 22.h4 can be seen as "unpleasant" for Black, to use brabo's word. After a few hours the PC gives the following continuation: 22...Ba6 23.Rf2 Bb5 24.b3 a4 25.bxa4 Rxa4 (+0.43), and from this point both sides are only shuffling their pieces around (or so it seems to me), without achieving much. The plus for White is real, but there are no realistic pawn breaks.
  
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Re: Classical Dutch - White Seems Better
Reply #90 - 03/12/18 at 17:07:31
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MNb wrote on 03/12/18 at 15:24:56:
brabo wrote on 03/11/18 at 19:40:30:
20.Bg2 Qf5 eg 21.Qc2 Qf2+ 22.Kh1 Qe2 23.Nd3 Bd6 24.Re1 Qh5 24.Qd1 Qf5 25.Rf1 Qg5 26.Rxf8 Bxf8 27.Qc1 Qf5 28.Nf4

AfaIcs 24...Rf5 doesn't (what sense does Qh5-f5-g5 make?!), but I haven't look far at all because it's pretty irrelevant due to 17.Ne1.

24...Rf5 also is not pleasant 25.Qxh5 Rxh5 26.Kg1 Ba6 27.Nf2
  
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Re: Classical Dutch - White Seems Better. Or not.
Reply #89 - 03/12/18 at 16:56:38
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Stefan Buecker wrote on 03/12/18 at 12:01:57:
16...Rad8 is a good idea, also looks more natural than the PC's 16...Rf6 (which is good enough imo). The surprise 19.Ne5? b5! is nice. 19.Qc4 may result in a draw after 19...Rc8 20.Ne5 Nxe5 21.dxe5 Qxd2 22.Bxb7 Rxf1+ 23.Rxf1 Rf8 24.Qxe6+ Kh8 25.Rxf8+ Bxf8 26.Qf7 Qxe3+ 27.Kg2 Qd2+ followed by Qd8. 

The engines still give a small edge for white but I agree that with correct play black should be able to draw thanks to the opposite bishops. Of course you don't want to defend this voluntarily against anybody.
Stefan Buecker wrote on 03/12/18 at 12:01:57:

Even 13...a5 may be "too late" to generate chances for Black. It's too solid for that. If I were pressed for a suggestion, I'd say that 10...Bf6! looks "messier" to me than 10...Nc6. For example 11.e3 exf3 12.Nxf3 Na6* 13.Bd2 dxc4 14.Qc2 c5, tackling the center. 15.Qxc4 Bd7 16.Ne5 Qe8 17.a4 Bxe5 would then create a position evaluated by the engine as better for White. But I don't think this is true, how is White supposed to make progress? Just the usual overestimation of the bishop pair...

* This would be a novelty in my database, or N in Quality Chess speak (n in my version, no serious checking of books).

I already had 12..Na6 in my notes. The analysis continued with 13.b3 b6 14.cxd5 exd5 with some advantage for white.
Also I already remarked on my original post that white can inverse the move-order by playing first 10.e3 and only after 10...Nc6 play 11.f3. Then 10....Bf6 gives white the extra possibility of 11.b4
Anyway many continuations for both sides are possible. Till now I like the most 13...a5. I would need to spend a week at it to come to a more complete verdict but I will not do. For sure black needs to memorize a lot of only moves against a whole bunch of interesting white lines. It is not practical for standard chess.
  
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Re: Classical Dutch - White Seems Better
Reply #88 - 03/12/18 at 15:24:56
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brabo wrote on 03/11/18 at 19:40:30:
20.Bg2 Qf5 eg 21.Qc2 Qf2+ 22.Kh1 Qe2 23.Nd3 Bd6 24.Re1 Qh5 24.Qd1 Qf5 25.Rf1 Qg5 26.Rxf8 Bxf8 27.Qc1 Qf5 28.Nf4

AfaIcs 24...Rf5 doesn't (what sense does Qh5-f5-g5 make?!), but I haven't look far at all because it's pretty irrelevant due to 17.Ne1.

Stefan Buecker wrote on 03/12/18 at 12:01:57:
1. I feel these things are totally different in correspondence chess
2. and I am the wrong guy to advise corr players.

@1 - that's totally correct. In corr. chess I have given up the Kieler Gamhit 20 years ago and since about five years I think only the Classical Dutch with ...Bb4(+) is eventually playable. Classicals with ...Be7 are way too risky.
@2 - then you're at the right place here, for I only might consider taking up the Dutch for my glorious (ahem) OTB comeback.

  

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Re: Classical Dutch - White Seems Better. Or not.
Reply #87 - 03/12/18 at 12:01:57
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MNb wrote on 03/10/18 at 10:05:09:
Stefan Buecker wrote on 03/04/18 at 08:01:34:
After 14...Qd7 15.Qa4 I'd prefer 15...a5 (as this b2-b4 attack is so disrupting in many lines), for example 16.Bh3 Rf6 17.cxd5 Qxd5 18.Bg2 Qd6 19.Ne1 Rxf1+ 20.Kxf1 Rf8+ 21.Kg1 Nd8 22.Bxb7 Nxb7 23.Qc6 Qxc6 24.Rxc6 Bd6 25.Nd3 Kf7! and with Black's king arriving in the center, White hasn't much.

Like Brabo I think 19.Ne5 a better try. So I wondered about 16...Rad8 (I don't really understand 16...Rf6) and 17.cxd5 Qxd5 18.Bg2 Qd6 19.Ne5?! is met with the surprising b5! After 19.Ne1 Black wins a tempo with Rxf1+. Best seems 19.Qc4.

16...Rad8 is a good idea, also looks more natural than the PC's 16...Rf6 (which is good enough imo). The surprise 19.Ne5? b5! is nice. 19.Qc4 may result in a draw after 19...Rc8 20.Ne5 Nxe5 21.dxe5 Qxd2 22.Bxb7 Rxf1+ 23.Rxf1 Rf8 24.Qxe6+ Kh8 25.Rxf8+ Bxf8 26.Qf7 Qxe3+ 27.Kg2 Qd2+ followed by Qd8. 

brabo wrote on 03/07/18 at 10:58:51:
My interest is not merely abstract; I would like the Dutch to be playable (ie enabling me to play for a win, even if I would be objectively a bit worse) but run into too many lines that leave Black struggling for a draw. It's like the Kieler Gambit.

One day I might return to that K. Gambit. There was a serious problem with one line...

About your desire to get messy positions, even "play for a win" with Black, I feel these things are totally different in correspondence chess, and I am the wrong guy to advise corr players. Playable lines in OTB chess can be truly problematic in correspondence. "Play for a win" - the Evans Gambit would be a great choice for that. It has worked for WM Purdy even in correspondence chess. But the sharpest Evans Gambit lines today look like a forced draw... the task to identify "messy" lines fit to go for a 0-1 in correspondence looks more and more like Mission Impossible.

Even 13...a5 may be "too late" to generate chances for Black. It's too solid for that. If I were pressed for a suggestion, I'd say that 10...Bf6! looks "messier" to me than 10...Nc6. For example 11.e3 exf3 12.Nxf3 Na6* 13.Bd2 dxc4 14.Qc2 c5, tackling the center. 15.Qxc4 Bd7 16.Ne5 Qe8 17.a4 Bxe5 would then create a position evaluated by the engine as better for White. But I don't think this is true, how is White supposed to make progress? Just the usual overestimation of the bishop pair...

* This would be a novelty in my database, or N in Quality Chess speak (n in my version, no serious checking of books).
  
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Re: Classical Dutch - White Seems Better
Reply #86 - 03/11/18 at 19:40:30
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MNb wrote on 03/11/18 at 08:35:47:
I'd be OK with 20.Bg2 Qf5 eg 21.Qc2 Qf2+ 22.Kh1 Qe2 with a messy position

23.Nd3 Bd6 24.Re1 Qh5 24.Qd1 Qf5 25.Rf1 Qg5 26.Rxf8 Bxf8 27.Qc1 Qf5 28.Nf4 and white wins an important pawn.
Nowadays engines have become so strong that many messy positions can be solved.
  
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Re: Classical Dutch - White Seems Better
Reply #85 - 03/11/18 at 08:35:47
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I'd be OK with 20.Bg2 Qf5 eg 21.Qc2 Qf2+ 22.Kh1 Qe2 with a messy position but indeed 17.Ne1 avoids this counterplay. When I feel like (and that's unpredictable) I'll take a look at 13...a5.
  

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Re: Classical Dutch - White Seems Better. Or not.
Reply #84 - 03/11/18 at 07:00:53
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MNb wrote on 03/10/18 at 10:05:09:
brabo wrote on 03/07/18 at 10:58:51:
16.a3 Rf7 17.cxd5 exd5 18.Ne1 Bf6 19.Nd3 Nd8 20.Qxd7 Rxd7 21.Nf4 c6 22.h4
Here I sugget 18...Rxf1+ (iso 18...Bf6) 19.Bxf1 Rf8 20.Nd3 Qf5 21.Nf4 g5 22.Bh3 Qf6 23.Nf4 Kg7 with a complicated position (but I don't dispute "There remains a slight disadvantage for Black in these variations").

20.Bg2 is likely stronger. Also inverting the move-order with 17.Ne1 Bf6 18.cxd5 exd5 is possible. 17...Rxf1 is less attractive now.

MNb wrote on 03/10/18 at 10:05:09:
Don't you think analyzing and trying to understand complicated lines always will let you play better, even if you'll never play those particular lines?

Studying seriously chess will of course benefit your general understanding. I was only referring to the pure parroting skills of some theoreticians. On the other hand there exists a small risk of mixing lines if you study a lot of openings.
  
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Re: Classical Dutch - White Seems Better. Or not.
Reply #83 - 03/10/18 at 10:05:09
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My interest is not merely abstract; I would like the Dutch to be playable (ie enabling me to play for a win, even if I would be objectively a bit worse) but run into too many lines that leave Black struggling for a draw. It's like the Kieler Gambit.

Stefan Buecker wrote on 03/04/18 at 08:01:34:
After 14...Qd7 15.Qa4 I'd prefer 15...a5 (as this b2-b4 attack is so disrupting in many lines), for example 16.Bh3 Rf6 17.cxd5 Qxd5 18.Bg2 Qd6 19.Ne1 Rxf1+ 20.Kxf1 Rf8+ 21.Kg1 Nd8 22.Bxb7 Nxb7 23.Qc6 Qxc6 24.Rxc6 Bd6 25.Nd3 Kf7! and with Black's king arriving in the center, White hasn't much.

Like Brabo I think 19.Ne5 a better try. So I wondered about 16...Rad8 (I don't really understand 16...Rf6) and 17.cxd5 Qxd5 18.Bg2 Qd6 19.Ne5?! is met with the surprising b5! After 19.Ne1 Black wins a tempo with Rxf1+. Best seems 19.Qc4.

brabo wrote on 03/07/18 at 10:58:51:
16.a3 Rf7 17.cxd5 exd5 18.Ne1 Bf6 19.Nd3 Nd8 20.Qxd7 Rxd7 21.Nf4 c6 22.h4
Here I sugget 18...Rxf1+ (iso 18...Bf6) 19.Bxf1 Rf8 20.Nd3 Qf5 21.Nf4 g5 22.Bh3 Qf6 23.Nf4 Kg7 with a complicated position (but I don't dispute "There remains a slight disadvantage for Black in these variations").
Unfortunately I have nothing to add to the interesting 13...a5 lines at the moment.

brabo wrote on 03/07/18 at 10:58:51:
(yes I do analyze openings while no intention to ever play them which again contradicts that I think studying openings will let me play better).

Don't you think analyzing and trying to understand complicated lines always will let you play better, even if you'll never play those particular lines?
  

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Re: Classical Dutch - White Seems Better
Reply #82 - 03/09/18 at 22:56:52
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My interest in the Classical Dutch is "abstract", just like yours and MNb's. There are alternatives for Dutch players, which are more flexible and thus better suited to test an opponent. Yes, Black should survive, but he is mainly reacting to White's ideas.   

brabo wrote on 03/07/18 at 10:58:51:
13...Bb7 14.Rc1 Qd7 15.Qa4 a5 (This is an improvement but white still has some advantage)
16.a3 Rf7 17.cxd5 exd5 18.Ne1 Bf6 19.Nd3 Nd8 20.Qxd7 Rxd7 21.Nf4 c6 22.h4
16.Bh3 Rf6 17.cxd5 Qxd5 18.Bg2 Qd6 19.Ne5 (I like this more than your 19.Ne1) Rxf1+ 20.Rxf1 Nxe5 21.Bxb7 Rf8 22.Rxf8 Bxf8 23.Qe8

In the last line, Black can also play 22...Kxf8 23.Qc2 Ng6 followed by Kf7. White's two bishops are nice to have, but a win is unlikely.

brabo wrote on 03/07/18 at 10:58:51:
13...a5 (This is indeed more accurate. I already had noticed this move in several lines but as stated earlier didn't dig deeper until now)
14.Qa4 Bb7 15.Rac1 Qe8 and now 16.Bh3 and 16.cxd5 exd5 17.a3 Kh8 18.Qc2 are very difficult to evaluate properly but definitely are no easy equality for black
14.Rc1 Ba6 15.cxd5 Bxf1 16.Qxf1 Qxd5 is also very interesting. The engines contradict each other.
14.Rf2 Bb7 and now I looked at 15.Be1, 15.b3 and 15.Qb3. Black has to play very accurately against all three lines but possibly can equalize on the long run.

Lots of options for White, yes. My impression is that Black has solved most of his opening problems. For example 14.Rf2 Bb7 15.Qb3 dxc4 16.Qxc4 Qd5 17.Qa4 Qd6 18.a3 Rf7 19.e4 Rxf3!?, just to give one line where Black's pieces are cooperating as they should.

And it is fascinating to watch how many Stockfish analyses end with bishops of different colours...  Roll Eyes
  
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Re: Classical Dutch - White Seems Better. Or not.
Reply #81 - 03/07/18 at 10:58:51
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Stefan Buecker wrote on 03/04/18 at 08:01:34:
Thanks for your interesting analysis, Brabo. After 14...Qd7 15.Qa4 I'd prefer 15...a5 (as this b2-b4 attack is so disrupting in many lines), for example 16.Bh3 Rf6 17.cxd5 Qxd5 18.Bg2 Qd6 19.Ne1 Rxf1+ 20.Kxf1 Rf8+ 21.Kg1 Nd8 22.Bxb7 Nxb7 23.Qc6 Qxc6 24.Rxc6 Bd6 25.Nd3 Kf7! and with Black's king arriving in the center, White hasn't much.

There remains a slight disadvantage for Black in these variations. It seems to me, however, that the earlier move 13...Bb7? is inaccurate. In some lines Black might want to play Bc8-a6. Thus it seems more urgent to play 13...a5 at once, to take White's threat b2-b4 out of the position. For example 14.cxd5 (14.Rf2 Bb7 followed by dxc4) 14...exd5 15.Qb3 Kh8 16.Rac1 Bb7, and now:
(a) 17.Nh4 Rxf1+ 18.Rxf1 Ba6 19.Rf5 Bc4 20.Qc2 g6 =.
(b) 17.Ne1 Rxf1+ 18.Kxf1 Nb8 19.Kg1 c6 20.e4 dxe4 21.Be3 a4, and again it's an open fight, about =.

Hi Stefan, thanks for your excellent analysis. You clearly put quite some effort in it as it definitely improves on what I already analyzed which already took quite some of my time.
Now I hadn't intended to go in correspondence-analysis-modus as this was just some fun (yes I do analyze openings while no intention to ever play them which again contradicts that I think studying openings will let me play better). Still your work deserves a reply so I went the last couple of days through a myriad of very complicated lines.

13...Bb7 14.Rc1 Qd7 15.Qa4 a5 (This is an improvement but white still has some advantage)
16.a3 Rf7 17.cxd5 exd5 18.Ne1 Bf6 19.Nd3 Nd8 20.Qxd7 Rxd7 21.Nf4 c6 22.h4
16.Bh3 Rf6 17.cxd5 Qxd5 18.Bg2 Qd6 19.Ne5 (I like this more than your 19.Ne1) Rxf1+ 20.Rxf1 Nxe5 21.Bxb7 Rf8 22.Rxf8 Bxf8 23.Qe8

13...a5 (This is indeed more accurate. I already had noticed this move in several lines but as stated earlier didn't dig deeper until now)
14.Qa4 Bb7 15.Rac1 Qe8 and now 16.Bh3 and 16.cxd5 exd5 17.a3 Kh8 18.Qc2 are very difficult to evaluate properly but definitely are no easy equality for black
14.Rc1 Ba6 15.cxd5 Bxf1 16.Qxf1 Qxd5 is also very interesting. The engines contradict each other.
14.Rf2 Bb7 and now I looked at 15.Be1, 15.b3 and 15.Qb3. Black has to play very accurately against all three lines but possibly can equalize on the long run.

So overall conclusion yes I do have to admit that I am not sure anymore if this special anti-classical Dutch-line guarantees an advantage. For sure black will be put under pressure but a perfect defense will maybe hold.
  
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Re: Classical Dutch - White Seems Better
Reply #80 - 03/04/18 at 20:31:00
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brabo wrote on 03/04/18 at 20:12:58:
My experience of using standard games from e.g. the megadatabase to study an opening is that in 95% of the cases the played moves won't improve upon the analysis of an engine. Besides I am only looking at games of +2300 players. Nevertheless I still think it does make sense to also look to those "weak" games not from theoretical but from practical point of view. Some of the refutations are far from evident and spending some time with an engine to detect them can become later useful for practice.
Concerning the game Sbarra-Castaldo I had in my notes 14.Qd3 c6 and now the novelty 15.Bf2 with a clear advantage for white.

I had also noticed that 15.Bf2 was a likely improvement on 15.Bf4?!, but I didn't want to get too far into specifics now. Not because it's not interesting, but I'm just really busy these days and don't have time for serious opening analysis and discussion, unfortunately.

Even without getting specific I'm spending too much time posting and reading on this forum as it is...  Roll Eyes
  

Improvement begins at the edge of your comfort zone. -Jonathan Rowson
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