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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) What Are You Guys Playing in the 4PA? (Read 4788 times)
Keano
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Re: What Are You Guys Playing in the 4PA?
Reply #35 - 04/04/16 at 18:36:30
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brabo wrote on 04/03/16 at 16:25:19:


I have made an attempt to rehabilitate the line after Brabo's convincing analysis. See this thread:
http://www.chesspub.com/cgi-bin/chess/YaBB.pl?num=1444067885

This may have to be my new line against the 4 pawns if I ever venture the Alekhine again...
  
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Re: What Are You Guys Playing in the 4PA?
Reply #34 - 04/03/16 at 16:25:19
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TalJechin wrote on 04/03/16 at 12:23:16:
Is there anything wrong with the g6 defence nowadays? At least, I liked that Be6-idea of Sergeev's the last time I played the AL - it's an opening I always seem to have played quite intensively for periods of about 6-7 months and then I move on to something else for several years, and then for some reason I tend to rediscover it...

The idea of Sergeev has been discussed already here twice see:
http://www.chesspub.com/cgi-bin/chess/YaBB.pl?num=1444067885/5
and
http://www.chesspub.com/cgi-bin/chess/YaBB.pl?num=1267504014/30
  
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Re: What Are You Guys Playing in the 4PA?
Reply #33 - 04/03/16 at 14:15:25
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In the recent book by the Sveshnikov's they mention that Mikenas said that

"Alekhine's defence would not be a bad opening, if it were not for the 4 PA. There black has big problems. However Bagirov explained why he was not bothered by the 4PA.

Here, Black has no fewer than eight possible continuations, in every one of which White, if he plays the wrong move, risks not only to lose the opening advantage, but even standing standing seriously worse"

The main point is that a White player only meets the Alekhine once in a while and it is difficult to be prepared against all of these continuations. Vassilious Kotronias seesm to be one White player that consistently uses the 4PA and .. to win"

Also, I saw a comment, or more precisely I think i saw comment, that a well known English player that once in a while played the Alekhine (some of his games even appear mentioned in some of the recent books) said that the reason why he stopped playing the Alekhine is that he has no comfortable line against the 4PA
  
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Re: What Are You Guys Playing in the 4PA?
Reply #32 - 04/03/16 at 13:53:17
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@Brabo @TonyRo - very interesting stuff. 10.d6! does seem critical.

10...Be6!? looks like the only hope for Black to revive the line. Then if 11.Nb5 Nd5 might be OK for Black.

Although after the simple 11.Nf3 the situation remains problematic for Black.

I have to admit this 10.d6 line might discourage me from playing my old line in future.

  
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Re: What Are You Guys Playing in the 4PA?
Reply #31 - 04/03/16 at 12:23:16
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Is there anything wrong with the g6 defence nowadays? At least, I liked that Be6-idea of Sergeev's the last time I played the AL - it's an opening I always seem to have played quite intensively for periods of about 6-7 months and then I move on to something else for several years, and then for some reason I tend to rediscover it...
  
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Re: What Are You Guys Playing in the 4PA?
Reply #30 - 04/03/16 at 07:47:19
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TonyRo wrote on 04/03/16 at 01:54:21:
My understanding could be dated, but I always thought that 8.Nc3 exd5 9.cxd5 c4 10.d6! is basically grim death.

I wrote some analysis about this line in my article http://chess-brabo.blogspot.be/2014/11/commenting-games.html

You can also find information about 9...Qh4 on my blog see http://schaken-brabo.blogspot.be/2012/11/partijpublicaties.html
I always hoped once to play the analysis below in a game.


and about 8...Qh4 on my blog see
http://schaken-brabo.blogspot.be/2013/07/de-sterktelijst.html
  
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Re: What Are You Guys Playing in the 4PA?
Reply #29 - 04/03/16 at 01:54:21
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My understanding could be dated, but I always thought that 8.Nc3 exd5 9.cxd5 c4 10.d6! is basically grim death.
  
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Re: What Are You Guys Playing in the 4PA?
Reply #28 - 04/02/16 at 21:18:48
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What about the old line 6...c5 7.d5 e6 against the 4 pawns attack?
Probably the computers will give this as complete rubbish these days, but thats what I used to play when I dabbled with the Alekhine's and did Ok with it.
  
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Re: What Are You Guys Playing in the 4PA?
Reply #27 - 04/01/16 at 20:38:48
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Paddy wrote on 04/01/16 at 12:46:43:
In your pgn you refer to the Russian book by Chetverik and Kalinichenko. What's your opinion of it?

It would certainly help if I knew the Cyrillic alphabet but other than that, as a reference, it's a solid work. Pretty comprehensive, and Chetverik has experience with Black. Certainly better than most of the older texts that I have, and I'd rather use it than the newer Taylor and Lakdawala books. Definitely worth picking up in my humble opinion. And it's hardback!  Wink [/quote]

Tony did a nice and adequate description of the book by Chetverik
  
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Re: What Are You Guys Playing in the 4PA?
Reply #26 - 04/01/16 at 19:09:25
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Paddy wrote on 04/01/16 at 12:46:43:
Hi Tony, "just for fun" you say.
Wow; many thanks for posting that - it's fascinating stuff but now my head's spinning!

Yes, quite a mess indeed, you're welcome. Hopefully more analysis on other lines will come!

Paddy wrote on 04/01/16 at 12:46:43:
For practical over-the-board play this was exactly the sort of thing I was trying to avoid in the past with 9...Bg4 and latterly with 9...Bb4, but if 9...Be7 is really the most reliable line after all, then it seems it's a case of bite-the-bullet or give up the Alekhine (again).

Well, on some level it's not all that bad really - after 19.Bb5 you must remember 19...c6 20.Bg5 Bf3! and the rest mostly plays itself. Against 19.Be2 you can remember the easier 19...c5 and the line from the Gaprindashvili game I quoted, which is relatively straightforward. And against 19.Bg5, you just take on f1!  Grin

Paddy wrote on 04/01/16 at 12:46:43:
However, as I mentioned in an earlier post, as well as having to master the huge complications in the line in your pgn, Black has to face the unattractive possibility of White's drying out the play with 15 Nxc6, as analysed on Chess Publishing by Tom Rendle (Luther-Rozentalis, Bundesliga 2013).

True, this line does seem a little drier than other lines, but I think either Rendle's suggested 15...bxc6!? or just trying to play for a win in an equal-ish but somewhat unclear position (see game below) is a fine outcome for Black:



Paddy wrote on 04/01/16 at 12:46:43:
Plus there are the problems identified in the Old Main Line with 10 (or 9) Be2. 

What did you think of my 15...e5!? idea a few posts above? Seems interesting and equal-ish, and practically challenging for White.

Paddy wrote on 04/01/16 at 12:46:43:
In your pgn you refer to the Russian book by Chetverik and Kalinichenko. What's your opinion of it?

It would certainly help if I knew the Cyrillic alphabet but other than that, as a reference, it's a solid work. Pretty comprehensive, and Chetverik has experience with Black. Certainly better than most of the older texts that I have, and I'd rather use it than the newer Taylor and Lakdawala books. Definitely worth picking up in my humble opinion. And it's hardback!  Wink
  
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Re: What Are You Guys Playing in the 4PA?
Reply #25 - 04/01/16 at 12:46:43
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TonyRo wrote on 03/29/16 at 21:00:33:
I took a look-see as well and didn't find anything to bolster up Black's cause in the 9...Bb4 line either. Fundamentally, I think the e5-wedge and the lack of Black's dark-squared bishop just causes too many problems on the kingside.

Just for fun last night, I also did a quick analysis of the absolute main line tabiya that starts at move 19, just to see what I could dig up. The following is not exhaustive, I just tried to prove that Black was fine, and also dig up interesting new ideas or push out the lines a bit further. Enjoy!


Hi Tony, "just for fun" you say.
Wow; many thanks for posting that - it's fascinating stuff but now my head's spinning!
For practical over-the-board play this was exactly the sort of thing I was trying to avoid in the past with 9...Bg4 and latterly with 9...Bb4, but if 9...Be7 is really the most reliable line after all, then it seems it's a case of bite-the-bullet or give up the Alekhine (again). (The alternatives 9...Nb4 and 9...Qd7 have never tempted me either.)

However, as I mentioned in an earlier post, as well as having to master the huge complications in the line in your pgn, Black has to face the unattractive possibility of White's drying out the play with 15 Nxc6, as analysed on Chess Publishing by Tom Rendle (Luther-Rozentalis, Bundesliga 2013). Plus there are the problems identified in the Old Main Line with 10 (or 9) Be2. 

So in the Four Pawns Attack alone, the "Alekhine boat" seems to be leaking in several places; and that's just one of White's dangerous theoretical challenges. I don't know of a truly satisfactory system against 4 Nf3 either!

In your pgn you refer to the Russian book by Chetverik and Kalinichenko. What's your opinion of it?
  
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Re: What Are You Guys Playing in the 4PA?
Reply #24 - 03/29/16 at 21:00:33
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I took a look-see as well and didn't find anything to bolster up Black's cause in the 9...Bb4 line either. Fundamentally, I think the e5-wedge and the lack of Black's dark-squared bishop just causes too many problems on the kingside.

Just for fun last night, I also did a quick analysis of the absolute main line tabiya that starts at move 19, just to see what I could dig up. The following is not exhaustive, I just tried to prove that Black was fine, and also dig up interesting new ideas or push out the lines a bit further. Enjoy!

  
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Re: What Are You Guys Playing in the 4PA?
Reply #23 - 03/28/16 at 14:44:08
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Paddy wrote on 03/25/16 at 22:59:58:
TonyRo wrote on 03/25/16 at 18:33:09:
I guess the first step is to find an improvement over this game: http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1717104

Though I'll admit I haven't had time to check out Paddy's notes, which might already have some ideas!


Sorry - my pgn was with reference to GM Leinier Dominguez playing White against 9...Be7, rather than providing evidence of the viability of 9...Bb4. 

But I will check my database and notes and see if I can come up with anything useful to back up my feeling that 9...Bb4 should provide adequate counterplay.

Although there is no shortage of OTB games in the database, this "Tarrasch variation" has not received systematic testing at a high level. However, there is a lot of material from corres. games that might be useful.


I decided to make a brief review of the literature.

Possibly the most detailed existing source of material on 9...Bb4 (and older 4PA theory in general) is in "Enzyklopädie der Aljechin-Verteidigung Band A Der Vierbauernangriff" (2nd edition) by Erich Siebenhaar, Dreier-verlag 1995, which has six pages on it.

This important source does not appear in the bibliography of any of the most recent books on the Alekhine: Lakdawala, Taylor, Davies, Bogdanov or Cox - the last two being the most objective and providing the best verbal explanations in my opinion.

I think the discussion of move order subtleties in the 4PA in Bogdanov's book is particularly good, which is perhaps not so surprising when one learns that Graham Burgess edited it (2009).

Bogdanov has little detail on 9...Bb4, stating merely that "This whole line has not been seen much in recent years, and there is scope for further investigation here."

Cox (2004) wrote: "White's most sensible reply is 10 Be2 0-0 11 Rc1, meeting 11...Na5 with 12 Bg5 Qd7 13 c5 Na4 14 Qd2 and so on. White can castle on the kingside and has dangerous attacking chances there with Black's minor pieces stuck on the queenside. Black has yet to demonstrate a decent counter to this plan."

Edit: I've now had a good look at the game quoted by Brabo and must admit that White's attacking plan against Black's cramped kingside is very dangerous! Davies (2001) was optimistic about Black's prospects in the position after move 13 but it seems that 14 Bg5! is far stronger than the alternatives and sets serious problems.

So far (using books, database and Stockfish 7) I have been unable to find a satisfactory line for Black: with ...Qd5, ...Qd7, inserting ...h6 or delaying ...0-0. Black seems to have no time to challenge White in the centre starting with the break with ...b6, which is the main source of counterplay when White has the pawn structure c3, c5, d4, e5.

I had assembled a database of over 300 games with 9...Bb4 to assist my study - all useless, it seems, against Brabo's well-constructed "killer repertoire" for White with the Four Pawns Attack!

So it goes.
« Last Edit: 03/29/16 at 13:25:20 by Paddy »  
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Re: What Are You Guys Playing in the 4PA?
Reply #22 - 03/28/16 at 13:54:54
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My personal notes also show that 14...Qd5 can be answered exactly in the same way with 15.Nh4 Be4 16.Qc1
  
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Re: What Are You Guys Playing in the 4PA?
Reply #21 - 03/28/16 at 12:04:48
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Concerning the variation after 9...Bb4, and as a starting point for discussion, it appears to me that the main line starts with 10.Be2 (there are other 10th moves for White but Be2 appears best)

here Black either plays i) 10...0-0 or ii) 10...Na5 at once
(10...Qd7 has been seen also and might playable) with the plan c7-c5 (but many times i) and ii) transpose)

i) 10...0-0 11.0-0 (Rc1!?) Na5 (to play c5).
Here White can either play a) 12.c5 or b) 12. Nd2
a) 12.c5 allows 12...Bxc3 13.bxc3 Nbc4 and after 13.Bc1 b5 the literature contains several variants but apparently Black is doing Ok
b) 12.Nd2 here the literature continuation is 12...Bg6 to prepare c7-c5.

ii) After 10...Na5 11.c5 Black should take care not to play 11...Nbc4 because of 12.BxN NxB 13. Qa4+

Not sure if these lines are topical but here there are already two options for each side, Black plays 0-0 or delays this move with Na5 and White, after Na5, either play c5 or Nd2
??!
  
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Re: What Are You Guys Playing in the 4PA?
Reply #20 - 03/27/16 at 06:13:02
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@NegiRefutes - Somewhat OT, but in your 10.Nge2 d5 11.c5 line in the Exchange Voronezh, what's your idea after the non-thematic 11...N6d7!? instead? Just started looking into this, interesting idea so far!
  
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Re: What Are You Guys Playing in the 4PA?
Reply #19 - 03/26/16 at 16:02:40
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In fact, on the previous posted game, a few alternatives come to my mind immediately

i) is 12.Nd2 playable?

ii) is 13...Nbc4 playable (instead of 13...Nd5)?

iii) Can White get a better game by playing 17.Bxc6 (instead of 17.Bh4)?

iv) 18...Qe4 looks playable and better than the move played

but until move 24 (have not analised after this move) i would say that Black is Ok
  
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Re: What Are You Guys Playing in the 4PA?
Reply #18 - 03/26/16 at 15:41:45
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Coincidences (played today) Smiley


Mikalsen,Erlend (2333) - Merkesvik,Sondre (2230) [B03]
TV 2 Fagernes Int'l 2016 Fagernes (8), 26.03.2016
[ChessBase]

1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Nd5 3.c4 Nb6 4.d4 d6 5.f4 dxe5 6.fxe5 Nc6 7.Be3 Bf5 8.Nc3 e6 9.Nf3 Bb4 10.Be2 0-0 11.0-0 Na5 12.c5 Bxc3 13.bxc3 Nd5 14.Bd2 Nc6 15.Bb5 Nde7 16.Bg5 h6 17.Bh4 Qd5 18.Qe2 Ng6 19.Bg3 b6 20.c4 Qe4 21.Qxe4 Bxe4 22.Nd2 a6 23.Ba4 b5 24.Nxe4 bxa4 25.d5 exd5 26.cxd5 Ncxe5 27.c6 Rfd8 28.Rfd1 f6 29.Nc5 Ne7 30.Bxe5 fxe5 31.Nd7 Ng6 32.Rab1 Kf7 33.Rb4 Ke7 34.Rg4 Nf4 35.Rxg7+ Kd6 36.Kf1 Rg8 37.Rf7 Rg6 38.Nf6 Kc5 39.g3 Nh3 40.Ne4+ Kc4 41.Rxc7 Rf8+ 42.Ke2 Rg4 43.Nd6+ Kc5 44.Rf7 Rb8 45.Nb7+ Kc4 46.c7 Re4+ 47.Kf1 Rxb7 48.c8Q+ Kxd5 1-0

  
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Re: What Are You Guys Playing in the 4PA?
Reply #17 - 03/25/16 at 22:59:58
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TonyRo wrote on 03/25/16 at 18:33:09:
I guess the first step is to find an improvement over this game: http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1717104

Though I'll admit I haven't had time to check out Paddy's notes, which might already have some ideas!


Sorry - my pgn was with reference to GM Leinier Dominguez playing White against 9...Be7, rather than providing evidence of the viability of 9...Bb4. 

But I will check my database and notes and see if I can come up with anything useful to back up my feeling that 9...Bb4 should provide adequate counterplay.

Although there is no shortage of OTB games in the database, this "Tarrasch variation" has not received systematic testing at a high level. However, there is a lot of material from corres. games that might be useful.
  
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Re: What Are You Guys Playing in the 4PA?
Reply #16 - 03/25/16 at 18:33:09
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I guess the first step is to find an improvement over this game: http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1717104

Though I'll admit I haven't had time to check out Paddy's notes, which might already have some ideas!
  
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Re: What Are You Guys Playing in the 4PA?
Reply #15 - 03/25/16 at 17:00:52
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You might be right; did not think about that possibility

but even though what is the "refutation" of 9...Bb4?
  
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Re: What Are You Guys Playing in the 4PA?
Reply #14 - 03/25/16 at 14:26:10
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lg wrote on 03/25/16 at 12:59:46:
Yes, but the point i was trying to make is that a good player that quite often plays the Alekhine has chosen 9...Bb4 when facing the 4PA; thus we might conclude that there is something for this move

The game doesn't proof at all that there is something with 9...Bb4. I find it more likely that black wanted to get white quickly out of book and took a risk which is normal when you have 200 points more. You want to use your superior technique instead of fighting out a theoretical openingbattle likely prepared at home with engines.
  
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Re: What Are You Guys Playing in the 4PA?
Reply #13 - 03/25/16 at 12:59:46
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Yes, but the point i was trying to make is that a good player that quite often plays the Alekhine has chosen 9...Bb4 when facing the 4PA; thus we might conclude that there is something for this move
  
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Re: What Are You Guys Playing in the 4PA?
Reply #12 - 03/25/16 at 08:04:44
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That game from Bortnyk doesn't have any theoretical value.
13.Nxd5 and 13.Qa4+ give white a solid advantage. I also think that 11.0-0 could be another refinement.
  
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Re: What Are You Guys Playing in the 4PA?
Reply #11 - 03/23/16 at 22:47:27
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Paddy:
Although I have been a fanatic of the variation 9...Qd7 10.Be2 0-0-0 11.0-0 12.Kb8 !? (Miles move to remove the Black king from the diagonal g4-c8) and even think black could build a repertoire on this, I agree that 9...Bb4 is perfectly playable. below is a game by O. Bortnyk (a player that i have following lately) which played this variation. I liked the way he exploited the long White diagonal with queen and bishop



NegiRefutes: In the variation you suggested after 9...Be7
the "new" move 14...Bxc6 " you mentioned has been played recently in the Aeroflot open



« Last Edit: 03/24/16 at 12:09:33 by GMTonyKosten »  
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Re: What Are You Guys Playing in the 4PA?
Reply #10 - 03/22/16 at 18:50:20
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Yes, seems to me like Black is equal or close enough in the main lines of the 4PA - I'll take a look at your analysis and perhaps start a new thread for the Exchange! Wink
  
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Re: What Are You Guys Playing in the 4PA?
Reply #9 - 03/22/16 at 15:14:21
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Hey Tony,

Here is what I think White should do against 9... Bf5, also, here is the 10. d5 line in the 4PA, I missed 14... Bxc6 with equality in the main line so I think Black might be fine in this line and probably the whole 4PA.

  
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Re: What Are You Guys Playing in the 4PA?
Reply #8 - 03/22/16 at 05:45:46
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What do you like for White after 9...Be7 10.d5? Assume I'm heading down the main line with 10...exd5 11.cxd5 Nb4 12.Nd4 Bd7 13.e6 fxe6 14.dxe6 Bc6 15.Qg4 Bh4+ 16.g3 Bxh1, etc, and deviate as you please! Cheesy

4.Nf3 has always been a very good try for White, I'll have to look into that further once I get there.

As for the Exchange, specifically with ...cxd6, I was never sure White actually had much after 9...Bf5!? - certainly after the main moves Black's position is utter crap, which is what I believe you're referring to (the Yermo game from December).
  
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Re: What Are You Guys Playing in the 4PA?
Reply #7 - 03/22/16 at 05:01:17
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9... Bb4 can be met by Be2 and 0-0, once Black plays ...Na5, White has c5 with an edge as I checked with my engine. After 9... Be7, the d5 line looks pretty promising.

I think White can get more of an advantage with 4. Nf3 and then what can Black do? 4... dxe5 might be the best but Sutovsky's novelty 5. c4! puts some pressure on Black. Personally, I like the exchange variation, the cxd6 line is not very good for Black as shown in a recent update here, and exd6 can be met with a Bd3, Ne2 etc. setup.
  
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Re: What Are You Guys Playing in the 4PA?
Reply #6 - 03/22/16 at 03:26:32
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Thanks for responding Paddy!

Yes, the 10.d5 line is very complicated, but I figured at least at first, when starting to study Alekhine I should asses what happens to be Black's best, even if it's complicated or leads to forced draws, and then if I must try and find something else, even if it permits a small White advantage.

I did look at 9...Bb4 (inspired by 5...Bf5!? 6.Nc3 e6 7.Be3?! dxe5 8.fxe5 Bb4! etc) here but don't remember now why I rejected it - I'll check your analysis and get back to ya.
  
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Re: What Are You Guys Playing in the 4PA?
Reply #5 - 03/21/16 at 12:22:56
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From the white point of view, playing against the Alekhine can be awkward, because you don't get to face it that often and in almost every line Black has many options (even if objectively they are all at least += with best play!). If you're expecting to face the Alekhine you can prep. of course, but if not it can be really awkward to face; I think this accounts for the huge popularity of the Exchange variation, especially at sub-master level.

From the black point of view, I see the main danger theoretically coming from 4 Nf3 and the Four Pawns Attack. Against the latter, I used to play 1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Nd5 3.c4 Nb6 4.d4 d6 5.f4 dxe5 6.fxe5 Nc6 7.Be3 Bf5 8.Nc3 e6 9.Nf3 Bg4, then this became quite popular for a while and it soon became clear that with best play Black was condemned to fight for a draw - not what one plays the Alekhine for.

There are several things that put me off the traditional 9...Be7:
- the sheer complexity and theoretical memory burden of 10 d5;
- the drawing line 10.d5 exd5 11.cxd5 Nb4 12.Nd4 Bd7 13.e6 fxe6 14.dxe6 Bc6 and now 15.Nxc6;
- the line 12.Qf3, as in Dominguez-Almeida, 2005; admittedly when Dominguez later had the chance to play this against Vitiugov in a rapid game 2012 he opted instead for 10.Be2, but he might have feared prep. or just couldn't remember his lines from seven years earlier. (I never regarded 10.Be2 as particularly threatening, but in view of the discussion here I'll obviously need to reconsider that view - thanks all.)

So for a while now I've been interested in 9...Bb4, one of the least explored lines at a high level, although it's been played quite a lot in corres. games.

This move seems very logical to me, pinning the knight, hindering White's d5-break and preparing Nimzo-like counterplay against doubled c-pawns. My hunch is that White can retain an edge with best play, but I don't think the theory has yet crystalised, so it feels quite fresh and interesting to play.

By the way, I like to call 9...Bb4 the Tarrasch Variation, since, somewhat surprisingly, it seems to have been first played by old Siegbert against Em. Lasker in 1923, in agame that I think is still relevant!
  

Alekhine_4P_21_03_2016.pgn ( 1 KB | 36 Downloads )
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Re: What Are You Guys Playing in the 4PA?
Reply #4 - 03/20/16 at 20:03:22
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fling wrote on 03/20/16 at 08:30:49:
Edit: i wasnt sure what the ML is and asked could you please provide the starting moves for everyone although more experienced players would know?

Sorry, wasn't super clear. It's easy to get lazy with the long notation. The line I'm referring to is 1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Nd5 3.d4 d6 4.c4 Nb6 5.f4 dxe5 6.fxe5 Nc6 7.Be3 Bf5 8.Nc3 e6 9.Nf3 Be7, when White usually picks between the ultra sharp 10.d5!? and 10.Be2.

As far as the main line after 10.Be2 goes, to me it felt like White was more than White. In my correspondence database, White was scoring something like 70+% (albeit not a huge number of games) around 15.Qc1 h6 or so. When I analyzed it, it felt to me that White had all the time in the world to figure out incremental improvements, and Black was mostly just forced to shuffle around.

Perhaps the best idea for Black in the 10.Be2 main line, that being 10...O-O 11.O-O f6 12.exf6 Bxf6 13.Qd2 Qe7 14.Rad1 Rad8 15.Qc1 is what's in the ChessPub e-book, 15...e5!?. Play should continue 16.d5 Nd4 and now White can capture two ways:

a) 17.Nxd4 exd4 18.Bxd4 Bg5! 19.Qa1 (a sad square!) and now perhaps the novelty 19...Na4!?N is best for Black, who seems to have reasonable compensation for the pawn after something like 20.Bf3 Be3+ 21.Kh1 Bxd4 22.Rxd4 Nxc3 23.bxc3 Rde8!, and so on. Black is well harmonized, and White has some structural and coordination problems to deal with.

b) Likely better is 17.Bxd4! exd4 18.Nxd4, avoiding problems with the loose bishop on e2. Black should continue similarly with 18...Bg5 19.Qa1, and now either 19...Bc8 or 19...Bd7. Not sure which one is better, or whether or not Black has enough for the pawn, but lines like 19...Bc8 20.Qb1!? Rxf1+ 21.Bxf1 Bg4 22.Re1 Qc5 23.Qe4 Bf6 24.Qxg4 Qxd4+ 25.Qxd4 Bxd4+ 26.Kh1 Bxc3 27.bxc3 Kf8! seem equal. Black seems to have good comp - his knight is better than White's bishop, Black's king is much closer to the center, and White has a lot of structural problems on the queenside. Perhaps White should try 20.Kh1 instead, but then any of 21...g5!?, 21...Bg4, and 21...Qd6 look interesting, at least to analyze for a bit!

Would be happy to look further for improvements to these lines for both sides.

Another side question: Is there any downside to starting with 5.f4 Bf5!?, intending to answer 6.Nc3 e6 7.Be3 with 7...dxe5 8.fxe5 Bb4!? 9.Nf3 c5! and 7.Nf3 with transposing back to the main line?
  
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Re: What Are You Guys Playing in the 4PA?
Reply #3 - 03/20/16 at 11:45:00
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PatzerNoster wrote on 03/20/16 at 10:34:52:
Some time ago I prepared for the 4PA and the main line seems to be the only one where White doesn't get an objective advantage.

So after 1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Nd5 3.d4 d6 4.c4 Nb6 5.f4 de5: 6.fe5: Bf5 7.Be3 Nc6 8.Nf3 e6 9.Nc3 Be7

White has to choose:
  • after 10.Be2 I would continue with
    10. ... 0-0 11.0-0 f6 12.ef6: Bf6: 13.Qd2 Qe7 14.Rad1 Rad8

    Perhaps White is still White here, but I don't think he has much. Black, on the other hand, has a plan to improve his pieces. Play might continue:

    15.Qc1 h6 16.Kh1 Kh8 17.h3 Bh7 18.Bg1 Rd7 19.Rd2 Rad8 20.Rfd1 Qf7

    Black has set up his pieces nicely to contain the White centre pawns. On the other hand White's setup also is not without purpose. Black would like to bring the Nb6 around to f5 via c8 and e7, but at the moment this would allow d5. I think neither side can do much in this position.


  • Almost 2 decades ago I won a nice correspondence game with 19.c5 instead of 19.Rd2. I don't know how the current strongest engines evaluate it today.
      
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    Re: What Are You Guys Playing in the 4PA?
    Reply #2 - 03/20/16 at 10:34:52
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    Some time ago I prepared for the 4PA and the main line seems to be the only one where White doesn't get an objective advantage.

    So after 1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Nd5 3.d4 d6 4.c4 Nb6 5.f4 de5: 6.fe5: Bf5 7.Be3 Nc6 8.Nf3 e6 9.Nc3 Be7

    White has to choose:

    • as you mention, I think Black is fine in the complicated variations after 10.d5. He has to know a lot of stuff to survive, to be sure, but objectively it seems to me that it is rather Black who is fighting for a theoretical advantage here.
    • after 10.Be2 I would continue with
      10. ... 0-0 11.0-0 f6 12.ef6: Bf6: 13.Qd2 Qe7 14.Rad1 Rad8

      Perhaps White is still White here, but I don't think he has much. Black, on the other hand, has a plan to improve his pieces. Play might continue:

      15.Qc1 h6 16.Kh1 Kh8 17.h3 Bh7 18.Bg1 Rd7 19.Rd2 Rad8 20.Rfd1 Qf7

      Black has set up his pieces nicely to contain the White centre pawns. On the other hand White's setup also is not without purpose. Black would like to bring the Nb6 around to f5 via c8 and e7, but at the moment this would allow d5. I think neither side can do much in this position.
      
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    Re: What Are You Guys Playing in the 4PA?
    Reply #1 - 03/20/16 at 08:30:49
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    I just picked up Sveshnikovs' book in order to try something different in rapid games. I studied the Alekhine 15 years ago but haven't kept up.

    Edit: i wasnt sure what the ML is and asked could you please provide the starting moves for everyone although more experienced players would know? However, the thread title clearly says 4PA, I missed that!
    « Last Edit: 03/20/16 at 11:59:40 by fling »  
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    What Are You Guys Playing in the 4PA?
    03/20/16 at 04:01:01
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    It seems like everything is good for White! Let's discuss, starting off with what other, more experienced Alekhine's players play.

    To keep it short, I like White in the traditional ML with 9...Be7 10.Be2! instead of the much sharper 10.d5, either 8.Rc1 or the main line with 8.d5, and in the Sveshnikov line I'm not sure I believe Black has enough comp in the line that starts with 10.Qd2 e6 11.O-O-O exd5 12.cxd5 Bg4 13.Re1 c4 14.h3 Bf5 15.g4, etc.
      
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