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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders (Read 13240 times)
Michael Ayton
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #94 - yesterday at 10:29:39
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Many thanks for all this hard work, C_b_T! I regret I haven't had time lately to look at things closely, but one evening a week or two ago I was doing what you're not meant to do, namely just running an engine and watching passively, and it came up with something I thought quite interesting after 12 Bf6 ef 13 Nf3 in the line above, namely 13 ...a5!?. The idea I guess is to delay ...Be6 for the moment and to enable a possible ...Ra7. The sequel was fascinating!: 14 Re1 f5 15 h4 (15 Rg1?! Nd7) h5 16 Ng5 Ra7 17 Rh3 Ba6 18 Rg3 Bf1, and now came a wild attack! -- 19 d5!? Re8 20 Ne6! fe 21 Rg6 ...

Looking at this again very quickly I have no idea whether Black can defend or not. Maybe he can, but it sure looks dangerous, and I take your point about White having other options anyway. All in all, maybe Black should grit his teeth and accede to the tedious endgame line after all ...
  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #93 - 06/14/17 at 19:35:40
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Hello.

Alright. Here is some updated analysis of this whole 11...Bxf6 line. For anynone who does delve into the analysis posted on this forum. I think I Managed to bust my old main move of:
1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Bg5 Bg7 5.Qd2 h6 6.Bh4 0-0 7.0-0-0 c6 8.f4 b5 9.e5 b4 10.exf6 bxc3 11.Qxc3 Bxf6 12.Bxf6 exf6 13.Nxf3

13...Be6
Which is a bit of a shame because the alternative:
13...f5
Looks less fun, even if it is relatively speaking more solid.
If a bust of this latter move is found I would worry about black's chances after 11...Bxf6. Perhaps as likely though my analysis can be improved and 13...f5 showed to be sufficient.


File attached.

Have a nice day.
« Last Edit: 06/14/17 at 22:20:57 by Confused_by_Theory »  

Pirc_Byrne_variation_analysis.pgn ( 10 KB | 17 Downloads )
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #92 - 06/14/17 at 18:41:46
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Hello AlekseiNK and thanks for posting the game.

13.Bd3 is definitely an attempt but I doubt it can be critical. The d3 square itself is a bit dumb for the bishop since black is about to play f6-f5 and more importantly taking on c6, seemingly the only decent follow up, does not look sufficient. Apart from Campbell's 16...Rb8 also 16...h5  looks alright and is what I looked at in earlier analysis. (second edit: Also, for what its worth, maybe white can force the position after 16...h5 if he wants). Probably white should try not going 16.h4 and instead turtle up with 16.Qc3 but I don't really think it brings great benefit (black gets his pieces out anyhow). Then again it is a pawn and sometimes even turtles can bite if you give them the chance (luckily not known from experience).

I will look a bit deeper at this whole 11...Bxf6 continuation and probably repost my old analysis in extended form. Tentatively I think that if black plays really precise he can avoid the most dreadful defensive position and probably equalise in the long run. This is by no means clear without a fair bit of analysis though.

Have a nice day.

Edit: Also. 11...exf6, keeping things on the board, looks not really like a hot contender for equaliser; even if that is what I would have wanted.
Second Edit:
In the line: (1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Bg5 Bg7 5.Qd2 h6 6.Bh4 0-0 7.0-0-0 c6 8.f4 b5)
I notice the same black player losing a game after 9.Bxf6. This move looks like a fairly dangerous way of playing for white as well (idea should be after 9...Bxf6 a quick h4-h5 if black does nothing).
« Last Edit: 06/14/17 at 22:07:00 by Confused_by_Theory »  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #91 - 06/14/17 at 11:37:49
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Confused_by_Theory wrote on 06/05/17 at 20:27:30:
Hello.

Michael Ayton wrote on 06/05/17 at 15:59:54:
I fear I may be out of date here!? I had thought Black was OK after 6 ...0-0 7 0-0-0 c6 8 f4 b5 9 Bd3 (9 e5 de 10 fe Nd5) b4 10 Nce2 Qa5 11 Kb1 Nbd7 -- can White significantly improve?

10.dxe5 would be my choice for sure. I posted some analysis of this in the Kornev book thread (reply 14). I believe there is nothing obviously better than going into what looks like a mildly unpleasant two pieces vs rook endgame.

There is also Kornev's 9...b4 but then 10.exf6 is surely critical and 10...bxc3 11.Qxc3 Bxf6 (!? - Kornev) does not seem like an ideal solution. Possibly it could somehow be alright for black; I guess. White looks a bit more comfortable though. Possibly instead of this 11...exf6 is the move but this leads to not easily understood chess.

And there are some 8th move options for white as well (8.Kb1, 8.Qe3 and 8.Qe1 - presumably all novel ideas)

Have a nice day.





  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #90 - 06/05/17 at 20:27:30
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Hello.

Michael Ayton wrote on 06/05/17 at 15:59:54:
I fear I may be out of date here!? I had thought Black was OK after 6 ...0-0 7 0-0-0 c6 8 f4 b5 9 Bd3 (9 e5 de 10 fe Nd5) b4 10 Nce2 Qa5 11 Kb1 Nbd7 -- can White significantly improve?

10.dxe5 would be my choice for sure. I posted some analysis of this in the Kornev book thread (reply 14). I believe there is nothing obviously better than going into what looks like a mildly unpleasant two pieces vs rook endgame.

There is also Kornev's 9...b4 but then 10.exf6 is surely critical and 10...bxc3 11.Qxc3 Bxf6 (!? - Kornev) does not seem like an ideal solution. Possibly it could somehow be alright for black; I guess. White looks a bit more comfortable though. Possibly instead of this 11...exf6 is the move but this leads to not easily understood chess.

And there are some 8th move options for white as well (8.Kb1, 8.Qe3 and 8.Qe1 - presumably all novel ideas)

Have a nice day.
  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #89 - 06/05/17 at 15:59:54
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Quote:
A few pitholes in these 6.Bf4 a6 7.Nf3 lines it seems.

Not sure. In the 7 ...Nc6!? line Black is semi-forcing White to use a tempo on 8 h3, so maybe he's well set up to sac a pawn after (e.g.) 8 ...b5 9 Bd3 Bb7 10 e5 de 11 de Nd5 12 0-0 Nf4 13 Qf4 e6 14 a4 0-0!?, with sufficient comp.? Also, in the 7 ...b5 line above with 11 Qe3 Nc6, perhaps Black is OK after e.g. 12 c3 de 13 de e6 14 h4 Ne7!? (intending ...c5)? (My strongest engine goes 14 ...Qb8!?, idea ...Qb6, but maybe that's a bit slow/artificial?)

Quote:
Still think the main problem is 6.Bh4 though.

I fear I may be out of date here!? I had thought Black was OK after 6 ...0-0 7 0-0-0 c6 8 f4 b5 9 Bd3 (9 e5 de 10 fe Nd5) b4 10 Nce2 Qa5 11 Kb1 Nbd7 -- can White significantly improve?
  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #88 - 06/05/17 at 01:26:54
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Hello.

Michael Ayton wrote on 06/04/17 at 23:08:30:
I'm still not sure I like 7 ...e6 -- can't White go 11 f4 in your line?

Yes he can Grin. Apparently
1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Bg5 Bg7 5.Qd2 h6 6.Bf4 a6 7.Nf3 e6 8.e5 dxe5 9.Nxe5 Nh5 10.Be3 Nd7 11.f4

11...Qh4+ 12.g3! Nxg3 13.hxg3 Qxh1 14.0-0-0 Qh5 15.Ne4! f5 16.Be2 is good for white (which I just missed) so 7...e6 is probably fairly dubious positionally. White gets a decent grip and black can't strike back early in part because white has this idea of giving the rook.

Michael Ayton wrote on 06/04/17 at 23:08:30:
8 h3!? and something like 8 ...b5 9 Bd3 Bb7 10 e5 de 11 fe Nd5 ...?

Maybe even 9...Nd7 but then the deep 10.Be3 (10.d5 Nce5 looks to not obviously bring white closer to any advantage) might force black to go e7-e5 when he'd rather not really do that. Problem is white is placed to harmoniously so if black does nothing white can hit with a4 and because white is placed harmoniously normalising (Wink) the game with e7-e5 looks not greatly timed.


A few pitholes in these 6.Bf4 a6 7.Nf3 lines it seems.
Still think the main problem is 6.Bh4 though. Not really finding anything great there for black. We'll see if Marin goes for it I guess.

Have a nice day.
  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #87 - 06/04/17 at 23:08:30
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Quote:
7.Nf3 e6 8.e5 is definitely an idea ...  I don't think you should be displeased as black after 8...dxe5 9.Nxe5 Nh5 10.Be3 Nd7.

I'm still not sure I like 7 ...e6 -- can't White go 11 f4 in your line? But 7 ...Nc6!? might be a neat idea! I can see that 8 Bd3 now allows 8 ...Nd4 and 8 Bc4 could meet with 8 ...Bg4. 8 Be2 is possible (transposing to 7 Be2! Grin) but then 8 ...e6 looks good -- after 9 0-0-0 perhaps both 9 ...b5 and 9 ...g5 are playable. So maybe better is 8 h3!? and something like 8 ...b5 9 Bd3 Bb7 10 e5 de 11 fe Nd5 ...?

But I still like the 7 ...b5 line. Black has strongpointed the d5 square and I reckon he'll probably play ...dxe5 at some point, when White's centre doesn't look too mighty ...
  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #86 - 06/02/17 at 17:28:13
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Hello.

Michael Ayton wrote on 06/01/17 at 23:56:23:
I haven't looked at this closely, but I was a bit worried about the immediate 8 e5. I thought Black's best might be 7 ...b5 as in Chernetskiy-Tkachiev. There, White replied 9 a3 (fishy, surely!) and after 8 ...Bb7 9 d5? c6 soon collapsed and came second. I imagined that best might be something like 8 Bd3 Bb7 9 e5 Nd5 10 Nd5 (10 e6 f5) Bd5 11 Qe3 Nc6!?. Maybe OK for Black? -- I'm not sure.

1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Bg5 Bg7 5.Qd2 h6 6.Bf4 a6

7.Be2 Nc6 Looks about right indeed. One can argue white will probably not be so inclined to play Bf3 now making Be2 presumably not the most meaningfully placed piece on the board.

7.Nf3 b5 8.Bd3 Nc6 Should also be a bit interesting. Perhaps white can find some more or less advantageous way to continue, though with the knight on c6 black has many ideas of how to continue play (Bg4, Bb7, e6, e5, b4, Nd7, g5) and this is usually a good sign.
After 8...Bb7 9.e5 Nd5 10.Nxd5 Bxd5 11.Qe3 Nc6 I suspect white is well placed to keep his center intact for some time, but ok maybe black can live with this.

7.Nf3 e6 8.e5 is definitely an idea and can maybe be compared to the 6...e6 7.e5 classical Pirc. Still I don't think you should be displeased as black after 8...dxe5 9.Nxe5 Nh5 10.Be3 Nd7. I'm not really thinking white is better and if he is it will be hard for him to make immediate impact against a fundamentally quite sound black position. A definite plus with 7...e6 is also that 8.Bd3 Nc6 seems quite alright for black.

There is also 7.Nf3 Nc6 which could be tried.

Have a nice day.
  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #85 - 06/02/17 at 13:03:49
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Quote:
I briefly had a look at this line, and thought 7 Be2-f3!? might be interesting ...

This struck a chord with me, because early this season I lost a horrible game to an opponent who used this plan! Here, though, maybe Black can go 7 ...Nc6 and not give White what he wants?
  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #84 - 06/02/17 at 02:55:19
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I briefly had a look at this line, and thought 7 Be2-f3!? might be interesting, just trying to prevent Black from getting his ...b5/...Bb7/...Nbd7 set-up in.
  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #83 - 06/01/17 at 23:56:23
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Quote:
1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 Bg7 5.Qd2 h6 6.Bf4 a6 7.Nf3!?
Looks most dangerous.

I had independently come to the same conclusion! I reckoned that, if White instead goes f2-f3, the position resembles the 4 Be3 a6!? line, in a form not disadvantageous to Black, who has the natural plan of ...b5/...Nbd7/...c5.

Quote:
I would probably just go 7...e6 and ask white what is up (at least not e5-e6!).

I haven't looked at this closely, but I was a bit worried about the immediate 8 e5. I thought Black's best might be 7 ...b5 as in Chernetskiy-Tkachiev. There, White replied 9 a3 (fishy, surely!) and after 8 ...Bb7 9 d5? c6 soon collapsed and came second. I imagined that best might be something like 8 Bd3 Bb7 9 e5 Nd5 10 Nd5 (10 e6 f5) Bd5 11 Qe3 Nc6!?. Maybe OK for Black? -- I'm not sure.
  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #82 - 05/27/17 at 19:54:24
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Hi.

Not that much to say really. Looks very decent for black. Decent like black seems to have many good looking and relatively option filled continuations.

Somehow:
1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 Bg7 5.Qd2 h6 6.Bf4 a6 7.Nf3!?
Looks most dangerous.
In my simplified strategic view the idea is that white really needs to go for some e4-e5 or maybe h4-h5 push at some point. For this to work satisfactorily white basically wants his pieces on their best squares and f3 should be quite optimal for the knight. Black also has an annoying strategic "threat" of going b5; when to defend from b4+Nxe4 playing f3 is probably less dangerous compared to just proactively defending the pawn by anchoring it on e5 (supported by a knight on f3 ideally, because otherwise going e5 could even be problematic).

I would probably just go 7...e6 and ask white what is up (at least not e5-e6!). Then probably follow up with b5, some development and possibly even g5 at some point. Should not be bad for black really.

Have a nice day.
Edit: Grammar.
  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #81 - 05/23/17 at 19:01:00
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I haven’t yet managed to look with any depth at the defence to the Byrne that was played once by Adorjan: 4 Bg5 Bg7 5 Qd2 h6 6 Bf4!? [the more usual 6 Bh4 allows Black the interesting 6 …0-0 7 0-0-0 c6 8 f4 b5 defence, recommended by Moskalenko] a6!?. Who knows, it could be promising! However White responds, the positions are at least likely to be strategically a bit different from the familiar ones arising from 6 Bh4 g5 7 Bg3 Nh5 8 0-0-0: for one thing, Black hasn’t committed to …g5 and so White schemes involving Nge2/f4 may be off the table. I notice that Black has won all four games in the databases after 7 f3 b5 8 0-0-0 Nbd7, but the sample size of games in this line is really tiny. Any thoughts, or does anyone know of any coverage of this?
  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #80 - 04/12/17 at 16:14:59
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Quote:
At an earlier point I gave:
1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Bg5 Bg7 5.Qd2 c6 6.Bh6 Bxh6 7.Qxh6 e5 8.Nf3 Nbd7 9.0-0-0 Qe7 10.a4
presumably it's enough for some, basically positional, advantage.

Ah yes, sorry -- I don't think I ever did look at 10 a4 here. Just off the top of my head I'd reckon 10 ...ed 11 Nd4 Nc5 looks more natural than 10 ...Ng4, but a closer look is surely needed! And ditto at your interesting idea of trying to do without ...Qe7 ...
  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #79 - 04/12/17 at 15:46:51
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Hi.

Michael Ayton wrote on 04/12/17 at 15:25:15:
Of course he can, but how much advantage does he get after 9 ...Qe7? In Reply #48 I wrote:
At an earlier point I gave:
1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Bg5 Bg7 5.Qd2 c6 6.Bh6 Bxh6 7.Qxh6 e5 8.Nf3 Nbd7 9.0-0-0 Qe7 10.a4
presumably it's enough for some, basically positional, advantage.

Mostly since black will have a fairly tough time getting effective play going. On the bright side though much like in the other variations after 7...e5 black is not really in any danger of spoiling his position tactically, at least for the next ten moves or so.

Have a nice day.
  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #78 - 04/12/17 at 15:25:15
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Quote:
Alas. White can go:
1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Bg5 Bg7 5.Qd2 c6 6.Bh6 Bxh6 7.Qxh6 e5 8.Nf3! Nbd7 9.0-0-0 (or basically something reasonable other than 9.dxe5) and avoid the whole line at the top of this post ...


Of course he can, but how much advantage does he get after 9 ...Qe7? In Reply #48 I wrote:

Quote:
Of course White has other choices, chiefly 8 0-0-0. Then after 8 …Qe7 9 Nf3 Nbd7, James Vigus in his first book says the sacrificial line 10 h3 b5 11 Bb5 ab 12 Nb5 Qc5 13 Nd6 Ke7 is difficult for Black, but this looks most unclear to me (e.g. 14 Rd2 Rb8 with ...Rb2 threats) and quite possibly OK for Black if he’s prepared. (And if this is too hairy Black can try 9 …Bg4 instead: after something like 10 d5 a6 11 Be2 cd 12 Nd5 Nd5 13 Rd5 Nc6 or 11 dc Nc6 12 Bc4 Bf3 13 gf Nd4 White may claim a certain advantage, but is it so serious?) Meanwhile White can try 9 f3 iso 9 Nf3, but this looks perhaps less critical after 9 …b5 (or 9 …Nbd7 first).
  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #77 - 04/12/17 at 14:53:20
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Hi.

Just to get this written down and to note these practical observations should they be of use to anybody. If black goes:
1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Bg5 Bg7 5.Qd2 c6 6.Bh6 Bxh6 7.Qxh6 e5 8.dxe5 dxe5 9.Nf3 Nbd7

I'm thinking critical should be either:
10.a4!? (When I'm fairly sure black can play at least bit tougher compared to the lines I gave in an earlier PGN)
or possibly...
10.Bc4 b5 11.Bb3 a5 12.a3
(and not 12.a4, which could be met by for example 12...b4 13.Nb1 Ng4!? 14.Qg7 Qf6 15.Bxf7+ Ke7 16.Qxf6+ Ngxf6 17.Ba2 Nxe4 with not obviously favorable looking simplifications for white; also 13...Nxe4 is considerably more serious compared to the analogous position with Qe7 instead of Nbd7)

Alas. White can go:
1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Bg5 Bg7 5.Qd2 c6 6.Bh6 Bxh6 7.Qxh6 e5 8.Nf3! Nbd7 9.0-0-0 (or basically something reasonable other than 9.dxe5) and avoid the whole line at the top of this post Cry.

Have a nice day.
  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #76 - 03/23/17 at 14:34:35
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Quote:
If we go straight to concrete lines I'm thinking the following is probably not so good for black though:
20.Rad1 Rad8 21.Rxd6 Rxd6 22.Rc1

Yes, the subtle 22 Rc1! does indeed look good! (There are some wild variations possible after 22 ...Qh4!?, but it looks like they end up favouring White.) Maybe there is more to be discovered after 21 ...Qxd6, but it does look like 19 ...Nd4(!) should be considered the 'main line' here after all.


Quote:
To be honest I don't like either 7...e5 or 7...Qa5 though.

I do feel much the same! Moreover I don't feel the non-gambit lines after 7 ...e5 promise Black a heap of fun, even if they're OK. (Analysing the Pirc is great fun, but next season this patzer will be reverting to the mighty Kalashnikov Sicilian as his main weapon!)
  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #75 - 03/23/17 at 06:45:38
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Morning.

Michael Ayton wrote on 03/22/17 at 21:50:22:
I really ought to keep better written notes! I have none on this, though I did look at it. From my memory I imagined here 23 ...Ne6 with ...f4-f3!? to follow. Maybe something like [23 ...Ne6] 24 Rad1 f3 25 Nc3 Rde8, when Black is OK? But even if this is right, maybe 19 ...Rd6, logically piling up on the d-file, should be called the main line?

1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Bg5 Bg7 5.Qd2 c6 6.Bh6 Bxh6 7.Qxh6 e5 8.dxe5 dxe5 9.Nf3 Qe7 10.Bc4 b5 11.Bb3 Nbd7 12.Ng5 Rf8 13.Nxh7 Nxh7 14.Qxh7 Nc5 15.Qh6 a5 16.a3 Be6 17.Bxe6 Nxe6 18.Qe3 0-0-0 19.0-0 Rd6
This is sort of interesting of course. If we go straight to concrete lines I'm thinking the following is probably not so good for black though:
20.Rad1 Rad8 21.Rxd6 Rxd6 22.Rc1
22.g3 does allow black to plant a supported rook on d2, which should somehow be undesirable.

(A) 22...Qd8?! 23.Qa7! Rd2 24.Qa8+ Kd7 25.Qxd8+ Kxd8 26.Nb1!? Rd6 += with advantage thanks to the extra pawn.
(B) 22...Qd7 23.h4 Now Rd2 meets Nd5 tactics and is bad 23...a4 I just don't see the constructive moves for black. 24.g3 Kb7 25.Kg2 Nd4 26.Ne2!? += With at least some advantage for white.
(C) 22...Kb7 23.g3 Qd8!? 24.h4 Rd2 25.Kg2 += Because white has gotten in both g3 and Kg2 there is no Nd4 and black's rook is actually somewhat exposed.
(D) 22...Qg5? 23.Qxg5 Nxg5 24.f3 Rd2 25.Nb1 Rd8 26.Kf2 += Is too easy for white.

Other moves? Don't really see. Suspect black has strategic problems after 22.Rc1.

Michael Ayton wrote on 03/22/17 at 21:50:22:
Maybe 7 ...e5 is no worse than 7 ...Qa5 after all, who knows? (Certainly not me!) Perhaps it depends on whether, in the endgame line, Black can definitely arrange his pieces so as to render White's advantage on the queenside null and void. Is Black's best plan there known? The one I tentatively favour at the moment is to play ...Nde5 as soon as possible, then if White captures, bring the remaining Knight to d6 via f7, followed by ...Bd7 and possibly ...a5 and ...b6.

In 7...e5 white has to work a bit for advantage it seems and this in itself is probably a good discovery; making 7...e5 very much playable in many situations.

To be honest I don't like either 7...e5 or 7...Qa5 though. Still that doesn't keep people from recommending the latter move. Tongue

Have a nice day.
  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #74 - 03/22/17 at 21:50:22
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Quote:
21.f3 May have been a bad idea ...
21.exf5 Is the alternative. Maybe:
21...gxf5 22.Ne2!? f4 23.Qh3
Is something.

I really ought to keep better written notes! I have none on this, though I did look at it. From my memory I imagined here 23 ...Ne6 with ...f4-f3!? to follow. Maybe something like [23 ...Ne6] 24 Rad1 f3 25 Nc3 Rde8, when Black is OK? But even if this is right, maybe 19 ...Rd6, logically piling up on the d-file, should be called the main line?

Maybe 7 ...e5 is no worse than 7 ...Qa5 after all, who knows? (Certainly not me!) Perhaps it depends on whether, in the endgame line, Black can definitely arrange his pieces so as to render White's advantage on the queenside null and void. Is Black's best plan there known? The one I tentatively favour at the moment is to play ...Nde5 as soon as possible, then if White captures, bring the remaining Knight to d6 via f7, followed by ...Bd7 and possibly ...a5 and ...b6.


Quote:
When talking about the stabled pony KID I can give a shoutout for 1.e4 d6 2.d4 g6 3.c4 e5!? Always seemed interesting to me ...

I too have always been interested in this! -- though I think it's not necessarily a bed of roses for Black. Maybe I'll start a new thread ....
  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #73 - 03/18/17 at 18:14:00
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Michael Ayton wrote on 03/18/17 at 09:39:18:
I  19 …Nd4 20 Rac1 f5 21 f3 Rf6 22 h3 f4 23 Qf2 g5! 24 a4 b4 25 Ne2 Ne2 26 Qe2 Qc5

21.f3 May have been a bad idea. As you note it is sort of a question if white can make progress and the more I look the more I think Black's space is highly useful. White after all has mostly got few and quite unimpressive squares for his pieces available. Another detail is that at some point white will likely have to make pawn moves to try and loosen black's grip on the position and this will almost certainly mean weaking his own position on a board with relatively active enemy pieces. In other words none below the rank of master groveller should attempt the move.

21.exf5 Is the alternative. Maybe:
21...gxf5 22.Ne2!? f4 23.Qh3
Is something. Then again conceivably black could have holding chances and white has to work a lot to win this type of position. With rooks black will always get some kind of counterplay, at some time or the other.

Michael Ayton wrote on 03/18/17 at 09:39:18:
I think 7 …e5 remains interesting. I certainly don't claim that it should challenge the 7 …Qa5 endgame variation as the main line though, since I imagine specialists like McNab know how to equalise/draw that position pretty cleanly. Neil McDonald in the latest ChessPub update seems to confirm this, suggesting that in the Pirc move-order 4 Be3 Bg7 is back in fashion. Thus confirmation ironically arrives that, if Black is happy with the endgame variation, he can by choosing a Modern Defence move-order avoid the reputedly pesky Byrne Variation entirely at exactly the time when Ayton demonstrates that (because of 4 Bg5 Bg7 5 Qd2 c6 6 f4 0-0 7 Bd3 Na6 8 Nf3 c5 9 d5 c4!) he needn’t do so anyway!

4...Bg7 is the most natural move after all. Would be nice If 5.Qd2 c6 6.Bh6 could be proven to be harmless some day

JEH wrote on 03/18/17 at 10:15:33:
Between the choice of avoiding the Byrne variation or avoiding vast swathes of King's Indian and d4 specials theory with 1. d4 d6 and inviting the Pirc, I prefer the latter  Wink
Michael Ayton wrote on 03/18/17 at 10:41:01:
Essentially I agree! But for me the choice is subtler since I play the Classical KID with ...Nbd7 (or ...Na6 when allowed) and am happy with all KIDs where White has Ng1-f3 in, so I also like McNab's move order of 1 d4 d6! (I don't want to prevent 2 c4 e5!) 2 e4 g6 3 c4 Nd7!?. KIDs, yes, but basically only Classical lines of my choice plus the Fianchetto Variation.

When talking about the stabled pony KID I can give a shoutout for 1.e4 d6 2.d4 g6 3.c4 e5!? Always seemed interesting to me, especially compared to more normal lines of stabled pony KID.
You sometimes get an endgame after 4.dxe5 ofc. But I doubt this is critical. Against other stuff you can go in to more explored lines or try to find some way to be inventive. For example:
4.d5 Na6!? (Just a move of many. looks intersting though.)
4.Nc3 exd4 5.Qxd4 f6!? (Is not necessarily so bad for black. He will get to develop at least).
4.Nf3 exd4 5.Nxd4 Nc6 6.Nc3 Nf6!? (With I guess some sort of English opening where it is not obvious what white's best is at all)

Have a nice day.

  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #72 - 03/18/17 at 10:41:01
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Between the choice of avoiding the Byrne variation or avoiding vast swathes of King's Indian and d4 specials theory with 1. d4 d6 and inviting the Pirc, I prefer the latter.

Essentially I agree! But for me the choice is subtler since I play the Classical KID with ...Nbd7 (or ...Na6 when allowed) and am happy with all KIDs where White has Ng1-f3 in, so I also like McNab's move order of 1 d4 d6! (I don't want to prevent 2 c4 e5!) 2 e4 g6 3 c4 Nd7!?. KIDs, yes, but basically only Classical lines of my choice plus the Fianchetto Variation.
  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #71 - 03/18/17 at 10:15:33
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Michael Ayton wrote on 03/18/17 at 09:39:18:
he can by choosing a Modern Defence move-order avoid the reputedly pesky Byrne Variation entirely at exactly the time when Ayton demonstrates that (because of 4 Bg5 Bg7 5 Qd2 c6 6 f4 0-0 7 Bd3 Na6 8 Nf3 c5 9 d5 c4!) he needn’t do so anyway!


Between the choice of avoiding the Byrne variation or avoiding vast swathes of King's Indian and d4 specials theory with 1. d4 d6 and inviting the Pirc, I prefer the latter  Wink
  

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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #70 - 03/18/17 at 09:39:18
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Reuniting with my notes, after 19 …Nd4 and 19 …Rd6!? I see I had as my main lines:

I  19 …Nd4 20 Rac1 f5 21 f3 Rf6 22 h3 f4 23 Qf2 g5! 24 a4 b4 25 Ne2 Ne2 26 Qe2 Qc5

II  19 …Rd6!? 20 Rad1 Rfd8 21 Rd6 Rd6!? 22 g3 Qd8 23 Nb1 Kb7 24 h4 Qd7 25 Kg2 f6 26 Rh1 Nd4

In neither case will White find it easy to make any progress, methinks …

I think 7 …e5 remains interesting. I certainly don't claim that it should challenge the 7 …Qa5 endgame variation as the main line though, since I imagine specialists like McNab know how to equalise/draw that position pretty cleanly. Neil McDonald in the latest ChessPub update seems to confirm this, suggesting that in the Pirc move-order 4 Be3 Bg7 is back in fashion. Thus confirmation ironically arrives that, if Black is happy with the endgame variation, he can by choosing a Modern Defence move-order avoid the reputedly pesky Byrne Variation entirely at exactly the time when Ayton demonstrates that (because of 4 Bg5 Bg7 5 Qd2 c6 6 f4 0-0 7 Bd3 Na6 8 Nf3 c5 9 d5 c4!) he needn’t do so anyway! Cheesy

  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #69 - 03/07/17 at 08:07:12
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Hello.

So it seems we have the following variation. I'm going to just scribble it down because I curently have no impulse for making another pgn:

1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Bg5 Bg7 5.Qd2 c6 6.Bh6 Bxh6
Maybe it is time to name this variation. It is after all probably just going to get more popular and can be reached from many different move orders.
7.Qxh6 e5
7...Qa5 is the main move. Black can often reach a only slightly worse endgame (if white allows it of course), which has been covered somewhat in recent litterature.
8.dxe5
8.Nf3 Qe7 and only then 9.dxe5 seems to have some minor points. Nothing serious though.
8...dxe5 9.Nf3 Qe7 10.Bc4 b5 11.Bb3 Nbd7 12.Ng5
Looks like the critical way of playing this variation
12...Rf8 13.Nxh7 Nxh7 14.Qxh7 Nc5
Arguably the best try to try and prove compensation.
15.Qh6!? a5 16.a3 Be6 17.Bxe6 Nxe6 18.Qe3
18.0-0 Should just transpose after 18...0-0-0 19.Qe3.
18...0-0-0
As given by Michael Ayton. This does look like the most natural way of playing the position. 18...Nd4 is premature and 18...Rd8 should be worse than just castling.
19.0-0

Michael Ayton wrote on 03/06/17 at 21:39:18:
I've been 'out of it' with work lately so haven't managed to look in depth, but two questions about the 'main line' here:

(1) Didn't you consider 19 ...Nd4 (iso 19 ...Rd6!?)? -- that was my 'first choice'. (Should it be good I suppose White could always try the super-prophylactic Rc1 on move 19, but it looks artificial and maybe Black could then invade with his Knight on f4!)

(2) After 19 ...Rd6!? 20 Rad1 Rfd8 21 Rd6, did you consider 21 ...Rd6!? (idea, ...Qd8 and ...f5, just going for 'grip')?

(1) 19...Nd4 not so much because I thought white could just go Ne2 very soon. Black seems to have at least some resources though so 19...Nd4 should definitely be a move to consider. I guess one idea key idea for black is 20.Rac1 f5 (20.Rfc1 f5 as well seems reasonable when 21.exf5 gxf5 22.Ne2 f4 23.Qh3+ ; 23.Qe4 Nxe2+ 24.Qxe2 f3 looks a bit burdensome for white to progress from ; 23...Qe6!? 24.Qxe6+ Nxe6 plausibly black could find some way to hold and he has some other, not obviously worse looking, options on move 23 which could be tried) 21.Ne2!? f4 22.Qh3+ Qd7 23.Qd3 f3! 24.Nxd4 Qg4 25.Nxf3 Rxd3 26.Nxe5 Qxe4 27.Nxd3 With arguably an unclear position.
Edit: Forgot to mention that 20.Rac1 f5 21.f3 looks sort of stable for white and is possibly something white can go for and expect some minor edge (even if he will have to grovel around a bit).

19.Rc1 Nf4 directly seems to force 20.Kf1 if white wants to play for advantage (after 20.0-0 comp varied its evaluation between 0.00 and roughly +0.15 after much grovel so its probably just equal). It does seem a fair guess that he will make his pursuit of an edge harder by leading himself towards such unnatural moves. That being said 20.Kf1 is thinly better for white even if he probably will have problems making progress if black just plays reasonably.

(2) 19.0-0 Rd6 20.Rad1 Rfd8 21.Rxd6 Rxd6 I just checked a little before opting for 21...Qxd6 in the pgn. The queen move was basically in my focus for the purely practical reason that white's best seems to be g3 or h3 which are sort of not completely obvious pawn moves. The rook move I can imagine has some plusses though. Mainly it is easier to double (or triple Wink) on the d-line effectively and getting a supported rook to d2 (harder after Qxd6) would be nice positionally.

Have a nice day.
  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #68 - 03/06/17 at 21:39:18
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Quote:
... I Thought I'd post a noticeably beefed-up version of the pgn in reply #59.


I've been 'out of it' with work lately so haven't managed to look in depth, but two questions about the 'main line' here:

(1) Didn't you consider 19 ...Nd4 (iso 19 ...Rd6!?)? -- that was my 'first choice'. (Should it be good I suppose White could always try the super-prophylactic Rc1 on move 19, but it looks artificial and maybe Black could then invade with his Knight on f4!)

(2) After 19 ...Rd6!? 20 Rad1 Rfd8 21 Rd6, did you consider 21 ...Rd6!? (idea, ...Qd8 and ...f5, just going for 'grip')?
  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #67 - 02/26/17 at 16:00:35
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Hi.

Confused_by_Theory wrote on 02/21/17 at 06:46:07:
So anyway I Thought I'd post a noticeably beefed-up version of the pgn in reply #59. Then I realised it was over 11000 characters and there is no attach function. Novel solution was to post here:
http://www.chesspub.com/cgi-bin/chess/YaBB.pl?num=1487658030/0#0
We'll see what happens. Mods have full power to do as they please of course.

Attach problem solved by Tony K Smiley. Here is the file.

Have a nice day.
  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #66 - 02/21/17 at 06:46:07
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Hey.

Since last time posting I looked a bit deeper and a bit broader and generally got a bit more pessimistic about black's chances in:
1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Bg5 Bg7 5.Qd2 c6 6.Bh6 Bxh6 7.Qxh6 e5

It's not that its a bad way of playing. Black is sort of even forcing white to go for serious continuations if he wants advantage and if he doesn't black seems very much OK. With analysis-glasses on however I can probably say that black should have some problems if white plays the pawn-grabbing continuation shown earlier and follows up decently (black can equalise even after the pawn-grab against natural but imprecise play).

Imo 7...e5 it is still a serious alternative to the main move 7...Qa5. To be fair though, at least part of this sentiment comes from thinking that the 7...Qa5 variation is also not exactly a party for black.

So anyway I Thought I'd post a noticeably beefed-up version of the pgn in reply #59. Then I realised it was over 11000 characters and there is no attach function. Novel solution was to post here:
http://www.chesspub.com/cgi-bin/chess/YaBB.pl?num=1487658030/0#0
We'll see what happens. Mods have full power to do as they please of course.

Have a nice day.
  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #65 - 02/18/17 at 08:43:14
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Quote:
18.Qh3 (Idea 18...Qxb2 19.Kd2!) looks quite serious and seemingly gives fairly hard problems to solve.

Nice one!

Re 18 ...0-0-0 19 Qb6: I haven't had time to do more than fiddle around a bit with an engine, but this suggests to me that this line might have neither more nor less value than my original one (19 0-0 Nd4*). Black's plan in the ending is probably simply to advance (...f5 quickly, and at some point ...a4), making it very hard (hopefully!) for White to realise his extra pawn advantage.

* 19 ...Rd6!? might be possible too?
  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #64 - 02/18/17 at 07:25:26
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Confused_by_Theory wrote on 02/14/17 at 01:18:55:
Can't find the attach function. The established workaround is to activate the quote function and then copy the pgn part of the quote into a program that can construct pgn files.


Works!  Cool
  

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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #63 - 02/18/17 at 07:13:02
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Hey.

Confused_by_Theory wrote on 02/14/17 at 01:18:55:
In terms of other stuff not in the pgn I think that in the 11...a5 12.a3 variation I forgot to give 18.Qh3 instead of 18.Bxf7+. Also I forgot to give a variation after 8.Nf3 Qe7 9.h3.

To add to this. 18.Qh3 (Idea 18...Qxb2 19.Kd2!) looks quite serious and seemingly gives fairly hard problems to solve. As long as there are no appealing alternatives (don't see) 11...a5 looks dubious.

In other news though 8.Nf3 Qe7 9.h3 is rubbish because of  9...exd4 and 10...Nxe4. I simply forgot to add a ? plus a few simple moves and make it not the main subvariation at that point Tongue.



Anyway. I am sort of trying to think of ways to be clever as black. Have one possibly quite interesting idea already btw but I don't think it will work. Somehow black wants to avoid ending up with a prospectless pawn down position against accurate white play, or possibly allowing this and then making white's conversion a hard task.

Will probably first check 18...0-0-0 a bit (see #59 pgn main-line). Initially I'm thinking that is not the point you wanna start trying to find resources for black though maybe he reach some hard to break down setup.

JEH wrote on 02/13/17 at 20:54:38:
Unfortunately it is too large to download  Sad

There is a PGN button where you can attach it as a .pgn file, could you do that?
Confused_by_Theory wrote on 02/14/17 at 01:18:55:
Can't find the attach function. The established workaround is to activate the quote function and then copy the pgn part of the quote into a program that can construct pgn files.

Annoying thing this. I checked the spanish repertoire thread a little while ago and there this function is plainly visible. Past experience also says it is possible to attach pgns in that thread.
Some kind of sub-forum setting I guess Huh.

Have a nice day.
  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #62 - 02/14/17 at 01:18:55
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Hi.

Michael Ayton wrote on 02/13/17 at 19:16:34:
Wow, that's some analysis! It'll take me some time to go through it, but I look forward to doing so! But tell me, at the end, why did you reject 18 ...0-0-0? I wonder if it was because of 19 Qb6. After that I thought 19 ...Qc7 20 Qc7 Kc7 (with a lead in development!) might give interesting compensation, but as yet at least I've no idea if it is enough ...

Maybe it is a better move. I guess I didn't like having the king with advanced pawn cover, though it should not be a problem really.

Probably white should still go 19.0-0, although he can also play 19.Qb6 with the aim of exchanging queens (not that it seems killer).

In terms of other stuff not in the pgn I think that in the 11...a5 12.a3 variation I forgot to give 18.Qh3 instead of 18.Bxf7+. Also I forgot to give a variation after 8.Nf3 Qe7 9.h3.

JEH wrote on 02/13/17 at 20:54:38:
Unfortunately it is too large to download  Sad

There is a PGN button where you can attach it as a .pgn file, could you do that?

Can't find the attach function. The established workaround is to activate the quote function and then copy the pgn part of the quote into a program that can construct pgn files.

Have a nice day.
  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #61 - 02/13/17 at 20:54:38
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Confused_by_Theory wrote on 02/13/17 at 16:54:41:
Skillfully, without even aiming for it, I have over 500 of the allowed 11000 characters per post left after posting the pgn


Unfortunately it is too large to download  Sad

There is a PGN button where you can attach it as a .pgn file, could you do that?
  

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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #60 - 02/13/17 at 19:16:34
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Wow, that's some analysis! It'll take me some time to go through it, but I look forward to doing so! But tell me, at the end, why did you reject 18 ...0-0-0? I wonder if it was because of 19 Qb6. After that I thought 19 ...Qc7 20 Qc7 Kc7 (with a lead in development!) might give interesting compensation, but as yet at least I've no idea if it is enough ...
  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #59 - 02/13/17 at 16:54:41
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Hello.


Skillfully, without even aiming for it, I have over 500 of the allowed 11000 characters per post left after posting the pgn Cool

So among other things I can ask a general question (one asked not for the first time) of whatever happened to the attach file function?

Also there is space to write that I did not really find a solution to white's pawn grabbing attempts. If he makes them at the ideal time and then executes well he should reach somewhat better positions. Black can of course play most of them without dieing immediately though.

Have a nice day.
  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #58 - 02/13/17 at 16:07:17
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[quote author=7073797F1E0 link=1466412326/57#57 date=1486982630] [quote]I'm glad of this, since you'd given a somewhat contrary impression ... [quote]
Pardon me for not being a native English speaker, because I totally fail to understand how

"It seems .... trying small"
gives the impression of certainty. Perhaps this?

"I wouldn't mind to play this in a corr. chess game at all; I would call my opening choice a success."
I stick to that one, given how difficult it has become to prove anything more than dead equality in corr. chess.
And now I'm out again - my tolerance for this kind of silliness apparently has become a lot lower compared to five years ago or so.
  

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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #57 - 02/13/17 at 10:43:50
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Quote:
What I'm not certain of is if White can turn this lead in development in a concrete advantage or that it will dissipate.

I'm glad of this, since you'd given a somewhat contrary impression ...

Quote:
16...Nxb3 17.cxb3 Qg5 might be more precise.

I was thinking this might be inferior as I was worried about White bringing a Rook to the c-file, but I can't be categorical.
  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #56 - 02/13/17 at 10:02:14
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Quote:
It's terribly slow. Indeed 13.Ng5 is pointless (then rather 12.Ng5) but White will maintain a lead in development after 13.Rfe1.


Michael Ayton wrote on 02/13/17 at 01:14:02:
Absent concrete analysis, you must forgive me if I'm very much less certain of all this than you seem to be. How do you see the game going after [13 Rfe1] Nh5?

I don't need analysis to count pieces on the board. After 1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Be3 (4.Bg5) Bg7 5.Qd2 c6 6.Bh6 Bxh6 7.Qxh6 e5 8.dxe5 dxe5 9.Nf3 Qe7 10.Bc4 b5 11.Bb3 Nbd7 12.O-O Nc5 13.Rfe1 White needs two more moves to finish development (if we also count Qh6) and Black four (Ra8, Bc8, Ke8, Rh8).
Since I was four I'm very certain about my counting abilities. What I'm not certain of is if White can turn this lead in development in a concrete advantage or that it will dissipate.

Quote:
I've analysed it a bit and have come to the conclusion that White should not hurry to bring back Her Majesty Home.

How did your analysis of 15 0-0 a5 16 a3 Qg5 run?
[/quote]
Probably not deep enough. In a corr. game I would spend hours and hours.
"12.Ng5 Rf8 13.Nxh7 Nxh7 14.Qxh7 Rf8 15.O-O a5 16.a3 Qg5"
16...Nxb3 17.cxb3 Qg5 might be more precise. Or not. That's the bit I'm not sure of
  

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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #55 - 02/13/17 at 01:14:02
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It's terribly slow. Indeed 13.Ng5 is pointless (then rather 12.Ng5) but White will maintain a lead in development after 13.Rfe1.

Absent concrete analysis, you must forgive me if I'm very much less certain of all this than you seem to be. How do you see the game going after [13 Rfe1] Nh5?

Quote:
I've analysed it a bit and have come to the conclusion that White should not hurry to bring back Her Majesty Home.

How did your analysis of 15 0-0 a5 16 a3 Qg5 run?

  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #54 - 02/13/17 at 00:16:20
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Actually the plan you outline for Black is an attempt to solve the issues Black is dealing with ....  Cheesy
It's terribly slow. Indeed 13.Ng5 is pointless (then rather 12.Ng5) but White will maintain a lead in development after 13.Rfe1. The remedy for the WQ being offside is never more than one move - just Qe3 or Qh3. Until then Rh8 is even more offside.
Btw in your gambit line (11...Nbd7) something similar applies. Iso 15.Qh6 I'd prefer 15.O-O a5 16.a3 Be6 17.Bxe6 Nxe6 18.Rfd1 Nd4 19.Qh3. As this is part of my repertoire for White (via 4.Be3) I've analysed it a bit and have come to the conclusion that White should not hurry to bring back Her Majesty Home.
It seems a nice choice for White to me - clinging to the pawn or trying to convert the lead in development in a small but lasting positional advantage. I wouldn't mind to play this in a corr. chess game at all; I would call my opening choice a success.
  

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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #53 - 02/12/17 at 17:22:31
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Quote:
Black still has some issues to deal with after simply 12.O-O.

Not sure. I was thinking Black could just go 12 ...Nc5 with the idea of ...a5 and then ...Nh5 and ...f6, possibly following with ...Ng7 and ...0-0, depending on what White does. Of course on 13 Ng5 (which I imagine is pointless?) we must take the Bishop first. It's the possibility of doing that which led me to prefer the Knight move on move 11, but that might be wrong. The gambit line looks weird I know, but then the WQ is offside and maybe White's position risks becoming stagnant for all his slight lead in development? -- more work needed!

  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #52 - 02/12/17 at 14:32:09
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Hello.

MNb wrote on 02/11/17 at 20:25:37:
I'm not sure if I'd call this solid as Black is playing a gambit after 12.Ng5 Rf8 13.Nxh7 Nxh7 14.Qxh7 an the compensation is not so clear to me (White seems better developed).
At the other Black still has some issues to deal with after simply 12.O-O.

Of course black is not solid everywhere. That wouldn't be any fun. Cheesy

Anyway. Have started to analyse and find myself somewhat drawn to 11...a5!? over 11...Nbd7 (which turns out a bit more passive). Both seem quite playable though

Have a nice day.
  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #51 - 02/11/17 at 20:25:37
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Confused_by_Theory wrote on 02/11/17 at 16:37:09:
Hey.

Interesting move this 7...e5. Black is quite solid indeed.

1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Bg5 Bg7 5.Qd2 c6 6.Bh6 Bxh6 7.Qxh6 e5 8.dxe5 dxe5 9.Nf3 Qe7 10.Bc4 b5 11.Bb3 Nbd7 though.

I'm not sure if I'd call this solid as Black is playing a gambit after 12.Ng5 Rf8 13.Nxh7 Nxh7 14.Qxh7 an the compensation is not so clear to me (White seems better developed).
At the other Black still has some issues to deal with after simply 12.O-O.
  

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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #50 - 02/11/17 at 17:36:19
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Interesting, thank you! It looks as though there is still plenty of work to be done on these lines ...
  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #49 - 02/11/17 at 16:37:09
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Hey.

Interesting move this 7...e5. Black is quite solid indeed. It looks like Shaw's:

1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Bg5 Bg7 5.Qd2 c6 6.Bh6 Bxh6 7.Qxh6 e5 8.dxe5 dxe5 9.Nf3 Qe7 10.Bc4 ("Playing 1.e4-Caro-Kann, 1...e5 & Minor Lines, Quality Chess 2016, p.535)
Is the continuation that puts most pressure on black.
10...b5 11.Bb3 Be6?! (only move given by Shaw) Does seem like a considerably less natural way of playing the position compared to your 11...Nbd7 though.

Guess I will have to check 7...e5. If it does work well it is quite a major thing theoretically for the 6.Bh6 variation.

Have a nice day.
  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #48 - 02/09/17 at 01:06:23
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I’ve been ‘out of it’ lately with huge workloads and so haven’t managed to get with all the analysis, but have still followed the posts with interest. The other day, I started to wonder whether, in the critical 4/5 …c6 variation, it might be good to look again at 4 …Bg7 5 Qd2! c6 6 Bh6 Bh6 7 Qh6 e5. Traditionally thought questionable I know, but White’s Queen is offside so maybe there could be resources? For example, after 8 de de 9 Nf3 Qe7 10 Bc4 b5 11 Bb3, how about 11 …Nbd7!?, not fearing to jettison the h-pawn after 12 Ng5 Rf8 13 Nh7 Nh7 14 Qh7 Nc5? Then after, say, 15 Qh6 a5 16 a3 Be6 17 Be6 Ne6 18 Qe3 0-0-0 19 0-0 Nd4, Black’s pressure looks to be worth exactly one pawn! I notice that the ChessLive database gives one game which went 11 …a5 with the same idea and maybe this is interesting too, though I think 11 …Nbd7 might be more precise.

Of course White has other choices, chiefly 8 0-0-0. Then after 8 …Qe7 9 Nf3 Nbd7, James Vigus in his first book says the sacrificial line 10 h3 b5 11 Bb5 ab 12 Nb5 Qc5 13 Nd6 Ke7 is difficult for Black, but this looks most unclear to me (e.g. 14 Rd2 Rb8 with ...Rb2 threats) and quite possibly OK for Black if he’s prepared. (And if this is too hairy Black can try 9 …Bg4 instead: after something like 10 d5 a6 11 Be2 cd 12 Nd5 Nd5 13 Rd5 Nc6 or 11 dc Nc6 12 Bc4 Bf3 13 gf Nd4 White may claim a certain advantage, but is it so serious?) Meanwhile White can try 9 f3 iso 9 Nf3, but this looks perhaps less critical after 9 …b5 (or 9 …Nbd7 first).

I don’t have the latest sources and maybe some of these lines are discussed there. Any thoughts?
  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #47 - 12/20/16 at 06:22:24
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Hi.

JEH wrote on 12/19/16 at 10:11:33:
Wow, that's some epic analysis CbT  Cool
Thank you.

Ideally the analysis would have been less "epic" Smiley. There was a lot to analyse though.

JEH wrote on 12/19/16 at 10:11:33:
A lot further than I got. I'd got some lines where black had gone f5 after f6 with a criss-cross pawn structure.

Seemed interesting and unbalanced and but possibly not quite equalising, where the old books would have copped out with the infinity symbol. Typical of the Pirc and hence OK in my book  Wink

The comp wants to defend e4 and in the process steady up the position a bit. This is certainly one way of playing chess and could even work in practice (otb though, probably not correspondence).

Being a human I naturally don't care about
a) Having a secure position
b) pawns

So counterattacking plans were on the agenda and most of the time the black position seemed to allow this; which was nice Smiley.

Have a nice day.
  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #46 - 12/19/16 at 10:11:33
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Wow, that's some epic analysis CbT  Cool

A lot further than I got. I'd got some lines where black had gone f5 after f6 with a criss-cross pawn structure.

Seemed interesting and unbalanced and but possibly not quite equalising, where the old books would have copped out with the infinity symbol. Typical of the Pirc and hence OK in my book  Wink
  

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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #45 - 12/19/16 at 02:53:02
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Hello.

1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Bg5 c6 5.Qd2 Nbd7 6.f4 d5 7.e5 Ne4 8.Nxe4 dxe4 9.Ne2
Analysis below:

About the PGN analysis.
I'll just note that 11...Nxf6 in the PGN mainline, instead of 11...exf6 looks key if you want to avoid suffering as black. An earlier comment of mine about black possibly being denied equality after 9.Ne2 was based on me thinking 11...exf6 was more or less the way to go for black. The alternative 11...Nxf6 looks fully reasonable if you look at it for a while though, despite the structural degradation.

Also. It should be said that quite a high level of precision is needed here. Mostly for black, as always; even though there are ample chances for him to also pose problems for white and equalise very early against non-knowledgeable play and setups.

Analysis of 9.Bc4 and 9.Nh3 found in post #41 btw.

Have a nice day.
  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #44 - 12/18/16 at 16:17:38
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Confused_by_Theory wrote on 12/18/16 at 08:21:49:
Hi.

Glenn Snow wrote on 12/17/16 at 20:20:47:
Is there anything to 1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Bg5 a6!!? or 4.Bg4 Bg7 5.Qd2 a6!? for Black?
Don't see it, but it would be nice.

1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Bg5 a6 5.e5
and now:
5...dxe5 6.dxe5 Now a6 will be almost irrelevant and the threat on the knight is annoying.
5...h6 6.Bf4 Nh5 (6...Nfd7 7.e6!? black gets an uninspiring position) 7.Be3 Basically black has no effective way of undermining the e5 point so white simply has a pleasant position.
5...Nfd7 6.Qe2 (Shaw's recommendation) Black can not in the near term effectively hit white's center and needs to find some way of developing without being hit himself (no easy task).

1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Bg5 Bg7 5.Qd2 a6 6.Bh6
Thematic.
6...Bxh6 (6...0-0 7.0-0-0 b5 8.f3 White is better positionally. If 7...Nc6 8.h4 is strong.) 7.Qxh6 Black is not losing to an attack, but he is handicapped positionally from having exchanged his dark squared bishop.

Have a nice day.


Well I can still recommend it to any future opponents.
  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #43 - 12/18/16 at 08:21:49
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Hi.

Glenn Snow wrote on 12/17/16 at 20:20:47:
Is there anything to 1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Bg5 a6!!? or 4.Bg4 Bg7 5.Qd2 a6!? for Black?
Don't see it, but it would be nice.

1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Bg5 a6 5.e5
and now:
5...dxe5 6.dxe5 Now a6 will be almost irrelevant and the threat on the knight is annoying.
5...h6 6.Bf4 Nh5 (6...Nfd7 7.e6!? black gets an uninspiring position) 7.Be3 Basically black has no effective way of undermining the e5 point so white simply has a pleasant position.
5...Nfd7 6.Qe2 (Shaw's recommendation) Black can not in the near term effectively hit white's center and needs to find some way of developing without being hit himself (no easy task).

1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Bg5 Bg7 5.Qd2 a6 6.Bh6
Thematic.
6...Bxh6 (6...0-0 7.0-0-0 b5 8.f3 White is better positionally. If 7...Nc6 8.h4 is strong.) 7.Qxh6 Black is not losing to an attack, but he is handicapped positionally from having exchanged his dark squared bishop.

Have a nice day.
  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #42 - 12/17/16 at 20:20:47
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Is there anything to 1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Bg5 a6!!? or 4.Bg4 Bg7 5.Qd2 a6!? for Black?
  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #41 - 12/16/16 at 18:18:57
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Hi.

JEH wrote on 12/15/16 at 19:29:56:
6. f4 d5!? in an interersting novelty to blow a hole in the White pawn centre

This 6...d5 move is the move to make work in order to put 5...Nbd7 on the table as a viable option for a repertoire.

When checking 6...d5 exploratively a few days ago I was very optimistic about black's chances and the positions he tended to get; which where of the unbalanced but still sound looking type. Now I don't know know really. White has a line where he has to show enormous accuracy, though in this line black seems to be denied equality and instead ends up searching for safe positions (which I have yet been able to force in analysis).


Edit (20161217): added some analysis of the two seemingly less critical continuations:
1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Bg5 c6 5.Qd2 Nbd7 6.f4 d5 7.e5 Ne4 8.Nxe4 dxe4 9.Bc4 and 9.Nh3.
Still no picnic for black though!

Critical imo seems to be 9.Ne2 but I defer on posting analysis on that for the moment. There is a lot to work out Tongue.



Have a nice day.
« Last Edit: 12/17/16 at 08:21:48 by Confused_by_Theory »  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #40 - 12/15/16 at 19:29:56
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Confused_by_Theory wrote on 12/14/16 at 16:42:11:
1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Bg5 c6 5.Qd2 Nbd7


Here's a tasty titbit from my database, in this line

6. f4 d5!? in an interersting novelty to blow a hole in the White pawn centre, and so

6. 0-0-0 when you've got White's King committed for the usual pawn storm without you having even played Bg7  Cool
  

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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #39 - 12/15/16 at 15:50:32
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Hello.

JEH wrote on 12/15/16 at 09:41:53:
I think the way to play the Pirc (and Modern) is to have various options ready

Fully agree. The plan behind investigating 4.Bg5 c6 is to find some decent line here for black, in order to make white's task harder.

RdC wrote on 12/15/16 at 10:23:01:
Once you play ..c6, you are committed to a particular structure and ideas. There are alternatives to 4. .. c6, some of which can transpose.

Conceptually I see 4...c6 as preparation for b5 or d5, though almost everyone goes for b5 based setups and after having gone b5 going d5 becomes harder.
A definite point behind c6 is also that black can send his queen to a5 early.

Have a nice day.
  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #38 - 12/15/16 at 15:47:24
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RdC wrote on 12/15/16 at 10:23:01:
Personally I think the "Modern" move order with 1. e4 d6 2. d4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. any a6 is a better try


1. e4 d6 2. d4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. Bh6 a6??   Wink


  

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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #37 - 12/15/16 at 10:23:01
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Confused_by_Theory wrote on 12/14/16 at 16:42:11:
Hi.

Been contemplating how to play this as black:
1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Bg5 c6 5.Qd2


Once you play ..c6, you are committed to a particular structure and ideas. There are alternatives to 4. .. c6, some of which can transpose.

Personally I think the "Modern" move order with 1. e4 d6 2. d4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. any a6 is a better try, but 3. Nc3 isn't forced, 3. c4 or 4. f4 could be played.
  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #36 - 12/15/16 at 09:41:53
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Confused_by_Theory wrote on 12/14/16 at 16:42:11:
used as repertoire staple.


I think the way to play the Pirc (and Modern) is to have various options ready.

Duck and dive, bob and weave, twist and turn like a twisty turny thing  Cheesy

So cut out all of these lines from your repertoire books and staple them together! [I have actually done this with some old falling apart books  Shocked]
  

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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #35 - 12/14/16 at 16:42:11
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Hi.

Been contemplating how to play this as black:
1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Bg5 c6 5.Qd2

Pirc Litterature does not give an abundance of ideas. This is what is covered basically:

The Ultimate Pirc (1998): 4.Bg5 c6 5.Qd2 b5 without the reply 6.e5 and brief coverage of 4.Bg5 c6 5.Qd2 Nbd7
Pirc Alert (2001): 4.Bg5 Bg7 Only.
Vidéki's The Pirc Defence (2002): 4.Bg5 c6 5.Qd2 b5 without the reply 6.e5
the Pirc in Black and White (2007): 4.Bg5 c6 5.Qd2 b5
Chess developents the Pirc (2012): 4.Bg5 c6 5.Qd2 b5 without the reply 6.e5
The Perfect Pirc-Modern (2013): 4.Bg5 c6 5.Qd2 b5 without the reply 6.e5.
The Pirc move by move (2016): 4.Bg5 Bg7 Only.

Some also cover 4.Bg5 c6 5.Qd2 Bg7 6.Bh6 (through various move orders).
And of course there is GM Shaw - Playing 1.e4 (2016) who does cover 4.Bg5 c6 5.Qd2 b5 6.e5 substantially and well (though he does not cover alternate black fifth moves, 5...Bg7 excluded).

Where does that leave us then?
Basically there seems to be a significant leaning towards 4.Bg5 c6 5.Qd2 b5, only 6.e5 has not been taken seriously thus far. Of the above books Vigus does best (anyone surprised? Smiley) actually covering 6.e5; although Shaw's suggestion probably just improves over the line Vigus gives.

So we have:
1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Bg5 c6 5.Qd2 b5 (The line in Pirc litterature and one which Shaw recently tried to show deficiencies in after 6.e5)
1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Bg5 c6 5.Qd2 Bg7 (Given in various Pirc litterature as an alternative to the 5...b5 line)
1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Bg5 c6 5.Qd2 Nbd7 (Mentioned once in Pirc litterature)
And that is it.

Knowing not many lines are actually covered in Pirc litterature a natural question is to ask if there are alternatives to the above lines, which have not received coverage thus far. From what I can see the following moves have been played (popularity order):

1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Bg5 c6 5.Qd2 h6 (Played but also previously mentioned in the thread - #30)
1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Bg5 c6 5.Qd2 Qa5
1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Bg5 c6 5.Qd2 Qb6

Of course chess is about thinking and it would disappointing to miss some nice move for lack of this. So is it possible to think of more moves? Somewhat not entirely out of place looks to me the following:

1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Bg5 c6 5.Qd2 Qc7
1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Bg5 c6 5.Qd2 Na6
1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Bg5 c6 5.Qd2 a5
1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Bg5 c6 5.Qd2 e6

Listed above are certainly a handful of black fifth moves, though is any of them attractive enough to form a repertoire around? I don't know but I can say that of all the moves listed (including 5...b5 and 5...Bg7 played hundreds of times) there is only one which I think is good Edit: has potential enough to be used as repertoire staple.

Some day I will elaborate and post some analysis. Until then.

Have a nice day.
  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #34 - 11/28/16 at 22:35:02
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Good evening.

The other day I came here to check a few lines and found that the PGN in #33 was to large to download Cry. Later I remembered the workaround Smiley.

It seems fair for everyone that I attach the PGN-file to a post in order to make downloading possible and so was gonna do that here and now. Only there does not seem to be an option for that (It is usually a sort of small menu labeled attachments, found under all the smilies, yet it does not appear for some reason). Anyone know why?



In terms of chess I have actually looked at a few lines from the pgn in reply #33 a bit deeper since posting that. Especially against the rare (don't know if it's even been played) but challenging looking:
1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Bg5 c6 5.f4 Bg7 6.Qd2 0-0 7.Bh4
I think there is a nice move that I missed in the reply #33 PGN.

Being sort of mildly optimistic of both black's chances to create play and his ability to get OK positions after
4.Bg5 c6 5.f4
now that I've looked a bit at some lines and having been made aware of the nice looking idea
4.Bg5 c6 5.f4 Bg7 6.Qd2 0-0 7.Bd3 Na6 8.Nf3 c5 9.d5 c4!?
, making black's life if not easy then at least reasonably fun, I'm thinking maybe it is time to find something nice against
4.Bg5 c6 5.Qd2
as well. Having that along with maybe some lines against
4.Bg5 c6 5.Nf3
Would actually constitute some sort of a 4.Bg5 c6 repertoire. Possibly this is nice to be able to play practically as Byrne players would probably be more used to the 4.Bg5 Bg7 lines.

Anyway If I see something against 5.Qd2 I may make a similar post to the one on 5.f4.

Have a nice day.
  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #33 - 09/03/16 at 23:44:53
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #32 - 09/03/16 at 23:44:19
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Hello.

About a month ago I made a post about 4.Bg5 c6 5.f4, more specific about the alternatives to 5...Bg7 6.Qd2 0-0 7.Bd3 Na6 8.Nf3.

Had been meaning to post some kind of analysis but forgot for some time. Today I made a coherent analysis file though and hopefully someone will find it useful. Since the PGN limbo danced near the 11000 maximum characters allowed (hitting the bar at first) I put it in a separate post.

Have a nice day.
  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #31 - 07/31/16 at 05:52:54
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Hello.

MNb wrote on 07/31/16 at 02:11:44:
As a lifelong fan of the Argentinean Attack indeed 1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Be3 (4.Bg5) Bg7 5.Qd2 c6 6.Bh6 Bxh6 7.Qxh6 Qa5 8.Bd3 c5 9.d5 Nbd7 10.Nf3 c4! bothers me. The game Jurcic-Rasik, SVK 2013 seems to be important. White might improve and foster an endgame edge, but it's not much and seems to require GM skills to wring something out of it.

I assume this is the game:


Direct play by white. Unless black fails in coordinating quite badly the best white can hope for should indeed be some kind of mild pressure though.

I am sort of thinking about this 7...Qa5 with 10...c4 line (which, let's mention, is playable via 4.Bg5 move order as well) that it seems like a line where played games (i.e. practice) should actually be quite useful to study. Developments and new games in this line are thus quite eagerly awaited by me.



I should say also that I don't get the trying to hold a draw reasoning about this line. Theoretically black indeed playing to hold a draw but practically I don't see why the line should be seen as an attempt to just hold a draw. Black seems to have reasonable chances to improve his position to me and let's not forget that white has advanced somewhat (and allowed an unusual asymmetrical pawn structure). It should be some kind of game after all. Smiley (optimist).

MNb wrote on 07/31/16 at 02:11:44:
Also I wonder what White has after 4.Bg5 c6 5.Qd2 h6. White's highest score is with 6.Be3 but I find it hard to believe it's much after the stale Ng4 7.Bf4 e5. Of course this will turn off quite a few defenders of Black's case as well.

I reckon 6.Bh4 followed by f2-f4 (immediately or soon after) is what I'd play. Black will get to play b7-b5 though and then it becomes a setup versus setup fight (to put it simple).

Have a nice day.
  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #30 - 07/31/16 at 02:11:44
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You fans of the Pirc might be happy to learn that from White's point of view it's not exactly a bed of roses either; indeed things are confusing.
As a lifelong fan of the Argentinean Attack indeed 1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Be3 (4.Bg5) Bg7 5.Qd2 c6 6.Bh6 Bxh6 7.Qxh6 Qa5 8.Bd3 c5 9.d5 Nbd7 10.Nf3 c4! bothers me. The game Jurcic-Rasik, SVK 2013 seems to be important. White might improve and foster an endgame edge, but it's not much and seems to require GM skills to wring something out of it.
So I wonder how good 4.Bg5 Bg7 5.Qd2 c6 (O-O 6.O-O-O duh - my next move is 7.f3 and I'll have one of my all time favourites - see DW Pirc chapter 1) 6.O-O-O b5 7.Bd3 is. In this line the bishop might be better on g5 than on e3.
Also I wonder what White has after 4.Bg5 c6 5.Qd2 h6. White's highest score is with 6.Be3 but I find it hard to believe it's much after the stale Ng4 7.Bf4 e5. Of course this will turn off quite a few defenders of Black's case as well.
What I do not wonder is 1.e4 d6 2.d4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.Bg5. That's nothing for White. So I stick to an old recommendation: if Black also plays the KID then postponing ...Nf6 a bit is more precise than the pure Pirc.
  

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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #29 - 07/29/16 at 06:15:22
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Hello.

Michael Ayton wrote on 07/21/16 at 14:28:35:
Thanks CBT! I think 9 ...c4 is still holding up. Maybe White's best after 10 Bc4 Nc5 is something like 11 Bf6 (11 Bd3 Qb6 [11 ...b5!? is also interesting?] 12 Bf6(!) Bf6 13 0-0-0 Bg4 looks like plenty of comp.) Bf6!? (11 ...ef!? also looks playable!) 12 e5 Bg7 13 0-0-0 a6 14 Be2 (14 Rfe1 b5 15 Bf1 Bg4) b5 15 Qe3, but then Black has 15 …Qc7, intending …Rb8 and …b4 with an ongoing attack.

Here is a PGN with the above moves:

A few moves were inserted to show that there is another move order that can be used as well.

Michael Ayton wrote on 07/21/16 at 14:28:35:
Unless this is badly wrong or White can advantageously diverge earlier, maybe this even calls 5 f4 into question!?

Being a bit more zoomed in I would say 5.f4 with 6.Qd2, 7.Bd3 and 8.Nf3 is the potentially questioned line.

For the broader question of white's chances after 5.f4 should this Na6+c5 line work well. It can be noted that white can diverge relatively easily indeed. Anywhere between move 6-8 basically (he could of course consider not going 5.f4 as well but how to do this best is another discussion).

Move 6-8 is not such a thrilling period in the white game though since he will need to balance some things. Notably developing and defending his big centre while not allowing black to sort of catch up positionally while he is doing this (i.e. by allowing a black e7-e5 at the right moment or just letting black set up harmoniously somehow). So if you start sifting the various white moves between move 6-8 I would imagine most are harmless (I've checked a little as well witohut finding anything obviously super appealing for white).

Have a nice day.
  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #28 - 07/21/16 at 14:28:35
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Thanks CBT! I think 9 ...c4 is still holding up. Maybe White's best after 10 Bc4 Nc5 is something like 11 Bf6 (11 Bd3 Qb6 [11 ...b5!? is also interesting?] 12 Bf6(!) Bf6 13 0-0-0 Bg4 looks like plenty of comp.) Bf6!? (11 ...ef!? also looks playable!) 12 e5 Bg7 13 0-0-0 a6 14 Be2 (14 Rfe1 b5 15 Bf1 Bg4) b5 15 Qe3, but then Black has 15 …Qc7, intending …Rb8 and …b4 with an ongoing attack.

Unless this is badly wrong or White can advantageously diverge earlier, maybe this even calls 5 f4 into question!?
  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #27 - 07/06/16 at 06:33:16
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Hi.

Michael Ayton wrote on 06/27/16 at 22:46:08:
I'm hoping of course that Pirc hounds Confused_by_Theory and DenVerdsligeRejsende will chip in at some point! Can't blame anyone, of course, if they want to keep their own choices under wraps! -- but I'm a bit disappointed no one's commented on my magnificent 9 ...c4!? TN (see Reply #5)  Cheesy.

This 9...c4 looks like a very nice pawn sacrifice. Would take black any day Cool.

Have a nice day.
  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #26 - 06/30/16 at 19:17:58
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@ Stigma:
Thanks again. This is very interesting, particularly the bit about that line being the critical Pirc chapter line. Would love to know more about Shaw's views on 'B1' and 'B2' at some point, within the appropriate ethical constraints of course!
  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #25 - 06/30/16 at 18:24:22
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@Michael Ayton:
I meant that Shaw seems to consider that 11...Qc5 line the critical line of the entire Pirc chapter. I used to believe Black should avoid it, but now I'm pleasantly surprised that he finds it so challenging for White. Although, as you hinted at, Black may not have much winning chances there.

The sceptical feelings about ...h6 lines are my own, and they don't carry any weight - I have forgotten whatever theory I once knew there, and haven't looked at Shaw's lines against it yet. Wouldn't mind at all if you can make them work for Black of course.
  

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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #24 - 06/30/16 at 14:41:06
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Quote:
Have you had a chance to look at the new Shaw book? I bought it on Forward Chess just now to see his recommendations against the Pirc and the Scandinavian. He (and thus much of the QC team) seem to both agree with many of the observations in this thread (on 4...c6 5.Qd2 b5 6.e5! and the importance of transpositions to 4.Be3 lines, for instance) and at the same time have a lot of respect for the Pirc!


Thanks for this. No, I haven't seen this book. When you write that '7...Qa5 with 11...Qc5 does indeed seem to be critical', are you meaning that Shaw (and/or you?) are sceptical about 5 Qd2 h6 lines, considering the Be3 transposition to be a better choice for Black?
  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #23 - 06/30/16 at 13:31:32
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Michael Ayton wrote on 06/30/16 at 10:38:07:
Yes, I'm tempted now to agree that 4 ...c6 5 Qd2 b5 is unappetising because of 6 e5! I had thought 6 ...h6 was OK, but it does look rather uninspiring. It may be personal taste of course, but that's my feeling too about the '150' line with 7 ...Qa5/11 ...Qc5. I've a memory of us discussing this with James Vigus on the Forum a while back and concluding that Black may be 'playing for two results' ...

Have you had a chance to look at the new Shaw book? I bought it on Forward Chess just now to see his recommendations against the Pirc and the Scandinavian. He (and thus much of the QC team) seem to both agree with many of the observations in this thread (on 4...c6 5.Qd2 b5 6.e5! and the importance of transpositions to 4.Be3 lines, for instance) and at the same time have a lot of respect for the Pirc!

And 7...Qa5 with 11...Qc5 does indeed seem to be critical. Maybe even we Pirc players need to accept that just holding on to a draw with Black is a decent result, especially if White does everything right. Then we can always dabble in even more risky lines (with ...h6 perhaps) against weaker opponents and in absolutely must-win games.
  

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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #22 - 06/30/16 at 12:35:45
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Interesting, JEH, thanks. It's partly this consideration that makes me suspicious of 4 Bg5 h6, though I can't claim to have looked at that with any thoroughness.
  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #21 - 06/30/16 at 12:18:32
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Michael Ayton wrote on 06/30/16 at 10:38:07:
after f2-f4 Black should be wary of playing ...h7-h6 since f4-f5 will then play against his weakened kingside


I lost to an IM in the Bg5 variation, and that's the same point me made to me in the post mortem.
  

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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #20 - 06/30/16 at 10:38:07
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Yes, I'm tempted now to agree that 4 ...c6 5 Qd2 b5 is unappetising because of 6 e5! I had thought 6 ...h6 was OK, but it does look rather uninspiring. It may be personal taste of course, but that's my feeling too about the '150' line with 7 ...Qa5/11 ...Qc5. I've a memory of us discussing this with James Vigus on the Forum a while back and concluding that Black may be 'playing for two results' ...

So maybe Black's best is, after all, to meet 5 f4 with castles then ...c6, heading for 'B2'; and to meet 5 Qd2 with 5 ...h6, heading for 'B1' after 6 Bh4 0-0!, and after 6 Bf4!? either acquiescing to 'A' or trying 6 ...a6!?, which still to me looks to be holding up! That's three variations that Black must know, but at least their positional basis seems clear: after f2-f4 Black should be wary of playing ...h7-h6 since f4-f5 will then play against his weakened kingside, whereas in lines without f2-f4, ...h7-h6 is much more plausible.
  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #19 - 06/29/16 at 02:57:53
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Hello.

Nice to see some dicussion of 4.Bg5. I will chip in at a few places (Maybe to many actually - sorry for long post).


(About 1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Bg5 Bg7 5.Qd2 c6)
Michael Ayton wrote on 06/20/16 at 09:45:26:
Black risks, as well as 6 0-0-0 b5 7 f3!?, the 4 Be3 transposition 6 Bh6 Bh6 7 Qh6. What should Black play now? – 7 …e5 perhaps, or 7 …Qa5 7 Bd3 Na6!? targeting the Bishop (7 …c5?! 8 d5 looks grim)?
After 6.Bh6 Bxh6 7.Qxh6 The active queen development 7...Qa5 is the main move by far. Vigus on p.150 of "Chess Developments the Pirc" gives what I think is the best play line of 8.Bd3 The natural move. Other ways of defending e4 have drawbacks 8...c5 9.d5 Nbd7 10.Nf3 c4! 11.Bxc4 Qc5 planning tactics on f2. It is a = or at worst a very slightly += line from what I can tell (despite some mild computer optimism).


RdC wrote on 06/20/16 at 10:16:04:
Isn't modern practice heading to the assessment that the Tiger Modern plan of playing g6, Bg7, d6 and a6 is the better way for Black to get a preferred system that avoids being blown away, whilst still being provocative enough to tempt White into indiscretions?
1.e4 g6 2.d4 Bg7 3.Nc3 d6 4.Bg5
Is less dangerous than the Pirc line in my view. As far as I know this is a common belief.


(About 1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Bg5 Bg7)
Michael Ayton wrote on 06/20/16 at 15:41:38:
unless 5 Qd2 h6 6 Bf4!? a6!? is OK and he combines that with B1!
Getting h6 for free probably benefits black if white backs his bishop to f4. The 6...a6 reply looks very reasonable. White has temporarily set up poorly to punish slow moves.


Michael Ayton wrote on 06/21/16 at 17:10:37:
Rightly or wrongly, my opinion of the 4 Bg5 Pirc bucked up last night, after I remembered that I'd left the 4 Bg5 c6 5 Qd2 b5!? line completely out of account!
I would be worried about 6.e5 Black's knight has no good flight squares and none of 6...dxe5, 6...h6 and 6...b4 look to give black that good counterplay.


Michael Ayton wrote on 06/21/16 at 17:10:37:
I wonder if Davies' new book considers any of these lines. Anyone got it?
My usual bookstore did not have it when I went there a few days ago Cry (despite them usually getting new publications fast enough). Instead I got a couple of other chess books I'm not sure will ever be read much Smiley.


TN wrote on 06/21/16 at 18:46:15:
For what it's worth, what can be wrong with 1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Bg5 h6? I'm not afraid of 5.Bxf6, the bishop seems funny on h4, and after 5.Be3 Black could argue that ...h6 is useful in certain situations (e.g. against the h4-h5 plan, or Qd2/Bh6).
Imo 4...h6 is interesting only if there are points behind the move in case white plays the natural 5.Bh4 or 5.Bf4. By points I mean black after 5.Bh4 or 5.Bf4 should have gained some option or removed some option for white. Otherwise going 4...h6 and thus allowing the two separate new variations of 5.Bxf6 and 5.Be3 does not really feel that worth it. Still all move orders have move order specific lines I guess so plausibly one can avoid other annoying lines by going with the 4...h6 move order and allowing the two lines above.

ChevyBanginStyle wrote on 06/27/16 at 03:30:40:
I think ideas delaying early commitment to ...g5 deserve more attention. 6.Bh4 0-0!? was given some attention in Moskalenko's book (Kobalia - Kuzmin, Moscow 2002), but he did not cover the implications of the 6.Bf4 move order.
Indeed. there are some moves besides 6...g5 in the position.
The 6.Bh4 0-0 mentioned by Moskalenko has the very nice point that 7.f4 e5 is quite unproblematic for black. Still maybe white can go 7.0-0-0 retaining f4 ideas and -by increasing the d-file presence- quietly telling black good luck going e7-e5.


Stigma wrote on 06/28/16 at 19:43:54:
I could revert back to 4.Bg5 Bg7 and 5...0-0 before ...c6; most Whites will play f4 soon and we're on our way to B2. But again: What if White plays as if the bishop was on e3; aren't we then in the razor-sharp "Castling into the Argentinian Attack"? I suppose there could be some downside for White to the bishop being on g5; I need to look into that.
There are downsides but white can probably avoid the most serious ones by choosing the right 6th move. After
4.Bg5 Bg7 5.Qd2 0-0

6.Bh6 is maybe (possibly) not the best way of commencing white's kingside attack (DW the Pirc and Modern chapter 2 covers this reasonably well - beginning on p.33).
6.f3 looks like it may go into a normal argentinian with black early castling position but there is 6...c5, which at least prevents any straightforward attacking by white.
6.0-0-0 Is very natural also and keeps many plausible transposition possibilities. To be honest I don't know of anything obviously better than 6...c6 likely transposing to double edged lines after 7.Bh6.


Stigma wrote on 06/28/16 at 19:43:54:
Final point: Has anybody tried 4.Bg5 a6? Maybe that's just too slow when White goes 5.f4?
Not seriously looked at, no. Moved a few pieces with a comp running, yes. I actually quite like 4...a6 as a waiting move. There is both 5.f4 and perhaps especially 5.e5, which look like serious lines though.

Have a nice day.
  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #18 - 06/28/16 at 19:43:54
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I'm late to this discussion (besides being on a break from the Pirc), but still:

My impression last time I looked at theory was that the big main line "B2" (Michael Ayton) was both interesting, OK for Black and safer than the ...h6 based lines (line A with 4...Bg7 5.Qd2 h6 and 4...Bg7 5.f4 h6 6.Bh4 c5 etc.). I also seem to lose every time I face the supposedly harmless 4...Bg7 5.e5!? (admittedly all those games have been in blitz).

So trying to reach B2 as safely as possible naturally leads me to 4...c6. Then again there's the big issue of White just playing it like a 4.Be3 position with Qd2 and no f4 forthcoming. White players almost never do this against me, but 4...c6 does leave Black vulnerable to the transposition 5.Qd2 Bg7 6.Bh6, which seems to be at a high point theoretically.

I could revert back to 4.Bg5 Bg7 and 5...0-0 before ...c6; most Whites will play f4 soon and we're on our way to B2. But again: What if White plays as if the bishop was on e3; aren't we then in the razor-sharp "Castling into the Argentinian Attack"? I suppose there could be some downside for White to the bishop being on g5; I need to look into that.

But the bottom line is unless Black wants to play one of the early ...h6 lines, possible transpositions to 4.Be3 matter a great deal at least theoretically, so one should decide on a line against 4.Be3 first. There I've moved away from 4...c6 towards 4...a6 (and wanting to look seriously at 4...Bg7 when I return to the Pirc).

Final point: Has anybody tried 4.Bg5 a6? Maybe that's just too slow when White goes 5.f4?

Edit: Reading the thread more closely, I realize that if the mentioned 4 Bg5 c6 5 Qd2 b5!? is fully playable, combining that with B2 (or 8...Nbd7 instead of 8...Bg4) is quite an economical solution that avoids the worst 4.Be3 transpositions (as well as my personal bugbear 4...Bg7 5.e5)!
  

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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #17 - 06/28/16 at 18:55:20
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Bibs wrote on 06/28/16 at 13:47:17:
Was in Lakdwala's Veresov book too iirc.
I learnt it from Vigus' book and from being demolished by Naka.


Hmm, I don't have either of Lakdawala's books. Hadn't thought of d4 rep ones as indeed Veresov players are going to come at ya with this line.

I'm as as yet unbeated by Naka, nor have I crushed the crusher (nice game!)
  

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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #16 - 06/28/16 at 13:47:17
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Was in Lakdwala's Veresov book too iirc.
I learnt it from Vigus' book and from being demolished by Naka. Humiliatingly quickly. Ugh.
See also Tiviakov and Rublevsky games.
  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #15 - 06/28/16 at 13:44:50
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RoleyPoley wrote on 06/28/16 at 13:22:45:
JEH wrote on 06/28/16 at 11:49:11:
The main puzzle I have about the Bg5 Pirc is what White repertoire books recommend it? I'm only aware of the ancient Keene/Levy Attacking Rep book and the shiny new Quality Chess book, but nothing in between. There seems to be mostly the 150 or the Austrian attack. So are Bg5 White players just having to work their own theory out?


Did Collins' earlier book recommend it?


To answer my own question as I've now been able to find it, yes, Collins did recommend it in his Attacking repertoire for white.

Also, Lakdawala's ferocious repertoire, although not an e4 repertoire book also recommended the line.
  

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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #14 - 06/28/16 at 13:22:45
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JEH wrote on 06/28/16 at 11:49:11:
The main puzzle I have about the Bg5 Pirc is what White repertoire books recommend it? I'm only aware of the ancient Keene/Levy Attacking Rep book and the shiny new Quality Chess book, but nothing in between. There seems to be mostly the 150 or the Austrian attack. So are Bg5 White players just having to work their own theory out?


Did Collins' earlier book recommend it?
  

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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #13 - 06/28/16 at 11:49:11
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The main puzzle I have about the Bg5 Pirc is what White repertoire books recommend it? I'm only aware of the ancient Keene/Levy Attacking Rep book and the shiny new Quality Chess book, but nothing in between. There seems to be mostly the 150 or the Austrian attack. So are Bg5 White players just having to work their own theory out?
  

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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #12 - 06/27/16 at 22:46:08
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... the online opening encyclopedia CHOPIN gives this approach as the main line. (FYI 6.Bf4 a6!? 7.f3 b5 is their recommendation and there are not many games.


Yes, I think it may have been on the (generally reliable?) CHOPIN site that I noticed 6 ...a6, after which I saw that at one time it'd been played by some pretty big names ...

I'm hoping of course that Pirc hounds Confused_by_Theory and DenVerdsligeRejsende will chip in at some point! Can't blame anyone, of course, if they want to keep their own choices under wraps! -- but I'm a bit disappointed no one's commented on my magnificent 9 ...c4!? TN (see Reply #5)  Cheesy.

  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #11 - 06/27/16 at 03:30:40
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Davies recommends 4.Bg5 Bg7 5.0-0 h6 6.Bh4/f4 g5.

I think ideas delaying early commitment to ...g5 deserve more attention. 6.Bh4 0-0!? was given some attention in Moskalenko's book (Kobalia - Kuzmin, Moscow 2002), but he did not cover the implications of the 6.Bf4 move order. Black's position is flexible, so I think there is a lot of scope for independent investigations. FWIW the online opening encyclopedia CHOPIN gives this approach as the main line. (FYI 6.Bf4 a6!? 7.f3 b5 is their recommendation and there are not many games. Maybe ...a6 is the future of the Pirc! I'm beginning to think that about 4.Be3 a6!?.) Another practical consideration is that these ideas do not get much attention in Shaw's recent repertoire book.
  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #10 - 06/23/16 at 16:05:27
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I suppose I will mention that ECO had 4...h6 5. Be3 (and if 5...Ng4 6. Bc1) as leading to +=.
  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #9 - 06/23/16 at 14:33:19
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Michael Ayton wrote on 06/23/16 at 11:49:07:
I don't myself care for 4 ...h6!?, which looks to me dispiriting after 5 Bf6 ef 6 f4 (6 ...Bg7 7 f5; 6 ...f5 7 ef


Engines are divided about how best to respond to 6. .. Bg7 7. f5 .
Materialistic ones will take on f5, claiming equality through possession of an extra pawn and Bishop pair. Others prefer moves like .. Nc6 confident that Black's position isn't so bad after all.

The moves retaining the Bishop Bh4, Be3 and Bf4 have been more popular in practice than taking on f6.



  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #8 - 06/23/16 at 11:49:07
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Sincere apologies to James Vigus, who I unintentionally slighted in para 3 of my Reply #5, above!!

I don't myself care for 4 ...h6!?, which looks to me dispiriting after 5 Bf6 ef 6 f4 (6 ...Bg7 7 f5; 6 ...f5 7 ef), but maybe that's just me. How would you handle things for Black here, TN (or indeed after 5 Be3, when 5 ...Ng4 is strategically rather fascinating?)?

I'm not sure what to think about the line recommended by Volzhin that I mentioned above. There's a game Krayz-Beim that went 9 e5! b4 (surely forced as 9 ...Ne8 10 h4 is horrible) 10 Ne2 Nd5 11 ed f6 12 de Qe7 13 Bh4, and here the engine gives 13 ...N7b6 14 0-0 Bh6 as an improvement. All rather nebulous ...

  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #7 - 06/21/16 at 19:01:46
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Makes it really hard castle kingside after Qd2 though? I'd be distinctly worried about white just setting that up, going o-o and developing.
  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #6 - 06/21/16 at 18:46:15
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For what it's worth, what can be wrong with 1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Bg5 h6? I'm not afraid of 5.Bxf6, the bishop seems funny on h4, and after 5.Be3 Black could argue that ...h6 is useful in certain situations (e.g. against the h4-h5 plan, or Qd2/Bh6).
  

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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #5 - 06/21/16 at 17:10:37
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Good to get the views of the champs! I'm fascinated (and confused) by the (move-order ramifications of the 4 Be3) Modern as well, so might even start a new thread on that anon! ...

Rightly or wrongly, my opinion of the 4 Bg5 Pirc bucked up last night, after I remembered that I'd left the 4 Bg5 c6 5 Qd2 b5!? line completely out of account! Most strong players go 6 Bd3 Bg7 7 f4 now, permitting a straight transposition to Line B2 if Black wants after 7 ...0-0 8 Nf3 Bg4. There's also 8 ...Nbd7!?, which I'd entirely overlooked and which has been played by a few Pirc-specialising GMs, and which Volzhin on ChessPub a few years back called 'far from bad' ... (You can play this on move six as well.)

Not having Palliser's second book I also only noticed yesterday that, following the move order 4 Bg5 Bg7 5 f4 c6 6 Qd2 0-0 7 Bd3, he comments there on the move 7 ...Na6!?, which I'd noticed but had failed to distinguish sufficiently from its lesser cousin with ...h6/Bh4 in. In the game that P. annotates White played 8 a3?!, and in making the obvious comment that 8 Nf3 must be best he suggests then 8 ...c5 9 d5 Qb6 or 9 ...Bg4. But blow me down, can't Black try 9 ...c4!? here, with what looks like much more active counterplay than you usually get after 4 Bg5? ...

I wonder if Davies' new book considers any of these lines. Anyone got it?

  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #4 - 06/21/16 at 14:43:12
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In the Modern approach to Bg5, punters here may find this of passing interest. Me v 'Kingscrusher', online blitz.
Crusher gets crushed.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwKLJnsToVI

And yes, 8 Ne2 is disgusting.

Must say, if I know someone is liable to play Bg5 no matter what, I'd go the Modern way.
(Sorry for slight tangent)
  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #3 - 06/20/16 at 15:41:38
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What a clot I am! So fixated was I on exploring the 'B1' and 'B2' lines as given above via a 4 ...c6 5 Qd2 Bg7 6 f4 move order, I clean forgot that by using the IIb move order above (as given by Moskalenko) to reach B2, Black obviates both of the lines I'd been concerned about! The positional point (behind 8 Bd3! above being good) is that, if Black has ...h6 in, he can't play as per B2 because his kingside is chronically weakened.

So I think that Black should avoid playing directly down my line Ib, and thus should:

(1) only head for B1 if White plays 5 Qd2, and even then only via the move order 4 Bg5 Bg7 5 Qd2 h6 6 Bh4 0-0 7 0-0-0 c6 8 f4 b5 (again as given by Moskalenko);

(2) only head (whatever his fourth move) for B2 if White plays 5 f4.

I can see now why Line 'A' is so important! If Black is to avoid inferior/over-risky lines I don't think he can avoid 'B2', but he can't avoid 'A' either (unless 5 Qd2 h6 6 Bf4!? a6!? is OK and he combines that with B1!).

Black may have some other choices, of course. For example, I'm not convinced 5 f4 0-0 6 Qd2 c5 7 dc dc 8 0-0-0 Nc6 (as played after all by Marin) is so bad ...
« Last Edit: 06/20/16 at 17:34:53 by Michael Ayton »  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #2 - 06/20/16 at 10:45:36
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Isn't modern practice heading to the assessment that the Tiger Modern plan of playing g6, Bg7, d6 and a6 is the better way for Black to get a preferred system that avoids being blown away, whilst still being provocative enough to tempt White into indiscretions?


I'm really not sure -- you may be right! Personally I'm attracted to the 4 Be3 a6 Pirc, but of course if you want to reach this via 1 e4 d6 2 d4 g6 3 Nc3 a6!? 4 Be3 Nf6 you have to contend with 4 f4!, so 3 ...Bg7 accepting a 4 Be3 Modern does seem safer. The 4 Be3 Bg7 5 Qd2 c6 Pirc is not really my cup of tea; yet as I pointed out, if Black does play the Pirc he must accede to this anyway unless he's prepared instead to choose line 'B1' and accept both the 8 Bd3 line I mentioned and line 'A' -- so maybe that's another reason why Davies et al. treat this line as integral!
  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #1 - 06/20/16 at 10:16:04
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Michael Ayton wrote on 06/20/16 at 09:45:26:
So: can we speak of best move orders for Black, either practically or theoretically? Or is it just a question of taste?



White has a choice of at least two approaches. One is in the style of the Austrian Attack idea with f4, the other is to treat the position in the manner of the 150 Attack.

5. Qd2 has been the most frequently played move, which may justify it being named as the main line.

Isn't modern practice heading to the assessment that the Tiger Modern plan of playing g6, Bg7, d6 and a6 is the better way for Black to get a preferred system that avoids being blown away, whilst still being provocative enough to tempt White into indiscretions?

The Knight on f6 is vulnerable to an e5 push and its absence from g8 can make Bh6 possible.
  
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Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
06/20/16 at 09:45:26
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I’m hoping to generate a discussion about the 4 Bg5 Pirc, a sharp and complicated variation which (along with its treatment in books) I’ve often found confusing!

Here’s my own thinking to date. After 4 Bg5 Bg7 there are perhaps three main lines, depending on how you classify things. The first is the well-known Torre-resembling line that Black can insist on if White plays 5 Qd2, namely:

5 Qd2 h6 6 Bh4 (or 6 Bf4) g5 7 Bg3 Nh5 8 0-0-0. (Black now has 8 …Nc6 or 8 …Nd7.) I’ll call this Line A.

The other two lines arise if White prevents Line A by playing 5 f4, or if Black meets 5 Qd2 with 5 …c6 rather than 5 …h6 (or if, in Line A above, he meets 6 Bh4 not with 6 …g5 but with 6 …0-0 7 0-0-0 c6). They are:

5 f4 c6 6 Qd2 h6 7 Bh4 0-0 8 0-0-0 b5.
(White now has 9 e5 or 9 Bd3.) I’ll call this Line B1.

5 f4 c6 6 Qd2 0-0 7 Bd3 b5 8 Nf3 Bg4. (White now has 9 0-0-0, 9 0-0 and 9 e5.) I’ll call this Line B2.

Of course, there are several possible transpositions, and I’ve tried to set these out below. I’ve omitted White’s fifth-move alternatives 5 e5, 5 Qe2 and 5 Nf3, both because they’re not too dangerous and because Black can effectively avoid them (at the cost of ruling out Line A entirely) by playing 4 …c6 5 Qd2 (or 5 f4) Bg7 – perhaps the only purpose of that move order.

The main thing that puzzles me is why writers like Davies, in his new book, give Line A as their main line when White can simply avoid it with 5 f4, which I had thought was considered more dangerous anyway! But I’m also interested in some other White tries, and which move orders Black might choose (I mean, according to whether he favours Line B1 or B2) to avoid them and/or permit them! For example, in going down line Ib below, Black risks, as well as 6 0-0-0 b5 7 f3!?, the 4 Be3 transposition 6 Bh6 Bh6 7 Qh6. What should Black play now? – 7 …e5 perhaps, or 7 …Qa5 7 Bd3 Na6!? targeting the Bishop (7 …c5?! 8 d5 looks grim)?

Similarly in line Ib(i) below, if White plays 8 Nf3 iso 8 0-0-0, the usual recipe of 8 …d5 looks adequate to me, but what about the crafty 8 Bd3? I’d be tempted by 8 …Na6 (∆ …c5) here fearing that otherwise I’d be squashed by e4–e5, but is that right? – I’m worried White may be just better in this line. If Black wants Line B1 and not B2, he must accede to this line, along with either the 4 Be3 line above (compulsory for Black if he’s chosen the 4 …c6 move order) or Line A. If he wants Line B2, he need be prepared ‘only’ for the 4 Be3 transposition. That seems simpler, and Black could make things simpler still by eschewing both Line A and White’s other fifth moves with 4 …c6, but then B2 seems much more complex than B1 anyway, and it’d be nice to have a defence to 4 Bg5 that wasn’t so darned theoretical!

So: can we speak of best move orders for Black, either practically or theoretically? Or is it just a question of taste?

Oh – one more thought. In line Ia(i) below, Black used to play 6 …a6!? quite a lot. Is this still considered OK, or if not, why not?


*****


I  5 Qd2

(a)  5 …h6

(i)  6 Bf4 g5 7 Bg3 Nh5 8 0-0-0 → A
(ii)  6 Bh4 and now:
•      6 …g5 7 Bg3 Nh5 8 0-0-0 → A
•      6 …Nbd7 7 0-0-0 g5 8 Bg3 Nh5 → A (with 8 …Nd7)
•      6 …0-0 7 0-0-0 (7 f4? e5! 8 de Ne4!) c6 8 f4 (8 Bf6 ef 9 h4 b5!?) b5 → B1
•      6 …c6 7 0-0-0 (or 7 f4 0-0 8 0-0-0 b5) 0-0 8 f4 b5 → B1

(b)  5 …c6 6 f4

(i)  6 …h6 7 Bh4 0-0 8 0-0-0 b5 → B1
(ii)  6 …0-0 7 Bd3 (7 0-0-0?! b5; 7 Nf3 d5!) b5 8 Nf3 Bg4 → B2


II  5 f4

(a)  5 …c6 (5 …h6?! 6 Bf6 or 6 Bh4 0-0 7 Nf3) 6 Qd2 (6 Nf3 d5!) →

(i)  6 …h6 → Ib(i)
(ii)  6 …0-0 → Ib(ii)


(b)  5 …0-0 6 Qd2 (6 Nf3 c5!) →

(i)  6 …h6 7 Bh4 (7 Bf6 ef!?) c6 → Ib(i)
(ii)  6 …c6 → Ib(ii)

« Last Edit: 06/20/16 at 16:22:18 by Michael Ayton »  
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