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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Pert on the Ragozin - new book from QualityChess (Read 7610 times)
ErictheRed
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Re: Pert on the Ragozin - new book from QualityChess
Reply #26 - 08/13/17 at 17:26:15
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Out of curiosity, how do you rate the companion ebook that comes with Gustafsson's video series?  Is it a pdf, pgn, something else?  Some other video series from chess24 still don't have their promised ebooks, so I've been hesitant to buy anything from them, though the authors are really top-notch.
  
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Re: Pert on the Ragozin - new book from QualityChess
Reply #25 - 08/13/17 at 11:59:53
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ErictheRed wrote on 07/24/17 at 20:50:17:
The crux of the matter, for me, is whether 6...Qd6!? and the Vienna hold up and suit me, but my initial impression is very positive.  I've played the Noteboom/Triangle and Semi-Slav in the past, so I'm familiar with similar positions, and I see many of the less critical lines as improved forms of the Noteboom or Semi-Slav.  I'll have to learn the Vienna variation now, but, I've been looking for a new defense to 1.d4 for years, and this seems to be it.

Just as a quick sidenote:
- If you do turn out to dislike the Vienna, you can of course always play ..h6 instead of ..dc4:, still a perfectly valid line that's played at 2800+ level (although I suppose its most recent outing in Aronian-So isn't the best advertisement). Shying away from the Vienna doesn't mean you have to give up the Ragozin as a whole!
- If you turn out to not-hate the Vienna, but are unhappy with some of the selections, Gustafsson has an excellent video series on the Vienna proper on chess24, which transposes into the Ragozin-Vienna lines if White so chooses. Personally, I much prefer the lines Gustafsson gives over those in the Pert book, and just use Pert for the Ragozin proper.
  
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mn
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Re: Pert on the Ragozin - new book from QualityChess
Reply #24 - 08/06/17 at 09:20:40
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On 5 Nf3 (transposing to his chapter on 4 Nf3 Nf6 5 e3), Pert suggests 5...0-0 6 Bd3 b6 7 0-0 Ba6!?

On 5 Bd3, he gives 5...e5(!).
  
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bobbyh64
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Re: Pert on the Ragozin - new book from QualityChess
Reply #23 - 08/06/17 at 08:12:28
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After 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e3 Nf6, which transposes into the NID, what main lines does Pert recommend against 4.Nf3 and 4.Bd3?
  
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CanadianClub
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Re: Pert on the Ragozin - new book from QualityChess
Reply #22 - 07/26/17 at 22:42:55
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FreeRepublic wrote on 07/26/17 at 21:16:53:
After 1d4 d5 2c4 e6 3Nc3 Nf6 4Nf3 Bb4 5cxd exd 6Bg5, what move does Pert suggest?


Qd6 and h6 (two different chapters). Both Interesting.

Qd6 has less theory, is easy to play and Black is absolutely OK, the only drawback (imho) is that White can simplify too much if he wants to. But it's a tricky and "different" line.

h6 is the main line for sure. Very unbalanced play, sharper then Qd6, with more theory to know and with complex positions to handle. More interesting, and the way to go if winning is a must.

Salut,
  
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FreeRepublic
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Re: Pert on the Ragozin - new book from QualityChess
Reply #21 - 07/26/17 at 21:16:53
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The Ragozin system appeals to me for a couple of reasons. First, it seems like a natural twin to the Nimzo-Indian. 1d4 Nf6 2c4 e6 3Nf3 d5 4Nc3 Bb4 almost feels like a Nimzo variant.

Secondly, it is useful for someone who plays the Queen's Gambit Declined. 1d4 d5 2c4 e6 3Nc3 Nf6 4Nf3 Bb4 is an alternative to 4...Be7 5Bf4!? when black usually chooses between the too sharp 5...c5 or the too slow 5...Nbd7. My opinions of course.

As far as I can tell, the Vienna (1d4 d5 2c4 e6 3Nc3 Nf6 4Nf3 Bb4 5Bg5 dxc) offers black good chances. So I think white does better to play 5cxd exd 6Bg5. At this point, black seems to have three main choices. 6...h6 is the true Ragozin move, in my opinion. 6...Nbd7 is the Manhattan variation. 6...0-0 is a relatively new move, which I became aware of due to Barsky's book. This is a rich position which leads to a maze of variations. Sometimes I find a line that I like for black. The next time I look at it, it seems insufficient.

After 1d4 d5 2c4 e6 3Nc3 Nf6 4Nf3 Bb4 5cxd exd 6Bg5, what move does Pert suggest?

  
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LeeRoth
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Re: Pert on the Ragozin - new book from QualityChess
Reply #20 - 07/26/17 at 03:23:08
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In this line, it used to be thought that 4.e3 was slightly more accurate than 4.a3, as it avoided some of Black's ..Ne7 ideas.  Today, I don't think there is a preference.

For example, the line 4.a3 Bxc3 5.bxc3 c5! 6.cxd5 exd5 7.e3 Nc6 8.Bd3 Nge7 9.Ne2 c4 10.Bc2 Bf5 was thought to be equal/good for Black.  But, as Schandorff points out,  9.Rb1 may have kept an edge for White in Grachev-Bakre, Biel 2011.   
      
  
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CarriedbyGg
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Re: Pert on the Ragozin - new book from QualityChess
Reply #19 - 07/25/17 at 19:41:30
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http://www.chesspub.com/cgi-bin/chess/YaBB.pl?num=1496869530

I tried to analyse this a bit, but back then I did not know that it is a transposition to the Marshall Gambit.
  
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ErictheRed
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Re: Pert on the Ragozin - new book from QualityChess
Reply #18 - 07/25/17 at 18:00:32
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This may not be the best version of the Marshall Gambit for White, and Black may be fine in theory, but if a Black player stumbles into this position never having played a Marshall Gambit in his life, he's likely to be destroyed.  The statistics are very good for White, which is all the more troubling considering all of those games came from the Triangle move order where the Black players, presumably, had prepared for a Marshall. 

Anyhow in the end no book is perfectly complete and this isn't his main recommendation anyway, but it's something that people should be aware of.
  
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Re: Pert on the Ragozin - new book from QualityChess
Reply #17 - 07/25/17 at 17:37:24
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Great post, Eric, with lots of insights! Thumbs Up

ErictheRed wrote on 07/24/17 at 20:50:17:
Unfortunately, 6.e4! is a position from the Marshall Gambit Declined that has scored very well for White, usually arising by the move order 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 c6 4. e4 Bb4 5. a3 Bxc3+ 6. bxc3.


Thank you for pointing this out. I believe the simple reason why Pert overlooked the transposition to the Marshall is that 6.e4 never seems to have been played via this move order. That said in the original move order via the Slav 5.a3 is fairly rare and I somewhat doubt that the good results reflect the objective merits of the position. After the further 6...dxe4 7.Qg4 Nf6 8.Qxg7 Rg8 9.Qh6 this position arises:

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Black has plenty of decent looking options like 9...c5, 9...b6 or 9...Nbd7. The position resembles a French Winawer (1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.a3 Bxc3+ 5.bxc3 dxe4 6.Qg4 Nf6 7.Qxg7 Rg8 8.Qh6) where White has been allowed to put his c2-pawn on c4 and Black has played ...c6 in return. I´m not sure wether this is such an improvement for White but I admit it´s certainly necessary to know about this transposition if Black wants to play 5...c6 here.

Anyway I agree with you that this is a great book which makes me want to try out the Ragozin.
  
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ErictheRed
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Re: Pert on the Ragozin - new book from QualityChess
Reply #16 - 07/24/17 at 20:50:17
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I finally got a copy of this book, and after spending a couple of days with it, I'm extremely happy; it's an excellent book! 

Pert does an admirable job of trying to make this a complete repertoire against 1.d4 d5 2.c4.  He gives 2...e6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Bg5 Bb4+ serious coverage, which is a line that I've discussed (briefly) here before and always been curious about.  His analysis goes much further than I've seen before. 

He makes a great case for 3.Nc3 Bb4, which I've always been skeptical of.  Many players will use the Ragozin as a companion for the Nimzo-Indian Defense and so won't need this portion of the book, but I'm impressed with it.  I'm not quite as high on the Black cause as Pert seems to be, but it's full of ideas to pose new or different problems to White, which is all you can really ask for.  For instance, 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e3 Nf6 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bc c6!? allows Black to still pursue a "Light Squared Strategy," answering a later cxd5 with ...cxd5 and not transposing to potentially problematic Nimzo lines.  It's interesting and stimulating, though I'm not sure that Black is truly equalizing here. 

White can use the move order 4.a3! (my annotation) 4...Bxc3+ 5.bc Nf6 6.cxd5 exd5 7.e3, which avoids those ...cxd5 ideas mentioned above.  Pert does a good job with his coverage here, and I come away thinking that Black's position is not as bad or lifeless as I've always thought.  However, Pert mentions in a page-long note that Black could try 5...c6!? to get back into the 6...c6!? lines:

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Here he only analyzes 6.cxd5 cxd5 7.Bf4, saying that 6.e3 Nf6 transposes elsewhere in the book.  Unfortunately, 6.e4! is a position from the Marshall Gambit Declined that has scored very well for White, usually arising by the move order 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 c6 4. e4 Bb4 5. a3 Bxc3+ 6. bxc3.  It's playable for Black, but there's no coverage in Pert's book at all, and in my opinion, it's very dangerous to face over-the-board. 

Also in the main of the 4.a3! Bxc3+ 5.bc Nf6 6.cxd5 exd5 system, he follows (by transposition) Hillarp-Persson - Rozentalis, Gausdal 2006.



Pert ends his analysis after Black's 14th move saying that "the players reached a complex middlegame with mutual chances," and then "Black has stabilized his position and followed up by placing one knight on e7, supporting g6 and d5, and the other on d6."  He doesn't give the concluding moves of the game or analyze any alternatives, which I think is a real shame, since to my understanding this is a very critical test of Black's 3...Bb4 system!  I understand that no other games reached this position, but some guidance and independent analysis would really have helped.  To my mind, White has his two bishop, queen, and both rooks on their original squares, and despite it already being move 14, I wouldn't think that the opening is over. 

Pert does a great job in the anti-Catalan chapter from what I noticed; I haven't looked too closely there, though I play the Catalan!  A few lines look a little boringly equalish, but I suppose that's life.

I don't have a ton of experience in the Ragozin proper; I've tried playing it over the years, but always struggled on the Black side of the Westphalia or Manhattan variations.  I didn't like the lines where Black played a quick ...h6 and ...g5, either, so eventually I just gave up.  Here I think Pert's book shines, though!  He offers 5.cxd5 exd5 6.Bg5 6.h6 intending a quick ...g5 and ...Nf6-e4 as his main system, but as noted he also gives 6...Qd6!? as an alternative, spending about twelve pages on it.  My initial conclusion is that this is fully playable for Black and that it solves my personal problem of what to play in this line; hurrah!

Again as already noted, he gives the Vienna transposition after 5.Bg5 dxc4, and now both the main line 6.e4 c5 and 6...b5!? for Black to choose from.  I'm glad to finally see some serious Vienna analysis in print for us non-professionals, and while my knowledge of these lines is very limited, my impression is that he does a fantastic job guiding us through the move orders and critical lines, suggesting some very interesting novelties along the way. 

In all, I personally find this a fantastic book!  The highest praise that I can give it is that it's finally convinced me to play the Ragozin, solving my own personal reasons for avoiding the opening in the past.  The crux of the matter, for me, is whether 6...Qd6!? and the Vienna hold up and suit me, but my initial impression is very positive.  I've played the Noteboom/Triangle and Semi-Slav in the past, so I'm familiar with similar positions, and I see many of the less critical lines as improved forms of the Noteboom or Semi-Slav.  I'll have to learn the Vienna variation now, but, I've been looking for a new defense to 1.d4 for years, and this seems to be it. 

In all, I haven't been happier with an opening book purchase in recent years, except perhaps with Lokander's book on the Open Games.  I just hope that there's still some surprise value left down here at the under-2400 level in the US!
  
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ErictheRed
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Re: Pert on the Ragozin - new book from QualityChess
Reply #15 - 06/20/17 at 19:01:13
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mn wrote on 02/18/17 at 23:33:04:
What do you mean?


I mean that you seem to have answered your own question and that you're free to play whatever you want.
  
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Re: Pert on the Ragozin - new book from QualityChess
Reply #14 - 06/20/17 at 13:55:00
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TN wrote on 02/25/17 at 07:43:27:
The 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 coverage comes that close to providing a full repertoire based on the Nimzo that it wouldn't have been so much more effort to also give systems against 4.Qc2/4.f3,


Not sure, if I understand you correctly, but I'll give a quote from Cornette anyway (excerpt from his new Ragozin book):
Quote:
And finally, the last part of this book is about what I call
the ‘Accelerated Ragozin’: 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4. It’s a move-order I have used quite often myself and most of the time it reaches the ‘normal’ Ragozin, even if White has different options. Black’s main idea behind this move-order
can be to avoid the Nimzo-Indian with 4.Qc2 or the line with 4.e3 followed by 5.Nge2. If White tries to play these continuations in the accelerated Ragozin, Black has a strong ...dxc4 response.


So, it seems Black doesn't have to bother with 4.Qc2 in this move order. Not sure about 4.f3, but I will have a look at Pert's book.

Right now it seems the 1.d4 d5 move order is a bit more practical, but I will try the other one for the richness of Nimzo anyway.
  
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TN
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Re: Pert on the Ragozin - new book from QualityChess
Reply #13 - 02/25/17 at 07:43:27
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Well, against 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Nf3, 4...d5 is the logical move for a Ragozin player of course. Really pedantic players might prefer 4...c5, 4...b6 or 4...0-0 on the basis that it is rated marginally better by the engine at a high depth, but it's not like White is forcing any advantage against the Ragozin, of course.

The 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 coverage comes that close to providing a full repertoire based on the Nimzo that it wouldn't have been so much more effort to also give systems against 4.Qc2/4.f3, but that wasn't really necessary when Roiz's Nimzo book was released at roughly the same time. Another positive feature of the Ragozin is that you can also play ...Nf6/...e6/...d5 against the Flank Openings, although be careful not to get move ordered into non-...Bb4 Catalan lines after 1.c4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.g3 d5 4.Bg2 (for instance).
  

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mn
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Re: Pert on the Ragozin - new book from QualityChess
Reply #12 - 02/18/17 at 23:33:04
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ErictheRed wrote on 02/17/17 at 19:14:48:
mn wrote on 02/09/17 at 01:39:14:
If you play the Ragozin, why not transpose into one after 4 Nf3. I don't see 4...c5 as being that much better than 4...d5 that it's worth learning an extra branch that you don't strictly need.


Okay, then don't transpose to the Nimzo.


What do you mean?
  
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