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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen (Read 6955 times)
MaxJudd
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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #71 - 05/08/18 at 04:07:28
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... and 5 ... Nd4 (Fritz) in the two knights.  For some reason adding these three lines as "starters" makes picking up the open games more manageable particularly if you pair it with the Schliemann or Classical Berlin.

gillbod wrote on 05/06/18 at 20:14:30:
I've been enjoying this book more and more too.

One particularly nice touch is the coverage of alternative lines against white's dry attempts. For example, 5...Nxe4 against the Scotch Four Knights and 4...Bd6 against the Spanish Four Knights. Nice to see these lines getting some coverage.

  
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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #70 - 05/06/18 at 20:14:30
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I've been enjoying this book more and more too.

One particularly nice touch is the coverage of alternative lines against white's dry attempts. For example, 5...Nxe4 against the Scotch Four Knights and 4...Bd6 against the Spanish Four Knights. Nice to see these lines getting some coverage.
  
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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #69 - 05/05/18 at 16:33:57
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I picked up this book when visiting the National H.S. Championship, and I am really enjoying the selected variations. I would not always say the same about Bologan’s or Lokander’s selections. As a bonus, I can play these openings against juniors without reproach. Wink
  
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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #68 - 04/28/18 at 14:47:09
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A bit off topic, but I have had an interesting hour or so, comparing a file I made from chunks of Lokander, Ntirlis, Johnsen with the Hypermodern Game of Chess (Tartakower). The analysis is still pretty accurate considering Dr T. didn't have much computing power at hand.
  
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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #67 - 04/26/18 at 11:13:03
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Jonathan Tait wrote on 04/26/18 at 11:01:36:
To this end, it's nice to see Sverre recommending the Nimzowitsch, and similarly Martin Lokander going for 3...Nf6. Meanwhile Bologan offers both 3...g5 and 3...d5, so the reader can choose according to taste.


The common feature on these is that you take on f4 and then support it either with .. g5 or with .. Bd6. The pawn on f4 obstructs White's pieces, getting in the way of both the dark squared Bishop and Rook on f1.

If you play 1. e4 e5, you need a defence to the Kings Gambit, it probably doesn't matter which one. For players of the 1600 level, playing the Kings Gambit could be recommended for the white pieces, for the reason that players with Black of that standard seem to have little knowledge of how to organise a coherent defence. Whilst in the Queens Gambit, Black can allow Bxc4 without undue consequences, allowing Bxf4 in the Kings Gambit is usually a sign that something has gone wrong unless there's serious concession gained elsewhere.
  
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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #66 - 04/26/18 at 11:01:36
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MNb wrote on 04/23/18 at 07:43:10:
According to my database White's doing a bit better with the best continuation against the Nimzowitsch than with the best continuation against the Modern, but the difference is marginal. Thus far nobody has challenged my argument: at such an early stage it's not clear yet whether ...c6 is an optimal move, while ...Nf6 is.

Sorry, apart from the standard claim that the Modern is a better defence, I hadn't noticed any argument. But okay, as to the relative merits of ...c6 vs. ...Nf6, it all depends how you intend to set up, doesn't it. Certainly ...Nf6 is more optimal than an early ...c6 in the Modern. But it isn't in the Nimzowitsch, where the g8-knight often goes to e7. Nor in the "delayed Modern" with 3...Ne7.

This is just a bugbear of mine: people recommending the Modern as an antidote to the King's Gambit. Of course the Modern is fine for Black, but whether anyone should play it depends on whether they like the positions arising. It's certainly not a line for everyone universally. (Indeed, I much prefer the White side of these positions.) When you can pretty much play anything against the King's Gambit, I think it's more appropriate to pick a defence you personally like the look of. To this end, it's nice to see Sverre recommending the Nimzowitsch, and similarly Martin Lokander going for 3...Nf6. Meanwhile Bologan offers both 3...g5 and 3...d5, so the reader can choose according to taste.
  

blog inspired by Bronstein's book, but using my own games: http://200opengames.blogspot.co.uk/
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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #65 - 04/23/18 at 21:21:35
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MNb wrote on 04/23/18 at 18:45:04:
ErictheRed wrote on 04/23/18 at 16:21:01:
we're not exactly comparing ...Nf6 to ...c6, we're comparing 3...exf4 to 3...c6, right?

Wrong. Compare yourself:
1.e4 e5 2.f4 d5 3.exd5 exf4 4.Nf3 Nf6.
1.e4 e5 2.f4 d5 3.exd5 c6 4.Nc3 exf4 5.Nf3.



I understand your point (see my second paragraph).  But we're still not comparing apples to apples; in the Modern, White does not have to play 5.Nc3?!, and in the Nimzovich Black doesn't have to play 5...Nf6?!, instead he can play 5...Bd6 which protects the f4-pawn.  So I don't see a direct comparison here, though there are similarities.  You seem to suggest that it's self-evident that your first line is better than your second, but it isn't evident to me.
« Last Edit: 04/24/18 at 04:54:50 by ErictheRed »  
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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #64 - 04/23/18 at 18:45:04
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ErictheRed wrote on 04/23/18 at 16:21:01:
we're not exactly comparing ...Nf6 to ...c6, we're comparing 3...exf4 to 3...c6, right?

Wrong. Compare yourself:
1.e4 e5 2.f4 d5 3.exd5 exf4 4.Nf3 Nf6.
1.e4 e5 2.f4 d5 3.exd5 c6 4.Nc3 exf4 5.Nf3.


ErictheRed wrote on 04/23/18 at 16:21:01:
we need to find some tabiyas to compare a few moves further down the line.

The relevant tabiyas have been common knowledge in the KG for quite a while.

  

The book had the effect good books usually have: it made the stupids more stupid, the intelligent more intelligent and the other thousands of readers remained unchanged.
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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #63 - 04/23/18 at 16:21:01
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I don't think that it's so simple as saying that ...Nf6 is a mroe optimal move than ...c6 in these King's Gambit lines; we're not exactly comparing ...Nf6 to ...c6, we're comparing 3...exf4 to 3...c6, right?  3...c6 may have the advantage of making White commit to 4.Nc3, allowing Black to capture on f4 and then place the bishop on d6, where it protects the f4-pawn. 

So if we want to have a serious discussion about the merits of 3...c6 vs 3...exf4 4.Nf3 Nf6, we need to find some tabiyas to compare a few moves further down the line.

Regardless, I'm happy that a new variation was covered in this book, one which I personally was not familiar with, whereas I've known about 3...exf4 4.Nf3 Nf6 since Kaufman's original Chess Advantage in Black and White, which was a long time ago.
  
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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #62 - 04/23/18 at 15:36:00
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Sjakk1 wrote on 04/23/18 at 09:30:39:
I find this discussion a bit hard to follow. It would help to know what's supposed to be best play in the Modern. I believe 2...d5 3 exd5 exf4 4 Nf3 Nf6 5 Bc4 Nxd5 6 O-O Be7 7 d4 O-O 8 Bxd5 Qxd5 9 Bxf4 is a position White would be happy to reach, even if it's probably only equal. It's a position where the one who knows the tactics and understands the small strategical imbalances will score well (White scores around 57% after both 9...c6 and 9...c5). The continuation 9...c5 10 Nc3 Qc4 11 Qe1 Bf6 12 Bd6 Bxd4+ 13 Kh1 Rd8 14 Ne4 is interesting but my impression is that White is better. I did check this in Shaw's book some years ago, but it's all gone from my memory now (including where I put that book).



6. .... Be6 is perhaps stronger (best play)  than 6. ... Be7
  
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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #61 - 04/23/18 at 10:49:25
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ErictheRed wrote on 04/22/18 at 16:32:17:
The more time I spend with this book, the more I like it.  I love that Sverre offers two major systems in most cases, so that Black players can mix and match to their taste.  Both 3...Bc5 and 3...Nf6 are covered in the Italian, both 4...Nf6 and 4...Bc5 are covered in the Scotch, etc. 
[...]

A nice review from a reliable source; very useful! By the looks of it I will have to get the book, as I have long-term plans of giving 1.e4 e5 a serious try.
But a bit sad to read you're no longer playing competitive chess.
  

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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #60 - 04/23/18 at 10:27:05
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Jonathan Tait wrote on 04/23/18 at 07:08:09:
That's a common perception. It's often claimed that the Modern is the best/simplest/most practical/whatever defence. Whereas statistically it's actually about the fourth best standard defence behind 3...g5, 3...h6 and... the Nimzowitsch.

Aside from objective value the Nimzowitsch, the Modern, the Falkbeer and 2...Bc5 share one advantage over the other main defences: They do away with the need to learn independent lines for 2...exf4 3.Nf3 and 3.Bc4. If nothing else, that makes them tempting for authors of repertoire books. (Btw. this isn't a veiled criticism of Sverre's choice; I was actually planning to test the Nimzowitsch myself before I knew it was in this book).

After 3.Nf3, isn't Black also doing fine statistically with 3...Nf6 and 3...Ne7? He was last time I checked.
  

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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #59 - 04/23/18 at 09:30:39
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I find this discussion a bit hard to follow. It would help to know what's supposed to be best play in the Modern. I believe 2...d5 3 exd5 exf4 4 Nf3 Nf6 5 Bc4 Nxd5 6 O-O Be7 7 d4 O-O 8 Bxd5 Qxd5 9 Bxf4 is a position White would be happy to reach, even if it's probably only equal. It's a position where the one who knows the tactics and understands the small strategical imbalances will score well (White scores around 57% after both 9...c6 and 9...c5). The continuation 9...c5 10 Nc3 Qc4 11 Qe1 Bf6 12 Bd6 Bxd4+ 13 Kh1 Rd8 14 Ne4 is interesting but my impression is that White is better. I did check this in Shaw's book some years ago, but it's all gone from my memory now (including where I put that book).
  
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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #58 - 04/23/18 at 07:43:10
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According to my database White's doing a bit better with the best continuation against the Nimzowitsch than with the best continuation against the Modern, but the difference is marginal. Thus far nobody has challenged my argument: at such an early stage it's not clear yet whether ...c6 is an optimal move, while ...Nf6 is. Merely repeating " I still say all defences to the King's Gambit are good" doesn't change this; it's rather a logical fallacy (if it was intended as a counterargument), especially as I already have made clear that imo the Nimzowitsch Defense is a good defense indeed. I just think the Modern is better (see, that happens - you force me to repeat my statement as well, something I thoroughly dislike - so I'm probably out again).
  

The book had the effect good books usually have: it made the stupids more stupid, the intelligent more intelligent and the other thousands of readers remained unchanged.
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Re: How to Beat the Open Games by Sverre Johnsen
Reply #57 - 04/23/18 at 07:08:09
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MNb wrote on 04/20/18 at 17:02:18:
Because some defenses are still better than others, like the Modern being better than the Nimzowitsch.


That's a common perception. It's often claimed that the Modern is the best/simplest/most practical/whatever defence. Whereas statistically it's actually about the fourth best standard defence behind 3...g5, 3...h6 and... the Nimzowitsch.

Not that statistics matter that much. I still say all defences to the King's Gambit are good (even the Falkbeer) — as long as you know what you're doing and like the resulting positions. Well, okay, maybe not 2...f5 Wink
  

blog inspired by Bronstein's book, but using my own games: http://200opengames.blogspot.co.uk/
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