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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Pirc 4 Bf4: Best Lines/Move Orders (Read 876 times)
MNb
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Re: Pirc 4 Bf4: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #13 - 02/15/18 at 06:58:12
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I doubt if the results after 1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Bf4 c6 5.Qd2 Nbd7 6.Nf3 Bg7 7.Bh6 Qa5? 8.Bxg7 are about 50%. Instead I rather bet you searched for another position.
  

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Re: Pirc 4 Bf4: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #12 - 02/15/18 at 02:14:30
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When I look at the my live database more people aren't playing Bxh6 isn't that way too cooperative? After Qa5 the numbers are much different about 50%.
  
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MNb
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Re: Pirc 4 Bf4: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #11 - 02/14/18 at 06:57:09
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Still, 1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Be3 Bg7 5.Qd2 c6 6.Bh6 Bxh6 7.Qxh6 Nbd7 8.Nf3 is an important weapon for White and 4.Bf4 c6 5.Qd2 Nbd7 6.Nf3 Bg7 7.Bh6 Bxh6 8.Qxh6 just transposes. Given the fact that White wins more than half of the games the expression "a lot less force" sounds a bit peculiar, if not ironic to me. Castling into it is not without any danger either.
Btw positional players may argue that 7.h3 (iso 7.Bh6) is a good version of the Classical.
If this is the best Black can do the conclusion is that 4.Bf4 is superior to 4.Be3. Those who'd rather play 4.Be3 c6 as Black won't be happy.
  

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Re: Pirc 4 Bf4: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #10 - 02/13/18 at 20:38:53
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edit that should of course say Bh6 until the 9th or 10th move.
  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bf4: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #9 - 02/13/18 at 20:37:20
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He discussed 6 0-0-0 and gives Qa5 7e5 dxe5 8 dxe5 Nh5 and then says e6 but that white just gets enough for the pawn. He states that after Nf3 Bh6 has a lot less force, so really he believes there is no hurry for Bh6. both of the lines he covers don't have Bh5 until the 9th or 10th move. He also says this can happen from the 4 Be3 lines too, so there may be more transpositions.
  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bf4: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #8 - 02/12/18 at 07:21:39
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Does Marin look at 4...c6 5.Qd2 Nbd7 6.Nf3 Bg7 7.Bh6 as well? This looks like a favourable (for White) version of the 150 Attack. Plus White can play 6.O-O-O immediately, as ...e5 just loses.

More about 4.Bf4 in this thread:


http://www.chesspub.com/cgi-bin/chess/YaBB.pl?num=1463055561/45#45



  

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Re: Pirc 4 Bf4: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #7 - 02/11/18 at 21:15:09
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Marin likes 4..c6 5 Qd2 Nbd7 then 6 Nf3 and finally Bg7 his analysis looks at 7 0-0-0 Qa5 then eiher 8 Kb1 and 8 e5.
  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bf4: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #6 - 02/07/18 at 17:53:32
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Stigma wrote on 02/07/18 at 14:21:49:
[quote author=13103C5E0 link=1517943784/4#4 date=1518004404] So if White combines 4.Bf4 against the Pirc with, say, 4.f4, 4.g3 or some form of Classical against the Modern, he in effect has to know two full repertoires against the Pirc


Yeah, but that's nothing special. It doesn't make much sense to combine the QDG against 1.d4 with the KID against 1.c4 either. And there are many more examples.

Though I haven known someone who as Black combined the Najdorf (and not with ...Nc6) with 1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 Nc6, allowing the Richter Rauser.
  

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Re: Pirc 4 Bf4: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #5 - 02/07/18 at 14:21:49
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MNb wrote on 02/07/18 at 11:53:24:
No matter what you play against the Pirc, as long as Black refuses to play ...Nf6 you need something independent.

That's true, but Black Modern players have the option of transposing to the Pirc against many White tries. So if White combines 4.Bf4 against the Pirc with, say, 4.f4, 4.g3 or some form of Classical against the Modern, he in effect has to know two full repertoires against the Pirc (unless he's bluffing).

Therefore some other choices against the Modern are more natural partners for the 4.Bf4 Pirc:

- 4.Be3, since if Black transposes the Pirc, he has made the concession of losing the 4.Be3 c6 and 4.Be3 a6 options where he delays ...Bg7

- 3.c3 intending Bd3, since if Black continues in Pirc style, he has lost Pirc-only options like 1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Bd3 e5 (a main line) and the more offbeat 3...c5 and 3...d5

- 3.c4 (if happy with a KID) and 3.Nf3 d6 4.Bc4 (as in Shaw's 1.e4 book), since these lines are independent of the Pirc

P.S.: I have just accepted an ordinary chessplayer's underlying assumption that 4.Bf4 is no good against the Modern. I guess some ...Nc6 line or "Tiger's Modern" style must be fine for Black.
  

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Re: Pirc 4 Bf4: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #4 - 02/07/18 at 11:53:24
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1.e4 d6 2.d4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.Be3 c6 5.Qd2 Nf6 6.Bh6 will transpose.
No matter what you play against the Pirc, as long as Black refuses to play ...Nf6 you need something independent.
  

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Re: Pirc 4 Bf4: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #3 - 02/07/18 at 05:25:27
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One thing I never liked about 4.Bf4 was the need for a different system if black adopted the Modern move order.
  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bf4: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #2 - 02/07/18 at 05:08:12
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Found the game, but my memory was not perfect. I thought it would be the game Stutz - Wolff, but it was a later game where Wolff tried it as white.

Wolff, Patrick (not yet IM) vs Ilijc, Milan (IM)
New York Open 1985 (9 rounds swiss) round 1
notes by Wolff Chess Horizons (1985.06-07) pg.23,52

1.e4 d6
2.d4 Nf6
3.Nc3 g6
4.Bf4!? Bg7
5.Qd2 h6?!

( 5...Nc6 6.d5
( 6.O-O-O!? with the idea 6... O-O 7.Bh6 e5 8.Bxg7 Kxg7 9.Nge2 += )
6... e5! 7.dxe6! Bxe6 8.O-O-O += {space} )
( 5...O-O 6.Bh6 )
6.f3?!
( 6.Be2! {Chris Chase} (note by an ordinary chessplayer: Chase was NM at that time and, IIRC, editor of Chess Horizons. Chase frequently played the Pirc/Modern with black, and still does.)
6... c6 7.O-O-O b5
( 7...Qa5 8.e5 dxe5
( 8...Nd5 9.Nxd5 Qxd5 10.c4 Qe6 11.d5 +/- )
9.dxe5 Ng4 10.Bxg4 Bxg4 11.Nf3 Na6
( 11...Nd7 12.h3! )
12.h3 Bxf3
( 12...Be6 13.Nd4!? Bxa2 14.Nxc6 bxc6 15.Qd7+ Kf8 16.Nxa2 Bxe5 17.Bxe5 Qxe5 18.Qxc6 Nc7 19.Rhe1 +/- )
13.gxf3 Nc5 += unclear (sic) )
8.e5 dxe5
( 8...b4? 9.exf6 bxc3 10.Qxc3 Bxf6 11.Be5! Be6!?
( 11...Bxe5 12.dxe5 d5 13.e6! )
( 11...Bg5+ 12.f4 dxe5 13.fxg5 e4 14.d5 )
12.Bxf6 exf6 13.Bf3 d5 14.Ne2 )
9.dxe5 Qxd2+ 10.Rxd2 Ng4 11.Bf3! a6
( 11...Bxe5 12.Bxe5 Nxe5 13.Nxb5 Na6 += )
12.Re2 h5 13.Nh3!? +/- )
6... c6
7.g4?!

( 7.Bd3 {better} )
( 7.Bc4 {better} )
7... Qa5
8.Bc4 Nbd7
9.O-O-O b5
10.Bb3 b4

( 10...c5!? )
11.Nce2 Ba6
12.Kb1 h5!
13.g5

( 13.gxh5!? Nxh5 14.Bg5 Ndf6 = 15.Nh3 O-O
( 15...c5?! 16.dxc5 Qxc5 17.Ba4+ Bb5? 18.Be3 Qc6 19.Nd4 )
16.Rdg1 unclear )
13... Nh7
14.Be3

( 14.e5!? d5!
( 14...dxe5? 15.dxe5 Nxe5 16.Bxe5 Bxe5
( 16...Qxe5?? 17.Qd7+ Kf8 18.Qd8+ Rxd8 19.Rxd8# )
17.Qd7+ Kf8 18.f4 Bc7
( 18...Bd6?? 19.Rxd6!? )
( 18...Bg7 19.Nd4 )
19.Qd4 Rg8 20.Qe4 )
15.e6 fxe6 16.Qe3 Nhf8 17.Nh3 unclear )
14... O-O
15.f4 e6!?
16.a3?

( 16.d5! cxd5
( 16...exd5 17.f5 Be5 18.Nf3 {initiative} 18... dxe4?
( 18...Bc4 19.exd5 cxd5 20.Ned4 unclear )
19.Nxe5 Nxe5 20.fxg6 Nxg6 21.Qxd6 )
17.exd5 Nc5 18.Nf3 Nxb3 19.axb3 Qxd5 20.Qxd5 exd5 21.Ng3 Rfe8 22.Bd4 = )
( 16.Nf3 c5! 17.dxc5 dxc5 18.Qe1 Qc7 -+ )
16... Rab8 17.axb4 Rxb4 18.f5 Re8! 19.fxg6 fxg6 20.Nc1 Qb5! 21.Na2 Rxb3 22.cxb3 Qxb3 23.Ne2 Rb8 24.Nec1 Qb7 25.Qc2?! Nb6 26.b4 Nc4 27.Qb3 c5 28.dxc5 Qxe4+ 0-1

  

wolff-ilijc-1985.pgn ( 2 KB | 7 Downloads )
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Re: Pirc 4 Bf4: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #1 - 02/06/18 at 19:57:26
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For history, Carl Stutz (NM from USA) was playing 4.Bf4 regularly in the 1980s. I have lost touch with him, for all I know he is still playing it today. Back then Stutz had a game annotated in Chess Horizons, and Patrick Wolff concluded 4.Bf4 was a very interesting line. Wolff frequently played the Pirc before he became a GM. Before Wolff's opinion appeared in print, I was emboldened by the idea that 4.Bf4 was "inferior", and tried the Pirc against Stutz, losing rather quickly to a stereotyped mating attack. I would dig up my game score except there is nothing to be learned from it -- unlike Wolff, I almost never played the Pirc. Perhaps I can find the Chess Horizons game in my personal database.

Edited:
Fixed typo dig for did.
  
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Pirc 4 Bf4: Best Lines/Move Orders
02/06/18 at 19:03:04
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Greetings.

There is no shortage of ways to meet the Pirc defence (1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6). Already at move four white has quite a wide choice of moves and not least of these are the two bishop moves 4.Be3 and 4.Bg5. In terms of played games, coverage in litterature and the interest in discussing these lines on this very forum they are popular subjects.

In contrast the seemingly related other bishop step 4.Bf4 has a number of played games several magnitudes less, a lot less coverage in litterature and apart from like one thread from about ten years ago, no real dedicated thread on this forum. The last of these things seems to me like something that can and should be rectified; perhaps especially considering that some limited recent musing (on chesspub and elsewhere) has pointed in the direction that black probably needs to take definite care to play precisely and from an early stage even. So, in other words I am starting a Pirc 4 Bf4: Best Lines/Move Orders thread. Subject of discussion is whichever line/-s of the 4.Bf4 variation seems interesting to discuss, previous analysis – for example in chess books, general strategic considerations, best move orders, games, history, etc. etc. In short pretty much everything. As for discussion of lines that are not strictly reaching the position after 1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Bf4 (the 4.Bf4 Pirc), for example 1.e4 g6 2.d4 Bg7 3.Nc3 d6 4.Bf4 (the 4.Bf4 Modern), I won't mind if it is brought up here as well.

So what can be said about (1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Bf4)? Some strategic considerations I am thinking of:

a) It keeps ideas of Qd2+Bh6. This seems very much important for white in his quest to put pressure on black. Conceivably Bh6 can also be quite a versatile resource because the general idea of going Bh6 seems to remain in positions even with slightly different white piece configurations; for example I will note that regardless of what white puts on the f3 square (Nf3, f3-pawn or nothing) Bh6 can still be used and be effective. In addition actually executing by going Bh6 seems to sometimes cause problems for black in setting up the way he would like. The transposition to the line 1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Bf4 Bg7 5.Qd2 c6 6.Bh6 for example is a real possibility and not everyone would like to go for this (Kornev recommends 5...c6 in his recent book though so not him).

b) After 4.Bf4 white is inherently still quite flexible with where to put his pieces. This is obviously good and much similar compared to the state of things in the sister variations 4.Bg5 and 4.Be3. What is perhaps missing compared to those variations is the possibility to throw in f4 in the mix for white. Arguably this is not the end of the world but at the same time in both 4.Be3 and 4.Bg5 there are some times, especially against permissive black play, where going f4 is direct and strong. Not to sound alarmist though; even without this there are good opportunities to punish black if he plays sub-optimally (and not rarely in ways involving Bh6).

c) There is something to be said for controlling e5 directly like this. For one going e4-e5 as white becomes somewhat easier and can definitely be used as a resource at certain moments (arguably for example 4...a6 5.e5 is already a way to make black's life a bit less enjoyable). One should always reckon with the possibility of black going e5 at some point though. This is one of the freeing breaks he seeks to achieve in the Pirc after all and with a bishop on f4 there could be tempo losses for white in there. Good news for white however is that 4.Bf4 makes sure e5 is controlled well enough that black is not going to go e7-e5 himself without some kind of preparation. Most natural is of course to develop with Nbd7 or Nc6 as black and then sometime try for e7-e5. In my experience of the Pirc only the combination of achieving e5 and otherwise having a sensical position is enough to eventually equalise though and it is not totally clear knight developments early solves black's problems; although this can be discussed of course. As more of a footnote one can also imagine black going Nh5 to drive away the white bishop. Generally though white is not against moving his bishop again in principle - as long as it has drawn out something from black like a premature lunge or weakening.


I'll post some thoughts on concrete lines later but for now please everyone enjoy the evening and feel free to reply if you want.
  
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