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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Is the Albin Any Good (Read 56213 times)
SWJediknight
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Re: Is the Albin Any Good
Reply #81 - 04/09/13 at 21:26:59
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I agree about 3.Nc3 vs. 3.Be3 against the French.

Back to the systems against White's other 1.d4 systems, I quite like 1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nc6 (and 2...Nc6 can also be played against 2.Bf4), despite Eric Prie's doubts about it.  I don't think it fully equalises, but Black often gets Chigorin Defence-style counterplay, and I think it complements the Albin quite well. 

I have published some analysis at http://tws27.50webs.com/chess/albin2.htm
while I recall hearing that Christoph Scheerer (Wisnewski) covered 1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nc6 extensively in his "Play 1...Nc6!" book.
  
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Re: Is the Albin Any Good
Reply #80 - 04/09/13 at 08:20:14
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Ouch. Not the Be3 stuff vs the French. That's desperation to force that sort of gambit where it really doesn't fit. I think the way that white can't retake on e4 sort of says everything you need to know about that Smiley

If you must lose a pawn then the French wing gambit isn't terrible. Or various broadly anti theory ways to hack after 3 Nc3.
  
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Re: Is the Albin Any Good
Reply #79 - 04/08/13 at 20:27:58
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Attactics, as you noted, one concern with playing the Albin is that not everybody plays 2. c4, especially at intermediate levels.

Against 1. d4 d5 2. Bf4, probably the simplest is 2. ... e6 and 3. ... Bd6 to challenge that bishop directly. I'm not sure how to turn it into an exciting, open, gambit-esque game, but you should be able to get a reasonable game that way.

Against the more common 2. Nf3, I used to try 1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 Bf5. Against the Queen's Gambit, this is the Baltic Defense, but the fact that white didn't play 2. c4 eliminates the lines that are toughest for black to meet. Because Colle players want to play Bd3 at some point, and you're directly challenging that diagonal, it really messes with them. Or if you think your opponent will try to play the Colle, you can just go with your old Stonewall, which also messes with Colle players by locking down the e4 square.

If you're interested in the Baltic, there's a book called "Unusual Queen's Gambit Declined" by Chris Ward that covers three unusual lines against the Queen's Gambit, including the Baltic and Albin CounterGambit.

I notice you also mentioned that you're looking for a gambit against the French as white. I like the Alapin Gambit, though I won't try to claim that it's 100% sound. It's 1. e4 e6 2. d4 e5 3. Be3, with the intent of 3. ... dxe4 4. f3 or possibly 4. Nd2 Nf6 before 5. f3, depending on whether you want to delay that f3 or not. I like just going for the immediate f3 when I play it.

  

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Re: Is the Albin Any Good
Reply #78 - 04/06/13 at 07:33:21
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YAY! was starting to get a little sick of all the grunfeld and especially stonewall discussions and was wondering if i'd have to create a thread for this myself. i'm trying to drop the stonewall! i hate it! i hate it! i hate it! if any 1.d4 reply deserves this section's "daring defenses to 1.d4" it's the albin! stonewall? daring? how dare you even imply it!  Grin

i watched the great foxy openings video on the albin on youtube a couple times and started transcribing it into a tree to study. it has some really different tactics, particularly Qf4 to g4 behind the bishop, but that's what i live for, and the albin looks only about an infinity funner to play than the stonewall.

didn't read anything just yet, just jumping right in as i can't wait to finish an opening book to study and start playing this.

as this is a specialists thread, could anyone offer gambit repertoire suggestions to compliment the albin? i'll be playing the vector gambit against the english to get that outta my stonewall. i have no clues about 1.Nf3 or bird etc. though i kind of like stonewalling birds just because i know the turf there, but would try something like 1.f4 e5 as a gambit as i know from experience early e pawn breaks destroy the entire stonewall plan at least.

maybe pointers on which lines i'd use the most in a black repertoire would help. as i stonewalled against everything but 1.e4 & 1.g4, i never really noticed how many english vs queen's gambits, vs kings indians etc. i faced as most of the time, the opening is on autopilot in the stonewall.

as to 1.e4, i just dropped the scandinavian and am just trying to play the latvian gambit as much like king's gambit as possible. i'm literally re-building my entire black repertiore with latvian and albin as my main black lines.

i'd really appreciate a payback line against 1.d4 d5 2.Bf5. that one used to ruin my stonewall plan, now i'd like a battle plan against that in particular.

what about other albin sidesteps? i'd guess not much more than half of 1.d4 players play 2.c4. that's another stumbling block to my not playing it yesterday. declined lines are always the most annoying for gambiteers. am i right?

as an "introduction" while i'm here, i just dropped wing gambit for smith morra gambit in the sicilian and instantly got it and love it. i'm still fishing around for a rip the french a new one gambit and have dabbled with diemer duhm gambit (awesome theory tree online!) and have done best with the exchange french probably so far. was planning to get 4 gambits to beat the french and figure it out. i'm still playing king's knight gambit but want to start from scratch with the "newer" king's bishop gambit. had success with 150 attack pirc and need theory to re-learn it possibly as a smith morra alternative even, still play krejcik alekhine (1.e4 Nf6 2.Bc4 Nxe4 3.Bxf7+!?), have had mixed results with ulysses gambit in the carokann, play the tennison gambit in the scandinavian very badly and would try the blackmar diemer instead if i could find sawyer's unobtanium book and maybe even use it as a plan B to 1.e4, but that would require a 1.d4 repertoire, and generally play e4/d4 against hypermoderns and anything else i can.

as black, just switched from scandinavian to latvian gambit and plan to learn the vector gambit in the english as i patch up the theory holes in my repertoire with the new latvian and albin countergambit systems i'm learning.

another line at the top of my study list is the falkbeer counter gambit in king's gambit and learn it from both sides against y'all here. i've only seen a few king's gambits as black so far and played 1 or 2 symmetricals and at least 1x 2...Be7 which annoys me as white

this is the kind of resource i need to find a gambit repertoire without playing the needle in a haystack game trying to dig lines up from scratch. if it wasn't the albin, it would be budapest, and a repertoire for 1...Nf6's theory gaps.

i'd be happy to answer any questions anyone might have about the gambits i play too. scorned as we gambiteers are by grandmasters, it's hard for us to build repertoires.

i have two gambit repertoire books that didn't help much. that's a joke a few of you should get. i don't get the prices used albin books go for either. was going to get a smaller repertoire book that has the albin in it to compliment the albin video. i just hope the rest of you albin players leave me a few scalps until i start playing it.
« Last Edit: 04/06/13 at 08:44:10 by attactics »  
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Re: Is the Albin Any Good
Reply #77 - 08/19/08 at 14:40:43
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this thread has gotten off topic. theoretically everyone was worried about 5.nbd2, but what if qe7 6.g3 f6!? 7.exf6 nxf6  and if 8.bg2 d3!?
  
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Re: Is the Albin Any Good
Reply #76 - 07/29/08 at 08:52:20
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Mnb, sounds like a good summary for attacking. I would mention one other point though, that is not to forget about other areas of the board in particular with regards to tactics. Many an attacking game is not decided by the attack, but by a "random" chance which occurs during the attack (or the attack itself is justified by it).
Ie check the game Kasparov-Topalov 1999 (one of the very best ever games) where a whole attack is justified by a loose rook on h8 (captured at the end).
  

If nothing else works, a total pig-headed unwillingness to look facts in the face will see us through.
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Re: Is the Albin Any Good
Reply #75 - 07/28/08 at 22:55:47
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After some thinking I have decided to be unkind and not answer your questions. The answers might distract from the relevant points. Maybe I will change my mind later, after all man is a curious being.
Instead I will offer you some general principles on attacking the opponent's king. Be a bit suspicious, I am only a mediocre player, but still I managed to conduct a few crushing attacks. Moreover these principles helped me to understand when and why I failed - that also happened quite often.

1. Never think you have a winning attack until you either deliver mate, can prove a decisive material advantage (and make sure it is big enough to meet the counterattack) or simplify to a winning endgame. Defenders typically do not cooperate and will resist stubbornly until the very end. Some players even rejoice rebouncing attacks.
2. We all know Steinitz' principle of economic defence. Well, the attack has to be economic as well. Use your pieces as effective as possible. Like in most types of positions the attacker has to ask him(her) self quite often which of his pieces are not optimally placed and which are their best squares. Don't stretch this though, it does not make sense to manoevre a piece to a better square if you can deliver the decisive blow. This is why you should have changed your evaluation after the manoeuvre Nb3-a5-b3; it's not economic.
3. An attack generally fails if the attacker does not use more pieces than the defender. Don't forget to count the opponent's king as well. That's why your position was not winning after 14...Bc5 15.Ba3. It is not a matter of cracking nuts; it's a matter of judgment.
4. Force/spot a weakness. Sometimes this weakness is a result of the opening; Albin's Gambiteers see 6.g3 as part of their compensation. This is why it does not make much sense to analyse 16.Nxb7 further; it must be superior because after winning back the black Bishop there is a weakness, while after 16.Nb3 there isn't. You can't exploit a weakness if there isn't any. Black's main weakness in the Albin's is that very pawn on d4 by the way.
5. This one is essentially the same as point 3, but it is neglected so often by amateurs that I still mention it separately. Involve as many pieces in the attack as possible. Especially don't forget the rooks! You only developed your first rook when it was already too late. Even if the rooks do not contribute directly, they should be activated. Have you noticed that you only played 21.Rad1 when it already was too late? Imagine that you could have two moves for free, how nice it would have been to place your rooks on d1 and b1 (or c1)!
6. Exchanging defending pieces is tricky, because two principles work against each other. A local majority of 3 (attacking pieces) vs 2 (defending ones) is bigger than 4 vs 3. At the other hand defending pieces tend to get in each other's way. So only exchange when it clearly improves your attack. That's why your opponent played Bg4-h3xg2; this stresses the weaknesses of f3, g2 and h3 and btw also removes a potential attacker.
In your case the exchange of the black squared bishops was wrong because you did not have a local piece majority at all. 2 : 2 is certainly not better, rather worse for the attacker than 3 : 3.

May I give you a recommendation for study? There are a couple of books on conducting an attack these days, but I don't know them as I am getting old and lazy. There were hardly any 25 years ago, when I still thought I had some talent. Many amateurs are baffled by the wizardry of Tal and Shirov, try to imitate them and miserably fail. How much I enjoy their games, I think they are the wrong examples. Mine was Karpov. He won quite a few attacking games, especially when playing the Jugoslav and Keres Attack as White. The only times Kasparov got beaten by a king's attack was against Karpov. In my opinion his games are very instructive. From a positional point of view his moves, even his sacs, almost always are crystal clear. So play through his games (some opponents are Kortsjnoj, Sax and Timman) and ask yourself: why does he play this? How does it improve his position and strengthen his attack? This helped me, that's for sure.
  

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: Is the Albin Any Good
Reply #74 - 07/28/08 at 08:39:25
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MNb wrote on 07/28/08 at 00:50:14:
Good tries are 6.a3 and 6.h3 first, but I suppose you want to develop first before forcing anything. Then 8.h3 deserves consideration. White wants Black to declare his intentions before the mutual attack. You will ask how castling can be wrong. Of course it isn't. It is just that the stakes are getting higher. We should note that Kortsjnoj preferred 12.Bb2 Nxf3+ 13.exf3 Bf5 14.Nb3, so you might have considered 14.Bb2 as well. The idea is to play that bishop to d4. Also 14.Rd1 and 14.Nxd4 Bxg2 (Qxd4 15.Be3) 15.Nc6+ similar to your line look better. Maybe 14.Na5 is the move to blame, in any case it is a step in the wrong direction. You are trying to attack with two pieces before you are fully developed. Moreover you give Black the chance to finish his development by giving up square c5. When attacking you have to make as few concessions as possible! The next question is: why 16.Nb3 ? Do you really think it worth two tempi to lure Black's bishop from f8 to b6? You should have played the 16.Nxb7 Kxb7 17.c5, which is at least unclear. Then I do not understand 18.Bc5. You are violating the principle not to exchange an active piece for a passive one. Of course 18.c5 Bc7 19.bxc6 would have been consequent. It admits that your attack has gone, but your Nb3-a5-b3 appeared to be an exchange manoeuvre wasting even more precious time with 18.Bc5. For what have you returned your pawn on e5 then? Just do a count: White has Qa4, Nb3 and Ba3 in the attack, Black has Kb8, Bb6 and Qd7 in the defence. How could such an attack ever succeed? Black has that passed pawn and must be better. Finally 20.Bxd4 is a straightforward mistake. 20.Bxb6 axb6 21.Rad1 and White is fully in the game; I would have preferred 19...Bxc5 20.Nxc5 Qd5 as Black, with the better prospects.
You thought you had a winning attack, probably because of your more active pieces at some stage. I have learned not to feel that optimistic when conducting an attack. Where you essentially failed is to force a weakness in Black's defensive position around his king. Instead you neglected your own weaknesses, especially on the white squares around your king. Now these weaknesses were structural after 13.exf3. You had to compensate (or, if possible, more than compensate) by mercilessly hammering on Black's d-pawn or equally mercilessly forcing a weakness around Black's King. Spending tempi to exchange one opponent's defender certainly is not the way to go.
I am sorry to be so harsh, but conducting an attack against the opponent's king seems to be a weakness in your play. I write this because based on your posts in many other types of play you seem to be better than me.


Hmm, I guess you are right. I like positional games better than attacking ones, although I play the Sicilian and usually get opposite castling positions. I guess I underestimated the resources of Black and the weaknesses around my king after the bishop is gone. Thought the 4 pawns give enough protection, and black has not even started to push the h-pawn yet. I guess I dont understand the positions.

I played 14.Na5 because I did not see the ...Bc5 ideas in the sub variation I gave. I thought that if he took the g2 bishop, I win. Also, I thought that after 14...Bc5, 15.Ba3 is winning for me. You were right, I was thinking about exchanging defenders to , or making doubled b-pawns. But it seemed to be a tough nut to crack.

I have two questions regarding your analysis. Black can play 18...cxb5 first before moving the bishop. That was why I did not play it in the game. Also, after 16.Nxb7 Kxb7 17.c5, I failed to see how to continue the attack. True, after I win back the piece, the light square holes are weak, but White can't really seem to make use of them with his remaining bishop. If he has a knight, he wins, but he has just saced it. If he does not take back the pieces and play c6, I still cannot see how to continue the attack.

Maybe your Fritz or Rykba can tell me something. My only chess engines are the engines that come with Chessbase 8 Sad
  
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Re: Is the Albin Any Good
Reply #73 - 07/28/08 at 00:50:14
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Good tries are 6.a3 and 6.h3 first, but I suppose you want to develop first before forcing anything. Then 8.h3 deserves consideration. White wants Black to declare his intentions before the mutual attack. You will ask how castling can be wrong. Of course it isn't. It is just that the stakes are getting higher. We should note that Kortsjnoj preferred 12.Bb2 Nxf3+ 13.exf3 Bf5 14.Nb3, so you might have considered 14.Bb2 as well. The idea is to play that bishop to d4. Also 14.Rd1 and 14.Nxd4 Bxg2 (Qxd4 15.Be3) 15.Nc6+ similar to your line look better. Maybe 14.Na5 is the move to blame, in any case it is a step in the wrong direction. You are trying to attack with two pieces before you are fully developed. Moreover you give Black the chance to finish his development by giving up square c5. When attacking you have to make as few concessions as possible! The next question is: why 16.Nb3 ? Do you really think it worth two tempi to lure Black's bishop from f8 to b6? You should have played the 16.Nxb7 Kxb7 17.c5, which is at least unclear. Then I do not understand 18.Bc5. You are violating the principle not to exchange an active piece for a passive one. Of course 18.c5 Bc7 19.bxc6 would have been consequent. It admits that your attack has gone, but your Nb3-a5-b3 appeared to be an exchange manoeuvre wasting even more precious time with 18.Bc5. For what have you returned your pawn on e5 then? Just do a count: White has Qa4, Nb3 and Ba3 in the attack, Black has Kb8, Bb6 and Qd7 in the defence. How could such an attack ever succeed? Black has that passed pawn and must be better. Finally 20.Bxd4 is a straightforward mistake. 20.Bxb6 axb6 21.Rad1 and White is fully in the game; I would have preferred 19...Bxc5 20.Nxc5 Qd5 as Black, with the better prospects.
You thought you had a winning attack, probably because of your more active pieces at some stage. I have learned not to feel that optimistic when conducting an attack. Where you essentially failed is to force a weakness in Black's defensive position around his king. Instead you neglected your own weaknesses, especially on the white squares around your king. Now these weaknesses were structural after 13.exf3. You had to compensate (or, if possible, more than compensate) by mercilessly hammering on Black's d-pawn or equally mercilessly forcing a weakness around Black's King. Spending tempi to exchange one opponent's defender certainly is not the way to go.
I am sorry to be so harsh, but conducting an attack against the opponent's king seems to be a weakness in your play. I write this because based on your posts in many other types of play you seem to be better than me.
  

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: Is the Albin Any Good
Reply #72 - 07/27/08 at 13:34:03
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Hi,

This is a Albin Game that I played. Maybe you guys can tell me where I played wrongly? I am white and lost terribly. But I thought I had a winning attack. However, I just can't seem to complete it

1. d4 d5 2. c4 e5 3. dxe5 d4 4. Nf3 Nc6 5. Nbd2 Bg4 6. g3 Qd7 7. Bg2 O-O-O 8.
O-O Nge7 9. b4 Ng6 10. Qa4 Kb8 11. b5 Ncxe5 12. Nb3 Nxf3+ 13. exf3 Bh3 14. Na5
Bc5 (14... Bxg2 15. Nc6+ bxc6 16. bxc6 Qc8 17. Rb1+ Ka8 18. Rb7 Bc5 19. Ba3
Bxf1 20. Bxc5 Qxb7 21. cxb7+ Kxb7 22. Qb5+ Kc8 23. Kxf1 d3) 15. Ba3 Bb6 16. Nb3
(16. Bxh3 Qxh3 17. Nb3 Ne5) 16... Bxg2 17. Kxg2 c6 18. Bc5 cxb5 19. cxb5 Ne5
20. Bxd4 Bxd4 21. Rad1 Nxf3 22. Rd3 Nh4+ 23. gxh4 Qg4+ 24. Rg3 Qe4+ 25. Kh3
Qf5+ 26. Kg2 Qe4+ 27. Kh3 g5 28. hxg5 (28. Rxg5) 28... h6 29. g6 Rd5 0-1

  
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Re: Is the Albin Any Good
Reply #71 - 06/17/08 at 01:38:51
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After 5.Nbd2 Qe7 6.g3 Bg4 7.Bg2 0-0-0 8.0-0 Black should ask him/herself what to do with Bf8 and why the Queen should be better on e7 than on d7. Moreover there are 7.h3 and 8.h3 to consider.
  

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Re: Is the Albin Any Good
Reply #70 - 06/16/08 at 02:44:02
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what about bg4 after g3? now blacks planning to 0-0-0
  
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Re: Is the Albin Any Good
Reply #69 - 06/15/08 at 14:32:25
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Endodontics is the field you enter when your dentist has to resort to doing something to your tooth's nerve... (replace tooth by teeth if you are even more unlucky than that).

(How come I associate this with 'pearly gates' ?)
  
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Re: Is the Albin Any Good
Reply #68 - 06/15/08 at 11:23:03
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drkodos wrote on 06/14/08 at 23:16:29:
When I pick the wrong opponent its worse than endodontics.   Grin

We poor Dutchies don't learn such difficult words at high school. Please explain.
I agree with your evaluation of the Albin's. Playing it at corr chess was great fun twice, but also masochism two other times.
  

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: Is the Albin Any Good
Reply #67 - 06/14/08 at 23:16:29
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Rustam K. has a new CB DVD coming out soon on the Albin. 

I belive interest in the line has been picking up (mildly), and I think it offers good practical chances otb despite notion theoretically is still in ICU. 

I'm planning on using it and the Budapest at least one time each (if chance permits) at this year WO.  If one can pick the right opponent to un-cork em, they are real fun.  When I pick the wrong opponent its worse than endodontics.   Grin

Let's play some chess.  Tongue

  

I know I've made some very poor decisions recently, but I can give you my complete assurance that my work will be back to normal. I've still got the greatest enthusiasm and confidence in the mission.
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