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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) 2. a3 (Read 25734 times)
MNb
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Re: 2. a3
Reply #73 - 03/11/06 at 02:43:49
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No, I never play 2.a3 nor 2.b4 cxb4 3.a3 Nc6 4.axb4.
  

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Bubu13
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Re: 2. a3
Reply #72 - 03/10/06 at 14:02:43
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Not a bad idea, but with b6 and Bb7 to follow, black seems to get a decent  setting. I can't get throught the black lines ... I am not sure about the Ra3, 'cause the c3 pawn blocks the third rank where it could lift ! Did you try your suggestion against somebody or something ?
  
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MNb
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Re: 2. a3
Reply #71 - 03/09/06 at 02:00:22
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What about 7.d5 Na5 8.Qd4 Nf6 (f6 9.Nd2 Bh6 10.Ngf3 b6 11.Ba3 with pressure) 9.Ra3 Bg7 10.e5 Ng8 11.Nf3 !?
  

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Bubu13
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Re: 2. a3
Reply #70 - 03/08/06 at 13:05:32
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My last game with 2.a3 ! Unfortunately, i've lost against a black setting involving a g6 & Bg7 ! It is quite strange because i don't exactly understand what went wrong with my strategic way of playing.
If you have an explanation, please feel free to share it with us

Busson,B (2089) - Ferrero,P (2031) [B20]
CPI 2006 (4), 07.01.2006

1.e4 c5 2.a3 Nc6 3.b4 cxb4 4.axb4 Nxb4 5.d4 [5.Ra4!?] 5...g6 6.c3 Nc6 7.d5 [7.Bc4 Bg7 8.Nf3 e6 9.d5 Ne5 10.Nxe5 Bxe5 11.dxe6 fxe6³] 7...Na5 8.Qd4 Nf6 9.Nd2!? [9.e5!? Nb3 10.Qa4 Nxa1 (10...Nxc1 11.exf6 Qb6 12.Nd2 Qxf6 13.Rxc1²) 11.exf6 Qb6 12.Qxa1 Qxf6 13.Be3 Qf5 14.Na3 Bg7 (14...Qxd5? 15.c4!±) 15.Nb5 0-0 (15...Be5 16.Nf3 Bb8 17.c4²) 16.Nc7 Rb8 (16...Qc2? 17.Ne2!) 17.d6 exd6 18.Bxa7 Bxc3+ 19.Qxc3 Qb1+ 20.Kd2 Qa2+ 21.Kc1 Qxa7 22.Nd5÷] 9...Bh6 10.Ngf3 0-0 11.e5 Ne8 [11...Nh5!?] 12.Qh4 Bg7 [12...Bxd2+ 13.Nxd2 f6µ] 13.d6 Nc6 14.Ne4 exd6 15.Bg5 Qc7 16.Bf6 d5 17.Bxg7 Kxg7 18.Nf6 h6 19.Nxd5 Qd8 20.Qxd8 Nxd8 21.Nb6 Rb8 22.Rxa7 Nc6 23.Ra4? [¹23.Nxc8 Nxa7 24.Nxa7 Ra8 25.Nb5 Ra1+ 26.Ke2±] 23...d6 24.exd6 Nxd6 25.Bd3 Re8+ 26.Kd2 Be6 27.Rha1 Rbd8 28.Kc2 Bf5 29.Bxf5 Nxf5 30.R1a2 Re2+ 31.Kb3 Rxa2 32.Rxa2 Rd1 33.Kc4 Nd6+ 34.Kb3 Rb1+ 35.Rb2 Rxb2+ 36.Kxb2 Ne4 37.Nd7 Nxf2 38.Nc5 b6 39.Nd7 b5 40.Kb3 Nd3 41.Kc2 Nf4 42.g3 Nd5 43.Kd3 Nc7 44.Nd4 Nd8 45.Kc2 g5 46.g4 Nde6 47.Nf5+ Kh7 48.Ne5 f6 49.Nf7 h5 50.gxh5 Nf4 51.Ng3 Kg7 52.Nd6 Nfd5 53.Kd3 g4 54.Kd4 b4 55.c4 Nf4 56.c5 Nfe6+ 57.Kc4 b3 58.Nde4 b2 59.Nc3 Kh6 60.Nge4 f5 61.Nd2 Kxh5 62.Nd5 f4 63.Nxc7 Nxc7 64.Kd3 Kh4 65.Ke4 g3 66.Kf3 Kh3 67.hxg3 fxg3 0-1

  
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AvH
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Re: 2. a3
Reply #69 - 02/23/06 at 15:32:03
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I used to play 2.a3, but the variation that put me off is 1.e4 c5 2.a3 Nc6 3.b4 Nf6, which I faced twice in a row. I don't like 4.b5 as the pawn can only become weak. 4...Nd4 and 4...Ne5 both seem to give black, who is better developed and doesn't have any weaknesses, a very easy game. Does anyone have an idea for white?
  
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TalJechin
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Re: 2. a3
Reply #68 - 02/17/06 at 20:37:35
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Another interesting way to play is 3. Nc3 Bg7 4.h4 h5 5. Bc4 
This is a favourite of IM Dobrov, who always stood very well after the opening.


That sounds like a nice simple idea I'll try when the opportunity arises...


I've tried most of the other ideas in blitz on the net:

3.h4 and setting up some kind of Clamp with c3, d3, f4 etc.

3.c3 isn't bad imo, usually you get a big pawn centre vs a slightly frustrated Bg7...

van Duijn's Bc4, Nc3 etc - but with f4 instead of h4 - isn't bad either, similar to a grand prix attack.

Play is a bit slow in all of the above, but often becomes interesting around move 25.

The only plan I've given up on is 3.b4 Bg7 4. Nc3, not that it's bad but I prefer to go for the king (especially in blitz) - and you usually give up all such ambitions in that line with g3, Bg2 etc. Play is often reminiscent of playing black against an English Botvinnik set-up. And those d3,e4,f4,g3 vs d6,e5,f5,g6 positions are not very fun imo, as you can only wait for the opponent to exchange on e4 or f4...
  
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Re: 2. a3
Reply #67 - 02/17/06 at 16:05:23
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The answer to 2...g6 must be to pursue a closed strategy involving d3, Bd2, probably Rb1 and ultimately b2-b4!, accompanied, probably, by a kingside fianchetto.
  

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Re: 2. a3
Reply #66 - 02/17/06 at 15:30:27
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Hey guys,

I wonder whether anyone has examined 2....g6 throughly. I cant believe in 3.c3 for white, which Bezgodov rates quite highly.  True enough, White may not be worse, but it looks to me like very easy equality for black.Much more in the spirit of
2.a3 is 2...g6 3.b4 Bg7 4. Nc3
Has anyone had experience with (or against) this? Bezgodov claims it is an improved version of a closed Sicilian if White continues with g3 and a timely bxc5.
To me, f4 ideas in combination with bxc5 (without g3) also look quite interesting.

Another interesting way to play is 3. Nc3 bg7 4.h4 h5 5. bc4
This is a favourite of IM Dobrov, who always stood very well after the opening.

I dont believe black is really in trouble in these lines, but at least they seam to be more in the spirit of
2.a3.
Im looking forward to your ideas.
  
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Re: 2. a3
Reply #65 - 01/25/06 at 14:38:15
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Such optimism !
Meantime I've browsed through Bezgodov's book on this, and I must confess that the move does look attractive...  especially against optimists....
  
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Re: 2. a3
Reply #64 - 10/18/05 at 00:12:22
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Rick,

Thanks for your comments.  Words help me to focus more on the positions than mere lines of analysis do.  Your 9.Ba3 was such a natural way to play that I fully understand why you played it. 

In a practical game, I really wonder if Black would have survived for long if you had played 9.Bf4 instead.  Black may have found 9...Qc6, but the rest of the computerised analysis gets harder and harder to play.

It took me a while to realise that 10.Bd3 is played because of your weak e4 square.  I don't like giving up the light-squared Bishop, so I'm trying to make 10.Nd6+ followed by c4 work.  Let's say Black plays 10...Ke7 11.c4 e5? 12.de5 should give White an advantage (unless I'm missing some tactic).  White has the open d-file, a weak f7 target, an uncastled Black king and several threats to develop with gain of tempi, all at no material cost.  Not bad!

11.c4 Nf6 invites White to choose between 12.e5 and 12.Ne5 (Qxd6 drops the queen for only two minor pieces here)


So...

11...Bh6, which is really hard to find, may be Black's hope.  Unfotunately, once again 12.Ne5 comes to mind.  This really does give up three minors for the Queen, but after 12...Qd6 13.Ng6+ hg6 14.c5+ Ke7 (I guess) 15.d5 (which doesn't threaten 16.Qd4?? Nc2+!)  The White pieces are much more easily coordinated than Black's, and I would expect White to win in the middle game by combining attacks against loose pieces and the Black king.   

I'm doing this with the aid of a board, but not a computer, so some of my tactics may need refining.  However, Black has made some sort of major mistake because I think he's in real trouble here.  Interesting position!
  
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Re: 2. a3
Reply #63 - 10/17/05 at 18:21:30
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Kamiel -

Thanks for the Fritz analysis.  I agree that white is better in that sample game.  There may not be much in the way of improvement for black.  I was overly optimistic to think that white was "very close to dead lost."  Black could probably improve with the human move 14...e5 and then maybe 15.Nf3 Nc6 16.Qb3 Bd6. Fritz may be able to find all the right defensive moves after 14...e5, but I certainly wouldn't be able to find them in a real game with the clock ticking.  So, I'm going to look for something else.  Thanks.

- Lost Highway
  
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Re: 2. a3
Reply #62 - 10/17/05 at 15:42:00
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Kamiel -

I will decline your invitation to buy this book.  If GM Bezgodov recommends (?) 11.Rb1, I prefer to invent a better wheel than he has invented if he really thinks white is ok in that line.  White is very close to being dead lost after 11...Qe6+ 12.Ne3 Nxd4 13.Bc4 Qd7.  When black consolidates, he will win easily.  I see no real obstacle to prevent black from consolidating.

- Lost Highway


I don't think it's easy at all for black to consolidate. Ok black has 3 pawns more but he only brought two pieces into play; and both will have to move again with tempo loss(es) especially the queen.
Also I don't see what black is going to do with his king, long castle isn't possible; leaving the king in the center is hardly an option and I haven't found a way for black to castle short without having to make major concessions like having to play Nf6 Bxf6 gxf6 which makes his castled king very dangerously placed.
White on the contrary can devellop his pieces to all places he desires. I don't dare to claim white is better tough the position is way too unclear for that but in a game I would love to play white.

I think it's pretty hard to analyse this position as there are many plausible moves for both sides so I'll give a sample line to start with which shows whites attacking potential. Black plays the moves suggested by fritz.


11. Rb1 Qe6+ 12. Ne3 Nxd4 13. Bc4 Qd7 14. Bc3 Nc6 15. Qh5 e6 16.Nf3 a6 17. O-O b5 18. Ba2 Nf6 19. Bxf6 gxf6 20. Rfe1 Bg7 21. Rbd1 Qc7 22. Bxe6 Bxe6 23. Nd5 Qd7 24. Rxe6+ Kf8 25. Ree1 Re8 26. Nb6 Rxe1+ 27. Rxe1 Qd6 28. Nc8 Qd7 29. Qc5+ Kg8 30. Qxc6 1-0

  
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Re: 2. a3
Reply #61 - 10/16/05 at 22:10:14
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Rick,

Thank you for sharing your game and its in-depth analysis.  I'll take a closer look at it later.  Do you have any comments to the game as well as lines?  Thanks again!


Some thoughts:

I flatter myself to remember Bronstein's comment that it takes three small errors to add up to one big error - instead of one big honking blunder, I nibble away at my advantage.

For Black, the ...e6 and ...g6 seemed to weaken the dark squares, and my strategy for much of the game was to take advantage of that, especially the square d6. I think I was right to do so: the problem came in not finding the right time to do something more than just improve my position.

Black's Queen maneuver - Qb6-a5-d8 - seemed to waste time and give White the edge. The move to a5 seemed well-met by my Knight move to d2.

White's 9th move was stereotyped - "Ba3 is the kind of move you make in this kind of position (i.e. the Sicilian Wing Gambit)" - but it's still not clear to me whether 9.Bf4 was the better idea. One of the computers liked c2-c4 followed by Ba3, so perhaps I just got the idea backwards? I'm still puzzling over the position - I'm better, but exactly what to do? Or are there several things to do?

Frankly, I was astonished later to see that my c2-c4 (threat: c4-c5) idea was thought to be sound by the analysis engines - it was a pawn, not a piece moved; and it seemed a bit loosening at the time, but I wanted to go with it, as it reminded me of a successful maneuver I played in an OTB Sicilian Wing Gambit many years ago.

It looks like the computer-recommended breaking in the center with 13.d5 was stronger than my 13.Bb2, which prepared for the center break - but then I changed my whole strategy with 14.e5. Can't remember why I did that; probably didn't analyze deep enough! Likely this is where the advantage slipped away.

Throughout the game I had "compensation" for my sacrificed pawn, but regaining the pawn seemed to drain the compensation and lead to a drawn game. This kind of suggests that had my opponent been more accurate in his early pawn moves and Queen moves, I wouldn't have had enough for the sacced pawn. Which is the assessment many have of the Sicilian Wing Gambit.

I will definitely play 2.a3 again vs the Sicilian.

Rick
  
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Re: 2. a3
Reply #60 - 10/16/05 at 10:59:34
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lost highway;
GM Bezgodov did a deep analysis of the positions after Nc2 and he already deviates from you on move 11 with Rb1. But I don't want to copy all the lines that he gives for copyright reasons. If you want to really investigate the opening you should buy the book and then improve on the lines he gives cause now you are kind of reinventing the wheel.

Kamiel -

I will decline your invitation to buy this book.  If GM Bezgodov recommends (?) 11.Rb1, I prefer to invent a better wheel than he has invented if he really thinks white is ok in that line.  White is very close to being dead lost after 11...Qe6+ 12.Ne3 Nxd4 13.Bc4 Qd7.  When black consolidates, he will win easily.  I see no real obstacle to prevent black from consolidating.

- Lost Highway
  
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Re: 2. a3
Reply #59 - 10/16/05 at 07:18:49
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lost highway;
GM Bezgodov did a deep analysis of the positions after Nc2 and he already deviates from you on move 11 with Rb1. But I don't want to copy all the lines that he gives for copyright reasons. If you want to really investigate the opening you should buy the book and then improve on the lines he gives cause now you are kind of reinventing the wheel.
  
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