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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Main Line Cambridge Springs (Read 17923 times)
Smyslov_Fan
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Re: Main Line Cambridge Springs
Reply #40 - 09/23/05 at 00:11:35
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Inn2,

I can see your point about playing the Exchange variation earlier, but we're also talking about possible transpositions from Slav lines, so the actual move order may vary.

About 7.Nd2 in the main line Cambridge Springs looking "artificial":  when I first saw it I thought the same thing.  Then I started looking at concrete variations and fell in love with it.  Ok, so it's not a beauty, but it's here for the long haul.  (I'm not married to it, I just play it!  8) )
  
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Re: Main Line Cambridge Springs
Reply #39 - 09/22/05 at 23:42:38
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apologies to smyslov_fan,  7. Nd2 is too artificial for my taste and if I wanted 6. cd5 (with Nf3 already in) I would have played it earlier! Smiley

@lost highway, what would you say is Black's best plan after 6. e3 Qa5 7. cxd5 Nxd5 8. Qd2 ?
  
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lost highway
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Re: Main Line Cambridge Springs
Reply #38 - 09/21/05 at 11:06:55
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Well, it is far too big a subject to get into really, but plenty of experience over the years suggests that there is no real problem in the Exchange Variation if (and I repeat) Black knows what he is doing.  White has a slight initiative but Black has counterplay and if he knows the key ideas (Sadler's Queen's Gambit Declined scores very highly here) he can usually stymie White's minority attack.

Granted, Black isn't going to win too many games against strong opposition, but that's the price you pay for solidity most of the time.


Alumbrado -

I partly agree with your assessment...no real problem, but black needs to know what he is doing.  However, in the specific line I have been discussing with Smyslov_Fan, white has no "minority attack" left because I've taken his b and c pawns.  Also, the early middlegame positions that result look equal or better for black, so he should win just as many games (if not more) from those positions than white.

- Lost Highway
  
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Smyslov_Fan
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Re: Main Line Cambridge Springs
Reply #37 - 09/21/05 at 10:31:50
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Alumbrado,

I too like Sadler's book!  I disagree with you about how worried Black should be in this particular Exchange line, but that's what makes chess so much fun!  I love to fight out these disagreements over the board.  It's a shame that we probably will never meet otb, since when I go to England it's to visit relatives and see new/old sights and I'm sure you'd be vacationing if you ever came to Colorado. Smiley

(BTW, the posting you quoted was indeed by lost highway, but those were my words.  I think Lost would agree with you on your evaluation.)
  
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alumbrado
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Re: Main Line Cambridge Springs
Reply #36 - 09/21/05 at 08:23:35
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Alumbrado, that's exactly the point I've been trying to argue against!  White is doing just fine in this version of the QGD Exchange despite its reputation for being harmless!  The games I've shown are just a snippet of the real trouble Black has in the QGD Exchange with Nf3.
I believe this makes the discussion of the move order that much more critical. 
Posted by: lost highway Posted on: 20.09.2005 at 19:10:28


Well, it is far too big a subject to get into really, but plenty of experience over the years suggests that there is no real problem in the Exchange Variation if (and I repeat) Black knows what he is doing.  White has a slight initiative but Black has counterplay and if he knows the key ideas (Sadler's Queen's Gambit Declined scores very highly here) he can usually stymie White's minority attack.

Granted, Black isn't going to win too many games against strong opposition, but that's the price you pay for solidity most of the time.
  

If sometimes we fly too close to the sun, at least this shows we are spreading our wings.
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lost highway
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Re: Main Line Cambridge Springs
Reply #35 - 09/21/05 at 06:20:41
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Smyslov_Fan –

I’m glad you enjoyed your food and drink.  Good food and drink is good for the mind, and helps you think better.  But too much would have the opposite effect. Wink

Your advice is certainly correct.  Always be careful (and suspicious) when thinking about grabbing a loose pawn offered or overlooked by your opponent.  In this particular case that we have been discussing, I have been careful.  The resulting positions generally become very open and both sides need to watch their steps. With careful play, black gets a safe and very playable game.  It may look risky at first, but if black knows what he is doing (like I think I do), the tide begins to turn and white may become nervous when he realizes that he really can’t blow black away.  Then, when black’s pieces start to deploy in threatening locations (Qc7 for example), white may regret the fact that he is a pawn down.

In the line we have in front of us now, after 14…Qb4, I would anticipate 15.d5 (there are other moves that are inferior) and then I would play 15…c5.  I’m happy with this.  Perhaps this may occur:  16.Qc2 O-O 17.Rb1 Qa5 and I would still be happy.  I don’t know if white would be as happy.

- Lost Highway
  
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Re: Main Line Cambridge Springs
Reply #34 - 09/21/05 at 00:45:06
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Please, give my Fritz a break and believe that taking the c-pawn is hazardous for your health!!!


Sure. But white has to still look over his shoulders for Ragozin and Semi slav among others before he gets that position. That's lot of hard work. For lazi bums like me, that cure for all maladies, Nbd2, is still fun. Wink
  

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Re: Main Line Cambridge Springs
Reply #33 - 09/20/05 at 21:32:22
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Lost,

My poor computer may have a cold right now Cry, but my brain is still ok. (At the moment, it's rather happy, having had a delicious Spaghetti Bolognese dinner served with a nice Pinot Noir.  Normally I prefer a Super Tuscan, but this Pinot from Turning Leaf was very satisfying. 8)  This is one of my household's favorite "comfort" meals!)

I still believe that White has clearly shown his advantage, and I'm not even pretending that the game I gave you is a perfect model.  As I stated earlier, it's a rather extreme example of how an unrated player can dominate even an expert when the expert gets greedy.  So, have some compassion for my poor, sick silicon friend, and look at the awful position I've asked it to defend. 

Please, give my Fritz a break and believe that taking the c-pawn is hazardous for your health!!!
  
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lost highway
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Re: Main Line Cambridge Springs
Reply #32 - 09/20/05 at 20:06:10
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Lost,

It's amazing, but you're right:  when white wins in under 20 moves, Black has probably made a pretty big mistake.  Shocked

You correctly point out that 12...Be7 was not exactly the best move, but you neglect to point out that even after the best move, Black is, shall we say, "struggling".  In fact, I would again use this example to show my students what happens when you rely on a computer to analyse a game.  It's clear that White has plenty of compensation for the pawn, and I didn't show you a more complex game between stronger opponents because even an unrated player can find ways to attack in this position!

Ok, you may be saying right about now, "Show me."  Here's one idea that I tried against the silicon monster from the previous game position:



Kuemin,S - Berchtold,G (2070) [D52]
Pizol op Pizol, 1997

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.Bg5 Nbd7 6.cxd5 exd5 7.e3 Qa5 8.Bd3 Ne4 9.0-0 Nxc3 10.bxc3 Qxc3 11.e4 h6 12.Bh4 Be7 [12...dxe4 13.Bxe4 Bd6 14.Rc1 Qb2 15.Bc2 0-0 16.Qd3 g6 17.Bg3 Bxg3 18.fxg3 Nb6 19.Bb3 (19.Ne5 Bf5) 19...Bf5 20.Qe3 Kg7 21.Ne5 Rad8 22.g4 Be6 23.Bxe6 fxe6 24.Qe4 (24.g5 Qxd4 25.Qxd4 Rxd4 26.gxh6+) ] 13.Bxe7 Kxe7 14.exd5 cxd5 15.Re1+ Kd8 16.Qe2 Qb4 17.Ne5 Qf8 18.Rac1 Nb8 19.Qc2 1-0

Amazingly, Fritz (playing in fast mode) lost in 24 moves.  It's a tremendous improvement!   Cheesy

Yes, I know that play can be improved, but why bother when all the GMs seem to know, "Don't try to win that c-pawn!!!"


SF -

Too bad, but even your silicon monster seems to have a glitch if it tells you to play 14...Qb2?   Grin  Time to send it back to the repair shop.  You can help the poor little thing by giving it a hint (14...Qb4)

- Lost Highway
  
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Smyslov_Fan
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Re: Main Line Cambridge Springs
Reply #31 - 09/20/05 at 18:53:08
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Lost,

It's amazing, but you're right:  when white wins in under 20 moves, Black has probably made a pretty big mistake.  Shocked

You correctly point out that 12...Be7 was not exactly the best move, but you neglect to point out that even after the best move, Black is, shall we say, "struggling".  In fact, I would again use this example to show my students what happens when you rely on a computer to analyse a game.  It's clear that White has plenty of compensation for the pawn, and I didn't show you a more complex game between stronger opponents because even an unrated player can find ways to attack in this position!

Ok, you may be saying right about now, "Show me."  Here's one idea that I tried against the silicon monster from the previous game position:



Kuemin,S - Berchtold,G (2070) [D52]
Pizol op Pizol, 1997

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.Bg5 Nbd7 6.cxd5 exd5 7.e3 Qa5 8.Bd3 Ne4 9.0-0 Nxc3 10.bxc3 Qxc3 11.e4 h6 12.Bh4 Be7 [12...dxe4 13.Bxe4 Bd6 14.Rc1 Qb2 15.Bc2 0-0 16.Qd3 g6 17.Bg3 Bxg3 18.fxg3 Nb6 19.Bb3 (19.Ne5 Bf5) 19...Bf5 20.Qe3 Kg7 21.Ne5 Rad8 22.g4 Be6 23.Bxe6 fxe6 24.Qe4 (24.g5 Qxd4 25.Qxd4 Rxd4 26.gxh6+) ] 13.Bxe7 Kxe7 14.exd5 cxd5 15.Re1+ Kd8 16.Qe2 Qb4 17.Ne5 Qf8 18.Rac1 Nb8 19.Qc2 1-0

Amazingly, Fritz (playing in fast mode) lost in 24 moves.  It's a tremendous improvement!   Cheesy

Yes, I know that play can be improved, but why bother when all the GMs seem to know, "Don't try to win that c-pawn!!!"
  
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lost highway
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Re: Main Line Cambridge Springs
Reply #30 - 09/20/05 at 18:10:28
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Hey, let's not worry about who we bore, as long as it isn't ourselves!

If they get bored, they can always read another thread.  There are hundreds out there.

The most important test of an offer of material is whether taking it is sound.  In this case, it's been offered numerous times, and I've only found two cases where Black played ...Nxc3.  In both cases, he got trounced.  Here's the most convincing one:



Kuemin,S - Berchtold,G (2070) [D52]
Pizol op Pizol, 1997

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.Bg5 Nbd7 6.cxd5 exd5 7.e3 Qa5 8.Bd3 Ne4 9.0-0 Nxc3 10.bxc3 Qxc3 11.e4 h6 12.Bh4 Be7 13.Bxe7 Kxe7 14.exd5 cxd5 15.Re1+ Kd8 16.Qe2 Qb4 17.Ne5 Qf8 18.Rac1 Nb8 19.Qc2 1-0

OUCH!

You could transpose into this line by playing 10....h6 11.Bh4 12.Qc3 as Fritz suggests, but you're still gonna get blown away.  I'm glad you asked about this, because I now have another game to show my students about how to attack the uncastled King!

(How can games like this actually be boring?)


Smyslov_Fan –

It looks like you need to take your database to the repair shop.  All it seems to do is spit out bad games, bad moves, and bad statistics.  The latest example is that absurd Kuemin-Berchtold game it fed to you.  Poor Berchtold must have accidentally touched his bishop and had to move it to e7.  What else could account for 12…Be7? when the obvious (and much better) 12…de4 was right there in front of his face?  How does this stuff get in your database?  I’d turn the thing off for a while and give it a rest, or send it back for repairs.  Even one of your students would see 12…de4.  Wink

- Lost Highway


  
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Smyslov_Fan
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Re: Main Line Cambridge Springs
Reply #29 - 09/20/05 at 09:30:22
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...[I]t makes sense just to leave it at home and play normal Exchange QGD lines, which are fine for Black if he knows what he is doing.




Alumbrado, that's exactly the point I've been trying to argue against!  White is doing just fine in this version of the QGD Exchange despite its reputation for being harmless!  The games I've shown are just a snippet of the real trouble Black has in the QGD Exchange with Nf3.
I believe this makes the discussion of the move order that much more critical.
  
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Re: Main Line Cambridge Springs
Reply #28 - 09/20/05 at 09:25:56
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GM Smagin has shown that cd5 after Black has played Qa5 allows for Nxd5 which is indeed considered to be good for Black according to Burgess & Pedersen in The Queen's Gambit for the Attacking Player.  I haven't done any extra research recently, but I do remember that Smagin crushed a few strong GMs as Black using that very weapon and I haven't seen that move order very much since.  (But I haven't been looking.)
  
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alumbrado
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Re: Main Line Cambridge Springs
Reply #27 - 09/20/05 at 09:18:40
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I don't get it.  Obviously if White plays cxd5 before Black has played ...Qa5 then Black has to take back with the pawn as ...Nxd5 drops the queen.  And in that case, after he has played ...exd5, the queen would be somewhat misplaced on a5 so it makes sense just to leave it at home and play normal Exchange QGD lines, which are fine for Black if he knows what he is doing.

The interesting question is, whether the lines with ...Nxd5 are any good for Black.
  

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Re: Main Line Cambridge Springs
Reply #26 - 09/20/05 at 09:12:29
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@John,

The move order that we're using makes Nxd5 poor.  That's why we've been focusing on other ideas than traditional Cambridge Springs moves.  We've also been trying to get a reasonable Cambridge Springs despite the move order.
  
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