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Normal Topic Two Knights' Tango; 3 Nf3 e6 4 a3 (Read 3810 times)
Michael Ayton
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Re: Two Knights' Tango; 3 Nf3 e6 4 a3
Reply #1 - 07/05/04 at 10:04:22
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I share your interest in the Tango and hope that someday soon it might be properly covered on ChessPub. Ive often wondered how theory has moved on since Orlovs 98 book.

A ChessBase/ChessLive search doesnt seem to throw up much thats new in the 3 Nf3 e6 4 a3 d6 lines, though I did find a few new ideas. (Please treat the following as a general indication only, though, as Im not a strong player!) After 5 Nc3 g6 6 e4 Bg7 7 Be2 0-0 8 0-0 Black has tried a number of moves other than 8 Re8, which I assume leads to a White edge after 9 Be3 e5 10 d5 Nd4 11 Re1, but are they any better? No less a player than Vlassov has tried 8 e5, which looked odd to me at first since in the 9 Nd2 a5 KID, a3 is a vital move, but maybe the idea is that after 9 d5 Ne7 10 Nd2 here Black might switch to the ...c5 plan where a2-a3 might not be so useful? 8 h6 and 8 Nd7 have also been played, presumably in the hope that White wont have many useful KID moves before Black plays e5. Maybe after 8 Nd7, d5 can sometimes be met by Nd4, but is either try really convincing?

The 4 d5 lines dont, its true, seem very popular. I dont myself like 4 d5 5 Nc3 g6 because of 6 Bg5 Bg7 7 e3 h6 8 Bf6 Bf6 9 cd ed 10 Bb5, but isnt Orlovs 5 Be7 reasonable here? -- e.g. 6 Bg5 h6 7 Bh4 Ne4 (7 a6!? has been seen a couple of times, and obviously dc!? is a try too) 8 Be7 Ne7!? (8 ...Qe7!?) 9 e3 0-0; or alternatively 6 dc 7 e3 Na5 (7 Nd5 is playable but a bit better for White after 8 Be7?) 8 Nd2, and here Orlov gives 8 c5 but whats wrong with simply 8 0-0, transposing to the game Kuhlmann-Simmelink but without h6/Bh4 thrown in? These lines might be a bit boring, but maybe its logical to play on the light squares with d5/dxc4 after White has slightly weakened them with a2-a3?

When I wrote this post a couple of days ago I forgot that Vlassov has also tried 4 g6 on seven occasions (registering four draws and three losses!). This can transpose to 4 d6 lines, but Vlassovs idea was, after 5 Nc3 (5 d5 presumably just transposes) Bg7 6 e4 (6 d5 Ne7 7 e4 0-0 8 Be2 d6 9 0-0 e5 leads to the same tempo-down KID as 4 d6 can, though in Khurtsidze-Vlassov White preferred 9 de fe 10 e5), to try a kind of Grnfeld setup with 6 d5!? 7 e5 (7 Bg5!?) Ne4 8 Bd3 Nc3 9 bc Na5. (After this, just on a whim I searched for the ridiculous-looking 4 b6?!, and found it had actually been played, by - of course! - Tony Miles, though from a Queens Indian move order. After 5 Nc3 d5?! 6 cd ed 7 Bf4? a6 8 e3 Bd6 9 Bd6 Qd6 a draw was agreed, but after 7 Bg5 Black might have needed a spot of ingenuity to get out of the opening alive ...)

Id really appreciate your views on all this, and also on what I take to be perhaps the biggest challenge to the Tango, namely 3 Nc3 e5 4 d5 Ne7 5 h4. After 5 Neg8 (I presume Orlovs 5 g6 is bad, if only because of 6 Bg5 Bg7 7 d6 Nf5 8 e4) 6 a3, 6 a5 has been tried a number of times as well as 6 a6. (Orlov says 6 Bc5 runs into 7 Na4, but is 7 Be7, perhaps intending a quick c6, clearly bad?) One of Orlovs main lines is 6 ...a6 7 Nf3 Ng4 8 e3 f5 9 Be2 Ngf6 10 Qc2 d6 11 Ng5 Qe7 which he concedes is better for White, but with the pawn on a5 cant Black meet 9 Be2 here with 9 ...Bc5 (or 9 Qc2 N8h6 then ...Bc5), immune from b4/d6 thrusts?
« Last Edit: 07/06/04 at 06:47:22 by Michael Ayton »  
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Two Knights' Tango; 3 Nf3 e6 4 a3
04/21/04 at 08:31:05
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The Tango surely remains a good choice for the club player as Black against 1 d4, but is sadly yet to be properly covered on the website. Perhaps that's because White often continues 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 Nc6 3 Nf3 e6 4 Nc3 Bb4 (which has become a Nimzo) or 4 g3 Bb4+ (with a Bogo). However, how do people currently feel about the critical 4 a3!? Is 4...d6 still playable, or must Black play the slightly unnatural feeling 4...d5?
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