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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) Two Knights Variation - your opinions please (Read 5112 times)
MNb
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Re: Two Knights Variation - your opinions please
Reply #10 - 12/16/04 at 18:42:54
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I think I must apologize, as I have forgotten about the recommendation 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.d3 d5 5.exd5 Nxd5 6.o-o Bg4 7.Re1 Qd6. But I still think White is better after 8.h3 Bh5 9.Nbd2 o-o-o 10.Ne4 Qd7 Komljakov-Calderin, Olympiade 1998, 11.Bb5 with increasing pressure on e5.
As I have stated somewhere, Black's best chance for active play is 4...Bc5
A) 5.Nc3 d6 6.Bg5 (here Paddy and Markovich have the opportunity to teach about the dangers of castling early) Na5!? 7.Nd5 Nxc4 8.dxc4 Bxf2+ with interesting complications.
B) 5.c3 a6 (avoids d6 6.b4!?) 6.o-o d6 7.Bb3 o-o 8.Nbd2 Ba7 (and here one can teach about the meaning of transpositions) and the normal move 9.Re1?! Ng4! 10.Re2 Kh8 followed by f7-f5 leads to sharp play again.
Somewhere Markovich states simply 4.d3 Be7 or Bc5 with equal play. This might be formally speaking correct, but Black must play accurately to maintain that equality. That is what I mean, when I say that 4.d3 is the only way to play for an advantage; after other White 4th moves Black's play is easier. It is not by chance, that this system can be compared with the Closed Variation of the Ruy Lopez - another dangerous White system that is theoretically equal.
When I was still young, strong and beautiful I scored about 90% with 4.Nc3?! Nxe4 as Black.
So my opinion is: Black should prefer the Two Knights Defense to the Italian proper but prepare 4.d3 carefully.

On a beginners level I would recommend for White the direct continuation 4.d4 exd4 5.o-o Bc5 (Nxe4 is safest) 6.c3!? which also can be reached by 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.c3 Nf6 5.d4 exd4 6.o-o!? or even the transposition 1.e4 e5 2.d4 exd4 3.Nf3 Nc6 (Bc5 4.c3!?) 4.Bc4 Bc5 (Nf6 5.o-o) 5.c3 Nf6 6.o-o!?
I agree with Markovich that it is very useful to get experience in these lines - as soon as one gets stronger, it is handy to know how to meet all those Italian/Scotch lines with confidence. My experience lead to the following game:

Mungroo,F - MNb [C55]
Interclub Suriname, 2002
1.e4 e5 2.Pf3 Pc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Lc4 Pf6 5.e5 d5 6.Lb5 Pe4 7.Pxd4 Lc5 8.0-0 0-0 9.Lxc6 bxc6 10.f3 f6 11.exf6 Dxf6 12.c3 La6 13.Te1 Dh4 14.fxe4 Df2+ 15.Kh1 Lf1 0-1
In case you think White is an absolute nitwit, he drew with GM Campora on the last Olympiade.
  

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JEGutman
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Re: Two Knights Variation - your opinions please
Reply #9 - 12/09/04 at 18:29:01
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Well, worth pointing out that in the 28 master games in this line I found black only scored 25% which doesn't make it particularly inspiring even as a practical weapon.  These lines also tend to have a bad theoretical reputation so maybe it's best to find a line with some redeeming qualitiy.
  
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Re: Two Knights Variation - your opinions please
Reply #8 - 12/09/04 at 04:38:27
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Quote:
. For 6...Bg4 conceeding the bishop pair look at Larsen-Berger, Amsterdam1964.
In all these lines White should be += or better!


In 6...Bg4 line, after 7.Re1 Qd6 , Black's position seems to be defendable, or am I missing something?
  
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MNb
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Re: Two Knights Variation - your opinions please
Reply #7 - 12/08/04 at 20:49:32
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Thanks, Michael, stupid enough I had not noticed this fault myself. To my previous post, I might add that I think that White's best is 6.Re1, making d7-d5 unattractive.
  

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Re: Two Knights Variation - your opinions please
Reply #6 - 12/08/04 at 20:38:35
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Ah yes, just sussed it! The Radev--Inkiov score as given on BigBase seems to make sense if you replace 16 Re2?? with 16 Re4!
  
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MNb
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Re: Two Knights Variation - your opinions please
Reply #5 - 12/08/04 at 20:10:34
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I agree with Tracke. Harding in his 1973 book on the Bishop's Game already stated that Black is probably lost.
In photophore's line - already played in Radev-Inkiov, Pamporovo 1982 - 10.Qf3 (in stead of 10.Re1) is a clear improvement. Indeed this line is similar to the Marshall's Gambit in the Ruy Lopez - in fact 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d3 d5? was also employed by Marshall - but White is a tempo up, because he has not played c2-c3 yet.
Black's idea is stronger if he delays d7-d5 a little, for instance 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.d3 Be7 5.o-o o-o 6.c3 and now d5!? is considerably stronger.
  

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Re: Two Knights Variation - your opinions please
Reply #4 - 12/08/04 at 19:53:15
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I find the variation:1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bc4 Nf6 4 d3 d5
5 exd5 Nxd5 6 O-O Be7 7 Re1 O-O 8 Nxe5 Nxe5
9 Rxe5 c6 10 Re1 Bd6 11 Nd2 Qh4 , very similar to Marshall gambit
  
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Michael Ayton
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Re: Two Knights Variation - your opinions please
Reply #3 - 12/08/04 at 10:40:33
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I love the way Larsen stamped out counterplay in this game but could Black have tried 11 ...Nb4 perhaps? Are things so straightforward after that?
  
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Re: Two Knights Variation - your opinions please
Reply #2 - 12/08/04 at 10:12:01
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"Officially" this line belongs to the Bishop´s Opening 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d3 (ECO C24), there you´ll find plenty of material to 3...d5?! 4.exd5 Nxd5 5.Nf3 Nc6.
Curiously 2.Bc4 is the only white setup in the Open Games where the immediate counterstrike d7-d5 seems to be simply bad.
White continues with 6.0-0 and now Black has serious problems to develop as White will pressure on Pe5. It´s impossible to give a forced line to white advantage but if you simply play some moves further and analyze you´ll see. 6...Nb6 runs into 7.Bb3 Bd6 8.Ng5 0-0 9.Qh5 +- and on something like f7-f6 White will open the game with d3-d4 and advantage. After 6...Bc5 7.Re1 0-0 White has to be careful (8.Nxe5 Nxe5 9.Rxe5 Bxf2!) but he can play 8.Bg5 or 8.c3 with d4 to follow. For 6...Bg4 conceeding the bishop pair look at Larsen-Berger, Amsterdam1964.
In all these lines White should be += or better!
  
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Re: Two Knights Variation - your opinions please
Reply #1 - 12/08/04 at 07:28:38
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Well I think this move is maybe Premature , but according to Ian Pinski in his book , this move is dangerous to white too
So , my opinion is based only on the other books
As for me ,I am interested in that line but I have no personal experience and yet I should wish to know a good line to counter 4 d3 , that I find quite boring
Friendly Yours
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Two Knights Variation - your opinions please
12/08/04 at 06:49:56
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1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.d3 d5

what do you think about 4...d5?

can this move be refuted?
  
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