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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) Schliemann (Read 8369 times)
CraigEvans
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Re: Schliemann
Reply #12 - 11/23/05 at 16:55:20
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It tells me I replied yesterday to Top's post, yet it hasn't appeared here. However, someone else's reply (which seems to echo many of my sentiments) has. How bizarre. I'll take it the forum's still jacked then?
  

"Give a man a pawn, and he'll smell a rat. Give a man a piece, and he'll smell a patzer." - Me.

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bundesligaspieler
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Re: Schliemann
Reply #11 - 11/23/05 at 12:12:10
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TopNotch:"You intentionally mis-quoted me as saying 4...Nf6 5.O-O Bc5 6.exf5 winning, when what I actually said was that Black did not have sufficient compensation for a pawn(...)

The following line suggested by you also does not represent any improvement for black by any stretch of the imagination: 4...Nf6 5.O-O Bc5 6.exf5 O-O 7.Nc3 [Not the weaker and compliant 7.Bxc6? dxc6 8.Nxe5 Bxf5] and from this position Black scores a whopping 23% in Chessbase Megabase 2004, which is not surprising as he is a pawn down for nebulous compensation."

Why is it necessary to discuss with such
read-headed, arrogant, "i am the greatest"-type
individual? Just leave big TopNotch alone!
Reading these posts alone makes me sick.
It is the same problem like in the Belgrade Gambit
thread where he insulted Bruce Monson, a much
better player than TopNotch.
Who cares if statistics say 23% if the position after
7.Nc3 is absolutely ok (or even =+). Look for comments
from experts in the Bulgarian variation instead of your
uncommented database crap.
Stating that "Black does not have sufficient compensation" is equivalent to White winning, otherwise
Black would have sufficient compensation as pure
mathematics tells us.


  
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TopNotch
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Re: Schliemann
Reply #10 - 11/21/05 at 20:11:42
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@ Fernando - I agree, 4.d3 against the schliemann is completely harmless, I indeed know of two people who only play the Schliemann if they know their opponents will answer in this way.


Just to refresh your failing memory, the above was taken from the Spassky's Kings Gambit thread, I hope you recognise your own words, although it is evident by your current back pedaling that you regret having said them.

Moreover I never claimed that 4.d3 refuted the Schliemann in the first place but only that it afforded white a comfortable and uncomplicated advantage against it, which by your own recent admission you agree with.

You intentionally mis-quoted me as saying 4...Nf6 5.O-O Bc5 6.exf5 winning, when what I actually said was that Black did not have sufficient compensation for a pawn. Regarding your Dilworth analogy, the material imbalance maybe similiar but in this exact position I prefer White, and it is telling that not a single player in my database rated above 2300 chooses to play this way as black. Furthermore there is also John Shaw's treatment which is also most unpleasant for black. One might argue all these lines are slight edges, but for me they are nagging long term edges from which you can torment your opponents to your hearts content.      

On to your next weak argument, yes 6...d6 is indeed passive in the Schliemann when compared with the alternative 6...Bc5 and Black players tend to only choose this path as a consequence of being unable to solve their considerable problems in the 6...Bc5 line. After 6...d6 Black's dark squared bishop's future looks bleak indeed and it is not clear to me what role it will have in the near or distant future, in the meantime all of white's pieces are active and have good prospects. Ok Black has the file, but that alone is not enough compensation for the other defects in his position and any attempts to launch a successful Kingside attack seems a long way off to me unless Black gets to play 4 or 5 moves in a row as most of your previous post seems to suggest.

Also the analogy with the Philidor is misplaced as this is for the most part a passive opening with the Mestel Variation along with some other h6-g5 lines being merely attempts to inject some life into it. Besides The Mestel line is now more or less busted, and you would be hard pressed to find any modern strong player (2300) using this line successfully. Peruse the Philidor threads for more details.

The following line suggested by you also does not represent any improvement for black by any stretch of the imagination: 4...Nf6 5.O-O Bc5 6.exf5 O-O 7.Nc3 [Not the weaker and compliant 7.Bxc6? dxc6 8.Nxe5 Bxf5] and from this position Black scores a whopping 23% in Chessbase Megabase 2004, which is not surprising as he is a pawn down for nebulous compensation.

Feel free to ignore this and future posts as its easier than defending an untenable argument, and if my words carry some sting rest assured it was deliberate. For remember it was you who without provocation attacked me in the Spassky's Kings Gambit thread calling me a troll among other unflattering comments, even assigning me a fictitious rating and claiming that when confronted with offbeat/incorrect openings I would be helpless etc etc etc. Ok thats not a problem for me, I'm a big boy and can take criticism, but know that if you dish it out be prepared to take it and if you post any garbage analysis on the forum I will seek it out and expose it for what it is.

Granted some of your strategic ideas in this line are positionally well founded but nearly always tactically flawed and impossible to implement fully, this may not be entirely your fault but rather a direct consequence of the dodgy Openings you choose to champion.          

In conclusion: 4.d3 is currently a safe and reliable way to secure a nagging advantage against The Schliemann. Two thumbs way up.   

Regards

TopNotch Grin
« Last Edit: 11/22/05 at 19:23:20 by TopNotch »  

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CraigEvans
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Re: Schliemann
Reply #9 - 11/21/05 at 17:24:47
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Right then, a few quick lines (I haven't had much time to look at this line in depth yet since it's a busy time in work).

Firstly, in Top's "Well-known remedy" - Are things really so clear? After 9.b4 Be6 10.Bxc6+ bxc6 11.Qa6 Bb6 12.a4 Nxe4 13.a5 Bxf2+ 14.Rxf2 Nxf2 15.Qxc6+ Kf7 16.Kxf2 Rhf8, an unbalanced position is reached which is somewhat reminiscent of the Dilworth Attack - black's strong centre can roll, the rooks have the open f-file, and it seems to me that in an endgame white's queenside advances can be played against. Perhaps white does have an edge here, I'm no GM. I'm not looking to play the schliemann against a GM. In practical play I'd be more than happy to reach this position as black having previously played the Dilworth.

So 9.Nc3 probably is the better move. Having looked at Shaw's analysis, which was repeated on the chessville website by Andrew Martin, white is probably doing okay there - though I dont think black's position is lost, it's certainly inferior, so 6...d6 should be preferred in this line at the moment.

Secondly, in the 6...d6 line, after 7.Nc3 I see no reason why ...Be6 should be unplayable - if Ng5 then Bg8 followed by ...h6 and ...Be6 and no time has been lost, and one could argue that since black will look for a k-side attack (usually), that ...h6 prepares ...g5 and therefore white could even have lost a tempo. Unless white commits to Bxc6+ giving up the bishop pair in a position which could quite possibly open up, black can even consider Qd7 and O-O-O in some lines. Even Martin and Shaw give white no more than a small edge in these lines, and I find these comments that ...d6 is passive quite odd. In the philidor countergambit (Mestel's Variation?), black plays 2...d6 and then 3...f5, so just because black temporarily blocks his KB in, it doesn't follow that the move is passive. 
In the line given by TopNotch, while white may well score well from the position after 9.h3 Bxf3 10.Qxf3 O-O, it would be more down to the fact that, at least in my database, white tends to outgrade black and, it seems, some black people don't know what they're doing. ...Nd4 is looking to come in, and black can look to play ...h6, ...Nh7 and then Bg5 to get rid of his bad bishop, with ...Nd4 coming in some lines, or ...Qe8-h5. Black's position has possibilities and if this is white's attempt at refutation, it hasn't worked - black's position is structurally sound, he's equal in material, and has clear defined plans. Theoretically he also has an extra central pawn so, if he can swap off bishops, an endgame shouldn't be too unfavourable, either.

As for 4...Nf6 5.O-O Bc5 6.exf5 O-O 7.Bxc6 dxc6 8.Nxe5 Bxf5, I think the bishop pair and slight lead in development are adequate compensation for the pawn. Anyone who feels differently shouldn't even be considering the Schliemann, since it's clear they're not prepared to sacrifice material for the initiative.

It reminds me of an old anecdote involving Karpov and his team of seconds for one of the World Championship matches. After the first couple of games they found a very promising rook sacrifice, and obviously feeling pleased with themselves and anticipating Karpov's positive reaction, they rushed to show it to him. When they did, his retort was simple - "Okay, where's the win?".

Best wishes,
Craig  Grin
  

"Give a man a pawn, and he'll smell a rat. Give a man a piece, and he'll smell a patzer." - Me.

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Re: Schliemann
Reply #8 - 11/21/05 at 13:00:17
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I find this to be a good choice at my u1800 level im only like a 1300. My opponents first shock is when i play e5 but when i whip out 3 f5 they get rather lost. They are not sure what to do. I play 3f5 against the Spanish, Italian, and sometimes even the scotch all with good results! I think that it just takes a sharp tactical mind set to play in this fashion. I have looked at different phildor gambits as well but i will start a thread on those some where else with the latest games up for analysing.

Are there a lot of e5 gambits for black, I keep being attracted to them!
  
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CraigEvans
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Re: Schliemann
Reply #7 - 11/21/05 at 04:59:53
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My apologies to Paddy, I had missed the link to that article and will peruse it when I get home. However, I am sure that there are improvements along the way for black and, if I can dig out any, will again post them before continuing with my 4.Nc3 posts (not sure how long they will take since there is a lot to get through!)

As for TN's post, although I'm impressed that he has broken his usual trend of arguing without variations, I'm amused that he is totally incapable of a single post without needling, and therefore in future I shall be ignoring all posts by him completely - it's sad that someone seems to come on this forum with not only a totally closed mind, but often with the sole intention of antagonising others.

As for the lines which he has so kindly provided, I will take a look at these properly tonight, but on first glance some of them, again, do not look worth a response. For example his criticism of 6...d6, where he provides one variation with three moves and dismisses it completely. He seems to have missed the part where I stated that white can keep an edge after 4.d3, since this would have provided no ammunition for his flaming. However, the point is that in the ...d6 lines, black has the possibility of ...Be6 in some lines, which would prevent Qc4 (unless there is some magical queen sacrifice I'm unaware of). Again, I will try to provide some concrete analysis when I return home.

As for 4...Nf6, where TN states "You claimed here that this should be playable for black, if by this you mean clearly better for white but without a forced win, then I agree " and again solely gives 5.O-O d6 (this time he gives the fantastic subvariation 5...Bc5 6.exf5 winning) 6.exf5 Bxf5 7.d4! - until I have a board in front of me I will not open myself to any variations, but with his subvariation alone I would severely distrust his assessment, since white is going to have to go to some strange lengths (Nh4, for example) to hold the pawn, which will provide the compensation. I'll try to post some concrete analysis on this later, but this is one of the more difficult lines to post anything substantial on since it is relatively untested and much less forcing than other variations. Certainly in my database black scores respectably from 4...Nf6 (43% seems to come to mind).

A final observation on TopNotch's unnecessary comment that, "In fact this remedy is well known nowadays and I am a bit surprised you seem unaware of it." - the reason for this may well be that I've always played the 4...Nf6 lines. It could also be that I've only taken up the black side of 1...e5 over the past 18 months, over which time I have scored 3.5/5 with the Schliemann, with an average opponent of around 1950, two of which have played the 4.Nc3 lines - including my only defeat two weeks ago when my opponent (who achieved an IM norm in the olympiad last year, and outgrades me by around 350 points) played a critical line of the 7...Qg5 main line and, if I'd found 19...Qg4!, black would have been close to equality. It certainly wasn't an easy point for him! The other three have all trotted out 4.d3, and as black I have scored 3/3. So, forgive me if I don't view this as a critical test - in two out of the three white has had his small edge from the opening, but black has had his traditional counterplay.

So, to everyone else I'll post some concrete lines this evening. As for Top, it's been a pleasure debating with you.
  

"Give a man a pawn, and he'll smell a rat. Give a man a piece, and he'll smell a patzer." - Me.

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TopNotch
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Re: Schliemann
Reply #6 - 11/19/05 at 21:35:51
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Ahh, someone beat me to the punch of creating a thread on a "dodgy" gambit for once... congratulations, Alumbrado  Grin

A) Okay, first this 4.d3 line. I'm fairly sure that such a move cannot be critical for the Schliemann's survival, though white can maybe keep his usual small edge.

In Tseitlin's old book on the Schliemann, he gives 6...Bc5 7.Qe2 d6 8.Qc4 Qe7 9.Nc3 Bd7 10.Nd5 Nxd5 11.exd5 Nd4 12.Bxd7+ Qxd7 13.Nxd4 Bxd4 =. Indeed, I can see no reason why this shouldn't be okay for black, so I'm not sure what there's meant to be to fear in this line. If there is some improvement (10.Bg5 a6 doesn't look like one), then black can still always fall back on 6...d6 which cuts out this plan, which again looks fine to me. Or otherwise, the plan of a reversed KGD with 4...Nf6 should also be playable.
Conclusion: White needs some improvement here for 4.d3 to be worrying.


You claimed that 4.d3 was harmless in the Spassky's Kings Gambit thread, and I let it go at the time as I figured it was just a mindless attempt to contradict me. But now I see you actually believe it, so its time to take a closer look to determine what is what.

Perhaps in the eighties when I think Tseitlins book was published 4.d3 may not have been highly regarded, but today, now that its potential has been fully realised, it  represents a very effective and practical way of meeting the Schlieman with the added bonus of not having to assimilate reams and reams of sharp theory which may or may not constitute and outright bust.

Now lets examine your quoted variations which as you stated were pasted from Tseitlin's work:

A) 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 f5?! 4.d3! fxe4 5.dxe4 Nf6 6.0-0 Bc5 7.Qe2 d6 8.Qc4 Qe7 9. b4! Much stronger than the older 9.Nc3 which you cited 9...Be6 10.Bxc6+ bc6 11.Qa6 with a durable advantage for White. In fact this remedy is well known nowadays and I am a bit surprised you seem unaware of it.  

B) 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 f5?! 4.d3! fxe4 5.dxe4 Nf6 6.0-0 d6 This is a passive alternative, and certainly not in keeping with earlier aggressive 3...f5?!. Needles to say White has little difficulty gaining an advantage 7.Nc3 Be7 8.Qd3 Intending 8...0-0 9.Qc4+ winning a pawn, so once again you are dead wrong when you assumed that 6...d6 cut out White's Qc4 ideas. In fact the discovery of this powerful re-occuring theme is one of the main reasons for the revival of 4.d3! 8...Bg4 9.h3 with advantage to White who has scored quite well from this position.  

C) 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 f5?! 4.d3! Nf6?! You claimed here that this should be playable for black, if by this you mean clearly better for white but without a forced win, then I agree 5. 0-0 d6 (5...Bc5 6.exf5 with insufficient compensation for a pawn) 6. exf5 Bxf5 7.d4! With a very unpleasant position for black.  

In the Openings there is a huge inherent danger in relying on old outdated theoretical sources, especially in sharp dodgy lines, as the above analyses clearly illustrate.

Conclusion: 4.d3 is indeed worrying for black and The Schliemann like many other sharp but dubious Gambits, is as usual best suited as a surprise weapon against specific opponents, but cannot be recommended as a mainstay against the Ruy. Perhaps Mr. Evans should take another long hiatus from the forum to re-consider his position.

Yours sincerely,

TN Grin

Postscript: Thanks to Paddy I just came across the following John Shaw analysis -  1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 f5?! 4.d3! fxe4 5.dxe4 Nf6 6.0-0 Bc5 7.Qe2 d6 8.Qc4 Qe7 9.Nc3 Bd7 10.Nd5 Nxd5 11.exd5 Nd4 12.Bxd7+ Qxd7 13.Nxd4! Bxd4 14.a4! a6 (b)14...c6 15.c3 Bb6 16.a5 Bc7 17.a6 ± J. Shaw) 15.Be3 Bxe3 16.fxe3 ±; 9.Nc3 a6 10.Bxc6+ bxc6 11.Be3 Be6 12.Qa4 Bd7 13.Bxc5 dxc5 14.Ne2 ± 1-0 Van de Oudeweetering,A-Bor,W/Eindhoven 1986.

So it seems as if White is spoilt for choice and can get an advantage with the older 9.Nc3 as well. More bad news for CraigEvans in the "harmless" 4.d3 line.
« Last Edit: 11/22/05 at 19:13:02 by TopNotch »  

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Paddy
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Re: Schliemann
Reply #5 - 11/19/05 at 19:42:33
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A) Okay, first this 4.d3 line. I'm fairly sure that such a move cannot be critical for the Schliemann's survival, though white can maybe keep his usual small edge.

In Tseitlin's old book on the Schliemann, he gives 6...Bc5 7.Qe2 d6 8.Qc4 Qe7 9.Nc3 Bd7 10.Nd5 Nxd5 11.exd5 Nd4 12.Bxd7+ Qxd7 13.Nxd4 Bxd4 =. Indeed, I can see no reason why this shouldn't be okay for black, so I'm not sure what there's meant to be to fear in this line. If there is some improvement (10.Bg5 a6 doesn't look like one), then black can still always fall back on 6...d6 which cuts out this plan, which again looks fine to me. Or otherwise, the plan of a reversed KGD with 4...Nf6 should also be playable.
[


Sometimes I wonder why I bother. The position after 13 Nxd4 Bxd4 is analysed in John Shaw's book and also in the web article by Martin that I mentioned and which is still available.

As a Schliemann fan, I would dearly LOVE to be able to dismiss 4 d3 as harmless - after all Black has a good pawn structure and the f-file. But theory and practice have moved on a lot since Tseitlin's book and Black's results in the line in question are not good. BTW, you can find further material, mostly depressing for Black, in an article by Van der Tak in YB73 (2004). As far as I can see, Black needs a major improvement somewhere for 6...Bc5 to be viable against a well-prepared White. I hope one can be found. If Black needs to have recourse to 6...d6 or 4...Nf6, he's in trouble.
  
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CraigEvans
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Re: Schliemann
Reply #4 - 11/19/05 at 16:45:14
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Ahh, someone beat me to the punch of creating a thread on a "dodgy" gambit for once... congratulations, Alumbrado  Grin

A) Okay, first this 4.d3 line. I'm fairly sure that such a move cannot be critical for the Schliemann's survival, though white can maybe keep his usual small edge.

In Tseitlin's old book on the Schliemann, he gives 6...Bc5 7.Qe2 d6 8.Qc4 Qe7 9.Nc3 Bd7 10.Nd5 Nxd5 11.exd5 Nd4 12.Bxd7+ Qxd7 13.Nxd4 Bxd4 =. Indeed, I can see no reason why this shouldn't be okay for black, so I'm not sure what there's meant to be to fear in this line. If there is some improvement (10.Bg5 a6 doesn't look like one), then black can still always fall back on 6...d6 which cuts out this plan, which again looks fine to me. Or otherwise, the plan of a reversed KGD with 4...Nf6 should also be playable.
Conclusion: White needs some improvement here for 4.d3 to be worrying.

B) 4.d4!? is, to my knowledge, unrefuted - apart from the critical 4.Nc3! this seems like the only plausible move for white to punish black's impudence with 3...f5. I'll only consider the main line, viz 4...fxe4 5.Nxe5 Nxe5 6.dxe5 c6 7.Nc3 cxb5 8.Nxe4 d5 (I've toyed with ideas like 8...Qb6 in blitz games, as no books to my knowledge offer any alternatives to 8...d5 and probably rightly so, but anyone playing this line as white will suddenly find themselves out of the forcing theory and, let's face it, a piece down. However, I doubt the move is any good in reality) 9.exd6 Nf6.

Now white, in reality, only has two moves - 10.Qd4 and 10.Bg5! - 10.O-O has been known to be weaker for a long time, as black can consolidate his material advantage.

A1) 10.Qd4 Nxe4 11.Qxe4+ Kf7 and now 12.Qd5+ Be6 13.Qxb7+ Kg8 14.Bf4 Rb8 (14...Rc8 15.Rd1!? Qd7 16.Qe4 Rc4 17.Qe3 h6 18.O-O g5?! and white won in Bigot - Hermann, 1990. 18...Rxc2 may be more critical, but white seems fine after 19.Be5 or 19.Rfe1.) 15.Qe4 Qd7 16.O-O is given as equal by Tseitlin, however I would think in practice white would have more fun from here, centralising his two rooks.
However, black can play 13...Kg6 as well. Now Tseitlin gives 14.h4 h5! 15.Bg5 Qa5+ 16.Bd2 Qd8 17.Bg5=. However, I find all this a little puzzling, since instead 17.Bc3!? looks like a move if white wants to play on, defending the d-pawn indirectly due to the threat on g7. Maybe the complications after 17...Rb8 18.Qe4+ Bf5 19.Qe3 Bxc2 20.O-O favour black, but my impression is that white should have play for a draw, for example 20...Bxd6 21.Rad1!! Bh2+ 22.Kxh2 Qxh4+ 23.Kg1 Bxd1 24.Qd3+ Kf7 25.Qf5+. The position is rich in possibilities, so I'll leave everyone work it out for themselves.
To my knowledge, 17.Bc3 has never been mentioned or played, so it may well be worth a shot since it's unlikely black will have a clue what's happening, and it wont be easy to find the best lines OTB. (If anyone comes up with a bust to this idea, please let me know!)

A2) 10.Bg5! (Tseitlin's exclamation, not mine, I prefer ?!) Qa5+ 11.Nc3! b4 12.Bxf6 gxf6 13.Nd5 b3+ and black gets an advantage - I find it difficult to argue with this this assessment.
Conclusion: White is struggling in the lines after 10.Bg5 if black is aware of the theory, however there looks like plenty of scope for experimentation after 10.Qd4 Nxe4 11.Qxe4+, and a draw if white wants it. Maybe there's improvements waiting to be found in the 10.O-O lines too!

I'll continue with C) 4.Nc3 in my next post!
  

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Re: Schliemann
Reply #3 - 11/19/05 at 09:16:54
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It has been a long time since I practized the Jänisch-Schliemann, so my knowledge probably needs a thorough update.
I never feared 4.d3 and had good results as Black. Usually I got a king of KGD with colours reversed; White's extra move Bb5 never proved to useful. But I assume, that I must take a look at that Qd1-e2-c4 manoeuvre.
The piece sac is dangerous, but as far as I know incorrect.
So 4.Nc3 is the way to go. I agree with Markovich, that fxe4 5.Nxe4 d5 6.Nxe5 Qg5 is almost lost, but I do not know about Qd5. In the 80's 5...Nf6 has been popular, but I never really liked it.
4...Nf6 and 4...Nd4 can lead to the same main line, which is basically the same as the King's Bishop Gambit with Nc6 and Bb4. Especially Parma has had a lot of success with it in the 70's and I think White must avoid it. Of course he can and he has prospects of keeping a +=. At the moment I have a friendly email game going on with 4...Nf6. In the future I will post it, with analysis.
  

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Re: Schliemann
Reply #2 - 11/18/05 at 19:30:49
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[quote author=Willempie link=board=1-1e4e5;num=1132327154;start=0#1 date=11/18/05 at 17:47:43]It isnt Kaufmann's idea btw. I took it (the d3 Qe2-c4 idea) up a lot earlier, because I read something somewhere Roll Eyes
/quote]

First place I saw it was in John Shaw's "Starting out..." book. Then Andrew Martin showed it at
http://www.chessville.com/

I think it's also on Martin's Ruy Lopez DVD for Chessbase.
It's also appeared recently in Lane's The Ruy Lopez Explained.
  
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Re: Schliemann
Reply #1 - 11/18/05 at 17:47:43
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It isnt Kaufmann's idea btw. I took it (the d3 Qe2-c4 idea) up a lot earlier, because I read something somewhere Roll Eyes
So far I have a 100% score with it, albeit against lesser opposition. Loads of black players seem to know the idea and go into passive mode with d6 before their bishop is out.
  

If nothing else works, a total pig-headed unwillingness to look facts in the face will see us through.
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Schliemann
11/18/05 at 10:19:12
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Some interesting comments in other threads about this.  I am thinking particularly of you, Mr Craig Evans ...

I have always been under the impression, without really knowing much about it, that 4.Nc3 was the way to go, but with Black having three rather tricky options (albeit not necessarily all any good) at that point, my choice when I faced the Schliemann recently was to play 4.d3, less embarrassed to chicken out than I would otherwise have been by virtue of Kaufman's recommendation in CABW.

I felt I got a small edge and was eventually able to bring home the point (against an opponent of roughly similar strength), but Black certainly had good play on the kingside and I had to play pretty accurately at various points.

I was particularly interested to read one post which suggested that after 4.Nc3 fxe4 5.Nxe4 d5, the 'main line', endorsed by Khalifman in OWATA1, with 6.Nxe5 is no longer considered all that dangerous for Black and that 6.Ng3 was a better try for advantage.

I would be interested to see where Black's improvement is over the existing theory, which all seems to give at least a += after 6.Nxe5.

Also after 4.d3, does Black do better to delay ...fxe4 or just get on with it?  Kaufman's idea of Qe2-c4 seems a bit annoying for Black after an immediate exchange, but he reckons that if Black leaves the pawn on f5 too long, White can take it and hold it.  Interested to hear Schliemann advocates' views on this.

Finally, I was always quite drawn to the piece sac to which Craig alludes elsewhere: 4.d4!? fxe4 5.Nxe5 Nxe5 6.dxe5 c6 7.Nc3! cxb5 8.Nxe4.  What is the state of theory, such as it is, on this?
  

If sometimes we fly too close to the sun, at least this shows we are spreading our wings.
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