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Meat
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Re: Some questions on four pawns
Reply #9 - 07/07/06 at 13:32:54
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Damn, another sharp main line I must learn...  Sad
  
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Re: Some questions on four pawns
Reply #8 - 07/07/06 at 12:54:49
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Meat wrote on 07/06/06 at 18:31:37:
Good overview Markovich, but what about the Benko-like systems where black plays b5 and a6?

I've had great success with it, and as a 4 pawns players usually is out for a sharp attack I like to give him some of his own medicine.

But what does theory say here? Is that playable for black or must he rely on the main line?


The essential reference is Anatoly Vaisser's book, which is still in print.  He takes a dim view of Black's Benko-like rejoinder, and my experience has given me the same opinion.  My personal view is that there is exactly one adequate answer to the 4PA, and that is 5...0-0  6. Nf3 c5  7. d5 e6  8. Be2 exd5  9. cxd5! Re8.  The nice thing for White, of course, is that that is exactly the game he wants to play, and that Black has to be very well booked up.  But I think that objectively, it's pretty much equal.   

Even so, I've won several nice CC games in that line.  It's not so hard for Black to slide into a worse position.  White's passed d-pawn is dangerous.  I tell my students that playing such open, dynamic positions is like standing in a small circle and trading punches with the likes of John L. Sullivan.  If your every move isn't a powerful blow, you'll lose the initiative and soon enough be knocked out.  Thus, the usual way for either side to lose after 9...Re8 is not to play forcefully enough.

There are those who think that 5...0-0  6. Nf3 Na6 is fully adequate; I disagree.  the uncommon 6...Nbd7 looks suspicious, but it hasn't been refuted, so far as I know.

There is always a certain smugness about the 4PA in the repertoire books for Black, but it often happens that the refutation du jour is abandoned without much explanation by its former advocates.  At one time 9...Bg5  10. 0-0 Nbd7 was considered to be THE answer to the 4PA, but it isn't seen that much any more.
  

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Re: Some questions on four pawns
Reply #7 - 07/06/06 at 18:31:37
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Good overview Markovich, but what about the Benko-like systems where black plays b5 and a6?

I've had great success with it, and as a 4 pawns players usually is out for a sharp attack I like to give him some of his own medicine.

But what does theory say here? Is that playable for black or must he rely on the main line?
  
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Re: Some questions on four pawns
Reply #6 - 07/06/06 at 16:27:11
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When linking to Hansen's reviews use the pdf-links in the archives section, otherwise the link only directs to the most recent review page.

http://www.chesscafe.com/text/hansen83.pdf is the link
  

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Re: Some questions on four pawns
Reply #5 - 04/05/06 at 22:29:40
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A review of The Fearsome Four Pawns Attack appears on http://www.chesscafe.com/hansen/hansen.htm

AG
  
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Re: Some questions on four pawns
Reply #4 - 03/15/06 at 18:27:06
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I've used the 4PA for a long time with good success.  White sacrifices time in exchange for space, a very dynamic idea.  In its cxd5 form, it's underrated.  The main idea is to strive for e4-e5 and then ram the d-pawn down Black's throat (if Black fails to exchange on e5, then e5-e6 is usually strong).   There is a book, some years old now, by French GM Anatoly Vaisser, which is a must-have for 4PA players.  Vaisser has played the 4PA innumerable times, and his games merit study.   For a long time in the 90s, Black's rock-solid rejoinder was supposed to be 6...c5  7. d5 Bg4  8. Be2 Nbd7, but after some years, it became apparent that this does not stop White's play if he hurries his h-rook to e1.  Nowadays many Blacks rely on 6...Na6, but as discussed by Vaisser in the latest NIC Yearbook, cracks are also appearing in this system.  I think Black's best play is, in fact, the theoretical main line: 6...c5  7. d5 e6  8. Be2 exd5  9. cxd5 Re8 (as an example of the juicy possibilities, if 9...a6? then 10. e5 is very strong, for example, 10...Ng5 11. e6 fxe6  12. Ng5), but this requires thorough preparation and gives White exactly the sort of game he wants.  One word of caution about this line: don't play d5-d6 before Black develops his QN, otherwise, it'll jump out on c6.

The system with exd5 is crushing if Black doesn't understand that he must prevent f4-f5.  But if Black knows what he's doing, it's pretty harmless.  I don't care at all for the lines where White meets c7-c5 with something other than d4-d5.  Black exchanges on d4, and White has a very loose sort of Maroczy Bind.

If Black plays 6...e5, then 7. fxe5 dxe5  8. d5 and the game is less open, but the exchange of his f-pawn for Black's d-pawn is very good for White, who will often strive for c4-c5.

I don't say the 4PA beats the KID; I merely say it gives White reasonable play for the win, and would be a good weapon for anyone who enjoys open positions.
  

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Re: Some questions on four pawns
Reply #3 - 03/14/06 at 22:06:17
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Do you mean the book discussed in the March 8 chesscafe Skittles room article? (http://www.chesscafe.com/skittles/skittles.htm)

I must say I personally don't like the books by Jerzy Konikowski that I've looked at so far, they all seemed a bit too dry, lacking in spirit and written without a total understanding of the opening (as you get if a true specialist writes on his "own" opening - in the case of the 4pawns e.g. Vaisser in his book).

Since I used to play the 4pawns, I browsed through the excerpt for a bit... I seem to recall that 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f4 0-0 6.Nf3 c5 7.d5 e6 8.Be2 exd5 9.e5 is just not very good, but they write about "the main line in Chapter 9.III (i.e. 8.Be2 exd5 9.e5 dxe5 10.fxe5 Ng4 11.Bg5 Qa5)." That surely just isn't the main line here and 9...Ne4 is the critical test (okay there are improvements on the usually suggested variations, but the position just isn't very good for white).

When they write on 9.cxd5 Re8 that "The variation after 10.Nd2 has less venom, and Black shouldn't have any great problems in equalizing (see Chapter 14).", I do wonder what they write in chapter 13 on 9...Nbd7, that usually gives black the option to transpose to 9...Re8 lines without allowing white to play 10.e5.

Oh, well. Who knows, really... Maybe they actually do offer some new ideas (or maybe we get another brief summary of Vaisser's book such as Dunnington's chapter on the KID in his Attacking with 1.d4 book).
  
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Re: Some questions on four pawns
Reply #2 - 03/14/06 at 21:41:31
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Just played an enjoyable four pawns game. I see there's a brand new book out on the four pawns. Great! Anybody know anything about it - worth getting?
  
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Re: Some questions on four pawns
Reply #1 - 02/14/06 at 23:13:43
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I think Fine's assessment is a bit on the harsh side. Maybe it is easier to get dynamic equality against the 4pawns than in the Bayonnet, but in no way do I think that white's really getting himself into trouble. Playing the 4-pawns is just a case of deciding that one wants to play an aggressive double-edged variation (at least when we are talking about the 9.cxd5 variety of it, I'm by far less familiar with 9.exd5). And I guess it's difficult for black to get a lost position as easily and quickly as it can happen in this variation (although the converse holds true and white can end up with a horrible position rather easily, too).
  
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Some questions on four pawns
02/14/06 at 17:42:09
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I was put off the four pawns attack by Fine's assessment of it as weak play, exposing the White centre too early. But somehow it attracts me, and a perverse streak in me plays it.

So, I need to find out a bit about it, particularly as it creates weaknesses (looks like one must play Kh1 soonish, for example).

One interesting line I should like informed comment on is column 49, note (e) in the 14th Edition of Batsford Modern Chess Openings, in the (main) 6...c5 line. It goes as follows:

1. d4 Nf6  2. c4 g6  3. Nc3 Bg7  4. e4 d6  5. f4 0-0  6. Nf3 c5  7. d5 e6  8. Be2 exd5  9. exd5 Re8  10. 0-0 Bf5  11. Bd3 Qd7  12. h3 Na6  13. a3 Nc7  14. g4 Bxg4  15. hxg4 Qxg4+  16. Kh2 b5.

MCO regards this as "at least equal for Black". Fritz, no doubt because of his silicon-inspired liking for material, has +=. I can see it looks a bit dangerous from White's point of view, but I do not see anything dire, and material is nice. What's the general view?

And Fine's assessment? Ditch the four pawns as a bad turn and concentrate on the Petrosian or Bayonet?
  
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