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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6 (Read 88555 times)
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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #290 - 09/03/17 at 20:24:46
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Here's a correspondence game I played ~10 years ago in the aftermath of the experimental game above. I'd need to look at it again to provide any useful comment, but I don't remember thinking Black was in any serious trouble.

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nc3 a6 5.Be3 Qc7 6.g4 Bd7 7.f4 e6 8.Nf3 c5 9.Qd2 cxd4 10.Nxd4 Bb4 11.Be2 Ne7 12.a3 Bxc3 13.Qxc3 Qxc3+ 14.bxc3 b5 15.Nb3 O-O 16.Kd2 Rc8 17.Bc5 Ng6 18.Rhf1 Be8 19.Bd6 Nd7 20.Bd3 f6 21.Rae1 Bf7 22.Rf2 Ra7 23.Nd4 fxe5 24.fxe5 Nc5 25.Ref1 Ne4+ 26.Bxe4 dxe4 27.Re2 Ne7 28.Bxe7 Rxe7 29.Rxe4 Rd7 30.Re3 Rd5 31.Kc1 Rcc5 32.Nf3 h6 33.Kb2 Rc4 1/2-1/2

Maybe 12.a3 lets Black off the hook. But I'm pretty confident that Black also has better resources than what I played.
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #289 - 09/03/17 at 18:20:16
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I had a look at this line recently, and in fact the variation that concerned me the most was the one in post #287. It looks like White had a good version of some 3 Nc3 Nf6 French.
  
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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #288 - 09/03/17 at 15:58:38
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It pains me to look through my analysis above, but what is the current status of the early 4...a6 in the Advance Caro?
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #287 - 02/10/07 at 14:19:50
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Both games have followed this path:

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nc3 a6 5.Be3 Qc7 6.g4 Bd7 7.f4 e6 8.Nf3 c5 9.Qd2 cxd4 10.Nxd4 Bb4

Interesting.  It feels a little French-like, but I remember this getting dismissed during our game...
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #286 - 01/22/07 at 17:05:07
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HgMan wrote on 01/22/07 at 13:02:41:
I've managed to avoid the Willempie Variation against two very strong opponents (2300+ & 2600+).  They both opted for:

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nc3 a6 5.Be3 Qc7 6.g4

They can still repent and change their evil ways by transposing with 7.h4.
Quote:
Curious: I thought we dismissed this because of the general rule that Black is okay if the bishop can be retreated to d7 (ie. only push g2-g4 if Black has already played e7-e6).  I guess I'll learn just how valid that maxim is...

I'll be interested to see how they (and you of course) deal with it. I am not convinced that this is the case as the forward pawns are also good in the endgame.
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #285 - 01/22/07 at 13:02:41
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I've managed to avoid the Willempie Variation against two very strong opponents (2300+ & 2600+).  They both opted for:

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nc3 a6 5.Be3 Qc7 6.g4

Curious: I thought we dismissed this because of the general rule that Black is okay if the bishop can be retreated to d7 (ie. only push g2-g4 if Black has already played e7-e6).  I guess I'll learn just how valid that maxim is...
  

"Luck favours the prepared mind."  --Louis Pasteur
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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #284 - 01/09/07 at 19:10:27
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Yes: I hope I will manage to avoid the Willempie Variation of the Advanced Caro...   Wink
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #283 - 01/09/07 at 08:37:52
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Keep us posted on this game.

As soon as you see 11.Qxd4 you know who you are up against  Grin
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #282 - 01/09/07 at 03:05:20
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I still feel badly about having abandoned this game.  But the line still fascinates me, and I would like to try to fill in the analysis at some point.  I was reminded of this game just recently, when a new correspondence game against a player rated 2636  ( Shocked Shocked Shocked )began with the moves: 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nc3.  I paused, thought long and hard, and pushed 4...a6.  Hoping for a better result this time out, but am confident that I have a good feel for what comes next...
  

"Luck favours the prepared mind."  --Louis Pasteur
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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #281 - 09/17/06 at 21:29:09
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I thought you were on a holiday or something similar (like chickening out Wink), but this was not quite what I thought.
Good to see you're getting better.

About the game, I saw my suspision confirmed that the g4 move is rather nasty in the advanced in whatever variation. If you want to continue the endgame I am game as I rather like the position endgamewise. After all this is an endgame position in which space is supposed to count less by various authorities I disagree with.
  

If nothing else works, a total pig-headed unwillingness to look facts in the face will see us through.
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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #280 - 09/17/06 at 18:08:14
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Dear Willempie and colleagues,

After a protracted illness, I am slowly returning to work (and play!).  I apologize for my lengthy silence and feel very badly for having "gone silent" in our game.  From a sporting perspective, I think the only thing I might properly do is resign.  My game might be salvageable, but I think I am worse going into this ending.  So, congratulations to my worthy and patient opponent.

I would, however, like to continue analysis of this line as I recuperate, and would welcome thoughts from Willempie and others during the post-mortem.

Again, my apologies.  I have really missed my friends on colleagues at Chesspub...

HgMan
  

"Luck favours the prepared mind."  --Louis Pasteur
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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #279 - 08/17/06 at 06:13:21
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It is true it gives black a protected passed pawn, but it would give white two distant passers after f5 and a4. And they are not very easy to stop.
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #278 - 08/15/06 at 23:06:53
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Doesn't exchanging with the d-pawn give me a passed pawn and some counterplay?  I'm rapidly losing confidence in my position, but it seems to me that an eventual dxe5 might actually provide me with a window of opportunity...
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #277 - 08/15/06 at 20:40:31
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HgMan wrote on 08/14/06 at 21:29:55:
28 Kc3 Kc7 29 Kb4 Kb6 30 f5 looks horrible.  I don't know how or why I overlooked 30 f5, but it certainly looks like I should avoid it.  One of the most obvious ways to do that is 28 ... f6, though I'm still looking at Smyslov_Fan's 28 ... Ra8 as well...

I checked the f6 move out in various guises and there I can always turn the tables when you exhange on e5 by recapturing with the d-pawn forcing another passer.
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #276 - 08/14/06 at 21:46:38
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HgMan wrote on 08/14/06 at 21:22:15:
Well, if the position is correct, I'd better resign--or hope that Willempie gives up in confusion.  I'm two rooks down, but I have two kings on the board...   Grin

Oops! Embarrassed

Diagram should be fixed now.
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #275 - 08/14/06 at 21:29:55
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28 Kc3 Kc7 29 Kb4 Kb6 30 f5 looks horrible.  I don't know how or why I overlooked 30 f5, but it certainly looks like I should avoid it.  One of the most obvious ways to do that is 28 ... f6, though I'm still looking at Smyslov_Fan's 28 ... Ra8 as well...
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #274 - 08/14/06 at 21:22:15
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Well, if the position is correct, I'd better resign--or hope that Willempie gives up in confusion.  I'm two rooks down, but I have two kings on the board...   Grin

I will probably accept the conditional, but need to reflect a little and try to regain the thread.  Welcome back...
  

"Luck favours the prepared mind."  --Louis Pasteur
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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #273 - 08/14/06 at 14:54:33
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1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nc3 a6 5.Be3 Qc7 6.h4 h6 7.g4 Bd7 8.h5 e6 9.f4 c5 10.Nf3 cxd4 11.Qxd4 Nc6 12.Qb6 Qxb6 13.Bxb6 Bb4 14.0-0-0 Nge7 15.Ne2 Ba5 16.Bxa5 Nxa5 17.Ned4 Rc8 18.Bd3 Nec6 19.c3 Nxd4 20.Nxd4 Nc6 21.Kd2 Nxd4 22.cxd4 Bb5 23.Bxb5 axb5 24.Rc1 Rc4 25.Kd3 Kd7 26.b3 Rc6 27.Rxc6


current position


with conditional moves: 27...bxc6 28.Kc3

[Edit: deleted a couple of extraneous letters in the FEN notation (due to a careless cut and paste, 7r was preceeded by 4k which dropped a black rook and gave and extra black king!).  This should fix the diagram. Sorry!  Embarrassed]

« Last Edit: 08/14/06 at 21:40:45 by OstapBender »  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #272 - 08/14/06 at 10:35:36
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I checked 27... Kxc6 but that looks really bad after 28. f5 so if HgMan accepts the recapture with the pawn then we'll get:

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nc3 a6 5.Be3 Qc7 6.h4 h6 7.g4 Bd7 8.h5 e6 9.f4 c5 10.Nf3 cxd4 11.Qxd4 Nc6 12.Qb6 Qxb6 13.Bxb6 Bb4 14.0-0-0 Nge7 15.Ne2 Ba5 16.Bxa5 Nxa5 17.Ned4 Rc8 18.Bd3 Nec6 19.c3 Nxd4 20.Nxd4 Nc6 21.Kd2 Nxd4 22.cxd4 Bb5 23.Bxb5 axb5 24.Rc1 Rc4 25. Kd3 Kd7 26. b3 Rc6 27.Rxc6 bxc6 28.Kc3
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #271 - 08/14/06 at 10:18:30
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Also checked 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nc3 a6 5.Be3 Qc7 6.h4 h6 7.g4 Bd7 8.h5 e6 9.f4 c5 10.Nf3 cxd4 11.Qxd4 Nc6 12.Qb6 Qxb6 13.Bxb6 Bb4 14.0-0-0 Nge7 15.Ne2 Ba5 16.Bxa5 Nxa5 17.Ned4 Rc8 18.Bd3 Nec6 19.c3 Nxd4 20.Nxd4 Nc6 21.Kd2 Nxd4 22.cxd4 Bb5 23.Bxb5 axb5 24.Rc1 Rc4 25. Kd3 Kd7 26. b3 Rc6 27.Rxc6 bxc6 28.Kc3 Kc7 29. Kb4 Kb6
This looks even stronger to me for white as 30. f5 looks like an improved version of 29. f5 which is also very good. eg 30. f5 Ra8 31. a3 Ra7 32. Rf1

Therefore I am tempted to think 28... Ra8 may be best.

So after these considerations without further ado I will accept HgMan's conditional moves and move into the single rook ending:
1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nc3 a6 5.Be3 Qc7 6.h4 h6 7.g4 Bd7 8.h5 e6 9.f4 c5 10.Nf3 cxd4 11.Qxd4 Nc6 12.Qb6 Qxb6 13.Bxb6 Bb4 14.0-0-0 Nge7 15.Ne2 Ba5 16.Bxa5 Nxa5 17.Ned4 Rc8 18.Bd3 Nec6 19.c3 Nxd4 20.Nxd4 Nc6 21.Kd2 Nxd4 22.cxd4 Bb5 23.Bxb5 axb5 24.Rc1 Rc4 25. Kd3 Kd7 26. b3 Rc6 27. Rxc6

  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #270 - 08/14/06 at 09:08:32
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OK I have looked at a couple of the variations (quite some good analysis abound) and thought I saw a minor improvements.
After
1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nc3 a6 5.Be3 Qc7 6.h4 h6 7.g4 Bd7 8.h5 e6 9.f4 c5 10.Nf3 cxd4 11.Qxd4 Nc6 12.Qb6 Qxb6 13.Bxb6 Bb4 14.0-0-0 Nge7 15.Ne2 Ba5 16.Bxa5 Nxa5 17.Ned4 Rc8 18.Bd3 Nec6 19.c3 Nxd4 20.Nxd4 Nc6 21.Kd2 Nxd4 22.cxd4 Bb5 23.Bxb5 axb5 24.Rc1 Rc4 25. Kd3 Kd7 26. b3 Rc6 27.Rxc6 bxc6 28.Kc3 Kc7 (HgMan's preferred option)
29.f5 (Sacapawn) Kb6
I feel that
30. Rf1 may be an improvement:
30... Ra8 31. Kb2 and now I think:
-31... c5 32. fxe6 fxe6 33. Rf7 cxd4 34. Rxg7 d3 (to capture the a-pawn) 35. Kc3 Rxa2 36. Kxd3 and I think black is busted after a later Rg6 as now the e6-pawn falls with a check not present in the other variations. Eg 36... Rg2 37. Rg6 Rg3+ 38. Kd4 Rxb3 39. Rxe6+
-31... Ra7 32. f6 gxf6 33. Rxf6 and now I dont see anything to stop Rxh6 eg 33... c5 34. dxc5 Kxc5 35. Rxh6

[late addition]
31... exf5 32. gxf5 c5 runs into 33. f6 which was actually my original plan
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #269 - 08/14/06 at 06:15:13
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Hi All,

I am just back at work after a 2 week holiday, which was one week more than I had thought originally Cool
So my apologies to all and especially my opponent for the delay.

I will check the position and comments of all (some 3 pages on a quick glance) and deliver my move as quickly as possible.

PS thanks for the diagrams that will come in very handy.
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #268 - 08/11/06 at 00:37:46
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Smyslov_Fan wrote on 08/11/06 at 00:36:06:
I'm not sure, isn't it White's move now?    Huh

Iirc, Willempie is on vacation at the moment.
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #267 - 08/11/06 at 00:36:06
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I'm not sure, isn't it White's move now?    Huh
  
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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #266 - 08/07/06 at 22:17:26
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Once again,

Thank You Ostap!

Your diagrams and cleaning up my text was really wonderful.  It made discussing my analysis and its flaws much easier.

I wish I had had more time when posting the original notes to clarify that even though they were lengthy, they weren't comprehensive. 

This is a very complicated position, and White's advantage may be real enough to win.  I am beginning to doubt it, but the comments so far haven't persuaded me one way or the other.

I love endgames!
  
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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #265 - 08/04/06 at 01:40:53
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Sacapawn wrote on 08/04/06 at 01:08:39:
[29.f5 after which

29.-,Kb6 30.fxe6 fxe6 31.Rf1 c5 32.Rf7 b4+ 33.Kd3 Rg8 34.Re7

winning for White

In this line 31...c5 looks kind of dubious.  I think Black can improve with 31...Ra8 then after 32.Rf7 Rxa2 33.Rxg7 Rg2 34.Rg6 Rg3+ 35.Kd2

[35.Kc2 b4 36.Rxe6 (36.Rxh6 Rxg4=) 36...Rg2+ 37.Kd3 Rg3+ 38.Ke2 Rxg4=]

35...b4 36.Ke2 Rxb3 37.Rxh6 Kb5 I see Black holding this final position.
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #264 - 08/04/06 at 01:08:39
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Quote:
Thanks for this, though, as I said earlier, I think Black should prefer 28 ... Kc7, which avoids all of this..


Sorry, I didn't notice that post. I think White has good winning chances anyway.

29.f5 after which both

29.-,Kb6 30.fxe6 fxe6 31.Rf1 c5 32.Rf7 b4+ 33.Kd3 Rg8 34.Re7

and

29.-,Ra8 30.fxe6 fxe6 31.Rf1 c5 32.Rf7+ Kc6 33.dxc5 Rxa2 34.Re7 d4+ 35.Kxd4 Rd2+ 36.Ke3 Rb2 37.Rxe6+ Kxc5 38.Ke4 Rxb3 39.Re7

are winning for White
  
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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #263 - 08/03/06 at 23:41:15
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HgMan wrote on 08/03/06 at 21:14:00:
Thanks for this, though, as I said earlier, I think Black should prefer 28...Kc7, which avoids all of this...

HgMan,

I'm still not convinced by 28...Kc7 because I don't like allowing White the passed a-pawn in your main line (as it diverts defensive resources away from the impending kingside pawn storm).  If a draw can be demonstrated in Smyslov_Fan's 28...Ra8 line, I think it could be a better way to go.  

In know, here we go again... Roll Eyes

Having learned my lesson earlier(?) ... Undecided

... I will withhold any further comments on the relative merits of the two lines until I have looked at your line more carefully (and have a better idea of the impact of the white passed a-pawn).  Lips Sealed
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #262 - 08/03/06 at 21:14:00
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Sacapawn wrote on 08/03/06 at 16:58:08:
This looks promising for White

27.Rxc6 bxc6 28.Kc3 Ra8 29.Rh2 c5 30.dxc5 Kc6 31.Kb4 was analysed to draw by OstapBender in an earlier post. But 31.Kd4 blocking Black's d-pawn seems better. One variation is 31.-,b4 32.f5 Ra5 33.fxe6 fxe6 34.Rf2 Rxc5 35.Rf8 Ra5 36.Re8 Rxa2 37.Rxe6+ Kb5 38.Kxd5 Rd2+ 39.Ke4 Rb2 40.Rg6 Rxb3 41.Rxg7 and White wins.


Thanks for this, though, as I said earlier, I think Black should prefer 28 ... Kc7, which avoids all of this...
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #261 - 08/03/06 at 18:12:16
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Sacapawn wrote on 08/03/06 at 16:58:08:
This looks promising for White

27.Rxc6 bxc6 28.Kc3 Ra8 29.Rh2 c5 30.dxc5 Kc6 31.Kb4 was analysed to draw by OstapBender in an earlier post. But 31.Kd4 blocking Black's d-pawn seems better. One variation is 31.-,b4 32.f5 Ra5 33.fxe6 fxe6 34.Rf2 Rxc5 35.Rf8 Ra5 36.Re8 Rxa2 37.Rxe6+ Kb5 38.Kxd5 Rd2+ 39.Ke4 Rb2 40.Rg6 Rxb3 41.Rxg7 and White wins.

I should clarify that this was Smyslov_Fan's analysis.  I just tidied up his previous post and added a few diagrams (BTW, he owes me - BIG TIME! Wink).

I think your 31.Kd4 is a nice idea and I will try to look at variations in a bit more detail when I have more time - as will SF, no doubt. when he returns from his vacation.  I imagine HgMan will be analyzing this even sooner!

Here's the position after 36.Re8 in your line:

after 36.Re8


After a quick glance, I think White is already winning at this point.  If so, then the improvement for Black must come earlier.

Incidentally, my first thought was that 36...Rxa2 looked like an obvious blunder (after which Black is indeed slaughtered quickly), and  surely defending the e6-pawn with 36...Kd7 is better. However, after 37.Rg8 Rxa2 38.Rxg7+ Kc6 then 39.Rg6 looks absolutely crushing.

Maybe Black can improve on the ...b4/...Ra5/...Rxc5 plan (or look for improvements earlier in Smyslov_Fan's line). Undecided

Excellent contribution, Sacapawn!  If earlier improvements are found, you heads up may end up saving HgMan's life.  Otherwise, you may have just forecast his death... Shocked
(metaphorically speaking, of course)


[Edit: Taking another look, I think 34...Rxc5 is a blunder.  Black can improve with 34...Ra7 (since the white c5-pawn is not going anywhere it can be scooped up at a more opportune moment).  I don't know if this is enough to hold the position in the long run, but it's certainly a big improvement.  From here, my main line runs 35.Rf8 Rxa2 36.Rc8+ Kd7 37.Rg8 Rd2+ 38.Ke3 Rb2 39.Rxg7+ Kc6 40.Rg6 Kxc5 41.Rxh6 Rxb3+ 42.Kd2 Rg3 and I see Black holding this final position.  I doubt if this line represents best play, however.
One fiinal observation: if Black is not going to play 34...Rxc5 after all, then there's not much point to 32...Ra5.  Maybe another place for Black to look for an improvement.]
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #260 - 08/03/06 at 16:58:08
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This looks promising for White

27.Rxc6 bxc6 28.Kc3 Ra8 29.Rh2 c5 30.dxc5 Kc6 31.Kb4 was analysed to draw by OstapBender in an earlier post. But 31.Kd4 blocking Black's d-pawn seems better. One variation is 31.-,b4 32.f5 Ra5 33.fxe6 fxe6 34.Rf2 Rxc5 35.Rf8 Ra5 36.Re8 Rxa2 37.Rxe6+ Kb5 38.Kxd5 Rd2+ 39.Ke4 Rb2 40.Rg6 Rxb3 41.Rxg7 and White wins.
  
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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #259 - 08/02/06 at 14:38:47
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As ive envisaged before, the less minor pieces white has, the less venomous his K-side pawn storm would be. To have a venomous pawn storm using the rooks alone just doesnt cut it cos black will have sufficent cover with the KR patrolling the back rank working in tandem with the K. This is important for black. The R on the c-file also makes sure that white cannot penetrate there plus gives options of some (not much) counterplay for black should he choose to do so. Black's next move should be Rc8.

Schematically now, after the doubling of rooks...... i'd suggest to shut the Q-side, by playing b4. This would tie down white's Q-side and force him to concentrate on the K-side if he desires to take an active plan. The ensuing exchanges would then open lines for the black rook on the h rank. If white chooses to play his a-pawn, that wld eventually help black remove his doubled b pawns.

I think black can definitely hold the ending. In this type of posn, the one who blunders will lose, otherwise it'd be a draw. But an interesting endgame struggle is on the cards.
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #258 - 08/02/06 at 14:09:29
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I'm sure Willempie will want to chew on this a little when he gets back, but maybe I should offer the conditional:

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nc3 a6 5.Be3 Qc7 6.h4 h6 7.g4 Bd7 8.h5 e6 9.f4 c5 10.Nf3 cxd4 11.Qxd4 Nc6 12.Qb6 Qxb6 13.Bxb6 Bb4 14.0-0-0 Nge7 15.Ne2 Ba5 16.Bxa5 Nxa5 17.Ned4 Rc8 18.Bd3 Nec6 19.c3 Nxd4 20.Nxd4 Nc6 21.Kd2 Nxd4 22.cxd4 Bb5 23.Bxb5 axb5 24.Rc1 Rc4 25 Kd3 Kd7 26 b3 Rc6

This is the position in the second diagram from OstapBender.  I think it's safe to say that 25 Kd3 is forced, and I don't see anything better than 26 be, though Willempie might find something.  Perhaps 25 or 26 Rxc4 isn't as bad as I think?!
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #257 - 08/02/06 at 13:42:59
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1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nc3 a6 5.Be3 Qc7 6.h4 h6 7.g4 Bd7 8.h5 e6 9.f4 c5 10.Nf3 cxd4 11.Qxd4 Nc6 12.Qb6 Qxb6 13.Bxb6 Bb4 14.0-0-0 Nge7 15.Ne2 Ba5 16.Bxa5 Nxa5 17.Ned4 Rc8 18.Bd3 Nec6 19.c3 Nxd4 20.Nxd4 Nc6 21.Kd2 Nxd4 22.cxd4 Bb5 23.Bxb5 axb5 24.Rc1 Rc4

HgMan wrote on 08/02/06 at 13:13:34:
I haven't seen anything to suggest that this isn't the best move for Black at this point...

As much as I hate to admit it, I suppose you're right. Grin  My insistance on 24...Kd7 proved to be unfounded.  Here's the game position:


current position


I guess now we'll see 25.Kd3 Kd7 26.b3 Rc6


analysis position

after 26...Rc6


...then it gets really interesting.

Can Black hold this ending?

Smyslov_Fan says probably yes, but he's not sure.

Undecided

Stay tuned!

  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #256 - 08/02/06 at 13:13:34
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1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nc3 a6 5.Be3 Qc7 6.h4 h6 7.g4 Bd7 8.h5 e6 9.f4 c5 10.Nf3 cxd4 11.Qxd4 Nc6 12.Qb6 Qxb6 13.Bxb6 Bb4 14.0-0-0 Nge7 15.Ne2 Ba5 16.Bxa5 Nxa5 17.Ned4 Rc8 18.Bd3 Nec6 19.c3 Nxd4 20.Nxd4 Nc6 21.Kd2 Nxd4 22.cxd4 Bb5 23.Bxb5 axb5 24.Rc1 Rc4

I haven't seen anything to suggest that this isn't the best move for Black at this point...
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #255 - 07/30/06 at 14:11:51
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Smyslov_Fan wrote on 07/30/06 at 13:41:40:
(diagram after move 46 should have a black Rook on h1)

Odd.  I must have accidently clipped an r out of the FEN notation.  I editted the post to fix this diagram.

Quote:
Oh, and as you see from my last word, a comment that I made stating that I'd found a win earlier is untrue.  My latest is that if there is a win, it isn't in the lines I saw.

Fixed this as well.

Have a great vacation!
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #254 - 07/30/06 at 14:08:48
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More fantastic work--thank you!  I still prefer 27 ... Rc4, but in Smyslov_Fan's line above, I think that 24 ... Rc4 25 Kd3 Kd7 26 b3 Rc6 27 Rxc6 bxc6 28 Kc3 Kc7 is better than 28 ... Ra8.  I could be wrong, and I'll have to look at 28 ... Ra8, which was Hiarcs's preferred move, but I think 28 ... Kc7 is sounder.  Have I missed something here?

29 Kb4 is now met with 29 ... Kb6 30 Rc1 Ra8 31 a4 bxa4 32 bxa4 Rb8 33 f5 Kc7+ (or 33 g5 Kc7+) 34 Ka3 Kd7 35 a5 Rb5.  Maybe White can do better than 31 a4, though...
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #253 - 07/30/06 at 13:41:40
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Ostap,

Thanks,

I'm rushing out the door.  You did a great job!

(diagram after move 46 should have a black Rook on h1)

Oh, and as you see from my last word, a comment that I made stating that I'd found a win earlier is untrue.  My latest is that if there is a win, it isn't in the lines I saw.

Again, thanks, Ostap!

Cheers!

Smiley
  
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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #252 - 07/30/06 at 13:13:00
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Smyslov_Fan wrote on 07/30/06 at 06:51:19:
Ostap,

Would you be able to go through the analysis and put up a few diagrams where you see fit?  Thanks.

Looks like I have become the diagram-man in this thread; I'm happy to oblige.

I changed the move numbers to correspond to the game (incremented by 23 from the original post).  This is just the 24...Rc4 analysis (the main part; there was also some analysis of 24...Kd7 in the original post).  I added some line breaks/formatting to make it easier to read - and, of course, a few diagrams...

...this done, I might now have time to go through it myself. Wink

24...Rc4 25.Kd3 Kd7 26.b3

[26.Rxc4 bxc4+ 27.Kc3 Ra8 28.a3 Ra6=; 26.Rc3=]

26...Rc6

[26...Rxc1 27.Rxc1 Ra8 28.Rc2 b4 29.Ke3 Ra6 (29...f6 30.f5 Re8 31.Kf4 fxe5+ 32.dxe5 b6!? (32...Rf8 33.Rc5 Ra8 34.Rb5 Kc6 35.Rxb4 Rxa2 36.fxe6 Ra8 37.Ke3+-) 33.Rc1 And Black appears to be in zugzwang. 33...Ra8?! 34.fxe6+ Kxe6 35.Rc6+ Ke7 White has several appealing options here, and I think it's just a matter of choosing between 36.Kf5, 36.Rxb6 or even 36.Rd6!?  ) 30.g5 Rc6 31.Rxc6 bxc6]

27.Rxc6 I wanted to test out this endgame.  It's very complex, but I think Black barely draws.  The analysis was fascinating for anyone who wants to study it. 27...bxc6


after 27...bxc6


28.Kc3

[28.a4 bxa4 29.bxa4 Rb8 30.Kc3 c5 31.dxc5 Kc6 32.Ra1 Kxc5= and Black has probably reached safety.]

28...Ra8 29.Rh2

[29.Ra1 c5 30.dxc5 Kc6 31.Kb4 g6 32.Rh1 (32.a4? bxa4 33.bxa4 Rb8+=) 32...Rxa2 33.hxg6 fxg6 34.Rxh6 Rf2 35.f5 Rf4+ 36.Ka5 Kxc5=]

29...c5 30.dxc5 Kc6 31.Kb4 Ra7 32.g5 Ra8 33.Rg2 Rf8 34.a3 d4 35.gxh6 gxh6 36.Rd2 Kd5 37.c6! I found this and thought it was the winner.  Fritz shows the win is difficult at best.


after 37.c6!


37...Rc8 38.Kxb5 Rb8+ 39.Ka5 Kxc6 40.Rxd4 Rxb3 41.a4 Rh3 Fritz thought this was drawn.  I'm not sure, but I think White is winning.  It's hard though. [Edit: as you see from my last word, a comment that I made stating that I'd found a win earlier is untrue.  My latest is that if there is a win, it isn't in the lines I saw.] 42.Rc4+


after 42.Rc4+


42...Kb7!

[42...Kd5 43.Rc7 Rxh5 44.Rxf7 Rh1 45.Kb6 Rb1+ 46.Kc7 Rc1+ 47.Kd8 Rc4 48.a5 Ra4 49.Rd7+ Ke4 50.Ke7 Kxf4 51.Kxe6 Rxa5


after 51...Rxa5


52.Rd5 Ra1 53.Kf6 Ke4 54.Rb5 Rf1+ 55.Ke7 Rf5 56.Kd6 h5!? Everything else also loses. 57.Rb4+ Kf3 58.e6+-]

43.Kb5 Rxh5 44.Rd4

[44.Kc5= Rf5! (44...Kc7 45.a5! We'll see this theme again! 45...Rh1 46.Kb5+ Kb7 47.a6+ Kb8 48.a7+ Kxa7 49.Rc7+ Kb8 50.Rxf7 Rc1! 51.Re7 Rf1 (51...h5 52.Rxe6 Rf1 53.Kc6 Rxf4 54.Re8+ Ka7 55.Rh8) 52.Kc6 Rxf4 53.Re8+ Ka7 54.Rxe6 Re4 55.Re7+ Kb8+-) ]

44...Kc7 45.a5! Rh1 46.Rc4+!? Kd7! My German friend is no help whatsoever here.


after 46...Kd7!


[46...Kb7 47.a6+ Kb8 48.a7+ Kxa7 49.Rc7+ Kb8 50.Rxf7 Rc1 51.Re7 h5 52.Rxe6 Rf1 53.Kc6 Rxf4 54.Re8+ Ka7 55.Rh8+-]

47.Rb4

[47.a6 Rb1+ 48.Kc5 (48.Ka5 Ra1+ 49.Kb6 Rb1+ 50.Ka7 h5 I can't honestly say whether this is winning.  I have my doubts.  Fritz happily chirps in that White has no worries.  But there's nothing clear-cut here.) 48...Kc7 49.Rc2 h5 50.Rh2= Regardless of Fritz' optimism for White, this looks drawn.]

47...Kc7 48.Ka6 h5 49.Ka7

[49.Rb7+ Kc6 50.Rxf7 h4 51.Rf6 Kd5 52.Ka7 (52.Rh6 h3 53.Kb7 h2=) 52...h3 53.a6 h2 54.Rh6 Ke4=]

49...Ra1 50.a6 h4 51.Rc4+ Kd7 52.f5!? This interesting idea is Fritz'.  It gets only partial credit because it was down on its list of potential moves.


after 52.f5!?


52...h3 53.Rh4 exf5 54.Rxh3 Ke6 55.Rb3 Kxe5 56.Rb5+ Ke4 57.Kb6


after 57.Kb6


57…Rxa6+!= No, Fritz doesn't know this trick.  58.Kxa6 f4 is EQUAL

  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #251 - 07/30/06 at 06:51:19
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Ostap,

Would you be able to go through the analysis and put up a few diagrams where you see fit?  Thanks.  If you see fit to put no diagrams on, I'll understand.

Cheers!
  
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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #250 - 07/30/06 at 06:49:37
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Filth flarn filth flarn filth....

I just spent two hours on analysis with Fritz, tidied it up and posted it.  But the computer froze up and didn't actually post it.  This time, I'm just going to post the raw info.  I really believe it's worth a serious look, but it will be difficult to read.

My apologies in advance.




1...Rc4 [1...Rc4 2.Kd3 (2.Rh3) ;
1...Kd7 2.Rxc8 Rxc8 3.Rc1 Ra8 a)3...Rxc1 4.Kxc1 Kc6 5.Kc2 b4 6.Kb3 Kb5 7.f5 b6 8.f6 gxf6 9.exf6 Ka5 10.g5; b)3...Rc4 4.Rxc4 bxc4 (b)4...dxc4 5.Kc3 Kc6 6.a4 Kd5 7.a5 (b)7.axb5 Ke4 8.Kxc4 Kxf4 9.Kc5 Kxg4 10.Kb6 Kxh5 11.Kxb7 g5 12.b6 g4 13.Kc6 g3 14.b7 g2 15.b8Q g1Q 16.Qf8) 7...Ke4 8.Kb4 Kxd4 9.Kxb5 Ke4 10.Kb6 Kxf4 11.Kxb7; 5.Kc3 Kc6 (b)5...Ke8 6.Kb4 g6 7.Kb5 gxh5 8.gxh5 Kd7 9.Kb6 Kc8 10.a4 Kb8 11.a5 Kc8 12.a6 bxa6 13.Kxa6 Kc7 14.Kb5 Kb7 15.Kc5 Kc7 16.f5; b)5...Kc7 6.Kb4 Kb6 7.f5 exf5 8.gxf5 Kc6 9.Ka5 Kc7 10.Kb5) 6.Kb4 b5 7.Ka5 g6 8.g5; 4.Ra1 Rc8 5.f5 b4 6.Rf1] 2.Kd3 Kd7 3.b3 [3.Rxc4 bxc4+ 4.Kc3 Ra8 5.a3 Ra6=;
3.Rc3=] 3...Rc6 [3...Rxc1 4.Rxc1 Ra8 5.Rc2 b4 6.Ke3 Ra6 (6...f6 7.f5 Re8 8.Kf4 fxe5+ 9.dxe5 b6!? (9...Rf8 10.Rc5 Ra8 11.Rb5 Kc6 12.Rxb4 Rxa2 13.fxe6 Ra8 14.Ke3+-) 10.Rc1 And Black appears to be in zugzwang. 10...Ra8?! 11.fxe6+ Kxe6 12.Rc6+ Ke7 White has several appealing options here, and I think it's just a matter of choosing between 13.Kf5, 13.Rxb6 or even 13.Rd6!?
; 7.g5 Rc6 8.Rxc6 bxc6] 4.Rxc6 I wanted to test out this endgame.  It's very complex, but I think Black barely draws.  The analysis was fascinating for anyone who wants to study it. 

4...bxc6 5.Kc3 [5.a4 bxa4 6.bxa4 Rb8 7.Kc3 c5 8.dxc5 Kc6 9.Ra1 Kxc5= And Black has probably reached safety.] 5...Ra8 6.Rh2 [6.Ra1 c5 7.dxc5 Kc6 8.Kb4 g6 9.Rh1 (9.a4? bxa4 10.bxa4 Rb8+=) 9...Rxa2 10.hxg6 fxg6 11.Rxh6 Rf2 12.f5 Rf4+ 13.Ka5 Kxc5=] 6...c5 7.dxc5 Kc6 8.Kb4 Ra7 9.g5 Ra8 10.Rg2 Rf8 11.a3 d4 12.gxh6 gxh6 13.Rd2 Kd5 14.c6! I found this and thought it was the winner.  Fritz shows the win is difficult at best. 14...Rc8 15.Kxb5 Rb8+ 16.Ka5 Kxc6 17.Rxd4 Rxb3 18.a4 Rh3 Fritz thought this was drawn.  I'm not sure, but I think White is winning.  It's hard though. 19.Rc4+ Kb7! [19...Kd5 20.Rc7 Rxh5 21.Rxf7 Rh1 22.Kb6 Rb1+ 23.Kc7 Rc1+ 24.Kd8! Rc4 25.a5 Ra4 26.Rd7+ Ke4 27.Ke7 Kxf4 28.Kxe6 Rxa5 29.Rd5 Ra1 30.Kf6 Ke4 31.Rb5 Rf1+ 32.Ke7 Rf5 33.Kd6! h5!? Everything else also loses. 34.Rb4+ Kf3 35.e6+-] 20.Kb5 Rxh5 21.Rd4 [21.Kc5= Rf5! (21...Kc7 22.a5! We'll see this theme again! 22...Rh1 23.Kb5+ Kb7 24.a6+ Kb8 25.a7+ Kxa7 26.Rc7+ Kb8 27.Rxf7 Rc1! 28.Re7 Rf1 29.Kc6 Rxf4 30.Re8+ Ka7 31.Rxe6 Re4 32.Re7+ Kb8+-) ] 21...Kc7 22.a5! Rh1 23.Rc4+!? Kd7! My German friend is no help whatsoever here. [23...Kb7?! 24.a6+ Kb8 25.a7+ Kxa7 26.Rc7+ Kb8 27.Rxf7 Rc1 28.Re7 h5 29.Rxe6 Rf1 30.Kc6 Rxf4 31.Re8+ Ka7 32.Rh8+-] 24.Rb4 [24.a6 Rb1+ 25.Kc5 (25.Ka5 Ra1+ 26.Kb6 Rb1+ 27.Ka7 h5 I can't honestly say whether this is winning.  I have my doubts.  Fritz happily chirps in that White has no worries.  But there's nothing clear-cut here.) 25...Kc7 26.Rc2 h5 27.Rh2= Regardless of Fritz' optimism for White, this looks drawn.] 24...Kc7 25.Ka6 h5 26.Ka7 [26.Rb7+ Kc6 27.Rxf7 h4 28.Rf6 Kd5 29.Ka7 (29.Rh6 h3 30.Kb7 h2=) 29...h3 30.a6 h2 31.Rh6 Ke4=] 26...Ra1 27.a6 h4 28.Rc4+ Kd7 29.f5!? This interesting idea is Fritz'.  It gets only partial credit because it was down on its list of potential moves. 29...h3 30.Rh4 exf5 31.Rxh3 Ke6 32.Rb3 Kxe5 33.Rb5+ Ke4 34.Kb6 Rxa6+!= No, Fritz doesn't know this trick. 35.Kxa6 f4 is EQUAL
  
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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #249 - 07/30/06 at 01:44:36
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HgMan wrote on 07/30/06 at 00:12:14:
This does look persuasive, but what about 25 b3 25 ... b4 26 Rxc8 Rxc8 27 Rc1 ?  I presume Black has 27 ... Rc6 28 f5 Ke7 29 Rc2, but I think the chances are White's again.

In this line, which is better than anything else I can see for Black after your 25.b3, I think Black might be able to hold after 29...f6 (ironically, given the amount of discussion ...f6 moves have gotten elsewhere recently).  Maybe I'm wrong, but here's a position to look at.

25.b3 b4 26.Rxc8 Rxc8 27.Rc1 Rc6 28.f5 Ke7 29.Rc2 f6


analysis position

I think the kingside looks kind of locked up here, but maybe there's an obvious plan for White here that I'm missing.  Something to think about, just in case it proves useful.

I agree overall, however, that 24...Kd7 is not as simple as I had thought it was.  We can take it "off the table" with no further complaints from me.
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #248 - 07/30/06 at 00:54:15
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Smyslov_Fan wrote on 07/30/06 at 00:12:28:
HgMan and Willempie,

How's my analysis?  Is this what you've been seeing?


Cheers!


Ostap and Smyslov_Fan,

This is great!  I really appreciate the analysis; this thread has a lot of very useful information on this line.

The analysis you have both provided is more in-depth than I've gone after 24 ... Kd7, but Smyslov_Fan is dredging up in practice a number of the flaws in Black's play that I was imagining in theory.  While the doubled pawns are not a weakness in themselves, they are producing other weaknesses in Black's position.  That's why I was leaning (and still am) towards 24 ... Rc4.  The exchange closes the c-file and let's Black focus his counterplay down the a-file.  I still think that White's kingside attack is just a bit too slow to prove a win...
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #247 - 07/30/06 at 00:46:24
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HgMan,

Good decision to keep looking!  Although 24...Rc4 has its own problems, at least you keep a Rook on the board a bit longer.
  
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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #246 - 07/30/06 at 00:43:50
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Ostap,

3...Ra8 is probably Black's only hope.   I think it will eventually transpose into the f4-f5 line we looked at earlier and then someone pointed out that Rc4 slows down f4-f5.  Since Rc4 isn't playable (I think), then 3...Ra8 4.Ra1 temporizing may be enough to win. 

I don't know whether White is actually winning after 4.Ra1.   But all the previous posts that I read suggested that Black draws if he keeps one Rook because White won't trade down into the pawn ending.  I don't think that's true now.
  
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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #245 - 07/30/06 at 00:42:03
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Let's not take 24 ... Rc4 off the table!   Grin
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #244 - 07/30/06 at 00:40:32
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HgMan wrote on 07/30/06 at 00:12:14:
This does look persuasive, but what about 25 b3 25 ... b4 26 Rxc8 Rxc8 27 Rc1 ?  I presume Black has 27 ... Rc6 28 f5 Ke7 29 Rc2, but I think the chances are White's again.

25.b3 is clearly an important idea, and one which I didn't consider.  I'll take a look at this and see if I'm still willing to recommend 24...Kd7.
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #243 - 07/30/06 at 00:34:31
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Smyslov_Fan wrote on 07/30/06 at 00:12:28:
Ostap,

I think there's a hole in your analysis big enough to drive ....err... to drive something large through it.

All White needs to do to win is trade off both Rooks to win the endgame, and it pretty much doesn't matter where.  (Ok, I haven't researched ...Rc6 yet.)

Here are some lines.  The Queen ending was with Fritz' help, the pawn endings were in spite of Fritz.  (My German friend kept telling me not to do it until I showed him.  That's what really good friends are for, to disagree with you until you show them they're wrong, then abjectly admit your superiority! Roll Eyes)

Here are the main pawn ending lines:




1...Kd7 2.Rxc8 Rxc8 3.Rc1 Rc4

[3...Rxc1 4.Kxc1

...and so on.....

Yes SF, only a true friend would be so brutally honest! Wink

So, in the spirit of true friendship, I must comment:

I'm sure there's some great analysis here after 3.Rc1, although I haven't looked at any of it yet.  Unless you can tell me why Black needs to play 3...Rc4? or 3...Rxc1? I may be able to save a bit of time by not looking at any of it!

Why not simply play 3...Ra8 - what great plan am I too obtuse to pick up on here??  Please enlighten me!

Then I can feel justified in taking the time to drive my truck through this gaping hole you are trying to show me! Grin

(Looks like I missed you second post which occurred while I was writing this one.  White's response to 3...Ra8 is still a hanging question!)
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #242 - 07/30/06 at 00:20:03
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If my last post is right, then Black's best may be ...Ra8.  I don't hold much hope for that either, but it has to be better than the pawn endings.
  
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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #241 - 07/30/06 at 00:12:28
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Ostap,

I think there's a hole in your analysis big enough to drive ....err... to drive something large through it.

All White needs to do to win is trade off both Rooks to win the endgame, and it pretty much doesn't matter where.  (Ok, I haven't researched ...Rc6 yet.)

Here are some lines.  The Queen ending was with Fritz' help, the pawn endings were in spite of Fritz.  (My German friend kept telling me not to do it until I showed him.  That's what really good friends are for, to disagree with you until you show them they're wrong, then abjectly admit your superiority! Roll Eyes)

Here are the main pawn ending lines:




1...Kd7 2.Rxc8 Rxc8 3.Rc1 Rc4

[3...Rxc1 4.Kxc1 Kc6 5.Kc2 b4 6.Kb3 Kb5 7.f5 b6 8.f6 gxf6 9.exf6 Ka5 10.g5]

4.Rxc4 bxc4

[4...dxc4 5.Kc3 Kc6 6.a4 Kd5 7.a5

(7.axb5 Ke4 8.Kxc4 Kxf4 9.Kc5 Kxg4 10.Kb6 Kxh5 11.Kxb7 g5 12.b6 g4 13.Kc6 g3 14.b7 g2 15.b8Q g1Q 16.Qf8 and even this Queen ending is winning eventually, but White has better.)
7...Ke4 8.Kb4! Kxd4 9.Kxb5 Ke4 10.Kb6 Kxf4 11.Kxb7 and White wins]
5.Kc3 Kc6

[No, other moves don't change the result.  For instance, 5...Ke8 6.Kb4 g6 7.Kb5 gxh5 8.gxh5 Kd7 9.Kb6 Kc8 10.a4 Kb8 11.a5 Kc8 12.a6 bxa6 13.Kxa6 Kc7 14.Kb5 Kb7 15.Kc5 Kc7 16.f5! you guessed it.  White wins again.;

5...Kc7 6.Kb4 Kb6 7.f5 exf5 8.gxf5 Kc6 9.Ka5 Kc7 10.Kb5] 6.Kb4 b5 7.Ka5 g6 8.g5 And again, White wins.


It's always amazing to me how thematic moves have a way of being... thematic.  White's f4-f5 push has been a threat since the opening and is one of the key deciding ideas in the endgame.  Going back to a certain Nimzo thread, it seems that "the threat is greater than the execution" yet again.

HgMan and Willempie,

How's my analysis?  Is this what you've been seeing?


Cheers!
  
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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #240 - 07/30/06 at 00:12:14
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This does look persuasive, but what about 25 b3 25 ... b4 26 Rxc8 Rxc8 27 Rc1 ?  I presume Black has 27 ... Rc6 28 f5 Ke7 29 Rc2, but I think the chances are White's again.

Having said that, there are parallels between your analysis and what I was looking at after 24 ... Rc4.  Instead of Rc4-a4 (which is typically impossible, because White has played b2-b3), Black can swing his other rook from h8 to a8 and exert similar kinds of pressure, while his king protects the kingside pawns.

But this is food for thought.  Thank you!  I'll be sure to give this some careful consideration while I further examine this endgame.  I am, however, feeling fairly confident that I can hold...
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #239 - 07/29/06 at 23:20:47
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Here is some analysis of 24...Kd7 which leads me to believe that Black has resources to defend against the kingside pawnstorm which should be sufficient to hold a draw (easily):

24...Kd7 25.Rxc8 Rxc8 26.f5 Rc4 Forcing the king to defend d4 and intending to swing over to the a-file to hit the a2-pawn.

27.Kd3 Ra4 28.Rf1

[I see no problems after 28.a3 b4 29.axb4 (29.fxe6+ Kxe6 30.axb4 Rxb4 is no improvement) 29...Rxb4 30.Kc3 Rc4+ 31.Kd3 but I guess this could be analyzed further to be sure.]

28...Rxa2 29.f6 gxf6 30.Rxf6 Now the h6-pawn will fall, but this is not as bad as it might seem.  Black defends pretty easily.

30...Ke7 31.Kc3 (probably best)

[31.Rxh6 Rxb2 32.Rh8 (32.g5 Rg2) 32...Rg2 33.Rg8 Rh2 34.Ke3 b4 35.Rb8 b3 36.Rxb7+ Kf8 37.Kf4 (since 37.Rxb3?? drops a rook after Rh3+) 37...b2 looks pretty safe for Black; for example, 38.Kg5 Kg7 and I don’t see a way for White to make progress.]

31...Ra8 32.Rxh6 Rg8 33.g5 Rxg5 34.Rh8

[34.Kb4 can be answered by 34…Rg4.  Then 35.Kc5 b6+ 36.Kxb6 Rxd4 37.Kxb5 Re4 and I think it is White who has to worry.]

34...f5

[34...Rg4 also looks reasonable: 35.Rb8 b4+ 36.Kxb4 Rxd4+ 37.Kc3 Rh4]

35.Rh7+

[35.h6 Rh5 36.h7 Kf7 and the h7-pawn will fall.]
[35.exf6+ Kxf6 36.h6 Rh5 is also no problem for Black.]

35...Ke8 36.h6

[36.Rxb7 Rxh5 37.Rxb5 doesn’t look threatening (similar to the main line)]

36...Rh5 37.Rxb7

[37.Kb4 f4 38.Rxb7 (If 38.Kxb5? then 38...f3 looks very dangerous) 38...Rxh6]

37...Rxh6 38.Rxb5 and Black should have no trouble drawing.

This is not comprehensive, but unless there is an obvious hole somewhere I think Black has no problems holding a draw.  

By comparison, I thought the 24...Rc4 lines looked a lot less clear and I wonder if White still might have serious winning chances in those lines.  Mainly, I see the c6-pawn as more of a liablity than a source of black counterplay (the doubled b-pawns may look weaker, but I not so sure that they actually are weaker when the white king and rook have other commitments).  Lines where White winds up with a passed a-pawn seem unacceptable if White is still able to pawn storm on the kingside.

Maybe I haven't looked at 24...Rc4 carefully enough (probably true), but I'd much rather go with 24...Kd7.
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #238 - 07/29/06 at 21:53:23
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OstapBender wrote on 07/29/06 at 17:32:41:
HgMan wrote on 07/29/06 at 15:33:43:
In this case, as I mentioned earlier, Black can do much better than exchanging rooks on c8.  So we put the rook on c4 and see what happens.  I'm reasonably confident that Willempie won't want to exchange rooks on c4, so after 25 Kd3 (forced) Kd7 26 b3 Rc6, White has a more favorable exchange (than on c4), and Black can undouble the pawns.  The semi-open a-file will give Black some counterplay against White's kingside attack, and the Black can help in the queenside play.  I'm still feeling reasonably confident that I can hold...

I understand you must have looked at this more deeply than I have, but I'm not entirely convinced that undoubling the pawns through an exchange on c6 is big enough accomplishment to make 24...Rc4 clearly superior to 24...Kd7.

From what I've examined of 24...Kd7 lines (with the rook exchange coming on c8), it looks to me that Black can hold the position just fine with the maneuver ...Rc4-a4.  I think you guys might be underestimating Black's defensive resources vs. the pawn storm in this line.  If anyone cares to see it, I can post some representative lines supporting 24...Kd7.  If not, fine with me.  I trust you'll make the decision carefully without my help.  Smiley

[BTW, Black might be able to hold in the 24...Rc4 lines as well - in which case I'll admit that 24...Kd7 lines (assuming I'm correct about them) become a moot point.  Good luck!]


Ostap,

Naturally I'd be very interested to see your analysis of 24 ... Kd7.  The main point of these games is to share ideas about the opening (though we're past the opening phase, I suppose).  Most of my reticence surrounding 24 ... Kd7 stems from basic principles more than practical analysis.  Please show me how to escape this game!   Grin
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #237 - 07/29/06 at 18:09:19
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HgMan,

In correspondence chess as in otb chess, if a line of analysis doesn't work, any good player would back up and search for alternatives.  I was merely pointing out some (serious) problems with your position.  You already have the requisite two weaknesses (the c-file and king-side for White to hope for a win.  I agree with Ostap that you might be overly optimistic about Black's q-side chances.


But I'd love for you to prove me wrong!

(I'm guessing that you may even be looking at the very ugly 24...Rc4 25.Rxc4 dxc4?!/!? in addition to the more normal 25...bxc4.)

Have fun, and I hope you both make the best moves possible!

(I may well take the rook ending with me on vacation to work out some interesting analysis while on the beach.)

Smiley
  
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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #236 - 07/29/06 at 17:32:41
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HgMan wrote on 07/29/06 at 15:33:43:
In this case, as I mentioned earlier, Black can do much better than exchanging rooks on c8.  So we put the rook on c4 and see what happens.  I'm reasonably confident that Willempie won't want to exchange rooks on c4, so after 25 Kd3 (forced) Kd7 26 b3 Rc6, White has a more favorable exchange (than on c4), and Black can undouble the pawns.  The semi-open a-file will give Black some counterplay against White's kingside attack, and the Black can help in the queenside play.  I'm still feeling reasonably confident that I can hold...

I understand you must have looked at this more deeply than I have, but I'm not entirely convinced that undoubling the pawns through an exchange on c6 is big enough accomplishment to make 24...Rc4 clearly superior to 24...Kd7.

From what I've examined of 24...Kd7 lines (with the rook exchange coming on c8), it looks to me that Black can hold the position just fine with the maneuver ...Rc4-a4.  I think you guys might be underestimating Black's defensive resources vs. the pawn storm in this line.  If anyone cares to see it, I can post some representative lines supporting 24...Kd7.  If not, fine with me.  I trust you'll make the decision carefully without my help.  Smiley

[BTW, Black might be able to hold in the 24...Rc4 lines as well - in which case I'll admit that 24...Kd7 lines (assuming I'm correct about them) become a moot point.  Good luck!]
« Last Edit: 07/29/06 at 18:55:43 by OstapBender »  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #235 - 07/29/06 at 15:33:43
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Smyslov_Fan wrote on 07/29/06 at 06:45:22:
I've seen Black win from similar positions in the past.  Of course, the most likely outcome is a draw, but White has to be careful now!

HgMan,

You've won me over.  This looks like a nice French endgame.  Congratulations on not only surviving, but thriving!


According to the log, this burst of enthusiasm barely lasted for a quarter of an hour, but I'll take it as a moral victory and a sign that there might just be a crack in the dam. 

That said, I think your quickly rekindled distaste for my position is inspired by a line that starts with a poor move for Black.  In correspondence analysis, we try a line and see if we can get it to work.  If we can, then great; we go back and make sure our opponent can't deviate earlier.  If we can't, we back right up and try to work out the kinks.  In this case, as I mentioned earlier, Black can do much better than exchanging rooks on c8.  So we put the rook on c4 and see what happens.  I'm reasonably confident that Willempie won't want to exchange rooks on c4, so after 25 Kd3 (forced) Kd7 26 b3 Rc6, White has a more favorable exchange (than on c4), and Black can undouble the pawns.  The semi-open a-file will give Black some counterplay against White's kingside attack, and the Black can help in the queenside play.  I'm still feeling reasonably confident that I can hold...
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #234 - 07/29/06 at 15:17:29
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OstapBender wrote on 07/29/06 at 14:24:13:
Smyslov_Fan wrote on 07/29/06 at 13:52:22:
Ostap,

One, or possibly both of us is tired.  I see HgMan recommending b3 after Kd3.  I don't see White just dropping the d4 pawn.  Which line do you see that does that?

I think HgMan's 28...Kc7 etc. is a continuation of the line suggested  by MNb which begins, after 24...Rc4, with 25.b3 Rc6 26.Rxc6 bxc6 27.Kc3 Kd7 28.Kb4.

Anyway, 25.b3 mentioned by MNb earlier seems to just drop the d4-pawn.  I can imagine that such a line can into consideration base on the idea that Black's back rank vulnerability might prevent this capture, but this doesn't seem to hold up: Black can just grab the pawn.  All key moves come with check, so the back rank never becomes an issue.


We might all be tired.  I missed the 25, and merely assumed that MNb meant 24 ... Rc4 25 Kd3 Kd7 26 b3 Rc6 27 Rxc6 bxc6 28 Kc3, etc.  You're right: I think 25 Kd3 is forced.  25 b3 Rxd4+ 26 Ke3 Re4+ and Kd7 looks fine...
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #233 - 07/29/06 at 14:24:13
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Smyslov_Fan wrote on 07/29/06 at 13:52:22:
Ostap,

One, or possibly both of us is tired.  I see HgMan recommending b3 after Kd3.  I don't see White just dropping the d4 pawn.  Which line do you see that does that?

I think HgMan's 28...Kc7 etc. is a continuation of the line suggested  by MNb which begins, after 24...Rc4, with 25.b3 Rc6 26.Rxc6 bxc6 27.Kc3 Kd7 28.Kb4.

Anyway, 25.b3 mentioned by MNb earlier seems to just drop the d4-pawn.  I can imagine that such a line came into consideration based on the idea that Black's back rank vulnerability might prevent this capture, but this doesn't seem to hold up: Black can just grab the pawn.  All key moves come with check, so the back rank never becomes an issue.
« Last Edit: 07/29/06 at 20:02:57 by OstapBender »  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #232 - 07/29/06 at 13:52:22
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Ostap,

One, or possibly both of us is tired.  I see HgMan recommending b3 after Kd3.  I don't see White just dropping the d4 pawn.  Which line do you see that does that?
  
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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #231 - 07/29/06 at 13:48:41
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I thought that after 24...Rc4 that 25.Kd3 was more or less forced.

After 25.b3, why not 25...Rxd4+ (26.Ke3 Rd4+)?
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #230 - 07/29/06 at 12:57:59
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Smyslov_Fan wrote on 07/29/06 at 07:03:08:
Oh boy. Embarrassed

I just took a closer look at the endgame.  This looks very dire.  I had accidentally placed the h5 pawn on h2 on my board.  (Rather, I hadn't moved it.)  I don't know now if it would have made a difference, but Black is in deep, deep kimchee.  

Here's a line I saw.  I don't think Black can avoid something like this without going into an even more hopeless endgame.


From the position in the last diagram:

1.Rc1 Kd7 2.Rxc8 Rxc8 3.f5! Rc4 4.Kd3 Ke7 5.Rf1! Rc6 (Black's stuck for a move.) 6.f6+ Kf8 7.Rf2 gxf6 8.exf6 Kg8 9.Rc2 Kf8 and White wins.  This is gruesome!

HgMan,

I take back everything nice I said in the last post.  You've got to do something about White's pawn storm and fast!



Well, I'm pretty sure I don't want to exchange rooks on c8, which is why I was looking at 24 ... Rc4.  I don't think Willempie wants to trade off both rooks, but he does want to take one pair off, and if he wants to do that, then I want to undouble my pawns.  What becomes interesting, then, is that White can break through on the kingside, but only if he lets Black do the same on the queenside.  But I think I want to play 24 ... Rc4, not 24 ... Kd7.  I want to make the exchange of rooks more favorable.

Quote:
White also can try 24...Rc4 25.Kd3 Kd7 26.b3 Rc6 27.Rxc6 bxc6 28.a4 bxa4 29.bxa4 but with c5 Black finally creates counterplay.
So I suppose 25.b3 Rc6 26.Rxc6 bxc6 27.Kc3 Kd7 28.Kb4 is better.


MNb: Yes, I think so.  And 28 ... Kc7 29 Kb4 Kb6 30 Rc1 Ra8 neutralizes White's play here.  The best I've seen (and like Smyslov_Fan, this is just pushing wood rather than necessarily best play) is 31 a4 bxa4 32 bxa4 Rb8 33 f5 Kc7+, which I think I can hold...
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #229 - 07/29/06 at 07:59:36
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Smyslov_Fan,

I missed the point about your line being illustrative rather than suggesting a forced win vs. best defense.  And certainly your line illustrates that the danger inherent in White's kingside pawnstorm.  I'll hold off final judgement of whether Black can defend until I have worked through the details more carefully.  But right now it is time to get some sleep - I live to the east of you so it is even later for me...

From one insomniac to another:
Good night for now...
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #228 - 07/29/06 at 07:43:01
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Ostap,

My variation was meant to be illustrative, not best play.  If Black does nothing he gets crushed.  I don't think ...Ra4 will save him in the long run, but it may be his best bet (opening the a-file with b5-b4).  

I think Black will have to either retreat the king to the 8th rank or get mauled.  In either case, Black may give up even the q-side to White.  If it goes down to a single rook ending, it may well be too late for Black.

I also think that Black's king has to stay in the square of the h-pawn or else g5 will win.  White has just too many threats for Black to successfully defend.

I hope for HgMan's sake I'm wrong, but Willempie's play is looking pretty convincing now.  (at 1:45am local time).
  
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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #227 - 07/29/06 at 07:29:38
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1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nc3 a6 5.Be3 Qc7 6.h4 h6 7.g4 Bd7 8.h5 e6 9.f4 c5 10.Nf3 cxd4 11.Qxd4 Nc6 12.Qb6 Qxb6 13.Bxb6 Bb4 14.0-0-0 Nge7 15.Ne2 Ba5 16.Bxa5 Nxa5 17.Ned4 Rc8 18.Bd3 Nec6 19.c3 Nxd4 20.Nxd4 Nc6 21.Kd2 Nxd4 22.cxd4 Bb5 23.Bxb5 axb5 24.Rc1

current position

Smyslov_Fan wrote on 07/29/06 at 07:03:08:
1.Rc1 Kd7 2.Rxc8 Rxc8 3.f5! Rc4 4.Kd3 Ke7 5.Rf1! Rc6 (Black's stuck for a move.) 6.f6+ Kf8 7.Rf2 gxf6 8.exf6 Kg8 9.Rc2 Kf8 and White wins.  This is gruesome!

I'm a bit puzzled by some details of this line (e.g., the king shuffle ...Kf8-g8-f8; why not ...Ra4 instead of ...Ke7?; why not ...Ra4 instead of ...Rc6?) but here's a diagram for the position at the end of the line...


analysis position

after ...Kf8

...and this is indeed winning for White.

Although I'll admit I may be underestimating the potential of White's kingside pawn storm, my impression is still that Black can hold a draw after 24.Rc1 if he is careful.
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #226 - 07/29/06 at 07:04:43
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Willempie,

Remind me if we ever face each other that you know your endgames!  Great job so far! Cool
  
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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #225 - 07/29/06 at 07:03:08
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Oh boy. Embarrassed

I just took a closer look at the endgame.  This looks very dire.  I had accidentally placed the h5 pawn on h2 on my board.  (Rather, I hadn't moved it.)  I don't know now if it would have made a difference, but Black is in deep, deep kimchee. 

Here's a line I saw.  I don't think Black can avoid something like this without going into an even more hopeless endgame.


From the position in the last diagram:

1.Rc1 Kd7 2.Rxc8 Rxc8 3.f5! Rc4 4.Kd3 Ke7 5.Rf1! Rc6 (Black's stuck for a move.) 6.f6+ Kf8 7.Rf2 gxf6 8.exf6 Kg8 9.Rc2 Kf8 and White wins.  This is gruesome!

HgMan,

I take back everything nice I said in the last post.  You've got to do something about White's pawn storm and fast!

  
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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #224 - 07/29/06 at 06:50:18
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I think the easiest way to face down 24.Rc1 is Kd7!

If White trades down, then you can bring the Rook to c4.  White will then have to prove he has some way to push his king pawns with a rook behind it because otherwise Black will completely neutralize the k-side and win in the center! (Wow, who'd a thunk that ten moves ago?)
  
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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #223 - 07/29/06 at 06:45:22
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I've seen Black win from similar positions in the past.  Of course, the most likely outcome is a draw, but White has to be careful now!

HgMan,

You've won me over.  This looks like a nice French endgame.  Congratulations on not only surviving, but thriving!
  
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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #222 - 07/29/06 at 03:45:15
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White also can try 24...Rc4 25.Kd3 Kd7 26.b3 Rc6 27.Rxc6 bxc6 28.a4 bxa4 29.bxa4 but with c5 Black finally creates counterplay.
So I suppose 25.b3 Rc6 26.Rxc6 bxc6 27.Kc3 Kd7 28.Kb4 is better.
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #221 - 07/28/06 at 21:41:29
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Interesting.  I was a little more bothered by 24 Kd3 Rc4 25 f5.  I don't think there's anything better now than 24 Rc1 Rc4 25 Kd3 (25 Rxc4 bxc4 looks a little too tame) Kd7.  Now, I think I can hold after 26 b3 Rc6 27 Rxc6 bxc6, though I may be missing something.

I suspect that 24 ... Rc4 has to be my move, but I'll give it a bit of a think and hope to hear what others have to say...
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #220 - 07/28/06 at 14:48:54
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1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nc3 a6 5.Be3 Qc7 6.h4 h6 7.g4 Bd7 8.h5 e6 9.f4 c5 10.Nf3 cxd4 11.Qxd4 Nc6 12.Qb6 Qxb6 13.Bxb6 Bb4 14.0-0-0 Nge7 15.Ne2 Ba5 16.Bxa5 Nxa5 17.Ned4 Rc8 18.Bd3 Nec6 19.c3 Nxd4 20.Nxd4 Nc6 21.Kd2 Nxd4 22.cxd4 Bb5 23.Bxb5 axb5 24.Rc1

I didnt see anything better than my original plan and as I still have a problem with my connection at home I thought that it was fair not to leave you waiting for over a week.
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #219 - 07/28/06 at 07:51:39
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The presumed move is very much ok with me.

Now checking whether Rc1 is good or throws away everything.
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #218 - 07/28/06 at 07:49:15
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HgMan wrote on 07/27/06 at 23:18:25:
If it turns out that White's plan wasn't best, dare I say that the culprit was 11 Qxd4 and 12 Qb6 ?  Keeping the queens on the board might have helped White to maintain the kind pressure inherent in these lines of the Advance Caro-Kann...

If I am wrong about the endgame I think that the exchange of the bishops was the problem. At that point I had the most doubts. Plus of course a novelty invented by me cant be bad Wink
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #217 - 07/28/06 at 01:47:07
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HgMan wrote on 07/27/06 at 23:18:25:
[If it turns out that White's plan wasn't best, dare I say that the culprit was 11 Qxd4 and 12 Qb6 ?  Keeping the queens on the board might have helped White to maintain the kind pressure inherent in these lines of the Advance Caro-Kann...


No. Rook endgames are not my forte, but I have pointed out a different plan - b3 evt c4 instead of c3 with Bb1 not happening. I am still convinced, that my plan preserves a long lasting advantage, but am surprised, how quick White's advantage diminished after 18.Bd3. Still Black has not totally equalized yet.
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #216 - 07/27/06 at 23:41:45
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Assuming Willempie accepts the conditional moves we now have:
1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nc3 a6 5.Be3 Qc7 6.h4 h6 7.g4 Bd7 8.h5 e6 9.f4 c5 10.Nf3 cxd4 11.Qxd4 Nc6 12.Qb6 Qxb6 13.Bxb6 Bb4 14.0-0-0 Nge7 15.Ne2 Ba5 16.Bxa5 Nxa5 17.Ned4 Rc8 18.Bd3 Nec6 19.c3 Nxd4 20.Nxd4 Nc6 21.Kd2 Nxd4 22.cxd4 Bb5 23.Bxb5 axb5

current position (?)

It would be interesting to see the doubled b-pawn ending.  My impression was that Black could hold such an ending, but Willempie seemed to have a different opinion, iirc.
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #215 - 07/27/06 at 23:18:25
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Willempie wrote on 07/19/06 at 07:17:50:
To answer SF about 0-0-0 in my view the pin on c3 had to be broken asap, plus I wanted the king out of the way for connecting rooks. Furthermore and I still have to look at it I think that maybe move 16 wasnt the best and should have kept the black bishop on.


If it turns out that White's plan wasn't best, dare I say that the culprit was 11 Qxd4 and 12 Qb6 ?  Keeping the queens on the board might have helped White to maintain the kind pressure inherent in these lines of the Advance Caro-Kann...
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #214 - 07/27/06 at 23:14:58
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Willempie wrote on 07/27/06 at 07:05:33:
Good to see you're back in good health, though I am quite disappointed that it was due to a injury and not out of fear for my cunning plan that the game got a bit delayed.

PS coming weekend I am going a week on vacation to France, so that will delay the game some extra.


Nerves are fine, thank you.  I doubt I'd play the Caro if this kind of position caused me too much stress.  But then I'm not the one looking to escape town to the zoo or France...   Wink

I may be rushing things, but let's continue our investigation:

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nc3 a6 5.Be3 Qc7 6.h4 h6 7.g4 Bd7 8.h5 e6 9.f4 c5 10.Nf3 cxd4 11.Qxd4 Nc6 12.Qb6 Qxb6 13.Bxb6 Bb4 14.0-0-0 Nge7 15.Ne2 Ba5 16.Bxa5 Nxa5 17.Ned4 Rc8 18.Bd3 Nec6 19.c3 Nxd4 20.Nxd4 Nc6 21.Kd2 Nxd4 22.cxd4 Bb5 23.Bxb5 axb5

Perhaps I'm assuming too much that White needs to play 23 Bxb5, so I'll let Willempie decide whether to accept all or any of the conditional move.  Hopefully the change in the position will provoke more conversation...
  

"Luck favours the prepared mind."  --Louis Pasteur
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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #213 - 07/27/06 at 07:05:33
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Good to see you're back in good health, though I am quite disappointed that it was due to a injury and not out of fear for my cunning plan that the game got a bit delayed.

PS coming weekend I am going a week on vacation to France, so that will delay the game some extra.
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #212 - 07/26/06 at 20:02:42
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Willempie wrote on 07/20/06 at 06:52:34:
My current (very cunning Wink) plan for the double rook endgame is to exchange one rook along the c-file and keep the king on d2 (or d3) to avoid any harassment and then to start annoying black on the kingside. If that pressure forces the rook to the kingside my king will go walking to the queenside eating some doubled snacks along the way.


I'm back in the saddle.  Rumors of my demise (and torn ACL, as my doctor informs me) were greatly exaggerated.  Turns out it was "only" hyper-extended, and it's beginning to heal.  (Thanks for the sympathy and, indeed, the patience).  I feel as though I've hampered our investigation by taking a few days out.  I've lost the thread and my train of thought here, so I hope Willempie will not mind my delaying a reply for another day while I try to drum up some analysis and discussion.

In response to Willempie's cunning plan, I suspect that I can exchange the rooks on my terms--on c4 or c6 in order to undouble the pawns--and perhaps hold.  I almost think that White needs to hold onto the pair of rooks in order to try to expose two weaknesses in Black's camp.  A single rook should produce a rather blunt attack, and one that I should be able to parry, but what do I know?  I will be the first to boldly assert that the endgame is not my strength, but the endgame after 21 Kd2 Nxd4 22 cxd4 Bb5 23 Bxb5 axb5 doesn't frighten me (maybe it should!).  Rc8-c4 seems like an obvious response to 24 Rc1.  24 f5 Rc4 25 Kd3 Ke7 doesn't seem to trouble me too much after 26 Rhf1 Ra8, though I need to look deeper at 24 f5.  In all, White enjoys a significant space advantage, but I can't help thinking that my position is sufficiently compact as to be ultimately defensible.  But I'd be grateful for some input...
  

"Luck favours the prepared mind."  --Louis Pasteur
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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #211 - 07/24/06 at 08:37:38
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No worries, I am just back at work after having a minor disagreement with the internet provider.
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #210 - 07/23/06 at 20:58:55
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HgMan,

Here's hoping you didn't tear the ACL or have any other major damage done (e.g. meniscus tears or MCL tears).  I did that in my last indoor soccer game about 6 years ago now.  The connection between the injury and it being my last indoor soccer game is no coincidence.

You have my sympathies.  Cry

Have a beer, and keep that knee elevated!  (But I presume you've already been to the doctor about how bad the injury could be.)

FYI:  Torn ACLs are really pretty easy to diagnose.  I'm pretty sure everyone on the team knew that Owen had torn his ACL when he came off.



NB:  "Tear" is one of those weird words in English that has multiple meanings depending on how it's pronounced.  Yet if the verb happens, the noun often follows.
  
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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #209 - 07/23/06 at 14:45:33
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Sorry--my fault.  I got caught up with work and then did a Michael Owen playing soccer the other day (I took a step back and my knee just gave way).  Lots of pain and I haven't had a chance to refresh my memory on whether I preferred taking off the bishops and rooks, or whether I had another plan.  My apologies to Willempie and others.  I will try to reply soon.  At the moment, however, I'm having difficulty sticking my leg under the desk in order to write at the computer.
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #208 - 07/23/06 at 03:28:11
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This game's been a bit quiet lately.  What's going on?
  
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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #207 - 07/20/06 at 06:52:34
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Smyslov_Fan wrote on 07/19/06 at 16:27:31:
I'm amused at the irony that most of us seem to consider the endgame our strength, and yet we are here at an opening forum discussing the finer points of obscure variations!

Well that's relative of course. For my level I am quite good at endgames even beating up better rated players in rook endgames (so much that a few weeks back my opponent resigned directly with a pawn down and only knights), however my openings or rather the middle game following it is rather bad (plus I have a tendency to leave pieces en prise), which is why I quite like the chesspub format and these kinds of games as it illustrates this part better.

Back to the game. My current (very cunning Wink) plan for the double rook endgame is to exchange one rook along the c-file and keep the king on d2 (or d3) to avoid any harassment and then to start annoying black on the kingside. If that pressure forces the rook to the kingside my king will go walking to the queenside eating some doubled snacks along the way.
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #206 - 07/19/06 at 16:27:31
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Willempie,

I'm not disappointed in 21.Kd2.  It makes great sense as long as you don't mind the trade on d4.  Your position is still good, but HgMan's done a good job of neutralising most of your pressure.    The fight is is still ahead.


Quote:
I win a lot of games by keeping black under pressure and then beat them up in the endgame as then often they think the pressure is gone.



I'm amused at the irony that most of us seem to consider the endgame our strength, and yet we are here at an opening forum discussing the finer points of obscure variations!
  
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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #205 - 07/19/06 at 15:33:50
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Well, some of us saw 11 Qxd4 ...   Roll Eyes

d5-d4 is the thematic break here for Black, and re-capturing on d4 with the pawn prevents that.  A pawn on d4 also provides some freedom to advance f4-f5 without worrying as much about the pawn on e5.  It does, however, leave the lone open file in Black's hands, but I'm not quite sure I can do anything with it at the moment anyway.  Black's plans still involve Ke8-e7 and swinging the two rooks to the c-file.  But I suppose that the first pressing question is whether to exchange the knights or not.  And if so, does Bd7-b5 turn this into a double-rook endgame that Black can hope to draw (or, indeed, win)...
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #204 - 07/19/06 at 11:52:14
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Although I had suggested retreating the knight at one point, I didn't like this either after looking at it a bit.

I just prefer recapturing on d4 with the rook instead on a pawn.  However, all of your decisions so far have worked out well (especially back on move eleven with the beautiful 11.Qxd4, which noone else had seen!) so I have no reason to doubt your judgement now.

I will watch and learn! (and, of course, continue to thrown in my 2¢).
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #203 - 07/19/06 at 08:12:07
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OstapBender wrote on 07/19/06 at 07:55:20:
Willempie wrote on 07/19/06 at 07:17:50:
21.Kd2

I know this move was on the table, but still I'm a bit surprised since I didn't thinks it was good to have to recapture on d4 with a pawn.  

It'll be interesting to see where this leads...

Well that is the real question I think. Personally I feel that with or without the bishops the forward white pawns make the endgame a very long and uncomfortable sit for black. I win a lot of games by keeping black under pressure and then beat them up in the endgame as then often they think the pressure is gone. Whether it is winnable for white I honestly dont know. However I am afraid that if I retreat the knight I will lose the initiative as it gives black a breather which he can use to either connect rooks and/or to do some nasty regrouping of pieces (Nb8-d7-c5, Bc6 (or b5), Ke7).
Whether my feeling is correct remains to be seen as I am not as good as Karpov in evaluating these kinds of positions Grin
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #202 - 07/19/06 at 07:55:20
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Willempie wrote on 07/19/06 at 07:17:50:
21.Kd2

I know this move was on the table, but still I'm a bit surprised since I didn't thinks it was good to have to recapture on d4 with a pawn. 

It'll be interesting to see where this leads...
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #201 - 07/19/06 at 07:17:50
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I am going to totally annoy SF and play Kd2 Grin
1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nc3 a6 5.Be3 Qc7 6.h4 h6 7.g4 Bd7 8.h5 e6 9.f4 c5 10.Nf3 cxd4 11.Qxd4 Nc6 12.Qb6 Qxb6 13.Bxb6 Bb4 14.0-0-0 Nge7 15.Ne2 Ba5 16.Bxa5 Nxa5 17.Ned4 Rc8 18.Bd3 Nec6 19.c3 Nxd4 20.Nxd4 Nc6 21.Kd2

I didnt like the knight moves because of 21...d4
The bishop retreats I am unsure about as I can always retreat at a later stage if Bb5 is played and I dont like the resulting endgame.

To answer SF about 0-0-0 in my view the pin on c3 had to be broken asap, plus I wanted the king out of the way for connecting rooks. Furthermore and I still have to look at it I think that maybe move 16 wasnt the best and should have kept the black bishop on.
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #200 - 07/18/06 at 20:30:47
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It's easy to dislike 14 0-0-0 in retrospect, but I think White was right to want to get out from behind the pin.  Remember, too, that the simple 14 Rd1 leaves the c-pawn unprotected, which means White has to address that even if there is no pin involved along the c-file. 

I remember at the time spending a bit of time looking at 14 Bd3 Nge7, but even then I felt that 15 0-0-0 was probably White's best.  All in all, White's position may have looked easier to play, but I think Black set White enough problems to worry about all the same...
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #199 - 07/18/06 at 19:23:02
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Smyslov_Fan wrote on 07/18/06 at 19:14:37:
I know I'm beginning to sound like a one-note piano on this, but if White was really going to centralise his king so soon after going through all this, why on earth did he castle instead of just playing 0-0-0?  Oh well.

Clearly you must be right here unless somehow Rd1 (instead of 0-0-0) gave Black extra options that would have allowed him to avoid the Ke1-instead-of-Kc1 version of the current position.  

To state the obvious (sometimes I think I should change my name to Gilligan  Roll Eyes) I guess we start analysis of this by taking the game line with 14.Rd1 substituted for 14.0-0-0 and look for improvements for Black that take advantage of the different king position.

Edit:  After 14.Rd1 Nge7 the game immediately has to follow a different path since the c3-knight is pinned ruling out 15.Ne2 played in the game after 14.0-0-0 Nge7.  So it doesn't look like it's nearly as simple a comparison as I suggested above.

Cheers,
'Gilligan'   Embarrassed
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #198 - 07/18/06 at 19:14:37
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I know I'm beginning to sound like a one-note piano on this, but if White was really going to centralise his king so soon after going through all this, why on earth did he castle instead of just playing 0-0-0?  Oh well.
  
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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #197 - 07/18/06 at 17:24:15
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1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nc3 a6 5.Be3 Qc7 6.h4 h6 7.g4 Bd7 8.h5 e6 9.f4 c5 10.Nf3 cxd4 11.Qxd4 Nc6 12.Qb6 Qxb6 13.Bxb6 Bb4 14.0-0-0 Nge7 15.Ne2 Ba5 16.Bxa5 Nxa5 17.Ned4 Rc8 18.Bd3 Nec6 19.c3 Nxd4 20.Nxd4 Nc6

current position

Threatening 21...Nxd4.  HgMan has pointed out that 21 Nxc6 is not possible on account of 21 ... Bxc6, which threatens 22...d4 (with discovery hitting h1) and at least an equal game for Black.
(http://www.chesspub.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1151070318/180#187)

Moves under consideration are 21.Kd2, 21.Bc2, 21.Bb1, 21.Nc2.  Anything else (21.Nf3)?

I starting thinking about 21.Ne2 (with the idea of avoiding the knight exchange, then supporting the f5 push with Ng3) but I think that 21...d4 could be a good reponse: e.g., 22.c4 Nb4 and if 23.Nxd4 (what else?) 23...Nxd3+ 24.Rxd3 Rxc4+.  If this is undesirable for White, then the same variation would rule out 21.Nf3.  After 21.Nc2 d4 22.c4 Black doesn't have 22...Nb4 so it looks like ...d4 is not a problem here.  Still, I'm not sure I like 21.Nc2 because the knight needs to get to e3 to support the kingside play, and after something like 21...Ke7 22.Kd2 (I don't like 22.Ne3 because of 22...d4) it is now White's pieces that look tangled up and Black might have time to generate counterplay (22...f6 looks plausible) before White can get any kingside activity underway.  

I also don't like the look of 21.Kd2 Nxd4 22.cxd4.

So, in my mind the only candidates are the two bishop moves.  Knight moves other than 21.Nc2 could came back into consideration if 21...d4 proves, upon closer inspection, to be less threatening than it appears at first glance.
« Last Edit: 07/18/06 at 19:16:25 by OstapBender »  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #196 - 07/18/06 at 15:13:15
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Smyslov_Fan wrote on 07/18/06 at 14:33:26:
If the whole point of c3 was to be able to retreat the B, then perhaps now is the time to do it with Bc2.  What am I missing that it's not even a candidate move?  It seems to me that White still has a pull as long as he controls d4.


Only my myopia.  Roll Eyes  I don't know why I left out 21 Bc2 earlier.  Mind you, after 21 ... Nxd4 22 Rxd4 (22 cxd4 looks terrible) Ke7, I don't know what kind of pull White is claiming.

At the same time, the king wants to start to migrate toward the center of the board, so 21 Kd2 isn't so bad.  I may have been unduly influenced by Willempie's recommendation of the move earlier.
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #195 - 07/18/06 at 15:05:25
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I will check both this evening, plus Bc2 though I dislike it for esthetical reasons.

PS Smyslov_Fan, I was a bit disappointed about your french game. I saw a nice quote from Henry V in one of the other games. So I was kinda hoping for some French taunts against Ostap in Monty Python style (yes I watched the holy grail again this weekend).... Wink
  

If nothing else works, a total pig-headed unwillingness to look facts in the face will see us through.
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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #194 - 07/18/06 at 15:04:19
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Smyslov_Fan wrote on 07/18/06 at 14:33:26:
If the whole point of c3 was to be able to retreat the B, then perhaps now is the time to do it with Bc2.  What am I missing that it's not even a candidate move?  It seems to me that White still has a pull as long as he controls d4.

Bc2 serves the duel purpose of bringing the rook into contact with d4 and breaking the latent pin on the c3-pawn, both of these strengthen d4.  This makes a lot of sense to me.
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #193 - 07/18/06 at 14:33:26
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If the whole point of c3 was to be able to retreat the B, then perhaps now is the time to do it with Bc2.  What am I missing that it's not even a candidate move?  It seems to me that White still has a pull as long as he controls d4.
  
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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #192 - 07/18/06 at 13:43:01
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I don't think I want to take off another pair of knights, but it may come to that.  I'm a little bothered by 21 Kd2 Ke7 22 Rhg1 (22 Rhe1 is no picnic, either). 

It might, however, be worth revisiting the doubled b-pawn ending.  22 ... Bb5 23 Bxb5 axb5 with Rc8-c4 to follow looks as though Black could hold...
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #191 - 07/18/06 at 13:34:17
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HgMan wrote on 07/18/06 at 13:28:31:
Loath as I am to help an opponent, your N on d4 is en prise at the moment, ruling out 21 Rhg1 and 21 f5.

Oops, now you all know why I lose games Grin
Quote:
It seems to me that the candidates are 21 Kd2 and 21 Nc2 (which I don't think works...).

21 Nxc6 is no good (see above).  21 Kb1 can't be better than 21 Kd2 (the king seems to be going the wrong way)...

I'll have to check on the knight exchange indeed. I didnt think it was a major worry, but I could be wrong.
  

If nothing else works, a total pig-headed unwillingness to look facts in the face will see us through.
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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #190 - 07/18/06 at 13:28:31
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Willempie wrote on 07/18/06 at 12:51:55:
Hmm, time to recheck my analysis from a few days back.
21. Kd2, Rhg1 or maybe f5 are under consideration.


Loath as I am to help an opponent, your N on d4 is en prise at the moment, ruling out 21 Rhg1 and 21 f5.

It seems to me that the candidates are 21 Kd2 and 21 Nc2 (which I don't think works...).

21 Nxc6 is no good (see above).  21 Kb1 can't be better than 21 Kd2 (the king seems to be going the wrong way)...
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #189 - 07/18/06 at 13:26:34
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HgMan wrote on 07/18/06 at 12:27:49:
So I guess I should play the simple:
1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nc3 a6 5.Be3 Qc7 6.h4 h6 7.g4 Bd7 8.h5 e6 9.f4 c5 10.Nf3 cxd4 11.Qxd4 Nc6 12.Qb6 Qxb6 13.Bxb6 Bb4 14.0-0-0 Nge7 15.Ne2 Ba5 16.Bxa5 Nxa5 17.Ned4 Rc8 18.Bd3 Nec6 19.c3 Nxd4 20 Nxd4 Nc6

And we've transposed to 18...Nac6 19.c3 Nxd4 20 Nxd4 Nc6 considered earlier.  18...Nec6 created new possibilities to think about, but ultimately wound up in the same place as the more straightforward 18...Nac6.

For White now: I know that moving the N from d4 is very unappealing, but I worry about allowing the second pair of knights to be exchanged (but I may be the only one with this worry).  I think good bishop vs. bad bishop is often more difficult to win than knight vs. bad bishop (I may also be the only one who thinks this is true; I still have a lot to learn about endings!)
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #188 - 07/18/06 at 12:51:55
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Hmm, time to recheck my analysis from a few days back.
21. Kd2, Rhg1 or maybe f5 are under consideration.
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #187 - 07/18/06 at 12:27:49
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I don't think I'd want to go near that endgame.   Lips Sealed  22 Rdf1 is enough to put me off.

Perhaps 20 ... Ke7 is the culprit.  Maybe the boring 19 c3 Nxd4 20 Nxd4 Nc6 is better.  21 Bb1 (I haven't looked at 21 Kd2 or Kb1 carefully yet, though challenging on open the c-file might be enough to dissuade me from exchanging the second pair of knights) Nxd4 22 Rxd4 Bb5 looks okay for Black.  With the King still on e8, the piece sacrifice I mentioned last night is also ruled out.  So maybe I was tilting at windmills: this takes us back to where Ostap had us before I insisted that 18 ... Nec6 was a better move rather than just a mere transpositional one.  Undecided  I suppose it showed White some different patterns along the way.  None of them dangerous, apparently.

I've been looking for some time to put a knight on e4, but I can't see how it would work.  The immediate 19 ... b5 20 Kb1 Nb7 21 f5 doesn't really appeal and neither does 19 ... Ke7 20 Nc2 (why not transfer the knight to e3 and prevent the exchange?) b5 21 Kb1 Nb7 22 Ne3 Nc5, which appears to favor White after 23 Bc2.  There is 23 ... Na5 24 Nd4 Nc6 25 Rhe1 Nxd4 26 Nxd4 a5, but White is being far too accommodating (25 Rhg1 is much better).

So I guess I should play the simple:

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nc3 a6 5.Be3 Qc7 6.h4 h6 7.g4 Bd7 8.h5 e6 9.f4 c5 10.Nf3 cxd4 11.Qxd4 Nc6 12.Qb6 Qxb6 13.Bxb6 Bb4 14.0-0-0 Nge7 15.Ne2 Ba5 16.Bxa5 Nxa5 17.Ned4 Rc8 18.Bd3 Nec6 19.c3 Nxd4 20 Nxd4 Nc6

(Again, assuming Willempie will choose to recapture, though you're most welcome not to  Wink)

21 Nxc6 is not possible due to the peculiar 21 ... Bxc6, which threatens d5-d4 and at least an equal game for Black.  Black's game is fairly straightforward (not easy, but straightforward).  The king will come to e7, and the rooks will look for counterplay along the c-file while White tries to get his kingside going.
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #186 - 07/18/06 at 10:59:17
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OstapBender wrote on 07/18/06 at 05:48:43:
Here's a specific line illustrating the bishop exchange idea I alluded to above:
22.Rdf1 Nc6 23.Nxc6+ (I don't think 23.Kd2 Nxd4 24.cxd4 looks any better, but maybe White might has other options here?) 23...Rxc6 24.Kd2 (24.f5 25.d4) and now 24...Bb5 leads to the desired exchange 25.Bxb5 axb5

After something like 26.f5 Rc4 27.a3 (to prevent 27...b4) 27...Re4 I guess White is still better, but I don't see an obvious winning plan (maybe someone else does?).  I think Black should have good chances to draw here.

There may be improvements for White in this line, and I'm not entirely sure of my assessment of the final position, but I thought I'd put this forward for discussion regarding positions where White has a rook on f1.

I looked a lot at the "double b-pawn endgame" and I think that in most cases it is an easy win for white. I cant really give specific variations, but some general ideas.
-With rooks on I have the opportunity to hammer on with the kingside pawns, without allowing any counter play. This would tie the black pieces to the kingside thus leaving open the queenside for the king or rook.
-The pawn ending itself I think is dead lost for black as the white king can eat its way up the b-file.
  

If nothing else works, a total pig-headed unwillingness to look facts in the face will see us through.
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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #185 - 07/18/06 at 05:48:43
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Here's a specific line illustrating the bishop exchange idea I alluded to above:
22.Rdf1 Nc6 23.Nxc6+ (I don't think 23.Kd2 Nxd4 24.cxd4 looks any better, but maybe White might has other options here?) 23...Rxc6 24.Kd2 (24.f5 25.d4) and now 24...Bb5 leads to the desired exchange 25.Bxb5 axb5

After something like 26.f5 Rc4 27.a3 (to prevent 27...b4) 27...Re4 I guess White is still better, but I don't see an obvious winning plan (maybe someone else does?).  I think Black should have good chances to draw here.

There may be improvements for White in this line, and I'm not entirely sure of my assessment of the final position, but I thought I'd put this forward for discussion regarding positions where White has a rook on f1.
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #184 - 07/18/06 at 04:04:42
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MNb wrote on 07/18/06 at 02:47:06:
22.Rdf1 is an option.
I have tried to make b7-b5 work, but because of the weakness on a6 Black cannot continue with b5-b4.

After 22.Rdf1, Black might have a plan of exchanging the second pair of knights (via ...Nc6) then playing ...Bb5 (skewering Bd3 and Rf1).  Exchanging light-squared bishops, even at the cost of doubled b-pawns, should lead to a pretty drawish position (a-file will be open for ...Ra8, and a2-a3 could be answered by ...Ra4 and ...b4).  I haven't worked out specific lines, but I think this plan could be a general concern for White with a rook on f1.
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #183 - 07/18/06 at 02:47:06
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22.Rdf1 is an option.
I have tried to make b7-b5 work, but because of the weakness on a6 Black cannot continue with b5-b4.
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #182 - 07/17/06 at 21:52:46
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Smyslov_Fan: Thank you for the encouragement; I will keep plugging away, though you're right about Willempie still having the better chances.

I'm currently looking at 19 c3 Nxd4 20 Nxd4 Ke7 21 Rhg1 Ba4 22 Rd2 Nc6 23 Bb1 Nxd4 24 Rxd4 Bb5 25 a4 and now there's a speculative piece sacrifice: 25 ... Bc4 26 b3 Bxb3 27 Rb4 Bxa4 28 Rxa4 Rxc3+.  I don't know if any big, bad engines (or chessplayers(!)) care to weigh in on that.  I presume that if I can take the rooks off the board then I should be alright--after all this does rid me of my maligned bishop. 29 Kd2 Rhc8 30 Bd3 Rb3 and Hiarcs doesn't put me any worse off than I am right now.  In fact, if I can take off a pair of rooks (31 Raa1 Rcc3 32 Bc2 Ra3 33 Rxa3 Rxa3--pure fantasy, I know), the position starts to look pretty palatable.  Surely, though, this line in general can't be good for Black.  I must have better resources elsewhere.

Nevertheless, I think even this line shows it might be difficult for White to advance either the f- or the g-pawn...
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #181 - 07/17/06 at 15:27:54
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Smyslov_Fan wrote on 07/17/06 at 14:28:03:
You're not out of the woods yet and Willempie is a good, resourceful player.

And beware being lulled into a false sense of security by that cute, little, Dutch smurf persona.  That 'innocent' trip to the zoo was probably to study the predators!  Wink

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nc3 a6 5.Be3 Qc7 6.h4 h6 7.g4 Bd7 8.h5 e6 9.f4 c5 10.Nf3 cxd4 11.Qxd4 Nc6 12.Qb6 Qxb6 13.Bxb6 Bb4 14.0-0-0 Nge7 15.Ne2 Ba5 16.Bxa5 Nxa5 17.Ned4 Rc8 18.Bd3 Nec6 19.c3

current position


Be afraid...

...be VERY afraid!
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #180 - 07/17/06 at 15:16:06
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OstapBender wrote on 07/17/06 at 15:07:26:
We've focused on the f5 push so far, but the alternative g5 (as Willempie mentioned a couple of times now) also looks like it could be very dangerous for Black.

Plus a combinitation of the two like this is not inconceivable either (not necessarily in this order): Rhg1, f5, g5, f6
  

If nothing else works, a total pig-headed unwillingness to look facts in the face will see us through.
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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #179 - 07/17/06 at 15:07:26
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We've focused on the f5 push so far, but the alternative g5 (as Willempie mentioned a couple of times now) also looks like it could be very dangerous for Black.
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #178 - 07/17/06 at 14:47:50
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Smyslov_Fan wrote on 07/17/06 at 14:28:03:
If White knew he was going to play 19.c3, I wonder if he still would have played 14.0-0-0 instead of Rd1.  Still, 19.c3 guarantees keeping the B on the b1-h7 diagonal.

HgMan,

You're not out of the woods yet and Willempie is a good, resourceful player.  But, I am beginning to find hope for you since f4-f5 doesn't seem to work.  It aint pretty, but your Nec6 may be effective!  (You haven't won me over just yet, but keep plugging away!)

Thanks for the compliment Cool

Well I dont think f5 is off the table just yet. With the bishop guarantueed on the b1-h7 diagonal, f5 is back on (also g5 but for that I'd prolly need Rhg1 first).

I also feel that Nc4 by black at some point is not particularly dangerous. It looks to me like an "active" move which only helps white, because if need be it can always be exchanged for the bishop leaving black with the bad bishop against a fairly decent knight. On the other hand the knight on c4 may invite all kinds of pawn breaks starting with f5 or g5.
  

If nothing else works, a total pig-headed unwillingness to look facts in the face will see us through.
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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #177 - 07/17/06 at 14:28:03
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If White knew he was going to play 19.c3, I wonder if he still would have played 14.0-0-0 instead of Rd1.  Still, 19.c3 guarantees keeping the B on the b1-h7 diagonal.

HgMan,

You're not out of the woods yet and Willempie is a good, resourceful player.  But, I am beginning to find hope for you since f4-f5 doesn't seem to work.  It aint pretty, but your Nec6 may be effective!  (You haven't won me over just yet, but keep plugging away!)
  
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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #176 - 07/17/06 at 13:13:24
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woofwoof wrote on 07/17/06 at 05:25:11:
The overall posn isnt so unpleasant as it looks for black despite the  "-ve" feeback so far from some. It isnt so comfortable I must admit, then again I'm always one for more freedom & activity. Anyway I did subjct the current posn to deep positional analysis on my ol' EXTREME, & the best it could come up with was a 0.28 advantage to white (how does one put a "+" over an "= "?)  That's still  minor difference, so it is approximately equal for all practical purposes, so black still has lots to play for, tho not so easy either.

White still needs some regrouping to really get the pawn push underway, so not so serious yet, I think. Schematically anyway, I feel the best plan now is to try to double the rooks on the C-file. 1 can advance up & down, while the other exrts more pressure on it or patrols the 8th rank whenever needed.

My apologies to Hgman If I had come up with some dubious ideas/moves along the way. Embarrassed

btw I did not let EXTREME finish the analysis as it was taking a LONG time. but the figure I gave above was abt there.


Wow!  0.28 is a lot more optimistic than what Hiarcs is giving me, but I'll take it!  Grin  I would imagine that a number of players would prefer more dynamic play for Black, but I don't mind defending so long as I don't get overrun.  I'm not sure there are too many solid, counter-attacking methods available to Black in the Advance Caro that don't shred Black's pawn structure.  What I'm enjoying about this game and our collective exploration of this line is the prospect of using this line in correspondence games in the future.  Win or lose here, I can't help feeling that I will be especially well-prepared to face the Advance Caro-Kann in the future.

woofwoof: thank you for your suggestions.  I don't recall any dubious ideas along the way.  You were absolutely right about the c-file earlier, and I think you're right about getting the second rook there as soon as possible.  I just need to determine whether I should play 19 c3 Ke7, or whether 19 ... Nxd4 should come first. 

I posted 19 ... Nxd4 20 Nxd4 Ke7 21 Rhe1 b5 22 Kb1 Nc4 last night, and that may still be best.  Willempie's bishop is the best minor piece on the board, and he's right to think it belongs on the b1-h7 diagonal, but I don't think he needs to drop it back to b1 without it being provoked first.  In fact, it could be necessary to give it up in exchange for a knight on c4 if that knight starts to look dangerous.  My instinct is that slow maneuvering helps Black more than it helps White, but I could be wrong.

On 19 Nxc6, I was looking at 19 ... Rxc6 as a method of freeing c8 for the other rook.  I'll post a little analysis this evening...
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #175 - 07/17/06 at 09:00:02
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1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nc3 a6 5.Be3 Qc7 6.h4 h6 7.g4 Bd7 8.h5 e6 9.f4 c5 10.Nf3 cxd4 11.Qxd4 Nc6 12.Qb6 Qxb6 13.Bxb6 Bb4 14.0-0-0 Nge7 15.Ne2 Ba5 16.Bxa5 Nxa5 17.Ned4 Rc8 18.Bd3 Nec6 19.c3

I checked the others out and found them lacking and in almost all cases would wish I had the move c3 in somewhere.
Eg 19.f5 Nb4 20.fxe6 Nxd3+ 21. Rxd3 fxe6 looked good enough for black to me. The way I see it is that the b1-h7 diagonal is key so I have to keep the bishop on.
  

If nothing else works, a total pig-headed unwillingness to look facts in the face will see us through.
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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #174 - 07/17/06 at 08:08:57
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HgMan wrote on 07/17/06 at 02:57:13:
I had a really cunning plan for 19 c3, but I don't remember what it was!

As cunning as a fox who's just been appointed Professor of Cunning at Oxford University?
Wink


Currently mainly lloking at 19.c3. After all, never change a winning plan Grin

19. f5 seems a bit premature, but very much looking into it and into 19.Nxc6 Nxc6 20.f5. But for the moment I tend to agree with the earlier assessments.
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #173 - 07/17/06 at 05:25:11
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The overall posn isnt so unpleasant as it looks for black despite the  "-ve" feeback so far from some. It isnt so comfortable I must admit, then again I'm always one for more freedom & activity. Anyway I did subjct the current posn to deep positional analysis on my ol' EXTREME, & the best it could come up with was a 0.28 advantage to white (how does one put a "+" over an "= "?)  That's still  minor difference, so it is approximately equal for all practical purposes, so black still has lots to play for, tho not so easy either.

White still needs some regrouping to really get the pawn push underway, so not so serious yet, I think. Schematically anyway, I feel the best plan now is to try to double the rooks on the C-file. 1 can advance up & down, while the other exrts more pressure on it or patrols the 8th rank whenever needed.

My apologies to Hgman If I had come up with some dubious ideas/moves along the way. Embarrassed

btw I did not let EXTREME finish the analysis as it was taking a LONG time. but the figure I gave above was abt there.
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #172 - 07/17/06 at 03:24:25
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Smyslov_Fan wrote on 07/17/06 at 03:13:33:
Quote:
I had a really cunning plan for 19 c3, but I don't remember what it was!  As a correspondence player, my not taking good notes is a cardinal sin....


Thanks for the advice, Hgman!  I haven't played correspondence chess, but now I'm beginning to see the need for a good notebook (virtual or paper)!

If you have any other advice for correspondence novices, please share them!


Double-check everything--twice!  Then check it again.
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #171 - 07/17/06 at 03:13:33
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Quote:
I had a really cunning plan for 19 c3, but I don't remember what it was!  As a correspondence player, my not taking good notes is a cardinal sin....


Thanks for the advice, Hgman!  I haven't played correspondence chess, but now I'm beginning to see the need for a good notebook (virtual or paper)!

If you have any other advice for correspondence novices, please share them!
  
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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #170 - 07/17/06 at 02:57:13
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I was looking at 19 a3 Ke7, but I suspect that it would only let White swing 20 Rhe1 or play another useful move in the interim.  In general, though, my instinct is that play would transpose.

I don't trust 19 a3 b5, though it might have some merit: 20 Rhe1 Nc4 21 Kb1 Ke7 22 c3 Nxd4 23 Nxd4 a5 24 Ka2 b4 looks as though it could be a little problematic for Black.

Willempie has mentioned before that he distrusts advances of the rook's pawns, and I don't really see how this move helps him much.

I had a really cunning plan for 19 c3, but I don't remember what it was!  As a correspondence player, my not taking good notes is a cardinal sin, and I'll have to scour the various bits of scratch paper on my desk to find what I had in mind.  I remember thinking 19 c3 wasn't any more dangerous than White's other plans.  It might have been as simple as 19 ... Nxd4 20 Nxd4 Ke7 21 Rhe1 b5 22 Kb1 Nc4.  Maybe there was a point where I tried to squeeze in f7-f6, but my sense is that the onus is on White to make the first move on the kingside.

As for 19 f5, I prefer the following move order: 19 ... Nb4 20 fxe6 Nxd3+ 21 Rxd3 fxe6, which eliminates Bg6+ and avoids tying the bishop down to the d5 pawn as a glorified pawn...
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #169 - 07/17/06 at 00:55:30
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After 19 a3 or 19 c3 I've been assuming that Black continues with 19...Nxd4, but maybe this exchange is not 'automatic.'  I wonder if Black can leave the exchange in the air and continue with something 19...Ke7 or 19...b5.  Undecided
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #168 - 07/16/06 at 23:19:23
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I'm basing 18 ... Nec6 on the belief that 19 f5 won't work for White.  Throughout most of the game so far, I've felt that White's position looked dangerous, but its bark was worse than its bite.  (Long may that last!).

Without 19 a3 or 19 c3, Black can post a knight at b4, and I still wonder if I can entice White into weakening the pawn structure in order provoke him into an additional advance.  And between the pawn advances on the queenside and 19 f5, I felt that White's best was 19 Nxc6.  I don't want to exchange both pairs of knights, but will settle for one.  Then I have the right number of pieces for my position...
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #167 - 07/16/06 at 19:51:31
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The problem with Nec6 for me is that it places the pieces offside.  The only way to get them back into play is to trade them off.  So, my first move might be 19.a3 (again preferring that to c3, especially with the "wrong" knight on c6).  I would expect Black to trade off on with 19...Nd4 20.Nd4 Nc6 but then White will have the slightly surprising 21.Nb3 which should answer the thematic question of who is going to control the dark squares. 

Black will always have to be aware of the f4-f5 threat, but remembering Nimzovich comes in handy here.  By the way, trading off both Knights won't have solved Black's problems. 

Also, in order to win, White will probably have to target two separate weaknesses.  The only concern I have for White is that Black may be able to get in ...f5 himself. 

If I can find a concrete line that proves 19.f5 wins or significantly improves White's position, I'll let you know.  In the mean time, Black also has to keep such forays in mind.
  
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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #166 - 07/16/06 at 19:28:14
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Smyslov_Fan wrote on 07/16/06 at 18:18:58:
HgMan,

You didn't lose your audience.  At least, you didn't lose my attention.  I had already stated what I thought of 18...Nec6.   Now it's up to Willempie and you to show whether or not I was right about having too many pieces offside.

SF, do you think White can play 19.f5 straightaway?  At first glance, it seems to me that it would take something like this to prove that 18...Nec6 was somehow flawed.  After something like 19. f5 Nb4 20. fxe6 Bxe6 21. Nxe6 Nxd3+ (even 21...fxe6 22. Bg6+ may not be all that bad, but it wouldn't be my preference) 22. Rxd3 fxe6 I don't see any serious problems for Black.

Does White have a continuation (19.f5 or otherwise) that reveals a flaw in Hgman's 18...Nec6?  I don't see it right now, but this is might be an interesting point of discussion while Willempie considers his reply...

...and a good excuse for a diagram.

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nc3 a6 5.Be3 Qc7 6.h4 h6 7.g4 Bd7 8.h5 e6 9.f4 c5 10.Nf3 cxd4 11.Qxd4 Nc6 12.Qb6 Qxb6 13.Bxb6 Bb4 14.0-0-0 Nge7 15.Ne2 Ba5 16.Bxa5 Nxa5 17.Ned4 Rc8 18.Bd3 Nec6

current position
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #165 - 07/16/06 at 18:18:58
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HgMan,

You didn't lose your audience.  At least, you didn't lose my attention.  I had already stated what I thought of 18...Nec6.   Now it's up to Willempie and you to show whether or not I was right about having too many pieces offside.

Cheers!
  
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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #164 - 07/16/06 at 17:40:59
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HgMan wrote on 07/16/06 at 13:54:16:
Well, I offered a provocative idea, and nobody replied.  It seems as though we've lost our audience to the other games...

In my own case the other games have definitely been a serious distraction, as I'm playing both of them.  Cool

Quote:
...18.Bd3 Nec6

This might be a little desperate and may well turn out to be one of those tempting "?!" moves--it just looks wrong--but I'm drawn to it.  I think White needs to take on c6 or else Black is able to activate his position more effectively.  And while I don't want to exchange down to an endgame with my bad bishop (more passive than bad, maybe), the removal of one pair of knights should give me a little more space...

Somehow I thought this likely to lead into similar lines to 18...Nac6: e.g., (18...Nec6) 19.c3 (other moves are possible, but I don't really like 19.Nxc6) 19...Nxd4 20.Nxd4 when 20...Nc6 would transpose to 18...Nac6 19.c3 Nxd4 20.Nxd4 Nc6.  Of course, 20...Nc6 is not obligatory - there are other ways to deploy the knight and it need not move from a5 immediately.  I also didn't see any real danger inherent in 18...Nec6 (the a5-knight has no retreat at the moment, but that 'problem' will be immediately remedied).

I guess I missed the idea behind 18...Nec6; it looked like a perfectly good move, but not so different from 18...Nac6 in where it's likely to lead.
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #163 - 07/16/06 at 13:54:16
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Well, I offered a provocative idea, and nobody replied.  It seems as though we've lost our audience to the other games...

Nevertheless:

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nc3 a6 5.Be3 Qc7 6.h4 h6 7.g4 Bd7 8.h5 e6 9.f4 c5 10.Nf3 cxd4 11.Qxd4 Nc6 12.Qb6 Qxb6 13.Bxb6 Bb4 14.0-0-0 Nge7 15.Ne2 Ba5 16.Bxa5 Nxa5 17.Ned4 Rc8 18.Bd3 Nec6

This might be a little desperate and may well turn out to be one of those tempting "?!" moves--it just looks wrong--but I'm drawn to it.  I think White needs to take on c6 or else Black is able to activate his position more effectively.  And while I don't want to exchange down to an endgame with my bad bishop (more passive than bad, maybe), the removal of one pair of knights should give me a little more space...
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #162 - 07/14/06 at 12:04:50
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No worries, have fun even if you dont go to the zoo Wink
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #161 - 07/14/06 at 11:56:13
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I'm looking very seriously at 18 ... Nec6, but it still seems a little unorthodox and I have to run away for the early part of this weekend.  No zoos  Roll Eyes, but my brother has a play he wrote being performed at a theater festival in Toronto.  I should be back tomorrow evening.  Sorry for the delay, but as Dvoretsky might point out, we've reached a critical stage of the game...
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #160 - 07/14/06 at 07:43:39
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Well I thought either 21. Rd2 or e1-f1 would be ok, but to be honest I looked at 20 ... Ba4 for like 5 seconds.
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #159 - 07/13/06 at 16:01:00
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Willempie wrote on 07/12/06 at 20:45:58:
1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nc3 a6 5.Be3 Qc7 6.h4 h6 7.g4 Bd7 8.h5 e6 9.f4 c5 10.Nf3 cxd4 11.Qxd4 Nc6 12.Qb6 Qxb6 13.Bxb6 Bb4 14.0-0-0 Nge7 15.Ne2 Ba5 16.Bxa5 Nxa5 17.Ned4 Rc8 18.Bd3

I decided for 18.Bd3, though it was a tough choice. In the end it came down to the fact that my bishop needed to go there in almost any variation I got on the board, while this was not always the case for Rg1.
On the "SF variation" 18.Bd3 Nac6 I plan 19.c3 to have the bishop drop back to b1.


What about 18 Bd3 Nac6 19 c3 Nxd4 20 Nxd4 Ba4 ?  It seems to me that if White plays one of those pawns forward, Black should be able to provoke a second one forward and then all of a sudden there are weaknesses that Black can strive to exploit in order to gain a (very) little counterplay...
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #158 - 07/13/06 at 15:57:30
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Lots of work for me to do, and I'll try to reply this evening.  I've actually been looking at 18 ... Nec6 as a mean of forcing the exchange of at least one pair of knights.  I don't think the kingside pawnstorm can get moving straight away, but I ought to make sure.  I found myself tempted by the almost obscene 18 ... Nec6 19 Nxc6 Rxc6, though I know I should be playing 19 ... Nxc6.  I also need to find the right time for Ke8-e7 in order to connect my rooks so I can swing them over the kingside to defend or to double them on the c-file if Willempie allows...
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #157 - 07/13/06 at 08:07:44
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MNb wrote on 07/13/06 at 03:28:06:
It looks like I disagree with everybody once again Cheesy.
I don't like 18...Nac6 19.c3 Nb4 20.Bb1 because of b5 and Black has some prospects for counterplay. I don't like 18...Nac6 because of .... 19.Kd2.
So I suppose HgMan will play 18...Nc4, still += at least.
Just a little question, which I have not investigated: is it possible to transfer a black knight to e4? If yes, it would improve that bishop on d7 considerably.

Hey, I certainly dont disagree on the nasty hours to come for HgMan Wink

I didnt have a look at 20... b5 yet as I thought it would just limit the bishop even more and makes my future queenside majority more easily convertable.
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #156 - 07/13/06 at 05:34:58
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I wld have played Bd3 instantly. frees up the 1st rank for the rooks so that there is a flexibility of choice as to how best to place the rooks to support the K-side advance. Also it puts pressure on f5.

Quote:
Black's not out of the woods, and I'm still a little nervous about those kingside pawns, but pleased to see woofwoof warming to my position a little.


Quite honestly I still prefer white. His freedom of movement is congenial to my style, and his pieces isnt stepping on each other's toes. He has 1 clear objective, so to find moves is much easier. To a certain extent his position plays itself. Black still isnt threatening anything yet, His posn is difficult  but  he isnt by any means lost yet. Just that to carry out his objectives are not so straight forward & requires multi stage plans to get there.

The Na5 is really out of place & it interferes with Rc5. (due t W's b4)  Nac6 is probably best.

I wld be thinking of the following sequence for black: 18...Nac6 19c3 Nb4 20.Bb1 Rc4 . It is imperative that black double rooks on the c-file. That wld be the next stage of planning. Black cant afford to sit & absorb punishment now.....Finis. Use of the c-file & Q-side piece play is his only way of getting some counterplay.

  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #155 - 07/13/06 at 03:43:42
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MNb wrote on 07/13/06 at 03:28:06:
Just a little question, which I have not investigated: is it possible to transfer a black knight to e4? If yes, it would improve that bishop on d7 considerably.

Doesn't look easy.  Gotta land a knight on c5 to get to e4, which means it probably has to get there from b7 or a6.
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #154 - 07/13/06 at 03:28:06
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It looks like I disagree with everybody once again Cheesy.
I don't like 18...Nac6 19.c3 Nb4 20.Bb1 because of b5 and Black has some prospects for counterplay. I don't like 18...Nac6 because of .... 19.Kd2.
So I suppose HgMan will play 18...Nc4, still += at least.
Just a little question, which I have not investigated: is it possible to transfer a black knight to e4? If yes, it would improve that bishop on d7 considerably.
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #153 - 07/12/06 at 22:50:38
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Willempie wrote on 07/12/06 at 20:45:58:
On the "SF variation" 18.Bd3 Nac6 I plan 19.c3 to have the bishop drop back to b1.


Cool, I got a variation named after me!  (and I didn't even have to name it myself!) Cool
  
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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #152 - 07/12/06 at 21:20:29
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1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nc3 a6 5.Be3 Qc7 6.h4 h6 7.g4 Bd7 8.h5 e6 9.f4 c5 10.Nf3 cxd4 11.Qxd4 Nc6 12.Qb6 Qxb6 13.Bxb6 Bb4 14.0-0-0 Nge7 15.Ne2 Ba5 16.Bxa5 Nxa5 17.Ned4 Rc8 18.Bd3
http://www.france-echecs.com/diagramme/imgboard.phpfen=2r1k2r/1p1bnpp1/p3p2p/n2p...
                        current position

and I'm going to add a seocond diagram for the variation 18...Nac6 19.c3 Nb4 20.Bb1 because I think this looks quite interesting (and the diagram might aid analysis/discussion).

http://www.france-echecs.com/diagramme/imgboard.phpfen=2r1k2r/1p1bnpp1/p3p2p/3pP...
                        analysis position

I like the idea of retreating the bishop as this unclogs the d-file, but I wonder if Black make anything of the b4-knight before it is forced to retreat.  Offhand I'd say probably not (20...a5 in order to maneuver ...Na6-c5 is possible, I suppose, but I don't see a clear purpose to this maneuver).  This may be an improvement on 19.a3 suggested earlier by Smyslov_Fan.

Edit: 20...a5 looks like a blunder, after which 21.f5 looks pretty devastating.

I think that after 19.c3 Black should play 19...Nxd4 (instead of ...Nb4). Then after 20.Nxd4 maybe 20...Nc6 followed by ...Ke7.  A pair of knights come off the board, so Black's less cramped but also a step closer to the unfavorable knight vs. bad bishop ending MNb alluded to earlier.
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #151 - 07/12/06 at 20:45:58
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1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nc3 a6 5.Be3 Qc7 6.h4 h6 7.g4 Bd7 8.h5 e6 9.f4 c5 10.Nf3 cxd4 11.Qxd4 Nc6 12.Qb6 Qxb6 13.Bxb6 Bb4 14.0-0-0 Nge7 15.Ne2 Ba5 16.Bxa5 Nxa5 17.Ned4 Rc8 18.Bd3

I decided for 18.Bd3, though it was a tough choice. In the end it came down to the fact that my bishop needed to go there in almost any variation I got on the board, while this was not always the case for Rg1.
On the "SF variation" 18.Bd3 Nac6 I plan 19.c3 to have the bishop drop back to b1.
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #150 - 07/12/06 at 15:30:00
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I checked Mnb's b3 line, but I dont like it as the king gets cut off from the king side. Plus I think 18...b5 is an improvement for black.

So still torn between 18.Bd3 and 18.Rhg1 Undecided
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #149 - 07/12/06 at 14:46:56
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FYI:  Ostapbender and I have just started a French Steinitz game over in, ummm, the French section.

We welcome and encourage everyone to help us as we try to play an interesting game!
  
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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #148 - 07/12/06 at 03:22:36
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I suggest 18.b3 here, evt followed by a march of the king to e3. It denies Black's one for the last chance for counterplay (Nc4). The really last one is something on the king's wing - either f6 or g6. This has serious drawbacks too.
A sample line is 18.b3 Nac6 19.Nxc6 (19.Kd2?! Nxd4 20.Nxd4 Nc6) Nxc6 (Bxc6 20.Nd4) 20.Bd3 Nb4 21.Kb2 Ke7 (wins a tempo compared to Nxd3+ immediately) 22.a3 Nxd3+ 23.cxd3 heading for an advanteguous knight vs bishop endgame.
Willempie should keep one thing in mind: consequently try to exchange Black's most active piece. As long as Black has that bishop, White keeps long term winning chances. With the advanced pawns, there are always possibilties to break through: c2-c4, f4-f5, g4-g5.
I predict many long, long unpleasant hours for HgMan.
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #147 - 07/12/06 at 02:49:07
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There's one threat that Black has that may give White some headaches.

18.Bd3 Nac6 19.f5!? Nb4!?

I don't know if White has to play 19.a3.
  
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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #146 - 07/11/06 at 20:57:52
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1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nc3 a6 5.Be3 Qc7 6.h4 h6 7.g4 Bd7 8.h5 e6 9.f4 c5 10.Nf3 cxd4 11.Qxd4 Nc6 12.Qb6 Qxb6 13.Bxb6 Bb4 14.0-0-0 Nge7 15.Ne2 Ba5 16.Bxa5 Nxa5 17.Ned4 Rc8

This seems like the most natural move.  Black moves a rook to the half open file, at the other end of which is the White king...
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #145 - 07/11/06 at 14:30:49
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18 Bd3 and 18 Rg1 merit some consideration here.  Smyslov_Fan's right about Bh3, which doesn't worry me (though I can't see why I'd want to castle at this point.  If anything, the king is more useful in the center of the board--Ke7 is likely more effective at connecting the rooks if I need to).

Nac6 might well be just as good and maybe better, but I don't think there's any real danger of White pushing f4-f5 after Nec6, either.  I'll have to look at the position more carefully, but the idea is that I want to exchange or move White's knight on d4, which ought to slow down any kind of pawnstorm White might be able to muster.  The advantage of Nec6 over Nac6 here is that if White should avoid the exchange, then Black can drop into c4 with the other knight with tempo (won't happen--pure fantasy, but I think it warrants some thought).  And, ironically, the Bd7 is now keeping an eye on f5 (well, maybe not ironically, since that's why I wanted the bishop to stay put on d7).

Black's not out of the woods, and I'm still a little nervous about those kingside pawns, but pleased to see woofwoof warming to my position a little.  Now, if I can only win over Smyslov_Fan, I'll consider this a moral victory...   Wink
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #144 - 07/11/06 at 14:10:48
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HgMan's idea of Nec6 weakens f5 perhaps to the breaking point.  I was thinking that Nac6 might be the way to go for Black.  I know it seems counterintuitive, but then again the N is more of a target at c4 and does about the same amount of work.

White's plan may be slow but lethal:  Bd3 (far better than h3 because it defends c2 and doesn't block the h-file if Black decides to castle kingside); Rde1, Rhf1 f5-f6.  I'm not sure about the rook moves, but 18.Bd3 looks to be White's best almost regardless of Black's 17th move.
  
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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #143 - 07/11/06 at 13:55:47
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That was my initial thought.  There's nothing to hit from c4 just yet, and it would be premature for Black to start thinking about an attack, when defense must come first.  I'm also looking at ideas surrounding Nec6 (after Rc8)...
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #142 - 07/11/06 at 13:44:23
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I think 17..Nc4 is imprecise as it may sometimes be better to retreat the knight to c6.
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #141 - 07/11/06 at 12:40:44
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I spent last night looking at 14 0-0-0 Nge7 15 Ne2 Ba5 16 Bc5 f6!?  I don't know what people think of that, but it led me to believe that I had more to worry about after 16 Bxa5.

Willempie: I'll accept the conditional (16 Bxa5 Nxa5 17 Ned4), and will reply this evening.

I'm currently looking at 17 ... Rc8, which seems fairly obvious, but I should look at White's responses to make sure there are no imminent threats.  Maybe the immediate 17 ... Nc4 is playable, though my instinct is that I should bring the rook over first...
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #140 - 07/11/06 at 11:19:22
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Smyslov_Fan wrote on 07/07/06 at 01:50:50:
after 14.a3 Ba5 15.Bxa5 Nxa5 16.Ne2-d4 preparing f5.  I don't know if Black has any good response to that idea, but Black should also be aware that the White doesn't even need to play 15.Bxa5 to retain an advantage.


MNb wrote on 07/07/06 at 20:51:59:
16.Bxa5 and White has a very nice advantage.


Smyslov_Fan wrote on 07/07/06 at 22:55:08:
I disagree with HgMan's rush to get rid of his dark-squared Bishop


HgMan wrote on 07/08/06 at 13:25:54:
Maybe I was too hasty with 15 ... Ba5.


Willempie wrote on 07/10/06 at 10:30:10:

So far I dont like Bxa5, because I like to keep my bishop and it cedes a tempo to black for reaching c4 with the knight. I may be wrong as the black bishop could attack e5.


Smyslov_Fan wrote on 07/11/06 at 02:35:36:
Surprise surprise:  I'm not so fond of Be3.


Willempie wrote on 07/11/06 at 07:22:03:
I seem to have misjudged the position a bit and that Bxa5 seems to be the better option. It leaves black with not much to play for.


This dark-square bishop exchange has been an interesting sub-plot of this game.  I still find such exchanges some of the more difficult positional decisions to make.  In this game, my initial, rather simplistic reaction was that White should avoid the exchange because he has more space.  On the other hand, the exchange liquidates Black's good bishop and leaves him with a bad one which kind of amplifies White's minor piece advantage (similar to the choice White makes in the French Defense when he chooses between Steinitz and Classical Variations - but maybe this analogy is a bit of a stretch).

I don't know if there is anything to comment on here, but I've been intrigued by the dark-square bishop decision.


  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #139 - 07/11/06 at 09:16:15
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That's quick with the diagram, I was still thinking on what to write here Shocked Smiley

I looked at this quite in depth, though without any real concrete variations. Black's problem after the natural Rc8 and Nc4 is that there is nothing really concrete to play on. Pawn moves on the kingside help white, while getting the other rook into play is rather tricky (castling is nasty).

For white it is rather easy to play though it is very easy to fall into planless play. I got a couple of schemes which are brewing depending on HgMan's way of playing.
-Rg1 followed by f5
-Other f5 schemes with eg Bd3
-Bg2 followed by a later c4 (of course without a knight on c4;) )
-g5 going for the neanderthal approach of pushing the pawns forward. In the old chessmaster program this was the woodpusher's approach Grin
-Exchanging black knights and going in for the ending (last resort if other plans fail)
-The bishop should stay on f1 for the moment as it can be used on both h3 and d3 (or g2 and even e2) as Ostap pointed out.
  

If nothing else works, a total pig-headed unwillingness to look facts in the face will see us through.
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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #138 - 07/11/06 at 08:54:33
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1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nc3 a6 5.Be3 Qc7 6.h4 h6 7.g4 Bd7 8.h5 e6 9.f4 c5 10.Nf3 cxd4 11.Qxd4 Nc6 12.Qb6 Qxb6 13.Bxb6 Bb4 14.0-0-0 Nge7 15.Ne2 Ba5 16.Bxa5 Nxa5 17.Ned4
http://www.france-echecs.com/diagramme/imgboard.phpfen=r3k2r/1p1bnpp1/p3p2p/n2pP...

For Black ...Rc8 followed by ...Nc4 looks pretty natural.
For White I'm wondering what's the best way to utilize the bishop.  Bd3 or Bh3 will support an f5-break.  Bd3 blocks the d-file while Bh3 cedes the f1-a6 diagonal.
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #137 - 07/11/06 at 08:15:58
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OK not wanting to delay the game too much I have decided to go for the ending:
1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nc3 a6 5.Be3 Qc7 6.h4 h6 7.g4 Bd7 8.h5 e6 9.f4 c5 10.Nf3 cxd4 11.Qxd4 Nc6 12.Qb6 Qxb6 13.Bxb6 Bb4 14.0-0-0 Nge7 15.Ne2 Ba5 16.Bxa5


I presume the next move will be 16... Nxa5. In that case 17. Ned4
So If Hgman agrees:

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nc3 a6 5.Be3 Qc7 6.h4 h6 7.g4 Bd7 8.h5 e6 9.f4 c5 10.Nf3 cxd4 11.Qxd4 Nc6 12.Qb6 Qxb6 13.Bxb6 Bb4 14.0-0-0 Nge7 15.Ne2 Ba5 16.Bxa5 Nxa5 17.Ned4

  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #136 - 07/11/06 at 07:22:03
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I will have a further short look at the position, but I seem to have misjudged the position a bit and that Bxa5 seems to be the better option. It leaves black with not much to play for. If a knight on c4 is the worst black can do, it will be a very tough game for black.
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #135 - 07/11/06 at 03:18:38
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Smyslov_Fan wrote on 07/11/06 at 02:35:36:
I think Black's plan after Be3 would be something like Rc8, Bc7, Na5-c4 hitting the B on e3.  There's also the possibility of Black playing a timely d5-d4 and White wouldn't necessarily want to take right away.  But with the B on e3, then you'd have to.


This was roughly what I had been envisaging for black. (tho not the bishop move) The 1st step was to seize control of the c-file. Hence i was pushing for that move. Still not too late to do so.

White has to do some regrouping to get his K-side pawn push on the way, this will allow black to drum up some play on the Q-side & perhaps strike in the ctr at the appropriate moment (a future option). If black is successful in eventually getting in Rc4 at some point, W's K-side pawns are a potential weakness. The bishops have to be exchanged off 1st to achieve this, Leaving Rs & Ns only on the board.

The open c-file & its proper & efficient usage is adequate for black to try for a win. The achievment of this step I believe will equalise for black & possibly give him some edge later.

This is just abt my overall scheme of things looking at the next to last diagram. Whether it comes to fruitaton is another matter. Its dependent on how white responds. We'll make adjustments along the way.

My 2cts worth of patzer positional judgement anyway.....
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #134 - 07/11/06 at 02:35:36
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Surprise surprise:  I'm not so fond of Be3.

I think Black's plan after Be3 would be something like Rc8, Bc7, Na5-c4 hitting the B on e3.  There's also the possibility of Black playing a timely d5-d4 and White wouldn't necessarily want to take right away.  But with the B on e3, then you'd have to.

The main benefit of Be3 instead of Bf2 is that it supports some future g5 action.  I don't see that as being part of White's plans anyway, but I could be wrong.  I haven't asked my German friend what it "thinks" though.
  
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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #133 - 07/10/06 at 14:05:42
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Willempie wrote on 07/10/06 at 10:30:10:

Bc5 I am unsure about if black simply plays 16..Bb4
Be3 seems the best as the bishop wont get blocked outside by a later Nd4.

I also think 16.Be3 looks fine.  You might also consider 16.Bc5 Bb4 (If Black doesn't play this, then the white bishop is well placed on c5) 17.Be3.  I think I'd rather have the black bishop on b4 than on a5, so I think 16.Bc5 Bb4 17.Be3 would be an improvement on the immediate 16.Be3.
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #132 - 07/10/06 at 10:30:10
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Before anyone asks, the weekend was very nice Smiley
SF may be interested to hear that I also just booked a week's holiday in France, so that yet another poster may venture into his french spelling and grammar Grin

Now back at work, so this evening I'll have time to take a deep look.
So far I dont like Bxa5, because I like to keep my bishop and it cedes a tempo to black for reaching c4 with the knight. I may be wrong as the black bishop could attack e5.
Bc5 I am unsure about if black simply plays 16..Bb4
Be3 seems the best as the bishop wont get blocked outside by a later Nd4.
Bf2 is only good if Be3 runs into a later Nc4 with attack on that bishop.
  

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Re: Caro Advance: 4 Nc3 a6
Reply #131 - 07/09/06 at 21:05:36