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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) OstapBender-Scholar, Yugoslav 9.0-0-0 d5 (Read 142726 times)
FightingDragon
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Re: OstapBender-Scholar, Yugoslav 9.0-0-0 d5
Reply #27 - 07/07/06 at 13:52:33
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Wow, there is a lot going on these days in the Dragon forum!  Smiley
First on 14.Bc4 Ne3 15.Rd2 Nc4?! 16.Qc4 Be6 17.Qf4.
I don't think black has equality here. Of course he doesn't need to go down like in Sutovsky-Kudrin, where black didn't try to minimize his disadvantage but went for an attack which was bound to fail.
When you compare the kings, black's is without any defenders and there is already the weakness on g6, while white has the knight on c3 which gives his king some safety.
So I think black should exchange rooks on the d-file to take the sting out of white's h-pawn-attack:
17. ... Rfd8 18.Rhd1 Rd2: 19.Qd2: and white is still somewhat better. If the remaining pair of rooks is exchanged, queen and knight cummunicate better than queen and bishop, and black also has more pawn islands and the weakness on c5 which add up to white's advantage.

After 14.Na4 Qa5 15.b3, there remains the choice between 15. ... Be6 and 15. ... Bf5.
If the van der Wiel-Golubev endgame is ok for black, I think Bf5 is stronger. I have to agree that if white captures the bishop on c8, black should be okay.
As 16.g4 seems to be the only reasonable alternative, this is advantageous for black in comparison to the immediate Be6 as the weakness on f4 should give him good chances.

One example:
Golubev-Koepke, Kharkov 2006 went 15. ... Be6 16.Qe5! (in my opinion the only move which causes black trouble) Qb4 17.Kb2! Rad8 18.Rd4 Qd6 19.Qd6: ed6: and I think white is perhaps slightly better after 20.Ba6!? or 20.Bc4 Ne3! 21.Be6: fe6: 22.Re1 e5! 23.Rd2 Nf5.
Perhaps 17. ... Rab8 is also interesting, white could play 18.Rd4 Qa5 19.Kc1!

After 15. ... Bf5 16.g4 Be6 17.Qe5 Qb4 18.Kb2 black could play 18. ... Qf4 19.Qf4: (19.Rd5:? Qf3!) Nf4: and it seems he is fine. After 20.Nc5 there follows Bd5.
And if white plays 18.c4 Nf6! with unclear play seems best for black.

What do you think? Perhaps some of the experts could also comment on this...  Wink
  
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Re: OstapBender-Scholar, Yugoslav 9.0-0-0 d5
Reply #26 - 07/07/06 at 05:28:48
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Van der Wiel,J (2544) - Golubev,M (2532) Germany, 10.10.1999

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 Nc6 8.Qd2 0-0 9.0-0-0 d5 10.exd5 Nxd5 11.Nxc6 bxc6 12.Bd4 Bxd4 13.Qxd4 Qb6 14.Na4 Qa5 15.b3 Bf5 16.Qc5 Qxc5 17.Nxc5 Nc3 18.Re1 Nxa2+ 19.Kb2 Nb4 20.Bc4 Rfe8 21.g4 Bc8 22.Re5 e6 23.Ne4 Kg7 24.Ra5 Nd5 25.Rha1 Re7 26.Nd6 Nb6 27.Bd3 f5 28.Nxc8 Nxc8 29.Rc5 Nd6 30.Rxc6 Rd8 31.Raa6 Red7 32.Ra5 Kf6 33.gxf5 Nxf5 34.Raa6 Nd4 35.Rc4 Ke7 36.Be4 Rf8 37.Rc3 Rf4 38.Rd3 e5 39.Re3 Rc7 40.c3 Ne6 41.b4 Nf8 42.Bc6 Nd7 43.Bxd7 Kxd7 44.Ra5 e4 45.Rxe4 Rxf3 46.Rd5+ Kc6 47.Rc5+ Kb7 48.Rxc7+ Kxc7 49.Re7+ Kb6 50.Rxh7 a5 51.Kb3 axb4 52.Kxb4 Rf4+ 53.c4 Rf1 54.Rh6 Rb1+ 55.Kc3 Rg1 56.Kd4 Kc6 57.h3 Rg2 58.Rh4 Rg3 59.Rh8 Rg1 60.Ke5 g5 61.Rc8+ Kd7 62.Rf8 g4 ½-½

This is the game which is often cited as the demise of 15...Bf5.  In fact, I think Black defends without too much difficulty; assuming White will follow the plan in the game (what else?), Black should deviate at move 26 -- why not something as simple as 26...Kf6 instead?  White seems to achieve nothing with 27.Nxc8 Rxc8 28.Rxa7 Rxa7 29.Rxa7.  But it's not clear that White has any better -- sure, he has a sizable positional advantage, but it's hard to believe that it can achieve much more than simply winning a pawn -- and the resulting position is perfectly playable for Black.  At the very least the main 'threat' is shown to be toothless; if White can maintain an edge, it is with some other plan.

White can another continuation, which has received less attention, but may be equally dangerous: 16.g4!? Be6 (virtually forced; Bxc2 gives Black insufficient compensation for the piece) 17.Qe5 Qb4 18.c4 Qa3+ (here 18...Nf6 has also been tried) 19.Qb2 (19.Kb1 leads to complications after Rab8 which I have not yet investigated).

So now I poll the readers here: what do you think is the critical line here after 15...Bf5 -- and can this move be made reliable for Black?  Since I think that 16.g4 concedes even more dark squares (f4 is now a nice landing place for the Black knight), I would prefer this move order to 15...Be6 assuming that 16.Qc5 can be contained.
  
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Re: OstapBender-Scholar, Yugoslav 9.0-0-0 d5
Reply #25 - 07/06/06 at 22:59:46
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After Be6/Rfd8 for Black the position looked fairly balanced to me, but I agree with your remarks that Black has many choices.  Your original quote suggested to me that you had found Nxc4 lacking, but now I understand that you simply thought Qxd4 more straightforward.
  
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Re: OstapBender-Scholar, Yugoslav 9.0-0-0 d5
Reply #24 - 07/06/06 at 19:05:01
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Scholar wrote on 07/06/06 at 18:21:30:
Quote:
Yes, I think you're right.  The success of 14.Bc4 in the Sutovsky-Kudrin game is connected to Black's decision to play 15...Nxc4 and this is certainly not forced (nor best).


This I find an interesting comment.  I think Nxc4 and Qxd4 both lead to level games, but I'm not sure that I would strongly prefer one to the other (maybe I need to look more closely!).  I do agree that Black has nothing to fear.

If either 15...Nxc4 or 15...Qxd4 leads to a level game, then the line holds little attraction for White.  In the Sutovsky-Kudrin game, I thought Black already had a difficult defense by 21.h4 and had huge difficulties after 23.h5.  The play leading up to this was non-forcing, so there is plenty that Black (or White) could do differently.

I didn't claim a white advantage immediately after 15...Nxc4, but I didn't think it looked like a great choice for Black especially when 15...Qxd4 reaches a level position so easily.

My feeling is that after 15...Nxc4 16.Qxc4 it is too early to claim an advantage (or equality), but the minor piece exchange (Black's well-posted knight for White's just developed bishop) seems to help White more than Black.  Here's the resulting position:

http://www.france-echecs.com/diagramme/imgboard.phpfen=r1b2rk1/p3pp1p/1qp3p1/8/2...
  analysis position: 14.Bc4 Ne3 15.Rd2 Nxc4 16.Qxc4

Scholar, I think you certainly know a lot more about the Dragon than I do so maybe I'm not assessing the position correctly.  I like White here and think it's potentially an interesting point of discussion, although in a game with the black pieces I think I would just play 15...Qxd4.

  

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Re: OstapBender-Scholar, Yugoslav 9.0-0-0 d5
Reply #23 - 07/06/06 at 18:21:30
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FightingDragon wrote on 07/04/06 at 09:12:14:
It won't be a problem, though.
Golubev briefly gives 15. ... Rb8 16.Qc5! and analyses 15. ... Bf5 which leads to a white advantage in the endgame after 16.Qc5! Qc5: 17.Nc5: Nc3 18.Re1 Na2: 19.Kb2 Nb4 20.Bc4!! which is known since van der Wiel-Golubev, 1999.
And I don't think you want to defend that endgame, Scholar, do you?  Wink
In Chess Today, Mikhail admits that he overlooked van den Doel-Rogers, Dutch Cht 2004 which went 15. ... Qc7 16.Bc4 Rd8 17.g4?! Be6 ... and white hardly had a serious advantage.
Black must also be prepared to meet 16.h4!?
By the way, can you explain the idea of 15. ... Qc7 to me?
Isn't it just a loss of tempo compared to 13. ... Qc7  ?
The knight could be well placed on a4 since his ideal place is c5 in that pawn structure.


Black has a few moves here to consider now (Be6, Bf5, Qc7), and since there have been a few posts which share the above sentiment, I'll ramble a bit and get to some variations later.

For me, the idea of Qc7 and Qb6-a5-c7 are very similar.  In both cases, Black moves the queen off the d-file in order to free up the knight and connect his rooks.  I've never really looked at the consequences of the Qb6 move order in any depth, and so I decided to go with that one, but there are good heuristic arguments for both sides.  My flippant answer: go through the critical lines in the 13...Qc7 variations and see who benefits from White's additional moves.

Qb6-a5-c7, inducing Na4/b3, relieves some of the pressure on d5; the downside is that Black loses the threat of Nxc3 in some lines, but the control of d5 is more important to me.  Whether Nc5 is so strong that Black should regret helping White get there is less clear to me at the moment.  The addition of b3 -- I do not think that the move is of any use to White.  It is weakening, even if Black does not attack along the b-file, and deprives the bishop of a convenient retreat.  In any event, I view the battle for the d-file as much more important.

That discussion may well be moot, since Be6/Bf5 both need to be considered much more carefully, and for some of the reasons mentioned above, connecting the rooks is a high priority.  For all of the talk of van der Wiel-Golubev, it's worth mentioning that Golubev held the draw -- and in my view, suffered only because his play was so uncompromising.  If one expects a draw, there are easier ways to return the extra pawn.  I would not mind entering that endgame...

Quote:
Yes, I think you're right.  The success of 14.Bc4 in the Sutovsky-Kudrin game is connected to Black's decision to play 15...Nxc4 and this is certainly not forced (nor best).


This I find an interesting comment.  I think Nxc4 and Qxd4 both lead to level games, but I'm not sure that I would strongly prefer one to the other (maybe I need to look more closely!).  I do agree that Black has nothing to fear.
  
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Re: OstapBender-Scholar, Yugoslav 9.0-0-0 d5
Reply #22 - 07/06/06 at 17:52:42
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parisestmagique wrote on 07/06/06 at 16:30:41:
[I just give one line to show what i think of this position after 14.Na4 Qa5 15.b3 Be6!? 16.h4 Rad8 17.Qe5 Rd6 18.h5 +=].

I like the immediate 16.Qe5 (recommended by Golubev, I think - I also do not have "Experts vs. the Sicilian" unfortunately).

parisestmagique, your line also looks good - the h4-h5 plan is always an important white resource.  I was wondering if you had something in mind after 18...f6 (maybe just 19.Qe1 offering the queen exchange?)
  

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Re: OstapBender-Scholar, Yugoslav 9.0-0-0 d5
Reply #21 - 07/06/06 at 16:30:41
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[I just give one line to show what i think of this position after 14.Na4 Qa5 15.b3 Be6!? 16.h4 Rad8 17.Qe5 Rd6 18.h5 +=] I don't quite agree with parisestmagique. It's not a matter of pawn-play against piece-play. Here, I prefer White precisely because his piece play is better than Black's, and especially the Knight coming to c5.

In general in the Dragon, White plays with pawns (h4-h5) because he can't do otherwise. He's irremediably beaten on the queenside, so he must fight for the kingside and he needs the h1 Rook. And the only way to involve the h1 Rook is to push the h-pawn.
In the meantime Black can activate his pieces very easily even without touching pawns.

Here Black has given many tempos (and the long diagonal) so that the White Knight c5 dominates the queenside and hampers Black's (piece & pawn) play there.
Normally Black has easy piece play & dangerous pawn play on the queenside. Here, both are weaker than usual : the piece-play is not easy and the pawn-play is not dangerous.
Therefore all plans for White are easier. To persevere in the kingside is just one possibility, but White can also exchange Queens and take over the queenside himself (with doubling rooks on the d-file), where he is now superior.

So I don't think Black is close to equality. In any case I don't like this position for Black. [/quote]
  
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Re: OstapBender-Scholar, Yugoslav 9.0-0-0 d5
Reply #20 - 07/06/06 at 14:58:20
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Sure, I'd rather have White here (lucky me, I do!  Grin) but this is true of almost any opening line that I play (from either side of the board) when the game is still in known theoretical territory.

At the risk of sounding trite, Black's resources should not be underestimated:  Although c5 is a good outpost for the white knight, in many games Nc5 leads to nothing more than a later exchange on e6.  Black can often get queens off the board under his own terms to enter into an equal, or at least defendable, ending (in games where queens remain on the board, however, the simple plan of prying open the h-file with h4-h5, etc., often proves remarkably difficult to defend against).  The black knight can become a dangerous piece, especially if White loses control over f4.

I'd go as far as saying White has better winning chances, but this is mainly because his position is a bit easier to play.  White's advantage is still small (but tangible, I think).  To sum up, over the board I think the game is close enough that the stronger player will win (except maybe at the highest level where very strong play by Black is only good for a draw in the absence of a major error by White).  Hmm, what was I saying about being trite?

The big question for me right now is whether (assuming 14...Qa5 15.b3) Scholar opts for one of the better known bishop moves 15...Bf5/15...Be6 or the relatively untested 15...Qc7.  My impression from posts that I've read here is that the bishop moves may be under a cloud?!
  

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Re: OstapBender-Scholar, Yugoslav 9.0-0-0 d5
Reply #19 - 07/06/06 at 13:47:50
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I don't quite agree with parisestmagique. It's not a matter of pawn-play against piece-play. Here, I prefer White precisely because his piece play is better than Black's, and especially the Knight coming to c5.

In general in the Dragon, White plays with pawns (h4-h5) because he can't do otherwise. He's irremediably beaten on the queenside, so he must fight for the kingside and he needs the h1 Rook. And the only way to involve the h1 Rook is to push the h-pawn.
In the meantime Black can activate his pieces very easily even without touching pawns.

Here Black has given many tempos (and the long diagonal) so that the White Knight c5 dominates the queenside and hampers Black's (piece & pawn) play there.
Normally Black has easy piece play & dangerous pawn play on the queenside. Here, both are weaker than usual : the piece-play is not easy and the pawn-play is not dangerous.
Therefore all plans for White are easier. To persevere in the kingside is just one possibility, but White can also exchange Queens and take over the queenside himself (with doubling rooks on the d-file), where he is now superior.

So I don't think Black is close to equality. In any case I don't like this position for Black.
  
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Re: OstapBender-Scholar, Yugoslav 9.0-0-0 d5
Reply #18 - 07/05/06 at 16:02:34
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Black seems close to equality but white has a obvious plan (as often in the Dragon) h4,h5,g4 etc. Black has only piece play and i think it's more difficult.
  
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Re: OstapBender-Scholar, Yugoslav 9.0-0-0 d5
Reply #17 - 07/05/06 at 15:11:02
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This Queen rambling starting with Qb6 is obviously wrong, in my opinion. It just provokes the White Knight onto c5 where it wants to be ; and White will play b2-b3 anyway.
  
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Re: OstapBender-Scholar, Yugoslav 9.0-0-0 d5
Reply #16 - 07/05/06 at 14:47:58
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FightingDragon wrote on 07/05/06 at 12:19:28:
14.Bc4 doesn't seem to give white much:
14. ... Ne3 15.Rd2 and now 15. ... e5 16.Qb6: ab6: 17.Bb6 seems slightly better for white.
15. ... Qd4: 16.Rd4: Bf5! 17.Bb3 Ng2: 18.Rg1 e5! 19.Ra4 Nf4 and black is clearly not worse.  Cool

Yes, I think you're right.  The success of 14.Bc4 in the Sutovsky-Kudrin game is connected to Black's decision to play 15...Nxc4 and this is certainly not forced (nor best).

So, I will go with the recommended 14. Na4,

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.f3 Bg7 7.Be3 0-0 8.Qd2 Nc6 9.0-0-0 d5 10.exd5 Nxd5 11.Nxc6 bxc6 12.Bd4 Bxd4 13.Qxd4 Qb6 14.Na4
http://www.france-echecs.com/diagramme/imgboard.phpfen=r1b2rk1/p3pp1p/1qp3p1/3n4...

and if 14...Qa5 15. b3
« Last Edit: 07/06/06 at 05:09:42 by OstapBender »  

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Re: OstapBender-Scholar, Yugoslav 9.0-0-0 d5
Reply #15 - 07/05/06 at 12:19:28
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14.Bc4 doesn't seem to give white much:
14. ... Ne3 15.Rd2 and now 15. ... e5 16.Qb6: ab6: 17.Bb6 seems slightly better for white.
15. ... Qd4: 16.Rd4: Bf5! 17.Bb3 Ng2: 18.Rg1 e5! 19.Ra4 Nf4 and black is clearly not worse.  Cool
  
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Re: OstapBender-Scholar, Yugoslav 9.0-0-0 d5
Reply #14 - 07/04/06 at 17:11:52
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Here is the Sutovsky-Kudrin game I mentioned above.

[Event "World op 21st"]
[Site "Philadelphia"]
[Date "1993.??.??"]
[Round "7"]
[White "Sutovsky, Emil"]
[Black "Kudrin, Sergey"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B76"]
[WhiteElo "2410"]
[BlackElo "2555"]
[PlyCount "59"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 g6 6. Be3 Bg7 7. f3 Nc6 8. Qd2 O-O 9. O-O-O d5 10. exd5 Nxd5 11. Nxc6 bxc6 12. Bd4 Bxd4 13. Qxd4 Qb6 (current position in the thread game)

14. Bc4 Ne3 15. Rd2 Nxc4 16. Qxc4 Be6 17. Qf4 Rab8 18. b3 Qa5 19. Kb2 Rb4 20. Qe3 Rfb8 21. h4 Qc7 22. Ne2 c5 23. h5! a5 24. hxg6 hxg6 25. c3 R4b6 26. Nc1 a4 27. g4 axb3 28. a3+- Bc4 29. Rdh2 e5 30. Qg5 1-0

I think this game makes a fair case for 14. Bc4.  I'm sure Black's play can be improved.  Any thoughts?  Has this game been annotated anywhere?

It looks like there is more interest in 14. Na4, and I have no problem going this direction.  However, I would like to give some thought, and maybe get a little discussion going, on alternatives - even if only to dismiss them.  I will try to post some of my thoughts on the Sutovsky-Kudrin game after I've had a bit more time to look at it.



  

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Re: OstapBender-Scholar, Yugoslav 9.0-0-0 d5
Reply #13 - 07/04/06 at 13:44:14
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Quote:
"Golubev briefly gives 15. ... Rb8 16.Qc5! and analyses 15. ... Bf5 which leads to a white advantage in the endgame after 16.Qc5! Qc5: 17.Nc5: Nc3 18.Re1 Na2: 19.Kb2 Nb4 20.Bc4!! which is known since van der Wiel-Golubev, 1999.
And I don't think you want to defend that endgame, Scholar, do you?", FightingDragon.


On Chesspub Ward mentions possible improvements for Black on the Golubev game.  Fritz doesn't seem to think the endgame is worse for Black.  I have to admit I don't completely understand 15...Qc7 either, but once again Fritz thinks this is best (Fritz 8 anyway).  I suppose ...Qa5,...Qc7 has induced the b3 weakness and at least for the moment the Knight is offside on a4.  Maybe the queen on c7 helps support ...e5 (not that I know that's a good idea either!) and avoids having to move again to avoid a queen swap.  Anyway, once again Fritz thinks 15...Qc7 is best.  Wonder if the computer will end up being right.
  
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