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Normal Topic English Opening: The Great Snake Variation (Read 4396 times)
Uberdecker
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Re: English Opening: The Great Snake Variation
Reply #6 - 08/23/06 at 16:54:42
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[quote author=Dinomike100 link=1155957855/0#4 date=1156310133]  I don't know if there is a good way to avoid a mainline d4 opening like the queen's indian or nimzo indian if black plays the English defense.  Do you think maybe playing in Nimzo-Larsen style is a good idea, i.e:
1. c4 b6 2. b3[/quote]

Well, the English Defence 1. d4 e6 ; 2. c4 b6 [b]is[/b] a "d4 opening". After 1. c4 b6 White can accept the transposition with 2. e4 Bb7 ; 3. Ktc3 e6 ; 4. d4 although he won't be able to reach the critical 4. Bd3 main line. But he can also refuse with the "TwoPawns'Attack" 2. e4 Bb7 ; 3. Ktc3 e6 ; 4. Ktf3 or a more typical English Opening development with 2. g3 Bb7 ; 3.Ktf3. Now 3. ...c5 offers a topical Hedgehog following d4 now or later, but Black can also try 3. ...Bxf3!? ; 4. ef c5, when White must play 5. d4 lest his -d4 square suffer the same fate as Walter Brown's -d5 in Kylemeister's example (by the way, 3. ...g6?? is an unbelievable move coming from a GM). Of course 2. b3 is another possibilty though the "English/Larsen Hybrid" is probably not at its most effective against 1. ...b6. One sound continuation for Black would be 2. ...f5 ; 3. Bb2 e6.

If you're looking for info on the English Defence, Daniel King wrote a nice overview a few years ago. Not the last word, but decent prose and some interesting ideas.                        

Edit : You will only be giving Black the option of transposing to NID/QID if you play the following lines (which can of course be reached through all sorts of move-orders) :
- 2. Ktc3 Bb7 ; 3. d4 e6 ; 4. Ktf3
- 2. Ktc3 Bb7 ; 3. d4 e6 ; 4. a3 Ktf6 ; 5. Ktf3
- 2. d4 Bb7 ; 2. Ktf3 e6  ; 4. g3

In each case Black has alternatives.
« Last Edit: 08/24/06 at 15:56:52 by Uberdecker »  
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kylemeister
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Re: English Opening: The Great Snake Variation
Reply #5 - 08/23/06 at 16:20:11
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Dinomike100 wrote on 08/23/06 at 05:15:33:
That is an interesting line.  I've tried the Botvinnik setup or something similar several times, although it was somewhat randomly (i.e. black didn't fianchetto his KB).  I think the positions I got were about equal, but I liked the general style of play that resulted.  So do you think that the Botvinnik setup is significantly less effective if black doesn't fianchetto his KB?

Also, I looked into the English defense a little (though I can't find much on it).  I don't know if there is a good way to avoid a mainline d4 opening like the queen's indian or nimzo indian if black plays the English defense.  Do you think maybe playing in Nimzo-Larsen style is a good idea, i.e:

1. c4 b6 2. b3


As to the first, I'd say perhaps generally yes, though it depends.  Of course Black can play something like 1. c4 c6 or 1...e6 and 2...d5, which rules out the Botvinnik system in the first place.  Another line/position that comes to mind is 1. c4 c5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. g3 Nc6 4. Bg2 e6 5. e4 (White should have chances for an edge with 5. Nf3) and now 5...d5 is a good pawn offer.  One line that comes to mind without ...g6, but where playing for the Botvinnik is respectable for White, is 1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. g3 Bb4 4. Bg2 0-0 5. e4.  White basically wants to get kingside play with a later f4.  Black should probably take on c3 immediately (before the knight arrives on e2), and if 6. bc (6. dc is also possible; then Black can hardly play for ...c6 and ...d5, but f4 will be iffy for White without the possibility of d3 to protect his e-pawn) c6.  Now after something like 7. Ne2 d5 8. cd cd 9. ed Nxd5 the position is opening up, which should perhaps favour White's bishops, but White's structure is slightly iffy (even after he plays d4) and Black's position active and solid.  More interesting, I think, is for White to try to cross Black's plans (starting on move 7) with moves like Qb3 and Ba3.  Black should still be able to get a knight to c5, with the idea of enforcing ...d5.  In the meantime White could try to play Ne2, 0-0 and f4.

On 1. c4 b6 2. b3 is certainly feasible, and could lead to a very strategic double-fianchetto line (there's a chapter on that in Mednis's book "From the Opening to the Endgame," which was the subject of discussion in another thread).  On the other hand, I suppose somebody might end up taking on f3/f6.  Compare with the game below, where Bxf6 is part of White's plan to control d5 (in connection with the fact that Black has played ...c5).


[Event "San Antonio"]
[Site ""]
[Date "1972.??.??"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Karpov, Anatoly Evgenievich"]
[Black "Browne, Walter Shawn"]
[Result "1-0"]
[NIC "EO 49.2"]
[ECO "A30"]
[PlyCount "117"]

1. c4 c5 2. b3 Nf6 3. Bb2 g6 4. Bxf6 exf6 5. Nc3 Bg7 6. g3 Nc6 7. Bg2 f5 8. e3 O-O
9. Nge2 a6 10. Rc1 b5 11. d3 Bb7 12. O-O d6 13. Qd2 Qa5 14. Rfd1 Rab8 15. Nd5 Qxd2
16. Rxd2 b4 17. d4 Rfd8 18. Rcd1 cxd4 19. exd4 Kf8 20. c5 Na7 21. Ne3 Bxg2 22. Kxg2
dxc5 23. dxc5 Rxd2 24. Rxd2 Rc8 25. Nd5 Rxc5 26. Nxb4 a5 27. Nd5 Rc6 28. Ne3 Rc5
29. Nf4 Bh6 30. Rd5 Rxd5 31. Nfxd5 Bxe3 32. Nxe3 Ke7 33. Nc4 Nc6 34. Kf3 Ke6 35.
Ke3 Kd5 36. a3 Ke6 37. Kd3 Kd5 38. f3 h6 39. Kc3 h5 40. Kd3 f6 41. f4 g5 42. Ne3  
Ke6 43. h4 gxh4 44. gxh4 Ne7 45. Kc4 Ng6 46. Ng2 Kd6 47. Kb5 Kd5 48. Kxa5 Ke4 49.
b4 Kf3 50. b5 Kxg2 51. b6 Nf8 52. Kb5 Nd7 53. a4 Nxb6 54. Kxb6 Kf3 55. a5 Kxf4 56.
a6 Ke3 57. a7 f4 58. a8Q f3 59. Qe8  1-0


   



  
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Dinomike100
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Re: English Opening: The Great Snake Variation
Reply #4 - 08/23/06 at 05:15:33
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That is an interesting line.  I've tried the Botvinnik setup or something similar several times, although it was somewhat randomly (i.e. black didn't fianchetto his KB).  I think the positions I got were about equal, but I liked the general style of play that resulted.  So do you think that the Botvinnik setup is significantly less effective if black doesn't fianchetto his KB?

Also, I looked into the English defense a little (though I can't find much on it).  I don't know if there is a good way to avoid a mainline d4 opening like the queen's indian or nimzo indian if black plays the English defense.  Do you think maybe playing in Nimzo-Larsen style is a good idea, i.e:

1. c4 b6 2. b3
  
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kylemeister
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Re: English Opening: The Great Snake Variation
Reply #3 - 08/19/06 at 07:37:34
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The English Defence, huh?  That's sort of a whole 'nother kettle of fish (an animal unto itself, etc.)  Playing "à la Botvinnik" against it wouldn't be the first thing that would come to my mind, but apparently it's quite possible.  Books give lines like 2. e4 Bb7 3. Nc3 e6 4. g3 f5 5. Bg2 Nf6 6. d3 Bb4 7. Nge2 fe 8. 0-0 0-0 9. de Nc6 equal, or 6...fe 7. Nge2 Nc6 8. de Ne5 9. b3 Bc5 10. h3 Qe7, unclear.   4. Nge2 looks interesting, so that 4...Bb4 runs into 5. a3, and 4...f5 looks doubtful, I think, after 5. ef ef 6. Nf4, perhaps to be followed by moves like Be2, 0-0, d4 and Bf3.  4...Nf6 looks plausible, and if 5. d3 d5.  Then perhaps 6. cd ed 7. e5 Nfd7 (7...d4 looks like a pawn drop/sac; 7...Ng4 looks iffy, even if 8. Nf4 Nxe5 9. Qe2 Qe7 is okay for Black) 8. d4 (I grant you this looks a bit slow, but Black's play looks somewhat iffy [yes, I like that word] in its own right) c5.  Now aside from 9. f4, 9. Be3 looks interesting, with the idea of something like 9...cd 10. Nxd4 Nxe5 11. Bb5+ and 0-0 (though I'm guessing it might burn out to equality, with Black developing as White regains the pawn).  I'm just tossing off some suggestions while looking at this in my head.  If any of this has actually been played before, MNb will probably tell us    Cheesy      
  
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Dinomike100
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Re: English Opening: The Great Snake Variation
Reply #2 - 08/19/06 at 05:10:39
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Thanks for the reply, it was very informative!

This is a slightly different topic, but if black tries the following:

1. c4 b6

Is it good policy for white to try for the Botvinnik setup with 2. e4?
  
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kylemeister
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Re: English Opening: The Great Snake Variation
Reply #1 - 08/19/06 at 04:50:14
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I'd say the setup you describe would in general be fine.  (For instance, 1. c4 g6 2. Nc3 Bg7 3. g3 Nf6 4. Bg2 0-0 5. Nf3 d6 6. 0-0 e5 7. d3 Nc6 is a major line in the English; it's the suggested way for White to play against a KID setup in John Donaldson's book, "A Strategic Repertoire for White.")  Of course, you can't expect to play the same way (the 10 moves or so that you outline) against all of Black's possibilities after 1. c4 g6 2. Nc3 Bg7 3. g3 (mainly, lines where Black aims for ...d5 [such as 1. c4 g6 2. Nc3 Bg7 3. g3 c6 or 1. c4 g6 2. Nc3 Bg7 3. g3 c5 4. Bg2 Nc6 5. Nf3 e6] would call for White to vary). 

Another general scheme you could aim for is the Botvinnik setup, consisting essentially of c4, Nc3, g3, Bg2, e4, Nge2, d3 and 0-0.  The basic idea is that White can play on the kingside with f4, in the centre with d4 or on the queenside with b4, according to circumstances and preference.  This might be quite effective against KID players who don't have a clear idea of how to play against it.  Take this game, for instance, in which a strong GM playing Black was crushed.  (Note that White had the idea of 12. f5, creating a space advantage/attacking chances on the kingside, rather as Black often does in the classical KID.)

[Event "Hastings"]
[Site ""]
[Date "1970.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Markland, Peter Richard"]
[Black "Hort, Vlastimil"]
[Result "1-0"]
[NIC "CK 1.10"]
[ECO "B10"]
[PlyCount "59"]

1. e4 c6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. g3 e5 5. Bg2 d6 6. Nge2 Nd7 7. O-O Ngf6 8. d3 O-O
9. h3 Nc5 10. Be3 a5 11. f4 exf4 12. gxf4 Qe7 13. Qd2 Rb8 14. Rae1 Ncd7 15. Ng3 Ne8
16. d4 Nc7 17. e5 dxe5 18. fxe5 Qb4 19. Bh6 Qxc4 20. Bxg7 Kxg7 21. Re4 Ne6 22. Rh4
h5 23. Bd5 Qxf1  24. Kxf1 cxd5 25. Nxd5 b6 26. Nf4 Nxf4 27. Qxf4 Ba6  28. Kg1 Bd3
29. Qg5 Kh8 30. Qh6  1-0

Against the Botvinnik idea Black needs to be careful if he wants to play a setup involving ...d5.  For example, after 1. c4 g6 2. Nc3 Bg7 3. g3 it's already too late, e.g. 3...c6 4. Bg2 Nf6 5. e4.

As for 1. c4 g6 2. Nc3 Bg7 3. g3 Bxc3, it seems rather "iffy" (as in theoretically dubious/not something that should put White off playing this way).
  
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Dinomike100
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English Opening: The Great Snake Variation
08/19/06 at 03:24:14
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I am thinking about the following move order:

1. c4 g6

I am trying to find a good plan for white other than transposing into a King's Indian Defense.  Is there any way to continue playing in the spirit of the English opening?

Right now I am considering something such as:

1. c4 g6
2. Nc3 Bg7
3. g3

Then black can probably play 3. ...e5 or e6, and try to develop his king's knight to e7 (a Botvinnik setup?).  Or they can try followup with a standard king's indian setup with 3. ...Nf6 and then d6.

In any case, I was wondering if the following plan would be good for white:

Fianchettoing the king's bishop and putting the king's knight on f3, castling kingside, playing pawn to d3, queen's rook to b1, then start a queenside push (maybe with b4 or a3/a4 and then b4).

I'm not quite sure what sure where the queen would go, although c2 looks like an empty square for it.

In any case, I was wondering what you guys thought of playing in the following style if you try to play the English and your opponent wants to go into the king's indian defense.

Also, I was wondering if something such as:

1. c4 g3
2. Nc3 Bg6
3. g3 Bxc3
4. bxc3

is anything to worry about.  This looks pretty bad for black since he is giving up a fianchettoed bishop on the kingside and the bishop pair, but I was wondering if that's enough to make up for white's pawn structure (I think it is).

  
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