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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) Rantings of Pirc Addict (Read 9129 times)
Antillian
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Re: Rantings of Pirc Addict
Reply #19 - 11/26/06 at 16:53:15
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I have had some interesting food for thought on this topic. After carefully mulling the matter, I have decided to indeed shelf my beloved Pirc for the time being.  Cry

My reasons are basically pratical. Having not been playing active chess for the last few years, I would have to invest quite some work in getting my Pirc theory back up to a tournament ready stage - particulary in the sharp critical lines.  I have decided to invest that time instead in learning 1...e5 as my primay weapon. I will probably still venture the Pirc against lower rated opponents where I am confident that I can get by without knowing the theory  and sometime in the future when I have  time to work on the Pirc theory I will adopt it again at a high level.

So I guess this is not a divorce, but a separation.  Sad   Thanks for your thoughts folks, now excuse me while I go write my "Dear John" lettter.
  

"Breakthrough results come about by a series of good decisions, diligently executed and accumulated one on top of another." Jim Collins --- Good to Great
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Antillian
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Re: Rantings of Pirc Addict
Reply #18 - 11/24/06 at 00:45:31
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TopNotch,

You do make some excellent points. Isn't it interesting though how often we choose openings that seem to contradict our style.

Case in point: Yasser Seirawn, who rescused the Pirc from extinction with his novelty of the century in Sax-Sairawn, Brussels 1998. (Okay, perhaps this is a bit of a hyperbole  Smiley )  But I suppose the exception proves the rule.
  

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TopNotch
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Re: Rantings of Pirc Addict
Reply #17 - 11/24/06 at 00:13:51
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Antillian wrote on 11/23/06 at 21:21:59:
"So, my idea for you is why don't you reconsider the Dragon?"

I have never considered the Dragon and I don't think I ever will. The Dragon is the one opening where I see persons most often lose to opponents up to 300 rating points below them! Wink


Yes but it also an opening where you can often beat an opponent 300 points above you.  Cheesy

Topster Smiley



  

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TopNotch
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Re: Rantings of Pirc Addict
Reply #16 - 11/23/06 at 22:49:58
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The Pirc, KID, Dragon and Lenigrad type systems suit players who prefer to equalise by counter attack rather than equalise by defence.

Once your style has been forged its difficult to modify it. For example in my case I play the Kings Indian and love it and feel at home in it, however I understood that to be a complete player I would need to have a grasp of a different kinds of position so I studied the QGD and QGA with a mind to playing them occassionally. However when presented with the possiblity to play these systems I rarely did, and although I enjoyed reasonable success with them, they never kindled the passion within me like the KID and other counter attacking systems. Nonetheless the experienced gained in these double d pawn openings was not wasted and helped me navigate such things as the Blackmar Deimer and Veresov Openings successfully when they cropped up.

Passion can be a double edged sword and often clouds sound judgement, for instance I know some players who feel compelled to attack at all costs whether White or Black and this sometimes influences ones Opening choices significantly. The problem here is that attacking is not always indicated and even in the sharpest Openings and Gambits the opponent has ways to quiet the play even if it means incurring a slight disadvantage, so it is wise to learn how to play 'quietly' as well as how to play 'loudly' Wink

One last point I should mention, and it is something that one rarely sees emphasised clearly in the theory books, that is, familiarising oneself fully with what are the good and bad positions typically arising out of the chosen Opening and how best to play these positions in each case. For example, how does Black best go about solving his light squared Bishop dilemna in the French Defence, or is this Bishop really bad at all, and if it is not bad why is that so. These are the kinds of the issues that one new to any Opening system must resolve before one can feel truly comfortable with it.

Toppertz Smiley

  

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Antillian
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Re: Rantings of Pirc Addict
Reply #15 - 11/23/06 at 21:21:59
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"So, my idea for you is why don't you reconsider the Dragon?"

I have never considered the Dragon and I don't think I ever will. The Dragon is the one opening where I see persons most often lose to opponents up to 300 rating points below them! Grin

Besides, I don't  play the Pirc becuase I was attracted to the type of positions in particular. I think I play it because I got interested into as a junior quite by accident and just got to love it.  If I were to divorce it, I really would not be interested in anything overally sharp and  theoretical like the Dragon or the Najdorf. I would simply play 1..e5 or if I really wanted to play the Sicilian, I would opt for the Kan as my first choice and perhaps the Clasical or Tamianov as my second choice.

Sometimes we choose openings not really becuase of stylistic reasons or other rational reasons. We just stumble across them. I remember reading something about Leko and his choice of the ultra sharp Grunfeld as his main defence to 1. d4 having been purely a chance event. Leko is not the kind of player one would have expected to play the Grunfeld, but he did!

"There is one good reason to prefer the Pirc iso the Dragon, when playing the Leningrad: 1.d4 d6 avoids all the 2nd move deviations."

This is quite true, Mnb. I actually had the Lennigrad in my repertoire at once stage and replied to everthing with 1..d6. It had the advantage of avoiding the Stanton Gambit and some of the other anit-dutch weapons. I also occasionlay ventured 2 c4 e5 and 2. Nf3 Bg4
  

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MNb
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Re: Rantings of Pirc Addict
Reply #14 - 11/23/06 at 20:27:04
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There is one good reason to prefer the Pirc iso the Dragon, when playing the Leningrad: 1.d4 d6 avoids all the 2nd move deviations.
  

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chk
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Re: Rantings of Pirc Addict
Reply #13 - 11/23/06 at 14:32:55
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Well, I kind of understand the sentimental part of antillian's worries..

Firstly, let me say that I play on a casual basis and want to have a good time as Mnb says. Cool

My problem was last year with the KID, which this year I have decided to abandon for the Dutch Leningrad (some of you guys have given me advice on that issue in the past).

I loved the KID and the positions arising suited my style a lot, on the other hand, after a point I started losing with it (in many main variations, plus some anti-KIDs; and rather easily), plus I had no antidote for the exchange variation. Of course I could solve these problems by learning more theory (and this is one option for you if you insist with the Pirc). The other solution is to use the same time to read another opening (which though it worried me, I finally did).

The results were the following:
- I have read the material rather quickly and enjoyed it a lot.
- I have now some practical experience with the new opening (at least when playing OTB I feel as confident as when I was playing the KID).
- Sometimes, I may get OTB an improved version of the KID (this is a bonus). Wink
- The Dutch Leningrad borrows some ideas from the KID and I particularly aim for those set-ups first. In this way the transition is easier and I still gather some KID-like experience if I decide to use it again in the future.
- Most of all I loved what I feared the most: the "pure" Leningrad systems! Cheesy

So, my idea for you is why don't you reconsider the Dragon? One substantial problem will be the Anti-Sicilians (but these can be fun to play; what is not fun of course is people consistently avoiding your Dragon). Re the Yugoslav attack try sth offbeat for starters and use the spare time to focus on the Anti-Sics.

My 2 c, Chris

P.S.: The reason I propose the Dragon (or to book up on the Pirc) instead of 1. ... e5 is merely the fianchetto feature.
  

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Re: Rantings of Pirc Addict
Reply #12 - 11/23/06 at 11:33:35
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J-dog wrote on 11/23/06 at 00:28:27:
"Black is going through outrageously difficult and roundabout ways to achieve these positional goals that would be much more effortlessly and effectively attained in an opening like the Najdorf."


Stormcrow makes a good point. Even if the Pirc was theoretically sound, it might just be easier to get a theortically sound position by other means.

However after watching the Kasparov Najdorf DVDs and after watching him demonstrate Black surviving after playing a series of only moves in the Bg5 variation and saying casually that of course once this is commited to memory there is no problem, that the Najdorf wasn't for me. Now of course there are similar lines in the Pirc, but it seems far less than in just one sub-variation of the Sicilian, and of course I've memorised them for the Pirc now (well I hope).

Also there was a comment from Korchnoi, something like even if the problems with the KID might be solvable, why would you voluntarily set them for yourself as Black? I have a similar feeling about the Pirc, but like the other addicts, I just can't give it up. Roll Eyes.

I think as Black, if White is going for the critical lines, then your choice of defence comes down to which particular concession(s) you are willing to accept and solve (e.g. lack of space, material, bishop pair, pawn structure, development, bad piece placement, passivity etc) and what concessions White makes in return (usually you get a bad deal  Wink)

 
  

Those who want to go by my perverse footsteps play such pawn structure with fuzzy atypical still strategic orientations

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Re: Rantings of Pirc Addict
Reply #11 - 11/23/06 at 00:28:27
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When I finished reading Pirc Alert! (an excellent book IMO), the overriding feeling that I couldn't shake was this: "Black is going through outrageously difficult and roundabout ways to achieve these positional goals that would be much more effortlessly and effectively attained in an opening like the Najdorf."

At that moment I knew I was destined never to play the Pirc.  It just seemed like a defective version of the Sicilian or Lopez.

Of course at mortal levels of play, it really doesn't matter what opening you choose, as long as you understand it and play it well.  The Pirc just contradicts my inner chess compass; its just a personal thing.  As Kramnik might put it roughly: "I can't make moves that make my eyes hurt."

Good luck in the Pirc.
  
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Antillian
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Re: Rantings of Pirc Addict
Reply #10 - 11/22/06 at 20:16:42
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[quote author=TopNotch link=1164073377/0#8 date=1164153817
I agree with the above post and would suggest to Antillian that rather than give up the Pirc, which is rather useful albeit difficult defence, simply add some other defence to your arsenal. 1...e5 was a good choice so continue to play em both.

As a junior I played the pirc a lot and not without success, but later I found I was getting better positions with the Sicilian and 1...e5. When I left the junior ranks I adopted 1...e5 less frequently as more and more of my opponents opted for the Ruy Lopez.

There are certain types of attacking players that have great difficulty playing against pirc setups and against these types the pirc can be particularly useful.

In conclusion: The pirc may not be quite good enough for regular use at elite level, but nevertheless it is a combative and resilient defence that should be respected.

Topertz Smiley [/quote]

I am leaning towards this option actually - playing both 1..d6 and 1...e5.  Let's hope she understands that I just cannot be faithful to her alone.  Cry

Interesting point about some attacking players not being comfortable against the Pirc. That is food for thought. What type would that be?

In my early days of my love affair with the Pirc, i lost some games to the Be3 systems with the charateristic g4 h4 pawn storms against the finachetto position. Having learnt how to defend these positions properly, I now enjoy playing those positions.

Mnb, perhaps we will meet.  Smiley
  

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Antillian
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Re: Rantings of Pirc Addict
Reply #9 - 11/22/06 at 20:02:41
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MNb wrote on 11/21/06 at 20:48:09:
Guys, what are you? Professionals, making a living? Ambitious youngsters, trying to get a title as soon as possible? Or do you just think staring at a board of 8x8 a couple of hours equals having a good time?



None of the above actually  Smiley I am an ambitious oldster trying to the the title as soon as possiblle!

  

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TopNotch
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Re: Rantings of Pirc Addict
Reply #8 - 11/22/06 at 00:03:37
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parisestmagique wrote on 11/21/06 at 17:24:03:
I have been a Pirc (and Modern also) addict too but i played also the Sicilian with much more better results. The problem with the Pirc is that white can play inferior moves and still have equal chances ! In the Najdorf or the Dragon for exemple (i know nothing of the Svechnikov but it's the same i think) white has to be precise not to be worse (ok Black even more) and more important he has to take risk to win. In the Pirc white has often a slight advantage with no risk. Also it's white who is deciding the type of game, very strategic or very crude (Austrian attack for exemple). i noticed also that the white's player gives there best against the Pirc because it's a sort of provocation.


I agree with the above post and would suggest to Antillian that rather than give up the Pirc, which is a rather useful albeit difficult defence, simply add some other defence to your arsenal. 1...e5 was a good choice so continue to play em both.

As a junior I played the pirc a lot and not without success, but later I found I was getting better positions with the Sicilian and 1...e5. When I left the junior ranks I adopted 1...e5 less frequently as more and more of my opponents opted for the Ruy Lopez.

There are certain types of attacking players that have great difficulty playing against pirc setups and against these types the pirc can be particularly effective.

In conclusion: The pirc may not be quite good enough for regular use at elite level, but nevertheless it is a combative and resilient defence that should be respected.

Topertz Smiley
« Last Edit: 11/22/06 at 22:08:54 by TopNotch »  

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MNb
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Re: Rantings of Pirc Addict
Reply #7 - 11/21/06 at 20:48:09
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Guys, what are you? Professionals, making a living? Ambitious youngsters, trying to get a title as soon as possible? Or do you just think staring at a board of 8x8 a couple of hours equals having a good time? If the latter is the case, just play what you enjoy. Don't listen to anybody. Focus on the two variations, that troubles you most: 4.f4 and 4.Bg5.
Maybe we will meet otb one time. I prefer 4.Be3 exactly for the same reasons as you prefer 1...d6. An entertaining game will be guaranteed.
  

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Antillian
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Re: Rantings of Pirc Addict
Reply #6 - 11/21/06 at 19:18:52
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parisestmagique wrote on 11/21/06 at 17:24:03:
I have been a Pirc (and Modern also) addict too but i played also the Sicilian with much more better results. The problem with the Pirc is that white can play inferior moves and still have equal chances ! In the Najdorf or the Dragon for exemple (i know nothing of the Svechnikov but it's the same i think) white has to be precise not to be worse (ok Black even more) and more important he has to take risk to win. In the Pirc white has often a slight advantage with no risk. Also it's white who is deciding the type of game, very strategic or very crude (Austrian attack for exemple). i noticed also that the white's player gives there best against the Pirc because it's a sort of provocation.


Ah you play the Modern eh - You are not a true loyal defender!  Smiley

I agree that White can properly get away with more mistakes in the Pirc paticulary in some quieter systems. But White's mistakes allow Black to egualize more quickly and Black can often outplay White positionally when White does not know what he is doing. I actually don't worry about these quiet systems so much as the ultra sharp forcing ones. Lke JEH, I get good results against the classical.
  

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Antillian
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Re: Rantings of Pirc Addict
Reply #5 - 11/21/06 at 19:11:30
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"It's obvious why the Pirc is the best defence to 1 e4. Don't believe the nay sayers who will point you at 1. ...e5 or 1. ...c5. The Pirc allows you to play both   "

I like that one.   Grin

"I have dallied with the Czech variation and Modern hybrids like the Gurg, Hippo and Tiger, but I too have come back to the Pirc move order."

Alas, I am not alone. There are others who remain faithful. It is good to see a fellow loyal defender.
  

"Breakthrough results come about by a series of good decisions, diligently executed and accumulated one on top of another." Jim Collins --- Good to Great
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Re: Rantings of Pirc Addict
Reply #4 - 11/21/06 at 17:24:03
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I have been a Pirc (and Modern also) addict too but i played also the Sicilian with much more better results. The problem with the Pirc is that white can play inferior moves and still have equal chances ! In the Najdorf or the Dragon for exemple (i know nothing of the Svechnikov but it's the same i think) white has to be precise not to be worse (ok Black even more) and more important he has to take risk to win. In the Pirc white has often a slight advantage with no risk. Also it's white who is deciding the type of game, very strategic or very crude (Austrian attack for exemple). i noticed also that the white's player gives there best against the Pirc because it's a sort of provocation.
  
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Re: Rantings of Pirc Addict
Reply #3 - 11/21/06 at 14:27:41
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Antillian wrote on 11/21/06 at 01:42:57:
I admit it.  Embarrassed  I love the Pirc! I don't quite know why.


There is no need to be ashamed  Cheesy

It's obvious why the Pirc is the best defence to 1 e4. Don't believe the nay sayers who will point you at 1. ...e5 or 1. ...c5. The Pirc allows you to play both  Smiley

I started as a schoolboy on the Dragon, but when I "discovered" theory and began to fear the quantity of it, I thought the Pirc would be a good compromise. Some people will complain that it gives White too free a hand, but I see that as a boon since it gives me lots of variety in sticking to one opening.

I have dallied with the Czech variation and Modern hybrids like the Gurg, Hippo and Tiger, but I too have come back to the Pirc move order. I agree that 4. Bg5 is a tough beast to deal with. As for the Austrian, I don't encounter it that much as my opponents assume I must know all the theory Roll Eyes. As for those who play the Classical (I get a lot of those), I've got my highest opening score of any variation in it, so I have no problem there.

I do occassionally get seduced by the idea or switching to 1. ...e5, 1. ...c5 or going back to the French, but I think hey, my results with this opening are fine and there is no bust for Black in any variation. Plus it gives me the bonus of playing 1. d4 d6! which is scoring well for me.

Smiley Vive le Pirc! Smiley

What we need now is for ChessPub to start giving this defence some more coverage  Exclaim
  

Those who want to go by my perverse footsteps play such pawn structure with fuzzy atypical still strategic orientations

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Antillian
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Re: Rantings of Pirc Addict
Reply #2 - 11/21/06 at 11:56:04
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I have dabbled in 1...c5. Being a fan of the Hedgehog, I was attracted to the Sicilian Kan. Albeit, my opponents would not cooperate offering up 2. d4, 2. c3, 2. f4, 2. Nc3 and even 2. a3 instead.
  

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Re: Rantings of Pirc Addict
Reply #1 - 11/21/06 at 05:16:15
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If you "play against pieces", you should reply to 1.e4 with 1...e5 or 1...c5 instead of 1...d6.  I think Gligoric himself would give similar advice, looking at his favorite defences...

Maybe Vigus can rescue you in the Austrian and Bg5 with his new book!?  I would wait and see before signing the divorce papers...
  
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Rantings of Pirc Addict
11/21/06 at 01:42:57
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I admit it.  Embarrassed  I love the Pirc! I don't quite know why. I have been told it does not suit my style. As, white I play 1 d4 or 1 c4 and I aim for solid, relatively risk free but somewhat dynamic positions.  But still I play the Pirc.

I am not sure how my love affair got started with the Pirc. Some time as a junior I discovered it and could not let it go. So much that I have five different books on the Pirc. Hell, I even bought a book on the Sililian Dragon to  search for  some ideas to incorporate into the Pirc!

I have been beaten badly in some lines in the Pirc and I have scored some glorius victories. Yet I confess I wonder if it is a fully sound defence. Afterall, it has been scorned by the world elite. Prie hardly finds it worthy of mention in the updates on Chesspub.  It is risky, no doubt.  Yet, I play on.

I am not troubled by some of the lines perons thrown at the Pirc. I quite look forward to 4. Bc4. I love to play against the Chineese attack and enjoy the lines with 4 Be3. Yep, I find these lines fun, fun, fun. But hmm, indeed the Pirc is not without problems. The Austrian attack is truly dangerous. The lines with 5...c5 are objectively best for Black, but White can force a draw.  Sad The alternatives to 5...c5 are IMHPO inferior and leave Black strugling  Cry Not to mention the lines with 4 Bg5 which I personally consider to be the most dangerous system against the Pirc move order. So much so that as a 1 d4 player, I sometimes play 2. e4 in reply to 1....d6 just to play this line.

So what is a Pirc addict to do ? Avoid these sytems? But alas, no, I am a Pirc purist. I play 1...d6! and 2...Nf6. I am not into this sissy 1...g6 stuff even though it avoids some of the most dangerous options. (Probably becuase I cannot be bothered to learn the KID and I consdier the Averbakh to be inferior. )

Recently, I have been playing 1....e5 intenting to phrase out the Pirc. But it was not to be. I suffered withdrawal syptoms. She beckoned me back! So I play the Pirc.

But how long can I continue? My course of action is risky. It is easiar to lose to lower rated players with the Pirc. Things can go badly wrong. Is it truly worth it? Hmm.  Undecided

Perhaps it is time for a painful divorce. Perhaps. I know not what to do. For now the Pirc plays on.

  

"Breakthrough results come about by a series of good decisions, diligently executed and accumulated one on top of another." Jim Collins --- Good to Great
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