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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) The Spanish Four Knights (Read 5843 times)
MNb
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Re: The Spanish Four Knights
Reply #11 - 02/08/07 at 01:15:41
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Oh, sure. That is why I wrote "for the time being".
I would like to expand on the subject. History buffs should know, that Rubinstein did not invent 4...Nd4. There are at least 9 games (3 of them seeing Marshall handling the black pieces) before 1912. Of course Rubinstein delivered some major contributions. These led to the conclusion, that 4...Nd4 is better than 4...Bc5 5.Nxe5 Nd4/5.0-0 0-0 6.Nxe5 Nd4, another Marshall idea.

We all know, that there are two "problems" with 4...Nd4.
1) White may chose the most boring line of the entire opening theory: 5.Nxd4 exd4 6.e5 (this move is almost an insult) dxc3 7.exf6 Qxf6 8.dxc3 Qe5+ 9.Qe2. I think even TN will trust statistics here: more than 80% draws. You don't want to play this against a weaker opponent.
2) White can play a slow manoeuvring game with 5.0-0 Nxb5 6.Nxb5 c6 7.Nc3.

So 4...Bc5 may be worth a look. The idea is to transpose with 5.Nxe5 Nd4 6.Bc4 Qe7 /6.Ba4 0-0. White has two independent ideas:
A) 5.0-0 0-0 6.Nxe5 Nd4 7.Bc4 d6 8.Nf3 Bg4 9.Be2 is Schlechter's recommendation, who denied Black all compensation. I am not so sure after Nxe2+ 10.Qxe2 Re8 11.d3 d5. Instead 10...Nh5 11.d3 f5 has been played a few times, but 12.d4! looks good.
B) 5.Nxe4 Nd4 6.Be2 (6.0-0 0-0 see A) d5 7.Nd3 Nxe4 (Fine's idea) 8.Nxe4 dxe4 9.Nxc5 Qg5 10.Nxe4 Qxg2 11.Ng3 (Black's piece sac is incorrect, says Keres) h5! and White faces some problems. William Hartston 30 years ago wrote a book called "Black countergambits". This contains some analysis, which I alas have lost. Three sample lines:
B1) 12.c3 h4 13.Bf1 Qc6 14.cxd4 hxg3 15.f3 Be6 followed by 0-0-0 and/or Rxh2.
B2) 12.h4 Bg4 13.Bxg4 hxg4 14.d3 Nf3+ 15.Ke2 Nd4+ with (more than?) enough compensation.
B3) 12.Bxh5 Rh6 13.d3 Re6+ 14.Be3 Rxe3+ and Black is better.

So is Marshall's version a risky, but interesting option to head for the Rubinstein Gambit?
  

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Willempie
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Re: The Spanish Four Knights
Reply #10 - 02/07/07 at 10:49:56
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TopNotch wrote on 02/06/07 at 20:27:12:
Willempie wrote on 02/06/07 at 15:58:32:
I wonder if 11.h3 d5 12.Nxd5 cxd5 13.Bxe8 Bf5 is enough indeed Huh


I think after your 13...Bf5! White is busted.

The longer you analyse White's position the more you realise just how bad it really is.

Topper Smiley

Very much busted indeed. Even tricks such as 14.Bxf7+ are nothing more than useless demonstrations.
  

If nothing else works, a total pig-headed unwillingness to look facts in the face will see us through.
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TopNotch
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Re: The Spanish Four Knights
Reply #9 - 02/07/07 at 05:15:38
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MNb wrote on 02/07/07 at 01:34:15:
It says something, that neither Motylev, nor Baramidze, nor Arzumanjan, nor Vehi Bach accepted the knight. Still the theoretical relevance is not very big. 8...c6 9.0-0 Ne8 and 8...Ne8 9.0-0 c6 (iso the regular d6) are the same.

Willempie's suggestion 11.Nf4 Qxf4 12.d3 does not solve any white problem after Qf6; all the attacking ideas (Ne2, Re2) remain hard to meet.
11.h3 d5 12.g4 Re2 might be to enthousiastic: 13.Nxe2 Qf3 14.Rh2 and now what?

Another suggestion: 8...c6 9.exf6? Re8+ 10.Kf1 d5!? (as Qxf6 might be a loss of tempo!) 11.fxg7? Qh4! idea 12.Nxd5 cxd5 13.Bxe8 Bg4 14.Bxf7+ Kxg7 15.Qe1 Be2+ 16.Qxe2 Nxe2 17.Kxe2 Qg4+ winning. White should try 11.Nf4 instead.

So I returned to  10...Qxf6 11.h3 and now just d6!? idea 12.g4 Qh4 13.Nd5/13.Kg2 f5! or 12.g3 Bf5 13.Nf4 Ne6. White's play is recommended for masochists only indeed.

Finally remember: after 9.0-0 Ne8 10.Ne2 White has 3½/4. For the time being I stick to the normal 8...Ne8 9.0-0 d6; Black is at least equal here.


I am no real expert in this line nor do I place much faith in stats from a small sample (sometimes even large samples), nevertheless the idea behind 8...c6 seems to be to avoid 8...Ne8 9.Nd5 favored by Motylev, although its not clear just how dangerous this is for Black.    

Following up on your 10...d5!? idea, which I think might be a viable alternative depending on the evaluation of 11.Nf4 Qf6 12.Nfxd5 cd5 13.Bxe8 Be6 14.Ba4 Nb3 15.Qf3 Qxf3 16.gf3 Nxa1. This may all be mute however as 10...Qf6 seems convincing enough.   

Ok it seems that this Knight sacrifice is in fact too poisonous to accept, and should 8....Ne8 9.Nd5 prove troublesome for Black then this is a useful line to know.

Topper Smiley 
  

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MNb
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Re: The Spanish Four Knights
Reply #8 - 02/07/07 at 01:34:15
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It says something, that neither Motylev, nor Baramidze, nor Arzumanjan, nor Vehi Bach accepted the knight. Still the theoretical relevance is not very big. 8...c6 9.0-0 Ne8 and 8...Ne8 9.0-0 c6 (iso the regular d6) are the same.

Willempie's suggestion 11.Nf4 Qxf4 12.d3 does not solve any white problem after Qf6; all the attacking ideas (Ne2, Re2) remain hard to meet.
11.h3 d5 12.g4 Re2 might be to enthousiastic: 13.Nxe2 Qf3 14.Rh2 and now what?

Another suggestion: 8...c6 9.exf6? Re8+ 10.Kf1 d5!? (as Qxf6 might be a loss of tempo!) 11.fxg7? Qh4! idea 12.Nxd5 cxd5 13.Bxe8 Bg4 14.Bxf7+ Kxg7 15.Qe1 Be2+ 16.Qxe2 Nxe2 17.Kxe2 Qg4+ winning. White should try 11.Nf4 instead.

So I returned to  10...Qxf6 11.h3 and now just d6!? idea 12.g4 Qh4 13.Nd5/13.Kg2 f5! or 12.g3 Bf5 13.Nf4 Ne6. White's play is recommended for masochists only indeed.

Finally remember: after 9.0-0 Ne8 10.Ne2 White has 3½/4. For the time being I stick to the normal 8...Ne8 9.0-0 d6; Black is at least equal here.
  

The book had the effect good books usually have: it made the stupids more stupid, the intelligent more intelligent and the other thousands of readers remained unchanged.
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TopNotch
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Re: The Spanish Four Knights
Reply #7 - 02/06/07 at 20:27:12
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Willempie wrote on 02/06/07 at 15:58:32:
I wonder if 11.h3 d5 12.Nxd5 cxd5 13.Bxe8 Bf5 is enough indeed Huh


I think after your 13...Bf5! White is busted.

The longer you analyse White's position the more you realise just how bad it really is.

Topper Smiley
  

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Willempie
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Re: The Spanish Four Knights
Reply #6 - 02/06/07 at 15:58:32
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I wonder if 11.h3 d5 12.Nxd5 cxd5 13.Bxe8 Bf5 is enough indeed Huh
  

If nothing else works, a total pig-headed unwillingness to look facts in the face will see us through.
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LeeRoth
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Re: The Spanish Four Knights
Reply #5 - 02/06/07 at 15:45:24
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I don't have a board, but after 11.h3 d5, is 12.Nxd5 possible?
  
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Willempie
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Re: The Spanish Four Knights
Reply #4 - 02/06/07 at 10:37:10
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But when could he try h3? 11.h3 d5 and now what? Maybe 12.g4, but I really dont like this position. I havent looked at it closely but 12..Re2 looks like a killer. One nice variation is 13.Nxe2 Qf3 14.Rg1 Qh3+ 15.Ke1 (15.Rg2 is necessary, but white looks terminal after Nf3) Nf3#
  

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TopNotch
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Re: The Spanish Four Knights
Reply #3 - 02/05/07 at 17:41:16
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I suspect that if White has to give back the piece with 11.Nf4 then it is well and truly over for him, as this leaves him with no compensation at all for his rotten position.

Maybe he has try some combination of h3 and g4 at some point or perhaps h3 without g4. I haven't analysed these possibilities fully yet but I remain doubtful as to White's survival chances.

Topster Smiley
  

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Re: The Spanish Four Knights
Reply #2 - 02/05/07 at 10:55:35
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This reminds me a lot of some Giuoco lines and I have to agree with your assessment: As white you have to be a big masochist and prolly have some suicidal tendencies to play this. I think white is totally busted in this line.

As to your line I have a definite dislike for 11.g3. If white is forced to play that he is indeed busted as it opens up the white squares entirely. So I would look for alternatives to this move. Maybe 11.Ne1 is an option. However after 11..Nxc2 12.Nf3 Nxa1 black is still much better imo.

My personal gut feeling is that 11.Nf4 is the only option to keep the game afloat for more than 10 moves. ie 11.Nf4 Qxf4 12.d3 Q-whatever 13.Be3 and white may be able to hold. If black doesnt take the knight 12.d3 defends.
  

If nothing else works, a total pig-headed unwillingness to look facts in the face will see us through.
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TopNotch
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Re: The Spanish Four Knights
Reply #1 - 02/04/07 at 23:53:29
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To get the ball rolling, and after having given this position a fair bit of analysis since posting the original query in the Corus A thread, I have come to the conclusion that acceptance of this Knight sacrifice is not just risky but bordering on suicidal.

Here is a sample variation of what I believe to be the critical line to illustrate the point:

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bb5 Nd4 5. Ba4 Bc5 6. Nxe5 O-O 7. Nd3 Bb6 8. e5 c6 9. exf6
Re8+ 10. Kf1 Qxf6 11. g3 d5 12. Kg2 Re2!! 13. Nxe2? [However 13. Nf4
Bg4 14. Ncxe2 Bf3+ 15. Kf1 Re8
-/+ isn't much better for White] Qf3+ 14. Kg1 Bh3 15. Ndf4 Nxe2+ 16. Qxe2 Bxf2+ 17. Qxf2 Qd1+ 18. Qf1 Qxf1 Mate

Since natural moves seem to fail, it isn't clear to me how White will manage to successfully untangle, co-ordinate and ultimately consolidate his extra piece.

What say you guys?

Tops Smiley  
  

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TopNotch
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The Spanish Four Knights
02/04/07 at 23:33:58
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I posed the question in the Corus group A thread whether the Knight sacrifice shown in the diagram below was correct. Motylev now declined the proffered piece by castling and later after many misadventures the game was agreed drawn, however, having not ever seen a published analysis of this idea, I was wondering whether its acceptance leads to a forced loss for White.  



Motylev vs Carlsen: Corus - Group A, 2007


White to play



Since this question stricly could not have been dealt with properly in the Corus thread I decided to re-visit this query by posting it in the appropriate section. I hope you don't mind.

Tops Smiley
  

The man who tries to do something and fails is infinitely better than he who tries to do nothing and succeeds - Lloyd Jones Smiley
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