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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Pirc - James Vigus' Book (Read 24952 times)
TopNotch
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Re: Pirc - James Vigus' Book
Reply #44 - 04/10/08 at 23:05:43
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naughtyknight wrote on 04/10/08 at 18:53:21:
My only gripe with the Pirc is that the White player has such a wide choice of attacking options. I played it for a couple of years and I never saw the same attacking setup twice!

If it wasn't the 150 attack it was the Austrian, if it wasn't the Austrian it was some nasty Bc4,Qe2 then e5 hack... or Bg5 lines or even 2.f4 (so I really understood where you guys were coming from earlier in the discussion).

I just got fed up with White being able to try and hack me off the board from a multitude of different directions. Even the fianchetto variation is not without it's drop of poison!!


White's positional lines are quite nasty too, and I particularly like Dzindi's 5.h3 6.Be3 approach, sorta like a scaled down 150 attack but potentially just as Lethal.

I have great admiration for Pirc devotees, as it takes a lot of guts to risk this defence regularly. Interestingly, with the exception of the Fianchetto line, I have played every one of those hacking lines you mentioned and with success. The Bc4 Qe2 e5 line was a particular favorite of mine as many of my opponents would allow me to give my Queen for 3 pieces and then suffer for the rest of the game, but these days this line no longer has surprise value which objectively was its main strength.

Personally, the Robert Byrne system (Bg5 followed by f4) has always looked an unpleasent attack to face and I wonder how you Pirc guys feel about it.

Lastly there was a two year peroid where I refused to look at Pirc theory at all, and on the relatively rare occassions that I met it simply played the following setup: e4 d4 c3 Nf3 Bd3 0-0 Re1 b4 a4 Qc2 Nd2-c4 or Bg5 then Nd2-c4 all pretty much on auto pilot, pretending all the while that we were playing a Ruy Lopez Breyer System with a slight edge for me. Such psychological boosts were often enough to help me outlast my Pirc opponents.

Topster Smiley   
  

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naughtyknight
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Re: Pirc - James Vigus' Book
Reply #43 - 04/10/08 at 18:53:21
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My only gripe with the Pirc is that the White player has such a wide choice of attacking options. I played it for a couple of years and I never saw the same attacking setup twice!

If it wasn't the 150 attack it was the Austrian, if it wasn't the Austrian it was some nasty Bc4,Qe2 then e5 hack... or Bg5 lines or even 2.f4 (so I really understood where you guys were coming from earlier in the discussion).

I just got fed up with White being able to try and hack me off the board from a multitude of different directions. Even the fianchetto variation is not without it's drop of poison!!
  
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Re: Pirc - James Vigus' Book
Reply #42 - 04/06/08 at 20:33:06
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1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.f3 Bg7 5.Be3 O-O 6.Qd2 c6 7.O-O-O b5 8.h4 h5 and JEH gives a typical example of what I don't understand from stronger players in this line. Why should White play voluntarily the waiting move 9.Kb1?! I play this attacking system with the goal to mate Black as soon as possible and as far as I can see White has more useful moves. Indeed 9.Nh3 and 10.Ng5 is interesting, but I opt for 9.Bh6 eg Qa5 (I have not investigated Qc7 but I would be tempted to try 10.g4) 10.Kb1 (only now!) b4 (Be6 11.Nd5 again) 11.Nce2 Be6 12.Nc1 Qb6? 13.g4 with a crushing attack, Horstmann-Stubbe, Hamburg 1997. Black can improve with 12...Nbd7 and now 13.g4 does not work, but development with 13.Bd3 is very promising. The simple idea is to play x.g4 at the right moment. I have some analysis about this, but only can post it with the permission of James Vigus.
All in all I think the difference with the Soltis - no halfopen c-file - should favour White.

1.d4 d6 2.e4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Be3 Bg7 5.Qd2 O-O 6.O-O-O c6 7.f3 b5 8.h4 b4 9.Nce2 Qa5 10.Kb1 Nbd7 and besides 11.h5 White has 11.g4 (usually too slow, but sometimes justified by x...Nbd7) Nb6 12.Nc1 Be6 13.h5 and 11.Bh6 c5 12.h5 c4 13.hxg6 fxg6 14.Bxg7 Kxg7 Matikozian-Minasian, Jerewan 1999, 15.Qh6+ Kf7 16.g4 and I would rather have White.
11.h5 Nb6 seems to be a novelty; a bit weird for such a normal continuation. I suggest 12.Nc1
a)12...Nxh5? 13.Bh6 Be6 14.Bxg7 Kxg7 15.g4 Nf6 16.Qh6+ Kg8 17.g5 or 17.Bd3 and White is close to winning;
b)12...Be6 13.Bh6 Nc4 14.Bxc4 Bxc4 15.Bxg7 (15.g4 and 16.Nge2 might be even stronger) Kxg7 16.hxg6 fxg6 17.Qh6+ Kg8 18.Nge2 and I prefer White again.

I think this makes my point very clear. White plays according to RJ Fischer's advice: h2-h4-h5, Bh6, sac, sac, mate. So White's moves are rather easy to find, he can vary his move orders and it is really up to Black to avoid mate ...
  

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JEH
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Re: Pirc - James Vigus' Book
Reply #41 - 04/05/08 at 21:40:45
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MNb wrote on 04/05/08 at 20:14:35:
8.Bh6 is imprecise, after Qa5 9.Kb1 Bxh6 10.Qxh6 Be6 black is OK. So 8.h4! idea Be6 9.Kb1 Qa5 10.Nd5! +=. This avoids all the troubles mentioned above. I think Black has a hard time after 8.h4.


I agree. Castling into it is never going to be easy for Black, and I used to avoid doing it as a matter of course. But it's intesting to give it a whirl if you're up for a complicated stuggle.

I have two game references stored for this line.

The first way to take "advantage" (if you can call moving pawns in front of your King taking advantage  Wink) of White not playing Bh6 is to play h5.

Here my game ref is our man Sarno again...


[Event "Calvia ol (Men)"]
[Site "Mallorca"]
[Date "2004.10.20"]
[Round "6"]
[White "Bao, Quang"]
[Black "Sarno, Spartaco"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B07"]
[WhiteElo "2376"]
[BlackElo "2385"]
[PlyCount "80"]
[EventDate "2004.10.15"]
[EventType "team"]
[EventRounds "14"]
[EventCountry "ESP"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2005.01.27"]
[WhiteTeam "Vietnam"]
[BlackTeam "Italy"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "VIE"]
[BlackTeamCountry "ITA"]

1. e4 d6 2. d4 Nf6 3. Nc3 g6 4. f3 Bg7 5. Be3 O-O 6. Qd2 c6 7. O-O-O b5 8. h4
h5 9. Kb1 Re8 10. Bg5 Qa5 11. a3 Nbd7 12. g4 Rb8 13. gxh5 Nxh5 14. Nge2 b4 15.
Na2 c5 16. axb4 cxb4 17. Rg1 Nc5 18. Nec1 Na4 19. Nb3 Qb6 20. Bh6 a5 21. Bxg7
Kxg7 22. Rg5 e5 23. dxe5 dxe5 24. Rxh5 gxh5 25. Bb5 Qxb5 26. Qg5+ Kf8 27. Qh6+
Kg8 28. Rg1+ Bg4 29. Qxh5 Qf1+ 30. Nac1 Qxg1 31. Qg5+ Kf8 32. Qh6+ Ke7 33. Qg5+
f6 34. Qg7+ Ke6 35. fxg4 Nc5 36. Qa7 Rec8 37. g5 a4 38. Na5 b3 39. Nc4 bxc2+
40. Kxc2 Qd4 0-1

h5 is remisicent of the Soltis Dragon, and Re8 reminds me of Black's stuggles in the main line Yugoslav. Maybe Nh3-g5 is a better plan than Bg5 and a3 is unnecessary with Nc3-e2-c1 available.

The second game sees Black hit back with c5.

[Event "Katerini op"]
[Site "Katerini"]
[Date "1992.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Ehlvest, Jaan"]
[Black "Pandavos, Panayotis"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B07"]
[WhiteElo "2635"]
[BlackElo "2430"]
[PlyCount "52"]
[EventDate "1992.08.??"]
[EventType "swiss"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "GRE"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2004.01.01"]

1. d4 d6 2. e4 Nf6 3. Nc3 g6 4. Be3 Bg7 5. Qd2 O-O 6. O-O-O c6 7. f3 b5 8. h4
b4 9. Nce2 Qa5 10. Kb1 c5 11. h5 c4 12. hxg6 fxg6 13. Bh6 c3 14. Qe3 Be6 15. d5
b3 16. Nxc3 Bxh6 17. Qxh6 bxc2+ 18. Kxc2 Bd7 19. Bd3 Ba4+ 20. Kb1 Nbd7 21. Nxa4
Qxa4 22. Nh3 Rab8 23. Rd2 Qb4 24. Rc2 Rf7 25. Ng5 Ne5 26. Nxf7 Nxd3 1-0

White could just go dc and Nc1 and seems tidy. But the way Ehlvest gets on with it looks pretty convincing too.

There's lots of other ideas though, like say in the second game 10. ...Nbd7 11. h5 Nb6, or in the first game, instead of Re8, generate Queenside play with Qc7/Nb8-d7-b6/b4/c5.

Lots of  virgin territory here.


  

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

Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, stuck in the middlegame with you
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MNb
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Re: Pirc - James Vigus' Book
Reply #40 - 04/05/08 at 20:14:35
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8.Bh6 is imprecise, after Qa5 9.Kb1 Bxh6 10.Qxh6 Be6 black is OK. So 8.h4! idea Be6 9.Kb1 Qa5 10.Nd5! +=. This avoids all the troubles mentioned above. I think Black has a hard time after 8.h4.
  

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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JEH
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Re: Pirc - James Vigus' Book
Reply #39 - 04/01/08 at 08:43:19
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Yes of course, line a3) on p263. This highlights the move order difficulties that the Book crucially covers, with 8. ...Bxh6?! but 9. ...Bxh6! i.e provoking Kb1 with 8. ...Qa5, and then playing 9. ...Bxh6 so deflect the White Queen from d2 to avoid Nd5 (which is a threat after Kb1), and then playing 9. ...Be6 next move to provoke a3, as otherwise White can go 9. ...b4 10. Nce2 Be6 11. Nc1

I'd almost go as far as saying that not doing this precision with Black is more than ?!, it might even be ?? as White's attack is very strong unless Black is right in there with the counterplay.  

Also note that the computer won't point this out to you!
  

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

Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, stuck in the middlegame with you
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Re: Pirc - James Vigus' Book
Reply #38 - 04/01/08 at 02:13:22
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JEH wrote on 03/31/08 at 23:49:30:
NB This castling into it is very dangerous. I used to be of the delay castling school, but based the Jobava game (see Game 60 in the book) I've been trying that move order out.

Based on a move order I encountered recently, I came across the following Sarno game (not sure if this is in the book).

The Sarno game is briefly mentioned by Vigus (in his notes to the Parligras-Jobova game) and in Gallagher's Starting Out: Pirc/Modern book (p101).  Although neither book discusses the game in detail, Vigus does an outstanding job putting this game in context with respect to other possibilities available to White and Black.  As I'm sure others have already said, the Vigus book is a must if you want to play either side of the 4.Be3 lines.
  

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Re: Pirc - James Vigus' Book
Reply #37 - 03/31/08 at 23:49:30
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J-dog wrote on 02/04/08 at 05:32:38:
Note: after looking at the 150 attack material, my head was spinning from the timing and order of black's counterplay.  Qa5, c6, b5, Nbd7, e5, b4, Bxh6 all have delicate timing vs. white's numerous setups and attacking options.  I'm looking forward to getting a grip on it, though I know it will take some serious study and/or sorting out.  If I can clarify and organize my findings, I will try to post them here.  Thanks again Dr. Vigus.



NB This castling into it is very dangerous. I used to be of the delay castling school, but based the Jobava game (see Game 60 in the book) I've been trying that move order out.

Based on a move order I encountered recently, I came across the following Sarno game (not sure if this is in the book).

[Event "Reggio Emilia 9798 40th"]
[Site "Reggio Emilia"]
[Date "1998.??.??"]
[Round "8"]
[White "Efimov, Igor"]
[Black "Sarno, Spartaco"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B07"]
[WhiteElo "2540"]
[BlackElo "2400"]
[PlyCount "71"]
[EventDate "1997.12.26"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "11"]
[EventCountry "ITA"]
[EventCategory "10"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "1998.04.09"]

1. e4 d6 2. d4 Nf6 3. Nc3 g6 4. Be3 Bg7 5. Qd2 O-O 6. f3 c6 7. O-O-O b5 8. Bh6
Bxh6 9. Qxh6 b4 10. Nce2 Qa5 11. Kb1 Be6 12. Nc1 Rc8 13. h4 Qd8 14. Nge2 Qf8
15. Qd2 a5 16. Nf4 Nbd7 17. h5 Qg7 18. g4 Nf8 19. g5 Ne8 20. hxg6 hxg6 21. Rh4
c5 22. d5 Bd7 23. Bc4 f6 24. Rg1 fxg5 25. Rxg5 Nf6 26. e5 N6h7 27. Rg1 Bf5 28.
e6 Qd4 29. Nxg6 Qxg1 30. Nxe7+ Kh8 31. Nxf5 Rc7 32. Rg4 Qh1 33. Qf4 Qe1 34.
Nxd6 a4 35. Nf7+ Rxf7 36. Qxf7 1-0

You'll find a full annotation of it in Megabase.

Interesting Qa5-Qd8-Qf8 manouver, but I think Black's position is going wrong. But I had an idea. What about 11. ...Qh5!?

Swapping the Queens is nothing, and if the White Queen goes back, the Black Queen can go back to a5. So is this = if Black doesn't want to risk it with the Be6 attack?


  

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

Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, stuck in the middlegame with you
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Re: Pirc - James Vigus' Book
Reply #36 - 03/28/08 at 16:25:45
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Thanks, Stormcrow!
Going back to the earlier discussion - for 1 e4 d6 2 Nc3, 2 g3, 2 f4 etc, Richard Palliser's 'Fighting the Anti Sicilians' is very handy for a Pirc player, as he gives ...Nf6 recommendations against the Closed Sicilian. I guess that further comment on this belongs on the Anti Sicilians thread so I'll head there now...
  
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Re: Pirc - James Vigus' Book
Reply #35 - 02/04/08 at 05:32:38
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Ok this book sat on my shelf for several months with little attention: I checked out some lines in the Archbishop and that was about it.

Well, I pulled it out on Friday night and decided to start exploring it, going over the recommended games in his repertoire suggestions.  I read the Austrian chapters and then the Be3/f3 and 150 attack chapters.  This is an awesome book!  I am really impressed and I am SO glad I bought it.  I have had fun so far trying to fight the Austrian in online blitz, with good results. 

Congratulations Dr. Vigus- you should be proud of such a fine book!

Note: after looking at the 150 attack material, my head was spinning from the timing and order of black's counterplay.  Qa5, c6, b5, Nbd7, e5, b4, Bxh6 all have delicate timing vs. white's numerous setups and attacking options.  I'm looking forward to getting a grip on it, though I know it will take some serious study and/or sorting out.  If I can clarify and organize my findings, I will try to post them here.  Thanks again Dr. Vigus.

  
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Re: Pirc - James Vigus' Book
Reply #34 - 01/25/08 at 22:08:42
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How about this for an idea - why not invite James to do a couple of updates on the key alternatives on move 2/3 - i would have thought 3 f3 , 3 bd3 and 2 nc3 were the main ones and possibly 2 f4 as well. Any thoughts ?
  
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Re: Pirc - James Vigus' Book
Reply #33 - 01/25/08 at 16:49:13
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Stigma, I agree that coverage of 2nd move alternatives is a gap in Pirc books generally. (No, I don't think Bauer considered these, though I don't have his book to hand right now.)
I don't trust the ...c6 and ...Na6 approach against an early Bc4 either: White can usually play a3 and preserve the bishop! But perhaps the ...Nxe4 line idea I suggested might be a good alternative?
1 e4 d6 2 c4 c5 3 Ne2 e5!? can't be bad for Black, don't you think? King's Indian or Benoni players (which I am not, but some Pirc players are) can also play 3...Nf6 4 Nc3 g6 4 d4 Nbd7 I guess, though perhaps someone who knows Sämisch positions well would say that the knight shouldn't jump to d7 so early - I'm not sure.
I can see that there might be room somewhere or other for an article on these variants from Black's point of view - though again I hesitate a bit about that, since one's choices depend on non-Pirc preferences (e.g. whether you prefer the Symmetrical English with ...c5 or ...e5, etc).
Plenty of food for thought!
  
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Re: Pirc - James Vigus' Book
Reply #32 - 01/25/08 at 13:11:30
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Thanks for your thoughts, Mr. Vigus. I appreciate that space was a concern, and the book is excellent as it stands. I got a bit fired up by bibs' outrageous comments; my complaint about the missing early alternatives was really directed at the Pirc literature as a whole, not your book specifically.

The 3rd move alternatives (mainly 3.f3 and 3.Bd3) are actually quite well covered: Nunn/McNab, Chernin/Alburt, Yrjölä/Tella, Videki and Gallagher all have them. As for Bauer's Philidor Files I'm not sure how many Pirc players would buy it just for those two lines. (Btw., did Bauer consider any White alternatives to 1.e4 d6 2.d4?)

But I can't recall seeing coverage of the 2nd move alternatives anywhere! Of course this is most serious in the case of Pirc Alert and An Explosive Opening Repertoire, as both claimed to offer complete Black repertoires. I can't possibly see a market for a specialized "Anti-Pirc" book, so if Pirc books don't include them, noone else will. Even just a general overview would be better than nothing, something like Ward's Anti-Sicilian suggestions in Winning with the Dragon 2 maybe...

I tend to agree that if White invites the Closed Sicilian Black should just go along; there may be more scope for independent lines against Grand Prix and KIA players. Against the Grand Prix I have toyed with early ...c6 lines intending ...d5, and if Bb3 then ...Na6-c5, but Black must be very careful with his move order since White often has the option of switching to a hybrid Austrian Attack with d4. 2.c4 is maybe the most annoying of all if Black is not a King's Indian or Modern Averbakh player. Probably choose between an ...e5 or ...c5 English, but in the latter case White can also try to sneak into a Maroczy Bind (2.c4 c5 3.Ne2!?)
  

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Re: Pirc - James Vigus' Book
Reply #31 - 01/24/08 at 15:00:10
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I would have liked to include discussion of White's second and third move alternatives in my book, but in the end I really did feel that I needed quite a strict definition of the Pirc in order to keep the material under control. Space was a major factor, as was the fact that Christian Bauer analyses 3 f3 and 3 Bd3 in his book on the Philidor, which appeared around the same time as The Pirc in Black and White. But also, 2 f4, 2 g3, 2 Nc3, 2 c4, 2 d3, 2 Nf3 (and the list could - just possibly - go on!) are such transpositional moves that it would have been difficult to achieve reasonably full (i.e. not merely repertoire) coverage.
Having said that, these moves all have their interest, and Closed Sicilian and Grand Prix approaches can indeed be unpleasant for unprepared Pirc players, as I have occasionally discovered the hard way. I suspect it is best to delve into some Sicilian theory (Palliser's Closed Sicilian book is a friendly place to start, but no doubt there are other threads on this). 1 e4 d6 2 g3 d5?! 3 exd5 Qxd5 4 Nf3 avoids this, but Black is a tempo down on 1 e4 c5 2 g3 d5 lines. Likewise 1 e4 d6 2 Nc3 Nf6 3 f4 d5 4 e5 d4 5 Nce2 looks an unpleasant kind of Alekhine.
Another interesting but unsatisfactory line is 2 g3 Nf6 3 Bg2 Bg4!? 4 Ne2 Qc8 5 h3 Bd7 6 d4 and although he can't castle yet, White can follow with g4. I remember a nice Van der Wiel game as Black, but he was playing someone much weaker.

This is what I vaguely plan for myself:
1 e4 d6 2 d3 e5
2 g3 g6 3 Bg2 Bg7 4 c4 c5 - not a very scary form of Symmetrical English
2 Nc3 Nf6 3 f4 g6 4 Nf3 Bg7 5 Bc4 Nxe4!?, avoiding the Grand Prix, e-g- 6 Bxf7+ Kxf7 7 Nxe4 Rf8. I must confess that I haven't done any work on the latter line - not computer or database checked - so please don't trust it too easily and it would be good to hear other opinions.
- if White plays g3 at some point, we go into a Closed Sicilian.

That's only a start, and I had been sort of wondering about reaearching a small article on all this, strictly from Black's perspective...

Very glad to hear people have been finding the book useful, even though John Watson has managed to do some damage to one or two lines in his recent Pirc updates!
  
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Re: Pirc - James Vigus' Book
Reply #30 - 01/24/08 at 13:25:40
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Bibs wrote on 01/24/08 at 01:47:36:
Stigma and others.

Vigus' book is NOT a repertoire book. It is about the Pirc. This is defined by the first 3 moves. It is also not about the Modern, the Najdorf, or about basket-weaving.

Similarly books about the King's Indian do not cover Tromps, Torres and things. Because this is not their subject matter. Repertoire books should however do so.

To criticise authors for not doing something that is not their purpose is akin to criticising a fine wine for not being a good whisky/whiskey. And Vigus' book is a fine wine.

Again: advice I have written before:
read (in this case Vigus' explanation of what his book is),
read again carefully
think
then ... write.

Yes - but for repertoire books: worth looking at nc3, f4 stuff.
Nf3 d3 whatever - naturally valid sets of moves with differing ideas. The pseudo-Grand Prix a particular challenge.

But not everything can be given. At some point players must think for themselves. Guess people just want to read absolutely all their moves onto the ICC screen.

If players have no grasp of chess beyond copying verbatim, suggest to get some collected games books and study. Blitz - no time to think so dont bother until some studying undertaken. If you want to improve....


Wow. That is one of the most arrogant posts I have ever read.  

I make the valid point that a book with guidance on the early alternatives would be useful, and you start talking about blitz players and "copying verbatim". According to that logic, when I use Vigus' and other books (not to mention my own head) to study proper Pirc lines like the Austrian or the Classical, am I suddenly a more sophisticated, thinking player?

A wine is not a whisky, but when you could add just 5-10 pages and get both wine and whisky (comprehensive Pirc coverage AND Black repertoire) in the same package, why wouldn't you? Both author and publisher seem well aware that most buyers will be black Pirc players, and to them an "Anti-Pirc" chapter would be very useful. I know Vigus decided to exclude the early alternatives (I am able to read English, actually) but he cites space constraints as the reason, not some strict definition of the Pirc. When Everyman could give him 380 pages, why not 390...

Just to make one thing perfectly clear: Vigus' book is the best ever on the position after 1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 and I am delighted to have it. I disagree with his decision to leave out certain lines, not with the execution of the project once that decision was made.
  

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