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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) Sternest test of Gruenfeld? (Read 7093 times)
lnn2
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Re: Sternest test of Gruenfeld?
Reply #17 - 04/11/07 at 15:05:19
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Markovich wrote on 04/11/07 at 12:58:35:
Willempie wrote on 04/11/07 at 11:10:40:
Arent almost all lines in the Grunfeld critical?  Huh
Just to add another line to the suggestions: A few weeks back I saw Sokolov beat Saskirian with Bf4. I dont know if it is in the bases yet, but I couldnt find the game. That may have to do with my spelling abilities of Indian names though.


For me the line with 4. Nf3, 5. Bf4, 6. Rc1 has a lot of appeal, though I've never played it.  Such sensible moves.  For a long time I played the exchange Nf3, Rb1, but there is really a mountain of theory there.  Lately I've been playing 4. Nf3 Bg7  5. Bg5 Ne4  6. cxd5 Nxg5  7. Nxg5 e6  8. Qd2 exd5  9. Qe3+ with pretty good success, though I'm not entirely sure that this can be played as a serious winning attempt.

I realize that it's objectively strong, but 5. Qb3 somehow does not feel like good chess to me.  It seems like a chess sin to wander around with the queen before bringing out the minor pieces.  No doubt this attitude reveals the limitations of my chess education. 

Of course the same criticism can be made of 9. Qe3+, but there the play is so forced and the ideas are so specific that it really doesn't matter.  The point is that there, I don't have to agonize over what the next move should be in positions where I'm behind in development.


Hello we seem to have looked at the same things!
(see my post here: http://www.chesspub.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1175467804 )

May interest you to know that in CBM 114 Ftacnik made a rather detailed survey on 5. Bf4 0-0 6. Rc1:

"Many of the world class players have included the Gruenfeld system in their own repertoire, since White certainly has to take some risk in the pursuit of the whole point. The ensuing positions are active with good piece play, and Black has a good chance to end up on the top in the enterprising battle.

Naturally the white players are not giving up and consistently seek the lines where Black is put under real pressure. Under such conditions his attempts at counterplay have to be rather precise and mistakes can be punished. One of the most complex lines is connected with the position arising after 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.Bf4 0-0 6.Rc1.

In the first six moves the competing parties have played strikingly different chess. White has somewhat neglected the development of the kingside and his king sits in the centre, but that is only the natural price paid for the extremely quick build up of pressure against the centre. Black, on the contrary, did not object to the battle plans of his opponent, but concentrated on the highest level of preparedness for the coming crises. His king is at home safe and dry, but the queenside pieces are still sleeping in their original nests.

However, now the first phase of the game is clearly over, and the interests of the players will inevitably clash against each other. In this survey we will be dealing only with the line featuring 6…dxc4. Black has two other major options:

1) 6...c6 with a completely different sort of fight, setting up a rigid pawn structure in the centre,
2) the very active 6...c5 that might be just a little bit too daring against the heavily armed white queenside formation."

And Ftacnik goes on to cover what he thinks is the main move 6... dxc4. Currently critical appears to be 7. e4 Bg4 8. Bxc4 Bxf3 9. gxf3 and White has to like these doubled f-pawns in order to play this system. White's king may be a source of concern too. I would really like this line to work though. The other way to play is 7. e3, which was used in Karpov-Kasparov 2002 Rapid match (won by Karpov), but Black gets 7... Be6 and then seems okay if he knows the long forcing stuff after 8. Ng5 Bd5 etc  Embarrassed

Therefore guys like Dreev later switched to 4. Bf4 and i have a feeling the last word is not said in the 9. Nge2 line.  Undecided
  
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ANDREW BRETT
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Re: Sternest test of Gruenfeld?
Reply #16 - 04/11/07 at 14:35:44
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Just an observation on the Grunfeld:

It's very difficult to find a strong line that isn't quite theoretical . In that sense it's quite a good choice against those who don't know much theory who play 1 d4.
  
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Re: Sternest test of Gruenfeld?
Reply #15 - 04/11/07 at 13:58:08
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Markovich wrote on 04/11/07 at 12:58:35:
I realize that it's objectively strong, but 5. Qb3 somehow does not feel like good chess to me.  It seems like a chess sin to wander around with the queen before bringing out the minor pieces.  No doubt this attitude reveals the limitations of my chess education.  


Aren't you also playing the Catalan? In that opening, the queen often wanders around before queen's side minor pieces are developed.
  

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IMJohnCox
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Re: Sternest test of Gruenfeld?
Reply #14 - 04/11/07 at 13:38:07
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Don't know if it was just a typo, but it's Sasikiran, just in case that helps with the ol' database searches.
  
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Markovich
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Re: Sternest test of Gruenfeld?
Reply #13 - 04/11/07 at 12:58:35
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Willempie wrote on 04/11/07 at 11:10:40:
Arent almost all lines in the Grunfeld critical?  Huh
Just to add another line to the suggestions: A few weeks back I saw Sokolov beat Saskirian with Bf4. I dont know if it is in the bases yet, but I couldnt find the game. That may have to do with my spelling abilities of Indian names though.


For me the line with 4. Nf3, 5. Bf4, 6. Rc1 has a lot of appeal, though I've never played it.  Such sensible moves.  For a long time I played the exchange Nf3, Rb1, but there is really a mountain of theory there.  Lately I've been playing 4. Nf3 Bg7  5. Bg5 Ne4  6. cxd5 Nxg5  7. Nxg5 e6  8. Qd2 exd5  9. Qe3+ with pretty good success, though I'm not entirely sure that this can be played as a serious winning attempt.

I realize that it's objectively strong, but 5. Qb3 somehow does not feel like good chess to me.  It seems like a chess sin to wander around with the queen before bringing out the minor pieces.  No doubt this attitude reveals the limitations of my chess education. 

Of course the same criticism can be made of 9. Qe3+, but there the play is so forced and the ideas are so specific that it really doesn't matter.  The point is that there, I don't have to agonize over what the next move should be in positions where I'm behind in development.
  

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Re: Sternest test of Gruenfeld?
Reply #12 - 04/11/07 at 11:10:40
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Arent almost all lines in the Grunfeld critical?  Huh
Just to add another line to the suggestions: A few weeks back I saw Sokolov beat Saskirian with Bf4. I dont know if it is in the bases yet, but I couldnt find the game. That may have to do with my spelling abilities of Indian names though.
  

If nothing else works, a total pig-headed unwillingness to look facts in the face will see us through.
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Re: Sternest test of Gruenfeld?
Reply #11 - 04/11/07 at 10:49:46
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I think that - concerning theory - a "critical" line in the Grunfeld simply does not exist.
So the question simply is your approach to chess, and your strength.
If you want to choose the variation that is "objectively" the best (based on current "state of the art"), I'm absolutely convinced that you need to choose the main line with Ne2 / Be3 / Bc4. But: that line simply is a hell of a lot of work.
Based on my experiences in correspondence chess I really doubt that the Nf3 / Be2 / Rb1 - Line is in any way critical, maybe not even dangerous for black.

If your approach is more practical / pragmatic (and your opponents are no "heavyweights"), I would recommend the line with 4.Nf3 and 5.Bg5.
Some surprise value has 4.cxd5 / 5.Bd2 and that line maybe heavily underestimated. You will find many top players use that line occationally. And that may be the line to be recommended for "lazybones".
  

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Re: Sternest test of Gruenfeld?
Reply #10 - 04/11/07 at 03:06:37
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7. Bc4 is undoubtedly the strongest theoretically: Sakaev and Van Wely know what is best after 1. d4!

But i think against the Grunfeld it is worth exploring the non-exchange lines, where Black's play is less straightforward. Normally i'd follow Cox's philosophy and say the most critical lines are the best choice. But against the Grunfeld there's only a small trade-off in terms of objective merit even if you choose White's second-tier options, e.g. Russian, 3. g3 d5, 3 f3 d5 and Blacks tend to find these harder to face OTB at sub-2400 level. Statistics seem to show too. Smiley

Anyway Black is especially struggling after 3. f3 d5 imho and the recent Motylev-Svidler looked good for White out of the opening. Of course you need to play a Samisch KID, but that's hardly a concession me thinks (the benoni lines were critical but look at the surveys by Kapengut in recent NIC yearbooks ~79 and you will change your mind!)
  
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Markovich
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Re: Sternest test of Gruenfeld?
Reply #9 - 04/10/07 at 23:47:48
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ubiyca wrote on 04/10/07 at 18:19:37:
Quote:
Quote from Markovich on Yesterday at 14:27:37:

Oh indeed, and I've apologized before for asking just this sort of question.  I apologize now for this one.  But at least I don't make a habit of it, and at least I don't ask questions like, "Why is the French a good defense?" or "Why is 1...e5 a good answer to 1.e4?" 

Also I think I have paid sufficient dues here, so to speak, to be able to ask a lazy one now and then.  A hell of a lot more dues than you have, by the way.


Your sense of entitlement is somewhat amusing. Your question seems no more or less "inappropriate" than the ones you criticized earlier, and I don't really care to see how many posts you've made to determine whether you "deserve" a free pass or not. If you dish out such criticisms, you really ought to be able to handle it with more aplomb when someone returns the favor.


Well, actually my question was just a little bit more pertinent here than "Why is the French a good defense" -- a question that I would not have bothered to criticize had it not been accompanied by two or three other equally vacuous questions from the same poster, at the same time. 

I'll dish out the criticisms here that seem meet and just to me, and you dish our yours, buddy boy. But don't be surprised if I swat back.

I said nothing about my deserving.  As for what you care about, I don't really give two whoops in a hollow.
  

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ubiyca
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Re: Sternest test of Gruenfeld?
Reply #8 - 04/10/07 at 20:23:01
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Yep, that's the line - two of the games I mentioned above (Topalov-Shirov and Nielsen-Holzke) are in this line. Can't remember if the others are, but I have a feeling they're in other Bc4 variations, like with Na5 and b6 ideas.
  

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Re: Sternest test of Gruenfeld?
Reply #7 - 04/10/07 at 18:41:48
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kevinludwig wrote on 04/10/07 at 18:24:13:
what is this Bc4 exchange sac line that everyone is talking about. Can someone give a game reference?


They are, I'm pretty sure, referring to 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cd Nxd5 5. e4 Nxc3 6. bc Bg7 7. Bc4 0-0 8. Ne2 c5 9. 0-0 Nc6 10. Be3 cd 11. cd Bg4 12. f3 Na5 13. Bd3 Be6 14. d5.  It was also a hot topic about 50 years ago.
  
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Re: Sternest test of Gruenfeld?
Reply #6 - 04/10/07 at 18:24:13
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what is this Bc4 exchange sac line that everyone is talking about. Can someone give a game reference?
  
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Re: Sternest test of Gruenfeld?
Reply #5 - 04/10/07 at 18:19:37
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Quote:
Quote from Markovich on Yesterday at 14:27:37:

Oh indeed, and I've apologized before for asking just this sort of question.  I apologize now for this one.  But at least I don't make a habit of it, and at least I don't ask questions like, "Why is the French a good defense?" or "Why is 1...e5 a good answer to 1.e4?"  

Also I think I have paid sufficient dues here, so to speak, to be able to ask a lazy one now and then.  A hell of a lot more dues than you have, by the way.


Your sense of entitlement is somewhat amusing. Your question seems no more or less "inappropriate" than the ones you criticized earlier, and I don't really care to see how many posts you've made to determine whether you "deserve" a free pass or not. If you dish out such criticisms, you really ought to be able to handle it with more aplomb when someone returns the favor.


Quote:
Well at the highest level Bc4 exchange is the move that seems to have made Black players give up the Grunfeld (Svidler) aside.  It all depends on how comfortable you are sacrificing an exchange.

In the Rb1 exchange this is a line that is difficult for Black if goes pawn grabbing without knowing the theory. At the moment Black is tending to play the b6 systems which aren't as sharp .

But for what it's worth the Qb3 systems remain critical- i never been totally convinced by the Na6 systems.

Finally, slightly off topic but relevant for Grunfeld players 1 Nf3 Nf6 2c4 g6 3 nc3 d5  4 qa4 + has caused a few difficulties.


As for the actual question at hand, the anti-Grunfeld that Andrew mentions at the end of his post (1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4, etc) has certainly caught on amongst the top players. Khalifman put this system under the microscope in his books, and Gelfand followed it to a "T" in beating Svidler earlier. Black has of course found a couple improvements there, but the discussion is by no means complete. Some recent encounters include: Kramnik-Shirov, Navara-Svidler, Topalov-Svidler, Tkachiev-Sutovsky, and the aforementioned Gefland-Svidler game (earliest of the bunch listed here, from 2006).

Of the regular Grunfeld move order, Bc4 would have to be the most challenging these days. Black has had a harder go of it in this line than in Rb1 recently, and I think this is reflected by a serious drop in Rb1's popularity amongst top players these past couple years. Some recent games with Bc4 include: Van Wely-Svidler, Carlsen-Ivanchuk, Topalov-Shirov, Carlsen-Navara, Nielsen-Holzke, and a couple Topalov-Svidler encounters.
  

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Re: Sternest test of Gruenfeld?
Reply #4 - 04/10/07 at 13:27:37
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ubiyca wrote on 04/09/07 at 23:45:36:
Markovich wrote on 04/09/07 at 13:18:00:
Pardon my miserable ignorance, O Gruenfeld gurus, but what nowadays is considered the sternest test of this defense?  The Nf3 exchange with 8. Rb1?  The Ne2 exchange with the exchange sac?  Or something else?



I would say this qualifies as a rather shallow question. Don't you have a database you could look at to figure out what strong players are playing? Anything more specific would require much more effort on my part. And I would hate to waste such effort.



Oh indeed, and I've apologized before for asking just this sort of question.  I apologize now for this one.  But at least I don't make a habit of it, and at least I don't ask questions like, "Why is the French a good defense?" or "Why is 1...e5 a good answer to 1.e4?"

Also I think I have paid sufficient dues here, so to speak, to be able to ask a lazy one now and then.  A hell of a lot more dues than you have, by the way.

  

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Re: Sternest test of Gruenfeld?
Reply #3 - 04/10/07 at 08:18:02
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Well at the highest level Bc4 exchange is the move that seems to have made Black players give up the Grunfeld (Svidler) aside.  It all depends on how comfortable you are sacrificing an exchange.

In the Rb1 exchange this is a line that is difficult for Black if goes pawn grabbing without knowing the theory. At the moment Black is tending to play the b6 systems which aren't as sharp .

But for what it's worth the Qb3 systems remain critical- i never been totally convinced by the Na6 systems.

Finally, slightly off topic but relevant for Grunfeld players 1 Nf3 Nf6 2c4 g6 3 nc3 d5  4 qa4 + has caused a few difficulties.
  
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