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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Schliemann Defense to Ruy Lopez - 4...Nf6 (Read 36685 times)
Markovich
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Re: Schliemann Defense to Ruy Lopez - 4...Nf6
Reply #8 - 04/24/07 at 21:07:02
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FusterCluck wrote on 04/24/07 at 19:26:07:
Markovich wrote on 04/24/07 at 18:56:24:
This generalization and some of the other ones in your original post strike me as highly artificial.  4...fxe4! is an excellent move with a very obvious motivation; it just happens that due to specific factors, it doesn't work...


You state yourself that fxe4 doesn't work.  How can a move that doesn't work be excellent?   


By being the best move in the position.  Maybe I'm wrong about this given MnB's and Paddy's ideas here, but I'll maintain my view a little longer.
  

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MNb
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Re: Schliemann Defense to Ruy Lopez - 4...Nf6
Reply #7 - 04/24/07 at 21:03:03
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I strongly disagree with Markovich, that 4.Nc3 Nf6! 5.exf5! Bc5 6.0-0 0-0 7.Nxe5 Nd4 8.Nf3! Nxb5 9.Nxb5 d5 10.Nbd4 Ng4 is inferior to 4.Nc3 fxe4?! 6.Nxe5 d5 / 9.Nxa7 from Black's point of view. I find the latter horrible. Black only can hope to draw after hours hard work. But I will not state, that the first offers equality, not at all. It is more like "a complex game, in which White is objectively better, but has to play with caution". Like Paddy writes, Black plays natural moves (Nf6, Bc5, 0-0, Nd4 in answer to the pseudo-sac Nxe5, Nxb5, d5, Ng4). White already here has many opportunities to stumble. Then, if even with best play, White's advantage is indisputable but managable, I find that quite an achievement for a Counter Gambit like this.

10...Qd6 iso 10...Ng4 has been played in a game Vasjukov-Egorov, Moscow 1959. There followed 10...Qd6 11.d3 Ng4 12.h3 Nh2 13.Nb5! Nxf3+ 14.Qxf3 Qd7 15.g4! Bxf2+ 16.Rxf2 Qxb5 17.Bf4 Bd7 18.c3 and White was on top. As a light improvement for Black I have found 11...Qd6 12.Ne6 Bxe6 13.fxe6 Qxe6 14.d4 Be6, but in the end I decided, that I liked the immediate 10...Ng4 better. White again has the opportunity to spoil his advantage:
a)11.d3? Nxh2
b)11.Ne6 Bxe6 12.fxe6 Qd6 13.g3 Nxf2! Perenyi-Tatai, Budapest 1979.
c)11.Qe2 Bxd4 (Nxh2) 12.Nxd4 Nxh2 Korbut-Kuzmina, Elista 2001.
d)So White is wise to play 11.h3 Ne5 at once. Then both 12.Nxe5 Smailbegovic-Maric, Sombor 1957 and 12.Re1 seem to preserve an edge, that is somewhat bigger than Markovich' favourite initial birthright.
It is quite a challenge, to optimize Black's compensation here. So FusterCluck, give your best try!

Paddy is also right, that the line 4...Nf6 transposes to the Bulgarian Variation 4...Nd4. The move order then is 5.Ba4 Nf6 6.0-0 Bc5 7.Nxe5 0-0 8.exf5 d5. White has 5.exf5 Nf6 6.0-0 though, which I failed to make work for Black.
My source: the booklet Schliemann/Jaenisch by Jimmy Adams from 1982. We would call this a database dump today, hence I gave the year of publication. As Adams also has figured out all kind of transpositions, I find it quite useful.
  

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FusterCluck
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Re: Schliemann Defense to Ruy Lopez - 4...Nf6
Reply #6 - 04/24/07 at 19:26:07
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Markovich wrote on 04/24/07 at 18:56:24:
This generalization and some of the other ones in your original post strike me as highly artificial.  4...fxe4! is an excellent move with a very obvious motivation; it just happens that due to specific factors, it doesn't work...


I don't claim to have the understanding to make the case against fxe4.  If you have a good understanding of the reason behind fxe4, why noth enlighten rather than criticize. 

You state yourself that fxe4 doesn't work.  How can a move that doesn't work be excellent?  Is the primary justification behind fxe the hope than black will gain a dominant center, open lines, or something else that i'm totally missing?
  
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Re: Schliemann Defense to Ruy Lopez - 4...Nf6
Reply #5 - 04/24/07 at 18:56:24
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FusterCluck wrote on 04/24/07 at 17:35:31:
So, is my impression correct that fxe really doesnt accomplish much unless black can use the open file to attack (such as in the d3 lines)?


I've played the Schliemann in many games, though I don't play it any more.  This generalization and some of the other ones in your original post strike me as highly artificial.  4...fxe4! is an excellent move with a very obvious motivation; it just happens that due to specific factors, it doesn't work (it works with 5...d5, I suppose, if you don't mind playing into a pawn-down ending where you have drawing chances after 9. Nxa7+! instead of 9. f4 "!" as given in almost all sources).  Black's degree of disadvantage after 5...Nf6 is about the same. 

But it's the same with >all< forms of the Schliemann after 4. Nc3!.  They are all well-motivated and challenging, and none of them quite work.  4...Nf6  5. exf4! is even worse for Black.  I have never studied 4...Nd4 but it smells so bad that I would be quite surprised if it worked either.

On the other hand, there is a good case for this defense at the club level.  So play it by all means, but don't try to convince yourself that it's sound. That way lies Gambit Psychosis.

Also, although 4...fxe4 is considered the best answer to 4. d3, Black has little prospect of an f-file attack if White plays well.  The threat of that, however, does at least allow 4...fxe4  5. dxe4 Nf6  6. 0-0 Bc5!, a gambit that White is wise to decline.  It would be dreadful to have to play 6...d6.
  

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FusterCluck
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Re: Schliemann Defense to Ruy Lopez - 4...Nf6
Reply #4 - 04/24/07 at 17:35:31
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Paddy wrote on 04/24/07 at 10:30:56:
I wonder whether the club/weekend players of today (plus internet players now I suppose) are really any better prepared than when Barden was writing (1980).

Be warned though that there is actually a lot of theory on this line


I suspect probably not, since the Schiemann defense has been declining in popularity.  I'm really beginning to like the 5...Bc5 gambit ideas.  How much analsys of this line is in Barden's book?  Or could you recommend other sources?


MNB, the line from your game with 8.Nf3 Nxb5 9.Nxb5 d5 10.Nbd4 looks really good to me.  Perhaps 10... Qd6 is an improvement.  After something like 11.Re1 Ng4 12.h3, i believe the sack Nxf2 is fascinating!


So, is my impression correct that fxe really doesnt accomplish much unless black can use the open file to attack (such as in the d3 lines)?
  
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Re: Schliemann Defense to Ruy Lopez - 4...Nf6
Reply #3 - 04/24/07 at 10:30:56
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[quote author=FusterCluck link=1177230554/0#0 date=1177230552]I'm beginning to believe this less common version of the Schliemann Defense may be black's best try.

1.e5 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 f5 4.Nc3 Nf6!?

This was recommended in Barden's book "Play better chess" as a useful weapon for club/weekend players. He said that many low-rated players were taken by surprise by this and reacted badly, e.g. 5 0-0? fxe4 6 Bxc6 dxc6 7 Nxe5 Qd4, or 5 Nc3 fxe4 6 dxe4 Bb4 when White has been move-ordered into a weak version of the 4 d3 line. Barden's suggested best play for both sides was 5 exf5! Bc5 6 0-0 0-0 7 Nxe5 Nd4! 8 Nf3! (he noted that the weaker 8 Ba4 was a common reaction if White ever got this far).

I wonder whether the club/weekend players of today (plus internet players now I suppose) are really any better prepared than when Barden was writing (1980).

Be warned though that there is actually a lot of theory on this line (which often transposes to the Bulgarian variation 4 Nc3 Nd4!?) and with best play White should surely keep an edge, e.g. Barden gave 5 exf5! Bc5 6 0-0 0-0 7 Nxe5 Nd4! 8 Nf3! c6 9 Nxd4 Bxd4 10 Ba4 d5 11 Ne2 Bb6 12 d4 Bxf5 13 Bxf4 when Black has little to show for his pawn - Unzicker-Nievergelt, Zurich 1959, amusingly quoted as Uhlmann-Nievergelt in Schiller's careless 1983 book for Batsford.
  
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Re: Schliemann Defense to Ruy Lopez - 4...Nf6
Reply #2 - 04/22/07 at 20:56:02
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4.Nc3 fxe4 5.Nxe4 d5 (I never have trusted ...Nf6) would be good, if Black could maintain the centre and finish development. He can't.
I don't like 4.Nc3 Nf6 5.exf5 e4 either, as Black's centre is not flexible anymore. After 6.Ng5 d5 7.d3 I prefer White.
Black can play in true KG-style though: 4.Nc3 Nf6 5.exf5 Bc5 6.o-o o-o 7.Nxe5 Nd4. Compare 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Nc3 Nc6 5.Nf3 Bb4 6.0-0 0-0 7.Nd5 Nxe4 8.d4 Nf6 like Spielmann-Bogoljubow, Triberg 1921. Still an extra tempo is an extra tempo, so the Ruy Lopeze version does not guarantee full compensation.
After 7.Nxe5 Nd4 White is ill-advised to play 8.Ba4 d5 eg 9.Ne2 Qd6 10.Nxd4 Bxd4 11.Nf3 Ng4! with an almost winning attack, Marjanovic-Parma, JUG 1979.
A few years ago I have tried this in a friendly corr game: 8.Bd3 d5 9.Nf3 Nxf5 10.Bxf5 Bxf5 11.d4 Bd6 with some compensation, Peeters-MNb, corr 2002.
White's best is probably 8.Nf3 Nxb5 9.Nxb5 d5 10.Nbd4 Ng4 11.h3. Still this looks relatively better for Black than the 4...fxe4 variations. Anyhow, this is a good choice if you want to catch a train.
  

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Re: Schliemann Defense to Ruy Lopez - 4...Nf6
Reply #1 - 04/22/07 at 10:53:06
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Khalifmann's OfWatA Vol. 1 has 5. ef Nd4 as his mainline and says "The move 5. ...e4 is often played but with no particular success" and gives 6. Nh4 as the continuation.

He concludes "In general we can conclude that ... theory hardly lets Black hope for good play ... if he does not venture into 4. ...fxe4. He could count on the effect of surprise and insufficient preperation ... after having read this chapter you are well armoured against such surprise" [sic]

From a practical perspective, I'm quite happy for Black to take me out of my opening knowlege when I'm a pawn up and not behind in developent or unable to castle  Wink
  

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

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Schliemann Defense to Ruy Lopez - 4...Nf6
04/22/07 at 08:29:12
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I'm beginning to believe this less common version of the Schliemann Defense may be black's best try.

1.e5 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 f5 4.Nc3 Nf6!?

The normal move is 4...fxe and then after Nxe4 either 5...Nf6 or 5...d5.  I would really like to understand the motivation behind 4...fxe.   Black first offered a gambit and then after white is hesitant to accept it, why doesn't he offer it again with 4...Nf6!?  It appears to me that fxe fails to accomplish 3 possible goals of the gambit:  Deflection, Developement and Opening Lines.

Deflection:
In T.D. harding's book on counter gambits (open games section) he writes:  "f5 is primarily a deflecting move, seeking to obtain a strong pawn centre at the cost of weakening the king's position".  By playing 4...fxe black voluntarilly gives up on the idea of deflecting the e4 pawn from the center.

Development:
In Schiller's book on gambits he comments that a wing pawn gambit is often played in hopes of gaining a lead in developement.  In an ideal world, white would play exf5 and at some point black gets to play Bxf5.  The net result would be a gain of 1 tempo and development because white made two pawn moves to black's one.  Instead, 4...fxe4 encourages 5.Nxe4, which only helps move white's army forward.  Although the jury is still out, most people agree that black's tactical try 5...d5 is close to refuted and hence does not justify fxe4.

Opening Lines:
Of course black would love to use the open f file to attack white's king after he castles kingside.  4...fxe4 does open up this file for black, but it seems premature.  Black cannot use this half open file untill after he moves his king's knight and bishop and then plays O-O.  fxe4 is effectively opening lines for white, who is up a tempo and can use the e file to presure black in the variant 4...fxe Nxe4 5...Nf6.   4...Nf6 gets black one move closer to O-O so that he might be able to use that open file!


So why not play 4...Nf6 and offer the gambit pawn again?  From a practical perspective it may be a better move since it doesn't appear in the opening theory that your booked-up Ruy Lopez opponents love so much.  From an objective viewpoint, if it cannot be refuted, it is certainly no worse than 4...fxe.


Some example lines to consider:

Deflection:

1.e5 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 f5 4.Nc3 Nf6!? 5.exf5 e4 6.Ng5 d5 7.O-O Bxf5
White accepts the gambit giving black a big center.  Can black get castled quickly enough to survive white's attempts to undermine it?

Opening Lines / Development:

1.e5 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 f5 4.Nc3 Nf6!? 5.Bxc6 dxc 6.Nxe5 Bc5 7.d3 O-O 8.O-O fxe!
Now black can hope to use that half open file.  Does he have enough pressure to compensate for being down a pawn?


  
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