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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Exchange variation QGD (Read 12686 times)
Dink Heckler
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Re: Exchange variation QGD
Reply #33 - 08/26/08 at 10:58:58
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Are there any good books dealing with Ne2 and 0-0-0 lines? I play this regularly against practically any Black setup, but don't know of any good treatment in the literature.
  

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Re: Exchange variation QGD
Reply #32 - 08/26/08 at 10:56:43
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Whatever this line's merits at GM level, this line is generally inadvisable for club players, as White's play is both pretty easy and pretty dangerous. This is obviously not well captured by +=, +- etc type of thinking.

IOW, I completely agree with Markovich. Black is relying on nuances and a very good feel to hold the balance, while White just plays obvious moves.
  

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Re: Exchange variation QGD
Reply #31 - 08/25/08 at 22:24:49
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LeeRoth wrote on 08/25/08 at 20:24:51:
I agree.  Byrne played passively (Bd2?!) in that game and was lucky to draw, so its not really a test.  I've always thought White shouldn't take on a6, and that its slightly more accurate to play 11.f3 instead of 11.Ng3.  Most of the time you reach the same position, i.e., 11.f3 Bxd3 12.Qxd3 Re8 13.Ng3, but if, in this line, Black tries to refrain from 12..Re8 and play something like 12..Nc6 instead, then White has the immediate 13.e4!.  If 11.Ng3 Bxd3 12.Qxd3 Nc6 13.f3 then 13..Qd7 is possible, since the pressure on the d-pawn prevents e4.  This gives Black more options, although whether they are any better than ..Re8, is not clear.

A big question in these lines is what happens if Black refrains from taking on d3.  For example, 11.f3 Re8 12.Ng3 and now, instead of 12..Bxd3, Black can try 12..Qd7.  So we have this position:

* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
 

The point is that 13.e4 isn't on and if 13.Ra2, Black has 13..Qb7! 14.Re2 Bxd3 15.Qxd3 Qa6.  The other obvious try 13.Bxa6 Nxa6 14.Qd3 Qb7 transposes into a Beliavsky-Short game that seemed OK for Black.  What is White to do?  Zvjaginsev played 13.a4 here (running Black out of moves?)  Maybe that is best?         



For whatever it is worth, Yakovich gives 13.Bf5 Qb5 14.Re1 Qc4 15.Bb2 Nc6 (and quotes Zviagintsev to this point).  He then continues 16.e4! g6 17.Qd2! and claims advantage for White.  I agree with the evaluation and think it applies after 16.e4, but I'm not sure about the other moves leading up.
  

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Re: Exchange variation QGD
Reply #30 - 08/25/08 at 22:12:22
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kylemeister wrote on 08/25/08 at 20:28:14:
Ach, Markovich, 3...Bb4 in the QGD has been played (in the last decade or so) by GMs including Aronian, I. Sokolov, Onischuk, Moskalenko, Serper, Kacheishvili, P.-H. Nielsen, Nogueiras, Luther, Aleksandrov, the late Karen Asrian, Mchedlishvili, Barsov, Jonkman, Dizdar, Godena, Peralta, P. Horvath, Kovacevic, Del Rio de Angelis, Khenkin, Stripunsky, Landa, Mitkov, Teske, Lalic, Greenfeld etc.  The GM list for the 4. e3 d5 Nimzo includes Kortchnoi, Ljubojevic, Rozentalis, Berg, V. Akobian, Pavlovic, Kurajica, "our own" J. Aagaard, Blatny, Nybäck, I. Sokolov, Gulko, Landa, Kogan , Gausel, Rabiega, Mitkov etc.   Some of those guys played the line in question several times in that period.  I would say that seems to be in line with both lines being no worse (for Black) than "+=", certainly not "±".  (Your second proposed definition of "+=" sounds very much like the definition of "±".)


Well, all I can say is that for the time being, I maintain my view that White's play is very good, better than indeed than in the main lines of the Slav, Catalan or Orthodox QGD.  If any of these people you mention is playing Black's side of this not occasionally but habitually, perhaps he has something to teach me about chess.  In the mean time I'll be extremely happy whenever my opponents enter this line.

Like I said, to me and I think to many, "±" means that Black's draw is very doubtful.  Here I think it is merely uncertain.  That is somewhat more than what I understand by +=, but these are perhaps rather artificial distinctions.
  

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Re: Exchange variation QGD
Reply #29 - 08/25/08 at 20:28:14
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Ach, Markovich, 3...Bb4 in the QGD has been played (in the last decade or so) by GMs including Aronian, I. Sokolov, Onischuk, Moskalenko, Serper, Kacheishvili, P.-H. Nielsen, Nogueiras, Luther, Aleksandrov, the late Karen Asrian, Mchedlishvili, Barsov, Jonkman, Dizdar, Godena, Peralta, P. Horvath, Kovacevic, Del Rio de Angelis, Khenkin, Stripunsky, Landa, Mitkov, Teske, Lalic, Greenfeld etc.  The GM list for the 4. e3 d5 Nimzo includes Kortchnoi, Ljubojevic, Rozentalis, Berg, V. Akobian, Pavlovic, Kurajica, "our own" J. Aagaard, Blatny, Nybäck, I. Sokolov, Gulko, Landa, Kogan , Gausel, Rabiega, Mitkov etc.   Some of those guys played the line in question several times in that period.  I would say that seems to be in line with both lines being no worse (for Black) than "+=", certainly not "±".  (Your second proposed definition of "+=" sounds very much like the definition of "±".)
  
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Re: Exchange variation QGD
Reply #28 - 08/25/08 at 20:24:51
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I agree.  Byrne played passively (Bd2?!) in that game and was lucky to draw, so its not really a test.  I've always thought White shouldn't take on a6, and that its slightly more accurate to play 11.f3 instead of 11.Ng3.  Most of the time you reach the same position, i.e., 11.f3 Bxd3 12.Qxd3 Re8 13.Ng3, but if, in this line, Black tries to refrain from 12..Re8 and play something like 12..Nc6 instead, then White has the immediate 13.e4!.  If 11.Ng3 Bxd3 12.Qxd3 Nc6 13.f3 then 13..Qd7 is possible, since the pressure on the d-pawn prevents e4.  This gives Black more options, although whether they are any better than ..Re8, is not clear.

A big question in these lines is what happens if Black refrains from taking on d3.  For example, 11.f3 Re8 12.Ng3 and now, instead of 12..Bxd3, Black can try 12..Qd7.  So we have this position:

* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
 

The point is that 13.e4 isn't on and if 13.Ra2, Black has 13..Qb7! 14.Re2 Bxd3 15.Qxd3 Qa6.  The other obvious try 13.Bxa6 Nxa6 14.Qd3 Qb7 transposes into a Beliavsky-Short game that seemed OK for Black.  What is White to do?  Zvjaginsev played 13.a4 here (running Black out of moves?)  Maybe that is best?          

  
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Re: Exchange variation QGD
Reply #27 - 08/25/08 at 19:23:22
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LeeRoth wrote on 08/25/08 at 16:59:58:
Well, if you're talking about the Botvinnik, then you're both right. Smiley  Its one of those positions where White has the play and, therefore, the easier game.  But ECO and Hansen in his Nimzo 4.e3 book claim that Black can equalize.  Whether you call this sort of game +/= or =, I don't think matters much.  I, for one, would rather have White.   

As for specific positions, there's an open question of what is White's best play.  I too prefer 11.f3 to the more accommodating 11.Bxa6, when I believe the latest thinking is that the 14.Ra2-Re2 maneuver is a bit slow, and it's better to play 14.Bb2, with the idea of getting in e4 as soon as possible. 

After 14.Bb2, critical might be 14..c4 (since other moves leave White with an edge) 15.Qd2 b5 16.Rae1 a5 17.e4 b4 18.e5 Nd7 when White can continue f4 or Nf5, but has to keep an eye on the Black b-pawn after b4-b3.   

I don't want to comment further on 14.Ra2-e2 if Markovich's game is still in progress, but the "final" position he gives is an interesting one that is worthy of further discussion.



I have many chess books, but the one upon which I most rely when I play this system is Yakovich.  He seems to regard 14.Rae2 and 14.Bb2 as about the same, both leading to White's advantage.  Perhaps I will learn otherwise.

I played the rook maneuver because I have played it before many times and done well.  I'm not sure what "slow" means in this context, where the sources of Black's counterplay are not obvious and White is not exactly doing nothing.  I also don't want to discuss where this game might go, and since we touch upon that now, we should not say much more about this position until my game is several moves farther down the road.
  

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Re: Exchange variation QGD
Reply #26 - 08/25/08 at 19:16:45
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kylemeister wrote on 08/25/08 at 16:55:17:
Well, "slightly better for White" seems to be the general view of the independent lines with ...Ne7, but some sources seem to consider ...Nf6 better.  For example it's my impression that, in your correspondence game, theory considers 7...Qxd5 preferable (e.g. "!" and leading to "unclear" in ECO; one recent GM-vs.-GM example of Black playing like that is Werle-Tischbierek from the Bundesliga.  We've had some discussion of this before, of course.).  But even if I assume that the position after 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 is slightly better for White, I'm left with a bit of a conundrum:  a line which leaves White with his (according to you) "+= birthright" is "a mistake."  I suppose you could be using "mistake" here to mean something like, "probably not one of Black's very best defenses," whereas I would think it means roughly that it enables White to reach (at least) "±".



I think that White has more than his birthright advantage in these lines, but I don't claim quite "±", which to me connotes that Black's draw is very doubtful.  Here it is only somewhat doubtful. Nobody agrees what += means, but if it means "White has the somewhat easier game but Black can draw," I disagree with its being applied here.  If it means, "White has a clear advantage but Black may be able to draw," then I will agree.

Leaving the theory books aside, you will notice that essentially nobody plays 3...Bb4 in the QGD, and essentially nobody plays 4...d5 in reaction to 4.e3 in the Nimzo.  I think that more than anything else proves my point.  One way or the other, these are not positions into which Black should try to steer the game.

Thanks for the Marovich reference, by the way; that's one book I don't have.
  

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Re: Exchange variation QGD
Reply #25 - 08/25/08 at 18:33:29
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It might be mentioned that there is some, I suspect, good discussion of the "Markovich" line (with ...exd5) in Drazen Marovic's "Dynamic Pawn Play in Chess," annotating Gulko-Ljubojevic and referring to some other games (including of course Botvinnik-Capablanca).  He and ECO both think White should have some advantage with accurate play, e.g. not taking on a6.  (ECO gives the position after 11. Ng3 in Markovich's game as leading to equality based on a game between Robert Byrne and Michael Stean, but that looks nonsensical.)
  
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Re: Exchange variation QGD
Reply #24 - 08/25/08 at 16:59:58
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Well, if you're talking about the Botvinnik, then you're both right. Smiley  Its one of those positions where White has the play and, therefore, the easier game.  But ECO and Hansen in his Nimzo 4.e3 book claim that Black can equalize.  Whether you call this sort of game +/= or =, I don't think matters much.  I, for one, would rather have White.  

As for specific positions, there's an open question of what is White's best play.  I too prefer 11.f3 to the more accommodating 11.Bxa6, when I believe the latest thinking is that the 14.Ra2-Re2 maneuver is a bit slow, and it's better to play 14.Bb2, with the idea of getting in e4 as soon as possible.  

After 14.Bb2, critical might be 14..c4 (since other moves leave White with an edge) 15.Qd2 b5 16.Rae1 a5 17.e4 b4 18.e5 Nd7 when White can continue f4 or Nf5, but has to keep an eye on the Black b-pawn after b4-b3.  

I don't want to comment further on 14.Ra2-e2 if Markovich's game is still in progress, but the "final" position he gives is an interesting one that is worthy of further discussion.

  
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Re: Exchange variation QGD
Reply #23 - 08/25/08 at 16:55:17
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Well, "slightly better for White" seems to be the general view of the independent lines with ...Ne7, but some sources seem to consider ...Nf6 better.  For example it's my impression that, in your correspondence game, theory considers 7...Qxd5 preferable (e.g. "!" and leading to "unclear" in ECO; one recent GM-vs.-GM example of Black playing like that is Werle-Tischbierek from the Bundesliga.  We've had some discussion of this before, of course.).  But even if I assume that the position after 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 is slightly better for White, I'm left with a bit of a conundrum:  a line which leaves White with his (according to you) "+= birthright" is "a mistake."  I suppose you could be using "mistake" here to mean something like, "probably not one of Black's very best defenses," whereas I would think it means roughly that it enables White to reach (at least) "±".

  
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Re: Exchange variation QGD
Reply #22 - 08/25/08 at 15:06:57
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kylemeister wrote on 08/25/08 at 14:58:41:
Markovich, I think you woke up on the dogmatic side of the bed, or something.

It seems unlikely to me that the various GMs who are willing to play these positions, and the various books which think the Botvinnik thing is okay for Black, are just making a mistake.


I don't think that many GMs play these positions, not regularly anyway.  I don't see why it's dogmatic to respond to a request for an opinion with an opinion.  If anyone wants to discuss actual theory, let him put up some variations and I'll be happy to do so.  My personal belief is that this is significantly better for White; I think that most people familiar with it would agree with me, though I know that you don't; so I see no reason to say otherwise.  If 3...Bb4 4.e3 actually gave Black prospects of equality, I am sure we would see 3...Bb4 more often.  There is a reason why it's almost never seen, and that reason is 4.e3. This is also the very reason we don't see 4.e3 d5 in the Nimzo any more.

Also I am not aware that "various books" argue Black's side of this.  But I would rather get into positions than books, if you would care to debate this.  For instance, I have an ongoing CC game with 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.a3 Bxc3 5.bxc3 0-0 6.e3 d5 7.cxd5 exd5 9.Bd3 c5 9.Ne2 b6 10.0-0 Ba6 11.Ng3 Re8 12.f3 Bxd3 13.Qxd3 Nc6 14.Ra2 Qd7 15.Re2.  Do you like Black here?  I don't, and I know precisely what I am going to do to him.  I am not sure if I'll win, but I have good chances of it.  In my view, only flat-out ignorance can excuse Black's play so far.

By the way, I once won a nice game with the Black pieces that began 1.a3?! d5 2.Nf3 c5 3.e3 Nc6 4.Bb5? a6! 5.Bxc6 bxc6 ("White's" game is awful now, because his pawn on a3 obstructs his thematic counterplay) 6.d4 e6 7.0-0 cxd4 8.exd4 Bd6 and so forth.  It was truly weird to look down and see a Botvinnik System reversed, and White's extra tempo spent on the horrible a3. I won.
  

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Re: Exchange variation QGD
Reply #21 - 08/25/08 at 14:58:41
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Markovich, I think you woke up on the dogmatic side of the bed, or something.

It seems unlikely to me that the various GMs who are willing to play these positions, and the various books which think the Botvinnik thing is okay for Black, are just making a mistake.
  
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Re: Exchange variation QGD
Reply #20 - 08/25/08 at 13:18:27
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drkodos wrote on 08/24/08 at 21:48:40:
MNb wrote on 08/19/08 at 12:56:40:
HgMan wrote on 08/19/08 at 01:46:03:
Re. Nge2/Nf3, for what it's worth: in the lines that interest me, Nf3 leads to the Ragozin, and White has been doing reasonably well.  Nge2 can be dangerous, too, though...


Only an early Nf3 may lead to the Ragozin - 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Bg5 Nbd7 6.e3 and no Ragozin in sight. At the other hand 5.Nf3 allows Black to develop the Queen's Bishop to f5. So it looks like the Ragozin is irrelevant for the Exchange Variation.



What if black essays 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4  ?  Then is White best advised to Play Nf3 and go into Ragozing lines or play immediate a3 or e3 and go into more Nimzo lines?    Undecided  .... don't know.

I know I get caught out in these transpositions otb as white often, but not so much a prob in cc, I guess.



3...Bb4 is a mistake because it allows 4.e3, which is quite good for White.  The Botvinnik System is at least +=.
  

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Re: Exchange variation QGD
Reply #19 - 08/25/08 at 03:05:35
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drkodos wrote on 08/24/08 at 21:48:40:
What if black essays 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4  ?


Then White has a nice choice: 4.Nf3 Nf6 will become a Ragosin, 4.Qc2 Nf6 a Classical NID and 4.e3 Nf6 5.a3 the Botvinnik Variation of the NID.
  

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Re: Exchange variation QGD
Reply #18 - 08/24/08 at 21:48:40
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MNb wrote on 08/19/08 at 12:56:40:
HgMan wrote on 08/19/08 at 01:46:03:
Re. Nge2/Nf3, for what it's worth: in the lines that interest me, Nf3 leads to the Ragozin, and White has been doing reasonably well.  Nge2 can be dangerous, too, though...


Only an early Nf3 may lead to the Ragozin - 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Bg5 Nbd7 6.e3 and no Ragozin in sight. At the other hand 5.Nf3 allows Black to develop the Queen's Bishop to f5. So it looks like the Ragozin is irrelevant for the Exchange Variation.



What if black essays 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4  ?  Then is White best advised to Play Nf3 and go into Ragozing lines or play immediate a3 or e3 and go into more Nimzo lines?    Undecided  .... don't know.

I know I get caught out in these transpositions otb as white often, but not so much a prob in cc, I guess.

  

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Re: Exchange variation QGD
Reply #17 - 08/24/08 at 14:44:14
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But why should you? Are you giving up a very good line for imaginary consistency? Especially for you this is the wrong reason. You have experience with the C-K. Has it occurred to you that 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.Bd3 Nc6 5.c3 is almost the same as 1.d4 Nf6 3.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Nc3 c6, with colours reversed? So in a way you are on the other side of the board, but as Black that is not always a disadvantage. White has revealed or has to reveal his plans relatively early, so Black can adapt.
Indeed this line of the Exchange (with an early Nf3 allowing Bf5) imo looks quite sterile, but does not have to be. That's also similar to that Echxange Variation of the C-K.
  

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Re: Exchange variation QGD
Reply #16 - 08/24/08 at 03:37:03
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Absolutely right: no Ragozin here.  Still, though, I think Black can play moves consistent with the Ragozin and expect to get a reasonable game...
  

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Re: Exchange variation QGD
Reply #15 - 08/19/08 at 12:56:40
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HgMan wrote on 08/19/08 at 01:46:03:
Re. Nge2/Nf3, for what it's worth: in the lines that interest me, Nf3 leads to the Ragozin, and White has been doing reasonably well.  Nge2 can be dangerous, too, though...


Only an early Nf3 may lead to the Ragozin - 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Bg5 Nbd7 6.e3 and no Ragozin in sight. At the other hand 5.Nf3 allows Black to develop the Queen's Bishop to f5. So it looks like the Ragozin is irrelevant for the Exchange Variation.
  

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Re: Exchange variation QGD
Reply #14 - 08/19/08 at 12:55:53
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LeeRoth wrote on 08/15/08 at 20:30:34:
The minority attack is not as feared today as it was back in the 50s.  Black can equalize, although it is not so easy against a good technician.  At the club level, all bets are off.  You see just as many games where Black crashes through on the kingside as you do smooth White wins on the Queenside. 

As far as Nge2 goes, it's the plans with central expansion that are currently considered to be the most testing.  See Cox's 1.d4 book for a good overview.  The 0-0-0 plans are dangerous, but for both sides.  There are some who think that White can keep an edge, but I am not so sure about that.   


Personally I don't play the Exchange Variation because it allows Black comparatively free piece play.  Perhaps it reflects my lack of development as a player, but I would sooner play White's side of a classical QGD.

If you play the minority attack, competent Blacks will often develop piece play against your king.  While I like the lines with Rae1 and soon e3-e4, I don't think they lead to advantage for White with best play.  Opposite-sided castling is its own game and I am willing to play that way, but not routinely.  Still, I suppose that would be my preferred way of playing the Exchange if I ever took it up.  Either that or the super-solid 11.h3 idea to which Paddy calls attention.
  

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Re: Exchange variation QGD
Reply #13 - 08/19/08 at 10:33:43
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@ kylemeister: I ment I'm not sure if it works for a common mortal against an IM or GM as a drawing weapon Cheesy

@LeeRoth: at the moment I have no database or chessboard here so I cannot really quote move orders; I remember studying as a starting point a Kasparov-Smyslov game from their match were Smyslov equalized farily easily (Kasparov had played Nf3), and a Kasparov-Andersson (without Nf3 this time) where Kasparov won with a crushing attack vs black's king castled on the queenside. However Andersson's play could be (and has been in later games) improved.

I had afterwords studied many GM games and came to the conclusion that black can castle on the queenside as long as he can bring the f6 knight in defence of his king (generally via Ng8-f6-h5-g7-e6-d8 or g7-e8-d6-c8). This may seem a long trip but note that the knight gains tempo jumping on h5 (it threats to go on f4 aiming vs the g2 pawn and the d3 bishop) and on g7 (it supports ...Bf5 exchanging bishops and quickly equalizing in most cases) and that whites troops aren't really in an ideal position to launch an attack and need some regrouping.

Hope I clarified what I ment in the last post.
  
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Re: Exchange variation QGD
Reply #12 - 08/19/08 at 01:46:03
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CheckMate wrote on 08/15/08 at 16:41:08:
@HgMan:

What do you think about the Nf3 vs Nge2 issue. Is the Nf3 Exchange really so harmless as anyone thinks and the Ne2 Exchange so terrifying? Is the Ne2 Exchange only critical if it's combined with queen side castling or is king side castling more promising?

I ask just out of sheer ignorance because I don't know a quilch about the current status of this variation. Back in the 1950-ies the minority attack was the most feared strategic device in this line but that circumstance seems to have changed during the last two decades when mind boggling pawn storms on opposite wings have become all the rage.


I don't think one is necessarily more horrifying than the other, and would gladly face either.  Black needs to have a basic understanding of the ideas involved, and should be okay, though s/he should expect White to enjoy a small advantage.

Re. Nge2/Nf3, for what it's worth: in the lines that interest me, Nf3 leads to the Ragozin, and White has been doing reasonably well.  Nge2 can be dangerous, too, though...
  

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Re: Exchange variation QGD
Reply #11 - 08/18/08 at 21:39:42
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ChessAddict, I'm not sure what you mean by ..Nh5, since it can be played in different positions.  For example starting from: 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Bg5 Be7 6.e3 c6 7.Bd3 Nbd7, White has at least four options:

[Option 1] 8.Nf3 and now 8..Nh5 9.Bxe7 Qxe7 10.0-0 0-0 fails to equalize against Kramnik's 11.Qb1! getting White's minority attack going.  10..g6 is a bit better for Black, but even in these lines, I think White still retains an edge.

[Option 2] 8.Nge2 Nh5 9.Bxe7 Qxe7 and now 10.g4!? (instead of 10.Qc2). 10..Ngf6 11.Ng3 Nb6 (11...0-0 12.Nf5 or 11..h6 12.h3 Nb6 are alternatives) 12.g5 Ng8 13.h4 g6 leads to a messy game.  Believe it or not, Vadim Milov's 14.Kd2!? is considered best.  ECO gives +/=.  Ruslan says that Black seems fine.  Either way, it's a game.

[Option 3] 8.h3 is aimed at 8..Nh5.  Black should play 8..Ne4 instead.

[Option 4] 8.Qc2 is the main line. 9.Bxe7 Qxe7 10.Nge2 (10.Nf3?! is met by 10..Nf4 11.0-0 Nxd3=  But 10.0-0-0 Nb6 11.h3 g6 12.Nf3 is playable with chances of keeping an edge.) 10.. g6 11.0-0-0 (11.0-0 is also playable.) 11..Nb6 when White can choose between 12.h3 (idea g4, Nf4-d3) or 12.Kb1.  Everyone cites the Kasparov-Andersson game here, but it is not clear that game represents best play.  Personally, I'd favor 12.h3 Be6 13.g4 when again it's a game, but if you're interested in the little symbols:  ECO says =.  Janjgava and Henrichs in his ChessBase CD each say +/=.

Hope this helps.            
  
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Re: Exchange variation QGD
Reply #10 - 08/18/08 at 20:11:42
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You've been toying around with it, but you're not sure if it really works?  One might think this were some offbeat novelty, rather than a known line which has been played by numerous GMs (as one example, Bacrot played it against Carlsen last month, and was better after 20-odd moves) and which has a good reputation (e.g. ECO thinks it should lead to equality).
  
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Re: Exchange variation QGD
Reply #9 - 08/18/08 at 19:14:55
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I have been toying around the idea with ...Nh5 for quite a bit and although I never had chance to play against some strong player (2400+) to see if it really works i have had some good results with the black pieces against both versions of the exchange (nf3 and without it). Of course you get winning chances near to 0 but if you practice and give it a few chances you will get a draw quite easily as white players have absolutely no idea of what to do usually.
  
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Re: Exchange variation QGD
Reply #8 - 08/16/08 at 11:00:02
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Comparing the Nf3 vs. Nge2 QGD Exchange variations (both with 0-0 for White), I think that White is slightly better in both variations, but his advantage is of a somewhat different nature. In the Nf3 variation, his advantage is often based on his minority attack, whereas in the Nge2 variation White's advantage is his flexibility as to when to play e4.

Kasparov's games are worth looking at in the Nge2 variation, and Karpov's likewise for the Nf3 variation, among others. At the very least, they present a good general idea as to what White is aiming for in each variation.
  
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Re: Exchange variation QGD
Reply #7 - 08/15/08 at 20:30:34
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The minority attack is not as feared today as it was back in the 50s.  Black can equalize, although it is not so easy against a good technician.  At the club level, all bets are off.  You see just as many games where Black crashes through on the kingside as you do smooth White wins on the Queenside. 

As far as Nge2 goes, it's the plans with central expansion that are currently considered to be the most testing.  See Cox's 1.d4 book for a good overview.  The 0-0-0 plans are dangerous, but for both sides.  There are some who think that White can keep an edge, but I am not so sure about that.
  
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Re: Exchange variation QGD
Reply #6 - 08/15/08 at 17:50:48
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I too don't agree with the idea that Nf3 (in its optimal version) is "harmless" while Nge2 is "terrifying."  For instance NCO thinks they should both lead to an edge for White, while ECO thinks they should both lead to equality or unclarity.  In my experience lines with 0-0 by White are more often claimed to lead to an edge for him than lines with 0-0-0.  Another source you might look at is Drazen Marovic's "Dynamic Pawn Play in Chess" (a favorite book of mine) which has some treatment of Nge2/f3 as well as of the minority attack (which he thinks is generally difficult to face even after all these years). 
  
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Re: Exchange variation QGD
Reply #5 - 08/15/08 at 17:23:53
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CheckMate wrote on 08/15/08 at 16:41:08:
@HgMan:

What do you think about the Nf3 vs Nge2 issue. Is the Nf3 Exchange really so harmless as anyone thinks and the Ne2 Exchange so terrifying? Is the Ne2 Exchange only critical if it's combined with queen side castling or is king side castling more promising?

I ask just out of sheer ignorance because I don't know a quilch about the current status of this variation. Back in the 1950-ies the minority attack was the most feared strategic device in this line but that circumstance seems to have changed during the last two decades when mind boggling pawn storms on opposite wings have become all the rage.


It's an EARLY Nf3 that lacks bite, since Black is able to develop his problem c8-bishop and achieve a fully equal position, but one still with play.

See for instance Arkell-Gordon from the recent British Championships.

A later Nf3 is still a legitimate try for advantage, and is more solid than the dynamic Nge2/f3 plan, especially with Karpov's flexible h3 idea, i.e.

1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Nf6 4 cxd5 exd5 5 Bg5 c6 6 Qc2 Be7 7 e3 0-0 8 Bd3 Nbd7 9 Nf3 Re8 10 0-0 Nf8 11 h3.

A useful source for this is Yermo's book The Road to Chess Improvement.
  
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Re: Exchange variation QGD
Reply #4 - 08/15/08 at 16:41:08
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@HgMan:

What do you think about the Nf3 vs Nge2 issue. Is the Nf3 Exchange really so harmless as anyone thinks and the Ne2 Exchange so terrifying? Is the Ne2 Exchange only critical if it's combined with queen side castling or is king side castling more promising?

I ask just out of sheer ignorance because I don't know a quilch about the current status of this variation. Back in the 1950-ies the minority attack was the most feared strategic device in this line but that circumstance seems to have changed during the last two decades when mind boggling pawn storms on opposite wings have become all the rage.





  
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Re: Exchange variation QGD
Reply #3 - 08/14/08 at 18:09:31
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I think White's advantage here is one of the soundest and least theoretical evaluations in all of chess—and one of the most important to study and understand.  It is important for both sides to understand the value of pawn majorities and minorities.  Learning about the Carlsbad structure is a vital part of anyone's chess education.  I would also suggest that this is an opening White can expect to play for life without being caught out by stunning theoretical reversals (which is what I really meant earlier by way of asserting that White's advantage in the QGD Exchange is among the least theoretical evaluations).

Having said that, I really like the ideas for Black against in the QGD Exchange offered in Dangerous Weapons: The Queen's Gambit.  I don't think they reduce White's opening advantage significantly, but I like Black's activity...
  

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Re: Exchange variation QGD
Reply #2 - 08/13/08 at 17:04:25
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I wonder what "older" means here -- 1990s?  1950s?

I would say that in recent years the Exchange is considered a somewhat promising try for White (in part because of his variety of plans), but perhaps Black should be able to equalize.
  
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Re: Exchange variation QGD
Reply #1 - 08/13/08 at 16:23:48
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If White hasnt played Nf3 it is dangerous for Black - Nge2 gives White a lot of nasty ideas. Therefore Black usually avoids the classical move order and plays 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 "threatening" the Nimzo - if White goes 3.Nf3 Black may retourn to d5 as the exchange variation is no longer a dangerous option for White.
  
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Exchange variation QGD
08/13/08 at 13:20:04
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How is the current theoretical status of the exchange variation of the queen gambit declined (1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc4 Nf6 4.cxd5 exd5)?In some older books i have read that it was problematic for black.
  

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