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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) What is the best answer to the Bird? (Read 32845 times)
BirdBrain
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Re: What is the best answer to the Bird?
Reply #58 - 06/02/09 at 14:32:11
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I understand what you are saying.  But we are not GM's either.  At our level, it is not telegraphic.  And even at their level, there is plenty of room for debate.  Certain GM's don't like it, and that is fine.  I respect that.  But years back, there was a different batch of GM's, with a different batch of perspectives.  Things change with the times. 

I simply offered various setups that White has at his disposal.  At our level, it is not telegraphic, and often gives for an original game.
  
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FirebrandX
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Re: What is the best answer to the Bird?
Reply #57 - 06/01/09 at 19:15:52
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Birdbrain, you can choose to disagree with me or debate the reason behind it, but you have to understand it's not my opinion but rather the given reason from more than a few GMs why they don't play it. When pressed for an answer, the reply most often given by masters why they didn't play it was that it was too telegraphic.

I however, will disagree with you on the English. White has considerably more options and attacks to mount in that opening, not to mention transpositional opportunites, which are far fewer in the Bird. Again, that's why you see the English more often used than the Bird in top-flight play.
  
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BirdBrain
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Re: What is the best answer to the Bird?
Reply #56 - 06/01/09 at 14:31:40
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The Bird is no more telegraphic than the English...there is one thing that is pronounced - the f-pawn is advanced.  But that does not tell you what White has in plan by any means.  There are various ideas that White has to choose from. 

For instance, let's look at a few Bird systems that occur after 1. f4. 

1. f4/Nf3/e3/Be2/0-0/d3 - The classical.  White has opted for an aggressive central pawn structure.  He has not yet committed his queen to the kingside - in Taylor's book, he opts to leave the queen on d1 and play for a queenless middlegame in which the potential of the bishop pair and the central pawn structure, plus the favorable "c3" that hopefully be played quickly - should be to White's advantage. However, we can also follow the more commonly played Qe1, which gives more potential advantage to kingside initiative, while still not totally giving away his hand.  Then, we also have to consider the possibility of inserting a4 into the position to help bind some of Black's counterchances.  Black has no way to know exactly what White has planned.

1. f4/Nf3/e3/b3/Bb2/(Be2-d3-b5)/0-0 - This is a basic position for the queenside fianchetto.  Here, White is committing to a more pure fight for e5 (especially if he gets to play Bb5 against Nc6) - he seeks for a good fight with his powerful queen bishop on the long diagonal.  This position can either remain in standard queenside fianchetto positions with the kingside attacks, or it can shift into Stonewall lines with a well-placed d4, or we might even see c4 with a hypermodern breakdown of Black's central play.  Obviously, there are more themes than just that.

1. f4/Nf3/e3/d4/(Be2-Bd3)/c3 - the basic idea for the Stonewall.  Some argue that it is a slower, bulky system, and the queen-bishop is hard to develop.  However, the weakness of the queen bishop is countered by White's powerful central presence, and his flexibility of ideas - he can opt for either wing of the board for attack, and if Black isn't careful, White can even get in an e4 push and eliminate his backward pawn.  At worst, it is hard to attack the e3 pawn, since it is generally on a closed file.  White has options for castling either side if allowed to get in b3-Bb2, or he can even opt for Bd2 themes, if he simply wants to get the bishop off the back rank, and it can either be transported to the kingside via e1-h4, or can remain put until a more favorable moment, when the center files begin to be opened.  Plus, Black has a hard time breaking down this opening if White knows how to handle the structure, and in some lines, the Bd3 can come in handy in securing a kingside attack.

1. f4/Nf3/g3/Bg2/0-0/d3 - the basic Leningrad structure.  Here, White has a totally different style of play.  Surprisingly, the placement of the king-bishop alters the course of the opening quite a bit.  This is a more adventurous form of development, and White still has not shown his cards.  A popular style of opening consists in playing c3 and Na3, the Polar Bear, but White can also play Nc3 aiming for a quick e4, or even Qe1.  I personally like c3, as it helps to hold many key ideas together for White - control of d4 (prevents pesky Bd4+ ideas), fights against Nc6 ideas, helps in case of Nc2 ideas, and even allows for more power behind b4 if White suddenly shifts to the queenside - remember, the bishop on g2 is powerful across the whole diagonal!

1. f4/Nf3/d3/c3/Qc2 - the Antoshin.  White opts for a quick e4.  This is a relatively unexplored variation, and one that I think promises a lot of fun to the White player.  I have long thought about ideas involving Be3-g1 or f2 and getting ready for g4.

To put it simply, to say that 1. f4 is transparent is not giving a lot of credit to the system.  The only thing White has committed to is 1. f4 at this point.  I didn't even cover anything without 2. Nf3, although that debatably is the best move.  But that is like debating that 2. Nf3 is the best in the Sicilian - it is a matter of taste!
  
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FirebrandX
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Re: What is the best answer to the Bird?
Reply #55 - 05/30/09 at 22:24:36
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I'm a fan of d6-Bg4 against the Bird myself. But really in nailing down why the Bird often gets "the bird" from GMs really boils down to this: 1. f4 is telegraphic. What this means is from the outset, black knows what he/she is dealing with and can play accordingly a comfortable opening formation with plenty to choose from. The same cannot be said from main line moves like e4 or d4 because these are less telegraphic choices (especially d4).

Now this is all not to say the Bird is refuted, but rather it's the strategic logic behind why the Bird not very popular at top level play.
  
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sssthepro
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Re: What is the best answer to the Bird?
Reply #54 - 05/30/09 at 02:38:30
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Let's play close Sicilian style and blitz out the first 10 moves mechanically Smiley
  
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Stefan Buecker
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Re: What is the best answer to the Bird?
Reply #53 - 05/29/09 at 17:00:00
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BirdBrain, most of what you write seems very true to me. To play the Bird/Dutch repertoire book knowledge is far less important than a good self-confidence and the ability to work out solutions, when you are facing a new problem. - Btw, for Leningrad people the move-order 1.f4 d5 2.c3 can be useful to avoid Bf5/Bg4 set-ups (Qb3).  
  
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BirdBrain
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Re: What is the best answer to the Bird?
Reply #52 - 05/29/09 at 15:45:59
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I don't agree with the 1. f4 h6 setup preparing ...g5, as White can simply play d4 and be ready to recapture on f4 if necessary. 

And there are many setups where Black tries various ideas.  But why do people assume that a Bird player simply has to be booked in one variation of the Bird only?  One of the cool things is having different tricks in your bag - it is more important to understand the positions than to force feed moves onto the board. 

For instance, someone spoke about Anti-Leningrad lines, yet a Leningrad player should have a valid idea of what to play...True, 2. Bg4 is a nice positional move, but it is not an answer to the Bird.  White has plenty of options at his disposal - there are two fabulous ones that are commonly played, 3. e3 and 4.Be2, and 3. e3 and 4. h3.  There are even some players that really go wild with Ne5, but I don't like that. 

As a matter of fact, I remember reading a Capablanca game where he played 1. f4 and was faced with the 2...Bg4 line.  He played 3. e3, 4. h3, 5. Qxf3 (of course 4...bxf3) and 6. g4, Bg2, 0-0, b3, Bb2, a3...he slowly began to rule the board from the wings. 

If a Bird player is going to get good, he should have more than one trick in his back pocket.  A 1. d4 player has to be ready for various defenses, as does a 1. e4 player, etc.  It is no different for a 1. f4 player - understanding the positions is key.  We win, we lose, and we learn.
  
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Gambit
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Re: What is the best answer to the Bird?
Reply #51 - 03/07/09 at 18:06:58
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Did anyone try 1 f4 h6 2 Nf3 g5 3 fxg5 hxg5 ?
Or 1 f4 g5 ?
  
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flaviddude
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Re: What is the best answer to the Bird?
Reply #50 - 02/22/09 at 07:56:39
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I have as white played 1.f4 Nh6 in correspondence winning a somewhat streaky game after 2.d4.
  

I am hopelessly addicted to the King's Gambit
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flaviddude
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Re: What is the best answer to the Bird?
Reply #49 - 02/22/09 at 07:52:11
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MNb wrote on 11/25/08 at 22:53:16:
I am pretty sure someone like David Flude would play 1.f4 Nc6 2.Nf3 e5 3.e4. Imo White has good prospects for an advantage, especially after 3...f5. See the books by Thomas Johansson.


No way Hose.

I play

1.f4 e5 2.fxe Nc6 3.Nf3 d6 4.exd Bxd6 and if 5.Nc3 given by Timothy Taylor in "Bird's Opening then 5...Nf6 not 5..g5. This leads to a position similar to the Mestel Variation except that the development of the knight's on c3 and c6 favours black.

Against 1.f4 e5 2.e4 then I accept the gambit exf. I play Kieseritzy as black against 3.Nf3 and against 3.Bc4 I play 3...Nc6
  

I am hopelessly addicted to the King's Gambit
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DrSnuggles
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Re: What is the best answer to the Bird?
Reply #48 - 02/16/09 at 10:30:17
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This is a funny and telling theard. If all chessplayers had some of these opinions, in this thread, I would play nothing but the Bird's!

As a frequent Bird player (in blitz and against low rated in longer games) I like it when the opponent has a "I-will-refute-this-opening" kind of attitude. They will overextend their position, often.

GM Danielsen quoted Larsen in one of his videos, saying that "f4 is just a move. It's not the best white can play. It is just a move".


What I don't like, and play myself, is set-ups with d5,c6,g6,Nf6, Bg4.

I think the best way to handle the Bird's is by using normal stuff and not too under-estimate the move.

Snuggles

« Last Edit: 02/16/09 at 12:57:45 by DrSnuggles »  
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Stefan Buecker
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Re: What is the best answer to the Bird?
Reply #47 - 02/14/09 at 15:28:53
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STEFANOS wrote on 02/08/09 at 08:55:56:
You wtot win ganst the Bird ?  Play 1...b5!! in either 2.e3 or e4 you pay 2...Bb7 and you have n improved version of Polish Opening and a very unbalance position to play.


The American theoretician Hugh Myers recommended this 1...b5 as a good reply to 1. f4, in analogy to his better-known defense 1. c4 g5.
  
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bragesjo
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Re: What is the best answer to the Bird?
Reply #46 - 02/10/09 at 09:07:24
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Rather long thread, if this has not been mentioned efore, if black doesnot minde playing closed sicilian 1 .. c5 is also playable. The idea is to play moves like Sf6 g6 Bg7 0-0 d6.
  
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Dragonslayer
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Re: What is the best answer to the Bird?
Reply #45 - 02/10/09 at 01:50:14
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Gambit wrote on 01/24/09 at 18:21:28:
HTH,

My line 3...Nge7 was invented independently, back in 1993. I did not know who Samuel Leigh Stademan was at the time. It was not until 1996 that Stefan Buecker of Germany sent me a clipping from a Canadian magazine, mentioning Stadelman.

Also, I invented 1 f4 h6 2 Nf3 g5 on my own, back in 1998. It had nothing to do with Basman's Creepy Crawly Opening. No, it had to do with denying White the g6-square push.

1 f4 g5 2 fg5 h6 3 g6
1 f4 h6 2 Nf3 g5 3 fg5 hxg5 and now the g6-square push is eliminated.

I hope this answers your question.  


Oh really?
1.d4 f5 2.g4 (Krejcik gambit) 2...fxg4 3.h3 g3!
So clever people tried
1.d4 f5 2.h3 (sometimes called the Korchnoi "gambit"= 2...Nf6 3.g4 fxg4 4.hxg4.
Both these lines have been known for decades.
Reverse colours and you have your Birds.

Someone suggested 1.f4 Nc6 2.e4 e5 trasposing to the KG. That seems rather complacent when there is 2...d5. Then what is the point of f2-f4? This is a Scandinavian with f4 and Nc6 included - one move is useful, the other is not. Only difference: Black is denied the Scandinavian gambit if White takes on d5. The same logic applies to 1.e4 c5 2.f4 d5! (Scandinavian with c5 and f4)
  
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STEFANOS
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Re: What is the best answer to the Bird?
Reply #44 - 02/08/09 at 09:58:34
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I have played some trainning  games with Chessmaster in this line. In all of them I retreated with Bb7. I had positions similar to the Owen's Defence. I put the position on Deep Hiarcs 12 , and suggested the line 1.f4 b5,2.e4 Bb7,3.Nfe Bxe4,4.Nc3 and now the fantasic 3...Bxf3,4.Qf3 Nc6 and it claims equality either you cut with the bishop or Knight on b5.But you must check it.
  
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