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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Riga Variation - Berger Line 8.Bg5 (Two CC Games) (Read 29540 times)
NeverGiveUp
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Re: Riga Variation - Berger Line 8.Bg5 (Two CC Games)
Reply #26 - 04/15/12 at 06:54:50
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Thanks for your help Stefan.

Your analysis is correct but is white winning here? My computer gives the position as equal. I agree this verdict may be slightly optimistic but black has got the bishop's pair so may be able to defend.
  
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Stefan Buecker
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Re: Riga Variation - Berger Line 8.Bg5 (Two CC Games)
Reply #25 - 04/14/12 at 08:22:20
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When I looked at this Riga line, my analysis of 9...Qd6 ran 10.Nd2 fxg5 (10...Kf7 11.Bf4 Qxf4 12.Qh5+) 11.Nxc6 Kf7 (11...bxc6 fails to 12.Nxe4) 12.Bb3 Kg6 13.Nd4 +/-. Did you find a rescue for Black?
« Last Edit: 04/14/12 at 14:34:04 by Stefan Buecker »  
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Re: Riga Variation - Berger Line 8.Bg5 (Two CC Games)
Reply #24 - 04/14/12 at 06:28:37
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So the current verdict of the Riga is that it's busted, due to the long and forcing lines arising from 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Ne4: 6.d4 ed4: 7.Re1 d5 8.Bg5! f6 9.Nd4: Bc5 10.Nc6: Bf2:+ 11.Kf1 Qd7 12.Nc3 bc6:13.Ne4: Be1: 14.Nf6:+ gf6: 15.Qh5+ Kf8 16.Re1!! (Matemax)

8. ... Qd6 is also not good enough after 9.c4!

After a long search maybe I've now found a remedy though - the new line 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Ne4: 6.d4 ed4: 7.Re1 d5 8.Bg5! f6 9.Nd4: and now 9. ... Qd6!?
Blacks idea is to play the ugly ... Kf7 which is apparently much better than it looks. The king is quite safe on f7 and the Ne4 is unpinned. After both 10. Bh4 and 10.c4 black will go 10. ... Kf7!?
  
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Re: Riga Variation - Berger Line 8.Bg5 (Two CC Games)
Reply #23 - 04/09/12 at 08:31:11
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Re: Riga Variation - Berger Line 8.Bg5 (Two CC Games)
Reply #22 - 04/03/12 at 01:34:47
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NeverGiveUp wrote on 03/10/12 at 08:31:50:
spagh3tti wrote on 03/02/12 at 11:17:05:
drkodos wrote on 12/03/08 at 02:12:56:
GAME 1

White Rating 2155
Black Rating (Provisional) 1800

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Nxe4 6.d4 exd4 7.Re1 d5 8.Bg5 f6 9.Nxd4 Bc5 10.Nxc6 Bxf2+ 11.Kf1 Qd7 12.Nc3 bxc6 13.Nxe4 Bxe1 14.Nxf6+ gxf6 15.Qh5+ Kf8 16.Bh6+?! (Stronger is 16.Re1 as seen in GAME 2) Ke7 17.Rxe1+ Kd8 18.Qf3



McDonald following Palkovi's analysis gives 18.Bxc6 Qxc6 19.Bg7 Rg8 20.Qf7 Bf5 21.Qxg8+ Kd7 22.Qf7+ Kc8 23.Bxf6 as better for White. What do you guys think?


This line is not critical, but the brilliant 16.Re1!! of Matemax puts the whole Riga variation back to the drawing board. I've not been able to find anything for black, so I'm afraid is busted. Worse than that, the refutation can be found on the Internet right here in this forum. 


Where is Matemax's analysis which I presume carries forward the 16. Re1 and 17. Kg1 line?  This is what I come up with my engine, after the moves from correspondence game supplied above:

16. Rxe1 fxg5 17. Kg1 Bb7 18. Qxg5 Qg7 19.
Qf5+ Qf7 20. Qe5 Rg8 21. Rf1 Qxf1+ 22. Kxf1 Rg7 23. Qc3 Re8 and my engine, outdated as it is, prefers 24. h3 though 24. Kg1 and 24. h4 aren't far behind (maybe I'll let her run all night).

Thanks in advance.  My interest in the Riga arises from the possible transposition from the Centre Attack which I am considering adopting: 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. d4 exd4 6. O-O Nxe4 (rather than the "normal" 6...Be7)
  
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Re: Riga Variation - Berger Line 8.Bg5 (Two CC Games)
Reply #21 - 03/10/12 at 08:31:50
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spagh3tti wrote on 03/02/12 at 11:17:05:
drkodos wrote on 12/03/08 at 02:12:56:
GAME 1

White Rating 2155
Black Rating (Provisional) 1800

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Nxe4 6.d4 exd4 7.Re1 d5 8.Bg5 f6 9.Nxd4 Bc5 10.Nxc6 Bxf2+ 11.Kf1 Qd7 12.Nc3 bxc6 13.Nxe4 Bxe1 14.Nxf6+ gxf6 15.Qh5+ Kf8 16.Bh6+?! (Stronger is 16.Re1 as seen in GAME 2) Ke7 17.Rxe1+ Kd8 18.Qf3



McDonald following Palkovi's analysis gives 18.Bxc6 Qxc6 19.Bg7 Rg8 20.Qf7 Bf5 21.Qxg8+ Kd7 22.Qf7+ Kc8 23.Bxf6 as better for White. What do you guys think?


This line is not critical, but the brilliant 16.Re1!! of Matemax puts the whole Riga variation back to the drawing board. I've not been able to find anything for black, so I'm afraid is busted. Worse than that, the refutation can be found on the Internet right here in this forum. 
  
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spagh3tti
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Re: Riga Variation - Berger Line 8.Bg5 (Two CC Games)
Reply #20 - 03/02/12 at 11:17:05
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drkodos wrote on 12/03/08 at 02:12:56:
GAME 1

White Rating 2155
Black Rating (Provisional) 1800

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Nxe4 6.d4 exd4 7.Re1 d5 8.Bg5 f6 9.Nxd4 Bc5 10.Nxc6 Bxf2+ 11.Kf1 Qd7 12.Nc3 bxc6 13.Nxe4 Bxe1 14.Nxf6+ gxf6 15.Qh5+ Kf8 16.Bh6+?! (Stronger is 16.Re1 as seen in GAME 2) Ke7 17.Rxe1+ Kd8 18.Qf3



McDonald following Palkovi's analysis gives 18.Bxc6 Qxc6 19.Bg7 Rg8 20.Qf7 Bf5 21.Qxg8+ Kd7 22.Qf7+ Kc8 23.Bxf6 as better for White. What do you guys think?
  
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Re: Riga Variation - Berger Line 8.Bg5 (Two CC Games)
Reply #19 - 12/05/11 at 02:57:33
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Markovich wrote on 12/05/11 at 02:40:32:
This, like 8.Qf3 in the Two Knights, comes up frequently in this forum. I think that this reveals more about the chess judgment of some people than anything about chess. But those who would play this should play it, and it will no doubt be an education.


Was that a reply to my post? If so, please explain. Are you suggesting that if you intend to play the Riga variation you should ignore 8.Bg5 and hope it will never show up? So may I ask you to employ your chess judgement and tell me how I should deal with 8.Bg5? Refuse to play against it?
  
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Re: Riga Variation - Berger Line 8.Bg5 (Two CC Games)
Reply #18 - 12/05/11 at 02:40:32
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This, like 8.Qf3 in the Two Knights, comes up frequently in this forum. I think that this reveals more about the chess judgment of some people than anything about chess. But those who would play this should play it, and it will no doubt be an education.
  

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Re: Riga Variation - Berger Line 8.Bg5 (Two CC Games)
Reply #17 - 12/05/11 at 01:12:48
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NeverGiveUp wrote on 10/11/10 at 08:25:51:
....
When time allows I'l try to do a detailed analysis of this ending.

If you had the time and energy for such an analysis I would be very interested to see it.
Quote:
In the meantime I have been looking at alternatives for black after 8.Bg5 but they're basically all good for white. 8. ...f6 9.Nd4 Bc5 10.Nc6 Bf2+ 11.Kf1 Qd6 looks interesting but is no good after 12.Nb4+! Kf8 13.Nd5 with Bf4 to follow and black can resign.

I am not so sure here. After 12. Nb4 b5 13. Nd5 Be1 14 Bf4 followed by Nc7 and Bb3 I think White is better but after 12. ... Kf8 13. Re4 (instead of 13.Nd5) de 14. Qd6 cd6 15. Kf2 fg5 16 Nd2 looks preferable to me. 12. ... Kf8 13 Nd5 Be1 14. Bf4 Qc5 looks rather unclear. 15. Qe1 Qd5 and after 16. Nc3 Qc4 followed by Bf5 seems to let Black survive

If there is salvation I think it can only be found in the line 8. ... Be7 9. Be7 Ke7 (!). So far I have only looked at 10.Bc6 bc6. Now 11. Nd4 Kf8 (!) returns the pawn for almost equality after 12. Nc6 Qd6. I do not see any advantage for white after 13.Nd4 g6 14.Nd2 Nf6 [Nd2. 15 Qd2 Kg7 16 Qc3 f6 17.Qc6 looks good for white] followed by Kg7. I don't know if White has more than compensation for the pawn after 12. Nd2 Nd2 13. Qd2

That would leave 11. Qd4.  http://kindredspiritks.wordpress.com/2008/03/12/kindreds-special-a-new-riga-vari... offers the following
Quote:
Now, on 8. …Be7  9.Bxe7  Kxe7  10.Bxc6  bxc6  11.Qxd4! Centralization of the Queen ala Chess Praxis! This move gives white the edge because Kf8? 12.Rxe4 wins a piece because of the pin on the d-pawn.  11. …Be6  12.Qxg7  Qd6  13.Nbd2  Rag8  14.Qd4  f5  15.b4! h5.  I leave the game at this point which continued with 16.Nb3 but I think a stronger move might be simply 16.Nxe4 to be rid of that outpost Knight. Black seems to me to have problems after either pawn takes the Knight with Ne5!

Instead of 16.Ne4 (after fe4 17. Ne5 Bh3 seems to be ok for Black) , I prefer 16.Ne5. Deviating earlier is not so easy. Simple attempts I tried failed.
11. Qd4 Be6 [ 11. ...f6? 12. Nc3] 12 Qxg7 Qd6 [12. ...c5 13.Nd2 or even 13.Nc3 look good] 13. Nbd2 Rag8 [13. ... Rhg8 14. Qh7 Nd2 may be best] 14. Qd4 f5 [c5 15. Ne4 cd4 16 Nd6 Kd6 just loses a pawn] 15. b4 h5 (what else?) and now 16. Ne5.

To summarize. Is there anything better for Black than 8.Bg5 Be7 9. Be7 Ke7 10. Bc6 bc and now 11. Nd4 Kf8 12. Nc6 (12. Nd2!?) Qd6 13. Nd4 g6 14.Nd2 Nf6 (with equality) or 11. Qd4 Be6 12. Qg7 Qd6 13 Nd2 Rhg8 (better for White I believe)?
  
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Re: Riga Variation - Berger Line 8.Bg5 (Two CC Games)
Reply #16 - 10/12/10 at 15:16:14
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Thanks Markovich.

Even if you are right and 15.c3 would give white an advantage with best play of both sides then I'd still state that the riga is very playable in a practical game - maybe not in a CC, against anything less than a GM.

The advantages are as follows:
-it's not a lot of opening theory. All you need to do is get hold of the NIC YB85 article and you're allright Smiley
-Since it's supposedly refuted, no one plays it, so white will not know what to do against it. Sad
-It throws white off balance by going into types of positions he will be seriously unfamiliar with. Roll Eyes
-Several lines go into complex and interesting endgames, so if you like endgames and/or are good at these then this line may be just the thing for you. Kiss
-Any white who wants to prepare against the line is bound to have a hard time -even if he's an FM or IM- since the lines that might be really difficult to meet for black are hardly mentioned anywhere. Most major RL sources hardly mention the line at all. Lips Sealed
-Although Berger's line might be the refutation then (with the additions given here) no one plays it. I haven't had 8.Bg5 against me ever. And even if they would then I seriously doubt if they will ever come up with the amazing moves 16.Re1!! and 17.Kg1!. My guess is they will probably play something else along the way (like 8.Bg5 f6 9.Nd4 Bc5 10.Be3) when black should be fine.

It still would be brillant if one of you guys would come up with an improvement particularly in the Berger line - since it's not ideal to play an opening line that is refuted. Also you guys probably sympatise with the variation (why else come to this pub?) so it would be good if it can be saved... Any help is much appreciated ... Embarrassed   
  
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Re: Riga Variation - Berger Line 8.Bg5 (Two CC Games)
Reply #15 - 10/11/10 at 17:53:29
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Once again, we have to agree to disagree, since I still prefer White after 17...g6.  For one thing, White need not hurry with f3.  There is not much use doing analysis, since the position is so open to interpretation and to different plans.  I myself would not want to play Black's side of it.

This may be moot if 8.Bg5 is all that strong, but from a practical perspective, I think it's nice that White has the option of playing simple chess while still preserving good winning chances.
  

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Re: Riga Variation - Berger Line 8.Bg5 (Two CC Games)
Reply #14 - 10/11/10 at 08:25:51
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Thanks guys for these excellent analyses. They do advance the opening theory of this line. Unfortunately not in the direction I'd like to see ...

Markovich I completey agree with your analysis - black is in (serious) trouble here. I suggest black should abstain for playing h6 altogheter since it's very weakening, and go 17. ... g6 straight away and after 18.f3 ef3: 19.Nf3: go 19. ... Bd5!? with the idea 20.Kg3 b5 21.Bc2 Re8 when it looks as if black is OK. Huh

I still maintain the endgame is quite doable for black.

But then there is Aiorla's line - the brillant 17.Kg1! in Berger's line, where white being a whole rook down just plays a quiet attacking move that brings black to the brink of disaster.
Black has no choice but to sac his queen for Rf1 (as per the CC game) after which material is about even but white wins the pawn on c6 and then another one, resulting in an endgame of Q vs two rooks where white is a pawn up and black's king is unsafe so black is really struggling.
Maybe black can just about hold on by the skin of his teeth by trying to get his rooks to the 7th and attacking g2 - but it looks like white is still better since he can create a passed pawn on the queenside and protect g2 with his queen.
When time allows I'l try to do a detailed analysis of this ending. In the meantime I have been looking at alternatives for black after 8.Bg5 but they're basically all good for white. 8. ...f6 9.Nd4 Bc5 10.Nc6 Bf2+ 11.Kf1 Qd6 looks interesting but is no good after 12.Nb4+! Kf8 13.Nd5 with Bf4 to follow and black can resign. 8. ... Qd6 has been whiped off the board with the Berliner correspondence game. And 8. ...f6 9.Nd4 Bc5 10.Nc6 Bf2+ 11.Kf1 Qd7 12.Nc3 0-0!? is interesting and very doable after 13.Nd5: Kh8 14.Re4 fg5: where black has excellent compensation for the piece due to the miserable position of white's king, but falls apart after the simple 13.Re4:! de4: 14.Qd7: Bd7: 15.Bf4 and white is clearly better.
So to me it looks like the riga is now very close to really being busted by Berger's 8.Bg5  Cry  - unless anyone can come up with a rescue operation??  Undecided    

One other thing before I forget - all these analyses end up in complex endings - so it really pays off in the riga (and in chess as a whole, really) to be an endgame expert! People spend too much time at openings (as we do in the pub) and do not take enough time to study the endgame what is not only very useful but also very enjoyable. People who say they never get to the endgame should have another look at their won games. Endgames are not boring at all. I'm just going through Nunn's understanding chess endgames, what is a recent and really excellent book.

Greetings to you all!
  
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Re: Riga Variation - Berger Line 8.Bg5 (Two CC Games)
Reply #13 - 10/09/10 at 14:25:53
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NeverGiveUp wrote on 10/08/10 at 09:36:32:
12. Qd8+ Qxd8  13. Nxd8 Kxd8  14. Kxh2 Be6 15.c3 f5  16. Bg5+ Kc8  17. Nd2 h6  18. Be3 g6 19.f3 ef3: 20.Nf3 b5


Now 21.Bd1, as advised by silicon, appears quite strong.  Black can hardly play 21...Kb7 22.Ne5, and 21...Re8 22.Nh4 g5 23.Bh5 looks quite good for White as well.   Black has 21...Re8 22.Nh4 Kb7 23.Bxh6 Bd5 but after 24.Bd2 it still looks very good for White.  I don't want to get into a theorem-proof argument about the complicated ending that arises from 15.c3.  But according to my understanding of chess, which is imperfect, it's much better for White.

I have nothing against 8.Bg5, but I maintain my view that this ending is also quite good, and it's simple chess.
  

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Re: Riga Variation - Berger Line 8.Bg5 (Two CC Games)
Reply #12 - 10/09/10 at 08:03:22
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A while ago I analyzed the Riga and saw the strong 17. Kg1!. I didn't find a way to repair 8...f6. The main alternative 8...Qd6 seemed to offer faint chances to survive, but it is also +/-, certainly nothing that Black would like to play in a corr. game. 
  
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