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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Smyslov Variation, QGA (Read 27073 times)
IMJohnCox
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Re: Smyslov Variation, QGA
Reply #29 - 07/08/11 at 17:25:41
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Hah - this thread brings back memories. Some time in about 1979 I played Julian Hodgson in a junior event. The game began 1 Nf3 d5 2 g3 c5 3 Bg2 Nc6, and now it occurred to me that by 4 d4 I could obtain a reversed Grunfeld, which must be fine for White, I thought. Julian played 4...Nf6 and now I remembered (from Hooper's QGA book) that there was this little-known Smyslov variation of the QGA. So I played 5 dxc5 e6 6 00 Bxc5, and now 7 Nd2?!

Julian, for all his geniality, had a bit of a presence at the board as a young man, and he gave this something of the Kasparov lip-curl treatment. Eventually though he managed to write it down and get on with the game, in which I was crushed.

Afterwards he suggested that as White I had managed to play the Grunfeld a tempo down even on where Black would have been, and it wasn't surprising I'd lost. I replied spiritedly that I had done nothing of the kind; on the contrary I had been playing the Smyslov variation a tempo up, and either the variation must be no good or else I had somehow unluckily gone wrong later on.

It wasn't Julian's practice to continue this sort of fruitless debate, but once I had had the chance to do a little counting on my fingers in private I saw he was right, and my interest in this variation - at any rate with colours reversed - rather disappeared.
  
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Re: Smyslov Variation, QGA
Reply #28 - 07/08/11 at 15:36:04
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The last 10 Posts were moved here from 1. d4 d5 [move by] Markovich.

Both threads were about the Smyslov QGA.
  

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Re: QGA Smyslov Variation by Eric Schiller
Reply #27 - 07/08/11 at 01:11:00
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John Bartholomew wrote on 07/07/11 at 19:54:42:
Odd variation to devote an entire book to.  The ...Nf6-d7-b6 maneuver and accompanying ...Nc6/...e5 is way more Grunfeld than QGA.

1. d4 d5 2. c4 dxc4 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. e3 g6 5. Bxc4 Bg7 6. O-O O-O 7. Nc3 Nfd7 8.Qe2 looks natural.  Several games have gone Nb6 9. Bb3 Nc6 10. Rd1 Bg4 11. h3 Bxf3 12. Qxf3 +=

I dunno, I tend to think that when Black plays non-critical ...g6 systems (like this or the Schlecter Slav), the best he can hope for is +=.


I think the Smyslov QGA is one of those systems where Black hopes for += but some degree of dynamism to give him a little something to fight for.  I noticed this system a year or two ago and played it in a few cc games, mostly with good results, but I always thought that with best play it would be objectively +=.  Objective evaluation and scoring points in this game are rather separate things, of course.

I don't think this compares to the Schlechter Slav at all, this being more dynamic.

Part of the appeal of the Smyslov QGA is that Black obtains a Gruenfeldy sort of game while avoiding reams of complicated theory and also the fianchetto system.  I probably wouldn't play it against a White loaded for bear, however.

My opinion.
  

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Re: QGA Smyslov Variation by Eric Schiller
Reply #26 - 07/07/11 at 20:15:32
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This has come up here before, by the way ...
http://www.chesspub.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1233689621
  
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John Bartholomew
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Re: QGA Smyslov Variation by Eric Schiller
Reply #25 - 07/07/11 at 19:54:42
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Odd variation to devote an entire book to.  The ...Nf6-d7-b6 maneuver and accompanying ...Nc6/...e5 is way more Grunfeld than QGA.

1. d4 d5 2. c4 dxc4 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. e3 g6 5. Bxc4 Bg7 6. O-O O-O 7. Nc3 Nfd7 8.Qe2 looks natural.  Several games have gone Nb6 9. Bb3 Nc6 10. Rd1 Bg4 11. h3 Bxf3 12. Qxf3 +=

I dunno, I tend to think that when Black plays non-critical ...g6 systems (like this or the Schlecter Slav), the best he can hope for is +=.
  
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Re: QGA Smyslov Variation by Eric Schiller
Reply #24 - 07/07/11 at 15:31:13
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I think we safely can assume that Evans and Smyslov wouldn't have missed Rxd5 in the final position, so there is no need to verify a print source. They can have typo's too.
  

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Re: QGA Smyslov Variation by Eric Schiller
Reply #23 - 07/07/11 at 13:03:19
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Yeah! Good catch. I don't have a print source to verify it, but Nf6 makes far more sense in the context.
  
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Re: QGA Smyslov Variation by Eric Schiller
Reply #22 - 07/07/11 at 11:22:00
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Nice game by Smyslov!

Surely he played 27.-Nf6 and not 27.-Kf6  Shocked
  
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Re: QGA Smyslov Variation by Eric Schiller
Reply #21 - 07/06/11 at 13:03:12
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That link doesn't work. Here's another link to the Amazon.com page:

http://www.amazon.com/Queens-Gambit-Accepted-Smyslov-Variation/dp/4871878880/ref...

I had to look up to see which QGA line was the "Smyslov Variation". It's a rare line with g6. This is a rare line, but it makes sense that Smyslov's name is associated with it since he was one of the few GMs who played it more than once. He was also one of the first to analyse it. Here's one of Smyslov's earliest games with that line.

  
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Re: QGA Smyslov Variation by Eric Schiller
Reply #20 - 07/05/11 at 19:48:11
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On the American Amazon site you can take a look at some pages. At the risk of judging a book by its cover (and layout), well, ..., it doesn't look like a quality book.

http://www.amazon.com/Queens-Gambit-Accepted-Smyslov-Variation

Smyslov is one of my favourite chess players and I'm learning the QGA (from the Starting Out book), so I'd be interested in a book on this variation, but I really don't think this particular book is worthy of our time.
  
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Re: QGA Smyslov Variation by Eric Schiller
Reply #19 - 07/05/11 at 19:03:01
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I don't anything about this book in particular, but Schiller is widely considered the worst chess author out there, at least writing in English.  I doubt this book will cause his reputation to change.
  
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QGA Smyslov Variation by Eric Schiller
Reply #18 - 07/05/11 at 18:53:06
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I just came across this book in Amazon as I'm looking to add the QGA to my repertoire. Just wondering if anyone has bought this book yet? If so, what did you think of it? I've read a few reviews on some of his other books and some have criticised him for lack of explanations. I'm hoping that it won't be the case with this 1.

Here's a link to it: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Queens-Gambit-Accepted-Smyslov-Variation/dp/4871878880/r...
  
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Re: Smyslov Variation, QGA
Reply #17 - 07/08/11 at 01:21:23
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Holbox wrote on 02/12/09 at 07:59:36:
Can you explain me why the knight, well posted on f6, should start a tryp to b6? What is the knight doing there? Here white is not provoqued in advancing the center pawns.

Thx


This having come up in another thread recently, I'll respond (for a second time) at this late date and say the question overlooks a big part of Black's idea with the Gruenfeld and related setups, which is to bear down on the dark diagonal.  There is also that the b6 knight impedes White's use of the Italian diagonal, something that comes up in another Gruenfeld namesake, 1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Nd5 3.d4 d6 4.Nf3 Nb6!?.

Apart from that, Smyslov played it.
  

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Re: Smyslov Variation, QGA
Reply #16 - 05/11/09 at 09:06:17
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Hi to all,

I tested a similar idea in the smyslov with Ne8 instead of Markovich´s Nfd7.
Background were especially games of GM Najer:

d4 d5 c4 dc Nf3 Nf6 e3 g6 Bc4 Bg7 00 00 Nc3 Ne8 h3 Nd6 Bb3 b5 a4 b4 Nd5 Na6 Bd2 c5 Rc1 ....

I guess that Nfd7 - Nb6 has the same drawback as Ne8-d6 - one defender less on the kingside. And - at least for me - I couldn´t make enough of the the uncovered diagonal fire power of the g7-bishop. In the long run my figures only stood in each others way on the queen side.
The "wandering" knights´idea for me just looks a bit artificial. Had the most problems with white playing a3 to secure a nice haven for the c4-bishop, leaving out h3 not fearing black pinning the Nf3; then standard white moves Qe2; Rd1, with later ideas of b2-b4 to take away squares from black queenside knights.
Black may hold up or delay e3-e4 but what active ideas does he have on his own ?

Regards

Gilmour

  
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Re: Smyslov Variation, QGA
Reply #15 - 05/08/09 at 19:01:21
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I thought I would just post the one game I have played with this system.  It was played against inferior opposition in server-based CC.  However it does show something about the play of this line.  

After starting this game, daunted by the idea of giving up two tempi, I stopped playing this.  But recently I've had second thoughts, and I've started a game against a roughly equal opponent which I hope will be of better quality, and which I will show later.  White has already opted for the setup with h3.

The game given here is amusing (to me, anyway) because after 22...Nd6, Black has everything he could possibly have hoped for.  

[Event "m1233760616"]
[Site "net-chess.com"]
[White "sisterofmercy"]
[Black "gospodin"]
[Result "0-1"]

1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 3.e3 Ng8f6 4.Bf1xc4 g6 5.Ng1f3 Bf8g7 6.0-0
0-0 7.Nb1c3 Nf6d7 8.Qd1e2 Nd7b6 9.Bc4b3 Bc8g4 10.h3 Bg4xf3 11.Qe2xf3
Nb8c6 12.Rf1d1 e5 13.d5 Nc6a5 14.Bb3c2 Qd8e7 15.e4 Ra8d8 16.b3
c6 17.Bc1b2 cxd5 18.exd5 f5 19.Qf3e2 a6 20.Rd1d2 Nb6c8 21.Ra1d1
e4 22.a3 Nc8d6 23.Nc3a4 Bg7xb2 24.Na4xb2 b5 25.a4 Qe7f6 26.Rd2d4
Na5b7 27.b4 Rd8e8 28.Bc2b3 f4 29.f3 exf3 30.Qe2xf3 Re8e3 0-1

  

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Markovich
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Re: Smyslov Variation, QGA
Reply #14 - 05/08/09 at 18:50:10
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Holbox wrote on 02/12/09 at 07:59:36:
Can you explain me why the knight, well posted on f6, should start a tryp to b6? What is the knight doing there? Here white is not provoqued in advancing the center pawns.

Thx


My interpretation of this idea is that it restrains e3-e4, which is difficult to play with the bishop bearing down on d4.  Black's idea is rather coy, taking advantage of the inactive state of White's QB.
  

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Re: Smyslov Variation, QGA
Reply #13 - 02/12/09 at 07:59:36
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Can you explain me why the knight, well posted on f6, should start a tryp to b6? What is the knight doing there? Here white is not provoqued in advancing the center pawns.

Thx
  

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Re: Smyslov Variation, QGA
Reply #12 - 02/12/09 at 01:14:12
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Very, very interesting this question of extra tempi -- and seriously underresearched I think. We've all had the experience of looking some position up on ChessBase and realising that some/several/many of the examples of it have been reached via White losing a tempo. I suppose it's easy to think that in a blocked position that might be fine but that in a more open one such as these Gruenfeldish positions one extra tempo ought to count, and losing two, even in an otherwise innocuous line, is a no-no, but I'm not sure that even this is always necessarily true, though presumably it usually is. Maybe the Smyslov QGA could be seen as a kind of litmus test, around which a chapter, or even a whole book, could be written by the right author!

@ Markovich. I haven't looked yet at 15 dc or at 15 Bc4 Nc4 16 Qb3 cd, but my tentative thinking so far was that 16 ...Nb6 here is probably OK but 16 ...Na5 possibly dubious? ...
  
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Re: Smyslov Variation, QGA
Reply #11 - 02/11/09 at 16:40:50
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Markovich wrote on 02/11/09 at 13:06:59:
kylemeister wrote on 02/11/09 at 03:32:34:
I was talking about 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. e3 0-0 6. cd Nxd5 7. Bc4 Nb6 8. Bb3 Nc6 9. 0-0.

And in your line with the queen sac, White is a tempo up on a line that can be reached by 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cd Nxd5 5. Bd2, or 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. cd Nxd5 6. Bd2 0-0 7. e4 Nb6 8. Be3 Bg4 9. Be2 etc. ...


Thanks for that info.  Not to say that Black is equal in the Smyslov, or even in that queen sac, but this would seem to cast some doubt on anti-Gruenfeld methods with e3, cxd5.  It surprises me that White is considered slightly better in the lines you point to.

@Papageno:  Yes, the plan with h3 is treated in Neistadt, and he thinks that White winds up with a slight advantage.  I've looked at it but I don't have my notes with me right now, so I'll post later.

@Michael: After 14.Bf4 etc. Black also has 16...Na5, but I'm not certain how good it is.


It's just the first line which is supposed to be slightly better for White (the books think 7...Nxc3 is better than 7...Nb6); the Bd2 stuff is supposed to be equal or unclear.  (Vlastimil Jansa on Bd2:  "I have always been filled with skepticism towards such-like variations, which are somewhat artificial.")

The line with cd and Bc4 seemed to me like something Keres might have favored, though in a database I only see six instances of him playing it.

I remember having a somewhat positive impression of that Neishtadt book when I browsed it in a bookstore years ago, but it sounds as though it might be even better than I recall.
  
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Re: Smyslov Variation, QGA
Reply #10 - 02/11/09 at 13:06:59
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kylemeister wrote on 02/11/09 at 03:32:34:
I was talking about 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. e3 0-0 6. cd Nxd5 7. Bc4 Nb6 8. Bb3 Nc6 9. 0-0.

And in your line with the queen sac, White is a tempo up on a line that can be reached by 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cd Nxd5 5. Bd2, or 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. cd Nxd5 6. Bd2 0-0 7. e4 Nb6 8. Be3 Bg4 9. Be2 etc. ...


Thanks for that info.  Not to say that Black is equal in the Smyslov, or even in that queen sac, but this would seem to cast some doubt on anti-Gruenfeld methods with e3, cxd5.  It surprises me that White is considered slightly better in the lines you point to.

@Papageno:  Yes, the plan with h3 is treated in Neistadt, and he thinks that White winds up with a slight advantage.  I've looked at it but I don't have my notes with me right now, so I'll post later.

@Michael: After 14.Bf4 etc. Black also has 16...Na5, but I'm not certain how good it is.
  

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Re: Smyslov Variation, QGA
Reply #9 - 02/11/09 at 03:32:34
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I was talking about 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. e3 0-0 6. cd Nxd5 7. Bc4 Nb6 8. Bb3 Nc6 9. 0-0.

And in your line with the queen sac, White is a tempo up on a line that can be reached by 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cd Nxd5 5. Bd2, or 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. cd Nxd5 6. Bd2 0-0 7. e4 Nb6 8. Be3 Bg4 9. Be2 etc. ...
  
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Re: Smyslov Variation, QGA
Reply #8 - 02/11/09 at 02:59:51
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kylemeister wrote on 02/11/09 at 01:01:09:
I suppose one should look at 12...Nac4 as in Dearing-Dunnington, Newport Masters 1997.

A curious fact which seems to have escaped my notice before:  White is two tempi up on a line of the Gruenfeld which is considered slightly better for him (by ECO and NCO at least).


Two!!  But ha ha, what are tempi?  Seriously though, point out the line, would you, and save me having to puzzle it out?  Oddly enough I have this line in an ongoing game with (only!) one tempo up as Black, after 1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.e3 g6 4.Be2 Bg7 5.0-0 0-0 6.c4 dxc4.

But Black has an interesting queen sac in one line that came up during my investigations: 1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.e3 g6 5.Bxc4 Bg7 6.0-0 0-0 7.Nc3 Nfd7 8.e4 Nb6 9.Be2 Bg4 10.Be3 Nc6 11.d5 Bxf3 12.Bxf3 Ne5 13.Be2 Nec4 14.Bf4 ("!" Neistadt) 14...c6 15.dxc6 bxc6 16. Qb3 (as opposed to 16.Qc2 Nxb2!? as given in Neistadt) 16...Nxb2 17.Rab1 Nd3 18.Rfd1 (18.Rbd1 is quite similar) 18...Nxf4 19.Rxd8 Raxd8 and now for example, 20.Ba6 Rd2.

@Michael:  I looked at 14.Bf4 c6 15.Bxc4 Nxc4 16.Qb3 cxd5 17.Nxd5 e5 18.Qxc4 (18.Bc1 Nb6) 18...exf4 19.Nxf4 (19.Qb3 Qh4) 19...Qd2  20.Nd5 Rae8 and though Black probably can't win very easily, I thought he had moderately good compensation for his pawn.
  

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Re: Smyslov Variation, QGA
Reply #7 - 02/11/09 at 01:01:09
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I suppose one should look at 12...Nac4 as in Dearing-Dunnington, Newport Masters 1997.

A curious fact which seems to have escaped my notice before:  White is two tempi up on a line of the Gruenfeld which is considered slightly better for him (by ECO and NCO at least).
  
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Re: Smyslov Variation, QGA
Reply #6 - 02/10/09 at 23:53:09
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I wonder what you think of this game by Mikhail Tal.

1. d4 d5 2. c4 dxc4 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. e3 g6 5. Bxc4 Bg7 6. O-O O-O 7. Nc3 Nfd7 8. h3 Nb6 9. Bb3 Nc6 10. a3 e5 11. d5 Na5 12. Ba2 c6 13. e4 cxd5 14. Nxd5 Nxd5 15. Bxd5 Bd7 16. Bg5 Bf6 17. Bxb7 Nxb7 18. Bxf6 Qxf6 19. Qxd7 {(...) 1/2-1/2 Tal,M (2620)-Georgiev,K (2430)/Lvov 1984 (66)} *

8.h3 is a key move by Tal restricting the black bishop on c8. Note that the pawn stays on e3 to keep the center stable (especially the squary d4 safe). Next, 10. a3 secures the nice diagonal a2-f7 for the light-squared bishop. After 10...e5, the black bishop on g7 is getting nicely buried.

Essentially, white is better here after 15 moves in this game, and after 19 moves white has an extra pawn for nothing. I'm curious where you can find a clear path to equality here.

I spent some time on alternatives like 10.... a5 11. Ba2 a4 12. Qc2 and e.g. 12... Ra5 13. Rd1, but white seems just fine here intending pressure down the central lines (Bc1-d2-e1, Rac1 etc.). - Regards!
  
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Re: Smyslov Variation, QGA
Reply #5 - 02/10/09 at 12:07:57
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Interesting ideas -- I look forward to the trial game results! In the 11 Ng5 line I'm not sure either whether black should allow f4, but maybe he has other choices anyway -- including 12 ...e5?

The 14 Bf4!? idea looks to me a very annoying challenge to Black's system! 14 ...c6 seems to be universally played, when engines seem to like 15 Bc4 Nc4 16 Qb3 which looks a serious try for advantage! Are 14 ...e5 or even 14 ...e6 alternatives, I wonder? -- the first might look a bit passive unless Black can really get going on the kingside, but White's advantage might need showing?
  
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Re: Smyslov Variation, QGA
Reply #4 - 02/09/09 at 13:42:01
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[quote author=nmga link=1233689621/0#3 date=1234173601]Yes, thanks! I'd often thought about this myself but given its unpopularity and assessments of a White edge had carelessly just thought it must have been found rather inferior. But looking at these lines I can't really see why. Gruenfeldish positions without all the theory could be just the thing down at the Club![/quote]

One new idea that recently came up in my studies is 1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.e3 g6 5.Bxc4 Bg7 6.0-0 0-0 7.Nc3 Nfd7 8.e4 Nb6 9.Be2 Bg4 10.Be3 Nc6 and now, instead of 11.d5 (as given in my first post) 11.Ng5!? (suggested by Hiarcs) 11...Bxe2 12.Nxe2.  White goes out of his way to preserve his nice pawn center.  Now I'm not sure, but it would seem that Black should play 12...e6 followed by ...Qd7 and ...some rook d8.  Or is it a mistake to allow f4?

Further in case of 11.d5 Bxf3 12.Bxf3 Ne5 13.Be2 Nc5, Black has to reckon with 14.Bf4 and perhaps even 14.Bg5, which appear to be stronger moves than 14.Bc1 as played by Evans against Smyslov.  Actually 14.Bf4"!" is given in Neistadt as leading to some advantage for White; he doesn't mention 14.Bg5.

Still Black's system seems worth investigating.  I'm testing it in some CC games and we'll see.
  

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Re: Smyslov Variation, QGA
Reply #3 - 02/09/09 at 10:00:01
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Yes, thanks! I'd often thought about this myself but given its unpopularity and assessments of a White edge had carelessly just thought it must have been found rather inferior. But looking at these lines I can't really see why. Gruenfeldish positions without all the theory could be just the thing down at the Club!
  
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Re: Smyslov Variation, QGA
Reply #2 - 02/09/09 at 00:03:38
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I just had to respond, considering my handle.

This variation seems a bit slow, but might be an interesting attempt to take White out of the reams of theory surrounding 4.e3.

This could be a nice surprise weapon for Black.  Thanks for sharing it, Markovich!
  
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kylemeister
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Re: Smyslov Variation, QGA
Reply #1 - 02/03/09 at 20:35:47
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I have had some similar albeit rather fleeting thoughts.  I suppose there may be a feeling that Black's modern Gruenfeldy maneuvers fall a bit flat when White hasn't advanced his center to be attacked yet (and doesn't have to take on doubled f-pawns or some such).  I was aware of Evans-Smyslov and the ECO/NCO line; I thought the latter might offer White a pleasant solid edge, but after a bit of looking, that 12...e5 does seem rather interesting.
  
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Markovich
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Smyslov Variation, QGA
02/03/09 at 19:33:41
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I wonder if this variation of the QGA has ever attracted anyone's attention here besides my own.  1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.e3 g6 5.Bxc4 Bg7 with the idea ...Nfd7, ...Nb6.  It's rather Gruenfeld-like and I would say Alekhine-like in some respects as well.  It's basically missing from the theory books (nary a word in Chess Stars, for instance), except that Neistat's old QGA reference has a pretty good chapter on it.  It's doesn't seem to be played very much any more, either, but in looking at the lines I haven't been able to find anything that I would call a refutation.

One quite dangerous line is 6.Nc3 0-0 (6...Nfd7? 7.Bxf7+!) 7.e4 Nfd7 8.e5.  Neistat cites a White win that arose from 8...c5 9.e6 fxe6, but Black instead has 9...cxd4!? 10.exf7+ (10.exd7 is quite good for Black) 10...Kh8.  Black is in danger, particularly from White's running his h-pawn.  However I analyzed both 11.Ne4 and 11.Nd5 and concluded that Black is OK (actually I also looked at Ne2, Nb5 and even h4).  For example 11.Ne4 Nc6 12.h4 h5 and although Black has a fouled-up kingside, he has a nice pawn on d4 and good piece activity, with a knight coming to e5.  White's f7 pawn will fall pretty soon, I think.  Further instead of 8...c5 Black may be OK with 8...Nb6.

White more usually castles early, e.g. 6.0-0 0-0 7.Nc3 Nfd7 8.e4 Nb6 9.Be2 Bg4 10.Be3 Nc6 11.d5 Bxf3 12.Bxf3 Ne5 13.Be2 Nec4 (but not 13...c6 14.Qb3) as played by Smyslov against Evans back in 1952, I forget where.

The one(!) line quoted in ECO (and NCO) is 6.0-0 0-0 7.Nc3 Nfd7 8.Qe2 Nb6 9.Bb3 Nc6 10.Rd1 Bg4 11.h3 Bxf3 12.Qxf3.  Now instead of 11...e6 as quoted in both works, Black has 11...e5 (I find this in Chess Assistant with a couple of games, and it is mentioned with "!?" and nothing more in NCO) 12.dxe5 Qe7.  Black seems to be a little bit worse but nothing serious.  16.d5 also looks viable for Black.

White also has early h3 ideas, either with or without early castling.

Oh, I forgot to mention that Khalifman gives, of all things, 6.b4 0-0 7.Nbd2.  He continues 7...Nfd7 but he overlooks 7...Nd5, which I think is almost certainly Black's best move.  I looked at it and White is White, but I couldn't find much to fear for Black.  For example 8.b5 a6.  I can only speculate that Khalifman wanted to dispose of the Smyslov Variation without spending the time and space necessary to delve into its historical practice.

All in all, I think the line merits attention, particularly since it appears to be sound, reflects a modern approach to the center, and requires very little preparation.
  

The Great Oz has spoken!
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