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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) Old Steinitz - just passive or lost? (Read 9696 times)
Matemax
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Re: Old Steinitz - just passive or lost?
Reply #19 - 04/20/09 at 17:52:16
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The following game is a real nice positional excercise from Anand:

[Event "Sao Paulo Rapid"]
[Site "Sao Paulo BRA"]
[Date "2004.08.20"]
[EventDate "2004.08.20"]
[Round "2"]
[Result "1-0"]
[White "Viswanathan Anand"]
[Black "Giovanni Vescovi"]
[ECO "C66"]
[WhiteElo "2782"]
[BlackElo "2648"]
[PlyCount "95"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O d6 5. d4 Bd7 6. Nc3 Be7
7. Bxc6 Bxc6 8. Qd3 exd4 9. Nxd4 Bd7 10. b3 O-O 11. Bb2 c5
12. Nde2 Bc6 13. Rad1 Re8 14. Nf4 Bf8 15. Rfe1 b5 16. Ncd5
Nxd5 17. Nxd5 Bxd5 18. Qxd5 Qc8 19. f3 a5 20. a4 Qa6 21. Ra1
b4 22. c4 bxc3 23. Bxc3 c4 24. Qxc4 Qxc4 25. bxc4 Rec8
26. Rec1 Rxc4 27. Be1 d5 28. exd5 Rd4 29. Rd1 Rc4 30. d6 Rd8
31. Bxa5 Rxd6 32. Rxd6 Bxd6 33. Bd2 Kf8 34. Ra2 Bc5+ 35. Kf1
Ke8 36. a5 Ba7 37. Ke2 Rc6 38. Kd3 Kd7 39. Bb4 Bb8 40. h3 Rg6
41. Bc5 Kc6 42. Bd4 Kb7 43. a6+ Rxa6 44. Rxa6 Kxa6 45. Bxg7
Kb5 46. Ke4 Kc6 47. Be5 Ba7 48. Kf5 1-0


Just look at the following position after move 35:

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

Perhaps Khalifman is right: Just follow Anand!
  
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MartinC
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Re: Old Steinitz - just passive or lost?
Reply #18 - 04/15/09 at 08:54:53
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Apologies Smiley I was getting confused with the line with a6/Ba4 already included. Not that c3 can be so bad without a6, just likely non critical.
  
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Markovich
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Re: Old Steinitz - just passive or lost?
Reply #17 - 04/14/09 at 13:27:12
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Paddy wrote on 04/14/09 at 12:52:49:
The attempts of the early GMs for and against the Spanish, including the Steinitz, were well documented in "Chess from Morphy to Botvinnik" by Imre Koenig. Even as late as the Lasker-Capablanca match, the Steinitz was a major battleground for the big guns. d2-d4 (without prelim. c3) is the only real test.

As with all such lines where the major analysis was done pre-Fritz, it all needs checking, but the strategic asessment is probably unchanged: space advantage for White in a "little centre" position (Pe4 v Pd6) which careful black defence in a rather passive position might be able to neutralize by judicious exchanges; winning chances for Black if White is inaccurate or over- or under-ambitious (see many games from St Petersberg 1909).


I am very happy to have a copy of Koenig's book in a hardback edition from the 1960s.  It's a fantastic book, not only on this subject.

I have the opinion, perhaps mistaken, that Tarrasch's plan of fianchettoing the QB is a good way to proceed against the Old Steinitz.  I don't think that Black is lost with this defense, but I think his task is significantly more difficult than in a QGD, to which some people above have compared it.

I also seem to recall that My System rhapsodizes over Black's prospects in these small-center, must-restrain-the-e-pawn situations.  ...Re8, ...Bf8 and so forth.
« Last Edit: 04/14/09 at 14:45:43 by Markovich »  

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Paddy
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Re: Old Steinitz - just passive or lost?
Reply #16 - 04/14/09 at 12:52:49
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The attempts of the early GMs for and against the Spanish, including the Steinitz, were well documented in "Chess from Morphy to Botvinnik" by Imre Koenig. Even as late as the Lasker-Capablanca match, the Steinitz was a major battleground for the big guns. d2-d4 (without prelim. c3) is the only real test.

As with all such lines where the major analysis was done pre-Fritz, it all needs checking, but the strategic asessment is probably unchanged: space advantage for White in a "little centre" position (Pe4 v Pd6) which careful black defence in a rather passive position might be able to neutralize by judicious exchanges; winning chances for Black if White is inaccurate or over- or under-ambitious (see many games from St Petersburg 1909).
« Last Edit: 04/14/09 at 20:39:27 by Paddy »  
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MartinC
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Re: Old Steinitz - just passive or lost?
Reply #15 - 04/14/09 at 10:13:40
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I must admit to, as a point of potentially misguided principle, refusing to play anything other than 4 c3 here. Given the person I've been playing this against that has led to me playing vs/analysing 4 .. f5 a little bit.

That's one line which seems as if it should be refutable but even thats not easy Smiley
  
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Matemax
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Re: Old Steinitz - just passive or lost?
Reply #14 - 04/12/09 at 20:41:25
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The Hand wrote on 04/12/09 at 18:26:39:
kylemeister wrote on 04/12/09 at 17:11:12:
Sometimes, when people make a claim such as that Black is lost in the Steinitz, it is hard to tell if they are actually being serious.


I am as serious as a heart attack.  

Go ahead and let variations speak...  Wink
  
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kylemeister
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Re: Old Steinitz - just passive or lost?
Reply #13 - 04/12/09 at 18:56:55
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I wonder if other variations generally considered "+=" (the Orthodox QGD, the 3...Nf6 4. Nc3 Nbd7 Philidor, the Old Benoni etc. etc.) are also lost for Black, or if it's just, like, this particular one.
  
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The Hand
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Re: Old Steinitz - just passive or lost?
Reply #12 - 04/12/09 at 18:26:39
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kylemeister wrote on 04/12/09 at 17:11:12:
Sometimes, when people make a claim such as that Black is lost in the Steinitz, it is hard to tell if they are actually being serious.


I am as serious as a heart attack.
  
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Matemax
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Re: Old Steinitz - just passive or lost?
Reply #11 - 04/12/09 at 17:26:38
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kylemeister wrote on 04/12/09 at 17:11:12:
Sometimes, when people make a claim such as that Black is lost in the Steinitz, it is hard to tell if they are actually being serious.

Yep - just think of the Lasker Defence in the Queens Gambit - it's something like the Steinitz in the Ruy and still remains unrefuted. One should not forget that there are thousands of games played in these variations and no clear way to a stable advantage for White (a +/- not a +=) was found.

I had a look at chesslive.de searching for games with White elo +2500 and was somewhat surprised that the strong guys nearly all go for Bc6 and Qd3. Even after 3...ed4 4.Nd4 Bd7 5.Bc6 seems to be the strongest move. Seems I overestimate the bishops and the "Ruy-bishop" (I dont like the Exchange variation for the same reason)  Sad

  
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kylemeister
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Re: Old Steinitz - just passive or lost?
Reply #10 - 04/12/09 at 17:11:12
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Sometimes, when people make a claim such as that Black is lost in the Steinitz, it is hard to tell if they are actually being serious.
  
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The Hand
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Re: Old Steinitz - just passive or lost?
Reply #9 - 04/12/09 at 16:25:48
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Passive AND lost.
  
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MNb
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Re: Old Steinitz - just passive or lost?
Reply #8 - 04/12/09 at 02:29:01
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First of all White has other options. If (s)he fears the Berlin Wall there is IM Van Delft's recommendation: 3...Nf6 4.d3 d6 (Nf6 5.Bxc6 dxc6 6.h3 Morozevich-Naiditsch, Sochi 2006) 5.0-0 g6 (Be7 6.Re1 0-0 7.Nbd2) 6.d4 and White will play d4-d5 and c2-c4. Black then has to defend an inferior version of the KID.
After 3...d6 Van Delft gives 4.d4 Bd7 5.Nc3 Nf6 6.Bxc6 Bxc6 7.Qd3 like Kylemeister mentioned. White according to my database wins about 2 out of 3 games.
But let's assume that Black is lucky and White plays in a more old-fashioned way: 6.0-0 Be7 7.Re1 exd4 8.Nxd4.

1) after 8...Nxd4 White has the choice between 9.Bxd7/10.Qxd4 and 9.Qxd4 Bxb5 10.Nxb5 a6 11.Nc3. In both cases Black will have to defend for several hours and be happy to escape with a draw. Kylemeister might be right that most promising is 9.Bxd7 Qxd7 10.Qxd4 0-0 11.b3 indeed. There are not many games with this, but White has won almost all of them.

2) 8...0-0 9.Bxc6 (9.Nf5 is a novelty, but why?) and again White has a nice choice, this time between 10.Bf4 and 10.Bg5. White has done quite well.
  

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kylemeister
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Re: Old Steinitz - just passive or lost?
Reply #7 - 04/11/09 at 19:05:18
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Well, I don't think you can speak of "the average player simply holding the position."  The game this line immediately reminds me of is Capablanca-Fonaroff, with its nice piece coordination and tactics, but there seems to be some kind of consensus (Kasparov and apparently ECO) that Capa's 11. Qc3 is sub-optimal.  I'm somewhat attracted to 11. Bf4 (instead of the main book move 11. Bg5) as in the "Czech" games Hracek-Smejkal and Navara-Ruzicka.  There's also the possibility of playing with Bxd7 and b3 as in a classic Tarrasch-Schlechter game.  So what does Khalifman think?
« Last Edit: 04/11/09 at 21:20:05 by kylemeister »  
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Matemax
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Re: Old Steinitz - just passive or lost?
Reply #6 - 04/11/09 at 15:58:57
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"No advantage" carries a little provocation within I admit. But please look at the diagram I named "Critical position Nr 1". After exchanging two pieces (cannot be avoided!), is there really enough advantage left for White or will an average black player simply hold the position?
  
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kylemeister
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Re: Old Steinitz - just passive or lost?
Reply #5 - 04/11/09 at 15:26:43
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One must wonder whether this deciding that "White has no advantage" involved delving into the actual long-standing theory of these lines (which does not agree).

Also, the Steinitz can be played via a 3...Nf6 move order to avoid the 0-0-0 stuff.

I don't think that c3 plus d3 should result in an edge for White; it seems that playing for c3 and d4 via 4. 0-0 may well do so.
  
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