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Poll Question: Among all lines in Spanish the Modern/Deffered Steinitz is:
bars   pie

passive but with less theory    
  14 (19.4%)
solid but not a play for win    
  13 (18.1%)
active (specify why)    
  5 (6.9%)
recommended (specify why)    
  5 (6.9%)
not recommneded (write why)    
  8 (11.1%)
cuts down a load of theory    
  15 (20.8%)
White has an edge (where)    
  12 (16.7%)




Total votes: 72
« Created by: rossia on: 02/16/11 at 12:23:55 »
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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Slay the Spanish! (Read 93334 times)
NeverGiveUp
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Re: Slay the Spanish!
Reply #101 - 05/17/11 at 11:01:56
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SWJediknight wrote on 05/13/11 at 19:52:54:
I don't know if I've missed something but 12...c6 looks better, e.g. 13.c4 (else 13...f6 and 14...fxg5) 13...b4 14.c5 f6 followed by 15...fxg5 looks only mildly advantageous for White, play is complicated, and I would quite fancy Black's chances OTB.


Sorry but my verdict on the Yandemirov gambit is pretty negative now - as per Taylor's book - I should add to say his analyses of this lot are very good!

Since Grischuk's defeat in 2008 the variation has not been played at high level, probably because it has been busted.

I have been looking at the b4/c6 idea as well but I'm afraid it doesn't save the line for black and it has been analysed by Gashimov who recommends (after 12...c6 13.c4 b4 14.c5 f6) 15.Nd2, followed by Nc4, cd6:, Rd1 and white's attack is stronger. I looked at this and he is right: black is just losing here.

So black has to play something else against 5.0-0 and an interesting possibility is 5. ... Nge7!? with the idea 6.d4 ed4: 7.Nd4: b5 8.Nc6: Nc6: 9.Bb3 Na5 and black is basically OK.
White can go for a pawn sac here with 7.c3!? dc3: 8.Nc3: but it's unclear if white has enough compensation after 8. ... Bd7.
After 6.c3 black can go 6. ... Bd7 (Rubinstein) or 6. ... Ng6 7.d4 Be7!? with the idea 8.d5 b5 and avoiding playing Bd7 altogether. This is a pawn sac after 9.dc6: ba4: 10.Qa4: but black has good compensation after 10. ... 0-0 with f5 to come.
  
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SWJediknight
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Re: Slay the Spanish!
Reply #100 - 05/13/11 at 19:52:54
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Upon a close look I don't like 16...Bxg5 17.fxg5 c6 18.Ne2 Ne7 19.Ng3 for Black- it's probably the best Black has in this position, but it's a pretty strong += at least, and Black's attacking chances down the h-file are close to non-existent.  In addition White has some good alternatives on moves 14-16.

However, I'm suspicious of 12...Rb8 allowing 13.Rxa6 in the 12.Qd3 line.  I don't know if I've missed something but 12...c6 looks better, e.g. 13.c4 (else 13...f6 and 14...fxg5) 13...b4 14.c5 f6 followed by 15...fxg5 looks only mildly advantageous for White, play is complicated, and I would quite fancy Black's chances OTB.
  
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Re: Slay the Spanish!
Reply #99 - 05/13/11 at 13:45:19
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SWJediknight wrote on 05/13/11 at 10:09:11:
Shipov suggested that 16...Bxg5 17.fxg5 c6 might have given more chances.


This suggestion does look very sensible and is most probably much better than the game continuation. So maybe black is still (reasonably?) all right after 12.Qd3
  
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Re: Slay the Spanish!
Reply #98 - 05/13/11 at 10:09:11
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I'll have to look at some of these ideas, notably 12.Qd3, over the weekend as I originally found the line quite attractive for Black (if insufficient for full equality) but Gashimov's game against Grischuk looks quite convincing.  According to a comment at Chessgames.com ( http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1492751 ), Shipov suggested that 16...Bxg5 17.fxg5 c6 might have given more chances.  All of this said, even if it does prove unsound, the line might still be viable at club level given that it has been shown to work at GM level against unprepared opposition.

To my knowledge one critical line after 7. O-O is 7...Bd3 8.Re1 Be7 9.Bc2 Bxc2 10.Qxc2 Nf6 11.d4 e4 12.Ng5 d5 13.f3 h6 14.Nh3 O-O 15.Nd2 exf3 16.Nxf3 Rf7 with a roughly equal game, as also played by Yandemirov himself with a win and two draws in his games at Chessgames.com, while the lines given in Harding's coverage might give White a small advantage but also give Black the sort of double-edged play that he/she is looking for.  Thus 5.0-0 does look the most critical, with Black unlikely to find a way to full equality.
  
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Re: Slay the Spanish!
Reply #97 - 05/13/11 at 09:05:59
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Sorry of course in A] and B] 6.Bc6: and 6.c3 should read 5.Bc6: and 5.c3
  
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Re: Slay the Spanish!
Reply #96 - 05/13/11 at 09:04:24
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I now also think that 5.0-0 is critical since:
A]After 6.Bc6: bc6: 7.d4 black has two very decent lines 7. ... ed4: and 7. ... f6 which both might equalise. Taylor may be right that 7. ... ed4: is the easier option. Opening up the position for the bishops makes a lot of sense.
B]After 6.c3 the siesta (6. ... f5) is definitely doable for black if he's happy to draw!, and also the Rubinstein (6. ... Bd7 7.d4 Nge7) is a very tough nut for white to crack indeed.
After 5.0-0 the Yandermirov though interesting is probably too risky (it doesn't get more risky than this!) and the critical line might be 5. ... Bg4 6.h3 h5 7.d4 b5 8.Bb3 Nf4: 9.hg4: Nb3: 10.ab3: hg4: 11.Ng5 Qd7 12.Qd3!?; Grischuk lost against this with black. Taylor mentions this move but is vague about it, what is a bit annoying since it's a critical line.
Instead one should probably go 5. ... Bd7 after which white's best move seems to be 6.d4!. Accepting the pawn sac is now dangerous for black since d7 is not available for the Queen as in 5.d4?! b5 6.Bb3 Nd4: 7.Nd4: ed4:, and white gets good compensation (black is probably worse). So again Taylor is probably right that black should go 6. ... Nf6! after d4 after which white's options are limited and he has to play 7.c3 if he wants to go for advantage. Then Taylor recommends playing the "bishop defence" 7. ... g6 8.Re1(!) b5 9.Bb3 Bg7 when black is very solid and it's very hard for white to achieve anything. Keres played this line himself several times and got good results.
  
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Re: Slay the Spanish!
Reply #95 - 05/11/11 at 14:36:17
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SWJediknight wrote on 05/11/11 at 14:28:24:
I note that Harding doesn't believe in Yandemirov's pet line (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 d6 5.0–0 Bg4 6.h3 h5 7 d4 b5 8 Bb3 Nxd4 9 hxg4 Nxb3).  I may have to take a closer look at that one, as my impression was always that it isn't a "true" piece sacrifice as Black regains the piece with ...f6xg5, as in his main line 10.axb3 hxg4 11.Ng5 Qd7 12.c4 Rb8 13.Rxa6 f6 14.Nc3 fxg5 15.Nxb5 Nf6, and when I looked at it earlier it looked += at worst (and Black seems to be scoring OK at high levels), whereas 9...hxg4 is a true piece sac and probably at least +/- with best play as Harding demonstrates.  I think failing all of this Black can probably drop the bishop back at move 7 or 8, and still maintain some counterchances but White has some advantage in that case.

The Siesta seems to be looking alright for Black at the moment, though maybe += if White plays very accurately in the 7.d4 line.


I once won a corr game fairly easily with 7.0-0.  I notice that Harding thinks Black is fine there.  Though I'm not up on the theory, my impression when I played that game was that White's chances are underrated.
  

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Re: Slay the Spanish!
Reply #94 - 05/11/11 at 14:28:24
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I note that Harding doesn't believe in Yandemirov's pet line (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 d6 5.0–0 Bg4 6.h3 h5 7 d4 b5 8 Bb3 Nxd4 9 hxg4 Nxb3).  I may have to take a closer look at that one, as my impression was always that it isn't a "true" piece sacrifice as Black regains the piece with ...f6xg5, as in his main line 10.axb3 hxg4 11.Ng5 Qd7 12.c4 Rb8 13.Rxa6 f6 14.Nc3 fxg5 15.Nxb5 Nf6, and when I looked at it earlier it looked += at worst (and Black seems to be scoring OK at high levels), whereas 9...hxg4 is a true piece sac and probably at least +/- with best play as Harding demonstrates.  I think failing all of this Black can probably drop the bishop back at move 7 or 8, and still maintain some counterchances but White has some advantage in that case.

The Siesta seems to be looking alright for Black at the moment, though maybe += if White plays very accurately in the 7.d4 line.
  
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Re: Slay the Spanish!
Reply #93 - 05/11/11 at 04:09:25
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Review from Tim Harding at chess cafe:
http://www.chesscafe.com/Tim/kibb.htm
  
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Re: Slay the Spanish!
Reply #92 - 04/07/11 at 09:08:11
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Playslikefish wrote on 04/07/11 at 02:22:53:
I have slowly been working through Marin's book on the Open Game  and Sokolov book on The Ruy Lopez and enjoying it. Kind of decided to play to try out the variation offered by Sokolov with an early "g6".

Noticed some similarity with line discussed in NeverGiveUp post. Wondering if Slay Spanish would be helpful in understanding early g6 line?


Without having read Taylor's book (I am waiting for my copy in the mail) but having seen the excerpt online I think it will be a great supplement to Sokolov's book (that I do have). I play this line myself, having only recently put it into my repertoire.
  
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Re: Slay the Spanish!
Reply #91 - 04/07/11 at 02:22:53
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I have slowly been working through Marin's book on the Open Game  and Sokolov book on The Ruy Lopez and enjoying it. Kind of decided to play to try out the variation offered by Sokolov with an early "g6".

Noticed some similarity with line discussed in NeverGiveUp post. Wondering if Slay Spanish would be helpful in understanding early g6 line?
  
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Re: Slay the Spanish!
Reply #90 - 04/06/11 at 18:18:21
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Jonathan Tait wrote on 04/05/11 at 07:47:16:
Markovich wrote on 04/04/11 at 19:34:05:
It's not him, it's his editors.  I suspect there is a freelance editor involved and that he has just thrown up his hands.


Not at all. TT has an idiosyncratic style but I don't see there's anything wrong with that. He writes books that are meant to be read. That's the point. He's not writing an opening encyclopaedia in which variations are neatly mapped out for easy reference, from which moves can just be memorized. He's writing a book about the opening.


I certainly don't expect every openings book to be a compact, encyclopedic reference.  I do expect that the arguments presented be concise, cogent and correct, and in each respect I find significant fault with Taylor and his editors.  Taylor's style could be called idiosyncratic; it could also be called verbose, undisciplined and evasive.  But it seems that you and I will have to agree to disagree on the merit of Taylor's books. 
« Last Edit: 04/06/11 at 19:28:12 by Markovich »  

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Re: Slay the Spanish!
Reply #89 - 04/05/11 at 13:41:47
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I think the book is quite good. He gives a nice mix of variations to choose from. Basing the choice of variations on Keres is an excellent idea.

I'm intrigued by his chapter 2 "the bishop's defence" where he makes a plea for 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 d6 5.c3 Bd7 6.d4 Nf6 7.0-0 g6!? 8.Re1 b5. He advocates this as a general system than can be used against both 5.c3 and 5.0-0 with the point that after 5.0-0 Bd7 6.d4!? black can (and should) go 6. ... Nf6! after which white has nothing better than transposing to the main line with 7.c3. Black should prefer this over 6. ... b5 7.Bb3 Nd4: 8.Nd4: ed4: 9.Qh5 since he lacks the move Qd7. I have checked this system and these move order intricacies against my other sources and they stand up.

I'm also intrigued by his choice of 5.Bc6:+ bc6: 6.d4 ed4:!? where he may have a point that black is doing well in these variations and that the usual += verdict for these lines (like in Greet's book) may be more =.

I do have some misgivings; I can't agree with his dismissal of 5.Bc6:+ bc6: 6.d4 f6 since the lines he gives to justify this are (heavily) insufficient and inconvincing. He may have a point though that with black having the bishop's pair it makes sense to open the position straight away with ed4:. Also in the Yandemirov chapter he says that Qd3 may be good for white but doesn't really give detailed analysis or a final verdict what leaves me wondering - is this variation any good y/n? And what should black do against Qd3??

So it's not all plain sailing but my overall verdict is quite positive. I would say 8 out of 10.
  
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Re: Slay the Spanish!
Reply #88 - 04/05/11 at 13:25:03
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'To emphasize the necessity of correct move orders by showing why certain move orders are wrong.'

>>>You are right, but i don't see the reason why he spent so many pages on it.

'But are these things unnecessary? Maybe, if you just want a reference work. But TT doesn't write reference works. He writes books.'

>>>Well, personally i think the project should be given more importance than how the author writes. This is after all an opening book, not just a random project where everyman has said: 'Write whatever u want and hang in 288 pages' (at least i dont think they did). Now this is not to say that he can;t incorporate his own style, because of course he can. I just think that because this is an opening book then most of the discussion should be on theoretical lines rather than 2 pages on why the elephant gambit is bad. To be clear i think that since this is an opening book then it SHOULD read more like a reference work as that is the standard of today. I also think that including puzzles for the reader makes it a step further than just being a reference work, however this depends on your intended audience. If you read the book like a novel then i see your points of including the extra material that he has included. However i don't think many people are reading this book as a novel, middlegame books are more like novels, not opening ones. I also disagree with the lack of structure as this detracts from the reference quality of the book.

But i agree with most of your points, but i still remain firm in my position that much of the material could be substituted for something better (like puzzles instead of the world champions section) or just outright deleted. After all, this is first and foremost a book on the opening, not reinforcing the point of following correct move orders for several pages.
  
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Re: Slay the Spanish!
Reply #87 - 04/05/11 at 08:02:12
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Arcticmonkey wrote on 04/04/11 at 18:13:07:
So all in all, i think the book is a solid 8.5/10. The analysis is very good as always with Taylor but i cannot get over the strange and sometimes downright confusing format that he presents his material in. There's little structure (he doesn't really miss much (i've only seen 2 small things since ive been studying it for about two week), it's just all muddled up between the games. The e-book format is also released so that would make it easier to just delete things that are unecessary (which is quite a lot of deleting).


But are these things unnecessary? Maybe, if you just want a reference work. But TT doesn't write reference works. He writes books.

Looking at the examples you give:

Arcticmonkey wrote on 04/04/11 at 18:13:07:
There is one section in the Siesta line, where he gives about 2 pages of 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d5. He gives us a long story about Tal, then goes on to say that the gambit is bad (he also calls it something weird as well, i thought it was just the Elephant gambit). What is the point of having this? i dont know.


To demonstrate that avoiding the book moves is sometimes stupid.

Arcticmonkey wrote on 04/04/11 at 18:13:07:
There are also instances where its just damn confusing. So, in the Actual first chapter on the theory of the ...Nge7 solid line, the first two games are with the wrong move order. Now, Taylor goes on to point out that this is deliberately the wrong move and should not be adopted which is fine, but it has me wondering why approximately 4 pages were spent on it. A (at least in my view) better approach would have been to simply tell us the wrong move order, in a game (or two) which has the right move order.


To emphasize the necessity of correct move orders by showing why certain move orders are wrong.

I'd guess these elements come from his work with his students. Sometimes things have to be said repeatedly, and with examples and explanations so that they stick.

Arcticmonkey wrote on 04/04/11 at 18:13:07:
Here's my biggest problem. For some reason, he forgets that this is an opening book quite a lot of the time. He gives entire games annotated; yes i even mean the endings fully annotated. I don't particularly see the point of doing this. The chance that you'll follow a game that long (if you can even remember that far) and that someone will improve on move 53 is extremely low, its probably never even happened ever. It's obvious that he's very passionate about these particular games that he annotates but perhaps in a seperate book written on the endgame. This goes into another problem of giving entire game scores. I'm not sure if he realises that everyone has chessbase these days, and that they can look up the rest of the game in the database.


Because if you are actually reading the book then this stuff is interesting. And mostly everything is there for a reason. For instance, in the Exchange chapters there are numerous full games in the notes. These are may well be unnecessary theoretically, but he wants to emphasize that these positions are boring and depressing for Black. And he wants to hammer that point home.

Arcticmonkey wrote on 04/04/11 at 18:13:07:
The entire first section (which is about 40 pages long) is given on how world champions played this opening. Almost all of them have no theoretical significance, and a lot of them start off with a different move order so different positions are reached to the lines that he recommends. Again i don't see the point of this entire chapter; perhaps some useful themes can be grasped from a deep study of these games but like i said the positions are unique due to the different move orders. My suggestion would be (instead of this entire chapter), have puzzles both tactical and positional which reinforce the themes. I think this will work a lot better than asking 1600-2300 players go through about 10 games which they will probably just breeze through, not understanding some things along the way (thats what i did).


I think this is partly propaganda: See what a good opening this is, how well Black did in all these games, how even very strong players have played feebly and struggled as White. From this the reader starts to get a feel for the opening and is encouraged at the same time.

And it's history as well. Personally I like openings being put in historical context: where up-to-date theory, analysis and games are juxtaposed with those from earlier days and centuries. And this is very appropriate for Open Games since a lot of the old stuff is still relevant.

So to go back to your original comment:

Arcticmonkey wrote on 04/04/11 at 18:13:07:
BUT PLEASE IM TIMOTHY TAYLOR IF YOU HAPPEN TO BE READING THIS! CUT DOWN ON THE UNECESSARY MATERIAL!


Perhaps he will, but I wouldn't hold your breath Wink
  

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