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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Thoughts on the Kalashnikov.... (Read 21787 times)
TonyRo
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Re: Thoughts on the Kalashnikov....
Reply #36 - 01/25/10 at 18:57:54
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Markovich wrote on 01/25/10 at 14:07:54:
I just notice your post.  Thanks, Roy.  Interesting stuff.


Agreed, thanks a bunch for the post Roy. I haven't looked at this in detail, but I question it intuitively.

I just wish either there was a clear cut way for Black to equalize or close with 8...Nce7 or 8...Nge7. I still haven't improved on Khalifman, and maybe I never will. I would just like another line to combine with 7...Be7!?, maybe one that was a bit sharper or more unclear.

Btw - I was completely tempted to chess-pun your name there and call you Ruy. Forgive me!  Grin
  
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Re: Thoughts on the Kalashnikov....
Reply #35 - 01/25/10 at 14:07:54
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I just notice your post.  Thanks, Roy.  Interesting stuff.
  

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Re: Thoughts on the Kalashnikov....
Reply #34 - 01/23/10 at 09:33:43
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Markovich wrote on 12/14/09 at 17:03:51:
In my researches I noticed that 6.N1c3 a6 7.Na3 b5 8.Nd5 Nce7 has been played recently by no less than Sveshnikov.


I stumbled upon an interesting continuation where black sacs a queen for two minors in one of my recent corr games. 

At the time I was worried I had walked into some truly devious preparation.  As it happens, the game went in another direction so I never had a chance to analyze the position deeply enough to come to any conclusions.  Since I'm not inclined to play the Kalashnikov, I present an overview of the line for the enjoyment of the Chesspub community.

For easy reading, here's the basic idea:

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 e5 5. Nb5 d6 6. N1c3 a6 7. Na3 b5 8. Nd5
Nce7 9. c4 Nxd5 10. exd5 bxc4 11. Nxc4 Nf6 12. Bd2
Rare sideline 12...Be7 Novelty? 13. Ba5 Qd7
14. Nb6 Bd8!?


The beginning of the line.  Black sacrifices the queen for two minors and positional compensation

15. Nxd7 Bxa5+ 16. Ke2 Bxd7 and we arrive at the following position:

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

Complicating matters for white is the difficult task of finding safe harbor for
the king.  The black bishops begin their reign of terror by threatening Bg4.

17. h3

     (17. Qb3?! Ke7 18. Qa3 Bb6 19. Rc1 (19. Ke1!?) 19...Rhc8 20. Rxc8 Rxc8=)

17...Bb6!

Intending to create a powerful outpost on d4 where the bishop isolates the d5 pawn and threatens both f2 and b2.  Ouch!

18. Kf3 look like silicon bravado to my eyes.

      (18. Rc1 Ne4 19. Rc6!? Bd4 20. Qc2=)

18...Bd4

That's the gist of it.

Regards,
Roy Gates

  

-Roy
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TonyRo
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Re: Thoughts on the Kalashnikov....
Reply #33 - 01/07/10 at 22:09:29
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Ikonnikov "strikes" again in the Open Sicilians update. That guy is a Kalashnikov wizard!  Grin
  
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TonyRo
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Re: Thoughts on the Kalashnikov....
Reply #32 - 01/06/10 at 14:29:57
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Yeah, it looks as though Black can hold his own quite easily in those ...Qxc8 positions. I think probably the best way to challenge White is to march down the main line of the 7...Be7!? 8. Nc4! lines and play 0-0 instead of Khalifman's a3, and just keep the pressure on Black for a while. Sometimes it can be hard to find a constructive plan for Black there.
  
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Markovich
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Re: Thoughts on the Kalashnikov....
Reply #31 - 01/06/10 at 14:23:27
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Somehow I missed that game, and since it was played, albeit in speed chess, by The Great Radjabov, patron saint of the Kalashnikov, the plan of allowing the c8 bishop to be exchanged deserves to be taken seriously.  I was proceeding on the assumption that this piece above all others had to be preserved, the better to fight for d5.  Thanks for that info.

...Bd8 is of course highly thematic, and it's interesting that this is readily available after the exchange on c8.
  

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Re: Thoughts on the Kalashnikov....
Reply #30 - 01/04/10 at 01:13:41
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I looked at this 8. Be3!? line quite early in my Kalashnikov career, when I was trying to put together something of a "book" on this opening. The idea I liked most for Black was the one used in this game:

[Event "Keres Memorial rap"]
[Site "Tallinn"]
[Date "2004.01.03"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Sulskis, Sarunas"]
[Black "Radjabov, Teimour"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B32"]
[WhiteElo "2582"]
[BlackElo "2656"]
[PlyCount "57"]
[EventDate "2004.01.03"]
[EventType "tourn (rapid)"]
[EventRounds "7"]
[EventCountry "EST"]
[EventCategory "15"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2007.11.14"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 e5 5. Nb5 d6 6. N1c3 a6 7. Na3 Be7 8. Nc4 Nf6 9. Be3 b5 10. Nb6 Rb8 11. Nxc8 Qxc8 12. Be2 O-O 13. O-O b4 14. Nd5 Nxe4 15. a3 Bd8 16. Qd3 Nf6 17. Nxb4 h5 18. Nxc6 Qxc6 19. b4 d5 20. Bc5 Re8 21. c4 d4 22. Rfd1 Bc7 23. Rab1 Rbd8 24. Qf5 e4 25. b5 Qb7 26. b6 Bb8 27. Rb3 Re5 28. Qh3 Qc6 29. Bxd4 0-1


I quite like Black's idea here - he allows White to exchange off a knight that's moved 7 times for a bishop that's never moved! In the game White unwisely let Black take the e4-pawn, after which he should be fine, but White also has the simple 12. Bd3. However, the great Kalashnikov and 7...Be7!? expert Vyacheslav Ikonnikov played 12...0-0 13. 0-0 Bd8! and has scored 1.5/2, with a draw against Smeets.
  
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Re: Thoughts on the Kalashnikov....
Reply #29 - 01/02/10 at 01:52:12
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Well, bumparoonie.  This deserves to be read more than that thread about 2.Bc4 does.
  

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Markovich
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Re: Thoughts on the Kalashnikov....
Reply #28 - 12/28/09 at 22:54:08
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Coming back to this, I am prepared to assert that 8.Be3!? is a big challenge to 7...Be7 (after 6.N1c3 a6 7.Na3).  In November's update Richard Palliser called attention to this move, but without further comment. 

Black's most direct idea is 8...b5 9.Nd5 Rb8 10.c4! b4 11.Nc2 Nf6 and now 12.f3! is quite strong.  In Vukovic - Pap, Serbia 2007 Black managed to draw after 12...b3!? 13.axb3 Rxb3 14.N2b4 Nxd5, but I think that 14.Qb1!? and 14.Qc1!? were much more challenging ideas for White.  If Black doesn't play ...b3 soon, then White just develops, plays b3 himself and stiffles Black's counterplay while regrouping behind his pawn chains and powerful d5 knight.  This piece can't be exchanged, because White recaptures with the c-pawn and invades Black's severely weakened queenside.  White scored 90% in five games in my data base where Black played 12...0-0.

Black's other idea is 8...Nf6 9.Nc4 Be6, but after 10.Nd5! Bxd5 11.exd5 Na7 12.a4 White has a strong grip on the position, it seems to me.  This can also come up after 7...Be7 8.Nc4 if Black omits 8...b5.  Historically, a lot of the games with White's kight on c4 and his bishop on e3 come up after 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.Be3 e5 7.Ndb5 a6 8.Na3 and so forth.

So I think if someone wanted to beat Radjabov the next time he plays 7...Be7, he should try 8.Be3.
« Last Edit: 12/29/09 at 01:37:48 by Markovich »  

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Re: Thoughts on the Kalashnikov....
Reply #27 - 12/15/09 at 14:41:59
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TonyRo wrote on 12/15/09 at 01:43:24:
18. Rc1!? is Rybka's first choice, and Khalifman's choice in Anand 8. Also, I feel like after 19. Qa4 White should be somewhat better. Did you find something wrong with the 7...Be7!? line?


No, though if I played the Kalashnikov with any regularity I wouldn't mind having another string for my bow.  One thing I did notice about 7...Be7 is that it offers White the chance to play 8.Be3!?, something not observed in any of my sources and not such an easy move to play against.  My chess engine stupidly thinks that Black can allow White's knight to b6 with the bishop still on c8 and the rook on a8.  It doesn't recognize the importance of preserving the light-square bishop.
  

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Re: Thoughts on the Kalashnikov....
Reply #26 - 12/15/09 at 01:43:24
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18. Rc1!? is Rybka's first choice, and Khalifman's choice in Anand 8. Also, I feel like after 19. Qa4 White should be somewhat better. Did you find something wrong with the 7...Be7!? line?
  
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Re: Thoughts on the Kalashnikov....
Reply #25 - 12/14/09 at 17:03:51
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I've been toying around with the Kalashnikov in informal CC, with varying success but with increasing appreciation for Black's game. 

In my researches I noticed that 6.N1c3 a6 7.Na3 b5 8.Nd5 Nce7 has been played recently by no less than Sveshnikov.  I found two recent games of his that went 9.c4 Nxd5 10.exd5 bxc4 11.Nxc4 Nf6 12.Be3 Rb8 13.Be2 Be7 14.0-0 0-0 15.a4 Bb7 16.Nb6 Nd7 17.a5 f5 18.f3 (all this is given in Experts as the main line after 8...Nce7, and I believe it is indeed the most critical) and now 18...Rf7!?.  One game saw 19.Qd2 f4 20.Bf2 Bh4, demonstrating a key point of 18...Rf7, that it protects the d7 knight.  The other game went 19.b4 and I forget the exact continuation, but it was something like 19...Bg5 20.Bf2 Qe8 followed by ...Bd8, ...Nf6, ...Ra8 (the b6 knight having been expelled), ...Rc7 (of all things) and ...Rcc8 (or perhaps 19...Bg5 20.Bf2 were omitted).  I thought the plan of resisting White's queenside play with both rooks was pretty interesting.  Anyway, Sveshnikov scored 1.5 between the two games, so perhaps his idea 18...Rf7 deserves to be looked at.
  

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Re: Thoughts on the Kalashnikov....
Reply #24 - 09/28/09 at 01:38:48
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[quote author=nmga link=1249609629/15#23 date=1253828609]Thanks for this Markovich. I totally agree with your first paragraph. I felt a bit abashed at my post since when I looked again I felt 14 ...Nd7 was actually probably fine. In thinking the BQ possibly misplaced I'd had in mind positions arising from the older(?) response to 9 Bd3, namely 9 ...Nf6, idea ...0-0, ...Nd7 and only then ...Bg5, when Black might not go ... Qb8 (though I could be wrong about that too!).

I guess it's easy to think the Kalashnikov looks, or ought to be, dicey, but do you have a concrete reason for thinking it so? Any line(s) worrying you in particular? I dared to give a talk on the opening at the club a week yesterday and it stimulated a lot of interest. Last night we 'tested' the opening in some informal 15-min. games and had a lot of fun. In one of them Ken Neat took me apart with 6 c4 Be7 7 g3!? after I reacted wrongly to the novelty(?) 7 ...Be6 8 Nd2!?, but looking at it afterwards I didn't think Ken's idea should be too threatening.


[/quote]

No, I have nothing specific.  I mostly fear 6.N1c3, but 6...a6 7.Na3 Be7 looks pretty good.  I have my worries, but they are not really rational; or perhaps I should say, they are based on intuition.  Maybe the best thing is to take it up and learn more.  It has it's appeal, that's for sure.  One interesting aspect of this is the relationship between the Kalashnikov and 1.Nf3 c5! 2.c4 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 e5!? 5.Nb5 d6!?.  Palliser opines that Black fails to equalize after 6.g3 Be6 7.b3, but I wonder.

If you download from ICCF you will find many recent Kalashnikov games.  I think there must have been a thematic.  From what I can see, Black held his own.
  

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Re: Thoughts on the Kalashnikov....
Reply #23 - 09/24/09 at 21:43:29
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Thanks for this Markovich. I totally agree with your first paragraph. I felt a bit abashed at my post since when I looked again I felt 14 ...Nd7 was actually probably fine. In thinking the BQ possibly misplaced I'd had in mind positions arising from the older(?) response to 9 Bd3, namely 9 ...Nf6, idea ...0-0, ...Nd7 and only then ...Bg5, when Black might not go ... Qb8 (though I could be wrong about that too!).

I guess it's easy to think the Kalashnikov looks, or ought to be, dicey, but do you have a concrete reason for thinking it so? Any line(s) worrying you in particular? I dared to give a talk on the opening at the club a week yesterday and it stimulated a lot of interest. Last night we 'tested' the opening in some informal 15-min. games and had a lot of fun. In one of them Ken Neat took me apart with 6 c4 Be7 7 g3!? after I reacted wrongly to the novelty(?) 7 ...Be6 8 Nd2!?, but looking at it afterwards I didn't think Ken's idea should be too threatening.


  
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Re: Thoughts on the Kalashnikov....
Reply #22 - 09/23/09 at 15:56:31
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[quote author=nmga link=1249609629/15#21 date=1253096594]In the main line with 6 c4/8 ...Be6 -- after 9 Nc2 Bg5 10 Bd3 Bc1 11 Rc1 Nf6 12 0-0 0-0 13 Qd2 Qb8!? (the recommended solution) 14 Nd5!?, what does Black play? In Saunina--Umanskaya 14 ...Bd5 was tried, but 15 cd Ne7 16 Ne3 b5 17 Qa5 Rc8 18 Rc8 must be good for White. Meanwhile 14 ...Qa7 obviously doesn't work. I guess 14 ...Nd7 might be best, but Black mightn't have wanted the Queen on b8 here ...[/quote]

14...Nd7 is best, I opine.  I'm not sure if Black is doing so badly then.  Also Black could have played differently earlier.

But though it appeals to me, I'm not sure that I want to take the time to put the Kalashnikov in my repertoire, which for me means, prepare a set of notes on it.  It's a lot of work for a system that looks a bit dicey to begin with.
  

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