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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Merits of 1.f4. (Read 35393 times)
Markovich
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Re: Merits of 1.f4.
Reply #57 - 01/08/10 at 14:32:48
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Well, what more needs to be said, really?  I'm closing this thread.
  

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BirdBrain
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Re: Merits of 1.f4.
Reply #56 - 01/08/10 at 14:28:53
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[quote author=61624E2C0 link=1261171160/54#54 date=1262902329][quote author=1B302B3D1B2B383037590 link=1261171160/51#51 date=1262876453]that is like saying 1. c4 Nf6 2. d4 is not an English Opening.[/quote]
That is exactly what I say and I am not the only one. Again you are losing perspective because of your hidden wish to prove that 1.f4 is at least as good as 1.e4, 1.d4, 1.c4 and 1.Nf3.
The course of Williams-Green tells us exactly zero about the strength of 1.f4. I am pretty sure if Green's sequence was Black's best a certain Mark Morss would play 1.f4 all the time.
Saying that Williams-Green was a Bird Opening only has meaning concerning the move order, nothing more.
[/quote]
Your statement is incorrect.  I have never had a hidden wish to prove that 1. f4 is as good as 1. e4, I cannot see why you would think that.  I simply get aggravated when people only have something negative to say about it, when it has a lot of positives.  But you assume I have a hidden agenda?  Please...  I simply like to talk 1. f4, the ins and outs of it.  I don't want to compare it to 1. e4.  I made a statement that 1. c4 Nf6 2. d4 is an English Opening - actually, it is a Queen Pawn game via transposition of the English Opening.  But White did something in his favor - he eliminated the QGA, and gave Black the option of playing into reversed Sicilian, or many other lines. 
The same would be for 1. f4 e5 2. e4 - a King's Gambit via transposition of Bird's Opening. 
If you think I am trying to prove 1. f4 is the same as 1. e4, etc...please.  I seriously am not.  They are two totally different openings, with different imbalances.  That is like trying to say an apple is an orange - it isn't nor can it be.  What is one thing 1. f4 does that 1. e4 cannot?  It attacks e5 on move 1.  But that is besides the point.  If you want to argue the differences, go ahead.  If you want to argue that White has more options for piece mobility, you are definitely correct.  But 1. f4 gives White other options, such as the ability to push to e3 and support f4.  They are different. 
Hear these words, from me... 1. f4 is not the same thing as 1. e4, 1. d4, 1. c4, 1. Nf3, etc.  It is a different opening.  1. e4 and 1. d4 are not the same either - both have different dynamics.
  
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linksspringer
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Re: Merits of 1.f4.
Reply #55 - 01/07/10 at 23:08:39
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Words of wisdom from James Vigus in "Beware the Polar Bear!":

Quote:
Note that since the Polar Bear is a Leningrad Dutch in reverse, it's especially effective against die-hard 1.e4 players, who often lack experience in structures of this type. There is also the advantage of the extra tempo that White enjoys in the Polar Bear compared to Black in the Leningrad. True, this can be a mixed blessing if we make the psychological mistake of trying to prove an opening advantage and overextend. However, if we remember that by opening 1.f4 we are simply getting to play the game on our own terms, we should be able to find a reasonably constructive use for the 'extra' move.


It's up to individuals to decide whether they find this approach attractive, unwise or even revolting, but the discussion of such preferences tends to result in repetition of arguments with no resolution in sight...  Sad
  
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MNb
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Re: Merits of 1.f4.
Reply #54 - 01/07/10 at 22:12:09
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[quote author=1B302B3D1B2B383037590 link=1261171160/51#51 date=1262876453]that is like saying 1. c4 Nf6 2. d4 is not an English Opening.[/quote]
That is exactly what I say and I am not the only one. Again you are losing perspective because of your hidden wish to prove that 1.f4 is at least as good as 1.e4, 1.d4, 1.c4 and 1.Nf3.
The course of Williams-Green tells us exactly zero about the strength of 1.f4. I am pretty sure if Green's sequence was Black's best a certain Mark Morss would play 1.f4 all the time.
Saying that Williams-Green was a Bird Opening only has meaning concerning the move order, nothing more.
  

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Michael Ayton
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Re: Merits of 1.f4.
Reply #53 - 01/07/10 at 15:17:20
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[quote]Many people discuss that there are some Sicilian lines where White plays an early e4 - is this a Bird?  Yes and  no.  It is a Sicilian Defense, but it transposed from 1. f4.  [/quote]

What you mean is: 'No [not 'Yes and no']. It is a Sicilian Defense, but it transposed ...' In the same way, this Williams game transposed from a Bird's Opening to something else.

There's something of a slippage in what you write between the [i]classification[/i] of an opening, and that opening's [i]worth[/i] (which of course includes worth as a transpositional tool). These are two entirely separate things!
« Last Edit: 01/07/10 at 16:35:04 by Michael Ayton »  
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Re: Merits of 1.f4.
Reply #52 - 01/07/10 at 15:09:16
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JonathanB wrote on 01/07/10 at 14:44:53:
Markovich wrote on 01/07/10 at 13:08:29:
White's side of the Dutch is perfectly viable one tempo down.  So if you're a d4 player, just play as you would against the Dutch ...


Who was it when asked why if he loved the Dutch so much didn't he play 1. f4 with White responded with...

"That extra tempo is going to hurt me."

?

Malaniuk?  Gurevich?  Somebody like that anyway.

J

I believe it was Malaniuk, and I am sorry if I am incorrect. 

Again, there are differences between the move orders, and the 1. f4 player must be aware that he cannot just "autopilot" into typical positions...it is that way with any opening.  Take, for instance, 1. e4 c5 versus 1. c4 e5.  Since White is playing the Sicilian position with an extra tempo, he can either play a useful waiting move that strengthens his position, or he can diverge into another branch.  There are many more 2. g3 players than 2...g6 players, it seems to me.  2. g3 is highly popular in the English, while 2...g6 is not as popular as 2...d6 or 2...e6, or even 2...Nc6, it appears to me. 
To autoplay these positions is crazy.  It is a different position, and ought to be handled differently. 
A key idea behind this is the debatability of whether Black can achieve 2...b6 or not in the Dutch.  After 1. d4 f5, 2. g3 immediately contests the queenside fianchetto...sure, we could see something like 2...b6!? 3. Bg2 Nc6, or ...d5, or ...c6, but it doesn't seem to make that much sense to me.  But in the Bird, the only way Black can immediately fight against the fianchetto is with 1...g6, and then he risks White playing into an early e4.  So there is a tradeoff, and the Bird player must be aware of these subtle nuances - they are the difference between equal and advantage.
  
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Re: Merits of 1.f4.
Reply #51 - 01/07/10 at 15:00:53
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[quote author=27242E28490 link=1261171160/47#47 date=1262798335]I've nothing against the Bird's, but this particular Bird's didn't stay a Bird's for long![/quote]

I don't think it is fair to say this wasn't a Bird's Opening - Bird's Opening has some highly transpositional values.  Often I have read comments about an early e4 not being a Bird's Opening - that is like saying 1. c4 Nf6 2. d4 is not an English Opening.  It is apples and oranges.  I have seen Blatny use this setup (without the early e4) against a KID and do well.  It, too, was still Bird's Opening. 

People argue about the "true" Bird, with f4-e3-b3 pawn setup.  But I would disagree about that being a true Bird.  Bird's Opening consists of anything after 1. f4.  Whether that be 1. f4 g5, 1. f4 e5, 1. f4 d5, etc.  Many people discuss that there are some Sicilian lines where White plays an early e4 - is this a Bird?  Yes and  no.  It is a Sicilian Defense, but it transposed from 1. f4. 
We could possibly argue that the Ruy Lopez, or the Bishop's Opening, are "true" e4 openings - based on the masters who heavily employed them years ago...but that doesn't make any sense. 
The same is with 1. d4 openings - it went through transitions, before chess masters began to see that 2. c4 offered many more possibilities than other options.  But I wouldn't say that 2. c4 was a true Queen Pawn opening more than 2. Nf3...

I believe whatever comes after 1. f4 still qualifies the Bird as a transpositional opening, whether within the realms that Henry Bird employed, or whether another way.
  
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JonathanB
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Re: Merits of 1.f4.
Reply #50 - 01/07/10 at 14:44:53
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Markovich wrote on 01/07/10 at 13:08:29:
White's side of the Dutch is perfectly viable one tempo down.  So if you're a d4 player, just play as you would against the Dutch ...


Who was it when asked why if he loved the Dutch so much didn't he play 1. f4 with White responded with...

"That extra tempo is going to hurt me."

?

Malaniuk?  Gurevich?  Somebody like that anyway.

J
  

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Markovich
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Re: Merits of 1.f4.
Reply #49 - 01/07/10 at 13:08:29
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Paul123 wrote on 01/01/10 at 00:59:52:
1.f4 is better than 1.d4 or 1.e4?  I wasn't advocating that it was.

But....Is it unsound? I don't think so... but from my perspective few openings are.....



Between these two poles lies the proposition that 1.f4 is worse than 1.e4 and 1.d4.  That, not that 1.f4 is unsound, is what I advocate.

You only get so many Whites, you know? 

Also I doubt the utility of 1.f4 as a surprise weapon.  White's side of the Dutch is perfectly viable one tempo down.  So if you're a d4 player, just play as you would against the Dutch and be a little less willing to take risks, since White's game is sound.  But Black still has plenty of play for the win.
  

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Re: Merits of 1.f4.
Reply #48 - 01/07/10 at 11:21:48
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ferdia wrote on 01/06/10 at 17:13:38:
Personally, I find 1 f4 a good choice against stronger players. I've played around 14 serious games in total against GMs/IMs. Of these, 4 have been Birds and I have a score of 50%. Easy to remember because in the rest of those games I have a score of 0%! I guess my better Bird score is psychological somehow. Taylor avers that some strong players don't take the Bird very seriously and so play it weakly, and this factor may have contributed to my better score.


It's probably one part getting them out of book and one part annoying them because they were looking forward to play something they've prepared.

A few years ago, I played 1.f4 frequently in 3min blitz on the net and noticed two trends: 1.f4 e5 2.e4 and now about 20% would resign and 30% would play 2...d5 3.exd5 e4 but not handle it well. Even seeing 1.f4 would make 10-15% resign!

Of course, not because they think white is winning, but rather 1) they don't want to play this "non-serious" opening or 2) they get out before 3 ply so there won't be any rating loss.

So, over the board in a long game there may be a 20% chance that you're opponent will be disgruntled and uneasy after just one move! Provided that you've surprised them.

If you play 1.f4 all the time they'll be prepared both theoretically and mentally...
  
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Michael Ayton
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Re: Merits of 1.f4.
Reply #47 - 01/06/10 at 17:18:55
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I've nothing against the Bird's, but this particular Bird's didn't stay a Bird's for long!
  
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Re: Merits of 1.f4.
Reply #46 - 01/06/10 at 17:13:38
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MNb wrote on 01/01/10 at 15:29:14:
The last serious game with Williams playing 1.f4 I know is from Monarch Assurance 2003 against Luther. Williams lost.

.

In case this escaped anyone's notice, Simon Williams played the Bird in round 9 of Hastings - and won (perhaps he reads the forum?) Admittedly, there was a rating gap - and it did turn into a KID 4P:

(24) Williams,Si1 (2550) - Green,An (2151) [E76]
85th Masters Hastings ENG (9), 05.01.2010



1.f4 g6 2.Nf3 Bg7 3.c4 d6 4.d4 Nf6 5.Nc3 0-0 6.e4 c5 7.d5 e6 8.e5 dxe5 9.fxe5 Ng4 10.Bg5 Qa5 11.Be2 Nxe5 12.Nxe5 Bxe5 13.0-0 f6 14.Bh6 Rf7 15.Ne4 Bd4+ 16.Qxd4 cxd4 17.Nxf6+ Kh8 18.Ne8 Rf5 19.g4 exd5 20.gxf5 Bxf5 21.Bf3 dxc4 22.Bxb7 Qb5 23.Nd6 Qb6 24.Rae1 d3+ 25.Kh1 Nd7 26.Bxa8 Nf6 27.Nxf5 gxf5 28.Rxf5 1-0

Personally, I find 1 f4 a good choice against stronger players. I've played around 14 serious games in total against GMs/IMs. Of these, 4 have been Birds and I have a score of 50%. Easy to remember because in the rest of those games I have a score of 0%! I guess my better Bird score is psychological somehow. Taylor avers that some strong players don't take the Bird very seriously and so play it weakly, and this factor may have contributed to my better score.
  
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Re: Merits of 1.f4.
Reply #45 - 01/04/10 at 08:43:49
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HgMan wrote on 01/02/10 at 02:42:13:
Ahem.

I have had good success with 1.f4 in blitz games.  Why?  Because I was more familiar with the ensuing positions than my opponents.  That advantage tends to dissipate at a slower game time.

1.f4 is likely worth a few points and has surprise value, but it's fairly easy to prepare against and does little for one's overall chess knowledge.

I totally agree with you. I also plaid it for a time. The results were not that bad but no more than that.
Now I am using it from time to time as a surprise weapon and in suc a case I think this is a really good choice.
  

Yusupov once said that “The problem with the Dutch Defence is that later in many positions the best move would be ...f5-f7” but he is surely wrong.
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Re: Merits of 1.f4.
Reply #44 - 01/02/10 at 02:42:13
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Ahem.

I have had good success with 1.f4 in blitz games.  Why?  Because I was more familiar with the ensuing positions than my opponents.  That advantage tends to dissipate at a slower game time.

1.f4 is likely worth a few points and has surprise value, but it's fairly easy to prepare against and does little for one's overall chess knowledge.
  

"Luck favours the prepared mind."  --Louis Pasteur
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Re: Merits of 1.f4.
Reply #43 - 01/02/10 at 00:25:12
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Quote:
Mnb wrote: Very convenient to forget that
1) S.Williams hasn't played the Bird in games with long time control since he became a GM.
2) S.Williams has lost almost half of his games with it.

Look, I won't disencourage anyone who likes to play 1.f4. But we should try to keep things in perspective. There is nothing subjective on the notion that 1.f4 is not as good as at least four other first moves.

The last serious game with Williams playing 1.f4 I know is from Monarch Assurance 2003 against Luther. Williams lost.

1.f4 is better than 1.e4 etc.? I did not write you advocated that. Is it unsound? I did not write it was - in fact nobody did, not even Markovich. You are fighting strawmen. Partly that was what I meant with keeping things in perspective.

This is elementary chess logic which every amateur from 1500 on should know. That is the other part of what I meant with keeping things in perspective.


Wow...!  I didn't recognized I was having a dialog with someone of your stellar character.  As intelligent as you are, maybe you could learn to use a spell check..?

Flame wars on a site dedicated to chess openings...  lol... lol..

   
  
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