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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Merits of 1.f4. (Read 35394 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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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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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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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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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
  

www.streathambrixtonchess.blogspot.com  "I don't call you f**k face" - GM Nigel Short.
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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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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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Re: Merits of 1.f4.
Reply #42 - 01/01/10 at 15:29:14
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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.

GM Mednis recognizes three principles of correct opening play:

1) Prepare castling.
2) Activate pieces.
3) Control the centre by
a) pawn occupation
b) (indirect) influence by pawns or pieces.

1.e4, 1.d4, 1.Nf3 and 1.c4 fullfill at least two of these principles and 1.f4 only one (3a). That's why 1.e4, 1.d4, 1.Nf3 and 1.c4 are better moves. It does not follow that 1.f4 is unsound. Because of the right to move first White can even permit something like 1.a3 without being worse and 1.f4 is certainly better than that one.
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.
  

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Re: Merits of 1.f4.
Reply #41 - 01/01/10 at 00:59:52
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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.

The last real game  S. Williams played the Bird (as far as I know) was in the British championship of 2002 he was rated 2421 playing an opponent more than a hundred points higher than himself. P Harikrisma rated 2568. The result? a draw!  A good outing in my book!

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.....

For myself.....What 1.e4 and 1.d4 have over 1.f4 is options, pure and simple.  If I know what my opponent is going to play I can prepare for it.    1e4 and 1.d4 are much more broader so they are harder to prepare for. Yet, if  I know my opponent is going to play a certain opening  (e.g.  the exchange var of the Spanish )  And I play the Spanish.... as black I don't find preparing for that 1.e4 opening any more or less difficult than the preparing for the 1.f4

Its a safe bet one could add 1.f4 to their repertoire and pull it out and score with it on occasion.  And I might add... the weekend club player can specialize in it and do fine. 

My attraction to these opening stems from the belief   that a "legit novelty"  (by legit I mean a move that presents the opponent serious challenges) in a equal position  amounts to an advantage. Especially over the board! (wither its a real advantage or not ) I believe Kasparov pulling out old openings and dusting them off is a great example of this.  I also play the Reti and over the years have developed some home grown "legit novelties."  I work hard to find them in lines where Black is supposed to be ok. OVB  The Reti for me has been interesting and fun. (IMO that's what chess is supposed to be)  Again to reiterate "its the trying to find these novelties"   that I like best.  With the Bird  I'm sure I can have the same fun as I do with the Reti   Heck... I play the Nimzo-Larsen...so why not?

Its all in how you look at it  what's fun...



   








  
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Re: Merits of 1.f4.
Reply #40 - 12/31/09 at 23:47:41
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Paul123 wrote on 12/28/09 at 22:05:31:
What you have described is playing symmetrical and can be done in any 1e4 or 1.d4  or 1.c4 opening...... Examples....  The Petroff , Queens Gambits  "The Symmetrical English. etc etc.... 

IMO...Hardly avoiding theory....

Not really symmetrical at all, the London is one of the triangle systems, but you stick the bishop out first. In reverse against the bird, I play (order isn't too important with this type of approach):

1. f4 ,d5, 2. ... , bf5 3. ..., Nf6, 4 ..., e6, 5 ..., c6, 6 ... , h6 (gives bishop somewhere to hide - may play it earlier), 7..., bd6, etc.

I have a memory of the basic plans of the London from when I used to play it as white (e.g. when to move the knight to e4 if I can), so for me its a good option. I take my time before deciding on castling, if I see a kingside attack coming, I may not go that way. For somebody who used to play the Colle or similar, they could use a reverse of that. I think Markovich's c5, g6 approach is good as well. 

Which is sort of the point to me. Black doesn't need to prepare that much to play against f4, provided they know a simple, easy, and probably not that ambitious, way to develop. If you want to refute f4, fine - probably need to learn some theory then. But, you can get a very good game, without needing to do that. I wish it was so easy against other white openings (i.e. c4, d4, e4 or Nf3).
  
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Re: Merits of 1.f4.
Reply #39 - 12/31/09 at 21:12:12
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Paul123 wrote on 12/31/09 at 01:21:41:
S Williams  plays both the Classical Dutch and the Bird!... last time I checked he's   now a GM with a rating 2550) 


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 move order 1.f4 d5 2.b3 (flexibility gone) is already mentioned in a booklet by LM Pickett called A modern approach to the Bird from 1974. Ultrasolid  then is 2...Nf6 3.Bb2 c6 4.Nf3 Bg4 eg 5.e3 e6 6.Be2 Bd6 as already pointed out by the same Pickett.

I also think that the extra tempo makes a difference when playing the IZ as White. He/she will find it easier to equalize. OK, that is a bit of an exaggeration. Again I stress that playing something solid as Black is hard to meet for the ambitious player: 1.f4 d5 2.Nf3 g6 3.e3 Bg7 4.Be3 Nf6 5.0-0 0-0 6.d3 b6 is such a line; 6...c6 another. Indeed, White should not have any problem proving equality. And, as Markovich always says, it is still a game.

Imo the most ambitious try for White is the Leningrad Bird/Polar Bear. When a good friend of mine (over 2100) suffered from problems with his usual 1.e4 I recommended him to give it a try. Without serious preparation he scored 4½/6. He just relied on his experience as a seasoned KID-player (as Black). In the meantime he could repair his 1.e4 repertoire so he gave it up. You see, there is one problem when specializing on something like the Bird: your opponents will try to outprepare you. My friend obviously did not want to run that risk after 6 games.
  

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Re: Merits of 1.f4.
Reply #38 - 12/31/09 at 14:38:58
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Thank you very much Stefan!
  
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Re: Merits of 1.f4.
Reply #37 - 12/31/09 at 13:47:58
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www.bookfinder.com / search for Author: is R.E. Robinson / Title: 1. P-KB4 (A Guide To Bird's Opening)

http://www.bookfinder.com/search/?ac=sl&st=sl&qi=i0QV6dgnGvZdFtFs9WF1AiS0MH0_883...

  
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Re: Merits of 1.f4.
Reply #36 - 12/31/09 at 13:29:15
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Stefan Buecker wrote on 12/30/09 at 22:08:31:
Unfortunately Henry Bird's own writings were not inspiring. Maybe Robinson's book on Bird's Opening would be to your taste. Descriptive notation, an old book from the 1950ies. But a labour of love. It starts with a photo of Henry Bird. Of course there are good recent works on 1.f4, but I like the "fighting spirit" of Bird's games in Robinson's attractive little work.


I found the book online, but I couldn't find a place to purchase it.  Do you have a link to where I can get a copy of it?  I may have to contact some book dealers and see if they can find it...
  
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Re: Merits of 1.f4.
Reply #35 - 12/31/09 at 13:28:19
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As far as the "lock down", well, that fits my style...so that is one reason why I like the Dutch...it really, from the word go, sets the mood of the game.  I have a good friend who against 1. d4 d5 always plays an early c5 - and he loves it.  Against the Dutch, I am not in the slightest worried about that - my extra tempoes on the kingside matter enough that he normally has to shift gears from the queenside to pay attention to his king.
  
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Re: Merits of 1.f4.
Reply #34 - 12/31/09 at 13:08:44
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Stefan, I researched you and found you are a 1. f4 player!  I was suprised...on www.chessbase.com, that is the main opening they have listed for you with the White pieces.  I took a look at your first game.  It reminded me a lot of the way I like to play - against Suetin(?) in 1990.  You led an early kingside pawnstorm that cramped him from "escaping", and then you cracked his queenside pawn structure with a well-timed c3! - I really liked the aggressive way you handled the positions.  And the early 2. b3 against 1...d5.  I have tried it from time to time, and I take it you must be a player of the double fianchetto as well, seeing you withheld pushing the e- or g-pawn for a few moves?  I like the flexibility of those positions. 
I will definitely look up that book.  I used to own two books on 1. f4, Taylor's and Soltis', but I liked Soltis better since it explained the key ideas of what 1. f4 is about.  I also owned 1. f4 / 2. b3 by Soltis (can't remember the name).  Thanks for your encouraging comments.
  
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Re: Merits of 1.f4.
Reply #33 - 12/31/09 at 01:21:41
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Quote:
Mnb wote
Because you are not the only one who believes in transpositions and because just a solid continuation is not enough in corr chess.

http://www.chesspub.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1209432759

Btw I have played the Iljin-Zjenevsky as Black for almost 15 years now. So I think I have some right to say that this setup with reversed colours (ie e3, Be2) is not potent enough to play for an advantage.
For more information see Keith Hayward's site (stored in the archieves), someone who has not only much more experience than me (and Taylor) but is also a far better chess player. Note that Hayward beat Taylor with 1.f4 in 1990.

http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.geocities.com/drawyah/
http://www.chessville.com/UCO/TRNT/TheRoadNotTaken.htm
http://www.chessville.com/UCO/FromNeoFromtoKingsGambit.htm


I too play the Classical  and the Dutch Stonewall.    I

As White (in reference to the 1.f4 2.Nf3 and 3. e3 set up...I.e reversed Classical Dutch)   I think the extra tempo can make a difference.     As White, one is no longer racing against the center being put in "Lock Down"...(which with me always leads to  bad position's when I play the Classical Dutch)

Keith Hayward played the Bird a long long time. And Taylor doesn't seem to be quitting. (as far as I know)  S Williams  plays both the Classical Dutch and the Bird!... last time I checked he's   now a GM with a rating 2550)  Then there's Danielsen  and  Larsen played at a level none of us will see.  Hell...even GM Robert Huebner has played it and done pretty well... again another very very strong GM for his day.

So much of opening theory is subjective.... especially concerning opening's of this nature.   I say play it and have fun with it. 
« Last Edit: 12/31/09 at 10:09:59 by Paul123 »  
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Re: Merits of 1.f4.
Reply #32 - 12/30/09 at 22:08:31
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Unfortunately Henry Bird's own writings were not inspiring. Maybe Robinson's book on Bird's Opening would be to your taste. Descriptive notation, an old book from the 1950ies. But a labour of love. It starts with a photo of Henry Bird. Of course there are good recent works on 1.f4, but I like the "fighting spirit" of Bird's games in Robinson's attractive little work.
  
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Re: Merits of 1.f4.
Reply #31 - 12/30/09 at 21:39:20
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Stefan Buecker wrote on 12/30/09 at 21:17:30:
BirdBrain, it is only natural that you prefer Henry Bird's 3...Nd4 over other moves.

HA!  That is one of the best posts I have read...funny, yet true!  I guess me and Henry have a couple things in common, except, well...he would have slaughtered me at chess.  But, besides that...  Cheesy
  
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Re: Merits of 1.f4.
Reply #30 - 12/30/09 at 21:17:30
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BirdBrain, it is only natural that you prefer Henry Bird's 3...Nd4 over other moves.
  
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Re: Merits of 1.f4.
Reply #29 - 12/30/09 at 20:46:38
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And I think you are right...the setup is not enough for an initial advantage.  And if I was going to be playing at more serious levels, I would most likely want to study something else.  But the downside is, the closer to a mainline I get into, the better chance my opponent has of knowing a tricky line against it that I have not studied - in turn, I spend more time trying to find ways to play my "new" opening.  Honestly, with 1. f4, I most of the time achieve my best opening results.  Why?  I have a much better grasp of the themes of that opening than any other opening on the board.  I have worked with it longer.  For instance, I don't mind playing the Black side of the Ruy, but I don't play ...a6.  I think it still gives White too many options.  I would rather play 3. Nd4!?, a more forcing move.  I think Black begins to put his two cents in rather early with that move.  Don't get me wrong, ...a6 is great.  I am fully convinced of it.  But the workload becomes greater fooling with that opening, and I like the flow of 3...Nd4!? - I like the early ...h5 lines, I think they are very interesting - perhaps not as solid as some other Lopez lines, but they are interesting and fit my style.  So it is with 1. f4.  I cannot claim an advantage, but I am playing into an opening that I understand.
  
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Re: Merits of 1.f4.
Reply #28 - 12/30/09 at 02:23:24
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BirdBrain wrote on 12/29/09 at 14:14:05:
Another thing about 1. f4 is the ability to transpose.  I am a huge believer in transpositions.
I read the comment about David Flude giving up after seeing 1. f4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6...why?  Was it because the positions were too sterile for his liking?  White still has plenty of chances.  He can either play 3. e4 and go into Sicilian waters, which is not at all unfavorable, or he can play 3. d3, 3. e3, 3. g3, 3. b3...there are quite a few solid options...and each has a different pathway.


Because you are not the only one who believes in transpositions and because just a solid continuation is not enough in corr chess.

http://www.chesspub.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1209432759

Btw I have played the Iljin-Zjenevsky as Black for almost 15 years now. So I think I have some right to say that this setup with reversed colours (ie e3, Be2) is not potent enough to play for an advantage.
For more information see Keith Hayward's site (stored in the archieves), someone who has not only much more experience than me (and Taylor) but is also a far better chess player. Note that Hayward beat Taylor with 1.f4 in 1990.

http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.geocities.com/drawyah/
http://www.chessville.com/UCO/TRNT/TheRoadNotTaken.htm
http://www.chessville.com/UCO/FromNeoFromtoKingsGambit.htm
  

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Re: Merits of 1.f4.
Reply #27 - 12/29/09 at 20:25:36
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Of course, I also read that you play the Dutch from time to time, so you have a good understanding of both sides then.  Do you play to prepare the early d5-d4 push then?  I remember when I first got Taylor's book and he began to advocate 8. Nc3 - back then, I didn't care much for it, but now I think it is a pretty good choice for White, even seeing Black's d-pawn advance...didn't know if you played for that, or if you preferred preparing an early b5, etc...
  
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Re: Merits of 1.f4.
Reply #26 - 12/29/09 at 19:52:11
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BirdBrain wrote on 12/29/09 at 19:22:08:
Marko, what development system do you prefer to lean towards against 1. f4?  Do you play an early ...g6, or opt for more of something like ...c5, ...Nf6 and ...a6?


For whatever it's worth, I play pretty much like White standardly plays against the Dutch, with ...g6, ...c5, ...Nf6 and so forth.  I don't bother to book up here; I just play chess.
  

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Re: Merits of 1.f4.
Reply #25 - 12/29/09 at 19:22:08
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Marko, what development system do you prefer to lean towards against 1. f4?  Do you play an early ...g6, or opt for more of something like ...c5, ...Nf6 and ...a6?
  
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Re: Merits of 1.f4.
Reply #24 - 12/29/09 at 18:42:36
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When I face 1.f4 I always play 1...d5, since I think that's the best way to highlight the weakness of White's e-pawn.
  

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Re: Merits of 1.f4.
Reply #23 - 12/29/09 at 14:14:05
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Another thing about 1. f4 is the ability to transpose.  I am a huge believer in transpositions.  I don't think it is smart to auto-pilot all moves.  Now, I know this goes a bit against what I said in an earlier post about autopiloting f4-Nf3-e3-Be2 and 0-0.  Of course, if a White player wants a quick way to begin development and have a solid position, this is a good choice.  But I think there are more options.  I was reading yesterday a comment from a 1. f4 player concerning a game, and he spoke that the Bird player did not play it like Bird's Opening.  To me, that is ridiculous.  I think just because someone meets 1. e4 c5 with 2. Nc3 doesn't mean that they aren't still in Sicilian waters - they are simply going into (possible) different waters than someone who aims for 2. Nf3. 
I think the same is for White in 1. f4.  Some systems allow White to play for an early e4, while others, White holds the pawn back, either at e2 or at e3, until an opportune time comes.  And it is important to understand that. 
I read the comment about David Flude giving up after seeing 1. f4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6...why?  Was it because the positions were too sterile for his liking?  White still has plenty of chances.  He can either play 3. e4 and go into Sicilian waters, which is not at all unfavorable, or he can play 3. d3, 3. e3, 3. g3, 3. b3...there are quite a few solid options...and each has a different pathway.
  
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Re: Merits of 1.f4.
Reply #22 - 12/29/09 at 13:49:33
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MNb wrote on 12/29/09 at 03:32:17:
Of course 1.f4 avoids a lot of theory. With the combination of the King's Gambit (there are several other options), the Closed Sicilian/Big Clamp and the Leningrad Bird (also called Polar Bear) White has nearly a complete repertoire. Black has a few other options, like playing KID-style and the Symmetrical Bird, but it is obvious that 1.f4 demands much less theoretical knowledge than 1.e4 and 1.d4.

BirdBrain wrote on 12/28/09 at 20:42:30:
Personally, I think the London system is a nice development against 1. f4 (I think it is called the New York system?) - but not sufficient to stop White from gaining an advantage.

Personally I am very happy to meet the London setup against my Dutch. White scores badly against the Leningrad, the Iljin-Zjenevsky and against the Queen's Fianchetto. So with reversed colours I am inclined to claim some advantage for White if Black plays ...Bf5 against 1.f4. The promising strategies are e2-e4/e2-e3-e4 and occupying e5 with a knight followed by a pawn storm. In all cases Black's Queen's Bishop is a nice target. If I were sure to meet ...Bf5 I would play 1.f4 all the time.
Still the thought is OK. One excellent strategy against the Bird is to play something that does not promise any advantage after 1.d4 f5, but is very solid. An example is 1.f4 d5 2.Nf3 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 Nf6 5.0-0 0-0 6.d3 Nc6. Another excellent strategy is offering a transposition to the Closed Sicilian. 1.f4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 made David Flude giving up the Bird in corr. chess.


He may take it up again if he reads Kindermann's Leningrad text for the anti-English line given therein is both forthright and reliable.
  
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Re: Merits of 1.f4.
Reply #21 - 12/29/09 at 03:32:17
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Of course 1.f4 avoids a lot of theory. With the combination of the King's Gambit (there are several other options), the Closed Sicilian/Big Clamp and the Leningrad Bird (also called Polar Bear) White has nearly a complete repertoire. Black has a few other options, like playing KID-style and the Symmetrical Bird, but it is obvious that 1.f4 demands much less theoretical knowledge than 1.e4 and 1.d4.

BirdBrain wrote on 12/28/09 at 20:42:30:
Personally, I think the London system is a nice development against 1. f4 (I think it is called the New York system?) - but not sufficient to stop White from gaining an advantage.

Personally I am very happy to meet the London setup against my Dutch. White scores badly against the Leningrad, the Iljin-Zjenevsky and against the Queen's Fianchetto. So with reversed colours I am inclined to claim some advantage for White if Black plays ...Bf5 against 1.f4. The promising strategies are e2-e4/e2-e3-e4 and occupying e5 with a knight followed by a pawn storm. In all cases Black's Queen's Bishop is a nice target. If I were sure to meet ...Bf5 I would play 1.f4 all the time.
Still the thought is OK. One excellent strategy against the Bird is to play something that does not promise any advantage after 1.d4 f5, but is very solid. An example is 1.f4 d5 2.Nf3 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 Nf6 5.0-0 0-0 6.d3 Nc6. Another excellent strategy is offering a transposition to the Closed Sicilian. 1.f4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 made David Flude giving up the Bird in corr. chess.
  

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Re: Merits of 1.f4.
Reply #20 - 12/28/09 at 22:05:31
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moahunter wrote on 12/28/09 at 20:20:22:
I used to play the London system with white, I long since droped it (bordem, and no real advantage once people know how to reply). I use the system now though in reverse against f4 - it seems to equalize almost instantly. I don't try to refute what blacks doing, I just stake a solid claim in the centre (which black has given me), develop safely, and wait.

I think that's the problem with moves like f4, or systems like the London, they do avoid theory, but if black is confident, plays normal moves, and doesn't try to refute the system, black gets a psychological advantage. I feel like I am playing a slow positional game with white when I play black against f4. That's good enough for me, and has been good enough for quite a few victories.


It kind of looks like you are  implying that by playing 1.f4 one is avoiding theory.  I think that is a  huge stretch. 

What you have described is playing symmetrical and can be done in any 1e4 or 1.d4  or 1.c4 opening...... Examples....  The Petroff , Queens Gambits  "The Symmetrical English. etc etc.... 

IMO...Hardly avoiding theory....

But you have hit on something...IMO some of the most interesting lines in the Bird  are the symmetrical lines.    There is very little solid theory existing on the symmetrical Bird, most of it is bad. 

  
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Re: Merits of 1.f4.
Reply #19 - 12/28/09 at 20:42:30
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moahunter wrote on 12/28/09 at 20:20:22:
I used to play the London system with white, I long since droped it (bordem, and no real advantage once people know how to reply). I use the system now though in reverse against f4 - it seems to equalize almost instantly. I don't try to refute what blacks doing, I just stake a solid claim in the centre (which black has given me), develop safely, and wait.

I think that's the problem with moves like f4, or systems like the London, they do avoid theory, but if black is confident, plays normal moves, and doesn't try to refute the system, black gets a psychological advantage. I feel like I am playing a slow positional game with white when I play black against f4. That's good enough for me, and has been good enough for quite a few victories.

Personally, I think the London system is a nice development against 1. f4 (I think it is called the New York system?) - but not sufficient to stop White from gaining an advantage. 
White ought to continue in queenside fianchetto fashion, and prepare a kingside pawnstorm and shove his h-pawn down Black's throat.  Pretty primitive, it may sound, but there truly is a positional nature to these pawnstorms - too many times I have seen my pawnstorms not always end up in checkmates, but in a bind that Black must respond to - this, in the meantime, gives me time to prepare forces on other sides of the board, if necessary.
  
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Re: Merits of 1.f4.
Reply #18 - 12/28/09 at 20:38:49
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Well, one big advantage (debatable, yes!) of systems like 1. f4 is that since the pawns are still held back a bit, White has more flexibility in his structure.  I know, I know...not to everyone's liking, and there will be plenty of arguments that it is better to play another move, such as d4 or e4, and the various arguments that they hold.  But 1. f4 has a different philosophy, and that being said, it does have some nice plusses.  I right now consider the basic queenside fianchetto setup with f4-e3-b3.  White has a nice option in d3 and h3-g4 often (many Black players try to discourage White's opening strategy with misplaced knight sorties (early Nf6-g4 or e4), and the knight often gets misplaced on h6.  Often, this is exactly WHAT I need to give me even more tempos on my pawn roller.  Of course, if they don't oblige - then White begins to prepare e4 (a theme in many 1. d4 openings) and with both e4 and f4, he has potential for a nice kingside pawnspike in Black's side - talk about a thorn in the foot!  Now one cool thing is that not always do those pawnrollers mean business on the kingside - there have actually been times where the kingside was stymied temporarily, and battle actually shifted to the queenside.  Rarely, for me, has the battle been in the center of the board - the pawn structures push it otherwise.
And I remember reading a very interesting point of Larsen's strategy in many 1. f4 encounters (granted - he is much better than I, but I understand that I can begin to learn from his idea) - he would begin to trade off c-pawn for d-pawn, b-pawn for c-pawn, a-pawn for b-pawn, and by the end, he had a 5-4 kingside pawn majority (apparently a winning endgame for White) while Black suffered from a weak isolated a-pawn.
Another advantage of 1. f4 is that White has flexible ways to "open the board" - of course, opening the f-file gives the king rook an avenue towards the king.  But instead of the "typical" e4 pawnpush, White can also prepare g2-g4, which can be positional as well as aggressive, depending on the flow of the game.
Another advantage is the lack of theory to have to absorb - White can almost play the same initial moves against many Black tries - not in all cases, but often the initial moves are safe enough to play "autopilot" - and if White wishes, he can choose to deviate.
Another advantage is that 1. f4 is often played in Dutch format - which means that not only is White studying a reliable offense, but he is also getting a feel of one of Black's most aggressive choices against 1. d4.
There are variable arguments against playing 1. f4, and I have tried for years to justify it.  Sure, maybe according to GM's, 1. d4 and 1. e4 maximize White's chances of opening advantage - but they also increase his workload dramatically.  I believe in practicality and creativity, and 1. f4 offers a full spectrum of both.  I am fully in favor of it as a playable opening.  I will not try to claim it is as good as 1. d4 - personally, I don't care.  I like 1. d4, but I like 1. f4 better.
  
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Re: Merits of 1.f4.
Reply #17 - 12/28/09 at 20:20:22
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I used to play the London system with white, I long since droped it (bordem, and no real advantage once people know how to reply). I use the system now though in reverse against f4 - it seems to equalize almost instantly. I don't try to refute what blacks doing, I just stake a solid claim in the centre (which black has given me), develop safely, and wait.

I think that's the problem with moves like f4, or systems like the London, they do avoid theory, but if black is confident, plays normal moves, and doesn't try to refute the system, black gets a psychological advantage. I feel like I am playing a slow positional game with white when I play black against f4. That's good enough for me, and has been good enough for quite a few victories.
  
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Re: Merits of 1.f4.
Reply #16 - 12/28/09 at 19:57:18
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I don't question the soundness of 1.f4, just its wisdom.  Unless you're Larsen, of course.
  

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Re: Merits of 1.f4.
Reply #15 - 12/27/09 at 15:19:54
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Quote:
  Markovich.

Personally I think that 1.f4 is a bad move.  I understand that White won't lose thereby, but there's no way my hand would reach for that pawn.  Oddly enough I would consider the Dutch for practical reasons.  But the idea of spending White's precious tempo on 1.f4 profoundly revolts me.



Yours is the general consensus. 

Yet... I've had some good results with it against some fare competition. Yet I agree its unorthodox. However, I don't think its unsound as some believe. I think 1.f4 is fine as long as you know what your doing with it. White can fight for an advantage in most lines if not all.  One has to attack with 1.f4 (IMO its not at all  positional)   I mean what's pushing the pawn to f4 supposed to do anyway?  A) attack e5 and B) push forward to f5 attacking Black's king side (which often he's castle there!)

Many 1.e4 openings have a fair amount of strategy revolving around  pushing a pawn to f4, The Sicilian, The Bishop's Opening, The King's Gambit  and The  Vienna come to mind. 

B Larsen is a great argument for the soundness of 1.f4  He played it often when he was on top next to Fisher.   



To each there own I guess 
  
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Re: Merits of 1.f4.
Reply #14 - 12/23/09 at 21:51:50
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I did play it for awhile when I felt as though my rating wasn't reflective of my chess ability (how many times do we make that claim? Roll Eyes ).  I played a variety of less orthodox openings like the Bird, the English Defense, etc., in order to get my opponents out of book so that we could just play chess.  I stopped playing for quite awhile shortly thereafter, so I can't comment on the success of my plan, theory, or claim, but I did win a number of games against stronger opposition in the chaos moves like 1.f4 provoked on the board.  I have little time to really study openings anymore.  (Careful analysis of particular lines: yes.  Bolstering an entire repertoire: not so much).  In these kinds of conditions, I would definitely consider giving 1.f4 another try if I returned to the board.  It's a fine way to discourage a booked-up opponent.  Going back to an earlier comment in the thread, I suspect this was Larsen's motivation for playing the Bird.
  

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Re: Merits of 1.f4.
Reply #13 - 12/23/09 at 15:22:20
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This Topic was moved here from Flank Openings [move by] Markovich.

Personally I think that 1.f4 is a bad move.  I understand that White won't lose thereby, but there's no way my hand would reach for that pawn.  Oddly enough I would consider the Dutch for practical reasons.  But the idea of spending White's precious tempo on 1.f4 profoundly revolts me.

  

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Re: Merits of 1.f4.
Reply #12 - 12/23/09 at 14:50:58
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HgMan wrote on 12/23/09 at 13:01:33:
This is all getting a little silly.  1.f4 is not the best move on the board.  It is played as a viable option for Black in the Dutch in order to play for e7-e5, which White has prevented with his/her first move.  1.f4 makes less sense: why not play 1.e4 and have done with it?  On these grounds, it's not terribly logical.

Having said that, 1.f4 has some bite against an unprepared opponent, and has the added benefit that few average players have a planned response, which probably offers some practical value to the first player in adopting this.  If your opponent is susceptible to blunt kingside attacks, then it can be a formidable weapon.  The relative absence of established theory also makes this fun for the creative player.

Does it win outright?  No.  Does it lose outright?  No.  Does it yield White much of an advantage?  Not against a stronger opponent (but what does?).  Will it stunt your chess development?  I'm not sure playing legal moves at the board is ever really going to do that, although 1.f4 rarely offers the kinds of open games developing players ought to work with.

I used to play this in correspondence chess, but moved away from it after it became increasingly difficult to beat equal or lesser opposition (I did win some very nice games along the way, however).  If I ever returned to otb chess, I would consider using it again as a means of avoiding tons of theory.  My feeling is that it fits into the category of letting the better chess player play for a win (this requires a good understanding of the game, however).


One small thing to consider, however...let's say that White is not aiming for an early e4...not all 1. f4 systems revolve around this manner of play.  Don't get me wrong - I personally like the option of playing for e4, but there are other routes...and another thing to consider is that if White plays 1. e4 and is met with 1...e5, then 2. f4 gives Black the option of playing into the KGA, which might not be in White's interests...once again, slight nuances that make the difference.
This kind of thought can be seen in the Stonewall, where White (or Black) purposefully holds back the e-pawn from advancing two squares, in order to strengthen the d- and f- pawns, which gives him a firmer grip of activity in the center of the board.  Of course, as you mentioned, he may not get the quicker advantages that he would get in 1. e4 or 1. d4, but if White prefers those kinds of games, then he should take them up.
  
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Re: Merits of 1.f4.
Reply #11 - 12/23/09 at 14:45:58
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Paul123 wrote on 12/22/09 at 22:17:52:
Markovich wrote on 12/19/09 at 03:48:35:
kylemeister wrote on 12/18/09 at 21:19:19:
I can't help but be reminded of Joel Benjamin, in an instalment of "Ask Joel," telling a lower-rated (as in around average) player who was playing the Bird that he should "stop immediately."


My thought precisely.


I think Gm Danielson or even the great GM Larsen  would disagree. Seems to me if something is wrong with  1.f4 then something is wrong with 1.c4 or even 1...c5 or 1...f5


I was going to get into this argument, but stopped...the forum is totally shifting from the original purpose, and I am totally cool with that.  The philosophy behind 1. c4 and 1. f4 are totally different.  1. c4 gives White the chance to fight for a stronger grip of d5 - 1. f4 gives White a chance to fight for e5 initially (not considering all the myriad of other differences).  If I listened to Morphy (as far as I have read), 1. c4 was a weak choice of opening moves...is it really weak, or a waste of time?  I don't think so...but I don't like it as well, since White is spending his first move developing on the queenside - not to my taste.  But I am positive it is a great first move for those who like it.
  
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Re: Merits of 1.f4.
Reply #10 - 12/23/09 at 13:01:33
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This is all getting a little silly.  1.f4 is not the best move on the board.  It is played as a viable option for Black in the Dutch in order to play for e7-e5, which White has prevented with his/her first move.  1.f4 makes less sense: why not play 1.e4 and have done with it?  On these grounds, it's not terribly logical.

Having said that, 1.f4 has some bite against an unprepared opponent, and has the added benefit that few average players have a planned response, which probably offers some practical value to the first player in adopting this.  If your opponent is susceptible to blunt kingside attacks, then it can be a formidable weapon.  The relative absence of established theory also makes this fun for the creative player.

Does it win outright?  No.  Does it lose outright?  No.  Does it yield White much of an advantage?  Not against a stronger opponent (but what does?).  Will it stunt your chess development?  I'm not sure playing legal moves at the board is ever really going to do that, although 1.f4 rarely offers the kinds of open games developing players ought to work with.

I used to play this in correspondence chess, but moved away from it after it became increasingly difficult to beat equal or lesser opposition (I did win some very nice games along the way, however).  If I ever returned to otb chess, I would consider using it again as a means of avoiding tons of theory.  My feeling is that it fits into the category of letting the better chess player play for a win (this requires a good understanding of the game, however).
  

"Luck favours the prepared mind."  --Louis Pasteur
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Re: Merits of 1.f4.
Reply #9 - 12/23/09 at 02:04:38
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Göran wrote on 12/22/09 at 23:49:18:
And we all not the status of 1.c4 according to

KoKko wrote on 12/20/09 at 19:04:35:
...
There are 2 "weak" lines in c4 opening and these are the 1...e5 line and 1...c5.

Not only computers but humans can see after i.e. e5 nf6 nc6 Bb4 (Bc5) d6 0-0 h6 white has nothing more to offer.


Read all about it
http://www.chesspub.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1252422477/30#30




Oh... if it were only  that simple    Roll Eyes
  
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Re: Merits of 1.f4.
Reply #8 - 12/22/09 at 23:49:18
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And we all not the status of 1.c4 according to

KoKko wrote on 12/20/09 at 19:04:35:
...

There are 2 "weak" lines in c4 opening and these are the 1...e5 line and 1...c5.

Not only computers but humans can see after i.e. e5 nf6 nc6 Bb4 (Bc5) d6 0-0 h6 white has nothing more to offer.


Read all about it
http://www.chesspub.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1252422477/30#30
  

What kind of proof is that?
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Re: Merits of 1.f4.
Reply #7 - 12/22/09 at 22:17:52
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Markovich wrote on 12/19/09 at 03:48:35:
kylemeister wrote on 12/18/09 at 21:19:19:
I can't help but be reminded of Joel Benjamin, in an instalment of "Ask Joel," telling a lower-rated (as in around average) player who was playing the Bird that he should "stop immediately."


My thought precisely.


I think Gm Danielson or even the great GM Larsen  would disagree. Seems to me if something is wrong with  1.f4 then something is wrong with 1.c4 or even 1...c5 or 1...f5



  
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Re: Merits of 1.f4.
Reply #6 - 12/22/09 at 20:22:32
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Still, 1. f4 is closer in spirit to 1.e4 ('open game') than 1.d4 and other flank openings such as the english and the real Reti (not the KIA). So, I don't think it's exaggerated to call it agressive, even though this means in this case something like 'not angling for pure positional play'...
  
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Re: Merits of 1.f4.
Reply #5 - 12/21/09 at 16:05:31
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linksspringer wrote on 12/18/09 at 22:41:29:
BirdBrain wrote on 12/18/09 at 21:39:12:
Think of Davies, who gives players (like me) simple opening ideas. 


Right on cue, Davies' Flank Openings update for this month is on the Bird!  Grin
"The point is that the Bird can free up a lot of time that might currently be getting spent on opening studies; it leads to highly original positions right from the outset and has very little 'theory' to learn."


Link, thanks for the news!  I would like to see what he has to say...an original thinker with solid ideas...should be interesting.
  
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Re: Merits of 1.f4.
Reply #4 - 12/21/09 at 16:04:44
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It's okay, guys.  I know the Bird won't win popularity contests...and I understand that.  But the point of this forum was not to say whether 1. f4 is subjective to other openings...please, that belongs in a different forum.  Opening-bashing is narrow-minded...ask Spassky, who used the "inferior" King's Gambit.  I guess he would play 2. e4 against the From's Gambit!  Smiley  Anyway, right now I am thinking about the idea 1. f4 e5 2. fxe d6 3. exd Bxd 4. Nf3 Nf6 5. d4 0-0 (if ...Ng4, obviously 6. Qd3, but I am not a huge fan of leaving f2 so "weak") 6. e4!? with an aggressive position.  Anybody have any comments concerning this idea?  Another plausible idea is the natural 6. Bg5...
  
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Re: Merits of 1.f4.
Reply #3 - 12/19/09 at 03:48:35
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kylemeister wrote on 12/18/09 at 21:19:19:
I can't help but be reminded of Joel Benjamin, in an instalment of "Ask Joel," telling a lower-rated (as in around average) player who was playing the Bird that he should "stop immediately."


My thought precisely.
  

The Great Oz has spoken!
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Re: Merits of 1.f4.
Reply #2 - 12/18/09 at 22:41:29
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BirdBrain wrote on 12/18/09 at 21:39:12:
Think of Davies, who gives players (like me) simple opening ideas. 


Right on cue, Davies' Flank Openings update for this month is on the Bird!  Grin
"The point is that the Bird can free up a lot of time that might currently be getting spent on opening studies; it leads to highly original positions right from the outset and has very little 'theory' to learn."
  
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Re: Merits of 1.f4.
Reply #1 - 12/18/09 at 21:39:12
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LOL...yup, that is the kind of mentality that seperates me from many chess players...so many want to be #1, but I simply enjoy chess, and I enjoy 1. f4 (in a weird sort of way!)...so I would never stop playing it, regardless if Joel could (and most certainly would) mop the floor with me.  It is part of the fun of chess - playing something that you like.  I know, this is off-topic of the From's Gambit, and I will not try to go any farther off course after this remark, otherwise we will be shifted!  OH NO!  Wink  But seriously, a GM should take into consideration WHO he is teaching, and what that player wants out of chess.  If he asked me, "Do you want to be state champ?" and I said "Yes", then maybe I can understand him giving me a good reason to not play 1. f4 (I have played against a KY state champ who plays 1. f4, BTW)...but if he asked, "Is chess nothing more than a hobby that you enjoy?" and I said "Yes" (which it is, a pleasurable hobby for me, and one that I don't spend excess time on - I like the adventure), then the classes should be given in a format that gave me the most satisfaction out of the class...after all, I am the one paying for it.  But if he chose not to teach me, then that would be his prerogative as well...and we did some of both - he would answer my questions, but then we would get into issues concerning critical pieces (hanging pieces), king safety, etc...more or less studying themes of chess, rather than openings. 

Think of Davies, who gives players (like me) simple opening ideas.  I played the Colle the other day and did rather well with it - but it is not a system I would want to play for the rest of my life.  However, it fits in somewhat with the Stonewall setup for 1. f4, so I find it reasonable to explore its ideas.  And 1. f4 games often go at the pace I prefer.  So I don't see a good reason to quit it. 

But back to the subject.  Here is what I am going to do...this weekend, I will take a look at the positions and see what I find...not that it will be Top-Notch theory, or anything...but to find a system I like...and BTW, thanks for the suggestions - that is what keeps the game of chess interesting - reading each person's different outlook on the game.
  
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Merits of 1.f4.
12/18/09 at 21:19:19
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I can't help but be reminded of Joel Benjamin, in an instalment of "Ask Joel," telling a lower-rated (as in around average) player who was playing the Bird that he should "stop immediately."
  
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