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Normal Topic Classical R-R: 7...a6 8.0-0-0 Bd7 9.f3(!) (Read 3036 times)
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Re: Classical R-R: 7...a6 8.0-0-0 Bd7 9.f3(!)
Reply #2 - 06/04/10 at 18:58:21
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The Rauzer version of this opening is a bit better for Black than the Najdorf versions because White has wasted a tempo on Bg5-e3.  That said, how to use the extra tempo is not a simple matter, because White's solid setup in the center deters active operations.  Also, the bishop sitting on g5 causes problems for Black's move order, due to threats of Bxf6 (e.g., discourages e7-e5 and ...Nxd4, ...e5 ideas).

...h5! is the normal use of the move, since Black hardly intends to castle to the kingside anyway.  It gains at least one tempo slowing the attack and guarantees Black the h file for his Rook.

If you want to avoid ...h5, you should think about what you can actually do on the Queenside or in the center while white is playing g4, h5, Be3, g5, g6 and wiping you out.

That's several tempi, but the evidence to date is that there isn't anything Black can do that's scarier than gxf7+ at the end of that sequence.  Obviously this is a simplified version of events, but it highlights Black's problem in this and the other English Attack lines.  By stying solid in the center, White prevents many of the tactical possibilities Black has to unbalance the struggle and make use of the extra center pawn.

There are options, of course, but they are theoretically more problematic than the ...h5 lines.  One option I know exists is 9...Nxd4 10 Qxd4 b5, intending ...Bb7 at some point.  Again, however, in contrast to lines with f4, the center is much more solid for White; after ...d5, Black can't respond ...Ne4, and there are no Nxe/g4 tricks for white to worry about, either.  ...e5 ends up taking away a square from black, rather than gaining one, because the pawn is stuck there (no ....exf4, ...N/Be5).

Long post, but there is a lot to think about and most of it leads back to the impression that mixing things up on the kingside is a better option than ceding the kingside!
« Last Edit: 06/04/10 at 20:12:40 by OrangeCounty »  
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Re: Classical R-R: 7...a6 8.0-0-0 Bd7 9.f3(!)
Reply #1 - 04/22/10 at 11:51:06
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The ...h5 is considered as the most promising plan for Black in this variation. Otherwise White will simply continue his attack on the kingside with g4.
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Classical R-R: 7...a6 8.0-0-0 Bd7 9.f3(!)
04/19/10 at 19:28:35
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Hello everybody,

recently I have worked on my anti-1.e4-weapons, especially Najdorf and Classical. With regard to the latter, the Richter-Rauzer attack 6.Bg5 is easily the most critical way for White to play. However, as within the last decade or so, the trend has generally changed to "English Attack" setups for White, 9.f3 is no longer considered less usual than the traditional 9.f4.

After looking at some recent games and analytical sources, I feel rather grim about Black's chances in this concrete line. I don't quite like the various ...h7-h5 systems for Black, although that's a matter of taste. Then again, Nakamura's performance against Caruana at this year's Corus tournament shows that some strong players are willing to fight for the black cause. Unfortunately, Hikaru was unable to demonstrate any major theoretical novelty, as White deviated after 9.f3 Be7 10.Be3 h5!? with the uncommon 11.Nxc6. It would have been interesting to know what Nakamura would have played versus the prophylactic 10.Kb1.

Anyway, if you know of an effective way of playing for Black (preferably without ...h7-h5), please let me know.  Smiley

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