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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Starting Out: The Colle Question (Read 30832 times)
DoubleRipVanWinkle
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Re: Starting Out: The Colle Question
Reply #39 - 09/22/11 at 11:03:12
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In his DVD on the Queen's Gambit Declined (confusingly labelled Queen's Gambit -- presumably a later DVD will go into the Queen's Gambit Accepted) Gary Kasparov says throughout that the opening has/had a reputation for having been played out and a bit boring. He ends by saying forget about boring openings, unsound openings, there are only openings and anything else is what the player puts in to the ones he's using.

-- I was going to post earlier that I've come to the conclusion that the Colle would be a good opening against a young, impatient player when I saw that Stefan had pretty much written that same idea. So, in the course of this thread I've gone full circle from thinking this would be a safe line to play against a much higher rated player, or someone needing a win as black, to thinking it might be a good choice against an all out attacking player who might try to push too soon, or to take advantage of a weakness that just isn't there.
  
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Re: Starting Out: The Colle Question
Reply #38 - 09/20/11 at 12:58:19
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MNb wrote on 09/20/11 at 01:22:58:
Stefan Buecker wrote on 09/19/11 at 15:46:33:
maybe one of those booklets in Dutch language on the Closed Sicilian

Boersma in his 1983 booklet indeed attaches the name of Vinken to 2.Nc3 and 3.f4. Pachman in his 1986 edition of Moderne Schachtheorie doesn't. I would like to see more games of Vinken, especially with 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.f4 g6.


Silly me. I was about to respond to this as if it had something to do with the Colle (1.d4 d5). Embarrassed
  
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MNb
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Re: Starting Out: The Colle Question
Reply #37 - 09/20/11 at 01:22:58
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Stefan Buecker wrote on 09/19/11 at 15:46:33:
maybe one of those booklets in Dutch language on the Closed Sicilian

Boersma in his 1983 booklet indeed attaches the name of Vinken to 2.Nc3 and 3.f4. Pachman in his 1986 edition of Moderne Schachtheorie doesn't. I would like to see more games of Vinken, especially with 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.f4 g6.
  

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Re: Starting Out: The Colle Question
Reply #36 - 09/19/11 at 17:17:51
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Kaissiber 3 had an article on 1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.e3 e6 4.Bd3 c5 5.c3 by Stefan Ottow. I liked it and contributed a few tactical ideas for White, e.g. in Colle - O'Hanlon, the game with the "Greek" sacrifice. And in Koltanowski - O'Hanlon, another case where O'Hanlon was floored by the same trick. Equally fascinating was Kashdan - H. Steiner, "queenside majority". I was surprised how many ideas had been overlooked in older books.

But the planned follow-up article with strong lines against solid defences like g6 & Bg7 or against the Bf5 set-up hasn't appeared. So I guess it is fair to claim that Black can still hope for equality. - Gerard scores about 65% with the Colle. It is a good weapon in games which you don't have to win at all costs. But it can also be very efficient against over-aggressive Black players (like me). 
  
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Re: Starting Out: The Colle Question
Reply #35 - 09/19/11 at 16:03:47
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Stefan, you show a game against a 9-year old who forgot to protect his king?

Ok, agreed. White can win in the Colle. But I'm sure even you'll agree that it's unambitious and a poor choice unless white only wants a draw. Even then, it's probably not the best way to play for a draw as White.

It is interesting though, that White scores well after 9.e4 de4?!

If Black knows not to rush this exchange, he scores well. But at least there's a hint of venom in the position.
  
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Re: Starting Out: The Colle Question
Reply #34 - 09/19/11 at 15:46:33
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MNb wrote on 09/16/11 at 14:18:45:
Stefan Buecker wrote on 09/16/11 at 08:36:26:
Which could explain why they introduced "Grand Prix Attack" for what was formerly named "Vinken System".

Actually I have seen the name "Vinken System" only in Dutch sources. What's more, I only know games by Alex Vinken beginning with 1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.f4 e6 4.Nf3 d5 5.Bb5.
So despite me loving to dispute American-English claims in opening nomenclature I have to give in that they are right here.

True, I'd mainly associate Bb5 with "Vinken System", but the sources which I remember - definitely in Schach-Archiv of the late 1960s, maybe the Euwe series, and maybe one of those booklets in Dutch language on the Closed Sicilian - often gave lines with Bc4, too. With the GPA it was similar, only the other way around: those guys preferred to have the bishop on c4, but GPA works usually consider Bb5 as well. Sometimes as an emergency solution to avoid critical lines, but still.

I am not sure, but around 1967 the editor of Schach-Archiv may already have been Ludek Pachman. The name "Vinken System" certainly wasn't limited to the Netherlands. I believe "Vinken System" was mentioned in many German chess sources, but it never gained the later popularity of the GPA which mainly aimed at Bc4 with immediate attacks. It was not the only name that was blasted away by the English Chess Explosion. (I am using the name GPA myself, but some knowledge of chess history doesn't hurt.)

The Colle System deserves respect. Gerard Welling knows this innocuous looking concept with many sharp ideas particularly well. He doesn't play it in every game, but his opponents should better prepare for it, just in case...

  
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Re: Starting Out: The Colle Question
Reply #33 - 09/19/11 at 15:35:50
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Grin Exactly, Agropop. I came in discussing an opening I was only interested in playing against and instead find myself receiving an education about things that, last week, I hardly knew existed, but this week I'm glad to be learning about.  Cool

MNb, great links as always. Seems no place today is particularly tranquil. It's always interesting to me how religions that should be serving a positive role much more often tend to turn people against each other.

I think there's going to be a lot more tension in the coming decades as a result of overcrowding and possession of fertile land and most of all good water sources. Actually, that's putting it as blandly as possible; the general expectation is those things will be the cause of major upcoming wars.
  
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Re: Starting Out: The Colle Question
Reply #32 - 09/19/11 at 14:28:31
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A thread about the colle could only end like this.
(Just joking, in fact is an interesting one  Wink).
  
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Re: Starting Out: The Colle Question
Reply #31 - 09/19/11 at 12:23:39
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DoubleRipVanWinkle wrote on 09/19/11 at 05:55:04:
I remember journalists admitting on the air that they didn't know where South Molucca was. No doubt forty years later it's gone back into comfortable obscurity

On a more or less regular base there have been serious riots on the South Moluccans between christians and moslims.

http://pacificaffairs.ubc.ca/pdfs/bertrand.pdf

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2011/09/14/after-riots-stillness-pervades-amb...

I know about rumours that the Indonesian Army has been involved, directly or indirectly. As far as I know there is no conclusive evidence, but given their reputation on Timor and Papua I would not be surprised.
The riots have a lot to do with Indonesian demographic policy. Java is overpopulated, so "emigration" to the Moluccans and Papua is stimulated. Of course it's very convenient that those emigrants will not support local separatism.
  

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Re: Starting Out: The Colle Question
Reply #30 - 09/19/11 at 05:55:04
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Smyslov_Fan "Staying equally off-topic ..."  Grin I kept trying to think of something more to say about the Colle, but can't.  Roll Eyes Thanks for mentioning the article, interesting thing to look into.

MNb Thanks for the links and, yes, I've been busted, when your country came up here I thought Suriname was in Equatorial Africa, somewhere near Sudan.  Shocked

-- When the Patty Hurst kidnapping happened publicizing a group calling itself The Simbianese Liberation Army I went running to an encylopedia to find Simbia.  

-- And when that tragic passenger train hostage murdering event happened in Holland involving a former Dutch colony on the other side of the world from us (on that scale we're practically neighbors) I remember journalists admitting on the air that they didn't know where South Molucca was. No doubt forty years later it's gone back into comfortable obscurity and almost no one not living in the place would be able to locate it on a globe. In fact, I've got a fairly large globe to my right even as I write this and am looking at the Indonesia area, and can't see it anywhere.

-- Which is good, much less chance of the place being caught in today's global insanity.  Cheesy
  
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Re: Starting Out: The Colle Question
Reply #29 - 09/18/11 at 21:57:20
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This is an excellent article by NYT. Thanks to Peace Corps there are quite a few Americans in Suriname - the USA even have an embassy.

http://www.nospang.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=9117:amerika...

Those National Geography pictures are beautiful indeed, but also a bit stereotypal. This won't be your first impression at arrival and your second neither, so to say.

US Army South (or whatever) doesn't forget Suriname either. I have had the pleasure to meet some American soldiers in my town.

http://www.dvidshub.net/news/74055/construction-nears-end-suriname#.TnZrpPr-qUM

But, despite Suriname's bad reputation, DEA is not interested in having an office here, despite a Surinamese offer.
So yes - there áre Americans who do know that Suriname is not in Africa or Asia.  Wink
  

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Re: Starting Out: The Colle Question
Reply #28 - 09/18/11 at 20:02:48
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Staying equally off-topic, there was an interesting piece in today's New York Times about Suriname's culture. (There was also one a few years ago in National Geographic that had some fantastic photos. That's probably also available online.)
  
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Re: Starting Out: The Colle Question
Reply #27 - 09/18/11 at 06:31:29
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MNb Thanks for the links, I'm finding them very interesting and useful; didn't know about that great flood.  Some of the maps speculating on what will happen to the worlds coastlines as ocean and sea levels rise again are quite sobering. Some coastal areas and islands worldwide are already being swamped.

500,000 in one city sounds like a good pool for chess playing. During the 80s I became spoiled by playing in NYC and came to assume there would be a lot of chess players almost anywhere I'd move to in the U. S.. Once married and having moved something like 60 miles away to Central New Jersey I learned otherwise. I'd be able to walk to the beach and look across the harbor and see Brooklyn, but there were few if any tournament players in my local area, and no chess clubs.

I guess Central Forida has about the same population as your capital city, and a lot more chess activity, clubs and tournaments than the much more densely populated part of New Jersey I moved from.

Of course chess popularity per capita in the United States isn't comparable to many other countries. Even in NYC I eventually came to know all the regular weekend swiss players. The game was briefly popular when Fischer was world champion, but those days are long gone.
  
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Re: Starting Out: The Colle Question
Reply #26 - 09/16/11 at 21:44:09
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DoubleRipVanWinkle wrote on 09/16/11 at 16:24:54:
I realize you’ve got a relatively small population, around 500,000, but despite that is there a lot of chess activity?

Mainly in Paramaribo, where half of the population lives.

DoubleRipVanWinkle wrote on 09/16/11 at 16:24:54:
I know of Friesia from Medieval history as raiders of the English coast, I’m assuming these are the same people. So I find the comment about their language predating Dutch to be especially interesting.

It might be a bit more complicated.

Actually in Dutch history there might have been two people called Frisian:

http://rambambashi.wordpress.com/2009/05/15/common-errors-7-the-frisians/

The Frisians being defeated by the Franks (Charlemagne being the last) it's sure they were independent in the 7th Century. The logical assumption is that they had their own language already, but there is no evidence.
How the province of Groningen came between the coreland of Frisia and East-Frisia (in what's now Germany) is one of the great mysteries of Dutch history. How West-Frisia (were my ancestors are from; it's in the province of North-Holland) became separated from the coreland is well known though: one of the biggest floods in the history of mankind.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Lucia's_flood

My uncle and aunt speak West-Frisian until today, but I don't. Being separated from the coreland the West-Frisian dialect has become entirely different from the Frisian language.
  

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Re: Starting Out: The Colle Question
Reply #25 - 09/16/11 at 16:24:54
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Stefan and Jupp,

Many thanks for the information about the Dutch/German dialects, Plattdütsch and Friesian, I’m sure that will prove to be very helpful to me.

Stefan, like yourself I’ve lived in different regions of my own country going back to the 60s, originally I was from New York. Forty-five or so years ago, when I first went to states other than the one I was raised in I found the local accents fairly difficult to understand. Over the years I’ve continued moving around and noticed in this last relocation, from New Jersey to Florida, that the accents, even of those who’ve lived here their entire lives, wasn’t nearly as distinct as it was when I last lived here (only 50 miles from where I am now). I spoke with a sociologist about this a few weeks ago and said it must have been the effect of so many people moving here from other states. She said the greater influence was so many decades of television. Over the course of time local accents have been influenced by what people hear on television shows, a sort of neutral English. That seems reasonable to me. I’ve long noticed that regional accents of actors in movies from the 30s and 40s are much more distinct than anything I hear today. I’m wondering if television has had a similar effect in Germany and other European nations.

Mnb,

I’d have known a little about Guyana, but learned some new info by looking up your own nation. I realize you’ve got a relatively small population, around 500,000, but despite that is there a lot of chess activity? I’ve found it varies greatly in different parts of the United States.

Your explanation of the dialect you speak reminds me of things a French friend many years ago told me about people in North America, mainly Canada and the US state Louisiana who speak French but because they’ve communities have been away from France for so many centuries it wouldn’t be easy for them to understand the language as it’s currently spoken in France itself, and of course the reverse is true.

I know of Friesia from Medieval history as raiders of the English coast, I’m assuming these are the same people. So I find the comment about their language predating Dutch to be especially interesting.

dfan,

I stand corrected.  Smiley  In any case I don’t think I can produce that special figure on my keyboard.

-- I’ve noticed GM Jim Pratchett is also very adept at properly pronouncing non-English names. I enjoy his videos very much, especially his side remarks which are often very amusing. He seems like a real character.
  
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Re: Starting Out: The Colle Question
Reply #24 - 09/16/11 at 14:18:45
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DoubleRipVanWinkle wrote on 09/16/11 at 06:57:52:
Good luck in talking to a Surinamese audience, hat's off to you.

That FM Bücker remark was meant for me. I live in Suriname. Despite Dutch bias Germans have a nice sense of humour, something I know since Fassbinder's Lola, probably the funniest movie ever. This is FM Bücker's way to tell me that my remark on Colle is crap. I appreciate this way very much.  Cheesy

DoubleRipVanWinkle wrote on 09/16/11 at 06:57:52:
He mentioned there's a region at the northern part of the border where the two languages are very similar.

Along the entire Dutch-German border people living there understand each other perfectly as long they are speaking their dialect. At the other hand if FM Bücker and I ever meet we will probably understand each other better if he speaks Standard German and I Standard Dutch. The dialect I use - Hollandic with a Surinamese accent - is quite different in pronunciation from the border dialects.

Stefan Buecker wrote on 09/16/11 at 08:36:26:
Which could explain why they introduced "Grand Prix Attack" for what was formerly named "Vinken System".

Actually I have seen the name "Vinken System" only in Dutch sources. What's more, I only know games by Alex Vinken beginning with 1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.f4 e6 4.Nf3 d5 5.Bb5.
So despite me loving to dispute American-English claims in opening nomenclature I have to give in that they are right here.

Jupp53 wrote on 09/16/11 at 11:05:15:
But a common language in the described region is Friesian, still spoken by some hundred people in Germany and a little more in the Netherlands.

Oef  Shocked, I hope no Frisians or Grönnegers read this. Frisia is absolutely not on the German-Dutch border; Groningen is. Frisian is completely different from Grönnegs.
Frisian is much older than Dutch; at least since 1100, but likely from several ages before.
Standard Dutch only definitely separated from German since the 16th Century:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Germanic_Groups_ca._0CE.jpg

The thing is that only very, very few people really speak Standard Dutch; according to Dutch Wikipedia only in the towns Haarlem, Dronten and Zeewolde. That makes it very hard to draw sharp lines. Frisian is the exception.
  

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Re: Starting Out: The Colle Question
Reply #23 - 09/16/11 at 13:05:13
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DoubleRipVanWinkle wrote on 09/16/11 at 06:57:52:
Yes, English speaking people are constantly mispronouncing the names of people in other countries with names that would be unusual in either the UK, Canada, or the United States. We see it constantly in chess DVDs where people like Nigel Davies, and Andrew Martin give the name of one or both players and immediately appologize for having mispronounced either, or more likely both names and, of course, the same would be true in citing variations or even most place names.

One exception seems to be Daniel King; in fact, he often goes in the other direction, giving the bastardized "English" pronunciation second so that his audience will know who he's talking about! He also has done some DVDs in German, although I don't know just how fluent he is.

Quote:
A German friend of mine said it was only recently that he realized English speaking people were talking about Koln when they said Cologne -- and my sincere appologies if I've just mispelled either of them.  Huh Grin

It's Köln, I'm afraid Wink

  
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Re: Starting Out: The Colle Question
Reply #22 - 09/16/11 at 11:05:15
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Stefan Buecker wrote on 09/16/11 at 08:36:26:
Which could explain why they introduced "Grand Prix Attack" for what was formerly named "Vinken System".
ROFL - In my early 20th I played the 70yo Vinken. He was a serious man [ironic]and doesn't deserve to be rebaptized "Grand Prix"[/ironic].

What's about Plattdütsch and Dutch - maybe it's that. But a common language in the described region is Friesian, still spoken by some hundred people in Germany and a little more in the Netherlands.

Back to Colle. As I would describe to an English speaker the pronounciation of the name as "college without the -ge sound" - how is it pronounced in Englisch? I really can't imagine anything else.
  

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Re: Starting Out: The Colle Question
Reply #21 - 09/16/11 at 08:36:26
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Names can be tricky, yes. Someone from the UK once corrected me when I mentioned Mike Basman. In my youth I listened more to Dutch pop music channels than to German radio, so it was a bit embarassing to misspeak "Zuidema". Somehow I thought he came from another country. 

DoubleRipVanWinkle wrote on 09/16/11 at 06:57:52:
Yes, English speaking people are constantly mispronouncing the names of people in other countries with names that would be unusual in either the UK, Canada, or the United States. We see it constantly in chess DVDs where people like Nigel Davies, and Andrew Martin give the name of one or both players and immediately appologize for having mispronounced either, [...]

Which could explain why they introduced "Grand Prix Attack" for what was formerly named "Vinken System".

DoubleRipVanWinkle wrote on 09/16/11 at 06:57:52:
-- BTW I had a discussion recently with that same German friend I mentioned earlier about the differences and differences of the Dutch and German languages. He mentioned there's a region at the northern part of the border where the two languages are very similar. The reason I'm interested in this is because I was wondering if, in the early 17th century, someone arriving in New Amsterdam (later New York) who was from what now would be Southern Germany be able speak pretty much the same language as the Dutch colonists. I know this totally off topic but any light shed on that would be greatly appreciated.

Very glad we've had this conversation.  Cool Smiley

My father spoke this Northern dialect, "Platt", which has much in common with Dutch. It was almost like a different language to me. In my father's generation it was common to speak both (standard) German and Platt, but if you go back to the 17th or 18th century the probability was high that someone from North Germany spoke mainly/only Platt on a daily basis; talking to someone from Bavaria might have been difficult. When I moved to Bavaria in 1991, I needed time to adapt - some Bavarians mix a lot of dialect into their language even when they think they are in German mode. So to your question: someone from Bavaria would have understood almost nothing of the Dutch spoken in New Amsterdam.
  
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Re: Starting Out: The Colle Question
Reply #20 - 09/16/11 at 06:57:52
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Okay, fair enough. No doubt the way Koltenowski pronounced the name is more accurate than the way someone in the United States would pronounce it from an English speaking viewpoint. -- And I'm sure he wasn't the exception, thank you.  Grin

All I was saying was that, at the time, and not having actually seen Colle spelled out, the way it was said sounded like college to me. I didn't write any of that to poke fun at George Koltenowski, nor to ever poke fun at anyone for an accent, only to mention that his English accent was thick enough to be awkward and Kolty himself, a person I've never heard a bad thing about, was gracious enough to find it humorous rather than being thin skinned, which would have been far easier. In any case his English was infinitely superior to my Dutch, German, Italian, Spanish, French, whatever, and no doubt he was at least conversant in numerous other languages, so I'm definitely not, and definitely wasn't poking fun at him.

The name Alekhine has a somewhat humorous history with me, or at least I think it's humorous. Sometime in the late 60s a Russian corrected my standard pronounciation of the name and assured me it should really be pronounced something like Aljekin. Over the decades it was revised by various other Russians I've known, for the most part Soviet GMs who came to live in New York. I've always accepted what they said on this (and most other things, I've always liked them) as being indesputable. Recently I was talking with a much younger Russian Grandmaster and I asked him something about Alekhine's Defense. He gave me a puzzled look and asked what defense I was talking about. I said, "Your late countryman, Alexander Alekhine." He shook his head and pronounced it exactly the way it's spelled in English. I told him how I was told to say it by other Russians and he shook his head and said, "No, it's Alekhine in both Russian and English." At this point I guess it must be a regional difference. Names can be pronounced numerous ways even within the same country. The only important thing is that we all know who we're talking about.

Yes, English speaking people are constantly mispronouncing the names of people in other countries with names that would be unusual in either the UK, Canada, or the United States. We see it constantly in chess DVDs where people like Nigel Davies, and Andrew Martin give the name of one or both players and immediately appologize for having mispronounced either, or more likely both names and, of course, the same would be true in citing variations or even most place names. A German friend of mine said it was only recently that he realized English speaking people were talking about Koln when they said Cologne -- and my sincere appologies if I've just mispelled either of them.  Huh Grin

Good luck in talking to a Surinamese audience, hat's off to you. Personally I have more than enough trouble just trying to be understood by fellow Americans. As Winston Churchill put it, I won't attempt a direct quote from memory but it was something about Britons and Americans being separated by a common language.

-- BTW I had a discussion recently with that same German friend I mentioned earlier about the differences and differences of the Dutch and German languages. He mentioned there's a region at the northern part of the border where the two languages are very similar. The reason I'm interested in this is because I was wondering if, in the early 17th century, someone arriving in New Amsterdam (later New York) who was from what now would be Southern Germany be able speak pretty much the same language as the Dutch colonists. I know this totally off topic but any light shed on that would be greatly appreciated.

Very glad we've had this conversation.  Cool Smiley
  
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Re: Starting Out: The Colle Question
Reply #19 - 09/16/11 at 05:38:57
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DoubleRipVanWinkle wrote on 09/16/11 at 04:41:20:
Stefan Buecker wrote on 09/15/11 at 22:47:03:
DoubleRipVanWinkle wrote on 09/15/11 at 10:04:57:
--* I first saw it on an old TV show, Koltenowsky On Chess, which was basically George Koltenowsky sitting on a large chair (more of a thone) showing games on a small display board. Very primitive but he was enjoyable to watch. He'd exchange comments with the cameramen, usually joking about them being unable to understand his accent, which was so thick  I thought he was calling thise [i]The College Opening[/i]. Can't find the series on DVD anywhere, a pity because I think people would enjoy it even today.


Koltanowski, who was born in Antwerp, probably knew how to pronounce the name of his strongest rival in Belgium, Colle. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6SzN6UixDU


That isn't what I said, which would have just been ignorant (even implying that is pretty ignorant on your part). What I said was to an English audience the way he said it sounded a bit like Coll--eege. He used to pronounce Alekhine as Ale-kheen and listening to him as a person who only spoke English, on an early sixties television his accent could become confusing. He joked about it a lot during the show when the camera crew didn't understand some of his requests. George Koltanowsky lived a very long time, his accent probably became less of a barrier as he grew older but at that time it was very thick. I don't understand why you even wrote that antagonistic and senseless remark. Were even around in the early 60s? Did you ever see the show I'm talking about?

Ale-kheen seems about right, at least the second part. Koltanowski played a match against Colle, and if one plays a countryman for so many hours, usually one knows his name. But K. may have been an exception, of course. No, I haven't seen that TV show. But some English speakers are struggling with names like Schara-Hennig or Scheveningen or Steenwijk Variation or even Euwe, and Colle might simply have been another case. I am living near the Dutch border, but in talk with Dutch friends I erred often enough (e.g. "Zuidema"). I didn't doubt that Koltanowski had a thick accent. But I believe I could try to speak Surinamese and still get the occasional German name in a sentence right. 
  
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Re: Starting Out: The Colle Question
Reply #18 - 09/16/11 at 05:18:42
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RdC wrote on 09/15/11 at 11:57:22:
Traditionally the Colle was recommended as an approach whereby you could play Bd3, N1d2, 0-0, Qe2, Re1 and then break out with e4. As such it could appeal to players who had difficulty finding a coherent plan in the opening moves.

The problem is that players of the Black pieces know what to expect and can try to seize and maintain the initiative with 3 .. c5 and 3 .. Bg4.

Theory writers then recommend approaches like 4 dxc5 against c5 and 4 h3 against Bg4. In both cases the moves are justified, but if as White you have to resort to "only" moves as early as move 4, then something is wrong, in this case unprovoked passive play with 3 e3.

I also noted that 4 c4 was quite OK against 3 .. c5 with a probable transposition back into any number of familiar positions. A weapon, I thought perhaps, for the player with a broad opening knowledge.

I've tried the Grunfeld approach myself 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 d5 3 e3 g6 which was met with 4 b4. It looks bizarre but works reasonably well. Again not a conventional Colle position.


Have you read the Larsen - Zeuthen book Zoom 001? Their idea is to use the Catallan Opening and Gruenfeld Defense as the basis for an opening repertoire that always develops into similar middle game and endgame positions. It was out of print (in English at least) for a long time but is back now for something like $25. I began studying this book just before I stopped playing (over 20 years ago) and am planning to start on it again once I've got a working opening repertoire in place that can be built on. The Gruenfeld has always been one of my favorite openings and it's the first one I began working on during my comeback.

I agree completely with what you're saying about the Colle opening, in effect it's very limited and an opponent who is familiar with it will have an easy time sidestepping white's best lines.

I've always felt similarly about the Kings Indian Attack, which I see as the e-pawn cousin of the Colle; it's easy to learn, avoids most of the sharp lines an opponent might be booked up on, but has the drawback of being very limited. I used to play it once in a while because Fischer played it, but it wasn't something I ever felt particularly comfortable with. I'm getting the same feeling about the Colle.
  
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Re: Starting Out: The Colle Question
Reply #17 - 09/16/11 at 05:07:54
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Vass wrote on 09/15/11 at 10:29:05:
DoubleRipVanWinkle wrote on 09/15/11 at 10:04:57:
Just finished watching the Nigel Davies CD on the Colle and am watching his DVD on the Torre now.

I've known about this opening  since the early 60s* but have neither played nor been much interested in it till I started looking into the Torre Attack, Trompowsky, Versov, London, and Barry, and figured it would be a good idea to learn the Colle first. Not sure if I'll use it. Normally I open with the English but wanted to expand my openings a little.

I was looking at these openings only as variations that might be played against Black's 2) ... Nf6 and never intended to use them as white. After a little study I'm beginning to enjoy them as a group and am planning on using them myself now.

The Colle seemed like it would be good against much higher rated players as it would be hard for black to defeat. But I may be wrong; just started studying it, and the comments here remind me of why I didn't like it in the first place; it seemed too much like a counterpunching approach.

--* I first saw it on an old TV show, Koltenowsky On Chess, which was basically George Koltenowsky sitting on a large chair (more of a thone) showing games on a small display board. Very primitive but he was enjoyable to watch. He'd exchange comments with the cameramen, usually joking about them being unable to understand his accent, which was so thick  I thought he was calling thise [i]The College Opening[/i]. Can't find the series on DVD anywhere, a pity because I think people would enjoy it even today.

Sometimes strange things happen.. Your (black/white) approach somehow reminds me of my tries with Chigorin (as black) and Veresov (as white).. First I started to play Chigorin after 1.Nf3 d5 2.d4 Nc6 with some very good results.. Then suddenly it struck me "What if.." and started to play 1.d4 d5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Bg5 as the first player..threatening the Veresov opening in a kind of Chigorin way with a move ahead..  Wink Of course, these two openings I play against some lower rated opponents..  Cool


I've found that happening a lot in my life. A very strong player told me early on to study what you'll play as black more intensely than what you'll play as white, naturally that's because you don't have that tempo to spare as black, but I think he also meant it in terms of ideas that are good for black have to be at least as good on the white side.

-- I'm still trying to find out who the weaker players would be in my case. I was an expert throughout the 80s, dropped to the 1950s, got married, and didn't play or study for the next 22 years or so. I've just recently gotten back into it and have no idea what the relative levels are today, and where I'd be in there after my absurdly long absense from the game. Luckily the study materials available today are vastly superior to what was available in the 70s and 80s. I find the videos to be especially helpful. In opening terms I'm watching videos first, then studying the openings out of books. The books themselves are also much superior to what was generally available over twenty years ago.

But, naturally, those same materials are available to everyone so I can only conclude the tournament players today must play on a much higher level than was the case when I was an expert.

Getting back to what to use against much weaker players, I'm definitely structuring a much different opening lineup to play against them, my reasoning is it's good to play against a wide variety than to limit oneself to a narrow one. I read somewhere that the old Soviet instructors used to start everyone off with the Ruy Lopez because it had so many facets that were relevant to other openings.

I used to play closed games in the 60s and 70s and made slow progress. After a 5 year layoff I came back playing e4 as white and the Sicilian against it as black with the King's Indian and Gruenfeld vs d4 as black. That was because I studied all of Bobby Fischer's games and was fashioning my own game after my less than perfect understanding of his. My rating shot up in a hurry, then remained around 2050 for five or six years before dropping, which coincided with my total withdrawal from chess for two decades.

It would seem unwise to me to come back playing sharp e4 openings and the Sicilian Defence as those who knew the evolved theory would have a huge advantage over me. So I worked on kings fianchetto openings for both sides. After a few months playing in tournament and serious unrated games I've found that I still do best in positions that lead to tactical complications.

In deciding which openings to play against various levels of chess players, I'm thinking now of using my old sharp repertoire against much lower rated players; it should be interesting to see what they come up with, and a good learning experience. Against stronger players I'm trying to find something less booked where I'd be on a more level playing field coming out of the gate. The openings being discussed in this area, with the Colle as the root studied but not what I'd actually play, seems a good choice -- the Veresov and similar openings are appearing to be a good fit.
  
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Re: Starting Out: The Colle Question
Reply #16 - 09/16/11 at 04:46:57
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MNb wrote on 09/16/11 at 01:13:58:
Weren't Kolty's parents from Poland or something? A Polish child learning Dutch on the streets of Antwerp (a dialect neither the Dutch nor the rest of the Belgians understand) could result in some remarkable pronunciations.
Actually I have no idea how good Kolty's Dutch was.


Interesting. Having lived most of my life in NYC during decades of very many European new arrivals I grew up hearing a huge spectrum of pronunciations, but I found Koltanowsky's to be, at times, one of the harder accents to understand, especially when it came to names. As I said earlier, he was aware of this himself and could joke about it.
  
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Re: Starting Out: The Colle Question
Reply #15 - 09/16/11 at 04:41:20
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Stefan Buecker wrote on 09/15/11 at 22:47:03:
DoubleRipVanWinkle wrote on 09/15/11 at 10:04:57:
--* I first saw it on an old TV show, Koltenowsky On Chess, which was basically George Koltenowsky sitting on a large chair (more of a thone) showing games on a small display board. Very primitive but he was enjoyable to watch. He'd exchange comments with the cameramen, usually joking about them being unable to understand his accent, which was so thick  I thought he was calling thise [i]The College Opening[/i]. Can't find the series on DVD anywhere, a pity because I think people would enjoy it even today.


Koltanowski, who was born in Antwerp, probably knew how to pronounce the name of his strongest rival in Belgium, Colle. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6SzN6UixDU


That isn't what I said, which would have just been ignorant (even implying that is pretty ignorant on your part). What I said was to an English audience the way he said it sounded a bit like Coll--eege. He used to pronounce Alekhine as Ale-kheen and listening to him as a person who only spoke English, on an early sixties television his accent could become confusing. He joked about it a lot during the show when the camera crew didn't understand some of his requests. George Koltanowsky lived a very long time, his accent probably became less of a barrier as he grew older but at that time it was very thick. I don't understand why you even wrote that antagonistic and senseless remark. Were even around in the early 60s? Did you ever see the show I'm talking about?
  
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Re: Starting Out: The Colle Question
Reply #14 - 09/16/11 at 01:13:58
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Weren't Kolty's parents from Poland or something? A Polish child learning Dutch on the streets of Antwerp (a dialect neither the Dutch nor the rest of the Belgians understand) could result in some remarkable pronunciations.
Actually I have no idea how good Kolty's Dutch was.
  

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Re: Starting Out: The Colle Question
Reply #13 - 09/15/11 at 22:47:03
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DoubleRipVanWinkle wrote on 09/15/11 at 10:04:57:
--* I first saw it on an old TV show, Koltenowsky On Chess, which was basically George Koltenowsky sitting on a large chair (more of a thone) showing games on a small display board. Very primitive but he was enjoyable to watch. He'd exchange comments with the cameramen, usually joking about them being unable to understand his accent, which was so thick  I thought he was calling thise [i]The College Opening[/i]. Can't find the series on DVD anywhere, a pity because I think people would enjoy it even today.

Koltanowski, who was born in Antwerp, probably knew how to pronounce the name of his strongest rival in Belgium, Colle. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6SzN6UixDU
  
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Re: Starting Out: The Colle Question
Reply #12 - 09/15/11 at 11:57:22
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Traditionally the Colle was recommended as an approach whereby you could play Bd3, N1d2, 0-0, Qe2, Re1 and then break out with e4. As such it could appeal to players who had difficulty finding a coherent plan in the opening moves.

The problem is that players of the Black pieces know what to expect and can try to seize and maintain the initiative with 3 .. c5 and 3 .. Bg4.

Theory writers then recommend approaches like 4 dxc5 against c5 and 4 h3 against Bg4. In both cases the moves are justified, but if as White you have to resort to "only" moves as early as move 4, then something is wrong, in this case unprovoked passive play with 3 e3.

I also noted that 4 c4 was quite OK against 3 .. c5 with a probable transposition back into any number of familiar positions. A weapon, I thought perhaps, for the player with a broad opening knowledge.

I've tried the Grunfeld approach myself 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 d5 3 e3 g6 which was met with 4 b4. It looks bizarre but works reasonably well. Again not a conventional Colle position.
  
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Re: Starting Out: The Colle Question
Reply #11 - 09/15/11 at 10:29:05
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DoubleRipVanWinkle wrote on 09/15/11 at 10:04:57:
Just finished watching the Nigel Davies CD on the Colle and am watching his DVD on the Torre now.

I've known about this opening  since the early 60s* but have neither played nor been much interested in it till I started looking into the Torre Attack, Trompowsky, Versov, London, and Barry, and figured it would be a good idea to learn the Colle first. Not sure if I'll use it. Normally I open with the English but wanted to expand my openings a little.

I was looking at these openings only as variations that might be played against Black's 2) ... Nf6 and never intended to use them as white. After a little study I'm beginning to enjoy them as a group and am planning on using them myself now.

The Colle seemed like it would be good against much higher rated players as it would be hard for black to defeat. But I may be wrong; just started studying it, and the comments here remind me of why I didn't like it in the first place; it seemed too much like a counterpunching approach.

--* I first saw it on an old TV show, Koltenowsky On Chess, which was basically George Koltenowsky sitting on a large chair (more of a thone) showing games on a small display board. Very primitive but he was enjoyable to watch. He'd exchange comments with the cameramen, usually joking about them being unable to understand his accent, which was so thick  I thought he was calling thise [i]The College Opening[/i]. Can't find the series on DVD anywhere, a pity because I think people would enjoy it even today.

Sometimes strange things happen.. Your (black/white) approach somehow reminds me of my tries with Chigorin (as black) and Veresov (as white).. First I started to play Chigorin after 1.Nf3 d5 2.d4 Nc6 with some very good results.. Then suddenly it struck me "What if.." and started to play 1.d4 d5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Bg5 as the first player..threatening the Veresov opening in a kind of Chigorin way with a move ahead..  Wink Of course, these two openings I play against some lower rated opponents..  Cool
  
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Re: Starting Out: The Colle Question
Reply #10 - 09/15/11 at 10:04:57
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Just finished watching the Nigel Davies CD on the Colle and am watching his DVD on the Torre now.

I've known about this opening  since the early 60s* but have neither played nor been much interested in it till I started looking into the Torre Attack, Trompowsky, Versov, London, and Barry, and figured it would be a good idea to learn the Colle first. Not sure if I'll use it. Normally I open with the English but wanted to expand my openings a little.

I was looking at these openings only as variations that might be played against Black's 2) ... Nf6 and never intended to use them as white. After a little study I'm beginning to enjoy them as a group and am planning on using them myself now.

The Colle seemed like it would be good against much higher rated players as it would be hard for black to defeat. But I may be wrong; just started studying it, and the comments here remind me of why I didn't like it in the first place; it seemed too much like a counterpunching approach.

--* I first saw it on an old TV show, Koltenowsky On Chess, which was basically George Koltenowsky sitting on a large chair (more of a thone) showing games on a small display board. Very primitive but he was enjoyable to watch. He'd exchange comments with the cameramen, usually joking about them being unable to understand his accent, which was so thick  I thought he was calling thise [i]The College Opening[/i]. Can't find the series on DVD anywhere, a pity because I think people would enjoy it even today.
  
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Re: Starting Out: The Colle Question
Reply #9 - 06/29/11 at 09:19:53
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Glenn Snow wrote on 06/11/11 at 23:34:52:
There is also 4.c4!?, after 1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.e3 c5 although I doubt it gives an advantage either.  Looks to transpose it other openings.


Supporting your opinion, I can say that transposing in another setup (with 2...g6) might occur, too..
A corr game I still play as a second player began with these moves:
1. Nf3 Nf6 2. d4 g6 3. c4 Bg7 4. e3 O-O 5. Bd3 d5 6. Nc3 c5 7. O-O cxd4 8. exd4 Nc6.. where white has to fight for =
  
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Re: Starting Out: The Colle Question
Reply #8 - 06/13/11 at 02:32:58
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Smyslov_Fan wrote on 06/12/11 at 22:06:53:
Most people seem to lump the Colle and the Zukertort together. The Colle, with d4 e3 and c3, is a poor opening in that it blocks in white's dark squared bishop and doesn't attack the center actively enough.

The Zukertort is much more playable, with white playing b3 (or even occasionally b4) and opening up the long diagonal for the queen's bishop.

I agree with Markovich's sentiment about the Colle, but the Zukertort can be played to good effect by masters, as Yusupov and others have shown.


The Colle with c3 is a poor opening for attempting to gain an advantage for White but on the other hand the formation is extremely popular for Black so hardly bad.  Not necessarily a bad opening to play under some circumstances.
  
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Re: Starting Out: The Colle Question
Reply #7 - 06/12/11 at 22:06:53
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Most people seem to lump the Colle and the Zukertort together. The Colle, with d4 e3 and c3, is a poor opening in that it blocks in white's dark squared bishop and doesn't attack the center actively enough.

The Zukertort is much more playable, with white playing b3 (or even occasionally b4) and opening up the long diagonal for the queen's bishop.

I agree with Markovich's sentiment about the Colle, but the Zukertort can be played to good effect by masters, as Yusupov and others have shown.
  
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Re: Starting Out: The Colle Question
Reply #6 - 06/12/11 at 10:02:55
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"Up to 2100 and still playing the Colle?"

have moved on from the colle myself but it doesn't seem to hold some players back including it in the repertoire...

http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1290162
  
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Re: Starting Out: The Colle Question
Reply #5 - 06/12/11 at 00:48:40
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Markovich wrote on 06/11/11 at 21:39:33:
Up to 2100 and still playing the Colle?


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Re: Starting Out: The Colle Question
Reply #4 - 06/11/11 at 23:34:52
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There is also 4.c4!?, after 1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.e3 c5 although I doubt it gives an advantage either.  Looks to transpose it other openings.
  
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Re: Starting Out: The Colle Question
Reply #3 - 06/11/11 at 21:39:33
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Up to 2100 and still playing the Colle?

But on topic, I think that 3...c5 is a strong and critical rejoinder to 2.Nf3, 3.e3.  That b4 line is a dream come true for Black.  I'm not saying that it's not a game of chess, but man, White is handing Black major winning chances on a silver platter.

FWIW, Bronzik's line is actually an attempted transposition into a Tarrasch Defense, Normal Variation, which White has the option of playing as a reversed QGA.  But here Black benefits from is QN not yet being committed to c6.

But if Black wants to draw, then 6...dxc5 is an excellent rejoinder to 6.a3, since White is playing an inferior version of the 7.dxc5 QGA.
  

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Re: Starting Out: The Colle Question
Reply #2 - 06/11/11 at 17:09:20
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motörhead wrote on 06/27/10 at 18:55:30:
Anonymous3 wrote on 06/27/10 at 06:08:37:
After 1 d4 d5 2 Nf3 Nf6 3 e3, what does Richard Palliser recommend against 3...c5 in Starting Out: The Colle. Does he think White can gain an advantage against 3...c5?


He gives 4.dxc5!? as his main line and then 4...e6 5.b4!? a5 6.c3 axb4 7.cxb4 b6 8.Bb5+ Bd7 9.Bxd7+ Nbxd7 10.a4! bxc5 11.b5 "exciting position... rather unclear." A Noteboom or Abrahams reversed.
He calls 3...c5 "challenging". "... White has often replied too timidly. Solid players may be happy with 4.c3 and 5.Nbd2, but the fascinating 4.dxc5!? looks like the best way to pose Black problems."

Btw. Valeri Bronznik (The Colle-Koltanowski-System) too gives 4.dxc5!? as main line. He continues it with 4...e6 5.c4 Bxc5 6.a3!? but calls 5.b4 a5 6.c3 (Summerscale) interesting.


And again, shoddy coverage on the Colle on Chess Publishing. No one has ever addressed 4. dxc5. If Eric could stop wallowing around in his London coverage that he's beat to death or Christoph could look at these early Colle lines I'm sure a lot of Colle players would appreciate it.

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Re: Starting Out: The Colle Question
Reply #1 - 06/27/10 at 18:55:30
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Anonymous3 wrote on 06/27/10 at 06:08:37:
After 1 d4 d5 2 Nf3 Nf6 3 e3, what does Richard Palliser recommend against 3...c5 in Starting Out: The Colle. Does he think White can gain an advantage against 3...c5?


He gives 4.dxc5!? as his main line and then 4...e6 5.b4!? a5 6.c3 axb4 7.cxb4 b6 8.Bb5+ Bd7 9.Bxd7+ Nbxd7 10.a4! bxc5 11.b5 "exciting position... rather unclear." A Noteboom or Abrahams reversed.
He calls 3...c5 "challenging". "... White has often replied too timidly. Solid players may be happy with 4.c3 and 5.Nbd2, but the fascinating 4.dxc5!? looks like the best way to pose Black problems."

Btw. Valeri Bronznik (The Colle-Koltanowski-System) too gives 4.dxc5!? as main line. He continues it with 4...e6 5.c4 Bxc5 6.a3!? but calls 5.b4 a5 6.c3 (Summerscale) interesting.
  

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Starting Out: The Colle Question
06/27/10 at 06:08:37
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After 1 d4 d5 2 Nf3 Nf6 3 e3, what does Richard Palliser recommend against 3...c5 in Starting Out: The Colle. Does he think White can gain an advantage against 3...c5?
  
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