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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) How to play the symmetrical english? (Read 48172 times)
BPaulsen
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Re: How to play the symmetrical english?
Reply #57 - 08/05/13 at 00:32:15
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Some time after "Chess Developments: The Semi-Slav with 5.Bg5" Is wrapped up, which is nearing the end stages.
  

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BladezII
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Re: How to play the symmetrical english?
Reply #56 - 08/04/13 at 22:48:56
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BPaulsen wrote on 07/26/13 at 01:07:23:
BladezII wrote on 07/25/13 at 18:17:57:
@BPaulsen,

After 4.e3 , is it not correct that Black can transpose back to the other more 'correct' lines with 4.... Nf6 ?

What do you think of this?  Can White still play for an edge or for a line with good chances for an edge after 4...Nf6 ?

BTW, I am a fan of your work or postings in this subject.


1.Nf3 c5 2.c4 Nc6 3.Nc3 g6 4.e3 Nf6 5.d4 still looks good for white, but it isn't as easy as I thought at that point in time. I've done a considerable amount of research on the newly popular lines for black that will be covered in "Play 1.Nf3!", and believe I have found the most precise way to deal with them.

Since I made that last post my opinion on the Double Fianchetto Defense has drifted further in white's direction, and the Hedgehog has as well, but for different reasons in both cases. That said, in practical play they're still very dangerous. It's difficult to memorize everything.

In my opinion, the critical continuations in the 1.Nf3 c5 2.c4 Nc6 3.Nc3 complex are definitely those after 3...e5. 4.e3 has been tamed, sadly, and the typical treatments beginning with 4.g3 run into that ...Nb6 idea mentioned above. I've opted for a rare treatment of the position that is poisonous, and more importantly, is also challenging theoretically.


I want the book, and I have the money ready  Smiley   so when is it going up for sale ?
  

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Re: How to play the symmetrical english?
Reply #55 - 07/29/13 at 15:51:50
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Quite a lot of discussion of the Catalan for a Symmetrical English thread.
  

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BladezII
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Re: How to play the symmetrical english?
Reply #54 - 07/29/13 at 06:20:13
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Where is amentanoitos thread or posts on the hedgehog?  My search fu is weak and I want to study as much of it as I can.

Thank you for the help.
  

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Re: How to play the symmetrical english?
Reply #53 - 07/29/13 at 02:47:09
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BladezII wrote on 07/29/13 at 02:38:05:
BPaulsen wrote on 07/28/13 at 16:31:46:
Even in the case white gets a genuine Reti-Catalan, ie: 1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 d5 4.Bg2 I don't feel the positions after 4...dxc4 are anything better for white than the Open Catalan with 5...Bb4. White has to be willing to deal with it, or take up Fischer Random. Ultimately black is okay, and white needs to do his best to set him problems regardless of the first move of the game.


after 4...  dxc4

5.Qa4+  White has still the chance to fight for a theoretical edge.  The case does not transpose to ... Bb4 catalan by force.


I'm well aware of the difference. I don't buy white's prospects after 5...Nbd7 as something where an edge is forthcoming, as I've discussed somewhere on this forum before.

Regardless, the Reti-Catalan cannot be forced (2...d4, as mentioned earlier). The point is I don't find it a worthwhile enough goal to even try to force it.

Different strokes for different folks.
  

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Re: How to play the symmetrical english?
Reply #52 - 07/29/13 at 02:38:05
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BPaulsen wrote on 07/28/13 at 16:31:46:
Even in the case white gets a genuine Reti-Catalan, ie: 1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 d5 4.Bg2 I don't feel the positions after 4...dxc4 are anything better for white than the Open Catalan with 5...Bb4. White has to be willing to deal with it, or take up Fischer Random. Ultimately black is okay, and white needs to do his best to set him problems regardless of the first move of the game.


after 4...  dxc4

5.Qa4+  White has still the chance to fight for a theoretical edge.  The case does not transpose to ... Bb4 catalan by force.
  

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BPaulsen
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Re: How to play the symmetrical english?
Reply #51 - 07/28/13 at 16:31:46
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Even in the case white gets a genuine Reti-Catalan, ie: 1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 d5 4.Bg2 I don't feel the positions after 4...dxc4 are anything better for white than the Open Catalan with 5...Bb4. White has to be willing to deal with it, or take up Fischer Random. Ultimately black is okay, and white needs to do his best to set him problems regardless of the first move of the game.
  

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Re: How to play the symmetrical english?
Reply #50 - 07/28/13 at 09:50:34
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Delchev's line has been refuted, as admitted on their own site:
http://www.chess-stars.com/Reti_letter.html

this also has been discussed earlier here: http://www.chesspub.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1325513513/all
  
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Re: How to play the symmetrical english?
Reply #49 - 07/28/13 at 08:10:52
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BPaulsen wrote on 07/28/13 at 03:17:37:
BladezII wrote on 07/28/13 at 01:16:25:
BPaulsen wrote on 07/27/13 at 06:51:48:
BladezII wrote on 07/27/13 at 00:50:58:
What move order do you have in mind when talking about the 5... Bb4 open Catalan?

What are you recommending for move order for white after 1.Nf3 which would reach the open Catalan 5... Bb4 line ?


1. Nf3 d5 2.d4 Nf6 3.c4 e6 4.g3 dxc4 5.Bg2 Bb4+.

IM J. Cox recommended it in his work on the QGD. I feel his main line recommendation falls a bit short, but the recent Carlsen game, for example, throws a wrench in white ever getting to it.


But against 1... d5   why not stick to 2.c4   ?
1.Nf3   d5
2.c4    e6
3.g3

Black has a much harder time there if he's aiming or trying to reach a Catalan.


2...d4 is something I want to recommend the white side of less than the 5...Bb4 Open Catalan.



I am a big fan of GM Delchev's work on

1.Nf3  d5
2.c4   d4
3.b4

He has a very reliable and very interesting approach vs this option for black.
  

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BPaulsen
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Re: How to play the symmetrical english?
Reply #48 - 07/28/13 at 03:17:37
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BladezII wrote on 07/28/13 at 01:16:25:
BPaulsen wrote on 07/27/13 at 06:51:48:
BladezII wrote on 07/27/13 at 00:50:58:
What move order do you have in mind when talking about the 5... Bb4 open Catalan?

What are you recommending for move order for white after 1.Nf3 which would reach the open Catalan 5... Bb4 line ?


1. Nf3 d5 2.d4 Nf6 3.c4 e6 4.g3 dxc4 5.Bg2 Bb4+.

IM J. Cox recommended it in his work on the QGD. I feel his main line recommendation falls a bit short, but the recent Carlsen game, for example, throws a wrench in white ever getting to it.


But against 1... d5   why not stick to 2.c4   ?
1.Nf3   d5
2.c4    e6
3.g3

Black has a much harder time there if he's aiming or trying to reach a Catalan.


2...d4 is something I want to recommend the white side of less than the 5...Bb4 Open Catalan.
  

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Re: How to play the symmetrical english?
Reply #47 - 07/28/13 at 01:16:25
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BPaulsen wrote on 07/27/13 at 06:51:48:
BladezII wrote on 07/27/13 at 00:50:58:
What move order do you have in mind when talking about the 5... Bb4 open Catalan?

What are you recommending for move order for white after 1.Nf3 which would reach the open Catalan 5... Bb4 line ?


1. Nf3 d5 2.d4 Nf6 3.c4 e6 4.g3 dxc4 5.Bg2 Bb4+.

IM J. Cox recommended it in his work on the QGD. I feel his main line recommendation falls a bit short, but the recent Carlsen game, for example, throws a wrench in white ever getting to it.


But against 1... d5   why not stick to 2.c4   ?
1.Nf3   d5
2.c4    e6
3.g3

Black has a much harder time there if he's aiming or trying to reach a Catalan.
  

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Re: How to play the symmetrical english?
Reply #46 - 07/27/13 at 06:51:48
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BladezII wrote on 07/27/13 at 00:50:58:
What move order do you have in mind when talking about the 5... Bb4 open Catalan?

What are you recommending for move order for white after 1.Nf3 which would reach the open Catalan 5... Bb4 line ?


1. Nf3 d5 2.d4 Nf6 3.c4 e6 4.g3 dxc4 5.Bg2 Bb4+.

IM J. Cox recommended it in his work on the QGD. I feel his main line recommendation falls a bit short, but the recent Carlsen game, for example, throws a wrench in white ever getting to it.
  

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Re: How to play the symmetrical english?
Reply #45 - 07/27/13 at 06:47:19
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TN wrote on 07/26/13 at 23:38:06:
Trust me, BPaulsen knows his theory. Wink

I wouldn't have expected the 5...Bb4 Open Catalan to be Black's absolute best answer to 1.Nf3, but there you go.


Not necessarily best. It's just the only case where I don't feel like I can argue anything even close to an advantage. There are many, many openings where black is approximately equal in numerous variations, but in which white has long-term strategic trumps. The Slav, QGA, other Catalan Variations, Symmetrical English, etc., are all places where I'm doubtful of a self-evident +=, but white can legitimately hope for more.

In other words, pessimism runs high there, and I feel I've exhausted all of my options. The option I ended up choosing underwhelms me from a theoretical point of view to such a degree no other opening variation irks me so. It's a question of degrees. Tier-2 could just as well be called Tier-1.1.
  

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Re: How to play the symmetrical english?
Reply #44 - 07/27/13 at 06:44:26
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dali wrote on 07/26/13 at 21:31:56:
quote]
that's a pretty authoritative and aggressive answer from a 2200. Kramnik never got anywhere with this approach and usually just transposed to the Grunfeld.


Kramnik never tested the challenging lines that have popped up in correspondence play in recent years. What's your point?

Time has moved on since this was a topical position for the former World Champion.
  

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Re: How to play the symmetrical english?
Reply #43 - 07/27/13 at 03:11:52
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Tolotos wrote on 02/11/11 at 13:49:43:
[...]
Last Saturday I faced an interesting new move in the Botvinnik:

1.c4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 e5 4.g3 g6 5.Bg2 d6 6.0-0 Bg7 7.a3 a5 8.Ne1 Be6 9.d3 Nge7 10.Nc2 d5 11.cxd5 Nxd5 12.Ne3 and now my opponent played 12...Nb6!? (instead of Nde7)  13.Bxc6 bxc6 14.Ne4 c4 15.dxc4 0-0 16.c5 Nd7 17.Qd6 Re8 18.Qxc6 Rc8 19.Db5 Rb8 20.Qa6 Ra8 21.Qb5 Rb8 22.Qa6 Ra8 draw agreed

Regarding this 12...Nb6 line, is it safe to let go of c6 with 17...Re8 ? Following this game, White seems to keep an initiative with 20.Qd3 intending 20...f5 21.c6 with aji.
  
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Re: How to play the symmetrical english?
Reply #42 - 07/27/13 at 00:50:58
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BPaulsen wrote on 07/26/13 at 19:38:56:
Markovich wrote on 07/26/13 at 16:43:40:
BPaulsen wrote on 07/26/13 at 01:07:23:
In my opinion, the critical continuations in the 1.Nf3 c5 2.c4 Nc6 3.Nc3 complex are definitely those after 3...e5. 4.e3 has been tamed, sadly, and the typical treatments beginning with 4.g3 run into that ...Nb6 idea mentioned above. I've opted for a rare treatment of the position that is poisonous, and more importantly, is also challenging theoretically.


This would seem, then, to be highly critical to the entire repertoire based on 1.Nf3, 2.c4 (or 2.d4 as the case may be).  I value your opinion on these subjects quite highly, and it interests me that your regard for 3...e5 seems to have increased.

Yes, my regard has increased considerably due to the ...Nb6 idea. That said, I am pleasantly surprised with what I offer, even if admittedly it was something of a last resort. The recommendation in other books to this point are insufficient. As for how critical it is to the repertoire, it's in all of the tier-2 defenses where I can at least make an argument for white without being overoptimistic in my own estimation. The only tier-1 defense right now is the Open Catalan with 5...Bb4, in which I had to settle for annoying compensation in which black probably isn't even a little worse (2 draws in correspondence play). As is always the case I lay out why I feel this way via showing the shortcomings of everything else.


What move order do you have in mind when talking about the 5... Bb4 open Catalan?

What are you recommending for move order for white after 1.Nf3 which would reach the open Catalan 5... Bb4 line ?
  

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Re: How to play the symmetrical english?
Reply #41 - 07/26/13 at 23:38:06
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Trust me, BPaulsen knows his theory. Wink

I wouldn't have expected the 5...Bb4 Open Catalan to be Black's absolute best answer to 1.Nf3, but there you go.
  

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Re: How to play the symmetrical english?
Reply #40 - 07/26/13 at 21:31:56
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If you believe 5.d4 Nxc3 only leads to a "lame e3 set-up", then you haven't looked seriously at them long enough. The Bb5 check insertion isn't just practically problematic for black, but theoretically as well so long as white knows where his pieces go after that. It's another one of those areas where I diverge from Khalifman and everyone else. [/quote]

that's a pretty authoritative and aggressive answer from a 2200. Kramnik never got anywhere with this approach and usually just transposed to the Grunfeld.
  
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Re: How to play the symmetrical english?
Reply #39 - 07/26/13 at 19:38:56
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Markovich wrote on 07/26/13 at 16:43:40:
BPaulsen wrote on 07/26/13 at 01:07:23:
In my opinion, the critical continuations in the 1.Nf3 c5 2.c4 Nc6 3.Nc3 complex are definitely those after 3...e5. 4.e3 has been tamed, sadly, and the typical treatments beginning with 4.g3 run into that ...Nb6 idea mentioned above. I've opted for a rare treatment of the position that is poisonous, and more importantly, is also challenging theoretically.


This would seem, then, to be highly critical to the entire repertoire based on 1.Nf3, 2.c4 (or 2.d4 as the case may be).  I value your opinion on these subjects quite highly, and it interests me that your regard for 3...e5 seems to have increased.

Yes, my regard has increased considerably due to the ...Nb6 idea. That said, I am pleasantly surprised with what I offer, even if admittedly it was something of a last resort. The recommendation in other books to this point are insufficient. As for how critical it is to the repertoire, it's in all of the tier-2 defenses where I can at least make an argument for white without being overoptimistic in my own estimation. The only tier-1 defense right now is the Open Catalan with 5...Bb4, in which I had to settle for annoying compensation in which black probably isn't even a little worse (2 draws in correspondence play). As is always the case I lay out why I feel this way via showing the shortcomings of everything else.
  

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Re: How to play the symmetrical english?
Reply #38 - 07/26/13 at 19:28:23
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dali wrote on 07/26/13 at 14:15:41:
what to do vs 1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.Nc3 d5? This is popular with Grunfelders. After 4.cxd5 Nxd5

5.e4 Nb4 is sharp but probably not better for White
5.d4 Nxc3 White can only avoid a "real" Grunfeld with a lame e3 setup, often recommended but it can't be anything for White
5.g3 with a Rubinstein, also probably = although there are the sharp Marin lines with a3, e3 which I find hard to believe.

If you believe 5.d4 Nxc3 only leads to a "lame e3 set-up", then you haven't looked seriously at them long enough. The Bb5 check insertion isn't just practically problematic for black, but theoretically as well so long as white knows where his pieces go after that. It's another one of those areas where I diverge from Khalifman and everyone else.
  

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Re: How to play the symmetrical english?
Reply #37 - 07/26/13 at 16:43:40
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BPaulsen wrote on 07/26/13 at 01:07:23:
In my opinion, the critical continuations in the 1.Nf3 c5 2.c4 Nc6 3.Nc3 complex are definitely those after 3...e5. 4.e3 has been tamed, sadly, and the typical treatments beginning with 4.g3 run into that ...Nb6 idea mentioned above. I've opted for a rare treatment of the position that is poisonous, and more importantly, is also challenging theoretically.


This would seem, then, to be highly critical to the entire repertoire based on 1.Nf3, 2.c4 (or 2.d4 as the case may be).  I value your opinion on these subjects quite highly, and it interests me that your regard for 3...e5 seems to have increased.
  

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Re: How to play the symmetrical english?
Reply #36 - 07/26/13 at 14:55:36
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5. e3 is a move, e.g. 5...Nxc3 6. bc g6 7. Bb5+ has been thought to lead to an edge for White.  Clearly a Panov or Semi-Tarrasch transposition is possible.
  
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Re: How to play the symmetrical english?
Reply #35 - 07/26/13 at 14:15:41
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what to do vs 1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.Nc3 d5? This is popular with Grunfelders. After 4.cxd5 Nxd5

5.e4 Nb4 is sharp but probably not better for White
5.d4 Nxc3 White can only avoid a "real" Grunfeld with a lame e3 setup, often recommended but it can't be anything for White
5.g3 with a Rubinstein, also probably = although there are the sharp Marin lines with a3, e3 which I find hard to believe.
  
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Re: How to play the symmetrical english?
Reply #34 - 07/26/13 at 07:01:15
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BladezII wrote on 07/26/13 at 05:14:08:
Who's book is "Play 1.Nf3" ?

I am preparing myself a whole revamped and improved repertoire.  I still believe in the English and I certainly still believe in 1.Nf3.  To me, they are the best ways to play with very very good chances to come out of the opening in great shape as White.

In the line with  e3.  I played a similar line as Black  - 

[Event "www.ChessWorld.net server game"]
[Site "www.ChessWorld.net "]
[Date "2013.7.3"]
[Round "NA"]
[White "alexkhesin"]
[Black "Bladezii"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[Termination "Draw agreed"]
[WhiteElo "2780"]
[BlackElo "2635"]
[Mode "ICS"]
[DateLastMove "2013.7.10"]
[ECO "A04"]
[Board "8845452"]

1.Nf3 c5 2.c4 Nf6 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.e3 e5 5.Be2 d5 6.d4 cxd4 7.exd4 exd4 8.Nxd4 dxc4 9.Nxc6 Qxd1+ 10.Kxd1 bxc6 11.Bxc4 Bg4+ 12.f3 O-O-O+ 13.Ke2 Re8+ 14.Be3 Bc5 15.Nd1 Bb6 16.Rc1 Re5 17.Kf2 Be6 18.Bxe6+ Rxe6 19.Bxb6 axb6 20.Re1 {Draw agreed} 1/2-1/2


******  I also believe White can play for an edge after Black's ...Nc6 with ...Bg7 idea.  I like your 4.e3 approach.



"Play 1.Nf3!" is one of the two books I'm writing for Everyman Chess. It will be the second of the two finished.

1.Nf3 c5 2.c4 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.g3 is the recommendation in that text.
  

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Re: How to play the symmetrical english?
Reply #33 - 07/26/13 at 05:14:08
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Who's book is "Play 1.Nf3" ?

I am preparing myself a whole revamped and improved repertoire.  I still believe in the English and I certainly still believe in 1.Nf3.  To me, they are the best ways to play with very very good chances to come out of the opening in great shape as White.

In the line with  e3.  I played a similar line as Black  - 

[Event "www.ChessWorld.net server game"]
[Site "www.ChessWorld.net "]
[Date "2013.7.3"]
[Round "NA"]
[White "alexkhesin"]
[Black "Bladezii"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[Termination "Draw agreed"]
[WhiteElo "2780"]
[BlackElo "2635"]
[Mode "ICS"]
[DateLastMove "2013.7.10"]
[ECO "A04"]
[Board "8845452"]

1.Nf3 c5 2.c4 Nf6 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.e3 e5 5.Be2 d5 6.d4 cxd4 7.exd4 exd4 8.Nxd4 dxc4 9.Nxc6 Qxd1+ 10.Kxd1 bxc6 11.Bxc4 Bg4+ 12.f3 O-O-O+ 13.Ke2 Re8+ 14.Be3 Bc5 15.Nd1 Bb6 16.Rc1 Re5 17.Kf2 Be6 18.Bxe6+ Rxe6 19.Bxb6 axb6 20.Re1 {Draw agreed} 1/2-1/2


******  I also believe White can play for an edge after Black's ...Nc6 with ...Bg7 idea.  I like your 4.e3 approach.

  

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Re: How to play the symmetrical english?
Reply #32 - 07/26/13 at 01:07:23
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BladezII wrote on 07/25/13 at 18:17:57:
@BPaulsen,

After 4.e3 , is it not correct that Black can transpose back to the other more 'correct' lines with 4.... Nf6 ?

What do you think of this?  Can White still play for an edge or for a line with good chances for an edge after 4...Nf6 ?

BTW, I am a fan of your work or postings in this subject.


1.Nf3 c5 2.c4 Nc6 3.Nc3 g6 4.e3 Nf6 5.d4 still looks good for white, but it isn't as easy as I thought at that point in time. I've done a considerable amount of research on the newly popular lines for black that will be covered in "Play 1.Nf3!", and believe I have found the most precise way to deal with them.

Since I made that last post my opinion on the Double Fianchetto Defense has drifted further in white's direction, and the Hedgehog has as well, but for different reasons in both cases. That said, in practical play they're still very dangerous. It's difficult to memorize everything.

In my opinion, the critical continuations in the 1.Nf3 c5 2.c4 Nc6 3.Nc3 complex are definitely those after 3...e5. 4.e3 has been tamed, sadly, and the typical treatments beginning with 4.g3 run into that ...Nb6 idea mentioned above. I've opted for a rare treatment of the position that is poisonous, and more importantly, is also challenging theoretically.
  

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Re: How to play the symmetrical english?
Reply #31 - 07/25/13 at 18:17:57
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BPaulsen wrote on 08/29/10 at 16:07:23:
Uruk wrote on 08/29/10 at 10:17:10:
BPaulsen wrote on 08/29/10 at 04:26:02:
1. c4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 g6 4. e3 intending 5. d4.

I know that from a Kortchnoi-Fischer game, but seem to recall F. quite solved the problems.

Also : what's the stock of the Double Fianchetto compared to the Hedgehog at the moment ?


It (1. c4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 g6) is viewed as an inaccurate move order for black by some due to 4. e3. White can obtain a small edge even if black uses the relatively best 4...Nf6 5. d4 cxd4 6. exd4 d5 after 7. Bg5 (7. cxd5 comes close to += as well, but black can maintin the balance with a pawn sacrifice later that gives some compensation. I wouldn't be surprised if a further refinement gave white the edge again) without much effort. Black has other tries, but none that ensure equality based on my files. There's numerous tries in the Symmetrical that white has to work harder in.

Double Fianchetto's stock is lower, black is still seeing problems stemming from the idea used in Kramnik-Aronian, Turin 2008. White's edge is persistent, nagging, and black's task is joyless.

Hedgehog has been doing better in general, but Amentanoitos' analysis he posted on here is stunning. The line he proposed and worked out is completely dangerous, and he produced significant improvements for white on the few lines supposedly safe for black in existing theory. In the critical line black has to walk on egg-shells, and even then he's likely not equal.



@BPaulsen,

After 4.e3 , is it not correct that Black can transpose back to the other more 'correct' lines with 4.... Nf6 ?

What do you think of this?  Can White still play for an edge or for a line with good chances for an edge after 4...Nf6 ?

BTW, I am a fan of your work or postings in this subject.
  

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Re: How to play the symmetrical english?
Reply #30 - 10/03/12 at 01:37:04
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Tolotos wrote on 02/11/11 at 13:49:43:
Quote:
I am not sure about the answer, but Marin recommends skipping the move d3, and suggest sending the king's knight towards d5 immediately, e.g.
1.c4 c5 2.g3 Nc6 3.Bg2 g6 4.Nc3 Bg7 5.Nf3 e5 6.0-0 Nge7 7.a3 0-0 8.Rb1 a5 and here 9.Ne1!

This move order is not covered in any of the other books I have (The Dynamic English, Beating the Flank Openings, Starting Out: English, Symmetrical English x2). It seems like a pretty clever one, which avoids early d5- and b5-breaks by Black. The resulting position seems a bit worse for Black than the "normal" case, after 9.d3 d6, because in those, Black can play ...Be6 and ...d5 when White plays Ne1.


Maybe it´s a better move order for black to play d6,Be6 first (attacking the c4-pawn to force d3)
1.c4 c5 2.g3 Nc6 3.Bg2 g6 4.Nc3 Bg7 5.Nf3 e5 6.0-0 d6 7.a3 a5 8.Ne1 Be6 9.d3 Nge7

Last Saturday I faced an interesting new move in the Botvinnik:

1.c4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 e5 4.g3 g6 5.Bg2 d6 6.0-0 Bg7 7.a3 a5 8.Ne1 Be6 9.d3 Nge7 10.Nc2 d5 11.cxd5 Nxd5 12.Ne3 and now my opponent played 12...Nb6!? (instead of Nde7)  13.Bxc6 bxc6 14.Ne4 c4 15.dxc4 0-0 16.c5 Nd7 17.Qd6 Re8 18.Qxc6 Rc8 19.Db5 Rb8 20.Qa6 Ra8 21.Qb5 Rb8 22.Qa6 Ra8 draw agreed


12...Nb6 is, in my opinion, much stronger than 12...Nde7. Black players of the Wedberg should focus their attention there.
  

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Re: How to play the symmetrical english?
Reply #29 - 10/04/12 at 04:04:44
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The last 7 Posts were moved here from Flank Openings [move by] TN.
  

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Re: How to play the symmetrical english?
Reply #28 - 10/02/12 at 19:07:33
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Pantu wrote on 10/02/12 at 18:07:23:
So best would be 1 Nf3 g6 2 e4 but then 2...c5 and I might as well play a Maroczy.  And if I'm playing that, why am I allowing the pure symmetrical?!


Actually - I was mulling over this problem before when I realised that after 1 Nf3 Nf6 2 c4 g6 3 Nc3 Bg7 4 e4 c5 white doesn't have much choice apart from 5 d4 cxd4 6 Nxd4 Nc6 (and I've had this move order played against me).  So 1 Nf3 + Classical KID means you should play the Maroczy and reduce the work by avoiding the pure symmetrical.
  
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Re: How to play the symmetrical english?
Reply #27 - 10/02/12 at 18:07:23
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BPaulsen wrote on 10/02/12 at 17:04:25:
Side-note to that list I compiled: Some of the things I listed under "everything else needs improvements" received a lot of work from me, and could also be recommended. ie: Fischer's Defense could actually be allowed, and an edge realistically played for (no hoping and wishing).

It's kind of a pity that those finds may get left out of "Play 1.Nf3!" for space reasons. Maybe it could be reserved for an update. Who knows.


The biggest issue I found with play 1 Nf3 c5 2 c4 g6 3 g3 (heading for the pure symmetrical) is the move order 1 Nf3 g6 2 c4 Bg7 (assuming white is playing the Classical vs the KID) as e.g. 3 Nc3 e5 wasn't totally clear and otherwise I could be move ordered.

So best would be 1 Nf3 g6 2 e4 but then 2...c5 and I might as well play a Maroczy.  And if I'm playing that, why am I allowing the pure symmetrical?!

So for a 1 Nf3 player who is heading for the Classical KID it seems more coherent to avoid the Fischer and related systems.  As an extra option it is useful, and 1 c4 players don't have this restriction (1 c4 g6 2 Nc3 Bg7 3 d4/e4).

  
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Re: How to play the symmetrical english?
Reply #26 - 10/02/12 at 17:04:25
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Dangerous OTB against the unwary.

Paper tiger against the prepared, possibly even landing white in hot water if the b4 sacrifices are in mind.

Side-note to that list I compiled: Some of the things I listed under "everything else needs improvements" received a lot of work from me, and could also be recommended. ie: Fischer's Defense could actually be allowed, and an edge realistically played for (no hoping and wishing).

It's kind of a pity that those finds may get left out of "Play 1.Nf3!" for space reasons. Maybe it could be reserved for an update. Who knows.
  

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Re: How to play the symmetrical english?
Reply #25 - 10/02/12 at 09:40:02
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BPaulsen wrote on 08/29/10 at 04:26:02:
1. c4 c5 2. Nf3 g6 3. e4 intending 4. d4 with a typical Maroczy Bind.

1. c4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 e5 4. g3 (Kramnik-Alekseev, Blitz 2008 demonstrates the right path for white despite the final result).

1. c4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 Nd4 4. e3 Nxf3 5. Qxf3 with g4 ideas.

1. c4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 g6 4. e3 intending 5. d4.

1. c4 c5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nc3 Nc6 4. g3 g6 5. d4

1. c4 c5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. d4

1. c4 c5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nc3 e6 4. g3 b6 5. Bg2 Bb7 6. 0-0 Be7 7. d4 is a Hedgehog, see Amentanoitos' thread on here.

1. c4 c5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nc3 e6 4. g3 5. cxd5 exd5 (5...Nxd5 Semi-Tarrasch) is a Tarrasch.

1. c4 c5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nc3 b6 4. g3 Bb7 5. Bg2 g6 6. 0-0 Bg7 7. d4 cxd4 8. Qxd4 is a Double Fianchetto Defense.

Those are the places you should look if a theoretical edge is the goal. Everything else either needs improvements for white, or just produces a playable game, based on the information I've compiled.


I realize this is 2 years old....but I have a related question. About the theoretical status of 1. c4 c5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e4. I've had a look at what the chesspublishing material has to stay and this seems dangerous for black, at least OTB. But many lines with what seems dubious compensation for a pawn.
Anyone with a view?
  
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Re: How to play the symmetrical english?
Reply #24 - 09/06/11 at 00:18:18
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Glenn Snow wrote on 09/05/11 at 16:34:52:
What about 1. c4 c5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nc3 Nc6 4. g3 d5?

I'm going to guess it's 5.d4 to avoid the Rubinstein Variation.


You got it, 5. d4 is the move.

Rubenstein Variation isn't the problem with 5. cxd5 though. The problem is if black just leaves the Nd5 where it is. Currently white can aspire to an edge in the Rubenstein, so if he wants to see it he should get it by the 1. c4/2. g3 move order when the Nd5 will be forced to retreat due to the Nc3/Bg2 hitting the Nd5 (in the move order above the Nf3 blocks the Bg2, so black isn't compelled to play ...Nc7).
  

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Re: How to play the symmetrical english?
Reply #23 - 09/05/11 at 16:34:52
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BPaulsen wrote on 08/29/10 at 04:26:02:
1. c4 c5 2. Nf3 g6 3. e4 intending 4. d4 with a typical Maroczy Bind.

1. c4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 e5 4. g3 (Kramnik-Alekseev, Blitz 2008 demonstrates the right path for white despite the final result).

1. c4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 Nd4 4. e3 Nxf3 5. Qxf3 with g4 ideas.

1. c4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 g6 4. e3 intending 5. d4.

1. c4 c5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nc3 Nc6 4. g3 g6 5. d4

1. c4 c5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. d4

1. c4 c5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nc3 e6 4. g3 b6 5. Bg2 Bb7 6. 0-0 Be7 7. d4 is a Hedgehog, see Amentanoitos' thread on here.

1. c4 c5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nc3 e6 4. g3 5. cxd5 exd5 (5...Nxd5 Semi-Tarrasch) is a Tarrasch.

1. c4 c5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nc3 b6 4. g3 Bb7 5. Bg2 g6 6. 0-0 Bg7 7. d4 cxd4 8. Qxd4 is a Double Fianchetto Defense.

Those are the places you should look if a theoretical edge is the goal. Everything else either needs improvements for white, or just produces a playable game, based on the information I've compiled.


What about 1. c4 c5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nc3 Nc6 4. g3 d5?

I'm going to guess it's 5.d4 to avoid the Rubinstein Variation.
  
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Re: How to play the symmetrical english?
Reply #22 - 02/28/11 at 21:08:06
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It isn't covered in Marin's work either. But wouldn't you rather want to play 5. dxc5 dxc5 6. Qxd8 if you are going to take on c5? (Edited, I missed the move order - The idea is of course to disturb Black before he gets castled).

sorry, it doesn't work at all. This is indeed KID territory. In the positions I was thinking of, White and Black have played Nc3 and Nc6, respectively. This covers the check on a5 by Black, which I guess I would play if White took on c5 without playing Nc3.
  
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Re: How to play the symmetrical english?
Reply #21 - 10/04/12 at 03:59:41
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Re: How to play the symmetrical english?
Reply #20 - 02/11/11 at 17:59:35
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Tolotos wrote on 02/11/11 at 13:49:43:
Quote:
I am not sure about the answer, but Marin recommends skipping the move d3, and suggest sending the king's knight towards d5 immediately, e.g.
1.c4 c5 2.g3 Nc6 3.Bg2 g6 4.Nc3 Bg7 5.Nf3 e5 6.0-0 Nge7 7.a3 0-0 8.Rb1 a5 and here 9.Ne1!

This move order is not covered in any of the other books I have (The Dynamic English, Beating the Flank Openings, Starting Out: English, Symmetrical English x2). It seems like a pretty clever one, which avoids early d5- and b5-breaks by Black. The resulting position seems a bit worse for Black than the "normal" case, after 9.d3 d6, because in those, Black can play ...Be6 and ...d5 when White plays Ne1.


Maybe it´s a better move order for black to play d6,Be6 first (attacking the c4-pawn to force d3)
1.c4 c5 2.g3 Nc6 3.Bg2 g6 4.Nc3 Bg7 5.Nf3 e5 6.0-0 d6 7.a3 a5 8.Ne1 Be6 9.d3 Nge7

Last Saturday I faced an interesting new move in the Botvinnik:

1.c4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 e5 4.g3 g6 5.Bg2 d6 6.0-0 Bg7 7.a3 a5 8.Ne1 Be6 9.d3 Nge7 10.Nc2 d5 11.cxd5 Nxd5 12.Ne3 and now my opponent played 12...Nb6!? (instead of Nde7)  13.Bxc6 bxc6 14.Ne4 c4 15.dxc4 0-0 16.c5 Nd7 17.Qd6 Re8 18.Qxc6 Rc8 19.Db5 Rb8 20.Qa6 Ra8 21.Qb5 Rb8 22.Qa6 Ra8 draw agreed


Interesting idea with 12 ...Nb6!? I have to have a closer look at it when I have a board available.

Anyway, the problem with your first line, playing ...d6 first, is that after 7.a3 a5, White hasn't had to play Rb1. This tempo can White use to his advantage. Most authors have concluded the same thing. I can't remember Marin's analysis on top of my head, but I think that Kosten also mentions that White should give up the queenside break and focus on the b5-square.
  
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Re: How to play the symmetrical english?
Reply #19 - 02/11/11 at 13:49:43
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Quote:
I am not sure about the answer, but Marin recommends skipping the move d3, and suggest sending the king's knight towards d5 immediately, e.g.
1.c4 c5 2.g3 Nc6 3.Bg2 g6 4.Nc3 Bg7 5.Nf3 e5 6.0-0 Nge7 7.a3 0-0 8.Rb1 a5 and here 9.Ne1!

This move order is not covered in any of the other books I have (The Dynamic English, Beating the Flank Openings, Starting Out: English, Symmetrical English x2). It seems like a pretty clever one, which avoids early d5- and b5-breaks by Black. The resulting position seems a bit worse for Black than the "normal" case, after 9.d3 d6, because in those, Black can play ...Be6 and ...d5 when White plays Ne1.


Maybe it´s a better move order for black to play d6,Be6 first (attacking the c4-pawn to force d3)
1.c4 c5 2.g3 Nc6 3.Bg2 g6 4.Nc3 Bg7 5.Nf3 e5 6.0-0 d6 7.a3 a5 8.Ne1 Be6 9.d3 Nge7

Last Saturday I faced an interesting new move in the Botvinnik:

1.c4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 e5 4.g3 g6 5.Bg2 d6 6.0-0 Bg7 7.a3 a5 8.Ne1 Be6 9.d3 Nge7 10.Nc2 d5 11.cxd5 Nxd5 12.Ne3 and now my opponent played 12...Nb6!? (instead of Nde7)  13.Bxc6 bxc6 14.Ne4 c4 15.dxc4 0-0 16.c5 Nd7 17.Qd6 Re8 18.Qxc6 Rc8 19.Db5 Rb8 20.Qa6 Ra8 21.Qb5 Rb8 22.Qa6 Ra8 draw agreed
  
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Re: How to play the symmetrical english?
Reply #18 - 02/09/11 at 21:06:42
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[quote author=72717B7D1C0 link=1283034319/12#12 date=1284159400][quote]no d5-break?

1. c4 c5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. g3 e5 4. Bg2 g6 5. Nf3 Bg7 6. O-O Nge7 7. d3 d6 8. a3 O-O 9. Rb1 a5 10. Ne1 Be6 11. Nc2 d5 [/quote]


I was talking about positions where White has adopted a Botvinnik set-up, to the extent of having a pawn on e4 as well as on c4.

But looking at this makes me realise how ignorant I am about move orders and the status of certain variations -- can anyone help? In the sequence of moves battleangel gives quoted above, the 'Botvinnik' (the B. setup for White, but also indeed for Black -- a double Botvinnik) could be reached via say 5 d3 Bg7 6 e4. But White seems to adopt this plan only comparatively rarely. Why is this, given that in the Closed Symmetrical, where White has adopted a B. setup before ...e5 Black isn't likely to play that move in preference to keeping the diagonal for the Bg7 open? Does the answer lie in move orders, or in the fact that Black hasn't committed his king's knight and so can meet Botvinnik with Botvinnik? I'm feeling very thick! ...
[/quote]

I am not sure about the answer, but Marin recommends skipping the move d3, and suggest sending the king's knight towards d5 immediately, e.g.
[b]1.c4 c5 2.g3 Nc6 3.Bg2 g6 4.Nc3 Bg7 5.Nf3 e5 6.0-0 Nge7 7.a3 0-0 8.Rb1 a5[/b] and here [b]9.Ne1![/b]

This move order is not covered in any of the other books I have (The Dynamic English, Beating the Flank Openings, Starting Out: English, Symmetrical English x2). It seems like a pretty clever one, which avoids early d5- and b5-breaks by Black. The resulting position seems a bit worse for Black than the "normal" case, after [b]9.d3 d6[/b], because in those, Black can play ...Be6 and ...d5 when White plays Ne1.
  
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Re: How to play the symmetrical english?
Reply #17 - 12/31/10 at 22:43:58
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Found it - thanks!
  
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Re: How to play the symmetrical english?
Reply #16 - 12/30/10 at 20:37:42
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My enthusiasm for that particular variation has since waned for that particular variation due to a black improvement, but it's still notable anyway. It's in the thread titled "An Attacking Line Against the Hedgehog".
  

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Re: How to play the symmetrical english?
Reply #15 - 12/30/10 at 20:19:56
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[/quote]

Hedgehog has been doing better in general, but Amentanoitos' analysis he posted on here is stunning. The line he proposed and worked out is completely dangerous, and he produced significant improvements for white on the few lines supposedly safe for black in existing theory. In the critical line black has to walk on egg-shells, and even then he's likely not equal. [/quote]

I'm new to this site....where do I find this analysis?  Thank you.
  
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Re: How to play the symmetrical english?
Reply #14 - 09/12/10 at 21:51:31
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Thanks kylemeister. I tend to forget things these days -- I have a feeling I've been here before ... Too much chess stuff too late at night, probably!
  
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Re: How to play the symmetrical english?
Reply #13 - 09/10/10 at 23:37:33
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I think I'd have to go with (b), but.  I think that Botvinnik vs. Botvinnik is standardly considered equal/harmless.  I've long had the idea that Black shouldn't combine ...Nf6 and ...e5 versus the Botvinnik, but I've seen some sources which think that that shouldn't be better for White, at least in a couple of specific cases, and I've noticed very strong players playing such a combination on a few occasions.
  
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Re: How to play the symmetrical english?
Reply #12 - 09/10/10 at 22:56:40
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[quote]no d5-break?

1. c4 c5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. g3 e5 4. Bg2 g6 5. Nf3 Bg7 6. O-O Nge7 7. d3 d6 8. a3 O-O 9. Rb1 a5 10. Ne1 Be6 11. Nc2 d5 [/quote]


I was talking about positions where White has adopted a Botvinnik set-up, to the extent of having a pawn on e4 as well as on c4.

But looking at this makes me realise how ignorant I am about move orders and the status of certain variations -- can anyone help? In the sequence of moves battleangel gives quoted above, the 'Botvinnik' (the B. setup for White, but also indeed for Black -- a double Botvinnik) could be reached via say 5 d3 Bg7 6 e4. But White seems to adopt this plan only comparatively rarely. Why is this, given that in the Closed Symmetrical, where White has adopted a B. setup before ...e5 Black isn't likely to play that move in preference to keeping the diagonal for the Bg7 open? Does the answer lie in move orders, or in the fact that Black hasn't committed his king's knight and so can meet Botvinnik with Botvinnik? I'm feeling very thick! ...
  
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Re: How to play the symmetrical english?
Reply #11 - 08/30/10 at 14:30:18
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BPaulsen wrote on 08/29/10 at 16:09:19:
gewgaw wrote on 08/29/10 at 13:42:19:
1. c4 c5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nc3 Nc6 4. d4 cxd4 5.
Nxd4 g6 6. g3 Bg7 7. Bg2 O-O 8. O-O Nxd4 9. Qxd4 d6 10. Qd3 a6 11. Bd2
Maybe a good opportunity to explain 11.Bd2?


11. Bd2 works against both Qa5 ideas, and Bxc3 ideas, the latter freeing up the white Q. It is also the most useful move for white's queenside ambitions because quite often it ends up supporting the desirable b4 push, which is used to highlight either a weak black pawn on b5 after an eventual ...b5 cxb5 axb5, or to support a passed white b-pawn.


Very instructive - thank you!
  

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Re: How to play the symmetrical english?
Reply #10 - 08/29/10 at 21:24:24
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no d5-break?

1. c4 c5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. g3 e5 4. Bg2 g6 5. Nf3 Bg7 6. O-O Nge7 7. d3 d6 8. a3
O-O 9. Rb1 a5 10. Ne1 Be6 11. Nc2 d5 *





[quote author=494A4046270 link=1283034319/6#6 date=1283080258][quote]I have looked up numerous games in the botwinnik variation where black has a pawnstructure with c5-d6-e5 and kingside fianchetto, and my conclusion is that black has very good play in these variations ... an early a3 trying to play b4 is just countered with a5 ... and black can sometime just play the pawnbreak d5 and has not many problems ...[/quote]

The whole controversy surrounding the Botvinnik against the Symmetrical concerns the fact that Black [i]hasn't[/i] played ...e5 in addition to ...c5! -- this is normally regarded as being in Black's favour if anyone's. Where Black has played ...c5 and ...e5 White surely can be satisfied with a Botvinnik setup -- a3/b4/Rb1 plans are very much on the cards (though obviously move order/precise position are important and it's hard to generalise), and obviously there's no ...d5 break for Black!

[/quote]
  
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Re: How to play the symmetrical english?
Reply #9 - 08/29/10 at 16:09:19
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gewgaw wrote on 08/29/10 at 13:42:19:
1. c4 c5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nc3 Nc6 4. d4 cxd4 5.
Nxd4 g6 6. g3 Bg7 7. Bg2 O-O 8. O-O Nxd4 9. Qxd4 d6 10. Qd3 a6 11. Bd2
Maybe a good opportunity to explain 11.Bd2?



We'll start from worst to best:

11. b3 Bf5! and white has tactical issues.

11. h3 is too slow and ...b5 comes quickly.

11. c5 is thematic, but allows black easy equality after 11...dxc5 12. Qxd8 Rxd8 13. Be3 Be6.

11. Bf4 does nothing to help white's queenside ambitions, the move just "hits air". Black will achieve full equality with the ...b5 break.

11. Bg5 is perhaps the most famous continuation, but does nothing to aid white's queenside ambitions and black's eventual ...b5 break equalizes just as easily as it does versus 11. Bf4.

11. Be3 Ng4 is slightly awkward for white, but this is is the second best continuation.

Finally that brings us to the prophylactic 11. Bd2.

11. Bd2 works against both Qa5 ideas, and Bxc3 ideas, the latter freeing up the white Q. It is also the most useful move for white's queenside ambitions because quite often it ends up supporting the desirable b4 push, which is used to highlight either a weak black pawn on b5 after an eventual ...b5 cxb5 axb5, or to support a passed white b-pawn.
  

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Re: How to play the symmetrical english?
Reply #8 - 08/29/10 at 16:07:23
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Uruk wrote on 08/29/10 at 10:17:10:
BPaulsen wrote on 08/29/10 at 04:26:02:
1. c4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 g6 4. e3 intending 5. d4.

I know that from a Kortchnoi-Fischer game, but seem to recall F. quite solved the problems.

Also : what's the stock of the Double Fianchetto compared to the Hedgehog at the moment ?


It (1. c4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 g6) is viewed as an inaccurate move order for black by some due to 4. e3. White can obtain a small edge even if black uses the relatively best 4...Nf6 5. d4 cxd4 6. exd4 d5 after 7. Bg5 (7. cxd5 comes close to += as well, but black can maintin the balance with a pawn sacrifice later that gives some compensation. I wouldn't be surprised if a further refinement gave white the edge again) without much effort. Black has other tries, but none that ensure equality based on my files. There's numerous tries in the Symmetrical that white has to work harder in.

Double Fianchetto's stock is lower, black is still seeing problems stemming from the idea used in Kramnik-Aronian, Turin 2008. White's edge is persistent, nagging, and black's task is joyless.

Hedgehog has been doing better in general, but Amentanoitos' analysis he posted on here is stunning. The line he proposed and worked out is completely dangerous, and he produced significant improvements for white on the few lines supposedly safe for black in existing theory. In the critical line black has to walk on egg-shells, and even then he's likely not equal.
  

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Re: How to play the symmetrical english?
Reply #7 - 08/29/10 at 13:42:19
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1. c4 c5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nc3 Nc6 4. d4 cxd4 5.
Nxd4 g6 6. g3 Bg7 7. Bg2 O-O 8. O-O Nxd4 9. Qxd4 d6 10. Qd3 a6 11. Bd2
Maybe a good opportunity to explain 11.Bd2?

  

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Re: How to play the symmetrical english?
Reply #6 - 08/29/10 at 11:10:58
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[quote]I have looked up numerous games in the botwinnik variation where black has a pawnstructure with c5-d6-e5 and kingside fianchetto, and my conclusion is that black has very good play in these variations ... an early a3 trying to play b4 is just countered with a5 ... and black can sometime just play the pawnbreak d5 and has not many problems ...[/quote]

The whole controversy surrounding the Botvinnik against the Symmetrical concerns the fact that Black [i]hasn't[/i] played ...e5 in addition to ...c5! -- this is normally regarded as being in Black's favour if anyone's. Where Black has played ...c5 and ...e5 White surely can be satisfied with a Botvinnik setup -- a3/b4/Rb1 plans are very much on the cards (though obviously move order/precise position are important and it's hard to generalise), and obviously there's no ...d5 break for Black!

  
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Re: How to play the symmetrical english?
Reply #5 - 08/29/10 at 10:17:10
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BPaulsen wrote on 08/29/10 at 04:26:02:
1. c4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 g6 4. e3 intending 5. d4.

I know that from a Kortchnoi-Fischer game, but seem to recall F. quite solved the problems.

Also : what's the stock of the Double Fianchetto compared to the Hedgehog at the moment ?
  
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Re: How to play the symmetrical english?
Reply #4 - 08/29/10 at 09:56:19
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I have looked up numerous games in the botwinnik variation where black has a pawnstructure with c5-d6-e5 and kingside fianchetto, and my conclusion is that black has very good play in these variations ... an early a3 trying to play b4 is just countered with a5 ... and black can sometime just play the pawnbreak d5 and has not many problems ...
so now I try to play 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.Nf3, I just don't play d5, and in my database this looks good ... I think this way I will have to deal less often with the symmetrical than by playing 1.c4 or 1.Nf3 ... I think it's still best to play an early d4 preventing e5 in the symmetrical, although the position is still not easy ...

I think the only alternative approach to an early d4 is BPaulsen's 1. c4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 g6 4. e3 intending 5. d4, thanks BPaulsen for the variations, (although black can already play 3. ... e5), but I dunno I still think an early d4 preventing e5 is a must, now I try to play the open symmetrical from 1.d4 perspective ...
  
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Re: How to play the symmetrical english?
Reply #3 - 08/29/10 at 09:05:30
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There are several threads in the Flank Opening forum discussing the status of the closed systems the O.P. favours if he cares to search. Most recently there are interesting posts by Tony K, Phil Adams and others here: http://www.chesspub.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1278109744/15#15
  
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Re: How to play the symmetrical english?
Reply #2 - 08/29/10 at 07:17:08
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How about a Botvinnik set-up, with 1c4, 2.g3, keeping it closed by putting the d.pawn on d3? I am struggling myself with the symmetrical.

I wonder what Marin will recommend (if the book ever is released!?).
  
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Re: How to play the symmetrical english?
Reply #1 - 08/29/10 at 04:26:02
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1. c4 c5 2. Nf3 g6 3. e4 intending 4. d4 with a typical Maroczy Bind.

1. c4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 e5 4. g3 (Kramnik-Alekseev, Blitz 2008 demonstrates the right path for white despite the final result).

1. c4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 Nd4 4. e3 Nxf3 5. Qxf3 with g4 ideas.

1. c4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 g6 4. e3 intending 5. d4.

1. c4 c5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nc3 Nc6 4. g3 g6 5. d4

1. c4 c5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. d4

1. c4 c5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nc3 e6 4. g3 b6 5. Bg2 Bb7 6. 0-0 Be7 7. d4 is a Hedgehog, see Amentanoitos' thread on here.

1. c4 c5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nc3 e6 4. g3 5. cxd5 exd5 (5...Nxd5 Semi-Tarrasch) is a Tarrasch.

1. c4 c5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nc3 b6 4. g3 Bb7 5. Bg2 g6 6. 0-0 Bg7 7. d4 cxd4 8. Qxd4 is a Double Fianchetto Defense.

Those are the places you should look if a theoretical edge is the goal. Everything else either needs improvements for white, or just produces a playable game, based on the information I've compiled.
« Last Edit: 08/29/10 at 15:57:37 by BPaulsen »  

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How to play the symmetrical english?
08/28/10 at 22:25:19
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I am thinking of returning again to a flank opening,
but I really need an advice against ... c5.
Tbh. I don't think the lines with an early d4 c5xd4 Nxd4 are easy to play for white.
Isn't there a different approach keeping the position more closed, like an a3-b4 plan, or a b3 plan, or an e3-d4 plan, is there a promising alternative to the open english? Currently I feel a bit confused, should I keep on playing 1.d4 c4 allowing benko, Benoni and Czech Benoni and also Budapest, or should I play 1.Nf3 2.c4 allowing the symmetrical english, either the hedgedog or the king-fianchetto (maroczy-bind of accelerated dragon) ... 1.d4 2.c4 is definately more advantegous from a theoretical point, but I am not good or I do not like to learn all the exact move orders in the opening, which is definately needed in benko and benoni ... 1.Nf3 2.c4 is more intuitive, but gives black also a lot of playing possibilities and black is definately nearer to equality ...
so I am searching for a *promising* way to play the symmetrical english without an early d4 ...
« Last Edit: 08/29/10 at 09:17:13 by »  
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