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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) GM Jan Gustafsson: The Marshall Attack (Read 31241 times)
TopNotch
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Re: GM Jan Gustafsson: The Marshall Attack
Reply #63 - 12/29/19 at 05:37:33
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Seeley wrote on 12/28/19 at 12:17:42:
an ordinary chessplayer wrote on 12/28/19 at 04:16:34:
Years ago I rejected the Marshall for the same reason Seeley gave. In scenario A, about 90% of the games, white deviates on moves 4-8. In scenario B, white has specially prepared for the Marshall and I have to remember some variation which I have never (or hardly ever) faced over-the-board. The key point is that scenario A happens with similar frequency no matter which mainline Ruy I might have in my repertoire.

I think this is exactly right, though I'd argue that scenario A happens less frequently if you don't threaten the Marshall as Black by playing 7...0-0. Whereas it's extremely common, certainly at my level, for people to answer 7...0-0 with something other than 8.c3 so as to avoid the Marshall, more people seem willing to play 8.c3 after 7...d6, which means Black is still on course to get a mainline Chigorin, Zaitsev or Breyer on the board.

TopNotch wrote on 12/28/19 at 02:11:30:
When an opening system has an excellent reputation, chances of getting it on the board is less likely and that really is not a good enough reason to give up an opening, it just means you have to make the sidelines less appealing to opponents. The other option is to study and play both the Latvian and Elephant gambits as I'm pretty sure that few players would try to stop you from getting these on the board.  Wink


The first half of this is absolutely correct, but my point was that there's little incentive to learn lots of Marshall theory in the first place if you know you're unlikely ever to get a chance to play it.

I realise the second half of TopNotch's point is tongue-in-cheek, but his 'other option' is, of course, not the only one. As I've just argued, a different variety of Ruy mainline is much more likely to appear on the board than the Marshall, as long as you play 7...d6 instead of 7...0-0.


I empathise with your dilemma brother, Iv'e been there, but sometimes you just gotta bite the bullet. Every popular and successful Opening defence carries with it a lot of theory, it's true that if you forget your theory as black in a critical Marshall line it could spell doom, but the same goes for white, moreover the Marshall is not a one trick pony and there are enough options in every mainline that you need not be predictable. There is a learning curve with the Marshall of course  but I believe if you stick with it the potential upside is tremendous, just ask Aronian who continues to play it almost exclusively despite his opponents awareness its coming.

If you are a bean counter then the Marshall, Schliemann and Arkhangelsk Variations are probably best avoided, but the Breyer and Chigorin also have a huge body of theory and if you wing it there it can also become very unpleasant against a prepared opponent. Further I am not certain that 7...d6 rather than 7...0-0 allows for more variety of Ruy as you state, more often than not the Marshall move-order bluffs white into choosing less theoretically challenging lines such as early d3's etc.

In the end every player has to decide what works best for them, but bare in mind that chess is also a psychological game. I remember in my Dragon playing days being paired against a much higher rated Austrian IM who always played 1.d4 according to my database, but in our game he uncorked the TN 1.e4. Clearly he was up to something, nevertheless I still played my Dragon except I chose a line I had never used before confident that my overall experience with the opening should be superior to a lifelong 1.d4 guy who probably just prepared for the line I usually played, and I was proved right. Moral of the story, whatever defence you ultimately choose, put in the work and after awhile you will get a feel for the type of positions that arise and even when out of theory you will come up with sensible ideas and playable moves.   
 
  

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BobbyDigital80
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Re: GM Jan Gustafsson: The Marshall Attack
Reply #62 - 12/29/19 at 02:41:57
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For me the main attraction of the Marshall is, ironically, not getting the Marshall on the board. I'd rather face Anti-Marshalls or some other sidelines than have to remember long forcing lines, some of which White can draw right out of the opening by repetition if he so wishes.
  
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Seeley
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Re: GM Jan Gustafsson: The Marshall Attack
Reply #61 - 12/28/19 at 12:17:42
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an ordinary chessplayer wrote on 12/28/19 at 04:16:34:
Years ago I rejected the Marshall for the same reason Seeley gave. In scenario A, about 90% of the games, white deviates on moves 4-8. In scenario B, white has specially prepared for the Marshall and I have to remember some variation which I have never (or hardly ever) faced over-the-board. The key point is that scenario A happens with similar frequency no matter which mainline Ruy I might have in my repertoire.

I think this is exactly right, though I'd argue that scenario A happens less frequently if you don't threaten the Marshall as Black by playing 7...0-0. Whereas it's extremely common, certainly at my level, for people to answer 7...0-0 with something other than 8.c3 so as to avoid the Marshall, more people seem willing to play 8.c3 after 7...d6, which means Black is still on course to get a mainline Chigorin, Zaitsev or Breyer on the board.

TopNotch wrote on 12/28/19 at 02:11:30:
When an opening system has an excellent reputation, chances of getting it on the board is less likely and that really is not a good enough reason to give up an opening, it just means you have to make the sidelines less appealing to opponents. The other option is to study and play both the Latvian and Elephant gambits as I'm pretty sure that few players would try to stop you from getting these on the board.  Wink


The first half of this is absolutely correct, but my point was that there's little incentive to learn lots of Marshall theory in the first place if you know you're unlikely ever to get a chance to play it.

I realise the second half of TopNotch's point is tongue-in-cheek, but his 'other option' is, of course, not the only one. As I've just argued, a different variety of Ruy mainline is much more likely to appear on the board than the Marshall, as long as you play 7...d6 instead of 7...0-0.
  
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Re: GM Jan Gustafsson: The Marshall Attack
Reply #60 - 12/28/19 at 09:19:30
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TopNotch wrote on 12/28/19 at 02:11:30:
The other option is to study and play both the Latvian and Elephant gambits

False dichotomy. There are more than two options. Theres'a lot between the Marshall Gambit and the Elephant Gambit.
  

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an ordinary chessplayer
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Re: GM Jan Gustafsson: The Marshall Attack
Reply #59 - 12/28/19 at 04:16:34
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TopNotch wrote on 12/28/19 at 02:11:30:
When an opening system has an excellent reputation, chances of getting it on the board is less likely and that really is not a good enough reason to give up an opening, it just means you have to make the sidelines less appealing to opponents. The other option is to study and play both the Latvian and Elephant gambits as I'm pretty sure that few players would try to stop you from getting these on the board.  Wink


Okay you do have a point, but the counterpoint is not all mainline openings have the same memory burden for over-the-board play. At least in the Chigorin or Breyer, if you forget the book move you can just wing it to a certain extent and it might work out. In the Marshall, if you forget the book move you are more likely to immediately go down in flames.

Years ago I rejected the Marshall for the same reason Seeley gave. In scenario A, about 90% of the games, white deviates on moves 4-8. In scenario B, white has specially prepared for the Marshall and I have to remember some variation which I have never (or hardly ever) faced over-the-board. The key point is that scenario A happens with similar frequency no matter which mainline Ruy I might have in my repertoire.
  
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TopNotch
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Re: GM Jan Gustafsson: The Marshall Attack
Reply #58 - 12/28/19 at 02:11:30
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Seeley wrote on 12/13/19 at 18:16:33:
LordChaos21 wrote on 12/13/19 at 15:13:23:
The paradox is that often people are scared from playing such lines as the Marshall because they are very theory heavy and lead to forced draws in the mainlines, but what they don't often realize, is that their opponent suffers from the exact same phobia.

Not one of my opponents so far have allowed the Marshall proper with c3 d5, even after ten games from the 0-0 position. So yeah, most likely you get a pretty good version of a Closed Spanish with h3 or a4.

I think it's perhaps the case that people are not so much scared off from playing lines such as the Marshall, as disincentivised from learning them in the first place. This is because you're faced with having to spend a lot of time memorising all the sharp and theory-heavy main lines, while knowing that – at club level at least – you're only very rarely going to have a chance to play them, because, as you say, players of White tend to avoid them.

I did consider learning the Marshall a while ago, but was put off by my experience with the Sveshnikov Sicilian a number of years back. During the course of around twelve months of playing  the opening – or trying to – against 2000-2200ish Elo players, I didn't get the mainline Sveshnikov on the board even once, instead finding myself confronted with various anti-Sicilians and early deviations before the mainline was reached. This pretty much echoes the experience you describe with the Marshall. So there's a practical case to be made for not bothering with all the work involved in learning such sharp theoretical lines, and instead concentrating your efforts on studying a line that you're more likely to get on the board.


When an opening system has an excellent reputation, chances of getting it on the board is less likely and that really is not a good enough reason to give up an opening, it just means you have to make the sidelines less appealing to opponents. The other option is to study and play both the Latvian and Elephant gambits as I'm pretty sure that few players would try to stop you from getting these on the board.  Wink
  

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Re: GM Jan Gustafsson: The Marshall Attack
Reply #57 - 12/26/19 at 04:17:36
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Seeley wrote on 12/13/19 at 18:16:33:
I think it's perhaps the case that people are not so much scared off from playing lines such as the Marshall, as disincentivised from learning them in the first place. This is because you're faced with having to spend a lot of time memorising all the sharp and theory-heavy main lines, while knowing that – at club level at least – you're only very rarely going to have a chance to play them, because, as you say, players of White tend to avoid them.

I did consider learning the Marshall a while ago, but was put off by my experience with the Sveshnikov Sicilian a number of years back. During the course of around twelve months of playing  the opening – or trying to – against 2000-2200ish Elo players, I didn't get the mainline Sveshnikov on the board even once, instead finding myself confronted with various anti-Sicilians and early deviations before the mainline was reached. This pretty much echoes the experience you describe with the Marshall. So there's a practical case to be made for not bothering with all the work involved in learning such sharp theoretical lines, and instead concentrating your efforts on studying a line that you're more likely to get on the board.


Yeah that's fair, although I do think you don't really need to know all that much theory anyways in the Marshall honestly. Just learn the new and trendy d3 line, and perhaps the d4 Re4 line, as the others are very rarely played at any levels whatsoever. Only if you want you can check the other critical lines. See IsaVulpes' post for example.

Also, from my personal experience, I have got many more Sveshnikov propers than mainline Marshalls. I don't know why! Perhaps its because none of the Anti-Sicilians besides the Rossolimo are really very dangerous compared to the Anti-Marshalls like a4 and h3.
  
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Re: GM Jan Gustafsson: The Marshall Attack
Reply #56 - 12/20/19 at 17:15:38
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nocteus wrote on 12/17/19 at 20:46:06:
Leon_Trotsky wrote on 12/14/19 at 05:56:04:
Another choice would, very ironically, be Berlin. The endgame is actually very good for Black players to try to win this endgame. The 4. d3 line and the other line with the rook on e1 are not as dry as people think it is.


I am curious. How do you liven up the Re1 line?

Yes I want to know this too.
  
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Re: GM Jan Gustafsson: The Marshall Attack
Reply #55 - 12/17/19 at 20:46:06
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Leon_Trotsky wrote on 12/14/19 at 05:56:04:
Another choice would, very ironically, be Berlin. The endgame is actually very good for Black players to try to win this endgame. The 4. d3 line and the other line with the rook on e1 are not as dry as people think it is.


I am curious. How do you liven up the Re1 line?
  
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Re: GM Jan Gustafsson: The Marshall Attack
Reply #54 - 12/16/19 at 05:50:23
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I am of the opinion that if Gustafsson wrote a book on 1. e4 e5 as a complete Black repertoire in paper form, it would be a massive best seller. Especially paired with a publishing house like Quality Chess or Chess Stars.
  
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TopNotch
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Re: GM Jan Gustafsson: The Marshall Attack
Reply #53 - 12/16/19 at 01:35:25
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Jack Hughes wrote on 12/14/19 at 20:25:21:
Anyone interested in this new course should be aware that the (free) Short and Sweet version has now been released, which provides a decent guide to the lines he is recommending. One highlight I will mention is his recommendation of the line 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. Ng5 d5 5. exd5 Na5 6. Bb5+ c6 7. dxc6 bxc6 8. Qf3 h6 9. Ne4 cxb5!? (I believe this may even be a novelty) intending 10. Nxf6+ gxf6 11. Qxa8 Qd7.


Curiously another LC0 guy Larry Kaufman, in his latest book actually recommends for White:
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. Ng5 d5 5. exd5 Na5 6. Bb5+ c6 7. dxc6 bxc6 8. Qf3

However he does not consider the cxb5 lines at all, which as far as I can tell more or less puts 8.Qf3 out of business as a winning try. In addition to Gusti's 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. Ng5 d5 5. exd5 Na5 6. Bb5+ c6 7. dxc6 bxc6 8. Qf3 h6 9. Ne4 cxb5!? there is also: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 d5 5.exd5 Na5 6.Bb5+ c6 7.dxc6 bxc6 8.Qf3 cxb5 9.Qxa8 Qc7!? which he mentions in passing and 9...Be7 which he does not mention, but also poses serious practical problems for White. When I last checked my TWIC updates 9...Qc7 has received a practical test and I have already used 9...Be7 to win a quick tournament game. Perhaps according to Tarrasch 4.Ng5 is a duffer's move after all. Smiley

As an aside the more I work my way through Kaufman's book the more unenthusiastic I become about the content. It's not that his analysis is bad it's more that the book attempts to cover too many Opening lines with too little analysis.

  

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Re: GM Jan Gustafsson: The Marshall Attack
Reply #52 - 12/15/19 at 20:51:22
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BobbyDigital80 wrote on 12/15/19 at 19:36:19:
Can you save a chessasble course as a PGN file? I've been reading conflicting information.

There is no way that I am aware of to download a course as a PGN. The best substitute I can think of is to view a variation and just copy-paste the text, but this will only give you one variation at a time.
  
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Re: GM Jan Gustafsson: The Marshall Attack
Reply #51 - 12/15/19 at 19:36:19
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Can you save a chessasble course as a PGN file? I've been reading conflicting information.
  
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Re: GM Jan Gustafsson: The Marshall Attack
Reply #50 - 12/14/19 at 20:25:21
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Anyone interested in this new course should be aware that the (free) Short and Sweet version has now been released, which provides a decent guide to the lines he is recommending. One highlight I will mention is his recommendation of the line 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. Ng5 d5 5. exd5 Na5 6. Bb5+ c6 7. dxc6 bxc6 8. Qf3 h6 9. Ne4 cxb5!? (I believe this may even be a novelty) intending 10. Nxf6+ gxf6 11. Qxa8 Qd7.
In general my impression is that Gustafsson's recommendations aim to new ideas as early as possible, with most of the new ideas coming from LC0. Consider for example the following quote from his text accompanying the aforementioned 15... Ra7 in the Marshall: "There is nothing wrong with the old main lines starting with 15... Bg4, but they do require Black to learn quite some theory in order to hold. Let's get our surprise in first!" Of course the downside of choosing innovation over the tried and tested is that you do take greater risk of having your analysis overturned by later developments, but with computers as good as they are now that risk is lower than ever before. Furthermore, having these lines exposed to the light of day in such a high-profile course will help ensure that they get the further practical and theoretical testing that one might hope for.
On a side note, is it time to start a new thread for this course? The original thread was about the old Chessbase DVD, and the new course covers a lot more than just the Marshall.
  
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Re: GM Jan Gustafsson: The Marshall Attack
Reply #49 - 12/14/19 at 06:39:57
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IsaVulpes wrote on 12/11/19 at 11:44:17:
I wouldn't buy the videos, just get the course.

Theory is beyond a doubt excellent, coverage is of everything, 1..e5 vs Non-Ruy is contained, and in all spots where multiple variations are possible, he uses the rarest/freshest one to keep your opponents surprised. Tons of ideas I've never seen, and I trust him blindly - as a 2nd for Carlsen, we can be positive he is checking his lines properly  Wink

So eg in the old Marshall mainline, after 12.d4 Bd6 13.Re1 Qh4 14.g3 Qh3 15.Be3, he picked 15...Ra7!?

Most of the new lines he recommends are Lc0 discoveries, and thus didn't exist at all during the time of his chessbase/chess24 videos.


Is 15...Ra7 the only line he gives against the old mainline, or does he cover the main mainline, too? Also, what's the reason he gives 15...Ra7? Is it to avoid forced drawing lines by White, or just because it's not as explored?
  
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