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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) What can be learned from 2. Na3 vs. the Sicilian (Read 11033 times)
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Re: What can be learned from 2. Na3 vs. the Sicilian
Reply #16 - 03/03/11 at 06:54:35
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lets try to keep it civil and on the analysis of the thread? I don't want to have to start moderating this thread.
  
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Re: What can be learned from 2. Na3 vs. the Sicilian
Reply #15 - 03/03/11 at 06:23:02
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It could be mentioned that Sveshnikov addressed both 3. Na3 and 3. g3 in his B22 monograph from 14 years ago (he gave the first as leading to unclarity, the second as leading to an edge for White).
  
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Re: What can be learned from 2. Na3 vs. the Sicilian
Reply #14 - 03/03/11 at 04:04:41
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Alapin-Tarrasch, Vienna 1898 is one of the oldest (maybe the oldest?) source games in this variation and White played 4.Na3. 3.Na3 is not such an outlandish idea, nor that hard to find. What a strange thread.

The simple idea of attacking the queen by Nc4 does not constitute a refutation btw. I used to dabble with 2..Qa5 in the c3 Sicilian and I remember having a comfortable game as Black against 4.Na3 where later I was able to play ..d5 after the queen was chased. You could look at Buecker's article for a few sample lines and maybe check out some of Movsesian's games. Frankly, I'm often happy to see such "clever ideas" when I play an offbeat deviation.

Actually I think switching mindset from a search for direct refutations to a slower positional approach with 3.g3 is an interesting idea for White (arguably the queen is perhaps prematurely committed in the maneuvering ahead), but maybe that's counterintuitive for a lot of c3 Sicilian players - which is a good reason to play 2..Qa5.

This thread gives me extra motivation to become a titled player. Then I can make silly pronouncements and look forward to seeing class players argue about them. jk
« Last Edit: 03/03/11 at 05:11:00 by ChevyBanginStyle »  
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George Jempty
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Re: What can be learned from 2. Na3 vs. the Sicilian
Reply #13 - 03/01/11 at 00:02:21
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Ametanoitos wrote on 02/16/11 at 09:33:48:
By the way, at chesscafe Buecker's recent article deals with 2...Qa5 in the Alapin and he believes that Black is equal.


Curious if he considers 3. Na3.  Anyway I play other lines involving Na3 in the 2. c3 lines, so I have a certain comfort level, e.g. http://queenalice.com/game.php?id=613161 ; Plus just because an IM says so doesn't make it so.  I'm reminded of some IM or GM (Christian Bauer?) asserting 4...a6 is equal in the 3. d4 exd4  4. Qxd4 line of the Philidor, but I've posted with my 5. Qa4+!? idea, and whereas that wasn't especially well-received, I've gotten the impression that the general consensus is 5. Bf4 Nc6  6. Qd2 is better for White.

In this line of the Philidor on general principles I cannot believe Black is equal due to his having played nothing but pawn moves the first 4 moves of an open game.  Likewise on general principle I cannot believe 2...Qa5 as being equal for Black against the 2. c3 Sicilian, moving the queen altogether too early, making it a target for Na3-c4, etc.
  
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George Jempty
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Re: What can be learned from 2. Na3 vs. the Sicilian
Reply #12 - 02/28/11 at 23:47:07
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TonyRo wrote on 02/15/11 at 16:30:06:
But can't they meet your 1. b3 b5 with the super unusual an incredibly strong 2. b4!, forcing you to psychologically deal with the fact that you're White but looking at Black pieces? How are you going to handle such a monumental development!?!

Why not make an attempt at playing less like an 1700 amateur and try to smash him after the best (or one of them) 1...e5! 2. Bb2 Nc6 3. e3 d5!

Grab the center. Beat them. Play principled chess.


Damn.  I guess I shouldn't ever trust IM's, considering that Correspondence chess IM Richard Callaghan is the one that recommended 1...b5 to me 25 years ago.  But thanks for pointing out the possibility of 2. b4, it will not come as a surprise to me should I ever encounter it.  Anyway, I need to reach positions with ...b5 every so often, since I play 1. Nf3 b5 again as recommended to me by IM Callaghan.  Oh, and it lets me grab some center in the line 2. g3 Bb7  3. Bg2 e5
  
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Ametanoitos
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Re: What can be learned from 2. Na3 vs. the Sicilian
Reply #11 - 02/16/11 at 11:27:56
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Mnb, i am not going to disagree with you as i think that basicaly we are saying similar things. Yes, i agree on understanding and that Bologan's example in not proof even though many GMs share the same opinion with him as i have read in various sources.

About theory now (even though it seems that this belongs to the general section and not on the Anti-Sicilians) you said about Italian and other examples that are not really weird side-lines such as 1.b3 or 1.b4. I don't have a problem a students of mine to take up the Italian, or even the Scotch gambit instead of my proposal that is the Spanish. Or, to be relevant with the Anti-Sicilian section, i don't see something wrong with the choice of 2.c3 instead of my recommendation which is the open variations of the Sicilian. In fact, i agree that a young player with good understanding of the Alapin can be more effective that one that plays the Open and cannot understand the positions quite deep as in general you need to be a much stronger player to do so. But again, the Alapin is not a rare side-line! I would have problem if a student of mine played 2.Na3 in regular basis and i consider this (to build your repertoire against the Sicilian with such side-lines) a stupid thing to do for many reasons. Basically you win nothing and you lose many things. Probably you win only in the sense that you feel humorous and funny and you want to be creative, but this is just for 1 or 2 games. If this becomes a general philosophy i am against it and as i understand you are against it also.

What i have understood after many years of guiding junior players is that if they follow a main line can play decent moves and stay "in theory" and as a result they have good positions. If they are playing some weird side-line, with the first sub-optimal move they get bad positions. That's why i said that by playing main lines (OK, the ones that are not forced in nature!) you can play them without the need of deep study.
  
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Re: What can be learned from 2. Na3 vs. the Sicilian
Reply #10 - 02/16/11 at 11:14:36
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TonyRo wrote on 02/15/11 at 16:30:06:
But can't they meet your 1. b3 b5 with the super unusual an incredibly strong 2. b4!, forcing you to psychologically deal with the fact that you're White but looking at Black pieces? How are you going to handle such a monumental development!?!


The older players at local club has told me about a player before my time who always opened 1 e3 as white and after e5 he played 2 e4.
  
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Re: What can be learned from 2. Na3 vs. the Sicilian
Reply #9 - 02/16/11 at 10:06:35
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Ametanoitos wrote on 02/16/11 at 09:33:48:
And this thing with "theory" and that a club player has to avoid it is just crap!

Alas, no. A club player needs guidance to play an opening decently. And there is something to say for taking up less theoretical stuff - it is usually also less complicated strategically speaking. The good news is that club players don't have the skills to take benefit of a small opening advantage anyway, so they have more choice than GM's. The Giuoco Pianissimo/Modern Italian (c3, d3) eg is a fine choice, even though it will be easier for Black to equalize than against the Ruy Lopez. The same for the Glek System, the King's Gambit, the Evans Gambit etcetera. These are basically sound openings and give the clubplayer who understands them better excellent chances.
They still require some work.

Ametanoitos wrote on 02/16/11 at 09:33:48:
Bologan said to us that he has never studied the theory of 1.e4 e5 as Black untill he reached 2400. It was very easy to find the moves over the board even in sharp variations.

To paraphraze yourself: one example is no proof.

Ametanoitos wrote on 02/16/11 at 09:33:48:
my point is that you can play "normal stuff" without to much study of their "theory".

My point is that that study should focus on understanding. Playing 2.Na3 for pseudopsychological reasons is a bad idea. Playing it because the clubplayer knows what kind of positions he/she wants and because he/she feels comfortable with them is a good idea.
Apparently GJempty goes for the surprise, surprise effect.
  

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Re: What can be learned from 2. Na3 vs. the Sicilian
Reply #8 - 02/16/11 at 09:33:48
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By the way, at chesscafe Buecker's recent article deals with 2...Qa5 in the Alapin and he believes that Black is equal.

I played a local master (rated 2200) the last year who plays 1.b4 probably his whole life. I didn't bother in preparing for this crap and i beat him easily in 25 or so moves. He is a good player though and i felt that if he had chosen 1.e4 or 1.d4 i would not be so comfortable in playing with him with Black.

My "old" martial arts instructor Richard Ryan (who is a GM by the way but in martial arts and not chess of course! See http://icattraining.com/) when he was teaching us about the blade and edged weapons in general, he always talked about weapon over reliance which means that you trust so much your weapon that this fact turns against you in the battle. Many club players believe that these "weird" openings are great weapons because they have played them and studied them and their opponents haven't the same experience. In fact they win most of their games when their opponenets actually avoid the main lines of these openings because they fall in the same psychological trap!

Chess is a logical game and logic always wins if applied correctly. Let your opponents play weird chess and beat them by playing logical chess. And this thing with "theory" and that a club player has to avoid it is just crap! Bologan said to us that he has never studied the theory of 1.e4 e5 as Black untill he reached 2400. It was very easy to find the moves over the board even in sharp variations. Sicilian is not the same of course, you have to know what you are doing but my point is that you can play "normal stuff" without to much study of their "theory".
  
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MNb
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Re: What can be learned from 2. Na3 vs. the Sicilian
Reply #7 - 02/16/11 at 00:50:27
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George Jempty wrote on 02/15/11 at 12:02:03:
Or would you rather set them to thinking again immediately with something such as 1. b4 c6 or 1. b3 b5.  Not only do they have to burn clock, but to deny that by making such moves as Black you have not turned the tables psychologically is, well, denial

Two wrong assumptions.
I have known a couple of players who like 1.b4 and 1.b3. It's their goal to lure you in unknown territory like that and outplay you on experience. They love it. So yes, I deny. Because your psychology backfires.
In the second place you make it harder for yourself to reach a playable position. So a little later you will be the one to burn time on the clock, because you have found yourself in an unusual position where following the three basic rules is not enough anymore.
I guess you will have to learn this the hard way.
  

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Re: What can be learned from 2. Na3 vs. the Sicilian
Reply #6 - 02/15/11 at 17:07:07
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Absolutely right, TonyRo. There is value in surprise, but it is secondary to the objective strength of the chess moves played.

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I don't believe in psychology. I believe in good moves.

- Bobby Fischer
  

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TonyRo
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Re: What can be learned from 2. Na3 vs. the Sicilian
Reply #5 - 02/15/11 at 16:30:06
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But can't they meet your 1. b3 b5 with the super unusual an incredibly strong 2. b4!, forcing you to psychologically deal with the fact that you're White but looking at Black pieces? How are you going to handle such a monumental development!?!

Why not make an attempt at playing less like an 1700 amateur and try to smash him after the best (or one of them) 1...e5! 2. Bb2 Nc6 3. e3 d5!

Grab the center. Beat them. Play principled chess.
  
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George Jempty
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Re: What can be learned from 2. Na3 vs. the Sicilian
Reply #4 - 02/15/11 at 12:02:03
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MNb wrote on 02/12/11 at 16:12:51:
George Jempty wrote on 02/12/11 at 01:24:24:
White regains the psychological edge, countering the unusual with the unusual.

This is self-obsessed warbling. I am an amateur and otb not that much stronger than you (about 1800). Trying to find good moves in the opening, ie those that follow the basic principles of centre control, development and King's safety  is hard enough. Trying to meet the unusual with the unusual on our level usually backfires. If I meet something unusual I never try to refute it, never try to do something unusual, but instead simply try to follow those three principles. The result in more than 9 out of 10 games is that I get a pleasant position after 10, 15 moves, after which I often still manage to screw things up. That's why I am a patzer. Wink


Here let me make a better case for you.  You think I'm self obsessed because I wrap things in the narrative of a tournament I was attending.

It's called "narrative".

As for your actual chess-related point, I completely disagree.  As amateurs we only have so much time to devote to opening theory.  Do you really want to study 1...e5 vs. either 1. b3 or 1. b4 when despite doing so when you reach those positions your opponent will have reached it dozens if not hundreds of times to your one?  Or would you rather set them to thinking again immediately with something such as 1. b4 c6 or 1. b3 b5.  Not only do they have to burn clock, but to deny that by making such moves as Black you have not turned the tables psychologically is, well, denial
  
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MNb
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Re: What can be learned from 2. Na3 vs. the Sicilian
Reply #3 - 02/12/11 at 16:12:51
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George Jempty wrote on 02/12/11 at 01:24:24:
White regains the psychological edge, countering the unusual with the unusual.

This is self-obsessed warbling. I am an amateur and otb not that much stronger than you (about 1800). Trying to find good moves in the opening, ie those that follow the basic principles of centre control, development and King's safety  is hard enough. Trying to meet the unusual with the unusual on our level usually backfires. If I meet something unusual I never try to refute it, never try to do something unusual, but instead simply try to follow those three principles. The result in more than 9 out of 10 games is that I get a pleasant position after 10, 15 moves, after which I often still manage to screw things up. That's why I am a patzer. Wink
  

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George Jempty
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Re: What can be learned from 2. Na3 vs. the Sicilian
Reply #2 - 02/12/11 at 11:22:38
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Quote:
Huh? What's with all the self-obsessed warbling in all these threads?
Ask questions and lots of patient folk will try to answer (notably mnb and tn) as helpfully as possible.
Or bring variations to the table for discussion.


Ok here's a question or two.  Why is an amateur only allowed to ask questions here?  Might not an amateur's experiences and observations be as valid as anybody else's?  Indeed, might they not be more accessible to other amateurs?
  
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