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Normal Topic ...Nh6 in the Modern (Read 2007 times)
Fllg
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Re: ...Nh6 in the Modern
Reply #1 - 04/26/11 at 11:50:10
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I have always been under the impression that an early ... Nh6 can be punished with an equally early h4-h5 by White.

So in your line c) the direct 5.h4 might be tried. Now neither 5... f5 6.h5 nor 5... Nc6 6.d5 followed by 7.h5 look attractive to me from Blacks point of view.

I think thats one of the reasons why in line a) the development of the Knight to h6 has been postponed until White castled kingside.
  
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...Nh6 in the Modern
04/26/11 at 11:02:21
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Recently I had a think about various setups for Black in the Averbakh/Modern/Rat Defence, and considered a few move orders that Black can use to reach ...Nh6 setups:

a) 1.d4 g6 2.c4 Bg7 3.e4 d6 4.Nc3 e5 5.Nf3 Nd7 6.Be2 c6 7.0-0 Nh6 - recommended in SOS 4, this seems both solid and strategically complex.

b) 1.d4 g6 2.c4 Bg7 3.e4 d6 4.Nc3 c6 5.Nf3 Na6 6.Be2 Nh6 7.0-0 0-0 - this should be very pleasant for White, but he has a hard time proving this in practice

c) 1.d4 d6 2.c4 g6 3.e4 Bg7 4.Nc3 Nh6 - this line hasn't been played by any GMs as Black, but it seems to me that Black can play a quick ...f5 and will have more logical moves than ...c6 and ...Na6, such as ...0-0, ...Nc6 and ...e5. The knight could also go to d7 to avoid d5 coming with tempo. If White just develops naturally with Nf3, Be2 and 0-0 then Black will definitely have a playable position.

While a) is definitely sounder than b and c, I think the latter two setups would be effective in fast time controls, and possibly even a decent surprise weapon in tournament games. Is 4...Nh6 any worse than 4...c6 and 5...Na6?
  

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