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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Spanish repertoire (Read 207816 times)
fling
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Re: Spanish repertoire
Reply #15 - 07/24/11 at 18:46:22
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MNb wrote on 07/24/11 at 16:52:54:
Markovich wrote on 07/24/11 at 13:32:57:
1. We should always recommend White's most challenging and principled tries; no dodging around theory unless we  sincerely think our way is better.

3...f5 4.Nc3, I have no doubt about it. If White indeed plays optimally he/she has fine winning chances and Black none. But if the consensus is that 4.d3 is to be investigated first I'll accept. After all Radjabov is unbeaten after 4.Nc3 fxe4 5.Nxe4 Nf6. This anyhow means we should not pay too much attention to 5...d5; 4...Nd4 and 4...Nf6, even if the latter is my preference for Black.
Also it's OK with me if other 3rd moves come first. I just think we should not debate too long about the procedure, so this post is meant as a kick-off. As Markovich started this thread he should decide. I have faith enough in his persistance that all Black's Defences will get a chance. I also have faith enough in his common sense that he will postpone the really hard subjects (like the Marshall) until the off-beat stuff and sidelines are done.
So frankly I don't care too much on which criteria his choices will be based.

So yes, I am highly interested. It will be very helpful in case I decide to return to 1.e4 some day. I will also give IM Van Delft's choices as published in Dutch magazine Schaaknieuws a few years ago.
From this point of view we shoul begin with 3...a5 as Van Delft doesn't mention it.


I agree, analysis can be fun and I am planning on taking up 1 e4 as well.

So the main continuations are, after 4. Nc3:
4 ...fxe4 and
4 ...Nf6

Therefore, let's start with 4 ...Nd4, or? I have never analyzed that move, but both 5. Ba4 and 5. exf5 looks interesting.
  
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Stefan Buecker
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Re: Spanish repertoire
Reply #14 - 07/24/11 at 17:42:29
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To study mainly the popular moves would, in my opinion, contradict Markovich's idea to "prove +=" for White. But I'll watch what happens. There ARE moves which are fine, only unusual and therefore unpopular. I believe that 3...Bc5 = is objectively best. I am not fond of Na5, g5, Bb4, f6, but 3...a5 deserves a look. - As arbiter we have engines, if we regard lines above, say, +0.35 (in R4) as "solved", fine with me.
  
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Re: Spanish repertoire
Reply #13 - 07/24/11 at 17:38:48
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Markovich wrote on 07/24/11 at 13:32:57:
4. Finally I think our starting point is 3.Bb5 +=; anytime that seems to fail, we should look a little deeper.


That way the Marshall probably has to be avoided. Providing += here has been impossible for the best players in the world for some time now.
  
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Re: Spanish repertoire
Reply #12 - 07/24/11 at 16:52:54
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Markovich wrote on 07/24/11 at 13:32:57:
1. We should always recommend White's most challenging and principled tries; no dodging around theory unless we  sincerely think our way is better.

3...f5 4.Nc3, I have no doubt about it. If White indeed plays optimally he/she has fine winning chances and Black none. But if the consensus is that 4.d3 is to be investigated first I'll accept. After all Radjabov is unbeaten after 4.Nc3 fxe4 5.Nxe4 Nf6. This anyhow means we should not pay too much attention to 5...d5; 4...Nd4 and 4...Nf6, even if the latter is my preference for Black.
Also it's OK with me if other 3rd moves come first. I just think we should not debate too long about the procedure, so this post is meant as a kick-off. As Markovich started this thread he should decide. I have faith enough in his persistance that all Black's Defences will get a chance. I also have faith enough in his common sense that he will postpone the really hard subjects (like the Marshall) until the off-beat stuff and sidelines are done.
So frankly I don't care too much on which criteria his choices will be based.

So yes, I am highly interested. It will be very helpful in case I decide to return to 1.e4 some day. I will also give IM Van Delft's choices as published in Dutch magazine Schaaknieuws a few years ago.
From this point of view we shoul begin with 3...a5 as Van Delft doesn't mention it.
  

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Zwischenzugzwang
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Re: Spanish repertoire
Reply #11 - 07/24/11 at 16:36:55
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Stefan Buecker wrote on 07/24/11 at 14:25:21:
The number of games is a silly measure for the value of a move. In most cases, the popular move is an error. Take the % score, or the difference between av. rating (Black) and his success rating. 

Are we talking about the value of a move or the distinction between "main line" and "offbeat"? The ratio of number of games is a good indicator of the likelihood of meeting that move otb (at least, if that number is reasonably distributed over time). Of course, the Steinitz defense 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 d6 has very few outings above a level of 2600, and White scores heavily (66.7 % over all games), so it probably isn't a very good move. But still, it shows up in almost 5 % of all Spanish games (ok, I haven't calculated the figures for the last 10 years or so, where it might be only 2 % - or 10 %?). So for the average chess player who plays the Spanish with white, it seems to make sense to prepare for that move. And as far as I understand the background of this thread, this is the point that counts.

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Re: Spanish repertoire
Reply #10 - 07/24/11 at 15:16:39
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Some simple statistics from my OM database

All OM games (including Corr.)
3...a6           271013    56,5%      2011
3...Nf6              32486     59,4           2011
3...f5             20075     52,5           2011
3...Bc5          14549     58,8            2011
3...d6            12147     67,9           2010
3...Nd4           6010      61,4           2010

ELO > 2500 both players (including corr)
3...a6               12896    56,7%       2011
3...Nf6               2464    54,4          2011
3...f5                   257    57,4          2011
3...g6                  205    60,0          2010
3...Bc5                    178    55,3          2010
  

What kind of proof is that?
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Re: Spanish repertoire
Reply #9 - 07/24/11 at 15:01:24
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I agree with Zwischenzugzwang that this could be a useful way to look at it. Just without consulting any database, I would say that 1.e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 has been THE main continuation for a long time. After this, there is a branching point for Black, i.e. the question is if he/she wants to choose the Open or Closed variation.

I guess this would mean that we can start already with Black's alternatives at move 3.

Btw, I just consulted my Database. I won't call 3 ...f5 offbeat, judging by the shear number of games played in this line, and also based on Radjabov's recent success.
  
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Re: Spanish repertoire
Reply #8 - 07/24/11 at 14:25:21
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The number of games is a silly measure for the value of a move. In most cases, the popular move is an error. Take the % score, or the difference between av. rating (Black) and his success rating.
  
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Re: Spanish repertoire
Reply #7 - 07/24/11 at 13:52:33
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That way of looking at it could be useful. But what, the vaunted 3...a5 isn't a main line??
  

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Zwischenzugzwang
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Re: Spanish repertoire
Reply #6 - 07/24/11 at 13:48:16
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One reasonable criterion seems to be the ratio of number of games with alternative move N and alternative move N+1, where alternative move N+1 is the alternative move played more rarely than alternative move N, but more often than any other alternative move which is played less often than alternative move N. Following this criterion and my database, there seem to be three reasonable "cut-off-points" between "mainline" and "offbeat":

(i) 3...Nf6 (22,521 games), compared to 3...a6 (140,731 games), ratio appr. 1 : 6.5,
(ii) 3...Bb4 (363 games), compared to 3...g6 (2,936 games), ratio appr. 1 : 8, and
(iii) 3...Qg5 or 3...Nh6 (1 game each), compared to 3...Nb8 (7 games), ratio = 1 : 7.

So a reasonable cut-off-point both from a statistical point of view and a common-sense point of view seems to be number (ii): 3...g6 is the rarest "mainline" move, 3...Bb4 the most common "offbeat" move. And yes, 3...a5, 3...f6, and 3...d5 would be offbeat too.

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Re: Spanish repertoire
Reply #5 - 07/24/11 at 13:35:23
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fling wrote on 07/24/11 at 13:24:37:
Stefan Buecker wrote on 07/24/11 at 13:01:03:
fling wrote on 07/24/11 at 12:14:51:
What do you suggest the start should be, "offbeat" tries like ...g6, ...f5 or the "mainlines"?

The box with the offbeat systems is the one with 3...a5, no?


Sure Smiley I guess it offbeat will vary from person to person. Hence my "offbeat" in my first post!

I'd estimate if the forum would critically study 3...a5, the maximum "provable" for White would be +0.30 in R4.
  
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Re: Spanish repertoire
Reply #4 - 07/24/11 at 13:32:57
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fling wrote on 07/24/11 at 12:14:51:
This sounds very interesting to me. I thought the idea was also that some members were going to assemble repertoires that could be maintained, but I can't recall seeing any of this yet.

What do you suggest the start should be, "offbeat" tries like ...g6, ...f5 or the "mainlines"?


I suppose we could first deal with offbeat tries. But we would need a secretary or something to consolidate our best efforts.

I would propose a few principles.

1. We should always recommend White's most challenging and principled tries; no dodging around theory unless we  sincerely think our way is better. 

2. We should go broad before we go deep (e.g. we should have a complete, provisional outline out to move, umm, 12 before we go significantly deeper anywhere).

3. We should never go any deeper than necessary to establish a consensus among ourselves. I have little patience with people who want to analyze out to move 57 just to prove that their pet variation actually works, and if we permitted that, we'd never finish.

4. Finally I think our starting point is 3.Bb5 +=; anytime that seems to fail, we should look a little deeper.
  

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Re: Spanish repertoire
Reply #3 - 07/24/11 at 13:24:37
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Stefan Buecker wrote on 07/24/11 at 13:01:03:
fling wrote on 07/24/11 at 12:14:51:
What do you suggest the start should be, "offbeat" tries like ...g6, ...f5 or the "mainlines"?

The box with the offbeat systems is the one with 3...a5, no?


Sure Smiley I guess it offbeat will vary from person to person. Hence my "offbeat" in my first post!
  
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Re: Spanish repertoire
Reply #2 - 07/24/11 at 13:01:03
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fling wrote on 07/24/11 at 12:14:51:
What do you suggest the start should be, "offbeat" tries like ...g6, ...f5 or the "mainlines"?

The box with the offbeat systems is the one with 3...a5, no?
  
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fling
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Re: Spanish repertoire
Reply #1 - 07/24/11 at 12:14:51
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This sounds very interesting to me. I thought the idea was also that some members were going to assemble repertoires that could be maintained, but I can't recall seeing any of this yet.

What do you suggest the start should be, "offbeat" tries like ...g6, ...f5 or the "mainlines"?
  
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