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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) C23: Calabrese Counter-Gambit: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5!? (Read 36397 times)
Jonathan Tait
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Re: C23: Calabrese Counter-Gambit: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5!?
Reply #54 - 05/13/16 at 08:52:45
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another critical line we've been looking at recently:

  

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Re: C23: Calabrese Counter-Gambit: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5!?
Reply #53 - 03/08/15 at 19:26:54
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urusov wrote on 03/08/15 at 00:42:17:
...

My main point is that you really have to do some deep analysis to beat these lines, especially at the amateur level.  Just consider that Jim West still plays the Philidor Gambit against level A, expert and master players with surprisingly good results.  You really have to know the line well to not go wrong let alone to gain the edge -- and it is unlikely that too many players will spend the time to analyze this stuff (as even the Bologan game suggests).


The notes you gave included evaluations such as "=", +/= and so on. Such notation does not usually mean "well, what I mean is it's equal unless your opponent is really well prepared".
  
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Re: C23: Calabrese Counter-Gambit: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5!?
Reply #52 - 03/08/15 at 08:59:15
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urusov wrote on 03/08/15 at 00:42:17:
As for PANFR's comments: I think you are right, that 1.  e4 e5 2.  Bc4 f5 3.  d3 Nf6 4.  Nf3 c6 5.  O-O d5 6.  exd5 cxd5 7.  Bb3! is a real challenge for Black, though you definitely have to consider 7...e4 (which really looks like the only chance) 8.dxe4 fxe4 which you'd have to analyze in depth to say anything definitive.


I think the onus is on Black to prove a defence here. For instance, after 9 Nc3 Be6 10 Ng5 Bg8 11 Qe2, Black's position looks pretty damn awful.

But 4...c6 isn't the best. I play 4...fxe4 5 dxe4 Bb4+!? (the check is important to prevent Nc3) 6 c3 Bc5. No one has managed to show a refutation as yet against the plan of ...d6, ...Qe7, ...Nc6-d8, something on e6, and ...0-0.

Incidentally, as regards the Philidor transposition: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5 3 Nf3 d6 4 d4 pretty much wins by force for White.
  

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Re: C23: Calabrese Counter-Gambit: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5!?
Reply #51 - 03/08/15 at 00:42:17
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PANFR wrote on 03/03/15 at 17:31:50:
Ummm... I find it rather difficult to find some value in the analysis at the Urusov site. For example, after 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 f5? 3.d3 Nf6 4.Nf3 c6 (a rather bad move, which earns an exclam mark there) 5.0-0 d5? 6.exd5 cxd5 7. Bb3 (not mentioned) Black will lose a pawn for nothing.


My analysis was posted in 2003 and has not been updated since then -- though I don't think anyone has written more on the line since either.  So, yes, I do not consider games played in 2011 -- though I think Bologan was just trying to play something safe to complete avoid his opponent's preparation.  I have to agree with Tait's comments here.  Estrin's idea of 3.d4 is not a real challenge for Black -- though Bologan's way of playing it is more interesting than I had recognized.

As for PANFR's comments: I think you are right, that 1.  e4 e5 2.  Bc4 f5 3.  d3 Nf6 4.  Nf3 c6 5.  O-O d5 6.  exd5 cxd5 7.  Bb3! is a real challenge for Black, though you definitely have to consider 7...e4 (which really looks like the only chance) 8.dxe4 fxe4 which you'd have to analyze in depth to say anything definitive.

My main point is that you really have to do some deep analysis to beat these lines, especially at the amateur level.  Just consider that Jim West still plays the Philidor Gambit against level A, expert and master players with surprisingly good results.  You really have to know the line well to not go wrong let alone to gain the edge -- and it is unlikely that too many players will spend the time to analyze this stuff (as even the Bologan game suggests).
  
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Re: C23: Calabrese Counter-Gambit: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5!?
Reply #50 - 03/03/15 at 19:19:16
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Smyslov_Fan wrote on 03/02/15 at 19:24:15:
White has many other promising continuations, which is why the opening fails except as a surprise.

Please back that up with concrete promising continuations. I am yet to be convinced that the opening fails.

As for...

Smyslov_Fan wrote on 03/02/15 at 19:24:15:
the line that Bologan played as White in one of the few GM examples. He too played a gambit line

Personally I think 7... c4 8. Ba4 d3 is okay for Black; e.g. 9. b3 a6 10. Bxc6+ bxc6 11. O-O Bc5. And even in the game continuation, Black doesn't stand too badly after either 10...Be4 or 15...Ne6.
  

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Re: C23: Calabrese Counter-Gambit: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5!?
Reply #49 - 03/03/15 at 17:31:50
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Ummm... I find it rather difficult to find some value in the analysis at the Urusov site. For example, after 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 f5? 3.d3 Nf6 4.Nf3 c6 (a rather bad move, which earns an exclam mark there) 5.0-0 d5? 6.exd5 cxd5 7. Bb3 (not mentioned) Black will lose a pawn for nothing. I found only one game (far from flawless), which is hardly surprising- playing like that as Black isn't a wise choice.

  
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Re: C23: Calabrese Counter-Gambit: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5!?
Reply #48 - 03/02/15 at 19:24:15
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Urusov, I took a look at your analysis on your website. It looks impressive, but then I started doing some independent research into the line. Predictably, you prefer it when White plays in a Romantic style and answers the gambit with a gambit. Not so predictably, you ignored the line that Bologan played as White in one of the few GM examples. He too played a gambit line, but you brushed it aside with "=" after four moves. White has many other promising continuations, which is why the opening fails except as a surprise.

Here's the Bologan game with my notes. (I did use an engine to check some of the analysis, but most of it is my own and may contain errors):

« Last Edit: 03/03/15 at 14:40:47 by GMTonyKosten »  
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Re: C23: Calabrese Counter-Gambit: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5!?
Reply #47 - 03/01/15 at 22:48:20
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The Calabrese is better than most people appreciate.  I like MNb's suggestion of 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 f5 3.d3 Nf6 4.f4!? -- which I think is basically what White should be going for, as recommended long ago by Jaenisch.  I have analyzed the Calabrese here:

http://www.rci.rutgers.edu/~goeller/urusov/bishops/f5.htm

My analysis is rather inconclusive, so I think it is playable.
  
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Re: C23: Calabrese Counter-Gambit: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5!?
Reply #46 - 01/21/15 at 13:01:06
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HgMan wrote on 12/01/14 at 19:06:04:
Black might have more interesting resources here than after 4...Nc6 5.a3, which looks fairly convincing for White.


You may well be right. All the same, I've not lost that position (after 5 a3) as yet: P5 W1 D4 L0

Keano wrote on 01/15/15 at 16:51:50:
Not sure if its the strongest but 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 f5 3.d3 is quite nice to play for White and should lead to some sort of edge.

3...Nf6 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.0-0 etc. avoiding any ...Bb4 business


Not quite. I answer 4 Nf3 with 4...fxe4 5 dxe4 Bb4+! Wink
And my score there is P16, W5, D9, L2 (the first loss was before I knew what I was doing, and the second was just a blunder)
  

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Re: C23: Calabrese Counter-Gambit: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5!?
Reply #45 - 01/15/15 at 16:51:50
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I had this on the board against me years ago.

Not sure if its the strongest but 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 f5 3.d3 is quite nice to play for White and should lead to some sort of edge.

3...Nf6 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.0-0 etc. avoiding any ...Bb4 business
  
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Re: C23: Calabrese Counter-Gambit: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5!?
Reply #44 - 12/01/14 at 19:06:04
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(Bump)

1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 f5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.d3 Bb4 5.Nf3 c6 6.0-0 d6 (6...Bxc3?! is inconsistent with 5...c6, but it also opens up a future Ba3, which can be unpleasant)

My first instinct is too many pawn moves from Black—and maybe not in keeping with the fairly aggressive second move. But Black might have more interesting resources here than after 4...Nc6 5.a3, which looks fairly convincing for White. All in all, though, I think Black's struggling to justify 2...f5(?!).
  

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Re: C23: Calabrese Counter-Gambit: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5!?
Reply #43 - 05/13/12 at 17:01:21
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Glenn Snow wrote on 04/08/12 at 22:15:45:
After 1. e4 e5 2.Bc4 f5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.d3 Nc6 5.a3 Bc5 6.Nf3 h6  (When I originally brought up 5.a3 this was the move that seemed most likely to give White trouble to me.  All still based on what Houdini is giving.) 7.O-O d6 8.Be3!?


I no longer think 6...h6 is any good because of 7 Na4 Be7 8 Nh4!, which looks terrible for Black. Who'd have thought that a little move (5 a3) could prove so difficult?!

Okay, I do have another idea, but I'm loathe to say what it is in case someone refutes that as well. I still want to play this over the board! Wink
  

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Re: C23: Calabrese Counter-Gambit: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5!?
Reply #42 - 04/08/12 at 22:15:45
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After 1. e4 e5 2.Bc4 f5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.d3 Nc6 5.a3 Bc5 6.Nf3 h6  (When I originally brought up 5.a3 this was the move that seemed most likely to give White trouble to me.  All still based on what Houdini is giving.) 7.O-O d6 8.Be3!?
  
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Re: C23: Calabrese Counter-Gambit: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5!?
Reply #41 - 04/08/12 at 18:30:48
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CraigEvans wrote on 04/07/12 at 21:31:33:
I quite like the idea of 5.a3 as discussed below - in your suggested line 7...h6, white has to be aware that (immediate) greed kills. Perhaps the intermediate 11.Nh4!? throws a spanner in the works, and provides the reason why 5.a3!! was a genius move:


I don't know about it being a genius move; it's quite an obvious one if you know anything about the KGD. But regarding that... 11 Nh4 certainly looks pretty strong here. Does that mean 10...Nh5 refutes the sacrifice in the reversed position? I can't find any theory on this; everyone just takes the rook. Of course in the KGD White mostly plays 7 Na4!, which is pointless in the reversed position (because of a3).

So maybe 6...h6 is correct (as in the game TalJechin gave earlier in the thread). This is played occasionally in the KGD; i.e. 6 h3 instead of 6 d3. It isn't very good for White there, but in reversed positions Black doesn't need "very good".

Quoting that game again with a couple of lines added:

  

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Re: C23: Calabrese Counter-Gambit: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5!?
Reply #40 - 04/07/12 at 21:31:33
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I quite like the idea of 5.a3 as discussed below - in your suggested line 7...h6, white has to be aware that (immediate) greed kills. Perhaps the intermediate 11.Nh4!? throws a spanner in the works, and provides the reason why 5.a3!! was a genius move:

11.Nh4 Qg5 12.Nxa8 Qxh4 13.Qd2 fxe4 14.O-O!? exd3 15.Bxd3 e4 16.b4!! (Oh yes!) and the complications do not look unfavourable to white after 16...Bd4 17.b5!

But I worryingly agree that 3...Nf6 looks like an error based on the ideas outlined... it is a worrying day for my understanding of chess when so many natural moves turn out to possibly not be right. I think 3...Nc6 looks like a good chance to make this playable, though the positional 5.a3 looks like it contains a lot of hidden venom!
  

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