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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Avoiding early draws in the Marshall (Read 26404 times)
BobbyDigital80
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Re: Avoiding early draws in the Marshall
Reply #15 - 10/30/12 at 22:55:30
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Stigma wrote on 10/29/12 at 23:57:58:
MartinC wrote on 10/29/12 at 22:26:50:
Why on earth would a rational white player spend their time memorising a forced drawing line? Or use one?

It may happen in the odd, very rare, critical game for tournaments etc. In that case you can switch. If it happens elsewhere, smile, accept the complement and ask white why he's wasting his own time.

Not at all odd or rare. This situation arises all the time in international Swiss tournaments, especially in the early rounds: The higher-rated player absolutely has to win to keep up with his likely competitors for the money prizes. The much lower-rated opponent would love to score an upset (even if only a draw) and maybe escape the boring "ping-pong effect" of playing alternately much stronger and much weaker players for several rounds.

In these games playing strength usually matters much more than color, and a drawing line with White can be very handy.

@BobbyDigital: Out of interest, you must have a repertoire against White's alternatives to the main line Ruy Lopez too... how do you go about getting winning chances in the 4 Knights (Spanish and Scotch) and the Exchange Ruy?


Well I'm not necessarily looking to get winning chances in the Spanish 4 Knights, Scotch 4 Knights, or exchange Ruy. I'm happy playing an equal position. I just don't like early 3-fold repetitions in the Marshall. I wouldn't mind playing an equal Marshall endgame because there are chances to outplay your opponent.
  
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BobbyDigital80
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Re: Avoiding early draws in the Marshall
Reply #14 - 10/30/12 at 22:48:41
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ErictheRed wrote on 10/29/12 at 21:45:14:
Bobby, you might want a back-up defense for must-win situations, like the Pirc, Alekhine's, 1...g6, Philidor's, heck even plenty of offbeat Spanish lines like 3...Nge7, the New Archangel, whatever.  I think you expect too much from one opening. 

If you love the Marshall, study and play it, but if you are in a must-win situation and you fear your opponent's preparation, play another line for that game.  Surely you have some other defense to 1.e4 that you wouldn't mind playing on occasion??


Sure, I also play the Najdorf and Breyer. I just wanted to see if there were ways to avoid the early 3-fold repetition lines in the Marshall.
  
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Stigma
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Re: Avoiding early draws in the Marshall
Reply #13 - 10/30/12 at 13:21:59
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I don't play that much team chess, but maybe it's different? There's often a (stated or unstated) plan of winning with White and drawing with Black to win the match overall, even when the opponents are much weaker.

Besides, playing a quick draw when you're either White or the clearly stronger player can "backfire" when your teammates realize that your game, if played out, might have saved or won the match! That's a good reason to play a real game.
  

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MartinC
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Re: Avoiding early draws in the Marshall
Reply #12 - 10/30/12 at 13:09:41
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I've played in a team with various people ranging up to ~2300 routinely against weaker people and never really seen it tried against anyone Smiley

Maybe its a UK thing? The general levels of preparation aren't high at all. So even people who decide to set out to try and draw (quite rare) do it by playing 'dull' stuff rather than forced draws.

I'm not aware that anyone on the team really tries to avoid it.

Trying to play quite safely you do definetly see although as you say it really isn't that easy to pull off.
  
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Stigma
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Re: Avoiding early draws in the Marshall
Reply #11 - 10/30/12 at 11:25:56
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Well, the reason you don't see it more is because the stronger players with Black are very much aware of the problem, follow EricthRed's advice, and play something else in those unbalanced matchups! Smiley

I'm a bit below 2200 myself, so in serious tournaments I often find myself on the weaker side of this. I don't normally play the kind of sharp, critical theory that this "strategy" involves, but if I did I sure would make use of it. There's also the off-chance that the stronger player will try something a bit too risky to avoid the draw, and end up losing instead.

Playing safe lines is another way to do it, and I've tried this recently myself, using a Réti move order to draw a couple of opponents above 2400. But you need to be sure that strategy and endgames are not your weakest points to pull this off.

In local weekend tournaments I'm often on the other side, trying to win with Black against opponents rated anywhere from 1500 to 2100. So in fact you don't have to be super-strong for this to become an issue.
« Last Edit: 10/30/12 at 13:13:53 by Stigma »  

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MartinC
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Re: Avoiding early draws in the Marshall
Reply #10 - 10/30/12 at 09:21:36
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You have to be fairly seriously strong before you have that sort of problem in Swiss tournaments surely? FM strength maybe so that the people you 'scare' enough are organised enough to contemplate something like this.

Don't think I've ever seen it done in the UK. Fairly safe lines which let white play for two results, yes a bit. But they've got use vs weaker opponents too.
  
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Re: Avoiding early draws in the Marshall
Reply #9 - 10/30/12 at 03:25:47
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The Spanish Exchange shouldn't be a problem against a weaker opponent. Having the pair of Bishops is already an imbalance.
Against the Spanish Four Knights I used to rely on the Rubinstein Delayed: 4...Bc5 5.Nxe5 Nd4 6.Be2 d5 7.Nd3 Nxe4 (Fine) with interesting complications. Alas I don't trust 6.O-O O-O 7.Bc4 d6 8.Nf3 Bg4 9.Be2. So now I would rather prefer Marshall's 4...Bb4 5.O-O O-O 6.d3 d5 7.Bxc6 bxc6 8.Nxe5 Bxc3 9.bxc3 dxe4.
The Scottish Four Knights is a problem indeed for the overambitious player of the black pieces.
  

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Stigma
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Re: Avoiding early draws in the Marshall
Reply #8 - 10/29/12 at 23:57:58
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MartinC wrote on 10/29/12 at 22:26:50:
Why on earth would a rational white player spend their time memorising a forced drawing line? Or use one?

It may happen in the odd, very rare, critical game for tournaments etc. In that case you can switch. If it happens elsewhere, smile, accept the complement and ask white why he's wasting his own time.

Not at all odd or rare. This situation arises all the time in international Swiss tournaments, especially in the early rounds: The higher-rated player absolutely has to win to keep up with his likely competitors for the money prizes. The much lower-rated opponent would love to score an upset (even if only a draw) and maybe escape the boring "ping-pong effect" of playing alternately much stronger and much weaker players for several rounds.

In these games playing strength usually matters much more than color, and a drawing line with White can be very handy.

@BobbyDigital: Out of interest, you must have a repertoire against White's alternatives to the main line Ruy Lopez too... how do you go about getting winning chances in the 4 Knights (Spanish and Scotch) and the Exchange Ruy?
  

Improvement begins at the edge of your comfort zone. -Jonathan Rowson
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MartinC
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Re: Avoiding early draws in the Marshall
Reply #7 - 10/29/12 at 22:26:50
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Why on earth would a rational white player spend their time memorising a forced drawing line? Or use one?

It may happen in the odd, very rare, critical game for tournaments etc. In that case you can switch. If it happens elsewhere, smile, accept the complement and ask white why he's wasting his own time.

Meanwhile the Marshall gives lots of winning chances vs ambitious white play. In practice of course you'll get lots and lots and lots of anti Marshalls.
  
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Re: Avoiding early draws in the Marshall
Reply #6 - 10/29/12 at 21:45:14
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Bobby, you might want a back-up defense for must-win situations, like the Pirc, Alekhine's, 1...g6, Philidor's, heck even plenty of offbeat Spanish lines like 3...Nge7, the New Archangel, whatever.  I think you expect too much from one opening. 

If you love the Marshall, study and play it, but if you are in a must-win situation and you fear your opponent's preparation, play another line for that game.  Surely you have some other defense to 1.e4 that you wouldn't mind playing on occasion??
  
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BobbyDigital80
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Re: Avoiding early draws in the Marshall
Reply #5 - 10/29/12 at 20:26:27
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MartinC wrote on 10/29/12 at 09:26:03:
In general worrying about white forcing a draw is a very sillly exercise Smiley If they do accept the complement, make a biting remark and move on.

If you're routinely playing notably weaker players who are organised enough to do this sort of thing then this might drag but you'll be awfully good then.

The pawn down two bishop endings would I think be worse as you do at least have to show some modest levels of accuracy to draw those.


Why is it silly to worry about White forcing a draw if you want to win as black? All White has to know is a few lines that lead to a forced draw if he wants it. They're very easy to memorize.
  
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MartinC
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Re: Avoiding early draws in the Marshall
Reply #4 - 10/29/12 at 09:26:03
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In general worrying about white forcing a draw is a very sillly exercise Smiley If they do accept the complement, make a biting remark and move on.

If you're routinely playing notably weaker players who are organised enough to do this sort of thing then this might drag but you'll be awfully good then.

The pawn down two bishop endings would I think be worse as you do at least have to show some modest levels of accuracy to draw those.
  
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BobbyDigital80
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Re: Avoiding early draws in the Marshall
Reply #3 - 10/29/12 at 05:56:02
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Markovich wrote on 10/27/12 at 01:33:50:
I would not advise taking up the Marshall to anyone unwilling to accept the occasional theoretical draw.

In any case, what to do if White wants to draw is a practical problem, not a theoretical one.


I don't mind playing a drawish position in the Marshall. I just don't like the early forced draws by repetition that White has at his disposal.
  
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Re: Avoiding early draws in the Marshall
Reply #2 - 10/27/12 at 01:33:50
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I would not advise taking up the Marshall to anyone unwilling to accept the occasional theoretical draw.

In any case, what to do if White wants to draw is a practical problem, not a theoretical one.
  

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Re: Avoiding early draws in the Marshall
Reply #1 - 10/26/12 at 12:22:15
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Of course, black has other options along this line - such as 16...Kh8!? with the 17...f5 idea, some computer (waiting) moves as 18...Bc7!? for example and so on..  Wink
  
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