on 12/04/12 at 07:47:12:
on 12/04/12 at 06:39:53:
Kylemeister, I agree. I used the d3, a3-b4 approach in my previous game. It should be like a reversed closed Sicilian but with the bishop badly placed on e7. I just think this would be a bit better for Black since a more closed game would lessen the effect of a passively placed bishop on e7.
the bishop on e7 may go back to f8 (after ...Re8) and perhaps even to g7 later on - in a cramped position (which Black chose voluntarily!) it is not possible to have all your pieces working, but they can come to life later on
it is similar in Benoni when Black often doesn't know what to do with the Bc8 and simply puts it on b7 (well at least that's the suggestion of Ziegler on his DVD).
If you play slowly with White (d3, a3, b4) Black may have time to regroup - I think the critical approach has to be a quick d4.
Yes, sorry if I was unclear. That is what I meant, in a closed game, even if the bishop is on e7, Black might have time to move it somewhere else without major problems. This is also what happened in my previous aforementioned game, when I played too slowly and let Black develop a kingside initiative. The bishop got to f6, opposing my control of the long diagonal (bishop on b2). The same would also apply to the Botvinnik system to a certain degree I guess.
Although even in a closed position, the position might open up and in that case the bishop could be bad on e7.
I fully agree, it seems like d4 should be critical. This is what I will play for in my future games, after actually have met this continuation in 4 games the last two years. This is a pretty high percentage considering I play less than 10 per year...
I guess this is totally obvious to Marin, or else something could have been mentioned in GM3. In this respect, I think Khalifman's Opening for White according to Kramnik is covering more compared to Marin's work (I only have vol 3, though, which covers solely the symmetrical). Of course, this particular variation won't be covered in OFWAK, since it starts with 1. Nf3!