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Normal Topic 4. Qe2!? vs. the 3...d6 Steinitz Defense (Read 4993 times)
George Jempty
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Re: 4. Qe2!? vs. the 3...d6 Steinitz Defense
Reply #7 - 05/26/13 at 19:26:35
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I've gotten to play 3...d6  4. Qe2 about a half dozen times in the past 3 months and, with the help of my engine for analysis after the fact, I'm developing a system that involves the paradoxical exchange Bxc6 even after ...Bd7 such that Black need not suffer any damage to his structure by re-capturing ...Bxc6.

A couple of weeks ago in a USCF rated G/30 +D/5 I reached the following position which can also arise via the Berlin: 3...Nf6  4. Qe2 d6?!  5. d4 Bd7.  I played 6. c3 not necessarily bad with Fritz 13 (on my 2+ year old dual-core laptop) assessing it as +0.4, and IM Dueckstein having played it a number of times albeit via a Ponziani move order (1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. c3 Nf6 4. d4 d6 5. Bb5 Bd7) including a victory over GM Geller: http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1050596



However 6. c3 is only the engine's 4th choice, top being 6. d5 at +0.8 followed by 6. Bxc6 at about +0.6 after 6...Bxc6  7. Nc3 exd4  8. Nxd4 Be7  9. g4!? d5  10. e5 Nd7  11. Bf4:



White can also try 6. Bxc6 in the following line when paradoxically the engine prefers 6...bxc6 (at +0.3 for White) over 6...Bxc6  7. Nc3, 8. d4 etctera, which gets evaluated as +0.55.  All in all I'm pleased with my "discovery" (since I personally was not aware of it) of 4. Qe2, I've been surprised at how frequently I've been facing 3...d6 and it should ensure I reach positions I'm more familiar with than my opponent as he/she is probably accustomed to 4. d4

« Last Edit: 05/27/13 at 01:14:30 by George Jempty »  
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George Jempty
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Re: 4. Qe2!? vs. the 3...d6 Steinitz Defense
Reply #6 - 02/24/13 at 12:50:29
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Vass wrote on 02/23/13 at 15:47:11:
What about 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 d6 4.Qe2 Bd7 5.O-O g5!?
Wink


That is annoying!  It seems like it forces White to trade on Bxc6 to avoid a bad position: 6. d3 g4  7. Bxc6 followed by 8. Nbd2 regardless of how Black recaptures.
  
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Vass
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Re: 4. Qe2!? vs. the 3...d6 Steinitz Defense
Reply #5 - 02/23/13 at 15:47:11
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What about 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 d6 4.Qe2 Bd7 5.O-O g5!?
Wink
  
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George Jempty
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Re: 4. Qe2!? vs. the 3...d6 Steinitz Defense
Reply #4 - 02/23/13 at 14:10:49
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emary wrote on 02/23/13 at 08:54:20:
I would check
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 d6 4.Qe2 f5

If 4...f5 is playable
it denies White the type of game he wants.


4...f5? is just awful, White simply plays 5. exf5 and Black does not have the thematic ...e4 due to White's Qe2, whereas on 5...Bxf5 White's thematic 6. d4 is even stronger than usual because of Qe2.
  
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emary
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Re: 4. Qe2!? vs. the 3...d6 Steinitz Defense
Reply #3 - 02/23/13 at 08:54:20
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I would check
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 d6 4.Qe2 f5

If 4...f5 is playable
it denies White the type of game he wants.
  
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George Jempty
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Re: 4. Qe2!? vs. the 3...d6 Steinitz Defense
Reply #2 - 02/21/13 at 05:30:59
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kylemeister wrote on 02/21/13 at 05:15:25:
That's some, ah, original-looking play by the machine ...

No doubt 4. Qe2 is playable, but I claim it's a shame not to play the straightforward, classical and theoretically advantageous 4. d4.


Yeah ...b6, ...Rb8 were rather puzzling -- it usually doesn't play such a succession of odd moves.  And it definitely shouldn't have let me get my pawns on e5 and d4.
  
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Re: 4. Qe2!? vs. the 3...d6 Steinitz Defense
Reply #1 - 02/21/13 at 05:15:25
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That's some, ah, original-looking play by the machine ...

No doubt 4. Qe2 is playable, but I claim it's a shame not to play the straightforward, classical and theoretically advantageous 4. d4.
  
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George Jempty
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4. Qe2!? vs. the 3...d6 Steinitz Defense
02/21/13 at 04:29:07
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Today when faced with the Steinitz Defense 3...d6, despite knowing of course that 4. d4 is what is called for, I am never especially happy (or unhappy for that matter) with the position that I get as White after 4...Bd7 -- it's just not to my taste. 

Then 4. Qe2!? dawned on me, one point of which is if Black plays 4...Nf6?! he gets move-ordered into an inferior line of the Berlin after White plays 5. d4.  An online correspondence game, has proceeded in just this manner, so the precise move order is now moot: it's Berlin Defense, and still in book, albeit pretty unfavorable for Black, so I am happy about that.

I also decided to try it out against my 15+ year old engine (Fritz2.5.1) on my 5-year old laptop, where I only give it 5 seconds, but I take all the time I need (this way I can draw it about every 3 or 4 times).  Both games saw the machine play 4...Bd7 and in the first I played pretty poorly and got a bad position after setting up a broad pawn center with c3 and d4.

In my second game I set up the little center with c3 and d3 and did much better.  I've "adjourned" in a position where I have a queen and a pawn for 3 minor pieces as the result of an attack where I could have had a draw by repetition in a couple of different ways.



Anyway, am interested in if anybody finds the possibility of 4. Qe2 of value -- I've checked chesslive.de and there are only 5 games that do not transpose to the Berlin, none of them master quality AFAIK, so what I'm submitting may be the best example to date, though not especially great I realize.  I've also fed this into my other better engine (Deep Fritz 13) on my other newer (2-year old, double-core, 64-bit) laptop, and besides 4...Nf6 and 4...Bd7 it's top 5 suggestions in order (with a White response for what it's worth) are:

4...Nge7  5. d3
4...g6  5. d4
4...Be7  5. d4
4...Bg4  5. Nc3
4...a6  5. Bxc6
  
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