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Normal Topic Seeking scholastic/club Black system (Read 4578 times)
MNb
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Re: Seeking scholastic/club Black system
Reply #6 - 05/10/13 at 10:11:39
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Markovich wrote on 05/05/13 at 22:01:48:
I am loath to recommend the Archangel to players in this class, since there are a great many lines and early deviations to master.

Maybe you might reconsider this. 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O b5 6.Bb3 Bc5 has about 5000 games in my databese. That's not that much more than the 4500 games after 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.O-O Bc5 (evt. 5.c3). If anything the Archangel with 6...Bc5 is even more tactical because of the pawn on b5, which you probably will welcome. Finally the more dodgy deviations can be met with ...Bc5 as well (evt. with ...b5 first)l, which allows for a thematical repertoire. The exceptions are the Spanish Centre Variation and the Exchange Variation, but are these two really reasons to reject this variation for your target group?
  

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Re: Seeking scholastic/club Black system
Reply #5 - 05/10/13 at 08:11:07
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Having opened this thread for the first time and reading from the original post, by post three I was going to suggest the Open via the Berlin move order...! TalJechin you beat me to it !
  
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Re: Seeking scholastic/club Black system
Reply #4 - 05/10/13 at 06:57:42
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Markovich wrote on 05/05/13 at 22:01:48:
  I am loath to recommend the Open or the Archangel to players in this class, since there are a great many lines and early deviations to master. 


I'm sure you know a lot more about the Spanish than I do, but a few years back when I was tempted to look into the Open, I was intrigued by the chance to reach it via the Berlin move order.

Surely, in scholastic play, a lot of Whites are intending to play the Exchange variation so there's a good chance of getting White out of book quite soon. However, allowing the Berlin side line 5.Re1 might not be your cup of tea, as Black is a little cramped for a while - though it's supposed to lead to equality, iirc...
  
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Re: Seeking scholastic/club Black system
Reply #3 - 05/09/13 at 23:56:04
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My first reaction, "Ask Markovich," turned out to be not very helpful.
I like the Open Spanish for scholastic players 1200+.  Black gets to play d7-d5 which should count for a lot in the Open Games.  Tarrasch, the Great Teacher, was a believer - that is enough for me.
  

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Re: Seeking scholastic/club Black system
Reply #2 - 05/09/13 at 14:26:35
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I agree that the Open Spanish has many variations, but the basic idea is fairly straight-forward to teach and play.

Yes, there are many, many different variations available, but Black's play is sensible. In my experience, scholastic players get out of "book" very quickly in the Open Spanish, and from there they just play chess. Black's counter-attacking chances makes it an excellent practical choice for students with a tactical bent.

The 3...Bc5 is a line I hadn't seriously considered for students. I'll have to take a look at it. I suspect that like the Open Spanish, it too favors tactical play.

So I agree with TN.
  
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Re: Seeking scholastic/club Black system
Reply #1 - 05/06/13 at 00:57:09
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Not that you'd face the Spanish much at a scholastic level, but maybe the Steinitz would be a good choice at this level. Granted it doesn't lead to wide open tactical positions, but it is easy to understand the basic ideas using the games of the old masters, and when White plays d4 the position does become semi-open with ...exd4 (I'd recommend this approach over the closed lines).

The Bird tends to lead to open, tactical positions but I wouldn't recommend it because it doesn't teach basic opening principles like fast development and keeping the king safe (in some lines you have to play ...Kf8).

I don't think the Open is a bad choice though - it's not like White players will know the details either. Black's ideas are fairly simple really - develop quickly, attack the e5-pawn with pieces and/or ...f6, keep your dark squares protected (...d4 is great if you can achieve it!), etc - and 6.Re1 (which I'd imagine would be a common move in scholastic play) is not hard to counter with a little bit of knowledge. Maybe the main argument for avoiding the Open is that it's hard to get an open position after 5.d3 or 5.Qe2 but kids playing this as White won't know what to do when the position opens up with ...d5/d4.

  

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Markovich
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Seeking scholastic/club Black system
05/05/13 at 22:01:48
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I think that a reasonable line of play against the Spanish, recommendable to club and scholastic players anyway, is 3...Bc5.  If 4.c3 then f5 and I think that even in the lines that lead to White's advantage, Black has a reasonably solid game and the position remains somewhat dynamic.  Furthermore 4...f5 is dangerous for unprepared Whites.  Or 4.0-0 Nd4 and although the positions that result are less dynamic, White's advantage seems to be slight.

I'd be curious to know if anyone has insights that would challenge this point of view.  I am loath to recommend the Open or the Archangel to players in this class, since there are a great many lines and early deviations to master.  Nor do I consider the Zaitsev or the Marshall viable for scholastic or club players.  Finally I don't think that 3...f5 is the sort of move that improving young players should be encouraged to play. 

Formerly I recommended 3...Nf6 4.0-0 Bc5, but nowadays I worry about 5.Nxe5!  For instance, Black is in trouble after 5...Nxe5 6.d4 a6 7.Be2 Nxe4 8.dxc5 Nxc5 9.b4! Ne6 10.f4 Nc6 11.f5!  Now 11...Qf6 fails utterly to 12.fxe6!, so Black must go in for 11...Ned4 (11...Ng4? 12.f6 +-) 12.f6 g6, which to my nose, reeks. 
  

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