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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Sämisch vs. the Old Indian (Read 16838 times)
Markovich
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Re: Sämisch vs. the Old Indian
Reply #31 - 06/30/13 at 01:57:35
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I'm away from my books (on vacation), and it would be of great service if you would say what position(s). Otherwise it just makes no sense.
  

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HgMan
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Re: Sämisch vs. the Old Indian
Reply #30 - 06/30/13 at 01:30:42
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Watson was talking generally about the Old Indian (not about f3 at all), but noted that while the ...f5 strike was an important theme in the KID, it did little to activate the Bishop on e7 (as distinct from the Bishop on g7 in the KID, when the whole game can hinge on this break). I'll leave out his further details—posed in his chapter on "Modern Pawn Play" in Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy—but add the caveat that he suggests his reasoning for Black not playing for ...f5 is hardly a "principle." Hiis outline, however, is pretty interesting, and it is nice to see some coverage of the Old Indian, which is all too frequently not examined.
  

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Re: Sämisch vs. the Old Indian
Reply #29 - 06/29/13 at 01:32:28
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Markovich wrote on 06/29/13 at 00:34:20:
Maybe better ask just what position(s) Watson was talking about.


Good point.
  
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Markovich
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Re: Sämisch vs. the Old Indian
Reply #28 - 06/29/13 at 00:34:20
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Maybe better ask just what position(s) Watson was talking about.
  

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ErictheRed
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Re: Sämisch vs. the Old Indian
Reply #27 - 06/29/13 at 00:31:22
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HgMan wrote on 06/29/13 at 00:26:05:
John Watson seems to advocate opening Black's position with the advance of the c-pawn and playing on the queenside. He seems to think that plans with ...Ne8 and ...f5 are frequently unsuccessful.


I obviously agree with him; where did John Watson look at this? 
  
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Re: Sämisch vs. the Old Indian
Reply #26 - 06/29/13 at 00:26:05
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Great stuff, all, and thank you for your insights. I look forward to playing through all this and analyzing in due course. In the meantime, coming back to an earlier comment, John Watson seems to advocate opening Black's position with the advance of the c-pawn and playing on the queenside. He seems to think that plans with ...Ne8 and ...f5 are frequently unsuccessful.
  

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Markovich
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Re: Sämisch vs. the Old Indian
Reply #25 - 06/27/13 at 19:20:06
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I apologize if I mischaracterized what you said.
  

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Re: Sämisch vs. the Old Indian
Reply #24 - 06/27/13 at 18:06:11
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Markovich wrote on 06/27/13 at 16:12:10:
@Lee Roth: I don't think that 3.f3 in the Pirc (sorry to introduce more nomenclature, but that is what you propose) is supposed to be any good, is it? Black has 3...d5, for one thing. If the Old Indian move order is used, then 3.Nc3 e5 4.d5, and Black's QN is not yet committed to d7. All that, not semantics, is why I said that my previous advocacy was about the traditional move order.


Just to be clear, I was not advocating or proposing 3.f3 vs the Pirc.  In response to HGMan's comment that this was a curious or unusual move order, I was merely pointing out that Schandorff recommended 3.f3 -- albeit from a 1.d4 d6 2.e4 Nf6 move order -- in his book.  But, in response to your question, I tend to agree with you.  In my own praxis, I rejected 3.f3 some time ago because I thought Black could favorablly transpose to an Old Indian, so I will have to compare my old notes to Schandorff's recommendations and see if he changes my view. 


  
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Markovich
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Re: Sämisch vs. the Old Indian
Reply #23 - 06/27/13 at 17:04:19
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Hard to add to a long post with hand-held (here at Lake Tahoe that's all I have), so I post afresh.

One point worth mentioning is that one of Black's themes when White's knight is not on f3 is ...Ne8 and then ...Bg5.
« Last Edit: 06/27/13 at 19:21:32 by Markovich »  

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Re: Sämisch vs. the Old Indian
Reply #22 - 06/27/13 at 16:12:10
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I am sorry if the tone of my posts here has irritated.

@Lee Roth: I don't think that 3.f3 in the Pirc (sorry to introduce more nomenclature, but that is what you propose) is supposed to be any good, is it? Black has 3...d5, for one thing. If the Old Indian move order is used, then 3.Nc3 e5 4.d5, and Black's QN is not yet committed to d7. All that, not semantics, is why I said that my previous advocacy was about the traditional move order.

@MNb: So far as I know, White has no way to force Black to play ...Nbd7 before playing ...e5, except by playing 3.Nf3. Unless he does, the analyses below are not exactly critical to my point that White does not do well to play Saemich-like against the Old Indian.
  

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MNb
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Re: Sämisch vs. the Old Indian
Reply #21 - 06/27/13 at 14:47:30
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Markovich wrote on 06/27/13 at 04:05:11:
You're wrong. See Lee Roth in #7.

But fine, does anybody believe 3.Nc3 e5 4.d5 is a problem for Black? I sure don't.

Yes, Schandorff. And if you had read #7 properly you would have known. I also refer you to #9 and #10, which answer #7.
May we see your antidote to e4xf5 and Nc3-e4 in answer to ...Nf6-e8 and ....f7-f5 in the foreseeable future? Which problem has been mentioned a couple of times in this thread? I hate to tell you, but the level of your contributions here is way below your normal level. Perhaps you have debated some of the more infamous members too much.
  

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Re: Sämisch vs. the Old Indian
Reply #20 - 06/27/13 at 07:15:00
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Markovich, I agree that after 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 d6 3.Nc3 e5 White probably has better moves than 4.d5.  That's why I proposed the alternative move order 1.d4 d6 2.e4 Nf6 3.f3 Nbd7 4.c4 e5 5.d5 c6 6.Nc3 Be7 7.Be3 0-0 as much more logical for arriving in this system.   Yes I think that Black has problems to solve in this position.  See the plans I outlined earlier; can we take them one by one and do a little analysis?  Propose alternative plans?

For once around here, can we not argue over nomenclature or move orders?  It gets tiresome.
  
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Re: Sämisch vs. the Old Indian
Reply #19 - 06/27/13 at 04:05:11
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You're wrong. See Lee Roth in #7.

But fine, does anybody believe 3.Nc3 e5 4.d5 is a problem for Black? I sure don't.
  

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MNb
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Re: Sämisch vs. the Old Indian
Reply #18 - 06/26/13 at 02:42:12
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Nobody is talking about some move order without White's pawn on c4. Schandorff's chapter begins with the moves 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 d6 3.Nc3 when after 3...e5 he recommends 4.d5 and after 3...Nbd7 4.e4 e5 5.d5.
  

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Re: Sämisch vs. the Old Indian
Reply #17 - 06/26/13 at 02:20:38
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The Old Indian arises from 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 d6. That, not some move order without White's c-pawn on c4, is what I was talking about. Schandorff is talking about something else. So I will stand by what I said, and I don't think that Schandorff contradicts me. Btw, with White's pawn on c4, I would unhesitatingly accept the exchange of queens on d8.
  

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MNb
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Re: Sämisch vs. the Old Indian
Reply #16 - 06/24/13 at 21:41:22
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ErictheRed wrote on 06/24/13 at 19:50:07:
4) I bet most of us agree that ...c6-c5 is too passive for Black; White will castle Kingside and arrange b2-b4.

I agree. As I am hardly familiar with these kinds of positions I thus far rely on an empirical approach: glancing through games with strong players and see what they do. I noticed that ...a6; and ...b5; can be met with a well timed b4 and a4, leaving Black with weaknesses.
  

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Re: Sämisch vs. the Old Indian
Reply #15 - 06/24/13 at 20:43:40
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kylemeister wrote on 06/24/13 at 19:54:47:
Regarding the Nh3 stuff, it has been claimed that the way Soltis played against Alburt was equalizing.  Apparently Soltis played better in that game than he did against Christiansen earlier in the same event, when a similar position was reached out of the opening.


Agreed that this idea looks much better for Black when he leaves the pawn on c6 for a while, covering b5.  I'll have to take a closer look at it later.  Maybe with the pawn staying on c6 White should go back to Bf1-d3-c2; I'm not sure. 
  
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Re: Sämisch vs. the Old Indian
Reply #14 - 06/24/13 at 19:54:47
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Regarding the Nh3 stuff, it has been claimed that the way Soltis played against Alburt was equalizing.  Apparently Soltis played better in that game than he did against Christiansen earlier in the same event, when a similar position was reached out of the opening.
Incidentally, as has been mentioned here before, Soltis wrote a little book advocating the Old Indian back in those days. 
  
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Re: Sämisch vs. the Old Indian
Reply #13 - 06/24/13 at 19:50:07
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Those are nice games illustrative of some of the strategic problems Black faces in this line, GabrielGale.  Who am I to argue with Schandorff, but I'm inclined to delay Bd3 depending on how Black arranges his Knights.

Lots of different positions being thrown about; I'm up for taking 1.d4 d6 2.e4 Nf6 3.f3 Nbd7 4.c4 e5 5.d5 c6 6.Nc3 Be7 7.Be3 0-0 as a starting point, with 8.Nge2, 8.Qd2, and 8.Nh3!? as the most important continuations.  8.Qd2 is probably the most flexible (waiting another move to see what Black does), but I must confess to being especially drawn to plans of putting the Knight on h3 and f2, overprotecting e4 and g3, not getting in the way of the Bishop on f1, and ready to hop to d3 later to support the push c4-c5, exchange off a Knight on c5, etc.

Sow how about 1.d4 d6 2.e4 Nf6 3.f3 Nbd7 4.c4 e5 5.d5 c6 6.Nc3 Be7 7.Be3 0-0 8.Qd2 and we look at each of Black's plans in turn?  I'm inclined to think that Black will decide between:

1) Whether or not to play ...cxd5, and when to do so
2) Whether to play for ...a6 and ...b7-b5, often combined with ...Nb6, or ...a5 and ...Nc5
3) Whether to play for the ...f7-f5 push, and if so, whether it should be prepared with ...g7-g6 and whether the Knight should go ...Nf6-e8 or ...Nf6-h4 (eyeing f4).
4) I bet most of us agree that ...c6-c5 is too passive for Black; White will castle Kingside and arrange b2-b4.
  
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Re: Sämisch vs. the Old Indian
Reply #12 - 06/24/13 at 15:50:45
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GabrielGale wrote on 06/24/13 at 12:52:56:
This is shaping up to be like the good old days on ChessPub where only analysis of lines are debated ..

My idea as well.

ErictheRed wrote on 06/24/13 at 07:27:23:
I wouldn't mind discussing this line further, but we need to agree on a starting position.

This is why I offered a line; to me the postion after 7.d5 looks like a reasonable starting position.
The only game I could find with a Nh3 setup after 7...c6 8.Qd2 a5 is Alburt-Soltis, USAch 1983. Black postponed ...cxd5 possibly to avoid Nb5.
Schandorff's proposal is arrived at via 7...c6 8.Bd3 a5 9.Nge2 Nc5 10.Bc2 (I didn't invent this move myself) cxd5 11.cxd5 Ne8. After 12.a3 Bg5 13.Bf2 (Tomescu-Georgiev, Reggio Emilia 2004), he doesn't tell us what's wrong with ...Bd7, eg 14.b4 axb4 15.axb4 Na6 16.Rb1 Qf6.
Another idea is 12...g6 13.b4 axb4 14.axb4 Rxa1 15.Qxa1 Na6 16.Qb2 f5.
Of course I'm well aware of the fact that the setup ...a5 and ...Nc5 in the end doesn't prevent White's plan. Neither does the mirrored version in the Gurgenidze blockading defense (...h5 and ...Nf5, something that's also know in the French). The idea is to slow White down.

As for 6.Nge2 a la Miles I refer to Lputian-Zaichik, USSRch U26 1980 and Getz-Djurhuus, NORch 2011.
  

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Re: Sämisch vs. the Old Indian
Reply #11 - 06/24/13 at 15:48:46
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GabrielGale wrote on 06/24/13 at 12:52:56:
This is shaping up to be like the good old days on ChessPub where only analysis of lines are debated ..

My idea as well.

ErictheRed wrote on 06/24/13 at 07:27:23:
I wouldn't mind discussing this line further, but we need to agree on a starting position.

This is why I offered a line; to me the postion after 7.d5 looks like a reasonable starting position.
The only game I could find with a Nh3 setup after 7...c6 8.Qd2 a5 is Alburt-Soltis, USAch 1983. Black postponed ...cxd5 possibly to avoid Nb5.
Schandorff's proposal is arrived at via 7...c6 8.Bd3 a5 9.Nge2 Nc5 10.Bc2 (I didn't invent this move myself) cxd5 11.cxd5 Ne8. After 12.a3 Bg5 13.Bf2 (Tomescu-Georgiev, Reggio Emilia 2004), he doesn't tell us what's wrong with ...Bd7, eg 14.b4 axb4 15.axb4 Na6 16.Rb1 Qf6.
Another idea is 12...g6 13.b4 axb4 14.axb4 Rxa1 15.Qxa1 Na6 16.Qb2 f5.
Of course I'm well aware of the fact that the setup ...a5 and ...Nc5 in the end doesn't prevent White's plan. Neither does the mirrored version in the Gurgenidze blockading defense (...h5 and ...Nf5, something that's also know in the French). The idea is to slow White down.

As for 6.Nge2 a la Miles I refer to Lputian-Zaichik, USSRch U26 1980 and Getz-Djurhuus, NORch 2011.
  

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Re: Sämisch vs. the Old Indian
Reply #10 - 06/24/13 at 12:52:56
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This is shaping up to be like the good old days on ChessPub where only analysis of lines are debated ......

Schandorff's line is actually:
1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 d6 3 Nc3 Nbd7 4 e4 e5 5 d5 and he then considers B's two plans: 5...Nc5 and 5...Be7.

Re ...a5, interestingly, Schandorff gives the following as his 5...Nc5 var: 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 d6 3 Nc3 Nbd7 4 e4 e5 5 d5 Nc5 6 f3 a5 7 Be3 Be7 8 Qd2 0-0 9 0-0-0 and cites Zhu Chen - Hort Veterans - Women, Copenhagen 1997 (but preferring his Qd2 and 0-0-0 move order).




Re 1 e4 transposing to his repertoire recommendation (5...Be7 Var), he cites Tomescu - Ki Georgiev Reggio Emilia 2004.
  

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Re: Sämisch vs. the Old Indian
Reply #9 - 06/24/13 at 07:27:23
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I didn't know that Schandorff had recommended this, and his book is probably a good place to start.  1.d4 d6 2.e4 Nf6 3.f3 is certainly the most logical move order to get into this system. 

I stand by what I said before: White is very comfortable, and this compares unfavorably to a standard Saemisch KID.  At a very basic level, Black's problem is the old Russian schoolboy one; how to break with ...f7-f5 in such a way that White doesn't successfully blockade the e4-square.  I disagree with Markovich that Black can successfully arrange ...Ne8 and ...f7-f5 very easily; I think his task is harder than in analogous KID lines. 

MNb, your line 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 d6 3. Nc3 Nbd7 4. e4 e5 5.f3 Be7 6. Be3 O-O 7. d5 c6 8. Qd2 cxd5 9. cxd5 a5 10.Bd3 Nc5 11.Bc2 looks strange to me for a number of reasons.  But looking at the position after 9.cxd5, I think 9...a5? is a fairly huge positional blunder, giving White the b5-square from which to invade Black's Queenside.  I'd probably prefer the flexible 10.Nh3!? for White, who has the pleasant choice of castling on either side, putting a Bishop or Knight on b5, etc.  I don't see how Black is supposed to arrange any counterplay after 9...a5?
 
Compare to the KID line 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. f3 O-O 6. Be3 e5 7. d5 c6 8. Qd2 cxd5 9. cxd5, which in my database has occurred 1,063 times.  9...a6! was played 521 times by people like Kasparov, Milov, Cvitan, Popovic; 9...a5? was played 4 times by people I've never heard of.  To quote Chris Ward concerning this exact position, "A common mistake for Black by less experienced KID players is to play ...a5 automatically in an attempt to secure the c5-square for the Knight.  In the Saemisch it's often a pretty negative policy as Black has nowhere to go from there and White can usually arrange the knight-budging b2-b4 anyway.  Specifically, here 9...a6 both facilitates the advance ...b7-b5 and prevents a white piece from parking itself on that same b5-square.  Indeed I can recall once being told that 9...Nbd7 is a mistake because of 10.Nb5!."

I wouldn't mind discussing this line further, but we need to agree on a starting position.  I maintain that White is better and that his job is easier than in the Saemisch KID.
  
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Re: Sämisch vs. the Old Indian
Reply #8 - 06/23/13 at 15:59:38
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Another old game with early d5 I'm reminded of is Miles-Stein, Ostend 1986:  1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 d6 3. Nc3 Nbd7 4. e4 e5 5. d5 Be7 6. Nge2 c6 7. Ng3 O-O 8. Be3 a6 (?! Miles) 9. Nf5 cxd5 10. cxd5 Nc5 11. Nxe7 (± Miles) Qxe7 12. f3.  At the time, the Yearbook had a comment about how unusual 5. d5 was and that Miles was snapping his fingers at tradition.
  
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Re: Sämisch vs. the Old Indian
Reply #7 - 06/23/13 at 13:55:03
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HgMan wrote on 06/22/13 at 19:51:26:
Markovich wrote on 06/22/13 at 13:47:14:
There is no such thing as a Saemisch vs the Old Indian. You can set up a Saemisch-like pawn formation, but with Black's bishop on e7, it's suboptimal.


I think this is what I was after. Much of the Old Indian also hinges on control over/pressure on e4, but f3 looked odd (Hans Berliner might disagree...). And while I would never think to play this way as White, the move order is a curious (and not altogether rare) attempt to dodge the Pirc.

MNb wrote on 06/21/13 at 21:34:36:
In your particular move order Black might try 3...c5 as recommended by FM Vigus in Dangerous Weapons. But I suppose you prefer some consistency: 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 d6 3.Nc3 Nbd7 4.e4 e5 5.f3 Be7 6.Be3 O-O.
a) If White doesn't play d4-d5 at some point Black gets in ...d6-d5 a move earlier compared to the KID. This looks pretty strong, see eg Novikov-Dorfman, URSch-51, 1984; perhaps it's even stronger if preceded by ...exd4. If Be7 is not optimally placed this seems to be outweighed by the extra tempo.
b) So let's assume White plays 7.d5 c6. Then the question indeed is how to make best use of Be7. A blockading setup with ...a5 and Nc5 looks most logical to me. Sometimes Black can exchange black-squared bishops with Be7-g5, but I don't know when and how.
I realize this is not really an answer.


As Markovich noted, I'm rather happy to see White play d4-d5 in the Old Indian. My preference (from my proposed move order) would be: 1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.f3 e5, but this opens the door to an early queen exchange (not dangerous, but not great for creating decent winning chances, either). 3...Nbd7 does little to prevent the advance of the c-pawn, but avoids the queen exchange.

And, yes: plans of exchanging pawns on d5 and playing along the c-file/queenside are a clear possibility for Black, combined with an ...f5 thrust.

Of course, given this opens with 1.e4, I don't know how likely or desirable a transposition into a Samisch-like pawn structure is for White on a subjective—as distinct from objective—level. Overall, though, I'm liking this Old Indian...


In fact, 1.d4 d6 2.e4 Nf6 3.f3 is Schandorff's recommendation for White in Play 1.d4 - The Indian Defences.  In an attempt to stay consistent with his recommendation of the Samisch against the King's Indian, he opts for a system against the Old Indian with d5, f3, and Nge2. 

Like Markovich, I too had thought that f3 looked out of place against the Old Indian -- with the Black bishop on e7, White wants the Knight on f3, not the pawn -- but Schandorff seems to feel that his line gives White a good chance of retaining an edge. 

It should also be noted that, from the pure Old Indian move order -- 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 d6 3.Nc3 Nbd7 4.e4 e5 --  White can play d5 without following up with f3 as in the famous game Spassky-Kavalek, Montreal 1979.  Afaik, this is still considered a reasonable system for White.

  
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Re: Sämisch vs. the Old Indian
Reply #6 - 06/22/13 at 21:24:56
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HgMan wrote on 06/22/13 at 19:51:26:
As Markovich noted, I'm rather happy to see White play d4-d5 in the Old Indian.

In that case I don't think you have a problem with White playing f2-f3. You play the standard moves, castle and if White doesn't play d4-d5 you play d6-d5 yourself, evt. after the exchange ...exd4. There are only two games with 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 d6 3.Nc3 Nbd7 4.e4 e5 5.f3 Be7 6.Be3 O-O 7.Bd3 c6 8.Nge2 exd4 9.Nxd4 d5 and Black won both.

HgMan wrote on 06/22/13 at 19:51:26:
3...Nbd7 does little to prevent the advance of the c-pawn, but avoids the queen exchange.

But if you like the Old-Indian you don't want to prevent that advance.
  

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Re: Sämisch vs. the Old Indian
Reply #5 - 06/22/13 at 19:51:26
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Markovich wrote on 06/22/13 at 13:47:14:
There is no such thing as a Saemisch vs the Old Indian. You can set up a Saemisch-like pawn formation, but with Black's bishop on e7, it's suboptimal.


I think this is what I was after. Much of the Old Indian also hinges on control over/pressure on e4, but f3 looked odd (Hans Berliner might disagree...). And while I would never think to play this way as White, the move order is a curious (and not altogether rare) attempt to dodge the Pirc.

MNb wrote on 06/21/13 at 21:34:36:
In your particular move order Black might try 3...c5 as recommended by FM Vigus in Dangerous Weapons. But I suppose you prefer some consistency: 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 d6 3.Nc3 Nbd7 4.e4 e5 5.f3 Be7 6.Be3 O-O.
a) If White doesn't play d4-d5 at some point Black gets in ...d6-d5 a move earlier compared to the KID. This looks pretty strong, see eg Novikov-Dorfman, URSch-51, 1984; perhaps it's even stronger if preceded by ...exd4. If Be7 is not optimally placed this seems to be outweighed by the extra tempo.
b) So let's assume White plays 7.d5 c6. Then the question indeed is how to make best use of Be7. A blockading setup with ...a5 and Nc5 looks most logical to me. Sometimes Black can exchange black-squared bishops with Be7-g5, but I don't know when and how.
I realize this is not really an answer.


As Markovich noted, I'm rather happy to see White play d4-d5 in the Old Indian. My preference (from my proposed move order) would be: 1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.f3 e5, but this opens the door to an early queen exchange (not dangerous, but not great for creating decent winning chances, either). 3...Nbd7 does little to prevent the advance of the c-pawn, but avoids the queen exchange.

And, yes: plans of exchanging pawns on d5 and playing along the c-file/queenside are a clear possibility for Black, combined with an ...f5 thrust.

Of course, given this opens with 1.e4, I don't know how likely or desirable a transposition into a Samisch-like pawn structure is for White on a subjective—as distinct from objective—level. Overall, though, I'm liking this Old Indian...
  

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Re: Sämisch vs. the Old Indian
Reply #4 - 06/22/13 at 16:34:24
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ErictheRed wrote on 06/22/13 at 01:56:03:
Where is Black's counterplay coming from?

Once again I give it a shot in the dark - I'm not sure if you disagree with me because I'm not sure what my opinion exactly is. Besides the points you mention I have noticed that there are way too few instructive games. I played through a couple of games and didn't really get any wiser.
I notice you contradict yourself somewhat.

ErictheRed wrote on 06/22/13 at 01:56:03:
unless White has castled Queenside and it can be part of a general Queenside attack.

ErictheRed wrote on 06/22/13 at 01:56:03:
g2-g4, h2-h4, h4-h5, and g4-g5, etc.

But this implies castling queenside or keeping the king in the centre, inviting the general queenside attack you mentioned. Of course this must be combined with opening the c-file with ...cxd5 at some point.

ErictheRed wrote on 06/22/13 at 01:56:03:
But it's hard to arrange this exchange.

Agreed. It narrows our problem a bit though, as White will have to play Qd2 (there are quite a few games where White omits this). To narrow it a bit more - if White doesn't castle and plays g2-g4 first Black may have the disrupting Be7-h4+.
That's why it's not clear to me if the bishop is worse on e7 than on g7 if White aims at a pawnstorm nonetheless.

ErictheRed wrote on 06/22/13 at 01:56:03:
switching to Queenside pawn pushes with b2-b3, a2-a3, and b3-b4.  Again I ask where Black's counterplay will come from

Yes again. As this rules out castling queenside and thus the pawnstorm we have a second, but further narrowed problem. Maybe I can provide a concrete move order here.
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 d6 3.Nc3 Nbd7 4.e4 e5 5.f3 Be7 6.Be3 O-O 7.d5 c6 8.Qd2 cxd5 (the exact timing of this exchange is yet another problem; if delayed too long White might answer exd5) 9.cxd5 a5 10.Bd3 Nc5 11.Bc2
a) 11...Ne8 12.Nge2 Bd7 13.O-O h6 idea ...Bg5.
b) 11...b6 12.Nge2 Bd7 13.O-O b5 and Black is active on the queenside.
Again I don't really know what to think of Be7.

As for the plan ...Ne8 and ...f5 I think the answer exf5 strong indeed; in practice White has excellent results.
  

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Re: Sämisch vs. the Old Indian
Reply #3 - 06/22/13 at 13:47:14
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There is no such thing as a Saemisch vs the Old Indian. You can set up a Saemisch-like pawn formation, but with Black's bishop on e7, it's suboptimal.

Indeed, the Old Indian is a path to certain KID positions without risking a Saemisch.

With reference to some of the foregoing, d4-d5 is not very good against the Old Indian, because Black's B is much more active on e7 than on g7. Black usually plays Ne8, f7-f5.
  

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Re: Sämisch vs. the Old Indian
Reply #2 - 06/22/13 at 01:56:03
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It's hard to discuss this question with concrete lines because both sides are so flexible.  As a lifelong Saemisch player, I think that this compares unfavorably (for Black) with the regular King's Indian--but then I think that the entire Old Indian compares unfavorably with the King's Indian!  Is this exact variation any more unfavorable than other lines when you compare the Old Indian to the King's Indian?  I don't know.

I suspect that after x...e5 y.d5, if Black manages to trade Dark Squared Bishops White could regret the move f2-f3 (just a little).  But it's hard to arrange this exchange.

Where is Black's counterplay coming from?  An ...f7-f5 break can often be met with exf5! and White dominates the e4-square.  Black will need to be careful that e6-square doesn't become very weak. 

Also note that just because Black hasn't given White a latch with ...g7-g6 doesn't mean that White can't throw his Kingside pawns at Black if Black castles Kingside too early.  g2-g4, h2-h4, h4-h5, and g4-g5, etc.  If Black doesn't create counterplay quickly enough (pressure against the d4-square will be harder than in the KID, for instance), this sort of thing can be crushing for White.  It's a bit slow but if the center's closed and Black doesn't have enough counterplay, then...

I must respectfully disagree with MNb about sticking a Knight on c5.  It's almost never a good idea when White has already overprotected the e4-pawn with f2-f3, unless White has castled Queenside and it can be part of a general Queenside attack.  The Knight gets to c5 and does what, exactly?  If White has played flexibly and Black rushes a Knight to c5, White can immediately gain tempi by switching to Queenside pawn pushes with b2-b3, a2-a3, and b3-b4.  Again I ask where Black's counterplay will come from; he has to have played ...f7-f5 effectively if he wants the Knight to pressure e4, but that's hard to arrange here.

I know this is all very abstract, but it's a difficult line to discuss precise moves in.  Is the position after 1.d4 d6 2.e4 Nf6 3.f3 Nbd7 4.c4 c6 5.Nc3 e5 6.d5 Be7 7.Be3 0-0 a reasonable starting point?  I think White's very comfortable here.
  
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Re: Sämisch vs. the Old Indian
Reply #1 - 06/21/13 at 21:34:36
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Apparently this is a difficult question, as nobody has answered yet. So I give it a try - and will likely fail.

In your particular move order Black might try 3...c5 as recommended by FM Vigus in Dangerous Weapons. But I suppose you prefer some consistency: 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 d6 3.Nc3 Nbd7 4.e4 e5 5.f3 Be7 6.Be3 O-O.
a) If White doesn't play d4-d5 at some point Black gets in ...d6-d5 a move earlier compared to the KID. This looks pretty strong, see eg Novikov-Dorfman, URSch-51, 1984; perhaps it's even stronger if preceded by ...exd4. If Be7 is not optimally placed this seems to be outweighed by the extra tempo.
b) So let's assume White plays 7.d5 c6. Then the question indeed is how to make best use of Be7. A blockading setup with ...a5 and Nc5 looks most logical to me. Sometimes Black can exchange black-squared bishops with Be7-g5, but I don't know when and how.
I realize this is not really an answer.
  

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Sämisch vs. the Old Indian
06/20/13 at 13:02:47
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After 1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.f3 Nbd7 3.c4 e5 4.Nc3 c6 or something similar, White reaches a Sämisch position, while Black can opt to forego the fianchetto and develop the bishop to e7. Given that I am developing a repertoire around the Old Indian against 1.d4 (and Hanham via 1...d6 against 1.e4), this prospect is intriguing—and I am reluctant to revert to a KID (based on my own ignorance and unfamiliarity).

Does the absence of the bishop on g7 help or hinder against a Sämisch set up for White? I presume there is the nominal advantage of reaching a less orthodox position, but not being familiar with KID theory, I am mainly wondering if Black is too passive without the fianchetto or if the pawn on f3 is rather misplaced in the kind of scenario above.

(Aware, too, that Black can offer up 3...d5 and there are transpositional possibilities to the French and QGA; these appeal less).
  

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