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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) Is the Scotch Mieses Simply Lame for White? (Read 16285 times)
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Re: Is the Scotch Mieses Simply Lame for White?
Reply #20 - 05/15/16 at 12:33:33
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I'm surprised noone has mentioned 10.Ba3 (unless I skipped over it), which Kasparov tried against So last month, and has also been tried in 2500+ correspondence. I think it might have a bit of potential, though probably that's just because it hasn't been analysed to death yet.
https://chess24.com/en/watch/live-tournaments/ultimate-blitz-challenge-garry-kas...
  
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Re: Is the Scotch Mieses Simply Lame for White?
Reply #19 - 12/05/14 at 21:42:43
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I think Nikos was referring to the PANFR line iirc. I think Black is equal in places in a few places, but play is rich - far richer (personal opinion of course) here than in the endgame variations after Qf3, etc. The downside is that they're a bit sharper and more dangerous - just depends on your disposition and inclination to study such variations.
  
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Re: Is the Scotch Mieses Simply Lame for White?
Reply #18 - 12/05/14 at 19:48:26
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tony37 wrote on 12/04/14 at 12:29:40:
my guess is 5...Bb6 6.Nc3 d6 7.Qe2 Nge7 8.Be3 O-O 9.O-O-O f5
(although I now see that 10.f4 fxe4 11.g3 may cause some problems)

another option is 5...Bb6 6.Nc3 d6 7.Qe2 Be6 8.Be3 Nf6 9.O-O-O Qe7 10.f3 (10.g3 O-O) O-O-O


Your first line is scrutinized at the Negi Scotch DVD. Maybe equal, maybe not... but certainly not "no play for white".
Your second line is certainly interesting, but still rich in possibilities. I guess Nikos was not referring to that one...
  
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Re: Is the Scotch Mieses Simply Lame for White?
Reply #17 - 12/04/14 at 12:29:40
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my guess is 5...Bb6 6.Nc3 d6 7.Qe2 Nge7 8.Be3 O-O 9.O-O-O f5
(although I now see that 10.f4 fxe4 11.g3 may cause some problems)

another option is 5...Bb6 6.Nc3 d6 7.Qe2 Be6 8.Be3 Nf6 9.O-O-O Qe7 10.f3 (10.g3 O-O) O-O-O
  
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Re: Is the Scotch Mieses Simply Lame for White?
Reply #16 - 12/04/14 at 11:02:20
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Ametanoitos wrote on 08/14/14 at 21:46:15:
But 4...Bc5 5.Nb3 has been neutralised completely! There is no play for White at all!


My guess is that you're hinting the line 5...Bb6 6.Nc3 Nf6 7.Bg5 0-0, followed by ...Nd4 after either Qf3 or Qe2. Right?
  
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Re: Is the Scotch Mieses Simply Lame for White?
Reply #15 - 08/15/14 at 04:37:16
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Perhaps, but no one knows that yet.

Grin
  
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Re: Is the Scotch Mieses Simply Lame for White?
Reply #14 - 08/14/14 at 21:46:15
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But 4...Bc5 5.Nb3 has been neutralised completely! There is no play for White at all!
  
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TonyRo
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Re: Is the Scotch Mieses Simply Lame for White?
Reply #13 - 08/14/14 at 19:28:24
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Maybe my taste is clouding my judgment, I really can't say. All I see here is an ending I'm unlikely to win against someone of equal strength! Again, my issue is not that this variation is not good for White or anything, just that I'm not in love with clarifying the position so early and reaching this ending regularly. There's just less play than I'd like when compared to 4...Bc5 5.Nb3!?.
  
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Re: Is the Scotch Mieses Simply Lame for White?
Reply #12 - 08/14/14 at 17:37:45
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Stockfish likes to play ...a5 and ...c5 and let the light-squared bishops get exchanged. White will put the king at d3 and most likely the rooks will be exchanged down the e-file. I cannot see why the knight shouldn't be better than the bishop in this kind of position. I don't say that White is winning, but he is certainly in no way worse and may even be theoretically slightly better.

Probably Black shouldn't go ...Nd4+ that easily, but White goes again Rg1, g3 and maybe even Bh3.

Don't know Tony, i really like White here... I have at least the better structure and so i can pretend that i am playing for something and this ...Nd4+ plan is not simple either. I then pretend to have the better minor piece!  Cheesy
  
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Re: Is the Scotch Mieses Simply Lame for White?
Reply #11 - 08/14/14 at 17:04:11
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After a quick think, Stockfish likes 19.Rg1 a5, presumably stopping b4 and looking to offload that a-pawn at some point.
  
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Re: Is the Scotch Mieses Simply Lame for White?
Reply #10 - 08/13/14 at 23:20:57
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I like 17.Kc2 and if 17...Nd4 18.Bxd4 followed by 19.Rg1. I think that the knight is better than the bishop (OK, in that corr game you posted White was not able to prove this, but this situation might be a bit different).
  
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Re: Is the Scotch Mieses Simply Lame for White?
Reply #9 - 08/13/14 at 17:40:43
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Let's start with 9.Nd2 O-O-O. In my main ending, do you agree this is the critical line? What are you trying on move 17? There's at least 17.Be2, 17.Bd3, or 17.Kc2. Perhaps it doesn't matter that much. The latter seems the most flexible at first glance.
  
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Re: Is the Scotch Mieses Simply Lame for White?
Reply #8 - 08/13/14 at 17:23:07
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Your point is correct and the example with the Rook endgame is not out of place, but consider this similar example.

What about the 4 vs 3 +Rook endgame? (the 3vs 2 is easier and doesn't belong to this category) How to call this? It is certainly "=" but players like Kasparov have lost it. Or what about some endgames say with 3-3 +a pawn at the a-file and a Rook each? Maybe still, the defending side knows how to draw tis endgame but everybody will still lose some positions like this. In an endgame, you can be objective and certainand say it is "=", but in a middlegame you cannot do that and say it is "+/=". You still say the same thing: "it is a draw" but "i cannot guarantee it! You have to play some good moves to get there!"

Dont' worry. I'll come up with some moves later. I am just waiting for someone else to start proposing stuff! Smiley
  
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Re: Is the Scotch Mieses Simply Lame for White?
Reply #7 - 08/13/14 at 17:12:13
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I generally agree with your definition. But there's some subjectivity to what "better moves" looks like to one person or another, and how difficult it is to play the position for either color depends on the person who's got to play it. Using a definition that requires some knowledge of "chess truth" to discern which side needs to play the better moves, etc, is weird. One might call a drawn, pawn up rook ending slightly better for White, but it doesn't matter if the defender playing Black knows how to draw it with literally no effort, i.e. he's studied and mastered this specific ending. That defender would annotate it a clean "=", and now since we have a convention that uses evaluations that aren't actually results, these two annotators have a useless and trivial disagreement!  Cheesy

Anyway, I agree with Nikos, as there's really no better system in place for evaluating chess positions. It's an interesting topic to wane philosophically on over a few beers some time though.

Grin

Let's not sidetrack what could be a nice discussion on the Mieses.
  
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Re: Is the Scotch Mieses Simply Lame for White?
Reply #6 - 08/13/14 at 16:18:52
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Ametanoitos wrote on 08/13/14 at 16:08:12:
Quote:
What does += really mean to the annotator is an important question I've been thinking about lately


For me this is quite clear.

The side with the slight disadvantage has to play (at least a bit) better (make better moves, make less mistakes) to make the draw

"+/=" or "=/+" is really saying that the position is still a draw with perfect play, but one side has less margin of error or "forgiveness" by making sub-optimal moves.


Well stated and agreed.
  
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Re: Is the Scotch Mieses Simply Lame for White?
Reply #5 - 08/13/14 at 16:08:12
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Quote:
What does += really mean to the annotator is an important question I've been thinking about lately


For me this is quite clear.

The side with the slight disadvantage has to play (at least a bit) better (make better moves, make less mistakes) to make the draw

"+/=" or "=/+" is really saying that the position is still a draw with perfect play, but one side has less margin of error or "forgiveness" by making sub-optimal moves. Before you say it, i know this is not exactly the definition i applied in my books for the Black side! Tongue

See for example the well known Caruana-Kramnik game won by White in this line. Without a doubt, the position is a draw, but in a practical game, White has the more pleasant game. And if Kramnik can loose this... But OK, if you talk about corr chess, then it is a different thing.

I hope that at some point i'll be able to provide some moves to back up my claim Wink
  
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Re: Is the Scotch Mieses Simply Lame for White?
Reply #4 - 08/13/14 at 14:41:05
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As you say, if you think in terms of objective evaluation and analyze deeply enough then everything is equal unless someone has done something wrong (and 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 has not seen anyone do anything wrong). So when thinking about white repertoires it is better to think in terms of expected value. How likely will your average opponent be to know or find the antidotes you mention? I doubt many people know or would find the best response to 12.Bh3. I certainly didn't when we played last night. Of course people will look things up and learn from their losses, but I think that is mostly an argument for having a number of tools in your toolkit as white. If you move around enough the opponent will not remember the antidote he learned two months ago. You and I also just play too much blitz together and it leads to us knowing each other's repertoires too well.

With that said, I find myself enjoying the Italian game more than I did the Scotch in part because you don't need to be very well prepared, at least not in order to get a playable game. Plus, there are a number of ways to play as white and black might want to respond to them differently, so you can keep black on his toes quite well in that opening alone. In general, openings that are less forcing and more flexible are less likely to leave you feeling that black can memorize fifteen moves of theory and have a drawn endgame.
  

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Re: Is the Scotch Mieses Simply Lame for White?
Reply #3 - 08/13/14 at 13:57:36
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Ametanoitos wrote on 08/13/14 at 06:41:46:
Hello Tony,

Both lines you give as "problematic" after 9.Nd2 seem better for White to me. Of course, this kind of advantage in corr chess is nothing, so in a way the Scotch is certainly not suitable at all in corr chess (although i have a plus score with it and in all my draws i had some advantage), but in practical play.... this is another thing!



I guess we'll have to agree to disagree on the evaluation of such endings. For me, the positions are clarified enough that (for me), the only correct evaluation can be equal. Both sides have their plusses and minuses of course, but I doubt White is better in any way from either diagram. But this is an odd and touchy subject, and I get that. What does += really mean to the annotator is an important question I've been thinking about lately. Only winning, losing, or drawn are possible outcomes from chess, so to a certain extent all other evaluations are lies! Grin

And in the 9...g6 line, there are other ideas - moves besides 13...Qxd2+ & 14...d6 - this was just the most forcing, so I chose it to make the point that Black could easily clarify to a steady ending.


Ametanoitos wrote on 08/13/14 at 06:41:46:
There is no big sound opening that i am aware of where Black has any major problems. If The Scotch is Lame for White, so i guess the whole main line of the Semi-Slav is lame as well! Tongue



I was very careful to write a similar note at the bottom of my post because I knew you'd say it! Grin

We agree, though at least in the Semi-Slav there are tons of complications, wonderful attacks, deviations everywhere for both sides, and a lot of unexplored territory. The positions seem a lot richer. For me, these 9.Nd2 Mieses lines clarify very quickly into relatively sterile endings, with the exception of 9...Nb4, which I'm happy to play for White. Wink

I know that for openings enthusiasts like you and I, it doesn't seem like it makes sense to play 9.Nd2. Why spend a bunch of time and effort studying positions like these? Maybe it's a matter of taste, and for me these positions are bitter. Maybe I haven't studied and played these endings enough OTB, and I'm just pronouncing them as easily drawn without beating a few people first.At least for me, I want a little more play. I am still searching in the traditional channels 9.b3 and 9.g3, but these are lines that have been picked over for a long time. Cool


Ametanoitos wrote on 08/13/14 at 06:41:46:
Edit: Thanks for this excellent summary by the way, and i hope that this will generate some lively discussion here.



Thanks for responding! And Happy Birthday again! Wink

Pantu wrote on 08/13/14 at 06:47:09:
First suggestion would be to keep an eye on http://www.qualitychess.co.uk/products/1/209/playing_1e4_-_caro-kann_1e5_and_min... as I think from their blog the Scotch is planned. I also think Aagaard has been playing some of the lines already and that 9.Nd2!? is their preferred option. 9.Nd2 g6 10.Ne4 has scored well for white but 10...Bg7 11.Bg5 Qxe5 probably kills it.

Otherwise I'll just say thanks for the nice post Smiley



Yes, I follow the blog over there very closely, and am well aware that eventually 9.Nd2 will make it into print. I'm just registering my feeble objections now!

Roll Eyes

And you're welcome.
  
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Re: Is the Scotch Mieses Simply Lame for White?
Reply #2 - 08/13/14 at 06:47:09
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First suggestion would be to keep an eye on http://www.qualitychess.co.uk/products/1/209/playing_1e4_-_caro-kann_1e5_and_min... as I think from their blog the Scotch is planned.  I also think Aagaard has been playing some of the lines already and that 9.Nd2!? is their preferred option. 9.Nd2 g6 10.Ne4 has scored well for white but 10...Bg7 11.Bg5 Qxe5 probably kills it.

Otherwise I'll just say thanks for the nice post Smiley
  
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Re: Is the Scotch Mieses Simply Lame for White?
Reply #1 - 08/13/14 at 06:41:46
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Hello Tony,

Both lines you give as "problematic" after 9.Nd2 seem better for White to me. Of course, this kind of advantage in corr chess is nothing, so in a way the Scotch is certainly not suitable at all in corr chess (although i have a plus score with it and in all my draws i had some advantage), but in practical play.... this is another thing!

There is no big sound opening that i am aware of where Black has any major problems. If The Scotch is Lame for White, so i guess the whole main line of the Semi-Slav is lame as well! Tongue

Edit: Thanks for this excellent summary by the way, and i hope that this will generate some lively discussion here.
  
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Is the Scotch Mieses Simply Lame for White?
08/13/14 at 05:30:54
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I have fallen in love with the Scotch lately, and I'm very happy with the theory and positions I'm getting after 4...Bc5 5.Nb3. I struggle, however, to find positions where White even has pressure in the Mieses variation. Perhaps someone can point out where I've gone wrong or what I'm missing. A quick breakdown of my conclusions:

After 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nxc6 bxc6 6.e5 (Vallejo-Pons recommends 6.Qe2!? on chess24.com, and although it's fun, I simply don't believe in it) 6...Qe7 7.Qe2 Nd5 8.c4 I'm going to focus exclusively on 8...Ba6.

After the Modern 9.Nd2!?, there are two main tries for Black that I think are annoying enough to not make me want to rely on this move:

9...O-O-O 10.b3 (computers give 10.Qe4 Nb6 11.b3 d5! and Black is very active) 10...f6! 11.Qe4 Nb4! (against 11...Nb6 I found the fairly awesome 12.Bb2 fxe5 13.O-O-O Re8 14.Nf3 d6 15.c5! Bxf1 16.Rhxf1 Nd5 17.Qa4! Kb7 18.Rxd5!! cxd5 19.Nd4!!-> with a close to winning attack, though White needs something against 13...d6) 12.Bb2 Bb7! 13.exf6 gxf6! (Negi only considers 13...Qf7 on his new DVD) 14.Qxe7 Bxe7 15.Kd1 c5 16.a3 Nc6 yields an endgame that I have to imagine is dead equal. Black is obviously worse structurally, but he's very active, has a lead in development, and it's likely that a later ...Nd4+ will net the two bishops. Maybe this ending is to some people's taste, but I don't have a strong desire to try and figure out the best way for White to try and unravel here, and I doubt it leads to anything anyway. A few games have made it this far, here's two of them:





White can avoid this line with 8.Nd2!? instead, but Negi makes a reasonable case that 8...Bb7! is fine for Black, e.g. 9.Nf3 (9.c4 now allows 9...Nf4 10.Qe3 Ng6) 9...O-O-O 10.Bd2 f6 or 10.c4 Nb6 11.Bd2 c5 12.O-O-O f6.

9...g6! is the standard move, when 10.Nf3 Qb4+! 11.Kd1 dislodges White's King. Play typically continues 11...Nb6 12.b3 Bg7 13.Qd2, when instead of the usual 13...Qe7, I think that 13...Qxd2+ is kind of a buzz-kill. Perhaps the simplest is 14.Bxd2 d6, stopping c5 and chipping away at White's center before he's totally consolidated. Below is a CC game from this variation:



Another obvious plan in the above game is to simply stick a knight on e6, e.g. 20...a5 21.a4 followed by Nd7-c5-e6. I can't imagine Black has any problems at all.

There's also the usual 9.b3, but I'm not really that optimistic about "The Ending", e.g. 9...g6! 10.g3 Bg7 11.Bb2 O-O 12.Bg2 Rae8 13.O-O Bxe5 14.Qxe5 Qxe5 15.Bxe5 Rxe5 16.cxd5 Bxf1 17.Kxf1 cxd5 18.Nc3 (18.f4 has scored worse, and I don't believe it's any more promising) 18...c6. These positions have been investigated ad-nauseum (there are quite a few different configurations here - sometimes Black's castled long, sometimes he's played ...Rfe8, and sometimes the pawn is on g5), but in practice Black has had equal or better chances, and engines certainly seem to think that Black is okay or more:





I briefly thought 12.Bh3!? held some promise (maybe it still does), but simple seems 12...d6! 13.O-O Bxe5 14.Bxe5 dxe5 15.Re1 Rfe8 16.Qd2 Nb6, when White has to work a little harder than Black and find some interesting ideas to fully equalize:



Instead, there's also Barsky's 10.f4, but 10...d6! seems very adequate, e.g. 11.Qf2 Nf6! 12.Be2 dxe5 13.O-O Ne4. Dembo/Palliser also like this variation. A few games to get everyone started (I am getting tired and lazy at this point):





(White has scored miserably after 18...O-O-O)



So what do I do? Don't answer Scotch 4 Knights.

Yes, I realize that chess is a draw and that these days, if you analyze deep enough and accurately enough, everything is a draw. My only complaint here is that (at least if you ask me), Black easily reaches fairly clear and somewhat dry endings too easily, and in the variations that are more complicated, e.g. 10.f4 or 12.Bh3!?, the positions are arguably harder to play for White. I feel like so far, the Mieses is harder to play for White, and Black equalizes (if he knows what he's doing).

Cry
  
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