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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) Four Knights (strange variation) (Read 4973 times)
an ordinary chessplayer
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Re: Four Knights (strange variation)
Reply #11 - 05/26/17 at 17:55:55
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Disabling Flash is the first thing I do on any browser. (In days of yore it was disabling javascript.) I would rather look at the big black box where the Flash content should be, than wait forever for the page to load.

As for "coward" moves: It's a chess game. Sometimes being principled is correct; sometimes being pragmatic works better. Smiley
  
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brabo
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Re: Four Knights (strange variation)
Reply #10 - 05/26/17 at 14:16:24
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mn wrote on 05/26/17 at 08:55:31:
By the way, is it just me or are the diagrams no longer loading on brabo's blog?

Yes I experienced the same problem some time ago. I was able to solve it by going to the settings -> show advanced settings (see below) -> content settings -> Flash allow sites to run Flash
I have no idea why this was suddenly switched off as I hadn't changed anything myself. I guess another automatic update of the system nobody asked for which is pretty frustrating if you spent so much time writing the blog.
  
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Re: Four Knights (strange variation)
Reply #9 - 05/26/17 at 11:39:31
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I could see them OK (using chrome).
  
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mn
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Re: Four Knights (strange variation)
Reply #8 - 05/26/17 at 08:55:31
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By the way, is it just me or are the diagrams no longer loading on brabo's blog?
  
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Re: Four Knights (strange variation)
Reply #7 - 05/26/17 at 08:39:56
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an ordinary chessplayer wrote on 05/24/17 at 19:35:12:
1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.Nc3 Nxe4 4.Nf3

I played last year the "coward" move 4. ... Nf6 when I met this position for the first time in a standard game. I believe Nxc3 is critical and should lead to a small edge for black.
For the game with some light notes see http://chess-brabo.blogspot.be/2016/09/risks-part-2.html
  
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an ordinary chessplayer
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Re: Four Knights (strange variation)
Reply #6 - 05/25/17 at 20:23:52
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I would never announce mate-in-X in competition. Just make the moves. This was an informal game, it was more a teaching moment against a junior player. I said something like "now there's a mate, can you see it?" You really have to know your opponent and the situation. I would never do it if the opponent might take offense, as for example some players at this same club would surely take offense. I imagine the old-time practice was more about challenging any spectators than about trying to show up the opponent. Although that no doubt happened as well.
  
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Re: Four Knights (strange variation)
Reply #5 - 05/25/17 at 15:13:12
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Off topic:

an ordinary chessplayer wrote on 05/24/17 at 19:35:12:
and black announced mate in three.


I was wondering about announcing mates recently. This page by Edward Winter convinced me that the practice had completely died out, so I didn't look any further.
Now I must ask: how do you understand it? (Is it a better victory if mate is announced? Have you done it in an official game? Do you feel there is a penalty if you're wrong? Who taught you to announce mate? Etc.)
  
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an ordinary chessplayer
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Re: Four Knights (strange variation)
Reply #4 - 05/24/17 at 19:35:12
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Fllg wrote on 12/09/14 at 18:26:03:
Objectively the gambit 5.0-0 is dubious due to 5...Nxc3 6.dxc3 f6. ...
Unlike in the Boden-Kieseritzky proper, the insertion of O-O for white and ...Nc6 for black means that ...f7-f6 is not the only move to keep the pawn. Black should play 6...Qe7!. I analyzed this move over 25 years ago and actually got it over the board once against a class-A player, about 20 years ago. And recently got it again in an offhand game against a wee lad:

"A.W." vs. "an ordinary chessplayer", Mulligan Chess Club, 2017.03.04
1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.Nc3 Nxe4 4.Nf3 Nc6!? 5.O-O?! Nxc3 6.dxc3 Qe7 7.Re1 f6 8.Nd4!? N (The previous game went 8.Nh4 g6 9.Kh1 but I don't remember the rest, it was too long ago. Knowing me I probably played 9...Nd8!?.) 8...d6 9.Bb5?! (9.f4) 9...Bd7 10.Nxc6 Bxc6 11.Bxc6+ bxc6 12.Qf3 Qd7 13.Qg3 g6 14.b4? Bg7 15.Bb2 O-O 16.f4 c5?! 17.bxc5 Qb5 18.Rab1 (18.Ba3 Qa4 19.c4! was best, after the game we looked at 19...Qxc4 20.cxd6 cxd6 21.Rad1 Rad8 22.fxe5 fxe5 23.Qe3) 18...Qxc5+ 19.Kh1 Rab8 20.Qe3? Qxe3 21.Rxe3 exf4 22.Rf3 f5 23.h3 Rb6 24.Kh2 Rfb8 25.Re1 Rxb2 26.Re2 Kf7 27.g3 Re8 28.Ref2 Re3 29.Rxf4 Be5 30.h4 Bxf4 31.gxf4 Rxc3 32.Kg1 Rcxc2 33.Rf1 and black announced mate in three.
  
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Furest
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Re: Four Knights (strange variation)
Reply #3 - 12/09/14 at 22:17:00
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Interesting, that final position looks reasonably safe for black. But while objectively black might be better in that Bologan line, I admit that playing f7-f6 and g7-g6 like that would make me a little bit nervous if I was to find them OTB. But that's what theory is for, right?

On the other hand, at move 8. Stockfish warns that another plan for white could be a pawn break on the queen side (either a4 and/or 8.b4) or the primitive 8.Qd5, but that doesn't look too dangerous, for 8...Qe7 still looks like the move that holds the fort, and despite the many different options for white black from that point on black can hold onto some edge by playing simple natural moves like d6, a6, Bd7*.


Well, that's one gambit less to worry about. Now, if someone could kindly point me to the similarly easy refutation of the Belgrade... : O)



*I apologize if I look at the position in terms of possible plans and ideas instead of deep concrete lines, but at my level that's what mainly interests me.
  
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Re: Four Knights (strange variation)
Reply #2 - 12/09/14 at 20:03:57
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It could be mentioned that that e-pawn sac stuff has indeed been around for a long time; for example a 1960s book by David Hooper ("A Complete Defence to 1. P-K4") devoted about ten pages to it (basically favoring Black but saying the evidence wasn't conclusive).
  
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Re: Four Knights (strange variation)
Reply #1 - 12/09/14 at 18:26:03
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Objectively the gambit 5.0-0 is dubious due to 5...Nxc3 6.dxc3 f6. One main line given by Bologan in "Bologan´s Black Weapons" goes 7.Nh4 (threatening Qh5+ and preparing f2-f4, since there are no other pawn breaks) g6 8.f4 Qe7 (hoping to win a piece with ...Qc5+) 9.Kh1 d6 10.f5 Qg7 11.Qf3 Ne7 with the idea ...c7-c6. White´s compensation is doubtful here.
  
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Four Knights (strange variation)
12/09/14 at 16:30:26
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Hello, I'd like to ask you theoreticians a question about this opening

To put things in perspective, I'd like to clarify that my OTB rating is 1500-ish (Fide). So yes, I know, at that level opening theory is less useful than other things and one should study only tactics and basic endgames (and that's why you wont see me asking around some sacrifice line at move 20 in the grunfeld or the sicilian).

But since I play it with white and also approximately more than 75% of my black games are 4 knights (including the last six in a row. My opponents really don't have much love for the russian game), I don't think there would be too much harm in knowing a bit more about the fist few moves of this opening, and specifically about a computer line that I have no idea how to handle.

It is in the usually horrible 4.Bc4 Nxe4 (which curiously appears on my board every second game, once even against an expert), and here after both 5.Bxf7 and 5.Nxe4 d5 I fancy my chances.

However, the computer thinks that better than both would be the strange 5.0-0!?. I don't trust the silicon bastard and his weird lines too much, but I admit that the gambit and subsequent attack on the king worry me a bit (and conversely interests me on the white side).

Another thing, I also often find this position through the move order 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Bc4 Nxe4 4.Nc3, where I usually play 4...Nc6 (but I wonder if something better is available, as once in a rapid I tried 4...Nxc3 but things got worse soon afterwards).

Still, what could be the best plan against that strange 5.0-0? And was that ever played in a serious game at master level (because I can't find it, as I only use that free database on the shredder website as a loose guideline)?


PS I'd like to add that I only own 1 chess opening book, the italian edition of Watson's 1.e4 which was a gift from about 1 year ago. Amusingly enough, both the russian defence and the four knights are missing (but there are some 16 pages on the Pirc. How splendid). Sorry for the rant, but to get hold of a 'everything you wanted to know about e4 but were afraid to ask ' book only to discover that the only thing it ignores is exactly your repertoire is quite disappointing.

Cheers
  
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