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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders (Read 71113 times)
Michael Ayton
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #22 - 06/30/16 at 11:35:45
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Interesting, JEH, thanks. It's partly this consideration that makes me suspicious of 4 Bg5 h6, though I can't claim to have looked at that with any thoroughness.
  
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JEH
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #21 - 06/30/16 at 11:18:32
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Michael Ayton wrote on 06/30/16 at 09:38:07:
after f2-f4 Black should be wary of playing ...h7-h6 since f4-f5 will then play against his weakened kingside


I lost to an IM in the Bg5 variation, and that's the same point me made to me in the post mortem.
  

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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #20 - 06/30/16 at 09:38:07
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Yes, I'm tempted now to agree that 4 ...c6 5 Qd2 b5 is unappetising because of 6 e5! I had thought 6 ...h6 was OK, but it does look rather uninspiring. It may be personal taste of course, but that's my feeling too about the '150' line with 7 ...Qa5/11 ...Qc5. I've a memory of us discussing this with James Vigus on the Forum a while back and concluding that Black may be 'playing for two results' ...

So maybe Black's best is, after all, to meet 5 f4 with castles then ...c6, heading for 'B2'; and to meet 5 Qd2 with 5 ...h6, heading for 'B1' after 6 Bh4 0-0!, and after 6 Bf4!? either acquiescing to 'A' or trying 6 ...a6!?, which still to me looks to be holding up! That's three variations that Black must know, but at least their positional basis seems clear: after f2-f4 Black should be wary of playing ...h7-h6 since f4-f5 will then play against his weakened kingside, whereas in lines without f2-f4, ...h7-h6 is much more plausible.
  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #19 - 06/29/16 at 01:57:53
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Hello.

Nice to see some dicussion of 4.Bg5. I will chip in at a few places (Maybe to many actually - sorry for long post).


(About 1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Bg5 Bg7 5.Qd2 c6)
Michael Ayton wrote on 06/20/16 at 08:45:26:
Black risks, as well as 6 0-0-0 b5 7 f3!?, the 4 Be3 transposition 6 Bh6 Bh6 7 Qh6. What should Black play now? – 7 …e5 perhaps, or 7 …Qa5 7 Bd3 Na6!? targeting the Bishop (7 …c5?! 8 d5 looks grim)?
After 6.Bh6 Bxh6 7.Qxh6 The active queen development 7...Qa5 is the main move by far. Vigus on p.150 of "Chess Developments the Pirc" gives what I think is the best play line of 8.Bd3 The natural move. Other ways of defending e4 have drawbacks 8...c5 9.d5 Nbd7 10.Nf3 c4! 11.Bxc4 Qc5 planning tactics on f2. It is a = or at worst a very slightly += line from what I can tell (despite some mild computer optimism).


RdC wrote on 06/20/16 at 09:16:04:
Isn't modern practice heading to the assessment that the Tiger Modern plan of playing g6, Bg7, d6 and a6 is the better way for Black to get a preferred system that avoids being blown away, whilst still being provocative enough to tempt White into indiscretions?
1.e4 g6 2.d4 Bg7 3.Nc3 d6 4.Bg5
Is less dangerous than the Pirc line in my view. As far as I know this is a common belief.


(About 1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Bg5 Bg7)
Michael Ayton wrote on 06/20/16 at 14:41:38:
unless 5 Qd2 h6 6 Bf4!? a6!? is OK and he combines that with B1!
Getting h6 for free probably benefits black if white backs his bishop to f4. The 6...a6 reply looks very reasonable. White has temporarily set up poorly to punish slow moves.


Michael Ayton wrote on 06/21/16 at 16:10:37:
Rightly or wrongly, my opinion of the 4 Bg5 Pirc bucked up last night, after I remembered that I'd left the 4 Bg5 c6 5 Qd2 b5!? line completely out of account!
I would be worried about 6.e5 Black's knight has no good flight squares and none of 6...dxe5, 6...h6 and 6...b4 look to give black that good counterplay.


Michael Ayton wrote on 06/21/16 at 16:10:37:
I wonder if Davies' new book considers any of these lines. Anyone got it?
My usual bookstore did not have it when I went there a few days ago Cry (despite them usually getting new publications fast enough). Instead I got a couple of other chess books I'm not sure will ever be read much Smiley.


TN wrote on 06/21/16 at 17:46:15:
For what it's worth, what can be wrong with 1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Bg5 h6? I'm not afraid of 5.Bxf6, the bishop seems funny on h4, and after 5.Be3 Black could argue that ...h6 is useful in certain situations (e.g. against the h4-h5 plan, or Qd2/Bh6).
Imo 4...h6 is interesting only if there are points behind the move in case white plays the natural 5.Bh4 or 5.Bf4. By points I mean black after 5.Bh4 or 5.Bf4 should have gained some option or removed some option for white. Otherwise going 4...h6 and thus allowing the two separate new variations of 5.Bxf6 and 5.Be3 does not really feel that worth it. Still all move orders have move order specific lines I guess so plausibly one can avoid other annoying lines by going with the 4...h6 move order and allowing the two lines above.

ChevyBanginStyle wrote on 06/27/16 at 02:30:40:
I think ideas delaying early commitment to ...g5 deserve more attention. 6.Bh4 0-0!? was given some attention in Moskalenko's book (Kobalia - Kuzmin, Moscow 2002), but he did not cover the implications of the 6.Bf4 move order.
Indeed. there are some moves besides 6...g5 in the position.
The 6.Bh4 0-0 mentioned by Moskalenko has the very nice point that 7.f4 e5 is quite unproblematic for black. Still maybe white can go 7.0-0-0 retaining f4 ideas and -by increasing the d-file presence- quietly telling black good luck going e7-e5.


Stigma wrote on 06/28/16 at 18:43:54:
I could revert back to 4.Bg5 Bg7 and 5...0-0 before ...c6; most Whites will play f4 soon and we're on our way to B2. But again: What if White plays as if the bishop was on e3; aren't we then in the razor-sharp "Castling into the Argentinian Attack"? I suppose there could be some downside for White to the bishop being on g5; I need to look into that.
There are downsides but white can probably avoid the most serious ones by choosing the right 6th move. After
4.Bg5 Bg7 5.Qd2 0-0

6.Bh6 is maybe (possibly) not the best way of commencing white's kingside attack (DW the Pirc and Modern chapter 2 covers this reasonably well - beginning on p.33).
6.f3 looks like it may go into a normal argentinian with black early castling position but there is 6...c5, which at least prevents any straightforward attacking by white.
6.0-0-0 Is very natural also and keeps many plausible transposition possibilities. To be honest I don't know of anything obviously better than 6...c6 likely transposing to double edged lines after 7.Bh6.


Stigma wrote on 06/28/16 at 18:43:54:
Final point: Has anybody tried 4.Bg5 a6? Maybe that's just too slow when White goes 5.f4?
Not seriously looked at, no. Moved a few pieces with a comp running, yes. I actually quite like 4...a6 as a waiting move. There is both 5.f4 and perhaps especially 5.e5, which look like serious lines though.

Have a nice day.
  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #18 - 06/28/16 at 18:43:54
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I'm late to this discussion (besides being on a break from the Pirc), but still:

My impression last time I looked at theory was that the big main line "B2" (Michael Ayton) was both interesting, OK for Black and safer than the ...h6 based lines (line A with 4...Bg7 5.Qd2 h6 and 4...Bg7 5.f4 h6 6.Bh4 c5 etc.). I also seem to lose every time I face the supposedly harmless 4...Bg7 5.e5!? (admittedly all those games have been in blitz).

So trying to reach B2 as safely as possible naturally leads me to 4...c6. Then again there's the big issue of White just playing it like a 4.Be3 position with Qd2 and no f4 forthcoming. White players almost never do this against me, but 4...c6 does leave Black vulnerable to the transposition 5.Qd2 Bg7 6.Bh6, which seems to be at a high point theoretically.

I could revert back to 4.Bg5 Bg7 and 5...0-0 before ...c6; most Whites will play f4 soon and we're on our way to B2. But again: What if White plays as if the bishop was on e3; aren't we then in the razor-sharp "Castling into the Argentinian Attack"? I suppose there could be some downside for White to the bishop being on g5; I need to look into that.

But the bottom line is unless Black wants to play one of the early ...h6 lines, possible transpositions to 4.Be3 matter a great deal at least theoretically, so one should decide on a line against 4.Be3 first. There I've moved away from 4...c6 towards 4...a6 (and wanting to look seriously at 4...Bg7 when I return to the Pirc).

Final point: Has anybody tried 4.Bg5 a6? Maybe that's just too slow when White goes 5.f4?

Edit: Reading the thread more closely, I realize that if the mentioned 4 Bg5 c6 5 Qd2 b5!? is fully playable, combining that with B2 (or 8...Nbd7 instead of 8...Bg4) is quite an economical solution that avoids the worst 4.Be3 transpositions (as well as my personal bugbear 4...Bg7 5.e5)!
  

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JEH
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #17 - 06/28/16 at 17:55:20
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Bibs wrote on 06/28/16 at 12:47:17:
Was in Lakdwala's Veresov book too iirc.
I learnt it from Vigus' book and from being demolished by Naka.


Hmm, I don't have either of Lakdawala's books. Hadn't thought of d4 rep ones as indeed Veresov players are going to come at ya with this line.

I'm as as yet unbeated by Naka, nor have I crushed the crusher (nice game!)
  

Those who want to go by my perverse footsteps play such pawn structure with fuzzy atypical still strategic orientations

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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #16 - 06/28/16 at 12:47:17
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Was in Lakdwala's Veresov book too iirc.
I learnt it from Vigus' book and from being demolished by Naka. Humiliatingly quickly. Ugh.
See also Tiviakov and Rublevsky games.
  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #15 - 06/28/16 at 12:44:50
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RoleyPoley wrote on 06/28/16 at 12:22:45:
JEH wrote on 06/28/16 at 10:49:11:
The main puzzle I have about the Bg5 Pirc is what White repertoire books recommend it? I'm only aware of the ancient Keene/Levy Attacking Rep book and the shiny new Quality Chess book, but nothing in between. There seems to be mostly the 150 or the Austrian attack. So are Bg5 White players just having to work their own theory out?


Did Collins' earlier book recommend it?


To answer my own question as I've now been able to find it, yes, Collins did recommend it in his Attacking repertoire for white.

Also, Lakdawala's ferocious repertoire, although not an e4 repertoire book also recommended the line.
  

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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #14 - 06/28/16 at 12:22:45
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JEH wrote on 06/28/16 at 10:49:11:
The main puzzle I have about the Bg5 Pirc is what White repertoire books recommend it? I'm only aware of the ancient Keene/Levy Attacking Rep book and the shiny new Quality Chess book, but nothing in between. There seems to be mostly the 150 or the Austrian attack. So are Bg5 White players just having to work their own theory out?


Did Collins' earlier book recommend it?
  

"As Mikhail Tal would say ' Let's have a bit of hooliganism! '"

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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #13 - 06/28/16 at 10:49:11
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The main puzzle I have about the Bg5 Pirc is what White repertoire books recommend it? I'm only aware of the ancient Keene/Levy Attacking Rep book and the shiny new Quality Chess book, but nothing in between. There seems to be mostly the 150 or the Austrian attack. So are Bg5 White players just having to work their own theory out?
  

Those who want to go by my perverse footsteps play such pawn structure with fuzzy atypical still strategic orientations

Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, stuck in the middlegame with you
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Michael Ayton
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #12 - 06/27/16 at 21:46:08
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Quote:
... the online opening encyclopedia CHOPIN gives this approach as the main line. (FYI 6.Bf4 a6!? 7.f3 b5 is their recommendation and there are not many games.


Yes, I think it may have been on the (generally reliable?) CHOPIN site that I noticed 6 ...a6, after which I saw that at one time it'd been played by some pretty big names ...

I'm hoping of course that Pirc hounds Confused_by_Theory and DenVerdsligeRejsende will chip in at some point! Can't blame anyone, of course, if they want to keep their own choices under wraps! -- but I'm a bit disappointed no one's commented on my magnificent 9 ...c4!? TN (see Reply #5)  Cheesy.

  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #11 - 06/27/16 at 02:30:40
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Davies recommends 4.Bg5 Bg7 5.0-0 h6 6.Bh4/f4 g5.

I think ideas delaying early commitment to ...g5 deserve more attention. 6.Bh4 0-0!? was given some attention in Moskalenko's book (Kobalia - Kuzmin, Moscow 2002), but he did not cover the implications of the 6.Bf4 move order. Black's position is flexible, so I think there is a lot of scope for independent investigations. FWIW the online opening encyclopedia CHOPIN gives this approach as the main line. (FYI 6.Bf4 a6!? 7.f3 b5 is their recommendation and there are not many games. Maybe ...a6 is the future of the Pirc! I'm beginning to think that about 4.Be3 a6!?.) Another practical consideration is that these ideas do not get much attention in Shaw's recent repertoire book.
  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #10 - 06/23/16 at 15:05:27
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I suppose I will mention that ECO had 4...h6 5. Be3 (and if 5...Ng4 6. Bc1) as leading to +=.
  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #9 - 06/23/16 at 13:33:19
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Michael Ayton wrote on 06/23/16 at 10:49:07:
I don't myself care for 4 ...h6!?, which looks to me dispiriting after 5 Bf6 ef 6 f4 (6 ...Bg7 7 f5; 6 ...f5 7 ef


Engines are divided about how best to respond to 6. .. Bg7 7. f5 .
Materialistic ones will take on f5, claiming equality through possession of an extra pawn and Bishop pair. Others prefer moves like .. Nc6 confident that Black's position isn't so bad after all.

The moves retaining the Bishop Bh4, Be3 and Bf4 have been more popular in practice than taking on f6.



  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #8 - 06/23/16 at 10:49:07
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Sincere apologies to James Vigus, who I unintentionally slighted in para 3 of my Reply #5, above!!

I don't myself care for 4 ...h6!?, which looks to me dispiriting after 5 Bf6 ef 6 f4 (6 ...Bg7 7 f5; 6 ...f5 7 ef), but maybe that's just me. How would you handle things for Black here, TN (or indeed after 5 Be3, when 5 ...Ng4 is strategically rather fascinating?)?

I'm not sure what to think about the line recommended by Volzhin that I mentioned above. There's a game Krayz-Beim that went 9 e5! b4 (surely forced as 9 ...Ne8 10 h4 is horrible) 10 Ne2 Nd5 11 ed f6 12 de Qe7 13 Bh4, and here the engine gives 13 ...N7b6 14 0-0 Bh6 as an improvement. All rather nebulous ...

  
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