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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders (Read 62851 times)
MartinC
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #7 - 06/21/16 at 18:01:46
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Makes it really hard castle kingside after Qd2 though? I'd be distinctly worried about white just setting that up, going o-o and developing.
  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #6 - 06/21/16 at 17:46:15
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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).
  

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Michael Ayton
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #5 - 06/21/16 at 16:10:37
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Good to get the views of the champs! I'm fascinated (and confused) by the (move-order ramifications of the 4 Be3) Modern as well, so might even start a new thread on that anon! ...

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! Most strong players go 6 Bd3 Bg7 7 f4 now, permitting a straight transposition to Line B2 if Black wants after 7 ...0-0 8 Nf3 Bg4. There's also 8 ...Nbd7!?, which I'd entirely overlooked and which has been played by a few Pirc-specialising GMs, and which Volzhin on ChessPub a few years back called 'far from bad' ... (You can play this on move six as well.)

Not having Palliser's second book I also only noticed yesterday that, following the move order 4 Bg5 Bg7 5 f4 c6 6 Qd2 0-0 7 Bd3, he comments there on the move 7 ...Na6!?, which I'd noticed but had failed to distinguish sufficiently from its lesser cousin with ...h6/Bh4 in. In the game that P. annotates White played 8 a3?!, and in making the obvious comment that 8 Nf3 must be best he suggests then 8 ...c5 9 d5 Qb6 or 9 ...Bg4. But blow me down, can't Black try 9 ...c4!? here, with what looks like much more active counterplay than you usually get after 4 Bg5? ...

I wonder if Davies' new book considers any of these lines. Anyone got it?

  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #4 - 06/21/16 at 13:43:12
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In the Modern approach to Bg5, punters here may find this of passing interest. Me v 'Kingscrusher', online blitz.
Crusher gets crushed.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwKLJnsToVI

And yes, 8 Ne2 is disgusting.

Must say, if I know someone is liable to play Bg5 no matter what, I'd go the Modern way.
(Sorry for slight tangent)
  
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Michael Ayton
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #3 - 06/20/16 at 14:41:38
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What a clot I am! So fixated was I on exploring the 'B1' and 'B2' lines as given above via a 4 ...c6 5 Qd2 Bg7 6 f4 move order, I clean forgot that by using the IIb move order above (as given by Moskalenko) to reach B2, Black obviates both of the lines I'd been concerned about! The positional point (behind 8 Bd3! above being good) is that, if Black has ...h6 in, he can't play as per B2 because his kingside is chronically weakened.

So I think that Black should avoid playing directly down my line Ib, and thus should:

(1) only head for B1 if White plays 5 Qd2, and even then only via the move order 4 Bg5 Bg7 5 Qd2 h6 6 Bh4 0-0 7 0-0-0 c6 8 f4 b5 (again as given by Moskalenko);

(2) only head (whatever his fourth move) for B2 if White plays 5 f4.

I can see now why Line 'A' is so important! If Black is to avoid inferior/over-risky lines I don't think he can avoid 'B2', but he can't avoid 'A' either (unless 5 Qd2 h6 6 Bf4!? a6!? is OK and he combines that with B1!).

Black may have some other choices, of course. For example, I'm not convinced 5 f4 0-0 6 Qd2 c5 7 dc dc 8 0-0-0 Nc6 (as played after all by Marin) is so bad ...
« Last Edit: 06/20/16 at 16:34:53 by Michael Ayton »  
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Michael Ayton
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #2 - 06/20/16 at 09:45:36
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Quote:
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?


I'm really not sure -- you may be right! Personally I'm attracted to the 4 Be3 a6 Pirc, but of course if you want to reach this via 1 e4 d6 2 d4 g6 3 Nc3 a6!? 4 Be3 Nf6 you have to contend with 4 f4!, so 3 ...Bg7 accepting a 4 Be3 Modern does seem safer. The 4 Be3 Bg7 5 Qd2 c6 Pirc is not really my cup of tea; yet as I pointed out, if Black does play the Pirc he must accede to this anyway unless he's prepared instead to choose line 'B1' and accept both the 8 Bd3 line I mentioned and line 'A' -- so maybe that's another reason why Davies et al. treat this line as integral!
  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #1 - 06/20/16 at 09:16:04
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Michael Ayton wrote on 06/20/16 at 08:45:26:
So: can we speak of best move orders for Black, either practically or theoretically? Or is it just a question of taste?



White has a choice of at least two approaches. One is in the style of the Austrian Attack idea with f4, the other is to treat the position in the manner of the 150 Attack.

5. Qd2 has been the most frequently played move, which may justify it being named as the main line.

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?

The Knight on f6 is vulnerable to an e5 push and its absence from g8 can make Bh6 possible.
  
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Michael Ayton
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Pirc 4 Bg5: Best Lines/Move Orders
06/20/16 at 08:45:26
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I’m hoping to generate a discussion about the 4 Bg5 Pirc, a sharp and complicated variation which (along with its treatment in books) I’ve often found confusing!

Here’s my own thinking to date. After 4 Bg5 Bg7 there are perhaps three main lines, depending on how you classify things. The first is the well-known Torre-resembling line that Black can insist on if White plays 5 Qd2, namely:

5 Qd2 h6 6 Bh4 (or 6 Bf4) g5 7 Bg3 Nh5 8 0-0-0. (Black now has 8 …Nc6 or 8 …Nd7.) I’ll call this Line A.

The other two lines arise if White prevents Line A by playing 5 f4, or if Black meets 5 Qd2 with 5 …c6 rather than 5 …h6 (or if, in Line A above, he meets 6 Bh4 not with 6 …g5 but with 6 …0-0 7 0-0-0 c6). They are:

5 f4 c6 6 Qd2 h6 7 Bh4 0-0 8 0-0-0 b5.
(White now has 9 e5 or 9 Bd3.) I’ll call this Line B1.

5 f4 c6 6 Qd2 0-0 7 Bd3 b5 8 Nf3 Bg4. (White now has 9 0-0-0, 9 0-0 and 9 e5.) I’ll call this Line B2.

Of course, there are several possible transpositions, and I’ve tried to set these out below. I’ve omitted White’s fifth-move alternatives 5 e5, 5 Qe2 and 5 Nf3, both because they’re not too dangerous and because Black can effectively avoid them (at the cost of ruling out Line A entirely) by playing 4 …c6 5 Qd2 (or 5 f4) Bg7 – perhaps the only purpose of that move order.

The main thing that puzzles me is why writers like Davies, in his new book, give Line A as their main line when White can simply avoid it with 5 f4, which I had thought was considered more dangerous anyway! But I’m also interested in some other White tries, and which move orders Black might choose (I mean, according to whether he favours Line B1 or B2) to avoid them and/or permit them! For example, in going down line Ib below, 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)?

Similarly in line Ib(i) below, if White plays 8 Nf3 iso 8 0-0-0, the usual recipe of 8 …d5 looks adequate to me, but what about the crafty 8 Bd3? I’d be tempted by 8 …Na6 (∆ …c5) here fearing that otherwise I’d be squashed by e4–e5, but is that right? – I’m worried White may be just better in this line. If Black wants Line B1 and not B2, he must accede to this line, along with either the 4 Be3 line above (compulsory for Black if he’s chosen the 4 …c6 move order) or Line A. If he wants Line B2, he need be prepared ‘only’ for the 4 Be3 transposition. That seems simpler, and Black could make things simpler still by eschewing both Line A and White’s other fifth moves with 4 …c6, but then B2 seems much more complex than B1 anyway, and it’d be nice to have a defence to 4 Bg5 that wasn’t so darned theoretical!

So: can we speak of best move orders for Black, either practically or theoretically? Or is it just a question of taste?

Oh – one more thought. In line Ia(i) below, Black used to play 6 …a6!? quite a lot. Is this still considered OK, or if not, why not?


*****


I  5 Qd2

(a)  5 …h6

(i)  6 Bf4 g5 7 Bg3 Nh5 8 0-0-0 → A
(ii)  6 Bh4 and now:
•      6 …g5 7 Bg3 Nh5 8 0-0-0 → A
•      6 …Nbd7 7 0-0-0 g5 8 Bg3 Nh5 → A (with 8 …Nd7)
•      6 …0-0 7 0-0-0 (7 f4? e5! 8 de Ne4!) c6 8 f4 (8 Bf6 ef 9 h4 b5!?) b5 → B1
•      6 …c6 7 0-0-0 (or 7 f4 0-0 8 0-0-0 b5) 0-0 8 f4 b5 → B1

(b)  5 …c6 6 f4

(i)  6 …h6 7 Bh4 0-0 8 0-0-0 b5 → B1
(ii)  6 …0-0 7 Bd3 (7 0-0-0?! b5; 7 Nf3 d5!) b5 8 Nf3 Bg4 → B2


II  5 f4

(a)  5 …c6 (5 …h6?! 6 Bf6 or 6 Bh4 0-0 7 Nf3) 6 Qd2 (6 Nf3 d5!) →

(i)  6 …h6 → Ib(i)
(ii)  6 …0-0 → Ib(ii)


(b)  5 …0-0 6 Qd2 (6 Nf3 c5!) →

(i)  6 …h6 7 Bh4 (7 Bf6 ef!?) c6 → Ib(i)
(ii)  6 …c6 → Ib(ii)

« Last Edit: 06/20/16 at 15:22:18 by Michael Ayton »  
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