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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Bronstein-Larsen (Read 26640 times)
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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #99 - 07/10/18 at 15:06:41
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6...Nd7 seems to be a specialty of Maxim Turov's. His games are quite instructive. It may be that his grasp of the ensuing positions is superior to 6...Nd7 as an independent choice, but the results are heartening. The move also gets some treatment in Dangerous Weapons: The Caro-Kann. It's in a section with 6...Qd5. We analyzed that a bit above. I doubt there's anything wrong with it, but I also recall that it failed to grab me.
  

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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #98 - 07/10/18 at 14:15:54
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I did not see the line with 6. ... Nd7 before but it seems that it was played in some high level games. Do you have sources for more info about it?

By the way: I'm not a big fan of the Bronstein-variation main line with 6. ... Bf5 but liked 6. ... Qd5 more, see e.g. Spassky-Seirawan 1989 or Tiviakov-Nisipeanu 2004.
  

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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #97 - 07/10/18 at 05:39:14
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Several months later, I have played the Caro-Kann consistently against 1.e4. In maybe a dozen games, however, only one wasn't an Advanced or Panov-Botvinnik Attack. Which is to say that I haven't had much opportunity to try the Bronstein-Larsen. To make matters worse, the lone opponent had to withdraw from the tournament prematurely for health reasons. The game looked like this:

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nf6 5.Nxf6+ gxf6 6.c3 Nd7 7.g3 Nb6 8.Bg2 h5 9.Nf3 Bg4 10.O-O h4 11.h3 Bh5 12.g4 Bg6 13.Bd2 Qc7 14.Qc1 e6 15.Re1 Nc4

I'm not sure my play was terribly convincing, but I suspect Black can hold. More research and preparation to come...
  

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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #96 - 10/07/17 at 20:26:20
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Laramonet wrote on 10/07/17 at 16:43:03:
[quote author=7B547E525D330 link=1505013226/69#69 date=1506198237]On further examination, here's what frightens me the most:

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nf6 5.Nxf6+ gxf6 6.Nf3 which shouldn't cause much grief 6...Bf5 7.Bd3!? Bg6 8.0-0 Qc7 9.c4 Nd7 10.d5! There's nothing outwardly problematic here beyond the fact that Black is about to get wiped off the board in very short order. 0-0-0 11.Be3 c5 12.Be2 Kb8 13.Rc1 f5 (13...c5 is better) 14.c5 Nxc5 15.Bxc5 e4 16.Bd4 exf3 17.Bxh8 fxe2 18.Qxe2 Bd6 19.Bf6 Bxh2+ 20.Kh1 Bf4 21.Rc4! 1-0 Matulovic-Larsen(!!) (Hastings 1972). I'm coming to terms with the fact that Larsen didn't actually play B16 particularly well. His efforts are far less theoretically significant or consistent than Bronstein's. Or Turov's, for that matter.

In short, I think there are some obvious improvements that can be made to Black's play in the game above, but rather than the 6.c3 lines with a fianchetto or with 7.Ne2 as previously discussed, I find this very natural 6.Nf3 and the rapid c2-c4 try more potentially dangerous. The absence of a bishop on c4 makes Black's thematic Nd7-b6-d5 seem slow and awkward and irrelevant. The natural try is 6...Bg4, but I think it's interesting that Turov has shifted to ...Bf5 away from ...Bg4. Nevertheless:

6...Bg4 7.Be2 Qc7 8.Be3 Nd7 9.c4 e6 10.0-0 0-0-0 11.Qa4 Kb8 looks okay for Black.


Laramonet wrote on 10/07/17 at 16:43:41:
I'm just trying to catch up. Hasn't 13....,c5 already been played on move 11 ?



Ugh. I'm sorry. That should read 11...e5.
  

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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #95 - 10/07/17 at 16:43:41
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I'm just trying to catch up. Hasn't 13....,c5 already been played on move 11 ?
  
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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #94 - 10/07/17 at 16:43:03
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HgMan wrote on 09/23/17 at 20:23:57:
On further examination, here's what frightens me the most:

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nf6 5.Nxf6+ gxf6 6.Nf3 which shouldn't cause much grief 6...Bf5 7.Bd3!? Bg6 8.0-0 Qc7 9.c4 Nd7 10.d5! There's nothing outwardly problematic here beyond the fact that Black is about to get wiped off the board in very short order. 0-0-0 11.Be3 c5 12.Be2 Kb8 13.Rc1 f5 (13...c5 is better) 14.c5 Nxc5 15.Bxc5 e4 16.Bd4 exf3 17.Bxh8 fxe2 18.Qxe2 Bd6 19.Bf6 Bxh2+ 20.Kh1 Bf4 21.Rc4! 1-0 Matulovic-Larsen(!!) (Hastings 1972). I'm coming to terms with the fact that Larsen didn't actually play B16 particularly well. His efforts are far less theoretically significant or consistent than Bronstein's. Or Turov's, for that matter.

In short, I think there are some obvious improvements that can be made to Black's play in the game above, but rather than the 6.c3 lines with a fianchetto or with 7.Ne2 as previously discussed, I find this very natural 6.Nf3 and the rapid c2-c4 try more potentially dangerous. The absence of a bishop on c4 makes Black's thematic Nd7-b6-d5 seem slow and awkward and irrelevant. The natural try is 6...Bg4, but I think it's interesting that Turov has shifted to ...Bf5 away from ...Bg4. Nevertheless:

6...Bg4 7.Be2 Qc7 8.Be3 Nd7 9.c4 e6 10.0-0 0-0-0 11.Qa4 Kb8 looks okay for Black.


Hello Hg man,

  
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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #93 - 10/04/17 at 04:53:48
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HgMan wrote on 09/16/17 at 21:23:09:
But it did get me wondering: I'll have to look, but do any of the books on pawns and pawn structures treat playing with doubled pawns as an advantage? Baburin?  Marovic?


I noticed that there is an entire book (by Sergey Kasparov) about doubled pawns (Chapter 1: ...gxf6).

https://www.russell-enterprises.com/rei-publications/doubled-pawns

https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5856bd64ff7c50433c3803db/t/59725effbebafb...
  
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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #92 - 10/02/17 at 16:41:38
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I suspect that if there's a criticism of this line, it's that it is a little too simple. It's pretty obvious what Black's strengths and concessions are. I don't think this is cheapo, necessarily, but I take your point. That said, I do think there's some interesting nuance here, and that Black can punish the White player who thinks the set-up is bunk. All in all, it comes down to learning themes and ideas more than specific move orders. Playing through dozens of games (rather quickly), I came to identify some basic rules or guidelines about when to or when not to advance a pawn—and/or which thematic response was required depending on White's play.
  

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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #91 - 10/02/17 at 13:54:14
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Dink Heckler wrote on 10/02/17 at 12:26:36:
Maybe I just need to adjust my mindset ...

It helps to know yourself. I noticed that whenever I played hypermodern openings with black, I was wanting to put a pawn in the center at the earliest opportunity, even if it was premature. (For instance, ...e7-e5?! in this Bronstein-Larsen thing.) Once I figured that out, I changed to putting a pawn in the center on move one: 1.e4 e5 and 1.d4 d5. My life in the black openings became much easier. It's true that lower-rated whites get a greater chance to draw, but at least I get to practice the endgame.

Dink Heckler wrote on 10/02/17 at 12:26:36:
if you mistime a pawn break, things can go alarmingly bad very quickly

On the flip side, this can be potentially confusing for the white player. At every move they have to consider that black might lash out. Constantly analyzing +/- positions that don't appear on the board might mess with their objectivity. I can see certain "optimistic" players doing quite badly with white.
  
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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #90 - 10/02/17 at 12:26:36
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I hear you guys - eminently reasonable comments. Maybe I just need to adjust my mindset; whenever I try this line, I can't really shake the feeling that I'm in cheapo mode. The problem I always run into here is if you mistime a pawn break, things can go alarmingly bad very quickly, so you really need quite a refined sensitivity to these matters to play this line well, which is why I suspect it's structurally unpopular. Still, it's precisely this unpopularity which creates the possibilities to navigate lesser-known positions where White players aren't likely to understand all the nuances.
  

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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #89 - 09/29/17 at 16:46:41
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Dink Heckler wrote on 09/29/17 at 11:56:16:
Interesting stuff in this thread, but it doesn't really seem to move the needle on the long-held consensus - fishing for practical chances in a slightly dubious position. Which is fine, as long as we recognise what we're up to.

Fair assessment?


Fair enough - although I would compare it to the Pirc. Most top players dont really respect that either, but the GMs who play it like it precisely because of that.

At the end of the day we dont all have to play the number one sound choice otherwise every single tournament would be Berlin Defences and Marshalls, Petroffs etc.

The advantage of the ...gxf6 line for me is that it immediately creates an imbalance. It would be a useful line to have up the sleeve IMO.
  
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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #88 - 09/29/17 at 16:23:52
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Probably, but I'm not sure I'm seeing the "dubious" part anymore. Yes: Black surrenders structural pawn integrity for some counterplay, but in most lines can also opt for a pretty solid equality. 5...gxf6 looks like it has the relative merit of creating some imbalances at minimal risk to the second player. No: this isn't winning for Black. But it does give Black some good chances of playing for a win while not getting run off the board. If my run through the databases suggests anything, there's also a lot of chess to be played here. In many lines, White or Black can deviate from "theory" and just play chess. In those kinds of situations, the player with greater familiarity with the position's nuances likely stands well. I don't want to oversell this, but it's rare for Black to get crushed...
  

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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #87 - 09/29/17 at 11:56:16
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Interesting stuff in this thread, but it doesn't really seem to move the needle on the long-held consensus - fishing for practical chances in a slightly dubious position. Which is fine, as long as we recognise what we're up to.

Fair assessment?
  

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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #86 - 09/28/17 at 18:48:47
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I've looked at a couple of Jansa wins with the 6.Nf3 Bg4 line and it just seems too easy for White to me.

Thinking 6...Bf5 may be a more practical choice.

Or maybe not, trying to make the 6...Bg4 line work now Smiley

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Nf6 5. Nxf6+ gxf6 6. Nf3 Bg4 7. Be2 Qc7
8. O-O Nd7 9. Nh4 Bxe2 10. Qxe2 O-O-O 11. c4 e6 12. g3 Rg8 13. d5 Bc5!? (TN, 13...Qe5 has been universally played)

For starters you cant take on e6 because I have a nice ...Rxg3+ cheapo lined up. Has White a good continuation here?

« Last Edit: 09/28/17 at 19:59:40 by Keano »  
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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #85 - 09/28/17 at 05:16:06
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15.Bf4 appears more persuasive.
  

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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #84 - 09/28/17 at 03:35:57
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Jansa didn't say anything about 11...Bd6.  Regarding his game with Hracek, he thought his 15. cd ("?!") was enough for an advantage but that 15. Bf4 was stronger.
  
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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #83 - 09/28/17 at 01:49:20
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I'll have to refer to Jansa's work to engage with it more thoroughly, but the line he mentions is an important one. It's the same one that Negi recommends. Maybe the combination of the two is what has persuaded players to revert back to ...Bf5.

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nf6 5.Nxf6+ gxf6 6.Nf3 Bg4 7.Be2 Qc7 7...e6 frequently transposes, but I'm not sure about the queen move as being necessary at this point. I assume it's claiming the diagonal before White plays Bf4, but this is hardly a worry. 8.0-0 Nd7 9.Nh4 Bxe2 10.Qxe2 e6 11.c4 0-0-0 12.g3 Rg8 13.d5 Negi recommends 13.Qh5 Nb6 14.b3 h6 (what about 14...Bb4, which isn't mentioned?) 15.Be3 Qe5 14.Qf3 exd5 15.cxd5 Qxd5 16.Qxd5 cxd5 17.Be3 was Jansa-Hracek (Prague 1984)

White looks pretty good—and this is a problem line for Black. One option is to go back to the drawing board and trying 6...Bf5 (more on which another time). But does Jansa offer any discussion of 11...Bd6 ? Negi doesn't. One simple line:

11...Bd6 12.g3 Nf8 13.Qh5 Ng6 14.Nxg6 fxg6 15.Qh3 f5 16.Re1 Qf7 This looks more appealing to me, but maybe I'm missing something.

  

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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #82 - 09/27/17 at 23:46:51
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By the way, Vlastimil Jansa's Dynamics of Chess Strategy from 2003 had a few pages about the Bronstein-Larsen (which he called "a strategically dubious system") and related Scandinavian lines.  The B-L part was mostly about a plan for White after 6. Nf3 Bg4 which he thought to be "of lasting importance," starting with 7. Be2 Qc7 8. 0-0 Nd7 9. Nh4 as he had played e.g. against Zbyněk Hráček in 1994 (the main game discussed).
  
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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #81 - 09/27/17 at 22:25:33
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In short, 6.Nf3 frightens me a good deal more than 6.c3. It seems as though Black has resources against 6.c3. The best include 6...Bf5 (the longstanding mainline) and 6...Nd7, which is surprisingly effective.

Against 6.Nf3, things are less clear. Part of this, I think, stems from an uncertainty in how to proceed. Negi offers good lines here for White, though his recommendations against both 6...Bf5 and 6...Bg4 leave something to be desired. The latter seems to be the principled move: White offers up the knight to be pinned. The former, however, is popular amongst the Bronstein-Larsen's most experienced proponents (though maybe this is hoping to transpose to other lines).
  

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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #80 - 09/26/17 at 21:14:29
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I've played through hundreds of games in this line over the past week or so and put together the beginnings of an opening book with comments and annotations. When you refine the database stats to plausible ventures for Black, Blakc looks very good. Which is to say: correct play through move 15 puts Black in very good stead. I need to do some preparation on the Caro Advanced, but this will certainly find a place in my armoury.

More on specific recommendations shortly...
  

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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #79 - 09/26/17 at 16:29:46
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Yeah the practical element is quite important - while I was arguing for White's chances earlier in the thread I do have a not so nice score against it (especially in blitz and rapid).
  
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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #78 - 09/25/17 at 21:30:44
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Stefan Buecker wrote on 09/25/17 at 13:51:13:
In this line I'd suggest 18.Bxh5 Rh8!? (instead of 18...Qh4). My own main line would be something like 18.a5 Nd5 19.Bxh5 Rh8 20.Qe2 0-0-0 21.Ng2 Qd7 22.Bg5 Re8 23.c4 Nb4 24.a6 followed by 25.d5. However the results remain foggy. Black's pieces are placed in the center - in particular the future Nd3 -, and White has fewer and fewer pawns. The edge claimed by the engine may be meaningless.

The whole h5 idea looks fine to me. Surely for "OTB" chess. Maybe for correspondence chess not so much. An open position and many tactical possibilities means that White can probably "surf" to a draw if he wants. 


Interesting line. I hadnt thought of putting the Queen on d7. 18...Rh8 is certainly a sensible re-organization.

Black seems to get interesting play for the pawn.
  
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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #77 - 09/25/17 at 13:51:13
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HgMan wrote on 09/24/17 at 16:11:04:
Keano wrote on 09/24/17 at 15:06:07:
6.c3 h5 7.Bc4 Nd7 8.Qb3 e6 9.Nf3 Nb6 10.Be2 Rg8
11.O-O e5 12.a4 e4 13.Ne1 f5 14.f3 Be6
15.Qc2 Qh4 16.fxe4 fxe4 17.g3 Qe7

Now how does White continue?

a) 18.Qxe4 h4 with initiative
b) 18.Bxh5 Qh4!? looks very unpleasant to defend for White. The engine is coming up with some very un-natural defences and even there Black has his counterplay. [...]


Nice work! 18.Bxh5 Qh4!? 19.a5 Nd5 20.Qe2 Bd6 21.Ng2 still poses Black some difficulties, though. I like how Black is mounting a strong attack. But White seems to have resources.

In this line I'd suggest 18.Bxh5 Rh8!? (instead of 18...Qh4). My own main line would be something like 18.a5 Nd5 19.Bxh5 Rh8 20.Qe2 0-0-0 21.Ng2 Qd7 22.Bg5 Re8 23.c4 Nb4 24.a6 followed by 25.d5. However the results remain foggy. Black's pieces are placed in the center - in particular the future Nd3 -, and White has fewer and fewer pawns. The edge claimed by the engine may be meaningless.

The whole h5 idea looks fine to me. Surely for "OTB" chess. Maybe for correspondence chess not so much. An open position and many tactical possibilities means that White can probably "surf" to a draw if he wants.
  
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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #76 - 09/24/17 at 16:11:04
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Keano wrote on 09/24/17 at 15:06:07:
6.c3 h5 7.Bc4 Nd7 8.Qb3 e6 9.Nf3 Nb6 10.Be2 Rg8
11.O-O e5 12.a4 e4 13.Ne1 f5 14.f3 Be6
15.Qc2 Qh4 16.fxe4 fxe4 17.g3 Qe7

Now how does White continue?

a) 18.Qxe4 h4 with initiative
b) 18.Bxh5 Qh4!? looks very unpleasant to defend for White. The engine is coming up with some very un-natural defences and even there Black has his counterplay.

I was looking at 17...Qh3 also but surprisingly 18.Ng2 seems to jam things up.

The engine does seem a pesky defender though. For correspondence maybe 15...Qd5 is safer. 16.a5 Nc8 17.a6 b5.

What is this mess?


Nice work! 18.Bxh5 Qh4!? 19.a5 Nd5 20.Qe2 Bd6 21.Ng2 still poses Black some difficulties, though. I like how Black is mounting a strong attack. But White seems to have resources.
  

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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #75 - 09/24/17 at 16:03:42
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HgMan wrote on 09/24/17 at 02:56:55:
For the sake of clarity, this building off the following line: 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nf6 5.Nf6+ gxf6 6.c3 h5!? 7.Bc4 Nd7 8.Qb3 e6 9.Nf3 Nd7 10.Be2 Rg8 11.0-0 e5 12.a4! e4


Oops. Confusing in the name of clarity. The line above should read 9...Nb6. I am ashamed.  Undecided
  

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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #74 - 09/24/17 at 15:06:07
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6.c3 h5 7.Bc4 Nd7 8.Qb3 e6 9.Nf3 Nb6 10.Be2 Rg8
11.O-O e5 12.a4 e4 13.Ne1 f5 14.f3 Be6
15.Qc2 Qh4 16.fxe4 fxe4 17.g3 Qe7

Now how does White continue?

a) 18.Qxe4 h4 with initiative
b) 18.Bxh5 Qh4!? looks very unpleasant to defend for White. The engine is coming up with some very un-natural defences and even there Black has his counterplay.

I was looking at 17...Qh3 also but surprisingly 18.Ng2 seems to jam things up.

The engine does seem a pesky defender though. For correspondence maybe 15...Qd5 is safer. 16.a5 Nc8 17.a6 b5.

What is this mess?

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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #73 - 09/24/17 at 02:56:55
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Stefan Buecker wrote on 09/23/17 at 21:27:20:
(d) 12....e4 13.Ne1 Be6 14.Qc2 f5 could be relatively best. 15.f3 Qd5 16.a5 Nc8 is a possible continuation. In my opinion rather +/- than +=.


This does look troublesome (though I'm not overly committed to 6...h5). I think the main problem in all these variations is Black's lack of development. It's simply not possible to develop any counterplay.

Is 13...Bd6 an option, instead of the fairly obvious 13...Be6 ? 14.c4 Bc7 15.a5 Nd7 16.f4 f5 17.a6 bxa6 18.Qh3 Nf8 19.Nc2 Rb8 20.b4 h4 Maybe Black gives the pawn back with ...a5. This looks unappealing, but not horrible.

I wondered if 15...Qh4 was an improvement, but not really. 16.fxe4 fxe4 17.g3 Qh3

For the sake of clarity, this building off the following line: 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nf6 5.Nf6+ gxf6 6.c3 h5!? 7.Bc4 Nd7 8.Qb3 e6 9.Nf3 Nd7 10.Be2 Rg8 11.0-0 e5 12.a4! e4
  

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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #72 - 09/24/17 at 01:35:24
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Stefan Buecker wrote on 09/23/17 at 21:27:20:
(d) 12....e4 13.Ne1 Be6 14.Qc2 f5 could be relatively best. 15.f3 Qd5 16.a5 Nc8 is a possible continuation. In my opinion rather +/- than +=.


In this line maybe 15...Qh4!? I think its more important to go all out attack mode - leave the d5 square for the b6 Knight and even give up e4 pawn if required.

I think this could work well in a practical game but perhaps is not 100% sound for Black.

  
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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #71 - 09/23/17 at 21:27:20
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Keano wrote on 09/22/17 at 21:32:52:
HgMan wrote on 09/22/17 at 19:01:05:
I still find this a bit terrifying. After 12.dxe5 fxe5 13.Nxe5 Qf6, Black's king looks pretty exposed and their are too many pieces on the back rank. I'm amazed that the following variations don't leave Black getting absolutely steamrolled within the next 10 moves, but you're right about the active play. Black sort of springs into action after, for example, 14.f4 Bc5+ 15.Kh1 Be6 and things don't look so bad.

I also thought stuffing in a 9...h4 or something to that effect. Which does nothing for my concerns about Black's earlier development, but seems thematic nevertheless.


9...h4 might be an idea also but I prefer to just kick on with 9...Nb6 10.Be2 Rg8 11.0-0 e5!?

I see what you mean about being terrifying but on closer inspection all Blacks pieces are coming out with tempo and (most importantly) his king will be safe. I like the practical aspect of that line.

edit: hmm it is not so clear now to me, I have discovered some tries for White.

So.... at this moment I like best the line suggested by @ Stefan Buecker

Even though I think the 6...h5 line also must be in good shape. After all in the last few years it has been played successfully by Short, Seirawan, etc.

The position after 12.dxe5 fxe5 is surprisingly good for Black. I tried to refute it, but without much success. Black's pieces are very active, and in one attempt that looked good at first White finally was checkmate. If the move 12.dxe5 was forced, your creative solution would probably be stronger than all our other attempts against Ne2-g3 &h4.

However, it seems to me that the critical move is 12.a4!.
Black can then try:

(a) 12...a5 13.Re1 and Black's prospects to develop and find some shelter for his king look dim.

(b) 12...Bh3 13.Ng5

(c) 12...Be6 13.Qc2 Bh3 14.g3 Bxf1 15.Bxf1 followed by a5-a6. Black has won the exchange, yet it's very difficult to play.

(d) 12....e4 13.Ne1 Be6 14.Qc2 f5 could be relatively best. 15.f3 Qd5 16.a5 Nc8 is a possible continuation. In my opinion rather +/- than +=.
  
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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #70 - 09/23/17 at 21:10:57
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HgMan wrote on 09/22/17 at 19:31:33:
Stefan Buecker wrote on 09/20/17 at 16:51:55:
HgMan wrote on 09/18/17 at 02:08:43:
One potential line (which starts to look a little hairy):

6.c3 Bf5 7.Ne2 Nd7 8.Ng3 Bg6 9.h4 h5 10.Be2 Qa5 11.a4 O‑O‑O 12.b4 Qc7 13.O‑O e5 14.b5 Nc5 15.Bc4 f5 16.Bg5 Be7 17.Bxe7 Qxe7 18.bxc6 f4

...and then I have no idea what's going on.

Very interesting discussion. In the line above, White can also try 18.Qf3 f4 19.dxc5 fxg3 20.Qxg3 Qxc5 21.Be2. This could be a long ending, with Black's king a little more exposed than White's. For example 21...Rhg8 22.Rfd1 Rde8 23.Qh3+ Kb8 24.Qf3. The computer shows something like +1.00, eventually winning a pawn further down the road. 


I appreciate this thought. But I wonder if the other rook to g8 at move 21 makes a tangible difference? 21...Rdg8 22.Qf3 f5 (I think my favourite part about playing the Bronstein-Larsen is being able to lash out with ...f5 twice in one game!). But maybe Black still has a tricky endgame after 23.Rfd1 f4 24.bxc6

Another option is 23.Rfb1 (also 23.a5 f4 24.a6) 23...Rh7 24.Rb4 Rc7 25.Bc4 Rd8 26.Be6+ Kb8 27.Qg3. - These endings are unpleasant to defend, sometimes with a pawn behind. Perhaps still a draw, but nothing that you would hope to play.
  
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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #69 - 09/23/17 at 20:23:57
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On further examination, here's what frightens me the most:

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nf6 5.Nxf6+ gxf6 6.Nf3 which shouldn't cause much grief 6...Bf5 7.Bd3!? Bg6 8.0-0 Qc7 9.c4 Nd7 10.d5! There's nothing outwardly problematic here beyond the fact that Black is about to get wiped off the board in very short order. 0-0-0 11.Be3 c5 12.Be2 Kb8 13.Rc1 f5 (13...c5 is better) 14.c5 Nxc5 15.Bxc5 e4 16.Bd4 exf3 17.Bxh8 fxe2 18.Qxe2 Bd6 19.Bf6 Bxh2+ 20.Kh1 Bf4 21.Rc4! 1-0 Matulovic-Larsen(!!) (Hastings 1972). I'm coming to terms with the fact that Larsen didn't actually play B16 particularly well. His efforts are far less theoretically significant or consistent than Bronstein's. Or Turov's, for that matter.

In short, I think there are some obvious improvements that can be made to Black's play in the game above, but rather than the 6.c3 lines with a fianchetto or with 7.Ne2 as previously discussed, I find this very natural 6.Nf3 and the rapid c2-c4 try more potentially dangerous. The absence of a bishop on c4 makes Black's thematic Nd7-b6-d5 seem slow and awkward and irrelevant. The natural try is 6...Bg4, but I think it's interesting that Turov has shifted to ...Bf5 away from ...Bg4. Nevertheless:

6...Bg4 7.Be2 Qc7 8.Be3 Nd7 9.c4 e6 10.0-0 0-0-0 11.Qa4 Kb8 looks okay for Black.
  

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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #68 - 09/23/17 at 17:33:42
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Keano wrote on 09/23/17 at 17:04:31:
What I like about this whole opening is it seems like there is plenty of room for creativity and expression.


You would think that an opening named after David Bronstein and Bent Larsen would attract a greater following. What is interesting is that Bronstein seems to have been the more adept of the two. He won regularly. Larsen's results are much more mixed.
  

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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #67 - 09/23/17 at 17:04:31
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I just looked at Turov's games. 6...Nd7 also looks completely viable and interesting. What I like about this whole opening is it seems like there is plenty of room for creativity and expression.

I also found it interesting that instead of 6.c3 when White plays 6.Nf3 instead of the universally recommended 6...Bg4 Turov simply replies 6...Bf5 and seems to get on just fine.
  
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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #66 - 09/23/17 at 05:31:24
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Stigma wrote on 09/23/17 at 01:16:26:
HgMan wrote on 09/22/17 at 22:53:19:
I spent a good portion of the afternoon with Maxim Turov's games, and especially his tries with 6.c3 Nd7!? He makes the Bronstein-Larsen look very very easy. More so than 6...h5--though it frequently transposes, I think his games offer a valuable model.


Interesting. I have attended lectures/training sessions with GM Turov twice, and both times he showed a Caro-Kann game ... but alas with Capablanca's 4...Bf5 main line, not 4...Nf6.

Does he play both lines? And the Bronstein-Larsen more as a surprise weapon or against weaker opponents, perhaps?


It appears as though he plays both. I suspect that the Bronstein-Larsen is his first love--there are games going back to the U14 WCh. He seems to be playing it less frequently of late, but his record with it still seems very strong.
  

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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #65 - 09/23/17 at 01:16:26
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HgMan wrote on 09/22/17 at 22:53:19:
I spent a good portion of the afternoon with Maxim Turov's games, and especially his tries with 6.c3 Nd7!? He makes the Bronstein-Larsen look very very easy. More so than 6...h5--though it frequently transposes, I think his games offer a valuable model.


Interesting. I have attended lectures/training sessions with GM Turov twice, and both times he showed a Caro-Kann game ... but alas with Capablanca's 4...Bf5 main line, not 4...Nf6.

Does he play both lines? And the Bronstein-Larsen more as a surprise weapon or against weaker opponents, perhaps?
  

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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #64 - 09/22/17 at 23:30:03
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Keano wrote on 09/22/17 at 21:32:52:
[quote author=103F153936580 link=1505013226/60#60 date=1506106865]Even though I think the 6...h5 line also must be in good shape. After all in the last few years it has been played successfully by Short, Seirawan, etc.


From what I can gather, the real test for 6...h5 remains Tiemann-Mannermaa (cor. 2002), but deviating with 14.Nxd4! as recommended in DW: The Caro-Kann. But I've not yet spent much time with 6...h5. Do have a look at 6...Nd7, though.
  

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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #63 - 09/22/17 at 22:53:19
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I spent a good portion of the afternoon with Maxim Turov's games, and especially his tries with 6.c3 Nd7!? He makes the Bronstein-Larsen look very very easy. More so than 6...h5--though it frequently transposes, I think his games offer a valuable model.
  

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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #62 - 09/22/17 at 21:32:52
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HgMan wrote on 09/22/17 at 19:01:05:
I still find this a bit terrifying. After 12.dxe5 fxe5 13.Nxe5 Qf6, Black's king looks pretty exposed and their are too many pieces on the back rank. I'm amazed that the following variations don't leave Black getting absolutely steamrolled within the next 10 moves, but you're right about the active play. Black sort of springs into action after, for example, 14.f4 Bc5+ 15.Kh1 Be6 and things don't look so bad.

I also thought stuffing in a 9...h4 or something to that effect. Which does nothing for my concerns about Black's earlier development, but seems thematic nevertheless.


9...h4 might be an idea also but I prefer to just kick on with 9...Nb6 10.Be2 Rg8 11.0-0 e5!?

I see what you mean about being terrifying but on closer inspection all Blacks pieces are coming out with tempo and (most importantly) his king will be safe. I like the practical aspect of that line.

edit: hmm it is not so clear now to me, I have discovered some tries for White.

So.... at this moment I like best the line suggested by @ Stefan Buecker

Even though I think the 6...h5 line also must be in good shape. After all in the last few years it has been played successfully by Short, Seirawan, etc.
  
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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #61 - 09/22/17 at 19:31:33
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Stefan Buecker wrote on 09/20/17 at 16:51:55:
HgMan wrote on 09/18/17 at 02:08:43:
One potential line (which starts to look a little hairy):

6.c3 Bf5 7.Ne2 Nd7 8.Ng3 Bg6 9.h4 h5 10.Be2 Qa5 11.a4 O‑O‑O 12.b4 Qc7 13.O‑O e5 14.b5 Nc5 15.Bc4 f5 16.Bg5 Be7 17.Bxe7 Qxe7 18.bxc6 f4

...and then I have no idea what's going on.

Very interesting discussion. In the line above, White can also try 18.Qf3 f4 19.dxc5 fxg3 20.Qxg3 Qxc5 21.Be2. This could be a long ending, with Black's king a little more exposed than White's. For example 21...Rhg8 22.Rfd1 Rde8 23.Qh3+ Kb8 24.Qf3. The computer shows something like +1.00, eventually winning a pawn further down the road. 


I appreciate this thought. But I wonder if the other rook to g8 at move 21 makes a tangible difference? 21...Rdg8 22.Qf3 f5 (I think my favourite part about playing the Bronstein-Larsen is being able to lash out with ...f5 twice in one game!). But maybe Black still has a tricky endgame after 23.Rfd1 f4 24.bxc6
  

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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #60 - 09/22/17 at 19:01:05
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Keano wrote on 09/21/17 at 20:47:21:
I am going back to the drawing board and my original 6...h5 idea. I found an idea I am vaguely happy about:

6.c3 h5 7.Bc4 Nd7 8.Qb3 e6 (I was unhappy about this line before but maybe it is not the end of the world)
9.Nf3 Nb6 10.Be2 Rg8 11.O-O e5!?

I am just offering a pawn to get active play, maybe objectively its not 100% sound but I think I could play this happily over the board, I have initiative for a pawn.



I still find this a bit terrifying. After 12.dxe5 fxe5 13.Nxe5 Qf6, Black's king looks pretty exposed and their are too many pieces on the back rank. I'm amazed that the following variations don't leave Black getting absolutely steamrolled within the next 10 moves, but you're right about the active play. Black sort of springs into action after, for example, 14.f4 Bc5+ 15.Kh1 Be6 and things don't look so bad.

I also thought stuffing in a 9...h4 or something to that effect. Which does nothing for my concerns about Black's earlier development, but seems thematic nevertheless.
  

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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #59 - 09/22/17 at 18:52:44
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HgMan wrote on 09/19/17 at 02:58:05:
Any takers? 6.c3 Bf5 7.Ne2 e5!? 8.Ng3 Be6

There's a smattering of attempts with this, but nothing concrete in the databases—certainly not by top players (though a De Carbonnel tried it twice in the 1965 correspondence chess world championship final). Much as 11.0-0 above looks wrong (though, it must be said, Sanakoev's 12.Bf4 looks pretty persuasive), 7...e5 looks to be asking for trouble. And yet...


7...e5!? Jeremy Silman doesn't like this idea for Black, which is understandable. Optically it looks all wrong. But with a bit of patience, Black might be able to uncover some counterplay. 8.Ng3 Be6 The point, I guess. Black tries to open the position while providing some cover for the king along the opening e-file. 9.Be3 Qc7 10.Bd3 Capitalizing on the departure of Black's bishop from this diagonal. As Silman notes, "the e4 and f5 squares are now in White's hands. Black's game is already very bad." 10...Nd7 11.O-O O-O-O 12.Qh5 ( 12.Qf3 h5 13.Bf5 was eventually drawn in Altshuler-De Carbonnel (ICCF WC05/final 1965). 12...Kb8 may not be as bad as Silman claims. 13.Rfd1 Bd6 14.Nf5 exd4 15.Bxd4 Be5 16.Bc2 Rdg8 This is playable for Black. In fact it looks rather good.
  

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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #58 - 09/22/17 at 16:50:49
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HgMan wrote on 09/22/17 at 12:10:29:
Not a critical line under discussion, but I stumbled across this lovely miniature from David Bronstein last night, which I think demonstrates the potential for activity in Black's position. I thought the 10...f5 & 11...Qh4 was a particularly pretty idea worth knowing about.

Aseev-Bronstein, Moscow 1982
1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nf6 5.Nxf6+ gxf6 6.Bc4 Bf5 7.Ne2 Nd7 8.Ng3 Bg6 9.O-O e6 10.h4 f5 11.h5 Qh4 12.Qf3 Bd6 13.hxg6 hxg6 14.Re1 Bxg3 0-1


What a beautiful little miniature. All the more remarkable because his opponent was no idiot and went on to become a very strong GM.
  
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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #57 - 09/22/17 at 12:10:29
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Not a critical line under discussion, but I stumbled across this lovely miniature from David Bronstein last night, which I think demonstrates the potential for activity in Black's position. I thought the 10...f5 & 11...Qh4 was a particularly pretty idea worth knowing about.

Aseev-Bronstein, Moscow 1982
1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nf6 5.Nxf6+ gxf6 6.Bc4 Bf5 7.Ne2 Nd7 8.Ng3 Bg6 9.O-O e6 10.h4 f5 11.h5 Qh4 12.Qf3 Bd6 13.hxg6 hxg6 14.Re1 Bxg3 0-1
  

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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #56 - 09/21/17 at 22:48:19
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Stefan Buecker wrote on 09/21/17 at 22:33:10:
Or perhaps your idea is too fast?  Smiley

Personally I like e7-e6 too, but now I think 11...0-0-0? is just premature. It seems better to delay castling: 11...e6! 12.b4 Qc7 13.a5!? (13.b5?! is hardly possible here; 13.Nxh5 a5!; 13.Bd3 Ne5!) 13...Bd6 14.Nxh5 a6!. Freezing the structure is more urgent than castling. For example: 15.g3 0-0-0 16.Nf4 Be4 17.Bf3 f5, and there is nothing wrong with Black's position.

There are circa a dozen games with 11...e6 in the database, but none of them problematic for Black.

Wow. I was so happy with my new idea in the 6...h5 line, now you come up with this great idea in the other line, I like it very deep idea. Black remains flexible with the king, it makes sense. By the way we are struggling here to refute a White idea that has hardly ever been played, and the possibilities being thrown up in this thread show the ...gxf6 line is not by any means dead in the woods.
  
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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #55 - 09/21/17 at 22:33:10
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Keano wrote on 09/21/17 at 19:09:33:
Maybe my ...Kb8 is just too slow.

Or perhaps your idea is too fast?  Smiley

Personally I like e7-e6 too, but now I think 11...0-0-0? is just premature. It seems better to delay castling: 11...e6! 12.b4 Qc7 13.a5!? (13.b5?! is hardly possible here; 13.Nxh5 a5!; 13.Bd3 Ne5!) 13...Bd6 14.Nxh5 a6!. Freezing the structure is more urgent than castling. For example: 15.g3 0-0-0 16.Nf4 Be4 17.Bf3 f5, and there is nothing wrong with Black's position.

There are circa a dozen games with 11...e6 in the database, but none of them problematic for Black.
  
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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #54 - 09/21/17 at 20:47:21
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I am going back to the drawing board and my original 6...h5 idea. I found an idea I am vaguely happy about:

6.c3 h5 7.Bc4 Nd7 8.Qb3 e6 (I was unhappy about this line before but maybe it is not the end of the world)
9.Nf3 Nb6 10.Be2 Rg8 11.O-O e5!?

I am just offering a pawn to get active play, maybe objectively its not 100% sound but I think I could play this happily over the board, I have initiative for a pawn.

  
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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #53 - 09/21/17 at 19:09:33
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First line:
15.Qb3 Bd6 16.dxc6 Qxc6 17.c4 Qb6!? but proaly you avoid the endame with something like 18.Qe3 and a5 is coming?

I looked at 15.Qb3 c5 16.a5, didnt like that either for Black

Maybe my ...Kb8 is just too slow. It looked good on the board but the engines have made a mockery of me.

At this moment I am thinking to go back and look at HgMan's original line...
« Last Edit: 09/21/17 at 20:22:40 by Keano »  
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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #52 - 09/21/17 at 03:30:08
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A couple ideas:

15 Qb3!? Bd6 16 dxc6 Qxc6 17 c4!, covering g3, Rook to the b-file and/or c5/a5-a6 likely to follow.

15 dxc6 Qxc6 16 Bf3 Qc7 17 Qb3; 17...Bd6 18 Ne4, while after 17...Bd3, the computer points out the exchange sacrifice 18 a5!, when taking the Rook will ultimately lead to a disaster on b7.
  
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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #51 - 09/20/17 at 23:52:21
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mn wrote on 09/20/17 at 21:30:21:
As a practical matter, it looks like White has the much easier game, if for no other reason than his attack lands first; .eg. 14 b5 e5 15 Qb3 with a5-a6 to follow. This all looks very dangerous for Black.


14.b5 e6(!) Flexibility is the watchword.

I claim an excellent game for Black. ....Bd6Xg3 is coming and I dont see any clear attack for White.
  
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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #50 - 09/20/17 at 21:30:21
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As a practical matter, it looks like White has the much easier game, if for no other reason than his attack lands first; .eg. 14 b5 e5 15 Qb3 with a5-a6 to follow. This all looks very dangerous for Black.
  
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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #49 - 09/20/17 at 20:45:14
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In this line after 13.0-0 I have a new suggestion to throw into the ring

13...Kb8! (Prophylaxis against the Bc4 move, ...e5 will come next)

Black seems to get reasonable play to me, but no doubt the engines will come up with the next refutation Smiley
  
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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #48 - 09/20/17 at 16:51:55
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HgMan wrote on 09/18/17 at 02:08:43:
One potential line (which starts to look a little hairy):

6.c3 Bf5 7.Ne2 Nd7 8.Ng3 Bg6 9.h4 h5 10.Be2 Qa5 11.a4 O‑O‑O 12.b4 Qc7 13.O‑O e5 14.b5 Nc5 15.Bc4 f5 16.Bg5 Be7 17.Bxe7 Qxe7 18.bxc6 f4

...and then I have no idea what's going on.

Very interesting discussion. In the line above, White can also try 18.Qf3 f4 19.dxc5 fxg3 20.Qxg3 Qxc5 21.Be2. This could be a long ending, with Black's king a little more exposed than White's. For example 21...Rhg8 22.Rfd1 Rde8 23.Qh3+ Kb8 24.Qf3. The computer shows something like +1.00, eventually winning a pawn further down the road. 
  
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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #47 - 09/19/17 at 18:49:06
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Just punning. "Silicone" is not the same as "silicon".
  
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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #46 - 09/19/17 at 12:15:16
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an ordinary chessplayer wrote on 09/19/17 at 04:32:46:
HgMan wrote on 09/19/17 at 01:07:51:
... if our silicone friends can see it, it's safe to assume it's what to expect in correspondence chess.
Silicone friends are not usually known for giving good chess advice.


I'll stand by the statement: for better or worse, it's safe to assume that many cc players will follow the lead of their masters. Can you recommend an improvement over 15.Bc4, or are you just trolling?
  

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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #45 - 09/19/17 at 04:32:46
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HgMan wrote on 09/19/17 at 01:07:51:
... if our silicone friends can see it, it's safe to assume it's what to expect in correspondence chess.
Silicone friends are not usually known for giving good chess advice.
  
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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #44 - 09/19/17 at 02:58:05
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Any takers? 6.c3 Bf5 7.Ne2 e5!? 8.Ng3 Be6

There's a smattering of attempts with this, but nothing concrete in the databases—certainly not by top players (though a De Carbonnel tried it twice in the 1965 correspondence chess world championship final). Much as 11.0-0 above looks wrong (though, it must be said, Sanakoev's 12.Bf4 looks pretty persuasive), 7...e5 looks to be asking for trouble. And yet...
  

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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #43 - 09/19/17 at 02:43:53
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Indeed: Engel lost two games with the same 11.0-0

[Event "WC10/final (7884)"]
[Site "ICCF Post"]
[Date "1978.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Sanakoev, Grigory K. (RUS)"]
[Black "Engel, Klaus Eberhard (GER"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B16"]
[EventDate "1978.??.??"]

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Nf6 5. Nxf6+ gxf6 6. c3 Bf5 7. Ne2 Nd7 8.
Ng3 Bg6 9. h4 h5 10. Be2 Qa5 11. O-O e6 12. Bf4 O-O-O 13. b4 Qa3 14. Qb3 Qxb3
15. axb3 e5 16. Be3 a6 17. f4 exf4 18. Bxf4 Nb6 19. Bd2 Re8 20. Rf3 Bd6 21. Kf2
Nd5 22. Re1 Bxg3+ 23. Rxg3 f5 24. Rf3 Nf6 25. Bf4 Re4 26. Rc1 Rhe8 27. Bd3 R4e7
28. c4 Ne4+ 29. Kg1 Kd7 30. b5 axb5 31. cxb5 Nf6 32. bxc6+ bxc6 33. Bg5 Re1+
34. Rxe1 Rxe1+ 35. Kf2 Re6 36. Bxf6 Rxf6 37. Rf4 Kd6 38. Ke3 Bh7 39. Bc4 Ke7
40. Rf2 Rd6 41. Rd2 Rg6 42. d5 f4+ 43. Kf2 cxd5 44. Bxd5 Rg4 45. Bf3 Rxh4 46.
Kg1 Bf5 47. Rd4 Ke6 48. b4 Ke5 49. Rd5+ Ke6 50. b5 Bg4 51. b6 Bxf3 52. gxf3
1-0
  

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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #42 - 09/19/17 at 02:42:35
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Hardly topical, but I came across this game in the line we have been discussing from the 10th ICCF World Championship (1978).

6.c3 Bf5 7.Ne2 Nd7 8.Ng3 Bg6 9.h4 h5 10.Be2 Qa5 11.O-O e6 12.b4 Qc7 13.Re1 Bd6

Surely 11.0-0 looks wrong, but Black missed a few chances to exact full punishment.

[Event "WC10/final (7884)"]
[Site "ICCF Post"]
[Date "1978.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Svenningsson, Jorgen Vincent (SWE"]
[Black "Engel, Klaus Eberhard (GER"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B16"]
[EventDate "1978.??.??"]

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Nf6 5. Nxf6+ gxf6 6. c3 Bf5 7. Ne2 Nd7 8.
Ng3 Bg6 9. h4 h5 10. Be2 Qa5 11. O-O e6 12. b4 Qc7 13. Re1 Bd6 14. Bf3 Bxg3 15.
fxg3 Qxg3 16. Re3 Qd6 17. b5 cxb5 18. a4 b4 19. cxb4 O-O-O 20. a5 Kb8 21. a6
Ne5 22. axb7 Nxf3+ 23. Rxf3 Qxd4+ 24. Qxd4 Rxd4 25. Rfa3 Rxb4 26. Rxa7 Rh7 27.
Be3 Rxb7 28. Ra8+ Kc7 29. Rc1+ Kd6 30. Rd1+ Ke5 31. Bd4+ Kf5 32. Rf1+ Kg4 33.
Bxf6 Rb4 34. Ra5 Bf5 35. Kh2 Rh6 36. Be7 Rc4 37. Ra3 f6 38. Rg3+ Kxh4 39. Rxf5
1-0
  

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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #41 - 09/19/17 at 01:07:51
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Stockfish jumped straight to 15.Bc4 and stayed there. That surprised me: you're right that it doesn't look intuitive at all. But if our silicone friends can see it, it's safe to assume it's what to expect in correspondence chess.

The line above looks pretty good for Black. The next step is to determine whether or not Black can improve and acquire greater counterplay. There seem to be a few places in that line where Black could try and get creative...
  

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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #40 - 09/18/17 at 13:47:17
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HgMan wrote on 09/18/17 at 02:08:43:
One potential line (which starts to look a little hairy):

6.c3 Bf5 7.Ne2 Nd7 8.Ng3 Bg6 9.h4 h5 10.Be2 Qa5 11.a4 O‑O‑O 12.b4 Qc7 13.O‑O e5 14.b5 Nc5 15.Bc4 f5 16.Bg5 Be7 17.Bxe7 Qxe7 18.bxc6 f4

...and then I have no idea what's going on.


Does look hairy - looks like Black is getting his counterplay but on further inspection White may be better.

15.Bc4 is not a very intuitive move to find OTB but in correspondence you might have a an issue Smiley
  
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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #39 - 09/18/17 at 02:08:43
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One potential line (which starts to look a little hairy):

6.c3 Bf5 7.Ne2 Nd7 8.Ng3 Bg6 9.h4 h5 10.Be2 Qa5 11.a4 O‑O‑O 12.b4 Qc7 13.O‑O e5 14.b5 Nc5 15.Bc4 f5 16.Bg5 Be7 17.Bxe7 Qxe7 18.bxc6 f4

...and then I have no idea what's going on.
  

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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #38 - 09/18/17 at 02:04:06
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Keano wrote on 09/17/17 at 14:53:45:
Was having a look:

6.c3 Bf5 7.Ne2 Nd7 8.Ng3 Bg6 9.h4 h5 10. Be2 Qa5 11.a4 O-O-O 12.b4 Qc7 13.a5 e5! 14.a6 b5(!)
15.O-O Nb6

Looks like decent play for Black to my eye.

Edit: if still a bit of a mess  Smiley



That doesn't look half bad for Black, but I wonder if White can improve upon and tighten the move order:

6.c3 Bf5 7.Ne2 Nd7 8.Ng3 Bg6 9.h4 h5 10.Be2 Qa5 11.a4 O‑O‑O 12.b4 Qc7 13.O‑O e5 14.b5

This looks like a modest improvement over 13.a5. 14.Nc5 maybe? Black can start to build up on the g-file, but I'd love to be able to give the dark-squared bishop some kind of future.
  

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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #37 - 09/17/17 at 14:53:45
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Was having a look:

6.c3 Bf5 7.Ne2 Nd7 8.Ng3 Bg6 9.h4 h5 10. Be2 Qa5 11.a4 O-O-O 12.b4 Qc7 13.a5 e5! 14.a6 b5(!)
15.O-O Nb6

Looks like decent play for Black to my eye.

Edit: if still a bit of a mess  Smiley

  
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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #36 - 09/17/17 at 09:14:27
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Indeed, I remember the same thing. A critical line here is 7.Ne2 Nd7 8.Ng3 Bg6 9.h4 h5 10.Be2 Qa5 11.a4!? where White waits for Black to castle before playing b2-b4.

Wasn´t there some Nic-article about this way back in the ´90s?
  
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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #35 - 09/17/17 at 02:17:40
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The line I recall from way back had Black playing 6.c3 Bf5 7.Ne2 Nd7 (with the possibility of a later ...e5 in one go).
  
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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #34 - 09/17/17 at 02:00:28
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6.c3 Bf5 7.Ne2 e6 8.Ng3 Bg6 9.h4 h5 10.Be2 Qa5 (10...c5!? looks like it might be worth a try) is, I assume, the critical line you're talking about? 11.b4 Qc7 12.Nxh5 Nd7 A quick database search says that 12...Bxh5 is a common response. Stockfish doesn't seem to like that one bit, preferring 12...Nd7 or 12...Be7, neither of which have really been tried. 13.Nf4 Be4 14.Kf1 Bd6 15.Bd3 f5 16.Ne2 O‑O‑O 17.Bxe4 fxe4 18.Qc2 f5 looks plausible for Black. This is pretty hasty engine playing, so I'd want to study this further. But: open lines on the kingside, pawns on light squares, some claim on the centre. Black doesn't look miserable here.
  

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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #33 - 09/17/17 at 01:33:46
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MNb wrote on 09/16/17 at 21:40:25:
Viking wrote on 09/12/17 at 21:29:13:
If you go for 6.c3 Bf5 - make sure you are booked up for the dangerous 7.Ne2!?

As HgMan hasn't written anything about this yet I'm going to remind him. IM Merijn van Delft several years ago recommended the old main line with h4, Ng3 and Be2 - and only then initiate a pawn storm on the queen's wing (and decline that pawn on h5).
It seems interesting to me, because everyone playing ...gxf6 can be expected to be prepared for fianchetto setups.


(Hello, old friend). I didn't reply, because I hadn't sat down with it. My instinct is that Black needs to swing the queen out to a5, to make White think twice about castling queenside too quickly. But I'd need to look at some specifics. It seems as though ...h6 runs Black into some trouble—I think I prefer ...h5. But: more actual lines to follow.
  

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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #32 - 09/16/17 at 21:40:25
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Viking wrote on 09/12/17 at 21:29:13:
If you go for 6.c3 Bf5 - make sure you are booked up for the dangerous 7.Ne2!?

As HgMan hasn't written anything about this yet I'm going to remind him. IM Merijn van Delft several years ago recommended the old main line with h4, Ng3 and Be2 - and only then initiate a pawn storm on the queen's wing (and decline that pawn on h5).
It seems interesting to me, because everyone playing ...gxf6 can be expected to be prepared for fianchetto setups.
  

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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #31 - 09/16/17 at 21:23:09
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The nice thing about correspondence is you can trot out the same line in 4-6 games at a time without losing the "surprise value." The advantage is the opportunity to really work on a particular opening or two. Games are usually hidden until they are finished.

But it did get me wondering: I'll have to look, but do any of the books on pawns and pawn structures treat playing with doubled pawns as an advantage? Baburin?  Marovic?
  

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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #30 - 09/16/17 at 20:57:13
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Yes, I think the engines have a hard time getting past the structural "weakness" and underestimate the potential dynamism.

I am not a correspondence player, but for OTB play I think this is a useful line to have up your sleeve. Not to play every game probably.
  
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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #29 - 09/16/17 at 12:17:32
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I think you're right. It seems to me that there are some general middlegame and endgame characteristics to a number of these positions that would reward greater familiarity. And are probably just enough to throw off the first player with less preparation. I would also note that engines seem to really like White in most lines. Disproportionately so. Which is especially nice for the correspondence player. It's nice to see that +1.02 drop to +0.35 over the course of a half-dozen natural moves. In correspondence chess, there's so much room for sub-optimal moves from White with that kind of mis-evaluation.
  

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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #28 - 09/15/17 at 22:10:27
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HgMan wrote on 09/14/17 at 23:29:43:
Botvinnik is usually a good model to follow.


Indeed. I have been looking at all these tries for Black against the dreaded g3 system. It seems to me that if you are playing the Bronstein-Larsen it is very much a matter of personal preference. The objective evaluation of all lines is slightly better for White but if Black is prepared and comes with some ideas I think he can cause problems. Even the old "bloodlust" variation as Silman called it where Black goes ....0-0-0 is not so simple if Black is armed with improvements.
  
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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #27 - 09/14/17 at 23:29:43
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Botvinnik is usually a good model to follow.
  

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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #26 - 09/13/17 at 04:52:33
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Thanks. It was the second game that I had in mind.
I was only looking through my 30ish yeats old handwritten notes...
  
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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #25 - 09/13/17 at 02:08:24
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Viking wrote on 09/12/17 at 21:29:13:
If you go for 6.c3 Bf5 - make sure you are booked up for the dangerous 7.Ne2!?

In general may a development to Bg7  be an interesting thought if you are looking for something "fresh". Reminds me of an old Botvinnik(?) game - although I am not able to find it right now Undecided


One of these perhaps? In fact, I'm inclined to retract my comments in the previous post about the bishops looking a little passive or stale.

Horberg-Botvinnik (Stockholm 1962)
1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 de4 4. Ne4 Nf6 5. Nf6 gf6 6. Bc4 Bf5 7. Bf4 Nd7 8. Nf3 e6 9. O-O Nb6 10. Bb3 Bg4 11. h3 Bh5 12. c4 Bg7 13. g4 Bg6 14. Re1 O-O 15. Kh2 a5 16. a4 f5 17. Qd2 fg4 18. hg4 c5 19. Bh6 cd4 20. Bg7 Kg7 21. Kg2 d3 22. g5 Nd7 23. Qf4 Rc8 24. Rad1 Nc5 25. Ba2 f6 26. Qg4 fg5 27. Ng5 Qf6 28. Ne6 Ne6 29. Re6 Qf2 30. Kh1 Rf4

Ciocaltea-Botvinnik (Hamburg 1965)
1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 de4 4. Ne4 Nf6 5. Nf6 gf6 6. Be2 Bf5 7. Nf3 e6 8. O-O Bg7 9. Re1 O-O 10. Bf4 Qb6 11. Qc1 Nd7 12. a4 c5 13. Be3 Qc7 14. Bf4 Qa5 15. Bd2 Qc7 16. Bf4 Qa5 17. Bd2 Qd8 18. Bh6 Rc8 19. Bg7 Kg7 20. c3 Qc7 21. Qe3 Bg6 22. a5 cd4 23. Nd4 a6 24. f4 e5 25. fe5 fe5 26. Nf3 f5 27. Rad1 Rce8 28. g3 Re7 29. b4 f4 30. gf4 Rf4 31. Bf1 Nf6 32. h3 Bh5 33. Be2 Kh8 34. Kh1 Ne4 35. Kh2 Ref7 36. Rd5 Rf3 37. Bf3 Bf3 38. Qb6 Qb6 39. ab6 Nc3 40. Rde5 Bc6 41. Re7 Re7 42. Re7
  

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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #24 - 09/13/17 at 01:59:22
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I've been stubbornly mucking around with the following:

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Nf6 5. Nxf6+ gxf6 6. c3 Bf5 7. Nf3 e6 8. g3 h5 9. Bg2 Be4 10. O‑O f5 11. Re1 Be7 12. h4 Nd7 13. Bh3 Bxf3 14. Qxf3 Nf6

Maybe better is to play for 14...c5. I don't love it for Black, who still has some work to do—not least: castling long. But I'm not sure I see what White has either.
Keano wrote on 09/12/17 at 20:57:52:
Also interesting and playable I think.

For correspondence though what about some return to sanity - the plan of ...Bg7 and ..0-0 is also quite solid I think:

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Nf6 5. Nxf6+ gxf6 6. c3 Bf5 7. Nf3 e6 8.g3 Nd7 9. Bg2 Bg7 10. Nh4 Bg6 11. O-O O-O

Black is solid and can look for his chances when White pushes


This looks plausible, but stale. I'd like to think that Black can either liquidate to an endgame with the doubled pawns are actually useful—or exploit the lines against White's kingside to put the king under pressure.
  

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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #23 - 09/12/17 at 21:29:13
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If you go for 6.c3 Bf5 - make sure you are booked up for the dangerous 7.Ne2!?

In general may a development to Bg7  be an interesting thought if you are looking for something "fresh". Reminds me of an old Botvinnik(?) game - although I am not able to find it right now Undecided
  
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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #22 - 09/12/17 at 20:59:39
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HgMan wrote on 09/12/17 at 02:34:06:
Keano wrote on 09/11/17 at 19:46:36:
Viking wrote on 09/11/17 at 19:23:57:
I agree - however 7.Bc4! is awkward for black.

6...Qd5 used to be "my" way to counter 6.c3! as black

I wish there was a completely sound response to c3 and I would return to the bronstein/larsen. Lots of good memories...


6.c3 h5 7.Bc4 Nd7 what is the idea for White - you want Qb3 to block in my bishop?


Doesn't 8.Nf3 work? Develop normally? 8...Nb6 9.Bb3 a5 10. a4 or 0-0 both look pretty straightforward. Black's h5 pawn looks a little silly at the moment—and it's going to take some time for Black to be able to mount much along the half-open g-file. Hard not to like White here.


9..a5 looks only weakening
Here I would assume black could try 9..Bg4 and say 10. h3 Bxf3 10. Qxf3 h4!? or e6 / Bd6 / h4 with an ok game
  
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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #21 - 09/12/17 at 20:57:52
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HgMan wrote on 09/12/17 at 20:52:01:
Well, my primary interest is correspondence--avoiding scads of book theory, finding playable positions, and tricking the odd engine into some early misplaced evaluation. What do you think about 9...Qc4 in your line above?


Also interesting and playable I think.

For correspondence though what about some return to sanity - the plan of ...Bg7 and ..0-0 is also quite solid I think:

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Nf6 5. Nxf6+ gxf6 6. c3 Bf5 7. Nf3 e6 8.g3 Nd7 9. Bg2 Bg7 10. Nh4 Bg6 11. O-O O-O

Black is solid and can look for his chances when White pushes
  
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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #20 - 09/12/17 at 20:52:01
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Keano wrote on 09/12/17 at 19:12:41:
HgMan wrote on 09/12/17 at 15:09:31:
I think you're probably right. As Black, I remain interested in 6.c3 Bf5 7.Nf3 e6 8.g3 h5 9.Bg2 Be4 as perhaps the best h5 advance.


I am also coming to the conclusion the old 6...Bf5 is in fact best.

Currently looking at this endgame:
1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Nf6 5. Nxf6+ gxf6 6. c3 Bf5 7.Nf3 e6 8. g3 Qd5 9. Bg2 Qe4+ 10. Be3 Qc2 11. Nh4 Qxd1+ 12.
Rxd1 Bg4 13. f3 Bh5

Perhaps White is a bit better but it doesnt seem too much. Enough to handle in a blitz game anyway Smiley




Well, my primary interest is correspondence--avoiding scads of book theory, finding playable positions, and tricking the odd engine into some early misplaced evaluation. What do you think about 9...Qc4 in your line above?
  

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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #19 - 09/12/17 at 20:49:35
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Keano wrote on 09/11/17 at 19:46:36:
Viking wrote on 09/11/17 at 19:23:57:
I agree - however 7.Bc4! is awkward for black.

6...Qd5 used to be "my" way to counter 6.c3! as black

I wish there was a completely sound response to c3 and I would return to the bronstein/larsen. Lots of good memories...


6.c3 h5 7.Bc4 Nd7 what is the idea for White - you want Qb3 to block in my bishop?


Correct. Qb3 is the obvious threat. With the bishop blocked the black position is not very attractive.
  
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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #18 - 09/12/17 at 19:12:41
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HgMan wrote on 09/12/17 at 15:09:31:
I think you're probably right. As Black, I remain interested in 6.c3 Bf5 7.Nf3 e6 8.g3 h5 9.Bg2 Be4 as perhaps the best h5 advance.


I am also coming to the conclusion the old 6...Bf5 is in fact best.

Currently looking at this endgame:
1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Nf6 5. Nxf6+ gxf6 6. c3 Bf5 7.Nf3 e6 8. g3 Qd5 9. Bg2 Qe4+ 10. Be3 Qc2 11. Nh4 Qxd1+ 12.
Rxd1 Bg4 13. f3 Bh5

Perhaps White is a bit better but it doesnt seem too much. Enough to handle in a blitz game anyway Smiley


  
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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #17 - 09/12/17 at 15:09:31
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Keano wrote on 09/12/17 at 12:31:14:
HgMan wrote on 09/12/17 at 02:43:34:
Though: this is certainly playable for Black.


Yes. I was looking at it and I am more worried by 8.Qb3(!) forcing me to lock in my bishop with 8....e6. This seems a little bit too passive for Black for my liking.


I think you're probably right. As Black, I remain interested in 6.c3 Bf5 7.Nf3 e6 8.g3 h5 9.Bg2 Be4 as perhaps the best h5 advance.
  

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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #16 - 09/12/17 at 15:04:15
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Side note to the above. I stumbled upon Nunn-Conquest from Hastings 1996-97 last night. The opening was a Scandinavian, but by move 15 you might be forgiven for thinking this started out as a Caro-Kann in this line. A rather uncomfortable one for Black, mind you. I wonder, though, if some Scandinavian study would be worthwhile...

Nunn-Conquest (Hastings 1996-97)
1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. Nc3 Qa5 4. d4 Nf6 5. Nf3 c6 6. Bd2 Bf5 7. Bc4 e6 8. Ne4 Qc7 9. Nxf6+ gxf6 10. Qe2 Nd7 11. O-O-O O-O-O 12. Nh4 Bg6 13. Bb3 Bd6 14. g3 Rhe8 15. Rhe1 f5 16. Ng2 Kb8 17. Bf4 f6 18. Bxe6 Nf8 19. Qc4 Bh5 20. Rd3 Nxe6 21. Rxe6 Rxe6 22. Qxe6 Bxf4+ 23. Nxf4 Re8 24. Qxf5 Re1+ 25. Kd2 Rd1+ 26. Kc3 Bg4 27. Qc5 Ra1 28. Re3 Bc8 29. Re7 Qd8 30. Ne6 Bxe6 31. Rxe6 Rxa2 32. Qd6+ 1-0
  

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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #15 - 09/12/17 at 12:31:14
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HgMan wrote on 09/12/17 at 02:43:34:
Though: this is certainly playable for Black.


Yes. I was looking at it and I am more worried by 8.Qb3(!) forcing me to lock in my bishop with 8....e6. This seems a little bit too passive for Black for my liking.
  
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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #14 - 09/12/17 at 02:43:34
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Though: this is certainly playable for Black.
  

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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #13 - 09/12/17 at 02:34:06
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Keano wrote on 09/11/17 at 19:46:36:
Viking wrote on 09/11/17 at 19:23:57:
I agree - however 7.Bc4! is awkward for black.

6...Qd5 used to be "my" way to counter 6.c3! as black

I wish there was a completely sound response to c3 and I would return to the bronstein/larsen. Lots of good memories...


6.c3 h5 7.Bc4 Nd7 what is the idea for White - you want Qb3 to block in my bishop?


Doesn't 8.Nf3 work? Develop normally? 8...Nb6 9.Bb3 a5 10. a4 or 0-0 both look pretty straightforward. Black's h5 pawn looks a little silly at the moment—and it's going to take some time for Black to be able to mount much along the half-open g-file. Hard not to like White here.
  

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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #12 - 09/12/17 at 02:27:11
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6...Qd5 & 6...h5 receive coverage in Dangerous Weapons, don't they? Interestingly, Silman doesn't consider either idea in his older book on these lines. My instinct is that Black needs to advance the h-pawn at some point after 6.c3. The question remains when the pawn thrust is safest and best. My gut says that 6...Bf5 ought to be the real test: Black needs to develop this piece as early as possible in order to get the rest of his pieces out in decent order.
  

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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #11 - 09/11/17 at 19:46:36
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Viking wrote on 09/11/17 at 19:23:57:
I agree - however 7.Bc4! is awkward for black.

6...Qd5 used to be "my" way to counter 6.c3! as black

I wish there was a completely sound response to c3 and I would return to the bronstein/larsen. Lots of good memories...


6.c3 h5 7.Bc4 Nd7 what is the idea for White - you want Qb3 to block in my bishop?
  
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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #10 - 09/11/17 at 19:23:57
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I agree - however 7.Bc4! is awkward for black.

6...Qd5 used to be "my" way to counter 6.c3! as black

I wish there was a completely sound response to c3 and I would return to the bronstein/larsen. Lots of good memories...
  
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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #9 - 09/11/17 at 19:02:28
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Fllg wrote on 09/10/17 at 08:24:13:
I remember playing this in a few games when I was young but nowadays I think this is a very risky choice, especially compared to the solid 5...exf6.

White scores 70 % with 6.c3 Bf5 7.Nf3 e6 8.g3 which would put me off unless you have some good Idea for Black here.


6.c3 h5!? is interesting
  
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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #8 - 09/11/17 at 18:54:12
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I was always fond of this line for blitz chess. DEspite its reputation there is a big list of famous players who have played it.
  
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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #7 - 09/11/17 at 12:26:36
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Interesting thought. I wondered if White would be as likely to commit to Nxf6 in the Two Knights, but I guess the alternatives are fairly passive...
  

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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #6 - 09/11/17 at 09:10:56
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I believe both variations with 4. ... Nf6 might be better suited against the two knights system, as the white knight has been committed to f3 already. Jobava used 5. ... exf6 in his famous victory against Karjakin, so it's definitely something. 5. ... gxf6 seems fine there too, at least in a sense that white doesn't achieve a crushing score even if he plays the most precise theory.
  
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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #5 - 09/10/17 at 19:02:50
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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #4 - 09/10/17 at 13:43:24
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I might also point out that my interest here is in correspondence chess. It seems as though it's possible to get into relatively uncharted territory well before engines can provide definitive help to the less familiar player.
  

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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #3 - 09/10/17 at 13:41:10
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Fllg wrote on 09/10/17 at 08:24:13:
White scores 70 % with 6.c3 Bf5 7.Nf3 e6 8.g3 which would put me off unless you have some good Idea for Black here.


I'll need to study this more carefully, but I was playing around with 8...h5 9.Bg2 Be4 last night. Judging by both the Age of most games in the databases and the quality of players involved, there's every chance that some interesting ideas can still be found...
  

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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #2 - 09/10/17 at 10:55:12
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HgMan wrote on 09/10/17 at 03:13:46:
Is there any literature on the Bronstein-Larsen other than Silman's fairly old book?

https://www.everymanchess.com/dangerous-weapons-the-caro-kann

http://shop.chessbase.com/en/products/davies_the_4_nf6_caro_kann
  
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Re: Bronstein-Larsen
Reply #1 - 09/10/17 at 08:24:13
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I remember playing this in a few games when I was young but nowadays I think this is a very risky choice, especially compared to the solid 5...exf6.

White scores 70 % with 6.c3 Bf5 7.Nf3 e6 8.g3 which would put me off unless you have some good Idea for Black here.
  
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Bronstein-Larsen
09/10/17 at 03:13:46
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1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nf6 5.Nxf6+ gxf6

I don't want to pretend that this is superior to the mainline Caro Kann, but is it theoretically sound? And to what extent might one acquire any winning chances with the Black pieces? Database stats look skeptical, but there doesn't seem to be a steady development in the theory.

Negi recommends 6.Nf3 Bg4 7.Be2, but his survey is fairly cursory. Alternatively, 6.c3 Bf5 7.Nf3 seems to score exceptionally well for White. But it seems as though the unorthodox array of pawns can result in some pretty intriguing late middle games and endgames that tend to favour the stronger player. Sound right? Any thoughts? Is there any literature on the Bronstein-Larsen other than Silman's fairly old book?
  

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