Hi.

Apologies for not having a predictable posting pattern. Instead of continuing posting about more lines it seems, however upsetting, there might be a case for making a correction in the small subset of stuff I have already posted something about. In the 7...e5 Pirc variation I realised that in reply #51 I gave nothing against:

1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Bf4 Bg7 5.Qd2 c6 6.Bh6 Bxh6 7.Qxh6 e5 8.Nf3 Qe7 9.dxe5 dxe5 10.Bc4 b5 11.Bb3 Nbd7 12.Ng5 Rf8 13.Nxh7 Nxh7 14.Qxh7 Nc5 15.Qh6 a5 16.a3 Be6 17.Bxe6 Nxe6 18.Qe3 0-0-0 19.0-0

Nd4That was bad

. Both because we discussed it at some point and also because it looks like the best move. Anyway. After rechecking and going a bit deeper I am not sure I was correct in my conclusion from when last this was discussed - that white (with work) should be better after 22.Ne2 (in the line with 20.Rac1 below). Essentially as you continue down the lines, white often has trouble meaningfully consolidating. Disclaimer-wise this is by no means easy stuff though and there is a fair bit of endgame evaluation attached. Quite plausibly more diligent analysis could provide some kind of way for white. Or if not that then maybe some deep computer analysis at some point could yield results somewhere. I will drop an analysis file at some point (probably when I have checked every line after 4...Bg7 5.Qd2). Until then here is some textual points.

**1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Bf4 Bg7 5.Qd2 c6 6.Bh6 Bxh6 7.Qxh6 e5 8.Nf3 Qe7 9.dxe5 dxe5 10.Bc4 b5 11.Bb3 Nbd7**I now think this is most exact. If 11...a5 I think after 12.a3 there does not need to be a difference between the moves. The downside instead is that 12.a4 seems stronger after 11...a5 compared to 11...Nbd7.

**12.Ng5**I could not make 12.0-0 work as a threatening move. After 12...Nc5 white would have to a) find something other than 13.Ng5 or b) Go 13.Ng5 although then I think having castled is not necessarily optimal.

**12...Rf8 13.Nxh7 Nxh7 14.Qxh7 Nc5 15.Qh6**Extracting the queen looks like the only threatening move to me. Short castling is again some sort of an alternative though. A point is that if black goes a5 now, a3 becomes a very viable reply pretty much because of the fact that the queen is ready to jump back into the action quickly.

**15...a5 16.a3 Be6**This seems best. For structural reasons white will have to take when black gets to reroute his knight to a more promising square.

**17.Bxe6 Nxe6 18.Qe3**White has some half alternatives but backing the queen directly to the most natural square seems like the only threatening way to play. 18.0-0 is met by 18...0-0-0 when 19.Qe3 should be best and there would be a transposition.

**18...0-0-0 19.0-0**19.Qb6 should invite a queen exchange after 19...Qc7 but then is white really that much better?

**19...Nd4**This move seems like it invites Ne2 at the right moment. Then the knights gets exchanged and white's task is presumably somewhat simplified. There are some redeeming factors in black's position, sure, but are they enough? I did not think so at first although after some analysis I can't really say I made any progress as white.

**20.Rac1**One of the (far from only) lines after the less natural looking but interesting 20.Rfc1!? was:

20. Rfc1 f5 21.exf5 gxf5 22.Ne2 f4 23.Qh3+ Ne6! 24.Rd1 Rde8! 25.Qf3!? Kb7 26.b4 axb4 27.a4 e4 28.Qxe4 Nc7! 29.Qxe7 Rxe7 30.Nc1 c5 31.Nd3 Kc6 (Diagram) (∞) The pawn deficit seems not such a major factor and black should hold.

**20...f5 21.exf5**Seing this pawn get rammed down all the way to g2 in some later continuations makes one consider other moves; although black can then often bypass with f5-f4 and it's probably not so easy for white:

21.f3 Rf6 22.Nd1 f4 23.Qe1 Qc5 24.Nf2 a4 25.Nd3 Nxf3+ 26.Kh1 Rxd3 27.cxd3 Nxe1 28.Rxc5 Nxd3 29.Rc2 c5 (=) The strong knight should offer compensation.

21.Ne2 f4 22.Qh3+ Qd7 23.Qd3 f3 24.Nxd4 Qg4 25.Nxf3 Rxd3 26.Nxe5 Qxe4 27.Nxd3 Qd4 (∞) I am not sure how to assess this.

**21...gxf5 22.Ne2 f4 23.Qh3+ Ne6 24.Rcd1 f3 25.Nc1**An alternative that I am not sure about the slightest (both sides seems to get play) is the other knight move; when play might continue:

25.Nc3 Rde8! 26.Rfe1 Kb8 27.Qg4 Qf7 28.g3 Rg8 29.Qe4 Nd4 30.Re3 Qh5 31.Rxd4 exd4 32.Qxd4 Rxe3 33.Qb6+ Ka8 34.Qxc6+ Kb8 35.fxe3 f2+ 36.Kf1 Qh3+ 37.Qg2 Qh6 (Diagram) (∞) Both sides have dangerous play to my eyes.

**25...fxg2!?**Now as far as I can tell white is getting into some pawn up endgames that may or not be hard to win. There are so many positions to check so I can't say if black can find something safe and easy or if he has to suffer. One of the lines I checked (and again it is not so easy at many points to say what the best move is so don't take this as best play by any means) was the following:

**26.Rxd8+ Kxd8 27.Rd1+ Kc7 28.Qe3 Qc5 29.Nd3 Qxe3 30.fxe3 Rd8 31.Nf2 31...Rg8 32.Ne4 Ng5 33.Nxg5 Rxg5 34.Rd2 Rg4 35.Rxg2 Re4 36.Kf2 Kd6 37.Kf3 Rh4 38.Kg3 Re4 39.Re2 Ke6**(Diagram) (=) to (＋/ = ) Making progress could be difficult.

Anyone have any better (or worse!

) ideas or refinements I am all ears.

Have a nice night.