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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Pirc 4 Bf4: Best Lines/Move Orders (Read 20195 times)
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Re: Pirc 4 Bf4: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #81 - 12/27/18 at 05:07:07
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Maybe a bits late to ask. But are you trying to make a White repertoire for 4. Af4, or various Black repertoires against it ¿ Or both ¿  Cheesy
  
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Confused_by_Theory
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Re: Pirc 4 Bf4: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #80 - 12/27/18 at 01:38:40
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4.Bf4 analysis - Part 5: c6 compactness

1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Bf4 c6
This is quite clearly a move. A reasonaby important one as well, since there are always a number of types who tries to avoid an early Bg7.
5.Qd2
Playing this seems most flexible. Now black has options.
5...Nbd7!?
Not the most popular but a normal way to keep delaying Bg7. There is not a huge plentitude of alternatives:

5...Bg7 6.Bh6
Transposes to 4...Bg7.

5...Qa5 6.Nf3 Nbd7
Transposes to 5...Nbd7. Also good appears to be 6.a3; although it allows a direct e5 from black somewhat needlessly.

5...Qb6?! 6.O-O-O Bg7 7.Kb1 Nbd7 8.f3 (+/ - )
Black's setup is not optimal.

5...Nh5?! 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 b5 8.g4 Nf6 9.g5 (+/ - )
White is a tempo ahead and this should count for something.

5...h6?! 6.h3 Bg7 7.Nf3 Nbd7?! 8.e5 Nd5 9.Nxd5 cxd5 10.exd6 (+/ - )

With the above being either troublesome or transpositional, if there is an alternative to 5...Nbd7 it is one of the following:

5...b5
This has been tried a couple of times but can be met by a standard idea that somewhat exploits that white is a bit more ready for immediate conflict.
6.e5! (Diagram)

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6...Nh5
The alternative is to swap queens but this does not really equalise.
6...dxe5 7.dxe5 Qxd2+ 8.Bxd2 Nfd7

8...Nh5 9.g3 Nd7 10.Bg2 Nxe5 11.f4 Nd7 12.Nxb5 Rb8 13.Nxa7 (+/ - ) Black is behind.
8...Ng4 9.f4 h5 10.Nf3 Bg7 11.Bd3 a5 12.h3 Nh6 13.O-O-O (+/ - ) Black is not well placed.

9.f4 Nb6

9...Bg7 10.Be2 O-O 11.Bf3 b4 12.Ne4 a5 13.O-O-O (+/ = )
9...Na6 10.g3!? This seems simplest. 10...Bb7 11.Bg2 Rb8 12.O-O-O b4 13.Ne4 c5 14.h4 h5 15.Rh2 Nc7 16.Be3 e6 17.c4 bxc3 18.Nxc3 Bxg2 19.Rxg2 (+/ - )
9...Bb7 10.Nf3 Na6 11.h4 (+/ = )

10.g3 Bg7 11.Bg2 O-O 12.Nge2 b4 13.Ne4 Na6 14.Nf2 Bb7 15.a3 bxa3 16.Rxa3 (+/ = ) White has better pieces.

7.Be3 dxe5
7...Bg7 8.f4 f6 9.Nf3!? O-O 10.Bd3 fxe5 11.fxe5 Nd7 12.a4 b4 13.Ne4 (+/ = )
7...b4 8.Ne4 Bf5 9.Bd3 Nd7 10.f4 a5 11.Nf3 (+/ = )
8.dxe5 Qxd2+ 9.Bxd2 Bg7
9...b4?! 10.Na4 Nd7 11.Nf3 Bg7 12.g4 Nb6 13.gxh5!? Nxa4 14.h6 Bf8 15.a3! Bg4 16.Nd4 Rd8 17.Be3 (+/ - ) Black's position is close to collapse.
9...Bb7 10.f4 Ng7 11.O-O-O Nd7 12.Nh3 a5 13.g3 b4 14.Ne4 c5 15.Bg2 (+/ = )
9...Nd7 10.f4 Bb7

10...b4 11.Na4 e6 12.Be3 Ng7 13.Bf2 Nf5 14.Nf3 (+/ = )

11.Nf3 a6 12.g3 c5 13.Bg2 e6 14.O-O (+/ = ) White should be slightly better.
10.f4 f6 11.exf6
Here white has choice. Also interesting are 11.Be2 and 11.Nf3.
11...Nxf6 12.O-O-O Nbd7 13.Nf3 Nb6 14.Re1 b4 15.Nd1 Nfd5 16.g3 (+/ = ) to (+/ - ) (Diagram) With relatively simple play it looks like white has got a decent size advantage. Black has got a backward pawn and white will relatively quickly get his pieces around to better squares.

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5...Qc7!?
Just making a useful move is not such a dumb idea. It is a bit passive though so I think just playing a normal move will do for white.
6.Nf3
Across many Pirc lines I don't overtly aim for Nf3 setups and instead try to keep open the possibility of moving the f-pawn or developing only later, when the knight development can be easily determined to be best. Here black is not going to become active any time soon but has some basic solidity. Generally I like the idea of playing a simple setup when black is a little bit passive so therefore I give the knight move. By playing Nf3 early we also weave into lines covered under 5...Nbd7.
6...Bg7
Somewhat more consistent with Qc7 is the following developing move - it doesn't work though:
6...Nbd7?! 7.e5 Nh5 8.exd6 exd6 9.O-O-O Nxf4 10.Qxf4 Be7 11.Re1 (+/ - )
7.Bh6 O-O 8.h4 Bxh6
Instead playing to reduce white's attacking potential is not so easy.
8...Bg4 9.Nh2 (+/ - )
9.Qxh6 Ng4 10.Qd2 h5 11.a4!? c5 12.Nd5 Qd8 13.dxc5 dxc5 14.Qg5 Nc6 15.Bb5 e5 16.c3 Kg7 17.Rd1 (+/ = ) (Diagram)
White has played unremarkably. He should be somewhat better though, due to a higher degree of activity compared to black.

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That was some alternatives. Now for what seems to me like the main way of extracting value from the 4...c6 move.
1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Bf4 c6 5.Qd2 Nbd7
Again I don't mind developing the knight.
6.Nf3 Bg7
6...Qc7 transposes to 5...Qc7.
6...b5 7.e5 b4 8.Na4 Nh5 9.Be3 Qa5 10.b3 dxe5 11.Bc4 (+/ = ) With good compensation in a non-forcing position.
6...Qa5 7.a3!? Bg7
7...e5 8.Bh6 Bxh6 9.Qxh6 exd4 10.Nxd4 Qh5 11.Qd2!? O-O 12.Be2 Qe5 13.f3 (+/ = ) White is at least a little bit more comfortable.
7...b5?! 8.e5 Nh5 9.Be3 dxe5 10.dxe5 Ng7 11.Nd4 Bb7 12.O-O-O O-O-O 13.f4 (+/ - ) Black's position doen't really make that much sense.
8.Be2 c5
8...e5 9.Bh6 O-O 10.Bxg7!? Kxg7 11.O-O-O (+/ = ) White is very comfortable.
8...O-O 9.Bh6 b5 10.Bxg7!? Kxg7 11.e5 dxe5 12.dxe5 Nxe5 13.Nxe5 b4 14.Nxc6 bxc3 15.Nxa5 cxd2+ 16.Kxd2 (+/ - ) This should be very nice for white with some technique.
9.Be3 Qc7 10.dxc5 Nxc5 11.e5 Nfe4 12.Nxe4 Nxe4 13.Qb4 f5 14.exf6 Nxf6 15.Qb3 d5 16.O-O (+/ = ) to (+/ - ) White looks to have the clear better of it in this IQP position.
7.Bh6
It looks like white should go for this. We now actually go into some analysis from Marin in his 2017 repertoire book on the Pirc.
7...0-0
7...Bxh6 8.Qxh6 Transposes all the way to 4...Bg7. Please remember though; putting the knight on d7 early is probably not the best way to play this Bxh6 setup.
8.e5!?
There is a bit of a choice here. Still a lot of the white moves don't seem obviously threatening to me. Black is after all just a few moves from starting his own play now and has sensible pieces so white may well need to be exact.
8.Bxg7 is given by Marin and seems equivalent as black should probably aim for the same variation in both continuations. It allows different side-variations though. I won't go in to much detail as I prefer "risking" more open play after 8.e5!?
8...dxe5
A definite option is:
8...Bxh6!? 9.Qxh6 dxe5 10.O-O-O!
White sacrifices and plays for long term attacking chances. Now I found two palpable lines for black and many others where he just loses. I will give the two reasonable ones and refer to a future analysis file for the rest.
10...Ng4
10...exd4 11.Rxd4 e5 12.Rh4 Re8 13.Ng5 Nf8 14.Bc4 Be6 15.Bxe6 fxe6 16.Re1 Qe7 17.Rxe5 Rad8 18.Re1 (+/ = )
11.Qh4 exd4 12.Rxd4 h5 13.Bc4!? Ngf6 14.Qg5 Kg7 15.Ne2!? e5 16.Nxe5 Nd5 17.Qxd8!? Rxd8 18.Nxd7 Rxd7 19.Bxd5 Rxd5 20.Rxd5 cxd5 21.Nd4 Bd7 22.Re1 (+/ = )
White is somewhat better in a simplified position.
9.Bxg7 Kxg7 10.dxe5 Ng4
10...Nd5 11.O-O-O N7b6 12.Ne4 Bf5 13.Ng3 e6 14.h4 (+/ - )
11.O-O-O Qb6 12.e6! (Diagram)
As given by Marin.

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One can also consider:
12.h3 Ngxe5 13.Nxe5 Nxe5 14.f4 Nd7 15.g4 ; which gives ok compensation. The other way of sacrificing seems more enticing though.

12...Ndf6!

12...fxe6?! 13.h3 Nxf2 14.Na4 Qc7 15.Qxf2 Qf4+ 16.Kb1 Qxa4 17.h4!
White should be able to build up serious pressure after this. The two extra pawns are not very important positionally. For example:
17...Qf4 18.h5 g5 19.h6+! Kh8 20.Qe1 (+/ - )
White has very good compensation for the two pawns. Black's position is seriously at risk of collapsing.
13.exf7
13.h3 Nxf2 14.Na4 Qc7 15.Qxf2 Qf4+ 16.Kb1 Qxa4 17.exf7 Be6 18.a3 Bxf7 (=) Should be ok for black, as indicated by Marin.
13...Qxf2 14.Bc4 b5 15.Bb3 Qxd2+ 16.Rxd2 (Diagram)

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A position where white can push but where it is also not entirely clear if this will translate to something tangible. All in all I have no huge wisdom to share here. As white play reasonable moves and try to put pressure on black. Black will have to defend somewhat in practically all decent continuations. This makes it all a matter of choice for white at this point (mostly). Black has somewhat of a choice at this specific point as well though...

16...a6 (! - Marin)
This prepares c5-c4, disrupting a good white piece. Instead:

16...a5!? 17.a3 Ra7

17...b4?! 18.Na4 Nd5 19.Re1! Rxf7 20.Bxd5 cxd5 21.Nb6 Rb8 22.Nxc8 bxa3 23.bxa3 Rxc8 24.Rxd5 (+/ = ) White is more active and it is not obvious how black initiates liquidations in an effective manner.
18.h3!? Nh6 19.Re1 b4 20.Na4 Nxf7 21.Rde2 (+/ = ) With good compensation.

17.h3!?
I would be tempted to play this. It appears to be a very banal continuation so the appeal is clear.
17.Re1 is covered by Marin as main move while he does give 17.h3 in a note. Yet...
17...Nh6 18.g4!?
Is not mentioned (only 18.Ng5). I would probably play it though since it appears to me it counters black's current main positional idea of c5-c4. How you may ask? Well. There is a fork coming so even if black traps the b3 bishop it would not be in a complexity-free environment. He can also try to forget the c5-c4 plan, but then it is not obvious he has played in the best manner as I see it.
18...c5
18...a5!? 19.g5 a4 20.gxh6+ Kxh6 21.Bxa4 bxa4 22.Re1 Kg7 23.h4 a3 24.b3 (+/ = )
White seems more compact in the play to come. I think he should have a small advantage.

18...Nxf7 19.Re1 e6
19...e5 20.Bxf7 Rxf7 21.Nxe5 Re7 22.Rd6 (+/ = ) White is very active.
20.Bxe6 Bxe6
20...Re8 21.Bxf7 Rxe1+ 22.Nxe1 Kxf7 23.Rd6!? (+/ = ) White is more active and black has weakened himself at least slightly.
21.Rxe6 Rac8 22.g5!? Nh5 23.Rd7 (+/ = )
White has got real activity. I think this is risky for black.

19.g5 c4 20.Bxc4 bxc4 21.gxh6+ Kxh6 22.Re1 Kg7 23.h4 (+/ = ) (Diagram)
Potentially black is ok but this looks comfortable for white.

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That is it for 4...c6 I think.

Have a nice night.
  
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MNb
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Re: Pirc 4 Bf4: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #79 - 12/13/18 at 09:33:53
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MNb wrote on 12/08/18 at 19:26:44:
Another important question is when exactly to play f2-f3. CbT gives 1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Bf4 Bg7 5.Qd2 O-O 6.O-O-O c6 7.Bh6 b5 8.f3 while I'd arrive via 4.Be3 Bg7 5.Qd2 O-O 6.O-O-O c6 7.f3 b5 (best move anyway - without this move Black can't develop sufficient counterplay) 8.Bh6. However iso 8.Bh6 White has an equally dangerous move, namely 8.h4 when h5 is best. With the bishop on f4 iso e3 the line has never been tried afaIk.


Confused_by_Theory wrote on 12/12/18 at 21:35:39:
If 8...h5 is best ....
Maybe the same idea can even work with the bishop on e3 also.

You're right: especially when starting the typical sacrificial attack with g2-g4 it might make a difference having the bishop on e3 or f4.
Other moves than 8...h5 allow White the very, very nice choice between playing h4-h5 at once or playing Be3(f4)-h6 transposing. That choice is denied to White when Black plays 5...c6 6.Bh6 O-O. And that again makes it important to look at other moves than 7.O-O-O.
Mover order here is important, all the more because there are no clear answers.
I'm looking forward to your posts about 4...c6, because it seems to me that it's here that the benefits of 4.Bf4 iso 4.Be3 become clear.
  

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Re: Pirc 4 Bf4: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #78 - 12/12/18 at 21:39:47
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Hi.

4...c6 was the next thing to look at here. It will be a few days. As I recall we looked at this at some point though, so it shouldn't be horribly hard.

Have a nice day.
  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bf4: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #77 - 12/12/18 at 21:35:39
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Hi.

MNb wrote on 12/08/18 at 18:05:36:
It should be noted that 5...O-O 6.Bh6 c6 is especially important because of 5...c6 6.Bh6 O-O.
Indeed.

MNb wrote on 12/08/18 at 19:26:44:
Another important question is when exactly to play f2-f3. CbT gives 1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Bf4 Bg7 5.Qd2 O-O 6.O-O-O c6 7.Bh6 b5 8.f3 while I'd arrive via 4.Be3 Bg7 5.Qd2 O-O 6.O-O-O c6 7.f3 b5 (best move anyway - without this move Black can't develop sufficient counterplay) 8.Bh6. However iso 8.Bh6 White has an equally dangerous move, namely 8.h4 when h5 is best. With the bishop on f4 iso e3 the line has never been tried afaIk.
If 8...h5 is best then something like this seems like easy initiative for white:
1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Bf4 Bg7 5.Qd2 0-0 6.0-0-0 c6 7.f3 b5 8.h4 h5 9.Nce2!? Nbd7
Other moves are similar.
10.g4 hxg4 11.Ng3!

Maybe the same idea can even work with the bishop on e3 also.

MNb wrote on 12/08/18 at 19:26:44:
More important is 8...Be6 (not mentioned by CbT) 9.h4 Qa5 10.h5 transposing to 8...Qa5. Black won in Jeras-Vavpetic, SLO 1996 with 9...Nbd7 10.Kb1 (10.h5!? but White had played Kb1 at an earlier stage) Nb6 11.h5 b4 12.Bxg7 Kxg7 13.hxg6 fxg6 14.Qh6+ Kg8 15.Nce2 (15.e5!?) Na4 but 16.Nh3 looks strong.
I Missed that move in the post. Did look at it though and I think both transposing to 8...Qa5 and the following looks good:
1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Bf4 Bg7 5.Qd2 0-0 6.0-0-0 c6 7.Bh6 b5 8.f3 Be6 9.Bxg7 Kxg7 10.d5
White seems better.

MNb wrote on 12/08/18 at 19:26:44:
8...Qa5 9.h4 (9.Kb1? Bxh6 10.Qxh6 Be6! Mola-Sarno, Arvier 2003) b4 10.Nb1 (no a7-a5-a4 here; not that White had a choice) and according to IM Vigus Ba6 is critical; CbT and I agree: 11.h5 Bxf1 12.Rxf1 Nbd7 13.Bxg7 Kxg7 14.hxg6 fxg6 15.Qh6+ Kg8 16.Nh3 Rf7 17.Ng5 Rg7 Ulbig-Mehlhorn, corr 2016, 18.f4 Nf8 is unclear (Vigus). CbT's 15.Nh3 is an attempt to improve; after Qxa2 16.Ng5 Kg8 (CbT) I suggest 17.Rh6!?
Another attacking idea is 11.Bxa6 (iso 11.h5) Nxa6 12.h5 Nc7 13.Bxg7 Kxg7 14.Ne2 Ne6 15.hxg6 fxg6 16.Qh6+ Kg8 17.Qh3 Tornow-Mehlhorn, corr 2017.

This also seems good. Compared to my 17.Re1 a bit more direct as well. Maybe easier overall.

Have a nice day.
  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bf4: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #76 - 12/08/18 at 19:26:44
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Another important question is when exactly to play f2-f3. CbT gives 1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Bf4 Bg7 5.Qd2 O-O 6.O-O-O c6 7.Bh6 b5 8.f3 while I'd arrive via 4.Be3 Bg7 5.Qd2 O-O 6.O-O-O c6 7.f3 b5 (best move anyway - without this move Black can't develop sufficient counterplay) 8.Bh6. However iso 8.Bh6 White has an equally dangerous move, namely 8.h4 when h5 is best. With the bishop on f4 iso e3 the line has never been tried afaIk.
Black has two more options at move 8 (assuming White has played Bh6).

8...a5 9.h4 Nbd7 10.h5 a4 11.Bxg7 Kxg7 12.hxg6 fxg6 13.Qh6+ Kg8 14.e5 is a typical idea to decide the game.

More important is 8...Be6 (not mentioned by CbT) 9.h4 Qa5 10.h5 transposing to 8...Qa5. Black won in Jeras-Vavpetic, SLO 1996 with 9...Nbd7 10.Kb1 (10.h5!? but White had played Kb1 at an earlier stage) Nb6 11.h5 b4 12.Bxg7 Kxg7 13.hxg6 fxg6 14.Qh6+ Kg8 15.Nce2 (15.e5!?) Na4 but 16.Nh3 looks strong.

The two moves presented by CbT are the most important ones:

8...b4 9.Nce2 (I distrust 9.Nb1 because indeed the knight is misplaced here and Black hence can try a5!? as in Ginzburg-Scalise, Villa Martelli 2000) and the main line of my analysis runs Qa5 10.Kb1 Be6 (Black does amazingly well in practice) 11.Nc1 Nbd7 12.h4 (makes me kind of wish I'd played it on the 8th move) Rfc8 13.Bxg7 Kxg7 14.h5 Nxh5 15.g4 Nhf6 16.Qh6+ Kg8 Guido-Gaido, Montecatini Terme 1994, and I like 17.g5 Nh5 18.f4 Bg4 19.Be2 and White has his/her attack going.

8...Qa5 9.h4 (9.Kb1? Bxh6 10.Qxh6 Be6! Mola-Sarno, Arvier 2003) b4 10.Nb1 (no a7-a5-a4 here; not that White had a choice) and according to IM Vigus Ba6 is critical; CbT and I agree: 11.h5 Bxf1 12.Rxf1 Nbd7 13.Bxg7 Kxg7 14.hxg6 fxg6 15.Qh6+ Kg8 16.Nh3 Rf7 17.Ng5 Rg7 Ulbig-Mehlhorn, corr 2016, 18.f4 Nf8 is unclear (Vigus). CbT's 15.Nh3 is an attempt to improve; after Qxa2 16.Ng5 Kg8 (CbT) I suggest 17.Rh6!?
Another attacking idea is 11.Bxa6 (iso 11.h5) Nxa6 12.h5 Nc7 13.Bxg7 Kxg7 14.Ne2 Ne6 15.hxg6 fxg6 16.Qh6+ Kg8 17.Qh3 Tornow-Mehlhorn, corr 2017.

It's peculiar that Black apparently gets to decide whether White will play Nb1 (a pawn sacrifice already known by the Argentinean players who pioneered this variation via 4.f3 and 5.Be3) or Nce2. Often White will transpose after 8.h4 (iso Bh6) by playing Bh6 a bit later, but equally often the typical pawn sac 9.h5 is dangerous. It's not clear to me which is stronger and again the transposition 5...c6 6.Bh6 O-O plays an important role - can White postpone castling queenside? That might allow Donner's defense with ...e5 and ...Qe7 again.
  

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Re: Pirc 4 Bf4: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #75 - 12/08/18 at 18:05:36
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It should be noted that 5...O-O 6.Bh6 c6 is especially important because of 5...c6 6.Bh6 O-O.
After 5...O-O 6.Bh6 Black has other moves and especially Bxh6 7.Qxh6 e5 deserves attention; as shown in Ree-Donner, NEDch 1967 Black's position is extremely hard to crack when the queen goes to e7. This is an underrated but very important defensive idea after Be3 (or Bf4 or Bg5) -h6, assuming that Black has castled.
Obviously 5...O-O 6.O-O-O c6 7.Bh6 Bxh6 8.Qxh6 e5?? and 7.f3 b5 8.Bh6 Bxh6 9.Qxh6 e5?? don't work.
  

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Re: Pirc 4 Bf4: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #74 - 12/08/18 at 16:24:21
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Part 4: Castling - when our opponent does it we hope it's less good

1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Bf4 Bg7 5.Qd2
This again. But what if instead of 5...c6 black tries:

(A2) 5...0-0
Both natural and in some ways quite flexible move. No pieces or pawns have had their places determined. Black's hope is that he will know better what will be a judicious setup for him after he has seen one more move from white. While in a more general sense this can be part of good strategy castling actually gives white attacking possibilities. Starting at move six I recommend:
6.0-0-0 (Diagram)

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6.Bh6
Is another way of going about things. One of the main points is that
6...c6 7.h4
Is dangerous for black and pretty much forces him to go forego his most active plan involving moving the b-pawn due to:
7...b5 8.Bxg7 Kxg7 9.h5
White has good initiative despite not having done much for his position besides playing the typical hack moves.

Not a bad alternative overall really. Check John Shaw's book for more lines.

6...c6
After white's castling playing for an immediate c5 or e5 becomes problematic. This has made 6...c6 black's main way of handling the position.
7.Bh6
Of similar value appears to be 7.f3. Black can't really do much but accept the fact that he is going to be under some pressure on the kingside. Probably he should go 7...b5. The following radical way of playing would not be so dumb if it worked as intended; neutralising white's kingside chances before they even became something tangible. The problem is that white is not forced to play for hack attacks in order to disturb black's position.
7.f3 h5!? 8.Kb1! b5 9.e5 dxe5 10.dxe5 Qxd2 11.Bxd2 Ne8 12.f4 (+/=) White is better.
7.Kb1 b5 8.f3 Seems less flexible compared to 7.Bh6.
7...b5
Alternatives look problematic.

7...Qa5 8.h4! Bxh6 9.Qxh6 Ng4
9...b5 10.h5 Ng4 11.Qd2 (+/ - ) Black does not have enough compensation.
10.Qd2 c5 11.dxc5!?
11.f3 cxd4 12.Nd5!? Qxd2+ 13.Rxd2 Ne3 14.Nxe7+ Kg7 15.Ne2 Be6 16.Nxd4 Re8 17.Nd5 Bxd5 18.exd5 (+/ = ) Black is a pawn down for not much. Technically this should be good for white.
11...Qxc5 12.Nh3 Be6 13.h5 (+/ = ) With a good amount of positional pressure for white.

7...Bxh6 8.Qxh6 b5
8...Qa5 9.h4 Transposes to 7...Qa5.
8...Ng4 9.Qd2 b5; 9...Qa5 10.Nf3 Nd7 11.h3 Ngf6 12.Qh6 (+/ - ) Black has problems positionally.; 10.h4 b4 11.Nb1 Nf6 12.h5! Nxe4 13.Qh6 g5 14.Bd3 f5 15.Bxe4 fxe4 16.Qxg5+ Kh8 17.Nd2 (+/ - ) Black has an unenviable position.
9.e5!?
This becomes pretty forcing since black can not afford to have his pieces driven back. Instead:
9.f3 b4 10.Nb1 Transposes to 7...b5.
9...dxe5 10.dxe5 Ng4 11.Qh4! Qc7
11...Qb6 12.Ne4 Qc7 13.Nf3 Na6 14.e6 Bxe6 15.Nfg5 h5 16.h3 Nf6 17.Nxe6 fxe6 18.Ng5 Qa5 19.Kb1 Rad8 20.Be2 (+/ = ) With good positional compensation.
12.Nf3 Nxe5 13.Be2 Nxf3
This seems best. Instead:
13...a5 14.Ng5 h5 15.Qg3 f6 16.Nf3 Kh7 17.Rhe1 Ra7 18.Nh4 g5 19.Bxh5 Rg8 20.Nf3 (+/ = ) With some advantage for white in a slightly strange position.
13...Na6 14.Nxe5 Qxe5 15.Rhe1 Qc7 16.Bf3 Be6 17.Qh6 Rad8 18.Re4 Bf5 19.Rh4 g5 20.Qxg5+ Bg6 21.Rhd4 Rxd4 22.Rxd4 b4 23.Ne4 (+/ = ) White has better centralisation and less weaknesses.
13...Ng4!? 14.Ne4 f6!? 15.h3!? Ne5 16.Nxe5 Qxe5 17.Rhe1 Qc7 18.Nc3 a6 19.f4 (+/ = ) Since black has weakened his kingside and white is well placed with his pieces this will be good compensation.
14.Bxf3 Be6
14...Na6 15.Rhe1 Be6 transposes.
15.Rhe1 Na6
15...Nd7 16.Qxe7 Qf4+ 17.Rd2 Nb6 18.Re4 Qxh2 19.Rh4 Qe5 20.Bxc6 (+/ - ) White is a lot more active.
16.Qh6 Rad8 17.Re4 Bf5 18.Rh4 g5 19.Qxg5+ Bg6 20.Re1 (+/ = ) White should be somewhat better.

8.f3 b4

It is not obvious what is best here for black. A serious alternative exists in 8...Qa5. This was also the 2009 "Dangerous Weapons The Pirc And The Modern" recommendation.

8...Qa5 9.h4!
9.Kb1?! Bxh6 10.Qxh6 Be6 11.e5 dxe5 12.dxe5 b4 13.exf6 exf6 14.Nge2 bxc3 15.Nxc3 Nd7 (=) Black is OK.
9.Bxg7?! Kxg7 10.e5 dxe5 11.dxe5 Ng8 Neither side is greatly placed. Black should be about OK.
9...b4
I could find little better.

9...Be6 10.h5 b4 11.Nb1 Nbd7 12.Bxg7 Kxg7 13.a3!?
Maybe a bit simpler compared to 13.hxg6 in DW: Pirc Modern. Basically I am not really impressed by black's position and think white can play calmly.
13...Rab8 14.hxg6 fxg6 15.b3 (+/ = ) (Diagram)
White should be able to absorb active attempts by black. If he can play a long middlegame it looks to me like black will have more weaknesses to worry about.

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9...Bxh6 10.Qxh6 b4 11.Nb1 Ba6 12.Nh3!? Bxf1 13.Rdxf1 Qh5 14.Qd2 Nbd7
14...Qa5 15.h5 Nxh5 16.Qh6 f6 17.f4 Rf7 18.f5 (+/ - ) With great pressure for the pawn.
15.e5 dxe5 16.g4 Qxh4 17.Rfg1 h6 18.dxe5 Nxe5 19.Nf2 Nxf3 20.Rxh4 Nxd2 21.Nxd2 (+/ - ) There is not enough compensation.

9...Nbd7 10.h5 b4 11.Nb1 (+/ = ) As given by Vigus 2009 is a decent initiative for white.

10.Nb1 Ba6
It makes sense on a positional level to exchange the bishops like this and it is the mainline in DW: Pirc Modern. I have an idea of how to face it but before this is discussed it makes sense to note that there are quite a few alternatives; although most are quite bad.

10...Qxa2
Is not such an important pawn. I will give my mainline of analysis and refer to a future analysis file for more.
11.h5 Nbd7 12.g4 a5 13.Bxg7 Kxg7 14.hxg6 fxg6 15.Qh6+ Kg8 16.g5 a4 17.gxf6 Nxf6 18.e5 Nh5 19.Bd3 Qf7 20.Ne2 Bf5 21.Bxf5 Qxf5 22.Rdg1 Kh8 23.Ng3 Qf4+ 24.Qxf4 Nxf4 25.Nd2 (+/ - ) Black does not have full compensation.

10...Bxh6 11.Qxh6 Rd8?
DW: Pirc Modern p.21 This was briefly mentioned in DW: Pirc Modern but seems way to risky.
12.h5 Qxa2 13.g4 (+/ - ) Black will get crushed on the kingside.

10...Nh5 11.Ne2 Ba6 12.Bxg7 Nxg7 13.a3 Nd7 14.axb4 (+/ - )
10...Be6 11.h5 Transposes to 9...Be6

11.Bxg7
11.Nh3?! Bxf1 12.Rdxf1 Qxa2 (∞) White does not appear to have anything great even if he has his pieces positioned quite well.
11...Kxg7 12.h5 Bxf1 13.Rxf1 Nbd7 14.hxg6 fxg6 15.Nh3!
Not exactly caring about black's play and just getting an important piece in play. 15.Qh6+ is covered in DW: Pirc Modern and also looks good.
15...Qxa2
15...Kg8 16.Re1! e5 17.dxe5 dxe5 18.Rd1 (+/ - ) White is very much for choice.
15...c5 16.Ng5 Qxa2 17.Nxh7 Nxh7 18.Qh6+ Kf7 19.Qxh7+ Ke8 20.Qxg6+ Qf7 21.Qxf7+ Kxf7 22.dxc5 Nxc5 23.Nd2 (+/ - )
16.Ng5 Kg8 17.Re1 Nb6
17...e5? 18.Rh6 a5 19.Reh1 a4 20.Nxh7! a3 21.Nxf6+ Nxf6 22.Qg5 Qxb2+ 23.Kd2 Qxd4+ 24.Kc1 Qb2+ 25.Kd1 Qxb1+ 26.Kd2 Nxe4+ 27.fxe4 Rf2+ 28.Ke3 Re2+ 29.Kxe2 Qxc2+ 30.Ke3 Qc5+ 31.Kf3 Rf8+ 32.Kg4 Rf4+ 33.Kh3 Qe3+ 34.g3 Qxe4 35.Qd8+ Rf8 36.Rh8+ Kxh8 37.Qxf8+ Kh7 38.Rf1 Qf5+ 39.Rxf5 gxf5 40.Qxf5+ (+ - ) White wins.
18.b3 a5 19.e5 dxe5 20.Qd3 e4
20...a4 21.Rxh7! e4 22.Rxe4 Nxh7 23.Re6 Rf7 24.Rxg6+ Kf8 25.Ne6+ Ke8 26.Rg8+ Nf8 27.Qg6 (+ - )
21.Rxe4 Nbd5 22.Reh4 Rf7 23.Nxf7 Kxf7 24.Rxh7+ Ke6 25.Qxg6 (+/ - ) White is better in a strange position.

9.Nb1!?
White does somewhat misplace his knight and going 9.Nce2 might be stronger. Now it does look like black should invite white's queen though and that is in some ways potentially a bit risky.
9...Bxh6
9...Ba6 10.Bxg7 Kxg7 11.Qxb4 (+/ = )
9...Nbd7 10.h4 e5 11.Bxg7 Kxg7 12.dxe5 Nxe5 13.Qxb4 d5 14.Nc3 Be6 15.Nge2 (+/ - )
9...Qb6 10.h4 Nh5 11.Rh2 f5 12.Bc4+ d5 13.exd5 (+/ - )
9...Qa5 10.h4 Transposes to 8...Qa5.
10.Qxh6
Black, who has played a bit risky so far, now needs to play something smart and anticipate a white initiative. If he does not do this he risks losing quite fast. There are two moves.
10...Qc7!
10...Kh8!? 11.h4 Rg8 12.g4 (+/ = ) White should be a little better thanks to his space advantage. Play is very non-forcing so providing a clear projection of what play might look like seems hard.
11.h4 c5 12.Ne2 cxd4 13.Nxd4 Nc6 14.h5 (Diagram)
This looks like a good place to take stock of the position. Both sides will try to attack and if white wants something he probably needs to display some accuracy in the play to come.

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14...Ne5
14...Nxd4? 15.Rxd4 Nxh5 16.g4 Nf6 17.Rd2!? Qb6 18.e5 dxe5 19.g5 Nh5 20.Bd3 Bb7 21.Rxh5 Qg1+ 22.Rd1 Qxd1+ 23.Kxd1 Bxf3+ 24.Be2 Bxh5 25.Bxh5 gxh5 26.Qxh5 (+ - )
15.g4
Remarkably white's possibilities looks to be diminished if he plays even one slow move e.g.
15.Nd2?! 15...a5! 16.g4 a4 17.hxg6 fxg6 18.g5 Nh5 19.Rxh5 gxh5 20.Bc4+ Nxc4 21.Nb5 Qb7 22.Nxc4 b3 23.g6 e5 24.Nbxd6 Qg7 25.gxh7+ Kh8 26.Nf7+ Qxf7 27.Nxe5 Qf4+ 28.Qxf4 Rxf4 29.Ng6+ Kxh7 30.Nxf4 bxa2 (∞)
Black has two dangerous passers which collude to give him counterchances.
15...Bd7
15...a5 16.Bh3! e6 17.Qg5 Qd8 18.Qh4 gxh5 19.gxh5 Kh8 20.f4 Ned7 21.Bxe6 fxe6 22.Nxe6 Qe8 23.Nxf8 Qxf8 24.Rhe1 (+/ = ) White seems better, potentially much so, even if the position has not been totally resolved.
16.Nd2
Only now after black played a relatively slow last move does this knight come out.
16...Kh8 17.Bb5 Rg8
17...a5 18.hxg6 fxg6 19.Nc4 Nxc4 20.g5 Rf7 21.gxf6 Bxb5 22.Nxb5 Qc5 23.Rd5 Qe3+ 24.Qxe3 Nxe3 (+/=) May be preferable but still looks to lead to clearly worse endgames.
18.hxg6 fxg6 19.Kb1 a5 20.Bxd7 Qxd7 21.Nf1 a4! (Diagram)
It is important for black to do something before white gets his pieces in order.

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22.Ne3 a3
22...b3 23.cxb3 axb3 24.a3 Rg7 25.Nd5 (+/ - ) Changes to little.
23.b3 e6 24.Ng2!?
There are lots of interesting continuations here and a deep analysis might prove fruitful. I settled for this mildly mysterious knight move though, since it allows the queen to centralise.

24.f4 Is probably to direct.
24.Qh2 looks like an alternative, though I reckon the queen will get involved anyway.

24...Rg7 25.Qe3!? (+/=) (Diagram)

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Is a position where white keeps control and should likely be somewhat better. Black does have weaknesses and there there is quite literally lots of room for white to manouvre as the game goes on.

Have a nice day.
  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bf4: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #73 - 11/29/18 at 05:40:06
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Hi.

MNb wrote on 11/29/18 at 04:57:18:
10.O-O-O still is a great find.
It made several of my days very nice!

Very nice even. Smiley

For me I too find it an uplifting find. Have yet to have the chance to play it though. Despite having gone something like 4.Be3, 4.Bg5, 4.Bf4, 4.Bg5 in my last (white) Pirc games. Some day... Roll Eyes

Have a nice day.
  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bf4: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #72 - 11/29/18 at 04:57:18
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10.O-O-O still is a great find.
It made several of my days very nice!
  

The book had the effect good books usually have: it made the stupids more stupid, the intelligent more intelligent and the other thousands of readers remained unchanged.
GC Lichtenberg
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Re: Pirc 4 Bf4: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #71 - 11/28/18 at 16:15:48
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Part 3: The mainline that got castled into, 7...Qa5 with 10.0-0-0

1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Bf4 Bg7 5.Qd2 c6 6.Bh6 Bxh6 7.Qxh6
Now making an active queen move is most popular by far and appears the second major variation to look at.
(A1B) 7...Qa5 8.Bd3 c5
This seems like the only attempt at equalising. Black can possibly develop some piece instead but white will be happy.
9.d5 Nbd7
Little else exists as decent alternative.
9...c4? 10.Bxc4 Qc5 11.Be2 (+ - ) Is a clear extra pawn, since tactics on f2 doesn't work without a knight on f3.
9...b5 10.Bxb5+ Nbd7 11.Qd2 Rb8 12.Bxd7+ Bxd7 13.Rb1 (+/ - ) Black does not look to have nearly enough compensation.
9...Bd7 10.0-0-0 is comfortable for white.
The following could perhaps be contemplated. Trouble is that white meets it much the same way as he does with 9...Nbd7.

9...a6!? 10.0-0-0! Ng4
10...b5 11.e5 dxe5 12.Nf3 Nbd7 13.Rhe1 (+/-)
10...Nbd7 11.Nf3 Ng4 12.Qg7 Rf8 13.e5 Ngxe5 14.Nxe5 dxe5? 15.Rhe1 Qb6 16.Ne4 Nf6 17.d6 Nxe4 18.dxe7 Kxe7 19.Qxe5+ Be6 20.Bxe4 (+/-)
11.Qg7 Rf8 12.Nf3! Nd7
12...Nxf2?! 13.Ng5 Nxd1 14.Rxd1 Bg4 15.Nxh7 Nd7 16.Rf1 O-O-O 17.Nxf8 Rxf8 18.h3 (+/-)
13.e5! Ndxe5 14.Nxe5 Nxe5 15.Rhe1 (+/-) (Diagram) White has very good compensation.

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If we go back to the main move 9...Nbd7. Many have realised that after the almost automatic 10.Nf3 there is the following trick:
9...Nbd7 10.Nf3 c4! 11.Bxc4 Qc5 12.Bd3!?
This square is not the only one available but alternatives are not obviously more threatening.
12...Qxf2+! 13.Kxf2 Ng4+ 14.Kg3!?
Again other squares are possible.
14...Nxh6 (Diagram)

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Instead of allowing this late middlegame with a let's squeeze something out attitude I prefer the more direct:
10.0-0-0!! (Diagram)

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This looks weird but is at the same time quite natural. The immediate tactical problems are sidestepped, white keeps flexibility with his knight and f-pawn (augmenting white's possibilities) and long castling also develops meaning black can't just meet it any which way.
10...b5!?
Others are not obviously sufficient so I think black might as well go for the most active.
10...a6 11.Nf3 b5
11...Ng4 12.Qh4 Nge5 13.Nxe5 Nxe5 14.f4 Nxd3+ 15.Rxd3 b5 16.Kb1 b4 17.Ne2 (+/ = ) to (+/ - ) Black faces no immediate danger. Also important though are positional factors and here black has the clear worst of it.
12.e5 dxe5
12...Nxe5?! 13.Nxe5 dxe5 14.d6! (+/ - )
13.Rhe1 Qc7
13...Qb6 14.d6 exd6 15.Ng5 Bb7 16.Be4 d5 17.Bxd5 Nxd5 18.Nxd5 Bxd5 19.Rxd5 O-O-O 20.Nxf7 Qe6 21.Nd6+ Kb8 22.Qd2 Nb6 23.Rexe5 Qf6 24.Ne4 Rxd5 25.Rxd5 Qh4 26.Re5 Rd8 27.Qg5 Qxg5+ 28.Nxg5 (+ - )
13...b4? 14.Nxe5 Nxe5 15.Rxe5 bxc3 16.Qg7 Rg8 17.Qxf6 (+/ - )
14.d6 exd6 15.Bxb5 Bb7 16.Bxd7+ Nxd7 17.Ng5 Nb6 18.f4 O-O-O 19.fxe5 dxe5 20.Rxd8+ Rxd8 21.Qxh7 (+/ - ) With pressure for white and definite black weaknesses.

10...Rb8 11.Bb5! a6 12.Bxd7+ Bxd7 13.e5! dxe5 14.Nf3 Bg4
14...b5 15.Nxe5 b4?! 16.d6 bxc3?! 17.Qg7 Rf8 18.dxe7 cxb2+ 19.Kb1 Kxe7 20.Rhe1 (+ - )
15.d6 Bxf3 16.gxf3 Qd8 17.Ne4 (+ - ) Black will almost certainly fall apart soon. He has no king safety, own play or rooks.

10...Ng4 11.Qh4 Nge5 12.f4 Nxd3+ 13.Rxd3 c4
13...Nb6 14.Nf3 Bd7 15.Nd2 f6 16.e5 O-O-O 17.a3!? (+/ - ) Black has a middlegame to look forward to that should be very much prospectless.
13...b5 14.e5 dxe5 15.d6 exd6 16.Nh3 f6 17.Rxd6 O-O 18.Rhd1 Nb6 19.a3 Bxh3 20.Qxh3 b4 21.Ne4 bxa3 22.bxa3 (+ - ) With quite dangerous threats for white.
14.Re3 b5 15.e5 dxe5 16.fxe5 Bb7 17.Nf3 O-O-O 18.a3 Nb6 19.d6! exd6 20.Ng5 Nd5 21.Nxd5 Bxd5 22.Rd1 h6 23.Rxd5 hxg5 24.Qg4+ Kb8 25.Qg3 dxe5 26.Rdxe5 Qd2+ 27.Kb1 Qd1+ 28.Ka2 Ka8 29.Re1 Qd7 30.Re7 Qd4 31.R1e5 Qb6 32.Rxf7 (+/ - ) With a fairly dominating position for white.

10...Nb6 11.e5 dxe5 12.Nf3 c4 13.Bxg6 fxg6 14.d6 exd6 15.Rxd6 Bd7 16.Qg7 O-O-O 17.Qxf6 (+/ - ) Should pose problems for black, who is not the best coordinated.

10...Ne5 11.Nf3 Nxf3 12.gxf3 Bd7 13.e5!?
3.Rhe1 O-O-O 14.e5 dxe5 15.Rxe5 e6 16.Bc4 exd5 17.Bxd5 Nxd5 18.Rdxd5 Bc6 19.Rxc5 Qa6 20.Qh3+ Kb8 21.Re1 (+/ = )
13...dxe5 14.d6 exd6 15.Qg7 Ke7 16.Bc4 Raf8 17.Rxd6 Kxd6 18.Qxf6+ Kc7 19.Nd5+ Kc8 20.Rd1 (+/ - ) With good activity and more than sufficient compensation for white.

11.Bxb5 Rb8 12.Bc6! (Diagram)

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This position is quite interesting. Black has given up a pawn but gained an open file towards the white king. Normally this would be enough compensation but to me it looks like back does not have much to back up his b-line pressure.
12...Kd8!?
This seems desperate although the alternative appears to be going for counterplay directly and this is not obviously a good strategy.

12...Ba6? 13.e5 dxe5 14.a3! (+/ - ) Black's pieces are pointing at to many different squares.
12...Rxb2 13.Kxb2 Qb4+ 14.Kc1 Qxc3 15.Ne2 Qa3+ 16.Kb1 Qb4+ 17.Ka1 Qxe4 18.Nc3 Qxc2 19.Nb5 Kd8 20.Rd2 Qf5 (+/ - ) Black is having quite severe coordination problems.
12...Qb4!? 13.Nf3! Qxb2+ 14.Kd2 Rb4 15.Rb1 Qa3 16.e5!? dxe5 17.Nxe5 Rd4+ 18.Nd3 Kd8 19.Nb5 Qa5+ 20.Kd1 Qxa2 21.Qc1 Nxd5 22.Rb3 (+/ = ) White should have at least slightly better chances.

13.Bxd7 Bxd7
Taking like this is probably necessary to diminish black's possibilities to activate his pieces in the most effective manner.
14.Nge2!
This seems like the most exact move. Directly going after b2 now is not so great. Instead:
14...Ng4! (Diagram)

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15.Qf4
15.Qh4 g5!?
15...f5 16.exf5 Qb4 17.b3 Bxf5 18.h3 Qa3+ 19.Kd2 Nf6 20.f3 Rb4 21.Qh6 Rg8 22.h4 (+/ = ) Is probably good for white as he has kept his extra pawn and has many ideas of how to kick away or nullify the effectiveness of black's pieces.
16.Qg3 h5!?
16...Ne5 17.b3 h6 18.Kb1 Qa3 19.Ka1 f5 20.f4 Nc4 21.Rb1 Nd2 22.Rbe1 fxe4 23.Nb1 Nxb1 24.Rxb1 (+/ = )
17.h4 Ne5 18.b3 Qa3+ 19.Kd2 g4 (∞) to (+/ = ) Again. This is hard to asses. White is up a pawn although it is not totally obvious what he should do to break out.
15...f5 16.b3 h6
16...fxe4 17.h3 g5 18.Qg3 Qa3+ 19.Kb1 Nf6 20.Qxg5 Rg8 21.Qe3 Rxg2 22.Nf4 (+/ = ) White looks a bit better. He targets e4, has fairly good pieces and is placed solidly enough to parry active attempts by black.
17.Qg3 fxe4 18.Nxe4 Qxa2 19.Qc3 Rf8 20.f3 Nf6 21.Nxf6 Rxf6 22.Kd2 Qa6 23.Rhe1 (+/ = ) (Diagram) Arguably white will be more comfortable in this late middlegame. He has good centralisation and not as many weaknesses as black.

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That was it. Mainly I have reposted analysis posted on chesspub earlier so nothing seriously fresh. A file will be posted later.
  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bf4: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #70 - 11/12/18 at 09:48:39
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Part 2: 7...e5 with the critical 19...Nd4

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 Nd4! (Diagram)

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Black plans to go directly for f7-f5, maxmising the effect of already having a rook on f8 and hitting white at the earliest opportunity. There is now a threat to the c2 pawn so white has only two moves that make sense. I will take 20.Rac1 as mainline even though it may well be that it is more promising to go with the other rook (a move I'll cover as well). The plan behind Rfc1 would be to keep the a1 rook on a1 with the hope of giving extra punch to an eventual a4.
20.Rac1

20.Rfc1 f5 21.exf5 gxf5 22.Ne2 f4 23.Qh3+
23.Qe4 Nxe2+ 24.Qxe2 f3 25.Qe4 Qf6 26.Rd1 fxg2 27.Rxd8+ Rxd8 (+/ = ) to (=) For what it's worth white looks a little bit better, although making progress does not look given.
23...Ne6
23...Qe6?! 24.Qxe6+ Nxe6 25.Rd1 Kc7 (+/ = ) It's not going to be easy to convert but white looks a little better here with no queens on and a clear extra pawn.
24.Rd1 Rde8! (Diagram)

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Black's piece arrangement looks mildly weird now but ok... The idea should be something like that by setting up compactly black gets chances to decide when and how he starts attacking white's kingside. White now has quite many attempts but most look possible to defuse for black. If black wanted to force play he could have tried:
24...f3 25.Nc3 Rxd1+ 26.Rxd1 fxg2 27.Ne4 Kb8 (+/ = ) Which looks less solid to me. Crucially though, it looks to give white to well placed pieces for black to be able to aspire for equality.

25.c4

25.a4 b4 26.Nc1 e4 27.Nb3 f3 28.g3 e3 29.fxe3 Qg5 30.Rd2 Qxe3+ (=) With counterplay.
25.Qf3 Kb7 26.b4 axb4 27.a4; 27.axb4 Qxb4 (∞) I can't see a way through for white.; 27...e4 28.Qxe4 Nc7! 29.Qxe7 Rxe7 30.Nc1 c5 31.Nd3 Kc6 (∞) Black's activity compensates the pawn deficit.
25.Nc3 Kb8 26.a4 Nd4 27.axb5 Rh8 28.Qd3 Qh4 29.h3 Reg8 (∞) Is counterplay.
25...f3 26.Ng3 Kb8 27.cxb5 cxb5 28.Rd5 Nd4 29.Qh6
29.Rc1 Qg7; 29...Rd8!? 30.Rxd8+ Qxd8 31.Qh6 Rf7 32.gxf3 Nxf3+ 33.Kh1 Qd5 34.Qb6+ Rb7 35.Qc6 Rh7 36.Nf1 Qxc6 37.Rxc6 Kb7 38.Rc1 Kb6 39.Kg2 e4 (=) to (+/ = ) Black should be able to hold.; 30.Rcc5 Rd8 31.Rxd4; 31.Rxb5+ Nxb5 32.Rxb5+ Kc7 33.gxf3 Qf7 34.Rc5+ Kb6 35.Rc3 Rh8 36.Qg4 Rd1+ 37.Kg2 Rd4 38.Qf5 Qxf5 39.Nxf5 Rg8+ 40.Ng3 (=) I Don't see how any side can win with accurate play.; 31...Rxd4 32.Rxb5+ Kc7 33.gxf3 Qf7 34.Rc5+ Kb8 35.Rc3 e4 36.Qf1 Qd7 37.Qe2 Rd1+ 38.Kg2 exf3+ 39.Rxf3 Rxf3 40.Qxf3 Rd4!? (=) Black should not be worse objectively.
29...Rf6 30.Qe3!? Qe6 31.Rc5 fxg2 32.Rd1 Kb7 33.b4
33.a4 Qg4 34.Rxd4 Qxd4 35.Rxb5+ Kc7 36.Qc1+ Rc6 37.Qg5 Rb6 38.Rxa5 Rxb2 (∞)
33.Ne4 Qg4 34.Rxd4 exd4 35.Rxb5+ Ka6 36.Rxa5+ Kxa5 37.Qd2+ Ka6 38.Qd3+ Kb7 39.Qb5+ Ka7 40.Qxe8 Qd1+ 41.Kxg2 Qf3+ 42.Kf1 Qd1+ 43.Kg2 Qf3+ 44.Kf1 Qd1+ 45.Kg2 (=)
33...Ka6 34.Qe4 Qa2 35.Nf5 Qe2 36.Qxe2 Nxe2+ 37.Kxg2 Nf4+ 38.Kf1 Rxf5 (=) Is not worse for black even if white's rooks will get active.

20.Rac1 f5 21.exf5
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+
23.Qe4 Nxe2+ 24.Qxe2 f3 25.Qe3
25.Qe4 Kb7 (=) Black's control over the lines combined with his f3 pawn being highly useful means he seems to have compensation.
25...Qh4 26.Qb6 Rf6 (=) Perpetual check seems a likely outcome.
23...Ne6
23...Kb7 24.Nxd4 Rxd4 (+/ = ) Black has not gotten in f3.
23...Qe6 24.Qxe6+ Nxe6 25.f3 Seems (+/ = ) - esque
24.Rcd1
24.Rfd1 f3 25.Nc3 Rde8 26.a4 fxg2 27.Ne4 Kb8 28.Qc3 Nd4 29.Qxa5 Qc7 30.Qxc7+ Kxc7 31.Kxg2 Rf4 32.Nc5 Rg8+ 33.Kf1 Rfg4 34.Ke1 Rf4 35.axb5 Rg1+ 36.Kd2 Rxf2+ 37.Kd3 Rxd1+ 38.Rxd1 Rxh2 39.c3 Nxb5 (=) Black is OK.
24...f3 25.Nc1
25.Nc3!? Rde8! 26.Rfe1 Kb8 27.Qg4 Qf7 28.g3 Rg8 29.Qe4 Nd4 30.Re3
30.h4 Qh5 31.Kh2 Rg4 32.Rxd4 Rxe4 33.Rdxe4 (∞)
30...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

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25...fxg2
25...Rde8 26.Rfe1
26.g3 Qg7 27.Rfe1 Kc7 28.Qf1 Nf4 29.Nd3 Ne2+ 30.Rxe2 fxe2 31.Qxe2 e4 32.Nc5 e3 (∞) With play for black.
26...Qf6 27.Nd3 Rh8 28.Qxf3 Qxf3 29.gxf3 Nd4 30.Re3 Nxc2 31.Rxe5 Reg8+ 32.Kh1 Rh3 33.Re4 Rgh8 34.Kg1 Rxh2 35.Rd2 Na1 36.Nc5 Rh1+ 37.Kg2 Rc1 38.Ne6 Nb3 39.Rd6 Rhh1 40.Rxc6+ Rxc6 41.Kxh1 Rc2 42.Kg2 (+/ = ) It's hard to say if white will win but he seems better.
26.Rxd8+ Kxd8 27.Rd1+ Kc7 28.Qe3 Qc5 29.Nd3
21.Qxc5!? is similar but the pawn is kept on f2.
29...Qxe3 30.fxe3 (+=)
White is a little better since he will soon be a pawn up. This is not the end of the story though as there will be a considerable technical task.

Analysis file will be found in later post.
  
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Confused_by_Theory
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Re: Pirc 4 Bf4: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #69 - 11/12/18 at 08:18:50
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Hello.

RdC wrote on 11/10/18 at 23:33:21:
Confused_by_Theory wrote on 11/10/18 at 21:50:14:
4.Bf4 analysis part 1: Apparently solvent play (7...e5)


6.Bh6!?


There's going to be a lot of games with this because it can arise from positions where White has played Be3 or Bg5

Yer. As long as black allows 6.Bh6 it seems like a useful move for a decent amount of people.

Even for London-system players in fact; which in itself means it's useful to almost everybody out there.

Have a nice day.
  
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Re: Pirc 4 Bf4: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #68 - 11/11/18 at 16:07:20
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12.O-O iso 12.Ng5 in the main line is what attracts attacking players like me.
  

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Re: Pirc 4 Bf4: Best Lines/Move Orders
Reply #67 - 11/10/18 at 23:33:21
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Confused_by_Theory wrote on 11/10/18 at 21:50:14:
4.Bf4 analysis part 1: Apparently solvent play (7...e5)


6.Bh6!?


There's going to be a lot of games with this because it can arise from positions where White has played Be3 or Bg5
  
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