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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) Italian Game - AlphaZero Defence (Read 1548 times)
RdC
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Re: Italian Game - AlphaZero Defence
Reply #18 - 02/04/19 at 18:35:32
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Paddy wrote on 02/04/19 at 17:26:47:
White they should never play like this, but of course as Black if you answer 1 e4 with 1 ...e5 it's hard to avoid it. So it's definitely worth teaching students something about it, but mainly from point of view of view of playing against it with Black.


My personal solution is to play .. Be7. This can either be done on move 3 at the risk of having to meet 4. d4 or 5. d4, or later after 3. .. Nf6 at the risk of having to play a main line in the Two Knights.
  
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Paddy
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Re: Italian Game - AlphaZero Defence
Reply #17 - 02/04/19 at 17:26:47
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RdC wrote on 02/04/19 at 17:15:35:
Paddy wrote on 02/04/19 at 13:48:49:
[quote author=6F6C020 link=1544887395/10#10 date=1545147651]. So coaches often encourage students to play Be3/Be6 to invite the opponent to open the f-file; at junior level the half-open f-file can soon become a decisive plus.


I'm surprised they don't encourage them to play something else. Slow Italians with Nc3 really are dire for making anything interesting happen. Perhaps that's why it's been receiving attention from the super GMs in recent years.

It's a game where you develop all four minor pieces, or just three outside the pawn chain. So that's Nf3, Bc4, Nc3, Bg5/e3. That contrasts with the Queen's Gambit where at least two, possibly three are developed inside the chain. That's Nc3, Bd3, Nf3/e2, Bg5/f4


I'm sure most juniorcoaches (I'm one) do encourage juniors, when White, to play something other than the Giuoco Pianissimo with Nc3, but I came to the conclusion a long time ago that, unless constantly reminded (or unless the coach threatens to confiscate the knight if it goes to c3 in this opening) many youngsters will play this way as if on autopilot.

At the useful Exeter coaching website they've dubbed this opening the Old Stodge - very apt. I advise students that as White they should never play like this, but of course as Black if you answer 1 e4 with 1 ...e5 it's hard to avoid it. So it's definitely worth teaching students something about it, but mainly from point of view of view of playing against it with Black.
  
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RdC
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Re: Italian Game - AlphaZero Defence
Reply #16 - 02/04/19 at 17:15:35
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Paddy wrote on 02/04/19 at 13:48:49:
[quote author=6F6C020 link=1544887395/10#10 date=1545147651]. So coaches often encourage students to play Be3/Be6 to invite the opponent to open the f-file; at junior level the half-open f-file can soon become a decisive plus.


I'm surprised they don't encourage them to play something else. Slow Italians with Nc3 really are dire for making anything interesting happen. Perhaps that's why it's been receiving attention from the super GMs in recent years.

It's a game where you develop all four minor pieces, or just three outside the pawn chain. So that's Nf3, Bc4, Nc3, Bg5/e3. That contrasts with the Queen's Gambit where at least two, possibly three are developed inside the chain. That's Nc3, Bd3, Nf3/e2, Bg5/f4
  
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Re: Italian Game - AlphaZero Defence
Reply #15 - 02/04/19 at 13:48:49
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mn wrote on 12/18/18 at 15:40:51:
Well, as a kid I was taught that if you can't go ...Bb6 in reply to Be3, you play ...d6 and aim for the structure with pawns on c5 and e5. That being said, I'm not sure how well the "rule" holds up that you should never take on e3 in these stand-offs, given that White seems to be doing the same thing in reverse all the time these days.


The Giuoco Pianissimo with Nc3 is seen ad nauseam in junior chess. I suppose it seems a natural next step to them, after they've given up playing for Scholar's mate and learned the importance of development and the centre.

The main problem is that the position is so closed, and they can't use their rooks. So coaches often encourage students to play Be3/Be6 to invite the opponent to open the f-file; at junior level the half-open f-file can soon become a decisive plus.

Conversely students are advised to reply to Be3/Be6 with Bb3/Bb6, when if the opponent exchanges one gains the half-open a-file and potential knight outposts at d4/d5 and f4/f4.

Theoretically, though, things are less clear. While Tarrasch was adamant that one should not exchange (on e3/or e6), Steinitz advocated exchanging, since he considered the long term damage to the enemy pawn structure (and reduction in flexibility) to be more important than the extra piece activity granted to the opponent. For instance, against Lasker he played 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. Nc3 Nf6 5. d3 d6 6. Be3 Bxe3 7. fxe3 Na5 8.Bb3 Nxb3 9. axb3 Ng4 10. Qe2 f6 11. d4 c6 12. O-O-O Qe7 13. h3 Nh6, with a sold and flexible position, although he lost later.
  

Steinitz_takes_on_e3.pgn ( 1 KB | 9 Downloads )
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Re: Italian Game - AlphaZero Defence
Reply #14 - 02/03/19 at 20:33:46
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Reading Regan and Sadler's new book, it seems that AlphaZero likes on occasion to play "flexible" moves, which can transpose to another "best" variation but also give the opponent the chance to play something worse. Possibly Stockfish's 5 Ng5 was a case of "something worse".
  

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Re: Italian Game - AlphaZero Defence
Reply #13 - 12/20/18 at 11:51:12
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an ordinary chessplayer wrote on 12/18/18 at 14:08:06:
I thought the problem with an early ...a6 was Be3, e.g. 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.d3 a6 5.Nc3 Nf6 6.Be3. Anyway that was the ca. 1900 theory.


As for that, 4 Nc3 Nf6 5 d3 h6!? 6 0-0 a6 7 Be3 is perfectly okay for Black, so saving a tempo on ...h7-h6 can't be any worse.
  

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Re: Italian Game - AlphaZero Defence
Reply #12 - 12/20/18 at 11:17:18
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mn wrote on 12/18/18 at 15:40:51:
That being said, I'm not sure how well the "rule" holds up that you should never take on e3 in these stand-offs, given that White seems to be doing the same thing in reverse all the time these days.


It may well be that "rule" was never programmed into engines which perhaps don't see much difference in evaluation between taking on e3 or not taking on e3.

It's only in recent years that the "beginner's" line of 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. d3 d6 5. Nc3 Nf6 and variations thereon has again received attention from top GMs with a view to finding the hidden subtleties.

As Kramnik demonstrated against Aronian with that .. Rg8 plan, playing an early 0-0 and h3 might be dangerous for White, despite being normal in many double e pawn openings.
  
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Re: Italian Game - AlphaZero Defence
Reply #11 - 12/20/18 at 10:59:09
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kind of inspirational how much play and scope for originality there is in the open games.
  
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mn
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Re: Italian Game - AlphaZero Defence
Reply #10 - 12/18/18 at 15:40:51
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Well, as a kid I was taught that if you can't go ...Bb6 in reply to Be3, you play ...d6 and aim for the structure with pawns on c5 and e5. That being said, I'm not sure how well the "rule" holds up that you should never take on e3 in these stand-offs, given that White seems to be doing the same thing in reverse all the time these days.
  
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an ordinary chessplayer
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Re: Italian Game - AlphaZero Defence
Reply #9 - 12/18/18 at 14:08:06
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I thought the problem with an early ...a6 was Be3, e.g. 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.d3 a6 5.Nc3 Nf6 6.Be3. Anyway that was the ca. 1900 theory.
  
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Re: Italian Game - AlphaZero Defence
Reply #8 - 12/18/18 at 11:34:13
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ErictheRed wrote on 12/17/18 at 23:45:11:
I don't know that move four is all that fascinating, is it?  In many lines of the Giuoco Pianissimo Black plays ...a6 very early to have the option of tucking that bishop away.  4...Nf6 5.c3 a6 is very common, for instance.


Sure – and the game with 5 Nbd2 reached a standard enough position – and 4...a6 has been played before.

But for AlphaZero to look at 4 d3 from scratch and decide to play 4...a6!?. Why would it prefer 4...a6 to the obvious and ubiquitous 4...Nf6, for instance? This is just fascinating to me – never mind that it then followed this up with a triple pawn sacrifice. Shocked
  

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mn
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Re: Italian Game - AlphaZero Defence
Reply #7 - 12/18/18 at 00:15:25
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ErictheRed wrote on 12/17/18 at 23:45:11:
I don't know that move four is all that fascinating, is it?  In many lines of the Giuoco Pianissimo Black plays ...a6 very early to have the option of tucking that bishop away.  4...Nf6 5.c3 a6 is very common, for instance. 

Some of the later play was impressive, but similar to last year's games, Stockfish's moves make a very strange impression. 


Well, yeah, the idea itself isn't so interesting, but allowing Ng5 is fairly non-standard.
  
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Re: Italian Game - AlphaZero Defence
Reply #6 - 12/17/18 at 23:45:11
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I don't know that move four is all that fascinating, is it?  In many lines of the Giuoco Pianissimo Black plays ...a6 very early to have the option of tucking that bishop away.  4...Nf6 5.c3 a6 is very common, for instance. 

Some of the later play was impressive, but similar to last year's games, Stockfish's moves make a very strange impression. 
  
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Re: Italian Game - AlphaZero Defence
Reply #5 - 12/17/18 at 23:14:11
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Jonathan Tait wrote on 12/15/18 at 15:23:15:
1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bc4 Bc5 4 d3 a6!? – fascinating stuff Smiley


You get the idea perhaps that it rates Bishops and g files highly. So much so that it's prepared to play a waiting move  .. a6 which ultimately may preserve the Bishop. That's even if the consequence is to provoke Bxh6.

According to Go commentators, it came up with ideas that challenged conventional wisdom in that game as well.
  
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mn
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Re: Italian Game - AlphaZero Defence
Reply #4 - 12/17/18 at 16:36:51
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Allowing the Kingside pawns to be shattered in order to get ...f5 in made sense to me, but sacrificing all the Queenside pawns and playing for slow compensation is truly something...
  
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