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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Supposed refutation (Read 6804 times)
Tauromachie
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Re: Supposed refutation
Reply #41 - 12/18/20 at 15:15:33
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Thanks alot for sharing, TopNotch! Very interesting approach.
  
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MNb
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Re: Supposed refutation
Reply #40 - 12/16/20 at 08:06:57
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Thanks for the excellent explanations, TopNotch.
I suspected that the provoking 7.O-O b5 8.Bd3 Nge7 9.Bg5 h6 (or f6) 10.Be3 in some lines is a slight improvement. However 9.Be3 Ng6 10.a4 b4 11.Nd5 Rb8 12.a5 Nxa5 13.Re1 Bd6 14.e5! Nxe5 15.Nxe5 Bxe5 16.Qh5 d6 17.Bg5 shows that White wants the pawn on h7.
  

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Re: Supposed refutation
Reply #39 - 12/15/20 at 22:16:46
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After seeing everyone's replies, I too was coming to the conclusion that White has enough compensation to claim dynamic equality.  I used to play the gambit in high school with very good results.  Maybe I'll try it again sometime.  The other silver lining for me is that now I can decline the gambit without feeling I'm compromising chess principles.
  
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TopNotch
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Re: Supposed refutation
Reply #38 - 12/15/20 at 21:25:13
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MartinC wrote on 12/15/20 at 10:35:51:
Tauromachie wrote on 12/14/20 at 12:13:11:
Is there some deeper idea behind 6.Be2? It just looks terribly wrong.


Well, look at it this way. What's good about putting it on c4 to give black a useful extra development tempo and get it exchanged?

6 Bc4 - in that specific position after black's a6/e6 - is about LC0's tenth choice! It even slightly prefers 6 Bc4 b5 7 Bd3 to 7 Bb3 Smiley


The 7. Bd3 idea is the one that makes the most human sense to me, and is the one that made me rethink my views on the Morra as being Dynamically equal. I did lots of analysis on the resulting positions which I don't intend to post, but suffice it to say White has interesting compensation everywhere, particularly in OTB play which is all I'm really interested in.

While I'm not in the mood to post long analysis, I will share with you the Blueprint, or formula if you will of White's play in these early b5 lines:

  • Early b5's are best met with Bd3, after which ...Na5 ideas are no longer an issue

  • It turns out that in these early b5 lines, his further development is surprisingly problematic as attempts to incorporate the natural d6 is often met by the shockingly strong Nxb5!! in one form or another, one of the perks of dropping the Bishop back to d3 and not b3

  • So with d6 being difficult to execute successfully Black will probably employ the common Nge7 to g6 setup, but White meets this with Be3, intending to meet ...Ng6 with a4 followed by the typical sacrifice Nd5 and full compensation. This is why Bd3 is better than Be2, as we need the e-file unblocked to make our counterplay work in some lines.

  • Even if black is aware of all these nuances, he then has to find some very unnatural moves in his attempt to prove an advantage and still White's initiative lingers and his position remains easier to play in practice. Usually when natural moves fail to solve opening problems, it is a red flag

  • My findings and formula as far as I know remain unpublished in any repertoire books or specialised books on the Morra, so black will have to find his own way at the board. Good luck with that


So yeah, what can I say, the Morra lives and while it does not promise an advantage it does offer interesting compensation which I was unable to refute.
  

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MartinC
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Re: Supposed refutation
Reply #37 - 12/15/20 at 11:08:53
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Kyuken wrote on 12/14/20 at 16:45:58:
MartinC wrote on 12/14/20 at 09:07:07:
As I noted in there at some point - LC0 seems to make quite a decent case for 6 Be2 in that specific move order being OK for white.

6 Bc4 really does rather walk into black's idea.


But Black could switch his move order to 5...Nc6, disguising his intentions to enter this line a bit. Then 6.Be2 has to be nothing for White, when Black got a useful developing move instead of ...a6.

I did not look it up in the mentioned thread, but I vaguely remember that White might try 5...Nc6 6.Bf4.


It actually seems to prefer 6 Bf4 even after e6 and a6, to keep the option of 6.. b5 7 Bd3 - that gives white quite natural ideas vs the black Q-side.

Interestingly after e6 & Nc6 and not a6 from black, LC0 doesn't like 6 Bf4 due to Bb4.

So it 'prefers' 6 Be2. Although its profoundly banal:
6 Be2 d6 7 o-o Nf6 8 Qb3 Be7 9 Rd1 e5 10 Bg5 might win the pawn back and equalise but really Smiley

It can get rather more fun if black includes a6 - 7 .. a6 8 Qb4 Nf6 9 Bf4 Be7 10 Rfd1 Qc7 11 Qa3!? e5 12 Bg5 d5 13 Bxf6!? Bxa3 14 Nxd5 .

If black goes e5 earlier than that with a6 in then white go Be3, can camp in b6 and cause some non trivial annoyance.

Its very hard to prove a real advantage for black even when white blunders a pawn on move 3 Smiley
  
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MartinC
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Re: Supposed refutation
Reply #36 - 12/15/20 at 10:35:51
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Tauromachie wrote on 12/14/20 at 12:13:11:
Is there some deeper idea behind 6.Be2? It just looks terribly wrong.


Well, look at it this way. What's good about putting it on c4 to give black a useful extra development tempo and get it exchanged?

6 Bc4 - in that specific position after black's a6/e6 - is about LC0's tenth choice! It even slightly prefers 6 Bc4 b5 7 Bd3 to 7 Bb3 Smiley
  
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an ordinary chessplayer
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Re: Supposed refutation
Reply #35 - 12/14/20 at 18:47:06
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@Kyukin - Good point about move order. And there is another one aimed against Bf4: 1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Nxc3 Nc6 5.Nf3 a6. Black still has options of ...e7-e6 or ...d7-d6 or both.
  • 6.Bc4 e6 7.O-O b5 8.Bb3 Na5 as analyzed.
  • 6.Bf4 d6 7.Bc4 Nf6 Here (a) 8.e5 I think should be equal; while (b) 8.O-O transposes to some 6.Bc4 d6 7.O-O Nf6 8.Bf4 theory and I'm not sure if either player should be unhappy with that...

It would take a clever white to play 6.Bf4 instead of 6.Bc4. Black can't be too casual in choosing a variation after Bf4 since ...a7-a6 is a little slow.
  
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MNb
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Re: Supposed refutation
Reply #34 - 12/14/20 at 18:33:15
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Kyuken wrote on 12/14/20 at 16:45:58:
But Black could switch his move order to 5...Nc6, disguising his intentions to enter this line a bit. Then 6.Be2 has to be nothing for White, when Black got a useful developing move instead of ...a6.

No need to disguise anything - 1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Nxc3 e6 5.Nf3 a6 6.Be2 Nc6 or d6 must be good for Black.
As for 5...a6 6.Bf4 Nc6 (or the other way round) there is 7.Bc4 b5 again.

I just checked 5...a6 6.Bc4 b5 7.Bb3 Nc6 (btw - 4...Nc6 5.Nf3 e6 6.Bc4 a6 7.O-O b5 8.Bb3 Na5 is another move order) 8.O-O Na5 9.Re1 Nxb3 10.Qxb3 Bb7 11.a4 b4 12.Bg5 and three corr games continued with f6 iso Be7 as given in the Esserman thread. Three games were drawn after 13.Bf4 Bc5 14.Rec1 and I understand nothing.
  

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Kyuken
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Re: Supposed refutation
Reply #33 - 12/14/20 at 16:45:58
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MartinC wrote on 12/14/20 at 09:07:07:
As I noted in there at some point - LC0 seems to make quite a decent case for 6 Be2 in that specific move order being OK for white.

6 Bc4 really does rather walk into black's idea.


But Black could switch his move order to 5...Nc6, disguising his intentions to enter this line a bit. Then 6.Be2 has to be nothing for White, when Black got a useful developing move instead of ...a6.

I did not look it up in the mentioned thread, but I vaguely remember that White might try 5...Nc6 6.Bf4.
  
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Tauromachie
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Re: Supposed refutation
Reply #32 - 12/14/20 at 12:13:11
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Is there some deeper idea behind 6.Be2? It just looks terribly wrong.
  
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MartinC
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Re: Supposed refutation
Reply #31 - 12/14/20 at 09:07:07
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As I noted in there at some point - LC0 seems to make quite a decent case for 6 Be2 in that specific move order being OK for white.

6 Bc4 really does rather walk into black's idea.
  
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Re: Supposed refutation
Reply #30 - 12/14/20 at 02:18:06
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TopNotch wrote on 11/24/20 at 16:12:24:
Wow it's been awhile, I decided to revisit this thread because the Morra has been on my mind recently and I had an epiphany. I used to think that this Gambit was insufficient for equality against a well prepared opponent, but now after countless analyses have concluded somewhat begrudgingly that it does indeed offer dynamically equal chances and has to be taken seriously after all.

None of the published refutations are fully convincing and White retains long term annoying compensation in one form or another everywhere, enough to play for three results. Needless to say this determination was more than a bit disappointing, as nothing disturbs me more than when a 'Dodgy' Gambit proves viable, but to quote the morally reprehensible Donald Trump "It is what it is.  Wink


I thought someone here had finally found a defense that gave Black some advantage.  Namely, 1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Nxc3 e6 5.Nf3 a6 6.Bc4 b5 7.Bb3 Nc6 8.0-0 Na5.  Here's one thread that discusses it starting at reply #130.   https://www.chesspub.com/cgi-bin/chess/YaBB.pl?num=1340632131/all
  
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MNb
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Re: Supposed refutation
Reply #29 - 11/26/20 at 08:35:31
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The story of the Fischer-Kortchnoi game is remarkable. Fischer played 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 a6 3.d4 on the automatic pilot and realized after ...cxd4 that 4.Nxd4 runs into ...e5! Hence 4.c3 dxc3 5.Nxc3 Nc6 6.Bc4 d6 7.O-O Nf6 8.Bg5 and only now e6 followed by 9.Qe2 Be7 10.Rfd1 completing the transposition..
Obviously this can result from 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.c3 etc. as well.
  

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TopNotch
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Re: Supposed refutation
Reply #28 - 11/25/20 at 19:27:42
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kylemeister wrote on 11/24/20 at 19:35:27:
TopNotch wrote on 11/24/20 at 19:16:45:
The Morra is not for everyday use I would say, but could be useful to spring on opponents that don't usually meet the Alapin with 3...Nf6 or against Taimanov players via 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.c3, even a young Bobby Fischer tried this once.

Maybe you mean Fischer-Korchnoi with 2...a6.  I recall that as akin to Pokojowczyk-Gligoric, another old "logical-looking" game.


Yeah I was thinking of the Korch game, but my memory failed me, I thought it was 2...e6 but maybe it transposes later.
  

The man who tries to do something and fails is infinitely better than he who tries to do nothing and succeeds - Lloyd Jones Smiley
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MNb
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Re: Supposed refutation
Reply #27 - 11/25/20 at 07:14:12
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TopNotch wrote on 11/24/20 at 19:16:45:
[how to play against the three main structures, namely Dragon, Taimanov and Scheveningen, when you break it down like that it makes it a lot easier to study and master.

The list is much  longer. The old main line with 9...e5 rather resembles the Boleslavsky. It makes a difference whether Black plays ...Qc7 or ...Qa5, whether Black plays ...Bd7 or not. There are the ...Nge7 lines (with ...f6 or with ...h6), the ...Bc5 lines. There is the Siberian Trap.
I already mentioned 3...Nf6 and 3...d3. But White should study 3...d5 as well, which may result in a Queen's Gambit Accepted or a Semi-Tarrasch. There is a whole string of minor options with subtleties White must know to make the best of it, like a possible transposition to the Caro-Kann Panov (3...g6 4.cxd4 d5 5.exd5).

MNb wrote on 11/24/20 at 18:02:09:
Whether they have played the open games or not doesn't matter much.


an ordinary chessplayer wrote on 11/24/20 at 19:22:20:
I think it matters. Eventually both players are out of book, below master level sooner rather than later. And at that stage it's the feel for and handling of the unfamiliar position that makes the difference, more so even than the objective evaluation (within reasonable limits of course).

I wrote it doesn't matter much, not that it doesn't matter at all, depending on what Black chooses. Your argument doesn't reaaly contradict what I wrote. That feel for and handling of the unfamiliar position needed for positions resulting from 3...d3 and 3...Nf6  (two of the extreme examples) are very, very different from what you get in the Open Games.
It seems that you guys forget that pretty often Black declines the gambit. The bottom line is - and everyone thinking about taking the Morra up should realize it - that Black is the one who determines the character of the game.
In blitz and for occasional use things are different of course.
  

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.
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