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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Side-Stepping Mainline Theory - Welling, Giddings (Read 6056 times)
IsaVulpes
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Re: Side-Stepping Mainline Theory - Welling, Giddins
Reply #43 - 09/16/19 at 09:25:09
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an ordinary chessplayer wrote on 09/15/19 at 19:52:50:
Looking at Tay, it seemed to me that white is just better in this system. Against the Pirc I would switch from 3.Nc3 to 3.f3 in a heartbeat, except the Saemisch KID is too much work. I avoid the Saemisch KID with both colors because I don't understand it.

Not convinced by this book https://www.newinchess.com/opening-repertoire-the-modern-samischWink
  
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an ordinary chessplayer
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Re: Side-Stepping Mainline Theory - Welling, Giddins
Reply #42 - 09/15/19 at 22:15:01
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Christiansen, Watson, and Silman did good work on the PCN. Calculating their equivalent hourly pay it must have been quite low. I'm not sure but think Watson was editor in 1983. Gligoric did a "Game of the Month" on the Old Indian, but the bulk of the Old Indian coverage was in annotated games (I seem to recall Tarjan doing some at this time), and Watson-style "Candidates Opening Surveys".

Welling / Giddins have Mahesh Chandra Banerjee in their bibliography.
  
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Re: Side-Stepping Mainline Theory - Welling, Giddings
Reply #41 - 09/15/19 at 21:25:06
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Ah, a Players Chess News reference ...you don't see one of those every day.

This Old Indian stuff reminds me of a mysterious book from a few years ago:  Novelties In The Old Indian Defence: Hanham-Variation by "Mahesh Chandra Banerjee."
https://www.chesspub.com/cgi-bin/chess/YaBB.pl?num=1446736851/
  
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Re: Side-Stepping Mainline Theory - Welling, Giddins
Reply #40 - 09/15/19 at 19:52:50
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In my opinion, there are three tough lines in the Old Indian. In all of them white can play patiently to make the space advantage count.
  1. Classical with 8.Be3
  2. Pseudo-Saemisch with O-O-O
  3. King's Fianchetto with normal Anti-KID moves

8.Be3
There's a good reason this is the main line, and it's the one that made me give up the Old Indian. The answer given so casually by Soltis just loses for black, which I found out when I tried it over the board. Later I could never find anything equalizing against it. I still play 1...d6, but after Ng1-f3 prefer to transpose to the KID. Welling / Giddins give five different moves for black:
  • 8...a6 on pages 59/224
  • 8...Re8 on pages 61/224
  • 8...Qe8!? on pages 79/231
  • 8...Ng4 (then 9.Be2 Qe8!?) on pages 79/231
  • 8...b6 on page 61.
It's probably a good idea to have five (or more!) options, so black doesn't have to suffer the exact same way in every game. On the subject of over-optimistic evaluations, in the Chapter 6 - Tables of the main variations, at the end of the first two lines they give no evaluation. Hmm. At the end of 8...Qe8!? they give the symbol for "counterplay". But if you look at the analysis of 8...Qe8!?, Khalifman is showing +=. They quote Khalifman but offer no improvement, so I think it should have been += rather than "counterplay". At least 8...Ng4 9.Bd2 Qe8!? correctly ends in +=.

Pseudo-Saemisch
This is covered, but instead of being in the Old Indian chapter, it's in the Philidor chapter via 1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.f3 e5 4.d5. The only mention in the Old Indian chapter is in Move Orders when they say 1.d4 d6 2.c4 e5 3.d5 "is not an independent continuation", giving 3...Be7 (or 3...Nd7 or 3...Nf6). And that's it! Well, they could at least have mentioned 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 d6 3.Nc3 e5 (they do give this move order even though they recommend 1...d6) and now 4.d5, as fluffy used to play against me in blitz.

Another oddity is the line 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 d6 3.Nc3 Nbd7 4.e4 e5 5.d5 Nc5 6.f3 a5 7.Be3 Be7 8.Qd2 O-O 9.Nge2 Ne8 10.g4 c6!? with "counterplay". Firstly, this line only appears in Chapter 6 - Tables of the main variations?! Secondly, this treatment with ...Nc5 and ...a5, which reminds me of Junior Tay's treatment, is completely different from their recommendations in the Philidor 3.f3. There they either leave the knight on b8 and try for ...b7-b5, or go 1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.f3 e5 4.d5 Be7 5.Be3 Nbd7 6.c4 O-O 7.Nc3 c6 and then take some suggestions from Barsky.

Looking at Tay, it seemed to me that white is just better in this system. Against the Pirc I would switch from 3.Nc3 to 3.f3 in a heartbeat, except the Saemisch KID is too much work. I avoid the Saemisch KID with both colors because I don't understand it. Or is that the other way around?

King's Fianchetto
Black needs to be careful not to get squashed here. This was played in the 1983 Candidates and was heavily analyzed in The Players' Chess News. If black tries for counterplay with ...c7-c6 ...a7-a6 and ...b7-b5 there are some theoretical problems after a well-timed c4-c5! Welling / Giddins cover this move in different positions, but I don't remember it being as easy for black as they imply. Black has a completely different approach with ...e5xd4, but the e7-bishop is not so active in this Boleslavsky wall structure. If white knows how to play this structure from the KID, and has prepared c4-c5 in the Old Indian, black faces a long uphill struggle to equalize.
  
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Re: Side-Stepping Mainline Theory - Welling, Giddins
Reply #39 - 09/14/19 at 02:01:59
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trw wrote on 09/13/19 at 18:17:51:
Where did Avrukh say he still uses Stockfish 8? When I was at his house he was using stockfish 10 when he looked at things.


It was in this interview:

proustiskeen wrote on 06/23/19 at 22:52:47:
Here's my June review of Boris Avrukh's Grandmaster Repertoire 2B: 1.d4 Dynamic Systems. Readers may want to check out the linked interview with Avrukh referenced at the head of the review.

https://chessbookreviews.wordpress.com/2019/06/23/end-of-an-era/

https://new.uschess.org/books/author-chat-boris-avrukh/


Avrukh also said he was going to check out the latest Stockfish.
  
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Re: Side-Stepping Mainline Theory - Welling, Giddings
Reply #38 - 09/13/19 at 18:17:51
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Pawnpusher wrote on 09/13/19 at 10:36:58:
I am going to take a leap here, how many times does an author say engines say white is 1.0 and Stockfish or Leela say 0.0. I wonder what engines these authors are using, especially after Avrukh said he still used Stockfish 8? I realize this is a tad off topic, I blame JFugre he opened the door, and I charged in. Cheesy



Where did Avrukh say he still uses Stockfish 8? When I was at his house he was using stockfish 10 when he looked at things.
  
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Re: Side-Stepping Mainline Theory - Welling, Giddins
Reply #37 - 09/13/19 at 15:43:27
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kylemeister wrote on 08/23/19 at 16:31:47:
I wonder if there is any concrete indication/acknowledgement that White should be able to achieve a slight advantage against the Philidor and the Old Indian. 

No, it's rose-tinted glasses everywhere.
  • Chapter 2 - The Old Indian against 1.d4 -------------- games 1-31, black scores +28 =3 -0
  • Chapter 3 - The Old Indian against Flank Openings -- games 31(*)-34, black scores +3 =1 -0
  • Chapter 4 - The Philidor against 1.e4 ------------------ games 35-64, black scores +27 =3 -0
  • Chapter 5 - The system as White ---------------------- games 65-92, white scores +28 =1 -0

(*) There are two games 31 in the book.
« Last Edit: 09/14/19 at 02:05:16 by an ordinary chessplayer » 
Reason: correct Giddings to Giddins in the subject 
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Re: Side-Stepping Mainline Theory - Welling, Giddings
Reply #36 - 09/13/19 at 10:36:58
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I am going to take a leap here, how many times does an author say engines say white is 1.0 and Stockfish or Leela say 0.0. I wonder what engines these authors are using, especially after Avrukh said he still used Stockfish 8? I realize this is a tad off topic, I blame JFugre he opened the door, and I charged in. Cheesy
  
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Re: Side-Stepping Mainline Theory - Welling, Giddins
Reply #35 - 09/13/19 at 06:51:34
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an ordinary chessplayer wrote on 09/13/19 at 03:29:28:
So it looks like I will have to do my usual PGN index, in order to guarantee complete coverage.


I'm doing the same. The book actually seems a bit messy to me. In one game they recommend "Qc7 as the best option for black here". Then the next game analysis the other move for back in detail. That makes little sense to me for learning.

They're also very optimistic for a lot of the lines they give, i.e. saying "black has the advantage" for lines that are +0.5 for white with an engine. The cop-out in the introduction "computers tend to over evaluate space blabla" doesn't impress me much.
  
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Re: Side-Stepping Mainline Theory - Welling, Giddins
Reply #34 - 09/13/19 at 03:29:28
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Having skimmed the book cover-to-cover, these are the interesting points to me:

Between the "Strategy and Ideas", "Move Orders", and "Illustrative Games" sections in each chapter, there is a lot of repetition. It's obviously intentional, so I'm not criticizing it. But there is some stuff in the "Illustrative Games" that is not repeated in the other sections. I'm not sure if the reverse is true. So I need to go through the whole book with the computer to see the complete picture.

The player index gives both complete games and game fragments. This underscores the amount of repetition in the book. Welling has 13 entries in the index, but after removing duplicates there are only five unique games referenced. The other eight are repetitions of the same five games.

Giddins does not have any entries in the index. This leads me to wonder how the work was divided between the two authors. It is not obligatory for them to say, but I find it nice when authors do explain, e.g. as was done in Aagaard / Pinski (1999) Sicilian Kalashnikov. The only "voice" I noticed in Welling / Giddins was on page 89.
Quote:
You could not afford sloppy opening play against Tony Miles, as one of the authors learnt from experience (Don't look at me! - SG).

Chapter 6 "Tables of the main variations" is quite interesting for what could have been, but ultimately useless (to me anyhow) because of how it was executed. First of all it is a repetition and restructuring of the earlier material. So it could be a souped-up index of variations. Unfortunately there are early moves in the previous chapters which don't appear in chapter 6. So it looks like I will have to do my usual PGN index, in order to guarantee complete coverage.

The bibliography is quite impressive: 34 books, 9 DVDs, 8 periodicals, 3 websites, and 1 database. I wish I had all these sources! Of sources I do have, their only significant omission was Harding (1984) Philidor's Defense: A Re-Appraisal. Actually, I bet they did use Harding's book, and just didn't notice the miss. Two of their periodicals are Shakhmatny Bulletin and Shakhmatny v SSSR. Since they were willing to go there, they could also have used some Russian-language websites, which in my experience have great stuff that is often not available on English-only sites. (It's just hard to search using an English keyboard.)

I did run across one typo, on page 207 they write "see game 83", but correct is game 67. Since that's one of only a few such references I tried to follow, it seems statistically likely that there will be more such errors.

Finally, I note this endorsement on page 96.
Quote:
This example, as several interesting games and pointers in the Old Indian chapter of this book, is taken from Andrew Martin's wonderful DVD Anti-Flank Openings - The Old Indian antidote, which inspired the authors in the structuring of our material.
  
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Re: Side-Stepping Mainline Theory - Welling, Giddings
Reply #33 - 09/11/19 at 03:52:26
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Michael Ayton wrote on 09/05/19 at 23:26:27:
@ IsaVulpes

Nice post! I'd welcome your guidance on which key lines Barsky is outdated on, plus where to find the best 'updates'. Kasparov?

The easiest points to compare are when I crosscheck with my (more recent) White repertoire books:

Shaw gives the g3 line in the Philidor, and (correctly) notes one should avoid the position after 7.a4 a5 8.0-0 Na6 9.h3 Nb4 10.Be3, due to 10..exd4 11.Nxd4 d5, as played in eg Ni Hua - Franco, 2008, which he gives as a clean equalizer. Instead, he recommends going 9.b3 and developing the Bishop to b2, which maintains White's small edge.
In Barsky, 9.b3 is not mentioned, but even more curiously, the equalizer after 10.Be3 isn't given - instead, he recommends 10...Be6, which SF instantly claims to be close to +1, and which also scores rather poorly (71% for White, out of 7 games).
E:Doublechecked, and Barsky actually gives this exd4 Nxd4 d5 as a sideline which "deserves attention", citing a game from 2009. Remains the question why this isn't the mainline, but at least it's there in some form

In Negi's mainline, the move 12.Nxd4 is mentioned in roundabout half a sentence in Barsky, which is fair enough - can't cover everything; but more crucially, Negi offers a somewhat alternate moveorder, starting with 7.a4 8.h3, rather than 7.Re1.
Barsky gives here "White does not have time.. [..] 7.h3 c6 8.a4 Nxe4! 9.Nxe4 d5 10.Nxe5 Nxe5 11.dxe5 dxe4 [etc]" in one paragraph. Negi (and modern computers) offers 10.Re1!, which has been seen in 14 games, and scored +11-1=2.. 

Just like for the options on move 2 (which are strangely ommited in all books on the topic..), I'm not aware of any good & updated sources from the Black side.
My general best guess is that Barsky will be outdated "everywhere" (as it so happens, when you computer checked your lines with.. Rybka  Wink ), but in most lines it won't matter much - for one, your opponent is unlikely to learn cutting edge theory against the Philidor of all things by heart, for two in the hyper concrete variations (the g4 pawnsac, the Bxf7 business) theory hasn't really moved on and in other lines you can 'deal with it'.
My best idea (at least that's what I did) is to look up the recommendations in White repertoire books (ie the aforementioned Shaw/Negi), and either figure out your own responses, or use what they give as the most critical attempt for Black

Am not a subscriber to chesspub, but perhaps the Philidor pops up there too now and then? That'd be the premium source, of course.
  
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Re: Side-Stepping Mainline Theory - Welling, Giddings
Reply #32 - 09/06/19 at 06:16:22
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IsaVulpes wrote on 09/05/19 at 23:06:20:

How much coverage did they fit in on 3.Bd3, or 2nd move alternatives, both of which are extremely common at lower levels of play (which this is apparently aimed at)?


3. Bd3 is covered, with a reference to Rabiega-Ftacnik at the end. It's about a paragraph. 3. Nd2 is also covered.

Quote:
I can't imagine there being a significant section on 1.e4 d6 2.f4


They give "Nf6 which usually transposes to Nc3 f4 lines". The Nc3 line is with d5 and swapping off a bunch of pieces.

  
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Re: Side-Stepping Mainline Theory - Welling, Giddins
Reply #31 - 09/06/19 at 01:33:06
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I just ordered the book. I'm not expecting anything revolutionary, but I'm curious to see Welling's preferences.

IsaVulpes wrote on 09/05/19 at 23:06:20:
Who would ever want to play this stuff as White?

I know Jobava has done it a lot. I wouldn't do it against everything, but I am getting good results with 1.e4 c6 2.d3. And 1.e4 c5 2.d3 is not totally stupid.
  
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Re: Side-Stepping Mainline Theory - Welling, Giddings
Reply #30 - 09/05/19 at 23:26:27
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@ IsaVulpes

Nice post! I'd welcome your guidance on which key lines Barsky is outdated on, plus where to find the best 'updates'. Kasparov?
  
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Re: Side-Stepping Mainline Theory - Welling, Giddings
Reply #29 - 09/05/19 at 23:06:20
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I quite enjoy the queenswap Philidor against weaker opposition, but certainly the ..Ke8 rather than the ..Be6 line; never figured out how you'd play the latter for a win.

Don't own the book, but from the looks of it, they tried "too much". Who would ever want to play this stuff as White? And if you do, do you really need to know *ANYTHING*? I'd think the 50 pages they're investing on the reverse Philidor would be much better spent on fleshing out the Black repertoire.

I follow Barsky for the most part in my rep, which is still quite usable despite clearly being outdated in several key lines. He doesnt go into a whole lot of detail, and his book has 224 pages. This now - has 60 on the Philidor. A fourth. I dont feel like they can really be mentioning .. anything.
How much coverage did they fit in on 3.Bd3, or 2nd move alternatives, both of which are extremely common at lower levels of play (which this is apparently aimed at)? I can't imagine there being a significant section on 1.e4 d6 2.f4
Meanwhile, the sample pages contain sections like this https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/375392267114119168/614427377195286538/unk... which look more like an excerpt out of Bologan, than "A casual player's first primer on how to play a simple no-theory opening". Pretty much unreadable to me, and I don't think I'm vastly lower in level than the target market..
  
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