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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) QID vs QGD? (Read 1991 times)
an ordinary chessplayer
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Re: QID vs QGD?
Reply #23 - 02/14/21 at 14:16:29
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MartinC wrote on 02/14/21 at 09:43:12:
There's a slight misunderstanding showing up here, I think. I don't think the top players blindly follow fashion to any great extent.

Blindly is hardly the most suitable adverb for how someone is following the latest fashion. Smiley

No doubt there is a misunderstanding, because when I use the word fashion I mean that multiple players take up an opening for the simple reason that they see some top player has played it, *without* reference to the theoretical value. In other words, it may be better than what they were playing previously, or worse, or the same. That's not exactly blind. In logical terms it's an appeal to authority, which can be a fallacy in some circumstances.

MartinC wrote on 02/14/21 at 09:43:12:
A bit yes, but when they move en mass there's something concrete behind it at the point they move. ...

Well you may have committed a fallacy there. It's called begging the question, and it's precisely why I called it a tricky thing.

How fashion might work for strong players is fairly simple.
  1. They play things they have been analyzing.
  2. They analyze things they have seen recently.
  3. Paying attention to what potential future opponents might play against them, what they have seen recently is games by other strong players.
When top players move en masse to a new opening it may indeed be because of theoretical problems with what they were playing before. But we shouldn't just assume that. Maybe they merely lost interest in it, which is another symptom of the fashion industries.
  
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MartinC
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Re: QID vs QGD?
Reply #22 - 02/14/21 at 09:43:12
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an ordinary chessplayer wrote on 02/12/21 at 15:11:22:
The tricky thing here is if the top GMs suddenly rush en masse to a different defense, it could be because of fashion, or it could be because of some new theoretical conclusion. It's only if they later swing back again that we could reliably conclude it must have been fashion.


There's a slight misunderstanding showing up here, I think. I don't think the top players blindly follow fashion to any great extent.

A bit yes, but when they move en mass there's something concrete behind it at the point they move. Its just that those changes haven't yet ever proven to be terribly stable over time.

An awful lot of that must be down to computers evolving over time. Maybe they're getting near to stopping doing so, dunno.
  
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Lauri Torni
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Re: QID vs QGD?
Reply #21 - 02/12/21 at 19:14:23
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For us lesser mortals there is a practical aspect for playing QGD instead of QID.

London, Torre, Colle etc. are very popular at amateur level.

After 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 one can play 2.-d5 and now 3.c4 is clearly the best move. 3.Bf4, 3.Bg5, 3.e3, 3.g3 are not as active as after 2.-e6.

Moreover, after 1.Nf3 one can choose to play 1.-d5.

  

1.Nf3! -  beat your opponent by killing his zest for life.
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kylemeister
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Re: QID vs QGD?
Reply #20 - 02/12/21 at 16:45:14
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On a side note, this stuff about fashion happens to remind me of a bit from the late Lubomir Kavalek (who was a favorite chess writer of mine) in the tournament book of Wijk aan Zee 1975, commenting on Sosonko-Smejkal:

In his book "The Grunfeld Defence" Hartston only mentions "the old" 8...N-B3?! and the "modern" 8...N(B3)-Q2.  This looks to me as though there were only mini-skirts and maxi-skirts in the fashion world and nothing between.  Anyway the game took its particular course and Sosonko was really not impressed very much by Smejkal's new "skirt".  But creating a new fashion always creates some problems.  Sosonko claims that he could have put Smejkal out of the fashion business with 15. N-QN5 and maybe this is so.  But he did not do it and soon the players agreed to a draw.
https://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1127528
  
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an ordinary chessplayer
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Re: QID vs QGD?
Reply #19 - 02/12/21 at 15:11:22
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MartinC wrote on 02/12/21 at 09:55:50:
... I also don't see how anyone could dispute the contention that the same top level GM's are very prone to swings of fashion.

What they could say is those GMs used to do that, but recently they stopped doing it. To my mind the burden would be on them to support that claim in some way. But let's skip over that, because possible evidence is not any easier to challenge than it is to produce.

The tricky thing here is if the top GMs suddenly rush en masse to a different defense, it could be because of fashion, or it could be because of some new theoretical conclusion. It's only if they later swing back again that we could reliably conclude it must have been fashion.
  
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MartinC
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Re: QID vs QGD?
Reply #18 - 02/12/21 at 10:01:27
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I guess the QID has some issues with all the d5 based gambits and/or current engines?

LC0/Alpha zero and friends are all keen on those for white and will happily give white a load of interesting ideas about how best to handle them.

They're also not really concrete positions, so you can't learn a solution from SF, and obviously no one alive can hope to defend a passive position even half as well as SF once they're on their own.
  
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MartinC
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Re: QID vs QGD?
Reply #17 - 02/12/21 at 09:55:50
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Bibs wrote on 02/12/21 at 03:36:04:
Yes, exactly.

There is a world of difference between 2500 GMs (who would be considered 'weak' by 2700+ players, being a full 'category' below them) playing stuff, playing anything, and the incredibly well-armed 2700 world class super-GMs.

I perhaps expressed this clumsily earlier. This is meaning no disrespect to the lower GMs, of course. it's just to recognise what LeeRoth counts and describes clearly- that 3...d5 is where it's at for the elite.


I have no wish to dispute any of that.

None the less, I also don't see how anyone could dispute the contention that the same top level GM's are very prone to swings of fashion.

The historical record is very clear on that, and has also - however soundly based the fashions no doubt seemed at the time - has left them looking a tiny bit odd in retrospect.
  
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an ordinary chessplayer
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Re: QID vs QGD?
Reply #16 - 02/12/21 at 08:37:43
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When I attributed the preference for QGD over QID to fashion it was an opinion, or at best an educated guess. When LeeRoth questions whether fashion even exists today, it's a valid question, but I think the facts he presented are far from conclusive. We should proceed methodically if we want to draw firm conclusions.
  • I have no problem with only considering 2700+ games, as long as we take it as just an arbitrary number, rather than as a judgment that GMs below that number are unable to have correct and possibly even complete knowledge of theory. I must say though, I thought the recent chesspub gold standard was correspondence games.
  • I think it would be better not to mix rapid games with classical games. It's well known that risky openings are considered more playable in rapid. That may not have anything to do with QID vs QGD, but still I think it best not to muddy the waters. Anyway at Tata Steel, after 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3, my informal count shows 3...d5 eight times and 3...b6 zero.
  • When we notice the 100% preference for QGD at the top, this *still* could be due to fashion. This is not stubbornness on my part, it's just the way fashion works. More on this below.
  • Even saying that the top players are careful and concrete does not in any way prove there is no fashion. A logical inference that is consistent with (a) 100% preference for the QGD, (b) careful and concrete preparation, and (c) the existence of fashion, would be: "the QGD is no worse than the QID".

So the question becomes, what would be decisive evidence that the QID is worse than the QGD, or indeed that there is no such thing as fashion at the top today? These are not at all the same question. Certainly the QID could be worse than the QGD and yet maybe say the Rossolimo Sicilian is popular due to fashion. And as I noted above, even positing there is no fashion at all wouldn't prove the QID is worse than the QGD, at least not on current evidence. I won't pretend to be able to answer these questions all by myself, simply because different people will have different standards of proof.

A little digression on fashion in chess openings....

I hope we can all agree that in the past there was such a thing as fashion in chess openings. When any of the world champions, or to a more limited extent any other top player, took up an opening, the whole chess world followed. But maybe my next hypothesis is a little radical: A top player didn't take up an opening because it was theoretically good; it was the other way around. An opening became theoretically good simply because a top player took it up. Opening theory was essentially a tug-of-war, and whichever side had the bigger heavyweights pulling for it would "win" the theoretical battles, at least in the short run. Well, you may not agree with my hypothesis, but if you did, then you would necessarily have quite a high burden of proof for concluding that opening A is absolutely better than opening B!

And how is theory chosen today? Everybody uses engines, but let's not be glib about their impact. We should go slowly.
  1. Preparation time is limited. At some point a human is deciding to use an engine on this opening and not on that opening. So even in an engine-driven world there is still room for fashion. It's at least plausible that fashion could still exist.
  2. Despite their enormous strength (even compared to our 2700 GMs they are +700 or so), there are still some openings where engines do not do well, and this is not always due to insufficient depth.
  3. Engines are causing  a kind of schism in chess openings. It used to be that openings were on a continuum from top-tier, to second-rate, to slightly dodgy, to dubious, and finally unsound. Because of their ability to analyze to great depth, engines are driving a wedge, forcing openings into basically two camps: either they lead to equalilty, or they lead to a huge advantage. (For crying out loud, even the Modern Benoni is being analyzed to equality!) How huge doesn't matter to the top players. If it doesn't lead to equality, it's in the bin. In olden days white used to expect += and try for +/-, but today that borderline +/- seems to have disappeared and it's more about getting something "interesting" and seeing how the opponent handles it.

And here I will state an opinion and just leave it out there for others to discuss. Given a shortage of preparation time, and given the engine's relative weakness in certain types of positions, it stands to reason that it might be very much harder to make some openings "work" compared to other openings, even if there is nothing fundamentally wrong with the opening. In my humble opinion, the QID belongs in the eventually equal bucket, but when trying to demonstrate that equality the engine doesn't help you much. So the top players choose to spend their time either on something more engine-suitable (e.g. the QGD), or on something where the engine's unsuitability carries more risk for the opponent (e.g. the KID).
  
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Bibs
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Re: QID vs QGD?
Reply #15 - 02/12/21 at 03:36:04
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Yes, exactly.

There is a world of difference between 2500 GMs (who would be considered 'weak' by 2700+ players, being a full 'category' below them) playing stuff, playing anything, and the incredibly well-armed 2700 world class super-GMs.

I perhaps expressed this clumsily earlier. This is meaning no disrespect to the lower GMs, of course. it's just to recognise what LeeRoth counts and describes clearly- that 3...d5 is where it's at for the elite.
  
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Re: QID vs QGD?
Reply #14 - 02/12/21 at 00:38:00
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After 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3, the move 3..d5 is the overwhelming choice of elite players.  Looking at the Tata Steel A group and the recently-completed Opera preliminaries, 3..d5 was played 25 times, 3..b6 was played twice, and 3..a6 was played once.  If you look back at high level tournaments from 2020, I think you will see roughly the same. 

I don't think this is simply fashion in the sense that 3..d5 and 3..b6 are equally as good and they are picking 3..d5 just because.  3..d5 appears to be regarded as more solid and more flexible than 3..b6.  Indeed, I wonder if "fashion" is even still a thing given how carefully and concretely today's top players prepare their openings.
  
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an ordinary chessplayer
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Re: QID vs QGD?
Reply #13 - 02/02/21 at 01:22:22
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Bibs wrote on 02/01/21 at 23:45:23:
Of course there are so many random GMs of 2400-2500 level who are clueless with tech, and those are of little concern.

While I somewhat disagree with what JFugre wrote, I strongly disagree with the quoted remark. "Random"? "Clueless"? Are we talking about GMs? Here in the USA I have never heard of a GM traveling to a tournament without a laptop, not in the last 20 years. True, once in a blue moon I read about such a thing in a magazine, but it's also pointed out to be special circumstances. The last time I spoke to GM Lein (a few years back, obviously) he repeatedly mentioned he needed a new computer so he could prepare properly. And Lein was as old school as they come.
  
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Re: QID vs QGD?
Reply #12 - 02/01/21 at 23:45:23
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JFugre wrote on 02/01/21 at 13:00:05:
Quote:
In general, I think it is the defence against 1. d4 that suffered the greatest hit to its reputation at the hands of computers in recent times.


They saw Alpha Zero beat ancient Stockfish in a few games and now the 7 is refuted. Just a matter of fashion, GM are typically very sensitive to it, and a surprising lack of understanding of the state of computers. Many titled players still think Alpha Zero is the best engine, have vaguely heard of Leela and have no idea what NNUE is.


I am surprised by this comment, and respectfully skeptical.

May I ask - what makes you assert this? Have you discussed this with many of the, say, top 20, top 100, or top 500?

My impression is quite the opposite - that stronger GM players are very tuned in to the strengths and weaknesses of differing softwares, and are very up-to-date.

Noting Shanklnd's suggestion that QID is not trusted so much nowadays, we can helpfully restrict this to players likely to be somewhat respected in that orbit - say 2650 plus. Of course there are so many random GMs of 2400-2500 level who are clueless with tech, and those are of little concern.


  
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Re: QID vs QGD?
Reply #11 - 02/01/21 at 13:00:05
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Quote:
In general, I think it is the defence against 1. d4 that suffered the greatest hit to its reputation at the hands of computers in recent times.


They saw Alpha Zero beat ancient Stockfish in a few games and now the QID is refuted. Just a matter of fashion, GM are typically very sensitive to it, and a surprising lack of understanding of the state of computers. Many titled players still think Alpha Zero is the best engine, have vaguely heard of Leela and have no idea what NNUE is.
  
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Re: QID vs QGD?
Reply #10 - 01/31/21 at 00:18:18
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I will critic my own posts that mention statistics. A one-year look is often too short a duration. Sometimes a year differs greatly from the prior year.

I've done some more searches in the QID, specifically in lines where white fianchetos and answers ...Ba6 with b3. A few systems have been recommended for black.

A general result is that black does very well (around 50%) in an unrestricted search. Black may run into trouble when the games are restricted to players rated over 2500. It might not be the best opening to play against Sam Shankland.
  
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Re: QID vs QGD?
Reply #9 - 01/30/21 at 00:06:14
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FreeRepublic wrote on 01/29/21 at 23:15:30:
I did a search in my Chess Assistant data base for 2020 for the Queen's Indian. I restricted white and black elo ratings to at least 2500 up to 3100.


I don't usually restrict my search to such rarefied ratings. I don't play those people.

Having restricted the search, another question came to mind. What would the results be using the same criteria after the moves 1d4 Nf6 2c4 e6 3Nf3 (avoiding the Nimzo) d5.

White only scores 51%. That was a surprise.

The games provided go beyond the QGD and Catalan, including such lines as the Meran and the Queen's Gambit Accepted. So I did 4 more searches adding ECO codes to the criteria.
E00-09, Catalan, only 49%. Another surprise.
D37, QGD with Bf4, 52%
D38-D39, Ragozin and Vienna, 60%. Ouch.
D50-D59, QGD Bg5, 45% on only 84 games. I assume this is just a chance event, with other years showing statistics which are not so dismal for white.
  
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