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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Marshall Gambit Mainline - Novelty on Move Ten (Read 13664 times)
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Re: Marshall Gambit Mainline - Novelty on Move Ten
Reply #55 - 11/12/20 at 05:51:05
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Hmmm. Hope he’s not jacked it in. Must be a ton of work.

Keep at it JH.
Looks very interesting. Triangles Are Good.
  
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Re: Marshall Gambit Mainline - Novelty on Move Ten
Reply #54 - 11/11/20 at 10:24:55
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I tried sending him a message recently on just this topic but no reply as yet.
  
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Re: Marshall Gambit Mainline - Novelty on Move Ten
Reply #53 - 11/11/20 at 04:58:52
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Bump!

Any news from Jack Hughes (and other rhyming queries if you have them) about the Semi-Slav / Triangle rep for Chessable...?
  
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Re: Marshall Gambit Mainline - Novelty on Move Ten
Reply #52 - 05/20/20 at 07:59:59
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First of all, thanks a lot for the reply.

I had in my files the position after 31...Be6, but it looked risky to me after 32.h3! like 32...f4 33.Qc7 or 33.a5 and I had some doubts about black position so I looked for something else.
But 32...Rd7! looks like a great fix as far as I can tell, thanks !!

I am also very interested by the debate about the Anti-Meran, since my line against the semi-slav with white is this 16.a4 where black's path to equalize is'nt trivial. There is also 16.f4 19.Be2!?.
But your 9...a6! is very annoying, it seems to be very tough to find something for white after the critical 12.Bg5
So I hate you Cheesy !
I am quite busy at the moment, with the Marshall Beta-Testing for JH, but I will analyse this whole 9.Bd3/Be2 9...a6 stuff when I'll have some time off and try to find something for white.

Cheers !
  
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Re: Marshall Gambit Mainline - Novelty on Move Ten
Reply #51 - 05/19/20 at 19:39:39
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Jack Hughes wrote on 05/19/20 at 10:15:30:
Syzygy wrote on 05/18/20 at 21:04:14:
If you're talking about the line with 7...O-O 8. O-O dxc4 9. Bxc4 b5 10. Bd3 Bb7 11. e4 e5 12. h3,  then after:

12...exd4 13. Nxd4 Nc5 14. Rd1 Qc7 15. Bg5 Bh2+ 16. Kh1 Be5 17. Nf3 h6 18. Bh4 Bxc3 19. bxc3 Nh5 20. Nd4 Rfe8 21. f3 Ng3+ 22. Kg1 Qf4 23. Bxg3 Qxg3,

a possible improvement is 24. Bf1!? with what appears to be a slight edge for White. This is a long line I generated by just following correspondence play, but I don't know whether this line is what you had in mind.

Also, what is your reason for preferring 12...exd4 over the main line with 12...Re8? Do you have an alternate line in mind after the immediate 12. dxe5 Nxe5 13. Nxe5 Bxe5 14. h3 (to avoid unwanted transpositions)?

Yeah, that's the line I'm talking about. The long line you gave is pretty much the mainline in my file, except that I focused more on 24. Qf2 than 24. Bf1. After the latter, my mainline is 24... Qe5 25. Nf5 Na4 26. Nd6 Re7 27. Rac1 Rd8 28. Nf5 Red7 29. Rxd7 Rxd7 30. c4 Kh7 31. cxb5 cxb5 with full equality.

Against the 12. dxe5 move order black's independent option is 14... b4, in which I am even more confident than 12. h3 exd4. One important line I got was 15. Na4 Bd4 16. Re1 c5 17. Be3 Rc8 18. Bxd4 cxd4 19. Qd2 Re8 20. f3 Nh5 21. a3 b3 =.

My main reason for disliking the mainline 12... Re8 is mostly subjective: I feel like giving up the dark-squared bishop is a big positional concession, and in general, I find it easier to understand why black gets away with it in these 12... exd4 and 14... b4 lines. Especially as an author who wants to be able to justify his choices rather than just list them this is important to me.

Besides that subjective preference, there were a few lines that bothered me at least a little in the mainline. Theoretically speaking, the only line where I struggled to convince Leela that black is okay after 16. a4 Qe7 17. Ne2 Bd6 18. Nd4 g6 19. Nf3 Nd7 20. Rfd1 Rad8 21. Bg5 f6 22. Be3 Bc5 23. Bf4 (I suppose this was the line I had in mind when contrasting Stockfish and Leela evaluations). For what it's worth, if I am to recommend the mainline in the course I might be inclined to go for 19... Nxe4!? which leads after 20. Rfe1 Bb4 21. Bg5 Nxg5 22. Rxe7 Nxf3+ 23. gxf3 Rxe7 to an endgame where certain versions of Leela are quite happy with black, even though Stockfish pretty much hates it.


I didn't think that 24. Qf2 Qc7 gave White any advantage, so I focused on 24. Bf1. However, after 25...Na4 it does appear that Black equalizes, though 26. Rd4 might be a tad more challenging than 26. Nd6.

In the line with 14...b4, 21. b3 bothered me more than 21. a3. However, I took a second look, and I think Black has equality there as well. Overall, I think these two lines together can indeed be a solid alternative to the main line (especially since Black isn't having a fun time after 16. a4 or 16. f4).

On the other hand, if 16. a4 and 17. Ne2 is the only line that actually bothers you, then I would suggest looking into 19...Bb4!?, where I think Black has good chances to equalize. I'm not fond of 19...Nd7 - a dangerous line you didn't mention is 21. Bf1 Nf8 22. e5!?, which led to a win for White in a correspondence game.

Hiruma666 wrote on 05/19/20 at 11:39:15:
Hey guys !
I am a bit embarassed since I am the one who brought the quality of 12...Rd8 (in the 9.Ba5 Marshall), but while checking the files, I found something very irritating for black.
I think black can equalize, but I did'nt like the path to do so or even the upcomming positions.
12...Rd8 13.Nd2 Qg6 14.Qa3 Bc8 15.0-0 Ne7
And here, I analysed mostly the rook moves 16.Rae/d1, but what about 16.Bf3 c5 17.Qa4+ Kf7 and now the independant 18.Ne4! (who need rooks on open files anyway !, 18.Rad1 is transposing in lines I have analysed before), and black has several options (...Nf5, ...Rhd8 or even ...Qh6) but none of them gave me complete satisfaction.

What do you think ?


My main line here runs 18. Ne4 Rhf8 19. Rfd1 Nf5 20. Rxd8 Rxd8 21. Rd1 Nd4 22. Bxd4 cxd4 23. b4 f5 24. Nd2 e5 25. Bd5+ Kf8 26. b5 Nc7 27. Qxa7 Nxd5 28. cxd5 Qd6 29. Nc4 Qxd5 30. Qxb6 e4 31. a4 Be6,

reaching a sharp and double-edged position. I think Black should hold here, for instance:

32. h4 h6 33. f4 Kg8! =
32. h3 Rd7 33. Rc1 d3 34. Nd2 Kf7 35.Qe3 Qa2 36. f3 Qxa4 37. fxe4 Qxb5 38. exf5 Bd5 39. Re1 Rb7 =

But you know what they say - long analysis, wrong analysis, etc. Hiruma, what were your thoughts on this line?
  
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Re: Marshall Gambit Mainline - Novelty on Move Ten
Reply #50 - 05/19/20 at 11:39:15
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Hey guys !
I am a bit embarassed since I am the one who brought the quality of 12...Rd8 (in the 9.Ba5 Marshall), but while checking the files, I found something very irritating for black.
I think black can equalize, but I did'nt like the path to do so or even the upcomming positions.
12...Rd8 13.Nd2 Qg6 14.Qa3 Bc8 15.0-0 Ne7
And here, I analysed mostly the rook moves 16.Rae/d1, but what about 16.Bf3 c5 17.Qa4+ Kf7 and now the independant 18.Ne4! (who need rooks on open files anyway !, 18.Rad1 is transposing in lines I have analysed before), and black has several options (...Nf5, ...Rhd8 or even ...Qh6) but none of them gave me complete satisfaction.

What do you think ?
  
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Jack Hughes
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Re: Marshall Gambit Mainline - Novelty on Move Ten
Reply #49 - 05/19/20 at 10:15:30
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Syzygy wrote on 05/18/20 at 21:04:14:
If you're talking about the line with 7...O-O 8. O-O dxc4 9. Bxc4 b5 10. Bd3 Bb7 11. e4 e5 12. h3,  then after:

12...exd4 13. Nxd4 Nc5 14. Rd1 Qc7 15. Bg5 Bh2+ 16. Kh1 Be5 17. Nf3 h6 18. Bh4 Bxc3 19. bxc3 Nh5 20. Nd4 Rfe8 21. f3 Ng3+ 22. Kg1 Qf4 23. Bxg3 Qxg3,

a possible improvement is 24. Bf1!? with what appears to be a slight edge for White. This is a long line I generated by just following correspondence play, but I don't know whether this line is what you had in mind.

Also, what is your reason for preferring 12...exd4 over the main line with 12...Re8? Do you have an alternate line in mind after the immediate 12. dxe5 Nxe5 13. Nxe5 Bxe5 14. h3 (to avoid unwanted transpositions)?

Yeah, that's the line I'm talking about. The long line you gave is pretty much the mainline in my file, except that I focused more on 24. Qf2 than 24. Bf1. After the latter, my mainline is 24... Qe5 25. Nf5 Na4 26. Nd6 Re7 27. Rac1 Rd8 28. Nf5 Red7 29. Rxd7 Rxd7 30. c4 Kh7 31. cxb5 cxb5 with full equality.

Against the 12. dxe5 move order black's independent option is 14... b4, in which I am even more confident than 12. h3 exd4. One important line I got was 15. Na4 Bd4 16. Re1 c5 17. Be3 Rc8 18. Bxd4 cxd4 19. Qd2 Re8 20. f3 Nh5 21. a3 b3 =.

My main reason for disliking the mainline 12... Re8 is mostly subjective: I feel like giving up the dark-squared bishop is a big positional concession, and in general, I find it easier to understand why black gets away with it in these 12... exd4 and 14... b4 lines. Especially as an author who wants to be able to justify his choices rather than just list them this is important to me.

Besides that subjective preference, there were a few lines that bothered me at least a little in the mainline. Theoretically speaking, the only line where I struggled to convince Leela that black is okay after 16. a4 Qe7 17. Ne2 Bd6 18. Nd4 g6 19. Nf3 Nd7 20. Rfd1 Rad8 21. Bg5 f6 22. Be3 Bc5 23. Bf4 (I suppose this was the line I had in mind when contrasting Stockfish and Leela evaluations). For what it's worth, if I am to recommend the mainline in the course I might be inclined to go for 19... Nxe4!? which leads after 20. Rfe1 Bb4 21. Bg5 Nxg5 22. Rxe7 Nxf3+ 23. gxf3 Rxe7 to an endgame where certain versions of Leela are quite happy with black, even though Stockfish pretty much hates it.
Syzygy wrote on 05/18/20 at 21:04:14:
What I've noticed is that links to specific posts (i.e. https://www.chessable.com/discussion/thread/204062/variations-for-analysis-botvi....) seem to be available to the public. I would be happy to take a look at relevant posts, but maybe using this method would be easier for you?

Now that is extremely curious. I'll PM you some links.
  
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Re: Marshall Gambit Mainline - Novelty on Move Ten
Reply #48 - 05/18/20 at 21:04:14
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Jack Hughes wrote on 05/17/20 at 11:34:48:
As far as I can tell, black's objectively strongest reply to this 11. e4 e5 12. h3 line is probably 12... exd4. Neither Stockfish nor Leela is too thrilled at first but I found that by clicking through the correspondence lines they more or less came around. Leela still had some minor worries (~0.20-~0.30 range), but only minor ones. What your thoughts on this line?


If you're talking about the line with 7...O-O 8. O-O dxc4 9. Bxc4 b5 10. Bd3 Bb7 11. e4 e5 12. h3,  then after:

12...exd4 13. Nxd4 Nc5 14. Rd1 Qc7 15. Bg5 Bh2+ 16. Kh1 Be5 17. Nf3 h6 18. Bh4 Bxc3 19. bxc3 Nh5 20. Nd4 Rfe8 21. f3 Ng3+ 22. Kg1 Qf4 23. Bxg3 Qxg3,

a possible improvement is 24. Bf1!? with what appears to be a slight edge for White. This is a long line I generated by just following correspondence play, but I don't know whether this line is what you had in mind.

Also, what is your reason for preferring 12...exd4 over the main line with 12...Re8? Do you have an alternate line in mind after the immediate 12. dxe5 Nxe5 13. Nxe5 Bxe5 14. h3 (to avoid unwanted transpositions)?

Jack Hughes wrote on 05/17/20 at 11:34:48:
That's rather annoying about the links to the forums. A few days ago I linked them to beta-testers before sharing the course and they were able to access them just fine. If you'd like, Syzygy, I'd be more than happy to send copy-pastes of relevant posts to you through PM (or perhaps email - some of my posts are too long for ChessPub messaging).


What I've noticed is that links to specific posts (i.e. https://www.chessable.com/discussion/thread/204062/variations-for-analysis-botvi...) seem to be available to the public. I would be happy to take a look at relevant posts, but maybe using this method would be easier for you?
  
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Re: Marshall Gambit Mainline - Novelty on Move Ten
Reply #47 - 05/17/20 at 11:34:48
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Hi everyone, sorry for the delayed reply. I've been so inundated with work on the course that it's been difficult for me to keep up. I'll break my post down into several points.

- I'm really not scared of the 'Marshall endgame' after 11... Qxd1 (as far as I'm concerned whenever a move like 16. h4 becomes an option - immobilising the kingside majority and fixing another pawn on the dark-squares - the time to play for a win is over) but I think I like Syzygy suggestion even more, especially considering my goals when designing this repertoire. Nice catch!

- I double-checked my files and it turned I was sort of misremembering them in regards to 16. a4. Certainly, there were a lot of lines where Leela was evaluating the position in white's favour and giving ideas that Stockfish was missing, but at least early on in the lines, Stockfish was claiming a modest white edge. I agree with Syzygy about the positional risk black is running when ...c6-c5 is difficult to get in and the dark-squared bishops liable to quickly disappear.

- I have spent some time checking this 8. Bd3 Bb7 9. 0-0 a6!? and so far I agree that it looks very decent for black. I still can't make up my mind what the most critical line is but nothing seems too scary. I still haven't checked 12... Ne8, but given that it has been the unanimous choice in recent correspondence I would expect that what you say is true.

- As far as I can tell, black's objectively strongest reply to this 11. e4 e5 12. h3 line is probably 12... exd4. Neither Stockfish nor Leela is too thrilled at first but I found that by clicking through the correspondence lines they more or less came around. Leela still had some minor worries (~0.20-~0.30 range), but only minor ones. What your thoughts on this line?

- I've taken a look at 12... Rd8 and I agree that this is a very good line for black. I will change my recommendation in the course accordingly. The reason I had concentrated on 18... Nf5 was that the correspondence games had all featured that move, but if I had gone to the trouble of actually using my brain it would have occurred to me how similar the position is to move 19 of the 12... Nh6 mainline. Once you start analysing the two positions in tandem the reply 18... Rhf8 sticks out like a sore thumb. I probably shouldn't be too hard on myself, because I suspect that this is a sin most of us fall into from time to time, but it's rather embarrassing all the same.

- That's rather annoying about the links to the forums. A few days ago I linked them to beta-testers before sharing the course and they were able to access them just fine. If you'd like, Szygy, I'd be more than happy to send copy-pastes of relevant posts to you through PM (or perhaps email - some of my posts are too long for ChessPub messaging.
  
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Re: Marshall Gambit Mainline - Novelty on Move Ten
Reply #46 - 05/14/20 at 03:54:56
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Jack Hughes wrote on 05/14/20 at 00:26:43:
For what it's worth I'm inclined to agree. Almost all of the lines Hiruma mentioned were already in my files with over 100 nodes of analysis and supporting that conclusion. Amusingly enough the only one I'd missed was the 11. Nf3 endgame, but after looking at it I don't think that it's anything to fear. Hiruma gave 12.Rxd1 Rb5 13.Rd4 Be6 14.Re4 but I feel that instead 13... Nxe5 14. Nxe5 Rxe5 15. Rxc4 h5 should be fine for black. Black has the bishop-pair and white's dark-squared bishop is 'bad' from a classical point of view and with the pawn on h5 black is already well placed to deal with white's kingside pawn majority. It reminds me a bit of endgames you'll get in the Marshall Attack.


I'm not totally convinced by the endgame after 15...h5. After 16. e4 or 16. h4 Black still has a little bit of work to do to equalize.

In my opinion, even better is the natural 11...Qd5! After 12. h3 Nh6 13. Kg2 Be7!, it appears that White's best is to enter the endgame after 14. Qxd5 cxd5 15. Rd1 Bb7 16. b3 O-O, when I think Black is completely fine due to the strong light-squared bishop and White's weakened kingside. Certainly this approach is more interesting than the direct endgame after 11...Qxd1 12. Rxd1 due to its intuitive and aggressive nature.

Jack Hughes wrote on 05/14/20 at 00:26:43:
By the way, does your assessment of 16. a4 in the Bd3 Anti-Meran indicate that you have started using Leela for analysis? As mentioned in the Chessable thread that's a line where I've found Stockfish spitting out zero after zero but Leela much more pessimistic.


Unfortunately, I still haven't used Leela for any of my analysis so far. I just noticed that Stockfish thinks 16. a4 is among White's most challenging lines, and the fact that many correspondence players have opted for this approach made me take the line very seriously. I think Black has to be quite careful and precise to not end up positionally worse. Hence my preference for the fresh 9...a6!? - the fact that Carlsen played the position after 10. O-O Bb7 only makes me more confident that the line is sound.

Ding Liren has indeed tried 11...Be7, but I think 12...Ne8! is a clear improvement over 12...h6.

Jack Hughes wrote on 05/14/20 at 00:26:43:
Finally, if you want to get a better idea of the approach I'm taking to the course, along with a few of the lines that I think are critical, then please feel more than free to check out the course forums (https://www.chessable.com/discussion/course/the-sharpest-semi-slav/26289/)! Make sure to check out Section 4 ('What You Can Do To Help: Engine Analysis') of the 'Welcome Beta-Testers!' thread before checking out any of the 'Variations for Analysis' threads for an explanation of why the latter are so sparse. I thought that these forums would be inaccessible for an as-yet-unpublished course but it turns out that anyone with the link can see them.

Thank you so much for all your help Syzygy. You might not be an official beta-tester but to me you have served as an honorary one, and a truly outstanding one at that!


Thank you for your kind words. I'm very interested in these opening lines and would like to help out more by checking out the link, but unfortunately it seems I don't actually have access (i.e. I'm logged in but don't have permission to view the page).
  
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Re: Marshall Gambit Mainline - Novelty on Move Ten
Reply #45 - 05/14/20 at 00:26:43
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Syzygy wrote on 05/13/20 at 19:49:44:
I would like this too. I think Black can achieve equality everywhere after 7...Rb8 and 12...Bb4 and would be happy to discuss my analysis in a dedicated thread.

For what it's worth I'm inclined to agree. Almost all of the lines Hiruma mentioned were already in my files with over 100 nodes of analysis and supporting that conclusion. Amusingly enough the only one I'd missed was the 11. Nf3 endgame, but after looking at it I don't think that it's anything to fear. Hiruma gave 12.Rxd1 Rb5 13.Rd4 Be6 14.Re4 but I feel that instead 13... Nxe5 14. Nxe5 Rxe5 15. Rxc4 h5 should be fine for black. Black has the bishop-pair and white's dark-squared bishop is 'bad' from a classical point of view and with the pawn on h5 black is already well placed to deal with white's kingside pawn majority. It reminds me a bit of endgames you'll get in the Marshall Attack.

On this topic, I've actually asked about this line for the next season of Jan's Opening Clinic, so when he gets to it he might offer some interesting thoughts. One thing I note in my question is that there has been a marked trend away from 8. Nfd2 in recent high-level OTB games, which seems like a promising sign for black.

I do, however, share Hiruma's worry about the sharper lines being a lot of work for black, so as part of my beta-testing I'm planning to organise some practice games starting after 12... Bb4 where I advise people to prepare as much as they want to before the game. I'm very interested to see how these games pan out. (And, to make myself sound like a broken record, want as many volunteers for this as possible - join the Lichess team!)
Syzygy wrote on 05/13/20 at 19:49:44:
Also, I read through your discussion with Hiruma on the Semi-Slav Anti-Meran lines on Chessable. If you look at the thread "What the heck to play against the Semi-Slav?" here on Chesspub you will see that I agree with your sentiments on the most challenging lines after 10. Be2 and 10. Bd3.

However, recently I think I've come up with an approach that can hugely cut down on Black's work in these Anti-Meran lines. We begin by trying to delay castling with the immediate 7...dxc4 8. Bxc4 b5. Then:

9. Bd3 a6!? is a rare move order that seems to work well, accelerating the c5 break. One critical line I looked at is 10. O-O Bb7 11. e4 e5 12. Bg5 h6 13. Bh4 c5 14. Bxf6 Qxf6 15. d5 c4 16. Be2 Be7! 17. a4 Qb6, following a recent correspondence game, where Black is equal.

9. Be2 a6!? is also possible, but after 10. O-O we have to transpose back into one of the main lines with 10...O-O. Here, however, I think Black is also equal. The only critical try is 11. Ng5, but here the rare 11...Be7! 12. e4 Ne8! 13. Nf3 c5!, played in two recent correspondence games, is a nice equalizer.

What are your thoughts?

This part of your post is very interesting to me. I had noticed that Carlsen played 9. Bd3 a6!? against Giri and at the time thought that it looked fairly interesting but unnecessary, and I didn't analyse it very deeply. I was confident that black is completely fine after 9... 0-0 10. 0-0 Bb7 11. a3 a5 (and still am) and thought that if black is fine after having weakened the queenside like that then 11. e4 should be even less threatening. At the time I had done some minimal analysis with Leela and Stockfish, which concurred with this assessment, so I thought nothing of it.

Only in recent weeks have I gone deeper and found just how challenging this 11. e4 is. The reasoning that black avoids weakening the queenside misses the point that ...a7-a5 prepares ...Ba6, when the positionally favourable exchange of light-squared bishops is on the cards. I guess by the time I realised this it had just been too long since I'd seen the Giri-Carlsen game and I didn't really think to go all the way back to 9... a6 as a potential improvement. I will look into it more deeply and get back to you.

Your suggestion against 9. Be2 is even newer to me. I had noticed that Ding Liren played 10... a6 11. Ng5 Be7 and could have sworn that I had analysed his continuation of 12. e4 h6!? to a slight but manageable white advantage, but checking my files I can't actually find any analysis of it! I will take a closer look.

One point I would like to note is that, even if your recommendations are easier equalisers from a theoretical perspective (obviously I'm not deep enough yet to say), Lichess statistics suggest that the traditional mainlines with 9... 0-0 and 10... Bb7 will probably give black players a better practical score at club level - assuming, that is, that black players do their homework. Obviously, I haven't checked your recommendations deeply enough to know en if your recommendations are easier equalisers from a theoretical point of view. There are a lot of really popular ways for white to pretty much just lose straight out of the opening! In such scenarios, my general approach is going to be to switch my main recommendation at the fourth or fifth level of depth of coverage in the course. As an example, this is how I currently intend to approach this thread's topic of 9. Ba5 in the Marshall Gambit -- the super-exciting sacrifices of 10... e5 in the third level, the rock-solid equaliser of 10... f6 in the fourth and fifth.

By the way, does your assessment of 16. a4 in the Bd3 Anti-Meran indicate that you have started using Leela for analysis? As mentioned in the Chessable thread that's a line where I've found Stockfish spitting out zero after zero but Leela much more pessimistic.

Finally, if you want to get a better idea of the approach I'm taking to the course, along with a few of the lines that I think are critical, then please feel more than free to check out the course forums (https://www.chessable.com/discussion/course/the-sharpest-semi-slav/26289/)! Make sure to check out Section 4 ('What You Can Do To Help: Engine Analysis') of the 'Welcome Beta-Testers!' thread before checking out any of the 'Variations for Analysis' threads for an explanation of why the latter are so sparse. I thought that these forums would be inaccessible for an as-yet-unpublished course but it turns out that anyone with the link can see them.

Thank you so much for all your help Szygy. You might not be an official beta-tester but to me you have served as an honorary one, and a truly outstanding one at that!
  
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Re: Marshall Gambit Mainline - Novelty on Move Ten
Reply #44 - 05/13/20 at 19:49:44
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Jack Hughes wrote on 05/12/20 at 22:15:39:
Hiruma666 and I have had a great discussion on Chessable about the 12... Bb4 Catalan line that has been discussed so productively in this thread, and I suspect that there is much of value that he can contribute to this discussion. However, this is the Semi-Slav board, and I believe that all this wonderful discussion has been rather misplaced in this thread. I am wondering if it would be possible for a forum moderator to create a new thread in the Catalan subforum (titled something like 'Open Variation with 5... a6 6. 0-0 Nc6 7. e3 Rb8!? - What is the state of play?') and move all relevant posts to that thread.


I would like this too. I think Black can achieve equality everywhere after 7...Rb8 and 12...Bb4 and would be happy to discuss my analysis in a dedicated thread.

Also, I read through your discussion with Hiruma on the Semi-Slav Anti-Meran lines on Chessable. If you look at the thread "What the heck to play against the Semi-Slav?" here on Chesspub you will see that I agree with your sentiments on the most challenging lines after 10. Be2 and 10. Bd3.

However, recently I think I've come up with an approach that can hugely cut down on Black's work in these Anti-Meran lines. We begin by trying to delay castling with the immediate 7...dxc4 8. Bxc4 b5. Then:

9. Bd3 a6!? is a rare move order that seems to work well, accelerating the c5 break. One critical line I looked at is 10. O-O Bb7 11. e4 e5 12. Bg5 h6 13. Bh4 c5 14. Bxf6 Qxf6 15. d5 c4 16. Be2 Be7! 17. a4 Qb6, following a recent correspondence game, where Black is equal.

9. Be2 a6!? is also possible, but after 10. O-O we have to transpose back into one of the main lines with 10...O-O. Here, however, I think Black is also equal. The only critical try is 11. Ng5, but here the rare 11...Be7! 12. e4 Ne8! 13. Nf3 c5!, played in two recent correspondence games, is a nice equalizer.

What are your thoughts?
  
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Re: Marshall Gambit Mainline - Novelty on Move Ten
Reply #43 - 05/12/20 at 22:15:39
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Great to have you hear Hiruma, I think that we can all agree your first post makes for an excellent debut in our little community! In regards to your lines.

- I am very pleased to see that you have assessed 23. a3 as white's most critical try, because this was my conclusion in my own research as well. Though I am generally reluctant to draw this conclusion, my assessment of these lines was that Stockfish understands them better than Leela, with the latter often claiming a serious white advantage in positions that on subsequent analysis turned out to be equal or even better for black. As an example, the absolute mainline of my files in terms of nodes devoted to it was 24...Rd3 25.Rxd3 Rxd3 26.Qc2! (stronger than the cutest Be5!?) 26...Qxc4 27.Nd2 Qd5 28.Be2 Bb7 29.f3 Rd4! (this was a move Leela didn't like, but came around to after being force-fed the Stockfish lines)30. Bxd4 Qxd4+ 31. Kh1 Nc7 32. Ne4?! (this was Leela's first choice, but this was the point at which Stockfish switched from its trademark 0.00 to claiming a black advantage - Leela tried no less than seven other moves for white here but in all cases was either already happy with black or easily convinced after a few more moves) Nd5 33. Bb5 f5 34. Nc3 Nf4 35. Rd1 Qe3 36. Qd2 Qxd2 37. Rxd2 Nd5 38. Bc4 Nd6 when suddenly Leela starts agreeing that black is better.

- I spent a few hours looking at 12... Rd8, but wasn't able to make it work for black. Unfortunately, after 16. Rfe1 c5 17. Qa4 Kf7 18. Rad1 I concentrated my analysis on 18... Nf5. I haven't had the chance to properly check 18... Rhf8 yet but given how happy Hiruma666 and Syzgy are then I am inclined to suspect that it is a real improvement after which black is doing very well. I will report back after I have taken a proper look. Incidentally, let me emphasise that I am not wedded to any particular reply. When I can be convinced that one line is a clear improvement over my intended recommendation then I will change my intended recommendation. I want the course to be as good as I can possibly make it and to knowingly recommend inferior lines would be in clear violation of that desire.

As an aside, I have finalised my team of beta-testers and am going to start sharing the course with the successful applicants. I am really excited about the team that I have assembled and think that together we will be able to produce a really great course! Unfortunately, I have had some unanticipated technical difficulties in sharing the course with more than five people and am going to wait until I can get that sorted before I share it with individual team members.

Additionally, if there is anyone reading this who is interested in the course and wishes to help out in some capacity but who is not part of the beta-testing team, I would like to announce the creation of 'The Sharpest Semi-Slav' team on Lichess. I am planning to use this team to organise practice games between beta-testers and other interested parties from pre-selected starting positions that may appear in the course. It is my hope that these practice games will enable me to get a better understanding of the human, practical assessment of the lines that I am recommending or considering to recommend. To that end, contributions from anyone - beta-tester or otherwise - will be highly invaluable. Anyone interested can find the link to the team https://lichess.org/team/the-sharpest-semi-slav-on-chessable-official-group.

Finally, Hiruma666 and I have had a great discussion on Chessable about the 12... Bb4 Catalan line that has been discussed so productively in this thread, and I suspect that there is much of value that he can contribute to this discussion. However, this is the Semi-Slav board, and I believe that all this wonderful discussion has been rather misplaced in this thread. I am wondering if it would be possible for a forum moderator to create a new thread in the Catalan subforum (titled something like 'Open Variation with 5... a6 6. 0-0 Nc6 7. e3 Rb8!? - What is the state of play?') and move all relevant posts to that thread.
  
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Re: Marshall Gambit Mainline - Novelty on Move Ten
Reply #42 - 05/12/20 at 19:28:39
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When I brought up 12...Nh6 and 17...c5 a few posts back, I didn't mention the thematic 20. a3, mostly because all correspondence games I could find from the position continued with 20. Qc2.

After 20. a3 Kf8 21. b4, I agree that 21...Re7 22. Ne4 with the idea of Nxf6 is quite dangerous. Nice catch!

My suggested improvement would be 21...cxb4 22. axb4 Bb7, preventing this Ne4 idea. As far as I can see (with Stockfish) all of the lines peter out to draws, i.e.

23. Re3 Qg5 24. Bf3 b5! 25. Qa1 Bxf3 26. Rxf3 Nc7 27. Rg3 Qh4 28. Rh3 Qg4 29. Rg3 Qh4 =

23. h3 Rd3 24. Nf1 Rxd1 25. Rxd1 Qxc4 26. Qd7 Re7 27. Qc8+ Re8 28. Qd7 Re7 =

I still think 19...Rhe8 is more reliable than 19...Ng5, though BeeCaves' 23...Bb7 does seem like an improvement in the latter variation that allows Black to hold with best play.

Finally, I took a fresh look at 12...Rd8, and I have to agree with Hiruma. Black can achieve full equality there, and the position types are similar to those that arise after 12...Nh6. In addition, Black has to memorize less critical moves to get to the key position, so this could be a useful option to have in a repertoire.

  
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Re: Marshall Gambit Mainline - Novelty on Move Ten
Reply #41 - 05/12/20 at 19:03:20
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23...Bb7 24. h3 Nb8 25.Qxa7 Bxf3 26.Bxf3 Nc6 27.Bxc6 Rxc6 28.Qa4 Rcc8  29 Qb5 Rb8 30.b4 Kg8 might just be a draw by repetition if White grabs on c5?

  
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Re: Marshall Gambit Mainline - Novelty on Move Ten
Reply #40 - 05/12/20 at 18:36:58
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Thanks for the feedback !
After 23...Bb7 24. h3! Nb8 25.Qxa7 Bxf3 26.Bxf3 Nc6 27.Bxc6 Rxc6, I like 28.Qa4! intending Qb5 and b4 or a4-a5, for instance 28...Rcc8 29.Qb5 e5 (29...Rb8 30.b4) 30.a4! Rb8 31.a5 and black is far from equality. But it needs deeper analysis.

27...Nxd8 is very interesting. Simply a bad miss by me. Both engine neglect this move at first and since it seemed less logical (giving the e5 square etc.) I just did'n pay much attention, but even if Leela prefers slightly white at first, It is not much.
I don't have the time today to look at it more seriously, but I'll do it. But I have mixed feeling considering it being that critical, since it doesn't change the essence of black position.
But thanks a lot for pointing it out, very relevant !
  
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Re: Marshall Gambit Mainline - Novelty on Move Ten
Reply #39 - 05/12/20 at 15:41:57
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Interesting lines Hiruma666 ... thanks for sharing.

I don't know if you want weak Stockfish analysis, you are probably better at using chess computers for me and your points make sense but some (half baked) ideas:

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c6 4.e4 dxe4 5.Nxe4 Bb4+ 6.Bd2 Qxd4 7.Bxb4 Qxe4+ 8.Be2 Na6 9.Ba5 b6 10. Qd6 Bd7 11.Bc3 f6 12.Nf3 Nh6 13.Rd1 Rd8 14.Qa3 Bc8 15.Nd2 Qf4 16.Bh5+ Nf7 17.0-0 c5 18.Qa4+ Ke7 19.Rfe1 Ng5 20.Re3 Rd6 21.Rde1 Rhd8 22.Nf3 Kf8 23.a3
maybe 23... Bb7 instead Black is eventually getting the Na6 back in play?
24. Nxg5 Qxg5 25 Bf3 Bxf3 26 Rxf3 Nb8 and White can try 27 h4 but Stockfish seems to think it peters out.
Maybe better is 24. h3 Nb8 25 Qxa7 Bxf3 26 Bxf3 Nc6 27 Bxc6 Rxc6 and Black is eventually getting e5, Ne6, etc.

23... Nf7 24. h3 g6 25 Re4 Qh6 26 Bxf6 gxh5 27 Bxd8 Nxd8 also looks interesting?



  
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Re: Marshall Gambit Mainline - Novelty on Move Ten
Reply #38 - 05/12/20 at 14:21:17
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Hey Jack, Hey all !
I am new on the website, and I wished to continue the discussion I started with Jack on Chessable.
I did'nt check the 10...e5 line but I wanted to share my view on the absolute main line.
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c6 4.e4 dxe4 5.Nxe4 Bb4+ 6.Bd2 Qxd4 7.Bxb4 Qxe4+ 8.Be2 Na6 9.Ba5 b6 10. Qd6 Bd7 11.Bc3 f6 12.Nf3
You spoke a lot about the main move 12...Nh6 but I think it is not ne best choice for black, especially according to Leela.

12...Nh6 13.Rd1 Rd8 14.Qa3 Bc8 15.Nd2 Df4 16.Fh5+ Cf7 17.0-0 c5 18.Da4+ Re7 19.Tfe1 and here black has two big tries :

1) 19...The8 proposed by grewgaw, but he did'nt seem to mention white best try 20.a3 ! Playing b4 and then putting pression on the Na6-a7 pawn duo is one of white key idea.
So 20.a3 Kf8 21.b4 Re7 22.Ne4 Rxd1 (22...Bb7 23.Nxf6! is similar) 23.Qxd1 Bb7 24.g3 Qc7 25.Nxf6! (white main idea in this particular position) 25...gxf6 26.Bxf6 Qc6 27.Bxe7+ Rxe7 28.f3 cxb4 29.Bxf7 Kxf7 30.Qd3! (the move Stockfish missed at low depth, Leela did'nt) 30...bxa3 31.Qxh7+ Ke8 32.Rd1 Qc8 33.Qg8+ and white is very clearly playing for two results.

2) 19...Ng5!? is the move chose by Jack it seems. The sequence 20.Re3 Rd6 21.Rde1 Rhd8 22.Nf3 Kf8 23.a3 Nf7 seems to be well known (1000+ visits in Let's Check) 24.h3! The move of Leela
Then some possiblities for black
a) 24...Nh6 to go to f5 but 25.g3! Qf5 26.g4! show one of the idea of 24.h3. Black is in huge trouble after 26...Qf4 27.Ne5!
b) 24...Rd3 25.Rxd3 Rxd3 26.Qc2! (stronger than the cutest Be5!?) 26...Qxc4 27.Nd2 Qd5 28.Be2 Bb7 29.f3 Rxc3 30.Qcx3. The position is not that bad for black but white is slightly better, some of the black pieces still have problems
c)24...g6 let's say it is the main move, 25.Re4! Qh6 26.Bxf6 gxh5 (if 26...Qxh5 27.Rf4 R8d7 28.Be5! white is better)
Back to 26...gxh5 27.Bxd8 Rxd8 28.b4 cxb4 29.axb4 Qf6 30.Qa3 Kg8 31.Ne5! Nxe5 (31...Rf8 32.Nd3! Leela) 32.Rxe5 Rf8 33.R1e2 h4 34.R5e4 Bb7 (34...Kf8 35.f3! and black pieces are passive) 35.Rxe6 Qg7 36.f3! Bxf3 37.Rf2 Nc7 38.Re3 Bb7 39.Qa2 Rxf2 40.Qxf2.
We achieve a quite typical position of these lines, black has two pieces for a rook, but h4 is weak and more important, the black is so weak that I think the position is very difficult to play. The rook is very strong in such case.

So one story short about this 12...Nh6, maybe I missed one or two better try for black at some point, but Leela seems to dislike these kind of position for black. And we can't blame her, the Na6 is stuck because of a7 hanging in a lot of case, the Nf7 is not great either (protecting duty but nothing more), and the Bc8 is blocked by the e6 pawn, and on b7, he can be refrained by f3. Long story short, I don't like black since to me white has a long lasting initiative and dynamic play in most of the line.

Instead, I want to point out that 12...Rd8! is for me the best equalizer weapon at black disposal. As you will see, black knight will be on f5 (instead of f7) allowing black to have counterplay in time against the white king by Nh4 and Bb7. Also ...Kf7 followed by ...Rf8 and ...Kg8 can come quickly. It is much more fun to play, and I believe as sound as 12...Nh6 !

12...Rd8 13.Nd2 Qg6 14.Qa3 is the only real try for white.
14...Bc8 15.0-0 Ne7 and we achieve a crossroad where white have some different plans.
a) 16.Rfe1 c5! thematic move here 17.Qa4+ Kf7 18.a3!? the usual white idea (18.Rad1 transpose in b) (18.Ne4 Rhf8 19.Rad1 Nf5 is fine for black) 18...Nf5 19.b4 Rd7! defending a7 and preparing Rhd8 is solving black problems.
b) 16.Rad1 is the main try, 16...c5! 17.Qa4+ Kf7 18.Bf3
(18.a3 Rhf8 19.b4 e5! is ok for black)
(18.Rfe1 Rhf8 19.Ne4 Nf5 20.Ng3 Nxg3 21.hxg3 Kg8 is completely ok for black)
So back to 18.Bf3 Nf5 19.Be4
(19.Bc6 intending Bb5 is a prefect example of how things work tacticly for black 19...Rhf8 20.Bb5 Nh4! and the counter play is in time 21.g3 Kg8 22.Bxa6 Rxd2! work for black)
So 19.Be4 Rhf8 20.Nf3 intending Nh5 20...Qg4! is fine for black, for example 21.Bc6 intending Bb5 once again 21...Qf4 22.Bb5 Bb7! 23.Bd2 Qg4 24.h3 Qh5 25.Bc6 Bxc6 26.Qxc6 Nb8! and once again black has solved his problems.

I think the move are easier to fin in this 12...Rd8 stuff :
...Raf8, ...Nf8, ...Kf7-g8 etc. And black has also more chance against white king.
And also in pratical games, black did very much ok
  
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Re: Marshall Gambit Mainline - Novelty on Move Ten
Reply #37 - 05/10/20 at 10:25:25
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Hi all, just an announcement that I have opened the thread of Chessable for applications to beta test the course. If anyone reading here is interested in doing so then they should post in that thread (link: https://www.chessable.com/discussion/thread/202828/looking-for-beta-testers-for-...). Anyone not interested in beta testing but still interested in the course might also be interested, because I've included an extract (1753 words) from the course consisting of my textual annotation to the position arising after 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 c6 4. Nf3 Nf6 5. Bg5 dxc4 6. e4 b5 7. e5 h6 8. Bh4 g5 9. Nxg5 hxg5 10. Bxg5
Also, I know I should have done this earlier but gewgaw I would like to thank you for sharing your analysis with us. I hadn't looked at it properly at the time of my last post but I since have and believe that you have done good work there. I know it's easy to feel unappreciated at times when sharing analysis on this forum, so please take this comment as an indication of gratitude from me for your contribution.
  
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Re: Marshall Gambit Mainline - Novelty on Move Ten
Reply #36 - 05/07/20 at 02:53:57
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Syzygy wrote on 05/04/20 at 23:22:43:
I would like to point out that Modern Chess has had a database out on the Open Catalan with 7...Rb8 for a while now. From the preview, IM Robert Ris seems like he's gone for the approach with 12...Bb4!, and many of his choices coincide with my analysis. Does anyone currently have this database? Any thoughts?



I purchased it -- I don't know these lines as well as you guys and still reviewing the product but he analyzes your 22... Kd8! line and keeps going for a while ... he stops at 18... Rh5! in the other line.


  
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Re: Marshall Gambit Mainline - Novelty on Move Ten
Reply #35 - 05/06/20 at 11:52:16
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Okay, I think I am long overdue for a post in this thread.
- Indeed the questioner was someone who read this thread - in fact, it was me! At the time I wrote that question I hadn't analysed the line with 12... Nc5 too deeply, but I hard turned Stockfish on and found that it was often leading to 0.00 positions where black was returning the pawn and superficially it seemed like black was in return eliminating white's long-term positional trumps (e.g. the dark-squared bishop) and getting free develop. In other words, finally a solution to the Marshall Gambit that would be good OTB without a computer to defend for you! Once I analysed it with Leela it turned out that this was very far being the case, and a lot of those 0.00 positions were very unpleasant defensive tasks that required lots of concrete memorisation. I don't have my files on my right now so I can't give any exact lines, but I think that anyone who has access to Leela (even on a CPU) should be able to find them pretty easily. Gustafsson pretty much concurred with that assessment, which I was happy to see. In line with Szygy's post, my analysis currently indicates that 12... Nh6 is black's best bet. At the moment my mainline is with 19... Ng5, but I can't recall what my file said about 19... Rhe8. I might take a closer look at it and get back to you.
- I do not currently own either Semkov's book or the Ris database. Under normal circumstances, I'm usually able to access books just a few months after they come out at the library near my university (which I believe claims to have the best chess catalogue in the Southern Hemisphere, and based on my experience with it that claim seems pretty plausible to me). Unfortunately, that's not open at the moment for obvious reasons, so if I want to take a look at the Semkov book I might have to pay for it myself... Lee, I wish you'd instead come on to talk about just how bad the book was Tongue! After the discussion in this thread and I've concluded that 5... a6 is indeed more fun for black than 5... c6 in the Catalan, so I'm switching my main recommendation for the course. So I might have to buy that as well!
- Back on the subject of this thread, I have discovered that in line B2 black gets enough counterplay after 18... Rae8 19. Qxa7 Ne6 20. Rd2 fxe5 21. Bxe5 Bg6 22. Qd7 Bf7! and so I am now much more satisfied with black's prospects in the line with 10... e5. According to my current analysis white's most promising try might even be to just relent to a queen exchange with 14. Qxe5, leading to an endgame where white is very slightly better but I don't think black should be worried.
- I am planning to enter into beta testing on Chessable in the next few days and will open a thread on Chessable announcing that and explaining what sort of help I'm hoping for from them. If any readers here are interested in beta testing keep an eye out on the Chessable forums. The preliminary course title is 'The Sharpest Semi-Slav', but I am open to other suggestions.
  
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Re: Marshall Gambit Mainline - Novelty on Move Ten
Reply #34 - 05/04/20 at 23:22:43
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I would like to point out that Modern Chess has had a database out on the Open Catalan with 7...Rb8 for a while now. From the preview, IM Robert Ris seems like he's gone for the approach with 12...Bb4!, and many of his choices coincide with my analysis. Does anyone currently have this database? Any thoughts?

  
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Re: Marshall Gambit Mainline - Novelty on Move Ten
Reply #33 - 05/04/20 at 17:18:46
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I finally got Semkov’s book.  He gives ..h6 in the Noteboom.  He does a nice job collecting and explaining the corr. games in this line.  Also good coverage of the Marshall.  It’s a good book if you play these lines or are writing a chessable course Smiley
  
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Re: Marshall Gambit Mainline - Novelty on Move Ten
Reply #32 - 04/27/20 at 17:41:22
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Thanks for your reply! Smiley

1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 c6 4. e4 dxe4 5. Nxe4 Bb4+ 6.
Bd2 Qxd4 7. Bxb4 Qxe4+ 8. Be2 Na6 9. Ba5 b6 10. Qd6 Bd7 11. Bc3 f6 12. Nf3 Nh6 (12... Nc5 13. Bb4 Ne7 14. Bxc5 bxc5 15. Qxc5 e5 16. Nd2 Qxg2 17. O-O-O Qg5
18. Rhg1 Qh6 19. f4 Ng6 20. Kb1 Qxf4 21. Nb3 (21. Ka1) 21... Rd8 22. Na5 (22.Qxa7 Bf5+ 23. Ka1 O-O 24. Rxd8 Rxd8 25. Qb6 Rc8 26. c5 Qxh2 27. Bc4+ Kh8) 22...
Bf5+ 23. Ka1 Rxd1+ 24. Rxd1 Kf7 25. Qxa7+ Kg8 26. Rd8+ Nf8 27. Qg1 g5 (27... c5) 28. Nxc6 Kg7 29. Ne7 Be4 30. a4 Ne6 31. Nd5 Bxd5 32. Qa7+ Kh6 33. Rxh8 Qc1+ 34. Ka2 Be4 35. Qe7 Bb1+ 36. Ka3 Qe3+ 37. Kb4 Qb6+ 38. Kc3 Qe3+) 13. Rd1 Rd8
14. Qa3 Bc8 15. Nd2 (15. Rxd8+ Kxd8 16. Qd6+ Bd7 17. Qa3 (17. O-O Qxe2 18. Rd1
Nc5 19. Re1 Nf7 20. Qg3 Ne4 21. Rxe2 Nxg3 22. hxg3 e5) 17... Bc8 18. Qd6+ Bd7
19. Nd2 Qxg2 20. Bf3 Qg6 21. Qa3 Bc8 22. Qd6+ Bd7 23. Bxc6 Qe8) 15... Qf4 (15... Qg6 16. Bf3 c5 17. Bc6+ Kf7 18. O-O Nf5 19. Ne4) 16. Bh5+ Nf7 17. O-O c5
18. Qa4+ Ke7 19. Rfe1 Rhe8 20. Qc2 (20. Qc6 Kf8 21. a3 Re7) (20. Re3 Kf8 21.h3 Qc7) 20... Qh6 21. Bf3 Kf8 22. a3 e5 23. b4 Re7 24. Nb3 (24. b5 Nc7) 24...Rxd1 25. Qxd1 Qf4

Many forced lines and only moves, but indeed, Black holds. I get the impression chess is drying out. Undecided

  

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Re: Marshall Gambit Mainline - Novelty on Move Ten
Reply #31 - 04/26/20 at 21:53:07
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I'm not a big fan of 12...Nc5 - while Black has drawn all of the correspondence games, after 15. Qxc5 White has a dangerous initiative. For instance, in your line, 21. Nb3!? looks like a challenging alternative.

Instead, I think Black is doing fine after 12...Nh6. The mainline runs 13. Rd1 Rd8 14. Qa3 Bc8 15. Nd2 Qf4 16. Bh5+ Nf7 17. O-O, when Black has a choice between 17...Qd6 and 17...c5.

Both moves should equalize, but perhaps the cleanest is 17...c5 18. Qa4+ Ke7 19. Rfe1 Rhe8. White has failed to show anything in correspondence play, i.e. 20. Qc2 Qh6 21. Bf3 Kf8 22. a3 e5 with comfortable equality.
  
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Re: Marshall Gambit Mainline - Novelty on Move Ten
Reply #30 - 04/26/20 at 12:32:56
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BeeCaves wrote on 04/19/20 at 17:34:55:
FYI, there was a big segment on Marshall Gambit in the Latest Jan's Opening Clinic on chess24. 

Maybe someone here asked the question!  Smiley



Inspired by his comments I looked at the triangle and here's my mainline, weird stuff, Black is under huge pressure or maybe not, who am I to comment engine moves, which are out of my scope:

1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 c6 4. e4 dxe4 5. Nxe4 Bb4+ 6.
Bd2 Qxd4 7. Bxb4 Qxe4+ 8. Be2 Na6 9. Ba5 b6 10. Qd6 Bd7 11. Bc3 f6 12. Nf3 Nc5
13. Bb4 Ne7 14. Bxc5 bxc5 15. Qxc5 e5 16. Nd2 Qxg2 17. O-O-O Qg5 18. Rhg1 Qh6
19. f4 Ng6 20. Kb1 Qxf4 21. Ka1

  

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Re: Marshall Gambit Mainline - Novelty on Move Ten
Reply #29 - 04/19/20 at 17:34:55
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FYI, there was a big segment on Marshall Gambit in the Latest Jan's Opening Clinic on chess24. 

Maybe someone here asked the question!  Smiley
  
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Re: Marshall Gambit Mainline - Novelty on Move Ten
Reply #28 - 04/08/20 at 09:29:05
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belgian wrote on 04/08/20 at 06:20:49:
Jack Hughes wrote on 02/25/20 at 00:17:03:
I am recommending 16. Na4 Qa6 (instead of that game's 16... Qb5) when the mainline with 17. a3 Bxd5 18. Bxd5 Ne5 19. axb4 Rxd5 20. Qe2 cxb4 21. Nc3 Qd6 22. Nxd5 Qxd5 leads to a very interesting and double edged position where black is an exchange down but has active pieces and a highly mobile pawn majority on the queenside and recent ICCF games suggest black is in excellent theoretical shape.


I am not a Semi-Slav expert (yet!?, get that course out! Wink) but was under the impression that White's best try for a small edge was 19. Nxc5!? Bxc5 20. Qe2! as shown in Bryan Paulsen's (now dated) book and Schandorff's reason for preferring Qb5 if my memory serves me.

That's definitely a valid line for white, but in my view it is less critical than the endgame arising after 19. axb4/19. Qe2, and perhaps also less critical than 19. Nxc5!? Bxc5 20. axb4 Bxf2+ 21. Kxf2. The mainline in my files goes 20... exd5 21. Qxe5 b3 22. Rae1 Qc6 23. h4 Re8 24. Qc3 Kb7 25. Re7+ Bxe7 26. fxe7 Rhg8 with equality. I haven't actually written up my coverage of this line yet, but of course I will offer more verbal explanation there of what is going on.
Laramonet wrote on 04/08/20 at 07:11:48:
Hi Jack, any idea when your course will be out ?

My current intention is to start beta testing early in May, with an optimistic release date some time in June. Given that this is a part time passion project rather than a serious attempt to make money I cannot in good conscience really promise that I will stick to those goals, but those are the goals.
  
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Re: Marshall Gambit Mainline - Novelty on Move Ten
Reply #27 - 04/08/20 at 07:11:48
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Hi Jack, any idea when your course will be out ?
  
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Re: Marshall Gambit Mainline - Novelty on Move Ten
Reply #26 - 04/08/20 at 06:20:49
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Jack Hughes wrote on 02/25/20 at 00:17:03:
I am recommending 16. Na4 Qa6 (instead of that game's 16... Qb5) when the mainline with 17. a3 Bxd5 18. Bxd5 Ne5 19. axb4 Rxd5 20. Qe2 cxb4 21. Nc3 Qd6 22. Nxd5 Qxd5 leads to a very interesting and double edged position where black is an exchange down but has active pieces and a highly mobile pawn majority on the queenside and recent ICCF games suggest black is in excellent theoretical shape.


I am not a Semi-Slav expert (yet!?, get that course out! Wink) but was under the impression that White's best try for a small edge was 19. Nxc5!? Bxc5 20. Qe2! as shown in Bryan Paulsen's (now dated) book and Schandorff's reason for preferring Qb5 if my memory serves me.
  
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Re: Marshall Gambit Mainline - Novelty on Move Ten
Reply #25 - 03/14/20 at 10:37:39
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I have a pretty modest gpu, but there are some nets that are useful, and the LcO people have a list of suggested nets for different computer systems. It is also important to remember Stockfish and Brainfish which are still very strong, and work on anything more modern than Fred Flintstone's laptop.
  
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Re: Marshall Gambit Mainline - Novelty on Move Ten
Reply #24 - 03/13/20 at 09:44:32
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trw wrote on 03/12/20 at 15:49:45:
Not sure. I would have to check it. I don't have the time atm. If it transposes, I usually still note such a move as transposing especially for a book or course.

Fair enough, I'm willing to concede that I should have mentioned it. I am now and was always intending to cover it in the course, including the independent but toothless lines it can lead to.
trw wrote on 03/12/20 at 15:49:45:
I have built my own database which takes hours every month to maintain. It is better than anything you can buy commercially... and I have seen other corr players with databases that put mine to shame in the same way mine puts MegaDatabase to shame... however they spend hundreds more hours on theirs. One issue is that I have never seen a chess database program that can really handle the amount of games out there... I would love to see a new 2020 UI built with size in mind.

Ah... that makes sense! I've pretty much listed all of my sources for games in the previous post. Are there any other free ones you would recommend? If you'd prefer to keep them a bit more secret then I would fully understand.
trw wrote on 03/12/20 at 15:49:45:
Difficult to say tbh... it's all so new and there is so many networks and variants... I don't have time to test every network nor the hardware to test that many. I have tried to come up with some heuristics to make using lc0 practical. I stayed with the jhortos t40 network for a while after testing many many t30/t40 networks... now I have upgraded to a handful of t60 nodes and only rarely go back to jhortos t40. I do try to keep up with the lc0 developments. In general, it is a time trade off of the opportunity cost. And in your situation as a cpu only vs high end cuda/blas... I am not sure there is any reason to not just take the super simple route of the link I posted above from the devs themselves.

Interesting. Funnily enough my belief that diversity of style is more important than playing strength was actually based upon my experience using crappy hardware - it's basically the only explanation I can think of for the significant help that my severely nerfed version of LC0 has provided to me in in analysis. I'll take your advice on board, thanks for sharing.
  
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Re: Marshall Gambit Mainline - Novelty on Move Ten
Reply #23 - 03/12/20 at 15:49:45
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Jack Hughes wrote on 03/12/20 at 11:00:21:
- Obviously you are correct that I failed to mention 11. Bc3. My reasoning was that I thought white had no challenging alternative to just transposing with 11... Ne7 12. Rd1. Do you not agree with this assessment?


Not sure. I would have to check it. I don't have the time atm. If it transposes, I usually still note such a move as transposing especially for a book or course.

Jack Hughes wrote on 03/12/20 at 11:00:21:
- trw I am very eager to hear what database you are using. I've checked with the latest editions of TWIC, Chessbase online and the ICCF archive and I can't find any of the games you are referring to. The only game I can find after 10... e5 is the Erastov-Uskov game referred to by fling. Is there some kind of secret super-database known only to high-level ICCF players?  Shocked


I have built my own database which takes hours every month to maintain. It is better than anything you can buy commercially... and I have seen other corr players with databases that put mine to shame in the same way mine puts MegaDatabase to shame... however they spend hundreds more hours on theirs. One issue is that I have never seen a chess database program that can really handle the amount of games out there... I would love to see a new 2020 UI built with size in mind.

Jack Hughes wrote on 03/12/20 at 11:00:21:
- Your thoughts on the use of LC0 are most appreciated, as is your generous offer to take a look at some lines - I will make sure to avail myself of that offer! I would have thought that making use of a diverse range of NNs with different styles (e.g. one LC0 from test 40, one from test 60, a version of Alliestein, a version of Leelenstein) would have been more important than just finding whichever one is the very strongest in terms of finding and cross-checking ideas. Would you agree with this view?


Difficult to say tbh... it's all so new and there is so many networks and variants... I don't have time to test every network nor the hardware to test that many. I have tried to come up with some heuristics to make using lc0 practical. I stayed with the jhortos t40 network for a while after testing many many t30/t40 networks... now I have upgraded to a handful of t60 nodes and only rarely go back to jhortos t40. I do try to keep up with the lc0 developments. In general, it is a time trade off of the opportunity cost. And in your situation as a cpu only vs high end cuda/blas... I am not sure there is any reason to not just take the super simple route of the link I posted above from the devs themselves.
  
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Re: Marshall Gambit Mainline - Novelty on Move Ten
Reply #22 - 03/12/20 at 11:00:21
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Thanks to both Szygy and trw for the replies. I will make a few comments in reply.
In response to trw:
- Obviously you are correct that I failed to mention 11. Bc3. My reasoning was that I thought white had no challenging alternative to just transposing with 11... Ne7 12. Rd1. Do you not agree with this assessment?
- I will make sure to credit Chesspub and any particular users when credit is due. Even assuming that I was sufficiently lacking in integrity not to do this it would be pretty hard when I post under my real name! My condolences to trw and anyone else who has had their analysis taken without due accreditation.
- trw I am very eager to hear what database you are using. I've checked with the latest editions of TWIC, Chessbase online and the ICCF archive and I can't find any of the games you are referring to. The only game I can find after 10... e5 is the Erastov-Uskov game referred to by fling. Is there some kind of secret super-database known only to high-level ICCF players?  Shocked
- I've done only the most superficial of analyses here but what little I have done corroborates the claim that 16... h5 is superior to 16... Kf7. What 'analysis' (if that is even the right word) I had done of 9... f6 was simply to click through my database and get an idea of whether those were lines I would want to recommend. In practice so far 16... Kf7 has been overwhelmingly preferred over 16... h5 so that was what I 'analysed'. I guess the lesson to be learned is that even under these conditions I should at least turn the engine on.
- The analysis after 18... Rae8 is in variation B1.
- Your thoughts on the use of LC0 are most appreciated, as is your generous offer to take a look at some lines - I will make sure to avail myself of that offer! I would have thought that making use of a diverse range of NNs with different styles (e.g. one LC0 from test 40, one from test 60, a version of Alliestein, a version of Leelenstein) would have been more important than just finding whichever one is the very strongest in terms of finding and cross-checking ideas. Would you agree with this view?
- Your thoughts on the Noteboom are intriguing. Having not analysed the opening properly myself I will happily content myself with the Socratic approach: all I know is that I know nothing!
In response to Szygy:
- Yes 21... cxd6 22. Qxc6+ Kd8 looks like an excellent fix. My Stockfish files were saying that black was busted after both 23. Rg1  and 23. Ke2, but if you keep pressing the button it comes around to the trademark 0.00. So my current conclusion is that 15... f5 is solving the line for black. But it's all so bizarre that I'm still not going to be holding my breath! Thanks for fixing the line!
- Fair enough on LC0. I'm too much of a cheapskate to even consider paying for decent hardware, but that won't stop me from using it anyway!
  
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Re: Marshall Gambit Mainline - Novelty on Move Ten
Reply #21 - 03/12/20 at 02:34:08
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Jack Hughes wrote on 03/12/20 at 01:24:51:
Syzygy wrote on 03/11/20 at 23:43:02:
In the line with 5...a6 and 12...Bb4 13. b3 h5 14. Qc2 h5 15. Nf3 Black's best continuation should be 15...f5!! as originally played in Jumabayev - Gelfand 2019.

It's incredible how Stockfish's evaluation drops over time, and it's the perfect example of a sharp line that is ripe for exploration, since the computer doesn't understand it well (at least at first). That said, I don't have access to Lc0's opinion, so I had to work the details out by manually following what seemed to be the critical lines.

Right now, 16. Rd1 Qe7 17. Bb2 hxg3 18. fxg3 Rh5! 19. Rac1 Bd5 20. Qe2 seems to be the most logical continuation. After this, I focused on the absurd move 20...a5!!, which once again Stockfish misses at low depths. Black is most likely going to open up the queenside with 21...a4!

The whole line is absurd, but it's incredibly fun to find these kinds of ideas for Black. No wonder it's so trendy.

This was a line that I looked at, since it has been played in some high level games, and at one point I was also very excited about it. Unfortunately, I found a pretty large advantage for white after the courageous 16. h3 hxg3 17. hxg4 g2 18. Kxg2 Bd5 19. Kg3 Bxf3 20. Kxf3 Qh4 21. Nd6! Bxd6 22. Qxc6+ Kd8 23. Ke2 Qxg4+ 24. Ke1. Do you have a fix here?
As regards to LC0 I should emphasise that I also have very poor hardware for running it, and so I am able to use it at anywhere near its full strength. Nevertheless the fact that it is just so different in style from Stockfish makes it very useful for analysis - it has helped me to discover several important lines that I definitely would not have found relying on Stockfish alone. On that subject, this includes several variations in the mainline Marshall Gambit, but sadly for white rather than black!  I'm a complete idiot with computers so it took me longer than I would like to admit to start using it, but after watching a Youtube tutorial (link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2srCBNK8jc&t=405s) I was able to work it out. Regardless of your hardware, I would highly recommend anyone interested in seriously analysing openings to do the same.


My fix would be 21. Nd6+! cxd6! 22. Qxc6+ Kd8! since the e1 square is no longer available for the White king. Certainly a critical line, but it looks like Black achieves 0.00, and surely GMs like Gelfand would have analyzed this in depth.

With regards to Lc0, I want to wait until I can get better hardware so that I can utilize it to its full strength. Over time, however, I've learned to trust Stockfish less, and can definitely see hints of Lc0-inspired play popping up in high-level games.
  
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Re: Marshall Gambit Mainline - Novelty on Move Ten
Reply #20 - 03/12/20 at 02:22:57
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Well 10... e5 is not new or not a novelty at least. It is the cutting edge of theory right now and for all practical purposes white is crushing in these lines.

Unfortunately, I have a ridiculous load of correspondence games going at the moment so I can't get too deep into this line. I will try to return to it later but for the moment here it what a cursory overview of thoughts and findings.

10... e5

You didn't even mention 11. Bc3 which may just transpose to your lines but it bears its own investigation.

As for 11. Rd1 Bf5 12. Nf3 Ne7 13. Bc3 Nc5 14. Nxe5 0-0 this can be considered the mainline as all games with this 10... e5 move reach this tabiya. Although from here, white is scoring 70% so if you don't catch someone out of prep otb... you can be in a world of hurt defending this position imo.

Aside, what chessable course? Are you producing this course or consuming it? EDIT: it appears you are writing a course. Congrats! I would be happy to take a look at what you have. Of course, I need to now share a pet peeve which is to cite chesspub as a source. Because while you have given, you have also received. In doing so, you may bring more users here. I have in the past seen my work taken without citation for books and it caused me to contribute a lot less over the years.

B1 The only game I can find white won.

Regarding B2 Na4 certainly does not deserve a ! as it has lost quite a few games. Rae8 has held once. It seems the rook ending is probably lost after 23... Rae8 requiring 23... Re7 which is apparently enough to hold the draw though maybe improvements can be found.


In your follow up post regarding 9... f6 certainly 16... h5 is a vast improvement over 16... Kf7...


Jack Hughes wrote on 02/24/20 at 10:16:26:
I've also been taking a closer look at 18... Rae8. At one point it seemed like 20... Qg2 might be an improvement, but sadly it seems that white is quite a lot better after 21. Rf1 fxe5 22. Bxe5 Qxh2 23. Rd7! (23. Qxb6 Ng5 when black keeps the initiative and is apparently fine) when the almost forced sequence 23... Rf6 24. Re7 Rxe7 25. Qxe7 Rf8 26. c5 leads to an endgame where black is probably just objectively lost.


Somewhere I lost the thread on this one... what is the full line here?

Jack Hughes wrote on 03/12/20 at 01:24:51:
As regards to LC0 I should emphasise that I also have very poor hardware for running it, and so I am able to use it at anywhere near its full strength. Nevertheless the fact that it is just so different in style from Stockfish makes it very useful for analysis - it has helped me to discover several important lines that I definitely would not have found relying on Stockfish alone. On that subject, this includes several variations in the mainline Marshall Gambit, but sadly for white rather than black!  I'm a complete idiot with computers so it took me longer than I would like to admit to start using it, but after watching a Youtube tutorial (link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2srCBNK8jc&t=405s) I was able to work it out. Regardless of your hardware, I would highly recommend anyone interested in seriously analysing openings to do the same.


On that note, I do have very good hardware and have spent an awful lot of time in keeping up with hardware/software changes to play high level ICCF games. If you have a general question, feel free to PM me. I don't promise a response same day... but I do promise to respond with as much help as I can. When my game load decreases, I am also happy to offer some use of my high level hardware for lc0 for specific lines and ideas if it helps. Side note on lc0, it's pretty terrible at endgames and has a much shorter horizon effect. It finds very novel ideas... but they need to be checked thoroughly. And if I keep going off topic on lc0, I may need to start a new thread. Still one last thought, lc0 is primarily driven by which network you select (as the "brain" for lack of a better word). The best network is always in flux... they have a handy short list here that they keep updating for those without a bunch of time...: https://github.com/LeelaChessZero/lc0/wiki/Best-Nets-for-Lc0

A caveat though is that these tests are often done with specific purposes and settings in mind (such as submitting it to an engine tournament like TCEC). It is not done analysis partner or ICCF time control ideas... as such you really will need to do some of your own testing. Each network operates in some ways like its own engine. In the end, the easiest way to keep up on networks is to see which ones the devs are submitting for competitions.
Sorry I can't contribute more at the moment. Like I said, hopefully I can circle back.

As an aside, I don't share your optimism on the noteboom. When I worked as a second for the World Cup, I had it completely busted and my player went clear sailing to the next round easily on prep alone. I haven't checked it in some time... but I doubt all the holes on that opening can ever be fixed. I think it is super sharp and like praying your opponent isn't ready. But I would advise against recommending this to anyone as anything more than a surprise weapon.
  
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Re: Marshall Gambit Mainline - Novelty on Move Ten
Reply #19 - 03/12/20 at 01:24:51
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Syzygy wrote on 03/11/20 at 23:43:02:
In the line with 5...a6 and 12...Bb4 13. b3 h5 14. Qc2 h5 15. Nf3 Black's best continuation should be 15...f5!! as originally played in Jumabayev - Gelfand 2019.

It's incredible how Stockfish's evaluation drops over time, and it's the perfect example of a sharp line that is ripe for exploration, since the computer doesn't understand it well (at least at first). That said, I don't have access to Lc0's opinion, so I had to work the details out by manually following what seemed to be the critical lines.

Right now, 16. Rd1 Qe7 17. Bb2 hxg3 18. fxg3 Rh5! 19. Rac1 Bd5 20. Qe2 seems to be the most logical continuation. After this, I focused on the absurd move 20...a5!!, which once again Stockfish misses at low depths. Black is most likely going to open up the queenside with 21...a4!

The whole line is absurd, but it's incredibly fun to find these kinds of ideas for Black. No wonder it's so trendy.

This was a line that I looked at, since it has been played in some high level games, and at one point I was also very excited about it. Unfortunately, I found a pretty large advantage for white after the courageous 16. h3 hxg3 17. hxg4 g2 18. Kxg2 Bd5 19. Kg3 Bxf3 20. Kxf3 Qh4 21. Nd6! Bxd6 22. Qxc6+ Kd8 23. Ke2 Qxg4+ 24. Ke1. Do you have a fix here?
As regards to LC0 I should emphasise that I also have very poor hardware for running it, and so I am not able to use it at anywhere near its full strength. Nevertheless the fact that it is just so different in style from Stockfish makes it very useful for analysis - it has helped me to discover several important lines that I definitely would not have found relying on Stockfish alone. On that subject, this includes several variations in the mainline Marshall Gambit, but sadly for white rather than black!  I'm a complete idiot with computers so it took me longer than I would like to admit to start using it, but after watching a Youtube tutorial (link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2srCBNK8jc&t=405s) I was able to work it out. Regardless of your hardware, I would highly recommend anyone interested in seriously analysing openings to do the same.
« Last Edit: 03/12/20 at 04:44:22 by Jack Hughes »  
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Re: Marshall Gambit Mainline - Novelty on Move Ten
Reply #18 - 03/11/20 at 23:43:02
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In the line with 5...a6 and 12...Bb4 13. b3 h5 14. Qc2 h5 15. Nf3 Black's best continuation should be 15...f5!! as originally played in Jumabayev - Gelfand 2019.

It's incredible how Stockfish's evaluation drops over time, and it's the perfect example of a sharp line that is ripe for exploration, since the computer doesn't understand it well (at least at first). That said, I don't have access to Lc0's opinion, so I had to work the details out by manually following what seemed to be the critical lines.

Right now, 16. Rd1 Qe7 17. Bb2 hxg3 18. fxg3 Rh5! 19. Rac1 Bd5 20. Qe2 seems to be the most logical continuation. After this, I focused on the absurd move 20...a5!!, which once again Stockfish misses at low depths. Black is most likely going to open up the queenside with 21...a4!

The whole line is absurd, but it's incredibly fun to find these kinds of ideas for Black. No wonder it's so trendy.
  
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Re: Marshall Gambit Mainline - Novelty on Move Ten
Reply #17 - 03/11/20 at 18:48:45
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Syzygy wrote on 03/04/20 at 18:57:03:
I agree that 4...Bb4+ followed by Be7 is Black's best bet for full equality. I've analyzed it a lot and while I think Black is fine, there are a lot of positional subtleties to understand. I wouldn't necessarily pair it with lines like the Botvinnik, Meran, or Noteboom, but at least it leads to a Semi-Slav-like structure.

After reading your comment I've taken a fairly extensive look at some of these ...Bb4+ lines and I'm now of the opinion that black can actually have quite a bit of fun there, with a surprising number of ways for white to go non-trivially wrong early on. In regards to your point that it leads to a Semi-Slav structure I was initially inclined to disagree with you, since on my interpretation the Semi-Slav the main point of setting up the triangle structure is to prepare a capture on c4, rather than to reinforce the centre. Then it occurred to me just how similar black's setup is in the Closed Catalan to in the b3 Anti-Meran, so I'm going to have to agree with you on that point as well.
Syzygy wrote on 03/04/20 at 18:57:03:
This time, I'm not sure which slightly better rook endgame you're referring to. I think Black's best chances lie in 12...Bb4 rather than 12...h5, and there weren't many endgames there that really worried me. However, the analysis definitely required looking beyond Stockfish and playing natural attacking moves.

After 9.Ne4, Black's best is probably 9...c3 instead of 9...b5. However, 9...b5 did lead to two wins for Black in grandmaster play, so maybe there's some merit to it.

In regards to the 5... a6 rook endgame I was referring to the one arising after 12... h5. I had noticed it, but a superficial analysis didn't convince me that it was an improvement. After reading your comment I've taken a closer look at it, and honestly all I'm really confident in saying is that there is a lot of scope for future investigation: play is very sharp but there were quite a few options for both sides that I thought worth exploring. The mainline in my file right now is 13. b3 h5 14. Qc2 h4 15. Nf3 Qd7 16. e4 hxg3 17. fxg3 Rd8 18. h4 Qd3 when once again we get a slightly worse endgame for black, but white has had to show greater precision along the way and black has real options to deviate earlier (among which I spent the most time investigating 14... Bxd2, 15... hxg3, 15... f5, and 17... Bc5) - as far as I can tell they are all slightly inferior, but this line is so complicated that I can't tell very far! At the moment I haven't looked too much into 9. Ne4 yet, but based on what little I have done both 9... c3 and 9... b5 are still legitimate candidates to me.
Syzygy wrote on 03/04/20 at 18:57:03:
I think I would now prefer Jack's 16...Qa6 over the big main line with 16...Qb5. The resulting positions are fairly balanced (Black is an exchange down with a strong passed pawn), and there are less forced draws. On the other hand I would probably still choose the Moscow against a well-prepared opponent who excels at memorization.

This is definitely a point of view I can understand. Both the Botvinnik and the Moscow have legitimate upsides and which should be preferred will depend on several variables relating to your opponent e.g. their strength relative to yours, their opening knowledge, their preference for sharp or positional chess. I sincerely believe that for most amateur players the Botvinnik will usually be the better scoring choice if black is willing to do a little homework, but I am aware that opinions will differ on this matter.
Syzygy wrote on 03/04/20 at 18:57:03:
I'm not sure what Kaufman's recommended line is, but if you're talking about 15. Nd2 Qc7 16. Bc2 then it seems like the line with 16...h6!? has been holding up quite well in correspondence play.

Edit: I missed Jack's most recent post, but it seems that we both agree that 16...h6 is the way to go. Certainly a mysterious move, but it reminds me of some lines in the Semi-Tarrasch where playing a waiting move like ...h6 is the only way to maintain computer equality.

My main opinion on the Noteboom is that I just can't make up my mind about it! Based purely on an eye-balling of recent ICCF statistics I would be inclined to say that 16... h6 should be black's best, but I wouldn't go so far as to say that black is clearly okay yet. The resulting variations are surprisingly non-forcing for such a sharp line, and in the absence of any idea to concretely demonstrate equality I would be inclined to say that white's slight plus score indicates that white might still have chances for an edge. It's definitely a very interesting and playable opening, especially over the board - indeed, one of the most striking features of OTB Noteboom statistics is just how little effect ICCF games seem to be having on them (to give an example, 16... h6 has not been played once in the 10 most recent TWIC games to have reached the position after 16. Bc2). But objectively speaking I would say, very tentatively of course, that white might have at least a slightly larger advantage than in either the Moscow or the Botvinnik. Semkov's book is out now, I would be interested to hear what his assessment is from someone who has it.
  
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Re: Marshall Gambit Mainline - Novelty on Move Ten
Reply #16 - 03/04/20 at 20:19:08
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Thanks, Syzygy.  I’ll take a look.  After 15.Nd2 Qc7 16.Bc2, Kaufman considers 16..e5, 16..Rfc8, and 16..Rfd8. 
I mostly concentrated on 16..e5, as played in Smirnov-Krasenkow, Canberra 2017, and thought White looked better.

  
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Re: Marshall Gambit Mainline - Novelty on Move Ten
Reply #15 - 03/04/20 at 18:57:03
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Jack Hughes wrote on 03/04/20 at 02:44:08:
If it's full equality you want then 4... Bb4+ is probably the way to go, but I'm reluctant to recommend it given that (i) it has already been covered on Chessable in the Nimzo-Ragozin course and (ii) I just don't find the lines as much fun for black, certainly they would are stylistically further away from the rest of the repertoire than my recommendations in the Semi-Slav.


I agree that 4...Bb4+ followed by Be7 is Black's best bet for full equality. I've analyzed it a lot and while I think Black is fine, there are a lot of positional subtleties to understand. I wouldn't necessarily pair it with lines like the Botvinnik, Meran, or Noteboom, but at least it leads to a Semi-Slav-like structure.


Jack Hughes wrote on 03/04/20 at 02:44:08:
To be honest my opinions on the 7... Rb8 line are basically the same: white can basically force a slightly better rook endgame, but at least there will be some fireworks along the way! Thanks for bringing my attention to the 9. Ne4 line, which up until reading your post had escaped my notice. I haven't properly looked at it yet but I do agree that it's quite an interesting try for white. Obviously it will be covered in the course, even if I end up making 5... a6 only a secondary recommendation.


This time, I'm not sure which slightly better rook endgame you're referring to. I think Black's best chances lie in 12...Bb4 rather than 12...h5, and there weren't many endgames there that really worried me. However, the analysis definitely required looking beyond Stockfish and playing natural attacking moves.

After 9.Ne4, Black's best is probably 9...c3 instead of 9...b5. However, 9...b5 did lead to two wins for Black in grandmaster play, so maybe there's some merit to it.

LeeRoth wrote on 03/04/20 at 15:05:06:
The Botvinnik seems fine for Black at the moment, but I tend to agree with Syzygy and I don’t think I’d want to play it either.  In the big main line, Black has to make (or remember) 30 or so precise moves to reach a drawn endgame. 


I think I would now prefer Jack's 16...Qa6 over the big main line with 16...Qb5. The resulting positions are fairly balanced (Black is an exchange down with a strong passed pawn), and there are less forced draws. On the other hand I would probably still choose the Moscow against a well-prepared opponent who excels at memorization.

LeeRoth wrote on 03/04/20 at 15:05:06:
The Noteboom lines with 15.Nd2 are interesting to me.  I’m curious about the state of Kaufman’s recommended line with Bc2.  My engine tends to favor White in this line,  although I probably haven’t let it run long enough. I assume Semkov has a good line for Black, and, as he says in the intro to his book, it does seem like the top GMs avoid the Noteboom (which maybe wouldn’t be the case if White had an easy way to an edge).


I'm not sure what Kaufman's recommended line is, but if you're talking about 15. Nd2 Qc7 16. Bc2 then it seems like the line with 16...h6!? has been holding up quite well in correspondence play.

Edit: I missed Jack's most recent post, but it seems that we both agree that 16...h6 is the way to go. Certainly a mysterious move, but it reminds me of some lines in the Semi-Tarrasch where playing a waiting move like ...h6 is the only way to maintain computer equality.
  
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Re: Marshall Gambit Mainline - Novelty on Move Ten
Reply #14 - 03/04/20 at 18:43:11
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LeeRoth wrote on 03/04/20 at 15:05:06:
This thread has inspired me to take a look at the Semi-Slav.  Interesting stuff, to say the least!

The Botvinnik seems fine for Black at the moment, but I tend to agree with Syzygy and I don’t think I’d want to play it either.  In the big main line, Black has to make (or remember) 30 or so precise moves to reach a drawn endgame.  And even then, Black has to be careful.  No less a player than Shirov. blundered it against Salgado Lopez in last years Spanish championship.

With respect to the Meran, I checked the White lines recommended by Korneev and Lackwadala in their respective books, and while they each claim small edges for White, my engine thinks Black is able to equalize.  I don’t think I would mind being Black in these lines.

The Noteboom lines with 15.Nd2 are interesting to me.  I’m curious about the state of Kaufman’s recommended line with Bc2.  My engine tends to favor White in this line,  although I probably haven’t let it run long enough. I assume Semkov has a good line for Black, and, as he says in the intro to his book, it does seem like the top GMs avoid the Noteboom (which maybe wouldn’t be the case if White had an easy way to an edge).

Yes, the Botvinnik is definitely a matter of taste. In my personal experience it is far, far more likely at amateur level for white to go wrong very early and end up in a lost position than to pump out 25+ moves of critical theory but of course the higher the level you're playing at the less likely this is to be true. In general I sincerely believe that if you enjoy studying openings in general and sharp lines in particular then you can turn it into one of the best scoring lines in your entire repertoire - certainly that has been the case for me anyway. Also, let me emphasise again that I am not recommending 16... Qb5 (as played in Lopez-Shirov), but instead 16... Qa6. I do not believe play is so one-sided there.
With regards to the Noteboom I am not actually as confident in black's objective prospects. I think the fact that top players tend not to allow it has more to do with the fact they prefer the alternatives (in particular 3. Nc3 c6 4. e4 and either 3. Nf3 c6 4. e3 or 3. Nf3 c6 4. Qc2) over allowing the Semi-Slav. Unfortunately Scherbakov's coverage of 15. Nd2 has, to say the least, not held up very well. Speaking generally the main problem is that he seems to underestimate white's chances in the structure that arises when white meets an early ...e6-e5 with d4-d5. More concretely, his main recommendation for black is 15... Re8, with his main line continuing 16. Bc2 e5 17. Ba4 Qc7 18. d5 Re7, when white has scored 80% in 18 ICCF games. One example of a continuation that he missed is 19. f4 exf4 20. Rxf4, after which white has scored 88.4% in 13 games. He also covers black's main reply with 15... Qc7, but after the main reply in 16. Bc2 recommends 16... Qc7 17. d5 and either transposing to the above line with 17... Rfe8 or instead playing 17... Rfc8 with no further analysis (in a position where white where white has scored 75% in 12 games). Instead of all this the line which has proven to be black's most reliable is 16... h6 (don't ask me to explain why!), but you will not find any coverage of this in his book. All this is not to criticise Scherbakov or his book, but any eight year old book is going to have holes in its critical lines, no matter how diligent its author.
Edit: All my referencing to Scherbakov was motivated by a belief that LeeRoth had said Scherbakov must have a good line, when in fact he stated that Semkov must have a good line. This is definitely a more plausible statement, although we'll have to wait and see given that his book isn't out yet.
« Last Edit: 03/05/20 at 06:46:59 by Jack Hughes »  
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Re: Marshall Gambit Mainline - Novelty on Move Ten
Reply #13 - 03/04/20 at 15:05:06
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This thread has inspired me to take a look at the Semi-Slav.  Interesting stuff, to say the least!

The Botvinnik seems fine for Black at the moment, but I tend to agree with Syzygy and I don’t think I’d want to play it either.  In the big main line, Black has to make (or remember) 30 or so precise moves to reach a drawn endgame.  And even then, Black has to be careful.  No less a player than Shirov. blundered it against Salgado Lopez in last years Spanish championship.

With respect to the Meran, I checked the White lines recommended by Korneev and Lackwadala in their respective books, and while they each claim small edges for White, my engine thinks Black is able to equalize.  I don’t think I would mind being Black in these lines.

The Noteboom lines with 15.Nd2 are interesting to me.  I’m curious about the state of Kaufman’s recommended line with Bc2.  My engine tends to favor White in this line,  although I probably haven’t let it run long enough. I assume Semkov has a good line for Black, and, as he says in the intro to his book, it does seem like the top GMs avoid the Noteboom (which maybe wouldn’t be the case if White had an easy way to an edge).
  
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Re: Marshall Gambit Mainline - Novelty on Move Ten
Reply #12 - 03/04/20 at 02:44:08
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Syzygy wrote on 02/27/20 at 05:22:34:
I'm not yet fully convinced by the exchange sacrifice lines after 5...c6 6. Ne5 Bb4+ 7. Bd2 Be7 8. e3 b5 9. Nxc6, but I'm sure you have analyzed that in detail. I don't have access to Lc0, so I don't know what it thinks about Black's compensation.

On the other hand, I find the line with 7...Rb8 8. Nfd2 e5 to be quite fascinating - Black's kingside attacking chances there seem to be more well-established. On the other hand, White does have some annoying early deviations - notably, I'm bothered by 6. Ne5 Bb4+ 7. Nc3 Nd5 8. O-O O-O 9. Ne4!? as played in Harikrishna - Nakamura 2019.

Sorry for my delayed response. I agree with you that accepting the exchange sacrifice is white's most critical approach to the 5... c6 lines. The Catalan is the line where I've done the least work so far, so my conclusions might change here, but my current opinion here is that if both sides play correctly then black should get a slightly unpleasant but basically defensible endgame. If it's full equality you want then 4... Bb4+ is probably the way to go, but I'm reluctant to recommend it given that (i) it has already been covered on Chessable in the Nimzo-Ragozin course and (ii) I just don't find the lines as much fun for black, certainly they would are stylistically further away from the rest of the repertoire than my recommendations in the Semi-Slav. To be honest my opinions on the 7... Rb8 line are basically the same: white can basically force a slightly better rook endgame, but at least there will be some fireworks along the way! Thanks for bringing my attention to the 9. Ne4 line, which up until reading your post had escaped my notice. I haven't properly looked at it yet but I do agree that it's quite an interesting try for white. Obviously it will be covered in the course, even if I end up making 5... a6 only a secondary recommendation.
« Last Edit: 03/04/20 at 05:16:52 by Jack Hughes »  
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Re: Marshall Gambit Mainline - Novelty on Move Ten
Reply #11 - 02/27/20 at 05:22:34
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Jack Hughes wrote on 02/25/20 at 00:17:03:
Against the mainlines with 7. Be2/Bd3 I am recommending an early ...dxc4, partly because I feel that this is pedagogically best for developing understanding of the Meran/Anti-Meran complex (we see how the insertion ...Bd6 and Qc2 alters the position), and partly because this is the most tried and tested way for black to play. I'm not sure I would agree that play is non-forcing here, as they typically lead to an early central confrontation and when this happens both sides will have to play precisely in order avoid being worse. There are some subtle positional nuances involved in how white initiates this central confrontation but the actual number of lines they involve is quite manageable - I think black can get in good, concrete preparation here.


Indeed, in the lines with 7. Bd3 or 7. Be2 Black does need to have concrete preparation. One line I was looking at was 7...dxc4 8. Bxc4 b5. After 9. Be2, Black can just transpose to the main lines by castling, but after 9. Bd3 Black can actually delay castling with 9...Bb7 10. O-O a6!? as played by Carlsen in 2019. I find this idea to be a very nice reflection of the variety of resources that Black has in the Semi-Slav.


Jack Hughes wrote on 02/25/20 at 00:17:03:
I'm not entirely sure what drawn rook endgame you're referring to but if it's the one recommended by Schandorff and played in Ding-Yu 2016 the you can rest assured that I am recommending 16. Na4 Qa6 (instead of that game's 16... Qb5) when the mainline with 17. a3 Bxd5 18. Bxd5 Ne5 19. axb4 Rxd5 20. Qe2 cxb4 21. Nc3 Qd6 22. Nxd5 Qxd5 leads to a very interesting and double edged position where black is an exchange down but has active pieces and a highly mobile pawn majority on the queenside and recent ICCF games suggest black is in excellent theoretical shape.


I was referring to the drawn rook endgame after 16...Qb5. I took another look at 16...Qa6, and I think Black is indeed fine in the line that you recommend.

Jack Hughes wrote on 02/25/20 at 00:17:03:
Against the Catalan I am currently intending to recommend 4... dxc4 5. Bg2 c6!?, as played in Yu-Caruana 2019, which I think leads to exciting play where black is in decent theoretical shape, and also fits well with a Semi-Slav repertoire. As this is the most experimental line I am recommending I also intend to cover 5... a6 as an alternative, where I am quite excited by the trendy line 6. 0-0 Nc6 7. e3 Rb8.


I'm not yet fully convinced by the exchange sacrifice lines after 5...c6 6. Ne5 Bb4+ 7. Bd2 Be7 8. e3 b5 9. Nxc6, but I'm sure you have analyzed that in detail. I don't have access to Lc0, so I don't know what it thinks about Black's compensation.

On the other hand, I find the line with 7...Rb8 8. Nfd2 e5 to be quite fascinating - Black's kingside attacking chances there seem to be more well-established. On the other hand, White does have some annoying early deviations - notably, I'm bothered by 6. Ne5 Bb4+ 7. Nc3 Nd5 8. O-O O-O 9. Ne4!? as played in Harikrishna - Nakamura 2019.
  
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Re: Marshall Gambit Mainline - Novelty on Move Ten
Reply #10 - 02/26/20 at 17:50:52
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LeeRoth wrote on 02/26/20 at 16:12:17:
Jack Hughes wrote on 02/25/20 at 00:17:03:
1) I'm in pretty much full agreement here, although I would note that for move order considerations a combination of the 8... a6 Meran and the Noteboom is not a complete standalone repertoire on account of the move order 3. Nf3 c6 4. e3 Nf6 5. Bd3 Bd6 6. Nc3 which will force a transposition to the 8... Bd6 Meran.


I don't play this line with either color, so just wondering if there is a reason not to play 5..Nbd7?  The idea would be 6.Nc3 dxc4 7.Bxc4 b5 8.Bd3 a6, although I get that White doesn't necessarily have to play 6.Nc3.   
   

Oops! You are technically correct of course. I guess I was just typing this blindfolded and forgot to play ...Nbd7. The move order I should have used was 5... Nbd7 6. 0-0 Bd6 7. Nc3, when black is in the same dilemma.
  
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Re: Marshall Gambit Mainline - Novelty on Move Ten
Reply #9 - 02/26/20 at 16:12:17
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Jack Hughes wrote on 02/25/20 at 00:17:03:
1) I'm in pretty much full agreement here, although I would note that for move order considerations a combination of the 8... a6 Meran and the Noteboom is not a complete standalone repertoire on account of the move order 3. Nf3 c6 4. e3 Nf6 5. Bd3 Bd6 6. Nc3 which will force a transposition to the 8... Bd6 Meran.


I don't play this line with either color, so just wondering if there is a reason not to play 5..Nbd7?  The idea would be 6.Nc3 dxc4 7.Bxc4 b5 8.Bd3 a6, although I get that White doesn't necessarily have to play 6.Nc3.   
   
  
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Re: Marshall Gambit Mainline - Novelty on Move Ten
Reply #8 - 02/25/20 at 15:20:48
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Jack Hughes wrote on 02/25/20 at 00:17:03:
the chess world is a richer place when people share their discoveries

Yes, I agree, and thanks for your efforts. As for me, I am not making any discoveries. I barely have time for my minimal chess activities: a few puzzles per day, a couple of hours per week at the local chess club, following chessbase news, and posting the occasional contrarian opinion here.
  
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Re: Marshall Gambit Mainline - Novelty on Move Ten
Reply #7 - 02/25/20 at 00:17:03
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Thanks for the comment gillbod. My main motivation in sharing this was simply to get input on the idea from others, and as the course of the thread has shown it was worthwhile for me to do so. But I'm also vain enough to like being thanked - so that was a secondary motivation! As an aside to anyone else in a similar position I hope that this can be a lesson: the chess world is a richer place when people share their discoveries, and in the process you will get a real chance to improve on your own analysis. If you'd rather keep it secret for the sake of your next game then I certainly won't judge you - but I and many others will be very grateful if you choose to take the other path.
In response to Syzygy's points.
1) I'm in pretty much full agreement here, although I would note that for move order considerations a combination of the 8... a6 Meran and the Noteboom is not a complete standalone repertoire on account of the move order 3. Nf3 c6 4. e3 Nf6 5. Bd3 Bd6 6. Nc3 which will force a transposition to the 8... Bd6 Meran.
2) I've heard this claim made quite frequently, but at the very least I would say it depends on the Anti-Meran being referred to. The Zukertort style lines with 7. b3 do involve some complex move order issues while both sides are still developing but even they can get pretty sharp or concrete once the central confrontation begins. Against the mainlines with 7. Be2/Bd3 I am recommending an early ...dxc4, partly because I feel that this is pedagogically best for developing understanding of the Meran/Anti-Meran complex (we see how the insertion ...Bd6 and Qc2 alters the position), and partly because this is the most tried and tested way for black to play. I'm not sure I would agree that play is non-forcing here, as they typically lead to an early central confrontation and when this happens both sides will have to play precisely in order avoid being worse. There are some subtle positional nuances involved in how white initiates this central confrontation but the actual number of lines they involve is quite manageable - I think black can get in good, concrete preparation here. Finally there is 7. g4, which although pretty much a theoretical dead end for white these days remains very popular at club level, and is as sharp and forcing as anything in Semi-Slav.
3. Yes, black is certainly walking a tightrope in the Botvinnik. My reason for recommending it is that white is too! I've been playing the repertoire I recommend whenever I get the chance in internet blitz for a while and in my experience less than half of my opponents (Lichess ~2200) even get to the main tabiya on move 16, and a very healthy percentage of them are either worse or downright lost while I'm still in preparation. Only one has ever played what I would consider a theoretically critical line but even they found themselves in a lost position after their very first non-theoretical move. I'm not entirely sure what drawn rook endgame you're referring to but if it's the one recommended by Schandorff and played in Ding-Yu 2016 the you can rest assured that I am recommending 16. Na4 Qa6 (instead of that game's 16... Qb5) when the mainline with 17. a3 Bxd5 18. Bxd5 Ne5 19. axb4 Rxd5 20. Qe2 cxb4 21. Nc3 Qd6 22. Nxd5 Qxd5 leads to a very interesting and double edged position where black is an exchange down but has active pieces and a highly mobile pawn majority on the queenside and recent ICCF games suggest black is in excellent theoretical shape. Of course I won't deny that the lines are very deep and that if black is out prepared then the results can be catastrophic and so my approach to designing the course is aimed at easing black's preparation. The basic concept is to cover each line in five different levels of detail. The first level is just a brief (~4000 words) outline of the strategic concept of the repertoire and chosen lines, and over the next three levels the theoretical coverage increases alongside the base of knowledge assumed by the explanatory comments; the intention is that students will start on the first or second level and then study the higher levels only once they have sufficiently absorbed the contents of the lowers levels (the presence of a move trainer is very helpful in that regard). The fifth level is intended only really for analytical purposes (e.g. to aid correspondence players) as well as to assist in targeted preparation for a predictable opponent. I would also stress that it is important not to confuse memory burden with the depth of the lines: because play is so forcing the moves typically have readily comprehensible concrete purposes to them, and the positions diverge from each other quickly enough that it is typically quite easy to avoid confusing your lines.
4. I am also not fond of those lines, so I am recommending 3. Nf6 Nf6. I have a short chapter (~12,000 words) discussing the various move orders black can employ to reach the Semi-Slav, which serves largely to justify my chosen recommendation. Against the Catalan I am currently intending to recommend 4... dxc4 5. Bg2 c6!?, as played in Yu-Caruana 2019, which I think leads to exciting play where black is in decent theoretical shape, and also fits well with a Semi-Slav repertoire. As this is the most experimental line I am recommending I also intend to cover 5... a6 as an alternative, where I am quite excited by the trendy line 6. 0-0 Nc6 7. e3 Rb8.
If you're interested in getting at seeing what I've written so far then please feel free to contact me on Lichess (@jgh1996), which I am using to write the bulk of the course. I would be more than willing to share with someone such as yourself who has already provided such useful feedback.
  
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Re: Marshall Gambit Mainline - Novelty on Move Ten
Reply #6 - 02/24/20 at 19:05:25
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Indeed, I'm quite interested in what you will recommend in your upcoming course. Having recently looked at creating a repertoire based on the Triangle System / Semi-Slav, I've made the following observations:

1. The Black side of the Marshall gambit, Noteboom variation, and 8...a6 Meran seem to be in perfect theoretical shape.

2. The Anti-Meran lines are not as forced, but Black's position is very sound and correspondence games seem to confirm that Black has found equality everywhere. The play is rich and deep and can especially become quite tactical when White finally gets in the e4 push.

3. Against the Bg5 lines the Botvinnik is perfectly fine, but isn't Black walking a tightrope there? He has to memorize a lot to get to a drawn rook endgame, and White can force repetitions at will. I've been looking at the Moscow lines, and the recent idea of playing ...g6, ...dxc4, and ...Qe7 seems to be holding up nicely. The Anti-Moscow gambit lines are razor sharp but ripe for exploration.

4. I'm not fond of the Stonewall set-ups or 3. Nf3 c6 lines, and think Black should aim for the Semi-Slav with 3. Nf3 Nf6. Will you be covering this move-order, or the Catalan at all, in your upcoming course?
  
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Re: Marshall Gambit Mainline - Novelty on Move Ten
Reply #5 - 02/24/20 at 10:43:09
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I don't have much to add to this but wanted to at least thank the OP for sharing his hard work! Threads like this are what make this forum stand out.
  
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Re: Marshall Gambit Mainline - Novelty on Move Ten
Reply #4 - 02/24/20 at 10:16:26
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Thanks to those who have replied, especially Syzygy for the useful feedback. In response to the points that have been raised.
- Seeing that it has been played before shows that I really needed to update my TWIC compilation. I checked the Lichess master database but didn't check Chessbase online. D'oh! Judging by the date I guess a fellow engine monkey must have beaten me to it...
- Of course I am aware of 9... f6. It has been played many times and it hard to imagine how anyone with access to a database could miss it. My personal assessment, which I go into in greater detail in the course, is that white at the very least has the significantly easier play and might also be doing well theoretically. The critical line is 10. Nf3 b6 11. Nd2 Qf4 12. Bh5+ g6 13. Bf3 Qe5+ 14. Kf1 Qc7 15. Bc3 e5 16. Ne4 Kf7, with a very murky position that I wouldn't want to recommend for black in a course. White has plans of expansion on both wings and the black kingside is especially vulnerable to ideas of h4-h5 or Nxf6. These ideas will be risky for white as well but I feel that with white having the choice about when to play and black having to anticipate them until white does white should have the easier play, and as an author I would feel that I'm running unusually high risk of having all my analysis refuted by an early deviation that I had failed to consider. The fact that white has been doing well in recent correspondence games only makes things worse.
- As regards the 19. c5 endgame I agree that it wouldn't be much fun, but considering the accuracy white has displayed to reach it against such a fresh idea. Both of Syzygy's points are valid, but I still don't think there's any serious doubting that black should hold.
- 21. bxc3! is a rather embarrassing miss on my behalf. White indeed seems to have a rather significant advantage there. Szygy's suggested improvement 15... Bg4 seems like the perfect antidote. My brief clicking produced lines like 16. h3 Bxh3! 17. Bb4! (gxh3? Nf5 -+) Kf7 18. Bxc5 bxc5 where Stockfish is typically giving its trademark 0.00 but LC0 typically prefers black. It's hard to believe this could be a worry. Of course this whole 10... e5 concept is risky but so far as I'm concerned such is life in the Marshall Gambit, and also in the repertoire I am recommending in the course (Botvinnik and 8... a6 Meran).
- I certainly do not think black is in theoretical trouble after 10... Bd7, and indeed I am planning to make that my main recommendation (going down the established mainline with 11. Bc3 f6 12. Nf3 Nh6 13. Rd1 Rd8 14. Qa3 Bc8 15. Nd2 Qf4 16. Bh5+ Nf7 17. 0-0 c5). Since this is such a critical line however I would like to have more than one recommendation, preferably a sharp or exciting option for black. My initial intention was to recommend the exchange sacrifice 10... bxa5?! 11. Rd1 f6 12. f3 Qe3 13. Qxc6+ Kf7 14. Qxa8 Ne7, but as you can tell from my annotation I think white is objectively quite a bit better there - more of an advantage I think than in the 19. c5 endgame. It is in light of that background that 10... e5 excites me so much: if I'm going to recommend a potentially dubious but exciting alternative, at least it can be a new dubious alternative! And at least for the moment I'm not even sure it's that dubious!
I've also been taking a closer look at 18... Rae8. At one point it seemed like 20... Qg2 might be an improvement, but sadly it seems that white is quite a lot better after 21. Rf1 fxe5 22. Bxe5 Qxh2 23. Rd7! (23. Qxb6 Ng5 when black keeps the initiative and is apparently fine) when the almost forced sequence 23... Rf6 24. Re7 Rxe7 25. Qxe7 Rf8 26. c5 leads to an endgame where black is probably just objectively lost.
  
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Re: Marshall Gambit Mainline - Novelty on Move Ten
Reply #3 - 02/24/20 at 03:57:31
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In your line with 14. Rd2, Stockfish is giving me a large advantage for White after 21. bxc3!? gxh5 22. h3, keeping the queen centralized. Perhaps Black can deviate earlier? One try that comes to mind is 15...Bg4, but the positions look awfully dangerous.

In your line with 14. Nxe5, White's best is indeed 19. c5, but I would evaluate the resulting endgame after 23. Rd6 to be significantly better for White instead of slightly better for White. Black will probably end up with an isolated pawn on e5 and the worse minor piece.

Is there anything wrong with 10...Bd7? It seems to be holding up fine in correspondence games, and I would definitely prefer this to 10...e5, which seems to be more effective as a surprise weapon.
  
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Re: Marshall Gambit Mainline - Novelty on Move Ten
Reply #2 - 02/23/20 at 22:46:25
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20+ years ago I played 9. ...f6 and worked quite well, but I didn't check it with the latest engines.
  

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Re: Marshall Gambit Mainline - Novelty on Move Ten
Reply #1 - 02/23/20 at 09:15:10
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Interesting, thanks for sharing!

I had a quick look, and it seems quite ok to play this way. I don't see any variations that are better for White than 19. c5

Btw, this has been played in one game it seems (in Chessbase Online database), although between lower rated players. See Erastov-Uskov, Moscow 2020.
  
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Jack Hughes
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Marshall Gambit Mainline - Novelty on Move Ten
02/23/20 at 03:07:08
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Hi all,
I have been analysing the Marshall Gambit as part of my planned upcoming Chessable course on the Semi-Slav through the Triangle move order, and Stockfish suggesting a very interesting novelty in the mainline of the Marshall Gambit.
The position under consideration arises after 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 c6 4. e4 dxe4 5. Nxe4 Bb4+ 6. Bd2 Qxd4 7. Bxb4 Qxe4+ 8. Be2 Na6 9. Ba5 b6 10. Qd6. This position is the absolute mainline of the Marshall Gambit which has been reached in literally hundreds of games, which have overwhelmingly continued with the relatively solid 10... Bd7 - alternatives have not fared very well for black. Instead of this Stockfish at low depths recommended the completely new move 10... e5. Strategically this move is very desirable if black can get away with it as it allows black to contest the dark squares and develop the light-squared bishop actively on f5 instead of d7 (this is black's standard scheme of development in the Marshall Gambit which this line with 10. Qd6 is supposed to prevent). The risk black is taking is that by delaying castling and committing to this pawn advance so early white's chances of blowing black away with an early sacrifice on e5 are increased.
I have looked at this for a few hours and am quite interested to hear what other ChessPub members think. My current conclusion is that the best white can do is reach a rook endgame where white's better structure and piece activity allow white to press for a little bit, but where back should hold. Along the way there are some real fireworks.
The critical line continues with 11. Rd1 Bf5 12. Nf3 Ne7 13. Bc3 Nc5! (13... f6?? 14. 0-0! Qxe2 15. Rfe1 Qxc4 16. Nxe5! +-) and then.
A) 14. Rd2 f6 15. 0-0 Kf7 16. Re1 Rhe8! (16... Rhd8? 17. Qxd8 Rxd8 18. Rxd8 Ng6 19. Bxe5! +/-) 17. Nxe5! (pretty much forced, if black is allowed to get the execute the standard plan for free then black is already seriously better) fxe5 18. Bh5+ g6 19. Rxe4 Nxe4 20. Qxe5 Nxc3 21. Qxc3 gxh5 with a murky position where black has a rook, bishop and knight against white's queen and two pawns. LC0 really likes white but Stockfish starts spitting out zeroes. It's the kind of position where I have no real doubt that Stockfish is objectively correct but the LC0 evaluation might be a better indicator of practical chances, so this could be an interesting try (at least OTB) for white.
B) 14. Nxe5 0-0!
B1) 15. Qxe7 Rae8 16. Qg5 f6 17. Qe3 Qxe3 18. fxe3 fxe5 19. 0-0 where white is slightly better but black is surely okay.
B2) 15. f3 Qh4 16. g3 Qh3 17. Qxe7 f6 18. b4 Na4! (18... Rae8 19. Qxa7 Ne6 20. Rd2 fxe5 21. Bxe5 Bg6 22. Qd7 c5 +/- when black doesn't seem to have enough for the piece and two pawns, but this could be investigated further)
B2a) 19. Ba1 is the principled attempt to refute black's sacrifice, but after 19... Qg2 20. Rf1 Qxh2! (20... Rae8 21. Qxa7 Qxh2 22. Qxa4 fxe5 23. Qb3 +/-) 21. g4 Rae8 22. Qxa7 Rxe5 23. Bxe5 Qxe5 24. Qxa4 Qg3+ black can immediately force a draw. There are some deviations along the way but nothing that seems to give any advantage to white.
B2b)19. c5 might be white's best, when 19... Rae8 20. Bc4+ Be6 21. Bxe6 Qxe6 22. Qxe6 Rxe6 23. Rd6 leads to the rook endgame I mentioned earlier. White is still a little bitter but black should hold.
Like most sharp lines I'm sure it would get rather depressing once the routes to these endgames became well known but for the moment I'm really excited about this line. Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
« Last Edit: 02/23/20 at 18:37:34 by Jack Hughes »  
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