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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) Moscow 3...Nd7 4. a4!? (Read 2373 times)
Syzygy
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Re: Moscow 3...Nd7 4. a4!?
Reply #20 - 09/18/20 at 22:10:55
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OK, another update - as important as the previous one. I took another, deeper look at the most critical line:

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Bb5+ Nd7 4. a4!? Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be2 b6! 7. d4 cxd4 8. Qxd4 e5! 9. Qe3 Be7 10. O-O O-O 11. Nd2 Bb7 12. Rd1

At the start of this thread, I showed that 12...Nc5?! 13. Nc4! is good for White. However, I prematurely dismissed 12...Qc7!

a) 13. b3 was played in the stem correspondence game Wharrier - Mirkowski 2017. After 13...Nc5 14. Bb2, the players entered a sharp, but balanced line after 14...h6!? 15. b4 Ncxe4!, with the idea being that after 16. Ncxe4 Nxe4 17. Nxe4 Qxc2, Black is winning back the piece.


b) 13. Nc4 has been played in all practical tests to this point. Now, the key improvement is 13...Rad8! preparing an immediate central break (all games continued 13...Nc5?! 14. f3 += when the tactics are no longer in Black's favor).

The critical line continues 14. b4 Nxe4!! 15. Nxe4 Bxe4 16. Qxe4 d5!, with the point being that after 17. Qxd5 Nf6 18. Qxe5 Rxd1+ 19. Bxd1 Qxc4 20. Be2 Qxc2 =, Black has regained all of the sacrificed material (the bishop is immune - 21. Qxe7? Re8!).

I think this solves the problem with 4. a4!? - I haven't found any analytical holes in these lines yet, but I'd love to hear thoughts from the forum!





  
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an ordinary chessplayer
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Re: Moscow 3...Nd7 4. a4!?
Reply #19 - 09/17/20 at 04:16:45
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Thanks.

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bb5+ Nd7 4.a4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be2
6...g6
(6...b6 7. d4 cxd4 8. Qxd4 {you looked at 8...e6 and 8...e5, it remains to look at}
8...g6 9.e5 dxe5 10.Nxe5 Nxe5 11.Qxe5 Bg7 12.O-O O-O 13.Rd1 Qe8 14.Bf3 Bg4 15.Bxg4 Nxg4 16.Qe2 Nf6 17.Bf4 Qc8 18.Be5 Qc6 19.h3 Rfe8 20.Rd4 Nd7 21.Bxg7 Kxg7 22.Re4 e5 23.Rd1 Re6 24.Rc4 Qb7 25.Nd5 Rc8 26.Rxc8 Qxc8 27.b3 Rd6 28.c4 f6 += {The engine thinks += but I think this might be +/-.})
7.a5
(7.d4 cxd4 8.Nxd4
(8.Qxd4 Bg7 9.e5?! {otherwise what is white doing with the queen?} dxe5 10.Nxe5 Nxe5 11.Qxe5 O-O {is not at all good for white, unlike the similar position after 6...b6})
8...b6!? {seems clever for black, now that white's pieces can't target b6.} 9.O-O Bb7 10.f3 {is not a positive white setup.})
7...Bg7 8.O-O O-O 9.d3
(9.d4 cxd4 10.Nxd4 Nc5 11.f3 b5 12.axb6 Qxb6 13.Kh1 Bd7 =)
9...b5
{Black is out of moves, whereas white is not.}
10.axb6 Qxb6 11.Nd2 Ne5 12.b3 Qc7 13.Bb2 Nc6 +=
  

Moscow-3Nd7-4a4.pgn ( 1 KB | 13 Downloads )
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Syzygy
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Re: Moscow 3...Nd7 4. a4!?
Reply #18 - 09/16/20 at 19:43:34
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an ordinary chessplayer wrote on 09/16/20 at 19:22:17:
Syzygy wrote on 09/16/20 at 16:45:11:
I have an update on this line with 6...Qa5: after 7. O-O d5 White has the option of 8. Nd5!

I'm not following, is that really 7...d5? Because I'm thinking it should be 7...b5. Also as a courtesy, to avoid confusion, and not force readers to scroll back to some indeterminate post earlier in the thread, could you please post the starting moves 1-6? Thanks.


Yes, you are right, it was a typo. The starting moves are:

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Bb5+ Nd7 4. a4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be2 Qa5 7. O-O b5 8. Nd5!

after which my analysis follows.
  
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Re: Moscow 3...Nd7 4. a4!?
Reply #17 - 09/16/20 at 19:22:17
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Syzygy wrote on 09/16/20 at 16:45:11:
I have an update on this line with 6...Qa5: after 7. O-O d5 White has the option of 8. Nd5!

I'm not following, is that really 7...d5? Because I'm thinking it should be 7...b5. Also as a courtesy, to avoid confusion, and not force readers to scroll back to some indeterminate post earlier in the thread, could you please post the starting moves 1-6? Thanks.
  
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Syzygy
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Re: Moscow 3...Nd7 4. a4!?
Reply #16 - 09/16/20 at 16:45:11
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I have an update on this line with 6...Qa5: after 7. O-O d5 White has the option of 8. Nd5!

The intention is to play a wacky gambit after 8...Nxe4 9. c3! Bb7 10. d3! Nef6 11. b4!, for instance:

11...cxb4 12. cxb4 Qd8 12. Nxf6 Nxf6 13. d4
11...Qd8 12. Nxf6 gxf6 13. bxc5 dxc5 14. d4 c4 15. Rb1


and Black is getting into trouble. The advent of Stockfish 12 is making lines like these easier to analyze - Stockfish 11 doesn't see this entire line at first, and insists the position is equal until 15. Rb1 hits the board.

Unfortunately this entire line with 6...Qa5 is rather dangerous for Black, and might be asking for too much OTB. I'm starting to think that Black really doesn't (!) have a clear way to equalize after 4. a4, or at least I haven't found one yet.

  
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Re: Moscow 3...Nd7 4. a4!?
Reply #15 - 05/30/20 at 16:03:08
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Jack Hughes wrote on 05/30/20 at 02:05:10:
I don't have any experience with the HIARCS books myself, but I do notice that it is much larger than the Cerebellum book, so my beta-tester very well could be right about their quality.

I don't know how, or if it is possible, to get the Cerebellum books in .ctg format - nor would I want to do so, as a SCID user. They are downloadable as polyglot (.bin) books. The link to download them is https://www.zipproth.de/Brainfish/cerebellum/.


Thanks a lot for the link, i will check it out.
  

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Re: Moscow 3...Nd7 4. a4!?
Reply #14 - 05/30/20 at 12:05:56
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Yes i already use the Cerebellum books with several engines. I didn't know if you had any info about HIARCS. Thanks
  
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Jack Hughes
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Re: Moscow 3...Nd7 4. a4!?
Reply #13 - 05/30/20 at 02:05:10
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I don't have any experience with the HIARCS books myself, but I do notice that it is much larger than the Cerebellum book, so my beta-tester very well could be right about their quality.

I don't know how, or if it is possible, to get the Cerebellum books in .ctg format - nor would I want to do so, as a SCID user. They are downloadable as polyglot (.bin) books. The link to download them is https://www.zipproth.de/Brainfish/cerebellum/.
« Last Edit: 05/30/20 at 04:09:44 by Jack Hughes »  
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TopNotch
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Re: Moscow 3...Nd7 4. a4!?
Reply #12 - 05/30/20 at 00:21:00
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If you don't mind my asking, where can one get the Cerebellum ctg books?
  

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Re: Moscow 3...Nd7 4. a4!?
Reply #11 - 05/29/20 at 10:44:08
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I use the Cerebellum books pretty ofter, do you think the HIARCs book is much better?
  
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Jack Hughes
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Re: Moscow 3...Nd7 4. a4!?
Reply #10 - 05/28/20 at 21:36:39
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Syzygy wrote on 05/28/20 at 20:24:11:
After 15...Nd7, I initially thought 16. Qe2 was just winning for White. After a closer look I see that I missed the brave 16...bxc3! with the point that 17. Bxe5 Nxe5 18. Nxe5 dxe5 19. Qxe5+ Kd7 20. Qf5+ Kc7 21. Qxf7+ Kb8 22. Re6 c2! is balanced.

I think that this line turns 6...Qa5 into a fully viable variation, and most likely Black's best response overall. Thanks for the Cerebellum line, Jack - I should probably start looking into engine-based opening books myself!

Yeah, I'm actually really new to using it myself - basically I've only started using it because one of the beta-testers indicated their value to me. (He prefers the HIARCS book, which I'm seriously considering buying for that reason). If you take a look at our recent discussions on Chessable, then I'm sure you'll have no difficulty finding other cases where my analysis has been aided by Cerebellum.
  
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Re: Moscow 3...Nd7 4. a4!?
Reply #9 - 05/28/20 at 20:24:11
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Jack Hughes wrote on 05/28/20 at 08:14:32:
Syzygy wrote on 05/28/20 at 07:15:40:
I did look into the line with 6...Qa5 a while ago - it appears to be a novelty, but since Stockfish gave it as 0.00, I thought it could be a solution.

Then I checked it with Leela and decided that 7. O-O b5 8. d4! b4 9. Nd5 Nxe4 10. Bc4 Bb7 11. Re1 is an exceedingly dangerous gambit - i.e. 11...cxd4 12. Nxd4 +/- or 11...Ndf6 12. Nxf6 Nxf6 13. c3! with a strong initiative.

Unfortunately, I think Black has to look elsewhere for equality - after all, it shouldn't come as a surprise that a lack of kingside development would be swiftly punished.


This gambit is actually given as the most testing continuation for white in the Cerebellum book (or at least, unsurprisingly, the LC0 based Cerebellum book). The line given is 11. Re1 Ndf6 12. Nxf6+ Nxf6 13. c3 e6 14. d5 e5 15. Bf4 Nd7 16. Qb3 Bc8.

Definitely not for the faint of heart, but then again neither is the Najdorf and at least at very low depths (Stockfish >30, LC0 >10) seemed to me to be objectively fine for black. Thoughts?


After 15...Nd7, I initially thought 16. Qe2 was just winning for White. After a closer look I see that I missed the brave 16...bxc3! with the point that 17. Bxe5 Nxe5 18. Nxe5 dxe5 19. Qxe5+ Kd7 20. Qf5+ Kc7 21. Qxf7+ Kb8 22. Re6 c2! is balanced.

I think that this line turns 6...Qa5 into a fully viable variation, and most likely Black's best response overall. Thanks for the Cerebellum line, Jack - I should probably start looking into engine-based opening books myself!
  
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Re: Moscow 3...Nd7 4. a4!?
Reply #8 - 05/28/20 at 19:37:08
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Jonathan Tait wrote on 05/28/20 at 19:02:12:
I first played this in 1995. Just wanted to say that Wink

The year after that, IM Rainer Kraut's Sizilianisch mit 3.Lb5(+) gave a number of possible continuations.  I wonder if that could be the earliest book to address it (although it cited games going back to 1971).
« Last Edit: 05/28/20 at 21:05:08 by kylemeister »  
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Re: Moscow 3...Nd7 4. a4!?
Reply #7 - 05/28/20 at 19:02:12
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Syzygy wrote on 05/27/20 at 20:27:13:
The Moscow with 3...Nd7 4. a4!? is quite the trendy variation


I first played this in 1995. Just wanted to say that Wink
  

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Re: Moscow 3...Nd7 4. a4!?
Reply #6 - 05/28/20 at 17:06:09
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Syzygy wrote on 05/28/20 at 05:31:16:
Thanks for the link, BeeCaves - I actually wasn't aware of Carlsen - Wei Yi 2020. However, the fact that Carlsen crushed Wei Yi after 19. Ra3, when 19. Bb4! is even stronger,  does not bode well for the entire line with 11...Be7.

Instead, Leko's 11...Ng4 is very interesting. After 12. Bg5 h6 13. Bh4 Rc8, the bishop has been pushed off its most dangerous diagonal, so the b6 pawn is safe for now. The ideas of kingside expansion with ...g5 and/or ...h5 are also attractive.

Unfortunately, I don't think this is an easy equalizer for Black, and in fact I'm not sure it fully equalizes at all. White has a variety of interesting positional tries, and Black has to be very precise to hang on. For instance, I don't even think 14. Nd2 deserves a dubious mark - after 14...Nge5 15. h3! Black has to be careful not to fall into the trap with 15...g5 16. Bg3 Bg7 17. Nc4!! Nf3+ 18. Bxf3 Bxd4 19. Nxd6+ winning.

In that specific line, however, the careful 15...Qc5!? should be fine for Black. Thus, in my opinion, the real critical line (which I couldn't fully solve) runs something like:

13...Rc8 14. h3 Nge5 15. Bg3 Be7 16. Rd2!? Nxf3+ 17. Bxf3 e5 18. Qd3 h5 19. Qf1! +=

That's a lot of weird computer moves from both sides, but such is modern chess. Black has a surprisingly tough time dealing with the weaknesses in the position, and if the dynamics don't work out I think Black may just end up statically worse.


I agree, you're right on 14 Nd2 and the dubious mark ... sorry I didn't really check it by itself, just in conjunction with 14 Nd2 Nge5 15 f4? and wrote the comment sloppily.
  
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