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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Resources on the Saemisch for White? (Read 3167 times)
an ordinary chessplayer
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Re: Resources on the Saemisch for White?
Reply #17 - 07/30/20 at 03:57:36
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HAJS wrote on 07/28/20 at 12:01:45:
I would like to learn more about the Saemisch from White's perspective and wonder where would be a good place to start. What are some good books or other media and who are its biggest proponents at the top level? Also, I am curious to know what you think of it in terms of theoretical reputation.

Many thanks!

You could do worse than start with the games by early Saemisch players and work up to today.
  • Botvinnik, Geller, and Spassky were terrors with 5.f3 and their games could be inspiring today, but of course theory has moved on.
  • Petrosian was already mentioned. He could be fun to look at because his interpretation will be so different from the above players.
  • Balashov played the Saemisch consistently when given the chance, but he was more of a 1.e4 player so you might not find that many examples.
  • Sadler is a 1.d4 player whom I associate with the Saemisch, but actually when I checked on it he split about 50/50 between 5.Nf3 and 5.f3.
  • Dreev is the big modern name, a consistent 1.d4 player who consistently chooses 5.f3.
  • After that, when you look at modern players it seems they play the Saemisch only sporadically. Probably there are two reasons for this, although they are related so might amount to one reason. First, the Saemisch requires white to use a particular move order, so white loses some flexibility in the opening. Second, modern players vary their openings a lot to avoid preparation. I looked at Cheparinov, Hillarp Persson, Shankland, Wojtaszek, and they all play the Saemisch only a minority of the time.
  • Ding Liren has taken up the 3.f3 Anti-Grunfeld move order so this might bear watching.

As for books, EricTheRed in Reply #5 is being modest about his book. I have my eye on it. It says something that I am tempted by a book when I don't play the opening with either color.

Paddy wrote on 07/29/20 at 23:25:29:
In this respect I suggest that the older books on the Sämisch by Chris Ward (2004) and Joe Gallagher (1995) still deserve consideration. Both authors are excellent at explaining things.

Gallagher is a good explainer but Ward is not. Same goes for presenting critical lines. I have six books by Gallager, and more where he is co-author, and they are all really good. I have three books by Ward, including his Saemisch book, and a couple of his videos, and the best I can say about them is I didn't pay list price.

Theoretically the Saemisch is probably about the same value as the Classical. Both are slightly better for white, and in each case the engine will overestimate white's edge. But the play required from black is very different. In the Saemisch the ...f7-f5 scheme by itself is a misfire. Instead black has to hurry on the dark squares, even sacrificing a pawn if necessary, before white develops and consolidates the grip on the center. In the Classical, the ...f7-f5 scheme amounts to real counterplay, but white's development is also real. The big plus of the Saemisch is if black plays routinely, they risk getting squashed like a bug. The big minus is if black plays actively and concretely, white doesn't have so many choices and there is a risk the game will follow preparation for a long time, then fizzle out. At club level probably the plus far outweighs the minus. At master level it's the opposite. One final point is it might be hard for white to play the Saemisch for a draw. Not that white should do that ordinarily, but if all you know is the Saemisch and black is in a must-win situation in the last round, you are in for a fight. In the Classical white has more ways to "equalize".
  
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Re: Resources on the Saemisch for White?
Reply #16 - 07/30/20 at 01:19:37
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@Paddy:
Good points about understanding and finding authors with personal experience of the opening. I have Ward's book and sometimes look at it. But some would argue these books are too old to be relevant today. I haven't seen Gallagher's Sämisch book, but I would have thought it was more about concrete theory than strategies and patterns?

Paddy wrote on 07/29/20 at 23:25:29:
I suggest that another good basis would be a study of all of Tigran Petrosian's white games with the Sämisch (52 games, 85.7%!).

I wonder how many of those Sämisch games made it into the book on The King’s Indian According to Tigran Petrosian by Yanvarjov.

The excerpt (https://www.newinchess.com/media/wysiwyg/product_pdf/3738.pdf) tells me there's a 65-page chapter dedicated to the Sämisch, but there are also more theme-based chapters that could contain all kinds of lines. And the Benoni chapter might be relevant by transposition.
  

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Re: Resources on the Saemisch for White?
Reply #15 - 07/30/20 at 00:51:41
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LeeRoth wrote on 07/29/20 at 21:14:59:
This is a great list.  Do you have the Barrish course and, if so, is it any good?

I have it, but I haven't started the King's Indian chapters yet. Part 1 + Part 2 combined are large enough that I'm not trying to learn it all at once, and I've started with more solid defences like the Nimzo-Indian, the QGD and the QGA since these are the kinds of defences that sometimes bore me and could conceivably turn me away from 1.d4 altogether.

Anyway, I like what I see of these courses. The analysis looks good and up-to-date. Barrish answers questions and has promised regular updates for at least a year; both parts have been updated once so far. The detail level seems just right for me (at around 2160), but I imagine titled players would want to dig deeper.

One quibble I've had is he's sometimes a bit cavalier about lines where White sacrifices material - there's quite a bit of that in the QGA 3.e4 chapter. The sacs are objectively correct of course (I believe strong cloud engines were used), but I often find myself wanting more explanation of why I'm fine despite being a pawn or two down, and examples of how to punish Black if he tries to hold on to the material. I've even seen positions where he sums up why White is better without mentioning the material minus. But he did add some extra explanations after my queries. And maybe these worries say more about me than about the courses.  Smiley

The opposite also occurs: There are a few lines, for instance in the "Glasgow Kiss" variation of the Slav with the gambit of the b7 pawn, where Black sacrifices and gets so much activity I'm not sure I would want to play the White side in a practical game.

(An aside on materialism: An IM friend of mine accused me of being too concerned with material in my games against him. My response: "Well, usually when I'm material down against you I'm worse, and when I'm material up I'm also worse, so what can I do?!")
  

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Re: Resources on the Saemisch for White?
Reply #14 - 07/29/20 at 23:25:29
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The "aggressive" KID is far more strategic than is generally thought and I would argue that even at a high level a good understanding of the typical structures and motifs of the KID is far more important than knowing lots of deep variations.

In this respect I suggest that the older books on the Sämisch by Chris Ward (2004) and Joe Gallagher (1995) still deserve consideration. Both authors are excellent at explaining things.

I tend to place far greater trust in an opening book when the author himself plays the opening in question. Ward has played the white side of the Sämisch 89 times according to Megabase, with a score of 69.1%. Gallagher has played it much less often with White (11 games, 68.2%) but has a lot of experience on the black side (56 games, 50%).

I suggest that another good basis would be a study of all of Tigran Petrosian's white games with the Sämisch (52 games, 85.7%!).

Once a good basis of understanding has been established, it is relatively easy to get up to date with a search for recent games and articles.
  
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Re: Resources on the Saemisch for White?
Reply #13 - 07/29/20 at 21:14:59
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Stigma wrote on 07/28/20 at 15:28:27:
I can't really answer your question since I haven't studied the Sämisch nearly as deeply as I want to... yet. But I have many books on it and have played it quite a bit. I always get interesting games. It's the kind of rich, unbalanced opening I would be happy to play with both White and Black.

Based on my impressions so far these are the sources I would prioritoze:

* The Opening Repertoire book by Eric Montany - for 6.Bg5, which I dabbled in even before that book came out

* The Principled Queen's Gambit Part 2 (Chessable course) by Daniel Barrish - for 6.Nge2

* The Sämisch volume of the King's Indian series by Kotronias - for an extremely in-depth view from the Black side

* The ChessPublishing King's Indian section - for ongoing developments

I haven't been that much into the traditional main line 6.Be3, but there is a decent older repertoire book by Svetushkin (ostensibly on the "Anti-Grünfeld") that covers it. I think maybe the recent book by Cheparinov has 6.Be3 too, but I'm not sure - haven't seen that one. But Cheparinov is known as a strong theoretician, so it's probably good.



This is a great list.  Do you have the Barrish course and, if so, is it any good?
  
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Re: Resources on the Saemisch for White?
Reply #12 - 07/29/20 at 15:50:35
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If I remember right, the subtitle was a suggestion from forum members.
  
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Re: Resources on the Saemisch for White?
Reply #11 - 07/29/20 at 15:33:20
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The title of Svetushkin's Chess Stars book, as it appears both on the cover and on the spine, is 'The Ultimate Anti-Grünfeld. A Sämisch Repertoire', so it seems that this publisher at least shared Stigma's concern that potential readers might be lost if the book's content wasn't spelled out.
  
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Re: Resources on the Saemisch for White?
Reply #10 - 07/29/20 at 14:29:47
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Stigma wrote on 07/29/20 at 02:56:47:
Are you seriously claiming it never happens that club players interested in the Sämisch King's Indian overlook these books because "King's Indian" isn't in the title?

People, myself included, overlook all kinds of things. Titles need to be short.
  
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Re: Resources on the Saemisch for White?
Reply #9 - 07/29/20 at 10:24:09
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Eric's book got a recent mention in a review on a book on the Benoni by Ivanisevic, where Eric had launched a novelty; that Ivanisevic thought was a novelty.
  
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Re: Resources on the Saemisch for White?
Reply #8 - 07/29/20 at 03:09:42
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Lars Schandorff also covers the Saemisch (6.Be3) in his Playing 1.d4 - The Indian Defences (Quality Chess, 2012).
  
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Re: Resources on the Saemisch for White?
Reply #7 - 07/29/20 at 02:56:47
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an ordinary chessplayer wrote on 07/29/20 at 02:08:38:
TD wrote on 07/28/20 at 19:09:14:
Stigma wrote on 07/28/20 at 18:59:44:
TD wrote on 07/28/20 at 15:45:07:
Mind you, those books propagate 3.f3 (the "Anti-Grunfeld").

Yes, I know. I just find it weird to cover the King's Indian in detail, which in fact these books do, and not even mention it in the title. The Grünfeld is more respected on GM level, but on amateur level (where most of the readers are) the King's Indian is clearly more common than the Grünfeld.

I agree.

I disagree. If your Anti-Grunfeld succeeds, you get a King's Indian. Why wouldn't almost all the repertoire coverage be on the King's Indian? It's not in the title because it goes without saying.

I don't disagree with a lot of the coverage being on the King's Indian, obviously.

But does it go without saying, for all potential customers? Are you seriously claiming it never happens that club players interested in the Sämisch King's Indian overlook these books because "King's Indian" isn't in the title?

I do believe they have lost a few buyers that way. And now I've pointed out right here that books titled "something Anti-Grünfeld" usually also cover the Sämisch King's Indian. Yes, you and almost everybody here knew that already - so what? I'm happy if just one person reading this learns something they didn't know.
« Last Edit: 07/29/20 at 04:30:13 by Stigma »  

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Re: Resources on the Saemisch for White?
Reply #6 - 07/29/20 at 02:08:38
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TD wrote on 07/28/20 at 19:09:14:
Stigma wrote on 07/28/20 at 18:59:44:
TD wrote on 07/28/20 at 15:45:07:
Mind you, those books propagate 3.f3 (the "Anti-Grunfeld").

Yes, I know. I just find it weird to cover the King's Indian in detail, which in fact these books do, and not even mention it in the title. The Grünfeld is more respected on GM level, but on amateur level (where most of the readers are) the King's Indian is clearly more common than the Grünfeld.

I agree.

I disagree. If your Anti-Grunfeld succeeds, you get a King's Indian. Why wouldn't almost all the repertoire coverage be on the King's Indian? It's not in the title because it goes without saying.

Edit: Not sure why the quoted part expanded like that. All I did was use the quote button.
  
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Re: Resources on the Saemisch for White?
Reply #5 - 07/29/20 at 01:45:57
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HAJS wrote on 07/28/20 at 12:01:45:
I would like to learn more about the Saemisch from White's perspective and wonder where would be a good place to start. What are some good books or other media and who are its biggest proponents at the top level?


My own book, Opening Repertoire: The Modern Samisch, is recent and has received excellent reviews.  Here is one: https://chesscafe.com/book-reviews/the-modern-samisch-by-eric-montany/

Although I mostly cover plans with the bishop going to g5 instead of e3, I cover a lot of general strategy.  There's also a lot of material concerning move orders and earlier deviations, so that a fair amount of non-Bg5 lines are covered as well, and those move order issues are not covered in other books that I'm aware of. 

Good luck with the Samisch!
  
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Re: Resources on the Saemisch for White?
Reply #4 - 07/28/20 at 19:09:14
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Stigma wrote on 07/28/20 at 18:59:44:
TD wrote on 07/28/20 at 15:45:07:
Mind you, those books propagate 3.f3 (the "Anti-Grunfeld").

Yes, I know. I just find it weird to cover the King's Indian in detail, which in fact these books do, and not even mention it in the title. The Grünfeld is more respected on GM level, but on amateur level (where most of the readers are) the King's Indian is clearly more common than the Grünfeld.

I agree.
  
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Re: Resources on the Saemisch for White?
Reply #3 - 07/28/20 at 18:59:44
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TD wrote on 07/28/20 at 15:45:07:
Mind you, those books propagate 3.f3 (the "Anti-Grunfeld").

Yes, I know. I just find it weird to cover the King's Indian in detail, which in fact these books do, and not even mention it in the title. The Grünfeld is more respected on GM level, but on amateur level (where most of the readers are) the King's Indian is clearly more common than the Grünfeld.
  

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