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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Resources on the Saemisch for White? (Read 3137 times)
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Re: Resources on the Saemisch for White?
Reply #32 - 07/30/20 at 17:17:22
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ErictheRed wrote on 07/30/20 at 16:16:31:
There are a lot of great suggestions in this thread, but I would caution against information overload.  You don't need a ton of different sources; start with only a couple and do a lot of critical thinking for yourself.  Learn what you can from them and then look for other sources.  Obviously I'm talking about learning to play an opening, not entering a correspondence tournament, etc. 

I've written here and elsewhere that I learned a ton about how to play against the King's Indian from Petrosian's games.  He's probably the single player that I learned the most from, even when he played something other than the Samisch.  You'd be surprised at how quickly many strong club players (2200-2400) deviate from theory, and you have to have a good understanding of positional play and space advantages to be successful against the King's Indian. 

As an aside, I seem to have a higher opinion of Ward's book than others.  It's not the best effort out there, but I like that it's a personal look at an opening that Chris Ward played extensively.  He doesn't present a repertoire, he doesn't always show the most critical lines, he isn't always objective, and yet...it's a pretty good collection of games played by normal, human players (before massive computer preparation) with enough educational snippets and interesting ideas to make it worthwhile.  I wouldn't suggest it as your first (and certainly not only!) book on the Samisch, but it's worth having. 


Thank you for your suggestion Eric. I read the review of your book, which seems excellent and your advice is very well received. I think it is well worth checking out just for the chapters you mentioned.

I completely agree with you about understanding rather then memorisation. In fact, I was hoping that the Samisch was one of those kinds of openings I could play more on understanding than anything else. Besides, it is much more enjoyable to go through games as a way to train an opening, and it appears that I am lucky enough that the book with Petrosian's games in the KID has just come out.
  
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Re: Resources on the Saemisch for White?
Reply #31 - 07/30/20 at 17:07:33
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I am on vacation and had some difficulties going online to check answers to the thread yesterday. When I come back the discussion has exploded with many fntastic suggestions. This forum is (probably) the best chess forum in the world.

To Stigma:
Based on my non-existent theoretical understanding about the Samisch, I would argue that 6.Nge2 looks less flexible compared to 6.Be3 unless we are indending to develop the bishop elsewhere. I could see how the knight might want to go to h3-f2 or h3-g5 etc. How does Barrish and others motivate their choice of 6.Nge2?

To TD:
Cheparinov's book appears to be a very recent publication and based on what I could gather is based on 3.f3, the same recommendation as Barrish. I wonder if anyone has both products and is able to compare them. The My One Hundred Best Games by Dreev is definitely something worth checking out as I like going through games rather than theoretical opening books.

To Paddy:
I that Joe Gallagher's book has an excellent reputation and I know several players who still use his recommendations. I even faced his KID repertoire myself once and my opponent showed great understanding. Petrosian's games is on my to-do list to study and I will order the book that came out recently with his games in the Samisch that was also mentioned a few times in this thread. As for Ward's books unfortunately I have no experience.

To an ordinary chess player:
That is a very nice curated list of players to study and indeed I could do worse than start off by studying the games of these players. As I get into the Samish and perhaps even start adopting an anti-grunfeld move order, it is going to make it more interesting to follow Ding's games. Regarding its theoretical value, it is good to know that it is on par with the classical and as you say it might even work better at the amateur/club level. The fact that it has no drawish lines is a big advantage as it is something that I am lacking in my games and that is preventing me from reaching the next level.
  
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Re: Resources on the Saemisch for White?
Reply #30 - 07/30/20 at 17:03:12
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There is also 5. Bg5 avoiding the KID, which I think has generally been viewed as leading to +=.

Can't Black -- if of course he's happy with a ...Nbd7 Classical and the restriction against the Fianchetto that AOC mentions -- take the sting out of Bg5 by going 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 d6 3 Nc3 Nbd7 4 Nf3 g6, or does that allow another nasty?
  
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Re: Resources on the Saemisch for White?
Reply #29 - 07/30/20 at 16:57:13
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an ordinary chessplayer wrote on 07/30/20 at 15:50:58:
Saemisch players should consider 3.f3!? d5!? 4.e5 Nfd7. It's a French of course, but at least black is committed to a Steinitz variation and white gets a Saemisch-like space advantage.

Sämisch players also should consider 3...c5 (iso d5) as in Dangerous Weapons (Pirc and Modern), chapter 12.
  

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Re: Resources on the Saemisch for White?
Reply #28 - 07/30/20 at 16:16:31
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There are a lot of great suggestions in this thread, but I would caution against information overload.  You don't need a ton of different sources; start with only a couple and do a lot of critical thinking for yourself.  Learn what you can from them and then look for other sources.  Obviously I'm talking about learning to play an opening, not entering a correspondence tournament, etc. 

I've written here and elsewhere that I learned a ton about how to play against the King's Indian from Petrosian's games.  He's probably the single player that I learned the most from, even when he played something other than the Samisch.  You'd be surprised at how quickly many strong club players (2200-2400) deviate from theory, and you have to have a good understanding of positional play and space advantages to be successful against the King's Indian. 

As an aside, I seem to have a higher opinion of Ward's book than others.  It's not the best effort out there, but I like that it's a personal look at an opening that Chris Ward played extensively.  He doesn't present a repertoire, he doesn't always show the most critical lines, he isn't always objective, and yet...it's a pretty good collection of games played by normal, human players (before massive computer preparation) with enough educational snippets and interesting ideas to make it worthwhile.  I wouldn't suggest it as your first (and certainly not only!) book on the Samisch, but it's worth having. 
  
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Re: Resources on the Saemisch for White?
Reply #27 - 07/30/20 at 16:09:40
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an ordinary chessplayer wrote on 07/30/20 at 15:50:58:
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 d6 3.Nf3 is not right. White should play 3.Nc3 e5 4.Nf3 and if black wants a King's Indian then 4...Nbd7 is necessary. That's a big commitment in the Classical, and even if white chooses the Fianchetto at least does not have to worry about the Yugoslav (6...c5) or Panno (6...Nc6).

There is also 5. Bg5 avoiding the KID, which I think has generally been viewed as leading to +=.
  
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Re: Resources on the Saemisch for White?
Reply #26 - 07/30/20 at 16:01:21
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Stigma wrote on 07/30/20 at 00:51:41:
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?!")


Thanks much.  Based on your recommendation I bought the first one.  He covers a lot of the lines I ordinarily play, but I haven’t gotten that far into it yet.
  
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Re: Resources on the Saemisch for White?
Reply #25 - 07/30/20 at 15:50:58
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Straggler wrote on 07/30/20 at 10:29:35:
I would be more willing to play the Sämisch if it weren't for 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 d6, when 3.Nf3 just seems like the most natural move. Schandorff even suggests that you learn a Nf3 line as back-up, just for this move order!

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 d6 3.Nf3 is not right. White should play 3.Nc3 e5 4.Nf3 and if black wants a King's Indian then 4...Nbd7 is necessary. That's a big commitment in the Classical, and even if white chooses the Fianchetto at least does not have to worry about the Yugoslav (6...c5) or Panno (6...Nc6).

In Semkov (2009) Kill K.I.D. he advocates the Four Pawns Attack. About black move orders, he says "... Part 6 considers the Classical King's Indian with ...Nd7. I think that White cannot, and should not, avoid this specific type of the KID since it hides no venom.", page 96. Actually he's talking about ...Nbd7 before ...e7-e5. On pages 128-129 he recommends 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 d6 3.Nc3 e5 4.dxe5 dxe5 5.Qxd8+ Kxd8 6.Nf3 Nfd7 7.g4 ("!") 7...c6 8.b3, but in my opinion 4.Nf3 is even stronger.

Another interesting idea for Saemisch players (not Four Pawns players though) is 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 d6 3.Nc3 e5 4.d5!? as frequently played against me in blitz by former KID specialist IM Vigorito. Karpov also played this way. Of course the idea is e2-e4, f2-f3, Bc1-e3, etc. Probably black should try 4...Be7 and later aim for ...Be7-g5, but this is not automatic. Saemisch-style against the Old Indian is hardly mentioned in old theory but has become quite topical today.

Similarly, 1.d4 d6 2.Nf3 is not right for Saemisch players. Correct is 1.d4 d6 2.e4 ("!" Semkov) 2...Nf6 when Semkov gives 3.Nc3 but Saemisch players should consider 3.f3!? d5!? 4.e5 Nfd7. It's a French of course, but at least black is committed to a Steinitz variation and white gets a Saemisch-like space advantage.
  
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Re: Resources on the Saemisch for White?
Reply #24 - 07/30/20 at 15:45:02
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Paddy wrote on 07/30/20 at 14:39:42:
"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime!"

Teach a man to cook and he doesn't have to eat fish everyday.
  
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Re: Resources on the Saemisch for White?
Reply #23 - 07/30/20 at 14:39:42
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To "an ordinary chess player": you make many very valid points. I would add Polugaevsky and Averbakh to your list of Sämisch players. By the way there is a very thematic win by Averbakh as White vs Petrosian (!) that is in the Yanvarjov book but is missing from Megabase.
I disagree about the Chris Ward book though; I think it's still quite useful, especially as it includes many of his own games and it's useful to see examples of play at a level that is strong but not super-GM. Admittedly he waffles a fair bit and seems less scrupulous and thorough than e.g. Gallagher, but probably he's aiming his books at a lower-level of players.

To "Straggler": I think my 54 games for Petrosian must have been a typo for 44 - sorry.

To "Stigma": you wrote: "But some would argue these books are too old to be relevant today." They might, but I think they would be wrong.

Some openings are heavily dependant on concrete theory and forcing lines. I think that applies less to a (mostly) closed opening like the Sämisch. While it's always nice to have an opening book that is up-to-date, all such books drift out of date very quickly. Therefore for me the bulk of the "added value" of a good opening book (especially if the topic is one of the closed or semi-closed openings), compared to e.g. an unannotated set of games in a database, is the basis of understanding of typical structures, manoeuvres and motifs etc that I can take away from the book and try to apply in my own games, using my own brain (feeble as it is, it's the only one I have).

In his review of the KID books by Smirin and Kotronias, GM David Smerdon makes some related points - see
https://www.chess.com/blog/smurfo/king-of-kings

It reminds me in some ways of the old adage:
"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime!"
  
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Re: Resources on the Saemisch for White?
Reply #22 - 07/30/20 at 11:08:18
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Pawnpusher wrote on 07/30/20 at 10:39:19:
I think Larry Kaufman did a book on f3 also. I think I have it somewhere.

This is mentioned in Reply #2.
  
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Re: Resources on the Saemisch for White?
Reply #21 - 07/30/20 at 10:39:19
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I think Larry Kaufman did a book on f3 also. I think I have it somewhere.
  
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Re: Resources on the Saemisch for White?
Reply #20 - 07/30/20 at 10:29:35
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TD wrote on 07/30/20 at 09:31:27:
an ordinary chessplayer wrote on 07/30/20 at 03:57:36:
Dreev is the big modern name, a consistent 1.d4 player who consistently chooses 5.f3.

I have My One Hundred Best Games by Dreev, in which there are 10 (!) games with the Saemisch.  Smiley

Yet he often plays 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3, followed by g3 against the KID (or Grünfeld).

I would be more willing to play the Sämisch if it weren't for 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 d6, when 3.Nf3 just seems like the most natural move. Schandorff even suggests that you learn a Nf3 line as back-up, just for this move order!
  
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Re: Resources on the Saemisch for White?
Reply #19 - 07/30/20 at 09:31:27
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an ordinary chessplayer wrote on 07/30/20 at 03:57:36:
Dreev is the big modern name, a consistent 1.d4 player who consistently chooses 5.f3.

I have My One Hundred Best Games by Dreev, in which there are 10 (!) games with the Saemisch.  Smiley
  
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Re: Resources on the Saemisch for White?
Reply #18 - 07/30/20 at 08:14:22
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Stigma wrote on 07/30/20 at 01:19:37:
I haven't seen Gallagher's Sämisch book, but I would have thought it was more about concrete theory than strategies and patterns?

There's quite a lot of verbal explanation. Gallagher says somewhere else that he thinks it's his best book, which if true would make it pretty darned good.

Stigma wrote on 07/30/20 at 01:19:37:
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.

Yanvarjov has 44 games in his Sämisch chapter with Petrosian as White, plus 16 where he was Black. There don't seem to be many Sämisch set-ups in the other chapters. Megabase similarly has 44 games as White with ECO code E80-E89 and a score of 85.7%. I wonder where Paddy's figure of 52 games comes from, since Yanvarjov claims to have included "almost all known games played by Petrosian that featured King's Indian structures (including with colours reversed)". I really like this book.
  
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