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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) Queen's Gambit : why attack g5 bishop with ...h6 ? (Read 1365 times)
FreeRepublic
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Re: Queen's Gambit : why attack g5 bishop with ...h6 ?
Reply #11 - 02/28/22 at 16:19:48
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I stand by my first response and agree with others who a mentioned the postive features of ...h6.

However focusing on

"Also it weakens the pawn cover of his king."

Is there any concrete way for white to take advantage of ...h6?

After 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 Be7 5. e3 h6 6. Bh4 O-O 7. Nf3 b6, White played 8g4!? in the game Grischuk-Leko 2014, analyzed for ChessPublishing by Max Illingworth. Obviously we have two very strong players and it is notable that white won that game.

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Also, GM Marin has made positive mention of playing the Tartakover without ...h6.

...h6 or not ...h6? It's a fair question, however I would play ...h6.
  
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Konstriktor
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Re: Queen's Gambit : why attack g5 bishop with ...h6 ?
Reply #10 - 02/28/22 at 08:24:09
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FMCharless wrote on 02/26/22 at 02:44:00:
I cant believe we are having the longest talk here on the h6 of the queens gambit, lol. its a good move for black because it wins a tempo and its a multipurpose move, keeps pieces away from g5 and gives luft to the king


I don't get it FMCharless? On the one hand you're asking for all kinds of advice about how to improve and when someone raises a perfectly legitimate question about something which is not that clear-cut you laugh it off?


I think one of the main ways to improve in any subject is to ask questions about things you do not fully understand. And with that I do not mean getting an engine eval in centipawns but really digging in.
Study material, think it over, check the things you don't know for certain and then ask questions about these uncertain areas and be sure to formulate your questions well and you will learn.
  
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FMCharless
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Re: Queen's Gambit : why attack g5 bishop with ...h6 ?
Reply #9 - 02/26/22 at 02:44:00
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I cant believe we are having the longest talk here on the h6 of the queens gambit, lol. its a good move for black because it wins a tempo and its a multipurpose move, keeps pieces away from g5 and gives luft to the king
  
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huibui
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Re: Queen's Gambit : why attack g5 bishop with ...h6 ?
Reply #8 - 02/26/22 at 00:35:53
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kylemeister wrote on 02/24/22 at 17:32:33:
Such a position (that is, an exact transposition except with the pawn on h6 instead of h7) can be reached via the Lasker as in e.g. Karpov-Yusupov 1989 (I'm guessing Kasparov used/referred to this game).
https://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1068724

Instead of ...Nf6 as played by Yusupov, ...Rd8 followed by ...Nf8 (which makes use of the pawn on h6, and was given in the 2004 edition of ECO as leading to equality) was played in e.g. Topalov-Carlsen 2009 (the move order in that game was 14...Rd8 15. Re1 ed 16. ed Qd6).

If Black goes the "Capablanca's freeing maneuver" route but with ...h6 and Bh4 added, White of course has the possibility of answering ...Nd5 with Bg3 (which is evidently advantageous).


Ah, right, thanks! Yes, he surely talks about several Karpov-Yusupov games, very possibly also this one. The two move orders are https://www.chessgames.com/perl/chess.pl?node=483671 (no …h6) and https://www.chessgames.com/perl/chess.pl?node=346929 (with …h6). Apparently the IQP structure is dangerous for black only with the weakened g6 square, so in the Capablanca line White usually takes on e5 here. And of course either side can deviate before, for instance by going for the …b6+…c5 plan.
  

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kylemeister
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Re: Queen's Gambit : why attack g5 bishop with ...h6 ?
Reply #7 - 02/24/22 at 17:32:33
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@dfan:  Thanks!

huibui wrote on 02/24/22 at 15:56:10:
I think there is at least one line in one of the classical defences, maybe where black takes c4 and then plays …Nd5, to follow it up with exchanges on e7 and c3, where he profits from having the pawn on h7. I believe it is a line where Black then goes …e5, and in the resulting IQP structure after …exd exd, if the pawn were on h6, White‘s knight on e5 would be much more unpleasant, eyeing the weakened g6 square. I think I learned this from Kasparov‘s old dvd on the QGD, which I can‘t play anymore 😥

Such a position (that is, an exact transposition except with the pawn on h6 instead of h7) can be reached via the Lasker as in e.g. Karpov-Yusupov 1989 (I'm guessing Kasparov used/referred to this game).
https://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1068724

Instead of ...Nf6 as played by Yusupov, ...Rd8 followed by ...Nf8 (which makes use of the pawn on h6, and was given in the 2004 edition of ECO as leading to equality) was played in e.g. Topalov-Carlsen 2009 (the move order in that game was 14...Rd8 15. Re1 ed 16. ed Qd6).

If Black goes the "Capablanca's freeing maneuver" route but with ...h6 and Bh4 added, White of course has the possibility of answering ...Nd5 with Bg3 (which is evidently advantageous).
« Last Edit: 02/24/22 at 20:27:47 by kylemeister »  
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huibui
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Re: Queen's Gambit : why attack g5 bishop with ...h6 ?
Reply #6 - 02/24/22 at 15:56:10
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Yeah, often nowadays …h6 is played at the earliest possibility because of its flexibility. Just some details to add to the list of points already given in other answers:

I think there is at least one line in one of the classical defences, maybe where black takes c4 and then plays …Nd5, to follow it up with exchanges on e7 and c3, where he profits from having the pawn on h7. I believe it is a line where Black then goes …e5, and in the resulting IQP structure after …exd exd, if the pawn were on h6, White‘s knight on e5 would be much more unpleasant, eyeing the weakened g6 square. I think I learned this from Kasparov‘s old dvd on the QGD, which I can‘t play anymore 😥

Also White sometimes plays for a Bc2 Qd3 battery, using the slight weakening of this diagonal caused by …h6, for instance in the Moscow.

Finally, if …h6 is played at a very late stage, it may be answered by a sacrifice, as h4 or even Bxh6.
  

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dfan
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Re: Queen's Gambit : why attack g5 bishop with ...h6 ?
Reply #5 - 02/24/22 at 01:29:38
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I own Strategic Chess. Here's what Mednis says about 5...h6 in Seirawan-Karpov:

Quote:
In the majority of the variations of the Orthodox Defense, it is useful for Black to insert the moves ...h6, Bh4. There are three reasons for this: (1) Black guards the important g5 square, (2) Black does not have to worry about an attack on the h-pawn after White's Qc2, Bd3 line-up, (3) With White's QB on h4, Black can be sure that later on, an opportune ...Ne4 will cause the QB to be exchanged. Since for Black there are neither practical nor theoretical disadvantages of inserting ...h6, Bh4 in these variations, Black does so.

What has changed, however, is the exact point where ...h6 is played. As recently as ten years ago, Blacks tended to play it on move 6, i.e. after 5...0-0 6.e3. Lately the overwhelming number of GMs play it immediately. The reason: no disadvantage and retention of maximum flexibility for making later decisions.
  
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Re: Queen's Gambit : why attack g5 bishop with ...h6 ?
Reply #4 - 02/24/22 at 00:20:03
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ErictheRed wrote on 02/23/22 at 19:41:08:
You also gain information right away after 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 Be7 5.Bg5 h6, for instance.  You know right away whether White intends to capture or not, and which diagonal the bishop will go to (which matters for a later ...Ne4 or ...Nd5 move).  If you delay the move until after 5.Bg5 0-0 6.e3 h6 for instance, you've committed your king to castling and White has some ideas of taking on f6 quickly, castling queenside, and launching a kingside attach.  By playing 5.Bg5 h6 right away, your force him to declare his intentions and if White plays 6.Bxf6 Bxf6 7.e3 you can delay castling until White plays something less aggressive.

I recall Edmar Mednis telling me once upon a time that 5...h6 is more accurate, but I don't remember what he said as to why.  I wonder if it was any different from what you wrote.  I'm guessing he addressed it in annotating Seirawan-Karpov (a Tartakower) in Strategic Chess:  Mastering the Closed Game, but Amazon and Google won't show me the page.
  
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Re: Queen's Gambit : why attack g5 bishop with ...h6 ?
Reply #3 - 02/23/22 at 19:41:08
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You also gain information right away after 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 Be7 5.Bg5 h6, for instance.  You know right away whether White intends to capture or not, and which diagonal the bishop will go to (which matters for a later ...Ne4 or ...Nd5 move).  If you delay the move until after 5.Bg5 0-0 6.e3 h6 for instance, you've committed your king to castling and White has some ideas of taking on f6 quickly, castling queenside, and launching a kingside attach.  By playing 5.Bg5 h6 right away, your force him to declare his intentions and if White plays 6.Bxf6 Bxf6 7.e3 you can delay castling until White plays something less aggressive. 

Making luft is generally considered useful, and I think that most people would agree that the luft is more important than the slight weakening of the kingside (if it's even a weakening).

It's hard for me to understand how anyone would think that after 5...h6 6.Bh4 Black has lost a tempo, when White has taken two moves to get his bishop to the h4-d8 diagonal.  If anything, Black has gained the move ...h7-h6 for free. 

Lastly, there are lines where the bishop is less optimally placed on h4 than g5. I can think of lines in the Lasker and Tartakover where Black can play ...Bb4+ or ...Qa5+ without White being able to interpose with the bishop on d2.

In all, there are many reasons to play 5...h6 (including to avoid the Qc2 + Bd3 battery winning a tempo and keeping a knight out of g5 in the future).
  
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Re: Queen's Gambit : why attack g5 bishop with ...h6 ?
Reply #2 - 02/23/22 at 19:18:07
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The breaking of the pin is seen in a concrete variation of the QGD-Exchange with Nf3.

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Nc3 c6 6.Bg5 h6 7.Bh4 Bf5 is now possible because after 8.Qb3 which would normally be a problem you have 8...g5 9.Bg3 (Qxb7 gxh4 Qxa8 Qb6 trapping the queen) Qb6.

In the Nimzo you also have many lines where you play ...g5 and ...Ne4.

I guess mostly it has some concrete reasons when you can break the pin. But having that extra pinbreakingoption is probably many times worth the tempo.
  
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Re: Queen's Gambit : why attack g5 bishop with ...h6 ?
Reply #1 - 02/23/22 at 17:35:57
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"In several variations of the QGD, as well as in the Bg5 semi-Slav, Black drives away the pinning bishop with ...h6.  Why ?"

Cases can differ based on the variation, but let's go on.

"The bishop might take the knight and Black may be pleased he got a bishop for a knight." That's true and significant. For example, white may capture to avoid the Lasker or Tartakover lines.

"But usually the bishop simply retreats Bh4." Probably so. However sometimes the bishop retreats to f4. Black would like to see white commit one way or the other.

"Here it remains on the same dark-squared diagonal with the same potential pin." Agreed

"This costs Black a pawn move, that could have been used for development." I disagree. The time taken by ...h6 is matched by the time taken to play Bh4. After ...h6 Bh4, Black can develop.

"Also it weakens the pawn cover of his king." Agreed.

"What does Black gain?" Several things.

In many lines ...g5, breaking the pin, is a valid option for black.

It can also be important that black will not lose a tempo later due to the Bd3 and Qc2 battery. Sometimes "luft," preventing a back rank mate, is important. ...h6 is a good move and with ...h6 Bh4, you can argue that black is getting the benefits of ...h6 for free, as both sides have lost a tempo.

Finally, I can think of one line where black plays ...Ne4 and need not be concerned about Bf4 as a response.
  
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Queen's Gambit : why attack g5 bishop with ...h6 ?
02/23/22 at 16:25:20
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In several variations of the QGD, as well as in the Bg5 semi-Slav, Black drives away the pinning bishop with ...h6.  Why ?
The bishop might take the knight and Black may be pleased he got a bishop for a knight. But usually the bishop simply retreats Bh4. Here it remains on the same dark-squared diagonal with the same potential pin.
This costs Black a pawn move, that could have been used for development. Also it weakens the pawn cover of his king. What does Black gain ? A bishop on h4 does prevent White's h pawn advancement. But this is a new idea & these openings have evolved for over a century.
  
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