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Normal Topic Ulvestad Variation (Read 573 times)
SWJediknight
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Re: Ulvestad Variation
Reply #5 - 06/05/24 at 00:19:20
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When I last looked at that line I thought there was still a fair amount of play in that position after 14.Qh4 (which John Emms discussed in 2000 in Play the Open Games as Black), but maybe it has been analysed in more depth sucking the life out of it, I don't know. I have sometimes played this 6.0-0 line myself with White but my opponents have never got as far as 9...Qd3, so I haven't really been tested in it. Black could consider 6...dxc3 heading for double-edged Göring Gambit positions after 7.Nxc3 d6 (7.e5 d5 8.exf6 dxc4 is also possible), which offer more winning chances for both sides, although it can be tricky to play as Black unless you really know what you're doing. 9...Qe7 instead of 9...Qd3 is another possibility, though I didn't really trust it when I last examined it.

I agree that there are more drawish options available for White. My main objection has tended to be 6.cxd4 Bb4+ 7.Bd2, where 7...Nxe4 8.Bxf7+ Kxf7 9.Qb3+ Kf8 10.Qxb4+ Qe7 is quite drawish and after 9...d5 White gets decent attacking chances in the lines where Black doesn't force an early queen trade. After 7...Bxd2+ 8.Nbxd2 d5 9.exd5 Nxd5 10.Qb3 Black must choose between allowing a draw with 10...Na5 or go relatively passive with 10...Nce7, which isn't bad, but I tend to prefer White in the resulting IQP positions.

I recently played in a team vote chess game on Chess.com with the Ulvestad line 5...b5 6.Bf1 where we allowed the transposition to the Fritz with 6...Nd4 7.c3 Nxd5 8.cxd4 Qxg5, and won quite convincingly, but White must have erred somewhere after move 8 because that line is known to be better for White with best play. I saw Levy Rozman (GothamChess) analyse the Magnus game with 6...Nxd5 7.Bxb5 Bb7 etc., which looked nice. Magnus should really have won it but missed an opportunity late on and Gukesh then found a number of accurate moves.
  
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Re: Ulvestad Variation
Reply #4 - 05/23/24 at 22:50:03
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FreeRepublic wrote on 05/23/24 at 12:19:47:
What is the point of the Two Knights variation?

It's hard to tell if that was Cheparinov's quiestion or yours. But I assume Cheparinov, since that's the kind of question a GM would ask. As the GM should well know, there are as many reasons to prefer 3...Nf6 as there are reasons to prefer 3...Bc5, and not all of them will apply to every player, or indeed to every game.

I see 3...Nf6 as a more fighting move. After 3...Bc5 4.c3 Nf6 5.d4 white has a variety of Dangerous Drawing Weapons (TM) to choose from. I well remember in a round-robin tournament my opponent blitzing out the first 20 moves in this rinky-dink line (see Vykouk - Percivaldi), leaving me to regret not having played a different opening entirely. Don't get me wrong, I play rinky-dink openings myself, just not in pursuit of an opposite-colored bishops =+ endgame. Probably for a GM 1...e5 is already an implicit draw offer, but here in the trenches we're just playing chess. There are "even more drawn" variations than this one after 5.d4, and I have my crafty ways to keep the game alive, but the danger is real that my opponent can dig up another one I haven't seen before. Thus 3...Nf6. Sometimes.

[Event "EU-ch U18 26th"]
[Site "Prague"]
[Date "2016.08.27"]
[Round "9"]
[White "Vykouk, Jan"]
[Black "Percivaldi, Martin"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[WhiteElo "2434"]
[BlackElo "2361"]
[ECO "C56"]
[Source "ChessBase"]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.c3 Nf6 5.d4 exd4 6.O-O Nxe4 7.cxd4 d5 8.dxc5
dxc4 9.Qe2 Qd3 10.Re1 f5 11.Nc3 O-O 12.Nxe4 fxe4 13.Qxe4 Bf5 14.Qh4 Rae8
15.Bf4 Qd5 16.Bxc7 Qxc5 17.Qg3 Qd5 18.h4 Qd7 19.Bd6 Rxe1+ 20.Rxe1 Re8 21.
Rxe8+ Qxe8 22.Bc5 Be4 23.Nd4 a6 24.Qg4 h5 25.Qe2 Nxd4 26.Bxd4 Qg6 27.f3
Bd3 28.Qe5 b5 29.a3 Kh7 30.Bc3 Bf5 1/2-1/2
  
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FreeRepublic
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Re: Ulvestad Variation
Reply #3 - 05/23/24 at 12:19:47
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GM Ivan Cheparinov analyzes "The Best Opening Ideas of 2023"  at Modern-chess.com. He goes over 13 games. One is on the Ulvestad variation.

What is the point of the Two Knights variation? Nowdays, White will probably respond with 4d3 and the game will be a Giuoco Pianissimo. Why not play the simpler and safer 3...Bc4? Black can answer 4d3 with 4...Be7, but that does not attract me greatly. Cheparinov provides two games with 4...d5. Perhaps the Ulvestad and 4d3 d5 is a good response to the Italian game.

Modern-Chess is currently running a sale, 60% off. I assume they are offering a quantity discount of 10%, as they have in the past. Altogether that makes a 74% discount if you buy two or more products. Their prices are normally high, but this a good time to buy. Jonathan's book remains an everyday bargain by comparison.
  
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Jonathan Tait
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Re: Ulvestad Variation
Reply #2 - 05/12/24 at 12:51:30
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Meanwhile TWIC has 30 games (2023-24) continuing 6 Bf1 Nxd5 7 Bxb5 Bb7, with a 61.7% score (+18 =1 -11) for Black Smiley
  

blog inspired by Bronstein's book, but using my own games: http://200opengames.blogspot.co.uk/
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FreeRepublic
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Re: Ulvestad Variation
Reply #1 - 05/12/24 at 12:03:14
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Maybe!

Chess Assistant shows 15 games with the Ulvestad in 2024: 5 wins for White, 10 wins for Black, and no draws. The most recent game is from May 4th.
  
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Jonathan Tait
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Ulvestad Variation
05/12/24 at 09:07:20
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[Event "GCT Warsaw (rapid)"]
[Date "2024.05.09"]
[Round "6.4"]
[White "Gukesh, Dommaraju"]
[Black "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C57"]
[WhiteElo "2649"]
[BlackElo "2828"]
[Annotator "lichess.org/broadcast"]
[PlyCount "78"]
[GameId "2043963475939413"]
[EventDate "2024.??.??"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. Ng5 d5 5. exd5 b5 6. Bf1 Nxd5 7. Bxb5 Bb7 8. d4 exd4 9. O-O Be7 10. Nf3 O-O 11. Bxc6 Bxc6 12. Nxd4 Bb7 13. Nd2 $6 (13. Nf5 Bf6 14. Qg4 Re8 15. c4 Nb6 16. Nc3 Qd3 17. Nh6+ Kh8 18. Nxf7+ Kg8 $11) 13... Re8 14. c3 c5 15. Nf5 Bf8 16. Nf3 Qf6 17. Ng3 h6 $6 (17... Nb6 18. Be3 Nc4 19. Re1 Nxb2 20. Qb1 Bxf3 21. Qxb2 Bd5 22. Qc2 Qa6) 18. Qc2 Rad8 19. Rd1 Nb6 20. Rxd8 Rxd8 21. Ne1 Re8 22. Be3 Nc4 23. Nf1 Nxe3 24. Nxe3 c4 25. Qa4 Rxe3 26. fxe3 Bc5 27. Nf3 $4 (27. Qe8+ Kh7 28. Nf3 Bxf3 29. gxf3 Qxf3 30. Re1 f6 31. Qe6 h5 32. Qxc4 Bxe3+ 33. Rxe3 Qxe3+ $11) 27... Bxe3+ 28. Kf1 Bc6 29. Qd1 Be4 30. Qd7 Kh7 $4 (30... Bd3+ 31. Ke1 Qb6 32. Qe8+ Kh7 33. b3 Bd2+ 34. Kxd2 Qf2+ 35. Kd1 Qc2+ 36. Ke1 Qxc3+ $19) 31. Ke2 Bb6 32. Re1 Qg6 33. Kd1 Qxg2 34. Rxe4 Qxf3+ 35. Re2 Be3 36. b3 Qf1+ 37. Re1 Qf3+ 38. Re2 Qf1+ 39. Re1 Qf3+ 1/2-1/2

It seems Magnus has been reading my book Wink

(okay, probably not)
  

blog inspired by Bronstein's book, but using my own games: http://200opengames.blogspot.co.uk/
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