Chess

Discussion in 'Gaming' started by IsaVulpes, Oct 24, 2014.

  1. Vadsamoht

    Vadsamoht Well-Known Member Administrator

    Steam:
    Vadsamoht
    Ms. Fortune
    Robo Fortune
    If you find anything good, please let me know. I've been playing e5 for a while now and I'm still feeling uncomfortable with my choices against the Ruy and Italian. I've also consided putting the Alapin on hold for a while, in the hopes of finding something less line-based (considering I don't want to be doing much study at all right now) and more conceptually simple. Not sure what exactly, but probably the Smith-Morra or Grand Prix look interesting.

    Next month I'll be playing in my first tournament for nearly two years, so I should be spending my limited chess time studying tactics to blow the rust off, but... ugh.
     
  2. IsaVulpes

    IsaVulpes Just Throw

    Location:
    Trinidad && Tobago
    Ms. Fortune
    Filia
    Double
    Well, Berlin against Ruy IS pretty good.
    In all of: Tested in Grandmaster practice, sidelines that are straightforward to deal with (either it'll just be a more comfortable "classic" Ruy, or a very tame middlegame after 5.Re1), and -at our level- playable for a win with Black, light on theory + relatively untrodden paths for the white player; the Berlin gets top grades. As a happycamper sidenote, it "avoids" the Exchange Variation, so hey, even less to learn.
    If you don't mind defending that endgame and suffering for a while before you get your counterplay (Kc6/Be6/h6-h5/c5/b6/a5-a4-a3 smth) started, it'll probably be a useful pick; especially considering that given everything else I've seen of other people and mainline theory, you will probably get 50% 4.d3 and 50% 5.Re1 on board with never actually seeing the endgame.
    If I end up not liking the endgame after all (so far it looks nice, but could always happen that I end up feeling it is too hard to play for a win with black or smth similar), my current plan is looking at Breyer/Open/Arkhangelsk in that order. Zaitsev gets too bananas too quickly, and Chigorin I like too much with white to feel comfortable in the black shoes.

    If you want something low on theory + conceptually simple against the Sicilian, why not just the Closed? 1.e4 2.Nc3 followed by d3/g3/Bg2/Nf3/0-0 and then the normals King's Indian plan of pushing f4 followed by either f5 or e5 - depending on whether you want to run some kingside pawnstorm or just pressure in the center.
    Black has to know some things and it's still not entirely comfortable to play against, while white just plays normal moves. If Blacks Queenside play starts to roll, it tends to be not too worrisome anyhow, as the old KID wisdom stays true: Sometimes both players succeed, but that means your Queenside is shattered and they are Mated.

    No idea about the Giuoco Piano yet, except that the repertoire book I ordered (this, btw) doesn't play it at all (instead recommending 3. ..Nf6, aka the Two Knights Defense, as that supposedly delivers more options for active play).

    I still don't think "light on theory" needs to be much of a concern at all, though. Much more important is how natural the moves are to find OTB, and whether there are any silly traps present to step into. I still don't know anything on Sicilian theory, I just play Be2/Be3/Qd2/g4/h4/f3/g5/h5/0-0-0/g6/h6 and mate people (or Be2/Be3/Qd2/0-0/f4/Bf3 with play in the center if they delay castling). As long as you have a rough idea of what you're supposed to do, just playing tends to work out.*
    The people who know 20 moves of theory on top of all the ways to punish you for leaving the mainline territory UTMOST LIKELY also know much much more than you do about every other aspect of the game (ie are 2200+ players) and thus "would win anyway"; as such it seems like a bit of overdrawn worry to me. Pretty much everyone in my rating group that I meet OTB are 50year olds who were 1900 thirty years ago and haven't opened a chessbook since those days.
    Since this post, 1.5 years ago, I still have yet to even get to the 8th move of a mainline Spanish (where the Marshall-Avoidance comes into play) in a tournament game. I am not exactly running into critical theory; I somehow doubt you would.

    *In some lines it DOES get complicated and you can't just push normal moves; but those you'll learn after a short while and then you can look into something there / find a way to avoid them; eg I had troubles against a bunch of the 2.Nc6 Sicilians, so now I just play the Rossolimo against them - which again is a free game, and hey the arising positions tend to be quite Ruy-Like.. at least if you don't take on c6, which I generally don't do, which I think one should do? But hey, I don't know theory (and neither do my opponents, so w/e).
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2016
  3. Vadsamoht

    Vadsamoht Well-Known Member Administrator

    Steam:
    Vadsamoht
    Ms. Fortune
    Robo Fortune
    Yeah, fair points.

    I've been avoiding the Berlin simply because of its reputation at SuperGM-level, even though I know it's illogical. Also my current against 3.Bc4 is the Two Knights, which can be fun when you get a real game but online (i.e. all of my play for the past two years) absolutely *everyone* bails out with 4.d3 or some other Pianissimo crap. Just checked the PGN of my games on lichess and apparently I've only played one game against 4.Ng5 this year.
     
  4. IsaVulpes

    IsaVulpes Just Throw

    Location:
    Trinidad && Tobago
    Ms. Fortune
    Filia
    Double
    Just forget this is the Berlin, look at the position and tell me if you expect a dull draw to happen within a few moves:

    [​IMG]

    Yeah, the Queens are off the board, but beyond that Black's King is stuck in the center & his pawn majority is crippled (while White's isn't), so he has to make do with his trumps - the Bishop pair and play against e5, which currently is a weakness rather than a trump.
    Black's lightsquared bishop is the strongest piece on the board, the King in the middle of the board may actually be a good thing since there is little danger of getting mated, the doubled pawns actually do a good job of locking down the center (espec if you get the c7/b6/c5 structure with K/Bc6), and while the Rooks are currently a bit stuck, you can still use them via pushing the a- and/or h-pawns.

    I might of course be mistaken as I lack any sort of practice on it myself (eg it remains to be seen if Black's counterplay -which usually is built around pressuring overextended pawns- can be started if White just "passes"), but I would be very surprised if this was a "drawing weapon" on sub-GM level;
    The entire position is just one big asymmetry.

    Still don't know much about the 2N, except that I don't think 4.Ng5 is the main move by any stretch?
    Always looked like some Patzer-Kid's try to me; I'd think d3 or d4 or similar would be the mainline.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2016
  5. Vadsamoht

    Vadsamoht Well-Known Member Administrator

    Steam:
    Vadsamoht
    Ms. Fortune
    Robo Fortune
    I think Ng5 was called bad by one of the old masters because it breaks principle and it's used as a means of getting into the Fried Liver (which itself isn't too well regarded because it tactically doesn't work or something), but it leads to the variations that people seem to like because it involves one side or the other launching a pretty quick attack of some sort.

    IIRC, 4.d4 is supposed to be the main line but it is supposed to be relatively easy for Black to get a game that at least has equal chances, though is not necessarily better. But TBH I don't think I've ever seen it played at all online or OTB, though in the latter I don't have enough games to make an accurate judgement. I'd certainly suggest preparing for Ng5 first, though.
     
  6. IsaVulpes

    IsaVulpes Just Throw

    Location:
    Trinidad && Tobago
    Ms. Fortune
    Filia
    Double
    Alrighty, got the book. If you have any lines where you're curious about the author's recommendations, shoot!

    As said, it doesn't have anything on the Ruy, but everything else after 1.e4 e5 that's not entirely stupid should be present.

    The bulk of the Book is the Two Knights Defence vs the Italian, with ~50 pages on 4.d3, ~50 on 4.Ng4, and ~30 on other tries (including the Scotch Gambit, 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.d4 ed4: 5.e5)
    Every other chapter has ~30 pages devoted to it, with Chapters about
    - Scotch proper
    - Scotch 4N
    - Spanish 4N
    - Other 4N Tries
    - Bishop's Game + Vienna + Vienna Gambit
    - King's Gambit
    - Centre Game
    - Other Tries (some g3 stuff, the Ponziani, etc)
     
  7. Vadsamoht

    Vadsamoht Well-Known Member Administrator

    Steam:
    Vadsamoht
    Ms. Fortune
    Robo Fortune
    Oh yes, what is the line recommended against the Scotch Gambit? That's my go-to as white. When I play against it, I normally go for something like 4... Nf6 5.e5 d5 6.Bb5 Ne4 to nullify white's development, but this normally results with doubled pawns on c6/c7, which can be a pain at times.

    Also without going into too much detail, what kind of approach to the 2 Knights 4.d3?
     
  8. IsaVulpes

    IsaVulpes Just Throw

    Location:
    Trinidad && Tobago
    Ms. Fortune
    Filia
    Double
    Recommendation against the Scotch Gambit is
    5.e5 Ng4!? with the idea of playing against the e5-pawn via ..d6 or ..f6.
    There are plenty variations with endless complications, but his main idea is
    6.0-0 Be7
    7.Re1 d6
    8.cd6: cd6:!
    Giving back the pawn to play an IQP position of sorts (pawn only on d6, not d5) with plenty counterplay

    Approach against the 2N 4.d3 appears to be standard development moves (..Be7, ..0-0, ..d6), remembering to play Na5 when permitted (ie if White doesn't spend a tempo on a3/a4 to save the Bishop), and then either continuining normal development (..h6, ..Be6, ..Qd7) followed by an eventual ..d5! to break open the center, or as a funkier idea, to play Kh8-Ng8-f5 to develop an initiative on the kingside; depending on what White does - but I have yet to actually see which White moves call for which action.
    Another thing I noticed while quickly flipping through the pages, somewhere Black plays ..d6, White c2-c3, and then Black d6-d5 on the very next move; attempting to prove that the free move c2-c3 is actually hurting White's position (presumably because it weakens d3 and/or blocks the Knight from getting to c3). Interesting concept.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2016
    Vadsamoht likes this.
  9. IsaVulpes

    IsaVulpes Just Throw

    Location:
    Trinidad && Tobago
    Ms. Fortune
    Filia
    Double
    Also, if you're still looking for something good against the Ruy, how about the Marshall :p

    It has plenty of forced draws on the 26th move and similar crap, but who that you're going to play will know those routes and actually want a forced draw against you (and of course they also have to know all the answers to sidestepping those draws, as YOU likely won't know those routes..)
    The Anti-Marshalls (early d3, 8.a4, 8.h3) are all "normal"-ish Ruys with fewer immediate problems for Black to solve, and the Marshall proper when both sides don't *really* know the theory is like.. ∓
    The things that are currently keeping me away from it are that it IS work and the Berlin looks fun (so if I'm happy with the Berlin, why bother with smth else) and the sense of frustration of learning bunches of things about it and then everyone avoids it (similar to how I could never play the french, looking at endless exchange players);
    But it certainly is an opening that even with little investment in theory provides you with a highly playable position with chances for both sides, where you have a firm hold on the initiative, and unlike most other gambits that advantage is actually quite long-lasting. Just, as noted, you need to be happy with the Anti-Marshall positions, and you need to be fine with never actually getting the Marshall on the board, cus White players know it is a lost cause.
     
  10. Vadsamoht

    Vadsamoht Well-Known Member Administrator

    Steam:
    Vadsamoht
    Ms. Fortune
    Robo Fortune
    Honestly, I doubt I'll be getting far enough into theory for move 8 stuff to even be a consideration. The next tournament I'm playing in will be an open so I guess it's possible that I'll get someone who is good, but most of the time on the internet or even OTB against people of my level you get a deviation pretty quickly if things aren't forced. Realistically I just want something where I'm not worried about ending up worse because I'm not booked up on move-orders, subtle 17.a3 moves to avoid a blowup on the opposite side of the board and things like that. The Berlin actually looks pretty much what I'm looking for (especially with the possibility of the Mortimer trap getting a few quick wins against the lower-rated players), I'm just trying to find a resource that gives a short, high-level overview of stuff rather than dense books full of lines.

    Also started playing the Smith-Morra without looking anything up after my previous comment and I'm actually having reasonable success with it, which is nice.

    Well, I guess the argument would be that you'll eventually get to a point where your win-rate starts to drop off in favour of draws and you'll want something that allows you to push for a win when you're facing some 2300+ in the last round of a tournament (but then I guess you could just go c5 and avoid it entirely).
     
  11. IsaVulpes

    IsaVulpes Just Throw

    Location:
    Trinidad && Tobago
    Ms. Fortune
    Filia
    Double
    I really don't think there is a whole lot where you'd have to be afraid of that. The only things where you really have to "learn" something to avoid getting blown up on silly theory crap would be some stupid sideline gambits where the opponent has two traps and if you fall for neither you have won.

    Like this shit. Please don't play objectively bad moves in hopes of landing some 10 move win sometimes. You aren't attempting Scholar's Mate, you shouldn't go for this :\
    Strong players won't fall for it, and weak players you should be able to win against without it.

    Something more akin to a "Starting Out" series (or Pirc Alert!)? The Lokander-Book most definitely is more about theory than "general principles".
    In general, for just a quick overview of things IMO books tend to be a bleh idea. Just playing some games, noticing where you have problems, and then going through GM games to see how they solve them is the fastest way to get an idea imo

    The Berlin endgame I know some things about now, certainly not at a "high-level", but a quick overview I could give if wanted. In general for the Ruy "base positions" I too have a rough idea.. but really, rather rough.

    Bah! :p

    I think if I ever get to the point where I am facing some 2300+ in the last round of a tournament in a must-win situation and it is not entirely utopic for me to actually get that win, .. I will have achieved more than I ever gunned for in Chess, and by then, I could still learn something else anyhow (and THEN it certainly wouldn't be the Marshall, as it's more draw-prone than the Berlin..).
     
  12. IsaVulpes

    IsaVulpes Just Throw

    Location:
    Trinidad && Tobago
    Ms. Fortune
    Filia
    Double
    Also, Re:Marshall and "Move 8 stuff won't be a consideration", other than 6.d3 or 4.Bc6:, I honestly don't really know where White would deviate.

    1.e4 e5
    2.Nf3 Nc6
    3.Bb5

    Starting position of the Ruy

    3. .. a6
    4. Ba4

    If not the Exchange, White will play this

    4. .. Nf6
    5. 0-0

    White has to do something about the pawn on e4 and castling is the most straightforward/natural way.
    5.Nc3 would turn it into a bad version of the Spanish 4N, 5.d3 likely the same as 6.d3

    5. .. Be7
    6. Re1

    Half the point of castling was to play this move, protecting the pawn on e4, and forcing Black to play ..b5
    6.d3 obviously is a move, but yeah then you just play a normal Ruy in slightly less threatening (as White wasted a tempo to play d3-d4 later)

    6. .. b5
    7. Bb3

    Obvious

    7. .. 0-0

    And there we go, we're at move 8.

    Most of these moves were "forced" or are simply the most natural ones. Forcing Black into a mainline Ruy rather than some Steinitz-Defence/similar hogwash you can't do (and most Black players appear to avoid the mainline on purpose, even if they know it), but getting White to play these 7 moves doesn't seem like any sort of stretch to me at all.
    Sure, he can play Nc3 somewhere or smth, but it'll always just be bad and promise you a comfortable game.

    * * * * *

    Just, as said, getting White to play 8.c3 here probably requires some convincing. I wonder how many similar gambits are yet to be discovered in the game.. Computers don't really help in finding them. Especially with White, if similar things were to be found somewhere, that could very well kill entire opening lines on the spot.
     
  13. Vadsamoht

    Vadsamoht Well-Known Member Administrator

    Steam:
    Vadsamoht
    Ms. Fortune
    Robo Fortune
    You Germans and your logic :(

    I can't really argue against that. It's still a nice tool to have available, though.

    This would be really appreciated if you've got the time. By "high-level" I meant removed from specific lines and talking about more general ideas/approaches, not 2600+ strength analysis. I've had a quick look at a few videos on youtube, but most of them seem to be "this is how Kramnik plays it" or "lol fishing pole"
     
  14. IsaVulpes

    IsaVulpes Just Throw

    Location:
    Trinidad && Tobago
    Ms. Fortune
    Filia
    Double
    Ok, let me try. Obviously I am not an expert on any of this myself since I have barely ever played it and just recently took a look at it at all, but these are some points I've gathered so far:

    To play for:
    - The whitesquared bishop is the strongest minor piece on the board. Don't lose it.
    - While White's e5-pawn looks imposing, it is actually a weakness; White would love to play e5-e4. It is hard to protect and stops his darksquared bishop from getting activated. Ng6, Re8, Bg4 and it could actually fall quickly if White isn't careful.
    - While you have "the two bishops", classical bishop pair play barely happens. In fact, black should try to exchange his dark squared bishop for a knight, to solidify his queen's bishop on e6.
    - Due to your King's position on d8/e8, usually one of your Rooks will have issues entering the fray. A normal plan is thus to keep one of the Rooks where they are, and instead just push the pawn in front of it forwards.
    Activating your Rook thus often just happens "naturally" if White overextends; eg he wants to push his pawn majority on the kingside, so he has to play f2-f4-f5. To play f5, he needs g4. When g4 pops up on the board (with h3 or without), you throw down h5 and suddenly your dormant h8-rook springs to life.
    - Thus, from my impression so far, moving the King to the Queenside is the more "offensive" approach: If you move the a-Rook to the center and keep the h-Rook where it is, you can strike with h5, but only if White tries to win (ie pushes his majority). If you move the h-Rook to the center and keep the a-Rook where it is, you can move your own majority, even if White just passes.
    - A common threat in the endgame is moving your whitesquare bishop from e6 to f5 and sneak into c2, where it tends to feast on pawns
    - Your "dream" piece placement is: Exchanged darksquared bishop for a knight; Kingside: Ng6 (covers f4 and attacks e5), Pawn h6 (covering g5), Bishop e6 (= Can now not be attacked); Queenside: Pawns a5-b6-c7-c5, King: c6; Rooks .. somewhere, probably a8 and e/d8?
    Your King on c6 may look a bit suspect, but if you look at White's pieces you'll notice he'll have issues giving a CHECK, let alone threatening anything. In fact, this construction is so solid that you'd sometimes prefer to have c5+c7 isolated doubled pawns over exchanging off your c5 pawn (as it does a very important job in keeping the d4-square in check).

    To take note of:
    - If white gets an opportunity to play e5-e6 and exchange his e- for your f-pawn, his weakness is gone, his darksquared bishop becomes strong, and you lose.
    - Much of your play relies on the opponent trying to win. If he doesnt do ANYTHING and you quickly reach c6 with your King, you'll get straightforward winning chances; but if he does the start "right" and refuses to continue after, it may be difficult to find active plans.
    - The pawn endgame is dead lost. Most of the heavily-traded-down piece endings (eg N vs N) are at least heavily in White's favour. Don't exchange too many pieces.
    - Likely most people will play 5.Re1 instead of going into the Berlin Endgame proper :\

    I may have forgotten a bunch of things, but it should be a starting point, I hope. If you're up to it, we could play some Berlin Endgames with changing colours on Lichess sometime
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2016
  15. Vadsamoht

    Vadsamoht Well-Known Member Administrator

    Steam:
    Vadsamoht
    Ms. Fortune
    Robo Fortune
    I haven't had the chance to play for the last few days, but I've been thinking about your explanation.

    1. I can see that the e-pawn is weak, but it's also not that easy to put pressure on. It seems like White should be able to relatively easily defend it as much as black attacks it. This is assuming that trading down into 3v2 on the kingside with ...f6 is a bad idea long-term even if you can force both dark-squared bishops off.

    2. The light-squared bishop looks strong because White has nothing to challenge it on the light squares, sure, but I'm not convinced that it's "powerful". Sitting on c6 it looks a bit strange to me. You're not going to have much luck directly attacking the white king, so it almost looks like it'd be more useful on an empty e8-h5 diagonal to harass the pawns. But even then, can't white just carefully time his advances to park the queenside pawns on dark squares, keep a piece close enough to protect the base of the pawn chain, and forget about it?

    3. I don't see how X.g4 h5 really helps develop the rook because if white then move g5 the h-pawn isn't really contributing to any attack if you keep pushing it so white just needs to not lose the h2-pawn and there's not much to worry about. But at the same time, Black more or less has to push it because the pawn on g6 now takes away h6 from the rook, which was the whole point. Sure, it's not impossible, but it seems like an idea without a goal.

    So instead I'd probably try to develop the h8 rook to the center first, then move the king towards, say, b7 and either double up the rooks or start pushing the a-pawn depending on what has happened in the meantime.

    4. It also seems that there's a danger that Black could get all of his pieces to reasonable squares (assuming that the e-pawn is a non-factor, or perhaps if white just drops it straight away idk) and then if White doesn't seem to be pressing any sort of attack on the queenside they run out of things to do. I'm not convinced that Black will be able to break through on the queenside using pawns alone, which means that you'll need to conjure up some sort of temporary piece advantage somewhere.

    4a. Corollary: Is the pawn on e5 really that critical to white? If he was to just let black eventually take it in return for white developing, would black really have a decisive advantage with the doubled c-pawn?

    tl;dr - it all seems to me like the only way one player is going to win is if/when the other player messes up enough to allow them a passed pawn, and it seems like White should have the easier time of creating a solid position. I never really looked at this position much (when the Berlin appears in a tournament I usually just focus on the other games), but I think I'm starting to see why it's so drawish at the highest level. None of this is to say that I couldn't play it successfully with Black at my level, but at least at this point I don't have faith in it as a weapon.

    Aside from ruining your fun, is this a bad thing though? After the logical engine-recommended continuation 5.Re1 Nd6 6.Bxc6 dxc6 7.Nxe5 Be7 it looks to me like Black has a doubled pawn for the bishop pair, slightly easier piece development and with queens still on the board Black still has the ability to eventually form some sort of attack if he want to try for it. White no longer has the weakness of e5, but will probably end up moving the d-pawn soon and with the half-open file black might be able to play against that instead.

    Not saying that it's a position to be hugely excited about, but it seems that Black is more comfortable in the short-term.

    This would be great if we can manage to work around timezones somehow.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2016
  16. IsaVulpes

    IsaVulpes Just Throw

    Location:
    Trinidad && Tobago
    Ms. Fortune
    Filia
    Double
    A) ..f6 is *usually* bad, yes (if you go through some Berlin games, you'll notice that every guideline gets broken now and then - no different from any other chess guideline).
    It certainly isn't an easy pawn to win, but it can force White into concessions / paralyze his pieces.
    Most basic idea: You play Nf5-e7-g6, and a Rook on the d-file. White play his own Rook on the d-file and plays h3 to stop ..Bg4. Now, how will White ever get to play f2-f4 (which he needs to get any sort of active play going)? He can't move his f3-Knight since it is protecting the pawn, Bf4 obviously doesn't help (as now the Bishop is blocking f4), and getting the other Knight to d3/c4 plus keeping it stable there somehow takes a LOT of time (or may be downright impossible).

    B) (Generally) e6, not c6. It blocks the e-pawn (avoiding any nasty e5-e6 surprises), keeps the queenside in check (eg largely stops Nc4), keeps the kingside in check (threatens ..Bg4, halts g4) and threatens to switch to attacking maneuvers after some piece exchanges (..Be6-f5-c2). On top of that, it is largely impossible to challenge at all. Yes, it most certainly IS strong.
    If White puts all his pawns on dark squares .. well, b3 becomes a rather beautiful square for your bishop. White isn't getting anything on that d-file for the rest of your game, and ..Rd2 at some point makes white lose his entire queenside.

    C) Confused about this entire paragraph.
    1) Black usually doesn't have a pawn on g6, but a Knight (not that it would matter, since you can't play Rh6 anyway if White pushes g4-g5).
    2) The entire point of h3-g4 was to be able to play f2-f4-f5, as this is necessary to advance the pawn majority. If White plays g4-g5 in response to ..h5, his pawns are on h3-g5-f2-e5.
    All of those pawns are weak (After ..h5-h4, the h3 pawn will forever be under fire of the Bishop, the g5 pawn can easily get attacked by Rh5, if piece exchanges happen the Black King can just eat four pawns in a row), f5 will NEVER get played (nothing to cover that square.. not to mention Black can just park his Bishop/Knight on f5 now), and white doesn't have a single threat left (what is that pawn doing on g5?).

    D) I am rather confident that if White just gives away the e5-pawn, you should win this almost every time. Likely not against best defence, ie if you fought Stockfish you wouldn't; but Black already has the "easier" time playing his position WITH the wedge on e5. If White just gives away his pawn, you're in an endgame with better pieces, a more centralised king, and just a pawn up (doubled, but still). You can just trade down some pieces and push some pawns and wait and something will happen eventually.

    Here, 5 games between players of varying skill levels to show some points:

    http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1421957 l'Ami vs some 2350.
    First of note is of course that a 2650 isn't afraid to enter the Berlin endgame against someone rated 300pts below him. May tell a thing or two.
    Game ends in a silly blunder, but ..Bc2 wasn't exactly possible to stop in any case.

    http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1802837 Rapid between two 2650+
    Picking apart the white position with the superior pieces. Note that light square domination throughout the entire game..

    http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1772851 Nakamura vs Topalov
    Pretty model game (aside from 22. ..f6). Topalov being one of the most famous Berlin practicioners btw tells a few things about the opening as well!

    http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1800907 Kamsky vs 2650
    Breaking everything I said and still somehow winning. Magical.

    http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1787309 Low rated (1700 vs 2200), but still a showcase of how treacherous even the most basic positions are.
    Position after move 27 looks about as dead drawn as a position can look. Same pawncount, both with silly doubled pawns, inactive rooks on both sides, opposite coloured bishops.
    Then White stops doing things and just waits, probably offers a draw on every turn or something. Black just plays natural moves + uses his superior bishop, and wins effortlessly.

    Oh no, it certainly is a comfortable position, and might even be easier to play for a win than the Berlin proper - but it's always a bit sad when you learn X and then no opponent ever plays X.

    The French Exchange is not a "weapon" anyone would be afraid of -it just gives Black an easy game from move 3-, but it's still annoying to learn all that Winawer shit and get ed5: on the board in 80% of your games; 5.Re1 is similar business (and this stuff is a big part of the reason I am shying away from the Marshall)

    Might be easier to connect if you add me on Steam (isavulpes) and we just see when we're both online. Sick username, btw o/

    E: And as said, regardless of your opinion of the Endgame, I would be very surprised if you didn't majorly get 4.d3 or 5.Re1 on the board;
    The former being an easier normal Ruy (spent a tempo on d2-d3 instead of getting d2-d4 in one go), the latter is similar to the Exchange variation except White doesn't have a way to get a passer on the kingside.
    So, even if you think the Endgame proper is a draw, at your level no less (which I would heavily disagree on) - when you won't enter it much, how much does it matter?

    E2: To extend on the drawing question -
    How likely do you think are you going to win from the starting position, as Black, against a White player who is no worse than you as a player, but 99% content with a draw?
    He'll play some d4-c4-e3 or even d4-c3-e3, put his pieces on decent squares, block your active play with stuff like a4, and just wait.
    Generally, there won't be much for you to do without taking some risks. Which then very well may backfire, since your opponent isn't worse than you are.

    The thing is just, how often does this actually happen? The people who play for a draw with White GENERALLY are weaker players than you are (last round in a tournament is basically the only exception).
    Weaker players you certainly can beat in almost any position, as they WILL make mistakes somewhere. The Berlin Endgame, which would be a position they don't know well and which is just one large imbalance IMO looks like something that would make this easier than most other positions.

    Usually, your opponent is going to play chess because he enjoys playing chess. And usually, "enjoys playing chess" doesn't mean that he tries to just pass for 50 moves as White until you accept his draw offer.
    The only real case of "This guy is trying to draw with White" I ever run into are 70+ year olds, rated 1400-1500, who've been playing chess for 60 years and aren't really playing anymore, but just going through the motions.
    Everyone else, even if they're a 900 rated kid who'd faint if they actually took a half point off me, at least tries their best to "play the position"; ie - push pawns when it's called for, etc (ok, a 900 rated kid will just do random shit, but you get what I mean)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 5, 2016
  17. IsaVulpes

    IsaVulpes Just Throw

    Location:
    Trinidad && Tobago
    Ms. Fortune
    Filia
    Double
    # Continuation of a Discord Talk with Vad #

    Re 1.d4, this exists:
    - Classical QGD
    - QGD Tarrasch
    - QGA
    - Nimzo
    - Dutch
    - KID
    - Grünfeld
    - Benoni
    - Benko
    - Slav
    - SemiSlav
    There are other QGD lines (Ragozin, aforementioned Vienna) and things like the Bogo/QID, but those generally only apply to 2./3.Nf3 and therefore are more something to consider when you settle on an opening that the opponent can dodge by not playing 1.d4 2.c4 3.Nc3, so I didn't mention them for now.

    I don't think Grünfeld or SemiSlav are very good choices without knowing moves; You said you disliked the Slav; I don't wanna recommend the Dutch cus I dislike it :F

    The classical QGD is of course always a possible choice, but I feel that for one it is a bit passive in general, and for two white has too many troublesome moves, all of which also happen to be pretty natural ones.
    Even the simple 4.cd5: is a huge pain to meet no matter which of the two plans (kingside attack / minority attack on the queenside) white chooses, and everything else in this opening looks similar - if you play it right, you'll equalize, but then you need to play right a lot more to get more than that. In sharper openings if you step wrong you lose faster than here, but if you step right you're also more likely to drive a full point home, which I *personally* prefer.
    Naturally, if you don't mind slightly passive positions this is fine (and potentially long-term useful for chess development yada yada), but counterblows in this generally quickly lead to massive piece exchanges right afterwards, so I doubt it's something you're striving for.

    KID is very sharp, but the attacking plans are generally usable by just knowing plans; many times it comes down to just pushing pawns on the kingside a lot. Most pieces are rather flexible in the long run (even with very early decisions on whether you prefer your QN on c6 or a6), but you will "always" have a rigid pawn structure and that Bishop on g7 can be a pain in the endgame (it doesn't have a lot of scope behind the e5-pawn)

    Benoni is similarly sharp, with comparably free-er pieces and less rigid structure, but less theoretical soundness and uglier positions; as well as a sort-of reverse to the KID in terms of both player's plans (KID you try to mate and White crushes your queenside, Benoni vice-versa).

    The Nimzo is super flexible and can be both played in a very sharp manner (as I do it) or a very solid one, .. or anything in between! You didn't really decide on anything other than where to castle to, so you get a huge array of different pawnstructures depending on whether you prefer to push _c5, _d5, _c5 and _d5, or even _d6_e5. It also works well with plans rather than concrete variations usually, BUT it only works against 3.Nc3; so you at least need an answer against 3.Nf3 (Bogo-Indian probably the least work since thematically closest)

    The Benko is.. the Benko. IMO very very good at our level; you basically get a free initiative for the entire game. Can be SUPER played with nothing but raw plans - park rooks on the g+h files, trade queens, push your knights forward, and all your pieces are better than all of his. The reason I switched off it again is half irrational and has half nothing to do with the opening itself~ However again, the opponent can avoid it if they're aware & afraid of it (2.Nf3, 3.Nf3, various ways to decline it, etc), so you need some other idea potentially.

    The Tarrasch :P I still think is a very good choice, as the c5-d5-e6 structure works against all of White tries (saving work), and the ensuing positons can be played without much theory work once again. I am honestly unsure what you are referring to with "tangled pieces", as one of the selling points of the Tarrasch are your open lines?!
    You DO need to know how to handle IQPs; eg a problem I had was that oftentimes it looks like you're gonna lose a pawn and then you put your pieces overtly passive, when in fact you could just keep pushing - if White does take that pawn which looks to be dropping, the tactics work out in your favour and you eg get it back on b2.
    It will always be my main recommendation. If White does nothing, the structure is symmetrical at the start but then you can start taking HIS pawns; if White does something you get active piece play at the cost of an endgame weakness - hugely imbalanced.

    If you are vehemently against touching the Tarrasch again, I'd recommend watching this 1h long Nimzo introduction, with specific focus on the "Dark Squared Strategy" - exchanging off the darksquared bishop, followed by putting all the pawns on dark squares. It's easy enough to learn, very solid, guarantees you to not have any bad pieces, and can be played similarly in the Bogo-Indian (which I'd recommend for cases where your opponent avoids the Nimzo).
    If that's nothing for you, basically only the super sharp things are left, and which of Benko/KID/Benoni (I'd recommend them in this order, and not just due to personal perference :x ) you then want to choose you'd have to figure out by looking at middlegame positions, plans, games, something.

    Hope this helps a bit!

    E: Forgot the note on the QGA; It exists, is playable, and white players are usually lost in it I think; so it would also certainly be a fine decision imo.
    The bishop on c8 can be a problem piece I suppose? As said, it's not something I have too much general knowledge of.
    If you like everything-except-a-few-positions, it may be more prudent to stick with it and see if you can figure them out.
    Could also post up a line which you dislike, and I'll try and see if I have an idea what to do.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2016
  18. IsaVulpes

    IsaVulpes Just Throw

    Location:
    Trinidad && Tobago
    Ms. Fortune
    Filia
    Double
    Also, re:this
    Engines suck at openings really badly :P

    That indeed is a good line for black, and nothing I would switch off the Berlin for.

    The problem lies in 5.Re1 Nd6 6.Ne5: Be7 7.Bf1 - as White has no reason to give up the bishop pair in this position.
    If you look at those pieces and that pawn structure, you can see why it is .. rather uninspiring (for both sides).
    Here's a sample game. It looks even worse than a French Exchange!

    I don't know how often this kind of stuff would actually land on the board for me, so maybe as usual it's silly to switch off a defense for it,
    but I also had other reasons (avoiding the black Ruy entirely is a bit sad, etc) & really enjoy the Yurtaev ( :P ) stuff, so I see no reason to go back to the Berlin either way.
     

Share This Page

Facebook:

Users Viewing Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 0)