Thursday, July 28, 2011

There is no help out there.

Last post covered the challening line 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 3.e4 dxe4 4.f3 exf3 5.Nf3 g6 6.Bc4 Bg7 7.00 00 8.Qe1 Nc6 9.Qh4 Bg4. We learned that black's strategy is depriving white of attacking chances since neither 10.d5, 10.Rd1, 10.Be3 or 10.Ne2 offers winning chances to white.

So what to play ? In last post, I believed that 10.Ne2 is best, since I assumed there is only one move that provides black with a real advantage and that is the odd looking 10...Bf5. But let's look at the alternatives :

a/ 10...h5 ?! 11.c3 and black is better after 11...Na5

b/ 10...Bxf3 11.Rxf3 with an equal position

c/ 10...Bh5 ?! and even after this silly looking move, white cant get the attack going, eg 11.c3 Na5 with small black advanatge.

d/ 10...Qd7 11.c3 and black remains better.

So it seems that there are MULTIPLE moves for black to get the advantage after 8...Nc6 9.Qh4 Bg4 10.Ne2 ! Does that mean that the whole Studier line of attack is wrong ? Maybe there are alternatives to the immediate 9.Qh4 ?? I doubt it, since any alternative would consist of the development of white's queen's bishop, either to e3, f4 or g5. But this is a waste of time, since it actually aims for h6. And depriving black the option of Bg4 by means of no option either, since the d4 pawn is hanging.

Finally, 9.Kh1, in true Zilbermintz style, also leaves to many options for the black player.

So I guess it is fair to say that the Studier setup ( castling short, Qe1 and Qh4 and Bc4 ) is refuted by black's simple Nc6 9.Qh4 Bg4.

Maybe we all have to start looking at other lines, such as 7.Bf4 for fighting the Bogoljubow defense...

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Last week we looked at the Studier lines after 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 3.e4 dxe4 4.f3 exf3 5.Nf3 g6 6.Bc4 Bg7 7.00 00 8.Qe1 Nc6 9.Qh4 Ng4. We learned that white has at least an equal games, and is even better in the majority of lines.

However, instead of 9...Ng4, black can also play 9...Bf5 or 9...Bg4. This week we will look at black's strongest move, 9...Bg4.

Black attacks the pawn at d4 by removing a defender. What could white respond ?
- white could add an additional defender, by means of 10.Be3, 10.Ne2 or 10.Rd1
- remove the target by playing 10.d5

Playing 10.d5 does not look so good, black simply captures on f3 and exchanges a few pieces, eg 10...Bxf3 11.Rxf3 Ne5 and white faces a long uphill struggle for equality.

10.Rd1 is ridiculuous - white simply captures on f3 and white's position is a mess.

10.Be3 might look good, but white's move is purely defensive, leaving black with so many options... White can't even obtain equality in the simplest of lines, eg 10...Bxf3 11.Rxf3 ( diagram ) and now a killer move 11...e5 !! White is deprived of his attacking potential and faces a long struggle - not what he was hoping for.

10.Ne2 ( diagram ) is more complicated then 10.Be3, but black once again can seize the initiative, eg 10...Bf5. Redeploying the bishop seems silly, but leaves white with a nearly ubdefendeable position, eg 11.Bb3 Na5 and white's attack is halted before it is started.

So if I really have to choose, I would choose 10.Ne2 as chances are small that black will know the killer move 10.Bf5.

But maybe, maybe.... I might have to consider an alternative to the Studier Attack...

Friday, July 15, 2011

When the need is high, rescue is at hand.

The Kloss variation in the Bogoljubow defense has often been quoted as one of the reasons why white should avoid the Studier attack.

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 3.e4 dxe4 4.f3 exf3 5.Nf3 g6 6.Bc4 Bg7 7.00 00 8.Qe1 Nc6 9.Qh4 Ng4 !!
Black directly attacks the d4 pawn.

10.Bf4 Bxd4+ 11.Kh1 Bf6 12.Bg5

The only way for black to get an advantage. 13.Ne3 gives no advantage at all.

Scheerer now gives 13.Rad1 Qe8 14.Nd5 as winning for white, but blacks strongest reply 13...Qc8 gives black the upper hand.

Instead 13.Bxf6 seems to give white a complete equal game :

a/ 13...Nxf6 14.Ng5
a1/ 14...h5 15.Rxf5 gxf5 16.Rd1 Qe8 17.Nf3 with complete equality
a2/ 14...Kg7 15.Rad1 =
a3/ 14...Ne5 15.Rad1 Qe8 16.Rde1 +=
a4/ 14...Qd4 15.Rf4 +
a5/ 14...Bxc2 15.Rxf5 ++
a6/ 14...Nd4 15.Rd1 ++
a7/ 14...e6 15.Rd1 +

b/ 13...exf6 14.Rad1
b1/ 14...Qe7 15.Nd5 Qc5 16.h3 =
b2/ 14...Qe8 15.Nd5 +
b3/ 14...Qc8 15.Nd5 =
b4/ 14...Qb8 15.Nd5 +=
b5/ 14...Bd7 15.h3 Nge5 16.Nxe5 Nxe5 17.Qg3 +=

Of course black might have other options apart from 10...Bxd4+, but I guess it is clear that this analysis indicates that black wont get an advantage in the Kloss variation.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Pirc Alert.

I am borrowing this title from the book with the same name by GM Alburt and GM Chernin.
On page 436 of their "Pirc Alert!", in chapter 24; white plays 3.f3, we find some possible transpositions to the Blackmar Diemer.

1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.f3

The authors indicate "...Finally, Black can play 3...d5!?. Now White can't hope to get an advantage by playing in the spirit of the Scandinavian Defense with 4.exd5 Nxd5 5.c4 Nf6, because the pawn f3 spoils his position. If white plays in gambit style with 4.Nxc3 dxe4 5.Bg5 (5.fxe4 e5!), Black has a simple answer in 5...h6 ..."

Sounds familiar ? In fact, two GMs are quoting Blackmar Diemer positions - provided the white player has an extra move. Whether that extra move is a crucial advantage or not remains to be seen. In fact, several posaitions in the Blackmar Diemer are playable because black has to decide first on his defensive strategy - the fact that white has an extra move might not be an advantage for the attacker, as white has to declare his intentions first and black can react accordingly.

But more on the war of the tempi in a later blog - stay tuned !

Saturday, July 9, 2011

For those that do not believe

I got several commnents on last weeks post on the line 8.Qe1 Nc6 9.Qh4 Bf5 10.h3 Bxc2 11.Rf2 Na5 12.Bf1 Bf5 13.Bh6

I indicated this line "gives white complete equality" - but I admit - I was wrong. I should have said "And white is winning in all lines". Let's look at the possible lines

a/ 13...Qd6 14.Ng5 += white is leading the dance...

b/ 13...e6 14.Bg5 redeploying the bishop seems odd, but now g4 seems lethal.
b1/ 14...Nc6 15.Re1 +=
b2/ 14...h6 15.Bxh6 +=
b3/ 14...b5 15.Bxb5 +=

c/ 13...Bxh6 14.Qxh6
c1/ 14...e6 15.Rd1 +=
c2/ 14...Nc6 15.d5 +-
c3/ 14...Qd6 15.Bg5 +=
c4/ 14...c6 15.Ng5 +-
c5/ 14...Re8 15.Ng5 +=

d/ 13...Nc6 14.Rd1
d1/ 14...Nd5 15.g4 +=
d2/ 14...Qd6 15.Ng5 +=
d3/ 14...Nb4 15.Ng5 +=
d4/ 14...e6 15.Ng5 +=

e/ 13...b5 14.g4 +=

Such is life in the Bogoljubow defense - a complicated position, with white having the best cards....