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  1. 09 May '10 11:54
    Hi

    I'm not going potty. Someone, somewhere mentioned this
    in one the (phew) opening threads on here. I cannot find it.

    2.a3 with the plan of playing White as though you were Black
    thus avoiding the Lopez and certain Two Knights & Piano lines
    is a valid idea. (though the reply 2...a6! is a perfect response).

    However.
    This scheme of passing the coloured buck can backfire.

    You have to consider what Black opening is deemed unplayable
    because there appears a pawn a6.
    (Which would be the case with White and his extra 2.a3 move).

    Every hot blooded Latvian Gambit player has etched into his brain.

    "If the King can reach a6, then he wins."

    So today we meet J.Cantero v C.Labat who crossed swords in Paris in 2002.

    This arose White has just played 17.Nxd6+



    Black played 17...Ka6, reaching the magic square,
    and White resigned 4 moves later.

    Had there been a pawn on a6.



    No Ka6 and Black is mated in a few moves. (Ka7...Nc8+ etc).

    Here is the game.
    White resigned after playing 22.Nc3+ seeing nothing but gloom
    after Black moves.(22..Ka5). He is 2 Rooks and a piece down.

    So with colours reversed and 2.a3 thrown in White would have lost.

  2. Standard member randolph
    the walrus
    09 May '10 15:51
    I don't really get the point of this; you're just saying that if one is a nutty Latvian player, one should not play 2. a3?
  3. 09 May '10 16:10
    Hugh Myers pointed out the a3 move in a book years ago, I think. One of the main ideas he had was to play 1.e4 e5 2.a3 Nf6 3.Nc3 d5 4.exd5 Nxd5 5.Qh5. Here he we have a Scotch Steinitz variation without the annoying Nb4. I forget, but his natural order may have been 1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.a3.

    I remember Jonathan Rogers toying with the idea 2.a3 as well. 1.e4 e5 2.a3 Nf6 3.d4 let him into one of his Elephant Gambit lines where black couldn't check on b4, but I forget the line now.
  4. 09 May '10 22:56
    yes it's tricky ! it prevents the ruy, makes the scotch a risky gambit (as pointed out by paul), but also allows the reversed-reversed-halloween ! A twice improved version of the infamous gambit :

    1.e4 e5 2.a3 Nf6 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.Nf3 g6 5.Nxe5 !?
    being a reversed version of
    1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.g3 Nxe4,
    itself being a reversed (and improved) halloween, already played by GM Macieja and a young lad named carlsen !

    So in this version you get a halloween with a3 and g6 played.
    - g6 helps white (takes a good retreat square for a N)
    - a3 helps white too (prevents the annoying Bb4 move)

    The only problem is to convince black to play g6
  5. Standard member ChessPraxis
    Cowboy From Hell
    10 May '10 05:07
    Originally posted by randolph
    I don't really get the point of this; you're just saying that if one is a nutty Latvian player, one should not play 2. a3?
    Hahahaha
  6. 10 May '10 09:47 / 1 edit
    Hi Randolf

    "I don't really get the point of this."

    OK it's tongue in cheek, think your answer is too.

    It's just a trick in that opening line that after 1.e4 e5.
    2.a3 is actually the losing move.

    I see the Halloween has been mentioned.

    The Exchange French with both players at Knights odds is a plausible line.





    A funny thing about the Exchange French. This well known position.



    is from an exchange French with White to play.

    And yet this....White to play.



    Is mainline Petroff.

    So the Petroff is an exchanged French a tempo up.

  7. 10 May '10 10:33
    Originally posted by greenpawn34
    So the Petroff is an exchanged French a tempo up.
    But not if white plays 5.d3 first.

  8. 10 May '10 12:24
    Yup. 5.d3 is a move although White losses his last chance for a theorectical plus.

    5.d4
    The main idea is to attack/undermine the e4 Knight forcing Black to retreat it,
    defend it or swap it arguing the tempo gained by Black will return to haunt him.

    Black will try to hold it on e4, or do a timed a swap/retreat so he gets something
    for it.

    An interesting argument can follow, though theory has mapped out all the plans.
  9. 10 May '10 19:12
    Originally posted by greenpawn34
    Yup. 5.d3 is a move although White losses his last chance for a theorectical plus.

    5.d4
    The main idea is to attack/undermine the e4 Knight forcing Black to retreat it,
    defend it or swap it arguing the tempo gained by Black will return to haunt him.

    Black will try to hold it on e4, or do a timed a swap/retreat so he gets something
    for it.

    An interesting argument can follow, though theory has mapped out all the plans.
    I've always played 5.Qe2 to avoid all the messy 5.d4 theory. The idea of playing 5.d3 has intrigued
    me lately because I can't imagine a Petroff player being happy with a French Exchange.
  10. 11 May '10 17:37
    Give d3 a try. The chances the Black player may not realise
    he is in an exchange French.

    I like these 'one - two ' pawn moves.

    1.e4 Nf6 2.f3 e5 3.f4! or a early d6-d5 in the Pirc.

    My favourite one on here is the h2-h3-h4 in this one.

    I still curse the guy for not playing 18...Nf4 which I'm sure
    he intended, allowing me to sac a Rook 19.Rh8+ etc.

    It would have capped my Queen sac (with a check) quite nicely.

  11. 13 May '10 06:58
    I remember that game from Korch’s blog. I tried a similar bishop sac
    after seeing it but my opponent refused to cooperate and take it.

    I also ran across a similar trap in Chernev’s book.
    Here’s the line from the book

  12. 13 May '10 21:24 / 1 edit
    Hi.

    Nice example. Once you have seen the idea behind such a sac.
    Leaving a piece on g5 v h6 and playing h4 to open the file, it should
    stick and should always be considered (for both sides),
    especially if the example is good.

    I almost certainly got the mating pattern....



    ...From a postion in 'Chess Mind' by Gerald Abrahams.

    Abrahams - Thynne, Liverpool 1930. White to play



    White played 1.Qg8+ with the idea 1...Kxg8 2.Ng6.

    This stuck when I read it years ago because Abrahams stated this was
    one of the few moves that actually merits a '!' in a two move combination.

    Which I found interesting as I had just started writing about games
    and decided I would be very tight or careful with my '!'s.

    He then mentions that the unusual mating pattern would NOT be anticipated
    by the majority of players.

    This in a chapter 'Common Sense & Ideas' that seems to indicate what you
    know you will see and what you don't know - you won't see.

    I threw myself into studying and solving as many tactical puzzles as I could
    to build up my base of ideas to 'see'.

    Pity I never got off my ass to build up an endgame or middle game planning
    base like the super-duper guys. (too boring)

    Good book that, The Chess Mind, that one wee diagram and chapter seems
    to have had an influence.
  13. Subscriber Ragwort
    Ex Duris Gloria
    13 May '10 22:06 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by greenpawn34
    Hi.

    Nice example. Once you have seen the idea behind such a sac.
    Leaving a piece on g5 v h6 and playing h4 to open the file, it should
    stick and should always be considered (for both sides),
    especially if the example is good.

    I almost certainly got the mating pattern....

    [fen]6k1/5pp1/6N1/8/2B5/8/8/7R w - - 0 1[/fen]

    ...From a postion in t, The Chess Mind, that one wee diagram and chapter seems
    to have had an influence.
    One of my favourite Abrahams games is this one from 1946...



    The "diagram" appears in The Chess Mind also...
  14. 13 May '10 22:44
    🙂

    That is now one of my favorites Abraham games as well.

    Reminds me of a game that ended.



    That 'diagram' too appears in Chess Mind. 😉
  15. 14 May '10 16:29
    Speaking of piece sacs on g4 and g5 there is one particular sac that has been
    bugging me for sometime. In positions similar to this one:



    I’m chasing the bishop away with h3 and g4 and almost always my opponent
    will respond by saccing his knight at g4. To date this attack has not worked.
    But I see this so often I can’t help but think there is a set situation where this
    attack is sound.