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  1. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    25 Jul '16 19:56
    Hi all,

    Earlier in the week I created some open invites for games. I am modifying my OTB opening repertoire, and I wanted some "testbed games" before my next tournament. I don't care about ratings, as I just wanted to get a feel for what human players would play, so I could go through the motions before I roll things out in a tournament.

    So far I have three double queenpawn games, and all three ended up here after the first two moves:



    This is an invention of the US GM Frank Marshall, but it has never been successful as some of his other theoretical contributions, and in fact has long enjoyed a less-than-stellar reputation.

    I am a little amazed that I would get three so quickly, and I wonder-is there a new book out on this line? Or perhaps as someone like GM Jobava started to crank it out in rapid events?

    All three players are lower-rated, so it may just be a non-theoretical coincidence, but it is s surprise nonetheless.
  2. 25 Jul '16 20:45
    And after 3. Nf3 c5!, favourite opening of Nikola Karaklajic.
  3. 25 Jul '16 21:49 / 2 edits
    I am always delighted to see 2..Nf6.

  4. 25 Jul '16 23:59
    Hi Paul,

    2...Nf6 been 54,000+ times on here.

    http://www.redhotpawn.com/chess-games-explorer/user-games.php?rpgn=d2d4_d7d5_c2c4

    On here White has played 25 different replies to 2...Nf6
    so good luck finding anything original.
  5. 26 Jul '16 00:01
    That is a pleasing game, KnightStalker! I am recently pessimistic about any opening choices. I find it hard to get anything out of there. This game shows there really are chances.
  6. Subscriber BigDoggProblem
    The Advanced Mind
    26 Jul '16 07:42
    Originally posted by Paul Leggett
    Hi all,

    Earlier in the week I created some open invites for games. I am modifying my OTB opening repertoire, and I wanted some "testbed games" before my next tournament. I don't care about ratings, as I just wanted to get a feel for what human players would play, so I could go through the motions before I roll things out in a tournament.

    So far ...[text shortened]... lower-rated, so it may just be a non-theoretical coincidence, but it is s surprise nonetheless.
    Sounds like they may have been a bit too low-rated to give the new repertoire a proper "test".
  7. Subscriber Ragwort
    Ex Duris Gloria
    26 Jul '16 12:41
    Originally posted by Paul Leggett
    Hi all,

    Earlier in the week I created some open invites for games. I am modifying my OTB opening repertoire, and I wanted some "testbed games" before my next tournament. I don't care about ratings, as I just wanted to get a feel for what human players would play, so I could go through the motions before I roll things out in a tournament.

    So far ...[text shortened]... lower-rated, so it may just be a non-theoretical coincidence, but it is s surprise nonetheless.
    They are probably just defending the attacked pawn by developing a piece as rules of thumb suggest they should. I have faced this OTB a few times at the ecf 150 (1800 level) in league matches but I have never seen a book on it. It receives one line in both my one volume opening books and there's the Alekhine Marshall game with g3 in Alekhine best game book.
  8. 26 Jul '16 12:48
    Originally posted by Ragwort
    They are probably just defending the attacked pawn by developing a piece as rules of thumb suggest they should. I have faced this OTB a few times at the ecf 150 (1800 level) in league matches but I have never seen a book on it. It receives one line in both my one volume opening books and there's the Alekhine Marshall game with g3 in Alekhine best game book.
    Well, Watson is writing good about Marshall Defense - which is name of the opening, which means it's no patzerish thing! - and here is quick link to the article of Joel Benjamin:::
    http://www.uschess.org/content/view/8213/341/

    This opening is used by experienced coffee-shop players who know all about technical endings. Players used to "theory" can easily end up in poor ending because the opening is "boring".
  9. Subscriber Ragwort
    Ex Duris Gloria
    26 Jul '16 13:11
    Originally posted by vandervelde
    Well, Watson is writing good about Marshall Defense - which is name of the opening, which means it's no patzerish thing! - and here is quick link to the article of Joel Benjamin:::
    http://www.uschess.org/content/view/8213/341/

    This opening is used by experienced coffee-shop players who know all about technical endings. Players used to "theory" can easily end up in poor ending because the opening is "boring".
    Absolutely. From a pragmatic standpoint white just needs to know what he is going to do against the knight or queen recapture and whether he is going to push an early e4 as demo'd above but not recommended in older opening books. If he gets the leading state theorist on the defence without knowing beforehand then that's unfortunate.
  10. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    27 Jul '16 01:30
    Originally posted by vandervelde
    And after 3. Nf3 c5!, favourite opening of Nikola Karaklajic.
    This position is covered at length in GM Bezgodov's book "The Double Queen's Gambit"- I am inclined to think that 3. Nf3 is not white's best attempt at a win, but it should draw without difficulty.
  11. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    27 Jul '16 01:31
    Originally posted by KnightStalker47
    I am always delighted to see 2..Nf6.

    [pgn] 1.d4 d5 2. c4 Nf6 3. cxd5 Nxd5 {On 3..Qxd5 4.Nc3 Qd8 5. e4 transposing to the game (4..Qa5 5. Bd2 Qb6 6. Nf3 Qxb2?? 7. Rb1 Qa3 8. Nb5 1-0)} 4. e4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e6 6. Nf3 Be7 {Bb4 is more common, but it is worse. On e7 the bishop prevents Bxh7+ Ng5+ stuff after black castles and e5 is played later on.} 7. Bd ...[text shortened]... 11. Ng5+ Kg8 {Kg6 h5+ Kh6 Nxf7 double check 1-0} 12. Qh5 Bxg5 13. hxg5 f6 14. g6 {1-0 GG} [/pgn]
    This seems to be the theoretically-approved method, and I am getting a workshop on it now!
  12. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    27 Jul '16 01:34
    Originally posted by BigDoggProblem
    Sounds like they may have been a bit too low-rated to give the new repertoire a proper "test".
    I think you are probably right- they at least are preparing me for open swisses where I tend to see things like this in the first round. Or sometimes the second...
  13. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    27 Jul '16 01:37
    Originally posted by vandervelde
    Well, Watson is writing good about Marshall Defense - which is name of the opening, which means it's no patzerish thing! - and here is quick link to the article of Joel Benjamin:::
    http://www.uschess.org/content/view/8213/341/

    This opening is used by experienced coffee-shop players who know all about technical endings. Players used to "theory" can easily end up in poor ending because the opening is "boring".
    Nicely done! Here's a "cut and paste":

    By GM Joel Benjamin
    February 22, 2008
    Dear Joel,

    Playing White, I've been seeing a certain variation many times in online blitz games that I don't understand: 1 d4 d5 2 c4 Nf6

    2...Nf6.jpg
    Position after 2...Nf6


    Apparently this is called the Marshall Variation of the QGD. Since it has a name I'm sure there are legitimate ways to play it. The "problem" is that those play it don't have a clue. To be fair this line seems to be most popular among weaker players.

    A typical game continues 3 cxd5 Nxd5 4 e4 Nf6 5 Nc3 e6. Apparently 5 ... e5 is much stronger. After e6 Black has problems, as illustrated by my most recent game: 6 Nf3 Bb4 7 Bd3 Nc6 8 0-0 0-0 9 e5 Bxc3 10 bxc3 Nd5 11 Bxh7 and wins. While things don't always go this well, I typically get a substantial advantage in the opening.

    My questions are:
    (1) How would Black legitimately play the Marshall Variation?
    (2) Has someone been popularizing this line, and if so why aren't they
    showing how to play it properly?

    Richard Mercer
    ____________________

    Richard,

    We have the Marshall Attack, an enterprising gambit loved by grandmasters. The Marshall Gambit in the Slav in an enterprising, dangerous opening. The Marshall Defense…well it wasn’t one of Frank’s better ideas.

    It’s a classic example of an opening rejected by the chess establishment that’s very popular at lower levels. I think nine times out of ten the Marshall Defense is played out of ignorance. Some players haven’t studied queen pawn openings at all, or don’t understand the virtue of fortifying your center pawn with a pawn. Some players are sloppy with their move order. Even on the database, the Marshall is played very poorly and the percentages are overwhelmingly in White’s favor.

    After 3.cxd5 Nxd5 4.e4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e5!

    5...e5.jpg
    Position after 5...e5


    Black has actually solved his problems. 6.dxe5 Qxd1+ 7.Kxd1 (7.Nxd1 Nxe4) Ng4 recoups the pawn comfortably. White should play 6.Nf3 exd4 and recapture with the queen or knight, perhaps retaining a slight pull there. If your opponents don’t play 5…e5, they are clearly making it up as they go along.

    By the way, 5.Bd3 (instead of 5.Nc3) is an interesting move. Here Black must also try 5..e5! 6dxe5 Ng4 7.Nf3 (7.Bb5+!? c6 8.Qxd8+ Kxd8 looks somewhat promising, if untested) Nc6 8.Bg5 (8.Bf4? Nb4 is very good for Black) Be7 9.Bxe7 Qxe7 10.Nc3 Ncxe5 11.Nxe5 Qxe5 12.h3 Nf6 13. Qd2 Bd7 14.Qe3 (Alekhine-Marshall, Baden-Baden 1925) and now Alekhine gave 14…Qa5! 15.0-0-0 0-0-0 as equal.

    But since 5…e5 offers good counterplay for White, 4.e4 is a tad premature. White should keep the threat in hand with 4.Nf3.

    4.Nf3.jpg
    Position after 4.Nf3


    Now the only antidote to 5.e4, 4…Bf5, leaves Black uncoordinated. 5.Qb3 (5.Nbd2 Nf6 6.Qb3 Qc8 7.g3 offers White a pleasant advantage, but Qb3 is probably even stronger) e6 (5…Nc6 6.Nbd2! Nb6 7.e4 Bg6 8.d5 is brutal) 6.Nc3 (6.Qxb7 Nd7 probably allows unnecessary complications, but 6.Nbd2 is good here as well) 6…Nc6 7.e4 Nxc3 8.exf5 Nd5 9.a3 (9.Qxb7 Bb4+ is trickier) Qd6 10.Qxb7 Rb8 11.Qa6 Be7 12.Bb5 Rb6 13.Bxc6 Rxc6 14.Qd3 exf5 15.0-0 0-0 16.Qxf5 with a clear edge for White, Lipnicky-Bondarevsky, USSR ch 1951.

    16.Qxf5.jpg
    Position after 16.Qxf5 in Lipnicky-Bondarevsky, 1951


    Most of this could be found in ECO D in the 1980s, and little has changed since then. There is not much incentive to look for improvements for Black because White has so many good alternatives along the way.

    The bottom line is that the Marshall Variation of the Queen’s Gambit may have a respectable name, but it isn’t a respectable opening.
  14. Standard member vivify
    rain
    28 Jul '16 16:44
    Originally posted by Paul Leggett
    Hi all,

    Earlier in the week I created some open invites for games. I am modifying my OTB opening repertoire, and I wanted some "testbed games" before my next tournament. I don't care about ratings, as I just wanted to get a feel for what human players would play, so I could go through the motions before I roll things out in a tournament.

    So far ...[text shortened]... lower-rated, so it may just be a non-theoretical coincidence, but it is s surprise nonetheless.
    Nf6 is simply a natural-seeming developing move. It's that simple. Players who don't study the QG Declined simply feel that it's a natural and sensible move, compared to something like E6, which doesn't give the "feeling" of developing a piece.

    That's in addition to players just being used to developing the KIng Knight first. So I'm pretty sure plain and simple habit has a lot to do with that opening.
  15. Subscriber BigDoggProblem
    The Advanced Mind
    29 Jul '16 08:03
    Originally posted by vivify
    Nf6 is simply a natural-seeming developing move. It's that simple. Players who don't study the QG Declined simply feel that it's a natural and sensible move, compared to something like E6, which doesn't give the "feeling" of developing a piece.

    That's in addition to players just being used to developing the KIng Knight first. So I'm pretty sure plain and simple habit has a lot to do with that opening.
    You don't have to study the QG Declined; you just have to read Nimzovich or other scores of chess authors who sensibly suggest that one must not fall too far behind in tempi or development.

    In fact, why people start learning chess theory with openings is a mystery to me. They'll see all these "masterly" moves and have no clue as to why they were made.