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  1. 27 Feb '08 23:05 / 3 edits
    Ok, so this isn't the first time I've brought this variation up to play against the English here on RHP, in fact, I think it's the third time. Both times prior to this, !~Tony~! kinda ripped it apart. Anyhow, here's the idea:

    1.c4 d5! Amazing, I know. Anyhow, the idea is that white either has to transpose (i.e. into a QG: 2.d4 c6 (2.e6, etc.)) or he has to take the pawn 2.cxd5 and instead of Qxd5 black gambits with 2...c6. It's similar to a reverse Smith-Morra. I've only used this gambit a few times, but it's offered me pretty good positions when I have. I just played a game where white accepted both pawns and I got a nice win, although white's play was less than stellar.


    [Event "ICC"]
    [Site "Internet Chess Club"]
    [Date "2008.02.27"]
    [White "mirage"]
    [Black "CMSSacrifice"]
    [Result ""]
    [TimeControl "900+5"]

    1. c4 d5 2. cxd5 c6 3. dxc6 Nxc6 4. g3 Nf6 5. Bg2 Bd7
    6. Nf3 e5 7. Nc3 Bd6 8. e4 a6 9. h3 Bb4 10. a3 Bxc3
    11. bxc3 Nxe4 12. O-O O-O 13. Nxe5 Re8 14. Nxd7 Qxd7 15. d4 Nxc3
    16. Qd3 Qxd4 17. Qf5 Ne2+ 18. Kh2 Qxa1 19. Be3 Qe5 20. Qd3 Nxg3
    21. fxg3 Qxe3 22. Qd7 Re7 23. Qd6 Rd8 24. Qf4 Qxf4 25. Rxf4 Rd2
    26. g4 Ree2

    Anyhow, it's something to consider if you're a 1...d5 player against 1.d4 and not afraid of sharp positions where you may be a pawn down.

    For some reason the ratings didn't get carried over in the PGN, anyhow, I was right about 1500 and my opponent around 1460.
  2. 27 Feb '08 23:27 / 2 edits
    I recall seeing a game a few years ago where the time control for the tournament was G/2(hours). The players were rated 1900+ and 2000+ (not sure who had what color) and began 1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Nf6 3. Bb5+ c6?! 4. dxc6 bxc6 and Black ended up winning. Note that if White had played 3. c4, it is well known that Black has full compensation for the pawn after 3...c6 4.dxc6 Nxc6. But in the game, Black's "compensation" is nebulous at best. Anyways, this just supports the often quoted saying that "all openings are sound below Master level." If that's true for tournament time controls, it's even more true for speed chess.
  3. 27 Feb '08 23:47
    Originally posted by AlboMalapropFoozer
    I recall seeing a game a few years ago where the time control for the tournament was [b]G/2(hours). The players were rated 1900+ and 2000+ (not sure who had what color) and began 1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Nf6 3. Bb5+ c6?! 4. dxc6 bxc6 and Black ended up winning. Note that if White had played 3. c4, it is well known that Black has full compensati ...[text shortened]... level." If that's true for tournament time controls, it's even more true for speed chess.[/b]
    That game I posted is 15 min + 5 sec. interval, but I think this variation can be sound on almost any level. I'm sure we're all aware that any opening could be used, but I think this variation is very solid for black. Anyhow, about that game, it seems that every engine I try is completely baffled by the position after move 13. They seem to enjoy the move 14.Nxf7 at first glance, but after playing it out they become completely unsure. Initially Fritz 9 rated 14.Nxf7 at +1.5 (Appx.) but that eval. sinks lower and lower the deeper you play out the variation. Other engines are even more extreme in their eval. changes. I personally think the position looks fine for black, but I was wondering if I could get some human opinions since the engines seem clueless there.
  4. Subscriber no1marauder
    Humble and Kind
    27 Feb '08 23:55
    Originally posted by cmsMaster
    Ok, so this isn't the first time I've brought this variation up to play against the English here on RHP, in fact, I think it's the third time. Both times prior to this, !~Tony~! kinda ripped it apart. Anyhow, here's the idea:

    1.c4 d5! Amazing, I know. Anyhow, the idea is that white either has to transpose (i.e. into a QG: 2.d4 c6 (2.e6, etc.)) or he ...[text shortened]... in the PGN, anyhow, I was right about 1500 and my opponent around 1460.
    You've got a Caro-Kann if White plays 3 e4.
  5. Donation !~TONY~!
    1...c5!
    28 Feb '08 03:42
    This line has to be near losing for Black. I think it should be fairly straightforward.
  6. 28 Feb '08 04:19
    Originally posted by !~TONY~!
    This line has to be near losing for Black. I think it should be fairly straightforward.
    Hahaha, but it isn't losing! LMAO, I knew you'd hate seeing that, but it's a sweet line.
  7. Donation !~TONY~!
    1...c5!
    28 Feb '08 04:55
    This line is 100% awful. Black hangs a pawn for nothing:

    1. c4 d5?! 2. cd c6? 3. dc Nc6 4. Nf3 e5 5. Nc3 Nf6 6. d3 Bc5 7. e3 0-0 8. Be2 Bf5 9. a3

    And black has nothing. Opening up the game with 9...e4 doesn't do any damage, and it's gonna be hard for Black to generate anything while White catches up. How can you expect to gain any compensation when it's a Smith Morra a tempo down? White has no weaknesses and Black doesn't have enough. There are plenty of interesting lines against the English that doesn't involve losing the game.
  8. 28 Feb '08 05:01
    Originally posted by !~TONY~!
    This line is 100% awful. Black hangs a pawn for nothing:

    1. c4 d5?! 2. cd c6? 3. dc Nc6 4. Nf3 e5 5. Nc3 Nf6 6. d3 Bc5 7. e3 0-0 8. Be2 Bf5 9. a3

    And black has nothing. Opening up the game with 9...e4 doesn't do any damage, and it's gonna be hard for Black to generate anything while White catches up. How can you expect to gain any compensation when i ...[text shortened]... e are plenty of interesting lines against the English that doesn't involve losing the game.
    Hahahaha, be honest, !~Tony~!, don't hold back!

    You know what the funniest part is, it's that Fritz likes that line you gave for black (+/= .32 - but we can discount Fritz as being a useless idiot in the opening). IDK, the line looks fine to me, sure, black's down a pawn, but he has open lines to work with and more space than white.

    Ok, well, will it make you feel better if I suggest the line 1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 Bb4!? for black instead? I saw that line played this year at Morelia and it looked really cool to me. And besides, the fact that it was played at Morelia makes it pretty much impossible for you to argue against.

    But honestly, that pawn gambit is not nearly as unsound as you think, play it...just once.
  9. Standard member wittywonka
    Chocolate Expert
    28 Feb '08 10:24
    It looks interesting. I don't think it is sound, but of course it will lead to interesting positions where white may have a difficult time if he's not careful and doesn't know what he's doing, which is the main goal of most unusual gambits, is it not?

    ChessLab gives three games for the accepted variation, shown below. In the game white won, white had to do a great deal of defending in the opening dozen moves or so, as the side that accepts a gambit often has to do. In the game black won, unfortunately, white's play was rather suspect. I did not look at the draw.

    Position after 3. ... Nxc6

  10. 28 Feb '08 13:51
    I must concur with Tony. I no longer play the English as my main opening, but this is not a gambit that anyone should fear as white.
  11. Standard member Kepler
    Demon Duck
    28 Feb '08 14:19
    Originally posted by cmsMaster
    Ok, so this isn't the first time I've brought this variation up to play against the English here on RHP, in fact, I think it's the third time. Both times prior to this, !~Tony~! kinda ripped it apart. Anyhow, here's the idea:

    1.c4 d5! Amazing, I know. Anyhow, the idea is that white either has to transpose (i.e. into a QG: 2.d4 c6 (2.e6, etc.)) or he ...[text shortened]... in the PGN, anyhow, I was right about 1500 and my opponent around 1460.
    If it were me playing white I would play 2. Nf3 and then you have a Reti. No QG and no need to take the pawn. Of course black can now take the pawn if he wishes...
  12. 29 Feb '08 02:27
    Originally posted by !~TONY~!
    This line is 100% awful. Black hangs a pawn for nothing:

    1. c4 d5?! 2. cd c6? 3. dc Nc6 4. Nf3 e5 5. Nc3 Nf6 6. d3 Bc5 7. e3 0-0 8. Be2 Bf5 9. a3

    And black has nothing...
    1. The line is not "100% awful." It might be "90% awful", but surely not 100% awful.

    2. Black does not "hang a pawn for nothing." Since Black gave the pawn away on purpose, it doesn't technically classify as "hanging" a pawn.

    All seriousness aside (as the late Steve Allen used to say), I suspect that a tactically-inclined Black player wouldn't do too badly against an evenly-rated opponent in this line in blitz games.
  13. Donation !~TONY~!
    1...c5!
    29 Feb '08 04:08
    There is no such thing as 90% awful. It's either bad or it's fine. It's not fine. I am 100% baffled by the lack of principality here. One guy says he'll decline the free pawn and transpose to a Reti, and the others think it's fine for Black! I feel like I'm in some kind of parallel universe where bad chess is good chess. A pawn is a pawn. White will have very little in the way of problems, and then Black will just be lost.
  14. 29 Feb '08 04:14
    Originally posted by !~TONY~!
    There is no such thing as 90% awful. It's either bad or it's fine. It's not fine. I am 100% baffled by the lack of principality here. One guy says he'll decline the free pawn and transpose to a Reti, and the others think it's fine for Black! I feel like I'm in some kind of parallel universe where bad chess is good chess. A pawn is a pawn. White will have very little in the way of problems, and then Black will just be lost.
    Hahaha...I love this stuff.
  15. Standard member nmdavidb
    I Drank What? ©
    29 Feb '08 05:01
    Originally posted by !~TONY~!
    There is no such thing as 90% awful. It's either bad or it's fine. It's not fine. I am 100% baffled by the lack of principality here. One guy says he'll decline the free pawn and transpose to a Reti, and the others think it's fine for Black! I feel like I'm in some kind of parallel universe where bad chess is good chess. A pawn is a pawn. White will have very little in the way of problems, and then Black will just be lost.
    I have to disagree with my bud here...although not on this opening...which imho is crap

    But just because someone says an opening is bad does not make it so

    Find any book that says the Balogh or the PCG are "good" openings

    In my hands though...quite lethal

    Tony can attest to that

    Dave