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  1. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    26 Jul '11 15:07 / 1 edit


    Hi folks,

    I am currently studying to play in the US Open, and I came across this game in GM Davies' Starting Out: The Modern.

    Davies writes: "Black has obtained a very comfortable Sicilian type structure in which the exchange of a minor piece eases his game."

    The curious part for me was that I would be very comfortable on either side of the board, and I spun it around on the table to make sure.

    White's position came from a Modern/Pirc, but it could have been a Closed Sicilian, or even a Leningrad Bird, depending on the move order.

    It reminded me of playing through the Botvinnik-Smyslov matches of the 1950's, where I loved both sides' positions, and it was even more exciting than normal to see how they ended!

    I am curious to know how many people prefer White or Black here, so for fun, I am going to use the new "thumbs/like or dislike" function on the forum to see the tally.

    I will make separate posts in the thread for black and white, and let people vote.

    For the record, here's the full game:

  2. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    26 Jul '11 15:09 / 1 edit
    Please click the "thumbs up" icon if you like WHITE

    Please click the "thumbs down' icon if you like BLACK

  3. Standard member wormwood
    If Theres Hell Below
    26 Jul '11 16:27
    I kinda like both, for different reasons.

    white for being a leningrad player myself, although I find myself really missing the queenside knight. the queenside seems so 'naked' without it. I mean, usually the black bishop isn't much of a problem, because it can only exchange itself for the knight or the a1 rook, both of which I tend to welcome with open arms. but now it's actually threatening stuff and making queenside expansion troublesome (or at least the normal plans I'm used to don't work.)

    black on the other hand seems much more 'harmonius'. there's no exceptional differences from normal play. should be relatively easy to defend and all the usual schemes apply.

    being objective, I'd probably go with black here. but in practical play I'd still probably rather take white. just because it seems to have more attacking potential.
  4. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    26 Jul '11 17:16 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by wormwood
    I kinda like both, for different reasons.

    white for being a leningrad player myself, although I find myself really missing the queenside knight. the queenside seems so 'naked' without it. I mean, usually the black bishop isn't much of a problem, because it can only exchange itself for the knight or the a1 rook, both of which I tend to welcome with open l probably rather take white. just because it seems to have more attacking potential.
    Well stated- as white, I would prefer to have my queen and dark-squared bishop on different squares, and I would superficially prefer to have my c-pawn on c3 instead of c2.

    There is the vague sense that, from the position, black has somehow gained a move or two on white, compared to what the piece placement could have been given the pawn structure.

    The missing knight is also a good point, in that any attack based on f4-f5 or similar seems less likely to succeed with less material on the board.

    I have a feeling that how comfortable a person is attacking vs defending may partly determine which side they prefer--, and also whether or not they prefer middlegames or endgames, as white has the attack and black has the better ending.
  5. 26 Jul '11 18:38
    Agree with WW. I'd take white OTB but I'd be happy with the opening if I was black as the position seems roughly equal. White just seems easier to play.

    In white's shoes I'd set up a Maroczy Bind like in the game and hope black makes an exploitable mistake. Can't really think of a meaningful plan. Usually in these positions black has a space disadvantage with all the pieces on the board. With a set of knights traded he seems comfortable. In the game white allowed 20...b5 which activated black's game, he needed to play Nd4 or something similar to prevent it.

    As for black, he can take comfort in the fact that he's made it out of the opening without putting himself at a real disadvantage. If you see the Maroczy Bind on the other side of the board you know you're not going to be hit with a game winning theoretical novelty.
  6. 29 Jul '11 08:43
    I prefer blacks positon, would look at c & b files to further the position.
  7. 29 Jul '11 11:04
    .....weak Queensides, Binds, open files, missing Queen's Knights, long term plans,
    Botvinnik-Smyslov matches of the 1950's and the need to:
    'further the position by looking at the c & b files.'
    (I have not yet figured out what that last bit actually means.)

    This the the RHP Chess Forum.

    I know, you know and even the guy who drives the No.37 bus knows that here....


    White will play Be3.


    Black will grab the b-pawn.


    And White will trap the Queen with Rfb1.



    😉
  8. 29 Jul '11 15:11
    Originally posted by Paul Leggett
    Please click the "thumbs up" icon if you like [b]WHITE

    Please click the "thumbs down' icon if you like BLACK

    [fen]r1b2rk1/pp2ppbp/1q1p1np1/8/4PP2/3Q1NP1/PPP3BP/R1B2R1K w - - 0 14[/fen][/b]
    Take this as you will coming from a patzer like me, but it seems as though there isn't much to prefer either way (which is slightly better for black than for white, of course). White looks like the only one with a real attack, but black should be able to shrug it off comfortably. To me, it looks as though it ought to be a draw - a dynamic draw rather than a static one, mind you.

    Richard
  9. 29 Jul '11 17:02
    Both, until one side does something stupid it looks dead even. I think that is why Davies likes it - black has managed to gain a comfortable position which is as much as black can expect if his opponent doesn't blunder horribly.
  10. 29 Jul '11 18:34 / 1 edit
    I like black. It just seems easier to play that position as black. Take control of the c file, advance a & b pawns and the light squared bishop has all kinds of potential depending on how white plays which isn't usual in a sicilian type position because white usually trades it for a knight on c4... plus the white king may be perfectly safe but in an OTB game the position of the king would make me uncomfortable to the point of being distracting.
  11. 29 Jul '11 22:00
    Originally posted by greenpawn34
    .....weak Queensides, Binds, open files, missing Queen's Knights, long term plans,
    Botvinnik-Smyslov matches of the 1950's and the need to:
    'further the position by looking at the c & b files.'
    (I have not yet figured out what that last bit actually means.)

    This the the RHP Chess Forum.

    I know, you know and even the guy who drives the No.37 ...[text shortened]... en with Rfb1.

    [fen]r1b2rk1/pp2ppbp/3p1np1/8/4PP2/3QBNP1/PqP3BP/RR5K b - - 0 2[/fen]

    😉
    ok, ok........ Greenpawn, your somewhat more savey with the p.g.n etc, wanted to keep the post going thats all. I do enjoy your comments here, great input..............
  12. 29 Jul '11 22:27
    Black looks better to me. More active position. White's pieces dont look active at all. Black should be able to pile up on the queenside and get a better endgame.