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  1. 30 Jun '08 22:21
    Recently I finally got around to taking a look at the Philidor. After

    1.e4 e5
    2.Nf6 d6
    3.d4 exd4
    4.Nxd4 Nf6
    5.Nc6 Be7
    6.Bf4 o-o
    7.Qd2

    I would like to play 7...d5 but I am a little worried about this line:

    7.Qd2 d5
    8.Ndb5

    and here I don't like 8...c6 or 8...Bb4. I did find one game with

    8.Ndb5 Na6

    which looks okay, at chessbase.com -- Pritchard vs. Meetze (2003) from an IECC email knock-out tournament.

    I am not an advanced player and do not trust my own analysis of such a position. Also, I do not have access to a strong chess engine. So, I am looking for analysis from strong players and also from strong chess engines (preferably more than one). I basically want to know if this is sound. Please note: I am currently NOT engaged in ANY correspondence chess games, so you will not be assisting with an ongoing game.

    If you aren't rated at least 1900 then please don't reply unless you are offering engine analysis. Thanks.
  2. 01 Jul '08 13:31
    Ah,the philidor!Intresting
    Had Fritz9 do a deep position analyses.Set it to depth 15.No idea what it's worth though,never used this feature before.

    [Event "deep position analyses"]
    [Site "?"]
    [Date "2008.07.01"]
    [Round "?"]
    [White "Fritz9"]
    [Black "Fritz9"]
    [Result "*"]
    [ECO "C41"]
    [PlyCount "23"]
    [TimeControl "240+2"]

    {74MB, Fritz9.ctg,} 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 exd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Be7
    6. Bf4 O-O 7. Qd2 d5 8. Ndb5 Na6 9. exd5 (9. e5 Nh5 (9... Ne4 10. Qxd5 (10.
    Nxe4 dxe4 11. O-O-O Qxd2+ 12. Rxd2 $16 {0.74/15}) 10... Nxc3 11. Qxd8 Rxd8 12.
    bxc3 $16 {0.82/15}) (9... Re8 10. O-O-O (10. exf6 Bxf6+ 11. Be2 d4 12. Na4 $16
    {0.99/15}) 10... Nh5 11. Nxd5 Bg4 12. f3 $16 {1.20/15}) 10. Be3 (10. Nxd5 Nxf4
    11. Nxe7+ Qxe7 12. Qxf4 $14 {0.29/15}) 10... c6 11. Be2 cxb5 12. Bxh5 $14 {
    0.58/15}) (9. O-O-O dxe4 (9... Nxe4 10. Nxe4 dxe4 11. Qe3 Qe8 12. Qxe4 $14 {
    0.60/15}) (9... c6 10. exd5 (10. e5 Nh5 11. Be3 cxb5 12. Nxd5 $14 {0.30/15})
    10... cxb5 11. d6 b4 12. dxe7 $16 {1.01/15}) 10. Qe1 (10. Qe3 Qe8 11. Nxe4 Be6
    12. Nxf6+ $14 {0.36/15}) 10... Qe8 11. Bxc7 Be6 12. Be5 $14 {0.43/15}) 9... c6
    (9... Qd7 10. O-O-O (10. f3 c6 11. O-O-O Nxd5 12. Nxd5 $18 {1.48/15}) 10... c6
    11. dxc6 bxc6 12. Nd6 $18 {1.61/15}) (9... Bb4 10. O-O-O Ba5 11. a3 Re8 12. f3
    $18 {1.55/15}) 10. O-O-O (10. d6 Re8 11. O-O-O Bf8 12. Nc7 $16 {0.96/15}) 10...
    cxb5 11. d6 b4 12. dxe7 $16 {1.01/15} *

    Btw,anyone know how to avoid getting dollarsigns in the analyses?Why does it do that anyway?
  3. Standard member Korch
    Chess Warrior
    01 Jul '08 13:49
    It`s very complicated line which is not so easy to evaluate. According to Bauer "The Philidor files" white can get our from all complications with better endgame.

    P.S. I` really doubt if engine analysis without assistance of decent human player will give adequate results.
  4. 01 Jul '08 14:03
    Originally posted by Korch
    It`s very complicated line which is not so easy to evaluate. According to Bauer "The Philidor files" white can get our from all complications with better endgame.

    P.S. I` really doubt if engine analysis without assistance of decent human player will give adequate results.
    Agreed with your PS.Sadly the position's too complicated for my skills,pure engine analyses was best I could offer

    But at least it got the thread going
  5. 01 Jul '08 19:11
    Originally posted by Mark Adkins
    I basically want to know if this is sound.
    It's more or less refuted. These are the critical lines:

    A) 8. Ndb5 c6 9. Nc7 d4 10. Ne2 g5 11. Be5 Nbd7 12. Bxf6 Nxf6 13. Qxg5+ Kh8 14. Nxa8 Re8 15. Qd2! and now black has nothing better than 15. ..Nxe4 16. Qxd4+ Qxd4 17. Nxd4 Bb4+ 18. Ke2! Ng3+ 19. Kf3 Nxh1 20. Bc4 b5 21. Nc7 Re7 22. Bb3 Rxc7 23. Rxh1 and "white simply has an extra pawn" (IM Seel)

    B) 8. Ndb5 Bb4 9. O-O-O! c6 10. Nc7 Nxe4 11. Qe3 Bxc3 (or 11. ..Bc5 12. Qxe4 Qxc7 13. Bxc7 dxe4 14. Nxe4 Bb6 15. Bxb6 axb6 16. a3 with a better endgame for white) 12. bxc3 g5 13. Qxe4! Qxc7 14. Qxh7+ Kxh7 15. Bxc7 Bf5 16. f3 and white is clearly better.

    Also your idea 8. ..Na6!? simply seems to give away the d5-pawn; the game you quoted continued 9. exd5 Bb4 10. d6? Re8+ 11. Be2 Ne4 and white got in trouble with his king's position in the center, but I don't think he has any problems whatsoever after 10. O-O-O.

    Ofcourse in an OTB game it is nearly impossible to find these lines unless your opponent has prepared this specific line of the Philidor which is quite unlikely. But there are some completely sound alternatives in 7. ..c6 or 7. ..a6 with the idea of b5-b4, expansion on the queenside or 7. ..Nc6 to exchange the d4-knight first and then play for a6 and b5-b4.
  6. 07 Jul '08 00:04
    Originally posted by Korch
    It`s very complicated line which is not so easy to evaluate. According to Bauer "The Philidor files" white can get our from all complications with better endgame.

    P.S. I` really doubt if engine analysis without assistance of decent human player will give adequate results.
    Thanks to Korch and others for their replies. I've decided this line is no good for Black with proper play by White. So here is the stem position again:

    1.e4 e5
    2.Nf6 d6
    3.d4 exd4
    4.Nxd4 Nf6
    5.Nc6 Be7
    6.Bf4 o-o
    7.Qd2

    and now I have also decided that I don't like 7...c6, 7...a6, or virtually anything else for Black, but I am considering 7...Nbd7 which seems to equalize (e.g., 8.o-o-o Nc5 9.f3).

    Unfortunately, I am not at all certain that this line appeals to me intuitively. So, I first of all solicit your analysis (same terms as before) on this alternative line, and second, ask for general descriptions as to where this opening is going. It appears to me that White develops a strong attack and that Black must race on the opposite wing to mount his own attack. See for example Stojadinov vs. Dizdarevic (2006) at chessgames.com
  7. 15 Jul '08 08:01
    Originally posted by Mark Adkins
    Thanks to Korch and others for their replies. I've decided this line is no good for Black with proper play by White. So here is the stem position again:

    1.e4 e5
    2.Nf6 d6
    3.d4 exd4
    4.Nxd4 Nf6
    5.Nc6 Be7
    6.Bf4 o-o
    7.Qd2

    and now I have also decided that I don't like 7...c6, 7...a6, or virtually anything else for Black, but I am consideri ...[text shortened]... g to mount his own attack. See for example Stojadinov vs. Dizdarevic (2006) at chessgames.com
    Will have a look through this line later and post comments...not sure I can add anything of significant value but I have a passing interest in the Philidor esp. where it has similarities to the Pirc which is my defense to 1.e4
  8. 15 Jul '08 21:18
    Have just re read the OP and appreciate I fall outside the rating criteria so I'll spare you any homespun nonsense and just cut and paste what Shredder 11 has spewed out after sitting on it for a few minutes.

    If I'm reading this correctly then it suggests 7... Nc6 is an advantage for white of 0.28 of a point while 7...Nbd7 favours white by almost half a point. If I boot up the PC later I'll ask Fritz the same question if this is of interest to you.

    Shredder 11

    = (+0.28) 15/39 7...a5 (5/29) 185 kn/s

    7...Nc6 8.Be2 Nxd4 9.Qxd4 Be6 10.O-O c6 11.Rfd1 d5 12.exd5 Nxd5 13.Be5 Bf6 14.Nxd5 Bxe5 15.Ne7+ Qxe7 16.Qxe5 Rfd8 17.Bc4 b5
    = (+0.28) 4:52 15/39
    7...Nbd7 8.O-O-O Nc5 9.f3 c6 10.g4 d5 11.Nf5 Bxf5 12.gxf5 dxe4 13.fxe4 Qxd2+ 14.Rxd2 Rfd8 15.e5 Nfe4 16.Nxe4 Nxe4 17.Rg2 Bc5 18.Bd3
    +̳ (+0.43) 7:37 15/39
    7...a6 8.O-O-O Nbd7 9.f3 Ne5 10.Be2 b5 11.g4 b4 12.Nd5 Nxd5 13.exd5 Bb7 14.Nf5 a5 15.Be3 c5
    +̳ (+0.44) 8:08 15/39


    I also grabbed these lines as it was toying with them for a short while before settling on the lines shown above - here it shows 7.Nc6 as favorite again but with white choosing to castle long next move also 7...a5 and 7...Nfd7:

    Shredder 11

    = (+0.28) 14/14 7...Nc6 (1/29) 172 kn/s

    7...Nc6 8.O-O-O Nh5 9.Be3 Nxd4 10.Bxd4 Be6 11.Kb1 Bg5 12.Be3 Bxe3 13.Qxe3 a6 14.Be2 Nf6 15.h3 Re8 16.Qf4 Nd7
    = (+0.28) 0:51 13/32
    7...a5 8.Be2 Nc6 9.O-O Nxd4 10.Qxd4 Be6 11.Rad1 Nd7 12.Nd5 Bf6 13.Nxf6+ Qxf6 14.Qxf6 Nxf6 15.Rd4 d5 16.e5 c5 17.Rd3 Nd7 18.Rb3 b6 19.Bb5
    +̳ (+0.31) 0:51 13/32
    7...Nfd7 8.Be2 Nc6 9.Be3 Nxd4 10.Bxd4 c6 11.O-O Nc5 12.Qe3 b6 13.f4 Bh4 14.Rfd1 Re8 15.b4
    +̳ (+0.41) 0:59 13/32
  9. 16 Jul '08 01:27
    The Philidor in general, and this line in particular, leaves White with a space advantage out of the opening. It's still playable of course - there are many playable openings that are a lot worse that this. In exchange for conceding a space advantage, Black is able to castle quickly and avoid any significant weakness.

    Black should direct counterplay against the e-pawn (Re8, Bb7, maybe Qe7) and on the Q-side in general (a6, b5, c5,Nc6-a5). It's easy for White to misplay - 8.Bc4? b5! Black should avoid playing on the K-side, that's where White will be attacking (assuming he retains some measure of central control).

    In the specific position, I think 7...a6 is the best try. 7...d5? is a mistake on strategic grounds alone - it's the unforced moving of a pawn two times prior to completing development. There is the quick ...d5 move in the Dragon line with O-O-O instead of Bc4, but there Black is already castled and has the Bg7 on the long diagonal.

    Here's a recent game in this line. I think 9...Bd7 intending ...b5 was a better try, and a bit later ..h6 helped White's attack and ...Nh7 and ..Ne7 lost central control. Notice that all are K-side moves, and therefore suspect strategically.

    Game 5007566
  10. 17 Jul '08 00:34
    Originally posted by Korch


    P.S. I` really doubt if engine analysis without assistance of decent human player will give adequate results.
    Would you care to elaborate on this point?
    Are there tactical blind spots, or is it the limited horizon of engines compared to strong humans?
  11. 17 Jul '08 01:00
    I think what Korch was meaning a computer tosses out a move
    with a number attached to it. let's say 0.69

    The stronger player can explain why it's better than other moves
    by demonstrating a few quick variations.
    And show why some lower rated moves are bad, or, are just as good.

    You cannot ask the computer questions.
    A weaker player may think the 0.69 move is a good move for completely the wrong reason.

    You were right with the horizon effect - in some cases you have to
    force a computer to follow a variation which it thinks is bad,
    then suddenly it changes it's mind and rates it highly when it 'sees'
    what is really happening.

    I'm pretty sure that is what Korch meant - he may come back
    and differ.
  12. Standard member Korch
    Chess Warrior
    17 Jul '08 07:12 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by greenpawn34
    I think what Korch was meaning a computer tosses out a move
    with a number attached to it. let's say 0.69

    The stronger player can explain why it's better than other moves
    by demonstrating a few quick variations.
    And show why some lower rated moves are bad, or, are just as good.

    You cannot ask the computer questions.
    A weaker player may think lly happening.

    I'm pretty sure that is what Korch meant - he may come back
    and differ.
    Thanks for the explanation and for saving my time allowing me not to write the same. Will be glad to blitz with you again, some evening