Please turn on javascript in your browser to play chess.
Only Chess Forum

Only Chess Forum

  1. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    30 May '10 15:58
    Hi folks,

    I have been experimenting with the Polar Bear on the site, and I am curious about other player's experiences and opinions on it. GM Henrik Danielsen is the most famous for playing it, and he has a series of videos on Youtube.

    For those unfamiliar, here is a recent GM game:


  2. Standard member wormwood
    If Theres Hell Below
    30 May '10 16:41 / 1 edit
    I've played it and leningrad dutch as black exclusively for a couple of years now, and like it very much. the games tend to get crazy though, at least for me. here's a random blitz game. nothing especially good about it, or even typical for polar bear, but here goes anyway:




    edit: oh right, you mentioned a question in the topic?
  3. 30 May '10 17:13
    Man I gotta learn this!
  4. 30 May '10 18:06
    I saw this posted in another thread on another site discussing
    this opening.

    It is a serious post but it had me laughing (like a Hyena).

    "I believe the only system that really clamps down on the Polar Bear
    is the Hippoptamus system...explained in Tiger's Modern.....
    The Hippo is more like the Hedgehog...."

    There is no need to study openings boys. Just wander around your local Zoo.

    It's on here about the 7th post down.

    http://www.chessvideos.tv/forum/viewtopic.php?t=5493

    They seem more interested in the quality of the paper the book is
    printed with than the actual content.

    " Thank God the Dangerous Weapons: The Sicilian is still printed in
    good quality paper. That would have been a disgrace. "

    Thank God for that. A disgrace has been averted, I can sleep in peace.
  5. Standard member wormwood
    If Theres Hell Below
    30 May '10 18:57
    Originally posted by greenpawn34
    I saw this posted in another thread on another site discussing
    this opening.

    It is a serious post but it had me laughing (like a Hyena).

    "I believe the only system that really clamps down on the Polar Bear
    is the Hippoptamus system...explained in Tiger's Modern.....
    The Hippo is more like the Hedgehog...."

    There is no need to study openings ...[text shortened]... en a disgrace. "

    Thank God for that. A disgrace has been averted, I can sleep in peace.
    heh, yeah. and it gets even funnier with danielsen's accent.

    no need to 'clamp down' on anything against polar bear though. most lines are pretty normal development for black, equal position, and then it's just chess.

    I have no idea about the hippo system, but the idea seems to be to 'wait it out' by the guy who brought it up? can't imagine how that wouldn't end up into being mated on the kingside. I'd rather stay in the mainlines...
  6. 30 May '10 23:16
    You could 'clamp down' on it even harder by playing 1.e4!
  7. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    31 May '10 05:53
    Originally posted by wormwood
    heh, yeah. and it gets even funnier with danielsen's accent.

    no need to 'clamp down' on anything against polar bear though. most lines are pretty normal development for black, equal position, and then it's just chess.

    I have no idea about the hippo system, but the idea seems to be to 'wait it out' by the guy who brought it up? can't imagine how that wouldn't end up into being mated on the kingside. I'd rather stay in the mainlines...
    On the site here, I often end up transposing to the Closed Sicilian after Black gives me the e4 push for free, and often they end up in an inferior Closed Sicilian for Black- my guess is that they don't consider that transposition ahead of time, so their pieces are not optimally placed compared to where they would like them if we had started off 1. e4 c5.

    I have played the Hippo after reading Tiger's Modern, which is one of my all time favorite books.

    This could almost connect with the "creating tactical possibilities" thread, as my experience playing the Hippo is that the other guy doesn't take it seriously, screws up, and gives me tactics that allow me to win.

    It's the kind of game where you show it to the other guys at the club, and when you win at the end, they say "Hey... go back to the beginning and show me again. How did this start?"

    Paul
  8. Standard member wormwood
    If Theres Hell Below
    31 May '10 13:57
    Originally posted by Paul Leggett
    On the site here, I often end up transposing to the Closed Sicilian after Black gives me the e4 push for free, and often they end up in an inferior Closed Sicilian for Black- my guess is that they don't consider that transposition ahead of time, so their pieces are not optimally placed compared to where they would like them if we had started off 1. e4 c ...[text shortened]... ey say "Hey... go back to the beginning and show me again. How did this start?"

    Paul
    ah, now I realize hippo is the timid e6-d6 thing quite a lot of people play in blitz against 1.f4? I always wondered how come it comes up so often as it looked so silly, but if it's recommended in a book it all makes sense now. I always thought they were just winging it, but it just didn't make sense that they were winging it in the same way. the moves just didn't make sense to me, so I always wondered how THEY saw so much sense in them that they made the same moves. it's not like in the main line where all black moves up to the 7th make perfect sense, and people seem to usually get them instinctively right:



    with hippo (well if it's the thing I think it is anyway) it looks like the opponents have no idea what they're doing from move #1. and I can't say that assumption has ever been wrong so far, I've never had any problems against these guys. so little in fact that I've never even needed to take a closer look at what to do against it.

    I'm sure I'd lose it against much better players, but against roughly equal opponents there's never been any problems.

    could be they're playing it wrong though?
  9. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    01 Jun '10 00:43
    The Hippo goes way back, but it came into prominence when Spassky played it against Petrosian in their WC match.

    It really does related "spiritually" to the Hedgehog in that it really puts pressure on White to play very accurately, and prepare and time his pawn breaks perfectly.

    I've had games that lock up in the center and the fight turns to the flanks, and then I've had games where everything opens up and then the pieces start to fly.

    If you do a search for Tiger Hillarp-Persson's games under ECO code B06, you can find some very nice examples.

    Here's a game from the book, of which H-P says "I love this game."

  10. Standard member wormwood
    If Theres Hell Below
    01 Jun '10 02:10
    Originally posted by Paul Leggett
    Here's a game from the book, of which H-P says "I love this game."
    that's a nice game, I think I've seen it before. but I meant everything relative to polar bear...
  11. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    10 Jun '10 01:00
    Originally posted by wormwood
    ah, now I realize hippo is the timid e6-d6 thing quite a lot of people play in blitz against 1.f4? I always wondered how come it comes up so often as it looked so silly, but if it's recommended in a book it all makes sense now. I always thought they were just winging it, but it just didn't make sense that they were winging it in the same way. the moves just ...[text shortened]... nents there's never been any problems.

    could be they're playing it wrong though?
    It occurred to me tonight that the Hippo is like the Russian position in the Battle of Kursk (WWII, 1943, for those not familiar with military history). The Russians were prepared for the German attack, and their defensive approach basically refuted the blitzkrieg as an effective technique against a well-prepared and -equipped opponent.

    The Hippo has no prima facie aggressive element, but it is ideally suited to refuting and turning white pawn breaks, and allowing for an effective counterattack. It is very much the e4 equivalent of the Hedgehog.

    Paul
  12. 10 Jun '10 07:14
    Originally posted by wormwood
    could be they're playing it wrong though?
    I never like the moves Nh3 and c3 for white in the Birds Opening.

    Nc3 is far superior. Something along the lines of:

    1. f4 d5 2. Nf3 c5 3. e3 Nc6 4. Nc3 Nf6

    GM Henrik Danielsen has some very interesting positions with pawns on f4,e3,d3.

    As for blacks position vs 1. f4. I feel that d5+c5 is a mistake.

    I dont know why it is a mistake, it just doesnt 'feel' right.
  13. Standard member wormwood
    If Theres Hell Below
    10 Jun '10 11:55 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by Tiwaking
    I never like the moves Nh3 and c3 for white in the Birds Opening.

    Nc3 is far superior. Something along the lines of:

    1. f4 d5 2. Nf3 c5 3. e3 Nc6 4. Nc3 Nf6

    GM Henrik Danielsen has some very interesting positions with pawns on f4,e3,d3.

    As for blacks position vs 1. f4. I feel that d5+c5 is a mistake.

    I dont know why it is a mistake, it just doesnt 'feel' right.
    surely nobody plays f4-Nh3? you mean Na3? Na3-Nc4 is the most natural way to get the b-knight into play if/when you want c3.

    c3 is a great multipurpose move, just like c6 in leningrad dutch. it blocks the black bishop, stumps black knight on c6, develops queen and allows forcing e4 in most situations. Nc3 has the same idea of forcing e4 in, but lacks a bit in other aspects. Nc3 is The engine move. any time it has no clue in opening, it suggests Nc3/Nc6. (not that it's that bad, but..)

    e3 with leningrad gets played pretty much only when you screw up, or you change your mind and go for stonewall. it's a waste of tempo, the #1 plan being e4 to begin with. the regular bird lines are totally different of course, but you usually only go there if black foolishly blocks his c-pawn with Nc6.

    d5-c5 against f4 are probably the most natural response there is. white offers black space, and he grabs it. it develops, improves Nc6 vastly, and gets the queenside going, which is black's main counter play.



    in my opinion.
  14. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    10 Jun '10 13:03
    Originally posted by wormwood
    surely nobody plays f4-Nh3? you mean Na3? Na3-Nc4 is the most natural way to get the b-knight into play if/when you want c3.

    c3 is a great multipurpose move, just like c6 in leningrad dutch. it blocks the black bishop, stumps black knight on c6, develops queen and allows forcing e4 in most situations. Nc3 has the same idea of forcing e4 in, but lacks a b ...[text shortened]... y, and gets the queenside going, which is black's main counter play.



    in my opinion.
    I think the advent of the Na3 lines was a natural progression of King's Indian Defense players learning they could play ...Na6 effectively as an alternative to ...Nc6 or ...Nbd7. In many cases it is simply another path to c5, without blocking the queen's bishop, and the idea is often the same in the Leningrad Bird.

    It seems like every generation finds beauty in a move or idea formerly considered awkward or ugly. It's happened often enough in my chess life that I have learned to bite my tongue before passing a superficial judgment on a move that doesn't initially appeal to me- and I usually end up learning something new.
  15. Standard member wormwood
    If Theres Hell Below
    10 Jun '10 14:35 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Paul Leggett
    I think the advent of the Na3 lines was a natural progression of King's Indian Defense players learning they could play ...Na6 effectively as an alternative to ...Nc6 or ...Nbd7. In many cases it is simply another path to c5, without blocking the queen's bishop, and the idea is often the same in the Leningrad Bird.

    It seems like every generation fin on a move that doesn't initially appeal to me- and I usually end up learning something new.
    yeah, that's of course true. but walking on egg shells is no fun in conversation, much better to take subjective stance and fight til death over mildly meaningful general ideas related to specific moves in a board game.

    a lot if not most ideas in leningrad seem to come from king's indian.