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  1. Standard member PBE6
    Bananarama
    01 Dec '09 16:05
    Howdy all,

    The following game is a learning game that Macpo was kind enough to indulge me in. Unfortunately, he's not going to be playing chess for awhile, so I thought I'd post the partially played (but finalized and finished) game here for some more input.



    I'm especially interested in the following position:



    Here I played 14. g4 hoping to counterattack in the centre, which at the time felt like a great breakthrough but in hindsight feels like a game-losing blunder. Here is the game log for that move, to give you an idea of what was running through my head at the time:

    "Sorry it's taken so long to move, but I did discover something...I was afraid to make a bad move, and even more afraid to spend the time doing an analysis! This is probably why I haven't improved as much as I should have recently, I'm a procrastinator. At least I learned something about myself! Now to see if I can fix it...

    SITUATION:

    White - positives: White has a superior pawn structure, and a nice home for the knight on d5 (although that's currently being challenged)

    White - negatives: White has two knights, so if the position opens up I could be at a disadvantage, my bishop is playing a defensive role (a useful one, but still limiting its scope), and I have less control in the centre than Black.

    Black - positives: Black owns two bishops, and since he has more control in the centre he is more free to open it up at a time of his choosing.

    Black - negatives: Black's dark-squared bishop is still passive at the moment, but that could be alleviated by opening up the position at a later time.

    What to do? Some ideas are (1) to increase the activity of my pieces to take advantage of Black's passive dark-square bishop, candidate moves Qf3, Qh5, Nce3; (2) to bolster the centre, candidate move f3; (3) to counter-attack in the centre, candidate moves f4, g4; (4) continue with safe development, candidate move O-O.

    Lines:
    (1) 1. Qf3 fxe4 2. Bxe4 f5 3. Bd3 e4! forking the bishop and the queen. Other lines where the queen captures the pawn are just as bad. 1. Qh5 fxe4 2. Bxe4 f5 3. Bf3 e4! is another disaster that drops the knight on d5. 1. Nce3 fxe4 2. Bxe4 f5 3. Bc2 and then maybe 3. ... Ra7 to try and swing the rook around for kingside play or to defend h7 if necessary. This position looks relatively even, with Black increasing his control of the centre, but with White's pieces well placed and active.

    (2) 1. f3 f4 (closing things up is probably best, as 1. ... fxe4 here opens up the kingside, and after 2. fxe4 f5 3. Qh5 Black's king will feel uncomfortable pressure) 2. a4 trying to create some action on the queenside. This position again looks relatively even, and quieter (for the time being) than Nce3.

    (3) 1. f4 fxe4 2. Bxe4 f5 3. Bf3 e4 and White's knight is ever more precarious on d5 and my side of the board becomes cramped. 1. g4, an interesting move that counter-attacks the centre and also leads to open lines against Black's king, possibly at the cost of a bit of material. This position is rife with tactical opportunities (which is where my analysis is worst) after 1. g4 fxe4 2. Bxe4 f5 3. gxf5 Bxf5 4. Bxf5 Rxf5 5. Nce3 where the position is very open, but White's knights are well posted, or after 1. g4 f4 2. h4 closing up the centre but moving the action to the kingside with a pawn march. Black would probably prefer a more open game to take advantage of the two bishops, but this could lead to sharp play on both sides.

    (4) 1. O-O fxe4 2. Bxe4 f5 3. Bf3 e4 4. Be2 Ne7 and Black is slowly encroaching on White's space while threatening White's best posted piece.

    So it seems the best alternatives are 1. Nce3, 1. f3 and 1. g4. Between 1. Nce3 and 1. f3, I prefer 1. Nce3 as it's more flexible and less cramping, so it's really down to 1. Nce3 and 1. g4. The positional player in me wants 1. Nce3, but I just lost an OTB game yesterday because I was too slow and too passive, so I'm going to choose the sharper 1. g4! Let's see what happens. "

    Any comments are appreciated.
  2. Standard member Yuga
    Renaissance
    02 Dec '09 02:10 / 1 edit
    Edit: On a second look, I quite like g4, the best move, can't see a simple follow-up for Black.

    In the given position, f3 looks second best in a difficult position, this way you can control e4, and then focus on your own ideas for initiative. I don't like f4, it concedes e5 for Black's pieces
  3. 02 Dec '09 03:34 / 1 edit
    g4 doesn't look good when from the final position black can play 18...fxe4, 19.Bxe4? Qh4 20.Qe2 Rxf2 winning.
  4. Standard member Alzheimer
    A brain like a sieve
    02 Dec '09 19:16
    I can't understand a move like 14.g4??? Where is the benefit?

    Open up your King side where you normally want your king to be in a safe.

    You never can take back the pawn because of what was played. Black could have played 15...Qh4 followed by 16...h5 or b4.

    I think this position is perhaps -/+ for black already and this after just 15 moves.
  5. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Gonzalo de Córdoba
    03 Dec '09 05:37
    Fascinating game. I don't think I can add anything that you haven't seen already with your extensive analysis. I find myself in this situation (that is, this opening) as White every so often and so this game gives me ideas.
  6. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Gonzalo de Córdoba
    03 Dec '09 05:39 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Alzheimer
    I can't understand a move like 14.g4??? Where is the benefit?

    Open up your King side where you normally want your king to be in a safe.

    You never can take back the pawn because of what was played. Black could have played 15...Qh4 followed by 16...h5 or b4.

    I think this position is perhaps -/+ for black already and this after just 15 moves.
    His Knights suppress the center such that his King doesn't need to worry about defense as much. White is on offense here I feel. g4 opens a file, potentially Pinning the opponent's King Bishop.
  7. Standard member Alzheimer
    A brain like a sieve
    03 Dec '09 07:25
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    His Knights suppress the center such that his King doesn't need to worry about defense as much. White is on offense here I feel. g4 opens a file, potentially Pinning the opponent's King Bishop.
    I am not convinced.

    Black can play eventually f5 and as I said earlier b4, open up the centre and white's King is trapped.

    Call me boring but I rather have my King safe and then start the attack.
  8. Standard member Mariska Angela
    Nyuszi, golyó!
    03 Dec '09 08:47
    Originally posted by Alzheimer
    I am not convinced.

    Black can play eventually f5 and as I said earlier b4, open up the centre and white's King is trapped.

    Call me boring but I rather have my King safe and then start the attack.
    Safe kings are for wussies.
  9. 03 Dec '09 09:06
    g4 in the Sveshnikov:

  10. 03 Dec '09 09:11 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    Fascinating game.... extensive analysis...
    Beware, 1600's "extensive analyses" tend to be faulty
  11. 03 Dec '09 09:28 / 1 edit
    Hello! I was the Black player.

    I think g4 is really interesting, unexpected and troubling. Someone gave the line f5xe4 Bxe4 Qh4 Qe2 Rxf2 and I don't really understand the interest of this?

    After g4, there are basically 3 options:
    1. pushing f5 to f4, which I think is clearly bad for black as it closes the game, which is a really bad thing in this position, as it limits the possibility for his bishops and stop the progression of his strong center.

    2. f5xe4 leads to a quite even game I think.

    3. f5xg4 put extra pressure on white as white has to fight for the pawn.


    Now, and I am not sure it was the best move, but why not having defended the pawn on g4 after having taken it?

    Basically, I think Black HAS to push f7 f5 to go on his development. this is the way he will be able to open the game, psuh his center, etc. but now, he cannot do that, as f5 is a strong square for white. by "offering" the pawn to white, black opens the possibility of pushing f5 (as happens in the game). Hence my quiet move, waiting for the opponent.

    in addition to this, how could this pawn be defended? this is not clear at all. Qh4 alone enables Nc7, and in addition is not enough. using h4 is very dangerous, as it seriously weakens black's king. White can play quietly, Qe2 followed by 0-0-0 and then has a clear game to play. in such opposite castling, one pawn is not much if it gives the initiative on the enemy king...

    EDIT: by the way, the white king is quite safe in the center, actually safer than if it had castled on the king side. because for the moment white has a strong center.
  12. Standard member Alzheimer
    A brain like a sieve
    03 Dec '09 14:41
    Originally posted by Macpo
    Hello! I was the Black player.

    I think g4 is really interesting, unexpected and troubling. Someone gave the line f5xe4 Bxe4 Qh4 Qe2 Rxf2 and I don't really understand the interest of this?

    After g4, there are basically 3 options:
    1. pushing f5 to f4, which I think is clearly bad for black as it closes the game, which is a really bad thing in this posi ...[text shortened]... r than if it had castled on the king side. because for the moment white has a strong center.
    ok, players have different opinions about moves and if white plays a move like g4 of course the King is much safer in the centre.

    I personally think g4 is a bad move!!!

    I only agree to a certain point with option 1: Ok, it closes the game but I think the main idea behind f5-f4 would be to undermine white's Knight on d5. You are taking the natural square (e3) away for you Nc2!!!

    But then, I might not understand chess!!!
  13. 03 Dec '09 15:05
    Originally posted by Macpo
    Hello! I was the Black player.

    I think g4 is really interesting, unexpected and troubling. Someone gave the line f5xe4 Bxe4 Qh4 Qe2 Rxf2 and I don't really understand the interest of this?

    I was referring to the last position of your actual game, not the position where 14.g4 is first played.

    So after 14.g4 fxg4, 15.Nc2e3 kh8 16. Nxg4 f5 17.Ne3 Bxd5 18.Nxd5
    then, 18...fxe4, 19.Bxe4? Qh4 20.Qe2 Rxf2 looks winning to me for black since 21.Qxf2 allows ...Qxe4ch.

    Black winds up with the open f file and lines for attack in the game actually played.
  14. Standard member PBE6
    Bananarama
    07 Dec '09 16:14
    Thanks to Alzheimer, heinzkat, Macpo and Regicidal for your input. In hindsight I felt like g4 was a blunder in the position because looking back I had vague visions ...Qh4 at some point, along with the clearing of the f-file for black's rook and pressure against the f2 square (although I didn't see the possible queen fork pointed out by Regicidal). I'll have to get a copy of Fritz one of these days and try to see just how bad it was - I think Macpo might be giving me too much credit here. We'll see!

    Question - what goals do you think needed to be achieved in the position given, and based on that what was the best move?

    (I'm looking to really understand the position here...lines are OK, but if you don't understand the position they rarely illuminate anything by themselves. I'm looking for real analysis and strategy here!)
  15. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Gonzalo de Córdoba
    07 Dec '09 16:50
    Originally posted by heinzkat
    Beware, 1600's "extensive analyses" tend to be faulty
    Compared to my own 1300's analysis?