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  1. 17 Sep '09 17:52
    Does anyone here play 1...b6 against everything but well g3 of course. I have not got my book on it yet, but I have started playing games with it anyways. My question is what do you think of it and what are the theoretical pawn breaks for this defense?

    Thanks
  2. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    17 Sep '09 18:16
    GM Edvins Kengis plays this, and I have been looking at it myself and dabbling with a few games here on the site. It is referred to as the English Defense against 1. c4 and 1. d4, and as Owen's Defense against 1.e4. The positions can vary greatly, but many transpose or are similar to lines in the Queen's Indian Defense or the Dutch Defense.

    The English Defense is considered fully sound, but Owen's Defense is debatable in its solvency. The critical line for 1. ... b6 starts out 1. e4 b6 2. d4 Bb7 3. Bd3.

    Black can break with any of the 4 center pawns, but ...c5 and ...f5 are considered the primary ones. Positions after the ...c5 pawn break often transpose to English Hedgehog-type positions, while pure English Defense-type position often feature ...f5- GM Anthony Miles played it, and he remarked that the ...f5 pawn break is the whole point of the defense.

    GM Danny King has a great book on the English Defense, and more recently CM Christian Bauer has written a book entitled Play 1. ... b6.

    Good Luck!

    Paul Leggett
    http://discountchess.110mb.com/
  3. 17 Sep '09 18:36
    Yeah Im wating on my Bauer book to arrive!
  4. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    17 Sep '09 20:38
    I think it is also worthwhile to study the Queen's Indian Defense because the positions are related.

    As a side note, I have played the Dutch on OTB tournaments, but I have been looking at The QID and 1. ... b6. I was very please to find that both defenses generate positions with a bishop on b7 and pawns on e6 and f5. Black would love to play ...f5 and fianchetto the queenside bishop in the Dutch, but he rarely has the time to do so- it's considered to be an "Ideal/Dream" position. That this position occurs relatively regularly in some lines of the QID goes a long way to explaining why it is so solid and popular.

    I should also add that GM Kengis has even transposed to a Hippo formation from 1. ... b6, and that is what initially attracted me to the move.

    Good Luck!

    Paul
  5. 18 Sep '09 18:47
    Alright, when the book gets here I will have to look into the QID some more if it does not reccomend it.
  6. Standard member DeepThought
    Losing the Thread
    18 Sep '09 23:44 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Paul Leggett
    I think it is also worthwhile to study the Queen's Indian Defense because the positions are related.

    As a side note, I have played the Dutch on OTB tournaments, but I have been looking at The QID and 1. ... b6. I was very please to find that both defenses generate positions with a bishop on b7 and pawns on e6 and f5. Black would love to play ...f5 n from 1. ... b6, and that is what initially attracted me to the move.

    Good Luck!

    Paul
    If white plays the main line against the Dutch then the plan with b6 and Bb7 isn't really possible, at least early in the opening. In practice however, most of the time in games here I've found white plays the bishop to d3 and leaves his knigs pawns' line undisturbed which allows that plan, eg: .
  7. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    19 Sep '09 00:01
    Originally posted by DeepThought
    If white plays the main line against the Dutch then the plan with b6 and Bg7 isn't really possible, at least early in the opening. In practice however, most of the time in games here I've found white plays the bishop to d3 and leaves his knigs pawns' line undisturbed which allows that plan, eg: .[pgn][Event "January 2009 Grouped Random VI"] [Site "http: ...[text shortened]... 3 Qh4xg3 34. Qf1g2 Qg3xe3 35. Kg1h1 Rd8d2 36. Qg2f1 Bb5c6 0-1[/pgn]
    That's why I referred to it as an ideal or dream position, because Black can really only get such a position after 1. ... f5 if White is overly cooperative. I agree, basically!

    Paul