Full Version: 07/03/2012 - DISCUSSION of C.Sreeves vs A.Burnett
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I am rotten as black against these systems! Please don't tell anyone though as it may bring my score against them down from the present 10%. Like Hugh, if I can't see a way to sac at least three pieces I am floundering. However, like Andy, I am loving every minute of this. What more do you want? A free live lesson with commentary and input from umpteen different players. I feel a wee bit embarassed not to pay for this. It really is great stuff and surely even at this early experimental stage be a must for the future!

I'm reminded here of my first chess book - 'A Pocket Guide to the Chess Openings' by Griffith and Golombek (Revised Edition, 1958). Therein Patriarch Harry Golombek made a comment which was to have a lasting impact upon my understanding of chess strategy: 'The primary object of the English Opening is to attack the white squares not only in the centre but along the diagonal KR1-QR8. I do not myself believe that 1 ... P-K4 is an adequate defence, since it does nothing towards contesting White's objectives.'

Though I rather took this latter point to heart, it didn't prevent me from later preparing a small repertoire book advocating a defence to the English Opening based on the systems 1 c4 e5 2 Nc3 Nc6 3 g3 g6 and 1 c4 e5 2 Nc3 Nc6 3 Nf3 f5. This was published in 1985 by Tony Gillam at the Chess Player, Nottingham, and given the unfortunate title 'English Opening - A Line for Black'. Andy's choice here, an early ...h5 versus the Botvinnik structure, was among my recommendations.

Having had 27 years to mull it over, I now feel confident enough to deliver the definitive assessment of the line: 'Both sides stand badly'.

Whatever Clement may be telling us of his thoughts, the reality is surely a lament on the lines of: "Ooooh, nooo. What am I doing involved in this stodge? I could just have played 1 e4!" (and not followed up with 25 moves of theory...). And Andy's outward optimism must also by now be masking deep regrets: "1...e5 - what was I doing? I'm a tempo down on a Closed Sicilian, a light-square palsy's about to set in. I should simply have set about contesting White's objectives straightway - 1...e6! 1...c6!"
I am now going to show why I am a diddy player in these positions. Andy has a kings indian(ish) type setup. The knight at e6 may head to c5 (often via a6 in the KID). He could castle and play Nd7 or Nh7 going for the f5 push, but with his pawn on h5 this doesn't look on. He might bring his Bishop to d7 so that the knight on c5 if attacked has an option of going to a4. He might also play his queen to e8 after castling if Clement goes for Bg5. I am not keen on Clement's pawn setup but flounder hopelessly to make progress against these systems,

Hugh Brechin Wrote:(Though if Black had replied to 9.Nh3 by taking it I'd have asked him some pretty searching questions about how exactly he had bypassed the knight on e6!).
Eek! =o
Interesting that they both quite like their positions now. Does it mean they are not properly considering what each other might do or is it that they are genuinly both alright? Perhaps a bit of both? Big Grin

Angus McDonald

Daniel Maxwell introduced me to a word I'd never heard before a while back.


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I'm not a strong enough player to comment upon a game of 2 strong Scottish players but I think there have been quite a lot of preventative moves being made. Normal in Chess I guess.

A good understanding of when to play these moves could be useful for up and coming juniors?
Imagine my shock as I came to innocently browse this forum and find some people talking about chess! This is a great idea and I'm thoroughly enjoying watching the game evolve (reminds me a bit of the old 'Mastergame' programmes). I'm more than a bit rusty so possibly my opinions here are off the mark but that's never stopped me giving them before!

I think Andy's ...c5 was a bit of a mistake. Although it did make the Bb2 look a bit silly for a few moves that was never going to last (and indeed it hasn't) - bishops can move back but pawn's cannot. It is a delicate balancing act in these positions to weigh up the advantage of further prophylatic moves versus starting some of your own counterplay and I would have preferred ...Ng4 in that position with the idea of following up ...f5. In general white will always be in command of the queenside so Black needs to get going on the other wing.

The current pawn structure seems to be in White's favour. He will have the open a-file and possibly b-file (if he wants to exchange on c5) along which to infiltrate Andy's position. Indeed, I dont think Andy will need to 'tempt' Clement into that - he'll be up that a-file like a ferret up a drainpipe. The big question remains: how is Black going to generate any counterplay here? Seems tricky.

Ok, haven't used my brain in a while, need to lie down now...very entertaining stuff guys, keep up the good work.

Welcome back Keith! I just can't get my head around this game at all. Lots of possibilities for both sides. Like the idea of ...Ng4 and ...f5 but was concerned about white immediately playing d4 (after ...Ng4)?
If Black could avoid the trade of dark squared bishops (after say 13... Ng4 14. d4 ed4 15. Nfd4 [if Ned4, then ...Nc5, Re8 etc. with good pressure]) then he would have a reasonable King's Indian due to the outpost on either e5 and g4 (yes, White can not prevent both), but how does Black avoid this trade?
White is 'threatening' 16. Nxe6 followed by Bxg7, and 15...Nc5 runs into b4. Perhaps then Black can play 15... Ne5 which may contain the positional threat of ...a4 (also 16. f4?! could at least be met by Ng4 and Qb6 in some order.

Yes, it seems White's pieces are not placed very well for the breakthrough and I concur with your statement ;-)

Perhaps you would care to take on Calum, shake off the old rust?
Thanks Alan,

I also thought that d4 was the best reponse to Ng4. I'm far too lazy to calculate variations these days but I like your Ne5 idea - especially the cunning Qb6 response to f4. Assuming that variation does hold up then I'd prefer black due to his control over the central dark squares. Lots of ideas of Qb6, Nc5, Re8 type set-ups.

In any case I'd much prefer it to what has actually happened!

By the way, I'd prefer my rust to be removed gently and carefully - not with a Calum shaped sledge-hammer thank you very much ;-)

It's certainly starting to liven up now!
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