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07/03/2012 - DISCUSSION of C.Sreeves vs A.Burnett
The battle of the spoilers is quite amusing. The game is getting more interesting now. Big Grin
I thought Clements "Spoiler Gambit" was particularly good
"How sad to see, what used to be, a model of decorum and tranquility become like any other sport, a battleground for rival ideologies to slug it out with glee"
The gambit spoiler made me chuckle, as have some of the other comments. It's fascinating to read the players thoughts, with both really desparate to know what the others are commenting. Andy's comparison to Over The Board chess and getting a read on players reactions was interesting. I might have a go at this during the weekend at Glenrothes. If you are my opponent and I am staring into your eyes I'm not strange or trying to outphysche you, I'm trying to get an idea of what you thought of my last move.

Aside from the amusement of the comments, I find the players ideas on strategy and planning fantastic. It's so much better than going through an annotated game in a dusty old book, on your own. Perhaps it's because I'm only getting bitesize pieces at a time or maybe part of it is the novelty or the players humurous comments but I am enjoying this, when sometimes going through a game seems a chore.

I'd recommend this game to all as a little bit of training.

I see Calum MacQueen has posted elsewhere that he wouldn't mind giving this a go and I know Alan Tate has been a visitor to the section, so maybe Alan could take Calum up on his offer, when Alan returns from the Cappelle tournament (good luck in the last few rounds, Alan. I've been following your progress but the website is a bit difficult to navigate, as my French is quite rusty).

On the Sreeves v Burnett game I would be thinking of playing 9.Nf3, as white. Now the Knight has gone back from d4, the Bishop pin no longer seems a threat. I'm looking to stick my Knight on g5 next move, so I guess 9.Nh3 would do the same job, as I imagine black won't take as it would give the white Bishop a strong diaganol. I'm thinking the reply to either could be 9..Nf6 and now I'd be concerned about the black knight coming to g4.

At this stage of the game I'm also wondering where I want to put my Queen and which side to castle on, neither side looks appealing and after I get my Knight on g5 and my bishop on e3 I would be struggling for a plan, other than try to push e3 to d4 and I wouldn't want to do that until I've decided which way I'm going to castle.

As black, my plan would be clearer castle queen side and get my king side pawns moving but then Nf6 inhibits that and I don't think I can play Ne7 for the same reasons white couldn't play Nge2. So I would need to work out how to defend the d5 square against the Knight but still enable the movement of my King side pawns.

My conclusion is the position is too complicated for my little 1258 graded mind to fully appreciate, without hurting or exploding. Maybe somebody higher rated can give their thoughts.
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Well, you've been spot on in predicting both players' moves so far David. (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!)

Judging by Clement's last post, we may be in for something of a hiatus here (and even if we're not both players seem pretty sure that the next move is going to see a lot of castling, so one more move before the weekend break won't make much of a difference to how people think about the position), so it seems a reasonable time to post some general thoughts on the position.

It's an English, so we're still a decent bit away from any particularly concrete tactics breaking out, but both sides have some interesting ideas. Clement's presumably going to realise that the ...f5 break isn't an immediate priority for Andrew, and will be starting to think about how he can make progress. Both sides would quite like to advance their d-pawns (Clement relatively immediately, Andrew after preparing it with ...c5) but will be aware that that will weaken their e-pawns. If d4 can't be advantageously achieved relatively quickly, then as White in this position I'd be quite tempted to expand on the queenside with b4 at some stage. I might follow that with Bb2, given that the black knight's access to g4 renders e3 a less-than-secure perch.

Not really sure about any of this though. I'm not really at home in any position where bishop sacrifices on h7 (or at least a thuggish h-pawn lunge) aren't feasible, so I'd be interested in hearing others' takes on what's going on here.
this might be the game he's talking about.
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That looks like the one. Good work.

For anyone who's puzzled by the rather weird sequence of moves from White's 26th until Black's 27th, I reckon that the actual 26th move was Bxc5 and someone's entered the game incorrectly. Which would also explain why White's knight flees the black rook on move 38, despite there allegedly being a pawn (which doesn't move after move 26, until it's eventually 'taken' by the bishop) on c5.
This is very educational. =)
I'm a little bit discombobulated... is this position good to castle in? With h-pawns pushed might it not make it more likely to rip open and expose the kings? =o
Andrew - it's possible but unlikely: both sides' h-pawns are effectively blocking each other, and it would be difficult for either side to force g4 or ...g5, due to the high level of control Black has over g4 and White over g5. Given the strong possibility of both d4 and ...d5, the centre is far more likely to open in the near future.
I've always found the Botvinnik system quite "anti-social" somehow. White gets 15 moves as a warm up then a decent enough position. Of course, if you play the same way vs everything, black can equalise pretty comfortably and IMHO the lines where black doesn't play e5 but c5 are probably close to level (maybe Marin disputes, anyone know?).

That said there is a time and a place for it and when black plays e5 it's an effective weapon. Kramnik-Carlsen from London Classic 2011 is a good example of the structure and if memory serves Big Vlad got a pretty huge position.

I like Andy's play here: the N-d4-e6 is pretty clever. Black gets the option of doing something quickly with c6 and d5 while keeping an eye on the g5 square and the inclusion of the h-pawns mean that white had to lose time with N-e2, not an ideal square for his horse unless he can play d4 (don't think he can?).
Nf6 is certainly sensible for reasons Andy has highlighted but Ng-e7 looks more interesting. Black wants Nc6 or a quick f5-f4. Hugh makes a point that the DSB isn't committed yet so Nf6 may be a little inflexible, c6 and d5 looks like his only plan to me (very possible I'm wrong though).

Maybe 10. 0-0 0-0 11.Ng5 for white with maybe a small advantage.

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