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PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 11:34 pm 
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Location: Carlisle, Cumbria
Hey, played this one tonight, got extremely complicated, and while Houdini or Fritz can analyze tactics, I'd appreciate some constructive criticism on my play as White.

One question in particular; a4 Is a common move in the López, did I play it at a good time here? I wanted to play it earlier but realised it was bad, because Black hadn't committed himself. Can anyone shed light on a generality of when it's useful in main lines?

[WhiteElo "1683"]
[BlackElo "1621"]
45 45 rated standard

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 d6 8. c3 Na5 9. Bc2 c5

10. d4 O-O 11. dxe5 dxe5 12. Nxe5 Bb7 13. Bf4 Re8 14. a4 h6 15. axb5 axb5 16. Na3 b4

17. Nac4 g5 18. Qxd8 Bxd8 19. Nd6 Re7 20. Nexf7 gxf4 21. Nxd8 Rxd8 22. e5 Ne8 23. Nxe8 Rexe8

24. Rxa5 Rd2 25. Bb3+ Bd5 26. Bxd5+ Rxd5 27. cxb4 Rdxe5 28. Rxe5 Rxe5 29. Kf1 Kf7 30. bxc5 Ke7

31. f3 h5 32. b4 Kd7 33. c6+ 1-0


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 12:36 am 
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Dan O'Dowd wrote:
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 d6 8. c3 Na5 9. Bc2 c5
10. d4 O-O 11. dxe5 dxe5 12. Nxe5


Unless someone can turn this into a reputable gambit like the Marshall or the Gaweski or lines that Mark Hebden plays, 10 .. 0-0 just gives away a pawn for next to nothing. So white is basically much better. a4 is a normal punt, so is a plausible continuation.

Having checked this, there is a game Short-Hebden from Torquay 1998 in this exact position where Nigel didn't take the pawn.

Where people did take the pawn, they simplified by removing the queens first. Personally I don't see the compensation, but Mark understands these things. :)


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 1:07 am 
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Roger de Coverly wrote:
Dan O'Dowd wrote:
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 d6 8. c3 Na5 9. Bc2 c5
10. d4 O-O 11. dxe5 dxe5 12. Nxe5


Unless someone can turn this into a reputable gambit like the Marshall or the Gaweski or lines that Mark Hebden plays, 10 .. 0-0 just gives away a pawn for next to nothing. So white is basically much better. a4 is a normal punt, so is a plausible continuation.

Having checked this, there is a game Short-Hebden from Torquay 1998 in this exact position where Nigel didn't take the pawn.

Where people did take the pawn, they simplified by removing the queens first. Personally I don't see the compensation, but Mark understands these things. :)



Yeah, I knew he was just giving it away for some sort of potential activity. But was my subsequent play in the complicated tactical positions good? Did I make my task much harder by any one move after this? :)

ETA: My Database shows the intermediate sequence "h3 Re8 Nbd2 Bf8" in Short-Hebden, so the pawn is verboten.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 1:26 am 
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Short could have opted to take the pawn instead of his 11.h3 though - it was the same position...


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 8:21 am 
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Dan O'Dowd wrote:
and while Houdini or Fritz can analyze tactics, I'd appreciate some constructive criticism on my play as White.


You can use the positionally minded engines, Houdini, Rybka etc. for positional judgements as well. So you ask it to evaluate the position after almost every move. With the pawn won, it will probably assess the position as about 0.75, in other words you are a pawn up but there's some compensation. If yo get a move which dramatically reduces this, say to 0.00 or worse, then it thinks that move was second rate. You don't worry about whether your move was second best as long as the evaluation difference to the first choice move isn't large.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 10:03 pm 
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Yep, am aware of that :) I've been using Fritz for years, but since I'm reading Silman, and with the differences in opinion of Houds and Fritz quite variable at times, I would really appreciate some human input, even though this isn't the best game to work with, since I'll post others in future as well.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 10:08 pm 
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8...Na5 is a rather obscure sideline. 8...O-O is a lot more common, for the reason shown in this game: you don't have to spend a tempo preparing d4 with h3.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 12:49 am 
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>.< Is anyone actually going to give me some constructive comments on my play in this game? If it's not a good game for purpose, do tell me; I have lots more to offer! :P


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 8:38 am 
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Dan O'Dowd wrote:
>.< Is anyone actually going to give me some constructive comments on my play in this game? If it's not a good game for purpose, do tell me; I have lots more to offer! :P


I think going by the game and comments given, by the time you played A4 it is kind of not a case of it being good or bad at that point as black is already technically losing due to the loss of the pawn. At the time you played A4 you could simplify to a winning end game, though as it is only a pawn you have to tread a little careful not to fall into a draw. Black is struggling to justify gambit - submit another game for comparison.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 11:05 am 
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I wonder Dan, did Black simply get his move order 8-10 wrong?? :wink:

As others have said, Black just seems a pawn down for very little after 10....0-0?

Having said that, you did exploit your advantage pretty competently :)

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