Extended castle

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Mats Winther
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Extended castle

Post by Mats Winther » Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:55 am

Imagine if it would be possible to, optionally, make a three square jump with the king, when castling. Arguably, this would enlarge the opening tree, as many more opening variations would become practicable. The long king jump could prove quite useful in most variants with queenside castle. At kingside castle, it is sometimes worthwhile to place the king on a more protected square. This ought to be good, for instance, in King's gambit variations. This change greatly enlarges the opening tree as many more opening variations become practicable. More information, and Zillions program here:

http://hem.passagen.se/melki9/castlechess.htm

Play chess with extended castle, online, here:

http://www.chessvariants.org/index/msdi ... astlechess

I am not certain that this change would generally benefit the defender. Take Caro-Kann, main variation, as an example. Black certainly benefits from the long king jump, but so does White. So nothing has changed. In many variations in the King's gambit, White would benefit from a king jump to the corner, as the diagonal to g1 is open. So the extended castle could get some life into the King's gambit again. In certain open Sicilian variations, White attacks with the g-pawn. To have the king placed on h1 is probably better.

It would become more popular to castle queenside, since you gain a whole move. But queenside castle is generally associated with attacking variations, for example, as White in the Sicilian Dragon. A worriment is that the tempo gain would kill the Sicilian Dragon. But perhaps Black can benefit from the king jump to the corner(?).

The Dutch defence is a problem child. But the extended castle could perhaps make it viable again.

/Mats

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Mats Winther
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Re: Extended castle

Post by Mats Winther » Sun Jan 30, 2011 10:55 am

After all, mustn't we do something to counter the incursion of the computer brain into chess? I am beginning to suspect that Carlsen isn't particularly fond of computer analysis to the umpteenth move and that's why he choses such lame untheoretical variations as Ruy Lopez with d3 and drawish English variants as white (but he wins anyway, which is very impressive). Can White, at the top level, really squeeze something out of Ruy Lopez, Marshall gambit? Is there any point in trying to achieve something against the Russian defence, or should he make a concession and play Qe2?

Must not the game be enhanced in some way? I think we are up against a serious problem, in a few decades computer analyzed opening lines will determine super-GM tournaments. Of course, they can begin to play like Carlsen (e.g. d2-d3, and the like), but top players can hardly beat each others with such lines, and also those "untheoretical" lines will soon be scrutinized to the umpteenth move. Lubomir Kavalek raises the issue that I've been discussing in this forum earlier:

Are chess players becoming robots by repeating moves approved at home by their computers? Can't they just use their own heads during the game?

Of course they do, but at the same time even the world's top chess players have to use computers to win chess games. Not during the games - that's forbidden - but in their preparations. And they don't even have to be there. The computers can find a winning solution while the players eat at a nearby restaurant. They come home, apply the knowledge to the game, perform the moves like robot and claim victory. The times are gone when the legendary grandmaster David Bronstein would think 40 minutes before he made the first move. Now the players blitz away 30 moves, only replaying the computer recommendations. During the year's first major tournament, underway in the coastal Dutch town of Wijk aan Zee, some of the robotic skills were evident. Even the world champion Vishy Anand of India successfully retrieved a two-year-old knight sacrifice from his machine and won a nice game.
http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=6967

/Mats
Last edited by Mats Winther on Tue Feb 01, 2011 7:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: Extended castle

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Sun Jan 30, 2011 12:04 pm

I'd say you're seriously underestimating the level of over-the-board skill required even in cases of heavy preparation: getting a clear or even decisive advantage from your home analysis is one thing, converting it to victory is quite another.

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Mats Winther
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Re: Extended castle

Post by Mats Winther » Sun Jan 30, 2011 3:32 pm

Many people today play "inferior" variations (like d3 in Ruy Lopez) in order to avoid preparation, because they know it's no use to grapple with the Marshall gambit, for instance. This occurs on amateur level, too. In case of the King's gambit, this development took place many decades ago. People realized it was no use to play the King's gambit, anymore. Spassky, heroically, took it up again, but after his game against Ornstein in 1974, he declared that "this was my last King's gambit". I predict that in the coming decades GM:s are going to say "this was my last Ruy Lopez." When the main variations (c3 + d4) in Ruy Lopez are being abandoned, then chess is in a very critical situation. When the King's gambit died, it was a big tragedy, but we could still cope with the loss. But we can't do without the main variation in Ruy Lopez. After all, we can't fall back on Four Knights. I think you seriously underestimate the extent to which opening systems are being "solved" these days. The opening stage in chess is more and more becoming a straitjacket. The choices are narrowed down because systems are cut away where White cannot achieve much. What is it worth to watch GM:s play games that have been prepared far into the middlegame, with the aid of the computer? Is this to be viewed as sport achievements?
/Mats

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Re: Extended castle

Post by John Upham » Sun Jan 30, 2011 4:14 pm

Is it April 1st already?

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