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Studying the Pirc, so how to play against the Byrne?

Posted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 12:11 am
by Alan Llewellyn
One of my most challenging games in my club games otb are against ECFForum regular Matt Mackenzie a 190 or so grade player, although he never seems to make it actually to that high a figure(usually just under). Now if we play as me with Black, then I open a pirc and he plays a byrne attack.
Now I play a d5 line against it usually but he loves to advance pawns so he doesn't accept the pawn sacrifice offered and plays for a strong attack instead which he is great at. my useless line goes 1 e4 d6 2 d4 Nf6 3 Nc3 g6 4 Bg5 Bg7 5 Qd2 d5 but after 6 e5!! he has the edge
now I play that because I am suspicious of the 5...h6 6 Bh4(or Bh4) g5 7 Bg3 Nh5 main line mainly because of 8 Be2 which forces 8...Nxg3 9 hxg3 which opens a nasty attack to the king
is the c6 line instead any good? ie 5...c6

Re: Studying the Pirc, so how to play against the Byrne?

Posted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 12:16 am
by IM Jack Rudd
The main line only opens a nasty attack to the king if you put your king there to be attacked. Why give him the target?

Re: Studying the Pirc, so how to play against the Byrne?

Posted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 12:19 am
by Alan Llewellyn
I don t like queenside castling if I can avoid it

Re: Studying the Pirc, so how to play against the Byrne?

Posted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 12:20 am
by Roger de Coverly
Alan Llewellyn wrote:1 e4 d6 2 d4 Nf6 3 Nc3 g6 4 Bg5 Bg7 5 Qd2
Unless you are a really good tactical defender and well booked for that matter, the 150 Attack and its relatives are extremely dangerous, easy to play for White and difficult for Black. If you know it's coming, a Modern Defence move order, deferring .. Nf6 may work, particular against those who prefer Bg5. That's the fashionable "Tiger Modern" where Black's first four moves are g6,d6,a6 and Bg7 (.. a6 is usually move 4)

Re: Studying the Pirc, so how to play against the Byrne?

Posted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 12:22 am
by Alan Llewellyn
is a king move to f8 any good in 150 and byrne

Re: Studying the Pirc, so how to play against the Byrne?

Posted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 12:24 am
by Alan Llewellyn
for example 1 e4 d6 2 d4 Nf6 3 Nc3 g6 4 Bg5 Bg7 5 Qd2 c6 6 0-0-0 b5 7 h4 Kf8

Re: Studying the Pirc, so how to play against the Byrne?

Posted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 12:32 am
by Roger de Coverly
Alan Llewellyn wrote:is a king move to f8 any good in 150 and byrne
Once you start playing grovel moves, it's a sign that it's gone wrong.

There is a plan in the lines where you play g6,Bg7,b6,Bb7,e6,d6,Nd7,Ne7,h6,a6 where because there's a Bishop on e3 and a Queen on d2, you cannot castle kingside. What you do is a King march Ke8-f8-g8-h7. That defends the h6 pawn, freeing the h8 Rook to do something useful. You have to hope your opponent isn't doing anything, or if he is, you can demonstrate that it doesn't work.

In some ways, the 150 Attack and similar are a giant bluff by White. You take aim at the King. If you score a direct hit, you win the game. If you don't, you hope that Black will have compromised his position, so you can win in a relatively risk free boring manner.

Re: Studying the Pirc, so how to play against the Byrne?

Posted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 12:37 am
by Roger de Coverly
Alan Llewellyn wrote:for example 1 e4 d6 2 d4 Nf6 3 Nc3 g6 4 Bg5 Bg7 5 Qd2 c6 6 0-0-0 b5 7 h4 Kf8


Why not 7. .. b4

Re: Studying the Pirc, so how to play against the Byrne?

Posted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 1:12 am
by Alan Llewellyn
I have played b4 in similar positions and the knight has gone to a4 and I have a difficult task opening up the queenside, it was just an example anyway of a type of 150 attack Kf8 here stops the threats on the king doesn't it? actually in that exact position black is winning after b4? he wins the e4 pawn and if 8 e5?? then bxc3 wins outright.

Re: Studying the Pirc, so how to play against the Byrne?

Posted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 1:20 am
by Roger de Coverly
Alan Llewellyn wrote:I have played b4 in similar positions and the knight has gone to a4 and I have a difficult task opening up the queenside, it was just an example anyway of a type of 150 attack
I regard the Pirc as suspect and if you play it, you have to keep your position alive tactically. So exact resources need to be analysed. I don't see that wasting a tempo moving the King from e8 to f8 is going to achieve very much.

Re: Studying the Pirc, so how to play against the Byrne?

Posted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 1:25 am
by Alan Llewellyn
the point of Kf8 is to avoid the scenario of Bg5(Be3), Qd2, h4-h5-hg, Bh6, Bxg7 (answered by Kxg7), Qh6+, Qxh7#, you see the Rook will be defending on h8

Re: Studying the Pirc, so how to play against the Byrne?

Posted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 1:33 am
by Roger de Coverly
Alan Llewellyn wrote: you see the Rook will be defending on h8
You don't get mated, but unless you are mating White with a counter attack, a King on g8, Rook on h8 facing a Queen on h6 are not well placed.

Re: Studying the Pirc, so how to play against the Byrne?

Posted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 1:35 am
by Alan Llewellyn
the point is I will give an example line

Re: Studying the Pirc, so how to play against the Byrne?

Posted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 1:52 am
by Alan Llewellyn
h6 is the problem to kf8 it seems

Re: Studying the Pirc, so how to play against the Byrne?

Posted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 2:09 am
by Roger de Coverly
I'm not sure it's necessary to panic after 9. h4. I have an engine suggesting 9. .. Qc7 as about equal with 9. .. Kf8 as half a pawn worse.