Unexpected move in the QGD.

Technical questions regarding Openings, Middlegames, Endings etc.
Javier Gil
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Re: Unexpected move in the QGD.

Post by Javier Gil » Sat Oct 20, 2018 8:41 pm

And what exactly are his arguments which contradict the accumulated knowledge that we have on this line since the times of Capablanca?

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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: Unexpected move in the QGD.

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Sat Oct 20, 2018 8:46 pm

They're mostly along the lines of "the d3 bishop looks very well placed, but what is it actually doing?".

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Unexpected move in the QGD.

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sat Oct 20, 2018 8:55 pm

IM Jack Rudd wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 8:39 pm
By Keith Arkell, who is a specialist in the Exchange variation.
Doesn't Keith also challenge conventional wisdom about the desirability of queen side pawn majorities?

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Re: Unexpected move in the QGD.

Post by Javier Gil » Sat Oct 20, 2018 9:23 pm

IM Jack Rudd wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 8:46 pm
They're mostly along the lines of "the d3 bishop looks very well placed, but what is it actually doing?".
It does quite a lot. It controls the e4 square, the c4 square, the d3-h7 and d3-a6 diagonals are incredibly useful. On the other hand, Black's Bishop not only looks badly placed, it's actually doing nothing (putting it on e6, attacking his own pawn on d5 is not exactly what I would call "improving the position of your bishop").
And as for the argument that why would all those GM invest so many tempi trading their "good bishop" for White's "bad" bishop, I guess we have to be open minded and accept the possibility that they didn't have a clue about what they were doing.
Yeah, times are definitely changing! :)

Earth could be flat too...
Last edited by Javier Gil on Sun Oct 21, 2018 8:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: Unexpected move in the QGD.

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Sat Oct 20, 2018 10:52 pm

Keith has pointed me at this game:


Javier Gil
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Re: Unexpected move in the QGD.

Post by Javier Gil » Sun Oct 21, 2018 6:26 am

A draw from a game he played when he was 20 or 21 and where he decided to keep Bishops on (...Bxf5! looks like a better move) to complicate the game on the Kingside is hardly "ground-breaking".
But since you've mentioned Kasparov, Here's the man, a year later, "wasting" time with ...g6 to trade his "good" bishop for White's one.


And here he is again, "wasting" a tempo with ...g6 to trade his "good" light sq Bishop. This is actually quite a nice game, pay attention to the weakness of the c4 square once the light sq Bishop has come off:



Again, "wasting" time with ...g6 to trade his "good" Bishop:



And this time he went for ...g6, ...Nh5, ...Ng7... and finally Bf5 (4 tempi!) to trade his "Good Bishop" for White's one:


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Re: Unexpected move in the QGD.

Post by Javier Gil » Sun Oct 21, 2018 6:47 am

By the way, here's one of Keith's rare victories (if we are to judge from Mega Database 2018, the only one!) in the D36 variation. It seems that he too is now (2017) wasting time getting rid of his "good" bishop!


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Re: Unexpected move in the QGD.

Post by Keith Arkell » Mon Oct 22, 2018 4:46 pm

I'm not going to get baited on this. If you want to know the detailed truth on the latest understanding of the Carlsbad structures, then I give lessons by Skype, or if you want an extremely good lesson, for the price of a book, then I recommend the chapter on that structure in the universally praised book by Matthew Sadler and Natasha Regan 'Chess For Life'.

Tim Harding
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Re: Unexpected move in the QGD.

Post by Tim Harding » Mon Oct 22, 2018 7:07 pm

Keith Arkell wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 4:46 pm
If you want to know the detailed truth on the latest understanding of the Carlsbad structures, then I give lessons by Skype, or if you want an extremely good lesson, for the price of a book, then I recommend the chapter on that structure in the universally praised book by Matthew Sadler and Natasha Regan 'Chess For Life'.
Quite. Good book (especially for older players) and the ideas are indeed well explained there.

See you in Bled, Keith!
Tim Harding
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Author of 'British Chess Literature to 1914', Joseph Henry Blackburne: A Chess Biography', and 'Eminent Victorian Chess Players'
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Re: Unexpected move in the QGD.

Post by Keith Arkell » Mon Oct 22, 2018 9:16 pm

Yes, look forward to seeing you there, Tim!

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Re: Unexpected move in the QGD.

Post by Javier Gil » Tue Oct 23, 2018 10:23 am

More facts: GM Mathew Sadler. Found 3 of his games in the 2018 Mega Database playing Black in the D36 variation.
What's odd about these 3 games is that:
a) The only game he drew is actually the one where he traded his "good bishop" with ...g6+...Bf5.
b) The other 2 games, he decided to keep his "good bishop", he was totally outplayed in both.
Here they are:






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Re: Unexpected move in the QGD.

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Oct 23, 2018 11:43 am

Javier Gil wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 10:23 am
b) The other 2 games, he decided to keep his "good bishop", he was totally outplayed in both.
I rather get the idea is that a recent interpretation for Black is that you exchange dark square bishops by .. Nh5 rather than .. Ne4. Also that you can flick in ... h6 as well. If you employ that plan, there's no obvious way of trading the light square Bishop, so presumably you leave it on c8 or play it to e6. Another idea is to defer castling and play Nd7-f8-g6.

It's important that if you want to be solid and play an early d5 against 1. d4 2. c4 3. Nc3/f3, you need to know how to meet cxd5 without your game looking like Capablanca v AN Other.

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Re: Unexpected move in the QGD.

Post by Javier Gil » Thu Nov 15, 2018 5:15 pm

"A recent interpretation". It might indeed be recent, but hardly a successful one if we are to judge by
a) the most elementary positional fundamentals of those positions.
b) results.
A new interpretation of Black's "bad bishop" in the French defence is not gonna make it any better!

"It's important that if you want to be solid and play an early d5 against 1. d4 2. c4 3. Nc3/f3, you need to know how to meet cxd5 without your game looking like Capablanca v AN Other."

Er... I''m not sure I follow your logic here. Nobody cares if our game looks old fashioned if the position is good and positionally sound.

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Re: Unexpected move in the QGD.

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Nov 15, 2018 5:26 pm

Javier Gil wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 5:15 pm
Er... I''m not sure I follow your logic here. Nobody cares if our game looks old fashioned if the position is good and positionally sound.
In the hands of Capablanca, the Exchange variation could look like a forced win for White. More to the point, the technical plans for White are known even by lower rated players. Playing Nh5 to exchange the e7 Bishop is one way at least of being a little different to those old games.

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Re: Unexpected move in the QGD.

Post by Javier Gil » Thu Nov 15, 2018 5:47 pm

I see that you avoid replying to the point about the positional fundamentals and the issue with results.
Capablanca understood the minority attack pretty well, but he never faced really strong opposition when he played the exchange variation. In fact, I can't quite recall him playing it against world top players, he normally preferred standard QG games (case in point, his match against Alekhine).
Going back to the French defence, you could be "a little different" by swapping the wrong bishop also, but that's not gonna make your position any better, it's gonna make it worse!
Vive la difference! (as long as it doesn't kill you!).
If you wanna have a chance against people who know what they're doing in that line, you simply have to play well or avoid the variation altogether, but choosing what is basically a wrong plan is not the way.

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