Rubbish Theoretical Article?

Technical questions regarding Openings, Middlegames, Endings etc.
Paul McKeown
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Rubbish Theoretical Article?

Post by Paul McKeown » Fri Mar 19, 2010 6:55 pm

http://www.chesscafe.com/skittles/skittles.htm currently deals with 1. d4 d5 2. c4 Nf6, seeming to find it quite sound. Is this the worst "theoretical" article seen in a serious publication this century, so far?

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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: Rubbish Theoretical Article?

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Fri Mar 19, 2010 7:06 pm

Maybe not Black's best reply to 1d4 d5 2c4, but OTOH it *can* be argued it isn't as bad as its reputation.........

(need tinhat smiley :wink: )
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

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Re: Rubbish Theoretical Article?

Post by Paul McKeown » Fri Mar 19, 2010 7:27 pm

Matt Mackenzie wrote:Maybe not Black's best reply to 1d4 d5 2c4, but OTOH it *can* be argued it isn't as bad as its reputation.........

(need tinhat smiley :wink: )
No need for the tinhat, but pads and a helmet help when batting on a sticky wicket ;-)

Just think the whole article was incredibly trivial, assuming more or less that if white takes on d5, he will immediately follow up with e4, whereas, it is well known that Nf3 preventing e5, allows White safely to follow up with e4 later, leaving Black with a rather poor looking position. Perhaps not immediately losing, but who would want it? None of this got any real airing, just a load of unrealistic games, many from simuls, etc.

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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: Rubbish Theoretical Article?

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Fri Mar 19, 2010 8:09 pm

Relatively strong players like ourselves might know that, but you would be surprised at the number of people at club level who can't wait to play 3ed5 Nd5 4e4 :)

I've never played it in a serious encounter admittedly, but have tried it a bit in lightning/skittles etc games - it's not hard for Black to reach a sort of Gruenfeld position if he wants to, OK for those who like that sort of thing.......

BTW you might be aware that Alekhine tried a few times 1d4 d5 2c4 g6?! - even more dubious if anything :wink:
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

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Re: Rubbish Theoretical Article?

Post by Alex Holowczak » Fri Mar 19, 2010 8:25 pm

Matt Mackenzie wrote:Relatively strong players like ourselves might know that, but you would be surprised at the number of people at club level who can't wait to play 3ed5 Nd5 4e4 :)
I would have played 4. e4 if I'd never read this, not 4. Nf3. So I conform to that point!

Although, I don't play 1. d4 openings anyway, so it's a rather moot point. Presumably if I did, I'd have known the theory of this line a bit better.

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Re: Rubbish Theoretical Article?

Post by Geoff Chandler » Fri Mar 19, 2010 10:26 pm

Hi Paul

"the worst "theoretical" article seen in a serious publication this century,"

A wee bit to harsh I'm thinking.

I don't think it's that bad. Infact it's quite well researched and club players
will throw up the e-pawn right away perhaps expecting a quick victory.

Something here for the optimistic Black club player to ponder.

And the article is placed in the 'Skittles Room' so it must be worth a punt
in skittles or blitz.

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Re: Rubbish Theoretical Article?

Post by Paul McKeown » Fri Mar 19, 2010 11:32 pm

Geoff,

"optimistic" is exactly why people that read such rubbish and think it "worth a punt" never get past 120 ECF. If it was well researched it might try to explain that the reason Kasparov doesn't play it (only AGAINST it and then only in simuls) is that it leaves Black's position a mess, if White deals with it sensibly...

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Paul

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Re: Rubbish Theoretical Article?

Post by Geoff Chandler » Sat Mar 20, 2010 2:43 am

But a lot of our under 120 brothers play simply for the fun of playing chess and they
will be playing against other under 120 players of the same attitude.

If one of these lads followed a Kasparov opening they would soon get themselves
into a right mess. Let them have their fun.

I know Rick very well, he specialises in the bizarre stuff. I be more worried if
started dipping his toe into mainline Grunfeld or Nimzo-Indian as then I fear he
may well punching above his weight.

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Re: Rubbish Theoretical Article?

Post by Richard Bates » Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:06 am

Don't really see the problem. Whole books have been written on opening variations which conveniently overlook that they are complete absent from high level play for a good reason. "∞" is the author's friend. Might give it a punt.

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Re: Rubbish Theoretical Article?

Post by Paul McKeown » Sat Mar 20, 2010 12:47 pm

Richard,

I think the problem is not that the defence is unclear (and I think settled theoretical opinion on the defence is clear: bad) but that the article misrepresents the value of the defence, saying that it is good for Black, supports this with a very selective bunch of games which give the impression that this is true and ignores White's strongest lines. Apart from that.

If you're saying that you might give it a punt should we happen to end up playing each other in the London League, Thames Valley League, Eastman Cup, Middlesex League or whatever, because that's your assessment of my play, then I'm sure you're right, I'm even more rubbish than that opening, I'm sure!

;-)

But seriously, it just seems like a really poor, unresearched, scribble an idea on the back of a postage stamp and pad it out, pad it out, stretch the dough thin type of article.

Whenever a weaker player asks me what openings to play, I always advise them to choose one of the main ones, mindful of my own experience (and I'm sure I'm not alone in this), which was no one told me what to play as a kid and I spent many years just dodging from one tricky pile of crap to the next tricky pile of crap, when I wish now that I had simply started out and learned the Spanish Opening, the Najdorf Sicilian and the Queen's Gambit, all of which are sound, and can easily provide for a lifetime of chess, unlike all these one-trick-pony openings. So many of these articles recommending garbage openings are dishonest in that they simply ignore any lines that show them in a poor light. [I can think of one clear exception: Andy Martin sometimes recommends offbeat lines, but he makes something substantial of them, by putting in a lot of effort to research them thoroughly, beat new paths in them and let his readers in on his discoveries.]

Best Regards,
Paul

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Re: Rubbish Theoretical Article?

Post by Andy Burnett » Sat Mar 20, 2010 2:41 pm

Paul,

I think this is probably the most unfair posting I've read on here for a long time! The article, to my eye, is very well-researched, reasonably well-thought out and well-enough written - please don't take this too personally, but I'd be quite interested to see you doing something at least as good?! (Maybe you have-if so post a link!)

Kennedy may not have dwelt for long on the most critical responses, but it isn't even a theoretical article, or 'theoretical' article as you call it. Also, you omit to point out, for example, that Karpov and Topalov happily punt 4.e4 in their simuls, instead talking about "just a load of unrealistic games, many from simuls". What's unrealistic in quoting real games involving some of the world's very best players!!?

Anyway, I really don't know why this article has provoked such anger in you - I've read (and written!) much worse over the years.

Andy Burnett

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Re: Rubbish Theoretical Article?

Post by Richard Bates » Sat Mar 20, 2010 2:55 pm

Well i didn't get that impression at all - it just looked like a summary of the history of the line, which obviously attracted some impressive attention in its day, without expressing any particular opinion on its soundness (beyond the initial use of the symbol !?). As is referenced it may be that the near complete absence of the line from high level play is explained by its pointlessness - since if white chooses to go 3.Nf3 or 3.Nc3 then Black has little alternative but to transpose into another mainline which s/he could have done on move 2. Which has tended to happen on the few occasions the position has arisen at a highish level.

At the end of the day, theory is what has been played - and any line which has barely been played will therefore struggle for significant depth in a supposedly theoretical article! Of course checking the database will produce a heavy white score - but it could be that is more a consequence of the standard of player who plays it!

And finally if after 3.cd Nxd5 4.Nf3 the position "looking dubious" was enough on its own to damn the whole line then the Grunfeld, to take the most obvious comparative example, would never have been played! In fact challenging received wisdom on dubious looking lines was arguably necessary for the development most of the hyper-modern openings.

Still I'm definitely out of my personal theoretical depth on this one! So if it's bad, I'm prepared to take your word for it :D

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Re: Rubbish Theoretical Article?

Post by Paul McKeown » Sat Mar 20, 2010 3:07 pm

Andy Burnett wrote:I think this is probably the most unfair posting I've read on here for a long time! The article, to my eye, is very well-researched, reasonably well-thought out and well-enough written - please don't take this too personally, but I'd be quite interested to see you doing something at least as good?! (Maybe you have-if so post a link!)
Perhaps you could search the forum yourself. Think I posted a 40 page article on the Lluben Popov/Bent Larsen/Pete Sowray line in the Alekhine's, perhaps about a year ago. 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. Nf3 dxe5 5. Nxe5 Nd7 etc. My opinion was that that passed what was required - it tried to explain what it was all about and why it was no longer worth playing - and backed it up with lines from play between strong players, the history of the line and its theoretical development, and a few lines of my own backed up with Fritz. Hope that helps - you can tell me if it's rubbish or not.

Funnily enough an opponent of mine reminded me of it on after a match on Thursday evening.

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Re: Rubbish Theoretical Article?

Post by Paul McKeown » Sat Mar 20, 2010 3:13 pm

Mr. Burnett,

Just to save you the time, here it is:
A Farewell to Lluben Popov.doc
A Farewell to Lluben Popov
(325 KiB) Downloaded 140 times
Regards,
Paul McKeown

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Re: Rubbish Theoretical Article?

Post by Paul McKeown » Sat Mar 20, 2010 3:20 pm

Andy Burnett wrote:please don't take this too personally, but I'd be quite interested to see you doing something at least as good?!
And Andy Burnett, when I see that comment, I usually take it as a sneer, whether directed at me, or at another, but it's a rather pointless one, as it doesn't answer the original comments, but tries a strawman instead, misdirect the argument to the person, who raised the initial points.

And now, back to the original article?

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