Rubbish Theoretical Article?

Technical questions regarding Openings, Middlegames, Endings etc.
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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: Rubbish Theoretical Article?

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Sat Mar 20, 2010 4:09 pm

Back to the original article then - I *do* think you are being somewhat over-harsh :wink:

Let's put it this way; I have seen worse analysis, about worse openings, in books you have to pay a fair amount of dosh for :evil:
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

Paul McKeown
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Re: Rubbish Theoretical Article?

Post by Paul McKeown » Sat Mar 20, 2010 6:02 pm

Matt,

Yeah, perhaps you and Richard and Geoff are right, perhaps I was a little harsh. As has correctly been pointed out, the article deals primarily with the history of the variation, rather than its worth. Nevertheless, I still find it rather frustrating, as the article doesn't leave any real clue, when and why the variation stopped being played. The why is clearly related to its theoretical value ("?!", in NCO2, The Queen's Gambit for the Attacking Player by Burgess and Pedersen and Play 1. d4 by Palliser, just the first three places I looked, with Burgess and Pedersen, for instance, elaborating, "2...Nf6 is just bad, and is only played by really inexperienced players"). I suppose I could look up a database and perhaps find a large gap after, say 1928, after it had taken a notable thumping or, perhaps more likely, when Alekhine and other writers, who at first thought the idea interesting, realised it wasn't up to scratch when they looked at it more closely, then wrote about it somewhere. It would be interesting to know when that was and what the discoveries were.

Regards,
Paul.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Rubbish Theoretical Article?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sat Mar 20, 2010 6:41 pm

The article itself is a reprint from the German magazine Kassiber which along with its editor Stefan Bücker, specialises in the more obscure corners of opening theory. In fact 1 d4 d5 2 c4 Nf6 is positively mainstream compared to Kassiber's normal stuff which can feature such delights as a line of the Kings Gambit running 1 e4 e5 2 f4 Qf6 and if 3 Nf3 then 3 .. Qxf4 which has the positional point of taking the f pawn and maintaining control of d4. :)

Stefan is a contributor to the discussions at www.chesspub.com

There's even a thread about the chesscafe article

http://www.chesspub.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/Y ... 1268939889

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Andy Burnett
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Re: Rubbish Theoretical Article?

Post by Andy Burnett » Sat Mar 20, 2010 7:15 pm

Paul McKeown wrote:
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?
Well, to answer this point first, there is nothing "pointless" about my comments. You have ripped someone else's work to shreds - easy enough to do if you're being selective, generally unfair and quite rude with it. The reason I wrote "please don't take this too personally" is to avoid you thinking of it as a "sneer"! It was a simple request.

On the second point, I had no idea I could search this forum for articles - I'll have a look at yours and see how it reads. Hopefully I won't be tempted to head a post 'Rubbish Theoretical Article' if I'm tempted to discuss it. As for the original article, it's absolutely fine in my view for what it was meant to be - maybe less so for what you'd like it to be!

Finally (for now) Mr Burnett was my father. My name is Andy (or Andrew on a Sunday). As Simon Spivack pointed out to me a few months ago, it's quite rude (that word again) to address someone in that fashion on a forum :(

Andy Burnett

Paul McKeown
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Re: Rubbish Theoretical Article?

Post by Paul McKeown » Sat Mar 20, 2010 7:20 pm

Andy Burnett wrote:
Paul McKeown wrote:
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?
Well, to answer this point first, there is nothing "pointless" about my comments.
Mr. Burnett,

What was pointless was your words which I quoted, namely the strawman attempting to deny me the right to criticise, because it was apparent to you that I might not ever have written something myself. The "pointless" adjective applied to your attempted strawman diversion.

Thank you.

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Re: Rubbish Theoretical Article?

Post by Paul McKeown » Sat Mar 20, 2010 7:25 pm

Mr. Burnett,

And as for the article itself, I still hold it to be mediocre, even as a history article, for the reasons already pointed out. It doesn't explain why it is no longer played, nor when it stopped being played, nor who put the nail in its coffin, nor if anyone had ever genuinely attempted to resurrect it. So a bit short on quality really.

Thank you.

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Andy Burnett
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Re: Rubbish Theoretical Article?

Post by Andy Burnett » Sat Mar 20, 2010 7:33 pm

This is getting silly. There was no 'attempted strawman diversion' on my part - I was making the point that it is very easy to 'destroy', rather more difficult to 'create' - and I wanted to know if you'd 'created' something yourself (other than an argument in an empty house). It appears you have done so - very good, it gives your criticism a bit more weight in my eyes - now all you need to do is learn some manners.

Thank You
Andy Burnett

Geoff Chandler
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Re: Rubbish Theoretical Article?

Post by Geoff Chandler » Sat Mar 20, 2010 7:38 pm

Hi Guys.

Back to topic.

I think most players go through an obscure unsound openings phase.

It can serve as a good background because you have to have faith in
your tactical ability to play them because tactics is the only way you
can hope to win from some of the postions you accept.

In the majority of under 1600 games you will very rarely see any games following
main line theory for more than 8 moves and odd openings are the order of the day.

Players soon grow out of them as they get better and face good players.
A couple zilch counterplay drubbings from good players works wonders
and the killer line is soon consigned to the dustbin.

But I feel they have to be let alone during this phase. You cannot very well
to tell them to stop playing it if they keep winning with it.
It's wrong to stifle a young imagination, the major lessons come from OTB play
and not from what is said in the classroom.

Showing a bust on the demo board is not the same as them getting
their faces rubbed in it over the board.
All you can do is prepare them for that fateful day.

Also these 'super-duper openings' articles can themselves serve as a
warning to the budding player. Do Not Trust Everything You Read.

Leonard Barden
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Re: Rubbish Theoretical Article?

Post by Leonard Barden » Sat Mar 20, 2010 8:00 pm

The Forum is a great website for watching handbags at dawn (or in this case dusk).

I was finally spurred to read Rick Kennedy's article, and formed the impression that its author was probably a rather weak player who tried to compensate by liberal and pedantically exact quotations.

Then I tried to find his Fide rating-none. His USCF rating? Again a blank. Googling, the best I could discover was an interview which revealed that he is a 56-year-old social worker and provided this self-assessment:

I haven’t really had much of a chess “career.” Over the years I’ve played in only about a dozen over-the-board tournaments, taking first place in one (for which I received a t-shirt) and earning a few dollars as a Class prize in another. I’ve played correspondence games with friends in the USCAD and others with whom I exchange emails. Occasionally I play chess online.

So about 1700 with a following wind, then. But with that rating one has to be impressed with how many book reviews and opening articles this prolific guy has managed.

Neill Cooper
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Re: Rubbish Theoretical Article?

Post by Neill Cooper » Sun Mar 21, 2010 11:00 am

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.........
I know it is off topic, but a couple of seasons ago I was black on board 1 against a 190
The game started 1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. g3 d5 4. cxd5 c6.
At this point their Board 2, whom I knew well, started sniggering, when I asked why he said "because it is unsound enough as white ...". [Ignoring the fact that I had previously beaten him (also a 190+) with the Morra,] I got to a won position by move 10, and he resigned on move 26.

Theoretically bad openings are only bad for you if you have a poor score with them.

Anthony Taglione
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Re: Rubbish Theoretical Article?

Post by Anthony Taglione » Sun Mar 21, 2010 1:26 pm

Familiarity breeds wins.

Paul McKeown
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Re: Rubbish Theoretical Article?

Post by Paul McKeown » Sun Mar 21, 2010 2:42 pm

Neil,

Re:
Neill Cooper wrote:Theoretically bad openings are only bad for you if you have a poor score with them.
Or until people start preparing for them... the Morra's not great, in fact it should be rather poor, but there is no doubt that against an unprepared opponent, it will have a high chance of succeeding. I understand that "rubbish" openings can have effects otb that are not warranted by their theoretical value - indeed I went a whole season about 8 or 9 years ago, opening 1. Na3 as white, which is about as rubbish as it gets, but my argument was specifically about the article concerned, which seems to me to be rather "lightweight". To be honest, though, I don't really like the idea that inexperienced players should be fed garbage, rather than wholesome fare, like the Nimzo or whatever. Geoff C. might have a point that it's something that players need to work out for themselves.

Regards,
Paul McKeown

John Anderson
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Re: Rubbish Theoretical Article?

Post by John Anderson » Sun Mar 21, 2010 5:40 pm

Regarding the Morra Gambit (accepted), about 10 years ago the British Correspondence Chess Association (BCCA) ran a theme tournament with generous sponsorship from Ken Smith (USA) himself, one of the gambit`s main developers - so much so that the Morra-Smith Gambit is a widely accepted nomenclature.
The tournament had several sections where players played two games against each opponent with the winners going into a Grand Final the following year. Despite players having access to books, articles, computers (allegedly!) and having plenty of time to refute the Gambit, White scored over 65% if I recall correctly, certainly much higher than by employing a proper opening!

Sadly, Ken Smith died just before the Grand Final finished.

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Rob Thompson
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Re: Rubbish Theoretical Article?

Post by Rob Thompson » Sun Mar 21, 2010 6:08 pm

The Morra gambit can only be (at best) as good as the c3 sicillian, and afaik that is very rare at high levels of chess.
True glory lies in doing what deserves to be written; in writing what deserves to be read.

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Re: Rubbish Theoretical Article?

Post by Paul McKeown » Sun Mar 21, 2010 6:19 pm

John Anderson wrote:Regarding the Morra Gambit (accepted), about 10 years ago the British Correspondence Chess Association (BCCA) ran a theme tournament with generous sponsorship from Ken Smith (USA) himself, one of the gambit`s main developers - so much so that the Morra-Smith Gambit is a widely accepted nomenclature.
[...]
Sadly, Ken Smith died just before the Grand Final finished.
Ken Smith spent some years in the 1950's stationed in England with the USAAF and played rather a lot of chess, with some fair success. Bob Wade first met him when playing in the US Open at Corpus Christi in the summer of 1947, iirc. Might be worth a small thread in the history section - remembrance of a strong amateur who ended up with an opening named after him.

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