Unexpected move in QGD

Technical questions regarding Openings, Middlegames, Endings etc.
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Robert Stokes
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Unexpected move in QGD

Post by Robert Stokes » Fri Mar 04, 2016 12:33 pm

I played in the minor section of the Doncaster congress last weekend. One of my games as white started with one of the usual lines of the QGD.
1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Nf6 4 cd ed 5 Bg5.

My opponent then played 5 ... Be6 which no-one has played against me before as far as I can remember. Later I looked in up in Batsford Chess Openings 2 page 90 and black's Be6 is not given as one of the options after the previous moves. This suggests that it is in some way wrong but I can't work out why. Please could someone explain.

Incidentally, the book doesn't give the option 5 ... Nbd7 either (setting the trap of 6 Nxd5) but again is it so wrong?

Thank you,
Robert

Jonathan Bryant
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Re: Unexpected move in QGD

Post by Jonathan Bryant » Fri Mar 04, 2016 12:46 pm

I suspect the problem with ... Be6 is that it’s simply inflexible. Yes, the Bish sometimes ends up on that square in the QGD exchange but it’s far from always the case. So why play it there when there are better options available?

It’s not bad so much in itself - although it’s hardly a great square for the bishop - it’s bad because there’s better available.


As for 5 ... Nbd7. Does that perhaps come up under 4 Bg5 Nbd7? If not maybe it’s just a case of an opening book not being able to cover everything. It’s obviously worth considering though.

NickFaulks
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Re: Unexpected move in QGD

Post by NickFaulks » Fri Mar 04, 2016 12:51 pm

I strongly suggest that you look at http://database.chessbase.com/js/apps/database/. This is a wonderful resource, and makes me wonder why any amateur feels the need to pay for anything.

You will find that 5...Be6 has been played many times, but nearly all of these are in email games, which I have come to discount. It appeared in Stohl - Faibisovich, Pardubice 1994, which ended in a draw, so is presumably not completely stupid.

edit : Yes, 5...Nbd7 does lead to a main line position, as you will see.

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David Shepherd
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Re: Unexpected move in QGD

Post by David Shepherd » Fri Mar 04, 2016 1:20 pm

It was also played by Boris Spassky, I think the bishop on e6 looks a bit like a giant pawn, often it may need to go to that square, but its more a move that you would play through need rather than choice. At this stage of the game there are just better more flexible moves available so its not played that often.

NickFaulks
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Re: Unexpected move in QGD

Post by NickFaulks » Fri Mar 04, 2016 1:32 pm

David Shepherd wrote:It was also played by Boris Spassky, I think the bishop on e6 looks a bit like a giant pawn, often it may need to go to that square, but its more a move that you would play through need rather than choice. At this stage of the game there are just better more flexible moves available so its not played that often.
So you're saying that Spassky made a beginner's mistake?

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David Shepherd
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Re: Unexpected move in QGD

Post by David Shepherd » Fri Mar 04, 2016 1:41 pm

I am saying he played it (Semen Abramovich Furman v Boris V Spassky URS Ch25 Riga 1958 0-1), I am not saying it is a beginners mistake, it has been played by a number of strong players. But as a whole the top players select other moves.

Brian Towers
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Re: Unexpected move in QGD

Post by Brian Towers » Fri Mar 04, 2016 1:49 pm

NickFaulks wrote:So you're saying that Spassky made a beginner's mistake?
Top players do that all the time and slowly, slowly the rest of us come to realize that Nimzowitch got some stuff wrong.
Ah, but I was so much older then. I'm younger than that now.

NickFaulks
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Re: Unexpected move in QGD

Post by NickFaulks » Fri Mar 04, 2016 2:10 pm

Brian Towers wrote:
NickFaulks wrote:So you're saying that Spassky made a beginner's mistake?
Top players do that all the time and slowly, slowly the rest of us come to realize that Nimzowitch got some stuff wrong.
Very true. Many years ago, I was appalled to see the great Lajos Portisch play 1.e4,e5 2.Nf3, Nc6 3.Bc4, h6? Doesn't everyone know this is a beginner's move?

I had to accept that Portisch probably knew something about chess that I didn't.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Unexpected move in QGD

Post by Roger de Coverly » Fri Mar 04, 2016 2:50 pm

Brian Towers wrote: Top players do that all the time and slowly, slowly the rest of us come to realize that Nimzowitch got some stuff wrong.
Computer engines think .. Be6 is OK and not much worse than alternative mainstream moves. It doesn't do terribly well in practice, possibly because those playing it aren't over familiar with the QGD. Spassky's idea was to follow up with an immediate .. c5 potentially giving a Tarrasch like position. In the sequence 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5, I had never realised that 4. .. Nxd5 was possible until Kramnik played it in the last couple of years. You avoid defending the Exchange Variation at the cost of having to defend the semi-Tarrasch instead.

(edit) Playing .. Be6 isn't so unusual. One of the older lines of the Tartakower, as played in game 6 of the 1972 match includes it.

1.d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 Be7 5. e3 O-O 6. Nf3 h6 7. Bh4 b6 8. cxd5 Nxd5 9. Bxe7 Qxe7 10. Nxd5 exd5 11. Rc1 Be6 (/edit)

Jonathan Bryant
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Re: Unexpected move in QGD

Post by Jonathan Bryant » Fri Mar 04, 2016 3:29 pm

NickFaulks wrote:Many years ago, I was appalled to see the great Lajos Portisch play 1.e4,e5 2.Nf3, Nc6 3.Bc4, h6? Doesn't everyone know this is a beginner's move?
It is a beginner’s move. As are ... Nxd5 in the QGD exchange and ... Be6 from the original post in their various ways. Moves can be "a beginner's moves" and "a reasonable choice for a very strong GM" at the same time.

There are many examples ... Bd6 in the 4 knights after 1 e4 e4, 2 Nf3 Nc6, 3 Nc3 Nf6, 4 Bb5 being another. It is unquestionably a beginner’s move and it will earn you a bit of a lecture about bishops not liking to sit behind pawns if you happen to play it in one of my chess clubs aimed at seven year olds. It also happens to turn out to be a reasonable choice if you know why you’re doing it, that’s all.

The key point phrase, "if you know why you’re doing it". I’m sure Portisch is as aware of the phrase "rapid development" as you or I. Just because he might play ... h6 doesn’t mean that we should. Spassky’s patronage or otherwise, the same applies to OP's ... Be6



{edit:} I’ve just remembered an opening to the Simpsons where Bart’s lines are "'The President did it’ is not an excuse"

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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: Unexpected move in QGD

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Fri Mar 04, 2016 4:02 pm

Just as strong players have been known to essay 1d4 d5 2c4 Nf6!? - as discussed the other day ;)
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

Robert Stokes
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Re: Unexpected move in QGD

Post by Robert Stokes » Fri Mar 04, 2016 10:23 pm

Thank you for the help. It seems that the Be6 move is not an obviously bad one so no wonder I couldn't work out why it should be.

Robert

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Joey Stewart
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Re: Unexpected move in QGD

Post by Joey Stewart » Mon Mar 07, 2016 3:02 pm

Sometimes players without a plan just have to come up with "a move" and Be6 kind of suits that purpose - it doesnt achieve a great deal but it gets the piece developed and is not blundering material.
Around the 100 level, playing moves like this and waiting for your opponent to blunder will win or draw a lot of the time.
Lose one queen and it is a disaster, Lose 1000 queens and it is just a statistic.

soheil_hooshdaran
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Re: Unexpected move in QGD

Post by soheil_hooshdaran » Wed Mar 30, 2016 7:31 am

Robert Stokes wrote:I played in the minor section of the Doncaster congress last weekend. One of my games as white started with one of the usual lines of the QGD.
1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Nf6 4 cd ed 5 Bg5.

My opponent then played 5 ... Be6 which no-one has played against me before as far as I can remember. Later I looked in up in Batsford Chess Openings 2 page 90 and black's Be6 is not given as one of the options after the previous moves. This suggests that it is in some way wrong but I can't work out why. Please could someone explain.

Incidentally, the book doesn't give the option 5 ... Nbd7 either (setting the trap of 6 Nxd5) but again is it so wrong?

Thank you,
Robert
What is the Bishop doing there, other thnan defending the d5-and the f7-pawns?
Further, you might be able to exploit the fact that the move takes the Bishop away from the Queenside and weaken the light squares- specifically by playing Qb3, sometimes.

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