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Up Topic Correspondence Chess / Correspondence Chess / E15 4...Ba6 5.b3 correspondence game
- - By turbojuice1122 (Gold) [us] Date 2007-12-18 15:31
We (Exigentsky and I) figured it would be best to start a new thread for the few people who were interested in the correspondence game that we're having over PM to "settle" the discussion here.  The game so far is as follows, and this position has occurred over 5300 times, and white is, of course, completely winning :-D

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Ba6 5.b3 Bb4 6.Bd2 Be7 7.Bg2 c6 8.0-0 d5 9.Bc3 0-0 10.Nbd2 Nbd7 11.Re1 c5 12.e4

I get the impression that we may be seeing some surprises after move 12.  Anyway, my task is to show that the line is unplayable for black, and that all winning chances lie with white; exigentsky's task is to show that black is okay.  Naturally, my task is quite tough, though I've really liked white's middlegame positions in the games that I've seen in these lines.  However, I diverged from my original "main line" plan when some new ideas involving an early kingside castling occurred to me, and I was especially exploring lines involving 9.Ne5, after which the knight comes back to d3, but I didn't see anything more than a small advantage for white here, so I played 9.Bc3 to take us back to normal lines, but then 10.Nbd2 because I was starting to like the resulting lines a little bit better than the main lines.  It is possible that 10.Ne5 is slightly better, but I was feeling adventurous...
Parent - - By Uly (Gold) [mx] Date 2007-12-18 18:50

> white is, of course, completely winning


Good luck, just don't get too overconfident.
Parent - By turbojuice1122 (Gold) [us] Date 2007-12-18 18:57
Yes, I definitely said this with tongue in cheek :-)
Parent - - By turbojuice1122 (Gold) [us] Date 2007-12-19 15:03
The game currently stands at

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Ba6 5.b3 Bb4 6.Bd2 Be7 7.Bg2 c6 8.0-0 d5 9.Bc3 0-0 10.Nbd2 Nbd7 11.Re1 c5 12.e4 dxe4 13.Ng5 cxd4 14.Bxd7 Bb7 15.Ndxe4 Qc7 16.Nxf6+

I have just checked his king, which of course gives me a major psychological advantage.  Checks can be unnerving to correspondence players, and they'll often make a slip with the hand (or keyboard) and make a wrong move, such as one they had intended farther down the road... :-)

This has all been played hundreds of times before, but I think we're going to leave theory soon...
Parent - - By Uly (Gold) [mx] Date 2007-12-19 15:55

> I have just checked his king, which of course gives me a major psychological advantage.


Unless his plan was for you to check his king. For example, I feel the psychological advantage after:

1. e4 e5 2. f4 exf4 3. Bc4 Qh4+

As white, even though the opponent has checked me and I have to play Kf1, I know that this check goes nowhere and he'll have to retreat the Queen, so I feel good of being checked. :)

But maybe on Correspondence Chess is a totally different history, I wouldn't know.
Parent - By turbojuice1122 (Gold) [us] Date 2007-12-19 16:20
"A check, a check, my king for a check!"
Parent - - By Hetman (*****) Date 2007-12-19 18:34
It seems that correspondence chess are consultants game. It is strange for me.
Whom the Rybka froum is playing vs ?
Rgds
Hetman
Parent - - By turbojuice1122 (Gold) [us] Date 2007-12-19 21:45
It is myself against exigentsky, and the game thus far is

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Ba6 5.b3 Bb4 6.Bd2 Be7 7.Bg2 c6 8.0-0 d5 9.Bc3 0-0 10.Nbd2 Nbd7 11.Re1 c5 12.e4 dxe4 13.Ng5 cxd4 14.Bxd7 Bb7 15.Ndxe4 Qc7 16.Nxf6+ Bxf6 17.Bxb7 Qxb7

My eighteenth move will be either 18.Ne4, a main, well-known line with over 1000 games to its credit, or 18.Bxf6, a rarely-played line that leads to some simplifications and an apparent white advantage due to queenside pawn majority, but it will be difficult (perhaps impossible) for white to make use of this "advantage" at the 3100 elo level.

Anyway, the task is basically for me to show that from the mainline QID, black's position is basically unplayable, and exigentsky's task is to show that it's playable or, at the least, hold the line.  My feeling at the beginning had been that at best, black must struggle for a draw.  It might end up turning out that with our moves (and I think we've both done quite well so far, even though this is all theory), the position has equal chances for both sides.
Parent - - By Uly (Gold) [mx] Date 2007-12-20 13:52

> It might end up turning out that with our moves, the position has equal chances for both sides.


But that would mean that you were wrong?
Parent - - By turbojuice1122 (Gold) [us] Date 2007-12-20 13:56
If that turns out to be the case, then yes, that would mean I was wrong :-).

My position going into this game is that white has far more in the way of chances than black, such that it would be unsensible to play this opening at the highest levels.  The middlegame to early endgame should help to settle this: if he is able to "easily" hold the position, such that it's apparent that black was never in any trouble at all, and that white really had no chances, then it will be clear that I was definitely wrong.
Parent - - By Uly (Gold) [mx] Date 2007-12-20 14:13
...and that chess is a game more drawish than we though, in where you can go into such positions with black and still draw.

I hope you are right :)
Parent - - By Hetman (*****) Date 2007-12-21 20:04
One game is too less to take any conclusion :-)
Rgds
Hetman
Parent - - By Lee Ma Hong (**) [ph] Date 2007-12-22 01:54
I will be following this thread, since I occasionally use the QID in my CC games, where I have a plus score.
Parent - By Hetman (*****) Date 2007-12-22 14:47
I am waiting for your opinion, as CC player you are expert in the theme.

I am surprised that it is not tested in the way of engine match from critical position what I would expect from one of thouse players.
Rgds
Hetman
Parent - By exigentsky (***) [us] Date 2008-01-03 18:42 Edited 2008-01-03 18:59
I don't think that's a fair assessment. The 9. Nbd2 variation leads to an endgame and has always had a drawish reputation. 9. Ne5 is considered the better winning try. Thus, if White chooses 9. Nbd2, it's not fair to say that the QID or chess is drawish. Similarly, it doesn't mean that the Ruy Lopez, French, Slav etc. are drawish if Whiite almost always draws in the exchange variations.
Parent - - By turbojuice1122 (Gold) [us] Date 2007-12-22 03:33
Update:

We currently have the following:

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Ba6 5.b3 Bb4+ 6.Bd2 Be7 7.Bg2 c6 8.0-0 d5 9.Bc3 0-0 10.Nbd2 Nbd7 11.Re1 c5 12.e4 dxe4 13.Ng5 cxd4 14.Bxd4 Bb7 15.Ndxe4 Qc7 16.Nxf6+ Bxf6 17.Bxb7 Qxb7 18.Ne4 Bxd4 19.Qxd4 Rad8 20.Rad1 Qc7 21.Qd6 Qxd6 22.Nxd6 Nc5 23.b4 Na4 24.Rd2 Rd7 25.Re3 Rfd8 26.Ra3 Rxd6 27.Rxd6 Rxd6 28.Rxa4 Rd7 29.c5 bxc5 30.bxc5

Thus, we're in the endgame now.  It looks simple, but both sides must be careful...also, this is all still part of opening theory!
Parent - - By Uly (Gold) [mx] Date 2007-12-22 15:22
Before beginning the game, did you think that the game was going to be like this, or did you think that it was going to be easier to beat black?
Parent - - By turbojuice1122 (Gold) [us] Date 2007-12-22 16:46
I thought it would be easier to find a good novelty in the opening phases than what turned out: I had been inspired by some games in which people like Topalov made it look extremely easy to win, as if he was already beginning with a winning position.  Unfortunately, all of the novelties I was trying seemed to go nowhere, and so I had to stick mostly to the main lines.  I tried some variations in move order to seek possible complications in the "middle", and I saw the most appealing lines outside of the more well-known Ne5 Nfd7 Nxd7 lines.  But we'll see...the game is still going... :-)
Parent - - By souk (*) [us] Date 2007-12-23 00:00
Interesting how this one is turning out !!!
Parent - By turbojuice1122 (Gold) [us] Date 2007-12-23 02:14
30...g5 has been played; interesting move, and one that I hadn't considered; it's rarely played, but I don't think that it's a novelty.  If white eeks out a win, this will probably be seen as the critical move; same if black gets a win.  No more moves will be played until at least the 29th of December, as I'm currently out of town until then.
Parent - - By turbojuice1122 (Gold) [us] Date 2008-01-03 19:18 Edited 2008-01-03 19:20
The game has finished.  I offered a draw after my 35th move, which was accepted

The complete game is as follows:

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Ba6 5.b3 Bb4+ 6.Bd2 Be7 7.Bg2 c6 8.0-0 d5 9.Bc3 0-0 10.Nbd2 Nbd7 11.Re1 c5 12.e4 dxe4 13.Ng5 cxd4 14.Bxd4 Bb7 15.Ndxe4 Qc7 16.Nxf6+ Bxf6 17.Bxb7 Qxb7 18.Ne4 Bxd4 19.Qxd4 Rad8 20.Rad1 Qc7 21.Qd6 Qxd6 22.Nxd6 Nc5 23.b4 Na4 24.Rd2 Rd7 25.Re3 Rfd8 26.Ra3 Rxd6 27.Rxd6 Rxd6 28.Rxa4 Rd7 29.c5 bxc5 30.bxc5 g5 31.Kg2 Rc7 32.Kf3 Rxc5 33.Rxa7 Rf5+ 34.Kg2 g4 35.a4 1/2-1/2

My opponent proved quite strong, and I think the game was well-played.  Interestingly, the draw was agreed only three moves out of book for me, though I wasn't paying too much attention to the book after perhaps move 20.  Much of correspondence chess will revolve around carefully selecting deep book lines that maximize chances, so there was much planning going on when still well into book.  I think that 30...g5! is a move that practically forces the draw almost immediately.  In the final position, there is no real way for white to go forward.  In fact, at move 34, I played an engine tournament with Rybka, Zappa, Fritz, and Shredder, at time controls of 60'+60" to see how the games would evolve given typical lines, and all 12 games were draws.  If white tries moving the king toward the queenside, black's rook makes a nice outpost on the fourth rank where if white strays too far, he loses all of his kingside pawns, and if he stays around to defend them, then black can soon push the e-pawn, leading to liquidation and a forced draw.  If white keeps his king on the kingside, black can bring his king over to defend against the a-pawn, and it's still a forced draw.

Of course, the lines involving an early Ne5 are more well-known and well-analyzed, and possibly provide white with better chances, but early on I thought I had some good ideas and changed my plan.  Unfortunately, the game transposed away from potentially new material and back toward more popular (and more drawish) book lines.  I also didn't see anything "definite" anymore with the Ne5 lines after I played around with them for awhile.

Thus, I was incorrect that this opening variation is "basically unplayable" for black at the >3000 level.  Black didn't have any real problems equalizing here, and I don't think that there was really any "fear" on that side that things might be falling out of place.  I definitely didn't ever really feel like I had an upper hand of any sort
Parent - - By Uly (Gold) [mx] Date 2008-01-03 20:15
So, is the conclusion that "the line isn't unsound for black", or that when you're strong enough "all openings are sound"?
Parent - - By turbojuice1122 (Gold) [us] Date 2008-01-03 21:02
The conclusion is the former.  I would still say, as I have always believed anyway, that most fairly common openings are sound when you're strong enough.
Parent - By Nelson Hernandez (Gold) [us] Date 2008-01-05 01:13
Going all the way back to 11.Re1 I thought this game was most likely going to be a draw.  If you'll check your book and see how many draws there are from that position, and then compare that number to the number of draws you have in your book generally, you will see this position was about 50% more drawish than the opening position.  I haven't looked for alternatives that are better.
Up Topic Correspondence Chess / Correspondence Chess / E15 4...Ba6 5.b3 correspondence game

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