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Varuzhan Akobian vs The World
"Drawma Queen" (game of the day Dec-11-2011)
Chessgames Challenge (2011) (exhibition),, rd 1, Aug-10
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Classical Variation. Keres Defense (E32)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 331 OF 331 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Dec-29-11  King Death: <cro777> In my playing days (up to 1989) I never saw 8.Be2. If anybody played something else it was 6.Bd3 sometimes.
Dec-30-11  cro777: <King Death> The move 8.Be2 was introduced by a Russian grandmaster Igor Arkadyevich Zaitsev in the game against Evgeni Vasiukov at the 37th URS Championship in Moscow 1969. He played this move regularly. Sveshnikov, the great master of the Advance Variation, used to play it from 1979 (later, 2004, he opted for 8.g3). Anand played 8.Be2 as early as 1987 in New Delhi against Prasad. Today, 8.Be2 is the main line. The old main line 8.g3 is the main alternative. 8.Qc2 and 8.Rb1 are also playable alternatives.
Dec-30-11  kb2ct:

<cro777: >

I will admit that there was a certain amount of serendipity involved, but I did digest all of Sveshnikov's ideas and gave myself every chance.

The knight sac on g7 busts Akobiam's idea. Rybka walks right into it.


Dec-30-11  cro777: Nice work <kb2ct>. I'm now analyzing alternatives to 10...Nf5.
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: Why are you posting ideas for next game on this page?
Dec-31-11  cro777: <OCF> On this page we are not revealing anything substantial for the next game.
Dec-31-11  chesstoplay: Happy New Year everyone!!

Marker: 12/31/2011 9:00 AM

Dec-31-11  cro777: Happy New Year Spacebar Masters wherever you are!!
Dec-31-11  WinKing: Happy New Year all!!!
Dec-31-11  newton296: <OhioChessFan: Why are you posting ideas for next game on this page?>

don't worry, the only ideas that matter are should we use free houdini, or plunk down a few bucks and let houdini pro pick all the moves!

happy new year all!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: 1.a3, what else. And if 1...e5 then 2.e3, French with a6 already played - what more can one ask for?

Happy new year to all my team mates!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <Tabanus> -- < 1.a3, what else. And if 1...e5 then 2.e3, French with a6 already played - what more can one ask for?>

Indeed. I must confess this is a no-lose proposition for me. If you're joking, I savour the sardonic irony of your wit.

And if not, I think those are excellent moves. I've even played them from time to time.

The response to watch out for is the dastardly 1...g6 and 2...Bg7, when White, sadly, has to *do* something. 3.h4 might be interesting.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <cro777> & <kb2ct> ... <cro> asked me for some input on the 'early' ...c4 line of the Advance French, as played by Korchnoi and others from time to time.

I don't care for it. I think there are good reasons why it has never challenged the mainline, or respectable alternatives like the Wade Variation (...Qb6, ...Bd7 and ...Bb5).

I have a few books on the Advance -- Collins, Psakhis, and others. None give it much space. Nor does Watson consider it among the Dangerous Weapons in the French. I can't recall whether the line has appeared in the 'SOS' series: I haven't seen it there.

Here's a rough positional summary.

Black prevents the dangerous enemy LSB from sitting on d3 (at least until White can play b3 and liquidate the c4 pawn). That's something. Black also prepares a large-scale queenside mobilization of his a- and b-pawns, to attack the new base of the pawn chain on b2. This may be combined with familiar kingside maneuvers such as ...f6, ...g5, etc. Or Black may opt to castle long behind the blocked pawn chain, and start active play on the kingside.

The big downside is the loss of the open c-file. Other things being equal (after ...cxd4), Black can hope to win control of the c-file, where his prospects are better than White's. It takes time, and is less effective, to transfer this attack to the b-file.

Meanwhile, White's kingside attack is only briefly put out by losing control of d3. It's not hard to get the LSB onto the b1/h7 diagonal.

Despite some pretty Black wins, my feeling about this line is that Black gives up one of his main routes to equality/advantage, and gains very little for it.

That said, I think I've only played the line once. I prefer the Wade variation to remove both LSBs.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: <Domdaniel> No joke!

I use to present this idea in a joking manner, sadly knowing that it will never get more than 3% of the votes.

Jan-03-12  cro777: <Domdaniel> Thanks for your feedback. In his book "The Flexible French", after 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.c3 Nc6 5.Nf3 Qb6 6.a3, Moskalenko recommends two systems: forcing counterattack with 6...Nh6 and solid plan with 6...c4. VA prefers the latter plan and recommends it for Black in the most recent series of videos on the French Defense.

Tabanus' proposition 1.a3 is not a joke. The idea is worthy of further elaboration.

Jan-03-12  cro777: <Domdaniel> & <Tabanus>. VA is an opening expert (a "walkig ECO"). It would be very difficult to fight for an advantage against him in standard openings. That's why non-standard approches come into consideration.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <cro777> -- < That's why non-standard approches come into consideration.>

I like the idea, but I'm not sure it's the right approach. I have yet to see a real openings expert who got that way by memorizing lines: it has much more to do with understanding nuances of development, structure, transposition, etc. Which means they'll be equally at home in a nonstandard line.

Playing 1.a3 against somebody like that is asking to be maneuvered into a line where a3 is useless -- such as the reversed version of an opening where Black usually plays ...a5 rather than ...a6.

I once tried to work out a system based on combining 1.a3 with 2.Nf3 (or vice versa) -- the Finnish GM Heikki Kallio plays this way sometimes. It's by analogy with Nimzo's practice of playing 1.Nf3 and 2.b3, so Black does not have the option of 1...e5.

The best I could find, however, was in the rare line 1.Nf3 Nc6 2.a3, with the idea of playing Alekhine's Reversed (plus a3) after 2...e5 3.d4.

It works well if Black plays 3...e4. Not so well after 3...exd4, though.

Meanwhile, Back in the (non-Advance) French, I'm increasingly drawn to lines with an early ...a6. I've often played 3.Nd2 a6, but recently tried 3.Nc3 a6 as an alternative to the Winawer, and won against a relatively strong opponent. Some of its value, though, is in the OTB surprise factor.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: 1.a3 should work well against 1...e5 (2.e3 French reversed). Very solid and better than many think it is.

Against 1...d5 it's possible to play 2.Nf3 to go for a Benkö or Benoni reversed (also with a6 already played). Or just 2.e3 still hoping for 2...e5

Against 1...Nf6 just 2.Nf3 going for the Benkö or Benoni reversed. Some team members should like this. Or 2.f4 (Dutch reversed) as in Carlsen vs Grischuk, 2010

Against 1...c5 (not 2.e4 but) 2.Nf3 still going for (2...d5 3.c4 and) Benkö or Benoni reversed!

Against 1...g6 I suppose b4 and Bb2 can't be bad.

<such as the reversed version of an opening where Black usually plays ...a5 rather than ...a6> You must mean an opening where White plays a4 against Black's set-up. Reversed Sicilian? But we won't play that after 1.a3

I confess not to have thought this out well. Also I don't think 1.a3 (or 1.e3 for that matter) may be White's strongest move. But I'm pretty sure the eventual disadvantages would be outweighted by the fact that our opponent would have to think (and compute) for him-/herself. I.e. spend more time, use the extensions, get tired.

And what a historical victory it would be :)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: <It works well if Black plays 3...e4. Not so well after 3...exd4, though.>

I suppose 1.a3 is also less useful should Black choose the French exchange variation reversed (1.a3 e5 2.e3 d5 3.d4 exd4). For this reason perhaps better going for the Benoni or Benkö reversed. Or the Dutch.

Jan-04-12  cro777: <Domdaniel: It has much more to do with understanding nuances of development, structure, transposition, etc. Which means they'll be equally at home in a nonstandard line.>

That is quite correct as far as the opening is concerned. But the stress is on after-the-opening stage of the game. Our opponent has a highly specialized opening repertoire. He knows everything about middlegame structures and typical endings resulting from his preferred opening lines. The situation is different when you are playing in a (relatively) new territory.

<Tabanus> Very good summary.

Analysis Forum is dedicated to the opening preparation. We may continue our discussion there.

Analysis Forum chessforum

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <Tabanus> -- <<such as the reversed version of an opening where Black usually plays ...a5 rather than ...a6> You must mean an opening where White plays a4 against Black's set-up. Reversed Sicilian?>

Actually, I was thinking of the Dutch, where Black often plays ...a5 to grab some queenside space. It may also have other purposes -- attacking a White fianchetto, preventing b4, supporting a piece on b4, etc. In the Classical Dutch ...a5 is part of the mainline, and is also quite normal in the Leningrad.

This is the type of opening system one does not want in reverse after 1.a3, eg a Bird's line with 1.a3 d5 2.f4.

I agree that the best systems are those in the Benko-Benoni-Blumenfeld complex. The original Dzindzi-Indian (aka the Djin -- it's confusing because its inventor later tried to give the same name to a quite different opening) was 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 a6, with ...c5 and ...b5 to follow. This should be good as White, with an extra tempo.

I think Tony Miles may have tried it. He certainly experimented with Reversed Benoni lines.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: For the record, this is what IM Sam Collins had to say about the 3.e5 c5 4.c3 Nc6 5.Nf3 Qb6 6.a3 c4 line. It’s from his book The French Advance (Everyman, 2006). Note that Collins usually plays this line from the White side, and his book often examines lines from White’s point of view – though this can be useful to the Black side too:

<I have always found this to be the most strategically difficult variation in the whole Advance Variation. Black relinquishes all pressure on the d4-pawn to create a novel pawn structure with unique characteristics. Taking each half of the board in turn (nothing’s happening in the centre):

The Queenside

Here Black has a space advantage and the outpost on b3 is an inviting home for a black piece, with the …Na5-b3 manoeuvre being a natural one. While in general this sector of the board is Black’s playground, he must be attentive to two dangers:

i. White’s b3-break, and if White manages to open lines at no cost with this pawn nudge, Black will have little to show for his lack of central pressure.

ii. Inappropriate occupation of the b3-square, and, most obviously, if Black has to recapture on b3 with the c4 pawn, this pawn can itself prove weak, while White obtains prospects of a c4-break. In addition, Black must be careful of a piece on b3 being isolated from the action; for instance, a knight on b3 is of no use at all if the action is happening on the kingside.

The Kingside

The e5-pawn gives White more kingside space, and he will play to exploit this. Pushing the f-pawn is a logical plan, but White must ensure that this can’t be met by …g6. A common idea is therefore to play Nf3-g5-h3-f4-h5(!), ensuring that the outpost, which will be left should Black move his g-pawn, can be exploited. White must also be attentive to the fact that a kingside advance will generally, to an extent, open up his own king (Black castles queenside in this line), and be careful lest he submit his own monarch to a vicious attack.>

This is one of the games Collins examines: Nakamura vs T Hillarp Persson, 2005

Several others, eg, Motylev-Balashov 2002, Golod-Finkel 2000, Erenburg-Uhlmann 2004, and Motylev-Hort 2003, are not in the CG database -- though he restricts himself to games where both players are rated over 2400, noting that an idea can look unrealistically attractive when played in <Grandmaster vs Random Punter, Weekend Congress 2005>.

Nice dry wit, Sam has. His book may be a few years old, and lack the sheer authority of a specialist like Psakhis, but his judgment can generally be trusted.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Golden Executive:

++++++++ FLASH BACK+++++++++

chesstoplay: Hi Team,

Here are answers to some of your specific questions:

< H > Yes, Var and Yury did talk about playing against the World Team. However, it was not a long or deep conversation. Var had not seen your Chess Life article until I showed it to him today. He was really impressed with the effort of everyone involved. He was also very impressed with our care for Rinus in our team's thoughts and efforts. We talked about Rinus and the scholarship for several minutes. It is part of what makes our chess community so very special.

<parmetd > Both Var and Yury said to say "Hello!" They both appreciate all you do to help the USCL.

<RV> Var was stunned when I told him how many Quad cores you've run at once during these games. We all think you live near Alex Onishuk. He and his wife and son moved to your area several years ago when we were trying to get him to move to Chicago.

<kutztown46> Var did a little bit of review prior to the game. Our strengths have been aggressiveness and great, organized teamwork. He was pleased and surprised today to learn he was currently playing almost 1400 players. Also, today, we reviewed some of the posts from Yury's game, so he had an idea of our posts this game. He sees no weaknesses.


<<<Waitaka> Yes, Var said that he would be glad to annotate the game.>>>


Well, he never talked about when....

<>: We'd like to thank everybody who participated in this exhibition. GM Akobian said that it was great fun and is interested in a rematch. We couldn't agree more! Look for that in 2012. <<Now that he can read this forum, we will try to coax Akobian in here to make some comments.>>>

Well, same thing....

Nov-09-12  Kinghunt: This pun is perhaps more appropriate for the Pogonina game.
Feb-26-14  Sharpov: Happy!!
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