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Trouble in the Max Lange 
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Rook
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Post Trouble in the Max Lange
Hey Everyone, I believe this game showed how difficult it can be to face an unfamiliar opening that puts on a lot of pressure. I managed to navigate through a lot of the opening with an ok position. However due to being thrown off and feeling the aggresion of my opponents opening I missed my winning chance. Unfortunately all other moves were much worse for me. Here is the game I had the black pieces



6...Ne4 7.Re1 d5 8.exd6 Nxd6 is a better variation,

After 8...cxd6 9.Nxd4 white is doing better, black has a silly IQP and white has better piece activity

10.Nxd4?? My winning chance. now if Nxd4 Qxd4 I have Bf6!

However I was frazzled by my opponents opening, I was trying to play defensive and be solid so I played the horrible Nf6
My idea being to put my knight on a safe square however all I do is restrict my DSB and play into a worse position.

The rest of the game is my attempt to drum up some counter play but my hanging pawns are too weak and white forms a brutal battery quite quickly.

Comments appreciated

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Wed Sep 19, 2012 4:03 am
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King

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Post Re: Trouble in the Max Lange
Learning a few theory moves that are pretty much forced, starting with 5..Nxe4!, will be a worthwile investment, as you'll always get the better position for nothing.

5..Nxe4 6. Re1 d5 7. Bxd5 Qxd5 8. Nc3 Qa5 9. Nxe4 Be6 10. Neg5 0-0-0 11. Nxe6 fxe6 12. Rxe6 Bd6.

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Wed Sep 19, 2012 1:32 pm
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Post Re: Trouble in the Max Lange
As far as I know in the Max-Lange-Attack the black bishop goes to c5 instead of Be7 and this enables black to play d5 in response to e5. It's a very complicated line where good knowledge of the move order is crucial.
So, either you have to analyze and learn this or play Fox's recommendation which has a good reputation for black.

In the game it is difficult to give any recommendation after move 12, black is simply much worse and later after playing e5 black is just dead.
The only other try that I can see is 9... d5, but I didn't really analyze it...

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Wed Sep 19, 2012 2:39 pm
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Post Re: Trouble in the Max Lange
jtixs wrote:
However I was frazzled by my opponents opening, I was trying to play defensive and be solid

Rule of thumb:

if white tries to kill Black after 1.e4 e5, Black always have the option of either (1) going to a dead equal & safe position OR (2) going on the attack, maybe sac'ing a pawn, and trying to kill white.

Black should never have to defend his king from a direct attack after 1.e4 e5. If you want to defend such attacks , i suggest playing the Pirc or some type of Sicilian. :lol:

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Wed Sep 19, 2012 7:28 pm
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Post Re: Trouble in the Max Lange
Thanks for the advice everyone

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It is better to follow out a plan consistently even if it isn't the best one than to play without a plan at all. The worst thing is to wander about aimlessly. - Alexander Kotov


Thu Sep 20, 2012 3:05 am
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Post Re: Trouble in the Max Lange
There is a player at my club 2100 or so, who as a default to anything strange, just plays it like an open Steinitz defence/Philidor. In your position he would have played 6...d6 followed by Be7/0-0 etc. There was an IM player in our region who did the same about 20-30 years ago.


Tue Oct 02, 2012 5:39 am
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Post Re: Trouble in the Max Lange
Pobble wrote:
There is a player at my club 2100 or so, who as a default to anything strange, just plays it like an open Steinitz defence/Philidor. In your position he would have played 6...d6 followed by Be7/0-0 etc. There was an IM player in our region who did the same about 20-30 years ago.


Interesting, would you reccomend this system of play?

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Mon Oct 22, 2012 1:06 am
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Post Re: Trouble in the Max Lange
If you know your theory, play it. If not, there is nothing wrong with playing something a little solid just to get out the opening. At worst for black, white just has a bit more space early on. Such lines are not sexy, or computer friendly for finding rich complex positions. Check your database and you will still see even some GMs playing such stuff even today.


Mon Oct 22, 2012 4:19 pm
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Post Re: Trouble in the Max Lange
Pobble wrote:
If you know your theory, play it. If not, there is nothing wrong with playing something a little solid just to get out the opening. At worst for black, white just has a bit more space early on. Such lines are not sexy, or computer friendly for finding rich complex positions. Check your database and you will still see even some GMs playing such stuff even today.


Yup...the Philador and Steinitz are really those lines you just want to be able to crush, but often it's difficult to get something interesting and complicated from it to win in the middle game. I think if you play those lines as black you'd better be good at the endgame, because that's where most of the battle for the draw will take place, in my experience. I'd always rather be white against these systems though, I think he has a lasting edge.


Tue Oct 23, 2012 2:03 am
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Post Re: Trouble in the Max Lange
Quote:
Yup...the Philador and Steinitz are really those lines you just want to be able to crush, but often it's difficult to get something interesting and complicated from it to win in the middle game. I think if you play those lines as black you'd better be good at the endgame, because that's where most of the battle for the draw will take place, in my experience. I'd always rather be white against these systems though, I think he has a lasting edge.


Do you not think this is just because of the way you play such positions?


Tue Oct 23, 2012 4:02 am
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Post Re: Trouble in the Max Lange
Pobble wrote:
Quote:
Yup...the Philador and Steinitz are really those lines you just want to be able to crush, but often it's difficult to get something interesting and complicated from it to win in the middle game. I think if you play those lines as black you'd better be good at the endgame, because that's where most of the battle for the draw will take place, in my experience. I'd always rather be white against these systems though, I think he has a lasting edge.


Do you not think this is just because of the way you play such positions?


Maybe :) I don't play them as black, and as white I generally tend to reach slightly better endgames, rather than a decisive middlegame. Perhaps I need to go for the throat more, but as black it seems quite easy to diffuse an immediate attack from white, so I started to take a more long-term positional approach. Take this position, for example:

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 d6 4. d4 Bd7 5. Nc3 Nf6 6. O-O exd4 7. Nxd4 Nxd4 8. Bxd7 Qxd7 9. Qxd4 Be7

I have reached this quite a few times (sometimes through a Philador move order as well, if memory serves me correctly). Honestly I never studied it a great deal to see if there's anything better for white along the way, because I generally have good results with it. And this is kind of my point. Black might take the immediate sting out of white's opening advantage through these means, but the advantage remains nonetheless. Earlier in the line (with the knight still on c6) White can choose between a few options, exchanging things off and claiming the open files is what I usually do, taking on c6 and playing against doubled pawns is another choice. I tend to prefer white in either case.

Of course, black can play a much more aggressive system with a kingside fianchetto, but for me this is like a bad Dragon...ie. without the c-file counterplay.

It could well be a lot more complex than I'm making out...this is just what I've gleaned from my limited experience with the line, without any real theory to back it up...so anyone reading this who wants to play the Philador should do their own research :p

Edit: Okay perhaps to say endgame of such a position isn't really fair since there is still so much material left on the board :) But I think it's fair to call this quite dry kind of middle game an 'endgame prelude' more than a true middlegame.


Tue Oct 23, 2012 8:34 pm
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Post Re: Trouble in the Max Lange
Sorry for the delay. I have had my hands full with moving house.

In your line of the Steinitz, 6...exd4 is just passive. Black has no reason to make such a move which gives up the centre. Likely your opponents have heard of the Tarrasch trap without actually knowing the moves.

Should black choose the Steinitz, he/she should play the order 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6! which prevents white 0-0-0 lines. 4.0-0 Nxe4 is best, when a good none memory straining line follows 5.d4 Be7 All blacks moves follow the most basic beginners principles. First occupy the centre, first develop Knights, then prepare castling. Chess painting by numbers style, and it is pretty good.

Off topic.
A very good blitz trick is 5...a6, which is likely to transpose into the Open variation, and mind melt your opponent. :cyclopsani:


Wed Oct 31, 2012 12:37 pm
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