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Advanced King Safety 
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Knight

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Post Advanced King Safety


I played this 15 minutes each game last night, and when looking it over, got to having some questions that would be suitable for a coach (is it time to get some form of instruction if I have questions of a techn nature more often I wonder), but I thought I'd put this on here and get opinion. I did some analysis (NO ENGINES, as per my training journal promise, so I'd also appreciate any helpers doing the same) afterwards on the opening phase -the middlegame is plainly of little value since White crumbled and both sides were under time trouble.

1. e4 c5 2. Bc4 e6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e5

Image

I played 4 ...d5 reasoning that since the same trick works in double e-pawn openings, it had to be good unless there was a direct refutation or reason it should be bad. 5. exf6 dxc4 6. fxg7 Bxg7 7. Qg4 Qd4 8. Qf3 attempts to do precisely that, and my response was inaccuarate. 7...Bd4 8. Ne2 Nc6 would be better, when Black has his powerful d4 square compensating for the white Queen's pivoting control of e4.

Image

After I'd looked at the game from later points and worked to plan backwards, the critical point in my learning is that I need to gain understanding of the nuances of King safety when a correct looking plan compromises it. I had rejected 8...f5 very quickly in-game: "Oh but he gives check, let's not go there." But why shouldn't I? Since White's pawns are like the static on an analogue television, shouldn't Black push his pawns regardless, since they're central? And therefore shouldn't we play f5 while e5 is not overly weakened or vulnerable?

I looked at 8...f5 9. Qh5+ Ke7 10. Nce2 Qd6 (if instead 10. Nf3, Qf6 is nice) 11. f4 b5

Image

and wondered whether in this specific line, the weakening of e5 is significant. The main obstacle in my mind here is that the King wants to be on somewhere like f7. So right now, any opening of the e-file (or general file opening) helps White. I can't see a particular scheme to achieve this for White though - perhaps he should start to gambit material.


So we carried on with 8...Qf6 9. Qxf6 Bxf6 10. Nf3 Nc6 11. Ne4 Be7.

Image

I looked afterwards at White instead playing 11. g4 Rb8 12. a4 and that seems annoying, perhaps I should play 10...h5 to stop it. While we're here, for the latter part of the position without Queens, my intuition is telling me that if Black can avoid making positional concessions, the King being parked on f7 shouldn't be a huge problem. White should also fall in with Black's incorrect plans. If 9. Qe4 Qe5 10. Nf3 Qxe4+ 11. Nxe4, then White is just ahead because of the central inflexibility of my Bishop, and his ability to shift around.

Going through the game, at move 10 it struck me that White could have played to a plan of playing f3/g4, and Nge2-g3-e4, since Nb5 at the time fails to Na6 menacing Nb4. White should also plan to play against my vulnerable c4 pawn, and if he can't make progress on that, liquidate it with b3 and axb3. We got into a curious chicken and egg situation where White wants to play Ne4 as long as Black won't play f5, but Black only wants to wait for Ne4 before playing f5! Black on the other hand would be happy with play down the open g-file, targeting the d4 square for permanent occupation, to force either a c3 push to protect the weak pawn, and thus allowing an outpost on d3, or a beneficial cxd4 exchange that leaves Black ahead in central space. If this doesn't come about, he can push his Queenside pawns: b5, a5, b4, and if White then HAS castled Queenside, he will find it easier to make an attack of his position.

And after a while of looking at plans, White's 12. 0-0 felt wrong! Try 12. b3 f5 13. Bb2

Image

13... 0-0 14. Neg5 e5 15. 0-0-0

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suddenly seems far more logical! Or is this a case of letting Black get away with too much, since his hanging pawns are now far from weak in and of themselves, if the surrounding pieces correctly rally?

[i]13...e5 14. Nxe5 Nxe5 15. Bxe5 0-0 is inferior


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But, 13...fxe4 14. Bxh8 exf3 15. gxf3

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is beyond the scope of definitive evaluation (as most R+P v N+B are) but we can say that Black has two Bishops, although he ideally wants to swap a pair of Rooks before he can start to press.

The rest of the game is beyond necessary discussion, certainly from 12. 0-0 Black is doing fine. But can anyone asides advising on the specific annotations here, give me any pointers as to certain master's games which are known for less castling, or more risky King safety pitched against advancing hanging pawns, say? My intuition is that removing the Queens, the idea is fine, but that line where White bodges f4 in seems annoying.


Thu May 02, 2013 3:12 pm
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Post Re: Advanced King Safety
I was thinking after e5 in the opening you might have considered N back to g8, with the idea of playing d5 with tempo on the bishop in a sort of improved french, and rerouting the N to e7 etc

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Fri May 10, 2013 7:54 pm
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King
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Post Re: Advanced King Safety
First of all, I don't see why black should allow that complicated lines. I would play 3 Nc6.

7 Qg4, why not Qh5?
8 Qf3, again, why not Qh5? I want my N on f3. Qg3 is also interesting trying to play Nf3 and then maybe even Nb5.

Quote:
I looked at 8...f5 9. Qh5+ Ke7 10. Nce2 Qd6 (if instead 10. Nf3, Qf6 is nice) 11. f4 b5

This line is hard to understand. Playing 10 Qf6 you put K and Q on one diagonal. What would you do against d3 or d4 to parry Bg5?

It is not clear to me, why white played Ne4.

Quote:
I looked afterwards at White instead playing 11. g4 Rb8 12. a4 and that seems annoying

Really? This seems to weakening to me. If allowed black plays b6, Bb7, 0-0-0 and threatens Nd4

Quote:
And after a while of looking at plans, White's 12. 0-0 felt wrong! Try 12. b3 f5 13. Bb2 0-0 14. Neg5 e5 15. 0-0-0

At first glance 14 Nc3 or Ng3 are much stronger than Neg5!

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Sat May 11, 2013 2:57 am
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Knight

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Post Re: Advanced King Safety
zeitnotakrobat wrote:
First of all, I don't see why black should allow that complicated lines. I would play 3 Nc6.


Well, in many double e-pawn openings the same complication with e5? d5! arises, and generally tends to benefit Black. Since I'm a sharper player who can see very odd tactical stuff, and prefer simpler positions (as both happened here), it suited me to do this - it's a complication that very much fits my style of play. If I would have been thrashed I'd get a good lesson in the downsides of the move, but I'm new to playing such positions anyways.

zeitnotakrobat wrote:
7 Qg4, why not Qh5?
8 Qf3, again, why not Qh5? I want my N on f3. Qg3 is also interesting trying to play Nf3 and then maybe even Nb5.


7. Qh5 Nc6 and what are you doing in the game? There was one game in my database from the stem position:



White wanted to pressure Black into an imprecision. In the game he succeeded and so I was a little worse for a while. Surely you'd only put the Knight on f3 if you could exploit my time problems with it, otherwise Ne2-g3 would be stronger. Qf3 was pivoting for a Knight to come to e4 and avoiding the exchange, which also tempted me into the erroneous attempt to force it.

zeitnotakrobat wrote:
TicTacs1985 wrote:
I looked at 8...f5 9. Qh5+ Ke7 10. Nce2 Qd6 (if instead 10. Nf3, Qf6 is nice) 11. f4 b5

This line is hard to understand. Playing 10 Qf6 you put K and Q on one diagonal. What would you do against d3 or d4 to parry Bg5?


I played a followup game with a friend on Chesscube afterwards, which improves on this line.



zeitnotakrobat wrote:
It is not clear to me, why white played Ne4.


Ne4 was a weak move by White :)


Sun May 12, 2013 7:49 am
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King
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Post Re: Advanced King Safety
You might like this line, but to me it seems quite dubious.
In the Megabase are only 7 games after fxg7 and besides those games are of poor quality, black scored poorely with 36%.
I hope you do analyse this deeply before playing and good luck with it.

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Sun May 12, 2013 11:24 am
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Knight

Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2012 12:11 am
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Post Re: Advanced King Safety
Haha it was a G15 online game, I play all sorts of different stuff online so that I can arrive at odd positions which will more resolutely test my acute positional judgement/game calc skills, for planning and general training. If I was going to play the Sicilian in real life I'd play at least 500 games like that online before I took it up in real :)


Sun May 12, 2013 1:13 pm
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