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 [ 5 posts ] 
Help!! 
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Knight

Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2012 12:11 am
Posts: 46
Rating: 1937
Rating Class: Class A (1800-2000)
 Help!!


Can someone please please give me some deeply constructive criticism of my strategic understanding here as Black? Did I play inconsistently with the goals that I should have? I was originally rejecting the idea of playing for ...e5 because White could exchange his wrong Bishop but then it felt right, to restrict his pawns. I really have huge trouble in games where there is zero contact between armies with the pawns as in here, so I was scrabbling around for things to do the whole time, until suddenly I was gifted the b-file.


Sat May 11, 2013 12:03 pm
King
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Joined: Sat May 12, 2007 12:19 pm
Posts: 1890
Location: Los Angeles
Rating Class: Expert (2000-2200)
 Re: Help!!
This game reminded me of one of my games -- you might watch this video and see if anything resonates, as I have had the same problem that you describe (i.e., how to play when there is no contact between the armies). ( viewtopic.php?f=15&t=9324 )

It ended up as a Queen's Indian or Nimzo with reversed colors. White should be fighting for the e5 square. To that end, white should have chopped 6.Bxc6 to force bxc6. After 8...Nxc6 Black is quite a bit better. Black has a space advantage out of the opening. With a space advantage, Black's big idea should be to take away squares for white's pieces and to avoid exchanges. Allowing Nc3-b5xc7 was a mistake and quite inconsistent with these goals. I like 11...a6 intending b7-b5 (or if a2-a4, then b7-b6) and a slow buildup based on Black's space advantage. White's knight on c3 gets in the way; white would love to trade it off which Black should not allow. With the knight on c3 White can't really play a pawn to d4 because white will be stuck with a fixed pawn on d4 blocking the bishop. Black will improve pieces to the maximum and eventually break open the center when 2 bishops advantage will mean something. Since White has less space Black should be able to put his pieces to better squares than White can. On the other hand White finds it hard to do anything too active because any pawn breaks will open the game for the Black bishops. In general i think Black is slightly better, with the kind of small advantage that White usually would get in a Nimzo or QID.

In general i think the criticism is more related to patience than any chess understanding issues. It's good to realize that White lacks space and so the first goal is to avoid piece exchanges. Especially that bad knight on c3.

Just my op, FWIW

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"Yes, I have played a blitz game once. It was on a train, in 1929." -Botvinnik


Sat May 11, 2013 12:29 pm
Knight

Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2012 12:11 am
Posts: 46
Rating: 1937
Rating Class: Class A (1800-2000)
 Re: Help!!
Well, I indeed had the Bxc6 bxc6 lemma in my head. To my mind though playing Bd7 as a pre-amble to all that, felt like an unnecessity, especially since it isn't the played move in the Nimzo proper. I looked in the database however and 4...Bd7 is the only move played. I guess that's just one I have to remember without fully understanding. I hear you feel Black has a space advantage, and I had actually looked at the aforementioned ...a6/b5 buildup, but it felt a little airy to me over the board. I had imagined that I'd be facing ...b6 Ne2 Ba6 d3 and couldn't find anything concrete from that point on, but if White wanted to spend time taking my Bishop, so be it. I suppose it again comes to the concept of reference points for teflon (frictionless) games: if I look at it with my Mr Spock head on, by definition Black has more space simply because he has two pawns on the fourth where White only has one. I suppose such top-down evaluations are difficult to make in a game though when you're wading through the rainforest of verbal positional thought as I was (I took a long time on many moves until the game clarified with White's poor play after Ba3). Also, I'd say many players are used to compartmentalising space, as being central, Kingside, and Queenside. Accordingly as I've gotten more rounded as a player I've tried perhaps to avoid declarative 'x has more space' sort of thoughts, because being absolutive, they may shape dogmatic PV calc as opposed to keeping an open mind on what is possible. It was relatively easy for me to de-emotionalise being only about level after d4?! c4 - in effect I was happy that I was level because although playing someone about 150pts below me, my experience in these positions warranted that as a success.

In my mind when White played Nc3, he was trying to keep a lock on the light Bishop, by having stronger access claims to e4 and d5. I discussed the game with our top board afterwards and we thought of flicking in Rc8/Bb8 since he also felt the Bishop should be kept. Later on I was preparing to play ...e5 and recapture WITH the Bishop in honesty. The idea then was that White would have a hard time making any transformation of the central pawn structure, leaving me free to pressure the e-file and play for d4. Before Bxc6 came, I was unwilling to allow the KID pawn formation that might have resulted since White would have exchanged his nominally weaker Bishop, though afterwards I came to see this structure was perhaps desirable.

I seem to be playing not terribly at any rate, and I'm glad to hear you didn't see any gaping yaws of antipositional moves in the game. :)


Sun May 12, 2013 7:34 am
King

Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2007 4:59 am
Posts: 1442
Rating: 2200
Rating Class: National Master
 Re: Help!!
If you focus on the difference in the positions, it can help tell you what to do.

Just taking 8.Bxc6 as an example. However black can or cannot recapture, he has the two bishops. This tells black he should strive to open up the centre. It tells black he is stronger on the light squares than white, which a further exchange of knights will enhance. It tells black most endings will be better for him, so exchanges should not be feared.

You can see why from the above that the fianchetto on the queenside made no sense, as the bishop was just blocked in and contributed nothing to opening the position.

Having two bishops means nothing unless you try to play to their strengths.


Sun Jul 14, 2013 3:32 pm
King

Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2009 10:45 am
Posts: 805
Location: England
Rating: 1840
Rating Class: Class A (1800-2000)
 Re: Help!!
Pobble wrote:
If you focus on the difference in the positions, it can help tell you what to do.

Just taking 8.Bxc6 as an example. However black can or cannot recapture, he has the two bishops. This tells black he should strive to open up the centre. It tells black he is stronger on the light squares than white, which a further exchange of knights will enhance. It tells black most endings will be better for him, so exchanges should not be feared.

You can see why from the above that the fianchetto on the queenside made no sense, as the bishop was just blocked in and contributed nothing to opening the position.

Having two bishops means nothing unless you try to play to their strengths.


Indeed...I think the combination of f6 and b6 looks especially strange to me. In my opinion black has a clear plan of an eventual e5.

I really love the move 15...c4 though. I guess your idea is to play the intermezzo Ba6 pinning the pawn and recapturing with bishop, and then to just play down the open c-file. This plan would be even stronger if you didn't give up your dark square bishop though. I was really suprised when you allowed that, in my opinion the bishop pair is a HUGE advantage in this kind of position. I think rather than 10...b6 I would have played 10...a6 with the idea to build up to e5 and slowly open up the game.


Tue Jul 16, 2013 1:52 pm
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