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Want to ask Dennis a question? (SUBMIT HERE) 
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King

Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2009 10:45 am
Posts: 805
Location: England
Rating: 1840
Rating Class: Class A (1800-2000)
 Re: Want to ask Dennis a question? (SUBMIT HERE)
Hey Dennis!

If it ever tickles your fancy I'd love to see a video on how to defend again kingside pawnstorms (apart from castling queenside, anyway :D) . It's a problem I have as black a lot. I've tried so many different strategies to try and stop the advance. When I used to play the 'Dragondorf' I often tried to lure white into locking up the kingside, but it always seems he has one pawn too many (usually the f pawn is the one that finishes me off). I've also tried countering in the center but it seems whatever counterplay I have there isn't enough to stop a deadly attack. At the moment I feel like my only defense is hoping that I have an opponent who doesn't know what he's doing. It's becoming a real pain! If you have any advice or strategies I think it'd make a great concept video.

Cheers


Tue Feb 08, 2011 11:18 am
Knight

Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2008 4:21 pm
Posts: 51
Rating: 1500
Rating Class: Class C (1400-1600)
 Re: Want to ask Dennis a question? (SUBMIT HERE)
Hi Dennis,

I didn't realize there was a thread for this. :) Would you be able to do a presentation sometime on the Gajewski gambit? I was reminded of it recently when going through Attacking Manual 2 by GM Jacob Aagaard. While I don't really like the book very much, I thought the game he presented was quite incredible, and I guess the stem game for it is quite entertaining.


Tue Feb 08, 2011 2:04 pm
Pawn

Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2009 10:15 am
Posts: 3
Rating: 1200
Rating Class: Class D (1200-1400)
 Re: Want to ask Dennis a question? (SUBMIT HERE)
Hi Dennis,

I'm a low-level player trying to improve. I've taken Capablanca's age-old advice and I'm studying the endgame (in addition to daily tactical exercises), the problem is that I've hit a brick wall: corresponding squares in King and Pawn endings. I've bought a couple of endgame books hoping to improve but the explanations of the corresponding squares concept sail over my head completely.

So, my question is can you make a video (you may have already), that explains this concept to endgame greenhorns like myself? I would be extremely appreciative!

Cheers


Thu Feb 17, 2011 1:13 am
Pawn

Joined: Sat Aug 01, 2009 2:20 am
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Rating Class: Class B (1600-1800)
 Re: Want to ask Dennis a question? (SUBMIT HERE)
Hi Dennis,

My question concerns rook endings. I reached one two pawns up recently and I thought this surely had to be easily winning. However, I had no clue as to how and played like an idiot. I also was short on time, but if anything, that suggests that had I known the correct plan, I could have won easily. The only reason I didn't lose (and even won) was that my opponent apparently had no clue either, so in a pretty lousy display of random moves I managed to pull it off pretty much by willpower. Here's how it went:

White: Kf1, Ra4, pawns b4, f3, h3
Black (me): Kg8, Rc8, pawns d6, e6, f7, g6, h7

Winning, right? So I thought: okay, I use my rook to stop his passed pawn, put my king in the centre and use it to advance my own passed pawn(s). As it happened, he was way quicker. When I understood I wouldn't be able to stop the pawn, I felt obliged to sacrifice my rook for it, as I thought that the resulting K+5P vs. K+R+2P ending with my active king may have been objectively won for him, but it most certainly was a lot easier to play for me. From that point, I won without much of a fight, but I'm sure that's only because it was a contest of lack of skill between two guys who didn't know what they're doing.

Here it is: 28... Rb8 29. Ke2 Kg7 30. Kd3 Kf6 31. Kc4 Rb7 32. b5 Ke5 33. Ra3 h5 34. Rb3 Rc7+ 35. Kb4 Kd4 36. Ka5 d5 37. b6 Rc8 38. b7 Rb8 39. Ka6 e5 40. Ka7 Rxb7+ 41. Rxb7 f5 42. Rg7 Ke3 43. Rxg6 Kxf3 44. Rg5 Kf4 45. Rxh5 e4 46. Rh8 e3 47. Re8 d4 48. h4 d3 49. Rd8 e2 and soon 0-1.

In other words, I'm so bad at rook endgames that I have better results if I give up my rook and play a pawn endgame for me vs. a rook endgame for my opponent. (Note for my future opponents: if you find yourself in a rook endgame against me and I blunder my rook, don't take it! You'll have a much easier job if I keep it.)

The question is: can you say a few words about winning such endgame? What would be a general plan? What was wrong with my thinking? You have the ability to explain such things very clearly, so I'll be much obliged.

Thanks in advance!


Sun Mar 06, 2011 2:26 am
Pawn
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 Re: Want to ask Dennis a question? (SUBMIT HERE)
Hi Dennis,

Sorry for the long lead in on my question.

I returned to competitive chess last year after a short 35 year break. I am following an improvement plan laid out by Wetzell in his book Chess Master at Any Age. I have a pretty good idea of what I need to do to improve in the middle game through the ending.

I had taught my kids openings out of Seirawan's Winning Chess Openings, and I have followed his opening advice on my return. (Pirc, King's Indian Attack and Defense). I have done very well as black, especially with the Pirc.

I have advanced in rating a little more rapidly than I thought I would (1419 was my rating in 1975), and I think I need to start replacing the King's Indian Attack with something a little more challenging for Black.

My question is how can I determine what my style is, so that I can decide what variations to pick. How comfortable I am with a position, is not a good guide, because I am often very uncomfortable in the Pirc positions I reach, but I still do well with them. (I guess they are even more uncomfortable for White).

I know I need to start picking variations based on the kind of middle game plans I want, and also to better consider what the endgames will look like.

_________________
--newshutz
my blog (updated weeklyish) http://newshutzchess.blogspot.com/


Sun Mar 27, 2011 4:57 pm
Knight

Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2008 4:40 pm
Posts: 63
 Re: Want to ask Dennis a question? (SUBMIT HERE)
Wow, not much activity lately. I'll see if I can take up some slack.

My question has to do with pawn structure, and may dovetail with the question above about defending Kingside pawn storms. The structure I'm talking about is very common in Sicilian lines, French lines, some Center Counter "declined" lines" (1.e4 d5 2.e5) -- pretty much any line where White plays 1.e4 and Black responds with an early ..e6.

(I think similar positions arise in QGA type positions when Black tries to hang on to his extra pawn.)

For example, Domenech - Flohr 1935

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. c4 Nc6 4. d4 cxd4 5. Nxd4 Nf6 6. Nxc6 dxc6 7. Qxd8+ Kxd8

And here, instead of White's 8.f3, he could have played 8.e5, which I supsect is probably more popular at the club level as I see this kind of thing all the time. So now Black has to save his Knight with either 8..Ng4 or 8..Nd7 (not sure which is better, by the way, but maybe that's another topic), and then after 9.f4 Black has this onrushing wall of pawns in his face, how should he proceed? Fritz suggests that Black should immediately try to break up the pawns with either 9..f6 or 9..g5. These are not the first moves that pop into my amateur mind. I guess I assumed that I'm already at a space disadvantage, my pieces are cramped, I've lost the castling priviledge (not that important, but still maybe a nice thing to have), and now I've got to wreck my pawn structure as well? It all seems so counter-intuitive. My first impulse is to try to curl up hedgehog-like on the Qside and hold on for dear life.

But I don't think Black has made any serious errors here. My faith in the laws of chess tell me that Black should not feel lost -- there must be some equalizing response. I just don't have a good instinctive feeling about how to handle these pawns, and they intimidate me. How would you get out of this? Is there anything that would give you reason to be optimistic about Black's position here?

Thanks


Thu May 26, 2011 6:00 am
Knight

Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2008 4:40 pm
Posts: 63
 Re: Want to ask Dennis a question? (SUBMIT HERE)
Would you discuss a variation of the Budapest Gambit Declined 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e5 3.d5. This is a hugely popular line for White on ICC. The three books I have on the Budapest (Borik, Moskalenko, and Taylor) are dismissive of White's third move claiming somewhat perfunctorily that Black gets an equal game with 3...Bc5.

Maybe so, but in my experience the pawn on d5 is at least an annoyance to Black. It is cramping, it disrupts Black's Qside development, and Black often has to go through some contortions to deal with it.

I have tried to look at master games to come up with some thematic plans and tactics and piece placements, but unfortunately 3.d5 seems to be so ridiculously bad that masters rarely play it, and there is very little to reference.

So far I believe I can say this with some certainty:

1. If Black can play ...e4, it's usually advisable that he do so.
2. The battery ...Bc5+Qb6 is often strong with pressure on f2 and b2 and potential tactics on the diagonal.
3. One common idea for Black is to play KID style with ...f5 and a Kside attack.

So hopefully I'm on the right path here. One thing I'm really not clear about is how Black should handle White's d-pawn. Should he just play around it? Should he try to undermine it with ...c6 and ...cxd5? Should he only capture ...cxd5 when White can't recapture with a piece?

I'm also not real clear on what role Black's QB and QN should play. Seems like they just get in each other's way.

Thanks. Here are a few examples of the kind of lines I see.

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e5 3. d5 Bc5 4. h3 O-O 5. Nc3 d6 6. e4 c6 7. Be2 h6 8. Nf3....

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e5 3. d5 Bc5 4. Nc3 d6 5. h3 O-O 6. Nf3 c6 7. Bg5 Re8 8. e3
Nbd7 9. Be2 Qb6 ....

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e5 3. d5 Bc5 4. a3 a5 5. Nc3 d6 6. h3 O-O 7. e4 c6 8. Nf3 cxd5
9. cxd5 Nbd7 10. Bd3 ....


Fri Jun 24, 2011 4:35 pm
King

Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2009 10:45 am
Posts: 805
Location: England
Rating: 1840
Rating Class: Class A (1800-2000)
 Re: Want to ask Dennis a question? (SUBMIT HERE)
Hi Dennis,

Here's a question, not sure whether it's suitable or not as it's fairly abstract, but I figure I may as well throw it out there anyway. If you have an idea that's great, if not then no worries.

I've recently been having pretty good play among players quite above my rating in rapid time controls (I'm just under 1700 and have been winning or getting at least decent play against players around 2000). I feel like my strategic play has really come on, but having looked at some games I lost recently I can also see my biggest failing at the moment: I get so obsessed with one plan that I often miss the opportunity to switch gears and convert a slight strategic advantage in one area into an attack in another. One example from a recent game I had as white in some sort of Shveshnikov Sicilian. I got so fixated with the idea of occupying the d5 square with a piece, and trying to get a good knight vs a bad bishop etc that I completely missed the chance to create a deadpoint on d5 in exchange for opening up the lightsquared bishop and getting kingside play:

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Nc3 Nc6 4. d4 cxd4 5. Nxd4 Nf6 6. f3 e5 7. Ndb5 a6 8. Na3
b5 9. Nd5 Be6 10. Bg5 Be7 11. Bxf6 gxf6 12. c3 O-O 13. Qd3 Bxd5 14. Qxd5 Qb6
15. Nc2 Rac8 16. Qd2 Kh8 17. Qe3 Qc7 18. a4 bxa4 19. Bxa6 Rb8 20. Rb1 Qa5 21.
Bd3 Rxb2 22. Rxb2 Qxc3+ 23. Kf2 Qxb2 24. Ra1 Nd4 25. Qd2 Nxc2 26. Rxa4 Qb6+ 0-1

In this game actually I lost to a tactic on move 21 - again because I was so fixated on one tactical idea that I missed another. But dropping the pawns isn't so relevant to the question, because the point is, at move 14 I could have played exd5, where Fritz gives the following continuation, and evaluates the position as much better - even winning for white:

14. exd5 Na5 15. Qe4 Kg7 16. Bd3 Rh8 17. Qg4+ Kf8 18. O-O-O Qb6 19. Kb1 Rg8 20. Qh3
b4 21. Qh6+ Ke8 22. cxb4 Rb8 23. Nc2 Rxg2 24. Qc1 Nb7 25. Ne1 Rg1 26. Rxg1 Qxg1
27. Qc7 Qa7

So I lost the game on a tactic, but why did the possibility of black having a tactic arrive? Because I failed to sieze the initative when the opportunity arose. The more I look at my games the more I realise that this one dimensional approach is my biggest problem. When my plan works then it works great, even against players much higher rated than myself. But I tend to go astray when it comes to plan Bs, or to trading advantages.

As I say, I know this is a pretty abstract theme so maybe the question isn't solid enough for you to give a concrete answer...but if you have any thoughts on the matter I'd be really interested. Perhaps some advice on when it can be good to change plans, or some psychological insight into accepting change in a game.

Cheers!


Mon Aug 01, 2011 1:04 pm
Knight

Joined: Sun Jul 18, 2010 11:29 am
Posts: 86
Location: new york city
Rating: 1950ish
Rating Class: Class A (1800-2000)
 Re: Want to ask Dennis a question? (SUBMIT HERE)
I'm interested in the catalan line where black plays his Nf6 to - d5 then b4. when the knight gets hit by a pawn on a3 black plays b5 to distract the white queen from defending the c2 square.

Qxb5 Nxc2+

now it looks like Kf1 is white's best choice according to my computer, but do you think there is any real chances for white to win in the line where he sacs the queen for 3 pieces with Kd2?
my computer is giving a decent edge to black... but it seems like the 3 pieces are not to be ignored. if black can't make progress maybe its worth trying our luck with the 3 pieces... i'd be interested if you have any thoughts on either the kd2 or kf1 lines.


Sat Aug 06, 2011 9:54 pm
Premium Member
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 Re: Want to ask Dennis a question? (SUBMIT HERE)
masterkiller1: Good news - you don't have to wait. That's because I already covered it in a previous video which you can find in the Training Videos From The Masters Archive, entitled "The Crazy Catalan, Episode 1." (It's on the third page.) I start discussing the 5...Nc6 line at about 13:25 in, the line with 9.a3 at about 18:10 and the actual queen sac line at 24:58. The line has been deeply worked out, and the current consensus, which I agree with, is that with best play from both sides White must struggle for equality.

_________________
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Tue Aug 09, 2011 8:12 pm
Knight

Joined: Sun Jul 18, 2010 11:29 am
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Location: new york city
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 Re: Want to ask Dennis a question? (SUBMIT HERE)
ah... excellent thanks... I will have to check that out then


Tue Aug 09, 2011 9:39 pm
Pawn

Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2011 3:02 pm
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 Re: Want to ask Dennis a question? (SUBMIT HERE)
A few days ago i learned about the dragondorf variation of Sicilian, a combination of the dragon and the najdorf in the sicilian. I have heard that white is fine against this variation,but when analyzing my game against this variation I couldn't figure out what I should of done? Do you have any plans that you could show me against this variation?


Thu Aug 11, 2011 1:46 pm
Pawn

Joined: Tue May 24, 2011 8:54 pm
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 Re: Want to ask Dennis a question?
Please tell me what particular defense to the Ruy Lopez would be good for black to go for a win. I took a look at 3. ...a6 and to get to the Open Defense later, but the Exchange Variation put me off. The 5. ...Ne7 variation, while interesting and tactical, has a line that ends in a perpetual check, which I do not want since I am going for a win. Is there another fighting defense against the Exchange, or is there some other reputed defense that allows black to fight actively for a win?

Also, is it possible for you to show the main line of the Chekhover Variation of the Sicilian Defense?


Mon Oct 31, 2011 10:44 pm
Pawn
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 Re: Want to ask Dennis a question? (SUBMIT HERE)
Hi,

I have been sparring a computer program to help explore some new openings I am adding to my repertoire. I reached the following position as white in the Catalan after my 25th move.

r5k1/5ppp/1R2p3/8/8/6P1/Pp2PP1P/6K1 b - - 0 25

White will capture the pawn on b2, as black must make luft to allow his rook off the eighth rank. White will be a pawn ahead, but black will have a more active rook and should be ahead activating his king. White can likely trade the a-pawn for one of black's, but that would result in the very difficult 4v3 pawn rook ending.

What are your thoughts on this position?

Thanks

_________________
--newshutz
my blog (updated weeklyish) http://newshutzchess.blogspot.com/


Tue Nov 01, 2011 8:16 pm
King

Joined: Tue May 11, 2010 2:38 am
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 Re: Want to ask Dennis a question? (SUBMIT HERE)
Hi Dennis,

In your Quick Ruy video 4 (Jaenisch concluded), you finished the show by talking about the position after 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 f5 4. Nc3 fxe4 5. Nxe4 Nf6 6. Nxf6+ Qxf6 7. Qe2 Be7 8. Bxc6 dxc6 9. Nxe5 Bf5 10. O-O but you only consider 10...O-O (after which you go into great detail). I think that 10...O-O-O looks more interesting for black, discouraging white's idea of d4 which you pointed out earlier as the reason for 10.O-O. What do you think?

_________________
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Sun Jan 15, 2012 3:37 am
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