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Garvinator
06-04-2004, 04:11 PM
i know this should be in the games and analysis section, but i wanted it to be seen and answered :doh: :whistle: :clap:

can someone who knows that they are talking about give me a run through of the ideas of 1. f4 from the black side. I got hammered as black the last time i played against 1. f4 and dont want it to happen again.

Garvinator
06-04-2004, 10:30 PM
i know this should be in the games and analysis section, but i wanted it to be seen and answered :doh: :whistle: :clap:

can someone who knows that they are talking about give me a run through of the ideas of 1. f4 from the black side. I got hammered as black the last time i played against 1. f4 and dont want it to happen again.
dont everyone rush to help me here :lol: ;)

Alan Shore
06-04-2004, 11:28 PM
I played the From in blitz, you can get some tricky lines but it's been so long since I've played it I'm in no position to help you book up.. I usually just brew something up and make complications.

Garvinator
06-04-2004, 11:30 PM
I played the From in blitz, you can get some tricky lines but it's been so long since I've played it I'm in no position to help you book up.. I usually just brew something up and make complications.
not to keen to play 'blitz lines' in a game with a timer of 60 minutes per game and then 30 secs per move afterwards ;)

Alan Shore
06-04-2004, 11:38 PM
1. f4 e5
2. fxe5 d6
3. exd6 Bxd6
4. Nf3 Nf6
5. e3 Nc6
6. d4 O-O
7. Nc3 Re8
8. Be2 Ng4

I'll test this, first time I've used pgn..

Alan Shore
06-04-2004, 11:40 PM
I'll leave you to analyse some lines in this position, I just conjured it up now.

Garvinator
06-04-2004, 11:42 PM
I'll leave you to analyse some lines in this position, I just conjured it up now.
ill be on the black side remember :D

Alan Shore
06-04-2004, 11:47 PM
ill be on the black side remember :D

I know.. it is white to move but he has to either defend that e pawn (if it's possible) or play a different move to defend his king. I like black's position here though.

hmm, I should have let you try to find Ng4 first really, hehe.

Garvinator
07-04-2004, 12:02 AM
9. 0-0 Nxe3 10. Bxe3 Rxe3 11. Bc4 Bf5 is where im at at the moment.

Trent Parker
07-04-2004, 12:18 AM
1. f4 e5
2. fxe5 d6
3. exd6 Bxd6
4. Nf3 Nf6
5. e3 Nc6
6. d4 O-O
7. Nc3 Re8
8. Be2 Ng4

I'll test this, first time I've used pgn..

Here is a sharper line

[Event "City of Sydney2003 play off ga"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2003.05.06"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Yu, Ronald"]
[Black "Canfell, Greg"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A02"]
[PlyCount "87"]

1. f4 e5 2. fxe5 d6 3. exd6 Bxd6 4. Nf3 g5 5. g3 g4 6. Nh4 Ne7 7. d4 Ng6 8.
Nxg6 hxg6 9. Qd3 Nc6 10. c3 Bf5 11. e4 Qe7 12. Bg2 O-O-O 13. Be3 Bd7 14. Bf2 f5
15. Nd2 Qf7 16. e5 Be7 17. Qc4 Be6 18. Qb5 a6 19. Qe2 Bd5 20. Be3 g5 21. Bxd5
Qxd5 22. O-O Rdf8 23. Qg2 Qxg2+ 24. Kxg2 Rh3 25. Rae1 b5 26. d5 Nxe5 27. Bd4
Ng6 $2 (27... Nf3 28. Nxf3 gxf3+ 29. Rxf3 Rh7) 28. Re6 Rh6 29. Bg7 Rh7 30. Bxf8
Nxf8 31. Rxa6 Kb7 32. Rc6 Rf7 33. c4 {
33.Re5 and White can already relax 33...f4+-} 33... Nd7 34. cxb5 Nb6 35. Nc4 {
35.Kh1+- makes it even easier for White} 35... Nxd5 36. Rd1 Nf6 37. Na5+ Ka7
38. Ra6+ Kb8 39. Nc6+ Kb7 40. Nxe7 (40. Rd8 Bxd8 41. Nxd8+ Kc8 42. Nxf7) 1-0

Garvinator
07-04-2004, 12:25 AM
thanks trent but im going to be black, not white :eek:

Trent Parker
07-04-2004, 12:29 AM
I think this line still has attacking chances for black though. I know that White wins this game but i think it could still be an indication of the type of game black may have??

Kevin Bonham
07-04-2004, 02:18 AM
First question Garvin, why are you playing 1...e5? Why not 1...d5, or 1...Nf6 for instance? Is there a particular reason, like playing style or dislike of specific White lines, why you feel like you want to play 1...e5? If there is, I can make more comments down that line, but I need to know if you're interested at all in other alternatives for Black first.

I'm no authority, but I do not think the normal From's with 2...d6 is really that crash hot, though at club level almost any aggressive gambit is playable. The Neo-From's with 2...Nc6 (see David Flude's article in Australian Chess or dig up the thread on the yabb BB) seems more promising.

A lot of players who don't know a lot of theory seem to play 1...e5 against 1.f4 automatically as if a gambit is the only way to play. Is a gambit the only way to play against 1.c4, 1.d4, 1.e4, 1.Nf3? Of course not - so why should a gambit be the only way to play against 1.f4, which is both statistically and theoretically inferior to those four moves?

Rhubarb
07-04-2004, 02:57 AM
Trent, I've got much happier memories of the next time I played Ronald. :)

btw, in the first game, Ronald played 32.Rc6, not 32.Re6 which is en prise to the knight, and I resigned after 40.Nxe7 rather than play on a rook down (don't know where the last few moves came from).


Yu,R - Canfell,G [A02]
NSW Championship, 22.09.2003
[Canfell,Greg]

1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 d6 3.exd6 Bxd6 4.Nf3 g5 5.d4?! [ 5.g3] 5...g4 6.Ne5 Bxe5 7.dxe5 Qxd1+ 8.Kxd1 Nc6 9.Bf4 Nge7 10.e3 Bf5! [ 10...Be6] 11.Nd2 0-0-0 12.Kc1 Ng6 13.Bg5 [ 13.b3 Ncxe5] 13...Rde8! [ 13...Rd7? 14.Bf6 Re8 15.e4 Be6 16.Bb5] 14.Bf6 Rhg8 15.Bd3 [ 15.Bb5 Ngxe5 ( 15...Bd7) 16.Rf1 ( 16.Bxe5 Rxe5 17.Bxc6 bxc6 18.Nc4 Re4 19.b3 Be6) 16...Bd7 17.b3 Rg6] 15...Bxd3 16.cxd3 Ngxe5 17.Bxe5 Rxe5 18.Nc4 [ 18.e4 Rd8;
18.Re1 Nb4] 18...Rf5 19.Kc2 [ 19.Rd1 Rf2 20.Rd2 Nb4! 21.Ne5 ( 21.d4 g3 22.hxg3 Rf1+ 23.Rd1 Rxd1+ 24.Kxd1 Rxg3 25.Ke2 Rxg2+ 26.Kf3 Rc2-+) 21...Rf1+ 22.Rd1 Rxd1+ 23.Kxd1 f6 24.a3 Nd5 25.Nc4 b5 26.e4 Nf4-+] 19...Rf2+ 20.Kc3 b5 21.Nd2 b4+ 22.Kc2 Re8 23.Raf1 Rxg2 24.e4 Ne5! 25.Rfg1 Rxg1 26.Rxg1 Rd8 27.Rg3 h5 28.Nb3 h4 29.Re3 Rxd3! 30.Rxd3 Nxd3 31.Nd4 g3 32.hxg3 h3 0-1

Garvinator
07-04-2004, 09:19 AM
First question Garvin, why are you playing 1...e5? Why not 1...d5, or 1...Nf6 for instance? Is there a particular reason, like playing style or dislike of specific White lines, why you feel like you want to play 1...e5? If there is, I can make more comments down that line, but I need to know if you're interested at all in other alternatives for Black first.

Actually Kevin, I would rather not play a gambit in an opening i know very little about at this stage :) . But it seemed to be the choice of ppl who have replied so far.

As i said i am open to suggestions on this.

samspade
07-04-2004, 12:06 PM
Actually Kevin, I would rather not play a gambit in an opening i know very little about at this stage :) . But it seemed to be the choice of ppl who have replied so far.

As i said i am open to suggestions on this.
The reason you play from's gambit is so they go into the king's gambit and then you just win-didn't shirov call it the king's gambit defence

Garvinator
07-04-2004, 12:30 PM
The reason you play from's gambit is so they go into the king's gambit and then you just win-didn't shirov call it the king's gambit defence
and wouldnt that go down in flames if white takes the e pawn?

Kevin Bonham
07-04-2004, 06:31 PM
Actually Kevin, I would rather not play a gambit in an opening i know very little about at this stage :) . But it seemed to be the choice of ppl who have replied so far.

That is probably partly because you called the thread "From's Gambit".

1.f4 is called Bird's Opening.

It is only the From Gambit if Black plays 1...e5.

The standards non-gambit setup for Black is something like this: pawns on c5, d5 and g6, B on g7, Ns on c6 and f6. An important thing is not to let White get away with e4 too early in the game, so many people play 1...d5 or 1...Nf6 with 2...d5. If you let White grab e4 too early the position can be difficult to play.

If you play 1...d5 and White plays 2.b3 an interesting move is ...Bg4. The idea is that you stop W using his KN to attack in league with the Bb2 and threaten to wreck his pawn structure when he brings it out. There are plenty of other ways to play against 2.b3 kind of stuff though.

Looking through a booklet of Bird's Opening theory last night, I found this Australian 1995 telechess game featuring a member of this BB:

Wohl - Jamieson

1.f4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 0-0 5.0-0 c5 6.d3 d5 7.c3 Nc6 8.a3 a5 9.a4 d4 10.Qc2 Nd5 11.Bd2 Bg4 12.h3 Bxf3 13.Bxf3 Rb8 14.Na3 e5 15.Qb3 Nce7 16.fxe5 Bxe5 17.Kg2 Ne3+ 18.Bxe3 dxe3 19.Nc4 Bc7 20.g4 Kh8 21.Qd1 f5 22.Rh1 Nd5 23.d4 fxg4 24.hxg4 Rxf3 25.exf3 Nf4+ 26.Kg1 e2 27.Qe1 cxd4 28.Rh2 d3 29.Kh1 g5 30.Nd2 Bb6 31.Qg3 Be3 32.Ne4 d2 33.Rxe2 d1=Q+ 34.Rxd1 Qxd1+ 35.Re1 Qd3 36.Nxg5 Re8 37.Qh4 Re7 38.Qh6 Ng6 39.Nf7+ Kg8 40.Qh2 Rxf7 41.Qxh7+ Rxh7+ 0-1

Now you may be wondering what the point of that stuffing around on the q-side with a3, ...a5, a4 etc is. The idea is to stop Black building up with pawns on the queenside. But if White fiddles around too much on the q-side Black can start attacking on the k-side. The main drawback of 1.f4 IMHO compared to 1.e4,1.d4 and 1.c4 is that White's k-side can become weak. That's not to say it's a bad opening, but there's a reason why you don't see it played at super-GM level too often.

Another option for Black is 1...f5. I used to play it but don't like it all that much, the problem is that you've replied to White's weakening of his K side by weakening your own so at the worst he still has the first-move advantage.

Garvinator
07-04-2004, 06:45 PM
That is probably partly because you called the thread "From's Gambit".

yes i know, i tried changing the title after i posted the question the first time, but i didnt work out quick enough how to change the title :doh:

thank you btw kevin.

Kevin Bonham
07-04-2004, 07:04 PM
I think only mods and admins can change the thread title. I'll change it for you later tonight if you like.

For the sake of weirdness I should mention a really bizarre anti-Birds line I researched ages ago. It goes: 1.f4 d5 2.g3 h5. Do not adjust your set. Black aims to push ...h4, sac the exchange on h4 then wallop White's king all over the board. I think that White can escape and win with precise play but there's not much margin for error.

Also a nice trap mentioned in Trends in the Bird's Volume 2 and attributed to John Emms.

1.f4 Nf6 2.b3 d6 3.Bb2 e5 4.fxe5 dxe5 5.Bxe5 Ng4 6.Bb2 Nxh2!! 7.Rxh2 Bd6 8.Rh3 Qh4+ 9.Rxh4 Bg3 mate

Our local Bird's specialist is an expert in a line (apparently once played by Basman) where White's first moves are 1.f4, 2.g3, 3.Bg2, 4.Nh3, 5.Nf2. The idea is to bolster a quick e4 push, but obviously there's a small loss of time involved here. Players who haven't seen it before are frequently smashed by it.

Garvinator
07-04-2004, 07:09 PM
I think only mods and admins can change the thread title. I'll change it for you later tonight if you like.
yes, please change the title from froms gambit to 1. f4 birds opening.

Garvinator
07-04-2004, 07:14 PM
For the sake of weirdness I should mention a really bizarre anti-Birds line I researched ages ago. It goes: 1.f4 d5 2.g3 h5. Do not adjust your set. Black aims to push ...h4, sac the exchange on h4 then wallop White's king all over the board. I think that White can escape and win with precise play but there's not much margin for error.
since you pointed it out, i have just found this line on fritz 8

Trent Parker
07-04-2004, 07:30 PM
Trent, I've got much happier memories of the next time I played Ronald. :)

btw, in the first game, Ronald played 32.Rc6, not 32.Re6 which is en prise to the knight, and I resigned after 40.Nxe7 rather than play on a rook down (don't know where the last few moves came from).


Yu,R - Canfell,G [A02]
NSW Championship, 22.09.2003
[Canfell,Greg]

1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 d6 3.exd6 Bxd6 4.Nf3 g5 5.d4?! [ 5.g3] 5...g4 6.Ne5 Bxe5 7.dxe5 Qxd1+ 8.Kxd1 Nc6 9.Bf4 Nge7 10.e3 Bf5! [ 10...Be6] 11.Nd2 0-0-0 12.Kc1 Ng6 13.Bg5 [ 13.b3 Ncxe5] 13...Rde8! [ 13...Rd7? 14.Bf6 Re8 15.e4 Be6 16.Bb5] 14.Bf6 Rhg8 15.Bd3 [ 15.Bb5 Ngxe5 ( 15...Bd7) 16.Rf1 ( 16.Bxe5 Rxe5 17.Bxc6 bxc6 18.Nc4 Re4 19.b3 Be6) 16...Bd7 17.b3 Rg6] 15...Bxd3 16.cxd3 Ngxe5 17.Bxe5 Rxe5 18.Nc4 [ 18.e4 Rd8;
18.Re1 Nb4] 18...Rf5 19.Kc2 [ 19.Rd1 Rf2 20.Rd2 Nb4! 21.Ne5 ( 21.d4 g3 22.hxg3 Rf1+ 23.Rd1 Rxd1+ 24.Kxd1 Rxg3 25.Ke2 Rxg2+ 26.Kf3 Rc2-+) 21...Rf1+ 22.Rd1 Rxd1+ 23.Kxd1 f6 24.a3 Nd5 25.Nc4 b5 26.e4 Nf4-+] 19...Rf2+ 20.Kc3 b5 21.Nd2 b4+ 22.Kc2 Re8 23.Raf1 Rxg2 24.e4 Ne5! 25.Rfg1 Rxg1 26.Rxg1 Rd8 27.Rg3 h5 28.Nb3 h4 29.Re3 Rxd3! 30.Rxd3 Nxd3 31.Nd4 g3 32.hxg3 h3 0-1

I just got this off the NSWCA website

Rhubarb
07-04-2004, 08:47 PM
I just got this off the NSWCA website
OK, so it's wrong on the NSWCA site. It's wrong on the original ACF bulletin as well. Do you mind changing it here? As I said, 32.Rc6 instead of 32.Re6, and 40.Nxe7 1-0.

Thanks,
Greg

Trent Parker
08-04-2004, 03:25 PM
OK, so it's wrong on the NSWCA site. It's wrong on the original ACF bulletin as well. Do you mind changing it here? As I said, 32.Rc6 instead of 32.Re6, and 40.Nxe7 1-0.

Thanks,
Greg
done on original post :)

Rhubarb
08-04-2004, 03:44 PM
done on original post :)
Right, thanks mate. :)

Garvinator
09-04-2004, 11:00 AM
thanks for the help guys but birds opening didnt eventuate. My opponent changed when i arrived at the club. the help hasnt been wasted though ;)

Davidflude
16-04-2004, 12:03 AM
I wrote an article in Australian Chess on the NeoFrom which is much stronger than the From's Gambit.

1.f4 e5 2.fxe Nc6 3.Nf3 g5. I am not going to repeat all the theory just track down a copy of the magazine.

In my opinion best play for white after 1..e5 is 2.e4. I showed a nameless IM
a really hairy line as black

1. f4 e5 2.e4 Nc6 (it looks absurd) 3.Nf3 f5 White can keep the advantage if he knows how (but only one source deals with it properly as far as I know).

If white gets it wrong he gets splattered like in a Tarantino movie.

Garvinator
16-04-2004, 02:27 AM
In my opinion best play for white after 1..e5 is 2.e4.

I would take it then if you are going to play this line as white, then you would want to have more than just some idea about the kings gambit too, just in case black plays exf4.

Kevin Bonham
16-04-2004, 03:18 AM
I wrote an article in Australian Chess on the NeoFrom which is much stronger than the From's Gambit.

He's not wrong there. If you do want to play aggressively against 1.f4 and are thinking about the gambit I'd just head straight for 2...Nc6 and give the old line a miss. We discussed the NFG a bit following David's article in this thread on the old BB. (http://www.chesskit.com/auschess/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.pl?board=Games;action=display;num=1057648565; start=)

At the end of all that 1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 Nc6 3.Nf3 g5 4.e3 g4 5.Ng1 d6 6.exd6 Bxd6 7.Ne2 was the only line that I thought offered White anything other than pain. Even there a lot of care is required.

Lucena
16-04-2004, 11:18 PM
In my opinion best play for white after 1..e5 is 2.e4. I showed a nameless IM
a really hairy line as black

1. f4 e5 2.e4 Nc6 (it looks absurd) 3.Nf3 f5 White can keep the advantage if he knows how (but only one source deals with it properly as far as I know).

If white gets it wrong he gets splattered like in a Tarantino movie."nameless IM" wouldn't happen to be Guy West by any chance? I saw him actually GET this on the board in Ballarat

Garvinator
04-06-2004, 09:24 AM
All in all, I'm quite happy as a 1.f4 regular to face 1...c5. Opponents near my level (~1900) seem to do significantly worse with that as opposed to 1...d5/Nf6 lines.

ned
how do you go when you play 1. f4 and the opponent replies 1. ... e5?

young_ned
04-06-2004, 11:04 AM
I generally play these lines depending on the variety of From faced:
1.f4 e5!? 2.fxe5
A) 2...Nc6 3.Nf3 g5 4.d4
B) 2...d6 3.Nf3
B1) 3...dxe5 4.e4
B2) 3...g5 4.e4 g4 5.Ng5 or Bc4 depending on opponent
And every now and again to keep my friends honest, I'll play 2.e4 as an irritant.

Of all the replies against 1.f4, I feel that without any question the best replies are 1...Nf6 & 1..d5 for a laundry list of reasons. But that's only if I'm really facing a 1.f4 player. If I'm just getting a changeup opening from a 1.d4/e4/c4 player the From is a good way to go. I personally don't play it, I stick to 1...Nf6. But then I can count on one hand the number of times anyone has played 1.f4 against me when they knew I play it often as White.

The problem with the From is it's ease of use for Black. Rather than learn to play against 1.f4 directly, which takes alot of time, Black spends a little time on the From. Problem comes though when Black runs into an f4 regular and their Gambit line runs out on them. Positional equality doesn't necessarily overcome the inherent advantage of positional familiarity.

I would be perfectly happy to play a match against someone where they insisted on playing the From exclusively as Black against 1.f4 -- I'd never play anything but 1.f4 in that case. It would give me twice as much time to focus on my Black defenses. ;)

ned

edit:
Much effort of late has been invested in the "Neo-From" as a reply to 1.f4. CC players have been testing that for years. Beyond just the important work of Hayward on 1.f4, there's some really great CC analysis out there. IMHO, nothing speaks louder to the strength of the Froms than the predominant use of other replies to 1.f4 by most better CC players. Too often OTB players (including myself) forget to check out the valuable work the CC players have been doing for years.

Garvinator
04-06-2004, 11:46 AM
ill admit when i asked about your f4 comment, i was leading somewhere ;) . This bb has had a thread on the birds opening and here is the link for it , feel free to post there about the birds opening if you wish :D http://www.chesschat.org/showthread.php?t=528&page=2&pp=15&highlight=birds+opening


also Kevin might have something more to say about this section too.

young_ned
04-06-2004, 12:41 PM
Ooooo. Thanks! I was so focused in on the closed Sicilian I didn't notice that thread. I'll head over there and see if I can add anything constructive. I'm no GM, but I have decent piece of experience with 1.f4, so hopefully I won't lower the quality of the discussion!

ned

young_ned
04-06-2004, 01:38 PM
Hello all, I had posted a different thread with a question regarding two closed Sicilian-type positions via transposition from Bird's Opening here (http://www.chesschat.org/showthread.php?t=676) (I welcome any thoughts on those positions) and was kindly directed to this thread by ggrayggray. Before tossing in my thoughts here, let me first say as a regular player of 1.f4 (~1900) this is a very interesting thread with lots of good information. I hope I can add something positive and helpful to the discussion. I'll try not to repeat my thoughts from the other thread too much.

First, from my experience I play these lines against the Froms:
A) 2...Nc6 3.Nf3 g5 4.d4
B) 2...d6 3.Nf3
B1) 3...dxe5 4.e4
B2) 3...g5 4.e4 g4 5.Ng5 or Bc4 depending on opponent

I agree completely that with the previous posters that 4.e4 is only good for White with the careful play as listed. I would ask why you don't feel that 4.d4 is playable against the Neo-From? I have had excellent results with it personally against competition of comparable strength to mine.

As I look at the Ronald Yu game posted in the thread linked by an earlier poster, I note that he plays a similar 4.d4 line as well (although only to a draw in that case). I would personally have played 7.d5 instead of his choice of 7.e3. IMHO, the position after move 6 is += and looking good for White. 7.e3 and alternately 6.e4 dxe4 7.Bc4 are playable but not as good as 7.d5.

It is because of these solid White lines that I would never (as a 1.f4 player) trot out the From against a 1.f4 regular as Black. If it's not their main opening, then maybe, but even then I would play 1...Nf6.

So, in regards to the original question of this thread, how to reply to 1.f4 as Black....

It's long-winded so I put the main idea in the next sentence. Feel free to skip the rest if I get boring.

1...Nf6 and 1...d5 offer the the best defense to 1.f4 IMHO. 1...d5 is a good way to prevent a Bird player from thinking of an early b3, Bg2 as the Black Queen's bishop create can cause some trouble in this line. Personally, I favor 1...Nf6, and would likely continue with 2...g6 with an eye toward achieving a kingside fianchetto and a KID-like position as Black. But, if you're not a KID fan this may not a great idea.

Alternately, the moves Nf6,d5 and then Bg4 are a bit irritating for your Bird's regular. Placing a knight on e5 is very strong for White and so exchanging Black's light bishop for the knight is a good way to really blunt the offensive thrusts of 1.f4 and push White in to less favorable territory.

If you play the Sicilian, you can push White toward the suspect GPA with 1...c5. The problem with the GPA from the 1.f4 angle is that 2.Nc3 is not the best reply to 1...c5, and without 2.Nc3 (and often even with it) it is very hard to discourage 2(or 3)...d5!, Black's best reply to the immediate GPA. As a consequence, White's lines against 1...c5 often lead to positions that are transpositions to B25 lines of the closed Sicilian or to positions that bear strong similarities. So, if that's your bag as Black, 1...c5 might be a good reply.

The last reply I would mention is 1...f5. This reply generally makes a mess of things and leads to positions that are not all that clear. A 1.f4 regular will have more familiarity (in all likelihood) than you with these positions and so I would not recommend this reply. Why spend alot of time on something like this when something potentially more in line with your other Black repertoire choices may be found? Of course if you play the Dutch primarily, you may find this more to your liking even though it is hardly main line Dutch.

As Black, I think it is important to ask what you're after against 1.f4 in each situation you face it. If it's a friendly game at the club, try anything that suits your play style. If it's in a tourney, I think the first question is "Is your opponent a 1.f4 regular?" If they are, I would play 1...Nf6,g6,Bg7,O-O,etc. and the calmer lines angling toward equality and unthreatening positions in the KID. If they aren't, I would play 1...c5 and see how well they know their closed games (or suck them into the GPA). Of course, if you don't like the closed games you could always trot out the Neo-From against this White player.

And I'm tired. Hope in that large pile you find something that is of help.

ned

edit: fixed bad move # in 1...c5 reply section

Lucena
04-06-2004, 03:40 PM
Ok here's a trivia question-who knows what variation f4 c5 Nc3 d5 e4(!) has transposed to?

Garvinator
04-06-2004, 05:02 PM
Ok here's a trivia question-who knows what variation f4 c5 Nc3 d5 e4(!) has transposed to?
more information plz, can i have another couple of moves please?

Lucena
04-06-2004, 05:04 PM
more information plz, can i have another couple of moves please?

No. f4 c5 Nc3 d5 e4 has transposed to e4 c5 f4 d5 Nc3. What is the name of that variation?

Brian_Jones
04-06-2004, 06:01 PM
The Grand Prix Attack?

Bill Gletsos
04-06-2004, 07:18 PM
The opening is obviously the Grand Prix Attack.
The variation is the Hebden Variation named after Mark Hebden.
According to Gary Lane it apparently is also known as the Toilet Attack based on where Mark was when he got the inspiration for it. :whistle:

Rincewind
04-06-2004, 07:24 PM
The opening is obviously the Grand Prix Attack.
The variation is the Hebden Variation named after Mark Hebden.
According to Cary Lane it apparently is also known as the Toilet Attack based on where Mark was when he got the inspiration for it. :whistle:

That name's already used. Where did you think Caro got the idea for 1...c6?

:lol:

Kevin Bonham
04-06-2004, 08:03 PM
I agree completely that with the previous posters that 4.e4 is only good for White with the careful play as listed. I would ask why you don't feel that 4.d4 is playable against the Neo-From? I have had excellent results with it personally against competition of comparable strength to mine.

As I look at the Ronald Yu game posted in the thread linked by an earlier poster, I note that he plays a similar 4.d4 line as well (although only to a draw in that case). I would personally have played 7.d5 instead of his choice of 7.e3. IMHO, the position after move 6 is += and looking good for White. 7.e3 and alternately 6.e4 dxe4 7.Bc4 are playable but not as good as 7.d5.

I agree that White is looking very good after 7.d5 in the line from the Yu game but 5...d5 may not be the best move for Black. In his article, David Flude suggested the rarely played 5...Bh6. (6.Nxf7 doesn't seem to quite come up with enough, and 6.Ne4 just seems to leave White struggling with the bad pawns.) When I read his article I thought 5...Bh6 was so strong as to make 4.d4 not really worth playing. Chessbase gives +0=2-4 for Black after 5...Bh6 so still early days there, but I can't see anything all that strong for White. Had a look at 6.Qd2 trying to use the f-file and the attack on the g-pawn to get somewhere but can't quite make it work.

young_ned
05-06-2004, 05:09 AM
Silly computer has eaten two replies. Can't seem to log in....must be a timeout on the reply thing.

I have never hit 5...Bh6 OTB. My notes have 6.Nxf7, 6.Qd2, and 6.Ne4 as playable for both sides. 6.Nxf7 is followed by 7.e3 and Black should play 7...d5 or ...d6. The positions look relatively equal to me with opportunities for both sides. I also have that you could play 5.Bg5 instead of 5.Ng5. That would avoid 5...Bh6 entirely.

My notes have 6.Qd2 as marginally better than the others. I'll take a closer look in a bit and post some thoughts on that line.

On the two CB games with 6.Nxf7...
The CC game in CB looks good. Black plays very well, and shows well that 7.e4 isn't the best follow-up to 6.Nxf7. 7.e3 and White is better off (relative to 7.e4) in the lines that result I think.

The OTB in CB is a disaster. Two players who memorized an opening and then proceed to fall apart when their lines ran out. 5+ game changing blunders and many other mistakes make for an instructive lesson in what can happen when lesser players spend too much time on openings and not enough time on basic tactics. I have a friend who plays the Sicilian and knows entirely too many openings for someone who plays at 1400. It'll be good for a laugh between friends.

I'll have to kick these lines around at the club, but the computer indicates Black has ample opportunitu to stumble vs. 6.Nxf7, 7.e3., unlike vs. the 4.e4, 5.Ng1 lines where so many options are available.

BTW, is that article online aywhere? It sounds like a good read.

ned

skip to my lou
05-06-2004, 05:41 AM
young_ned, please see second post in announcement:

http://chesschat.org/showthread.php?t=680

Lucena
05-06-2004, 11:34 AM
The opening is obviously the Grand Prix Attack.
The variation is the Hebden Variation named after Mark Hebden.
According to Gary Lane it apparently is also known as the Toilet Attack based on where Mark was when he got the inspiration for it. :whistle:

Yes-the name I've heard is the "Toilet Variation". However "Toilet Attack" sounds even more outrageous, so I think I like that name better! :clap:

Kevin Bonham
05-06-2004, 08:24 PM
I have never hit 5...Bh6 OTB. My notes have 6.Nxf7, 6.Qd2, and 6.Ne4 as playable for both sides.

I looked at 6.Qd2 last night. For a while I thought that White had real play with the f-file and play against the g-pawn and so on, despite the doubled pawns, but I could never quite get it to work. For instance 6...Bxg5 7.Qxg5 Qxg5 8.Bxg5 Nxd4 9.Na3 a6!? 10.e3 Nc6 11.Bf4 Nge7 12.Be2 Ng6 and Black can meet the useful-looking break 13.e6 with ...d6 so I think Black is no worse than equal (and, to my prejudices, maybe even a shade better in the long term). That's just one line though, alternatives welcome.


6.Nxf7 is followed by 7.e3 and Black should play 7...d5 or ...d6. The positions look relatively equal to me with opportunities for both sides. I also have that you could play 5.Bg5 instead of 5.Ng5. That would avoid 5...Bh6 entirely.

The article gives 5.Bg5 Be7 6.Be7 Qxe7 7.d5 gxf3 8.dxc6 fxg2 9.Bxg2 Qh4+ 10.Kf1 Qf4 (claimed improvement) 11.Ke1 dxc6 as good for Black. Haven't looked at this closely yet.


The CC game in CB looks good. Black plays very well, and shows well that 7.e4 isn't the best follow-up to 6.Nxf7. 7.e3 and White is better off (relative to 7.e4) in the lines that result I think.

Yes the game in the Flude article is the 7.e4 game as well with no mention of 7.e3 which indeed looks far more accurate. I looked at 7...d6 8.e6+! and I can see how by deferring e4 White may be able to get immense pressure on the f-file and with the Q coming out from c1 to g5 or h6 after e4 is played later. I wonder therefore if 7...d5 to stop the white e6-d5 pawn lock is much better than 7...d6 but haven't looked at this yet.


The OTB in CB is a disaster. Two players who memorized an opening and then proceed to fall apart when their lines ran out. 5+ game changing blunders and many other mistakes make for an instructive lesson in what can happen when lesser players spend too much time on openings and not enough time on basic tactics.

Very often the case. A common trap for beginners is placing too much faith in database stats and not looking at the quality of the games and the history of the variation in question. Most OTB games below the very top level are rubbish for trying to evaluate a line and some CC ones aren't much better! (You obviously know this already, that was for the audience.)


BTW, is that article online aywhere? It sounds like a good read.

It isn't, but its author is, he's a member here. I might send him a PM and alert him to this discussion, I suspect he'd enjoy it (and he'd know rather more about all this than I do.)

young_ned
06-06-2004, 03:15 AM
Very interesting reply Kevin. I've got some more from my notes and I'll be talking to a couple strong players tomorrow at the club. I'll try to put it all together Sun or Mon and see if it adds up to something interesting.

I just wanted to briefly add that I have 7...d6 as being best for Black against 7.e3. 7...d5 leads to a slightly better positions for White. Nothing to exciting, but I thought I'd add that to second your appraisal. :)

ned

young_ned
06-06-2004, 07:15 AM
Thoughts on:
5.Bg5 Be7 6.Be7 Qxe7 7.d5 gxf3 8.dxc6 fxg2 9.Bxg2 Qh4+ 10.Kf1 Qf4 (claimed improvement) 11.Ke1 dxc6 -+ (from article)

Pushing for the exchange of Knights doesn't seem to hold any benefit for White and I'm not a fan of simplifying unless there's a very good reason to do so or no other good options.

So instead of the suspect 7.d5, I like 7.Nfd2.

Black replies:
A) Kamikaze: 7...g3 8.e3 gxh2 9.Rxh2 +/- Trades another pawn off for a minor kingside mess for White.
B) Send a friend: 7...h5(f5) 8.c3 +/= Black cannot break through on the kingside unless White falls asleep. Black can make a mess, but it doesn't seem to lead to anything White can't handle. Once it's the push is stopped Black's kingside is exposed and White will be able to launch a good counterattack.
C) Hit the center: 7...Nxd4 8.e3 Nc6 9.Qxg4
C1) 9...Nxe5 10.Qg7 Qf6 11.Qxf6 Nxf6 =
C2) 9...Qxe5 10.Qe4 Qxe4 11.Nxe4 =

None seem to offer much hope for a quick Black victory. I don't see anything as White that is upsetting. That said, other than in A and B I don't see anything exciting for White either. Feels drawish.

Checked into the 6.Qd2 line on the computer for a few hours while watching a soccer game. White seems to hold a slight material edge, but I just couldn't turn that into a win without a mistake by Black (though there were certainly many opportunities for those by both sides). I kept ending up in positions with K-R vs. K-N. Generally White seemed to feel better, but I had problems getting all of White's pieces coordinated. Bishop kept ending up Kingside and the Knight gets wedged over on a3. More thought and consultation needed here. Perhaps an alternative to 9.Na3.

ned

Kevin Bonham
07-06-2004, 12:06 AM
So instead of the suspect 7.d5, I like 7.Nfd2.

Yes, this looks a lot better than 7.d5.


C) Hit the center: 7...Nxd4 8.e3 Nc6 9.Qxg4
C1) 9...Nxe5 10.Qg7 Qf6 11.Qxf6 Nxf6 =
C2) 9...Qxe5 10.Qe4 Qxe4 11.Nxe4 =

I only found one game with 7...Nxd4 on chessbase; White replied with the weakish-looking 8.Nc4 and eventually lost.) In line c1) another option if White is playing for a result is 10.Qf4. I think Black's best reply is ...d6. This leads to strategically tricky positions that are also roughly = (so far as I can tell) but with the queens still on there is a lot of scope for the more imaginative player to outplay the opponent.

Another idea for Black is 7...Qb4 but 8.c3 Qxb2 9.Nb3 f6 10.e3 fxe5 += suggests White doesn't have much to fear there.

Since Black's 5th and 6th moves are pretty much forced in the 5.Bg5 line you've now convinced me that 4.d4 is playable if White doesn't mind an "only even" position. 1.f4 players frequently don't mind that at all so long as it's something a bit fresh and different from the usual.

young_ned
07-06-2004, 01:53 PM
I've been working on my main opening (1.Nf3) and been engaged in non-chess activities so I haven't had much time for the From yet. While fiddling around with some pawn structure stuff I came across an alternate to 4.d4. How about 4.h3? A quick look is seems like this move is good for White.

11 games in CB with 6 Black wins. Most of the Black wins are have either a major blunder or a pretty clear mistake that gives the game away. I didn't look at the White wins or the draws, but while this line appears to be trappy for White it certainly seems to be OK with careful play. By OK I mean eqaulity for White :)

ned

Kevin Bonham
07-06-2004, 04:42 PM
I've been working on my main opening (1.Nf3) and been engaged in non-chess activities so I haven't had much time for the From yet. While fiddling around with some pawn structure stuff I came across an alternate to 4.d4. How about 4.h3? A quick look is seems like this move is good for White.

The article I mentioned gives 4...d6 for Black and mentions two white 5th moves: 5.exd6 which it dismisses as "every bit as bad as it appears after 5...Bxd6 For example 6.Kxf2 g4 7.hxg Nf6". My view: I agree.

: 5.d4 dxe 6.d5 (6.dxe Qxd1 7.Kxd1 g4 "and Black is better") e4 7.Nxg5 Bd6 8.Nxe4 Bf5 9.Nbc3 Qh4+ 10.Nf3 Bg3 (full game score given and Black won) Frenzel-Hergert corr 1986. My view: I don't like 9.Nbc3 in this game. White has lost with 9.Nxd6+ (which I don't like either) three times, but Fritz suggests an option 9.Bg5!? (very messy).

Also (not mentioned by Flude) White has 5.e4. This has been played twice for a win and a draw. In the game White won Black made errors early, and in the draw White played 6.d3 which looks very timid to me, I would play 6.Bb5. 5.e4 is a positional response (giving back the pawn but blunting ...Bd6 and intending Bb5) and looks both sensible and rather good for White to me. White's dark square weaknesses around the king only matter if Black can connect with them, but I do not think this is easy to acheive.

I've enjoyed this discussion. I only play 1.f4 very rarely (about 1 game in 100 and typically just for a change against much weaker opponents) but it is good to see that White has a variety of apparently decent responses to the NFG.

young_ned
08-06-2004, 12:10 AM
I agree, it's been a good discussion and hopefully both Black and White can take something from it. I play 1.f4 about 1/8-1/10 times and am pretty comfortable with it. I play it against people my own level who I want to surprise a bit or who are extemely booked up vs. the Reti and vs. the English variations I play as my main openings.

Have a good week all! I'll post anything interesting on the From that comes up at the club.

ned

Davidflude
12-10-2004, 04:36 PM
I am playing the black side of From's Gambit in ICCF master class. Obviously I cannot comment on the game while it is in progress. Remember though that I am quite happy to play King's gambit posituions as either white or black.

JGB
12-10-2004, 04:39 PM
I am playing the black side of From's Gambit in ICCF master class. Obviously I cannot comment on the game while it is in progress. Remember though that I am quite happy to play King's gambit posituions as either white or black.

Well good luck. At least the ride will be exciting regardless of the outcome.

Thunderspirit
11-02-2005, 02:58 AM
It has suprised me that no-one has mentioned Canberra club player, Mos Ali. (Or if they have, I missed it) Mos is about 1800, and has played pretty much only 1.f4 for the last 15 years. He's seen it all, and played all sorts of defences against the Bird's (or the Canary attack, as it's been dubbed in Canberra of late.)
Some of Mos's games have had some important theoretical value. And he beat a then FM Sandler and recently beat IM Emil Urgreanu (sp) at the last NSWCA weekender. It hasn't alwazy been one way traffic with Ian Rout crushing an old peice sac line in the From's which he now rarely plays. That line goes

I don't remember all the moves, but I'm sure Ian has it somewhere...

It's an easy to learn opening, with some simple attacking ideas... which suits Mos....

Trent Parker
11-02-2005, 10:33 AM
I've played mos a couple of times. Both occasions me being white. He also plays the Dutch. They have been interesting games but Mos has both times beaten my Staunton Gambit.

Trent Parker
22-02-2005, 10:30 AM
Toukley U2000
White: Mos Ali
Black: Trent Parker
Opening: Birds Opening

1.f4 d6 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.g3 e5 4.d3 Be6 5.Bg2 Qd7 6.Ng5 Bg4 7.h3 Bh5 8.g4 Bxg4 9.hxg4 Qxg4 10.Rg1 Qh4+ 11.Kf1 exf4 12.Qd2 Nd4 13.c3 f6 14.Ne4 Ne6 15.Rh1 Qg5 16.Bh3 Qh5 17.Nf2 f5 18.e4 fxe3 19.Qxe3 Qf7 20.Na3 g6 21.Nb5 Kd7 22.Nd4 Bh6 23.Qxe6+ Qxe6 24.Nxe6 Kxe6 25.Bxf5+ Kxf5 26.Bxh6 Nxh6 27.Rxh6 Kg5 28.Rh2 h5 29.Ne4+ Kh6 30.Ke2 Rae8 31.Kd2 Rhf8 32.Rg1 Re5 33.Rhg2 Rg8 34.Nf6 Rg7 35.d4 Re6 36.Nxh5 Rf7 37.d5 Re5 38.Rxg6+ Kxh5 39.Rg8 And i resigned Soon after......

Davidflude
16-03-2005, 04:41 PM
I have not had time to annotate the following game yet but here it is to look at.

My opponent is a correspondence IM. He missed a stunning win at one point.

His blunder was a beauty. Event: EM/M/285
Site: ICCF
Date: 2004.09.10
Round: ?
White: Nowak, Ireneusz
Black: Flude, David
Result: 0-1
PlyCount: 70
EventDate: 2004.??.??

1. f4 e5 2. fxe5 Nc6 3. Nf3 g5 4. d4 g4 5. Ng5 d5 6. exd6 {e.p.} Qxd6 7. d5 Ne5
8. Nc3 f5 9. Bf4 Bg7 10. Qd4 Qe7 11. Qa4+ Bd7 12. Nb5 O-O-O 13. Nxa7+ Kb8 14.
Nb5 Bxb5 15. Qxb5 Ng6 16. Bc1 Nf6 17. c4 Ne4 18. Ne6 Rd6 19. Nxg7 Qxg7 20. Be3
f4 21. Bg1 Qh6 22. Qb3 Qh4+ 23. g3 Nxg3 24. Bf2 Qh5 25. Bxg3 fxg3 26. c5 Rdd8
27. O-O-O gxh2 28. c6 b6 29. Bg2 Ne5 30. Qa4 Qg5+ 31. Kb1 Rd6 32. Rc1 g3 33.
Rc3 Qg6+ 34. Be4 g2 35. Bxg6 gxh1=Q+ 0-1

Glenno
22-03-2005, 09:56 AM
Here is an ECO list of openings with 1. f4 as its opening move.

Bird's opening: 1. f4 (White 34%; Black 40% draw 26%)
Bird's opening: 1. f4 d5 (White 33%; Black 39% draw 28%)
Bird's opening (From gambit): 1. f4 e5 (White 40%; Black 41% draw 19%)
Mujannah opening: 1. f4 d5 2. c4 (White 34%; Black 40% draw 26%)
Bird's opening (Williams gambit): 1. f4 d5 2. e4 (White 42%; Black 39% draw 19%)
Bird's opening (Lasker variation): 1. f4 d5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. e3 c5 (White 43%; Black 35% draw 22%)
Bird's opening (From gambit, Lasker variation): 1. f4 e5 2. fxe5 d6 3. exd6 Bxd6 4. Nf3 g5 (White 40%; Black 41% draw 19%)
Bird's opening (From gambit, Lipke variation): 1. f4 e5 2. fxe5 d6 3. exd6 Bxd6 4. Nf3 Nf6 5. d4 (White 40%; Black 28% draw 32%)

The statistics relate to games played since 1991 which are on the website www.chesslab.com.

Duff McKagan
23-03-2005, 01:01 PM
I have not had time to annotate the following game yet but here it is to look at.

My opponent is a correspondence IM. He missed a stunning win at one point.

His blunder was a beauty.

Ireneusz Nowak is a comp, his blunder (like some of his previous ones) are because he does everything on the computer and sending such a quick reply in a winning position before checking it, he put the wrong piece on e4.

Glenno
23-03-2005, 01:27 PM
For the record, here are the statistics with 1. f4 as its opening move for games until 1990 in www.chesslab.com.

Bird's opening: 1. f4 (White 39%; Black 37% draw 24%)
Bird's opening: 1. f4 d5 (White 39%; Black 35% draw 26%)
Bird's opening (From gambit): 1. f4 e5 (White 40%; Black 41% draw 19%)
Mujannah opening: 1. f4 d5 2. c4 (White 43%; Black 41% draw 16%)
Bird's opening (Williams gambit): 1. f4 d5 2. e4 (White 69%; Black 7% draw 24%)
Bird's opening (Lasker variation): 1. f4 d5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. e3 c5 (No games)
Bird's opening (From gambit, Lasker variation): 1. f4 e5 2. fxe5 d6 3. exd6 Bxd6 4. Nf3 g5 (White 42%; Black 43% draw 15%)
Bird's opening (From gambit, Lipke variation): 1. f4 e5 2. fxe5 d6 3. exd6 Bxd6 4. Nf3 Nf6 5. d4 (White 50%; Black 30% draw 20%)

Here are four games (all since 1991) that are wins by Black against the Williams Gambit that ended no later than Black's 25th move. There were no such games before then.

[Event "?"] [Site "corr IECG 7PSRR"] [Date "1996.??.??"] [White "Ramirez, Thomas"] [Black "Cortese, Davide"] 1. f4 d5 2. e4 dxe4 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Qe2 Bg4 5. Qb5+ Nc6 6. Qxb7 Nd4 7. Bb5+ Bd7 8. Bxd7+ Nxd7 9. Qxe4 Nc5 10. Qd5 Nxc2+ 11. Kd1 Nxa1 12. Qxc5 Qd6 13. d4 Qxc5 14. dxc5 e6 15. Be3 O-O-O+ 16. Kc1 Rd3 17. Bf2 Be7 18. Kb1 Rd2 19. Nge2 Nc2 20. Kc1 Rhd8 21. a3 Bf6 22. Rf1 c6 23. g4 Na1 24. Nd4 R8xd4 25. Bxd4 Nb3+ 0-1

[Event "?"] [Site "corr IECG Cat-T"] [Date "1995.??.??"] [White "Ramirez ,Thomas"] [Black "Dove, Christopher"] 1. f4 d5 2. e4 dxe4 3. Qe2 Nf6 4. Nc3 Nbd7 5. Nxe4 Nxe4 6. Qxe4 g6 7. Ba6 c6 8. Bc4 Bg7 9. Nf3 Nb6 10. O-O Bf5 11. Qe2 Bxc2 12. d3 Nxc4 13. Qxc2 Qb6+ 14. Rf2 Nd6 15. Ne5 Rd8 16. Nc4 Nxc4 17. dxc4 Bd4 0-1

[Event "?"] [Site "Novi ch-MI wmn"] [Date "1994.??.??"] [White "Hickey, Am"] [Black "Jackson, K"] 1. e4 d5 2. f4 dxe4 3. d3 exd3 4. f5 dxc2 5. Be3 cxd1=Q+ 6. Kf2 Qxf1+ 7. Kg3 Qxf5 8. Bf4 Qxf4+ 9. Kxf4 e6 10. g3 Qd4+ 11. Kf3 Qd5+ 12. Kg4 Qxh1 13. Ne2 e5+ 14. Kh4 Qxh2+ 15. Kg5 Qxe2 16. g4 Qxg4+ 0-1

[Event "?"] [Site "corr thematic"] [Date "1992.??.??"] [White "Bertelsen, B"] [Black "Rittenhouse, R"] 1. f4 d5 2. e4 dxe4 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. d4 Bg4 5. Be2 Bxe2 6. Ngxe2 e6 7. a3 Nc6 8. Be3 Ne7 9. Ng3 Nf5 10. Nxf5 exf5 11. O-O Ng4 12. Nxe4 Qh4 13. h3 Nxe3 14. Qe2 fxe4 15. Qxe3 f5 16. g4 g6 17. g5 O-O-O 18. c4 h6 19. b4 hxg5 20. fxg5 Rxd4 21. Qxd4 Qg3+ 22. Kh1 Rxh3+ 0-1

Kevin Bonham
07-10-2005, 05:29 PM
Interesting and lively From's Gambit game played in a G60 event at the HICC this week between the current state champion and the current state #3.

Black played 12...Nf3+ a move too late, the previous move it appears to win.

Nigel Frame (1851) - Peter Billam (1934)

1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 d6 3.exd6 Bxd6 4.Nf3 g5 5.g3 g4 6.Nh4 Ne7 7.d3 Ng6 8.Ng2 h5 9.Nc3 h4 10.gxh4 Nxh4 11.Nf4 g3 12.hxg3 Nf3+ 13.exf3 Rxh1 14.Qe2+ Qe7 15.Qxe7+ Kxe7 16.Bd2 Bxf4 17.Bxf4 Bh3 18.0-0-0 Rxf1 19.Nd5+ Kd7 20.Rxf1 Bxf1 21.Nxc7 Na6 22.Nxa8 Bg2 23.Be3 b6 24.Nxb6+ axb6 25.Bxb6 Bxf3 26.c3 Kc6 27.Bf2 Kb5 28.Kc2 Ka4 29.Bd4 Bd5 30.Kb1 Bf3 31.Be5 Nc5 32.b3+ Nxb3 33.axb3+ Kxb3 34.Kc1 Bg2 35.Kd2 Ka4 36.Ke3 Kb5 37.c4+ Kc5 38.Kd2 Bf3 39.Kc3 Kc6 40.d4 Be2 41.Kb4 Bf3 42.d5+ 1-0

Kevin Bonham
13-05-2009, 05:43 PM
*bump*


For the sake of weirdness I should mention a really bizarre anti-Birds line I researched ages ago. It goes: 1.f4 d5 2.g3 h5. Do not adjust your set. Black aims to push ...h4, sac the exchange on h4 then wallop White's king all over the board. I think that White can escape and win with precise play but there's not much margin for error.

There is a discussion of this line in Gary Lane's current Chesscafe column (http://www.chesscafe.com/lane/lane.htm), near the bottom. Gary analyses 1 f4 d5 2 g3 h5 3 Nf3 h4 4.Nxh4 and then looks at both ...Rxh4 and ...e5. He prefers the latter and annotates a game played with it, but evaluates the exchange sac thus:


True, there is nothing clear cut for White, who faces a tough struggle, but also there is no obvious route to victory for Black, although it will be easier to develop smoothly. I reckon in practical chess Black has the edge because White needs to take his time deciding where best to post his pieces, while Black just needs to get his pieces into play and castle queenside.