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  1. #1
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    1.Nf3 Nf6 2.g3 b5

    This line is sometimes known as the Polish Defence, or Polish Deferred to avoid confusion with 1.d4 b5 (seen in the famous Karpov-Miles game via the move order 1...a6) which is more widely known as the Polish Defence. Unlike 1.d4 b5 which is generally regarded as pretty suss, 1.Nf3 Nf6 2.g3 b5 is considered to be sound and has been played by quite a few top GMs over the past 50 years.

    I've been curious about this line and played it on a whim on the weekend and won with it (see Tas Open and Lightning thread in Tournament Results). I'm considering doing so again in future since from time to time I get bored of the standard 1.Nf3 Nf6 2.g3 g6 3.Bg2 Bg7 4.0-0 0-0 lines, especially against certain opponents.

    Does anyone else here play this line? Does anyone know of any books or surveys that devote substantial theoretical coverage (ideally several pages at least) to it? It has a couple of columns in NCO but not the same as reading explanations, discussion, history etc.

  2. #2
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    perfectly sound variation

    If I remember correctly the variation was played in a Petrosian - Spassky world championship game.

  3. #3
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    more on Petrosian v Spassky

    The line was played in their 1966 World Championship match. I have found analysis in R.Keene Flank Openings.

  4. #4
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    Kortchnoj - Karpov, USSR, 1973 0-1

  5. #5
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    On chessgames.com, the statistics for this opening say white wins 27.6%, draw 44.3%, while black wins 28.1% of the time... I have been keen to try this opening as well as it is something different and besides I don't really have an opening against NF3, g3......

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by D Dragicevic
    On chessgames.com, the statistics for this opening say white wins 27.6%, draw 44.3%, while black wins 28.1% of the time...
    Don't think those statistics are very meaninful, as it is not really tested well on a higher level. It would be intresting to check how those results correlated to rating difference between players.

    Quote Originally Posted by D Dragicevic
    I have been keen to try this opening as well as it is something different and besides I don't really have an opening against NF3, g3......
    But do you really need one? I guess anything will do. Bf5, pp e6.d5.c6 is the simplest (and very reliable).

  7. #7
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    I agree

    Igor is quite right about playing Bf5 outside of a c6/d5/e6 pawn chain. That is the defence to Nf3 recommended by Schiller. The approach is called the Capablanca/New York system against the Reti. I played the New York system against the Reti in a simul given by an IM on the net. I got a good position as black.

    All of this help is very generous considering that I often essay 1.nF3 as white

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Igor_Goldenberg
    Kortchnoj - Karpov, USSR, 1973 0-1
    Yes, and 19 years later Korchnoi (use a t and/or j if you prefer) pulled it out as black against Anand. Anand escaped with a draw in a worse position.

    Quote Originally Posted by Igor_Goldenberg
    Don't think those statistics are very meaninful, as it is not really tested well on a higher level.
    Perhaps they need qualification just like any other statistics. They are comprised of 210 games over 56 years. Enough to deserve more that summary dismissal.

    If Korchnoi, Karpov and Anand are not "high" enough for you, who would you like to see play it?
    meep meep

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boris
    Yes, and 19 years later Korchnoi (use a t and/or j if you prefer) pulled it out as black against Anand. Anand escaped with a draw in a worse position.

    Perhaps they need qualification just like any other statistics. They are comprised of 210 games over 56 years. Enough to deserve more that summary dismissal.

    If Korchnoi, Karpov and Anand are not "high" enough for you, who would you like to see play it?
    Only two games for making conclusion?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Igor_Goldenberg
    Only two games for making conclusion?
    Don't you mean two hundred and ten?

    Yeah, I'm sure Korchnoi just plays weak openings against fish like Anand on a whim
    meep meep

  11. #11
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Igor_Goldenberg
    Don't think those statistics are very meaninful, as it is not really tested well on a higher level. It would be intresting to check how those results correlated to rating difference between players.
    chessbase has 19 games since 1998 with both players rated over 2400. The scoreline is 50% (+4=11-4.) The mean rating of the white players is 2545. The mean rating of the black players is 2558. Since Black normally expects around 44% which equates to a rating difference of 43 points, a 50% score for Black while outrating the opponents by 13 points is nothing to be ashamed of, although the sample size is too small to say that this makes it an unusually good reply.

    If we include games with both players rated over 2300 there are 37 games since 1996 with +7=21-9 for the White pieces (Black scores 52.7%). On average Black outrates white by 29 points. Since 29 points is still not enough to cancel out colour difference, these are again at least decent figures for Black. (One always has to be careful how to interpret good database figures for an opening but at least these do not show it to be bad.)

    Recent players on the Black side include Aronian (winning against a 2500+), Nisipeanu, Zvjaginsev although it appears to be used as a surprise weapon with Aleksandrov the only player with multiple recent games vs 2300+ opponents as Black. Epishin also tried it once but lost.

    (Comparable stats for the "other Polish" out of interest: 1.d4 b5 has been played 20 times in recent games with both players >2300 and the scoreline is +10=6-4 for white (35% for black). White outrates black by 34 points. Not abysmal stats for black but a bit on the dodgy side. Only three games with both players >2400 for two draws and one black win.)

    But do you really need one? I guess anything will do. Bf5, pp e6.d5.c6 is the simplest (and very reliable).
    I may try this sometime too.

    Quote Originally Posted by qpawn
    Igor is quite right about playing Bf5 outside of a c6/d5/e6 pawn chain. That is the defence to Nf3 recommended by Schiller.
    I'm far more interested in Igor's recommendations than Schiller's, actually. Not only is Igor a considerably better player, but I bet if Igor wrote a chess book it wouldn't get anything like as bad reviews as Schiller's generally do.

  12. #12
    Account Permanently Banned Arrogant-One's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boris
    Yes, and 19 years later Korchnoi (use a t and/or j if you prefer) pulled it out as black against Anand. Anand escaped with a draw in a worse position.
    Can you post the game in PGN format?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arrogant-One
    Can you post the game in PGN format?
    [Event "It (Melody Amber)"]
    [Site "Monaco"]
    [Date "1992.??.??"]
    [EventDate "?"]
    [Round "?"]
    [Result "1/2-1/2"]
    [White "Anand Viswanathan (IND)"]
    [Black "Korchnoi V (SWZ)"]
    [ECO "A05"]
    [WhiteElo "?"]
    [BlackElo "?"]
    [PlyCount "124"]

    1.Nf3 Nf6 2.g3 b5 3.Bg2 Bb7 4.O-O e6
    5.d3 d6 6.c4 bxc4 7.dxc4 Be7 8.Nc3 O-O
    9.Re1 c5 10.b3 Nc6 11.Bb2 a6 12.Qd2 Qc7
    13.Rad1 Rad8 14.Qc1 Rd7 15.e4 Rfd8 16.h3 Ne5
    17.Qc2 Nc6 18.Bc1 Ne8 19.g4 Bf6 20.Be3 Nb4
    21.Qd2 Bxc3 22.Qxc3 Nxa2 23.Qd2 Nb4 24.Bf4 e5
    25.Bg5 f6 26.Bh4 g5 27.Bg3 Ng7 28.Nh2 Ne6
    29.Nf1 Nd4 30.Rb1 Bc6 31.Ne3 Rb8 32.Nd5 Qd8
    33.Re3 a5 34.Bf3 Rf7 35.Bd1 Be8 36.Ra1 Rfb7
    37.Ra3 Bg6 38.Kg2 Kg7 39.Kg1 Be8 40.Kg2 Bg6
    41.Kg1 Nbc6 42.Kh2 Ra8 43.Ra4 Qb8 44.Ra3 h6
    45.Kg2 Nb4 46.Nc3 Be8 47.f3 Nbc6 48.Bf2 Bf7
    49.Qa2 Nb4 50.Qd2 Be8 51.h4 Rba7 52.h5 Qb7
    53.Re1 Qf7 54.Na4 Bxa4 55.Rxa4 Rb8 56.Be3 Qc7
    57.Bf2 Nbc6 58.Re3 Rab7 59.Qa2 Nb4 60.Qd2 Ndc6
    61.Be1 Nd8 62.Kg1 Ndc6 1/2-1/2
    meep meep

  14. #14
    Account Permanently Banned Arrogant-One's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boris
    [Event "It (Melody Amber)"]
    [Site "Monaco"]
    [Date "1992.??.??"]
    [EventDate "?"]
    [Round "?"]
    [Result "1/2-1/2"]
    [White "Anand Viswanathan (IND)"]
    [Black "Korchnoi V (SWZ)"]
    [ECO "A05"]
    [WhiteElo "?"]
    [BlackElo "?"]
    [PlyCount "124"]

    1.Nf3 Nf6 2.g3 b5 3.Bg2 Bb7 4.O-O e6
    5.d3 d6 6.c4 bxc4 7.dxc4 Be7 8.Nc3 O-O
    9.Re1 c5 10.b3 Nc6 11.Bb2 a6 12.Qd2 Qc7
    13.Rad1 Rad8 14.Qc1 Rd7 15.e4 Rfd8 16.h3 Ne5
    17.Qc2 Nc6 18.Bc1 Ne8 19.g4 Bf6 20.Be3 Nb4
    21.Qd2 Bxc3 22.Qxc3 Nxa2 23.Qd2 Nb4 24.Bf4 e5
    25.Bg5 f6 26.Bh4 g5 27.Bg3 Ng7 28.Nh2 Ne6
    29.Nf1 Nd4 30.Rb1 Bc6 31.Ne3 Rb8 32.Nd5 Qd8
    33.Re3 a5 34.Bf3 Rf7 35.Bd1 Be8 36.Ra1 Rfb7
    37.Ra3 Bg6 38.Kg2 Kg7 39.Kg1 Be8 40.Kg2 Bg6
    41.Kg1 Nbc6 42.Kh2 Ra8 43.Ra4 Qb8 44.Ra3 h6
    45.Kg2 Nb4 46.Nc3 Be8 47.f3 Nbc6 48.Bf2 Bf7
    49.Qa2 Nb4 50.Qd2 Be8 51.h4 Rba7 52.h5 Qb7
    53.Re1 Qf7 54.Na4 Bxa4 55.Rxa4 Rb8 56.Be3 Qc7
    57.Bf2 Nbc6 58.Re3 Rab7 59.Qa2 Nb4 60.Qd2 Ndc6
    61.Be1 Nd8 62.Kg1 Ndc6 1/2-1/2
    Good job Boris, I didn't think you'd do it.

  15. #15
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Wow, this thread is so old it has some of Arrogant-One's navel lint on it.

    Apparently this opening now finally has a name, since it's not really the Polish. Some sources are calling it the Spassky Variation.

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