Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Sixty Memorable Annotations

#13: Chris Ward - Simon Williams, British Championships 2004

6 ... d6

The Classical Dutch is a pretty rare bird these days. According to Jan Pinski's 2002 book on the opening (Classical Dutch, Everyman £14.99), I am just about the only top player who would consider playing it. If so, it is in need of new advocates because I abandoned it years ago. Having said that, it is only a little dubious, rather than plain unsound. Furthermore, few White players are familiar with its subtleties.

A little dubious? Nige's assessment of the Classical Dutch is both pleasingly reminiscent of Ford Prefect's opinion of Earth and just as true today as it was when he wrote it down eight years ago.

"Mostly harmless"

First of all there's his counter to the idea that the Dutch is just trash. Hardly. The GingerGM's results with the opening are simply too good. His victories over British Champions - Joe Gallagher (2001) and Chris Ward (2004) - and the steady flow of wins notched against 2600+ opponents - Mikhalevski (2003), Agrest (2004), Ivan Sokolov (2006) for a start - a testament to the fact that the Classical Dutch is not going to be refuted outright.

Secondly, White players aren't usually familiar with the position at the head of today's blog. Short is still bang on the money there.

It's particularly so for club chessers, but also true at the highest levels, it seems. Witness Nakamura punting an IFE against Williams after observing his destruction of erstwhile World Championship Challenger Boris Gelfand at the European Club Cup. 7 Nc3 Ne4, 8 Nxe4 might be generally accepted as the most testing line in the Classical Dutch, but, like Gelfie before him, the current twelfth best chesser in the world just didn't fancy it.

Outdated, although I wouldn't mind picking up a copy for my collection.
Not for the £9 amazon want for it second hand, mind.

And yet, we must admit that the Classical Dutch is not likely to be turning up in a World Championship match any time soon. It is a little dubious. Only a little dubious, for sure, but a little dubious nonetheless.

If you're planning to win in twenty moves against a 2700 Super-GM you'll need a monumental hack that is closer to "incredibly iffy".  In most circumstances, though, "a little dubious" is plenty good enough. I've never forgotten that it was Nigel Short who told me that.

Sixty Memorable Annotations Index 42


Anonymous said...

There appears to be a black pawn on d8!

Anonymous said...

Players of the Classical Dutch need an improvement or avoidance of this game from the 2012 British Championship.


Jonathan B said...

Sorry about the pawn. Won't be able to fix it until tonight

Jonathan B said...

Roger, I'm not able to check that link. Is it the Steve Gordon game?

Anonymous said...

[Event "British Championship"]
[Site "The Parks, North Shields, ENG"]
[Date "2012.07.28"]
[Round "6.3"]
[White "Gordon, Stephen"]
[Black "Harvey, Marcus R"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A96"]
[WhiteElo "2539"]
[BlackElo "2134"]

1.d4 e6 2.c4 f5 3.g3 Nf6 4.Bg2 Be7 5.Nf3 O-O 6.O-O d6 7.Nc3 a5
8.Re1 Ne4 9.Qd3 Nxc3 10.bxc3 Nc6 11.e4 fxe4 12.Qxe4 e5 13.dxe5
dxe5 14.Nxe5 Nxe5 15.Qxe5 Bf6 16.Qd5+ Kh8 17.Ba3 c6 18.Qh5 g6
19.Qf3 c5 20.Bxc5 Rf7 21.Be7 Qb6 22.c5 Qa6 23.Bd6 Kg7 24.Bf1
Qc6 25.Qxc6 bxc6 26.Re3 Rfa7 27.Rb1 Bd7 28.Bb8 Bf5 29.Rb6 Rd7
30.Bd6 Bd8 31.Rxc6 Rb7 32.Be5+ Kh6 33.Bf4+ Kg7 34.Be5+ Kh6 35.Bd3 1-0


Jonathan B said...

Ah yes, I thought it would be that one. Avoid I think. Don't have much faith in there being an improvement for Black in that line.

As it happens I won a game with Re1 and Qd3 as White myself - a few months before the British Championships.

ejh said...

That diagram ought to be OK now.

Jonathan B said...

Almost. We now have a pawn on e5 instead of e6! I'll fix it when I get home.

ejh said...

If I ever index the Dodgy Diagrams series, I'll include this post.

Jonathan B said...

Finally I'm home and I see the diagram has already been fixed. Thanks to EJH for sorting it. Apologies to all for my cock-up.

Anyone who wants to click through to the Gordon - Marcus game can do so here.