Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Classical Opening Principles

Occupy the centre with pawns

Kernazhitsky-Wiley, Olomouc 2000

I came across this position last night. I can't recall ever seeing anything quite like it before.

Would anybody care to,

(a) guess the opening
(b) evaluate the position [it's White to move]


Anonymous said...

French defence?
Black win


ejh said...

I can't recall ever seeing anything quite like it before.

Yes you have, it's the testudo!

Anonymous said...

Huge advantage for Black. No idea how the position came about!

Jonathan B said...

My increasinlgy unreliable memory had erased your post I admit - but when I said I'd not seen anything like it before I was referring to all four centre squares being occupied by pawns rather than the pawn formation per se.

Black win may be pushing it a bit but it seems Black must be better.

As for the opening ... how might a French Defence get into this kind of pawn structure?

ejh said...

I think Richard's looking at the b5 bishop and the b3 knight and I can see what he's driving at. But how did the pawn get to e4?

I've not got a better idea. Unless it's a Schliemann...

Tom Chivers said...

I'll go for the Reti, given the book the author of this article recently received.

The position looks absolutely crushing for black to me.

Jonathan B said...


the use of insider information does you no credit whatsoever.

And anyway, you're wrong.


It was a French (also from a book borrowed from Munificent Martin's Library - many thanks Sir). I'm interested in how people think the pawn structure arose though.


Anonymous said...

After that clue, Jonathan, maybe the position arose after something like this:1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 e5 c5 4 Nf3 cxd 5 Bd3 Bb4+ 6 Bd2 Bxd2+ 7 Nbxd2 Nc6 8 0-0 f6 9 Qe2 fxe5 10 Bb5 Qd6 11 Qe2 e4 11 Nh4 Nf6 12 Nb3 e5....except that white must have lost a tempo somewhere because black has castled in your position.
"French Advance and Retreat" maybe.

Munificent Martin.

Anonymous said...

Lost a tempo because Qe2 was played twice!

ejh said...

It might be that you have Qe2 at both move 9 and move 11. Or at least your first move 11...

Jonathan B said...

The Owner of the Chess Books (MM) is actually pretty close ....

1. e4 e6, 2. d4 d5, 3. e5 c5, 4. Nf3 Nc6, 5. Bd3 cxd4, 6. 0-0 f6, 7. Qe2 Qc7, 8. Bf4 g5, 9. Bg3 g4, 10. Nh4 fxe5, 11. Qxg4 Nf6, 12. Qe2 Bd6, 13. Bb5 0-0, 14. Nd2 e4, 15. Bxd6 Qxd6, 16. Nb3 e6

"with advantage to Black"

according to Psakhis (Advance and Other Anti-French Variations) although Fritz given a little while to think about it thinks Black's winning so I probably did Richard a disservice earlier. Certainly Black, 200 points outgraded or thereabouts, went on to win in a dozen or so moves.

ejh said...

Right. I think this works, though I very much doubt it has anything at all to do with reality....

1.e4 e5 2.d3 (aha!) d5 3.e5 c5 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.d4 cxd4 6.Bd3 Bb4+ 7.Bd2 Bxd2+ 8.Nbxd2 g5 9.O-O f6 10.Nb3 fxe5 11.Bb5 Qd6 12.Nxg5 Nf6 13.Nf3 O-O 14.Qe2 e4 15.Nh4 e5.

I've done worse myself.

ejh said...

Ah bugger. Jonathan's carved me up good and proper. I'm off to watch the final of the Copa Del Rey.

Anonymous said...

Pawn up with an overwhelming position - the bar on -+ is set pretty high if this position doesn't qualify ;)


Anonymous said...

0-1 Kernazhitsky-Wiley, Olomouc Valoz Cup 2000/0-1 (28)

Such an odd-looking position, it's difficult to believe it arose in an actual game!

After 17.Qd2 Bd7 18.c3 dxc3 19.bxc3 Kh8 (from the diagrammed position), Psakhis gives -/+ but I think it looks more like -+. White only lasted 9 more moves.