Hi Coach! In the course, the recommendation is Qxb6 but I am not sure about that if black does not play e5. But in the section "model games - the endgame" Na3 is preferred. But even there, it seems to me that black does not need to drop the N back passively but can play Nc4. What line should we use?
In this position, the video commentary (4:30) mentions a big advantage and a plan of d4 Rf3, Rxe3.
Unfortunately both my own analysis and computer analysis / matches puts this into doubt and perhaps this is one reason the Nb5 line doesn't appear as a widely considered option.
The position is R + 2P (3 if the e3 pawn can be captured without any loss) vs 2B. The problem is the concrete nature of this position, lack of open lines for White's rooks, lack of easily accessible targets (aside from e3) for White, the power of Black's 2B working together, and the fact Black has an extra piece of wood (ignoring the pawns) taking away any ideas of sacrificing back an exchange say.
Meanwhile both Black's single rook and queen and Bs do have open lines and targets (a4, b2, f4 [if g3 , then h3]).
The computer gives this position slightly (varying up to half a pawn) in Black's favour (though closer to equal with more chances for Black, but some too for White, is my own feeling). Black's plan is Kg8 and then Rc8 or f8. If White plays Rf3, then Bh6 attacks f4.
There are some different moves playable earlier, which might give White a very small edge and therefore keep the line alive in practical terms over the board, but again the computers make a lot of draws.
I'm not sure until this is resolved that the theory can be claimed to have been changed. Even if 12... a6 might not be found (not that it's not an obvious candidate), it only needs one game of yours to get in a database and this line will be found by the next person prepping a defence against you.
Is there any concrete analysis to support the claim of a 'big advantage'?
It's interesting that if you list all the variations of this course, the usual cause of branches and different moves for White is which move Black plays e6 on (or if at all). 12... e6 (instead of the trap of taking the rook) is not covered in the course, only 11... e6.
It is a transposition, in that Bg5! and h6 (probably being the only reply) transposes into video 4 (11... e6). There is a danger though of going down the 'rabbit hole' of 12... e6 13. fxg6/e6 which is the computer's suggestion, supposedly winning unless you leave it long enough or explore. If you do, there is a long (almost forced line): 12... e6 13. fxg6 (or fxe6) fxg6 (hxg6 14. Bg5 wins) 14. Bxe6+ Kh8 15. Bg5 h5 16. Rf1 Nh7 (Surprise! The queen isn't free as Bd4+ is threatened) 17. Rxf8+ Qxf8 18. Rf3 Bd4+ 19. Kf1 Qg7 20. Bb3 - if 20... Bxc3 21. bxc3 Qxc3 22. Bf6+ Nxf6 23. Qxf6+ Qxf6 24. Rxf6 = (well maybe White has a few more practical chances).
So 13. Bg5 with transposition is a better try for a win (the computer doesn't notice White is better for a bit), and let's not go to the complications of 13. fxg6 (it's a silly place!).
The parallels between the two have been done to death in articles, but if the process is the same thing you could take an article on learning language and apply it to learning chess.
Take this article that I got on my browser homepage:
Change speak, speak, speak to play, play, play
Change grammar to move sequences and vocabulary to learning plans and ideas
Change native speakers to players better than yourself
Now read the article in the context of improving at chess.
Note that in this week's theme tournament I felt I was playing better and being able to play more fluently under time pressure. My secret? I have been playing 3 x 15 0 games each day this week (one morning, one at lunch, one in the evening) which is the only difference.
It seems the demise of this variation (changing the theory) is a little premature.
After 8... Nd4 9. Nxd4 cxd4 10. Nb5 Ng4 (video 8) is marked as ?
After 11. h3, 11... a6! is not considered. Now it's not so clear and it could be that Black is slightly better but it's close to equal.
After 12. Na3, my opponent played the bad Ne3 (this is probably the move that deserves the ?), but Nf6 instead is quite unclear and the engine just isn't sure.
If instead 12. Nxd6, Qxd6 (now possible as no Bd7 blocking as in other lines that were considered) 13. hxg4 Bxg4 and again the engine seems unsure giving White advantage one moment and Black (or equality) the next.
An idea about themes just got in my mind. I thought it will be so fun if you cover themes which comes in CM openings, For example maneuvers such as QB6-Rfc8- Qd8. in maroczy, f4 f5 attack in grand prix, e6 then e5 in grand prix by white. Something like this. Also an idea such as Bb2 Ba3 Bc5 in maroczy.
Like this f you also make some videos of common themes in cm lines then may be it will be useful for everyone.
You can do it apart from model games sections. You can call it may be typical themes sections. It can be endgames or middlegame themes or openings themes
In this position Coach asked to pause the video and think I thought about an interesting idea. The move played in the game is 12.Bg4. The Move I thought is Nb5 (This idea came to my mind from the Daily Lesson of Knight Raid - Thanks!) with idea Na7. Below I am giving the pgn of my analysis.
Dear Chessmood family, ;)
Recently I encountered the next variation a few times against our beloved repertoire:
1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 d6 3.f4 g6 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.Bc4 Nc6 6.0-0 e6 7.d4! cxd4 8.Nb5 a6!? This move was not yet in my pgn-file.
After 9.Nbxd4 Nxd4 10.Nxd4 Nf6 I twice chose 11.f5!?.
The most fun game is added to this post.
Any thoughts on this variation?