Month 12: New System for White vs Nimzo

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Month 12: New System for White vs Nimzo

Post by jmca on November 4th 2009, 6:28 am

I save all the opening info for future reference - even some lines that I probably will never play. Against 1.d4 I play Nimzo as Black as per "Chess Openings for Black..." by Lev Alburt et al. So I was interested in the ICS line, purely from the point of view of whether it causes any problems to my Black lines. I followed the ICS line for 4.f3, move for move against Lev's book. Guess what? They both track the same game! [Volkov,S (2558)-Shaposhnikov,E (2514)/Tomsk 2001]. However Lev's book recommends you play 17...a4, and states "(17...a4) An improvement to the game, in which Black played 17...Rfb8, allowing Na4. With the new move, Black stops Na4 and secures the b3-square."

Overall I am unhappy with the Openings module, although they seem to be working hard to improve it now. Not because of this item, mainly because they changed their minds on which openings they were going to cover (and seem to keep changing?) shortly after I signed up. So instead of Najdorf and Nimzo, I got Kalashnikov and Semi-Slav - the "reason" being that these were less theoretical. We got other things too, but most of it doesn't appeal to me. Bottom line - not what I thought I was signing up to.

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Re: Month 12: New System for White vs Nimzo

Post by Blue Devil Knight on November 5th 2009, 9:08 am

Yes, it is too bad for some of us things changed, as I wanted to do the Najdorf! That said, their choice of the Najdorf was probably a mistake because it changes so much, and with the quieter openings there is more room to focus on the strategic ideas they push so hard in the course.

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Re: Month 12: New System for White vs Nimzo

Post by Bilbo on November 5th 2009, 8:59 pm

I didn't like the openings module much at first.

I'm coming round to it now though. I think there are books out there that will cover each opening in much more depth but I've also realised that for myself, (and probably most) the extra depth is irelevent as I'll never read it anyway.

The ICS openings, (I've only looked at 1.d4 for white so far) are ideal in that they can be learned in an hour or so, and then just go over the lines regularly to top up.

Even the complicated openings like the Catalan and Slav won't take that long to work through.

In that sense the module is probably practically very useful, in that there is not too much information, but enough compared to what we will actually get around to taking in.

I did point out the ICS team that their Dutch defence reportoire is insufficient. It only covers 1.d4 f5, but in a recent club game my opponent suprised me with 1.d4. e6 2.c4 f5! which meant he got his Dutch Defence but without having to go into my 2.Nc3 line.

They told me that they would rewrite the module and provide coverage for entering the Dutch by that transposition but didn't give me a date as to when.

Still it was nice they acknowledged it at least.

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Re: Month 12: New System for White vs Nimzo

Post by fanat on November 6th 2009, 9:30 am

Bilbo,

Their Stonewall Dutch doesn't go in that much depth but I wouldn't say it's insufficient necessarily. You do have to supplement it obviously. A good book that I have an went through some of the things is the recently published "Win with the Stonewall Dutch". The book is excellent!

The problem is a little practical. It's tough to get an advantage vs. white. It's easy for White to get an advantage without knowing much it's not like this for Black. I had a chance to play Stonewal Dutch against a very strong payer - Candiate master. Obviously way above my level. But what was interesting is that he chose a very tough line that even authors of that book admitted is very tough for Black to handle and didn't have many suggestions.

This is the price for a "simple" opening. You want an advantage or at least a solid chance to equalize- you need to play more theory intensive openings!

Their semi-slav material is pretty good and I'm giving it a try. It will definitely take a while to learn it.

Another reason behind semi-slav for me at least vs. stonewall dutch is that I wanted to learn more mainstream opening and even if it's theory intensive add to my knowledge over time!

Semi-slav can't be avoided by white like NID/QID and it's very effective against Catalan like setup because White can't play the usual Catalan and will have to adapt. Also, can be played against English

Also, since I play c4 and at least think of playing d4 at some time in the future I will be facing slav/semi-slav as white so it definitely worth knowing what I'm doing.

I'm not trying to discredit Stonewall Dutch at all. It could be played against English effectively and Catalan. I mean once White Fanchettos his kingside bishop you could transpose from Semi-slav into Dutch. The toughest lines for Stonewall Dutch is where white DOESN'T fiancetto his kingside bishop.
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Re: Month 12: New System for White vs Nimzo

Post by Bilbo on November 6th 2009, 9:52 am

Hey Fanat.

I wasn't referring to their Dutch Stonewall reportoire for Black, I'm talking about their 2.Nc3 recommended line for White.

The line works well against 1...f5 but I recently faced an opponent who after I played 1.d4 played ...e6. I played 2. c4 expecting either Nf6 or d5 as a reply but my opponent suprised me with 2...f5.

So he got his Dutch Defense, but avoided the ICS Nc3 line.

As that's the only time I've faced the Dutch in an OTB game I imagine it's something that could happen a lot, with Dutch players preferring 1...e6 to avoid all the white sideline tries.

I contacted ICS and they said they will update this so hopefully they will be true to their word.

The amount of detail generally in their openings seems ok. A bit lightweight compared to a book, but as I said above, how many of us have time to actually sit and work through an entire book for each major opening.

I the openings module is useful in practical terms for someone looking to get an idea of what to play against each major system, without spending a lifetime on doing so.

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Re: Month 12: New System for White vs Nimzo

Post by fanat on November 6th 2009, 11:14 am

Oh, I didn't realize you are talking from the white side.

I think in general for an average player the depth is ok. We should be concentrating on tactics/endgame and strategy mostly anyway. Rarely I've lost a game just because of the opening.
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Re: Month 12: New System for White vs Nimzo

Post by Bilbo on November 6th 2009, 11:23 am

Agreed. I spent an entire fortnight studying Marin's book, the first chapter on the Kings Gambit Declined from the Black side.

I converted the entire chapter to chessbase format, and learnt every major variation he gave.

Then I had a chance to play it in a game a few weeks ago at a local club against a Kings Gambit player.

He deviated from opening theory on move 5 so everything I had learned simply wasn't of any use at all!

I think too much depth is unnecessary below say 2100 level as you simply won't play many theoretical games at all.

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Re: Month 12: New System for White vs Nimzo

Post by Blue Devil Knight on November 6th 2009, 4:10 pm

Yes, below 2000 the openings don't mean much.

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Re: Month 12: New System for White vs Nimzo

Post by Milarus on April 23rd 2010, 4:17 am

Bilbo wrote:Hey Fanat.

I wasn't referring to their Dutch Stonewall reportoire for Black, I'm talking about their 2.Nc3 recommended line for White.

The line works well against 1...f5 but I recently faced an opponent who after I played 1.d4 played ...e6. I played 2. c4 expecting either Nf6 or d5 as a reply but my opponent suprised me with 2...f5.

So he got his Dutch Defense, but avoided the ICS Nc3 line.

As that's the only time I've faced the Dutch in an OTB game I imagine it's something that could happen a lot, with Dutch players preferring 1...e6 to avoid all the white sideline tries.


Against the Dutch, I also play the system provided by ICS. But facing 1.d4 e6, I played twice 2.Nf3 and after 2...f5 I answered 3.Bg5 a move little played and without fame. Surprisingly (or not) my opponents played stereotyped and I won quite fast just applying the principles of ICS ;o). I must confess I knew my opponents played the Dutch so I didn't scare other move that 2...f5

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