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Joined: Mon May 28, 2012 4:04 pm
Posts: 2
 Post subject: Advice needed on fiancetto bishops
PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 10:10 am 
Hi, I was not sure where to post this as this post is not really about the following game, but rather I want to use the opening in this game to discuss the topic of fiancetto bishops and more so, how and whether to keep them / defend them.

I like having a bishop at g2 (or g7) but would like to better understand how best to respond when my opponent looks to force an enchange of the bishops by putting his/her queen along the same diagonal. Please see the following (a game I lost on time, yesterday):
I play white.
1. c4 Nf6
2. Nc3 g6
3. g3 Bg7
4. Bg2 d6
5. e3 c6
6. Nge2 o-o
7. d4 Bd7
8. b4 Na6
9. Rb1 Rb8
10. o-o Qc8

Upto this point I like white's position better. With the last queen move, black is getting ready to place his bishop on h3, and exchanging the light squared bishops. I have played this opponent many times and both he and I have tens of times went through this exchange. In fact more often he is the one with the fiancetto bishop and I am the one forcing the exchange.

So given white's bishop at g2 is a 'good' one, what could or should white have done to maintain it?

Defending with the king:
In other variations, my opponent would have gone through a different move order and end up playing the h pawn forward, then placing the king behing the h pawn, basically protecting the h pawn with both the king and the fiancetto bishop, preventing the exchange. (but I really don't like this approach as it requires 2 tempi to save the bishop, and also weakens the g pawn and the kingside etc...

So what else can be done to save the fiancetto bishop?

Bishop to the corner:
I suppose 11Re1 and if 11 .. Bh3, 12Bh1 is a possibility. I have never played this, any thoughts on that?

Bishop to f3
I guess this is pointless since 11Bf3 g4 and the bishops will have to be exchanged

It seems like once the position in the game is reached there is no way for white to maintain the light squeared bishop. I am looking for your comments, I am interested in the counterplay ideas, given black will knock off the light squared bishops, what is the best way for white to proceed? what are the general ideas / principles?

In the actual game, I played 11Nf4 which I believe is a complete mistake. I felt (without much deep analysis) 11 .. e5 would give me a much better centre, but as the game went

11. Nf4 e5
12. Nd3 exd4
13. exd4 Bh3

Now looking at the board, I really do not like my position, I have weaknesses all over the place c4,c3,d4; and I am about to lose my good bishop. The rest of the game is really not interesting as I end up thinking for too long during the last 2 moves, and end up losing on time during an equal endgame.

So back to the topic, I think 11Nf4 is a bad move, it seemed to address the prevention of the bishop exchange, but it obviously does not.

What are your thoughts on how to maintain the fiancetto bishop or rather what is a good counterplay when your opponent looks to exchange the bishops?


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Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2012 2:58 pm
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 Post subject: Re: Advice needed on fiancetto bishops
PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 3:05 pm 
Yes, I have seen many times this try from black and exchange bishops on h3
Almost always (if white wants to keep the bishop on board), is to play Re1
and after Bh3 play Bh1. Naturally this also works with reversed colours and the square h6.

So not much else then Re1 or accept the exchange

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