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 Post subject: Sharp option for Black against d4?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2005 8:15 pm 
As Black against d4 I play the QGD (usually the Tartakower variation) but feel that I need to have a sharper alternative for when circumstances (or my mood :wink:) require it.

I am rated around 1600-1700 Elo and usually play the Caro-Kann against e4.

Any ideas - with book suggestions to help me start?

Many thanks! :)


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2005 4:43 am 
The obvious line for you to try is the Tarrasch Defense. You get an isolated queen's pawn, but very active pieces and some tactical options based around an eventual d5 in many cases. The middlegames are very difficult and tactical. If you want super sharp, I'd say you might consider studying the KID or some lines of the Benko Gambit or perhaps a Benoi, but that requires a lot of theory for a queen's gambit player to learn.

-G


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2005 8:47 pm 
OverDjinn wrote:
The obvious line for you to try is the Tarrasch Defense. You get an isolated queen's pawn, but very active pieces and some tactical options based around an eventual d5 in many cases. The middlegames are very difficult and tactical. If you want super sharp, I'd say you might consider studying the KID or some lines of the Benko Gambit or perhaps a Benoi, but that requires a lot of theory for a queen's gambit player to learn.

-G


Thanks. I tried the Tarrasch before and have Schiller's book (A Complete Defense to Queen Pawn Openings) but I'm not sure if it's for me - it's an idea though.

I was considering the Slav/Semi Slav. Might that be a good idea? Are there any good introductory books?

Thanks again :)


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2005 2:08 am 
Perhaps Schiller's book is not the best. Check www.jeremysilman.com for reviews.

Yes, Slav lines overlay nicely with Caro-Kan lines, but there is a lot to learn.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2005 9:10 am 
I would rather suggest something that:
- your opponent is not probably expecting
- comes with relatively 'compact' theory, manageable to learn
- is dangerous to unprepared opponent

One such opening against 1.d4 is Budabest gambit


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2005 7:07 pm 
mrmip wrote:
I would rather suggest something that:
- your opponent is not probably expecting
- comes with relatively 'compact' theory, manageable to learn
- is dangerous to unprepared opponent

One such opening against 1.d4 is Budapest gambit


I like the idea, but how sound is the Budapest gambit? I'm not really a gambiteer and from what little I know about the Budapest, Black sacrifices a pawn just for the possibility of a few tactical tricks. If White avoids immediate problems he has a clear advantage. Is that fair or am I being too harsh?

Ideally, I'd like something which is sharp, but doesn't involve sacrificing material. Easy to learn would be a bonus, but not essential! I'm prepared to do a little work if it will bring a few extra points.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2005 5:17 am 
It's a good idea to have a few gambits in your Bag o' Tricks. This one is in mine but I rarely use it for serious games, because as you say, it is not sound to count on a lack of preparation. You should always have sound positional ideas behind the tricky lines in case your opponent isn't a boob, which is more likely. So imagine having solid lines, sharp and solid lines, and then some risky gambits. The Benko Gambit is much more sound, but then again you don't seem like you play hypermodern lines, so that is why I suggested the Tarrasch Defense to give you a bit more edge when you feel like it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2005 8:06 am 
OverDjinn wrote:
It's a good idea to have a few gambits in your Bag o' Tricks. This one is in mine but I rarely use it for serious games, because as you say, it is not sound to count on a lack of preparation. You should always have sound positional ideas behind the tricky lines in case your opponent isn't a boob, which is more likely. So imagine having solid lines, sharp and solid lines, and then some risky gambits. The Benko Gambit is much more sound, but then again you don't seem like you play hypermodern lines, so that is why I suggested the Tarrasch Defense to give you a bit more edge when you feel like it.


Thanks for your help. I think I'll revisit the Tarrasch (Schiller's book is one of his better ones, actually!) and I'll explore the idea of playing the Budapest - thanks also to mrmip. :D


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2006 4:52 pm 
The sharpest opening I know of against d4 is probably aiming for a Grunfeld if you can get it. Alternatively I recommend the Chigorin Defence or a variation of the modern Benoni where Black sacrifices his B pawn .


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2006 7:12 am 
Since you are a Caro-Kann player against 1.e4, then why not play 1...c6 in reply to 1.d4? If your opponent plays 2.e4 then you can transpose into a Caro-Kann with 2...d5. If your opponent plays 2.Nf3 play an immediate 2...d5, striking in the center, or play 2...Nf6 and wait to see what your opponent does before deciding to play ...d5. If your opponent is clever enough, he should opt for the obvious 2.d4 in reply to your 1...c6, when you can answer with 2...d5, the Slav defense. In other words, I would recommend the Slav for you. Not a sharp option as it may seem, but it can lead to some very lively play!

Kasparov, Gary - Kramnik, Vladimir
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 e6 5.e3 Nbd7 6.Bd3 dxc4 7.Bxc4 b5 8.Bd3 Bb7 9.O-O a6 10.e4 c5 11.d5 c4 12.Bc2 Qc7 13.Nd4 Nc5 14.b4 cxb3 15.axb3 b4 16.Na4 Ncxe4 17.Bxe4 Nxe4 18.dxe6 Bd6 19.exf7 Qxf7 20.f3 Qh5 21.g3 O-O 22.fxe4 Qh3 23.Nf3 Bxg3 24.Nc5 Rxf3 25.Rxf3 Qxh2 26.Kf1 Bc6 27.Bg5 Bb5 28.Nd3 Re8 29.Ra2 Qh1 30.Ke2 Rxe4 31.Kd2 Qg2 32.Kc1 Qxa2 33.Rxg3 Qa1 34.Kc2 Qc3 35.Kb1 Rd4 0-1


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2006 4:18 pm 
kapilgain wrote:
Since you are a Caro-Kann player against 1.e4, then why not play 1...c6 in reply to 1.d4? If your opponent plays 2.e4 then you can transpose into a Caro-Kann with 2...d5. If your opponent plays 2.Nf3 play an immediate 2...d5, striking in the center, or play 2...Nf6 and wait to see what your opponent does before deciding to play ...d5. If your opponent is clever enough, he should opt for the obvious 2.d4 in reply to your 1...c6, when you can answer with 2...d5, the Slav defense. In other words, I would recommend the Slav for you. Not a sharp option as it may seem, but it can lead to some very lively play!


Thanks. Are there any good books on the Slav/Semi-Slav?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2006 5:44 pm 
SonOfPearl wrote:
Thanks. Are there any good books on the Slav/Semi-Slav?


Yes. Peter Wells' book The Complete Semi-Slav is absolutely fantastic. It's a little old nowadays (1994), but unless being completely up-to-date with cutting edge theory is that important to you, it isn't a big deal.

I also have Graham Burgess' book on the Slav, but I don't remember the name. The Complete Slav, maybe? The Slav? I don't know. It's good, but because I don't like the opening very much it hasn't gotten too much use from me. I'd still recommend it to anyone who wants to play the Slav though.

Really, Wells and Burgess are generally tremendous chess authors. I trust their attention to detail and ability to convey the ideas and themes. I'll give a blanket recommendation to pretty much anything they put out before I even read it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2006 7:10 pm 
AndyMack wrote:
SonOfPearl wrote:
Thanks. Are there any good books on the Slav/Semi-Slav?


Yes. Peter Wells' book The Complete Semi-Slav is absolutely fantastic. It's a little old nowadays (1994), but unless being completely up-to-date with cutting edge theory is that important to you, it isn't a big deal.

I also have Graham Burgess' book on the Slav, but I don't remember the name. The Complete Slav, maybe? The Slav? I don't know. It's good, but because I don't like the opening very much it hasn't gotten too much use from me. I'd still recommend it to anyone who wants to play the Slav though.

Really, Wells and Burgess are generally tremendous chess authors. I trust their attention to detail and ability to convey the ideas and themes. I'll give a blanket recommendation to pretty much anything they put out before I even read it.


Thanks Andy.

I'm going to do some investigating of the Slav/Semi Slav and try it out in a few games. If I like it, I'll take the plunge and buy one of the books.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2006 7:28 am 
Here's a page that talks about the Slav and some of its major variations. There, you will also find a link to 40 Slav (and Semi-Slav) example games.

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/adam.bozon/slav.htm

Another wonderful page where you can learn more about the QGD Slav Defense:

http://jaxchessnews.com/id65.html


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 Post subject: Re: Sharp option for Black against d4?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 29, 2006 11:52 pm 
SonOfPearl wrote:
As Black against d4 I play the QGD (usually the Tartakower variation) but feel that I need to have a sharper alternative for when circumstances (or my mood :wink:) require it.

I am rated around 1600-1700 Elo and usually play the Caro-Kann against e4.

Any ideas - with book suggestions to help me start?

Many thanks! :)


Super-GM Morozevich scored well with the underestimated Tchigorin Defense (1 d4 d5 2 c4 Nc6!). In many of the lines opposite-sided castling occurs. It is a great defense if you are in a "must-win" situation with Black!

I recommend Gary Lane's "Ideas Behind the Modern Chess Opening:Black". which shows you how to play the Tchigorin Defense against 1 d4 and the off-beat Scandinavian Defense (1 e4 d5 2 ed Qd5 3 Nc3 Qd6!?) against 1 e4.


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