Chess rating: 2106
Give chess goodie
|Sun Sep 16 2007 7:46AM | edited: 7:48:42 | MsgID: 7625853|
What I said before needs improving, and it can be challenged in two ways.
First, the queen raid does not work as stated because White can set up a discovered attack. 1. b4 c6 2. Bb2 Qb6 3. a3 a5, and 4. c3 is not forced, because apart from passive moves White can play 4. c4 with the idea 4. ... axb4 5. c5, and if 5. ... Qxc5 6. axb4 threatens RxRa8 and also b4xQc5. So 5. ... Qc7 6. axb4 RxRa1 7. BxRa1 d6 8. d4 e5 9. e3, and white keeps intact the gain of space he played for with the first move.
Also, for comparison, I have to look at the defense 1. b4 d5 2. Bb2 Bf5, setting up the same formation while leaving out the early queen raid that does not work right.
Chess rating: 2106
Give chess goodie
|Wed Sep 12 2007 11:04AM | edited: 12:42:55 | MsgID: 7594444|
I think the Outflank Variation is a good defense to the Polish Opening (Sokolsky Opening, Orangutang Opening), and not just a trick move to play in a quick game hoping for something like:
1. b4 the Orangutan Opening ... c6 the Outflank Defense 2. Bb2 White continues as he first intended ... Qb6 threatening the b pawn and potentially threatening the unguarded bishop on b2 3. a3 guarding the pawn ... a5 threatening to take the pawn, which White can't trade off with 4. bxa5 because of 5. ... QxBb2 4. c3 guarding the pawn ... d5, and White has impeded his own development far more than Black did, so Black is the gainer.
It's true 1. ... c6 isn't the most natural answer to 1. b4, but for weaker players the most "instinctive" response to 1. b4 would likely be White's happy dream, illustrating everything he wants:
1. b4 e5 so far so good 2. Bb2 taking up the attack on Black's center according to plan 2. ... Nc6 defending the center pawn naturally with a developing move, but of course this is a fatal tactical error 3. b5 cashing in the Orangutang's trumps 3. ... Nd4 momentarily saving the pawn 4. e3 kicking the unstable knight out of the center, defending the potent advanced b pawn, making use of White's long term hope - the advance of his center pawns - destroying Black's center, winning a pawn and costing Black time, as the moves of his insecure piece proved useless.
So it's reasonable to react less "instinctively" and more cautiously and systematically, intending from the first to nullify White's trumps.
The London formation goes like this: pawns on c6, d5, e5 and h6, knights on f6 and d7 (or after ... a5 on a6), bishops on f5 (or g4) and e7 (or d6, often with Qe7) and king to g8. It's a good defense to flank openings.
The down side is, if White can keep Black from advancing safely in the center or having anything to hit, the solidity of the formation may become dangerous passivity. If Black has no target to counter-attack, even a slow space-gaining White attack, such as a slow buildup to e4 and e5, may be dangerous.
The point is, with his first move White provided Black with the target he will later need, and with his first move Black recognized that and fixed the target for use after he, black, finishes setting up his defensive formation and his scheme of development.
Since Black wants to define White's b4 pawn as a fixed target, I think White should pay c4 soon and restore the pawn's mobility.
However if 1. b4 c6 2. c4 straightening up White's pawns ... d5 insisting on occupation of the center, it looks to me like we are headed to a Slav Defense where White's early b4 is pointless. If White advances his d pawn two squares, c4 is weakened, and if he holds back his center pawn that in itself is a (tiny) gain for Black.