Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Battle of Petroff Repertoire Books

Chess opening repertoire books present a plan for you to follow a set of similar ideas at the beginning of a game. I played a game where the line in a book for White intersected the line given in a book for Black. The two authors had differing views of how to handle the Petroff Defence Kaufmann Attack developed over 100 years ago by Dr. Arthur Kaufmann.

Larry Kaufman in his classic book "The Chess Advantage in Black and White" calls the Petroff by its other common name the Russian Defense. Larry Kaufman follows 5.c4 idea of the Kaufmann with the extra "n" by giving 10 pages of games and analysis for White including this quote: "Some of the lines are a bit drawish, but I'm afraid that is unavoidable when dealing with the Petroff. All we can ask for is a position where most of the winning chances are on the White side, and I believe the Kaufmann Attack fits that description."

For Black, I chose the 2011 book "The Petroff: an Expert Repertoire for Black" by Konstantin Sakaev, whose comment on 5.c4 is: "This is an original move, but that's about the most positive thing that can be said about it." After 5...Nc6 6.Nc3 Nxc3 7.dxc3 both writers mention the typical 7...Be7, but the line reminds me of the popular 5.Nc3 Nxc3 6.dxc3 Be7 line and the Alekhine Defence Exchange Variation 1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Nd5 3.d4 d6 4.c4 Nb6 5.exd6 exd6 6.Nc3 Be7. These lines tend to be solid but potentially passive.

Our authors mention the development of the Black's light squared bishop with 7...Bf5 (Sakaev) or 7...Bg4 (Kaufman). In general after 5.c4 Nc6, Larry Kaufman considers the dynamic approach of castling opposite sides as a good idea to play for a win: 0-0-0 vs 0-0.

Konstantin Sakaev's improvement is 7...g6, where he considers only 8.Be2 and 8.Bd3. My opponent below played something logical but new to me: 8.0-0. We reached a bishop vs knight endgame where the White king had no entries points to invade the Black defenses.

blik (2374) - Sawyer (2109), ICC 5 0 Internet Chess Club, 17.09.2013 begins 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.c4 Nc6 [The more popular and passive continuation 5...Be7 6.d4 0-0 7.Bd3+/= seems to favor White a little bit.] 6.Nc3 Nxc3 7.bxc3 g6 [7...Qf6!?] 8.d4 Bg7 9.Bd3 Qe7+ [9...0-0 10.0-0 Qd7 11.Re1 b6 12.Bg5 Bb7=] 10.Be3 0-0 11.0-0 Bg4 12.Rb1 [12.h3+/=] 12...b6 13.h3 Bxf3 14.Qxf3 Na5 15.Rfe1 Qf6 16.Qxf6 Bxf6 17.Bh6 Rfe8 18.Bf4 Bg7 19.a3 Kf8 20.Kf1 Rxe1+ 21.Rxe1 Re8 22.Rxe8+ Kxe8 23.a4 Ke7 24.Bg5+ Bf6 25.h4 Bxg5 26.hxg5 c5 27.Ke2 Nc6 28.Be4 Nd8 29.Ke3 Ne6 30.f4 Ng7 31.g4 Ne6 32.Bd5 Nc7 33.dxc5 bxc5 [33...Nxd5+ 34.cxd5 bxc5 should also draw.] 34.Bc6 Ne6 [34...a5 eliminates all possible White king invasions.] 35.a5 Nc7 36.f5 Na6 37.Bf3 Nb8 38.Bd5 Nd7 39.f6+ Kf8 40.Kf4 Ne5 41.Kg3 Ke8 42.Kh4 Kf8 43.Kg3 Ke8 44.Kh4 Kf8 Game drawn by mutual agreement 1/2-1/2


You may also like: Caro-Kann (1.e4 c6) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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