Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Earth Defends Successfully

After the further moves 3...c5 4.e3 Nc6 5.Bb5?! Qa5+ 6.Nc3 Ne4 7.Bxc6+ bxc6 8.0–0 Nxc3 9.Qd2 Ne2+! we have reached this position:

It now seems clear that Earth has defended successfully against the attack from outer space. 5.Bb5 is a sensible move which was recently played by Kamsky (who lost against Gelfand) but not really in the London spirit. 5.c3 is the standard move and probably best.

I plan to leave the match here, trusting the kids at Stevenson Elementary School. After the likely continuation 10.Qxe2 Ba6 11.Qe1! (A better try than 11.Qd1 of Parreno Cueto-Bertona, Alicante 2001) 11...Qb6! 12.dxc5 Qb7! (12...Qxc5 13.c4 Bxc4 14.Qc3 is not so bad for White), Black will be an exchange up for little compensation.

Monday, October 6, 2008

London versus Earth

When I co-authored "Win with the London System" I never suspected that it might get used as a weapon against my home planet. But according to the USCF site that's what's happening right now.

After the moves 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 d5 3.Bf4 (Dia), this is the position:

I am a little curious what will be the alternatives for Earth. Black's main options are 3...c5, 3...e6, 3...c6 and 3...Bf5 but also 3...g6 is a good move, and as far as I know nobody has come up with a fully convincing reply to 3...Nh5!?.

Maybe I will be following this game?

Update October 7th
Earth's alternatives now have been published. 3...e6 and 3...c5 were not surprisingly on the list. Also 3...Bf5 is a recognized system (but one which can easily lead Black into difficulties). Only 3...Nc6 was a surprise. It's a fairly rare move with a poor score (White scores 69% in MegaBase 2008) and until recently with no leading protagonist. However, it should be noted that Bareev recently won a game against GM opposition with the move. The position after 3...Nc6 more frequently arises from the move-order 2...Nc6 3.Bf4 Nf6.