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Old February 17th 07, 04:14 PM posted to rec.games.chess.analysis
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Default ideas behind King Pawn and Queen Pawn?

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Hi,

I do not want to wait till Chessnia posts an explanation on his
homepage.

this is what i heard from a player some years ago.
Is his explanation correct?
Yes or no?


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Traditional opning was King Pawn.
Then, Sicilian defence showed had showed up giving you headachces.
Therefore, players begun to play Queen Pwan to avoid Sicilian
defence.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

dajava,

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Old February 17th 07, 08:53 PM posted to rec.games.chess.analysis
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Default ideas behind King Pawn and Queen Pawn?

dajava wrote:

this is what i heard from a player some years ago.
Is his explanation correct?
Yes or no?

Traditional opning was King Pawn.
Then, Sicilian defence showed had showed up giving you headachces.
Therefore, players begun to play Queen Pwan to avoid Sicilian
defence.


Not really.

The Sicilian and even the Queen's Gambit Declined had had some
non-trivial amounts of play and analysis for a LONG time before the
shift from e-pawn to d-pawn openings became particularly marked.

However, back in the day, strategic considerations were not really
well-understood by most (this is a reason why Morphy and Philidor were
particularly powerful, as they not only had tactical genius but had
strategic skill well before the times). The popular thing then was to
play open, tactical chess, which usually happens after the e-pawn opening.

Once strategy arrived further on the scene, though, it was discovered
that while e-pawn openings are playable, d-pawn openings tend to provide
a greater strategic advantage for the first player; this was especially
true in the early days of the d-pawn's popularity in which 1 d4 d5
became the norm, as the Queen's Gambit in most variations is superior,
or at the least much more comfortable for White. It would be quite some
time before strong general defenses for Black were found for the Queen's
Gambit (although there were of course some great individual efforts,
such as Tarrasch's game as Black against Pillsbury at Hastings in 1895 -
Tarrasch defended the Queen's Gambit extremely well and probably well
outplayed Pillsbury on a strategic level; he lost only due to a tactical
error, an error which is not easy to see on the surface and only becomes
noticeable a few moves later, which it then does with fury and at that
point - the game is classic and has been analyzed many, many times - it
appears that there is no help for it).

Eventually the Queen's Gambit started being distasteful for Black and
Black began to regularly play such lines as the Semi-Slav, the Dutch,
and the various 1 ... Nf6 defenses which generally seem to give Black a
pretty good game, though 1 d4 is still generally on an objective basis
the strongest White first move.

Recently things have shifted back towards 1 e4 and especially the
Sicilian. I am not entirely sure why. At this point of course there is
some considerable incentive to play the Sicilian because of the
combination of long, memorizable book lines with few deviations (most
deviations having been tried and found wanting) and shorter time
controls (FIDE having introduced two-phase, sudden death time controls
and Rapid play which tend to discourage games that are long or involve a
lot of at the board thought, combined with online chess and the
popularity of Blitz play, which is probably the most popular time
control on ICC - in fact, it may even be one-minute lightning that is
most popular now - I find it distasteful myself, but then I do not tend
to go with what's popular ...).

But I'm not sure exactly what brought the Sicilian to the forefront. For
Black, perhaps, as 1 ... c5 seems to give Black a better game than many
other replies and also gives Black more control over the opening (after
1 ... e5 2 Nf3 on the other hand, Black has fairly few in the way of
decent choices; the Philidor is playable but generally gives an inferior
game, so the only real choices are the Petroff and 2 ... Nc6 which
allows White to choose the opening). However, I am not entirely sure why
White would want to play 1 e4 again, given the strategic advantages
generally accruing to 1 d4.

FWIW, I usually avoid 1 e4, as I do not care for the rote memorization
that dominates the Sicilian; I will instead normally play 1 d4, or the
English or Bird's.
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Old February 17th 07, 10:08 PM posted to rec.games.chess.analysis
Ron Ron is offline
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Default ideas behind King Pawn and Queen Pawn?

In article ,
Amarande wrote:

Eventually the Queen's Gambit started being distasteful for Black and
Black began to regularly play such lines as the Semi-Slav, the Dutch,
and the various 1 ... Nf6 defenses which generally seem to give Black a
pretty good game, though 1 d4 is still generally on an objective basis
the strongest White first move.


I'm not sure such a statement is really defensible.

The problem with the QGD - from black's point of view - is not that it's
particularly hard to defend (it's not; white's advantage is minimal, if
it exists at all) but rather than there are too many lines where black
gets no meaningful counterplay; the long defensive battle with little
chance of a loss but also no chance of a win drove people to find other
defenses.

If 1.d4 is, in fact, "objectively superior" to 1.e4 it's only because of
the sicilian, which scores better than any single defense to 1.d4 at the
grandmaster level.

But I'm not sure exactly what brought the Sicilian to the forefront. For
Black, perhaps, as 1 ... c5 seems to give Black a better game than many
other replies and also gives Black more control over the opening (after
1 ... e5 2 Nf3 on the other hand, Black has fairly few in the way of
decent choices;


The sicilian became popular because it gets results. If black can
survive the opening, he has long-term strategic advantages (an extra
center pawn, and the half-open c-file) which are not going away.

The downside of the sicilian is that it often presents black with
tremendous defensive difficulties. There is no other defense where black
is so often forced to find an "only" move in order to survive. (This is
because black usually concedes not only a space advantage on the center
and on the kingside, but a development advantage as well.) This is part
of why the sicilian has long been one of the most theoretical openings
in chess - black has to do his homework because, practically speaking,
he's otherwise faced with too daunting a set of challenges over the
board.

The issue of "control" strikes me as somewhat overblown. White has as
many plausible replies to 1.e4 c5 (particularly below the grandmaster
level) as he does to 1.e4 e5; in addition to the open, he has Bb5
variations, the Smith-Morra, the Grand Prix attack, the closed, the
2.c3.

These variations all present challenges to black which are at least as
different as those presented by the kings gambit, Ruy Lopez, Italian
game, Danish Gambit, etc.

-Ron
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