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Against the Pirc i usually play 1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.f4 Bg7 5.e5!?, (intending to play 5...dxe5 6.dxe5 Qxd1 7.Kxd1 which is not nearly as harmless as it looks).
In a recent game here on chess.com i had just played 5.e5 and was waiting for the answer and looking at the board i noticed that my opponent could have played 5...Bg4 instead of 5...dxe5. W can probably just play 6.Nf3...but i was immediately attracted by the bizarre 6.exf6!?/?!...just because it looked so shocking! This more or less forces 6...Bxd1 7.fxg2 Rg1 8.Kxd1(8.Nxd1!? looks too slow but might be an alternative).
I understand that this move is probably unnecessarily complicated and of no theoretical interest, but i'm just curious to know what is your evaluation. White has 3 pieces for the queen, and black can't castle kingside. It seems to me that white bishops can become quite dangerous, and i would probably have played the move had my opponent played 5...Bg5 (he went for the usual 5...dxe5 but i managed to win the game), just for the sake of trying this bizarre idea! I have never played with 3 minor pieces against the queen and i have not enough experience to evaluate the position. What is your opinion?
I think saccing your Queen for 3 pieces is, in most cases, a good trade. If you can trade off other additional pieces you will find the queen can do virtually nothing against the 3 pieces as long as you can co-ordinate them and don't blunder one of them away. If given the chance, I'll do it. Black will have to mount an attack and hope it succeeds before the endgame arrives.
I agree, expecially on the fact that 6.Be2 is nice for W and 6.exf6!? unclear at best. I was attracted mainly by the opportunity of playing with an unusual material imbalance, and by the possibility of playing such an "impossible move" I posted it here as a curiosity rather than as a suggestion, but i think that if the possibility will ever arise i will not be able restrain myself from playing 6.exf6
I have seen a similar endgame in the pirc. I think it goes something like this (not completely sure):
This endgame I know is supposed to be better for white where the three minor pieces are stronger than blacks queen and two pawns.
Thanks for the interesting comparison. I guess that having not a pawn on f4 hampering the DSB and the fact that white retains castling rights makes this variation more effective for white.
I think 5...Nd7 is more likely.
5...Bg4 is rarely played indeed. But also 5...Nd7 is not very common. The usual move is 5...dxe5.
No the standard equalizing method is definitely to go 5...Nd7 with the idea of playing c7-c5.
Thanks for the information. Up to now people only played dxe5 against me but Nd7 looks challenging.
In the late 1960s, 5.e5 was seen occasionally, but 5....Nfd7 is considered an equaliser, with 5....dxe5 offering White chances for an advantage after 6.dxe5 Qxd1+ 7.Kxd1, despite the loss of castling.
In the line you cite with 1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Bc4 Bg7 5.Qe2 (a favourite of Ratmir Kholmov) Nc6 6.e5, theory has long considered your continuation 6....Nxd4 7.exf6 Nxe2 8.fxg7 Rg8 9.Ngxe2 Rxg7 to offer equality for Black, but I've played this with both colours and disagree, not to mention that White's results in practice have been very good.
Instead of 6....Nxd4, there are several alternatives: 6....Nh5 should be avoided, but 6....Ng4 or 6....Nd7 should both promise Black eventual equality, with the former leading to a tactical melee and the latter being a safer, positional treatment.
So I'm guessing we are in agreement here, white is doing well in this position?
I read about this position in pirc books, I haven't really investigated this position enough to have my own opinion about it. All I can say is that it looks rather promising with whites pieces being quickly activated by playing like Bh6, 0-0-0, Rhe1 which seems to put a lot of pressure on black. Therefore claiming that the position is somewhat better for white doesn't seem unreasonable. I'm pretty sure pirc alert! is one of the books which gives this statement.
I'm not sure about 6...Ng4 though. I know it's one of the thematic ideas to meet the e4-e5 push but I don't think I have never seen it suggested or played in this exact position.
In general I like to keep d7 open for the f6-knight in case of White establishing a pawn on e5.
3...Nd7 is completely ok but is generally played with the idea of getting a hanham philidor setup with 4...e5. I have not enough experience in these benoni like structures to judge your line but i guess that having blocked the Bc8 might be a slight problem since an early h3 to stop Bg4 is often played by white in benoni lines. Here white can save this tempo.
5/23/2015 - White Wins
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