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Hi everyone. I just wanted to post a note to let people know that the long-awaited book on the Koltanowski Phoenix Attack is out. Click the link for more info, sample chapters, etc.
It is not exactly a Meran reversed because White has both castled and played Bd3 very early. Compare that to Black side of a Meran, where the second player does does not castle for a long time. This changes everything.
I give a detailed discussion of the effect this has in an article on the C-Z version of the Phoenix, but here I'll just point out that White can win the battle of the center because he can play e4 in response to Black's ...e5. Compare that to Meran where Black expands on the Q-side and cedes the center.
You can see what I mean by taking a look at the latter portion of the Familiarization chapter, which is available as a free download.
Right, I just glanced at the position. Castling might not be the most desirable move to have, but as an extra move it's fine. White should have at least a full equal game in this variation, but it would be surprising if White could prove a lasting advantage.
But unfortunately, this play is in no way forcing. For example, 1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.e3 Bf5 stops White's plan.
White always has to change his plan based on what black does. Against this variation, 4.c4 and 5.Qb3 prove to be very strong.
2...Nf6 stops the Ruy Lopez, but that doesn't make it bad.
I'll definitely be checking the article out. I've previously read some of your other articles on the Colle-Zukertort that you've written and have found them to be quite enjoyable! You have a knack for explaining how to play "real chess" through your opening
The Phoenix Attack is a new main line for the Colle System, which should generally be considered part of a larger repertoire. But the same applies to almost all openings: You cannot play the Ruy Lopez if your opponent plays 1...c5, and you shouldn't play the Colle if your opponent plays 3...Bf5.
The slav that resultsfrom 3...Bf5 was good enough for Topalov and Kramnik to both play in their 2006 Elista confrontation, I would hope it is good enough for mere mortals, especially since your opponent may not know the Slav very well.
Note that this "Elista Slav" accounted for 100% of Topalov's wins on White.
I have to find it amusing that there is so much theory in these Colle lines. Most players who adopt the Colle are looking for a simple system they can use against a wide variety of Black responses and to avoid having to learn a bunch of theory.
It's still way, way less theory than needing something against all the different mainstream and unusual openings after 1.d4 and 2.c4 -- each of the QGD, Slav, Semi-Slav, QGA, Nimzo/QID, Grunfeld, KID, and Benoni have way more theory than the Colle by themselves.
I'm thinking of adding something slightly different to my normal 1.d4 repertoire, I think this Colle might just fit. I know I hate facing it as Black...
Yes, it is always a "compared to what" issue. If you compare apples to apples, a "I just want to survive the opening" level of comprehension of the Colle is far less than a "I just want to survive the opening" level of understanding of the QG. Similiarly, a solid level of comprehension you might need to play as Class A player or expert is going to require fewer lines with a Colle-centered repertoire than a QG-centered one.
Plus, if you take the time to learn proper responses to various deviations, you are more likely to find your opponent unprepared at higher levels because he probably has not taken the time to study all the various ways a Colle player might respond to his pet defense.
I'm working on a new response to the Dutch right now and found that, amongst all many Dutch manuals I read, not one dealt with the specific move order I am proposing.
It looks to me like what's under discussion is about one move of theory -- plus maybe one or two after it, just to follow up on your plan -- in one line of the opening. The rest of the moves listed are stock Colle stuff, that would require zero additional memorization of any kind or sort.
There are books on one move of theory nine moves into lots of openings. The book procedes to be about the plans that issue forth from that point, and the annotated games that state the case for that move and those plans.
Obviously we're not talking about something like the GM Repertoire series, that has to go 20 moves of theory deep in a whole spectrum of openings, with minimal explanation.
But Rudel's publishing history suggests to me this book will be a whole lot more like the ones described in the first paragraph.
Not sure why that would be a point of contention.
(ETA: I suppose if you were so inclined, you could call the games issuing forth from the plans "theory." But I believe you yourself distinguished between the two ideas (plans vs. concrete theory) in your earlier discussion of how you play against the Sicilian.)
Could you please review this game!
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