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Elubas, I already told that 6.Qc2 is basically a poor (and much advertised) move which gives Black easy equality.
White does have to play 7.Qf3 against the Short variation, and play that complex endgame- although objectively he has no advantage. Black's doubled f-pawns are no big deal, unless Black is a woodpusher (but in that case pretty much any opening would be lethal).
7.Bd3 is more or less the definition of "nothing" in every possible language. Black has effortlessly exchanged his single problematic piece, and has no worries about a central e3-e4 push, or a queenside minority attack.
May I ask though why black plays ...h6 and ...g5 against Qc2, but (seemingly), not in more typical lines like 6 e3 Be7 7 Bd3 0-0 8 Nge2 etc? What is it about an early Qc2 that makes it so effective? Or is the ...h6 and ...g5 plan a viable option in many different lines?
Quite simply, because here he can castle queenside quickly, and safely.
You got rather unlucky in that black played the rare centaur line that equalized immediately. I noticed the move also appears in the ICCF archive as having only a few games (all draws). If there's one thing I've noticed in centaur chess, it's that just about any opening variation you play as white always has that one rare line for black that seems to stifle any chances to win. When you get burnt by it, you swear the line off an try something else. But you know what? Those pesky lines are everywhere. After a few years of centaur chess, I've come to understand that you just have to roll the dice and hope for the best no matter what line you try. If your opponent knows how to research databases, well you'll likely end up drawing and moving on to the next game. It's just the way it goes.
You can play the Semi-Slav and meet 5.Bg5 with 5...Nbd7 with a line pfren actually suggested (Cambridge Springs) although he seemed to be using it as an argument against playing the Semi-Slav...
The stuff with Qc2 and g4 is not very threatening if you know a bit of theory, again as pfren indicates.
5.e3 a6 is a bit less theoretically demanding than the Meran and avoids the Qc2 stuff altogether.
FireBrandX, I don't mind at all playing equal positions. But this one is absolutely dead/sterile... white has NOTHING AT ALL, period.
Agreed. I was just saying that I often find these rare lines (or rather my opponent does) in just about any opening I try. Another thing I absolutely hate on ICCF is when players have white and choose to play drawish lines. I always try to fight for a wins on both sides, so it frustrates me when I see crap like the London system or c3 against the Sicilian, and they know how to ensure the draw with it. I'll take my chances against a main line over that crap any day of the week.
Firebrand, Pfren's game ended with an agreed draw before move 20. That's a tremendous accomplishment for Black, even in the ICCF/LSS.
Don't speak for centaur players until you've been there for some years like I have. There's no accomplishment (other than a draw) in playing a move that scores 50% and is deemed sound by the computer. Also, there are games that are completely dead-equal as early as move 10, but it's the players that decide when they want to agree to the draw. I've had opponents agree to a draw very early like in that game, and others that refused and played the dead position on for 40 more moves.
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