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1.e4 e5 2.Qh5
This is the starting position
2…Nc6 3.Bc4 g6
Here the lines split between the odd 4.Qe7!? and 4.g6, the main line. We will be focusing on the second option, however the first one is an interesting alternative that should have more study.
This is the critical position. Different people analyze this position differently, I would put black at a slight advantage, but so slight it’s insignificant.
The first obvious drawback of this opening would be the difficulty of activating this knight. This move is usually white’s best, getting the knight developed. White also has the choice of castling kingside.
Black can also try developing the bishop along the a3-f8 diagonal, but this is faster. White has a few options, this is the first critical moment for white.
I was told that white’s plan is to castle Queenside and attack with the pawns, but black has some good moves that keeps things going, and Queenside castling is a fantasy. But let’s look at some of the alternatives.
6.Nbc3 d6! is strong, although 6…Na5 is also strong. The reasoning behind this is that if 7.h3 is not played, the Bishop jumps on g4 attacking and misplacing the queen while developing a Bishop with tempo! But if 7.h3 is played, black has the strong 7…Nb4! 8.Bb3 (8.Be3 is no better) 8…Be6! 9.0-0 (9.Bxe6 fxe6 10.Kd1 and now the king can’t castle and is very uncomfortable) (9.Ba4+ c6 is very strong, threatening b5, and after 10.a3 a5! Is good for black) 9…Bxb3 10.cxb3 (10.axb3 Nxc2 11.Rb1 and the rook is safe, but the pawn on c2 fell and the doubled isolated b pawns are weak) and white is backwards. The knight eyes d3 as a possible outpost, although there is no way to do that at this point. But this is good for black.
6.0-0 Na5 7.d3 0-0 this could transpose to our mainline.
Another interesting line is 7.c3!? shifting white’s focus to the center. After 7…0-0 8.d4 exd4 9.cxd4 d5! Then white is in trouble.
This could transpose to one of the earlier lines by 7.0-0 0-0. The White Bishop doesn’t want to land on the horrible d3 square, and defending it with Nd2 leaves white’s development backwards, so White has to allow the trade. Black can delay it for a little while, but the c4 Bishop is gone, meaning minus a piece pointing at the enemy king, minus a bishop for knight, and doubled pawns.
So are there any other seventh moves for white? Let’s look at some of the alternatives.
7.Bb3 wastes time
7.b3 is interesting 7…d6 8.h3 0-0 and the position is different, but the light square Bishop is still stuck. All of white’s pieces are queenside, there is no attack
7.Bd5 c6 8.Bb3 and white just lost tempo. The Bishop has been beaten back, and black is ready to advance d5
7.Bb5 a6 8.Ba4 b5 8.Bb3 and again the white bishop is beaten into submission, this time black has some considerable queenside space.
We don't need ANOTHER PARHAM THREAD! We keep the forums tidy if we can keep that stuff all in one place.
naw the last one was messy and we were getting off the OP topic, so I decided to make a new one
I used to lament that the chess world was full of yahoos when it seemed like everybody was using the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit. I long for those conservative days of stern, principled chess.
I think this is most of it
edit on the open, in the line at the bottom a6 is more accurate than c6
5...Na5 is IMO the most testing continuation. Also, after 5...Bg7 6.0-0 does not make much sense, 5.d3 is more logical.
thanks pfren, I'll revert d3 to the main line
its been edited so that d3 is the mainline
I played a couple or parham test games against the computer, i could never get queenside castling in because its too slow if black plays properly. Beginners dont want to hear its bad, they want solid lines (or so the Gavinator says)
in other words, hope chess
its definitely playable to a certain point, but it doesn't get an advantage out of the opening
I prefer the move order 5...Na5 (instead of 5...Bg7). The reason is that after 5...Na5 6.Bb3 Black can simply play 6...Nxb3 7.ab3 d5! while this is not possible after 5...Bg7 6.Nbc3 (!) Na5.
In general, I think getting the bishop pair and/or covering the d5 square with a quick ...Na5 and ...c6 is the way to go with Black. I do not see much point in an early ...d6, as ...Bg4 is not particulary threatening (the White queen is badly enough placed on f3).
IMO after 5...Na5! Black has a small advantage- not terrifying, but quite concrete.
thanks pfren for your awesome analysis. I think in your line black is slightly better (but not decisively) except in chess white's goal is an advantage and black's is equality, so this is opening heaven for black (besides all out blunders)
On 6.d3, Black will not take the bishop (yet). He will simply play 6...Bg7, always with the same plan in mind: 0-0, c6, and if White forces that (e.g. by playing a2-a3 or a2-a4) only then taking on c4, and then proceeding regularly with ...d6, ...Qe7, ...Be6 and so on.
Retreating the bishop on b3 is actually fine if Black does not have ...d5 in one go, but has already played ...d6.
White can NEVER castle long against ...Na5 and ...c6, he is busted after ...d5.
And yes, White is obviously a patzer: Look at what he has played at move two!
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