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I find the Pirc to be the most annoying defence, and I would like a simple system - i.e. easy to play even without knowing much theory - with white.
I know the Austrian attack is supposed to be the bane of the Pirc, but I can't find much material on it. On the other hand I play the Najdorf as black and the Yugoslav when I face the Dragon as white, so I already have experience with the Be3 setup.
I'm excited by the chance to practice a similar attack against both the sicilian and the Pirc, thus saving study time.
I know some Pirc player will play c6 instead of putting the Knight there, I still have to learn specific variations.
But I'd like some comment on how playing the English/Yugoslav against the Pirc will differ from playing it against the Sicilian.
People call it the 150 attack vs the Pirc I believe (something related to 150 ECF).
I've won a couple of games with it recently, with almost the exact same strategy. The knight and bishop didn't move in either game.
interesting games Scottrf, thank you.
Well in the first d5 was clearly a mistake, because even if he saved the pawn with 8.Ne8 when the Knight is removed from f6 the attack is so much easier.
Just my opinion, even if you probably are stronger than me: I think you did an inaccuracy in both games when you exchanged on g7 too early. You do eventually want to swap the bishops but if you allow his king to g7 you give him two important defensive resources: h5 and (especially) Rh8. If you allow him to cover the h file with his rooks your queen is not getting in even after hxg6 hxg6.
The way I do it ideally is Bh6 ASAP (to prevent h5), then open the h file, and only then exchange bishops so the Queen can immediately go to h6 pushing the king back.
Most of pirc players will be booked on 150 attack variations. Usually good for black is to play for queenside expansion and delay castling.
It can look then somehow like this:
Yes you're right, of course in opposite side castles they're gonna make their attack on the queenside. I'm still trying to understand if the absence of the semiopen c-file (i.e. the Sicilian) is better for white or for black.
In principle is better to have open files against the enemy king, but on the other hand 3 pawns can do more damage than 2 :P
At the end of the day though, the basic principle of the Yugoslav attack remains: it's easier to break open a castle that has a weakness already (g6) rather than a castle with no pawn weaknesses (white's).
I don't know the theory of this lines (that's why I opened this thread) but I think white keeps the advantage in the race.
Well, if it's not immediate I thought that you run the risk of it being cut off from your queen anyway, and it ties your queen down. In the first I liked that could immediately open a line with exf. With exf first I would run the risk of hanging the d pawn if he got to play Bxh6 Qxh6.
Thanks though, Rh8 is clearly a defensive resource I need to consider.
"I'm still trying to understand if the absence of the semiopen c-file (i.e. the Sicilian) is better for white or for black."
Has to be better for white, surely. That's one of black's main avenues of attack, the pressure on the Nc3, the exchange sac is often powerful combined with the dragon bishop.
I just played an OTB blitz and I realized that black has 2 advantages in the Pirc that he doesn't have in the sicilian:
1) pawn on c6 supports b5, thus a5 can be played in only 1 move. I was surprised at just how fast those 2 pawns came at me.
2) my knights are really in an inferior position. In the sicilian I have a great knight on d4, in the Pirc because the counterplay comes so fast I had some problem of coordination with my knights: my kingside knight should go to e2 but that's where the other knight should retreat if kicked with b4. The threat of b4 hindered the development of my knights.
I still like this line and I will used it again as my main weapon agains the Pirc. BTW this is not the 150 attack, the 150 attack has Nf3 while I much prefer this system with the pawn on f3, that changes the whole position.
Like you said black loses some attacking possibilities that he has in the sicilian, but he has something to compensate for it. The Pirc in this line has pros and cons, it's not just an inferior version of the Dragon.
just play e4 d6 d4 Nf6 f3
than play Be3, Qd2, h4, h5, etc.
its that simple
P.S in your line, after 4. Be3, they can play Ng4
No, my move order is the correct one.
As explained in the diagram comments, Ng4 is no problem at all in this line.
f3 shouldn't be done too early, reason is black could decide to not play bg7 and instead start the queenside pawnstorm immediately. I prefer to retain the option of switching plan and castling kingside with Nf3 for a bit longer.
Stevie Stewart from Lexington, TX
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