18430 Players currently online!
Man vs. Machine - good luck!
Turn-based games at any time!
Vote for the best move to win!
Do you have what it takes?
Sharpen your tactical vision!
Get advice and game insights!
Learn from top players & pros!
View millions of master games!
Your virtual chess coach!
Perfect your opening moves!
Test your skills vs. computer!
Find the right private coach!
Can you solve it each day?
Bring it all together!
Beginners, start here!
Make friends & play team games!
News from the world of chess!
Search all Chess.com members!
Find local clubs & events!
Who's the best of your friends?
Read what members are saying!
I have played the Ponziani for years, and I actually own one of the few books ever published on the opening by TD Harding. During an online tournament the following position arose from 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.c3 d5 4.Qa4 f6 5.Bb5 Ne7 6.exd5:
After the game I asked for a computer analysis, which I always do because I'm naturally curious about where I may have gone wrong or where I could have improved. Interestingly, the computer noted 6. exd5 as a mistake, and that 6. O-O, was stronger.
I thought that was interesting because I have an old, ratty copy of TD Harding's book that lists exd5 as being among the strongest replies. In fact, when I decided to search the database for this position, there were no less than 51 master games in which white plays 6. exd5. In those games, white scored 47.1%, drew 17.6%, and lost 35.3%.
Which leads me to this question...if the move is as solid as all the research suggests, why is the computer labeling this as a mistake?
I am not too keen about 6.0-0, but in any case Black has a fine game after 6.ed5 Qxd5 7.d4 (7.0-0 e4!) Bg4! for example 8.c4 (8.Bc4 Qe4+ 9.Be3 Bxf3 10.Nd2 Bd1!) Qe4+ 9.Be3 Bxf3 10.Nd2 Qg6 and Black has some advantage. These are rather old analyses, which are repeated in the recent repertoire book by Kaufmann.
Harding's books are rich in content, but full of analytical mistakes- I'd rather say they do not stand up against silicon aided analysis.
That's awesome, thanks for the advice Pfren! I went over your analysis and couldn't find any fault with it. Indeed, during the game that I noted one of the problems for white was the uncastled king (I never wound up castling in the game, in fact) and of course the issue that my knight couldn't be developed on it's comfortable c3 square. I completely understand why the opening isn't popular in master games for those reasons, but it still holds a certain antiquaited beauty.
FYI the modern trend in that variation (4.Qa4 f6) is the calm 5.d3, not 5.Bb5 which gives Black an easy plan.
After 5.d3 we have a strange reversed Philidor, where white has committed himself to the odd Qa4, and Black to the even more odd f6. The queen can go back to the natural c2 square, while the pawn cannot go back... Theory currently considers this position as equal, but the position is strategically rich, and both sides can easily go wrong.
The Ponziani?? Wasn't Staunton the last well known practitioner of this oddity?
Go ahead and laugh Crazy. In point of fact it sees some use in postal games and a friend of mine who was a postal master claimed that there really wasn't anything wrong with the Ponziani.
The Ponziani is quite sound. It's only problem is that it's not really challenging. Personally (being mainly an e5 advocate) I have not settled my mind if I prefer 3...d5 or 3...Nf6, but since in those 40 years I play competitive chess I have met the Ponziani only once (I played 3...d5 4.Qa4 Nf6 and won rather easily, although currently 4...Nf6 is not regarded as totally sound), I would probably not bother that much...
How big is Magnus Carlsen's ego?
by ProfessorProfesesen a few minutes ago
4/19/2015 - Mate in 3
by alexvicol 4 minutes ago
1002 hidden online chess books
by notmtwain 4 minutes ago
Is 3D chess like Spock played on Star Trek any good?
by EscherehcsE 4 minutes ago
Old Chess Life & Review archives?
by owltuna 6 minutes ago
by anneonhaseyo 6 minutes ago
What order should I read these books?
by notmtwain 9 minutes ago
sometimes I suck other times am good why is that?
by Swedra 10 minutes ago
Do you think chess and mathematics are related?
by Colin20G 10 minutes ago
So GlassIce game?
by marc-do 11 minutes ago
Why Join | Chess Topics |
Help & Support |
© 2015 Chess.com
• Chess - English
We are working hard to make Chess.com available in over 70 languages. Check back over the year as we develop the technology to add more, and we will try our best to notify you when your language is ready for translating!