Opening preparation - Alekhine defense, Saemisch variation
I wanted to improve the positions I got with white versus the Alekhine defense. Since years I had been playing 1.e4 Nf6 2.Nc3 but I was not happy with the positions I got, and the results seemed to go down with that line for me.
Time for something new! :) When I saw an interesting game by GM John Nunn a few weeks ago (posted here by someone in the blogs) I decided that I simply must play the e4e5 lines. I started to play the "Modern line", With e4e5, Nf3, Be2. At first I was happy with that, but then I was in a few games where it became obvious that I was too optimistic about white's spacial advantage, and lost a few times with that line. Of course I could study more and train etc. But yesterday I suddenly wondered why I would not play e4e5 and Nc3!?
That is similar as a line in the Petroff defense, see here the similar idea in the Petroff :
This is called the Nimzovich attack in the Petroff defense if I'm not mistaken.
The idea is that white goes for fast development of the pieces, and gets some play over the d file.
The doubled pawn can actually help white after 0-0-0, as could be seen this year in a game Carlsen-Yifan Hou, Tatasteel, 2016.
I have also seen a game by GM Ivanchuk playing this line.
I really like the idea of fast development and active piece play.
Yesterday I looked up some games from a game database (This week I downloaded one from Kingbase, a free "gratis" chess database, available in Scid (chess database software) format).
I'm talking about this line in the Alekhine defense :
Today I played a game with this very line.
I am happy how the game went, but also very happy to see the first fruit from reading in "Pump up your rating" from IM Axel Smith, regarding pawn levers, and weak pawns.
I have a tendency to really like doubled pawns in some positions, but reading about the weaknesses of doubled pawns by Axel Smith was kind of mind blowing.
He talks about which squares gets weakened, but above all he more or less said :
Doubled pawns become weaker when being pushed forward.
In this game I played again for pawn structure as I do more often lately.
For further reading :
http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1813974 (Carlsen-Yifan Hou, Petroff defense)
http://www.kenilworthchessclub.org/games/java/2007/alekhine-ba3.htm (With an annotated game where Mikhail Tal plays white).
(Blog image : Friedrich Saemisch, chessgames.com)