Passive Play

IM dpruess
Jan 31, 2011, 4:02 PM |

Here's a game a long-time chess friend of mine sent me, asking me to have a look at it. Supposedly it's entertaining. My friend's principal interest I think is not in accolades for his attack, but in my take on white's passive opening. How bad was it? Why do people play like that as white?

Let's see:



Ok! That was quite a fun game! Would have been more fun though if white had not given up his knight on f7. Then there would have been more suspense as black tried to get enough out of his attack to win, since he would not have also had extra material (and thus the game) in his bag.

And at the instructive level: white's choice of the move c3 is a bit passive even though it's connected with the idea of b4 which is a good one. the reason is that white is not in any way dictating play, thus black has a free hand to also establish a good position for themselves, and I think from that point on black always had a pretty comfortable equality. If white wanted to give black serious problems in the opening, they should have chosen Bg5 or c4 there, to attack the weakest spot in black's center immediately: d5.

On the other hand, I think black was too optimistic about white's "passive play," thinking it confers an advantage on black, rather than equality. With Qd7 he allowed Ng5 by white, when black could have gotten a slightly worse position again.