Reti advance variation, 3. b4 f6

Reti advance variation, 3. b4 f6

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While trying to study some of the games of Richard Reti for a previous blog, I've noticed this beautiful variation in the databases... 1. Nf3 d5 2. c4 d4 3. b4 f6. I think that Reti himself didn't deal with this variation in his own analysis. And it's noticeable that there isn't much theory, while there are really few games played with it. And many of them in faster time limits.

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In the beginnings...

The oldest game that I've found in the databases [at least the ones I use], is one played by Josef Lokvenc vs Johannes Hermanus Addicks in the Olympiad of Prague 1931. 3. b4 for white had been already seen in previous games, but black's response 3... f6 was appearing for first time. In the only publication I've found, that was commenting this game [Algemeen Handelsblad of 22-07-1931], this move [3...f6] was described as a good system in this variation [="een goed systeem in deze variant"]. It gave to me the impression of the description of a new variation played by a not so famous player [and maybe based on moves of an other opening] rather than an already known variation. But I'm certainly not sure...

Anyway Johannes Hermanus Addicks [1902-1961] seems to have a small chess career in the 1920s until this Olympiad of 1931, and reappearing with some games in 1959. One of his successes was a win vs Alekhine in a simul of 1925.

One of the really few photos I've found with Addicks in Algemeen Handelsblad of 17-02-1930. Here with Euwe, who also played this variation in 1933

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Two of the first games with this variation...

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I love this multi pgn viewer...

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An approach of some basics of this variation

Firstly some statistics of the last 2 years...

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I've tried to deal with two main responses to 3...f6. Firstly 4. e3, then 4. Na3... seeing some solid opening lines from recent games and few positions that seemed interesting, something like brief personal notes...

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1. Reti advance variation, 3. b4 f6 4. e3

The most popular variation. It hardly permits black's short castling...

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... two positions of this variation

Reti Advance 3.b4 f6 4. e3..... 6. .. Qd7.... a variation that can confuse the engines, me too of course

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Reti Advance 3.b4 f6 4. e3..... 6. Nxe5.... a variation that can lead to an early draw or a minor vs 3 pawns

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2. Reti advance variation, 3. b4 f6 4. Na3

It has similarities with the 4. d3 variation, as it is a played move in common, like g fianchetto for white. But this white N landing on c2 creates some other possibilities.

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... a position

A rook vs a minor and a pawn it's usually a draw. Rook takes pawn. But if there's more & equal material on the board, especially an other rook and queen, I think that things are a little different. The side with the extra passed pawn and the minor vs the rook, can have a clear plan to promote this pawn, protecting it in the way with the other pieces. Strategic choice I think that maybe can work. That's why this position seemed interesting to me...

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Thanx for reading my opening theory concerns...