1. Nf3

ThrillerFan
Dsmith42 wrote:

Also, I wanted to address the 1. Nf3 g6 line specifically.  This can still work out the same basic way, that is 1. Nf3 g6 2. c4 Bg7 3. Nc3 and now if 3. ..Bxc3?! black is saddled with dark square weakness for the rest of the game.  Yes, white has to accept doubled c-pawns, but black is most certainly worse.  The Experts I've played this line against never take on c3, and there's a good reason for it.

Lasker considered the king's bishop to be a 1/2 pawn more valuable than the other minor pieces, and this particular line does seem to endorse that notion.

 

Who in their right mind would play 3...Bxc3?

3...d6 would be the most likely response.  3...c6 is ok as well.  3...Nf6 is fine but transposes to 1...Nf6 lines.

 

And from the other post, how can you say that White doesn't commit anything with 1.Nf3, but Black's move of 1...Nf6 is committal?  1...Nf6 is no more committal than 1.Nf3!  SMH!

ThrillerFan
Dsmith42 wrote:

@ThrillerFan - You're inferring more from my prior post than I actually said.  Yes, black has options as always (you are correct in that respect), but each of them commits to a particular central plan.  Black can't occupy and hold the center in classical fashion, but he does have to commit to something in the center.  Even the symmetric 1. ..Nf6 is a commitment of sorts, as it turns d5 into a battleground (as a Reti player wants).  It does not eliminate the Reti - Reti himself replied with 2. c4 and 3. b4 when Capablanca played 1. ..Nf6, and we know how that turned out.

I actually play 1. ..c5 against the Reti when I see it, but it still leaves an open center, which is what white wants.  It's what I want, too, so it's not really a problem for me.  The point is that it's still thematically a Reti, as 2. c4 still does what the Reti intends in the center.

The point was that no matter what black plays, white can transpose in some way, shape or form, from a true Reti into some other, very different opening.  In other words, black has to wait to see what white's true intentions are.  Black can limit those options with his initial reply to some extent, but the basic theme of an open (or at least tense and thus easily re-openable) center remains in place, and white will always have a viable option to transpose.

The Reti Opening is closely related to the English Opening, so there are thematic similarities, the main difference being that an early e5 is out of play.  Further, 1. Nf3 is used more often to transpose than it is to actually play a Reti these days.  Black won't be sure it's a Reti until move 2, and if he plays the main line 1. ..d5, black will have to leave either the QGA or QGD transpositions on the table for quite some time.

I've been playing the Reti for a few years now, and not once have I come out of the opening poorly.  I've seen every one of the replies you list above from at least one player rated 1900 or better, and I have played 2. c4 to good effect against each and every one of them.  I can transpose out of the Reti system if I want to, but I usually don't (occasionally I'll turn it into a QGA or QGD if that's what the opponent leaves me).  Every attempt black has made to occupy the center against me has failed, often at the cost of a pawn, and always the center opens up to white's advantage.

White doesn't dictate what black will do, but it does shut down the classical approach to the center.  White can transpose to a classical opening if he wants, but black has no such options.

 

You talk like I have no clue about any of this.  I probably know more about the Reti than you do, actually!  For example, back in the summer, I played in a Correspondence tournament (one of many) on ICCF (I still have about 70 games going, but this one is done), where I was White in the following game.

 

 

 

So trust me, I don't need lessons on the Reti, but many of your claims are false.  The Reti and the English has substantial differences to them.  I am also very well aware of the 1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.b4 Bg7 4.Bb2 line that I presume you are referring to in another post.

 

Also, you say that 1.Nf3 c5 2.c4 is thematically a Reti.  Uhm, NO!  It is thematically a Symmetrical English!

For the same reason, 1.c4 e6 2.Nf3 d5 is NOT an English!  It's a Reti, despite the 1.c4 move!

 

And ...e5 cannot completely be stopped.  The reverse dragon may not be possible with 1.Nf3, but the reverse Closed can:

1.c4 e5 2.g3 Nc6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Bg2 Bg7 5.Nf3 d6 and 1.Nf3 d6 2.c4 e5 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.g3 g6 5.Bg2 Bg7, for example, are the same thing.  There are probably more move orders to this position then there are fingers on your hands.  It is an English, by definition!

 

Looks like with your 1435 rating that you should be doing more asking and less telling since clearly you only know a limited amount of what you are talking about!

blueemu
Perplexing wrote:

I'm going to try playing 3. Nf3 now, and I'll give you some feedback. I get a lot of people who are 'determined' to hang on to that pawn though. Can you provide some examples of how to crush black if he trys to hang on to the pawn; please be as creative as possible.



Dsmith42

@ThrillerFan - I've been playing the Reti for quite some time, in tournaments, including games against masters.  We've been over this before, and it's clear your understanding of hypermodernism is patchy at best.  You're a fine player, and still better than me overall, but I've put my knowledge of the Reti Opening to the test to an extent that leaves no room for doubt.

You, of all people, should know that just because black's reply is symmetrical does not make it equivalent, nor does it equalize.  Petroff's Defense is a clear illustration of this, but even without the e-pawns deployed, the same holds true in the Reti.  White's tempo advantage means 1. Nf3 opens and supports certain options in the center, which 1. ...Nf6 does not reciprocate for black.

The move 1. ..Nf6 commits black to defend the center primarily from the kingside.  The Reti player can then make a strong play for space on the queenside (Reti v. Capablanca, New York 1924 remains a great illustration of this).  This is the essence of Reti's system - pawn commitments by black to the center are easily cleared away, while white builds attacking pressure through the center and against both flanks.  Games are often marked by long, complex exchanging sequences, and resolving central tension is usually bad.

If there were any gaps in my understanding of the Reti, doubtless the Experts and IMs I have played it against would have crushed me in the opening.  Black's first move, whatever it is, commits to something in the center.  There's no "Anti-Reti", as the basic premise of the opening (an open center) holds regardless of black's reply.  How that opening center is leveraged by white changes based on black's play, but it can't be closed by force.

ThrillerFan
Dsmith42 wrote:

@ThrillerFan - I've been playing the Reti for quite some time, in tournaments, including games against masters.  We've been over this before, and it's clear your understanding of hypermodernism is patchy at best.  You're a fine player, and still better than me overall, but I've put my knowledge of the Reti Opening to the test to an extent that leaves no room for doubt.

You, of all people, should know that just because black's reply is symmetrical does not make it equivalent, nor does it equalize.  Petroff's Defense is a clear illustration of this, but even without the e-pawns deployed, the same holds true in the Reti.  White's tempo advantage means 1. Nf3 opens and supports certain options in the center, which 1. ...Nf6 does not reciprocate for black.

The move 1. ..Nf6 commits black to defend the center primarily from the kingside.  The Reti player can then make a strong play for space on the queenside (Reti v. Capablanca, New York 1924 remains a great illustration of this).  This is the essence of Reti's system - pawn commitments by black to the center are easily cleared away, while white builds attacking pressure through the center and against both flanks.  Games are often marked by long, complex exchanging sequences, and resolving central tension is usually bad.

If there were any gaps in my understanding of the Reti, doubtless the Experts and IMs I have played it against would have crushed me in the opening.  Black's first move, whatever it is, commits to something in the center.  There's no "Anti-Reti", as the basic premise of the opening (an open center) holds regardless of black's reply.  How that opening center is leveraged by white changes based on black's play, but it can't be closed by force.

 

Dsmith42, until you can say something intelligent, everything you say should be taken with a grain of salt, and even that is giving you too much credit!

 

You think MY understanding of hypermodern play is patchy at best?  So I guess all my years of playing the English, Reti, Double Fianchetto, Kings Indian Defense, Nimzo-Indian, and Queen's Indian means nothing, huh?  Sure, I do not play every hypermodern opening and defense out there (i.e. Alekhine), but for you to say that my understanding of hypermodern strategy is patchy at best when I clearly understand it better than you, clearly, is horsebleep coming from your mouth.

 

And nowhere did I say anything about a slight advantage or not for White.  All I said is 1...Nf6 is no more committal than 1.Nf3.  And for you to say that White maintains flexibility and Black does not would be like saying that a 5 year old boy can jump rope but a 5 year old girl cannot.

 

Case in point:  1.Nf3 Nf6 2.g3 g6 3.Bg2 Bg7 4.O-O O-O.  NEITHER side has committed.  But now what do you do there White?  You are about out of non-committal moves!  You going to advance that c-pawn?  How about the d-pawn?  How about showing your hand of only going half way with the d-pawn to d3?  You going to play 5.Nc3?!, blocking your c-pawn just to say you did not make a committal move?

 

And nothing either says that 1.Nf3 Nf6 means I have to defend from the Kingside.  Where on earth did you get that from?

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.g3 b6 4.Bg2 Bb7 5.O-O e6 last time I looked sees Black doing absolutely nothing on the kingside, with moves like Be7, d6, a6, Nbd7, Qc7, etc coming, playing the hedgehog, a very common defense in the symmetrical English when Nf3 is played early (i.e. not 1.c4 c5 2.g3).

 

You are not going to ever get me to believe that I am going to be outsmarted by some 1400 twerp.  I wish you lived in the same city as myself.  We play a rated game over the board every Tuesday night.  I would tell them to put me as Black against you.  You would get CRUSHED!