It's a concession for giving white a permanent pawn weakness and fighting for the center with f5, which would never be possible otherwise. It's really not so much different than the Nimzo-Indian in principle.
...f5 can be played in the nimzo too, but without ...g6 and i have played this line once or twice myslef. Its very dutch-like, in fact. So why not just play the nimzo with ...f5?
White doesn't have to allow f5 in the Nimzo.
It also helps to be familiar with the Pirc/Modern because your opponent can avoid it as a whole with 2.e4, which I've been studying. Ron Henley advocated the Hippo with black if white avoided the Dzindzi lolol
I would immediately adopt this if it wouldn't get me Pircs all day long.
The Pirc is awesome. After 2. e4, you can either transpose into the Pirc (2...d6) or Sniper (2...Bg7).
I would prefer to transpose into the Pirc Defense because I am much more familiar with it and play it when white plays 1.e4 against me.
has the sniper gained any popularity at GM level? or is it one of those 'patzers choice' lines
No GMs are regularly playing this in serious classical games. Games exist in the database with GMs on the black side, but you don't see them using it multiple times.
Well the Pirc has been played many times at super GM level. Kramnik and Topalov like it especially.
The Pirc Defense is a very solid system and allows black many chances to equalize very early in the game.
At the super GM level, its leading proponent is Alex Chernin.
Interesting is this "queen sac line" that still turns up occasionally in GM play. See Yandemirov, V. vs Onischuk, V.
Interesting. What are the win percentages from this position?
Database says this is crushing for white (68%). Pruned database of high quality, classical time control master games says it's never played. :)
Only found 1 game in that DB and it's between two guys I've never heard of.
One reason it may not show in my pruned DB is that it requires all games to be a mininum of 25 moves or some such. It's possible that there's a lot of miniatures out there, but even Chessbase Big Database shows only 2 games between two opponents of 2400+.