Modern Defence vs Pirc Defence

Colin20G

Why do people act as if chess was actually solved? In spite of the progress made, we still have only scratched the top of the absolutely huge tree graph of the game.

ThrillerFan
Steven-ODonoghue wrote:

@ThrillerFan is the typical Internet troll, runs around making absurd claims and disagreeing with people for no reason other than to be difficult, and then when proven wrong disappears of the face of the earth

My claims are not absurd.

 

It has been well established for decades at the top level that 1...e5, The Sicilian, The French, and the Caro-Kann are better defenses to 1.e4 than the other 16 options.

 

Now what would be absurd would be if I started to try and cherry pick some reason why one is better than the other three!  Black plays any one of those 4 moves and you will get no argument from me (at least no argument about move 1).

A-mateur

"The Pirc is not played at the top level!" 

I agree that it will never be as popular as the Sicilian or 1...e5.

But one just can't say that. 

Anand, Carlsen, MVL played it, and we can also mention players from other times such as Botvinnik, Timman, Tal, Korchnoi, Nunn, Gulko or Seirawan. Even Fischer played it once (not during an exhibition game, but against Spassky in Iceland!!). 

Sred
Steven-ODonoghue wrote:

@ThrillerFan is the typical Internet troll, runs around making absurd claims and disagreeing with people for no reason other than to be difficult, and then when proven wrong disappears of the face of the earth

You think he should come back so that you can continue insulting him for no particular reason?

ThrillerFan
A-mateur wrote:

"The Pirc is not played at the top level!" 

I agree that it will never be as popular as the Sicilian or 1...e5.

But one just can't say that. 

Anand, Carlsen, MVL played it, and we can also mention players from other times such as Botvinnik, Timman, Tal, Korchnoi, Nunn, Gulko or Seirawan. Even Fischer played it once (not during an exhibition game, but against Spassky in Iceland!!). 

 

I have played the Latvian!  Saying a GM has played it means little.

How many GMs do you know of that call the Pirc their primary defense to 1.e4?  I would have to research his games, but possibly John Nunn.  And possibly Jon Speelman for the Modern.  They are few and far between, and for good reason!

 

It is a surprise weapon at best, like the Scandinavian was in 1995, round 14.

A-mateur
ThrillerFan a écrit :
A-mateur wrote:

"The Pirc is not played at the top level!" 

I agree that it will never be as popular as the Sicilian or 1...e5.

But one just can't say that. 

Anand, Carlsen, MVL played it, and we can also mention players from other times such as Botvinnik, Timman, Tal, Korchnoi, Nunn, Gulko or Seirawan. Even Fischer played it once (not during an exhibition game, but against Spassky in Iceland!!). 

 

I have played the Latvian!  Saying a GM has played it means little.

How many GMs do you know of that call the Pirc their primary defense to 1.e4?  I would have to research his games, but possibly John Nunn.  And possibly Jon Speelman for the Modern.  They are few and far between, and for good reason!

 

It is a surprise weapon at best, like the Scandinavian was in 1995, round 14.

You could have said "the Pirc is not popular at the top level". And objectively, it would have been quite true. But you said "is not played", and this is completely different.

While chess.com's database has 31 000 games for the Scandinavian, it has approximately 60 000 games for 


the Pirc (main line on move 3) and the Modern.

I think that if the Pirc/Modern defense is only a surprise weapon, it is the king of the surprise weapons.

The database has 27 000 games for the Alekhine, and 7 000 for the Owen defense. 

darkunorthodox88
A-mateur wrote:
ThrillerFan a écrit :
A-mateur wrote:

"The Pirc is not played at the top level!" 

I agree that it will never be as popular as the Sicilian or 1...e5.

But one just can't say that. 

Anand, Carlsen, MVL played it, and we can also mention players from other times such as Botvinnik, Timman, Tal, Korchnoi, Nunn, Gulko or Seirawan. Even Fischer played it once (not during an exhibition game, but against Spassky in Iceland!!). 

 

I have played the Latvian!  Saying a GM has played it means little.

How many GMs do you know of that call the Pirc their primary defense to 1.e4?  I would have to research his games, but possibly John Nunn.  And possibly Jon Speelman for the Modern.  They are few and far between, and for good reason!

 

It is a surprise weapon at best, like the Scandinavian was in 1995, round 14.

You could have said "the Pirc is not popular at the top level". And objectively, it would have been quite true. But you said "is not played", and this is completely different.

While chess.com's database has 31 000 games for the Scandinavian, it has approximately 60 000 games for 


the Pirc (main line on move 3) and the Modern.

I think that if the Pirc/Modern defense is only a surprise weapon, it is the king of the surprise weapons.

The database has 27 000 games for the Alekhine, and 7 000 for the Owen defense. 

How can it be the king  of the surprise weapons when it offers no surprises? white can develop at leisure with his system of choice and mantain first  move advantage. Its a respectable defense and leads to interesting positions but king of the surprise weapons is a bit much

darkunorthodox88

one thing that gets lost or never mentioned in opening discussions is that its not mere objectivity that gives ranking to all the defenses,its flexibility of choices. In the big 4 defenses, black has choice and deviations galore which means white cant force you to narrow avenues if he is inclined , and many are playable. the playable non-4 defenses are a lot more narrow in their scope agaisnt critical lines and white can force black to play in a narrow bridge of few choices and sometimes even force continuations if black is to remain in the tolerably worse.

This is important because its much easier to prepare agaisnt someone if you dont have to study sideline upon sideline of options, Top players dont want repertoire's where they can be prepared agaisnt so easily. To argue that an opening has no top adherents as a primary defense misses this, its flexibility and not necessarily objectivity why this is often the deciding factor

Among not just super GMs but even IM's you will very rarely see a secondary opening or  defense as a primary weapon for this reason. You become too easy to prepare agaisnt, and thats an uphill battle. But if you like 5 different things with sidelines sprinkled in, your opponent must either play chess normally, or go through encyclopediac amounts of opening prep over someone's personal repertoire to have the same effect. 

Prometheus_Fuschs
ThrillerFan escribió:
darkunorthodox88 wrote:
ThrillerFan wrote:

Read the whole post.  I mention both openings and endgames because the engine sux at both.

 

An engine needs a Powerbook to evaluate and play an opening properly!

 

The engine alone CANNOT DO IT!

ever heard of alphazero?

Yes I have heard of it.  But it is not on the market.  At least I have yet to see it sold anywhere accessible to the U.S.  Amazon, Chess4Less, etc.

And yet we have Lc0 which IS stronger than A0.

Colin20G
darkunorthodox88 wrote:

In the big 4 defenses, black has choice and deviations galore which means white cant force you to narrow avenues if he is inclined , and many are playable. the playable non-4 defenses are a lot more narrow in their scope agaisnt critical lines and white can force black to play in a narrow bridge of few choices and sometimes even force continuations if black is to remain in the tolerably worse.

This is important because its much easier to prepare agaisnt someone if you dont have to study sideline upon sideline of options, Top players dont want repertoire's where they can be prepared agaisnt so easily. To argue that an opening has no top adherents as a primary defense misses this, its flexibility and not necessarily objectivity why this is often the deciding factor

Among not just super GMs but even IM's you will very rarely see a secondary opening or  defense as a primary weapon for this reason. You become too easy to prepare agaisnt, and thats an uphill battle. But if you like 5 different things with sidelines sprinkled in, your opponent must either play chess normally, or go through encyclopediac amounts of opening prep over someone's personal repertoire to have the same effect. 

You have a point. However how actually bad are the non "big 4 defenses" though?

 

A-mateur
darkunorthodox88 a écrit :
A-mateur wrote:
ThrillerFan a écrit :
A-mateur wrote:

"The Pirc is not played at the top level!" 

I agree that it will never be as popular as the Sicilian or 1...e5.

But one just can't say that. 

Anand, Carlsen, MVL played it, and we can also mention players from other times such as Botvinnik, Timman, Tal, Korchnoi, Nunn, Gulko or Seirawan. Even Fischer played it once (not during an exhibition game, but against Spassky in Iceland!!). 

 

I have played the Latvian!  Saying a GM has played it means little.

How many GMs do you know of that call the Pirc their primary defense to 1.e4?  I would have to research his games, but possibly John Nunn.  And possibly Jon Speelman for the Modern.  They are few and far between, and for good reason!

 

It is a surprise weapon at best, like the Scandinavian was in 1995, round 14.

You could have said "the Pirc is not popular at the top level". And objectively, it would have been quite true. But you said "is not played", and this is completely different.

While chess.com's database has 31 000 games for the Scandinavian, it has approximately 60 000 games for 


the Pirc (main line on move 3) and the Modern.

I think that if the Pirc/Modern defense is only a surprise weapon, it is the king of the surprise weapons.

The database has 27 000 games for the Alekhine, and 7 000 for the Owen defense. 

How can it be the king  of the surprise weapons when it offers no surprises? white can develop at leisure with his system of choice and mantain first  move advantage. Its a respectable defense and leads to interesting positions but king of the surprise weapons is a bit much

I don't think it's a surprise weapon. I think it is slightly inferior to 1...e6 or 1...c6, but as you said, respectable. 

I don't think Botvinnik was the kind of guy that used a completely inferior defense as a surprise weapon.

darkunorthodox88
Colin20G wrote:
darkunorthodox88 wrote:

In the big 4 defenses, black has choice and deviations galore which means white cant force you to narrow avenues if he is inclined , and many are playable. the playable non-4 defenses are a lot more narrow in their scope agaisnt critical lines and white can force black to play in a narrow bridge of few choices and sometimes even force continuations if black is to remain in the tolerably worse.

This is important because its much easier to prepare agaisnt someone if you dont have to study sideline upon sideline of options, Top players dont want repertoire's where they can be prepared agaisnt so easily. To argue that an opening has no top adherents as a primary defense misses this, its flexibility and not necessarily objectivity why this is often the deciding factor

Among not just super GMs but even IM's you will very rarely see a secondary opening or  defense as a primary weapon for this reason. You become too easy to prepare agaisnt, and thats an uphill battle. But if you like 5 different things with sidelines sprinkled in, your opponent must either play chess normally, or go through encyclopediac amounts of opening prep over someone's personal repertoire to have the same effect. 

You have a point. However how actually bad are the non "big 4 defenses" though?

the decent ones are anywhere from 0.25-0.5 or so, the St. george  ( 1.e4 a6 2.d4 b5)is probably the  least sound of the ones worth taking at but still reasonable at about 0.6, the rest are not worth considering at all