This is soooo cool :D
I have been an exponent of the Ponziani for many years and started with Harding's book on the Ponziani (which is pretty hard to get). I have found that I can generally outplay most others in the opening on chess.com because very, very few players will play 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. c3 d5. Rather, they almost invariable play the Steinitz variation or something like that which I believe is better for white.
I bought your book on the Ponziani last year and I think its a fabulous work. It has certainly scored me some points in online games, where the chess.com opening explorer has holes. There is no question that those holes exist, which is really more about the fact that the Ponziani isn't played much at the master level than it is about the opening itself.
I asked postal master Lou Owen years ago if the opening was viable despite OTB GMs not playing it. He said that it was absolutely viable and probably playable to a high level. There are indeed issues with not being able to develop the knight to its usual c3 square but every opening has it's weaknesses.
Anyway, great book and I'm glad you are on here :)
While I don't think the Ponziani is "bad " I do believe white has 3 moves at move 3 that are all better : Bb5, Bc4 and d4 . I have checked several data bases and the Ponziani scores about 53% for white which is respectable . My own personal experience with the Ponziani is that I did well with it for the better part of a year until my otb opponents started coming to the board prepared to meet it and then my results dropped off significantly and I went back to 3 Bb5 . I think black has 2 very good lines : 3 ... d5 4 Qa4 and now both 4 ... Bd7 and f6 are fine for black imo and according to database results I have checked . Is there something better for white at move 4 ? If not then 3 ... d5 is the way to go for black .
I asked postal master Lou Owen years ago if the opening was viable despite OTB GMs not playing it. He said that it was absolutely viable and probably playable to a high level.
Is this the same one that passed away back on the 1st of last year?
His obit has him listed as an IM, but his OTB rating according to the USCF is 1943 and ICCF has him at 2424 for CC but with no title.
Firebrand we were looking at a move in the ponziani which is not recommended . I actually got it mixed up with another similar line.
I looked at your line and after examining your line I concluded it was a good and winning line for Black. But it is not a line that we would play in a real game. It is my fault that I confused your line with another line. But the point is your line while it wins would not be played by someone who knows Ponziani Theory. Because I tell you that I agree that your line wins--this is not "admitting defeat" it is just saying that you are correct if that particular move is played in the Ponziani then White should lose.
Just as if in this line 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. c3 d5 and now White plays 4. Bb5? White should lose with the correct follow ups by Black but of course there are other lines than 4. Bb5.
Well at the time, you were certain of your moves being white's best reply. If you've now changed your mind, we may perhaps need to hash this out again and get to the bottom of the best both sides can do.
Yes, In the line you gave I was certain my possible moves against that particular line were the best White could do. And I said that the particular line was not good for White and even losing.
But it was a line that is not suggested to play in Ponziani theory. So while it would be a good line for Black if White plays into it--White does not have to play into it at all. [I think it was a d3 line--I would appreciate it if you will give the exact line as at the time I got it confused with I think another d3 line]
We do not need to hash the line out again as I already agreed with you that the particular line was very bad for White. It is just that the line would not be played by someone with good Ponziani theory and there are better moves other than playing that particular line. I do confess getting that line mixed up with another line. So I am asking you to give the particular line again but if I remember it was not a line in Ponziani theory that I have. But if you think you have something and there is no other line please give it again...
I see a lot of hand waving in this thread. Is there any concrete analysis you're actually willing to share, or is it all proprietary?
If I could remember the exact line it would help. Please give the exact line as making comments about it makes little sense if we do not know the line. I kinda remember it is a d6 line for White sometime after 3. c3 d5
4. Qa4 f6
Yes it was the 6.d3 try in the 5.Bb5 line that you admitted was bad for white. Nevertheless, I maintain that black's best attempt at 'punishing' the Ponziani is:
Though white should be able to hold a draw with best play.
I think 7.0-0 not best. 7. d4 is the move you need to show puts white at a disadvantage. I think we agree 7. 0-0 puts white in trouble.
7.0-0 is actually safer than 7.d4, though both have been played. Below is the model CC game for black (I've played both players before and can vouch for the soundness of the game):
A 44 move game probably does not reflect on the quality of the opening, especially as it ends in resignation.
I agree the ...f6, ...Kf7 line is a tough nut to crack. But I am sure you are not claimimg white made the best moves at his disposal. For example giving up the second bishop.
Ponziani is a cool opening. Where can I but this book. I know someone who would like to read it.
Probably on Amazon. authors David Taylor and Keith Hayward
I was not challenging you ponz, but Jempty as to his success with his opening.
But it is moot as I went and looked at all his games to last June and he hasn't played this opening once. But he DOES like to get that Queen out early!
The game was played at 50 days per 10 moves with computer assistance allowed. It's about as sound as you're going to get.
What was the venue FirebrandX?
Firebrand, in the book I co authored on page 160 it advised NOT to play
6. d3 after 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. c3 d5 4. Qa4 f6 5. Bb5 Ne7
So. while I agreed with you that a line you gave after 6. d3 was very good for Black--this has very little to do with Ponziani theory as you were refuting or giving a refutation to a line which was already in the book as a bad move to avoid.
Firebrand, that does not even sound like chess as i want to know it! What is computer assisted chess? Is it like walking with a cane, or having a friend driving you everywhere you want to go?
Thank you, FirebrandX, for providing a game to get the conversation started. It seems that the other side would rather make fun of the game than continue the conversation though.
Where did White make his mistake that led from the standard += to =?