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Stop playing the London

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Mazetoskylo
Optimissed wrote:

White plays the queen's gambit like I do but a little better. Bear in mind, that was not a London.

Queen's Gambit where black was tricked into Bf5.

Yes indeed, "tricked" to play ...Bf5- the very same position where Black players like Caruana, Nakamura, Grischuk, Giri, Domiguez etc were "tricked" to go for as well... tongue.png

Black was absolutely fine out of the opening, his loss is attributed to a late mistake.

I have news for you: Loads of top players are playing the London, but they do not move on autopilot- with either color.

Optimissed
Mazetoskylo wrote:
Optimissed wrote:

White plays the queen's gambit like I do but a little better. Bear in mind, that was not a London.

Queen's Gambit where black was tricked into Bf5.

Yes indeed, "tricked" to play ...Bf5- the very same position where Black players like Caruana, Nakamura, Grischuk, Giri, Domiguez etc were "tricked" to go for as well...

Black was absolutely fine out of the opening, his loss is attributed to a late mistake.

I have news for you: Loads of top players are playing the London, but they do not move on autopilot- with either color.

.

This is something that I've worked out for myself. Due to all the computers, chess at GM level has become more tactical, to the point where masters are often apt to play positionally unsoundly in the belief that their tactical prowess will see them through.

Now, it should be clear, even to you, happy.png that what was played in that game was not a London. It was a Queen's Gambit with a slightly delayed c4. Delaying c4 for a couple of moves doesn't mean it isn't a Queen's Gambit. c4 was played after the slight blunder from black, which meant that white would like to play Qb3. In the Slav, the same thing applies. If black moves Bf5 or worse, Bg4, white takes advantage of the Qside weakness with Qb3.

If you followed that game, white's successful attack involved using black's misplaced bishop to accelerate his attack, by moving his pawns with tempo gain. Just because a selection of GMs have dubious positional awareness and try to compensate for that by use of tactical ability doesn't mean that Capablanca would approve of their moves, in a lot of cases.

You are perhaps unaware that chess is inately drawn and all wins are the results of mistakes. We can make use of our opponents' unsound play by causing situations that make it more likely that they will make such a mistake.

BILLY_AGAPITIDIS

@Optimissed

I really liked your games especially the second one with the rook sacrifice. I myself have had games like the first game where i played the queen's gambit and executed a greek gift sacrifice attack.

Optimissed

Thanks very much. I'm playing blitz a lot to try to refamiliarise myself with making quick decisions. I'm still no good at playing fast so I lose when I'm a little off form and win when I'm feeling sharp. Today I've been making a lot of bad decisions. I know by experience that I can play classical time controls when I'm tired or feeling dull but never blitz. I was a good blitz player 25 to 30 years ago when I was in my 40s. However I'm doing it so with a little bit of luck I might be able to play rapid well.

Optimissed

Oh the one on #50 wasn't mine but he was quoting something I wrote so it looked like it was. It was @CastPo, I think.

BILLY_AGAPITIDIS

@Optimissed

Well it's really good to see that a 60+ years old person (if i calculate correctly) still grinds and plays the game they love. Keep going 💪🏽

Optimissed

72. How old are you?

BILLY_AGAPITIDIS

27 😁

Sussyguy4890
Play the colle if you like the London not the London
Mazetoskylo
Sussyguy4890 wrote:
Play the colle if you like the London not the London

We are all ears to hear the reasoning behind this scientific suggestion.

Optimissed
Sussyguy4890 wrote:
Play the colle if you like the London not the London

The problem with the London from black's point of view is that the London is safe piece development and hard to make headway against in a 5 minute game. With classical controls, the better player will usually win. Consequently better players are bound to find the London boring in a fast game because to win needs thought and otherwise it's often just down to who can make moves faster than the other.

They need to study it, actually ... study their games against it and discover the habitual mistakes they're making which prevent them from winning. The Colle is a more dangerous opening, played properly. The Colle is EXTREMELY aggessive. Tht's why they play the London, of course.

Optimissed
Mazetoskylo wrote:
Sussyguy4890 wrote:
Play the colle if you like the London not the London

We are all ears to hear the reasoning behind this scientific suggestion.

I just gave it. tongue.png

pcalugaru
Sussyguy4890 wrote:
Play the colle if you like the London not the London

I play the Colle… (Both the Koltanowski and the Zuckertort) I also play the London.

These openings are solid… all the way up to GM’ level.

A few examples of why these are solid all the way up to GM level: (these examples also apply to the London system)

Wei Yi (2755elo FIDE) vs Vidit Santosh Gujrathi (2747elo FIDE)

Tata Steel Masters 
Event Date: January 13 - 28, 2024
Site: Wijk aan Zee NED*
Format: 14-player SRR; TC:100:50:15+30spm(1)

It’s the 13th round, Yi and Gujrathi are tied for second place.. Wei Yi as White needs a win, Guirathi as Black also needs a win … The winner shares first prize with 3 others.

What does Wei Yi play?

A full blown Colle Koltanowski (D05) No this wasn’t a Rapid or a Blitz tournament… this was a real GM OTB tournament with the following Time controls of (Standard)
1:40 / 40 moves + 0:50 + 30” increment per first move

If one is astute… One has to ask a few questions

A) “Why did Gujrathi allow the Colle? Why didn’t he play the Anti-Colle?

B) Wei Yi has to know Anti-Colle theory … Why would he play a Colle in a must win scenario?

C) What about the Colle being totally innocuous according GM John Nunn

E) What about the Nc6 var of the Colle with 10…h6 i.e. the line that supposedly broke the Koltanowski? If true “Why would Wei Yi play the Colle… ?” To assume a 2755 FIDE GM would “just wing” an opening in a must win situation in a real OTB tournament is faulty logic as best. (it's Frak"n stupid to be frank!

What logic can one deduce from the above questions?

A1) The Anti Colle gives white some form of advantage that Gujrathi didn’t want to play against. (He played a main line of the Colle instead… don’t for a second think he didn’t know the Anti Colle line. (again faulty logic... )

B1) Wei Yi in playing the Colle Koltanowski, had to look over the Anti-Colle lines and felt he could play for a win in them.

C1) In this Must Situation….!!! . Wei Yi’s assessment of the Colle as being innocuous, must have been totally opposite of GM Nunn’s.

E1) What happened to the Nc6 line w/ 10…h6 making the Colle harmless to Black (GM Nunn’s innocuous tag was the result of that line) Gujrathi didn’t play it… He played the Nd7 var… and knew the Nd7 theory (again this was a must win situation for him also) obviously, someone repaired Nc6 with 10…h6 and it’s known at this tier. (or he would have studied that line and played it!!~)

The take away is.... an evaluation of any opening at the top is multifaceted, and varies from GM to GM… for a variety of different reasons. Since many main lines end in a playable equality of various degrees. A GM could asses an opening better or worse in print based on his ability to play it and that alone… that assessment in print… makes many think it must be true. When in fact it is just an opinion of one lone professional 

Here is another example of a system opening being used in a must win situation in real time controls by a super GM

1989 Karpov - Yusupov Candidates Semifinal Match

Game one : Yusupov as White, plays a main line against Karpov’s Q.I.D. and about loses the game … has to fight for the draw.

Game 3 (again as White) plays a main line to Karpov’s Nimzo Indian. This time loses … takes the Big L and goes down a full point. Never in the game.

Game 5 Yusupov is again White…

but what does he play? He’s mainly a 1d4 player & Karpov’s repertoire was based around the Q.I.D. or the N.I.D. Karpov handled Yusupov’s prepped main lines rather effortlessly… (This is the same Karpov…the ex World champ from mid 70s-mid 80s… then the No#2 world’s best for another decade… the same person the broke Kasparov’s Tarrasch defense … made Kasparov switch to the KID)

Little background on Yusupov.

He is a classical 1.d4 Grand Master of the highest order. Pretty much played nothing but classical openings as Black (against both 1.d4 and against 1.e4 ) as white during this era, he usually played 1.d4 and up until this point in his career would play mostly modern opening theory against main line Indian defense etc. (not systems)

Yusupov played the Torre Attack and crushed Karpov! The decision to play the Torre Attack probably was made on the grounds … Yusupov's team had nothing by way of opening prep left.

YET...

How was it that Yusupov, using the Torre Attack (a system … ) How was he able to defeat Karpov in Candidates OTB play with that opening.? wasn't a fluke...

Game7 it’s tied… Yusupov plays the Torre Attack again… and Karpov about loses again, but pulls a draw out from the depths of his soul. Unfortunately Yusupov as Black in the last game of the match, being tied …Blunder on move 22. and lost the match.

But my point…

Yusupov played Classical opening way more than Karpov did.. (almost never played Indian defense as balsck... he mostly played all QGD variants. that tournament.... He seemed to know how to handle the classical positions resulting from the Torre Attack better that Karpov. Even though theory says Black equalizes in the Torre… the resulting middle games Yusupov was the better chess player. it was Karpov that struggled.

To reiterate… there is a huge difference in theoretical and practical… there is theoretical equality (where Black equalizes on paper) that doesn’t mean it translates into practical equality in OTB. Often a players strengths can compensate … giving him/her the += in equal position if he/she is prone to play those type(s) of position well.

I’m sure GM Kamsky (the GM that started this modern attraction to the London) heard it all…. Oh that opening is weak, oh that opening in for amateurs, Kamsky, he only plays the London when he has no opening prep… yada yada yada

BILLY_AGAPITIDIS

@pcalugaru

I agree with everything you wrote and as the poster of this thread i should mention that London, colle and all that are perfectly fine BUT

Kamsky knew how to adapt his moves and played to win. Most amateurs play in autopilot and that's what i wanted to bring up. Kamsky didn't play mindlessly till move 10 and then started to think (nor yusupov nor the others). They were paying attention to what their opponents played. That's what i was trying to say.

Mazetoskylo
BILLY_AGAPITIDIS wrote:

@pcalugaru

I agree with everything you wrote and as the poster of this thread i should mention that London, colle and all that are perfectly fine BUT

Kamsky knew how to adapt his moves and played to win. Most amateurs play in autopilot and that's what i wanted to bring up. Kamsky didn't play mindlessly till move 10 and then started to think (nor yusupov nor the others). They were paying attention to what their opponents played. That's what i was trying to say.

It's not the London's fault (and you can also say the same for any "system opening") that amateurs try to play the same moves, under the same order, against almost any reply of the opponent.

Your title of the thread should rather be "Stop playing the opening mechanically", but then I admit that this would be less catchy.

Optimissed

It isn't easy and you have to have a good mind to work out the nuances of your opponents' moves in slow, positional openings. I used to be able to do it. Nowadays I probably couldn't.

BILLY_AGAPITIDIS

@Mazetoskylo

Yeah i guess so 😃 but then agyin my first comment i specified "unless you play it the right way"

AngryPuffer

Id say that as a very vigorous tactical/messy position lover, being exited to play the kings indian, benoni, semi slav, or grünfeld against d4 just to get met with 2.bf4 really kills the mood of the game and makes you feel demoralized and care less about the game, which allows white to win the mental battle. I wouldn't be surprised if this were a popular way to get black annoyed and leave him prone to messing up.

mirroredragon

no