Ugh, had a bad outing vs the owens against clubmate who plays it exclusively. I think I'll start trying a different variation, something simple.
the owen opening is passive. White can exclude the Bc8 from play. He has spatial advantage and can use it to get a kings attack. If White keeps his central pawn chain together (e4, d4 should be supported with c3, and NOT with Nc3) then it is difficult for Black to obtain counterplay.
There are many other 'relatively ' passive openings for black: 1.e4 Nf6, 1....Nc6, 1....g6, 1....d6, but they are ALL more active than Owen's defense.
Hmm, that's pretty much all true schlecter55. Maybe I'll stick with c3 and try to find an improvement at a different move...
There's nothing wrong with Nc3 as long as you stop Black's bishop from pinning with ...Bb4. So since Black played ...e6 on move 2, you can play 3. a3 and 4. Nc3
it is important to not allow an exchange of pieces (Bf8-b4xc3), and also not to allow an exchange of pawns with c7-c5-c5xd4. If the pawn is on c3 (and not the knight), white can take with the pawn c3 and keeps a strong pawn center, thus a spatial advantage. The place d2 is good for the Knight b1: he will be able to participate in the battle with Ne4 (after an e4-e5) or with Nf1-g3
That is one approach sure. But Nc3 allows White to respond to ...c5 with d5, even if Black seemingly has prepared it, due to tricks on the long diagnol, e.g. 1. e4 b6 2. d4 Bb7 3. Nc3 e6 4. a3 Nf6 5. Bd3 c5?! 6. d5 and depending on how captures on d5 proceed, White has Qf3! or Be4! at the appropriate juncture.
So I would contend that Nc3 and a3 is just as much a viable approach as your suggestion of Nd2 and c3
yes, but black has also 5....d5, 6.e5 Ne4, 7. Qf3 Nxc3 (exchange), 8.bxc3 c5.
Exchanges aren't the end of the world for White, plus 7. Qg4 looks sharper.
7.Qg4 h5, 8.Qf3 Nc6, 9.Nge2 Nxc3, 10.bxc3 and now 10....Qd7 or even 10....g5. Black is not worse.
7...h5?! 8. Qg4! +/=
Your move (this is fun)
Last time I've met the Owen's OTB (not correspondence) was a couple of years ago, by a GM (Attila Czebe, who is well known for his rather eccentric openings). Rather surprised I picked a solid line as white, emerged with a small advantage, which in the middlegame grew considerably. Finally my opponent blundered badly, and I replied with another blunder (picked up a free pawn, while I could finish the game at once). The end is rather dissapointing: I offered a draw in a winning, pawn-up position, because I was also the tournament organizer and I had an urgent issue to settle. Attila accepted, and told to his team captain (not knowing the reason I offered the draw): 'This guy is crazy... I was dead lost!".
I will post the game if I manage to find the scoresheet...
Your move (this is fun)-
I think you should use a chessboard : YOU played 7.Qg4 , I answered 7....h5, now you queen MUST LEAVE g4.
I think some of the reasons 2... b6 does not work well for Black might be:
Not really much fun when you end up spending more time picking up the board to go home than playing chess sometimes but hey, that's the Owen for you.
Correct you are I meant 8. Qf4
English GM like Keene, Miles and Hodgson (who also liked the Hedghog) played the Owen Defence (mostly against 1 e4)!
French GM Christian Bauer lately wrote a book on 1...b6. I didn't check the database but I think Bauer sometimes plays 1...b6. (It's always rather strange when a GM writes books about openings he does not practice himself!)
the Super GM's dont write books because their competitors will use it.
IF a strong GM writes a book (like Bauer) then I guess he does not use it in serious games.
Darn you're right, that aggressive stuff on the kingside for Black with ...h5 and ...g5 does seem like it maintains the balance
8.Qf4 g5, 9.Qe3 Nc6, 10.Nge2 Nxc3, 11.Nxc3 Bh6, 12.Ne2 Qe7, 13.f4 gxf4, 14.Qf2 0-0-0, 15.Bxf4 f6, 16.exf6 Qxf6, 17.0-0 Bg7, or 17....Rdf8. White cannot prohibit e6-e5. =