Ponziani, Steinitz Variation vs Chess.com computer analysis

  • 5 years ago · Quote · #1


    I have played the Ponziani for years, and I actually own one of the few books ever published on the opening by TD Harding. During an online tournament the following position arose from 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.c3 d5 4.Qa4 f6 5.Bb5 Ne7 6.exd5: 

    After the game I asked for a computer analysis, which I always do because I'm naturally curious about where I may have gone wrong or where I could have improved. Interestingly, the computer noted 6. exd5 as a mistake, and that 6. O-O, was stronger.

    I thought that was interesting because I have an old, ratty copy of TD Harding's book that lists exd5 as being among the strongest replies. In fact, when I decided to search the database for this position, there were no less than 51 master games in which white plays 6. exd5. In those games, white scored 47.1%, drew 17.6%, and lost 35.3%.

    Which leads me to this question...if the move is as solid as all the research suggests, why is the computer labeling this as a mistake?

  • 5 years ago · Quote · #3


    That's awesome, thanks for the advice Pfren! I went over your analysis and couldn't find any fault with it. Indeed, during the game that I noted one of the problems for white was the uncastled king (I never wound up castling in the game, in fact) and of course the issue that my knight couldn't be developed on it's comfortable c3 square. I completely understand why the opening isn't popular in master games for those reasons, but it still holds a certain antiquaited beauty.

  • 5 years ago · Quote · #5


    The Ponziani?? Wasn't Staunton the last well known practitioner of this oddity?

  • 5 years ago · Quote · #6


    Go ahead and laugh Crazy. In point of fact it sees some use in postal games and a friend of mine who was a postal master claimed that there really wasn't anything wrong with the Ponziani.

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