Friday, June 12, 2015

Switching colors part 2

The publishment of a book mostly depends if a reasonable sale can be expected. Chessbooks are therefore mainly written for the average player. This chessplayer expects of openingbooks some ideas immediately ready for implementation in his tournament-games. So an author will often brighten up the analysis to comfort the readers. The Australian grandmaster David Smerdon on his blog believes this is acceptable as standard chess is something very different from top-correspondencechess.

I am often claiming to always seek the truth and play scientific chess but despite all good intentions I also realize that some subjectivity remains. I often catch myself looking a tad harder for improvements for the color which I would like to play. I don't want to throw away an opening for the smallest problem if I built up already quite some experience. Besides another opening doesn't mean necessarily less problems. A similar sound can be heard in an interview with Michael Adams at Shamkir a few months ago.  Introducing ideas can be an elegant method to bypass these little problems.

However from my previous article you can deduct such experimenting with new ideas doesn't always bring relieve. I tried in the meanwhile already 4 different systems in standard games against the modern french but still no satisfying results. Maybe it is time to try a very different approach by deploying a strategy covered in an older article switching colors. What can't be refuted is maybe better joined and played. Easier said than done as I am not eager to start playing the French in my repertoire. MNb rightfully remarked that the cure could be worse than the disease.

For this problem I believe to have found a solution as e.g. in the Modern French. Let somebody else switch colors so you don't have to take risks and learn from his games. The reader is probably confused as how can you force somebody to switch colors. Well naturally we can't force somebody but by checking the database we can sometimes find a strong player willing to play both sides of a position. Surely you won't find such type of player always but I had luck in the Modern French with the young strong Turkish IM Burak Firat.
Maybe some very attentive readers still remember this name from my article the modern french part 2 but I guess most people are completely unfamiliar with this player.

The Turkish chess-federation was a decade ago very small but last years they made fantastic progress which many other federations can only dream of (like our Belgian federation). In 2006 suddenly 1,1 million euro was injected in Turkish chess and this didn't stop. A massive recruiting campaign started which at beginning of 2014 already gathered more than 350.000 members. Even more astonishing is that 1/3 are women. I understand a number of schools have introduced chess courses and this naturally drastically influenced the figures. We notice that the youth is getting the highest priority by the authorities as was reflected e.g. at the Olympiad with ages of teamaverages descending from 23 years to only 8 years old.

Besides loads of medals at youth-championships for Turkey today we also start to discover the first players achieving norms and titles like Burak. Burak is only 22 years old and he is seriously working to get the necessary norms for the grandmaster-title as we see e.g. in a closed grandmaster-tournament at Moscow. This should be sufficient as introduction of the player so time to see how he manages to switch sides as it is something very natural.

Firat games
So in total there are 17 games of which he took 11 times white and 6 times black. In his most recent games he demonstrates that it little matters which color he plays to win. I don't exaggerate if we look to his last game played with black.
[Event "TUR-chT"] [Site "Kocaeli"] [Date "2014.08.22"] [Round "5.4"] [White "Yuksel, Atilla Koksal"] [Black "Firat, Burak"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C11"] [WhiteElo "2107"] [BlackElo "2456"] [PlyCount "64"] [EventDate "2014.08.18"] [EventRounds "13"] [EventCountry "TUR"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2014.10.17"] [WhiteTeam "Ankara Demirspor"] [BlackTeam "Denizsu Aquamatch"] [WhiteTeamCountry "TUR"] [BlackTeamCountry "TUR"] 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e5 Nfd7 5. f4 c5 6. Nf3 Nc6 7. Be3 Be7 8. Qd2 b6 {(Burak chooses the same sequence as Bart played against him in 2013. )} 9. Be2 O-O 10. Nd1 {(I played in my first game against Bart 0-0 and mentioned in my analysis afterwards that Nd1 is playable but not guaranteeing any opening-advantage.)} f5 {(I focused on cxd4 in my analysis which is more popular than f5.)} 11. O-O {(More critical are c3 or c4.)} cxd4 12. Nxd4 Nxd4 13. Bxd4 Nc5 14. Nf2 g5 {(In 2012 Burak learned the hard way by the strong grandmaster Zhang Zhong from Singapore how strong this move is in this type of positions. This time Burak uses this lesson in his advantage. Technically the position is still playable for white but it is not a position you want to play without any study at home.)} 15. g3 Bb7 16. Qe3 Kh8 17. Kh1 Rc8 18. c3 a5 19. b4 Na4 20. Rfc1 Nb2 21. a3 Nc4 22. Qd3 Qc7 23. Nd1 gxf4 24. gxf4 Bh4 25. Ne3 Bf2 26. Nc2 Rg8 27. Bf3 Bxd4 28. Nxd4 Qe7 29. Be2 Qh4 30. Rf1 Rg6 31. Rf3 Rcg8 32. Raf1 Nd2 {(Qxd2 is refuted by Rg2. A game not without mistakes but clearly black had a superior understanding of the position. )} 0-1
Even more impressive is his last white game against the Spanish international master Daniel Garcia Roman which he blows away in only 22 moves with mate!
[Event "Olomouc GM 17th"] [Site "Olomouc"] [Date "2014.08.04"] [Round "6"] [White "Firat, Burak"] [Black "Garcia Roman, Daniel"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C11"] [WhiteElo "2458"] [BlackElo "2379"] [PlyCount "42"] [EventDate "2014.07.30"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "CZE"] [EventCategory "8"] 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e5 Nfd7 5. f4 c5 6. Nf3 Nc6 7. Be3 Be7 8. Qd2 b6 9. O-O-O {(Burak chooses the same risky line of 2013 against Bart Michiels although his opponent is an experienced international master from Spain.)} c4 10. f5 b5 11. fxe6 fxe6 12. Ng5 Bxg5 $2 {(Black did not make his homework as here Nb6 is mandatory. Last year I thought black gets the better chances but now with stronger software I am not sure anymore. I think chances are probably even.)} (12... Nb6 $1 13. Qe2 O-O {(B4 is the alternative but I am more trusting 0-0.)} 14. Qg4 {(H4 can be slowed down by Qe8.)} (14. Qh5 Bxg5 {(H6 is answered by the strong move h4.)} 15. Bxg5 {(Exchanging queens with Qxg5 is also possible but this is more critical.)} Qd7 16. Nxb5 {(Be2 is also possible but I think Nxb5 is more critical.)} Na4 17. b3 a6 18. Nd6 Nc3 19. bxc4 g6 {(With enormous complications in which black has decent play.)}) (14. h4 $6 Qe8 15. Qg4 b4 16. Nb5 {(Ne2 will be answered by a5.)} h5 $15) 14... Rf5 {(14... Bxg5 15. Bxg5 and 14... Qe8 15. Be2 are still giving black problems to solve.)} 15. h4 g6 16. Ne2 Na4 17. Nf4 Qa5 {(I also looked at Bxg5 but after hxg5 white keeps a very dangerous attack. Qa5 announces an immediate counter-attack.)} 18. Nxh7 Qb4 19. Qxg6 Kh8 20. Qe8 Kxh7 21. Qg6 Kh8 22. Qh6 Kg8 23. Qg6 Kh8 {(Kf8 fails tactically due to Nxe6 while at the same time black threatens to win on b2. As often a fantastic analysis ends in a perpetual check.}) 13. Bxg5 Qa5 14. Qf4 {(On the other hand white clearly made his homework as this amelioration was already shown a few months earlier on my blog. I have no doubts Burak does not read my blog and discovered the move himself with the computer of course.)} b4 $6 {(H6 is better as mentioned in the other article but black has anyway a very bad position.)} 15. Ne4 dxe4 16. Bxc4 Nb6 17. Rhf1 Nd8 18. d5 exd5 {(I still discussed Nxc4 in my analysis and in both lines black is totally busted.)} 19. e6 Bxe6 20. Qd6 Nc8 21. Bb5 Qxb5 {(Qxd8 mate ! A very nice game which proofs even in strategy openings a good homework can make a big difference.)} 1-0
The games of players playing regularly both sides in an opening are often a very good reference to check if you have any problems. Those players know from experience what can be annoying for the other color.

How do we find those type of players? Well I don't know any program that automatically detects this but a visual screening of the games from strong players often is sufficient to discover if any name pops up playing both colors. Some hints how to make an automatic process of this are welcome but I fear that my chances are low without possessing the extensive Chessbase database.


No comments:

Post a Comment