Thursday, August 31, 2006

Openings, 8/30/06

After a crushing opening defeat against santjuan on 8/28, I've been trying to better understand the positions arising in the Scandinavian.

When people say "Don't study openings", they really mean you should avoid memorizing lines. Understanding more positions is smart. :)

I wondered why we play 6...Bf5 instead of 6...Bg4 here. After 6...Bg4 7.h3 Bh5 8.g4 Bg6 White's kingside pawns are advanced.

If White castles queenside, this helps White more than Black.

Oddly, White avoids the 6.Bc4 mainline in 85% of his games, though it's his best try at an edge! I've focused mostly on early deviations. When I face more booked-up opponents, I'll have to revise my strategy.

6...Bg4 is better than usual here, because after the typical 6...Bg4 7.h3 Bgh5 8.g4 Bg6, Black can exchange bishops, blunting White's first-move edge.

5.Bc4 commits White's bishop but avoids committing his knight. 5...Bg4 forces White to commit his knight, and later 5...Nc6 takes advantage of his bishop placement.

8...e6 is a typical Scandinavian move setting up the Fort Knox pawn structure. This is a better way to defend against f5 than 8...h6.

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