Saturday, May 5, 2007

PCG Debate Continues

I am beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel in my debate with Dennis Monokroussos on the 6.Neg5 variation against the Philidor Counter Gambit. In his latest instalment, after the opening moves 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 f5 4.Nc3 fxe4 5.Nxe4 d5 6.Neg5 exd4 7.Nxd4 Qe7+ 8.Be2 h6 9.Ngf3 c6 10.O-O Qf6 11.Re1 Bb4 12.c3 Bd6 13.Ba6+ Kf7 14.Bd3 Ne7 15.c4 Rf8, Monokroussos gives 16.Rb1 as "the best way to implement the idea of putting the bishop on the long diagonal."

But he fails to realize that Black has time for the prophylactic move 16...a5. Now 17.b3 Kg8 18.Bb2 Qf7 results in a position where White's advantage is minimal.

The same can also be said about the position after 7.Bb5+ c6 8.Bd3 Bb4+ 9.Bd2 Bxd2+ 10.Qxd2 Nf6 11.O-O-O O-O 12.Nxd4 Re8 13.Rhe1 h6 14.Rxe8+ Qxe8 15.Re1, provided Black finds the best move 15...Qd8.

Previously I recommended 15...Qh5 and 15...Qf8. But Monokroussos has demonstrated that, in both cases, Black still has problems after 16.Ngf3. The advantage of 15...Qd8 over the other moves is that Black can answer 16.Ngf3 with 16...c5 17.Nb5 Nc6.

And 16.Nge6 Bxe6 17.Nxe6 Qd6 transposes into a variation from the 15...Qf8 line that is equal for Black.