Polish Opening 1. b4

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Roger de Coverly
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Polish Opening 1. b4

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Apr 06, 2020 11:45 am

In the absence of any of his own games to review, Tim Spanton has been writing up some thoughts on openings.

https://beauchess.blogspot.com/2020/04/ ... t-two.html
https://beauchess.blogspot.com/2020/04/ ... three.html

For many years, I would follow a recommendation of Tim Harding from articles in Chess around fifty years ago. A main line of this went 1. b4 c6 2. Bb2 a5 3. a3 axb4 4. axb4 Rxa1 5. Bxa1 Qb6 and White would have to play the ungainly 6. c3 to avoid the loss of a pawn. Over time it became apparent both that the immediate Bb2 could be avoided and that playing b5 even if a pawn sacrifice worked well. So lines which ran 1. b4 c6 2. e3/c4 a5 3. b5 were developed.

I think there's a second slightly odd idea worth considering. After 1. b4 d5 2. Bb2 play 2. .. Qd6. That's a direct threat on the b4 pawn and supports .. e5, occupying the centre.

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JustinHorton
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Re: Polish Opening 1. b4

Post by JustinHorton » Mon Apr 06, 2020 12:50 pm

Image
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Jonathan Rogers
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Re: Polish Opening 1. b4

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Mon Apr 06, 2020 1:36 pm

I suspect that 2...Qd6 3 a3 is best - it is not the end of the world if Black does play 3...e5 - but I did once experiment with 3 b5 Qb4 (I offer no annotation of either of these moves) 4 Qc1 Qxb5 5 e4 Qd7 6 exd5

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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: Polish Opening 1. b4

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Mon Apr 06, 2020 3:09 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Mon Apr 06, 2020 11:45 am
I think there's a second slightly odd idea worth considering. After 1. b4 d5 2. Bb2 play 2. .. Qd6. That's a direct threat on the b4 pawn and supports .. e5, occupying the centre.
As in Lalic v Uhlmann, the opening game of Chess Informant 29.

Though offering a pawn with 3 b5!? (after 3....Qb4) is meant to be playable, at least for practical purposes.

(as the previous poster just said!)
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Nick Ivell
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Re: Polish Opening 1. b4

Post by Nick Ivell » Mon Apr 06, 2020 3:53 pm

I recall Erik Teichmann (whatever happened to him) open all his games at the British in 1985 with the Polish (I think we called it the Sokolski then).

This inspired me to experiment with 1. b4 for a few years. My conclusion? The Polish is no good.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Polish Opening 1. b4

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Apr 06, 2020 4:23 pm

Jonathan Rogers wrote:
Mon Apr 06, 2020 1:36 pm
I suspect that 2...Qd6 3 a3 is best -
I think I became aware of the 1. .. d5 2. .. Qd6 idea when Matt Rose played it against someone in the 4NCL. Looking it up, it was in 2011 and "someone" was Jonathan Rogers who preferred Nf3 on move 2 and a3 on move 3. Drawn in 76 moves.

I haven't faced 1. b4 in a recorded game since 1998.

Matt Bridgeman
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Re: Polish Opening 1. b4

Post by Matt Bridgeman » Mon Apr 06, 2020 4:29 pm

You'd think all these obscure opening will eventually get their 15 minutes of fame as jobbing GM's turn them into Chessbase or more likely Chessable products.

Tim Spanton
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Re: Polish Opening 1. b4

Post by Tim Spanton » Mon Apr 06, 2020 4:30 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Mon Apr 06, 2020 4:23 pm
Jonathan Rogers wrote:
Mon Apr 06, 2020 1:36 pm
I suspect that 2...Qd6 3 a3 is best -
I think I became aware of the 1. .. d5 2. .. Qd6 idea when Matt Rose played it against someone in the 4NCL. Looking it up, it was in 2011 and "someone" was Jonathan Rogers who preferred Nf3 on move 2 and a3 on move 3. Drawn in 76 moves.

I haven't faced 1. b4 in a recorded game since 1998.
I have faced it five times since then: 2003, 2014 x2 and 2016 x2

https://beauchess.blogspot.com/

Ian Thompson
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Re: Polish Opening 1. b4

Post by Ian Thompson » Mon Apr 06, 2020 4:59 pm

Nick Ivell wrote:
Mon Apr 06, 2020 3:53 pm
I recall Erik Teichmann (whatever happened to him)
Still playing occasionally according to his FIDE rating record. I thought he'd emigrated to Australia a long time ago. The half-dozen or so FIDE rated tournaments he's played in in the last 4 years have all been in France or Spain, so maybe he no longer lives in Australia.

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JustinHorton
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Re: Polish Opening 1. b4

Post by JustinHorton » Mon Apr 06, 2020 5:06 pm

I met him by chance about a decade ago, he was seeking a lift to a campsite in the Pyrenees and we happened to be driving there. Oddly, although we were driving there from a chess tournament (Benasque) he wasn't playing in it and in fact I had no idea who he was until I mentioned what I'd been doing.
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JustinHorton
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Re: Polish Opening 1. b4

Post by JustinHorton » Mon Apr 06, 2020 5:07 pm

Nick Ivell wrote:
Mon Apr 06, 2020 3:53 pm
.

This inspired me to experiment with 1. b4 for a few years. My conclusion? The Polish is no good.
I played it as a teenager, which is why I happen to have a book on it by David Levy. My conclusion is the same.
"Do you play chess?"
"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

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Roger de Coverly
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Re: Polish Opening 1. b4

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Apr 06, 2020 5:08 pm

Ian Thompson wrote:
Mon Apr 06, 2020 4:59 pm
The half-dozen or so FIDE rated tournaments he's played in in the last 4 years have all been in France or Spain, so maybe he no longer lives in Australia.
I have this vague recollection of a piece on the Streatham blog when one of the authors ran into him, probably at a Spanish tournament.

Paul Cooksey
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Re: Polish Opening 1. b4

Post by Paul Cooksey » Mon Apr 06, 2020 5:18 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Mon Apr 06, 2020 5:08 pm
I have this vague recollection of a piece on the Streatham blog when one of the authors ran into him, probably at a Spanish tournament.
Probably Justin :D

I don't think anyone has every played 1 b4 against me a graded/ rated game. At least none in my database, I'm not quite curious enough to check the shoebox of paper scores from the 90s I am keeping for no obvious reason. I remember learning the 1...c6 2...Qb6 line at some point and being happy with it.

Chessbase suggests it has never really been fashionable. I'm not sure why anyone would play it on chess grounds, lovers of the offbeat generally prefer something more tactical. I am quite favourably disposed to the Polish and very favourably disposed to Orangutans, but I'd still be much happier to go 1. b3

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JustinHorton
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Re: Polish Opening 1. b4

Post by JustinHorton » Mon Apr 06, 2020 5:26 pm

Paul Cooksey wrote:
Mon Apr 06, 2020 5:18 pm
Roger de Coverly wrote:
Mon Apr 06, 2020 5:08 pm
I have this vague recollection of a piece on the Streatham blog when one of the authors ran into him, probably at a Spanish tournament.
Probably Justin :D
Yes
"Do you play chess?"
"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

lostontime.blogspot.com

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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: Polish Opening 1. b4

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Mon Apr 06, 2020 5:29 pm

The last time I played it was in a Devon League game, as a tribute to Terry Pratchett, who had just died.

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