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michel813 28 ( +1 | -1 )
The Beginner's Game by Pafu Has anyone read The Beginner's Game by Pafu? The author claims to have found an opening system that revolutionizes the whole subject of openings. Is there anything to it or is it just hot air? Feedback from anyone who has checked out the book and tested its tenets would be appreciated.
More: Chess
bogg 33 ( +1 | -1 )
michel813 No, and I can not find any mention of Pafu on the July 2003 Fide rating list. Unless someone can give you specifics I would guess that using your money as TP would get you more satisfaction. The website has a lot of words and says nothing, usually a good indicator that someone is trying to sell snake oil.
olympio 5 ( +1 | -1 )
actually money's pretty dirty you might get something..
caldazar 176 ( +1 | -1 )
I browsed the Internet a bit and found Pafu's work. Basically, he's advocating a passive system (both on the White and Black side) involving a double fianchetto with a small center. The setup is (for White) b3, d3, e3, g3, Bb2, Bg2, Nd2, and Ne2 played in whatever move order is possible given the circumstances. Same thing for Black. From what I gather, Pafu is arguing that this system is easy to learn because it's difficult for the opponent to cross the player's plans to set this up (no argument here), that it's fairly resistant to attack (well, depends on the type of attack, I suppose), is solid (well...) and offers excellent attacking chances (sure, if the opponent misplays his early advantages and gives up the initiative, there are some good counterattacking chances).

It's probably playable (not so good, but perhaps playable) from the White side, but from the Black side, this is all far too slow. Sure, there are lots of useful pawn breaks (c4, d4, e4, f4 and the corresponding counters for Black), but what if the opponent doesn't dally and gets on with an attack immediately? For instance, take a typical attacking pattern against the kingside fianchetto:

1. e4 d6 2. d4 e6 3. Nc3 g6 4. Be3 Bg7 5. Qd2 b6 6. O-O-O Bb7 7. h4 Nd7 8. h5.

Fairly uninspired on White's part, but he stands rather well. Where is Black's counterattack? A central counterthrust should have come much sooner (some type of ...d5 perhaps). How about strong pressure against White's e4 that forces White to spend a move on f3? Where is Black's queenside storm? I'm not particularly convinced Black can survive, let alone create attacking chances.

Pafu's material is based on his games against "Chessmaster" (the computer program? something else?). The games are riddled with errors, both obvious and a bit more subtle.

My opinion: hot air.
atrifix 42 ( +1 | -1 )
I thought Silman wrote a review of this, but I guess I was mistaken. Anyway, I remember coming across this book a few months ago and thinking that it was, in all probability, one of the worst chess books ever. Good for a laugh though.

What I'd really like to know is how to handle the Double Beginner's Game, e.g. 1. e3 d6 2. d3 g6 3. b3 Bg7 4. Bb2 e6 5. Nd2 b6 6. g3 Ne7 7. Bg2 Bb7 8. Ne2 Nd7. There's really no mention of how to tackle this very strong defense in Pafu's work.
keiserpaul 150 ( +1 | -1 )
My opinion I have studied this opening about a year ago. Pafu is an Italian, but his book was only available in Canada, and it costed me a lot of money on freight charges and taxes to get it. When I finally got it, I was very dissapointed. The book is valueless. There are 100 games in it, but all are computergames. After the position , with b3, d3, e3 , g3, Bb2, Ne2, Nd2, Bg2 is reached, computers are just shuffling without any plan, so all these 100 games prove nothing. There is no single game from a master, or even from a club player. I could find no FIDE rating from Pafu himself. On the backcover of the book he has written “ A true revolution in Chess : allowing even new players to challenge experts, stronger than any conventional system, changing forever the entire practice of the game”. Nonsense ! Inside he suddenly makes special appeals as : “Save the Earth. We can do this easily by leaving or returning large areas of it to natural state, … ”. He also is forecasting the future :”Within 1 year, the system will come to the attention of most serious chess players … , within 2 years chess programs will be playing the system and prove better than any previous generation programs … , within 3 years most players, including some of the world’s best, will be using the system regularly or exclusively ..”.
Now about how to play against it, Schiller recommends pawns at c4, d4, and e4. Knights in their usual positions, bishops at d3 and g5, with kingside castling, Qd2, Rfe1 and Rac1, as in Ibragimov,I-Stefanova,A/Pulvermuele 2000 (1-0, 47).


peppe_l 149 ( +1 | -1 )
If Pafu Is not on FIDE list and all the games in his book are played vs computer programs? I cant help wondering why he isnt winning easy prizes in tournaments with his groundbreaking system :-)

Seriously speaking, I guess such system can work against Chessmaster, at least 9000 version sucks big time in positional play.

Example (60 mins per game)

Me vs Chessmaster 9000 (Capablanca personality)

1.c4 Nf6 2.g3 e5 3.Bg2 Nc6 4.Nc3 Bc5 5.a3 0-0 6.e3 d6 7.Nge2 Bb6 8.0-0 Bg4?!

Inaccuracy. Black is not willing to play Bxe2 and since h3-g4-Ng3 is a standard attacking plan here we can say 8...Bg4?! gives one or two tempis away.

9.h3 Be6

See?

10.Nd5

Black cant play Nxd5 because of cxd5, forking two pieces.

10...Qc8 11.Kh2 Bxd5

So he decides to relinquish bishop pair. It is true central pawns block Bg2 and Bc1 has to be developed, but after pawns start advancing there are good chances of making the game open enough to favor bishops over knights.

12.cxd5 Ne7 13.e4 c5??

Disgusting move - closing the diagonal of Bb6 and killing his potential queenside counterplay. Attacking the centre with c6 looks like logical plan to me.

14.d3 Ng6 15.f4 exf4 16.gxf4 a5?

The way I see it this is hardly necessary.

Later I sacrificed a pawn but managed to get highly favourable position thanks to my attack on g-file. Not surprisingly, I missed the best move and eventually lost :-( Tactics...

The rest is given in short form:

17.Be3? Re8 18.Qe1!? Nxd5 19.Bd2 Nf6 20.Qg3 Bd8 21.Bf3 Ra6 22.Rg1 c4 23.f5 cxd3 24.Nf4?! (24.fxg6!) Qc2 25.Rg2? Qxb2 26.fxg6 fxg6 27.Qe1 (27.Rag1!?) d5 28.Nxd3? Qd4 29.Nf2? dxe4 30.Be2 e3 31.Bxa6 Bc7+ 32.Kh1 exf2 33.Qc1? bxa6 34.Qc3?? Re3 0-1

A cavalcade of blunders but computer programs are hard to beat in tactical positions :-)







calmrolfe 31 ( +1 | -1 )
Worst Chess book of all time ? Truly, Pafu has laid claim to having published the worst Chess book of all time, but, I wonder, is there an even worse book lurking around ?

Can anyone offer the name of a rival chess book which can topple Pafu from his position on top of the rostrum ?

Kind regards,

Cal

furryfunbundle 4 ( +1 | -1 )
Good reply Caldazar ' nuff said on this 'stuff :-)
tulkos 12 ( +1 | -1 )
This is a pretty bad chess book. www.chessedinburgh.fsnet.co.uk/chandler/105.htm
keiserpaul 1 ( +1 | -1 )
Tulkos Fantastic !
drgandalf 57 ( +1 | -1 )
Practical Chess Endings, Volume One by yours truly may be the worst chess book ever written in the minds of those who haven't read it. However, that reputation doesn't stand after a player actually studies the text. Geared to players rated 600-1200 USCF, the book starts the player off in understanding the endgame as a series of "landmarks', simple endgings with known resolution. GM Arnold Denker claims: "In my opinion, the book is great."

So, for those who have no desire to read my book, I think it may be in the running for the title of worst chess book ever written.
michel813 28 ( +1 | -1 )
Thanx to everyone for their input Especially bogg, caldazar, atrifix, keiserpaul and peppe I for taking the time to write such detailed replies. You've all been very helpful.

I'll be spending my time and money on something else (like "My System" that I haven't read yet, shame on me).

Have fun on GK :-)

Regards
bogg 126 ( +1 | -1 )
michel813 I have mentioned this book in other posts but I am so impressed with it that I will mention it here again. Purdy's 'Search for Chess Perfection' is IMO the best chess book ever written. It is a collection of articles from Chess World and provides a very good desciption of how to analyze a chess position as well as much insightful information. Many of the concepts that I managed to dredge out of other works over the years or to develop on my own are clearly explained in this book. I wish that I had read it when I was 16 instead of 40!!!!

It is currently out of print but Thinker's Press (www.chessco.com) has scheduled the release of the revised second addition for the middle of 2004. The following is from the chessco website:

Avail. Mid- 2004. Probably the greatest work of Purdy's articles ever put together. Originally titled "CJS Purdy, His Life, His Games and His Writings." His biography (by his wife), his writings and philosophy (over 200 pages of his best articles), and 50 deeply annotated games. Perhaps the best instruction book ever written. "Belongs on every chess bookshelf."-- Bobby Fischer. This edition has alg. not., corrections to our first ed.. Part of the Purdy Library.

PS
For those who have not heard of him, Purdy was the first World Correspondence Champion.
keiserpaul 34 ( +1 | -1 )
michel813 "My system" is a must to read. But I advice you first have a look at Tarrasch's "The game of chess". Tarrasch described the principles and the inner significance of the various openings. Some of the lines he recommends are old fashioned, or refuted meanwhile. But the principles are remaining and if you keep them in mind they will be usefull in nearly every opening.
bogg 68 ( +1 | -1 )
... Something to keep in mind when reading older texts, written prior to about 1960, is that our understanding continues to grow. For instance when going through an older tome the explanations given on the topic of the amount of compensation necessary to justify a positional exchange sacrifice are generally ludicrous.

I am not trying to dissuade anyone from reading books like 'My System', 'Pawn Power in Chess', 'The Middlegame', and 'Complete Chess Strategy' by Nimzowitch, Kmoch, Euwe, and Pachman respectively, its just that while these are still GREAT books time marches onward for chess just like everything else.
pafu 495 ( +1 | -1 )
response from Pafu I recently found your (mostly derogatory) chat concerning my book ‘The Beginner’s Game’, and wish to respond.

Comment to bogg:

Half of the book ‘The Beginner’s Game’, as well as the complete books ‘The Center Game’ and ‘The Defense Game’ are available for review free in .pdf form on the website beginnersgame.com. All of them are valid, easy-to-play and surprisingly strong new systems for playing the chess opening.

Comments to Caldazar:

Using your suggested opening, 1. e4 d6, 2. d4 e6, 3. Nc3 g6, 4. Be3 Bg7, 5. Qd2 b6, 6. O-O-O Bb7, 7. h4 Nd7 8. h5 .., Black can complete his standard Beginner's Game with 8..Ne7.

In the following, all white moves were those suggested by the analysis of Fritz 5.32 (2Ghz P4, 250MB hash).
White can attack with 9. hxg6 hxg6, 10. Rxh8+ Bxh8, but black is OK, eg. 11. Nf3 a6, 12. Bc4 b5, 13. Rh1Bf6, 14. Bd3 c5 (black's counter attack now starts) 15. Bg5 Ng8, 16. Rh8 Kf8 and black has equality eg., 17. Bxf6 Qxf6, 18. Qh6+ Ke7, with opportunities for white to slip eg. 19. Qh7 Qf4+, 20. Kd1 Ngf6 and black is winning.

Other lines where white tries to build before starting the attack are no more effective, eg. 9. Bd3 a6, 10. Nf3 c5, 11. hxg6 hxg6, 12. Rxh8+ Bxh8, 13. Rh1 Bf6 14. Bg5 cxd4 etc.
White can also try 9. h6 Bf6, 10. g4 O-O, 11. g5 Bh8, but this also gives black no real difficulties.

In a series of 10 master level games generated from this starting position, the Beginner’s Game had 1 win, 7 draws, and 2 losses. So, I would agree that this appears to be a good attacking line for white, but I would not agree that it presents the Beginner's Game with serious problems, or constitutes a refutation line.

There is something that you and others should recognize and appreciate in all this - the Beginner’s Game confronts any conceivable adversary response with a standard opening set of moves – a remarkable quality of this system that should impress anyone who has ever spent any amount of time studying the openings!

Here, of course, we are only looking at how the standard opening performs against this attack. Various other responses to the rook pawn attack outside the standard opening do even better; here are some examples:

7…h5 – This simple and obvious response shuts down the attack easily, eg.
8. Bg5 Ne7, 9. Nf3 Nd7, 10. Bd3 a6. Black makes only minimal modifications to his opening, and now has a solid position with all the usual counter attacking lines.

7…h6 – is quite effective; white can try to open the K-side, but can also come out the worse for it, eg.
8. h5 g5, 9. f4 gxf4, 10. Bxf4 Nd7, 11. Nf3 a6, 12. g4 b5, 13. g5 b4, 14. Ne2 Bxe4, and black is ahead.

7…Nf6 – also works well, eg.
8. f3 h5, 9. Bg5 Nbd7, 10. d5 e5, the attack is stopped and black can now counter attack, eg. 11. Nge2 a6, 12. g3 b5, 13. Bh3 b4, 14. Na4 a5, 15. g4 hxg4, 16. Bxg4 Nf8, 17. h5 gxh5, 18. Bxh5 Qd7, and black stands better.


Comments to atritix:

One of the best defenses to the Beginner’s Game is the Beginner’s Game itself, although obviously the diagonals have to be blocked. In games 33 and 35 in the book both white and black play the opening.

Comments to keiserpaul:

I regret that you are not satisfied with the book. Unfortunately, I do not own a publishing business, and have to print and distribute the book using an on-demand publisher, which raises the price. You could have read the .pdf instead of purchasing the book. You are the first person, to my knowledge, who has expressed an unfavorable impression of the book after purchasing it. In any case, you can return it for a refund if you wish.

Yes, the predictions were overly optimistic, I expected the book to take the world by storm, because it was the first system that allowed players to learn to play the opening rapidly and correctly without having to memorize a lot of theory. Still, there has been lots of interest; familiarity with this system is growing, and I am confident in time it will find its rightful place in chess theory and practice.

Concerning the attack suggested by Schilling (pawns on c4, d4, e4, knights in usual placements, bishops on d3 and g5, O-O, Qd2, Rfe1 and Rac1), this does not present serious problems to black’s Beginner’s Game, eg:
1. e4 e6, 2. d4 g6, 3. Nf3 Bg7, 4. c4 d6, 5. Nc3 b6, 6. Bd3 Bb7, 7. Bg5 Ne7, 8. Qd2 Nd7 (black completes the standard opening), 9. O-O h6, 10. Be3 (better than exchanging with Bxe7 and much better than 10. Bh4? g5, 11. Bg3 g4, 12. Ne1 Bxd4), 10..a6, 11. Rfe1 c5, 12. Rac1 cxd4, 13. Bxd4 e5, 14. Be3 f5, 15. exf5 gxf5, and white has to fall back.

I have had an exchange of opinions with Schilling, who disparages all the unorthodox openings, although he does give the Beginner’s Game and the Defense Game fairly serious treatment in his new book on the subject.

As for the appeal to save the earth in the next-to-last paragraph of the book, this is the most important task before us all, far more important than any other present human concern, including playing chess.

Comment to peppe_1:

Chessmaster plays chess at master level; my intention in presenting the games collection was to illustrate typical master level games that can result with play with this system.

Comment to calmrolfe:

The Beginner’s Game presents a valid and useful contribution to the world of chess. It allows beginners and lesser intermediate players to learn quickly how to play the opening rapidly and accurately. For this reason alone it is a book of considerable significance, and certainly does not deserve your insulting comment.
andante_lagrimoso 92 ( +1 | -1 )
The beginners game is very bad! After looking at the first 7 games against Chessmaster I was very disappionted. The games were extremely bad. The computer gave away pawns for no comp. It is easy to give the beginners game a very difficult game! Black plays c5,d5,e5,Nc6,Nf6,Bd6,Be6,0-0
Then he follows up with Qd7,Bh3/d4 or both of them. I saw 3 games i pafus collection but they were so bad played by black that I had to cry!
A 2000+ could get 100 % score agaisnt this computer-level. I was checking with my own computer and found out that pafus computer had just searched something like 6 plys (1800-rat)....
The idea of Bh3 is to get rid of whites bishop and then closed the game with d4 and withes b2-bishop is extremely bad. If you dont belive me Pafu, I challenge you a match. You are white, I am black and you are using beginners game and i am using what I just wrote... We can play at this forum so everybodu can see how bad your opening is, I am sorry but this is just the facts.
peppe_l 178 ( +1 | -1 )
If you want to illustrate "TYPICAL master level games", why not show games between masters? Why show games vs computer program that merely tries to imitate them (not very succesfully I have to say)? It is well known passive setups like "Beginners Game" work better vs chess programs than vs strong human players. If Beginners Game is so good then I am sure you have lots and lots of examples of how it works vs IMs and GMs. What is your playing strength BTW? Surely it isnt too much to ask that the author provides some information about himself, like FIDE/national rating etc.

I am very sorry but if someone claims he has developed an opening system where one can always play the same moves and always have a good position no matter what ones opponent plays (sort of chess players dream!), I cant help comparing it to those commercials about magic books that will make everyone rich and succesful - easily and quickly.

Another strange thing is those books are never written by people like who actually ARE rich and succesful. I cant find "How To Become Millionaire In 10 days" by Bill Gates from bookshelf. And where is "My Opening System - How To Beat Everyone In 20 Moves" by Garry Kasparov?

"In a series of 10 master level games generated from this starting position, the Beginner’s Game had 1 win, 7 draws, and 2 losses. So, I would agree that this appears to be a good attacking line for white, but I would not agree that it presents the Beginner's Game with serious problems, or constitutes a refutation line."

I really hope you are referring to 10 games between masters, not 10 games played by chess program.





bogg 52 ( +1 | -1 )
to all To some extent Pafu's methods themselves aren't the problem. I am doing some computer assisted opening research and plan to market it when finished. The problem is that you don't do computer assisted research by having the computer play games, you do it by having it analyze each of the candidate moves from a position extending the search to a significant depth. To do a good analysis of an entire opening variation using this methodology requires a huge expediture of time to oversee and a lot of computer time.
pafu 220 ( +1 | -1 )
response from Pafu comment to andante_lagrimoso:

Your suggested response to the Beginner’s Game is one of those most commonly seen in practice. In the book it is even given a specific name, the 3 pawn standard classical defense. It is strong, but in experimentation it has not proved to be superior to the Beginner’s Game.

Use any opening sequence, eg. 1.e3 e5, 2.d3 d5, 3.b3 c5, 4.Bb2 Nc6, 5.Nd2 Nf6, 6.g3 Be6, 7.Bg2 Bd6, 8.Ne2 O-O, to set up the position.

White now has a wide range of moves, we’ll look at two that allow your suggest attack with ..Bh3 and ..d4:

9.O-O Qd7, 10.a3 Bh3, 11.e4 Bxg2, 12.Kxg2 d4,

Here is one of the possible sequels to this attack: 13.h3 Rfe8, 14.Nc4 Bc7, 15.f4 b5, 16.Nxe5 Nxe5, 17.fxe5 Bxe5. White has equality and can now solve his ‘bad bishop’ problem.

Advancing the center pawn prior to exchanging leads into similar lines, eg. 11…d4, 12.Nc4 Bc7, 13.a4 Bxg2, 14.Kxg2 Rfe8, 15.f4 Rad8, 16.fxe5 Nxe5, 17.h3

After the exchange of his fianchetto and black’s pawn advance to d4 white has some problems activating his bishop, but then again, black’s bishop is not all that good either. White has also suffered some disruptions K-side, but his ‘mobile castled position’ still offers good play. Black’s conventional castled position looks strong, but it can prove to be a liability if it remains undeveloped at the start of the endgame.

If you try this system, you will see that it holds up. It does concede an initial space advantage to the adversary, but experience has shown that it is not easy to convert this advantage into a winning position. As someone once said, in chess, if you want to get something, you have to give something. This system allows the opponent to occupy the center during the opening, in exchange for the possibility to deploy a standard defensive configuration, that relieves the system player from having to learn a lot of opening theory. But this is not a passive system – it is an aggressive defensive system, with a vast number of possible counter attacking lines.

If you wish to submit other responses that, in your opinion, place the Beginner’s Game in serious difficulty soon after the opening, I will be glad to look at them and respond. I also hope that many chess players will hear of this new system, try it in play, and see this for themselves that it is both valid and surprisingly strong.


caldazar 97 ( +1 | -1 )
One more time... 1. e4 d6, 2. d4 e6, 3. Nc3 g6, 4. Be3 Bg7, 5. Qd2 b6, 6. O-O-O Bb7, 7. h4 is the position. It's probably not best by any means for White, but it's good enough in my view.

7... Nd7, sticking rigidly to the main idea, doesn't look good. 8. h5 Ne7 9. Bh6 Bxh6 10. Qxh6 and I'm not clear on what Black has done for himself except weaken his kingside dark squares. He certainly hasn't seized the initiative for himself as yet and White still has central and kingside play.

7... h5 8. f4 Ne7 9. Nf3 Nd7 10. Bd3 and White is better (for instance 10... a6 11. f5)

7... h6 8. f4 Ne7 9. h5 looks even worse for Black.

7... Nf6 is probably best (relatively speaking). 8. Bd3 Nbd7 (8... h5 9. f4 Nbd7 10. Nf3) 9. Bh6 Bxh6 10. Qxh6 and again I don't see what Black has going for him.

Of course, Black's play is a bit simplistic in the above lines; some of those ...Ne7 should really ...Nf6's, and perhaps Black should consider some timely ...d5's instead of just going about business as usual. Still, White retains a comfortable edge with good prospects of central/kingside play, while Black's queenside (and possibly central) counterplay is slow in coming.
bogg 65 ( +1 | -1 )
Simplest seems 1. e4 e6 2. d4 g6?! 3. Nf3 Bg7 4. Bd3 d6 5. O-O b6 6. Be3 Bb7 7. Nc3 Ne7 8. Qd2. Black can't even complete the 'Beginner's Game' as 8. ... Nd7 is met by Bh6 and is nearly lost already. The simplest way of pounding trash like this into the ground is basic classical play. Put just two pawns in the center so that your position doesn't get static after any pawn breaks, then just develop your pieces. I would be greatly surprised if even in computer against computer games played at a time control of 40/2, so that the play would be on par with human 2400 players, if Black scored as high as 20%.

Mr. Pafu what are your credentials? What level is this computer analysis done at?
peppe_l 50 ( +1 | -1 )
Bogg "Mr. Pafu what are your credentials? What level is this computer analysis done at?"

Somehow I predict you will get an answer only to the second part of your question :-)

The level of computer analysis is irrelevant though, I recall even Deep Blue having big problems against some of the passive "bunker-style" openings Kasparov played.

I am expecting Mr. Pafu to test his opening against IMs and GMs, only then he has some practical examples of how it really works.
atrifix 277 ( +1 | -1 )
Well Interesting responses from Pafu. I didn't really expect that this thread would generate serious response, but since it has, I might as well post.

I looked at a collection of master games (real master games, not computer-generated) utilizing the beginner's game, and in my database White (asusuming that Black played the defense) scored around 59%--well above the usual mark of 53%, but not an unplayable defense. Mostly I have come to the conclusion that the Beginner's Game is reasonably sound, provided that Black adopts a soundly-prepared move order and is willing to stray from the normal development if the game warrants it.

Ultimately, however, this doesn't change my general opinion of the book. keiserpaul probably gave the best review, but I'll sum up: no master-level games at all, and little 'real' chess.

Just some excerpts:
"It is a startling claim, but all the evidence accumulated to date firmly supports it - it is the best system that has ever been found for playing the game of chess. Not only that, it is quite possibly the best system that exists, the optimal way to play the game."

"It is a wonderful and inspiring discovery. It is something incredibly simple, in the midst of incredible complexity, a true jewel of great and eternal beauty. And it was there all along, passed over by hundreds of millions of people, until someone who was looking for it found it. "

"It is the greatest discovery ever made in chess, one that will change forever the way the game is played. And in the sense that chess has always been one of the most important of all human intellectual pursuits, it is in fact one of the greatest discoveries in human history!"

The publisher's "About The Author" contains only this gem: "A Warrior of Peace."

In reality, of course, there is probably at least as much analysis to learn with the Beginner's Game as with any other opening since Black has to know how to counter all the different kinds of attacks. And far from being invulnerable, Black is practically walking a tightrope--the opposing position is much easier to play. While it may be the author's opinion that saving the earth is a notable task, it really has no place in a chess book (this should go without saying) and if it's so important, then I encourage pafu to write a second book on saving the environment (preferably without chess references).

The only instance I could find of this defense introduced in championship level play was Petrosian-Spassky, Wch 1966 Game 12, where Spassky got the worst of it and was lucky to escape with a draw after a blunder by Petrosian.
pafu 388 ( +1 | -1 )
response from Pafu
Comments to Caldazar:

Back to your suggested attack 1.e4 d6, 2.d4 e6, 3.Nc3 g6, 4.Be3 Bg7, 5.Qd2 b6, 6.O-O-O Bb7, 7.h4, which is a combination of the queen and bishop, and rook pawn early attacks, against black’s Beginner’s Game:

A) 7…Nd7, 8.h5 Ne7, 9.Bh6 Bxh6, 10.Qxh6 .. you maintain that this “doesn’t look good for black,” but I don’t see any immediate problems for black after 10…Ng8. White has a choice of queen moves:

11.Qg7 is tempting, but it allows black to simplify easily with: 11…Qf6, 12.Qxf6 Ngxf6, 13.hxg6 fxg6, 14.Nf3 O-O-O, 15.Ng5 Rde8 etc.

11.Qf4 allows black to gain time and relieve pressure eg.: 11…g5, 12.Qg3 Qe7, 13.e5 dxe5, 14.dxe5 O-O-O, 15.Nf3 h6 etc.

11.Qe3 is probably best, but even so black comes out OK eg: 11…g5, 12.Nf3 h6, 13.g4 Nd5, 14.Nxd5 Bxd5, 15.c4 Bb7 etc.

So in general I would not agree that a departure from the standard Beginner’s Game appears necessary in the face of this combination early attack.

B) 7…h5 (in the book this reaction to the rook pawn early attack is recommended for beginners), after your suggested continuation 8.f4 Ne7, 9.Nf3 Nd7, 10.Bd3 a6, 11.f5… and the exchange of pawns 11…exf5, 12.exf5 gxf5, black is still OK. He can also castle Q-side, for if white tries to prevent it, eg. with 13.Bg5 Nf6, 14.Rhe1 Qd7, 15.Qe3 Kf8! And black is better.

C) 7…Nf6, 8.Bd3 Nbd7 (this is a distance 1 variant, called BvG), 9.Bh6 Bxh6, 10.Qxh6 is your suggested line for black. Here you say that black’s Q-side attack is slow in coming, but it really doesn’t have to wait at all: 10…a6, 11.f3 c5, 12.dxc5 Nxc5, 13.g4 Qe7, with black very much in the game.

Note that associated with the Beginner’s Game are a vast number of strong variant openings, most of which react more aggressively to adversary play. This collection of variant openings is called the B-system. Better players are encouraged to experiment with and adopt several of these variants. The standard Beginner’s Game itself is recommented principally for beginners and lesser intermediate players, to give them a framework for opening play which allows them to survive against better players as they improve their game. Even so, on the basis of experimentation, the Beginner’s Game is also capable of performing quite well at master level.

Comments to bogg:

Your suggested response to the Beginner’s Game has been tested extensively. In the book it is called the 2 pawn standard classical defense (played by white or black). Maybe you would prefer to call it the bogg standard.

After 1.e4 e6, 2.d4 g6, 3.Nf3 Bg7, 4.Bd3 d6, 5.O-O b6, 6.Be3 Bb7, 7.Nc3 Ne7, 8.Qd2, many system players would prefer to play 8…h6, shutting down the queen and bishop attack. But it is not true that black cannot complete his standard opening with 8…Nd7, as you said.

After 8…Nd7, 9.Bh6, black has a wide choice of satisfactory moves:

A) 9…O-O, and white does not have an easy task of finding a continuation to the attack, eg 10.Rad1 a6, 11.Rfe1 e5, 12.dxe5 Nxe5, 13.Nxe5 dxe5, 14.Bxg7 Kxg7, 15. Qe3 Qc8, 16.Rd2 Rd8, 17.Red1 Rd4, 18.Ne2 Rd6, 19.Bc4 Rxd2, and black is OK.

B) 9…Bxh6 usually allows black to consolidate. After 10.Qxh6 Ng8, many players will fall for 11.Qg7 Qf6, 12.Qxf6 Ngxf6, with easy equality for black. If instead white’s queen retreats, black is usually able to castle either side with a satisfactory position afterwards, eg. 11.Qh3 Ngf6, 12.Rad1 a6, 13.e5 dxe5, 14.dxe5 Nd5, 15.Nxd5 Bxd5, 16.Rfe1 Qe7, 17.c4 Bb7, 18.Be4 Bxe4, 19.Rxe4 O-O-O.

There are also other reactions than 10…Ng8, eg. 10…Nc6, 11.d5 Nb4, 12.Ng5 Qe7, 13.Qg7 Qf8, 14.Qxf8+ Nxf8, 15.Nb5 Na6, as well as some interesting gambit lines, such as 12…Qf6, 13.Nxh7 O-O-O, 14.Nxf6 Rxh6, 15.Nxd7 Kxd7, which offer black a good K-side attack in compensation for the pawn.

C) 9…Bf6 is playable, usually leading back into the 8...h6 or 9...O-O lines, eg. 10.Rfe1 e5, 11.d5 Ng8, 12.Be3 Bg7, 13.a4 a5, 14.Bb5 Ne7, 15.Bh6 O-O.

D) 9…Bf8 retreats, but concedes little to the adversary, eg: 10.Bxf8 Nxf8, 11.Qh6 a6, 12.Rfe1 Ng8, 13.Qe3 h6.

E) 9…Rg8 is not at all bad, eg. 10.Bxg7 Rxg7, 11.Qh6 Kf8, 12.Ng5 Kg8, 13.f4 a6, 14.f5 exf5, 15.exf5 Nxf5, 16.Bxf5 gxf5, 17.Rxf5 Qe7, and black has frustrated all white’s attempts to attack.

I trust that this exposition is sufficient to counter your seemingly unfounded statement that after completing his Beginner’s Game, black has lost.
keiserpaul 165 ( +1 | -1 )
Pafu I have no time to check all your analysis, but here are some quick remarks.
Your response to Caldazar : A) in the 11.Qg7 line , 14.Nf3 is a blunder, black then has to play Bxe4 to win a pawn and not 0-0-0. In the Qf4 line : 13. Nb5 is the better move and keeps the pressure. In the Qe3 line 13 .. Nd5 is an illegal move. B) After move 15 “And black is better “. On what is your opinion founded ? Black has 3 pawns at the King side, but the f-pawns are isolated and doubled, and the rookpawn is isolated too. So this is no advantage. White’s king is well defendend by pawns, black’s one has only doubled pawns in front. White’s rooks are occupying active positions, white’s ones are still sleeping on their initial place.
Your response to bogg : A) After 9. .. 0-0 White has a much better position. Not easy to find a continuation of the attack ? On the contrary. All white’s pieces can be involved in a king’s attack. This kind of position is what the white player hopes to reach when playing the Queens Knight opening (1.Nc3), but this is even better because there is no black bishop defending the c8-h3 diagional. After 10.Bxg7 Kxg7 black’s best defender is eliminated and White can play 11.h3 with the intention of playing his Knight via h2 to g4. Then he can push the f-pawn ahead and bring his rook via f3 to g3, and the other rook at f1. This is a plan (that is what is lacking in all your games). Of course , Black will react and so the plan has to be adapted on black’s moves.
Please stop with copying Fritz 5.32 analysis. You will not convince real chessplayers by this. You can not publish evaluating opinions that are only based on your own experiences as a low rated player.

peppe_l 18 ( +1 | -1 )
Bogg also asked a question... "What are your credentials?"

Why no answer?

BTW it is strange in many of the lines you suggest White is playing without a plan. Dont tell me those lines are a la Chessmaster 9000 :-)
pafu 173 ( +1 | -1 )
Response from Pafu
Comment to Keiserpaul:

In the Qg7 line 14.Nf3 is not a blunder, but a simple trap. If black accepts the gambit 14…Bxe4, then he later loses a piece for two pawns: eg. 15.Ng5 Bf5, 16.f3 h6, 17.g4 Ke7, 18.gxf5 hxg5, 19.Rxh8 Rxh8, 20.fxg6 .., which gives white an advanced passed pawn. In the line suggested black avoids this gambit with 14..O-O-O.

In the Qf4 line 13.Nb5 is a good move, no argument, but not obviously better than the suggested 13.e5. After 13.Nb5 black can play 13..Ndf6, then follows 14.Qxg5 h6, 15.Qg7 Rh7, 16.Qg3 Bxe4, 17.Nc3 O-O-O; black has still consolidated, and there are no immediate white threats.

In the Qe3 line there was a typo error, a move pair was omitted. It should have read 13.e5 Ne7, 14.g4 Nd5, etc.

Concerning the “black is better” assessment, this was based not only on an in-depth evaluation of the analysis engine, but also on the obvious assessment of the position – black is a pawn up and white has no obvious way of regaining it, plus an attack on white’s queen side castled position is coming soon.

Regarding your suggested plan of how to continue the bogg attack, it’s far too elaborate to succeed against the Beginner’s Game. Here’s an attempt: 10.Bxg7 Kxg7, 11.h3 e5, 12.dxe5 Nxe5, 13.Nh2 Nxd3, 14.cxd3 f5, 15.f4 d5, 16.exd5 Nxd5, 17.Nf3 c5, 18.d4 Nf6, 19.Rad1 Bxf3, 20.Rxf3 Qxd4+, 21.Qxd4 cxd4, 22.Rxd4 Rad8. White wasn’t able to execute his plan – he was too busy reacting to black’s lack of a plan!

Comments to all:

Pafu is an amateur who is an innovator in the chess opening, with a particular interest in “universal formations”, systems that can be played against any adversary response. He is author of three books, that detail new, easy to play, and (on the basis of extensive experimentation) valid systems for playing the chess opening. All three books are available for review on web site www.beginnersgame.com


olympio 9 ( +1 | -1 )
pafu it seems that you may indeed by an amateur but that it is your computer that is the "innovator"
kai_sim 105 ( +1 | -1 )
just an idea right of the top:
i didn't read this topic complete, just a few first comments and didn't followed anymore after i got bored from it. what now wakes my interests is that now pafu himself comes to this site. it seems that he comes here for longer and maybe even plays with a different id. otherwise he wouldn't have found out about this i guess.
so, how about a few games against some 1400-1900 players with your suggested moves against them and see what comes out? 1400-1900 because it's called "the beginners game..." they are no real beginners anymore, i know, but players in this range should have enough experience and knowledge to disagree but also be serious enough to know how to respond on "unusual" openings and still make the mistakes you are hoping for.
once more again, pardon my ignorance if i'm "off topic", i did NOT read everything in here, not yet...

your curious kai

atrifix 55 ( +1 | -1 )
Come on 14. g4? There are not many more anti-positional moves on the board, although I suppose 14. b4 and 14. Qxg5 would qualify. 14. Bd3 is clearly better. Also, instead of 13. e5, 13. Nd2 looks strong, intending Nc4 or f4.
As for keiserpaul's line, on 11. h3 e5 12. Rad1 looks clearly better to me, and then if 12... exd4 13. Nxd4 White can play f4 and his knight is well posted.

OK, so pafu is an amateur and an opening innovator. Does he have a rating? What is the justification for an entire book filled with computer games? Has there been any extensive experimentation in real (rated) games?
caldazar 209 ( +1 | -1 )
It's becoming increasingly clear to me that keiserpaul's evaluation is spot on; you have no clear concept of planning. You sometimes play with purpose defending the side playing your setup but usually play planlessly for the opposition. Small wonder that your lines lead to acceptable positions for the side holding the setup you recommend.

The setup I've been discussing (h-file pawn hack) is actually a fairly poor one in my view; it's a tad silly to attack on a wing when Black hasn't even castled there yet. Nevertheless, White is continuing to get good positions despite his faulty plan when with any other "normal" opening setup he should be getting punished. Anyway:

After 1.e4 d6 2.d4 e6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Be3 Bg7 5.Qd2 b6 6.O-O-O Bb7 7.h4:

7... Nd7, 8.h5 Ne7, 9.Bh6 Bxh6, 10.Qxh6 Ng8 11.Qe3 g5, 12.Nf3 h6 13.e5 Ne7 14.g4. I share attrifix's incredulity; what's with this move? This is precisely what I'm talking about; you play with purpose on "your" side and toss out these nothing moves for your opposition. 14. Bd3 is certainly one way to go, but the move that jumps out at me is (instead of 12. Nf3, since it's not clear that an e5-pawn thrust immediately benefits White) 12. h6, weakning the support of Black's g-pawn.

7…h5 8.f4 Ne7 9.Nf3 Nd7 10.Bd3 a6 11.f5 exf5 12.exf5 gxf5 13.Bg5 Nf6, 14.Rhe1 Qd7, 15.Qe3 Kf8 "And black is better." I beg your pardon? The extra pawn is hardly relevant here, especially given the sorry state of Black's kingside pawns. Meanwhile, what are Black's rooks doing? (especially the h8-rook?). I'd be happy to play the White side of this any day. But in any case, I'd much rather play 7... h5 8.f4 Ne7 9.Nf3 Nd7 10.Bd3 a6 11.f5 exf5 12.exf5 gxf5 13.Bg5 Nf6, 14.Rhe1 Qd7 (this doesn't look right) 15. Rxe7+ Kxe7 16. Ne5 when White looks rather better to me since he has control over the initiative.

7…Nf6 8.Bd3 Nbd7 9.Bh6 Bxh6, 10.Qxh6 a6 11.f3 c5 12.dxc5 Nxc5 13.g4 Qe7 14. h5 is okay for White, I suppose; I still don't see Black's attack. Pushing a few pawns and getting a knight to c5 hardly constitutes an attack. Black is hanging on; he's certainly not what I would consider "in the game", though (I prefer 13. e5 Nd5 14. Nxd5 Nxd3+ 15. Rxd3 Bxd5 myself, but 13. g4 looks quite good for White too).
olympio 51 ( +1 | -1 )
yes this is the very primary thing i've been thinking abuot while reading this topic..

he plays without any plans for the side opposing his setup.... i haven't read through the lines in this thread but i'ma ssuming it would look like a strong player vs. a weak player.. which is kind of funny..

why won't this guy play some games on gameknot like kai suggested and prove the worth of his amazing ground breaking earth shattering (or earth saving) ideas
olympio 25 ( +1 | -1 )
oh and btw kai_sim.. i doubt he has another account here.. it's actually quite easy to run across this forum on google.. practically anytime it ype in a chess-related topic.. the first thing that comes up is a thread from the gameknot forum..
keiserpaul 85 ( +1 | -1 )
Response to response from Pavu In the Qg7 line, there is no lose of a piece for two pawns as you claim. That’s nonsense. After your 20th move, material is equal. White has a passed pawn, OK, but so has Black . At first sight Black is better, because White has an isolated pawn. But the position is very unclear.

In the Qf4 line the 17th move Nc3 is not best (why throw back the Knight, this is against the 13.Nb5 idea). 17.f3 is my move. After 17. .. Bf5 follows 18.d5 with pressure on the e-line.

Line B) 15. Qe3 Kf8 « and black is better » should be based on « in depth evaluation of the analysis engine » ? I have checked this myself. Your Fritz 5.32 indeed evaluates this position at –0.47, BUT Fritz 7 evaluates that same position at + 0.75. So you can not thrust on these evaluations.

About the « bogg attack », I don’t believe 12.dxe5 is right. Why open the center when the plan is to attack at the kingside ? My move is 12.Ne2.


pafu 241 ( +1 | -1 )
from Pafu
Comment to olympio:

All of the openings in my books, and all of their variants, were invented without computer assistance. The computer is used as a tool for validation of openings at an advanced stage, after 9-10 moves each side. In any case, chess playing programs do not evaluate these lines favorably, and so do not propose them.

Comments to atrifix

I am always trying to find the best moves for white. In the Caldazar attack with 7…Nd7 and 11.Qe3, 14.f4 was suggested because it allows white to counter black’s Q-side fianchetto. If instead 14.Bd3 is played, black simplifies easily with 14..Nd5, 15.Nxd5 Bxd5, and is out of trouble.

In the Bogg attack, maybe 12.Rad1 is a little better, but I was not able to find any forcing lines for white afterwards.

Comments to Caldazar:

As I understand it, white’s plan with this attack is to cause the maximum disruption K-side, so that black is discouraged from castling there, maintain pressure in the center, and if possible, prevent black from consolidating or counter attacking on the Q-side. The moves suggested for white are consistent with this plan.

In the 7…Nd7 line your suggested 12.h6 does look better for white. Here is a possible continuation:
12..Qe7, 13.Nb5 Nf8, 14.Qc8 Kd8, 15.e5 a6, 16.Na3 Ng6, 17.Qg3 f5, 18.exf6 Qxf6, 19.Nh3 Nxh6, 20.Qxg5 Ng8, 21.Qxf6+ Nxf6, 22.Ng5 Kd7, 23.Bc4 Rad8. Black has been under pressure, but he is still holding on.

To keep this discussion in context, we are testing the resistance of the standard opening, looking at lines in which black does not react at all to a dangerous combination of early attacks. After his Q-side castle, and especially after the rook pawn advance, white’s k-side attacking intentions are obvious. Black is definitely sticking his neck out by ignoring this attack and playing his usual moves. You can call white's line a hack, but this type of attack has proved dangerous for all the black K-side fianchetto defenses, eg. King’s Indian and Modern.

In the 7..h5 line, your suggested attack with 15.Rxe7 is good. It’s not a move most players would attempt, since it’s only possible to recuperate the loss of the exchange much later on. In retrospect, I would prefer the more obvious 13…f6, which avoids these complications. After 13.Be3 or 13.Bf4, black is OK.

In the 7…Nf6 line (your suggestion for black) the move 13..c5 was mentioned only to indicate that black could attempt a counter attack at this point. But it is more sensible for him to consolidate his defense instead, eg. with 11…Ng8, 12.Qe3 h5, 13.e5 Qe7.

caldazar 671 ( +1 | -1 )
... "As I understand it, white’s plan with this attack is to cause the maximum disruption K-side, so that black is discouraged from castling there, maintain pressure in the center, and if possible, prevent black from consolidating or counter attacking on the Q-side. The moves suggested for white are consistent with this plan."

"To keep this discussion in context, we are testing the resistance of the standard opening, looking at lines in which black does not react at all to a dangerous combination of early attacks. After his Q-side castle, and especially after the rook pawn advance, white’s k-side attacking intentions are obvious. Black is definitely sticking his neck out by ignoring this attack and playing his usual moves. You can call white's line a hack, but this type of attack has proved dangerous for all the black K-side fianchetto defenses, eg. King’s Indian and Modern."

This is not a plan. Your words tell me nothing about where I should post my pieces, what pawn structure I should be aiming for, and what I should be watching for; indeed your "plan" describes pretty much every opposite wing attack under the sun, and clearly not all such attacks are the same. My plan (in my estimation, a poor one) is to engage in a premature h4-thrust in the hopes of damaging Black's kingside pawn structure and forcing other positional weaknesses on that side of the board (weak dark-squared complex resulting from the exchange of dark-squared bishops). I would have no intention of exploiting these created weaknesses immediately. When this fails (...h5 stops it easily, for instance), I wil switch back to a central-themed pawn breakthrough (what White really should have done in the first place rather than embarking on some ineffective kingisde show) involving d4/e4/f4 when I have a wide choice of breaks. Rooks therefore belong on d1/e1, e1/f1, or d1/f1; the queen should also support the intended break. Meanwhile, I would expect Black to attempt to engage in a queenside pawn storm. Black's attack doesn't worry me at all because Black's piece coordination is so poor. If he castles queenside, queenside pawn thrusts are a bit risky (well, ...c5 pawn thrusts are probably still okay). If he doesn't castle at all, he can't get his h8-rook to the queenside. I'm watching out for ...a6/...b5 and ...a6/c5. I must ensure that my attack has begun before I see these moves appear on the Black side. I don't have to be very far ahead in my attack; Black's queenside play is slow.

We are not playing the Pirc, the Modern, the KID, or the Sicilian Dragon. There, when the h-file hack is effective, it is usually because Black has already castled kingside (or will be forced to soon), so White has the opportunity to follow up his initial h4 with all kinds of line opening sacrifices; he's justified in doing so because the goal is checkmate. In our position, Black has not castled on that wing so heavy material investments are not necessarily justified; the reward for a successful attack are positional advantages (useful enough, to be sure), but not mate.

After 1.e4 d6 2.d4 e6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Be3 Bg7 5.Qd2 b6 6.O-O-O Bb7 7.h4:

7…Nd7 8.h5 Ne7 9.Bh6 Bxh6 10.Qxh6 Ng8 11.Qe3 g5 12.h6 Qe7 13.Nb5 Nf8 14.Qc3 Kd8 15.e5 a6 16.Na3 Ng6, 17.Qg3 f5, 18.exf6 Qxf6, 19.Nh3 and I couldn't stomach this line anymore. Planless, White explores queenside then kingisde, the knights go to awkward squares, all in some (ineffective) attempt to snatch a pawn. I'd like you to shut down your Fritz for a bit and just look at the position after 15. e5 a6 16. Na3; just look. Does a3 honestly look like a good square for the knight? After 16... Ng6, does the knight still belong on a3? What is it doing there? How about 17. Nc4 to try to find some use for the knight again? Can't we find a better square for the knight than a3 to begin with? If not, maybe we shouldn't have embarked on the whole Nb5/Qc3 business in the first place.

7…Nd7 8.h5 Ne7 9.Bh6 Bxh6 10.Qxh6 Ng8 11.Qe3 g5 12.h6 Qe7 13.Nb5 Nf8 14.Qc3 Kd8 15.e5 a6 16. d5 Ng6 17. exd6 cxd6 18. Nd4. Isn't that a much more active posting of the knight? White looks better due to Black's poor piece coordination and his slight weakness on the kingside.

On 7…h5 8.f4 Ne7 9.Nf3 Nd7 10.Bd3 a6 11.f5 exf5 12.exf5 gxf5 13.Bg5 Nf6, 14.Rhe1 Qd7 15. Rxe7+ Kxe7 16. Ne5: I would expect aggressive and tactically minded players to find 15. Rxe7+ simply because it's the move consistent with White's previous plans (more positionally-oriented players would probably play 15. Qe2 or 15.Qe3 which looks promising as well). He sacs a pawn to damage Black's pawn structure and open lines in the center for his pieces and then rapidly mobilizes his remaining forces to exert control over the center. After 14... Qd7, Black is declaring his intent to castle queenside. So White's attack must come now (or in the very near future) before Black castles away and coordinates his rooks. As far as I can calculate (which is not very far), White doesn't really recover the exchange at all (he probably does eventually, I'm guessing), but this isn't the issue. Simply put, White must launch an attack because he has no other moves. There are no more pieces to maneuver into favorable positions (unless White's desire is to play a slower attack with Qe2/Qe3, which is okay too). He can't really wait, or Black starts to untangle position. So 15. Rxe7+ is a timely move. Materially, he will be down the exchange for a while, but since neither of Black's rooks are yet in the game, White will be dynamically up a piece (or more!) so long as he maintains the initiative. Further, Black's king will be wandering in the center of an open board. White has play, he has a plan, he has assets in his favor, and Black will not be able to utilize his favorable assets (the extra material) so long as he's doing nothing but responding to White's threats. I imagine most computers would not find 15. Rxe7+ given the high value many engines assign to material relative to other factors, but a human being would sense that now would be the time to strike.

7…h5 8.f4 Ne7 9.Nf3 Nd7 10.Bd3 a6 11.f5 exf5 12.exf5 gxf5 13.Bg5 f6 (making his own g7-bishop a poor piece, I'd like to point out) 14. Bf4 Nf8 15. Qe2 Nfg6 16. Bd2 (well, at least White's dark-squared bishop isn't as active either now) Qd7 17. Rhf1 when White's attack is well under way with his forces fully mobilized and Black still has yet to develop his rooks, let alone launch an attack.

7…Nf6 8.Bd3 Nbd7 9.Bh6 Bxh6, 10.Qxh6 a6 11.f3 Ng8 12. Qe3 h5 13. f4 (timing... get the pieces into position first and then play the aggresive pawn thrusts/attacks) Qe7 14. Nf3 O-O-O and while Black is hanging on, White's has the advantage due to his better development, better space, and faster play.

Please stop posting Fritz lines and post concrete ideas. If we want to play a correspondence game with a computer engine, we all can do so ourselves.
kai_sim 39 ( +1 | -1 )
scared? every one got a comment, but me... i feel left out *sniff*

once more again, best way to prove a point is to PROVE it in a game, or two, or three...

after i read myself more into this, i would suggest a range from 1600-2700 i would volunteer for this (of course). so you have to find one player less ;p
but i'm sure, they would not be hard to find...
macheide 24 ( +1 | -1 )
michel813 Dear friend,

A little search in google gives the following URL. I think that this is what you are looking for: www.beginnersgame.com/page_21.pdf

Beware, the work consists in 214 pages in PDF format. Download the Adobe Reader.

Regards,

macheide
kapinov 366 ( +1 | -1 )
Poor Pafu... It is a little hard to write this, I've been in a constant state of laughter, going over the analysis by "Pafu" (who apparently believes computer chess is "good"). After getting over the fit of laughter inflicted by "Pafu"'s wonderous marketing claims that he has found the holy grail of chess (pages upon pages of this drab before we see a single move in his PDF), he treats us with the sort of senseless computer chess that makes everyone (even the beginners) groan. BAD chess.

Almost every line posted in this thread that was "produced" by "Pafu" gave me audible groans and demanded I reply immediately to his "analysis". But I refrained, until I finished reading the thread.

One thing is clear, he is consistent, his analysis is like a bad pun, utterly senseless and painful to watch. In the "Caldazar attack" (the fact that he is already naming his "experimental analysis" is wonderfully humourous in it's own sick and demented way) with 7...Nd7, we get one of his taglines "here is a possible continuation" (which is short for, "this is what the computer had on the screen when I woke up the next morning).

Back to the analysis, "7...Nd7 line",
12.h6 (It is scary we are going this far into analysis with the guy, why doesn't he pony up and PLAY?)

12...Qe7 (apparently, the "Pafu System" does not include a chapter on the initiative.)

13.Nb5??? ("Pafu" suggested this as a good move for White. I am sorry, this is a bad, bad move. It violates a fundamental rule all [GOOD] chess players understand, build up your attack. This is a beginner/computer style move, "attack ASAP, development, what's that?")

13...Nf8? (It is apparently a good idea to undevelop your pieces in the Beginner's Game. As White I would play, simply, 14.Bd3 as Black doesn't really have anything useful to do. He can't open the center with something like ...f5, that would be suicide, if he castles Queenside, White can bring his King back to the center Kd2-e2 and proceed to rip open the Queenside with a pawn storm, Black is too cramped to generate much counter play)

14.Qc3? ("Look at that juicy pawn on c7", says obsolete Fritz 5.32, apparently oblivious to the three stooges-like routine he is playing out on White's piece coordination. This is where you, "Pafu" are supposed to step in during the analysis and say, "wait a minute, something doesn't look right. Shouldn't White be using his center space advantage for, I don't know, development?")

14...Kd8 15.e5 a6 16.Na3 (the analysis goes down the toilet at this point, mindless wood pushing, the kind "Pafu" apparently advocates, I suspect, from the tone of his analysis.)

16...Ng6 17.Qg3 (<GROAN>)

17...f5 18.exf6 Qxf6 19.Nh3? (<Even louder GROAN>)

19...Nxh6 20.Qxg5, blah, blah.

In summation, this is the most absurd play I have seen in a long time, and I've had to endure some terrible games. "Pafu" apparently has no clue how initiative works, or even of it's existance. It is understandable, neither does Fritz. "Pafu" (or should I say "Fritz") sees nothing wrong with senseless moves that break up your own piece play, deploy your Knights to the far edges of the board, then trade off all of your pieces. I can understand that from Fritz, that's how he plays, that's why he's weak, but from "Pafu", claiming to have discovered something useful.. hype only goes so far, at some point you have to "put up or shut up."

What you put up was bad, very bad. It was like you gave Fritz a position and let it crunch it throughout the night, generating the most absurd lines one can come up with. Then you seem to prod it around, trying to claim credit, ironically not even realizing what you're claiming credit for. You have my pity.
pafu 251 ( +1 | -1 )
from pafu
Comments to Caldazar:

I have no problems with your elaboration of white’s plan in the 7...Nd7 and 12.h6 line. Your suggested 16.d5 does indeed look strong. But black doesn’t have to play 16...Ng6, in spite of the multiple threats. Black can play 16...axb6, 17.exd6 cxd6, 18.Qxh8 Nf6,: 19.dxe6 Kc7, 20.exf7 Ne6, and the white queen is trapped.

In the 7...h5 line with 13...f6: After 14.Bf4 Nf8, 15.Qe2 Nfg6, 16.Bd2 Qd7, 17.Rhf1, I would be inclined to consolidate Q-side eg 17...b5, 18.g3 O-O-O, 19.Rde1 Rde8, 20.Qf2 Kb8. White can regain the pawn, but it will take some maneuvering to do so. Black’s pieces are now more active, and he can challenge and exchange on the open file and diagonal. Black now has some possible Q-side threats, eg ..b4 followed by ..Qa4.

The suggestion to use adversary moves taken from computer analysis was intended to offer a measure of impartiality, since such moves would be verifiable by others and it would not be possible to lead the adversary into bad lines by proposing inferior moves. Instead this suggestion has been a constant source of criticism. I have taken too much flak by posting lines that both the computer and myself found worthy of exploring.

In the lines that we seen, the Beginner’s Game reaches the 20th move without suffering material loss or any serious degradation in its position. If at this point all that can be claimed by the adversary is a slight positional advantage, for the present discussion this is adequate, because the adversary already had an advantage after the first few moves, but has not been able to convert it into a winning position.

In this thread we looked at only a few of the possible responses to the Beginner’s Game, but it should be sufficient to correct the poor opinion that you had initially. I hope that you and others who participated in or followed this discussion are now beginning to admit that this opening is able to defend adequately, does offer opportunities for counter play, and so succeeds in its primary aim of allowing players to get thru the opening without having to learn a lot of theory.

If you wish to pursue this discussion in private by suggesting other attacks on the Beginner’s Game, I will be glad to look at them and respond. But I have had enough of vicious and undeserved abuse that has been heaped upon me at this forum, and so prefer to terminate this thread.

Those who wish to pursue an interest in these new systems for playing the chess opening are encouraged to visit website www.beginnersgame.com, where they can read the .pdf versions of the three books.

enjoy your chess,

Pafu
kai_sim 6 ( +1 | -1 )
oh, nooo :"-( please stay! it was funny with you.
*sniff*
pleeeaase?
olympio 10 ( +1 | -1 )
maybe the requests that he prove it in chess games here became a little too frequent for his taste.
kapinov 311 ( +1 | -1 )
Brief review of Pafu's web site content Olympio, didn't you read his claims on his web site? The Beginner's Game is the answer to chess, better than anything YOU have ever seen before. It is the simplest system imaginable (simple in that your plan is to adopt a passive, cramped, counterplayless defense). It is totally new (and yet has been played by every 8 year old once they discover what fianchetto is, but what do they know, they're only beginners). And best of all, it has the "remarkable" property, "truly unique", that your opponent can't stop you from playing it (neither can they stop the Little Ears system, 1.h3, 2.a3, etc)!

Further, he claims this system, once you begin playing it, will soon convince you it is the best system ever "found".

"Instead of passing months or years studying how to play the opening, now you can learn in minutes!" His system is like a very bad Hypermodern system. In Hypermodern systems the idea is to allow the opponent a big center, IMMOBILIZE IT, then attack it. Pafu seems to have glossed over the second part. Instead, all of the examples feature the "other side" playing sloppy chess, without heed for good or bad bishops, without fighting for control of weak squares, without any sense of sound pawn structure. The "other side" was NOT played by a master, nor by a computer capable of defeating a master in tournament conditions. The "other side's" play was mauled by tactical errors, positional blunders and aimless play, the side using the system was only marginally capable of exploiting these errors. The endgame play was terrible for both sides in all 20 games he made available in PGN format. I don't know what more to say other than the constructed "show" was not very entertaining. It doesn't qualify as a game as it was never actually played. Pafu did not play any more than the opening moves for one or both sides, perhaps throwing in a tactical blunder here or there (consistantly the "other side" throwing away pawns early on, it was very misleading to expect a real Master to play what Pafu claims as "Master-level" play), after that, it was nothing but computer play.

To put it another way, his endgames featured the most screwy King-play you're going to find in a chess book, typical of computers, who are incapable of understanding King-play because probably there are too many possibilities and it becomes incalculable. This trait is definately not master-level.

Back to his claims. His site is an infomercial. Allow me to quote some of his more insane claims.

"Adopt this new system and you are guaranteed to improve your game, in the least time imaginable!"

"This is not a rote opening system: it is literally hundreds of times more complex in possible lines than any other opening system ever invented!"

"Amazingly, the system rules practically insures this strong independence to adversary play!"

"No adversary opening could beat it in a series of games!"

And finally, "if you want to challenge this powerful new system, then just step right up!"

We did, you resigned.
caldazar 736 ( +1 | -1 )
"The suggestion to use adversary moves taken from computer analysis was intended to offer a measure of impartiality, since such moves would be verifiable by others and it would not be possible to lead the adversary into bad lines by proposing inferior moves. Instead this suggestion has been a constant source of criticism. I have taken too much flak by posting lines that both the computer and myself found worthy of exploring. "

There's no reason not to use the computer as a tool to aid in analysis, but first you must understand the strengths and weaknesses of a computer engine. Computer engines are excellent at calculating lines when the play is forcing but are almost worthless when the play takes on a non-forcing nature (i.e., situations that require planning). Thus, while your decision to use your computer to generate lines is impartial in a sense, you're coming up with lines that are simply bad in a lot of cases. When the play turns forcing (White commits to an assault, for instance), the computer defends expertly and finds some counterattacks, but when the generation of plans is called for, the computer plays like a complete beginner, executing simple threats that have no associated followup. By way of example, compare White's play in one of your 7... Nd7 lines (7…Nd7 Qe7 13.Nb5 Nf8 14.Qc8 Kd8 15.e5 a6 16.Na3 Ng6 17.Qg3 f5 18.exf6 Qxf6 19.Nh3 Nxh6 20.Qxg5 Ng8 21.Qxf6+ Nxf6 22.Ng5 Kd7 23.Bc4 Rad8) to a line many chess beginners have attempted, 1. e4 e5 2. Qh5 Nc6 3. Bc4 g6 4. Qf3 Nf6 5. Qb3. Both lines contain simple threats that are easy to parry, threats where the associated defense does not weaken the opponent's position, and threats where there is no associated followup action. This is not good chess. In situations where planning is required, computers are only useful in checking the tactical worth of a plan; they cannot be used to generate the plan itself.

You can see this at work by examining recent human vs. computer matches. Once out of book, the computers play quite poorly overall, making rather non-commital and pointless moves. As soon as the human initiates something critical (launches an attack, blunders), the computer's play suddenly seems to spring to life, complete with brilliant defenses, suprising moves, and simply all-around strong play.

"In the lines that we seen, the Beginner’s Game reaches the 20th move without suffering material loss or any serious degradation in its position. If at this point all that can be claimed by the adversary is a slight positional advantage, for the present discussion this is adequate, because the adversary already had an advantage after the first few moves, but has not been able to convert it into a winning position."

You can't expect to hold a winning a position after a dozen moves or so. However, just because Black (in our example) is not busted outright does not mean that his position is playable. Black has less space, inferior development, and no immediate counterplay. This last issue is the most serious. If Black can find no way to improve his position while White continues to improve his, Black will simply lose. It may take 60 moves, or 80, or 100, but he will lose in the long run.

Development is a short-term advantage; given enough time, Black will eventually catch up, so if White wishes to exploit his development advantage, he must strike quickly. However, superior space can be a long-term advantage. Thus, Black must demonstrate that he has play in the short-term that counteracts White's space or that he has play that will neutralize White's space. Otherwise, White's space advantage will be telling. Thus, in a real sense, Black's short term play is pitted against White's long term play. The problem is that due Black's poor development, he has little short-term play. So White holds all the trumps, and regardless of whether a computer may evaluate the position as +0.33 or -0.50 (these small evaluations are generally pretty meaningless anyway), White is the one who has the play, the opportunities to improve his position.

"In this thread we looked at only a few of the possible responses to the Beginner’s Game, but it should be sufficient to correct the poor opinion that you had initially. I hope that you and others who participated in or followed this discussion are now beginning to admit that this opening is able to defend adequately, does offer opportunities for counter play, and so succeeds in its primary aim of allowing players to get thru the opening without having to learn a lot of theory."

No, my original opinion still stands. "Defend adequately" means more than simply surviving to eke out a draw; it means generating real counterplay. In all the lines you've posted, not once has Black landed a blow against White. Not once has Black's forces come in contact with White's on White's half of the board. No blows against e4; no ...b4 pawn thrusts, no ...Rxc3's, no pawn snatches on a2, nothing. Not once has Black seized control of the initiative. And there's no theory to learn? Scroll back and look at the sheer number of lines just a simple h-file pawn hack has generated.

"If you wish to pursue this discussion in private by suggesting other attacks on the Beginner’s Game, I will be glad to look at them and respond. But I have had enough of vicious and undeserved abuse that has been heaped upon me at this forum, and so prefer to terminate this thread."

Yes, the language has been harsh but look at things from my perspective. Human beings play with plans. Sometimes good plans, sometimes poor plans, but there's always a unifying idea. Your lines have no associated ideas, your positions have no underlying point. So you come to me and post these planless sample lines showing how the Beginner's Game setup does well and what I see you saying is "Look at this good setup. All that's required is for your opponent to play badly, and you secure good active chances." I think it's understandable that I might be a bit annoyed. Then you repeat your methods over and over again, and I get more annoyed. I mean, you seriously plan for me to blunder away my queen, for instance? I'm not a great player by any standard, and I've certainly blundered material before, but please give me a little more credit that this.

The only reason I've even bothered to post analysis at all is because I fear that people will take your system seriously. Too often people market "quick fixes" and others gobble it up. Small wonder; there's great psychological appeal to becoming a good player quickly. But these fixes often teach all the wrong things. Instead of learning tactics, basic positional chess, and endings, players learn traps, opening lines, and bad habits. Then, when the time comes to learn good chess, not only must they take the time to learn the things they should have in the first place, but they also must unlearn all the bad habits. So these quick fixes wind up making chess harder to learn.

I too have had enough, though. If you want to play a couple games, feel free to message me.
r_lawrence 44 ( +1 | -1 )
Okay, so ...... Are you guys saying this system is unplayable, or are you just upset that he's an amateur that used a computer? (looks like he worked pretty hard and showed enough enterprise to publish a book)

Is it worthless for the beginner? Can the intermediate who didn't have enough time to do a lot of opening research before his tournament use it with a modicum of success, or is it purely worthless?

I basically think you all were too hard on him and pretty unkind.
peppe_l 17 ( +1 | -1 )
Really strong system If your opponent plays without a plan AND you manage to defend with computer-like accuracy, you can reach move 20 without material losses. Amazing!
bogg 40 ( +1 | -1 )
r_lawrence I for one am not upset that he used a computer. The problem is that he used only a computer to analyze positions that computers play poorly in. Pafu's definition of the phrase 'Black is OK' seems to be Black is not lost yet. In every variation he gave that had White playing as well as feebly, not dropping something, Black was distinctly worse when Pafu was giving the evaluation as Black is OK.
buddy2 11 ( +1 | -1 )
Pafu game in progress I see a game has started up between Pafu and torre_tinorete. Let's see how he or his system does. At present Pafu is pondering his reply to 1. d4.
olympio 23 ( +1 | -1 )
you know what's really funny that he registered..

i guess so he could speak on the forums right away..

being a paying member u think he'd try a few games..

after all.. his beginner system could destroy all the best players here.. so why not rise to the #1 spot..