Giving up the center

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Henk
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Giving up the center

Post by Henk » Sat May 02, 2020 8:58 am

Stockfish 11 shows that ed4: is best for black? I remember M. Euwe wrote in his book "Praktische Schaaklessen: deel 2" that center formation d4 e4 d6 e5 better for black than e4 d6. So ed4: would be the last move to play. Looks like you still can't trust engines nowadays.

[d] rnbqkb1r/ppp2ppp/3p1n2/4p3/3PP3/2N2N2/PPP2PPP/R1BQKB1R b KQkq - 3 4

Werewolf
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Re: Giving up the center

Post by Werewolf » Sat May 02, 2020 10:26 am

Your conclusion is way too simplistic.

"Max says don't play pawn takes pawn, therefore Stockfish is wrong" ?
Stockfish would score 99% against Euwe.

I'm not saying ed is good or bad, but you need more testing than this: what score is the opening getting in tournaments? What depth did SF reach in analysis? And so on.

Henk
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Re: Giving up the center

Post by Henk » Sat May 02, 2020 10:57 am

Depth above 30. Maybe ed: is playable for engines but not for humans. Very difficult to equalize after ed:
It is common knowledge that giving up center is bad. Ok Stockfish would win from Euwe but that is because of better tactics.
I am using Stockfish for preparation but if it suggests moves that are only playable for super tactical engines it still is worthless for me.

Anything wrong with Nd7 or maybe Nc6.

zullil
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Location: PA USA
Full name: Louis Zulli

Re: Giving up the center

Post by zullil » Sat May 02, 2020 11:31 am

Henk wrote:
Sat May 02, 2020 10:57 am
Depth above 30. Maybe ed: is playable for engines but not for humans. Very difficult to equalize after ed:
It is common knowledge that giving up center is bad. Ok Stockfish would win from Euwe but that is because of better tactics.
I am using Stockfish for preparation but if it suggests moves that are only playable for super tactical engines it still is worthless for me.

Anything wrong with Nd7 or maybe Nc6.
Lc0 (network 384x30-swa-3350000):

info depth 14 seldepth 39 time 286575 nodes 4617155 score cp -33 wdl 234 307 459 nps 16248 tbhits 0 pv b8d7 f1c4 f8e7 a2a4 e5d4 d1d4 d7c5 e1g1 e8g8 h2h3 c8e6 a4a5 c7c6 f1d1 e6c4 d4c4 b7b5 a5b6 a7b6 c1e3 b6b5 c4b4 a8a1 d1a1 f8e8 e4e5 f6d7 e5d6 e7d6

Henk
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Joined: Mon May 27, 2013 8:31 am

Re: Giving up the center

Post by Henk » Sat May 02, 2020 12:03 pm

Nc6 bad move too because you can't play de de. So only alternative or only move Nd7.

BrendanJNorman
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Re: Giving up the center

Post by BrendanJNorman » Sat May 02, 2020 12:10 pm

Henk wrote:
Sat May 02, 2020 12:03 pm
Nc6 bad move too because you can't play de de. So only alternative or only move Nd7.
Nbd7 is standard Philidor's Defense, Improved Hanham Variation.

Analyzing such early and ridiculously broad variations with an engine is a waste of time.

Get to the tabiya first and then analyze.

Karol Majewski
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Re: Giving up the center

Post by Karol Majewski » Sat May 02, 2020 12:14 pm

I have a question to a similar position:



This can happen out of Philidor or Scotch, so that's very common position on an amateur level. So what's White's best way to continue? I guess many good moves here. Leela favours Bb5, while Stockfish switches between Bf4, Be2, Nxc6. Can someone with a strong CPU run Stockfish for a long time in this position?

BrendanJNorman
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Full name: Brendan J Norman

Re: Giving up the center

Post by BrendanJNorman » Sat May 02, 2020 12:16 pm

Henk wrote:
Sat May 02, 2020 12:03 pm
Nc6 bad move too because you can't play de de.
Also de is fine for black, white should play the space-gaining d5. After de equalizes quickly.



Petrosian was already playing with the structure as black in the 40s.



This is why it is important to know the classics instead of blindly following the engine.

Henk
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Joined: Mon May 27, 2013 8:31 am

Re: Giving up the center

Post by Henk » Sat May 02, 2020 12:26 pm

It is different when pawn on c4 because you can't play Bc4. Stockfish suggests you have to play Be6 after Bc4 instead of Bg5.
But I don't like Be6 fe6. And you are stuck with an isolated double pawn.

Last edited by Henk on Sat May 02, 2020 12:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.

MonteCarlo
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Re: Giving up the center

Post by MonteCarlo » Sat May 02, 2020 12:28 pm

A few points on the original post:

1) Even if we were blindly trusting that SF's first choice at some arbitrary depth was "the truth", the evals for exd4 and Nbd7 are very close at most depths, certainly not different enough to think SF clearly prefers one over the other. Which it prefers could easily change at a future iteration.

2) Unassisted engine analysis from a position so early in the game is unlikely to distinguish all that well between similar options, i.e., we shouldn't blindly trust them.

3) exd4 Nxd4 transposes to the old main line of the Philidor, played thousands of times over the last ~180 years by humans. It's not some crazy engine line no human could manage to play.

4) Some rule of thumb articulated by a master of yore shouldn't be blindly trusted either.

Especially for human play, you're better off choosing between those moves based on which one leads to positions you enjoy playing the most, as you'll be more likely to put time into understanding the position.

For human play, you're much better off playing something you enjoy and will stick with long enough to understand well, even if all engines think it's 15 cp worse than some alternative, and even if it violates a rule of thumb articulated by some strong human player.

Cheers!

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