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reggiesharpe 66 ( +1 | -1 )
"My System," the Ultra-Modern Defense For years, I've been studying and practicing an opening I'd like to call the Ultra-Modern Defense. 1.e4 g6 2.d4 Nf6?!! with the idea(s) 3.Nc3 d5!; 3.Bd3 d5! or 3.e5 Ng8!? there is also 3...Nd5 and 3...Nh5. I was wondering what anyone thought of the 3.e5 Ng8 lines and/or the 3.Nc3 d5 4.e5 Ng8!? (there is also 4...Ne4!! and 4...Nh5) lines, i.e., the variations where the Knight Retreats. There is some information on it in some Alekhine Defense Books 1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Ng8?!, but without ...g6. Most masters shun such extravaganzas' in the opening; but I believe I can prove that by methodical development, black can equalize in either case. Anyone wishing to analyse this system with me can email me a private message with their return address and/or phone number. Thank you kindly.
anaxagoras 15 ( +1 | -1 )
Well it's good to know that, regardless of White's third move, Black always has a response that merits an exclamation point ;-)
bucklehead 299 ( +1 | -1 )
Those crazy Norwegians... As it seems to always turn out in these things, this opening system has been around for a while and is known (at least with the line 1. e4 g6 2. d4 Nf6 3. e5 Nh5 4. g4 Ng7) as the Norwegian Defense. I feel for you, especially as I just recently thought that I'd made an innovation in the From Gambit, only to find that an IM had been making hay with it for years.

My gut opinion is that, from a fundamental standpoint, the system is leaves something to be desired. I put together a hasty database of 152 master-level games with 1. e4 g6 2. d4 Nf6, and the record is 80 white wins, 36 draws, 36 black wins. But this is neither here nor there.

After 3. e5 and your suggested Ng8, black is a move behind--so although white's 3. e5 is not developmental, he can quickly compensate for this. It also leaves him in sole possession of the center, though a line such as 4. Nf3 d6 5. exd6 cxd6 would make for a fairly dynamic position. I doubt, though, that white would be eager to make this pawn exchange. Finally, the 3. e5 line leaves black's KB hampered in its otherwise best post at g7. This is not, of course, permanent; but it will take some time to get it properly activated. And while Bh6 is possible, this move also takes away the KN's developmental route. Given these factors, I would jump on 3. e5 as the most promising white response. It is interesting that you should mention the Brooklyn Defense (1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Ng8) in the Alekhine. I'd ask this question: If white played 3. d4 at *this* point, would you even consider 3. ... g6?

Should white forgo 3. e5 and choose 3. Nc3, there is an interesting line after 3. ... d5 4. e5 Nh5 5. Be2 Nc6 6. Bf3 where black is faced with some tactical threats but maintains a solid position. White's 3. Bd3 also presents black with few direct challenges, but the solid central position and the sidelined black KN should give white the edge. But I think that the fundamental strategic point here is that the choice of 3. ... d5 takes away black's ability to challenge white's advanced kingpawn via ... d6. It is as if you are ceding the center to white, opting instead to maneuver around it. A risky strategy which might work, but it seems as if you are giving white a good deal of latitude. But as you said, black plans involving methodical development can be tough to crack...then again, white's mobility here could be dangerous.

All that being said, my advice to you is this: if you are comfortable with the system, then play it and enjoy it. There is much to be said for playing a setup that you know inside and out, but against which your opponent may have difficulty finding the line of best play. This is why the Grob works for its practitioners: they feel at home in such positions; and while the opponent is puzzling about what to do, they've developed a strong attack. I'd wager your Ultra-Modern Defense does fairly well for you in OTB play, but correspondence chess is the acid test. Perhaps you should start a mini-tournament and keep the forums apprised.

bogg 67 ( +1 | -1 )
reggiesharpe In a master level correspondence game played many years ago my opponent, I assume accidentally, found himself in a similar position after 1. d4 Nf6 2. Nc3 g6 3. e4 Bg7?? 4. e5 Ng8. I don't remember the game and no longer have the game score but I do remember that it took less than 20 moves to destroy Black in the game.

Extravagances like the above will not work against a competent opponent in correspondence play. I would expect someone to score a nearly perfectly round zero playing lines of that nature against expert or better opponents unless they themselves are good enough to beat said expert at pawn and move odds!
baseline 27 ( +1 | -1 )
bogg I was wondering if we would see you again! Come around more often!

I feel the same way you do about this opening, but I think we all go through a phase where we champion a hopeless opening like this, and learn alot in the process. Good luck reggie!!
reggiesharpe 369 ( +1 | -1 )
To Bogg and Bucklehead (any one else interested). O.k., the bags out. When I discovered this opening back in the 80's, I was very tactically inclined and near expert strenght; It happened almost by accident when I was playing a match against a well versed opponent. I use to play the Sicilian Dragon and switched to playing the Pirc before the match. I then tried transposing the moves and found that after 1.e4 g6 2.d4 Nf6 instead of 3.Nc3 d6 that 3...d5 was possible. The problem was that while I was strong tactically, my positional play suffered; I had to study hard to learn those rules (reading things like Nimzovich "My System," "Die Blockade," and "Chess Praxis," and a few newer books like "Reasses Your Chess," which is excellent and clarified my positional understanding. Unfortunately, because of that my style changed. My tactical ability dropped like a cocoon.

I have a friend whom I study with from time to time who's rated USCF 2130 and he's helped me get a lot of kinks out of it. My rating is about 1830 from the 1967 drop I experience without any real participation on the chess scene. I know it's sound, that's why I give the exclaims!! I'm hoping to face opponents with it as white and black on gameknot to prove it's validity.

The Norwegians, well they haven't really systematized the system into any kind of book for that matter (not even an e-book). And I haven't seen much of it in MCO or BCO if any (mostly by some other type of transposition occuring 5-12 moves down from French Defense's and Caro-Kann's the Modern Defense). Besides, the e5 thrust is only one option that white has at his disposal after 3.Nc3 d5 white can choose 4.Bd3 or 4.f3. It is true however, that the e5 thrust is the most testing in either case and that's why I put the question out, but the reply after 3.Nc3 d5 4.e5 Ne4 is my fallback in case 4...Ng8 finally proves fatal. If anyone want to give it a shot as white the best 5th move is 5.h4 when after the forced 5...h5 6.Bd3 e6 7.Bg5 Be7 8.Nh3! there are a lot of tactical possibilities for white, but beware of the Black weapon (Equalization!).

As for being poor or hopeless, the government did it, not me. In chess as in life, nearly all hypermodern and classical defenses leave the player moving first with a slight initiative in the opening, however, if it is sound --particularly like the busted up variations they use to talk about in the Caro-Kann where white gets the superior ending, but black draws or that old Pannov-Botvinnik Attack--then I see a richness of possibilities, because white will be aggressive and seek variations where black can have dynamic equality instead of sterile equality. After all white wants to win as much as black does, but the first move presents him with that difficult theorectical problem. If anyone has Chess Praxis, read it, Nimzovich was right! I have learned a lot in the process.

I'm really interested in the games that you find for my compulation; I will be, if not the first to make a book on it, the prime authority of it's true nature.

Oh, where you find the many games won by white, I'm sure that nearly always black had an equalizing line or was already equal and just blundered either tactically or positionally. What we really learn is that Practice and Theory go hand and hand, practice is perfect, but it is often flawed. Analysis is heaven.

Brooklyn's Defense, usually, because the Master writing the book isn't really dedicated often enough to provide you with a detailed analysis of a considered inferior line of play, often overlooks hidden resources. I would play either ...d5 or ...d6 if I was on the black side and eventually, after white gets his superiority, black will often squeeze white. Find the game Honfi-Gurgenidze to see what I mean.
reggiesharpe 8 ( +1 | -1 )
Oh, by the way Any one interested in co-authorization please do as I asked above (Send A Private E-mail).