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wschmidt 42 ( +1 | -1 )
Novice Nook # 48 We've got a really worthwhile article from Dan Heisman this week. It's called, "A Guide to P-R3" and it does an excellent job of summarizing the issues involved in deciding whether to play a3, h3, a6 or h6 at various times in the game. I don't think I've ever seen all this material gathered in one place before. I recommend this one highly. The site is:

ionadowman 87 ( +1 | -1 )
Interesting... ... especially as I have a game going on now that began 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 h6!?
Whatever the objective limitations of 3...h6, I'm not sure it is as "silly" as Heisman alleges.

Had he played the Two Knights' (3...Nf6), I would have played 4.Ng5. I wouldn't call Black's position "perfectly safe", though I'd be more than happy to play the Black side of this game. But it is actually quite hard for White to come up with anything that decisively exploits this apparent waste of time. Perhaps the idea of the move is to induce White to overpress early and incur a disadvantage - an "odds-giving" style.

It turns out that a certain chess master Blatny has played 3...h3 with reasonable success. Most of his opponents responded with 4.d4. In my game I tried 4.c3, leading to a kind of Goring Gambit. Though it seems to have paid off, it probably isn't all that good...
sough 63 ( +1 | -1 )
Closed Lopez Here's a question about h3 in the closed lopez. Normally (remember, non marshall here) we go 5...Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 0-0 9.h3 h3 denies g4 to the black bishop since it will hamper white's d4, as shown when white plays 9.d4.

I'm wondering why can't black play 8...Bg4 immediately here. I suppose white hasn't played d4 yet so the pin isn't as powerful but I don't see how to take advantage of it. Is this a situation where you kick it out with h3 and g4, or maybe play d3, Nbd2 then evacuate the queen, or play Nf1 Ne3? Also, IF Bg4 is a good move which I sort of doubt since it's played so rarely, could white play 8.h3 instead of c3 and get away with it? Thanks for any help on this h3 inquiry!
karoyl 43 ( +1 | -1 )
Ruy Lopez, Closed, 8... Bg4 NCO covers this line in a footnote:

8... Bg4 9. h3 Bh5 10. d3 O-O (10... Na5 11. Bc2 c5 12. Nbd2 +/=) 11. Nbd2 Na5 (11... d5 12. Qe2 dxe4 13. dxe4 Bd6 14. Nf1 +/=) 12. Bc2 c5 13. Nf1 Nc6 14. Ng3 Bg6 15. Nh4 Ne8 16. Nhf5 +/=

This analysis is somewhat unconvincing, and I think that the line is probably quite playable. Still, White does obtain an advantage thanks to his command of space and good squares for his knights at d5 and f5. This would probably make a good line for OTB play, and it's probably good enough for correspondence games as well.