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Analyzing the Pirc

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  • Analyzing the Pirc

    The Pirc arises after
    1. e4 d6
    and then Black has several plans and ideas (strategies) to play from:
    1: Attack the weak pawn at e4 by allowing your knight to "jump" to f6.
    2: Create outposts on e5 and c5. Note: c5, if taken with a knight may be especially good (long-term) because it also attacks white's e4.
    3: Fienchetto the king-side Bishop for additional support on e5, as well as opening up threatening moves on white's queen-side.
    4: Leaves the pawn advance to f5 as a viable option later on, with support from Black's queen-side Bishop and potientially allowing, opening up a file for the rook to attack on the king-side. This idea is more likely to be played if white is "stubborn" about protecting his pawn at e4 (preferably after Black has been castled).
    5: Naturally takes away one outpost square from white, namely f5 by attacking it with his queen-side bishop.
    6: Doesnt commit to e5, as it would be a weakness, but supports this advance or "pawn push" for later in the future. Also, the same could be said about c5, but e5 is usually prioritized.
    7: Comparing this move to other openings, such as "The French".... Actually i think e6 is a better developing move; however, in this case, Black has the idea, or plan, of attacking the weakness of e4 through means of "not exchanging" it away because In the French, white has the option of trading that pawn of e4, whereas In the Pirc, Black actually is threating to win it (without an exchange).

    * The Key Variations to study in the Pirc are in the Austrian Attack (f4) and the Samisch Attack (f3, Be3, Qd2, Bh6, 0-0-0, with the storm king-side)

    What can be said of this opening? It is a mainline opening.... is sound..... and offers Black both defensive prospects, but also counter-attack possibilites aswell (too).

    Comparing middle-game to middle-game, is: Black's counter attack strategy, in the Pirc, as good as that of the French (better development)?
    What would be some other pros/cons to this opening?
    And, what plan (or strategy) for the middle-game would you use, play for, if you knew white's plan of attack to be either the Austrian Attack or the Samisch Attack? (To me, that position, looks like a real struggle!)
    "Without sensibility, no object would be given to us. Without understanding, no object would be thought. Thoughts without content are empty. Intuitions without concepts are blind." Immanuel Kant - "Critique of Pure Reason."

  • #2
    The Pirc ah yes. Well, I would say it's underestimated and underappreciated. More modern and less cramped than the French and a lot more counterpunching..
    I should think it's equal to the French. Technically, I would consider the Pirc to be a little better. But the Pirc comes with far more theory and calculation. There are a lot of unusual (modern) moves going on in the Pirc that don't just pop out like in most openings you would know.

    Another downside to the Pirc is that there is a plethora of white approaches. White has to pick one, you get to defend against them all. Me, I have no less than 3 different systems against a main line Pirc. First, a sort of Hyper-Austrian attack with an early f4-e5 (which results after #. ... dxe5 #. dxe5 Qxd1 #. Qxd1 in endgame play). Second, the Byrne variation (which is my cup of tea for sure). And third your friendly neighbourhood Classical system.
    The f3 systems are pretty reliable, but it and the Austrian attack proper are what every black player is booked up on.

    As for the old question, c5 or e5, I would say that c5 has given me a lot more trouble than any e5 variation.
    Have you read the Forum rules?

    Queeg: Pawn to King Four. Holly: Horsie to King Bish Three.
    Rimmer: It's called a "knight," actually, Holly...
    Queeg: Knight to King Bishop three. Holly: Queen to Rook Eight. Checkmate.
    Queeg: That's an illegal move. Holly: Oh, sorry. Queens don't move like that. I was thinking of poker.
    Holly: Cleudo? You could be Colonel Mustard.
    Cat: If it's any help, I've been studying his tactics and there's a pattern emerging: Every time you make a move, he makes one too. *Winks to Holly*
    Holly: *Winks back* Thanks, Cat.
    --Red Dwarf

    Comment


    • #3
      I disagree. I think the Pirc is unpopular at a high level for a good reason. It gives white too much - it's basically counting on white to overreach.

      The French is much more active, much more aggressive. The french declares war on the white center on move two. The Pirc really dodges the question - it waits for white to start the action and is more counterpunching.

      I think there's a sweet spot where the pirc is an effective weapon, probably around expert strength. Certainly it's not very popular among grandmasters, and against weaker players the space disadvantage it concedes is too often fatal (c-players and below shouldn't invite attacks like that.)

      Comment


      • #4
        As said above the 'hyper-austrian attack' line allows the white player to cut out alot of opening study while the black player as said above has to know many many responses! the early f4 and e5 is a really good line for white imo. From many games i have played using this line, black has found himself with a significant disadvantage with regard to space and a Knight out of play on h6. Of course the knight can get back into play but pirc players dont seem to want to move their f pawn at the right time to do this! Its extraordinary!! This line looks attractive for white since he can play Ng4 threatening fork of King and Rook, and then white must move his king forbidding white the right to castle, but imo the benefits are for white.

        I guess black can try avoid this line by playing ...a6 (the hypermodern-modern idea) insted of ...Nf6. But in doing so, white can just make simple moves and take even more control of the centre.

        I just think that the pirc offers white fairly easy development and in comparision to the sicilian whites needs not to be so precise or accurate with his moves.
        Even bullets fear the brave

        Comment


        • #5
          I thought the better move to play (instead of a6) was c6 in responce to white's Nc3 defending the pawn... then you take away sqaures from that horse from comming in, also opening up the queen with better central control.
          "Without sensibility, no object would be given to us. Without understanding, no object would be thought. Thoughts without content are empty. Intuitions without concepts are blind." Immanuel Kant - "Critique of Pure Reason."

          Comment


          • #6
            I think the classical line is the tourghest for black.

            I see equality for black in the austrian and samish variations. A real edge if white is not careful.

            But the classical is hardest to get quick equality.

            Comment


            • #7
              The problem for the practical player is not whether equality exists.

              The problem is that you do not play chess with an opening book on your lap. There are dozens - if not hundreds - of plausible opening moves for white which theory may have found a way through, but which, for a player who doesn't know the theory, are extremely dangerous - they give white ALL the practical chances.

              Furthermore "equality" something different between class players than it does between grandmasters. Between even B-players, a position where one side has persist pressure but the other has an extra pawn, which is considered equal between grandmasters, is not equal. The persistent pressure will win a much greater percentage of the games.

              How can that be? The position is equal! Except that one player's advantages lie within the realm that both players understand, and the other player's do not. (In that case, B-players drop pawns so often than a pawn advantage is really not very meaningful. But there's poor defenders so longer-term pressure is a major problem. Obviously, that doesn't apply to the Pirc - but the principles are the same).

              Worrying about equality is a waste of time for most players. It's better to be objectively worse, but to have a position where you understand your plan and have the ability to execute it, than to be equal in a position where you don't, any day of the week.

              Comment


              • #8
                In the Game of, Tic-Tac-Toe, when does 'O' achieve equality?
                'X' moves first and is always seemlily pressureing 'O' to defend instead of going after the primary objective of the game -- winning.
                Is it not until the very end of the game is reached, equality (theoritically)?
                Or is it when 'X' has made a mistake (or a dubious move), losing the inititive?
                Or is it when 'O' has thretened its first "checkmate" 3 in a row response, where white must react to it.
                Although, chess is very much more complicated than Tic-Tac-Toe, I believe (Feel) that these principles apply when talking about equality in Chess.

                However, after all this is said, i think, when 'O' has developed some threats, and has defended against all of 'X' immediate ones, that is equality. Move #2 in the Pirc. Does this mean that 1. e4 lost initiative or was dubious, The answer is No, not necessarily. Because it was A) Expansive in gaining space, and B) Created more threats down the road, line, which Black must, will later have to react to. Actually, come to think of it, on move #2, the game has an unclear victor.... no side has equality because the position is unclear. Both sides have fighting chances, and defending ones too.
                "Without sensibility, no object would be given to us. Without understanding, no object would be thought. Thoughts without content are empty. Intuitions without concepts are blind." Immanuel Kant - "Critique of Pure Reason."

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by dustinkinney View Post
                  In the Game of, Tic-Tac-Toe, when does 'O' achieve equality?
                  'X' moves first and is always seemlily pressureing 'O' to defend instead of going after the primary objective of the game -- winning.
                  Is it not until the very end of the game is reached, equality (theoritically)?
                  Or is it when 'X' has made a mistake (or a dubious move), losing the inititive?
                  Or is it when 'O' has thretened its first "checkmate" 3 in a row response, where white must react to it.
                  Although, chess is very much more complicated than Tic-Tac-Toe, I believe (Feel) that these principles apply when talking about equality in Chess.

                  However, after all this is said, i think, when 'O' has developed some threats, and has defended against all of 'X' immediate ones, that is equality. Move #2 in the Pirc. Does this mean that 1. e4 lost initiative or was dubious, The answer is No, not necessarily. Because it was A) Expansive in gaining space, and B) Created more threats down the road, line, which Black must, will later have to react to. Actually, come to think of it, on move #2, the game has an unclear victor.... no side has equality because the position is unclear. Both sides have fighting chances, and defending ones too.

                  I'd like to remind you of an old axiom. "When black equalizes, black stands better." Usually, black will have committed less than white who (likely) had to weaken himself in some ways to prove initiative.

                  Also, there is such a thing as equality in chess. Think of it as scales with (more or less) equal weight on both sides. With every move, white and black add (for a move that improves position) or remove (for a move that worsens things) weight from their side. At some point the balance will tip one side far enough and the game is won. Or, all weight is taken off and it balances out permanently.
                  Enough metaphores.
                  Have you read the Forum rules?

                  Queeg: Pawn to King Four. Holly: Horsie to King Bish Three.
                  Rimmer: It's called a "knight," actually, Holly...
                  Queeg: Knight to King Bishop three. Holly: Queen to Rook Eight. Checkmate.
                  Queeg: That's an illegal move. Holly: Oh, sorry. Queens don't move like that. I was thinking of poker.
                  Holly: Cleudo? You could be Colonel Mustard.
                  Cat: If it's any help, I've been studying his tactics and there's a pattern emerging: Every time you make a move, he makes one too. *Winks to Holly*
                  Holly: *Winks back* Thanks, Cat.
                  --Red Dwarf

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    If you are interested in the "Equality" topic, I posted a new thread in General Discussion Section entitled what is "Equality" in chess? But enough of the metaphors, at least for here, lets save this thread for analysis of the Pirc!
                    "Without sensibility, no object would be given to us. Without understanding, no object would be thought. Thoughts without content are empty. Intuitions without concepts are blind." Immanuel Kant - "Critique of Pure Reason."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by dustinkinney View Post
                      I thought the better move to play (instead of a6) was c6 in responce to white's Nc3 defending the pawn... then you take away sqaures from that horse from comming in, also opening up the queen with better central control.
                      of course, c6 is another line that is popular, but a6 is a more recent idea im sure.
                      Even bullets fear the brave

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Try this variation... before it goes into the pirc:
                        1.e4 d6
                        2.d4 Nf6
                        3.Nc3 e5

                        Fritz always registers it as a 'pirc:unusual variation'... but it's not pirc. It's something else. So many people play the exchange continuation (4.pxp) which leads very nicely to the endgame variation or middlegame... without queens. 4.pxp pxp 5.QxQ KxQ. White often plays this allusioned that an uncastled king will bring a disadvantage.... but I love to play this as Black! Very god counterplay... and often winning.

                        Avoid the pirc and play this one.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          why play e5 on move 3? What is the General plan / or idea behind it? Because, otherwise without a plan or idea -- is it not just trial and error!? What makes that move as good as or better than the "Mainline" Book Move? And what about casteling, I generally like to castle, unless the position is about to go into a quick ending endgame, and to me on move 3 seems too early to take casteling out of being as an option.!
                          "Without sensibility, no object would be given to us. Without understanding, no object would be thought. Thoughts without content are empty. Intuitions without concepts are blind." Immanuel Kant - "Critique of Pure Reason."

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by DjDan View Post
                            Try this variation... before it goes into the pirc:
                            1.e4 d6
                            2.d4 Nf6
                            3.Nc3 e5

                            Fritz always registers it as a 'pirc:unusual variation'... but it's not pirc. It's something else. So many people play the exchange continuation (4.pxp) which leads very nicely to the endgame variation or middlegame... without queens. 4.pxp pxp 5.QxQ KxQ. White often plays this allusioned that an uncastled king will bring a disadvantage.... but I love to play this as Black! Very god counterplay... and often winning.

                            Avoid the pirc and play this one.
                            You are correct. This is the Philidor Defense, Jaenisch Variation. The queenless game is definitely not appealing to me. The problem with playing this as black is you've got to know the Philidor line as well.

                            Some experiences I've had in the line...
                            This kind of went into Hanham territory:
                            1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 Nf6 4. Nc3 Nbd7 5. Bc4 Be7 6. O-O c6 7. a4 h6 8. b3 Qc7 9. Bb2 Nf8 10. dxe5 dxe5 11. Nxe5 Qxe5 12. Nd5 Qxb2 13. Nc7# 1-0

                            Here, black goes into a more mundane exchange line:
                            1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 Nf6 4. Nc3 exd4 5. Qxd4 Nc6 6. Bb5 Bd7 7. Bxc6 Bxc6 8. Bg5 Be7 9. O-O-O O-O 10. h4 h6 11. Nd5 hxg5 12. Nxe7+ Qxe7 13. hxg5 Nxe4 14. Rh5 Qe6 15. Rdh1 f5 16. Ne5 dxe5 17. g6 Qxg6 18. Qc4 1-0

                            Part of a game (before a plethora of inaccuracies ruined it):
                            1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 Nf6 4. dxe5 Nxe4 5. Qd5 Nc5 6. Bg5 Qd7 7. exd6 Qxd6 8. Nc3 Qxd5 9. Nxd5 +/=

                            Keeping the pawns on the board is my choice really. If black so chooses, he can take them off and go into regular Philidor lines (I like to go for Qxd4) and be on the defensive until hell freezes over.

                            Oh, something else. Fritz is terrible at naming openings.
                            Have you read the Forum rules?

                            Queeg: Pawn to King Four. Holly: Horsie to King Bish Three.
                            Rimmer: It's called a "knight," actually, Holly...
                            Queeg: Knight to King Bishop three. Holly: Queen to Rook Eight. Checkmate.
                            Queeg: That's an illegal move. Holly: Oh, sorry. Queens don't move like that. I was thinking of poker.
                            Holly: Cleudo? You could be Colonel Mustard.
                            Cat: If it's any help, I've been studying his tactics and there's a pattern emerging: Every time you make a move, he makes one too. *Winks to Holly*
                            Holly: *Winks back* Thanks, Cat.
                            --Red Dwarf

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Perseus View Post
                              You are correct. This is the Philidor Defense, Jaenisch Variation. The queenless game is definitely not appealing to me. The problem with playing this as black is you've got to know the Philidor line as well.

                              Some experiences I've had in the line...
                              This kind of went into Hanham territory:
                              1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 Nf6 4. Nc3 Nbd7 5. Bc4 Be7 6. O-O c6 7. a4 h6 8. b3 Qc7 9. Bb2 Nf8 10. dxe5 dxe5 11. Nxe5 Qxe5 12. Nd5 Qxb2 13. Nc7# 1-0

                              Here, black goes into a more mundane exchange line:
                              1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 Nf6 4. Nc3 exd4 5. Qxd4 Nc6 6. Bb5 Bd7 7. Bxc6 Bxc6 8. Bg5 Be7 9. O-O-O O-O 10. h4 h6 11. Nd5 hxg5 12. Nxe7+ Qxe7 13. hxg5 Nxe4 14. Rh5 Qe6 15. Rdh1 f5 16. Ne5 dxe5 17. g6 Qxg6 18. Qc4 1-0

                              Part of a game (before a plethora of inaccuracies ruined it):
                              1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 Nf6 4. dxe5 Nxe4 5. Qd5 Nc5 6. Bg5 Qd7 7. exd6 Qxd6 8. Nc3 Qxd5 9. Nxd5 +/=

                              Keeping the pawns on the board is my choice really. If black so chooses, he can take them off and go into regular Philidor lines (I like to go for Qxd4) and be on the defensive until hell freezes over.

                              Oh, something else. Fritz is terrible at naming openings.
                              agreed. Nice post.
                              fritz terrible at naming openings, oh yeah!!! lol
                              Even bullets fear the brave

                              Comment

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