Large Atomic openings study

Babies and gentlemen. Studying theory makes sense.

For a while I'm considering what I call 𝐠𝐢𝐮𝐨𝐜𝐨 𝐩𝐢𝐚𝐧𝐨 against two knights attack.

This is sit on your hands and play moves like f6, c6, e6, g6 and ask white: now what? How are you going to crush me, I have no immediate weakness or entry point? This kind of play at very deep level is of course sick. I analyzed this to great extent with Stockfish, and it can make moves that slowly undermine black. So I'm not claiming that this defense works in the theoretical sense. Stockfish for example will simply play Nh4, targeting the pawn on g6 and then good luck with any development on the king side. Stockfish will grind you down in a matter of 20 - 30 moves let's say. But there is no 5 moves evident way of attaining any visible advantage or attack as happens with more agressive lines in the two knights, where black gets into contact and immediate complications with Nh6, d5, f5 etc.

However this kind of tactic may annoy your opponent who may try to go for something impatient seeing that you play so passive.

This is exactly what happened in this game:

@handywebprojects This is not very original, tbh, ask @sutcunuri , but you should know (as you actually played that) that after 6. d5 black is objectively falling down in this line with no "slow undermining" happening, but in contrast in a crazy tactical mess where we mere mortals can easily blunder of course for white, but I think it's only the matter of preparation.

After 6. e4, it is completely playable for black but white has 6. d5! as Wolfram_EP mentioned

I even messed up my own theory in this game, because it is g6 first , then e6. I believe if you first play g6 on d4, then there is no quick collapse. Certainly d5 then is not a collapse.

I'm interested what do you think on this line: (I resigned a bit prematurely because I'm blind and don't see that after Qf6 Qxg6 white only gets a perpetual, but never mind, the final position is lost if white knows just a bit of theory, and all my moves except for the natural 6... Bxf3? were the best) I met it earlier when I knew almost no theory (as you can see by the top game in the database), but decided back then it's just a tricky sideline which doesn't require any attention. Now the problem is that the moves which don't lead to immediate destruction are 6... Qa5 & 6... e6 of which first was never played, the second was played once in a <2000 game, and in both lines white wins the queen for a couple of pieces forcefully with only space as compensation... I will analyze it soon and say some opinion myself, but for now I'm just sharing this for considerations, because this line looks important if you want to defend with 2... c6.


Just by making quick analysis board moves my assessment is:

- this would work against a low rated player

- this may work against a high rated player once if you are lucky, but for the second time they will look into it and you may have problems

- in the theoretical sense it is weak, the engine knows what to do with the bishop pair and a knight against a queen, at certain junctures eval even drops to minuses, I would be very surprised if white had anything objectively here ( may be even black can cause a surprise )

@Wolfram_EP I've looked at this line in depth, and I've determined that it's playable for black although there is one difficult line. I like 6...Qa5 personally. After 6. Qa5 if the immediate Bxg8 then e5 and black is going to win the piece back with compensation. If dxe5 then black's d pawn pushes through. If the immediate b4 then Qa3 still with the idea of e5. In many of these lines black gets two minor pieces for a rook, which is at least slight advantage black.

The move 7. Bg5 gives white a slight edge, but nothing killer like in the 4. e4 bg4 and 4. e4 Nh6 lines. If 7. Bg5 then 7... Nf6 8. e4 Qb4 seems OK for black, but still advantage white. 8. e4 is really the only way to continue for any advantage. The move 8. a3 might be a try, but it's slight advantage white at best.

The main move is definitely 7. Bc7 after which I can't see anything other than 7...e5. The main moves for white here in my opinion are e pawn moves, exd4 from black and then Bxa5 or Bxa5 immediately, then exd4 then an e pawn move leading to basically the same position. At the moment, to me this seems to be the critical position

Interestingly stockfish doesn't seem to rate e4 which is the only sensible alternative (unless you want to let black's bishop enter the position, which is concrete compensation). The idea being that after e4 black follows up with Na6 and queenside castling, and white starts to look under developed with a potentially open center and g6 Bh6 coming. Stockfish is hovering around 0 at 30+ depths.

I think after 10. Bd3 black should follow the same plan of castling queenside as quick as possible. Black's king will be safe behind the wall of queenside pawns for the time being. As for the at least +2 eval, I think this may be another case of stockfish misevaluating piece imbalances. I think three pieces vs queen and pawn is at least even for the pieces.

I refuted 1. Nf3 f6 2. e4 d5 3. Nc3 Bg4 4. d4 Na6 5. Nb5 Nb4 6. Nxc7 Rc8 7. Bb5+ Kd8 8. O-O dxe4 9. Qf3 e5 10. Bd7 Rc6. Because there is immediate 11. Kh1! and white wins. It seems this move removes a lot of threats related to taking on f2, so all black calculations built on these collapse.

However there is 10..Rc4. Then after mind boggling complcations we have this endgame. Running the engine on this position to large depth is not conclusive. It seems that white bishop cannot approach the rook without the rook exploding it by capturing a pawn.

@lishadowapps Sorry, noticed your post only now. In the position on your diagram white cannot move Bd2 right now, because of the mate threat, but this becomes a thing after 16. f3. After 16... a5 17. Bd2 a4 18. Bxc3 a3 the position is dead winning - white blocks the pawn on a1 with the rook, then pushes the pawns on the queenside forcing to give up the bishop and block the pawn with the king, then uses the zugzwang to promote the pawn. If black doesn't allow for Bxc3, then white can go c4 and the pawns look too strong. Rxc2 doesn't help as well, because bishop vs rook with passers must be a win for the rook provided it is not blocked by the passer in a very awkward way. There is little hope for pawnitization as well because of the passer. I don't understand how are you going to defend this position. Seems humanly winning for me - the only thing white can mess up is blundering 16... Bf1 17. g3 Rf3 & mate.