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Subject: the budapest defense

Hi guys.
I really love playing the black side of the budapest. It seems to give black a nice game, I feel. It looks cool and it's fun.
At the last otb tournament I played a friend laughed when I showed him I played this opening in a previous round, saying, "hasn't that been basically refuted?"
I dared him then to play d4 Nf6 c4 against me next time we play ;)

though i haven't seen an all out refutation of the budapest, i know it isn't seen as a solid opening for black. what are white's strongest plans to beat it?
i'm interested in this because i'll be playing at least one (and maybe two) games against strong players who play d4 nf6 c4, and i want to know if there's anything especially to look out for. is there anything particularly popular played against it these days? or is it just seen as so bad that most people ignore theory and win games easily anyway? haha.

I've been wondering whether i should go my normal route:
d4nf6c4e5dxe5ng4nf3nc6bf4bb4+ etc...

or try something different with

also, is keeping both bishops on the board black's best bet in most variations? i know if nc3 comes without a pin white can sometimes attack Qe7 and c7 at the same time, with lots of pressure.

i'd be pleased to see answers to any or all of these questions.
more to come too.... i have lots of worries, and other ideas about the budapest that i haven't mentioned yet. but i still feel very good about the opening in general and hope to continue using it.



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i like 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e5 3 dxe5 Ng4 4 e4 Nxe5 5 f4 Nec6 6 Be3 Bb4+ 7 Nc3 Qh4+ 8 g3 Bxc3 9 bxc3 Qe7 Bd3 Na6, with pretty equal chances for both sides, but i'm not very good. take this for what it's worth!



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howabout you use the space bar on your keyboard, and then we can talk.



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Both of the variations you mention are playable (i.e either Bc5 or Bb4+), and the Budapest defense is not 'refuted'. What is inferior about the Budapest defense is that Black runs around with the Knight and sometimes lacks enough central influence (think *pawn center*), but these faults are small enough for the opening to be entirely playable at the amateur level (and above too).

One thing you didn't mention is 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e5 3 dxe5 Ng4 4 Nf3 Nc6 5 Bg5 Be7 6 Bxe7 Qxe7 7 Nc3, though Black should be ok.

If you castle early and get your d pawn out to d6 and then d5 you will have a good game.



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1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e5 3.dxe5 Ng4 4.Nf3 Nc6 (I think I would always play 4...Bc5 here, but of course white can just play 4.Bf4 himself) 5.Bf4 Bb4+ 6.Nc3 can be quite tricky for black (but also very risky for white), if white knows what he was doing. There was even a claim by former cc-WC Berliner that this variation refutes the Budapest (quite possibly his variations are even quite strong on this occasion).
The 6.Nbd2 variations offer white some small space advantage and a chance for queenside play without too much risk.



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I'm particularly a fan of the Fajarowicz variation of the Budapest. It arises after 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e5 3.dxe5 Ne4.
Take a look at this MT and perhaps you'll find some games or ideas that will interest you.

Regards, Martin.



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thanks :) i've been thinking about that variation as well.... and i've been wanting to print off tim harding's kibitzer article on it, but my printer doesn't work.

i haven't looked at it much at all yet, though. maybe soon.
i think i may have played it in one of my gameknot games here not long ago, just for fun.

for bonsai.... i think that against 4.Bb4 i would play 4...b5.
but i'm not sure.
i've been thinking about this line also, that comes from the main line i guess? >>>

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e5 3.dxe5 Ng4 4.Bb4 Nc6 5.Nf3 Bb4+ 6.Nbd2 (Nc3 can be played too...) Qe7 7.a3 (or e3? in most games i play e3 is played....) 7...Ngxe5 8.Nxe5 Nxe5 9.e3 (Bxe5 simplifies too much and leaves black with very ok position right?) 9...Bc5!?
retaining the bishop instead of exchanging it. i think it's an ok move. i looked at it once and it seemed ok. i hope i'm getting the move order right here.



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1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e5 3.dxe5 Ng4 4.Bb4 Nc6 5.Nf3 Bb4+ 6.Nbd2 Qe7 7.a3 Ngxe5
8.Nxe5 Nxe5 9.e3 Bc5!?

Here I thought that you were joking, since
10.b4 seems to give white a huge advantage. However, In this line, Black can keep an extra pair of pieces on at the cost of a few tempos and yeilding a slight advantage to white.
10...Bd4! the typical Nf3# and Nd3# threats start to appear.
11.Ra2!? (11.Rc1) 0-0 12.Be2 [12.exd4?? Nd3#] d6 and now Black can retreat the bishop on d4 to b6 without fearing c5.
Its just a way of trying to make the line work, in any case, Black dosent have the typical sacrificial attacking opportunities - White has a slight advantage +=.

I think people are underestimating this active defence, world champions have played it on numerous occasions - Botvinnik - Kasparov - Euwe.
I think such less known yet fighting openings do very well becuase players dont expect them and arent familiar with the typical ideas (...Nxf2, ...g3) Club players are occupied learning from the modern play and ideas from Gm's in the Sicilian and Ruy Lopez - Using my recent tournament experience, I would say that average players are starting to play systems such as the open sicilian at the standard of Masters and IM's, only their tactical ability lets them down somewhat.



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[I think Bd6 is another option (however strange-looking) for Black on move 10. but not as strong as 10...Bd4]

That's a big trend in other openings as well, yeah. I think I rely too much on openings in general, and on ensuring a comfortable position after about 10 moves. To make sure I don't lose any initiative, I need to become stronger tactically - to see the board quicker and more clearly.
Here's a tournament game I played this morning where I felt great after my opening, but at move 20 everything came apart. I'm sure there are a lot of problems with my game here. I'm not aware of all of them. My big problems are that I can't see the board clearly during the game, and I don't feel like analyzing the game by myself afterwards to figure out everything that was happening....

Note: don't be discouraged that the game is 36 moves. if you play the first 20 moves, you will see that white obtains a winning advantage by then.

White: opponent Black: me

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e5
a budapest.... :)

3.dxe5 Ng4 4.Bf4 Nc6 5.Nf3 Bb4+ 6.Nc3 Qe7 7.Qd5 f6 8.exf6
After the game my opponent suggested 8.e6. I think it's probably better, but I'm not sure.

8...Nxf6 (Qxf6 might be better here. I didn't like the looks of 9.Bd2, though, and White might have an even better 9th move than that)

9.Qd3 d6 10.e3 Ne5 11.Qc2 o-o 12.Bg3 Qf6 (12...Rxf3 looks like it could be good to me, and then 13. gxf3 Nd4 and so on. With the move I played, I actually figured I was winning the b-pawn! and worse: i didn't realize i was leaving my knight undefended at e5. if the rook fork hadn't been there, i'd have been down a full piece. The fork is there though, luckily. So Qf6 isn't so bad)

13.Rc1 Bf5 14.Bd3 Rad8 15.o-o Bxc3 16.bxc3 Nc5
(i was trying to decide between this move and Nxg3 for a long time)

17.Bxf5 Qxf5 18.Qxf5 Rxf5 19.Nd4 Rff8
(i wanted to have both rooks on the 8th so i could play Rg8 if my opponent decided to play 20.Nxc6. maybe there is a better move?)

(this wins a pawn.... and probably the entire game for white. there are a lot of threats there. the bishop at g3 becomes very strong)

(the rest of the game i felt pretty down and out, but i thought i'd fight on for a while)

21.Nxc7 Rd8 22.Rfd1 Ne5 23.Nc6 Nxg3 24.bxg3 Nxc5 25.Nxd8 Rxd8 26.Rd4 Rc8 27.Rb1 Nb6 28.Rb3 Kf7 29.a4 Kd6 30.a5 Nd5 31.Rxb7 Nxc3 32.Kh2 Rc5 33.Rxa7 Nb5 34.Rd4+ 35.Kd5 35.Re7 Nc7 36.Rd4+ Kc6 37.a6 Nxa6 38.Rxg7



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"I would say that average players are starting to play systems such as the open sicilian at the standard of Masters and IM's, only their tactical ability lets them down somewhat."

But as we know, average player + Master level openings = average player :-)

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