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20 Feb 2018

A36 Symmetrical English vs ...g6: 4. Bg2 Bg7 (1.c4 c5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.g3 g6 4.Bg2 Bg7)

A36 Symmetrical English vs ...g6: 4. Bg2 Bg7 (1.c4 c5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.g3 g6 4.Bg2 Bg7)

For this game my reference database did not seem to work as intended in ChessBase 12, it did not show the amount of games for the first moves, not sure why that was the case, so I am using the LiveBook for this game instead. The move 1.c4 appears in 127948 games with the average performance of the move 56%. The average Elos of the players in the games used is 2440. 1.c4 is the 4th most commonly seen move, only behind the moves 1.e4 (808553 games, result 54%, Elo-average 2422), 1.d4 (662131 games, result 55%, Elo-average 2438) and 1.Nf3 (191956 games, result 55%, Elo-average 2438). According to the LiveBook, the reply 1...c5 (15734 games, result 56%, Elo-average 2426) was the 4th most popular move to play. More popular were 1...Nf6 (36075 games, result 57%, Elo-average 2415), 1...e5 (27446 games, result 53%, Elo-average 2432) and 1...e6 (19057 games, result 56%, Elo-average 2429). The second move by my opponent, 2.Nc3 (4532 games, result 52%, Elo-average 2410) was the second most played move. The most played move was 2.Nf3 (22343 games, result 56%, Elo-average 2454).

I then played 2...Nc6 (2280 games, result 54%, Elo-average 2402), which was also the second most played move. The most played move was 2...Nf6 (4773 games, result 57%, Elo-average 2417). The game continued with the 2nd most popular move, 3.g3 (1565 games, result 54%, Elo-average 2405). Much more often in that position, the move 3.Nf3 (5248 games, result 55%, Elo-average 2457), was seen. After 3.g3 I played 3...g6 (1513 games, result 53%, Elo-average 2407), which was the most often played move. As the next move was the very natural 4.Bg2 (2801 games, result 53%, Elo-advantage 2410), it is not surprising that it is also the most commonly seen move in the position. Same is true with the next move, 4...Bg7 (6671 games, result 51%, Elo-average 2427).

The 5th move by my opponent was the rarely seen 5.f4 (6 games, result 42%, Elo-average). It is the 10th most played move. More popularly played moves have been 5.Nf3 (5188 games, result 49%, Elo-average 2409), 5.a3 (1588 games, result 53%, Elo-average 2435), 5.e3 (1354 games, result 49%, Elo-average 2411), 5.e4 (862 games, result 44%, Elo-average 2354), 5.d3 (766 games, result 53%, Elo-average 2415), 5.Rb1 (111 games, result 54%, Elo-average 2418), 5.b3 (94 games, result 51%, Elo-average 2454), 5.Nh3 (31 games, result 50%, Elo-average 2407) and 5.h4 (12 games, result 67%, Elo-average 2387). The next move, 5.e6 (2 games, result 50%, Elo-average 2402), was the second most played move, but only barely. Slightly more often seen move is 5...d6 (3 games, result 67%, Elo-average 2439). The next move, 6.Nf3 (2 games, result 0%, Elo-average 2365), shared the most often played move status with 6.e4 (2 games, result 50%, Elo-average 2295). Also the two replies, 6...Nge7 (2 games, result 0%, Elo-average 2372) and 6...d6 (2 games, result 50%, Elo-average 2375) shared that same status. It does say in the notation that the move 7.e4 is a novelty, but the LiveBook has one game featuring that move, with a result of 50% and Elo of the player who played the move 2330. The other move that had been played in that position is 7.O-O (2 games, result 25%, Elo-average 2430). In that one game, the player controlling the black pieces played 7...d6 (result 0%, Elo-average 2330).

[Event "Live Chess"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2016.07.18"] [Round "?"] [White "Kojjootti"] [Black "Vierjoki, Timo"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A36"] [WhiteElo "1713"] [BlackElo "1806"] [Annotator "Stockfish 9 64 POPCNT (30s)"] [PlyCount "89"] [EventDate "2016.??.??"] 1. c4 c5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. g3 g6 4. Bg2 Bg7 {A36 Symmetrical English vs ...g6: 4. Bg2 Bg7} 5. f4 e6 6. Nf3 (6. d3 Nge7 7. e4 O-O 8. Nf3 d5 9. O-O dxc4 10. dxc4 Bxc3 11. bxc3 Qxd1 12. Rxd1 b6 13. g4 Ba6 14. f5 gxf5 15. exf5 Bxc4 16. f6 Nd5 17. Nd2 Be2 18. Re1 Bxg4 19. c4 Ndb4 20. Re3 Bf5 {Vokac,M (2480)-Navara,D (2479) Kunzak 2001 1/2-1/2 (49)}) 6... Nge7 7. e4 $146 (7. O-O O-O (7... d5 8. cxd5 exd5 9. d3 d4 10. Ne4 b6 11. Qa4 O-O 12. Bd2 Bd7 13. Qc2 Nd5 14. Rac1 Re8 15. Rfe1 Bf5 16. Nh4 Bc8 17. Kh1 h6 18. Bf1 f5 19. Nf2 Kh7 20. Ng2 Bb7 21. Kg1 Qf6 22. Nd1 {Mayer,H (1900)-Moeller,D (1985) Berlin 2016 0-1}) 8. Rb1 (8. e4 d6 9. Kh1 a6 10. a3 Rb8 11. Rb1 b5 12. cxb5 axb5 13. d3 b4 14. axb4 Nxb4 15. Be3 Ba6 16. Ne1 Rc8 17. Rf2 d5 18. exd5 exd5 19. Na4 d4 20. Bd2 Nxd3 21. Nxd3 Bxd3 22. Rc1 Qd6 {Martin Salguero,D (1828)-Homs Jimenez,P (1722) Santa Eulalia de Roncana 2015 0-1 (32)}) 8... Rb8 9. b3 a6 10. Bb2 b5 11. cxb5 axb5 12. Ne4 Bxb2 13. Rxb2 Qb6 14. Kh1 d5 15. Nf6+ Kg7 16. Ng4 Nf5 17. Nfe5 Nxe5 18. Nxe5 f6 19. Nf3 Nd6 20. e3 Bb7 21. Rb1 Rbc8 {Stefan,E-Proorocu,D Sovata 2002 1/2-1/2}) (7. O-O O-O $15) 7... d5 (7... O-O 8. O-O $11) 8. cxd5 exd5 9. e5 {This push gains space} (9. d3 $11) 9... Bf5 (9... Bg4 10. h3 Bxf3 11. Qxf3 $17) 10. a3 $4 { White is ruining his position} (10. d4 c4 11. O-O Rb8 $11) 10... a6 (10... d4 11. Na4 c4 $15) 11. O-O O-O (11... Bd3 12. Rf2 $11) 12. Re1 (12. d4 c4 $11) 12... b5 (12... Qb6 13. d3 $11) 13. d3 {Consolidates e4} (13. d4 c4 $11) 13... Rb8 (13... Qb6 14. h3 $11) 14. Nh4 (14. d4 c4 $11) 14... Be6 15. g4 (15. Ne2 $11) 15... d4 {Black threatens to win material: d4xc3} (15... Nd4 $142 $5 16. h3 Nec6 $15) 16. Ne4 $11 {White threatens to win material: Ne4xc5} Nd5 17. g5 { White wins space} Qb6 $2 (17... Ne3 $142 $5 {is worth looking at} 18. Bxe3 dxe3 19. Rxe3 Nd4 $11) 18. Nf6+ $16 Nxf6 $4 {leads to further unpleasantness} (18... Bxf6 19. gxf6 Ne3 $18) 19. exf6 $18 ({Less advisable is} 19. gxf6 Rfe8 20. f5 Bxf5 21. Nxf5 gxf5 $18) 19... Bh8 (19... Rbe8 {cannot undo what has already been done} 20. fxg7 Kxg7 21. Bd2 $18) 20. Qf3 Na5 (20... Bd7 {cannot change destiny} 21. f5 Rbe8 22. Rxe8 Bxe8 23. Qd5 $18) 21. f5 Bd7 22. fxg6 (22. Nxg6 { might be the shorter path} hxg6 23. fxg6 fxg6 24. Qd5+ Rf7 $18) 22... hxg6 23. Bf4 Bc6 24. Qg3 Ra8 (24... Bxg2 {does not help much} 25. Bxb8 Qxb8 26. Qxg2 $18 ) 25. Bd6 (25. Bc7 $142 {makes it even easier for White} Qb7 26. Re7 Bxg2 27. Bxa5 $18 (27. Qxg2 $6 Qxg2+ 28. Kxg2 Nc6 $18)) 25... Rfe8 (25... Bxg2 {is not much help} 26. Bxf8 Rxf8 27. Qxg2 $18) 26. Be7 (26. Rxe8+ Rxe8 27. Nxg6 fxg6 28. Rf1 $18) 26... Bxg2 27. Qxg2 (27. Nxg2 Nc6 28. Qd6 Rac8 $18) 27... c4 ( 27... Qb7 {doesn't do any good} 28. Re4 Rxe7 29. Rxe7 Qxg2+ 30. Kxg2 c4 $18) 28. Rf1 (28. Nxg6 Bg7 29. Qh3 c3 30. fxg7 fxg6 31. Bf8 Re3 32. Qh8+ Kf7 33. g8=Q+ Ke8 34. Qgg7 Rxe1+ 35. Rxe1+ Qe6 36. Bb4#) 28... cxd3 $4 {Black falls apart.} (28... Qc6 $142 29. Qg3 Rxe7 30. fxe7 Re8 $18) 29. Nxg6 $1 $18 { Mate attack} fxg6 30. f7+ Kg7 31. fxe8=Q (31. Qh3 Qf6 32. Rxf6 d2 33. Qh6#) 31... Rxe8 32. Bf6+ (32. Rae1 Qc6 33. Qf2 Qd5 34. Bf6+ Kf7 35. Qxd4 Qg2+ 36. Kxg2 Re2+ 37. Rxe2 dxe2 38. Qd7+ Kf8 39. Qe7+ Kg8 40. Qe8+ Kh7 41. Qxh8#) 32... Kg8 33. Bxh8 (33. Rae1 Qc6 34. Qh3 Re2 35. Qxh8+ Kf7 36. Bxd4+ Ke6 37. Qg8+ Ke7 38. Rxe2+ dxe2 39. Qg7+ Kd6 40. Qe5+ Kd7 41. Rf7+ Kd8 42. Qe7+ Kc8 43. Rf8+ Qe8 44. Rxe8#) 33... Kxh8 (33... Qe6 {the only chance to get some counterplay} 34. Bxd4 Qe4 $18) 34. Qh3+ Kg8 35. Qh6 (35. Rf7 Kxf7 36. Qd7+ Re7 37. Rf1+ Kg8 38. Qxe7 Qb8 39. Qe6+ Kg7 40. Rf7+ Kh8 41. Qf6+ Kg8 42. Qg7#) 35... d2 (35... Qe6 36. Rae1 Qxe1 37. Qxg6+ Kh8 38. Qh6+ Kg8 39. Qg6+ Kh8 40. Qh5+ Kg7 41. Qf7+ Kh8 42. Rxe1 Rxe1+ 43. Kg2 d2 44. Qf6+ Kh7 45. g6+ Kh6 46. g7+ Kh7 47. Qh4+ Kxg7 48. Qxd4+ Kf7 49. Qxd2 Re6 50. Qxa5 Rg6+ 51. Kf3 Rf6+ 52. Kg4 Rg6+ 53. Kh5 Re6 $18) 36. Rad1 (36. Rf6 Qxf6 37. gxf6 Kf7 38. Qg7+ Ke6 39. f7 Rd8 40. Qg8 Rxg8 41. fxg8=Q+ Ke5 42. Qe8+ Kd5 43. Qd8+ Kc4 44. Qxa5 b4 45. Qxb4+ Kd5 46. Qxd2 d3 47. Re1 a5 48. Qxd3+ Kc6 49. Rc1+ Kb7 50. Qd6 a4 51. Rc7+ Kb8 52. Qd8#) 36... d3+ $19 37. Kg2 Re2+ 38. Kg3 Qc7+ (38... Qd6+ 39. Rf4 Re3+ 40. Kg2 Qd5+ 41. Kf1 Qh1+ 42. Kf2 Re2+ 43. Kg3 Qg2+ 44. Kh4 Qxh2+ 45. Kg4 Rg2+ 46. Kf3 Rf2+ 47. Ke4 Qxf4+ 48. Kd5 Qc4+ 49. Kd6 Nb7+ 50. Kd7 Rf7+ 51. Ke8 Qe4#) 39. Rf4 Re4 (39... Re3+ 40. Kg2 Qc6+ 41. Kg1 Re1+ 42. Rf1 Qc5+ 43. Kg2 Re2+ 44. Kg3 Qe5+ 45. Rf4 Re3+ 46. Kg2 Qd5+ 47. Kf1 Qh1+ 48. Kf2 Re2+ 49. Kg3 Qg2+ 50. Kh4 Qxh2+ 51. Kg4 Rg2+ 52. Kf3 Rf2+ 53. Ke4 Qxf4+ 54. Kd5 Qc4+ 55. Kd6 Nb7+ 56. Kd7 Rf7+ 57. Ke8 Qe6#) 40. Qxg6+ Kh8 41. Qxe4 Qc2 (41... Nc6 {doesn't get the cat off the tree} 42. Qe8+ Kg7 43. Rxd2 Ne7 44. Qf7+ Kh8 45. Rxd3 Nf5+ 46. Qxf5 Kg7 47. Rd7+ Qxd7 48. Qxd7+ Kg8 49. Qf7+ Kh8 50. Rh4#) 42. Qe5+ (42. Qe8+ Kg7 43. Qf7+ Kh8 44. Rh4#) 42... Kh7 (42... Kg8 {doesn't improve anything} 43. Qe8+ Kh7 44. Qf7+ Kh8 45. Rh4#) 43. Rf7+ Kg6 44. Qf6+ Kh5 45. Rh7# 1-0

Here are three of the latest and highest rated games that were found in my reference database.

[Event "Tata Steel-B 80th"] [Site "Wijk aan Zee"] [Date "2018.01.16"] [Round "4"] [White "Gordievsky, Dmitry"] [Black "Krasenkow, Michal"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "A36"] [WhiteElo "2622"] [BlackElo "2671"] [PlyCount "142"] [EventDate "2018.01.13"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "13"] [EventCountry "NED"] [EventCategory "15"] [SourceTitle "Mega2018 Update 15"] [Source "Chessbase"] [SourceDate "2018.02.02"] 1. c4 c5 2. g3 g6 3. Bg2 Bg7 4. Nc3 Nc6 5. d3 e6 6. e4 Nge7 7. Nge2 O-O 8. O-O d6 9. Rb1 b6 10. a3 Bb7 11. b4 Nd4 12. Be3 Qd7 13. Qd2 Nxe2+ 14. Nxe2 cxb4 15. axb4 d5 16. Qa2 Rfd8 17. Rfc1 Nc6 18. Bg5 Re8 19. cxd5 exd5 20. exd5 Ne7 21. Nf4 Qd6 22. Re1 Nf5 23. Rxe8+ Rxe8 24. Qxa7 Ba8 25. Qa4 Kf8 26. Nh3 Bxd5 27. Bf4 Qd8 28. Bc7 Qxc7 29. Bxd5 Nd4 30. Kg2 Rd8 31. Qa2 Qd7 32. Be4 Nb5 33. Rc1 Nd4 34. Qc4 Bh6 35. Ra1 f5 36. Ba8 Kg7 37. b5 Rc8 38. Ra7 Qxa7 39. Qxd4+ Kf7 40. Bd5+ Ke8 41. Bc6+ Kf7 42. Nf4 Qe7 43. Bd5+ Ke8 44. Bc6+ Kf7 45. Nd5 Qd8 46. Qc4 Kg7 47. Qd4+ Kf7 48. Qc4 Kg7 49. h4 Kh8 50. Qd4+ Bg7 51. Qxb6 Qxb6 52. Nxb6 Rd8 53. Nd5 Bd4 54. Nf4 Rd6 55. Kf3 Kg7 56. Ke2 h6 57. Nd5 g5 58. h5 Kf7 59. f3 Re6+ 60. Kd2 Bf2 61. g4 fxg4 62. fxg4 Bd4 63. Kc2 Re2+ 64. Kb3 Ke6 65. Kc4 Ke5 66. Nb4 Re1 67. Be4 Rc1+ 68. Kb3 Rc3+ 69. Ka4 Bc5 70. b6 Bxb6 71. Nd5 Rxd3 1/2-1/2 [Event "PRO League Stage"] [Site "chess.com INT"] [Date "2018.01.18"] [Round "1"] [White "Shimanov, Aleksandr"] [Black "Lenderman, Aleksandr"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "A37"] [WhiteElo "2641"] [BlackElo "2611"] [PlyCount "140"] [EventDate "2018.01.18"] [EventType "team-swiss (rapid)"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "USA"] [SourceTitle "Mega2018 Update 14"] [Source "Chessbase"] [SourceDate "2018.01.26"] [WhiteTeam "Webster Windmills"] [BlackTeam "Montclair Sopranos"] [WhiteTeamCountry "USA"] [BlackTeamCountry "USA"] 1. c4 c5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. g3 g6 4. Bg2 Bg7 5. Nf3 d6 6. a3 Nf6 7. Rb1 O-O 8. b4 b6 9. O-O Bb7 10. d3 Qd7 11. e3 Rfd8 12. Qe2 Rac8 13. b5 Ne5 14. Nxe5 dxe5 15. Bxb7 Qxb7 16. e4 e6 17. Bg5 h6 18. Be3 Rd7 19. a4 Rcd8 20. Rfd1 Ne8 21. a5 f5 22. f3 Rd6 23. Na4 Qd7 24. axb6 axb6 25. Nxc5 bxc5 26. Bxc5 Bf8 27. Bf2 Rd4 28. b6 Bc5 29. Rb5 Qc6 30. b7 Rb8 31. exf5 Nd6 32. Qxe5 Qxf3 33. Rf1 Qxf5 34. Rxc5 Qxe5 35. Rxe5 Rxd3 36. c5 Nxb7 37. Rb1 Rdd8 38. Rxe6 Nxc5 39. Rxg6+ Kh7 40. Rxb8 Rxb8 41. Rc6 Ne4 42. Be3 Rb1+ 43. Bc1 Ng5 44. h4 Nf7 45. Kg2 h5 46. Bf4 Rb5 47. Kf3 Ne5+ 48. Bxe5 Rxe5 49. Kf4 Ra5 50. Re6 Kg7 51. Re5 Ra4+ 52. Re4 Ra5 53. Re6 Rb5 54. Re5 Rb4+ 55. Kf5 Rb3 56. Kg5 Rxg3+ 57. Kxh5 Ra3 58. Re7+ Kg8 59. Re6 Kg7 60. Rg6+ Kh7 61. Rg5 Ra4 62. Re5 Ra6 63. Re7+ Kg8 64. Kg5 Rb6 65. h5 Ra6 66. Re5 Rb6 67. Rf5 Ra6 68. Rf6 Rxf6 69. Kxf6 Kh7 70. h6 Kxh6 1/2-1/2 [Event "PRO League Stage"] [Site "chess.com INT"] [Date "2018.01.18"] [Round "1"] [White "Iturrizaga Bonelli, Eduardo"] [Black "Saric, Ivan"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A36"] [WhiteElo "2650"] [BlackElo "2664"] [PlyCount "60"] [EventDate "2018.01.18"] [EventType "team-swiss (rapid)"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "USA"] [SourceTitle "Mega2018 Update 14"] [Source "Chessbase"] [SourceDate "2018.01.26"] [WhiteTeam "Miami Champions"] [BlackTeam "Montreal Chessbrahs"] [WhiteTeamCountry "USA"] [BlackTeamCountry "CAN"] 1. c4 g6 2. Nc3 Bg7 3. g3 c5 4. Bg2 Nc6 5. Nh3 d6 6. Nf4 Nf6 7. a3 h5 8. h4 O-O 9. e3 Bg4 10. Qa4 Bd7 11. Qc2 Rb8 12. Rb1 Ne5 13. d3 Bc6 14. e4 a6 15. b4 b5 16. cxb5 axb5 17. O-O e6 18. Rd1 Qe7 19. Bb2 Nfg4 20. Qe2 Qa7 21. Rbc1 Rfc8 22. Nb1 Ba8 23. Nc3 Nxf2 24. Nxb5 Rxb5 25. Kxf2 cxb4+ 26. d4 Rxc1 27. Rxc1 Ng4+ 28. Kf1 Rb8 29. axb4 Bxd4 30. Ra1 Qb6 0-1