-3

In the below position, black is about to play 1... Bf5, developing the bishop to eventually play Nd7-Nb6.

a) Is 2. Nh4 a threat?

b) In the game Karpov-Kasparov, White played 2. 0-0 (after 1... Bf5) Nd7 3. h3 Nb6 4. g4 Bd7. Should Karpov have played 2. h3 instead?

rnb1r1k1/pp3pbp/6p1/q1pP4/8/2P1BN2/P2QBPPP/2R1K2R b K - 2 13
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a) Is 2. Nh4 a threat?

No, because black can play 2. .. Be4 which makes the knight on h4 look a bit silly. Note that 3. f3 does not work because of 3. ... Bxd5 and if 4. Qxd5 Rxe3

b) In the game Karpov-Kasparov, White played 2. 0-0 (after 1... Bf5) Nd7 3. h3 Nb6 4. g4 Bd7. Should Karpov have played 2. h3 instead?

Probably it would lead to the same position since white will certainly want to castle sooner or later and black does not have many alternatives either.

Why do you think Karpov should have played 2. h3?

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  • First, 2. Nh4 Be4 3. c4 Qxd2 4. Kxd2. Secondly, 2. h3 with the threat of 3. g4, which prevents 2... Nd7. – Jossie Calderon Oct 20 '17 at 20:16
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    @JossieCalderon: First 4. ...Bf6 should save the bishop on e4 from being caught. Secondly: How does 2. h3 prevent 2...Nd7? After 3. g4 black can still play 3...Be4, no? – user1583209 Oct 20 '17 at 23:57
  • Yeah, then White has won the bishop pair. How has this improved Black's position? And secondly, 4. 0-0 and White has no complications. – Jossie Calderon Oct 21 '17 at 1:20
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    Firstly, I have no idea why this answer was downvoted to begin with. Secondly, @JossieCalderon, 1...Bf5 2.h3 Nd7 3.g4?! Be4 4.0-0 c4! and suddenly white finds it awkward to deal with the threat of ...Bxd5, since 5.Bxc4?? just drops the knight on f3. And note that if white instead goes 4.c4 then black just trades queens: 4...Qxd2+ 5.Kxd2 b5!, and white's king is left quite exposed. This is why 0-0 has to be played before the push g2-g4: white wants to answer ...Be4 with c4, and wants to recapture on d2 with the knight. – Scounged Oct 21 '17 at 13:03
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Of course it is absolutely playable -- Kasparov played it against Karpov! 2...h3 doesn't improve for White as the comments have noted. As for Nh4 -- you are misplacing the Knight, besides Be4, Black could even play Bd7-b5.

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  • Just because a grandmaster plays a move against another grandmaster does not mean it is playable. Anand played 26. a4?? in a game against Carlsen. – Jossie Calderon Oct 22 '17 at 0:28
  • These aren't just 2 GMs, they are two world champions at the top of their games. Sure, even the best blunder, but this position is likely still in Kasparov's preparation. – Ywapom Oct 22 '17 at 0:44
  • Check out the No True Scotsman's Fallacy. – Jossie Calderon Oct 23 '17 at 4:32
  • @JossieCalderon Not sure what this answer has to do with the No True Scotsman's Fallacy. Are you sure that you're not referring to the Appeal to Authority Fallacy, which I'd agree this answer is an example of. – Scounged Oct 23 '17 at 18:14
  • @Scounged Originally Ywapom appealed to authority when he implied this move is playable because a grandmaster played it. Then the No True Scotsman fallacy was invoked when he mentioned these weren't just any grandmasters - these were world champions! – Jossie Calderon Oct 24 '17 at 0:58

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