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snake_man 70 ( +1 | -1 )
Damiano's Defence 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 f6 Am I missing something? What is the reason that black plays this defense? Ive had more than one person try this defense with me and after 3. Nxe5 fxe5 (which is what has always been played against me) 4. Qh5+ one can see that black is in real trouble. I have seen no book or no website that recommends this as a viable option (in fact most recommend AGAINST it), but yet people still play it. Is there some advantage Im missing with it, or is it just played because it is innocent looking enough and a slight break from the 2... Nc6 typical play?

If anyone who has used this against me reads this, my intention is not to offend or anger, and if I did, I apologize.
anaxagoras 15 ( +1 | -1 )
3...fxe5 may be the move you're used to seeing, but it's obviously not the best. Black can do better with 3...Qe7 4 Nf3 Qxe4 5 Be2+/-, though his position is less than enviable.
snake_man 20 ( +1 | -1 )
Right I agree, so even with the better move of 3...Qe7, black still has a loss of development to deal with with no discernable advantages. So is there any value at all in playing this defence?
soikins 60 ( +1 | -1 )
Damiano Of course the 2. ... f6 is a mistake, but...
As one expert once told me -- it is a bad move, but it can be played. He told me how one strong player implemented it against him in a blitz game and got a decent position. Reason is simple -- whit "knows" that after Nxe5 he is clearly better, but if black has analysed the position, he knows it better, knows traps and so on. Plus -- white relaxes after a move like 2. ... f6, cause he thinks that the point is already his.
So one might try this move in a blitz game sometime, but in serios game, or even in correspondence I think it is a blunder. In correspondence it might be even a losing move.
More: Chess
jedrek13 19 ( +1 | -1 )
Damiano In my opinion the move is bad, but... read very good artictle about it:
tyekanyk 60 ( +1 | -1 )
....... I can give you a book refernce on the Damiano, namely The Art of Attacking, not sure about the name though, written by Tal's trainer, his name also eludes now. The point I'm trying to make is that he gives a variation with which White can win a full rook, in a forced maner after Black plays 2...fxe5. I've played this variation several times, and always obtained a crushing attack in very few moves, albeit against weaker opponents. The variation with which they tried to keep the rook on h8 by playing Ke7 is in my opinion lost. The attack is just to strong.
soikins 89 ( +1 | -1 )
tyekanyk Your opinion justifies 2. ... f6, because that is the sort of attitude that loses for white. Take a look at the article posted by jedrek13.
When white believes that he is winning by force, he is in danger to lose. When one sees position that arises in the main variation (a position he has never analysed in his life, cause it is seemingly winning), he is of the opinion that he should take a litle think in win by tactical means. A tactical shot that wins a pice or something like that. But there is none. You get a positional advantage that objectively gives decent chances for a win, but that is it. Nothing more. And there is the psychological basis of blacks wins. White tries to find a forced win when there is none. When whites idea fails, position is equal, but white doesn't recognize this, he pushes and loses.
peppe_l 14 ( +1 | -1 )
To me 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 f6 3.Nxe5 fxe5 4.Qh5+ Ke7 5.Qxe5+ Kf7 6.Bc4+ d5 (6...Kg6 7.Qf5+ Kh6 8.h4! wins) 7.Bxd5+ Kg6 8.h4! looks pretty much forced...? At least I cannot see how Black can save himself.

soikins 35 ( +1 | -1 )
right, peppe 8. h4! is indeed correct. The line is in the books. But I would like to see how one finds it in OTB on a short tim control.
And what about 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 f6? 3. Nf3! Qe7? -- Find a refutation in a blitz game.
I don't want to say that 2. ... f6 is a good or even fine move. I just want to say that it has it's merits that should not be ignored. Mainly practical merits based on opponents psychological weaknesses.
bucklehead 22 ( +1 | -1 )
3. ... fxe5 is not forced As mentioned by anaxagoras, above. MCO recommends 3. ... Qe7, whereafter 4. Nf3 d5 5. d3 dxe4 6. dxe4 with slight advantage to white. 3. ... fxe5 may look natural, but it ain't right.
peppe_l 7 ( +1 | -1 )
IMO 8.h4! is not so difficult to find, but I agree after 3...Qe7 the game is far from over.
tyekanyk 47 ( +1 | -1 )
Ok for all you non-believers the guy's name is Koblentz and the variation goes like this: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 f6 3.Nxe5 fxe5?? (+-) 4.Qh5+ Ke7 5.Qxe5+ Kf7 6.Bc4+ d5 (forced, otherwise Black gets mated with Qf5) 7.Bxd5+ Kg6 8.h4! h6 9.Bb7! Bd6 (Black cannot play Bxb7 on account of Qf5++) 10.Qa5 with a decisive advantage for White. Note that the only true alternatives that Black has are on move 3(Qe7) and on move 4(g6) of which only the first is partially playable as the latter loses even faster. Hope everyone is conviced for now.
atrifix 43 ( +1 | -1 )
Sure Not everyone will find the correct refutation, given a short time control and the relative playing strength of the opposition. But, well, I don't know anyone who would want to play an opening that more or less loses by force, or at the very (absolute) best leaves White with a +/- advantage. That's enough for me to find the refutation once and then never look at Damiano's Defense again.
soikins 130 ( +1 | -1 )
Shure You are right atrifix and so are you tyekanyk, white has a big advantage after fxe if he knows the line. But ask yourself -- did you know the line by heart before this post came about? I didn't. I had seen it, but I had forgoten it. I'm not shure, but in a blitz game... Tell me would you calculate the forced line before h4? Would you find Bxb7? I doubt that I would. Of course Demiano is "mistake strategy" -- playing in hope for opponents mistake. Of course there are plenty of better moves to play. But look at the variations after 3. Qe7. Analyse them, they ask for concrete decisions from the opponent. Good for blitz. Opponent will see the position after blacks third move for the first time in his life. Good for you, Your opponent will think that he is winning anbd if you know that he has a tendency for overconfidence or that he is an opening dogmatic (who's face expression tells everything he thinks of you after your second move), it's a bonus to you. Significant bonuses for a weak 2. move. There are a lot of ways how to play chess. It is a game. Sometimes you need to bluff and gamble.
Objectively 2. f6 sux, thought. I would play it only to make fun of my opponent :)
tyekanyk 33 ( +1 | -1 )
got another line for you It is the Phillidor another one of those opening that is dismised as +=/+- for White. The line goes like this: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 Nd7 4.Bc4 h6 (this actually losses by force but how many players could find the refutation OTB?) I was going to give the refutation but changed my mind. Instead I'm challenging you to find it for me. It would be really easy if had the book, but you probably don't.
soikins 45 ( +1 | -1 )
He... I used to play Philidor as black...
My first impressions (not looking at the board, just "seeing" the position blindfolded:
Black loses time. A hit on f7 should decide. The only question is, when to hit... For example: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 Nd7 4.Bc4 h6 5. dxe dxe (5. ... Nxe5 6. Nxe5 dxe5 7. Qxd8+ Kxd8 8. Bxf7 wins at least a pawn) Bxf7+! 6.Kxf7 Nxe5+ and whites attack should be decisive, not shure how, thought. Can't "see" without the board. Or maybe there is something better?
soikins 101 ( +1 | -1 )
haven't found yet I think I'm on the right track. It is pretty complicated, took a lot of time, but haven't checked all the lines, maybe there are some defences for black that I don't see.
The real fun starts only after the line I gave above, it's a great way to train the tactical skills. My main line goes like this:
7. Nxe5+ Kf6 8. Nc3! (this move was very hard to find, I looked at Qd4 and Qd5, but couldn't find the win there maybe it is there and I just don't see it. King seemed to escape via d8. I decided that white needs another piece in the attack, and black king has to be driven to the center) 8. ... Kxe5 (what else?) 9. Qd5+ Kf6 10. Qf5+ Ke7 11. Nd5+ Kd6 12. Bf4+ Kc6 13.Qe6+ Bd6 (this all seems forced) 14. Nb4+ Kb5 (if 14. ... Kb6 then 15. Bxd6 cxd 16.Qxd6+ Ka5 17. Nd5 and I don't see how can black escape the mate on b4; if 14. ... Kc5 then 15. a4! Kxb4 16. Bd2+ Kc5 17. Qd5+ Kb6 18. Qb5#) 15. a4+! Ka5 (15. ... Kxb4 16. Bd2+ Kc5 17. Qd5+ Kb6 18. Qb5#) 16. Qc4! (Silent move was hard to find, but I think Bd2 or Qd5 also wins) 16. ... c6 (or a6 -- makes no difference) 17. Nd5! followed by Bd2 and mate on b4.
tyekanyk please point out if I have missed something. This was really entertaining. :)
bucklehead 139 ( +1 | -1 )
Entertaining, sure But from my standpoint (that of a parent with two young children), I have to ask myself, "is this the best use of my chess time?" I mean, so far we are dealing with two inferior black positions which the average player will probably never see OTB, still less in correspondence. If someone hits me with Damiano's Defense and I don't remember the correct tactical line, and if time is ticking down, I can always play positionally with Bc4 and content myself with that advantage. If a Philidor player comes at me with something like the odd 4. ...h6, then I will probably still see the attacking line with Bxf7 because against the Philidor you're always watching for the opportunity to stick it to black in the center. And if I don't see it, it's not that difficult for me, as white, to hold the center and make serious trouble for my opponent.

There are always tactical opportunities that go unnoticed or underappreciated... if the lines we're discussing in here are to have any real value for us, we should use them as tools to refamiliarize ourselves with basic tactical motifs (such as the Bxf7 strike) that we can apply elsewhere. But I see no real value in sitting down and preparing the "killer" line in anticipation of the unlikely event that my opponent does something really bone-headed.

PS--Though no one asked for my opinion, I believe the Philidor is dead outside the exciting confines of the Albin-Blackburne Gambit (1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 Bg4 4 dxe5 Nd7)

tyekanyk 34 ( +1 | -1 )
soikins You got it right! Too bad there isn't any prize for your effort.
As for bucklehead's statement, why play something inferior when with a minimum of home analisys you can can win against quirky openings right on the spot. This is what GM do all the time, lines like this may lie dormint for years before they're used against an unsuspecting opponent.
soikins 79 ( +1 | -1 )
IMO This is not about preparation agains a certain variation. It was fun to look for tactics in that line. White sacrifices 2 pieces for 2 pawns. It was like playing a 19th century game. Like solving a fascinating combination from it. Do you want to say that this is not good for ones chess abilities? It certainly is.
On more point -- is chess about winning an OTB game? Why there are so many people who compose chess problems, and problems in some chess related games (laike fairytale chess) that one will never be able to use in an OTB game? It is not about the result, it's about the challange itself, about the game, if u wish.
Of course there is no point in preparing against Demiano and that is the main reason why Demiano is playable for black in a blitz game. :)
julianlore 16 ( +1 | -1 )
Damiano of Odemira village was a portuguese player of XV Century who demonstrate that f6 is a very bad move. So wasn't a defense that he could recomend 500 years a go!!