I just wanted to mention that there are some good reasons avoid playing h3. One of the main reasons to avoid playing h3 is that it gives your opponent a 'hook' to help open your kingside. When all your pawns are on the 2nd rank, black has to make 3 moves in order to get a pawn in contact with them. If you play a3, now they only need to make 2.
Alternatively, your opponent might try a Trojan Horse attack when your pawn is on h3. You think you're controlling g4, but it might be more risky to take a piece on that square than you think! Related, if you try to push the bishop again with g4, watch out for attacks where they sacrifice a knight for two pawns. Next, every pawn push weakens a square. We know this is always true, but sometimes it's hard to keep in mind.
In this case, the square you weaken when you push h3 is g3. Lastly, having already pushed a3 can actually be a liability in the endgame. For one thing, it reduces your flexibility. Having a pawn on the 2nd rank means you have a piece that can move either 1 or 2 squares.
This is actually a powerful resources that can help you force your opponent into zugzwang. White can choose whether to play a3 or a4 here. If white plays a4, black can take opposition and the position is drawn. However, white still has the option to play a3 first. Now black is stuck. No pawns can be pushed, and if black takes opposition here, white still has a4 in reserve. The idea of reserve tempo is very useful in ending positions and it's nice to not give it up if you don't have to.
For another example of why it's useful to have options, take a look at these positions below. In the first position, white hasn't pushed either pawn, and gets to choose how to contact black's pawn mass. In the second position, white has played h3, which means they cannot control the contact, allowing black to win:. All of this isn't to say you should never play h3.
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Like everything in chess, all advice comes with the 'it depends' caveat. Sometimes you want to play h3 to gain luft, prepare g4, trap a piece, etc. It's not an inherently bad move. Similarly, there are some endings where you will be glad you have advanced pawns. The main reason why h3 doesn't help as much in those cases is because it doesn't actually save you a move later since you can play h2-h4 in a single move anyway.
Anyway, I'm no pro, but my coach has talked a lot about the advantages of not spuriously pushing pawns.
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So when you want to kick a bishop to break a pin, you always have to balance the impact of the pin vs. Other people talked about the pin, but these are some concrete risks you take on when you play h3. I looked at everything you sent here. It happens so often I played a couple games and it came up. I lost one but then I played a on Lichess, he was black. He did Bb5. Uhh it's pretty damn common to have the bishop pin the knight, at all levels. I dont know what you're talking about when you say it isn't common for GMs. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 with The main line of the Ruy Lopez features pins and corner pawn moves.
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What should always come to your mind is trying to figure out how to take advantage of your bishop pair. If your opponent pins your knight against the king on b4, you should try to claim the bishop by playing a3, then b4.
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If you do this, the bishop will have to either capture on c3, thereby strengthening your center, or it will have to go all the way back to d6, c5, or e7. No one likes having to retreat pieces without gaining anything, so most will rather trade it off.
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Just to add to what has already been said and based on your original question about Bb4 specifically, Qc2 is a super common move in queen's pawn games. For example, see the Capablanca variation of the Nimzo Indian, which allows Bb4, but prevents the doubling of pawns at the cost of some time.
https://chnemintibackti.ml You say on the black side GMs don't tend to play Bb4 much when given the option, but I think they do. A good rule of thumb is to consider if the pinned Knight is needed to defend a center square.
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If not, the pin is pretty useless and you need not prevent it. White plays h3 because he wants to play d4, and, if he played d4 directly Bg4 would be annoying.
Actually there is a line where White does just that, but it comes to not too much. There are some games in the the NY tournament with that system; it is old. Compare that to some very beginner-y play. In this case, it is probably 4 Ng5, not a later Bg5, that Black is concerned to prevent, but the idea is the same: the move need not be prevented, since Nf6 4 Ng5 d5 is fine for Black if they know what they are doing , and In one case, the preventative h3 served a clear purpose.
In the other, it was a useless gesture to prevent a ghost threat. Every player struggles with this early on; getting more experience helps. Regaining the Pawn immediately was not as important as generating active piece play. He began playing in chess tournaments at age 10 when his father started playing in them himself but retired after five years, taking two decades off until returning to chess as an adult at age 35 in order to continue improving where he left off. He is dedicated to the process of continual improvement, and is fascinated by the practical psychology and philosophy of human competition and personal self-mastery.
Franklin has a blog about software development, The Conscientious Programmer and a personal blog where he writes about everything else, including his recent journey as an adult improver in playing music. View all posts by Franklin Chen. The first missed opportunity The first poor choice for White was when he failed to open up the center and unleash the power of the fianchettoed Bishop on g2 at no risk. The second missed opportunity The second poor choice was subtle, occurring after White had given Black an opportunity to win the h3 Pawn with 13…Qxh3.
Nc3 Nf6 3. Bg2 Nb6 6. Nf3 Nc6 7. O-O Be7 8. Be3 Bg4 Nxd4 Nxd4 Bxf3 Qxh3 Nc5 Bxc5
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