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punkusmartyrus 53 ( +1 | -1 )
Pre-empitive Pawn? this usually arises out of the giuoco piano for me, but it probably applies to other openings as well. "Pre-empitive pawn" is ...a6, a4 as white or a3, ...a5 as black. I use it to prevent the bishop endangering b pawn threat.

my question is that does anyone know if this is a bad reply for the middle game, endgame, or at all?

board #2491501 <-only completed game example of "pre-empitive pawn" that I had. this scenario demostrates, as black atleast, in move 8 what I am referring to.
i_play_slowly 37 ( +1 | -1 )
Get physical The best way to pre-empt your opponent's plan is to aim for the jugular; the best defense is a good offense. In this case, no death blows are immediately available, but perhaps 8...Be6 9.Bxe6 fxe6 10.Na4 Bb6 11.b4 Qe7 would have been a more aggressive approach. If there simply are no aggressive options, I have seen moves like 8...a5 apear in some of the classic games.
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punkusmartyrus 53 ( +1 | -1 )
classic... "8...Be6 9.Bxe6 fxe6 10.Na4 Bb6 11.b4 Qe7" must be above my level because I don't understand it's reasoning. I only had 2 or so opponenets play it against me w/ zero success. I see it as 8...Be6 9.Bxe6 fxe6 leaves me w/ a doubled pawn and possibly a bad bishop while 10.Na4 Bb6 sets me up for another potential doubled pawn w/ 11.Nxb6 ...a/cxb6, and ...Qe7 seems like a purposeless/wasted move also. ...d5 seems like a better substitute for ...Qe7.

I'm not saying it's a bad variation I just don't understand fully it's reasoning or benefits and would love for someone to elaborate on why it's superior or even considerable...
jjw109 88 ( +1 | -1 )
aggressiveness Seems to me that the first part of the line given by i_play_slowly is reasonable, that being 8. ... Be6 9. Bxe6 fxe6. It clears white's light-squared bishop off of a dangerous diagonal to the black king, and opens a half file for black's f-rook. The doubled pawn gives good central protection and allows for some later options.

But where's the "aggressiveness" in 11. ... Qe7? 11. ... Nd4 seems better and more aggressive. Also for white 10. b4 looks like a reasonable substitute for Na4. By the way, punkusmartyrus , though I don't like 11. ... Qe7 too much, 11. ... d5 is not the greatest, as 12. Bb2 puts added pressure on the now-weakened e5 pawn.

I actually find that your "pre-emptive" pawn push of a5 is not so bad. You are throwing out a challenge, and it hampers white's Q-side plans. It's an aggressive defensive move!

punkusmartyrus 14 ( +1 | -1 )
insightful I understand/appreciate 8 ...Be6 9. Bxe6 fxe6 now.
I won't risk ...d5 anymore and I'll keep searching for aggressive defensive moves:) double thanx to you both.
i_play_slowly 61 ( +1 | -1 )
epilogue 8...Be6 9. Bxe6 fxe6 seems to work for the reasons that jjw109 suggests. After that point in the variation, my suggestion indeed falls into error. But all's well that ends well, and your resolve to "keep searching for aggressive defensive moves" does sound like a very happy ending.
One important point that comes out of the discussion is that doubled pawns are not necessarilly a bad thing, per se. The question is: can you get them to work for you? If they open a line for your pieces, and/or increase your control of a vital area of the board, then they may be worthwhile.