|RonB52734: Here's a lesson in not overrating the results of the Opening Explorer.|
From this position in the Opening Explorer after 1.c4. e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.g3 Bb4 4.Bg2 O-O 5.e4 Bxc3 6.bxc3 c6 7.Qb3 Na6 8.Ba3:
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OE tells us that there are two games with 8...Re8, and black won both. So you would think that, playing 8...Re8, black has a great game. (Of course, it isn't possible to say that after 8 moves and 1 piece trade, black has a forced win. But let's make that mental error and see what happens...)
<Incidentally, the two games are S Steindorsson vs Timman, 2000 and
Kharlov vs S Volkov, 2006, which contains a very nice commentary by User: shr0pshire).>
So, black plays 8...Re8, and white's only response in the database (in four games now -- we're picking up some transpositions) is 9.Ne2. When that is played, Opening Explorer now tells us that there are two white wins, two draws, and three black wins (more transpositions).
However, 9...b6 has only one black win and one draw, so let's play that.
Now we have Opening Explorer with two games: V Tarasova vs E Sedina, 2005 where 10.d3 led to a draw, and our old friend S Steindorsson vs Timman, 2000, where 10.O-O led to a black win. In other words (again making the error of over-interpreting OE) white is now in a position to force a draw with move 10, even after black at move 8 was in a position to force a black win, and this without any error in black's play.
The lesson? Don't blindly follow OE, lest a later transposition come up and fork you.
Footnote: The two games with 8...Re8 that are linked above are not identical even at move 1! (Black's first two moves are inverted).