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Cyrus Lakdawala First published in 2010 by Gloucester Publishers plc (formerly Everyman Publishers plc), Northburgh House, 10 Northburgh Street, London EC1V OAT Copyright © 2010 Cyrus Lakdawala The right of Cyrus Lakdawala to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted in accordance with the Copyrights, Designs and Patents Act 1988. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored ina retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, electrostatic, magnetic tape, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior permission of the publisher. British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library. ISBN: 978 1 85744 639 5 Distributed in North America by The Globe Pequot Press, P.O Box 480, 246 Goose Lane, Guilford, CT 06437-0480. All other sales enquiries should be directed to Everyman Chess, Northburgh House, 10 Northburgh Street, London EC1V OAT tel: 020 7253 7887 fax: 020 7490 3708 email: info@everymanchess.com; website: www.everymanchess.com Everyman is the registered trade mark of Random House Inc. and is used in this work under licence from Random House Inc. Everyman Chess Series Chief advisor: Byron Jacobs Commissioning editor: John Emms Assistant editor: Richard Palliser Typeset and edited by First Rank Publishing, Brighton. Cover design by Horatio Monteverde. Printed and bound in Great Britain by Clays, Bungay, Suffolk. wwmInaunpuwne Rb ° Bibliography Introduction 1...d5 with an early...e6 1...d5 without an early ...e6 London versus Queen’s Indian London versus Griinfeld London versus Reversed Réti London versus King’s Indian London versus Dutch London versus Benoni Other Lines An Inconvenient Move Order Index of Variations Index of Games 10 40 75 107 132 153 178 198 213 230 246 252 Bibliography Books Beating the Anti-King’s Indians, Joe Gallagher (Batsford 1996) Dealing with d4 Deviations, John Cox (Everyman Chess 2005) Fighting the Anti-King’s Indians, Yelena Dembo (Everyman Chess 2008) Starting Out: d-pawn Attacks, Richard Palliser (Everyman Chess 2008) Understanding the King’s Indian, Mikhail Golubev (Gambit 2006) Win with the London System, Sverre Johnsen and Viatko Kovacevic (Gambit 2005) Databases/Websites Mega Database 2010 (ChessBase) www.chesspublishing.com (annotations from Eric Prié and Aaron Summerscale) What is the London System? The London System is one of the safest and most solid methods of handling the White pieces. Basically, we play a Slav a move up, erecting a pawn wall on c3, d4 and e3, and developing a bishop to f4. We don’t care how Black sets up. Our structure is preordained and takes on all comers. Don't get fooled by the solidity. This isn’t just an opening for the chicken-hearted. From my experience, most Londons begin slowly and then erupt in a clash down the road, often ending with a mating attack for White. The opening may be used as your main line or as a targeted, occasional weapon. Unlike mainstream openings such as the Sicilian Najdorf and Ruy Lopez, there is no need to tediously memorize lines. Memorization really only works when our opponents cooperate and play the theoretical recommendations. Let’s say you get to move 14 and the opponent plays 14...a6!?. In a panic you think to yourself: “Um ... my book only covered 14..Bc8 and 14..fd7. Now what am | supposed to do?” When | was younger | often found myself stranded in such situations. The Lon- don doesn’t work this way. We rely on our understanding of the structure. Whatever the opponent throws at us, we are ready. The London is for dream- ers, not mathematicians. You are pretty much safe from computer-prep from the opponent. The best way to study the London is to just play through the games and reflect on their themes. After playing the London for awhile, you grow more experienced than your opponent in the lines. Let’s say you previously opened a chess game with 1 d4 and 2 c4. You face an opponent who teplies with Benko Gambit. Black will probably have more experience in the Play the London System Benko than you do. But switch to a london: 1 d4 Afé 2 Df3 c5 3 c3!. The Benko player has not faced this very often and you are the odds-on favour- ite to understand the positions better. Our goal is not to go for a += with White. Experienced players understand that chess is essentially a series of bat- tles in a greater war. The opening is just one battle. We position ourselves to outplay the opponents in the mid- dlegames and endings arising from the London. We don’t mind an equal posi- tion where we navigate the waters bet- ter than our confused opponents due to our superior understanding of the tLondon/Slav structures. But with that said, it's amazing how often an edge can be extracted from this opening, as would be expected from a pedigree line like a Ruy Lopez. | targeted the book for the typical club player rated anywhere between 1400 and 2000 but if you happen to be higher or lower rated than that range, I'm hoping you will still walk away with something valuable from the book. Early Champions of the London The London was first championed by two 19th Century players, Joseph Henry Blackburn from England, and James Mason from Ireland. Blackburn espe- cially used the London as an attacking weapon. Let's take a look at one of his games in which he uses the London System to great effect: Game 1 J.Blackburne-M.Harmonist Breslau 1889 1 AF3 d5 2 dq Dfe 3 Aha Here we go! One of the first Londons gets a glorious start. 3...e6 4 e3 2e7 5 &d3 0-01? Maybe Black should wait before committing his king. 6 Dbd2 b6 7 Aes &b7 8 WF3! c5 9 C3 bd7 10 Wh3! Now g4 is in the air. 10...e8 10..c4 11 &c2 b5 12 0-0 He8 13 Ddf3 Dxes 14 Dxes h6 15 f3 LF8 16 Haei a5 17 g4! g5 18 293 27 19 f4 &c8 20 fxg5 hxgS 21 Exfo! Wxf6 22 Wh7+ 8 23 Bf1 1-0 Tu Hoang Thong- Pham Hoa, Hanoi 2009. How little things change in 120 years! 11 Adf3 Threatening Axf7 followed by Ags+. 11...De4 Black’s position is already critical. For example, 11...h6 12 g4! looks scary. 12 Dxd7 Wxd7 13 Des Wd8 14 f3 DFE 15 Dea 15 g4. 96 16 £5 is also very favour- able for White. 15...g6 Introduction 15..h6 16 &xh6! gxh6 17 Wxh6 wins. 16 2b5! Ad7 If 16.88, 17 2h6 picks off an ex- change. 17 Dh6+ &g7 18 Dxf7! And Harmonist got fried! 18...2h4+ 18...exf7 19 Wxh7+ leads to mate in five moves. 19 &g3 dxf7 20 &xh4 Wc8 21 2¢3 gs 22 0-0 a6 23 2d3 23 &xd7! Wxd7 24 £e5 doesn’t of- fer Black much hope either. 23...€5 24 Kae Wc6 25 e4 cxd4 26 exd5 ‘We8 27 cxd4 &xd5 28 dxe5 We5+ 29 Sf2 We7 30 f4 2xa2 31 &h4 Wg7 32 Rc2 HacB 33 2b3+ Sxb3 34 Wxb3+ h8 35 Xda h6 36 Wh3 Sc7 37 Bde bh7 38 Bfda Afs 39 2f6 WF7 40 H6d3 We6 41 g4 bS 42 Wxh6+! 1-0 Sweet! What an auspicious begin- ning to our system. The London is more subtle than first appearances. Try and find the spots where Black went wrong. Play the London System Who Plays the London? (The Parable of Penguin and Gooster) In the 80's, my wife, Nancy, and | hada pair of dogs, Penguin and Gooster, who couldn't have been more dissimilar. Our Black Lab, Penguin, was the model good dog. She was in harmony with the universe and her virtues endless; she was obedient, mild mannered, eager to please, and on good terms with the neighbourhood cats. My students and the mail-carrier always received a friendly wag of the tail. Then there was Gooster, part Ger- man Shepherd, part Coyote. I'm sorry to have to report that Gooster was a bad dog. He flunked doggie training school, and constantly hatched plots to bite my students and the mail-carrier, and eat the neighbourhood cats. On a leash, Gooster reminded onlookers of a 5-year old on his first carnival bumper car tide. If | gave him the command to fetch, then in the style of Ghandian civil disobedience, Gooster would sit. Grandmasters Gata Kamsky and Bo- ris Grachev represent the Penguin school of the London. Always in har- mony with the position, they avoid early clashes and concenrtate on build- ing on their superior strategic and technical skills. Grandmasters Blatny and Miladino- vic are students of the Gooster school of the London. Constantly swimming upstream, they spoil for an early fight leaving mainstream opening theory in the dust. Their atonal interpretation of the London jars their opponents. You will probably fit into one of these schools of the London. The Anti-Londites As a Londoner, you become part of an oppressed minority in the chess world. Many past opponents have interpreted my opening choice of the London as an affront to chess itself and regard it as a defacement of the game. You don’t believe me? Exhibit A: An International Master tells me after repeated beatings he suf- fered from the London: “You are very much in touch with your feminine side, aren't you?” Now | wish | had to quick- ness of mind to quote some Klingon proverb back in his face like: “Revenge is a dish best served cold!” Sadly, my not-so-brilliant response was “Yes. | mean no!” Exhibit B: George, a student and fa- natical Londoner, whips an unsuspect- ing opponent with the London, only to teceive this tell: “You are a disgrace to White!” Like most Londoners of the Penguin school who hate confronta- tion, George froze, declining to re- spond. Maybe he can email the guy later if something clever and witty comes to mind! You see my point? This criticism of the opening should be sweet music to our ears. Nobody likes facing our sys- tem! Remember: We don’t owe our op- ponents entertainment. How the Book is Organized Play the London System is organized in games rather than analysis format. It’s a book you can pick up and begin on any chapter. It is written to be ab- sorbed and understood, not memo- rized, | didn’t necessarily go for big names in the choice for games, and instead looked for games with original ideas. The book was written as if the teadet were a student here at my house discussing lines of the London. There will be no Mr. Spock-like lectures. Also, | hope the reader can forgive my unabashed bias towards the opening. You will notice a horribly lopsided win tatio in White's favour with only a smattering of token draws for which Black must beg! Good luck playing the London. May you use it to frustrate future oppo- nents! Introduction Acknowledgements | am indebted to the following people for their kind help with this book: First, IM John Watson for suggest- ing that | write a book on the London System in a Chess FM interview we did last July. To my editor, GM John Emms, for leading me out of the wilderness of tangled lines. To my friend, Carrie Hein, for her suggestions with the introduction. To my wife and son, Nancy and Timothy, for their editing and techie work with my hateful and uncoopera- tive home computer. Finally, to my Dad for teaching me how to play chess 41 years ago. Cyrus Lakdawala, San Diego, June 2010 Chapter One 1...d5 with an Early ...e6 Chapter One deals with Black’s most common stance, which is ..d5 with ..€6. Players who prefer this setup as Black are usually at home in Queen's Gambit Declined positions. The divid- ing line is ...2d6 or ...2e7: 1. When they develop the bishop to d6 as in Prié-Flear (Game 4), Black in- tends the simple freeing break ..e5. You can actually allow this and hope to outplay your opponent in an equal but uniquely London/Slav position, but the only attempt at a theoretical advan- tage lies in preventing ...e5. White dis- tupts Black’s plan by planting a knight on eS. If Black exchanges the knight, we reply dxe5 and utilize the e5-pawn as a launching pad for our attack. If Black ignores the knight, we employ the plan of &g3 followed by f4 with a nice ver- sion of a Reversed Stonewall Dutch. 2. Here is the good news: If Black develops his bishop to e7 then we fol- 10 low the exact plan as when he plays id. Game2 C.Lakdawala-E.|lfeld Koltanowski Memorial, San Francisco 2000 | desperately needed to win this game to get my first IM norm. After studying my opponent's games, | real- ized he was very comfortable in wild tactical situations but less happy in more controlled, strategic games. The perfect opening choice: The London. 1 Df3 d5 2 d4e6 3 2f4 2d6 This is a no-nonsense approach by Black, who immediately challenges White's f4-bishop. Some of the ideas behind ...&d6 are: 1. The ability to capture a white knight if it lands on e5; 2. To swap bishops, White's pressure on e5; and 3. Perhaps to achieve the freeing break ...e5, freeing Black’s game. 4e3? reducing These days | usually play the alter- native 4 £93, daring Black to take and open the h-file. 4...DF6 The most accurate continuation is 4...S.xf4! 5 exf4 Wd6!. For example, 6 Wd2 (after 6 g3? Wba+ 7 Abd2 Wxb2 it’s doubtful whether White has com- pensation for the pawn) 6..e7 7 Aa3 0-0 8 c3 d7?! (8...b6 improves) 9 Abs! Wh6 10 a4! c6 11 a5 Wd8 12 Ad6 Afe 13 Dxc8 Dxc8 14 &d3 Ad6 15 0-0 We7 16 g3 cS?! (it’s a mistake to give White the da-square for his pieces; 16..b6! looks better) 17 dxc5! Wxc5 18 Ada gave White a pleasant edge in E.Prié- M.Saucey, Montpellier 2003: White controls d4 and has extra space. 5 Dbd2 2x4 6 exf4 Wd6 7 g3 0-0 8 d3 White has a tiny pull due to his grip on the e5-square. Y Wi g Y 8...b6! Black plans to eliminate his bad bishop via a6. 8...c5?7! is a strategic error which is punished by 9 dxc5! clearing d4 for a knight: 9...Wxc5 10 c3 and White fol- lows with 4b3, controlling both the d4- and the e5-squares. 9 We2 as! He insists. 10 0-0 £a6 11 Bacal Axd3 12 cxd3 The point of White’s 11th move. The doubled pawns are not weak and White exerts some pressure down the c-file. 12...¢5 13 Rez Da6 14 a3 Bac8 15 Bfca Wb8?! This may be a waste of time. The natural plan 15..B¢7 16 De5 Afc8 17 4 df3 looks better than the game con- tinuation. 16 Des Wb7 16...cxd4?? falls into a trap after 17 Dc6 Wh7 18 De7+!. 17 Ddf3 Dd7 18 Be3 Leaving open the possibility of Wc2, if the c-file opens. 11 18...Dxe5?! Why allow the white queen to enter the kingside? Black had two other pos- sibilities: a) 18...f6?! fails to equalize: 19 Axd7 Wxd7 20 dxc5 bxc5 (after 20...xc5?! 21 Hxc5 Axc5 22 d4 Deq 23 We2 White's total control of the c-file puts Black un- der pressure) 21 d4 Wd6 (if 21...c4?, 22 b3 wins a pawn) 22 b3 a4 23 dxc5 Excs 24 b4 Exc3 25 Hxc3. Despite his passed d-pawn, Black is in a bit of trouble here. The main problems are the defence of his weak a-pawn and White's control of the c-file. b) Probably Black should have kept his cool with 18...4c7!, with only a mi- crobe of an edge to White. 19 Wxes, Now Black must worry about f5. The black defenders are missing in action over on the queenside. 19...g6? This halts #5 for the moment but creates a larger problem of weak dark squares around the king. White begins a direct attack. 12 20 h4 h5 21 WF6! cxd4 22 Axd4 Uxc3 23 Bxc3 Acs | have a feeling my opponent in- tended 23...Rc8?? but then realized that White had the game-ending shot 24 Dxe6!, Despite the reduced material, White has a powerful attack after his next move. 24 gal Ripping his king position open, and mine too! The white king is totally se- cure despite the lack of pawn cover. 24...hxg4 25 h5 gxhS 26 Wg5+ Gh7 27 ba Removing a defender of e6, the key to White's attack. 27...axb4 28 axb4 aa 28...2d7? loses even faster after 29 Wxh5+ &g7 30 Wxg4+ h7 31 Wh5+ g8 (or 31.897 32 Df5+! exf5 33 Wg5+ @h7 34 d4! allowing the rook a deadly entry to h3) 32 @fs! exf5 33 Wg5+ &h7 34 dal. 29 f5! The f-pawn transforms into another attacker. 29...0g8 Black gets mated if he eats the rook: 29...2xc3?? 30 f6 Rg8 31 Wxhs mate. 30 Wxh5+ dg7 31 Wg5+ Paradoxically, Black's shields White's king. 31...2h7 If 31...f8, there follows 32 Wf6! Dxc3 (or 32..sbe8 33 Dxeo fxeo 34 Wxe6+ £f8 35 Ec8+ winning the queen) 33 Axe6+ #e8 34 Wd8 mate. 32 What More accurate than 32 WhS+ be- cause White watches the dark squares {6 and d8 from h4. 32...02g7 33 Bc6l g4-pawn Demolition or clearance of the e6- pawn is the quickest path to victory. 33...Ab2 Trying to get this poor guy back into the game, but it’s much too late. 34 Dxeb+! fxe6 35 Xxe6 1-0 Black gets mated shortly. Summary When Black plays ...@d6 and swaps bishops on f4, White retains a bind due to his control of e5. But in this game, | mistimed it as Black could have played .Wd6! double attacking f4 and the check on b4. This would have forced Wa2 with an equal position. A good point to remember is: It's always okay to play &g3 when faced with ...2d6, but leaving your bishop on 4 is only good if you are sure you can deal with the ...Wd6 double attack trick from Black. Game 3 JJMcKenna-J.MacRae Ron Banwell Memorial, ~- Coulsdon 2002 1.d4 d5 2 Af3 Dfe 3 Bf4 e6 43 2d6 5 £g3 White is happy to exchange the bishops, safe in the knowledge that this would open the h-file and restrict Black's castling options. 5... Deal? Black takes the dare and will allow White an open h-file in return for the 13 Play the London System bishop pair. In general, you should not be afraid of this idea. Most of the time the h-file outweighs Black's bishop pair in the resulting closed positions. 6 Abd2 Axg3 6...xd2?! is illogical and just wastes time for Black, who has moved his knight three times to trade on d2. 7 hxg3 Dd7?! White immediately seizes the initia- tive after this passive move. Alternatives for Black are: a) 7...0-07! 8 &2d3 h6 9 c4. c6 10 We2 4d7 11 0-0-0 followed by g4, with the faster attack. Players often underestimate White’s 14 attacking chances in such positions. Black’s bishop pair isn’t much of a con- solation. D) 7...b6 8 c3 C5 9 &d3 g6 (9...&a6?? 10 Bxa6 Dxa6 11 Wa4+ is a trick be- ginners occasionally fall for) 10 e4! 2b7 11 We2 Ad7 12 0-0-0l?. it’s still not clear where Black should place his king, and the centre is opening soon. Black looks uncomfortable. ¢) 7..c5! 8 c3 Dc6 9 2d3 hé! looked playable for Black in P Schulze- V.Skorpik, correspondence. 1996. The bishop pair may make up for his slightly insecure king situation. Black should at least stall kingside castling if he allows White an open h-file. Bea! Correctly opening the centre despite the opponent's bishop pair. 8 c4. may also give White the edge after 8...c6 9 Wc2 h6. 8...dxeq 8..b6 9 2d3 &b7 10 We2! retains White's advantage. 9 Dxeq 2e7 The game looks like a Rubinstein French gone sour for Black. 9...DF6 10 Rd3 Dxe4 11 Qxe4 h6 12 We2 c6 13 0-0-0 leaves Black cramped and without counterplay. 10 2.3 10...f5? This is strategic suicide. However, the thematic moves 10...c5 and 10...b6 also leave Black under pressure: a) 10..c5 11 dxc5 Axc5 12 Axc5 &xc5 13 We2 Wb6 14 c3 2d7 15 Des Hd8 16 0-0-0! and Black is in danger because there is no safe spot for his king. He can’t grab the f2-pawn either due to 16...&xf2?? 17 Dc4! Wcs 18 Bhs! 5.19 Exfs. b) 10..b6 11 &b5! 2b7 12 Des! Rxe4 13 &xd7+ SFB 14 Whs g6 15 Wh6+ &g8 16 Wa &F5 17 94 95 18 Wf3 2g6 19 Axgé hxg6 20 Hxh8+ Sxh8 21 Wrxf7! wins, since 21...Wxd7?? is met by 22 0-0-0 and it's mate down the h-file, ©) Black’s best defensive chance may be playing the position in Caro-Kann style with 10...c6! 11 We2 Wc7 12 0-0-0 h6l (an example of the underlying dangers facing Black is the line 12...b6? 1...45 with an Early ...e6 13 Degs! h6 14 Wexeé!! winning) 13 &b1 b6 14 g4!. White is clearly apply- ing pressure, but Black can stay in the game with ...&b7 and ...0-0-0. 11 Dc3 Dfe If Black chips away at White’s cen- tre, hoping to free his game a bit, he also opens the position while lagging in development: 11...c5?! (a certain rec- ipe for disaster) 12 dxcS! &xc5 13 We2 We7 14 0-0-0. Black has a real problem here. Where to put his king? It will not be safe on the kingside - White opens lines quickly with g4. He can’t hang around the centre much longer. And queenside castling also looks too far distant to accomplish. 12 We2 hag! Z The giant hole on e5 and the sickly e6-pawn add up to huge difficulties for Black. 12...€6 13 0-0-0 Ad5 14 Dxd5 cxd5 If 14...exd5?, 15 Hdea! Sf8 16 Des and Black is even worse off than in the game continuation. 15 De5 Bese?! Handing the opponent a tempo 15 Play the London System can’t be right. Sometimes it’s best to face a problem head on. Black should try 45...0-0!. This obvi- ously allows White a promising attack, but sometimes the best option in a bad situation is to pick the least-worst choice. 16 f4 26 17 2b5+ e7 18 g4 a6 19 Saal A far-sighted move. It looks like White is putting his bishop out of play, but he continues to control d7 and can always transfer the bishop back to b3 or C2 later. The real point of this move is that White plans on undermining d5, either with a future c4 or, as occurred in the game, g4 and gxfs, which de- flects the e6-pawn as a defender of d5. 19...8xe5 Desperation, but 19...g6 20 gxf5 gxf5 21 Hh6! &g7 22 Whs! Wg8 (22...2xh6?? 23 Wha+l dd6 24 Df7+ wins the queen) 23 Wg5+ dd6 24 Efe! &xf6 25 Wxf6 is also catastrophic for Black. 20 Wxes &f7 21 gxfs exfs 22 2b3 Le 23 Hdea Wd7 24 gal 16 Vs Ay White gets the pleasure of prying open Black’s king position twice with g4, courtesy of Black’s capture on g3 in the opening. 24...fxg4 25 £5? Getting a bit carried away. White can put his opponent away with the calmer 25 Zh5! which induces a critical weakness with 25...g6 26 Bh6! Had8 27 Beh, cracking the defence. Now 27...2g8?? is met by 28 Hxg6+. 25...5xf5 26 2xd5+? Natural moves are not always the best, and this one may allow Black to escape. After 26 Shf1! at the minimum White wins Black's queen: 26..8g6 27 xfs! Wxf5 28 Wd6+! &f7 (both 28.495 29 Bes and 28..WWf6 29 Ke6 cost Black his queen) 29 He7+ mates. 26... 282? Black misses 26...%g6! when sud- denly things are not so clear. 27 Bhf1 1-0 Summary Black faces serious king safety issues if he goes after the bishop on g3 with his knight and allows an open h-file. It’s playable but Black must defend very accurately for the next few moves or else his king may easily land in trouble. White can consider e4 at some point, steering the game towards a favour- able Rubinstein French. Game 4 E.Prié-G.Flear Narbonne Plage 2007 1d4d52.2f4 The preferred move order over 2 D3. Why? Well, with this move order you get 2...0f6 3 &f4 c5 4 c3 (or 4 e3 Ac6 5 c3 Wb6 6 Wb3) 4..Wb6 5 Wb3 Ac6 6 e3 c4! 7 We2 (the ending after 7 Wxb6 axb6 probably favours Black) 7...S5! forcing 8 Wc1. We cover this (or actually ways to avoid this!) in Chapter Ten. 2.06 3 e3 c5 4 c3 Acé 5 Ad2 e6 6 gts 2d6 7 2g3 0-08 Ld3 Bes Preparing the equalizing ...e5 break. 1...d5 with an Early ...e6 8...We7 is covered in the next game. 9De5 9 0-0 &xg3 10 hxg3 e5 11 dxe5S @xe5 12 Axes Exe5 is equal, but many London players who also play the Slav as Black may feel comfortable here too. Black’s d-pawn may become a target in the future. On the other hand, Black’s extra space may turn into an attack on the white king. 9.5, Otherwise, White builds his Stone- wall bind next with f4. 10 dxeS 2d7 11 Af3 | prefer this route. White keeps a safe edge with the bishop pair and the potential for dark square control in the future, but the London is an equal op- portunity opening. It’s also for those of us who like to gamble. Gamblers with an all-or-nothing streak may prefer 11 4!?, a high-risk venture involving the sacrifice of a pawn or two after 11...c4! 12 &c2 Wh6! (with a double attack on b2 and e3) 13 0-0 and now: a) 13..Wxe3+ 14 Shi gives White good compensation for the pawn. This 17 was played as early as 1906 in the game S.Renyi-M.Brody, in Gyor. b) 13...Wxb2 14 Hc1 may be the more critical line. Does White have enough compen- sation for a pawn? Probably, but you still need strong nerves to play this po- sition from either side: b1) 14..f5?! does give Black some space around his king, but it also opens lines for White's attack. 15 exf6 Axf6 16 &h4 gave White easy access to the black king in N.Mitkov-Y.Shulman, Bolingbrook 2005. b2) 14...c5! is a very logical sug- gestion from Prié. Black plans on gum- ming up the White attack a bit by plugging d3 with a knight. | want to hedge and tell the reader the position remains unclear, but | will be brave and go with my instincts which tell me White has a dangerous attack coming. Black’s knight landing on d3 doesn’t dissuade me from giving White the edge. The scary-looking pawn on es, in conjunction with the dark-squared bishop manoeuvring to h4 and perhaps 18 even f6, is looming. If White ever gets in Wh5 and lifts a rook via f3, it just looks like too many pieces in that sec- tor for Black to fend off. 11...a6 On 11..Wc7 12 0-0 h6 13 e4!, White's plan would be to build for the attack with Be1, Wd2, hq and Wf4. Alternatives to 12...h6 are worse: a) 12..adxe5?? 13 Axe5 Axes 14 Whs wins a piece. This is a useful tactic to remember. b) 12...g6?! (threatening to take the pawn on eS, but further weakening the dark squares) 13 &D5!. This eliminates an attacker of e5 and takes the heat off White’s e5-pawn. Meanwhile, Back is still burdened with chronic dark- squared weaknesses around his king. For example, 13...a6 14 &2xc6 bxc6 15 e4! Eb8 (or 15..dxe4? 16 Ag5 Bb8 17 Wad2 with a crushing attack on the dark squares) 16 b3 a5 17 Wd2 2a6 18 fea and the dark squares on the kingside are ripe for infiltration. 120-0b5 Blanketing the queenside with his pawns. Clearly the plan is to just sur- vive on the kingside and try to make something of his extra territory on the queenside. If 12...Wc7 13 e4 Black can’t touch the eS-pawn due to the same trap: 13..@dxe5?? 14 Dxes Axes 15 WhS. 13 agl? White follows one principle but breaks another. He opens the game for his bishop pair, but opening the queenside may benefit Black who has more space there. | generally don’t like to engage the opponent on his strong wing and would continue with something like 13 e4 &b7 14 exd5 exd5 15 Hel. The posi- tion resembles an Open Ruy Lopez where White has the bishop pair and some attacking chances on the king- side due to the cramping e5-pawn. Black’s compensation is his queenside pawn majority. 13...Kb8 Black is unlikely to survive after 13...c4? 14 axb5! Da7 15 &c2 Axbs 16 @dq Woe 17 Ha2 DfB 18 £4. The b2- 2.009 WIEN an curly ao pawn is well protected and Black has trouble making headway on the b-file. White’s attack on the other wing is far more potent. 14 axb5 axb5 15 We2 15...b4 Prié gives the line 15...Wb6 16 3fd1 a6 17 bl! cxb4 18 cxb4 Dxb4 (18...h6 19 Kab1) 19 &xh7+! &xh7 20 Dg5+ Sg6 (20.987? 21 Whs Af8 22 Wxf7+ Bh8 23 Bda) 21 Waa fs 22 exf6 Axfé 23 Wxb4 &xg5 24 Rxb8 Zxb8 25 Bxaé! (deflection!) 25...Wxa6 26 Wf4+ 96 27 Wxbs and White is winning. 16 cq Xb6! An interesting defensive move. If White tosses in cxd5 exd5, then the took on b6 helps with the defence of the kingside. Also, if White moves his a1-rook off the file, then perhaps ...2a6 may be possible. 17 Hfda g6r! This ends all sacrifices on h7 but weakens all the kingside dark squares. 17...b3! would have created some counterplay by opening access to b4 for the knight. 19 18 b3 2b7 19 hg Beginning the kingside attack. 19...We7l? Planning to fianchetto the queen! Black is in serious trouble. He hasn't made much headway on the queenside and White is beginning to roll towards the black king. 20 2f4 Wf8 21 h5 Wg7 22 he Ws 23 Wh2 Ha8 24 £e2 Hxa1 25 Bxaa dxc4 25..De7 26 Dh2! (eyeing £6) 26...dxc4 27 &xc4 Dds 28 Dg4 keeps a solid plus for White. 26 &xc4 De7 27 Wd2 WB 27..xf3 28 Wxd7 2d5 29 Hct &xc4 (if 29.207, White plays 30 Wd6) 30 Exc Ad5 31 295 Zb8 32 Wade puts c5 under the gun. 28 Edi 2c6 29 Dgs! Heading for dé at some point. 29.45 30 eq Refraining from 30 e4 because he wants to use that square for a piece instead of a pawn. But White keeps a clear advantage here too after 30..c3 31 Dxe6! Dxed! (Black gets mated after 20 31...Axd1? 32 Ags Ac3 33 &xf7+ Sh8 34 e6!) 32 Wd3! maintaining his domi- nation. 30...2b8 31 Dd6 WEB 32 e4 Ac3I? An alternative would be to elimi- nate the dark-squared menace with 32...Axf4 33 Wxf4 Ha8 34 Hd3 Abs 35 f3 Axca 36 Axc4 Ha7, and leave it up to White to try and make progress. 33 Se Ha8 34 We3 Sa2 35 th2 We7 36 We3 Abs 37 2gs Ws 38 Whal I like the way the queen slithers its way into the kingside via the dark squares. 38...a7 39 He3 White missed the opportunity of a nice deflection combination here with 39 Ha1!! Hd7 (the idea is 39...Rxa1? 40 e7!) 40 Bab Axc4 41 Excé DAxd6 42 exd6 and Black has no defence to £e7. 39...2xc4 40 Dxc4 Bd7 41 Ad6 Dbs! Good defensive play by Flear. He re- duces the attackers. 42 Dxb5 2xb5 43 Het 4 44 bxc4 Axa 45 We3 This position is very hard to assess. White is in essence a pawn down, But the opposite-coloured bishops come down in his favour. Perhaps it is dy- namically balanced here. 45...d3 46 He3 Virtually a draw offer. 46 Wf4 b3 47 &b1 also looks equal. Black can’t make anything of his extra pawn as long as the mate threats on g7 and the back rank exist. 46...0dql? An attempt to play for a win with the passed b-pawn, but Black underes- timates his opponent's attack. 46..Rxe3 47 Wxe3 b3 48 Wb6 Wes 49 Wb4 Wc8 would most likely be drawn. White's constant threats neu- tralize any attempt Black makes at queening the passed b-pawn. 47 Wha! Threatening 2e7! followed by Wf6. 47...Wb8? Some of the dangers facing Black if he gets too ambitious are shown in the line 47...2d7 48 Be1 b3 49 Hb1 Hb7 50 Bb2 Wa3?? (50...Wb8 is equal) 51 Hd2! 2.009 WIEN an carly ..eo 2b8 52 2e7! and White wins, since Wf6 follows. 48 £4? Missing an immediate win with 48 Se7! Wxes+ 49 fal. 48...2d7 Even after 48..f6 49 &xf6 b3 50 £e7! White wins: 50...We8 51 2d6! b2 (or 51...8xd6 52 exd6 b2 53 Het 2d3 54 Wf6) 52 Wf6! and Black's extra queen brings no benefit since White forces mate. 49 Se7 Bxe7 50 Wxe7 Wf8 Flear is forced to go into the ending, hoping his passed b-pawn will save him. Black’s weak back rank outweighs the passed b-pawn in the line 50...b3 51 He1 &d3 (or 51..b2 52 Bb1 £d3 53 wxb2! exploiting the back rank again) 52 Ed1 b2 53 Exd3 b1W 54 Wd8+ Wxd8 55 Hxd8 mate. 51 Wxf8+! White doesn’t try and become a hero by keeping queens on. The ending is hopeless for Black. 51...xf8 52 Her b3 53 Ecil Getting behind the passer. ae 53...2d3 54 Hc8+ e7 55 Xb8 Lc2 56 bg3 &d7 57 whal eae iA q frie With the awful threat of a king march to h7. 57.87 If 57...8e7, White wins with 58 &g5 d1 59 Bb7+ es 60 &f6. 58 Eb4 White simply sacs his rook for the b- pawn and promotes on the other side of the board. 58...0c6 59 Sgs Sc5 60 Hb8 wc4 61 BF6 2xeq 62 Sxf7 25 63 Sg7 wc3 64 g4! 2d3 65 g5! White will make a new queen. 65...b2 66 &xh7 b1W 67 Xxb1 &xb1 68 bg7 &d4 69 h7 Se3 70 hsW 2f5 71 ‘Wh2 1-0 Summary On move 11, you have a choice based on your own personal style and tour- nament situation: 1. The wild f4 double pawn sac line where you go all out for mate; or 2. The strategic Af3 line played by Prié in the game. 22 Game 5 E.Prié-D.Svetushkin French League 2009 14 Df6 2 Qf4 e6 3 e3 c5 403 Dcé 5 AF3 d5 6 Abd2 2d6 7 &g3 0-0 8 Rd3 We7 9 De5 Dd77! It’s hard to believe such a natural move can be deemed dubious, but strange things are possible in our Ry- bka and Fritz-powered world. GM Prié demonstrates a forcing line which puts Black on his heels. 10 “\xd7! Totally illogical and strong! White trades a piece he has moved three times for its counterpart which has only moved twice. This and White’s next few moves are an amazing dis- covery in the London. White basically makes four totally illogical moves in a row and gets a winning attack! Ah, the tmagic of computers! 10 £4?!, as played in B.Grachev- V.Zakhartsov, Pardubice 2007, looks tather loose. Black responded with 10...f6! with a nice game, since...e5 will soon follow. 10 h4l? was also unimpressive in E.Prié-T.Luther, European Union Cham- pionship 2007, but Prié did his home- work after that game. 10...2xd7? Amazingly, this is a mistake because the bishop on d7 will be en prise. Con- fused? Well, keep going and you will see. 10...Wxd7! seems to be Black's only move, after which 11 Whs5 f5 12 2f3 is in White’s favour, but Black is far better off here than what follows in the game. 11 2xd6l Nlogical move number 2! White swaps a bishop which has moved three times for a black bishop which has moved only once. 14...Wxd6 12 dxc5! Mlogical move number 3: now he gives up the pawn centre! 12...Wxe5 What is going on? Is White just grovelling for the draw versus a higher- rated GM? The sac on h7 couldn’t pos- sibly work, could it? 12..We7 avoids White’s combina- tion but just loses a pawn to 13 b4. 13 2xh7+H! Nlogical move number 4: White sacs a piece for a mystery attack. His pieces are nowhere near Black's king. I had a chance to play this sac in a tournament game in August of 2009, and | still remember the confused “What the heck!?” look my opponent gave me after | took on h7. 13...8xh7 14 Wh5+ gs 15 Deg! The point: White utilizes the lateral pin on the d-pawn to introduce an- other attacker. The knight enters g5 with tremendous force. 15...We4 16 Dgs 16...Efd8 Or 16..Wd3 17 e4!, as | played in C.Lakdawala-’hannibal2’, Internet (blitz) 2009. This is all analysis by Prié! Another bonus was that my opponent had used up a lot of time to get to this point whereas | was going on memory and moving instantly. The game con- tinued 17...Bfe8!? (Black gives back his 23 Play the London System piece; if 17... fd8, then 18 Wxf7+ @h8 19 Wh5+ &g8 20 Wh7+ &f8 21 Whe+ be7 22 Wxg7+ &d6 23 Bd1 We2 24 exds exd5 25 Df7+ &c7 26 Wg3+ Bb6 27 Dxd8 Hxd8 28 0-0 and White mops up) 18 Wxf7+ @h8 19 Wh5+ gg8 20 Adi Wc4 21 Wf7+ and | regained the piece and won. Sometimes, doing your homework has its payoffs. 17 Wxf7+ Gh8 18 Whs+ gs 19 W7+ hs 20 h4l Aes After 20...Wd3 21 Whs+ sg8 22 ea! Des 23 Hd We2 24 0-0! (White calmly completes his development - the at- tack can wait a move) 24..c4 25 Wh7+ &f8 26 Wh8+ de7 27 Wxqg7+ $d6 28 Df7+ White has extra material and an attack to boot. 21 Wh5+ dg8 22 0-0-0! Great attacking judgement. Black can’t muster enough threats to seri- ously bother White’s king. 22...Wxa2 23 Wh7+ &f8 24 Wh8+ Se7 25 Wixg7+ &d6 26 Aeg+! cec6 27 Wxe5 Wat+ 28 éd2! Not 28 dc2?? Wa4+ 29 deci Wxed. 28...Wxb2+ 29 Ye1 24 White has regained the sacrificed piece and continues the assault. Black can’t touch the knight: 29..dxe4?? 30 Ed6+ &c7 31 Hd2+ picks off the queen. 29...b6 30 Dd6! Threatening \f7 followed by Wd6+. 30...Wa3 31 c4! Once again, the knight is immune to harm: 31...Wxd6?? 32 cxd5+ exd5 33 %c1+ and Black drops his queen. Z a Y g ‘Y - 31...Wb4+ 32 d2i Wes Black’s nightmare continues. If he takes the rook on h1, he gets mated: 32...Wb1+? 33 de2! Woh 34 cxd5+ &c7 35 De8+ &b7 36 Wc7+ tab 37 Ha2+ Sbs 38 Dd6+ &b4 39 Wes mate. 33 hs! A move which emphasizes Black’s helplessness. The h-pawn moves closer to the queening square and also opens up the possibility of activating the rook via h4. 33...JLe8 34 cxd5+ exd5 35 Dfs 1-0 Black has had enough. The h-pawn continues up the board, the knight dominates, White is up a pawn and the attack continues. Summary When Black plays ...2d7?! to challenge White's e5-knight, always be ava¥e of the bishop sac on h7. As in this9#™ . may work in the most unlikely @5¢®: f you get your queen to hs and # inight to g5, make sure Black cannot (¥°" hy, either with a knight that has 3¢°e55 t {6 or with a bishop on the ba-n7 4ago- nal. It would be wise to memorze the first 15 or so moves of this gam® iets a forcing line and the fact is that even titled players don’t study the London because of its harmless reputatio™- Game 6 B.Larsen-J.Garcia PadfO" Las Palmas 1976 AVES DEG 2 dg ds 3 F406 46953 26 5..€\ba7 6 Dbd2 Hhs 7 295 WEE 8 Ebi! (White's queen still aims 2 the h5-knight) &..h6 9 @h4 gs 20 M25 Syxe5 11 Wxhs gxh4 12 Wxed 298 13 5\f3 &e7 14 g3 led to interesti"9 Com” plications which probably favo¥" Addl in CLakdawala-YSeirawan, Mmtemet (blitz) 2009, 6 \bd2 2e7 When Black develops his bishop to 7, he basically ignores whites mten- tions and insists on a Queen’$ ie beclined, Tarrasch-style setup: "ayers who prefer the QGD as slack Versus traditional queen’s pawn ope™9> on ten play this way. 1...d5 with an Early ...e6 we 2) we \ NY SS NX Ww “ a wW Las a © FA) oe WN be 7 &d3 Wb6r! This move doesn’t make much sense if White isn't forced to play Wb3. When | am White in such positions, | always like it when my opponents play ..lWb6, because the queen gets in the way of Black’s pawn expansion plans on the queenside. If he wants to play ..b5 in the future, he must first waste time moving his queen away from b6. 7..c4!? is a move favoured by lower- rated opponents and is universally con- demned by annotators. x < \ \ \ = NI mit © 2 TR Die ow \ <3 It takes pressure off the centre and allows White to break with a quick e4, but the move is not as bad as previous ae Play the London System London books claim. Black gains space on the queenside and has a rather dangerous no-brainer plan of ..bS, ..a5, ..Atb8 and ...b4. The position can look a bit like the Bronstein line of the Winawer French, which goes 1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 Dc3 Bb4 4 e5 dE!? 5 Wg4 F812. After 8 2c2 b5 9 e4, Black can take two routes: a) 9..dxe4 (clearing d5 for his knight) 10 Axe4 &2b7 11 We2 Ads 12 &g5!. This takes control of c5, giving White an edge. b) 9...0-0 (reaching a true French po- sition by allowing White's pawn to e5) 10 e5 Ad7 11 a3 a5 12 h4!. White threatens the Greek gift sac on h7. Even if Black prevents this with 12...f6, then 13 exf6 Dxf6 14 We2 resembles a nice- looking French Defence for White, where his control of the e5 hole and kingside chances outweigh Black’s chances on the queenside. Still, the po- sition is probably playable for Black. Let’s return to 8...Wb6: NY “ ANY Re aa jo Ks Sou’ be ~~ 8 Wb1! 8 Hb1 is a reasonable alternative, 26 but White should avoid 8 Wb3? c4! 9 Wxb6 axb6 10 &c2 b5 11 e4 b4 with strong queenside pressure for Black. 8....d7 9 h3 Bc8 10 0-0 10 a4 h6 11 Aes cxd4 12 exd4 Axes 13 &xe5 0-014 0-0 a5?! 15 Wc2 De8 16 Zae1 Dd6 17 He3! f5? (a panicky reac- tion which leaves a giant hole on e5; Black should take cover with 17...fe8 18 Hfe1 2f8) 18 &xd6! (eliminating Black's best piece) 18..axd6 19 Af3 Wc6 20 &bs Wic7 21 Bfe1 Hce8 left Black on the defensive for the remain- der of the game in K.Hulak-G.Franzoni, Lucerne Olympiad 1982. He must con- tend with punctures in his position on bs and e5, and also constantly defend the frail, backward pawn on e6. 10...cxd4?! | would maintain the tension with 10...0-0 11 De5 h6. There is no good reason to open the e-file for White’s Tooks. 41 exd4 It's a Reversed Queen’s Gambit De- clined, Exchange Variation, but with one important difference: Black’s light- squared bishop has been locked inside the pawn chain. 11...a5 12 Hea &b5 Attempting to solve the problem of the bad bishop by swapping it, but White doesn’t oblige. 13 Rez Preserving the attacking bishop. Black's bishop on b5 just shoots out over empty space and doesn’t control any important squares. If this bishop were posted on g6 Black would be fine, but on the wrong diagonal it gives White opportunities to launch a king- side attack. 13...0-0 14 aal? Well, it’s Larsen, who always seems to go his own way. The standard path for White in such positions would be to leave the queen- side alone and proceed by attacking on the other wing with something like 14 e5 h6 15 He3. 14...2e8 Vacating d7 for his knight. 15 bal 1...d5 with an Early ...e6 such structures. Larsen is willing to accept a chronic weakness on c3, realiz- ing that Black will be unable to create a second target on the queenside. Larsen is happy to defend his one weakness on 3 while slowly building up his attack on the kingside. Playing moves like 15 b4! requires good strategic judgement. You will find that it is good in one game but not so good in your next game due to some slight shift in the position, so your in- tuition has to be spot on when you de- cide if you should play b4 or hold back. 15...e4 16 Dxc4 Bxc4 17 Re3! A dual-purpose move: it protects c3 and builds the kingside attack. 17...@h8 18 Des He8 19 Wb3 To connect the rooks. 19...2Dd7 20 Bae Axes 21 Axes Ld6 22 £41 2d7 23 Woa! Continuing to probe for weaknesses on the kingside. Notice how easy it is for White to defend c3. 23...651 An important idea to remember in A good decision which minimizes Black’s disadvantage. This move in- 27 Play the London System creases Black's king safety at the cost of chronic weaknesses on e5 and e6. Also, Black soon accepts a bad bishop, but it is rather hard for White to make any- thing of e6 without a knight on the board. In essence, Black is saying to White: “You have one chronic weak- ness on c3 and | have one on e6. Good luck trying to exploit mine!” The X- factors are Black’s king safety and his bad bishop. 24 Hf3 2xe5 25 Hxes Wa6 26 Wadi! Avoiding opening the queenside with 26 a5?! b6!, which would only help Black. 26...Wd6 27 ga! The only way to make any progress is to go forward on the kingside and hope something comes of it. 27...g6 28 &f2 Beg 29 &b3 Bc7 30 Wd2 b6 31 Wb2 There is no harm in goofing around a bit in a position where the opponent has no counterplay. | remember a game | lost to GM Walter Browne in the late 80's at an American Open. We had teached a position where the grand- 28 master was a pawn up, but the oppo- site-coloured bishops gave me excel- lent drawing chances. Instead of going directly for his plan, Browne would make one move towards his plan and then make five or six aimless moves, and then sneak in another move to- wards his plan. | was unprepared for this strategy and was getting irritated that my opponent wasn’t offering a draw. By the time | realized what he was up to, | was busted. Larsen is doing the same thing here. 31...d2g8 32 gxfs Bxfs? Black is straining but should get enough counterplay in the line 32...gxf5! 33 Hg3+ @h8 34 We2 Hg8 35 Hxg8+ &xg8 36 WF3. Here 36..a5! breaks into the queenside via a3 and gives Black enough counterplay. 33 Wd2 Hc8 34 wg3 Ecf8 35 &c2 S5f6 36 hal Now the h5 advance is a constant worry for Black. Notice how Larsen has skilfully induced Black to place most of his pawns on the same colour as his remaining bishop. 36...e8 37 Wer Targeting e6, g6 and also the hs break. 37..2h8 38 War Employing the Browne method of engaging in a series of random moves to confuse and irritate the opponent. 38...Wc7 39 Wea Wd6 40 We3 Egs 42 ‘df2 Mgf8 42 2b3 2d7 43 Rc2 Les 44 bg2 Wd7 45 2g3 Wd6 46 2b3 2d7 47 gsi Ef5 48 cz 25f7 48..2xg54?! 49 strengthen White’s bind. 49 Of1 2f6 50 h5! At last, a breakthrough. 50...2e8 51 Wes! hxg5 would The culmination of White’s ma- noeuvring. He wins a pawn by force. 51...Wxe5 If 52...We7??, then 52 hxg6 &xg6 53 kxg6 hxg6 54 Xxg6 wins for White. 52 dxe5 Z6f7 53 hxg6 White's crafty manoeuvring has netted him a clean pawn, while retain- ing (he superior position. $3...0¢7 54 Bhil xc3+ 55 Sg4 Bc7 Of course, the bishop can’t be 1...d5 with an Early ...e6 touched due to the threat of g7+. 56 7+? A faulty combination! All White had to do to crown his previous play was 56 ha! and Black loses. 56...axg7 57 Sxg7 57...xg7? Apparently, both players overlooked the tricky in-between shot 57...h5+! 58 g5 &xg7 and Black is back in busi- ness. 58 Hxh7+ dgs 59 Lxa7 Now it’s all over. 59...f7 60 Ha8 Hf8 60...2f8? 61 Exe8+! dxe8 62 2g6 wins the king and pawn ending. 61 gs Sg7 62 Ha7+ Xf7 If 62..2f7?, then 63 2g6 d#g8 64 Sxf7+ Exf7 65 Exf7 &xf7 66 a5 bxas 67 bxa5 d4 68 “gd! halts the black d- pawn while promoting his own on the a-file. 63 Rxf7+ 2xf7 64 b5!? Running Black’s bishop out of squares. Probably every other player in the world would play 64 a5, which also easily wins. 29 Play the London System 64...2e8 65 f5 exf5 66 2xf5 d4 67 e6 1-0 Black is in zugzwang. Summary tn Londons which transpose to Re- versed Queen's Gambit Declined Ex- change lines, White only has to worry about a single weakness on c3. With moves like Ze3! you can simultane- ously defend ¢3 while building your kingside attack. Game. 7 A.Stefanova- R.Rodriguez Lopez Mondariz Balneario 1999 1.4 e6 2 Df3 5 3.c3 3 3 Df6 4 &d3 will reach the Colle after 4...d5 5 b3 (or 5 c3), while 4 c4 cxd4 5 exd4 d5 is the Panov-Botvinnik Attack in the Caro-Kann. 3.5 4 REG Dcé 5 e3 DFE After 5...Wb6, you can choose be- tween the solid 6 Wb3 and the sharper 6 We2. 6 Dbd2 Le7 7 2d3 0-0 7.6 and 7..c4 were considered in the previous game. 80-0b6 This kind of position may also arise from a Queen’s Indian move order. 9 Wb1!? Anew move here, and a pretty good one. There are two reasons to play the queen to b1 rather than to c2: 30 1. The queen stays off the c-file and so avoids potential attacks from a black Took on 8. 2. White may be able to get in b4 at some point to initiate queenside play. Of course, there is nothing wrong with the normal continuation 9 Aes &b7 (9...Dxe5!? 10 dxeS Ad7 11 Wg4 also looks very pleasant for White, who won quickly in H.Mawira-L.Bensdorp, Haarlem 2000) 10 £g3!. White intends £4 with attacking chances. 9.67 10 Des We8 Black eyes a potential trade of bish- ops via a6. Alternatively: a) 10..xe5?! is a dubious pawn sac: 11 dxe5 De4 12 Axed dxe4 13 Bxe4 Sxe4 14 Wxe4 Wd2 15 EBabt fds 16 Wf3 Wc2 17 Hfc1 Wd3 18 c4 and Black doesn’t have enough for the missing pawn. b) 10...2c8?! looks planless for Black, and after 11 2g3! h6 12 f4! White is rolling forward with his attack while Black is drifting. ) 10..h6! may be best for Black, who can now take on e5 without fear of h7 falling: 14 h3! (12 293?! Axes 12 dxe5 @h5 looks good for Black) 11..Axes 12 dxeS5 Dd7 13 Wda!. The queen has done some damage from the post on b1 and now returns to da with White planning to swing it over to g4 or 5. Even so, Black’s game looks playable after 13...5!. 11 Qg3! An important idea to remember: White gets the bishop out of the way and clears the path for his f-pawn to go forward. The result will be a nice- looking Reversed Stonewall Dutch posi- tlon. 11...g6 12 f4 Dhs 13 Be cxdg?! One would have to be very brave to provoke the sac 13...f6! 14 @xg6 hxg6 15 ixg6 Dg7 16 &h7+ wh8 17 Bf3 kd6 18 2h3 e7. My computers assure me that Black is okay here. I'm not so sure | should believe them. This may be Mack's best line, but he better have some steady nerves to enter the cross- fire in this way. 14 exd4 “Oa 14... Kes? 4...d5 with an Early ...e6 Terrible! He opens the f-file for his opponent's attack. When Black has al- teady played ...g6, this trade is nearly always wrong. Black should play 14...f5 intending .Of6 and ..Ae4, or he can provoke White with 14...f6!?. 15 fxe5 Rab 16 g4l Dg7 17 Df3 Des 18 Ad2f5 This weakens e6 and e5, but if Black waits too long to play it, White will probably get a winning attack. For ex- ample, if 18...ixd3 19 Wxd3 Wd7 20 &h6 Dg7 21 Ef2 White's attack is roll- ing after he doubles rooks on the f-file. 19 exf6 Dxfé 20 2h6 Bes? Black will regret not throwing in 20...2xd3_ 21 Wxd3 before playing 21...Be8, but even here it looks like it’s too late for him after 22 Des Deg 23 Ef7! &f6 24 Bxf6! Dxfo 25 Efi Dd7 26 Dxg6l. 21 Axg6l Not so hard to see, but very the- matic. 21...Sxf1 22 &xh741 One thing | love about the London is 31 Play the London System the simple nature of the kingside at- tacks. Black has no remaining defend- ers. 22...8h8 The miserable alternatives are 22..Axh7 23 Wg6+ &h8 24 Wg7 mate and 22...&f7 23 Wg6 mate. 23 Des! 1-0 The white pieces swarm around the black king. 23...Axh7 24 Df7+ g8 25 Wg6 mate is one way the game could end. Summary If you plant a knight on e5 and your opponent refuses to take it, then carry out the manoeuvre £g3! followed by 4. You get a Reversed Stonewall Dutch, but a nice one with the bishop on the outside of the pawn chain. Game 8 F.Bruno-A.Opacic Verona 2005 1.d4 d5 2 Df3 Afe 3 24 e6 4e3 2e75 Ra3I? White must be careful with his move order here. | prefer 5 Abd2 c5 6 3, or 5 ¢4 transposing to a &f4 line of the QGD. 5.5 6 c371 6 dxc5! should be played since Black has already moved his bishop to e7, wasting a tempo. London players should keep open the possibility to head for reversed versions of the 32 Queen’s Gambit Accepted, Queen’s Gambit Declined and Slav-type posi- tions. After 6 6xc5 Black has a choice: a) 6..2xc5 7 Abd2 0-0 8 a3 Ac6 9 c4 and White may have a tiny edge in what is essentially a Queen’s Gambit Accepted with an extra move. b) 6...bd7! 7 b4 a5 8 4c3! (White threatens Dbs!) 8...DhS! 9 Rd6 Rxd6 10 cxd6 axb4 11 Dbs 0-0 12 Wd2 Raq 13 c4 bxc3 14 We2 Dc5 15 2xh7+ Lhs 16 Axc3 with a sharp, unbalanced game. 6... D6?! Letting White off the hook for his sixth move. 6...Wb6! would force White to make an awkward choice: a) After 7 Wc2 the queen may be vulnerable later on to tricks along the c-file. ‘b) If 7 Wb3 Black replies 7...c4! 8 Wxb6 axb6 9 &c2 b5 with ...b4 to fol- low, with a very nice ending. 7 Dbz Now we are back to normal London lines. 7..0-0 8 h4l? An interesting, if not-so-subtle idea! White goes after the black king, cave- man-style, by using h4 as a spring- board for a knight. He may post a knight on g5 even if...h6 is played. Also, {Mack must be careful of sacs on h7. 8 4)e5 is the main move: 8..d7 9 Whs g6 (if 9...f5, then 10 Adf3 fe 11 Wh3 plans g4!, Hg1 and queenside cas- tling) 10 Wh6 cxd4 14 exd4 2f6 (after 11..0)dxe5 12 dxe5 W6 13 Db3 da! 14 0 0 dxc3 15 bxc3 Hd8 it will be an in- teresting fight between White's attack- Ing chances and Black’s superior pawn structure - a position like this could easily have arisen from a c3 Sicilian) 12 \df3 2g7 13 Wh3 Acxes5 14 dxe5 Ac5 15 sc2 f6 16 Wg3 with an edge for White, |.Gelle-F.Utto, Hungarian League 2007. 8... gar Getting overly clever. Black tries to exploit the minor hole on g4 and oc- cupy it for now with a knight. This stops all ideas of White playing g2-94. Also, Black prepares for ...f5, shutting 1...d5 with an Early ...e6 out the white bishop on d3. All well and good except for one problem: it is White’s move and he has no intention of allowing Black the time to secure his knight with ..fs. Instead, Black should try 8...2d61. It looks counter-intuitive to move this piece a second time, but it follows the principle stating: Counter in the centre when the opponent launches a wing attack. After 9 Des Wc7 10 Ddf3 Aea! (10..Ad7? plays into White's hands with 11 2xh7+!) 11 Dxc6! &xf4 12 De7+! Wxe7 13 exf4 b6! 14 We2 2b7 15 0-0-0!? we reach a very sharp, oppo- site-wing attack position. 9 2xh7+! The London is one of the few open- ings where this classic bishop sac still occurs in games between strong play- ers. 9...8xh7 10 Ags+ 2xgs? Black is in shock for missing the sac on h7. It’s better to play 10..¢g8 114 Wxg4 e5 12 Whs &f5 13 dxe5 Wh6! and hope for the best after 14 0-0-0!. Objec- tively, White must be winning, but at 33 Play the London System least the game is still very complicated. 11 hxgs+ Sg6 11...%%g8 avoids the immediate mate, but is still totally hopeless after 12 Wxg4 He (or 12...e5? 13 Whs f6 14 g6 and White mates) 13 Whs wf8 14 g6l. 12 Wxg4 Ehs8 If 12..e5, White forces mate with the continuation 13 Whs+ @f5 14 Wh3+! g6 15 Whs. After 12...2h8 it looks like Black has survived the brunt of the storm, but his opponent has a surprising game- ending shot. 13 Eh6+! 1-0 Nice! Mate follows. Summary If there is a bit of a Cro-Magnon or Ne- anderthal in your blood, then try h2-h4 and go all out for mate. Black must be especially vigilant for Greek gift sacs on h7. Also, take note that White's fifth move, £d3, may not be the most accu- tate and should probably be substi- tuted by 5 Abd2. 34 Game 9 G.Agamaliev-F.Abbasov tranian League 2006 1.4 Dfé 2 Af3 e6 3 Af4 cS This move order is a bit of a concern for White, who must factor in ...Wb6 ideas. In Chapter Eight we will explore the complicated line 4 e3 Wb6!? 5 Ac3! (5 Wc1 is stodgy and allows Black ef- fortless equality) 5...Wxb2 (Game 76), as well as the safer 4 c3 (Game 75). 4e3 Ac6 5 Dbd2 d5 6 c3 Re7 7 2d3 b6 Black normally plays 7...0-0 before committing to ...b6, as in Game 7. 8 Des Axes 9 dxe5 Ad7 10 cal? A trap to avoid is 10 Wg4?? g5! 11 &g3 h5 12 We2 h4 winning a piece. However, 10 Wh5! looks quite promis- ing: 10..2b7 11 Af3 hé 12 h4 Bf8 13 Waa! g5 (13..198?? 14 &h7 wins) 14 hxg5 hxg5 15 &g3 and Black was al- ready tied up and in big trouble in SJovicic-S.Stiemer, Schleswig Holstein 1992. 10...2£8? The knight isn’t well posted on d7 and Black hopes to transfer it later to e6 or g6, but he doesn’t have time for this manoeuvre. More natural is 10...2b7 11 0-0 and now: a) 11..Wc7 12 cxd5! &xd5 13 e4 42b7 14 Acq 0-0 15 Wg4 Bfds 16 Ade OMB 17 2g3 Dg6 18 Bcd! (with tricks on f7) 18...1xd6 19 exd6 &xd6 20 Had1. Black doesn’t have enough compensa- tion for the exchange because White will take over the d-file in a few moves. b) 11..0-0 12 Wg4 Wc7 13 Wh3 g6 14 Wg3. White will follow up with ha and go for an attack. Black must open the centre and seek counterplay there. 11 2 g3 Dge 12 cxds exds 12...Wxd5?? 13 2e4 drops a rook. 13 e4! Giving Black a tough choice. If he tries 13...27, then 14 Wa4+! costs him «astling rights since he can’t block with the queen. After 14..6f8 15 exd5 &xd5 16 keg &xe4 17 Wxed Black is playing | rook down (yes, the one on h8!) for 1...d5 with an Early ...e6 the moment, and his odds of survival look low. 13.44 Now White’s 5 to 3 kingside major- ity becomes very potent. 140-00-0 Walking into a huge attack, but at this point it’s hard to suggest an im- provement. 15 4 Y ZZ oie mae Qe AMY Black is in big trouble. White’s mas- sive kingside super-pawn majority is clearly more menacing than Black’s majority on the queenside, which for now is firmly blockaded on the light squares. 15...Wc7 16 Whs Hes Black hopes to have time to batten down the hatches with ...2f8, but he doesn't. Black is busted no matter what he plays. If he tries 16...2b7 17 Af3! c4 18 act bS 19 b3 &a3 20 Ec2 c3 his cen- tral and queenside passers are frozen, whereas White is just beginning on the other wing with 21 f5 Dh8 22 f6 lead- ing to a ferocious attack. 35 Play the London System 17 6! 2xe6 Other moves also fail miserably: a) 17..fxe6 18 f5 and the knight can’t move since it is pinned. b) 17...Ah8 18 f5 &d6 19 e5! Sxes 20 Hae1! &xg3 21 exf7+ mates. 18 f5 2d6 19 e5! 19...Dxe5 Or 19...xe5 20 fxgé hxgé6 24 Wxes and White is up two pieces. 20 &xe5 2xes 21 fxe6 Hxe6 22 Wxh7+ 1-0 Summary Look for the possibility of c4 in posi- tions where White's pawn stands on e5 after an exchange of knights on that square. These changes in the pawn structure often favour White. Game 10 R.Bitoon-X.Wang Manila 2008 1.d4 Df6 2 D3 e6 3 4 d5 4 Dbd2 c5 5 e3 \c6 6 c3 Le7 7 &d3 Dh5!? 36 8 2g3 | generally play this move. White can also try 8 Re5!? Axes 9 dxe5 when Black’s knight makes an odd impres- sion on hs. 8,.Dxg3l? It’s very dangerous to open the h- file. Black should stall with 8..0-0 9 es g6 and only capture on g3 if White castles kingside. 9 hxg3 hél White got the advantage after 9.96?! 10 We2 f5 11 g4! in Z.Djukic- T.Drmic, Bosnjaci 2008. 10 g4 2d7 After the provocative 10...0-0!? 11 We2, White can either castle queenside or just put his king on f1 and continue attacking. 11 We2 Wb6 12 Xb1 0-0-0 13 dxcs! Black isn’t so safe on the other wing either. 13...2xe5 14 b4 2e7 15 0-0 We7 16 e4 dxe4 17 &xeq GbB 18 Aca £6? Too slow. Black should counter the wing attack with 18...f5!, with an un- clear position. 19 bs Das 20 b6! A deeply calculated, plece sac. 20... Wxc4 Certainly not 20...axb6?? 21 Axa5 and Black can’t recapture. 21 bxa7+ Sas! The alternatives all lose quickly: a) 21...c8?? 22 a8W+. b) 21..%xa7?? 22 Bxb7+! #a6 23 Bib1l (threatening to mate on bé6) 24..skc5 24 243 wins the queen. c) 21..87?? 22 Bxb7+! &d6 23 Tud1+ dcs 24 We3+ mates next move. 22 Wxcql Axcq 23 Exb7 temporary oo . “ae i Y eee Wy Aa 1...5 with an Early ...e6 The threat of a discovered check costs Black all his extra material, plus ‘interest. 23.65 The a7-pawn is too strong in the line 23..Ad6 24 Bxd7+ Axed 25 Bxe7 Dxc3 26 Bxg7. 24 gxf5 exf5 25 2d5 Le6 26 2c6 That discovered check will not run away. 26...Da5 Black can try 26...Hd6 but after 27 Hxe7+ Exc6 28 Ad4! 2d5 29 Axcé &xc6 30 Exg7 he is too tied up to put up much resistance. 27 Sxe7+ Axcé 28 Zxe6 Axa7 29 Ad4 So White’s combination has netted a pawn. 29...2d5 30 Hba Ec8 31 Bb3 Has 32 Re7 Dcé Black cannot save his kingside with 32..g5 33 Sh7 Ha6 34 Dxfs. 33 Dxc6 Hxc6 34 Exg7 Exa2 35 Hb5 Be2 36 Hxf5 Haxc3 37 Hf8+ Bc8 38 Exc8+ Exc8 LT Oo aa Ay a ee oe ae ae age ms We always read that a two versus one pawn majority is a draw, but not 37 Play the London System here. Black’s king is on the other side of the world and can’t ever get back to save the h6-pawn. 39 Hg6 Hh8 4o Zbe! Insuring that Black’s king remains imprisoned on the a-file for life. 40...2a7 41 Xb3 Bf8 42 g3 Bf6 43 Sg2 a6 44 £4 Sa5 45 Wh3 Bg6 46 hy a4 47 Ebi was 48 g4 Bf6 49 f5 1-0 Summary When ...hSs and ...Axg3 are played, Black may get clever and castle queen- side. In these cases, vigorously pry him open on that wing with dxc5! and ba! Game 11 C.Lakdawala-P.Graves Gambito (rapid), San Diego 2009 1.4 e6 2 Df3 d5 3 Lf4 Afe 4e3 2e75 4 This is a direct transposition to a Queen’s Gambit Declined, &f4 varia- tion. My opponent normally plays Ragozin-style with ...2b4 when on the Black side of the Queen’s Gambit, so my fifth move basically took him out of his book. If you are a purist and insist on a London, then play 5 Abd2. 5...0-0 6 Dc3 ¢5 6...c6 is very passive but also quite solid for Black. Tdxc5 xcs 8 We2 We7? My opponent’s lack of familiarity 38 with the line shows here. The queen on e7 is vulnerable to a pin on g5. A recent GM disaster for Black in this line went 8..Wa5 9 a3 2c6 10 Hd1 Hd8!? (now Black’s queen is short of safe squares; the main line with 10...&2e7 is a lot safer) 11 Ad2 dxc4 12 2xc4 2d6?? (12...2e7 had to be played) 13 Ab3! (Oops! Black drops a piece) 13..Wc7 14 Exd6! Exd6 15 Abs 1-0, A.Rychagov-A.Lanin, Sochi 2008. 9 Eda Acé On 9...dxc4, | would play 10 £g5!. 10 2gs! It will be hard for Black to escape this pin. Eventually he will have to weaken his kingside with ...h6 and ...g5. 10...dxc4 11 &xcq4 h6 12 &h4 a6 13 Deal Lb4a+ 14 Lez 14...g5! t didn’t think he would have the nerve, but it’s the best move. 14..b5? 15 2b3 Aas (15...2b77? loses even faster to 16 &xf6! gxf6 17 Hd7!) 16 Dxf6+ gxf6 17 Hd4! gives White a winning attack since 17...e5?? is impossible due to 18 Wg6+. 15 Dxf6+ | hated to let him off the hook for 1495, but 15 Bexg5?! didn’t look totally sound after 15...hxg5 16 &xg5 b5 17 kd3 &b7 - | didn’t see a good follow- up for White. 15...Wxf6 16 &g3 gal Again in a precarious situation, Graves finds the only move to stay alive. 16...b5? loses quickly to 17 2d3 &b7 18 &h7+! &g7 19 Ha7!. 17 4\d2 b5 18 eq Wg7 19 &b3 Das 20 Bd4l Re7 21 We7 Dxb3 22 axb3 f6 23 d6l Forcing a favourable ending is a ood practical decision. | was worried he would shut the bishop out with ...e5 soon but | confess | did miss a combi- nation with 23 Wc6! Ha7 24 Adé 2d7 25 Wb6 Rfa8 26 Afs! exfs 27 Lb8l. (ven had | seen this line, | probably would have picked the game continua- {lon which is a lot cleaner. 23...sxd6 24 Wxg7+ &xg7 25 Exd6 e5 26 Hea Black's position is under enormous strain, White eyes targets on f6 and a6, 1...d5 with an Early ...e6 as well as infiltrations on c6 and c7. The key factor is that White’s rooks control the only open files. 26..8a771 This drops a pawn. The best shot at survival was 26...£2f5 27 £c7+ #g6 28 Acs Bfd8 29 Hcc6 Hxd6 30 Exd6 a5 31 e4 &c8. Black is tied down and cannot unravel easily but at least he keeps ma- terial equality. 27 xfé! Overloading the f8-rook, which can’t simultaneously cover c8 and f6. 27.5 28 Exf8 &xfB 29 Dcs b4 Of course, he can’t pin with 29...2c7?? because of 30 Ae6+. 30 e4 Sc8 31 DAd3 Le6 32 Axb4 Xb7 33 Dxaé Axb3 34 He2 1-0 Summary If your opponent plays the 3..e6 and 4...€7 move order, you have the op- tion of transposing to the Queen’s Gambit Declined, 2f4 variation, which has great similarities to the London. This can be handy if your opponent is not familiar with this line and you are. 39 Chapter Two 1...d5 without an Early ...e6 This chapter will deal with all of Black's ..d5 responses to the London other than those that depend upon playing an early ...e6: Black plays Tarrasch style with 1d4d52 2f4c5 In response, we can hit back with the Morris Gambit, otherwise known as the Reversed Albin Counter-Gambit, with the startling 3 e4!? (Games 12-14) which takes the game into bizarre, non-London positions. This gambit has bite to it. An extra move turns the normally shaky Albin Counter-Gambit into a real weapon. Another bonus is we take our opponent out of his com- fort zone and insert him into a totally unfamiliar situation. Don’t underesti- mate the psychological benefits. Black often finds himself flailing in dark and unfamiliar waters. If White wants to play more safely, 40 there's the option of 3 e3 (see Game 16). Black hits the b2-pawn with ...Wb6 We cover various versions of Black hit- ting b2. We virtually always respond to this with Wb3. These lines can lead to equal endings where we rely on our greater experience with the structure to defeat our opponents (see Games 15-16). The symmetrical line Black imitates White’s moves (the sin- cerest form of flattery!) with the belief that White’s opening is too innocuous to secure a real advantage. | disagree with this assessment and believe that you can make your opponent sweat with a quick c2-c4, transposing into more mainstream queen’s pawn lines, and then Wb3 (see Games 18-19). The Reversed Torre Ihe simple solution against ...2.94 is a quick h3, which virtually forces Black to tough up the bishop pair, as in Kam- sky Lerner (see Game 21). The Chigorin We have two possible plans against 2.406: 1, We pin with &b5, as in Game 22. 2. We eventually play c4 and trans- pose to a Queen’s Gambit Declined po- sition with Black’s knight slightly out of place on c6 (see Games 23-24). Game 12 L.Winants-D.Collas France 2003 1d4d5 2 2f4c5 3 e4!? 2...d5 without an Early ...e6 Black accepts the challenge. Alter- natives are: a) 3...cxd4? 4 Wxd4 Af6 (Black falls seriously behind in development and his king gets hounded in the line 4..dxe4 5 Wxd8+! &xd8 6 Dc3 &f5 7 0-0-0+ Ad7 8 Age2 Agf6 9 Ag3 Lg6 10 2bs dc8 11 Agxed!, regaining the pawn with a strong initiative) 5 2xb8! Hixb8 6 Wxa7 2d7 7 e5 Ded 8 f3! Ags 9 4c3 and Black has absolutely no com- pensation for the pawn. b) 3...e6?! is covered in my game against Avram Zaydenberg (Game 13). c) 3...Af6! is the only good way to decline. We will discuss this line fur- ther in my game versus Igor Ivanov (Game 14). 4d5 fe Let’s see what happens if Black shamelessly goes pawn hunting with 4...Wb6!? § Dc3 and now: The Morris Gambit. | usually play this way as White. If this gambit doesn’t appeal to you, there is nothing wrong with 3 e3 which will lead to normal lines. 3..dxe4 a) 5...Wxb2 6 &b5+ £d7 7 2d2! Afé 8 Xb1 Wa3 9 &xd7! forces the horrible 9..@xd7 10 Hxb7+ and Black's extra pawn will not do him much good in this ruin of a position. 41 Play the London System b) 5...Af6 (I don’t see the point of playing ..Wb6 if Black is unwilling to take on b2) 6 Wd2 2d7 7 0-0-0 Aaé 8 £3! exf3 9 Axf3 gave White excellent compensation for the pawn in B.Steiner-J.Hatzl, Koeflach 2006. 5 De3 a6 A trap that Black occasionally falls for occurred in C.Lakdawala-B.Baker, San Diego (rapid) 2007, after 5...e6? 6 &b5+ 2d7 7 dxe6 fxe6 when Black's pawn structure is a total mess. | even- tually picked up both of Black's e- pawns. 6 We2! Not only hitting e4, but also plan- ning to castle queenside. 6...2f5 6...Axd5? 7 0-0-0 e6 8 Wxe4 allows White to regain the pawn with a giant lead in development. 7 0-0-0 Dbd7 8 h3! Much stronger than 8 f3 exf3 9 Dxf3 bs!. 8...Wa5 8...h5? 9 f3! is clearly in White’s fa- vour, since the insertion of ...hS will 42 make castling kingside extremely risky for Black, for two reasons: 1. At some point, White may sac a second pawn with the line-opening g4; and 2. The simple h4 followed by @xf5 seriously erodes Black’s pawn cover around his king. After 9...exf3 10 Dxf3 g6 11 Dha! &g7 12 Axfs5 gxf5 Black’s king lacks a safe haven. 9 B4 2g6 10 2g2 0-0-0 11 f3! 11...Db6 If Black insists on keeping his extra pawn with 11..exf3 12 Dxf3 h6, 13 @d2! puts him on the defensive. His buried bishop on f8 and rook on h8 are not yet participating in the game. 12 fxeg White has regained the pawn with a clear advantage. 12...2a4 13 Bd3!l e6 If 13..2xc3 14 Bxc3 Wxa2??, 15 Baz traps the queen. 14 Dxa4 Wag 15 Ba3 Wb If Black retreats the queen with 15...WWd7, 16 d6! is very annoying for 1...d5 without an Early ...e6 him since 16...2xd62?? 17 &xd6 Wxd6 Summary 18 e5 wins a piece. The Albin Counter-Gambit may be a 16 2d2 Wbs 17 c4! shaky opening when it's played by Black's king is insecure and there is Black. Get it a move up as White and it no reason to agree to a queen trade. becomes a very dangerous weapon. 3 17...We8 18 e5 \d7 19 dé e4! also has value as a psychological weapon. Black sometimes goes into shock when the boring London guy goes ballistic, and begins to sac pawns and attack on move three! Game 13 C.Lakdawala-A.Zaydenburg Gambito (rapid), San Diego 2008 Now 20 Wf3 is a terrible threat. 1d4d5 2 2f4c5 3 e4l? e627! 19...\b8 20 2a5 This move and 3...cxd4?! are both 20 Wf2! ®c6 21 Wxc5 looks even dubious. 3...f6! is the only playable stronger. way to decline the gambit (see the next 20...7\6 game). Black must part with material since 4 exd5 exd5 20,..d7?? 21 Wf2 loses instantly. 21 Rxd8 Dd4 22 We3 Wxd8 23 AF3 W6 24 Dxda! Avoiding any complications arising trom the line 24 Hd1 c2 25 Wb3 Dba. 24...cxd4 25 Wb3 Wa7 26 Wha! Black's game is in ruins. He is down the exchange, and the boxed-in bishop and rook ensure his defeat. 26...f6 27 Wa5 b6 Black must part with more pawns since 27...Wb8?? is met by 28 Eb3!. On 4...Wxd5, | always sac with 5 28 Wxa6+ Wxa6 29 Exa6 fxe5 30 Zxb6 = c3! Wxd4 6 Wf3l. White has mon- 04 31 Eda e5 32 c5 h5 33 g5 Sed7 34 = strous compensation for the pawn af- Hei e3 35 £d5 1-0 ter 6..a6 7 &d3 Ac6 8 Dge2 Wha 9 43 Play the London System 0-0-0, with a scary-looking lead in de- velopment. 5 Df3 5 &b5+ Dcé 6 We2+ We7 7 Ac3 Ae 8 8g5 Reb 9 DF3 a6 10 Bxc6+ bxc6 11 0-0 Wb7 12 &xf6 gxf6 13 Aad c4 14 b3 Wbs 15 We3 0-0-0 favoured White in the game P.Dittmar-A.Stabolewski, Bad Wérishofen 2006, and 9 dxc5! Wixc5 10 &xf6 gxf6 11 0-0-0 looks even stronger. 5.6 6 Dez! Developing the knight to d2 would just transpose to a Tarrasch French- style position. The knight on c3 hits the d5-pawn and menaces AbS too. Black is in serious trouble due to his lag in development. 6...e6! 6.2.94?! 7 Abs Hc8 8 We2+! is awk- ward for Black, who is forced to retreat with 8...2e6. 7 &bs &d6?! ‘Swaps are normally not a good idea for the side with the isolated pawn. Black should play 7...f6. For exam- ple, 8 0-0 &e7 9 De5 Wh6 10 dxc5 &ixcS 11 Wd3!. This gains another 44 tempo by forcing 11...a6, since 11...0-0? 12 Dag! 2f5 13 Dxb6 2xd3 14 cxd3! axb6 15 Axc6 bxc6 16 &xc6 drops a pawn. After 12 Sxc6+ bxc6 13 Da4 Black will be weak on the dark squares and still may get blockaded on c5, but at least he has a playable position. 8 Sxd6 Wxd6 9 dxc5 Wxc5 10 Wda! Forcing Black into a miserably pas- sive ending. 10... Wxd4 11 Dxdq White's strategic goal is to end up with a knight vs. the bad bishop, with rooks still on the board. 11... Dge7 12 0-0-0 0-0 13 2xc6! Axcé Forced: if Black attempts to fix his pawns with 13...bxc6?, 14 Hhe1 Hae8 15 Dad! &c8B 16 Acs f6 17 Hd3 Sf7 18 Hde3 leaves him horribly tangled. 14 Bhe1 a6 14...Hfe8 15 Z\ce2! would be similar to the game continuation. 15 Ace2 The idea is Df4, targeting both e6 and ds. 15...Hfe8 16 Df4 Dxdg On 16...d8? White takes advan- tage of the weak back rank with 17 Syxds!. a7 Uixd4 1...d5 without an Early ...e6 play early on, it seems like we always goof things up when the time gets lower. Okay, White has achieved the dream position of good knight versus had bishop and isolani. Black now of- fers a pawn to rid himself of both of these, 17.4817 18 eda! There is no reason to cash in too eatly with 18 Axds &xd5 19 Exe8+ Burk 20 Bxd§ He2 21 Ef5, which may give Black some drawing chances. While’s goal now is to win the d5-pawn without trading the knight for the bishop. ad8 19 Hes! Halting ...g5 and putting more heat ands. 49...h6 20 hg Ed6! 20..g6 21 a4 dg7 22 a5 increases White's bind. aca? Vremature. White should just con- \inue gaining space. Part of the charm of the game with a 45-minute time control is that no matter how well we 21...2ed8? He misses his chance with 21..2b61] 22 cxd5 Bxb2+ 23 &c3 Eb5! 24 Dxeb+ fxe6 25 Hf4+ g8 26 Exe6 Bxe6 27 dxe6 He5, which should hold the draw. Neither player noticed 23..2b5 during the game. We were under the mistaken impression that Black was forced into 23...Rxf2?? 24 dxe6 Bxa2 25 e7+!, which wins for White. 22 cxd5 &c8 23 h5 D5?! It is hard to submit to total passiv- ity, but pawn moves like this only help White make progress. 242c3! The king infiltrates with &b4 and cS, or &b4 and a5. 24...g5? Black needed to keep the white king out of b4 with 24...a5!. 25 hxg6 fxg 26 dbq dt7 After 26..g5 27 Dd3 Rb7 28 &c5 the king’s entry is decisive. 27 dcs5 Sf6 28 Dd3 AFs 29 e3 L6d7 45 Play the London System Now that White’s king has reached ¢5, it doesn’t matter if Black swaps the bishop for the knight. 29...2xd3 30 Edxd3 g5 31 g4 dg6 32 Hes Sf6 33 Ede3 wf7 34 Re7+ &f8 35 He8+! breaks down the defensive barrier of Black's doubled rooks, and wins. 30 Db4 Hd6 31 Dcé H8d7 32 Ha3 1-0 Summary If Black doesn’t want to go into the Al- bin a move down, and plays Tarrasch French-style with the isolani on d5, it favours White because he can develop his knight to c3, putting more pressure on d5. White’s knight sits on the more passive square d2 in the normal Tar- tasch. Game 14 C.Lakdawala-l.lvanov Continental Open, Los Angeles 2000 1d4d5 A more common way to reach our game position is through the Trom- powsky, with 1 d4 ®f6 2 &g5 Aeg 3 fa d5 4 f3 Df6 5 e4 e6 (5...dxe4!? 6 &c3 gives White a Blackmar-Diemer Gambit a move up) 6 e5 Afd7 7 2e3 c5 8 c3 Wb6 9 Wd2 f6 10 f4, with both sides having played two extra moves. In fact, this is how GM Ivanov and | ar- tived at this position, Alternatively, af- ter 8..Ac6 9 f4 Wh6 10 Wd2 asl? 11 Df3 a4 12 Re2 cxd4 13 cxd4 Rb4 14 46 c3 a3 15 b3 0-0 16 c4 Black couldn't extract anything from the pin, while White retained his massive space ad- vantage in C.Lakdawala-A-Pixton, Internet (blitz) 2000. 2 f4 c5 3 e4 DEE 4 e5 Dfd7 4...2g8? wastes too much time and can be met by 5 dxc5!. Principle: Open the game when leading in develop- ment. Now it’s a bad Advance Caro po- sition for Black; for example, 5...e6 6 Qd2 2xc5 7 Db3 Lb 8B Wo4 &f8 9 £d3 4c6 10 c3, B.Laurent-S.Savchenko, Metz 2005. 5.c3 Wb6 6 Wd2 e6 7 2e3 fe 8 f4 White has space but also has some troubles. The queen is awkwardly placed on d2 and it may be difficult to develop the b1-knight. | realize that it’s strange to get this French-style position from the London, but the London is very fluid and you should be willing to play several quirky positions where it’s almost guaranteed that you will be in more familiar territory than your op- ponents. Sometimes “unclear” just ™means unclear to your opponent! 8...g5! It's very difficult when you are hit with a theoretical novelty in a quick- play game! Well, let me explain this one. Our tournament situation called for such a strategy. | had started the tournament with a stinging loss on the White side of a London versus GM Sha- bialov. | was a bit weary of getting pushed around by higher-rated play- ers! My old friend, the late GM Igor Ivanov, was in the same situation as me with a first-round loss to another qtandmaster. We were both spoiling for a fight because we had nothing to love. Having said this, 8..g5! is a good move too. White's centre is hit in every direction. The following positions get pretty chaotic, eos | felt Black was dictating the tempo of the game in the line 9 exf6 gxf4 10 (79 dxf7 11 2xfq cxd4 12 cxd4 &g7 13 44 A\c6 14 2e3 fo, with an unclear position, »..ga?l 1...d5 without an Early ...e6 He lets the pressure off White’s cen- tre to gain time on the knight. How- ever, White’s knight is not so badly posted on ha, 9...gxf4! 10 &xf4 Zc6 would have been better. Black has gotten away with 8...g5 because there is no White queen on the d1-h5 diagonal. Here 11 exf6 Dxf6 12 &d3 &d7 looks reason- able for Black, who will castle queen- side. 10 Dh4 Ac6 11 Re2 fxes 11.52 would be terrible since White could open the game favourably on the kingside with 12 h3!. 12 fxe5 cxdg 13 cxd4 Adxes! Gulp! | didn’t see this coming! Ivanov exploits a pin trick. 140-0! A good practical move. Instead of grabbing the knight and plunging into crazy complications, White simply ig- nores the piece and gains several tempi for his own attack. After all, Black hasn't exactly followed opening princi- ples and has fallen behind in develop- ment. 47 Play the London System Fritz, greedy as always, doesn’t buy any of this and gives the line 14 dxe5 dq. 15 &xg4! (15 2f2 &b4!, regaining the piece, was Ivanov’'s idea behind the sham sacrifice of the knight on e5) 45...h§ (45...dxe3?? allows mate with 16 &h5+ Se7 17 Wd6) 16 Rxda Wxd4 17 Wxd4 xd4 18 &d1 297 19 Adz! Ac6 20 4g6! Hh6 21 Ac4! and White stub- bornly hangs on to his extra pawn, but only computers, Nakamura, and Moro- zevich get away with lines like this. | would almost certainly have flubbed it with so many white pieces en prise. 14... Dg6! This is the only move which keeps Black alive. He cannot survive either with: a) 14..Deq? 15 Bxc4 dxc4 16 Exf8+! (16 d5? &cS! is good for Black) 16...&xf8 17 ds Wd8 18 dxcé Wxh4 19 295! Whs 20 &c3! bringing White’s remaining pieces into the attack; or Dd) 14...2b4 15 Ac3 Wd8 16 g3 Ac4 17 &xc4 dxc4 18 We2! Bg8 19 Wxc4. Since White has regained the pawn, Black's chances of survival look pretty 48 bleak. 15 Dxgé hxgé 16 Dc3 Ad6 17 g3 Ad7 Black gets ready to castle queenside and go after the white king. | found a good way to disrupt that plan. 18 Abs! 2b8 18...2e7 19 Bact a6 (19..0-0-0?? is met by 20 &f4! intending 21 &c7!) 20 c3 0-0-0 21 Dad Wo4 22 Wxb4 &xb4 23 Db6+ Hc7 24 Dxd7 Exd7 25 Axg4 leaves Black with a very tough ending. 19 a4 a6 20 a5! Wd8 20...2xa5?? 21 Wxa5S wins a piece due to the pin on the a6-pawn. 21 Bg5 De7 22 Dc3 Black's pieces are out of synch, and his king is still stuck in the centre and a long way from his earlier intention to go queenside. 22...2d6 23 2f6 Eh7 24 Wes! Shsl? 24...liic7 also fails to save Black after 25 &xe7 Bxe7 26 Wxg6+ &d8 27 Hfa+ 2e8 28 Dbs!! Wd7 29 Dxd6 Wxd6 30 axg4. 25 Wxga? | missed 25 £g7! in time pressure, which wins Black’s queen or his king. 35...e51? Igor attempts to seize the initiative but walks into a combination. Also hopeless is 25..Rf5 26 2xe7 Wxe7 27 Wxg6+ W7 28 Exfs! Wxg6 29 2hs 0-0-0 30 &xgé6 exf5 31 Dxds, netting White two clean pawns. 1 used up most of my remaining Aine and found: 06 Wehsil \ hope it is not egotistical to award myself a second exclamation mark hete, but really the second one is for finding the win with about two min- Utes left on the clock. O6...gxh5 27 2xh5+ &f8 28 2xe7+! lyor had counted on the line 28 dxe4i? 25! with a totally irrational position. Lxe7 2H..;kig8 29 &xd8 Bxd8 leaves Black dawn a full rook. 29 \xd5+ 1-0 Igor smiled when resigning and polnted to the f7-square, indicating (hat he had missed 29..@e6 30 2f7 mate, 1...d5 without an Early ...e6 Summary If you play the Reversed Albin Counter- Gambit pawn sac line as White, be pre- pared to go into some funky hybrid French structures if Black declines. You may argue that you are not a French player, but your opponent probably isn’t either. In fact, | will bet you a quarter that even French players will get confused! Just be familiar with the structure and be aware of Black’s pawn breaks on c5, f6 and even g5. Game 15 V.Sergeev- L.Cernousek Jirasek Memorial, Rakovnik 2008 1d4 d5 2 24 Dfé 3 3 5.4.3 Dcé 5 Dd2! This is definitely White’s best move order. 5 3?! allows Black at least equality after 5...Wb6 6 Wb3 cd}, trans- posing to a line we really want to avoid (see Chapter Ten). 5..Wb6 Alternatively: a) 5.25 6 Wbh3 Wd7 7 Dgf3 c4 8 Wd1 e6 9 &e2 2e7 10 Aes Dxes 11 Sixes (11 dxe5?! De4 12 AFZ gS! 13 &g3 hs! favours Black) 11...0-0 12 g4! Ag6 13 ha Ws 14 &xf6 gxf6 15 hs &d3 16 &xd3 cxd3 17 Wb3, F.Berkes- Yshulman, Dresden Olympiad 2008. | like White’s chances in either the end- ing or middlegame. b) 5...$g4 is also a common choice 49 Play the London System at this point. Here is a recent Internet Chess Club (ICC) blitz game of mine versus an IM opponent: 6 Wb3 Wb6 7 dxc5! Wxb3 8 axb3 e5 9 &g3 &xc5 10 b4 2d6 11 Agfs Ad7 12 Re2 Le6 (or 12..0-0 13 Axes! DAdxeS 14 Sxg4 Dd3+ 15 Se2 2xg3 16 hxg3 Axb2 17 RF3 Bfd8 18 Bhb1 Ac4 19 Dxc4 dxcg 20 dS De7 21 &xb7 Habs 22 Xxa7 Bd7 23 Sbai! Sf8 24 &e4, winning a cou- ple of pawns) 13 gs &f5 14 ed! (breaking up Black’s pawn centre and eying d6) 14...dxe4 15 Agxe4 Le7 16 f3 f6 17 c4 0-0 (Black also gets a rotten ending arising from 17...@xe4?! 18 fxeq. 0-0 19 £94 Db 20 Le6+ WPh8 21 @®xb6) 18 Acd6 &xd6? (dropping ma- terial; 18...2xe4 19 Axe4 gives White good winning chances due to the bishop pair and the superior pawn ma- jority on the queenside) 19 Axd6 Le6 20 xb7 and White won in C.lakdawala-R.Pert, Internet (blitz) 2009. 6 Wb3 6...Sf5 Intending to play ...c4 next. 50 Boris Grachev, one of the World’s highest-rated London players, tried 6...g6! against me in an ICC 5-minute game. This is a tough one to crack for White. The game went 7 Agf3 c4 8 Wxb6 (perhaps White should try 8 Wc2 f5 9 Wei - at least Black had to ex- pend a tempo on ...g6) 8...axb6 9 a3 bS 10 Bc1 h6 11 h3 g5 12 Rh2 2F5 13 Re2 e6 14 Des Ad7 15 Axd7 wxd7 16 0-0 {6 17 Hfe1 2g6 18 &d1 2d6 19 &xd6 &xd6 20 e4 Hae’ 21 2f3 f5 22 exd5 exd5 23 g3 with a dynamically bal- anced game, C.Lakdawala-B.Grachev, Internet (blitz) 2009. 7 dxc5! Wxb3 8 axb3 The unnatural Fritz suggestion of 8 @xb3!? is an interesting try, which no- body seems to play as White. Let’s look: a) 8..e5 9 293 Ded 10 &b5 fo 11 Bas! 2d7 12 Axb7 Bb8 13 &xc6 Axc6 14 Das £a4 15 b4 ADxc3 16 a3 keeps the extra material. D) 8...a5 9 DAd4! Rd7 10 Agf3 Aes 11 Dbs 0-0-0 12 &c7! He8 13 2b6 e6 (13...e5? is met by 14 @c7) 14 Afdg Dxc5 15 Axcé bxc6 16 Ac7 b7! 17 Sxa5 Eb8 18 b4. Yes, still hanging on to the extra material, but honestly, | don’t trust these artificial computer- generated lines. In real life, we humans botch such positions with alarming consistency! 8...e5 9 2g3 Axc5 10 b4 2d6 Note that 10...2b6?? just drops an important pawn after 11 bS! @b8 12 Sxes. A critical opening position. Black’s “advantage” after the 10th move is an optical illusion. 1...d5 without an Early ...e6 13 Ada! At first sight, it looks rather glum for White who looks like he is getting ‘squeezed by Black’s central space. But upon closer examination, White has: 1. The open a-file; 2, Pressure on the Black centre; and 3. The possibility of some interest- {ng tactical ideas based on “Agf3 and aul. This position is deceptive and many of your opponents may be under the false belief that they have a comfort- able advantage, when in fact, Black may be barely equal. Also, such posi- {los usually favour the side with the \pace when queens are on the board. ‘mut here, Black’s space may later be- come a liability in the ending. 4a bs! 11 4\gf3?! Dhs! nets Black the Wishop pair and takes some of the pres- «ure off the centre. 44..\e7 12 Dg Dd7 Another possibility would be 12... AAg6I? 13 Ada! 2d7 14 R43. Remember this trick! White trans- fers the f3-knight into the battle. 13.286 After 13..exd4!? 14 &xd6 dxe3 15 fxe3 &g6 (intending ...Af5) 16 &f2 AfE 17 &e2 White's bishop pair gives him the edge. 14 Re2 0-0 15 0-0 Rc5 16 D4b3 Lb6 174! Finally fighting back against the mammoth pawn centre. 17...f6 18 Das! A strong plan. White forces his op- ponent to take on c4. 18...2ab8 19 ba! dxc4 Otherwise, c5 follows. 20 Sxc4+ 2F7 21 Hfda The d6-square could be a potential problem for Black if a white knight manages to land there. 21...Efd8 22 De4 Bxas?t 22...Sxc4 23 DAxc4 DFS 24 Ded6 ®xd6 25 Dxd6 may have been a better idea. 23 Sxf7+ &xf7 24 bxas a6 25 fal? Sergeev is anxious to bring his 51 bishop back into the game so he lashes out on the kingside. He still keeps a nagging edge after this move, but the immediate 25 bxaé! ties Black up badly after 25..bxa6 26 Hd6 Ha8 27 Hadi e8 28 &f1. Black can’t unravel with 28...Df8?? because he loses material after 29 Bxd8+ Bxd8 30 Ad6+. 25...axb5 26 Dd6+ Le6 27 Dxbs Acs? After this, the black king gets har- assed until the end of the game. 27...DF5! 28 Rf2 Acs 29 fxe5 fxes (29...2xe5?? loses the exchange to 30 94 De7 31 &g3+) 30 g4! Dhé 31 Ac7+ Sf7 32 h3 would have kept White's edge toa minimum. 28 fxe5 fxe5 29 Dc7+! SF5 Or else Black drops the e-pawn after 29... &f6? 30 Hf1+ eg6 31 &xes. 30 Hfa+ eq! king is now In serious danger despite the reduced material on the board. 31 Zab1 34 Hact! Db3 32 Bc4+ ed3 33 Bag @®d2 34 Hci puts the black king in greater danger than he faced in the actual game. For example, 34....g6 35 Deb Hdc8 36 c+ and Black must fork over the exchange, since on 36...8e2?? or 36...xe3??, there is 37 He1 mate. 31...c6 32 Hb5 2d3 33 Bf7 wxe3 34 Deb Hd6 34...2dc8 is answered by 35 Hf3+ e4 36 &f2! with some nasty threats! 36...Af4 37 Dc5+ SFf5 38 Re3 contin- ues the pressure. 35 Dxg7 we2! Onward! 36 Afs He6 Objectively, Black must be lost here but this is the best practical chance. It was Steinitz who said, “The king is a fighting piece. Use it!” Black is intent on hanging on to his e-pawn and may even threaten White’s pawn on e3 at some point. On the down side, Black’s 52 37 2hat Clearing g3 for the knight. 37..Ha8 38 Dg3+ bd2 If 38...de3, White plays 39 Hd7!. 39 Efxb7 @d4 If 39..Hxa5 40 95+ c3 41 Bxas ®xa5 42 Bxh7 e4 43 De2+ and White should win without too much trouble. ld 0 kgs+ tds White also keeps a decisive advan- {age In the line 40..dec3 41 Deg+ cq 42 5\d2+ dc3 43 Hd5! ho 44 2e3 Hc8 48 Deg+ cq 46 Rdd7. 0 Hba+ hc2 42 Hat e4 43 2e3! The e-pawn isn’t going anywhere. OD.4Ac6 44 Hart Gc3 45 Der Sea 46 Beas Yds 47 Bb5+ Sd6 48 Bb6 Sd5 49 Atast Winning more material. @0.\xf4 50 Bes+! Gd6 51 Bbxcé+ ed7 52 Nc7+ bd8 53 Axfa e3 54 2g5+ 1-0 Summary Wlack’s space “advantage” may actually Just be a liability for him after the 10th Move. With queens off the board, Black doesn’t have the normal attacking thances which typically come with a {erritorial advantage. Also, remember that 5 2d2 is the more exact move or- dei. In general, if you have a choice, pick 4\d2 over Af3 for your move order. Game 16 N.Sedlak-Todorovic Serbian League, Subotica 2008 1d4d5 2 &f4c5 3 e3 The Reversed Albin Counter-Gambit with 3 e4 is White’s other option (see Guimes 12-14). 3..\c6 4 3 Whe 5 Wb3 c4 Exchanging on b3 just gives White the better ending. 4.4.0) witnout an cary ..eo 6 We2 46 If Black tries the familiar trick 6...2f5!2, we are not going to back down. White has the unexpected 7 Wxfs! Wxb2 8 Wxds Wxa1 9 Wbs! 0-0-0 10 &xc4 e5!. Now there's a choice: a) 11 ez2!? will eventually trap Black’s queen and lead to a totally un- balanced game: 11..exf4 12 0-0 a6 13 Wh6 2d6 14 Ad2 &c7 15 Wh3 Das 16 We2 Wxf1+ 17 &xfi fxe3 18 fxe3 DAh6l. \ like White at the end of this line. b) White can also take a more stra- tegic route with 11 &xe5 Ab4! 12 243! @xd3+ 13 Wxd3 Wxa2 14 Af3. In re- turn for the exchange White has: 1. An extra pawn; 2. Agiant pawn centre; and 3. Open lines to attack on the queenside. 7 Dd2! Dhs!? Black tries to bag the bishop pair but we use our standard trick to mess things up. 8 2g5 h6 9 2h4 gs 10 Ler! Dg7 Let's say Black insists on going after 53 Play the London System the bishop pair: a) 10..gxh4?! 11 &xh5 Bg8 12 2F3 is clearly in White's favour. b) 10...Af4?! 11 exf4 gxh4 12 Dgf3 h3 13 g3 and Black’s pawn on h3 will very likely become a target if the game becomes simplified later on. 11 2g3 &f5 12 eal White is unafraid of the pin. The passive 12 Wc1?! e6 13 h4 Hg8 gave Black a decent game in V.Karlik- T.Pokorny, Czech League 2004. 12...2g6 13 h4 Attempting to punish Black for his earlier thrust 9...95. The alternative plan is 13 Dh3! with the idea of cas- tling kingside followed by #h1 and f4. 13...exh4 13..De6? 14 Wea! Was (14...2xe4?? 15 Qxe4 dxe4 16 d5 wins) 15 exds Wxds5 16 @xc4! is winning for White since 16..Wxg2?? 17 2f3 traps the queen. 14 Exh4 White holds a clear advantage due to his superior pawn structure. 14...0-0-0 15 Dgf3 Dh5? Trying to bring his offside knight back into the game but White has a combination. 15...e6! was a better try: 16 Aes @xes 17 &xeS Le7 18 Hh3 f6 19 Lh2! (in such lines, White must be very care- ful not to allow Black ...e5! with tempo: for example, 19 .2f4?! Ae8 20 b3 Ad6 21 £3 e5! and the game has suddenly tumed into a free-for-all) 19..Ae8 20 b3 Dd6 21 2F3 and Black's king is in some danger. 16 Exhs! White destroys Black’s pawn centre by deflecting the bishop from g6, which breaks the pin on the e-pawn. 16...2xh5 17 exd5 Exd5 17...2g6 18 Axc4! Wb5 (18...2xc2 19 Axb6+ axb6 20 dxc6 bxc6 21 Des wins because 21.296? 22 ®a6+) 19 Dd6+ exd6 20 &xb5 xc2 21 dxc6 gives White two pawns for the ex- change plus a damaged black pawn structure in the ending. 18 Dxc4 Wd8 19 De3 e6 Returning the exchange and agree- ing to go a pawn down for no compen- sation. The alternatives didn’t look good either: a) 19...2xf3 20 &xf3 Kgs 21 2f4 Bgg8 (21..Bg6? 22 Wxg6! fxg6 23 4494+ wins) 22 d5 Abs with a dismal situation for Black; b) 19...8d7 20 Wa4 297 21 &b5 also looks awful for Black. 20 A\xd5 Wxd5 21 $f! Castling kingside manually. White’s king is snug and safe while Black’s problems are just beginning on the other side of the board. 21,..0g8 22 bal The attack begins. 22...2g6 23 Wa4 2eq 23...a6 24 b5 shreds the queenside yawn cover. 24 b5 Dd8 25 Wxa7 Threatening 26 Wos+. 25...0xg3 26 Wa8+ ded7 27 fxg3 2d6 28 eal Setting up a trap which Black misses. 28....2e8? 28...2xf3 29 gxf3 Wg5 was Black's only chance, but White should win 1...d5 without an Early ...e6 comfortably after 30 Wad. 29 cq! 1-0 Unexpectedly, Black’s queen, in the middle of the board, has no place to hide. Summary Don’t be afraid to self-pin in this line with 12 e4!. Black has no easy way of exploiting it, and in the meantime White chips away at the black centre. Game 17 F.Berkes-C.Lupulescu Dresden Olympiad 2008 1d4d5 2 24.6 The London versus the Slav. 3e3 &f5 In general, symmetrical lines are no fun for Black. As a Slav and French player, | always grate my teeth when opponents play the Exchange lines. Here too in the London, it’s not so easy for Black to equalize. 4c The only move to try for the advan- tage. All other moves are too passive. 4...&xb2?1 | love it when my opponents make this move. It always ends up badly for Black. On the surface, it looks danger- ous as White's king is prevented from castling and is forced out into the open centre. Black gets all of this just at the cost of a pawn. The problem for Black is that he simply doesn’t have enough developed pieces to exploit White's king position. 5 Wxb1 e5? The logical follow-up to his last move, but the sacrifice is unsound. Black should admit his inaccuracy and back down with 5...e6. Then 6 cS! 2d7 7 D3 DAgfé 8 h3! (preserving the bishop) 8..e4 9 2d3 f5 10 Wc2 2e7 gave White a favourable London versus Stonewall Dutch setup in S.Kovacevic- ZNarga, Harkany 1994. 6 Lxes5 Wa5+ 7 Sd1 Ad7 8 &g3 5 This looks deadly but White has things under control. 9 Df3 Dgt6 10 a3! 56 This move is the key to the defence: 4! may follow with great force. 10...cxd4 10...H#d8? 21 b4! cxb4 12 axb4 Wxb4 13 Wxb4 &xb4 14 Bxa7 leaves Black a pawn down for no compensation. 11 exd4 2e7 Black can’t continue to open the po- sition up with 11..dxc4?. After 12 2xc4 Re7 13 Hei Hc8 14 Wad3! it is Black who should be worried about his king, not White. 12 c5! Deq 13 £23 f5 14 bal Wd8 Now Black has the double threat to fork on c3 and also deflect the g3- bishop with ...f4. If 14...c3+2? 15 &c2 @xb1, then 16 bxa5 strands the knight. 15 Wb3! “Falling” for it. 15...f4 16 Qxf4 Dxf2+ 17 e2 Anh 18 Wxdsi! Giving up a full rook to keep Black’s king in the centre. {f Black tries to extricate the knight with 18...2f2, his king gets trapped in Yr. contre: 19 skb5 4)g4 20 4\g51 axg5 a1 kxgs Agfé 22 Beit &f8 23 Wd6+ wt7 24 We6+ $g6 25 Af4 and there is no defence to &d3+. 19 b5+ 28 20 Wxd8+! The best practical move. White avoids the complications arising from a0 Wxb7!? Was! 21 2c6 W5+. 20...2xd8 21 Exh1 Ads 22 2g3 White has more than enough for the exchange: 1. Two healthy pawns; 2. A monster central and queenside pawn majority; 3. Active pieces; and 4. A lead in development. 22...H5! Black finds an efficient method of developing the h8-rook, and he also avoids the rather obvious trap 22...De3+? 23 Sd3 Dxg2?? 24 Agi. 23 Hea h4 24 Be5 Bh6 25 2c4 Ug6 26 He2! Another brilliant move. White de- liberately falls for a mini-combination but he has assessed the position deeper than his opponent. 1..@5 witnour an carly ...€o 26...Exg2 This looks like a shot. 27 Exg2 De3+ 28 Ld3 Axg2 29 Leg! Ls In return for only a pawn, White has centralized his king which helps sup- port the passed queenside pawn ma- jority. Also, the black knight is stuck on g2 and is in great danger. 29... 216 30 2d6+ Be7 31 2c7 BcB After 31..2d7 32 2e5 g5! 33 d5 2d8 34 4d4, not much can be done by Black. Advances with b5 and cé follow, creating unstoppable passed pawns. 32 Les FE?! Cracking under the strain of the re- lentless White pressure, but to be fair, Black didn’t have much of a chance of survival after 32...g5 33 d5 either. 33 Re6! Hc6 34 Lh3 Rxe5 35 Dxes Ha6 36 xg2 Exa3 37 fs! Haz 38 &xb7 Bxh2 39 c6 Bc2 1-0 40 Se6! h3 41 &d7! h2 42 c7 ends all resistance. Summary In the symmetrical line, play c4! and do not fear ..2xb1. After a bishop or 57 queen check on the a5-e1 diagonal, the white king is surprisingly safe on di. Game 18 A.Yermolinsky-E.Lu US Open, Dallas 2008 1 dq Dfé 2 c4 c6 3 24. d5 4 e3 255 D3 We reach our position through a Slav move order. 5.06 6 Wb3 Wb6 This line leads to a miserably hard ending for Black. 6...Wc8 is covered in the next game. simple enough) 13 “\f3 47 14 Des $b7 15 Bxf8! Exf8 16 Dad! regains the exchange while retaining the extra pawn, since 16...2a8?? is met with 17 94 f6 18 d7! winning more material. gba! The bs advance is coming. 9 b4 is an improvement over 9 h3?! 2e7?! (9...a61 10 b4 Hc8! sidesteps b5) 10 b4 0-0 11 b5 e5! 12 &h2 exd4 13 exd4 Bfes 14 Re2 De4 15 bxc6 bxc6 16 Adi a5 17 fz gs 18 De3 Dxf3+ 19 Qxf3 26 20 &d2 £e4!, when Black had counter- play against the d4-pawn in A.Miles- Qian Jifu, Beijing 1993. 7:¢5! Wxb3 8 axb3 White has a nagging space advan- tage on the queenside, with the possi- bility of b4 and b5. 8...Dbd7 8..0hs? just loses a pawn to 9 &xb8! Exb8 10 Bxa7. If Black tries to open the game on the queenside to exploit his development lead with 10...b6, then 11 cxb6 Exb6 12 Ha8+ Bd7 (12..2e7 13 Re2 Dé 14 Ada is 58 9...Dh5, Black can try to mess things up with 9...2e7 10 b5 e5!?. However, the com- plications still favour White after 11 dxe5 Dh5 12 b4 g5! (a good try - it looks like Black is taking the initiative) 13 &xqg5! (without this piece sac, Black would be okay) 13..axg5 14 @f3. Black’s entire queenside is dissolving. White threatens 2d4, hitting c6é and the bishop on f5. He will then consoli- date with f4. At a minimum, White nets three healthy pawns for the piece and leaves Black with damaged re- maining pawns. 0 kes) Provoking Black’s next move. 20...f671 10...2)xe5! 11 dxe5 g5! may be the best option, but | still don’t trust Black’s Position. White has several trumps here: 1. Black’s knight on h5 is offside; 2. White has access to d4 for a knight; 3. The open a-file adds pressure to Black's position; and 4. White has a space advantage. Black has a rather solid position and the bishop pair, but he will have to play very accurately to keep the balance. For instance, 12 2e2 Ag7 13 Df3 13...2e7 140-0 £6 15 exf6 2xf6 16 b5 e5 17 bxc6 bxc6 18 Ha6! d4 19 exd4 exd4 20 Abs! with multiple threats. If 11..g6? (instead of 11.95), then 12 f3! &c2 13 Sd2! 2b3 14 Baz (no test for the bishop) 14...2c4 15 &xcq dxc4 16 He4 with a winning bind for 1..09 witnout an carly ...€0 White. The c4-pawn is doomed and White will land a knight on d6. Black’s knight will also be out of play for a very long time. 11 2c7! 11...g5! Black doesn’t get lured into 11..Hc8? 12 &d6! 2xd6 13 cxd6 g5 (13...a6?? drops a piece: 14 2e2 &g6 15 94 and the offside knight has no place to go) 14 Bxa7 Eb8 15 Aad b6 16 Re2 ®g7 17 bs! c5 18 Axb6! Axbé (if 18..Exb6 19 dxc5 Axc5 20 Ba8+ wd7 21 Bxh8 Des 22 AZ Axdé6 23 hdl, White unravels and the extra exchange wins the game) 19 dxc5 when White’s armada of pawns cannot be halted. 12 b5 cxb5, 12...8c8? loses the a7-pawn to 13 bxc6 Hxc7 14 cxd7+ &xd7 15 Bxa7. 13 Dxbs a6 14 Ld6! Bc8 15 Gxts dxf if 15...axb5?, 16 2d6 b4 17 a7 wins for White. 16 Ad6 He7 17 Axf5 exfs 18 Dez! Targeting the d5-pawn. Black's pawn structure is a train wreck and d5 soon falls. 59 18...f4 18..$f7 19 Dc3 Seb 20 Re2 Dg7 (20...g4? 21 h3!) 21 2f3 wins the pawn. 19 Dc3 fxe3 20 fxe3 Hc6 21 Bez Ag7 22 0-0 #7 23 Dxd5 The game is essentially over. Grand- master Yermolinsky has a healthy extra central pawn. 23...He8 24 bg Hec8 25 bs HcdB Or 25...axb5 26 &xb5 and either f6 or b7 will fall. 26 c6 bxc6 27 bxc6 Aes 28 dxe5 1-0 The white knight can't be touched. Summary The ending arising after the eighth move gives White lasting strategic pressure in the symmetrical line. Game 19 B.Laurent-V.Dreux Metz 2006 144 d5 2 2f4 Dfe 3 e3 215 4.465 Dc3 e6 6 Wb3 Wc8?! This super-passive option looks 60 rather difficult for Black. His queen doesn’t seem too comfortable looking down the barrel of the c-file with a white rook on c1. Black plans to even- tually take on c4 and use the d5-square for a knight to initiate swaps. The trou- ble with this plan is that White takes over the centre. a a Ws 7 ca a6 Black is worried about tactics based on &b5, due to the unfortunate position of the queen. 7..dxc4 8 &xc4 prevents most of these tactics but just gives White a great position. For example, 8...2e7 9 DF3 0-0 10 0-0 Hbd?7 11 Het! @hs? 12 Res! Dhf6 (Black probably re- alized here that 12..axe5? 13 Axes! @f6 14 e4 2g6 15 d5! leads to disaster) 13 e4 &g6 14 Af4 Hes 15 es! Ads 16 &xd5 exd5 17 Dxd5 and White won a pawn, B.Finegold-J.Kleiman, Tulsa 2008. 8 Df3 Dbd7 White doesn’t have to worry about his bishop on f4 just yet: 8..2h5? 9 Re5 Dd7? 10 cxd§ exds 11 DxdS! wins after 11...2e6 12 Dc7+ Wxc7 13 Wxeb+ fxe6 14. 2xc7. pha! One of the most important skills to develop for London players is to get a feel for the correct timing for h3, and also knowing when h3 is not necessary. e710 2e2 0-0 10...h6 11 0-0 0-0 12 Hfda looks like an orthodox Queen’s Gambit Declined, except Black’s queen is rather uncom- fortably placed on c8. aa hal 11...2¢6 11...2e4 doesn’t escape the prob- lems after 12 0-0 dxc4 (or 12...He8 13 oxd§ exd5 14 f3 2g6 15 Axg6 hxgé 16 e4 with strong pressure for White) 13 Rxc4 2d5 14 Axds exd5 15 DfS!, with a clear advantage for White. 12 0-0 dxc4 13 Dxgé hxgé A forced move. 13...cxb3?? drops a piece after 14 Dxe7+ @h8 15 AxcB Baxc8 16 axb3. 14 2xeq White has emerged from the open- ing with three considerable strategic plusses: 1. The bishop pair; 2@2 Winou un curly ..co 2. A bigger pawn centre; and 3. A central space advantage. 14...2h7? This move is a sure sign that Black is having trouble coming up with a de- fensive plan. 15 eg?! It's important to prevent Black from untangling on the queenside with ...b5, ..Wb7 and ...c5. He can do this by play- ing 15 &d3! maintaining the bind, since if Black insists on 15...b5?, then 16 Dea Wo7 17 Ag5+! (exploiting Black’s aimless 14th move) 17..2g8 18 Axe6! fxe6 19 Wxe6+ Ef7 20 &xg6 wins. 15...b5! Seizing his chance to fight back. 16 2e2 5 17 dxc5?! Losing almost all of his advantages. White still has a very promising at- tack after 17 e5! c4. 18 We2 Ads (after 18..He8 19 2F3 Ba7 20 d5 exd5 21 Dxd5 Wd8 22 Hedi 295 23 Wd2 Axa 24 Wxf4 Black is too tangled up to sur- vive) 19 Axd5 exd5 20 23). Now f4, f5 and maybe even g4 follow with great effect. 61 17...Dxc5 18 We2 b4l 19 Dag Acxes Black is close to equalizing. 20 Wxc8 Efxc8 21 Db6 Hxct 22 Hxct Eas 22..a7 23 Dc8B Bd7 24 Dxe7 Hxe7 25 Sh2! (threatening to corral the e4- knight with f3) 25..Ad5 26 &xa6 Baz 27 &d3 Def6 28 Bat! still gives White some chances to win. He intends to eventually create a passed pawn with ad. 23 &xa6?? Missing Black’s threat. 23 Re3! a5 24 Hc7 Ag8 25 Ba7 Af6 26 Ac4 would keep Black under pres- sure. 23.52? He returns the favour. Black wins with 23.25! 24 DcB Qxf2+ 25 bf @h5 26 Kh2 Bd2 27 Re2 (forced) 27...Exb2. 24 24 Dd3 25 Lxd3 Exd3 26 Le3 Dd5 27 Dxds Bxds 28 Sfa Has 29 Be7 &f6 30 Ha7! After a few serious missteps, White wins the critical final battle. His last move displays excellent judgement. 62 White temporarily sacs a pawn to swap tooks. His king, much closer to the queenside thanks to Black’s weak 14th move, regains the pawn and decides the outcome of the game. 30,..Exa7 30...EbS 31 a4 bxa3 32 bxa3 &g8 33 Ha8+ @h7 34 a4 is also lost for Black, since he has no good way of halting the march of the a-pawn. 32 Bxa7 Sxb2 32 de2 Black’s b4-pawn is doomed, after which White emerges with a deadly outside, passed a-pawn. 32...85 33 ted3 2c3 tf Black avoids ...2c3 he is still too slow: 33...95 34 @c4 &g6 35 &xb4 fs 36 a4 e4 37 a5 f4 38 a6 and White is just faster. 34 aa! Creating the passer without even bothering to win the b-pawn. 34...e4+ 1735 Se2?l Complicating the win a bit. Much simpler was calling the bluff with 35 xed! b3 36 &d3 Res 37 a5. 35...SLe1 36 &b3 f5 37 a5 £4 38 a6 &d2 39 L.b6 €3 40 fxe3 fxe3 After 40...&xe3? White ignores the bishop and promotes with 41 a7]. aa decal Not falling for the trap 41 a7?? e2 42 kf2 Re3! (a saving deflection) 43 het kxa7 44 &xb4 with a draw. 41...b3+ 42 &xb3l e2 43 Af2 2e3 44 ei Lh6 45 kcq cogs 46 &d3 1-0 After taking the pawn on e2, White wins a piece with 2f2. Summary When Black goes in for the super- passive ...Wc8 in the Symmetrical, the game turns into a type of orthodox Queen’s Gambit Declined where the black queen is misplaced on the c-file. Game 20 L.Winants-V.Georgiev Turin Olympiad 2006 1d4.d5 2246 3 e3 Wb6 4b3 Sac'ing the b-pawn is dubious. This 2.0) Witnout an carly ...c0 is one of the few times in the London System where White plays b3 in re- sponse to ...Wb6. 4.5 5 2d3 After 5 Df3 e6 6 Rd3 Lg6 7 0-0 Af6 8 c4 Dbd7 9 c5 Wd8 10 b4 Dhs 11 Ac3 ®xf4 12 exf4 Be7 13 a4, White's queenside space and his grip on e5 counts for more than Black’s ownership of the dark-squared bishop, P.Eljanov- V.Golod, Netanya 2009. 5...2xd3 6 Wxd3 Af6 7 Df3 Abd7 8 0-0 26 9c4 Wa6 10 Abd2 There is no need to preserve the bishop with 10 h3. 10...Dh5?! Given that Black ends up rejecting ..)xf4, he should have continued to develop with 10...e7 11 e4 dxe4 12 Axea Dxe4 13 Wxe4 0-0, with a micro- scopic edge for White due to his extra space. aa hal? 11 Re5 f6 12 &g3 Axg3 13 hxg3 also looks good for White, since e6 may turn into a problem after White plays e4, 63 11...2e7 Black now realizes that he can’t take the bishop without trouble. 11...axf4 12 exf4 g6 13 Rfe1 and now: a) 13...0-0-0?? 14 g5 wins material. b) 13...2g7 14 f5! gxfs 15 Wxfs Afe 16 Wf4 and Black suffers with unre- solved king safety issues. 12 Bh2 h6 13 e4 dxeq 14 Axed 0-0 15 ea! KS a « N With Black’s queen vacationing on the east coast, this risky-looking thrust is absolutely correct. 15... Dhf6 16 Dxf6+ @xfé Things also look grim for Black after 16...2xf6 17 g5 hxg5 18 hxg5 2e7 19 g2! with 2h1 to follow. 17 g5 hxgs 18 hxgs Ah7 19 fa Eds 20 &g2! Arook or two will enter along the h- file. 20...Df8 21 Des! 21 Bh1?! 4g6 would allow Black to defend. 21...2¢5 Nothing can save Black now: a) 21..d6 22 Wh3 &xe5 23 Bhi 64 2g6 24 Wh7+ tf8 25 xes ZxeS 26 dxe5 c5 27 Wh8+ e7 28 Wxg7 Wc6+ 29 gi WF3 30 Wf6+ Wxf6 31 exf6+ wins. b) 21...c5 22 Bh1 £6 23 gxfé &xf6 24 Wh3 2xe5 25 Wh8+ $f7 26 &xe5 and g7 falls. 22 Bhi &xd4 23 Wh3 Dg6 24 Axgé 1-0 Summary White gets a slight space advantage in the London versus Slav lines when Black opts for an early ... Wb6 and ...2f5. This is one of the few lines | know of where White meets ...Wb6 with b3. Game 21 G.Kamsky-K.Lerner New York Open, 1990 14 Afé 2 Af3 ds 3 246403 Req This is the London versus the Torre Attack. 5 Dbd2 White can play in traditional style with 5 c4 here. For example, 5..e6 6 Wb3 Wc8?! (I never understand why anyone plays this passive move when they have 6...Wb6 as an option) 7 Aes {5 8 Ac3 Dbd7 9 Le2 Deg? (Black should play 9...h6 here) 10 cxd5! exd5 11 S\xeq Sxeq 12 2g4! f5 13 f3! fxg 14 fred Rd6 15 Dd3 Axfq 16 Axf4 ATE 17 exd5 g5 18 dxc6! and Black was a pawn down and defending a nauseat- {ng position in G.Kamsky-LAronian, Nice (rapid) 2009. 5.06 6 h3 Sxf3 Black must cede the bishop pair. If 6..2h5? 7 g4! &g6 8 Aes! Abd7 9 hal, the threat of hs forces a dreadful weak- ening move, and after 9...h5 10 Axg6 fxg6 11 g5 Ag8 12 &h3 Black is strate- gically lost: 1, His structure is a train wreck; 2. White has the bishop pair; 3. White leads in development and this will almost certainly lead to an at- tack; 4. White controls the key e5-square; and finally 5. White may open at will with ei- ther e4, c4, or both moves. 7 Dxf3 Wh6 8 2d3!? 1.0) wiinuue un cuny wow 8.05 tf Black plays the greedy 8...Wxb2!?, then 9 0-0 gives White a huge lead in development for the pawn. The ques- tion remains: if Black had no intention of capturing on b2, why play ...Wb6 in the first place? 90-0 Ac6 10 c3!? cxd4 It's too late to grab the pawn: 10,..Wxb2?? 11 Hb1 Wxc3 12 Hxb7 c4. 13 &c2 and there is no reasonable way to deal with &a4. 11 exd4 2e7 Black can take the pawn once again, but there is still risk: 11...Wxb2!? 12 4b1 and now: a) 12...Wxc3?? 13 Exb7 Bc8 14 &b5 a7 15 Wa4 and White wins. b) 12...\Wxa2! 13 Exb7 a6! 14 2c2! Da7 15 De5 &e7 gives White good compensation for the pawn but still may be playable for Black. 12 We2 Finally protecting his b-pawn. 12...0-0 13 Hab1 Efc8 14 Efea Was 15 65 Certainly not 15...h6?? 16 Axf7 &xf7 17 Wxe6+ &f8 18 296. 16 g4 Hes Lerner refuses to weaken his king with ...h6. 17 We3 2d6 18 2xd6 Wxd6 19 f4! a6! Both sides follow the correct plan and begin minority attacks on opposite wings. 20 Df3 Ad7 24 a3 b5 22 He2 Aas 22...Bab8 (intending ...a5 and ...b4) 23 Des a5 24 Bxh7+! xh7 25 Axf7 We7 26 Wd3+ &g8 27 Ags Afs 28 Hxe6! gives White three healthy pawns for the piece. I'm not sure who stands better but the computers prefer White by about half a pawn. 23 Des Aca 24 Wg Afs 25 ha We7 26 Efa Dd6 27 hs £6 28 fa Ze7 29 Wha! Threatening to play hé. 29...D€7 30 Wha Hae8 31 Hfe1 'm not sure where Black went wrong but the momentum has clearly swung towards White, who has co- erced Black into abandoning his queenside play. 31...d6 32 Bg2l Wb6 33 Ghia Wds! 66 {f Black presses on the other wing with the natural 33...a5?, there follows 34 Wha 3d7 35 h6 g6 36 Ege2 b4 37 axb4 axb4 38 f5! and White breaks through first. 34 Whal 4d7 35 Ege2 Gh Uy GY [tm fe 8 Kamsky’s policy of constant har- assment has paid dividends, but here he misses an immediate win with 36 2g6! Hg8 37 Bxeb. 36 Wh2? 4Af7 37 g5! f5 38 g6 Dh6 39 Dgs DB 40 gxh7 Wde 41 Bei Lc7 42 ‘Wg3 Wd8 43 We3 Hee7 44 Wh3 Wes 45 Heg2 Hb7 46 Af3 Bf7 47 Des Efe 48 Wha &xh7 49 2e2 Wd8 50 Acé Wes 51 Dba a5 52 Dd3 Dgs 53 Wes whs 54 Des Hhé 55 Sh2 Df6 56 23! Ah7 57 We2 Afer! 57...4C7! avoids the game continua- tion. 584! Sac’ing a pawn to create a powerful passed c-pawn. 58..bxad 59 ¢4 Deg 60 c5 Dh7 61 c6 Hc7 62 Wg6! This flashy move is designed to teach a winning ending. 1...d5 without an Early ...e6 62... Dhf6 If 62...Bxg6?? White wins after 63 hxg6 Defé 64 gxh7 g5 (White threat- ened to move his knight to g6) 65 fxg5 4g4 66 &xg4 fxg4 67 g6 Hg7 68 Hxg4 Wf8 69 DF7+ Kxf7 70 gxf7 and Eg8+. 63 Wxe8+ Dxe8 64 Hat Dsf6 65 Rxa4 ‘ga 66 2xga fxg4 67 Axga Excé Otherwise the c6-pawn chokes Black. 68 Axh6 Hci+ 69 gz gxh6 70 Bxa5 sbg7 71 Ha7+ Sf6 72 Sf3 Hfi+ 73 Le3 gi 74 Sd3 Hdi+ 75 sez Hxd4 76 Eg2 D5 77 Zc7 Acq+ 78 &b1 &F5 79 He2l Removing Black’s rook makes it easy for Kamsky to shepherd his b-pawn up the board. 79...De4 80 Haxc4 Ad2+ 81 wea Anca 82 Hf7+ gq 83 Efe wxh5 84 Exeé6 This move order has the benefit of not allowing Black to play ...2g4, hit- ting or pinning a knight on f3. 3.6 3...f6!? is an interesting idea here: a) In the game N.Levat-H.Jurkovic, Kastav 2002, White complied with 4 4?! and there followed 4...e5! 5 dxe5 fxe5 6 cxd5 exf4 7 dxc6 Wxd1+ 8 dxd1 fxe3 9 cxb7? &xb7 10 fxe3 0-0-0+ 11 @e1 AE 12 Ac3 Ag4 13 e4 Bcd 14 @Dh3 De3 15 Hci Bhf8 16 Afa Axg2+ 17 &xg2 &xf2+0-1. 68 b) | would continue with 4 f3! g45 2D5 e6 6 c4 Rb4+ 7 Ac3 Dge7 8 Wb3. | prefer White in this sharp posi- tion. 4Of3 2g45 2b5 5... SXF3? This breaks the principle stating: Don’t capture a pinned piece unless there is a concrete gain from it. Here Black gives away the bishop pair with- out even getting a tempo (h3) for it. 6 Wxf3 e6 7 Ad2 2d6 8 Bgs a6?! Wasting more time. 9 Lxc6+ bxc6 10 e4 Threatening to play e5. 10...S2€7 11 We3! 5, A desperate move. 11...Wd7 12 e5 Dg8 13 2xe7 Dxe7 14 Ab3 is strategi- cally horrible for Black. White’s knight will either sit comfortably on c5, or may go to a5 to put pressure on the weak c6-pawn. Black tries to avoid this lin- gering death by giving up a pawn. 12 Sxf6 2xf6 12...gxf6 13 dxc5 d4 14 Wed is even worse for Black. 13 Wxcs Wide! 13...dxe4? is met by 14 Wc6+ #8 15 G\xe4 &xd4 16 0-0-0. 14 Wxd6 cxd6 15 exd5 2xd4 15...exd5 16 c3 Hb8 17 0-0-0 2g5 18 ‘hic2 &xd2 19 Exd2 &d7 20 Kei also looks rather easy for White. 16 c3 2a7 17 0-0-0! e5 Black doesn’t have the time for 17...2xf2, as 18 De4 23+ 19 Hc2 He7 20 dxe6 fxe6 21 Mxdé is hopeless. 18 “eq &d7 19 ga! 19...f6? Passive defence will definitely lose. Black should try blasting open the f-file with 19...2hf8 20 g5! f5 21 gxf6 gxf6 22 hg1 Sf7 23 Bg3 f5 24 Ags He7 25 dz. Black’s central pawns may make it hard for White to force victory. 20 Ehga Hac8 21 b3 a5 22 ked2 4c7?! Black places her hopes on the queenside, where White dominates. 23 Hg3 bs?! 24 Af3 Kf8 25 Ags! Lb7 26 Deé Lf7 27 He2 2b6 28 h4 wes 29 hs g6? This can only help White, who will seize control of the h-file. 30 hxg6 hxgé 31 Eh1 Hbe7 32 Hhs8+ 1...d5 without an Early ...e6 bd7 33 DfB+ A second pawn falls. 33..02d8 34 Dxg6+ HeB 35 Bxes+ xe8 36 Gd3 28 37 Dh4 Bh7 38 fs d7 39 Ags Hg7 40 Dea Hee 40..xg4 is no better: 41 Dxf6+ Axfo 42 Exfé e7 43 Bho Bf4 44 Bh7+ &f6 45 &e3 threatening Hd7. 41 Hs 2e7 42 £3 Wes 43 a4 S47 44 b4 gs 45 g5! Ege After 45...82g6 46 gxf6! xfs 47 fxe7, the e7-pawn costs Black the rook. 46 exfé 1-0 Summary if Black plays ...s294 prematurely in the Chigorin line, White should consider counter-pinning with 2bs to damage Black's queenside. Game 23 C,Lakdawala-D.Hart Gambito (rapid), San Diego 2009 1d4 d5 2 Af3 Acé 3 2F4 69 The London throws off Chigorin players, who usually just study the main lines like 3 c4 294 4 cxd5 2xf3 5 gxf3 Wxd5. Most are unprepared to deal with White’s unassuming setup. An exception would be my opponent in this game, who plays the London him- self as White. 3..ga 4 e3 e6 5 c4 2d6 After 5...Af6 6 Dc3 Le7 7 h3 Lxf3 8 Wxf3 0-0 9 Le2 Da5 10 cxd5 Axd5 11 @xd5 exd5 12 0-0 c6 13 Haci 2d6 14 Re2l Axt4 15 Wxf4 We7 16 Hfct! Hads 17 £43 Bfe8 18 Bc3 Black has not equalized. His knight is offside and he must move his b-pawn to bring it back, weakening him down the c-file: 18...b6 (if Black avoids ...b6, White can force it: 18...g6 19 Wh6 Hd7 20 cs!) 19 Hac2 Hd6 20 b4 Hf6? 21 Wha! Wxb4 22 Wxh7+ &f8 23 Wh8+ de7 24 Wxg7 left Black busted in E.Grivas-R.Hristopoulos, Athens 1984. 6 &g3 AF 7 Dc3 0-0 8 cxd5 exd5S tage, since 9...”\e7? 10 s&kh4l would be awkward for Black. White would inflict damage to the pawn structure after 10...C6 (it’s either this move or drop the d-pawn) 11 2xf6 gxf6. 9.227 10 2xf6 2xf6 11 Lez 1am embarrassed to admit that my original plan was the incredibly greedy line 11 Wb3? 2xf3 12 gxf3, but then I realized Black had 12...2xd4! 13 exd4 @xd4 14 Wa4 Dxf3+ 15 edi Wg5 16 We2 Efe8 with three healthy pawns and a big attack for the piece. 11..De7! Good positional play, redeploying the knight over to the kingside. The knight was not effective anymore on 6. 120-06 The position resembles a Queen’s Gambit Declined Exchange Variation where Black has equalized with ease. 13 We2 9 &hq?! Getting fancy. The simple 9 2e2! is an improvement and keeps the advan- 70 13...D65? Black plunges into unfavourable complications. He has a number of ways of retaining safe equality here, but this move is not one of them: a) 13... 2xf3?7!1 14 Axf3 a5 15 a3 DcB! 16 b4 axb4 17 axb4 Hxa1 18 Exai bs! 19 4\e2 Wd6 20 Wc5! may keep a tiny edge for White. b) 13...a5! stalls White’s minority at- tack ideas and gives Black a easy game. c) 13...2e8! also looks fine for Black. 14 2d31 g6 14...S2xF3?? just loses a pawn to 15 skxf5 and h7 falls. ash3? 15 De5! may have been a better plan. After 15...&2xe5 16 dxe5 Ag7 17 e4l dxed! (if 17...d4? 18 Dad! f6 19 exf6 Wxf6 20 f4 and White's kingside pawn majority is clearly more potent than Black's disorganized majority on the queenside) 18 Dxeq Wd4 19 Df6+ WhB 20 Hae1, White controls a lot of key squares and may have chances for a kingside attack. 15...SXF3 16 2xf5 xg? Hart missed 16..gxf5! 17 gxf3 fa! with good counterplay. 17 xg2 gxfs 18 Wxts itetat ‘a us Now White hangs on to a strategic 2..@9 WITNOUL an curly ...co advantage for the rest of the game. He controls the light squares and the knight is superior to the bishop. 18...@h8 19 Hg We7 20 &h2 Ege 21 ga Bg6 22 Hag Bags 23 Ae2 Hes 24 Dal The queen is immune from capture on f5 due to the mate threat on g8. If Black tries to improve his pawn struc- ture with 24..n6 25 Hxg5 Hxg5 26 Bixg5 hxg5 27 DhS 2g7 28 wg3! kegs 29 &g4 f6, White continues to make progress with 30 f3!. 24...Exg4 25 Exg4 Exga 26 hxg4 hé 27 bg3 Lha+ 28 Sf3 26 29 Dd3 &g7 30 Ota Threatening to fork on hs. 30...g8 31 Dh5 2g7 32 b3 White has several advantages in the ending: 1. He has centralized his king posi- tion; 2. His queen and knight pair outgun Black’s queen and bishop pair; 3. Black's pawn structure has sus- tained damage on the kingside; and 4. White has the possibility to ex- 71 Play the London System pand in the centre with the plan of f3 and e4 at some point. 32...Wha?t A time pressure blunder, but Black was ina very difficult situation: a) 32..Wa3? 33 Wc8+ &h7 (or 33...8f8 34 Wxb7 Wxa2 35 Dfo+ &g7 36 Dd7 Wb1 37 Des Wed+ 38 kg3) 34 Wxb7 and White wins. ) 32...We6! is Black’s best defensive chance. He is actually lost in the king and pawn ending, but White must con- tinue very accurately: 33 Axg7! &xg7 34 Wxe6! fxe6 35 Sf4 fo 36 b4 bé Be | DP a 37 e4] a6 (37...dxe4 38 Sxe4 &g5 39 3 $16 40 &f4 bs 41 Wed a6 42 a3! is zugzwang, and 42...&f7 43 eS we7 44 f4 &f7 45 &d6 wins) 38 a3 dxe4 39 skxe4 a5 40 bxaS bxas 41 a4 wg5 42 f3 Sie 43 4 7 44 Ges Se7 45 f4 and once again Black is zugzwanged. 33 Wc8+ &h7 34 Wxb7 Whit 35 we2 Wea 36 Wd7 1-0 Summary It may be best for White to play c4 and cxd5 in Chigorin lines, leading to a Queen’s Gambit Declined structure where Black’s knight is slightly mis- placed on c6. Game 24 A.Riazantsev-R.Aschenbrenner Oberwart 2003 1.dq d5 2 Af3 Acé 3 2f4 2g44e3 e6 5 Re2 Df6 6 0-0 2d6 7 2p3 Deg 8 Abd2 @xg3 9 hxg3 0-0 10 c4 dxcq Black has no other useful moves. The bishop pair doesn’t mean much in this static structure. 11 Dxc4 11...2e7 It isn’t so easy for Black to free him- self with the ..e5 break, because 11...We7 12 Bc1 e5? just drops a pawn after 13 Afxes! Rxe2 14 Axc6 Axd1 15 Dxe7+ &xe7 16 Bfxd1. 12 Hea Wd5 13 a3 Bfd8 14 ba! a6 14...a5?7! 15 b5! Wxbs 16 Dd6 Whs 17 Qxb7 Edb8 18 Acs leaves Black with a target on c7 and an extra pawn island. 15 Wc2 Whs 16 23! Improving the bishop's position. 16...26 16...2xf3?! 17 gxf3 Wxf3?? would be a terrible decision: 18 &xh7+ #&h8 19 she4 Wh5 20 &g2! &g8 21 Bhi Wbs 22 Nes! Dxes 23 Rh7+ 8 24 243! with the deadly double threat of taking the queen on b5 and mating on h8. 17 2e4 The pressure mounts. Black has not achieved any of the ...a5, ...c5 or ..e5 breaks and remains bound. Now White threatens to destroy the queenside pawn structure by capturing on cé6. 17...2.f5! Forced. 18 Dcd2!? White wants control of the e4- square. The alternative would be 18 skxf5 Wxf5 19 Wxfs exfs 20 Acd2 Le7 21 Db3, with pressure along the c-file and the opportunity to land a knight oncs. 18...2xe4 19 Dxeq Le7 20 Wb2 Hd5 21 N\e5 Whel A clever idea, intending to swing 1...d5 without an Early ...e6 the rook to hs. 22 Sfda! White is willing to run all the way to e2 with his king if necessary. Now was not the time for avarice with 22 2xb7?, in view of 22..2h5 23 Dh4 &xh4 24 gxh4 Bxh4 25 f4 Eh1+ 26 f2 Wh4+ 27 &e2 Whs+ and White must agree to a draw by perpetual check with 28 &f2 Wh4+ 29 @e2 Whs5+, since 28 &d2?? loses to 28...kxf1! 29 2xf1 Ws! with a double attack. 22..,2X€5 After 22..h5?! 23 df1 Bhi+ 24 e2 Hxd1 25 Exd1 b6 26 Ad3 2d6 27 ca Ae7 28 e4 Black feels the squeeze. 23 Exes Bhs 24 Xxhs Wxhs 25 ct The pressure continues. Black still has not achieved any of his freeing breaks. 25...Wb5 26 Wb3 Wb6 27 Ags! Heading for cs. 27...h6 28 Ded De7 29 Dc5 ZdB 30 Weg 6 31 a4! White rolls forward with the 2 on 3 minority attack. The plan is to insert b5 at some point. 31...Dd5 32 Dd3 D6!? would have played 32...a5 just out of irritation, hoping for some degree of freedom. 33 Wes We7 If 33..Wxc5? 34 bxc5 and then White’s plan would be to tie Black down to the defence of b7 by playing b1 and manoeuvring his knight to a5. 34.b5 axb5 35 axb5 2\d7 36 We7 Hc8 37 Dba Dbs 38 Wes! Agood decision. After 38 Wxc7 Exc7 39 bxc6 Axcé 40 Dxc6 Excé 41 Rxc6 bxc6 White is unable to exploit the sin- gle Black weakness on c6 in the king and pawn ending. 38...g6 39 d5! Milking the pin on the c-file. Black can’t get impatient with 39...exd5??, because 40 Dxds Wd8 41 Ae7+ picks off the exchange. 39...b6 40 Wed exds 41 Axds Wd8 42 e4?t Riazantsev misses a trick with 42 Wg4! (threatening to take on c8) 42.697 43 Axb6! (overloading the black queen) 43...f5 44 Wd4+ Wxd4 45 74 exd4 Ec7 46 Xc5! and Black has no de- fence to the threat of 47 451. 42...65 Black’s best shot at survival would be to get the queens off the board, even at the cost of a pawn. Maybe some- thing like 42...h5! 43 Wc3! cS 44 Hat Wade 45 Dfe+ Lf8 46 Dxhs! Wada 47 Wxd4 cxd4 48 Df4 and White still faces some technical difficulties to convert. 43 Rd 43...Dd7 This drops a pawn without a fight, but Black cannot survive: 43...Wd6 44 De3! We7 45 Wds Hes 46 Wd6! Wxe4 47 Dd5! with the threat of 48 Af6. 44. Dxb6! Wxb6 45 Bxd7 Hf8 46 e5 h5? Missing a giant threat, but Black’s position was past saving. 47 2d6 Was 48 Zxg6+ wh7 49 Kgs 1-0 Summary Notice how skilfully White played to prevent his opponent from breaking from the bind with any of the ...c5, ..a5 or ..e5 breaks. Black’s bishop pair proved to be no help at all in this game. Chapter Three London versus Queen’s Indian In this chapter we consider lines where Black adopts the Queen's Indian set-up with ...b6 and ...2b7. If Black plays ...c5 and ...cxd4, White has a choice of recaptures: 1. White recaptures with exd4 This asymmetrical recapture sharp- ens play. White usually builds an attack on the kingside by using the open e-file and gradually transferring pieces to that wing (see Games 25-26). 2. White recaptures towards the centre with cxd4 i ‘ype ax fn, Y If Black later plays ...d5, the game transposes to an ...e6 version of the Exchange Slav. If Black holds back his d- pawn then White gains a useful space advantage with e3-e4. There are sev- eral demonstrations by Prié in this chapter of how to play the White pieces in the cxd4 lines (see Games 27-29). White normally plays h2-h3 at some point to give the bishop an escape 75 Pluy the London System square on h2, but not always. Blatny does not consider ..Ah5 to be a threat and ignores it, playing We2!?, 0-0-0!? and h4 going for opposite-wing at- tacks. He reasons that if Black chooses -Oh5xf4, Black is moving his knight three times to take a bishop which has moved only once and also strengthens White's grip over e5. It is an interesting idea which almost certainly will throw your opponents (see Games 32-33). Miles-Gurevich (Game 34) and Me- duna-Vavrak (Game 35) provide exam- ples of 5 c4!?, which tends to take the game into more mainstream Queen's Indian waters. London purists tend to tefrain from the move c4 and favour the more conservative 5 Abd2 and 6 c3 lines. My philosophy is to play both and mix it up. The more you expand your flexibility in the London, the more weapons there are in your arsenal. Game 25 L.christiansen-G.Peter Bad Mergentheim 1988 1d4 Df6 2 Df3 e6 3 2f4 b6 4e3 2b75 2d3 2e76h3 A well timed h3. Black is ready to play ...Ahs once the bishop is posted on e7. 6...05 6...2a6?! 7 c4! simply loses a tempo for Black, since he will almost certainly need to redevelop the bishop to b7 later. 7€3 0-0 8 0-0 Ac6 9 Abd2 cxd4 10 exd4 The asymmetrical recapture sharp- ens the game and increases White's winning (and losing!) chances. 10...d6 14 Hea He8 12 Deq An improvement over 12 &g3 Wd7 13 a4 2f8 14 &b57! Ads 15 Ab3 Ac7 16 &d3 g6 17 a5?! dS 18 Ags De7! 19 Deg Ded5 20 h4 f5! 21 Dgs 2g7 22 fa? (halting ..e5 at much too high a price) 22...A6, B.Soos-R.Hiibner, Bad Kissin- gen 1979. All White has managed to do with his baroque manoeuvres is to weaken a multitude of light squares: hs, 94, e4, and ds. 12.045 \ would have tried for activity on the queen’s wing with 12...b5 13 e3 a6. 13 2g3! Displaying real depth of under- standing. By playing to g3 rather than h2, White prepares h4! planting the seeds of his kingside attack. 13...g671 Black may be forced to play this move eventually, but he should at least make White work to force it. 14.4 a6 15 hal Serving a double purpose: 1. White may chip away at Black's kingside cover with a future h5; and. 2. The h4-pawn may provide a launching pad for a knight heading to g5. 15...a5!? An idea borrowed from the Sicilian. 16 Dcd2 White prefers to keep all the pieces on the board for his kingside attack. 16 @xa5 bxa5 creates long-term pawn weaknesses on the queenside, but this would be offset by the pres- sure Black gains down the b-file. 16...f6 17 bal Playing a similar plan to the one seen in Larsen-Garcia Padron (Game 5). White agrees to take on a single queenside weakness at c3, reasoning that his kingside attack could be more potent than Black’s queenside play. 17...2c6 18 Dgs! Eyeing future sacs on h7, f7 and e6. Of course, White would love it if Black played the weakening ...h6. London versus Queen’s Indian 18...Dh5 19 &h2 es! Meeting White’s wing attack with a central counter. Black pays for it if he takes the pawn: 19...&xg5?! 20 hxg5 Wxg5? 21 eq We7 (21...Wd8?? loses to 22 Axdé Be7 23 &e4! Wa7 24 Dxb7 Wxb7 25 b5) 22 @xd6 Bed8 23 Aca! wins a pawn and Black’s king position also looks vulnerable on the dark squares. 20 d5 bs 21 WF3! 21...Hf8! Black finds the only move to keep him in the game. For example: a) 21...2xg5? 22 hxg5 Wxgs 23 Dc4! hits dé and b6, the weakest links in Black's pawn chain. If 23...Wd8, then 24 We3! regains the pawn with a clear advantage. b) 21.26?! 22 c4 b5? 23 cxb5! Axd5 24 Ade4 Afd7! 25 Hadi f5? 26 ®xd6l! &xf3 27 &c4+ and White re- gains the queen with interest. 22 Dxh7! dxh7 23 Wxhs+ &g7 24 WH xh4 25 cal Threatening 26 Axd6. 25..Re7 26 a5 Dd7 27 axb6 Dxb6 28 Dxb6 Wxb6 29 c4l Wxb4? He can't get away with this. Black should turn his attention to the h-file with 29..2h8! 30 Zab1 Eh7 31 c5 Wc7 32 g4 Hah8 33 &g3 2c8 with a tense and difficult-to-assess situation. White exerts strong pressure in the centre and on the queenside while Black’s play on the h-file also looks menacing. The game looks dy- namically balanced. 30 Hab1 30 Heb1? Wc3! allows Black to get away with his pawn grab. 30...Wa5 Black relied on this trick to save his bishop on b7. But he missed White's next move: 31 Exesl! This powerful shot demolishes Black's defensive barrier. 31...dxe5, If Black declines the gift, hoping to get counterplay with the passed a- pawn, White wins material. For exam- ple, 31...Wc7 32 Re2 Hfe8 33 We3! 2c8 34 Who Wxb6 35 Exb6 a5 36 c5! dxcS 78 37 RbS Rd8 38 Uxe8 kxb6 39 Acé6l winning a piece. 32 Rxe5+ £6 32..,.8¢g8? 33 Wh3 6 34. &xg6 Bf7 35 Rxf7+ &xf7 36 Wh7+ Sf8 37 Wheel Sf7 38 &xf6! puts Black away. 33 Weal Bf7 34 Wxg6+ dfs 35 of4 aba Or 35..2cB 36 &h6+ Se8 37 Wg8+ HFS 38 2xf8 Qxf8 39 296+ and White mates. 36 2h6+ wes 37 Sd2! Ms, Y YW Y UY) Y Y Another computer shot. IM Jack Pe- ters once advised me that if you are paired against GM Christiansen, never ever allow him an open position where he has the initiative, even if he offers material for it. This game proves his point! 37...2xd2 38 Exb7 Wa1+ 39 2f1 1-0 Summary If Black has weakened his kingside with +.g6, remember the trick £g3! (instead of &h2) to force h4!. This manoeuvre will allow you either to further erode Black’s kingside with h5 or to post a F knight on 5, strengthening your at- tack. Game 26 D.Kosic-M.Drasko Belgrade 1994 14 e6 2 Af3 Afe 3 24 b6 43 2b75 M\bd2 2e7 6 h3 c5 7 c3 0-0 8 2d3 cxd4 paxd4 If you prefer to lead the game to- wards a more strategic path, then 9 cxd4 is White’s best shot at a low-risk try for the advantage (see the next game). 9..d6 10 0-0 Dbd7 11 Het He8 12 &h2 06 13 a4 We7 14 Dgsl? aX Vy, Y Not a bad idea, to provoke ...h6. In a more recent game in this posi- tion, Kamsky focused on the other wing and seized space with 14 4. G.Kamsky- S.Tiviakov, Montreal 2007, continued 14...a5?! (Tiviakov didn’t want White to continue gaining space on the queen- side, but this move creates a hole on bs, which Kamsky immediately Longon versus queen s inaian pounces on) 15 “bil (despite the loss of time, Kamsky optimizes the knight's position, heading for b5) 15..Wd8 16 Ac3 d5 17 b3 Qb4 18 Hc1 Hc8 (White gets a pawn for the exchange and a good position after 18..Ae4!? 19 Axed! dxe4 20 2xe4 &xe1 21 2xb7 Ha7) 19 EBe3 fl? (exchanging on c4 would only help White) 20 Abs Deg 21 Bc2! (Kamsky comes up with a deep plan to get the bishop pair and to take control of the c-file) 21..He7 22 Wc1! Ad7 23 a7! Ba8 24 cxd5! exds (24...0xa7? 25 &xe4 exd5 26 &xd5! clips a pawn due to the pin trick on c8) 25 Ac6 Axc6 26 Exc6. White has huge strategic advan- tages in this position: 1. Total control of the c-file; 2. The bishop pair in a semi-open position; and 3. A grip on the queenside light squares b5 and <6. Tiviakov was unable to shake off the positional pressure for the remainder of the game. 14...h6 15 Dge4 Wc6?! 79 Play the London System The position looks dead even, yet Black must still play carefully to fully equalize. Trading down would be logi- cal, starting with 15...Axe4! 16 Axed Ofe 17 Dxfo+ Sxf6 18 W94 Bad’ 19 2f4 SF8 with a solid game. 16 Wf3! Dxeq 16...2f8? drops a pawn after 17 Rxd6! &xd6 18 Dxd6 Wxd6 19 Wxb7. 17 Sxea! Forcing Black’s next move. 17...d5 18 &c2 2d6?! Black allows himself to be saddled with a rotten remaining bishop in or- der to relieve some of the pressure on his kingside. The problem with this plan is that it really doesn’t make Black's king all that much safer. Black should try and create some counterplay by setting his minority attack in motion with 18..b5 19 Wd3 }f8 20 DF3 b4 21 Aes Wc8 22 He3! bxc3 23. «-bxc3. White's attacking chances outweigh any trouble he may later have defending his only weakness on c3. Still, this looks better for Black than the passive continuation he picked in the game. 19 Sxd6 Wxd6 20 Wd3 Dfe 21 AF3 2c6 22 Des Be7 23 He3! This is the ideal attacking setup for White. 23...2e8 24 Hg3 f6 25 Dg4 Gh8 26 Wa2! The deadly threat to sac on hé or f6 forces Black to create a giant structural weakness in order to protect his king. 26...f5 An unfortunate necessity, since 26...\h7? loses to the pretty combina- tion 27 &xh7! @xh7 28 Wxh6+! gxh6 29 Dxf6+ wh8 30 Eg8 mate. a7 Nes Rc8 28 Ze1 Kec? Better late than never. Black hopes he can stir up some counterplay with wb5 and ...b4. ag Ls! The g7-pawn is no longer the target. White gets ready to rip open the king- side with g4. 29...g6 Eliminating an attacker. If Black pursues his own agenda on the queenside, White arrives first: 29..b5 30 axbS axb5 31 g4 fxg4 32 hxg4 b4 33 g5 and now: a) 33...n5 34 g6! We7 35 Bh3 ha 36 Wa bxc3 37 Exh4+ &g8 38 He3!. If you have the guns, engage them. Swinging the rook over to h3 is decisive. b) 33...bxc3 34 Wf4! wg8 35 gxhé cxb2 36 Wxf8+! Wxf8 37 h7+ Bhs 38 Exf8 mate. 30 g4 Dh4 34 Hg3 Ws 32 exfs Axfs 33 igo! Using a fork tactic to add heat to e6, the base of Black’s pawn structure. 33...2e7 34 Wf4 dg8?! Black puts up a better fight with London versus Queen’s Indian 34...b5 but should still lose in a line like 35 axbS axbS 36 Hat! b4 37 Ha6 Wg8 38 xfs exf5 39 Wxfs, hitting the rook on c8 and hanging on to the pawn. 35 Rxf5 Wats 36 Wxfs exfs 37 Exb6 hina 38 Bxaé The rest is easy, with White having an extra pawn and the stronger minor piece in the form of the knight. 38...&¢2 39 Hea! &b3 40 Hb6 2a4 After 40..2c4? White runs the bishop out of squares on the open board with 41 Haa! intending f3, df2 and b3. 41 Ha 2e8 42 Bas Y Yi, GEG, ZB The difference between White’s monster on e5 and Black's sorry- looking bishop is quite clear here. 42...d8 43 2g2 Wh7 44 g3 Ec7 Black is helpless to keep White's king out: 44...95? 45 f4 &q7 46 Haa6 leads to even more pain. 45 fq 2hs 46 £3 He’ 46..g5+ would just be a bluff after 47 &xfS! Bf8+ 48 Bfél, halting the would-be counterattack. 47 h4 Ha8 48 Sxa8 Bxa8 49 Hb5 1-0 Play the London System Summary Learn to probe Black’s kingside and in- duce pawn weaknesses in this Tine. When you have created some weak- nesses, begin to line up for sacs. Often, as in this game, you may be able to force a strategically horrible concession like ...f5. Then it may be time to cash out and switch to positional play. Game 27 E.Prié-S.Garza Marco Castell de Sant Ferran 2008 1d4 e6 2 Df3 D6 3 Lf4 b6 4e3 2b75 2d3 c5 6 c3 2e7 7 h3 0-0 8 Abd2 cxd4 9 cxd4 Capturing towards the centre leads to positions where Black has a very hard time getting winning chances. White’s chances arise from the ability to take more central territory and to try to turn it into a strategic queenside edge or a kingside attack. 9...6 The paradoxical 9...%2a6!? makes sense if Black doesn’t mind grovelling a bit for the draw. Removing the light- squared bishops takes some of the sting out of White’s future attacking chances but few players are willing to defend a slightly worse but drawable position if it means almost no winning chances: 10 &xab Dxa6 11 0-0! (11 a3 is too mild and allowed Black equality following 11..b5 12 0-0 Wb6 in MZurek-T.Polak, Czech League 1995) 11..Ab4 12 a3 Ac6 13 Hc1 a6 14 e4 bS. I'm not so sure White can do anything meaningful with the space advantage if the light-squared. bishops are missing. Still, few players would prefer Black here. White may yet make something of the central space. 100-0 10 a3 preventing ...b4 may be Tore accurate. 10...e8 Black probably comes very close to equality with 10...2\b4! 11 2e2 2a6 12 &xa6 Dxa6 13 Wa4 Abd 14 a3 Acé 15 e4.aé!. 11 a3 d6 12 We2 We7 13 Zaca Heading for a8. Naturally, Black feels uncomfortable parking a queen on c7, on the same file as White’s rook. But the manoeuvre has other dangers: Black's queen is drawn away from the defence of the kingside. Prié recommends 13...Wd7 but I'm not sure the queen is well placed here after 14 e4. | don’t see a useful defen- sive plan for Black, and the queen may be vulnerable to a future pin with 2bs. 14 2h2 Wa8 15 e4 d5? A huge strategic error. Black gets himself into a bind by entering a dreadfully bad version of the French Defence. After this move, White’s king- side attack flows with ease, Black’s queen is a spectator on a8 and the bishop on b7 isn’t exactly a spectacular performer either. 15..fd8! keeps ds open for a piece when White pushes with 16 e5. After 16..dxe5 17 dxeS Dds 18 Ac4, al- though White's control of dé gives him the edge, the powerful knight on d5 definitely offers Black counter-chances. 16 e5 Ad7 17 hal London versus Queen's Indian Starting the assault. 17...Rce8 The pawn break ...f6 may need to be played soon, so Black backs up the e6- pawn with a rook. 18 2b1! Wd3 will force Black to weaken him- self around his king. 18...a5 With the idea of activating the bishop via a6. 19 Wd3 19...g6 Black must choose his poison. The alternative, 19...f5, creates a chronic pawn weakness on e6, which White exploits by 20 exfé @xf6 21 Rfe1 2a6 22 Wc3! (gaining a tempo) 22...Rc8 23 We3 Dd8 24 Ac7!, simultaneously hit- ting b6 and threatening to remove the defender of e6. 20 Wes f5 21.2f4.a4 If Black insists on keeping the h-file closed with 21...h5!?, it leads to a stra- tegic disaster after 22 &h6 Bf7 23 Ags &xg5 24 &xg5 when Black's kingside dark squares leak like old plumbing. Iron logic. Prié sees that the h-file may open soon, so he gets ready for the manoeuvre #g2! and 2h1. 22...b5 23 Rh6 Ef7 24 Dgs axes Black's position is almost resignable after such a move. White owns every dark square on the kingside and will soon open the h-file for his tooks to enter. He could try a desperado sac like 24...f4!? but it doesn’t alter the result after 25 gxf4 &xg5 26 &xg5 De7 27 &xe7 Hexe7 28 Wg3. White has an ex- tra pawn, an attack and strategic domination. 25 Sxgs Dbo 26 AFZ Acq 27 WA! Bravely refusing to be distracted from the attack by defending the b2- pawn. The meek 27 We2?! slows White down. 27...Dxb2 A condemned prisoner doesn’t have to worry about calories if it is his final meal! It doesn’t help if Black avoids the pawn grab either: 27..c8 28 2f6 Hcc7 84 29 h5 We8 30 hxg6 hxg6 31 4\g5 “\xb2 32 sg2I and there is no good way to stop Kh1 and entry to h8. 28 h5 Acq 29 hxgé hxgé 30 gz! White’s 22nd move comes to frui- tion. Black can't challenge the h-file. If 30...5h7 31 Bhi Mxh1 32 Exh1, there is nothing to be done about Wh4. 34 Bhi We7 32 2f61 Xg7 Black collapses after 32..xf6 33 Wha! Wg7 34 exf6. 33 Wh6 1-0 Summary When White recaptures with cxd4 and then achieves the e4 advance, if Black challenges the centre with ..d5 White gets a very favourable French-style at- tack with e5. Game 28 _ E.Prié-P.Braun Bad Kreuznach 2006 1.4 Df6 2 Df3 e6 3 Lf4 b6 4e3 2b75 h3 , A premature h3 is probably the most common inaccuracy for White in the London. After the more accurate 5 $)bd2, you should not fear 5...h5?!, as @ gS f6 7 2h4 just leaves Black's knight dangling on hs. If 7...96 (natu- tally not 7...g5?? 8 A\xg5) 8 2d3, once again the knight on hs leaves an odd impression. This is also the case after 6...ske7 7 2xe7 Wxe7. §..c5 5..ad6! is the way to exploit White’s move order. The problem for White is that he is denied the normal £3 in this line and must take on dé6, handing Black easy equality. For example, 6 &xd6 cxd6 7 Nbd2 0-0 8 £43 d5 9 0-0 Ae4 10 c4 f5 a1 cxd5 &xd5 12 &xe4?! (White shouldn’t open the f-file for Black; 12 Wc2 was better) 12...fxe4 13 Dh2 We7 14 Hic1 Wb7 15 a3 Acé 16 Wg4 Ae7 and Black already stood better in MStefanovic-B.Certic, Belgrade 2006. 6 c3 cxd4?! Premature. Why not wait for White to commit to Abd2 before initiating Lonaon versus queen's indian this capture? The following game is a good ex- ample of a careful handling of Black’s position: 6...2e7 7 Abd2 0-0 8 2d3 dé 9 0-0 Abd7 10 We2 Wc7 11 e4 Hfds 12 &h2 cxd4! (good timing; now Black controls the c-file) 13 cxd4 Hac8 14 a4 (if White wants to go after the black king, then the setup would be 14 Bfe1 2¥8 15 Had) 14..Wb8 15 a5 bxa5 16 Bxa5 Bc7 17 b4 Hdc8 18 bS HBca! (swaps help Black) 19 Ba1 Hxfi+ 20 &xf1 and it isn’t easy for White to con- vert the extra space into anything con- crete, G.Kamsky-M.Adams, Moscow 2007. Toxd4! The principled move, recapturing towards the centre. A key point is that White’s b1-knight will be developed to the superior c3-square. ToROT 8 231? It's hard to argue with one of the greatest experts on the London, but I'm not sure why 8 4\c3 wasn’t played. 8...0-0 if 8...e4!? with the idea of trading 85 Play the London System on c3 and making 8 a3 a lost tempo, White shouldn’t cooperate with 9 c3?! but instead continue 9 2d3! 0-0 10 0-0 f5 11 Abd2 dé 12 We2, taking control of the e4-square or enticing Black into ...d5?!. 9 Dc3 dé | have always trusted in White's queenside play in hybrid lines like 9..e4l? 10 Hci f5 11 Re2. 10 2.d3 Abd7 11 0-0 He8 12 e4 AFB An alert move, avoiding 12...28? 13 e5! dxeS 14 dxes Dd5 15 &xh7+! Sxh7 16 Ags+ dg6 17 Wd3+! f5 18 exf6+ &xf6 19 Ace4+ with a decisive attack. However, 12...96! intending ...&8 looks like a sensible plan for Black. 13 Hei a6 14 Wd2 b5 15 Rada Xc8 16 &h2 We 17 5! 2xf8 21 Wf4 gives White both extra material and an attack. b) Black should keep an eye on e4 with 17...A6d7!, controlling e4. 18 Aeq Sxe4! 19 &xe4 d5 20 &b1 b4 21 He3 arrives at a decent French-style posi- tion where Black has rid himself of his bad bishop and generated some play on the queenside. White's kingside space and attacking potential result in an interesting fight to come. 18 Deq dxe5 19 dxe5 b4 20 Dd6 2xd6 21 exd6 Zed8 Black hopes to later round up the entrenched pawn. 22 Des DAd7 23 Axd7 Bxd7 24 Leal Edd8 25 2cql Beginning an instructive plan. 25...a5 26 2e5! White can’t improve his position through manoeuvring any longer and takes the plunge. 17...Dd5?! This natural move helpfully allows White to jump into e4. Alternatively: a) 17...8xf3? would be foolish: 18 exfé @xd1 19 fxe7 &b3 20 exfaW+ The idea is revealed. White plans to eliminate the knight on d5 and then swoop in with Wgs! 26...h6 If 26...6?, 27 2.g3 leaves e6 in trou- ble. 27 Wa3! Threatening to swing over to g3. The black king is in serious danger. 27...f6 28 &xf61? Preferring the sacrificial route but it may not be the best. The simple 28 23! wins for White: a) 28..Bxdé 29 &xd6 Wxd6 30 kxd5! Hxca 31 2xe6+ Wxeé 32 Exct and White is up a clean exchange. b) The attempt to hang on to the material with 28..2f7 gives White a ferocious attack. For example, 29 axb4 axb4 30 Wh7 Bxd6 31 Se2! Ae7 32 xd6 Wxd6 33 &h5+ Sf8 34 Bxcd+ kxc8 35 Rd1 Wc7 and now 36 Wc2! overloads the black queen. 28...Dxf6 29 2xe6+ PhB 30 xB AxcB 31.Re7 31..Dg8 If 32..8g8, 32 cc7 White's pressure. 32 Wg6 Wdq 33 esl? 33 Hcc7! looks easier than the game continuation: 33...2f5 34 Wxg7+! Wxg7 35 Bxg7 Bxd6 36 g4 2b1 37 Egd7 with a winning position. 33...Hxe8 34 Wxe8 £b7? 34...2f5! 35 axb4 axb4 keeps Black increases London versus Queen’s Indian alive for the moment. 35 d7 Was 36 f3 Wda+ 37 @ha Wd2 38 gi The d-pawn promotes. 38...2¢6 39 day 2xe8 40 Wxd2 1-0 Summary A premature ...cxd4 is a common inac- curacy in Queen's Indian lines. If Black plays this move too early, then White should recapture with cxd4! to open up c3 for his queen’s knight. The knight on ¢3 is more aggressively placed than on its normal home of d2. Game 29 E.Prié-A.Karpov £uropean Blitz Championship, Ajaccio 2007 1 d4 Df6 2 Af3 e6 3 24 bE 4 e3 2b75 h3?t 5.5, 5..2d61 is a good way to exploit White's inaccurate fifth move, as noted in the previous game. Play the London System 6 c3 cxda?l Too early! Again this move allows White’s knight to develop to c3 instead of the more passive d2-square. Even ex- World Champions don’t study London theory. If top GMs are too busy study- ing topical lines like the Dragon, Ruy Lopez, etc, imagine your local club player when facing the London! Odds are he or she will just be winging it. Here’s another example of a suc- cessful kingside attack, with Bronstein behind the white pieces: 6...2e7 7 &d3 0-0 8 0-0 Ac6 9 We2 Hc8 10 Abd2 dé 11 Bad1 Wc7 12 £931? fds 13 Efe1 g6 14 a3 (so that e4 is possible without worrying about a ...@b4) 14...b8 15 e4. cxd4 16 cxd4 Abd? 17 Ab1?! (The Lo- pez manoeuvre 17 f1 seems more natural) 17...Wb8 18 Dc3 Wa8 19 2f4 a6 20 &g5 47 (20...b5!?) 21 We3! Ags 22 Bxe7 Dxe7 23 De2 h6 24 Ag3 Ws (Black can't come up with a plan; he should have tried something on the queen's wing instead of just waiting) 25 h4 hs? 26 W95! Af (or 26.28 27 Wh6+ Sg8 28 Ags Af 29 eS with a winning attack) 27 e5 dxe5 28 dxeS Dfg8 29 Axhs+ Sf8 30 Afe &xf3 31 gxf3 Edq 32 h5 41-0, D.Bronstein- W.Schmidt, Dnepropetrovsk 1970. 7 cxda! D6 7...8.a6 may be Black’s best line if he is happy to play for a draw. The higher- tated Karpov was probably playing for awin in this game. 8 a3 Re7 9 2c3 d5?! Such positions are deceptive. It looks like Black has achieved equality, but he hasn't. The bad bishop on b7 ensures that he still has an uphill bat- tle. The position looks a lot like an Ex- change Slav where Black has failed to equalize. 10 £d3 0-0 11 0-0 Ec8 12 We2 Aas! Playing on White's only vulnerable squares, c4 and b3. 13 Des?! This knight may be swapped, or hit with a future ...f6. 13 Hac1, intending to double rooks on the c-file, keeps a nagging edge for White. 13...Dd7 Trades help Black, who is slightly cramped. 14 Bfe1 14 fact Axes 15 Rxe5 Ac4 16 &g3 Wa7 is equal. 14...Dxe5 15 Lxe5 Dc4 16 &g3 Dd6?! Wasting time - there is no reason to retreat. Black equalizes with 16...a6! 17 Bec1 bS 18 a4 b4 19 Adi Wh6 20 b3 a5 21 Wo2. 17 Haca Wd7 18 He2 “cg 19 Zeca! Setting a trap. Now Fritz, in all its in- nocence, advocates the strategic error 19..xb2? 20 Exb2 &xa3 21 Wd2 f6 22 Wai &xb2 23 Wxb2 £6. Yes, Black has full material compensation of a rook and two pawns for two minor pieces, but it will be nearly impossible for him to move his pawns up the board with- out dropping them. Meanwhile, they are sitting targets for the White forces. Flesh-and-blood GMs still demonstrate a clear superiority over computers when it comes to strategic judgment. 19...a6! 20 Dbal Preparing to eject the intruder with b3. London versus Queen’s Indian 20...b5 21 b3! Dd6l 21...2)xa3?! allows entry into Black's camp with 22 c7!. 22 Hes5!? A bold move, which tacitly offers an exchange for a pawn. 22...6? Allowing a combination. 22...Ae4! 23 Sxe4! &xc5 24 &xh7+ &xh7 25 dxc5 f6 26 &d6 gives White good com- pensation for the exchange, but Black has reasonable chances too with the extra material. 23 Exc6 &xc6 24 2xh74! &xh7 25 We24? The in-between move 25 &xd6! de- stroys Black. After 25..Wxd6 26 Wc2+ $g8 27 Wxc6 White remains a pawn up and controls the only open file. 25...Deq! Now Black gets some counterplay for the pawn by inflicting some dam- age to White's structure. 26 Wxc6 Wxc6 27 Hxc6 Axg3 28 fxg3 a5 29 df2 &g6 30 SF3 White should try 30 Ac3! &xa3 31 Dxd5. Play the London System 30...0b8 31 Hc7 2d6 32 Bc6 Le7 33 Bc7 e-~a White was okay with a draw. The problem is that his knight is tied down to a3 and it’s very difficult to make progress. Also, this was a blitz game and perhaps Prié was behind on time. Summary When Black transposes from Queen’s Indian lines to an Exchange Slav by playing ...d5, the path to an equal game is difficult to find. Game 30 D.Bronstein-J.Vilela Tallinn 1979 1.4 Df6 2 Df3 e6 3 LF4 bE 4 e3 275 3?! d6 Once again, Black should play 5...2d6!. 6 &d3 Dbd7 7 0-0 Re7 8 Abd2 0-09 h2 c5 10 c3 Bc87t Anatural but inaccurate move. Now White takes control of a6, allowing him to play a4 and a5 unimpeded. As a re- sult, Black loses control of the b5- square and must allow the a-file to be opened. 1o...a6! is correct, to answer a4-a5 with ...b5. a1 We2 Bc7 Perhaps opening up the possibility of ..Wa8 to fight for key central squares, but White ruins this plan on his next move. 12 a4! The a-file opens soon, thwarting Black's queen manoeuvre to a8. Also, the rook sits precariously on c7, in the line of fire of White’s h2-bishop. 12...)b8 12...cxd4 13 exd4 Wa8 14 a5 bxa5 15 Hxa5 hands White the simple plan of targeting a7. Of course, 12...a5? pre- vents this plan, but only at the heavy cost of creating a huge gash on b5. 13 a5 Ac6 14 axb6 axb6 15 2b5 Hc8 16 Sab Weakening the light squares on the queenside. An alternative plan would be to tar- get the kingside, starting with 16 Rfd1 d5 17 e4! a8 18 e5 Des 19 43 Dc7 20 &f4 cxd4 21 Axd4 Dxd4 22 cxd4, when an attack is brewing. 16...Wc7 17 2xb7 Wxb7 18 Wbs! intending “ca, targeting bé and d6. 18...d5 19 dxc5 &xc5 20 Ab3 Le7 21 Dida Dxdq If Black refuses to trade, then 21..Bfe8 22 Haé Dd7 23 Hfa1 with mounting queenside pressure. 22 exd4 Wc6 23 Wxc6 Hxcé 24 a7 2d6 25 Sxd6 Hxd6 26 Kfar White has several advantages in the ending: 1. Absolute control of the only open file; 2. Control of the seventh rank; and 3. Targets on f7 and b6. 26...8d7 27 Aca Rerouting the knight to its optimal spot on d3, where it watches both the queenside and centre. 27...2fd8 28 Ad3 Zxa7 ®e5 was coming. 29 Bxa7 Again, White threatens Aes. If London versus Queen’s Indian 29...2e4?, there follows 30 Hb7 Ra8 31 £3 and White will clip the b-pawn. 29...Dd7 30 £4 Having tied Black down, Bronstein now begins to seize space on the king- side. 30...f8 31 g4 de8 32 f5! -"< Lo Risky, but it works. A more cautious player would have centralized the king first. 32...b8 32...exf5?! 33 gxfS weakens d5 and leaves Black totally passive. For exam- ple, 33...e7 34 Ae5 He8 35 Acél Bc8 36 Db4 Af6 37 Hb7 and White wins a pawn. 33 fxe6 fxe6 34 Sf2 Ac8 35 des ddB 36 Sq c7 37 Ha6 Eb7 38 Des Dbsl Alternatives are worse: a) 38...Df6 39 Ha8+ de7 40 g5 DeB 41 h4 b5 42 h5 Sf8 43 43 and the Black position is under enormous strain. b) 38...Axe5 39 Sxe5 Ye7 40 Has Sf7 41 ha (Black is almost in zugzwang; White threatens a king in- filtration to d6) 41..b5 42 Ba6 b4 43 Bxe6 bxc3 44 bxc3 Hc7 45 &xd5 Exc3 46 hS a3 47 BeS! cutting off Black’s king from the queenside and winning. 39 Ba8 Sc7 40 g5 dé 41 h4 Acé 42 Bc8! Axes If 42...De7?, 43 Bd8+ &c7 44 Bhs picks off at least one pawn. 43 dxeS+ Ge7 44 hs! Even stronger than 44 Hh8 Ha7 45 Exh7 Sf7 46 Bh8 Ha4+ 47 b4 d4. 44...Ka7 45 g6 hxg6 46 hxg6 ded7 After 46..a2, White wins with 47 Ec7+ Sf8 48 Bf7+ &g8 49 Mb7 es (or 49...xb2?? 50 Hb8 mate) 50 Exbé6 a4+ 51 b4. 47 Bf8 &c6 48 Uf7 Rd7 49 b4 dec? Ay Black has managed to create some- thing of a fortress. What is the path to break into his position? 50 dgs!! Bronstein calculated the position at least 26 ply deep, in multiple lines. 50...b5 50...&¢6 doesn’t help. White wins in similar fashion after 51 b5+! &c7 52 Exg7! Bxg7 53 &f6 Hg8 54 &f7 Rds 55 g7 %d7 56 g8W Bxg8 57 &xg8 e758 92 eg7 te8 59 kf6 ed7 60 Lf7 and it’s zugzwang. 51 Exg7! The point of 50 q5!! is this per- fectly calculated temporary rook sac. The idea is to force a winning king and pawn ending. 51...Hxg7 52 &f6 Bgs 53 wf7 Hd8 54 67 dq Or 54..2d7+ 55 &g6 Ed8 56 &h7 8d7 57 Bh8 Hds+ 58 g8W Bxg8+ 59 bxg8 dq 60 cxda cb 61 HF7 eds 62 e7 &xd4q 63 &xe6 and White queens first. 55 cxd4 Ed7+ 56 &g6 Exd4 57 gow gat 58 &f7 Zxgs 59 Sxgs 1-0 On 59...c6, 60 Sf7 weds 61 Sf6! zugzwangs Black and wins the queen- ing race. Summary If you take control of a6, then you have the possibility of a4! and a5. The pawn swap gives you control of bs. Game 31 J.Andersen-S.Christensen Aarhus 1999 1 d4 Dfé 2 Df e6 3 Rf4 b6 4 Abd2 £b75 3 2d6 1 get this move a lot in blitz games but don’t think much of it. 6 &g3! And this move is the reason why. Black ends up trading on g3, which helps White. Compare 5 h3 £d6! which, as we've seen previously, ex- ploits the early h-pawn advance. Don’t be tempted by 6 £xd6?! cxd6, when Black’s added control of the cen- tre assures equality. 6... 2x83 6...0-0 doesn’t work out well be- cause Black will either lose a tempo by retreating the bishop to e7 or take on g3 anyway. For example, 7 &d3 Dcé 8 3 &xg3 (as | have mentioned about 20 times before in this book, taking on g3 nearly always leads to trouble for Black if he has already castled kingside; but the problem is White was about to play e4, virtually forcing the move) 9 hxg3 h6 10 Wc2 We7 11 0-0-0 Efe8 12 e4 e5 13 d5 Ad’ 14 Aca dé 15 De3 c6 16 Dh4 cxd5 17 Dhf5 WS 18 exds e4 (the d5-pawn can’t be touched: 18..xd5? 19 AxdS &xd5 20 ADxh6+! gxh6 21 &h7+ Sg7 22 Bxd5) 19 &cq Hes 20 f4 exf3 21 gxf3 b5 22 &2b3 &c8 23 g4 Db7 24 g5! &xf5 25 Dxf5 Dh7 (opening the h-file leads to a disaster for Black: 25...xg5?? 26 Wh2) 26 f4 Hee8 27 Wg2 Das 28 Lc2 Ac4 29 g6! Af6 30 Hdg1 Lonaon versus wueen's inaian De3 31 gxf7+ 1-0, F.Braga-C.Valiente, Thessaloniki Olympiad 1988. 7 hxg3 dé 8 2d3 Abd7 9 We2 es! Black responds logically. He switches his pawn structure to the op- posite colour of his remaining bishop and also refuses to castle kingside. 10 e4 We7! Black makes the most out of a slightly inferior position. The queenside is the safest place for his king. 10...exd4?! 11 @xd4 would be un- wise. It allows the white knight to look at f5, c6 and bs. 11 0-0-0 0-0-0 12 2a6! Eliminating the defensive bishop, which guards the light squares around Black's king. 12...)b8 13 &xb7+ &xb7 14 d5 14...Da6 The space advantage should be challenged immediately with 14...c6! 15 dxc6+ Axc6 16 “Ac4 h6, with just a tiny edge for White, 15 Khea Wd7 16 Wc4 cB 17 He3! c6 18 Ba3 Acs 19 dxc6+ Wxc6 More accurate than 19..Bxc6 - 93 Play the London System Black must fight for d5. 20Dg5 20 Wxf7+? simply swaps e4 for a wing pawn, and 20...c7 21 Wc4 Afxeq 22 Dxe4 Dxe4 gives Black a central 20...b5 21 We2 Hc7 22 Ab3 Threatening to fork on a5. 22...2a8 23 Dxcs Wxcs, Black’s position deteriorates after 23...dxc5?! 24 Had3 h6 25 Ed6 We8 26 Of. 24 Ec3 Wb6 25 Sxc7 Wxc7 26 Hd3! Airlifting fresh reserves for the at- tack. Black has been close to equality, but his insecure king position keeps him just short of it. 26...h6 27 Df3 Wea? Losing a tempo. 27...Wc6! was bet- ter, but White still retains a tiny pull due to Black’s slightly insecure king after 28 Ad2 ba! 29 f3 Hc8 30 Ab3. 28 Adz! We6 Trading the b5-pawn for White's a- pawn, with 28...Wxa2? 29 Ha3 We6 30 Wxbs5, isn’t a good deal for Black. 29 Hc3 Wd7 30 Wd3 Hd8 31 Ab3 ds! Black decides that White’s attack is gaining momentum and counters in the centre. 32 Dc5 dxeq? White’s sustained pressure pays dividends. The best defensive path lies in 32...Wc6! 33 exd5 Hxd5 34 @b3 Wd7 (34...B&xd3? lands Black in big trouble after 35 Exc6 Hd7 36 @c5! Hd8 37 Bc7) 35 We2 Wd6!. This powerful centraliza- tion keeps Black’s king secure for now. a 33 Dxd7l Forcing a very favourable rook end- ing. 33...exd3 34 Dxf6 d2+ 34...gxf6 doesn’t save Black after 35 Hc6 dxc2 36 dxc2 f5 37 Exhé f4 38 gxf4 exf4 39 Bf6 Xg8 40 Exf4 Axg2 41 Exf7. The extra pawn and dominant took on the seventh ensure the victory. 35 di gxfé 36 Ec6 f5 37 Efe f4 38 exf4 exf4 39 Exf4 Bgs Deciding to go totally passive is generally a fatal strategy in rook end- ings. Even after the superior alternative 39.7, the continuation 40 c3! &b7 41 Bd4 Be7 42 &xd2 should win easily ~ not only because of the extra pawn, but also because Black is saddled with weak pawns on f7 and hé. 40 g3 3g7 41 Bf6 Bh7 42 Sxd2 hs 43 ‘ke Heading for a5. 43...09b7 44 &b4 a6 45 was Black could resign here. 45...h4 46 gxh4 Bxh4 47 Exf7+ &c6 48 Bfé+ &c5 49 bat! 1-0 Summary When both sides castle queenside, White still retains an edge if he can get in eq and d5. Game 32 P.Blatny-J.Jurek Czech League 1991 1.d4 e6 2 Af3 Af6 3 24 bE 4e3 2b75 Dbd2 £e7 6 2d3I? Blatny loves a confrontation. He is one of the few players who consistently refuses to play h3 in the London. He never seems to mind if Black plays ..2h5 and chops his bishop on f4. | have played Blatny three times, and in each game he incited crazy complica- tions right from the beginning. 6 h3 is the move to play if you want to hang on to the bishop. 6...Dh5 7 We2l? Now the game takes an original turn. 7 &g3 was White's last chance for normalcy. London versus Queen’s Indian 7..d6 8 hat Revealing his idea - Blatny has no intention of castling kingside. 8 893 would be the more standard response. For example, 8..d7 9 e4 @dfo 10 c3 c5 11 e5 Axg3 12 hxg3 @ad7! (after 12...d5?! 13 dxc5 bxc5 14 0-0-0 Black faces a dilemma over where to put his king) 13 exd6 &xd6 14 eq e715 dxcs bxc5! (15...Axc5? 16 Axcs &xc5 17 0-0-0 puts Black's king in seri- ous danger) 16 0-0-0 and Black stood worse but managed to draw in M.Sadauskas-L.Holms, correspondence 1991. 8...Axf4, Black cannot delay, otherwise &h2 and g4 follow. 9 exfa Ad7 10 £5?! An impatient move; the pawn on f4. cramped Black. White’s position looks like fun after the calmer 10 0-0-0. 10...exf5 11 &xf5 g6?! This creates a target for White to open lines with hs in the future. It's understandable that Black is a little gun-shy about castling kingside, Play the London System but this is the route he should have taken. 11..0-0! 12 0-0-0 He8 13 Wd3 @fé is sharp and probably balanced. Black's bishop pair doesn’t mean much with this static pawn structure. The position reminds me of lines in the Pet- Toff Defence where the opponents cas- tle on opposite wings. Black tends to hold his own in those variations. 12 Rear White provokes ...d5, but this may help Black. 12 &d3! would have been stronger, even though 12...0-0 13 h5 He8 14 hxg6! hxg6 (getting greedy with 14...R2f6? leads to crazy complications favouring White: 15 gxf7+ wxf7 16 eq d5 17 Exh7+ Sf8 18 Afgs! witha powerful attack) 15 0-0-0 2f6 16 Wf1 d5 looks okay for Black. 12...c6?) Rather than this meek choice, Black should move forward with 12...d5! 13 d3 0-0 14 h5 He8 15 0-0-0 £f6 16 WF1 5, drumming up some counterplay on the other wing. 13 h5 Hg8 14 0-0-0 Afé 15 hxg6 hxg6 16 Bdea If Black plays 16..xe4?! here, 17 ®xe4 threatens a knight fork on f6. Now: a) Black’s position deteriorates rap- idly after 17...@f8? 18 Wd2 g5 19 Zhs 6 20 We3 &c8 21 Bh7 &f5 22 Dexgsi. b) 17...4@d7 18 d5! would be similar to the game continuation. 16...2d71 A radical attempt to get out of town. 17 Des Ws 18 ds! Ensuring that Black’s king will not feel so safe on the queenside either. 18...cxd5 A line which displays some of the dangers to the black king is 18...Axd5 19 2xd5 &xg5? 20 Wg4+ &c7 21 Wxg5 cxd5 22 He7+ Sc8 23 Bh7 Bq7 24 Acai! dxc4 25 Wg4+! &b8 26 Wd7 Wxe7 27 Eh8+!, and White mates in three moves. 19...cxd5 improves, but this still looks very tough for Black after 20 h7 Was 21 Wf3 f5 22 g4! and the attack continues. 19 2d3 Hc8 20 &b5+ Sd8 21 Web! Very pretty, totally sound and it’s only the second best move in the posi- tion! The startling 21 h7!! is even stronger and wins on the spot. 21...Bxc2+l The only move. Others lose: a) 21...fxe6?? allows 22 Axe6 mate. b) If 21...28g7??, the deflection 22 Bhs! finishes Black off. 22 &xc2 fxe6 23 Dxeb+ HcB 24 DxfB xfs 25 Abs The combination has netted White the exchange. Black's extra pawn, dou- bled and isolated, doesn’t help him much. Now it is a matter of technique. London versus Queen’s Indian 25...a6 26 2d3 &d7 27 Dd4 Deg 28 3 &g7 29 fxe4 2xd4 30 Bh7+ Hg7 31 Hxg7+ 2xg7 32 exdS &xd5 33 Ange amr Sate aoeje se a 33.25 Black can’t regain the lost pawn: a) 33...xg2?? 34 Rf5+ Sc6 35 Bgt picks up a piece. b) 33...2xa2? 34 b3 locks in the bishop, and 34...b5 35 He2! &c6 (or 35...a5?? 36 Re8+!) 36 KF7! ds 37 Heé+ $b7 38 Xg6 wins for White. 34 g4 Se6 35 Hfa de7 36 2d3 b5 37 g5 Se6 38 b3 2d7 39 b4 Re6 40 a3 Sd5 41 g6 297 42 Heat! 2e5 43 Leg! This either eliminates Black’s bishop pair, or infiltrates to b7. 43...2€6 44 Bfal Now &b7 is threatened. 44.264 If 44...d5?, White wins with 45 2f5 Bg8 46 Rc8. 45 Rf3 2f6 46 2b7 d5 47 Bfs! Ges Or 47...4 48 &xaé d3+ 49 Sd2 2g7 50 &xb5 Rh6+ 51 dc3 d2 52 Lad, end- ing the resistance. 48 Sc8+ Le7 49 Lxab Leb 50 Rc8+ e751 Hf3 d4 52 25 2d5 53 Ef 1-0 Summary 6 &d3!?, ignoring Black's threat to play .@ns and exchange the f4-bishop, is a creative and risky plan. White follows up with 0-0-0 and h4, with opposite- wing attacks. Game 33. P.Blatny-T.Pioch Triberg (rapid) 1991. 1.d4 Df6 2 Af b6 3 Sf4.2b7 463 e6 5 Dbd2 Le7 6 2d3 Again, Blatny doesn't consider ..An5 a threat and dispenses with 6 h3. On this occasion Black shows con- siderable restraint by refraining from 6...An5!?. 6...c5 7 ¢3 d6 8 We2I? Keeping open the option of castling queenside. A more mainstream handling of White’s position was seen in S.Sulyok- N.Tamas, Hungarian League 1997: 8 h3 ®Dbd7 9 0-0 0-0 10 We2 He8 11 Efda RF8 12 Dcq Whos 13 e4 e5?! (13..b5 14 Bas e5 15 dxe5 dxe5 16 &g5 c4 17 &c2, reaching a Closed Lopez-style po- sition, may have been a better try - even here White stands a shade better because he will pick up the bishop pair) 14 dxeS Dred 15 Dexed dxe5 16 &g5! Re7 17 &bS Hd8 18 Exd8+ 2xd8 19 Edi a6 20 &xfé! (seizing control of d5) 20...Rxf6 21 4 bS 22 45 c4 23 We3 We7 24 &xb7 Wxb7 25 Eds Wc7 26 Wad2, when Black was tied up and 98 couldn't hold the game. 8...0-09 hl? Blatny’s favourite plan. 9...€6 10 0-0-0 Intuitively, one would think that Black should be able to get to White's king first, but this may not be the case. 10.,.2c8?! Black needs ...a6 and ...b5 in his at- tack. | would go for 10...cxd4 11 exd4 a6, when 12 g4! b5! 13 g5 looks like fun. Black should avoid the suicidal 12...Axg4? 13 Zhgi hs 14 Dh2 Afe 15 Bh6 De8 16 &xg7! Dxg7 17 Wxhs f5 18 Hxg7+! with a crushing attack for White. Aa bi cxd4 12 exdg eB 13 “eq Simple play, reducing the defend- ers. 13...0xe4 Black’s attack stalls after 13..d5?! 14 &h2 Wd7 15 g4 2f8 16 gs. 14 Rxeq Lonaon versus yueen 5 indian A little wishy-washy on White's part. The principled move 17 Sxe7! makes a lot of sense, saddling Black with a bad bishop and weakening f6, g7 and hé. 17.24 14...g6! This looks crazy but it is the most accurate defensive move: a) If Black relaxes with 14...2f82? he gets hit with the familiar 15 &xh7+! (always be on the alert for the sac on h7) 15...&xh7 16 AgS+ dg6 17 h5+ 6 18 Wi3 be7 19 Rxd6+! Wxd6 20 Wxf7+ &d8 21 Wxb7 Wc7 22 d5! and White wins. b) White’s attack becomes faster af- ter 14...n6?! 15 g4!. 15 Qgst Weakening the dark squares around Black’s king. 15...d521 Stabilizing the centre only helps White, who now has no fear of an ...e5 counterattack. 16 2c2 Das 17 Kc?! 18 Des}? White continues to spur the hs advance because he fears that Black would block with 18 h5 2a6 19 We1 g5 20 h6, but even here White’s attack looks rather potent. 18...Axe5 19 Wxes Wd6 20 We3 Af6 24 hs Good timing. 21..85 Bypassing with 21...95?? is disas- trous after 22 Wd3. 22 hxg6 hxg6 23 Wh6? This slows the attack by allowing Black to block out the influence of the ¢2-bishop. Black would have been in huge danger after 23 dxeS! &xe5 24 whe. 23..e4! Clogging one of the major arteries of White's attack. aa 24 2g5 2g7 25 Wh7+ Hf8 26 Bh6 The idea is to prevent ...f6 or ...f5 as an escape route for Black. White now has the simple threat of Hdh1 followed by Wxg7+. However, the most accurate move is 26 Eh4! to leave h6 open for both his bishop and queen. For example, 26..He6 27 Hdh1 2f6 28 Wh6+ we7 (blocking with 28...g7?? leads to mate after 29 Wh8+! &xh8 30 Bxh8+ &g7 31 21h7) 29 &d1! &xg5 30 Wxgs+ Hf6 31 3! with continued pressure. 26...He6 Not 26...2xh6?? which allows 27 Whs mate. 27 Sdhal £52? Missing White’s gigantic threat. 27...f6! was a forced move, Game 34 A.Miles-A.Gurevich Canadian Open, Sackville 2001 14 Df6 2 Af3 e6 3 2F4 b6 4 e3 2b75 cod This move horrifies London System purists, who avoid it and choose 5 @Dbd2 and 6 c3. 5... Sb4+ The following is a London System classic: 5..2e7 6 h3 0-0 7 Ac3 d5 8 cxd5 exd5 9 2d3 c5 100-0 Acé 11 Aes ¢4 12 &c2 a6 13 ga! (White must attack before Black’s queenside pawn major- ity begins its march forward) 13...b5 14 g5 De8 15 Wg4 g6 16 Bad1 (discourag- ing ...Axe5) 16.097 17 h4 Sb4?! 18 a71! (brilliantly calculated) 28 Wxg7+l 1-0 Summary Keep an option open for queenside cas- tling, especially when your opponent commits to kingside castling first. It is unexplored territory and will almost certainly confuse your opponent. 100 18...c8 19 Dxds! Bh8 20 Aste Ba7 21 d5 De7 22 Kes! Uxd7! (if 22...SLxd7?, 23 Wd4! Hb7 24 Dxd7 Bxd7 25 Sxg7+ wins) 23 hs! Exd5 24 Wea! Bxd1 25 Bxd1 Wa5 26 Des! 16 27 gxfé &g8 28 Dxg7 1-0, AMiles-B.Spassky, Montilla 1978. Having spent many hours analysing the Slav with my late {rlend Tony Miles over the ICC, | soon realized that he (like Igor Ivanov) was something of an underachieving gen- lus. Games like this offer a glimpse of what could have been had he taken better care of his health. 64)\fdat a t 21 ora More accurate than the continua- tion 6 “bd2 c5. We preserve our b1- knight for c3. 6...0-0 7 a3 Re7 7...$006 is covered in the next game. 8 Dc3 c57! The Benoni setups don’t work well for Black in this variation of the Lon- don. Black should play classically with 8..d5! 9 cxd5 exd5. He stands well in the middlegame because White’s extra tempo (‘d2) actually hurts him since the knight belongs on f3. gd5! White uses a tactical trick to get a good Benoni-style position where Black’s bishop on b7 hits a pawn wall on ds. Longon versus queen's inaian x a4 ¥ be N wi xv ony 1, Oi ms ‘sy “ae me \E SS 9.06 9...exd§ 10 cxd5! is a pawn sac that Miles successfully played against Tim- man: 10...2xd5!? (very brave, but Black should probably decline the pawn of- fer; note also that 10..4xd5?? loses instantly to 11 Wf3) 11 Dxd5 Dxds 12 Wf3 Dc7 13 Wo7! dé 14 Dea Wd7 15 0-0-0 Wic6 16 Dxd6 Wxb7 17 Axb7 Des 18 &g3 a6 19 &c4 Ba7 20 &d5 and Black couldn't unravel, A.Miles- J.Timman, Wijk aan Zee 1979. Earlier, 10 Wf3 also looks good for White. 10 e4 He8 11 Le2 Abd7 12 0-0 Af8 13 Re3 Dg6 14 We2 28 15 Raer White may be thinking about at- tacking on the kingside. 15 Hab1 in- tending b4 is a logical alternative. 15...a6 16 b4e5 Okay, so Black has made his choice. He prefers to enter an inferior Czech Benoni structure. White enjoys a huge space advantage both in the centre and on the queenside. On top of this, Black’s bishop is clearly misplaced on b7. Attempts to blast his way out of the 104 Play the London System bind backfire on Black: 16...exd5!? 17 exd5! cxb4 18 axb4 b5? 19 cxb5 Dxd5 20 Axd5 &xd5 21 bxaé Ah4 22 g3 Ag2 23 Wd3 xe1 24 Exe and the extra exchange offers Black little comfort as he tries in vain to stop the passed pawns on the a- and b-files. 17 g3 2c8 18 f3 2h3? The beginning of a bad plan, for two Teasons: 1. White plans to double rooks on the b-file, so forcing the rook to f2 helps White achieve the swing over to b2. 2. That is Black’s good bishop on h3. White will simply challenge it with &f1, in which case Black must either trade his best piece or back off, losing time. Black’s best shot at survival would be to forget about the fantasy attack on the kingside and try to hunker down for the defence of the queenside with 18...e7!, preparing to meet White’s plan by doubling rooks on the b-file via b7 and b8. 19 Hf2 2e7 20 afa Challenging Black's good bishop. 20...Wc8 21 Hb1 It is time to take over on the queen- side. 21...h5 22 Wda 2xf1?! Black’s “attack” is much like wealth accumulated in a dream. Soon he wakes up and sees that his attack never Teally existed. He should back off with 22...8.47. 23 Wxfa h4 24 bxc5 bxc5 25 Db31 Eyeing infiltration via a5 and cé6, and also clearing the way for Zfb2. 25...Wd8 26 Wh3! The queen serves as a defender and also prevents manoeuvres like ..Wd7. 26,..b8 27 Xfb2 Dh7 28 Ada 2g5 29 Sf2 Preserving his good bishop. 29...Wf6 30 We4 2h6 31 De3 Dgs White also continues to make pro- gress in other lines: a) 31...0e7 32 gxh4! Df8 33 hs. b) 31...hxg3 32 hxg3 Bb6 33 Das Bxb2 34 Exb2. c) 31..2xe3 32 &xe3 denies Black use of g5. 32 Dfs h3? This pawn is a goner if Black’s at- tack fails. And it will! 33 &e3! De7 34 Axh6+ gxh6 35 Adz! Exb2 36 Exb2 Black’s position is in ruins and his pawn weaknesses are almost too many to count. 36...Dg6 37 Sf2 Da Clever, but White simply ignores the intrusion. 38 Bb3! This calm move shows the futility of Black’s demonstration. There is absolutely no reason for White to take the bait with 38 gxf4!? exfa 39 Wxfa Wxb2 40 Wxd6. Although White is still winning here, he has al- lowed complications to arise. 38...g2 39 Axgs Wxgs This leads to a hopeless ending, but after 39..hxg5?? 40 Wxh3 the knight perishes. 40 Wxg5+ hxgs 42 3b6 Going into lawnmower mode. 41...2f8 41...8d8 42 Hxa6 £8 43 de2 is also London versus Queen's Indian hopeless for Black. 42 Uxd6! White realizes that Black’s infiltra- tion down the b-file is toothless. 42..2b8 43 Hxa6 Ab2 44 we2 Za2 45 Bas Hai 46 xcs 1-0 46...Rh1 would be met by 47 2f1!. Summary In Queen’s Indian lines where White plays his c-pawn to c4, be aware of the possibility of meeting ...c5 with d5! to achieve a good Benoni-type position for White. Game 35 E.Meduna-P,Vavrak Czech League 1999. 1.4 e6 2 Af3 Af6 3 Af4 b6 4 e3 2b75 4 &b4+ 6 Dfd2! 0-0 7 a3 2d6 8 2g3! Our universal recipe for meeting dé. 8...We7 9 Dc3 2xg3?! Opening the h-file after having cas- tled is asking for it. Alternatively: Play the London System a) 9...c5?! 10 &h4! would be a tough pin to break. b) The unlikely 9...e5! yields some play: 10 Abs! exd4 (otherwise Black loses a pawn) 11 &xd6 cxd6 12 Axd4 d5 13 2d3! dxc4 14 Afs Web 15 Axca BDeq 16 Ad4 Was is only a shade better for White. 10 hxg3 dé 11 £d3! 7 11...Dbd7 The g2-pawn can’t be touched: 11...&xg2?? 12 Hh2 &b7 13 &xh7+! Dxh7 14 Whs fo 15 Wxh7+ wf7 16 Wh5+ %&g8 17 0-0-0 and Black won't survive for long. 12 g4g6 After 12...h6 White should proceed with the calm 13 f3! and castle queen- side, instead of over-pressing with the impatient 13 g5? hxgs 14 Wc2 g6! 15 e4 e5 16 d5 &g7 17 Df3 g4 when Black’s king is safe and he retains the extra pawn. 13 g5 De8 14 Wega f5 15 gxf6 Dexf6 16 Wha Wg7 Of course, White would love it if Black were to oblige with 16...&xg2? 17 Bh2 2b7 18 0-0-0 c5 19 Hg1, with both barrels pointing toward the black king. 17 0-0-0 e5 18 d5 Ac5 19 2c2 a6 An attempt to counterattack is much too slow, but | don’t have any useful suggestions for Black. 20 F3! From g§5, the knight will break down the defence, 20...b5 21 b4! Ejecting the knight to take control of e6. 21...Dcd7 21...2a4 is also completely hopeless. 22 Dxa4 brag 23 Ags &c8 24 2xa4 aS 25 &c6 Hb8 26 b5! slams the door shut on Black’s would-be attack. 22 Dgs Hfc8 23 Aes W7 24 Xh3! Dhs The point of White’s last move is re- vealed in the line 24...bxcq? 25 &xg6!. 25 Ef3 We8 26 g4 1-0 Summary When your opponent castles kingside and then helpfully opens the h-file, the normal result is usually a very happy one for White. Game 36 C.Lakdawala-R.Bruno Gambito (rapid), San Diego 2005 1.d4 Afé 2 Af3 e6 3 24 bE 43 2b75 kez Choosing e2 instead of d3 for the bishop. 5.527 6 h3 0-0 7 0-0 Deal? 8 Abd2 f5 93 d51? Tuming the game into a hybrid Queen's Indian/Stonewall Dutch for- mation. When facing a creative oppo- nent, the London is often a good choice. Players frequently get induced into strange manoeuvres in an attempt to liven things up. Black tried to get a normal Dutch with g...d6 in A.Seidel-M.Bolduan, Wies- baden 1999, but after 10 a4 a5 11 Wb3! he got swayed into playing 11..d5 anyway. 10 Aes Axd2 For some reason | didn’t expect this from my normally very aggressive op- London versus Queen’s Indian ponent. Instead | thought he might go psycho with 10..g5!? 11 &h2 Ad7 12 @xd7 Wxd7 13 Df3 Ad6 14 Des Wg7 15 f3 Af6 16 &d3 h5!?, which leads toa very sharp situation where Black either mates or horribly overextends. When defending such situations, just keep in mind the principle that you should counter in the centre when attacked on the wing, and work actively to hit back at some point with c4, e4, f4 or even g4. 11 Wxd2 Dd7 12 c4 Axes 13 &xe5 c5?! Black should try 13...82d6 14 f4.c5. 14 dxc5, There is nothing wrong with main- taining the central tension with 14 Bfd1. 14...2x¢5 l expected 14...bxc5 15 Hac1 2d6 16 &xd6 Wxd6 17 cxd5 exd5 18 Efd1 Bac8 19 &f3 Zfd8 20 a3 intending ba, to force the black pawn to c4 and to sad- dle him with a bad bishop and a target onds. 15 fda We7 16 aca Hfds 17 Wea! A deceptive position. It looks equal but it isn’t easy for Black to find an ex- act line which leads to a clear draw. 17...Hac8 18 a3 a5 19 Wt! This covers the sensitive g2-pawn while eyeing holes on bS and a6. 19...2a6? Black can’t tolerate another pawn weakness, 19..dxc4. 20 Sxc4 was bet- ter, with a pull for White due to the holes on e5 and bs. 20 cxd5 Sxe2 21 Wxe2 Xxd5 Perhaps Black should keep an extra pair of rooks on the board with 21...exd5 22 &d4. 22 Exd5 exd5 23 &2d4 White has multiple targets and en- try points: ds, bs, a6 and the pin on the c-file. 23...We6? 23...\d7 was necessary. 24 Waél Pinning laterally as well as horizon- tally, and threatening both 25 Bxc5 106 and 25 b4. Black must part with mate- ial. 24...We8 Also hopeless is 24..4e8 25 &xcS bxc5 (if 25...2c8??, 26 Hc3! wins) 26 Wrxe6+ Bxe6 27 Bxc5 Hb6 28 Exds. 25 Wb7! Too many threats! There’s mate on 97, 26 b4 winning a piece, and 26 Wxds+. 25 b4?! axb4 26 axb4 Za8! 27 Wb7 &xd4 28 Wxd5+ Gh8 29 Wxd4 would allow Black to bail out at the relatively low cost of a pawn. 25...W8 26 b4 axb4 27 axb4 1-0 Summary When Black goes for a Stone- wall/Queen’s Indian setup just look for central counters, trade pieces and try to exploit the holes in Black’s position later on. Chapter Four London versus Griinfeld Your choices against the Griinfeld setup (...g6 and ...d5) are polarized: 1. The traditional plan and a safe method of playing for a win is to avoid c4 and bog Black down in trench war- fare with the Reversed Closed Catalan setup. The secret here is to actually al- low Black the freeing break ...e5 (unlike in Chapter One, where we fight like tigers to prevent this break). After cap- turing on e5, you saddle your opponent with a tender d5-pawn which is easy to attack utilizing ideas like Wb3, Eda and &f3. The space advantage Black achieves is not worth much and most players overestimate its value. See Mamedjarova-Khudaverdieva (Game 39) for a good example of this. From my experience, Griinfeld players hate this setup because you refrain from giving them any targets by holding back on cA, 2. There is a psycho alternative with the Barry Attack, as seen in Games 45- 46, We set up with Af3, Ac3, &f4, Des, h4, Wd2 and often queenside castling for a wild opposite-wing attack game. The Barry Attack is especially effective if Black refrains from a ..c5 and ..Wb6 counter. Game 37 $.Kovacevic-D.McMahon, Massy 1993 14 Df6 2 Af3 d5 3 AF4 g6 4.e3 2875 3 0-0 6 Dbd2 c5 7 Lez Ac6 80-0 It's a Reversed Closed Catalan. Gen- erally, these turn into heavy duty ma- noeuvring games. 8...Wb6 9 Wb3 c4 Never fear 9...Wxb3?! 10 axb3. Black has helpfully opened the a-file and strengthened White’s pawn structure for the ending. 107 10 Wa3! The only serious try for an advan- tage. White makes way for b2-b3 to quickly strike at the c4-pawn. 10 We2?! &f5 11 Wet is lame. 10...He8 11 b3 cxb3 12 axb3 hs 13 &g5 h6 14 Bh4g5 15 Det! Afé 16 2g3 e5 was played in Tu Hoang Thong- D.Causo, Subic Bay 2009. Perhaps White can try for an advantage here with 17 dxe5! Axes 18 &xe5 Hxes 19 Dc2! De4 20 Axe4 dxe4 21 Ad4. | pre- fer White in this position for four rea- sons: 1, White’s d4-knight outguns either black bishop; 2. White may be first to the d-file with his rooks; 3. Black has weakened his kingside without obtaining an attack in return; and 4. White can press on the queen- side, and could later push his b- and c- pawns up the board. 11 2g5 612 2h4aes On 12...95?!, make sure you don’t 108 forget about the trick 13 4\e1! which leads to an edge for White after either 13...gxh4 14 &xh§ or 13..Df4 14 exf4 gxh4 15 Ddf3. 13 b3! RR NY 2 2 We always meet ...c4 with an even- tual b3 or e4 break. Black’s centre looks a bit unstable. 13...cxb3 14 axb3 g5 15 23 Axg3 16 hxg3 4 17 Dh2! | like this move better than 17 4e1, after which 17..f5 18 Dec2 f4 19 gxf4 gxf4 20 exf4 Hxf4 21 De3 &e6 may give Black some attacking chances along the open f- and g-files. 17...f5 18 cAl? A French player like myself might have gone for 18 fal2. | like White's po- sition at the end of the line 18...exf3 19 Axf3 Re6 20 g4! Bae8 21 gxfs Exf5 22 hi. Both e4 and c4 are potential pawn breaks. 18...f4?1 No reverse gear! Black chooses to go forward and sacrifice a piece for sev- eral pawns; however, the complications favour White.