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The Ultimate Anti-Grnfeld

A White repertoire with 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3


Dmitry Svetushkin

Chess Stars
www.chess-stars.com

Current Theory and Practice Series


The Ultimate Anti-Grnfeld.
A White repertoire with 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3

Translation and editing by Semko Semkov


Cover design by Kalojan Nachev
Copyright 2013 by Dmitry Svetushkin and Chess Stars

Printed in Bulgaria
ISBN: 978-954-8782-94-4

Contents

Foreword 5
Introduction 6
Part 1. Anti-Grnfeld I
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 d5 10
Part 2. Anti-Grnfeld II
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 Nc6, rare lines 64
Part 3. Benoni/Volga Deviations
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 c5 4.d5 86
Part 4. Kings Indian with ...c5
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nc3 0-0 6.Be3 c5 110
Part 5. The Panno Variation
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nc3 0-0 6.Be3 Nc6 146
Part 6. Main Line Panno Variation
3.f3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nc3 0-0 6.Be3 Nc6 7.Nge2 a6 8.Qd2 Rb8 166
Part 7. Extended Black Fianchetto
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nc3 c6 6.Be3 a6 184
Part 8. The Classical Main Line
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nc3 0-0 6.Be3 e5 7.Nge2 202
Part 9. Alternative Move Orders
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Ne2 226
Index of Variations

231

Part 1

Bibliography

Books
Understanding the Kings Indian, M. Golubev, Gambit 2006
The Kings Indian, Victor Bologan, Chess Stars 2009
Playing 1.d4 - The Indian Defences, Lars Schandorff, Quality Chess 2012
Chess Evolution - January 2012, Arkadij Naiditsch, Chess Evolution 2012

Electronic/Periodicals
Mega Database, Chess Base
Chess Informant, Sahovsky Informator
New in Chess Yearbook, Interchess
Chess Today
Internet resources
The Week In Chess (chesscenter.com)
10 Days (Chessmix.com)
Internet Chess Club (chessclub.com)
ChessPublishing.com forum
Chesspro.ru

Introduction

Foreword

I started playing the Kings Indian


in my childhood. Bronsteins classic, Zurich International Chess
Tournament 1953, had a strong impact on me so I adopted this sharp
opening for the Black side. I remember to have suffered many horrible debacles against the Smish,
especially by the hands of my first
coach Boris Nevednichy (GM V.
Nevednichys father). Only when
I turned 20 did I finally decide to
master 1.d4 for White. Dreevs exemplary wins inspired me to test
the Smish. It seemed to suit my
active positional style.
At first I had not a full grasp of
this system. I thought White was
obliged to mate the opponent. One
of the most important principles of
the Smish dawned on me much
later when I understood that White
had to play all over the board!
The next stage was to try 3.f3
against the Grnfeld. Id like to remind you that in 2000 the Grnfeld
was far behind its current popularity while 3.f3 was still a fairly young
system. The computers were not so
powerful in those times so it was
very interesting to analyse all those
extremely complex lines over the
board. It was a sea of opportunities
for both sides.

Nowadays the 3.f3 system has


grown tremendously to become
one of the most popular weapons against the Grnfeld. Like any
fashionable opening, it has become
utmost concrete, with tons of bran
ches going deep into the endgame.
The Smish itself is more positional. One can play it on understanding. You should learn plans rather
than moves.
I have supplied enough annotated games in the Complete Games
sections, and typical examples of
the main motifs in the Main Ideas
chapters. Nearly in most main lines
I have developed new plans (rather
than novelties) which should put
you ahead of your opponents in the
OTB battles.
The book includes games played
before July 31, 2013.
I would like to express my deep
gratitude to:
My grandfather who taught me
to play chess;
My first and main coaches Raisa and Boris Nevednichy;
My editor Semko Semkov for
his help and valuable ideas.
Dmitry Svetushkin
July 31, 2013
5

Introduction

Introduction

By playing 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3,


White kills three birds with one
shot.

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First of all, this is a natural way


of seizing space. Opening theory
knows a similar approach 1.Nf3
d5 2.b3 c5 when 3.Bb2 is consi
dered inaccurate due to 3...f6!.
The second merit of 3.f3 is that
it throws the Grnfeld fans out of
their main repertoire.
The third fine point is that it
allows White to delay the development of his queens knight. While
in most systems its natural stand is
on c3, against ...c5 plans it may go
to d2 or a3, leaving c3 free for the
other knight.
3.f3 has debuted at top level
with the game Nimzowitsch-Tartakower, Karlsbad 26.08.1929,
where Black simply ignored it by
following classical Kings Indian
6

development with ...Bg7 and ...e5.


Several months later world champion Alekhine promoted 3.f3 as a
weapon of choice in the match for
the title against Bogoljubow. In the
first encounter the challenger opted
for 3...Bg7, but later in the match he
took up the gauntlet with 3...d5 and
got a cramped position after 4.cxd5
Nxd5 5.e4 Nb6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.Nc3
Nc6 8.d5 Ne5 9.Bd4

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9...f6?! 10.f4 Nf7 11.a4 e5


12.dxe6 Bxe6 13.a5 Nd7 14.a6 b6
15.Bb5 Qe7 16.Nge2.
In the following decades, the
mainline Grnfeld had been under strong pressure and it made no
sense to avoid it. Only in the 80ies
was the interest in 3.f3 revived, but
White was not too successful in the
variation:
3...d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nb6
6.Nc3 Bg7 7.Be3 0-0

Introduction

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Most games featured 8.f4 Nc6


9.d5 Na5 or 9...Nb8 with sharp, but
balanced play.
Alekhines intuition hinted to
him the best continuation:
8.Qd2! against the same Bogoljubow in Bled 1931, but he drew
this game and the move had not
caught up.
Another world champion, Kram
nik, put his faith in 8.Qd2 against
Shirov in the candidates match for
the world title in 1998: 8.Qd2 e5
9.d5 c6 10.h4 h5, but then his play
was hesitant and he went on to lose.
Thus the burst of popularity of the
f3-system was delayed for another
decade.
Eventually, White has developed completely new schemes and
has fine-tuned the move orders.
This turned 3.f3 in the last 5-6
years from a side line into the most
challenging way of combatting the
Indian defences. After Anand has
adopted it and used in a number
of games, including the world title
match against Gelfand in 2012, 3.f3
has become one of the hottest systems, the ultimate anti-Grnfeld.
I have been playing 3.f3 for ten
years so I can claim to be one of the

veterans of this modern line. Look


at the following game:
Svetushkin-Lupulescu
Bucharest 2003
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 d5 4.cxd5
Nxd5 5.e4 Nb6 6.Nc3 Bg7 7.Be3
0-0 8.Qd2 Nc6 9.0-0-0 f5 10.h4
fxe4 11.h5 e5 12.d5 Nd4 13.hxg6
hxg6 14.fxe4 c6 15.Nf3 Nxf3 16.gxf3
cxd5 17.exd5 Rxf3 18.Kb1 Bf5+
19.Ka1 Qd7 20.d6

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I combine play on the kingside


with the power of the passed dpawn. White is on top and I went
on to win after 20...e4 21.Be2 Rg3
22.Bd4 e3 23.Qe1 Rg2 24.Qh4 Rc8
25.Bb5 Rc6 26.Bxc6 bxc6 27.Bxg7
Qxg7 28.Qd8+ Kf7 29.Qe7+ 1-0.
This game reveals the main features of the f3-system: a clear plan
for a kingside attack with h4-h5,
backed by a strong centre. Try it
and youll not risk to fall asleep during the game. The opposite castles
are always a herald of sharp fight.
Of course, Black can choose the
Kings Indian. Then the Smish is
probably the most straightforward
and natural answer. Whites result
in this particular branch (without
3.Nc3) is above 60%! Higher than
any other system against the K.I.D.
7

Introduction

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 d5

Part 1

Anti-Grnfeld I
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 d5

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Part 1

Part 1

Main Ideas
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 d5

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Apart from 3...Bg7, 3...d5 is by


far the most popular retort to 3.f3.
True Grnfeld fans have no compelling reasons to avoid opening of
the centre although the arising positions are closer to the Smish System. I consider 3...e5 and 3...Nc6 in
the next part of the book while 3...
c5 leads to Modern Benoni structures with one important difference
the c3-square is free for the kings
knight. It is discussed in Part 3.
4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nb6 6.Nc3
Bg7 7.Be3 0-0
7...Nc6 8.d5 Ne5 9.f4! Ng4
12.Bb5+! leaves White with a considerable space advantage, see
Game 1 Svetushkin-Puntier, Istanbul 2012.
8.Qd2!
10

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Black is faced with a major


choice here. The typical Kings Indian approach is 8...e5. While it is
in no way refuted, we see it only
rarely lately. It might be a twist of
fashion, but undoubtedly the Grnfeld treatment with 8...Nc6, followed by ...Qd6 is all the rage now.
A. 8...e5 9.d5 c6 10.Rd1!?

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This move should be a great


surprise for your opponents. 10.h4
is the main line. Then 10...cxd5

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 d5


11.exd5 N8d7 12.h5 Nf6 13.hxg6
fxg6 14.000 Bd7 has been analysed up to a draw. See the annotations to Game 4 Grischuk-Domin
guez, Thessaloniki 2013. It taught
me that Whites king is too vulnerable on the queenside. In fact,
Whites strongest trump is not the
possibility for an attack on the h-file,
but the central passed pawn. The
text focusses on its strength while
eliminating Blacks counterplay.
10...cxd5 11.exd5 Na6 12.h4!
h5 13.Nh3! Nc4 14.Bxc4 Qxh4+
15.Nf2 Qxc4

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16.g4!

White owns the initiative and


his pieces are well co-ordinated.
B. 8...Nc6 9.0-0-0

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9...Qd6!
All Blacks hopes for equality are
connected with this move. Let me
briefly mention the old lines:
a) 9...e5 10.d5 Nd4 11.f4 c5
12.fxe5 Bg4 13.Re1 Bxe5 14.h3

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Now Black can admit that he has


lost the strategic battle with 14...
Bd7 15.Nf3 Nxf3 16.gxf3, or show a
character with 14...Qh4. The latter
may lead to dire consequences since
the queen can easily be entrapped
on the kingside. It is important that
White keeps his poise. He should
initially ignore the queen by 15.Bd3
Rac8 16.Kb1!, waiting for the consistent attack 16...f5. Only here he
should switch to concrete play and
sac the exchange with 17.Bg5 Qh5
18.hxg4 Qxh1 19.exf5

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11

Part 1
Whites bishop pair, pointed at
the enemys king, is in full control.
This scenario is possible in various
settings.
b) 9...f5 10.e5!
A modern treatment of this line.
White postpones the race of the hpawn in favour of piece development. Practical experience suggests
that if White is careful enough to
protect his centre, Black is doomed
to struggle in a passive position.
But do not play f4!. This would be
a strategic mistake as White will no
longer have the options of Bh6 or
Bg5. Also the kings knight is much
stronger on f4 than on f3.
10...Nb4 (10...a5 11.h4! Nb4
12.h5 Be6 13.hxg6 hxg6 14.Bh6)
11.Nh3

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Whites next moves are Nf4,


Kb1, h4. At a later stage, he may
throw in the attack g4, too. He is
willing to trade any two or three minor pieces because the remaining
ones will be significantly stronger
than its black counterparts. Even
opposite coloured bishops (Bc4 vs.
Bg7) favour White who will have an
attack. Here are some examples:
12

11...N4d5 12.Nf4 Nxf4 13.Bxf4


c6 14.Bh6 Be6 15.h4;
11...a5 12.Kb1!? c6 13.Be2 (13.
Nf4 g5) 13...N4d5 14.Nf4 Nxc3+
15.Qxc3;
11...Be6 12.Kb1 Qd7 13.Nf4

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13...Nc4 14.Qe1!;

13...Bf7 14.a3 a5 15.Bb5! c6


16.d5! with a strong initiative;
13...Rfd8 14.a3 N4d5 (14...a5
15.d5) 15.Ncxd5 Bxd5 (15...Nxd5
16.Nxe6 Qxe6 17.Bc4 c6 18.h4 h5
19.g4) 16.Nxd5 Qxd5

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17.Qc1!.

It is important to discourage 17...


c5 thus leaving the enemy without
counterplay. See the model Game
5 Lupulescu-Stella, Skopje 2013.
Here is another example:

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 d5


Ivanchuk-Gabrielian
Russian tCh 013

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17.Bc4 c6 18.h4 b5 19.Bb3 a5


20.h5 a4 21.Ba2 Rab8 22.Rc1 Rb6
23.Rc5 Bf8 24.Qc2 Kh8 25.Bd2.
10.Nb5
Grischuks pawn sacrifice 10.h4!?
Rd8 11.Nb5 Qd7 12.h5 a6 13.Nc3 is
insufficient for an edge due to 13...
Bxd4!. See Game 6 Grischuk-Mamedyarov, Moscow 2010.
10.f4!? might be the future of
this line. Look at Game 9 Karjakin-Giri, Wijk aan Zee 2013.
10...Qd7 11.Kb1 Rd8 12.d5 a6
13.Nc3

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This is the most topical position


of the 3.f3 system. It is extremely
dynamic and only concrete calcu-

lation should define the next few


moves. In general, Whites attack
down the h-file should prevail, but
he is behind in development and
his own king is under the fire of all
the enemy pieces. If Black manages
to open the two diagonals g7-b2
and f5-b1 even at the cost of a whole
rook, he might get a winning attack.
His tactical blows are often not obvious at all. Let me show you some
examples which will help you better understand the nature of Blacks
threats. Thus you should be able to
dodge them in advance.
Typical tactical motifs for Black
Analysis

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15.Bxb6?! cxb6 16.b4? e6!


17.bxa5 exd5 with a horrible attack.
Analysis

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13

Part 1
18...exd5! 19.g5 Bxg5 20.fxg5 d4
21.Nd5 Rxd5 22.exd5 Bf5+ 23.Ka1
Rc8 24.Qf4 d3 25.Bf3 Nc4 26.Nh3
Ne3. The threat of ...Nc2+ compensates for a whole rook.
You see that leaving Blacks
g7-bishop without an opponent is
risky, to say the least. White should
take on b6 only if he gets immediate, very substantial benefits. Here
is yet another example where the
raging black bishops neutralise a
whole rook:
Analysis

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24...f6 25.Rc1 fxe5 26.Rxc3 exf4


27.Kb2 Ba4 28.a3 b5 29.Qe1 b4
30.Qe6+ and White is happy to find
a perpetual check.
Thorfinnsson-Gordon
Hinckley 2013

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14

17...Nxd5! (actually, Gordon


missed this opportunity and went
on to lose after 17...Nc4) 18.exd5
Bf5+ 19.Bd3 b4 20.Ne2 Rxa2!+.
Another sensitive point in
Whites position is b2. Black might
give a knight for it to obtain a longterm initiative. A computer may be
able to hold on, but my advice is
to avoid giving the opponent such
chances:
Analysis

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16...Nxb2!?
17.Bxb6
Nxd1
18.Nxd1 e6 19.Bxd8 (19.Qc7!=) 19...
Qxd8 20.Bc4 Bd7 21.dxe6 (21.Ne2
Rc8 22.Bb3 Rxc1+) 21...fxe6 22.Qe3
Qc7; 19.Nc3 exd5 20.Bxd8 (20.
Nxd5 Qxd5!!) 20...Qxd8 21.Nxd5
Be6.
Analysis

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1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 d5


14...Na4!?
15.dxc6
Rxd1+
16.Qxd1 Nxb2 17.Qd2 bxc6 18.Ne2
Rb8 19.Kc1 Na4 20.Nc4 c5 with
perfect compensation for the piece
(Miton).

White has preserved his pawn


centre and finally he launches the
h-pawn. His game is preferable.

These examples suggest that


before thinking about an attack,
White should first consolidate
and neutralise the beast on g7. He
should also avoid opening any lines.
The best place for its queen is on c1
while ...e6 could be met by Bf4 or
Bg5, trying to provoke ...e5 or ...f6.
Let us return now to our main
line.

Areshchenko won a nice game


with this strange-looking sacrifice. 14...Nbc4 15.Qc1 b5 16.f4 Ng4
17.Nf3 is rather hopeless.

a) 13...Na5 14.Qc1!?N

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The first step of my plan. We


prepare Bd4 and prevent ...e6.
14...Nbc4
15.Bd4
16.Rxd4 b5 17.h4

Bxd4

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b) 13...Ne5 14.Bd4 c5

15.Bxc5 Nec4 16.Bxc4! Nxc4


17.Qc1 Qc7 18.Bd4 e5! 19.Bf2 b5

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This position has been reached


in Eljanov-Areshchenko, Kiev 2012.
Instead of 20.b3 which gave Black
a lever on the queenside, I propose
the solid: 20.Nge2!N, aiming for
Nc1-d3-c5!?.
c) 13...Qe8 14.Qc1!

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This is the best place for the


queen in this variation. White will
15

Part 1
be developing with Bd3, Nge2,
avoiding to open files, for instance:
14...Na7 15.Bd3! e6 16.Bg5 Rd6
17.Bf4 Rd7

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Now that the bishop is stuck on


c8, we can take on e6: 18.dxe6 Qxe6
19.Bh6 Nc6 20.Bxg7 Kxg7 21.Nge2.
Everything is ready for h4.
14...Na5
14...Ne5 15.Be2 Nec4 16.Bd4 e5
is what White is trying to achieve in

16

this line. The centre has stabilised


in his favour, the frightful main diagonal is closed.
15.h4 e6 16.Bg5!?N
We know this idea from the previous paragraph.
16...f6 (16...Rd7 17.h5) 17.Bd2
Nac4 18.Bf4! Qf7 19.h5 exd5
20.hxg6 hxg6 21.exd5

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White has the better prospects.

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 d5

Part 1

Step by Step

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 d5 4.cxd5

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4...Nxd5

4...c6 is untrodden territory.


Since 5.dxc6 Nxc6 6.e3 e5 7.dxe5
Qa5+ 8.Nc3 Qxe5 is obviously
dangerous, we continue:
5.e4 cxd5 6.e5 Nfd7
6...Nh5 7.Nc3 Nc6 8.Bb5 e6
9.Nge2 was pleasant for White in
Edouard-Picard, Haguenau 2013.
After the text, the position is
similar to the variation 1.e4 d6 2.d4
Nf6 3.f3 c5 4.c3 d5 5.e5 Nfd7, only
Black has the extra move g6. It is
arguable how useful it could be. In
such pawn structures, Blacks natural counterplay is connected with

the break ...f6, but then g6 would


be a mere weakness. If Black tries
to justify it by developing its bishop
on g7, he will have to live with a
very passive piece.
7.Bd3
7.f4 Nc6 8.Nf3 is another possible set-up.
7...Nc6 8.Ne2 e6

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9.h4

Perhaps this is the only way to


defend against the threat of 9...
Nxd4 because 9.Be3 Qb6 10.Qd2
Nb4 would cost us the light-squared
bishop.
9...h5 10.a3 Be7 11.g3 a6 12.Be3
b5 13.Nd2 Qb6 14.Kf2 Bb7 15.Qb1.
White has consolidated and his
space advantage assures him of the
easier game.
17

Part 1
5.e4 Nb6
5...Nf6?! does not make any
sense as Black is left without
counterplay. It is true that his
kingside is better protected, but he
has little to oppose to quiet plans
with short castling: 6.Nc3 Bg7
7.Be3 0-0 8.Qd2
It is indicative that after 8.Bd3!?
Nc6 9.Nge2 the engines advocate
the reverse manoeuvre 9...Nd7
10.0-0 Nb6!
8...Nbd7 9.Nh3.
6.Nc3 Bg7 7.Be3 0-0
The text gives White time to
complete development and castle
long. Therefore,
7...Nc6 is a logical attempt to immediately define the centre. Then
8.d5 Ne5 9.f4! Ng4 12.Bb5+! gives
White a small edge in a safe position. I analyse this approach in detail in Game 1 Svetushkin-Puntier,
Istanbul 2012.
White may prefer to keep the
centre flexible by:
8.Bb5

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8...0-0
18

8...Bd7 9.Nge2 a6 (9...0-0 does


not even gain the bishop pair after
10.0-0 Na5 11.b3 Bxb5 12.Nxb5
Qd7 13.Nbc3, Navara-Ftacnik,
Ostrava 2013) 10.Bxc6 Bxc6 is
passive. White controls the centre and that allows him to launch
a kingside attack with 11.d5 Bd7
12.Bd4 0-0 13.Bxg7 Kxg7 14.Qd4+
Kg8 15.h4!? c6 16.h5 cxd5 17.Rd1
dxe4 18.Qxe4.
9.Nge2 Na5
9...a6 10.Bxc6 bxc6 renders the
whole Blacks pawn formation very
static. After 11.Qc1 (or 11.0-0 Nc4
12.Qc1 a5 13.Rd1 Ba6 14.e5) 11...
Nc4 12.0-0 he has not any prospects before his bishops while the
weaknesses along the c-file will remain for long.
10.b3 e5 11.dxe5 Bxe5 12.0-0
Qe7 13.Qe1

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White has retained firm control


of the centre. He will prepare f3-f4,
grabbing even more space. At the
same time Black is unable to trade
minor pieces to unload the position. You can see more detail on
this pawn structure in the annotations to Game 2 Bocharov-Timofeev, Khanty-Mansiisk, 2012.

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 d5


Let me add that 7...f5 would be
premature in view of 8.a4!? (8.e5,
transposing to the main line, is also
possible) 8...a5 9.Qb3 and Black
cannot castle, e.g. 9...e6 10.d5! exd5
11.Bxb6 cxb6 12.Bb5+ Bd7 13.Nxd5
Bxb5 14.axb5 Nd7 15.Nh3 Nc5
16.Qc4 Qd6 17.0-0 0-0-0 18.Ng5.
8.Qd2
8.f4!? has faded out of fashion.
Black answers 8...Nc6 9.d5 Na5
(9...Nb8 is less explored. It also
leads to a complex game with mutual chances.) 10.Bd4 e5 11.Bxe5
Bxe5 12.fxe5 Qh4+ 13.g3 Qe7
14.Qd4 Rd8 15.b4 Nac4 16.Bxc4
17.Bxc4 17.Rc1

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Postny-Rodshtein, Acre 2013,


saw 17...c5 18.dxc6 Qxc4 19.Qxc4
Nxc4 20.Nd5 Nxe5 21.Nf6+ Kf8
22.Nxe8 Kxe8 23.Kd2 Nxc6
24.Nf3. White has a material advantage although Black has held
this endgame.
17...Qxc4?!
18.Qxc4
Nxc4
19.Nb5 Nxe5 20.Nxc7 Nd3+
21.Kd2 Nxc1 22.Nxe8 Nxa2 23.Nc7
Rb8 24.Nf3 Nb4 25.Ra1 also favours
White. Perhaps the best defence is :
17...Rb8 18.Nf3 Qxc4 19.Ne2
Qxd4 20.Nexd4 f5 21.exf5 Bxf5

22.Nxf5 gxf5 23.Rxc7 Nxd5 24.Rc5


with only a slight initiative for
White due to the advanced e-pawn.

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A. 8...e5; B. 8...Nc6
A. 8...e5 9.d5 c6
9...f5 only weakens the a2-g8
diagonal and the f5-pawn, without
generating real counterplay: 10.000 f4 (10...fxe4 11.fxe4) 11.Bc5 Re8
12.Kb1 N8d7 13.Bf2 c6 14.g3.

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10.Rd1!?

10.h4 is the main line. Then 10...


h5?! 11.g4! gives White a strong
19

Part 1
attack see Game 3 IvanchukAkesson, Antalya 2004. However,
10...cxd5 11.exd5 N8d7 12.h5 Nf6
13.hxg6 fxg6 14.000 Bd7 has
been analysed up to a draw. See a
detailed analysis of this line in the
annotations to Game 4 GrischukDominguez, Thessaloniki 2013.
Youll notice that Blacks attack on
the c-file is very powerful.
It would be logical to keep this
file closed with:
10.d6
Then mundane development
is contra-indicated to Black as
Whites attack is unfolding very
quickly: 10...Be6?! 11.0-0-0! Nc8
(This is an attempt to win the d6pawn. 11...f5 12.exf5 gxf5 13.Nh3
or 12.Bg5!? Bf6 13.Bh6 Bg7 14.h4
is clearly better for White.) 12.h4!
Qa5 13.h5 Rd8 14.hxg6 fxg6 15.g4
with a tremendous attack. A sterner
test of 10.d6 is the direct attack on
the pawn with:
10...Re8!

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Black is threatening with ...Re6,


...Bf8. The only way to disturb this
plan is to play Bg5 at some moment.
Since 11.0-0-0 Re6 12.Bg5 f6 13.Be3
20

Bf8 14.Bxb6 axb6 15.Bc4 b5! would


make Whites king an easy prey to
the enemys long-range pieces, I focused on two options:
a) 11.Rd1 Re6!
The manoeuvre 11...Nd7 (heading for f8-e6-d4) is too slow: 11...
N8d7 12.h4 Nf8 (12...Bf8 13.Bh6;
12...Re6 13.a4! a5 14.h5 Bf8
15.hxg6. White has an overwhelming position: 15...Rxg6 (15...fxg6
16.Qf2 Rxd6 17.Rxd6 Bxd6 18.Nh3
Be7 19.Be2 and Black is unable to
disentangle his queenside.) 16.g4
Bxd6 17.Qf2 Bf8 18.Be2.)

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13.h5! Ne6 14.hxg6 hxg6 15.g4


Bd7 16.a4 a5 17.Qh2 f6 18.b3 [18.
g5 is premature owing to 17...fxg5!
(18...Nxg5 19.Qf2 Nc8 20.Qg3)
19.Nh3 g4 20.fxg4 Rf8 21.Be2
Qh4+ 22.Bf2 Rxf2 23.Qxf2 Qxf2+
24.Nxf2=] 18...Kf7 19.Qd2 Rh8
20.Rxh8 Bxh8 21.Nh3. White has
the more active pieces.
12.Bg5 f6
The exchange sacrifice 12...Qd7
13.Be7 Rxe7 14.dxe7 Qxe7 should
not solve all Blacks problems:
15.Qd8+ Bf8 16.Qxe7 Bxe7 17.g3
Kg7 18.Bh3.

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 d5


13.Be3 Kh8! (13...Bf8 14.Bxb6
axb6 15.Bc4)

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I could not find any advantage


after this cunning retreat which revives the threat of ...Bf8:
a1) 14.Bxb6 axb6 15.Bc4 Re8
16.Bf7 Rf8 17.Bb3 Nd7 18.Nge2
Nc5 19.Bc2 Be6.
a2) 14.f4 exf4 15.Bxf4 Nd5
16.Nge2 Nxf4 17.Nxf4 Re8 18.Bc4
(18.h4 Nd7 19.Be2 Ne5) 18...Bg4
(18...b5 19.Bf7) 19.Rc1 b5 20.Bf7
b4 21.Bxe8 bxc3 22.Qxc3 Qxe8
23.0-0 a5.
a3) 14.a4 Bf8 15.Bc5 N6d7
16.Ba3 c5 17.h4 Nc6.
a4) 14.h4 Bf8 15.Bc5 N8d7
16.Ba3 c5 17.h5 Rxd6 18.Bd3 g5.
b) 11.Bg5 (This is more flexible
as White keeps the option of castling long.) 11...f6 (11...Bf6 12.h4)
12.Be3 Bf8
12...Re6 13.Bxb6 axb6 14.Bc4 is
already good as Whites king is not
on the queenside; 12...Kh8, hoping
to transpose to line a) after 13.Rd1
Re6, is dubious owing to 13.0-0-0
13...Re6 14.f4 Bf8 15.fxe5 fxe5
16.Bg5 Qe8 17.Qf2.
12...Be6 13.0-0-0 (13.Rd1 Bf8
14.h4 Bf7 15.h5 gxh5) 13...Nc4

14.Bxc4 Bxc4 15.h4 Re6 16.h5 Bf8


17.hxg6 hxg6 18.Qf2 (18.g4 Rxd6
19.Qh2) 18...Rxd6 19.Rxd6 Qxd6
20.Qh4 is also better for White.
13.Rd1 Be6 (13...Re6 14.Bxb6
axb6 15.Bc4 b5 should be slightly better for White, e.g. 16.Bb3
Kg7 17.d7 Qxd7 18.Qxd7+ Bxd7
19.Rxd7+ Nxd7 20.Bxe6 Nc5
21.Bb3) 14.h4 (14.Bh6 does not save
the d6-pawn: 14...Bxh6 15.Qxh6
Bf7 followed up by ...Re6.) 14...Nc8

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White has some attack here, but


it is probably only good for keeping
the balance. For instance:
15.h5 Qxd6 16.Qf2 Qe7 17.hxg6
hxg6 18.Nge2 Nd7 19.f4 Nd6
20.Qg3 exf4 21.Nxf4 Qg7 22.Qxg6
(22.Nxe6 Rxe6 23.Bh6 Qf7 24.Bxf8
Nxe4 25.Nxe4 Rxe4+ 26.Kf2 Nxf8
27.Bd3 Rb4 28.Qh2 Qg7; 22.Nxg6
Nf7 23.Bc4 Nde5 24.Bxe6 Rxe6
25.Qh3 Qxg6 26.Qxe6 Qxg2 27.Rf1
Nf3+ 28.Rxf3 Qxf3 29.Bf2=) 22...
Qxg6 23.Nxg6 Nf7 24.Be2 Nde5=.
Summing up, 10.d6 is an inte
resting move, but Black should keep
the balance by immediately attacking the pawn.
10...cxd5 11.exd5
21

Part 1

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11...Na6

Alternatives lead to a quiet play


with a small edge for White who
will hope to take advantage of his
central passed pawn:
11...Nc4 12.Bxc4 Qh4+ 13.Bf2
Qxc4 14.Nge2 Nd7 15.0-0 b6
16.Ne4 Nf6 17.Nxf6+ Bxf6 18.Nc3
Bg7 19.d6;
11...N8d7 12.Nh3 Nf6 13.Nf2.
11...Bf5 provokes 12.g4 Bc8
13.h4, but the counterblow 13...e4
14.Nxe4 Re8 is insufficient: 15.Bh6
Be5 16.Kf2 N8d7 17.Bg5.
12.h4!
There is no other way to lead out
the kings knight.
12...h5 13.Nh3!
13.b3 Bf5 14.Bxa6 bxa6 15.Nge2
Rc8 16.Ne4 Bxe4 17.fxe4 Nd7 is
unclear, but I see no trace of any
Whites advantage.
13...Nc4
22

14.Bxc4

Qxh4+

15.Nf2 Qxc4

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16.g4!

16.Bh6 allows Black to trade


queens with 16...Bxh6 17.Qxh6 Qf4
18.Qxf4 exf4 19.Rh4 (19.Nd3 Bf5
20.Nxf4 Rfd8 21.Kf2 Rac8 22.Rd2=)
19...Re8+ 20.Kf1 f5 21.Rxf4 Bd7.
16...f5
16...e4 loses to 17.fxe4 Nc5
18.gxh5 b6 19.Bd4.
17.b3 Qb4 18.Nd3 Qd6
19.gxh5 f4 (19...gxh5 20.f4 exf4
21.Bxf4)

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1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 d5


20.Bg1!
The point of our strategy! Now
we install a knight on e4 which
rules over the board.
Black is holding after 20.Bf2 Bf5
(20...gxh5? 21.Ne4 Qxd5 22.Qc3)
21.Nb2 (21.h6 Bf6 22.Qe2 Nb4
23.Ne4 Bxe4 24.Qxe4 Nxd3+
25.Rxd3 Kh7=) 21...g5 22.Nc4
Qh6 23.Qe2 (23.d6) 23...Rad8
24.Ne4 Rf7.
B. 8...Nc6 9.0-0-0

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B1. 9...e5; B2. 9...f5; B3. 9...Qd6

B1. 9...e5 10.d5 Nd4 11.f4 c5


11...Bg4 12.Re1 c5 transposes to
the main line. The only independent variation is 12...Qe7 (the pawn
sac 12...f6 is dubious: 13.h3 Bd7
14.Bxd4, Laznicka-Bakalarz, Plov
div 2008) 13.h3 Bd7 14.fxe5 Qxe5,
but the queen is misplaced on e5 as
it helps Whites pawn avalanche in
the centre to advance with tempi:

15.Rd1 c5 16.Nf3 Nxf3 17.gxf3 Na4


18.f4 Qe8 19.e5.
12.fxe5 Bg4
12...Bxe5 13.Nf3 Nxf3 14.gxf3
c4 15.h4 h5 16.Bd4 is difficult for
Black.
13.Re1 Bxe5 14.h3

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14...Qh4

Blacks only compensation for


the enemy centre is the d4-knight.
Should it disappear from there, as
after 14...Bd7 15.Nf3 Nxf3 16.gxf3,
Whites edge would become undisputable. Black did try to defend this
position, but with the meager score
of only 20%:
a) 16...Qe7 17.h4 h5 (or 17...
c4 18.Bd4, I. Sokolov-Krasenkow, Wijk aan Zee 2002) 18.Kb1 f5
19.Rg1 Kh7 20.Bd3 f4 21.Bf2 Rac8
22.Rg5. It turns out that Black cannot maintain the blockade on the
dark squares as he must also defend
g6, h5 and his queenside pawns, e.g.
23

Part 1
22...Na4 23.Nxa4 Bxa4 24.Qa5 c4
25.Bf1 Bd7 26.d6 Bxd6 27.Rxh5+.
b) 16...Na4 17.Nxa4 Bxa4
18.Kb1 (18.f4 Bc7 19.Qf2) 18...Rc8
19.f4 Bg7 20.Rc1 b6 21.h4, PostnyAtakisi, Litohoto 1999.
c) 16...f5 17.Bg5 Qc7 18.f4 Bxc3
19.Qxc3 fxe4 20.Rxe4 Rf7 21.Re5
c4, Postny-Mekhitarian, Barcelona
2008, 22.h4 with attack.
d) 16...Re8 17.h4 Rc8 18.h5 Qf6
19.hxg6 fxg6 20.Be2 Rf8 21.Ref1
Rce8 22.Bg5 Qxg5 23.Qxg5 Bf4+
24.Qxf4 Rxf4 25.Rh6 and Black
cannot hold too long the blockade
on the dark squares: 25...a6 26.Rfh1
Re7 27.R1h4 Rxh4 28.Rxh4 Kg7
29.f4, Kozul-Rogulj, Zagreb 2012.
15.Bd3 Rac8
Naturally, 15...Bd7 is not an option. It is even worse than on the
previous move: 16.Nf3 Nxf3 17.gxf3
f5 18.Bg5 Qg3 19.f4 Bxc3 20.bxc3
fxe4 21.Re3.
15...Bg3 16.Rf1 f5 stumbles
into 17.hxg4 Qxh1 18.Nh3 Qxf1+
19.Bxf1 fxg4 20.Nf2 Bxf2 21.Bxf2
g3 22.Bxd4 Rxf1+ 23.Kc2 (23.
Nd1) 23...cxd4 24.Qxd4 Rf2+
25.Kb3 Rxg2 26.e5 Rf2, SandipanLaylo, Manila 2010, 27.e6!.
The counter-attack 15...f5 16.Bg5
Qh5 17.exf5 Bg3 loses to the thematic hit 18.hxg4! Qxh1 19.Rd1
Rae8, Kozul-Jelen, Lasko 2011,
20.Nb5+.
16.Kb1!
24

The equilibrium on the kingside


is fragile. Black should calculate on
every move variations with hxg4
where his queen might be trapped.
Therefore he must break first with
...f5, before White has consolidated. In this scenario Whites rook
stays better on e1 in order to hit
the e5-bishop. 16.Rf1 f5 17.Bg5 Qh5
18.hxg4 Qxh1 19.exf5 Qh2 20.Nh3
Qg3 was tested in Khismatullin-Timofeev, Tomsk 2004 and two other
games. It was found to be rather
hazy.
16...Rfe8
On his turn, Black also tries to
make a useful move. 16...f5 17.Bg5
Qh5 18.hxg4 Qxh1 19.exf5 gives
White a clear edge, thanks to his
powerful bishops:

XIIIIIIIIY
9-+r+-trk+0
9zpp+-+-+p0
9-sn-+-+p+0
9+-zpPvlPvL-0
9-+-sn-+P+0
9+-sNL+-+-0
9PzP-wQ-+P+0
9+K+-tR-sNq0
xiiiiiiiiy

19...Qh2 20.fxg6 hxg6 21.Nh3


Qg3 22.d6 Rf7 (BennewitzGappel, email 2008 saw 22...
Rc6 when 23.Ne4 Qxg4 24.Nef2
Qxg2 25.Rxe5 Nf3 26.Bc4+ Nxc4
27.Qd5+ Rf7 28.d7 is winning.)
23.Bxg6 Rd7 24.Ne4 Qxg4 25.Nhf2
Qxg2 26.Bh5.
16...Bd7 17.Nf3 Nxf3 18.gxf3
f5, Pitkaenen-Selin, email, 2009,

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 d5


should be met by 19.Bg5 Qg3
20.Bh6 Rf7 21.h4 with attack.
17.Bf2!
This is more convincing than
Ref1 Bh5!
17...Qh5 18.Nb5!
White suddenly wins material since 18...Nxb5 19.Bxb5 Rd8
leaves the e5-bishop undefended:
20.hxg4! Qxh1 21.Nf3.
B2. 9...f5
This counter-attack had been
very popular until White realised
that the thematic plan with h2-h4h5 was not the only option and
turned his attention to the centre.
10.e5!
10.h4 fxe4 11.h5 faces the paradoxical retort 11...gxh5! 12.Rxh5 Bf5
with strong counterplay. Although
White has been trying to revive
this line recently, his attempts look
more like fishing in muddy waters
than a thoroughly researched approach:
13.fxe4?!N Bg4 14.Rg5 Bxd1
15.Qxd1,
Kovalenko-Krasenkow,
Trzcianka 2013;
12.d5 Ne5 13.Bh6 Nec4 14.Qg5
Rf7 15.Bxc4 Nxc4 16.Rd4 Qd6
17.Bxg7 Rxg7 18.Qxh5 Qf4+ 19.Kb1
Bf5, Mamedyarov-Kurnosov, Mos
cow 2009.

10...Nb4
10...a5 looses a valuable tempo.
Whites attack develops impetuously after 11.h4! (11.f4 e6 12.g4
M. Nikolov-Bartel, Kavala 2011)
11...Nb4 12.h5 Be6 13.hxg6 hxg6
14.Bh6 f4 15.g4 when 15...Nxa2+
16.Nxa2 Bxa2 looses by force, e.g.
17.Qh2 Rf7 18.Bxg7 Rxg7 19.d5+.
11.Nh3

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+lwq-trk+0
9zppzp-zp-vlp0
9-sn-+-+p+0
9+-+-zPp+-0
9-sn-zP-+-+0
9+-sN-vLP+N0
9PzP-wQ-+PzP0
9+-mKR+L+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

White has neutralised the g7bishop and kept the centre closed.
This should allow him to develop a
long-term initiative on the kingside.
by opening the h-file. But first he
must complete development and
tame Blacks attacking attempts.
11...Be6
It makes sense to develop with
tempo by hitting a2. Alternatively:
a) 11...N4d5 is too slow: 12.Nf4
Nxf4 13.Bxf4 c6 14.Bh6 Be6 15.h4
and Black did not find anything better than to slow down the attack at
25

Part 1
the cost of a pawn: 15...f4 16.Bxf4,
Gustafsson-Gopal, Caleta 2010.
b) 11...a5 12.Kb1!?
We should be very careful when
making weaknesses with 12.a3. We
should resort to this move only if
we gain clear benefits. Otherwise it
might serve as a target in the long
run. The game Ding-Li Chao, Ningbo 2011, went on 12...N4d5 13.Nf4
Nxf4 14.Bxf4 c6 15.h4 Be6 16.h5
Nd5 17.hxg6 hxg6 18.Bh6 Nxc3
19.bxc3 Qb6 20.Bxg7 Kxg7 and although White can win the g6-pawn,
his weak king does not leave him
serious winning chances.
12...c6 13.Be2 (13.Nf4 g5) 13...
N4d5 (13...Be6 14.Nf4 Qd7 15.h4)
14.Nf4 Nxc3+ 15.Qxc3, keeping
everything under control.
c) 11...c6. Now 12.Kb1, transposing to other lines, looks best,
but 12.Nf4 g5 (12...N4d5 13.Ncxd5
Nxd5 14.Bc4 e6 15.h4) 13.Nh5 f4
14.Bf2 is also possible.
12.Kb1
There is no reason to allow 12.a3
Na2+.
12...Qd7
In the game Ding Liren-Zhou Jianchao, Guangzhou 2010, was 12...
N6d5 13.Nf4 (perhaps 13.Ng5!?
is better: 13...Qd7 14.Nxe6 Qxe6
15.Nxd5 Nxd5 16.Bc4) when Black,
instead of taking on f4 with a typical position, chose 13...Nxc3+. This
loses immediately to 14.bxc3!+.
26

In Ivanisevic-Gabrielian, Plovdiv 2012, the other knight went to


d5:
12...N4d5
13.Ng5
Nxc3+
14.Qxc3 Bd5 (14...Qd7 15.Nxe6
Qxe6 16.Qxc7) 15.h4 Qd7 16.Bd3
Rac8. I propose here 17.Nh3!?,
planning h5-h5. It is important
not to allow ...g5. After Ivanisevics
hasty 17.Bc2 Nc4 18.h5 h6 19.Nh3
g5, White had no other choice but
to sacrifice a piece with hazy complications: 20.Nxg5 hxg5 21.h6 Bh8
22.h7+ Kf7 23.Bxg5.
13.Nf4 Bf7
Svidlers choice. Black is not interested in exchanging his knights,
because eventually he will be left
with a pretty much useless darksquared bishop. For instance:
13...Nc4 14.Qe1 (There is no
reason to give counterplay with
14.Bxc4 Bxc4 15.h4 a5 16.b3 Bf7
17.h5 g5 18.e6 Bxe6 19.Nxe6 Qxe6
20.Bxg5 Rad8) 14...Nxe3 15.Qxe3
c6 (16...Bh6 17.d5) 16.h4 Bh6
17.h5 g5 18.Nxe6 Qxe6 19.a3 Nd5
20.Nxd5. Black is doomed to a long
struggle for two results only.
I happened to face 13...Rfd8 a
few months ago. I answered 14.a3!
N4d5
14...a5 15.d5 N4xd5 16.Ncxd5
Nxd5 17.Bc4 c6 18.Bb6 Rdc8
19.Nxe6 Qxe6 20.f4 offers White
a stable advantage: 20...a4 21.h4
(21.g3 Qf7 22.Bxd5 cxd5 23.Qxd5)
21...h5 22.Bxd5 cxd5 23.Qxd5
Kf7 24.Rd4 Rc6 25.Qxe6+ Kxe6

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 d5


26.Rb4, Zhou Jianchao-Mu Ke,
Beijing 2012.

14.h4 Rfd8 and again 15.a3 is


best.

15.Ncxd5
Bxd5
(15...Nxd5
16.Nxe6 Qxe6 17.Bc4 c6 18.h4 h5
19.g4) 16.Nxd5 Qxd5, SvetushkinStella, A Capelle la grande Open
2013.

The rest is too slow:


15.Bb5 c6 16.Be2 a5 or 16...c5;
15.Qe1 Na4! 16.b3 Nxc3+
17.Qxc3 a5.

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+-tr-+k+0
9zppzp-zp-vlp0
9-sn-+-+p+0
9+-+qzPp+-0
9-+-zP-+-+0
9zP-+-vLP+-0
9-zP-wQ-+PzP0
9+K+R+L+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

So far, so good. I have reached


the position I was aiming for.
Whites prospects are clearly better because of the stable space advantage and an easy attack down
the h-file. This claim would have
held true had I made a single prophylactic move: 17.Qc1!. Instead, I
rushed with 17.h4?, missing 17...c5.
The pride of my position, the pawn
centre, crumbled down and Black
obtained strong counterplay. Curiously, my opponent was obviously
satisfied with his opening achievement because two weeks later he
repeated all this up to the diagram
position. See Game 5 LupulescuStella, Skopje 2013 for a nice lecture
on how to treat this pawn structure.
14.a3
White should take some safety
measures. He cannot leave the enemy develop his own play:

15...a5 16.Qc1 Bb3 17.Rd2 e6


18.Nd3 Nxd3 19.Bxd3 Nc4 20.Bxc4
Bxc4 21.h5 b5 22.hxg6 hxg6 23.Bg5
Rf8 24.Na4 Qd5 25.Nc5, VitiugovOstenstad, Rogaska Slatina 2011.
The text is even more accurate.
14...a5
A typical piece sacrifice, which
should not be accepted. Trading
pieces with 14...N4d5 15.Ncxd5
Nxd5 16.Bc4 Nxf4 17.Bxf7+ Rxf7
18.Bxf4 e6 spells trouble after
19.h4.

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+-+-trk+0
9+pzpqzplvlp0
9-sn-+-+p+0
9zp-+-zPp+-0
9-sn-zP-sN-+0
9zP-sN-vLP+-0
9-zP-wQ-+PzP0
9+K+R+L+R0
xiiiiiiiiy
15.Bb5!

In Motylev-Svidler, Wijk aan


Zee 2007, White had the unfortunate idea to accept the greek gift:
15.d5? Bxe5 16.axb4 axb4 17.Nb5
Ra5 18.Bxb6 cxb6 19.Qxb4 Rfa8 and
27

Part 1
the game did not last long: 20.Rd4
Bxd4 21.Qxd4 Ra1+ 22.Kc2 Rxf1
23.Rxf1 Qxb5 24.Rc1 Rd8 25.Qe5
Bxd5 26.Nxd5 Rxd5 27.Qe6+ Kf8
28.Qc8+ Kf7 0-1.
15...c6 16.d5!
The possibility of this move defines Whites advantage.
16...Bxe5
16...N6xd5 17.axb4 axb4 (17...
e6 18.Ncxd5 exd5 19.Be2 axb4
20.Bd4) 18.Ncxd5; and 16...N4xd5
17.Bxb6 Nxb6 18.Qxd7 Nxd7 19.e6
cxb5 20.exf7+ Rxf7 21.Rxd7 are
hopeless.
17.Bxb6 cxb5 18.Rhe1
White rules in the centre and he
has a strong initiative. The game
Bitan-Vokarev, Bhubaneswar 2010,
went further 18...Bf6 (18...Bxc3
19.Qxc3 Nxd5 20.Qe5) 19.Bd4
Bxd4 20.Qxd4 Na6 21.d6 Qxd6
22.Ncd5 (22.Nfd5 Bxd5 23.Qxd5+)
22...Bxd5 23.Nxd5 Qc5 24.Qe5 (24.
Qf4 b4 25.Qxd6 bxa3 26.Qxa3)
24...Rad8 25.Nxe7+ Kf7 26.Nd5
Qd6 27.Qe7+ Qxe7 28.Rxe7+ Kg8
29.Nf6+ 1-0.
B3. 9...Qd6! 10.Nb5
Grischuk tried the interesting
pawn sacrifice 10.h4!? Rd8 11.Nb5
Qd7 12.h5 a6 13.Nc3 when Black
should capture on d4 by bishop. See
28

Game 6 Grischuk-Mamedyarov,
Moscow 2010, for details.
10.Kb1 Rd8 11.Nb5 Qd7 12.d5
transposes to the main line. I chose
the move order with 10.Nb5, because it enables additional interesting options as 11.Bh6.
10...Qd7

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+l+-trk+0
9zppzpqzppvlp0
9-snn+-+p+0
9+N+-+-+-0
9-+-zPP+-+0
9+-+-vLP+-0
9PzP-wQ-+PzP0
9+-mKR+LsNR0
xiiiiiiiiy
11.Kb1

a) 11.f4 is a rare bird. It occurs only in the games of ...2700+


grandmasters, scoring +1=2. Obviously, we should not discard this
move apriori. Stay tuned to this
line!
Best answer is 11...Qe6! when
12.d5 loses to 12...Qxe4 13.dxc6 Bf5
14.Bd3 Qxc6+. Therefore, 12.Nc3 is
the only move.

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+l+-trk+0
9zppzp-zppvlp0
9-snn+q+p+0
9+-+-+-+-0
9-+-zPPzP-+0
9+-sN-vL-+-0
9PzP-wQ-+PzP0
9+-mKR+LsNR0
xiiiiiiiiy

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 d5


Look at Game 9 Karjakin-Giri,
Wijk aan Zee 2013, for further details.
b) 11.Bh6 also deserves attention, but Black has found a satis
factory defence see Game 7 Svid
ler-Caruana, Thessaloniki, 2013,
which is the latest word of theory
so far.
c) 11.Na3 is a strange move
which lets the black knight on d4
after 11...e5 12.d5 Nd4 13.Kb1 c6
14.dxc6 bxc6 15.Qa5 Qb7 16.Ne2
Rb8 17.Rd2, Ivanchuk-Sutovsky,
Ningbo 2011, 17...c5 there is no
way to be worse with such a piece
in the centre.
11...Rd8
11...a6 should probably transpose to the main line after 12.Nc3.
Only 12...e5 13.d5 Nd4 would be of
independent significance. Typical
answer would be 14.f4, but perhaps
White should try first to provoke
weaknesses with 14.h4 having in
mind 14...h5 15.f4.
However, White can also try
12.Na3!? as in Rodshtein-Popilski,
Skopje 2013, when 12...Rd8 could
be met by 13.Ne2 since the a3knight controls c4. Black continued with 12...e5 13.d5 Nd4 14.h4 c6
when the thematic break-through
15.f4 would have been the most
consistent continuation.
12.d5 a6

No one has followed in Mame


dyarovs footsteps (against Anand,
Bastia 2011) 12...Ne5 13.Qc2 c6
14.Nxa7.
13.Nc3
Kamil Miton analyses in depth:
a) 13.Na3, but I would not like to
to waste much time on such a move.
13...Qe8
13...Ne5 14.h3 Na4 is also interesting 15.f4 Nxb2 16.Qxb2 Nc4
17.Qc1 Nxe3 18.Qxe3 Qa4 19.Nc2
Rd6 20.Rd3 Qb5+ 21.Kc1 Rb6
22.Ne2 Qb1+ with hazy complications.
14.Qe1
14.Bxb6 cxb6 15.Nc4 e6 16.Nxb6
exd5 17.Nxa8? loses to 17...dxe4
18.Qc1 exf3 19.Nxf3 Bf5+ 20.Ka1
Nb4+; 14.Qc1 might provoke 14...
Na4!? 15.dxc6 Bxb2 16.Rxd8 Qxd8
17.Qc2 b5 18.Bc1 Bg7 19.Ne2 Be6
with compensation.
b) 13.dxc6 13.dxc6 Qxd2
14.Rxd2 Rxd2 15.Bxd2 axb5 16.cxb7
Bxb7 17.Bxb5 f5 18.exf5 Bd5, Vitiugov-Giri, Reggio Emilia 2011. This
endgame is roughly equal. Black
has sufficient compensation for
the pawn, for example, 19.b3 gxf5
20.Bb4 (the g1-knight cannot leave
the first rank due to ...Bxb3) 20...
Kf7 21.Bd3 Be6, followed up by
...Nd5.

29

Part 1

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+ltr-+k+0
9+pzpqzppvlp0
9psnn+-+p+0
9+-+P+-+-0
9-+-+P+-+0
9+-sN-vLP+-0
9PzP-wQ-+PzP0
9+K+R+LsNR0
xiiiiiiiiy

B31. 13...Na5; B32. 13...Ne5;


B33. 13...Qe8
B31. 13...Na5 14.Qc1!?N
White has tested 14.Bd4 e5
15.Bc5 Nbc4 16.Qc1 b6 17.Bf2 Qd6
18.h4 Qb4 19.g4, Ma
me
dyarovVolokitin, Istanbul 2012. Although
he got an edge after 19...f5 20.g5 fxe4
21.Nxe4 Bf5 22.Bd3 Rxd5 23.Bxc4
Nxc4 24.Rxd5 Bxe4+ 25.fxe4 Na3+
26.Ka1 Qxe4 27.Rd2!, it is better to
limit Blacks options.
14...Nbc4
Alternatively:
a) 14...Nac4 15.Bd4
We better keep the bishop for
now. 15.Bxc4 Nxc4 16.Bd4 Bxd4
(16...e5 17.dxe6) 17.Rxd4 b5 18.Nge2
Qd6 (18...Bb7 19.Rhd1 Qd6 20.f4)
is unclear. Although White retains
his space advantage, it is not easy
to transform it into something substantial: 19.h4 h5 20.Rhd1 [20.
Nd1 Qb6 21.Ne3 c6 22.Nxc4 bxc4
30

23.Rhd1 (23.Qxc4 Rb8 24.b3 cxd5


25.Rxd5 Bb7) 23...cxd5 24.Nc3
Be6] 20...Bd7 21.Ka1 Rac8 (21...
Qf6 22.d6) 22.b3 (22.f4 Bg4) 22...
Ne5 23.f4 Ng4 24.e5 Qb6 25.Ne4
Nh6 26.e6 Be8.
15...Bxd4 16.Rxd4 Ne5 17.h4
h5 (17...e6 18.h5 Qe7 19.hxg6 fxg6
20.Nh3 exd5 21.Ng5 h5 22.f4 Nf7
23.Nxf7 Qxf7 24.f5) 18.g4 hxg4
19.f4.
b) 14...Qd6 15.Nge2 Nbc4
16.Bd4 Bf8 (Engines like this move,
but it does look suspicious.) 17.h4
e5 18.Bf2 h5 19.g4! hxg4 20.h5 gxf3
21.Ng1! with an imminent destruction of Blacks kingside.
Finally, 14...Qe8 transposes to
13...Qe8.
15.Bd4 Bxd4 16.Rxd4 b5
17.h4

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+ltr-+k+0
9+-zpqzpp+p0
9p+-+-+p+0
9snp+P+-+-0
9-+ntRP+-zP0
9+-sN-+P+-0
9PzP-+-+P+0
9+KwQ-+LsNR0
xiiiiiiiiy
17...c5

After the trade of bishops,


Whites attack is very strong. The
attempt to stop it by 17...h5 is put-

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 d5


ting out fire with gasoline: 18.g4!
hxg4 19.h5 Qd6 20.hxg6 Qxg6
21.fxg4.
18.Rd1 f6
Again 18...h5 is dubious: 19.g4
hxg4 20.h5 Qd6 21.hxg6 Qxg6
22.Bxc4 Nxc4 23.Nge2.
19.g4!
White wants to fix the g6-pawn
first with g5, and then open the hfile.
19...Qd6
Or 19...b4 20.Bxc4 Nxc4
21.Nce2 Qb5 22.g5 f5 23.h5 fxe4
24.fxe4 Rf8 (24...Bg4 25.hxg6 hxg6
26.Rh6 Bh5 27.b3) 25.hxg6 hxg6
26.Rh6.
20.g5 Rf8 21.h5 fxg5 22.Qxg5
Qf6 23.Qc1 g5 24.h6.
White is clearly ahead in the
race.
B32. 13...Ne5 14.Bd4
14.Qc1 Qd6!? 15.h4 h5 16.Bh6
Bxh6 17.Qxh6 Qf6 was unclear in
Wojtaszek-Areshchenko, Wroclaw
2013.
14...c5
An interesting pawn sacrifice,
brainchild of Areshchenko. Other
options are:

a) 14...Nec4. Now 15.Qc1 transposes to a side line of variation B31.


However, White can also opt for
15.Qf2 e5 (15...Bxd4 16.Rxd4 Ne5
17.Nge2) 16.Bc5 Bf8 17.Bxf8 Rxf8
18.h4! h5 (18...f5 19.h5 g5 20.exf5
Qxf5+) 19.g4 hxg4 20.h5 with a
typical attack along the h-file.
b) 14...Nbc4 15.Qc1 b5 16.f4 Ng4
17.Nf3.
15.Bxc5 Nec4

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+ltr-+k+0
9+p+qzppvlp0
9psn-+-+p+0
9+-vLP+-+-0
9-+n+P+-+0
9+-sN-+P+-0
9PzP-wQ-+PzP0
9+K+R+LsNR0
xiiiiiiiiy
16.Bxc4!

Mikhalchisin considers 16.Qc1,


but then 16...Nxb2!? might be unpleasant to face over the board.
17.Bxb6 (17.Qxb2!? Na4 18.Nxa4
Bxb2 19.Nxb2 Qc7 20.Rc1 gives
White enough compensation, just
to maintain the balance) 17...Nxd1
18.Nxd1 e6 19.Qc7!
It is rather risky to keep the
queens:
19.Bxd8 Qxd8 20.Bc4 Bd7
21.dxe6 (21.Ne2 Rc8 22.Bb3 Rxc1+)
21...fxe6 22.Qe3 Qc7;
19.Ne3 Qd6 20.Bxd8 Qb4+
31

Part 1
21.Kc2 Bd7 22.Kd1 Rxd8;
19.Nc3 exd5 20.Bxd8 (20.Nxd5
Qxd5!!) 20...Qxd8 21.Nxd5 Be6.
19...Qxc7 20.Bxc7 Rd7 21.d6
Be5 22.Ne3 Bxd6 23.Bb6 Bc7. Such
endgames are roughly equal if the
rooks have open files while the
minor pieces have not strong outposts. However, White has a forced
way to seize the initiative although
Black should be able to hold on:
24.Nc4 Rd1+ 25.Kb2 Rxf1 26.Bxc7
b5 27.Ne3 Rf2+ 28.Kb1 e5 29.Bxe5
Be6 30.Nh3 Bxh3 31.gxh3 Rxf3
32.Nd5 Rxh3 33.Rf1.
16...Nxc4 17.Qc1 Qc7
17...b5 18.b3 b4 19.Bxb4 Rb8
20.Bc5 a5 21.Ka1.
18.Bd4 e5! 19.Bf2 b5

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+ltr-+k+0
9+-wq-+pvlp0
9p+-+-+p+0
9+p+Pzp-+-0
9-+n+P+-+0
9+-sN-+P+-0
9PzP-+-vLPzP0
9+KwQR+-sNR0
xiiiiiiiiy

This position has been reached


in Eljanov-Areshchenko, Kiev
2012. White was incautious to
weaken the pawn shelter of his
king and got punished in an exemplary way: 20.b3 Nd6 21.Qe3 f5
32

22.Rc1 Qe7 23.Qb6 fxe4 24.Nxe4


Bf5 25.Qe3 a5 26.g4 Nxe4 27.fxe4
Bh6 28.Qxh6 Bxe4+ 29.Kb2 Bxh1
30.Bh4 Qa7 31.Ne2 a4 32.b4 a3+
33.Ka1 Bf3 34.Nc3 Qd4 35.Bxd8
Rxd8 0-1.
I doubt that Black has sufficient
compensation after the solid:
20.Nge2!N
We simply complete development aiming at Nc1-d3-c5!?. My
analysis runs:
20...Nd6
Planning ...a6-a5-a4. Alternatives are:
20...Bd7 21.d6!;
20...Qd6 21.b3 Na3+ 22.Ka1 a5
23.Nb1 Nxb1 24.Kxb1 Ba6 25.Qc5
Qd7 26.Qc6 Qxc6 27.dxc6 b4 (27...
Rdc8 28.Nc3) 28.Rxd8+ Rxd8
29.c7 Rc8 30.Rd1 Rxc7 31.Bb6 Rc6
32.Bxa5 Bf8 33.Nc1;
20...f5 21.Rhe1 Nd6 22.Ng3
(staying compact in the centre!);
20...Bf8 21.h4 h5 22.g4!? hxg4
23.h5 gxf3 24.hxg6 fxg6 25.Ng1 Qf7
26.Rd3.
21.Qe3 Qe7 22.Nc1 Bd7
22...Nc4 23.Qe2; 22...a5 23.Nd3
Bd7 24.Nc5.
23.Nd3
White has the better centre and
a sound extra pawn:

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 d5

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+-tr-+k+0
9+-+lwqpvlp0
9p+-sn-+p+0
9+p+Pzp-+-0
9-+-+P+-+0
9+-sNNwQP+-0
9PzP-+-vLPzP0
9+K+R+-+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

a) 23...Rdc8 24.Nc5 Nc4 25.Qe1


intending to meet 25...Rxc5? by
26.d6!;
b) 23...Nc4 24.Qe2 Rac8
(24...b4 25.Bc5) 25.h4 (25.Nc5)
25...b4 26.d6! Qxd6 (26...Nxd6
27.Nd5) 27.Nc5 Qb8 28.Qxc4 bxc3
29.Qxc3;
c) 23...a5 24.Nc5 Rac8 (24...a4
25.Rc1 Rdc8 26.Nxd7 Qxd7 27.a3
b4 28.axb4 a3 29.b3 a2+ 30.Nxa2)
25.Nxd7 Rxd7 (25...Qxd7 26.Qa7;
25...Nc4 26.d6! a standard push
in this structure, freeing the d5square for the knight 26...Qxd7
27.Qe2) 26.Qb6 Nc4 27.Qa6. The
queen causes havoc in Blacks lines.
B33. 13...Qe8

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+ltrq+k+0
9+pzp-zppvlp0
9psnn+-+p+0
9+-+P+-+-0
9-+-+P+-+0
9+-sN-vLP+-0
9PzP-wQ-+PzP0
9+K+R+LsNR0
xiiiiiiiiy

14.Qc1!
This retreat keeps the queen on
the c1-h6 diagonal and avoids the
opposition of Blacks queen along
the e-file. Thus the typical break
...e7-e6 is not efficient anymore as
the open file will be in Whites favour. From c1 the queen also keeps
an eye on c4.
After 14.Qe1, Black has at least
two decent retreats: 14...Na5!?
which is a novelty, and 14...Na7.
See my analysis of Game 8 Gelfand-Caruana, Zuerich 2013.
14...Na5
Let us check:
a) 14...Na7 15.Bd3!
The correct approach for White
is to complete development as fast
as possible. 15.Bf4?! looks attractive, but White is desperately behind in development which enables
the sharp counter-attack 15...Bd7!
16.Bxc7 Na4 17.Bxd8 (17.Nxa4
Bxa4 18.Bxd8 Qxd8) 17...Nxc3+
18.bxc3 Qxd8 19.f4 Rc8 20.e5 Qa5.
Black has nice compensation for
the missing material. After 21.Qd2
Rxc3 22.Ne2, he can force a draw
with 22...Nb5 23.Nxc3 Nxc3+
24.Ka1 f6 25.Rc1 fxe5 26.Rxc3 exf4
27.Kb2 Ba4 28.a3 b5 29.Qe1 b4
30.Qe6+= or maintain the tension
with 22...Qb6+ 23.Ka1 Rc5 24.Rb1
Qc7 25.Rc1 f6.
15...e6
Black cannot develop serious
counterplay without this move, for
33

Part 1
instance: 15...Nb5 16.Nge2 Bd7
17.h4 e6 18.Bg5 Rdc8 19.h5 (19.
Bh6 Bh8 20.h5 exd5 21.hxg6 fxg6
22.Nxd5 Nxd5 23.exd5 c5 24.Be4)
19...exd5 20.hxg6 fxg6 21.Nxd5
Nxd5 22.exd5.
16.Bg5 Rd6 17.Bf4 Rd7

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+l+q+k+0
9snpzpr+pvlp0
9psn-+p+p+0
9+-+P+-+-0
9-+-+PvL-+0
9+-sNL+P+-0
9PzP-+-+PzP0
9+KwQR+-sNR0
xiiiiiiiiy

18.dxe6 Qxe6 19.Bh6


20.Bxg7 Kxg7 21.Nge2

16.Bd4 e5 (16...Bxd4 17.Rxd4


Nd6 18.h4)
Nc6

White has a space advantage


and his pieces are perfectly coordinated. The pawn advance h4-h5 is
looming.
b) 14...Ne5 15.Be2 Aronians
idea introduced against Caruana
in Moscow 21012. To be sure, the
queen was on e1 in that game, but I
do not see a substantial difference.
The play may continue:
15...Nec4
Alternatively:
15...Nbc4 16.Bd4 b5 17.f4;
15...e6 16.Bxb6 cxb6 17.f4 Bh6
After 17...Nd7 18.dxe6 Qxe6, the
simple 19.Bf3 assures White of the
better centre and a beautiful stand
for the knight on d5. I do not see any
rush to speed up play with 19.Nf3
Bxc3 20.Qxc3 Qxe4+ 21.Bd3 Qxf4
34

22.Rhf1 although the commentators of the above-mentioned game


Aronian-Caruana
unanimously
claimed that White had excellent
compensation. In fact, Caruana did
not dare to take the gift and was
soon to face a dire predicament.
18.d6! Combining standard
kingside attack with central play.
The d6-pawn binds Blacks forces, e.g. 18...b5 19.a3 f6 20.h4 Nf7
21.h5 Qf8 (or 21...g5 22.e5 fxe5
23.Ne4) 22.hxg6 hxg6 23.Nf3
Rxd6 24.Rxd6 Nxd6 25.g4 with a
strong initiative.

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+ltrq+k+0
9+pzp-+pvlp0
9psn-+-+p+0
9+-+Pzp-+-0
9-+nvLP+-+0
9+-sN-+P+-0
9PzP-+L+PzP0
9+KwQR+-sNR0
xiiiiiiiiy

17.Bc5

White concedes to trade his


better bishop hoping to exploit
the weakness of the kingside dark
squares.
17.Bf2!? also deserves attention.
Caruana assesses a similar position
(with Qe1) as somewhat better for
White. 17...Qf8 (17...Qe7 18.h4 h5
19.g4) 18.g4! followed by h4.) 17...
Bf8 18.Bxf8 Qxf8 19.h4 with a clear
plan on the right wing.
15.h4 e6 16.Bg5!?N

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 d5


Rodshtein-Bok, Biel 2012, saw
16.Bf4 Qe7 17.Bg5 f6 18.Be3 exd5
19.Bxb6 cxb6 20.Nxd5 Qf7 21.h5
Be6 with a roughly equal position.
The idea of exchanging the bishop
in order to plant a knight on d5 is
good only when White is ahead in
development and can quickly create threats. I propose a novel plan
which sets Black more problems.
My idea is to keep the pawn on d5
and even sacrifice it while focusing
on the kingside.

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+ltrq+k+0
9+pzp-+pvlp0
9psn-+p+p+0
9sn-+P+-vL-0
9-+-+P+-zP0
9+-sN-+P+-0
9PzP-+-+P+0
9+KwQR+LsNR0
xiiiiiiiiy
16...f6

16...Rd6 17.Bf4 e5 18.Be3 fixes


the centre in Whites favour.
16...Rd7 is more challenging, but
then White can use the lack of coordination between Blacks pieces
to open the h-file: 17.h5 (17.dxe6
Qxe6 18.Nge2 Rxd1 19.Qxd1 Qd7
helps Blacks defence.) 17...exd5
18.Bh6 Bxh6 (18...Bh8 19.exd5)
19.Qxh6 Qf8 (19...c6 20.hxg6
fxg6 21.exd5 Nxd5 22.Nxd5 cxd5
23.Nh3) 20.Qxf8+ Kxf8 21.hxg6
hxg6 22.exd5 Nac4 23.Bxc4 Nxc4
24.Nh3

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+l+-mk-+0
9+pzpr+p+-0
9p+-+-+p+0
9+-+P+-+-0
9-+n+-+-+0
9+-sN-+P+N0
9PzP-+-+P+0
9+K+R+-+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

The attack is going on despite


the exchanges: 24...Ne3 25.Rd2
c6 26.Ng5 Nxd5 27.Rh8+ Kg7
28.Rh7+ Kg8 29.Nxd5 Rxd5 (29...
cxd5 30.Re2) 30.Rxd5 cxd5 31.Rxf7
Bf5+ 32.Kc1 Rc8+ 33.Kd1.
17.Bd2
Dragging a knight to c4 where it
will be hanging in some lines.
17...Nac4
17...exd5 is dubious in view
of 18.Nxd5 Nxd5 19.Bxa5 Qa4
20.Bc4 while 17...Nbc4 loses a
piec e to 18.b4.
17...c6 is too slow: 18.h5 cxd5
19.hxg6 Qxg6 20.Nge2 Nac4
21.Nf4 with attack.
18.Bf4!
I analyzed a lot 18.Bxc4 Nxc4
19.h5, but could not make Whites
attack work: 19...Nxd2+ (19...b5
20.Bh6) 20.Qxd2 b5!
20...exd5
21.hxg6
hxg6
22.Nge2!? leads to interesting play
where the knights dominate the enemy bishops: 22...c6 (22...d4 23.Nd5
35

Part 1
Qf7 24.Nxd4) 23.exd5 cxd5 24.Nf4
Qf7 (24...d4 25.Ncd5 g5 26.Rhe1)
25.g4 g5 26.Nh5 Be6 27.Ne2 d4
28.Nxg7 Kxg7 29.Nxd4.
21.hxg6 hxg6 22.Nh3 c6. It
seems that Black is holding here.
18...Qf7
The queen defends g6 and hits
d5.
I do not see much sense in 18...
Qe7 19.h5 g5. White has the intermediate move 20.h6 Bh8 21.Bg3
with a clear edge.
18...e5 19.Bh6 gives White a
small, but stable advantage due to
his solid centre. More importantly,
Black lacks counterplay. I would
also mention:
18...Ne5 19.h5 exd5 (19...gxh5
20.Bxe5 fxe5 21.Bd3 Qf7 22.Nge2!
pinpoints the weaknesses of Blacks
kingside.) 20.hxg6 hxg6 21.exd5 c6
22.d6 Bf8 (22...Nd5 23.Bxe5 Qxe5
24.Nxd5 cxd5 25.Rxd5) 23.g4 Bxd6
24.Qc2. Whites attack is unfolding
by itself.

36

19.h5 exd5 20.hxg6 hxg6


21.exd5

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+ltr-+k+0
9+pzp-+qvl-0
9psn-+-zpp+0
9+-+P+-+-0
9-+n+-vL-+0
9+-sN-+P+-0
9PzP-+-+P+0
9+KwQR+LsNR0
xiiiiiiiiy

White has the better prospects


because his castling position is safer. The play may continue:
21...Na5 22.Bh6 Bh8 23.Qd2
Bf5+ (23...Bd7 24.Nge2 c6 25.Nd4!
Nxd5 26.Nxd5 Qxd5 27.Be2+)
24.Ka1 g5 25.g4 Bh7 26.f4 Nbc4
27.Qc1 b5 28.f5 Re8 Black cannot
prevent a sacrifice on g5. It is possible either without any further preparation (29.Bxg5! fxg5 30.Nh3) or
after 29.Nf3 b4 (29...Re3 30.Nd4)
30.Na4 Ne3 31.Rd4.

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 d5

Part 1

Complete Games
1. Svetushkin-Puntier
Istanbul 2012

13.Qxg4 c6 14.Qe2 cxb5 15.fxe5)


11...Nxe5 12.Nf3 Nxf3+ 13.gxf3
Qh4+ 14.Bf2 Qh5.

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 d5


4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nb6 6.Nc3
Bg7 7.Be3 Nc6 8.d5 (8.Bb5!) 8...
Ne5

11...Bd7 11.Bd4 (11.Qxg4 Bxc3+


12.bxc3 Bxb5 13.Bd4 Rf8 14.a4
Nxa4 15.Qd1 Nb6 16.Nf3 Qd6
17.Be5 Qd7 was really messy,
Gupta-Zhu, Caleta 2012) 11...Bxd4

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+lwqk+-tr0
9zppzp-zppvlp0
9-sn-+-+p+0
9+-+Psn-+-0
9-+-+P+-+0
9+-sN-vLP+-0
9PzP-+-+PzP0
9tR-+QmKLsNR0
xiiiiiiiiy

9.Bd4

Later I came to the conclusion


that Whites most accurate move
order is:
9.f4! Ng4 10.Bb5+!
White has a considerable space
advantage so in theory he should
try to preserve more pieces. However, he has gained this space at the
cost of falling behind in development. The position is very dynamic
and time is a critical factor. Note
that 10.Bd4 stumbles into 10...e5!
11.fxe5 (11.Bb5+ Bd7 12.Bxb6 axb6

11...0-0 12.Bxg7 Kxg7 13.Qd4+


Kg8 reaches the same position as
11...Bxd4.
11...Nf6 12.Bxd7+ Qxd7 13.Nf3
transposes to the game GelfandTimofeev, Eilat 2012, which went
13...0-0 14.0-0 c6 15.dxc6 (15.
Ne5!? Qc7 16.dxc6 bxc6 17.Rc1)
15...Qxc6 16.Qe1 Rfd8 17.Rc1 Rac8
18.e5.
12.Qxd4 0-0

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+-wq-trk+0
9zppzplzpp+p0
9-sn-+-+p+0
9+L+P+-+-0
9-+-wQPzPn+0
9+-sN-+-+-0
9PzP-+-+PzP0
9tR-+-mK-sNR0
xiiiiiiiiy

I think that White has an edge


here, but it can be stabilised only
with the novelty:
37

Part 1
13.Bxd7!
White had tried before 13.Nf3
Bxb5 14.Nxb5 c6=, G.Flear-Ni
Hua, Calvi 2007, and 13.Be2 Nf6
14.a4 a5 15.Bf3 c6 with sufficient
counterplay: 16.Nge2 cxd5 17.e5
Ne4 18.Nxd5 Nxd5 19.Qxd5 Bc6,
Khismatullin-Yandemirov, Sochi
2006.
13...Qxd7 14.h3 Nf6 15.Nge2
c6 16.a4 Rad8 17.a5 Nc8 18.Rd1.
White has repelled the enemys
knights to passive stands while retaining his spatial advantage, e.g.
18...cxd5 19. e5 Nh5 20.g4 Ng7
21.Nxd5.
9.Bd4 keeps more pieces on the
board, but it also gives Black fair
counter-chances.
9...0-0 10.f4 Ng4
10...Bg4 11.Be2 Bxe2 12.Ngxe2
Ng4 13.Bxg7 Kxg7 14.Qd4+ Nf6
15.Rd1 (or 15.0-0-0) 15...c6 is also
roughly equal.
11.Bxg7
11.h3?! e5! 12.Bxb6 Qh4+ favours Black.
11.Nf3 Bxd4 12.Qxd4 transposes
to the game.
Alternatively: 11...c5?! is a strategic mistake because Black needed
his c-pawn to undermine the centre
with ...c6. Following 12.Bxg7 Kxg7
13.Qd2 e6 14.d6, White is on top.
11...Nf6 has occurred in AnandCaruana, Sao Paulo/Bilbao 2012:
38

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+lwq-trk+0
9zppzp-zppvlp0
9-sn-+-snp+0
9+-+P+-+-0
9-+-vLPzP-+0
9+-sN-+N+-0
9PzP-+-+PzP0
9tR-+QmKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

Anand chose the seemingly


active 12.Qd2 e6 13.dxe6 Bxe6
14.0-0-0 when the surprising 14...
c5! allowed Black to trade queens
and equalise: 15.Bxc5 Qxd2+
16.Nxd2 (or 16.Kxd2 Rfc8 17.Bxb6
axb6 18.e5 Nd5 19.Nxd5 Bxd5
20.a3 Bxf3 21.gxf3 Bh6) 16...Rfc8
17.Bd4 Nh5 18.Bxg7 Kxg7 19.f5
Bxa2=.
Apparently, White should opt
for a short castling with 12.Be2 e6
13.dxe6 Bxe6 14.0-0 or the same
idea in an improved setting:
12.a4!? a5 13.Be2. In some lines
the b6-square is weak, the a5-pawn
can be a target in an endgame.
Krasenkow gives the following variations: 13...Nh5 (13...e6 14.Bxb6
cxb6 15.d6) 14.Bxg7!
Or 14.Qd2 f5 15.Bxg7 (15.Bxb6
fxe4 16.Be3 exf3 17.Bxf3 e5 18.fxe5
Bg4) 15...Nxg7 16.e5 c6 17.dxc6
Qxd2+ 18.Kxd2 bxc6=.
14...Nxg7 15.Rc1 e6 (15...Bg4
16.0-0 e6 17.Ne5 Bxe2 18.Qxe2
exd5 19.Nxd5 c6 20.Nc3) 16.Nb5
Ne8 17.dxe6 Bxe6 18.0-0 Qxd1
19.Bxd1 c6 20.Nbd4.
11...Kxg7 12.Qd4+

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 d5


12.Be2 gives a tempo for 12...
e5!? 13.Bxg4 Qh4+ 14.g3 Qxg4. This
complex endgame is satisfactory
for Black. A.Bykhovsky-Tyomkin,
Tel Aviv 2002, continued 15.fxe5?!
Qxd1+ 16.Nxd1 Re8 17.Nf3 Bg4
18.0-0 Bxf3 19.Rxf3 Rxe5. Tyom
kin proposes 15.Qxg4 Bxg4 16.h3
Bd7 17.Nf3 exf4 18.gxf4 Rae8
19.0-0-0 f6 with a balanced game.
White does stay nicely in the centre,
but his e4-pawn can be assaulted by
...Nb6-c8-d6, ...Re7, ...Rfe8.

development and cannot support


his overextended pawn centre. For
instance:

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+lwq-tr-+0
9zppzp-+pmkp0
9-sn-+psnp+0
9+-+P+-+-0
9-+-wQPzP-+0
9+-sN-+-+-0
9PzP-+-+PzP0
9+-mKR+LsNR0
xiiiiiiiiy

a) 14.h4 exd5 15.h5 c5;


12...Kg8
In Svetushkin-D.Ionescu, Bucharest 2005, my opponent decided to build a dark-squared blockade
in the centre with 12...f6 13.h3! e5
14.Qd2 Nh6 15.fxe5 fxe5 16.Nf3
Nf7 17.Be2 Bd7 18.0-0 Qe7. Here,
instead of doubling rooks on the ffile with 19.Rf2 c6 20.Raf1, I should
have shifted the focus of the game
to the queenside by 19.Qe3 c6
20.a4, with an initiative.
Perhaps critical is 12...Nf6!.
Then 13.Nf3 e6 (or 13...c6 14.dxc6
Qxd4 15.Nxd4 bxc6 16.Be2 c5
17.Nb3 c4 18.Na5 Be6 19.0-0-0
Rac8 20.Bf3 Nfd7 21.f5, draw,
Dreev-Smirin, Biel 2002) 14.dxe6
Bxe6 is roughly equal, but:
13.0-0-0 is risky due to 13...e6!
when White is faced with a difficult
choice. An exchange of queens is
completely innocuous so the only
way to aspire to the advantage is
to sacrifice a pawn. However, it is
unclear whether Whites compensation is enough. He is behind in

b) 14.Nf3 exd5 15.e5 Ne8 16.h4


h5 (or even 16...Bg4 17.h5 Kg8
18.hxg6 fxg6 19.Be2 Bxf3 20.Bxf3
c6);
c) 14.g4 Kg8! (Stohl recommends 14...c5 15.Qxc5 Nxg4 16.dxe6
Qf6, but White is on top after 17.e7
Qxf4+ 18.Kb1 Rg8 19.Bb5 Be6
20.Nge2) 15.h3 exd5 16.e5 (16.
Nge2 Qe7 17.e5) 16...Ne8 and the
knight is heading for g7-e6. Further
sacrifices do not give White anything substantial: 17.f5 gxf5 18.Nf3
f6 19.Bd3 Ng7 20.gxf5 Bxf5 21.Rhg1
Bxd3 22.Qxd3 Kh8.
Summing up, the onus is on
White in this line.
13.Nf3 c6
13...e6! 14.h3 (after 14.0-0-0
exd5 15.exd5 Qe7 Black exchanges
the queens via e3) 14...Nf6 15.dxe6
Bxe6 16.0-0-0 Qxd4 17.Nxd4 Nh5
18.Nde2 f5 19.exf5 gxf5 20.Rg1
gives White only a tiny edge in a
complex endgame.
39

Part 1

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+lwq-trk+0
9zpp+-zpp+p0
9-snp+-+p+0
9+-+P+-+-0
9-+-wQPzPn+0
9+-sN-+N+-0
9PzP-+-+PzP0
9tR-+-mKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

14.0-0-0?!

14.dxc6 Qxd4 15.Nxd4 Rd8


16.Nb3 bxc6 17.Be2 is safe and
solid while after the text move Black
could take on d5 and the position
after 14...cxd5 15.h3 Nf6 16.e5 Nh5
17.g4 (17.Bd3 Ng7) 17...Ng3 18.Rg1
Nxf1 19.Rgxf1 e6 20.h4 Bd7 is rather unclear. My opponent apparently could not make his mind and
decided to keep his options open:
14...Qc7 15.d6 Qxd6 16.Qxd6
exd6 17.Rxd6
The endgame is level. Simplest
would be 17...Be6, but Puntier
wrongly assessed the position and
traded his active knight on my useless bishop.
17...Ne3 18.Rd3 Nxf1 19.Rxf1

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+l+-trk+0
9zpp+-+p+p0
9-snp+-+p+0
9+-+-+-+-0
9-+-+PzP-+0
9+-sNR+N+-0
9PzP-+-+PzP0
9+-mK-+R+-0
xiiiiiiiiy
40

This pawn structure is difficult


for Black as he is deprived of counterplay. Meanwhile I have a clear
plan of pushing my kingside pawns
and grabbing even more space. The
rest is a positional agony.
19...Nd7 20.Rd6 Nc5 21.h3
a5 22.Rfd1 Re8 23.g4 b6 24.e5
Bb7 25.Ng5 Kg7 26.Nce4
Nxe4 27.Nxe4 Ba6 28.Nf6
Rab8 29.Rxc6 Rbc8 30.Rdd6
Bc4 31.b3 Be6 32.Rxc8 Rxc8+
33.Kd2 Rb8 34.Ke3 b5 35.Ra6
a4 36.bxa4 b4 37.a5 h5 38.Rb6
Ra8 39.a6 hxg4 40.hxg4 Bxa2
41.a7 g5 42.Rb8
1-0
2. Bocharov-Timofeev
Khanty-Mansiisk 05.12.2012
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 d5
4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nb6 6.Nc3
Bg7 7.Be3 Nc6 8.Bb5 0-0 9.Nge2
Na5 10.b3

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+lwq-trk+0
9zppzp-zppvlp0
9-sn-+-+p+0
9snL+-+-+-0
9-+-zPP+-+0
9+PsN-vLP+-0
9P+-+N+PzP0
9tR-+QmK-+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

10...e5

Black will be too cramped without this breakthrough. For instance:


10...a6 11.Bd3 Nc6 12.Bc2 e6 (or
12...Nb4 13.0-0 c6 14.Rc1 Nxc2

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 d5


15.Rxc2 a5, Borwell-Muellner, corr,
1990, 16.a4 Be6 17.Rd2) 13.0-0
Qe7 14.Qc1 a5 15.a3 Bd7 16.Rd1
a4 17.b4 Nc4 18.Bf4. He could
try in this line 14...e5, but then
White would have, besides 15.dxe5,
15.d5 Nd4 16.Rd1 c5 17.dxc6 Rd8
18.cxb7 (18.Bg5 Qc5 19.Kh1)
18...Bxb7 19.Bd3, KhismatullinYandemirov, Voronezh 2006. After
the text, 11.d5 could be attacked by
11...c6.

Nc6 17.Rc1 Nd4. Now 18.Qf2


Nxe2+ 19.Ncxe2 Bg4 20.Bc5 Qe8
21.h3 Bxe2 22.Qxe2 Qe6 23.Qf3
Rd7 24.Rfd1 Rad8 would be playable for Black, but a clever positional
player would maintain more tension by 18.Bd1! Nb5 19.Nce2! and
Black has not made much progress
in his quest for simplification.

11.dxe5 Bxe5 12.0-0 Qe7


13.Qe1

XIIIIIIIIY
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9+pzp-wqn+p0
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9P+-+NwQP+0
9+L+R+RmK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+l+-trk+0
9zppzp-wqp+p0
9-sn-+-+p+0
9snL+-vl-+-0
9-+-+P+-+0
9+PsN-vLP+-0
9P+-+N+PzP0
9tR-+-wQRmK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

13...a6

Whites pieces are not well coordinated (yet!), but his flexible
mobile pawn centre assures him of
the better prospects. The more minor pieces remain on the board, the
more difficult Blacks defence will
be. Of course, Timofeev knew very
well that he should aim to exchange
pieces when he had less space.
However, it is unclear how to fulfil
it. In the diagram position, Whites
most awkward piece is the b5-bishop. 13...Rd8 sets the unambiguous
threat of ...a6 so White must continue 14.f4 Bg7 15.Ng3 a6 16.Be2

14.Bd3 Nc6 15.Rd1 Bd6


16.Qf2 Ne5 17.Bb1 Be6 18.h3 f6
19.f4 Ned7

The opening stage is over. White


has achieved all his goals, having
seized space while keeping all the
pieces on the board. Next, he will be
seeking gaps in the enemy defence
line.
In such situations we often observe the side having the advantage avoid taking major decisions.
White can be manoeuvring for
many moves, admiring his position and waiting the opponent to
err decisively. While it is easy to
understand such a strategy, it is
often unproductive and can decrease the edge. For instance, Black
might trade a couple of rooks on
the d-file or advance his queenside
pawns to generate some counter41

Part 1
play. In my opinion, White should
devise a clear plan and embark on
its execution without delay. In the
diagram position, the target should
obviously be the black king. Since
e4-e5 looks impossible, the only
other breakthrough is f4-f5. It can
be executed immediately: 20.f5
Bf7 21.fxg6 hxg6 22.Nf4, hoping to
open up the centre, e.g. 22...Rad8?!
23.e5! Nxe5 24.Ne4. A better defence is 22...g5 23.Nd3 Bh5 24.Rde1
Bg6 although Whites initiative is
beyond doubt. Instead, Bocharov
begins some enigmatic redeployment of his knights.
20.Nd4 Bf7 21.Nce2 c5
This is a natural idea, but Blacks
pieces become shaky on the d-file.
Perhaps the preparatory 21...Rad8
was to be preferred.
22.Nf3 c4

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23.Nfd4?!

What is this for?! Blacks impatient pawn march enabled additional tactical motifs so both thrusts in
the centre are strong:
23.e5 fxe5 24.fxe5 Bc5 25.Nf4
42

Rae8 26.Rfe1 or 23.f5! when 23...


cxb3 24.axb3 Bxb3? 25.fxg6 Bxd1
26.Rxd1 would leave Black hopeless
against the horde of white pieces
on the kingside (for instance, 26...
hxg6 27.Nh4).
23...Bc5
23...Rfe8, aiming for ...Nd5, was
better.
24.Ng3?!
Clearly, White had not any clue
what to do in this position. 24.f5
Rfe8 25.Nf4 retained an initiative. Instead, he put all his knights
on defensive positions. Black can
breathe easier now.
24...Rfe8 25.Kh1 Nd5?
This is a blunder. 25...Rac8!
(planning to defend the f6-pawn
by ...Rc6) kept things more or less
under control: 26.b4 Bxd4 (or 26...
Bxb4 27.Ndf5 gxf5 28.Nxf5 Qe6
29.Qg3+ Bg6 30.Nh6+ Kh8 31.f5
Bxf5 32.Nxf5 Rg8 33.Qh4 Rg6
34.Bd4) 27.Bxd4 Qxb4 28.e5 (28.f5
Rc6) 28...Nd5.
26.Bd2
Why not 26.Ngf5! gxf5 27.Nxf5
Nxe3 28.Qg3+ Bg6 29.Nxe7+ Rxe7
30.f5 Nxf1 31.Rxf1 Kg7 32.fxg6
hxg6.
26...Nc7 27.Ngf5 Qf8 28.Qg3
(28.Qh4!) 28...Rad8 (28...Kh8)
29.Ba5 Bb6 30.Bc3 Nc5?

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 d5

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9P+-+-+P+0
9+L+R+R+K0
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31.e5

It is funny, White has been


avoiding any thrust in the centre
and he eventually executes it in the
wrong moment, allowing Black to
stay in the game with 31...Nd5. Instead, 31.Qh4 was winning.
31...cxb3 32.axb3 Nxb3
33.Nxb3 Rxd1 34.Rxd1 Bxb3
35.Rd6 Bc5 36.Rxf6 Bf7 37.Qg5
1-0
3. Ivanchuk-Akesson
Antalya 17.05.2004
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 d5
4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nb6 6.Nc3
Bg7 7.Be3 0-0 8.Qd2 e5 9.d5 c6
10.h4 h5
Black commonly plays this move
after 10...cxd5 11.exd5 h5:

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Blacks kingside looks very vulnerable without any knight around,


but White is behind in development and the centre is dynamic.
Therefore, it seems logical to postpone the direct attack and complete development first. However,
Black quickly generates serious
counterplay on the c-file. The arising positions are very sharp, but
Black somehow seems to maintain
the balance:
a) 12.Rd1 N8d7 13.Nh3? turned
out to be a tactical mistake due to
13...Nc4!, Hillarp Persson-Greenfeld, Jersey 2004.
b) 12.Be2 N8d7
12...Na6 leaves the black king
unprotected. Whites attack has fair
chances to prevail after 13.Rd1 Re8
(13...Bd7 14.g4 hxg4 15.h5) 14.g4
e4 (14...hxg4 15.h5 gxh5 16.Rxh5 e4
17.fxe4) 15.gxh5.
13.d6 Nf6 14.Bg5

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9tR-+-mK-sNR0
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14...Be6 (Kramnik-Shirov, Cazorla 1998 saw 14...Re8 and Black


even went on to win, but the rook
move might prove superfluous.)
15.Nh3 Rc8 16.Nf2 Nc4 17.Bxc4
Rxc4 18.Nfe4 Nxe4 19.Nxe4 f6
43

Part 1
20.Be3, Ward-Knott, Torquay
1998, when simplest is 20...Rf7
21.0-0 Rd7=.
It looks logical to save 12.Be2 in
favour of a more useful move as:
c) 12.0-0-0. Then 12...Bf5 13.g4
hxg4 14.h5 transposes to the game.
However, it is unclear what to do
after:
12...N8d7 (which has not been
tested yet). I do not like 13.Nh3 Nf6
14.Ng5 Bf5 15.Bd3 Bxd3 16.Qxd3
Rc8 17.Kb1 Nc4 so let us try:
13.g4 Nf6

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It is unclear how to break trough


on the kingside. 14.g5 Ne8 15.Bc5
(15.d6 Bd7 16.Nh3 Rc8) is ineffective: 15...Nd6 16.Ne4 Qc7 17.Qc2
Nxe4 18.fxe4 Bg4=.
These examples suggest that
White should take up the gauntlet
and break through before Blacks
knight arrived at f6. Ivanchuks
bold attack was a novelty at that
time and apparently took Akesson
unawares.
11.g4! cxd5 12.exd5 N8d7?!
This is dubious. Black should
capture the pawn, of course:
44

12...hxg4
12...Na6!? is an attempt to intercept the initiative by an attack on
the d5-pawn. It works quite well in
the event of 13.gxh5 gxh5 14.Bd3?!
Nb4 15.0-0-0 N6xd5 or 14.Bh6
Nb4 15.Bxg7 Kxg7. It seems logical,
therefore, to kill the nasty knight
with 14.Bxa6 bxa6, but this weakens the c4-square. After 15.Bh6
Nc4 16.Qg2 Qf6 17.Bxg7 Qxg7
18.Qxg7+ Kxg7 19.b3 (19.0-0-0 Bf5
20.Nge2 f6 21.Ng3 Bg6=) 19...Nb6
20.Nge2 Rd8 21.Rg1+ Kf8 22.Rd1
Bb7 the endgame is equal. Perhaps White should anticipate the
threat of ...Nb4 by 14.d6! Bf5 (14...
Be6 15.Nh3) 15.Ne4 Rc8 16.Nh3.
The a6-knight has remained cut off
from the kingside and Blacks king
is in a precarious situation: 16...Nc4
17.Bxc4 Rxc4 18.b3 Rc6 19.Rd1.
13.h5 Bf5
13...gxf3?! 14.hxg6 fxg6 15.Qh2
Bg4 16.Qh7+ Kf7 17.Bd3 f2+
18.Bxf2 e4 loses to 19.Bd4!+.
More stubborn is 16...Bf5 17.Qh7+
Kf7 18.Nf3 N8d7, KochemasovGlembek, email, 2005, 19.Nb5! Qf6
20.Bh4 Rh8 21.Ng5+ Ke7 22.d6+
Kf8 23.Qxh8+ Bxh8 24.Nh7+
Kf7 25.Nxf6 Bxf6 26.Bxf6 Kxf6
27.Rc1.
14.Bh6!?
Keeping all the options open. Alternatively:
a) 14.fxg4 Bxg4 15.hxg6 fxg6
16.Qg2 is too risky. Black can even
sacrifice the exchange to intercept
the initiative with 16...Rxf1+!?.

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 d5


b) 14.hxg6 Bxg6
It was vital to control the h7square so 14...Bxg6 was called for.
Then 15.fxg4 N8d7 16.Bh6 Qf6 is
totally unclear. I would say that
play is dynamically balanced.
14...fxg6?! as in MoiseenkoTimofeev, Saint Vincent 2005, is
dubious due to 15.Qh2! (the game
saw 15.d6? N8d7 16.Nd5 Rf7 17.Bg5
Nf6 18.Nxb6 Qxb6 19.Bc4, when
19...gxf3 would have given Black
full control.) 15...g3 16.Qh7+ Kf7
17.Nh3 Rh8 18.Ng5+.
After 14.Bh6!?, White keeps the
initiative and only practical tests
can show whether Black can neutralise it. Top line of the engines is:

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9PzP-wQ-+-+0
9tR-+-mKLsNR0
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14...Qd6

Black prepares to recapture on


g6 by queen from where it would
threaten our king. Other moves
allow White to castle without any
problems: 14...N8d7 15.fxg4 Bxg4
16.hxg6 Qf6 17.Bxg7 Qxg7 18.Be2
f5 19.0-0-0.
15.fxg4 Bxg4 16.Bxg7 16.Be2
Bxe2 (16...gxh5? 17.Bxg7 Kxg7
18.Bxg4 hxg4 19.Rh5!+) 17.Bxg7

17.hxg6 Qxg6 18.Ngxe2 is inaccurate owing to 18...Nc4 19.Qc1


Nxb2 20.Qxb2 Bxh6 21.Rg1 Bg5
22.Qxb7 Na6 23.Ne4 Rab8 24.Qc6
(24.Qd7 f6 25.Qe6+ Kh7 26.Nxg5+
fxg5 27.Qe7+ Qg7=) 24...Qxc6
25.dxc6 f6 26.Rd1 Kh8 27.Nxg5
fxg5 28.Rxg5 Rf6 29.Rd3 Rh6=.
17...Kxg7 18.Ngxe2!
Amazingly, 18.hxg6 Rh8 19.Rxh8
does not win:

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19...Qxg6 20.Ngxe2 (20.Rh4


Qg3+ 21.Kxe2 Qxh4 22.Nf3 Qc4+
23.Kf2 Qf4 24.Rg1+ Kf8=; 20.Qxe2
Qxg1+ 21.Kd2 Qxa1 22.Qxe5+ f6
23.Qh5 Nc4+ 24.Kd3 Qf1+ 25.Ne2
Qf3+ 26.Kxc4 Qxh5 27.Rxh5
Nd7=) 20...Kxh8 21.0-0-0 (21.
b3) 21...Nc4 22.Rh1+ Kg7 23.Qe1
Qg5+ 24.Kb1 Qg6+ 25.Ka1 Ne3=.
18...N8d7 19.hxg6 Rh8 20.Rg1
fxg6 21.0-0-0

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45

Part 1
White has castled at last and now
he can enjoy a long-term initiative.
Black can defend his bare king, but
only at the price of weakening his
queenside. Thus the d5-pawn can
become Whites main trump. Here
are a few illustrative variations:
21...Nc4 22.Qg5 Rh2 23.Ng3
Qb6 24.Nf5+ Kh8 25.Rg2 Rh5
26.Qe7 (26.Qg4 Nf6 27.Qg3 Rh7
28.Na4 Qc7 29.Qxg6 Ne3+ 30.Kb1
Nexd5 31.Rdg1 Qf7) 26...Qf6
27.Qxd7 Qxf5 28.Qxb7 Rf8 29.Re2
Qf4+ 30.Kb1 Ne3 31.Rde1 Qf5+
32.Kc1 Ng4 33.Ne4 Rh7 (33...Rc8+
34.Kb1 Nf6 35.a3 Rh7 36.Qa6 Nxd5
37.Rd2 Nf4 38.Ka1) 34.Qb3.
13.gxh5 Nf6 14.hxg6 fxg6

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15.Nh3!?

The other options give Black


time for consolidation, e.g. 15.Rd1
Bf5 (15...e4 16.h5 gxh5 17.fxe4 Bg4
18.d6!) 16.Bd3 Rc8.
15...Nfxd5 16.Nxd5
White may be objectively better after 16.Bc5 Nxc3 17.Bxf8 Qxf8
18.Qxc3, but the position is chaotic.

46

16...Qxd5?!
16...Nxd5 was the only chance to
survive. After 17.Bc5 Bxh3 18.Bxh3
Re8 19.0-0-0 Nf4 20.Bd7 Qc7
21.Qc2 Red8 22.Ba4 b6 23.Bb3+
Kh8 24.Be3, White will win a pawn,
but his chances for converting it
would be slim in view of the opposite coloured bishops. Perhaps Ivanchuk would keep the tension with
17.Ng5!? Nxe3 18.Qxe3 Rf4 19.Bd3.
The game course is much worse.
17.Qxd5+ Nxd5 18.Bc4 Be6
19.Ng5 Nxe3 20.Bxe6+ Kh8
21.Kf2!

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Even without queens White has


a crushing attack.
21...Nf5 22.h5 Bh6 23.hxg6
Kg7 24.Nf7
24.Rag1! was clearly better for
White.
24...Be3+ 25.Ke2 Ng3+?
After 25...Kxg6 26.Nxe5+ Kg5
27.Nf7+ Kf6 28.Bxf5 White has a
sound extra pawn, but rook endgames with so little pawns are often drawn.

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 d5


26.Kxe3 Nxh1 27.Rxh1 Kxg6
28.Nd6 Rf6 29.Rg1+ Kh7
30.Ne4 Rh6 31.Rg4 Rh2 32.b4
Rf8 33.Bb3 Kh6 34.Nd6 Kh5
35.Re4 b6 36.Rxe5+ Kh4 37.Re7
1-0

14.0-0-0 exf3 15.Nxf3 N8d7 did


not give Black any counterplay in
Khismatullin-Gasanov, Serpukhov
2004. The game went 16.d6! Nf6
17.Ng5 h6 18.Bxb6+.
12.h5 Nf6 13.hxg6 fxg6

4. Grischuk-Dominguez Perez
Thessaloniki 02.06.2013
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 d5
4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nb6 6.Nc3
Bg7 7.Be3 0-0 8.Qd2 e5 9.d5 c6
10.h4 cxd5 11.exd5

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9PzP-wQ-+P+0
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11...N8d7

11...e4 has not caught up: 12.fxe4


f5 (12...Bg4 13.Nh3 N8d7 14.Nf2
Ne5 15.Bd4 leaves White on top as
15...Nec4 loses a piece to 16.Bxb6.)
13.h5! fxe4 14.hxg6 and Whites attack is very strong. After 14...h5,
White went on to win in GolodVydeslaver, Beer Sheva 2002, with
15.d6 Qf6 16.Nge2 Be6 17.Nf4 Nc4?
(17...Nc6) 18.Ncd5 Nxd2 19.Ne7+!
Qxe7 20.dxe7. Golod suggests 14...
Qf6, but Blacks position is pretty
hopeless following 15.gxh7+ Kh8
16.0-0-0 Bf5 17.Nh3.
11...Re8 12.h5 e4 13.hxg6 fxg6

13...hxg6?! is not so easy to refute, but White is somewhat better


after 14.Bh6 Nfxd5 15.Bxg7 Kxg7
16.Qh6+ Kf6 17.Rd1 Be6 18.Ne4+
Ke7 19.Qg5+ f6 20.Rh7+ Rf7
21.Nxf6.
14.0-0-0 Bd7
In Gretarsson-Wei Yi, Reykjavik 2013, Black tried to eat the d5pawn: 14...Qd6. His idea would
be justified in the event of 15.Nh3
Bxh3 16.Rxh3 Rac8 17.Kb1 Rfd8!,
but instead of helping Blacks development, White should make the
useful moves 15.Kb1 Rd8 16.Ka1
(16.Bg5 Qb4) when 16...Nbxd5
would be bad owing to 17.Nxd5
Nxd5 18.Bg5 Bf6 19.Bc4 Bxg5
20.Qxg5 Be6 21.Qh4 Qc7 22.Nh3
Nf4 23.Rxd8+ Rxd8 24.Nxf4 Bxc4
25.Nxg6 Re8 26.Qg4.

XIIIIIIIIY
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15.d6

47

Part 1
The most challenging move.
Anand chose in the match for the
world title against Gelfand in 2012
the safer 16.Ka1 e4 17.Bd4 (17.d6
Na4 18.Nge2 Qa5 19.Bd4, FellerSalgado Lopez, Belfort 2012, 19...
Nxc3! 20.Nxc3 Be6 is unclear) 17...
Na4 (Sutovsky proposed 17...e3
18.Bxe3 Nh5 with some compensation for the pawn. Of course, it
is more pleasant to play as White
here.
Another try is 17...exf3 18.Nxf3
Bf5 19.Bd3 Bg4 20.Qf2.) 18.Nge2
Qa5 19.Nxe4 Qxd2 20.Nxf6+
(or 20.Rxd2 Nxe4 21.fxe4 Bxd4
22.Rxd4,
Bocharov-Zakhartsov,
Tomsk 2013, 22...Rf2! 23.e5 Bb5=)
20...Rxf6 21.Rxd2 Rf5 (21...Rd6?!
22.Bxg7 Kxg7 23.b3 Nb6 24.Nf4!,
Vitiugov-Timofeev, Russian tch.
2013) 22.Bxg7 Kxg7 23.d6 when
23...Nb6! 24.Nc3 Rd5! is a dead
draw.
15...Rc8 16.Kb1 e4!
Opening the main diagonal.
Black has also tried:
a) 16...Nc4 17.Bxc4+ Rxc4
18.Nge2 Bf5+ 19.Ka1 Be6 20.Bg5
(A positional approach. White enforces domination of his knights.
An alternative is 20.Bh6.) 20...Qd7
21.Bxf6 Bxf6 22.Ne4 Bd8 23.N2c3
Rf7 24.Qe3 Qc6 25.Rc1 Qa6 26.b3
Rc8 27.Na4 b6 28.Ng5 Bxg5
29.Qxg5 b5 30.Qxe5 bxa4 31.Qxe6
Rxc1+ 32.Rxc1 Qb6 33.Rc7 1-0, P.
Nielsen-Tazbir, Helsingor 2009.
b) 16...Be6 17.Nh3 Nbd5
48

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18.Ng5!

The game Hillarp PerssonWojciechowski, Jersey 2004, saw


18.Nxd5 Bxd5 19.Bg5 Be6 20.Nf2
when Black should have prevented
the appearance of the blockading
knight on e4 by the thematic 20...
e4! 21.Bxf6 Qxf6 22.Nxe4 Qe5
with excellent compensation for
the pawn. Black is threatening with
the rook lift ...Rc8-c6-b6 as pointed
out by Ruslan Scherbakov at www.
chesstoday.net.
18...Qxd6 (18...Nxc3+ 19.bxc3
Bf5+ 20.Bd3) 19.Nce4 Qc6
White owns the initiative. He
can choose between a better endgame and an opposite coloured
bishops attack:
20.Rc1
Qxc1+
(20...Nxe4
21.fxe4 Qxc1+ 22.Qxc1 Rxc1+
23.Bxc1 Nc7 24.Nxe6 Nxe6 25.Bc4
Re8 26.Rd1 Kf7 27.Bg5) 21.Qxc1
Rxc1+ 22.Bxc1 Nxe4 23.Nxe6
Ng3 24.Nxf8 Bxf8 25.Bc4 Nxh1
26.Bxd5+ Kg7 27.Bxb7.
20.Nxe6 Nxe3 21.Nxf8 (21.Bb5
Nxe4 22.Qxe3 Nc3+ 23.Qxc3 Qxb5
24.Qe3 Rf7=) 21...Nxe4 22.fxe4
Nxd1 23.Nxg6 hxg6 24.Qxd1 Bf6
25.Bd3 Bg5 26.a3.

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 d5


c) 16...Bf5+ 17.Ka1 e4 18.Rh4!?
(Postny chose twice 18.Bh6 when
Korchnoi likes 18...Bh8. 18...Bxh6
19.Qxh6 Rf7 20.Nh3 exf3 21.gxf3
Rd7!? 22.Ng5 Rxc3 is unclear.) 18...
Ne8 19.Rf4 Qxd6 20.Qxd6 Nxd6
21.Rxd6 Be5 22.Rd1 exf3 23.Rxf5
Rxf5 24.Nxf3 Bxc3 25.bxc3 Rxc3
is unpleasant for Black despite the
limited material.
17.fxe4
Or: 17.Bh6 Na4 18.Nd5 (18.
Nge2 Bxh6 19.Rxh6 Rf7=) 18...
Nxd5 19.Qxd5+ Kh8 20.Bxg7+
Kxg7 21.Bb5 Nxb2 22.Qd4+ Qf6
23.Qxf6+ Kxf6 24.Kxb2 Bxb5
25.fxe4 Bc6=.
17.Ka1 Na4 18.Nge2 Qa5
19.Nxa4 Qxd2 20.Rxd2 Bxa4=.
17...Ng4 18.Bg5 Qe8 19.Nf3

XIIIIIIIIY
9-+r+qtrk+0
9zpp+l+-vlp0
9-sn-zP-+p+0
9+-+-+-vL-0
9-+-+P+n+0
9+-sN-+N+-0
9PzP-wQ-+P+0
9+K+R+L+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

19...Rf7!

A very important novelty. 19...


Bxc3 20.bxc3 Qxe4+ 21.Bd3 Qc6
22.Bc2 Nc4 23.Bb3 b5 24.Rde1
leaves Black without counterplay,
but:
19...Rxc3
looks
attractive:
20.bxc3 Qxe4+ 21.Bd3 Qc6 22.Bc2

XIIIIIIIIY
9-+-+-trk+0
9zpp+l+-vlp0
9-snqzP-+p+0
9+-+-+-vL-0
9-+-+-+n+0
9+-zP-+N+-0
9P+LwQ-+P+0
9+K+R+-+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

22...Bf5

Whites king looks shaky, but


his pieces are extremely active and
generate more substantial threats.
Let us analyse, for instance:
22...Bxc3 23.Qe2 Bf5 (23...Re8
24.Be7) 24.Nd4 Bxd4 25.Rxd4
Nd5.
Now 26.Qc4 Bxc2+ 27.Kxc2
Nge3+ 28.Bxe3 Qxc4+ 29.Rxc4
Nxe3+ 30.Kb3 Nxc4 31.Kxc4 Rf4+
32.Kd5 seems attractive, but you
know those notorious rook endgames... They are really drawish:
32...Kf7! 33.Rxh7+ Ke8 34.Rxb7
Ra4 35.Kc6 (35.Ke6 Re4+) 35...
Rc4+. Instead, White should retain
the initiative:
26.Rc4! 26...Qxd6 27.Bxf5 gxf5
28.Qd2 Re8 29.Rhc1. Whites raging rooks make the difference.
After 22...Bf5, the stem game
Rodshtein-Navara, Eilat 2012,
continued 23.Bxf5?? Rxf5 24.Nd4
Bxd4 25.Qxd4 Rxg5 26.Rhe1 Rb5+
27.Kc2 Nd5 although White managed to win eventually. Instead,
White gains the edge with:
23.Nd4 Bxd4

49

Part 1
Or 23...Bxc2+ 24.Qxc2 Qd5
25.Qb3 Nf2 26.Ne6 Qxb3+ 27.axb3
Nxd1 28.Rxd1 Rf7 29.c4, advan
cing the c-pawn.
24.Qxd4 Bxc2+
24...Qb5+ 25.Ka1 Bxc2 loses
to 26.Rxh7! Qe5 27.Rdh1 Qxd4
28.cxd4.
25.Kxc2
27.Rdf1

Nc4

26.Kc1

Qa6

XIIIIIIIIY
9-+-+-trk+0
9zpp+-+-+p0
9q+-zP-+p+0
9+-+-+-vL-0
9-+nwQ-+n+0
9+-zP-+-+-0
9P+-+-+P+0
9+-mK-+R+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

A triumph of Whites centralisation! His pieces are dominating the


board.
20.Be7
20.Bd3 Ne5! (20...Rxc3 21.bxc3
Qc8 22.Rc1 Na4 23.Rc2 Qc5 24.Rhc1
b5 25.Be2) 21.Nxe5 Qxe5 22.Rhf1
(22.Rdf1 Rxf1+ 23.Bxf1 Qe6) 22...
Rxf1 23.Bxf1 Rxc3 24.bxc3 Na4 is a
draw.
Perhaps White should investigate 20.Qe1 Bxc3 (20...Rxc3
21.bxc3 Qc8 22.Rd4) 21.bxc3 Na4
22.Rc1 Be6 23.Ka1 Nc5 24.Rc2, but
I doubt that he has anything substantial here.
20...Rxc3! 21.bxc3 Qc8

50

XIIIIIIIIY
9-+q+-+k+0
9zpp+lvLrvlp0
9-sn-zP-+p+0
9+-+-+-+-0
9-+-+P+n+0
9+-zP-+N+-0
9P+-wQ-+P+0
9+K+R+L+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

Black has just enough counterplay to keep him safe.


22.Rc1
24.Nxf7

Na4

23.Ng5

Qc5

Or 24.Qd5 Qxd5 25.exd5 Rf2


26.Rh3 Nxc3+ 27.Rcxc3 Rxf1+
28.Kc2 Bxc3 29.Rxc3 h6 30.Ne4
Bf5 31.Kd2 Rf4 32.Rc4 g5 33.g3
Ne5 34.gxf4 Nxc4+=.
24...Nxc3+ 25.Rxc3
26.Nh6+ Kg7 27.Qd5
28.Qb3 Qxe4+ 29.Qc2
30.Qc1 Qe4+ 31.Qc2
32.Qc1 Qe4+ 33.Qc2

Bxc3
Qb4+
Qe1+
Qe1+
Draw

5. Lupulescu-Stella
Skopje 11.03.2013
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 d5
4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nb6 6.Nc3
Bg7 7.Be3 0-0 8.Qd2 Nc6
9.0-0-0 f5 10.e5

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+lwq-trk+0
9zppzp-zp-vlp0
9-snn+-+p+0
9+-+-zPp+-0
9-+-zP-+-+0
9+-sN-vLP+-0
9PzP-wQ-+PzP0
9+-mKR+LsNR0
xiiiiiiiiy

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 d5


White achieves several goals
with this move: he keeps the centre closed which is important as his
kingside is still undeveloped; he reduces the pressure on d4; he seizes
space. You might think that White
also wants to cut off the g7-bishop,
but that is not true. In positions
with opposite castles, every too
often the faster attack wins. Thus,
White should aim to exchange the
g7-bishop because it is the only
defender of the black king. The attacking scheme is Bh6, h4-h5xg6
and penetration through the h-file.
Of course, White should firstly develop his g1-knight and the ideal
place for it is f4. In general, White
does not mind trading 2 or even 3
of his minor pieces via d5 provided
that he can open the h-file.
It would be strategically wrong
to push the f-pawn to f4. Then h4
h5 would seal the kingside while
the direct attack is easy to deflect:
10...a5 11.f4?! (11.Kb1) 11...e6
12.g4?! fxg4 13.h3 g3! 14.h4 Ne7,
M.Nikolov-Bartel, Kavala 2011.

a5, White can even change plans


with 19.Rc1.

10...Nb4 11.Nh3 Be6 12.Kb1


Qd7 13.Nf4 Rfd8 14.a3 N4d5
15.Ncxd5 Bxd5 16.Nxd5 Qxd5

21...Rdc7 22.h5 Qd7 23.hxg6


hxg6

XIIIIIIIIY
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9zP-+-vLP+-0
9-zP-wQ-+PzP0
9+K+R+L+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

After 16...Nxd5 17.Bc4 b5 18.Bb3

17.Qc1!
Whites main plan with h4-h5
cannot be prevented, but the position does require some precautions.
Lupulescu neutralises firstly the
threat of ...c5.
17...Rac8 18.Be2
The slogan of Whites campaign in this game is: prophylaxis.
To be fair, the position was ripe already for 19.h4 since 19...c5 (19...
h5 20.g4!) 20.dxc5 Qxe5 21.Rxd7
Nxd7 22.Rd1 would give White a
clear edge.
18...Rd7 19.Qc3 e6 20.Rd2 c6
21.h4
After having demonstrated how
helpless and passive is Black, Lupulescu finally turns to the kingside.

XIIIIIIIIY
9-+r+-+k+0
9zpptrq+-vl-0
9-snp+p+p+0
9+-+-zPp+-0
9-+-zP-+-+0
9zP-wQ-vLP+-0
9-zP-tRL+P+0
9+K+-+-+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

The next step is to open new files


with g4. It was possible right away:
51

Part 1
24.g4! Nd5 25.Qd3, because the
opposite coloured bishops would
not help the defence here.
24.Bg5 Nd5
It was high time for 24...c5 although White retains an edge after
25.dxc5 Nd5 26.Qb3 Rxc5 27.f4.
25.Qb3 a6 26.f4 b5 27.g4
c5 28.dxc5 Rxc5 29.gxf5 gxf5
30.Bf3 a5
Simplest would have been now
31.Bf6!+ to finish the game with
an attack.
31.Bxd5

1-0

31...Rxd5
32.Rxd5
Qxd5
33.Qxd5 exd5 34.Rd1 Rc5 35.e6 Kf8
36.b4 axb4 37.axb4 Rc6 38.Rxd5
wins 2 pawns.

13...Nxd4
13...Bxd4! looks like a solid
equaliser against Grischuks idea.
14.hxg6 [White should not postpone this exchange or Black will get
additional possibilities: 14.Bxd4
Qxd4 15.Qf4 Qf2 16.hxg6 (16.
Bd3 Qc5 17.hxg6 hxg6) 16...Rxd1+
17.Nxd1 Qc5+ 18.Nc3 hxg6 19.Qh6
Qe5, Pitkaenen-Gyger, ICCF webserver, 2007.] 14...fxg6 15.Bxd4
(15.Nd5?! Nxd5 16.Bc4 e6 17.Bxd4
Nb6 18.Bxb6, Gonda-Gledura, Zalakaros 2013, 18...Qe7) 15...Qxd4
16.Qf4 Qf6 17.Rxd8+ Nxd8 18.Qxc7
(18.Qh2 h5 19.Bd3 Nf7) 18...Bd7
19.Qh2 Qg7 (19...h5 20.Bd3 Nc6
21.Nge2 Ne5 22.Bc2 Bb5=) 20.Kb1
Rc8 (20...Nf7 21.f4 e5 22.Nf3 exf4
23.Qxf4 Rc8 24.Be2) 21.Bd3 (21.
f4 Nf7 22.Nf3 Rxc3 23.bxc3 Qxc3)
21...Nc6 22.Nge2 Nb4 23.Rd1 Qf6=.
14.hxg6 fxg6 15.g4 Qc6

6. Grischuk-Mamedyarov
Moscow 10.11.2010
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 d5
4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nb6 6.Nc3
Bg7 7.Be3 0-0 8.Qd2 Nc6
9.0-0-0 Qd6 10.h4 Rd8 11.Nb5
Qd7 12.h5 a6 13.Nc3

52

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+ltr-+k+0
9+pzpqzppvlp0
9psnn+-+p+0
9+-+-+-+P0
9-+-zPP+-+0
9+-sN-vLP+-0
9PzP-wQ-+P+0
9+-mKR+LsNR0
xiiiiiiiiy

After 15...e5 (15...c5 16.Qh2


Kf7 17.e5) 16.Qh2 h6 (16...Bf6
17.f4 exf4 18.g5 Be5 19.Bxd4 Bxd4
20.Nd5 Bxb2+ 21.Qxb2 Nxd5
22.Bc4; 16...Kf7 17.f4 Qe7 18.f5,
Postny-Mikhalevski,
Buellingen
2013.) 17.Bxh6 Bxh6+ 18.Qxh6
Qg7, White is clearly better.

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+ltr-+k+0
9+pzp-+-wq-0
9psn-+-+pwQ0
9+-+-zp-+-0
9-+-snP+P+0
9+-sN-+P+-0
9PzP-+-+-+0
9+-mKR+LsNR0
xiiiiiiiiy

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 d5


Miton evaluates this position as
unclear, but 19.Qe3! prevents the
blockading ...g5 and ensures the g5square for Whites knight.
Instead, 19.Qh4 g5! (19...Rd6
20.f4; 19...Bd7 20.Nh3) 20.Qe1
Be6 is fine for Black, indeed.
19...Be6 (19...Rf8 20.Be2 Bd7
21.Nh3) 20.Nh3 Rd7 (in the event
of 20...Bc4 21.Ng5 Qf6 22.Kb1
Ne6 23.Nxe6 Rxd1+ 24.Nxd1 Bxe6
25.Be2, Blacks pawns are much
weaker than Whites ones.) 21.Ng5
Rad8 22.Kb1 Qf6 23.Bd3. White
has a clear plan of doubling on the
h-file. He could also exploit the numerous weaknesses in the enemy
position. The computer suggests
here the strange 23...a5 when a possible continuation is 24.Rc1 aiming
to prevent exchanges of rooks: 24...
Nc4 25.Bxc4 Bxc4 26.b3 Bd3+ (26...
Ne6 27.Nxe6 Bxe6 28.Rh6 Kg7
29.g5) 27.Qxd3 Qxg5 28.Nd5 Ne6
29.Qc2 c6 30.Qh2 Rg7 31.Nb6.
Blacks king and the e5-pawn are
vulnerable.
16.Qf2
16.Qh2! is much stronger. Miton claims that Black equalises after
16...h5 17.gxh5 (17.Qf2 e5 18.Kb1
hxg4 19.Qh4 Be6 20.Qh7+ Kf8
21.Bh6 Qd7) 17...Na4 18.Bxd4! (18.
Rd3 Be6 19.h6 Bf6 20.e5 (20.Qd2
Qc5 21.f4 (21.Kb1 Nxc3+ 22.bxc3
Qb5+ 23.Ka1 Nb3+ 24.axb3 Qxb3
25.Bd4 Rd6 26.h7+ Kf7=) 21...Bxa2
22.Bxd4 Rxd4 23.e5 Rad8 24.exf6
Nxc3 25.bxc3 Qa3+ 26.Qb2 Qxb2+
27.Kxb2 Rxd3 28.h7+ Kh8 29.Bxd3

Rxd3=) 20...Nxc3 21.Rxc3 Qd7


22.Rd3 Qc6+ 23.Rc3=) 18...Rxd4
19.Rxd4 Bxd4 20.Nge2 (20.hxg6
Bg7 21.Qd2 Be6 22.Nge2 Nxc3
23.Nxc3 Rf8=) 20...Bxc3 21.bxc3
Nxc3 22.Kd2 Nxe2 23.hxg6 Qc1+
24.Kxe2 Qc2+ 25.Ke3 Qc5+

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+l+-+k+0
9+pzp-zp-+-0
9p+-+-+P+0
9+-wq-+-+-0
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9+-+-+L+R0
xiiiiiiiiy
In fact, White can escape from
the perpetual check with clever
manoeuvring. The most important factor is that an exchange of
queens gives White a big advantage
because of his active rook. It easily
reaches the 7th rank and strongly
supports the advanced kingside
pawns. Whites king needs only 2-3
moves to reach g5. Whites co-ordination is so efficient that this evaluation remains true even without the
a2-pawn!
White can improve even further
his chances if he inserts f3-f4. Here
are some variations:
26.Kd2 Qb4+
26...Qa5+ 27.Kd1 Qa4+ 28.Ke1
Qb4+ 29.Qd2 Qxd2+ 30.Kxd2 Be6
31.f4 is in Whites favour, but he
can also follow the route from the
main line to achieve f3-f4.
27.Ke2 [similar is 27.Kc2
Qc5+ 28.Kd1 Qd4+ 29.Qd2 (29.
53

Part 1
Ke1 Qa1+ 30.Kf2 Qd4+ 31.Kg3)
29...Qa1+ 30.Ke2 Be6 31.a3 c5
32.Bg2] 27...Qb2+ 28.Ke1 Qa1+
29.Kf2 Qd4+ 30.Kg3 Qe5+ 31.f4
Qc3+ 32.Kf2 Qd4+ 33.Kf3 Qc3+
34.Ke2 Be6 35.f5 Bxa2 36.Qh7+
Kf8 37.Qh6+ Kg8 38.Rh3 Qd4
39.Kf3) 27...Qc3+ 28.Kb1 Qb4+
29.Kc2 Qc5+ 30.Kd1 Qd4+ 31.Ke1
Qa1+ 32.Kf2 Qd4+ 33.Kg3 Qe5+
34.f4 Qc3+ 35.Kf2 Qd4+ 36.Kf3
Qc3+ 37.Ke2

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+l+-+k+0
9+pzp-zp-+-0
9p+-+-+P+0
9+-+-+-+-0
9-+-+PzP-+0
9+-wq-+-+-0
9P+-+K+-wQ0
9+-+-+L+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

Black cannot avoid this position no matter how he checks.


Now 37...Be6 38.f5 Bxa2 39.Qh7+
Kf8 40.Qh6+ Kg8 41.Rh3 Qd4
42.Kf3 Rd8 43.Be2 Rd6 44.Qh7+
Kf8 45.Qh8+ Qxh8 46.Rxh8+ Kg7
47.Rc8 is a typical example of the
power of Whites pieces. Further
checks lead to the same development: 37...Qc2+ 38.Ke3 Qc5+
39.Kd3 Qb5+ 40.Kc2 Qc5+ 41.Kb1
Qb4+ 42.Kc1 Qc3+ 43.Qc2 Qa1+
44.Kd2 Be6 45.Ke3 Rf8 46.Bg2.
All this remained behind the
curtains. Grischuk continuation
misses the advantage and leads
only to equality:
16...Ne6 17.Rxd8+ Nxd8
18.Nge2 Nf7 19.Qh4 h6 20.Qxe7
Qd7=
54

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+l+-+k+0
9+pzpqwQnvl-0
9psn-+-+pzp0
9+-+-+-+-0
9-+-+P+P+0
9+-sN-vLP+-0
9PzP-+N+-+0
9+-mK-+L+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

21.Qxd7 Bxd7 22.Bg2 Nc4


23.Bf2 Bb5 24.Nd4 Nce5 25.Be3
Bd7 26.Rd1 Rf8 27.Nd5 Kh7
28.Kb1 Nc4 29.Bc1 c6 30.Nc3
Bc8 31.Bf1 Nce5 32.Be2 c5
33.Nc2 b5 34.Nd5 c4 35.Nce3
Nd3 36.Bxd3 cxd3 37.f4 Nd6
38.f5 gxf5 39.exf5 Ne4 40.Nf4
Nf6 41.Nxd3 Re8 42.Rg1 Bf8
43.g5 hxg5 44.Rxg5 Bh6 45.Rg6
Bxe3 46.Rxf6 Kg7 47.Rd6 Bxf5
48.Bxe3 Rxe3 49.Kc2
Draw
7. Svidler-Caruana
Thessaloniki, 24.05.2013
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 d5
4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nb6 6.Nc3
Bg7 7.Be3 0-0 8.Qd2 Nc6
9.0-0-0 Qd6 10.Nb5 Qd7 11.Bh6
Bxh6 12.Qxh6 a6 13.Nc3 Nxd4
14.f4

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+l+-trk+0
9+pzpqzpp+p0
9psn-+-+pwQ0
9+-+-+-+-0
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9+-sN-+-+-0
9PzP-+-+PzP0
9+-mKR+LsNR0
xiiiiiiiiy

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 d5


14...f6!
Previously Black had automatically played 14...c5 with two possibilities for White:
a) 15.h4 Qc6!
This is the shortest way to g7.
15...f6 is slow: 16.h5 Qe8 (16...
Qg4?! 17.Nf3 transposes to line b)
and now simplest is 17.Rd3.
16.Nf3 Qf6 17.h5 (17.e5 Qg7
18.Qxg7+ Kxg7 19.Nxd4 cxd4
20.Rxd4 Be6=, Mamedyarov-Petrosian, Antalya 2004) 17...Ne6! (by
hitting f4, Black gains a tempo to
trade queens. 17...Qg7 18.Qg5 offers White the better prospects.)
18.hxg6 (18.f5 gxf5 19.Qxf6 exf6
20.exf5=) 18...Qxf4+ 19.Qxf4 Nxf4
20.gxh7+ Kh8=. In priciple, If
Black exchanges the queens in this
line, he cannot be worse.
b) 15.Nf3! f6 16.h4 Qe8

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+l+qtrk+0
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9PzP-+-+P+0
9+-mKR+L+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

After 16...Qg4 17.h5 g5 18.fxg5


Nxf3, Hammer won a very nice
game against Erdos in Achaea 2012,
sacrificing a piece: 19.gxf6!! Qg5+
20.Qxg5+ Nxg5 21.fxe7 Re8 22.Rd6
Nd7 23.Nd5 and it turned out that
Black was unable to disentangle his

pieces: 23...Nxe4 (23...Nf7 24.Rf6)


24.Re6 Ng5 25.Re3 b5 26.h6 Bb7
27.Rh5 Nf7 28.Nc7 c4 29.Be2 Rac8
30.Nxe8 Rxe8 31.Rf5 Nxh6 32.Rf4
Kg7 33.Bh5 Nf6 34.Rg3+ 1-0.
17.Nxd4!
17.h5 does not achieve its goal
due to 17...Bg4 and in most lines
Black successfully trades queens:
18.Nxd4 (18.hxg6 Qxg6 19.Qh2
Rfd8 20.f5 Qg7 21.Qc7 Rd6 22.Kb1
Kh8 23.Rc1) 18...cxd4 19.hxg6
(19.Rxd4 gxh5 20.Be2 Bxe2
21.Nxe2 Rc8+ 22.Kb1 Qg6=) 19...
Qxg6 20.Rxd4= Rac8 21.f5 Qxh6+
22.Rxh6 Rfd8 23.Rxd8+ Rxd8
24.Rh4 h5 25.Be2 Bxe2 26.Nxe2
Rc8+ 27.Kb1 Nc4 28.Kc2 Ne3+
with a draw.
17...cxd4 18.Rxd4 Bg4 19.f5 Rc8
White has retained the queens
on the board and the initiative is
in his hands. In many variations he
can attack Blacks weak queenside,
for instance:
20.Rb4 Rc6 (20...gxf5 21.exf5
Bxf5 22.g4 Rxc3+ 23.bxc3 Qc6
24.Rh3 Be6 25.Rd4) 21.Bd3 (21.
Qf4) 21...a5 22.Rb3 gxf5 23.Bb5
Nc4 24.Re1 (24.Bxc6 Qxc6 25.Nd5)
24...Ne5 (24...Qd7 25.Bxc6 Qxc6
26.Kb1) 25.Bxc6 bxc6 (25...Qxc6
26.Kb1 Rd8 27.Nd5 Qd7 28.Rg3)
26.Nd1. However, this position is
dangerous as Whites king is permanently weak. It is better to opt
for:
20.Bd3! Kh8 21.Kb1 Nd7
22.Bc4 e5 23.Rd6! (23.fxe6 Ne5
55

Part 1
24.Bd5 Bxe6 25.Qe3 Nc4 26.Qd3
Ne5) 23...Rxc4 24.Rxd7 Rf7
25.Rxf7 Qxf7 26.fxg6 Qg7 27.Qxg7+
Kxg7 28.gxh7 Kxh7 29.Re1 with a
sound extra pawn.
Caruanas move allows him
to open up the centre and obtain
counterplay. Black should be out of
danger.
15.Nf3
Perhaps White should opt for
a safe albeit equal position after
15.h4 e5 16.Nf3 Qg7 17.Qxg7+ Kxg7
18.Nxd4 exd4 19.Rxd4=, Jones-Erdos, Bratto 2013.
15...e5! 16.fxe5 fxe5 17.Nxe5
Qd6

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+l+-trk+0
9+pzp-+-+p0
9psn-wq-+pwQ0
9+-+-sN-+-0
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9PzP-+-+PzP0
9+-mKR+L+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

18.Nf3

18.Qg5 Qc5 19.h4 cannot aspire for an advantage because 19...


Nb5 20.Bxb5 axb5 puts White on
the defensive: 21.Rd8 (21.h5 Rxa2
22.hxg6 Ra1+ 23.Kc2 Rf2+ 24.Kd3
h6=) 21...Be6 22.Rxa8 Rxa8 23.Qf6
Bxa2 24.Nxg6=.
18...c5 19.Ng5 Qe7 20.Nd5
Nxd5 21.Bc4
56

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+l+-trk+0
9+p+-wq-+p0
9p+-+-+pwQ0
9+-zpn+-sN-0
9-+LsnP+-+0
9+-+-+-+-0
9PzP-+-+PzP0
9+-mKR+-+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

21...Kh8!

A critical moment. The game Sa


nikidze-Negi, Baden-Baden 2013,
which introduced the important
novelty 14...f6!, went:
21...Qg7 22.Qh4 Kh8

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+l+-tr-mk0
9+p+-+-wqp0
9p+-+-+p+0
9+-zpn+-sN-0
9-+LsnP+-wQ0
9+-+-+-+-0
9PzP-+-+PzP0
9+-mKR+-+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

23.Rhf1!

Perhaps Negi missed this intermezzo. White wins an important


tempo.
23...Be6 24.Bxd5
24.Rxf8+ Rxf8 25.Rxd4 Nf4
26.Nxe6 Nxe6 27.Rd6 is unclear,
but 24.Nxe6! Nxe6 25.Bxd5 Nd4
26.Kb1 would be obviously in
Whites favour. Undoubtedly, in
this open position with an e-passer the bishop is stronger than the
knight. Sanikidze preferred to keep
the knight instead, hoping to use
the e6-square as an outpost. How-

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 d5


ever, Black is not obliged to take on
d5! The surprising retreat 24...Bg8!
would have left White in a balanced
position without clear targets. Instead, Negi activates the e-pawn,
shifting it to d5.
24...Bxd5? 25.exd5 Rxf1 26.Rxf1

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+-+-+-mk0
9+p+-+-wqp0
9p+-+-+p+0
9+-zpP+-sN-0
9-+-sn-+-wQ0
9+-+-+-+-0
9PzP-+-+PzP0
9+-mK-+R+-0
xiiiiiiiiy

This position is very unpleasant to defend with Black. The newly


born d-pawn turns to be unstoppable. White went on to win after
26...Nf5 27.Qf4 Qd4 28.g4 Qxf4+
29.Rxf4 h6 30.Ne4 Ne3 31.d6 Rd8
32.Rf7 Nxg4 33.Re7 Kg8 34.h3 Ne3
35.Nf6+ Kf8 36.Nh7+ Kg8 37.d7.
22.exd5!? g7
xg7 24.d6 Bf5?!

23.xg7+

Golubev suggests 24...b5! 25.d5


a7 26.he1 Rf5=.
25.b4 b6 26.Rhe1 fe8

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+-+r+-+0
9+-+-+-mkp0
9pzp-zP-+p+0
9+-zp-+lsN-0
9-zPLsn-+-+0
9+-+-+-+-0
9P+-+-+PzP0
9+-mKRtR-+-0
xiiiiiiiiy

27.e7+?!
27.a4! maintained some pressure. Then 27...a5 28.bxc5 bxc5
29.Bb5! Nxb5 30.axb5 would be
better for White so perhaps Black
should answer with 27...h6 28.Rxe8
Rxe8 29.a5 (29.bxc5 bxc5 30.Nf3
Nxf3 31.gxf3 a5=) 29...Rb8 30.Nf3
b5 31.Nxd4 cxd4 32.Bd3 Be6 33.Re1
Kf6 34.Bxg6 Rd8 35.Be4 Rxd6 with
a slight pull for White due to the
weak a6-pawn.
27...xe7 28.dxe7 e8 29.bxc5
bxc5 30.e1 c2!= 31.e2 d4
32.e3 c2 33.e2 d4 34.e3
c2 35.e2
Draw
8. Gelfand-Caruana
Zuerich 24.02.2013
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 d5
4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nb6 6.Nc3
Bg7 7.Be3 0-0 8.Qd2 Nc6 9.0-0-0
Qd6 10.Nb5 Qd7 11.Kb1 Rd8
12.d5 a6 13.Nc3 Qe8 14.Qe1 (14.
Qc1!)

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+ltrq+k+0
9+pzp-zppvlp0
9psnn+-+p+0
9+-+P+-+-0
9-+-+P+-+0
9+-sN-vLP+-0
9PzP-+-+PzP0
9+K+RwQLsNR0
xiiiiiiiiy

14...Na7

Previous games have only seen


14...Ne5 15.Be2!?. This insidious
57

Part 1
move is aimed against counterpaly
in the centre with 15...e6. However, the position after 16.Bxb6 cxb6
17.f4 exd5!?, Zhao Xue-Lahno, Jermuk 2012, 18.fxe5 dxe4 is quite
messy and certainly not easy to defend as White over the board. The
bishop pair will be a cause for constant concern.
I have analysed the more thematic 15.Bd4 e6 16.f4 when 16...
Nec4 17.Bxc4 Nxc4 18.Nf3 b5
19.Bxg7 Kxg7 20.h4 b4 21.h5 offers
White an attack, but Black can keep
the knight on the kingside: 16...Ng4
17.h3 Bxd4 18.Rxd4 Nf6 19.Qh4
Kg7. Everything is covered while
the d5-pawn is hanging.
To top it all, I could not find any
edge for White after the still untes
ted 14...Na5!?. Then 15.Bf4? Nac4
16.Bxc4 Nxc4 17.Bxc7 Rd7 18.Bf4
b5 would completely pass the initiative to Black. 15.Bd4 Bxd4 16.Rxd4
e6 17.h4 Nc6 is not enticing either.
Remains:
15.h4

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+ltrq+k+0
9+pzp-zppvlp0
9psn-+-+p+0
9sn-+P+-+-0
9-+-+P+-zP0
9+-sN-vLP+-0
9PzP-+-+P+0
9+K+RwQLsNR0
xiiiiiiiiy

15...e6

The most principled retort to


Whites flank attack. 15...Nbc4 to
58

free the lane to the b-pawn also


looks promising: 16.Bd4 (16.Bf4
b5! takes over the initiative) 16...
e5 17.Bf2 b5 18.b3 b4 19.Na4 Na3+
20.Kb2 N5c4+ 21.Bxc4 Nxc4+
22.Ka1 a5.
16.h5 exd5 17.hxg6 (This might
be the last chance for White to open
the h-file. 17.Qh4 Nac4 18.Bc1 g5!
would prevent any further white activity.) 17...fxg6 18.Qh4 h5 19.Bxb6
cxb6 20.Nge2 Be6 21.exd5 Bf5+
22.Ka1 Qe3 23.Nd4 when Black
can force a draw, if he wants, with
23...Rdc8 24.Nxf5 gxf5 25.Qxh5
Rxc3.
15.h4
At first glance, 15.Bf4 disturbs
Blacks development. This would
be true if he had to defend the
c7-pawn, e.g. 15...Rd7 16.h4 Nb5
17.Nxb5 axb5 18.h5, although
my analysis reached an impasse
after 18...e6! 19.Qh4 (19.d6 e5
20.Be3 Nc4 21.Bxc4 bxc4 22.hxg6
fxg6 23.dxc7 Rxc7 24.Ne2 Be6
25.Nc3) 19...exd5 20.hxg6 dxe4!.
The most likely result should be
a draw 21.Qxh7+ Kf8 22.Bh6
Rxd1+ 23.Kc2 Bxh6 24.Qxh6+ Ke7
25.Kxd1 Bf5 26.Qg5+ Ke6 27.gxf7
Qd8+ 28.Qxd8 Rxd8+ 29.Ke1=.
However, Black can ignore
the threat altogether by 15...Bd7
16.Bxc7 Na4 17.Bxd8 Nxc3+
18.bxc3 Qxd8 with nice compensation for the exchange, for instance,
19.f4 Rc8 20.e5 Qa5. Then Black
can begin rasping at the centre by

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 d5


...f6, e.g. 21.c4 Qa3 22.Rc1 Nb5
23.Nf3 Bf5+ 24.Ka1 f6.
15...Nb5 16.Nge2
Opening the a-file by 16.Nxb5?
axb5 17.h5 is the easiest way to coauthor a miniature (although two
2500 players missed it over the
board) 17...Nxd5! 18.exd5 Bf5+
19.Bd3 b4 20.Ne2 Rxa2!.
16...Nc4
17.Bd4
18.Nxd4 Nb6

strong attack: 23...Bf5+ 24.Bd3 d4


25.Ne2 Bxd3+ 26.Rxd3 c5 27.f5 or
23...c6 24.Bd3 Nc4 25.Ng5. Blacks
timely counter-sac discharges the
tension.
24.Nxd4 c5 25.Nf3 Bf5+
26.Ka1 Rxd1+ 27.Qxd1 Rd8
28.Qe1
28.Qc1! would have been equal,
intending Rd1.

Nxd4

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+ltrq+k+0
9+pzp-zppvlp0
9psn-+-+p+0
9+-+P+-+-0
9-+-sNP+-zP0
9+-sN-+P+-0
9PzP-+-+P+0
9+K+RwQL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

28...Qd7
29.Be2
Nd5
30.Nxd5 Qxd5 31.Qc1 Be6 32.b3
Qc6 33.Rd1?!
It was much more important
to exchange the bishops: 33.Bc4=.
Now Black is clearly on top.
33...Rxd1 34.Qxd1 Qe4 35.g3
Bf5?

It is obvious that Black has won


the opening battle. He has traded
his knight for the most dangerous
enemy piece while keeping the centre flexible. Gelfand decides to sacrifice a pawn only to close the centre and prevent a quick destruction
of his position.

A tactical mistake. 35...Bg4! was


called for.

19.h5 e6 20.hxg6 hxg6 21.f4!


Qe7 22.Nf3 exd5 23.e5 d4!

9. Karjakin-Giri
Wijk aan Zee 17.01.2013

A critical moment of the game.


Caruana takes a very good practical
decision. In positions with castles
on opposite flanks, activity is of paramount importance. One mundane
move, and White could develop a

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 d5


4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nb6 6.Nc3
Bg7 7.Be3 0-0 8.Qd2 Nc6 9.0-0-0
Qd6 10.Nb5 Qd7 11.f4!? Qe6
12.Nc3

36.Bc4!= Bh6 37.Bd5 Qe3


38.Qd2 Qxd2 39.Nxd2 g5
40.Bxb7 gxf4
Draw

59

Part 1

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+l+-trk+0
9zppzp-zppvlp0
9-snn+q+p+0
9+-+-+-+-0
9-+-zPPzP-+0
9+-sN-vL-+-0
9PzP-wQ-+PzP0
9+-mKR+LsNR0
xiiiiiiiiy

12...Nc4

The source game of the 11.f4 line


was Mamedyarov-Negi, Gibraltar
2012. Black chose 12...Rd8 13.Nf3
Nc4 14.Qe2 Nxe3 15.Qxe3 Nb4
Krasenkow recommends 15...
Qd6 16.e5 Qb4 17.d5 Nb8 18.a3
Qb6, but the cunning 18.Bb5!
(aimed at provoking ...a6, or 18.Be2
Na6) 18...a6 (18...Na6 19.a3 Qa5
20.Nd2 Qb6 21.Qf3 Bd7 22.Bxd7
Rxd7 23.Nc4 Qb3 24.Qe2) 19.Be2
Nd7 20.h4 offers White a strong
initiative.

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+ltr-+k+0
9zppzp-zppvlp0
9-+-+q+p+0
9+-+-+-+-0
9-sn-zPPzP-+0
9+-sN-wQN+-0
9PzP-+-+PzP0
9+-mKR+L+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

16.Kb1!

Mamedyarov played 16.b3? Qb6


17.a3 Nc6 18.Na4 Qa5 19.d5 Nb8
20.Qc5 Qxc5+ 21.Nxc5 c6.
16...a5 17.Rd2
17.Be2 is also better for White:
17...Qb6 18.a3 Be6 (18...Bg4
60

19.axb4 axb4 20.Nd5 Qa5 21.Kc2


e6 22.Ra1) 19.Rd2 Nc6 20.Na4
Qa7 21.Rhd1 Bg4 22.e5.
17...Qb6 18.Bc4 Bg4 19.Ne5.
13.Qe2 N6a5!
Several months later Svidler improved with 13...Nxe3?! 14.Qxe3
Nb4
The attack on d4 is insufficient:
14...Qd6 15.Nf3 Bg4 16.Be2 Na5
(16...Rad8 17.e5 Qb4 18.d5 Nb8
19.h3; 16...Bxf3 17.e5)

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+-+-trk+0
9zppzp-zppvlp0
9-+-wq-+p+0
9sn-+-+-+-0
9-+-zPPzPl+0
9+-sN-wQN+-0
9PzP-+L+PzP0
9+-mKR+-+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

White has slightly the better


game due to his tangible space advantage and safe king. He can trade
light-squared bishops by 17.e5 Qb6
18.Ng5 Bxe2 19.Qxe2 Rad8 20.Kb1
Qb4 21.Nf3.
15.Kb1 Rd8
15...Qb6 seems more reasonable
because it practically drags Whites
knight to the passive square e2:
16.Bc4 Bg4 17.Nge2 Nc6 [17...Rad8
18.h3 Bxe2 19.Nxe2 e6 (19...Rd7
20.a3) 20.a3 Nc6 21.e5 Rd7 22.Rd2
Rfd8 23.Rhd1] 18.h3 Na5 19.Qc1!
Bxe2 20.Bxe2 Rfd8 21.e5. White
retains his strong centre.

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 d5


16.Nf3

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+ltr-+k+0
9zppzp-zppvlp0
9-+-+q+p+0
9+-+-+-+-0
9-sn-zPPzP-+0
9+-sN-wQN+-0
9PzP-+-+PzP0
9+K+R+L+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

It is obvious that Svidler improvised over the board. His opening


strategy is a failure. The attempt to
obtain counterplay down the b-file
only precipitates the catastrophe:
16...b5 17.a3 Na6 18.Bxb5 Qb6
19.Ne5 Bxe5 20.fxe5 Rb8 21.Rd2
Qa5, Wang Hao-Svidler, Sandnes
2013. Here 22.h4! h5 23.Bc4 was
winning quickly: 23...Qxa3 24.Rf1
e6 25.d5+.
14.Nf3 c5!
An excellent idea! Black attacks
the centre before thinking of flank
activity. 14...b5 15.b3 Nxe3 16.Qxe3
a6 17.h4 h5 18.e5 would be pleasant
for White.
15.e5 cxd4 16.Nxd4

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+l+-trk+0
9zpp+-zppvlp0
9-+-+q+p+0
9sn-+-zP-+-0
9-+nsN-zP-+0
9+-sN-vL-+-0
9PzP-+Q+PzP0
9+-mKR+L+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

In my opinion, this is a critical


position for the 11.f4 line. I do not
see any advantage for White after
16...Qa6!, for instance: 17.Bf2 b5
18.b3 Nxb3+ 19.axb3 Qa3+ 20.Kc2
Qb2+ 21.Kd3 Rd8 22.Qxb2 Nxb2+
23.Ke3 b4 24.Rc1 bxc3 25.Be2 f6
26.Nc6 fxe5 27.Nxd8 exf4+ 28.Kf3
h5 29.h3 Bd7. White may even fall
under attack in other lines.
16...Qb6 17.Nf5 Nxe3 18.Nxe3
Nc6 19.Ned5
It is not too clear which knight
(if any!) should go to d5. Therefore,
19.Kb1 deserves attention. White is
undoubtedly slightly better there.
19...Qd8

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+lwq-trk+0
9zpp+-zppvlp0
9-+n+-+p+0
9+-+NzP-+-0
9-+-+-zP-+0
9+-sN-+-+-0
9PzP-+Q+PzP0
9+-mKR+L+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

20.g3

Again, 20.Kb1, or 20.h4 h5


21.Qf2 are preferable.
20...Be6 21.Bg2 Rc8 22.Kb1
Qa5 23.Rd2 Rfd8 24.Rhd1 Kf8=
25.h4 Rd7 26.h5 Rcd8 27.a3 a6
28.hxg6 hxg6 29.Bf3 b5 30.Qf2
b4 31.axb4 Nxb4 32.Nxb4 Qxb4
33.Rxd7 Rxd7 34.Rxd7 Bxd7
35.Be4 Bh6 36.Qa7 Bb5 37.Bc2
Bc4 38.Kc1 a5
Draw
61

Part 1

62

1.d4Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 Nc6

Part 2

Anti-Grnfeld II
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 Nc6, rare lines

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+lwqkvl-tr0
9zppzppzpp+p0
9-+n+-snp+0
9+-+-+-+-0
9-+PzP-+-+0
9+-+-+P+-0
9PzP-+P+PzP0
9tRNvLQmKLsNR0
xiiiiiiiiy

63

Part 2

Part 2

Main Ideas

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 Nc6

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+lwqkvl-tr0
9zppzppzpp+p0
9-+n+-snp+0
9+-+-+-+-0
9-+PzP-+-+0
9+-+-+P+-0
9PzP-+P+PzP0
9tRNvLQmKLsNR0
xiiiiiiiiy

This development does look


weird. It was virtually unknown until 2000. Only in the last few years
did it gather more followers. At first
White players were obviously perplexed and could not find the best
retort. Indicatively, they score only
50% according to big databases.
However, Grischuks innovative
approach based on d4-d5 and Nh3
seems fit to turn the tide in Whites
favour.
Before discussing this line in
more detail, I would like to point
out two other rare, but challenging
moves:
a) 3...e6!? 4.e4 d5 5.cxd5! exd5
6.Nc3.
64

b) 3...e5!? 4.dxe5 Nh5 5.Nh3


Nc6 6.Bg5 Be7 7.Bxe7 Qxe7

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+l+k+-tr0
9zppzppwqp+p0
9-+n+-+p+0
9+-+-zP-+n0
9-+P+-+-+0
9+-+-+P+N0
9PzP-+P+PzP0
9tRN+QmKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

8.g4 Ng7 9.f4 d6 10.exd6 Qh4+


11.Nf2 Bxg4 12.dxc7 Be6.
I propose here short castling:
13.e3! Rc8 14.Nc3 Rxc7 15.Qf3 0-0
16.Be2! Nf5 17.0-0 with a nice piece
co-ordination.
4.d5! (4.Nc3 d5) 4...Ne5 5.e4
d6 6.Nc3 7.f4 Ned7 8.Nh3!

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+lwqk+-tr0
9zppzpnzppvlp0
9-+-zp-snp+0
9+-+P+-+-0
9-+P+PzP-+0
9+-sN-+-+N0
9PzP-+-+PzP0
9tR-vLQmKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

1.d4Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 Nc6


You will better understand this
move after you have studied the rest
of this chapter. From f3, the knight
would support e4-e5, but practice
has proved that this advance is inefficient. White is overextended and
behind in development so he cannot keep his fantastic broad centre
for long. Instead, he should trade
his d5-pawn on c6 or e6 and bolster the new flagman on e4. In most
set-ups, he will be preparing f4-f5.
Thus the h3-knight will be very useful on f2 or g5.
Black has a much wider choice.
He is very flexible and may opt for
plans ranging from ...b5 to ...e5,
executed in different move orders.
Ill try to systematize all this variety
by boiling it down to several pawn
structures:
1. 8...0-0 9.Be2 e5 10.dxe6
fxe6

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+lwq-trk+0
9zppzpn+-vlp0
9-+-zppsnp+0
9+-+-+-+-0
9-+P+PzP-+0
9+-sN-+-+N0
9PzP-+L+PzP0
9tR-vLQmK-+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

Such a position can also before


White has committed his bishop to
e2. Then he should take the opportunity to send it to d3.
Blacks only active idea is ...e6e5 which White should be ready to
counter with f4-f5. Therefore, the
best move is 11.0-0! (or 11.Qc2!?)

for instance: 11...b6 12.Qc2 Bb7


13.Be3 Qe7 14.Bf3 Rab8 15.Rae1.
See Game 10 Svetushkin-Torrecillas, Leon 2012.
Note that the same structure
would be good for Black if he were
able to insert 9...Nc5 10.Nf2 e5.
Then 11.dxe6 is no longer attractive
because the f2-knight cuts off the
f1-rooks support for f4-f5. However, White would have another
good option: 11.fxe5 Ne8 12.Bf4
Qe7 13.exd6 Nxd6 14.0-0 Ndxe4
15.Nfxe4 Nxe4 16.Nxe4 Qxe4
17.Bxc7.
2. 8...c6
Black discards plans with ...e6
and aims for an initiative on the
queenside with ...Qb6 or ...b5. This
makes sense only before castling or
White will get a tempo to hide his
king, too:
8...0-0 9.Be2 c6 10.Nf2! Qb6
11.0-0 a5

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+l+-trk+0
9+p+nzppvlp0
9-wqpzp-snp+0
9zp-+P+-+-0
9-+P+PzP-+0
9+-sN-+-+-0
9PzP-+LsNPzP0
9tR-vLQ+RmK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

12.Qc2 Nc5 13.Be3 Qb4 14.e5!


Note that the option of ...b5 becomes effective if White moves his
light-squared bishop before having
played Nh3-f2:
65

Part 2

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+lwq-trk+0
9zppzp-+pvlp0
9-+-zp-snp+0
9+-snP+-+-0
9-+-+PzP-+0
9+-sN-+-+-0
9PzP-+LsNPzP0
9tR-vLQ+RmK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

Analysis

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+lwq-trk+0
9zpp+nzppvlp0
9-+-zp-snp+0
9+-+P+-+-0
9-+-+PzP-+0
9+-sN-vL-+N0
9PzP-+L+PzP0
9tR-+QmK-+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

12...c6

11...b5! 12.a3 (12.Bxb5 Nxe4)


12...Nb6 13.Bxb5 Bxh3 14.gxh3
Qc8 15.0-0 Nc4.
The best move order is to occupy
the g1-a7 diagonal, bolster the e4pawn by Nf2, and eventually repel
the black queen to a passive place:
9.Be3! Nc5
11.Bd2! Qb6

10.Nf2

Qa5

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+l+k+-tr0
9zpp+-zppvlp0
9-wqpzp-snp+0
9+-snP+-+-0
9-+P+PzP-+0
9+-sN-+-+-0
9PzP-vL-sNPzP0
9tR-+QmKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

12.b4 Ncd7 13.Rc1 0-0 14.Na4


Qc7 15.Be2
White has a significant spatial
advantage.
3. 8...0-0 9.Be2 Nc5 10.Nf2
e6 11.0-0 exd5 12.cxd5

66

The waiting game 12...Re8


13.Bf3 h5 14.h3 a5 15.Re1 Nfd7
16.Be3 b6 17.Qc2 Ba6 is punished
by 18.Rad1! followed by 19.e5 and
20.f5!.
13.dxc6 bxc6 14.Bf3 Qe7

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+l+-trk+0
9zp-+-wqpvlp0
9-+pzp-snp+0
9+-sn-+-+-0
9-+-+PzP-+0
9+-sN-+L+-0
9PzP-+-sNPzP0
9tR-vLQ+RmK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

15.Be3 d5 16.e5 Nfd7 17.Re1!


Whites game is much easier. He
has good places for his pieces Na4,
Ra1-c1-c2, Bg4 while Black has no
counterplay. See Game 12 Hammer-A.Smith, Norway 2012.
I would like to acquaint you with
two typical tactical tricks based on
the open e-file. They become possible when instead of Bf3 or Re1,
White plays Be3. Beware of the setup with Be2+Be3:

1.d4Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 Nc6


Analysis

Ganguly-Gupta
Kavala 2012

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9zp-+-+pvlp0
9-+pzp-snp+0
9+-sn-+-+-0
9-+-+PzP-+0
9+-sN-vL-+-0
9PzP-+LsNPzP0
9tR-+Q+RmK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

14...Ncxe4! 15.Nfxe4
16.Nxe4 Re8 17.Bf3 d5=.

Nxe4

XIIIIIIIIY
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9zp-zp-+pvlp0
9-zp-zp-snp+0
9+-snP+-+-0
9-+-+PzP-+0
9+-sN-vL-+-0
9PzP-+LsNPzP0
9tR-+Q+RmK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

13...Ncxe4! 14.Ncxe4
15.Nxe4 Re8 16.Bd3 f5.

Nxe4

67

Part 2

Part 2

Step by Step

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 Nc6


I would like to mention also two
curious side lines which are nearly
uncharted territory.
a) 3...e6!?

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9+-+-+-+-0
9-+PzP-+-+0
9+-+-+P+-0
9PzP-+P+PzP0
9tRNvLQmKLsNR0
xiiiiiiiiy

Do not laugh at this move! Va


chier Lagrave recently tested it
twice at highest level. It is rather
cunning and I feel that well see
more of it. Blacks idea is that 4.Nc3
d5 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.e4 Nxc3 7.bxc3
Bg7 leads to an extremely rare
variation of the Grnfeld where e6
looks more useful than f3.
5.e4 is not impressive either,
e.g. 5...dxe4 6.fxe4 e5 7.Bg5 h6
8.dxe5 Qxd1+ 9.Rxd1 hxg5 10.exf6
c6 11.Nf3 Nd7 12.Nxg5 Nxf6 with
a good compensation for the pawn.
That does not leave us much choice,
does it.
68

4.e4 d5 5.cxd5!
Vitiugov opted for 5.e5 Nh5 6.f4
(Golubev is not too fond of 6.Be3 c5
7.cxd5 exd5 8.Nc3 Nc6 9.Nge2 Ng7
10.Qd2 Be6 11.dxc5 Nf5 12.Bg5
Be7) 6...Qh4+ 7.g3 Nxg3 8.Nf3
Qh5 9.hxg3, but I do not see myself recommending to sacrifice an
exchange and a pawn without any
concrete variations in mind. The
text is no less principled while
keeping a balanced material.
5...exd5 6.Nc3 dxe4
Or 6...c5 7.Bb5+ Bd7 8.Bxd7+
Nbxd7 9.e5 Nh5 10.Nge2 cxd4
11.Qxd4 Nb6 12.Be3.
7.fxe4 Bb4 8.Bg5 h6 9.Bxf6
Qxf6 10.Nf3 Bg4 11.Bb5+ c6 12.Be2
Nd7 13.0-0 Qe7

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9r+-+k+-tr0
9zpp+nwqp+-0
9-+p+-+pzp0
9+-+-+-+-0
9-vl-zPP+l+0
9+-sN-+N+-0
9PzP-+L+PzP0
9tR-+Q+RmK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

White has a nice pawn centre


and his knights have solid stands.

1.d4Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 Nc6


Perhaps 14.Qc2!? is good enough.
In Svidler-Vachier-Lagrave, Paris
2013, White activated the queen
with 14.Qc1 0-0-0 15.Qf4 f5 and
emerged somewhat better from the
complications after 16.Nb5 cxb5
17.Rac1+ Nc5 18.exf5 Qxe2 19.Qxg4
gxf5 20.Qxf5+.
b) 3...e5 4.dxe5 Nh5 5.Nh3 Nc6
6.Bg5 Be7 7.Bxe7 Qxe7

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9tRN+QmKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

8.g4

13.e3!
Enabling the set-up with Qf3,
Be2, 0-0. The game HammerYankovsky, Las Vegas 2012, went
13.Qd2 0-0 14.Nc3 Bxc4 15.e4 Bxf1
16.Rxf1 Rac8 17.Nd5 whereas 17...
Ne7! would have been unclear.
13...Rc8 14.Nc3 Rxc7 15.Qf3
0-0 (or 15...Rd7 16.Be2 0-0 17.0-0)
16.Be2!
Long castling is too risky:
16.0-0-0 Na5 17.b3 (17.Nb5 Rd7
18.Rxd7 Bxd7 19.Nxa7 Qe7) 17...
Qe7 18.Nb5, A.Kuzmin-Krasenkow, Amsterdam 2004, 18...Qb4
19.Nxc7 Nxb3+=.
16...Nf5 17.0-0
White has everything protected
and he is still a pawn up. The play
may continue with:

It is not easy to obtain an edge


with simple developing moves:
8.Nc3 Qxe5 9.g4 Ng7 10.f4 Qc5!
(10...Qe7 11.Nd5 Qd8 12.Qd2 0-0
13.Qc3 Ne8 14.Nf2 Ne7, Hillarp
Persson-Carlsen, Malmo/Copenhagen 2004, 15.Ne3) 11.Qd5 Qb4
12.Qd2 Ne7.

17...Qe7 18.b3 Nh4 (18...Qc5


19.Ng4) 19.Qg3 Nf5 20.Qh3 Qc5
21.Bg4! (21.Ng4 h5 22.Nf6+ Kg7
23.Ncd5 Bxd5 24.Nxd5 Re8 25.Kh1
Rxe3) 21...Nxe3 22.Nce4 Qd4
23.Ng5 h5 24.Bxe6;

8...Ng7 9.f4 d6 10.exd6 Qh4+


11.Nf2 Bxg4 12.dxc7 Be6

XIIIIIIIIY
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9zpp+-+p+p0
9n+-+-+p+0
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9zP-sN-zPQ+-0
9-zP-+-+-zP0
9+-tR-+RmK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+-+k+-tr0
9zppzP-+psnp0
9-+n+l+p+0
9+-+-+-+-0
9-+P+-zP-wq0
9+-+-+-+-0
9PzP-+PsN-zP0
9tRN+QmKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

17...Nb4 18.Rac1 Bxc4 19.Bxc4


Rxc4 20.a3 Na6 21.Ng4

Whites pieces are very active


69

Part 2
and co-ordinated. 21...Rcc8 22.Nd5
Nc5 23.Ngf6+ Kh8 24.e4 Nd4
25.Qe3 Nce6 26.Kh1.
4.d5 Ne5 5.e4 d6

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9PzP-+-+PzP0
9tRNvLQmKLsNR0
xiiiiiiiiy
6.Nc3

Whites centre is unstable because it can be attacked with both


...c6 and ...e6. Every tempo counts
so he cannot indulge in lengthy
manoeuvres as e2-c3 (g3), for instance:
6.e2 c6!? (opening the route
to b6) 7.ec3 (7.g3 b6!) 7...b6
hampering Whites development,
or:
6...g7!? 7.ec3 0-0 8.e2 e6
9.00 9...exd5 10.cxd5 c6 11.dxc6
bxc6, Mamedyarov-Carlsen, Wch.
blitz, Moscow 2009.

against Navara in Khanty-Mansiysk


2010, 8.Be3, but it is not clear how
to meet 8...Qa5 9.Qd2 Nc5 10.Rb1
Qb6 Delchev) 8...cxd5 9.cxd5
Qb6 10.Nf2 Bg7 11.Be2 0-0 12.0-0
Nc5 13.Qc2.
7.f4 Ned7 8.Nh3!
A Grischuks idea. This is prophylactic play. Whites knight may
look passive on f2, but it will limit
the scope of the enemy minor pieces
on the kingside. The natural 8.f3
0-0 9.d3 c6 is equal as proved by
a number of games. For example:
10.0-0 c5 11.c2 cxd5 (or 11...Qb6
12.Kh1 Bg4 13.Rb1 a5 14.Be3 Nfd7
15.Qe2 Qc7, draw, Vitiugov-Tomashevsky, Moscow 2011) 12.cxd5 e6!
13.dxe6 xe6 14.e3=, DonchevErmenkov, Sofia 1984.

XIIIIIIIIY
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9tR-vLQmKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy
A. 8...e5; B. 8...c6; C. 8...0-0

6...Bg7
A. 8...e5
6...c6 is rather committal. We
should ignore the threat of ...Qb6
and follow our main scheme with
7.f4 Ned7 8.Nh3 (Kramnik chose
70

if Black wants to play ...e5, it is


better to do it on the next move in
order to await Be2.

1.d4Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 Nc6


9.dxe6
9.f5? is a mistake if Black has
not castled yet: 9...Nc5 10.Qf3 (10.
Nf2 gxf5 11.exf5 Bxf5 12.Be2 Nfe4)
10...gxf5 11.exf5 e4, ShimanovTikkanen, Stockholm 2011.
9...fxe6 10.Be2
Whites plan in this pawn structure is to break through with f4-f5
so it makes sense to put the bishop
on the b1-h7 diagonal: 10.Bd3!?
0-0 11.0-0 Nc5 12.Bc2 Nfd7 13.f5!

XIIIIIIIIY
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9zppzpn+-vlp0
9-+-zpp+p+0
9+-sn-+P+-0
9-+P+P+-+0
9+-sN-+-+N0
9PzPL+-+PzP0
9tR-vLQ+RmK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

13...exf5 14.exf5 gxf5 15.Bg5 Nf6


16.Nd5 c6 17.Bxf6 Bxf6 18.Nxf6+
Rxf6 19.Qh5 with attack.
10...0-0 11.0-0
11.Qc2 is logical, but a bit inaccurate as it allows the knights redeployment 11...Nd7-b8-c6: 11...Nb8
(11...e5 12.f5 Nc5 13.0-0 a5 14.g4 h6
15.Be3 b6 16.Nf2 Bb7 17.Rad1 Qe8
18.h4, B.Socko-Zakhartsov, Leiden 2012) 12.0-0 Nc6;
11.Nf2 is also possible, but the
knight may be more active on g5 so
we should not retreat it to a passive
square without any urgent reason.

See Game 10 Svetushkin-Torrecillas, Leon 2012.

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+lwq-trk+0
9zppzpn+-vlp0
9-+-zppsnp+0
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9PzP-+L+PzP0
9tR-vLQ+RmK-0
xiiiiiiiiy
11...b6

Alternatively, 11...Nc5 12.Qc2


a5 13.Be3 b6 14.Bf3 Bb7 (14...Rb8
15.a3) 15.Bxc5 bxc5 16.e5 or 11...e5
12.f5.
12.Qc2 Bb7 13.Be3
14.Bf3 Rab8 15.Rae1

Qe7

B. 8...c6

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9tR-vLQmKL+R0
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An interesting attempt to take


over the initiative before White has
71

Part 2
consolidated. Black aims to either
disturb our development by ...Qb6
or sacrifice a pawn with...b5. White
should cut across these plans.
9.Be3!

b) 9.Nf2!? Qb6!
The point of Blacks eighth
move. 9...0-0 10.Be3 does not put
any obstacles to Whites development.
10.Be2

a) 9.Be2 is possible, but making


a move with the bishop provokes
ideas with ...b5!?, for instance:
9...0-0 10.Nf2
10.Be3?! could face 10...cxd5
(10...Qa5?! 11.0-0 Nc5 12.Nf2 cxd5
13.cxd5 Qb4 14.Qd2) 11.cxd5 b5!?
12.a3 Nb6 13.Nf2 (13.Bxb5 Bxh3
14.gxh3 Qc8 15.Qf3 Nc4) 13...Nc4.
10...cxd5 11.cxd5 b5!?.
Passive stand does not offer
Black good chances as shown by
Game 11 Kurnosov-Vokarev, Ol
gin
ka 2011: 11...Nb6 12.a4 Bd7
13.a5 Nc8 14.0-0 e6 15.dxe6 fxe6
16.Qb3 b6 17.Bf3 Rb8 18.Be3 Kh8
19.Rfd1 Ne8 20.a6 b5 21.e5 dxe5
22.fxe5 Bxe5 23.Nd3+.

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12.Bxb5 Rb8 13.0-0 Nc5 14.Be2


Qb6 (14...Nfd7 15.Nb5 Qb6
16.Be3, Wen-Gopal, Ho Chi Minh
City 2012) 15.Kh1 Nfd7 16.Qc2
Bd4.
72

10.Na4 Qc7 11.Be2 (or 11.Be3


b5) 11...b5 gave Black an initiative in Goganov-Timofeev, Samara
2012.
10...0-0 11.0-0 a5

XIIIIIIIIY
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9+p+nzppvlp0
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9tR-vLQ+RmK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

12.Qc2

Or 12.Na4 Qa7 13.Qd3 cxd5


14.cxd5 b6 15.Be3 Nc5=.
12.Qc2 Nc5 13.Be3 Qb4 14.Rab1.
White has retained his strong centre.
9...Nc5
9...0-0 gives an important tempo for 10.Nf2! (but not 10.Be2 cxd5
11.cxd5 b5!).
10.Nf2 Qa5
Black should attempt to rip
some dividends from its better development before White has con-

1.d4Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 Nc6


solidated. 10...0-0 11.Be2 cxd5
12.cxd5 e6
Lupulescu-Safarli, UAE 2012,
saw the passive 12...b6 13.0-0 a5
14.Qd2 Bb7 15.Rad1 (15.Rfd1 Rc8
16.Bd4 Rc7 17.Qe3 Qa8 18.g4 Rcc8
19.g5 Ne8 20.Ng4 is also a logical plan.) 15...Rc8 16.b3 (I like the
idea of g4, for instance: 16.Bd4
Rc7 17.Qe3 Qa8 18.g4 Ba6 19.g5
Nh5 20.Bxg7 Nxg7 21.Bxa6 Qxa6
22.Ng4 b5 23.f5 with attack.)
16...e6 17.dxe6 Nxe6 18.Bc4 Nc5
19.Bxc5 bxc5 20.Qxd6.
13.dxe6
11.Bd2!
Only this retreat allows White
to neutralise the enemys tactical
threats. 11.Qd2?? drops the exchange after 11...Nb3. 11.Bd4 fails
to 11...e5 12.fxe5 Nfxe4 13.exd6
Nxc3 14.bxc3 Bxd4 15.Qxd4 0-0.

XIIIIIIIIY
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xiiiiiiiiy
11...Qb6

Black cannot stay long under the


threat of discovery jump of the c3-

knight: 11...0-0 12.Be2 Qb6 13.Rb1


a5 14.Be3 a4 (14...Qb4 15.a3 Qb3
16.Bxc5) 15.0-0 Qb4 16.Bd4 Nfd7
17.Bxg7 Kxg7 18.Qd4+ f6 19.Ng4.
12.b4
This move is tactically well justified, but quiet development with
12.Rb1!? a5 13.Be2 is also possible,
of course.
12...Ncd7
12...Na6 does not threaten b4
at all so White can continue with
13.Rc1, followed up by Na4. I like
even more the pawn sac 13.c5! dxc5
14.b5 cxb5 15.Bxb5+ with excellent
compensation.
13.Rc1
This is more aspiring than
13.Be2!? 0-0 14.Rb1 a5 15.b5 cxd5
16.cxd5 Nc5, but 13.Rb1!? was a
good alternative: 13...a5 14.c5 dxc5
15.bxa5 Qxa5 16.e5 Nh5 17.g3. The
knight on h5 is out of play.
13...0-0
After 13...a5 14.Na4 Qd8 15.b5,
Black should either close the
queenside, yielding White an overwhelming advantage at the other
part of the board, or allow an intolerable white rook on c6: 15...cxb5
16.cxb5 b6 17.Rc6!? Bb7 18.Be3
Bxc6 19.dxc6 Nc5 20.e5.
14.Na4 Qc7 15.Be2
73

Part 2

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+l+-trk+0
9zppwqnzppvlp0
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9NzPP+PzP-+0
9+-+-+-+-0
9P+-vLLsNPzP0
9+-tRQmK-+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

White is only one move shy of


castling and it becomes evident
that Black has failed to generate
counterplay.
C. 8...0-0 9.Be2

XIIIIIIIIY
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9zppzpnzppvlp0
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xiiiiiiiiy

Black can start undermining the


centre with ...c6 or ...e6.
The third option: 9...Nc5 10.Nf2
Re8 11.0-0 e5? was refuted in the
game
Ding Liren-Areshchenko,
Ningbo 2011 which saw the strong
pawn sacrifice 12.f5! gxf5 13.exf5
Bxf5 (13...e4 14.Bg5 h6 15.Bh4 e3
16.Ng4 h5 17.Nxf6+ Bxf6 18.Bxf6
Qxf6 19.Bxh5) 14.Ng4
74

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+-wqr+k+0
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9-+-zp-sn-+0
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9+-sN-+-+-0
9PzP-+L+PzP0
9tR-vLQ+RmK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

It turns out that Blacks king is


in a precarious situation. The game
went 14...Bxg4 15.Bxg4 Nxg4
Alternatively:
a) 15...e4 16.Bg5 a6 17.Qe2
b5 18.Rf5 b4 19.Raf1 bxc3 20.Bxf6
Bxf6 21.Rxf6 cxb2 22.Qxb2 Rb8
23.Qc2.
b) 15...h6 16.b4 Nce4 17.Nxe4
Nxe4 18.Bf5 Nf6 19.Be3.
c) 15...c6 16.Be3 a5 (16...e4
17.Bf5) 17.Bf5 e4 18.Qe1 Nd3
19.Qg3 Kh8 20.Qh4+.
16.Qxg4 Qd7 17.Rf5 e4 18.Bh6
f6 19.b4 Na6 20.Bxg7 Qxg7 21.Qf4
Nxb4 22.Nxe4 Kh8 23.Rf1 Nd3
24.Qh4 Re5 25.R5f3 f5 26.Nf6 Nc5
27.Rh3 Re7 28.Nxh7 1-0.
Our main line branches now to
C1. 9...c6; C2. 9...Nc5
9...e6 can transpose to line
C2 after 10.0-0 exd5 11.cxd5 Nc5
12.Nf2, but White can also take on
e6. See Game 10 Svetushkin-Torrecillas, Leon 2012. The latter option also applies to:
9...e5 (10.dxe6!) as 10.f5?! is
altogether dubious due to 10...Nc5

1.d4Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 Nc6


11.Qc2 Nfxe4! 12.Nxe4 Bxf5 13.Bf3
Nxe4 14.Bxe4 Bxh3 15.gxh3 Qh4+
16.Kd1 f5 17.Bg2 e4.
C1. 9...c6 10.Nf2
10.Be3 is inaccurate due to 10...
cxd5
10...Qa5 11.0-0 Nc5 12.Nf2 cxd5
(12...Qb4 13.Rb1 Nfd7 14.Bd2 Qb6
15.b4) 13.cxd5 Qb4 14.Qd2 is in
Whites favour, e.g. 14...a5 15.a3
Qb3 16.Bxc5 dxc5 17.e5.
11.cxd5 b5! 12.a3
The pawn is immune due to
12.Bxb5 Nxe4.
12.Nf2 b4 13.Na4 (13.Nb5 Bb7
14.0-0 Nc5) 13...Qa5 is roughly
equal as Black succeeds in trading his light-squared bishop after
14.a3 Ba6 15.axb4 Qxb4+ 16.Qd2
Qxd2+ 17.Kxd2 Bxe2 18.Kxe2
Rfb8 19.Rhc1 Ne8 or 14.0-0
Ba6 15.Bxa6 Qxa6 16.b3 Rfc8.
12...Nb6 13.Nf2 (13.Bxb5 is dubious again: 13...Bxh3 14.gxh3 Qc8
15.0-0 Nc4) 13...Nc4 14.Bd4 Nxb2
[14...Nh5 15.Bxg7 Nxg7 16.Qd4)
15.Qb3 Na4 16.Bxb5 Nxc3 17.Qxc3
Bf5! 18.Bd3 Nxd5 19.exd5 Rc8
20.Qb4 Rb8=.
10...Qb6
10...cxd5 11.cxd5 Nb6 12.a4!
leads Black to a cramped position.
Game 11 Kurnosov-Vokarev, Olginka 2011, is a good example of
Whites plan in this structure.

11...b5 12.Bxb5 Rb8 13.0-0 (13.


Qe2 Nc5 14.Bc4 Rb4) 13...Nc5 is a
real pawn sacrifice. White can always transform the material in a
positional advantage:

XIIIIIIIIY
9-trlwq-trk+0
9zp-+-zppvlp0
9-+-zp-snp+0
9+LsnP+-+-0
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9PzP-+-sNPzP0
9tR-vLQ+RmK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

14.Bc6!? Qa5 15.Qc2 Qb4


16.Be3 Qxb2 17.Qxb2 Rxb2 18.Bxc5
dxc5 19.e5 Ng4 20.Nxg4 Bxg4
21.Na4 Rc2 22.Rfc1 Re2 23.Nxc5
Rb8 24.Rab1;
14.Be2 Nfd7 (14...Qa5 15.a3 Nb3
16.Rb1 Nxc1 17.Qxc1 Qb6 18.Kh1
Nd7 19.Qc2) 15.Nb5 Qb6 16.Be3
Ba6 (16...Qa5 17.a4 a6 18.Na7!)
17.a4 Bxb2 18.Rb1 Bg7 19.Qd2 Bxb5
20.Bxb5, Wen Yang-Gopal, Ho Chi
Minh City 2012. Whites long-range
pieces control the queenside.
11.0-0 a5

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9zp-+P+-+-0
9-+P+PzP-+0
9+-sN-+-+-0
9PzP-+LsNPzP0
9tR-vLQ+RmK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

75

Part 2
12.Qc2
Black is trying to be flexible and
retain control over b5. In response,
we defend b2, preparing to meet
...Nc5 by Be3. There is no reason to
displace our knight to a4:
12.Na4 Qa7 13.Qd3 (13.Bf3
b5 14.dxc6 bxa4 15.cxd7 Nxd7)
13...cxd5 (13...Nc5 14.Nxc5 Qxc5
15.Be3 Qb4 16.a3 Qxb2 17.Bd4+)
14.cxd5 b6 (14...b5 15.Be3) 15.Nc3
Nc5 16.Qd1 Ba6 17.Be3 Rfc8 18.Rc1
Bxe2 (18...Nfd7 19.Qd2) 19.Qxe2
Qa6 20.Qxa6 (20.Qd2 Nfd7) 20...
Rxa6 21.Rfe1 Nfd7 22.Re2. White
still has a space advantage, but the
enemy is well entrenched.
12...Nc5
12...Re8 threatens to open the
centre with ...e6. We can ignore
this idea with 13.Rb1 because 13...
e6 14.dxe6 Rxe6 15.Rd1 would lead
to a good version of a typical Kings
Indian position.
Instead of defining the situation
in the centre, Black can follow up
with 13...a4 14.Bf3 Nc5 (14...Qb4
15.Qe2 cxd5 16.cxd5 b6 17.Rd1; 14...
Qa6 15.b3) 15.Be3 Qb4, but then
16.dxc6 bxc6 17.e5! would be grim
for him.

(17...Bxe5 18.Ng4 Bg7 19.Nh6+)


18.Rac1 Bxe5 19.Rfe1. White has a
strong compensation for the pawn
since the queen is out of play on
b3. The main line pursues similar
ideas.
14...dxe5
Or 14...Bf5 15.Qc1 Ne8 16.a3
Qb3 17.Bxc5.
15.fxe5 Nfd7 16.e6
17.Ng4 exd5 18.cxd5
19.Rad1

fxe6
Kh8

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+l+-tr-mk0
9+p+nzp-vlp0
9-+p+-+p+0
9zp-snP+-+-0
9-wq-+-+N+0
9+-sN-vL-+-0
9PzPQ+L+PzP0
9+-+R+RmK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

All the white pieces are fully mobilised and targeted onto the enemy
king. It is unclear how Black can
complete development. A possible
continuation is 19...Rxf1+ 20.Rxf1
a4 (20...Bd4 21.Qc1) 21.a3 Qa5
22.Qd1! threatening d6 or Bd4.

13.Be3 Qb4 14.e5!?


I have also analysed 14.a3!?
Qb3, because this queen may easily lose his way back home, for
instance, 15.Qd2 Nfd7 (15...a4
16.Bxc5) 16.e5! dxe5 17.fxe5 h5
76

C2. 9...Nc5 10.Nf2 e6


No one has tried 10...e5. Perhaps we should answer it with
11.fxe5 Ne8 12.Bf4 Qe7 13.exd6

1.d4Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 Nc6


Nxd6 14.0-0 Ndxe4 15.Nfxe4 Nxe4
16.Nxe4 Qxe4 17.Bxc7 with a strong
passed pawn in the centre.
11.0-0
It is a bad idea to put the bishop
on e3 when Black unambiguously
demonstrated his intention to open
the e-file. After 11.Be3 b6! I do not
see how to fight for an edge.
The alternatives are worse:
11...Re8 12.Bxc5 dxc5 13.e5; 11...
Nfd7 12.0-0 f5 (12...Bxc3 13.bxc3
Qe7 14.dxe6 Qxe6 15.Bf3! Qxc4
16.Bd4 b6 17.Ng4 h5 18.Ne3 Qd3
19.Qe1) 13.dxe6 Nxe6 14.exf5 gxf5
15.Qd2, Zhao Xue-Cmilyte, Nalchik 2011. This structure is better
for White because of the split kingside pawns and the possession of
the d5-square.
12.0-0 (12.Qd2 exd5 13.cxd5
Re8) 12...exd5 13.exd5 (13.cxd5
Ncxe4!) 13...Re8=.
11...exd5 12.cxd5

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+lwq-trk+0
9zppzp-+pvlp0
9-+-zp-snp+0
9+-snP+-+-0
9-+-+PzP-+0
9+-sN-+-+-0
9PzP-+LsNPzP0
9tR-vLQ+RmK-0
xiiiiiiiiy
12...c6

Black can try to build up a defence line along the fifth rank with:
12...Re8 13.Bf3 h5 (13...b5
14.Be3 b4 15.Bxc5 bxc3 16.Bd4
cxb2 17.Rb1 Rb8 18.Qd2) 14.h3 a5
15.Re1 Nfd7 16.Be3 b6.
White has a thematic plan here.
He should open up the centre with
e4-e5, followed by f4-f5. It would be
in his favour to remove one of the
black defenders with 17.Bd4!?. Of
course Black can keep the bishop
with 17...Bh6, but it would be useless there since 18.g3 h4 would fail
to 19.Ng4). In Jones-M.Andersen,
Reykjavik 2012, White chose:
17.Qc2 Ba6 when the most consistent way of preparing e4-e5 is:
18.Rad1!
The stem game saw 18.a4?!
Qf6 19.Rab1 Kh7? (19...Rac8)
20.e5 dxe5 21.Nce4 Qd8 22.f5
Nxe4 23.fxg6+ fxg6 24.Nxe4 Bh6
25.Bxh5+. After the text, Black is
unable to prevent e4-e5:

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+-wqr+k+0
9+-zpn+pvl-0
9lzp-zp-+p+0
9zp-snP+-+p0
9-+-+PzP-+0
9+-sN-vLL+P0
9PzPQ+-sNP+0
9+-+RtR-mK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

18...Qe7 19.e5 dxe5 20.f5;

18...Rc8 19.e5 dxe5 20.f5 Qf6


21.fxg6 Qxg6 22.Qxg6 fxg6 23.d6
c6 24.Bxc5 bxc5 25.Nfe4 Red8
26.g4!, opening a second front
77

Part 2
on the kingside. (26.Na4 Bb5
27.Naxc5 Nxc5 28.Nxc5 Bf8 29.a4
Rxd6 30.Rc1 Bd3 31.Rxe5 is also in
Whites favour).
18...b5 19.e5 dxe5 20.f5 b4
21.Nce4 (21.fxg6 bxc3 22.gxf7+
Kxf7 23.Bxc5 Nxc5 24.Bxh5+ Kg8
25.Bxe8 Qxe8 26.Qxc3) 21...Nxe4
22.Bxe4.
13.dxc6 bxc6 14.Bf3
Avoid piling minor pieces on an
open e-file: 14.Be3 Ncxe4! 15.Nfxe4
Nxe4 16.Nxe4 Re8 17.Bf3 d5=.
14...Qe7

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+l+-trk+0
9zp-+-wqpvlp0
9-+pzp-snp+0
9+-sn-+-+-0
9-+-+PzP-+0
9+-sN-+L+-0
9PzP-+-sNPzP0
9tR-vLQ+RmK-0
xiiiiiiiiy
15.Be3

It is tempting to discourage
...d6-d5 by 15.Re1!?. Then 15...Rd8?!
16.Be3 d5 17.e5 Nfd7 18.Rc1 Ne6
19.Na4 Bb7 20.Nd3 gave White
a good version of the main line,
see Game 12 Hammer-A.Smith,
Norway 2012. However, 15...Rb8!
would practically force 16.Be3 Rxb2
17.Bxc5 dxc5 18.e5. Whites posi78

tion does look overwhelming, but


the engines offer the dogged defence
18...Ne8 19.Qc1 Rb8 20.Bxc6 Nc7
21.Nce4 Rb6! 22.Ba4 Ne6 23.Ng4
Bb7 24.Ngf6+ Bxf6 25.Nxf6+ Kg7
and any attempt to win the exchange, for instance, by 26.f5 Nd4
27.Nd5, gives Black a strong initiative (27...Qh4 28.Nxb6 Qg5).
15...d5 16.e5 Nfd7
This position has been reached
in Grischuk-Giri, Wijk aan Zee
2011. The precipitate 17.b4 Ne6
18.b5 Nb6 19.f5 (or 19.Rc1 d4
20.Bxd4 Rd8 21.Ne2 c5 22.Bxa8
Nxa8 23.Bxc5 Nxc5 24.Qc2 Bf8
25.Rfd1 Nb6) 19...gxf5 20.Bxb6
axb6 21.bxc6 Bxe5 turned out to
be unclear. Instead of destroying
Blacks centre, White should surround it, following the example of
Game 12 Hammer-A.Smith. Perhaps the best way to achieve it is:

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+l+-trk+0
9zp-+nwqpvlp0
9-+p+-+p+0
9+-snpzP-+-0
9-+-+-zP-+0
9+-sN-vLL+-0
9PzP-+-sNPzP0
9tR-+Q+RmK-0
xiiiiiiiiy
17.Re1!

17.Rc1 Ne6 18.Re1 transposes


while 18.Na4 gives Black counter-

1.d4Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 Nc6


play against the f4-pawn after 18...
Bh6 (18...Ba6 19.Re1 Rac8 20.Bg4)
19.Nd3 (19.Qd2 d4 20.Ng4 Bg7
21.Bxd4 Rd8) 19...Ba6 20.g3 g5.
17...Ne6
(17...Rb8
18.Na4)
18.Rc1 Ba6 (18...Bb7 19.Na4)
19.Ne2 Rfc8 20.b3
Black has a bad version of hanging pawns. The pair c6-d5 is notoriously passive. Even if the pawns
moved one line further on d4 and
c5, they would still be well blockaded, but the withe minor pieces
would widen their scope.

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+r+-+k+0
9zp-+nwqpvlp0
9l+p+n+p+0
9+-+pzP-+-0
9-+-+-zP-+0
9+P+-vLL+-0
9P+-+NsNPzP0
9+-tRQtR-mK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

Possible continuations are 20...


Rc7 21.Ng3 (21.Qd2 Bf8 22.Qa5
Qa3) 21...Qf8 22.Qd2 or 20...Rab8
21.Rc2 Qb4 22.Qc1.

79

Part 2

Part 2

Complete Games
10. Svetushkin-Torrecillas
Leon 09.11.2012
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 Nc6
4.d5 Ne5 5.e4 d6 6.Nc3 Bg7 7.f4
Ned7 8.Nh3 0-0 9.Be2 e6

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+lwq-trk+0
9zppzpn+pvlp0
9-+-zppsnp+0
9+-+P+-+-0
9-+P+PzP-+0
9+-sN-+-+N0
9PzP-+L+PzP0
9tR-vLQmK-+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

10.dxe6

I could ignore this move with


10.0-0 when 10...exd5 11.cxd5
Nc5 12.Nf2 c6 would transpose to
known positions. However, taking
on e6 may be even better while my
knight is still on h3 and not on f2.
10...fxe6 11.Nf2
Whites plan is connected with a
kingside attack. In such a scenario,
the knight may be more useful on
g5. It is also important to be ready to
counter ...e5 by f4-f5. Therefore, the
best move is 11.0-0! (or 11.Qc2!?)
keeping all the options open. For
80

instance: 11...b6 (or 11...Nc5 12.Qc2


a5 13.Be3 b6) 12.Qc2 Bb7 13.Be3
Qe7 14.Bf3 Rab8 15.Rae1.
11...Ne8
Black aims to meet 12.0-0 by
12...e5. However, after 13.f5! gxf5
14.exf5 Rxf5 15.Be3 my compensation for the pawn would be very
strong. Unfortunately, I did not understand it during the game.
12.Qc2 Nb6 13.g4
At least consistent. Here 13.0-0
e5 14.f5 would be already dubious because Black can capture the
pawn by bishop: 14...gxf5 15.exf5
Bxf5 16.Nfe4 Bg6
13...Bd4 14.Qd3 Qf6 15.0-0
Bd7 16.Bd2

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+-+ntrk+0
9zppzpl+-+p0
9-sn-zppwqp+0
9+-+-+-+-0
9-+PvlPzPP+0
9+-sNQ+-+-0
9PzP-vLLsN-zP0
9tR-+-+RmK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

16...Bc6?

1.d4Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 Nc6


Now Black gets a cramped position without any counterplay. He
should have bolstered the centre
with 16...c5!?.
17.g5 Qg7 18.Be3 Bxe3
19.Qxe3 Kh8 20.Ng4 Rd8
21.Rad1 Qe7 22.Nh6 Ng7
I have a tangible advantage all
over the board. I could prepare
h4-h5 or grab more space on the
queenside. But before all, I should
be careful to avoid tricks with ...e5
or ...d5.
23.b3 a6 24.h4 Nd7 25.Kh2
b6 26.Kg3 Rde8 27.Rde1
a5 28.Bg4 Qd8 29.Qd2 Re7
30.Rf2 Qe8 31.a3 Qa8 32.Qc2
Qe8 33.b4 axb4 34.axb4 Qa8
35.Qb2 Qe8

XIIIIIIIIY
9-+-+qtr-mk0
9+-zpntr-snp0
9-zplzpp+psN0
9+-+-+-zP-0
9-zPP+PzPLzP0
9+-sN-+-mK-0
9-wQ-+-tR-+0
9+-+-tR-+-0
xiiiiiiiiy
36.Rh2
It would have been wise to leave
the opposition along the e-file in
order to prevent tactical blows
with ...d5. For instance, 36.Ra1 d5
does not work due to 37.cxd5 exd5
38.exd5 Re3+ 39.Kh2.
36...Bb7 37.Ra1?

I was in a time trouble and


missed Blacks retort. 37.Rd2
would have preserved the clear
edge as 37...d5 loses to 38.cxd5
exd5 39.Nxd5 Bxd5 40.Rxd5 Rxe4?
41.Bxd7. 37.Rf2 also deserved attention. Now the centre opens up
and Black obtains counterplay. The
rest of the game was a mess of mistakes, mostly mine.
37...d5 38.e5
Or 38.cxd5 exd5 39.e5 (39.Rd1
dxe4 40.Rhd2) 39...Nxe5+.
38...dxc4 39.Qe2 (39.Rd2=)
39...b5 40.Nxb5 Nb6 41.Nc3
Nd5 42.Nxd5 Bxd5 43.h5 gxh5
44.Bxh5 Qb5 45.Bg6 Qxb4
46.Ng4?
I was so upset to have let my
edge slip away that I missed the opportunity to make at least a draw
with 46.Bxh7= Qc3+ 47.Bd3 cxd3
48.Nf5+ Kg8 49.Nh6+ Kh8= (49...
Kh7 50.g6+). The text is a sheer
blunder.
46...Qc3+ 47.Qe3 Nf5!+
48.Bxf5 Qxa1 49.Nf6 exf5
50.Nxd5 Rd7 51.Rd2 c6 52.Nc3
Rxd2 53.Qxd2 Qg1+ 54.Kf3
Qf1+ 55.Ke3 Qh3+ 56.Ke2
Qg2+ 57.Ke3 Qxd2+
0-1
11. Kurnosov-Vokarev
Olginka 15.04.2011
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 Nc6
4.d5 Ne5 5.e4 d6 6.Nc3 Bg7
81

Part 2
7.f4 Ned7 8.Nh3 0-0 9.Be2 c6
10.Nf2 cxd5 11.cxd5

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+lwq-trk+0
9zpp+nzppvlp0
9-+-zp-snp+0
9+-+P+-+-0
9-+-+PzP-+0
9+-sN-+-+-0
9PzP-+LsNPzP0
9tR-vLQmK-+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

11...Nb6?!

Black follows too literally the


rule that one should fight for the
centre in the opening. He obviously planned ...e6 so he decided to
protect the d6-pawn. However, he
neglects another rule which takes
precedence in the current position:
activate the pieces. The square c8 is
hardly a good stand for a knight so
Black should have devised a better
way of development. A typical solid
set-up is 11...a6 12.0-0 b5 13.Be3
Bb7 14.Qd2 where White should
brew something on the kingside,
probably with g4-g5, Ng4.

Black has fulfilled his (wrong!)


plan, only to discover that he has
to worry now about 3 weak pawns
b7, d6,e6.
16...b6 17.Bf3 Rb8 18.Be3
Kh8 19.Rfd1 Ne8 20.a6
This is a bit hasty. White had
no urge to close the queenside. It
might be helpful to open the a-file
in some variations so 20.Nd3 was
preferable. After the text, Black
should stay passively with 20...Nc7,
but he loses patience and his position crumbles down quickly:
20...b5 21.e5 dxe5 22.fxe5
Bxe5 23.Nd3 Bg7 24.Nc5 Ned6
25.N3e4 Be5 26.Bd4 Bxd4+
27.Rxd4 Qb6 28.Qc3 e5 29.Rxd6
Nxd6 30.Qxe5+ Kg8 31.Nxd6
Bc6 32.Bd1
1-0
12. Hammer-A.Smith
Norway 14.01.2012

12.a4 Bd7?! 13.a5 Nc8 14.0-0


e6 15.dxe6 fxe6 16.Qb3

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 Nc6


4.d5 Ne5 5.e4 d6 6.Nc3 Bg7
7.f4 Ned7 8.Nh3 0-0 9.Be2 Nc5
10.Nf2 e6 11.0-0 exd5 12.cxd5
c6 13.dxc6 bxc6 14.Bf3 Qe7

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+nwq-trk+0
9zpp+l+-vlp0
9-+-zppsnp+0
9zP-+-+-+-0
9-+-+PzP-+0
9+QsN-+-+-0
9-zP-+LsNPzP0
9tR-vL-+RmK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+l+-trk+0
9zp-+-wqpvlp0
9-+pzp-snp+0
9+-sn-+-+-0
9-+-+PzP-+0
9+-sN-+L+-0
9PzP-+-sNPzP0
9tR-vLQ+RmK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

82

1.d4Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 Nc6


15.Re1
This is a good natural move, but
what should we do after 15...Rb8!?
The b2-pawn cannot be protected
by 16.Rb1 due to 16...Ng4 17.Nxg4
Bxc3. 16.Qc2 is not good either owing to 16...Nd5!. Remains 16.Be3
Rxb2 17.Bxc5 dxc5 18.e5 Ne8, but
it is not easy to prove a substantial advantage there. Therefore, I
recommend the move order with
15.Be3.
15...Rd8?! 16.Be3 d5 17.e5
Nfd7 18.Rc1
Whites play against such pawns
is very easy. Any exchange of minor
pieces favours him so he can follow
up with Na4 even if Blacks knight
remained on c5.

considerations completely justify


Blacks decision to undermine the
stronghold on e5. Now the outcome
will depend on concrete variations
and better calculation. Still, Whites
pieces are better placed for the clash.
I think that the waiting strategy
was not a better alternative:
20...a5 21.Bg4 (21.Rc2 h5) 21...
Re8 22.Rc2 would limit even more
Blacks active options. It is evident
that Whites bishop would be strong
on g4, but Black is unable to control
g4 since 20...h5?! could be attacked
by 21.Bxh5 gxh5 22.f5.
21.Qb3 Rdb8 22.exf6 Qxf6
23.Bg4 Nd4
It is better to stay in the centre
than retreat to the last rank with
23...Nef8 24.Qa3 Ba6 25.Bf3 Kh8
26.Ne5.

18...Ne6 19.Na4 Bb7 20.Nd3

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+-tr-+k+0
9zpl+nwqpvlp0
9-+p+n+p+0
9+-+pzP-+-0
9N+-+-zP-+0
9+-+NvLL+-0
9PzP-+-+PzP0
9+-tRQtR-mK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

19...f6

A critical moment of the game.


Black is cramped and all his pieces
are passive. His hanging pawns in
the centre theoretically have some
dynamic potential, but it could be
discovered only if the pawns were
supported by active pieces. These

24.Qd1 Nf5 25.Bf2


26.Rc2 Rfe8 27.Rxe8+

Rf8

It is difficult to understand why


Hammer decided to trade both
rooks. He could have imposed a total
domination of his pieces by 27.Nac5
Nxc5 28.Nxc5 Qf7 29.Bxf5 gxf5
30.Rce2 Rxe2 31.Rxe2 Rf8 32.Bd4:

XIIIIIIIIY
9-+-+-trk+0
9zpl+-+qvlp0
9-+p+-+-+0
9+-sNp+p+-0
9-+-vL-zP-+0
9+-+-+-+-0
9PzP-+R+PzP0
9+-+Q+-mK-0
xiiiiiiiiy
83

Part 2
Having a rook which rules
over the open e-file is certainly in
Whites favour here.
27...Rxe8 28.Re2 Ra8?
An incredible decision. Black assigns its rook the role of a defender
of the a7-pawn! 28...Rxe2 29.Qxe2
Qf7 would have held on. Then
30.Bxa7?! Ba6 would even turn the
tables!
29.Qe1

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+-+-+k+0
9zpl+n+-vlp0
9-+p+-wqp+0
9+-+p+n+-0
9N+-+-zPL+0
9+-+N+-+-0
9PzP-+RvLPzP0
9+-+-wQ-mK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

84

29...d4?
This loses the unfortunate bishop on b7. 29...Ba6 kept Black in the
game.
30.Re8+ Nf8 31.Rxa8 Bxa8
32.Qe8 Ne3 33.Bf3?
33.Be2 was winning much faster.
33...Bb7
34.Nac5
Qf5
35.Be4 Qc8 36.Qe7 Ba6 37.h3
Bxd3 38.Bxd3 Nd5 39.Qxa7
Nxf4 40.Bc4+ Nd5 41.Ne4
Ne6 42.Nd6 Qc7 43.Qa8+
Bf8 44.Ne8 Qb6 45.Qc8 Nef4
46.Qd7 Kh8 47.Qf7 Bh6 48.Nf6
Nxf6 49.Qxf6+ Bg7 50.Qxf4
Qxb2 51.Bg3 d3 52.Qb8+ Qxb8
53.Bxb8 d2 54.Bb3 c5 55.Kf1 c4
56.Bc2 c3 57.a4
1-0

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 c5 4.d5

Part 3

Benoni/Volga Deviations
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 c5 4.d5

XIIIIIIIIY
9rsnlwqkvl-tr0
9zpp+pzpp+p0
9-+-+-snp+0
9+-zpP+-+-0
9-+P+-+-+0
9+-+-+P+-0
9PzP-+P+PzP0
9tRNvLQmKLsNR0
xiiiiiiiiy

85

Part 3

Part 3

Main Ideas
Although 3...c5 formally leads to
Volga/Benoni pawn structures,
the particular move order with 3.f3
brings about independent variations which have their own opening
theory. Let us start with the Volga
hybrid:

have both! If Black tries now the


standard Volga plan with:

A. 3.f3 c5 4.d5 b5 5.cxb5 a6


6.e4

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+lwqntrk+0
9+-+nzppvlp0
9p+-zp-+p+0
9+PzpP+-+-0
9P+-+P+-+0
9+-sN-vLP+N0
9-zP-+L+PzP0
9tR-+QmK-+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

XIIIIIIIIY
9rsnlwqkvl-tr0
9+-+pzpp+p0
9p+-+-snp+0
9+PzpP+-+-0
9-+-+P+-+0
9+-+-+P+-0
9PzP-+-+PzP0
9tRNvLQmKLsNR0
xiiiiiiiiy

In the pure Volga, it is impossible for White to win the b5-pawn


while also accomplishing e2-e4
in one step. There is a quite modern variation which features 1.d4
Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 b5 4.cxb5 a6 5.f3
whereas Blacks best answers are
5...axb5 6.e4 Qa5+ or the immediate attack in the centre 5...e6. Another version is 4.f3 bxc4. In these
lines White achieves to play e4, but
he has not a tempo for winning a
pawn. In the diagram position, we
86

6...d6 (otherwise we play Nh3!)


7.Nc3 Bg7 8.a4 0-0 9.Be3 Nbd7
10.Nh3! Ne8 11.Be2, he will land
in a passive position without a centre and a pawn.

White will proceed with a


kingside attack: Nf2, h4-h5.
In practice Black prefers 9...e6
10.dxe6 Bxe6 and I propose here
11.Nh3!

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9-zP-+-+PzP0
9tR-+QmKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 c5 4.d5


The standard 11.Nge2 is also
good, but let Black take on h3 and
struggle without a pawn, lightsquared bishop and a centre!
You should remember two
things about this variation:
Put the bishop on e3, from where
it restricts Blacks counterplay, and
the knight on h3, even under the
hit of the c8-bishop (if Black has
already opened the centre by ...e6).
B. Benoni Structures
In practice, Black commonly
plays ...c5 after he has castled. Let
us investigate the pros and cons of
the early 3...c5.
Pros:
1. After 3...c5, White has not a
choice, but play 4.d5 while in the
event of 3...Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nc3 0-0
6.Be3 c5, his most popular answer
is 7.Ne2 keeping the tension in the
centre. Black still can get a Benoni
structure with 7...Nc6 8.d5 Ne5,
but then White will have f4 with a
tempo.
2. 3...c5 4.d5 e6 5.e4 exd5 6.cxd5
d6 offers him the option of choosing
sharp set-up with an early ...Nh5 as
in Game 14 Giri-Ivanchuk: 7.Ne2
Nh5.
3. Black sidesteps the pawn sacrifice 3.f3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nc3 0-0
6.Be3 c5 7.dxc5 which may be not
dangerous, but still might be unpleasant to materialistic players.

Cons:
Having seen 3...c5 played, White
can abandon the typical set-up altogether and opt for Na3 or Nd2, leaving c3 for the kings knight. That
solves the inherent drawback of the
Smish set-up where the knight has
to tread on a long path (commonly
Ne2-g3-h1-f2 or Ne2-f1-d2) before
finding a decent stand. Note that
the attempt to employ the same manoeuvre after 3...Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Ne2
0-0 6.Be3 (instead of 6.Nbc3) 6...
c5 7.d5 stumbles into 7...Qb6!?. But
7.Qd2 is possible - see Part 9!
2. White can develop his bishop
to g5 instead of e3. In the standard
move order that would be an arguable idea as Black could try to exploit
the weakness of d4.
Finally, if White likes the variation 3.f3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nc3 0-0
6.Be3 c5 7.d5, the early 3...c5 should
lead to a simple transposition.
Whites basic set-up against the
Benoni structure can be illustrated
with the following diagram:

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9r+-wqntrk+0
9+p+-+-vlp0
9p+-zp-+p+0
9+-zpP+l+-0
9Psn-+-+-+0
9sN-sN-vLP+-0
9-zP-wQL+PzP0
9tR-+-+R+K0
xiiiiiiiiy

17.g4! Bd7 18.Nc4 b6 (18...b5


19.Nxd6) 19.Ne4 with total domi87

Part 3
nation. In order to escape this scenario, Black tries after:
3.f3 c5 4.d5 d6 5.e4 the following main plans:

XIIIIIIIIY
9rsnlwqkvl-tr0
9zpp+-zpp+p0
9-+-zp-snp+0
9+-zpP+-+-0
9-+P+P+-+0
9+-+-+P+-0
9PzP-+-+PzP0
9tRNvLQmKLsNR0
xiiiiiiiiy
1. 5...e6 6.Bg5!?
I also consider in detail 6.Ne2,
but the text is more straightforward
as it cuts off a number of options for
Black.
6...exd5 7.cxd5 Bg7 8.Qd2

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9+-+-+P+-0
9PzP-wQ-+PzP0
9tRN+-mKLsNR0
xiiiiiiiiy

In such positions Black cannot


stand the pin for long as his most
active plans are based on ...f7-f5.
8...h6 9.Be3 0-0 10.Ne2!
Do not play a4 until you have to.
10...Re8 11.Nec3 Nbd7 12.Be2
88

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+lwqr+k+0
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9-+-zp-snpzp0
9+-zpP+-+-0
9-+-+P+-+0
9+-sN-vLP+-0
9PzP-wQL+PzP0
9tRN+-mK-+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

White will complete development with 0-0, a4, Na3 and he will
think about Rb1, followed up by
b4 (or Nc2 first). Black can never accomplish ...b5 so his natural
counterplay should be connected
with ...f5. In my opinion, he should
defend the h6-pawn with 12...Kh7
(we see here the merit of Bg5!)
13.0-0 Nh5 14.a4 f5 15.Na3. Whites
space advantage assures him of
some initiative.
In practice, however, he weakens
his kingside with 12...h5 13.0-0 Nh7
14.a4 f5 15.Na3 or 12...a6 13.a4 h5
14.0-0 Nh7 when 15.h3!? (to meet
15...Ne5?! by 16.f4 Nf7 17.Bf3)
15...f5 16.Na3 fxe4 17.Nxe4 Ndf6
18.Bd3 Nxe4 19.fxe4. It is easy to
play with a space advantage provided that the opponent has not serious threats.
2. A refined version of the previous plan is when Black aims for
...f5, but delays taking on d5. Thus
hell be able to recapture on f5 by
the e6-pawn, reaching a symmetric
pawn structure. Although this approach is somewhat passive and not
characteristic for Benoni adepts, we
should know how to cope with it.

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 c5 4.d5


5...Bg7 6.Ne2 0-0 7.Nec3!?

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9-+P+P+-+0
9+-sN-+P+-0
9PzP-+-+PzP0
9tRNvLQmKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

The most principled set-up.


White tries to extract the maximum
from the particular move order.
From the diagram position
Black chooses plans with ...f5 or
with ...b5. In the former case we
develop our bishop to g5 to provoke the weakening ...h6. In the
latter case Be3, keeping an eye on
the c5-pawn, is preferable.
7...e6
Gelfands 7...Nh5 8.Bg5! Bf6
would be difficult to understand after 9.Be3.

12.exf5 exf5. The point of


Blacks set-up is the possibility of
recapturing on f5 by the e-pawn. I
think that we must hamper his design.
8...h6 9.Be3 Nh5 10.Qd2 Kh7
11.g4! Nf6 12.Be2 a6 13.a4 exd5
14.cxd5 Nbd7 15.Na3

XIIIIIIIIY
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9p+-zp-snpzp0
9+-zpPs+-+-0
9P+-+P+P+0
9sN-sN-vLP+-0
9-zP-wQL+-zP0
9tR-+-mK-+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

White has accomplished his


aim. He has full control over the
board.
Black can also get a similar position with a knight on e8 (accordingly, White has not g4), but then
he would not be threatening with
...f5-f4.

8.Bg5!
We must make Black pay to
get ...Nh5. 8.Be3 Nh5 9.g4 Nf6 is
unclear or 9.Qd2 f5 10.Bg5 Bf6
11.Bxf6 Nxf6

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9PzP-wQ-+PzP0
9tRN+-mKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

3. Black aims for ...b5


5...Bg7 6.Ne2 0-0 7.Nec3 Na6
8.Be2 Nc7 9.Be3

XIIIIIIIIY
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89

Part 3
Blacks knight on c7 makes a
possible attack with ...f5 ineffective
so we have not any compelling reason to put our bishop on g5. On the
contrary we need it on e3. It can
support a future b2-b4 and it also
enables tactical blows like e4-e5,
based on the hanging c5-pawn.
9...a6 10.a4 Rb8 11.0-0 Bd7
12.Na3 Nfe8 13.Qd2 e6

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9p+-zpp+p+0
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9P+P+P+-+0
9sN-sN-vLP+-0
9-zP-wQL+PzP0
9tR-+-+RmK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

White is threatening to open the


b-file with Rab1 and b2-b4 so Black
has not much of a choice. On the
other hand, we are better prepared
for play in the centre.
14.a5! b5 15.axb6 Rxb6 16.f4!

XIIIIIIIIY
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9ptr-zpp+p+0
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9-+P+PzP-+0
9sN-sN-vL-+-0
9-zP-wQL+PzP0
9tR-+-+RmK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

The bishop on e3 is now the


leading character in Blacks drama.
e4-e5 can be prevented only by 16...
e5 which is a strategically horrible
concession due to 17.f5.
90

Important strategic motifs


I would like to show you another
example where e4-e5 could be a
valuable resource for White:
Analysis

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9rsnlwqk+-tr0
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9p+-zp-snp+0
9+-zpP+-+-0
9-+-+P+P+0
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9PzP-+N+-zP0
9tR-+QmKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

11.e5!? dxe5 12.Ng3 h5 13.g5


Nfd7 14.Nge4. The d5-pawn is extremely powerful while the g7-bishop is safely neutralised.
The thrust e4-e5 is good mostly
when Blacks pieces are passive.
Sadler-Tkachiev
Enghien les Bain 1999

XIIIIIIIIY
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9-+-zppsnp+0
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9P+P+P+-+0
9+-sN-vLP+-0
9-zP-wQL+PzP0
9tRN+-+RmK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

Here 13.e5?! (13.exf5) 13...dxe5


14.Bxc5 Rf7 does not disturb Black
at all.
White should also be acquainted
with the symmetric pawn structure
with an open e-file.

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 c5 4.d5


W.Arencibia-Ivanovic
Manila 1990

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9-trlwq-trk+0
9zppsn-+pvlp0
9-+-zp-snp+0
9+-zpP+-vL-0
9-+P+-+-+0
9+-sN-+P+-0
9PzP-wQL+PzP0
9tRN+-+RmK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

This position is extremely solid,


but not too promising for White. He
has a stable space advantage which
should keep him out of trouble no
matter how he manoeuvres. But he
has not any lever on the kingside so
it would be nearly impossible to develop an attack. See this instructive
Game 13 in the Complete Games
chapter.

Analysis

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9r+l+ntrk+0
9zpp+-+-+p0
9n+-zp-+p+0
9wq-zpPvlpvL-0
9P+P+-+-+0
9+-sN-+P+-0
9-zPNwQL+PzP0
9tR-+-+RmK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

Here the pawn on f5 weakens


Blacks kingside so we have more
chances to shatter his defence:
16...f4 17.g4 (17.g3!?) 17...fxg3
18.hxg3 Bh3 19.Rfc1 Bxg3 20.f4
Ng7 21.Qd3;
16...Bd7 17.Bd3 Nb4 18.Nxb4
Qxb4 19.g3 Nf6 20.Kg2 a6 21.a5
b5 22.axb6 Qxb6 23.Rfe1. The e7square is vulnerable to invasion.

91

Part 3

Part 3

Step by Step

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 c5 4.d5

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9rsnlwqkvl-tr0
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9tRNvLQmKLsNR0
xiiiiiiiiy
A. 4...b5; B. 4...d6 (4...Bg7)

4...e5?! is too passive. The closed


centre suggests plans with long castling and a kingside pawn storm. I
like the flexible 5.Nh3!? d6 6.Nf2
Bg7 (Romanishin played 6...Nh5,
but it only provokes 7.g4!) 7.Nc3
0-0 8.g4 Ne8 9.h4 f5 10.h5.
Of course, the natural development 5.e4 d6 6.Bd3 is also possible
6...Nh5 7.Ne2 Be7 8.Be3 Bg5
9.Qd2 Bxe3 10.Qxe3 0-0 11.Nbc3
Na6 12.0-0-0.
4...e6 should transpose to line B.
92

A. 4...b5 5.cxb5 a6 6.e4 d6


6...Bg7 7.Nc3 0-0 gives White
the option of 8.Nh3! d6 9.Nf2
9.Nf4 Nbd7 10.a4 should also be
in Whites favour after 10...Ne8 (or
10...Qa5 11.Bd2) 11.Be3 Nc7 (11...
Qa5 12.Ra3) 12.Be2 axb5 13.axb5
Bd4 14.Bf2.
9...Nbd7 10.a4 Ne8

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9p+-zp-+p+0
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9tR-vLQmKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

The knight on f2 combines attacking and defending functions.


It covers checks along the a7-g1
diagonal, controls the important
squares d3 and g4 (in the event of
f4). At the same time, it supports a
direct attack with h4 and g4. White
can choose between piece play with
11.Bg5!? axb5 (11...Bd4 12.Be2 Nc7

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 c5 4.d5


13.0-0) 12.Bxb5 or the sharper approach 11.Bd2 Nc7 12.h4!, intending to meet 12...h5 by 13.g4.
7.Nc3 Bg7 8.a4 0-0

XIIIIIIIIY
9rsnlwq-trk+0
9+-+-zppvlp0
9p+-zp-snp+0
9+PzpP+-+-0
9P+-+P+-+0
9+-sN-+P+-0
9-zP-+-+PzP0
9tR-vLQmKLsNR0
xiiiiiiiiy

Main position for the 4...b5 line.


Black is planning to attack the centre with ...e6 so we better hurry up
to complete development.
9.Be3
Note that White needs the bishop here and not on g5. From e3, the
bishop restricts Blacks most dangerous counterplay, based on ...e6
and ...d5, because of the hanging
state of the c5-pawn (after e4-e5).
9...e6
Black should watch out for Nh3:
Young Topalov played in 1992
9...Nbd7 10.Nh3 Ne5 11.Nf2 e6, but
12.f4 Neg4 13.Nxg4 Nxg4 14.Qxg4
exd5 15.Qg5 Qxg5 16.fxg5 d4 17.Bd2
dxc3 18.Bxc3 gives White the better endgame. Both drawbacks of
Whites position, the b5-pawn and

uncastled king, suddenly turn into


his biggest advantages, e.g. 18...Re8
19.Kd2 Rxe4 20.Be2 d5 21.Bf3 Re6
22.Rhd1 Rd6 23.b4.
9...Nfd7?! abandons the centre:
10.Nh3 axb5 11.Bxb5 Ba6 12.0-0
Bxb5 13.axb5.
9...Qa5 10.Ra3 Nbd7 11.Nh3.
10.dxe6 Bxe6 11.Nge2
I think that the novelty:
11.Nh3! is even more challenging. The idea behind it is to meet
11...axb5 12.Bxb5 Na6 13.Nf4.
11...Bxh3
Alternatively, 11...d5 (or 11...
Nbd7 12.Qxd6) 12.Bxc5 Re8 13.Ng5
Nbd7 14.Be3 dxe4 15.Nxe6 Rxe6
16.Bc4 Re7 17.f4.
12.gxh3

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9-zP-+-+-zP0
9tR-+QmKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

Whites pawns may be split, but


he has the bishop pair advantage in
an open position.
11...axb5
After 11...d5 12.exd5 Nxd5
13.Nxd5 Bxd5 14.Nf4 Bxb2 15.Rb1
Bc3+ 16.Kf2 Ba2 17.Qxd8 Rxd8
93

Part 3
18.Rc1 Bd2 (18...Bd4 19.b6 a5
20.Bxd4 cxd4 21.Bb5) 19.Rxc5,
White is a pawn up in the endgame.
12.Nxb5
14.Be2

Na6

13.Nf4

d5

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+-wq-trk+0
9+-+-+pvlp0
9n+-+lsnp+0
9+Nzpp+-+-0
9P+-+PsN-+0
9+-+-vLP+-0
9-zP-+L+PzP0
9tR-+QmK-+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

Black is yet to prove that he


can equalise here. Most endgames
would be worse for him due to the
distant passed pawn on a4. The
game Goganov-Rakhmanov, Voronezh 2012, went 14...Qe7 (Another option is 14...Qa5+ 15.Bd2 Qb6
16.0-0 dxe4 17.Bc3 Rad8 18.Qe1.)
when instead of 15.e5, White should
have played 15.0-0 dxe4 16.Qd6
Qxd6 17.Nxd6 exf3 18.Bxf3, e.g.
18...Rab8 19.Be2 Nc7 20.Bxc5 Rxb2
21.Nc4 Rxe2 22.Nxe2 Bxc4 23.Bxf8
Kxf8 24.Rac1 Bxe2 25.Rfe1.

5...d6. I do not see any reason behind 5...0-0. White can continue
with the standard 6.Ne2 when play
should transpose to the main line.
However, he can also opt for the
more challenging 6.Nh3 d6 7.Nf2.
As a rule, it is a good idea to develop the knight here in the Benoni
structures. Instead of following the
route of Ng1-e2-g3-h1-f2, or Ng1e2-g3-f1-e3, it is better to save a
tempo if the opponent allows it.
The game Korchnoi-Miles, Buenos
Aires 1978, went further with 7...
e6 8.Nc3 Na6 9.Be2 Nc7 10.0-0 a6
11.Bg5 h6 12.Be3 exd5 13.cxd5 b5
14.Qd2 Kh7 15.e5!.
4...e6 5.e4 exd5 6.cxd5 d6 transposes to line B1.
5.e4

XIIIIIIIIY
9rsnlwqkvl-tr0
9zpp+-zpp+p0
9-+-zp-snp+0
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9+-+-+P+-0
9PzP-+-+PzP0
9tRNvLQmKLsNR0
xiiiiiiiiy
B1. 5...e6; B2. 5...Bg7

B. 4...d6
Black can also play first 4...Bg7
5.e4 (5.Nh3 is premature due to 5...
b5 6.cxb5 a6 when 7.e4 does not
work: 7...axb5 8.Bxb5 Qa5+ 9.Nc3
Nxe4 10.fxe4 Bxc3+ 11.bxc3 Qxb5)
94

B1. 5...e6 6.Ne2


I would like to recommend
6.Bg5!?. I suppose that when ...c5
has been played, this active de-

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 c5 4.d5


velopment is always a worthy option. By some reason, it has never
caught on, maybe because White
got crushed in the first two and
only games where it was tested.
Unfortunately, I cannot back my
proposition with enough practical
examples so Ill have to offer only a
short analysis:
6...exd5 7.cxd5 Bg7

XIIIIIIIIY
9rsnlwqk+-tr0
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9PzP-+-+PzP0
9tRN+QmKLsNR0
xiiiiiiiiy

8.Qd2 (8.Ne2!? is also possible)


8...h6 9.Be3 0-0 10.Ne2! (beware
the trap 10.Bxh6? Nxe4! 11.fxe4
Qh4+)
The stem game Rogers-Wang
Zili, Sydney 1991, saw 10.a4. I would
hesitate to invite the enemy knight
to b4. After 10...Na6 11.Ne2 Nb4, all
the black pieces take good stands,
e.g. 12.Nec3 Nh5 13.g4 Nf6 14.Na3
Nd7 15.Be2 Qh4+ 16.Bf2 Qe7 17.0-0
Ne5 18.h3 g5.
10...Re8 11.Nec3 Nbd7 12.Be2

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+lwqr+k+0
9zpp+n+pvl-0
9-+-zp-snpzp0
9+-zpP+-+-0
9-+-+P+-+0
9+-sN-vLP+-0
9PzP-wQL+PzP0
9tRN+-mK-+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

12...a6
Black can refrain from this move
thus saving a tempo, because it only
provokes the useful a4. I suppose
that Blacks best set-up here is:
12...Kh7 (instead of the weakening ...h5) 13.0-0 Nh5 14.a4 f5
15.Na3. Whites space advantage
assures him of some initiative, but
Blacks position is quite solid.
In practice, however, we witness
only the plan with ...h5, ...Nh7. It
is typical against the set-up with
Ng1-e2-g3, but it looks ineffective
in the current circumstances:
12...h5 13.0-0 Nh7 14.a4 (Liar
det-Mrdja, Geneve 1990, went
14.h3 f5 15.Na3 Re8 16.Rab1! Nf7
17.b4 b6 18.bxc5 bxc5 19.Bb5 Bd7
when 20.Nc4 would have completed Whites plan for a queenside
activity. Still, I do not see a compelling reason to weaken our kingside.)
14...f5 15.Na3. Black does have a
nice outpost on e5, but his castling
position is compromised and his
queenside is rather cramped.
13.a4 h5 (13...Kh7!?) 14.0-0
Nh7 15.Kh1
15.h3!? is also possible: 15...
f5 (15...Ne5?! 16.f4 Nf7 17.Bf3)
16.Na3 fxe4 (16...g5?! is enticing, but it fails tactically: 17.f4! g4
18.hxg4 hxg4 19.Nc4 g3 20.Nxd6
Qh4 21.Rf3 Qh2+ 22.Kf1 Qh1+
23.Bg1 Bd4 24.Rxg3+.) 17.Nxe4
Ndf6 18.Bd3 Nxe4 19.fxe4.
15...Ne5 16.h3 f5 17.Na3 Nf6
This position has occurred in
Rogers-Wang Zili, Sydney 1991.
95

Part 3

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+lwqr+k+0
9+p+-+-vl-0
9p+-zp-snp+0
9+-zpPsnp+p0
9P+-+P+-+0
9sN-sN-vLP+P0
9-zP-wQL+P+0
9tR-+-+R+K0
xiiiiiiiiy

White chose 18.f4?! Nf7 19.e5?!


dxe5 20.Bxc5 which is a typical
mistake in this structure. Instead,
he should keep the tension in the
centre by 18.Bf4 or 18.Rae1, planning eventually Nc2 and b2-b4. It
is always easier to play with more
space in the centre.
6...exd5
6...b5 7.dxe6 Bxe6 8.cxb5 d5
9.Nf4 gets the most of 6.Ne2.
7.cxd5 Nh5!?

XIIIIIIIIY
9rsnlwqkvl-tr0
9zpp+-+p+p0
9-+-zp-+p+0
9+-zpP+-+n0
9-+-+P+-+0
9+-+-vLP+-0
9PzP-+N+PzP0
9tRN+QmKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

An Ivanchuks brainchild, obviously aimed against Bg5. The possibility for this move made me recommend 6.Bg5 not because 7...Nh5
is that dangerous, but to save you
96

some studying of additional variations. From h5, the knight supports


the advance ...f7-f5-f4. This would
be a great positional achievement
for Black which we cannot afford
to allow. Our standard plan with
Ng1-e2-c3 must go to the trash can.
Instead, well take the provocation
and launch a pawn storm against
Blacks king.
7...b5 is a strategic mistake.
After 8.Ng3 a6 9.a4 b4 (9...bxa4
10.Qxa4+ Bd7 11.Qb3 Qc7 12.Bd2
Bg7 13.Ba5) 10.Nd2, Blacks
queenside will be totally paralysed.
That would leave Whites pawn majority on the other flank undisputed. (Note that 10.a5 before Black
has played ...Nbd7 is slightly inaccurate in view of the manoeuvre
Bc8-d7-b5 although White still gets
some edge: 10...h5 11.Be2 h4 12.Nf1
Bd7 13.Nbd2 Bb5 14.Nc4 Bxc4
15.Bxc4 Nbd7 16.Ne3) 10...Nbd7
(10...a5 11.Bb5+) 11.a5, intending to
meet 11...Ne5 by 12.f4.
8.Be3
In the source Game 14 GiriIvanchuk, blindfold, Beijing 2012,
White prevented ...Qh4+ by 8.g3?!,
but after 8...Bg7 9.Nbc3 0-0 10.Be3
Nd7 11.g4 it turned out that he has
lost a clear tempo. The game is nevertheless very interesting as it is a
model of the plans of both sides.
8...Bg7
8...f5 is premature as White can
castle long and play for a direct

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 c5 4.d5


attack after 9.exf5 gxf5 10.Nbc3
Bg7 11.Qd2 0-0 12.0-0-0!?, for example:
12...a6 13.Ng3;
12...b5 13.Ng3 (13.Nxb5) 13...
Nxg3 14.hxg3 b4 15.Ne2 b3 16.axb3
Na6 17.Bh6 Rf7 18.Bxg7 Rxg7
19.Re1 Nb4 20.Nf4 Qa5 21.Kd1.
Whites king can always run away
to the other flank while Black would
not be able to set up co-ordination
between his pieces.
9.Nbc3 0-0
Black must complete development or he might face:
9...a6?! 10.g4 Nf6 11.e5!? dxe5
12.Ng3. This pawn structure is usually difficult for Black. His extra
pawn on e5 only deprives him of
any counterplay. At the same time,
White has full control over the centre and a tremendous pawn on d5.
The following variation illustrates
that White has lasting pressure
with simple natural moves:
12...h5 (or Black risks to be run
over on the kingside) 13.g5 Nfd7
14.Nge4 (14.Qd2 0-0 15.0-0-0 b5)
14...0-0 15.Qd2 b5 16.Be2 c4 17.0-0
Nb6 (17...f5 18.gxf6 Nxf6 19.a4)
18.b4 cxb3 19.axb3 N8d7 20.Rfd1
f5 21.gxf6 Nxf6 22.Nxf6+ Bxf6
23.Bd3 Ra7 24.Kh1 Rg7 25.Be4.
9...Nd7 deprives the other
knight of its natural retreat square:
10.g4! (10.Ng3 Nxg3 11.hxg3 h5
12.Be2 Ne5 13.g4 hxg4 14.Rxh8+
Bxh8 15.f4 Nd7 16.Bxg4 was unclear in Parligras-Kadric, Skopje
2013.) 10...Nhf6 11.g5

11.Ng3 h5 12.g5 h4! 13.gxf6 Qxf6


14.e5 Qxe5 15.Nge4 f5 16.Rg1 fxe4
17.Rxg6 0-0 18.Nxe4 Qxb2 19.Bh6
Rf7 is a total mess.
11...Nh5 12.Ng3 Nxg3 13.hxg3
Qe7 14.Qd2 a6 15.f4

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+l+k+-tr0
9+p+nwqpvlp0
9p+-zp-+p+0
9+-zpP+-zP-0
9-+-+PzP-+0
9+-sN-vL-zP-0
9PzP-wQ-+-+0
9tR-+-mKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

Whites pawns rule over the


board. For example: 15...0-0 (15...
b5 16.e5 dxe5 17.d6) 16.0-0-0 Re8
17.Bd3 b5 18.Rde1 Nf8 19.f5 Be5
20.Bf4.
10.g4 Nf6 11.Qd2
12.Ng3 Ne8 13.Be2

Nbd7

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+lwqntrk+0
9zpp+n+pvlp0
9-+-zp-+p+0
9+-zpP+-+-0
9-+-+P+P+0
9+-sN-vLPsN-0
9PzP-wQL+-zP0
9tR-+-mK-+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

Whites play on the kingside is


crystal clear and straightforward
while Black is far from generating
any threat on the opposite wing.
The game may continue with 13...
97

Part 3
Nc7 14.a4 b6 [14...a6 15.Bh6 (or
the thematic 15.f4!? Rb8 16.e5
dxe5 17.f5) 15...Qe7 16.Bxg7 Kxg7
17.h4; 14...Ne5 15.h3 Re8 (15...
c4 16.0-0 b6 17.Kg2) 16.f4] 15.h4
Ba6 16.Nb5.
B2. 5...Bg7 6.Ne2 0-0
Black does not get benefits from
delaying castling. The game LeroyConquest, Hastings 2008, went 6...
Nbd7 7.Nec3 a6 8.a4 Qa5 9.Na3
h5 10.Be2 h4 11.0-0 Nh5 12.Nc2
f5 13.exf5 gxf5 14.f4 Ndf6 when
15.Bd2 Qc7 16.a5 or 16.Ne3 is
quite good for White.

XIIIIIIIIY
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9-+-zp-snp+0
9+-zpP+-+-0
9-+P+P+-+0
9+-+-+P+-0
9PzP-+N+PzP0
9tRNvLQmKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy
7.Nec3!?

This move is less explored,


but more principled than 7.Nbc3.
Anand put his faith in it in the
world title match against Gelfand (and won!). Indeed, it is very
tempting to find a good place for
the most unfortunate white piece
in the Smish. On the other hand,
now the queens knight becomes a
problem child no matter whether
98

it goes to d2 (the reserved place


for the queen) or a3 where it has
only restrictive functions. Another
drawback is the weakening of the
kingside.
Now Ill consider 3 different approaches of Black: an immediate attack on the kingside with ...f5: B21.
7...Nh5; the standard undermining
of the centre with B22. 7...e6 and finally, the plan with B23. 7...Na6-c7.
B21. 7...Nh5 8.Bg5!
a) 8.g4 is tempting, but risky because White lacks piece support for
his advanced pawns. After 8...Nf6
he probably should opt for a basically defensive move like:
9.Be2!? since 9.h4 is dubious:
9...h5 (9...e6 10.h5 a6 11.a4 exd5
12.cxd5 Nbd7 13.Be2 Ne5 14.Be3
Rb8 15.Na3 Qe7 16.Kf2 Re8 17.h6
Bh8 18.g5 was unclear in Ivanisevic-Aliyev, Wheeling 2012. Black
should have retreated: 18...Nh5
when 19.f4 Ng4+! 20.Bxg4 Bxc3
21.bxc3 Qxe4 gives him decent
compensation.) 10.Be2 (or 10.g5
Ne8) 10...e6 11.g5 Ne8 12.Be3 Nc7
13.a4 exd5 14.cxd5 Nd7 15.f4

XIIIIIIIIY
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9P+-+PzP-zP0
9+-sN-vL-+-0
9-zP-+L+-+0
9tRN+QmK-+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 c5 4.d5


15...f5!. Black can even sacrifice
the exchange on f5 in the event of
16.exf5 Rxf5, leaving White with a
bunch of useless pieces.
9...e6 (9...h5 10.h3!?) 10.Be3 a6
11.a4 Ne8 12.h4 f5. Black takes over
the initiative.
b) 8.Be3 f5 would be similar to
the line 8.Bg5 h6 9.Be3, only Black
has not weakened the square g6.

XIIIIIIIIY
9rsnlwq-trk+0
9zpp+-zppvlp0
9-+-zp-+p+0
9+-zpP+-vLn0
9-+P+P+-+0
9+-sN-+P+-0
9PzP-+-+PzP0
9tRN+QmKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy
8...h6

Gelfand played in the stem


game 8...Bf6 9.Bxf6 exf6?! and after 10.Qd2 f5 11.exf5 Bxf5 12.g4!
Re8?!+ 13.Kd1!, it turned out that
Whites king is safer than its black
counterpart. The game and the
commentaries were very interesting, but it is of no theoretical interest since 9...Nxf6 would have preserved a more flexible pawn structure. Besides, I do not believe that
Gelfands eighth move will attract
many followers simply because the
natural retort 9.Be3!? would leave
Black rather unco-ordinated and
without a clear plan. Anand sug-

gested 8...h6 so I have spent a lot of


time to analyse it.
9.Be3 f5 10.exf5 gxf5

XIIIIIIIIY
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9zpp+-zp-vl-0
9-+-zp-+-zp0
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9-+P+-+-+0
9+-sN-vLP+-0
9PzP-+-+PzP0
9tRN+QmKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

A critical position. At a cursory


glance it looks clearly in Whites favour. Engines also like it. However,
they cannot assess correctly the fact
that White can easily find himself
without any active plan. Lets investigate the most natural development:
11.Qd2 f4 12.Bf2 Nd7 13.g4
Ne5 14.Be2 Nf6. It is obvious that
Whites set-up is wrong he must
waste a tempo on 15.Qc2 a6 16.Nd2
b5 and the initiative is entirely in
Blacks possession.
13.Ne4 Ne5 14.Be2 Bf5 15.Nbc3
would solve the development problem of the white knight, but 15...
Qe8 heading to g6 offers Black an
easy game.
In this line, White might never
be able to push g4 and Blacks bishop feels fine on f5 anyway. So I tried
to restrict it by early g4:
11.Be2 f4 12.Bf2 Nd7 13.g4 Nhf6
99

Part 3
14.Nd2 (14.Rg1 a6 15.Nd2 b5) 14...
Ne5 15.Qc2 a6 16.0-0-0 (16.Rg1
Qe8 17.h4 h5 18.gxh5 Qxh5) 16...
b5 17.Rhg1 Qe8!

XIIIIIIIIY
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9+-+-zp-vl-0
9p+-zp-sn-zp0
9+pzpPsn-+-0
9-+P+-zpP+0
9+-sN-+P+-0
9PzPQsNLvL-zP0
9+-mKR+-tR-0
xiiiiiiiiy

The queen threatens to go to g6


so 18.g5 hxg5 19.Rxg5 looks indispensable, but then 19...Nh7 20.Rgg1
Qh5 questions Whites future plan.
In most variations he quickly runs
short of useful moves and lacks any
target. If White inserts h4 at an earlier stage, Black can even answer
...h5!. He has other resources, too,
as ...e6.
Eventually, I understood that
White needs a completely different approach. He needs to discard
any ideas with g4 (until he fixes the
queenside!) and focus on the left
wing. Naturally, we do not need the
bishop on e2 for this scenario so
we can activate it on the important
diagonal b1-h7 (and deprive the enemy queen of g6!).
11.Bd3! f4 12.Bf2 Nd7 13.Bg6!
Nhf6 14.Qe2 Ne5 15.Bc2 a6
16.a4!
This move not only restricts
...b5, but it also enables a4-a5 with
an imminent b2-b4.
100

XIIIIIIIIY
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9p+-zp-sn-zp0
9+-zpPsn-+-0
9P+P+-zp-+0
9+-sN-+P+-0
9-zPL+QvLPzP0
9tRN+-mK-+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

16...Qe8 17.Nd2 Qh5 18.0-0

a5
Aimed against 19.a5. Black
hopes that his blockade on the e5
will save him from trouble, but,
slowly, White should be able to invade the enemy camp through the
e-file. 18...b6 does not change significantly Whites play. Here is an
example how we can redeploy our
pieces to target the critical black
outpost: 19.Kh1 Bf5 20.Bxf5 Qxf5
21.Nde4 Nxe4 22.Nxe4 a5 23.Be1
Kh8 24.Bc3 Rf7 25.Nf2

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+-+-+-mk0
9+-+-zprvl-0
9-zp-zp-+-zp0
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9+-vL-+P+-0
9-zP-+QsNPzP0
9tR-+-+R+K0
xiiiiiiiiy
Now Black should reckon with
Ng4, Nd3 and even Bxe5, followed
by Nd3. His proud f4-pawn would
be a serious weakness in an endgame. The b6-pawn is also very

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 c5 4.d5


sensitive. For example: 25...Rg8
26.Rae1 Qg6 27.Qe4 Qh5 28.Nd3.
19.Ra3 Bd7 20.Rb3 Rab8
21.Kh1 b6 22.Rg1
At last White returns to the plan
with g4 (g3) which was possible,
but not best, ten moves ago. He is
aiming to shift his bishop to c3 or
open the g-file at an opportunity,
e.g. 22...Nh7 23.Be1 Kh8 24.Ra3
Bf6 25.Nce4 Bh4 26.g3.
B22. 7...e6 8.Bg5!
If Black has already committed
himself with ...c5, we should always
consider the option of developing
our bishop to g5!
Black did not play ...Nh5 on the
previous move, but that does not
mean he discarded this challenging
plan altogether. 8.Be2 would be
met by 8...Nh5! when 9.g4? Qh4+
10.Kd2 Nf4 was grim, KotanjianNalbandian, Yerevan 2007.
8.Be3 Nh5 9.g4 Nf6 is unclear. I
discussed this sharp position in line
B1 see 8.g4. If White tries 9.Qd2,
then Black has 9...f5 and I do not
see a clear plan for White. 10.Bg5
Bf6 11.Bxf6 Nxf6

XIIIIIIIIY
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9tRN+-mKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

12.exf5 exf5 13.Be2 Nbd7 14.Na3


Ne5 15.f4 Nf7.
The bottom line is that if Black
achieves ...Nh5 and ...f5 without
any concessions, he would obtain
an easy game. Note that the above
is true if Black had not exchanged
earlier on d5 and kept the option of
taking on f5 by the e6-pawn.
8...h6
I do not believe that Black can
avoid this move. Naturally, he can
try some passive set-up like 8...
exd5 9.cxd5 a6 10.a4 Nbd7 11.Be2
Qc7 12.Na3 Re8 13.0-0 Ne5, but
White
has the upper hand, e.g.
14.f4 Ned7 15.Qc2.
9.Be3

XIIIIIIIIY
9rsnlwq-trk+0
9zpp+-+pvl-0
9-+-zppsnpzp0
9+-zpP+-+-0
9-+P+P+-+0
9+-sN-vLP+-0
9PzP-+-+PzP0
9tRN+QmKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

Black should now make a critical choice. He can opt for the more
passive plan with ...Na6, or take a
more challenging approach with...
f5.
9...Nh5
101

Part 3
9...Ne8 10.Be2 exd5 11.cxd5 f5
12.exf5 Bxf5 13.Qd2 looks passive
for Black who has constantly to
worry about possible g4:

XIIIIIIIIY
9rsn-wqntrk+0
9zpp+-+-vl-0
9-+-zp-+pzp0
9+-zpP+l+-0
9-+-+-+-+0
9+-sN-vLP+-0
9PzP-wQL+PzP0
9tRN+-mK-+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

13...Nc7 14.Na3 a6 15.g4 Bd7


16.0-0 b5 17.Nc2 Kh7 18.Bf4 Be8
19.Rae1 with active pieces.
10.Qd2 Kh7
A sad necessity for Black. He
practically resigns the opening
battle, but the principled 10...f5
11.Bxh6! (11.dxe6?! f4 12.Bf2 Bxe6)
11...Qh4+ 12.Kd1! would leave him
not only a pawn down, but , more
importantly, with a weak castling
position! Indeed, Whites king often feels fine on the queenside in
this Smish-Benoni hybrid (remember the game Anand-Gelfand
where we witnessed a similar concrete approach!). White is threatening with Bg5 so: 12...Ng3 13.Bxg7
Kxg7 14.Qe1 Rh8 15.hxg3 Qxh1
16.Nb5 fxe4 17.Nd2 exf3 18.gxf3
Na6 19.Nxd6. Blacks kingside is
in ruins.
11.g4! (11.Be2 f5) 11...Nf6
12.Be2 a6 13.a4 exd5 14.cxd5
Nbd7 15.Na3 Ne5 16.h3
102

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+lwq-tr-+0
9+p+-+pvlk0
9p+-zp-snpzp0
9+-zpPsn-+-0
9P+-+P+P+0
9sN-sN-vLP+P0
9-zP-wQL+-+0
9tR-+-mK-+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

White is in command all over


the board. Black will never be able
to do anything on the queenside
while on the other wing clouds are
slowly, but implacably gathering
over Blacks king. The game may
conti
nue with 16...Re8 17.Kf1 b6
18.Kg2 Ra7 19.f4 Ned7 20.Bf3.
B23. 7...Na6 8.Be2 Nc7
8...Nh5 does not fit in with
Blacks previous move. White
should probably meet it by the thematic 9.Bg5 as in the other lines.
A fresh independent variation is
9.Be3 e6 (planning ...f5) 10.g4 Bd4
11.Bxd4 cxd4 12.gxh5 dxc3 13.Nxc3
Qh4+ 14.Kd2 Qxh5 15.h4 Qe5
16.Qg1 Bd7 17.h5. White has kept
his strong centre while his king is
ready to accomplish an artificial
castling by Rc1, Kd2-c2-b1.
9.Be3
9.Bg5 is also possible, but with
a black knight on c7, it is better to
prepare for queenside play. Our

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 c5 4.d5


bishop will be more useful on e3 to
keep an eye on c5 and support plans
with b2-b4 or e4-e5.

XIIIIIIIIY
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9tRN+QmK-+R0
xiiiiiiiiy
9...a6

9...e6 mixes up two plans, but


it is a natural move, of course,
provided that Black does not rush
to take on d5 (which would offer
our queens knight a dream stand
on c4). 10.a4 (Otherwise Black
has ...b5 10.0-0 exd5 11.cxd5 b5
12.Nxb5 Nxb5 13.Bxb5 Rb8 14.Nc3
a6 15.Bc6 Rxb2=) 10...Nfe8
Aiming for ...f5 and preserving
the option to recapture on f5 by the epawn. 10...exd5 11.cxd5 Nfe8 12.0-0
f5 13.exf5 Bxf5 14.Na3 Na6 15.Qd2
Nb4 16.Kh1 a6

XIIIIIIIIY
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9p+-zp-+p+0
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9Psn-+-+-+0
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9-zP-wQL+PzP0
9tR-+-+R+K0
xiiiiiiiiy

Blacks pieces lack coordination. White seizes the initiative


with 17.g4! Bd7 18.Nc4 b6 (18...
b5 19.Nxd6) 19.Ne4 Qc7 and here
he can bring another hit on d6 by
20.Bf2 Rd8 21.Bh4 Bf6 22.Bg3
Bc8 23.Rac1 a5 (23...Bb7 24.Ncxd6
Nxd6 25.Qxb4) 24.Rce1 with total
domination.
11.Qd2 f5 12.exf5! exf5 13.Na3
Na6 14.Nc2 Be5 15.Bg5 Qa5 16.0-0

XIIIIIIIIY
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9-zPNwQL+PzP0
9tR-+-+RmK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

Whites space advantage makes


his chances slightly preferable. He
should aim to open the kingside.
Here are some illustrative variations:
16...f4 17.g4 (17.g3!?) 17...fxg3
18.hxg3 Bh3 19.Rfc1 Bxg3 (19...Nf6
20.Kh2 Bf5 21.Re1 Nb4 22.Nxb4
Qxb4 23.Kg2 Rf7 24.g4) 20.f4 Ng7
21.Qd3 Nf5 22.Ne4 h6 23.Bxh6
Nxh6 24.Qxg3 Bf5 25.Nxd6 Rf6
26.Nxf5 Nxf5 27.Qg2;
16...Bd7 17.Bd3 Nb4 18.Nxb4
Qxb4 19.g3 Nf6 20.Kg2 a6 21.a5
b5 22.axb6 Qxb6 23.Rfe1 Rab8
24.Re2 Rfe8 25.Rae1 Nh5 26.Nd1 a5
27.Qc2 Qb3 28.Qxb3 Rxb3 29.Bc2
Rbb8 30.b3.
10.a4 Rb8 11.0-0 Bd7 12.Na3
103

Part 3
Black has not any other idea but
to start chipping at Whites centre
with ...e6 and ...f5. However, he
should defend first the d6-pawn.
12...Nfe8 13.Qd2 e6

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xiiiiiiiiy
14.a5

We have a space advantage which


allows us to quickly transfer pieces
to zones of conflict. Thus we can kill
any counterplay with ...b5 and turn
our attention to the centre.
On the other hand, all our pieces
are targeted on the left wing so in
general we should be happy to open
the b-file. The plan with b2-b4 is
inherent to Whites set-up. You
should be familiar with it as it is often Whites best approach against
Blacks waiting tactics. In the current position, it is not too effective
though: 14.Rab1!? exd5 15.cxd5 b5
(15...f5?! 16.a5 b5 17.axb6 Rxb6

104

18.Nc4 Rb7 19.e5) 16.b4 f5! (16...


cxb4 17.Rxb4 a5 18.Rxb5!? Nxb5
19.Naxb5 is easier to play as White)
17.axb5 axb5 18.Nc2. Whites pieces are compact in the centre, but
not too active.
14...b5 15.axb6 Rxb6
This position has occurred in
Laznicka-Polzin, Germany 2007
which went 16.Rfb1 Qb8 17.Ra2
Rb4 when 18.dxe6 would still be in
Whites favour. White should have
focused, however, on undermining
the base of the c5-pawn by:
16.f4!

XIIIIIIIIY
9-+-wqntrk+0
9+-snl+pvlp0
9ptr-zpp+p+0
9+-zpP+-+-0
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9-zP-wQL+PzP0
9tR-+-+RmK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

Now 16...e5? 17.f5 would be


horrible for Black but after 16...
Qe7 (16...Qb8 17.Ra2) 17.e5 dxe5
18.Ne4 Nd6 19.Nxd6 Qxd6 (19...
Rxd6 20.Bxc5 exd5 21.Qb4)
20.Qa5 White wins material.

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 c5 4.d5

Part 3

Complete Games
13. W.Arencibia-Ivanovic
Manila 1990
This game is a good example of
play in a symmetric pawn structure
where Black has not any weaknesses on the kingside.
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 c5 4.d5
Bg7 5.e4 d6 6.Ne2 e6 7.Nec3
Na6 8.Be2 Nc7 9.0-0 0-0 10.Bg5

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+lwq-trk+0
9zppsn-+pvlp0
9-+-zppsnp+0
9+-zpP+-vL-0
9-+P+P+-+0
9+-sN-+P+-0
9PzP-+L+PzP0
9tRN+Q+RmK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

The position of Blacks knight


on c7 does not ensure control over
c5 and e5. That may be exploited
by the break-through e4-e5, but for
this aim Whites bishop should be
on e3.
10...Rb8 11.Qd2?!

11...exd5 12.exd5 Re8


A computer may assess this
structure as slightly better for
White due to his spatial advantage,
but over the board humans are usually guided by plans. The problem
here is that White has no active
plan at all! He can only manoeuvre
with his pieces, but he lacks targets. Any exchange favours Black. A
heavy pieces endgame may even be
pleasant for Black because the d6pawn is more easy to protect than
c4 and a2.
13.Na3 a6 14.Rab1 Bf5
15.Rbe1 Bd7 16.Nc2 b5 17.b3
bxc4 18.bxc4

XIIIIIIIIY
9-tr-wqr+k+0
9+-snl+pvlp0
9p+-zp-snp+0
9+-zpP+-vL-0
9-+P+-+-+0
9+-sN-+P+-0
9P+NwQL+PzP0
9+-+-tRRmK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

18...Qe7
More consistent is 11.a4, but apparently White had set already his
mind about taking on d5 by the epawn.

18...Na8!= heading for b6-a4 fitted better in Blacks general strate


gy for exchanges. The text leaves
105

Part 3
the queenside a bit vulnerable to
invasion from a5.
19.Bd3 Qf8 20.Rb1 Rxb1
21.Nxb1 Rb8 22.Qa5 Qc8
23.Nd2 Nfe8 24.Re1 Bf5 25.Ne4
Rb2 26.Bc1 Rb7 27.Bf4 Qd7

XIIIIIIIIY
9-+-+n+k+0
9+rsnq+pvlp0
9p+-zp-+p+0
9wQ-zpP+l+-0
9-+P+NvL-+0
9+-+L+P+-0
9P+N+-+PzP0
9+-+-tR-mK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

White has reached the maximum for this structure, but it is still
unclear how he could make progress from here. In such situations,
where you have not a clear plan,
you should find a way to manoeuvre without spoiling your position.
It is good to define some short-term
goals, like making more room for the
king with g3, Kg2, exchanging the
light-squared bishops with Nd3-f2,
improving the placement of the c2knight with Nc2-e3-f1-d2 etc. The
most important thing, however, is
to understand which piece would be
favourable to exchange and which
one to keep. In the diagram position, White obviously should guard
his dark-squared bishop for at least
two reasons it attacks one of the
two Blacks weaknesses, and it also
controls the penetration square b2.
The next moves, however, show
that Arencibia did not understand
the importance of that piece.
106

28.Kh1 Bxe4 29.Bxe4 Qd8


30.Qa4?! Bc3 31.Rf1 Rb6 32.Bd3
Qe7 33.Bg3 Ng7 34.Be1?! Bxe1
35.Rxe1 Qd8 36.Ne3 h5 37.Qa5
Nce8 38.Nd1 Kh7 39.Qc3 Nf6
40.Nf2 Nd7
The position is about equal, but
it is already Black who has a clear
strategic goal he would like to
trade queens and invade the second
rank with his rook. White gradually
gives up under the pressure and
loses the endgame.
41.f4 Kg8 42.g3 Qf6 43.Qxf6
Nxf6 44.Re2 Nf5 45.Kg2 Nd4
46.Rd2 Kf8 47.Nd1 Rb4 48.h3
Nd7 49.Kf2 Ke7 50.g4 hxg4
51.hxg4 g5 52.fxg5 Ne5 53.Bf1
Nxg4+ 54.Kg3 Ne5 55.Ne3 Rb1
56.Rf2 a5 57.Ng4 Nxg4 58.Kxg4
a4 59.Bd3 Rg1+ 60.Kf4 a3
61.Rh2 Rd1 62.Ke3 Ra1 63.Rf2
(63.Rh7=) 63...Rh1 64.Bf1 Rh4
65.Rg2 Rh3+ 66.Ke4 Rh1 67.Rf2
Rh4+ 68.Kd3 Rh5 69.Rg2 Kf8
70.Ke3 Kg7 71.Bd3 Rh3+ 72.Ke4
Nf3
0-1
14. Giri-Ivanchuk
blindfold, Beijing 2012
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 c5 4.d5
e6 5.e4 exd5 6.cxd5 d6 7.Ne2
Nh5
This move prevents the unpleasant pin from g5 and prepares
...f7-f5-f4. White can avoid it by
7.Bg5. After the text, 8.Be3 is the

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 c5 4.d5


most consistent retort. I completely
fail to understand the reason behind Giris eighth move. It practically presents the opponent with a
tempo.

XIIIIIIIIY
9rsnlwqkvl-tr0
9zpp+-+p+p0
9-+-zp-+p+0
9+-zpP+-+n0
9-+-+P+-+0
9+-+-+P+-0
9PzP-+N+PzP0
9tRNvLQmKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

8.g3?! Bg7 9.Nbc3 0-0 10.Be3


Nd7 11.g4 Nhf6 12.Ng3 a6 13.a4
Rb8 14.Be2 Ne8 15.Qd2 Nc7
16.h4 b5

XIIIIIIIIY
9-trlwq-trk+0
9+-snn+pvlp0
9p+-zp-+p+0
9+pzpP+-+-0
9P+-+P+PzP0
9+-sN-vLPsN-0
9-zP-wQL+-+0
9tR-+-mK-+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

17.axb5

Naturally, White wants to keep


the b-file closed, but he neglects
the tempi, time and again in this
game. It is better to play immediately 17.h5. Then 17...bxa4 18.Bg5
Qe8 (18...f6 19.Bf4) 19.Rxa4 Nb5
20.Nxb5 axb5 21.Ra7 would be a
better version of the game course.
17...Nxb5 18.Nxb5
19.h5 Ne5 20.Bg5

axb5

XIIIIIIIIY
9-trlwq-trk+0
9+-+-+pvlp0
9-+-zp-+p+0
9+pzpPsn-vLP0
9-+-+P+P+0
9+-+-+PsN-0
9-zP-wQL+-+0
9tR-+-mK-+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

20...f6

In principle, Black should be


happy to trade his bishop and
build up a dark-squared blockade.
However, 20...Bf6 21.Bxf6 Qxf6
22.Qh6 Qe7 (threatening with 22...
g5) 23.g5! c4 24.f4 Ng4 25.Bxg4
Bxg4 26.Kf2 looks like a close call
for Black. The threat of e5, followed
up by Ne4, forces 26...Qc7 27.Rae1
and Black may be able to save the
mate by 27...Qa5 28.hxg6 Qa7+
29.Kg2 fxg6, but 30.Ref1 and then
f4-f5 would be clearly in Whites favour. Ivanchuk correctly decides to
entrench himself.
21.Bf4 Bd7 22.hxg6 hxg6
23.Ra7 Ra8 24.Rxa8 Qxa8
25.Bh6 Rf7 26.Bxg7 Rxg7 27.g5
Qd8 28.f4 Nf7

XIIIIIIIIY
9-+-wq-+k+0
9+-+l+ntr-0
9-+-zp-zpp+0
9+pzpP+-zP-0
9-+-+PzP-+0
9+-+-+-sN-0
9-zP-wQL+-+0
9+-+-mK-+R0
xiiiiiiiiy
107

Part 3
Black is only a move away from
equality he is hoping for ...Rh7,
but White throws more oil into the
fire with:

instance, 34...Ne5 35.Qh4 and the


knight must beat in retreat.
31.Nf6+ Qxf6 32.gxf6 Rxh1+
33.Kf2 exf4??

29.e5! fxe5 30.Ne4 Rh7!


30...exf4 31.Nf6+ Kf8 32.Qxf4
Bf5 33.Kf2 c4 34.Ra1 would have
been difficult to hold. The rook on
g7 is not only out of play, but it is
also hampering its own king. For

108

Alas, Ivanchuk was literally


blindfold and he blunders the point.
33...Rh4! was a fortress.
34.Qa5! Rh2+ 35.Ke1 Rh8
36.Qc7 Bf5 37.Qe7
1-0

3.f3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nc3 0-0 6.Be3 c5

Part 4

Kings Indian with ...c5


1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nc3 0-0 6.Be3 c5

XIIIIIIIIY
9rsnlwq-trk+0
9zpp+-zppvlp0
9-+-zp-snp+0
9+-zp-+-+-0
9-+PzPP+-+0
9+-sN-vLP+-0
9PzP-+-+PzP0
9tR-+QmKLsNR0
xiiiiiiiiy

109

Part 4

Part 4

Main Ideas
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 Bg7 4.e4
d6 5.Nc3 0-0 6.Be3 c5

XIIIIIIIIY
9rsnlwq-trk+0
9zpp+-zppvlp0
9-+-zp-snp+0
9+-zp-+-+-0
9-+PzPP+-+0
9+-sN-vLP+-0
9PzP-+-+PzP0
9tR-+QmKLsNR0
xiiiiiiiiy

This is the forth most popular


answer according to my database.
However, it has been Blacks weapon of choice lately. He has developed the aggressive plan with ...h5h4 which effectively neutralised the
old main line 7.d5. I see two possible ways of opposing this idea.
The one is to delay Nbc3 in favour
of Ne2, Be3, Qd2, then push d5 and
compete development by Ne2-c3 to
reach positions from the previous
chapter. I discuss it in Part 9. The
other one is to provoke 7...Nc6 with
the hope of gaining a tempo later
with f4.
7.Nge2 Nc6
Most alternatives lead to different versions of the Marczy Bind
where the fianchettoed bishop on
g7 is not the best set-up for Black
110

because his main active plan with


...e6 and ...d5 becomes problematic. White exploits the weakness of
d5 and waits for an opportunity to
pop a knight there. Then he takes
by the e-pawn and enjoys a pull on
the kingside.
a) 7...cxd4 8.Nxd4 Nc6 9.Qd2
Bd7 10.Be2 Nxd4 11.Bxd4 Bc6
12.0-0 a5

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+-wq-trk+0
9+p+-zppvlp0
9-+lzp-snp+0
9zp-+-+-+-0
9-+PvLP+-+0
9+-sN-+P+-0
9PzP-wQL+PzP0
9tR-+-+RmK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

Now simplest is to trade darksquared bishops and push f4:


13.Kh1 Nd7 14.Bxg7 Kxg7 15.f4
Qb6 16.Rae1 Rae8 17.Rf3

XIIIIIIIIY
9-+-+rtr-+0
9+p+nzppmkp0
9-wqlzp-+p+0
9zp-+-+-+-0
9-+P+PzP-+0
9+-sN-+R+-0
9PzP-wQL+PzP0
9+-+-tR-+K0
xiiiiiiiiy

3.f3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nc3 0-0 6.Be3 c5


See Game 21 Moiseenko-Guseinov, Ningbo 2011.

see my Game 23 Svetushkin-Dochev, Kirykos 2004.

b) 7...Qa5 8.Nc1 cxd4 9.Nb3

10.Nc1 cxd4 11.Bxd4 Bb7 12.Be2


Rc8 13.0-0 Qc7 14.Nb3 e6
We see a typical hedgehog with
perhaps 2 extra tempi for White.
Postny-Czarnota, Germany 2010,
is a model example. White plays
b4, Nb3 with a4-a5 in mind. If
Black attempts Fischers manoeuver
Be7-d8-c7, White attacks the d6pawn by Bf4 and takes on e5 (note
that this idea is not effective until
the black bishop remains on the f8a3 diagonal).
15.Be3 Ne8 16.Rc1 Nc5 17.Nd4
Nf6 18.b4 Ncd7 19.Nb3 Rfe8
20.Rfd1 Bf8 21.a3 Qb8 22.Bf1 Be7
23.Kh1 Bd8

XIIIIIIIIY
9rsnl+-trk+0
9zpp+-zppvlp0
9-+-zp-snp+0
9wq-+-+-+-0
9-+PzpP+-+0
9+NsN-vLP+-0
9PzP-+-+PzP0
9tR-+QmKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

9...Qe5!?

See the annotated Game 20


Dreev-Laksana, Jakarta 2011 for
9...Qc7.
10.Bxd4 Qf4 11.g3 Qg5 12.Qe2
Nc6 13.Be3 Qh5 14.Bg2

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+l+-trk+0
9zpp+-zppvlp0
9-+nzp-snp+0
9+-+-+-+q0
9-+P+P+-+0
9+NsN-vLPzP-0
9PzP-+Q+LzP0
9tR-+-mK-+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

The stem game Moiseenko-Morozevich, Saratov 2011, went 14...


Nd7 15.Nd5! e6 when the computer
finds a big advantage after 16.Nc7!!
Rb8 17.Rd1. Shtohl re
com
mends
14...Bh3 15.0-0 Bxg2 16.Kxg2, but
Whites game is better.
c) 7...Nbd7 8.Qd2 a6 9.Rd1 b6
The symmetric pawn structure
after 9...Qc7 10.dxc5 dxc5 11.Nf4 e6
12.Nd3 is very pleasant for White,

XIIIIIIIIY
9-wqrvlr+k+0
9+l+n+p+p0
9pzp-zppsnp+0
9+-+-+-+-0
9-zPP+P+-+0
9zPNsN-vLP+-0
9-+-wQ-+PzP0
9+-tRR+L+K0
xiiiiiiiiy

24.Bf4!
26.c5.

Ne5

25.Bxe5!

dxe5

9.Ng3

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+lwq-trk+0
9zpp+-zppvlp0
9-+-zp-snp+0
9+-zpPsn-+-0
9-+P+P+-+0
9+-sN-vLPsN-0
9PzP-+-+PzP0
9tR-+QmKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy
111

Part 4
The hottest branch here is 9...h5
while 9...e6 is the older treatment.

18...Nd3 (18...Ng3 19.fxe5)


19.Bxh5 gxh5 20.Qxh5

A. 9...h5 10.Be2 h4 11.Nf1 e6


12.Nd2!

Blacks king has not any pawns


around it. That makes its defence a
difficult task.

Keep out of 12.f4 Nxc4!! 13.Bxc4


b5!! Game 16 Svidler-Grischuk,
FIDE ct. London 2013.

a6

12...exd5 13.cxd5 a6 14.0-0


b5

XIIIIIIIIY
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9p+-zp-snp+0
9+pzpPsn-+-0
9-+-+P+-zp0
9+-sN-vLP+-0
9PzP-sNL+PzP0
9tR-+Q+RmK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

White has accepted ...b5. That


would promise Black a fair game
stayed his h-pawn on h7. On h4, it
is doomed to perish and the whole
Blacks kingside is compromised.
I propose to immobilise the pawn
and eat it by Bg5. The following
move is a novelty:
15.h3!? c4 16.Bg5 Qb6+(16...
Bd7 17.a3!) 17.Kh2 Nh5 18.f4

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+l+-trk+0
9+-+-+pvl-0
9pwq-zp-+p+0
9+p+Psn-vLn0
9-+p+PzP-zp0
9+-sN-+-+P0
9PzP-sNL+PmK0
9tR-+Q+R+-0
xiiiiiiiiy

112

B. 9...e6 10.Be2 exd5 11.cxd5


We follow the same developing
scheme if Black refrains from ...a6.
12.a4 h5
12...Bd7 is a solid and somewhat
passive alternative. I consider seve
ral possible answers in the Step by
Step chapter. Perhaps the following line would be most unpleasant for Black: 13.0-0 b5 14.h3 Rb8
15.f4!? Nc4 16.Bxc4 bxc4 17.Qd2!?

XIIIIIIIIY
9-tr-wq-trk+0
9+-+l+pvlp0
9p+-zp-snp+0
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9P+p+PzP-+0
9+-sN-vL-sNP0
9-zP-wQ-+P+0
9tR-+-+RmK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

17...Rb3 (Bologan)

Or 17...Re8 18.f5! Qe7 19.Rae1


Qe5 20.Qf2 h5 21.Bg5; 17...Ne8
18.f5! Be5 19.Nge2 Qe7 20.Rf2!?
gxf5 21.exf5 Kh8 22.Bf4 Rg8
23.Bxe5+ Qxe5 24.Re1 Bxf5 25.Nf4
Qg7 26.Re7.
18.e5 Ne8 (18...dxe5 19.fxe5)
19.Nge4 (Bologan considers only
19.Rae1)

3.f3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nc3 0-0 6.Be3 c5

XIIIIIIIIY
9-+-wqntrk+0
9+-+l+pvlp0
9p+-zp-+p+0
9+-zpPzP-+-0
9P+p+NzP-+0
9+rsN-vL-+P0
9-zP-wQ-+P+0
9tR-+-+RmK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

19...f5 20.Nxc5! dxc5 21.Bxc5


Rf7 22.Qe2. White has a fantastic
game.
13.0-0 Nh7 14.Qd2 h4 15.Nh1
f5 16.Nf2

XIIIIIIIIY
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9+-zpPsnp+-0
9P+-+P+-zp0
9+-sN-vLP+-0
9-zP-wQLsNPzP0
9tR-+-+RmK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

White has the better game. He


will take on f5, the kings knight
will go to h3, the bishop to f2. Then
White can attack along the g-file
with Kh1, Rg1, g3. See my Game
18 Svetushkin-Pavlidis, Porto Rio
2013.
Important strategic motifs
White often hesitates whether
he should play h3. The answer depends on Blacks plan. If he refrains
from ...h5, as in the event of 12...
Bd7, we have to activate our f-pawn
so we need h3 to control g4. If Black

chooses ...h5-h4, followed up by


...f5, we need the h3-square for our
knight.
Which pieces to change and
which to keep?
White can change one or even
both rooks, but he usually needs
one to open the g- or the b-file.
He can also change a pair of
knights through f4.
Whites main plan in line B is to
open the g-file by Rg1, g3.
Rogozenco-Sharavdorj
Moscow 2011

XIIIIIIIIY
9-+-+-trk+0
9+p+ltr-vln0
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9+-zpP+p+-0
9P+-+-vL-zp0
9+-sN-+P+-0
9-zP-wQL+PzP0
9+-+R+R+K0
xiiiiiiiiy

23.Rg1 Rfe8 24.Bd3 Kh8 25.g3.


Analysis

XIIIIIIIIY
9-+-+r+k+0
9+p+ltr-+n0
9p+-zp-wqnvl0
9+-zpP+p+L0
9P+-+-zP-zp0
9+-sN-+-+N0
9-zP-wQ-vLPzP0
9tR-+-tR-+K0
xiiiiiiiiy

White can win the h4-pawn by


24.Bxg6?!, but it is much better to
113

Part 4
preserve the active long-range pieces with 24.Rg1! Rg7 25.a5, awaiting
the best timing for g3.
Another good plan is to open the
b-file (if Black transfers his pieces
on the kingside).
Dreev-Ramnath Bhuvanesh
Delhi 2010

XIIIIIIIIY
9-tr-+-sn-mk0
9+p+ltr-+-0
9p+-zp-wqnvl0
9zP-zpP+p+L0
9-+-+-zP-zp0
9+-sN-+-+N0
9-zP-wQ-vLPzP0
9+R+-+-tRK0
xiiiiiiiiy

27.b4! Bg7 28.Ne2 and Black loses control of the critical square d4.
Note the rook lift in the following example:
Analysis

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+-+-trk+0
9+p+l+nvln0
9p+-zp-wqp+0
9zP-zpP+p+-0
9-+-+PzP-zp0
9+-sN-vL-+-0
9-zP-wQLsNPzP0
9tR-+-+RmK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

19.Ra3! (intending Rb1, b4) 19...


fxe4 20.Rb3 Rab8 21.Nfxe4 Qe7
22.Bf3 gives White the upper
hand.

114

It is always a good idea to fix the


pawn structure on the queenside by
a5. Otherwise ...b5 can give Black
an initiative which can compensate
even a pawn:
Vyzmanavin-Kiril Georgiev
Elenite 1993

XIIIIIIIIY
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9+p+l+-+n0
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9P+-+-zP-vL0
9+-sN-+-+N0
9-zP-wQ-+PzP0
9+-+-tR-+K0
xiiiiiiiiy

26...b5 27.axb5 axb5 28.Re7


Rxe7 29.Bxe7 b4 30.Nd1 Nf6!
The following position arises
often in practice under different
move orders.

XIIIIIIIIY
9-tr-wq-trk+0
9+-+l+pvlp0
9p+-zp-snp+0
9+-zpP+-+-0
9P+p+PzP-+0
9+-sN-vL-sNP0
9-zP-+-+P+0
9tR-+Q+RmK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

Do not overestimate 17.e5!


White might be a bit better, but
not winning due to 17...Re8! 18.Qf3
Rxb2! 19.exf6 Qxf6 with significant
counterplay.

3.f3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nc3 0-0 6.Be3 c5

Part 4

Step by Step
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 Bg7 4.e4
d6 5.Nc3 0-0 6.Be3 c5

XIIIIIIIIY
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9-+-zp-snp+0
9+-zp-+-+-0
9-+PzPP+-+0
9+-sN-vLP+-0
9PzP-+-+PzP0
9tR-+QmKLsNR0
xiiiiiiiiy
7.Nge2

We want to provoke 7...Nc6 with


the hope of gaining a tempo later
with f4. 7.d5 is often met in practice.
It leads to the same pawn structure,
but in that line Black may find more
useful moves than ...Nd7-e5. White
is currently in crisis of ideas in this
line.
7...Nc6
a) 7...b6 is not in the spirit of the
position. White can enter a Benoni
pawn structure with:
8.d5 e6 9.Ng3

Vitiugov-Ding Liren, St. Petersburg 2012, saw another approach:


9.Nf4 exd5 10.Nfxd5 Nc6 11.Qd2
Nxd5 12.Nxd5 Be6 13.Bd3 Bxd5
14.cxd5 Nd4 15.0-0 b5 16.Kh1
Qd7 17.Rae1 b4 18.f4 h5 19.f5 Be5
20.Bxd4 Bxd4 21.e5! and White
went on to win.
9...exd5
9...a6 10.a4 exd5 11.cxd5 h5
12.Be2 Nh7 13.0-0 h4 14.Nh1 f5
15.Qd2 Nd7 16.Nf2 is similar to the
main line, but ...b6 is a superfluous move which only weakens the
a6-pawn. Michalik-Saric, Eppingen 2012, went 16...Ndf6 17.exf5
Bxf5 18.Bd3 Qd7 19.Rae1 Bxd3
20.Qxd3.
10.cxd5 Ba6 11.Bxa6 Nxa6 12.0-0
Qd7 13.Qd2 b5 14.Bh6 Ne8 15.Bxg7
Nxg7 16.f4 b4 17.Nd1 f5

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+-+-trk+0
9zp-+q+-snp0
9n+-zp-+p+0
9+-zpP+p+-0
9-zp-+PzP-+0
9+-+-+-sN-0
9PzP-wQ-+PzP0
9tR-+N+RmK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

I have been following the game


115

Part 4
Bu Xiangzhi-Areshchenko, Dagomys 2008. White can obtain a super centre by 18.e5 dxe5 19.fxe5
Rad8 20.Qe2 Nc7 21.d6.
b) 7...Qa5 8.Nc1 cxd4 (8...Nc6
9.Nb3 Qc7 10.d5 Ne5 11.Be2) 9.Nb3

XIIIIIIIIY
9rsnl+-trk+0
9zpp+-zppvlp0
9-+-zp-snp+0
9wq-+-+-+-0
9-+PzpP+-+0
9+NsN-vLP+-0
9PzP-+-+PzP0
9tR-+QmKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

Now 9...Qd8 or 9...Qc7 lead to


a typical Marczy Bind structure.
White aims for f4-f5, with an initiative on the kingside. See the annotated Game 20 Dreev-Laksana,
Jakarta 2011.
Independent variations arise after:
b1) 9...Qe5!?
A Morozevichs brainchild which
aims to provoke g3.
10.Bxd4
10.Qxd4 (hoping for 11.Qd2)
10...Qxd4 11.Nxd4 Nc6 12.0-0-0
Nxd4 13.Bxd4 Be6 14.b3 Nd7
15.Be2 gives White the slightly
better game without any risk. The
text is more principled, of course.
10...Qf4
10...Qg5 11.Qe2 Nc6 12.Be3
Qh4+ 13.g3 Qh5 transposes.

116

11.g3 Qg5 12.Qe2 Nc6 13.Be3


Qh5 14.Bg2

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+l+-trk+0
9zpp+-zppvlp0
9-+nzp-snp+0
9+-+-+-+q0
9-+P+P+-+0
9+NsN-vLPzP-0
9PzP-+Q+LzP0
9tR-+-mK-+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

A critical position for 9...Qe5!?.


The stem game Moiseenko-Morozevich, Saratov 2011, went 14...
Nd7 15.Nd5! e6 when the computer
finds a big advantage after 16.Nc7!!
Rb8 17.Rd1. Shtohl recommends:
14...Bh3 15.0-0 Bxg2 16.Kxg2,
but Whites game is better. He has
a superior centre and tactical tricks
based on the precarious stand of
the black queen on h5.
b2) 9...Qh5 10.Nxd4 Nc6 11.Qd2
Discouraging the check from h4.
11.Be2 Nxd4 12.Bxd4 Qh4+ 13.g3
Qg5 (13...Qh3 only temporary hinders the short castle: 14.Qd2 Be6
15.Nd1 Bd7 16.Nf2 Qe6 17.0-0 Bc6
18.Rfe1, Ganguly-Lukey, Queens
town 2012) 14.Kf2 Be6 15.Rc1 Qa5
16.Kg2 Rfc8 17.b3 a6 18.a4 Nd7
19.Bxg7 Kxg7 20.f4 was pleasant
for White in Caruana-Rodshtein,
Porto Carras 2011, but it is better to
restrict the opponents choice.
11...Nxd4 12.Bxd4 Be6 13.Be2
Qa5 14.b3 Rac8 15.Rd1 Rfe8 16.0-0
Nd7

3.f3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nc3 0-0 6.Be3 c5

XIIIIIIIIY
9-+r+r+k+0
9zpp+nzppvlp0
9-+-zpl+p+0
9wq-+-+-+-0
9-+PvLP+-+0
9+PsN-+P+-0
9P+-wQL+PzP0
9+-+R+RmK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

This position occurred in


Khenkin-Ohme, Germany 2011.
White took over the initiative by
the thematic advance 17.f4 Bxd4+
18.Qxd4 Nf6 19.f5 Bd7 20.fxg6
hxg6 21.Rxf6! exf6 22.Nd5 Re6
when 23.Rf1 would have given him
a sound extra pawn.
c) 7...cxd4 is 10 times less popular than the main line. The arising
Marczy Bind with ...g6 is consi
dered to be pleasant for White.
Practice confirms this assessment
with nearly 63% for the first player.
8.Nxd4 Nc6 9.Qd2 Bd7 10.Be2
Nxd4 11.Bxd4

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+-wq-trk+0
9zpp+lzppvlp0
9-+-zp-snp+0
9+-+-+-+-0
9-+PvLP+-+0
9+-sN-+P+-0
9PzP-wQL+PzP0
9tR-+-mK-+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

11...Bc6

The hedgehog is commonly


connected with the plan of breaking through with ...b5, but this plan
is dubious in the diagram position,

because White can gain space with


b2-b4. See for yourself:
11...a6 12.0-0 Qa5 (12...Rb8
13.Rfd1 b5 14.e5) 13.Rfd1 Rfc8.
Topalov played here 14.Rab1 Be6
15.b4 Qd8 16.c5. The computer
advocates 14.b4!? Qxb4 15.Rab1
Qa5 16.f4 b5 17.e5. Even 14.Bxf6
Bxf6 15.Nd5 Qc5+ 16.Kh1 Be6
17.Nxf6+ exf6 18.Rac1 gives White a
small, but stable edge. It is evident
that Black should prevent b2-b4 so
in practice he chooses a passive, but
solid stand, based on ...a5, ...Nd7.
12.0-0 a5
Blacks set-up works well against
queenside play, but it is rather passive. White should not rush with
an attack on the opposite flank. He
should aim to alter the pawn structure by Nd5 followed up by exd5. In
the event of inaccurate defence, he
can even push e4-e5 to open the dfile.
White has two main approaches:
1. To trade dark-squared bishops and push f4: 13.Kh1 Nd7
14.Bxg7 Kxg7 15.f4 Qb6 16.Rae1
Rae8 17.Rf3

XIIIIIIIIY
9-+-+rtr-+0
9+p+nzppmkp0
9-wqlzp-+p+0
9zp-+-+-+-0
9-+P+PzP-+0
9+-sN-+R+-0
9PzP-wQL+PzP0
9+-+-tR-+K0
xiiiiiiiiy

See Game 21 MoiseenkoGuseinov, Ningbo 2011.


117

Part 4
2. To keep the bishop and play
in the centre: 13.b3 Nd7 14.Be3 Nc5
15.Rab1 Qb6 16.Rfc1 Rfc8 17.Rc2 h5
18.Bf1 Kh7 19.g3 Qd8 20.Bh3, see
Game 22 Navara-Svidler, Prague
2012.
d) 7...Nbd7 8.Qd2 a6 9.Rd1
brings about two pawn structures,
depending on Blacks choice:
d1) A good version of the Marczy Bind. For example: 9...b6 10.Nc1
I prefer to have the white knight
on b3, but 10.Ng3 cxd4 11.Bxd4 e6
12.Be2,
Ponomariov-V.Spasov,
Baile Herculane 2010, is also possible.
10...cxd4 11.Bxd4 Bb7 12.Be2
Rc8 13.0-0 Qc7 14.Nb3 e6 15.Be3
Ne8 16.Rc1 Nc5 17.Nd4 Nf6 18.b4
Ncd7 19.Nb3 Rfe8 20.Rfd1 Bf8
21.a3 Qb8 22.Bf1 Be7 23.Kh1 Bd8

XIIIIIIIIY
9-wqrvlr+k+0
9+l+n+p+p0
9pzp-zppsnp+0
9+-+-+-+-0
9-zPP+P+-+0
9zPNsN-vLP+-0
9-+-wQ-+PzP0
9+-tRR+L+K0
xiiiiiiiiy

In Postny-Czarnota, Germany
2010, White carried on probably
the most fearsome strategic plan
against the hedgehog: 24.Bf4! Ne5
25.Bxe5! dxe5 26.c5.
9...cxd4 10.Nxd4 Qc7 (10...e6
11.Be2 d5 12.cxd5 exd5 13.exd5
Nb6 14.Nb3) 11.Be2 Ne5 12.b3
Nc6 13.0-0 Bd7
118

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+-+-trk+0
9+pwqlzppvlp0
9p+nzp-snp+0
9+-+-+-+-0
9-+PsNP+-+0
9+PsN-vLP+-0
9P+-wQL+PzP0
9+-+R+RmK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

14.Rc1 (Another option is 14.Nc2


Rb8 15.Nd5.) 14...Rac8 15.Rfd1 Rfd8
16.Nd5+, Dreev-Galaszewski, War
saw 2011.
d2) Symmetric pawn structure:
9...Qc7 10.dxc5 dxc5 11.Nf4 e6
12.Nd3, see my Game 23 Svetushkin-Dochev, Kirykos 2004.
Similar is 9...Qa5 10.dxc5
11.Nf4!? e6

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+l+-trk+0
9+p+n+pvlp0
9p+-+psnp+0
9wq-zp-+-+-0
9-+P+PsN-+0
9+-sN-vLP+-0
9PzP-wQ-+PzP0
9+-+RmKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

12.Nd3! b5 13.cxb5 c4 14.b4


cxb3 15.axb3 Ng4 (15...axb5 16.b4)
16.Ne2 Qxd2+ 17.Bxd2 Nge5
18.Nxe5 Nxe5 19.Nc1.
8.d5 Ne5
8...Na5 9.Ng3 a6 is seldom
seen. Perhaps this accounts for the
total lack of established receipts for
White. The latest top level game,
Svidler-Radjabov, London 2013,
featured:

3.f3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nc3 0-0 6.Be3 c5


10.Be2 Nd7 11.Rc1 b5 12.cxb5
axb5 13.Bxb5 Ne5 14.0-0 Nac4
15.Bg5 Bd7 16.Bxd7 Qxd7 17.Qe2.
It would be convenient for me to
recommend Svidlers move 10.Be2,
but the above-mentioned game
does not answer the question how
to meet 10...Bd7. In FedoseevKurnosov, Vladivostok 2012, White
chose to sacrifice the c4-pawn
by 11.0-0 Rb8 12.Qd2 b5 13.Bh6
Nxc4 14.Bxc4 Bxh6 15.Qxh6 bxc4
16.Rf2 e6 17.Rd1 exd5 18.Nxd5
Nxd5 19.Rxd5. White has some
pull, but I think that Black can hold
the endgame after 19...Qe7 20.Qf4
Rb6 21.Rfd2 Rfb8 22.Rxd6 Rxd6
23.Qxd6 Qxd6 24.Rxd6 Be6 25.Rd2
c3 26.bxc3 Rb1+.
Another high-rated player,
Wang Hao, opted for:
10.Qd2 b5 11.Bh6 e6 12.h4
Nxc4 13.Bxc4 to get an edge after
13...bxc4?! 14.Bxg7 Kxg7 15.dxe6
Bxe6 16.0-0-0 Rb8 17.h5 Qb6 when
18.Nf5+ would have been clearly
better for White. Critical is, however, 13...Bxh6 14.Qxh6 bxc4 15.00-0 exd5 16.Nxd5 Ra7.
I would like to propose a solid
and logical set-up:
10.Rc1 Bd7
Or 10...e6 11.b3 exd5 12.cxd5 b5
13.Qd2.
11.Bd3 b5 12.b3 bxc4 13.bxc4
White has good chances on the
kingside while on the other flank
the two weak points c4 and b2 are
easily defended:

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+-wq-trk+0
9+-+lzppvlp0
9p+-zp-snp+0
9sn-zpP+-+-0
9-+P+P+-+0
9+-sNLvLPsN-0
9P+-+-+PzP0
9+-tRQmK-+R0
xiiiiiiiiy
13...Rb8 (13...e6 14.0-0 exd5
15.cxd5) 14.0-0 Rb4 15.Qe2 Qc7
16.Nd1 Rfb8 (16...e6 17.Bd2 Ra4
18.Bc3 Re8 19.Qc2 Rb8 20.f4)
17.Bd2 Ra4 18.Bc3 e5 19.dxe6 Bxe6
(19...fxe6 20.e5) 20.f4 Qe7 21.f5
Bd7 22.Ne3.
9.Ng3

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+lwq-trk+0
9zpp+-zppvlp0
9-+-zp-snp+0
9+-zpPsn-+-0
9-+P+P+-+0
9+-sN-vLPsN-0
9PzP-+-+PzP0
9tR-+QmKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy
Main branches here are:
A. 9...h5; B. 9...e6

9...a6 should transpose to the


main lines after 10.a4.
Only 10.Be2 b5 is of independent significance, but one must be
a die hard fan of the Benko to like
Blacks game after 11.cxb5 axb5
12.Nxb5 Ba6 13.0-0.
119

Part 4
A. 9...h5 10.Be2 h4 11.Nf1 e6
The game Lalic-Berg, Germany
2004, did not last long after 11...h3
12.g4 Qa5 13.Nd2 Nfxg4?!. White
took the piece and went on to destroy the enemys kingside after
14.fxg4 Bxg4 15.0-0 Bd7 16.Qe1 a6
17.Qh4 f6 18.Nf3 g5 19.Qg3 Ng6
20.Kh1 b5 21.Rg1 bxc4 22.Bxg5
fxg5 23.Qxg5 Be8 24.Nh4 Bf6
25.Qh5 1-0.
The inclusion of 11...a6 12.a4 is
only in Whites favour.
12.Nd2!
This line had been assessed
as clearly better for White on the
ground of 12.f4 Neg4?! 13.Bxg4
Nxg4 14.Qxg4 exd5 15.f5 d4 16.Nd5
dxe3 17.Nfxe3 Bxb2 (17...Bh6 18.0-0
Qg5 19.Qh3 Kg7 20.Rf4 Rh8
21.Ng4 Qd8 22.Qc3+ f6 23.Nxh6
Rxh6 24.fxg6 Rxg6 25.Nxf6 1-0
Cheparinov-Vavric, Varna 2012)
18.0-0 with a strong initiative. Tomashevsky-Ponomariov, Rogaska
Slatina 2011, went 18...Bxa1 19.Rxa1
Kg7 20.Rf1 Rh8 21.Qf4 g5 22.Qf3 f6
23.Ng4 Rf8 24.Qe3 Bd7 25.Ndxf6
Rxf6 26.Qxg5+ Kf7 27.e5 dxe5
28.Rd1 Rxf5 29.Nh6+ Kf8 30.Qg8+
Ke7 31.Qh7+ 1-0. Then, like a bolt
out of the blue, Grischuk dealt a terrible blow on the whole line against
Svidler, London 2013: 12...Nxc4!!
13.Bxc4 b5!!. Look at this important theoretical Game 16 in the
Complete Games chapter.
12...exd5 13.cxd5 a6
120

Black has not any compensation


for the pawn after 13...Bd7 14.0-0 b5
15.Nxb5 Bxb5 16.Bxb5 Rb8 17.a4,
Ponomariov-Carlsen, Medias 2010.
14.0-0
14.a4 Bd7 15.a5 b5 16.axb6
Qxb6 17.Ra2 is innocuous because
Black has the strong manoeuvre
17...Qb4 18.0-0 Bb5 with active
pieces. I do not believe that giving
up the dark-squared bishop with
19.f4 Bxe2 20.Qxe2 Neg4 21.Kh1
Nxe3 22.Qxe3 Nh5 23.f5 can be
dangerous for Black. 19.Qc2 Nfd7
20.Nxb5 is equal, Kanep-Yrjola,
Jyvaskyla 2011.
14...b5
14...h3 15.g4 b5 is dubious: 16.g5
Ne8 17.f4 Nd7 18.Bg4 Nb6 19.Qf3
Bxg4 20.Qxg4 Qd7 21.f5.
15...Re8 is a little better, but still
insufficient attempt. We should prevent a dark-squared blockade with
16.g5! (but not 16.a4 Nh7 17.Kh1 g5
18.Rg1 Nf8! 19.Rg3 Nfg6) 15...Nh7
16.f4 Nd7 17.Rf3 b5 18.Qc2. White
has nice attacking prospects.

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+lwq-trk+0
9+-+-+pvl-0
9p+-zp-snp+0
9+pzpPsn-+-0
9-+-+P+-zp0
9+-sN-vLP+-0
9PzP-sNL+PzP0
9tR-+Q+RmK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

3.f3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nc3 0-0 6.Be3 c5


A critical position. White will
try to advance on the kingside, winning the h-pawn on the way.
15.h3!?
I propose this novelty as 15.a3
could be met by 15...h3! with unclear consequences. Look at the detailed analysis of Game 15 BruzonSoto, Havana 2013.
15...c4
The threat of 16.Bg5 calls for
concrete action. The passive defence 15...Nh7 16.f4 Nd7 saves the
pawn at a high price: 17.Qe1 Re8
18.Bf2 Bd4 19.Kh1 Bxf2 20.Qxf2
and White dominates on the kingside, e.g. 20...Nhf6 21.Bf3.
16.Bg5 Qb6+
The only decent alternative to
the text is 16...Bd7 when we should
resort to the prophylactic move
17.a3!. I have also analysed:
a) 17.f4 Nd3 18.Qc2 Re8 (18...
Qa5 19.Bxd3 cxd3 20.Qxd3 b4 21.e5
Nh7 22.Nce4 Nxg5 23.Nc4 Bb5
24.Nexd6) 19.Bxh4 (19.a3 Qb6+
20.Kh2 Nxb2) 19...Rc8 20.a3

XIIIIIIIIY
9-+rwqr+k+0
9+-+l+pvl-0
9p+-zp-snp+0
9+p+P+-+-0
9-+p+PzP-vL0
9zP-sNn+-+P0
9-zPQsNL+P+0
9tR-+-+RmK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

20...Nxb2! 21.Qxb2 (21.e5 Nd3


22.exf6 Bxf6 23.Bxf6 Qxf6) 21...
Nxe4 22.Bxd8 Nxc3 23.Qb4 Nxe2+
24.Kh2 Rcxd8 when Black has
full compensation, for instance:
25.Rae1 Bf5 26.Qa5 Bc3 27.Qb6
Bxd2 28.Rxe2 Rxe2 29.Qxd8+ Kg7
30.h4 c3 31.h5 gxh5 32.Qxd6 c2
33.Qc5 Be4 34.d6 Bxg2 35.Qg5+=;
b) 17.Bxh4 b4 18.Ncb1 Qc7
19.a3 Rab8 (19...a5) 20.axb4 Rxb4
21.Rxa6 (21.Na3 Ba4 22.Qe1 Nd3)
21...Rxb2 22.Qc1 Rfb8. Whites
pieces are alarmingly passive.
17...Qb6+ 18.Kh2 Nd3 19.Bxd3
cxd3

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+-+-trk+0
9+-+l+pvl-0
9pwq-zp-snp+0
9+p+P+-vL-0
9-+-+P+-zp0
9zP-sNp+P+P0
9-zP-sN-+PmK0
9tR-+Q+R+-0
xiiiiiiiiy

20.Bxh4!

It is tempting to kill the d3-pawn


promptly, but 20.Qb1 Qd4 21.Bxh4
fails to accomplish the job: 21...Nh5
Or 21...Qe3 22.Qe1 Qxe1 23.Bxe1
Nh5 24.f4 Rae8 25.Nf3 (25.g4 Bxc3
26.bxc3 Nf6 27.Rf3 Nxe4 28.Nxe4
Rxe4 29.Kg3 f5 30.Bd2 Re2 31.Rxd3
Rfe8; 25.Rc1 f5) 25...Bxc3 26.Bxc3
Rxe4 27.f5 gxf5 28.Rfd1 Re3 29.Ne1
Rfe8 30.Rxd3 f4=.
22.Bf2 Qe5+ 23.g3 Nf4 24.h4 f5
25.Rd1 Ne2 26.Qxd3 Nxc3 27.bxc3
Qxc3 28.Qxc3 Bxc3.

121

Part 4
20...Nh5 21.Bf2 Qd8 (21...Qc7
22.Be3 f5 23.exf5 Bxf5 24.Nde4
Be5+ 25.Kg1) 22.Be3 f5 23.exf5 Re8
24.Nde4 Be5+ 25.Kg1 gxf5 26.f4
Nxf4 27.Bxf4 fxe4 28.Qh5 Bd4+
29.Kh1 Qe7 30.Bh6.
17.Kh2 Nh5 18.f4

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+l+-trk+0
9+-+-+pvl-0
9pwq-zp-+p+0
9+p+Psn-vLn0
9-+p+PzP-zp0
9+-sN-+-+P0
9PzP-sNL+PmK0
9tR-+Q+R+-0
xiiiiiiiiy
18...Nd3

Or 18...Ng3 19.fxe5 Bxe5 20.Bf4


Nxf1+ 21.Qxf1.
19.Bxh5 gxh5 20.Qxh5 f6
21.Bxh4 Qe3 22.Qd1
The endgame after 22.Rad1 Nxf4
23.Rxf4 Qxf4+ 24.Bg3 Qg5 25.Qxg5
fxg5 26.Bxd6 Re8 27.Re1 looks better for White, but the computer
manages to hold it.
22...Nxb2
23.Qc2
Nd3
24.Rf3 Qd4 25.Rb1 f5 26.Ne2
Qa7 27.Rg3 Kh8 28.Rxd3! cxd3
29.Qxd3
Blacks king has not any pawns
around it. That makes its defence a
difficult task.
122

B. 9...e6 10.Be2 exd5 11.cxd5


a6
Sometimes Black refrains from
...a6 in order to avoid making a hole
on b6. Well see in the main line
that the rooks lift Ra1-a3-b3-b6
could be rather unpleasant so this
approach is not without reason.
However, by discarding queenside
play, Black considerably limits his
active options. After:
11...h5 12.0-0 Nh7 13.Qd2 h4
14.Nh1 f5 15.Nf2 Bd7, White has a
pleasant choice:

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+lwq-trk+0
9zpp+-+-vln0
9-+-zp-+p+0
9+-zpPsnp+-0
9-+-+P+-zp0
9+-sN-vLP+-0
9PzP-wQLsNPzP0
9tR-+-+RmK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

a) 16.a4 Qf6 17.exf5 gxf5 18.Nh3


Ng6 (18...Rae8 19.Rae1 Rf7 20.Kh1)
19.f4 a6 20.Bf2 Rae8 21.Kh1 Rf7
22.a5 Rfe7 23.Bh5 Nhf8 24.Rg1 Bh6
25.g3, Tomashevsky-Khairullin,
Rijeka 2010.
b) 16.Kh1 a6 17.a4 see the annotated Game 19 TomashevskyShomoev, EU-ch. Budva 2009.
12.a4 h5
This plan has been very topical lately. Black often chooses the
typical plan with ...b5, but it has the
drawback of leaving Whites central
pawn chain undisturbed:

3.f3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nc3 0-0 6.Be3 c5


12...Bd7 13.0-0
The most principled and forced
continuation is 13.h3!? b5 14.f4 Nc4
15.Bxc4 bxc4 16.0-0 Re8 17.Qf3 Rb8

XIIIIIIIIY
9-tr-wqr+k+0
9+-+l+pvlp0
9p+-zp-snp+0
9+-zpP+-+-0
9P+p+PzP-+0
9+-sN-vLQsNP0
9-zP-+-+P+0
9tR-+-+RmK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

18.e5 Rxb2! 19.exf6 Qxf6


20.Rac1. This position was reached
in the game Ponomariov-Gallagher, Porto Carras 2011 where the
opponents signed a draw only two
moves later. It was assessed as balanced, but I see indications that
it might become topical again. In
Zhou Jianchao-Fedoseev, Moscow
2011, White won convincingly the
same position without the a-pawns.
In Parligras-Miron, Baile Olanesti
2013, Black opted for 20...Rb3 and
was clearly worse after 21.Nge4
Qe7 22.Bf2 Bxa4 23.Nd2.
Perhaps 20...Qd8 is better,
but in my opinion, Black is struggling for the draw anyway. Bologan suggests 21.Rfe1 f5 22.Bf2
Rb3 23.Rxe8+ Qxe8 (23...Bxe8
24.Nf1), but Black is still to prove
that he can hold on after 24.Nf1
Bd4 25.Kh2. His c4-pawn is rather
weak.
13...b5 14.h3
I have also checked 14.Qd2. This
is a typical approach White is not

afraid of ...b4 since it only weakens the c4-square. 14...Rb8 15.axb5


axb5 16.Bg5 is also pleasant for
him. Black should opt for 14...bxa4
15.Nxa4 Bb5 16.Rfc1 Qb8 17.Nc3
Bxe2 18.Qxe2 a5 with a tenable position.

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+-wq-trk+0
9+-+l+pvlp0
9p+-zp-snp+0
9+pzpPsn-+-0
9P+-+P+-+0
9+-sN-vLPsNP0
9-zP-+L+P+0
9tR-+Q+RmK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

14...Rb8

The threat of f4 can also be parried by 14...Re8!?. Then 15.Qd2!?


Rb8 16.f4 transposes to 14...Rb8.
15.f4 Nc4 16.Bxc4 bxc4 17.Qf3 Rb8
18.e5 Rxb2 19.exf6 Qxf6 transposes
to 13.h3. An independent line is:
15.Qc1!? aiming for Bg5 and f4.
Black cannot take on a4 since he
would lose his knight on e5. Possible
continuations are: 15...b4 16.Nd1
h5 17.b3 (17.f4 h4 18.fxe5 Rxe5);
15...Rb8 16.axb5 axb5 (16...Bxb5
17.Nxb5 axb5 18.Ra6 or 18.b3)
17.f4 Nc4 18.Bxc4 bxc4 19.f5. The
threat of Bg5 is very awkward for
Black because the natural retreat
square of the knight d7, is taken
by the bishop.
14...Nc4 is well known to be
slightly better for White after
15.Bxc4 bxc4 16.Qe2 Rb8 17.Qxc4!
Rxb2 18.Rab1, Aripov-Balacek, Olomouc 2011.
15.f4!?
123

Part 4
I think that the text is more challenging than 15.axb5 Bxb5
15...axb5 16.f4 Nc4 17.Bxc4 bxc4
18.e5 Re8 19.Qf3 Rxb2 20.exf6 Qxf6
21.Rac1 Qd8 occurred in the game
Zhou Jianchao-Fedoseev, Moscow
2011. Black was struggling for the
draw after 22.Bf2 f5 23.Rfe1 Qa5
24.Rxe8+ Bxe8 25.Nd1.
Bologan assesses the position
after 16.Nxb5 axb5 17.b3 as acceptable for Black.

XIIIIIIIIY
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9+P+-vLPsNP0
9-+-+L+P+0
9tR-+Q+RmK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

In practice, the second players


managed to draw only two games
out of six. Nothing astonishing if
we take into account that White has
the bishop pair advantage and an
active rook on the a-file. Bologans
line runs 17...Ned7 18.Ra6 Qe7
19.Qd2 Rfc8 20.Rc1 Ne8 when 21.f4
b4 22.e5 is only equal. His manoeuvre does not work, however,
after 18.Qd2, for instance, 18...Qe7
19.Ra7! Ne8 20.Qa5. At all events,
Black will be forced to play ...b4 and
lose the mobility of his queenside
pawns. Whites game would be
somewhat better, although his only
active plan is f4-e5 which is doubleedged. In Schandorff-Matthiesen,
Helsingor 2011, Black even opted
for 17...b4 immediately. Schandorff
124

claims a small edge after 18.Ra6


Rb6 19.Ra7.
15...Nc4 16.Bxc4 bxc4 17.Qd2!?

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9-zP-wQ-+P+0
9tR-+-+RmK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

I have already mentioned that


17.e5 Re8 18.Qf3 is also being hectically analysed in many GMs laboratories. My recommendation has
the advantage of being much more
clear and easy to play. We intend to
push e5 or f5. In all the lines White
develops a strong initiative on the
kingside while Black is deprived of
any counterplay since the b2-pawn
is easy to protect.
17...Rb3
Bologan decorates this move
with an exclamation mark. I have
also studied:
a) 17...Re8 18.f5! Qe7 19.Rae1
Qe5 (19...Rb3 20.e5 dxe5 21.fxg6
hxg6 22.Bg5; 19...Nh5 20.Nxh5
gxh5 21.Qf2) 20.Qf2 h5 21.Bg5.
b) 17...Qe7 18.e5 (18.Qf2!?) 18...
dxe5 19.d6 Qe6 20.f5 Qe8 21.fxg6
fxg6 22.Nce4 Bf5 23.Nxc5.
c) 17...Qb6 18.Rb1 Ne8 19.f5!
Be5 20.Bf4 Bd4+ 21.Kh1 f6 22.
fxg6 hxg6 23.Nge2.
d) 17...Ne8 18.f5! (it is important to anticipate ...f7-f5) 18...Be5

3.f3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nc3 0-0 6.Be3 c5


19.Nge2 (A multipurpose move. It
takes d4 under control, enables g4
and White can even think of redeploying the knight to f3 via g1.) 19...
Qe7

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9tR-+-+RmK-0
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Black can only stay and wait. An


exchange on f5 would give White
the e4-square and open the e-file.
The d7-bishop has not any prospects. We can double the rooks on
the f-file. I suppose that both Rf3
and Rf2 are good. For instance:
20.Rf3 Kh8 (20...gxf5 21.exf5 Kh8
22.Bg5) 21.Bg5 f6 (21...Nf6 22.Kh1)
22.Bf4; 20.Rf2!? gxf5 21.exf5 Kh8
22.Bf4 Rg8 23.Bxe5+ Qxe5 24.Re1
Bxf5 25.Nf4 Qg7 26.Re7.
18.e5 Ne8 (18...dxe5 19.fxe5)
19.Nge4 (Bologan considers only
19.Rae1)

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9tR-+-+RmK-0
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19...f5

Or 19...Qb6 20.a5 Qb4 21.Rf2


when 21...f5 loses to 22.exf6 Bxf6
23.Nxf6+ Rxf6 24.Re1+; 19...Bf5
20.Rad1 Qb8 21.Rf2 Qb4 22.Qe2,
threatening with 23.Bxc5 dxc5
24.d6.
20.Nxc5! dxc5 21.Bxc5 Rf7
22.Qe2. White has a fantastic game.
13.0-0 Nh7
Alternatively:
a) 13...Qa5 14.h3!? h4 (14...Qb4
15.f4 Nc4 16.Bxc4 Qxc4 17.e5 Ne8
18.a5 Bd7 19.Na4 Bxa4 20.Rxa4
Qb5 21.Ne4) 15.f4! when 15...
hxg3? was crushed by 16.fxe5 dxe5
17.Bg5 Ne8 18.d6 Be6 19.d7, Riazantsev-Savchenko, Rogaska Slatina 2011.
b) 13...Bd7 should be met by
14.Qd2 b5 (14...h4 15.Nh1 h3 16.g3
b5 17.Nf2) 16.axb5 axb5 17.Nxb5
see Game 17 Antipov-Matlakov,
St. Petersburg 2012.
13...Re8 14.Qd2 Nh7 and 13...
h4 14.Nh1 Nh7 15.Nf2 f5 16.Qd2
transpose to 13...Nh7.

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9tR-+Q+RmK-0
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125

Part 4
14.Qd2
I do not like 14.h3 not only
due to the hole on g3, but because
the pawn takes the best square of
our unfortunate knight after 14...
h4 15.Nh1 f5 16.exf5 gxf5 17.f4 Ng6
18.Bh5 Qf6.
14...h4
14...Re8 is seldom seen, because
it is arguable that Blacks rook
stands better on the e-file. White
can fix the queenside: 15.a5 h4
16.Nh1 f5 17.Nf2 Bd7 18.Na4 Bb5
19.Nb6 Bxe2 20.Qxe2 Rb8 21.Ra4
Rajkovic-Prelevic, Belgrade 2005,
when simplest is 21.Rab1 aiming
for b4.
15.Nh1 f5
15...g5 is passive. White can
build up play on the queenside by
either 16.a5 or 16.Nf2 Bd7 17.a5

126

Rb8 18.Na4 and b4 is looming.


16.Nf2

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9P+-+P+-zp0
9+-sN-vLP+-0
9-zP-wQLsNPzP0
9tR-+-+RmK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

White has the better game. He


will take on f5, the kings knight
will go to h3, the bishop to f2. Then
White will choose between either
queenside play with a5, b4 (or Ra1a3-b3-b6), or an attack along the
g-file with Kh1, Rg1, g3. See my
Game 18 Svetushkin-Pavlidis,
Porto Rio 2013, for detailed explanations of these plans.

3.f3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nc3 0-0 6.Be3 c5

Part 4

Complete Games
15. Bruzon-Soto
Havana, 29.04.2013
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3
Bg7 4.e4 0-0 5.Be3 d6 6.f3 c5
7.Nge2 Nc6 8.d5 Ne5 9.Ng3
h5 10.Be2 h4 11.Nf1 e6 12.Nd2
exd5 13.cxd5 a6

XIIIIIIIIY
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9+-zpPsn-+-0
9-+-+P+-zp0
9+-sN-vLP+-0
9PzP-sNL+PzP0
9tR-+Q+RmK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

14.0-0!?

A good novelty by Bruzon,


which will probably shift the focus
of investigations in this line.
14...b5 15.a3
This is a logical move. White
prepares b4 to halt the enemys
expansion on the queenside. I like
Bruzons idea, but the possibility of 15...h3! mars the otherwise
nice picture. (Thats why I propose
15.h3! for a main line.) Then the at-

tempt to win the h3-pawn by 16.g4


Re8 17.Qe1 (17.g5 Nh5 18.f4 Nc4
19.Nxc4 bxc4) 17...Nfd7 18.Qg3
(18.Rc1 g5) 18...Nb6 (18...g5 19.f4)
19.Qxh3 Nbc4 gives Black strong
counterplay down the b-file so
White should chose the more restrained:
16.g3 Re8

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9tR-+Q+RmK-0
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Aimed against Whites main


idea of pushing f3-f4 at an opportunity. Now White can play on the
queenside or transfer the c3-knight
to f2:
a) 17.Rc1 Qe7 (17...c4 18.b3)
18.Rf2 Bd7 19.b3 Rab8 20.Bg5 Bc8
(20...Qf8 21.Bxf6 Bxf6 22.f4)
21.Qf1 Qf8
The queen should stay near its
king. 21...Qb7 provokes 22.g4 Nh7
23.Be3 g5 (23...f5 24.gxf5 gxf5 25.f4
Ng4 26.Bxg4 fxg4 27.e5 dxe5 28.f5
127

Part 4
Nf6 29.Nde4) 24.Qxh3 although
the extra pawn does not guarantee White a substantial advantage:
24...Ng6 25.Bd1 Nf4 26.Bxf4 gxf4
27.Ne2 Be5 28.Qh6 Qe7 29.Kh1
Qf6 30.Qxf6 Nxf6 31.h4.
22.a4 bxa4 23.Nxa4 a5

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9N+-+P+-+0
9+P+-+PzPp0
9-+-sNLtR-zP0
9+-tR-+QmK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

We have reached a complex position with mutual chances:


24.Bf4 Nh7 25.Nc3 Bd7 (25...
f5?! 26.Nb5 g5 27.Bxe5 Bxe5
28.Nc4 Rxb5 29.Nxe5 Rxb3 30.Nc6
a4 31.Ra1).
b) 17.Re1 Bd7 18.Qc2 Rb8 19.Nd1
Nh5 20.Nf2. Now a timely break in
the centre balances the game: 20...
f5 21.f4 Nf7 22.Bf3 Nf6.
c) 17.Qc2 Bd7 18.a4 (18.Rae1
Nh7; 18.Kh1 Rb8 19.Rg1 Nh7
20.g4 g5 21.Rg3 Nf8 22.Rxh3 Nfg6;
18.Nd1 Rc8 19.Kh1 c4 20.Rg1 Nh7)
18...c4 19.Rfc1 Qe7 20.axb5 axb5
21.Nd1 Nh5 22.Rxa8 Rxa8 23.b3
c3!. Black equalises easily: 24.Nxc3
Rc8 25.Qd1 Nxf3+ 26.Bxf3 Rxc3
27.Rxc3 Bxc3 28.Bxh5 gxh5
29.Qxh5 Bxd2 30.Bxd2 Qxe4
31.Qg5+ Kh7=.
15...Rb8?! 16.b4
128

It is not clear how Black should


answer 16.h3!.

XIIIIIIIIY
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9-zP-sNL+P+0
9tR-+Q+RmK-0
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It leads to a better version of my


main line from the Step by Step
chapter because Blacks last move
was not too useful:
a) 16...b4? 17.axb4 Rxb4 18.Bg5
Rxb2? 19.f4 Ned7 20.Nc4;
b) 16...Nh7 17.f4 Nd7 18.Qe1
Re8 19.Bf2! (19.Rc1 Nhf6) 19...Bf6
20.Rc1;
c) 16...c4 17.Bg5 (17.f4 Nd3
18.Bxd3 cxd3 19.Qb1 b4 20.axb4
Rxb4 21.Qxd3 Re8! is roughly equal:
22.b3 Nxe4 23.Ncxe4 Bf5 24.Rxa6
Bxe4 25.Nxe4 Rbxe4 26.Bb6 Qf6=)
17...Qb6+ 18.Kh2 Nfd7 19.f4;
d) 16...Nh5 17.f4 Nc4 18.Nxc4
bxc4 19.Bxh5 Rxb2 20.e5 Rb3
21.Rc1 gxh5 22.Qxh5 f5 23.Rfd1.
16...Nfd7
I do not know what Bruzon had
in mind after 16...c4!. I have ana
lysed the manoeuvre Nd2-f1, for
instance:
17.Rc1 Re8 18.Rf2 Qe7 19.Nf1
Ned7 20.Qd2 Nh7 (20...h3 21.g4)
21.a4 h3 (21...f5) 22.g4 Ne5 23.axb5

3.f3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nc3 0-0 6.Be3 c5


axb5 24.Ng3 Bd7 25.Rff1 with unclear consequences.
Black obviously wanted to preserve the queenside fluid. That
would be a decent idea if he could
follow up by ...a5, but White easily
prevents it and gains an edge.
17.Rc1

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17...g5?!

Passive stands are rarely good in


the Modern Benoni. Black should
have weaken Whites kingside by
17...h3 18.g3 and now 18...Re8
would exert pressure on the centre.
In the future, Black may consider
...f5. After the text, White emerges
from the opening with a clear edge.
18.Nb3 Nc4? (18...cxb4 19.axb4
Nb6 20.Bd4 Nbc4 21.Kh1) 19.Bxc4
bxc4 20.Na5 Ne5 21.Nc6 Nxc6
22.dxc6 Be6 23.Nd5

XIIIIIIIIY
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9+-tRQ+RmK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

23...Bxd5 24.Qxd5 cxb4


25.Qxc4 Qc7 26.axb4 Rb5
27.Rfd1 Rfb8 28.h3 Be5 29.Kh1
Rxb4 30.Qxa6 f6 31.Qa2+ Qf7
32.Qa5 Qb3 33.Bg1 Ra4 34.Qe1
Qe6 35.Bh2 Rc8 36.Bxe5 dxe5
37.c7 Rd4 38.Qa5 Qd6 39.Rxd4
exd4 40.Qf5 Rxc7 41.Qg6+ Kf8
42.Rxc7 Qxc7 43.Qxf6+ Ke8
44.Qh8+ Ke7 45.Qg7+ Kd8
46.Qxg5+ Kc8 47.Qg8+ Kb7
48.Qd5+ Kc8 49.Qxd4 Qc1+
50.Qg1 Qg5 51.Qd1 Kc7 52.Qc2+
Kd6 53.Qd3+ Ke7 54.Qa3+
Kd7 55.Qf8 Qg3 56.Qf5+ Kc6
57.Qc8+ Kb5 58.Qg4
1-0
16. Svidler-Grischuk
FIDE ct. London 25.03.2013
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7
4.e4 d6 5.f3 0-0 6.Be3 c5 7.Nge2
Nc6 8.d5 Ne5 9.Ng3 h5 10.Be2
h4 11.Nf1 e6 12.f4

XIIIIIIIIY
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9tR-+QmKN+R0
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12...Nxc4!!

I remember Kasparov mentioning in an interview that he had analysed this sacrifice, but the credit to
introduce it in practice belongs to
Grischuk. He put his fate in it at the
129

Part 4
most important competition of the
year the Candidates tournament.
I suspect that we should burry the
whole line with 12.f4.
13.Bxc4 b5!! 14.Bxb5 exd5
15.e5!?

XIIIIIIIIY
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9-+-+-zP-zp0
9+-sN-vL-+-0
9PzP-+-+PzP0
9tR-+QmKN+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

A good try as it threw Grischuk


out of his preparation. He has
mostly analysed 15.exd5 Rb8! with
many threats. For instance, after
...h3, Whites king will never find a
safe haven.
In the diagram position, best
would be 15...Bg4!. Then 16.exf6,
as in the game, does not work because the c5-pawn is protected.
Therefore, White should consider
16.Be2 Bxe2 17.Nxe2 dxe5 18.Bxc5,
but 18...h3 gives Black a strong attack. Another option is 16.Qa4 dxe5
17.fxe5 d4 18.exf6 Qxf6. It is horrible to defend such position over
the board. So the onus is on White
after 12.f4.
15...dxe5?! 16.fxe5 Bg4
16...h3 is not an improvement as
17.exf6 hxg2 18.Rg1 gxf1Q+ 19.Rxf1
Bxf6 20.Rxf6 Qxf6 21.Qxd5 Bf5
22.0-0-0 is better for White.
130

Golubev also analyses 16...d4


17.Bg5 Re8 (17...Bg4 18.Bxf6 Bxf6
19.Qxg4 dxc3 20.exf6 cxb2 21.Rb1
Qa5+ 22.Kf2 Qxb5 23.Ne3 c4
24.Qxc4 Qg5 25.Rhd1 Rac8 26.Qd5
Qxf6+ 27.Qf3 Qe5 28.Kg1 Rc3
29.Ng4 Qc5+ 30.Qf2 f5 31.Qxc5
Rxc5 32.Ne3) 18.Bxe8 Qxe8
19.Bxf6 Bxf6 20.Ne4 Bxe5

XIIIIIIIIY
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9-+-+-+p+0
9+-zp-vl-+-0
9-+-zpN+-zp0
9+-+-+-+-0
9PzP-+-+PzP0
9tR-+QmKN+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

He assesses this position as


nice for Black, with lots of practical chances. However, I think that
White is better after 21.Qf3! (21.
Qd3 c4 22.Qxc4 Bf4 23.Qxd4 Bf5
24.Kf2 Qxe4 25.Qxe4 Bxe4) 21...
c4 22.Nfd2 c3 23.0-0 (23.bxc3 dxc3
24.Nb3 Bb7 25.Nbc5 Bxe4 26.Nxe4
f5 27.Nf2 Bf6+ 28.Kf1 Qb5+
29.Qe2 Qc6) 23...cxd2 24.Nxd2
Be6 25.Rae1 Bg7 26.Ne4. Black
should seek to trade queens, but the
endgame after 26...Qd8 27.Nf6+
Bxf6 28.Qxf6 Qxf6 29.Rxf6 Bxa2
is unpleasant for him as he loses
one of his two pawns: 30.Rd1 Rb8
31.Rf2 Rb4 32.Rdd2 Be6 33.Rf4 h3
34.g3.
17.exf6! Bxd1 18.fxg7 Kxg7
19.Bxc5 h3 20.Rxd1 hxg2 21.Rg1
gxf1Q+ 22.Kxf1 Qh4 23.Rg2
Rfd8

3.f3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nc3 0-0 6.Be3 c5

XIIIIIIIIY
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9+LvLp+-+-0
9-+-+-+-wq0
9+-sN-+-+-0
9PzP-+-+RzP0
9+-+R+K+-0
xiiiiiiiiy

24.Rd4

After the game, Svidler said that


White was slightly better following
24.Bd4+!. Indeed, he has chances
for an attack: 24...Kg8 25.Kg1 Rab8
26.a3 (Preventing ...Rb4. 26.Bf1 Rb4
27.Rgd2 Rdb8 28.b3 Re8 29.Nxd5
Qg5+ 30.Bg2 Rxd4 31.Rxd4 Re2
32.Rg4 Qf5 33.h3 Kg7 is balanced.)
26...a5 (26...Rb7 27.Bf1 Re7 28.Rg3)
27.Bf1 Rb7 28.Rgd2 Re7 29.Bb6 Rc8
30.Bf2.
The rest of the game is very interesting, but it is irrelevant to the
opening.
24...Qh5 25.Rf4 d4 26.Bxd4+
Rxd4 27.Rxd4 Rb8 28.a4 a6
29.Bxa6 Qf3+ 30.Rf2 Qh1+
31.Ke2 Rxb2+ 32.Rd2 Qc1
33.Kd3 Rb6 34.Bc4 Rd6+
35.Bd5 Rd7 36.Rf4 f5 37.Rd4
Kh6 38.h4 Rc7 39.Bc4 Qf1+
40.Re2 f4 41.Kc2 f3
Draw

17. Antipov-Matlakov
St. Petersburg, 31.10.2012
1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.f3 g6 4.c4
Bg7 5.Nc3 0-0 6.Be3 c5 7.Nge2

Nc6 8.d5 Ne5 9.Ng3 e6 10.Be2


exd5 11.cxd5 h5 12.0-0 a6 13.a4
Bd7

XIIIIIIIIY
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9+p+l+pvl-0
9p+-zp-snp+0
9+-zpPsn-+p0
9P+-+P+-+0
9+-sN-vLPsN-0
9-zP-+L+PzP0
9tR-+Q+RmK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

At a cursory glance, this looks


like Black is mixing up two plans.
12...h5 started an assault on the
kingside, now he suddenly aims for
...b5. The bishop move takes away
the natural retreat square of the
e5-knight. Therefore, f4 looks most
principled and in my recent game
against Mamedov, Moscow rapid,
2013, I cocked the trigger by:
a) 14.h3 h4
14...b5 15.f4 Nc4 16.Bxc4 bxc4
17.e5 dxe5 18.fxe5 Nh7 19.Bxc5 is
difficult for Black: 19...Re8 20.Bd4
Bxe5 21.Bxe5 Rxe5 22.Qd4.
15.Nh1 b5

XIIIIIIIIY
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9+-+l+pvl-0
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9tR-+Q+RmKN0
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16.Qd2

131

Part 4
16.Bg5 b4 17.Nb1 c4 18.Bxh4
(18.f4? Qb6+ 19.Nf2 Nxe4 20.Bxh4
Nd3 was awful for White in Gun
davaa-Guseinov, Moscow 2012)
18...Re8 19.f4 Nd3 20.Bxd3 cxd3
21.Qxd3 Rxe4 22.Nd2 Re8 gave
Black fair compensation for the
pawn, Giri-Radjabov, Wijk aan Zee
2012.
16...b4 17.Nd1 a5 18.Bg5 c4
19.Nhf2 Qe8 20.Bxh4. So I have
obtained a clear edge against a
high-rated grandmaster. Home
analysis, however, showed that after 16.Qd2 Black could have played
stronger:
16...Nh5!? 17.axb5 (17.Bg5 Bf6
18.Bh6 Re8) 17...axb5 18.Rxa8
Qxa8 19.Bg5 b4 20.Nd1 f5. White
will eat the h4-pawn, but all his
pieces are alarmingly passive.
Thus I came to the conclusion
that White should not weaken the
dark-squared complex around his
king.
A decent alternative seems to
be:
b) 14.Nh1 b5 15.Nf2 b4?! (principled, but dubious) 16.Nb1 c4
17.Bd4 Rc8 18.Nd2 c3 19.bxc3 bxc3
20.Nb3. Black is overextended
and his c-pawn is doomed, Vitiugov-Cheparinov, Plovdiv 2012. In
this game, Topalovs assistant lost
the opening battle, despite his
enormous erudition. Six moths later, however, in Moiseenko-Mamedov, Istanbul 2012, Black improved
with:
15...Nh7!
132

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9P+-+P+-+0
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9-zP-+LsNPzP0
9tR-+Q+RmK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

Now 16.axb5 axb5 17.Rxa8 (17.


Nxb5 Qb6) 17...Qxa8 18.Bxb5
Bxb5 19.Nxb5 Qa6 would give
Black an excellent compensation:
20.Na3 (20.Nc3 Rb8 21.Bc1 Nc4
22.Qd3 Bd4 23.Kh1 Rb4 24.Nfd1
Qa1 25.Qc2 Nf6 26.Re1 Nd7 27.f4
Ndb6) 20...Rb8 21.Bc1 c4 22.Qc2
(22.h3 Nf8=) 22...Rb4 23.Rd1 Nf8
24.f4 Nd3 25.Nxd3 cxd3 26.Qxd3
Qxd3 27.Rxd3 Nd7 28.Rd1 Nc5=
so Moiseenko chose 16.Qd2 b4
17.Ncd1 f5 18.f4 Ng4 19.Nxg4 hxg4
when Black is even slightly better.
14.Qd2! b5
In the event of 14...h4 15.Nh1
h3 16.g3 b5, White cannot win the
b5-pawn because of the hanging
f3, but he gets an easy target on
h3: 17.Nf2 Re8 (17...Nh7 18.Bh6)
18.Rfc1 bxa4 19.Qd1 (19.Nxa4),
Karavade-Shyam, Kolkata 2012.

XIIIIIIIIY
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9tR-tRQ+-mK-0
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3.f3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nc3 0-0 6.Be3 c5


Whites pieces are very compact and well co-ordinated. The
h3-pawn looks doomed while the
weakness on b2 is balanced by the
weakness of the a6-pawn. Meanwhile, White is threatening to trap
the knight with f4.
15.axb5 axb5 16.Nxb5!
Compared to the game Moiseenko-Mamedov, the b2-pawn is protected and White can capture the
pawn by knight.
16...h4 17.Nh1 Bxb5 18.Bxb5

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18...h3

Black had not any compensation


for the pawn after 18...Rb8 19.Be2
Rb4 20.Nf2 Qb6 21.Rfb1, Kaszow
ski-Sammalvuo, Logumkloster 1994.
19.Be2 hxg2 20.Kxg2 Rb8
21.Nf2 Rb4
The outcome of the opening
battle is in Whites favour. He is a
healthy pawn up and the bishop pair
should ensure sufficient protection
to his king. Black should probably
try to put pressure on the b2-pawn

by doubling rooks on the b-file while


keeping the queen on the kingside.
White can use the a-file for counterplay. Therefore, 22.Ra2, followed up
by Rfa1, deserves attention.
22.Rfc1 Qe7 23.Ra7
White is counting on his extra
pawn and trades pieces, but this
allows Black to activate his queen.
23.Ra2 was better.
23...Qxa7
24.Qxb4
25.Qd2 Bxe3 26.Qxe3

Bh6

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It is difficult to convert the extra


pawn. White can make some progress only by advancing on the kingside, but this plan is double-edged.
26...Qe7 27.f4 Ned7 28.Qd3
Rb8 29.b3 Qf8 30.h4
The computer prefers the solid
30.Ra1! Rb7 31.Qc3 Qb8 32.Ra3
Qe8 33.Bf3, but humans build up
their play according to a plan. Antipov wants to shift the focus of the
battle to the kingside where he has
superior forces.
30...Qh6 31.Kg3?!
133

Part 4
This move leaves Whites queen
passive. 31.Qg3 Nh5 32.Bxh5 Qxh5
33.Ra1 Nf6 34.f5 keeps a small
edge.
31...Ra8 (31...Nh5+!=) 32.Qc3
Qh8 33.Kh3 Kh7 34.Ra1

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9-+-+LsN-+0
9tR-+-+-+-0
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White is back in control. Perhaps Matlakov was in time trouble


as he produces a series of secondrate moves.
34...Rb8 35.Ra7 Kg8 36.Bf3
Qh6 37.Kg3 Rb4 38.Ra8+ Kh7
39.Rd8 Rd4 40.Nh3 Kg7 41.Ng5
Nf8 42.b4 Kg8 43.bxc5 dxc5
44.Qxc5 Rd3 45.Kg2 Rd2+
46.Kf1 N6d7 47.Qe7 Qg7 48.e5
Rd4 49.Qxd7 Rxf4 50.Qe7 1-0
18. Svetushkin-Pavlidis
Porto Rio 2013

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a) 16...Bd7 17.a5

17.exf5 gxf5 18.Nh3 is also possible: 18...Ng6 19.Nf4 Nxf4 20.Bxf4


Qf6 21.Kh1, Tomashevsky-Khai
rullin, Moscow 2009.
17...b5
17...Qf6 (17...Rb8 18.exf5) 18.f4
(or 18.exf5 gxf5 19.Nh3) 18...Nf7
when 19.Rae1 or 19.Ra3 (intending Rb1, b4) 19...fxe4 20.Rb3 Rab8
21.Nfxe4 Qe7 22.Bf3 gives White
the upper hand.
18.axb6 Qxb6 19.Na4!?
White must play energetically. 19.Rab1 was too slow: 19.a5
20.f4 Nf7 21.Bd3 Nf6 22.exf5 gxf5
23.Kh1, Zhou Jianchao-Reinderman, Beijing 2008.
19...Qb7 20.b4 (or 20.f4 Nf7
21.e5 Bxa4 22.Rxa4 dxe5 23.fxe5).

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 Bg7


4.e4 d6 5.Nc3 0-0 6.Be3 c5
7.Nge2 Nc6 8.d5 Ne5 9.Ng3 e6
10.Be2 exd5 11.cxd5 h5 12.0-0
h4 13.Nh1 Nh7 14.Qd2 a6 15.a4
f5 16.Nf2

b) 16...Re8. Bologan recommends it in his book. Actually, this


is a defensive move. It anticipates
exf5, but leaves Black without his
main strategic threat of ...f4. That
allows White to choose between a
number of plans:

This is the starting tabia for this


line. Main continuation are:

b1) 17.Kh1 Rb8 18.Rg1 Kh8


(18...fxe4 19.Ncxe4 Bf5 20.b4 c4

134

3.f3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nc3 0-0 6.Be3 c5


21.a5) 19.g4 hxg3 (19...f4 20.Bxf4
g5 21.Be3 Qf6 22.f4 gxf4 23.Bxf4
Rf8 24.Nh3)

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20.hxg3! Naturally, White is
happy to open the h-file in his
favour. Bologan considers only
20.Rxg3. 20...Bd7 21.Kg2 Kg8
22.Rh1 Nf6 23.Bh6 and Whites
game is obviously better, because
his king is safer, e.g. 23...Nf7
24.Bxg7 Kxg7 25.exf5.
b2) 17.Rfe1 (Dreev opted for
17.Rae1 with similar ideas, but I do
not think that we need a rook on
f1.) 17...Rb8 (17...Bd7 18.exf5 gxf5
19.a5) 18.exf5.
16...Qf6
According to my database, this
move has been played in 13 games.,
despite the fact that White is clearly
better after the most principled
17.f4 Nf7 (17...Ng4 18.Nxg4 fxg4
19.e5) 18.e5 dxe5 19.Bxc5. How
ever, Black can sacrifice the exchange with 19...e4 or 19...exf4 to
obtain some counter-chances. I
decided to play it safe and take a
stable edge with the help of the thematic plan:

17.exf5 gxf5 18.Nh3 Ng6


19.f4 Re8

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White has the better pieces. Only


the e3-bishop has not clear prospects so far, but an eventual break
b2-b4 would prolong his working
diagonal. In addition, White has
more space in the centre. This provides him with active possibilities
on both flanks.
20.Bf2
A bit over-prophylactic move.
The bishop was not in danger on e3
yet. Dreev chose against Nataf, Calvia 2004, 20.Bh5 which is perhaps
more accurate. The game went 20...
Bd7 21.a5 Re7 22.Bf2 Rae8
In the event of 22...Rb8, White
chooses between 23.Rae1 Rxe1
24.Rxe1 b5 25.axb6 Rxb6 26.Bxg6
Qxg6 27.Bxh4 Nf6 28.Bxf6 Qxf6
29.Kh1 Qh4 30.Rf1 intending
Ng5, Rf3, or the plan from my
game: 23.Kh1 b5 24.axb6 Rxb6
25.Rg1 Bc8 26.g3 with an initiative.
23.Ra3! Modern engines like
this lift very much. Whites rook
enters play through b3-b6, but it is
also secretly eyeing the g3-square.
135

Part 4
23...Nhf8 24.Rb3 Bc8 25.Na4 Bd7
26.Nxc5! when 26...dxc5 loses to
27.Rb6!+.
20...Bd7 21.a5 Rab8 22.Kh1
Bh6
Black has not any compensation
for the pawn after 22...b5 23.axb6
Rxb6 24.Rxa6 Rxa6 25.Bxa6, Khen
kin-Nijboer, Netherlands 2010.
23.Bh5 Nhf8

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24.Rg1!?

An important resource in this


structure. 24.Rab1 with the idea of
b2-b4 is also possible, but I wanted
to open the g-file first.
24...Re7 25.g3 hxg3 26.Rxg3
Rg7 27.Rag1 Be8

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28.b4!
136

I accomplished all the strategic ideas of this line! 28...cxb4 is


hopeless because my dozing darksquared bishop will pop on d4.
28...Rc8 29.bxc5 dxc5 30.Bf3
(30.Ng5 wins faster) 30...Qd6
31.Be3 Rcc7 32.Be2 Rge7 33.Bc4
Bg7 34.Ng5 Bb5 35.Nxb5 axb5
36.Bxb5 c4 37.Ne6 c3 38.Qd3
Nxe6 39.Rxg6 c2 40.Rxe6 Rxe6
41.dxe6 Qxd3 42.Bxd3 Rc3
43.e7
1-0
19. Tomashevsky-Shomoev
EU-ch. Budva 14.03.2009
1.c4 g6 2.e4 Bg7 3.d4 d6
4.Nc3 Nf6 5.f3 0-0 6.Be3 c5
7.Nge2 Nc6 8.d5 Ne5 9.Ng3 e6
10.Be2 exd5 11.cxd5 h5 12.0-0
Nh7 13.Qd2 h4 14.Nh1 f5 15.Nf2
Bd7 16.Kh1!? a6 17.a4

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In my opinion, Black is worse


in this pawn structure. He has not
clear counterplay, the h4-pawn and
the whole kingside is weak.
17...Re8
17...Qf6 18.exf5 gxf5 19.Nh3
Ng6 is similar to my game against

3.f3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nc3 0-0 6.Be3 c5


Pavlidis. Khenkin-Nijboer, Netherlands 2010, went further 20.f4 Rfe8
21.Bf2 Rab8 22.a5.
After 17...Qe7, 18.exf5 is the
standard plan, but 18.Rae1 also deserves attention.
The computer likes 17...Qa5,
but it is a risky idea to leave the
king without the protection of its
strongest piece. White can open the
h-file with 18.exf5 Bxf5 19.g4 hxg3
20.hxg3 Rae8 21.Kg2 Re7
21...Nf6 22.Rh1 Re7 23.Rae1 Bd7
24.Bh6
22.g4 Bc8 23.Nfe4 Nf7 24.Bf4
Qd8 25.Rh1, Kanep-Sepp, Tallinn
2010.
18.Rg1
In principle, this is a good plan,
but in the concrete position White
has more useful moves to start
with, for instance, 18.a5, or 18.exf5,
or 18.Rae1.
The thematic plan is, of course,
18.exf5 gxf5 19.Nh3 or 18.Rfe1
Kh8 19.exf5 gxf5 20.Nh3 Ng6 21.f4
Qf6 22.Bf2 Nhf8 23.a5 Re7 24.Rg1
Bh6 25.Rab1 when White is fully
prepared for either b4 or g3.
18...g5?!
This move weakens the light
squares in Blacks camp. It also fails
to restrict Whites play on the kingside since the g3-break remains effective.
Khairullin-Shomoev, Ulan Ude
2009, saw instead 18...Nf7! 19.Rge1

(19.a5!) 19...g5 20.f4 when 20...g4!


21.g3 would have been unclear.
19.exf5 Bxf5 20.Rae1 Rc8
21.Nce4 Nf7 22.Bd3

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White has the upper hand. He is


dominating in the centre which allows him to prepare an offensive on
the kingside.
22...Re5
(22...Qd7
23.Bc2 Qd7 24.g3

23.a5)

24.f4! gxf4 23.Bxf4 Re7 24.Nxd6


was winning a pawn. After the text,
Black could have stayed in the game
with 24...hxg3.
24...Kh8? 25.gxh4 gxh4
26.Rxg7 Kxg7 27.Rg1+ Kh8
(27...Kf8 28.Bh6+ Ke7 29.Bg7
Rg8 30.Qf4) 28.f4 Rxe4 29.Bxe4
Bxe4+ 30.Nxe4 Qf5 31.Qc3+ 1-0

20. Dreev-Laksana
Jakarta 13.10.2011
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7
4.e4 d6 5.f3 0-0 6.Nge2 c5 7.Be3
Qa5 8.Nc1 cxd4 9.Nb3
137

Part 4

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9rsnl+-trk+0
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9...Qd8

Dreevs treatment of these positions is remarkably straightforword and easy to understand. He


holds the queenside and advances
the f-pawn to f5. In Dreev-Hughes,
Richardson 2010, his opponent put
a halt to this plan, but without success: 9...Qc7 10.Nxd4 Nc6 11.Be2
a6 12.Rc1 Nxd4 13.Bxd4 Be6 14.b3
Nd7 15.Bxg7 Kxg7 16.0-0 Qa5 17.f4
f5?!

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Blacks king is weak, his e7pawn is also a cause of concern.


After 18.exf5 Qxf5, simplest is
19.Qd4+ Kg8 20.Rce1 with a huge
advantage.
10.Nxd4 Nc6 11.Be2 Nxd4
12.Bxd4 Be6 13.0-0 Qd7 14.Qd2
Rfc8 15.b3 Qd8 16.f4
138

White has played nearly the


same moves as in Dreev-Hughes
and again, he is clearly on top. Exchanges do not help Black since
he is cramped to the last ranks of
the board: 16...Bg4 17.Bxg4 Nxg4
18.Bxg7 Kxg7 19.h3 Nf6 20.Rae1,
with e4-e5 to follow.
16...Bd7

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17.e5 Ne8 18.Rad1 Bc6


19.Bg4 e6 20.Qe3 dxe5 21.fxe5
Qa5?
This misses a beautiful combination, but Blacks position was difficult anyway.

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22.Rxf7! Kxf7 23.Qh3 Rd8


24.b4 Qxb4 25.Bxe6+ Ke7
26.Nd5+ Bxd5 27.cxd5 Nc7
28.a3 Qxd4+ 29.Rxd4 Bxe5
30.Qxh7+ Kd6 31.Rd1
1-0

3.f3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nc3 0-0 6.Be3 c5


21. Moiseenko-Guseinov
Ningbo 21.07.2011
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7
4.e4 d6 5.f3 0-0 6.Be3 c5 7.Nge2
cxd4 8.Nxd4 Nc6 9.Qd2 Bd7
10.Be2 a5 11.0-0 Nxd4 12.Bxd4
Bc6

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9tR-+-+RmK-0
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13.Kh1

White chooses a minimalistic


approach. He aims to trade darksquared bishops, then to play Nd5,
recapture on d5 by the e-pawn.
This transformation of the pawn
structure gives him pressure on the
kingside due to his active rooks.
Another good plan is to retreat the
bishop to e3 and keep the tension
all over the board.
13...Nd7 14.Bxg7 Kxg7 15.f4
Qb6
Black often chooses 15...a4
16.Rf3 Qa5. It does not change the
character of play, but it discourages 17.Rh3 Kg8 18.f5 due to 18...
Qe5 and the queen is powerful in
the centre. White should follow the
main plan with 17.Re3 Qc5 18.Rf1 f6
19.Nd5 Bxd5 20.exd5.

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9+-+-+R+K0
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The game Epishin-Vassallo Barroche, Albacete 2004 went 20...Rf7


21.h3 Qa5 22.Rc3 (22.Qc1) 22...a3
23.b3 Rc8 24.Qd4 Kg8 25.Re3 b6
26.Bf3 Qb4 27.Rfe1 Re8 28.Kh2
Nc5 29.R1e2 (29.f5!+) 29...b5
30.Rc3. Open files are in Whites
favour due to his mobile rooks.
16.Rae1
The queens rook takes its place
on the potentially open file. 16.Rf3
also deserves consideration since
in some lines Whites best set-up
is Re3+Rf1 as after 16...Nf6 17.Re3
Qc5 18.Rf1. In that event, Rae1
might be a loss of a tempo. On the
other hand, 16.Rae1 is more flexible
as it also supports e4-e5.

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+-+-tr-+0
9+p+nzppmkp0
9-wqlzp-+p+0
9zp-+-+-+-0
9-+P+PzP-+0
9+-sN-+-+-0
9PzP-wQL+PzP0
9+-+-tRR+K0
xiiiiiiiiy

16...Rae8

Dolmatov-Gufeld, Soviet Union


1985, saw 16...Qb4 17.Rf3 Rad8
139

Part 4
when 18.a3 Qc5 19.Nd5 would
have forced the exchange on d5:
19...Bxd5 20.exd5 Rfe8 21.f5. Or
16...Nf6 17.Bf3 Rad8 18.Nd5 Bxd5
19.exd5.
The only drawback of our target
set-up with exd5 is that our lightsquared bishop has not any prospects. Therefore, it is a good idea to
trade it at an opportunity:
16...a4 17.Bg4 Rad8?! 18.Bxd7
Rxd7 19.f5 Qc5 20.Qd3 Qe5 21.b4
axb3 22.axb3 Kg8 23.Nd5,
Eljanov-Zhigalko, Artek 1999.
17.Rf3 f5 18.Nd5 Bxd5 19.Rb3
Qd8 20.exd5 Nc5 21.Re3

XIIIIIIIIY
9-+-wqrtr-+0
9+p+-zp-mkp0
9-+-zp-+p+0
9zp-snP+p+-0
9-+P+-zP-+0
9+-+-tR-+-0
9PzP-wQL+PzP0
9+-+-tR-+K0
xiiiiiiiiy

White has accomplished his


strategic aim. If he gets time for Bf3,
he would be in total control. Then
he could break on the kingside. Of
course, Guseinov is well aware of
that so he takes the chance to transform the pawn structure. It does not
save him from trouble though:
21...Ne4
22.Qd4+
e5
23.dxe6+ Qf6 24.Qxf6+ Rxf6
25.Bf3 Rfxe6 26.Bxe4 Rxe4
27.Rxe4 fxe4
White is better because his king
reaches a perfect blockading posi140

tion. He went on to win after some


mutual inaccuracies:
28.Kg1 b5 29.cxb5 d5 30.Kf2
Rc8 31.Ke3 Kf6 32.b4 a4 33.b6
Rc6 34.b7 Rb6 35.a3 Rxb7
36.Rc1 g5 37.g3 gxf4+ 38.gxf4
Ke6 39.Rc6+ Kd7 40.Rc5
Ke6 41.Rc6+ Kd7 42.Rh6 Rb8
43.Rxh7+ Kc6 44.Kd4 Rf8
45.Rh4 Re8 46.Rh6+ Kb7 47.Rh3
Rf8 48.Kxd5 Rxf4 49.Re3 Rh4
50.h3 Kb6 51.Rc3 Rf4 52.Ke5
Rf3 53.Kd4 Rf4 54.Re3 Rh4
55.Ke5 Kc6 56.Rc3+ Kd7
57.Kd5 Rf4 58.Re3 Rh4 59.Kc5
Rh5+ 60.Kb6 Rd5 61.Rxe4 Rd3
62.b5 Rxa3 63.h4 Ra2 64.h5
a3 65.Ra4 Rh2 66.Rxa3 Rxh5
67.Ra7+ Kc8 68.Ra8+ Kd7
69.Rg8 Rf5 70.Ka6 Rf2 71.b6
Ra2+ 72.Kb7 Rb2 73.Rg6 Ra2
74.Kb8 Rb2 75.b7 Ra2 76.Rg1
Rh2 77.Ra1
1-0
22. Navara-Svidler
Prague 20.06.2012
1.Nf3 g6 2.e4 c5 3.c4 Bg7
4.d4 cxd4 5.Nxd4 Nc6 6.Be3
Nf6 7.Nc3 0-0 8.Be2 d6 9.0-0
Nxd4 10.Bxd4 Bd7 11.Qd2 Bc6
12.f3 a5 13.b3 Nd7

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+-wq-trk+0
9+p+nzppvlp0
9-+lzp-+p+0
9zp-+-+-+-0
9-+PvLP+-+0
9+PsN-+P+-0
9P+-wQL+PzP0
9tR-+-+RmK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

3.f3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nc3 0-0 6.Be3 c5


14.Be3
The logic of this retreat is simple
Whites bishop fires in two directions while its counterpart on g7
has only one working diagonal. If
we extend this logic on Whites future plan, he should leave the pawn
on f3 and focus his attention on the
centre and the queenside. Many
players prefer to retreat the bishop
to f2, but from this square it does
not control g5. For instance, GiriCuenca Jimenez, Leon 2012, went
14.Bf2 Nc5 15.Rab1 Be5 16.Rfd1 e6
17.Bf1 Qf6 18.Be1 g5=.

28.Re2 Rac8 29.Kg2 a4 30.Bc2 axb3


31.axb3 Nd7 32.Bg5 Nf6 33.Rce1
Qf8 34.Bb1 Bg7 35.f4 b5 36.f5
Sadvakasov-Nguyen, Guangzhou
2010.
18.Bf1
The thematic 18.Nd5 is also
possible. Black cannot ignore the
knight for too long: 18...Qd8 19.Bg5
Bxd5 20.exd5 Bf6 21.Be3!. Instead,
he shifts the bishop to an active position on h3. This is another typical
manoeuvre.
18...Kh7 19.g3 Qd8 20.Bh3

14...Nc5 15.Rab1 Qb6 16.Rfc1


Rfc8 17.Rc2 h5
White can easily tame any
Blacks activity on the queenside:
17...Qb4 18.Qc1 Qb6 19.Bf1 Qd8
20.Qd2 Qf8 21.Re1 h5

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+r+-wqk+0
9+p+-zppvl-0
9-+lzp-+p+0
9zp-sn-+-+p0
9-+P+P+-+0
9+PsN-vLP+-0
9P+RwQ-+PzP0
9+-+-tRLmK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

22.Nd5 Bxd5 23.exd5 Rc7.


We see the same pawn structure
as in the previous game. Black is
deprived of counterplay and can
only stay and watch the opponent
building up an attack: 24.Rcc1 b6
25.g3 Kh7 26.Bd3 Bh8 27.Bb1 Qg7

e6

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+rwq-+-+0
9+p+-+pvlk0
9-+lzpp+p+0
9zp-sn-+-+p0
9-+P+P+-+0
9+PsN-vLPzPL0
9P+RwQ-+-zP0
9+R+-+-mK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

White has emerged from the


opening with a slight plus. He has
pressure in the centre, but most
importantly, the opponent has no
counterplay. That is a serious drawback of the set-up with ...a5. In the
normal hedgehog, Black is also passive, but he is always threatening to
break through by ...b5 or ...d5. In
the diagram position, his only active option is ...f5, but Blacks king
had been already weakened by the
advance of the h-pawn.

141

Part 4
21.Rd1 Be5 22.Nb5 Qf8
23.Qe2 Rd8 24.Bg5 Rd7 25.Nd4
f5 26.Nxc6 bxc6 27.Be3 Qe7
Black has to worry about multiple weaknesses the c6-, d6- and
the a5-pawn, the knight on c5 is
hanging. An alternative was 27...
Rdd8 28.f4 Bg7 29.exf5 exf5 30.Bg2
Rac8 31.Bf2 a4 32.b4 Re8 33.Qd2.
Black can alter the pawn structure
in the centre by 33...Ne4 34.Bxe4
fxe4 35.Bd4, but we know from
the previous game that White retains an edge in it.
28.Bg2
28.Rcd2 Rad8 29.exf5 exf5
30.Bf2 Nb7 31.f4 allows the manoeuvre 31...Bc3! 32.Qxe7+ Rxe7
33.Rd3 Bb4! and Black has everything defended: 34.Bg2 Rc8 35.Bf3
Kg8 36.Kf1 Kf7=.
28...Bg7

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+-+-+-+0
9+-+rwq-vlk0
9-+pzpp+p+0
9zp-sn-+p+p0
9-+P+P+-+0
9+P+-vLPzP-0
9P+R+Q+LzP0
9+-+R+-mK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

29.Rcd2?!

White misses his chance here.


He should have opened the kingside, for instance: 29.exf5! exf5
30.Bf2 Qf7 31.Qe1 Re7 32.Re2 Rxe2
142

33.Qxe2 Qc7 34.Qd2 Bf8 35.Re1


Rc8 36.g4. Now the game is drawn.
29...Rad830.Bxc5dxc531.exf5
Bd4+ 32.Kf1 exf5 33.Qxe7+ Rxe7
34.f4 Rd6 35.Re2 Rxe2 Draw.

23. Svetushkin-Dochev
Aghios Kirykos 16.07.2004
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7
4.e4 d6 5.f3 0-0 6.Nge2 Nbd7
7.Be3 a6 8.Qd2 c5 9.dxc5 dxc5
10.Rd1 Qc7 11.Nf4

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+l+-trk+0
9+pwqnzppvlp0
9p+-+-snp+0
9+-zp-+-+-0
9-+P+PsN-+0
9+-sN-vLP+-0
9PzP-wQ-+PzP0
9+-+RmKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

11...e6

The game Shen-Lahno, Beijing


2012, saw 11...b6 12.Nfd5 Nxd5
13.Nxd5 Qd8 when I like 14.h4.
This is mostly a positional move.
Its idea is to provoke 14...h5 which
weakens g6. Then we should complete development by 15.Be2 (15.g4
and 15.Bf4 Bd4 are unclear.) 15...e6
16.Bg5 f6 17.Bf4 (17.Be3 Ne5) 17...
Ne5 18.Nc3. White has space advantage. He can play Kf2 and double the rooks on the open file.
12.Nd3 Ne8 13.h4

3.f3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nc3 0-0 6.Be3 c5


Black is so passive that I decided
to grab space on the kingside.
13...b6 14.h5 Ne5 15.Nxe5
Bxe5 16.f4 Bg7 17.e5 Bb7
18.Bd3

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+-+ntrk+0
9+lwq-+pvlp0
9pzp-+p+p+0
9+-zp-zP-+P0
9-+P+-zP-+0
9+-sNLvL-+-0
9PzP-wQ-+P+0
9+-+RmK-+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

in fact Black retains some counterchances. The computer finds here a


very strong idea: 21.Bc2!? and the
threat of Qd6 forces Black to trade
a pair of rooks on the d-file. That
reduces his activity. Instead I went
for a quick kill. Objectively, it may
be the best choice, but it demands
accurate play.
21.Qe2 Rae8 22.Rxh5 Nxh5
23.Qxh5 Bf6 24.Ke2
24.Ne4! was very strong.
24...Qg7 25.Rh1?!

18...f5

It is evident that Black would


not survive without pushing the fpawn, but he could shape this idea
a little better: 18...Rd8, hoping for
19.Qf2 f6 with some counterplay. I
would have answered 19.hxg6 fxg6
to stabilise my centre, and switch to
positional play by 20.Qe2.
19.exf6 Nxf6 20.hxg6 h5
This position is somewhat deceiving. It looks like easily won, but

25.Ne4 was winning: 25...Bxb2


26.Nd6 Re7 27.Nxb7 Rxb7 28.Be4
Re7 29.Qh7+ Qxh7 30.gxh7+ Kh8
31.Rb1+.
25...Bxg2
And I had to start over again.
26.Rh2 Bc6 27.Qg4 Qb7
28.Nd1 Re7 29.Nf2 Rd8 30.Qh3
b5 31.Ng4 Bg7 32.Qh7+ Kf8
33.Nh6 Ke8 34.Nf7 Be4 35.Qxg7
Bxd3+ 36.Kf2 Kd7 37.Nxd8 1-0

143

Part 4

144

3.f3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nc3 0-0 6.Be3 Nc6 7.Nge2

Part 5

The Panno Variation


1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nc3 0-0 6.Be3 Nc6
7.Nge2

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+lwq-trk+0
9zppzp-zppvlp0
9-+nzp-snp+0
9+-+-+-+-0
9-+PzPP+-+0
9+-sN-vLP+-0
9PzP-+N+PzP0
9tR-+QmKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

145

Part 5

Part 5

Main Ideas

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 Bg7 4.e4


d6 5.Nc3 0-0 6.Be3 Nc6 7.Nge2

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+lwq-trk+0
9zppzp-zppvlp0
9-+nzp-snp+0
9+-+-+-+-0
9-+PzPP+-+0
9+-sN-vLP+-0
9PzP-+N+PzP0
9tR-+QmKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

7...Nc6 is a natural retort to the


Smish set-up. Black discourages
7.Bd3 or kingside attacks with the
threat of 7...e5 and 8...Nd4. Thus
White has to bar his own bishop on
f1 and its future is the main plot of
the next few moves. Well be trying to develop our problem piece
somehow while Black will be setting counterplay on the queenside.
One might think that after thousands of games in this system the
main lines are well established
and researched. In fact, Im observing a constant reevaluation of
many variations. Both sides seem
to shift their investigations towards
rare plans lately. I will also try to
boost this trend by recommending some nearly unexplored lines.
146

I divided the theoretical material


into two parts, but I will consider
the main ideas in one survey to
make them stand out more clearly.
From the diagram position,
Black has two main plans: kingside play with ...e5, ...Ne7, ...Ne8,
and queenside offensive with ...a6,
...b5. The first one is rather ineffective. White easily advances his
queenside pawns while on the other wing he fianchettoes his lightsquared bishop which allows him
to remain rock-solid against any attacking attempts:
7...Rb8 8.Qd2 Re8 9.Rb1 a5 10.g3
Nd7 11.Bg2 e5 12.d5 Ne7 13.0-0 b6

XIIIIIIIIY
9-trlwqr+k+0
9+-zpnsnpvlp0
9-zp-zp-+p+0
9zp-+Pzp-+-0
9-+P+P+-+0
9+-sN-vLPzP-0
9PzP-wQN+LzP0
9+R+-+RmK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

14.a3 Ba6 15.b3 f5 16.Nb5 Nf6


17.Kh1 Rf8 18.Nec3 Nh5 19.Bf2
Kh8 20.b4. See Game 24 Timman-Marovic, Amsterdam 1973.

3.f3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nc3 0-0 6.Be3 Nc6 7.Nge2


Here is another example of passive play:
7...a6 8.Qd2 Rb8 9.Rc1 Bd7
10.Nd1 Re8 11.Nf2 h5 12.g3 e6
13.Bg2 Qe7 14.0-0 Qf8 15.f4

XIIIIIIIIY
9-tr-+rwqk+0
9+pzpl+pvl-0
9p+nzppsnp+0
9+-+-+-+p0
9-+PzPPzP-+0
9+-+-vL-zP-0
9PzP-wQNsNLzP0
9+-tR-+RmK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

See Game 25 Svetushkin-Golu


bev.
It is clear that the typical Kings
Indian plan with ...e5 and ...f5 bites
on granite against the fianchetto. Sometimes Black tries to stop
Whites expansion by playing ...c5
himself. Then White opens the bfile to his favour:
7...a6 8.Qd2 Rb8 9.Rc1 Bd7
10.Nd1 e5 11.d5 Ne7 12.g3 Ne8
13.Bg2 c5 14.b4 b6 15.Nf2 f5 16.0-0

XIIIIIIIIY
9-tr-wqntrk+0
9+-+lsn-vlp0
9pzp-zp-+p+0
9+-zpPzpp+-0
9-zPP+P+-+0
9+-+-vLPzP-0
9P+-wQNsNLzP0
9+-tR-+RmK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

This position looks complex,


but in fact its strategic background
is rather simple. On the kingside,
Black will have to exchange on e4

at some point to prevent possible


exf5 from White. Thus he will remain without any counterplay and
will have to passively wait and defend his weak pawns on a6 and d6.
White will play Rb3 and open the bfile. Then ...Rxb3 would allow axb3
and further b3-b4 so Blacks only
way to force exchanges would be
to push a5-a4. However, the closer
the a-pawn is to Whites forces, the
weaker it is. Even without rooks
and queens, Blacks defence is not
easy. He will be playing for two
results only. Look at Game 27
Genov-Praznik, Feffernitz 2012,
and Game 26 Gupta-Nolte, Kolkata 2012 to see the implementation
of those plans in practice.
Now let us deal with:
7...a6 8.Qd2

XIIIIIIIIY
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9+pzp-zppvlp0
9p+nzp-snp+0
9+-+-+-+-0
9-+PzPP+-+0
9+-sN-vLP+-0
9PzP-wQN+PzP0
9tR-+-mKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

The next four moves of Black


can be ...Rb8, ...Bd7, ...Re8, ...e6 in
any order. It could be frustrating
to trying to remember all the right
moves in any possible permutation. You can choose to study them
from the Step by Step chapters. I
will offer you here a universal setup which is applicable to all move
147

Part 5
orders. It has other merits, too it
is simple to learn and not popular
so you have a fair chance to surprise
your opponent. In short, it consists
of playing 9.Rc1 followed up by b3:
8...Rb8 9.Rc1 Bd7
In the event of 9...Re8 10.b3
e6, White completes development
and preserves his space advantage: 11.g3 Bd7 12.Bg2 b5 13.Nd1
bxc4 14.bxc4 Rb4 (14...Bc8 15.0-0
Nd7 16.f4 Ne7 17.Nf2 f5 18.e5 Nb6
19.Nd3) 15.Nb2, Khairullin-Sebenik, Plovdiv 2012.
10.b3!? (Part 6, line A)
This position may also occur after the move order 8...Bd7 9.b3 Rb8
10.Rc1.

XIIIIIIIIY
9-tr-wq-trk+0
9+pzplzppvlp0
9p+nzp-snp+0
9+-+-+-+-0
9-+PzPP+-+0
9+PsN-vLP+-0
9P+-wQN+PzP0
9+-tR-mKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

This move protects the c4square and threatens with d5, e.g.
10...Re8 11.d5 Ne5 (11...Na5 12.c5)
12.h3 Bc8 13.f4 Ned7 14.g4 c5
15.dxc6 bxc6 16.Bg2, ZaltsmanSpraggett, New York 1983.
10...b5 11.cxb5 axb5 12.d5
Ne5 13.Nd4 Qe8 14.a3 e6 15.Be2
exd5 16.exd5
148

XIIIIIIIIY
9-tr-+qtrk+0
9+-zpl+pvlp0
9-+-zp-snp+0
9+p+Psn-+-0
9-+-sN-+-+0
9zPPsN-vLP+-0
9-+-wQL+PzP0
9+-tR-mK-+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

Whites pieces are better coordinated. The game Van der SterrenBarlov, Dieren 1986, went further
16...b4 17.axb4 Rxb4 18.0-0 c5
19.dxc6 Nxc6 when 20.Nxc6 Bxc6
21.Bc4 will probably transform
sooner or later into a technical position with opposite coloured bishops and an extra pawn for White.

Advanced Reading
If you want to learn more about the
Panno Variation and get acquainted
with other plans for White, the following lines will provide you with
important conclusions you should
know.
In his book Playing 1.d4, Lars
Schandorff advocates 7...a6 8.Qd2
Rb8 9.Rc1 Bd7 10.Nd1 e6 11.Nf2 Re8

XIIIIIIIIY
9-tr-wqr+k+0
9+pzpl+pvlp0
9p+nzppsnp+0
9+-+-+-+-0
9-+PzPP+-+0
9+-+-vLP+-0
9PzP-wQNsNPzP0
9+-tR-mKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

3.f3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nc3 0-0 6.Be3 Nc6 7.Nge2


12.g3?! b5 13.cxb5 (13.c5 dxc5!
14.Rxc5 Bf8 15.Rc1 e5 16.d5 Bb4!
is unclear) 13...axb5 14.Bg2. In
my opinion, Black equalises easily here. Instead, I recommend in
the diagram position 12.Bg5 see
Game 28 Dreev-Kokarev, Mumbai
2010.
Against the move order 7...a6
8.Qd2 Bd7, Schandorffs receipt is:
9.g4 b5 10.h4

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+-wq-trk+0
9+-zplzppvlp0
9p+nzp-snp+0
9+p+-+-+-0
9-+PzPP+PzP0
9+-sN-vLP+-0
9PzP-wQN+-+0
9tR-+-mKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

However, he does not even


mention the thematic: 10...h5! with
sharp unclear play.
My proposition is 9.b3, as I have
mentioned before. White has another valuable alternative:
9.Rb1!? Rb8 10.b4 b5 11.cxb5
axb5 12.d5 Ne5 13.Nd4

XIIIIIIIIY
9-tr-wq-trk+0
9+-zplzppvlp0
9-+-zp-snp+0
9+p+Psn-+-0
9-zP-sNP+-+0
9+-sN-vLP+-0
9P+-wQ-+PzP0
9+R+-mKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

13...e6 14.Be2 exd5 15.exd5


Re8 16.0-0 Nc4 17.Bxc4. Whites

queenside pawns are rolling very


fast.
The only variation where I approve of a kingside attack is when
Black plays 7...a6 8.Qd2 Re8. Here
9.Rb1 is solid and good (Part 5, line
B24), but 9.0-0-0!? (or even immediately 9.g4 as I tried in a game)
is very interesting (line B22). After
9...b5 10.g4 Rb8 11.h4, Whites attack is strong:

XIIIIIIIIY
9-trlwqr+k+0
9+-zp-zppvlp0
9p+nzp-snp+0
9+p+-+-+-0
9-+PzPP+PzP0
9+-sN-vLP+-0
9PzP-wQN+-+0
9+-mKR+L+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

11...h5 12.gxh5! Nxh5 13.Rg1!


e5 14.Bg5 Qd7 15.Ng3 or 11...Na5
12.Ng3 bxc4 13.h5.
Typical tactical motifs
In practice, White often misses
to exploit the hanging state of the
bishop on d7:
Analysis

XIIIIIIIIY
9-tr-wqr+k+0
9+-zpl+pvlp0
9p+nzppsnp+0
9+p+-+-+-0
9-+PzPP+-+0
9+PsN-vLPzP-0
9P+-wQN+LzP0
9+-+RmK-+R0
xiiiiiiiiy
149

Part 5
13.e5!
15.Bd4.

dxe5

14.dxe5

Nxe5

Svetushkin-Golubev
blitz playchess.com 2004

XIIIIIIIIY
9-tr-+rwqk+0
9+pzpl+pvl-0
9p+nzppsnp+0
9+-+-+-+p0
9-+PzPP+-+0
9+-+-vLPzP-0
9PzP-wQNsNLzP0
9+-tR-+RmK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

In blitz, I chose the consistent


move 15.f4, which did ensure me an
edge, but 15.e5! dxe5 16.dxe5 Nxe5
17.Bd4 would have been even
stronger.
In the Panno Variation, White
occupies the centre at the expense
of development. You should pay
special attention to possible piece
sacrifices which unleash the enemy
pieces:
Analysis

XIIIIIIIIY
9-+-wqr+k+0
9+-zpl+pvlp0
9p+nzppsnp+0
9+-+-zP-+-0
9r+PzP-+-+0
9+-+NvLPzP-0
9P+-wQN+-zP0
9+-tR-mKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

The hanging f3-pawn enables:


16...Na5! 17.exf6 Qxf6 18.Nef4 c5
19.dxc5 Nxc4 20.Rxc4 Rxc4.
150

Analysis

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+-wqr+k+0
9+pzpl+pvlp0
9-+-zppsnp+0
9zpP+-+-+-0
9PsnPzPP+-+0
9+-sN-vLP+-0
9-+-wQN+PzP0
9+R+-mKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

13.e5 dxe5 14.dxe5 Nh5 15.g4


Bxe5 16.gxh5 Qh4+ 17.Bf2 Qxh5
and Black develops a strong initiative. There is no reason to give the
opponent such possibilities because
over the board initiative means advantage (even when the engine says
that chances are equal).
Analysis

XIIIIIIIIY
9-tr-wqr+k+0
9+pzp-+pvlp0
9-+-+-snp+0
9zpP+Pzp-+-0
9Psn-+P+-+0
9+-+-vLP+-0
9-+-wQL+PzP0
9+RsN-mK-+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

White has the bishop pair. One


tempo for castling would assure
him of a serious advantage, but 17...
Nxe4! 18.fxe4 Qh4+ 19.Bf2 Qxe4
changes completely the character of
the game.
Sometimes White can overestimate his attack an miss the strong
defence ...g5 which keeps the kingside closed:

3.f3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nc3 0-0 6.Be3 Nc6 7.Nge2


Lautier-Golubev
Odessa 2006

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9r+lwqr+k+0
9+-zp-zpp+-0
9p+nzp-vlp+0
9+-+-+-+P0
9-+pzPP+p+0
9+-+-vLP+-0
9PzP-wQN+-+0
9+-mKR+L+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

14...g5!
The outcome of the game depends on the tempi while pawns do
not count. It is more important to
stall Whites attack.
15.Bxg5 e5 16.Bxf6 Qxf6 17.fxg4
exd4 18.g5 Qf3 19.g6 Bg4!=.

Solozhenkin-Riera Sola
Manresa 1993

XIIIIIIIIY
9-trl+r+k+0
9+-+-zppvlp0
9pwqpzp-snp+0
9sn-+-+-+P0
9-+pzPP+P+0
9+-sN-vLPsN-0
9PzP-tR-+-wQ0
9+-mK-+L+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

Whites last move 15.Rd2?


missed a win with 15.hxg6! and allowed 15...g5! which would have
stopped Whites attack. Instead,
Black lost after 15...e5? 16.hxg6 fxg6
17.g5 Nd7 18.Qxh7+ Kf7 19.Nf5
gxf5 20.g6+ 1-0.

151

Part 5

Part 5

Step by Step
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 Bg7 4.e4
d6 5.Nc3 0-0 6.Be3 Nc6 7.Nge2

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+lwq-trk+0
9zppzp-zppvlp0
9-+nzp-snp+0
9+-+-+-+-0
9-+PzPP+-+0
9+-sN-vLP+-0
9PzP-+N+PzP0
9tR-+QmKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy
A. 7...Re8; B. 7...a6

7...Rb8 transposes to the main


lines after 8.Qd2 a6 or 8...Re8.
A. 7...Re8
The reason behind this move is
to meet 8.Nc1 by 8...e5 9.d5 Nd4.
Then 10.N1e2 Nxe2 is playable.
He can even try 10...c5 11.dxc6
Nxc6 and follow up with ...Be6,
...Rc8 with comfortable piece play.
In the event of 10.Nb3 Nxb3
(The sacrifice 10...c5 11.dxc6 bxc6
12.Nxd4 exd4 13.Bxd4 is in Whites
favour. He can always return the
pawn, but gain a strategic advantage, for instance: 13...d5 14.cxd5
152

cxd5 15.Bb5 Re6 16.e5 Nd7 17.f4 f6


18.Bxd7 Bxd7 19.0-0 fxe5 20.fxe5
Bxe5 21.Bxe5 Rxe5 22.Qd4 Qb6
23.Qxb6 axb6 24.Rad1 Be6 25.Rf4,
Spassky-Jansa, Tel Aviv 1964)
11.axb3 c5, Black benefits from having refrained from ...a6.
8.Qd2 Rb8

XIIIIIIIIY
9-trlwqr+k+0
9zppzp-zppvlp0
9-+nzp-snp+0
9+-+-+-+-0
9-+PzPP+-+0
9+-sN-vLP+-0
9PzP-wQN+PzP0
9tR-+-mKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

Again, aimed against 9.Nc1 and


hoping for 9...e5 10.d5 Nd4 11.Nb3
c5 12.dxc6 bxc6 13.Nxd4 exd4
14.Bxd4 d5 (14...c5!?) 15.cxd5 cxd5
16.e5 Nh5 with mutual chances.
Note that in these lines Rb8 is much
more useful than the common a6.
9.h4!?
It is strange that nobody has
tested in practice 9.Rc1 aiming to

3.f3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nc3 0-0 6.Be3 Nc6 7.Nge2


transpose to the main line after 9...
a6. Perhaps Black can continue the
waiting game with 9...Bd7 which is
uncharted territory, but 10.b3 a6
would transpose.
9.a3 will mostly likely transpose
to the main line after 9...a6. An independent line is 9...Nd7 10.Rd1!
(10.h4 Na5 11.Nc1 c5) 10...a6 11.h4
h5 12.Bh6 with attack.
9.Rb1!? a6 (9...a5 abandons
the only active plan with ...b5 and
dooms Black to a passive defence.
See Game 24 Timman-Maro
vic, Amsterdam 1973.) 10.b4 also
transposes to the main line.
The text has not any serious
advantages over the above-mentioned alternatives except that it
could steer the game into a quiet
endgame with a lasting initiative
for White. Such a scenario may be
very unpleasant for sharp, loving to
gamble players.
9...h5
It is dangerous to allow h4-h5.
White has the initiative after:
9...a6 10.h5 b5
10...Nxh5 11.Bh6 e5 12.Bxg7
Kxg7 13.g4 exd4 14.Nd5 Ne5
15.Bg2 (After 15.Nxd4 Nxg4 16.fxg4
Rxe4+ 17.Be2 Bxg4 18.0-0-0 Bxe2
19.Nxe2 c6 20.Rdg1 Rxc4+ 21.Kd1
Rh4 22.Qc3+ Kg8 23.Nf6+ Qxf6
24.Qxf6 Nxf6 25.Rxh4, White has
an extra rook, but for the whole lot
of 5 pawns.) 15...Nf6 16.Qh6+ Kg8
17.Nef4 c6 18.g5.
11.hxg6 fxg6

XIIIIIIIIY
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9+-zp-zp-vlp0
9p+nzp-snp+0
9+p+-+-+-0
9-+PzPP+-+0
9+-sN-vLP+-0
9PzP-wQN+P+0
9tR-+-mKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

White has the better centre.


He only should not castle long because that would give Black certain counterplay: 12.Bh6 (12.Nd5
e6 13.Nxf6+ Qxf6 14.Rc1) 12...
Bh8 13.cxb5 axb5 14.Rc1 b4 (14...
Bd7 15.d5 Ne5 16.Nd4 Nc4 17.Qf2)
15.Nd5 Bd7 16.Nef4.
10.0-0-0 a6

XIIIIIIIIY
9-trlwqr+k+0
9+pzp-zppvl-0
9p+nzp-snp+0
9+-+-+-+p0
9-+PzPP+-zP0
9+-sN-vLP+-0
9PzP-wQN+P+0
9+-mKR+L+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

It may seem that now the headon attack with 12.Bh6 should be
decisive. Indeed, over the board
it is easier to attack. However, detailed analysis shows unclear positions after 12...b5!
12...Bh8? 13.g4 is crushing, for
example: 12...b5 13.gxh5 Nxh5
14.Nf4 Nxf4 15.Bxf4 b4 16.Ne2
e5 17.Bg5 Bf6 18.d5; 12...e5
153

Part 5
13.Bg5 exd4 14.Nd5 Ne5 15.gxh5
Nxf3 16.Bxf6 Nxd2 17.Bxd8 Nxf1
18.Bxc7+ Miniboeck-F.Portisch,
Vienna 1986.
12.g4 e5 13.Bxg7 Kxg7 14.g5
Nd7 15.f4 (15.cxb5 axb5 16.f4 Nb6)
15...Nb6 16.cxb5 axb5, Knaak-F.
Portisch, Trnava 1981.
I prefer to trust Karpovs intuition and recommend a solid positional approach:
11.Nf4 e5
The fine point of Whites set-up
is that 11...b5 fails to 12.cxb5 axb5
13.Bxb5 Bd7 14.Bxc6 Bxc6 15.e5.
Therefore, Black has to concede a
small, but stable edge in the endgame after:

White has a space advantage on


the queenside and his king can also
support a pawn storm at this part of
the board. All his pieces are active.
16...Bd8
Or 16...Bg7 17.c5 Rd8 (17...c6
18.Nb6 Nd4 19.Bc4 Be6 20.Bxe6
Rxe6 21.Nc4) 18.g3 Kf8 19.Bh3.
17.c5 Kg7 18.g3
Whites rook enters the play via
h2. Stayed the pawn on a7, Blacks
position would have been very solid. As it is, the b6-square is weak,
the push c5-c6 is always in the air,
for instance, 18...Nf8 19.Rh2 Be6
20.a3!? intending to meet 20...Nd7
by 21.c6! bxc6 22.Nb4.

12.dxe5 dxe5 13.Qxd8 Nxd8


Similar is 13...Rxd8 14.Nfd5 Rd7
(14...Ne8 15.Ne7+ Kf8 16.Nxc6
Rxd1+ 17.Nxd1 bxc6 18.g3)
15.Nxf6+ Bxf6 16.Nd5 Bd8 17.g3.
14.Nfd5 Ne6 15.Nxf6+ Bxf6
16.Nd5

XIIIIIIIIY
9-trl+r+k+0
9+pzp-+p+-0
9p+-+nvlp+0
9+-+Nzp-+p0
9-+P+P+-zP0
9+-+-vLP+-0
9PzP-+-+P+0
9+-mKR+L+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

154

B. 7...a6 8.Qd2

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9+pzp-zppvlp0
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9-+PzPP+-+0
9+-sN-vLP+-0
9PzP-wQN+PzP0
9tR-+-mKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

B1. 8...Na5; B2. 8...Re8; B3. 8...


Bd7!?
The most popular option 8...Rb8
is the subject of the next part of the
book.

3.f3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nc3 0-0 6.Be3 Nc6 7.Nge2


B1. 8...Na5
This rare move brings Black
over 50%, probably because of the
effect of surprise. It immediately
starts queenside activity, thus distracting White from an attack on
the opposite wing. Now 9.b3 would
enable 9...b5 due to the pin along
the a-file, so we have not much of
a choice:
9.Nc1

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+lwq-trk+0
9+pzp-zppvlp0
9p+-zp-snp+0
9sn-+-+-+-0
9-+PzPP+-+0
9+-sN-vLP+-0
9PzP-wQ-+PzP0
9tR-sN-mKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy
9...Nd7

Black has also tried the speculative pawn sacrifices:


a) 9...c5? 10.dxc5 Nd7 11.cxd6
Ne5 12.dxe7 Qxe7 13.Nd5 Qd8
14.Nb6+, Cheparinov-Perez Candelario, Villafranca 2010.
b) 9...b5?! 10.cxb5 axb5 11.Bxb5
c6 12.Be2 Ba6 13.0-0 Nd7 14.b3 c5
15.Bxa6 Rxa6 16.N1e2 Qa8 17.Rab1
Rc8 18.Rfc1, Lenic-Srebrnic, Ljub
ljana 2010.
c) 9...Bd7

This novelty has been introduced in the game Kanarek-Guseinov, Legnica 2013. White chose
10.Rb1, but 10...Nc6 11.N1e2 Na5
apparently surprised him. Indeed,
11.b4 e5 12.d5 Nd4 13.N1e2 Nh5
would be unclear.
We are still to see Guseinovs
idea against the natural:
10.Be2!?. Then 10...Rb8 11.0-0 b5
12.Nxb5 should be good for White
due to his better pawn structure.
10.Be2!
The most accurate move order.
It confines Blacks options to symmetric pawn structures only, which
are clearly better for White. However, 10.Nb3 right away also leads
to a Whites edge: 10...Nxb3 (10...c5
11.dxc5 Nxb3 transposes) 11.axb3
c5 12.dxc5! Nxc5 13.Ra3 Be6 14.Be2
(14.b4 Nd7 15.b3) 14...a5 15.0-0
b6 16.Nd5 Bxd5 17.cxd5 f5 18.exf5
Rxf5 19.Bb5, Dreev-Vorobiov, Loo
2013.
10...c5 11.dxc5 dxc5 12.Nb3
Nxb3 (12...b5?! 13.Rd1!) 13.axb3

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+lwq-trk+0
9+p+nzppvlp0
9p+-+-+p+0
9+-zp-+-+-0
9-+P+P+-+0
9+PsN-vLP+-0
9-zP-wQL+PzP0
9tR-+-mK-+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

155

Part 5
White has a space advantage
and his pieces are positioned harmoniously. He can develop activity
on either flank or even open the hfile and leave his king in the centre.
For example: 13...b6 14.Rd1 Re8
15.h4!? (15.b4) 15...e6 16.h5 Qc7
17.hxg6 fxg6 18.f4.
B2. 8...Re8
B21. 9.h4; B22. 9.0-0-0!?; B23.
9.a3; B24. 9.Rb1
I have recently played here
9.g4!?. This move is thoroughly
sound and should transpose to line
B22 after 9...Rb8 10.0-0-0 or 10.h4
h5 11.gxh5! (The kingside should
be opened up. 11.g5 Nd7 12.f4 b5
13.f5 is not too effective.) 11...Nxh5
12.0-0-0! b5 13.Rg1.
9...e5 would be an independent
variation: 10.d5 Nd4 11.Nxd4 exd4
12.Bxd4 Bxg4 13.Bxf6! and White
should neutralise the attack. If you
feel awkwardly with a shaky king,
then you should sidestep this option by 9.0-0-0.
B21. 9.h4 h5!
This move makes the difference,
compared to line B22, where White
attacks with 9.0-0-0 b5 10.g4!?.
9...Rb8 is worse: 10.h5 b5
10...Nxh5 gives White a self-rolling attack: 11.Bh6 b5 12.Bxg7 Kxg7
13.g4 exd4 14.Nd5 Ne5 15.Bg2 Nf6
16.Qh6+ Kg8 17.Nef4 c6 18.g5.
156

11.hxg6 fxg6 12.Bh6 Bh8

XIIIIIIIIY
9-trlwqr+kvl0
9+-zp-zp-+p0
9p+nzp-snpvL0
9+p+-+-+-0
9-+PzPP+-+0
9+-sN-+P+-0
9PzP-wQN+P+0
9tR-+-mKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

White has an obvious advantage


in the centre and on the kingside
so there is no reason to castle long
under attack. It is safer to leave the
king in the centre:
13.cxb5
White can try to achieve an improved version of the same plan
with 13.Bg5!?. Then
13...Na5
14.Qf4 Nxc4 loses to 15.Qh4+. In
practice Black chooses 13...Rf8, but
14.cxb5 axb5 15.d5 Ne5 16.Nd4 is
clearly better for White. Perhaps
best defence would be the passive
13...e6 14.cxb5 axb5 15.Rc1 Bd7
16.b4 Rf8 17.Nf4.
13...axb5 14.Rc1
It is risky to play 14.d5 Ne5
15.Nd4 e6 (15...b4 16.Ncb5 Bd7
17.Rc1 Rb7 18.Nc6) 16.dxe6 Bxe6
17.Nxe6 Rxe6 18.Bxb5 d5 19.0-0-0,
although, objectively, White remains better: 19...Reb6 20.Qe2
c6 21.exd5 Nxd5 22.a4 Nf7 (22...
Qc8 23.Nxd5 cxb5+ 24.Kb1 Re6
25.a5) 23.Nxd5 cxd5 24.Bf4 Rxb5
25.axb5 Ra8 26.g3 Qa5 27.Qc2
Qxb5 28.Kb1 Bg7 29.Rd3 Bxb2
30.Rb3 Bf6 31.Qc8+ Rxc8 32.Rxb5
Rc3 33.Rf1 Be5.

3.f3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nc3 0-0 6.Be3 Nc6 7.Nge2


14...Bd7 15.d5 Ne5 16.Nd4 b4
17.Ncb5 Rb7 18.Nc6 Bxc6 19.dxc6
Rb8 20.Bg5 e6 21.Qxb4 d5 22.a4
dxe4 23.Rd1.

20.Rg1 fxg6 21.Re1 c3


22.bxc3 Bxh5 23.Ng3 Kh7=.

10.0-0-0 b5 11.Nd5
11.Nf4 bxc4 12.Bxc4 e5 13.dxe5
Nxe5 14.Be2 Rb8 leads to a complex position with mutual chances.
11...bxc4 12.Nxf6+
13.g4 hxg4 14.h5

Bxf6

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+lwqr+k+0
9+-zp-zpp+-0
9p+nzp-vlp+0
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9PzP-wQN+-+0
9+-mKR+L+R0
xiiiiiiiiy
14...g5!

An important defensive resource. 14...e5 15.hxg6 fxg6 16.fxg4!


Bxg4 17.Nc3! gives a strong attack,
for example, 17...exd4 18.Bxc4+
Be6 19.Qg2 Ne5 20.Qh3.
15.Bxg5 e5 16.Bxf6 Qxf6
17.fxg4 exd4 18.g5
18.Nxd4 Nxd4 19.Qxd4 Qf4+!
20.Qd2 Qxd2+ 21.Rxd2 Rb8 is
equal.
18...Qf3 19.g6 Bg4!

Black is holding on magic, but


Houdini 3 (and Golubev in 2006!)
claims that he is no worse here.

B22. 9.0-0-0!? b5
The only way to use the move
order with 9.0-0-0 instead of 9.g4
is 9...Na5, but 10.Nf4 b5 11.e5! is
rather grim for Black: 11...Nd7
12.e6 Nb6 13.exf7+ Kxf7 14.b3 bxc4
15.Ne4 Nc6 16.d5 Ne5 17.h4.
12...Bd7 looks a bit strange here.
We can follow the receipt from the
main line with 13.h4 h5 14.gxh5
Nxh5 15.Rg1.
10.g4 Rb8 11.h4

XIIIIIIIIY
9-trlwqr+k+0
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xiiiiiiiiy
11...Na5

11...h5 should be met by 12.gxh5!


12.Ng3 hxg4 13.h5 (13.Bh6 e5)
13...e5! 14.hxg6 fxg6 is unclear.
157

Part 5
12...Nxh5 13.Rg1!. White gets a
strong attack with natural straightforward moves, for instance, 13...e5
14.Bg5 Qd7 15.Ng3 Nxg3 16.Rxg3
Nxd4 17.h5 c6 18.Bh6 Qe7 19.hxg6
f5 20.Bg5 Qe6 21.Qh2.
12.Ng3 Nxc4
12...bxc4 is very difficult as Black
does not get any counterplay after
13.h5!, e.g. 13...c6 when 14.hxg6 is
simplest to avoid ...g5.
12...c5 may pay off if White continues with 13.h5 cxd4 14.Bxd4 Nc6
15.hxg6 hxg6 16.Be3 and now 16...
Qa5! leads to very sharp positions:
17.Bh6 Bh8 18.Nf5 Bxf5 19.gxf5 b4
20.Nb1 Qxa2 21.Qg2 Ne5 22.fxg6
fxg6 23.f4 Neg4 24.e5 dxe5 25.fxe5
Nxe5 26.Bf4 Nxc4 27.Bxb8=.
However, 13.dxc5 Nxc4 (13...
Nxg4 14.fxg4) 14.Bxc4 bxc4 15.h5
Qa5 16.c6 is crushing.
13.Bxc4 bxc4 14.h5

XIIIIIIIIY
9-trlwqr+k+0
9+-zp-zppvlp0
9p+-zp-snp+0
9+-+-+-+P0
9-+pzPP+P+0
9+-sN-vLPsN-0
9PzP-wQ-+-+0
9+-mKR+-+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

Whites attack is running unimpeded: 14...Nd7 15.hxg6 fxg6 16.Qh2


Nf8 17.Bh6; 14...c5 15.dxc5; 14...
158

c6 15.hxg6 fxg6 16.Qh2 Kf7 17.e5


Nd5 18.Nge4.
B23. 9.a3
This set-up is similar to 9.Rb1,
but White hopes that he could find
a better place for his queens rook,
for example, on d1. However, it is a
bit slow and should not give White
an advantage.
9...Bd7 10.b4 e6!?
A useful waiting move. The direct 10...b5 is very sharp indeed, but
White should be somewhat better
after 11.cxb5 axb5 12.Nxb5 e5 13.d5
Nd4 14.Nbxd4 exd4 15.Bxd4 Nxe4
16.fxe4 Qh4+ 17.g3 Qxe4 18.Bxg7
Qxh1 19.Qh6 Bg4 20.0-0-0.
11.Rd1
11.g3 Qb8 12.Bg2 b5 13.cxb5
(13.c5 a5) 13...axb5 14.0-0 e5 15.d5
Ne7 is roughly equal due to the imminent break ...c7-c6.
11...b5!

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+-wqr+k+0
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9p+nzppsnp+0
9+p+-+-+-0
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9zP-sN-vLP+-0
9-+-wQN+PzP0
9+-+RmKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

3.f3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nc3 0-0 6.Be3 Nc6 7.Nge2


12.cxb5
12.c5 Qb8 13.Ng3 a5 balances
the game: 14.cxd6 cxd6 15.Bxb5
axb4 16.axb4 Rc8 17.Rb1 Nxd4
18.Bxd7 Rxc3 19.Bxd4 Rc4=.
12...axb5 13.Nxb5 Na7!
This novelty assures Black of the
initiative. It should be enough to
equalise the material.
Dlugy-Fransson, London 1987
saw 13...Qb8 14.Nec3 Nd8 15.Be2.
I have also analysed 13...e5 14.d5
Nd4 15.Nec3!? and White develops
queenside activity: 15...Nh5 16.Bc4
(16.a4 f5 17.Bd3 fxe4 18.Bxe4 Nf6
19.Bd3 Nxb5 20.axb5 e4) 16...Nxb5
17.Nxb5 Qb8 18.Nc3 Rxa3 19.Qb2
Ra8 20.0-0 Nf4 21.b5 or:15...Nxb5
16.Bxb5 Rxa3 17.0-0.
After the text, 14.Nxa7 Rxa7
15.Ra1 Qa8 would be dangerous for
White, so White should continue
with:
14.Nbc3 Nb5 15.a4 Na3!
16.Qa2 Bxa4 17.Nxa4 Rxa4
18.Nc3 Ra8=.
B24. 9.Rb1
White keeps the grip over the
centre and prepares to seize more
space on the queenside.
9...Bd7
My game Svetushkin-Shavtva
ladze, Ikaros 2002, continued 9...

Rb8 10.b4 b5? 11.cxb5 axb5 12.d5


Ne5 13.Nd4 Bd7 14.Bxb5 (14.Ncxb5
e6 15.dxe6 fxe6 16.Be2, Polugaevsky-Gufeld, Riga 1975) 14...Bxb5
15.Ncxb5 e6 16.dxe6 fxe6 17.Rc1.
10...e5?! 11.d5 Ne7 12.Ng3 or
12.c5 also favours White.
Black should have embraced a
waiting tactic with 10...Bd7 which
transposes to the main line.
9...Nd7 10.b4 Nb6 11.Nc1 e5
12.d5 Nd4 13.Nb3 f5 14.Bd3 (14.
Bf2!?) was pleasant for White in Po
lugaevsky-Pinter, Budapest 1975.
9...Nh5 provokes 10.g4 Nf6
11.h4 h5 12.g5 Nd7. White does
have more space, but Blacks set-up
is quite flexible, the knight is comfortable on d7. Perhaps we should
opt for the thematic 10.g3!? and let
the opponent seek counterplay.
10.b4

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+-wqr+k+0
9+pzplzppvlp0
9p+nzp-snp+0
9+-+-+-+-0
9-zPPzPP+-+0
9+-sN-vLP+-0
9P+-wQN+PzP0
9+R+-mKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy
10...Rb8

10...e6 is a flexible alternative.


Blacks position is like a compressed spring ready to bounce.
159

Part 5
Here is an instructive example:
11.a4 a5! 12.b5 Nb4 13.e5 (13.Nc1
is innocuous here, because the
rook is still on a8 to protect the
a5-pawn after 13...e5 14.dxe5 dxe5
15.Nb3 Be6=.) 13...dxe5 14.dxe5
Nh5! 15.g4 Bxe5 16.gxh5 Qh4+
17.Bf2 Qxh5 and suddenly Black
develops a strong initiative. White
can castle, but 18.Bg2 Rad8 19.Ng3
Qh4 20.0-0 Bxb5 21.Qe2 Bxc3
22.cxb5 Nd3 23.Qe4 Qh6 24.Be3
Qxe3+ 25.Qxe3 Bd4 26.Qxd4 Rxd4
27.Rfd1 Red8 28.Bf1 Nf4 is roughly
equal. The best reply is:
11.g3!, covering the check from
h4 and intending to meet 11...Rb8
by 12.a4 a5 13.b5 Nb4 14.e5 dxe5
15.dxe5 Nh5 16.f4.
11.a4!
11.Nc1 e5 12.d5 Nd4 13.Nb3 c6!
(or 13...Nxb3?! 14.Rxb3 c6 15.Be2
with a clear plan for pressure along
the b-file in Knaak-Csulits, Strausberg 1971.) 14.Nxd4 exd4 15.Bxd4
cxd5 16.cxd5 Nxe4 17.fxe4 Rxe4+
18.Nxe4 Qh4+ 19.Ng3 Bxd4 is dangerous for White. Black has a lasting initiative for the exchange.
11.g3 gives the enemy time for
11...b5 12.cxb5 axb5 13.Bg2 e5 14.d5
Ne7 with sufficient counterplay
in the centre, e.g. 15.g4 c6 16.dxc6
Bxc6 17.g5 Nh5 18.Rd1 Nc8, heading for c4.
11...a5 12.b5 Nb4 13.Nc1
The blitz game Dreev-Golubev,
2004, saw 13.Ng3 e5 14.d5 b6
160

15.Be2. White retains a space advantage, but it is useless since the


position is too closed.
13...e5 14.dxe5 dxe5 15.Nb3

XIIIIIIIIY
9-tr-wqr+k+0
9+pzpl+pvlp0
9-+-+-snp+0
9zpP+-zp-+-0
9PsnP+P+-+0
9+NsN-vLP+-0
9-+-wQ-+PzP0
9+R+-mKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

The hit on a5 allows White to


complete development and enjoy a
stable edge: 15...b6 16.Be2 Be6 (16...
Nh5 17.0-0 Nf4 18.Nd5) 17.Nd5.

B3. 8...Bd7!?
This most flexible move is coming into fashion again. A few decades
ago, Black put his hopes mainly in
the break on the queenside with
...Rb8, b7-b5. In modern times, he
is often experimenting with the manoeuvre ...Qb8, leaving the rook on
a8, or with kingside plans.
For instance, after the old-fashioned:
a) 9.Nc1, Smirin played against
Bocharov in Moscow 2010 9...Nh5
10.d5 Ne5 11.Be2 f5 12.exf5 gxf5
13.Bh6 when 13...Bxh6 14.Qxh6
Qe8 would have lead to a balanced

3.f3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nc3 0-0 6.Be3 Nc6 7.Nge2


game with mutual chances. Here
is another example: 9.Nc1 Qb8
10.Nb3 Re8 11.Rc1 (11.Be2 b5) 11...
b5 12.c5 e6 13.Be2 b4 14.Nd1 a5
and the queen is well stationed
on b8, S.Maksimovic-Kr.Georgiev
Sunny Beach 2006.
It was widely believed that 8...
Bd7 should be punished with a
head-on attack on the kingside, using the fact that the bishop move did
not prepare immediate counterplay
with ...b5. However, Whites attack is not running as smoothly as I
would like. The fine point of Blacks
defence is the counter-attack with
...h5. Let us check:
b) 9.h4 h5 10.Bh6 (or 10.0-0-0
b5 11.Bh6 e5!)

XIIIIIIIIY
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9+pzplzppvl-0
9p+nzp-snpvL0
9+-+-+-+p0
9-+PzPP+-zP0
9+-sN-+P+-0
9PzP-wQN+P+0
9tR-+-mKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

10...e5!

The pawn sacrifice 10...b5 is


premature: 11.Bxg7 Kxg7 12.cxb5
axb5 13.Nxb5 Na5 14.Na3 e5
15.dxe5 dxe5 16.Qc3 Qe7 17.Nc1 c5
18.Nd3, Rodshtein-Smirin, Acre
2013.
11.0-0-0 b5 12.Nd5 Re8!. It is
unclear how White can unfold his
attack. In the game Bu Xiangzhi-

Zvjaginsev, Dagomys 2008, he tried


the most persistent 13.g4?! hxg4
14.h5 gxf3 15.hxg6 fxg6 16.Nec3
when 16...Ng4 should stop the assault.
Lars Schandorff bases his recommended repertoire on:
c) 9.g4 b5 10.h4
10.0-0-0 puts the king under
attack: 10...Na5! (but not 10...e5
11.d5 Na5 12.Ng3 Nxc4 13.Bxc4
bxc4 14.h4 Rb8 15.h5 Qe7 16.g5
Ne8 17.Qh2 Bh8 and Black is stalemate 18.Nf1) 11.Ng3 b4! 12.Nd5
Nxd5 13.cxd5 b3 14.a3 c6! 15.dxc6
Rc8.

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+-wq-trk+0
9+-zplzppvlp0
9p+nzp-snp+0
9+p+-+-+-0
9-+PzPP+PzP0
9+-sN-vLP+-0
9PzP-wQN+-+0
9tR-+-mKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

In this position, Schandorff does


not even mention the thematic:
10...h5!
The alternatives are clearly in
Whites favour:
1. 10...Re8 11.h5 Rb8 [11...b4
12.Nd5 e5 13.0-0-0! (13.Bh6 Bh8
14.Bg5 exd4 15.Ng1 Re5 16.Bf4
Bg7 17.Bxe5 Nxe5 was unclear in
Sandipan-Moradiabadi, Chalkis
2010) 13...a5 (13...exd4 14.Nxd4
Ne5 15.Bh6 Bh8 16.Bg5) 14.Kb1]
12.hxg6 fxg6 13.0-0-0 bxc4 14.Nf4.
161

Part 5
2. 10...Na5 11.Nf4!
It is important to take e6 under control in order to prevent 11...
c5 12.dxc5 Be6. Instead, 11.Ng3 c5
12.g5 Nh5 13.Nxh5 gxh5 14.dxc5
Be6 15.cxd6 Nxc4 16.Bxc4 Bxc4
17.Rd1 was also better for White,
Vitiugov-Novikov, Dagomys 2010.

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+-wq-trk+0
9+-zplzppvlp0
9p+-zp-snp+0
9snp+-+-+-0
9-+PzPPsNPzP0
9+-sN-vLP+-0
9PzP-wQ-+-+0
9tR-+-mKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

11...c5 (11...b4 12.Ncd5 e5


13.dxe5 dxe5 14.Nxf6+ Bxf6 15.Nd5
Bxh4+ 16.Kd1; 11...Nxc4 12.Bxc4
bxc4 13.h5 g5 14.h6) 12.dxc5 dxc5
13.Rd1.
3. 10...Rb8 11.h5 e6 12.Bh6 bxc4
13.Bxg7 Kxg7 14.Ng3 e5 15.hxg6
fxg6 16.Qh6+ Kf7 17.Bxc4+.
4. 10...e5 11.d5 Na5 12.Ng3
Nxc4 (it is impossible to hold the
h7-square after 12...c6 13.g5 Ne8
14.h5) 13.Bxc4 bxc4 14.h5 Qe7 15.00-0 Rfb8 16.hxg6 fxg6 17.g5 Ne8
18.Qh2 Bf8 19.Nf1. The knight
goes to d2, the break f3-f4 is also on
the agenda.
11.g5
I analysed a similar position with
0-0-0 Re8 inserted. Then it was good
to open the kingside by 12.gxh5
Nxh5 13.Rg1, hoping for Ng3. In

162

the current situation, however,


this idea fails to 12...e5 13.Bg5 Qb8
14.d5 Nd4 15.Nxd4 exd4 16.Ne2
d3! 17.Qxd3 bxc4 and Blacks queen
enters the play decisively.
11...Ne8 12.cxb5

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+-wqntrk+0
9+-zplzppvl-0
9p+nzp-+p+0
9+P+-+-zPp0
9-+-zPP+-zP0
9+-sN-vLP+-0
9PzP-wQN+-+0
9tR-+-mKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

At a cursory glance, White is a


pawn up and he has a space advantage. However, it is not easy to play
this position over the board. His
king will never find a safe haven and
he practically lacks an active plan.
Black obtains certain compensation for the pawns after 12...axb5
13.Nxb5 d5 14.exd5 Na5 15.Na3 c6
16.dxc6 Bxc6 17.Bg2 Nd6.
As a whole, 8...Bd7!? is rather
unexplored and it offers plenty of
ground for investigation. I propose
to choose a solid, safe approach,
based on short castling and play in
the centre:
9.Rb1!?
Another interesting option is
9.b3!? e6
9...Rb8 10.Rc1 transposes to 8...
Rb8 9.Rc1 Bd7 10.b3 see the next
part of the book.

3.f3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nc3 0-0 6.Be3 Nc6 7.Nge2


10.Rd1
Dreev chose against Fier in Jur
mala 2013 10.g3 Rb8 11.Bg2. This
is a standard way of development,
but Black got sufficient counterplay
after 11...b5 12.cxb5 axb5 13.0-0
b4 14.Nd1 Na5 15.Nf2 Bb5 16.Rfd1
Nd7 17.Rac1 c5.

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+-wq-trk+0
9+pzpl+pvlp0
9p+nzppsnp+0
9+-+-+-+-0
9-+PzPP+-+0
9+PsN-vLP+-0
9P+-wQN+PzP0
9+-+RmKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

10...Rb8

10...Re8 gives a tempo for 11.g3


when the receipt from the previous
comment does not work anymore
because the bishop on d7 is hanging: 11...Rb8 12.Bg2 b5 13.e5! dxe5
14.dxe5 Nxe5 15.Bd4.
11.Ng3 h5 12.Bd3
Now 12...h4 13.Nge2 leaves
White in control of the centre while
12...e5 13.d5 Nd4 does trade a
knight after 14.Nge2 Nxe2 15.Nxe2,
but the counterplay with 15...c5
16.dxc6 bxc6 is easily tamed by
17.Bb1.

9...Rb8
9...Re8 transposes to line B24.
10.b4 b5 11.cxb5 axb5 12.d5
Ne5 13.Nd4

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9-+-zp-snp+0
9+p+Psn-+-0
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9+-sN-vLP+-0
9P+-wQ-+PzP0
9+R+-mKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy
13...e6

13...Qe8 does not make sense


due to 14.Be2 e6 15.0-0 Nc4
16.Bxc4 bxc4 17.Rfe1.
14.Be2 exd5 15.exd5 Re8
16.0-0 Nc4 17.Bxc4 bxc4
Whites has destroyed the enemy queenside. Now 18.b5 is
natural and good. Morozevich took
a more straightforward course
against Illescas, Porto Carras 2011:
18.Nc6 Bxc6 19.dxc6 Ra8 20.a4
Nh5 21.Bd4.

163

Part 5

Part 5

Complete Games
24. Timman-Marovic
Amsterdam 1973
1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 g6 3.e4 d6
4.d4 Bg7 5.f3 0-0 6.Be3 Nc6
7.Nge2 Rb8 8.Qd2 Re8 9.Rb1 a5

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9-+nzp-snp+0
9zp-+-+-+-0
9-+PzPP+-+0
9+-sN-vLP+-0
9PzP-wQN+PzP0
9+R+-mKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

10.g3

I do not like too much the fianchetto because the bishop is passive
on g2 and it does not control the
important diagonal f1-a6. However,
Black has renounced any ideas with
...b5 and he obviously has in mind
...e5 followed up by ...f5. Against
this set-up, g3 is a perfect choice.
10...Nd7 11.Bg2 e5 12.d5 Ne7
13.0-0 b6 14.a3 Ba6 15.b3 f5
16.Nb5 Nf6
This game is a good example of
how impotent is the typical Kings
Indian attack against the Smish
fianchetto. The only way to find
some employment to the e7-knight
164

is to redeploy it via g8. However,


then White may open a second front
in the centre by exf5 and f3-f4.

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9+-zp-sn-vlp0
9lzp-zp-snp+0
9zpN+Pzpp+-0
9-+P+P+-+0
9zPP+-vLPzP-0
9-+-wQN+LzP0
9+R+-+RmK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

17.Kh1 Rf8 18.Nec3 Nh5


19.Bf2 Kh8 20.b4 axb4 21.axb4
Ng8 22.Ra1 Bh6 23.Qe2 Bxb5
24.Nxb5 Nhf6
Admitting the failure of the
whole plan. 24...Ngf6 25.exf5 gxf5
26.Ra7 Rf7 27.Bh3 Ng7 would add
two new weaknesses on f5 and e5.
After the text, 25.exf5 gxf5 26.Ra7
Ne8 27.f4 would be decisive, too.
Timman shows that he can win only
by pressure on the queenside.
25.c5 bxc5 26.bxc5 Ne8
27.c6 f4 28.Ra7 fxg3 29.hxg3
Ngf6 (29...Rf7 30.Bh3 Bg5 31.Rfa1
h5 32.Rb7 was also hopeless.)
30.Bh3 Nh5 31.Bg4 Rf7
32.Kg2 Qg5 33.Rb7 Ra8 34.Rh1
Rd8 35.Bb6 Nef6 36.Rxc7 Nxg4
37.Rxf7
1-0

6.Be3 Nc6 7.Nge2 a6 8.Qd2 Rb8

Part 6

The Main Line Panno Variation


1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nc3 0-0 6.Be3 Nc6
7.Nge2 a6 8.Qd2 Rb8

XIIIIIIIIY
9-trlwq-trk+0
9+pzp-zppvlp0
9p+nzp-snp+0
9+-+-+-+-0
9-+PzPP+-+0
9+-sN-vLP+-0
9PzP-wQN+PzP0
9tR-+-mKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

165

Part 6

Part 6

Step by Step

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 Bg7 4.e4


d6 5.Nc3 0-0 6.Be3 Nc6 7.Nge2
a6 8.Qd2 Rb8

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9p+nzp-snp+0
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9+-sN-vLP+-0
9PzP-wQN+PzP0
9tR-+-mKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy
9.Rc1

White aims to redeploy the


knight via the route Nc3-Nd1-f2-d3
to take under control the key square
c5. Meanwhile, he is keeping an eye
on d4 and on the c6-knight which
will hang in the event of 9...b5?
10.cxb5 axb5 11.Nxb5.
9.Nc1 has faded out of fashion
because Black obtains sufficient
compensation for the pawn after
9...e5 10.d5 Nd4 11.Nb3 c5 12.dxc6
bxc6 13.Nxd4 exd4 14.Bxd4 Re8
15.Be2 d5 16.cxd5 cxd5. Here is a
166

recent example: 17.e5 Nd7 18.f4


Bh6 19.Qe3 (19.Be3 Nxe5) 19...f6
20.Qf3 fxe5 21.Qxd5+ Kh8 22.fxe5
Bg7 23.e6 Qh4+ 24.Bf2 Qe7 25.0-0

XIIIIIIIIY
9-trl+r+-mk0
9+-+nwq-vlp0
9p+-+P+p+0
9+-+Q+-+-0
9-+-+-+-+0
9+-sN-+-+-0
9PzP-+LvLPzP0
9tR-+-+RmK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

This position has occurred in


Yang-Kiewra, Richardson 2013. Instead of 25...Qxe6 26.Qxe6 Rxe6,
when 27.Bc4 would be better for
White, Black had to centralise
the knight: 25...Ne5! and White
cannot find active stands for his
bishops, for example: 26.b3 Bb7
27.Qd2 Qxe6 28.Qf4 Rbc8 29.Rac1
Qc6 30.Qg3 Kg8 31.Be1 h5. As a
whole, it is practically unrewarding
to defend an extra pawn with little
chances of converting it even with
best play, but with a considerable
risk to land into a lost position with
only one inaccurate move.
9...Bd7

6.Be3 Nc6 7.Nge2 a6 8.Qd2 Rb8


Alternatives often transpose to
the main line:

Bd7! would throw us out of our re


pertoire.

a) 9...e6 10.Nd1 (10.b3) 10...Ne7


11.g3 (completing the development)
11...b5 12.c5 Nd7 13.b4 f5 14.Nf2 d5
15.e5, Postny-Matta, New Delhi
2011. This structure is playable for
Black if White has castled already.
In the current position, White can
open the h-file and finish off the opponent with a kingside attack.

11...d5 (11...Bd7 transposes to


line B3) 12.e5 Nd7 13.cxd5 exd5
14.f4 Nb6 15.b3 f6 16.g3.

b) 9...Re8 10.Nd1
10.b3 is a good alternative. Then
10...Bd7 11.d5! takes advantage of
the fact that c4 is protected. 10...b5
is impossible because of the hanging knight on c6. Remains: 10...
e6 11.g3 Bd7 (11...Ne7 12.Bg2 b5
13.cxb5 axb5 14.0-0 Ba6 15.Rc2 Qd7
16.Rfc1 Rec8 17.Nd1 Ne8 18.Nf2 f5
19.Nf4, Gupta-Das, London 2011)
12.Bg2 b5 13.Nd1 bxc4 14.bxc4
Rb4 (14...Bc8 15.0-0 Nd7 16.f4
Ne7 17.Nf2 f5 18.e5 Nb6 19.Nd3)
15.Nb2, Khairullin-Sebenik, Plov
div 2012.
10...e6 (10...Bd7 11.Nf2 is co
vered in Game 25 SvetushkinGolubev) 11.Nf2
The game Vitiugov-Ganguly,
Khanty-Mansiysk 2010, saw 11.g3
Ne7 12.Bg2 b5 13.c5 b4 (13...dxc5
14.Rxc5 e5 15.d5 Bb7 16.Qc1) 14.Nf2
a5 15.0-0 Ba6 16.Rfd1 Nd7 when
17.Nd3!, providing a retreat square
for the e3-bishop after 17...d5 (17...
dxc5 18.Nxc5 or 17...Bxd3 18.Qxd3
dxc5 19.f4! cxd4 20.Nxd4 are inferior alternatives) 18.e5, would
be better for White. However, 11...

c) 9...e5 10.d5 Ne7


As a rule, Black is clearly worse
in the Panno Variation if he has to
retreat his knight to e7 instead of
d4.
11.Ng3
11.g3 Nd7, transposing to line d,
is a solid alternative.
11...Ne8
11...h5 only weakens the g6pawn. The game Erdos-Grimberg,
Deizisau 2011 went on 12.Bd3 c5
13.Nge2 Bd7 14.a3 Nh7 15.b4 b6
16.0-0. White then opened the
kingside with f3-f4.
12.Be2 f5 13.exf5 Nxf5 14.Nxf5
gxf5 15.f4, Gupta-Akash, New Delhi 2011.
d) 9...Nd7 10.g3
It is not too consistent to start a
kingside attack with 10.h4 because
Whites last move deprived him of
long castling so his queens rook
cannot join in the offensive. Khenkin-Dahlheimer, Germany 2009
went on 10...e5 11.d5 Ne7 12.h5 f5
13.hxg6 hxg6 14.Bh6 f4 15.Bxg7
Kxg7 16.g3 g5= when the lack of the
option of 0-0-0 is clearly seen.
10...e5 11.d5 Ne7 12.Bg2 f5
13.0-0 Nf6 14.b4 fxe4 15.Nxe4 Nf5
16.Bg5 Bd7
167

Part 6

XIIIIIIIIY
9-tr-wq-trk+0
9+pzpl+-vlp0
9p+-zp-snp+0
9+-+PzpnvL-0
9-zPP+N+-+0
9+-+-+PzP-0
9P+-wQN+LzP0
9+-tR-+RmK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

This typical position occurred


in Spassov-Martinez Duany, Torredembarra 2010. Whites space
advantage allows him to quickly
bring superior forces to the critical
parts of the board. He can follow
with c4-c5, but it would be more
effective to open files in the centre
with f3-f4, e.g. 17.N2c3! b6 18.Rce1
Rf7 19.Nxf6+ Bxf6 20.Ne4 Bxg5
21.Nxg5 Rf8 22.f4.

XIIIIIIIIY
9-tr-wq-trk+0
9+pzplzppvlp0
9p+nzp-snp+0
9+-+-+-+-0
9-+PzPP+-+0
9+-sN-vLP+-0
9PzP-wQN+PzP0
9+-tR-mKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

I will deal here with two main


options:
A. 10.b3; B. 10.Nd1
A. 10.b3
This line may also occur after the
move order with 8...Bd7 9.b3 Rb8
168

10.Rc1. It usually leads to a clash


on the queenside where White has
some advantage.
10...b5
a) 10...Re8 11.d5 Ne5 12.h3 (b3
turned well here Black must beat
in retreat) 12...Bc8 13.f4 Ned7 is
very passive. Practice has seen
Black struggling after 14.g4 c5
15.dxc6 bxc6 16.Bg2, ZaltsmanSpraggett, New York 1983.
b) 10...e5 11.d5 Ne7 12.Ng3 Ne8.
Blacks pieces are stuck to the back
ranks. That should encourages us
to open play by either 13.Bd3!? f5
14.exf5 or 13.Be2 f5 14.exf5 Nxf5
15.Nxf5 gxf5 16.0-0, KrumpacnikBoros, Budapest 1995, planning f3f4.
c) 10...e6 11.Ng3 e5 12.d5 Nd4
13.Nce2 Nxe2 14.Bxe2

XIIIIIIIIY
9-tr-wq-trk+0
9+pzpl+pvlp0
9p+-zp-snp+0
9+-+Pzp-+-0
9-+P+P+-+0
9+P+-vLPsN-0
9P+-wQL+PzP0
9+-tR-mK-+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

White is ready to open the


queenside with c4-c5 while Blacks
counterplay is not even looming
yet. Even more, White can attack
on the kingside himself, as in the
game Tomashevsky-Petenyi, Legnica 2013:
14...Ne8 15.0-0 h5 16.Rce1 (16.
c5!?) 16...Qe7 17.Bd3 b6 18.b4 h4

6.Be3 Nc6 7.Nge2 a6 8.Qd2 Rb8


19.Ne2 f5 20.Bg5 Bf6 21.Bxf6 Qxf6
22.f4 exf4 23.Nxf4 g5 24.Ne6 Bxe6
25.dxe6 Qd4+ (25...f4 26.e5 dxe5
27.Qe2) 26.Kh1 f4 27.e5 dxe5
28.Re4 Qd6 29.Qe2.
At the Russian championship,
Demchenko attempted to improve
with 14...h5, but he obviously was
not satisfied with his position after
15.Bg5 Qe8 16.0-0 Nh7 17.Be3 h4
18.Nh1 f5 19.c5 h3 (19...f4 20.Bf2
h3 21.g4) 20.g3, Matlakov-Demchenko, Yekaterinburg 2013, as two
days later he deviated first against
Khairullin, opting for 10...b5.
11.cxb5 axb5 12.d5
12.Ng3 b4 13.Nd1 e5 14.d5 Ne7
(14...Nd4 15.Nf2) 15.Nf2 c5 16.dxc6
Bxc6 17.Be2 h5 is balanced.
12...Ne5 13.Nd4 Qe8 14.a3
e6 15.Be2 exd5 16.exd5

XIIIIIIIIY
9-tr-+qtrk+0
9+-zpl+pvlp0
9-+-zp-snp+0
9+p+Psn-+-0
9-+-sN-+-+0
9zPPsN-vLP+-0
9-+-wQL+PzP0
9+-tR-mK-+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

Whites pieces are better co-ordinated. The game Khairullin-Demchenko, Yekaterinburg 2013, went
further 16...b4 17.axb4 Rxb4 18.0-0

c5 19.dxc6 Nxc6 20.Nxc6 Bxc6


21.Bc4 Qb8 when White could
have maintained his initiative with
22.Bf4 Rd8 23.Rfd1 Qa8 24.Bg5
Rbb8 25.Qf4 Qa7+ 26.Kh1 Nh5
27.Qh4 Rd7 28.Nd5 Bxd5 29.Bxd5
h6 30.Bd2 Nf6 31.Bc6 Re7 32.b4.
Alternatives will probably transform sooner or later into a technical position with opposite coloured bishops and an extra pawn
for White, e.g. 21...Rb7 22.Rfe1
Qd7 23.Bd4 d5 (23...Rd8 24.Rcd1)
24.Bxf6 Bxf6 25.Nxd5.
B. 10.Nd1
This manoeuvre enables c4-c5
in answer to ...b5.
I would like to focus your attention to the following replies:
B1. 10...e5; B2. 10...b5; B3. 10...
e6!
Minor alternatives are:
a) 10...a5
Black is entrenching his queen
side before playing ...e5, ...Nh5(e8),
...f5. White should decide where to
develop his light-squared bishop
on e2 or g2. Both set-ups are good
enough. The latter is a bit passive,
but safer:
11.Ndc3 e5 12.d5 Ne7 13.Nb5
b6 14.Nec3 Nh5 15.Be2 f5 16.0-0.
Whites assault on the queenside is
obviously faster: 16...f4 17.Bf2 g5
18.a3 Nf6 19.b4 axb4 20.axb4 g4
21.Ra1.
169

Part 6
11.g3 b6 12.Bg2 e5 13.d5 Ne7
14.0-0 Nh5 (14...h5 15.Nf2 Nh7
16.f4 f5 17.fxe5 dxe5 18.Bh6, Blanco Gramajo-Aldrete Lobo, ICCF
email 2006) 15.g4 Nf6 16.Ng3 Ne8
17.Nc3 c6 (or 17...f5 18.gxf5 gxf5
19.f4).
b) 10...Re8 11.Nf2 is covered in
my Game 25 Svetushkin-Golubev,
blitz, Canarias en Red 2004.
c) 10...Ne8 11.Nf2 e5 12.d5 Ne7
13.g3 transposes to line B1.
B1. 10...e5 11.d5 Ne7

XIIIIIIIIY
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9+-+-vLP+-0
9PzP-wQN+PzP0
9+-tRNmKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy
12.g3

In no way should we give Black


counterplay with the premature
12.c5?! dxc5 13.Bxc5 Re8 followed
up by 14...c6.
12.Nf2 is very similar to the
main line, but it is not too accurate
because Black can answer 12...c5
without having to defend the d6pawn first. That may inspire him
to take on b4 in the event of 12.Nf2
170

c5 13.b4 b6 14.g3 cxb4. Later his


knight can go to d7. This approach
would be dubious with a knight on
e8.
12...Ne8 13.Bg2 c5
Black may play this move later,
but after 13...f5 14.0-0 c5, White
gets an additional decent option
15.dxc6, although I think it is better
to transpose to the main line with
15.b4.
13...f5 14.Nf2 Nf6 15.0-0 Kh8
looks in the spirit of the Kings
Indian, but Whites set-up on the
kingside is extremely safe and can
easily endure any attacking attempts. Furthermore, we can even
shift the direction of our offensive
to the centre with 16.b3 Neg8 (16...
b6 17.b4!) 17.exf5!? gxf5 18.f4.
14.b4 b6 15.Nf2 f5 16.0-0

XIIIIIIIIY
9-tr-wqntrk+0
9+-+lsn-vlp0
9pzp-zp-+p+0
9+-zpPzpp+-0
9-zPP+P+-+0
9+-+-vLPzP-0
9P+-wQNsNLzP0
9+-tR-+RmK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

Black is playing for two results


only. Look at Game 27 GenovPraznik, Feffernitz 2012, and Game
26 Gupta-Nolte, Kolkata 2012.

6.Be3 Nc6 7.Nge2 a6 8.Qd2 Rb8


B2. 10...b5 11.c5 e6
11...dxc5 is premature. After
12.Rxc5, Black lacks a sensible plan:
12...Re8 is bad due to 13.e5.
12...e6 is well met by 13.Nf2! [Do
not play 13.g3 here. Practice has
shown that Black gets good counterplay with 13...Re8 14.Bg2 Bf8
15.Rc1 e5 16.d5 Bb4 17.Ndc3 (17.
Nec3 Nd4) 17...Na5 18.b3 c6] 13...
Re8 14.Nd3! Bf8 15.Rc1 e5 16.d5
Nd4 17.Nc5 with a significant edge.
12.Nf2

XIIIIIIIIY
9-tr-wq-trk+0
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9p+nzppsnp+0
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9PzP-wQNsNPzP0
9+-tR-mKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy
12...b4

a) 12...Ne7. This move renounces the threat of ...e5 so our knight


is not needed on e2 any longer. Instead of modern, but artificial ideas
with g3, it is reasonable to unplug
the f1-bishop with 13.Ng3!?, for
example, 13...h5 (13...d5 14.e5 Ne8
15.Bd3; 13...Be8 14.Bd3) 14.Bd3
h4 15.Ne2.
b) 12...Re8. This aims to reach

the above-mentioned position after 13.g3 dxc5 14.Rxc5 Bf8. We


can prevent it by 13.Nd3 b4 14.b3,
but 13.Bg5!? looks more restrictive. Whites strategic idea is seen
in the line: 13...a5 (13...Ne7 14.Nd3)
14.Ng4 e5 15.d5 Nb4 16.Nxf6+ Bxf6
17.Bxf6 Qxf6 18.c6 Bc8 19.a3.
13.Ng3!?
Nearly all the players develop
the kings bishop to g2. This is a
safe approach as it allows quick
castling, but at the same time the
fianchettoed bishop is too passive.
Typical examples are:
13.g3 Ne7 14.Bg2 Bb5 15.0-0
Nd7 16.Rfd1 a5 17.b3 (17.Qc2 Qc8
18.f4 Qa6, Stanoev-Berbatov, Plovdiv 2010) 17...Nc6 18.cxd6 cxd6
19.Nf4 Ne7 20.N4d3, Palachev-Solovjov, St. Petersburg 2010:

XIIIIIIIIY
9-tr-wq-trk+0
9+-+nsnpvlp0
9-+-zpp+p+0
9zpl+-+-+-0
9-zp-zPP+-+0
9+P+NvLPzP-0
9P+-wQ-sNLzP0
9+-tRR+-mK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

White stands pretty, but thats


all. He has not any target and his
minor pieces have not clear prospects. The b5-bishop is clearly
superior to the g2-one. Black can
simply trade heavy pieces along the
c-file with 20...Rc8 with a balanced
game.

171

Part 6
13.Nd3 a5 14.g3 Ne7 15.Bg2 Bb5
16.0-0 Nd7 17.Rfd1, KhairullinGorovykh, St. Petersburg 2010.
Sometimes White inserts 13.h4
h5, but it does not change significantly the set-up.
The plan of the Bulgarian GM
M.Nikolov is more natural.
13...a5 14.Bd3 Ne7 15.0-0
Bb5 16.Ne2 Nd7 17.cxd6 cxd6

XIIIIIIIIY
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9+-+nsnpvlp0
9-+-zpp+p+0
9zpl+-+-+-0
9-zp-zPP+-+0
9+-+LvLP+-0
9PzP-wQNsNPzP0
9+-tR-+RmK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

This position occurred in


M.Nikolov-Berbatov, Blagoevgrad
2010. It compares favorably to the
previous diagram as White can now
gain full control over the c-file with
18.Bxb5! Rxb5 19.b3 Nf6 20.Rc2
Qd7 21.Rfc1 Rc8 22.Rxc8+ Nxc8
23.Qc2 Ne7 24.Qc7.
B3. 10...e6 11.Nf2 Re8!
12...b5 13.c5 transposes to line
B2.
11...d5 12.e5 Ne8 13.cxd5 exd5
14.f4 f6 15.g3 Ne7 16.Bg2 c6, Zhou
Jianchao-Sandipan, Beijing 2008,
172

gives White a better pawn structure.


After 17.Nd3 Nf5 18.Bf2 Nc7 19.0-0
fxe5 20.dxe5 b6 21.b4, Blacks central pawns would be immobilised.

XIIIIIIIIY
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9+pzpl+pvlp0
9p+nzppsnp+0
9+-+-+-+-0
9-+PzPP+-+0
9+-+-vLP+-0
9PzP-wQNsNPzP0
9+-tR-mKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

The fine point of Blacks move


order is to lure the opponent into
the line 12.g3 b5 13.c5 dxc5! 14.Rxc5
Bf8. It also discourages 12.Ng3 or
12.Nd3 in view of 12...e5 13.d5 Nd4.
12.Bg5!?
I do not see any future in the
most popular plan of White so far:
a) 12.g3 b5 13.cxb5
13.b3 looks reasonable, but concrete analysis shows that Black gets
strong counterplay against the c4pawn by:
13...bxc4 14.bxc4 Rb4!
The idea of doubling the rooks
on the b-file gave White a strong
centre in Galopoulos-Fier, Korinthia 2012 after 14...Qe7 15.Bg2 Rb7
16.0-0 Reb8 17.Nd3 Nb4 (17...e5
18.d5 Nd4 19.c5 Bb5 20.c6) 18.e5
Ne8 19.f4.
14...Qc8 15.Bg2 Qb7 16.0-0 is
also pleasant for White.

6.Be3 Nc6 7.Nge2 a6 8.Qd2 Rb8


15.Bg2
Black takes over the initiative
after 15.Nd3 Ra4 16.e5 Na5! 17.exf6
Qxf6, for example: 18.Nef4 c5
19.dxc5 Nxc4 20.Rxc4 Rxc4 21.Kf2
Rb8.

XIIIIIIIIY
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9+-zpl+pvlp0
9p+nzppsnp+0
9+-+-+-+-0
9-trPzPP+-+0
9+-+-vLPzP-0
9P+-wQNsNLzP0
9+-tR-mK-+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

15...Ra4!
A purely computer move! Sriram-Adhiban, Mangalore 2008,
saw the more logical 15...Qb8, but
then White could have attacked in
the centre by 16.Nd3 Ra4 17.e5.
After the text, White is unable to
hold the c4-square. For instance:
16.Rc3 (16.0-0 Na5) 16...Na5
17.Qc2 d5 18.e5 Nxc4 19.exf6 Qxf6
20.0-0 Qe7 21.Bc1 e5 with strong
pressure for the piece.
13.c5 enters a known variation
which assures Black of sufficient
counterplay: 13...dxc5 14.Rxc5 Bf8
15.Rc1 e5 16.d5 Bb4 17.Nc3 Nd4.
13...axb5 14.Bg2

XIIIIIIIIY
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9+p+-+-+-0
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9PzP-wQNsNLzP0
9+-tR-mK-+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

Black generates sufficient counterplay down the a-file which compensates for Whites supremacy in
the centre.
14...Ra8! (14...Qc8?! 15.0-0
Qa6 16.b3 Rec8 17.Nd3 b4 18.Rc2
e5 19.dxe5 Nxe5 20.Nxb4 Qb5
21.Nd5 B.Socko-Koepke, St. Veit
2012) 15.b3 Ra3 16.0-0 Qa8 17.Rc2
Qa6
This position occurred in Grigoriants-Sale, Abu Dhabi 2005. White
chose 18.f4 when 18...Ra8 19.Nc3
b4 20.Na4 Rb8 21.Rfc1 Ne8 would
have been nice for Black in view of
the threat of ...Ne7. Schandorff puts
his hope in the move:
18.Nd3, giving the line 18...Ra8
19.Nc3 (19.Nec1 Qa5 20.Qf2 Rd8
21.Rd1 Re8=) 19...b4 20.Na4,

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+-+-+k+0
9+-zpl+pvlp0
9q+nzppsnp+0
9+-+-+-+-0
9Nzp-zPP+-+0
9trP+NvLPzP-0
9P+RwQ-+LzP0
9+-+-+RmK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

but it is totally equal after 20...


Qb7 21.Rfc1 Ne8. The threat of
...Ne7 forces White into action:
22.Ndc5 (22.e5 Ne7 23.Nxb4 Rb8
24.Nd3 Bxa4=) 22...dxc5 23.Nxc5
Qa7 24.Nxd7 Bxd4 25.Bxd4 Qxd4+
26.Qxd4 Nxd4 27.Rd2 Nb5 28.Rc4
Nc3 29.Rxb4 Nxa2 30.Rb7 Nc3
31.h4 Kg7=.
It makes sense to improve
Whites set-up with the sharper:
173

Part 6
b) 12.g4!? If Black follows the
scheme with 12.g3, White has more
options for developing an initiative:
12...b5 13.cxb5 axb5 14.Bg2 Ra8
15.b3 Ra3 16.0-0 Qa8 17.Rc2 Qa6
18.g5! Nh5 19.Rfc1 Ra8 20.f4.

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+-+-+k+0
9+-zpl+pvlp0
9q+nzpp+p+0
9+p+-+-zPn0
9-+-zPPzP-+0
9trP+-vL-+-0
9P+RwQNsNLzP0
9+-tR-+-mK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

The other thematic break 12...


h5 13.g5 Nh7 14.h4 f6 15.gxf6 Qxf6
also gives White the more active
pieces: 16.f4 Qf7 17.Bg2. This line
needs practical tests.
Dreevs move 12.Bg5 is a decent
alternative to the fianchetto. It prevents 12...b5 13.c5 dxc5? owing to
14.e5.
12...Qe7
At first sight, it seems that the
thematic 12...e5 13.d5 Nd4 14.Nxd4
exd4 equalises, but it is not that simple because Whites pawn structure
is more flexible: 15.Be2 c5 (or 15...
Qe7 16.0-0 c5 17.dxc6 bxc6 18.Nd3
c5 19.b4) 16.dxc6 bxc6 17.Bf4 and
White wins material. 17...Rb7 (17...
Re6 18.c5) does not help because
of 18.Bxd6 Bh3 19.c5 Bxg2 20.Rg1

174

Bxf3 21.Bxf3 Nxe4 22.Bxe4 f5

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9p+pvL-+p+0
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9PzP-wQ-sN-zP0
9+-tR-mK-tR-0
xiiiiiiiiy

Any human would stop the


analysis here as it looks that Black
gets terrific compensation, but the
engine finds the amazing 23.Rg4!!
Qc8 24.Kf1 where the minor pieces rule over the board.
After the text, White can try to
develop the bishop to e2 with 13.d5
Na7 14.Nc3, but 14...b5 generates
sufficient counterplay: 15.a3 (15.
Be2 bxc4 16.Bxc4 Nb5 17.0-0 Nxc3
18.dxe6 Bxe6 19.Rxc3 h6 20.Bxh6
Bxh6 21.Qxh6 Bxc4 22.Rxc4 Rxb2=)
15...bxc4 16.Bxc4 Nb5 17.0-0 Nxc3
18.dxe6 Bxe6 19.Rxc3 c5. Blacks
pawns may be vulnerable, but his
pieces are quite active to compensate it. So Dreev returns to the plan
with g3.
13.g3 e5 14.d5 Nd4 15.Nxd4
exd4 16.Bg2
White has a small, but durable
strategic advantage due to his more
flexible pawn structure. See Game
28 Dreev-Kokarev, Mumbai 2010.

6.Be3 Nc6 7.Nge2 a6 8.Qd2 Rb8

Part 6

Complete Games

25. Svetushkin-Golubev
blitz, Canarias en Red 2004
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7
4.e4 d6 5.Nge2 0-0 6.f3 a6
7.Be3 Nc6 8.Qd2 Rb8 9.Rc1 Bd7
10.Nd1 Re8

XIIIIIIIIY
9-tr-wqr+k+0
9+pzplzppvlp0
9p+nzp-snp+0
9+-+-+-+-0
9-+PzPP+-+0
9+-+-vLP+-0
9PzP-wQN+PzP0
9+-tRNmKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

This move reveals Blacks plan.


Obviously, he discards kingside
activity with ...f5 and turns his attention to the centre. In some lines
with c4-c5 he will widen the scope
of his dark-squared bishop by shifting it to another diagonal ...Bf8.
11.Nf2
11.g3 b5 12.c5 dxc5 13.Rxc5
e5 14.d5 Ne7 (15...Nd4 16.Nxd4)
15.Qc1 leads to a similar position
where in my opinion Nf2 is more
useful than g3.

11...h5?!
Golubev opts for a waiting game,
but it allows White to complete development at leisure and secure
a clear edge. The most consistent
continuation is:
11...b5 12.c5
Blacks tenth move will be rewarded in the event of 12.cxb5 axb5
13.Ng3 (13.Nc3 e5 14.d5 Nd4) 13...
e5 14.d5 Nd4 15.Bd3 c5 16.dxc6
Nxc6 or 12.b3 bxc4 13.bxc4 Rb7
14.g3 Qb8 15.Nd3 e5 16.d5 Nd4.
12...dxc5 (or 12...e6 13.Nd3 Qe7
14.g3) 13.Rxc5 e5 (13...e6 14.Nd3)
14.d5 Ne7

XIIIIIIIIY
9-tr-wqr+k+0
9+-zplsnpvlp0
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9+ptRPzp-+-0
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9+-+-vLP+-0
9PzP-wQNsNPzP0
9+-+-mKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

15.Qc1!

In another blitz game against


Golubev I played 15.Nd3 c6 16.d6
175

Part 6
Nc8 17.Nb4 and got an advantage
after 17...Bf8? 18.Nxa6 Ra8 19.Nc7.
The idea of sacrificing the exchange
is very good, but it should be shaped
differently: 17...Rb6! 18.Rc1 Bf8
with excellent compensation.
15...Bf8
15...Rb7 is too passive: 16.Rc2!
(Vacating c5 for the f2-knight. We
see here the merit of 15.Qc1 compared to 15.Qc2.) 16...Qa8 17.g4!
(17.Nd3 c6 18.dxc6 Nxc6 19.Rxc6
Bxc6 20.Qxc6 Rc8 21.Qd6 was
rather messy in Khenkin-Sebenik,
Plovdiv 2012. Black should have
played here 21...Rd7! 22.Qa3 Bf8.)
17...b4 18.Ng3.
16.Bg5
White is undeveloped so he
should try to keep the centre closed:
16.Rxc7 Nexd5 17.exd5 Bb4+
18.Rc3 Nxd5;
16.Rc2 c6 17.Bg5 Kg7 18.Bh6+
Kg8 19.Bxf8 Kxf8 20.dxc6 Qa5+;
16.Nd3 Nexd5 17.exd5 Bxc5
18.Nxc5 Nxd5 19.Bg5 f6 20.Bd2
Qe7.
16...Nc8 17.Rc2 Bb4+

XIIIIIIIIY
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9+-zpl+p+p0
9p+-+-snp+0
9+p+Pzp-vL-0
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9PzPR+NsNPzP0
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18.Nc3!

176

This secures White a stable


edge. The knight would be more
useful on the queenside. Besides,
White is interested in keeping more
pieces on the board. HambletonKiewra, Saint Louis 2012 saw instead 18.Bd2 Bxd2+ 19.Qxd2 Nd6
20.Ng3 Rc8 21.Be2 c6 22.dxc6
Bxc6.
18...Be7 (18...c6 19.dxc6 Bxc6
20.Rd2+) 19.Be3 c6 20.dxc6 Bxc6

XIIIIIIIIY
9-trnwqr+k+0
9+-+-vlp+p0
9p+l+-snp+0
9+p+-zp-+-0
9-+-+P+-+0
9+-sN-vLP+-0
9PzPR+-sNPzP0
9+-wQ-mKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy
Black has succeeded in trading the d5-pawn at last, but that
does not bring him equality. All
his minor pieces are unstable, the
e5-pawn is weak, the a6-pawn can
also become a target after a possible
a2-a4. Exchanges do not help since
they only leave the weak pawns
without defence. Here are two
possible scenarios for the further
course of the game:
21.Be2 Nb6 (21...Nd6 22.0-0
b4 23.Nb1 Ba4 24.b3 Bb5 25.Bxb5
Nxb5 26.Rd1 Qa5 27.Qb2 Bf8
28.Rc6) 22.0-0 Bd7 23.Nb1 Rc8
24.Rxc8 Bxc8 25.Rd1 Nbd7 26.Nd3
Bd6 27.a4 bxa4 28.Nd2 Bb8
29.Qc6 Qc7 30.Qxa4 Ba7 31.Bxa7
Qxa7+ 32.Kf1;

6.Be3 Nc6 7.Nge2 a6 8.Qd2 Rb8


21.Bd3 Nd6 22.0-0 (or 22.b3
b4 23.Ne2) 22...Nc4 23.Bg5 Rc8
24.Rd1 Qa5 25.a4 Qb4 26.axb5
axb5 27.Na2 Qa4 28.Bxc4 bxc4
29.Rxc4 Qb5 30.b4.

Ne7 18.c5 Bb5 19.Rfd1 Red8


20.Nc3 Be8 21.b4 c6 22.d6+
The rest of this blitz game is irrelevant to the opening. It finished
in a draw on move 68.

12.g3 e6
Golubev is playing without any
plan.
He could have tried 12...e5
13.d5 Ne7 when 14.c5 would be
premature due to 14...dxc5 (14...
Bb5 15.Nc3 Bxf1 16.Kxf1 Nd7 17.b4
Rf8 18.Kg2, Riazantsev-Moskvin,
blitz 2004) 15.Bxc5 c6 16.d6 Nc8.
It is better to develop with 14.Bg2!
when 14...c5 15.b4 b6 16.0-0 Kh7
17.h3 (17.a4!?) 17...Nfg8 18.f4 gave
White an initiative in Bitoon-Nguyen, Kuala Lumpur 2011.
13.Bg2 Qe7 14.0-0 Qf8

XIIIIIIIIY
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9+pzpl+pvl-0
9p+nzppsnp+0
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9-+PzPP+-+0
9+-+-vLPzP-0
9PzP-wQNsNLzP0
9+-tR-+RmK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

Black has failed completely in


his waiting game. Here I chose
the most logical way of expanding
in the centre, but the concrete approach 15.e5 dxe5 16.dxe5 would
have been also possible as 16...
Nxe5? loses a piece to 17.Bd4.
15.f4 e5 16.fxe5 dxe5 17.d5

26. Gupta-Nolte
Kolkata 05.12.2012
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7
4.e4 d6 5.f3 0-0 6.Nge2 a6
7.Be3 Nc6 8.Qd2 Rb8 9.Rc1 Bd7
10.Nd1 e5 11.d5 Ne7 12.Nf2 b6
13.b4 c5 14.g3 Ne8 15.Bg2 f5
16.0-0

XIIIIIIIIY
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9P+-wQNsNLzP0
9+-tR-+RmK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

16...Nf6

In Dreev-Ye Jiangchuan, Taiyuan 2004, Black decided to leave


the knight on e8 to protect the d6pawn. Instead, he sent to f6 the
knight from e7 which was useless
anyway. Dreev followed the standard plan with pressure along the
b-file and quickly gained the upper
hand: 16...Kh8 17.Rb1 Ng8 18.Rb3
Ngf6 19.bxc5 bxc5 20.Rfb1. Here
Black discarded the idea of changing on b3 because it would give
White after 20...Rxb3 21.axb3 the
177

Part 6
option of b3-b4. However, 20...Ra8
offered White full control of the
b-file. Dreev used it to penetrate
eventuto b8:

XIIIIIIIIY
9-+r+nwq-mk0
9+Rsnl+rvlp0
9p+-zp-+p+0
9wQ-zpPzp-vL-0
9-+P+P+-+0
9+-+-+-zP-0
9P+-+-sNLzP0
9+R+N+-mK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

29.Rb8 Nf6 30.Rxc8 Qxc8


31.Qb6 Nce8 when 32.Bxf6! Bxf6
33.Qa7 was winning quickly.
17.Rb1 Qc7 18.Rb3 a5
It is understandable that Black
wants to deviate from the course
of the above-mentioned game of
Dreev. However, on a5 the pawn
enters the scope of Whites minor
pieces (a bishop on d2) and on a4 it
could be attacked by 3 pieces (Nc3,
Bc2, Nb2). This means that White
does not need rooks to keep the initiative. Any endgame would be in
his favour. Play through the next
annotated game to see an illustration of that.
19.bxa5 bxa5 20.Rfb1 a4
20...Rxb3 21.Rxb3 would be si
milar to the game, but White could
also recapture by pawn: 21.axb3
Qb6 22.Nc3, fixing the pawn on a5.
Later he will transfer his bishop to
d2.
178

21.R3b2 fxe4 22.fxe4 h5

XIIIIIIIIY
9-tr-+-trk+0
9+-wqlsn-vl-0
9-+-zp-snp+0
9+-zpPzp-+p0
9p+P+P+-+0
9+-+-vL-zP-0
9PtR-wQNsNLzP0
9+R+-+-mK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

23.h4

The a4-pawn looks doomed after 23.a3 because White can pile 3
hits on it as I pointed out before.
Gupta obviously decided that on a3
it will be no less a prey and spent a
tempo to block any ideas with ...h4,
followed up by ...Nh5.
23...a3 24.Rb3 Ba4 25.Rxb8
Rxb8 26.Nc3 Bd7 27.Qc1
The pawn is going to fall. Blacks
attempt to seduce White into grabbing the exchange should have
been punished quickly, but Gupta
missed a forced win and prolonged
Noltes agony.
27...Rb4
28.Qxa3
Rxc4
29.Bf1 Rd4 30.Qa8+ Bc8
31.Ba6? (31.Nb5+) 31...Rb4
32.Bxc8 Rxb1+ 33.Nxb1 Nxc8
34.a4 Nd7 35.a5 Qb8 36.Qxb8
Nxb8 37.Na3 Bf6 38.Nc4 Bd8
39.Nd1 Bc7 40.Nc3 Na7 41.Kf2
Kf7 42.Ke2 Na6 43.Kd2 Nb4
44.Kc1 Ke8 45.Kb2 Na6 46.Kb3
Kd7 47.Ka4 Kc8 48.Nb5 Nxb5
49.Kxb5 Kb7 50.Bg5 Bb8 51.Bd8

6.Be3 Nc6 7.Nge2 a6 8.Qd2 Rb8


Nc7+ 52.Bxc7 Bxc7 53.a6+ Ka7
54.Kc6 Bb8 55.Nxd6 Bxd6
56.Kxd6 c4 57.Kxe5 c3 58.d6 c2
59.d7 c1Q 60.d8Q Qc5+ 61.Qd5
Qe7+ 62.Qe6 Qg7+ 63.Qf6
Qc7+ 64.Qd6 Qg7+ 65.Kd5 g5
66.hxg5 Qxg5+ 67.Kc6 Kxa6
68.Qa3+
1-0
27. Petar Genov-Praznik
Feffernitz 20.08.2012
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7
4.e4 d6 5.f3 0-0 6.Nge2 Nc6
7.Be3 a6 8.Qd2 Rb8 9.Rc1 Bd7
10.Nd1 e5 11.d5 Ne7 12.g3 Ne8
13.Bg2 f5 14.0-0 c5 15.b4 b6
16.Nf2 Qc7 17.Rb1 Nf6 18.Rb3
fxe4 19.fxe4 a5 20.bxc5 bxc5
21.Rfb1 a4

XIIIIIIIIY
9-tr-+-trk+0
9+-wqlsn-vlp0
9-+-zp-snp+0
9+-zpPzp-+-0
9p+P+P+-+0
9+R+-vL-zP-0
9P+-wQNsNLzP0
9+R+-+-mK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

22.Rxb8

Gupta played R3b2, but Genovs


decision to trade all the rooks also
leaves White on top. He can grind
down the opponent even in a simple position because of Blacks numerous weak pawns.
22...Rxb8 23.Qc1 Nc8 24.Nc3
Rxb1 25.Qxb1 Qb6 26.Bf1 Qxb1

27.Nxb1 Nb6 28.Na3


28.Nc3 was also good, but
White keeps the c3-square free for
the other knight He is also planning
Be3-d2-a5, increasing the pressure
on the a4-pawn.
28...Kf7 29.h3 h6 30.Kg2
Ng8 31.Bd2 Ne7 32.Nd1 Nec8
33.Nc3 Bf8 34.Kf3 Kg7 35.Ke3
Be7 36.Kd3 h5

XIIIIIIIIY
9-+n+-+-+0
9+-+lvl-mk-0
9-sn-zp-+p+0
9+-zpPzp-+p0
9p+P+P+-+0
9sN-sNK+-zPP0
9P+-vL-+-+0
9+-+-+L+-0
xiiiiiiiiy

Black is completely tied down,


but tactical tricks still allow him to
hold the doomed pawn on a4. For
instance, 37.Kc2 Kf6 38.Nab5 Bf8
39.Kb2 g5 40.Ka3? stumbles into
40...Bxh3. If he removes the bishop from d2: 40.Be1 g4 41.h4 Bh6
42.Ka3?? will be a curious mate
after 42...Bc1#. Therefore, he must
choose 40.Bc1 Be8 41.Ka3 Bg6
42.Bd3 and finally the pawn is ripe
to be eaten. Genovs next move allows the opponent to activate his
passive bishop.
37.h4 g5 38.hxg5 Kg6 39.Be2
Bxg5 40.Be1 Be7?!
40...Bc1 aiming for ...Bb2 was
obviously a better try.
179

Part 6
41.Nab5 Bg4? 42.Bxg4 hxg4
43.Nd1 Bg5 44.Ba5 Bd8 45.Ne3
Kg5 46.Nf5
1-0
28. Dreev-Kokarev
Mumbai 09.06.2010

A fine strategic treatment of the


position. Dreev remains with a better knight against the bishop which
only task will be to defend the d4pawn.
19...Bxh3 20.Nxh3 c6

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7


4.e4 0-0 5.f3 d6 6.Nge2 a6
7.Be3 Nc6 8.Rc1 Bd7 9.Qd2 Rb8
10.Nd1 e6 11.Nf2 Re8 12.Bg5
Qe7 13.g3 e5 14.d5 Nd4 15.Nxd4
exd4 16.Bg2

XIIIIIIIIY
9-tr-+r+k+0
9+pzplwqpvlp0
9p+-zp-snp+0
9+-+P+-vL-0
9-+PzpP+-+0
9+-+-+PzP-0
9PzP-wQ-sNLzP0
9+-tR-mK-+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

16...Qf8!?

20...c5 might offer White a target. His plan is to install a blockading knight on d3 and push e5
anyway. He can also opt for b2b4: 21.Nf2 b5 (21...Bg7 22.Rfe1
f5 23.Kg2 b5 24.b3 g5 25.exf5)
22.Nd3 a5 23.Rfe1 Qe7 24.b3 Bg7
25.f4.
21.Nf4 h5 22.Nd3 cxd5
23.cxd5 Rbc8 24.Rxc8 Rxc8
25.Rc1 h4 26.Kg2 Qd8

XIIIIIIIIY
9-+rwq-+k+0
9+p+-+p+-0
9p+-zp-vlp+0
9+-+P+-+-0
9-+-zpP+-zp0
9+-+N+PzP-0
9PzP-wQ-+KzP0
9+-tR-+-+-0
xiiiiiiiiy

Black is very cautious! 16...c5


17.dxc6 bxc6 is not aspiring due
to 18.c5! dxc5 (18...d5 19.0-0 dxe4
20.fxe4) 19.Nd3 h6 20.Bxf6 Qxf6
21.0-0 and White regains the pawn
with interest, for example: 21...Be6
22.Rxc5 Rec8 23.Rfc1 Bxa2 24.Ra5
Be6 25.Rxa6 Bf8 26.Raxc6 Rxc6
27.Rxc6. Black does have some
compensation, but a pawn is a
pawn: 27...Rb3 28.Qc2 Qg5 29.Bf1
Qe3+ 30.Kg2 Rb8.

It is clear that Black will be


struggling for a draw. He cannot
contest the c-file, because without
queens White easily wins the d4pawn. Besides, the combination of
Q+N is generally better than Q+B.
Still, with a good defence Black can
probably hold on.

17.0-0
19.Bh3!?

27.f4 Rxc1
29.Qd1?!

180

h6

18.Bxf6

Bxf6

28.Qxc1

Qd7

6.Be3 Nc6 7.Nge2 a6 8.Qd2 Rb8


White retreats to a passive
square. Perhaps Dreev was afraid
to let the enemy queen into his
camp, but he should have tried
29.Qc4 when 29...Qg4 30.Nf2 h3+
31.Nxh3 Qd1 is clearly better for
him after 32.Nf2. So Black should
stay passive with 29...Bg7. Then
30.Nf2 hxg3 31.hxg3 f5 is probably
a draw although it looks that White
is nearly winning: 32.Kf3 fxe4+
33.Nxe4 Qh3 34.Nf2 Qf5 35.g4
Qb1 36.Qc8+ Kh7 37.Qxb7 (37.f5
gxf5 38.Qxf5+ Qxf5+ 39.gxf5 Kh6

40.Ne4 Be5=) 37...d3 38.Qxa6 d2


39.Qe2 Qe1 40.Qd3 Bxb2 41.g5 Bc3
42.Kg2 Bb2 43.a4 Bc3 44.f5 gxf5
45.Qxf5+ Kg7=. Therefore, White
must leave the knight on d3 to have
e4-e5 and push firstly 30.a4 to see
Blacks answer. After 30...Kh7,
31.Nf2 would be already promising,
to force the exchange on g3.
29...Qc8 30.Qe2 Qd7 31.g4
Be7 32.g5 Qc8 33.Qd1 Qc4
34.a3 Qc8 35.Nf2 Qc4 36.Nd3
Qc8 37.Nf2 Qc4 38.Nd3 Draw

181

Part 6

182

5...c6 6.Be3 a6

Part 7

Extended Black Fianchetto


1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nc3 c6 6.Be3 a6

XIIIIIIIIY
9rsnlwqk+-tr0
9+p+-zppvlp0
9p+pzp-snp+0
9+-+-+-+-0
9-+PzPP+-+0
9+-sN-vLP+-0
9PzP-+-+PzP0
9tR-+QmKLsNR0
xiiiiiiiiy

183

Part 7

Part 7

Main Ideas
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 Bg7 4.e4
d6 5.Nc3 c6 6.Be3 a6

XIIIIIIIIY
9rsnlwqk+-tr0
9+p+-zppvlp0
9p+pzp-snp+0
9+-+-+-+-0
9-+PzPP+-+0
9+-sN-vLP+-0
9PzP-+-+PzP0
9tR-+QmKLsNR0
xiiiiiiiiy

not enough tempi to achieve our


main set-up: after 7...a5 8.Bd3
(8.Qd2 Na6 9.Rd1 Nb4) 8...Na6
9.Nge2 Nb4, Blacks knight arrives
at b4 before we had time for Rd1.
It is true that even if Black traded
his knight for our light-squared
bishop White still could aspire to a
small edge after 10.0-0 0-0 11.Qd2
e5 12.Rad1 Nxd3 13.Qxd3, but we
should attempt to avoid exchanges
with a space advantage.

7.Bd3

7.c5 has been in vogue lately,


but I do not think that it is objectively better than 7.a4. I consider
this line in Part 9 because it is an
indispensable part of a repertoire,
based on the move order 1.d4 Nf6
2.c4 g6 3.f3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Ne2!?
where White postpones Nbc3. For
a main weapon, however, I would
like to advocate a solid approach
with a clear plan for White. Our
goal will be to hinder Blacks extended fianchetto on the queenside
by a4. We are ready to abandon the
dark-squares, but in return well
keep a stable advantage in the centre which is a good foundation for a
kingside attack with f3-f4-f5.
It may seem logical to start our
plan with 7.a4, but then we have
184

We should aim for the following


set-up:
7...0-0 8.a4 a5 9.Qd2 Na6
10.Rd1 e5 11.Nge2 Nd7 12.0-0
exd4 13.Nxd4 Ndc5 14.Bb1 Qb6
15.f4 Qb4 16.f5!

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+l+-trk+0
9+p+-+pvlp0
9n+pzp-+p+0
9zp-sn-+P+-0
9PwqPsNP+-+0
9+-sN-vL-+-0
9-zP-wQ-+PzP0
9+L+R+RmK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

See Game 31 Davies-Grivas,


Tel Aviv 1991, for more details.
We can employ this scheme
against virtually any Black set-up:
12...Re8 13.f4! exd4 14.Nxd4 Nf6

5...c6 6.Be3 a6

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+lwqr+k+0
9+p+-+pvlp0
9n+pzp-snp+0
9zp-+-+-+-0
9P+PsNPzP-+0
9+-sNLvL-+-0
9-zP-wQ-+PzP0
9+-+R+RmK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

15.Nf3 Ng4 16.Bd4 Bxd4+


17.Nxd4 Nc5 18.Bc2 Nf6 19.f5;

Whites strong grip on the centre and on the queenside denies


Black any counterplay. Thus he is
able to chose different move orders
or make some prophylactics before
pushing f4, for example, h3 or Kh1
first.
Here are some strategic considerations to guide you when making
important decisions:

11...exd4 12.Nxd4 Qe7 13.0-0


Nd7 14.f4! Nac5 15.Bc2 Nf6 16.f5.

Retreat the d3-bishop to c2 and


not to e2, in order to support e4 and
a future attack.

Analysis

If your opponent has no immediate threats and you are hesitating


among different options, consider
plans with f4 at the first place.

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+ltr-+k+0
9+p+n+pvlp0
9-+pzp-+p+0
9zp-sn-+-+-0
9PwqPsNP+-+0
9+PsN-+P+P0
9-+LwQ-vLP+0
9+-+R+RmK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

20.f4! Re8 21.f5 with a bind.


Khairullin-Hungaski
Biel 2012

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+-+r+k+0
9+p+l+pvlp0
9n+pzp-+p+0
9zp-sn-+-+-0
9PwqPsNP+-+0
9+PsN-vLP+P0
9-+LwQ-+P+0
9+-+R+R+K0
xiiiiiiiiy

The game went 18.Bf2 Be6 19.f4


f5? 20.exf5. More straightforward
was 18.f4! Rad8 19.f5.

Trading a pair of knights generally does not help Black much:


Analysis

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+ltr-+k+0
9+p+-+pvlp0
9-+pzpnsnp+0
9zp-+-+-+-0
9PwqPsNP+-+0
9+PsN-vLP+P0
9-+LwQ-+P+0
9+-+R+RmK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

18...Nxd4 19.Bxd4 Be6 20.Qf2


d5 21.Ne2 Qe7 22.cxd5 cxd5 23.e5
Nd7 24.f4 Rac8 25.Bb1 Nc5 26.f5
gxf5 27.Ng3.
When to trade dark-squared
bishops?
In principal, Whites bishop on
e3 is more useful than its opponent
on g7 as it threatens both flanks.
185

Part 7
With all our pawns on light squares,
it is our good bishop. That would
become even more evident when
we play f3-f4-f5 and Black will
probably have to entrench himself
with ...f6. Of course, these strategic considerations should fall into
the background when we have fair
chances for a direct attack. In that
event we should treat the g7-bishop
as a defender and kill it.
Zhou Jianchao-Ding Liren
Shandong 2007

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+l+r+k+0
9+p+-wqpvlp0
9nsnpzp-+p+0
9zp-+-+-+-0
9P+PzpPzP-+0
9+PsN-vL-+-0
9-+-wQN+PzP0
9+L+R+RmK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

Blacks knights are far from the


king so we can recapture by bishop:
16.Bxd4 Nc5 17.Bxg7 Kxg7 and
now 18.f5! with an overwhelming
position.
Do not overestimate the weakness of the d6-pawn!
Analysis

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+l+r+-+0
9+p+nwqpmkp0
9-+pzp-+p+0
9zp-sn-+-+-0
9P+P+PzP-+0
9+-sN-+-+-0
9-zP-wQN+PzP0
9+L+R+RmK-0
xiiiiiiiiy
186

White commonly wins the game


on the kingside. He should not
trade queens in order to snatch
a pawn since Black may obtain
enough counterplay against the
weak pawns c4 and a4: 17.Qxd6?
(17.Ng3!) 17...Qxd6 18.Rxd6 Nb6
turns the tables in Blacks favour.
Finally, some notes on Blacks
defence against the f4-plan. He can
anticipate f4-f5 by playing ...f5 himself. It does not hinder Whites attack though:
Reshevsky-Stein
Sousse 1967

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+l+-trk+0
9+p+-+-vlp0
9nwqpzp-+-+0
9zp-sn-+p+-0
9P+PsN-zP-+0
9+-sN-vL-+-0
9-zP-wQ-+PzP0
9+L+R+RmK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

Here 17.g4! gave White a decisive attack, e.g. 17...Nb3 18.Nxb3


Qxb3 19.Kh1.
Zhou Jianchao-Ding,Liren
Shandong 2007

XIIIIIIIIY
9-+ntr-tr-+0
9+pwq-+-mkp0
9-+pzp-zpp+0
9zp-sn-+-+-0
9P+P+PzP-+0
9+P+-+QsNP0
9-+L+-+P+0
9+-+R+R+K0
xiiiiiiiiy

5...c6 6.Be3 a6
More often Black defends with...
f6. Then we need to thrust the hpawn. Here, the thematic 27.f5
could be met by 27...g5 28.h4 h6
so best is:
27.h4! Rde8 28.h5 (28.f5! Re5
29.fxg6 hxg6 30.h5 is more accurate.) 28...Qd7 29.Kh2 Rf7 30.Rd2
Rff8 31.Rh1 b6 32.Kg1 and White
is all set for a decisive assault.
Razuvaev-Anand
Kolkata, 1986

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+l+-trk+0
9+p+-wq-snp0
9n+pzp-zpp+0
9zp-+-+-+-0
9P+PsNPzP-+0
9+-sNL+-+-0
9-zP-wQ-+PzP0
9+-+R+R+K0
xiiiiiiiiy

Instead of the mundane 17.Bb1,


White had 17.f5! g5 (17...Nc5
18.Qh6) 18.h4 h6 19.Rf3 Rf7 20.Rh3.
Black cannot contend the h-file:
20...Nc5 21.Bc2 Ne8 22.g3 g4 (22...
Rh7 23.Kg2 Nd7 24.hxg5 hxg5
25.Rxh7 Qxh7 26.Rh1) 23.Rh2 h5
24.Nde2 Rh7 25.Nf4 Bd7 26.Ng6.
We have dealt so far only with
7...0-0. What about:
7...b5
The fine point of our move order
is that we can grab space with:
8.e5!? Nfd7 9.f4

XIIIIIIIIY
9rsnlwqk+-tr0
9+-+nzppvlp0
9p+pzp-+p+0
9+p+-zP-+-0
9-+PzP-zP-+0
9+-sNLvL-+-0
9PzP-+-+PzP0
9tR-+QmK-sNR0
xiiiiiiiiy

Black has one good outpost on


d5, but his whole kingside is weak.
Note that I mention only the kingside! Do not distract your attention
with the c6-pawn. We can put some
pressure on it only to bind Black
with its defence. The main strike,
however, is usually towards the
black king.
9...bxc4 10.Bxc4 Nb6 11.Bd3!
Another important moment! We
should always retreat the bishop to
this square as 11.Bb3 only provokes
11...a5! 12.Nf3 a4.
11...Be6 12.Qe2 Nd5 13.Nxd5
Bxd5 14.Nf3!

XIIIIIIIIY
9rsn-wqk+-tr0
9+-+-zppvlp0
9p+pzp-+p+0
9+-+lzP-+-0
9-+-zP-zP-+0
9+-+LvLN+-0
9PzP-+Q+PzP0
9tR-+-mK-+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

White has more space and the


better pawn structure. See Game
29 Knaak-Grivas, Athens 1992.

187

Part 7

Part 7

Step by Step
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 Bg7 4.e4
d6 5.Nc3 c6 6.Be3 a6

XIIIIIIIIY
9rsnlwqk+-tr0
9+p+-zppvlp0
9p+pzp-snp+0
9+-+-+-+-0
9-+PzPP+-+0
9+-sN-vLP+-0
9PzP-+-+PzP0
9tR-+QmKLsNR0
xiiiiiiiiy

Black prefers to enter this system before castling in order to cut


off some sharp Whites options as
g4.
7.Bd3
Main options are:
A. 7...0-0; B. 7...Nbd7; C. 7...b5
A. 7...0-0 8.a4 a5 9.Qd2 Na6
9...e5 10.Nge2 Nbd7 transposes
to line B.
10.Rd1
188

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+lwq-trk+0
9+p+-zppvlp0
9n+pzp-snp+0
9zp-+-+-+-0
9P+PzPP+-+0
9+-sNLvLP+-0
9-zP-wQ-+PzP0
9+-+RmK-sNR0
xiiiiiiiiy

10...e5

10...Nb4 11.Bb1 d5 offers White


an attack after 12.cxd5 cxd5 13.e5
Ne8 14.h4 Bf5 15.Bxf5 gxf5 16.h5,
Psakhis-Gipslis, Jurmala 1987.
In Knaak-Zueger, Altensteig
1993, Black opted for a waiting
game with 11...b6 12.Nge2 Qc7
13.0-0 Ba6 14.b3 e5. Here 15.Qe1
Rfe8 16.Qf2 d5!? reduced the tension in the centre although Whites
game is still easier: 17.dxe5 Qxe5
18.Bxb6 dxc4 19.bxc4 Bxc4 20.Rd2.
Perhaps he should have carried on
his main plan: 15.h3!? Rad8 16.f4
or take a small edge with 15.Na2!?
Nxa2 16.Qxa2 Rfe8 17.d5 cxd5
18.cxd5 Bd3.
11.Nge2 Nd7
a) 11...exd4 12.Nxd4

5...c6 6.Be3 a6
12.Bxd4 Be6 13.b3 Nd7 trades
dark-squared bishops which is not
necessarily in Whites favour.
12...Nc5
Salem-Movsesian, rapid Khanty-Mansiysk 2013, saw 12...Qe7
13.0-0 Nd7 when the best plan
is to push 14.f4! (or 14.Bb1 Re8
15.h3 Nb4 16.f4) 14...Nac5 15.Bc2
Nf6 16.f5. Now 16...Nfxe4 would
be hopeless after 17.Nxe4 Nxe4
18.Bxe4 Qxe4 19.f6.
12...Nb4 13.Bb1 Re8 14.0-0 d5?
eliminates the centre, but gives
White the commanding square b5:
15.cxd5 cxd5 16.Ndb5, RazuvaevZarnicki, Palma de Mallorca 1991.
13.Bc2 Qb6 14.b3 Re8 15.0-0

XIIIIIIIIY
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15...Be6

15...Qb4, pinning the c3-knight,


is more consistent. White can make
room for his queen on e3 by 16.Bf4
Rd8 17.h3 (this is always useful,
with f4 in mind) 17...Ne6 18.Be3
Nc5 19.Bf2 Nfd7 20.f4 Re8 21.f5.
Black lacks sensible moves.
16.Qf2 Qc7, Sakaev-Grigore, Is
tanbul 2000, 17.e5! dxe5 18.Ndb5
cxb5 19.Nxb5 Qc6 20.Bxc5. White
is clearly better.

b) 11...Nb4 defines the future


of Blacks knight too early. After
12.Bb1 exd4, White can transpose
to line a by 13.Nxd4, or consider
13.Bxd4 when the inclusion of
...Nb4 made impossible 13...Nd7
since the d6-pawn is hanging. Delaying the exchange by 12...Qe7
13.0-0 Be6 is no good either due to
14.d5! with a stable edge.
c) 11...Qe7 12.0-0 Re8 is a flexible approach. White can close the
centre or stay true to his attacking
plans:

XIIIIIIIIY
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c1) 13.d5?! Nd7 (13...Bd7 14.b3
Rec8 15.Bb1 cxd5 16.Nxd5) 14.Nc1!
Nb4 15.Bb1 cxd5 16.Nxd5.
c2) 13.Rde1
I think that 13.Bb1!? is more accurate as we do not need the rook
on e1, at least for now. Nevertheless, Edouards straightforward
play is quite instructive:
13...Nd7 14.f4! exd4 15.Nxd4
Nac5 16.Bc2 Ra6!? 17.b3 Rb6
I have been following the game
Edouard-Akshayraj, Dubai 2013.
Now, instead of 18.Qf2 which leaves
the queenside vulnerable to tactical
189

Part 7
hits, e.g. 18...Qf8 19.h3 Rb4 20.Kh2
Nxb3! 21.Bxb3 c5, White should
play simply 18.Rb1 Nf8 19.h3 with
possible Nf3.
12.0-0 exd4
12...Re8 is an ambitious move.
It assumes that the pawn structure
in the centre has reached some
sort of a equilibrium and the first
to break it will make a concession.
Im not sure this reasoning holds
true. First of all, I recommend that
White plays f4 anyway and the
rooks move is no hindrance to it.
Second, Black omits the option of
sending our bishop to e2 instead of
the more active place c2 as in the
line 12...exd4 13.Nxd4 Ne5 14.Be2.
Third, after 12...Re8 13.Bb1 exd4,
White can also recapture on d4 by
bishop due to the weakness of the
d6-pawn. White has three decent
answers, but I vote for the most
straightforward:
13.f4!?
Let us consider the other two
options:
a) 13.Kh1

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According to my understanding, White does not need this pro190

phylactic move, or at least he has


more urgent items on his agenda.
In practice, he did get an advantage
after 13...Nf8 14.f4 Ne6 15.Bb1,
see Game 32 Kiril Georgiev-Krum
Georgiev, Sofia 1989, and 13...
Nb4 14.Bb1 Qe7 15.f4, see Game
30 Rubinetti-Partos, Nice ol.
1974. However, his task would be
more difficult following 13...exd4
14.Nxd4 Ne5. We should retreat to
e2.
b) 13.Bb1!?.
This is a really useful move, but
in most variations the bishop would
stay better on c2. Still, it is a consistent continuation which should
ensure White an edge:
13...Qc7 14.f4
14.d5 would leave White without a clear plan.
It is possible to conti
nue with
the tactic of improvements although
we do not need the following prophylactic moves: 14.Kh1 Bf8 15.h3
exd4 16.Nxd4 Nac5 17.Bc2 Qb6
18.b3 Nf6 19.Rfe1 Qc7 20.Bh6 Be7
21.Bg5, Ivkov-Panno, Palma de
Mallorca 1970.
14...exd4 15.Nxd4

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All is set for a kingside attack.
The game Petursson-Kr.Georgiev,

5...c6 6.Be3 a6
Dubai ol. 1986, went 15...Nb6 16.b3
Nc5 17.Qf2 Nd7 when best is 18.f5.
It is better to keep the knight on d7:
15...Nac5 16.f5 Ne5 17.Qe2
Whites pieces are not on their
best places, but his three central
pawns ensure a firm grip on the
centre. Black lacks any counterplay:
17...Qe7 18.h3 Qf8 19.Bc2 Bh6
20.Bxh6 Qxh6 21.Nf3 Qf8 22.b3.
Around here, the engines already
understand that all the fun is for
White who will soon thrust the hpawn forward. Black can only stay
and wait.
13...exd4 14.Nxd4 Nf6

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9+-+R+RmK-0
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White needs a little regrouping here, but eventually he should


consolidate and emerge with a pull:
15.Nf3 Ng4 16.Bd4 Bxd4+ 17.Nxd4
Nc5 18.Bc2 Nf6 19.f5
19.Rde1 is also good, but we
should not be afraid of losing the
central pawn:
19...Nfxe4 20.Nxe4 Nxe4 21.Qf4
g5 (21...d5 22.fxg6 fxg6 23.cxd5
cxd5 24.Bxe4 Rxe4 25.Qf7+ Kh8
26.h3) 22.Qg4 d5 23.cxd5 cxd5
24.Ne6 Rxe6 (24...fxe6 25.f6)
25.fxe6 Bxe6 26.Qf3 Qb6+ 27.Kh1
Qxb2 28.Bxe4 dxe4 29.Qxe4. The
b7-pawn is doomed.

13.Nxd4 Nc5
After 13...Ne5 14.Be2 Qe7, White
can follow with his main plan:
15.h3 [15.Bg5!? f6 (15...Qc7 16.f4)
16.Bh4 Nc5 17.f4 Bh6 18.Bg3 is a
decent alternative. Remember that
trade of dark-squared bishops, e.g.
15.Bh6?!, is strategically good for
Black!] 15...Rfe8 16.f4 Nd7 and now
we redeploy the bishop to support
the attack: 17.Bd3! Nac5 18.Bc2.
13...Nac5 14.Bc2 Qb6 15.b3 Qb4
is a standard set-up which may occur after different move orders.
It does not hamper our standard
plan: 16.h3 Re8 17.Bf2 Na6 (17...
Nf6 18.Qe3 Be6 19.f4) 18.f4 Ndc5
19.f5.
14.Bb1
There is no reason to give Black
a tempo with 14.Bc2 Nb4 15.Bb1
b6.
14...Qb6
Or 14...Re8 15.f4 followed up by
f5.

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191

Part 7
15.f4 Qb4
In Reshevsky-Stein, Sousse
1967, Black attempted 15...f5?!
16.exf5 gxf5, but 17.g4! gave White
a decisive attack, e.g. 17...Nb3
18.Nxb3 Qxb3 19.Kh1.
16.f5!
Whites attack is very strong.
See Game 31 Davies-Grivas, Tel
Aviv 1991.
B. 7...Nbd7 8.a4 e5 9.Nge2
0-0 10.0-0
10.a5 is more principled, but I do
not see a reason to delay our development although White retains his
space advantage and stands slightly
better after 10...exd4 11.Bxd4 Ne5
12.0-0.

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10...a5

10...exd4 should be met by


11.Bxd4 in order to discourage ...d5
(11.Nxd4 d5 12.cxd5 cxd5 13.exd5
192

Nb6 14.Bf2 Nbxd5 15.Qb3 Nf4


16.Bc4 Bd7 is only equal). Then
11...d5 is bad due to 12.cxd5 cxd5
13.exd5 Nb6 14.Be4 so White remains in control: 11...Ne5 12.b3.
11.Qd2 exd4
Krum Georgiev chose against
Knaak to keep the tension in the
centre by 11...Re8 12.Qd2 Nf8 and
when White pushed d5, he answered ...c5 with the obvious intention to build a fortress. However,
this is play for two results only
where Whites advantage is consi
derable. Simplest is 13.d5 c5 14.g4
N6d7 15.h4 or 15.Kg2.
12.Nxd4 Nc5
12...d5 does not fit in with ...a5
because the b5-square is an excellent outpost for Whites knight:
13.cxd5 cxd5 14.exd5 Nb6 15.d6
Qxd6 16.Ndb5.
13.Bc2
White has consolidated and can
proceed to the next stage of his plan
building up pressure on the kingside.
C. 7...b5 8.e5!?
White exploits the particular
move order to grab more space in
the centre. If Black had played the
standard 5...0-0 6.Be3 c6 7.Qd2
a6, then 8.Bd3 b5 9.e5 would be

5...c6 6.Be3 a6
unconvincing due to 9...Nfd7 10.f4
Nb6 11.c5 dxc5 12.dxc5 Nc4 while
in the current set-up such an approach would cost Black a pawn.
8...Nfd7
8...dxe5 has been known as dubious since the game Spassky-Kavalek San Juan 1970: 9.dxe5 Ng8
10.f4 Nh6 11.Nf3 Bf5 12.Be2!.
9.f4

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9PzP-+-+PzP0
9tR-+QmK-sNR0
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Black will obtain the d5-square


for his pieces, but the bishop on g7
is likely to remain passive for good.
White can also switch to a direct attack with f4-f5 if the opponent distracts his forces to the other flank.
9...bxc4
This exchange anticipates possible b3 or c4-c5 which would cement Whites superiority all over
the board. Alternatives are:
a) 9...0-0 10.Nf3 Nb6 11.b3 (11.
c5! also fixes a solid advantage: 11...

dxc5 12.dxc5 Nd5 13.Nxd5 Qxd5


14.Qc2) 11...N8d7
After 11...bxc4? 12.bxc4 Be6
(12...d5 13.c5 Nc4 14.Qe2 Qa5
15.Rc1 Ra7 16.Bxc4 dxc4 17.Nd2)
13.Qe2 d5 14.c5 Nc4 15.Ng5, the
bishop on g7 is a catastrophe.
12.a4! bxc4 13.bxc4 c5 (13...
a5 14.c5) 14.a5 cxd4 15.Nxd4 dxe5
16.Nc6 Qe8 17.axb6 exf4! 18.Nd5
fxe3

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9-+-+-+PzP0
9tR-+QmK-+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

The position is very sharp, but


difficult for Black. The game Portisch-Kavalek, Wijk aan Zee 1975,
went further 19.Nc7 Bc3+ 20.Kf1
Bb7 21.Nxe8 Bxc6 22.Nc7 Rad8
23.Rc1.
b) 9...Bb7 10.c5 dxc5 11.dxc5
a5 12.Ne4 Na6 13.Qe2 Nb4 14.Rd1
Nd5 15.Nf3.
c) 9...b4 10.Na4 Qa5 11.Nf3 c5
12.dxc5 Nxc5 13.Nxc5 dxc5 14.Be4
Ra7 15.0-0, Piket-Sutovsky, Tilburg 1996.
10.Bxc4 Nb6 11.Bd3
We should always retreat the
bishop to this square. 11.Bb3 only
provokes 11...a5! 12.Nf3 a4 when
193

Part 7
White has to capture by 13.Bxa4,
giving up the bishop pair and the
initiative.

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11...Be6

194

11...a5 is ineffective here: 12.Nf3


Na6 13.a3! (restricting the knights
scope.) 13...Nc7 14.0-0 Ncd5
15.Bd2 0-0. White is better due to
the weakness of c6. He can follow
up with either 16.Qc2 Ba6 17.Bxa6
Rxa6 18.Ne4 Qd7 19.Rac1 Na8
20.Ng3 f5 21.exf6 Rxf6 22.Ng5 e6
23.h4 or 16.Qe2 Nxc3 17.bxc3 c5
18.dxc5! dxc5 19.c4.
12.Qe2 Nd5 13.Nxd5 Bxd5
14.Nf3!
White has more space and the
better pawn structure. See Game
29 Knaak-Grivas, Athens 1992.

5...c6 6.Be3 a6

Part 7

Complete Games

29. Knaak-Grivas
Athens 19.05.1992
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7
4.e4 d6 5.f3 a6 6.Be3 c6 7.Bd3
b5 8.e5 Nfd7 9.f4 bxc4 10.Bxc4
Nb6 11.Bd3 Be6 12.Qe2 Nd5
13.Nxd5 Bxd5 14.Nf3

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9PzP-+Q+PzP0
9tR-+-mK-+R0
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14...Bxf3

Grivas accepts the pawn sac.


This is by any means the most testing continuation, but it eventually
lead him to an opening catastrophe.
Let us dwell on the more restrained:
a) 14...Nd7 (preparing to meet
Bc4 by Nb6) 15.0-0 a5
The bishop on d5 is very strong.
It pierces both flanks and defends
Blacks main weakness the c6pawn. White can try to kill it by

16.Ng5 0-0 17.Ne4 f5 (17...Rb8


18.Nc3 Nb6 19.Rac1 Qc7 20.h4)
18.Nc3 Nb6 19.Nxd5 Nxd5 20.Bc4
Qd7 21.Rfc1, with only a small edge.
Another way is 16.Rac1 0-0
(16...Bxa2 17.exd6 exd6 18.Bd2+)
17.Bc4, but 17...Nb6 is still possible:
18.Bxd5 Nxd5 19.Rxc6 Nb4 20.Rc4
Nxa2 21.b3 Nb4 22.Bd2 (22.Rfc1
Nd5) 22...Nd5 when 23.f5 dxe5
(23...gxf5 24.e6) 24.Nxe5 leads
to a drawish position after 24...
Nb6 25.Nc6 Nxc4 26.Nxd8 Bxd4+
27.Kh1 Nxd2 28.Qxd2 Rfxd8
29.fxg6 hxg6=.
My analysis convinced me that
Blacks pawn weaknesses on the
queenside are easy to defend. They
should not distract us from a more
juicy target the enemys king.
White needs fresh forces to throw
in the battle:
16.h4!? 0-0 17.Ng5

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195

Part 7
Black cannot wait to get overrun
by our superior forces so he must
break through the centre:
17...c5 (17...Bh6 18.Ne4 dxe5
19.dxe5 f6 20.Nc3 fxe5 21.f5)
18.dxc5 Nxc5 (18...dxe5 19.f5)
19.Bxc5 dxc5 20.Rad1 e6 21.Be4.
Black has neutralised the attack, but
he has lost the battle in the centre.
b) 14...0-0 15.0-0 a5
By delaying ...Nd7, Black retains
the option of choosing a set-up with
...Na6, ...Qb6. White can launch an
attack with 16.f5 dxe5 17.dxe5 Nd7
18.Bd4, but the computer claims
that Black can hold after 18...e6
19.f6 Bxf3 20.Qe3 Bd5 21.fxg7
Kxg7. Perhaps it is better to prepare the attack more carefully with:
16.Bc4 Qb6 17.Rac1 Na6

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White has various ways of developing his initiative:


b1) 18.Bxd5 cxd5 19.Rc3 a4 (19...
Rac8 20.Rfc1 Rxc3 21.Rxc3 Nc7
22.Qc2 Ne6 23.Qb3) 20.f5 Nb4
(or 20...gxf5 21.Qd2 f6 22.exd6
Qxd6 23.Bh6 Rf7 24.Nh4 e6
25.Rfc1 where the e6-pawn and
the a6-knight are very weak.) 21.a3
Nc6 22.Rfc1 Na5 23.e6 Nc4 24.Bf2
with an attack.
196

b2) 18.f5 Nb4 and now:


b21) 19.fxg6 hxg6 (19...fxg6
20.b3) 20.Qe1 Bxc4 21.Rxc4 Nd5
22.Qh4 f6 23.Bf2 Qxb2 24.exd6
exd6 25.Rxc6 Qxa2 26.Rxd6.
b22) 19.b3 Bxf3 20.Rxf3 d5
21.Bd3 Nxd3 22.Qxd3 a4

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23.h4.

b23) 19.a3 Bxc4 20.Rxc4 Nd5


21.Bc1 gxf5 22.exd6 exd6 23.Qc2
Ne7 24.Bf4 Rfd8 25.Re1.
15.Qxf3 dxe5 16.fxe5 Bxe5

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17.Be4

17.0-0! is better. Then 17...Bf6


transposes to the game as 17...0-0
18.dxe5 Qxd3 19.Rad1 wins material after Bh6. This finesse is important since after the text move,
Black could have retreated the

5...c6 6.Be3 a6
bishop to g7: 17...Bg7! 18.Bxc6+
Nxc6 19.Qxc6+ Kf8 20.Rd1 (20.0-0
Bxd4) 20...Rc8 21.Qxa6 Ra8 22.Qb5
Rb8 where Whites edge is minimal.
17...Bf6?! 18.0-0 0-0 19.Rad1
This quiet move is even stronger
than 19.d5 Nd7.
19...Qd6 20.Kh1! a5
Perhaps it is late for a good advice. Whites bishop pair is tearing
the board, for instance: 20...Ra7
21.Bf4 Qd8 22.d5 cxd5 23.Bxd5
Rd7 24.Bh6! Re8 25.g4, winning.

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7


4.e4 d6 5.f3 0-0 6.Be3 c6 7.Bd3
a6 8.a4 a5 9.Qd2 Na6 10.Rd1 e5
11.Nge2 Nd7 12.0-0 Re8 13.Kh1
Nb4 14.Bb1 Qe7

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15.f4

21.Bf4 Qb4 22.d5

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It would be a strategic mistake


to close the centre with 15.d5 since
our bishop on b1 is set for action
on the kingside, and the a4-pawn
has only restrictive functions. Of
course, Whites space advantage
would assure him of a pleasant
game, but it would not be easy to
break through on any flank.

22...c5?

Loses promptly. Black could


stay in the game with 22...cxd5
23.Bxd5 Ra7 24.Bh6 Nd7! (24...Re8
fails to 25.Bxf7+! Kxf7 26.Qd5+
e6 27.Rxf6+ Kxf6 28.Rf1+ Ke7
29.Bg5#) giving up the exchange.
Perhaps White should improve this
line by repelling the queen with
24.a3! Qb6 25.Be3 Qa6 26.Bh6.
23.d6 Ra6 24.Bh6
25.dxe7 Qb6 26.Bd3

30. Rubinetti-Partos
Nice ol., 18.06.1974

Re8
1-0

15...exd4 16.Bxd4
As a rule, taking by knight is never wrong in this structure. White is
clearly better after 16.Nxd4 Nc5
17.f5.
16...Bf8
Black should always consider
the trade of dark-squared bishops.
If he does not lose something by
force, 16...Bxd4 should be his first
197

Part 7
choice, because Whites bishop is a
very strong piece. However, in this
particular position, the d6-pawn
is very weak. The straightforward
approach 17.Qxd4?! Nc5 18.Qxd6
does not work due to 18...Qxd6
19.Rxd6 Be6, but 17.Nxd4 would
be awkward. For instance, 17...
b6 18.Nc2 already wins a healthy
pawn: 18...Nc5 19.Qxd6 Be6
20.Ne3. Therefore, Partos move
looks reasonable.
17.Rde1
The standard plan is 17.f5. Rubinetti has another idea in mind
which is typical for the Modern Benoni pawn structure.
17...Na6 18.Ng3 Nac5 19.Bc2
Ne6 20.Be3 Nec5

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21.e5! dxe5 22.f5 Bg7

Blacks pieces have no prospects. He should only stay and wait,


but that is not an easy task. An alternative to the text was 22...Qh4
23.Qf2 Kh8 24.b3 Be7 25.Qf3 Rg8
26.Nge4 Nxe4 27.Nxe4 f6 28.Rd1.
23.Qf2 b6 24.Nce4 Nxe4
25.Nxe4
198

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+l+r+k+0
9+-+nwqpvlp0
9-zpp+-+p+0
9zp-+-zpP+-0
9P+P+N+-+0
9+-+-vL-+-0
9-zPL+-wQPzP0
9+-+-tRR+K0
xiiiiiiiiy

Black is strategically lost.

25...gxf5 26.Qxf5 Nf8 27.Qh5


f5 28.Bg5+ Qe6 29.Rxf5
Qxf5 30.Nf6+ Bxf6 31.Bxf5
Bxf5 32.Bxf6 Bg6 33.Qh6 Ra7
34.Rxe5 Rxe5 35.Bxe5 Re7
36.Bc3 Ne6 37.h4 Kf7 38.h5
Be4 39.Qf6+ Ke8 40.Qe5
Nc5 41.Qb8+ Kf7 42.Qxb6
Nd3 43.Kh2 c5 44.Qf6+ Ke8
45.Bxa5 Ne5 46.Qh8+ Kf7
47.Bc3 Re8 48.Qxe8+ Kxe8
49.Bxe5 Ke7 50.g4 Bd3 51.Kg3
Bxc4 52.g5 Kf7 53.g6+ hxg6
54.h6 Kg8 55.Kf4 Kh7 56.Kg5
Bd3 57.Bf4
1-0

31. Davies-Grivas
Tel Aviv 1991
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7
4.e4 d6 5.f3 0-0 6.Be3 a6 7.Qd2
c6 8.a4 a5 9.Bd3 Na6 10.Rd1
e5 11.Nge2 Nd7 12.0-0 exd4
13.Nxd4 Ndc5 14.Bb1 Qb6 15.f4
Qb4 16.f5!
This set-up is Whites ultimate
goal in this opening. Davies has
achieved it in its extreme, most
unbalanced version all the ene

5...c6 6.Be3 a6
mys pieces are on the queenside.
If the attack fails, White will probably end up with a material deficit.
However, analysis proves that he
must be winning.

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9+-sN-vL-+-0
9-zP-wQ-+PzP0
9+L+R+RmK-0
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16...Nd7 17.Bh6 Qc5

17...Qxc4? loses to 18.Bxg7 Kxg7


19.Rf4.
The game Razuvaev-Iskusnyh,
Elista 1995, saw 17...Nac5 18.Bxg7
Kxg7 19.Rf3 f6

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9+p+n+-mkp0
9-+pzp-zpp+0
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9+-sN-+R+-0
9-zP-wQ-+PzP0
9+L+R+-mK-0
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Razuvaev opted for 20.fxg6


(White could have preferred the
prosaic solution 20.Rg3 g5 21.Qe2
Rf7 22.Ne6+ winning a pawn after 22...Kh8 23.Nc7 Rb8 24.Ne8.)
20...hxg6 21.Rh3 Ne5 22.Qh6+ Kf7
23.Qh7+ Ke8 when 23.Ndb5! Nf7
24.Re3 cxb5 25.e5! fxe5 26.Bxg6
Be6 27.Re3 cxb5 28.Nxb5 Rd8
29.b3!! would have put Black into a
study-like zugzwang (Black would

be still in the game after 29.Nxd6+


Rxd6 30.Rxd6 Qxc4).

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9-+-+-+PzP0
9+-+R+-mK-0
xiiiiiiiiy

Now 29...Nxb3 30.Nc7+ Ke7


31.Nxe6 Kxe6 32.Qh3 is hopeless
so it remains 29...Na6 30.Bxf7+
Bxf7 31.Qh6 and Blacks position is crumbling down: 31...Qc5
32.Nxd6+ Rxd6 33.Rxd6 Nb4
34.Kh1 Bxc4 35.h4.
18.Kh1 Nf6 19.b3
A strange move. It is true that
Black is tied up and down, but the
c4-pawn is completely irrelevant
in the current position. White is
winning easily after 19.Nf3! Qxc4?
20.fxg6 when 20...fxg6 drops the
queen due to 21.Ba2. More stubborn is 19...Nc7 20.Bxg7 Kxg7
21.Qf4 Nce8, but 22.e5 unleashes
the still drowsing bishop on b1.
19...Nc7 20.Rf3 Nce8 21.Bxg7
Kxg7 22.Rh3

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9+p+-+pmkp0
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9+PsN-+-+R0
9-+-wQ-+PzP0
9+L+R+-+K0
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199

Part 7
The attack is running smoothly.
22...Ng4 23.Rf1 Nef6 24.Rh4
h5 25.h3 Ne5 26.Nce2 Bd7
27.Ng3
27.Qg5 also wins as Black has
no defence against the threat of
28.Ng3, e.g. 27...Nh7 28.f6+ Kh8
29.Qh6 Rg8 30.Nf5!+.
27...Rh8 28.fxg6 Nxg6

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9+p+l+pmk-0
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9zp-wq-+-+p0
9P+PsNP+-tR0
9+P+-+-sNP0
9-+-wQ-+P+0
9+L+-+R+K0
xiiiiiiiiy

29.Ngf5+ Bxf5 30.Rxf5 Qb4


31.Qf2 Ne8 32.Rxf7+ Kg8 33.e5
dxe5 34.Bxg6 exd4 35.Bh7+
Rxh7 36.Rxh7 Ng7 37.R4xh5 1-0
32 Kiril Georgiev-Krum Georgiev
BUL-ch. Sofia 1989
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7
4.e4 d6 5.f3 0-0 6.Be3 a6 7.Qd2
c6 8.a4 a5 9.Bd3 e5 10.Nge2
Na6 11.Rd1 Nd7 12.0-0 Re8
13.Kh1 Nf8
Krum Georgiev is the most ardent fan of the c6-a6 system. Up
to this game, he had more than 10
years of experience in it. His ap-

200

proach to the centre is rather untypical. He does not take on d4 putting his hopes on the e5-pawn to
keep him safe.

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9+-sNLvLP+-0
9-zP-wQN+PzP0
9+-+R+R+K0
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14.f4! Ne6 15.Bb1 c5?!

Black overestimates the power


of his knight on d4.
16.dxe5 dxe5 17.Nd5 Nac7
18.f5 Nd4 19.Nec3 Nxd5
20.Nxd5

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9P+PsnP+-+0
9+-+-vL-+-0
9-zP-wQ-+PzP0
9+L+R+R+K0
xiiiiiiiiy

The rest is a good illustration of


Whites attacking possibilities.
20...Bd7 21.Bh6 Ra6 22.Bxg7
Kxg7 23.f6+ Kh8 24.Qh6 Rg8
25.Rd3 (25.Qg5! Rd6 26.Rd3)
25...g5 26.Rg3? (26.Qh5! Rg6
27.Rf2) 26...Rg6 27.Qh5 Qf8??
(27...Raxf6!=) 28.Rxg5
1-0

6.Be3 e5 7.Nge2

Part 8

The Classical Main Line


1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nc3 0-0 6.Be3 e5
7.Nge2

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9tR-+QmKL+R0
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201

Part 8

Part 8

Main Ideas
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 Bg7 4.e4
d6 5.Nc3 0-0 6.Be3 e5 7.Nge2

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9PzP-+N+PzP0
9tR-+QmKL+R0
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7.d5 has been more popular


for years, but the trend is changing. This move offers White more
ways of fighting the plans with 7...
c6 as he has Bd3, Nge2, but 7...
Nh5 8.Qd2 f5 9.0-0-0 is too committal and the price of every move
is higher.
I chose to advocate 7.Nge2 because its main lines are not so
forced. All you need to get started
is to learn a few typical set-ups and
positional principles which I will
explain in this chapter. Whites
king is usually safer than after 7.d5
because it does not go so early to the
queenside and may choose to stay in
the centre or escape to the kingside,
depending on circumstances. Practical experience seems to support
my choice. In my database, 7.Nge2
scores 61% vs. 56% for 7.d5.
202

The first thing you should learn


is how to treat the position on the
following diagram:
7...c6 8.Qd2 Nbd7 9.d5 cxd5
10.cxd5 a6 11.g4!

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9-+-+P+P+0
9+-sN-vLP+-0
9PzP-wQN+-zP0
9tR-+-mKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

This advance is the gist of our


plan. In the first place, it aims to
gain space and discourage Blacks
counterplay on the kingside. We
want to complete development
with Ng3, h4-h5. The clamp on f5
prevents Blacks natural breakthrough against the foundation of
our central pawn chain.
Note that I said nothing about
mating the opponent with a direct
attack along the h-file. In fact, Be3h6 is not on our agenda, at least
for the next 10 moves. The nature
of our set-up is mostly restrictive.
We may consider g4-g5 rather than
Bh6. Our positional dream is to
keep the bind on the kingside and

6.Be3 e5 7.Nge2
invade the enemy camp through
the opposite part of the board. The
d5-pawn ensures us of a spatial advantage so it is easy to transfer pieces back and forth between the two
flanks. We should play complexly,
on a wide front, and pick the most
vulnerable spot for a target.
Look at the following example:
11...b5 12.Ng3 Bb7 13.h4 Qe7
14.h5 Rfc8

However, his knights are passive


and practice has seen him struggling
after 12.0-0-0 f4 13.Bf2 Nf6 14.Kb1
Ng6 15.c5. Whites offensive on
the queenside is easy to develop.
This Black approach has not caught
up. Perhaps thanks to Kasparovs
efforts, the modern main line is:

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9-+-+P+P+0
9+-sN-vLPsN-0
9PzP-wQ-+-+0
9tR-+-mKL+R0
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This move stalls Whites natural


development with Ng3. We may try
to maintain flexibility by 12.h3, but
it wastes a tempo. I think that we
should quickly finish our development by:

If you have read carefully the


previous note, you should be able to
reject 15.Bh6?! Bxh6 16.Qxh6 Ne8
17.g5 Nf8 in favour of 15.Kf2!? Rc7
16.Be2 Rac8 17.Rac1 planning b4,
a4, g5.
Obviously, Black should not enter such positions. He must seek
counterplay on the kingside. His
most straightforward attempt is 7...
Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.g4 Ne8 10.Qd2 f5
11.gxf5 gxf5

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11...h5

12.g5! Nh7 (12...Ne8 13.Nc1! f5


14.gxf6 Bxf6 15.Be2)

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13.Nc1!

This move is practically unknown at high level. Compared


to the common 13.Rg1, it has two
advantages: the h2-pawn remains
protected in the event of ...Qh4+,
and the bishop can protect the f3pawn from e2 after ...f6. The latter is
a striking difference with the game
Karpov-Kotronias, Athens 1997:
13.Rg1 f6 14.gxf6 Rxf6 15.0-0-0
Qe8?! 16.Bg2 b5 17.Kb1 Rb8 18.Rc1
203

Part 8
Nb6 19.b3 Bd7

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9P+-wQN+LzP0
9+KtR-+-tR-0
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20.Nd1 Kh8 21.Qa5 Nc8


22.Nb2 g5 23.Nd3 Ne7 24.Nb4
Ng6 25.Nxa6 Rc8 26.Rxc8 Bxc8
27.Nc7 Qe7 28.Nxb5+.
The only drawback of 13.Nc1
is the potential loss of castling
rights, but it is arguable that our
king would be better off on the
queenside. It is safe enough in the
centre and it can also hide to b1 via
the route d1-c2-b1.
13...f6 14.gxf6 Bxf6 15.Be2

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9-+-+P+-+0
9+-sN-vLP+-0
9PzP-wQL+-zP0
9tR-sN-mK-+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

White has consolidated and his


strong centre assures him of the
better game. Any ending is in his
favour due to his clear plan on the
queenside. The following trade of
dark-squared bishops is positionally justified, but it weakens Blacks
204

king. In many lines the break f3-f4


gains in strength: 15...Bg5 16.Rg1
Bxe3 17.Qxe3 Kg7 18.Nd3

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9PzP-+L+-zP0
9tR-+-mK-tR-0
xiiiiiiiiy

18...b5 19.Kd2! Ndf6 (19...Qb6


20.a4 bxa4 21.Nxa4 Qb7 22.Rac1)
20.Raf1 Qe7 21.a3 Qa7 22.Qxa7+
Rxa7 23.f4.
On the seventh move, Black can
choose the solid, but passive:
7...exd4 8.Nxd4 Nc6

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9zppzp-+pvlp0
9-+nzp-snp+0
9+-+-+-+-0
9-+PsNP+-+0
9+-sN-vLP+-0
9PzP-+-+PzP0
9tR-+QmKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

White can castle on either flank.


I consider in the Step by Step
chapter the plan with a short castle:
9.Qd2 Nxd4 10.Bxd4 Be6
11.Be2 Nd7 12.Bxg7 Kxg7 13.0-0
f5 14.exf5 Bxf5 15.Rae1 Nb6
16.f4.
White can expand on the kingside with g4.

6.Be3 e5 7.Nge2
Typical tactical motifs
In the early opening stages,
White is often undeveloped and
that is a fertile soil for destructive
tactical blows. We should not underestimate Blacks counterplay. It
is better to anticipate it:
Analysis

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9+P+-vLPsN-0
9P+-+-+-+0
9+-wQNmKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

17...Nbxd5 18.exd5 Nxd5.


Blacks mobile central pawns provide adequate compensation for the
piece.
Analysis

XIIIIIIIIY
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9PzP-+L+QzP0
9tR-sNK+-tR-0
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Whites pieces are awkward.


Even with an extra exchange, it
would be difficult to win: 18...Rf4!
19.h3 Kh7.
It is often preferable to part with
material, but keep the pressure.

Analysis

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9-mK-wQLsN-zP0
9+-tR-+-tR-0
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26.Rc6!? with an initiative.

Early in the opening, after 7...c6


8.Qd2 exd4 9.Nxd4, Black may try
to open the centre with 9...d5.

XIIIIIIIIY
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9+-+p+-+-0
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9PzP-wQ-+PzP0
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10.cxd5 cxd5 11.e5 Ne8 12.f4 f6


when I advocate 13.e6! Nc6

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14.f5! gxf5 15.Rd1! Nxd4


16.Qxd4 Bxe6 17.Bc4! Nc7 18.Bd3
Rf7 19.0-0. Blacks pieces will stay
passive for long, his castling position is compromised.
205

Part 8

Part 8

Step by Step
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4
d6 5.f3 0-0 6.Be3 e5 7.Nge2

XIIIIIIIIY
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9+-+-zp-+-0
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9+-sN-vLP+-0
9PzP-+N+PzP0
9tR-+QmKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

7.d5 has been more popular for


decades, but the modern trend is to
avoid this line due to 7...Nh5 8.Qd2
f5 which is not to everybodys taste.
After the text, 7...Nh5 is dubious. White can choose between the
quiet 8.Qd2 f5 9.exf5 gxf5 10.0-0-0
and more challenging 8.g4 Nf4
9.Nxf4 exf4 10.Bxf4 f5 11.gxf5 gxf5
12.Qd2 Nc6 13.0-0-0!.
I will focus on:
A. 7...exd4; B. 7...Nc6; C. 7...c6
Minor alternatives are:
a) 7...Nbd7 8.Qd2 Nb6 (8...c6
transposes to the main line) 9.b3
exd4 10.Nxd4 a5 11.Be2 a4 12.0-0,
Istratescu-Bates, Hastings 2009.
206

b) 7...Nfd7 8.Qd2 a5 9.h4!


It is good to keep the king in
the centre. In Gerzhoy-Ivanisevic,
Sarajevo 2010, White castled, but
after 9.0-0-0 Nb6 10.b3 a4 Black
obtained counterplay.
9...h5 (9...Nb6 10.b3 a4 11.Rd1
h5 12.dxe5 Bxe5 13.c5) 10.Bg5

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9PzP-wQN+P+0
9tR-+-mKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

10...f6

Or 10...Bf6 11.0-0-0 Bxg5 (11...


Nb6 12.Kb1 Nxc4 13.Qd3 b5
14.Nxb5 d5 15.Bxf6) 12.hxg5 Nb6
13.Kb1 Nxc4 14.Qd3 Nb6 15.dxe5.
11.Be3 Nb6 12.dxe5 dxe5
13.Qxd8 Rxd8 14.Bxb6 cxb6 15.Nd5
with the better endgame.
c) 7...Nh5. This thematic idea
is dubious here. White can take a
pawn with 8.g4 Nf4 9.Nxf4 exf4
10.Bxf4 f5 11.gxf5 gxf5 12.Qd2 Nc6
13.0-0-0 or play for attack with
8.Qd2 f5 9.exf5 gxf5 10.0-0-0.

6.Be3 e5 7.Nge2
A. 7...exd4 8.Nxd4 Nc6 (8...
c6 is considered in line D)

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9+-+-+-+-0
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9PzP-+-+PzP0
9tR-+QmKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

From a computers point of


view, this line may be objectively
better than 7...c6. Black does not
cede any more space as in the variation 7...c6 8.Qd2 Nbd7 9.d5, and he
gets easy piece play. However, with
an open centre, he has not much
of play of his own. He is bound to
defend a slightly worse position for
many moves ahead. In practice, this
translates into only 40% and rare
wins. No wonder that this approach
is 7 times less popular than 7...c6.
9.Qd2
9.Nc2 is too slow. Black gets an
initiative after 9...Be6!, for example: 10.Be2 Ne5 11.b3 Nh5 12.Qd2
Qh4+ 13.Bf2 Qf6.
9.Be2 is a natural developing
move, but it commits White to a
short castling: 9...Nh5 10.Nxc6
bxc6 11.0-0. I prefer to keep both
castling options open for a while.
9...Nxd4

a) 9...a6 10.Be2! Ne5 is best met


by 11.Rd1! which anticipates the
idea of 11...c5? (11...Re8 12.0-0)
due to 12.Nb3! Be6 13.Qxd6 Qxd6
14.Rxd6 Nxc4 (14...Bxc4 15.Na5
Bxe2 16.Kxe2) 15.Bxc4 Bxc4
16.Nxc5!.
b) 9...Nh5 could encourage
White to castle long: 10.0-0-0 Nxd4
11.Bxd4 Bxd4 12.Qxd4 Be6 13.g3.
c) 9...Re8 might prove to be a
superfluous move. White continues
10.Be2 Nh5 11.Nc2!? f5 (11...Be6
12.0-0) 12.0-0 when 12...f4 would
be positionally bad because White
has clear play in the centre with c4c5. 12...fxe4 13.fxe4 opens the f-file
in Whites favour: 13...Nf6 14.Bg5
Rf8 15.Rf2. Remains: 12...Nf6
13.Bg5 Ne5 14.exf5 Bxf5 15.Ne3
Be6 16.f4! Nf7 17.Bh4 c6 18.f5 with
an initiative.
10.Bxd4 Be6 11.Be2

XIIIIIIIIY
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9zppzp-+pvlp0
9-+-zplsnp+0
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9-+PvLP+-+0
9+-sN-+P+-0
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9tR-+-mK-+R0
xiiiiiiiiy
11...Nd7

It is only in Whites interest to


keep more pieces on the board:
207

Part 8
11...c6 12.0-0 Qa5 13.a3 a6 14.Rfd1
Rfd8, Shinkevich-Enders, Budapest
1996, 15.b4!.
In Lautier-Piket, Dos Hermanas
1995, Black chose to trade bishops
with 11...Nh5 12.Bxg7 Nxg7 13.0-0
(13.0-0-0 deserves attention: 13...
f5 14.exf5 Nxf5 15.Bd3.) 13...c6.
This position is similar to the main
line, but the fianchetto knight on g7
is a bit passive. The game went further with 14.Kh1 Qc7 15.Rad1 Rad8
16.Qd4 a6 17.Rd2 f5 18.Rfd1 Rd7
when 19.b3 b5 20.Bd3 Rdd8 21.Ne2
would have kept the tension.
12.Bxg7 Kxg7 13.0-0
13.h4 h5 14.0-0-0 is also promi
sing.
13...f5 (13...f6) 14.exf5 Bxf5
15.Rae1 Nb6 16.f4
Later in the game Rellstab-Carls,
Bad Aachen 1933, White carried on
g4 and went on to win.
B. 7...Nc6 8.d5 Ne7

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208

At a5, the unfortunate knight is


worse: 8...Na5 9.Ng3 c5 10.Bd3 or
10.Qd2 h5 11.Bg5 Qb6 12.Bd3 Nh7
13.Be3 h4 14.Nge2 Qd8 15.0-0.
9.g4
Karpov treats this position differently. He castles long and prepares the standard queenside play
without opening the g-file: 9.Qd2
Ne8 10.0-0-0 f5 11.Kb1. I guess it
is a matter of taste what to choose.
Also interesting is the move order
with 9.Qd2!? Ne8 10.g4.
9...Ne8
Black has no real counterplay on
the queenside. The game RowsonPons Servera, Palma de Mallorca
2008, saw:
9...c6 10.Ng3 cxd5 11.cxd5 a6
12.h4 b5 13.h5 b4 14.Na4 Nd7
15.Qd2 f5 16.gxf5 gxf5 17.h6 Bh8
18.Rg1. In general, if White
achieves the g4, Ng3,h5, his edge is
beyond doubt.
9...Nd7 is similar to the main
line: 10.h4 f5 11.gxf5 gxf5 12.h5, followed up by Qd3, 0-0-0.
9...Ne8 10.Qd2
10.Ng3 f5 11.gxf5 gxf5 12.Nh5 is
also possible.
10...f5 11.gxf5 gxf5 12.0-0-0
f4 13.Bf2 Nf6 14.Kb1 Ng6 15.c5.

6.Be3 e5 7.Nge2
C. 7...c6 8.Qd2 Nbd7
a) 8...a6?! opens a hole on b6
which can be exploited in the endgame after 9.dxe5! dxe5 10.Qxd8
Rxd8 11.Na4 Nbd7 12.0-0-0!. Black
cannot contest the d-file because of
the weakness of the b7-pawn: 12...
Re8 (12...b5?! 13.Nb6 Rb8 14.g4,
Schlosser-Werner, Germany 1991)
13.c5 Nf8 14.Nb6 Rb8 15.Nc3
Ne6 16.Bc4 Nd4 17.Ne2 Nxe2+
18.Bxe2 Be6 19.Bc4 when 19...
Bxc4 20.Nxc4 Red8 21.Rxd8+ Rxd8
22.Rd1 Rxd1+ 23.Kxd1 Kf8 loses to
24.Na5.
b) 8...Qc7?!. This move practically presents White with two extra
tempi: 9.d5 cxd5 10.cxd5 a6 11.Ng3
Nbd7 12.Rc1 Qd8 13.b4 h5 14.Bd3
Nh7 15.0-0, Doric-Kozul, Rijeka
2011.
c) 8...exd4 9.Nxd4 d5
9...Re8 10.0-0-0 d5 is too slow:
11.cxd5 cxd5 12.exd5 a6 (12...Nxd5
13.Nc2+) 13.Bc4 b5 14.Bb3 Bb7
15.Rhe1 (powerful development towards the centre) 15...Nbd7 16.Ne6!
and White won in Istratescu-Gallagher, Switzerland 2010.
10.cxd5 (10.exd5 cxd5 11.0-0-0
hardly promises much, e.g. 11...
Nc6 12.Nc2 dxc4 13.Qxd8 Rxd8
14.Rxd8+ Nxd8 15.Bxc4 Be6
16.Bxe6 Nxe6 17.Rd1 a6=) 10...cxd5
11.e5 Ne8
11...Nfd7 postpones the break
...f6 so White can comfortably
complete development with 12.f4

Nb6 13.Be2 f6 14.exf6 (14.0-0


fxe5 15.fxe5 Nc6 16.Rxf8+ Qxf8
17.Rf1 Qe8) 14...Qxf6 15.0-0 Nc6
16.Rad1.
12.f4 f6

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13.e6!

In my opinion, only this move,


based on the positional sacrifice of
two pawns, assures White of the
better game.
13...Nc6 14.f5! gxf5 15.Rd1!
I came to this novelty after having analysed two old, but very important games:
Portisch-Bouaziz, Sousse 1967:
15.0-0-0 Nxd4 16.Qxd4 Bxe6
17.Kb1 Nc7 (Portisch found the
right set-up, but Black has here the
equalising manoeuvre 17...Nd6!
18.Nxd5 Re8 19.Bf4 Bf7 20.Bd3
Qa5=) 18.Bd3 Qd7 19.Qh4. White
is already clearly better: 19...a6
20.Na4 Qf7 21.Nc5 Bc8 22.g4 (22.
Rhf1 Rd8 23.Rf3 d4 24.Bh6) 22...
Re8, when best is 23.Rhe1 Re4
24.Bxe4 fxe4 25.Re2. I borrowed
from this game the set-up with Bd3
which is more aggressive than Bf3
like in the next game;
Marsalek-M.Roos, Budapest
209

Part 8
1959: 15.Be2!? Nxd4 16.Qxd4 Bxe6
17.0-0

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Short castling is stronger than


Portischs 0-0-0. Piece attack with
Rf3-h3 is unpleasant for Black who
is completely deprived of counterplay. However, he gets a tempo
for the manoeuvre ...Rf8-f7-d7
which allows him to hold on: 17...
Rf7 18.Bf3 (18.Rad1! Nd6 19.Nxd5
Rd7 20.Nf4 Bxa2 21.Bf3 Kh8
22.Nh5 keeps the initiative) 18...
Rd7 19.Rad1 Kh8 20.Qh4 Rc8 when
21.Bd4! still maintains a pull.
My proposition aims to discourage the e8-knight from going to d6.
Once it takes the passive square c7,
White will have a free hand on the
kingside:
15...Nxd4 16.Qxd4 Bxe6 17.Bc4!
Nc7 18.Bd3 Rf7 19.0-0 Qd7 20.Qh4

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20...Bf8 21.Ne2. Whites pres210

sure is based on the split pawns of


Blacks castling position. It is quite
stable and does not depend on forcing continuations. Here is one illustrative variation: 21...Bd6 22.Nd4
Be5 23.Nxe6 Qxe6 24.Rf3 f4
25.Bxf4 Bxf4 26.Rxf4 Re8 27.Kh1.
d) 8...Na6 has a major drawback it impedes ...a6. Therefore,
Karpovs approach looks very consistent:
9.d5! (White often plays 9.0-0-0
Be6 10.d5 cxd5 11.cxd5 Bd7 12.Kb1,
but Blacks queenside pieces are
much more potent here than in the
main line. Besides, he saves a clear
tempo on ...a6, for example: 12...
b5 13.Nc1 Nc7 14.Nd3 a5.) 9...cxd5
10.cxd5 Bd7 11.Ng3 h5 12.Bb5!?
Bxb5 13.Nxb5 Qd7 14.Nc3 Nc5
15.0-0 a5 16.Rfc1 Nh7 17.Nh1 f5

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18.Nf2 (18.Bxc5 dxc5 19.Nf2)


18...b6 19.Qe2 Nf6 20.Rab1 Qe7
21.Bg5 Kh7, Karpov-Topalov, Varna rapid 1995. White has preserved
his space advantage and stands
better. He can display activity on
the queenside with 22.b4, or in the
centre with 22.exf5.
9.d5

6.Be3 e5 7.Nge2
9...cxd5
a) 9...Nb6 is best met by
10.Ng3!?
10.b3 cxd5 11.cxd5 Nh5 gives
Black certain counterplay, e.g. 12.g4
Nf4 13.Nxf4 exf4 14.Bxf4 Qh4+
15.Bg3 Qf6 16.Rc1 Qxf3 17.Bg2 Qf6
18.g5 Qe7 19.Nb5 Be5 20.0-0 Bxg3
21.hxg3 Bd7=.
10...cxd5 11.cxd5 Bd7 (11...h5
12.Bd3 h4 13.Nge2) 12.a4 Be8 13.a5
Nbd7 14.b4.
b) 9...c5?! is a strategic mistake
because it is very passive and offers
White an advantage on both flanks
after 10.g4. See my Game 35
Svetushkin-Ciobanu, Eforie Nord
2009. I discuss in the annotations
important positional principles you
should keep in mind when playing
the Smish.
10.cxd5 a6

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11.g4!

I have devoted a lot of time on

set-ups with 0-0, but they give


Black a free hand on the kingside:
11.Nc1 Nh5 12.Nd3 f5 13.Be2
Ndf6
Psakhis-Kasparov, Murcia 1990,
saw 13...fxe4 14.fxe4 Qh4+ 15.Bf2
Qe7 16.Bxh5 gxh5 when 17.0-0!
would have given White a stable
edge due to Blacks split castling
position.
13...Qh4+ 14.Bf2 Qe7 15.exf5
gxf5 16.0-0-0 and 13...f4 14.Bf2 Bf6
15.0-0-0 are pleasant for White.
14.0-0

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Black has two approaches here.


a) 14...f4 15.Bf2 g5. White may
be able to defend here, but Blacks
attack is rather dangerous over the
board. The game Gevondian-Ulko,
Moscow 2011, continued 16.h3
Bd7 17.b4 (17.Rfc1! Kh8 18.a4 Rg8
19.Bd1 Ng3 20.a5 whereas Black
can try 20...g4 21.Bb6 Qe8 22.hxg4
Bf8) 17...Kh8 18.Nb2? Ng3! 19.Rfc1
g4!.
It looks that White should refrain from h3, but play is unclear,
for example: 16.Qd1 Bd7 17.a4 (17.
Na4 g4!? 18.fxg4 Ng3) 17...Qe8
18.Ra3 Qg6 19.Rb3 Bc8 20.Be1 g4
21.a5 Rf7 22.Na4 gxf3 23.Bxf3 Bg4
211

Part 8
24.Nb6 Bxf3 25.Qxf3 Rd8 26.Rb4
Kh8.
b) 14...fxe4 15.fxe4 Ng4 Black
plays for a draw here, with fair
chances to achieve it: 16.Rxf8+ Bxf8
17.Bg5 Qb6+(17...Be7 18.Bxe7 Qxe7
19.h3 Ngf6 20.g4) 18.Kh1 Bg7

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19.Rf1 (19.Qd1 h6 20.Bd2 Nf2+


21.Nxf2 Qxf2=) 19...Bd7 20.g3 Rf8!
20...Qd4 is active, but insufficient: 21.Kg2 Nhf6 22.h3 h6 (22...
Nxe4 23.Nxe4 Qxe4+ 24.Bf3 Qd4
25.Bxg4 Qxd5+ 26.Kh2) 23.hxg4
hxg5 24.Qxg5 Rf8 25.Rf3 Kh7 (25...
Nxe4 26.Rxf8+ Kxf8 27.Qxg6; 25...
b5 26.Nf2 b4 27.Ncd1) 26.Nf2
Bh6 27.Qh4 g5 28.Qh1 Kg6 (28...
Kg7 29.a3 b5 30.Qe1) 29.a3 Bg7
30.Qe1 Rc8 31.Rd3 Qc5 32.Ncd1
the f5-square is weak.
21.Rxf8+ Kxf8 22.Kg2

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212

The engines think that White


is slightly better, but the material
is too reduced. Black should make
a draw after the correct positional
exchange:
22...Bf6! 23.h3 (23.Bxg4 Bxg4
24.Be3 Qc7 25.h3 Bc8 26.g4 Ng7
27.Qf2 Qf7 28.Na4 Bd8 29.Qxf7+
Kxf7 30.Nb6 Bxb6 31.Bxb6=) 23...
Bxg5 24.Qxg5 Ne3+ 25.Kf3
25.Kh2 Be8 26.g4 Ng7= 27.Ne1
Bf7 28.Kg3 Nf1+ 29.Bxf1 Qg1+
30.Ng2 Qxf1 31.Qe3 h5.
25...Nc4! 26.b3
Or 26.Qc1 Qd4 27.b3 Nb6 28.g4
Nf6 29.Nf2 h5=.
26...Qg1!? 27.bxc4 Bxh3 28.Bd1
Qd4 29.Qd2

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Blacks queen is amazingly


powerful. After 29...Nf6! (29...g5
30.Bc2 Bf1 31.c5) 30.Qh6+ Kg8
31.Qxh3 Qxd3+, the game should
be drawn.
11...h5
11...b5 is the second most popular move, but only Nevednichy is
still playing it regularly. Blacks
set-up is extremely passive be-

6.Be3 e5 7.Nge2
cause White gains even more space
by Ng3, h4-h5. The only hope of
the second players is to counterattack with some sacrifices in the
event White burns the bridges behind him. We must remember that
no matter how fearsome our kingside pawn formation may look, we
should not overestimate our attack.
The source of our advantage is the d5-pawn and the
space it ensures.
Basically, our main battle plan
is to invade the queenside while restricting the enemy at the other part
of the board. Of course, that does
not rule out an attack on Blacks
king, but it should be well prepared
and our pieces must be co-ordinated. We start with:
12.Ng3 Nb6
Alternatively:
a) 12...Bb7 13.h4 Qe7 (13...b4
14.Nd1) 14.h5 Rfc8

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White has secured his suprema


cy on the kingside and now he
should complete development, for
example, with 15.Kf2!? Rc7 16.Be2
Rac8 17.Rac1 planning b4, a4, g5.
A great part of his advantage consists in his better mobility. He can

swiftly transfer pieces from one


flank to the other trying to create
weaknesses in the enemy lines. The
game Karavade-Maze, Caleta 2013,
demonstrated a totally wrong approach. Mesmerised by the perfect
attacking formation on the kingside, White quickly compromised
his position with premature activity: 15.Bh6?! Bxh6 16.Qxh6 Ne8
17.g5 Nf8 18.Nd1 Qc7 (18...Rc2)
19.Ne3 Qa5+ 20.Kf2 Qb6 21.Bd3
Rc7 22.Rae1 Qd4.
b) 12...Nc5 13.b4 Na4 14.Nxa4
bxa4 15.Rc1 Bb7 16.h4 Rc8 17.Rxc8
Qxc8 18.h5. Black has not any
counterplay on the queenside.
13.h4!
This is the most accurate move
order. In many games White plays
firstly 13.b3, but then Black may
try to take over the initiative with
13...Bb7 14.h4 Rc8 when 15.h5?
stumbles into 15...Rxc3! 16.Qxc3
Nfxd5. So White should continue
15.Rc1, but then 15...b4 16.Nd1 Rxc1
17.Qxc1 Nbxd5!? 18.exd5 Nxd5
would offer Black exactly what he
strives for in the Kings Indian a
lasting initiative even at the cost of
a small material deficit.

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213

Part 8
13...Nfd7
13...Bb7 14.h5 b4 15.Nd1 Nfxd5?
16.exd5 Nxd5 is already losing due
to 17.hxg6.
The only reasonable way to
escape the strategic bind is 13...
Bxg4!? 14.fxg4 Nxg4, but in this
line White keeps the central pawns.
The game Paschall-Ilincic, Budapest 2008, went 15.Be2 (15.h5!?)
15...Nxe3 16.Qxe3 Bf6 17.Qh6 Rc8
18.a3 Rc5 19.Rd1 Qe7 20.Rd3.
14.h5 Re8 (14...b4 15.Nd1 a5
16.Qh2+) 15.Rc1 Nf8 16.b3.

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See the further course of Game


33 Bomans-Nevednichy, Malinska
2013.
12.g5!
Schandorff advocates 12.h3, but
while holding the bind on the kingside, this move presents Black with
a valuable tempo: 12...b5 13.Bg5
Qa5 14.Nd1 Qxd2+ 15.Kxd2 Nc5.
This line had been assessed as
fine for Black since the wonderful
game Piket-Kasparov, Amsterdam
1996, and the following attempt
to improve on it is not convin
cing: 16.Ng3 hxg4! 17.hxg4 Bd7
18.Nf2 Rfc8 19.Be3 Nh7 20.g5 Bf8!
214

(Schandorff considers only 20...f6),


I do not see any reason why Black
should be worse at all, e.g. 21.Rg1
Be7 22.Ne2 Bd8.
12...Nh7
12...Ne8 might be better than its
reputation if Black connects it with
a passive stand on the queenside
with ...b6, ...a5. But Kings Indian
adepts are, as a rule, enterprising
guys so they usually try to build up
activity at all cost. This greatly facilitates Whites task in practice:
13.Nc1! f5 (13...b5?! Nd3)
14.gxf6 Bxf6 (14...Qxf6 15.Be2
Qh4+ 16.Kd1) 15.Be2
Im following the game AtalikKotronias, Ankara 1995. 15.Qg2!
would have pinpointed much better the drawbacks of 12...Ne8. The
knight is missing from the kingside
so 15...Bh4+ 16.Kd2 would be a
clearly worse version of the position I consider in the main line.
15...Bh4+ 16.Kd1 b5 17.Nd3!
(with a broad hint for Nb4-c6) 17...
Nb6 18.b3

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White has accomplished his


strategic goal. 18...Bd7 19.Nb4 Nc8
would be very pleasant for him.

6.Be3 e5 7.Nge2
He could choose between 20.Kc1,
20.Rg1 or 20.Nc6. Kotronias sacrifice just adds material advantage
to Whites positional pressure:
18...a5?! 19.Nxb5 Ba6 20.a4 Bxb5
21.axb5 a4 22.Kc2 Nf6 23.Nb4!+.
13.Nc1!
This move is practically unknown at high level. Only Atalik
mentioned it in 1996, but it assessed the variation as unclear.
Back in 1993 Karpov created a strategic masterpiece after
13.Rg1 f6 14.gxf6 Qxf6 15.0-0-0
and everybody wanted to follow
into his steps ever since. See Game
34 Karpov-Dolmatov, Dortmund
1993. All the more, Karpov beat
subsequently Kotronias and Topalov with the same receipt quick
castling, occupation of the c-file
and eventually some white pieces
penetrates the enemy camp. Look
at the following games:
Karpov-Kotronias, Athens 1997:
13.Rg1 f6 14.gxf6 Rxf6 15.0-0-0
Qe8?! 16.Bg2 b5 17.Kb1 Rb8 18.Rc1
Nb6 19.b3 Bd7

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20.Nd1 Kh8 21.Qa5 Nc8


22.Nb2 g5 23.Nd3 Ne7 24.Nb4

Ng6 25.Nxa6 Rc8 26.Rxc8 Bxc8


27.Nc7 Qe7 28.Nxb5+;
Karpov-Topalov, Varna 1995:
13.Rg1 f6 14.gxf6 Rxf6 15.0-0-0
b5 16.b3 Nb6 17.Kb2 Bd7 18.Nc1
Be8 19.Be2 b4 20.Nb1 a5 21.Nd3
Rf8 22.Nf2 Nf6 23.Rc1 Rb8 (The
game Molo-Rain, zt20 email, 2006,
improved with 23...Qb8! when criti
cal would be 24.a4! bxa3+ 25.Nxa3
intending to sac the exchange: Rc6)
24.Rc2 Qe7 25.Nh3 Nh7 26.Qd3 a4
27.Kc1 axb3 28.axb3 Na8

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29.Qa6 Qd7 30.Nf2 Nc7 31.Qa7


Rc8 32.Qb7.
However, I cannot understand
why nobody has tried the most natural development ...Nc5 (instead of
...Nb6). It is often played in similar
positions, but never after:
13.Rg1 f6 14.gxf6 Rxf6 15.0-0-0
b5 16.b3 (16.Re1 Qe8! 17.Bg2 Nc5)

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+lwq-+k+0
9+-+n+-vln0
9p+-zp-trp+0
9+p+Pzp-+p0
9-+-+P+-+0
9+PsN-vLP+-0
9P+-wQN+-zP0
9+-mKR+LtR-0
xiiiiiiiiy

215

Part 8
In my opinion, here 16...Nc5!
equalises in the forced line 17.f4
exf4 18.Bxc5 dxc5 19.e5 f3 20.exf6
fxe2 21.f7+ Kh8 22.Bxe2 Qf6=
while both 17.Bxc5 dxc5 18.d6 Nf8
19.Nd5 Rxf3 20.Ne7+ Kh7 21.Qd5
Be6 22.Qxc5 Nd7 and 17.Kb2 b4
18.Nb1 Qb6 even give Black an initiative.
I tried to fiddle with the move
order, for instance: 15.Nc1 instead
of 15.0-0-0, but 15...Rxf3 16.Rxg6
Qh4+ 17.Bf2 Qxh2 is unpleasant. Galkin continues with 18.Nd3
claiming a clear advantage for
White, but in fact Black has the initiative and an extra pawn to keep
him safe in an endgame, e.g.

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+l+-tr-+0
9+p+-+-mkn0
9-sn-zp-+p+0
9zp-+Pzp-+p0
9P+-+P+-+0
9+P+NsNP+-0
9-+-+L+-zP0
9tR-+-mK-tR-0
xiiiiiiiiy

18...Nc5 19.Nxc5 dxc5 20.Rg2


Qf4 21.Be2 Rh3 22.0-0-0 Nf6
23.Bxc5 Bg4. If we firstly defend
the f3-pawn, Black gets tempi for
a redeployment: 15.Bg2 b5 16.Nc1
Nc5 17.b4 Na4 18.Nxa4 bxa4
19.Nd3 Bd7 20.Rc1 Rf7=. In these
lines, the hanging pawn on h2 impedes our plans. Thus the solution
finally dawned on me: we are better
off with the rook on h1!
I reached the next level of understanding of this position during
the analysis of the variation:
216

13.Rg1 b5

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+lwq-trk+0
9+-+n+pvln0
9p+-zp-+p+0
9+p+Pzp-zPp0
9-+-+P+-+0
9+-sN-vLP+-0
9PzP-wQN+-zP0
9tR-+-mKLtR-0
xiiiiiiiiy

We are tempo behind here so


14.0-0-0 does not work: 14...Qc7
and we have no time for b3, Kb2
after 15.Kb1 Nb6, the thematic
16.b3 from Karpovs games fails
to b4 whereas the c3-knight is deprived of the b1-square. Therefore,
White should postpone the castle
and it turns out that his king is totally at ease in the centre:
14.Nc1! Nb6
14...f6 15.gxf6 Rxf6 is not a problem here because we can defend f3
by 16.Be2 Nb6 (16...Nc5 17.b4 Na4
18.Nxa4 bxa4 19.a3 Nf8 20.Na2 Rf7
21.Nc3 Bd7 22.0-0-0 Qc8 23.Kb1
Qb7 24.Rc1 Rc8 25.Rc2) 17.b3, and
we are ready for Karpovs plan.
14...Nc5 15.Nd3 Nxd3+ 16.Bxd3
is pleasant for White: 16...Qc7 17.a4
Bd7 (17...bxa4 18.Nxa4) 18.axb5
axb5 19.Ke2; 17.gxf6 Rxf6 18.0-0-0
Bd7 19.Kb1 b4 20.Ne2 a5 21.f4.
15.b3 Bd7
15...b4 16.Nd1 a5 practically
looses a pawn after 17.a3 bxa3
18.Rxa3 Bd7 (18...f6 19.gxf6 Rxf6
20.Be2!) 19.Rxa5, Shishkin-W.
Schmidt, Koszalin 2008.

6.Be3 e5 7.Nge2
16.Nd3

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+-wq-trk+0
9+-+l+pvln0
9psn-zp-+p+0
9+p+Pzp-zPp0
9-+-+P+-+0
9+PsNNvLP+-0
9P+-wQ-+-zP0
9tR-+-mKLtR-0
xiiiiiiiiy

White has achieved a good version of Karpovs set-up. 16...a5


17.Be2 b4 will cost Black a pawn:
18.Nd1 Rc8 19.N3b2 Be8 20.a3
while 16...Nc8 17.Be2 f6 18.gxf6
Rxf6 19.0-0-0 (19.Nb4 Ne7 20.a4)
19...a5 20.Kb1 is not any better.
The bottom line of my analysis
was that 0-0-0 and Rg1 were not
obligatory. On the contrary, Nc1d3 is the key of Whites set-up and
it should be played without delay.
This is essential against ...f6 because we will be able to protect
the f3-pawn by Be2 instead of the
awkward Bg2 Karpov had to play
against Kotronias. Let us return
now to 13.Nc1:
13...f6 14.gxf6

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+lwq-trk+0
9+p+n+-vln0
9p+-zp-zPp+0
9+-+Pzp-+p0
9-+-+P+-+0
9+-sN-vLP+-0
9PzP-wQ-+-zP0
9tR-sN-mKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

14...Bxf6
14...Rxf6 makes no sense here as
the g6-pawn is not attacked: 15.Be2
b5 16.Nd3.
15.Be2!
I would love to keep the strong
dark-squared bishop away from
exchange (15...Bg5), but it does not
work too well:
15.Rg1 is roughly equal after 15...Bh4+ 16.Kd1 Rxf3 17.Be2
Rxe3 18.Rxg6+ Kf7 19.Bxh5 Ndf6
20.Rxf6+ Kxf6 21.Qxe3 Kg7 22.Kc2
Qg5 23.Qe2 Nf6 24.Bf3 Bd7 25.Nd3
Kf8. Blacks active pieces compensate for the missing pawn.
The engines and Atalik recommend 15.Qg2 Bh4+
Black should oppose something
substantial to Karpovs plan. Mundane redeploying is gloom: 15...Rf7
16.Rg1 Nhf8 17.Nd3 b5 18.0-0-0
Nb6 19.b3 Bd7 20.Nb4.
16.Kd1 Ng5!
Atalik gives 16...Qf6 17.Be2 as
unclear, but I do not see any decent continuation for Black.
16...g5 is aggressive, but unconvincing: 17.Kc2

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+lwq-trk+0
9+p+n+-+n0
9p+-zp-+-+0
9+-+Pzp-zpp0
9-+-+P+-vl0
9+-sN-vLP+-0
9PzPK+-+QzP0
9tR-sN-+L+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

217

Part 8
17...Nc5 (or 17...b5 18.Nd3 Nb6
19.b3 Bd7 20.Nb4) 18.Nd3 Nxd3
19.Bxd3 Kh8 (19...b5 20.Rac1
completes the artificial castling.
Blacks only active resource seems
to be ...g4 so it is logical to remove
the king from the g-file.) 20.Raf1
Bd7 21.Kb1. White is well prepared to neutralise any counterplay with ...g4. For example: 21...
g4 22.f4! exf4 23.Bxf4 Qe7 24.e5
dxe5 25.d6 Qg7 26.Bg3 Bc6 27.Be4
Rxf1+ 28.Rxf1 Bxg3 29.hxg3 or
21...b5 22.Rhg1 g4 23.Ne2 Ng5
24.fxg4. On the other hand, if
Black stays passively, White will
return to his main plan of attacking the queenside pawns: 21...b5
22.Rhg1 Rc8 23.Ne2 Qe7 24.Ng3
Qf7 25.Qd2 Bh3 26.Rf2 Qe8
27.Qa5.
17.Be2 Nb6 18.Rg1 Rf4!

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+lwq-+k+0
9+p+-+-+-0
9psn-zp-+p+0
9+-+Pzp-snp0
9-+-+Ptr-vl0
9+-sN-vLP+-0
9PzP-+L+QzP0
9tR-sNK+-tR-0
xiiiiiiiiy

An original way to hold the position. We are not obliged to take


the rook right away:
19.h3!?
White secures the strong position of his queen on g2 since the
h3-pawn is immune. 19.a4 Bh3
20.Qh1 Rc8 21.a5 Nc4 22.Bxc4

218

Rxc4 23.Bxf4 exf4 24.Nd3 b5 is unclear.


19...Kh7 20.Nb3.
The problem with this variation
is that sooner or later White will
have to take the exchange, but it
will be practically impossible to win
this position with passive pieces.
15...Bg5
The insertion of 15...Bh4+
16.Kd1 only favours White: 16...Bg5
(16...b5 17.Rg1 g5 18.Nd3) 17.Bxg5
Qxg5 18.Qxg5 Nxg5 19.Rg1 Nxf3
20.Rxg6+ Kh7 21.Rxd6.
16.Rg1 Bxe3 17.Qxe3 Kg7
17...Qh4+ 18.Kd2 g5 (18...Rf6
19.Nd3) 19.Nd3 b6 20.Qf2!.
18.Nd3

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+lwq-tr-+0
9+p+n+-mkn0
9p+-zp-+p+0
9+-+Pzp-+p0
9-+-+P+-+0
9+-sNNwQP+-0
9PzP-+L+-zP0
9tR-+-mK-tR-0
xiiiiiiiiy

White has a stable advantage.


The exchange of dark-squared bishops has allowed Black to get rid of
his passive piece, but now his king

6.Be3 e5 7.Nge2
is less protected and he lacks an
active plan. Furthermore, in many
variations the break f3-f4 gains in
strength. For example:
a) 18...b5 19.Kd2! Ndf6 (19...
Qb6 20.a4 bxa4 21.Nxa4 Qb7
22.Rac1) 20.Raf1 Qe7 21.a3 Qa7
22.Qxa7+ Rxa7

XIIIIIIIIY
9-+l+-tr-+0
9tr-+-+-mkn0
9p+-zp-snp+0
9+p+Pzp-+p0
9-+-+P+-+0
9zP-sNN+P+-0
9-zP-mKL+-zP0
9+-+-+RtR-0
xiiiiiiiiy

23.f4.

b) 18...Qb6 19.Nd1 Qxe3


20.Nxe3 Nb6 21.a4 a5 22.b3

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+l+-tr-+0
9+p+-+-mkn0
9-sn-zp-+p+0
9zp-+Pzp-+p0
9P+-+P+-+0
9+P+NsNP+-0
9-+-+L+-zP0
9tR-+-mK-tR-0
xiiiiiiiiy

22...Kh6 (22...Bh3 23.Rc1 Rac8


24.Rb1) 23.Nc4 Nxc4 24.bxc4 Ng5
25.c5 Nxf3+ 26.Bxf3 Rxf3 27.Kd2
dxc5 28.Nxe5.
I expect practical testing of my
analysis of 13.Nc1.

219

Part 8

Part 8

Complete Games

33. Bomans-Nevednichy
Krk Malinska 07.04.2013
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 d6 3.Nc3 g6
4.e4 Bg7 5.f3 0-0 6.Be3 e5
7.Nge2 c6 8.Qd2 Nbd7 9.d5
cxd5 10.cxd5 a6 11.g4 b5 12.Ng3
Nb6

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+lwq-trk+0
9+-+-+pvlp0
9psn-zp-snp+0
9+p+Pzp-+-0
9-+-+P+P+0
9+-sN-vLPsN-0
9PzP-wQ-+-zP0
9tR-+-mKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

13.h4! Nfd7 14.h5 Re8 15.Rc1


Nf8 16.b3 Bd7
It is now clear that Nevednichy,
an ardent fan of the 11...b5 line,
has nothing to oppose to the natural straightforward plan of his opponent. White can keep the tension
with 17.Kf2 Rc8 18.Bd3, combining
play on a wide front. Boman decides to focus on the kingside
17.hxg6 fxg6 18.Nd1 Rc8
19.Rxc8 Nxc8 20.Be2 Bf6
220

Provoking g5 which is useful


anyway. White was going to play
Nd3, Kf2, Nb4. Perhaps Black
should have set a small trap with
20...Qc7 21.Nf2 Ne7 hoping for
22.Nd3?! Nxd5 23.exd5 e4. However, the clever 22.Kf1 Rc8 23.Kg2
would keep all the advantage as
23...Qc2 simply loses material to
24.Qa5.
21.g5 Be7

XIIIIIIIIY
9-+nwqrsnk+0
9+-+lvl-+p0
9p+-zp-+p+0
9+p+Pzp-zP-0
9-+-+P+-+0
9+P+-vLPsN-0
9P+-wQL+-+0
9+-+NmK-+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

Black is badly cramped on the


last two ranks and his pieces are
horribly placed. The redeployment
of the g7-bishop to e7 has only
weakened the main diagonal and
has revived the threat of f3-f4. This
break is possible immediately or at
any moment later in the game.
22.Nf2 Qc7 23.Kf1

6.Be3 e5 7.Nge2
After the imminent f3-f4, the fline will open in Whites favour so
23.0-0!? was a good option, too.
23...Bd8 24.Kg2 Qb7 25.f4
exf4 26.Bxf4
Black is strategically lost. His
diagonals h8-a1 and c8-h3 are gaping.
26...Bb6
27.Ng4
Bxg4
28.Bxg4 Qe7 29.Rc1 Na7
30.b4+

XIIIIIIIIY
9-+-+rsnk+0
9sn-+-wq-+p0
9pvl-zp-+p+0
9+p+P+-zP-0
9-zP-+PvLL+0
9+-+-+-sN-0
9P+-wQ-+K+0
9+-tR-+-+-0
xiiiiiiiiy

Black is virtually stalemated.


The rest of the game is irrelevant
to the opening, but it is noteworthy
that the trade of queens did not alleviate Blacks problems.
30...Rd8 31.Qc3 Qf7 32.Rf1
Qe7 33.Bc1 Qg7 34.Qxg7+ Kxg7
35.Bb2+ Kg8 36.Bf6 Re8 37.Rc1
(37.e5+) 37...h5 38.gxh6 Nh7
39.Bb2 Ng5 40.Rc2 (40.h7+!;
40.Bf6+) 40...Kh7 41.Bc1 Nf7
42.Be6 Ne5 43.Rc3 a5 44.a3 Rf8
45.Bg5 Rf2+ 46.Kh3 Nf3 47.Be7
Bd4 48.Rxf3? Rxf3 49.Bxd6 a4
50.Kg4 Rxa3 51.Ne2 Bb6 and
Black won on move 88 after mutual
mistakes, 0-1

34. Karpov-Dolmatov
Dortmund 1993
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3
Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 0-0 6.Be3 e5
7.Nge2 c6 8.Qd2 Nbd7 9.d5
cxd5 10.cxd5 a6 11.g4 h5 12.g5
Nh7 13.Rg1 (I propose 13.Nc1! in
Step by Step) 13...f6 14.gxf6

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+lwq-trk+0
9+p+n+-vln0
9p+-zp-zPp+0
9+-+Pzp-+p0
9-+-+P+-+0
9+-sN-vLP+-0
9PzP-wQN+-zP0
9tR-+-mKLtR-0
xiiiiiiiiy

14...Qxf6?!

Wrong judgment. Black should


seek counterplay on the other flank,
with ...b5, ...Nc5 and eventually
...b4, ...Qb6. Therefore, 14...Rxf6
was called for.
15.0-0-0 Rf7
Or 15...b5 16.Kb1 (16.a3) 16...b4
17.Na4 Qxf3 18.Bg2 Qf6 19.Qxb4.
16.Kb1 b5 17.Nc1 Ndf8?!
Again, 17...b4 18.Na4 Qxf3 was
bad due to 19.Be2 Qh3 (19...Qxe4+
20.Bd3; 19...Qf6 20.Rdf1 Qh4
21.Rxg6) 20.Rxg6, but it would
have been reasonable to exchange
a knight with 17...Nc5 18.Nd3
Nxd3 19.Bxd3 Nf8 when simplest
is 20.Be2.
221

Part 8
18.Be2 Bd7 19.a3

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9p+-zp-wqp+0
9+p+Pzp-+p0
9-+-+P+-+0
9zP-sN-vLP+-0
9-zP-wQL+-zP0
9+KsNR+-tR-0
xiiiiiiiiy

19...Qd8

Black is redeploying his pieces


for a passive defence, but his cause
is doomed. He is unable to control
both b4- and a5-squares. Therefore, one of Karpovs knights will
reach the critical outpost c6. I think
that 19...Qh4 20.N3a2 g5 could give
Black more practical chances. Of
course, it would be senseless to take
the greek gift on g5. At first sight
it seems that Black will push ...g4
with some counterplay, but 21.h3!
throws a spanner into the works.
After 21...Bxh3 22.Rh1 g4 23.fxg4
hxg4 24.Nd3, White demonstrates
the main advantage of his set-up
the ability to quickly change the direction of his attack. Black is lost after either 24...Ng6 25.Rdg1 or 24...
Nf6 25.Nc3 a5 26.Nf2 b4 27.axb4
axb4 28.Nb5+.
20.N1a2 Qb8 21.Nb4 Qb7
22.Rc1
22.Nc6 Bxc6 23.dxc6 Qxc6
24.Qxd6 is clearly better for White,
but Karpov remains true to his
boa-constrictor style and avoids
forcing lines if possible.
222

22...Be8
23.Nca2
24.Rxc8 Qxc8 25.Rc1 Qa8

Rc8

25...Qh3 26.Nxa6 Qxh2 27.Nc7


Bd7 28.Nc3+.
26.Nc6 Bf6 27.Qa5

XIIIIIIIIY
9q+-+lsnk+0
9+-+-+r+n0
9p+Nzp-vlp+0
9wQp+Pzp-+p0
9-+-+P+-+0
9zP-+-vLP+-0
9NzP-+L+-zP0
9+KtR-+-+-0
xiiiiiiiiy

A triumph of Whites plan! Do


not forget that Dolmatov was one of
worlds best players, a candidate for
the world title!
27...Bg5
28.Bxg5
Nxg5
29.Nab4 Nxf3 30.Bxf3 Rxf3
31.Ne7+ Kf7 32.Nc8 Bd7
33.Nxd6+ Kg8 34.Nc6 Rf6
35.Qc7 Bxc6 36.Rxc6
1-0
35. Svetushkin-Ciobanu
Eforie Nord 26.09.2009
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7
4.e4 d6 5.f3 0-0 6.Nge2 Nbd7
7.Be3 e5 8.Qd2 c6 9.d5 c5 10.g4

XIIIIIIIIY
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9zpp+n+pvlp0
9-+-zp-snp+0
9+-zpPzp-+-0
9-+P+P+P+0
9+-sN-vLP+-0
9PzP-wQN+-zP0
9tR-+-mKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

6.Be3 e5 7.Nge2
10...a6
Black aims for the pawn sacrifice ...b5 in the Benko style, but in
the current position it is much less
effective because his g7-bishop is
shut by the e5-pawn. Black also
lacks the break ...e7-e6. In my opinion, Black should fight for breathing space
by 10...h5 although
White has the upper hand after
11.h3 Nh7 12.0-0-0. For instance:
12...h4 13.g5 a6 14.Kb1 b5 15.cxb5
axb5 16.Nxb5 Nb6 17.Nec3.
11.Ng3 b5 12.h4
If you trust your technique,
12.cxb5! is the best choice.
12...Nb6
Perhaps 12...bxc4 gives more
tangible counterplay.
13.h5 Qe7
After 13...Nxc4 14.Bxc4 bxc4
15.Qh2, White wins the battle on
the kingside.

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+l+-trk+0
9+-+-wqpvlp0
9psn-zp-snp+0
9+pzpPzp-+P0
9-+P+P+P+0
9+-sN-vLPsN-0
9PzP-wQ-+-+0
9tR-+-mKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

14.b3?

This move is a result of schema


tic thinking. I was convinced that it

suffices to trade dark-squared bishops with Bh6 and the enemy king
will be defenseless. This is a common mistake so I want to elaborate
a little on the subject.
In the diagram position, White
has a significant edge. However, it
is due not so much on the attack on
the h-file, but rather on his great
spatial advantage and the more
active pieces. Time and again, detailed analysis proves that Blacks
castling position is extremely resilient. As a rule, it cannot be conquered by mere pressure down the
h-file. It takes much more to invade his camp. We should prepare
for complex play along the whole
battlefront. We should be gaining
more and more space, step by step,
throwing back the enemy pieces
and preventing any counterplay.
When Blacks pieces get stuck to the
last ranks, we can even think about
opening the centre and the f-file
with f3-f4. Translated into concrete
moves, that would mean to drop
the idea of Bh6? in favour of 14.g5!
(sending the knight to e8 and cancelling any ideas with ...Bxg4) 14...
Ne8 15.Qh2 Bh8 (only move). Now
Black is paralysed on the right wing
and we can simply eat the b5-pawn.
14...b4 15.Nd1 a5 16.Rb1?!
A horrible move, based on the
wrong conception that the kingside
attack is enough for winning the
game. That might be true, but only
if Black had not any counterplay. If
we think globally, we should prefer
16.a4 or perhaps 16.a3!? keeping
the queenside open.
223

Part 8
16...Bd7
16...a4! was essential even
though 17.a3! bxa3 18.b4 would be
still pleasant for White.

XIIIIIIIIY
9r+-+-trk+0
9+-+lwqpvlp0
9-sn-zp-snp+0
9zp-zpPzp-+P0
9-zpP+P+P+0
9+P+-vLPsN-0
9P+-wQ-+-+0
9+R+NmKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

17.Bh6?

Consistent and bad! 17.g5! Ne8


18.Nf2, followed by Nd3, Bh3, was
much better.
17...a4 18.Rb2 axb3 19.axb3
Ra3 20.Qg5 Bxh6 21.Qxh6

XIIIIIIIIY
9-+-+-trk+0
9+-+lwqp+p0
9-sn-zp-snpwQ0
9+-zpPzp-+P0
9-zpP+P+P+0
9trP+-+PsN-0
9-tR-+-+-+0
9+-+NmKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

224

21...Na4?
21...Rfa8! 22.Rg2 (22.g5! Ne8
23.Rbh2 Rxb3 24.Qxh7+ is a perpe
tual.) 22...Qf8 23.Qe3 Qg7 and
Black has already the better pieces,
24.Nf5 Bxf5 25.gxf5 Nbd7. For my
luck, Ciobanu forgot to free the f8square and co-authored a nice mi
niatuare:
22.Rg2 Ne8?
This looses immediately. 22...
Nc3 23.Nf5 Bxf5 24.gxf5 Ra1 25.Be2
Nxe2 26.Rxe2 g5! would have kept
Black in the game.
23.Nf5 Bxf5 24.gxf5 Rxb3

XIIIIIIIIY
9-+-+ntrk+0
9+-+-wqp+p0
9-+-zp-+pwQ0
9+-zpPzpP+P0
9nzpP+P+-+0
9+r+-+P+-0
9-+-+-+R+0
9+-+NmKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

25.Qxh7+! Kxh7 26.hxg6+


Kg7 27.gxf7+
1-0

6.Be3 e5 7.Nge2

Part 9

Alternative Move Orders


1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Ne2

XIIIIIIIIY
9rsnlwqk+-tr0
9zppzp-zppvlp0
9-+-zp-snp+0
9+-+-+-+-0
9-+PzPP+-+0
9+-+-+P+-0
9PzP-+N+PzP0
9tRNvLQmKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

225

Part 9

Part 9

Step by Step

In this chapter, I propose an interesting alternative to our main re


pertoire. It is aimed against Blacks
plan with ...c5.
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 Bg7
4.e4 d6 5.Ne2!?

XIIIIIIIIY
9rsnlwqk+-tr0
9zppzp-zppvlp0
9-+-zp-snp+0
9+-+-+-+-0
9-+PzPP+-+0
9+-+-+P+-0
9PzP-+N+PzP0
9tRNvLQmKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

The idea behind this move order is to solve the inherent problem
of the awkward Smish knight by
shifting it to c3. You should have
noted already that we play Ne2
against most major Blacks system, like The Panno Variation with
...Nc6 and the Classical Variation
with ...e5. Then we simply transpose to our main repertoire. Independent significance have:
A. 5...0-0 6.Be3 c5 and B. 5...c6
226

Note that the other tricky move


order 5.Nc3 0-0 6.Nge2 c5 7.d5 e6
8.Bg5 is not very promising.

XIIIIIIIIY
9rsnlwq-trk+0
9zpp+-+pvlp0
9-+-zppsnp+0
9+-zpP+-vL-0
9-+P+P+-+0
9+-sN-+P+-0
9PzP-+N+PzP0
9tR-+QmKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

White practically forces the opponent to weaken his kingside, but


in fact 8...h6 9.Be3 exd5 10.cxd5 a6
11.a4 Nbd7 12.Ng3 h5! 13.Be2 h4
14.Nf1 Ne5 15.Nd2 transposes to a
position which I assess as roughly
equal.
A. 5...0-0 6.Be3 c5 7.Qd2
White aims to play d5, followed
up by Ne2-c3. However, 7.d5 could
face 7...Qb6!? when 8.Bc1 is totally
unexplored. It is not obvious that
Black has anything better than returning to d8. In that event, the
play should transpose to familiar
positions.

3.f3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Ne2


7...Nc6 8.d5

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9zpp+-zppvlp0
9-+nzp-snp+0
9+-zpP+-+-0
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9PzP-wQN+PzP0
9tRN+-mKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy
8...Ne5
8...Na5!? exploits the fact that
White has committed his queen to
d2 so a2-a4 is impossible due to the
fork on b3. That calls for a change
of plans:
9.Na3
The game Rowson-Hebden,
Hinckley 2013, saw 9.Nec3 a6
10.Bh6 [10.Na3 e6 11.e5 (11.Nc2
exd5 12.cxd5 b5 13.b4 cxb4 14.Nxb4
Nd7) 11...Ne8] 10...b5!? with serious counterplay. The text has not
been tested in practice yet.
9...a6
9...e6 10.dxe6 Bxe6 11.Nf4 gives
White a pull.
10.Nf4!?
10.Nc3 e6 11.dxe6 Bxe6 12.Rd1
Nd7 offers Black significant counterplay which should be enough for
him to keep the balance: 13.Qxd6
Nc6 (13...Bxc3+ 14.bxc3 Nc6
15.Qd2 Qa5 16.Qc1 Rad8 17.Bh6
Rfe8 18.Kf2) 14.Qd2 f5 15.Be2 fxe4

16.Nxe4 Qb6 17.0-0 Rad8 18.Bd3


Qxb2 19.Qxb2 Bxb2 20.Nc2 Nd4
21.Bg5 Nxc2 22.Bxc2 Bd4+ 23.Kh1
Bxc4 24.Bxd8 Bxf1 25.Nxc5 Nxc5
26.Rxd4 b5=.
10...Rb8 11.Rc1

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9-trlwq-trk+0
9+p+-zppvlp0
9p+-zp-snp+0
9sn-zpP+-+-0
9-+P+PsN-+0
9sN-+-vLP+-0
9PzP-wQ-+PzP0
9+-tR-mKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

White has discouraged both


breaks in the centre (11...Bd7 12.b4
cxb4 13.Qxb4 b5 14.cxb5 wins a
pawn) and he is going to play b2b4: 11...Nd7 12.Be2 Ne5 13.b4 cxb4
14.Qxb4, with a stable space advantage.
9.Nec3 e6
11.cxd5 Ne8

10.Be2

exd5

11...h5 12.0-0 Nh7 weakens the


kingside. Therefore, it would be
logical to remove one of its defenders by 13.Bh6 f5 14.Bxg7 Kxg7 15.f4
Nf7 16.Qc2 Nf6 17.Nd2. Instead,
Laznicka chose against Mamedov,
Pardubice 2007, 13.a4 f5 when
14.Na3 Nf6 15.Bf4 would have been
in Whites favour.
12.0-0 f5 13.a4 Nf6 14.exf5
Bxf5 15.Na3.
This position has occurred in the
game Bischoff-Stellwagen, Germany
227

Part 9
2004. It looks a bit more pleasant
for White. The play may continue
with 15...a6 16.g4 (Bischoff chose
16.Rae1, but I think that e1 should
be taken by the kings rook to
free the f1-square for the bishop.)
16...Bd7 17.h3 Re8 18.Bf4 Rb8
19.Kg2 Re7 20.Rfe1!?.

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9-tr-wq-+k+0
9+p+ltr-vlp0
9p+-zp-snp+0
9+-zpPsn-+-0
9P+-+-vLP+0
9sN-sN-+P+P0
9-zP-wQL+K+0
9tR-+-tR-+-0
xiiiiiiiiy

White has some pull. For instance, 20...Qc7 21.Bf1 Rbe8 stumbles into 22.Rxe5! while 20...Nf7
faces 21.Nc4 Qc7 22.a5.
B. 5...c6
5...a6 is even more interesting.
Then 6.Nec3 weakens d4 so 6...
Nc6 seems a logical retort. Perhaps
White should try 6.Be3 when 6...b5
7.Nf4 is a blank page in theory.
6.Be3 a6
6...0-0 7.Nbc3 a6 8.c5 transposes to a topical variation which

228

has gathered a lot of followers. See


Game XX Dreev-Khismatullin,
Ramenskoe 2006.

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9+-+-+-+-0
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9+-+-vLP+-0
9PzP-+N+PzP0
9tRN+QmKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy
7.Nec3

Erdos-Jobava, Warsaw 2011,


saw 7.a4 a5 8.Nec3, but I do not
understand Whites plan of giving
up the queenside dark squares. It
would have been well grounded if
he had prospects for an attack on
the opposite flank. In the current
position, however, Black should be
fine after 8...Na6 9.Be2 0-0 10.0-0
e5 (or 10...Qc7 11.Nd2 e5) 11.d5
Nh5, Cacho Reigadas-Dimitrov,V
Vendrell 1996.
7...b5 8.Nd2 Nbd7 9.Be2 0-0
10.0-0 Bb7 11.b4
The bad news about this approach with 5.Ne2 is that it is practically uncharted territory. It may
also be a good news, if you feel like
experimenting!

3.f3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Ne2

Part 9

Complete Games
36. Dreev-Khismatullin
RUS Cup Ramenskoe 2006

9...b5 10.cxd6 exd6 11.Nf4


Bb7

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7


4.e4 d6 5.f3 0-0 6.Nge2 a6
7.Be3 Nbd7 8.Qd2 c6 9.c5

11...Nb6 should be met by 12.b3.


I played once 12.Be2? Nc4 13.Bxc4
bxc4 14.0-0 with a complex position. Svetushkin-Saravanan, Athens 2008.

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9+p+nzppvlp0
9p+pzp-snp+0
9+-zP-+-+-0
9-+-zPP+-+0
9+-sN-vLP+-0
9PzP-wQN+PzP0
9tR-+-mKL+R0
xiiiiiiiiy

More often, Black follows another move order: 6...c6 7.Be3 a6 8.c5
when 8...b5 9.cxd6 exd6 10.Qd2
Nbd7 11.Nf4 transposes.
In the event of 8...Nbd7 it is best
to take on d6 immediately because
9.Nf4 dxc5 10.dxc5 Qc7 11.Qc1 Ne5
is too symmetric. I tried in one of
my games 12.h4 Rd8 13.Be2 and
was slightly better after 13...Nh5
14.Nxh5, but still 9.cxd6 is more
principled.
After 8...b6 9.cxd6 exd6 10.Nf4
c5, it is a good idea to trade queens
with 11.dxc5 dxc5 12.Qxd8. These
endgames are generally in Whites
favour.

12.Be2 c5
In my game against Brenjo,
Vrnjacka Banja 2010, I faced 12...
Rc8 13.0-0 c5 14.Rad1 Re8 when
simplest is to open the d-file with
15.dxc5, as Dreev did in the main
game.
13.0-0 Re8 14.dxc5! dxc5
15.Rad1
White has the better chances. He
should not rush with Nd5 though.
Instead he can improve firstly his
position with b3, then maybe a4.
15...Bc6 16.Ncd5 Rc8 17.b3
h6 18.Rfe1 (18.Nxf6!+ Qxf6
19.Qc1) 18...Nh7?! (18...Nxd5! was
called for) 19.Rc1 Nhf8 20.Bf1
Kh7 21.Red1 Ne6 22.Nxe6 Rxe6
23.Nf4 Re8 24.Nd3 f5 25.Nxc5
fxe4 26.Nxd7 exf3 27.Nf8+ 1-0
229

Part 9

230

6.Be3 e5 7.Nge2

Index of Variations
Part 1. Anti-QGA
1.Nf3 d5 2.c4 dxc4 3.e3
3...c5 (3...b5 14; 3...Nc6 14; 3...Bg4 15; 3...Be6 15) 4.xc4 Nf6 5.0-0 e6
6.Qe2 a6 7.Rd1! 19
6...Nc6 7.Rd1 Be7 (7...a6 8.d4 19) 8.Nc3 0-0 9.d4 cxd4 (9...Qc7 17)
10.exd4 17

10.Nxd4 18
Part 2. Reversed Benoni
1.Nf3 d5 2.c4 d4
3.g3 Nc6 29
3.e3 Nc6 (3...c5 42) 4.exd4 30

4. b4 dxe3 (4...Bg4 32) 5.fxe3 Nxb4 6.d4 e5 32

6...c5 34

6...e6 38
3.b4 f6 (3...g6 40; 3...a5 41; 3...c5 42) 4.e3 e5 (4...dxe3 42; 4...c5 42) 5.c5
5...a5 6.Nxe5 44

6.Bc4 44
6.Bb5+ 46

Part 3. Anti-Slav; Anti-Chebanenko
1.Nf3 d5 2.c4 c6 3.e3
3...Nd7 59
3...g6 60
3...Bf5 60
3...Nf6 (3...Bg4 61) 4.Nc3 Bg4 61
3...e6 4.b3 f5 63
3...Nf6 4.Nc3 a6 5.Qc2 65 (5.b3 65)

5...Bg4 65

5...e6 6.d4 66

6.b3 68

5...b5 69

5...g6 70
Part 4. Anti-meran I
1.Nf3 d5 2.c4 c6 3.e3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6
5.b3 (5.Qc2 87) Nbd7 (5...Bd6 88; 5...b6 89) 6.Qc2 Be7 90

6...b6 91
231

Part 8
Part 5. Anti-meran II
1.Nf3 d5 2.c4 c6 3.e3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.b3 Nbd7 6.Qc2 Bd6 7.Bb2
7...0-0 (7...a6 101;7...Qe7 102) 8.Rg1!? (8.Be2 Part 6) Qe7 103

8...a6 104

8...e5 107
Part 6. Anti-meran III
1.Nf3 d5 2.c4 c6 3.e3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.b3 Nbd7 6.Qc2 Bd6 7.Bb2
0-0 8.Be2
8...Re8 9.0-0 dxc4 120

9...e5 121

9...b6 122
8...Qe7 9.0-0 b6 125

9...e5 125

9...Re8 126

9...a6 127

9...dxc4 128
8...a6 9.d4 b5 130

9...e5 131
8...dxc4 131
8...b6 132
Part 7. Anti-Queens Gambit I
1.Nf3 d5 2.c4 e6 3.g3
3...c6 4.Bg2 dxc4 153 (4...Bd6 153)
4...Nf6 154
3...g6 155
3...dxc4 4.Qa4+ (4.Na3 156) 4...Bd7 5.Qxc4 Bc6 156
5...c5 157
4...c6 159
4...Nd7 5.Bg2 Nf6 6.Qxc4 a6 165
6...c5 167
Part 8. Anti-Queens Gambit II
1.Nf3 d5 2.c4 e6 3.g3 Nf6 4.Bg2 Be7 5.0-0 0-0 6.b3
6...c5 7.Bb2 Nc6 8.e3 b6 9.Nc3 Bb7 10.cxd5 Nxd5 11.Nxd5 Qxd5 12.d4
Rad8 185; 12...Na5 186; 12...Nb4 186

9...dxc4 10.bxc4 Bb7 11.Qe2 Rc8 187;
11...a6 190; 11...Qc7 193; 11...Qd7 193; 11...Nb4 194
9...Ba6 195
6...b6 7.Bb2 Bb7 8.e3 Nbd7 9.Nc3 (9.Qe2 a5 196) 9...Ne4 197

9...c5 199
232