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Dmitry Svetushkin

Chess Stars

www.chess-stars.com

The Ultimate Anti-Grnfeld.

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

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

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.

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

White kills three birds with one

shot.

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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

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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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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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

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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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

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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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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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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surprise for your opponents. 10.h4

is the main line. Then 10...cxd5

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!

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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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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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

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!;

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!.

c5 thus leaving the enemy without

counterplay. See the model Game

5 Lupulescu-Stella, Skopje 2013.

Here is another example:

Ivanchuk-Gabrielian

Russian tCh 013

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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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of the 3.f3 system. It is extremely

dynamic and only concrete calcu-

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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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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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

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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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).

centre and finally he launches the

h-pawn. His game is preferable.

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.

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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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

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

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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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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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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

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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Part 1

Step by Step

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4...Nxd5

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

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

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

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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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.

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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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

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!?

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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...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

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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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.

13.Be3 Kh8! (13...Bf8 14.Bxb6

axb6 15.Bc4)

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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

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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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

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!

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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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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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:

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

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

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:

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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,

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

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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

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

26.Rb4, Zhou Jianchao-Mu Ke,

Beijing 2012.

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.

15.Bb5 c6 16.Be2 a5 or 16...c5;

15.Qe1 Na4! 16.b3 Nxc3+

17.Qxc3 a5.

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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:

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.

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15.Bb5!

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

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11.Kb1

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.

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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

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

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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

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

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17...c5

Whites attack is very strong. The

attempt to stop it by 17...h5 is put-

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:

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

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16.Bxc4!

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

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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

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:

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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

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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

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9psn-+p+p+0

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20.Bxg7 Kxg7 21.Nge2

Nd6 18.h4)

Nc6

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

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.

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17.Bc5

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

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.

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16...f6

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

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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

21.exd5

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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.

Part 1

Complete Games

1. Svetushkin-Puntier

Istanbul 2012

11...Nxe5 12.Nf3 Nxf3+ 13.gxf3

Qh4+ 14.Bf2 Qh5.

4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nb6 6.Nc3

Bg7 7.Be3 Nc6 8.d5 (8.Bb5!) 8...

Ne5

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

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9.Bd4

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

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

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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

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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+

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.

his overextended pawn centre. For

instance:

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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

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

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14.0-0-0?!

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

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40

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

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10...e5

10...a6 11.Bd3 Nc6 12.Bc2 e6 (or

12...Nb4 13.0-0 c6 14.Rc1 Nxc2

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.

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.

13.Qe1

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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

16.Qf2 Ne5 17.Bb1 Be6 18.h3 f6

19.f4 Ned7

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

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?

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31.e5

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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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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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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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+!?.

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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14...Qd6

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

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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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!?

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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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.

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

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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11...N8d7

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

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.

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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!

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.

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

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19...Rf7!

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

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22...Bf5

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

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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

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22.Rc1

24.Nxf7

Na4

23.Ng5

Qc5

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

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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.

with 19.Rc1.

Qd7 13.Nf4 Rfd8 14.a3 N4d5

15.Ncxd5 Bxd5 16.Nxd5 Qxd5

hxg6

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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.

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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

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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.

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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

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+

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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

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18.Nf3

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

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21...Kh8!

nikidze-Negi, Baden-Baden 2013,

which introduced the important

novelty 14...f6!, went:

21...Qg7 22.Qh4 Kh8

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23.Rhf1!

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-

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

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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+

a7 26.he1 Rf5=.

25.b4 b6 26.Rhe1 fe8

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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!)

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14...Na7

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

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15...e6

Whites flank attack. 15...Nbc4 to

58

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

...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

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

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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?

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.

called for.

Qe7 22.Nf3 exd5 23.e5 d4!

9. Karjakin-Giri

Wijk aan Zee 17.01.2013

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

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

38.Qd2 Qxd2 39.Nxd2 g5

40.Bxb7 gxf4

Draw

59

Part 1

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12...Nc4

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.

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16.Kb1!

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

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)

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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.

16.Nf3

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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

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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

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20.g3

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

Part 2

Anti-Grnfeld II

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 Nc6, rare lines

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63

Part 2

Part 2

Main Ideas

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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

Nc6 6.Bg5 Be7 7.Bxe7 Qxe7

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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!

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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

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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!?)

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

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Note that the option of ...b5 becomes effective if White moves his

light-squared bishop before having

played Nh3-f2:

65

Part 2

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Analysis

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12...c6

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

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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

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

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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:

Analysis

Ganguly-Gupta

Kavala 2012

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14...Ncxe4! 15.Nfxe4

16.Nxe4 Re8 17.Bf3 d5=.

Nxe4

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13...Ncxe4! 14.Ncxe4

15.Nxe4 Re8 16.Bd3 f5.

Nxe4

67

Part 2

Part 2

Step by Step

I would like to mention also two

curious side lines which are nearly

uncharted territory.

a) 3...e6!?

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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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and his knights have solid stands.

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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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:

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.

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;

11.Nf2 Bxg4 12.dxc7 Be6

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Rxc4 20.a3 Na6 21.Ng4

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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6.Nc3

...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.

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.

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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

better to do it on the next move in

order to await Be2.

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!

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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.

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11...b6

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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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 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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Qb6 (14...Nfd7 15.Nb5 Qb6

16.Be3, Wen-Gopal, Ho Chi Minh

City 2012) 15.Kh1 Nfd7 16.Qc2

Bd4.

72

b5) 11...b5 gave Black an initiative in Goganov-Timofeev, Samara

2012.

10...0-0 11.0-0 a5

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12.Qc2

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-

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.

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11...Qb6

threat of discovery jump of the c3-

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

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castling and it becomes evident

that Black has failed to generate

counterplay.

C. 8...0-0 9.Be2

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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

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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

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.

Qe2 Nc5 14.Bc4 Rb4) 13...Nc5 is a

real pawn sacrifice. White can always transform the material in a

positional advantage:

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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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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.

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

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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.

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

No one has tried 10...e5. Perhaps we should answer it with

11.fxe5 Ne8 12.Bf4 Qe7 13.exd6

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

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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:

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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

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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

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:

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17.Re1!

while 18.Na4 gives Black counter-

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.

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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

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10.dxe6

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

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

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16...Bc6?

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

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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?

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

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11...Nb6?!

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.

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

e6 15.dxe6 fxe6 16.Qb3

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

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82

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.

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.

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19...f6

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

26.Rc2 Rfe8 27.Rxe8+

Rf8

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:

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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

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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

Part 3

Benoni/Volga Deviations

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

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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:

standard Volga plan with:

6.e4

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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

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.

kingside attack: Nf2, h4-h5.

In practice Black prefers 9...e6

10.dxe6 Bxe6 and I propose here

11.Nh3!

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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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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:

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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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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

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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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5...Bg7 6.Ne2 0-0 7.Nec3 Na6

8.Be2 Nc7 9.Be3

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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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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!

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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

I would like to show you another

example where e4-e5 could be a

valuable resource for White:

Analysis

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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

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14.Bxc5 Rf7 does not disturb Black

at all.

White should also be acquainted

with the symmetric pawn structure

with an open e-file.

W.Arencibia-Ivanovic

Manila 1990

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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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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

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A. 4...b5; B. 4...d6 (4...Bg7)

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

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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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

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

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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

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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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

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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

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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

I would like to recommend

6.Bg5!?. I suppose that when ...c5

has been played, this active de-

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

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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

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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

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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!?

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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

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

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

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

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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

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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.

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7.Nec3!?

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

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

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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.

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8...h6

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-

time to analyse it.

9.Be3 f5 10.exf5 gxf5

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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!

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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

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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

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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

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

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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

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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:

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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

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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

bishop will be more useful on e3 to

keep an eye on c5 and support plans

with b2-b4 or e4-e5.

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9...a6

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

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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

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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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14.a5

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

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!

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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.

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

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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?!

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

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18...Qe7

More consistent is 11.a4, but apparently White had set already his

mind about taking on d5 by the epawn.

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

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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

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

most consistent retort. I completely

fail to understand the reason behind Giris eighth move. It practically presents the opponent with a

tempo.

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Nd7 11.g4 Nhf6 12.Ng3 a6 13.a4

Rb8 14.Be2 Ne8 15.Qd2 Nc7

16.h4 b5

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17.axb5

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

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20...f6

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

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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:

knight must beat in retreat.

31.Nf6+ Qxf6 32.gxf6 Rxh1+

33.Kf2 exf4??

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

blindfold and he blunders the point.

33...Rh4! was a fortress.

34.Qa5! Rh2+ 35.Ke1 Rh8

36.Qc7 Bf5 37.Qe7

1-0

Part 4

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

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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

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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

...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

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13.Kh1 Nd7 14.Bxg7 Kxg7 15.f4

Qb6 16.Rae1 Rae8 17.Rf3

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See Game 21 Moiseenko-Guseinov, Ningbo 2011.

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

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9...Qe5!?

Dreev-Laksana, Jakarta 2011 for

9...Qc7.

10.Bxd4 Qf4 11.g3 Qg5 12.Qe2

Nc6 13.Be3 Qh5 14.Bg2

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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,

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24.Bf4!

26.c5.

Ne5

25.Bxe5!

dxe5

9.Ng3

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111

Part 4

The hottest branch here is 9...h5

while 9...e6 is the older treatment.

19.Bxh5 gxh5 20.Qxh5

12.Nd2!

around it. That makes its defence a

difficult task.

b5!! Game 16 Svidler-Grischuk,

FIDE ct. London 2013.

a6

b5

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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

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112

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!?

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17...Rb3 (Bologan)

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)

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Rf7 22.Qe2. White has a fantastic

game.

13.0-0 Nh7 14.Qd2 h4 15.Nh1

f5 16.Nf2

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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

...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

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Analysis

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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

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27.b4! Bg7 28.Ne2 and Black loses control of the critical square d4.

Note the rook lift in the following example:

Analysis

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fxe4 20.Rb3 Rab8 21.Nfxe4 Qe7

22.Bf3 gives White the upper

hand.

114

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

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Rxe7 29.Bxe7 b4 30.Nd1 Nf6!

The following position arises

often in practice under different

move orders.

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White might be a bit better, but

not winning due to 17...Re8! 18.Qf3

Rxb2! 19.exf6 Qxf6 with significant

counterplay.

Part 4

Step by Step

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 Bg7 4.e4

d6 5.Nc3 0-0 6.Be3 c5

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7.Nge2

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

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

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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

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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

Qh5 14.Bg2

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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

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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

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11...Bc6

connected with the plan of breaking through with ...b5, but this plan

is dubious in the diagram position,

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

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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

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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

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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

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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:

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:

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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

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Main branches here are:

A. 9...h5; B. 9...e6

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

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.

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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

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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

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20.Bxh4!

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

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18...Nd3

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

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:

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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:

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

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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

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.

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14...Rb8

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.

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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

Rb6 19.Ra7.

15...Nc4 16.Bxc4 bxc4 17.Qd2!?

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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

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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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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19...f5

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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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

16.Nf2

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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.

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

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14.0-0!?

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-

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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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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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

answer 16.h3!.

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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

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?!

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

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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

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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!?

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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

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

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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

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24.Rd4

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

exd5 11.cxd5 h5 12.0-0 a6 13.a4

Bd7

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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

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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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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.

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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

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

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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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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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

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).

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

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:

line. Main continuation are:

(18...fxe4 19.Ncxe4 Bf5 20.b4 c4

134

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:

19.f4 Re8

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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!?

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

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 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

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

21.g3 would have been unclear.

19.exf5 Bxf5 20.Rae1 Rc8

21.Nce4 Nf7 22.Bd3

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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)

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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9...Qd8

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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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

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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19.Bg4 e6 20.Qe3 dxe5 21.fxe5

Qa5?

This misses a beautiful combination, but Blacks position was difficult anyway.

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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

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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13.Kh1

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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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

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16...Rae8

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

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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

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

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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=.

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

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

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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

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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

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29.Rcd2?!

He should have opened the kingside, for instance: 29.exf5! exf5

30.Bf2 Qf7 31.Qe1 Re7 32.Re2 Rxe2

142

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

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11...e6

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

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

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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

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

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

Part 5

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nc3 0-0 6.Be3 Nc6

7.Nge2

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145

Part 5

Part 5

Main Ideas

d6 5.Nc3 0-0 6.Be3 Nc6 7.Nge2

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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

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

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17.Kh1 Rf8 18.Nec3 Nh5 19.Bf2

Kh8 20.b4. See Game 24 Timman-Marovic, Amsterdam 1973.

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

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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

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but in fact its strategic background

is rather simple. On the kingside,

Black will have to exchange on e4

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

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Re8 16.0-0 Nc4 17.Bxc4. Whites

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

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9+p+-+-+-0

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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

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149

Part 5

13.e5!

15.Bd4.

dxe5

14.dxe5

Nxe5

Svetushkin-Golubev

blitz playchess.com 2004

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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

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16...Na5! 17.exf6 Qxf6 18.Nef4 c5

19.dxc5 Nxc4 20.Rxc4 Rxc4.

150

Analysis

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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

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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:

Lautier-Golubev

Odessa 2006

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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

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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

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A. 7...Re8; B. 7...a6

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

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

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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

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

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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

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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:

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.

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

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154

B. 7...a6 8.Qd2

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Bd7!?

The most popular option 8...Rb8

is the subject of the next part of the

book.

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

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9...Nd7

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

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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

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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.

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.

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

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14...g5!

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!

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

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11...Na5

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

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Nf8 17.Bh6; 14...c5 15.dxc5; 14...

158

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!

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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...

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

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10...Rb8

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

position is too closed.

13...e5 14.dxe5 dxe5 15.Nb3

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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

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!)

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10...e5!

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-

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.

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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.

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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

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

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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.

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.

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10...Rb8

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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13...e6

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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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

then White may open a second front

in the centre by exf5 and f3-f4.

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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

Part 6

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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165

Part 6

Part 6

Step by Step

d6 5.Nc3 0-0 6.Be3 Nc6 7.Nge2

a6 8.Qd2 Rb8

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9.Rc1

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

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

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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

Alternatives often transpose to

the main line:

pertoire.

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.

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...

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

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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.

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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

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

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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

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

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Whites pieces are better co-ordinated. The game Khairullin-Demchenko, Yekaterinburg 2013, went

further 16...b4 17.axb4 Rxb4 18.0-0

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

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12.g3

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

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

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only. Look at Game 27 GenovPraznik, Feffernitz 2012, and Game

26 Gupta-Nolte, Kolkata 2012.

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

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12...b4

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

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:

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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

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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

After 17.Nd3 Nf5 18.Bf2 Nc7 19.0-0

fxe5 20.dxe5 b6 21.b4, Blacks central pawns would be immobilised.

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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.

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.

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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

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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,

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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.

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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

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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.

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

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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

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15.Qc1!

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+

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18.Nc3!

176

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

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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;

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.

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

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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

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16...Nf6

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:

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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

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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

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

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22.Rxb8

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

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

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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

position. Dreev remains with a better knight against the bishop which

only task will be to defend the d4pawn.

19...Bxh3 20.Nxh3 c6

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

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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

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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.

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

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

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

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nc3 c6 6.Be3 a6

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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

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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

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

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!

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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

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17.Nxd4 Nc5 18.Bc2 Nf6 19.f5;

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:

Nd7 14.f4! Nac5 15.Bc2 Nf6 16.f5.

not to e2, in order to support e4 and

a future attack.

Analysis

among different options, consider

plans with f4 at the first place.

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Khairullin-Hungaski

Biel 2012

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f5? 20.exf5. More straightforward

was 18.f4! Rad8 19.f5.

Analysis

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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

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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

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186

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

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Qxb3 19.Kh1.

Zhou Jianchao-Ding,Liren

Shandong 2007

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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

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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

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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!

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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

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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

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10...e5

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

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15...Be6

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.

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:

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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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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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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

11.Bxd4 in order to discourage ...d5

(11.Nxd4 d5 12.cxd5 cxd5 13.exd5

192

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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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...

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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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

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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14...Bxf3

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

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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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

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.

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

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.

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

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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?

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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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

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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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19.Rf4.

The game Razuvaev-Iskusnyh,

Elista 1995, saw 17...Nac5 18.Bxg7

Kxg7 19.Rf3 f6

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(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

Rxd6 30.Rxd6 Qxc4).

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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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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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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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of his knight on d4.

16.dxe5 dxe5 17.Nd5 Nac7

18.f5 Nd4 19.Nec3 Nxd5

20.Nxd5

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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

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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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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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

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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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

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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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:

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

14.gxf6 Bxf6 15.Be2)

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13.Nc1!

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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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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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

gains in strength: 15...Bg5 16.Rg1

Bxe3 17.Qxe3 Kg7 18.Nd3

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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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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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Blacks mobile central pawns provide adequate compensation for the

piece.

Analysis

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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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8.Qd2 exd4 9.Nxd4, Black may try

to open the centre with 9...d5.

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when I advocate 13.e6! Nc6

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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

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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

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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10...f6

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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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

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

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11...Nd7

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

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

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!

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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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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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...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!

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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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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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

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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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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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

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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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

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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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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22.Nb2 g5 23.Nd3 Ne7 24.Nb4

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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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)

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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!

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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

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

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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

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23.f4.

20.Nxe3 Nb6 21.a4 a5 22.b3

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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

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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

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

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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+

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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

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14...Qxf6?!

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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19...Qd8

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

Bd7 28.Nc3+.

26.Nc6 Bf6 27.Qa5

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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

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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.

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14.b3?

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.

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17.Bh6?

18.Nf2, followed by Nd3, Bh3, was

much better.

17...a4 18.Rb2 axb3 19.axb3

Ra3 20.Qg5 Bxh6 21.Qxh6

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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

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Kg7 27.gxf7+

1-0

6.Be3 e5 7.Nge2

Part 9

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Ne2

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225

Part 9

Part 9

Step by Step

pertoire. It is aimed against Blacks

plan with ...c5.

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 Bg7

4.e4 d6 5.Ne2!?

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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

order 5.Nc3 0-0 6.Nge2 c5 7.d5 e6

8.Bg5 is not very promising.

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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.

7...Nc6 8.d5

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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

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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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

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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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

Game XX Dreev-Khismatullin,

Ramenskoe 2006.

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7.Nec3

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!

Part 9

Complete Games

36. Dreev-Khismatullin

RUS Cup Ramenskoe 2006

Bb7

4.e4 d6 5.f3 0-0 6.Nge2 a6

7.Be3 Nbd7 8.Qd2 c6 9.c5

I played once 12.Be2? Nc4 13.Bxc4

bxc4 14.0-0 with a complex position. Svetushkin-Saravanan, Athens 2008.

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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

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