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Boris

Avrukh

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QUALITY CHESS
Grandmaster Repertoire 8

The Griinfeld Defence


Volume One

By

Boris Avrukh

Quality Chess
www .qualitychess.co. uk
First edition 20 1 1 by Quality Chess UK Ltd

Copyright 20 1 1 Boris Avrukh

Grandmaster Repertoire 8-
The Griinfeld Defence Volume One
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Preface
After the great success of my first two Grandmaster Repertoire books (l .d4 for White) , it was not
long before the idea of writing about my favourite Black opening, the Griinfeld Defence, was
discussed. Ironically this meant searching for an antidote to the line of the Fianchetto Variation
on which I had worked so diligently in the second of my l .d4 volumes. My solution to this
problem can be found in Chapter 4 of the present book.

I would like to share the story of how I became a devotee of this great opening. After I moved
to Israel in 1 995 my opening repertoire was rather shaky, so during my first few months there
I made a serious effort to improve it. Fortunately the Beer-Sheva Club and its manager Ilyahu
Levant provided the best possible conditions for such work. My first coach in Israel was Mark
Tseitlin, whom I continue to regard as something of a 'Griinfeld guru'. I also received high quality
support from Alex Huzman, a strong player who is best known for being the long-term coach of
Boris Gelfand.
Ever since my first few lessons with Mark, I immediately understood that the Griinfeld was
the opening for me. I was attracted by the combative and dynamic positions to which it leads,
and relished the prospect of fighting for the initiative with the black pieces. It was especially
helpful that all the strong players in my new club knew this opening well. Indeed, in the present
work the reader will find plenty of references to the games of Mark Tseitlin, Alex Huzman, Alon
Greenfeld, Victor Mikhalevski and Alex Finkel. At that time the influence of the computer was
not so strong, and by analysing together we managed to discover a lot of interesting ideas. The
Griinfeld has remained my first choice against l .d4 for sixteen years (and counting!), whereas
against l .e4 I have changed quite a lot.

The Griinfeld is one of the most prominent openings at the highest level, with players such as
Shirov, Svidler, Leko and Kamsky using it as their main weapon, while Anand, Carlsen, Topalov
and Grischuk also employ it frequently. Let us not forget Garry Kasparov, who made huge
contributions to Griinfeld theory from the late eighties until his retirement.
The recent Candidates matches paint a remarkable picture. Vladimir Kramnik refused even to
allow Alexander Grischuk to play the Griinfeld (which is understandable given that one of Grischuk's
seconds was Peter Svidler), and opened all his white games with 1 .lll f3. Gata Kamsky played only
the Griinfeld against l .d4, and his main second Emil Sutovsky is one of the leading Griinfeld experts
in the world. Two of Kamsky's clashes with Boris Gelfand in the fashionable 4.ig5 system can be
found in Chapter 23. Of course Grischuk lost his vital last game in the final against Gelfand with
the Griinfeld, but as we shall see, he did not play the line I recommend!

I have always enjoyed the Griinfeld from either side of the board, as the rich positions offer
considerable scope for creativity and investigation for both sides. I hope that after reading this
book the reader will share my enthusiasm!

Boris Avrukh,
Beer-Sheva, May 20 1 1
Contents
Key to Symbols used & Bibliography 6

Early Deviations 1 .d4 lLi f6 2.c4 g6

1 Rare Third Moves 7


2 3.f3 13

Fianchetto Systems 1.d4 lLi f6 2.c4 g6 3.g3 d5 4.cxd5 lLixd5 5.e4 lL!b6

3 Rare Lines 37
4 5.b3 43
5 Rare Seventh Moves 50
6 7.'1Wb3 58
7 White exchanges on d5 67

Various 4th Moves 1 .d4 lL!f6 2.c4 g6 3.lLic3 d5

8 Rare Options 85
9 4.'1Wa4t 94
1 0 4.'1Wb3 1 04

Closed Variation 1 .d4 lL!f6 2.c4 g6 3.lLic3 d5 4.e3 g7

1 1 Various Fifth Moves 115


1 2 5.lt:Jf3 1 27

1 .d4 lLif6 2.c4 g6 3.lLic3 d5 4.f4

13 Sidelines 1 48
14 6J:kl 1 57
15 5.e3 c5 - Introduction and Sidelines 1 72
16 7J:kl - Sidelines and 9.lt:Jge2 1 87
17 9.lt:Jf3 203
1 .d4 lllf6 2.c4 g6 3.lllc3 d5 4.J.g5

18 Sidelines 226
19 5.i f4 242
20 5.!h4 - Sidelines 255
21 7.e3 - Sidelines 259
22 8.:9:bl 266
23 8.tlJf3 275

1 .d4 lllf6 2.c4 g6 3.lllc3 d5 4.lll3 J.g7

24 Rare Fifth Moves 291

1.d4 lllf6 2.c4 g6 3.lllc3 d5 4.lll3 J.g7 5.J.g5 llle4

25 6.!h4 296
26 6.cxd5 304

Russian System 1 .d4 lllf6 2.c4 g6 3.lllc3 d5 4.lll3 J.g7 5.'%Yb3 dxc4
6.'%Yxc4 0-0 7.e4 lllc6

27 Without 8.!e2 317


28 8.!e2 327

Variation Index 341


Key to symbols used
White is slightly better
Black is slightly better
White is better
+ Black is better
+- White has a decisive advantage
-+ Black has a decisive advantage
equality
iii with compensation
+? with counterplay
m
unclear
--+ with attack
t with initiative

a weak move
?? a blunder
a good move
!! an excellent move
!? a move worth considering
?! a move of doubtful value
# mate

Bibliography
Avrukh: Grandmaster Repertoire 2 J .d4 Volume Two, Quality Chess 20 1 0
-

Davies: !he Grunfeld Defence, Everyman 2002


Delchev & Agrest: !he Safest Grunfeld, Chess Stars 20 1 1
Dembo: Play the Grunfeld, Everyman 2007
Grivas: Beating the Fianchetto Defences, Gambit 2006
Rowson: Understanding the Grunfeld, Gambit 1999

Periodicals
New in Chess Yearbooks
Secrets of Opening Surprises (SOS)

Electronic/Internet resources
ChessBase Magazine
ChessPublishing.com
Early Deviations a b c d e f g h

Rare Third Moves

Variation Index
1 .d4 f6 2.c4
2 g6
...

A) 3.c2 8
B) 3.d5 9
C) 3 ..ig5 e4 4..if4 c5 10
Cl) 5.d5 10
C2) 5.c2 11

A) after 9 llld4
... B) note to 5.bxa6 C) note to 7.f3

a b c d e f g h
9 . . lllx d5!
.
8 Early Deviations

1.d4 c!ll f6 2.c4 g6 a poor version of the King's Indian Defence,


The starting point of our journey into the where he can have trouble fighting for the vital
Griinfeld Defence. Why not start earlier? d4-square. Here is one illustrative example:
Sometimes you cannot cover everything; I am
sure you will find this book heavy enough as 3 i.g7
.

it is. Besides, there should also be room for Certainly 3 ... d5 4.cxd5 lll xd5 5.e4 lll b6
another book later on ... 6.lll f3 is not such a bad version of the Anti
Griinfeld for White.
In this chapter we shall look at A) 3.'ifc2,
B) 3.d5 and C) 3.i.g5. Obviously there are 4.e4 0--0 5.tll c3 d6 6.i.e2 c!ll c6
many more possible moves, but some of them
8
do not have any point and are not worth

7
studying. And the rest we shall consider in the
following chapters.
6

5
3.h4!?
This outlandish move has been championed
by Simon Williams, who recently wrote an 4

3
SOS article on the subject.
3 ... c5!
Black steers the game towards a posmon 2

1
where the move h2-h4 is of limited value.
4.d5 b5
4 ... e6!?N also deserves attention, angling for a b c d e f g h
an improved version of a Modern Benoni. 7.i.e3
5.e4?! After 7.lll f3 Black has a pleasant choice
A bit too creative. Williams suggests the between 7 ...ig4 8 .ie3 lll d7 and 7 ... e5, in both
improvement 5 .h5!?N lll xh5 6.cxb5 a6 cases winning the battle for the d4-square.
7.e4 d6, reaching an unusual kind of Benko
position which should be roughly equal. 7 e5 8.dxe5

5 ... lll xe4 6.h5 Wa5t 7.lll d2 ig7 8 .Wf3 lll d6 Obviously 8.d5 lll d4 couldn't satisfy White
8 ... f5! ?N is also good. either.
9.cxb5 ib7 1 0.hxg6 hxg6 1 1 .:B:xhSt i.xh8
1 2.a4 a6 1 3 .:B:a3 8 dxe5 9J;d1 c!ll d4

This was Vinoth Kumar - Shivananda, New White has lost the battle for the d4-square,
Delhi 2009. White's play has been enterprising and very soon finds herself in a clearly inferior
but ultimately unsound, and in this position position.
both 13 ... c4N and 13 ...Wb4N give Black
some advantage. 10.i.xd4
l O.Wd2 ie6+
A) 3.'ifc2
10 exd4 1 1.c5 'ife7 12Jhd4 'ifxc5+
..

Maybe not such a bad idea against the Koneru - I..:Ami, Wijk aan Zee 2006.
Griinfeld, but the problem is that White gets
Chapter 1 - Rare Third Moves 9

B) 3.d5 5 ... c6 6.dxc6


If 6.tll c3 then Black develops with tempo:
When this chapter was almost ready, I was
6 ... cxd5 7.tll xd5 Wa5 t 8.tll c3 ig7 9.id2
playing in a rapid tournament and my
Peev - Radev, Bulgaria 1 975. Here simply
opponent managed to surprise me with this
9 ...ixa6N 1 0 .tll f3 0-0 1 l .g3 tt:lc6 1 2.ig2
rare move. But after the game I did some work
Ei:fb8 1 3 .Ei:b l lll d 5! offers Black tremendous
and came to the conclusion that the most
compensation.
promising response for Black is:

3 ... b5!? 6... tll xc6 7.e3


Playing in the spirit of the Benko Gambit Or 7.tll c3 ixa6 8.g3 ig7 9.ig2 0-0 1 0.tt:lh3
is logical, since the dark-squared bishop can Varga - Feher, Hungary 1 998, and now the
find a lot of activity on the long diagonal natural 1 0 ... e6N 1 1 .0-0 d5 1 2.tt:lf4 tt:lg4! would
after White has advanced his d-pawn. That give Black ample compensation for the pawn.
said, I believe there is nothing wrong with
more classical play, for example: 3 ... c6 4. tll c3 7...i.g7 8.tll f3
cxd5 5.cxd5 d6 6.e4 ig7 7.tll f3 0-0 8.ie2 8.tll c3 0-0 9.tll f3 occurred in Alber -
tt:lbd7 9.ie3 lll c5 10.tll d2 e6 With equal Banas, Germany 2000. Black now hurried
chances. with 9 ...ixa6, but instead the more accurate
9 ...Wa5N 1 0.id2 ixa6 would have given him
4.cxb5 a6 5.bxa6 an excellent version of the Benko.
During the aforementioned game I was
concerned about 5.b6N. However, Black is 8 ...0-0 9.i.e2 ha6 10.ha6?!
not forced to take this pawn and can try 5 ... c6 Better is 1 0.0-0 but after, for example,
6.Wb3 ib7 with interesting play. 1 0 ... tt:le4 Black still has great compensation.

5.e3 ig7 6.tll c3 0-0 7.tll f3 ib7 8.ie2 axb5


9.ixb5

a b c d e f g h
9 ... tt:lxd5! 1 0.tt:lxd5 ixd5 1 1 .Wxd5 c6 1 2.ixc6
lll xc6 1 3.0-0 Wc7 1 4.Ei:dl Spassov - Ribli,
Camaguey 1 974. As pointed out by Ribli in 1 1.tll c3 tll e4! 12.0-0 tll xc3 13.hxc3 ha6;
Chess Informant 17, 14 ... Ei:fb8 would have Dzindzichashvili - Adorjan, Amsterdam
secured excellent compensation for Black. 1 978.
10 Early Deviations

C) 3.i.g5 advantage. Instead Black should play 5 ... Wa5!


6. Wc2, transposing into line C2 below.

8
5.f3 Wa5t 6.lt:ld2 lt:lxd2
7 This looks more natural than retreating, as

6
after 6 ... lt:l f6 7.d5 d6 8.e4 Black's queen is
somewhat misplaced on a5.
5 7.i.xd2 Wb6 8.i.c3 i.g7 9.e3
4 In the event of 9.d5 i.xc3t 1 0.bxc3 Wf6

3
(also threatening the c4-pawn, by means
of l 1 . ..Wh4t) l 1 .Wb3 d6, Black has an
2 excellent position.
This position arose in Koops -Tesic, e-mail
2005 , and now simplest for Black is:
a b c d e f g h 9 ... lt:l c6N 1 0.lt:le2 0-0
Obviously there is no advantage for White.
Quite a tricky move, especially taking into
account that it's a rarely seen continuation. Cl) 5.d5

8
3... lll e4
The most challenging reply. Certainly Black
can continue with 3 ...i.g7, but then he must 7

6
be ready to play the King's Indian, which is

5
not in our plans, even though White's set
up after 4.lt:lc3 is generally considered quite
harmless. 4

4.i.f4 c5 3
The text is logically connected with Black's 2

1
previous move and resembles Black's play in a
line of the Trompowsky ( 1 .d4 lt:l f6 2.i.g5 lt:le4
3.i.f4 c5 etc.). Obviously after 4 ...i.g7 5.f3 a b c d e f g h
lt:l f6 6.e4 we would get a strange version of the
s ...i.g7 6.lt:ld2 lt:lf6
Samisch King's Indian, with White's i.f4 being
Also not bad is 6 ...Wa5 7.Wc2 f5 .
an extra move.
7.e4 d6
We have reached the main crossroads in this Finally the game has transposed to a King's
line. At this point the most logical moves are Indian type of position, but with White's
Cl) 5.d5 and C2) 5.Wi'c2, but we shall take knight misplaced on d2.
a quick look at a couple of other moves that
White has tried: 8.Wi'c2
As a consequence of the knight being on d2,
If 5 .lt:ld2 then the response 5 ... lt:l xd2 6.Wxd2 White has to take time to defend the b2-pawn,
i.g7 is too compliant. After 7.d5 White because the natural 8.lt:l gf3 would just lose this
has a reasonable game, with chances for an pawn to 8 ... lt:lh5 followed by 9 ...i.xb2.
Chapter 1 - Rare Third Moves 11

8...0-0 9.gf3 e6 1 0.i.d.3 lll f4 1 5 .0-0 gS 1 6.ig3 lll xd3 1 7.1Mfxd3 fS


If 1 O.ie2 then Black can obtain good play 1 8.exfS ixfS 1 9.1Mfb300) 1 4.0-0 '1We8 Black
with 1 0 ... lll h S! 1 1 .igS f6 1 2.ie3 fS . cannot be prevented from carrying out his
main idea, the .. JS-advance, which will give
10.. llia6
.
him excellent play. However, 14 ... lll f4!? is also
A useful move to insert before returning worthy of consideration.
attention to the kingside; the threat of ... lll b4
causes White to lose more time. 13 ...e5
11.a3
Again I don't see how White can stop the
... fS advance; Black has great play.
In Straeter - Gross, Germany 1 999, Black
should now have played:
C2) 5.c2

a b c d e f g h

White's best choice, according to theory.

12.i.g5 f6 13.i.e3 5...a5t 6.llid2 f5


After 1 3.ih4 The j ustification for the previous move;
White will have to spend some time if he
wants to chase Black's knight away from the
centre. After 6 ...lll f6 7.dS d6 8 .e4 ig7 9.lll e2
followed by 1 0.lll c3, White is fighting for an
opening advantage.

7.f3
The most natural reply. Another game saw:
7 .lll gf3
Black should continue:
c e
a b d f g h
7 ...ig7
In Speelman - Ehlvest, Reykjavik 1 99 1 ,
Black gets a good version of the King's Indian Black immediately went wrong with
with: 13 ... eS! (less clear is 13 ...exdS 14.cxdS 7 ... cxd4?! and after 8.lll xd4 ig7 9.lll 4b3!
12 Early Deviations

White was better.


8.d5
This position has occurred once in
tournament practice, via a different move
order, in the game Serafimov - Ignatenko,
Russia 1 996. I found the following natural
improvement:
8 ... tt:J a6!N 9.a3
White can hardly allow 9.e3 tt:J b4 1 0.tWb3
( 1 0.tWcl is clearly inferior: 1 0 ...Wa4!
1 1 .lUb3 d6 1 2.ie2 lt:Jxa2! 1 3.tWc2 tt:J b4
1 4.'tWd l Wd7+ Black remains with a healthy
extra pawn.) 1 O ... e5! l 1 .dxe6 dxe6 Black has
a comfortable game, with excellent chances
to take over the initiative.
9 ... 0-0 1 0.e3 lt:J xd2 1 1 .lt:Jxd2

12 ...fxe4 1 3.fxe4 b5!


Black not only creates unpleasant tension
in the centre, but also has the major threat
of playing 1 4 ... b4, which would force White
to give up his dark-squared bishop. In my
opinion Black has good chances to take over
the initiative.

Conclusion
a b c d e f g h
1 l . . .e5! White may be attracted to these rare third
Black is probably better already, e.g. move options because they make it problematic
1 2.dxe6 dxe6 1 3.0-0-0 e5 1 4 .ig3 id7 (or even impossible) for Black to continue
The idea of ...ia4 is unpleasant for White. in traditional Griinfeld style. However, by
adopting a flexible approach, I believe that
7... f6 8.d5 i.g7 9.i.e5 Black can obtain good chances. Against 3.'t!fic2
A natural idea, White's dark-squared bishop it is promising for Black to head into a King's
is transferred to c3, neutralizing the annoying Indian in which White's d4-pawn can quickly
pin along the e l -a5 diagonal. This position be targeted. I recommend meeting 3 .d5 with
occurred in Barsov - Vareille, Val Thorens the aggressive 3 ... b5!? when Black can expect
1 995. I found the following improvement: to obtain compensation typical of the Benko
Gambit. Finally 3.ig5 can be met by an idea
9 ...0-0N 10.h3 e6 from the Trompowsky, 3 ... tt:Je4 followed by
Black strikes in the centre, aiming to use his 4 ... c5, which assures Black of good play.
lead in development.
Early Deviations a b c d e f g h

3.f3

Variation Index
1 .d4 llif6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 d5 4.cxd5 llixd5 5.e4
5 ... llib6
A) 6.a4 14
B) 6.llic3 g7 7.e3 0-0 15
Bl) 8.cl 15
B2) 8.f4 llic6 9.d5 llia5! 1 0.d4 e5! 1 1.xeS he5 12.fxeS h4t!
13.g3 e7 14.d4 d8! 1 5.b4 lliac4 16
B21) 16.hc4 xb4 1 7.llif3 xc4 18.e3 e8!N 19
B2 1 1) 19.dl 20
B2 12) 1 9.e6 20
B2 13) 19.cl 20
B22) 16.llif3 21
B3) 8.d2 llic6 9.0-0-0 f5 22
B3 1) 1 0.exfS 23
B32) 10.h4 fxe4 1 1.hS gxh5! 23
B321) 1 2.dS 24
B322) 1 2.xhS 25
B33) 10.eS llib4 29
B33 1) 1 1 .h6 29
B332) 1 1 .h4 e6 30
B332 1) 1 2.c.!fbl 31
B3322) 1 2.hS 31
B3323) 1 2.a3 32
B333) 1 1 .llih3 34
14 Early Deviations

I .d4 tDf6 2.c4 g6 3.f'3 d5


The response most in the spirit of the
Griinfeld. Obviously 3 ... fi.g7 4.e4 transposes
to the Samisch King's Indian, while for those
looking for an offbeat line, 3 ... tll c6 is an
interesting alternative.

4.cxd5
4.tll c3 will be examined via the 3 .tll c3 d5

h
4.f3 move order.
a b c d e f g

4 ...tDxd5 5.e4 tDh6 1 0 . . .tt:l b4!N This is a natural improvement


on the game Dumpor - Sarenac, Obrenovac
2004. The following line is a good illustration
of how play may unfold: 1 1 .Elcl e6 1 2.tll b5 c6!
1 3 .dxe6 xd2t 14.Wxd2 fi.xe6 1 5 .fi.xb6 cxb5
1 6.fi.xb5 f5! Black takes over the initiative.

a b c d e f g h

We shall look at A) 6.a4 and B) 6.tDc3,


noting that 6.fi.e3 fi.g7 7.tll c3 is simply a
transposition into line B .

A) 6.a4 a b c d e f g h

9 ...tDc6!N
This has occurred in a number of games. The A strong improvement over 9 ... c6, after
idea is to undermine the position of Black's which 1 0.b3 is pretty unclear.
b6-knight and make it vulnerable in the future
struggle. However, White fails to achieve his 10.tDb5
goals, and meanwhile the weakness of the b4- This is evidently the move that Black was
square is significant. concerned about.

6 ... a5 7.i.e3 i.g7 s.tDc3 0-0 9.cl 1 0...i.d?!


The alternative is absolutely harmless: The key idea; it transpires that White has
9.d2 tt:l c6 1 0.d5 ( 1 0.tll b5 tt:l b4! is also to worry about his a4-pawn. In fact, Black
excellent for Black) obtains good play as a result of his development
advantage. Here is my brief analysis:
Chapter 2 - 3.f3 15

1 1.b3 B) 6.c3 i.g7 7.i.e3 0-0


A more aggressive try is: 1 1 .d5 b4 1 2.xc7
( 1 2.:I"i:xc7 is impossible in view of 1 2 ...i.xb5
1 3 .i.xb6 i.xfl 1 4.Wxfl :I"i:a6! and White loses)
12 ... xa4 1 3.xaS xb2 14.Wi'd2 Wi'xa8 Black
clearly has the initiative.

1 1 . .. b4
This move still works.

12.i.f4
After 1 2.xc7 :I"i:c8 1 3.b5 :I"i:xcl 1 4.Wi'xc l
i.xb5 1 5 .i.xb5 i.xd4 Black certainly has
nothing to worry about. Play may continue
1 6.i.xd4 Wi'xd4 1 7.e2 Wi'd6 1 8.0-0 Elc8 ,
when Black has some initiative.

Bl) 8.gcl c6 9.dS eS

a b c d e f g h

12...eS! 13.dxeS
Clearly inferior is 1 3.i.xe5 i.xb5 1 4.i.xb5
i.xe5 1 5.dxe5 Wi'g5! and Black is better.

13 ...c6 14.d6 i.e6 a b c d e f g h


Despite being a pawn down, Black's lead
in development gives him great play. For 10.i.d4
instance: Black need not fear 1 0.b5 c6 1 1 .dxc6
xc6 1 2.Wi'xd8 :I"i:xd8 1 3.xa7, as was played
15.i.g3 in Decsey - R. Horvath, Tapolca 1 998, because
Or 1 5 .xb7 Wi'xd l t 16.:I"i:xdl i.xb3 1 7.:I"i:d2 he has a convincing answer in: 1 3 ... a4!N
i.xa4 and the black a-pawn is very dangerous. 1 4.xc6 ( 1 4.b3 b2 1 5.xcS Eldxc8 1 6.a4
d4 also leads to an initiative for Black)
15 ...Wi'e7 16.f4 gads 17.B c8 1 4 ... bxc6 1 5 .b3 i.c3t! 1 6.WfL b2+
Black regains the pawn with dividends. White is in trouble, as Black is
16 Early Deviations

threatening not only l 7 ...Elxa2, but also 1 9.lllf.3 exf4 20.gxf4 fd8
1 7... li:J d l t. The position was level m Goglidze -
Spielmann, Moscow 1 935; Black's damaged
1 0 ... c6 1 1.f4 lll g4 1 2.hg7 xg7 13.J.e2 pawn structure on the queenside is balanced
by the vulnerability of White's central pawns.

B2) 8.f4

a b c d e f g h

13 ...eS!
The best reply, since after 13 ... li:J f6 White
a b c d e f g h
can hope for a slight edge with l 4.dxc6 bxc6
l 5.li:Jf3, thanks to his superior queenside pawn A very sharp line. Black needs to know exactly
structure. how to respond, in order to avoid landing in
an inferior position - as once happened to
14.hg4 Wih4t 15.g3 W/xg4 1 6.W/xg4 yours truly.
l 6.fXe5 would be an error, in view of
8 ... lll c6 9.dS
1 6...Wxd l t 1 7.Elxd l li:'ic4! and Black is already
The most challenging continuation. Black's
better.
task is much easier after:
9.li:'if3 ig4 1 0.d5 li:'ia5 1 l.i.d4
16 ...hg4 I 7.dxc6 bxc6 1 8.h3 i.e6
Black has replied to 1 1 .i.e2 in three different
ways, but not played what I consider the most
8 natural continuation: 1 l ...li:'iac4N 1 2.i.cl e6
7 1 3.dxe6 ixe6 Only Black can be better.

6
1 l . ..i.xf3 1 2.gxf3

a b c d e f g h
Chapter 2 - 3.f3 17

1 2...e6! 14.ll'if3 ll'i db8 l 5 .Wb5!;!; Rabar - Cruz, Rio de


Very simple and at the same time strong; Janeiro 1 952.
the threat of ... Wh4t is most unpleasant for
White. IO.J.d4
13.i.xg7 Clearly worse is 1 0.ll'if3 i.g4, transposing to
I tried to improve White's play with 1 3.h4, the note to White's 9th move above.
but he still stands worse: l 3 ... i.xd4 l 4.Wxd4
ll'ic6! 1 5 .Wgl (or 1 5 .Wd2 exd5 1 6.exd5 1 0...e5!
We7t 17.<;t>f2 1"i:ad8 and Black is clearly I am really inspired by this move, and believe
better) 1 5 ...exd5 1 6.0-0-0 Wf6 17.Wg5 that it is Black's clearest route to equality,
Wxg5 1 8.hxg5 dxe4 1 9.ll'ixe4 <;t>g7!+ Black although 1 o ...i.g4 is a decent alternative.
is a pawn up and ready to meet 20.ll'if6 with
20 ... h5!.
13 ...Wh4t!
With this intermediate move, Black takes
over the initiative.
14.<;t>e2 <;t>xg7 1 5.Wd4t <;t>gs 1 6.<;t>e3?
Not the best place for the king, but it is
difficult to offer White any good advice - he
probably has to just give up the f4-pawn.

if;,f&
__ ;,___ . r r
6
,
:
a b c d e f g h

If
4 ,,,, " '"'; -"' ""'"'
s 1 1.he5


zr.---
White has a couple of other possibilities:
3


-------%
% , - The attempt to win a piece by l l .i.xb6? axb6
2

1 2.b4 obviously fails to 1 2 ... exf4 1 3 .Wc2
Wh4t and Black wins.
a b c d e f g h
1 l . fXe5 c6!
We have been following Y. Popov - Elizarov,
Black has only played this once, but I have
Tula 2007, and now Black should have
come to the conclusion that it is his best
played:
continuation.
1 6 ... 1"\adSN
1 2.d6
It's hard to believe White can hold out for
An unfortunate decision. I examined White's
long.
stronger options:
a) 1 2.ll'if3 cxd5 1 3 .i.c5 allows a very nice
9... lDa5!
idea: 13 ... ll'i c6! ( 1 3 ... 1"\e8 1 4.i.b5 i.d7
The critical move. Retreating with 9 ... ll'ib8
1 5 .i.xb6 axb6 16.i.xd7 Wxd7 is sufficient for
gives White reasonable chances to fight for an
equality) l 4.i.xf8 Wxf8 1 5 .exd5 ( 1 5.ll'ixd5
opening advantage after 1 O.a4!. For example:
ll'i xe5 1 6.i.e2 ll'i xf3t l 7.gxf3 i.xb2 1 8.1"\b l
1 0 ... c6 l l .a5 ll'i 6d7 1 2.e5 cxd5 1 3.Wxd5 ll'ic6
i.g7 i s also promising fo r Black) 1 5 ... ll'i xe5
18 Early Deviations

l 6.e2 lt:l g4 17. Wd2 Black has excellent 13.g3 ff e7 14.fid4


compensation. White is lacking worthy alternatives, for
b) 1 2.e6 fxe6 1 3.xg7 xg7 14.Wd4t example:
Wf6 1 5 .Wxf6t l"i:xf6 1 6.dxc6 lt:lxc6 With
equality. 14.lt:lf3 g4 1 5 .b3 f5!+ Black seizes the
1 2 ... lt:l ac4 1 3.lt:lf3 g4 initiative.
Very simple and strong; Black is going to
regain the e5-pawn, after which the d6-pawn 1 4.b3 Wxe5 1 5.l"i:cl occurred in Dokhoian
becomes weak. In the following encounter - Krasenkow, USSR 1 986, and now Black
Black easily achieved an advantage: should play: 1 5 .. .f5!N 1 6.lt:lf3 We7 1 7.e5
1 4.xc4 lt:lxc4 1 5 .Wb3 xf3 1 6.gxf3 lt:lxe5 l"i:d8! White's centre is vulnerable, with Black
1 7.0-0-0 Wxd6+ threatening 1 8 ...e6 or 1 8 ... lt:l c6. White's best
Ward - Howell, Gibraltar 2004. is 1 8.Wc2 lt:lxd5 1 9.lt:lxd5 l"i:xd5 20.Wxc7 d7
2 1 .c4 lt:lxc4 22.Wxc4 c6 23.0-0 l"i:ad8, but
1 1 ....L: eS 1 2.fxeS Black is clearly in control.

8 8
%.i.
i.
''% %;w;./-
.f'l: '""Y,
7 7
-
f - % /,,, ,, % /,

6 6
"' /<{"""
,,,,, ,,,,,

5 5 8f -
4

3
4

3
/------m /Btrm
;- <{ ""'/, )
; f '-
2 2 -- - -'
Li,,n "'" , /,-
",Jj
1 1 ,mn
:
a b c d e f g h a b c d e f g h

1 2...ffh4t! 14.. JMS!


A very important intermediate check Unless you are familiar with the theory,
that forces White to advance his g-pawn, this is not an easy move to find. When I met
weakening his position and depriving him of this position for the first time I reacted with
the possibility of recapturing with the g-pawn the more natural-looking 1 4 ... c5? but my
in the event of an exchange on the f3-square. opponent demonstrated that this is a serious
error: 1 5 .d6! cxd4 1 6.dxe7 l"i:e8 1 7.lt:ld5! lt:lxd5
1 2 ...We7 1 3.lt:lf3 g4 14.Wd4 xf3 1 5 .gxf3 1 8.exd5 l"i:xe7 1 9.b4 The point of White's
c5 was played in Gajewski - Gluszko, Warsaw play. l 9 ... f5 (relatively better is 1 9 ... l"i:xe5t
2008, and now White missed the very strong: but White still has a clear advantage after
1 6.d6! Wh4t (or 1 6 ...cxd4 1 7.dxe7 l"i:fe8 20.c;;t>d2 f5 2 1 .lt:l f3 l"i:xd5 22.bxa5) 20.lt:lf3
1 8.lt:ld5 lt:lxd5 1 9.exd5 l"i:xe7 20.f4) 1 7.Wf2 e4 2i.c;;t>f2 l"i:c8 22.d6 l"i:ee8 23.bxa5 l"i:c2t
Wf4 1 8.Wg3 We3t 1 9 .e2 lt:l ac4 20.f4! Wd2t 24.e2 d3 25.lt:ld4! White had a decisive
2 1 .c;;t>f2 Such a huge pawn mass in the centre advantage in Sakalauskas - Avrukh, Bled (ol)
secures White's advantage. 2002.
Chapter 2 - 3.f3 19

15.b4 A very complicated posmon has arisen,


White's only way of fighting for the which I would evaluate as balanced.
advantage, as otherwise Black would continue
8
with l 5 ... lLJc6, regaining the e5-pawn.

15 lbac4 7

6
..

Black has an interesting alternative:

5
l 5 ... lLJ c6!? l 6.Wc5
The point behind White's 1 5th move.
1 6 ...Wg5 4

3
This trick allows Black to avoid losing
material, as Black's knight is untouchable in
view of the mate on d2. 2

1
1 7.lLJf3 Wh5 1 8.i.e2 lLJxe5 1 9.0-0
Obviously l 9.Wxc7? is impossible because
of l 9 ... lLJxf3t 20.i.xf3 Wxf3 2 l .Wxd8t 'it>g7 a b c d e f g h
and White loses. White now chooses between B21) 1 6.hc4
and B22) 16.lb3.
8 jj
7 ,J- ,J:
(, B21) 1 6.i.xc4 Wi'xb4 17.lb3

"O'' ,/, -, %//,


-if Absolutely harmless is l 7.lLJge2 Wxc4 1 8 .0-0.
: ,
4
" -
;-;,, ;,(ffl, 'fr
Moskalenko - Ftacnik, Belgrade 1 988,
continued 18 ...\';lrxd4t 1 9.lLJxd4 c6 20.e6 fxe6
- t.Ua
3
2 1 .lLJxe6 i.xe6 22.dxe6 l"i:d3 and Black was
2 r;'-aia"--;,rs
, -
:
:z-r,{
clearly better.

a b c d e f g h 17 Wfxc4 18.Wi'e3
..

White should avoid the queen swap; Black


1 9 ...i.h3!?N
is absolutely fine after both 1 8 .l"i:b l Wxd4
In my opinion this is stronger than
1 9.lLJxd4 c6! and 1 8.\';lfxc4 lLJxc4 1 9.l"i:b l l"i:e8.
1 9 ... lLJxf3t 20.i.xf3 We5 2 1 .lLJb5 i.h3

8
Naslund - A. Horvath, Budapest 2008, as
now 22.l"i:fcl !N l'l:d7 23.a4 would give White
definite pressure. 7

6
20.l'l:f2 lLJbd7! 2 1 .We3
Another line is 2 1 .lLJxe5 Wxe5 22.We3 lLJ f6
with reasonable play for Black. 5

4
Note that the c7-pawn is not really hanging,
since after 2 1 .Wxc7 l'l:dc8 22.lLJxe5 l'l:xc7
23.i.xh5 lLJxe5 24.lLJb5 l'l:c4!+ Black regains 3

2
the pawn and remains with the better

1
position.
2 1 . ..i.g4
a b c d e f g h
20 Early Deviations

1 8..JeS!N 19 . .fxe6 20.4Je5 '!Wb4 2I.4Jg4 :U-8 22.gb l


.

In my opinion this is a very important '!We7 23.'!Wd4 e5!


novelty. Previously Black has suffered after: A practical approach, although the more
1 8 ... c6 1 9.l"lcl ( 1 9.e6 fxe6 20.li:le5 also complicated 23 ... 'l.Wg5!? is also strong.
looks scary. Although 20 ... 'l.Wb4 2 1 .0-0 li:l c4
eventually led to a draw in Kaidanov - Peng 24.'!Wxe5
Xiaomin, Seattle 200 l, I wouldn't be surprised Even worse for White is 24.li:lxe5 'l.Wg7!+.
if White could improve his play.) 1 9 ...g4
20.li:ld2 'l.Wb4 2 1 . 0-0 This position is very 24 ...'!Wxe5 25.4Jxe5 i.h3
dangerous position for Black, as shown by Black clearly has the better chances, in view
2 1 ...cxd5 22.exd5 li:l xd5 23.li:l xd5 l"lxd5 of the vulnerable situation of the white king.
24.li:le4 Mamedyarov - Shirov, Baku (rapid)
2009. B21 3} 1 9.gcl 4Jd7

The position after 18 ...l"le8! is extremely


complicated. I investigated B21 1) 1 9JU 1 ,
the critical B212) 19.e6 and also the natural
B2 13) 1 9Jk l .

B21 1) 19Jdl i.g4 20.e6 i.xf3

It is essential to eliminate this knight.

21.exf7t @xf7 22.'1Wxf3t @g7 23Jfl 4Jd7


Black is slightly better, thanks to his control
over the key e5-square.
a b c d e f g h
B212) 1 9.e6 20.tlJbl
The alternatives are:
8

7
20.'l.Wf4 is strongly met by: 20 ... li:lc5! 2 1 .'l.Wh6
li:l xe4 22.'l.Wf4 f5! 23.g4 'l.Wd3 24.li:le2 d7
6 25.l"ldl li:l c5! 26.e6 xe6! (26 ... fxe6 27.li:le5
5
probably leads to perpetual check) 27.dxe6

4
l"lxe6 28.li:l e5 'l.We4 29.'l.Wxe4 li:lxe4 30.li:ld3
l"ld8+ Despite the material being balanced,
3 Black's chances are much higher, due to the

2
poor coordination of the white pieces.

1 20.'l.Wh6 l"lxe5! This is the key idea. In the event


of 2 1 . li:lxe5 li:lxe5 the white king comes under
a b c d e f g h
attack and Black takes over the initiative.
A thematic idea in this line, but here it does
not really work: 20 ...'!Wa6!
Chapter 2 - 3.f3 21

I t i s important t o keep the white king in B22) 16.lll 3 g4


the centre, and this is clearly much stronger
than 20 ...Wb4t 2 1 .'Ll bd2 'Ll xe5 22.'Llxe5 E:xe5 The following sequence of moves is more or
23.E:xc?, with a double-edged position. less forced.

17 ..L.:c4 .L.:3 1 8.0-0 Wfxb4


21.Wc3

8
Other moves are not dangerous for Black

7
either:

6
2 1 .Wd4 c6! 22.d6 (after 22.'Llc3 Black has

5
22 ... c5!+ and the e5-pawn falls) 22 ... 'Llxe5

4
23.'Llxe5 Wa5t Black ends up with an extra
pawn.

3
2
2 1 .:!'l:xc? 'Llxe5 and Black takes over the
initiative, for instance: 22.'Ll c3 Wd6 23.'Ll b5

1
Wb4t 24.'Llc3 'Ll xf3t 25.Wxf3 f5+

21. .. b6 a b c d e f g h
A very strong idea; Black prepares to activate
his knight by ... 'Ll c5 . 19.e6
This is the most challenging move. White
22.Wc6 has also tried:
This looks threatening, but Black is ready 1 9.E:xf3?! Wxc4 20.We3 'Ll d7!
with a nice retort. White's initiative has been slowed down, and
Black has the better chances.
22.. Wfd3 23.i>fl
.
2 1 .Wf4 E:f8
White has no good answer to Black's
primitive idea of ... E:ae8 followed by the
capture of the e5-pawn.
22.E: b l ?! E:ae8 23.'Llb5
Probably White realized only now that
23.E:xb? was not really a threat, as after
23 ... 'Llxe5 24.E:e3 f5 25.exf5 Wa6 followed
by 26 ...E:xf5 , Black will win material.
23 ... a6 24.E:c3 Wxa2 25.'Lla3 'Llxe5
Black had achieved a decisive advantage in
Moskalenko - Konguvel, Barcelona 2004.

19...fxe6 20.:gxf)
White tried 20.Wf6? in Fodor - Katsuhara,
Budapest 2005, but it is just bad. The easiest
solution for Black is 20 ... Wc5t 2 1 .E:f2 E:f8
22.Wxe6t 'tti g7 and White loses one of his
minor pieces.
22 Early Deviations

20...Wxc4 21.Wf6 exd5 9.d5?! This advance is premature, and only

8
helps Black to seize the initiative: 9 ... li:Je5
1 O ..ig5 (1 O.b3 e6 is also good for Black)

7
1 0 ...c6 1 1 .dl cxd5 1 2.exd5 .if5 Black's lead

6
in development gave him a clear advantage in

5
Alekhine - Bogoljubow, Bled 1 93 1 .

4
9.d l e5

3
Another possibility is 9 ... f5 , but the text
easily solves Black's problems and is more

2
thematic.
1 0.d5 li:J d4 1 1 .li:J b5
This gets rid of the central black knight, but
Black's development advantage gives him
a b c d e f g h good play.
According to my database, seven games have Another option is: l 1 ..id3 f5N (more
reached this position. White has to force a ambitious than l 1 ... c6, which was good
draw by perpetual check: enough for equality in Simon - Temi,
Cannes 1 996) 1 2.tlige2 fxe4 13 ..ixe4 lll c4
22.We6t 1 4.Wcl lll xe3 1 5 .Wxe3 Wd6 1 6.0-0 .id7
Or 22.Wf7t i>h8 23 .Wf6t=. Black's chances are slightly better, thanks to
his strong knight on d4.
22... <ihs 23.Wf6t= 1 1 ...li:Jxb5 1 2 ..ixb5
B3) 8.Wd2

a b c d e f g h

1 2 ... f5 ! 1 3 . .id3 fxe4 1 4 ..ixe4


1 4.fxe4 runs into the unpleasant 14 ....ig4!.
1 4 ....if5 1 5 ..ixf5 gxf5 1 6.b3
We have been following Scekic - Bercys,
White's main continuation, according to New York (rapid) 2004. Black should now
theory. have opted for:
1 6 ...Wh4t!N 1 7..if2 Wf6 1 8.li:Je2_Elfd8+
8 ...CLJc6 9.0-0-0
This is clearly White's first choice. We shall
9 ...f5
j ust take a brief look at the alternatives:
Chapter 2 - 3 . f3 23

The current fashion in this position. More


8 -, , , /,-
, , ,Y, '
7
common is 9 . . e5, which leads to a very

,,,,,/, ,,,,,/, ,,,,,/,


.

complicated battle after 1 O.d5 liJ d4 1 1 .f4.


We shall take a look at B31) 10.ex5, before
turning to the main alternatives, B32) 10.h4 : -. ,,,,,
Y,

and B33) 10.eS.


/, '.:/, ';; '.:/, /,
N//,

4
,J'll!J ;/, -
'/

3 8-;/,
B31) 10.ex5 Lf'5 1 1.h4 ';;

8
,,, ,/, ,,,,,; "'""

'%
2 H E R m
,

1
:.tef,,,,,/r:;f,,,,,Y, ,/;;
/, w w,, ,, 1 - m1
6 , /, ,
, ,,

,
Y,

5 , '1
,, a b c d e f g h

/, N/J!11%/,
M"'
15 ...aS
4 Since the game Motylev - Svidler, Wijk aan

3 m 8 R
;;
' Zee 2007 (see the note to Black's 13th move

N/
in B333), this idea has become quite thematic
2 l:ri""' 'R?fff,,,,
,,,,,/,w,,d'""/, fi
/, m in this line. Instead 1 5 ... liJ d5 1 6.liJxd5 '\Wxd5

limli
1 7.h5 would lead to double-edged play.
1
a b c d e f g h 1 6.hS Wfd7
Black is doing well.
This has been played only once, but my main
reason for sharing this line with the readers is
B32) 10.h4
to show some of Black's ideas in this kind of
position.
A very aggressive approach, leading to highly
1 1 . ..llJb4!N interesting play, although it seems to me that
The game Perez Lopez - Navarro Cia, Black manages to keep everything under
Barcelona 2000, saw 1 1 . ..e5 1 2.d5 liJ d4 1 3.g4 control.
with unclear play.
10 ...fxe4 1 1.hS
12.g4
The key point of Black's novelty can be
seen in the following line: 12.h5 '\Wd5! 1 3 .g4
'\Wxa2 14.gxf5 Wa l t 1 5.liJbl c5 Black has a
devastating attack.

12 ...i.e6 13.Wbl llJc4 14.Lc4


No better is 14.'\Wel llixe3 1 5.'\Wxe3 '\Wd7+
and Black is already threatening 16 ... liJxa2.

14...Lc4 1s.a3
This is necessary, as after 1 5.h5 i.d3t 1 6. Wcl
c5 Black's attack is decisive.
24 Early Deviations

This pawn sacrifice is the idea behind White's


8 .t
7
t, , , /, m ,,,,,
i'
1 0th move.
/,c/ /, ,,,/,
6 - -

,,,,, ,,,, -

1 1. ..gxh5!
It is essential to keep the h-file half closed.

:3 .aT-n '
After 1 l . ..e5 1 2.d5 tll d4 1 3.hxg6 hxg6 14.fxe4
White has an almost perfect score.

:'/, U[!JU
:n,, , ,n/, n
White generally chooses between B321)
12.d5 and B322) 12.1:xh5, although there are 2 [!J
,,,,,/,,;;
1 .,t.g
+

a couple of less serious options:

12 ..ih6?! has been played twice, but I think it a b c d e f g h


is a blunder, since Black can simply grab the A remarkable position. At first sight it looks
central pawn: 1 2 ... '1Mfxd4!N 1 3.'1Mfg5 (Black's as if White has a serious initiative, due to the
point is that 1 3.'1Mfxd4 runs into 1 3 ....ixh6t-+)
1 3 ...'\Mi'e5 14.'1Mfxg7t '1Mfxg7 1 5 ..ixg7 i;!;ixg7
exposed black king. However, Black's position
is like a coiled spring, and in a very short time
16.tll xe4 .if5 1 7.E!:xh5 .ixe4 1 8.fxe4 E!:ad8+ he manages to develop his pieces and even
White has absolutely no compensation for create significant threats against the white
being a pawn down. king.

1 2.g4 This surprising continuation was 1 5.hc4


first employed by Dutch Grandmaster Another line is: 1 5 .E!:h4 '1Mfd6! (but not
Stellwagen in 2008, but we shall follow a later 1 5 ... lll xb2? 1 6.E!:f4! and Black ends up losing
correspondence game, in which White was the knight on b2, Rodshtein - Sanikidze,
convincingly punished: 1 2 ... exf3 13.E!:xh5 Chalkidiki 2003) 1 6 ..ixg7 E!:xg7 1 7.'1Mfxh5
(after 1 3 . gxh 5 .ig4 1 4.'1Mff2 i;!;ih8 Black is also
.id7! 1 8.E!:xe4 '1Mfb4! 1 9.E!:d2 '1Mfc5 20 ..ixc4 (or
better) 1 3 ....ixg4 14.E!:g5 '1Mfd7 1 5 .d5 f2! This
20.E!:dl tll d6 2 1 .E!:ed4 tll f5 22.E!:4d2 lll e3+)
nice tactical trick clarifies the situation. 16 ..ie2
20 ... tll xc4 2 l .E!:dd4 tll d6 22.E!:f4 lll f5-+ Black
.ixe2 1 7.'1Mfxe2 tll e5 1 8 ..ixb6 fl ='IMf 1 9.E!:xfl
is winning material and he went on to win the
E!:xfl t 20.'IMfxfl axb6 2 1 .tll ge2 i;!;ih8 Black had
game in Aleskerov - Sanikidze, Istanbul 2005.
a big advantage, which was easily converted in I have to say that Black's play in this game was
Woj tyra - Staf, e-mail 2009.
most impressive; all his moves from 1 5 ... '\Mfd6
B321) 12.d5 onwards were simply the best.

This leads to very concrete play. 15 tt.'ixc4 1 6.1:d4


White tried 1 6. lll xe4? in Meessen - Peschlow,


12 tli e5 13..ih6 tt.'iec4!
Germany 2006, but Black could just grab an
This is much stronger than 1 3 ... E!:f7? important pawn: 16 ... tll xb2!N 1 7.E!:d2 (or
14 ..ixg7 E!:xg7 l 5.E!:xh5, which gave White 1 7.E!:d4 c5) 1 7 ... lll c4 1 8.E!:d4 tll d6 Black has a
a serious initiative in Sakaev - Timofeev, winning position.
Istanbul 2003.
White's best option is 16 ..ixg7, which has not
14.'1Mfg5 1:f7 been played, but is recommended by Ftacnik.
Chapter 2 - 3.f3 25

A logical c_ontinuation is then: 1 6 .. .l''i'.xg7 20.fxe4 g4 21.ltige2


17.Wxh5 exf3 1 8.gxf3 (after 1 8.tt:'ixf3 g4
8
Black is clearly better) 1 8 ...Wiffg Ftacnik

7
evaluates this position as unclear. It is true that
White has a certain amount of compensation
following 1 9.tt:'ige2 f5 20.tt:'id4 g6 2 1 .Wifh2, 6

5
but after 2 1 ...Wf6 I prefer Black's position,
due to his strong bishop. It should be noted
that White cannot take the pawn back, as after 4

3
22.Wxc7? tt:'id6 Black has too many threats
(such as ... e5, ... :Ei:c8 and ...Wf4t).
2

a b c d e f g h

21...d2! 0-1
Mamedyarov - Kurnosov, Moscow 2009.

B322) 12.l3xh5

8
7

6
f
5
a b c d e g h

16...d6
With this natural 'human' move, Black's 4

3
queen enters the play with great effect.
However, the computer indicates an even
better move for Black: 1 6 ... tt:'ixb2!N 17.@xb2 2
(or 1 7.:Ei:xe4 tt:'id3t 1 8.@d2 f5! 1 9.@xd3 e6 1
and Black is clearly better) 17 ... cS! The nice
point of the sacrifice. 1 8.:Ei:xe4 Wb6t 1 9.@al a b c d e f g h
Wxh6 Black has a considerable advantage. The most natural continuation.

17.hg7 12 ...J.6 13.l3g5


After 1 7.:Ei:xhS Black quickly develops a White's first choice according to theory,
decisive attack: 17 ...Wb4! 1 8.tt:'idl Wc5 1 9.tt:'ie2 but I would like to mention a couple of other
exf3 20.gxf3 tl'ie5t 2 1 .tt:'idc3 tt:'ixf3 Black won options:
easily in Gubajdullin - Belov, Moscow 2009.
1 3.h6 Essentially the situation is the same
17.. Jlxg7 1 8.xh5 f4t 19.@brn 6 as we saw with 12. h6?! above, and here too
Black's last piece comes into play with Black can capture the central pawn with great
decisive effect. effect:
26 Early Deviations

1 8 ... @g8!N
This improves on 1 8 ... E!:f7 1 9 .We5t @g8
20.tt:lxe4, which was rather unclear in Hillarp
Persson - Howell, Jersey 2005 .
1 9.tt:lxe4
I don't see any ideas for White after 1 9.cxb7
Wxb7 20.We6t E!:f7 2 1 .fxe4 E!:b8 22.b3 c5
followed by 23 ...1We7.
1 9 ... bxc6
Black comfortably parries all of White's tries,
a b c d e f g h and remains the exchange up.
1 3 ...Wxd4!N This novelty was pointed out 20.tll h3
by Krasenkow in ChessBase Magazine 120. White does not get anywhere with: 20.tll f6t
1 4.Wxd4 (or 1 4.Wg5 Wf6+) 1 4 ...i.xd4 1 5 .i.xf8 @h8 2 1 .g4 (or 2 1 .tll d7 E!:f5 22.g4 E!:d5
E!:xf8 Black is clearly better. 23.E!:xd5 lll xd5 24.We5t @gs+) 2 1 ...E!:f7
22.We5 Wf8 The discovered checks are not
1 3.d5 dangerous, and so Black has the advantage.
This looks quite interesting, but Black can 20 ...i.xe4!
keep everything under control. The simplest way; eliminating the knight
1 3 ...i.g6! leaves White short of active ideas.
Much stronger than 1 3 ... tll e5 I 4.i.d4, when 2 1 .1Wxe4 Wf5 22.Wxc6 E!:ad8
White is fighting for an advantage. Black clearly has the better chances.
1 4.i.h6
An understandable attempt, as after 1 4.E!:h3 13 ...i.g6
you don't have to be a grandmaster to find
the following series of moves: 14 ... tll e5
1 5 .fxe4 tt:l ec4 1 6.i.xc4 tt:lxc4 1 7.We2 tt:l xe3
1 8 .Wxe3 Wd6+ Black has a pleasant game,
thanks to his bishop pair.
1 4 ...i.xh5
Now we have a more or less forced line.
1 5 .i.xg7 @xg7 1 6.Wg5t i.g6 17.dxc6 Wc8
1 8.Wxe7t

14.i.e2
This is nearly always played, but White has

h
also tried the fairly natural:
a b c d e f g
Chapter 2 - 3 . f3 27

l 4.li:lxe4 e5 J 5 .d5 25 ... f7N 26.Wxc3 li:ld5 27.Wxc7 lll xc7


Definitely more challenging than l 5.dxe5 28.d3 xa2-+
Wxd2t 1 6.xd2 lll x e5, when Black has no
problems. 14... eS
1 5 ... li:ld4 1 6.li:lc3 c6 17.dxc6 Nobody has tried 14 ...exf3 here; after
1 5 .lll x f3 e5 1 6.d5 ( 1 6.dxe5 Wxd2t 1 7.l"i:xd2
h8! is great for Black) 1 6 ... li:ld4 we reach
a position that is examined in the following
note.

15.d5 llid4
The alternative l 5 ... exf3 keeps an extra
pawn, but helps White's development: l 6.li:lxf3
li:ld4 I think White can improve here with
l 7.li:lh4!N, which was suggested by Golod in
h
a b c d e f g
ChessBase Magazine 8 1 . White's position seems
promising, for instance l 7 ...Wf6 l 8.li:lxg6 hxg6
1 7 ...Wc7!
1 9 .d3 allows him a long-term initiative.
A great concept! Black needs the open c-file
much more than he needs the pawn.
16.fxe4 c6
If l 7 ... bxc6?! then White would be very
happy to continue l 8.d3 with an
advantage.
1 8.cxb7
Now 1 8.d3 is well met by: 1 8 ...Wxc6
l 9.xg6 hxg6 20.Wd3 i;t>f7+ Black's pieces
feel quite comfortable behind his strong
central knight.
1 8 ... l"i:ab8!
Another fine move; it's important for Black
to keep his queen on the c-file.
l 9.f4?!
After 19.d3 l"i:xb7 20.li:lge2 li:la4 Black
develops a serious initiative on the
a b c d e f g h
queenside.
19 ... l"i:fd8! 20.fxe5 lll e6 Black must attack White's centre; this
Now Black wins the exchange. move also helps to open some lines on the
2 1 .We2 l"i:xd l t 22.Wxdl lll xg5 23.xg5 queenside.
Right now White has three pawns for the
exchange, but not for long. 17.dxc6
23 ...xe5 24.a6 xc3 25 .Wb3t White has also played:
We have been following Vallejo Pons - l 7.li:lf3 cxd5 1 8 .exd5
Navara, Wijk aan Zee 2009. Here Black It looks risky for White to open the diagonal
could have decided the game on the spot for Black's light-squared bishop.
with the simple: There is a reasonable alternative in: l 8.lll xe5
28 Early Deviations

lt:l xe2t 1 9.l&xe2 i.xe5 20.l'l:xe5 Wc7 2 1 .i.d4 White decides to keep the queens on, in
dxe4 White has definite compensation for an attempt to justify his rook being on g5 .
the pawn, but only enough for equality. Indeed, after 1 8.lt:lf3 Wxd2t 1 9.l'l:xd2 lt:l d4!
1 8 ...l'l:c8 19.lt:l xe5! Black is fine, while the white rook looks a bit
The plausible l 9.lt:lxd4 would run into: misplaced.
19 ...Wxg5! 20.lt:lc6 (20.i.xg5 exd4 gives
Black a decisive initiative) 20 ...:e:f4! Black is 1s ...VNf6

8 -
much better.

.i.

1 9 ... lt:l xe2t 20.Wxe2 l'l:e8 2 1 .lt:l xg6

7 ,,,,,Y,?tl i
6 11--.'.
sn"a'B
4 %m %S"!i%m, , _Y,
3 /,"/
m/, -
;;

2 t:/!(iA
1 :g '
a b c d e f g h a b c d e f g h
2 l ... l'l:xc3t! 22.bxc3 Wxg5 23.i.xg5 l'l:xe2
19.:!3g3N
24.lt:lh4 l'l:e5
This improvement was suggested by
Black could try 24 ...i.xc3!? 25.d6 lt:l d7
Krasenkow in ChessBase Magazine 1 1 8.
26.l'l:d3 i.e5 27.i.d2 <ii f7 , and White still
Laznicka has twice played:
has a bit of work to do to secure the draw.
1 9.l&g3?! lt:ld4
25.lt:lf3 l'l:xd5=
A natural improvement over l 9 ... l'l:ad8,
A draw was soon agreed in Thaler - Winge,
which led to an unclear position in Laznicka
corr. 2006.
- Krasenkow, Ostrava 2007: 20.lt:l f3 lt:ld4
2 1 .i.d3 lt:lxf3 22.gxf3 l'l:c8 23.cii b l Wxf3
24.Wg l
20.i.h5 i.xh5 2 1 .l'l:xh5 l'l:ac8
Black takes over the initiative.
22.<ii b l ?
This allows an elegant combination. White's
best try was: 22.i.h6 Wg6 23.Wxg6 hxg6
24.i.xg7 gxh5 25 .i.xf8 l'l:xf8 Black is slightly
better, but White has good chances of saving
the game.
22 ...l'l:xc3 23.bxc3 lt:l a4!
The point of the sacrifice; Black now develops
a decisive attack.
a b c d e f g h
24.i.xd4 exd4
17... ltJxc6 1 8.VNel White was already defenceless against Black's
Chapter 2 - 3 . f3 29

attack in Laznicka - Ponomariov, Carlsbad Black is by no means worse, due to his strong
2007. I belive that as a result of this game knight on d4.
19.Wg3?! will not find any followers in the
future. B33) IO.es

19 .. .l::& acS
I prefer this to 1 9 ... tiJd4 20.tiJf3 tLlxe2t
2 l .Wxe2 with an unclear game, as pointed out
by Krasenkow.

8
7
6
5
4
3
2
In my opm10n this is the critical

1
continuation. Black's dark-squared bishop is
cut off from play for a long time, but on the
other hand, Black is able to seize control over
a b c d e f g h
the light squares in the centre.
20.ig4
Other possibilities: IO... llJb4
We have arrived at an important crossroads
20.tiJf3? is a serious inaccuracy that allows for White; his options are B33 1) 1 1..ih6,
Black to seize the initiative on the queenside: B332) 1 1.h4 and B333) 1 1 .llJh3.
20 ... tiJb4 21 .Wb l :B:xc3 Black has a dear
advantage. B33 1) 1 I .ih6

20.Wbl is a more important alternative:


8
7
20 ... tiJd4 2 1 .tiJf3 tLlc4 (after 2 1 .. .:B:xc3?!

6
22.bxc3 ixe4t 23.id3! I don't see any

5
good way for Black to continue) 22.ixd4
exd4 23.tiJxd4 Wb6 Black has fine long-term

4
compensation for the pawn, thanks to his

3
dark-squared bishop.

2
20.. JcdS

1
20 ...:B:c?!? is also worth considering.

2 1.:88 Y!fe7 22.:Bxf'St :8xf'8 23.!iJS !iJd4


24.@bl Y!ib4 a b c d e f g h
30 Early Deviations

This leads to very concrete play, as White 13 ...Wfd7!?N


intends to launch a direct offensive on the black I believe that this is a serious improvement
king after swapping dark-squared bishops. over 1 3 ... li:J 6d5, as played in Drazic - Koko!,
Nova Gorica 2008. White could have
1 1...i.e6 12.bl responded with the natural 14.li:Jh3N, when
White has also tried: the threat of li:lg5 would force Black onto the
1 2.i.xg7 'ttixg7 1 3 .'tt> b l defensive.

8 0rJrJYc%0,, 14.lll h3
7 '% .
l &I
%.%1 .r -
'% 1 ,,%

% & %1 /,
After 14.a3 li:l4d5 1 5.li:lge2 li:l a4+ Black's
6
,
initiative develops quite smoothly.

5
4 . ';, n_?,


! 14... lll xa2!

, %, !
This move sets off some fireworks on the
3 ';, board.
2 'WK(
0;10,


'%
,W
%
0;10
-: I: 15.lll g5 lll xc3t 16.bxc3 B:f7
a b c d e f g h

1 3 . . .f4!?N
I like this very natural idea. In practice Black
has played: 1 3 ... c5 14.dxc5 li:l a4! 1 5 .li:lge2
( 1 5.li:lxa4? loses to 1 5 ... i.xa2t 1 6.iicl '1Wa5)
1 5 ...'\Wxd2 1 6.:B:xd2 :B:ad8 1 7.li:ld4 li:lxc5
With an equal game, Sjodahl - Hermansson,
Sweden 2007.
14.g4!
White would be in trouble ifhe did not have
this resource.
14 ... a5 1 5 .li:l h3 li:l6d5
Black has very comfortable play.

1 2...i.xh6 13.Wfxh6

17.lll xf7 Wfa4 1 8.Wfd2 i.xf7


Black is the exchange for a pawn down, but
it is obvious that he has more than enough
compensation.

B332) l l.h4

This aggressive thrust looks very natural. Black


has to react quickly, because the further advance
of the h-pawn might cause serious damage.
Chapter 2 - 3.f3 31

1 1. ..i.e6
Black attacks the a-pawn. White can defend
it by B3321) 12.hl , ignore the threat
with B3322) 12.hS or move it with B3323)
12.a3.

B3321) 12.bl

8
7
6
5
4
3
2

a b c d e f g h

12...f4!N 1 5 ... i.fSt 16.al ltJc2t 17.bl ltJh4t=


Sacrificing this pawn to clear the f5-square
for the bishop is often a tempting idea in B3322) 12.hS
this variation, but this particular position
is one of the few occasions that it actually This is of course very tempting. Play
works. In Kowzan - Jurek, Wysowa 2003, continues:
Black played very passively: 12 ... ttJ4d5
1 3.ltJh3 ltJxe3 14.Wxe3 lDd5 1 5 .ltJxd5 i.xd5 12 ... ltJxa2t 13.ltJxa2 ba2 1 4.hxg6 hxg6
1 6.h5 1 5.i.h6

13 ..txf4 c5!
8
7
All Black's pieces are brought into play, even

6
the dark-squared bishop.

5
14.dxcS

4
It is dangerous for White to play: 14.lDge2

3
i.f5t! 1 5 .ltJe4 Wd5 1 6.ltJ2c3 Wf7 17.dxc5
(after 1 7.ie3 1"lad8 1 8.Wel ltJ a4 1 9.b3 ltJxc3t

2
20.Wxc3 ltJd5+ Black retains an initiative)
1 7 ... tba4 1 8.i.b5 ltJxc5 Black has good
compensation for the pawn.
1 a b c d e f g h
14... ltJ6d5
32 Early Deviations

15 ...Wfd7!N Clearly worse is 2 1 ...Wf4t 22.:gd2 lLixd5, as

An important improvement, as otherwise the after 23.e6! Black is under serious pressure.
whole line is somewhat dangerous for Black.
The e8-square should be kept free for the king, 22. lll b 1 i.a2!
so I don't like 1 5 ... We8 1 6.lLie2 f4, as in Av. Black must certainly avoid 22 ....ixd l ?
Bykhovsky - Dub, Tel Aviv 2002. White could 23 ..ib5t iid8 24.Wg7! and White wins.
then play: 17.lLic3N .ib3 1 8.l'l:e l :gd8 1 9.g4!
White has a serious initiative, while Black is 23.@c2 lll a4
lacking in activity.

1 6.lll e2
White needs this move in order to shelter his
king. Obviously 1 6 ..ixg7? runs into 1 6...Wc6t
and Black remains with a healthy extra pawn
after the exchange of queens.

1 6...i.b3 17.i.xg7
17.:gel is too slow, although Black has to
find the strong response: 1 7 ... ttJd5 ! 1 8 ..ixg7
'it>xg7 1 9.Wh6t \t>f7 20.Wh7t 'it>e8 2 1 .Wxg6t
'it>d8 White's king is much more vulnerable
than his black counterpart.
The following variation now seems forced.
17... @xg7 18.Wfh6t @f7

8
24.i.bSt @ds 25.ha4 hbl t 26.gxbl
Wfxa4t 27.b3 Wfb5

7
The struggle should end in a draw, for

6
example:

5
28.gbel Wiest 29.@b2 Wif2t 30.@bI Wfb6

4
3I.@b2=

3
B3323) 12.a3

a b c d e f g h

19.d5!
White's best continuation. After 1 9.Wh7t?!
'it>e8 20.Wxg6t 'it> d8 2 1 .Wh6 :ge8 Black is
better, due to the vulnerable white king.

19 ...Wfa4 20.Wfh7t @es 21.lll c3 Wfal t


Chapter 2 - 3.f3 33

This move_ is the latest fashion, having been followed by ...E:d8, ... c5 or ... l2l d5) 17 ... e6
played twice by Israeli Grandmaster Evgeny 1 8.l2lf4 @f7! Black is ready to meet l 9.g4 with
Postny. l 9 ... E:h8! 20.E:gl ih6, with advantage.

12... tiJa2t 1 6... c5 17.tlJe2


This looks like Black's best option. After The white knight is heading for the c3-square.
1 2 ... a5 White can even accept the piece Instead 1 7.dxc5 ?! favours Black: 1 7 ... Wxd2t
sacrifice by: 1 3.axb4 ( 1 3.h5!? is also possible. I 1 8.ixd2 E:fc8+
am not sure what Black should do.) 1 3 ... axb4
14.llJ b l . In Postny - Howell, Kallithea 2009, 17 ... c8 1 8.iihl
Black failed to obtain enough compensation: 1 8.ih6? fails to 18 ... cxd4t 1 9.@b l l2l c4!
14 ... !'lal 1 5 .Wxb4 c5 1 6.Wxc5 l2l d5 1 7.@d2 20.Wg5 Wb6 and Black has a winning attack.
!'la5 1 8.Wc l
1 8....if7 19.tiJc3
13.tiJxal La2 14.h5 After 1 9.l2lf4 cxd4 20.ixd4 l2l c4 2 1 .'1Wf2


-
(2 Lixc4 E:xc4+) 2 l .. .g5! Black takes over the

8 ?,ref" ,/,.( _ Y,'0


initiative.

7 .t. w , w , , , '
'0
19...cxd4 20.Ld4
6 , , ,%.f, _, /,-
,_, , /,- ,,
s4 ,//,"
n f fj
8
7
3 '0, , %7;; 8
, _ , , /,
6
% - - 5
2 .f /,-,_,,,- 8%
1 .:
, , , , , /, _;;, , , , ,/,

Jtm.: 4
3
f
2
a b c d e g h

1
14...ih3!?N
This natural move is my attempt to improve
on the game Postny - Gopal, Calcutta 2009,
which went 14 ... c5 1 5 .dxc5 ib3. I believe
a b c d e f g h

that White now missed a good opportunity 20...d7!


to sacrifice the exchange with 1 6.f4! ixd l Not only preparing ... E:fd8, but in the right
17.@xd l . I really don't like Black's position. In circumstances the queen may transfer to e6 in
particular I am worried that h5-h6 will leave order to create threats against the white king.
Black's dark-squared bishop out of play for a
long time to come. 2 1 .h4 tlJc4
I prefer this to 2 1 .. .We6 22.ixb6! axb6
15.hxg6 hxg6 1 6.el 23.ib5 E:c7 24.f4, when Black has a problem
I also examined an exchange sacrifice here, with his dark-squared bishop.
but it doesn't look dangerous for Black: 1 6. l2lh3
ixdl 1 7.Wxdl (or 1 7.@xd l We8! 1 8.l2lf4 e6 22.Lc4
34 Early Deviations

This is probably necessary, as after 22.Wg5


it's Black who strikes first: 22 ... tii x a3t! 23.bxa3
We6 White is in trouble.

22 ... :gxc4
Finally we have reached a balanced position,
where Black's activity compensates for his
temporarily passive dark-squared bishop. Here
is an illustrative line:

23.:gehl :gds
23 ...j,e6!?
a b c d e f g h
24.:gh7 1 I. ..i.e6 12.@bl

8
The main move according to theory. White

7
has also tried:
l 2.a3 tii a2t

6
I had found this idea and intended to offer

5
it as a novelty, but before I could do so, it
appeared in a game.

4
1 3.tii xa2 j,xa2

3
2
1 a b c d e f g h

24...f4!
The only move, but good enough to maintain
the balance.

a b c d e f g h
25.Wxf4 Wf5t 26.Wxf5 gxf5 27.ba7 he5
28.@c2 f4 14.j,h6
Threatening 29 ...j,g6t. I also analysed other moves here:
14.tii f4 tii d 5! Black has a good game.
29.:g7h4 i.g6t 30.@b3 :gc6 3 1 .:gel i.f7t 14.Wc2 Wd5 1 5.tii f4 (or 1 5.Ei:d3 j,c4 1 6.Ei:c3
32.@c2 i.g6t= j,xfl 1 7.Ei:xfl c6 with equal play) 1 5 ... Wb3
l 6.j,d3 Ei:fd8= Black shouldn't experience
B333) I I.tii h3 any problems once the queens come
off.
In my opinion this is the most serious 14 ...Wd7 1 5.j,xg7 \tixg7 1 6.Wc2 j,g8
continuation. White was threatening to trap the bishop
with 1 7.b3.
Chapter 2 - 3.f3 35

17.tt:lf4 lll d ? 1 8.tt:lxd5 xd5 1 9.c5 xc5 t This tricky move is stronger than 1 5.d5 ixe5
20.dxc5 fd8 1 6.axb4?! axb4 1 7.tt:l b5 a5 1 8.ixb6 cxb6
Black had the better endgame in the 1 9.xb4 fa8, which was good for Black in
game Vitiugov - Wang Yue, Ningbo (rapid) Motylev - Svidler, Wijk aan Zee 2007.
20 10. 1 5 ... c6
After 1 5 ... c8?! White can accept the piece
12 'l1;Yd7
sacrifice: 1 6.axb4 axb4 1 7. tLlce2 Black
1 2 ... tt:lc4 was played in Av. Bykhovsky - doesn't have the same coordination as in
Golod, Tel Aviv 200 l , but it is inaccurate: Motylev - Svidler, and White is clearly better
1 3.ixc4!N ixc4 1 4.b3 if7 1 5 .ih6 White here.
clearly holds the initiative. 1 6.d5! ixe5
1 6 ... cxb5 1 7.ixb6 ixe5 is just a
13.t!Jf4 transposition.
1 7.ixb6 cxb5 1 8.he l if6

1 9.id4!
Black's extra pawn is absolutely irrelevant,
and meanwhile his pieces are badly
coordinated.
1 9 .axb4? would be a serious mistake:
1 9 ... axb4 20.tt:lce2 d6! White is facing a
dangerous attack.
1 9 ...ixd4 20.xd4 tt:l a6 2 1 .d6! xd6?
Black had to try: 2 1 . . .exd6 22.tt:lfd5 ixd5
23.xd5t f7 24.tt:lxb5 tt:lc7 25.tt:lxc7
xc7 26.h4! White is not even obliged to
regain the pawn. Black's position remains
unpleasant.
22.tt:l cd5 ixd5 23.tt:lxd5
White had a winning attack in Bitan -
Vokarev, Bhubaneswar 20 1 0 .

1 5.ib5! I4.h4
36 Early Deviations

I also examined: 14.tt:lxe6 Wxe6 1 5 .a3 15 ...c6 1 6..ie2 c5! 17.e6 ix.e6 18.dxc5 hc3
(not 1 5 .h4? ixe5+) 1 5 ... a5 1 6.f4 c5 1 7.Wcl 19.bxc3

8
tt:l4d5 1 8.tt:lxd5 Wxd5 1 9.dxc5 We4t 20.Wa2
Elxdl 2 1 .Wxd l Wxe3 22.cxb6 Wxf4 23.Wd5t

7
Wh8 24.Wxb7 Eld8 25 .Wc7 Wd4 26.b7 ixe5

6
27.Wc3 We4 28 .Wc8 Wd4= Of course this line

5
is not all forced, but it is a good illustration of
the possibilities in the position.

4
32
14....if7
Black has no time for 1 4 ... tt:l c4 1 5 .ixc4
ixc4, since after 1 6.b3 if7 17.tt:la4! he is
facing concrete problems.
We shall now follow the game Salem - So,
Olongapo City 2 0 1 0, which reached this
1 f
position via a different move order. a b c d e g h

8
19...a4!

7
The key move; Black seizes the initiative.

6
20.xdSt hd8 2Uhd8t @f7 22JH8t

5
No better is: 22.cxb4 Wxa2t 23.Wcl tt:ld5!

4
Despite his material advantage, White is in a
difficult situation.

32 22...@xfS 23.llixe6t @gs 24.cxb4 xb4t

1
25.@c2 lll d5
Black has a powerful attack.

Conclusion
a b c d e f g h
I heartily recommend 3 ... d5 as a suitably
15 ..th5?!
combative response to 3.f3. Black must expect
White should also avoid 1 5 .h5?! g5!+ but he
to be subjected to a rather scary-looking
has two better options:
kingside attack in several lines in this chapter,
but provided he is well-prepared, I believe
1 5 .Wel tt:l a4 1 6.b3 tt:l xc3t 1 7.Wxc3 a5 1 8.i.c4
he can face such attacks with confidence
e6 1 9.Elcl ifB The position is roughly level.
and obtain ample counter-chances on the
queenside.
1 5 .i.e2 a5 We have a double-edged position,
In the main line of 4.cxd5 tt:lxd5 5.e4 tt:lb6
which I reckon is balanced. For example: 1 6.g4
6.tt:lc3 i.g7 7.i.e3 0-0 8.Wd2 tt:l c6 9.0-0-0
fxg4 1 7.fxg4 Wc6 1 8 .a3 ixe5 1 9.i.b5 Wf3
I have decided to advocate the fashionable
20.i.e2 (20.Elhfl Wxg4 2 1 .i.e2 Wc8 leaves
9 ... f5 thrust. This has scored well up to now,
White two pawns down for nothing) 20 ...Wc6
and I see no reason why it should not continue
2 1 .i.b5= White does not have anything better
to do so.
than repeating moves.
Fianchetto Systems
Rare Lines

Variation Index
1.d4 f6 2.c4 g6 3.g3
3 ... c6
A) 4.dS 38
B) 4.i.g2 dS 39
Bl) S.b3 39
B2) S.b3 40
B3) S.a4 41

A) after 7 .i.g2 B l ) after 6.bxc4 B2) after 9.i.xdS

a b c d e f g h a b c d e f g h a b c d e f g h
7 \Wa5!
...
6 ...eS! 9 ... tll c6!
38 Fianchetto Systems

I .d4 tlJf6 2.c4 g6 3.g3 it uses an important tempo and it opens up the

87
long diagonal, allowing Black to become very
active.

65 4 cxd5 5.cxd5 d6 6.tlJ c3 i.g7 7.i.g2 a5!


.

A key move, which disrupts White's normal


development. After 7 ... 0-0 8.tt:lf3 White

43 completes his development and can even fight


for the advantage in a complex game.

2 87
56
1

a b c d e f g h

This continuation really caused me a


headache, especially taking into account that 43
2
I recommended this system for White in my
earlier book, Grandmaster Repertoire - J.d4
Volume Two. Finally I came to the decision to
offer readers the very solid system featuring 1
the moves ... c6 and ... d5. Some of my friends
advised me to give another system, where Black
plays ... d5 without ... c6, and recaptures on d5 8.i.d2
with his knight. There were many interesting This looks a bit awkward, but White faces
ideas played in this line at the latest Olympiad, some difficulties after the natural:
but I still adhere to the view that White has 8.e4 ig4!
good chances of a slight advantage.

3 ... c6
It is essential to play this move straight away,
because if Black delays it for a single move,
White will get the chance to play 5.e4.
White's fundamental decision when facing
... c6 and ... d5 is whether to exchange pawns
on d5. The lines with an early exchange will
be covered in Chapter 7, after we first deal
with various other options. In this chapter we
examine A) 4.d5 and B) 4.i.g2, before turning
to 4.tt:l f3 in Chapters 4 to 6. 9.tt:lge2N
White cannot play 9.f3? in view of the
A) 4.d5
tactical blow 9 ... tt:lxe4 and . the white
White unequivocally prevents Black playing position collapses: 1 0.fxg4 (or 1 0.1Wa4t
... d5. However the text has obvious drawbacks; 'Wxa4 1 1 .tt:lxa4 id7!-+) 1 0 ... tt:lxc3 1 1 .Wd2
Chapter 3 - Rare Lines 39

Wc5 Black had a decisive advantage in Graf Black's play is logical and simple.
- Yandemirov, Omsk 1 996.
9.Wb3 runs into 9 ... lt:J a6! and Black 12 ..icl .ig4 13.b3 l:Uc8 14.tlid4 .id?
intends ... lt:Jc5 next, while the b7-pawn is 15.l:dl l:fab8 1 6.h3
untouchable: 1 0.Wxb?? l'l:b8 1 1 .Wc6t id? We have been following Korchnoi - Geller,
1 2.Wc4 ib5 1 3.Wd4 lt:J b4-+ Moscow 1 97 1 , and now Black should have
9 ...ixe2 1 0.xe2 played:
White's problem is that 1 0.Wxe2 can be met
by: 1 0 ... lt:Jxd5! 1 I .Wb5t Wxb5 1 2.lt:Jxb5 1 6...c5N
lt:J b4! 1 3.0-0 lt:J 8 a6 Black remains with an With ... b5 coming next, Black has a fine
extra pawn. game.
1 0 ... lt:J bd?
With the white king on e2, there is no doubt B) 4..ig2 d5
that Black has a very good position.

8 ...0-0 9.e3
White has problems completing his
development, as the vulnerability of his
d-pawn renders moves like 9.lt:Jf3 and 9.lt:Jh3
impossible. He has also tried:

9.e4 lt:Jbd7 1 0.lt:Jge2 lt:J e5 1 1 .0-0 ig4 1 2.ie3


(or 1 2.f3 id? 13.ie l Wa6 and Black has the
initiative) 1 2 ... lt:J c4 1 3.icl l'l:fc8 White was in
trouble in Psakhis - Veingold, Tallinn 1 983.

9.Wb3 as usual allows Black to get his knight a b c d e f g h


to c5 with tempo: 9 ...lt:J a6 1 0.lt:Jf3 id? 1 1 .0-0
lt:J c5 1 2.Wc2 l'l:fc8 Black was better in Kornev White now has many options, and we shall
- Yandemirov, Saratov 2006. look at Bl) 5.b3, B2) 5.b3 and B3) 5.'Wa4.
The most common moves, 5.lt:Jf3 and 5.cxd5,
9 tli bd7 10.tlige2 tli e5 1 1.0-0 tli c4

are covered in the following chapters, while
5.lt:Jd2 ig7 6.lt:J gf3 0-0 7.0-0 transposes to
Chapter 5.

Bl) 5.b3

Not the most popular move here, but it has


nevertheless been employed in almost fifty
games.

5 ...dxc4!
Black seizes the chance to take advantage
of White's slightly unusual move order. After
5 ...ig7 White can play either 6.lt:Jf3 or
40 Fianchetto Systems

6.b2 0-0 7.tll f3, both of which transpose to


Chapter 4. 87
6.bxc4 e5!
A fantastic idea! It is not often in the Griinfeld
65
that Black creates the option of developing
his dark-squared bishop on the a3-f8 4
3

21
diagonal.

Initially my intention was to suggest: 6 ... c5


7.tll f3 (after 7.d5 tll x d5! White cannot capture
the knight, as he would then lose material to
8 ...g7) 7 ...g7 8.b2 Wb6 9.Wb3 tll e4 1 0.e3 a b c d e f g h
0-0 1 1 .0-0 tll c6 Play has transposed into line
This was played in Schiller - Siefring, e-mail
B2 in Chapter 4.
2003. There was no reason for Black refraining
from the following:

, , , ,/, ,, ,,
s i, .i.9

:5 'f- -f
1 1. c5N 12.tll b 5 hal
13.tll c?t Wd8
14.tll xa8 tll a6

With his knight stuck on a8, White is in a

4 id '
very dangerous situation.

3 , B2) 5.'1Wb3 i.g7 6.tll c3

2 , ';;J
mef,,J '0w This looks very tempting, since it would appear
that Black has to decide what to do about the
1 met:JV attack on his d5-pawn. Instead 6.tll f3 0-0
7.0-0 would transpose to Chapter 6.
f g

87
a b c d e h

7.tll f3 ?!
I think White would be better off

65
playing 7.d5 cxd5 8.cxd5 b4t and now
sacrificing a pawn with: 9.d2 tll xd5 1 0.'1Wb3
xd2t 1 1 .tll xd2 White has reasonable
compensation, but he is not really fighting for
an advantage. 43
7 exd4
..

10.tll d2
8.Wxd4 Wxd4

White should have preferred to play


9.tll xd4 i.g7
21
1 O.b2, although 1 O ... tll fd7 is still excellent
for Black. a b c d e f g h

6 ... 0-0!
10 tll fd? 1 l .e3
.
Chapter 3 - Rare Lines 41

I t transpin;s that Black i s not obliged to make In Almeida Saenz - Ruiz Gonzalez, Mexico
an immediate decision about the d5-pawn, but 1 996, White tried the ugly 1 2.Ei:g l ; Black
can temporarily sacrifice it. should simply have replied 1 2... .ig4!N with
the better chances.
7.cxd5
Obviously 7.ctJf3 'IWbG 8.0-0 is another 12 ...ig2 13,gg1 id5 14.YNd3 YNb6
transposition to Chapter 6. Black's develops his initiative with natural
moves.
7...cxd5 8.llJxd5 llJxd5 9.ixd5
15.llJf3 gfd8 16.@fl c5!+
8

:61_; --- -%--1y,m


E A
.ES. . .lL JS V
White was in trouble in Kalinin - Gobet,

7
Thessaloniki (ol) 1 988.

6 ":- "!
, ,

B3) 5.YNa4

:3 .-.
' "-- -% , 8

7
2 "'""mW'
j[Jp Jtl,, , /j'm'-' 65
1 Wn [J
4
a b c d e f g h
3
2
1
9 ...llJc6!
This is an important moment; Black must
make use of his lead in development by playing
actively. Hurrying to regain the pawn is not
so good: 9....ixd4 10 ..ihG! 'IWaSt 1 1 .lt>fl
a b c d e f g h

.ig7 1 2..ixg7 lt>xg7 13 ..ixb7 White ends up This unexpected queen sortie is not as
winning a pawn, and Black's compensation strange as it looks at first sight, and it has been
is questionable, Carnevali - A. Fernandez, employed by such opening experts as Grischuk
Piriapolis 1 987. and Tkachiev. The idea of the move is obvious;
White wants to force Black to clarify the
10.ixc6 situation with the d5-pawn, and after the
White cannot play 1 0.ctJf3? in view of obvious 5 ... dxc4 White will obtain a spatial
1 0 ... ctJ aS 1 1 .'IWbS aG and he loses a piece. superiority in the centre.

10... bxc6 1 1.llJf3 5...llJfd7!?


I also examined l 1 ..ie3. Black has the strong This seems to be an easy way to equalize;
response: 1 1 .. .cS! 1 2.dxcS 'IWaSt 13 ..id2 '1Wxc5 Black's idea is simply to maintain the d5-
14.Ei:cl '1Wf5 White faces a hard time, with so pawn.
much open space for the black bishops.
6.cxd5 llJ b6 7.YNdl
1 1...ih3 12.llJg5 The alternative is:
42 Fianchetto Systems

7.Wb3 cxd5 8.tt:Jc3 tt:J c6 Conclusion


This symmetrical position is pretty harmless,
as shown in the following encounter: Black should not be unduly concerned about
9.e3 the early deviations for White that we have
I also briefly examined other continuations: looked at in this chapter. The best White can
9.l2Jf3 j,g? 1 0.0-0 j,g4 l l .j,e3 j,xf3! expect to achieve is a transposition to the main
l 2.j,xf3 e6 Black has a comfortable game. lines covered in the following chapters, while
9.tt:Jxd5?! tt:J xd4 1 0.Wd3 j,g? White's pieces in some lines, such as B l ) 5.b3 dxc4! 6.bxc4
lack coordination. e5!, Black can even seize the initiative at a very
9 ...j,g? 1 0.l2Jge2 e6 1 1 .0-0 0-0 1 2.Ei:dl early stage.
j,d?=
The position is level, Bocharov - Sturua,
Abu Dhabi 2009.

7...cxd5 s.lt)f3 .ig7 9.0-0 0-0 10.b3 li)c6


1 1..ib2 .if5

12.h3?!
This is already a slight inaccuracy; l 2.e3
would keep the position balanced.

12 ...Wfd? 13.'itih2 .ie4!


Black starts to take over the initiative.

14.li)bd2 iUdS 15.li)eS Le5 1 6.li)xe4 i.xd4


17.i.xd4 dxe4 1 8.Lb6 axb6 19.Wfxd7 xd7
20.Le4 d2;
Black clearly had the better endgame in
Grachev - Khismatullin, Dagomys 20 1 0.
Fianchetto Systems
5.b3

Variation Index
1 .d4 lli f6 2.c4 g6 3.g3 c6 4.llif3 d5 5.b3 i.g7 6.i.g2
6 ...0-0
A) 7.i.b2 44
B) 7.0-0 dxc4 8.bxc4 c5 45
Bl) 9.e3 45
B2) 9.i.b2 b6 10.b3 lli e4 1 1 .e3 lli c6 12.llie5 llid6 47
B21 ) 13.llid2 47
B22) 13.llixc6 48

A) after 1 2.i.xg7 B l ) after 1 1 .11fl'e2 B22) after 1 9.li:lb3

li R R ii
s XaI.i.; J ?B9
R R Bi
1

s 'S)R R
6

4 8R R
3 R RtiJ
8 R R 8 B
I S% 'if= .s
2

a b c d e f g h a b c d e f g h a b c d e f g h
1 2 ... li:le3! l l ... cxd4N 1 9 ...Wb4N
44 Fianchetto Systems

I .d4 tiJf6 2.c4 g6 3.g3 c6 4.tiJf3 d5 5.b3 9 ... e6


This is the line that I recommended for White Black's only sensible idea is to undermine
in Grandmaster Repertoire - J.d4 Volume Two. the white centre as quickly as possible.
Since then, theory has developed considerably,
and Black has found some interesting new 10.tiJc3
ideas. I also analysed:
1 0.lll h4
5 ...i.g7 6.i.g2 This attempt to hold the centre allows Black
White can also play 6.ib2 0-0 7.ig2, which serious counterplay.
is examined in line A. 1 o ... exd5 1 1 .cxd5

.-., ,/.-
E att.
Y.
6...0-0
s
Another possible move order is: 6 ... dxc4 1
7.bxc4 c5 8.ib2 Wb6 9.Wb3 lll e4 1 0.e3 0-0
6
_ J. . .,r
' / ,,
1 1 .0-0 Play has transposed to line B2.
5
White now chooses between A) 7.i.b2 and B) 4
" >.
7.0-0. 3
/
;;
wt/'
-:;,{ '' , % <;(
2 8 8 1.i.1
;- '- -
A) 7.i.b2

White's aim is to avoid problems on the long a b c d e f g h


diagonal, but I have nevertheless found an
1 l .. .g5 ! 1 2.lll f3 lll xd5
interesting counter for Black.
Black may also go for a queen swap:
12 ...Wxd5 1 3.Wxd5 lll xd5 14.ixg7 <>xg7
7...dxc4 8.bxc4 c5!?
1 5 .lll xg5 lll b4 1 6.tll a3 lll 8c6 With his
healthy queenside majoriry, Black cannot be
worse.
1 3.ixg7 <>xg7 1 4.0-0
White has a certain amount of compensation
for the pawn, due to the slightly exposed
black king, but I prefer Black's position.
14 ... h6 1 5 .h4
1 5 .lll xg5 is worse: 1 5 ... tll b4! 1 6.a3 hxg5
1 7.axb4 Wxdl 1 8 .Elxdl cxb4 1 9.Eld4 a5
20.Elxb4 Eld8! White is in trouble.
1 5 ... lll c6 1 6.hxg5 hxg5 1 7.'tlffd2
Regaining the pawn does not solve White's
problems: 17.lll xg5 Wxg5 1 8.Wxd5 (after
1 8 .ixd5? Elh8! it is slightly surprising that
9.d5
Black's attack is already winning) 1 8 ... Wxd5
This is White's only independent try, made
1 9.ixd5 lll b4 20.tll c3 lll x9.5 2 1 .lll xd5
possible by the early development of his queen's
ie6 White will have to fight to draw this
bishop. Otherwise 9.0-0 is just a transposition
endgame.
to B2.
Chapter 4 - 5.b3 45

.
1 7 ...g4 1 8.h4 l2J de7 1 9.Wcl Wd4 20 . '1.J
r:-. C3 This constitutes one of the most cha!!engmg
.
"Ideas against
We5+ the white set-up. There are now
White does not have full compensation for a couple of ways for White to support his
the pawn. cl-pawn: Bl) 9.e3 and B2) 9 ..ib2.

10 ... exd5 l I.flixd5 Bl) 9.e3 llic6 IO .ib2 '1Wb6!


Of course 1 l .cxd5? l2Jxd5 j ust leaves Black


.
with an extra pawn.

1 1 . .. llixd5 12.J.xg?

l l .'1We2

f g h
Other options are:

1 1 .i'fefcl cxd4N
This is an improvementon: 1 1 . ..f5 1 2.l2J bd2
The key move. l2J d7 1 3.l2J b3 l2J b4?! 14.dxc5 xb2 1 5 .Wxb2
l2Jxc5 1 6.l2Jxc5 Wxc5 17.l2Jd4 White had
13.fxe3 'i!?xg? 14.0-0 '1We7i the better chances in Badea Mano Iache,
Ba1.1e Tusnad 2005.
-

Black's superior pawn structure gives him


the better chances.
1 2.l2Jxd4
Black has no problems after 1 2.exd4 f5
B) 7.0-0 dxc4 8.bxc4 c5
1 3.l2Jbd2 l'!ac8.
1 2 ...d?! 13.l2Jd2
1 3.l2Jc3 l'!ac8 looks great for Black, since the
c4-pawn becomes a serious target.


1 3 ... l'!ac8
ite might obtain a slight pull after
.
immediate simplifications: 1 3 ... l2Jxd4
1 4.xd4 We? 1 5 .Wa3 c6 16 . .li!.XC 6 bXC6
'l"i b 1 =
l ? .1=1a +
14.l'!b l Wa6
14 ... Wc?!? 1 5 .c3 l2J xd4 1 6.exd4 b6 also
looks reasonable for Black.
1 5 .c3 l2J xd4 1 6.exd4
46 Fianchetto Systems

Black has a comfortable game after l 6.i.xd4 1 8.i.xf3 d6 Despite the two bishops
i.c6, as he manages to neutralize the pressure providing some compensation, White is
along the h l -a8 diagonal. fighting to equalize.
1 6 ... b5! 14.fel lll e8 Black will continue with ... lll d6
with good play.
1 4 ...i.f5 1 5 .lll b3 lll d7
Black has decent play against the white
pawns.

1 1. .. cxd4N
An important improvement. Black found
himself under pressure after: 1 1 ...lll e4 1 2.lll c 3!
lll xc3 1 3.i.xc3 cxd4 14.exd4 ( 1 4.lll xd4 may
be more accurate) 1 4 ... lll xd4 1 5.i.xd4 i.xd4
1 6.ab l;:!; Kempinski - Dolmatov, Istanbul
2003.

12.exd4
1 I .iWb3 1 2 .lll xd4 is well met by: 1 2 ...i.g4! 13.f3
This has occurred only once, in Maslov i.d7 Provoking f2-f3 significantly reduces the
- Zaper, Kastela 2005. I have found a pressure on the h l -a8 diagonal. 14.lll a3 ac8
convincing continuation for Black: 1 5 .ab l Wa6 1 6.md l fd8 Black has the
1 1 ...lll a5N 1 2.Wxb6 axb6 1 3 .lll b d2 d8! more comfortable position.
This is a very accurate move; the more
natural 1 3 ...i.f5 allows 1 4.d5 e6 1 5 .ac l , 12...g4 13.d5
with a complex game.

1 4.fc l
I also analysed:
14.d5 e6 1 5 .e4 ( 1 5 .dxe6 i.xe6 is clearly
better for Black) 1 5 ... lll xe4 (or 1 5 ... exd5
16.exd5 b5! 1 7.cxb5 xd5!? and Black is at
least equal) 1 6.i.xg7 lll xd2 1 7.i.f6 lll xf3t
14 ..txf3 tlJd4 1 5.hd4 ti'xd4 1 6.tiJd2 tiJd7
Chapter 4 - 5 .b3 47

17.acl lll e_5 The only way to fight for an advantage.


The game is fairly level, for instance:
12... d6
18.fdl ac8 1 9.e4 Wb2! 20.bl Wxe2
21.ixe2 h6=

B2) 9.i.h2 Wb6

1 0.Wb3
a b c d e f g h
B21) 13.lll d2 cxd4
Against 1 0.Wcl Black can equalize with
Black failed to equalize in a recent game:
natural moves: 1 0 ... cxd4 l l .CDxd4 CDc6
1 3 ...ie6 1 4.ixc6! bxc6 1 5 .dxc5 Wxc5 l 6.id4


1 2.CDxc6 (I also examined 1 2.l"ldl id7 1 3.CDa3
Wa5 17.CDxc6 We? 1 8.ixg? Wxg7 1 9 .wc3t
l"lfd8 14.l"lb l Wa6 with equality) 12 ... bxc6
Wg8 20.lD a5 !ck did not have enough for
l 3.CDd2 ie6 ( 1 3 ...if5!? deserves attention) _ Gm P.H. Nielsen, Amsterdam
the pawn m -

14.l"lb l Wa6 1 5 .ia3 l"lfe8 1 6.l"lb3 CD d7 l 7.Wc2


20 1 0.
Goldin - Yandemirov, Elista 1 995. Now the
simple l 7 ... CDe5N 1 8.l"lcl l"lad8 would be fine
14.exd4
for Black.

1 0...lll e4
A popular alternative is 1 0 ... CD fd?, but after
the strong l l . CDc3! White has pressure.

1 1 .e3

ara, Kiskunhalas 1 995, Black can play very


After l l .CDc3 CDxc3 1 2.ixc3 Calotescu _

simply: 1 2 ... cxd4N 1 3 .Wxb6 axb6 1 4.ixd4


(after l 4.lDxd4?! l"la4! White is in trouble)
l4 ... CDcG l 5.ixg7 Wxg7 1 6.l"lfb l l"la6 Black is
even slightly better in the endgame.

1 1...lll c6 12.eS
48 Fianchetto Systems

14...i.e6 A draw was now agreed in Jakovenko -


Here I found the interesting 14 ... lt:l f5!?N, Svidler, Dagomys 20 1 0 , although Black might
after which play may continue: 1 5 .lt:lxc6 bxc6 have played on for a bit.
1 6.Wxb6 axb6 1 7.ixc6 :E'i:a7 Black has sacrificed
a pawn, but his pieces are so active that White 1 8.dxe5 tlJxc4 1 9.tlJxc4 xc4 20.a3
cannot hold onto the extra pawn. 1 8.lt:lf3 lt:l d6 White clearly has compensation for the
1 9.:E'i:fc l :E'i:c7 20.ib5 ie6 2 1 .lll e 5 :E'i:fc8= pawn, but it may still take some effort to secure
the draw.
15.fcl
I checked a couple of other moves: B22) 13.tlJxc6

1 5 .:E'i:fe l lt:lxe5 ( 1 5 ... ixe5 1 6.dxe5 lll f5!? is also


worth considering) 1 6.dxe5 lt:lxc4! The easiest
87
65
route to equality. 1 7.lt:lxc4 ixc4 1 8.Wxc4
Wxb2 1 9.:E'i:ab l 'Wd2 20.:E'i:ed l :E'i:ac8=

1 5 .ixc6 bxc6 1 6.lt:lxc6 (after 1 6.Wxb6 axb6


4
32
17.lt:lxc6 :E'i:fe8+ Black will regain the pawn with
dividends) 1 6 ...Wxc6 1 7.d5 :E'i:fb8! 1 8.dxc6
:E'i:xb3 1 9 .axb3 ixb2 20.:E'i:a6 Wf8 Black has the
better chances.
1 a b c d e f g h

This was my recommendation in


Grandmaster Repertoire - l.d4 Volume Two.

13 ...bxc6 14.dxc5
Taking the pawn by 14.Wxb6 axb6 1 5 .ixc6
is clearly worse for White.

a b c

15 .. J:fcS 16.Wi'xb6
d e f g h

White has tried 1 6.c5, but it's quite harmless:


16 ...ixb3 1 7 .cxb6 ia4! Black keeps everything
under control. 1 8.bxa7 :E'i:xa7 1 9.lt:l dc4 This
was Zhou Weiqi - Ding Liren, Danzhou
20 1 0, now simply 1 9 ... lt:lxe5 20.lt:lxe5 ic2
gives Black the more pleasant position.

16 ...axb6 17.f4 tlJxe5


Chapter 4 - 5 . b3 49

17.i.e4 cxd4 1 8.exd4 i.xd4 l 9.a4 (worse is 1 9 ...b4N


1 9.ltJd2 i.a6 20.Elfe l i.c3!+) 1 9 ... Eld8 20.Ela3 In the game, Black faced real problems after:
i.a6 2 1 .Elcl f5 Black has strong pressure. 19 ...Wa3 20.c5 ltJb5 2 1 .We4!

14 ...xc5 15.hg7 'itixg7 16.etJd2 20.d4t 'itigS 2 1.xa7 etJxc4 22.c5


In my earlier book I stopped at this 22.Wd4 c5 23.Wh4 f6 24.i.h3!? is an
position, considering it slightly favourable for interesting attempt, but Black can maintain
White. However, it was tested at the recent equality: 24 ...i.xh3 25.Elxc4 Wb5 26.Elac l
Olympiad: i.e6 27.Elxc5 Elxc5 28.Elxc5 Wd3=

16...i.e6 17.gfcl 22...f6 23.gc2


A serious alternative is l 7.a4, when Black I have been unable to find any way for White
should react with: 17 ...Elfc8 (after 17 ... ltJxc4 to pose serious problems:
1 8.Elfc l ltJb6 1 9.Elxc5 ltJxa4 20.Elxc6 White
retains some pressure) 1 8.Elfc l Elab8 1 9.ltJ b3 23.i.xc6 Wxc5 24.ltJxc5 i.f7 25.ltJ a6 Elb2
We5 20.Wxa? i.xc4 2 1 .ltJa5 Ela8 (also possible 26.i.a4 Ela8 27.i.b3 Elxa6 28.i.xc4 i.xc4
is 2 1 ...i.d5 22.ltJxc6 i.xc6 23.i.xc6 Elb2 and 29.Elxc4 Elaxa2=
Black has enough compensation for the pawn)
22.ltJxc6 Elxa7 23.ltJxe5 Elxa2 The draw is 23.i.h3 i.xh3 24.Elxc4 'Wxc5 25.ltJxc5 Elb2
obvious. 26.a4 Eld8= (or 26 ...Ela8=)

17...gabS 18.d.3 23 ...xc5 24.etJxc5 etJa3! 25.gc3 gbl t


Black has no problems after: 1 8.Wc3t f6 26.gxbl etJxbl 27.gc2 etJa3 28.gd2 i.c4
1 9.ltJb3 (or 1 9 .Elc2 Elfc8 20.Elacl Wb4=) 29.h4
19 ... Wxc4 20.Wa5 Wb4 2 1 .Wxa? Elb7= Also completely equal is 29.Eld? f7=.

18 ... gfcS 19.etJb3 29... @f7=

87 Conclusion

65
If White opts for 5 .b3, then 7 ... dxc4 8.bxc4 c5
is a challenging way for Black to increase his
pressure down the a l -h8 diagonal, even when

4 White tries to neutralize this pressure with

32
7.i.b2. Throughout this chapter I have faced
the somewhat tricky task of fighting against
my own recommendations from Grandmaster
Repertoire - J.d4 Volume Two. A particular

f
case is B22) 1 3.ltJxc6, which I had assessed as
favourable to White. However, in the light ofmy
a b c d e g h analysis of the recent game Laznicka - Svidler,
This occurred in Laznicka - Svidler, Khanty I now feel that this line is entirely satisfactory
Mansiysk (ol) 20 1 0 , and now I found the for Black.
following improvement:
Fianchetto Systems a b c d e f g h

Rare Seventh Moves

Variation Index
1 .d4 f6 2.c4 g6 3.g3 c6 4..ig2 d5 5.f3 .ig7 6.0-0
6... 0-0
A) 7.a4 51
B) 7. bd2 51
C) 7. c3 dxc4 55
Cl) 8.e4 55
C2) 8.a4 56
C3) 8.e5 57

A) after I 0 i.f4
. B) note to 1 2.b3 C3) note to 9.f4

a b c d e f g h a b c d e f g h
! O ... b6N 1 4 ... a5!N
Chapter 5 - Rare Seventh Moves 51

1 .d4 tlif6 2c4 g6 3.g3 c6 4.i.g2 d5 5.tlif3 8.lt:Ja3?! results in a loss of time: 8 ... tt:J b6 9.Wc2
i.g7 6.0-0 0-0 i.f5 1 o.Wc3 i.e4! With his knight having gone
Black has a serious alternative in 6 ... dxc4, to a3, White is unable to attack this bishop.
but I have always preferred to castle here. 1 l .c5 lt:J6d7 1 2.i.f4 b6 1 3.cxb6 Wxb6 1 4.i.e3

8 .ilf.;.i.
- , ,,,/,_
c5 The opening had clearly turned out in
Black's favour in Grigorian - Sveshnikov,
7 .,y, ' Moscow 1 973.

6 "!"; n
/, , ,
8 tli b6 9.c5 tli6d7 10.i.f4
.

: .f-.
32 ,_, ,/, '
fn fn'J:n
1 lLSDiBim- - -
a b c d e f g h

We shall examine A) 7.W/a4, B) 7.tlibd2


and C) 7.tlic3 in this chapter. Of the other
seventh moves, 7.b3 transposes to the previous
chapter, while 7.Wb3 and 7.cxd5 are covered
in the following two chapters.

A) 7.W/a4

When one of my students mentioned this 1 0 b6N


..

move, I was surprised to discover that it has In Sargissian - Volokitin, Germany 2008,
occurred in almost a hundred games. After Black carried out the natural ... e5 break,
checking all the options, the one I like most but failed to equalize: 1 0 ... :ge8 1 1 .lt:J bd2 e5
is: 1 2.dxe5 tt:Jxe5 13.lt:Jxe5 i.xe5 14.i.xe5 :gxe5
1 5 .e4 dxe4 1 6.Wc3! We? 17.lt:Jxe4 White has
7... tlifd7!? an initiative.
This somewhat resembles the variation with
5.Wa4 tt:J fd7 that we covered as line B3 in 1 1.cxb6 axb6 12.tlic3 tlif6 13.E:acl i.5
Chapter 3. 14.Wlb3 ttJ bd7
The position is unclear.
8.Wlc2 B) 7.tlibd2
The most challenging move. Other options
are: This is not a particularly dangerous system,
but it is quite playable and Black must know
8.cxd5 cxd5 9.lt:Jc3 tt:J b6 1 0.Wd l tt:J c6 1 l .i.f4 exactly how to react.
i.f5 1 2.:gcl :gc8 Blackhad comfortable equality
in Pigusov - Huzman, Sverdlovsk 1 987. 7...i.5
52 Fianchetto Systems

87 ;tx ,J;j!
6 ,,,,,/,m i1f ,,/,m,,
-

5 m m .t m
4 8 4al -
, ,
32 8
, :'//,/,'aPs'
,, ,,,%r00
8 8
1 ,,,,,v= , , ,,
a b c d e f g h

8.b3 This looks slightly unnatural in this line, but


White has several alternatives: it is quite popular and has been played by such
strong players as Timman, Gligoric and Hore.
8.e3 seems to me in the spirit of this line, Black's idea is to provoke the advance of the
but I rather like the black side of chis recent white queenside pawns, and then later obtain
example: 8 ... tll bd7 9.We2 Wa5 1 0.!'i:el !'i:ac8 counterplay against them.
1 1 .a3 Wa6 1 2.h3 c5! Black had easily solved
his opening problems, and soon took over the 1 0.a3
initiative. 1 3 .g4 ie6 1 4.g5?! lll h 5 1 5 .cxd5 A natural response to the black queen sortie,
Wxe2 1 6.!'i:xe2 ixd5+ Kurajica - Efimenko, but there are also some other reasonable
Sarajevo 20 10. options:

8.Wb3 is not uncommon, but after 8 ...Wb6 1 O.e3 tll d7 1 1 .tll xe4
White has a poor version of the Wb3-line (see 1 1 .!'i:e 1 was tried in Shengelia - Kratschmer,
Chapter 6), since the knight is clearly misplaced Oberwart 2005 , and Black now missed
on d2. For example: 9.Wxb6 axb6 1 0.b3 lll e4 the nice: 1 1 ...lll ec5! 1 2.ifl tll d3 1 3.ixd3
(this is fine, but Black could also consider the ixd3 14.e4 e6 1 5 .!'i:e3 dxe4 1 6.lll xe4 ixe4
more active 1 0 ... b5!?) 1 1 .ib2 !'i:d8 1 2.!'i:fdl 1 7.!'i:xe4 !'i:fd8 (or 1 7 ... b5!?) The position is
lll xd2 1 3 .tll xd2 dxc4 14.lll xc4 b5 1 5.tll e3 ie6 level.
1 6.!'i:d2 tll a6 Y2-Y2 Orso - Barczay, Kecskemet 1 l . ..ixe4 1 2.We2 !'i:ad8
1 979.

8 .tll h4 ie6 The bishop is quite well placed on


e6, whereas the white knight is a bit misplaced:
9.b3 a5 1 0.ib2 a4 1 1 .e3 This was Hough -
Khachiyan, Pasadena 2008, and now I like
1 1 ...Wa5N 1 2 .ia3 !'i:e8 1 3 .tll hf3 tll bd7, and
Black may even play ... b5 next.

8 . . c!be4 9.b2 WfaS!?


.
Chapter 5 - Rare Seventh Moves 53

1 3.Ei:fc l
Other moves:
The typical 1 3.ih3 can be met by: 1 3 ...ixf3
14.Wxf3 dxc4 1 5 .bxc4 e5 Black has a very
comfortable game.
1 3.cxd5 Wxd5!? (there is also nothing
wrong with 13 ... cxd5=) 14.Ei:fd l Wh5
1 5 .1"i:d2 1"i:fe8 1 6.Ei:ad l Bolbochan - Darga,
Moscow 1 956. Now the simple 1 6 ... lll b6N
17 .h3 e6 would give Black a very sound
position.
1 3 ...Ei:fe8 1 4.ic3 Wa6 1 3 .lll xe4
This is a nice square for the black queen. 1 3 .lll h4 does not cause Black any problems,
1 5 .ifl dxc4 1 6.bxc4 as he can just reply 1 3 ...ig4.
P. Nikolic - Dorfman, Germany 2003, was 1 3 ...ixe4 1 4.Wd2
agreed drawn here, but play could have 1 4.ic3 Wa6 1 5.lll e5 is more ambitious, but
continued with the simple and strong: Black is still doing fine: 1 5 ... Ei:fd8 1 6.ixe4
1 6 ... e5! dxe4 1 7 .lll xd7 1"i:xd7 1 8 .Wc2 f5 The game is
Black has good play. balanced.
14 ...Wxd2 1 5 .lll xd2 ixg2 1 6.<;tixg2 ig7
1 0.Wel lll xd2 l 1 .Wxd2 Without queens, the position is equal,
Or 1 1 .lll xd2 lll d7 1 2.e4 dxe4 1 3 .lll xe4 Averkin - Gufeld, Moscow 1 969.
Wxe l 1 4.Ei:fxel ixe4 ( 1 4 ... a5!?) 1 5 .Elxe4 e6
1 6.Ei:e2 lll f6 with equality, Byrne - Gligoric, l O... liJd7 1 1 .b4
Lugano 1 970. After 1 1 .Ei:cl I like 1 l ...1"i:fc8!? 1 2.b4 Wd8
1 1 ...Wxd2 1 2.lll xd2 1"i:d8 1 3 .Wb3 Todorcevic - Rodriguez Cespedes,
It is hard to believe that White can fight for Malaga 1 987, and now Black should continue
the advantage without queens. with: 1 3 ... lll df6N 1 4.Ei:fd l a5 (or 14 ... lll xd2
1 3.e3 lll a6 1 4.cxd5 cxd5 1 5 .ia3 1 5.lll xd2 a5) Black gets exactly what he was
Forintos - Soos, Polanica Zdroj 1 968, and wanting, counterplay on the queenside.
now just:
1 5 ... e6!N 1 6.Ei:fc l 1"i:ac8 17 .h3 1 1...'Wds
Or 1 7.lll c4 if8. I prefer this calm retreat to 1 1 ...Wa6, where
1 7 ...if8= the black queen can be a bit vulnerable. Play
may continue: 1 2.Ei:c l ih6 ( 1 2 ... lll b6 1 3 .c5
10.Wcl lll d7 1 1 .Eldl lll a4 14.ial looks dubious for Black) 1 3 .e3
White has also tried 1 1 .lll xe4 ixe4 1 2.ih3, lll xd2 1 4.lll xd2 id3 1 5 .Wb3! ixfl 1 6.ixfl
but after 1 2 ... ixf3! 1 3.exf3 e6 Black has no Wb6 1 7 .cxd5 cxd5 1 8.Wxd5 lll f6 Kir. Georgiev
problems. Indeed, White must be careful to - Ftacnik, Varna 1 987, and after 1 9 .Wg2N
avoid being worse, for example: 14.Wc2 dxc4 1"i:ac8 20.lll c4 White has good compensation
1 5.bxc4 lll b6 16.a4 c5 Black was already for the exchange.
better in Gyorkos - Groszpeter, Zalakaros
2005. 12.'Wb3
1 1 ...ih6 12.e3 Ei:ac8 Other possibilities are:
54 Fianchetto Systems

1 2.:cl b5!? l 3.cxd5 cxd5 1 4.a4 Black starts concrete play on the queenside.
Neither 1 4.l2Je5 l2Jb6 nor 14.l2Jh4 l2J b6 There is a solid alternative in: 1 2 ... l2J df6
1 5.l2Jxf5 gxf5 give Black any problems. 1 3 .Wb3 Wd7 1 4.:fd l ih3 1 5 .cxd5 ixg2
1 6.<;t>xg2 Wxd5 1 7.Wxd5 cxd5 With
equality, Saidy - Gligoric, Los Angeles
1 974.
1 3 .Wb3
White cannot go for: 1 3.a5 Wxb4 1 4.ia3
Wc3!+
1 3 ... c5! 1 4.dxc5 l2Jdxc5 1 5.Wa3 ixb2 1 6.Wxb2
a5 1 7.b5 :fd8=
Black has a very sound position.

h
1 2.c5 It is hard to believe that this is a good
a b c d e f g
idea. As White has released the tension in the
1 4 ... a5!N centre, Black should start play on the queenside:
In this way, Black can even fight for the 1 2 ... b6!N (only 12 ... l2J xd2 has been played
advantage; after 1 4... bxa4 1 5.Wxa4 l2J b6 here) 1 3 .Wcl bxc5 1 4.dxc5 ( 1 4.bxc5 2:%b8
1 6.Wa6 Wd7 Black had equalized in is excellent for Black) 14 ... e5 1 5 .l2Jh4 l2Jxd2
Tseshkovsky - Dvoretsky, Leningrad 1 974. 1 6.Wxd2 ig4 1 7.h3 ie6 (or 17 ...ih5!?) 1 8.f4
1 5 .axb5 exf4 1 9.ixg7 <;t>xg7 20.Wxf4 Wf6 The position
Black obtains real pressure after 1 5 . bxa5 is unclear.
Wxa5 1 6.axb5 Wxb5.
1 5 ... axb4 1 6.Wb3 Wa5! 1 7.Wxd5 l2J b6 12... tll b6
White is even slightly better after: 1 7 ...Wa2?!
1 8.Wb3 Wxb3 1 9.l2Jxb3 2:%a2 20.ial l2J d6
2 1 .lLJfd2 lLJ xb5 22.2:%c4!
1 8.Wb3 Wxb5+
White will have to show some accuracy in
order to hold the balance.

1 2.a4 Wb6!?N

13.cS
This is forced, since 1 3.a4? runs into
13 ... dxc4 14.l2Jxc4 ie6! and White loses
material.

13 ... tll d? 14.a4


Chapter 5 - Rare Seventh Moves 55

White has _also tried: 14J:l:fd 1 lll xd2 1 5 .lll xd2 Taking the c-pawn makes a lot of sense once
Wtc7 l 6.e3 e5 (chis is very natural, but first White has developed his queen's knight to c3;
playing 1 6 .. J'fad8 is also worth considering) regaining the pawn will not be straightforward,
17.dxe5 ixe5 1 8 .e4 dxe4 1 9.lll xe4 ixe4 and moreover ... b5-b4 can be a useful resource
20.ixe4 :1'l:fe8 Black had reached comfortable for Black. White now chooses from Cl) 8.e4,
equality in Ruck - Gonzalez Zamora, Koszeg C2) 8.a4 and C3) 8.lll e S.
1 996.
Cl) 8.e4 bS
14 ... ges 15.gfdl eS
This ensures chat White will not get the pawn
back in the immediate future. In my opinion,
Black has good chances of fighting for the
advantage from this position.

9.gel
Other options are:

9.Wie2
White is aiming to place his rook on d l , but
before he can do so, Black creates concrete
play on the queenside:
9 ... b4 1 0.lll a4

8
:6' - - %-
.1. .t.
Y,
T ar
7

':;
; / ,,,
6 % -- %

;; i ;;!1: [3:i
Qj -':;
4

;,;, ;,, , ;,-q)


t;if!lW<:i!lM0J;JB
-
C) 7. lll c3 dxc4
3
% ,,,
%
2

a b c d e f g h

1 0 ...a5!?N
10 ...ia6 1 1 .lll c5 ib5 has been played in a
couple of games, but I believe that White
could now obtain decent play for the pawn
with: 1 2.a4N bxa3 1 3.:1'l:xa3 c3 14.lll d3 cxb2
1 5.ixb2
1 1 .lll c 5 lll fd7 1 2.xc4
1 2.lll xd7 lll xd7 leaves White without much
compensation.
12 ... lll xc5 1 3 .xc5 xc5 14.dxc5 lll d7
56 Fianchetto Systems

It is clear that it is Black who is fighting for I think that Black is doing very well, for
the advantage. example:

9.e5 ll'i d5 1 0.a4 ( 1 0.ll'ie4 Van Gool - Rendboe, 1 6.'Wc2 l!J f6


Maastricht 20 1 0, is best met with 1 O ... lt:'i a6 Threatening . . .lt:'i g4.
followed by ... i'Nb6) 1 0 ... b4 1 1 .lt:'ie4 a5 1 2.:!"lel
ll'i a6 13.i'Nc2 ll'i b6 14.id2 ie6 1 5.i'Nc l Aleksic 17.if3 ia6 18.l!Jbd2 b8
- Dinic, Nis 1 995. Black should now play Black has excellent compensation.
1 5 ... id5 with a clear edge; he need not fear
1 6.ih6 because 1 6 .. .f5! is a strong reply. C2) 8.a4 l!Ja6!

9... l!Ja6 10.l!Je5 .ib7 1 1.a4 b4 12.l!JblN


An obvious improvement on the game
Bagaturov - Jojua, Izmir 2003: 1 2.ll'i a2? b3
1 3.ll'ic3 ll'i b4 1 4.ll'ixc4 White cannot do much
against the knight coming to c2, so he tries
an exchange sacrifice. 1 4 ... ll'i c2 1 5.ie3 ll'ixal
1 6.i'Nxal lt:'i g4 1 7.e5 ll'ixe3 1 8 .fxe3 Here Black
missed the strong: 1 8 ... iaG!N 1 9.ll'ia3 (or
1 9.ll'id2 ixe5+) 1 9 ... c5!+

12... l!J e8 13.l!Jxc4 .ixd4 14.ih6

9.e4
Other attempts also fall short:

9.a5 ll'id5 1 0.i'Na4 lt:'i db4 1 1 .ll'i a2 Sinanan -


A. Young, Internet 20 10, and here Black can
play, for example: 1 1 ...ll'ixa2 12.2"lxa2 i'Nd5!
l 3.e3 Wb5 1 4.id2 :!"ld8 1 5.ic3 if5 I do not
see any compensation for the pawn.

Here I found an interesting exchange 9.ll'ie5 is well met by: 9 ... ll'i g4! 1 0.f4 ll'ib4
sacrifice. 1 1 .h3 ll'i xe5 1 2.dxe5 i'Nb6t 1 3.'it>h2 a5 1 4.id2
:!"ld8+ Heinatz - Hirn, Germany 1 998.
14...l!Jc5
After 1 4 ... ll'ig7 1 5.lt:'i bd2 ll'i c5 1 6.i'Nc2 White 9.h3 ll'id5 10.e4 has occurred twice, and in
has some compensation for the pawn. both games Black exchanged knights, but I
believe he should prefer: 1 O ... lt:'i db4N l 1 ..ie3
1 5.ixf8 @xf8 ll'i d3 1 2.b3 ie6+
Chapter 5 - Rare Seventh Moves 57

)
\W i i
9 ... llJb4 10.llJeS ie6 8
1 0 ... lll eS!? is also worth considering.
7
1 I.ie3 llJd7 12.f4 llJxe5 13.dxeS YBaS!+
6
--- %8/i, 8.fB'iY,

. r-
Hardie - Spiller, Newport 2004.

C3) 8.llJeS llJg4 3 ,,%,,, %,
, , %-,J
- -- %y,,rn
8 2
J 1 v1w
7 h

6
a b c d e f g

5
14 ...d5N
This allows White to exchange his knight for

4
this bishop, but only at the cost of weakening

3
the d4-pawn.
1 5 .lll c5 Wc8 1 6.e4 e6 17.e3 Ei:d8

2
Black has the advantage.

9 llJa6!

Although 9 ... lll xe5 is more popular, I see


a b c d e f g h no reason for rushing to exchange, as White is
An idea that we have already seen after 9. tLl e5 short of useful moves.
in C2 above.
1 0.e3 llJxeS 1 1.fxeS llJ b4N
9.f4 This is an improvement on: 1 l .. .c5?! This
The main alternative is: move increases the power of White's light
9.lll xg4 xg4 1 0.h3 squared bishop and is rarely a good idea in this
1 0.d5 cxd5 1 1 .Wxd5 Wxd5 12.xd5 lll c6 line. 1 2.b3 cxb3 1 3 .axb3 lll b4 14.a3 White
1 3.xc4 1 3 ... Ei:ac8 1 4.g2 Deutsch - had decent compensation for the pawn in I.
Kwatschewsky, Austria 1 994. White has Schneider - Karpatchev, Bad Woerishofen
managed to regain the pawn, but the price 2009.
has been high, and the black pieces are now
much better coordinated. I believe that 12.b3 ie6 13.llJe4 llJd3
Black could now increase his pressure with: Black retains the better chances.
14 ... Ei:fdSN 1 5.f3 f5 16.b3 lll a5!+
Conclusion
1 0 ...e6 1 1 .e3
White has some compensation, but 1t s Both 7.Wa4 and 7.tll bd2 can be categorized
hardly enough, and I definitely prefer Black. as solid, but not too dangerous, and Black
Here is one example of how play may go: can expect to equalize quite comfortably. By
1 1 ...Wd7 1 2.h2 lll a6 13.a3 contrast, the more aggressive 7.lll c3 offers a
Preventing ... lll b4-d3. pawn sacrifice, which I recommend Black to
1 3 ... lll c7 14. lll e4 accept. Although White gets a certain amount
Vierroth - Mueller, Bad Wildbad 1 998. of compensation in various lines, in none of
Now I like the simple: them is it really enough.
Fianchetto Systems a b c d e f g h

7.b3

Variation Index
1 .d4 li)f6 2.c4 g6 3.g3 c6 4.i.g2 dS s.lt) f3 i.g7 6.0-0 0-0 7.VNb3
7...VNb6

A) 8.cS 59
B) s.VNxb6 59
C) s.lt)c3 ds 60
Cl) 9.cxdS 61
C2) 9.i.f4 61
C3) 9.fNa3 62
C4) 9.dl 63
CS) 9.h3 64
C6) 9.cS 64

A) after 1 4.li:le l ? C3) after 1 1 .WIa3 C6) after l 7.:1'1.a4

. i 'i)i
8 j_
.i. -i
7

4 - ttJ-
5

3 attJJ
2 ;.; Af

a b c d e f g h a b c d e f g h a
q"Iiq"mq
b c d e f g h
1 4 ... b6N l l ... li:la6N 1 7 ... li:lfS!N
Chapter 6 - 7.'Wb3 59

1.d4 llif6 2.c, g6 3.g3 c6 4.J.g2 dS S.llif3


J.g7 6.0-0 0-0 7.b3 87 -,,!-;
,,,,,/, /,, ,,,, ,,,,,
6 !IA!i!i !i
'll im i
Quite a popular line at GM-level.

7...b6

:3 .Af=
%i'/,
2 w
Wf!fi:1:JW
'''''' -ef'''''"%i'ef ''""%i'{0,
1
,,, , = --, ,
, , ,, , . w..t.w
a b c d e f g h

14.lliel?
The closed pawn structure makes the
position fairly drawish, and 14.tt:Jg5 should
allow White to maintain the balance, although
he would still have to play accurately.
a b c d e f g h

This is a thematic response to White's queen 14...b6N


sortie in positions with a Slav pawn structure, This is an improvement on Ernst - I.:Ami,
and it works well for Black here. White's options Groningen 2003, and takes advantage of
are: the premature A) 8.cS, B) 8.xb6 and White's last move; the threat of ...J.a6 poses
C) 8.llic3. serious problems for White, due to the
awkward placement of his minor pieces.
A) 8.cS xb3 9.axb3
15.3 exf3 16.llixf3 bxcS
I have developed a useful 'rule' for this pawn Black is just a pawn up.
structure: if Black manages to stop White's
dangerous idea of b4-b5, then he will have B) 8.xb6 axb6
absolutely no problems.

9... llia6
Stopping White's only idea. Black will now
prepare to advance his e-pawn, which should
give him chances to fight for the initiative.

1 0.llic3 llid7 1 1.a4


After 1 l .e4 dxe4 1 2.tt:Jxe4 Teske - Balinov,
Graz 1 9 96, simplest is the calm 1 2 ... tt:J f6N
13.ltJc3 tt:Jb4 and only Black can be better.

1 1 ... eS 12.e3 llic7 13.J.d2 e4


a b c d e f g h
60 Fianchetto Systems

This is also a premature decision, since Black C) s.tll c3


can use the semi-open a-file to generate play
on the queenside. This natural move is the only way for White to
fight for an advantage.
9.cxd5 tl'lxd5! s... ds
Black is already aspiring to an advantage;
I have always considered 8 ...if5 to be an
he is not satisfied with the more symmetrical
equally playable continuation, but recently
position after 9 ... cxd5.
White has found some new ideas against it.
At the same time White has been struggling
to demonstrate any advantage after the rook
move, hence my choice of it for this book.

White now chooses from a wide range of


approaches: Cl) 9.cxd5, C2) 9.if4, C3)
9.f;Ya3, C4) 9.dl , C5) 9.h3 and C6) 9.cS.

White has also tried:


9.'Wxb6?! axb6 1 0.cxd5
This is quite harmless, since Black can
recapture on d5 with his pieces.
1 0 ... tt:l xd5 1 1 . lil xd5 xd5 !
a b c d e f g h

1 0.e4
I O.lilc3? allows Black good play: 1 O ... tt:lxc3
8

.1.t. P' 0
: , !..i ,,
,,

---
l l .bxc3 ie6 1 2.a3 tt:l d7 1 3 .lild2 b5 1 4.tt:le4
f5 1 5 .tt:lg5 ic4 Black was clearly better in

3 ,'?; % , ef'
Palme - Kraus, Kirchheim 1 947.

I O.id2 c5 (1 O ... b5 l 1 .tt:l c3 tt:l b6 also looks


fine for Black, Lundvik - Eriksson, Sweden
2003) l l .e4 tt:l c7 1 2.ic3 tt:lb5! 1 3.dxc5 tt:l xc3
/flW<7 jflJ; %'JlJ/,;,
2
:m
l 4.tt:lxc3 Ree - Moisieev, Amsterdam 1 967. a b c d e f g h
After the natural 14 ... bxc5N Black would be One of the ideas behind 8 ... d8 . The rook
clearly better. can be very useful on the fifth rank, and
I think that Black already has the better
1 0... tl'l b4 1 1 .tll a3 tll d3 12.tll c4 chances. For example:
We have been following Levitin a- Kasoshvili, 1 2.dl
Naleczow 1 988, and now Black could improve 1 2.e3 d8 13.id2 c5 1 4.ic3 lil c6 1 5 .tt:le5?
her play: This is a serious error, although White's
position was already unpleasant. l 5 ... tt:lxd4!
12 ... tll d7N 1 3.dl tl'lxcl 14.dxcl b5 1 6.exd4 cxd4 1 7.ib4 ixe5 1 8 .ixe7 Kavalek
15.tl'le3 tll b6i - Ogaard, Manila 1 975. Now the simple
Black enjoys a comfortable edge with the 1 8 ... d7N 1 9.ib4 d3 would leave Black
bishop pair. with a clear advantage.
Chapter 6 - 7.1Wb3 61

1 2 ...E!b5! 1 3.e4 e6 1 4.a3 1 6.xc3


This was Rogozenko - Donchev, Debrecen Unfortunately for White, he cannot
1 992, and here Black should play the recapture with the pawn: 1 6.bxc3 ? ctJ c5! White
natural: is in trouble.

8
14 ... ltJ d?+N
Black's queenside pressure gives him the

7
better chances.

6
5
Cl) 9.cxdS '1Wxb3! 10.axb3 tll xdS

4
3
2
1
a b c d e f g h

16...gS!
A multi-purpose move, which really appeals
to me. First of all Black takes control over the
f4-square, preventing White's idea of ctJ d3-f4;
secondly Black is planning ... f5, and so he
It is a clever idea to change the pawn structure vacates the g6-square as a retreat for this bishop
in this way, as White may have problems in the in the event of e3-e4.
future with his b3-pawn.
17.tll d3 i.fS
1 1 .i.gs @8 Black's idea is to play ... e5, so White must
This is more flexible than l 1 ... f6, which react quickly.
blocks the long diagonal and makes the dark
squared bishop passive. 18.tll cS tllxcS 19.xcS i.g6 20.i.c3 e6
21.b4 a6 22.caS
12.fcl Neither side can make any progress in this
White tried 1 2.E!fdl in Greenfeld - Nataf, position, so it is no surprise that a draw was
Albufera 1 999, and here I would recommend: agreed in P.H. Nielsen - Radjabov, Tripoli
12 ... h6N 13.d2 e6 1 4.e3 (after 1 4 .e4?! l2J b4 (2.2) 2004.
White pawns become serious targets) 1 4 ... ctJ a6
The position is balanced. C2) 9.i.f4 dxc4 10.'1Wxc4 i.e6

12 ...i.e6 13.i.d2 h6 Grabbing the b-pawn obviously looks risky,


Defending against White's idea of ctJg5. although I don't see any refutation: 1 O ...Wxb2
l l .ctJg5 (or 1 1 .E!ab l Wa3 1 2.ctJg5 e6 1 3.e4 b5
14.e3 tll d7 1 5.tll e l tllxc3 1 4.Wd3 b4 1 5 .E!b3 Wa6 1 6.Wf3 bxc3 1 7.xb8
A well-timed exchange. c2 and Black seems to be doing well in this
62 Fianchetto Systems

messy posmon, Vachier Lagrave - Svidler, 12 ... tlJb4


Moscow [blitz] 20 1 0) l l . ..e6 1 2.ic? l'l:e8 Recently Black demonstrated another route
1 3.l'l:ab l Wa3 1 4.ixb8 l'l:xb8 1 5 .ixc6 l'l:d8 to equality: 1 2 ... c5 1 3.tll a4 Wb5 14.tll xc5
1 6.ig2 We? Black had a comfortable game in tll xc5 ( 1 4 ... l'l:ac8 may be even stronger)
Fomichenko - Piankov, Rennes 2009. 1 5.dxc5 ( 1 5.Wxc5 Wxe2 1 6.Wxe? tll d5 is good
for Black) l 5 ...l'l:ac8 1 6.l'l:fdl l'l:xdl t 1 7.l'l:xd l
1 1 .ti'd3 tlJ a6 tll d5 1 8.tll d4 ixd4 1 9.l'l:xd4 tll xf4 20.gxf4

8
Wxc5 2 1 .Wxc5 l'l:xc5= Alekseev - Radjabov,
Astrakhan 20 1 0.

7
6
13.ti'a4 lbbd5

5
4
3
2
1
a b c d e f g h

Black continues to activate his minor pieces,


using the slightly misplaced position of the
white queen to help generate counterplay in
the centre.

12.ti'c2
Nor do other moves pose Black any serious
problems: 14 ... tlJxf4 15.gxf4 i.d5
Black can also consider 1 5 ... a5!? with the
12.Wd2 c5! 13.ie5 cxd4 14.ixd4 Wa5 typical idea of ...Wb4.
1 5 .l'l:fdl Maletin - Kapnisis, Plovdiv 2008.
Black should now play: 15 ... tll b4N 1 6.Wf4 1 6.e3 e6=
(after 1 6.Wg5 Wxg5 1 7.tll xg5 tll c2 the Black has an extremely solid position,
complications are in Black's favour) 1 6 ... tll c6 Sargissian - Guseinov, Dubai 2005.
1 7.ie3 tll d 5 1 8 .tll xd5 ixd5 Black has strong
pressure on the queenside.
C3) 9.ti'a3
At first I thought that this move might be
1 2.ie5 c5 1 3 .Wb5 Wxb5 (the immediate worth playing as White, but after delving
l 3 ... tll d 5!? also comes into consideration) deeper into the position I now feel that Black
1 4.tll xb5 ic4 1 5 .tll c3 Maletin - Vokarev, is doing fine here.
Nizhnij Tagil 2007. Black is doing fine, and a
simple continuation is l 5 ... tll d 5 1 6.ixg? 'ttixg7 9 ...dxc4!
1 7.tll xd5 ixd5 1 8 .El:fdl l'l:ac8 with equality. Obviously the most principled continuation.
Chapter 6 - 7.Wb3 63

10.Wfxe7 ge8 1 1.Wfa3 13... llib4 14.Wfb2


I don't see much point in: l l .Wd6 if5 White can force a draw with 14.lt:Ja4 Wfb5
( l L.lt:Ja6!? also comes into consideration) 1 5 .lt:J c3 Wfb6, and that may well be his best
12.Wiff4 Switching to the kingside, but the option.
queen is not well-placed here. 1 2 ... lt:J a6 (also
possible is 1 2 ... lt:J bd7!?) l 3.h3 llJ b4 l 4.g4 14 ...i.5 15.i.f4 llie4
lt:Jbd5 1 5.Wifd2 lt:J e4! 1 6.lt:Jxd5 cxd5 17.Wiff4 We have reached a very complicated position
ie6 Black had a clear positional advantage in which Black is at least equal.
in Burmakin - Midoux, Porto San Giorgio
2006. C4) 9.gdl i.5

s i, J.. i. <t!f Introducing the possibility of ...Wfxb3 followed

7 , ;-!11
- r , by ...ic2. The alternatives are weaker:

6 , , jr !!1.,
!ii. -!ii. !11!!1
9 ... lt:J a6?! runs into 1 0.Wifxb6 axb6 l 1 .lt:J a4!

'!ii !ii
with a clear advantage for White, lnarkiev -
, Svidler, Moscow 2006.

3 li%0m""" uq)' 9 ...Wifxb3 1 0.axb3 if5 1 1 .lt:J e 1 is slightly better

, , , , %:., , ,%f0'i{""
for White.
2 !IdW!J

1
10.lliel
The main attempt to fight for an advantage.
a b c d e f g h Absolutely harmless is: 1 O.Wf xb6 axb6 l l .cxd5
1 1 ... llia6N lt:J xd5 1 2.lt:Jxd5 cxd5 (this is safe, but I prefer
I like this natural developing move, with the combative 1 2 ... gxd5!N when the rook
the idea of jumping to b4. Illetsko - Sanchez may become active on the 5th rank) 1 3 .if4
Rodenas, e-mail 2008, continued l l ...if5 Elc8 1 4.lt:Je5 e6= Jankovic - Muslic, Pula
1 2.Wifa4 Wifa6 and now retreating with 13.Wif d l ! 200 1 .

8
is strong; White intends to play i n the centre,

7
while the black queen is slightly misplaced on
a6.

6
5
12.b3 cxb3
Initially I was tempted by the immediate

4
12 ... lt:J b4, but then I discovered the following

3
idea: 1 3.lt:Ja4 Wifb5 1 4.bxc4 Wfxc4 1 5 .lt:J b6!
axb6 1 6.Wifxa8 I don't think that Black has full
compensation for the exchange.
2
13.axb3 1
13.Wifxb3 is possible, but after 1 3 ... Wifxb3
l 4.axb3 llJ b4 l 5.id2 a5! Black is doing very
a b c d e f g h

well. 10 ...i.e6!
64 Fianchetto Systems

Forcing White to release the tension in the 10 'Wfxb3


..

centre. I am not so convinced by: 1 O ... dxc4 Black can even consider 1 0 ...Wl'a6!?N with
1 1 .Wl'xc4 lCi a6 1 2.e4 It is not clear that Black the idea of undermining the white pawn
has enough counterplay against the white chain with ... b6. After 1 1 .ltJg5 ic8 1 2.if4 h6
centre, Inarkiev - Svidler, Astrakhan 20 1 0. 1 3.4Jf3 ie6 the position is very complicated,
but Black seems to have reasonable chances.
1 1.c5 'Wfxb3 12.axb3 li) bd7
The more typical 1 2 ... 4J a6 was also 1 1.axb3 li)a6
mentioned by Nataf in Chess Informant 79 as a This is the thematic response to White's c4-
decent alternative. c5, but there is nothing wrong with: 1 l ...4Jbd7
1 2.b4 a6 1 3.if4 ltJ e4 Y1-Y1 ). Horvath -
13.b4 a6= Neuman, Aschach 2007.
Black had absolutely no problems in Anic -
Nataf, Vichy 2000. 12.i.f4 li)d7
Black begins to prepare ... e5.
C5) 9.h3
13.g4 f6 14.g5 fxg5 15.li)xg5 i.f7!
This is surely too modest to trouble Black.

8
7
9 i.e6!
..

6
I like this move, which forces White to
clarify the situation in the centre.

5
4
10.c5
Aronian has tried: 1 0.ltJg5 if5 1 1 .Wi'xb6

3
axb6 1 2.cxd5 ltJ xd5! 1 3.e4 (more advisable is

2
1 3.4Jxd5 cxd5 14.g4 ic2 1 5.ie3 ltJ c6 1 6.:!:l:fcl
ia4 1 7.4Jf3 when White is very slightly worse,
but he should be able to hold) 1 3 ... ltJ xc3
14.bxc3 id7 1he weakness of the a-pawn gave
Black the advantage in Aronian - Ivanchuk, a b c d e f g h
Wijk aan Zee 2006.
The position is roughly balanced, but in
Ippolito - Antal, Lubbock 2009, White was
tempted into some incorrect complications:

1 6.li)xf7 @xf7 17.i.xd5t? cxd5 18.c6 li)b4!


19.cxd7 i.xd4
Black is clearly better.

C6) 9.c5

This is the main continuation according to


theory.

9 'Wfxb3 10.axb3 li)a6


..

a b c d e f g h
Chapter 6 - 7.Wfb3 65

As we hav<; already seen, this is a standard 1 2.:B:a3 :B:e8 1 3 .ih3 f5! 1 4.:B:c l e5 1 5 .li'Jxe5
reaction to the advance of the white c-pawn. li'J xe5 l 6.dxe5 This was played in A. Petrosian
- Lamprecht, Germany 1 994, and now there
1 1.J.f4 is no good reason for Black to refrain from the
This is very logical, preventing ... li'Jc7 obvious 1 6 ...ixe5N, giving him the better
followed by ...a6. White has also tried: chances.
1 1 .h3 li'J d7 1 2.if4 :B:e8N
Black is planning ... e5. This is an improvement 1 2.li'Ja4 :B:e8 1 3.:B:fd l e5 Once he carries out
on the rather passive: 1 2 ...li'J f8 13.:B:a4 if5 ... e5, Black can expect to be at least equal.
14.:B:fa l li'Je6 Tregubov - Vorobiov, Moscow 14.li'Jxe5 li'Jxe5 1 5 .dxe5 ixe5 1 6.ixe5 :B:xe5
2004. Here simply 1 5 .ie3N ic2 1 6.:B: l a3 1 7.e3 if5 1 8.:B:d2 li'Jc7 1 9.b4 :B:ae8 20.li'Jc3
would ensure the better chances for White, a6+ Black eventually won in Gagunashvili -
due to the somewhat problematic position Elsness, Novi Sad 2009.
of Black's light-squared bishop.
13.:B:a5 12 ...ge8!
1 3.e4 dxe4 1 4.li'Jxe4 li'Jb4 would give Black This is an important move. It is not so good
good play. to rush with the e-pawn: 12 ... e5?! 1 3.li'Jxe5
1 3 ... e5 14.li'Jxe5 li'Jxe5 1 5 .ixe5 ixe5 1 6.dxe5 li'J xe5 14.ixe5 ixe5 1 5 .dxe5 if5 1 6.:B:a5 !
:B:xe5 1 7.e3 li'Jc7 1 8.b4 a6 ic2 1 7.:B:d4 ixb3 1 8.f4 White had the better
Black has equalized comfortably. chances in Aronian - Svidler, Beersheba 2005.

8
7
13.e4
White fails to prevent ... e5 with l 3.ih3, in

6
view of: 13 ... f5 14.g4 e5!

5 13...dxe4 14.llixe4 lli b4

4
3
2

a b c d e f g h

l I...llid7!
Black prepares the thematic ... e5.

12.gfdl
Other moves:
a b c d e f g h
1 2.e4 is quite risky from a positional point of
view, because White gives up the d5-square I don't believe that Black faces any problems
and his d4-pawn becomes a target; after in this position.
12 ... dxe4 1 3.li'Jxe4 li'J f8 followed by ...if5 ,
Black has the much easier game. 15.J.g5
66 Fianchetto Systems

White has also tried two other moves: We have been following the game Tregubov
- Vachier Lagrave, Paris 2007. Here the
1 5.ltJc3 ltJf6 1 6.ie5 ie6 17.ltJd2 Eled8 computer points out that Black can play the
1 8.ltJc4 tt:Jbd5 1 9.Ela3 h5 20.Eldal a6= Black calm:
is fine, and in fact went on to win in Bocharov
- Kamsky, Khanty-Mansiysk 2005. 17... tlifS!N 1 8 ..ic3
It transpires that Black need not be afraid of
1 5 .id2 ltJd5 1 6.ltJc3 ltJ7f6 17.ltJe5 ie6 1 8.Elc l , as 1 8 ...if5! 1 9.ltJc3 ltJe6 20.g4 id3
1 8.ltJc4 Eled8 l 9.ltJe2 ltJe8 20.ltJa5 Eld7 The 2 I .ie3 f5! gives him a strong initiative.
position is about equal, Sakaev - Svidler,
Russia 2007. 1 8 ....if5
Black has an excellent game, thanks to the
15 ...h6 following line:
l 5 ... tt:J f6!? is worth considering.
19.tlih4 .ie6 20.tlid2 ged8 21.tlihf3 .if5
1 6..idl tlic2!? Black has the better chances.
There is nothing wrong with the natural
1 6 ... tt:Jd5. Conclusion

17Ja4 We have looked at a wide variety of options


for White on his 8th and 9th moves, but have
found little to trouble Black. I would just like
to draw the reader's attention to an important
theme that features in several of the lines in
this chapter. When White advances c4-c5,
Black almost invariably reacts by exchanging
queens, playing ... tt:J a6 to restrain the white
b-pawn, and then preparing ... e5; this should
secure him at least equal chances, even after
losing a tempo with ... Eld8-e8.
Fianchetto Systems a b c d e f g h

White exchanges on d5

Variation Index
1 .d4 lDf6 2.c4 g6 3.g3
3 ... c6

A) 4.lDf3 68
B) 4.g2 dS 69
Bl) S.lDf3 69
B2) S.cxdS cxdS 70
B2 1) 6.lDc3 g7 70
B21 1) 7.lDh3 70
B21 2) 7.e3 71
B22) 6.lDf3 g7 72
B221 ) 7.lDc3 72
B222) 7.lDeS lDe4 74
B222 1) 8.0-0 74
B2222) 8.lDd2 77
B223) 7.0-0 0-0 78
B223 1 ) 8.lDc3 78
B2232) 8.lDeS 82
B I ) no re ro 8. b3 B222 l) nore ro l 5.e5 B2232) afrer 1 2.e3

a b c d e f g h a b c d e f g h

20 ... h5!N 1 2 ... f6N


68 Fianchetto Systems

I.d4 lll f6 2.c4 g6 3.g3 c6 8.li:lxd7 ixd7 9.ig2 e6 1 0.0-0 0-0 Despite
In this chapter we shall be concentrating on the rarity of Black's 7th move, this position has
the lines in which White exchanges pawns on occurred nearly a hundred times in practice,
d5. White has a wide range of move orders via many other move orders. I cannot see any
at his disposal, and Black must often react idea that offers White chances of an advantage.
precisely in order to avoid finding himself in I like the following illustrative example: l l .b3
an undesirable variation. Here White chooses li:l c6 1 2.e3 Wa5 1 3.id2 Wa6 14 . .8'.el .8'.fc8
between A) 4.lll f3 and B) 4 ..ig2. 1 5.ifl Wa3 The position was pretty level in
Izoria - Ivanchuk, Yerevan 2004.
A) 4.lll f3
8.li:lxd 5 Wa5t! 9.li:lc3 li:l xe5 1 0.dxe5 ixe5
This will often transpose into B, but we shall l l .id2
look at some lines where White delays the Black has no problems after l l .ig2 0-0
development of his king's bishop. 1 2.0-0 li:l c6.
l l . ..id7!?
4... d5 5.cxd5 cxd5 6.lll c3 .ig7 7.lll e 5 An interesting idea; the bishop is heading
7.ig2 li:le4 is line B22 1 below. for c6, which will force the exchange of the
light-squared bishops. There is also nothing
7... lll fd7! wrong with l l ...li:l c6 1 2.ig2 0-0. Here I
I find it surprising that this move has been examined a nice variation: 13.li:ld5 ( 1 3.0-0
played only five times, as I think that it is a good .8'.d8 even looks better for Black) 1 3 ... Wd8
way to avoid the variations arising after 7 ... 0-0 1 4.ih6 E'.e8 1 5.Wd2 li:l d4 1 6.o-o ih3!
8 .ig2 e6 9.0-0 li:l fd7 1 0.f4 etc. Although Black equalizes comfortably.
Black is solidly placed in this well-known line, 1 2.ig2 ic6 1 3.li:ld5 Wd8 14.if4 ixf4
I am personally not too keen on his prospects, 1 5 .li:l xf4 Wa5t 16.Wd2 Wxd2t 17.Wxd2 ixg2
and so I have designed the repertoire to avoid 1 8 .li:lxg2 li:l c6
this possibility. The position is absolutely equal. A draw was
agreed in Bocharov - Roiz, Dagomys 2008.

8 ...lll xe5!
This was played in Sebenik - Bosiocic,
Austria 20 1 0. Previously Black had tried:
8 ... e6 9.ig2 li:l c6 1 0.0-0 Wb6 1 l .e3 0-0 Play
has transposed into the theoretical line that
we are trying to avoid, Drasko - Kozul, Zadar
2005.

9.fxe5
After 9.dxe5 d4 1 0.li:le4 0-0 1 l .ig2 li:l c6
1 2.0-0 Wb6 (or 1 2 . . .if5!?) Black is certainly
a b c d e f g h well in the game, and may even be better.
8.f4
This looks the most challenging. Other 9 ....ie6 IO..ig2 0-0
options are clearly not dangerous for Black: 1 0 . . . li:l c6? is premature, in view of l l .e4!.
Chapter 7 - White exchanges on dS 69

With this move White is generally planning


to exchange pawns in the near future, having
somewhat limited Black's options. The
immediate 6.cxdS cxdS is line B22.

6 ... e4!
We have to pay attention to White's move
order. For example, the natural 6 ... 0-0 would
allow 7.cxd5 cxd5 8.c3 - the variation we are
aiming to avoid.

7.0-0 0-0 8.'1Wb3


Usual here is 8.cxd5 cxd5 , leading into B222.
We shall look at a few other options:

8.c3
Quite a risky approach.
8 ... xc3 9.bxc3 .ixe5! 1 0.dxeS dxc4
White's bishop pair is not very active, and
1 1...c6 Black's position remains quite solid.
We have transposed to B2232 at the end of 1 1 Y!ic2
the chapter. Black is happy to go into an endgame:
1 1 ..ih6 Wxd l 12.l"lfxd l l"\e8+
B) 4.g2 dS 1 1 ...Wc7 12 ..ih6 l"ld8 1 3.f4

a b c d e f g h
This was Fier - Achutti, Florianopolis 1 999.
a b c d e f g h Black should have continued:
1 3 ... lll a6!N
The main continuation is the exchange of
White's play does not look fast enough.
pawns now, but we shall also look at what
14.h3
happens if White improves his king's knight
Or 1 4.l"\adl l"lxd l 1 5.l"lxdl lll c5 1 6.h3
first: Bl) 5.f3 or B2) 5.cxdS.
.if5! 1 7.e4 .id7+ and the d3-square is
significant.
Bl) 5.f3 i.g7 6.eS
70 Fianchetto Systems

14 ... Wb6t 1 5 .h2 We3! 12 ...l'ilxeS 13.dxeS


It is not clear how White will create play, and 1 3.fXe5 lll f5 1 4.e3 l"lc8 is also fine for
meanwhile he is a pawn down. Black; he may be able to play ... c5 in suitable
circumstances.
8.b3 tt:J d7 9.j,b2 (after 9.tt:Jxd7 j,xd7 1 0.j,b2
j,e6 Black has comfortable play) 9 ... tt:Jxe5! 13 b6t 14.<i>hl l'ilf5!

1 0.dxe5 j,e6 l 1 .Wd3 f5 1 2.exf6 ( 1 2.cxd5 Black had the better game in lnarkiev -
Wxd5 1 3 .Wxd5 j,xd5 leads to a balanced Bosiocic, Rijeka 20 10.
position) 1 2... tt:Jxf6 1 3.cxd5 j,xd5 Black's
activity compensates for his slightly damaged B2) 5.cxdS cxdS

8
pawn structure. 1 4.j,xd5t Wxd5 1 5.Wxd5t

7
tt:Jxd5 1 6.j,xg7 xg7 17.lt:Jd2 lt:J c3 1 8.g2
l"lf6 Black had no problems in Znamenacek -

6
Dolezal, Czech Republic 2008.

5
8 dxc4!

4
..

A well-timed operation.

3
2
1
a b c d e f g h

White may develop either knight: B21)


6.l'ilc3 or B22) 6.l'ilf3.

B21) 6.lilc3 i.g7

Usual now is 7.lt:Jf3 (see B22 1 ) , but I will also


examine two minor ideas, B21 1) 7.lilh3 and
B212) 7.e3.

B21 1) 7.lilh3

9 l'ild6 1 0.l'il eS
.

A critical try is: 1 O.lt:Jxd6 exd6 l l .d5


Otherwise Black will play ... d5 with equality.
l l .. .c5 1 2.lt:Jc3 lt:J d7 Black has a good Benoni,
as he has managed to exchange a pair of
knights.

IO i.e6 l l .c2 l'il d7 12.f4


..

Safer is 1 2. ttJ xd7, but Black has a pleasant


game after 1 2 ...j,xd7 13.l"ldl Wb6.
Chapter 7 - White exchanges on d5 71

7...ixh3!? 10.b3
I like this decision; with his light-squared Or: 1 0.t2Jf4 e6 1 1 .b3 ia6 1 2.el Wd7 (also
bishop exchanged, Black can develop his quite good is 12 ...We? 1 3.ib2 ac8 14.Wd2
other pieces very naturally. Black can also fd8 1 5 .ac l l2Je8 1 6.t2Jd3 t2Jd6 1 7.ia3
play: 7 ... t2Jc6 8.t2Jf4 e6 9.0-0 0-0 1 0.e3 b6 Wb7= and neither side can make real progress,
1 1 .b3 (or 1 1 .id2 ib7 1 2.Wa4 We? 1 3.fcl Pachman - Taimanov, Moscow 1 9 56) 1 3 .ia3
fc8 1 4.ie l a6 with an equal game, Jirovsky fd8 14.cl ac8 1 5 .h4 We8 1he position is
- Neuman, Klatovy 200 1) 1 1 .. .ia6 1 2.el level, Cekro - Kozul, Zlatibor 1 989.
c8 13.ia3 e8 14.c l = Stahlberg - Flohr,
Kemeri 1 937. 10 ia6
.

8.ixh3 llJc6 9.0-0 0-0 10.e3 e6

8 .
1 'm m
6 ...J :
rr
/ /..... ;
:3 -
2 /fl;J!l0:Yf/J
OmJomJl
1 ii M
a b c d e f g h

I remember that during the game I felt this 1 Lia3 :Se8 12.'!Wd2
position was very easy for Black to play. More accurate is: 1 2.cl c8 1 3.e 1 e6 1he
play is much the same as we saw after 1 0.t2Jf4,
1 Lig2 llJd7 12.b3 a6 13.ia3 :Se8 14.:Scl and the position is clearly balanced.
:Sc8 15.'!Wd2 '!Wa5 16.id6 llJa7!?
16 ...if8 is good enough as well. 12... e5!?
This leads to a more interesting game,
17.llJbl
although of course there was nothing wrong
The tempting 1 7.b4 is a bit dubious, since
with 1 2 ... e6.
after 17 ...Wd8 Black can easily get his knight
to the c4-square.
13.dxe5 llJxe5 14.:Sfdl?
This is the wrong rook, as it leaves the f2-
17 xd2 1 8.llJxd2 llJb5 19.ib4 if'S
Y2-Y2 Fridman - Avrukh, Germany 2008.
pawn inadequately defended. White should
..

play: 14.ad l Wd7! (also interesting is


B212) 7.e3 0-0 8.llJge2 llJc6 9.0-0 b6 14 ...Wc8!? as recommended in the annotations
in ChessBase) 1 5 .Wc2 ac8 1 6.Wb l Wf5 (this
By developing his bishop to a6, Black will is simpler than 1 6 ... Wg4 1 7.h3 t2Jf3t 1 8.'it>hl
secure equal chances in a complex game. Wh5 1 9.t2Jf4 Wh6 20.t2Jcxd5 ixfl 2 1 .t2Jxf6t
72 Fianchetto Systems

i.xf6 22.i.xfl , when White has definite B221) 7.c3 e4!


compensation for the exchange) 17.xf5 gxf5
1 8.Ei:d2 tt:'ie4 1 9.tt:'ixe4 dxe4 20.Ei:fdl i.xe2 This is essential, as 7 ... 0-0 8.tt:'ie5 once again
2 l .Ei:xe2 Ei:ed8= Black has no problems. leads to the line that we wish to avoid.

8 8

7 7

6 6

5 5

4 4

3 3

2 2

1
a b c d e f g h a b c d e f g h

14 ... d.3! 1 5.c2 xfl! 1 6.@xfl g4t 8.b3


17.@gl xe3 18.Wd2 xg2! 1 9.@xg2 d4! The main continuation is 8.0-0 0-0, which
Black's attack is decisive. will be examined in B223 1 .

20.xd4 b7t 21.@fl Wd7 A rarer alternative is 8.tt:'ixe4 dxe4 9.tt:'ie5 and
White decided it was time to call it a day in here, since the players haven't castled, Black
R. Byrne - Fischer, New York 1 963. can go for 9 ...i.xe5 1 0.dxe5 xd l t 1 1 .<;tixdl
i.f5. With his king on d l , White seems unable
B22) 6.f3 g7 to pose Black any problems. For example:
1 2.g4 i.xg4 13.i.xe4 after 13 ... tt:'ic6 1 4.i.xc6t
bxc6 1 5 .f3 0-0-0t 1 6.<;tiel i.e6 1 7.i.e3 <;tib7
1 8. <;tif2 Ei:d5 1 9.Ei:hcl Ei:hd8 The game is
absolutely equal, Maherramzade - Sideif Sade,
Baku 1 997.

8 ... xc3 9.bxc3 0-0!


This is most accurate, since 9 ... tt:'ic6 runs
into 1 0.tt:'id2 e6 1 l .i.a3, as was seen in the
well-known game Karpov - Gelfand, Sanghi
Nagar (2) 1 995.

10.0-0
Another option is: 1 O.tt:'id2 e6 1 1 .e4 tt:'ic6
1 2.exd5 ( 1 2.0-0 transposes to the main line)
1 2 ... tt:'ia5 1 3.b4 exd5 1 4.0-0 b6
Chapter 7 - White exchanges on d5 73

0,I.i.
( .% i"
8 i. With 1 3.e3 ?! White is probably hoping to

i

7
6
%. % % -.
carry out the c3-c4 advance, but Black is
in time to prevent it: 1 3 ... 'll a5 14.Wb l
b6 1 5 .el ia6 1 6.e4 dxe4 17.'ll xe4 'll c4
If . % :
r ', r
s 1 8.icl c8 Black has the better chances,
4 Ni.%i'9,l efits% %i'9,J''0 Graf - Krasenkow, Sanxenxo 2004
%
/

1 3 ... 'll a5 1 4.Wc2


!m Jr
' ' W;:ef'' ' ' .. ,,%;z,i{ ''''
Other queen moves are possible, but they
don't change the character of the game.
a,, .: 1 4 ... b6 1 5 .fe l
a b c d e f g h 1 5 .ib4 'll c6 1 6.ia3 ib7 (Black can of
Black has absolutely no problems, for course repeat moves with 1 6 ... 'll a5) 1 7.'ll b3?!
instance: 1 5.e l (or 1 5 .ib2 ia6 1 6.me l dxe4 1 8.ixe4 We? Black was slightly better
c8= Sergejev - Glek, Internet 2000) l 5 . . .ie6 in Timofeeva - Duer, Wattens 1 995.
1 6.'ll f3 c8 l 7.ig5 We? 1 8 .acl fe8 The 15 ...ib? 1 6.e5 c8 1 7.Wd3
position was balanced in Galego - Movsziszian, This was Nambiar - Rey, San Francisco
Can Picafort 2008. 2002, and now I like:
1 7 . . .Wd?
10... lii c6 I 1 .lii d2 Black will play ...Wa4 next, with a nice
This is the main move. The alternatives are position.
harmless, for example: l Lif4 'll a5 1 2.Wb4 b6
1 3.'ll d2 ib7 14.e4 dxe4 1 5 .'ll xe4 c8 1 6.fel 12...ltia5 13.b4
e8 I already prefer Black, with the white c After 1 3.Wc2 Black as always continues:
and cl-pawns providing permanent targets, 1 3 ... b6 14.el ( 1 4. ia3 e8 transposes to the
Samsonkin - Zilberstein, Edmonton 2009. previous note) 1 4 ...ib? ( 1 4 . . .ia6? is careless;
after 1 5 .exd5 exd5 l 6.ia3 e8 1 7 .xe8t Wxe8
1 1 ...e6 l 8.ixd5 White is just a pawn up, Aramil -
Langreck, Kokomo 2000) l 5 .e5 c8 Black has

8
a good game.

7
8
6
7
5
6
4
5
3
4
2
3

2
a b c d e f g h

12.e4 a b c d e f g h
Quite similar is:
12.ia3 e8 1 3 .e4 13...b6 I 4.exd5 exd5
74 Fianchetto Systems

We have reached an equal position that we


saw in the note to White's 1 0th move above.

B222) 7.tLle5 tLl e4!

Once again we avoid the variation arising after


7 ... 0-0 8.ttJc3 e6.

7 a b c d e f g h

6 l l .1Wb3

5
Other moves:
a) l l .f3 i.f5 1 2.i.e3 ttJd7 13.f4 lll f6 (there is
4 also nothing wrong with 13 ... ttJxe5 14 .dxe5
3
e6) 14.1Wb3 1Wb6 1 5 .::fc l Gross - Ungr,

2
Plzen 2000. Now the natural 1 5 ...::fc8N
1 6.::c5 1Wxb3 1 7.axb3 a6 would lead to an
1 equal game.
b) l l .i.xe4 dxe4 1 2.1Wb3 ttJc6 13.ttJxc6 bxc6
a b c d e f g h transposes to the line with l l .1Wb3.
White now chooses between B2221) 8.0-0 l l .. .ttJc6
and B2222) 8.tiJd2. Black could try: l l . ..i.xg2 1 2.c;t>xg2 i.xe5
1 3.dxe5 (not 1 3.1Wxb7? i.g7 14.1Wxa8 1Wd7!
B2221) 8.0-0 0-0 9.tLlc3 and White is defenceless against the threat of
... lt:l c6) 1 3 ...1Wd7 1 4.::d l ::d8 1 5.i.f4 ttJc6
Black is also doing okay against the The position is double-edged. However, if
alternatives: he wishes White can avoid this possibility by
using the move order l l .i.e4 dxe4 1 2.1Wb3.
9 .f3 is hardly a serious try for an advantage: 1 2.ttJxc6 bxc6 1 3.i.xe4 dxe4 1 4.::dl
9 ... lll d6 1 0.ttJc3 e6 l l .f4 f6 1 2.ttJd3 ttJ c6 Weaker is 1 4.e3?! ::b8 1 5.1Wc2 1Wd5 1 6.::dl
1 3.e3 ::f7 l 4.a4 b6 Black had comfortable ::fc8! and the coming ... c5 will give Black the
equality in Johannessen - Schandorff, Roskilde advantage, Sunye Neto - Illescas Cordoba,
1 998. Linares 1 994.
1 4 ... ::b8 1 5 .1Wc4?!
9. lt:J d2 i.f5 Better is 1 5.1Wc2 1Wd5 1 6.i.e3 ::fc8 1 7.b3 e6
Black does not achieve equality with: 1 8.::acl a5 with balanced play.
9 ... lt:lxd2 1 0.i.xd2 ttJ d7 (or 1 0 ... lt:l c6 1 5 ...1Wd7
l 1 .ttJxc6 bxc6 12.i.b4 Kasparov - Howell, 1 5 ... 1Wd5 is also good.
London [simul] 1 998) l 1 .i.c3! 1 6.b3 ::b5 l 7.e3?
1 0.ttJxe4 17 .i.e3 was necessary, although after
1 0.ttJ df3 1Wb6! is good for Black, Kr. l 7 ... ::d5 Black is doing quite well.
Georgiev - Donchev, Prague 1 995. l 7 ... ::h5!
1 0 ...i.xe4 Suddenly ... 1Wh3 is a serious threat.
Chapter 7 - White exchanges on d5 75

1 8.fl l"i:d8 19.a3 l"i:d5 20.l"i:acl e5 1 1 .llixc6


Black was better in Zhidkov - Vorobiov, This leads to a symmetrical and level
Moscow 1 999. position, but other moves do not offer White
any advantage either:
9... llixc3
This is the easiest route to equality. More
l 1 .ctJ d3 tli a5 12.h4 b6 1 3.h5 a6 1 4.hxg6
complicated, but also good enough is: 9 ...f5
hxg6 1 5 .g5 Gutman - Hort, Germany 1 984.
10.b3 tlic6 1 1 .l"i:d l ( 1 1 .xd5 ctJxc3 1 2.bxd
After the natural improvement 15 ...l"i:c8N
xd5 1 3.xd5 tlixe5 1 4.dxe5 xe5= Benko -
1 6.l"i:c l d7 Black enjoys the better chances,
Fischer, New York 1 962)
thanks to his superior pawn structure.

.i ;, Ei
, lfiY,Wffi i
8

1 1 .f4 tli a5 (also worth considering is 1 l .. .e6!?)

6 , ,%
u'!iu , , %u,,7,
7 1 2.e4 (after 1 2.a4 Mascaro March - Gaya
Llodra, Palma de Mallorca 2008, the typical
,

lml. 12 ... b6N followed by ...b7 and ...l"i:c8,

4 u .u
3 Im, , , %
would give Black the more pleasant game)

, ,,7
1 2 ...dxe4 1 3.xe4 Nemeth - Juhasz, Hungary

2 W
/!lW; j ,JJW,"
w!lJ;JlJ 1 998. Now Black should play: 1 3 ...e6N

1 4.a3 (Black needn't worry about 14.f5 xf5


, ,

1 .s. 1 5 .xf5 xe5!+) 1 4 ...l"i:c8+ I do not see any


a b c d e f g h compensation for White's weakened pawn
structure.
This recently occurred in the high-level game
Mamedyarov - lvanchuk, Nalchik 2009, and
1 1. ..bxc6
Black missed the well-known blow: 1 1 ... tlixd4!
1 2.l"i:xd4 ctJxc3 1 3.bxd xe5 1 4.l"i:xd5
c7 White must play carefully to hold the
balance. 1 5 .h6 e6 1 6.xf8 l"i:xf8 1 7.l"i:cl
xd5 1 8 .xd5 b6 1 9 .c4 Y2-Y2 Kholmov -
Liberzon, Sukhumi 1 99 1 ; the final position is
still slightly more pleasant for Black.

10.bxc3 llic6
76 Fianchetto Systems

1 3 .ia3 1 5 .h4 ic4 1 6.e5


1 3.e4 ia6 1 4.l"i:e l e6 1 5 .if4 id3! This is an White decides to block the centre anyway.
important resource. 1 6.id6 ( 1 6.l"i:ad l dxe4 He is probably right to avoid 1 6.h5 e5!? with
1 7.ixe4 ixe4 1 8.l"i:xe4 l"i:fd8 also leads to good play for Black.
equality) A draw was agreed here in Schmidt 1 6 ... l"i:bs 1 7.Wd2
- Averbakh, Polanica Zdroj 1 975, and Or: 1 7.h5 Wg5! A good square for the queen.
indeed after 16 ... l"i:fdS 1 7 .e5 ifs 1 S .ixf8 1 8.if3 (after 1 S .hxg6 hxg6 1 9.ifl ixfl
l"i:xfS 1 9.ifl ixfl 20.Wxfl l"i:fbS Black has 20.l"i:xfl ifS! Black may even have an edge,
absolutely no problems. as he can play for ... c5) l S ...ifS 19.ic l
1 3 ...Wa6! WdS Vz-1/z Csom - Tampa, Hungary 1 974.

.i .t. B
I think that in the final position Black stands

;<. ;<-, v, '


s
better; he will meet 20.hxg6 with 20 ... fxg6!.
7 1 7 ...ifS
6 , , %.-
Wii ,
5
j
4 if w
;;
3 .
88 -

2
a b
m
c d e f g h

14.Wxa6 ixa6
The position is very drawish.
a b c d e f g h
1 5 .l"i:fb 1
Or 1 5 .l"i:fe1 l"i:feS 1 6.ic5 e6 1 7.l"i:ab 1 ifs This is a key positional idea; after trading
1 S.ixfS 1/2-1/2 Marin - Fressinet, Eforie dark-squared bishops Black will have chances
Nord 2009. to penetrate on the queenside.
15 ... ixe2 1 6.ixe7 l"i:fbS! 1 S .ixfS l"i:xfS 1 9 .ifl
16 ... l"i:feS 1 7.l"i:b7 leads to some pressure for After the natural 1 9.h5 Black can respond
White. in an interesting manner: 1 9 ... gxh5! 20.Wh6
1 7.id6 l"i:xb l t l S.l"i:xbl ib5 1 9.ifl a6 20.f3 id3 2 1 .Wxh5 ig6 Having managed to
ifS 2 1 .ixfS WxfS stabilize his kingside, Black can play on the
l/z-1/2 Vaisser - Nataf, Pau 200S. queenside with ...Wa5, ... c5 etc.
1 9 ...ixfl 20.Wxfl
1 2.e4 ia6 (12 ...ie6 is also reasonable) 1 3.l"i:el
Wa5 14.id2 e6 1 5.c4 Wb6 1 6.c5 (I think
White should have been satisfied with equality
after 1 6.exd5 ixd4 1 7.ie3 ixe3 1 S.l"i:xe3 cxd5
l 9.cxd5 l"i:adS) 1 6...Wb2 1 7.ie3 Issing - Voigt,
Germany 1 999. After 1 7... l"i:fbSN 1 S.exd5 exd5
Black has slightly the better chances.

12 ... .ta6 13Jel ges 14.e4 e6 1 5.e5


White has also tried:
Chapter 7 - White exchanges on d5 77

20 ... hS!N 1 2. iiixd2 and now there is an unexpected idea:


This gives Black a good game. It is a logical 1 2 ... g5! 1 3.ixg5 lll b6! The threat of .. .f6 is
improvement on 20 ... c5 2 1 .h5, which allowed very strong.
White attacking chances in Tregubov -
Yandemirov, Maikop 1 998. 9 ... Wi'xd7 10.Cll xe4 dxe4

1s ...iffi 16.ixfs @xf'8 17.h4 Wg7!?


18.gbl
8 ; ,Ji
1
6 ,
- r ' ' ,
,,, , %0%;/,0% ,,, , %0, ,
Black is not afraid of l 8.h5 in view of
1 8 ... g5!.
%
18...Wi'e7 19.ifl Lf1 20.gxfl geb8
21 .Wi'd2 gb6 22.gb3 gab8 23.gfbl h5=
:3 ..!. ,% .
0,,, , 0 wr
Ragger - Miroshnichenko, Austria 20 1 0 .

B2222) 8.Cll d2
21
.,%-tu '= , , %
,,, ,,
a b c d e f g h

1 1.ie3
I also checked:
l l .ixe4 xd4
This is stronger than: l l ...ixd4 1 2.0-0 0-0
13.ig5 .E!d8 1 4.c2 White preserved some
pressure in Pearce - Zuev, e-mail 2008
1 2.'&xd4 ixd4 1 3.0-0

a b c d e f g h

8 ...lll d7!
In my opinion this is the most accurate move.
I am not satisfied with Black's other options:

8 ... lll xd2 9.ixd2 lll d7 Here nobody has tried


1 O.ic3, which seems to me to promise White
some pressure.
a b c d e f g h
8 ..if5 runs into 9.lll xe4 ixe4 1 0.ixe4 dxe4
1 3 ...ih3!N
.

1 1 .b3 and the double attack on b7 and f7 is


This is an important improvement. After
most unpleasant.
1 3 ... 0-0 14 . .E!dl if6 Schandorff - Sulypa,
9.Cllxd7 Esbjerg 2004, the correct l 5 .if4 would
I also examined 9.lll xe4 dxe4 1 0.if4, but be unpleasant for Black. For example:
here Black has 10 ...'&a5t l l .'&d2 '&xd2t 1 5 ...ixb2 1 6 . .E!ab l if6 17.ixb? ixb7
78 Fianchetto Systems

8
1 8.E!:xb7 Black is doomed to a passive

7
defence.
1 4.J.xb7
1 4.E!:dl 0-0-0! 1 5 .id2 ie5 is level. 6

5
14 ...J.xfl 1 5 .ixa8 ixe2 1 6.J.c6t 'it>d8 1 7.if4
e5
4

3
Black doesn't have any problems.

1 1 . ..WfdS 12.Wfa4t J.d7 13.Wfa3 i.c6


1 4.0-0 2

1
s
1
-
i
r% ,JI
,, , % .( , , ,,

a b c d e f g h

llll llll llllll


9.llJxe4
6 The most challenging continuation. Other

ll.llA, f. ll
options are:

:3 ,%, , , w

9.tll e5 transposes to line B222 1 .

ii/,, , !{, , % . , %,, ,


00 0%
2
,
iiw1
9.Wfb3 tll xc3 1 0.bxc3 tll c6 was examined in

n
B22 1 .
1
9 .tll d2 tll xd2
a b c d e f g h
This is simplest. After 9 ... tll xc3 1 0.bxc3 lll c6
14...Wfe6N l 1 .e4 White can fight for an advantage.
This is simplest. Keene - Eichhorn, Ybbs 1 0.Wfxd2
1 968, saw: 14 ... 0-0 1 5.Wfxe7 ixd4 1 6.ixe4! White can also recapture with the bishop:
Wfxe4 1 7.Wfxe4 ixe4 1 8.ixd4 Black eventually 1 0.ixd2 e6 1 1 .e3 (or 1 1 .e4 dxe4 1 2.he4
managed to achieve a draw, but he suffered for tll c6=) 1 1 ...tll c6 1he position is symmetrical
the rest of the game. and absolutely equal.
1 o ... e6 1 1 .b3 lll c6 l 2.e3
15.Ei:acl 0-0
Black has a comfortable game.

B223) 7.0-0 0-0

We have arrived at a final crossroads: B2231)


8.liJc3 or B2232) 8.liJe5.

B2231) 8.liJc3 llJe4!

As should be clear by now, we wish to avoid


the lines 8 ... tll c6 9.tll e5 and 8 ... e6 9.tll e5.
Chapter 7 - White exchanges on d5 79

This seems easier than: 1 2 . . . b6 1 3.ia3 l"\e8 the simple 1 6 ... dxc4N 17.li:lxc4 id5 is fine
14.l"\fcl i:b7 1 5 .li:lb5 if8 1 6.Wb2 Wd7 for Black.
1 7.ixf8 l"\xf8 1 8 .ifl a6 1 9.li:lc3 Wd6= 1 1 ...ieG 1 2.l"\b l
Dydyshko - Bernasek, Canak 2004. l 2.ia3 transposes to l l .ia3 above.
13.a4 1 2.li:lb3 b6 1 3.a4 Wd7 14.l"\el occurred
13.li:la4 Wxd2 1 4.ixd2 b6= in Strikovic - Alonso Garcia, Lorca 2007,
13 ...id7 1 4.ia3 l"\fc8 and here I found a nice positional idea:
Black has full equality. 14 . . . l"\fc8N l 5 .We2 li:l d8! 1 6.ib2 li:l b7 Black
will play . . . li:l d6 next, with a good game.
9.if4 li:lxc3 1 0.bxc3 li:lc6 l l .li:le5 1 2 ...Wd7 1 3.c4?!
Or: 1 1 .l"\bl li:l a5 1 2.li:ld2 b6 1 3.e4 (after This is a mistake, although Black was
1 3.c4 ib7 1 4.e3 l"\c8 1 5 .l"\c l Wd7 1 6.cxd5 comfortable anyway.
ixd5 1 7.ixd5 Wxd5 Black has some 1 3 . . .dxc4 14.d5 ixd5 1 5 .li:lxc4 l"\fd8 1 6.Wxd5
advantage in a typical Griinfeld position, Wxd5 l 7.ixd5 l"\xd5 l 8 .l"\xb7 l"\c5! l 9.li:ld2
De Groot - Glek, Utrecht 1 999) 13 ...ib7 l"\c2
14.l"\el dxe4 1 5 .li:l xe4 Wd7 1 6.l"\c l Black had the better chances in Fontaine -
l"\ac8 Black had good play in Juswanto - Nunn, Paignton 2000.
H. Olafsson Yerevan (ol) 1 996.
l l ...li:la5 9 dxe4
...

8 .i ,,,,,/,_-
I prefer this to l l ... li:lxe5 , although that is
obviously good enough for equality.
.,,,
.i. ,,y '
, , ,/, , , ,% , , ,
12.e4 ie6 1 3.Wf3 dxe4 14.Wxe4 l"\c8
Black has a comfortable game, Muhring - 7
Sajtar, The Hague 1 947. 6

,,
-
9.e3
:
32 ;/,LY. 0%
This is quite harmless. For example:

8/[j: [jflJ
, ,
9 ... li:lxc3 1 0.bxc3 li:l c6 l l .li:l d2
After l l .ia3 I like the following example:
,


1 il m
l 1 ...l"\e8 1 2.li:ld2 ie6 1 3.l"\bl Wd7 1 4.We2
b6 1 5.l"\fc l l"\ac8 1 6.c4

a b c d e f g h

1 0.lll e S
Less popular is:
1 0 .li:l g5 Wxd4 l 1 .Wxd4
White does not benefit from delaying the
queen exchange: l l .li:lxe4 li:l c6 1 2 .Wb3
(Inaccurate is 1 2.Wxd4 li:l xd4 1 3.li:lc3 ig4
l 4.e3 Ilincic - Vaganian, Yerevan 2000. Here
Black missed the strong 1 4 . . . li:l c2N 1 5 .l"\bl
a b c d e f g h l"\fd8 with the point that after 1 6.ie4 li:l b4
1 7.ixb7 l"\ab8 1 8 .ig2 ie6!+ White is in
Marin - Margvelashvili, Plovdiv 2008. Now trouble.) 1 2 ... l"\b8
80 Fianchetto Systems

, % -,% i
axb3 1 7.axb3 l'l:a2 1 8.l'l:d2 l'l:xd2 19 ..ixd2=
s B.i. B
7
6
Y,
, , % -,Y,
;)
Smejkal - Kadlec, Hlinske 1 993.
12 ... lt:J c6 1 3.lt:Jc3
%, 13 ..ih6 l'l:d8 14.lt:Jc3 .ie6 1 5.l'l:fd l Berkell -

:
3

.-d--
, % -%
Schussler, Stockholm 1 978. After 1 5 .. .f6 it
is White who has to play carefully to keep


t3J 8lt
the balance.
'if Jl!J;,'/
"'

f %, i
1 3 ....ie6
2 t3J %
' t"
1 3 ... l'l:d8 is also good enough.
14 ..id2 l'l:ac8 1 5 .l'l:fd l
a b c d e f g h Olszewski - Zugic, North Bay 1 998.
1 3 ..ie3?! (White probably should have Simplest now is:
preferred 1 3 ..if4 .ie6 14.e3 Wxb2 1 5 .Wxb2 1 5 ... l'l:fd8N 1 6.l'l:ac l

..
.ixb2 1 6 ..ixb8 .ixal 1 7 ..ixa7 .ig7 1 8 . .ib6 The game is j ust equal.
and a draw seems likely) 13 ...Wxb2 14.Wxb2
.ixb2 1 5 .l'l:ab l .id4 1 6.lt:Jc5 .ixe3 17.fXe3 1 0 Wd5
Allahverdiev - Radjabov, Baku 2005. Now I also consider 1 0 ... lt:J d7 sufficient for
best for Black is 1 7... lt:J a5!N 1 8.lt:Ja6 .if5 equality. I shall give just one example of typical
1 9.l'l:xf5 gxf5 20.lt:Jxb8 l'l:xb8 2 1 .l'l:b5 b6 play: 1 I ..if4 lt:J f6 1 2.Wa4 .if5 1 3.l'l:fd l lt:J d5=
22.l'l:xf5 l'l:c8 and White will suffer in this Adianto - Peng Xiaomin, New Delhi/Teheran
endgame. 2000. After 14 ..id2 Black can maintain
l 1 ....ixd4 equality with 14 ... lt:J b6 1 5 .Wb4 l'l:c8 1 6.l'l:ac l
a5 17.Wxa5 Wxd4 1 8 ..ie3 l'l:xcl 1 9.l'l:xc l

Y, i
s -.i.
B
-,
Wxb2.

7
6
5
..

% - -;,
" '
-// ,
%% -),%
, -
4
,,,,,%
3
8J!l 0 i !l!JlJ
-% - -- ;,'/
2
.M
a b c d e f g h

1 2.lt:Jxe4
An alternative is: 1 2.l'l:dl lt:J c6 13.he4 (after
1 3.lt:Jxe4 .ig4 1 4.i;t>fl l'l:fd8 only Black can
be better, Voelzke - Christ, Kappeln 1 990)
13 ....ig7 1 4.i;t>g2 (not so good is 14.l'l:bl
h6 1 5 .lt:Jf3 .ie6 and White unexpectedly
experiences some problems, for example
1 6.b3 lt:J b4! 17.lt:Jd4 l'l:fd8 1 8 ..ie3 .id5 1 l .b3 .if5!? ( 1 I . . .lt:J c6 is also vel'y reasonable,
19 ..ixd5 lt:Jxd5+ Godes - Ma. Tseitlin, but I prefer the text, since it equalizes without
Belgorod 1 9 89) 14 ... a5!? 1 5 .l'l:b l a4 1 6.b4 needing to know much theory) 12 ..ib2
Chapter 7 - White exchanges on d5 81

tll d7 13.tll c4 ( I also examined 1 3.!"lc l , but 12.Wb3 Wxb3 1 3 .axb3 occurred in Nogueiras
after 13 . . . tii xe5 14.dxe5 2"lfd8 1 5.Wxd5 - Krasenkow, Merida 2005 . I recommend the
2"lxd5 1 6.Elc? 2"ld2 it is White who has to simple: 1 3 ... tll xe5N ( 1 3 .. .f5 was played in
fight for the draw) 1 3 ... tll f6 ( 1 3 . . .ih6!? the game, but I am concerned about 14.tll c4
is interesting) 1 4.tll e3 Wd6 1 5.tll xf5 gxf5 followed by f3) 1 4.dxe5 if5 1 5 .if4 2"lfc8=
Black was very solid in Lima - Finkel, Ubeda
1 997. 1 2. tLld3 tLlf6

1 l .f3?! doesn't work, because of the strong


1 1 . . .tll c6! 1 2.tll xc6 bxc6 1 3 .e3 if5 1 4.g4 exf3
1 5.Wxf3 Helbig - Riefner, Germany 2000.
Black can now play: 15 ... ie6!N 1 6.Wxd5 (or
1 6.id2 Wb5! 1 7.Wxc6 Wxb2+) 1 6 . . .ixd5
17.id2 ixg2 1 8.xg2 e5 Black has the
better chances, due to White's weakened pawn
structure.

1 1 .Wa4 lll d7 1 2.if4


Black has no problems after: 1 2.Eld 1 tLlb6
1 3.Wc2? Strangely enough, this weak move 1 3 .Wa4
occurred in both games that reached this I also examined:
position. (Better is 1 3 .Wb3 ie6=.) 1 3 ...if5 1 3 .h3 2"ld8!N (This looks simpler than
14.g4 Elac8 1 5 .Wb3 ie6 1 6.Wxd5 ixd5 1 3 . . . Wb5 1 4.a4 Wb6 1 5 .a5 Wb5 1 6 .tll c5
Benko - Niephaus, Moscow (ol) 1 9 56. Wxb2 Ilincic - Simic, Novi Sad 1 9 9 5 . Here
Black stands better, as it's not easy for White White can play 1 7.h2!N regaining the
to deal with the threat of . . . f6. pawn and obtaining some pressure.) 1 4.Wd2
1 2 ... tll b6 Wd6 1 5 .tll c5 b6 1 6.tll xe4 lll xe4 1 7.ixe4
This is clearly better than the unnecessary: ixh3 The position is roughly equal.
1 2 ...g5?! 1 3.ie3 tll b6 1 4.Wc2 if5 1 5.g4! 1 3.tll f4?!Wb5! 14.Wc2 g5 1 5.a4 Wb4 1 6 .tll h3
White had a big advantage in Barbero - h6 White was in trouble in Dobrzynski -
Kaposztas, Hungary 1 989. Pytel, Lublin 1 969.
1 3 .Wb4 if5N 13 ... tll g4!?
This novelty is connected with a new plan. A very concrete approach, although there is
Blechar - S. Jones, corr. 1 996, saw 13 ...ie6 nothing wrong with 1 3 . . .if5N 1 4.!"lac l (or
1 4.!"lfcl g5 1 5 .2"lc5 Wd8 1 6.ixg5 f6 1 7.ixe4 14.tll e5 We6) 14 ... 2"lfd8.
fxg5 1 8.ixb? with a messy position. 14.tll f4 Wd6 1 5 .id2
14.!"lfd l We6!oo After 1 5 .ixe4 lll xe3 1 6.fxe3 e5 1 7.dxe5
Black's idea is to bring his knight to d5. Wxe5 Black has excellent compensation for
The position remains very complicated, with the pawn.
chances for both sides. 1 5 . . .Wxd4 1 6.Wxd4 ixd4 1 7.ixe4
This was Granda Zuniga - Krasenkow,
l l ... tl:)d7 12.VlYc2 Madrid 1 998, and now I suggest:
This is White's first choice according to 1 7 . . . tll f6N 1 8.ig2 if5
theory. Other options: Black has nothing to worry about.
82 Fianchetto Systems

12 ... lll xe5 For a final time I shall point out that
Black may also choose: 1 2 ... lli f6 1 3.i"i:fcl 8 ... e6 9.llic3 goes into a line that we wish to
if5 l 4.Wfb3 1"i:fc8= Vlasov - Yandemirov, avoid.
Kaluga 2007.
8 ... llie4 is a valid alternative though, and was
13.he4 '!Wc4 14.dxe5 '!Wxc2 1 5.hc2 he5 covered in B222 l . However, even if you want
l 6 ..ie4 .ie6! to choose that option, much of the following
analysis is relevant to our repertoire, as our
main line can also be reached via the move
8 order 6.lli c3 ig7 7.llie5 llifd7 8.f4 llixe5
7 9.fxe5 etc.
6
9.f4
5 This looks the most challenging. The
4 alternatives are:

3 9.if4 llixe5 1 0.ixe5 (not good is 1 O.dxe5?!


2 e6 and the e5-pawn is weak) 1 O ... f6!?N This

1 new idea seems to me the most natural move.


l l .if4 (also leading to an equal position is
a b c d e f g h l l .ixb8 1"i:xb8 12.llic3 e6 1 3 .Wfb3 [White has
The game has simplified to a very drawish no time for 1 3.e4? dxe4 14.llixe4 f5 and he
position. loses the d4-pawn] 13 ... f5=) l 1 ...llic6 12.llic3
e6 1 3 .Wfd2 f5=
17.fdl ad8 1 8..ixa?
Y2- Kosyrev - Yandemirov, St Petersburg 9.llixg4 ixg4 1 o.llic3 llic6
200 1 .
8
B2232) 8.lll e5 tlJ g4! 7
6
5
4
3
2
a b c d e f g h

l l .h3
I believe that White should settle for this
calm move, since entering complications can
easily lead to him being worse, for instance:
a) l l .ie3? e5! 1 2.llixd5 (Even worse is
1 2.dxeS? d4 1 3.ixc6 dxc3 14.ixb? 1"i:b8
Chapter 7 - White exchanges on d5 83

f.t -
1 5 .ie4 cxb2 1 6.!!b l Wang Yue - Vachier
8

( oo
Lagrave, Lausanne 2006. Now Black could
1 , ,,,/,, &y,W &

6 ,,, , , /,u4iu ,,,,, /,u ,


have secured his advantage by 1 6 ...ixe5N
17.ixa7 8c8 and the b2-pawn should

ft r
decide the game.) 12 ... exd4 1 3.icl 8e8
1 4.!!e 1 8c8 Black has the better chances and
:
he soon seized the initiative in Malakhov -

/, W-[!fi'

"

3 "/
, ,( , , /,
Mamedyarov, Sant Lluis 2005: 1 5 .h3 if5
1 6.a3 Wd7 17.cii h2 ie4+
b) 1 l .ixd5 tt:l xd4 1 2.ixb7 1 3.ig2 8b8 2 ff
(. j(/, "' " l):
( 1 3 .ia6 Wa5 14.id3 8fd8 gave Black great
compensation for the pawn in J. Akesson - 1 Q,,,,, 'W
,
'
'\lXXJ

R -:/, , ,
g ;;
Poley, Sweden 2008) 1 3 ... tt:lxe2t (here too, a b c d e f g h
Black can play for long-term compensation 1 1....ie6!
with 1 3 ...Wa5!?) 14.tt:lxe2 Wxdl 1 5 .!!xd l It is important to play this, because after the
ixe2 1 6.8d7 8fd8 1 7.8xd8t 8xd8 White more natural 1 1 ... e6 White has an interesting
will have to fight for the draw. pawn sacrifice at his disposal: 12.e4 dxe4
1 l . ..id7! 1 2.e3 1 3 .ie3 f5 1 4.exf6 8xf6 1 5 .tt:lxe4 l:!xfl t
This leads to a symmetrical and equal 1 6.Wxfl ixd4 (after 16 ... tt:lxd4? 1 7.l:!d l e5
position. But playing more actively does 1 8.tt:lgS White wins on the spot, as in the well
not promise White any advantage: 12.tt:lxd5 known game Kasparov - Nunn, Brussels 1 986)
tt:lxd4 13.ig5 8e8 1 4.cii h2 (14.Wd2? loses 1 7.ixd4 tt:l xd4 Theory considers this to be a
a pawn to 1 4 ...ixh3!) 14 ...ic6 1 5 .e4 Wd6 balanced position, but it looks a bit suspicious
1 6.Wd2 Sargissian - Smirin, Bursa 20 1 0. to me and I prefer something more solid.
Black should now play 1 6 .. .f5N 1 7.tt:l c3
8ad8 with good chances. 12..ie3
12 ... e6 1 3.b3 Wa5 14.id2 In my opinion this is the main continuation,
After 14.ib2 tt:le7 1 5.Wel tt:l f5 1 6.!!c l 8fc8 but White has other options:
17.g4 tt:l d6 1 8.f3 8c6 1 9.8f2 8ac8 Black was
even slightly better in Arencibia Rodriguez -
V. Mikhalevski, Montreal 2004.
First of all, it is important that 1 2.e4 doesn't
work: 1 2 ... dxe4 13.d5 ( 1 3.ie3 Wb6 also
14 ...Wc7 favours Black) 1 3 ...Wb6t 1 4.cii h l 8ad8+
14 ...Wa3!? could be tried. Black wins material.
1 5.!!cl 8ac8 16.We2
Y2-Y2 Polugaevsky - Kasparov, Moscow l 2.if4 f6N I do not see any reason for refraining
1 98 1 . from this thematic idea, although Black can
also carry it out a move later. ( 1 2 ... 8c8 13.Wd3
9... llJxe5 10.fxe5
f6 1 4.exf6 exf6 1 5 .!!ad l Larsen - Weber,
Recapturing with the other pawn is
e-mail 2009, and now I like 1 5 .. .f5N, when
harmless: 10.dxe5 Wb6t 1 1 .cii h l 8d8 Black
Black is certainly not worse.) 1 3.exf6 exf6
has no problems at all. 12.tt:lc3 ie6 1 3.b3 tt:l c6
14.e4 This is White's only aggressive try, but it's
14.ib2 d4 1 5.tt:la4 Wb5+ Damaso - Markos,
not dangerous. 14 ... dxe4 1 5 .d5 Wb6t! 1 6.cii h l
Dresden (ol) 2008.
8ad8 17.tt:lxe4 ixd5 1 8.tt:lxf6t hf6 19.ixd5t
10...llJc6 1 1 .lic3 cii h8 It is White who must fight for equality.
84 Fianchetto Systems

-
u ,_ _ ,%m-Y,m
r
1 2.mh1
8 i.
7
The main alternative according to theory.

6 %ii'!%
1 2 .. .'d7
Now 1 2 ... f6? fails to 1 3 .e4, since Black
- - - %u;uiu- ,

doesn't have a check on b6.
1 3.e4
IP-0 r
: -,,/J----%
%
This does not promise an advantage, but nor

3 'f[j
do other continuations:
1 3 .a4 i.h3!? (the calm 1 3 ... a6 is worth
2 r;-- - ;U iiU"
- - -% 1 fm -
considering) 1 4.i.xh3 xh3 1 5 .i.f4 Elad8
1 6.Elad l f6 Black had no problems in Turov
- Galkin, Elista 200 1 .
1
1 3 .i.e3 f6 1 4.exf6 exf6 1 5 .d2 f5! I n my a b c d e f g h
opinion, this pawn structure secures Black's 12...f6N
position and White must be careful to avoid All three games which reached this position
being worse. For example: 1 6.Elac 1 Elfe8 continued 12 ...d7, but again I do not see any
1 7.Cll a4 b6 1 8.b3 h5 1 9.Elc3 Elac8+ Papin - reason for Black to avoid the main idea.
Vitik, Belorechensk 2009.
13 ... i.g4 13.exf6 exf6
Black intends to follow up with ... f5.

14.b3 lll aS
Black has a comfortable position.

Conclusion

When White exchanges on d5 the symmetrical


structure does of course limit Black's chances
for active play. On the other hand, Black
c e
a b d f g h faces fewer problems equalizing than against
some other lines. My aim in constructing this
14.e6!
repertoire was to ensure that Black does not
Were it not for this cute tactical trick, White
face the unpleasant task of defending a passive,
would just be worse.
slightly worse position. I believe that by
14 ...i.xdl 1 5.exd7 i.g4 1 6.i.g5 f6 1 7.i.e3
responding accurately to the various possible
Schulze - Ostojic, Germany 1 988. Now
white move orders, Black can confidently
Black could have achieved easy equality
expect to achieve full equality.
with:
1 7 ... e5!N 1 8.dxe5 d4 1 9 .exf6 Elxf6 20.Elxf6
i.xf6 2 1 .Cll d5 i.g7 22.i.f4 i.xd7=
Various 4th Moves a b c d e f g h

Rare Options

Variation Index
1 .d4 f6 2.c4 g6 3.c3
3 ... dS
A) 4.g4 86
B) 4.h4 87
C) 4.f3 cS! 90
Cl) S.cxdS 90
C2) 5.dxcS 91
D) 4 .id2
. 92

A) note to 7.e3 C2) after I O.d3 D) after 1 5.Ei:cl

a b c d e f g h a b c d e f g h a b c d e f g h
7 ... ti'i c6!N I O ... ti'i d7!N l 5 ... Ei:c8N
86 Various 4th Moves

1 .d4 lLJf6 2.c4 g6 3.lLJc3 d5 better for Black in De Nucci - Mekhitarian,


Campinas 20 1 0.
In this chapter we shall examine four ofWhite's 7 ... tll b4
rarer fourth moves: A) 4.g4, B) 4.h4, C) 4.f3
i. .t -
76 , , % ' % ' 'i
.i
and D) 4.i.d2. 8
/ ,, ,/,
Another possibility is 4.g3. lhis is a uncommon
-
move order for playing the Fianchetto System, 5
% , % ,% %
4 .
probably because it allows Black some extra

efr;J;
options connected with ... dxc4. However, I
recommend the straightforward 4 ...ig7 5.ig2
3 ,, ,
'"
''%'.
(5.cxd5 tll xd5 is covered in Volume Two)
2 Jll,, y,,J8lJB
5 ... c6. There is no way for White to benefit
'if m .:
h
from this move order, so he should just enter
a b c d e f g
one of the lines that were covered in the
previous chapters. The point; Black's knight penetrates to d3
with check.
A) 4.g4 8.lll ge2 lll d 3t 9.<ii fl ig7
9 ... e5 is also strong, with the idea: 1 0.dxe5

8
lll d7!+
1 0.h4
7 Damnjanovic - Hemmer, e-mail 2009.
6
There is no reason for Black to refrain from

5
capturing the white centre pawn.
1 0 ...ixd4N l l .lll xd4 'Wxd4
4 Black has a large advantage.

3 5 ...i.g7 6.e4
2 White may choose not to bother regaining

1
the c4-pawn, but he does not obtain much
compensation:
a b c d e f g h 6.ig2 0-0 7.e4 c5 8.d5 e6 9.f4
This is an understandable decision, since
This aggressive approach does not pose Black
the natural 9.lll ge2 exd5 1 0.exd5 runs into
any real problems.
a strong response: 1 O ... h5 l l .g5 tt:l e8 Black
transfers his knight to d6. His extra pawn
4 ...dxc4!
and the exposed white kingside make Black's
It is hardly wise to enter the complications
advantage obvious.
after 4 ...ixg4 5 .'Wb3.
9 ... exd5 1 0.e5
This was Amelchenko - Leonov, Ufa 1 996.
5.h3
It is not difficult to improve Black's play:
White generally settles for this calm move,
1 0 ... d4!N l l .exf6 'Wxf6 1 2.tll e4 'i!fe7 1 3.<ii f2
since he doesn't achieve much with:
tll c6
5 .g5 tll d 5 6.ig2 c6 7.e4
Black is clearly better, with three pawns
7.'Wa4 tll b6 8.'Wa5 ig7 9.if4 0-0 was clearly
Chapter 8 - Rare Options 87

for the piece, a lead in development and an B) 4.h4


exposed white king.

6...0-0 7.i.xc4 c5
A well-timed counter in the centre.

8.d5?!
This leads to an advantage for Black.
Objectively White's best is:
8.dxc5 ctJ bd7!
8 ...1.Wxd l t 9.ltixd l is not so clear.
9. Cll f3
After 9 .e3 \Wa5 White experiences problems
defending his e-pawn.
9 ... Cll xc5 1 o.\We2 b5!
This nuance assures Black of an excellent
This move has been a favourite ofthe Croatian
game.
Grandmaster Miso Cebalo, but his fairly recent
1 1 .xb5 b7
game against Riazantsev constitutes a serious
Black will regain the pawn, and meanwhile
blow to this line. I find it hard to believe that
White will hardly be able to find any
this variation can be repaired for White.
compensation for the weakening of his
kingside.
4 c5!
..

Black is seeking to take over the initiative.


Were it not for this move, the line would be
perfectly playable for White.

5.dxc5
The alternative is:
5.cxd5 Cll xd5 6.h5 g7

8 ...b5!
This thematic idea works perfectly.

9.i.xh5 c!llxe4 IO.c!ll xe4 Wfa5t I I.c!ll c3 i.xc3t


a b c d e f g h
12.bxc3 Wfxb5 13.i.e3 i.a6 1 4.Wfe2 Wfa4
15.Wfd2 c!ll d7 Black's pressure on the white centre
Black's advantage was already decisive in underlines that White's idea has not been a
Wehmeier - Sygulski, Germany 1 995. resounding success.
88 Various 4th Moves

7.ltJf3 8 .g5
7.e3 cxd4 8.exd4 ltJ c6 9.hxg6 (9.b5 can White does not have time to slowly defend
be met by 9 ... 0-0 and Black has the better the b4-pawn: 8.a3 a6 9.Wa4 e6! l O.ltJd6t
chances) 9 ...hxg6 1 0.l"i:xh8t xh8 1 1 .ltJ f3 xd6 1 1 .cxd6 xc4 Black has a clear
Wa5 (the simple 1 1 ...e6 is good too) advantage.
12.Wb3 Delis - Koukos, Ano Liosia 2007.

,,,-, f
Now 12 ... ltJ xc3N is the best solution: 8

: %.1.
1 3.Wxc3 ( 1 3.bxc3? just loses a pawn to

,r, ef',%
.,
1 3 ...xd4!) 13 ...Wb6 1 4.e3 e6 Black has

,;,tt:Jr
%-
good play against the isolated cl-pawn.


s
m"

4 ;c,, r,, ,%
% r,,
7 ... ltJ c6 8.h6 f6 9.e3 ,,,,,

This was Lichman - Neerforth, Bad

! !!
Woerishofen 2008, and now simplest is:

l=in
9 ... cxd4N 1 0.exd4 0-0+
Black has a comfortable position.

a b c d e f g h
s ...d4 6.lll bs e5!
This is an important move. After 6 ... ltJ c6 8 ... ltJxb4!
7.e3 e5 8.exd4 ltJ xd4 9.b4! we reach a very A very strong idea; Black sacrifices material,
complex position, in which White is fighting but in return gets powerful play against the
for an advantage. white king, which is stuck in the centre.
9.xf6
9.Wa4 is met with 9 ... xc5! (strongest,
though 9 ...ltJ c6 1 0.xf6 Wxf6 1 1 .ltJ c7t
dB 1 2.ltJxa8 xc5 also gives Black great
compensation) 1 0.ltJc7t f8 1 1 .ltJxa8 d3
White is facing a huge attack, for example
1 2.0-0-0 Wd4! wins for Black.
9 ...Wxf6 1 0.ltJc7t d8 l 1 .ltJxa8 f5 1 2.l"i:cl
After 1 2.Wb3 ltJc2t 1 3.dl Black has the
great resource: 13 ...e4! 14.c6 (White has
no time for 1 4.l"i:cl Wxf2 and he is losing)
14 ...Wxf2 l 5.ltJf3 b6 Black is clearly better.
1 2 ...xc5

7.e3
Other options:

7.b4
I believe that Black has a very strong reply:
7 ... ltJc6!N
My improvement on 7 ... a6, when the follow
ing idea gives White reasonable play: 8.Wa4
d7 9.g5 Dobos - Fodor, Hungary 2005.
Chapter 8 - Rare Options 89

A critical p_osition for the evaluation of my 8.'ll xe5 a6


idea. Despite being a rook down, I strongly The point of Black's play.
prefer Black. Firstly, the white knight is 9.Wa4
unlikely to escape from the corner, which 9.'ll a3 runs into the strong: 9 ....ib4t!
means that White's material advantage will (but not 9 ....ixa3?! intending to follow up
not be so great. And most importantly, Black with ... Wa5xe5, as White can insert the
is clearly ahead in development and it's not intermediate move 1 0.Wa4t!) 1 0 ..id2 .ixd2t
easy for White to develop his kingside. Here l 1 .Wxd2 'll e4 1 2.Wb4 (otherwise 1 2 ... Wa5 t
is an illustrative line that clearly shows the would be a killer) 12 ...Wc7 13.'ll f3 'll c6
dangers of White's position: 14.Wa4 0-0 Black's development advantage
1 3.Wb3 Wc8 looks scary from White's point of view.
Not only intending to capture the knight in 9 ... 'll c6 1 0.'ll d3 .ie7 l 1 .'ll a3 0-0 1 2 ..ig5
the corner, but also vacating the d8-square .if5
for the rook. White is again experiencing serious problems
14.a3 with his development.
After l 4.g3 Ei:d8 l 5 ..ig2 d3 Black seizes a
decisive initiative. 7 hc5 8.exd4 exd4

,, , , ,/, r .i
l 4 ... 'll c6 l 5.g4 .ie4!

-,
This is stronger than 1 5 ....ixg4 1 6.Ei:b l ! b6
8 .i .t -
7
17 ..ih3, when White is still in the game.

, .T
1 6.'ll f3
6
//, , , ;
1 6.f3 runs into 1 6 ... d3! with a powerful
attack.
5

',,,,>',;;r
ttJ
1 6 ... d3 17.Ei:h3 b8+
4 /,w::

i
White is in trouble.

fD=P-!M
7.'ll f3

1 VlZt
8
7
e f
6 a b c d g h

It is already clear that White's opening


45 concept has been a failure; his knight is
3 totally misplaced on b5, while the advance

2 of the h-pawn has only created weaknesses in


his own camp. It is not surprising that Black

h
achieved a convincing victory in the following
a b c d e f g encounter:
A key idea is that Black is not forced to
defend his e-pawn, but can make use of his 9.f3 0-0
development advantage: There is also nothing wrong with the natural
7 ....ixc5!N 9 ... 'll c6.
Improving on 7 ... 'll c6, which has been
played in a couple of games. IO..ie2
90 Various 4th Moves

Accepting the pawn sacrifice wouldn't help 6.e4 lll xc3 7.bxc3 j,g?
White: 1 0.lll bxd4 l:'i:e8t l l .j,e2 lll c6! l 2.lll xc6
(or 1 2.j,e3 Wb6 13.lll c2 j,f5!+) 1 2 ...Wxdl t
1 3 .'i!?xd l lll g4! Black is doing very well.

1 0 ... l'ilc6 l 1 .i.f4 i.f5! 1 2.i.d3


White had no time to castle, since Black was
threatening 1 2 ...d3.

12 ...i.xd3 13.'Wxd3 a6 14.l'ilc7 E:c8 15.a3


E:xc7 1 6.i.xc? 'Wxc7
h
Black had a decisive material advantage in
a b c d e f g
Cebalo - Riazantsev, Biel 2009.
I don't think that it makes sense for White to
C) 4.3 play like this. Comparing the position with
the Exchange Variation, it is hard to imagine
In my opinion this is not a dangerous variation,
that anyone would choose 7.f3 instead of the
but it still has to be covered, as it has occurred
normal 7.j,c4, 7.j,e3 or 7.lll f3.
more than rwo hundred times in practice!
8.j,b5t
Black is not troubled by: 8.j,e3 lll c6
4... c5!
9.j,b5 cxd4! 1 0.j,xd4 0-0 l l .j,xc6 bxc6
1 2.j,xg7 'i!?xg7 13.Wd4t Lecluse - Bosch,
Herlies 1 999. Now the simple 1 3 ...Wxd4N
l 4.cxd4 l:'i:b8 would leave Black with a clear
advantage.
8 ...j,d7
This natural continuation is of course quite
sufficient, but I like the more challenging
8 ... lll c6, inviting the complications: 9.d5
j,xc3t l O.j,d2 Wa5! Black is doing well.
9.j,xd7t Wxd7 10.lll e2 cxd4 l l .cxd4 lll c6
1 2.j,e3 0-0 13.l:'i:b l
This was Alsina Leal - Garcia Andrinal,
Lisbon 200 1 , and now I suggest:
1 3 ... lll a 5N 1 4.d5 lll c4 1 5 .j,d4 e5!
This aggressive response is best. Black Black has a comfortable position.
immediately tries to profit from the slight
vulnerability of White's centre caused by the 6 ...i.g7!
previous move. White now chooses berween Black accepts the challenge and sacrifices
Cl) 5.cxd5 and C2) 5.dxc5. the c5-pawn, hoping to make use of his lead
in development. Of course White would be
Cl) 5.cxd5 l'ilxd5 6.l'ila4
happy to see: 6...cxd4 7.Wxd4 _ f6 8.e4 lll c7
I find this much more interesting than the 9.Wxd8t 'i!?xd8 1 0.j,e3 White has the better
more popular: endgame, Blasko - Varadi, Hungary 2003.
Chapter 8 - Rare Options 91

8
7.lll xc5
After 7.dxc5 0-0 8 .e4 li:l b4 Black has a
serious initiative for the pawn, thanks to the 7

6
tactical point: 9.a3 Wxd l t 1 0.<j:;>xd l E:d8t

5
l I .id2 ih6!+

7... lll c6 8.lll b3 lll b6 9.e3 4

3
8
2
7
1
6
e f
5
a b c d g h

4
9.lll xd4
White has other options here:
3

2
9.ig5 ixc5 1 0.li:lxd4 (It is not a good idea to
grab material with 1 0.ixf6? Wxf6 l l .li:l c7t
1 Coenen - Gertosio, Calvi 2009. After
l l ...<j:;>f8N 1 2.li:lxa8 ib4t 1 3.<j:;>f2 e4! 1 4 .ie2
a b c d e f g h
li:l f5 White should not survive for long.)
9...e5N 10 ... exd4 l l .id3 Nestorovic - Misailovic,
I. Botvinnik - Greenfeld, Israel 2002, Budva 2003. Here I like 1 1 ... 0-0N 1 2.li.Je2
continued: 9 ... 0-0 1 O.f4! White prevents Wa5t 1 3 .id2 Wb6 14.E:bl a5 1 5.0-0 E:e8 and
Black's key idea of ...e5. Although Black still the strong d4-pawn means that only Black can
has definite compensation, I prefer to attack be better.
the white centre immediately, which I consider
more in the spirit of the Griinfeld. 9.b4 a5!

10.dxe5
After 1 O.li.Je2 Black has a pleasant choice
between 1 0 ...ie6!? and 1 0 ... 0-0.

10 ... Bxdlt 1 1.<j{xdl he5


I prefer this to l l ...li:lxe5 1 2.ib5t.

12.ib5 0-0
Black has full compensation for the pawn.

C2) 5.dxc5 d4

We now have a more or less forced sequence


of moves.

6.lll b5 lll c6 7.e3 e5 8.exd4 lll xd4


92 Various 4th Moves

Konopka, Decin 1 996, and now the simple 13 ... axb4 14.i.xd4 0-0 15.e2 h4t 16.g3
16 . . . bG!N 1 7.ixf6t i;t>xf6 1 8.ll'ie4t i;t>g7 leads e7
to a definite advantage for Black) 1 o . . .ie7
8
1 1 .ll'ie2 ll'i xb5 12.Wxd8t Wxd8 1 3.cxb5 axb4

7
1 4.E!:d l t Nihal - M. Andersen, Kerner 2009.
After 14 ... i;t>e8N 1 5. ll'icl ie6 Black has a clear
superiority. 6

9 ... exd4 10.id3 5

4
8 3
7 2
6

5 a b c d e f g h
4 Black will regain the c5-pawn, leaving him
3 with the better pawn structure and a generally

2
favourable position.

D) 4.id2

a b c e This is a relatively rare continuation, but since


Ivanchuk played it in 2007, a few other strong
1 0... d7!N
grandmasters have also tried it.
In my opinion this is a nice improvement
over 1 O ...ixc5, which occurred in all four 4 ... clxc4!?
games that reached this position; after 1 1 .ll'i e2 This is a critical reaction, temporarily going
0-0 1 2.0-0 the play is balanced. a pawn up. Black will gain time for developing
his pieces while White is regaining the pawn.
1 1 .b4 The natural 4 ...ig7 is of course possible, and
White attempts to prevent Black achieving after 5.cxd5 ll'ixd5 we have transposed into
an optimal arrangement of his pieces. Black Volume Two (4.cxd5 ll'ixd5 5 .id2).
gets exactly what he wants after l 1 .ll'ie2 ll'ixc5
12.0-0 ig7, when the d4-pawn secures him a 5.e3
long-term edge. It is hard to believe that White can afford
to calmly continue 5.ll'if3, as Black can hold
1 1...aS 12.ie4 onto the extra pawn: 5 ... a6 (5 ... c6 followed by
Or 12.We2t We7 13.ib2 ll'ie5! and Black ... b5 also comes into consideration) 6.e4 b5
is better. 7.e5 ll'id5 8.a4 ll'ixc3 9.ixc3 Wd5! White does
not have enough compensation for the pawn.
12...ig7 13.ib2 1 0.axb5 axb5 1 1 .E!:xa8 Wxa8 1 2.d5 ig7 1 3.b3
After 1 3 .c6 bxc6 1 4.ixc6 E!:b8 1 5 .b5 Wa3!+ Burnier - Lagarde, France 2009.
0-0 White is in trouble, as Black's lead in
development will soon start to tell. s ...ie6 6.f3 c6 7.g5
Chapter 8 - Rare Options 93

White is obliged to play this if he wants to 1 3 .Wa4t Wd7 1 4.Wxd7t 'Ll xd7 leads to a
regain the pan. comfortable endgame for Black.

7...i.d5 8.e4 h6 9.exd5 hxg5 IO.dxc6 13 ... e5 14.0-0 0-0 15Jkl


After 1 0.i.xc4 cxd5 1 1 .i.b5t 'Ll c6 1 2 .i.xg5 1 5 .f4? is premature in view of: 15 ... 'Ll f5
i.g7 Black has the better pawn structure, and 16.i.c5?! Wxd l 1 7.:B:axd l :B:fc8!+
has nothing to worry about.

IO ... c!!J xc6 1 1.bg5 ig7


Black has several other possibilities here, but
it is natural to complete the development of
his kingside.

8
i -Ji
1 - r m
6 , , . /,m'm, , , . /, , f , ,m
//, , ,,;
5
4
.
r
.% ., , / .
. ,
% , a b c d e f g h

3 We have been following the game Ivanchuk

2 -
8 r% . ,,,, ;m -r%- 8 rtJ'0
- Sutovsky, Montreal 2007, and now I suggest

. , , /, i=.r
the natural improvement:

15 ..JkSN 16.Wd3
a b c d e f g h
Other options are 1 6.'Lle2 'Ll d5! and 1 6.b3
12.hc4 a6 1 7.a4 Wd7. In both cases Black's position is
Ivanchuk correctly indicated that the perfectly playable.
alternative 1 2.d5 wouldn't pose Black any
problems: 1 2 ... 'Ll e5 1 3 .i.xc4 ( 1 3 .f4?! is too 16 ... a6 17.a4 Wd7 1 8.fdl fd8
weakening, and after 13 ... 'Ll eg4 1 4.i.xc4 The position is balanced, Black's centralized
14 ... :B:c8 1 5.i.b5t <;!;>f8 White's position looks knight fully compensating for White's bishop
vulnerable) 1 3 ... 'Ll xc4 14.Wa4t Wd7 1 5 .Wxc4 pair.
White has won a pawn, but Black has ample
counterplay. 1 5 ... :B:c8 1 6.We2 :B:h5! 1 7.h4 'Llh7 Conclusion
1 8.i.d2 i.xc3 (Black can also invite a repetition
by 1 8 ... 'Ll f6) 1 9.i.xc3 Wxd5 20.<;!;>fl 'Ll f8 White's early lunges, 4.g4 and 4.h4, are too
Black's position even looks slightly preferable loosening. Black should follow the classical
to me. advice to counter in the centre, and White
will often end up regretting the self-inflicted
12... c!!Jxd4 13.i.e3 weakening of his kingside. The other two moves
1 3.0-0? is a serious mistake, due to the we looked at, 4.f3 and 4.i.d2, are more solid
double attack 1 3 ...Wc7; after 14.Wa4t <;!;>f8 options, but neither of them is particularly
1 5.h3 'Llg4! Black obtains a decisive attack. dangerous.
Various 4th Moves
4.a4t

Variation Index
1 .d4 f6 2.c4 g6 3.c3 dS 4.Wfa4t .id7 S.Wfb3 dxc4 6.Wfxc4
6....ig7
A) 7 ..if4 a6 8.f3 0-0 9.e4 cS 95
Al) 1 0.eS 96
A2) 1 0.dxcS 97
B) 7.e4 0-0 1 00
Bl) 8.f3 1 00
B2) 8.eS 1 02

A) note to 8.li:lf3 A l ) after l 9.li:lc3 B2) note to 9.b5

a b c d e f g h a b c d e f g h
9 . . 0-0!N
.
l 9 ... li:lb4N 1 6. . fG!N
.
Chapter 9 - 4.'&a4t 95

1.d4 ltlf6 2.<:4 g6 3.lll c3 d5 4.W/a4t


This cheeky check aims to disrupt Black's
natural development. Having said this, Black
does gain a tempo as well.

4...id7 5.&b3 dxc4 6.W/xc4


The b-pawn is obviously untouchable:
6.'&xb7? llJc6 White is in trouble due to the
threat of ... :gb8 followed by ... llJb4.

6...ig7
9 ... 0-0!N
This enables Black to fight for the initiative.
Other moves:
9 ...&a5 1 0 .&b3 led to unnecessary
complications in Julve - Lucas, France
2003.
9 ... cxd4N is the simplest way to equalize:
1 0.&xd4 0-0 1 1 .xa6 bxa6 1 2.llJf3 '&b6=
1 0.&b3
1 0.dxc5 &a5 1 I .llJ f3 :gac8 and 1 O .d5 llJh5
are hardly satisfactory for White either.
1 0 ...cxd4 1 1 .exd4 &a5 1 2.llJf3 :gac8+

a b c d e f g h 8 ... 0-0 9.e4


Now 7.llJf3 is covered as line A in Chapter White does not hesitate to sieze the centre.
24; we shall look at A) 7.if4 and B) 7.e4 The modest 9.e3 should not pose Black
here. any problems. For example: 9 ... c5 1 0.&b3
cxd4 1 1 .exd4 c6 1 2.e2 llJc7 1 3.0-0 llJcd5
A) 7.if4 lll a6 8.lll f3 1 4.e5 '&b6+ M. Gurevich - Akesson, Antalya
2004.
The alternatives are:
9.:gdl
8.e4 0-0 9.:gd l N I checked this new idea This is a thematic move in this variation, and
for White. (9.llJf3 transposes to the main it can lead to an interesting battle.
line.) 9 ...c5 1 0.dxc5 &a5 1 1 .e5 e6! This is 9 ... c5 1 0.dxc5 &a5 1 1 .e4
a convincing route to equality. 1 2.&b5 '&xb5 Giorgadze - Sion, Castro Mondariz 1 995,
13.xb5 llJh5 14.e3 (after 1 4.g5 llJxc5 was agreed drawn after 1 1 .llJd4; if we
1 5.xe7 :gfc8 Black has compensation for the continue with l l ...&xc5 1 2.&xc5 llJxc5
pawn) 1 4 ...xe5= then Black is very slightly better.
1 l . . .:gac8
8.:gdl c5 9.e3 (This is hardly the way to try for The endgame arising after 1 l .. .e6 1 2.&b5
an advantage, but after 9 .dxc5 '&a5 Black has '&xb5 1 3 .xb5 llJxc5 is fine for Black.
nothing to worry about.) 1 2.e5
96 Various 4th Moves

White must continue to play sharply. He has


no time to simply complete his development,
for example: 1 2.e2 El:xc5 1 3 .'\Wd3 a4!
1 4.Ei:d2 El:xc3 1 5 .bxc3 tlJ c5 Black will play
... 4Jfe4 next, with a big advantage.
1 2 ... Ei:xc5

Closing the centre with 1 O.d5 is strongly met


1 3 .'\Wb3N
by: 1 0 ... b5! 1 1 .4Jxb5 ( 1 1 .'\We2 c4 1 2.e5 4Jh5
It is clear that this is the critical continuation.
1 3 .d2 4J b4+ was not much fun for White
Otherwise:
in R. Popov - Pavlov, Novosibirsk 2002)
1 3.exf6? loses on the spot: 13 ... Ei:xc4 1 4.fxg7
1 1 ...4Jxe4 1 2.'\Wxe4 xb5 Black is already
Ei:e4t! 1 5 .e3 Ei:d8-+ Ermenkov - Orev,
clearly better. 13.0-0-0 xfl 1 4.Ei:hxfl '1Wa5
Bulgaria 1 973.
1 5 .'\Wc4 Ei:ab8! 1 6.xb8 Ei:xb8 1 7.Ei:d2 Ei:b4
1 3.'\Wd4? fails to 13 ... 4Jb4!.
Black had a decisive attack in Demchenko -
1 3 ...e6 1 4.'\Wxb7
Gabrielian, Armavir 20 1 0.
White cannot play 1 4.exf6? m view of
14 ...xb3 1 5 .fxg7 Ei:d8 1 6.Ei:xd8t '\Wxd8 Al) 10.eS .!DhS 1 1.i.e3 cxd4 12.'1Wxd4 i.c6
1 7.axb3 4Jb4! and the white king will be
stuck in the centre.
1 4 ... 4J b4!? 1 5 .exf6 xf6 1 6 .e2
Settling for the draw. Other moves cannot
be recommended:
1 6.Ei:d2? xc3 1 7.bxc3 Ei:xc3 1 8.e2 Ei:c l t
1 9.dl 4J d3t-+
1 6.d3 c8! 1 7.'\We4 f5 1 8.'\We2 4Jxd3t
1 9 .Ei:xd3 xd3 20.'\Wxd3 Ei:d8 2 1 .'\We2 '\Wb4
Black is much better.
1 6 ...c8 1 7.'\We4
17.'\Wa8 f5 also repeats moves, but 1 7.'\Wb8?
loses to 17 ... a6 1 8.'\Wxa7 tlJ c2t.
1 7 ... f5 1 8.'\Wb7= a b c d e f g h
Krasenkow sums up the position rather well:
9 . .cS
"Both black knights are on the edge of the
.
Chapter 9 - 4.a4t 97

board but his ishops are active and he is ahead 14.0-0 .ixf3
in development." 1 4 ... lll b4 did not work well for Black in
Jakovenko - Topalov, China 2009. Now
13.i.e2 Wfa5 1 5 .c5!N is strong.
The alternative is:
1 3 ...c? 1 5 ..ixf.3 he5 1 6.WfdS xd5 17.llJxdS :ares
I was intending to recommend this move 18.:aacl
and had already sent material to my editor This looks harmless. The most challenging
when White posed serious problems to this option is probably 1 8.g4N lll g7 1 9.Ei:ad l . Here
continuation in a game in the latest European I developed the following defensive strategy for
Championship. Black: 19 ... h5!? 20.h3 (20.gxh5 lll x h5 solves
the problem of his misplaced knight and is fine
for Black) 20 ...hxg4 2 1 .hxg4 lll e6 22.b4 c;t>g?
23.Ei:fel f6 White obviously has compensation
for the pawn, but Black is in decent shape and
I would evaluate the position as balanced.

18...e6 1 9.l!Jc3

8
7
6
5
14.0-0!
14.h4 was played in a previous game:
14 ...i.xe5! 1 5 .lll xe5 xe5 1 6.0-0-0 ( 1 6.0-0 4
is stronger, but Black is absolutely fine after
1 6 ... lll g? 1 7.i.f4 1 7 ... lll f5 [even 1 7 ...d4!? 3
1 8.Ei:adl b4 could be considered] 2
1 8.xh?t c;t>xh7 1 9.i.xe5 f6 20.i.f4 e5=)
16 ... lll g?!N (an improvement over 16 ... lll c?
1
Grigoriants - Esen, Warsaw 2005) 1 7.i.f4 a b c d e f g h
e6 ( 1 7 ... lll f5 1 8.xh?t c;t>xh? 1 9.i.xe5
1 9... llJb4N
f6+) 1 8.i.g4 lll f5+ I prefer this to the slightly passive 1 9 ... Ei:e? as
14 ...i.xf3 1 5 .i.xf3 i.xe5 1 6.e4 lll c5 17.b4! in I. Sokolov - Van Wely, Belgium 2003.
lll d3
Black's play looks very logical, but he still
20.:afdl :aad8
finds himself in difficulties. The power of the Black obtains good activity.
two bishops is not easily contained.
1 8 .b3 i.xc3 1 9.xc3 xc3 20.bxc3 A2) 1 0.dxcS .ie6 l l.b5 .id7 1 2.xb7
The endgame is very unpleasant for Black
and White won effortlessly by clearing the
1 2.c4 would lead to a repetition.
queenside and advance his a-pawn; Feller -
Jansa, Aix-les-Bains 20 1 1 .
12 ... llJxcS 13.'!Wb4 e6
98 Various 4th Moves

8 i. Sisak 2000. Now the simple 20 ...lt:'ixg3N

, ,,%;/.' '-' u
2 l .hxg3 :1'1c2 22.ie2 l"\xb2 would leave
7 r_,,y, ,
6

uar
Black with a considerable advantage.

- ;:";;
17 ... lt'i c5 1 8.e5 lt'ih5 1 9.ie2 lt:'ixg3 20.hxg3 e6

5
4
-lS 2 1 .0-0 lt:'id7
2 1 ...ixf3 22.gxf3 ixe5 23.lt'ib5 would have

-li)- led to an equal game, but Black tries to

3
lS'r%"""%%- r,%lS 'rt!J'.0,
, , , Y , squeeze a bit more out of the position.
22.Wd6 :1'1ad8 23.Wd4
2
., ,% =
This was Ftacnik - Ilincic, Prague 1 989,
and now Black could have put the finishing
1 touch to his strategy with:
a b c d e f g h 23 ... Wb8N
14.i.e5 Black will win back the e5-pawn and then be
Another option is: able to press with his bishop pair.
1 4 .ig3 a5
Black chases the white queen away from the 14 ...a5 15.a3 b6 16.i.c4
b4-square in order to undermine the defence The alternatives do not promise White any
of the e4-pawn. advantage either:
1 5 .Wa3
1 5 .Wb3 a4 16.Wa3 ic6 1 7.lt:'id2 lt:'id4 1 6.lt:Jd5
1 8.0-0-0 Smithers - De Waard, e-mail 200 1 . This leads to a forced line.
Black should now play the straightforward: 1 6 ... lt:'ixd5 17.exd5 lt:'id4! 1 8.ixd4 ixd4
1 8 ...ih6N 1 9.b l ( 1 9.f4 Wc7!+) 1 9 ...ixd2 1 9.lt:'ixd4 Wxd4
20.l"\xd2 lt:'i xe4 2 1 .:1'\dl Wb6 Black is clearly
better.
1 5 ...ic6 1 6.:1'\dl Wb6

,J;
7 1.U i
, i
8

6 BT
, , , , % i).
/, ,, , ,
5 ,
J ""'%- '!/,

4

\tt
t l
3 8? etJ a b c d e f g h
2 ,%0, ' O'
1 , , /, ,= , Black is in no danger, and it is actually White
who must be careful to avoid getting a worse
a b c d e f g h position.
Black's lead in development provides full 20.ie2
compensation for the pawn. 20.:1'\dl We5 t 2 1 .ie2 ib5 22.We3 Wxb2
17.id3 23.Wd2 Mujica - Laczay, e-ma}l 2009. Here
17.e5 lt'ih5 1 8 .lt'id5?! is too risky: 1 8 ...ixd5 Black could maintain some pressure with:
1 9.l"\xd5 l"\fc8 20.:1'\d l Sitnik - Balenovic, 23 ... We5N 24.We3 Wxe3 25.fxe3 l"\ab8+
Chapter 9 - 4.\&a4t 99

20 ... !'i:ab8 2 1 .0-0 !'i:xb2 22.!'i:ad l 16... tlJg4!


22.'l&xe7 i4! 23.ia6 (23.if3? !'i:e8 24.'l&c7 The most direct approach.
ib5 25.!'i:fd l 'l&xf2t 26.'it>h l !'i:xa2+)
23 ...'1Wxd5 White has not fully equalized, 17..ig3 'l&b4!
due to the poor coordination of his pieces.
22 ...'1Wb4N
This is more testing than 22 ...'1Wb6, as I
played in Pelletier - Avrukh, Biel 1 999.
23.'1Wxb4 !'i:xb4! 24.if3 !'i:c8 25.!'i:fe l \t>f8
26.d6!
White should manage to hold the balance.

1 6.ixf6 exf6 17.!'i:dl


White has also tried 17.ctJd5, but 17 ...'1Wc5 is
a strong reply: 1 8.'1Wxc5 ctJxc5 1 9.0-0-0 ie6
20.ctJd2 f5! Black had a dangerous initiative
in Novoa - Jelen, e-mail 2002.
17 ... ic6 1 8.ic4 f5!

8 .i.
18.'l&xb4 axb4 19.tiJd5
White is far from equalizing after 1 9.ctJdl
!'i:fc8! 20.id5 !'i:a7! as pointed out by Sutovsky
in Chess Informant 76.

19...i.xb2
Once again we are in a situation where it is
Black who is trying for an advantage. However
a c
b d e f g h I believe that White can maintain equality
with accurate play.
l 9.ctJd5
In Chess Informant 78 Sutovsky gives the
20.dl
following lines:
After 20.!'i:b 1 ic3t Black takes over the
1 9.ixe6 f:xe6 20.exf5 ixf3 (20 ...'1Wb4! is
initiative: 2 1 .ctJxc3 (2 1 .'it>e2 ctJc5! 22.ctJb6
even stronger) 2 1 .gxf3 !'i:xf5t
ie6! 23.ixe6 f:xe6 24.ctJxa8 !'i:xa8+ Rustemov
1 9.exf5 ctJ f4 20.0-0 ixf3 2 1 .gxf3 '1Wf6
- Sutovsky, Polanica Zdroj 1 999) 2 1 . ..bxc3
22.'it>hl '1Wxf5 23.ctJd5 !'i:ae8
22.0-0 Bacrot - Sutovsky, Albert (6) 200 1 .
1 9 ...ixd5 20.exd5
Now Sutovsky gives 22 ... !'i:fc8N 23.id5 c2
20.ixd5 ixb2 2 1 .'1We3 (21 .'1Wb3 '1Wxb3
24.!'i:bc l !'i:a3 with a clear advantage for Black.
22.axb3 ic3t 23.'it>fl !'i:ad8+ Sutovsky)
2 1 ...'1Wb4t 22.ctJd2 !'i:ad8+ Sutovsky
20....ia4
20 ...ixb2
This was Johansson - Pasko, e-mail
Clearly it is Black who is fighting for an
200 l , and now White should sacrifice the
advantage, Mittelman - Sutovsky, Israel 2000.
exchange:
1 00 Various 4th Moves

1 3.Wd5? Wb6 and Black was already winning


in Witte - Lonoff, Chicago 1 990) l l .. .lll g4
Play has transposed to 1 O.e5.
1 0 ... tll g4

l l .dxc5
Worse is: l l .i.xb5?! cxd4 1 2.lll xd4 i.xb5
B) 7.e4 0-0
(Kasparov pointed out that 1 2 ...i.xe5!? also
White now chooses between Bl) 8. .!Lif3 and leads to an advantage for Black) 1 3 .lll dxb5
B2) 8.e5. a6 14.lll a3 Wd4! 1 5.Wc2 ( 1 5 .0-0 Wxe5
16.g3 Wh5 l 7.h4 lll c6+) 1 5 ... lll c6 1 6.We2
Bl) 8. .!Lif3 b5! Wxe5! Black was clearly better in Hubner -
Kasparov, Brussels 1 986.
l l . ..lll a6 l 2.i.xb5
White should hurry to complete his
development, or he may find himself in
trouble. For example: 1 2.e6? lll xc5 1 3.exf7t
'it>h8 ( 1 3 ... :!:%xf7!? is also possible) 1 4.Wa3
Osieka - Pein, Lugano 1 986. Black could
have decided the game on the spot with
14 ...Wb6!N 1 5.tll d5 Wd6-+.
1 2 ... lll xc5 1 3 .Wc4 :!:%c8 14.0-0 lll xe5 1 5 .lll xe5
i.xe5 l 6.i.h6
Valtera - Vagenknecht, corr. 1 999. Black
should now play:
l 6 ... :!:%e8N l 7.:!:%fd l Wb6
Black is slightly better, thanks to his pressure
down the long diagonal.
9 .!Lixb5

White may refrain from this capture: For the record I also checked 9.Wc5N, but it
does not pose Black any problems: 9 ... lt:la6
9.Wb3 c5 1 0.e5 1 0.Wa3 b4 l 1 .Wxa6 bxc3 l2.i.d3 cxb2
White has also tried: 1 0.dxc5 tll a6 l l .e5 l 3.i.xb2 Black can think about taking the
( l l .i.e3 runs into l l .. .lll g4 12.i.d2 lll xc5 initiative. 1 3 ... :!:%b8 l 4.i.c3 :!:%b6 l 5.Wa3
Chapter 9 - 4.\Wa4t 101

(l 5.'1Wxa7 i.b5!) l 5 ...i.c6 l 6.lLJd2 i.h6 White


8 i.(,,,A%M i
,,, ,, __i)_ __ _ _ , % _ &y,w,,
is under pressure.
1 % ' .JL iA% A
6
9 lLJxe4 10.1Wxc7

Theory considers 1 0.lLJxc? very dangerous _


for White, and rightly so. 5
-
,,,,, n-
-'11 _ ,n ,
,
4
8 i. - 3
7 &f'' -:f
i y, I. 'f'?,:_-_% -
6 - , %. -. 2

5 % 1 ,f- - --/,w '%,- - M ----


4 .,-
re

3 ;;,rn ctJ.
a b c d e f g h

[j [j- b
1 1 . lLJb4 12.ixe4 ixb5 13.IWxdS

- %
2
.

White has to swap queens, in order to


prevent his king becoming too vulnerable.
a c e
b d f g h For example: 1 3 .'1Wc3 a5! 1 4.a3 '1Wd7!? 1 5 .i.e3
Elac8 l 6.'1Wd2 f5 1 7.i.b 1 lLJ dS+ White failed to
1 0 ... lLJ c6! 1 l .lLJ xa8 'IWaSt 12.i.d2 (or 1 2 .lLJd2
solve the problem of his king in Rasmussen -
lLJxd4 13.'1Wc7 '\Wf5! and White was in trouble
Schandorff, Denmark 20 1 0.
in Kiselev - Kozlov, Moscow 1 9 86) 1 2 . . . lLJxd2
1 3.lLJxd2 lLJxd4 1 4.lLJc? i.c6! White will find
1 3 JfaxdS 14.i.d2 f5!
that he is unable to castle without suffering
.

Theory considers this move dubious, but I


material losses. 1 5 .i.e2 '1Wxc7 1 6.lLJb3 (1 6.0-0
believe that it is the easiest way to equalize.
loses to 1 6. . . '\Wf4! with the deadly threat of
The main continuation is: 1 4 ... lLJd3t 1 5 .i.xd3
...i.bS) 1 6 ... lLJxe2 1 7.'IWxe2 i.xg2 1 8.Elgl \Wxh2
i.xd3 Al though Black should hold this without
! 9.0-0-0 '1Wf4t 20.'1We3 Wff5! The white king much difficulty, I prefer the more active text
is also unsafe on the queenside. 2 1 .lLJcS Elc8
move.
22.b4 '\Wf6 0-1 Almeida Quintana - Herrera,
Santa Clara 2002.
15.ixfS gxf5 16.ixb4

8
1 0.i.d3 is harmless: 10 ... lLJd6 l l .lLJxd6 cxd6
1 2.i.e4 i.e6 1 3.'1Wa4 d5 (in Zhou Jianchao -
Ganguly, Subic Bay 2009, Black settled for the 7

6
draw with 1 3 ...i.d? 1 4.Wfc4 i.e6 1 5 .'\Wa4 i.d7
Y2-Y2) l 4.i.d3 '1Wb6 1 5.0-0 lLJc6+
5
10 lLJ c6 l l .id3
4

1 l .'1Wxd8 Elfxd8 1 2.i.d3 has been played in


two game. Black should continue: 12 ...i.fS!N 3

2
13.0-0 (after 1 3 .i.e3 E!:ab8 the white knight is

1
vulnerable on b5) l 3 ... a6 14.lLJc? Ela? l 5.lLJxa6
li:'ig3! 1 6.i.xfS lLJxf5 1 7.lLJcS lLJcxd4 Black's
initiative is enough to give him the advantage. a b c d e f g h
1 02 Various 4th Moves

16...e5!?N B2) 8.e5


This was mentioned by Giorgadze in Chess
8
Informant 7 1 . In Giorgadze - Khalifman,

7
Germany 1 997, Black prematurely captured
the d-pawn: 1 6 ...i.xd4?! 17.E!:d l ! e5 1 8 .E!:d2
White was slightly better. 6

I found another interesting idea in l 6 ...i.c6N, 5


when play may continue: 17 .i.c3 i.xf3 1 8.gxf3 4

3
E!:xf3 1 9.e2 E!:df8 20.E!:afl E!:3f4=

17.a4 2
Other moves are:
1
1 7.dxe5 i.xe5 1 8.E!:dl E!:e8! 1 9 .lll xe5 E!:exe5 t
a b c d e f g h
20.d2 E!:xf2t 2 1 .cl E!:xg2=
8...i.e6!
1 7.0-0-0? e4 1 8.lll d2 i.h6! Even though 8 ... lll e8 9.h4 looked very promising for
he is two pawns down, Black has seized the White in Aleksandrov - Olszewski, Warsaw
initiative. 2009.

1 7.E!:cl E!:e8! (Giorgadze gives only 17 ... exd4 9.Wib5


1 8 .dl d3 1 9 .b3) 1 8 .dxe5 i.xe5 1 9 .lll xe5 White can get a position with three pieces
E!:exe5t 20.dl E!:d5 t= versus queen and two pawns by:
9.exf6 i.xc4 1 0.fxg7 xg7 1 1 .hc4 Wxd4
l 7.. .i.c6 18.dxe5 i.xf3 19.gxf3 i.xe5
s i,
,
% ' ' , v,/,('/,/,
"'!3'.l''ef ,
8 % - -
" )3:.l'%

7 l & l:.JI l:.11 & , &


6 %B% %B% ,%B%'i"
% . %' z %'

6 5
,
5
: ,fl;, ,%';;(

4
2 8Jll ,, J%gJlj
3 m :
2 a b c d e f g h
think that the poor coordination of
1
the white forces makes Black's chances
a b c d e f g h preferable.
Black is not worse, despite being two pawns 1 2.i.e2 lll c6 1 3.lll f3 Wb6 1 4.0-0 E!:ad8
down. 1 5 .E!:b 1
I also examined: 1 5 .i.b5 t2Jd4 1 6.lll xd4
20.0-0 gd4 21.i.d i.xh2t 22.@xh2 gh5t Wxd4 1 7.E!:el c6 1 8.i.a4 E!:d7+
23.@g2 gg5t 24.@h3= 1 5 ... e5 1 6.E!:e l
Chapter 9 - 4.'&a4t 1 03

1 6.ie3 is srongly met by 1 6 ... tll d4 and the 1 1 ....ifS 12.Wfh4 lll c6
eS-pawn is untouchable: 1 7.lll xeS? lll xe2t Black has an enormous lead in development,
1 8.lll xe2 bS-+ which provides more than enough
compensation for the pawn.

13..igS
White gives up his d-pawn without a fight.
He was no doubt concerned about the threat
of ... tll b4, but he would have been better off
giving up the exchange, for example: l 3.ie3
tll b4 1 4.Ei:cl ( 1 4.0-0-0 d7 would give Black
a very powerful attack) 14 ... lll c2 t 1 5 .Ei:xc2
ixc2 1 6.tll f3 White is in the game, although

h
Black's chances are clearly better.
a b c d e f g

1 6 .. .f6!N 13 ...Wfxd4 14.Wfxd4 lll xd4 1 5.0-0-0 lll e6


This is more accurate than: 1 6 ... a6 l 7.b4 16 ..ie3 he5-+
Ei:fe8 1 8 .ifl f6 19.tll a4 a7 20.lll cS White

8
had a reasonable game in Lev - Huzman,
Israel 1 999.
l 7.b4 tll d4 1 8.idl a6 7

6
Black has the better chances.

9.. lll d5 10.'&xb? 5

4
.

If White does not take the pawn then he is

3
just positionally worse.

1
a b c d e f g h

White's position has collapsed, Chekhov -


W Schmidt, Polanica Zdroj 1 98 1 .

Conclusion

A key position arises in line A after 7.if4 lll a6


8.lll f3 0-0 9.e4 cS. When White chooses A l )
1 O.eS Black must react accurately, but i f he
a b c d e f g h
does so then he can expect to equalize. With
10 ... tll b6! I l.Wfe4 A2) 1 0.dxcS White goes a pawn up, but Black
White's problem is that he cannot play the can count on obtaining full compensation.
natural l 1 .lll f3 because l l ...c6! would trap his Line B is less critical and should not worry
queen and threaten ...ic8. Black overmuch.
Various 4th Moves a b c d e f g h

4.VNb3

Variation Index
1 .d4 llJ f6 2.c4 g6 3.llJc3 d5 4.l&h3 dxc4 5.l&xc4 .ig7 6.e4
6... 0-0

A) 7..if4 llJ a6 8.llJf3 cS 106


Al) 9.dl 107
A2) 9.e5 108
A3) 9.dS e6 109
A31) 1 0 ..ie2 1 10
A32) 10.d6 e5! 1 1 ..ixe5 llJ b4 1 10
A32 1) 12.cl 111
A322) 12.dl 1 12
B) 7..ie2 1 12

A) note to 8.li:lf3 A3 l ) after 1 2.8dl B) after 9.dxe5

a b c d e f g h a b c d e f g h
1 0 ... b5!N 1 2 ... li:lc2tN 9 ...li:lg4!N
Chapter 1 0 - 4 .'&b3 105

1.d4 tlJf6 2.4 g6 3.tiJc3 d5 4.b3 9.1"\dl


After 9.dxc5 '1Wa5 1 o.\Wb5 '1Wxb5 1 1 .xb5
8
tlixc5 1 2.0-0 a6 1 3 .e2 b5 14.a3 b7 Black

7
was even slightly better, Avanzi - G. David,
corr. 1 99 1 .
6 9 ... cxd4 1 0.1"i:xd4
After I O.'&xd4 Black can avoid an immediate
5 queen swap by 1 0 ... \Wa5! and the white queen
4 cannot feel comfortable in the centre.

3
1 0 ...\Wb6!
The white pieces are rather awkwardly
2 placed.
1 l .ctJ a4 '&a5 t 12.'1Wc3
1
White offers to swap queens in order to
a b c d e f g h try and complete his development, Khan -
This line has been quite popular recently. By Hallope, France 2005. Black should now
employing this tricky move order, White may play:
intend to transpose into the Russian System 1 2 ...\Wf5
(4.tlJf3 g7 5.'&b3) , or may hope to profit The threat of ...'IWb l t followed by ...\Wxa2
from delaying the development of his king's poses White definite problems.
knight.
6 ...0-0
4...dxc4 5.xc4 i.g7 6.e4
6.ctJf3 would transpose to the starting
position of the Russian System - see Chapters
27 and 28.

The only other reasonable alternative is:


6.f4 tli a6 7.e3
7.e4 0-0 will be examined in line A below.
7 ... 0-0 8.ctJf3 c5

8
7
6
5
4 Other than going into the Russian System,
the main options for White are A) 7.i.f4 and
3 B) 7.i.e2.
2 On both occasions that 7 .f3 was played,
Black's response was rather unconvincing.
a b c d e f g h
I will spare you the details and focus on the
Black has comfortable play. logical improvement 7 ... tli c6!N.
1 06 Various 4th Moves

.i.,} ,J )

I have come to the conclusion that this is

76
,,%
, ,%.- ,
8 Black's best idea, since 8 ... c5 9.d5 Wb6

,, , , 1 O.:I"l:d2! offers White serious chances for an

/ , advantage.

4 -1,
9.ie2

,
3 %f- % !
The alternative is: 9.lll f3 Wa5! (9 ...Wb6 is


again met by 1 0.:I"l:d2!) 1 0.Wd3 :I"l:d8 1 1 .Wb l

2 !- -
;0/ %"/,Wlj
} ,,;, /)' , Black has gained a couple of tempos as a
result of the slightly misplaced white queen.
= .M 1 l . ..ig4 1 2.ie2 Legky - Mrdja, Larange
a b c d e f g h 2000. I believe Black should now play:
Black's idea is to play ... e5 next, which White 1 2 ...lll e8N 1 3.e5 (After 1 3.ie3 e5 [ 1 3 ... c5
can hardly stop. Here is a nice illustrative line: l 4.d5 b5!? also looks interesting] 1 4.dxe5
8 .ie3 e5 9.d5 (after 9.dxe5 lll xe5 1 0.Wd4 We7 ixf3 1 5 .ixf3 :I"l:xd l t 1 6 .Wxd l ixe5 1 7.0-0
Black's chances are also preferable) 9 ...lll d4 Black has a decent game. Play may continue
1 0.lll b5?! c6! l l .dxc6 bxc6 1 2.lll xd4 exd4 17 ... :I"l:d8 1 8.Wb3 lll c5 [ 1 8 ... b6!?] 1 9.ixc5
1 3.:I"l:d 1 (it transpires that l 3.ixd4? loses on Wxc5 20.Wxb7 lll f6 and Black has good
the spot to 1 3 ... lll xe4!) 1 3 ... c5 Black is clearly compensation for the pawn.) 1 3 ... lll ec7
better. 1 4.0-0 if5 1 5 .Wc l lll b4 We have a complex
game in which Black's chances are not worse,
A) 7.J.f4 lLi a6 due to his control over the d5-square.
9 ...Wa5 1 0.Wd3
This looks to me the most challenging response
to the development of the bishop to f4. It is
quite possible to play 7 ...lll c6 8.:I"l:dl lll d7,
though if White chooses the move order with
6.if4 then Black has to play ... lll a6 anyway.

5 a b c d e f g h

4
This occurred in Peters - Mach, Hamburg
1 989. This is a good moment for:
3 1 0 ... b5!N l l .a3
2 After l 1 .lll f3 b4 1 2.lll b l b3t! 1 3.Wc3

1
Wxc3t 14.lll xc3 bxa2 1 5.ic4 lll b4 Black is
better.
a b c d e f g h 1 1 ...b4 1 2.axb4 lll xb4 1 3.Wb l ie6 14.lll h3!
The natural 14.lll f3 is met _ by the very
s.llJO unpleasant: 1 4 ... ia2! 1 5.Wcl (or l 5.lll xa2
There is also:
lll d3t 1 6.<;t>fl lll xf4+) 1 5 ...lll xe4+
8 .:I"l:dl c6
Chapter 10 - 4 .'@fb3 1 07

14 ...ib3 1 5 .2'l:d2 lll d7 1 6.0-0 e5 Al) 9.gdl

X ..t
1 6 ... lt:lb6 also makes sense.
1 7.dxe5 lt:lxe5
s
Black is fine.
7 n , , , %
6 4i n - , , %1ifl
_,, y,m '
-/, , , -
8 c5
..

8 5

7 4
DiVn fa
6 3
m,
- ; , ,%: , , -
5 2 b r[j , , - r[j b r!J
4 1 , , , % i=1 !t
3 a b c d e f g h

2 9... cxd4

1 This is the most principled continuation,


although Black has a decent alternative in:
a b c d e f g h 9 ...Wa5 1 0.Wb5 Wxb5 l 1 .ixb5 cxd4 1 2.lt:lxd4
l:l'.d8N (this is more accurate than 1 2 ... lt:lc5
White has many ways to react to the blow
against his centre. k well as Al) 9,gdl, A2)
1 3.e5, when White has chances for an advantage)
1 3.ixa6 (1 3.e5 is now strongly met by
9.e5 and A3) 9.d5, we also have:
1 3 ...lt:lh5+) 1 3 ... bxa6 14.lt:lc6 13'.xd l t 1 5.<iix dl
<iif8 ! 1 6.f3 id7 The position is balanced.
9.dxc5 ie6 transposes to line A2 of Chapter
9. 10.gxd4
Capturing with the knight is weaker: 1 O.lt:lxd4
9.0-0-0?! can hardly be recommended. Black
Wb6 1 1 .Wb5 lt:lxe4! 1 2.Wxb6 axb6 1 3.lt:lxe4
easily gets good play: 9 ...cxd4 1 0.lll xd4 id7
e5 14.ixe5 ixe5 Black was clearly better in
1 l .f3 l:l'.c8 1 2.Wb3 lll c5 1 3 .Wa3
Kozakov - Musicki, Backa Palanka 2002.

10 ...b6 l 1 .e5 .ie6 12.'@fb5

8
7

6
5

4
a b c d e f g h
3
13 ...lll fxe4! Not a difficult tactical blow.
2
14.fxe4 e5 Black was clearly better in Korchnoi
- Tukmakov, Moscow 1 97 1 . 1
a b c d e f g h
1 08 Various 4th Moves

This is quite old theory, which to tell the


8
truth was rather unfamiliar to me before I
started work on this book. It is important for 7
Black to react actively.
6
12...lli d?! 13.lLidS 5
Another line is: 4
1 3.B:xd7 ixd7 1 4.Wxd7 Wxb2
3
2
1
a b c d e f g h

14 ... llic?! 15.\Wxd? lLixdS 16.'IWxdS '1Wxb2


17.i.e2 '!Wblt 18.i.dl ad8 19.1Wh3 '1We4t
20.i.e3
After 20.We3 Wb4t 2 1 .'lid2 B:d7 22.a3 Wb2
Black is not worse.

20...d3 2 1.1Wc2?!
1 5 .Wd2
Correct is: 2 1 .Wa4! B:xe3t 22.fxe3 Wxe3t
1 5 .'lidl Wxa2 1 6 .Wxb7 'li c5 l 7.Wb5 (or
23. <j;ifl B:d8 Black has sufficient compensation
1 7 .Wb2 Wxb2 1 8 .'lixb2 B:ab8 1 9.'lidl B:bl
for the knight.
20.ie2 B:d8 2 1 . 0-0 Szegedi - Miniboeck,
Balatonbereny 1 986, and after the simple
2 l ... a5N White would have to fight for a
draw) l 7 ... B:fc8 1 8.ic4 B:ab8! An important
tactical trick. l 9.Wxc5 (l 9.Wxb8? fails
to 1 9 ... 'li d3t!-+) 1 9 ...Wxc4 20.Wxc4
B:xc4 2 l .ie3 a5 Again it is White who is
trying to draw, Kobayashi - Graeser, corr.
1 989.
1 5 ...Wal t 1 6.Wcl Wxcl t 1 7.ixcl B:ac8
1 8 .id2
Maybe l 8.ib2 is an improvement, although
after l 8 ... B:c5 l 9.ixa6 bxa6 20.0-0 B:b8
Black is in no danger. a b c d e f g h
1 8 ... Cli b4 1 9.'lib5 'li c6 20.e6 f5 2 1 .ie2
This was Strand - Vukcevic, corr. 1 984, and 21. ..i.h6! 22.0-0 he3 23.i.e2 hnt
now Black should improve upon that game 24.xfl e3
with: Black was better in Van Dijk - Kruger,
2 1 . ..B:fd8N 22.id l B:d5+ e-mail 2000.

13 ...hdS 14.xdS A2) 9.eS lLihS!


Chapter 1 0 - 4.Wb3 1 09

This is the most straightforward way to meet


White's rather risky advance.

IO.ie3 cxd4 1 1.0-0-0


Another line is also quite illustrative: 1 1 .l:'i:dl
ie6! 1 2.Wb5?! (stronger is 1 2.'Wxd4 'Wa5
13.ie2 l:'i:fd8 1 4.'We4 l:'i:xd l t 1 5.ixd l 'Wb4!
although Black has no problems) 12 ...id7!
Black takes over the initiative. l 3.'Wxb7 ctJc5
14.'Wd5 Ider - Bernard, Issy Les Moulineaux
2009. Black could now stabilize his advantage
by: 14 ... dxc3!N 1 5.bxc3 (or 1 5 .'Wxc5 cxb2+)
1 5 ...ia4! Black remains with a material plus.

1 1. ..ie6 12.'!Wxd4 'IWaS!

1 0.0-0-0 exd5 1 l .exd5 White usually castles


short with this pawn structure, and it's clear
that the white monarch cannot feel safe on
the queenside. 1 1 ...if5 ( 1 1 ...l:'i:e8!? also looks
good) 1 2 .id3 ixd3 1 3.l:'i:xd3

8
7
6
5
4
The white king is not safe on the queenside. 3
2
13.ic4
I also examined: 1 3.ixa6 bxa6 14.g4 l:'i:ad8
1 5.'We4 l:'i:c8! Black develops a dangerous a b c d e f g h
attack. This was Wagner - Neubauer, Ketsch 1 978.
Black could now seize the initiative on the
13 .. Jfd8 14.We4 ixc4 15.'!Wxc4 ixe5 queenside with: 1 3 ... ctJ d7!N 14.d6 ctJ b4
16.xdSt xd8 17.lll xeS '!Wxesi 1 5 .Eld2 'Wa5 1 6.'it>bl ctJb6 17.'Wb5 'Wxb5
White did not have enough compensation 1 8 .ctJxb5 ctJ c4 1 9.l:'i:e2 ctJxb2! Black has an
for the pawn in Molo - Marcos Nozar, e-mail advantage.
2008.
1 0.l:'i:d l This is a thematic move for this pawn
A3) 9.d5 e6 structure, but White's problem is that he is
behind in development, which allows Black
1 10 Various 4th Moves

an easy game: 1 O ...exd5 1 1 .exd5 iWb6! White A32) 10.d6 e5!


has no convenient way to defend his b-pawn,
for example: 1 2.:B:d2 :B:e8t 1 3 .e2 f5 1 4.0-0
8
ti:l e4+ White cannot avoid losing material.
7
A31) 10.i.e2 exd5 1 1.exd5 6
8 5
7 4
6 3
5 2
4 1
3 a b c d e f g h

2 This was played by Garry Kasparov, which

1
is indeed a strong endorsement for the move.
Black sacrifices a pawn for the initiative.

a b c d e f g h
1 1..L:e5
A similar position often occurs when Black Much weaker is 1 l .ti:lxe5? ti:lh5! and Black
plays ... ti:l a6 against the Russian System, is better.
but with White having castled rather than
developed his queen's bishop. Here Black can 1 1 . .. tlJb4
benefit from this slight difference in concrete We shall look at A321) 12.:B:cl and A322)
fashion. 12.:Sdl . Other moves are:

1 1 . .. tlJb4! 12.:B:dl 1 2.iWb3


White has also played: 1 2.0-0 ti:l fxd5N (in This occurred in Khurtsilava - Chigladze,
my opinion this is stronger than 1 2 ... tiJ bxd5) Tbilisi 2009. Black should now play:
1 3 .:B:ad l e6 1 4.ti:lg5 Wi'xg5! 1 5.xg5 ti:lxc3 1 2 ... ti:lc6!N 1 3.c4
1 6.bxc3 (after 1 6.Wi'xc5 ti:l xe2t 1 7.'it>hl ti:l c6+ After 1 3.f4 ti:lh5 Black regains the pawn.
Black's three pieces are stronger than the white 1 3 ...g4 1 4.Wi'xb7 xf3 1 5 .iWxc6 xg2
queen) 1 6 ...xc4 1 7.xc4 ti:l c6 White does
not have enough compensation for the pawn.

12 tlJc2tN
.

In three games Black has played 12 ...b6


here, but it makes sense to force the white king
to move.

13.@fl b6
I do not believe that White can really hope

h
for an advantage with his king on fl .
a b c d e f g
Chapter 1 0 - 4.Wb3 111

1 6.l"lgl 1 9.tt:lxe5 xe5 20.0-0 xh2t 2 1 .'itixh2


An important point of Black's play is that the Wh4t 22.'itigl Wxe4 23.f3 We3t 24.'itih l
tempting 1 6.0-0-0 runs into the incredible Wh6t= It finishes in perpetual check.
16 ... tt:lxe4!! and White cannot play 1 7.xg7 1 4 ... tt:l c6!
in view of 1 7 ...Wg5t followed by ... tt:lxc3. Black has enough activity for the sacrificed
16 ... xe4 1 7.Wc7 f5+ pawn, for instance:
1 5.g3 tt:l d4 1 6.tt:lxd4 cxd4 1 7.tt:ld5 tt:l xd5
1 2.0-0-0 is mentioned in the comments to 1 8.exd5 l"le8 1 9.l"lc2
the above game, but the white king is hardly After 1 9.'itid l l"lxe2! 20.'itixe2 Wg5 Black has
safe on the queenside: 1 2 ...e6 13.Wb5 (not excellent compensation for the exchange.
1 3.Wxc5? tt:l xa2t!) 1 3 ...a6 14.Wxb7 h6t! 1 9 ...a6 20.dl xe2t 2 1 .l"lxe2 l"lxe2
An important tactical nuance. 1 5 .'itib l tt:l xe4! 22.'itixe2 West 23.'itidl We4 24.l"le l Wb l t
Black suddenly has a serious initiative. 25.'itid2 h6t 26.f4 Wf5
The game is balanced.
A321) 1 2Jkl
13....ie6 14.'1We2 tl1c6 15 ..if4
8
After 1 5 .g3 Black would have the additional

7
possibility of 1 5 ...h6.

6 15 .. JeS!

5
4
3
2
a b c d e f g h

This was played in Taitt - N. Arias, Guanare


2000. Black should respond with:

12...b6!N
a b c d e f g h
A very flexible decision. Black defends the
c5-pawn and keeps all his options open; he It is clear that Black's lead in development
may develop his light-squared bishop to a6, should count, for example:
b7, or e6.
16.'1We3
13.a3 Black has an initiative after both 1 6.h3 tt:l d4
An alternative is: 1 7.Wd3 tt:l d5! and 1 6.Wd3 tt:l d4!.
1 3.Wb3 b7 14.e2
Another exciting line I found is: 1 4.a3 tt:l c6 16...tl1d4 17..ie2 i.f5 1 8.tl1d2 tl1xe2
1 5.c4 tt:l a5 1 6.Wa4 tt:lxe4!? Not the only 19.'1Wxe2 tl1h5 20..ie3 hc3 2 1.gxc3 i.xe4
option for Black. 1 7.tt:'lxe4 l"le8! 1 8.d7 l"lxe5 Only Black can be better.
1 12 Various 4th Moves

A322) 12J'dl i.e6 Also playable is the less ambitious: l 7 ... ti:Jxf3
1 8.gxf3 ieS 1 9.ti:JdS 1:'1'.xd6 20.ic4 1:'1'.fd8 2 1 .a4
1 2 ... li:J c2t 13.'it>d2 ie6 will come to the same 'it>f8 22.b3 ixdS 23.1:'1'.xdS 1:'1'.xdS 24.ixdS
thing. 1:'1'.c8t 25.'it>d2 b6 Black made a draw without
any problems in Latronico - Neven, e-mail
13.V;Yxc5 2003.
It is very dangerous for White to play 1 3.We2
1:'1'.e8, when Black has good compensation for 18.E:d2 .th6
the pawn, and a lot of ideas based on the white An important resource, which forces White
king still being in the centre. to return one of his extra pawns.

13...tlJc2t 14.@d2 19.E:e2 :!!hd6 20.h3 tlJf6 21.g4!


Otherwise White could easily find himself
being worse.

21...tiJd?
Black had sufficient compensation for the
pawn in Piket - Kasparov, Wijk aan Zee
2000.

B) 7.i.e2 tlJc6

8
7
a b c d e f g h
6
14... tlJd?
5
The key move.
4
15.V;Yc? tlJxe5 16.V;YxdS 3
White has also tried: 1 6.'it>xc2 li:J g4! 1 7.1:'1'.d2
2
1
ih6 18.1:'1'.e2 It is dangerous to allow Black
to keep the queens on. ( 1 8 .Wd8 1:'1'.axd8
transposes to our main line.) 1 8 ...Wf6 1 9.WcS
a b c d e f g h
1:'1:fd8 20.Wd4 Wf4! 2 1 .1:'1'.d2 1:'1'.ac8 Black had a
strong initiative in Boecker - Kappes, e-mail s..te3
2008. 8.ti:Jf3 is covered in Chapter 28.

16..JfaxdS 17.@xc2 8.dS does not pose Black any problems:


As mentioned by Kasparov, 1 7.li:JxeS? would 8 ... ti:J eS (or 8 ... ti:J aSN 9.Wa4 c6 1 0.dxc6 ti:Jxc6
be a serious mistake: 17 ... 4Jb4 1 8 .li:J c4 ih6t l l .ti:J f3 ie6 1 2.0-0 a6=) 9.Wb3 S. Pedersen -
1 9.f4 ixf4t 20.'it>el fS! Black is clearly better. Mogranzini, Beijing 2008. Now 1 like 9 ...e6N
1 0.f4 li:J eg4 l 1 .h3 ti:Jh6 and the opening up of
17... tlJg4 the position should be in Black's favour.
Chapter 1 0 - 4.Wi'b3 1 13

8...eS
8
Black takes advantage of the lack of a knight
on f3 to obtain counterplay with this punch in 7
the centre. 6
5
4
9.dxe5
Other moves:

3
2
9.d5 tll d4 1 0.Wd3
1 0.ixd4 exd4 l 1 .Wxd4 e8! ( l l ...c6 1 2.d6
tll d 5!? is also interesting) 1 2.Wd3 (or 1 2.e5
1
tll g4 1 3.f4 f6! with a strong initiative for
Black) 1 2 ... tll d7 1 3.f3 f5! Black has ample
compensation. 9 .. llig4!N
.

10 ... c6 l l .dxc6 bxc6 1 2.tll f3 lll xe2 This idea should be familiar by now. Instead
I think that 1 2 ... tll g4!N is even stronger, Shabalov - V. Mikhalevski, Philadelphia 2009,
for example: 1 3.0-0 lll xf3t l 4.gxf3 lll xe3 saw 9 ... tll xe5 1 0.Wa4 ig4 l l .dl with unclear
1 5.Wxd8 xd8 1 6.fxe3 d2 Black has a clear play.
advantage.
1 3.Wxe2 Wa5 10.i.cS
Thanks to the possibiliry of ...ia6, Black 1 0.ixg4 is met by: 1 0 ... lll xe5! l 1 .Wb3 tll d 3t
has the better game, Potpara - Csiba, Batumi 12.iii fl ixg4 Black has a clear advantage.
20 10.
1 0... lligxeS 1 1.YlVa4
9.tll f3 exd4 1 0.lll xd4 After l 1 .Wb3 ie6 Black has a clear

8 .t -
'-% Y.
initiative.

6 /,
1ifi"
7 - 1 1. .. llid3t

- . :
l 1 ...Wg5!? is also worth considering.

.,,.
'

%

12.i.xd3

32 b /" %'"'

a% DfIWfj
...

8
m " . /, : 7
a b c d e f g h 6
This position occurred in Vanderhallen - 5
Swinkels, Vlissingen 2005, and here Black
4
3
missed the strong idea: 1 0 ... tll g4!N l l .ixg4
(after l l .lll xc6 lll xe3 1 2.lll xd8 lll xc4 1 3.ixc4
xd8 Black has a pleasant edge in the endgame)
l 1 . . .tll e5! Black will play 12 ... tll xg4 with
2
advantage. 1
a b c d e f g h
1 14 Various 4th Moves

12 ...i.xc3t! Conclusion
The key move. White would even be better
after: 1 2 ...'Wxd3?! 13.tll ge2 1"le8 14.i"i:d L t After A) 7.if4 tll a6 8.tll f3 c5 White has several
options, but none of them promise him an
1 3.bxc3 Wfxd.3 14.tlie2 B:e8 1 5.f3 .td7 advantage. In particular line A32 with 9.d5 e6
Black has the initiative, thanks to his better 1 0.d6 e5! offers Black good compensation for
pieces. his pawn sacrifice. In line B with 7.ie2 lll c6 I
do not believe that White can gain anything
16.Wfdl by avoiding the transposition to the Russian
This is stronger than: 1 6.:!"ldl lll e 5! 1 7.'Wb3 System, as Black obtains fine counterplay after
'Wa6 White is in trouble, due to the threat of 8.ie3 e5.
... ia4.

I6...Wfc4 17..td4
After 1 7.if2 tll e5 1 8.0-0 ib5 1 9.a4 ia6
20.tll g3 h5! Black has a clear plus.

17...f5

8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
a b c d e f g h

Black keeps a strong initiative.


Closed Variation a b c d e f g h

Various Fifth Moves

Variation Index
1 .d4 lDf6 2.c4 g6 3.lDc3 dS 4.e3
4....ig7

A) S.b4 0-0 6.lDf'3 c6 1 16


Al} 7..ie2 1 17
A2) 7 .ib2 1 18
B) S.b3 e6 120
Bl) 6.lDf'3 0-0 120
B l l} 7..ie2 120
B l2} 7..id2 121
B2) 6.a3 122
q s ..id2 124
D) S.cxdS 125

B I 2) 1 7.d5 C) after l 5.e2 D) after 1 2.exd5

s ,i .iR ff
7 I R ii
-R,,.t
6 i
-
.

3 . R R R
fj R .tfj
. g
2
I . t""f ..

a b c d e f g h
1 7 ...xd5!N 1 5 ...h6!N
1 16 Closed Variation

I.d4 c!ll f6 2.c4 g6 3.c!ll c3 d5 4.e3 .ig7 6.ib2 c6 7.tt:'if3 is line A2.

8 6.Wb3 c6 7.a4?!

7 This is a somewhat suspicious strategy; White


gains space on the queenside, but completely
6 neglects his kingside development. The

5 natural 7.tt:'if3 is clearly better and transposes


to the line with 7.Wb3 in the following
4 note.

3
2
a b c d e f g h

White's quiet fourth move can be played with


various follow-ups in mind. In this chapter we
shall examine A) 5.b4, B) 5.\.Wb3, C) 5 ..id2
and D) 5.cxd5, while 5.tt:'if3 is covered in the
b c d e f g h
following chapter. a
7 ... e5!N
A) 5.b4
This strike in the centre seems to me a very
natural response to White's provocative
play.
8.dxe5 tt:'i e4
The point; Black's bishop starts to work on
the long diagonal.
9.tt:'if3
I also examined a couple of other moves:
9.tt:'ixe4 dxe4 1 O.ib2 tt:'i d7 l l .e6 tt:'i e5 Black
has an initiative.
9.cxd5 cxd5 1 0.ib2 ie6! 1 Uldl tt:'i c6
1 2.tt:'if3 a5! 1 3.b5 tt:'i b4 Black has excellent
play for the pawn.
9 ... tt:'ixc3 1 0.Wxc3 tt:'i d7 l l .cxd5 e8! 1 2.ib2
tt:'ixe5 1 3.tt:'ixe5 ixe5 14.Wd2 ixb2 1 5 .Wxb2
Wxd5 1 6.:!"ldl We4 17.d4 We5 1 8.id3 a5
Black has a very pleasant position, and the
only question is whether White can hold on.

5 ... 0-0 6.c!ll f3 6... c6


White's other options do not have much As well as our main lines of Al) 7..ie2
independent significance: and A2) 7..ib2, White has a couple of other
options:
Chapter 1 1 - Various Fifth Moves 1 17

7.'W'b3 dxc4 8.ixc4 b5 9.ie2 a5 1 0.0-0 (a all possible problems. 1 2.dxe5 'W'xd l 13.xd l
nice line is 10.ia3? ie6 1 1 .'W'b2 c5! and the li:lxe5 Black had a comfortable endgame in
white position collapses) 1 O ...ie6 We have Tunik - Belov, Internet 2004.
transposed to the note to White's eighth move
in line Al with 8.'W'b3 etc. 8.'W'b3 dxc4! 9.ixc4

8 -
:ii,';, , ;,Y, .
7.a4 ig4 8.'W'b3
8.h3?! is too slow and deserves to be punished:
8 ... ixf3N (the illogical 8 ...if5 was played : % T . , ,%,%
',, ,,

in Baudot - Philippy, Luxembourg 1 994)


9.gxf3 (after 9.'W'xf3 Black breaks up the 5
4
'0 %''% -.i.
%1W3-
W/0
centre by 9 ... e5 1 0.dxe5 li:lfd7 and White
3 v , ,%-
% tlwtf
, %., '
is in danger) 9 ... li:lbd7 1 0.f4 White has
2 fl ,,, , :z ,
:'% %
managed to stop the ... e5-break, but Black
;;{
B M
now strikes on the queenside. 1 0 ... a5 l 1 .b5 ' ,
c5 Black has a strong initiative.
a b c d e f g h

8 - %
This was Duong The Anh - Le Quang, Ho

7 , %
% ' %Y,
lf , , -
Chi Minh City 2005 . Black should now
6
''
, play:
', ,
5 ;)',;; 9 ... b5N
Although this is a new move in this particular
4
fj w1 W/0 position, play soon transposes into an old
3 ii "'2.J
', ' ' %%'" ;;%1''0

a "'2.J
game.

2 ;; ". 10.ie2
/;; Y/Jj
, m :
1 0.ixf7t xf7 1 1 .li:le5 'W'e8 is not dangerous
for Black.
a b c d e f g h 1 0 ... a5 1 1 .0-0 ie6 1 2.'W'b2 axb4 13.'W'xb4
Black's play from this position has been li:la6 14.'W'b2 b4! 1 5 .li:la4 'W'a5 1 6.'W'c2 if5
rather unconvincing in practice, so I was 17.'W'b3 li:le4
obliged to find a new idea: Black clearly had the better chances in
8 ... li:lbd7!?N 9.cxd5 cxd5 1 0.li:lxd5 Troianescu - Botvinnik, Budapest 1 952.
White cannot really hope for an advantage
after: 1 0.ie2 e6 1 1 .h3 ixf3 1 2.ixf3 li:l b6 8
The black knight will land on the c4-square.
7
6
1 O ...ixf3 1 1 .gxf3 e5
Black's activity fully compensates for the
sacrificed pawn.
5
Al) 7..ie2 .ig4 8..ib2
4
Releasing the tension in the centre does not 3
have much point: 8.cxd5 li:lxd5 9.li:lxd5 'W'xd5
2
1
1 0.0-0 li:ld7 1 1 .a4 (after 1 1 .ib2 Black strikes
from other side with 1 1 ... a5!) 1 1 ... e5 This solves

a b c d e f g h
1 18 Closed Variation

8...dxc4 9.hc4 c!ll bd7 16.h4


Black's main idea is to carry out the ... e5 White could have settled for a draw by:
advance. 1 6.fl ixe5 1 7.f4 ixf4! 1 8.exf4 Wxf4t
1 9.g l We3t Black has perpetual check.
IO.i.e2
Black is not troubled by: 1 0.0-0 e5 l 1 .dxe5 16...g4t!
ixf3 1 2.gxf3 (Black has no problems after The correct decision. After 1 6...Wxg2?!
1 2.Wxf3 c!ll xe5 1 3 .We2 We7) 1 2 ... c!ll xe5 1 7.::ag l We4 1 8.f3 Wf5 19.h5 White
1 3 .ie2 Wc8! Black immediately uses the consolidates and has the better chances, as
slightly vulnerable position of the white king Ftacnik pointed out in ChessBase Magazine
by heading towards h3. 14.f4 ::d8 1 5 .Wc2 84.
Wh3 ( 1 5 ...c!ll d3 also leads to a draw) 1 6.fxe5
c!ll g4 1 7.ixg4 Wxg4t 1 8 .hl Wf3t 1 9.gl 17.@fl gads 18.f3 f5 19.b2 gfes
Wg4t 20.h l Wf3t Y2-Y2 Karjakin - Van 20.f4?
Wely, Foros 2008. This allows Black to seize the initiative.
Instead White could have maintained equality
10 ... c!ll dS 1 1.b3 c!ll xc3 12.hc3 e5! with: 20.f2 ixe5 2 1 .ixe5 ::xe5 22.::ad l =
Black makes use of his lead in development.
2 0... gd3 2 1 .@n ged8
13.c!ll xe5 Black was clearly better in Kempinski - Ara.
After 13.dxe5 ixf3 1 4.ixf3 ixe5 the Minasian, Ohrid 200 1 .
exchange of dark-squared bishops secures
equality for Black. A2) 7.i.b2 i.e6!?

13 ... c!ll xe5 14.dxe5 he2 1 5.@xe2


8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
a b c d e f g h

8.c!ll g5
There are several other moves:

8 .Wb3 lli bd7 9.llig5?!


Not the best moment for this aggressive
move, but White was probably scared of the
black knight penetrating to the c4-square.
Chapter 1 1 - Various Fifth Moves 1 19

For example: 9.e2 tt:l b6 1 0.c5 tt:l c4 Black idea is seen in the remarkable line: 1 2.tt:lxa4
has a good game. cxb5 1 3 .'Wxb5 Ela5 14.'Wb4 b5! 1 5 .xe6

.i }
[White is clearly worse after 1 5 .xb5 tt:l d5
8 1 6.'Wb3 tt:lxe3 1 7.'Wxe3 Elxb5 1 8.0-0 'Wa8]
1 5 ...Elxa4 1 6 .'Wxb5 Ela5 17.xd7 Elxb5

r .far;
7 i 'il i i
: , , % ;; r
1 8.xb5 Wd5 1 9.a4 'Wxg2 Black is better,

,- %f!f;;, ,
although White has some counter-chances.)

4 ,
12 ... c5! 13.dxc5 tt:le5 14.e2 a3! 1 5 .xa3

3 fj wrfi
tt:l d3t 1 6.xd3 Wxd3 Black has a strong

,
%J %1 ''0.
2 ?,: initiative.
%0 <q;

-- - " {},i: -
9 ...dxc4 1 0.tt:lxc4
1 fJ 1fj
__ , , '

This is more natural than: 1 0.xc4 tt:ld5


1 1 .0-0 a5 Black has a comfortable game.
a b c d e f g h

9 ...dxc4N
An obvious improvement over 9 ...f5, played
8 .i
76 i)- y, '
in Lushenkov - Prianikov, Saratov 2007.
- - %f.fafi" ;; ,,,,;
5 %'-
1 0.xc4

, %,%'-
No better is: 1 0.tt:lxe6 cxb3 1 1 .tt:lxd8 :8:fxd8
1 2.axb3 a6 White's position is unpleasant, 4 "-;eflt:J;ef , %f!f {},
due to his weak b4-pawn.
10 ...xc4 1 l .'Wxc4 e5+
3 fj - - :
2 - %''"
?,:-.i,1 %' '"
-- - " viffi" , % -
Black has a great game, while the white fj 1!J
knight is clearly misplaced on g5 . 1
a b c d e f g h

8.tll d2 tt:l bd7 9.e2 1 0 ...xc4!


9.'Wb3 a5N (This nice idea improves on The simplest way for Black to free his game.
9 ... tt:l b6 1 0.c5 tt:l bd7 1 l .d3 Birnboim 1 l .xc4 e5 1 2.dxe5 tt:l xe5 1 3 .e2 'We7
- Lein, Beersheba 1 982, which is quite 1 4.'Wb3 Elfd8+
promising for White, although Black is very Blackwill play ... tt:l d3 next; he has successfully
solid of course.) 1 0.b5 dxc4 1 l .xc4 a4! solved his opening problems.

8.c5
This is not unreasonable, but on the other
hand it presents Black with a straightforward
plan of preparing the ... e5 advance.
8 ... tt:l bd7 9.h3
Necessary prophylaxis, as otherwise it's too
easy for Black: 9.e2 g4 1 0.0-0 Ele8 And
... e5 is coming.
9 ... a5 1 0.b5 tt:l e4
The idea behind Black's ninth move was that
he is now threatening ... tt:l dxc5.
1 l .'Wc2
120 Closed Variation

8 .i.
ef""'"''/
'; , ,,% White now chooses between Bl) 6.lll f3 and

7 ')) . , . ,

B2) 6.a3.

6 -'0
m- '0.f 'i"

5 ,, % 8 -i?'% ?%
Bl) 6.lll f3 0-0

z --/d'%m,
"'
4

3 m r
ltJ
% 8
2 l-iYflf' - l
"" " :
a b c d e f g h

This occurred in Strating - I. Sokolov,


Amsterdam 200 1 . Here I like:
l l .. ..if5 1 2.lt:Jh4
Another line is: 1 2 ..id3 lt:J xc3 1 3 ..ixd .ixd3
1 4.Wxd3 We? 1 5 .0-0 e5 Black is fine.
1 2 ...e5 1 3.lt:Jxf5 gxf5
The position is complex and unbalanced.

8 . . .i.5 9.h3 h6 10.lll f3 lll bd7 1 1 .c5


A dubious looking decision, which allows
Black an easy game. B l l) 7.i.e2 b6

Black shouldn't hurry with 7 .. . dxc4 8.W'xc4


since after 8 ... b6 White has 9.b4!, countering
both ....ia6 and ... c5, and securing an edge,
Tarasov - Piankov, USSR 1 966.

B) 5.b3 e6
8.0-0
This is considered to be Black's most reliable White can release the tension in the centre
reply, although other moves are also playable. by:
Chapter 1 1 - Various Fifth Moves 121

8.cxdS exdS 9.0-0 '\We7 1 2.d2 cS= Black has solved his opening
9.lll eS is strongly met by: 9 ... cS 1 0.0-0 problems, Hassan - Bernasek, Oropesa del
aG 1 1 .xaG lll xaG Black has no problems Mar 1 998.
whatsoever.
9 ... cS!
8
A very aggressive approach. 9 ... b7 has been
more popular in practice, but that seems to 7
me more in the spirit of the Queen's Indian. 6
It is hard to believe that any Griinfeld players
5
4
would refrain from the thematic ...cS when
it works.

3
2
1
a b c d e f g h

9 ...i.a6N
Previously Black tried 9 ... b7, but failed to
equalize: 1 0.b4 lll bd7 1 1 .b2;!; Viner - Hill,
Toowoomba 1 986.

1 0.W/a4 he2 1 1.xe2 W/d7


1 0.dxcS
1 1 . ..cS would be premature: 1 2.dxcS bxcS
1 0.d2 transposes to B 1 2.
1 3.:!"i:d l 'IWbG 14.d2 lll cG 1 S.c3 White's
1 0.:!"i:dl eG 1 1 .lll gS lll bd7 is not dangerous
better pawn structure gives him an edge.
for Black.
1 0 ... bxcS 1 1 .:!"i:d l eG 1 2.lll gS lll bd7 1 3.e4
12.Wic2 c8
White's most aggressive response.
White cannot do anything against the
13 ... :!"i:b8 14.'\Wc2 d4 1 S .lll a4 '1We7
coming ... cS. For instance:
We have reached a complicated position
with mutual chances.
13.b4 c5 14.bxc5 bxc5 15.dxc5 W/b5
Black regains the pawn with a comfortable
8... dxc4! position.
The correct solution, since each recapture
has its own drawback.
B12) 7..td2 b6 8.cxd5
Black failed to equalize after: 8 ... cS 9.dxcS
bxcS 1 0.:!"i:dl aG 1 1 .cxdS xe2 1 2.lll xe2 exdS
Other options:
13.lll d;!; Hesse S. Fischer, Germany 1 993.
-

8.e2 cS 9.cxdS exdS transposes to the main


9.Wfxc4 line.
9.hc4 b7 10.e2 (after 1 0.:!"i:dl I
recommend the simple 1 0 ...'\We7N 1 1 .e2
8 .:!"i:c l cS 9.cxdS exdS 1 0.e2 lll cG 1 1 .0-0
lll bd7 followed by ... cS) 1 0 ...lll bd7 1 1 .:!"i:dl M. Ivanov - Hillarp Persson, Gothenburg
122 Closed Variation

20 I 0. Now simplest is I l . ..:1%e8 and Black can 12.1Wa3 cxd4 13.xd4


comfortably meet 1 2.Wi'a3 with 12 ...i.f8. Black has no problems after l 3.exd4 tt:l e4
14.i.f4 ctJ xc3 1 5 .Wi'xc3 :1%c8.
8 ...exdS 9..ie2 cS
fu we have already seen, Black is not forced 13 ...xd4 14.exd4 e4 15.xe4 dxe4
to continue with the natural 9 ...i.b7, but can 16..ib4 :Se8 17.dS
play more aggressively. Meanwhile the light
squared bishop can be very useful on the h3-
c8 diagonal.

a b c d e f g h

10.0-0
I also checked: 17... hdS!N 18. .ic4
1 0.tt:leS i.b7!?N After 1 8.i.bS :1%e5 1 9 .i.c3 ms Black is just a
An interesting pawn sacrifice. The alternatives healthy pawn up.
1 O ...i.a6 and 1 O ...i.e6 are playable too.
1 1 .dxcS 18 ...hc4 1 9.:SxdS :Sexd8i
1 1 .0-0 tt:l c6 1 2.tt:lxc6 i.xc6 leads to a Black has sufficient material for the queen,
comfortable game for Black. and objectively the position is level.
1 1 ...Wi'e? 1 2.c6
I believe that White should return the pawn,
B2) 6.Wa3
since 1 2.ctJd3 ctJ c6 followed by ... d4, looks
very promising for Black.
12 ...ctJ xcG 1 3.ctJxcG i.xc6 14.0-0 :gfd8
Black will play ... d4 at a suitable moment,
with comfortable equality.

1 0... c6 1 1.:Sfdl .ie6


This is quite a nice square for the bishop,
but the more flexible 1 1 ... :1%e8!?N is worth
considering, since Black would then be able to
meet Wi'a3 with ...i.f8.

a b c d e f g h
Chapter 1 1 - Various Fifth Moves 1 23

An unusual idea that temporarily prevents 1 2.ib2


Black castling.

6...a5
!if& ,
This seems to me the most challenging
option, preparing ... lt:l a6-b4 to block the a3-f8 6 1.r.rt
''% r''%,
,
%

s

ltS'a , , %-
diagonal.
4 -,
7.lt:lf3 c6
3 'A"w ,%'
This is necessary to defend the a5-pawn.

8.b3
2
, , ,r, W/?, , %
0 00
d, Q Q
.:
The immediate 8.cxd5 does not pose Black a b c d e f g h
any problems: 8 ... exd5 9.id3 lt:l a6 1 0.0-0
lt:l b4 1 1 .ib l b6 1 2.'IMl'a4 0-0 1 3 .a3 ib7 Here I found the following idea:
14.'IMl'b3 lt:la6 1 5.id2 Gulko - Cu. Hansen, 1 2 ... E!:eSN
Rome 1 988. Now simply 1 5 ... E!:eSN would In Korchnoi - Kurnosov, Chelyabinsk
give Black a fine game, for instance: 1 6.Eld l c5 2007, Black opted for: 1 2 ...'IMl'e7 1 3 .0-0 Ele8
1 7.lt:le5 c4 1 8 .'IMl'c2 lt:l c7 1 9.a4 lt:l d7 Black has 1 4.Elac l ifs 1 5 .ia l b5 1 6.lt:lb2 White has
the much better coordination. managed to maintain balanced play.
1 3.0-0 if8!
8 ... lt:la6 Suddenly the threat of ... b5 is very
powerful.
14.b4 axb4 1 5 .'IMl'xb4 b6
Black is clearly better.

9.ie2 lt:l b4 (there is also nothing wrong with


9 ... lt:le4 Korchnoi - Krasenkow, Lvov 2000)
10.'IMl'b2 c5 Black immediately attacks the white
centre. 1 1 .0-0 0-0 1 2.Eld l b6 1 3.a3 lt:lc6
14.'IMl'c2 cxd4 1 5 .exd4 ib7 1 6.if4 Elc8 1 7.h3
This complex position occurred in Jakobsen
- Ruck, Koszeg 2000. Black should continue
17 ... lt:le7N 1 8.lt:lb5 lt:le4 with a sound game.

a b c d e f g h 9... lt:le4
With the white bishop on d2, this idea is
9.id2
White has a couple of other possibilities: now even stronger.

9.c5 10.'IMl'b2
This seems too ambitious. White defends his bishop again, since after
9 ... lt:l d7 1 0.ixa6 Elxa6 1 1 .lt:l a4 0-0 1 0.ie2 lt:l xd2 1 1 .lt:l xd2 e5 Black takes over the
The extravagant 1 l .. .g5 turned out okay initiative.

10 ...0-0 l l.ie2
for Black in Korchnoi - Van Wely, Istanbul
2000, but the text is more logical.
1 24 Closed Variation

This is White's main idea. Black has an


excellent game after 8.cxd5 lll xc5 9 .ic4 if5,
for instance: 1 0.lll ge2 id3! 1 l .i.b3 ia6
1 2.0-0 E:c8 1 3.E:b l Wd6 14.a3 lll g4 Black had
a dangerous initiative in Cusi - Yermolinsky,
Chicago 2003.

8... llJe4!
A very strong idea. After the exchange of
White's dark-squared bishop, Black will have
fine compensation for the pawn.

9.f3 liJxd2 1 0.xd2 e6 1 l.liJc3 a5


This was U. Baumgartner - Siger, e-mail Black has no intention of easing White's task
2008. Black now has various attractive options by swapping queens.
- the one I like most is:
12.a3 gds 13.c2 i.d7!
1 1 . ..cSN 12.0-0 cxd4 13.exd4 liJxd2 Black is waiting for a better moment to
14.xd2 dxc4 15.bxc4 e5 16.dS liJ cS capture the c5-pawn, since 1 3 ...Wxc5 could be
Black is doing well. met by 1 4.Wf2.

C) 5.i.d2 0-0 6Jkl 14.i>f2


After both 14.tt:lge2 Wxc5 and 1 4.i.d3
lll xc5, Black is clearly better.

14...gacS 1 5.i.e2

8
7
6
5
4
3
a b c d e f g h

This relatively rare continuation has been


2
tested several times by Belarusian GM
Aleksandrov. It may look as if White is well
prepared to meet . . . c5 , but Black can still play
it. 15 ...i.h6!N
This is an improvement on 1 5 .. :Wxc5, which
6...c5 7.dxc5 llJa6 8.liJxd5 allowed White to stabilize the position with
1 6.b4 in Aleksandrov - Ivanchuk, Chalkidiki
Chapter 1 1 - Various Fifth M oves 125

2002. Black's idea is that when he plays ...Wxc5 1 0.dS


he will be atticking the e3-pawn. The only way to fight for an advantage.
1 0.dxc5 Wa5 can only be better for Black, for
16.4 e5! example: 1 l ..id2 (after 1 1 .0-0 :d8! 12 ..id2
The position opens up in Black's favour. Wxc5 Black has the more pleasant position)
l 1 . ..Wxc5 12.tLia4 Wg5 ( 1 2 ...Wc7 is fine too)
D) 5.cxd5 tlJxd5 6.tlJxd5 13.0-0 :d8 14.Wcl This occurred in Gregor
- Sulko, Slovakia 2002, and now the simple
This line has recently been very fashionable. I 1 4 ....ih3N 1 5 ..if3 tLic6 1 6 ..ic3 :ac8 would
would also like to mention: 6 ..ic4 t2Jb6 7 . .ib3 have led to a better position for Black.
0-0 8.tLige2 This can hardly pose Black any
difficulties. (The natural 8.t2Jf3 transposes to 10 ... e6 1 1.e4 exd5 12.exdS
line 02 in the following chapter.) 8 ... c5 9.dxc5 Here I have a new idea to suggest:

-
tlJ6d7 10.tLie4 tLi a6 l 1 .Wc2 tLib4 1 2.Wd2 Wa5
1 3.0-0 tLixc5 14.t2Jxc5 Wxc5 1 5 .a3 tLic6 Black
8 .i .t
clearly has the better chances, Sinprayoon -
7 lfl"U,,, ,/,U ,ly,m i
,: , ,/,-!
/, , , ,
Ogaard, Haifa (ol) 1 976.

,..
6 Yfxd5 7.tDe2

.
.

4
3 0, 0,
8
7
6 2 !n
,, ,/, ufu!
'=,, ,
5 1 /,
4 a b c d e f g h

3 12 ...Vfb6!?N

2 I like the idea of preventing the white bishop


from easily j umping to f4 or g5 . Now White
will need to spend time solving the problem of
the b2-pawn. In practice Black's most popular
a b c d e f g h
continuation has been 12 ... b6.
The point of White's play; the second knight
will come to c3 with tempo. 13.0-0 tlJa6
1 3 ....if5 is also worth considering.
7 .. o-o s.tDc3 Vfds The position is very complex, but my feeling
Some strong players have opted for 8 ... Wd6 is that Black is doing fine. Here is my brief
in recent games, but I prefer the d8-square for analysis:
the queen.
14.d6
9.i.e2 c5 This looks the most challenging continua
This is of course more active than 9 ... c6, tion, but of course there are reasonable
which is also quite popular. alternatives:
1 26 Closed Variation

1 4.el i.d7 ( 1 4 ...i.f5 would allow White to Conclusion


free his pieces by 1 5 .lt:Ja4 Wd6 1 6 .i.e3) 1 5 .i.f3
fe8 It is not dear how White can develop his We have covered a range ofdifferent approaches
queenside. from White, but in all of these lines I believe
that Black can count on obtaining good play.
1 4.i.c4 i.f5 looks good for Black. The most important variation is probably D)
5.cxd5 tt:Jxd5 6.tt:Jxd5 '1Mfxd5 7.lt:Je2, which has
14.Wb3 i.f5 ( 1 4 ...Wxb3 1 5.axb3 tt:Jb4 looks been all the rage in the last year or so. In that
tempting, but after 1 6 .i.g5 White might line I think that my new idea of 1 2 ...Wb6!?N
have some initiative) 1 5 .i.e3 mes 16.i.b5 offers Black promising counterplay.
( 1 6.Wxb6 axb6 1 7.i.b5 f8 1 8.d6 lt:J b4 is not
dangerous for Black, and it seems to me that
White's passed pawn is rather weak) 1 6 ... ec8
1 7.lt:Ja4 Wa5 1 8 .i.xa6 bxa6 1 9.ac l i.f8 Black
will play ... ab8 next, with fine play.
Closed Variation a b c d e f g h

5.f3

Variation Index
1 .d4 ll:i f6 2.c4 g6 3.ll:ic3 d5 4.e3 i.g7 5.lt.J3
5 ...0-0

A) 6.i.e2 c5 128
Al) 7.dxc5 128
A2) 7.cxd5 130
A3) 7.0-0 cxd4 8.exd4 ll:i c6 131
A3 1) 9.c5 ll:i e4 133
A3 1 1) 1 0.i.4 134
A3 12) 1 0.i.e3 135
A32) 9.cxd5 135
A33) 9.el i.g4 136
A331) 1 0.c5 136
A332) 1 0.cxd5 1 37
A34) 9.h3 138
B) 6.i.d2 139
C) 6.i.d3 141
D) 6.cxd5 ll:ixd5 7.i.c4 ll:ib6 143
Dl) 8.i.e2 143
D2) 8.i.b3 144
128 Closed Variation

1.d4 tlJf6 2.c4 g6 3.tiJc3 d5 4.e3 i.g7 5.tiJf3 8.cxd5


0-0 There is also:
6.b4 (via the 5.b4 move order) and 8 ..id2 dxc4 9.liJa4
6.1.Wb3 e6 were covered in the previous Or 9.ixc4 Wxc5 and:
chapter, but there are still four other serious a) 1 0 ..ib3 liJ c6 1 1 .0-0 :!"ld8 The position
continuations to be examined: A) 6.i.e2, resembles those that can arise from the
B) 6.i.d2, C) 6.i.d3 and D) 6.cxd5. 4 ..if4 Variation (see line C of Chapter 17),
but the passivity of White's dark-squared
A) 6.i.e2 c5 bishop makes a difference and Black is very


comfortable here. 12.h3 Dvoranova- Purgar,
8 i. .i.
/,_ ,y, '
Herceg Novi 2008. Black can now go after
7 :6, ;
the light-squared bishop by: 1 2 ... liJ a5N
1 3.We2 liJxb3 1 4.axb3 b6 l 5.e4 .ib7 Black's
"g ! ".l
,,,,, ,

6 chances are preferable.


5 : /,, ,,,, b) 1 0.Wb3 liJ c6 l l .liJ a4 Wh5 1 2 ..ie2 (White

4 ',ti,'g
probably only now realized that the natural

3 :,;/J",,,,%;altJ -
1 2 ..ic3 runs into the extremely unpleasant
r% 12 ... .ih3!) 1 2 ... liJe4 Black captures the

2 tlrti, , , ;- tl white dark-squared bishop and has the

, , /,'=,, ,/,-
better game, Serrano Pertinez - 'Chessbolo',
Internet 2004.
9 ...Wc7 1 0 ..ixc4 liJ e4 1 1 .:!"lcl
a b c d e f g h

White now chooses from Al) 7.clxc5, A2) 8


7.cxd5 and A3) 7.0-0.
7
Al) 7.clxc5 WTa5 6
5
Also playable is: 7 ... dxc4 8.Wxd8 :!"lxd8 9 ..ixc4
4
liJ bd7 1 0.c6 bxc6 1 1 .0-0 liJ b6 Black will play
... liJ fd5 next, with equality. 3
2
a b c d e f g h

White has managed to temporarily retain


the extra pawn, but his pieces are lacking in
coordination, while Black has active pieces
and full compensation.
l L.ig4 1 2.Wc2
An important variation is 1 2.h3 .ixf3 1 3.gxf3
liJxd2 1 4.Wxd2 Cvitan - Donchev, Polanica
Zdroj 1 98 5 , and now best is 14 ... liJc6N, for
example: 1 5 .Wc2 ( 1 5 .0-0 is dangerous in
view of 1 5 ... liJ e5 1 6 ..ie2 Wc6!) 1 5 ...Wa5t
Chapter 1 2 - 5 . f3 129

-
- - ." i
1 6.fl bS 1 7.cxb6 axb6 1 8.tt'lc3 e6 Black
s .1. m.t.
%
65 ..... ... .. % T
has excellent positional compensation for 7
the pawn.

-.
- .....%
1 2 ....ixf3
12 ...Wc6!? is also interesting.

)'%
4

3 -
13.gxf3 tt'lxd2 1 4.Wxd2 :!"ld8 1 5 .Wc2 Wast

i,,
1 6.e2

2 !0, -"J
;ef'"""
"''"'i


. . -/
%?2''1' ""
1 g .. .
'l.
a b c d e f g h

1 2 ... tli c6!


I prefer this natural move to 1 2 ....ie6, as
played in the above-mentioned game.
1 3 . .ib2
After 13 ..ic4 Korpas - Matyas, Nyiregyhaza
1 999, Black should play: 1 3 ...Wf6N 14 . .ib2
a b c d e f g h eS 1 5 . .ibS Wd8!+
This was Adamski - Dueball, Raach 1 969. 13 ... Wxa2 1 4.Wc3 eS 1 5 .tt'lxeS tt'lxeS 1 6.WxeS
The following seems to me the best way for f6 1 7.Wc3
Black to play: 1 7.We7 fails to 17 ....ifS-+.
1 6 ... tt'l c6N 1 7.:!"lhd l tt'leS 1 8 .Wb3 e6 1 9.f4 We have been following Thoma - Postl,
tt'lxc4 20.:!"lxc4 Austria 1 998, and here Black should play
20.Wxc4 bS! 2 1 .cxb6 axb6 the simple:
1 7 ... .ie6+N
20 ... bS 2 1 .cxb6 axb6
Black is doing well; he is threatening not only White will have to work hard in order to
... bS, but also ... WhSt followed by ...Wxh2. demonstrate his compensation .

8...xd5 9.Wxd5 L.c3t 1 0.i.d.2 8


Other options:
7
10. fl ?! looks unnatural, and indeed after 6
10 ...:!"ld8 1 1 .Wc4 .if6 Black has more than
5
enough compensation. For example: 1 2.Wc2
tt'la6 1 3 . .id2 WxcS Black had an obvious 4
advantage in Zlotnik - Sion Castro, Palma de
3
Mallorca 1 99 1 .
2
1 0.bxc3
This exchange sacrifice deserves attention; it
1
a b c d e f g h
brought an important victory for Milov in
his game against the young Indian GM Negi 1 0 J:d8!
..

in the 2009 World Cup. A very important move, which comfortably


10 ... Wxc3t 1 1 .Wd2 Wxal 1 2. 0-0 solves all Black's opening problems.
130 Closed Variation

1 1 .hc3
8
Sacrificing the queen is possible, but tends
to leave White fighting for equality rather than 7
for the advantage: 6
5
4
l 1 .Wxd8t Wxd8 1 2.xc3 lll d7 1 3.b4 a5!

3
2
1
a b c d e f g h
13.c4
White has tried 1 3.Ei'.d 1 more often, but Black
can respond: 13 ...Ei'.xc5 1 4.Ei'.d8t '\f;ig7 1 5.lll d4

h
e5! 1 6.lll b5 Suvrajit- Ganguly, Visakhapamam
a b c d e f g
2004. Here the simple 1 6 ... lll c6N l 7.Ei'.e8 Ei'.b8
14.0-0 would solve the problem of the back-rank pin
White cannot maintain his pawn structure and leave Black with much the better chances.
by means of the natural 14.a3 in view of:
1 4 ... axb4 1 5 .axb4 Ei'.xa l t 16.xal lll x c5! 13 ...:Bxc5 14.ltJd4 ltJd7 15.0-0 ltJf6 16.:Babl
1 7.0-0 lll e4 Black had the better chances in e5
Murach - Packroff, corr. 1 977. 16 ... Ei'.b8!? is worth considering.
On l 4.bxa5 Klinghammer - Hallier, corr.
1 9 86, Black should of course recapture: 17.:Bb5
1 4 ... Ei'.xa5!N 1 5.0-0 (after 1 5 .xa5 Wxa5t We have been following Struzka - Hlavac,
1 6. '\f;ifl lll xc5 Black has a serious edge, e-mail 2005. Black should now play:
due to the misplaced white king) 1 5 ... Ei'.xc5
16.b4 Ei'.c7 17.Ei'.fd l Wf8 Black has the 17 ... ltJe4N 1 8.:BxcS ltJxc5 19.liJb3 ltJa4
advantage, although White has reasonable 20.:Bcl ie6
drawing chances. Black has slightly better chances.
1 4... axb4 1 5 .xb4 Wc7 1 6.Ei'.fcl lll b8
The knight is heading for the c6-square. A2) 7.cxd5 ltJxd5 8.Wb3
l 7.lll d4 d7 1 8.lll b5 We5
A common alternative is:
Again Black is better, but White has chances
8.0-0 lll c6 9.dxc5
of surviving, Moehring - Tukmakov, Leipzig
White has a wide choice:
1 975.
9.h3 cxd4 1 0.exd4 is examined in the note
to White's tenth move in A32.
1 1 ...Wxc3t 12.bxc3
9.Wb3 e6 1 0.Wxb7 cxd4 l l .exd4 transposes
12.Wd2 Ei'.xd2 1 3.bxc3 Ei'.d5 transposes to the
to the main line of A32.
main line.
9.lll xd5 Wxd5 1 0.dxc5 Wxc5+ Black has
a thematic advantage, due to the contrast
1 2...:BxdS
between the dark-squared bishops.
Chapter 1 2 - 5 .lll f3 131

9 ... lll xc3 1 0.bxc3 Wa5! 1 1 .d2 Wxc5 1 2.Elb l


8
b6 1 3.Wc2 -
Holtorp - Schoene, Bensheim 2002. Here 7
there is the simple: 6
1 3 ... l2i e5!N
5
4
Black has a pleasant edge.

8 ... llJxc3 9.bxc3 llJc6


3
8 2
7
6 a b c d e f g h

5 13 ...i.h?!N

4 I like this straightforward approach for


Black. Instead l 3 ... d7 1 4.g5 a4 1 5.Elcl
3 was unclear in Fries Nielsen - Giorgadze,

2 Gausdal 1 992.

I 4.i.e3 iUds
14 ... cxd4 l 5.cxd4 :8:ac8 also comes into
a b c d e f g h
consideration.
Quite a common pawn structure in this
opening. Here Black has a good version, since 15.i.d3 cxd4 16.cxd4 ifac8 17.Wl'b4 Wl'd6!
the white queen is obviously misplaced on b3; 1 8.a3 e6
Black can at some point win a tempo with the Black has a good game.
thematic ... lt:'ia5.
A3) 7.0-0 cxd4 8.exd4
10.0-0 b6
Black has a comfortable game, as we can see There have also been a large number of games
from the following examples: in which White recaptured with the knight:
8.lt:'ixd4 dxc4 9.xc4 a6
1 UM1
I also examined: l l .a3 lt:'i a5 1 2.Wc2 Wc7
13.:B:acl :8:d8 I 4.dxc5 This exchange is slightly
premature. 14 ... bxc5 l 5.c4 Trojan - Lazanek,
Czech Republic 1 998. Now Black can maintain
better chances with: 1 5 ...f5N 1 6.'Wa4 (after
1 6.e4 g4 the nice d4-square will be available
to the black minor pieces) 1 6 ... lt:'i b7 Black will
continue with ... lll d 6. White's main problem
is his clearly misplaced dark-squared bishop.

1 1. Wl'c7 12.e4 llJa5 13.Wl'bl



132 Closed Variation

There are more than a hundred games from Black has a slight advantage, although White
this position; however I believe that a short remains solid, Golombek - Smyslov, Bucharest
review is quite sufficient to show how Black 1 953.
should play here.
1 0.a4 8...lll c6
Other options are:
1 0.e2 Vff c7 l l .d2 e5 The key idea - Black
grabs a lot of space. 1 2.lll b3 lll c6 1 3 .l"i:cl l"i:d8
14.Vfiel Hoang Thanh Son - Erhembayar,
Shenyang 1 999. Now the natural 1 4 ...f5N
1 5 .lll a4 b6 would secure Black's slight
edge.
1 0.Vfie2 b5 l l .b3 b7 1 2.l"i:d l lll bd7
Black has comfortable development. 1 3 .e4
Vff c7 14.g5 lll c5 1 5 .l"i:acl e6 1 6.e5 lll fd7
1 7 .f4 This occurred in Bisguier - Daskalov,
Tallinn 1 97 1 , and here l 7 ... l"i:ac8N would
give Black a sound position in a very complex
a b c d e f g h
game.
1 0 ...Vff c7 l l .Vfie2 e5 1 2.lll c2 e4 We have arrived at a real crossroads, as
I like this move, grabbing more space and White has a huge choice here. Our main lines
creating possibilities such as ... lll g4 or will be A31) 9.c5, A32) 9.cxd5, A33) 9.gel
...g4. and A34) 9.h3, but first we shall take a look at
three other options:

9.lll e5
Provided he replies correctly, this doesn't
pose Black any problems.
9 ...dxc4! 1 0.lll xc6 bxc6 l l .xc4 l"i:b8 1 2.h3
1 2.b3 l"i:b4 1 3 .lll e2 (I also examined
1 3.e3 lll g4 14.h3 lll xe3 1 5 .fxe3 f5+)
1 3 ...a6 1 4.l"i:el lll d5 1 5.e3 e5 Black took
over the initiative in Vehkalahti - Jolkkonen,
Finland 2005.
a b c d e f g h

1 3 .lll d5
1 3 .lll b4 is strongly met by: 13 . . .g4! 14.f3
exf3 l 5.gxf3 e6 Black has the better
chances, due to the exposed white king.
1 3 ... lll xd5 l 4.xd5 l"i:e8 l 5 .lll d4 lll d7 16.Vffc4
Vffxc4 1 7 .xc4 lLl b6 1 8 .e2
After 1 8.b3 xd4 1 9.exd4 e6 Black
retains a pleasant edge.
1 8 ...d7 1 9.a5 lll d5 20.d2 l"i:ac8
a b c d e f g h
Chapter 1 2 - 5 .lll f3 1 33

This was_ Gierth Summermatter, 1 7.lll b4 Wxdl 1 8.:xdl a5 1 9 .tll d3 bxc6


Switzerland 1 996, and now simplest is: with an obvious advantage.) 1 l . ..b6 1 2.:adl
12 ...lll d5N 1 3.ib3 e6 ib7 Budde - Peelen, Dieren 1 983. White
Black enjoys a comfortable game. does not have sufficient compensation
for the pawn after, for example, 1 3 .id4
9.ig5 ie6 1 0. cxd5 Wc8.
A different pawn structure arises after: 1 O.c5 1 0 ... lll a5
lll e4 Black has an improved version of
line A3 1 below. 1 l .ie3 lll xc5! This works
very well here. 1 2.dxc5 d4 1 3 .lll xd4 lll xd4
14.id3 Wa5 Black was dearly better in
Drzemicki - Hass, Mikolajki 1 99 1 .
1 0. . .lll xd5 1 1 .Wd2 Wb6 1 2.l"i:fd l
After 1 2.ih6 l"i:fd8 1 3.ixg7 i;t>xg7 1 4.:ad l
lll f6+ Black's position is preferable, as White
doesn't have enough activity to compensate
for the isolated d-pawn, Sbarra - J. Horvath,
Verona 2005.
1 2 ... :!:%fd8 1 3.:!:%acl ?!
This inaccuracy was committed in 1 1 .ie2
Vekshenkov - Yandemirov, Tomsk 1 998, The main choice according to theory.
although Black was fine anyway. After 1 l .id3 Black has a comfortable
game: 1 L .ie6 1 2.We2 :!:%c8 1 3 .lll e5 lll d 5!
1 4.lll xd5 ixd5 1 5.b3 lll c 6 1 6.:acl Wd6
Black was slightly better in Singher - Legky,
Montreal 2003 ; again White does not have
enough activity to compensate for the
isolated d-pawn.
1 L .ie6 1 2.Wa4 lll d5 1 3 .lll x d5 ixd5
1 4.:acl
Bregadze - Pavlidis, Kerner 2007. Black
should have continued:
14 . . .lll c6N 1 5.l"i:fdl e6+
a b c d e f g h
Again Black has good play against the
1 3 ... lll db4!N isolated pawn.
Black wins a pawn.
A31) 9.c5
9.ie3 dxc4 1 0.ixc4
White occasionally tries a pawn sacrifice: By releasing the tension in this way, White
1 0.d5 lll a 5 1 1 .Wd2 ( 1 l .b4 cxb3 1 2.axb3 signals that he wants to make use of his
looks tempting, but there is a dear refutation: queenside majority, but Black's counterplay in
12 ... lll xd5! 1 3 .lll xd5 ixal 1 4.b4 lll c6 1 5.b5 the centre will be too strong.
Kapetanovic - Gardner, Toronto 1 998. Now
Black should play 1 5 ...ig?N 1 6.bxc6 e6 9 tt:le4
...
1 34 Closed Variation

8 l l .tll e5? tt:lxe5!N This just leads to the win of

7 a pawn. (In all six games to reach this position


Black has played l l ...ixe2, after which
6 l 2.tll xc6 leaves White only slightly worse.)

5 l 2.ixe5 (also after l 2.ixg4 tt:lxg4 l 3 .\;Wxg4


ixd4 Black is a pawn up) 1 2 . . .ixe2 1 3.\;Wxe2
4 ixe5 14.dxe5 tt:lxc5 Black has a healthy extra

3 pawn.

2 1 1 .l"i:cl e6 1 2.h3 ixf3 1 3.ixf3 Chachere -

1 Stone, Chicago 1 990. Black should now play


1 3 . . . tll g 5!N when there is no good way for
a b c d e f g h White to defend the d4-pawn.
White generally chooses between A31 1) 1 1...e6
10 .if4 and A312) 10 .ie3 .

I think that Black can already aspire to an
advantage, and therefore should not be satisfied
I would also like to mention 1 O.h3, after which with: l 1 .. .tt:lxc5, 1 2.dxc5 ixf3 1 3.ixf3 d4
I recommend: 1 0 ... b6 l l .ib5 ib7N 1 2.\;Wa4 1 4.ig5 dxc3 1 5 .bxc3 The game was more
l"i:c8 Black has slightly the better chances. or less equal in Dumitrache - Nisipeanu,
Romania 1 992.
A31 1) 10 ..if4
12.h3
This doesn't look best, since White may There is also: 1 2.tll e l ixe2 1 3.tll xe2
subsequently need to defend the d4-pawn with
ie3 anyway.

10. ..ig4
.

8
7
6
5
4 a b c d e f g h

3 l 3 ... e5N (I consider this more challenging

2
than 13 ... b6, which is nevertheless okay for
Black) l 4.f3 exd4 l 5 .tll xd4 tll g 5! 1 6.tt:lec2

1 ttJ e6 1 7. tt:lxe6 fxe6 1 8. ttJ d4 \;Wf6 1 9. tt:lxc6 bxc6


Black has promising position.
a b c d e f g h

1 1..ie3 12 i.xa 13.i.xa f5


..

Other moves: Black has a fine game. I like the following


example:
Chapter 1 2 - 5 .tll f3 135

14.he4 dxe4 15.d5 exd5 16.llJxd5 E:f7! Black had the slightly better position in
17.Wfd2? E:dl 18.E:adl llJd4! 1 9.ig5 Wff8 Brumen - Smirin, Rabac 2004.
Black had a decisive advantage in Mirkovic -
Tringov, Vrnjacka Banja 1 996. A32) 9.cxd5 llJxd5

A312) IO.ie3 b6!


8
When the white bishop goes directly to e3, I 7
think this is the strongest idea. 6
5
4
1 1.cxb6
Other moves are no better:

3
2
1 l .Wfa4 d7 1 2.b5 lll xc3 1 3.bxc3 Wfc7
14.f4?! Wfxf4 1 5 .xc6 xc6 1 6.Wfxc6 bxc5
17.Wfxc5 e6 Black had a clear positional
advantage in Haritakis - Alterman, Katerini
1 992. a b c d e f g h

10.Wfb3
1 l .b5 lll xc3 1 2.bxc3 tll a5 1 3.cxb6 axb6 Let us take a brief look at the alternatives:
1 4.Wfe2 Wfc7 1 5 .g5 a7 1 6.fe l e6 Black's
superior pawn structure gave her the better 1 0.g5 h6 1 l .e3 e6 1 2.Wfd2 @h7 Black
chances in Mamedjarova - C. Foisor, Plovdiv has quite a comfortable set-up. 1 3.tll e4 Wa5!
2008. Swapping queens is a standard idea for the
side playing against an isolated pawn. 1 4.fd l
Ozgibcev - Novik, Sochi 2005. Now the
simple 1 4 ...Wxd2N 1 5 .xd2 b6 would give
Black the better chances.

1 0.h3 b6 The plan of fianchettoing the light


squared bishop offers Black a healthy game, for
instance: 1 l .c4 lll xc3 1 2.bxc3 tll a5 13.d3
Wfc7 14.a3 d8 1 5 .cl e6 1 6.Wfe2 b7 Black
had a pleasant position in Pierna Manzano -
Hoffman, Aviles 1 992.

1 0.el f5 ( 1 0 ...e6 is also quite good)


1 l .g5 h6 1 2.e3 c8 1 3 .Wfb3 lll xe3 1 4.fxe3
e5! After this strong idea White will experience
difficulties on the dark squares. 1 5 .d5 e4
Black had the initiative in Wright - Stean,
Canterbury 1 973.
13.Wfd2 ig4 14.E:fbl llJa5 15.llJe5 he2
16.Wfxe2 f6 17.llJf3 Wfd6 10 ...ie6!
136 Closed Variation

This move effectively refutes White's queen


8
manoeuvre.
7
1 1.\Wxb7 tll xd4 12.tll xd4 .ixd4 6
5
4
3
2
a b c d e f g

10 ... tll e4 1 1.i.e3 tll xc3


I prefer this to: l l . ..f5 1 2.h3! ixf3 1 3.ixf3
e6 14.tll e2 The position is very complex and it is
hard to be sure what Black should do. 1 4 ... e5?!
a b c d e f g h
This natural advance seems to be premature.
Black has carried out a favourable exchange 1 5 .dxe5 tll xe5 1 6.ixe4 fxe4 1 7.tll f4! Elxf4
of his b7-pawn for the white d-pawn, and 1 8 . .ixf4 tll d3 l 9 . .id6 id4 20.Wb3 ixf2t
enjoys a pleasant edge. 2 1 .iih2 White was much better in Benatar -

J. Fernandez, e-mail 1 999.


13.:!3dl
1 3 .ih6 is strongly met by: 13 ... Elb8 14.Wa6 12.bxc3 b6!
Elxb2! 1 5 .tll xd5 Wxd5 1 6.ixf8 iixf8 With We have already seen this plan, aiming (after
great play for the exchange, Black clearly has cxb6 axb6) to get a pawn structure in which
the better chances. 1 7 .a4? Klyuner - Siebrecht, the white queenside pawns will turn out to be
Duisburg 1 999. Black could now have decided weak.
the issue with the tactical trick: 1 7 ... Elb6N
1 8.Wxa7 Elb l !-+ 13.\Wa4
I believe that this is the best try, since
13 ... :!3b8 14.\Wa6 tll b4! 15.\Wa4 \Wb6 1 3.cxb6 axb6 significantly eases Black's task.
Black was clearly better in G. Gonzalez - Play might continue: 1 4.h3 ixf3 1 5.ixf3
Goldenberg, Mar del Plata 1 96 1 . tll a 5 (the prophylactic 1 5 ...Wd6 is also
worth considering) 1 6.ig5 Ela? 1 7.Elb 1 Wd6
A33) 9.:!3el i.g4 1 8 .Wa4 e6 1 9.Wb5 Elc8 Black had obtained a
clear positional superiority in Szeles - Galyas,
White now decides whether to advance his
Hungary 1 998.
c-pawn or exchange it: A33 1) 10.c5 or A332)
1 0.cxd5.
13 ...\Wd7!
A33 1) 10.c5 This is my new idea. Black threatens
1 4 ... tll xd4, thereby forcing White to either
This type of position is already familiar from release the tension or move his queen away
previous lines. from the a4-square.
Chapter 1 2 - 5 . ctJ f3 137

I was not satisfied with Black's position follow 1 994. Now l recommend: 1 7 ... lli f5N 1 8.2"lxf4
ing: 13 ... llia S 1 4.i::;: ab l e6 1 5 ..if4 .ixf3 1 6..ixf3 Wxd l l 9.2"lxdl 2"lfd8 Black's bishop pair gives
'll c4 l 7 ..ie2 Wf6 Ernst - I..:A mi, Netherlands him the advantage in this endgame.
2006. Here l 8.g3N would maintain White's 13 ...Wa5 14.'!Wd2 ctJxe3
advantage; in the long term his c-pawn could Now is the right time to capture this bishop,
well become a dangerous passed pawn. to avoid wasting a tempo defending the h6-
pawn.
14.Wfa3 l 5.fxe3 i::;: ad8 l 6.a3 .ib3!
Black need not fear 1 4 ..ib5 .ixf3 1 5 .gxf3 Black prevents b2-b4 and at the same time
i:=;:fcg and the pin is not dangerous. clears the way for ...e5.
17 ..idl
14...e6

78
I am not sure about the position which arises
after 14 ... bxc5 1 5.dxc5 e5 1 6.i::;:ad l , as the d5-
pawn is a bit vulnerable.
6
5
4
15.h3 ixf3 16 .ixf3 bxc5 17.dxc5 :gab8
.

3
Black's chances are not worse.

A332) 10.cxd5 tlJxd5 1 1.h3 ie6


2
h
1 1 .. ..if5 is also reasonable, but I prefer the e6-
a b c d e f g
square.
This was Steinbrecht - Hennig, Hamburg
1 997. Black should now continue:
1 7 ....ic4N 1 8 ..ie2 .ixe2 1 9.'!Wxe2
After 1 9.b4 We? 20.llixe2 e5 Black also
obtains good play.
1 9 ... e5 20.d5 e4!
Black takes over the initiative.

12 ... :gcs 13.ig5 h6 14.ie3


This position has occurred more than a
dozen times, and practice shows that Black
has an excellent game. Black can choose from
various plans, and I like the straightforward:
a b c d e f g h
14 ... tlJxc3 15.bxc3 tlJa5
12.ifl Black has the c4-square at his disposal, and
The main alternative is: of course the c3-pawn is a clear target.
12 ..ig5 h6 13.ie3
White has also tried 13 . .ih4, but this allows 16.Wfdl 'i!?h7 17.if4 ic4 18.ie5
the black knight to jump to the f4-square: Also harmless is: 1 8.'!Wb2 .ixfl 1 9.'i!;>xfl e6
13 ... llif4 14 ..ifl g5 1 5.ig3 'll xd4 1 6 ..ixf4 20 ..ie5 '!Wd5 2 1 .hg7 'i!;>xg7 22.2"le5 Wc4t
gxf4 l 7.2"le4 Tisdal! - Ostenstad, Norway 23.'i!;>gl b6+ Eljanov - Strelnikov, Kharkov
1 38 Closed Variation

2000. White doesn't have enough compensation 1 0.c5


for the weakness of his queenside pawns. White has also tried:

8
1 0.ti:Jg5 if5 l l .ie3 dxc4 1 2.ixc4 li:J a5

7
1 3 .ie2 tiJ d5
l 3 ...2"1c8 is also fine for Black.
6 14.li:Jxd5 Wi'xd5 1 5 .Wa4

5 I also examined 1 5 .Elcl when it's dangerous


to accept the pawn sacrifice, but Black can
4 continue 1 5 ... 2"1ac8 1 6.Wa4 li:J c6 1 7.ic4

3 Wd6 with a comfortable game.

2
1 5 ...id7 1 6.Wa3
This happened in Sahovic - Milanovic,

1 Belgrade 200 1 . Now Black should play:


1 6 ...ic6N 17.if3 Wb5
a b c d e f g The exchange of light-squared bishops is
clearly in Black's favour, and meanwhile
1 8 . .ixfl.N
. .

grabbing the e-pawn doesn't help White.


I prefer this to: 18 ... if6 19 .ixf6 exf6
l 8.Wxe7 2"1ae8 l 9.Wi'c5 Wxc5 20.dxc5 li:Jc4
Novkovic - Kalod, Presov 2000. Black is not
Black has the better game.
worse, but it is hard to believe that he has
chances for an advantage.
l O.ig5 Wa5!

8 ,J
1 9.bg7 <iixg7 20.<iixfl e6i
Black retains the better chances, due to his
1 r
6 , , ,%
'i).f', iB
superior pawn structure.

A34) 9.h3 i.e6 54 a,., :., ,, ,j.


8 i. , %
3 m ,
7 ,, ,,, ,%m,1ym '
6 , , , %"' 'fl
2 ru, "iiro.'
r
5 .ll llll,
4 llll fAllll llll
ll a b c d e f g h

This renews the threat to the c4-pawn.

3 llm 'll ll !",


l l .Wi'b3?! An unfortunate move, after which

2 f .:.f.
White is soon in trouble. l l ...dxc4 1 2.Wxb7
( 1 2.ixc4 runs into 1 2 ... ti:Jxd4! 1 3.ti:Jxd4 ixc4

1 d,, , %,-,
14.Wxc4 Wxg5 with an extra pawn for Black)
1 2 ... 2"1fc8 1 3.Wi'b5 Wxb5 14.ti:Jxb5 2"1ab8+
Hebden - Cavendish, Eastbourne 1 990.
a b c d e f g h

Black has several more popular options here, 1 O.cxd5 li:Jxd5 1 1 .Ele 1 2"1c8 This is very
but I believe that the text move is simple and comfortable for Black, for instance: 1 2.ifl
good. li:J xc3 1 3.bxc3 li:J a5 14.Wa4? Elxc3! 1 5.id2
Chapter 1 2 - 5 .ttJ f3 1 39

d7 1 6.b5 (1 6.Wb4 is strongly met by B) 6.i.d2 cS


1 6 ... xf3! 17.gxf3 l2J c6 1 8 .Wxb7 ttJxd4t)
16 ... c4! 17.b4 c6+ Bosboom - Van der
Sterren, Wijk aan Zee 1 989.

10... tll e4 1 1 .i.e3


Other possibilities:

1 1 .f4 b6 1 2.b5 l2Jxc3 ( 1 2 ... ttJ a5 is worth


considering) 1 3 .bxc3 ttJ a5 1 4.c6? (White
should have played 14.cxb6 axb6 1 5 .el d7
16.d3 c8, maintaining a balanced position)
14 ...We8! Now White loses his c-pawn. 1 5 .We2
ttJxc6 1 6.fe l Wc8 Black was clearly better in
Vragoteris - Tukmakov, Kavala 1 99 1 .
7.dxcS
l 1 .b5 The plan of exchanging this bishop Black is very comfortable after 7.cxd5 cxd4
for the c6-knight only helps Black strengthen 8.ttJxd4 ttJxd5. Here is one illustration of how
his centre. 1 1 .. .Wa5 1 2.xc6 bxc6 1 3.ttJe2 play may proceed: 9.e2 ttJ c6 1 0.ttJxc6 bxc6
f6 1 4.el f7 1 5.ttJd2 ab8 Black had an 1 1 .cl b8 1 2.b3 Borges Mateos - E. Garcia,
excellent game in Rajan - Mahjoob, New Sharjah 1 985. Now 1 2 ...l2J b4N 1 3.0-0 e6
Delhi 2008. would be promising for Black.

7... tll a6 8.cxdS


The alternative is harmless: 8.c l ttJ xc5
9.cxd5 ttJxd5 1 0.ttJxd5 Wxd5 1 1 .b4 (1 1 .c4
runs into 1 l ...ttJd3t! and only Black can be
better) 1 1 ...Wxd l t 1 2.xd l b6 1 3.b3 a5
14.xc5 c3t 1 5.ttJd2 bxc5 1 6.c4 a4 White
may have chances to hold, but the bishop pair
means that Black is clearly better, Bender -
Zelic, Sibenik 20 1 0 .

8... tll xcS 9.i.c4 a6


Black sometimes chooses 9... f5 1 0.0-0
c8, which is of similar value and should also
be sufficient for equality. But I have a preference
for including the moves ... a6 and a2-a4.

10.a4
12.dxcS d4 13.lll xd4 lll xd4 14.i.f3 gc8 White can hardly manage without this move,
1 5.i.dS i.xdS 16.i.xd4 eS 17.i.e3 i.c4 but he sometimes tries:
18.Wxd8 gfxd8 19,gfdl f5
Black was better and went on to win in Adly 1 0.b4 ttJ ce4 1 1 .cl f5N (this seems to be
- Ponomariov, Khanty-Mansiysk 2005. more logical than 1 l . ..b5 or 1 l . . .g4, the
140 Closed Variation

moves which have been played here) 12.ib3


Wd6 1 3.a3 :1'1:ac8 14.0-0 :B:fd8 Black has very
active pieces and has full compensation for the
pawn; he intends to attack the c3-knight next
by moving his knight from f6.

1 0.0-0 b5 l l .ie2 ib7 1 2.:B:cl :B:c8 Black


will regain the pawn at a suitable moment,
with the better chances, Taimanov - Kamsky,
Leningrad 1 987.

1 3.l2'ld4 results in a more or less forced line:


1 3 ... l2'lxd2 1 4.Wxd2 l2'le4 1 5 .l2'lxe4 ixe4
1 6 .Wb4 ixd4 l 7.exd4 ixd5 1 8 .ixd5 WxdS
1 9.Wxe7 :B:fe8 20.Wa3 Clearly only Black can
fight for an advantage here. It seems to me that
his best chance is 20 ... :B:e2N 2 1 .:B:fe 1 :B:d2+
and White still has some work to do in order
to reach a peaceful result.

1 3.l2'lxe4 ixe4 1 4.ib4 ixd5 1 5.:B:fdl Wb6


l 6.ixc5 ixc4 17 .ixb6 ixe2 l 8.:B:d2 (White
has also tried 1 8 .:B:d7 ixb2 1 9.:B:b l Gulko
- Navarovszky, Moscow 1 97 1 , and now
1 1..J:ks
1 9 ... ia3N 20.:B:xb7 :B:c4 2 1 .a5 :B:fc8 would
Black continues his mobilization, planning
lead to an unpleasant endgame for White, since
... ltJ d3 next.
Black's bishop pair is very powerful.) 1 8 ...ic4
1 9 .h3 :B:c6 ( 1 9 ... :B:fe8!? deserves attention) 20.a5
1 2.e2
ib5 2 1 .l2'ld4 ixd4 22.exd4 The opposite
The main alternative is: 1 2.l2'ld4 id3
coloured bishop endgame is of course drawish,
1 3.ixd3 l2'l xd3 1 4.Wb3 l2'lc5 1 5.Wa2 Wd7
Efimov - Stangl, Lavena 2003.
Black simply intends to continue with ... :B:fd8
and regain the pawn. (I prefer this to the more
13 ... l2'lxc3 14.hc3 ixc3 15.bxc3 l2'le4
popular 1 5 ... l2'lce4.) 1 6.:B:fd l :B:fd8 1 7.l2'lb3
16J:d4
Kahn - Pioch, corr. 1 977. Now 17 ... l2'l d3!N
Otherwise White would be worse: 1 6.:B:dcl
would give Black a pleasant edge, for example:
Wa5 l 7.l2'l d4 l2'lxc3 1 8 .Wfl ie4+ The cl-pawn
1 8 .Wb l Wf5 1 9.iel lLixel 20.Wxf5 gxf5
is falling next, Haygarth - A. Williams,
2 1 .:B:xe 1 l2'lxd5+
Eastbourne 1 973.

12 l2Jfe4
..
16...aS 17.el
Chapter 1 2 - 5 .tll f3 141

An important line is: l 7.g4 Wxc3 1 8 .:E'i:ad l After 8 ...Wa5 9.0-0 Wxc5 Black has no
ll'i d6! 1 9.ll'ie5 ie4 20.id3 ixd3 2 1 .:E'i: l xd3 problems, but with the text he is fighting for
Czubak- Hueser, e-mail 2008. Now the sim pie an advantage.
2 1 ...Wal t 22.:E'i:dl :E'i:cl would give Black the 9.iixdl
better chances. No better is: 9.ll'ixdl tt:'ie4 1 0.0-0 ll'ic6
Black has much the better game, due to
8
the superiority of his dark-squared bishop.

7
In Gomes - Santos, Brazil 1 993, White
lost very quickly: 1 1 .:E'i:b l ?! ll'ixc5 1 2.b4?
6 if5-+

5
9 . . . tt:'i bd7

3
2
1

a b c d e f g h

I 7... llJd6!?N
I believe that this logical novelty allows Black
c e
to fight for an advantage. After 17 ...Wxc3 a b d f g h
1 8.id3 Wxe l t 1 9.:E'i:xel ll'ic3 Fehmers -
Due to the misplaced white king, Black's
Brinkmann, Germany 200 l , White should
chances are higher.
play: 20.ixf5N gxf5 2 1 .d6 exd6 22.fl His
activity should enable White to obtain a draw 1 0.c6 bxc6 1 l .e2 tt:'i b6 1 2.id3 ll'i fd5
1 3.tt:'ixd5
without too much difficulty.
1 3 .id2 tt:'i b4! secures an edge for Black.
18.J.d3 1 4.a3 ll'ixd3 1 5 .xd3 ia6t 16.c2 :E'i:fd8
Another line I examined is: 1 8 .ifl Wxc3 1 7.:E'i:ad l id3t 1 8.cl tt:'ic4+ S. Kasparov -
l 9.Wxc3 :E'i:xc3 20.tt:'id2 :E'i:c2 2 l .e4 id7 The Aronian, Minsk 1 998.
endgame is slightly better for Black. 13 ... cxd5 1 4.:E'i:dl
This position has occurred in a couple of
18 ...J.xd3 19Jxd3 :!'k4! games. Black should play the natural:
Reminding White that the a4-pawn is also 1 4 ... :E'i:b8N
weak. White is struggling to equalize.

20.llJd.2 gxa4 7...cxd4 8.exd4


Black has the better chances in a complex 8.tt:'ixd4 allows Black to grab space in the
middlegame. centre: 8 ... e5 9.ll'ib3 e4 I O.ie2 dxc4 l l .ixc4
Wc7 1 2.ie2 tt:'ic6 1 3.ll'ib5 Wb8 1 4.id2 :E'i:d8
C) 6.i.d3 c5 7.0-0 1 5 .tll 5d4 ll'ie5 1 6.h3 b6 1 7.:E'i:cl ib7+ Black
had more space and the better chances in
It is inaccurate to play:
T. Fischer - Steinmacher, Baunatal 1 996.
7.dxc5 dxc4 8.ixc4 Wxd l t
142 Closed Variation

8
improvement: 14 ...1:'i:xc4N 1 5 .Wd2 1:'i:e8

7
1 6 .:t:'i:acl tll d 5= Black has no problems.
1 2.tll e 5 1:'i:c8 1 3.Af3 tll d 5 14.tll e4 tll b4
6 1 5 .tll c3 Heberla - Vehi Bach, Plovdiv 2008.

5
The simple 1 5 ... Wb6N followed by ... 1:'i:fd8
would secure an advantage for Black.
4 1 2 ... 1:'i:c8 1 3.tll e5 tll d5 14.i.d2 tll c6!

3
As is well known, swapping pieces is
favourable for the side playing against the
2 isolated pawn.
1 5 .tll xc6 1:'i:xc6 1 6.i.f3 1:'i:c4
1
Black was better in Zhukova - Beshukov,
a b c d e f g h Berlin 1 995.
8 . . c6 9.h3
.

This is necessary prophylaxis. After 9.Ag5 1 I . ..i.e6 12.el


i.g4 the pin is highly unpleasant: 1 0.i.xf6 If White plays 1 2.We2 1:'i:c8 13.Ag5 Levitt -
Axf6 1 1 .tll xd5 Axd4 1 2.i.e2 i.g7 1 3.tll e3 Beaumont, Birmingham 1 999, then Black has
Ae6 Black was much better in Sterliagova - the strong: 1 3 ... tll c6N 1 4.:t:'i:ad l tll b4! White
Pogonina, Serpukhov 2002. has to give up his light-squared bishop.

9 . .dxc4
.
12... cS 13.i.g5
Black has other playable moves, but this Black must be ready for the thematic
seems to be the most logical. positional exchange sacrifice: l 3.1:'i:xe6 fxe6
1 4.We2 'itih8 1 5 .tll g 5 ( 1 5.Wxe6 Wd6!+)
1 0.hc4 a5 1 5 ... tll c6 1 6.tll b5 Lputian - Magerramov,
Daugavpils 1 978. Now strong is: 1 6 ...e5!N
1 7.tll e6 Wd5 1 8.tll xf8 Axf8 19.tll c3 tll xd4
20.We3 Wd6+ Black is doing fine, with an
extra pawn in the centre, although White has
some compensation.

a b c d e f g h
Chapter 1 2 - 5 . tt:J f3 143

13 ... lDc6!N 7... lDb6


An unexpected change of direction. Black
has previously tried 13 ... lll c4 or 13 ...i.c4, but
the text looks more promising.

I 4.ic2 Vf/b6!
Everything comes with tempo.

15.ih3
Neither 1 5 .d5 ? lll xd5 1 6.lll xd5 i.xd5
1 7.Vflxd5 ltJ b4+ nor 1 5 .:gxe6 fxe6 1 6.i.b3
lll a 5+ is any good for White.

15 ...ixh3 16.Vfixh3 Vfixh3 17.axh3 Uds;


The endgame is favourable for Black.

D) 6.cxdS lDxdS 7.ic4

By far the most popular continuation. Other


possibilities are:

7.i.e2 c5 8.0-0 tll c6 9.Wb3 i.e6! 10.Wxb7 8

7
cxd4 1 1 .exd4 transposes to line A32.

7.Wb3 lll xc3 8.bxc3 c5 9.i.a3 6

5
9.i.e2 lll c6 was examined in A2.
9 ... cxd4 1 0.cxd4 lll c6 l l .i.e2 Wa5 t!
White has problems completing his 4

3
development.

2
1 2.lll d2
Clearly bad is: 1 2.iifl ? i.e6 1 3 .Wb2 Steele
- Blomquist, corr. 1 99 1 . Now simplest is 1
"""=----"="'-=::...==---"""'=-i
1 3 ... b5N 14.i.c5 b4 and Black has a big
a b c d e f g h
advantage.
l 2...i.e6 9.dxcS
In Szekely - Porreca, corr. 1 963, Black Another option is:
tried a remarkable piece sacrifice: 12 ...i.xd4 9.0-0 cxd4
1 3.exd4 lll xd4 l 4.Vflb2 :gd8!? It is very The untried 9 ... lll a 6!? looks interesting.
interesting, but a bit risky. 1 O.lll xd4
13.Vflb2 Black has an excellent game after: 1 O.exd4
This position occurred in Kreiman - Shipov, lll c6 l 1 .i.e3 i.e6 1 2.:gcl :gcs+ Book -
Internet 200 1 . Black can now seize the Keres, Turku 1 964.
initiative by: 1 0 ...i.d?
13 ... :gfd8N 1 4.:gcl Wb6 1 5 .lll c4?! i.xc4 Black prepares ... lll c6. After the immediate
1 6.i.xc4 e5t 1 0 ... lll c6 l l .lll xc6 bxc6 1 2 .Vflc2! i.e6
144 Closed Variation

1 3.l''M l Wc8 14.e4 White has some pressure, 12...<.f.ihS! 13.0-0


Nikolaev - Zhelesny, Moscow 1 999. White doesn't have 1 3.ixc6 bxc6 14.lt:Jxe7?
1 1 .a4 a5 ib7, as the knight would be trapped on e7.
Also reasonable is l 1 . ..lt:Jc6 1 2.a5 lt:Jc8
followed by ... lt:J d6. 13 ... e6 14.hc6 bxc6 15.c!lJb4 c!lJxc5
1 2.lt:Jdb5 lt:Jc6 1 3.e4 ie6 1 4.if4 Wxdl 1 5 ...ib7!?N may be even stronger, but the
1 5 .E!:fxdl game continuation is also good enough.
Spassky - Gligoric, Niksic 1 983.
1 5 ... E!:ac8=N 16.c!lJxc6 i.a6 17.:!3dl c!lJd.3!
Black has excellent compensation for the
9 ...'!Wxdl t 10.hdl pawn, Letelier - Gligoric, Havana 1 967.
1 0.lt:Jxdl Mititelu - Stoica, Bucharest 1 97 1 ,
is not accurate as it allows: 1 0. . . lt:J a4!N 1 1 .id2 D2) 8.i.b3
E!:d8+
This retreat is much less challenging, but still
10 ... tt:J6d7 1 1.tt:J ds a bit tricky.
Another try is: l 1 .lt:J a4 lt:J a6 1 2.c6 bxc6
Black's activity fully compensates for the
8 ... c5
problems with his pawn structure. 1 3.0-0 Oust
bad is 1 3 .id2? lt:Jac5 1 4.lt:Jxc5 lt:Jxc5 1 5 .ie2
ixb2 1 6.E!:b 1 E!:b8 and Black has won a pawn
for no compensation, Dake - Smyslov, Lone
Pine 1 976.) This was Burmakin - Khalifman,
St Petersburg 1 996, and now Black should
play 1 3 ... E!:b8N 14.tt:Jd4 ib7 followed by ... c5
at the right moment. I prefer Black's position.

1 1. .. c!lJ c6 12.i.a4
Black has no problems after: 1 2.lt:Jd4 lt:Jxd4
1 3 .lt:Jxe7t lt>h8 1 4.lt:Jxc8 E!:axc8 1 5 .exd4 ixd4
1 6.0-0 lt:Jxc5+ Bobotsov - Hort, Lugano
1 968.
9.0-0
White has also tried:
9.dxc5
This is hardly a good decision, as it opens the
long diagonal for the black bishop.
9 ... tt:J6d7 10.lt:Je4
1 0.Wd5 did not bring White success either:
1 0 ... lt:J a6! 1 1 .c6 bxc6 1 2.Wxc6 E!:b8 1 3.0-0
lt:J ac5 Black has an extremely powerful
initiative for the pawn. 14.1Wd5 ib7 1 5.Wg5
ixf3 1 6.gxf3 Wa5 White is defenceless
against Black's threats, Fodor - Matlakov,
Chotowa 20 1 0.
Chapter 1 2 - 5 . tlJ f3 14S

10 ... tli a6 l l .c6 1 1.d5


After l l .'Wc2 tli dxcS 1 2.tlixcS 'WaSt 1 3 .id2 Another natural line is:
'WxcS Black has the better chances, thanks to l 1 .h3 ixf3 1 2.'Wxf3 tlic6 1 3 .ie3
his pressure down the long diagonal, Gasser The most popular alternative is: 1 3.:B:dl aS
- Mikhalchishin, Bled 1 996. (I prefer this thematic idea to 1 3 ... tlixd4
l l ...bxc6 1 2.0-0 :B:b8 1 4.'Wxb7 eS 1 S .ie3, when White retains
Black's activity is more important than the some pressure) 1 4 .ie3 a4 1 S .ic2 a3
weakness of his pawn structure. ( 1 S ... tli c4!? is worth considering, although
1 2 ... tlidcS is not bad either. the text is also fine) 1 6.bxa3 :B:xa3 l 7.ib3
1 3.:B:b l ?! lliaS 1 8.:B:ab l lli xb3 1 9.:B:xb3 :B:xb3 20.axb3
An unfortunate move, after which Black Engelbert - Kunsztowicz, Hamburg 1 993.
takes over the initiative. Now the simple 20 ...'Wd7!N would keep
13 ... tliacS 14.ic2 ia6 l S .Ele l lli xe4 1 6.ixe4 everything under control for Black.
llicS l 7.ic2 tlid3+ 1 3 ...'Wd7 1 4.:B:ad l
Brujic - Vujacic, Obrenovac 2004. 1 4.dS tli d4 1 S .ixd4 ixd4 1 6 .:B:ad l was
played in Busche - Tkachuk, Germany
9 cxd4 10.exd4
... 2008. Here I like the following solution:
1 O.tlixd4 id7! This accurate move equalizes 1 6 ...ixc3!?N 1 7.bxc3 aS 1 8 .'We3 'Wd6 1 9.a4
comfortably. l l .e4 ( l l .'We2 tlic6 12.tlixc6 :B:ac8 20.:B:d4 tli d7 Black is doing fine.
ixc6 1 3.Eldl 'Wc7 l 4.e4 has occurred a
couple of times, and here I would recommend 8 .i. %,%,
%,%,
0-
a
- <

6 ' ' %-' , % -,


l 4 ... e6 l S.ie3 :B:fd8 with equal play.) l l ... tlic6 7 1% A
a \Ul/
1-
E % A Wa W #;; A


1 2.tlixc6 ixc6 1 3.'Wf3 e6! This important


- -
positional move restricts the white minor pieces.
,,

;;: ,,,;,
1 4.'Wg3 This was Kuzmin - Jansa, Zinnowitz
1 97 1 , and now Black should play: l 4 ... tli d7!N
l S.if4 'WaS Black has good activity on the 3 o-
%%- - . --- !
1fi fj
- -- >- r ,,
queenside and a sound position. 2

10 ...i.g4 1
1 O ... tlic6 is more popular, but I think that a b c d e f g h
the text is strong. 1 4 ... tlixd4
Maintaining the tension by 1 4 ... tliaS also
8 comes into consideration.

7
1 S.ixd4 ixd4 1 6.tlie2
1 6.tlidS leads to an absolutely equal
6 position: 1 6 ... tlixdS l 7.Elxd4 e6 1 8.ixdS
5
exdS 1 9.:B:xdS 'Wc6=

4
16 ... eS 1 7.tlixd4 exd4 1 8.Eld3 :B:ad8 1 9.:B:fd l
'We7
3 White regains the pawn, but meanwhile
Black manages to exchange some major
2 pieces and liquidates to an easily tenable
1 endgame.

a b c d e f g h
1 46 Closed Variation

20.:8'.xd4 :8'.xd4 2 1 .:8'.xd4 We l t 22.<;t>h2 We5t 1 7 .:8'.acl was played in Guichard - Collas,
23.Wf4 Wxf4t 24.:8'.xf4 <;t>g7 Belfort 20 1 0, and now I do not see any reason
Black is ready to solve the problem of his f7- to refrain from the planned: l 7 ... li::l ec4N
pawn by playing .. .f5 . l 8.li::l a4 ( 1 8 .:8'.edl Wf5 l 9.i.h4 We5 is
25.:8'.d4 :8'.e8 excellent for Black) l 8 ... li::l xa4 l 9.i.xa4
The endgame is equal, Smirin - Grischuk, (Black has no problems after l 9.i.xc4 a6!)
Rishon LeZion 2006. 19 ...Wxa4 20.b3 Wa5 2 1 .bxc4 i.f8 Black
intends ... e6 next. The position is roughly
1 1 ...lti sd? 1 2.h3 .tx3 13.Wfxf3 ks level.
Black has given up his light-squared bishop, l 7 ... li::l ec4 l 8.:8'.d3
but in return he has very active pieces and can l 8.i.xc4?! li::l xc4 l 9.:8'.d3 b5 20.i.cl li::l b6
create counterplay on the queenside. Theory 2 1 .:8'.edl b4 22.li::l e4 Wb5 Black had the
considers 13 ...li::l c5 1 4.:8'.dl li::l xb3 1 5 .axb3 better chances in Erdos - Sedlak, Hungary
li::l c8 as the main line; after bringing his knight 2009.
to d6 Black has a very solid position. However
I prefer the text move, which I have twice 8
played as Black. 7
6
14..tg5
Another popular continuation is:
5
1 4.:8'.e l li::l e5 1 5 .1We2 :8'.e8 4
Black needs to defend the e7-pawn in order 3
to prepare ... li::l ec4. 2
1 6.i.g5
a b c d e f g h

l 8 ... li::l x b2!


A nice tactical solution.
1 9.Wxb2 Wf5
The following play is now more or less
forced.
20.1Wd2 :8'.xc3 2 1 .:8'.xc3 i.xc3 22.1Wxc3 Wxg5
23.d6 e6
Aleksandrov - Safarli, Moscow 2009. White
should now force a draw by:
a b c d e f g h 24.Wc7N :8'.c8 25 .Wxb7 :8'.cl 26.Wb8t <;t>g7
1 6 ...Wd7 27.:8'.xcl Wxc l t 28.<;t>h2 Wf4t=
A natural human move, but the computer
14...h6!
shows that 1 6 ... li::l ec4N is already possible.
A very useful move, which I found over the
After l 7.i.xe7 Wd7 White has nothing better
board; it obliges White to choose a diagonal for
than 1 8.d6 li::l xd6 1 9.:8'.ad l i.f8 20.:8'.xd6
his dark-squared bishop. Previously I played:
Wxe7 2 1 .Wxe7 :8'.xe7 going into a drawish
1 4 ... li::l e5 1 5.1We2 :8'.e8 Pelletier - Avrukh, Biel
endgame.
2007. Here White could try 16.li::l a4N li::l ec4
1 7.:8'.ad l
l 7.li::l xb6 li::l xb6 1 8.:8'.ad l with slight pressure.
Chapter 1 2 - 5 .lll f3 147

15.if4 Conclusion
Of course -l 5 .ih4 is also possible: l 5 ... lll e5
1 6.We2 Wd7! I think it is necessary to take When White chooses any of 6.ie2, 6.id2 or
control of the a4-square. ( 1 6 ... E!:e8 was 6.id3, I believe that Black should immediately
suggested by Vitaly Golod in Chess lnfonnant attack the centre with 6 ... c5, obtaining good
1 04, but I feel uncomfortable after l 7.Cll a4!) activity in each case. The most important
1 7.E!:fd l E!:fe8 1 8.E!:acl Cll ec4 Black has a position in the chapter occurs in line A3 after
comfortable game. 6.ie2 c5 7.0-0 cxd4 8.exd4 Cll c6. White has
a huge range of ninth move options here, but
15 ... tlic4 16.hc4 hc4 17.d6 none of them promise him the advantage.
Golod gave 1 7.E!:ael as deserving attention. Black's thematic advance arrives later in line
It is a decent option, but Black has nothing to D) 6.cxd5 Cll xd5 7.ic4 tt:lb6, but there too,
complain about after l 7 ...E!:e8 1 8.E!:e2 Wc8. after either 8.ie2 or 8.ib3, Black gets good
play with 8 ... c5.
17...exd6
In Golod - Avrukh, Israel (ch) 2008, I played
the less convincing l 7 ... e6.

18.hd6 tlie5!

2
1
a b c d e f g h

19.J.xe5
In my calculations I had missed that White
cannot play 19.Wd5? in view of the beautiful:
1 9 ... E!:d4!! 20.Wxd4 Cll f3t 2 1 .gxf3 ixd4
22.ixf8 Wxf8 Black has a clear edge.

19...J.xeS 20.Wxb7 Wi'b8


Black regains the pawn with comfortable
equality, Castaneda - Belov, Moscow 2009.
4.if4
Sidelines

Variation Index
1 .d4 llJ f6 2.c4 g6 3.llJc3 d5 4.J.f4
4 ...J.g7

A) 5.b3 149
B) 5.a4t 150
C) 5.cl tlih5! 152
Cl ) 6 ..ig5 152
C2) 6 .ie3 153
C3) 6 .id2 154

A) after 1 3.lll xaS C3) note to 7.e3 C3) after 1 8.lll c?

8 %'''J j!Jlefit

: .m..1iT,
d_ .
.t.
5 .'))
4

ift8;
W"ji\l,!K/ """
i . 'el?
a b c d e f g h a b c d e f g h a b c d e f g h
1 3 ... i't/xd5!N 1 0 ... dxe3!N 1 8 .. J"1a2!N
Chapter 1 3 - Sidelines 149

l.d4 .!l)f6 2.c:;4 g6 3 .!LJc3 d5 4.i.f4 i.g7


6.lll xd5N is objectively better, but after
6 ... lll xd5 7.cxd5 cxd4 8.lll f3 0-0 9.Eldl '%Ya5t!
1 O.id2 '%Yb6 Black has nothing to worry
about.

6 cxd4 7.'%Ya4t

7.lll b5 0-0 8.lll c7 does not work in view


of 8 ... lll h5 9.ig3, De Groot - Hebels, corr.
1 990, and now Black could have seized a
decisive initiative with: 9 ... lll xg3N 1 O.'%Yxg3
lll a6! l 1 .lll xa8 '1ra5t 1 2.'it>dl if5 White can
hardly expect to survive with his king on such
a square.

7 .!LJfd7

Also not bad is 7 ... lll bd7!?N 8.'1rxd4 lll h5


9.'1fd2 lll xf4 1 0.'1rxf4 0-0 with obvious
compensation.

A) 5.%Yb3 8. .!lJb5 .!lJ a6 9.cl 0-0 I O. .!lJc7?!


This move is consistent but bad. Objectively

8
White should have tried something else,
although Black has the advantage in any case.
7

6 8

5 7

4 6

3 5

2 4

a b c d e f g h 2

This move is unusual and looks slightly odd


in connection with 4.if4, but still it is essential
a c e g
to know how to respond.
1 0 .!LJdc5!

5 c5
.
This refutes White's idea.
I like this thematic Griinfeld strike, especially
as White has lost some control over the d4- l l.xc5 .!LJxc5 12.'%Ya3 .!LJa6 13 .!LJxaS

square. Here in the game Flear - Bejaoui, Tunis


2000, Black could have decided the issue by
6.cxd5 means of:
1 50 4.if4

8
7.Wxb7?! is risky: 7 ... Cll xd4 (7... !'i:b8 is also
considered satisfactory according to present
7 theory.) 8.0-0-0 Cll e6 9.ie5 !'i:b8 10.'%Ya6
6
( 1 0.Wxa7 d4 1 1 .ixd4 !'i:a8 1 2.Wb? Cll xd4

5
1 3.!'i:xd4 Cll g4 14.!'i:xd7 i>xd7-+ Black has a
winning position.) 1 0 ... d4! 1 1 .Cll b5
4

3 j:
768 ,J Ji
2
.!. -
ii , , %-,,.
1 5
- ,-
,
. !. ,, ,.

3 ,%- , %. -
4
a c e

13 ... %Yxd5!N 14.tll c7 '%Yf5!-+

,ii
,% ''0
2
B) S.'%Ya4t

a b c d e f g h
8
This position occurred in Slepoy - G.
7 Goldberg, Leningrad 1 956, and now the
6
simple 1 l . ..ixb5N 1 2.cxb5 0-0 would have

5
secured Black's advantage, for example: 1 3.e3
Cll e4 1 4.ixg7 i>xg7 1 5 .Cll h3 Wd5+ White has
4 considerable problems.

3 7 ... tll aS 8.%Yb4 tll xc4


2

1
a b c d e f g h

This move is unlikely to pose Black many


problems. It has been tested twice by Karpov,
albeit in blitz games, and he lost both times.

s . ..id7 6.%Yb3 tll c6!


.

The most principled response.

7.e3
Other moves are weaker:

7.cxd5? Cll xd4 8.Wdl Cll b5! Already it is White


who must fight for equality. 9.Cll x b5 ixb5
1 0.e4 ixfl 1 1 .i>xfl 0-0 1 2.Wc2 !'i:c8 1 3.!'i:dl
c6 Black was better in Rothman - Reshevsky,
New York 1 946.
Chapter 1 3 - Sidelines 151

looks better, _ but here too Black can use his 0-0 1 6.0-0 if7 Black will open the position
development advantage effectively: 1 5 ...ib? for his bishops with ... e5 at an appropriate
1 6.Wc5 LiJ d7! l 7.LiJxd5 ixd5 1 8 .Wxd5 liJxe3 moment.
l 9.fxe3 Wxc7 Black has a serious initiative.)
10...WbS!

7 ,
8 \tXU
,
'
!

M ?+%
w.-J*
;fl81;: & AW &
A
1 0 ... :8'.b8 1 1 .Wxa? :8'.xb2 1 2.LiJge2 0-0

:f
. 1 3.ixc? Wc8 1 4.ie5 looks rather unclear.
6 z
,r r
', , ;
.

1,
1 1.WxbSt gxb8 12.0-0-0
5
4
. . 8
D ,,,, /, '/


i
3
', 7
2 l
J 6
a b c d e f g h 5
The present position was reached in 4

3
Szeberenyi - Blasko, Budapest 200 1 , and
here 1 5 ... ib?!N would have been a strong
improvement, for example: l 6.ia5 Wd7 2
(threatening ... :8'.a8) 1 7.Wc5 :8'.a8 1 8.ixc4
dxc4 1 9.LiJge2 ixg2 20.:8'.gl :8'.c8+ Black has
an obvious advantage. a b c d e f g h

12 ...ic6!N
9... dxc4 10.Wxb?
Despite a fantastic score of 3Y2/4 on the
database, I was not fully satisfied with Black's
The most principled continuation. 1 0.Wxc4
is playable, but in this case Black's bishop pair
position after 1 2 ... :8'.b?. The problem is seen
promises him a good game: 10 ... c6 1 I .LiJ f3
after 1 3.LiJf3 ig4, Spiridonov - Jansa, Polanica
ie6 1 2.We2 This occurred in Serrano Pertinez
Zdroj 1 979, and now after 14.:8'.d2N LiJ d7
- Hernandez Jimenez, Barcelona 2000, and
here I would recommend the following idea:
1 5.LiJe5! liJxe5 1 6.dxe5 Black will have to fight
for the draw.

13.ttia ttids1
I like the idea of exchanging the c3-knight,
which stabilizes White's position on the
queenside. The game might continue:

14.tll xd5 .ixd5 15 ..ixc? gb5 1 6.ghel .ie4


Preventing the e-pawn from advancing.

17.tll e5 .ixg2 18.tll xc4 @d7 19 ..ig3 gcs


20.b3 .id5 2I.@d2 hc4 22.bxc4 gxc4
23.gbl gcb4 24.gxb4 gxh4=
The endgame is drawish.
1 52 4 ..if4

C) SJ'kl 8.dxc5? is a mistake in view of 8 ... d4 9.tll d5


g5 1 0 ..ig3 tll xg3 l 1 .hxg3 0-0 when Black is
8
better.

7 8.cxd5? is also poor: 8 ...cxd4 9.tll b5 tll a6 The


6 opening of the centre is clearly favourable for

5
Black: 1 0.tll xd4 Wa5t l l .1"i:c3

1
a b c d e f g h

5 . .. tlJ hS!
This is considered the most principled
a c
answer to White's move order. The three main b d e f g h
responses are Cl) 6..igS, C2) 6..ie3 and C3)
6.id2. Stefansson - Borge, Copenhagen 1 998. At
this point l l ...g5!N would have been strong:
Cl) 6.igS h6 l 2.e3 (l 2 ..ig3 tll xg3 l 3.hxg3 tLlb4!-+)
1 2 ... tll f6 1 3 ..ib5t c;t>f8 Black is clearly better.
Forcing the bishop to define its intentions.
8.tll x d5?! tll c6 9.e3 has occurred twice in
7..ih4 tournament practice, but for some reason in
7 ..id2 is best met by: 7 ... dxc4! (7 ... c5 is both games Black refrained from the natural
possible, although compared with line C3 9 ... cxd4N when 1 0.exd4 transposes to the
Black's kingside has been loosened slightly.) next note with 9.tll x d5.
8.e3 .ie6 By playing in this way, Black uses the
free tempo ... h7-h6 to his advantage. 9.tll f3
c6 1 0.tll e4 .id5 1 l.'\Wc2 b5 12.tll c5 This was
J. Pinter - P. Popovic, Thessaloniki (ol) 1 988.
Now after Rowson's suggestion of 1 2 ....ixf3N
1 3.gxf3 tll d7 Black should be at least equal.

7. ..cS
Challenging White's centre makes good
sense. Another direction is 7 ... dxc4 8.e3 .ie6
9 ..ie2 tll f6 with a reasonable position for
Black.

8.e3
This is the main continuation, although
other moves have occasionally been seen:
Chapter 1 3 - Sidelines 1 53

9.lll x d5?! lll c6 1 0.exd4 runs into the simple It is hard to imagine that I would have paid
and strong (o ... e6! l 1 .lll f3 0-0 when Black attention to this move, were it not for the
takes over the initiative: 1 2.e2 xd5 1 3.cxd5 fact that it appeared in the game I. Sokolov -
'ffxd5 14.0-0 g5 1 5 .ge l gad8! (it is senseless Smirin, St Petersburg 20 1 0.
to rush with 1 5 ... gxh4? 1 6.gc5) 16.'ffa4
e6 l 7.g3 This was Taboada - Klimakovs, 6...dxc4 7.'ffa4t lli c6 8.llif'3 0-0N
corr. 2008, and now the simple l 7 ... lll xg3N The aforementioned game continued
l 8.hxg3 lll xd4+ would have secured an extra 8 ...e6?! 9.lll g5 when White had the better
pawn and a clear advantage for Black. chances.

9... llic6 9.'ffxc4 ie6


9 ...dxc4 is also a decent move. Black tries to make use of his development
advantage.
10.cxd5
10.'ffc5
1 0.lll f3 g4 l l .cxd5 lll xd4 transposes to the
Other queen moves are also unimpressive.
main line.
1 0.'ffa4 a6 l l .g3 lll f6 1 2.g2 (White has no
10...llixd4 time for 1 2.h3 in view of 12 ... lll d5!) 12 ... lll g4
Black has the better position, as demonstrated 13.0-0 lll xe3 14.fxe3 h6 1 5 .lll d l d5 Black
by the following encounter. has a great position.

1 1.llif'3 ig4 12.'ffa4t id7 13.'ffd l llif5! 10.'ffd 3 'ffd7 l l .g3 (After l 1 .lll e4 d5 1 2.lll c5
Black certainly has no intention of repeating 'ffd6 White's centre comes under attack and
the position. the b7-pawn is untouchable in view of the
check on b4.) l l ... gfd8 White has problems
14.g4?! llixh4 1 5.gxh5 llixf'3t 16.'ffxO g5 with his d4-pawn. 1 2.g2 lll xd4 1 3 .lll xd4
Black was clearly better in Paunovic - Krnic, xd4 14.'ffxd4 'ffxd4 1 5 .xd4 gxd4 16.lll b5
Brezovica 1 988. gc4 1 7.gxc4 ( 1 7.0-0 c6 1 8.lll c7 gxcl 1 9.gxcl
gd8 20. lll xe6 fxe6+) 17 ...xc4 l 8. lll xc7
C2) 6.ie3 gc8 1 9.lll d5 xd 5 20.xd5 b6!+ White has
problems as the black rook will penetrate to
the second rank.

a b c d e f g h
1 54 4 ..if4

10...d6! 8 ... e6 9.tt:lb4 0-0 1 0.tt:lf3 a5! l 1 .tt:ld3 tt:lc6


The simplest solution. Black is ready to advance his central pawns,
so White's next move is understandable.
l l.xd6 1 2.e4 dxe3 1 3 ..ixe3 e5 14.tt:ld2
1 1 .tt:le4 Wd5! 1 2.Wxd5 .ixd5 1 3.tt:lc5 E:fd8! This was Balogh - Stohl, Slovakia 1 994, and
is dangerous for White. here Black could have improved with:

l l ... cxd6 12.g3 tll f6 13 ..ig2 tll d5+


Black has the more comfortable position.

C3) 6 ..id2

8
7

5 a b c d e f g h

4 1 4 ... f5! 1 5.f3 We7

3
White's position is critical, for instance:
1 6 ..ie2 e4 1 7.fxe4 fxe4 1 8.tt:lf2 tt:lf4 1 9.0-0
2 .id4!
White has no good defence.
1
a b c d e f g h 7.cxd5 cxd4 8.tt:lb5 tt:la6 9.Wb3
9.tt:lxd4 Wxd5 gives Black easy play.
This is White's top choice according to
9 ... 0-0 1 0.e4
theory.
Maksimenko - David, Odessa 1 990. Now
Black should have played:
6... c5!
Once again this typical counterattacking
move works well.

7.e3
The alternatives are no better:

7.dxc5 d4 8.tt:ld5
8.tt:le4 can be met by 8 ... 0-0 or 8 ... a5!?.
8.tt:la4 Komarov - V. Mikhalevski, Kiev
1 995. 8 ... 0-0!N After this natural novelty
Black can already fight for the advantage, for a b c d e f g h
example: 9.tt:lf3 e5 1 0.e4 We8! 1 l ..id3 (After 1 0 ... dxe3!N
1 1 .b4?! f5 1 2 ..id3 tt:l f6+ White cannot hold With a clear advantage in development,
the centre.) 1 1 .. ..id? 1 2.b3 .ixa4 1 3.bxa4 Black should take the opportunity to open
tt:l a6 Black has a positional advantage. the position.
Chapter 1 3 - Sidelines 155

1 1 .xe3 'll f6 1 2.'ll c3 Instead after 1 1 . ..'ll b6?! 1 2 .b3 Black's knight
1 2.c4 'll g4! is strong. is clearly misplaced.
1 2 ...a5 1 3.c4
13.xa6 xa6 14.'ll ge2 e6! does not change 12.a4
the assessment. l 2.e3 occurred in Venturino - Nizynski,
1 3 ...f5 14.'ll ge2 'll c5 1 5 .b5 corr. 1 99 1 , and now Black should have
Also after 1 5 .d l 'll g4 Black's chances are proceeded with his planned move:
preferable.
1 5 ... xb5 1 6.xb5 %:lfc8 1 7.0-0 a6 1 8 .c4
'll g4!
Black is on top.

7...cxd4 8.exd4 dxc4


8 ... 'll c6 9.cxd5 'll xd4 1 0 .'ll ge2 gives White
a slight plus.

a b c d e f g h
1 2 ... b5N Presumably he was concerned about
13.e2 intending 'll d4 next, but after the
courageous 1 3 ...xc3t! Black gets a good
position thanks to the direct attack on the
d5-pawn: 14.bxc3 (or 1 4.E!:xc3 'll d f6 1 5 .E!:d3
a5t!) 14 ... 'll d f6 1 5 .c4 bxc4 1 6.xc4 b7
The onus will be on White to demonstrate
compensation after the d-pawn perishes.

a b c d e f g h

9.d5
The alternative is:
9.xc4 0-0
9 ...xd4 is risky: 1 0.'ll d 5 e5t 1 l .e3
'll c6 1 2.'ll f3 d6 13.0-0 0-0 1 4.b4! White
has definite compensation.
1 0.d5
10.'ll f3 g4 1 l .d5 (worse is 1 1 .0-0?! 'll c6
1 2.d5 'll d4) 1 1 ...'ll d? Black is fine.
1 o ... 'll d7 1 1 .'ll f3 a6!
We have transposed to the main line. a b c d e f g h

12 ...b5!
9.. 0-0 IO ..ixc4 tll d7 1 1.tll O a6!
. Black takes a concrete approach to the
With this key move, Black intends to develop position, which is justified by his lead in
his queenside by means of ... b5 and ...b7. development.
1 56 4.if4

13.axb5 tiJb6! 14.b3 axb5 1 5.tiJxb5 Conclusion


After 1 5 .ixbS lll xdS 1 6.lll xdS Wxd5 l 7.ic6
We6t 1 8.ie3 Elb8+ only Black can be better. Most of the lines in the present chapter are
used by players looking to avoid theory. None
15 ... tiJxd5 16.0-0 ih7 17.i.xd5 ixd5 of them should worry the second player, and
1 8.tiJc7 in most cases a quick ... c5 should give Black a
This position was reached in Lauber- Holzke, promising game when followed up correctiy.
Germany 2000. Now instead of exchanging on
f3 Black should have played:

a b c d e f g h

18.. J'fa2!N
The most ambitious, although there is
nothing wrong with Krasenkow's suggestion
of l 8 ... Elb8 1 9.lll xdS Wxd5 with equality.

19.tiJxd5 Wxd5
The rook is well-placed on the second rank,
and the b-pawn is likely to become more of a
weakness than a strength.
4.if4 a b c d e f g h

Variation Index
Ld4 llJf6 2.c4 g6 3.llJc3 dS 4.f4 g7 s.ttJa 0-0 6.E:cl
6 ... dxc4

A) 7.e3 e6 8.llJgS dS 9.e4 h6 1 0.exdS hxgS 1 1 .xgS llJxdS 1 2.hc4


llJb6 1 3.b3 llJ c6 1 60
Al) 14.dS 16 1
A2) 14.llJe2 163
B) 7.e4 g4 8.xc4 llJhS 9.e3 ha 1 65
Bl) 1 0.W/xS 1 66
B2) 10.gxS eS! 1 1.dxeS xeS 1 2.Wfxd8 E:xd8 1 67
B21) 13.llJe2 1 69
B22) 13.0-0 170

note to 6.:1'\cl B l ) after 1 4.:1'\fdl B22) after l 9.e5

a b c d e f g h a b c d e f g h
! 6 . a3!N
..
! 4 ... li:lf6!N
1 58 4.i.f4

l .d4 tDf6 2.c4 g6 3.tDc3 d5 4.i.f4 i.g7 him the advantage, as shown in several
5.lDf3 0-0 games.
8.l2id2?! dxc4 9.l2ixc4 (9 ..ixc4 looks
inconsistent, and after 9 ...'i/ffxc5 it is not
clear what the knight is doing on d2.)
9 ...'i/ffxc5 1 0 ..ie2 l2ic6 ( 1 0 ... ltJhS!?N may
be even stronger) 1 1 .0-0 !"ld8 It is clear that
Black has won the opening battle, Lilienthal
- Boleslavsky, Moscow 1 944.

a b c d e f g h

6.cl
This move is the primary subject of the
present chapter.
a b c d e f g h
6.'i/ff b3 dxc4 7.1lf1xc4 l2ia6 would take us to
8 ...'i!f1xc5 9.'i/ffb 5 1lf1xb5 1 0.l2ixb5 l2ia6
Chapter 1 0.
White's exchanging manoeuvre has achieved
very little. Here is one illustrative example:
6.e3 c5
1 1 ..E\d l .ie6 1 2.l2ifd4 .id7 1 3 ..ieS !"lfc8
From this position the most likely outcome
1 4.cxdS l2ixd5 1 5 ..ixg7 \f;>xg7
is a transposition to one of the main lines
Black's position was already more pleasant in
considered elsewhere. Let us briefly consider
Levenfish - Borvinnik, Leningrad 1 937.
a few independent possibilities.
7.dxc5
The only other noteworthy alternative is:
7 ..ie2 cxd4 8.exd4 l2ic6 leads to a reversed
6.cxd5?!
Tarrasch in which White has the extra
This is not a great idea, as White seems to have
tempo .ic1 -f4. Black should have no real
forgotten about developing his kingside.
problems here, considering that f4 would
6 ... l2ixd5
seldom be the bishop's preferred square in
It is worth considering two options here.
such positions.
7 ...'i/ffa5 8.1lf1a4
a) It has long been known that White cannot
White's best and most common continuation
take the c7-pawn, so I just want to show you
is 8 ..E\ c l , after which 8 ...dxc4 9 ..ixc4 'i!f1xc5
why:
takes us to the starting position of Chapter
7.l2ixd5 ?! 1lf1xd5 8 ..ixc7 l2ic6 9.e3 .if5
1 7.
White has tried several moves here, but in all
The alternatives are worse, for instance:
cases the evaluation is clear: Black's superior
8 .cxd5? l2ixd5! 9 ..ie5 l2ixc3 1 0.'i/ffd2 .ixe5
development is more valuable -than White's
1 1 .lUxeS 1lf1xc5 1 2.1lf1xc3 1lf1xc3t 1 3.bxc3
extra pawn.
l2id7 Black's superior pawn structure gives
Chapter 1 4 - 6J:k l 1 59

1 0.ie2 1 6... Wa3!N l 7.d5 Elc2


1 O.a3 ElacS l l .ig3 runs into a powerful White is in trouble.
retort: l l . ..ic2! 1 2.We2 lll a5 1 3.fll d2 e5
14.Wb5 Wxb5 1 5 .ixb5 exd4 1 6.exd4 ixd4 b) 7.ie5
1 7.0-0 Elfd8+ Shestakov - Zilberstein, This is safer, although it can hardly trouble
Soviet Union 1 974. the second player.
10 ... E!:ac8 l l .ig3 Wa5t 7 ... ixe5 8.lll xe5 c5

1 2.Wd2 9.e3
1 2.fl has occurred in two games. Dubious is: 9.dxc5?! fll xc3 10.Wxd8 E!:xd8
12 ... lll b4!N is the right way to develop 1 1 . bxc3 Tunik- Mikheev, St Petersburg 2009.
Black's initiative, for instance: l 3.Wb3 Elc6 Here Black missed the strong 1 1 .. .ie6!N
1 4.a3 lll c2 1 5 .Eldl E!:b6 1 6.Wa2 ie6 1 7.Wb l 1 2.Elbl lll d7 1 3 .lll d3 Elab8 intending ... E!:dc8
Elc8 Black is clearly better. and ... lll c5 . White is in trouble here.
12 ... lll b4 1 3.0-0 Elc2 1 4.Wel Elxb2 9 ... lll xc3 1 0.bxc3 lll d7 l 1 .lll f3
From this position Black has made a In the event of l 1 .lll d3?! Black has a strong
1 00% score from four games. Here is one response: l l . ..cxd4 1 2.cxd4 e5! 1 3.ie2 (Also
example: after 1 3 .dxe5 fll xe5 1 4.lll xe5 Wa5t 1 5 .Wd2
1 5 .lll e5 ixe5 1 6.ixe5 Wxe5 1 6.Eldl ie6 Black has the better
This is Anikaev - Giorgadze, Soviet Union chances.) 1 3 ... exd4 1 4.exd4 Wf6+ White
1 973, and now the following improvement is likely to lose his central pawn, Pomar
looks strong: Salamanca - Jimenez Zerquera, Marianske
Lazne 1 965.
1 60 4 . .if4

1 1 ...Wa5!?N l 2.exf4 This was Lebreton - Spielmann,


It seems to me that Black can play for more Port Barcares 2005, and now after the simple
than just an equal game with l l ...b6 1 2 ..ie2 1 2 . . .lll c6N 1 3 .lll e3 ac8 14 ..ie2 .id4+ Black
.ib7 1 3.0-0 Wc7 14.a4 lll f6 when a draw regains the pawn and his bishop pair gives him
was agreed in Akobian - Golod, Las Vegas clearly better chances.
2004.
8 . .i.d5 9.e4
1 2.Wd2 b6
.

The alternative is:


White's position is a bit uncomfortable, as
9.lll xd5 lll xd5 1 O ..ixc4 lll xf4 1 l .Vfif3!
shown by the following line:
White's chosen line is tricky, but Black should
1 3 ..ie2
be doing well if he responds correctly.
After 1 3.d5 lll f6 14.c4 Wxd2t 1 5.lll xd2
e6 White cannot hold his centre: l 6.e4
e8! 1 7.f3 exd5 1 8.cxd5 lll xd5 1 9.ib5
e6 20 ..ic4 ltJ b4 2 l . .ixe6 .ixe6 Black will
collect a second pawn for the exchange and
he retains clearly better chances.
1 3 ... lll f6 1 4.lll e5 .ib7
14 ... lll e4 1 5 .lll c6! leads to a balanced
position.
1 5 .lll c4 Wa4 1 6.0-0 ac8+
Black has the more pleasant game.

l l ... e6!
Black should not be tempted to win a pawn,
since after l 1 . ..lll xg2t?! 1 2.Wxg2 c6 13.h4
Wa5t 14.We2 White's attack is dangerous.
1 2.Wxf4 c5!
Black should act quickly, otherwise his
opponent will generate a dangerous attack
on the kingside.
1 3.dxc5
1 3 .lll xf7? does not work in view of the calm
reaction 1 3 ... We7! 14.lll h6t ( 1 4.We4 Wxf7)
14 ... Wh8 when White loses material.
a b c d e f g h

6... dxc4
Now we reach an important crossroads
where White must choose between A) 7.e3
and B) 7.e4.

A) 7.e3 i.e6 8.l!Jg5


It is doubtful that White has any reasonable
alternative here, for instance: 8.lll e5?! c5
9.dxc5 lll h5 1 0.Wxd8 xd8 l 1 .lll xc4 lll xf4
a b c d e f g h
Chapter 1 4 - 6.i:'i:cl 161

1 3 ...Wa5t!N _ 1 2.Wf3?! is not really a serious alternative


1 3 ... li:ld7 was played in Borges Mateos - due to 12 ...li:l b4!, for example: 1 3.i.xc4 Wxd4
Staniszewski, Polanica Zdroj 1 988, but I am 1 4.li:le2 We5 1 5.h4 li:l 8c6 1 6.i.f4 This was
a bit worried about 1 4.b4!N when White Govciyan - D'Costa, Chalkidiki 200 l , and
tries to hold onto his extra pawn. now Black could have secured his advantage
1 4.<ii e2 li:ld7 by means of:
This is the best square for the knight.
The inferior l 4 ... li:l a6? runs into l 5 .i.xa6!
Wxa6t l 6.Wc4 Wc6 l 7.b3 and after
1 7...Wxg2 1 8.Wh4 h6 1 9.li:lf3 g5 20.We4
g4 2 1 .li:ld2 Wxe4 22.li:lxe4 White is clearly
better.
1 5 .Wh4 h6 1 6.li:lxe6
This looks nice for White, but it turns out
that Black has everything under control.

8 .i
7
%
--
6 \W i
0. -0.0.< ,,,,,"f'0

5 8
4 ,
f
0.. 0.,
,
% , ,""
,


2 w% ww
% w
1 2...lll b6 13.i.b3 lll c6


.m :
. .

a b c d e f g h
l 6... g5! l 7.li:lxg5
It is of crucial importance that the following
line is in Black's favour: l 7.Wh3?! fxe6
l 8.i.xe6t cii h 8 l 9.i.xd7 White has won
two pawns, but his exposed king will be his
undoing. 19 ...Wa6t! 20.cii e l Wxa2 Black
has a decisive attack.
1 7... hxg5 1 8.Wxg5 li:l e5 1 9.i:'i:hdl i:'i:ac8+
The position is complex and unbalanced,
but it seems to me that Black's chances are a b c d e f g h
preferable due to his strong pieces. Now White has two options: Al) 14.d5 and
Al) 14.lll e2.
9 ...h6 10.exd5 hxg5 l 1 .Axg5 lll xd5
l l ... b5!? is interesting, but I prefer the Al) 14.d5 ltl d4 1 5.0-0
straightforward regaining of the pawn.
In this position Black can choose between two
12.i.xc4 routes to an equal game.
1 62 4.if4

15 ...Wfd? l 9 ... l"le2!


According to theory this is the main move. Now Black becomes rather active and White
should be careful.
l 5 ... lll xb3 l 6.Wxb3 ixc3 20.l"ldl ?!
This is equally playable and is a bit more The calm 20.h3 was preferable.
drawish, which may be a good or a bad 20 ...l"laeS 2 1 .l"le3??
thing depending on one's opponent and A disastrous blunder. Instead 2 1 .ie3 Wf5
tournament/match situation. 22.l"lfl lll d5 23.l"ld3 was unpleasant but
l 7.l"lxc3 probably still tenable for White.
l 7.bxc3 is also possible: 1 7...Wxd5 l 8.ixe7 2 1 .. .Wxc5
0-1 Gershon - Avrukh, Tel Aviv 2002.

3
c e h
2
a b d f g

1 8 ... l"lfeS (I would prefer to swap queens in


order to eliminate the danger ofbeing attacked
on the dark squares: 1 8 ... Wxb3N 1 9.axb3 a b c d e f g h
l"lfe8 20.ic5 lll d7 2 1 .ie3 a5 22.l"lfdl lll e 5=
16.gel
Black has no problems.) l 9.c4 This position
l 6.ie3 also fails to pose Black problems:
occurred in Gershon - J. Horvath, Chalkidiki
l 6 ... lll xb3 l 7.Wxb3 ixc3 l 8.ixb6 axb6
2002, and now Black could have equalized
as follows: 1 9 ...Wc6N 20.l"lfe l lll c8! 2 1 .ia3
l 9.l"lxc3 l"lfd8 20.l"ldl l"la5!= Vegh - Flumbort,
Hungary 2004.
lll d6 22.ib2 l"lxe l t 23.l"lxel l"le8 24.l"lxeSt
Wxe8 25 .Wc3 f6 Black easily holds.
l 6.h4 is equally harmless: 16 ... l"ladS l 7.a3
1 7 ...Wxd5 1 8.ixe7 l"lfe8 1 9.ic5
lll xb3 l 8.Wxb3 lll xd5 l 9.lll xd5 Wxd5 20.Wxd5
l"lxd5 2 l .l"lxc7 Y2-Y2 Giorgadze - Shirov, Cala
More accurate would have been l 9.Wa3
with an equal game.
Galdana 200 1 .

16... gfe8 17.h4


l 7.ie3?! lll xb3 l 8.Wxb3 ixc3 l 9.bxc3
Wxd5 White has tried this sacrifice several
times, but it seems to me that it is dubious due
to the following variation: 20.c4 Wc6 2 1 .id4
l"lad8 22.ial f6 23.l"lc3 This was Dreev -
Sutovsky, Moscow 2002, and here I found a
natural improvement:

a b c d e f g h
Chapter 1 4 - 6.:B'.c 1 163

22.i.xe7 l:!e8 23.i.g5 c4 when Black has


nothing to worry about.) 20.xb7 lt:Jxc3
2 1 .bxc3 a5 The position is equal, Xu Jun -
Ghinda, Timisoara 1 987.

18 ... c!lixa4 19.Wi'xa4


This position occurred in Bareev - Van Wely,
Germany 200 1 .

8
a b c d e f g h
7
23 ...e5!N 24.:B'.g3 <ii f7 25 .c2 l:!g8 White's
compensation is inadequate. 6
5
17 .. Jad8
4

a b c d e f g h

19 c6!?N

In the game Black exchanged queens and


a draw was soon agreed, but I prefer the text
move slightly.

20.dxc6
a b c d e f g h 20.l:!e4?! is a mistake due to 20 ... b5 2 l .b4
18.i.a4 a5! 22.c5 b4 23.dxc6 lt:J xc6 when Black takes
Other possibilities also fail to trouble the over the initiative.
second player.
20...c!lixc6
The position is equal.
1 8.h5?! is met strongly by: 1 8 ... gxh5 1 9 .xh5
f5! White's attacking chances are illusory, A2) 14.tlie2 a5!
and in the following game Black soon got the
upper hand: 20.i.dl lt:Jxd5 2 1 .h4 (21 .i.g4 It is thanks to this important move that this
lt:J f6! is strong) 2 1 . ..lt:J f6 22.lt:Je4 c6 23.l:!c5 whole variation in no longer fashionable at
lt:J e2t 24.i.xe2 xe4 25 .g3 g6 Black grandmaster level.
slowly converted his extra pawn in Nguyen
Ngoc Truong - Li Chao, China 20 1 0. 15.a4
The main continuation.
l 8.l:!e4 lt:Jxb3 1 9 .xb3 lt:Jxd5 (I also like Clearly worse is: 1 5.0-0?! a4 l 6.i.c4 lt:Jxc4
1 9 ...i.xc3N 20.bxc3 xd5 2 1 .l:!xe7 l:!xe7 ( 1 6... lt:Jxd4N also leads to an advantage, but
1 64 4 . .if4

there is nothing wrong with the text move.) 2 1 .Eie2? Eifc8 White is in trouble.) 2 1 ...Eixb2
1 7.Eixc4 '\Wd5 1 8.'\W cl This was Hartoch - 22.Eie2 Eib5 23.h4 lll d5 24.ixd5 Eixd5
Timman, Leeuwarden 1 97 1 , and now the 25 .Eid2 f6 In this equal position a draw
forcing 1 8 ... lll xd4!N would have been very was agreed in Timar - Marcinkiewicz, corr.
strong, since after l 9.lll xd4 ixd4 20.Eixc7 'Wxa2 2003.
2 1 .Eixb7 Eiab8! White loses the b2-pawn. 20 ... Eixc8 2 1 .'tt> d2 e6 22.ie3 ixe3t 23.fxe3
lll c4t 24.ixc4
1 5 .a3 1/2-1/z Dreev - Khalifman, Wijk aan Zee
This is a more respectable alternative. 2002. The resulting rook endgame is equal.

i. -
1 5 ...a4 1 6.ia2

8
8
7 7 r-, , - - %--1.y,m
6 6 %"--- .111 - - %--,
5 .111 .111 !1111ifi;
4
3
: .111.111.1.11111 1.1 11 .1.1
11
" '.111 .111.111 11 .111
3
2 - fJ-
2

1
!l%""'-J!ljl
a b c d e f g h v n
l 6 ... lll xd4 a b c d e f g h
For players who wish to avoid the drawish
15 ..J:kS!
main line I can recommend the following I found this important move over the
more enterprising approach: 1 6 ... Eia5!? The
board in my game against Giorgadze in 1 999,
possibility of activating the rook in this
completely unaware that it had been played
way constitutes one of the main advantages
as early as 1 97 1 . It has been played in several
of advancing the a-pawn. 1 7.'Wd2 Eib5!
subsequent games and practice has shown that
1 8.ie3 e6 ( 1 8 ... lll a5!?N looks interesting as
Black is fine.
well) 1 9.0-0 1Mfe7 1he game is complex and
approximately equal, Uifelean - Clark, corr.
16.0-0
2007.
Two other moves of interest are:
l 7.lll xd4
Playing for an attack on the kingside is not
1 6.d5?! is inferior as White's cl-pawn becomes
really an option for White as 17 .h4 can be
weak: 1 6 ...lll b4 17. lll c3 Now in the game
met by 17 ... Eia5!.
Tibensky - Banas, Slovakia 2002, Black missed
17 ... 'Wxd4 1 8.'Wxd4 ixd4 l 9.Eixc7 Eiac8!
the very strong: 1 7 ... c5!N 1 8.0-0 (The main
20.Eixc8
tactical point is that 1 8.dxc6? is impossible
The alternatives are equally harmless:
due to 1 8 ...lll d3t when Black wins.) 1 8 ... c4
1 9 .ic2 lLl 6xd5+ Black is simply a pawn up.
20.Eixb??! Eic2 2 1 .Eixe7 ixb2 22.Eie2 Eifc8
23.Eixc2 Eixc2 White already has to fight for
the draw, Bergner - Packroff, e-mail 2008.
1 6.ie3 e5 1 7.dxe5 ( 1 7.d5 is not dangerous:
20.Eixe7 Eic2 2 1 .'tt> d l (After the inaccurate
1 7 ... lll d4 1 8.lll c3 This was Dreev - Ni Hua,
Chapter 1 4 - 6 .i::1 c l 1 65

Shanghai 200 1 , and now it would have been a 20... gcd8!


good idea to-exchange White's central pawn by This is the last accurate move, which secures
means of: 1 8 ... c6!N 1 9.dxc6 i::1xc6 20.0-0 lt:J c4 equality.
Black is at least equal.) 1 7 ...i.xe5N (There is
also nothing wrong with 1 7 ...Wxd l t 1 8.i::1xd l 20 ...i.xb2? would have been a mistake:
lt:Jxe5 1 9.i.xb6 cxb6 20.0-0 i::1fd8 with equality, 2 1 .i.xb6 cxb6 22.1"!d7 1"!f8 23.i:!xb?;t Black is
Giorgadze - Atalik, Batumi 1 999.) 1 8.Wc2 under some pressure and the 7-pawn is a clear
Wf6 19.0-0 i:!fe8= The position is balanced. target.

16... tiJxd4 2 1.i.xb6 cxb6 22.i.dS i.xb2 23.i.xb7


In the stem game Grigorian - Savon, i.d4=
Leningrad 1 97 1 , the players agreed a draw The position is absolutely equal, Giorgadze -
here. Avrukh, Bugojno 1 999.

17.tLlxd4 Wxd4 18.i.xe7 B) 7.e4


White should take the opportunity to regain
the pawn.
1 8.Wf3?! looks too risky: 1 8 ... e6! 19.1"!c2
lt:Jd5 ( 1 9 ... lt:Jd7!?N is also promising) 20.i:!d l
Wb4 2 1 .i.d2 Wb6 22.i.xd5 exd5 23.Wxd5
i:!cd8 24.Wf3 c6 Even after regaining the pawn
White is under some pressure, Kerssemakers -
Lont, corr. 1 990.

18...Wxdl 19J:kxdl
1 9.i:!fxd l does not change much: 1 9 ...i.xb2
20.i.xf8 (20.1"!c2 i:!fe8 2 l .i.c5 i.f6=) 20 ...i.xc 1
2 1 .i.c5 i.g5 In this equal position a draw was
agreed in Ebner - Mezera, e-mail 2007.

19 .. gfeg 20.i.cS
.

20.i.a3?! i.f8! can only help Black.


7...i.g4
This is not the only playable move, but it is
the main line and the one I consider the most
reliable.

8.i.xc4
This is almost always played.

8.e5 ?! is premature due to 8 ...lt:Jh5! 9.i.e3


c5 1 O.dxc5 Borges Mateos - Llobel Conell,
Albacete 2002, and now the simple 1 0 ... lt:J c6N
1 1 .i.xc4 Wxd l t 1 2 .i:!xdl i.xf3 1 3 .gxf3 i.xe5+

a b c d e f g h
1 66 4 .if4

would have given Black the more pleasant


8
game.
7
6
5
8.ie3?! does not seem very logical. 8 ... c5

4
(8 . . . lll h5 9.ixc4 transposes to the main line,

3
but Black should try to take advantage of
his opponent's questionable move order.)

2
9 .dxc5 Wa5 1 0 .Wc2 ie6! 1 1 .h3 ( 1 I .lll g5
runs into l 1 .. .lll g4! 1 2.lll xe6 lll xe3 1 3.fxe3
fxe6 1 4.ixc4 lll a6 1 5 .ixe6t i;t>h8 when
Black has a long-term initiative due to White's
unsafe king.) l 1 .. .lll c6 1 2.a3 lll d7 The
initiative is with Black, Mudra - Zahour, corr. 1 2.ie3 We5 just leaves Black with an extra
2005. pawn.
1 2.lll e?t i;t>h8 1 3.0-0 We5 White's opening
s ... ttihs has been an obvious failure, as he is a pawn
down and his knight is almost trapped on
e7.
1 2 ...We5! 1 3 .lll xa8 Wxg5 1 4.0-0 ie5! 1 5.Wb3
lll c6 1 6.Wxb?
Objectively 1 6.g3 would last longer, but
after 16 ...We? White loses his knight on a8
and Black's material advantage should decide
the game.
1 6 ... lll f4 l 7.g3 Wh5!
Black has a winning attack.

9 ...hf.3
In this position White must choose between
Bl) 1 0.Wxf3 and B2) 10.gxf3.
9.i.e3
This is the clear first choice, but in a few Bl) 1 0.xf3
games White has deviated with:
8
9.ig5?! ixf3!
9 ... lll c6 1 0.ie2 ixf3 l I .ixf3 Wxd4
1 2.ixh5 gxh5 1 3.Wxh5 Wd3! 14.We2 Wxe2t 7
1 5.i;t>xe2 lll d4t 1 6.i;t>fl e6 was a convincing 6

5
route to equality in Dreev - Smirin, Moscow
2002, but Black can strive for more.
1 0.Wxf3 Wxd4 l 1 .lll d5 4

3
The present position was reached in Dreev -
Peng Xiaomin, Shanghai 200 1 . At this point
White's opening concept could effectively 2
have been refuted as follows: 1
a b c d e f g h
Chapter 1 4 - 6.i::I'. c l 167

This move _is considered harmless by theory, We have been following the game Kohlweyer
and with good reason. - LAmi, Vlissingen 2006. Here I found an
improvement:
10...i.xd4 1 1.0-0
8
I also examined: 1 1 .i::I'. d l c5 1 2.0-0 ctJ c6

7
l 3.We2 ( 1 3.ih6 looks more challenging,
but after 13 ... ctJe5 1 4.We2 Black has the
elegant: 14 ... e6! 1 5 .g3 [Obviously the rook 6

5
is untouchable in view of the threatened
1 5 ... 0if4.] 1 5 ... 0ig7 Black is better.)
13 ... Wb8 14.id5 This position occurred in 4

3
Nogues - Villanueva, Argentina 2007, and
now Black should have played 14 ... i::I'. d 8!N
with the point that 1 5 .ixc6 bxc6 1 6.0ia4 2
can be met by 16 ...We5! with a clear
1
advantage.
a b c d e f g h
1 1...c5 12.e5 14 ... liJf6!N
After 1 2.ih6 0ig7 Black has no problems. The knight returns to the centre and takes
control over some important squares. Here is
1 2.fd 1 ctJc6 1 3.ih6 can be met by the an illustrative line:
attractive 13 ... 0ie5 14.We2 e6!, just as in the
note to move 1 1 above. The following is a great 15 ..ih5 '!Wc7! 16.hc6 he3 17.fxe3 bxc6
example of Black's chances: 1 5 .ctJb5 ( 1 5 .ixf8 18.lDa4 gfd8 19.lDxc5 gxdl t 20.gxdl '!We5
Wg5!! gives Black a serious initiative) Black's chances are clearly higher.

B2) 10.gxf3

a b c d e f g h

1 5 ...Wh4! 1 6.0ixd4 cxd4 1 7.ixf8 0i f4 1 8.Wfl


i::I'.xf8 With two fantastic knights plus a strong
passed pawn, Black had more than sufficient
compensation in Petukhov - Darci, e-mail
2006.

12... liJc6 13.e6 f5! 14.gfdl


1 68 4.f4

1 1.dxe5 should be balanced, but first we should pay


After 1 1 .d5 lt:J f4 White can hardly hope for attention to a couple of lesser moves.
an advantage with such a weakened kingside,
Klee - Saering, Oberwinden 2007. Avoiding the queen exchange with 1 2.Wfb3?! is
rather risky, as White's damaged pawn structure
1 1 ...i.xe5 will render his king rather vulnerable. 1 2 ... lt:Jc6!
I did a lot of work on this system a number 1 3.Wfxb7 lt:Jd4 As practice has shown, Black's
of years ago, when I played it quite often. For initiative is dangerous:
some time I considered l 1 ...Wfh4?! to be an
interesting attempt,

a b c d e f g h

h
1 4.xd4 (After 1 4.lt:Jd5 lt:J xf3t 1 5 .'it>e2
a b c d e f g
lt:Jd4t 1 6.'it>d3?! El:b8 1 7.Wfxa7 lt:J e6 White's
based on the idea of a positional exchange king was in a precarious position to say the
sacrifice after 1 2 .c5 lt:Jc6! 1 3.xf8 El:xf8 with least, Barbero - Szeberenyi, Budapest 2000.)
decent compensation. 14 ...xd4 1 5 .lt:Je2 e5! (Black has no interest
However, in the following encounter White in allowing a queen exchange after 1 5 ... El:b8?!
introduced an extraordinary idea which 1 6.Wfd5.) 1 6.Wfc6 El:b8 17.El:dl This position
refutes Black's eleventh move: l 2.xf7t!! occurred in J. Garcia - Pacheco, Lima 2002,
El:xf7 1 3.e6 El:f8 1 4.Wfb3! The key move, after and here Black missed a powerful idea:
which Black has no good defence against
the dual threats of e7t and Wfxb7. 1 4 ... lt:Jc6
1 5 .e7t 'it>h8 1 6.exf8=Wft El:xf8 White has
a winning position although he later went
horribly wrong and lost in Bosboom - Finkel,
Dieren 1 997.

12.Wfxd8
This is the main line. Exchanging queens
is logical, as White's best chances to make
something of his bishop pair will come in the
endgame. Nevertheless Black also has certain
advantages in the form of a better pawn
structure and potential knight outpost on f4.
We will see that with correct play the position
Chapter 1 4 - 6.1:'1.c l 169

'Wf6 White is nder permanent pressure on the Here we have two options: B21) 1 3.ltJe2
dark squares. and B22) 13.0-0.

1 3.b4?! turned out badly in the following


encounter: 1 3 ... lll f4 l 4.lll d5?! ll'l g2t! 1 5 . \!?fl
l 2.lh6?! is met by a powerful counterargument:
1 2 ... lll c6! 1 3.1lxf8 'Wxf8 After his excellent
positional exchange sacrifice, Black's ll'lxe3t 1 6.fxe3 c6 17.f4 cxd5 1 8.1lxd5 lll c6
domination over the dark squares gives him l 9.fxe5 lll xb4+ Lputian - Ivanchuk, Elista
more than enough compensation. One example 1 998.
continued: 1 4 .lll e2 ll'lf4 1 5 .lll xf4 flxf4 16.Elc3 B21) 13.ltJ e2
Rogers - Timofeev, Amsterdam 2005, and
here I found a logical improvement:


I i . , . ,
6 .'ii.
1


.,.,.
b
2 ! Y.-
3

%-Im ?.
a b c d e f g h
16 ... Eld8N l 7.1ld5 lll e 5 1 8.Elxc? lll xf3t
With this move White takes control over
1 9 .'Wxf3 1lxc7 20.0-0 'We? Material is level,
some dark squares and prepares to advance his
but Black has the advantage as the white king
f-pawn. When I worked on this line several years
is not very safe. In such situations the opposite
ago I considered the text move to be White's
coloured bishops are only likely to make the
most challenging approach, but nowadays I do
defender's life more difficult.
not find it in the least bit frightening.

12 ...xdS
1 3 ... ltJc6 14.0-0
1 4.f4?! is weaker, but it demands an
accurate reaction: 1 4 . . .1lxb2 1 5 .Elb l lll a 5! An
important resource! l 6.1ld5 ( l 6.Elxb2 lll xc4
17.Elxb? ll'lxe3 [ l 7 ... lll f6!?N was also worth
considering] l 8.fxe3 lll f6 l 9.e5 lll g4 20.Elgl
ll'lxe3 Black was slightly better in Relange -
Palac, Bastia 1 998.) l 6 ... c6 1 7 .1lxf7t 'i!?xf7
l 8.Elxb2 Wichmann - Gleichmann, Leipzig
2009. Black should have considered: 1 8 ... b5!?N
Securing the c4-square for the knight.
( 1 8 . . . b6N 19.ll'lg3 ll'lg7 20.'i!?e2 c5 also looks
promising) 1 9.ll'lg3 lll c4 20.Elc2 ll'l g7 2 1 .'i!?e2
Eld? I prefer Black's position in this endgame.
a b c d e f g h
170 4.if4

14 tlJd4
1 9 f6!N 20.exf6t tiJxf6

I like this more than 1 4 ... tt:'i a5 1 5 .i.d5! With a balanced endgame.
c6 1 6.i.xf7t <;t>xf7 1 7.b4 i.c7 1 8.i.g5 d6
1 9.bxa5 i.xa5 20.fd l xdl t 2 1 .xd l when B22) 13.0-0
Black still had some problems to solve in Wirig
8
- Pinter, Pardubice 2008.

15.tlJxd4 hd4 7

6
8 5
7 4
6 3
5 2
4 1
3 a b c d e f g h
2 1 3 tlJd7
1
.

This is more flexible than 1 3 ... tt:'ic6 1 4.tt:'id5


tt:'ia5 1 5 .i.g5 d7 1 6.i.b5! c6 1 7.b4 cxb5
a b c
1 8 .bxa5 when White was slightly better in
16JUdl Drozdovskij - Eljanov, Poltava 2006.
Another game continued l 6.i.d5 i.xe3
1 7 .fXe3 c6 1 8 .i.b3 d2 1 9 .f2 ad8 when 14.tlJe2
Black was not worse, Beliavsky - Leko, White has tried a few other moves.
Dortmund 1 998.
1 4.fd l tt:'ib6 1 5 .i.b3 (Or 1 5 .i.fl c6 1 6.b3
16...he3 17.fxe3 'it>f'8 1 8.'it>fl 'it>e7 19.e5 xdl 1 7.tt:'ixdl Bykhovsky - Vydeslaver,
Now in Grishchenko - Belov, Sochi 2008, Beer-Sheva 1 996, and here Black should
Black should have played: have played 1 7 ...d8N with a comfortable
position.) 1 5 ... tt:'i f4 1 6.<;t>fl c6 1 7.xd8t?!
(This exchange is premature. Instead the
correct 1 7.b 1 would have maintained the
balance.) 1 7 ... xd8 1 8.a4 tt:'id3 1 9.d l d6+
White had to defend carefully to reach a draw,
Portisch - Ruck, Hungary 1 999.

1 4.c2
White defends the b2-pawn in advance.
Here I recommend:
14 ... tt:J b6 1 5 .i.b3 lt:J f4
Also interesting is 1 5 ...i.f4!?N.
Chapter 1 4 - 6.Scl 171

16.xb2 xc4 17.xb7 xe3


This is the most straightforward move,
although Black can also consider 1 7 ... Elab8!?
1 8.Elxa7 sb2 with nice compensation as in
Newman - Krueger, e-mail 2003.

18.fxe3 d2 19.c3 c6 20.c7 d.3 2 1.xc6


xe3 22.d5 a3 23.fl e8
The endgame is equal, Zubov - Timofeev,
Moscow 2009.

16.tt:'ie2 Conclusion
The best way to meet 1 6.a4, Huang Qian -
Gara, Khanty-Mansiysk (ol) 20 1 0 , is simply Line A with 7.e3 normally leads to an unusual
to block the a-pawn with 1 6 ...a5N. Black type of pawn structure, with Black losing his
need not fear 17.tt:'ib5, as 17 ... Eld7 keeps h-pawn in return for one of White's central
everything under control. pawns. Practice has shown that Black's active
1 6 ... tt:'ixe2t 17.Elxe2 pieces should ensure the second player a
The position is equal, and in the following pleasant game, and if White becomes too
game both sides played accurately. ambitious his attacking attempts could easily
17 ... c;t>g7 l 8.c;t>g2 sd7 1 9.sc l cG 20.scc2 backfire.
Sad8 2 1 .f4 d4 22.d2 tt:'i a8!? 23.b4 tt:'i c7
24.Eled2 tt:'ie6 25.c;t>f3 b6= In Line B after 7.e4 g4 8.xc4 tt:'ih5 9.e3
Aalderink - M. Rubinstein, e-mail 2007. xf3, White must choose between B l ) 1 0.'1Wxf3
and B2) 1 0 .gxf3 . The former is a speculative
14...Lb2 1 5.bl pawn sacrifice, which allows Black to obtain
a favourable position if he responds correctly.

8
The latter normally leads to a queenless position
in which the advantage of White's bishop pair
7 is roughly balanced by the weakness of his

6
kingside structure. Once again, there is little
for Black to fear here.
5

a b c d e f g h

15 ... e5!
This accurate move enables Black to equalize
comfortably.
4.if4
5.e3 c5 - Introduction and Sidelines

Variation Index
1 .d4 f6 2.c4 g6 3.c3 d5 4..if4 .ig7 5.e3
s ... c5

A) 6.hb8?! 173
B) 6.f3 cxd4 174
B l ) 7.exd4 174
B2) 7.xd4 175
C) 6.dxc5 a5 177
Cl) 7.cxd5 xd5 178
C2) 7.b3 179
C3) 7.a4t xa4 8.xa4 .id7 9.c3 e4! 1 0.xdS a6
l 1 .f3 exes 180
C31 ) 1 2 ..igS 182
C32) 12.hl 183
C33) 12.0-0-0 184

A) after 1 5.0-0 B2) note to 8.tt:ldb5 C33) note to 13.tt:lc7t

a b c d e f g h a b c d e f g h

9 xd4!N
...
! 6 :1'1c8N
...
Chapter 1 5 - 5 .e3 c5 - Introduction and Sidelines 1 73

l.d4 tiJf6 2.c g6 3.tiJc3 d5 4.f4 g7 5.e3

a b c d e f g h

5...c5
From here we will consider the rare
A) 6.hb8?! followed by the more respectable
B) 6.tiJf3 and finally the main line of C) 8... cxd4 9.xd4
6.dxc5. 9.exd4?! is even worse, as after 9 ...i.c6!
White will have serious difficulties completing
6.cxd5?! development. 1 0.l"i:d l 0-0 1 1 .Wa3 dxc4 1 2.d5
This is not a serious option. lll xd5 1 3.i.xc4 e6 Black already has a big
6... ti:lxd5 advantage, Carvalho - Tsuboi, Registro 1 999.
White's last move is usually connected with
the following idea:
9 ...0-0 1 0.cxdS
10.Wd2 does not alter the assessment:
7.i.xb8
1 O ...dxc4 l l .i.xc4 b5! Black has the makings of
Intending to simplify to an endgame.
a powerful initiative. 1 2.i.d3 b4 1 3.ti:lce2 i.b5!?
7.i.b5t ti:l c6 is good for Black.
1 4.ti:lc l ?! (Better would have been 14.i.xb5
7 ... l"i:xb8 8.Wa4t
although after 14 ...Wxd2t 1 5.xd2 ti:le4t
8.i.b5t i.d7 9.Wa4 transposes.
1 6.e l l"i:xb5 17.ti:ld4 l"i:c5 1 8.f3 ti:l d6 Black
8 ...i.d7 9.i.b5
keeps the better chances.) This position was
9.Wxa7? ti:lb4 1 0.l"i:cl cxd4 1 l .exd4 ti:l c6
reached in Triana Ruiz - Tur Gutierrez, corr.
was terrible for White in Palme - Dorn, Bad
1 998, and here Black missed a beautiful win:
Gastein 1 948, and l l ... i.h6!N would have
been even stronger.
9 ... ti:lxc3 1 0.bxc3 a6 l l .i.xd7t Wxd7
1 2.Wxd7t xd7
Black has the slightly better endgame, for
instance:
1 3 .lll f3 l"i:hc8 14.d2 b5+
Hult - Welin, Stockholm 1 980.

A) 6.hb8?! xb8

a b c d e f g h
1 74 4.if4

14 ... tll e4!!N 1 5.ixe4 '1Wxd2t 1 6.l!?xd2 1 6.:!:l:fd l ixf3 17.gxf3 '1Wxf3+
:!:l:fd8t 1 7.id3 ( 1 7. ltic2 ia4t; 17.tll d3 f5;
17.ltiel ixb2 Black wins easily in all these 16 ... tlJe4 17.c2 gbc8 18.Le4 a5!
lines.) 1 7...ixb2 1 8.:!:l:bl ixcl t Black regains 19.ic6 b3
his piece while keeping an overwhelming Black has a considerable advantage.
initiative.
B) 6.tiJf3

1 1 .d2 b5 12.i.d3 b4 13.tDce2 xd5


14.tlJf3 gfd8 1 5.0-0
This position was reached in Donner - After the main move White occasionally tries
Gheorghiu, Amsterdam 1 969. At this point Bl) 7.exd4 but the more important line is
Black missed a powerful continuation: unquestionably B2) 7.tlJxd4.

Bl) 7.exd4
Chapter 1 5 - 5 .e3 c5 - Introduction and Sidelines 175

7...0-0 8.i.e tlic6 1 5.ixa8 d5! In all three cases Black has
Black has a good version of the e3 line seen promising compensation for his small
in line A3 of Chapter 1 2, as White's dark material deficit.
squared bishop does not really belong on f4, 1 5.dxe7 Wxe7 1 6.ixa8 tll xh3t 1 7.gxh3 1"i:xa8
especially at such an early stage in the game. 1 8.Wf3
Black's position is easy to handle, and I will White was clearly better in Zharkov -
just show one interesting line to illustrate how Etchegaray, France 2005.
the game might develop.
8

7
9.0-0 i.g4 10.h3
With this move White initiates complications
which are not unfavourable to Black, but the 6

5
second player was doing fine in any case.

10 ...LB 1 1..ba dxc4 1 2.dS tLi b4! 13.d6 4

3
8 i. 2
7
,
,,, ,/,_" ,,Y," '
,
1
6 - ,
5
:a1:i 7;;
a b c d e f g h

4
"//,

14.d??
White should have preferred 14.Wa4

3 //, , ,;m miu fj although Black is still doing fine after 1 4 ... Wb6

fj ,, , , ''0 fj/:;-
,

or 1 4 ... tll fd5 .
2

1 , ,
, /, --! 14 ... tlid3 15.i.d6 Wfxd7 16.hffi gxf'8
17.Wfc2 gd8
a b c d e f g h With two pawns for the exchange and a
monstrous knight on d3 Black is clearly better,
13...e6
Materniak - Slawinski, corr. 1 999.
This is the simplest reaction, but it is not the
only good move. Equally playable is: B2) 7.xd4
1 3 ... tll d3 1 4.ixb7

8
A remarkable situation has been reached
in which Black has no less than four
opportunities to sacrifice the exchange. 7

6
Three of them are promising, but amazingly

5
in practice Black has always opted for the
worst option.
14 ... tll xf4? 4
The following alternatives deserve attention:
14 ... tll h 5N 1 5 .ig5 Wxd6 1 6.ixa8 1"i:xa8; 3
14 ... 1"i:b8N 1 5.dxe? Wxe7 1 6.ixb8 Wxb7 2
17.id6 1"i:d8 1 8.ia3 tll h 5; 14 ... exd6N
1
a b c d e f g h
1 76 4 .if4

This makes a lot more sense, although it is 8...'iNa5!


hardly likely to trouble the second player. This is the key move to remember. Now
Black has no problems and can even fight for
7 0-0 8.c!bdb5
... the initiative.
This is the only really challenging
continuation. I doubt that White can fight for 9.a3
the advantage with anything else. 9.lll c7? lll e4! is no good for White.

Another key line is 9.cxd5 a6! 1 O.lll c7 lll e4


8.'.Wb3 can be met forcefully with: 8 ... lll h5!
1 l .id3 lll xc3 1 2.bxc3 ixc3t 1 3.fl ga? and
9.ixb8 This position has occurred in three
Black is better.
games but so far nobody has played the best
move:
9.gcl dxc4 1 0.ixc4 lll c6 1 1 .0-0 was seen in

8 . Schmitzer - Schoenbach, e-mail 2005,


.i .i.
7
.6 l%'. %i".%_. . . %,v,
.
"i 8 .i .i.
7 .
,.,,/,- V,
5 r
. .

'Sl 6 . . /,
'
/,a' fi"
..


4 %,%, l'.i /,m %,%, %,%,
3 ;' ".,,,.%.""
"//,
%,%, : , /, ""
3 m r
%% .
r "'/,

2 r Ji .
%,%,
vl/,
%,%,
b
.

a b c d e f g h 2 % . %:m /,'
9 ...ixd4!N 1 0 .ig3 (After 1 0.exd4 dxc4! a b c d e f g h
1 l .ixc4 gxb8 White risks becoming worse and here Black should have played
in the IQP position.) 1 0 . . . lll xg3 1 l .hxg3 l 1 ... a6!N with the following justification:
dxc4 1 2.ixc4 ixc3t!? ( 1 2 ...ig7 is a good
1 2.lll c? e5 13.lll xa8 exf4 1 4.lll d 5 lll xd5
alternative) 1 3.'.Wxc3 ifS With a quick ... gc8
1 5 .Wxd5 '.Wb4 1 6.lll c? We? 17.lll xa6 fxe3
on the agenda, Black is doing fine. 1 8.fxe3 ixb2 1 9.gc2 ia3 White is in trouble
with his knight being stranded on the edge ofthe
board.

Perhaps White should consider 9.'.Wa4 at which


point the game Turov - Vocaturo, Eforie Nord
20 1 0, was immediately agreed drawn. The
continuation might be 9 ...Wxa4 10.lll xa4 and
now both 1 0 ... lll a6 and 1 0 ...id?!? look fine
for Black.

9 ...dxc4N
With chis logical novelty Black safeguards
his queen and gets a pleasant position.
9 ...id7
Chapter 1 5 - 5 .e3 c5 - Introduction and Sidelines 177

8
7

2
a b c d e f g h
1
1 0.ic7! gave Black some problems in
A. Mikhalevski - Greenfeld, Israel 1 999. a b c d e f g h

This is by far the most important option.


10.hc4 c!li e4 1 1.0-0
1 l .b4?! only leads to problems for White: 6...Wi'a5
1 1 ...lll xc3 1 2.bxa5 lll xd l 1 3.!'lxdl lll c6 In this posmon 7 .!'!cl is the main line
14.lll c7 !'lb8 White suffers from a weak pawn and the subject of Chapters 16 & 17. In the
on a5 and knight jumps can always be met by remainder of the present chapter we will deal
... e5. with the alternatives Cl) 7.cxd5, C2) 7.Wi'b3
and C3) 7.Wi'a4t.
1 1...a6 1 2.b4
12.lll xe4 axb5 1 3 .id5 e6! is fine for Black.
7.'1Wd2?! is toothless and generally results in an

8
improved version of the main line for Black:
7 ...dxc4 8.ixc4 Wxc5 9.!'lcl 0-0 1 0 .ib3 Wa5
7 1 1 .lll f3 lll c6 1 2.0-0 This position has occurred

6
in four games, but so far nobody has played
the following strong idea:
5

2
1
a b c d e f g h

12 ... axb5! 13.bxa5 c!lixc3 14.hf7t 'itixf7!


With three pieces for the queen, only Black
can be better. a b c d e f g h

1 2 ... lll h5!N 1 3 .ig5 h6 14.ih4 g5 1 5.ig3


C) 6.dxc5
lll xg3 1 6.hxg3 ig4 Black has an excellent
game thanks to his two bishops.
1 78 4.if4

7.ctJ f3 1 3.Wxc3 'Wxc3t 1 4.bxc3 tt:l d7 1 5.ib5


This is a slightly unusual move order, and This looks like the only challenging option,
indeed it seems to leave the c3-knight as after 1 5 .c6 bxc6 1 6.0-0 tt:l b6 1 7.ib3 e5
looking vulnerable. Nevertheless the Black has comfortable equality.
database contains approximately fifty games 1 5 ... a6 1 6.ia4
from this position, with even a few strong l 6.ixd7t ixd7 1 7.l"lb 1 can be met
grandmasters playing the white side. by the calm 17 ...l"lb8! followed by
7 ... tt:le4 . . .c;t>f7 and ... l"lhc8 when Black has no
This is the most principled reply. problems.
There is nothing wrong with 7 ... 0-0, when 1 6 ... c;t>f7 17.c6 ctJ c5 1 8.cxb7 ixb7
the most likely outcome is a transposition Black has promising compensation, for
to Chapter 1 7 after 8.l"lcl dxc4 9.ixc4 instance:
'Wxc5.
8.ie5 ixe5 9.ctJxe5 ctJxc3 1 0.'Wd2
White was relying on this move followed by
the delayed recapturing on c3.
1 0 ... f6
1 0 ...ie6!? is an interesting alternative.
1 l .ctJf3 dxc4
1 1 . ..tt:lc6 has been more popular, but
according to my analysis the text move is the
cleanest route to equality.

h
1 2.ixc4
a b c d e f g

s .i..t. - l 9.ib3t c;t>g7 20.0-0 l"lhc8

,:6i
, U %. %.B i
6 , ;, %. "-- ;,-
1
Black will regain his pawn in the near

,, _;,
future.

s s
4 , ,;,t -
Cl) 7.cxd5 tll xd5

3 r- %..:"",_%."_J3r%
r" 8
2
1
r- % - -%m-r- %
-

r:
tJ 7

6
a b c d e f g h
1 2 ...'Wb4!?N 5
This is my new idea. Previously Black has 4

3
tried only 1 2 ... ctJd7, Farago - Conquest,
Dordrecht 1 988, but I became slightly
concerned about 1 3.c6!N (After the game 2
continuation of 1 3.l"lcl tt:l c5 Black equalized 1
comfortably.) 1 3 ... bxc6 1 4.l"lc l !, when
Black's queenside structure is a problem. a c e f g h
Chapter 1 5 - 5.e3 c5 - Introduction and Sidelines 179

8
8.xd5

7
Simply bd for White is 8.i"lc l ? ctJxc3 9 .Wd2
Wxa2 1 0.bxc3 Wxd2t 1 l .<;t>xd2 ctJ d7. Black
already has a much better position, which 6

5
quickly became a winning one in the following
game: 1 2.i.b5 0-0 1 3.c6 ctJ c5 1 4.<;t>el a6
1 5.cxb7 i.xb7-+ Khanukov - Van Muenster, 4

3
Cologne 2004.

8...Lc3t 9.bxc3 xc3t 10.@e2 xal 2


1 1.i.eS

8
a b c d e f g h

7
15.i.g7
1 5 .<;t>g3?! <;t> f7! trapped the bishop in Farago
6 - Ftacnik, Passau 1 994.
5
15 ...lild7 16.@g3 gcs 17.i.h6 gxc5 18.lilf3
4 gh5! 19.i.f4 lilc5 20.d4 c2!
3
White was in trouble in Lorscheid -

2
Flumbort, Germany 2006.

C2) 7.b3

a b c d e f g h

1 1. ..bl!?
This is an interesting winning attempt. It is
important to emphasize that Black has a forced
draw in his pocket should he desire it. The
safe theoretical recommendation is 1 1 . .. Wc l
1 2.i.xh8 i.e6 1 3.Wxb7 Wc2t 1 4.<;t>e l Wcl t
1 5 .<;t>e2 Wc2t l 6.<;t>f3 Wf5t= with a draw by
perpetual.

12 ..ixhS i.e6 13.d3 xa2t 14.@3 f6


To tell the truth I have never seriously
a b c d e f g h
investigated this position, as no serious
opponent is ever likely to choose this line for This move is rarely seen nowadays, but
White in view of the aforementioned drawing it enjoyed a brief spurt of popularity in the
line. However, my gut reaction is that the early nineties thanks to the efforts of Vladimir
position looks quite promising for Black. Here Akopian.
is one illustrative example:
7...dxc4
I consider this to be Black's best continuation.
1 80 4.if4

8.i.xc4 0-0 9.Wfb5 12.tlJO


9.4Jf3 causes Black no real problems as 1 2.if3 was played in Stahlberg - Lehmann,
long as he plays accurately. The following is a Zevenaar 1 96 1 , and here
good example: 9 ... 4Je4 1 0.0-0 l!J xc5 1 1 .Wc2
l!J c6 1 2.:B:ac l if5 1 3.We2 :B:ad8 1 4.e4 ig4
1 5.4Jd5 l!Je6 1 6.id2 This was Beliavsky -
Timoscenko, Ashkhabad 1 978, and now Black
could have obtained a better position by means
of 1 6 ...'Wc5!N 1 7.b4 'Wd6 when the d4-square
makes the difference.

9 Wfxb5 10.i.xbS
..

l O.liJxb5 liJ a6 gives no problems at all.

10 i.d7
..

Black's lead in development should enable


him to regain the pawn with minimal fuss.
12 tiJbd7 13.0-0 tlJxc5

8 i. -
.

13 ... l!J e4!?N deserves consideration.

7 ,,
, ;.l,&fiY,
, ,/ m, '
,% , - ,
14.tlJeS tiJdS 15.tlJxc6 bxc6 16.tlJxdS cxd5
6
17.:aadl e6

" , The position is balanced, Pachman -

: 18 , f/7
Yanofsky, Amsterdam 1 954.

3 / J C3) 7.Wfa4t
/
"/

2 88,
1 t,, ,/

,
, ,,; , /jf\{
,,,,,/8
;
a b c d e f g h

1 1 .i.e2
Other moves are absolutely harmless, for
example: 1 1 .ixd? 4J fxd7N (I prefer not to
allow the black pawn structure to be damaged,
as occurs after 1 1 ... liJ bxd7 1 2.c6 bxc6
1 3.0-0-0, even though Black was not really
worse in Ruzele - Sakalauskas, Vilnius 1 994.)
12.4Jge2 l!Jxc5 1 3.0-0-0 4J c6 Black has a a b c d e f g h
comfortable game. This is the most critical of the options
examined in the present chapter.
1 1...i.c6
From here Black should obtain comfortable 7 Wfxa4 s.tlJxa4
.

equality with a few moves, for instance: We have reached an important tabiya.
Chapter 1 5 - 5 .e3 c5 - Introduction and Sidelines 181

8 i.d7!
.. 1 2.<ii d2 lt:'ixf2 1 3 . lt:'i c7t <ii d 8 14.lt:'ixa8 e5 with
Several other moves have been tried, but the a wild position.) 1 2.lt:'iec3 e6 1 3.lt:'ic7t lt:'ixc7
text is currently the last word of theory. 1 4.i.xc7

9.llic3 llie4!
/, -JI

76 .t.
s
This is the point behind Black's previous
move. The idea is to sacrifice a second pawn
5
%
'""" "'""
4 ,/,

temporarily, in order to maximize the activity

rW.'/
3 ef%m" ' %
of the minor pieces.
"//.

8
2
' % /, -/,
=.r :
tJ fl tJ rtJ
7

6 a b c d e f g h

5 1 4 ... i.xc3t! 1 5 .bxc3 f6 Black's superior

4
structure gives him enough compensation
for the missing pawn. 1 6.f3 l"i:c8 17 .i.d6 e5
3 1 8.0-0-0 i.e6 1 9 .<ii c2 b6 20.i.e2 <ii f7 2 1 .h4
2
h5 Black was not experiencing any problems
in Jensen - Woelfl, e-mail 2008.

a b c d e f g h 8
10.llixdS 7

6
Nothing else can trouble the second player.

1 0.l"i:c l ?! lt:'ixc3 1 l .bxc3 dxc4 1 2.i.xc4 i.c6! 5

4
1 3.f3 lt:'id7 14.e4 lt:'ixc5+ Black's superior pawn

3
structure promises him a long-term edge,
Purnama - Sasikiran, Kolkata 2009.
2
1 0.lt:'ixe4?! dxe4 Black will soon obtain an easy
game after regaining the c5-pawn. 1 1 .l"i:b 1 ?! (So
far this is the only move to have been tested.
1 1 .0-0-0 looks better although 1 l ...lt:'ia6 is
IO llia6
still comfortable for Black.) 1 l . ..lt:'ia6 1 2.lt:'ie2
.

Preventing the knight invasion on c7. Later


lt:'ixc5 13.lt:'ic3 i.xc3t! 1 4.bxc3 This was Panush
Black might take on c5 with either knight
- Danin, Serpukhov 2003, and now after
depending on circumstances.
1 4 ... f6N Black would have obtained a
strategically winning position. I I.f3
This has been almost universally played.
1 0.lt:'i ge2 lt:'ixc5 After this move the weakness of
the d3-square could become a factor. 1 l .lt:'i xd5 1 l .lt:'i f3? is senseless, and after 1 l ...e6 12.lt:'ic7t
lt:'i ba6 (A serious alternative is 1 l ...lt:'id3t!?N lt:'ixc7 1 3.i.xc7 i.xb2 1 4.l"i:b l i.c3t 1 5 .<ii e2
1 82 4.f4

'Llxc5 Black was much better in Houriez - C31) 12.g5


Touboulic, Besancon 2006.
8

7
1 1 .Elb 1
This move was played in Faldt - Hermansson,
Sweden 2003. At this point I found the 6

5
following interesting idea:
1 l .. .g5!?N 1 2.'Llc7t 'Ll xc7 1 3.xc7 Elc8
4

1
a c d e f g h

This has only been seen in a single game thus


far, but it should be taken seriously as it was
by Alexey Dreev, a specialist in this line.

12 ....L:b2 13.:Sbl f6!


1 4.c6!
Despite being surprised over the board,
Without this White might experience
Black was able to find the strongest response.
difficulties, for instance: l 4.a5 f5! 1 5 .d3
'Ll xf2! 1 6.xf5 Elxc5 1 7.'itixf2 ( 1 7.c2 'Ll xh l
14.:Sxb2 fxg5 15.g4
1 8 .d2 g4! Thanks to the ideas o f ... g3 and
The attempt to activate the king's rook with
... Elh5 White is unable to trap the knight in
1 5 .h4 should be met by 1 5 ... g4 1 6.h5 g5!
the corner.) 17 ... Elxf5 t 1 8 .'Llf3 Elxa5 Black
when Black is doing well.
has a slightly better endgame.
1 4 ...Elxc7
15 ... hS! 16.llih3 hxg4 17.llixgS c6
Black also obtains good compensation after
Black continues to play the best moves.
1 4 ...xc6 1 5 .a5 g4! 1 6.'Lle2 b6 1 7.b4
Eld8!.
18.fxg4?!
1 5 .cxd7t Elxd7 1 6.e2 0-0
Having failed to obtain any advantage,
Now Black has the strong idea of ... 'Ll d2 at _ gambles with a risky piece sacrifice.
White
his disposal. His compensation for the pawn
is entirely adequate, for instance:
Objectively he should have preferred 1 8 .e2N
1 7.h4 'Ll d2 1 8 .Elcl xb2 l 9.Elc2 a3 20.hxg5
gxf3 l 9.'Llxf3 e6 20.lll f4 when the position
Elfd8 2 1 .g4 e6 22.'Llh3 'Ll e4
remains dynamically equal.
The position is balanced.
18 ... e6 19.e4 exd5 20.cxdS d7 21..L:a6
1 1. .. lli excS bxa6 22.0-0
In this position White can choose benveen
We have been following the game Dreev
C31) 12.g5, C32) 12.:Sbl and C33) - Gopal, Zurich 2009. At this point Black
12.0-0-0. should have continued:
Chapter 1 5 - 5 .e3 c5 - Introduction and Sidelines 1 83

not stupid either. 1 3 ... exd5 (l 3 ... tll a4!?N looks


interesting as well.) 14.bxc5 dxc4 1 5 .id6
(After 1 5 .ixc4 lll xc5 1 6.lll e2 Ei:c8 Black has
a comfortable game.) l 5 ... Ei:c8 1 6.ixc4 lll xc5
1 7.lll e2 Elc6! This is the easiest way to solve
the problem of Black's king. 1 8.ig3 0-0
1 9.0-0 This position occurred in Faldt - Von
Bahr, Hallstahammar 2002, and here I would
suggest 1 9 ... Ei:e8N 20.lll d4 Elcc8 when Black
has a comfortable position.

13 ... .!lJxc7 14.i.xc7 .!lJ a4 15.i.d6 .!lJxb2


a b c d e f g h Black must of course avoid 1 5 ... ixb2?
22 ...i.xg4N 23JU6 l:kS! 24Jhg6 .!iJd.3 1 6.Ei:xb2 lll xb2 1 7.ie5 when White wins
25J'bl l:k7 26.d6 material.
26.Ei:bSt can be met by 26 ... ic8! when
Black has a clear advantage. 16.i.a3
White must restore his material advantage,
26... .!lJ e5! otherwise he will simply have a worse
Black is fighting for a win. position.

C32) 1 2.ghl 16 ... .!lJ a4 17.gxb7

8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
a b c d e f g h a b c d e f g h

12...e6 13..!iJc?t 17...i.ffi!


As we have already seen, the structure arising This is an excellent positional move. By
after 13.lll c3 ixc3t ( 1 3 ...ia4!? also deserves exchanging the dark-squared bishops Black
attention) 1 4.bxc3 f6 promises Black good frees his king and obtains the c5-square for his
long-term compensation. knight. These achievements in turn enable him
to fight for the b-file.
13.b4!? has only been played once. I doubt
that it is really dangerous, but it is certainly 18.i.xffi
1 84 4.i.f4

l 8.l"i:b3 i.xa3 I 9.l"i:xa3 '\f:Je7 is also fine. 23... ga6!


Perhaps White overlooked this move and was
18 ... gxf'S 19.llJe2 rJJ e7 20.llJd4 expecting a doubling of rooks on the b-file.
Attempting to improve the king only leads
to trouble: 20. '\f:Jd2?! l"i:fb8 2 l .l"i:xb8 l"i:xb8 24.llJb3 gd6t!
22.'\f:Jcl e5! White can hardly move. The rook continues to show off its mobility,
and in the process Black gets a decisive
20... llJc5 2 1.gb4
advantage.
The inferior 2 1 .l"i:b 1 ? was played in Rat
- Okhotnik, Zalakaros 2000, and now the
25.rJJ e l a5 26.llJxc5 axb4 27.axb4 gal
natural 2 1 ...l"i:fb8N would have given White
Black was winning and he soon converted
some difficult problems to solve.
his advantage in Gerhards - Lohmann, e-mail
2 1...gfbs 22.a3 2003.

C33) 12.0-0-0

8
7
6
5
4
3
2
22 ... gb6!
1 L_--":5=...;....
;;;_;;_ ""--:-
....,
After this strong move it is White who will a b c d e f g h
have to play accurately to draw. This natural move is the main theoretical
continuation.
There is nothing much wrong with 22 ... a5,
and after 23.l"i:xb8 l"i:xb8 24.llib5 lli a4! 25 .'\f:Jd2
12 e6
i.xb5 26.cxb5 l"i:d8t 27.'\f:Jc2 l"i:c8t 28.'\f:Jb3

1 2 ... l"i:c8 has so far yielded a perfect score,


lli c5 t the players agreed a draw in Novikov -
but I consider it less reliable. In a recent high
Sutovsky, Koszalin 1 998.
level game Black opted for this move but failed
23.@d2? to equalize: 13.i.g5 f6 14.i.h4 '\f:;f7 1 5 .llie2 eG
This is a clear mistake. After the correct: 1 6.lt:Jdc3 i.h6 1 7.i.2 e5 1 8.'\f:Jb l Wang Yue
23.i.e2 l"i:ab8 (Delchev and Agrest recommend _ Topalov, Nanjing 20 1 0.
23 ... l"i:a6 which is also fine, although White
should not be worse here either, as long as 13.llJc7t
he plays accurately.) 24.'\f:Jd2 l"i:xb4 25. b4 1 3.llic3 -
l"i:xb4 26.l"i:al White should hold the posmon This has been played in a few games, but it
without much trouble. should not worry the second player.
Chapter 1 5 - 5 .e3 c5 - Introduction and Sidelines 185

13 ...ixc3 ib5 Black obtained a decisive advantage in


As usual, this thematic reaction works well. Camus - Gladyszev, France 2008.
1 4.bxc3 f6 1 5.e4
In the following example White gradually 1 6.li:'le2?! This strange move was played in
slipped into a difficult position: 1 5 .id6 Ballon - Kohlweyer, Triesen 2004. Even more
l"i:c8 1 6.li:'lh3 li:'l a4 1 7.'it>c2 li:'l b6 1 8.l"i:b l strange to me was the fact that Black refrained
'it>f7 1 9.li:'lf2 l"i:hd8 20.ia3 f5! 2 1 .ie2 ia4t from capturing the c4-pawn, since after
22.'it>cl l"i:d7 Hertneck - Ftacnik, Austria 16 ... bxc4N 1 7.li:'lc3 li:'l a4 1 8.l"i:d2 a5! only
2005. The c4-pawn is about to fall, which Black can be better.
would leave Black in a strategically winning
position. Perhaps out of desperation White The attempt to block the queenside with
sacrificed the exchange on b6 but soon lost. 1 6.ixc5 l"i:xc5 1 7.b4 l"i:c7 1 8.c5 is doomed
1 5 . . . e5 1 6.ie3 to fail, as shown by the following analysis of
This position occurred in Lohse - Rawlings, Delchev and Agrest: 1 8 ...ic3 1 9.a3 a5 20.'it>c2
e-mail 2007. At this point I suggest a modest (20.l"i:xd7 'it>xd7 2 1 .ixb5t 'it>e7+) 20 ... axb4
improvement: 2 1 .'it>b3 l"i:xc5 22.axb4 l"i:c7+

8 16...bxc4 17.hc4
7
6
5
4
3

a b c d e f g h

1 6 ... l"i:c8N
With this calm move Black prepares to target
the c4-pawn.
1 7.h4 ie6 a b c d e f g h
In my estimation it is White who will have
17... ltJa4!
to play more carefully to avoid getting a worse
This important tactical nuance maintains
position.
Black's initiative and should enable him to
count on a balanced game.
13...ltJxc7 14.hc7 gc8 15.id6 b5!
This move is the key to Black's counterplay.
18.gd.2
16.b3 So far this is the only move to have been
Obviously the b-pawn is untouchable: tested in practice.
1 6.cxb5? li:'le4t 1 7.'it>bl li:'l f2+
I also examined 1 8.'it>d2N when the simplest
1 6.e4? is not much better: 1 6 ... bxc4 1 7 .e5 solution for Black is 1 8 ...ic3t 1 9.'it>e2 liJ b2
ia4! 1 8.l"i:d4 li:'l d3t 1 9.ixd3 cxd3t 20.'it>d2 20.l"i:b l li:'lxc4 2 1 .bxc4 l"i:xc4 with equality.
1 86 4.i.f4

18 i.b5 19Jk2 i.xc4 20.bxc4 'it>d7 2 1.c5


Conclusion
2 l .i.a3 ltJ c3 regains the pawn immediately,
and after 22.lt:'i e2 lt:'i xe2t 23.1''1xe2 1"1xc4t Variation A is deservedly rare, and we saw that
24.1"1c2 1"1hc8 25.1"1d l t 'it>e8 the position is White's pawn-grabbing expedition is likely to
equal. lead to nothing but trouble for him. Variation

8
B with 6.lt:'if3 is a bit more respectable, but
here too we saw that Black can equalize and

7
fight for the initiative in many lines.

6
5
It follows that variation C) with 6.dxc5 a5
is the only option that can really threaten the

4
second player, and indeed the next two chapters

3
will be devoted to the critical continuation of
7.1"1c 1 . In the previous pages we saw that none

2
of White's alternatives on the seventh move
should be feared. The only one that demands
serious attention is variation C3) with 7.a4t,
but we saw that with the aid of an energetic
a b c d e f g h pawn sacrifice Black can obtain a fine position
2 1..Jk6 with the kind of dynamic counterplay which is
2 l ... i.f8N is another way to regain the pawn absolutely typical for the Griinfeld.
and reach an equal position.

22.ltJe2 ltJxc5!
This small finesse leads to easy equality.

23.gdl ghc8
Equally effective is 23 ... 1"1xd6 24.1"1xc5 1"1xdl t
25.'it>xdl 1"1b8 26.1"1a5 Yz-Yz Kiss - Ruck,
Hungary 1 998.

24.gxc5 gxc5t 25.i.xc5t 'it>e8 26.'it>d.2


gxc5
Black almost has the makings of a slight
endgame advantage, but White has just enough
time to activate his rook.

27.gbl gas 28.gbst 'it>e7 29.gb?t 'it>es


30.gbst 'it>e7 31 .gb?t
lf2-l/2
Novikov - Yermolinsky, New York 1 998.
4.J.f4 a b c d e f g h

7.cl Sidelines and 9. ge2


-

Variation Index
1 .d4 lt:Jf6 2.c4 g6 3.lt:Jc3 d5 4..if4 .ig7 5.e3 c5 6.dxc5 a5 7.cl dxc4 8 ..ixc4
8 ... 0-0
A) 9.a3 1 89
B) 9.lt:Jge2 xc5 1 0.b3 lt:J c6 1 1.llJbS h5 189
Bl) 12.lt:Jc7 1 92
B2) 12.lt:Jg3 h4 1 3.lt:Jc7 e5! 1 93
B21) 14.heS 1 94
B22) 14..igS xg5 1 98
B221) 1 5.lt:Jxa8 198
B222) 1 5.h4 199

note ro 8.ixc4 B l ) after 1 5.ixf7t 8222) after 2 I .1/;\ld6

a b c d e f g h
1 3 . a6!N
..
1 5 ... i>g?!N
1 88 4.if4

l.d4 tiJ f6 2.c4 g6 3.tiJc3 d5 4.i.f4 i.g7 5.e3 1 1 ...lll c 6!?


c5 6.dxc5 a5 7.cl Black can also fight for the advantage with
1 1 . ..c8 1 2.tll c3 lll c6 1 3.tll e 5 ie6 14.lll xc6
xc6 1 5 .b4 Gunawan - Dorfman, Sarajevo
1 988, and now after the strong 1 5 ... tll h 5!N
1 6.xb7 lll xf4 1 7.exf4 xc5 Black is better.
1 2.cl lll d5
Black has the initiative. Here is one possible
continuation.
1 3 .ib5
Briet - Schrader, France 1 998. Now Black
should have played:

7... dxc4
7 ... tll e4 is a valid alternative, but the text
move is the main line and the one I like the
c e
most. a b d f g h

1 3 ... a6!N 1 4.ic4


s.Lc4
1 4 .ie2 runs into the strong 14 ... tll cb4! with
The only other move to have been tried is:
advantage to Black.
8.1Mfa4t 1Mfxa4 9.lll xa4 id? 1 0.xc4?!
l 4 ... tll cb4 l 5.tll c3 lll xf4 l 6.exf4 ac8
White should have preferred 1 0.tll c3
White will have to fight for a draw.
although Black equalizes easily: 1 0 ... tll a6

8
1 1 .ixc4 lll xc5 1 2.tll f3 0-0 13.0-0 ac8

7
1 4.tll e5 ie6 1 5 .ixe6 lll xe6= McMichael -
Hjelm, Hallsberg 1 99 1 .

6
1 0 ... 0-0 1 1 .lll f3

5
4
3
2
1
a c g

8. . 0-0
b c d e f g h
.

a
Chapter 1 6 - 7.Ei:cl - Sidelines and 9.Cll ge2 1 89

A well-known mistake would be 8 ...Wxc5 ?, However, after the superior l l .b4!N Wc6
after which - 9.Cll b5 Wb4t 1 0.iifl ! wins 1 2.xe6 Wxb5 1 3.c4 White's bishop pair
material. gives him some advantage.

From this posmon we will examine two IO.c!tJge2


moves in the present chapter: A) 9.a3 and In the event of 1 o.Wb3, as played in Almeida
B) 9.c!tJge2. Quintana - Bacallao Alonso, Santiago de
Cuba 2009, I do not see any problem with
The most frequently played option has been 1 0 ...Wxc5N. From this positioa l l .Cll b5?!
9.Cll f3, which will form the subject of the next does not work due to l l . ..Cll d5!+, and even
chapter. after the superior l 1 .Wb5 Wxb5 1 2.xb5
Cll h5! only Black can be better.
9.Wa4 Wxc5 1 0.Cll b5 is simply a dubious idea
in view of: 1 0 ... Cll d5! l 1 .Cll e2 'll a6! 1 2.Wb3 IO. .Wxc5 I I.c!iJb5
.

'll xf4 1 3.Cll xf4 Wb4t 1 4.'ll c3 Wxb3 1 5.xb3 This is the only way to try and make sense of
Farago - Schmidt, Bagneux 1 980. Black could the early a2-a3.
have secured his slight edge with the nice
positional move l 5 ... e6!N+. 1 1...'!Wh5 12.b4 d7 13.'!Wb3 ac8 14.0-0
a6 15.c!iJbc3 b5
A) 9.a3 Black was doing fine in Almeida Quintana -
Jerez Perez, Canovelles 2008.

B) 9.c!lJge2

8
7
6
5
4
3
a b c d e f g h 2
9... c!tJc6!
Black has to postpone taking on c5, as
a b c d e f g h
9 ...Wxc5?! would allow the awkward 1 0.Cll b5,
when 1 O .. .e6 is necessary if Black is to avoid This is a much more serious move than 9.a3,
material losses. and has yielded a higher statistical score for
From this position Black need not fear White than the 'official' main line of 9.Cll f3 ,
l l .e2 Wf5 1 2.Cll c7, as played in Nikolov - which will be examined in the following
Delchev, Pamporovo 200 l , as after l 2 ...Wa5tN chapter.
1 3.iifl Cll c6 14.'ll xa8 Ei:xa8 he has decent
compensation for the exchange. 9...'!Wxc5 10.'!Wb3
1 90 4.if4

-% ,y, i
This is firmly established as the main
K .t
7 ,, ,
s

6 . . afiY,
continuation, but a few other moves have been
tried.

', , ,
,- - - -

1 O.ib3 is harmless, for instance: 1 O . . . <ilc6

3 - Y,
1 1 .0-0 Wa5 1 2.<ild4 id? 1 3.ig3 <ilxd4


2 J !-
( 1 3 ... :!"i:ad8N also comes into consideration)
14.exd4 This position was reached in
Lund - Teplyi, Silkeborg 2009, and
now after the natural 1 4 ...ic6N 1 5 .ie5
:
:!"i:fd8 1 6.We2 e6 Black has a comfortable a b c d e f g h

game. l 5 ... :!"i:xa3!


This move and the associated tactics provide
1 0.<ilb5?! the justification for Black's queen sacrifice.
This looks principled, but it does not hold 1 6.Wb2
up to the hard scrutiny of analysis. White had better avoid l 6.ixb8? <ile4 when
1 0 ...Wb4t! he will suffer heavy material loses due to the
Much better than 10 ...ie6? l 1 .Wb3 when weakness of his back rank: l 7.Wxe4 ( 1 7.Wel
Black is in trouble. :!"i:al 1 8.<ilcl ic3 1 9.Wd l ib2-+) 17 ... :!"i:al t
1 1 .@fl 1 8.<ilcl :!"i:xcl t 1 9 .@e2 :!"i:xhl Black was
winning in Zaja - Brkic, Omis 2005.
16 ... :!"i:a8 1 7.ie5 ttJ c6 1 8.ixc6 bxc6 1 9.h3+
Dydyshko - Begun, USSR 1 990. Although
White's opening was far from a success, he
should still be able to hold the position.

1 0.Wd4
This has only been seen in two games, neither
of which featured the strongest reply:

l l ...a6!
This is not the only playable move, but it
is the strongest one, and effectively refutes
White's play.
1 2.a3 Wxb2 1 3 .:!"i:bl
After 1 3.:!"i:c2 Wxc2 1 4.Wxc2 axb5 1 5.ixb5
:!"i:xa3! 1 6.Wb2 ( 1 6.ixb8? :!"i:al t 1 7.<ilcl

h
if5-+) we reach the same position.
a b c d e f g
1 3 ...Wxb l !
With this elegant queen sacrifice Black 1 0 ...Wa5!N
obtains the advantage. 1 0 ... Wh5 is not a bad moe, and after
1 4.Wxb l axb5 1 5.ixb5 l l .ixb8 :!"i:xb8 1 2.Wxa? id? Black had
Chapter 1 6 - 7.1:kl - Sidelines and 9 .lll ge2 191

8 .i. )-
7
enough compensation for the sacrificed
J:
/, . .-,%
pawn in Istratescu - Iordachescu, Predeal

%-/ , ,
2006. 6
l l .b4
5

4 ,, , 1
%'"'/, -'0
Otherwise Black will gain an important
tempo with ... tt:l c6.
'""'%
3 -i
2 n - -
l l ...Wa3!

,/, .i
' "
On this square the queen is quite safe and
indeed rather disruptive for the opponent.

h
1 2.xb8
In the event of 1 2. b5 f5 1 3.0-0 tLl bd7 a b c d e f g

Black's pieces are much better placed. 1 3 ... b6!?N (Black needs an improvement over
12 ... :1'1'.xb8 1 3.0-0 tt:l g4! 1 4.We4 f5 1 5 .Wxe7 1 3 ...e6?! 1 4.:1'1'.fdl b6 1 5 .iiffa3;:!; when his
f6 16.Wd6 e5 queen is misplaced, Godesar - Gerfault, corr.
Black regains his pawn and his two bishops 1 993) 14.Wa3 :1'1'.e8 White is unable to take
provide him with an ongoing initiative. advantage of the apparently vulnerable queen

8
on c4, for instance 1 5 ..!e5 b7 1 6.:1'1'.fd l Wg4

7
1 7 .g3 tLlh5 1 8 .h3 iWe6 1 9 .h2 :1'1'.ec8 and the
position is balanced.

6
5
1 1. WfhS

4 8
3 7
6
5
2

4
3
a b c d e f g h

2
10 c!Dc6
.

This natural move is unsurprisingly the


main line. For those who wish to investigate a 1
different path I can point you in the direction
of 1 0 ... Wa5, as played by Carlsen in 2009. a b c d e f g h

We will pay attention to the tricky though


1 1.c!DbS ultimately unimpressive Bl) 12.c!Dc? followed
White's entire opening strategy is centred by the main line of B2) 1 2.c!Dg3.
around this move and the subsequent invasion
on c7. Other continuations are harmless, for 1 2.iWa3?! was seen in the game Dreev -
instance: 1 1 .0-0 tt:l a5 1 2.iiffb 5 iiffxc4 (There is Sutovsky, Internet (blitz) 2002, but the
also 1 2 ... Wxb5 1 3.xb5 a6 14.d3 .!d7 1 5 .e4 idea makes little sense, and after the logical
tt:lc6 1 6.b l e6 with equality, Kakageldyev - 12 ... a6!N 1 3.tll c7 :1'1'.a7 the knight invasion to
Sasikiran, Esfahan 2005.) 1 3.Wxa5 c7 has accomplished nothing.
1 92 4.i f4

Bl) 12.liJc? 14 ...Wa5t! 1 5 .tll c3 ( 1 5 .:B:c3 lll e4 saw White

8
lose the exchange in Bernasek - Brkic, Brno
2006. No better is 1 5 .1Wc3 Wxa2 1 6.lll c l Wal

7
17.b3 Wxc3t 1 8.:B:xc3 tll h5 1 9.:B:c4 b5 20.:B:c5

6
e5 2 1 .ig5 if8-+ Grycel - Bobras, Augustow

5
2004.)

4
3
2
1
a b c d e f g h

Objectively not great, but it took some time


a c e
before the best response was discovered. b d f g h

12..J'bS 1 5 ... e5! Winning material by force. 1 6.:B:xf6


The tempting 12 ... tll a5?!, as seen in the game There is nothing better. 1 6 ...ixf6 17.tll e 8?
Piket - Van Wely, Monte Carlo (blindfold) A mistake in an already unfavourable
200 1 , can be met strongly by 1 3 .1Wa3!N lll xc4 position. 1 7 ...ie7-+ The trapped knight will
1 4.:B:xc4 :B:b8 1 5 .tll g3 Wg4 1 6.:B:d4! with some soon perish, Crowdy - Clifford, England
advantage for White. 1 994.

13.liJd5 13 ...e5
1 3 .tll a6? is unimpressive: 13 . . .Wa5t 1 4.tll c3
:B:a8 1 5 .tll c7 e5! 1 6.lll xa8 exf4 1 7.0-0 fxe3
1 8 . fxe3 We5 1 9.tll d5 tll g4 20.g3 tll a5+ Black's
advantage was close to decisive in Perun -
Shishkin, Kiev 2005.

The tempting 1 3 .ixf7t? :B:xf7 14.:B:xc6 allows


a clever rebuttal:

a b c d e f g h

14.tlJxf6t?!
White should have settled _ for the less
ambitious 14.ig3N, although after 14 ... tll e4
Black has no problems whatsoever.
Chapter 1 6 - 7.E!:cl - Sidelines and 9 . lt:J ge2 1 93

14 Lf6 15!i.xf7t
8
7
..

This was White's idea. It is too late to turn


back with 1 5 .g3, as after 1 5 ... lt'i a5 Black is
6
5
much better.

4
We have been following the game Lukacs -

3
Szeberenyi, Budapest 2000. At this point Black
could have refuted his opponent's idea with:

8
1
2

7
6
5
a b c d e f g h

13.c7

4
White's previous play has been directed

3
towards this invasion, so it is too late for him
to back out of the complications.

2 13 e5!

1 3 ... E!:b8? allows l 4.xf7t E!:xf7 I 5 .Elxc6


when White is clearly better.
a b c d e f g h l 3 ... g5 is a playable alternative, but the text
15 ...i>g?!N move is my preference. The most recent games
The following line is now forced. and analysis indicate that Black should be
doing fine.
16.i.g3 hf7 17Jhc6 bxc6 18.xbS a6
19.f.3 e4!
Black has a serious initiative. One possible
continuation is:

20.i>fl exf.3 21.gxf.3 b7 22.cS b5


23.el e7
White is in trouble as he is losing all his
queenside pawns.

B2) 12.g3

Although the previous variation should be


studied closely, the present line is where the
serious work begins. We have reached a major crossroads. White
is poised to win the rook on a8, but his dark
12...h4 squared bishop is a goner and he must decide
The queen might look precariously placed, on the best way to lose it. His main choices are
but she is in no real danger. B21) 14.he5 and B22) 14.g5.
1 94 4.if4

1 4.tt:lxa8? exf4 would open the position in 2 1 ...tt:lfl !! 22.:xfl Wd3t 23.Wd2 ixe2t
Black's favour. 24.@el ixfl Black emerges with healthy
extra pawn.
1 4.ih6?! 1 7... tt:l f5!
According to the database this has only With this move Black brings huge pressure
been played once. It is unlikely to become to bear on the e3- and g3-squares.
popular as it enables Black to activate his 1 8.tll d5 tt:lgxe3! 1 9.tt:lxe3 ixe3

.i. Bi
dark-squared bishop. The following game
provides a remarkable example of how Black 8
7 - 0, Y,
6 . %
may develop his initiative.

%
1 4 ...ixh6 l 5.tt:lxa8 tt:l g4 1 6.tt:lc7 tt:l d4!

: B
Black takes full advantage of the position of

"'"' , a
/;.. .
-/ %"/
his bishop.

3
2 'ti/\ u0,.;'/""',{'"%ti fj,
1
a b c d e f g h

20.ixf7t?
This is j ust agony, but even after the superior
20.:!'%c2 ig5 2 1 .0-0 tt:l d4 Black regains
the sacrificed exchange and remains with a
clearly better position.
a b c d e f g h
20 ... @xf7 2 1 .Wb3t @f6 22.fxe3 tt:lxg3
1 7.Wa3 White was completely busted and resigned a
I examined a few other moves as well: few moves later in Piskov - Dvoirys, Podolsk
1 7.W c3!? deserved attention. Black should 1 992.
respond by calmly bringing another piece
into play with l 7 ... :d8, when White's king B21) 14 .L:es
.

8
remains rather uncomfortable.
l 7.Wb4?! looks riskier due to l 7 ...ixe3!

7
l 8.fxe3 tt:lxh2 when Black has a dangerous

6
attack. Here is a nice illustrative line: l 9.exd4

5
Wxg3t 20.'it>dl ig4t 2 1 .ie2

4
3
2
1
a b c d e f g h
Chapter 1 6 - 7.l'l:cl - Sidelines and 9.'ll ge2 1 95

With this move White grabs as much


material as h can, but the drawback is that he
opens additional lines for Black's already active
pieces.

14...li:)xe5 15.li:)xa8

8 ltJ-.i. 0,__
7 ,Y,
6
,,,, ,% % %--, b c d e f g h
n n a

5 , , ,,, ; 1 9 ... liJxf2! This tactical strike is obvious but

4 f ,, pleasing nonetheless. 20.ixf7t :8:xf7 2 l .:8:xf2


Wxg3 22.i'fie8t ms 23.:8:xf8t ixf8 24.:8:xc5
3
2 m0
1

t3J c 30J 0'-'
bxc5 25 .i'fixc8 i'fixe3t+ White will have to fight
for a draw.
0:
J [j
1
, , - 16...b?

8
a b c d e f g h

7
15 ... b6!?

6
This is actually a bit unusual, but it has

5
scored well and my analysis has convinced me
that it is at least as good as the more popular

4
1 5 ...id? 1 6.liJc? ic6.

16.li:)c?
So far this is the only move to have been
3
tested, but I would like to share my analysis of 2
a few other possibilities. 1

Firstly it should be noted that 1 6.0-0? is already a b c d e f g h


a fatal error in view of 1 6 ...ib? 1 7.liJc? liJ fg4! l?.li:)d5
1 8.h3 liJf3t! 1 9.'tt> h l liJ g5 with a crushing White has tried a few other moves here.
attack.
17.id5 liJ xd5 1 8 .liJxd5 ixd5 1 9.i'fixd5 just
1 6.i'fib5!?N is quite a serious alternative, but transposes to the main line.
I found what I believe to be a nice idea for
Black: 1 6 ... liJ fd?!? The knight is heading for 1 7 .i'fib5 ixg2 1 8.i'fixe5 liJg4 1 9.i'fib5
c5, from where it will restrict the white queen 1 9.i'fid6 ixhl 20.liJxh l liJxe3 requires
while preparing ideas of ...ia6 or ... id?. Here additional investigation, although my initial
is an illustrative line: 1 7.0-0 liJc5 l 8.liJc7 liJg4 impression is that the queen is better on b5.
1 9.h3 19 ...ixhl 20.liJxh l liJxe3
1 96 4.i.f4

has only been played once. My preferred


response would be:
1 7... lll fg4N
17 ... :1'i:c8 was Black's choice in Ludwig
- A. Hunt, France 2009. Here I found
a remarkable improvement for White:
1 8.ixf7t!?N lll x f7 1 9.0-0 ih6 20.'it>hl
In this strange position White's chances are
slightly higher.

a b c d e f g h

2 1 .ixf7t
I also examined 2 1 .lll g3N which is probably
White's best continuation: 2 l ...'1Wxh2
22.ixf7t This seems to lead to a forced draw
after an incredible line: 22 ... :1'i:xf7 23.'1We8t
if8 24.'1Wxe3 'IWgl t 25 .'it>e2 :1'i:xf2t! 26.'it>d3
(26.'1Wxf2? 'IWxcl is winning for Black as the
c7-knight will soon drop) 26 ...'1Wg2 27.:1'i:c2!
This is the only move which allows White a b c d e f g h
to escape. 27... :1'i:xc2 28.'1We6t 'it>h8 29.'1Wf6t
The game ends in a perpetual. 1 8.id5
2 1 .. .:1'i:xf7 22.'1We8t if8 23.'1Wxe3 1 8.fxg4? ixg2 is not a serious option for
This position occurred in Lysyj - Kurnosov, White.
Russia 2008, and here Black should have The main alternative is 1 8 .ie2 but after
played: 1 8 ... lll xh2 1 9.'it>f2 Black has a strong
continuation: 1 9 ... :1'i:d8! 20.:i'i:hdl This is
forced. 20 ... :i'i:xdl 2 1 .:i'i:xdl lll hxf3! 22.ixf3
ixf3 23.gxf3 '1Wh2t 24.'it>fl '1Wxg3 Black has
a dangerous initiative.
1 8 ...ixd5 1 9.lll xd5 lll xh2 20.'it>f2

a b c d e f g h

23 ... :1'i:e7!N 24.lt:le6 '1Wg4!


Regaining the piece with an obvious
advantage.

17.f3
Surprisingly this natural-looking move
Chapter 1 6 - 7.:gcl - Sidelines and 9 .lll ge2 1 97

23.f2 'i:Jg4t 20... ttJd3t 2I.@e2 tlJxcl t


From here White should probably take the Black should not be too hasty in regaining
repetition, as the attempt to play on would his pawn: 2 l . ..'&f6?! 22.f4 'i:J xc l t 23.:gxcl
be risky: '&xb2t 24.'&xb2 ixb2 25 .:gc7 Black faces
24.gl a difficult endgame despite having level
24.f3= material.
24...'&xg3 25.:gfl h5 26.:gh3 '&d6
Black has ongoing compensation for the 22.:Sxcl

8
small material sacrifice. Overall I prefer
Black's position, as the white king will remain

7
vulnerable for a long time to come.

6
5
4
3
2

a b c d e f g h

22...i.e5!
With this strong move Black covers the
a b c d e f g h
c7-square against a rook invasion while also
17 ... tlJxd5 18.hd5 hd5 19.xd5 :Sd8 increasing his influence over the kingside.
20.b3
Clearly worse is 20.'&e4? ti:Jd3t 2 1 .e2 23.b5
'&f6! 22.'&xd3 :gxd3 23.xd3 '&xb2 when the Now there are two routes to equality.
position of White's king gives him cause for
concern. 23 ...i.bS!?
23 ...ixg3 is also fine: 24.hxg3 '&g4t 25 .e l
'&e4 26.:gdl This is tantamount to a draw offer.
(White achieves nothing with other moves:
26.'&c6 '&d3 27.'&c3 '&d5 regains the pawn;
26.fl :gd2 27.gl g7 Black's activity
fully makes up for his small material deficit.)
26 ...:gxd l t 27.<i>xdl '&b l t 28.d2 '&xa2
29.'&e8t Vz-Vz Govciyan - Negi, Coubertin
2009.

24.c6 hg3 25.hxg3 h5t 26.f3


26.el '&h l t 27.e2 '&h5t repeats the
position.
a b c d e f g h
1 98 4.if4

26...1Wh2 27.4 1Wxg3 28.1Wf3 1Wh4= 15 ...e4!


Golod - Nesterovsky, Israel 2009. The players This move is positionally useful and tactically
kept fighting for another twenty moves, but essential in order to keep the a8-knight caged
the position remained balanced until a draw in.
was agreed.
16.0-0
B22) 14.i.gS 1Wxg5 Thanks to Black's last move l 6.lt:Jc7?? is
impossible due to 16 . . .1Wa5t.

16 ...'IWeS
l 6 ... h5 has been more popular, but I rather
like the text move in conjunction with a new
idea on the following turn.

17.i.e2
White has to counter the threat of ... 1Wb8
trapping the knight, so he prepares the rebuttal
of xc6.

Other moves are likely to lead to trouble for


a b c d e f g h White, for instance 1 7.md l ?! ig4 1 8.ie2
In this variation White allows the e5-pawn ixe2 1 9.lt:Jxe2 1We7!+ and the knight is
to live, in the hope that it will stifle Black's doomed.

8
pieces and reduce his active prospects. From

7
the present position White can choose between
capturing the rook immediately with B221)

6
15.tll xa8 and inserting the zwischenzug B222)

5
15.h4.

4
B221) 1 5.tll xa8

3
2
1
a b c d e f g h

17...hS!?N
This is my new idea, with which Black
commences his counterplay on the kingside.

In the one previous game to reach. this position


Black opted for l 7 ...1We7?! but soon got into
a b c d e f g h trouble: 1 8 .1Wa3 1We5 1 9.b4! White is able to
Chapter 1 6 - 7.cl - Sidelines and 9.ctJge2 1 99

save his knight by tactical means. 1 9 ...id? 19...d8!


20.b5 :8:xa8 2 l .bxc6 ixc6 22.::fd 1 Kuzubov After this accurate move it seems to me
- Swinkels, Neuhausen 2007. that the logical outcome should be a draw by
repetition.
18.h4
It would be risky for White to allow the 20.b3
h-pawn to advance further, for instance: 20.b4?! is too risky in view of 20 ...ig4!
1 8 .::fdl h4 1 9.tt:Jfl h3 20.g3 (After 20.gxh3 2 1 .b5 ixe2 22.ctJ xe2 tt:J g4 with a powerful
Black has the strong manoeuvre 20 ... tt:Jh?! attack.
2 l .ctJg3 ctJg5 with good attacking chances.)
20 ...ig4 2 1 .ixg4 ctJxg4 22.\Wxb? 20.::fd 1 ?! is also inadvisable due to 20 ... id?
winning the knight on aS.

20...e7
It would be risky to play on with 20 ...id??!,
as after 2 1 .'1Wxb7 'IWxaS 22.'IWxaS xaS 23.ib5
ctJe5 24.ixd? ctJexd7 25 .c? White's extra
rook and pawn are stronger than Black's two
minor pieces.

21.a3 d8=
h
Neither side has an advantageous way to
a b c d e f g
avoid the repetition.
22 ... tt:JdS!! Now White has to swap queens in
order to prevent the deadly knight manoeuvre B222) 15.h4
... tt:Jd8-e6-g5-f3. 23.'1Wc7 tt:J e6 24.\Wxe5 ixe5
25.ctJd2 xaS 26.tt:Jxe4 ixb2 With two minor
pieces for the rook, Black stands better.

18...'1We7 19.'1Wa3

8
7
6
5
4
3 a b c d e f g h

2
This has been slightly the more popular of
the two options, although statistically White
has done less well with it.

a b c d e f g h
15 ...g4 16.tlJxas tLia5!
200 4.if4

This was Black's choice in the first game enough for a draw after the following forced
which reached the present position. Since then sequence: 27.lll c7 lll e5t 28.c;f;>d2 ixb5
borh 1 6 ... e4 and 1 6 ...'Wd7 have been tested 29.lll xb5 :1'1:b8 30.a4 a6 3 1 .lll d4 :1'1:xb2t
(the latter most notably by Topalov) , but I 32.lll c2 lll c4t 33.c;f;>d3 lll e5t=
strongly prefer the text move. 22 ... ixd7

17.'WbS 8
White has never played 1 7.'Wb4 and rightly 7
so, since after 1 7... ie6! 1 8.'Wxa5 ixc4 1 9.lll c7 6
lll h5! 20.'Wd2 lll xg3 2 1 .fxg3 if6!+ Black
obtains slightly better chances with ... :1'1:d8 on
5
the way. 4
3
17... lll xc4 18Jhc4 2

8 a c e h

7
b d f g

23.lll c7

6
In a more recent correspondence game White

5
deviated but never got close to an advantage:

4
23.0-0 ie6 24.lll c7 ixa2 25.lll xe4 'Wxh4
26.::dl 'We7 27.lll c3 ie5 28.lll xa2 Yi-1/i

3
Miillhaupt - Killer, corr. 20 1 0.

2
23 ...ie5 24.0-0 'Wxh4
Mamedyarov - Eljanov, Gothenburg 2005.
The position is complex and unclear, but it
seems to me that it is White who will have to
a b c d e f g h
be more careful. At any rate, Black's eventual
defeat should certainly not be attributed to his
18....id7! opening play.
This tactical finesse justifies Black's play.
20....ic6

8
19.'Wb4
1 9.'Wc5 e4 20.lll c7 ic6 2 1 .'Wd6 merely

7
transposes to the main line.

19 ...e4 20.lll c7
6
5
In the very first game in this line White

4
preferred:
20.'Wxb7 ie6 2 1 .:1'1:d4

3
But Black equalized comfortably with:

2
2 1 ...lll d7! 22.:1'1:xd7

1
I also examined: 22.:1'1:xe4 lll c5 23.:1'1:xg4
lll xb7 24.:1'1:b4 lll c5 25 .:1'1:b5 (25 .0-0?! :1'1:xa8+)
25 ... lll d3t 26.c;f;>e2 ic4 Black's initiative is
a b c d e f g h
Chapter 1 6 - 7.l':'i:c l - Sidelines and 9 .lll ge2 201

21.Wi'd6 2 1 ...lll d?
So far this is the only move to have been This also leads to a decent position for
tested in practice, but I also considered two Black.
alternatives. 22.lll d5
22.f3?! runs into 22 ... i.e5! 23.Wxf8t Wxf8
2 1 .0-0N Wxh4 (It is worth considering the 24.fxg4 i.xg3t 25.Wd2 i.xc7 when Black's
positional approach with 2 l ... l"i:d8!? when three pieces are stronger than White's two
...i.f8 becomes possible.) 22.l"i:dl lll g4 23.lll d5 rooks.
f5 24.lll e?t Wh8 25.lll xc6 bxc6 26.l"i:d7 f4 22 ...ie5 23.lll e?t
27.exf4 lll xf2!= Black forces a perpetual. Worse is 23.Wxe5?! lll xe5 24.lll f6t Wg7
25.lll xg4 lll xc4 26.b3 lll b6 27.h5 f5 with
2 1 .Wi'e?N can be met by: 2 1 ...lll d? 22.0-0 a better endgame for Black, Matveeva -
(22.l"i:xc6?! does not quite work: 22 ... bxc6 Danelia, Rijeka 20 1 0.
23.Wxe4 Wxe4 24.lll xe4 lll b8! Surprisingly After the knight check a draw was agreed in
White's knight is still in danger. 25.lll c5 T. Schmidt - Krzyzanowski, corr. 20 1 0, but
l"i:c8 26.lll 7a6 lll xa6 27.lll xa6 c5+ Black has it is useful to see how the game might have
emerged with a comfortable position and a continued.
slight plus.) 22 ...i.f6!? (22 ... ie5 also leads to a
level position according to my analysis: 23.lll e8
We6 24.Wxe6 fxe6 25.l"i:xc6 bxc6 26.l"i:dl lll c5
27.b4 lll a4=) 23.Wxe4 i.xe4 24.l"i:xe4 Wxh4
25 .l"i:xh4 i.xh4 26.lll e4 l"i:c8 The endgame is
balanced.

8
7
6
5
4
3
2
8
7
e
a b c d f g h
6
21 ..h5!?N
.
5
This interesting move was mentioned by
4
Ruslan Sherbakov in New In Chess Yearbook
93. I decided to recommend it as my main 3
line, although it is important to emphasize 2
that it is by no means the only playable
move. a b c d e f g h
202 4.f4

27.Wxd6! In view of the potential check on


8
7
f5 , Black must settle for 27 ...Wxc4 28.fll xc6

6
Wcl t 29.Wd l Wxc6 30.0-0 when White is

5
a healthy pawn up.
24.Wb4

4
24.Wa3 also leads to a draw: We6 25.fll xc6

3
Wxc4 26.fll xe5 Wc l t 27.We2 Wc2t=
24 ... a5!

2
It is important to chase White's queen away

1
from the b4-square.
25.Wb3
Another line leading to equality is: 25.Wxa5
We6 26.fll xc6 Wxc4 27.fll xe5 Wel t 28.We2 a b c d e f g h
Wxb2t 29.Wd2 Wb5t 30.tll d3 exd3t Black has good positional compensation for
3 1 .Wxd3 Wb2t 32.Wd2 Wb5t= the exchange and it is not clear how White
25 ...xg3 26.tll xc6 bxc6 27.fxg3 tll e 5 28.Wc3 should improve his position. The following is
f6 29.0-0 fll xc4 30.Wxc4 Wxg3 3 1 .Wxe4 Wg7= a plausible continuation:
The position is drawish.
24.\We7 i.d5 25.tlixd5 tlixd5 26.:gxcSt \Wxc8
22.b3 :gcs 23.a4 27.\Wxe4 'tWcl t 28.We2 \Wb2t 29.Wfl
23.f3 allows a lovely queen sacrifice: After 29.Wf3?! Wf6t 30.tll f5 tll c3 3 1 .WeSt
23 ... exf3! 24.:B:xg4 fll xg4 f8 32.Wc8 gxf5 only Black can be better.

29 \Walt=

The game ends in perpetual check.

Conclusion

It is clear that line A with 9.a3 is not in the least


bit threatening to Black. On the other hand,
variation B with 9.tll ge2 is a serious option
which some would argue is a more critical try
for an advantage than the more classical 9.fll f3
of the next chapter. Black must react with great
precision and be willing to sacrifice at least an
Black has powerful compensation and
exchange, relying on his superior development
White had better take the opportunity to force
and active piece play to provide dynamic
a draw by means of: 25.tll d5! xd5 26.gxf3
compensation. According to the latest games
f8! 27.Wf4 (The bishop is untouchable:
and analysis Black's resources appear fully
27.Wxd5? b4t 28.We2 :B:c2t 29.Wd3
adequate; perhaps the only disappointing thing
:B:d2t 30.Wc4 fll xe3t 3 1 .Wxb4 fll xd5t-+)
is that so many of the critical lines have been
27 ... h6 28 .Wd6 f8 The game ends in a
analysed all the way through to a perpetual
repetition.
check or drawn endgame, although in terms
of the theoretical dispute this can at least be
23 a6
.

considered a moral victory for the Griinfeld.


4.if4 a b c d e f g h

9.f3

Variation Index
1 .d4 lb f6 2.c4 g6 3.lbc3 dS 4..if4 .ig7 S.e3 cS 6.dxcS aS 7.:gcl dxc4 8 ..ixc4
0-0 9.lbf3
9 ...xcS

A) 1 0.liJbS .ie6 20S


Al) 1 1 .lbc7?! 20S
A2) l l ..ixe6 207
B) 1 0.b3 208
C) 1 0. .ib3 lb c6 1 1 .0-0 aS 209
Cl) 12.e2 210
C2) l 2.h3 .if5 212
C21) 1 3.lbgS 212
C22) 13.e2 lb e4 21S
C221) 14.lbxe4 .ixe4 21S
C222) 14.g4!? 217
C223) 14.liJdS eS 219
C223 1) l S ..igS 219
C2232) 1 S.:gxc6 220
C2233) 1 S . .ih2 .ie6 223
C2233 1) 1 6.:gxc6 223
C22332) 1 6.:gfdl 224
204 4.i.f4

1 .d4 tDf6 2.c4 g6 3.tDc3 d5 4.i.f4 i.g7 5.e3


c5 6.dxc5 Wfa5 7Jkl dxc4 8.i.xc4 0-0
9.tDf3

8
7
6
5
4 a b c d e f g h

3
1 5 .l2ie4

2
In the following encounter White played

1
too extravagantly and soon found himself
in a worse position: 1 5 .g4? :E'i:ac8 1 6.i.g3 e6
17.ltJbl Wxa2+ A. Mikhalevski - Greenfeld,
a b c d e f g h Tel Aviv 200 1 .
1 5. . .ltJxe4 1 6.Wxe4 e6
This classical knight development can at
With this solid positional move Black
least historically be considered the ultimate
neutralizes the unopposed light-squared
main line of the 4.i.f4 system.
bishop.
1 7.a4 a6 1 8.:E'i:fdl :E'i:ac8
9 xc5

The game was balanced in Porat - Wittmann,


I do not see any point in allowing White
Budapest 2004.
an extra option with 9 ... ltJ c6?! 1 0.0-0 Wxc5 ,
since here instead of 1 1 .i.b3 he can try the
1 0.Wd4
assault 1 1 .l2ib5!? with reasonable chances for
This has also been used by some strong
an advantage.
players, but it too is absolutely harmless.

7 :6i'

After the text move there are three main moves
to consider: A) 1 0.tDb5, B) 1 0.b3 and 8 .i a1.i.
. % . % -
.1%
%'
,.
6 . . .
C) IO.i.b3. Other moves are sometimes seen,

E t
but none of them should worry the second
player. s

4 .i -
3 " '"d
1 0.b3
This is a pet line of the Israeli IM Alexander
Mikhalevski as well as some of his students.
ref ' %-
2 r.
J
,
Mikhalevski is a good player but objectively
the move is harmless. a b c d e f g h
1 0 ... ltJ c6 1 1 .0-0 i.g4 1 2.h3 :E'i:fd8 1 3 .1We2 1 0 ...Wh5!?
i.xf3 1 4.Wxf3 Wa5 With this move Black attempts to seize the
After a series of natural moves, Black has initiative.
obtained a comfortable position in which If Black wishes to play it safe then the
the bishop pair is unlikely to hurt him. following alternative is absolutely fine:
Chapter 1 7 - 9.lt:Jf3 205

1 0 ...Wa5 1 1 .We5 ll'lc6 12.Wxa5 lll xa5 The 1 1 ..id3?! is ineffective: 1 1 .. .Wb4t 1 2.Wd2 ll'l c6
endgame is harmless for Black, for example: 1 3 .ll'lc? This occurred in Lenic - Predojevic,
13 ..ie2 .ie6 1 4.lll d4 .id? 1 5 .0-0 l"i:ac8= Bu Portoroz 2005, and now Black should have
Xiangzhi - Peng Xiaomin, HeiBei 200 1 . played 1 3 ... Wxd2tN 1 4.c;t>xd2 l"i:ad8 1 5 .ll'lxe6
1 1 ..ixb8 l"i:xb8 1 2.Wxa? fXe6 1 6.c;t>e2 ll'l d5! when he has the better
This position was reached in Golod - Ma. chances.
Tseitlin, Ashdod 2004, and here I found a
remarkable idea for Black: Al) l 1.Cll c7?!

a b c d e f g h
1 2 ....ih3!N
In the aforementioned game Black easily
obtained a draw after 1 2 ....ig4 13 ..ie2
lll d5 14.0-0 l"i:a8 1 5.Wxb? .ixc3 1 6.bxc3
l"i:fb8 1 7.Wc6 l"i:c8 1 8.Wb? l"i:cb8 with a
repetition, but he has every reason to be l 1. ...ixc4 12.b3
more ambitious.
White has tried two other moves.
1 3 ..ifl
Also after 1 3.gxh3 Wxf3 14.0-0 Wxh3 1 5 .f3
l 2.ll'ld2 b5 1 3.b3 ( 1 3 .ll'lxa8 is not much
lll g4! Black has a strong initiative.
better: l 3 ... lll d5! 14.ll'lxc4 bxc4 l 5.Wa4 Eitel
13 ... lll d5! 14.lll d4 lll xc3 1 5.l"i:xc3 Wd5 1 6.f3
Bensch, Bavaria 2003, and now after the simple
.ie6 1 5 ... lll xf4N 1 6.exf4 l"i:c8 1 7.l"i:c2 c3 1 8.0-0
Black has great compensation for the pawn. ll'lc6 1 9 .bxc3 l"i:xa8 Black is clearly better.)
A) 10.Cll b S

This is the first of White's three 'serious'


options, but it should certainly not worry a
well-prepared Gri.infeld player.

10....ie6
1 O ..Wb4 t is also fine according to theory,
.

but I have chosen to recommend the text move,


after which White has two main options: Al)
l l .Cll c7?! and A2) 1 1.he6.
206 4 ..if4

1 3 ... li:l d5 (A very 'human' move, but even 1 6.bxa3 li:le4 (threatening ... .ic3t) 17 ..ie5
stronger would have been 1 3 ... e5!N 14.li:lxa8 li:l a6 to a winning position for Black.
exf4 when White is in serious trouble.) 14. li:lxa8 1 4 ... li:le4 1 5 .'\Wb4 .ixe5 1 6 ..ixe5 b5 1 7..ixb8
li:l c3 1 5 .E!:xc3 .ixc3 1 6.bxc4 'Wxc4 1 7.'We2 E!:xb8 1 8 .li:lc? a5 1 9.Wa3 'Wxa3 20.bxa3
.ixd2t 1 8.'Wxd2 li:lc6 Black was winning in
Popchev - Lalic, Sarajevo 1 988.

1 2.li:lxa8 'Wa5t

a b c d e f g h
20 ... E!:d8!
Keeping the king boxed in.

h
2 1 .f3 li:l c5 22.E!:bl li:ld3t 23.lt>e2 b4
a b c d e f g
Black was clearly better in Hartnack - Haar,
1 3 .Wd2 e-mail 1 995.

8 i.
I checked two other moves as well:


1 3.li:ld2 ha2 14.0-0 li:l c6 Black is clearly

7 :if'&'W:'. ;;;;,wJ-&W a
better.
,-J
6
1 3.b4 'Wxb4t 1 4.'Wd2 'Wxd2t 1 5 .li:lxd2
oo
.ixa2 1 6.E!:a1 li:l c6 17 .E!:xa2 E!:xa8 With two
, , , -- /, , , - , , , , %1ifl
5 Nil
%% -
connected passed pawns for the exchange,

%% j_, , ,% %
. ,

4
Black has good winning chances.
1 3 ...'Wxa2 14.li:le5
14. 'Wb4 was played in Boudignon- Baruchel,
3 [3J -u ;;/;,n-
2 lli ill % "nfn
corr. 1 994,

1 mim-- - % -
a b c d e f g h

1 2 'Wa5t 13.'Wd2 Wfxd2t 14.lll xd2 i.d3


.

15.lll xa8 li:ld5!


The key move, which solidifies Black's
compensation for the exchange. Thanks to the
powerful bishop on d3, he has a strong and
easy-to-handle initiative.

16.li:lc7 c8
Chapter 1 7 - 9.4Jf3 207

8 in the previous line; on the other hand he is

7
less likely to fall into trouble.

6
5
1 2.ic4
1 2.b3?! is worse, and after 1 2 ... tt:l c6
White has difficulties arranging castling. After
4 the further 13.We2 Wb4t! 1 4 .Wd2 Wxd2t

3
1 5 .tll xd2 tll h5 Black had clearly taken over
the initiative in Dlugy - Kasparov, Saint John
2 1 988.

1 2...xb2 13.0-0 c6 14.a4


a b c d e f g h 1 4.E!:b l ?! was played in F. Portisch -
17.f3 Kaposztas, Lohmar 1 999, and here Black
1 7.'it>d l !N would have been White's best should have replied with: 1 4 ...Wa3!N 1 5.Wcl
chance to survive, for instance: 1 7... tt:lxf4 (The main point behind Black's last move is
1 8.exf4 b2 l 9.E!:c5 b6 20.E!:d5 E!:xc7 2 l .E!:xd3 that 1 5.E!:xb?? can be refuted by 1 5 ... tll a5
Eld t 22.'it>e2 E!:xh l 23.E!:d8t 'it>g7 24.E!:xb8 1 6.E!:c7 tt:le8! winning material.) 1 5 ... Wxcl
E!:xh2 25.'it>f3 E!:h5 26.tt:lc4 d4 27.Elb7 White 1 6.E!:fxcl tll a 5 and Black remains a pawn
should be able to hold the endgame. up.

8
7
17... xf4 18.exf4 .ih2 19.'it>d2 .hcl t
20.l:!xcl .ie4 21.bS xcl 22.'it>xcl .txf3

6
23.gxf.3 tt:lc6+

5
White faces a miserable endgame, lnkiov -
Lputian, Saint John 1 988.

A2) 1 I.ixe6 xb5 4

3
8 2
7 1

6
5
4 This is not the only playable move, but it is

3
the most accurate.

2 15.bl tt:lb6
1 Also 1 5 ...Wf6 1 6.g5 tt:lb6 1 7.xf6 tt:lxa4
1 8.xg7 'it>xg7 1 9 .E!:xb7 tll a 5 leads to easy
a b c d e g h equality for Black.
Here White is playing less ambitiously than
16J!xb2 tt:lxa4 17.xb? tll a5
208 4.f4

8 1 0... lll c6 1 1.lll b5

7
This looks tempting, but it fails to achieve the

6
desired effect for the reason already mentioned.
Other moves are also harmless.

5 l 1 .lll g5 e6 1 2.0-0 lll a5 1 3.Wb5 Wxc4


4 14.Wxa5 b6 1 5.Wa3 b7 1 6.We7 Wa6! With

3
this slightly odd-looking but effective move,
Black neutralizes his opponent's activity and
2 starts putting his bishop pair to work. l 7.e5

1
2:ae8 1 8.Wb4 h6 1 9.lll h3

a b c d e f g h

1 8.:!k7?!
White could and should have maintained
the balance with 1 8.2:b4N lll xc4 1 9.2:xa4!,
when the endgame is equal.

1 8 lll xc4 19Jxc4 lll c3!+


Black's powerful knight gave him the


advantage in Boehnke - Brendel, Berkel
2003. a b c d e f g h
This position occurred in Tachikart -
B) 10.Wb3 Guilleux, La Roche sur Yon 2008, and now

8 a1 .i. -
Black could have obtained an excellent game

7 - - --y, '
with 1 9 ... lll d5!N, for instance 20.lll xd5 xe5
2 1 .lll c7 xc7 22.Elxc7 2:c8 23.Elxc8 Elxc8 with

6 "iiiiiliil "Si"iil
a clear advantage.

5 iii %iilil,, iii


iii%'{;"/ !iii@
l 1 .Wb5 Wxb5 12.xb5 d7 The queenless

"iii ; "iii
position is absolutely harmless for Black and
4

3 vm rn
%! - J he equalizes without any difficulties. 1 3.0-0
a6 (A worthy alternative is 1 3 ...2:ac8 14.h3

2 w0,(----%
r;n------ - - - -%o7trtJ
2:fd8 1 5 .Elfdl c;t>f8 with balanced play, Olsen

1
,,,,
, , , , , %:; - - - - - - Brinck Claussen, Naestved 1 99 1 .) l 4.e2


.
a b c d e f g h

Compared with the analogous posmon


occurring after 9.lll ge2, as seen in the previous
chapter, this queen development fails to create
real problems for Black. The difference is due
to the fact that in the present position the c l
rook i s unprotected.

a b c d e f g h
Chapter 1 7 - 9.lDf3 209

This was cardi - Barbosa Valdes, Santiago Here we see the big disadvantage of the
de Chile 2005 , and here the simplest knight's position on f3 instead of e2. The text
continuation for Black would have been move is only possible thanks to the undefended
14 ... Elad8N 1 5 .Elfd l .f5! when Black is in no rook on c l .
way worse.
12.llic7
1 1.0-0 White can hardly aspire to an advantage It is too late for White to back out now:
by giving up the bishop pair. 1 1 ...ltJaS! 1 2.WbS 1 2.0-0?! tD a5 1 3 .ixe6? (The lesser evil
Wxc4 1 3.WxaS b6 14.Wa3 was 13.Wa3, but even here after 1 3 ...Wxa3
14.4Jxa3 4Jxc4 1 5.4Jxc4 :!"lfc8 the endgame is

78
clearly better for Black.) 1 3 ... 4Jxb3 1 4.:!"lxcS
4Jxc5 Black was already winning in Somogyi

6 - Nogrady, Budapest 1 996.

5
4
12....hc4 13.gxc4 Wa5t 14.@e2 gac8

3
15.ghcl?
White had to play l 5.Wxb7! and after

2 1 5 ... eS 1 6.Wxc6 exf4 1 7.:!"lhc l Wxa2 1 8 .Wa6!


he holds on for equality.

We have been following the game Z. Almasi


- Hracek, Germany 2003. At this point Black
could have seized the advantage by means
of:

8
:!"lac8 1 9.h3 Wb7 White has to fight for
equality, Ruiz Bernal - Hoemske, e-mail 7

6
2009.

5
8
4
7
3
6
2
5
1
4

3
a b c d e f g h

2
15 ... lli hS!N 16.llib5 llixf4t 17.exf4 Wfb6+
Black is better coordinated, his king is safer
1 and ... 4Ja5 is a serious threat.

a b c d e f g h
C) 10.i.b3
1 1...i.e6!
210 4 ..if4

White gets nowhere with other moves, for


instance 1 2 .li::l d5?! li::l xd5 1 3 .'\Wxd5 .ixb2
1 4.b l .ig7 1 5 .fc l .if5 1 6.e4 .ig4 and White
has a hard time demonstrating compensation,
Tikkanen Hermansson, Gothenburg
2005

Cl) 12.'1We2 .!lJh5!

It is not by accident that the main line C2


involves creating a retreat square for the dark
squared bishop.
a b c d e f g h

This natural move is the clear first choice. 13 .ig5


1 3 .li::l d5 is hardly a serious alternative, and


10 .!lJc6
.
after 1 3 ... li::l xf4 1 4.exf4, Somogyi - Boros,
There is no need to move the queen yet, as Budapest 2000, 1 4 ... e6N l 5.li::l e3 '\Wb4 1 6.c4
any discovered attacks can be met by a check '1We7 only Black can be better.
on a5 or b4.
13 .ig4

1 1.0-0 '\Wa5 Better than 1 3 ... h6 1 4 ..ih4 g5 1 5.fd l !


Sometimes Black tries 1 1 ...'\Wh5 but after when White has promising play.
1 2.h3 e5 1 3 ..ih2 d8 both 14.'\We2 and
14.li::l d2 promise White good chances for an
advantage.

8 -.i.
1 ,1 , n W'& 'm '
6 n 41' ""' %*,,
5 , n /, , , ,n
,,, , ,

4 n n ,

3 nn
2 88' " ' "- , , , % Wt!f a b c d e f g h

1 %,= ,,,,, ,,,,


14 .ih4

White has also tried two knight moves.


a b c d e f g h

After the text move White sometimes plays 14.li::l e4?! '\Wf5 1 5 ..ic2 '1We6 ( 1 5 ....ixf3 1 6.gxf3
Cl) 12.'1We2 but the main line by far is C2) '1Wh3 1 7 ..ia4 was unclear in Hauser - Connelly,
12.h3. e-mail 2008.) 1 6 ..ib l
Chapter 1 7 - 9 . ll'i f3 21 1

8
{ W;?, Y, .,
,,, ;,.!.!.!
7
6

5
4..If" ' '))
3
t-
2 i ;; ;.;/il BJB/
-
. .!'. ./
1
a b c d e f g h a b c d e f g h
This position occurred in Levin - Shirov, l 9 ...if6!N (This creates more problems for
Dagomys 2009, and now Black could the opponent than l 9 ...ib5 20.tt'lxa7 l"i:xa7
have obtained an excellent position with: 2 1 .l"i:xb2 ic6 when the position was equal in
16 ...ixf3!N 1 7.gxf3 (After 1 7.Wxf3 ixb2 Heinig - Konopka, Germany 1 997.) 20.l"i:exe2
l 8.l"i:c5 ig?+ White does not have enough ixg5 2 1 .tt'le5 id8 22.l"i:ed2 tt'l f6 23.tt'ld7
compensation.) 1 7...Wh3 1 8.tt'lg3 h6 1 9.tt'lxh5 tt'lxd7 24.l"i:xd7 White should be able to hold
hxg5 White might encounter serious problems this endgame.
along the h-file.

14.tt'ld5?! e6 1 5.tt'le7t iii h 8 1 6.tt'lxc6

h
a b c d e f g h
a b c d e f g
14...g5!?
1 6 ...Wxg5! 1 7.tt'lxg5 With this move Black aims for a more
l 7.tt'lcd4 is best met by: l 7 ...ixd4! ( l 7 ...We7 complex game in which he has chances to take
is enough for comfortable equality, but Black over the initiative.
can play for more.) 1 8.exd4 Wf4! 19.We5t
Roussel Roozmon V. Mikhalevski,
-
There is also a clear route to equality with
Montreal 2005, and now Black could 14 ...Wb4 1 5.Wc4 Wxc4 1 6.ixc4 ixf3 1 7.gxf3
/have created problems for his opponent by if6= as seen in Yusupov - Leko, Essen 2002,
/ means of: 1 9 .. .f6N 20.We3 ixf3 2 1 .gxf3 and a number of other games.
l"i:fe8+
17 ... ixe2 1 8.l"i:fe l ixb2 1 9 .l"i:c2 15 ..tg3 tll xg3 16.hxg3
l 6.fxg3 l"i:ad8 (l 6 ... h6!?N also looks sensible)
212 4.if4

was pleasant for Black in Gretarsson - Hellers, This logical developing move is the clear
Sweden 2000. number one choice for Black. Now we will
analyse C21) 13.c!ll gS and C22) 13.'1We2.
This position was first reached in Szymczak
- Ogaard, Lublin 1 975, and has since been 1 3.ll'id4 has been considered harmless
repeated in several other games. Usually Black for Black ever since the following game:
has opted for 1 6 ... :B:ad8, but I would like to 1 3 ...id7 1 4.We2 tl'ixd4 1 5 .exd4 e6 1 6.ie5
propose a modest deviation. ic6 1 7.:B:fd 1 :B:fd8 Black has a comfortable
position thanks to his firm control over the
16...h6N d5-square. 1 8.We3 :B:d7 1 9.Wg5 Wd8 Black
It is useful to stabilize the kingside before has defended against White's only active
determining the position of the rook. idea. Although the position is objectively
equal, Black is a bit more comfortable and
17.'1Wc4 in the game Petursson - lvanchuk, Reggio
After l 7.ll'i e4 ll'ie5 1 8.:B:c5 Wb6 1 9.:B:fc l Emilia 1 989, he eventually managed to
:B:ad8 the idea o f . . .ll'i d3 is unpleasant for win.
White.
C21) 13.c!ll gS
17 Wb4!

Now that the g5-pawn is securely defended,


Black can afford to offer a queen exchange. In
the resulting position his bishop pair gives him
some chances to take over the initiative.

C2) 1 2.h3

8
7

5 a b c d e f g h
4 This continuation recently became
3 fashionable after it was employed by Kramnik

2
to defeat Morozevich in 2009. (It was only in a
blindfold game though ... )
1
13 eS
.

a b c d e f g h
Certainly the most active and principled
With this move White safeguards the future response. Morozevich preferred 1 3 ... Wa6?! but
of his dark-squared bishop while incidentally after l 4.e4 the initiative is very much with
preventing the pinning ...ig4. White.

1 2 ifS
.. 14.ih2
Chapter 1 7 - 9.tll f3 213

Out o f th two possible bishop retreats, this material with interest. 2 1 .tt:lh4 :I"i:xf7 22.tt:lxfS
one looks more logical as the resource of g2- gxf5 23.lll b S tt:le4 24.:I"i:c8t :I"i:f8 25.tt:lxa7 :I"i:xc8
g4 might be useful. We will also consider the 26. tt:lxc8 .ixb2+ In the resulting endgame
retreat to g3 after first looking at a few forcing Black's minor pieces are stronger than White's
continuations. rook.

14 ..ixf7t? does not work, as after 14 ... Wh8 1 4 ..ig3


1 5.e4 (or 1 5 ..ig3 h6) 1 5 ... exf4 1 6.exfS h6+ This is the only serious alternative to the main
Black wins material. line, although it does have the drawback of
blocking the g2-pawn, as noted previously.
14.lll xf7?! is also premature. 1 4 ... exf4 1 5 .e4 1 4 ... :I"i:ad8!
From here Black's objectively strongest Black has no reason to fear the ensuing
continuation is 1 5 ... .ic8! 1 6.eS tt:le8 when complications.
White lacks an effective discovered check.
However, if Black yearns for safety then 8
l 5 ... tt:lxe4!? is quite playable, and after 1 6.tt:lxe4
.ixe4 1 7.tt:lgSt Wh8 1 8.tt:lxe4 :I"i:ad8 only Black
7
can be better. 6
5
14.e4 This move is not dangerous, but it can 4
lead to interesting complications. 1 4 ... exf4
3
1 5.exfS :I"i:ad8 1 6 ..ixf7t Otherwise the white
2
queen lacks a decent square.

a b c d e f g h
1 5 ..ixf7t
If White refrains from this move then Black
has no problems at all, for instance: 1 5 .Wf3
h6 1 6.tt:lge4 tt:lxe4 1 7.tt:lxe4 'Wb4 1 8.tt:lc3
e4 ( 1 8 ... :I"i:d2!?N 1 9.lll d S Wa5 also deserves
attention) 1 9.We2 This position occurred in
Wang Li - Tan Zhongyi, Hefei 20 1 0, and
here I recommend:
a b c d e f g h

1 6 ... Wh8!?N (The game continuation was not


bad either: 1 6 ... :I"i:xf7 1 7.Wb3 :I"i:dd7 1 8.:I"i:fdl
Wxf5 1 9.:I"i:xd7 Wxd7 20.tt:lbS Wd5 2 1 .tll xf7
'Wxb3 22.axb3 Wxf7 23.tt:ld6t We7 24.tt:lxb7
tt:le5 The ending was more or less equal in
De Blois Figueredo - Bortnik, corr. 20 1 0.)
The justification for the cheeky king move is
revealed in the following line: 1 7.Wb3 Wxf5
1 8.tt:lf3 tt:la5! 1 9.'We6 :I"i:xf7! 20.'Wxf7 :I"i:d7 1he
queen is caught, so Black regains the sacrificed a b c d e f g h
214 4 . .if4

1 9 .. J''i d3N 20.tll d5 Wd2 2 1 .1Wxd2 :t"ixd2 The position is complex and unbalanced,
22.:t"ic2 :t"ixc2 23 ..ixc2 :t"id8 24.:t"idl i;ii f8 but in my opinion Black should be at least
Black has no problems at all. equal and has realistic chances to take over
l 5 ... :t"ixf7 l 6.Wb3 the initiative. Here is an illustrative line:
Now Black must find the right way to deal 1 9 ..ih4 g5 20.tll b5!? tll e4! 2 1 .tll d6 lll xd6
with the pin. 22.:t"ixd6 .ig6 23 ..ig3 .if8 24.:t"id7 Wb4
Following the queen exchange Black is by no
means worse.

14...:gad8!

a b c d e f g h

1 6 ... :t"idf8!N
This is a clear improvement over 16 ... Wc7? as
played in Grigore - L'Ami, Bratto 20 1 0. In
that game White missed the strong 17.e4!N
which would have more or less forced Black
to accept a clearly worse position by taking
on e4, as l 7 ....ic8? leads to even bigger
problems: 1 8.tll d5 Wd7 1 9 .:t"ifd l tll d4
20.:t"ixd4! exd4 2 l .:t"ic7 lll xd5 22.:t"ixd7 :t"ifxd7
23.tll e6! White has a huge advantage.
1 7.:t"ifd 1 .ih6!
15 ..ixflt
This is the best way to force White to take
1 5 .1Wf3 does not lead anywhere special for
on f7.
White: l 5 ... h6 l 6.tll ge4 (Not dangerous
l 8.tll x f7 :t"ixf7
is 1 6.tll xf7 :t"ixf7 17.:t"ifd l :t"idf8 intending
... i;ii h7.) 1 6 ... tll xe4 17.tll xe4 Wb4 (It was
worth considering 17 ... :t"id3!? with the tactical
threat of ... tll d4.) 1 8.:t"ic4 We7 Black was doing
fine in Littlewood - Conquest, Torquay 2009.

15 ..:gxf7 16.Wb3 :g<iffi !


.

I prefer this square for the rook, as 16 ... :t"idd7,


which was played in Garcia Roman - Garcia
Gil, Barbera de! Valles 2009, can be met by
17.:t"ifd l N when 1 7 ... Wb4 allows White to
a b c d e f g h regain his piece by means of 1 8.1Wxb4 tll xb4
1 9.g4!.
Chapter 1 7 - 9 . lll f3 215

19 ... tlixe4!N 20.tlicxe4 d7


Despite the level material, Black has an
obvious advantage thanks to his superbly
placed pieces.

C22) 13.e2

a b c d e f g h

17.e4?
This poor move allows the black knight to
take up a dominating position on d4.

An obvious improvement is 17.i"lfd1 N when I


analysed the following line: 17 ... a6 I like this
prophylactic move, which stops White's idea
of ti:lb5-d6. (In the event of 17 ... h6 1 8.ti:lxf7
1"lxf7 19.g4 ic8 20.ti:lb5 ie6 2 1 .Wxe6 Wxb5
22.1"lc2 the position looks rather unclear.)
1 8.g4 ic8 1 9.ltJa4 Wb5 20.Wxb5 axb5
2 1 .ti:lxf7 1"lxf7 22.ttl c5 if8 Black is doing fine 13... tlie4
without queens. Black offers a knight exchange and opens the
long diagonal for his dark-squared bishop. In
17... tlid4 18.c4 b5 19.Wd3 response White may choose C221) 14.tlixe4,
This position was reached in Ristovic - C222) 14.g4!? or C223) 14.tlid5.
Haessel, Calgary 2009, and here Black missed
a good opportunity: C221) 14.tlixe4 ixe4

a b c d e f g h
216 4.i.f4

1 5.lUdl 1 9.g4
White develops his final piece and tries to At this point Black has an easy
make the tempting lll g5 more dangerous for improvement:
Black.

The immediate knight jump is unimpressive:


l 5 .lll g5 d5 l 6.c7
1 6 .xd5 Wxd5 1 7.b3 ac8 1 8 .fd l Wa5
cannot be dangerous for Black, and after the
inaccurate 1 9.lll f3? e5 20.g3 e4 he took
over the initiative in Orsag - Oral, Czech
Republic 2002.
1 6 ...Wxc7 1 7.xd5

a b c d e f g h
1 9 ...We4N
The inaccurate 1 9 ...Wf6? 20.Wb5! left Black
facing awkward problems in Loetscher -
Widmer, Zug 2003.
20.lll c5
Perhaps Black was put off by this knight
move, but it fails to achieve much for
White.

h
20 ...Wb4
a b c d e f g
Black has no problems.
1 7 ...Wa5! 1 8.xc6
8
Black need not worry about 1 8.xf7t xf7

7
19.lll xf7 xf7 20.Wc4t f8 when his king
is quite safe, and after 2 1 .fd l f6 22.d5
Wb6 I prefer Black's position. 6

5
1 8 ... bxc6 19.lll f3 Wxa2 20.lll d4 xd4 2 1 .exd4
e6 22.xc6 ab8+
The position should be a draw, but Black can 4

3
press for a win without taking any risks, M.
Horvath - Serner, corr. 1 996.
2
1 5 .lll d2
1
Retreating the knight is also unlikely to
trouble the second player. a b c d e f g h
1 5 ...d5 1 6.xd5 Wxd5 17.lll b 3 fd8 1 5...Wh5!
1 8.fd l This is my preferred solution, although
Now my slight preference is: the alternatives 1 5 ... ad8 and 1 5_ ...f3 seem
1 8 ...Wf5 reliable enough as well.
1 8 ...We4 should also be absolutely fine.
Chapter I 7 - 9. tLl f3 217

16.:Sd7 C222) 14.g4!?


1 6.ic2 ixf3 This well-timed exchange
completely solves Black's opening problems.
1 7.xf3 xf3 1 8.gxf3 ad8 1 9.ie4 1 9 ...ixb2
20.xd8 xd8 2 1 .c2 ia3 22.ixc6 bxc6
23.xc6 f6 Black has equalized comfortably,
Portisch - Arakhamia-Grant, Roquebrune
1 998.

16... :Sac8!
Such strong players as Shirov and Roiz have
preferred 1 6 ... e6, but the text move is better.
The immediate threat is ... tt:l d4.

17.:Scdl e6 18.:S ld2


The lesser evil would have been 1 8.tt:ld4N This aggressive continuation has become
although after 1 8 ... xe2 1 9.tt:lxe2 tt:l a5+ quite fashionable recently. White is willing
White will have to work hard to equalize. to accept some weaknesses in his position in
order to drive Black's pieces away from their
active positions.

14... xc3 15.bxc3 id7 16.:Sfdl :Sad8 17.:Sd5

19.ic2 ic6 20.:Sc7 e5! 21.:Sxc8 :Sxc8 a b c d e f g h


22.ig3 17..."Mfa3!
The tactical justification for Black's play is This is stronger than 1 7 ...'\Wb6 18.b l ! ic8,
revealed after 22.tt:lxe5 ixe5 23 .xh5 gxh5 Kasimdzhanov - Svidler, San Sebastian 2009,
24.ixe5 tt:lc4 when Black wins an exchange. at which point the unexpected 19 .g5!N would
have underlined the unfortunate position of
22...e4 Black's queen.
Black was clearly better in Hoffmann -
Holzke, Germany 1 998. 18.:Scdl ie6
218 4 .i.f4

It is essential to exchange some pieces in 23 a5!


.

order to dampen White's initiative. In the Commencing counterplay.


event of 1 8 . . .i.c8 1 9.e4 White retains some
pressure. 24.'!Wxb7
We have been following the game
19.xdS c!Dxd8 20.'1Wb5 a6 Mamedyarov - Sutovsky, Bursa 2010. At this
It is best to insert this move, as in certain point Black should have played:
positions the pawn will be slightly less
vulnerable on a6 than a7.

2l.'1Wb6 hb3
In an ideal world Black would prefer not
to unite his opponent's queenside pawns, but
vacating the e6-square for the knight is a much
more pressing concern.

22.axb3 c!De6

a b c d e f g h

24 '1Wb2!N
.

Activating the queen and threatening ...a4.


The position is just as dangerous for White as
for Black, and according to my analysis the
game should end in a draw after accurate play
from both sides.

25.'1Wb5 '1We2 26.'1Wd5 '1Wc2!


Continuing to target the b3-pawn. Now
27.i.g3 Wxb3 28.l"!d3 Wb4 is fine for Black.

23.c4 27.d3 '!Wb l t 28.g2


This is the most ambitious idea at White's

8
disposal.

23.Wxb7?! is unattractive in view of 23 ... 'll xf4 7

6
24.exf4 i.xc3.

23.i.e5 enables Black to play: 23 ...Wc5! 5


24.Wxc5 'll xc5 25.b4 This position occurred 4

3
in Sachdev - Safarli, Delhi 20 1 0, and now the
most precise continuation would have been
25 . . .i.xe5N 26.'ll xe5 'll e4 27.l"!d7 f6 28.'ll d3 2
<i>f7 29.c4 l"!c8 30.c5 E!b8 with equality. 1

a b c d e f g h
Chapter 1 7 - 9.tt:lf3 219

28 .!Llc5!
. 15 .!Ll:xg5 16 .!Ll:xg5 'd8!

This small finesse seals the fate of the b3- This key defensive move is the only way to
pawn. parry the dual threats of :S.xc6 followed by
ctJe7t, and g4 followed by Wf3.
29.E:dl Wfxb3 30.ie5 ixe5 3 1..!Llxe5
From here the following line looks like a 17.h4!
logical end to the game: This is White's latest try, and the only way to
set Black any problems.
31...a4 32.E:al Wfb2 33.Wxc5 Wfxal 34.Wxe7
After 1 7.ctJxf7? :S.xf7 1 8.ctJc3 We7 the players
Wbl 35 .!Lld7 E:a8 36 .!il f6t 'i!?g7 37.Wf e5

Wb7t 38.e4 a3 39 .!Lld5t 'i!?g8 40 .!ilf6t= agreed a draw in Gustafsson - Lindinger,


Hamburg 1 999, but Black is dearly better in


The game ends in perpetual check.
the final position.
C223) 14 .!Ll d5
1 7.ctJf3

This has been the most popular choice, but it


8 is much too timid.
7 1 7...e4! 1 8.ctJd2
l 8.ctJh2 occurred in Lev - Alterman, Israel
6 1 992, and a couple of subsequent games.
5 Despite Black's good results I would like to

4
recommend a new move, which seems to me
like the most logical: 1 8 ... ctJ e5!N 1 9.:S.cd l
3 Wg5 20.lii h l :S.ad8 Black is dearly better.

2
1 8 ...Wg5 1 9.ct:Jf4
This position was reached in Meins -
Kaufeld, Dortmund 200 1 , and here Black
missed a good opportunity:
a b c d e f g h

This is the main line according to theory. 8


7
14 e5
6

Now we reach another important crossroads,


at which White can choose between the 5
surprising C223 1) 15.ig5, the aggressive 4
C2232) 15.E:xc6 and the more restrained 3
main line of C2233) 15.ih2.
2
1
h
C2231) 1 5.ig5
a b c d e f g

It is hard to believe that White can aspire to 1 9 ... ct:J d4!N 20.exd4
an advantage by giving up his dark-squared 20.Wc4 should be met by 20 ... :S.ad8!, rather
bishop. Nevertheless the idea is not completely than 20 ... ctJ f3t 2 1 .ctJxf3 exf3 22.g3 xb2
without merit, and Black cannot afford to 23.:S.cd 1 when White has some compensation
relax his guard. for the pawn.
220 4 ..if4

20 .. .'xf4 2 1 .We3 ih6 In the game he needlessly sacrificed material


Black has the advantage. with 22 ... fxe4? and went on to lose.

23.gxfS
Worse is 23.li:lc5?! fxg4 24.fxg4 ic8 when
White's compensation is questionable.

23 i.xfS
.

We have reached a rich position in which


White has sufficient compensation to maintain
the balance, but not enough to claim an
advantage.

C2232) 15Jxc6

18 i.d7 19.ltJe4 'Wxh4 20.f"3


White's play looks a bit crazy, but his active


minor pieces provide some compensation for
the pawn.

20 'itihs 21.'itig2 f5 22Jh1


.

Lysyj - Salem, Biel 2009. Here Black should


a b c d e f g h
have gone for the calm approach:
This exchange sacrifice is well-known,
having most famously been used by Karpov in
the eleventh game of his third match against
Kasparov from London/Leningrad 1 986.

1 5 bxc6

According to the latest theory this is the


soundest response.

Kasparov preferred l 5 ... exf4 1 6.c7 and


the game was eventually drawn after both
sides missed some chances. Modern analysis
indicates that White has good chances to
a b c d e f g h obtain an advantage here.
22 WdSN

16.ltJe7t 'itih8 17.ltJxc6


Chapter 1 7 - 9. 'Li f3 22 1

The careless 1 7.'Llxe5? does not lead to a 19.1Mfc2 i.xb3 20.Wxe4


transposition- in view of 1 7 ...i.xe5! 1 8.'Llxc6 After 20.axb3 Wb7 Black can feel happy
Wd2, and after the further 1 9.1Mfxd2 'Ll xd2 playing against the weakened queenside
20.i.xe5t f6 2 1 .i.c3 'Ll xfl Black had won a pawns.
second exchange and obtained a technically 20 ...i.e6 2 1 .'Llg5 'itig8!
winning position in I. Sokolov - Shirov, Wijk The best defensive move.
aan Zee 1 999 22.'Llc6 i.xa2 23.i.d6
This interesting position occurred in Gavrikov
17...Wb6 1 8. .!l'lcxe5 - Kochyev, Tallinn 1 987. The white knights
White must avoid 1 8 .'Ll fXe5 ? f6 when he look quite dangerous, but Black could have
loses material. solved all his problems with the following
precise continuation:

a b c d e f g h

23 ... Elae8!N 24.Wa4 i.d5! 25.'Lle7t Elxe7


26.i.xe7 Elb8
Black may be a pawn down, but his bishops
are superb.
27.i.a3 Wb7 28.Wf4 h6 29.'Ll f3 Elc8
Black has full compensation.
19.i.xe6
Other options are not dangerous, but still we
need to examine a few of them.
1 9...Wxe6 20.Wc2
This is White's main attempt to fight for the
advantage.
19.'Llc4 Wa6 20.'Lld4 i.d5 2 Uk l Elac8 gave
Black a fine position in Shliperman - Ashley,
I would also like to mention: 20.b3 Elac8
Manhattan 1 999.
2 1 .1Mfd3 (After 2 1 .'Llc4 Elfd8 22.'Ll g5 'Llxg5
23.ixg5 Eld5 only Black can be better,
1 9 .'Lld4 i.xb3 20.'Llxb3 We6 By chasing the
Heinig - Schulze, Bad Koenigshofen 2007.)
enemy knight away from the centre, Black
This position was reached in Tarczykowski -
easily solves his problems. 2 1 .'Ll f3 Elac8
Bugalski, Sepolno Kraj 2006, and now Black
22.Eldl Elfd8 23.Elxd8t Elxd8 24.'Llfd4 This
could have exploited the recent weakening of
was Karlzen - Carlhammar, Gothenburg 2004,
the c3-square by means of:
and now the natural 24...Wd5+N would have
retained all the pluses of Black's position.
222 4.f4

By removing the king from the long diagonal


Black stops his opponent's main idea of ll'id4
followed by f3.
Also worthy of consideration is 23 ...Vffe?!?N
24.ll'id4 Vffh 4!?.

a b c d e f g h
2 1 . ..ll'ic3!N 22.ll'ig5 Vffe7 23.Vfid6 Vfib? Black
has the better chances.

8 m,d
7 - -
6 ,,,,,%U UiU'i 24.e5N

5 % % The passive 24.Ei:e 1 ? occurred in Shryrenkov

4
- Grandelius, Pardubice 2007, and here

--il- Black should have switched to active play

3 u fttt:J 8
on the kingside by means of 24 ...Vffe?!N
25 ..ih2 g5! when his chances are higher.
2 3 '1u,, , , %r-
% .i,
After the superior text move I discovered the
following beautiful line:
1 ,,,,,
24 ....ixe5 25.ll'ifxe5 Ei:d2! 26.Vfib 1 Ei:e2 27.f3

...
a b c d e f g h Vffe7 28.fxe4 Vfig5 29.ll'ig4! fxg4 30.@fl gxh3
3 1 .mxe2 Ei:d8 32.gxh3 Vffg2t 33.mel Vfigl t=
20 f5! We finish with a common scenario, as
This active move is stronger than 20 ... ll'i f6,
accurate play from both sides has resulted in a
as confirmed by both analysis and tournament
draw by perpetual check.
praxis.

21.Vlia4
With this move White defends the a2-pawn
while at the same time gaining some space on
the queenside.

2 1 .ll'ic4
This knight retreat is playable, but it is hardly
dangerous for Black.
2 1 . ..Ei:ac8 22.b3 Ei:fd8
Black is unlikely to experience any problems
after deploying his pieces so harmoniously.
23 .E!:ci mgs a b c d e f g h
Chapter 1 7 - 9 . ttJ f3 223

21. ..ElacS This calm retreat has been White's most


I do not see much point in entering the popular choice.
complications resulting from 2 l . g5 22.ih2
..

g4 23.hxg4 fxg4 24.'Wxe4 gxf3 25.gxf3. 15 ....ie6


Black has experimented with several
22.xa7 alternatives, but I strongly prefer the old
One other game continued: and classical approach. Now we reach a final
22.lll d4 'We8 23.lll ec6? division between C22331) 16.Elxc6 and
With this unfortunate move White self-pins C22332) 16.B:fdl .
his knight and enables Black to generate
strong play without any difficulties. 1 6 .lll c3?! is unimpressive: 1 6 . . .ixb3 1 7.axb3
The correct continuation was: 23.'Wxe8 lll c5! Immediately attacking the newly-created
Elfxe8 24.lll ec6 ixd4!? (I like this move, weakness. 1 8.'Wc4 'Wb4! 1 9.'Wxb4 lll xb4
although there is also nothing wrong with 20.ixe5 lll xb3 2 1 .hg? 'itixg7 22.Elcdl Elfd8+
the calm 24 ... g5 25 .ih2 a6.) 25.lll xd4 'itig8 Dziuba - Swinkels, Deizisau 2009. Black has
Black is doing fine in this endgame; his plans the better chances in view of his potential to
include ... g5, ... f4 and ... lll f6-d5. create a passed pawn on the queenside.
23 ... g5! 24.ih2 f4
Advancing the kingside pawns is often a The simplest reaction to 1 6.'Wc4 would be
strong plan for Black in this variation. 1 6 ... lll f6 1 7.e4 (or 1 7.lll xf6t ixf6 1 8.'Wc2
24 ...Elf6!?N 25.Elcl f4 was also very strong. ixb3 1 9.'Wxb3 'Wb6=) 1 7. . .Elfd8 and here
25.exf4 gxf4 White has nothing better than 1 8.Elfd l ,
White is in serious trouble, Kosyrev - Sakaev, transposing to line C22332 below.
Internet 2004.
C22331) 16.B:xc6
22...ElaS 23.b7 xa2 24.c!lid4 Ela?
8
The position is equal, Meins - Holzke,

7
Germany 1 999.

C2233) 1 5 ..ih2 6

a b c d e f g h

We have already encountered this thematic


exchange sacrifice, but this time the slight
change in the position leads me to prefer a
different reaction.
a b c d e f g h
224 4.if4

16...i.xdS! 16.. JUd8 17.c4


1 6 ... bxc6 is less appealing, as after 17. ltJ e 7t This has been an almost universal choice.
Wh8 1 8.ixe6 fxe6 1 9.ltJxc6 Wxa2 20.ltJfxe5 1 7.We 1 has been tried in a couple of games,
we reach a rather unbalanced position in which but White cannot expect to achieve much with
I prefer White's chances. this timid move. 1 7 ...Wxe l t ( l 7 ... Wf8!?N also
looks interesting) 1 8.ltJxe l lD a5 19.ltJc?? A
17.i.xdS xdS 18Jk7 l'fac8 19.c2 serious mistake. (White should have opted for
This position occurred in Soln - Perus, Bled 1 9.ltJe?t Wf8 20.Ei:xd8t Ei:xd8 2 l .i.xe6 fxe6
200 1 , and now Black could have obtained a 22.b4 Wxe7 23.bxa5 ltJd2, although even here
slight advantage by means of: his position is a bit unpleasant.) 19 ...ixb3
20.ltJxa8 Ei:xdl 0-1 Urday Caceres - Rytshagov,
8
Yerevan 1 996.

7 17 c!ll f6 18.e4 gac8


6
..

1
a b c d e f g h

19 .. J;xc7N 20.xc7 f6!+


White's position is a bit uncomfortable due
to his misplaced bishop.
a b c d e f g h
C22332) 16.:!Udl 19.c!ll gS
This is the consistent and principled follow
up to White's previous play, and is justified by
some tactical ideas.

The queenless position resulting from 1 9.Wc5


Wxc5 20.Ei:xc5 is perfectly playable for Black,
who can adopt a concrete approach to force
further simplifications: 20 ... ltJxe4 2 l .Ei:xc6
Ei:xc6! 22.ltJ e?t Wf8 23.ltJxc6 Ei:xd l t 24.ixd l
bxc6 25 .ic2 id5! This seems like the easiest
solution. 26.ixe5 ixe5 27.ltJxe5 1his position
occurred in Cardon - Goormachtigh, Sas
van Gent 1 988, and now after 27... ltJc5N
a b c d e f g h 28.a3 We? 29.Wfl ltJe6 Black's more active
White brings his final piece into play. pieces easily make up for the slight weakness
Chapter 1 7 - 9.ll'if3 225

of his queens!de pawns. Overall his position Conclusion


is slightly preferable, although it should be a
draw of course. The 9.f3 system has been White's most
popular method of handling the 4.if4
19 ... d4 20.e7t <i>f8 variation. White develops his pieces classically
Black must certainly avoid 20 ... 'it>h8?? and will usually focus his energy towards the
2 1 .Wxe6! fxe6 22.7 mate! centre, although we have seen over the course
of the chapter that the battle might play out
21.xe6t <i>xe7 22.xdS hc4 23.hc4 across any and all areas of the board.
The position appears wildly complicated, The unusual options of A) 1 0.b5 and
but like many such variations, it has all been B) 1 0.Wb3 should not be ignored, although
analysed out to a forced draw. neither will present much of a threat against
a well-prepared opponent. The main line of
C) 1 0.ib3 is more serious, and leads to rich
positions in which both sides will face plenty
of challenges. The list of variations requiring
particularly careful study involves the tricky
C2 1 ) 1 3 .ll'ig5, the presently fashionable
C222) 1 4.g4!?, the two versions of the
thematic exchange sacrifice, C2232) 1 5.:!'i:xc6
and C2233 1 ) 1 6.:!'i:xc6, and finally the classical
C22332) 1 6.:!=i:fd l which can lead to a forced
draw.

We have reached the end of our investigation


a b c d e f g h into the entire scheme of development starting
23 ... xe4 24.xf7 Wb6! with the move 4.if4. The theoretical verdict
There is not much that White can do about looks perfectly healthy for Black at present, and
the impending raid on the fl-square. although some improvements and refinements
will inevitably be found for both sides, I am
25.xe5 confident that the Grilnfeld will continue to
It is not too late for White to go astray: prove its soundness.
25.ixe5?? f3t! 26.gxf3 Wxf2t 27. 'it>h l Wxf3t
28.'it>h2 Wf2t 29.'it>h l ixe5 30.ll'ixe5 ll'i g3#

25...he5 26.he5 f3t


Leading to a trivial draw.

27.gxf3 Wxf'2t 2s.<i>h1 Wxf3t 29.<i>h2 Wflt


30.<i>hI Wf3t
l/2-l/2
Timman - lvanchuk, Hilversum (5) 1 99 1 .
So far five subsequent games have ended in the
same way.
4.igS a b c d e f g h

Sidelines

Variation Index
1 .d4 lDf6 2.c4 g6 3.lDc3 d5 4..ig5
4 ... lD e4
A) 5.lDf3 227
B) 5.h4 228
C) 5.cxd5 lDxg5 6.h4 lD e4! 7.lDxe4 xd5 8.lDc3 a5 229
Cl) 9.a4t 230
C2) 9.e3 23 1
C3) 9.lDf3 232
C4) 9.h5 233
D) 5.lDxe4 dxe4 233
D I) 6.a4t 234
D2) 6.f3 234
D3) 6.e3 235
D4) 6.d2 .ig7 7.e3 c5 237
D41) 8.lDe2 238
D42) 8.d5 b6! 239
D421) 9.0-0-0 239
D422) 9.bl 240
Chapter 1 8 - Sidelines 227

1.d4 l!Jf6 2.c g6 3.f!Jc3 d5 4.i.g5 and indeed Black obtains a comfortable game
with minimal fuss.
8

7
5 ...l!Jxg5 6.l!Jxg5 dxc4
Having obtained the advantage of the two
6 bishops so early in the game, Black begins to

5
open the centre.

4 7.a4t
3
7.e3 may be a slight improvement, although
Black should have few problems in any case,
2 for instance: 7 ... e5 8.tt:lf3 exd4 9.tt:l xd4
.ig7 1 O ..ixc4 0-0 1 1 .0-0 Illichmann - L.
Hoffmann, Hambuehren 2002, and now after
a b c d e f g h l l ... c6N or l l ... tt:l d7N Black can look towards

4...l!Je4 the middlegame with confidence thanks to his


This is the main line and undoubtedly Black's strong pair of bishops.
most principled reply. White has a number
of possible responses; 5 ..if4 is the subject of 7 ... l!Jd7 8.xc4 e6 9.l!JO i.g7 10.e3
Chapter 1 9, but the big main line is 5 ..ih4 1 0.tt:lb5 can be met strongly by 10 ... c5!
which will be considered in Chapters 20-22. l l .dxc5 (or l 1 .tt:l d6t 'itle7 1 2.dxc5 .ixb2+)
1 1 .. .0-0 1 2.0-0-0 a6 1 3.tt:ld6 'i!tia5 when
In the present chapter we will deal with the Black has the initiative.
relatively minor, though still significant
options of A) 5.l!JO, B) 5.cxd5, C) 5.h4 and 1 0...0-0 I Li.el
D) 5.l!Jxe4. This position occurred in Lautner - Jansa,
Passau 1 999, and here it would have been
A) 5.l!JO good for Black to play:

It is hard to imagine that White can achieve 1 1 ... eS!N


much by giving up the dark-squared bishop, With the possible continuation:
228 4.ig5

12.d5
Otherwise Black will improve the scope of
his powerful bishop by taking on d4.

12 ...b6! 13.b3
1 3 .Wfc5 is well met by 1 3 ... e4 14.tt:ld4 :8:e8
intending ... :8:e5.

13...e4 14.xe4 xd5i


Black's bishop pair gives him the better
chances.

B) 5.h4 a b c d e f g h

8...c5N
A natural improvement, since White
managed to obtain a slight plus in the following
game: 8 ... h6 9.if4 e5 1 0.ixe5 ixe5 l l .dxe5
Wfxe5 1 2.Wfd4 tt:l c6 1 3.ib5! id7 14.tt:lf3 Wfxd4
1 5 .cxd4t Jobava - Safarli, Aix-les-Bains 20 1 1 .

9.f3 cxd4!
9 ... tt:l c6 gives White the extra option of
1 0.Wfb3!?, as well as 1 0.ie2 when 1 0 ... cxd4
l l .cxd4 reaches the main line.

10.cxd4 c6 1 I.i.e2 1Mfa5t!


a b c d e f g h
With this move Black highlights the negative
Initially I was not going to cover this move, side of White's fifth move.
but when I saw that Jobava had played it
recently I decided to pay more attention to it. 12.d2
1 2.tt:ld2 is well met by 1 2 ... h6 1 3.if4 e5!
5 ...i.g7 l 4.dxe5 0-0 when Black has the better game.
Amazingly this natural move has only been
played a couple of times. The whole variation
is quite rare, but in the majority of games Black
has exchanged on c3 or g5.

6.cxd5 xc3 7.bxc3 1Mfxd5 8.e3


8.Wfb3 was tried in Naumov - Kanter, Kazan
2008, and here I like 8 ...ie6!N when I do not
see how White can pose his opponent any
problems, for instance 9.Wfxd5 ixd5 1 0.f3
f5! ( 1 0 ...ic4!?) l l .e3 e5 and Black has an
excellent game.
Chapter 1 8 - Sidelines 229

12...xd2t 3.tll xd2 leads to a highly unclear position.) 1 7.xg7


In the analogous position that may arise xg7 1 8 .tll c5 exd4 1 9.tll xe6t fxe6 20.i"lxb7t
after the main line of 5 .h4, White can obtain i"lf7 The endgame is drawish.
a pleasant endgame after recapturing with his
king. In the present position the same idea 16 ...i.xdS 17.tll f6t i.xf6 18.i.xfG 0-0
suffers from a flaw: 1 3.xd2 f6! Black can take 19.gxb7
advantage of the fact that the bishop is still on
g5 . 1 4.f4 e5! 1 5 .g3 exd4 1 6.tll xd4 tll xd4
1 7.exd4 e6+ White will have to play carefully
to equalize.

13 ...eS!
This freeing move is a key idea for Black in
this type of pawn structure.

14.tll e4
1 4.dxe5 xe5 1 5.i"lbl h6 1 6.f4 xf4
1 7.exf4 tll d4! is good for Black.

14 ... ie6
a b c d e f g h
I have chosen to focus on this move, although
Black has other reliable options as well. 1 9... tll d4!
The most accurate way to force a draw.
15.gbl
20.gd7 hg2 2 1 .ggl tll f3 t 22.La La
8
23.gxg6t

7
White had better take the draw while he has
the chance.
6
23 ...fxg6 24.gg7t=
5 The game ends in perpetual check.
4
C) 5.c:xd5
3

15 ... h6! 5

4
This move leads to mild complications which
soon peter out to equality.
3

2
16.dS
1 6.f6 is also not unfavourable to Black:
1 6 ... 0-0 ( 1 6 ...xf6!? 1 7.d5! e7! 1 8.dxe6 f5
a b c d e f g h
230 4.i.g5

This is not fully correct, but it could be In this position 13.Wb5 is less effective in
an effective surprise weapon if Black is view of 1 3 ...Wxb5 1 4.tt:lxb5 tt:la6! intending
unprepared. ... c5 when Black stands better.
1 3 ... c5 1 4.d5 tt:l a6
5 ... lll xg5 6.h4 .!ll e4! Black has the makings of a powerful initiative
This important move takes the sting out of on the queenside.
White's idea.
8...fia5
7 .!ll xe4 fixd5
.
White's main options are Cl) 9.fia4t, C2)
I do not believe White has enough activity to 9.e3, C3) 9.lll f3 and C4) 9.h5.
compensate for the absence of his dark-squared
Cl) 9.fia4t
bishop, which is a key piece in the Griinfeld.

8 ..!ll c3
8 .Wd3
This was tested in one recent game against a
world-class player.
8 ...i.g7 9.tt:lf3 0-0N
Black is also okay after the game continuation
of 9 ... tt:lc6, but this move interferes with
my p rincipal concept of preparing the ... c5
advance in order to activate the Griinfeld
bishop. The game continued 1 0.tt:lc3 Wa5
1 1 .e3 0-0 1 2.Wb5! when White had a
reasonable position, Ezat - Jakovenko, Bursa
a b c d e f g h
20 1 0.
After my suggested improvement, I examined The queen exchange is not really consistent
the following line: with the overall spirit of the present variation,
but it has been tested in a few games.

9 ...fixa4 10.lll xa4


White's opening play has not been particularly
threatening, but if he can develop smoothly
and stabilize the centre then he might obtain
a decent position with chances to press on the
c-file. Fortunately Black has a convincing way
to prevent any of this from happening.

10 ... .!ll c6! 1 1 ..!ll f3 e5!


With this key move Black ensures that his
1 0.h5 dark-squared bishop will enter the game.
This must be the critical test of Black's
12.lll xe5
decision to castle.
1 2.dxe5 i.g7 also looks promising for
1 0 ... l"i:d8 1 1 .tt:lc3 Wa5 1 2.hxg6 hxg6 1 3.0-0-0
Black.
Chapter 1 8 - Sidelines 23 1

12 ...llixd4 3.0-0-0 llie6 14.e3 ig7 1 0.ctJf3 reaches the note to White's tenth move
15.llif3 in line C3 below.
We have been following the game Meduna
- Votava, Lazne Bohdanec 1 996. At this point 1 0.Wb3 0-0 1 Lh5 c5
the best way for Black to proceed with his In positions in which White has allowed
development would have been: his dark-squared bishop to be exchanged
for a knight, a good rule of thumb is that

8
if Black can arrange to attack the centre
with ... c5, without suffering any immediate
7 consequences, then he will almost always
6
obtain an excellent game.

5
1 2.hxg6 hxg6 1 3.Wb5
Objectively this may well be the best
4 move, but it is obvious that Black's bishop

3
pair stands him in excellent stead for the
endgame.
2 13 ... Wxb5 1 4.ixb5 a6 1 5 .t2J d5

a b c d e f g h

15 ...id7N 16.llic3 llicsi


Black's strong bishop pair gives him the
better chances.

C2) 9.e3

8
c e h
7
a b d f g

1 5 ... :!"i:d8!
6 This strong move secures Black's advantage.
5
1 6.ic4

4
The tactical justification for Black's play can
be seen in the following variation: 1 6.ctJxe?t
3 'it>f8 1 7.ctJxc8 axb5 1 8.t2Jb6 :!"i:a6 1 9.dxc5

2
ixb2 20.:!"i:b l ic3t 2 1 .'it>fl :!"i:xa2+
The text move is not much ofan improvement
for White though ...
1 6 ... ctJc6 1 7.dxc5 ixb2
a b c d e f g h
Black is clearly better, Gavariev - Brendel, St
9 ...ig7 10.ic4 Petersburg 2006.
The most common continuation is 1 0.h5
which transposes to variation C4 beginning 10...cS
with 9.h5. In the present section we will deal Once again this central strike offers excellent
with a few minor lines. prospects to Black.
232 4.i.g5

18.@bl i.f5t 1 9.@al gads+


Black keeps everything under control, and
his extra pawn and bishop pair give him
excellent winning chances.

C3) 9.tlif3

a b c d e f g h 5

1 1.'!Wb3 0-0 1 2.tlige2 cxd4 13.exd4 tlic6 4


14.hS 3

2
At first glance it appears as though White

1
has some attacking chances, but in reality he
cannot create any serious threats as Black's
mighty dark-squared bishop controls all the
a b c d e f g h
important squares.
9...i.g7 10.'!Wa4t
14 ...tlixd4 1 5.tlixd4 hd4 16.hxg6 hxg6 White has also tried (without much success):
17.0-0-0 1 0.e3 c5 1 1 .i.c4 ( 1 1 .i.b5tN should be met
This position was reached in Canal - by 1 1 . ..li:Jd?) l 1 . ..cxd4 12.li:Jxd4 li:J c6 Black
Gligoric, Dubrovnik 1 950, and here the most already has the upper hand. 1 3.li:Jde2 0-0
accurate continuation would have been: 1 4.h5 li:J e5 1 5 .b3 At this point a draw was
agreed in Mititelu - Sehlstedt, Varna 1 958,
8
but of course after 15 ... li:J xc4N 1 6.xc4 i.e6

7
1 7.e4 l':l:fd8 Black is clearly better.

6 10 ...'!Wxa4 l 1.tlixa4

5
Here it looks interesting for Black to try:

4 1 I...tlid7!?N
3
Black develops modestly and leaves the light
squared bishop at home, hoping to exploit the
2

1
power of the bishop pair later in the game.

In the following game Black equalized without


a b c d e f g h difficulty, but never had a chance to take over
17...'IWcS!N the initiative either: 1 1 .. .i.g4 1 2.e3 li:J d7
Maintaining the bishop's strong central 1 3.l':k l c6 1 4.liJc5 lLi xc5 1 5 .xcS i.xf3 1 6.gxf3
position while eyeing the king on the c-file. h5 1 7.f4 e6 1 8.i.g2 Wd7 Voloshin - Smejkal,
=

Mlada Boleslav 1 994.


Chapter 1 8 - Sidelines 233

12.:gcl c6 clear that White's opening has been a failure,


Shianovsky - Suetin, Kiev 1 958.
8
1 0.e3 c5 1 1 .hxg6 hxg6 1 2.ElxhSt i.xh8 1 3 .Elcl
7 cxd4 14.exd4 lli c6 1 5 .d5 lli d4 1 6.llige2 This
6
position was reached in Meister - Michaelsen,
Germany 1 992, and now the simple 1 6 ... lli f5N
17.d2 i.d7 would have given Black a clear
advantage.

10 c5 l l .dxc5 CDc6 12.e4 ie6


..

Black has easy play, and in the following


game the absence of White's dark-squared
bishop soon made itself felt.
a b c d e f g h

Black is ready to break open the centre with


... e5, so the following line looks natural:

13. CD c5 CDxc5 l 4.:gxc5 ie6 l 5.a3 id5 l 6.e3


0-0-0
The position is close to equal, but Black can
still hope to make something of his bishop pair.

C4) 9.h5

8
7

D) 5.CDxe4 dxe4

8
7

6
a b c d e f g h

5
9...ig7 I0.'11Nd2
White has also failed to obtain much success
with other moves. 4

3
1 0.h6 ..f6 1 1 .e4 c5 1 2.ib5t lli c6 1 3 .llige2
cxd4 14. llixd4 0-0 1 5. lli de2 Eld8+ It is 2

1
234 4.g5

This vanauon leads to rather irregular The present posltlon was reached in Hirn
positions - it is not often that one encounters - Reitzler, Fuerth 2000, and here Black
such a pawn structure in the early :;tages of the should have played a strong temporary pawn
game. From the present position White has sacrifice:
tried practically every legal move, but I only
8
consider the following four to be worthy of

7
serious investigation: DI) 6.Yffa4t, D2) 6.3,
D3) 6.e3 and D4) 6.Yffd2.
6

5
DI) 6.Yffa4t

8 4

7 3

6 2
5 1
4

2
7...i.g7!N 8.Yffxe4
8.e3 c5 9.ctJe2 Wa5t! gives Black a great

1
position.

8 c5!

Black's lead in development gives him a


This move has seldom been played, but strong initiative, for example:
according to the database it is one of the very
few options from the previous position to 9.dxc5 hb2 10.:!'!dI tLia6
have yielded a score of at least 50% for White. White's position is already becoming
Nevertheless if Black responds correctly he has precarious.
nothing to fear.
D2) 6.f3
6 .td7!?
8
..

The most popular reply has been 6 ... c6, but

7
the text move seems like the simplest route to
a good game.
6

5
7.Yffc2
Another game continued: 7.Wb3 g7 8.e3 c5
9.'Lle2?! Wuensch - Auburger, Mittelfranken 4

3
2009, and here Black could have obtained an

2
excellent position with 9 ...Wa5t!N 1 0.Wc3

1
Wxc3t l l .bxc3 'Ll c6 when he has easy play
against the doubled pawns.

a b c d e f g h
Chapter 1 8 - Sidelines 235

8
This move js less than impressive, as White's
centre will quickly come under fire.
7

6
6...ig7 7.e3 c5 8.fxe4
8.tlie2 is not much of an improvement:
8 ... exf3 9.gxf3 cxd4 1 O.exd4 (1 O.tlixd4?? 5

4
a5t-+ Weirowski - Bornschein, Kiel 2000)

3
10 ... ctJc6 l l .e3 0-0 Black is already more
comfortable in view of White's weakened
2

1
kingside, Theodorakis - Gustafsson, Ano
Liosia 2000.

8...cxd4
8 ...a5t is also good.
This natural move has been White's most
9.exd4 xd4 10.xd4 ixd4 1 1.0-0-0 'li c6 popular choice.
12.'lif3
This position was reached in Br. Miller - 6...ig7 7. lli e2
G. Nunes, Sackville 200 1 , and here I found a Once again it is risky for White to go after
modest improvement. the central pawn: 7.c2?! c5 8.0-0-0 cxd4
9.xe4 (No better is 9.exd4 a5! 1 0.e3
8
xa2 1 l .xe4 lli c6 1 2.b l a5 1 3.tlif3
ttJ b4 when Black obtained a decisive attack in
7 Pirrung - Heinelt, Germany 1 989.) 9 ... ctJc6
6 1 0.exd4

a b c d e f g h

12...ib6N
h
In the game Black opted for l 2 ...g7 and
a b c d e f g
was doing fine, but I prefer to post the bishop
on a different diagonal. Now in Palsson - Helgadottir, Reykjavik
2008, Black could have seized the initiative
13.ie2 ie6; with 1 0 ...a5!N 1 l .d5 xa2 1 2.b l a5!
Black's position is preferable in view of when White's vulnerable king gives him
his more compact pawn structure and active problems.
prospects on the queenside.
7... c5
D3) 6.e3
236 4.i.g5

8 10...lt)c6N

7
This should ensure a comfortable game, as

6
shown by the following analysis.

5
1 I .lt)xc6 i.xc6 12.i.e2

4
I also examined: 1 2.E:d l Wc7 1 3.f4 (White

3
cannot play 1 3.e2? in view of 1 3 ...WeS
14.h4 gS l 5.g3 Wxb2 winning a pawn.)

2
1 3 ...Wb6 14.b4 Wa6! 1 5 .Wxa6 c3t l 6.<;tie2
bxa6 1 7.a3 aS 1 8.bS d7 Black has strong
counterplay on the queenside.
1
a b c d e f g h 12 ...0-0 13,gbl
8.a4t 1 3.xe7? xb2 only leads to trouble for
White's best continuation is 8.Wd2, which White, and 13.0-0? allows 1 3 ... Wd2! winning
transposes to variation D4 1 beginning with material. Therefore White has to spend time
6.Wd2. The text move is the most significant securing his queenside before completing
independent try. development.

8...i.d7 9.a3 cxd4 I O.lt)xd4 13 ... ges 14.0-0 d2 1 5.gfel


1 0.exd4 tll c6 1 1 .E:dl occurred in Granda
Zuniga - Kekki, Embalse 1 98 1 , and here Black
missed a strong idea in 1 1 .. .aS!N intending
... tll b4 when it is hard to see how White
completes development.

The present position was reached in Guilbert


- Plate!, Le Touquet 2005. At this point Black
should have developed naturally by means of:

16.i.h4
After 1 6.xe7 xb2 White's split queenside
pawns might become weak in the long run.

16 ... g5 17.i.g3 a5
Black has a good game.
Chapter 1 8 - Sidelines 237

D4) 6.cl2 1 0 ... 0-0!N l l .ixe5 (l l .\!;lfxe4? if5)

8 i. .i. - .i
1 l .. .ixe5 1 2.\!;lfxe4 ig7 The powerful dark
squared bishop gives excellent compensation.

lfi"W'" ,%-,, 'i


8 ... b5!
1
6 'n 'n 'n f
This energetic move enables Black to obtain
promising play on the queenside.

5
- - ,
..:-
9.f3

4
9.cxb5 a6 gives Black a promising initiative.

' 9 ... bxc4 1 0.fxe4

rn
3
b r ,"n
2 0=- b 0: 0"
This position was reached in Kempinski
- Urban, Lubniewice 1 995. At this point
b r itlooks good for Black to play:

,, ,%.,, , ,%mm
a b c d e f g h
This has only been White's second most
popular move, although it often leads to the
same positions as 6.e3. The present move order
has been the most common choice amongst
higher-rated players.

6 .i.g7 7.e3
..

A frequently-played alternative is:


7.0-0-0 a b c d e f g h
It looks logical to prevent ih6 by means of: 1 0 ... 'il d7N l l . ClJ f3 ib7 1 2.e5 'il b6+
7 ... h6 8.ie3 I would evaluate Black's chances as somewhat
Another option is: 8.if4 'ilc6! Usually higher in this complex middlegame.
it would not be a good idea to block the
c-pawn, but due to the position of the white
bishop it makes more sense to prepare ... e5.
9.d5 (After 9.e3 e5 1 0.dxe5 \!;lfxd2t 1 l .xd2
'ilxe5 Black has an excellent game.) 9 ... 'ile5
1 0.\!;lfc2 Now in the game M. Brodie -
Martinovsky, USA 1 994, Black could have
ventured a promising pawn sacrifice:

7 .c5
..

In this position White's main options are


D41) 8.tlJ e2 and D42) 8.d5.
238 4.g5

D41) 8.tl::i e2 l 3.ixb8 would have been an obvious


concession, and after l 3 ... Elxb8 l 4.ltJc3 Wb6
Black has a clear advantage.

1 0.exd4?!
Recapturing with the e-pawn will
14.fxeS
make it harder for White to complete his
The alternatives are much worse, for instance
development.
1 4.dxe6? Wxd2t 1 5 .<jfxd2 ixe6 1 6.ltJc3 Eld8t
1 7.<jfcl ltJ c6 and Black has a huge advantage.
1 0.ltJxd4 would have been the lesser evil,
although Black has no p roblems here either: 14...f4 15.tl::ixf4
1 0 ... 0ic6!?N (There is also 1 0 ... 0-0 1 1 .l"ldl , K. Giving up the bishop is much worse: 1 5.ifL.?
Savage - Kern, e-mail 2002, l l ...g5N 1 2.ig3 e3 1 6.ixe3 fxe3 1 7.Wxe3 Wa5t! 1 8.ltJc3 Elf5-+
Wb6 with unclear play.) l l .ltJxc6 (Too risky
is 1 1 .0-0-0?! Wb6 when the white king can 15 ...gxf4 16..ixf4 .ig4 17.h3
hardly feel safe on the queenside.) l 1 . ..Wxd2t We have been following the game Golod -
1 2.<jfxd2 bxc6 1 3 .<jfc2 a5= Black's pressure Khmelniker, Israel 20 1 0 , and now Black could
on the long diagonal fully compensates for his have gained the upper hand as follows:
structural defects.

1 0...0-0 1 1.dS
This seems to be the best way to solve the
problem of the d4-pawn, but Black is well
placed to meet it.

1 1. ..gS 12 ..ig3 f5!


This active approach is fully justified.

13.f4

a b c d e f g h
Chapter 1 8 - Sidelines 239

17...i.h5!N J8.i.e2 8...\Wb6!


1 8.e6 is unsatisfactory in view of With this strong move Black forces his
1 8 ...ixb2!. opponent to decide how to deal with the threat
to the b2-pawn. The alternatives are weaker,
18 ...i.xe2 19.'it>xe2 Wfc7! 20.!!acl .L:e5 for instance 8 ... tll d7 9.tll e2 tll e5 1 0.tll c3 f5
21..L:h6 1 l .ie2 and White has reasonable chances to
fight for the advantage.

We will examine two responses: D421}


9.0-0--0 and D422) 9.!!bl .

D421) 9.0-0-0

From a materialistic point of view the


situation is more or less balanced, but the
quality of Black's position is higher. A logical
continuation would be:

21..J:U6 22.!!hfl !!g6 23.g4 lll d7


Black's extra knight is more valuable than
White's three pawns.

D42) 8.d5 9...lll a6!


This strong move gives Black promising play
8
on the queenside.

7 10.lll e2
6 In the following game White quickly got

5
into trouble: 1 0.f3?! tll b4 1 1 .b l h6 1 2.ih4
g5 1 3.ig3 if5+ H. Meyer - Lihtonen, corr.
4 1 9 57.

3
1 0...lll b4!N
2 This tempting idea is an obvious improve
ment over 1 0...ig4 1 l .a3 h6 1 2.if4 when
1
the position was rather unclear in Groszpeter
a b c e g - Pridorozhni, Zalakaros 1 999.
240 4 ..ig5

1 1. l!J c3 .ig4! 14.bxc3 l!Jd3t!


Exploiting the fact that a bishop exchange 14 ... Wxa3t is less convincing: 15.'Wb2 '!Wxb2t
on e2 would leave the d3-square too weak. 16.Wxb2 tt'ld3t 17.xd3 exd3 18 .f3 d7 19.e4
a4 20.E:al c2 21 .E:a5 Wd7 22.E:xcS a6 23.e3
12.gel Wa5 13.a3 E:hc8 24.E:xc8 E:xc8 25.cS White is OK.
White has no comfortable way to defend
the a2-pawn, because 1 3 .Wbl runs into the 15.ixd3 exd3
following interesting line: 1 3 ... tt'l xa2! 14.tt'lxe4
8
tt'l b4 1 5 .tt'lc3 h6 1 6.h4 E:d8 17.g3

1
a b c d e f g h
a b c d e f g h
17 ... d7! The bishop is heading for a4 and
Black has the advantage.
b3, from where it will create decisive threats.
1 8 .d3 a4 1 9.c7! This is the only way D422) 9.gbl
to survive, but after 1 9... Wxc7 20.tt'l xa4 b5!

8
White faces a powerful attack.

8 7

7 6

6 5

5 4

4 3

3 2

2 1

1 a b c d e f g h

a b c d e f g h This is a more reliable continuation, but it is


not particularly threatening.
13 ...ixc3
The bishop was a strong piece, but it is worth 9 ... l!J d7 10.l!Je2 l!J e5 1 I.l!Jc3 h6
taking the opportunity to weaken the enemy I like the idea of driving the bishop away
pawns. from the h4-d8 diagonal in order to remove
Chapter 1 8 - Sidelines 24 1

the pressure _on the e7-pawn. Another idea


is l l . .. f5 1 2.ie2 id? 1 3.0-0 if6 with an
unclear position.

12.ih4 g5 13.ig3 if5 14.ie2

4 a b c d e f g h

3 1 8 ... h5!

2
This is the correct moment for Black to
commence his kingside counterplay.

19.ixe5
a b c d e f g h
l 9.h3 h4 20.ixe5 ixe5 2 1 .El:cl El:fd8 leads
14...g6!?N to similar play.
This is my new idea. 14 ... 0-0 was played in
Golod - Fercec, Rijeka 20 1 0, but here I am 19 ixe5 20.a4 id7 21.a5 h4
..

slightly worried by 1 5 .h4N when White might Black's chances are not worse in this
obtain some attacking chances. complicated position.

15.0-0 Conclusion
IfWhite refrains from this move, for instance
with l 5.h4?!, then he will have to deal with In this chapter we have dealt with all ofWhite's
the consequences of 1 5 ... lll f3t! 1 6.gxf3 exf3 sensible options after 4.ig5 ll