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Understanding the

Grunfeld

Jonathan Rowson
First published in the UK by Gambit Publications Ltd 1999
Reprinted 2001
Copyright © Jonathan Rowson 1999

The right of Jonathan Rowson to be identified as the author of this work has been
asserted in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

All rights reserved. This book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way
of trade or otherwise, be lent, re-sold, hired out or otherwise circulated in any form
of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar
condition including this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.
A copy of the British Library Cataloguing in Publication data is available from
the British Library

ISBN 1 90 1983 09 9

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Edited by Graham Burgess


Typeset by Petra N unn
Printed in Great Britain by The Bath Press, Bath, Somerset

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2

Dedication
To my mother, who showed me that we are greater than our circumstances.

Gambit Publications Ltd


Managing Director: GM Murray Chandler
Chess Director: GM John Nunn
Editorial Director: FM Graham Burgess
German Editor: WFM Petra Nunn
Contents

Symbols 4
Bibliography 5
Introduction 6

Part 1: Miscellaneous
1 Why the Grtinfeld? 10
2 Appetizers 15
3 Dealing with Delroy 20
4 Side-Steps 47
5 Random Monkeys 63

Part 2: Exchange Variations


6 The Anchor 65
7 Drawn Endgames? 85
8 "Check!" 101
9 The Cake and the Cookie 106

Part 3: Other Variations


10 Delroy's Granite Statue 132
11 A Pint of Carlsberg 149
12 The Eager Lady 166
13 Hydra 1 83
14 The Silent Corridor 212

Afterthoughts 229
Summary of Recommended Repertoire 230
Grtinfeld Quiz 231
Solutions 234
Index of Variations 217
Symbol s

+ check
++ double check
# checkmate
!! brilliant move
good move
!? interesting move
?! dubious move
? bad move
?? blunder
Ch championship
Cht team championship
tt team tournament
Wch world championship
Ech European championship
Wcht World Team Championship
ECC European Clubs Cup
Ct candidates event
IZ interzonal event
z zonal event
OL olympiad
jr junior event
worn women's event
mem memorial event
rpd rapidplay game
corr correspondence game
1-0 the game ends in a win for White
lf2-l!z the game ends in a draw
0-1 the game ends in a win for Black
(n) nth match game
(D) sec next diagram
Bibliog raphy

Books on the Gri.infeld


The Griinfeld Defence- Hartston (Batsford, 197 1)
The Griinfeld Defence- Botvinnik and Estrin (RHM, 1980)
Griinfeld: A study by leading Correspondence players- Richardson and Boyd
(Chess Praxis, 198 1)
Winning With the Griinfeld- Adorjan and Dory (Batsford, 1987)
The Complete Griinfeld- Suetin (Batsford, 199 1)
Tactics in the Griinfeld- Nesis (Batsford, 1992)
Beating the Grunfeld- Karpov (Batsford, 1992)
The Griinfeld Indian Exchange Variation- (s 1 Editrice, 1994)
The Griinfeld for the Attacking Player- Lalic (Bats ford, 1997)
Fianchetto Gri.infeld- Mikhalchishin and Beliavsky (Cadogan, 1998)

Other books
ECO D, 3 rd edition (Sahovski Informator, 1998)
Beating the Indian Defences- Burgess and Pedersen (Batsford, 1997)
The Slav- Sadler (Chess Press, 1997)
Secrets from Russia- (Olbrich, 1993)
A Primer of Chess- Capablanca (Cadogan, 1993)
Chess Fundamentals Capab1anca (Cadogan, 1995)
-

H.O.T. Chess- Motwani (Batsford, 1996)


The Soviet Chess Conveyor- Shereshevsky (Sofia, 1994)
Opening Preparation- Dvoretsky and Yusupov (Batsford, 1994)
The Sorcerer's Apprentice- Bronstein (Cadogan, 1995)
Paris, Elista, Yerevan Ilyumzhinov (Moscow, 1996)
-

LILA -an inquiry into morals- Pirsig (Black Swan, 1997)


The Wordsworth Dictionary of Phrase and Fable (Wordsworth, 1994)
Bloomsbury Dictionary of Quotations (Bloomsbury, 199 1)
The Hutchinson Encyclopedia (Helicon, 1994)
Cassell Dictionary of Contemporary Quotations (Cassell, 1996)

Periodicals
New in Chess Yearbooks 37-47 Scottish Chess
lnformator up to 7 2 Chess Monthly
New in Chess Magazine ChessBase Magazine
British Chess Magazine TWIC up to 199
Introd uction

"The Psychic task that a person can and must set for himself is not tofeel secure
hut to be able to tolerate insecurity."- Erich Fromm

He lit his cigarette before popping the question, for he knew the answer would
take some time.
I was interested of course, but I had never done this sort of thing before. The
thought of such exposure made me laugh. There might be "repercussions", I was
told.
"Constraints" and "Deadlines".
Possibly even a lack of fresh air.
The opportunity cost was huge.
Why me? Why now?
No good reason.
I told him I'd call him.
Then hesitated.
Why not me? Why not now?
No good reason.
I asked him to call me.
He called me. I concurred with his requests.
Then it was sent. So I signed it, and sent it back.
Now what do I do?
Don't worry.
It's been done.

There were breaks, and fresh air was never a problem.


The only snag was the purpose.
What's the point in writing a book? Why am 1 writing this book?
So you can read it. Why arc you reading it?
Well that's your business! Which, of course, is also mine.

Scottish IM Craig Pritchett asks "Who would wish to write an openings book
today! No sooner is even the best researched book out on the market than it is
overtaken by many new ideas in the fast moving game of modern chess." I read
these words in the July 1995 issue of the Scottish Chess magazine and they
played on my mind. This book will be published in 1999 when things are moving
even faster. How much will be transitory? How much will stand the Test of Time?
INTRODUCTION 7

My remit was simply this: write approximately 176 pages explaining the
Griinfeld.
No target audience in particular, not necessarily from Black's point of view, a
repertoire or a survey. Precisely how to explain the Gri.infeld was up to me. Fur­
ther pointers were to come. GM John Emms, who had long since finished his cig­
arette, assured me that Gambit was aware that my chess annotations tended to be
quite "wordy" and that this was a good thing because the chess book market was
crying out for someone to "Explain the Gri.infeld". The normal level at which
repertoire books are pitched is somewhere around 1600-2000 Elo, but they sus­
pected that I would be naturally inclined to pitch it at a slightly higher level, and
this was OK. I knew I wouldn't have time to write much until late summer and
this allowed some time for ideas to form and fester.
When I was younger, I learned a great deal from Mastering the King's Indian
Defence by Bellin and Ponzetto ( 1990). Beneath the title of the book we learn
that we are supposed to master the opening "With the read and play method"
which sounded shockingly like the method of all other chess books. However,
this book, and the entire Mastering series, was rather different from most open­
ing books in that there were lots of diagrams, lengthy explanations and very little
systematic theory. Initially I thought I would present the Gri.infeld in a very simi­
lar manner and this was reinforced by a conversation I had with a friend and for­
mer club-mate, John Clifford, rated around 1 800, from Aberdeen.
"What are you doing this summer?", he asked.
"Lots of things, but mainly I'm writing a book."
"Oh, what about?"
'The Gri.infeld, but with the emphasis on understanding. I have no intention of
writing a theoretical manual."
"Good", he said, "I have no intention of reading one!"

At this point the task seemed uncomplicated, but as I thought of all the differ­
ent lines, structures and ideas, certain difficulties arose. The first is that Griinfeld
structures are much more variable, I think, than in the King's Indian, the Modern
Benoni or the French and so explaining typical strategic ideas would be difficult
and I imagined that my explanations might become dangerously vague. The
other problem was that the Griinfeld has a reputation for being enormously theo­
retical in nature. I thank FM Alan Norris for drawing my attention to Dvoretsky's
comments on the matter in Opening Preparation: "In openings like the Gri.infeld
... White has an extremely wide choice; he is the one who determines the opening
formation, and Black has to be prepared for everything. You can only play sud
lines with Black if you have a good memory." If I had read this before signing tht:
contract it may have stung, but having thought about the matter considerably 1
don't think it's true.
8 UNDERSTANDING THE GRUNFELD

There is detinitely a sense in which many chess-players want to be 'spoon-fed'


by their authors and guided through the maze of competing lines. There is also a
sense in which they want to know what's going on conceptually because very few
people think of themselves as having good memories! Many would argue that
there is no such thing as a 'good' or 'bad' memory but rather those that are rela­
tively 'developed' or 'undeveloped'. I think this is an important point, but for
now there is a more pressing question: can you confidently play the Griinfeld
without excessive reliance on your memory?
Yes! As long as you understand the reasoning behind what you are trying to
'remember'. As any good teacher knows, there is no problem 'remembering' if
you genuinely understand. In many of the lines I have presented here, the analy­
sis of opening variations runs fairly deep, but in almost all cases what looks like
'theory' to some, is only there as a reinforcement to help you understand why
certain paths make better sense of the features of the position than others. In the 8
l:tbl line for example, there is no problem with a club player with a 'bad memory'
taking on board my main suggestion of ...'iha2 and ....tg4 without 'remember­
ing' what follows. I have sought to explain the bulk of the 'theory' in conceptual
terms and so hopefully the reader will understand what he is trying to achieve
without feeling completely at sea just because he knows that there have been
games played before from this position, which he hasn't managed to 'remem­
ber'. My point is that you don't need to 'remember'- that is grappling for a secu­
rity you will never find. I hope you will try to understand, however, so that you
can confidently tolerate the insecurity which is ever-more acute as information's
swelling persistently presses against us.
The final format of the book is a bit of a 'Random monkey' (see Chapter 5) in
that it doesn't seem to follow any particular formalistic model. I decided on the
chapter break-down quite early and I have aimed for the book to seem more tluid
than compartmentalized because I think this is more akin to the way chess is
played and also relates better to the way I think opening theory should be under­
stood: as the application of associated ideas. Aristotle observed that you should
not attempt to impose more exactitude on a study than the matter permits. Like­
wise, you should not strive to give easy versions of ideas that are inherently diffi­
cult. The best that the reader can hope for is that the difficulties are intrinsic to the
subject matter, and not generated by the author's style. I hope that players of all
strengths with an interest in the Gri.infeld will find something of interest to them
ami of course this involves making some parts boring to some and unfathomable
lo others. In any case, I believe the book contains all that a player needs to know
lo play the Griinfeld confidently, with or without prior knowledge of the opening.

I <'ormer US President Woodrow Wilson famously said that he used not only all
I hl' brains he had, but also all that he could borrow. I have 'borrowed' extensively
INTRODUCTION 9

and I hope that my lenders will see some of the fruits of their lending in the book
that follows. I thank:
Jon Speelman for telling me of the Hydra, and letting me quote him;
Danny King for info on the g3 lines;
Jon Levitt for info on the �f4Iines and strengthening my resolve by trying to
persuade me not to write this book!
Chris Ward for help with 3 f3 and amusing comments on his loss to Shashi­
kiran;
Peter Wells, for 'good chat' and being one of the many who encouraged me
with the thought that they were "looking forward" to my book;
Donald Holmes for lending me books as well as brains and stopping me from
giving up on the Grtinfeld when I was fourteen;
John Henderson, for information;
Paul Butcher, for being the 'wannabe' chess player and never failing to amuse
me;
Laurence Norman, for advising me not to write a chapter on the "Sexual Dy-
namics of the Grtinfeld", primarily on the grounds that there aren't any;
Paul Motwani, for re-assurance when I doubted myself;
Graham Burgess for editorial advice;
John Emms for performing tasks well beyond his duty and supplying me with
a steady diet of Dilbert Cartoons to coax me into signing the contract;
All my family for their ever-present support and stretching my imagination by
asking the same question- "How's the book going?"- at frequent intervals.
More generally, I would like to acknowledge M. for her continued interest and
support;
John Glendinning for his service to the SCA and his encouragement and back­
ing in my own chess endeavours;
Adam Raoof, for his chess enthusiasm and facilitating the rewarding opportu­
nities provided by "The sponsor", whom, of course, I would also like to thank.
Finally my thanks go to Tanja, for convincing me that this was a good time in
my life to write this book and providing pleasurable diversions in the final weeks
of writing. There are many others I would like to thank, and, of course, all the
mistakes that follow are entirely their fault.

Jonathan Rowson
Troon, September 1998
1 Why the G runfeld?

"The unexamined life is not worth living" - Socrates

Few chess-players start to play chess cases they refer to the four squares in
on move one; most are sleep-walkers the middle) is a pre-requisite for con­
who awake in the early middlegame. trolling the course of the game. To my
We seem to learn opening theory as a mind this is best understood through
type of chequered security blanket the realization that almost all the
which comforts us with the thought pieces tend to have more scope near
that if we know nothing else about the centre of the board. In general we
chess, we can at least be sure that these could say that the closer a piece is to
moves have been played before ! If we the centre, the more effective it is
forget this blanket, or if it vanishes likely to be. Indeed, if your pawns oc­
suddenly, we are left naked and alone, cupy the centre, a principal benefit of
confronted and embarrassed by a whole this may be that it is difficult for your
host of strategic and tactical problems opponent to develop his pieces on cen­
which, sadly, were forming before our tral squares for fear of harassment by
sealed eyes as we slept among them. your foot soldiers.
The author's aim is to strip away Furthermore, controlling the centre
this security blanket from the very be­ is likely to mean that your pieces are
ginning. Indeed, I have sought to pres­ flexibly placed for action on either
ent this opening in such a way that you side of the board, whereas dominance
will understand why you want to play on only one side may leave you weak­
the Griinfeld, why your author has par­ ened elsewhere. A particular advan­
ticular faith in the recommended vari­ tage of having a strong pawn-centre is
ations presented and I also hope to that it acts as a certain amount of
have written in such a way that you will 'cover' to prevent the opponent quickly
learn and develop with the opening as infiltrating your position. This allows
if it were your very own creation. the side with the central pawn pre­
dominance to consider starting an at­
tack against the king at any moment.
The importa nce of the However, I can assure you that such
centre attacks only tend to succeed if the cen­
tre is secure. In most Griinfeld posi­
Most strong players agree that at least tions, if Black plays well, the centre
some control over the centre (in most will be an area of considerable tension,
WHY THE GRUNFELD? 11

and under such conditions White's pawns clambering over the central
forces are likely to be fully occupied squares. Superior control tends to be
and will derive nothing but pain from followed by occupation, so in the
excessive distraction on the flanks. Griinfeld Black puts up a determined
It is important to appreciate the im­ fight for the centre by pressurizing the
portance of the centre here, for there central squares occupied by White.
will be many manoeuvres in the fol­ Successful Griinfelds normally high­
lowing chapters which aim ultimately light that White' s central occupation
at nothing else but the control of the is insufficiently supported and in these
central squares (This even applies to 4 cases Black's superior central control
cxd5 lDxd5 5 lDa4 !). will result in central destruction, nor­
mally leading to central occupation
That said, it is crucial to distin­ which, together with control, will al­
guish between occupying the centre most certainly grant the initiative and
and controlling it. domination of the whole game. Un­
successful Grii nfelds will see White
occupying the central squares and
maintaining central control and in these
cases White will control the game.

Dynamic Chess Strategy


This heading is the title of a path­
breaking book by GM Mihai Suba and
much of the reasoning which follows
is derived from him. According to
Suba, the term 'defence' would be im­
properly associated with an opening
like the Griinfeld, and is used just to
Q: Who controls the centre? make the players on the black side feel
A: Black! threatened! Moreover, Suba draws our
attention to the "childish joke":
This is a vivid example of the dif­ "Say a number"
ference between occupation and con­ "16"
trol; all of the knights occupy a central "OK, 17, I win !"
square but none of them control one. He goes on to explicate his view
However, in most cases the player oc­ that "Chess is a game of complete in­
cupying the centre will also control it formation, and Black's information is
to some extent and my point is simply always greater - by one move !"
that to succeed in your fight for the It is simple enough to understand
centre you don't need to have pieces or the joke and the statement, but I think
12 UNDERSTANDING THE GRVNFELD

Suba's key insight was to connect this nature of White's advantage in such
to the point that "Chess is basically a cases, we have not had long enough to
game of patterns". be sure of exactly how it is manifest, if
The significance of this lies in the at all, within dynamic chess strategy.
inference that successful chess strat­ Indeed, what is happening in openings
egy involves successful pattern recog­ like the Grtinfeld (and the Benko, Si­
nition and response. It follows that it is cilian, etc.) is not an attack-defend di­
good to be as flexible as possible! alectic ending in a neutral synthesis,
Your author's thoughts on the first­ but something different entirely; an
move debate are still developing and alien whose presence we have not yet
may be the subject for a future book, fully acknowledged. White may well
but I do think we should all be very hold some advantage in any case, but
conscious that our chess heritage has if he does, and I think it is an 'if' at this
instilled certain unhelpful presump­ stage, then the nature of this advan­
tions which were passed down from tage is much more difficult to explain
players and thinkers who had barely conceptually. Personally, I think that
the slightest inkling of dynamic chess if players were not conditioned to be­
strategy. If you play only the Queen's lieve that White was better, then black
Gambit Declined and answer 1 e4 ex­ players would grow in confidence and
clusively with l ...e5, as many leading Black's results might improve consid­
players seemed to at one time (e.g. the erably!
Capablanca-Alekhine match in 1927) This is all up in the clouds at the
then of course you are going to feel moment. For the time being I think
that White has some opening advan­ black players would be well-advised
tage because in most lines you will be to follow Suba's advice:
handing your opponent predictable Firstly: "Understanding and trust­
patterns! ing dynamic structures, their hidden
Of course there is much to be said dynamic possibilities, offers the key to
for trying to neutralize White's 'serve' success with Black."
and then eventually trying to outplay And secondly:
your opponent from an equal position. "Make sure that all your moves re­
In this case White's advantage is obvi­ ally improve your dynamic potential,
(JliS and visible, but in theory it should and that you cannot be forced into a re­
only last until the early middlegame, gressive series without gaining suit­
when Black is fully mobilized and by able compensation."
which time he will have had to avoid I believe the Grtinl'eld is an opening
many pitfalls and will often be so re­ which allows you to play in the man­
lieved to be off the hook that he will ner outlined above. By seeking early
happily agree a draw. asymmetry and maintaining flexibil­
What is becoming clearer to my ity, the Gri.infeld can be profoundly
mind is that whereas we know the unsettling for White, as in most cases
WHY THE GRONFELD? 13

it is not clear who is attacking and who .txf6). The main drawback of this ap­
is defending, and yet White must be proach is that White may have to cede
the first to play his hand. the bishop-pair, and this is not to ev­
eryone's taste. 2 tt:lf3 is less committal
The Generic position and obliges Black to commit himself,
at least partially, to a mode of devel­
1 d4 opment which will allow White to re­
White immediately stakes his claim act accordingly. White does not yet
in the centre, opening a path for his 'threaten' e4, however, and so of course
queen's bishop and giving Her Majesty Griinfel d players would now play
some breathing space. An ideal com­ 2 . . .g6!.
plement would now be e2-e4, when 2c4
White would seize all the central ter­ What can we say of this move?
rain and thus enabl e his pieces to be Firstly it controls the d5-square and
developed more actively than their so indirectly challenges for e4 : after
black counterparts. Indeed, such a gain 2 ... d5?1 3 cxd5, Black will lose the bat­
in space is best understood in terms of tle for the centre after both 3.. ."iV xd5 4
an increase in scope for the pieces. tt:lc3 and 3 .. .tt:lxd5 4 e4. Hence if Black
l...tt:lf6! is determined to keep a grip on the e4-
This stops White's principal 'threat' square his main tries are 2 . c6, intend­
..

by attacking the e4-square and simul­ ing ... d5, and 2 ... e6, intending to meet
taneously brings Black closer to being 3 tt:lc3 by 3 . . . .t b4 or 3 . . . d5. Black
able to castle, which may be important could also decide that White is already
in the event of an early opening of the on the verge of controlling the game
centre. White may still seek to control and confront the two white pawns by
the centre but must appreciate that it is 2 ... c5 or 2 ... e5, with the aim of quickly
not a simple affair: 2 tt:lc3 d5! leaves re-directing events. There is, however,
his c3-knight somewhat lacking in an alternative approach which chal­
scope (no pressure on d5; nowhere to lenges the view that a central pawn
go) and the absence of an obvious predominance is to be feared. In gen­
pawn-break means that the battle for eral this school of thought begins with:
the centre will probably be resumed 2 g6!
...

only when both sides are developed Black prepares to tianchetto and
and White's first-move advantage will then castle; he has no 'little guys' chal­
look less relevant. An alternative way lenging at this early stage but argues
to fight for central control is the now that he will control the centre from a
infamous 2 .tgS !? , whereupon White safe distance with his knight covering
uses his extra move to attack Black e4 and dS and his bishop e5 and d4.
immediately with the hope of forcing M oreover, having played fewer pawn
an early concession in space (e.g. moves he is trying to gain a lead in de­
2 . ..e6 3 e4) or structure (e.g. 2 ... d5 3 velopment.
14 UNDERSTANDING THE GRONFELD

3lZJc3 immediately rolls down his shirt


OK, so here's the crunch. If your sleeves before the formal introduc­
opponent plays this move you have tions take place. The knight on f6 al­
good reason to suspect that he's going ready wants a tussle with its rival on
to be trigger-happy with his e-pawn. c3 and the bishop on f8 claims to be
Indeed, after 3 ... i.g7 4 e4 we have al­ every bit as ready as its counterpart on
lowed White to achieve what he seemed c l . Moreover, Black has noticed that
to set out to do at move two. In most White's kingside is still at home and is
cases the central pawn-structure will vying to attack the centre before
now become fairly locked after Black White is suitably mobilized to defend
plays . . . e5 or . . . c5 and White replies it. Indeed, White is four moves from
with d5; White will then have seized castling, and Black only two.
territory but Black will have some On the day I signed the contract for
pawn-breaks. In my experience the this book I had this position set up in
white player will tend to have consid­ my college room wondering what on
erable knowledge in whatever line he earth I was going to write. A friend,
plays here, mainly because he faces let's call him "Paul the wannabe chess
the King's Indian so often. Conse­ player", walked in and inquired as to
quently he probably won't feel any ten­ my look of angst. I explained my pre­
sion until around move ten, when he dicament and asked for his thoughts
will already have settled down to his on the position. He took a deep breath,
usual routine. The desire to confront and stared for a good few seconds and pur­
unsettle the opponent immediately is posefully said "Solid central thrust­
one of the reasons I am so fond. of. . . ing potential" which had me hurtling
3...d5! (D) for my notebook in recognition of his
genius . When I breathlessly asked
"For White or Black?", he cheekily re­
plied "Both; it depends on which side
w I'm on!" at which point I realized he
was past his best and chucked him
out.
Still, I feel this is a good description
of the opening we are about to con­
sider. It is solid in the sense that Black
normally has a sound pawn-structure
and harmonious development. Its es­
sence is to fight for central control and
as for the 'thrusting potential', well
obviously the Griinfeld contains con­
There is something rather 'in your siderable dynamism but otherwise the
face' about this move; as though Black less said about that the better.
2 Appetizers

"Keep awayfrom people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always
do that, but the really great make you believe that you, too, can become great."­
Mark Twain

To whet your appetite for forthcoming After some harmless flirting we have
chapters I present two Griinfelds arrived at one ofWhite's most danger­
played by two world champions. If ous systems. We will study move-orders
you ever have doubts that this is the in greater detail later on, but for now it
opening for you, I recommend you re­ is worth pointing out that with this
turn here. I hope these games will in­ move-order I think Black should also
spire you, and will help you to play consider 5 . . .c5 ! with the ail\1 of oblig­
your own Griinfeld masterpieces. ing White to play a sub-optimal move
compared to the main lines, viz. 6 e3
Game 1 (after 6 d5 d6 intending ... lt:Ja6-c7 ,
D. Byrne - Fischer .. JibS and ... b5, etc., White's bishop·
New York, Rosenwald looks awkward on f4; 6 dxc5 is met by
Memoria/ 1956 6. . . lL! a6!) 6...cxd4 7 exd4 d5!, when
d4 is weakened and the main idea of
1 lbf3 lL!f6 2c4 g6 3 lL!c3 i.g7 4 d4 White's system (to take on c5) has
0-0 5 i.f4 (D) been de-fanged. Henderson-Rowson,
Aberdeen 1998 now continued 8 c5?!
(too ambitious; 8 h3 is more prudent,
but note that White is already under
B pressure) 8 . i.g4! 9 'ir'b3?! (White is
. .

not "inviting everyone to the party"


but 9 i.e2 �c6 intending ... b6 is also
bad for White) 9 . . i. xf3 ! 10 'ii'xb7
.

lL! bd7 1 1 c6? ( 1 1 gxf3 e5 ! gives Black


the initiative) 1 l . . . i.g4 12 c7 'ii'c8 1 3
i.a6 lb b6 and White was a piece down
and running out of steam. This shows
one benefit of being able to play the
King's Indian as well as the Griinfeld
(Fischer gave White the option of 5
s ... ds e4) but it would be an option fully
16 APPETIZERS

relevant to our subject if White played


ii.f4 before it.Jc3. In any case, Black
could have played 4...d5. B
6 ..Wb3
My comments in the last chapter
about White's kingside development
are clearly demonstrated in this game,
and this move already looks suspect to
me as White is unwisely mixing the
'ifb3 and ..tf4 systems. Fischer could
now have reacted more energetically
but it is instructive that he did not. I
have mishandled many Griinfelds by
wanting to detonate the position pre­ ..8 .it.Jbd7!?
maturely just because my opponent did Another instructive decision. White
something slightly peculiar. Black's will want to move his e-pawn to de­
position is certainly full of dynamic velop his king's bishop and then Black
energy but this energy tends to be un­ will have the option of pinning the
leashed most effectively when Black knight with ...i.g4. This is an example
is fully mobilized. of the logic behind the maxim 'knights
Thus 6 ... dxc4 7't!Vxc4 ..i.e6 8 ikxc7 before bishops'; the knight on b8 is al­
1!Vxc7 9 ii.xc7 it.Ja6 may get the adren­ most certainly most comfortable on b6
aline pumping with the realization that (unless White is careless, there is noth­
you are massively ahead in develop­ ing for it to do on a6) but the bishop on
ment but it is also important to realize c8 could conceivably go to e6, f5 or
that losing the c-pawn has left you g4. Therefore 8 .....te6 creates fewer
without a pawn-break and so 10 ii.g3! problems for White; after 9 �d3!?
(to protect f2) 10 ... it.Jb4 11 'it>d2 .in­ it.Ja6 10 'iid2!? Black is not worse but I
tending e3 and a3 looks like it will doubt if he is better, as White's centre is
soak up the pressure and retain the ma­ still very solid, e.g. 10... lbd5!? 11 iLg3
terial. Note that when White has not (11 iLh6? would be ill-conceived; the
committed himself to e4 there is less rest of White's forces are focused on
pressure on the centre and the bishop the centre and the queenside and due
on g7 is largely ineffective. to White's central control, the bishop
6 ... c6 7 .:i.dl on g3 is a much more effective piece
An encouraging sign: now White has than the bishop on g7) 1 1...1!Va5 12 e3
played two rather extravagant moves it.Jxc3 13 bxc3 c5! (remember that the
while the bishop on f1 is still asleep. Griinfeld is all about fighting for the
7 dxc4!
... centre; 13...l!Vxa2 14 1!Vxa2 ..txa2 15
Forcing White to misplace the queen. .l:l:a1 ii.e6 16 ..txa6 bxa6 17 .l:l:xa6 is
8 'ii'xc4 (D) clearly better for White, whose control
UNDERSTANDING THE GR ONFELD 17

of b 8 stops Black getting active- note One of the most powerful moves of
again that the pawn on e3 consider­ all time. Black is compelled to find a
ably restricts the g7-bishop) 14 .ie2 way to attack the white centre, and be­
b5! 15 0-0 b4 with an unclear position. cause White's last move was directed
Note that the straightforward 8...b5 against ...tLlfd7 this is the only way to
is also possible, and may transpose to do so. White was threatening .te2 and
lines discussed in Chapter 12. 0-0 with complete control of the game
9 e4 so although this move is tactically
I suspect this is White's third slight dazzling, from a positional point of
inaccuracy. 9 e3 was more prudent. view it is virtually forced!
9 4Jb6 10 'ii'cS .tg4!
... 121i'a3
Now Black is completely mobilized 12 tDxa4 lt::J xe4 is devastating, e.g.
and ready to undertake serious destruc­ 13 'ftxe7 'ii'a5+ 14 tLlc3 tt::lxc3 15 bxc3
tion on the centre. White should now .l:tfe8.
put on his safety helmet and hope for 12 tDxc3 13 bxc3 tDxe4!
..•

the best after 11 .ie2. Then Fischer Beginning the combination a pawn
probably intended something like up with total mobility is a good sign
11...4Jfd7 12 'ij'a3 .ixf3 13 .ixf3 e5! 14 but Black really had to play the next
dxe5 'ii'h4!? 15 .ig3 'ij'g5 16 0-0 .ixe5, few moves very well to snuff out all
when Black is very comfortable. resistance.
ll.tgS? 14 .txe7 'fib6! (D)
This seems to be a losing move but Not 14 .. .'�e8 1 5 .l:td3! and .l:te3,
perhaps this is not so surprising con­ when White is still kicking.
sidering that while Black has been
completing development, White has
used four of his first eleven moves for
his major pieces.
ll tLla4! ! (D)
...

15 .ic4!
Active defence. 15 .txf8 i.xf8 16
'i!Vb3 tDxc3 17 �xb6 axb6 18 �1 .ixf3
19 gxf3 .ia3 20 �d2 .ib2 21.l:tellt::Jd5
18 APPEI'IZERS

gives Black a massive endgame initia­ Notice that Black's pieces are all
tive. protecting each other - a sign of good
1S ...lt:'lxc3! technique.
Chomping the base of the central 34lL'leS �g7 35 �g1 ..tcS+ 36 �n
pawn-chain. lt:'lg3+ 37 �e1 ..ib4+ 38 �d1 ..ib3+
:t\ ..tcS l:.fe8+ 17 �fl ..ie6!! (D) 39 �cllL'le2+ 40 �b1lt:'lc3+ 41 �c1
l:.c2# (0-1)

Game 2
Hubner - Kasparov
Brussels 1986

1 d4 lL'lf6 2 c4 g6 3 lt:'lc3 dS 4 lL'lf3


..ig7 S jVa4+
Not a move to be underestimated;
Black must react precisely.
s .. ..td7!
.

More combative than 5 ...c6.


6 'il'b3 dxc4!
Again the most fighting approach,
This is the move which really gets though 6.....i c6 is a solid alternative.
the crowd jumping up and down. It is a 7 jVxc4
truly beautiful retreat, regardless of the 7 'Wxb7 is foolhardy considering
fact that it is forced. White's lack of development. 7 ...lL'lc6!
18 ..txb6 8 ..if4 l:tb8 9 'Wxc7 'Wxc7 l 0 ..i xc7
The simplest and most stunning l:.xb2 gives Black a strong initiative.
point is the Philidor smothered mate: 7 ... 0-0 8 e4
I8 ..i xe6 'Wb5+ I9 'it>gilL'le2+ 20 �fl Effectively we now have a main-line
lt:'lg3++ 2I 'ito>g l 'Wfl + 22 l:.xfl lL'le2#. Russian system with Black having
Also sweet is the exploitation of a played ... ..id7 already. I guess White
new-found pin: 18 'Wxc3 'Wxc5. wants to discourage the Hungarian
18.....txc4+ 19 �g1lt:'le2+ 20 �n system with ... a6, . . . b5 and . ....i b7. At
lt:'lxd4+ 21 'ito>g1lt:'le2+ 22 �fl lt:'lc3+ any rate Kasparov's solution looks
23 �g1 axb6 24 ..Wb4 l:.a4 25 'fixb6 more than adequate.
lt:'lxd1 26 h3 l:.Xa2 27 �h2 lL'lxf2 8...bS!? 9 'it'b3
The harvest is complete; not a bad White can also try 9lt:'lxb5 lt:'l xe4 l 0
day out for a thirteen-year-old boy, as 'Wxc7 but after IO . . lt:'l
. c6 II ..id3lt:'lb4
Fischer was at the time. 1 2 ..i xe4 ..i xb5 1 3 'Wxd8 lbxd8 1 4
28 l:.e1 l:be1 29 'il'd8+ ..tf8 30 ..id2 ! ? Black should play 1 4 ...lt:'ld3+!?,
lt:'lxe1 ..idS 31 lL'lf3lt:'le4 32 'fibS bS which leads to equality according to
33 h4 hS Georgadze.
UNDERSTANDING THE GRONFELD 19

9...c5! (D)

23...l:d6!
A multi-purpose move with ideas of
Again we see the power of attack­ doubling on the d-file or playing ... .J:I:e6.
ing the centre before White can fully 24 .te3 f4 25 .tcS f3+!
mobilize. The beginning of the end for White,
10 eS but notice how Kasparov had his pieces
10 dxc5 tt:)a6 1 1 e5 tt:)g4 12 h3 tZ:lxe5 on optimal squares before commenc­
13 tZ:lxe5 .1xe5 1 4 .1e3 l:tc8 is also ing the onslaught.
good for Black. 26 gxf3lt::lf4+ 27 'itte3 l:tf6 28 .txe7
10 ... tZ:lg4 11 i.xb5 cxd4 12 tZ:lxd4 t2lg2+ 29 'it>e2 l:txf3 30 i.d6lt::lf4+ 31
.1xb5 13 ttJdxbS a6! 'ittn lt::lg4 32 l:td2
Forcing White to decentralize. 32 i.xb8 l:txt2+ 33 'ittg l .J:I:g2+ 34
14 tZ:la3 �d4! 15 �c2lt::lc6 16 'iVe2 �fl l2lxh2+ 35 c;;.e l l:te2# is mate.
'iVxeS! 32...l:te8 33 lt::lc4 lt::lxh2+ 34 �g1
A very instructive choice of capture; lt::lg4
the queen was White's most effective The black knights are rather more
defender so Black exchanges it and si­ effective than their counterparts.
multaneously invites himself into the 35 .:n .td4 36 .tcs
d3-square. 36 .txf4 l:txf4 37 b3 l:tef8 will win
17 'fixeS tZ:lgxeS 18 0-0 ttJd3 19 the f2-pawn.
l:tb1 .J:I:ab8 20 l:td1 l:fd8 21 �n f5! 36 ... l:tg3+ 37 'itth 1 l:th3+ 38 'iitg1
(D) lt::lh2 0-1
A deep move by Kasparov, antici­ A beautiful finish to an awesome
pating that White will want to play game; there is no reasonable defence
'it>e2 and .1e3. to the threat of ... l2lf3#. This was a
22 'it>e2lt::lce5 23 lDa4 good example of Black's central pres­
Or 23 f4 tZ:lxc l+ 24 l:dx c l lt::ld 3, sure leading to central occupation fol­
winning. lowed by complete control of the game.
3 Dea ling with Del roy

Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions.
Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character.
Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.
Frank Outlaw

While you're at it, keep an eye on


White's d-pawn!
In many lines of the Griinfeld this
central pawn is unopposed and under­
standing how to deal with it is of para­
mount importance. In fact, having
played the Griinfeld for several years
now I have developed something fright­
eningly close to a personal relation­
ship with this pawn and so eventually,
out of respect, I decided to give it a
name. Naming chess pieces may not
be to everyone's taste, but this particu­
lar foot-soldier is so omnipresent in
what follows that I think the material d5 so Black will have chosen to play
will be more easily digestible if we en­ ... e6 to hold this back for a few moves
liven this key feature a little bit. and then White will have advanced
So, let me introduce Delroy. You later anyway, leaving a structure simi­
will soon be well acquainted. lar to the diagram. Note that in some
lines (e.g. the l:tbl Exchange) White
"If you are afraid of a passed d­ may even play this structure without
pawn you should not play the Grun­ his a-pawn. In any case this tends to be
feld"- Jon Speelman Delroy at his most dangerous. The
pawn is not only a mere three squares
The structure in the following dia­ from queening but such an advanced
gram is most likely to arise out of an central pawn gives White a consider­
exchange variation where Black has able amount of space for his pieces
played ... c5 and then captured on d4. and there is often ample scope for
White will have recaptured on d4 and White to use his centralized forces to
will be threatening to gain space with attack Black's king. Remember in
DEALING WITH DELROY 21

most cases Black will have exchanged Such a structure would normally re­
his king' s knight as early as move five sult from an exchange variation where
and so may only have his g7-bishop Black plays ... c5 and . . .e5 to attack the
for protection; if this piece is removed white centre, and White replies with
Black's king can start to look very d5 to close the position and secure a
bare indeed. That said, Dangerous Del protected passed pawn. Other things
is also a bit of a lone ranger; he's a being equal, this pawn-structure favours
long way from home and can easily be­ White because not only is Delroy once
come very weak from his excursions. again the most influential pawn but
Furthermore, if Black can securely there is also a clear plan of attacking
blockade the pawn then he can make Black's queenside with a4-a5 . Note
counterplay with his queenside major­ that in such structures the black pawn
ity. However, simply blockading the is often better left on b7 if possible, to
pawn is not always enough because prevent this plan, and that White is of­
the danger often lies not so much in ten better to leave his c-pawn on c3 so
Delroy himself but his role as a decoy that the d-squate is not a weakness in
to provide opportunities for the other the event of the position opening some­
guys supporting him. Finally, control how. This is most likely to occur after f4
of the open e- and c-files is an impor­ by White, when Black would normally
tant point of contention. Black must exchange his e-pawn for White's f­
be ultra-careful not to allow a major pawn (either by capturing on f4 or re­
piece to the seventh rank for, com­ capturing on e5). In these cases Black
bined with Delroy, this will almost has to be very alert to how sustainable
certainly be decisive. his blockade of these squares may be
because if the initiative passes to White,
"The passed pawn is a criminal who Black's position can quickly become
should be kept under lock and key." ­ hopeless, as he is rolled over in the cen­
Aron Nimzowitsch tre.
For his part, Black will be seeking
to implement the breaks ... b5 and ...f5
to secure his fair share of activity and
in some cases may try to attack in
King's Indian-style with ...f5-f4, ... g5-
g4, etc. In general, Black does well to
exchange dark-squared bishops and
blockade the d-pawn with a knight on
d6. This way his minor pieces will be
as unrestricted as possible.

"The passed pawn has a soul, de­


sires andfears."- J.H. Donner
22 UNDERSTANDING THE GRONFELD

It is rare for Delroy to be so deeply This is a rather embarrassingly bad


entrenched in Black's position but this move for someone who has been
configuration can sometimes be pro­ preaching the virtues of attacking the
voked by Black by allowing White to centre ! I heard later that Bent Larsen
advance his e- and d-pawns with the was talking the crowd through the game
aim of hitting back at them with ... f6, in the commentary room and stopped
which would here cause White's cen­ at this point with a flummoxed look
tre to crumble. Note that if the white and said: "There must be some idea
f-pawn were on f4 to support the behind this strange move, but I don't
pawn-chain then Black would have no see it". The great Dane sees most
way to undermine it and would be things over the chess board but I'm not
positionally lost. It is OK to allow surprised he didn't see the idea here,
White a central pawn predominance, because there isn't one! There is a lit­
but Black must be sure that he can ei­ tle story, however, which should serve
ther undermine it or somehow ade­ as a warning against blindly following
quately play around it. the games of top players. The truth is
Delroy comes in many other shapes that I thought I was following a piece
and forms, but the following games of hot theory from a game between
should give you a good idea of what Salov and Leko. Since I had been look­
you are up against. ing for an unconventional way to play
against 7 i.e3 for a long time and I
Game 3 consider Leko to be a formidable ex­
Akesson - Rowson ponent of the Grtinfeld, it delighted
Copenhagen 1 996 me to see that he seemed to equalize
with this obscure move. I only saw the
1 d4 lLlf6 2 c4 g6 3 lLlc3 d5 4 cxd5 game from a brief look at a friend's
lLlxdS 5 e4 lLlxc3 6 bxc3 i.g7 7 i.e3 copy of Schachwoche a few minutes
i.d7? (D) before the game but I figured I would
DEALING WITH DELROY 23

work out the idea at the board. It turns


out that Leko did indeed play 7 ... !/J..d7,
but only after 7 !JJ.b . 5+, when it makes w
much more sense ! (See Salov-Leko,
Belgrade 1996, Chapter 8.)
I haven't since found the magazine,
or tried to sue the editors, but I think I
can make sense of how this all hap­
pened. If White now played 8 !/J..e2 he
would be a tempo ahead of the !/J..b 5+
lines (bishop on e3), but by playing
!/J..g5 later, White (in the 'imaginary'
game) wasted the tempo with the other
bishop (which never actually went to sufficient central counterplay Black is
e3!) and all was smoothed out. At any doomed to passive suffering.
rate I am glad I can put this experience ll exd5 12 exd5 'iVaS?! 13 .:tel
...

to some use because not only do we ll:la6?!


see Delroy at his most devilish but we I guess I was still trying to figure
have a classic example of how things out what Leko had in mind. B lack has
can go wrong for Black in the Griin­ decentralized his queen and his knight
feld when he doesn't have enough and has a solitary bishop to protect his
central control. king. I think if I'd been shown this po­
8 lLlf3 0-0 9 'ir'd2 c5 10 d5! sition without prior knowledge I would
Here he comes. 10 l:tb1 was also a have been more modest, kept my queen
good move. The main thing is to stop on d8 and played ... !/J..g4 and ... lLld7,
Black pretending that his seventh move when I would still have had chances to
made any sense, which might have defend. Now it's probably already too
happened after 10 !/J..e2 cxd4 11 cxd4 late.
!/J..c6 ! , when 12 d5 would not be kind 14 0-0!
to the rook on al. 14 h4 was possible but there is no
10... e6!? (D) reason for White to take any risks. If I
I tried my best to fight back, but the had been walking around the room as
Griinfeld can be mutually unforgiving White decided on his 14th move and
and here it will not forgive Black for someone had asked me "What are you
being too late in his fight fo.r the cen­ doing?" I would have been hard-pressed
tre. to find a good answer, so it's better not
1 1 !JJ.e. 2! to force Black to react to something. I
Sensibly avoiding any complica­ repeat that in the Griinfeld if Black
tions that might arise after 11 !/J..x c5, loses control of the centre he tends to
when Black has ideas of . . .exd5 and lose control of the game. Furthermore,
. . . �c8. Akesson realized that without Delroy is by far the most impressive
24 UNDERSTANDING THE GRONFELD

pawn on the board and is by no means wondering exactly how Delroy him­
under lock and key. self fits into the picture then just
14...l:lfe8 15 .:t'el imagine how much of a relief it would
White's play is impressively con­ be to Black if he were back on b2. In­
trolled, whereas Black's position, par­ deed, it is because of this mighty pawn
ticularly on the queenside, is a picture that Black's forces have effectively
of disharmony. been cut in two.
15... l:lac8 18...l:!.e5
OK, so I finally have a positional This gave me only a little respite
threat of sorts - namely ... c4 followed but as I couldn't move the d7-bishop
by ...lDc5 and some activity, but al­ due to Delroy, couldn't re-centralize the
though both sides are fully mobilized, knight because of .i xc4, and ... .i f6
White has preserved his early initia­ wouldn't take any sting out of .i f3,
tive and now conducts the orchestra: this seemed like my best chance.
16 .th6! .th8 18 ...l:!.c5 appears to lose to 19 .ixc4!
If only my knight were on d6 or f6 I l:!.xc4 (19. . .l:.xe1+ 20 'ii' xe1 l:!. xc4 2 1
would have a playable position but, as 'i'e7) 2 0 .l:r.xe8+ i.xe8 2 1 d7 'ii'd8 22
is often the case, one bad piece means 'it'e2.
a bad game. 19 i.f3 .l:r.xe1+ 20 'ifxe1 i.f6 (D)
17 lDg5!
Attacking Black's weakest point.
17 ...c4
I have to try to create counterplay. w
18 d6! (D)

Now I thought I might be out of the


woods as 2 1 i. xb7 l:.e8 22 'i'd2 lDc5
seemed almost attractive for Black.
21 'iWd2!
Back again. This move really hurt.
White threatens a sudden ambush However, it is very instructive to see
with .i f3-d5 and Black's scattered that, without allowing Black counter­
forces are defenceless. If you are play, White retains a huge advantage
DEALING WITH DELROY 25

because of the persistent strength of probably true. It does allow Black to


the passed d-pawn. mobilize smoothly, but it is now more
21 tDc5
... difficult to apply any serious pressure
What else? to the white centre. Of course 9 .i.e2
22 'ti'dS! .i.e8 23 d7! ! (D) would transpose to Chapter 8.
9 'tWxd7
...

9 . ..tDxd7 will lead to positions where


Black has little pressure against the
B white centre but on the other hand the
knight will be quite well placed on c4.
I ' m not overly keen on such an ap­
proach and it's worth comparing this
to Game 1 3 (Karpov-Kasparov), where
the positions will be similar.
10 0-0 0-0 11 .i.e3 cxd4
Considering the idea that follows,
1 1 . . .e6 should be considered. Black
would have less than nothing to fear in
the resulting ending after 12 tDe5 .i.xe5
Delroy delivers in style. Both cap­ 1 3 dxe5 ir'xd 1 followed by . . . tDc6 and
tures drop a monarch so I resigned. . . . b6 because the bishop has much less
1-0 scope. Black can also try to do without
...e6 (after exchanging on d4) but then
Game 4 White will have idea of d5 and .i.d4,
Atalik - Ftacnik and I think this gives some advantage.
Beijing 1 996 12 cxd4 e6 13 tDeS!?
This is a very clever move by GM
1 d4 tDf6 2 c4 g6 3 tDc3 dS 4 tDf3 Atalik, who plays the Griinfeld for
.i.g7 5 cxdS tDxdS 6 e4 tDxc3 7 bxc3 both sides. I:Ie had probably prepared
cS 8 .i.bS+ .i.d7! this idea with an eye to the type of po­
8 . . tDc6 is also playable but after 9
. sition we reach in the game. His aim is
0-0 cxd4 10 cxd4 0-0 1 1 .i.e3 .i.g4 1 2 to exchange knights so that when the
.i.xc6 ( 1 2 d5 ! ? ) 1 2 . . . bxc6 1 3 llc 1 d-pawn gets going Black will be left
Black's position has never appealed to without a good blockader. The draw­
me; I prefer to keep more tension in back is that Black could now have
the position, and if I'm going to have a played 13 ....i.xe5 ! 14 dxe5 'it'xdl (Black
weak c6-pawn I like to have something can also seriously consider trying to
on the b-file to attack as compensation. keep the queens on, or at least force
9 .i.xd7+! ? White to take them off, but then a cer­
Dvoretsky suggests that this i s quite tain amount of care is needed to avoid
dangerous for Black and I think this is being mated on g7) 15 nfxd 1 lbc6 (D).
26 UNDERSTANDING THE GRONFELD

b) 1 5 libl 'ii'a6 (15 ...t'Dc6 1 6 llxb7)


16 1i'b3 t'Dc6 1 7 lllxc6 ( 1 7 'ii'xb7 'ii'xb7
w l 8 l:r.xb7 t'Dxd4) 17 . . . bxc6 and Black is
equal here as c6 is no weaker than d4.
c) 1 5 l'Dxg6? 'ii'xd4 16 'ilfxd4 .txd4
17 l:r.adl t'Dc6! is fine for Black.
14...t'Dc6 15 t'Dxc6 'ii'xc6?!
Considering the course of the game,
Black should have played 1 5 . . . bxc6 16
e5 ! ( 1 6 'ii'a4 e5; 1 6 l:r.fd 1 ! ?) 1 6 . . . 'il'd5,
when after 17 l:ab1 White keeps an
advantage due to the inactivity of the
g7-bishop. White's ' bad' bishop is
This is quite a common type of end­ only likely to be an issue in a pure
ing and is not without dangers for ei­ bishop ending.
ther side. White hopes that he has the 16 d5 exd5 17 exd5 'ii'd7 18 l:ad1
superior minor piece (pawns on both (D)
sides) and that his space advantage
and active rooks will outweigh Black's
long-term asset of having the better
pawn-structure. Indeed, White may be B
close to lost if the rooks come off be­
cause Black can readily create a passed
pawn and White cannot. However, if
White keeps at least one active rook it
will be difficult for Black to do any­
thing with his king, whereas White's
king can quickly become quite active.
I suspect the position is about equal, or
possibly even a tad better for White,
but personally I would prefer Black
because there is a very clear plan of White has a distinct advantage.
exchanging rooks whereas White' s It is true that Delroy is not causing
plan is more generally t o keep the any particular disarray and also true
pressure and that leaves more room that he is unlikely to be reincarnated in
for error. the near future. Moreover, all of Black's
13...'iM6 14 'ii'b3 pieces have a decent amount of scope,
14 .i.f4 is dangerous, but after the the queen is not easily budged from d7
cool 14 .. Jie8 Black can hold his own: and the queenside maj ority is intact
a) 1 5 'ii'a4 t'Dc6! with the idea of and seemingly brimming with poten­
meeting 1 6 t'Dxc6 by 1 6. . . 1i'xf4. tial. Yet White is clearly better - why?
DEALING WITH DELROY 27

Because Delroy is in his element - Clearly Atalik is a spaceman.


this d-pawn is extremely valuable and White's space advantage gives his
gives White a large advantage in space. pieces extra scope. Now look at the
Firstly I should say that it is not weak difference in freedom between the two
because even if Black managed to at­ queens - all because of Delroy.
tack it three times White could easily 19 ... a5 20 �fel �fe8 21 i..c5 ! (D)
defend it with equal force and sec­
ondly Black does not have any piece
which can act as an active blockader.
A queen or rook will almost always be
under-performing if it has to stand
guard over a measly pawn and Black
cannot transfer his bishop to d6, mainly
due to the resulting weakness of his
kingside. It is generally thought that
knights are the best blockaders since
their L-shape influence means that
standing in front of an opposing pawn
does not restrict them at all. Indeed if
we were to play the chess tooth-fairy
and silently drop horses on d6 (black) Target entry square on e7. As I've
and f3 (white) then Black's problems said, passed pawn plus seventh rank
would be reduced considerably. This usually spells victory, so things have
is because Black would then have an already become critical for Black.
active piece which could annoy White 21...i..f8!
and further restrict Delroy. As it is, After 2 I .. .i.f6 22 'li'f3 Wg7 23 i..e 3
Black really can't do anything to irri­ i.e5 24 i.h6+ Wxh6 25 .Uxe5 �xe5 26
tate his opponent and so White dictates 'itf4+ �g5 (26 . . . ri;g7 27 'itxe5+ 'it>g8
events. If the black pawns were al­ 28 h4 ! gives White a clear advantage;
ready on a5 and b5 and it were Black's the d-pawn ties Black down while
move then I suspect the position White negotiates possible entry routes)
would be about equal as Black could 27 h4 f6 28 �d5 White is winning ac­
muster some serious counterplay. Of cording to Atalik.
course Black has to try this approach 22 'ii'd5 b4 23 g3
anyway, but as we will see, White's An example of the benefit of Black's
threats are much the more immediate. second move. I find that White often
18 ...b5 feels it is desirable to take time out to
18 ... i..e 5 1 9 d6! is a more concrete guard against possible back-rank mates
reason why Black cannot blockade and in this case it offers the crucial re­
with the bishop. spite Black needs to begin organizing
19 d6! a defence.
28 UNDERSTANDING THE GRONFELD

23 .. J:Xel + 24 1bel lidS 25 l::te 4! b) 28 . . . J.g7 29 l:tf4 l:td7 30 'ila8+


White targets the f7-pawn to tie .tf8 3 1 'it'e8 wins.
Black down. There is now some dan­ c) 28 ... .ixd6 29 .ixd6 'ilxd5 30
ger that Black will fall into zugzwang. l:txd5 a4 3 1 .l:Id4 wins, viz. 3 l . ..b3 32
25 ...'ii'b 5 axb3 axb3 33 .ie5.
Not 25 ...J.xd6? 26 l:td4. d) 28 ... 1:te8 29 �g2 ! is cruel but
26 l:tf4 'ilfe8 Black can't do anything.
Such is B!ack's disarray that this ap­ 28 \WeS 29 a3? 'i1Ve6!
..•

pears to be the only move, as can be Relief! It feels like a big exhalation
seen from these lines: 26. . ..l:Id7 27 'ife5 after a prolonged holding of breath.
.l:Id8 (27 ... h6 28 'ilfe8) 28 l:txf7! 'iii?xf7 30 'ii'xe6 fxe6 31 axb4 axb4 32
29 'ffd 5+ wins for White; 26. . .'6Wd7 27 :Xb4 .txd6 33 .ixd6 .l:.xd6 34 .:tb8+
J.b6 .l:.e8 28 J.xa5 l:tel + 29 'iii?g2. 11z.11z
27 l:te4 'ii'b 5 (D)
Game S
Epishin I. Gurevich
-

New York 1 993


w
1 d4 lbf6 2 c4 g6 3 c!Dc3 d5 4 cxd5
lbxd5 5 e4 lbxc3 6 bxc3 J.g7
It is largely a matter of taste whether
to prefer this to 6 ...c5 and since I have
advised meeting 7 J.b5+ with 7 ...J.d7
in either case it doesn't seem to matter.
I think the main move-order point is
not to castle before playing ... c5 as this
can take the sting out of the ...1i'a5 sys-
tems against 7 .te3 (or 8 .ie3).
28 lH4? 7 .te3 c5 8 'fid2 WaS 9 .l:Ib1 (D)
White loses the thread just when White threatens .l:Ib5.
the time had come for the knock-out. 9 b6
...

He should have tried 28 l.td4 ! , as This important move was discov­


pointed out by his opponent. This is ered by Adotjan, co-author of Winning
certainly not an easy move to under­ With the Grunfeld and author of Black
stand so don't worry if it confuses you. is OK. In general it is crucial for the
It's worth considering though, be­ Griinfeld player to realize that in such
cause the variations demonstrate the positions dxc5 is rarely a threat be­
awesome power of the white d-pawn: cause, although White may win a
a) 28 . ...C.c8 29 d7 ! 1:td8 30 J.a7 ! is pawn, he loses control of the centre
winning - Ftacnik: 30 ... 'i!Va6 31 I:£4 and allows Black open lines to attack
�e6 32 'i't'xe6 fxe6 33 .l:Id4. the a- and c-pawns.
DEALING WITH DELROY 29

to flood the central squares. Indeed,


Black was clearly better here in Dokh­
B oian-Dvoirys, Helsinki 1 992 accord­
ing to Dvoirys.
10...i.d7 (D)

9 . . . a6 is also playable but White


would normally then play 10 Ac 1 ,
when after 10. . .cxd4 (it is unlikely that
any other plan, e.g. with . . .ltJ d7 and
... b5, will apply enough pressure on the
centre) 1 1 cxd4 'il'xd2+ 12 'it>xd2 White
can claim that Black's extra tempo has l l i.e2!?
significantly weakened his queenside, 1 1 i.d3 is a major alternative which
although a young Gata Kamsky fa­ I think is under-rated. White intends
mously beat Karpov from this position the simple lL'le2, possibly followed by
having played ...l0c6-a7 at some point, 0-0 or h4 depending on the amount of
which I found quaintly ironic. caffeine in the blood stream. Black
Note that 9 . . . cxd4 10 cxd4 'ii' xd2+ should then simply complete his de­
1 1 .'it> xd2 gives White a favourable velopment by 1 1 . . .0-0 1 2 lL'le2 lL'lc6
version of the endgame we see in (Timman played . . . lL'l c6 first, but it
Chapter 7. Black will probably have to dotsn't seem to matter; White can put
weaken the queenside with ... b6 in or­ his king's knight on f3 instead of e2 if
der to develop the c8-bishop. he chooses but then it's more difficult
10 i.b5+ to make d5 a threat so Black can prob­
10 Ab5 is not a significant threat ably just castle, possibly play ...e6, and
here: 1 0 .'�a4 1 1 Ab2 ..1 a6 ! 1 2 ..1 xa6
.. do something useful with the rooks)
ltJxa6 1 3 lL'le2? ! ( 1 3 f3 0-0 is slightly and now:
more comfortable for Black) 1 3 . . . e5! a) 1 3 dxc5? ! is an attempt to try to
1 4 0-0 .::t d8 15 'ii'd 1 'ii'c4 ! (firmly an­ win a pawn but this only serves to open
chored) 16 l: d2 0-0 17 f3 exd4 1 8 lines for the black pieces. It's worth
cxd4 cxd4 19 lL'lxd4 lL'lb4 !. A s s o often looking into this a little more because
happens when White's central duo are this anti-positional move was sug­
no longer an item, Black's pieces start gested in B urgess and Pedersen's
30 UNDERSTANDING THE GR ONFELD

recent book Beating the Indian De­ 'tia4 15 l:txc5 Q)e5 16 0-0 is unclear
fences. according to Yuneev. The automatic
al) 1 3 . . . Q)e5 ! ? 14 cxb6 axb6 15 1 6 . . .nfd8 ? ! gives B lack some tactical
0-0 'i&'xa2 16 l:tb2 'ifa3 17 l:txb6 l:tfd8 problems after 17 l:td5 ! but otherwise
1 8 lbct4 .l:.ac8 "with compensation for I prefer Black here. White' s rook on
the material" is given by Yuneev. Bur­ c5 is very active so attempting to re­
gess finds this assessment "hard to be­ move it makes sense: after 1 6... l:tfc8!?
lieve", but I don't really see why. I I would rather be Black because White
always find that it is much easier to has lots of weaknesses to defend and
play the 'underdog' in such positions his pieces have some communication
because psychologically White feels difficulties.
obliged to 'convert the material ad­ b) And now I present the game
vantage' and this usually involves Ak:esson-Timrnan, Malmo 1 997, which
unwisely compromising your coordi­ I think is an exemplary performance
nation and putting a lot of pressure on from Black: 1 3 h4 l:tfd8! 14 h5 cxd4 !
yourself to display your technique to 15 cxd4 l:tac8! (D).
the world. Black's pieces are almost
ideally placed here. Not only is White's
c-pawn attacked but Black also has
ideas of taking on d3 and playing . . . e5, w
playing . . . Q)g4 and taking on e3 or
waiting for the right moment to play
. . . Q)c4. I think Black's position is eas­
ier to play, and that White would do
well to give the pawn back and soak up
the pressure before Black's initiative
assumes real proportions. I suspect
that best play may now be 19 ..ta6 na8
20 ..te2 l::tac8 with a repetition.
My only dissatisfaction with that
last line is that Black isn't left with any Black is willing to enter the ending
queenside pawns and so if White real­ now that he is fully mobilized and
izes he is not better he can concentrate White's h-pawn-push looks a little ob­
on preventing Black from winning and tuse now that there is no imminent
has reasonable chances of success. For­ threat of checkmate (i.e. h4-h5 has
give me for dwelling on this sub-line but been met by rooks on c8 and d8). Pre­
I want to make the point that White's viously Black had blocked the h-pawn
plan of taking on c5 is very frequently with 1 3 ...h5 but I think this game dem­
ill-conceived in the Griinfeld. onstrates that there is no need.
a2) 1 3 . . . bxc5 ! ? is an attempt to 1 6 'ii'xa5 Q)xa5 17 ..tg5 ( 1 7 .l:.c1
hold on to a queenside pawn. 1 4 l:tb5 was better, and equal according to
DEAUNG WITH DELROY 31

Timman) 17 ... f6 ! (normally this is not 1 1 ...0-0! ?


the best way to meet i.. g5 as it leaves Of course there is nothing wrong
some weaknesses and blocks the with this move but 1 1 ... i. c6 is now
bishop on g7 but here Timman's initia­ preferred because it forces White to do
tive allows him to justify the conces­ something awkward to defend e4. On
sion with the activity which follows) the other hand, c6 is taken away from
18 i..d2 tt:Jc4 19 i..b4 (giving away the the black knight. White now tends to
two bishops in such an open position play 12 i.. d3 !? which is rather pecu­
with pawns on both sides would mean liar, but considering A kesson-Timman
that Black would always be the only we can see that it may be in White's
side with winning chances) 19 . . . e5 ! interest to prevent ... tt:Jc6. The key
'1. (notice how Timman ' s energy is di- game in this line is Shaked-Kasparov,
•. rected towards the centre) 20 hxg6 hxg6
·, Tilburg 1997: 12 ...tt:Jd7 !? 13 lZJe2 1:1d8 !
. 2 1 dxe5 (if 2 1 d5 I suspect Timman in­ (this was a novelty at the time; the idea
i..
. tended 2l...a5 22 d2 b5 ! , when Black
.· is to prevent White from castling; for
is fmnly in the driving seat) 21 ... tt:Jxe5 the record, I think 1 3 ... 0-0 is also fully
· (the centre has dissolved and Black's adequate) 14 f3 (14 0-0 cxd4 15 cxd4
i. rooks are much better than their coun­ 'ii'xd2 16 i.. xd2 tt:Jc5 ! is good for
i terparts; the power with which Timman Black; 14 0-0 tt:Je5 is suitably unbal­
r plays the whole game is an inspiration anced) 14 . . . 0-0 15 h4 ! ? h5 ! 16 i. g5
· to all Griinfeld players) 22 i..a6 l:tc2 ( 16 'it>f2 cxd4 17 cxd4 tt:Je5! 1 8 i.. b5
23 f4 tt:Jc6 24 i..c 3 i.. g4 ! 25 i..c4+ 1Wxd2 1 9 i.. xd2 i.. xb5 20 l:txb5 tt:Jc4
�f8 26 l:t b2 l:txc3 ! 27 tt:Jxc3 f5 28 e5 { anchor! } is slightly better for Black
tt:Jxe5 ! 29 fxe5 i.. xe5 30 l:tc2 i.. x c3+ according to Kasparov; however, 1 6
3 1 ¢>f2 i.. d4+ 32 ¢> g3 i..e5+ 33 � f2 l:tb2 ! ? looks playable for . White,
f4 34 l:th7 1:1d 1 35 g3 i.d4+ 0- 1 . whereupon Kasparov recommends the
Returning to the position after 1 1 splendidly creative line 1 6 . . . i. a4! 1 7
i..e2 (D): 'it>f2 tt:Je5 1 8 dxe5 c4 1 9 tt:Jd4 cxd3 20
e6 i..c 2 21 exf7+ 'it>xf7 22 tt:Jc6 li'xc3
23 tt:Jxd8+ l:txd8, when Black has the
initiative) 16 ... 1:1fe8 1 7 l:tcl i. b7 1 8
B d5 tt:Je5 1 9 i..b 1 ? ! tt:Jc4 2 0 'ikf4? ? i..e5
0- 1 .
12 l:tcl l:td8!?
I t may b e that this move helped
Kasparov to find the above idea, but
the main reason for showing this game
was to demonstrate how ineffective
Delroy can be when insufficiently sup­
ported.
13 d5
32 UNDERSTANDING THE GR ONFELD

1 3 lL!f3 i.b5 ! is an important idea were good reasons why drawing this
in this line, and here it seems to equal­ early didn't occur to the players.
ize. 18 lL!d7 (D)
•..

13 'ii'a4! ?
..•

This i s a very brave idea from Gure­


vich. After 14 c4 lL!a6 he thought he
would have enough play on the queen­ w
side (in lnformator 57), and it's not
obvious to me that he doesn't: 15 .i.d l
fr'a3 16 lL!e2 lL!b4 17 .i.b3 a5 ! .
Still, it's much safer to play against
the centre, because here Black's posi­
tion is hanging by a thread.
14 .i.d3 e6! 15 lL!e2 exd5 16 exd5
.i.g4!
The bishop has to move to allow the
knight to d7 (see Game 3 to witness how
useless it is on a6) and Black hopes to White's pieces do not coordinate
provoke f3 or entice the knight to a particularly well and Black already has
funny square. ideas of . . . lLle5-c4. Note that Delroy is
17 lLlf4 .i.c8! not the main feature of the position as
Black recognizes the importance of Black can manoeuvre around him and
completing development. create threats of his own. White should
17 . . . g5 would be too weakening; probably now play something sober,
note that after 1 8 lL!e2 lhd5 ? Black is like 1 9 c4, but the normally solid Epi­
abruptly punished with 19 .i.xh7+. shin got a rush of blood to the head.
17 . . . lL!d7 18 h3 forces Black to com­ 19 .i.c2? 'i'xa2 20 lL!hS
promise his structure with 1 8 . . .i.f5 1 9 The idea is 20. . . gxh5? 21 i.xh7+.
.i.xf5 gxf5 . I remind you that playing Also, White could not perpetually at­
the Griinfeld allows so many active tack the queen because of the weak­
opportunities that it is easy to lose ness of c3.
your head with excitement. It is a dy­ 20 lL!f6!?
..•

namic opening, but it is soundly based Effectively a winning move but


and so before compromising your po­ 20 . . . .i.h8 looks equally effective and
sition like this it's important to ask doesn't allow even a hint of counter­
whether your new-found 'dynamism' play. White's strategy has failed since
really helps your position more than it his forces have not supported Delroy.
harms it. Black's pieces were more purposefully
18 0-0 placed and now he reaps the rewards.
Gurevich doesn't say what he in­ 21 lLlxg7 1hd5! 22 'ii'e 2 i.a6! 23
tended after 1 8 lL!e2 but I assume there 'ii'f3 �xg7
DEALING WITH DELROY 33

The weakened dark squares are a) 9 . . .lt:Jd7 ! i s a way to respond


largely unexploitable because Black is with quick developmenJ, suggesting
so well coordinated. White has almost that moving two major pieces so early
no compensation for the two pawns is too extravagant:
and Black won 23 moves later. al) 10 i.d3 e5 ! may already be
24 .Ufel .l:.e8 25 h4 ..tc8 26 c4 l:td6 better for Black. 1 1 lt:Jf3 ( 1 1 d5 f5 !
27 h5 :.de6 28 h6+ <li>g8 29 :.e2 'it'a3 looks more than adequate but it is
30 :.eel 'tlfc3 31 ..ta4 ..td7 32 ..txd7 necessary to play with some vigour;
lt:Jxd7 33 'it'b7 lt:Jf8 34 'ttxa7 1Wxc4 35 one idea is 12 f3 f4 1 3 ..tf2 1Wg5 ! ?)
1Wa1 f6 36 :.d2 'tlfh4 37 g3 1i'xh6 38 l l ...exd4 1 2 cxd4 cxd4 1 3 lt:Jxd4 lt:Je5
:.d8 'fig7 39 J:ted1 g5 40 '1Va8 'fkf7 41 14 i.e2 'i'h4! was better for Black in
1Wb8 :.xd8 42 .Uxd8 �g7 43 'ili'c8 :.e7 Yusupov-Timman, Belgrade 1 989.
44 .Ud6 .Ud7 45 .Uxb6 .;.d1 + 46 �g2 a2) 10 lLlf3 lLlf6 1 1 i.d3 lt:Jg4 (if
1Wh5 0-1 White loses this dark-squared bishop
his centre will always be very unsta­
Game 6 ble) 1 2 ..i.g5 ! ? is untried.
Banikas - Rowson a3) 10 d5 lt:Jf6 1 1 f3 (to stop ... lt:Jg4
Tallinnjr Ech 1997 and defend e4) l l . . .e6 ! (we have al­
ready seen this idea in the game
1 d4 lt:Jf6 2 c4 g6 3 lt:Jc3 d5 4 cxd5 Akesson-Rowson; White is too un­
lt:JxdS S e4 lt:Jxc3 6 bxc3 ..tg7 7 i.e3 der-developed to get away with taking
cS 8 'ii'd2 0-0!? (D) on c5) 12 c4 .Ue8 ! (White wanted to
Please note that my principal rec­ play ..i.d3 and then lt:Je2, but this move
ommendation is 8 . . .'ti'a5 here; see messes up his plans due to the pin on
Chapter 7. the e-file) 1 3 lt:Je2 b6 14 lt:Jc3 i.a6 1 5
..te2 lt:Jd7 ! 1 6 0-0 lt:Je5 gives Black
good counterplay - B .Lalic.
a4) 10 i.c4 ! ? e5 1 1 dxc5 'i'a5 and
w Black is better. It's not very important
theoretically, but I want to draw your
attention to Speelman-Zoler, London
Lloyds Bank 1 99 1 , which featured a
good example of what not to do as
Black and why. After 1 0 ..i.c4 Black
played 10 . . . .Ub8 1 1 lLlf3 b5 ! ? (this
plan is not at all bad in itself but Black
should have no illusions about queen­
side pressure; for the moment atten­
tion should be directed exclusively
9 lLlr3 towards the centre) 1 2 ..td3 c4?. I've
White could also try 9 .Uc 1 : seen quite a Jot of club players make
34 UNDERSTANDING THE GRONFELD

this push when playing the Griinfeld 9 'i'a5 (D)


...

and it' s important for the reader to


know that this is almost always a bad
idea. On the one hand it looks attrac­
tive to gain space with tempo but a w
much more important consideration is
that it will now be extremely difficult
to apply any serious pressure against
White's centre. The rest of the game is
a good demonstration of my comment
in Chapter 1 about using the centre as
a shield to allow you to attack else­
where; there is no way White could
get away with such aggression on the
kingside if Black had the option of
opening the centre at any stage : 1 3 10 .l:cl
.i.b1 Wc7 1 4 .i.h6 ! ? eS 1 S h4 ! ? .i.xh6 10 l:b1 is Jess accurate when Black
16 Wxh6 f6 17 We3 :n 18 hS .i.b7 ! ? has castled due to Adorjan's excellent
1 9 hxg6 hxg6 20 ii'h6 .l:g7 2 1 dxeS ! ? idea of 10 ... lLlc6! 1 1 .l:bS cxd4 12 .l:xa5
tt:lxeS 22 lLlxeS 'fixeS 2 3 f4 ! We8 24 dxe3 1 3 Wxe3 tt:lxa5 (D), when Black
eS ! fxeS 2S f5 e4 26 .l:d 1 ! gxfS 27 .l:d6 ! has full compensation for his slight
WeS 28 Wh8+ �f7 29 Wxb8 Wg3+ 30 material deficit in the form of piece­
�d 1 Wg4+ 3 1 �c 1 'figS+ 32 �b2 play, having no real weaknesses and
Wxg2+ 33 .i.c2 Wh1 34 Wxb7+ �g8 the clear plan of attacking c3 .
35 Wc8+ 1 -0.
b) 9 . . .Wa5 ! ? could now be met by
10 d5 but White's play looks very arti­
ficial to me somehow and I suspect
1 O .. e6 leaves Black with his full share
.

of the chances, e.g. 1 1 tt:lf3 ( 1 1 c4


Wxd2+ 1 2 �xd2 leaves White some­
what over-extended; Black can set up
with . . . tt:ld7, . . . .i.b7, . . . .l:ae8 and . . . fS ­
but note that if Black's pawn were on
a6 this ending would probably be
better for White since the black queen­
side is much more fragile) 1 1 . . .exd5
12 exd5 .l:e8 13 .i.e2 .i.fS 14 0-0 tt:ld7
1S h3 tt:lb6 1 6 g4 .i.d7 and Black is After 14 tt:ld4 .i.d7 1S .i.e2 .l:fc8 1 6
fully equal, Karpov-Kasparov, New 0-0 tt:lc4 17 .i.xc4 l:xc4 I think Black
York/Lyons Wch ( 1 3 ) 1 990. is slightly better.
DEALING WITH DELROY 35

lO .lDd7! ?
..

I used to feel uncomfortable with


the endings arising from the exchange
on d4 but now I think they are fully
OK for Black. This dinky little knight
move is designed to keep the tension.
ll .i.d3
This is not a mistake, but 1997 World
Junior Champion GM Tal Shaked later
showed me that Black's opening strat­
egy is not fully adequate after 1 1 d5!
lbf6 12 c4 ! 'ii'xd2+ 1 3 lbxd2 when
White's central control gives him the
slightly better ending (this was origi­ A crucial defensive move to recap­
nally Yermolinsky 's idea). ture some dark squares. The main point,
I tried to improve with 1 1 ...lbb6 but however, is that 15 h4 can now be met
after 12 c4 'ii'xd2+ 13 �xd2! (covering fairly securely with 1 5 ....i.g4 !.
c3) 1 3 .. .f5 14 exf5 (Black was threat­ 15 c4!?
ening . . .f4) 14 . . ..i.xf5 15 .i.d3 lba4 16 This may have been best now, be­
.i.xf5 l:xf5 17 lbg5 ! White had a big cause I think I was threatening . . .c4
endgame advantage and went on to and . . . e6.
win in Shaked-Rowson, London 1 997. 1S...'ibd2+ 16 lbxd2 .i.d7!
u...lbb6 12 .i.h6!? Not 16 ... e5 immediately because of
This makes good sense considering 17 lbb3 !, when I have to play 17 ... lbd7,
that Black's queen and knight are a losing some coordination. The bishop
long way from the kingside and it also belongs on d7, and the knight on d6.
prepares for Black's main idea of Only by these means will Black be
1 2. . . .i.g4, which would now be met by able to contain Delroy while remain­
1 3 .i.xg7 �xg7 14 lbe5. ing active.
12...l:d8! 17 f4 eS!
Pressurizing the centre and effec­ Voluntarily giving White a protected
tively obliging White to take on g7. passed d-pawn in the secure knowl­
13 .i.xg7 �xg7 14 dS! ? edge that it will be safely blockaded.
I guess Banikas wanted to sever the 18 g3
links between the queenside pieces This is very cautious. White might
and the solitary black king. He may have considered lbb3 at some point to
also have thought his potential attack force me to put a rook on c8, but I think
· on the kingside with h4-h5 was suffi­ I will always manage to play . . .l:c7
ciently dangerous that he now wanted and ... lbc8-d6 anyhow - so perhaps
to avoid an exchange of queens. Banikas was correct to keep the posi­
14...f6! (D) tion more stable.
36 UNDERSTANDING THE GRONFEW

18...lt:Jc8 19 0-0 Ha, ha; a slight twist.


White could also consider forcing 25 a3 bxa3!
. . . b6 with 19 lt:Jb3 so as to attack the Now there is no unpleasantness
queenside later with a4-a5 . with .:tb6.
19 ... lZJd6 20 .:tc2 .:te8 21 'it>g2 .:tac8 26 .:tc3 a5! 27 lba3 a4 28 i.c2
22 .:tb2 (D) .:tb8!
I have managed to activate my
forces without giving White any real
counterplay, but it is still difficult to
make serious headway.
29 .l:lca1 l:r.b2!
This actually had to be seen when
playing 24 . . . b4 because otherwise my
pawns are just dropping.
30 .l:l1a2 l:teb8 31 �f3 l:txa2 32
l:txa2 .:tb4
If I could activate my king some­
how I might create serious winning
chances but White always seems to
have sufficient counterplay against c5
With this move my opponent of­ or e5, which prevents me from doing
fered a draw. There's no doubt that anything elaborate.
Black has a slightly more pleasant po­ 33 i.d3 g5?!
sition but had he accompanied his of­ I wanted to cut out the impending
fer with another move I would have threat of �e3 followed by fxe5 and lt:Jf3
been hard-pressed to find any concrete but as my opponent rightly pointed
way to increase the pressure. out, I have no real hope to win the
22...b5! ? game once the kingside is closed.
I suspected he had missed this move, 34 f5! 'iti>f8 35 'iti>e3 'it>e7 36 i.e2
though he later claimed to have been 'it>d8 lfz_l!z
provoking it. It is slightly risky since Once White brings his king to c3
now c5 can become weak in some lines there is no entry for my king and so
but it's definitely the best winning there is nothing to be done.
chance I'm going to have in such a po­
sition. Game 7
23 l:tc1 a6! Wells - Rowson
Not the positionally desirable 23 ...b4 London 1997
because after 24 a3 ! a5 25 .:ta 1 I am
beginning to have serious problems 1 d4 lt:Jf6 2 c4 g6 3 lt:Jc3 d5 4 cxdS
defending my queenside pawns. lt:Jxd5 5 e4 lt:Jxc3 6 bxc3 i.g7 7 lt:Jf3
24 .:tbc2 b4! c5 8 .:tb1! ?
DEALING WITH DELROY 37

See Chapter 9. lost game) 13 h4 ! .i.g4 14 h5 .i.xf3 1 5


8 0-0 9 ..te2 lLlc6 (D)
••• gxf3 e 5 1 6 hxg6 fxg6 1 7 d 6 ! i t feels to
me that there is a serious harmony def-.
icit in the black position.
ll lLlxeS .i.xe5 12 'ii'd2
1 2 'ii'c2 'ii'd 6! presents fewer prob­
lems. White's set-up with 1 2 'ii'd2 may
look awkward, but in many cases he
will play c4 and ..tb2 when he will co­
ordinate very effectively.
12 .i.g7!?
...

Although I am generally dissatis­


fied with this line for Black, I was at­
tracted to this clever idea of Ftacnik's.
To understand its significance fully,
one must be closely acquainted with
I used to think that this was the best the various move-orders in the main
way to play against this line but now lines, but its principal idea can be seen
my general feeling is that it causes in the game.
White far fewer problems than my rec­ I have also tried 12 . . . e6 1 3 f4 .i.c7 ! ?
ommendation given in Chapter 9. Ba­ with the aim o f preventing c 4 and
sically I feel that it loses too much therefore messing up the white struc­
time and cedes too much space with­ ture. There seem to be many promis­
out achieving sufficient counterplay ing ways that White can try to take
against the centre. Griinfeld experts advantage of the absence of the bishop
such as Grandmasters Ftacnik, Stohl from the black kingside but the line
and Krasenkow still seem to advocate that seems particularly problematic to
this approach for Black but it seems to my mind is 14 0-0 exd5 15 exd5 .i.a5
me that the main lines of this system, 16 .i.a3 b6 17 l:.b5 ! ? to be followed by
whether Black later retreats his bishop l:.xa5 and c4, when Black is likely to
to g7, h8 or c7, are hanging by a knife be left with weak pawns and a weak
edge theoretically, and Black has to king. This seems to provide excellent
know copious amounts of theory just compensation for the exchange. My
to survive. thanks to GM Bogdan Lalic who re­
10 d5 lLle5 cently told me of this idea.
If Black could safely take on c3 here 13 f4 (D)
it would be a different story. However, 1 3 0-0 e6; 1 3 c4 ! ? .
after 10 . . ...txc3+ 1 1 i.d2 .i.xd2+ 1 2 13 e5!?
...

'ii'xd2 lba5 (12...lLld4 13 lLlxd4 cxd4 1 4 Targeting a different part of the


'ii'xd4 leaves Black without any con­ pawn-chain allows Black more breath­
trol of the'centre, and a positionally ing space than the normal . . . e6 idea
38 UNDERSTANDING THE GRONFELD

line generally is that it doesn't ques­


tion the placement of the rook on b 1
and often forces Black to play . . . b6
and then develop the queen's bishop
rather passively.
16...i.e5
I have to try to blockade on the dark
squares and hope that I can mobilize
before being blown apart.
17 ..g5!
Trying to remove Black's best de­
fender and taking advantage of the
trick set up by the last move.
but I don't see an obvious improve­ 17...'fld6
ment on my play from this game and 17 .. .f6? 1 8 d6+.
so I am not recommending this line, 18 i.f4!
but rather showing the game for its in­ If Black were better developed such
structional value. an exchange would tend to be favour­
14 0-0! able for him because the central pawns
This good move cost my opponent are fixed on light squares, but here I
dearly on the clock, but he was right to have great difficulty holding off an im­
avoid 14 dxe6 i.xe6 15 l:Z.xb7 1fxd2+ mediate central onslaught.
1 6 i.xd2 l:Z.fb8 ! , when Black has good 18...f6
chances in the endgame. Anything else would lead to the
14 ...exf4 opening of the sluice gates, but it
Otherwise White may well play f5. seems that my position is lost in any
15 'Wxf4 'fle7 case.
I played this solid move very quickly 19 i.xe5 fxe5 20 h4! (D)
but perhaps I should have taken my
chance to grab some material since I
soon run into serious trouble. However,
after 15 ...i.xc3 !? 16 i.b2!?, 16...i.d4+ B
1 7 i.xd4 cxd4 1 8 1fe5 seems to leave
Black unable to gain any control of the
centre, while 16 ... i.xb2 17 l:Z.xb2 also
looks very promising for White, so
maybe the whole thing is bad after all !
16 i.c4!
Targeting f7. Black's problem is
what to do with the bishop on c8; one
of the reasons I don't like the ...�6
DEALING WITH DELROY 39

Compare each piece in turn, and Trapping his own queen and leav­
then try to find something positive to ing the bishop en prise, but the threat
say about the black position. The best of l:fl -f6 is ample justification.
I could do at the time was consider 24 i..h3
...

whether I had any winning chances in It must be stopped, but now infiltra­
a bishop ending, but even that dido 't tion is imminent...
seem likely. Black is losing not be­ 25 :Xb5 l:d8 26 l:tb7 i.d7
cause of the structure in itself, but be­ My opponent has played perfectly
cause of the relative mobilization of up to now, but was desperately short of
the forces. If I had two moves, . . . b6 time. More clinical would now have
and . . . i.d7, I would not be worse, but been 27 l:xa7, which is a beautiful
White is playing too powerfully to al­ zugzwang; d6+ or l:txd7 and d6+ can­
low any such respite. not be averted and I would have had to
20...h5 resign.
20... b6 2 1 l:xf8+ 'iPxf8 22 h5 i.d7 27 i..bS c4
23 :n + �g7 24 h6+ �h8 25 l:f6 'ile7 A glimmer of hope; Her Majesty
26 d6 'i'e8 27 l:f7 'ii'd 8 28 'i'xeS+ is can breathe for the first time.
an example of Delroy's latent influ­ 28 :Xd7??
ence. Lack of time causes a major blun­
21 l:xf8+ ..ttxf8 22 'i'h6+ �g8 23 der, after any king move White wins
g4! (D) easily.
28... 'i'b6+ 29 'it>g2 l:txd7 30 i.xd7
'i'b2+ 31 � 'i'cl+ lfz.lfl
A perpetual out of nowhere. Notice
how ineffective the queen was as a
blockader, and yet how completely ef­
fective she was when she became ac­
tive.

Game S
Shirov - Leko
London Lloyds Bank 1991

I d4 t2Jf6 2 c4 g6 3 tt:Jc3 d5 4 i..gS


Indirectly attacking dS is a very
A deadly move, carving up my king­ forthright way to fight for the centre
side. (see Chapters 10 and 1 1), but the draw­
23 b5
... back is that Black can immediately
The only try, but my opponent again fight back.
found the best move. 4.. .lbe4! (D)
24 g5! 5 i.f4
40 UNDERSTANDING THE GRONFEW

ltlf3 �g7 generally leads to a complex


middlegame where Black will lose c4
w but coordinate in time to apply pres­
sure with ... cS. One example: lO liJd2
0-0 1 1 1i'f3 �dS 1 2 e4 �b7 1 3 1i'e3
cS, with approximate equality in a typ­
ical Griinfeld position, Zaiats-Krup­
kova, Frydek Mistek 1 996.
5...lt:lxc3 6 bxc3 dxc4
I think Leko had just turned twelve
when this game was played, so we'll
forgive him this slight inaccuracy. I
think it's better to play 6 . . . �g7 here,
a) 5 lLlxe4? ! dxe4 leaves White as explained in Chapter 10.
with trouble developing and a funny­ 7 e4!
looking bishop stuck on g5 . IM Colin It seems that this move allows White
Crouch tried 6 'i'a4+ against me at the to reach a position similar to the main­
1 997 British Championship, but after line Exchange Variation but with an
6...'i'd7 !? 7 ii'xd7+ liJxd7 8 0-0-0 �g7 extra move.
9 f3 h6 ! 10 �e3 e5 ! 1 1 dS f5 ! I had a 7 ... c5 8 .txc4 �g7 9 lLle2 lLlc6 10
good position and went on to win. dS
b) 5 cxdS is too clever for its own Normally in this position the bishop
good. S . . . lLlxgS 6 h4 lLle4 7 lLlxe4 would still be on c1 and Black would
'i'i'xdS 8 lt:lc3 'i'a5 is at least equal for play . . .lLleS, but here this would give
Black, who has the two bishops and White total control: after 10 . . .liJeS 1 1
little to fear from White's h-pawn. �xeS �xeS 1 2 f4 .ig7 1 3 eS it seems
c) S �h4 is a serious alternative, unlikely that Black will find sufficient
but then S ... liJxc3 6 bxc3 dxc4 ! offers counterplay.
Black good prospects as White cannot 10...lLlas l l .id3 0-0 12 � gS! (D)
win the pawn back conveniently and Quite an instructive move, not un­
the bishop on h4 looks a bit vague. 7 common in the Griinfeld. Shirov ap­
e3 (7 e4 cS 8 �xc4 �g7 is a bizarre preciates that Black wants to move his
exchange variation where the c 1-bishop e-pawn, and also knows that he would
ventured not only to g5, but h4, from like his f-pawn to be free to move to f4
where it cannot return to e3 to support if the position required. Moreover, as
the centre; 7 1Wa4+ 1i'd7 ! will proba­ we will see, the bishop wants to go to
bly transpose to Lautier-Ivanchuk in d2 but first he makes the black queen
Chapter 1 1 ) 7 . . . �e6 8 l:tb 1 (8 ifb 1 ! ? go to c7, which may not look like a di­
was tried by Topalov in 1 994, but it sastrous square but is actually sub­
looks fairly experimental and he optimal for the structure that soon
hasn't played this line since) 8 ... b6 9 arises.
DEALING WITH DELROY 41

that Black may even claim to be better


once he gets his play going with .. .f5-
B f4, etc. I also remember Leko quizzi­
cally suggesting that the knight should
have stayed on a5 and though I can't
remember exactly why, Shirov did not
look impressed. I guess he felt that this
knight belongs on d6 and that White
can always arrange to bring a knight to
b3 to shift the knight from a5 if need
be. Taking on aS with the bishop is
also possible but then White has to be
sure that Black won 't land a rook on
12...li'c7 13 0-0 e5 b4.
1 3 ...e6 ! ? 14 l:r.bl also looks better At any rate, I wish I had mustered
for White, but this would probably be the courage to ask them what was go­
more unsettling for Shirov, for as we ing on at the time because even now,
will see the game continuation is much having seen the course of the game, I
easier for White to play. think 16 . a5 should definitely have
. .

14 c4 b6 15 .td2 lDb7 16 a4! (D) been considered. One thing that is clear
to me now, however, is that after 16 .. a5
.

White should not let Black play . . . f5-


f4, for then White would be left with­
B out a convincing plan (if White tries to
play lDb5 Black takes it with his bishop
from d7). Instead, White should pre­
pare to meet . . . f5 with exf5 and then
somehow pressurize Black's centre,
while if Black doesn't play ... fS, White
should slowly prepare to play f4. I
think I shared the illusion that Leko
had at the time, namely that Black was
only a couple of moves from having a
dangerous kingside attack. Still, let's
Although I was also young when I consider 16 . . . a5 more closely; it will
watched the post-mortem of this game, help us understand these structures.
I remember- being surprised that Leko Most of the time, the pawn-structure
didn't just stop all White's queenside should be thought of in terms of the
play with 16 ... a5, when it seemed clear scope it provides for the pieces, but
to me that White could never seriously there are also moments when you
hope to cause grief to the b6-pawn and should just imagine how things would
42 UNDERSTANDING THE GRONFELD

look without the pieces and in this


case you would have to ask: "What
have I done to my pawns?" Without B
Delroy and the black b-pawn, let' s call
him Billy for now, the structure would
be symmetrical. And yet if we then
compare Delroy to Billy we can see
that one is a central protected passed
pawn and the other is a backward b­
pawn. If this thought alone weren't
enough to dissuade you from the move
1 6 . . . a5, consider that you have given
away one of only two pawn-breaks.
Moreover, you should know that al­ 34 'iii>n J:.d4 35 d8ii' J:.xd8 36 ..ixd8
though b6 is not immediately vulnera­ ltld4 37 f3 1-0
ble, as long as there are major pieces I think this game shows that Black
on the board it will always be more should be very careful about entering
than a minor target. into this fixed structure, because un­
16 ... -td7 17 aS ltld6 18 ltlc3 f5 19 less serious counterplay is readily
l:.el! available with . . .fS or ... bS, he can eas­
A good solid move, over-protecting ily be squashed.
e4 and providing a defensive haven for
the bishop on fl . Game 9
19...f4 Nenashev - Alapbergenov
Note that in such positions Black Bishkek Z 1993
would generally prefer to have his
queen actively placed on the kingside. 1 d4 ltlf6 2 c4 g6 3 ltlc3 d5 4 cxd5
As it is, there are no real threats there liJxdS 5 e4 ltlxc3 6 bxc3 ..ig7 7 -tc4
and nothing to stop Shirov breaking 0-0 8 ltle2 ltlc6 (D)
through on the queenside. This is a very reasonable alternative
20 'iWb3 h5 21 J:.eb1 J:.ab8 22 axb6 to the main lines. In general Black
axb6 23 :S6 (D) wants to complete development before
The logical culmination of White's attacking the centre, normally with
play; Black was simply too slow on the ... b6, ... -tb7, ... ii'd7, ... ltla5 , . . . eS, ... cS
kingside. The time spent on ... lLlc6-a5- in various different sequences. If my
b7-d6 turned out to be too costly on recommendations in Chapter 6 run into
this occasion. theoretical difficulties at some stage I
23 ...b5 24 ltlxb5 -txb5 25 cxb5 c4 suggest taking another look at this ap­
26 'iWb4! ltlxb5 27 'iWxc4 ii'xc4 28 proach, for which White tends to be
-txc4 ltld4 29 J:.xb8 lbb8 30 h4 �h7 less prepared. That said, there are many
31 -taS J:.c8 32 d6! lbc4 33 d7 ltle2+ reasons, which will become clear in
DEAUNG WITH DELROY 43

the course of this game, why I do not the structure Black desires after White
think these lines are wholly adequate pushes with d5. Black wants this struc­
as your main-stay defence to the ..i.c4 ture because it allows him to break in
lines. The first noteworthy reason is the centre with ...c6 or ...f5 in relative
that White can play 8 ..i.e3, instead of peace. Otherwise:
8 lt:le2, which Korchnoi and Shirov a) 10 d5 lt:la5 is also possible:
have been known to use. This allows al) After 1 1 ..i.d3 Black seems to
White to meet an early ... b6 with some have two reasonable approaches:
sharper ideas often including the move al l ) l l . .. b6 !? 1 2 c4 lt:lb7 1 3 lt:lc3
1Wf3 and after 8 ... lt:lc6, 9 lt:lf3 ! makes ..i.d7 14 ..i.c2 f5 15 ..i.a4 l:.f7 16 ..i.a3
... e5 ideas less appealing for Black, lt:ld6 17 ..i.xd7 1Wxd7 18 c5 lt:lxe4 1 9
e.g. 8 ..i.e3 ! ? ltJc6 9 lt:lf3 e5 1 0 d5 lt:la5 lt:lxe4 fxe4 1h-1h Razuvaev-Stohl, Bur­
1 1 ..i.e2 ..i.g4 1 2 lt:ld2 ! . gas 1 992.
9 0·0 eS (D) a12) 1 l ...c6 12 c4 b5 ! ? - immedi­
The reason this approach is plausi­ ate detonation ! There are many varia- .
ble in the ..i.c4 lines is that White ex­ tions on the following sharp line, but I
erts little control over e5, and d5 is a have reasonable faith in Black's pros­
move White doesn't really want to pects, though he must improve over 13
play because it blocks the c4-bishop cxb5 cxd5 14 ..i.a3 l:.e8 15 lt:lc3 ..i.b7
and White will lose a tempo after 1 6 ..i.b4 lt:lc4 17 1We2 lt:lb6 1 8 a4 f5 1 9
...lt:la5. l:.ad1 1Wh4 2 0 g 3 1Wh3 2 1 a5 d4 22
9 ... b6 ! ? is also theoretically re­ axb6 dxc3 23 ..i.c4+ �h8 24 l:.d7 with
spectable. an advantage for White, Rashkovsky­
10 ..i.e3 Ermolinsky, Aktiubinsk 1 985.
I think this is one of many promis­ a2) However, when I was prepar­
ing approaches for White since Black ing this line it seemed that 1 1 ..i.b3 ! ?
can be forced to play a couple of only was a surprisingly annoying and rather
semi-useful moves in order to force clever move. The bishop looks passive
44 UNDERSTANDING THE GR ONFELD

here but White switches on to the fact


that Black will have to play . . . b6 or
. . . c6 at some stage and then the bishop B
will be brought to life. It also encour­
ages Black to gain the two bishops,
which are not much use in such a
closed position; the knight's role as a
blockader is more important. 1 1 . . .b6
12 c4 "ike? 13 .ie3 tiJb7 14 .ia4 ! tiJc5
15 .ic6 l:.b8 1 6 tiJc3 f5 17 f3 fxe4 1 8
tlJxe4 tiJxe4 1 9 fxe4 l:.xfl + 20 'W'xfl
.ia6 21 .ib5 l:.f8 22 'ii'd3 .ixb5 23
cxb5 l:.f7 24 a4 was slightly better for
White in Arakhamia-Akopian, Mos­ play 1 1 . . .l1d8 and after 12 d5 tiJa5 1 3
cow GMA 1 989. .id3 b6 14 c4 we can see that the rook
b) My main reason for warning would rather be on f8, supporting the
you off this system, however, is 10 . . .f5 push.
.ia3 ! , which seems to place great de­ l l tiJaS 12 .id3 c5
...

mands on Black after 1 0. . . l:.e8 1 1 So here we are again, but this time
.ixf7+! �xf7 1 2 'ii'b 3+: Delroy will not be on the winning
b l ) 12 . . . �f6 ! ? turned out well for team.
Black in one game, but I never fully 12 ... b6! ? also looks playable. Indeed
believed in Black's position and White it's well worth paying close attention
has numerous possible improvements. to anything that Fta�nik and Stohl do
1 3 f4 .ih6 14 fxe5+ (14 d5 !?) 14 . . .�g7 in the Griinfeld since both GMs have
1 5 l:.f6 ( 1 5 h3 ! ? ; 15 e6 ! ?) 15 . . . .ig4 ! been life-long devotees: 1 3 1Wd2 .id7
1 6 l:.f7+ �h8 1 7 'ii'xb7 tiJxe5 ! 1 8 14 l:.ac l tiJb7 15 f4 J.. h6 1 6 l:.ce 1 tiJc5
l:.xc7! lbd7 1 9 .id6 l:.c8 20 tiJg3 l:.xc7 17 fxe5 .ixe3+ 1 8 "ikxe3 'ii'xe5 1 9
2 1 .ixc7 "ikg5 22 h3 'ii'e3+ 23 �h2 tiJd4 l:.ae8 2 0 1Wd2 f6 2 1 .ic2 1Wd6 22
"ikxc3 24 l:.fl and Black is over the tiJf3 J.. g4 23 tiJd4 .id7 24 tiJf3 was
worst, Topalov-Tukmakov, Palma de equal in Tisdall-Stohl, Gausdal Ar­
Mallorca 1 992. nold Cup 1 99 1 .
b2) 12 ... .ie6 1 3 d5 tiJa5 14 dxe6+ 1 3 f4
.l:txe6 1 5 "ika4 c6 16 l:.ad 1 'ii'c7 17 c4 ! 1 3 c4 ! ? b6 (.id2 was a positional
with the idea of tiJc 1, as suggested by threat; the knight needs an escape
Tukmakov; Black's position is by no square) 14 .id2 tiJb7 1 5 a4 tiJd6 16 a5
means full of song. b5 ! ? 1 7 cxb5 c4 (note that this idea
We return to 10 .ie3 (D): would not be possible if the queen
IO. .'ii'e7 11 d5
. were on c7 due to l:.c 1 ) 18 .ic2 tiJxb5
1 1 f3 ! seems slightly more chal­ gives Black active play.
lenging, since Black probably has to 13 ... exf4 14 .ixf4 .id7 15 'l'l'd2
DEALING WITH DELROY 45

White can try to prevent . . . b5 but Note that Black fully mobilized his
then Black can hit back in the centre: forces in the centre before this break,
15 .:tb1 l:.ae8 ( 1 5 . . . f5 ?! 16 d6 li'e8 17 which now has considerable force.
exf5 i.. xf5 1 8 i.. xf5 lhf5 1 9 d7 lie? 21 axb5 axb5 22 .:t.fel fxe4
20 i.e?, winning, shows Delroy at his White has been outplayed, and has
best) 1 6 'ii'd2 f5 ! . lost the battle for the centre. Where
15 ...b5 exactly did he go wrong?
1 5 .. .f5 would again be an error After f4 he didn't have a useful
since White is fully prepared: 16 l:.ae1 pawn-break and therefore didn't have
fxe4 17 ltJg3 with a clear advantage. a plan; although he prevented ... f5 for
Notice that challenging in the centre a while, he should have persisted. I
tends to be a bad idea when Black's think he may have been relying on the
forces are so scattered. following idea but such decentraliza­
16 .:t.ab1 tion is always suspicious, and White is
1 6 .:t.ael looks more threatening but duly punished.
then Black would just try to hold the 23 i..a4 (D)
centre with 16 ....:t.fe8!?. Since Black If 23 .:t.bd 1 , 23 . . .'ir'f7 keeps control.
has no intention of playing .. .f5 here, it
is better to leave the queen 's rook to
support the queenside pawns.
16 ... a6 17 'ir'e3 liJb7!
Improving the worst-placed piece.
18 'ir'g3
1 8 e5 .:t.ae8 19 a4 i.. xe5 20 axb5
axb5 is equal; 18 a4 c4 1 9 i..c2 .:t.ae8 is
similar to the game.
18....:.Se8 19 a4 c4 20 i..c2 f5! (D)

w
The following sacrifice is a vivid
example of the importance and power
of a fully coordinated army:
23....:.XC4!
23 ...'ii'c5+ is much less spirited.
After 24 i..e3 'ii'xd5 25 .:t.ed 1 'ii'f5 26
'ii'c7 White is still in the game.
24 li'xf4
24 ltJxf4 doesn' t change much :
24 . . . 'ii'c5+ 25 �h1 liJd6 26 i.. c2 liJf5
46 UNDERSTANDING THE GRONFELD

27 ._gS .i.h6 28 ._g4 'iff2 and again the white pieces to do something.
B lack's coordination is awesome. B lack is looking for dark-square infil­
24 .'iVc5+ 25 'ifi>h1
.. tration and ... lt:Jf5-e3 is a major idea.
25 'iff2 e3 26 'ifg3 .!i:ld6 offers no 27 ....!Llf5 28 'li'g4 l:.f7 29 .i.xe4
respite. 29 'ifxe4 loses to 29 . . . .!Lle3 30 l:lal
25 ... lt:Jd6 26 .i.c2 :rs (D) .i.fS 31 l:la8+ .i.f8.
29....!Lld6!
A swanky switch-back which effec­
tively ends the game. I suppose we
could say that White's queen was out
doing the shopping when the rest were
watching TV and this move tickles her
ribs as she comes in with the shopping
bags.
30 'ii'h4 .i.f6 31 'i1Vf4 .i.xc3 32 'iih4
.i.f6 33 'i1Vf4 g5 34 'iif3 .i.e5 35
.i.xh7+
Acknowledging that the queen was
over-loaded, but it's too late.
35...%Xxh7 36 g3 .i.f5 0-1
Personally, I find the harmony in
Black's position absolutely delicious. Conclusion
Every black piece is operating at al­ The white d-pawn is an important
most maximum capacity and performs strategic feature of most Grtinfeld po­
an important role, whereas White's sitions. This pawn can be passed, dan­
pieces resemble indifferent couch po­ gerous and cramping or weak, isolated
tatoes. and vulnerable. In general, the knight
27 'iVh4 is the best blockader of such a pawn,
27 'i\VgS .i.f6 keeps the momentum. but Black must be careful not to be too
But notice that Black has no interest in satisfied with such a blockade because
taking the d-pawn, which would effec­ Delroy can offer structural and spatial
tively turn the TV off and encourage advantages as well.
4 Side-Steps

"Discovery consists in seeing what everyone has seen and thinking what nobody
has thought." - Albert Szent

In the following games we examine Game 10


variations where White tries to build a Ward - Liss
pawn-centre while preventing (or dis­ Isle ofMan 1997
couraging) the capture . . .lt:ld5xc 3 . In
most of these cases the knight retreats 1 d4 lill'6 2 c4 g6 3 f3 (D)
to b6 and it is difficult for Black to
play . . . c7-c5 as White would then cap­
ture with a tempo gained on the knight
on b6 and in most cases he will also B
control the c5-square with his bishop
on e3 . The drawback of these lines for
White is that it further delays his lag­
ging development and so Black does
best to attack the centre as quickly as
possible with ... lt:lc6 or ... e5, allowing
White to gain as much central space as
he likes early on provided, of course,
that Black can hit back in due course
with the necessary pawn-breaks.
This is an anti-Griinfeld line with
which White hopes to show that disal­
lowing . . . lt:lxc3 will leave Black with
too many pieces and too little space. If
your opponent plays the Sarniscb vari­
ation against the King's Indian but
seems unsure of what to play against
the Griinfeld then there is a good
chance that he/she will try this line as
the theory is relatively unestablished
and Black has to play very accurately
to achieve counterplay against the cen­
tre.
48 UNDERSTANDING THE GRONFELD

3...d5! solid players looking for a slight edge


Don't be discouraged ! due to the inactivity of the g7-bishop
4 cxd5 lLlxd5 5 e4 lLlb6 6 lLlc3 i..g7 and the possibility of pressure against
7 .ieJ 0-0 8 'Mi'd2 c7. Then:
Or: a1) Black could try the solid con­
a) 8 Uc 1 lLlc6 9 d5 lLle5 10 .id4 c6! tinuation 1 1 .. .lLlxb5 1 2 .ixb5 .id7 1 3
1 1 f4 lLlg4 12 i..xg7 �xg7 13 .ie2 e5 ! i..x d7 lLlc4 ! when the position after
and if 14 .ixg4, then 14 ... 'Mi'h4+. 14 fi'e2 lLlxe3 1 5 'Mt'xe3 1Wxd7 1 6 lLle2
b) 8 f4 is the next game. fS, intending . . . Uf7 and . . . i..f 8-d6, is
8. lLlc6 (D)
.. about equal.
8 . . . e5 was Shirov's choice in his de- a2) 1 l . . .c5 ! ? is a much more posi­
cisive match-game with K.ramnik but tive approach and after 12 dxc6 bxc6
most commentators agree that White's ( 12 . . .fi'e7 ! ? was my interpretation of
position from the opening was at least the position before I knew any of the
quite promising and some recent games theory; Giulian-Rowson, Irvine 1995
have confirmed this. After 9 d5 c6 10 continued 13 .id3 ? ! bxc6 14 lLlxd4
h4 h5 ! ? 1 1 i..e2 cxd5 12 exd5 lt:l8d7 exd4 1 5 i.. g5 f6 1 6 i..f4 cS 17 b3 i..e6
13 d6 lLlf6 14 i..gS Black should play l 8 ll:le2 g5 ! 1 9 .ig3 fS ! 2 0 0-0 f4 2 1
14 ... i..e6 but after 15 lLlh3 Uc8 1 6 lLlf2 i.. f2 lLld7 ! and Black had complete
ll:lc4 1 7 .i.xc4 Uxc4 1 8 tbfe4 tbxe4 1 9 control) 13 lt:\xd4 exd4 14 .ixd4 .ixd4
lLlxe4 f6 20 i..e3 b 6 2 1 0-0 White was 15 �xd4 �xd4 1 6 ltxd4 i..e 6 Black's
somewhat better in Ward-Knott, Brit­ lead in development and possibilities
ish Ch (Torquay) 1998. to attack on the queenside leave him at
least equal, though he must play ener­
getically and not allow White to con­
solidate.
w b) 9 .. .f5 ! ? also looks playable. In­
deed I would even recommend this
move ahead of 9 ... e5 because White's
set-up only seems to make sense as a
prophylactic measure against the . . .e5
and . . .lLld4 plan and after 9 .. .f5 White
may even be struggling to equalize.
Note that once again White's king is a
long way from castling and it is diffi­
cult for White to complete his devel­
opment, e.g. 10 ll:lge2? �c4; 10 l0h3
9 0-0-0 fxe4 1 1 fxe4 .ixh3 1 2 gxh3 e5 . lO h4
9 ltd 1 is a solid alternative: is possible but then White should have
a) 9 . . . e5 is Black's main reply, castled instead of playing Ud 1 . So this
when 1 0 d5 lLld4 1 1 lLlb5 appeals to looks like a promising idea for Black
SIDE-STEPS 49

but I recommend looking at 9 ... e5 too needn't delve too deeply) 15 tiJf3
for it leads to some fairly typical Griin­ lt:Jxf3 16 gxf3 (D).
feld positions.
9 f5!
...

Grandmaster Liss was thoroughly


displeased with this game and appar­ B
ently told Ward in the post-mortem
that he only played 9 ...f5 because he
had tried 9 . . . e5 against Bykhovsky a
few months previously and had con­
cluded that White was simply better
and more generally that 3 f3 was a se­
rious pain for the Griinfeld player. I
hope to demonstrate that Liss's pessi­
mism was ill-conceived but I do agree
that things are not so simple for Black
after the normal recommendation of Now ECO just gives 16 ...'ite7 with
9 . . . e5. Then after 10 d5 liJd4, White a slight advantage to Black but I don't
has a pleasant choice: think that's true, especially if we re­
a) 1 1 h4 ! ? is possible but relatively member our test for the likely success
unexplored. of the Griinfeld depends on central
b) 1 1 tiJb5 ! ? is thought to be harm­ control and here White has greater
less but Hungarian GM Varga always control and occupation. Furthermore,
seems to gain at least a nibble for White, after he plays 17 h4 Black really has to
and Black has few winning chances: reply with 17 . . . h5 to slow down the
1 I . . .li:Jxb5 ( l l . . .c5 1 2 dxc6 bxc6 1 3 kingside attack, after which the . . .f5
ltJxd4 exd4 1 4 ..i.xd4 ..i.xd4 1 5 'ir'xd4 pawn-break becomes too weakening.
�xd4 1 6 .l:f.xd4 ..i.e6 17 a3 ! is inade­ More generally it is difficult to engi­
quate for Black - the king is well neer any sort of queenside attack to
placed on c 1 , protecting the b2-pawn) counter White's plan of a slow central
12 ..i.xb5 ..i.d7 1 3 ..i.e2 c6 14 dxc6 build-up. The only new idea I saw in
..i.xc6 15 �xd8 ltfxd8 16 tiJh3 when I these sort of positions was to play ...a6
suppose he would claim that his followed by ... ..i.b5 at some stage but I
pieces, including his king, are slightly feel this is tinkering around the edges
more actively placed than Black's. and won't provide sufficient counter­
c) 1 1 f4 ! c5 1 2 fxe5 ..i.g4 1 3 .l:f.e1 play.
..i.xe5 14 h3 ..i.d7 ( 14 ... �h4 ! ? is very 16 .. JXe8 was played by in Bykhov­
annoying for White, but very risky for sky-Liss, Tel-Aviv 1996 and this seems
Black; if the line stood or fell by this to be a better move because the queen
move then I 'd say more but the other can also go to f6, but the essential na­
two lines are also problems so we ture of the position doesn't change;
50 UNDERSTANDING THE GR ONFELD

Black still less control of the centre. thought that he has more space and
The game continued 17 h4 'ii'f6 18 ..te2 that his rooks are likely to be more ef­
h5 1 9 -tg5 'fig? 20 ..tf4 -td4 2 1 �b1 fective than their counterparts, which,
:ac8 22 :c 1 a6 23 ..te3 ..tf6 and now by the way, is often the main advan­
24 :hg1 with the idea of 24 ... -txh4 25 tage of having more space.
f4 looks promising for White. b1) 1 0... ..te6 loses to 1 1 d5.
Returning to the position after 9. . . f5 b2) 10 . . . e6 looks much too passive
(D): in view of 1 1 h4 ! .
b3) I actually think Black i s com­
pelled to play 10 . . . ltJb4 ! but it looks
more than adequate:
w b3 1 ) Firstly it seems that the dan­
gerous-looking 1 1 d5 ! ? is OK for Black
after 1 1 . . ...txe5 1 2 a3 ..txc3 1 3 bxc3
ltJ4xd5 14 ..txb6 ( 14 c4 ltJxe3 1 5
'fixd8 :xd8 1 6 :xd8+ �f7 17 c5
..te6) 1 4 . . . axb6 15 'fixd5+ 'ii'xd5 16
:xd5 ..te6 17 :es :xa3 ! so White is
probably advised to play a 'normal '
eleventh move.
b32) 1 1 ..th6. It may seem strange
to exchange off Black's passive bishop
10 h4 but White really has to find a plan and
This seems to be the most danger­ it seems the only idea available is to
ous move. Others: try to attack the black king somehow.
a) 1 0 ..tb5 fxe4 1 1 fxe4 ..tg4 1 2 However, Black seems to have it cov­
ltJge2 e 5 looks thematic and strong for ered: 1 1 . . .-txh6 ! (decentralizing the
Black. 1 0 ..tb5 is a necessarily hesitant white queen) 1 2 'fixh6 e6 1 3 h4 'ii'e7
move because White generally doesn' t and Black will follow up with . . . ..td7-
want to take on c6 due to the weakness c6, and . . . 'ii'g7 if necessary and White
of the c4-square. will have no real activity to show for
b) 1 0 e5 is a deceptively dangerous his structural defects.
move and may prove to be the critical b33) 1 1 h4 ! ? ltJ4d5 12 h5 f4 ! and
test of 9 . . .f5 . It is tempting to write the note that after 13 ..tf2 Black should
move off because White now fixes the play 13 ... lt:lxc3 ! 14 bxc3 ..te6 because
structure and gives Black the glorious after any other thirteenth move White
d5 outpost but White can argue that he may play ltJe4, making the b6-knight
has shut out both black bishops and a superfluous piece (i.e. it also wants
has the clear plan of h4-h5 and a good to be on d5 and is therefore under­
square for his knight on f4. His cheeks performing on b6 because d5 is al­
may also turn slightly rosy at the ready occupied).
SIDE-STEPS 51

10...fxe4 11 hS (D) 12 hxg6 hxg6 13 lDxf3 1i'd6 14


After 1 1 fxe4 e5 ! 12 d5 lDd4 in­ i.h6 ..trs 15 .ixg7 �xg7 16 dS lDeS
tending . . ..ig4 Black has completed 17 'ii'h6+
his development hannoniously. I guess Liss probably thought that
White could not do better than to give
a perpetual, but there was a hole in his
analysis.
17 ...�6 18 'ii'h4+ �g7 19 '6'h7+
�f6 20 'ii'h4+ �g7 21 'i1Vh6+ 'iii>f6 22
'ii'gS+ �g7 23 lDxeS 'i'xe5 24 g4!
Winning a piece - this was a difficult
one to see from afar. I presume that it
was only due to time-trouble that it took
White another twenty moves to win.

Game 1 1
Kacheishvili - Svidler
Szeged U-18 Wch 1 994
ll exf3?
...

This was not a good day out for GM 1 d4 lDf6 2 c4 g6 3 lDc3 dS 4 cxd5
Liss, who normally plays the Griinfeld liJxdS S .id2 (D)
very well. It was difficult to see White's
clever finish but had Black reminded
himself that the lifeblood of the Griin­
feld is to develop quickly and attack
the centre he might have preferred
l l ...e5 !, which I think is an important
improvement for Black. Not only does
this move contribute to the fight for
the centre but it enables Black to come
to the aid of his king. It is also fully in
accordance with the classical chess
principle that an advance on the wing
is best met by a counter in the centre.
Now it seems that White should play
1 2 d5 lbd4 1 3 hxg6 but after 13 ...hxg6 Smyslov was fond of this prosaic
he is at an important crossroads. Per­ system, so it should be treated with re­
haps he should try 14 i.h6 but after spect. White intends to recapture with
14 . . .1i'e7 or 14 . . . e3 !? I strongly be­ the bishop on c3, when his centre will
lieve that Black has his full share of be secure and the ... e5 and ... c5 pawn­
the chances. breaks will be less effective. Therefore
52 UNDERSTANDING THE GRONFELD

Black should generally retreat the i.c4 lDd6 17 i.b3 lDd7 gave Black a
knight to b6. very active position in Gheorghiu­
5 .i.g7
.. Ftacnik, Palma de Mallorca 1 989)
5 ... lDb6 intending a later ... c5 is 1 1 ...lD6d7 1 2 lDf3 'ii'e7 ! ( 1 2 ... l:te8 is
also possible but I prefer to continue also possible but I prefer to keep f7
developing until I'm forced to stop. over-protected in the event of the f-file
6 e4 lDb6! opening). Black now intends . . . exf4
Not 6 . . . lDxc3 7 i.xc3 0-0 8 'ii'd2 and occupation of e5, e.g. 1 3 i.d3
lDd7 9 lDf3, when clearly there is not exf4 14 i.xf4 lDe5 15 lDxe5 i.xe5 16
enough pressure on the centre. i.xe5 'ii'xe5 17 0-0 lDd7 1 8 l:tc l
7 i.e3 'iid4+ 1 9 �h 1 lDe5 leaves Black in
After 7 lDf3 the d-pawn is 'hot' so I control, Pilnick-Reshevsky, New York
advise the 'cool' 7 . . . 0-0 with a likely 1942. Considering that White plays a4
transposition, which would no doubt to prevent . . . c6, it makes good sense to
please GM Paul Motwani ! switch to the . . . e5 break because all
7 0-0 8 i.e2
... that White's a-pawn can then do is push
This is one of many approaches but the black knight towards e5 via d7,
is made to look somewhat dubious af­ which is exactly where it wants to go !
ter Svidler's energetic appraisal of the 8 ... lDc6 (D)
black position. Others:
a) 8 h3?! f5 ! 9 exf5 i.xf5 10 lDf3
lDc6 intending ... e5 looks fully ade­
quate. w
b) 8 a4? ! aS ! again with ideas of
. . .lDc6 and ...f5 and the b4 outpost as a
bonus.
c) 8 lDf3 i.g4 9 i.e2 lDc6 is a
transposition.
d) 8 f4 is more critical and now af­
ter 8 ...lDc6! 9 d5 I recommend 9 ...lDb8
(this gives White fewer chances to
seize the initiative than 9 . . . lDa5). 10 a4
is the main move here and this is di­
rected against the threat of 10 . . c6, . 9 d5
which Black would play against the After 9 lDf3 i. g4 10 d5 .txf3 1 1
natural 10 lDf3 but would now leave gxf3 (it is also worth noting that White
Black rather passively placed ( 1 0... c6 can play 1 1 i.xf3, though this is not
1 1 a5 lD6d7 12 e5 !). Therefore Black nearly as problematic if Black is care­
should hit the centre with 1 0 . . .e5 ! 1 1 ful; indeed, 1 1 .. .lDe5 1 2 -'.e2 lDec4 !
a5 (I I fxe5 .txe5 1 2 lDf3 .tg4 1 3 already looks comfortable for Black,
'ii'd 2 i.xf3 14 gxf3 c 6 1 5 a5 lDc8 1 6 though as a warning I should mention
SIDE-STEPS 53

that 12 . . .c6? ! 1 3 'iib3 ! cxd5 14 l:.d1 ! is


better for White) 1 1 . . .ltJe5 Svidler's
game notes stop here, but it is impor­ B
tant to know how to handle such posi­
tions for Black since White still has an
imposing centre and the situation is
not at all clear:
a) 12 �d4 e6! 13 f4 liJed7 14 �xg7
�xg7 1 5 ii'd4+ ii'f6 leaves Black al­
ready better because after 16 e5 ii'h4
White's pawns are fixed and weak,
while an exchange of queens gives
Black the better ending, e.g. 1 6 0-0-0
exd5 17 ltJxd5 ltJxd5 18 exd5 l:tad8 1 9 b2 1 ) The ex-Soviet IM A.Lagu­
�f3 liJb6 ! intending .. J:td6, . . . l:.fd8 now now played 15 .. ."ii'c7 ? ! and gave
and eventually . ..'it'xd4. no comment to this move in his de­
b) With 12 'ii'b 3 ! White intends to tailed annotations for New in Chess. I
castle queenside and combine pressure know if I were White the piece I would
on all parts of the board. 12 ...c6! (noth­ be least happy with would be my king,
ing else merits attention; Black must which has only two pawns to shield it.
fight for his share of the centre) and Hence, I would be seeking to 'tidy up'
now : with 'iti>b1 and l:.c 1 followed by putting
b 1 ) 1 3 0-0-0 cxd5 14 ltJxd5 ( 14 the under-performing h1 -rook o"n dl
�xb6 'ii' x b6 15 'ii xb6 axb6 1 6 liJxd5 and I may even want to play e5 to
e6 17 ltJxb6 l:.xa2 and Black is at least block out the g7-bishop. Bearing this
equal) l4 . . . 'ii'c 8+! 1 5 �bl lLlxd5 1 6 in mind as Black, in the first case I
l:txd5 e6 ! 17 l:tc5 �d7 1 8 l:td l 'iie7 ! don't want my queen on c7 due to po­
1 9 l:.dc 1 l2Jc6 and Black has no prob­ tential threats of l2Jb5-d4 and in the
lems. White has some variations within second I may well be obliged to play
this line but as long as Black has some . . . e6 to prevent the destructive e5-e6
scope for his minor pieces, the white and to support a knight on d5.
king is a little draughty and the white b22) These thoughts lead me to
pawn-structure is shattered, I have full suggest 1 5 . . . e6 ! ? as an improvement
faith in Black's prospects. for Black. After 16 �bl Wie7 with
b2) 1 3 f4 ! ltJed7 14 dxc6 bxc6 15 ideas of . . . l:.fb8 and pushing the c­
0-0-0 (D). and/or a-pawns I already prefer Black.
This position arises almost by force White could also try 16 %:td6?! but then
after 8 . . . l2Jc6 so it's worth examining Black should play 1 6 . . . 'i'c7 ! . Despite
in detail in case any prospective oppo­ my previous comments, things are dif­
nent catches onto the fact that it is far ferent this time ! Black gains a tempo,
from being unplayable for White. protects his c-pawn and has the
54 UNDERSTANDING THE GRONFELD

concrete idea of . . J:tfb8 and ... i.f8 - 12 i.xc4


again I like Black's position so I think White could also try 12 i.xb6 but
White should try 1 6 'ii'a3 !?, which after 1 2 ...'ifxb6 13 i.xc4 'ii'xb2 Black's
highlights the newly created weakness position is overwhelming, so White's
on d6. Black might then show the best move seems to be 12 'ii'b 3, when
other benefit of having the queen on 1 2 . . . lllxb2 1 3 l:r.c 1 ( 1 3 'ii'xb2 llla4)
the king side by playing 1 6 ...'ii'h4 with 13 ... i.xc3+ 14 'ifxc3 lll2a4 leads to a
the crude notion of ... i.h6 at some position which is still playable for
stage but the more general aim of co­ White.
ordinating his rooks. The position is 12 ...lllxc4 13 'i'ib3 lllxb2! 14 'i'ixb2
then thoroughly unclear but I suspect 'fic7 15 i.b4
Black has his full share of the chances. 15 'ii'a3 b6 16 i.b4 a5 17 l:r.c 1 axb4 !
9 ... llle5 10 i.d4 c5! (D) 1 8 'ifxa8 i.xc3+ gives Black a win­
ning attack.
15...a5 16 lllge2 axb4 17 'i'ixb4
i.g4! (D)

An instructive but absolutely neces­


sary move. White was threatening f4
followed by the exchange of Black's
wonderful bishop on g7 so, in typical This bishop sortie is a recurring mo­
Griinfeld style, Black attacks the cen­ tif in the Griinfeld. By provoking f2-f3
tre before White can fully mobilize. Black can utilize certain tactical re­
11 i.xc5 lllec4 sources on the g1 -a7 diagonal and the
Given the choice, it's almost always weakening of White's second rank, as
better to place this knight on c4 since we see here, can be useful later on. It
White does not always capture on c4 is generally a good idea to force this
and the knight on b6 is much more se­ weakening, and especially so here con­
cure than its colleague on e5. For ex­ sidering the strength of Black's dark­
ample 1 1 . . .lllbc4 1 2 'ii'b3 b6 13 i.d4 squared bishop.
leaves White in control. 18 f3 i.d7 19 0-0 b5!
SIDE-STEPS 55

The strength of two bishops and the 25 lL!xb5 l:b:c 1 + 26 lL!xc 1 l:le3 !
rigidity of White's set-up makes Black's leaves no defence to .. J:te l +.
position much the easier to play. 25 ...l:lxb3 26 axb3 liaS!
20 �h1 ? Ironically White would rather be
A rather clueless move, but I guess without his extra e-pawn because at
Black's reply is a far from obvious po­ least then he could do something with
sitional threat. his knights. Now he is just squashed to
20 "ifxe7 is also bad after 20. . Jife8 death - although he could have de­
21 '1Wb4 �f8 22 d6 (22 'ir'b3 b4 23 fended better, I don't want a minor ob­
lbd1 :a3 24 "ifbl �b5 wins for Black) servation or two to pollute the poetry
22 ...�xd6 23 "ifb3 �xh2+ 24 'iii>h l �5 that follows.
but 20 l:.abl ! offers some chances since 27 l:b1 J:la3! 28 ll'ld1 J:la2 29 lt:if4
after 20...l:lfc8 2I lt:ixb5 �xb5 22 '1Wxb5 b4! 30 lL!d3 l:le2! 31 g3 �b5 32 lt:ixb4
l:lxa2 it is not obvious how Black will :tel+ 33 �g2 �d4 34 lL!c2 J:le2+ 0-1
increase the pressure decisively.
20 . ."ilr'd6! (D)
. Garne l2
Kharlov - Herrera
Ubeda 1 997

w 1 d4 lL!f6 2 c4 g6 3 lL!c3 d5 4 cxdS


lL!xdS 5 ll'la4!? (D)

A beautiful transition, after which


the advantage assumes concrete pro­
portions.
21 11r'xd6
2 1 l:labl was probably better since
after 2 I . . .'ir'xb4 22 l%xb4 l::tfc8 23 Hello, I must be going. Rather like
lL!xb5 �xb5 24 l:lxb5 l:lxa2 25 lt:ig1 evading the customary pre-game
�h6! 26 f4 l%cc2 White is still breath­ handshake, White pugnaciously steers
ing. the game away from conventional
21. exd6 22 l%ab1 l%fb8 23 l:tb4
•• channels. Not only does he move the
l%a3 24 .:tel l%c8 25 .:b3 same piece twice in the opening but
56 UNDERSTANDING THE GRONFELD

also puts a knight on the rim; both are experts have been unable to show a
crimes against classical opening prin­ clear path for Black. It seems to me
ciples. However, I have played this that Nadanian may be accused of be­
move myself and I think it deserves to ing a tad too fond of his baby though,
be treated with the same seriousness and I disagree with many of his assess­
we attribute to the other lines. To say it ments. That said, much of what fol­
loses time is a little obtuse considering lows is my own analysis, so please
that Black has also moved his devel­ check these lines carefully !
oped knight twice and putting a knight Before proceeding, it is worth not­
on the rim is generally thought to be ing that White can continue to ' side­
fair game if it serves an important pur­ step' by playing 5 lt::lf3 i..g 7 6 lt::la4 and
pose there (lt::lh3 in the Leningrad thus avoid some of Black's sharper re­
Dutch, .. . lt::la6 in the King' s Indian, sponses that I have suggested below.
etc.). In this case 6 ... i..f5 ! ? (D) looks to me
One good way to look at this move like the most logical reply, mainly be­
is simply to see it as early prophylaxis. cause White no longer has ideas with
White realizes that Black's main pawn­ f3, to support e4.
break is . . . cS and decides to put a stop
to it. He also realizes that his extra
centre pawn is a long-term asset and is
wary of occupying the centre immedi­ w
ately with 5 e4 since after s . . . lt::lxc3 6
bxc3 it is Black's move and he has the
clear plan of ... i..g7 and . . . cS .
Indeed, it's almost like White can't
believe his luck at having made the ex­
change of c- for d-pawn and needs a
move or two to get over the surprise
before there are any further upsets ! I
consider this move similar to the other
'side-steps' since there too White's
aim is to play e4 without allowing For example, 7 l0c5 b6 (not 7 ... l0d7
... lt::lx c3. 8 e4 lt::lxc5 9 dxc5 ! i.. xe4? 10 il'a4+) 8
The move is the brainchild of the e4 bxcS 9 exfS gxfS looks very com­
Annenian player Nadanian, who should fortable for Black thanks to his lead in
be congratulated for seeing what ev­ development and central control. The
eryone has seen, and thinking what only extra option afforded to White is
nobody had thought. His ideas have the absurdly consistent 7 lt::lh4 !? but
recently been endorsed by many grand­ then White is likely to have develop­
masters, including none less than ment problems and I suspect Black
Viktor Korchnoi, and many Grtinfeld should just castle and then strive for
SIDE-STEPS 57

the . . . cS break, which would seem to (Nadanian recommends this move,


give good chances, e.g. 7 ... 0-0 8 lL:\xf5 but 6 f3 !? may prove to be a more crit­
gxf5 9 e3 lL:\d7 lO j.d3 e6 (10 . . .c5 ! ?) ical test; Sutovsky wouldn't say what
1 1 0-0 "flie7, etc. he had prepared for this but I suspect it
S... eS! may have been 6 . . .e5 ! ?, which leads to
Most sources give this as dubious, all sorts of unexplored complications)
but I've always felt that a dainty side­ 6 ... b6 7 e4 b xc5 8 exf5 gxf5 ! 9 lL:\f3 e6
step is best met with a punch in the (Black is already slightly better ac­
centre of the nose. Of course it's also cording to Sutovsky - indeed, he is a
possible to play 5 ... .tg7 with good pawn up and White's 'extra' bishop is
chances of equalizing, but it is this im­ well restricted by Black' s pawn­
mediate 'retribution' which would dis­ chain) 10 .tg5 .te7 1 1 .txe7 "flixe7 12
courage me from ever playing this line l:tc l cxd4 1 3 'itxd4 0-0 14 .tc4 c5 15
for White again. it'd2 l:td8 1 6 0-0 lL:\c6 1 7 .l:.fel 'fif6
That said, whenever I mentioned to left Black firmly in control in Sjod­
a chess-player that I was writing this ahl-Sutovsky, Harplinge 1 998.
book they always seemed to want to b) 5 ... lL:\f6 ! ? (D) has recently come
know my thoughts on 5 lL:\a4 so I have to public attention due to a letter writ­
decided to consider two alternatives as ten to the editors of New in Chess mag­
well, in case you don't like my main azine by Elie Agur from The Hague in
suggestion: the Netherlands.
a) 5 . . .-tfS ! ? (D).

The idea, of course, is to go one


Gambit's Assistant Editor, GM John better than White, and prevent e4. Mr
Emms was watching the post-mortem Agur seems to imply that the idea of
of the following game and I am told e4 is the "whole concept" of 5 lL:\a4,
that Sutovsky felt that this move was "... without which White cannot attain
at least equal for Black. 6 lL:\c5 ! ? any advantage in this line". My first
58 UNDERSTANDING THE GRONFELD

thought is that 5 tba4 is not the type of White now has to deal with the annoy­
move played "to attain an advantage" ing threat of ... ltJb4. After 8 tbc3 !
as such, but rather to tread new paths liJd5 ! 9 .i.g2 ltJxc3 10 bxc3 i.e4
and try to outwit your opponents with­ Black is at least comfortable.
out learning reams of theory. My sec­ b2) 6 tbf3 ! is not mentioned but it
ond thought is that on seeing 5 tba4 looks like the most flexible move. Pre­
the concept that came most immedi­ sumably Black would now play 6 ...1.g7
ately to my mind was not the 'threat' (6 . . . ltJc6 7 e3 ! ? intending i.b5 looks
of e4 but that White was trying to hold slightly more comfortable for White -
up Black's ... c5 break and preserve the in general the knight is not very well
space and central control given by his placed on c6 unless Black has pressure
unopposed d-pawn. on d4 or can somehow play . . . e5) 7
In the Easter of 1 997, just after 5 g3 ! ? no longer allows any immediate
tba4 was published in lnformator for trickery. 7 ... b6! ? now looks best so as
the flrst time, I was looking at this line to support . . . c5 later and neutralize
with English IM Jonathan Parker and White's fianchettoed bishop. After 8
one of my flrst thoughts was actually .i.g2 .i.b7 9 0-0 0-0 the position is
the somewhat amusing 5 . . .ltJf6. I probably a fraction better for White
wasn't entirely serious though, mainly due to his slight advantage in space
because I didn't imagine that 5 ltJa4 and Black's potential weaknesses on
would catch on in the way it has. I re­ the c-file.
member we joked that 6 lLlc3 liJd5 As a general comment, I think it is
might be best play and Jonathan sug­ important not to underestimate the
gested that "Years from now, they' ll dangers present when White just holds
flick in 5 tba4 tbf6 6 tbc3 tbd5 before the structure with the pawn on d4 and
White decides if he wants to play for a prevents Black's central breaks. It may
win with 7 e4, just as they often do in seem that Black is in little danger
the Zaitsev variation of the Ruy when White has not played e4, but it
Lopez." Several months later we are often turns out that on completing de­
all taking these things a little more se­ velopment Black flnds it hard to do
riously and Mr Agur suggests that 6 anything significant while White can
ltJc3 may be White's best move but use his slightly greater central control
that Black's prospects are no worse af­ to creep around the edges. Clearly
ter 6 ....i.g7 for example. there are similarities with the g3 lines
I think this last point is true and I here, but it's important to appreciate
also agree that 6 f3 tbc6 ! is good for that the knight is not so badly placed
Black but I'm not quite so sure about on a4 and Black's knight is generally
the given analysis on White's quieter better on b6 than f6.
continuations with g3 and liJf3: After all that chat I guess the mes­
b 1 ) 6 g3 tbc6 7 tbf3 .i.f5 ! is given sage is that 5 . . .ltJf6 is playable and
by Agur, who rightly points out that great entertainment value but, in my
SIDE-STEPS 59

opinion, probably not the best move, Objectively I think the main line of
while 5 ...i.f5 looks promising but has
. this sequence favours Black, but aes­
not yet been sufficiently tested to be thetically it would be a real tragedy if
sure. it didn't.
Returning to the position after 8 fxe3
5 ... e5 (D): 8 'flc l .i.x.d2+ 9 'iixd2 'ii'xd2+ 10
�xd2 ltJc4+ is equal. In the Grtinfeld
there are many such sequences when a
tactical flurry leads to an ending where
w Black has some residual activity. When
this happens I advise you to leave the
board for a few moments and look at
the position with fresh eyes since it is
all too easy to overheat.
8 .i.xd2+ 9 it'xd2 it'h4+ 10 g3
...

it'xa4 (D)

w
6 dxe5
Nadanian also gives 6 e4 liJf6 7 .ig5
exd4 ! 8 e5 (8 'flb3 !? is mentioned, but
this just seems to vindicate my point
about Nadanian trying too hard to
� e this line work; after 8 ...h6 Black
should keep the draw offer on the
back-burner since I suspect White will
soon resign) 8 . . ..ib4+ 9 ltJc3 (9 �e2
'ili'd5 !) 9 .'ili'd7 ! seems rather good for
..

Black; if 10 .i.xf6 then 10 . . dxc3.


. So we've landed. White has one
It seems to me that White's best more living foot soldier but three of
move may well be the compliant 6 them are in ill-health while all of
a3 ! ?, which puts Black in a rather dan­ Black's are fighting fit. It is fair to say
gerous psychological predicament as that White has, and will have, greater
White is probably not worse, but after control of the centre, which might
6 ...e4 Black has equalized comfort­ suggest that Black's opening strategy
ably and will have good chances in the has been a failure. White's bishop will
middlegame if he doesn't get too ex­ be excellent on g2, the knight will nor­
cited. mally go to f3 and has high hopes of
6 .tb4+ 7 .id2 l0e3!
••. finding a comfortable socket on f6.
60 UNDERSTANDING THE GRONFELD

There is also plenty of scope for Nadanian's rather 'cooperative' lines.


White' s major pieces, which have the It seems clear to me that that Black's
c-, d- and f-files to share among them­ queen has to play a part in the defence
selves. Since White has so many firing of the kingside.
lines on the black queenside, it is fair b) I am recommending 1 1 .. . 'iVd7 !
to say that the black king will quickly (D).
want to negotiate with his king's rook
- and then White has some seriously
weakened dark squares around the
black king to be excited by.
So why am I recommending this for
Black? "Because of the pawn-struc­
ture", as GM Peter Svidler likes to say
in his Russian American accent. In a
sense it is a do-or-die situation for White
since if he loses control of the game
his pawns will simply start to drop off;
indeed his major pieces could soon
have an open e-file to add to their col­
lection ! Seriously, after several hours
of analysis I came to the conclusion Of course the more pieces that are
that I would rather be Black since con­ exchanged, the less danger there is for
crete analysis suggests to me that he Black. It is especially useful then to
can soak up the initiative, keep his recentralize the queen with tempo
king safe and start cleaning up on the since White cannot afford to exchange
e-file! White is by no means lost and the ladies. In saying that, my sugges­
Black has to be very careful, particu­ tion is by no means Black's only way
larly not to capture on e5 too soon. It of playing, so if I have overlooked
seems that best play leads to an ap­ something in what follows then don't
proximately equal ending, but really, ditch the whole thing but return here
don' t you think there is something with your patches. After 1 2 'iVc3 0-0
comical about those e-pawns? - they 13 c!Llf3 (I don't see anything better)
just kind of sit there like they were on 1 3 ... 'i1Ve7 ! Black reclaims some dark
a train track waiting for diesel. squares; notice how much more effec­
11 iM4 tive the queen is here than on a4. This
This is now thought to be inaccu­ is the critical moment for White; if
rate, due to the game continuation. 1 1 Black is given time to develop and the
..tg2 ! ? is more critical: initiative is quashed then it will soon
a) 1 1 ...0-0 1 2 c!Llf3 c!Llc6?! 13 0-0 become clear that White's manic
l:td8 ? ! 14 'ii'c3 ..tf5 1 5 c!Llg5, with a pawn-structure is no more than a sub­
clear advantage to White, is another of tle joke for Black's amusement. The
SIDE-STEPS 61

main idea appears to be to occupy f6


with the knight which, if allowed,
would lead to serious threats on the B
black king. However, it appears that
this can be prevented if Black is care­
ful.
b1) 1 4 0-0 lt:!c6 ! (plans with ... c6
and . . .tt:':ld7 may look more secure but
the d6-square is a very good outpost
for a white knight or rook; moreover,
Black finds it difficult to take on e5
early on since once White puts a rook
on the d-file, mutual captures on e5 al­
lows White to play .l:.d8+ at the end, 1 1 . .. 'ii'c6 1 2 tDf3 0-0 13 i.g2 'ii'c 2
when Black will be chronically tied 1 4 lt:!g5 is an example of the potential
up) 15 .l:.ac1 i.d7 ! (since he is lagging .sting in White's position.
in development Black has to be { re­ 12 b4 'ii'a 3!
luctantly } willing to give his c-pawn An excellent move, keeping the
for the white spearhead on e5) 1 6 lt:!d4 queen optimally active.
lDxe5 1 7 'l'xc7 and now 17 . . .lt:!g4! 13 e6 0-0 14 exf7+ :xt7 15 i.g2
gives Black fully adequate counter­ Herrera assumes White can draw
play. with 1 5 'ii'd8+ 'i;g7 16 1Wd4+ but it
b2) 14 lt:!d2! ? lt:!d7 ! (14 ....1:.e8 1 5 seems to me that Black can try for
llJe4 llJd7 1 6 'l'xc7 llJxeS 17 'l'xe7 more with 16....1:.f6. Now White has to
.l:.xe7 1 8 lt:!f6+ �g7 1 9 lt:!d5 gives stop . . .tDc6 so 1 7 i.g2, but 17 ...lt:!a6!
White too much control) 15 'iixc7 looks rather good for Black, e.g. 18 b5
'ii'xe5 1 6 'ii'xe5 lt:!xe5 give' the ap­ 'ft'a5+ 19 'ii'd2 'i!fxb5.
proximately equal ending I referred to 1S i.e6!
...

earlier. White has problems defending Healthy development; as I said White


e3 and it seems that 17 i.d5 ! ? is the will normally be worse if Black can
best solution since it enables White to complete development.
play e4 without blocking the bishop. 16 lt:!h3 (D)
Now Black has a good counter-punch There seems to be nothing better:
in the form of 17 ... i.h3 ! , which stops a) 16 i.xb7 c5 ! 1 7 'ifd8+ <t;g7 wins
White castling and connects the rooks. in very Griinfeldesque fashion.
A sample line: 18 lt:!f3 lt:!g4 19 lt:!g5 b) 16 i.e4 c5 1 7 'l'xc5 lt:!a6 1 8
tt:':lxe3 20 i.b3 i.g2 21 .l:.g1 i.d5 with 'ii'd4 ltc8 1 9 lt:!f3 .l:.c4 also shows the
a slight edge to Black. potential power in Black's position.
Returning to the position after 1 1 c) 1 6 ltbl .txa2 1 7 l:tal ltd7 1 8
1Wd4 (D): i.d5+ ltxd5 1 9 'ii'xd5+ i.xd5 20 lha3
l l .'iVaS+!
.. i.xhl is rather piquant.
62 UNDERSTANDING THE GRONFELD

d) 1 6 l!Jf3 lbc6 just wins for Black. b) 22 cj;f2 i.xg4+ 23 cj;gl l!Jd7 24
"ibg4 1lc7 25 :xf6 lbxf6 26 1lf3 :cs
27 :c1 'ile7 28 'iVxb7 :c7 ! . Now that
Black has tidied up the mess, White's
king looks to be in long-term. danger.
19 'i'd8+ 112·112

Conclusion
When White chooses one of these
systems, he is seeking to minimize
Black's counterplay against the centre
and hoping to retain an advantage in
space. In the first two cases I recom­
mend an early ...�6 to attack d4 fol­
lowed by . . .eS generally or ...fS if
16 ...ixb3 17 'ifd8+ cj;g7 18 'ifd4+ White's pawn is on f3 because in these
cj;g8 cases it is difficult for White to com­
Was Black mistaken to believe his plete development and his set-up
grandmaster opponent? I think he can makes less sense if Black doesn't chal­
play on with 1 8 . . l:tf6. Herrera now
. lenge it immediately with the ... eS
gives 19 :n R.f5 20 g4 without com­ break. If White harasses the knight on
ment, which I found very suspicious, c6 with dS Black should generally go
especially in light of 20 . . c5 21 bxc5
. to e5 but I recommend retreating to b8
(21 'jj'd2 l!Jc6 22 .ixc6 bxc6 23 gxf5 if White has played an early f4. 5 ltla4
'jj'x b4 seems slightly better for Black) is still very much in its infancy, but
2 l ...'jj'a5+: your author feels it is neither very bad
a) 22 cj;dl l!Jc6 23 i.xc6 bxc6, nor very good and Black should defi­
when ...:ds is a winning threat. nitely consider S ...eS ! ? as a response.
5 Ra ndom Monkeys

"It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do a little.
Do what you can. " - Sydney Smith

I have already explained that this book


was never meant to be encyclopaedic,
but, particularly for players unfamiliar
with the Griinfeld who want to start w
playing it for the first time, I have in­
cluded some brief recommendations
against White's main off-shoots so
that you'll be less inclined to panic
when confronted with them. The chap­
ter heading is dedicated to my friends
Theo Trayhurn and Nick Fair, who use
this term to refer to anything baffling,
unpredictable or unfamiliar.

1 d4 lbf6 2 c4 g6 3 tDc3 d5 (D) (7 ..tgS a6) 7 ...e5 8 exd4 ti:lxd4 9 ..tgS


Please remember the guideline that (9 b4 b6! 10 ..tgS ..te7 is unclear but I
Black should only play . . .d5 when like Black because White will find it
White is threatening to play e4. difficult to complete development and
Therefore, after 3 tDf3, 3 . . . ..tg7 ! is his position is full of holes), when
the most accurate - only after 1 tbc3 9 . . . i.xc5 ! ? is now a sacrificial ap­
should Black play 4 . . . d5 ! . Ir.stead proach but it seems to give Black good
3 . . . d5 ? ! is fairly common, but a mis­ chances against White's weakened
take, as 4 cxd5 tZ:lxdS 5 e4 ti:lb6 6 h3 ! dark squares. 10 i.xf6 1Vxf6 1 1 tZ:lc7+
leaves Black without sufficient space �f8 12 tZ:lxa8 i.b4+ 13 �f2 e4! seems
for his pieces and it will be very diffi­ to provide excellent compensation for
cult to pressurize the white centre. the material and I ' m not sure how
From the diagram, we consider: White shepherds the king to safety .
a) 4 f3 is a monkey with a fairly This follows analysis by Lechtynsky,
threatening demeanour so I suggest a chap I have never had round for af­
you rise to the challenge with 4 ... c5 ! 5 ternoon tea, so it' s worth checking it
dxc5 d4. After 6 tZ:lb5, 6 tZ:lc6! ? looks
... over as Black is somewhat short of a
the most accurate, so as to force 7 e3 rook but nonetheless my impression is
64 UNDERSTANDING THE GR ONFELD

that White has problems here, e.g. 14


g3 $_c5 1 5 'it>g2 lllf5, when the initia­
tive persists and my only objection is w "�"
l'��w."��,j··
that the knight on a8 appears to be
snoring.
b) 4 g4 ! ? is excessive. 4 ... dxc4 ! is a
sober response and after 5 h3 ll\d5 ! 6
e4, 6 ... lll b6 ! appears to be untried but
also very strong, e.g. 7 ..txc4? lllxc4 8
'Wa4+ lllc 6.
c) 4 h4 ! ? is slightly less compro­
mising but I still like 4 . . . c5 ! 5 cxd5
ll\xd5 (the same position can be
reached via 4 cxd5 lllxd5 5 h4 c5) 6 lllf6 ! 1 1 ..td3 lllxe4 1 2 ..txe4 c5 ! 13
dxc5 lll xc3 7 'Wxd8+ 'itxd8 8 bxc3 dxc5 'Wxd1+ 14 'itxd1 lbct7 1 5 c6 bxc6
..tg7 9 'itd2 ..tf5 10 f3 4Jd7 1 1 e4 ..te6 16 ..txc6 l:tb8 gave Black more than
12 c6 bxc6, following A.Zaitsev-Smys­ enough compensation in Korchnoi­
lov, Sochi 1 963, which Zaitsev went Tukmakov, London USSR vs World
on to win, and in doing so encouraged 1 984, but notice the importance the
others to play 4 h4, but obviously Black players attached to the central pawn­
was not worse out of the opening. breaks ... e5 and . . .c5.
d) 4 cxd5 lllxd5 (D) and now: In line 'd' , there is no danger if lllf3
d l ) 5 'Wb3 lllxc3 6 bxc3 c5 7 ltJf3 and . . . ..tg7 are included; the idea of
..tg7 8 ..ta3 llld7 9 e3 0-0 10 ..te2 'WaS breaking down White's centre still ap­
1 1 0-0 b5 ! gives Black good play. plies and the same is true for 4 'fia4+,
d2) 5 'Wa4+ lllc 6! 6 e3 lllb 6 7 'ii'd 1 which is no more dangerous than 5
..tg7 8 f4 ! ? lbb4! 9 a3 ll\4d5 1 0 llle4 'fia4+ in Game 2.
6 The Anchor

"It 's when you run away that you are most liable to stumble." - Casey Robinson

they struggle remorselessly for con­


trol of the centre of the board, consid­
ered by many to be the ultimate source
of all things.
The human predicament makes it
difficult to steer clear of such mysti­
cism but for now I'm going to try, by
talking about the c4-square !
First of all, let's look at the c4-
square. Notice that it can no longer be
controlled by a white pawn, unless
there is an 'event' on the b3-square
and the isolated a-pawn finds itself in
a warmer environment, but this is a
If Philidor's view that "Pawns are rare occurrence.
the soul of chess" is to be believed, then Anyway, this c4-square is effectively
I think we can say that Black's soul is an outpost for Black and in many lines
more grounded than White's here, of the Exchange Variation it allows the
though probably White has lived a lit­ black forces an anchor on which to
tle more deliberately. gain a secure hold on White's posi­
White's soul is crying out to be seen tion, allowing access for other pawns
and heard, singing and dancing in the and pieces. Indeed, I consider it one of
centre of the dancefloor; impressing Black's major strategic trumps in the
some and amusing others. Black is Griinfeld because in a sense White's
also confident, but quieter and more position is irreparably damaged from
deeply self-assured, unintimidated by a structural point of view and it is often
White's flamboyance and feeling a lit­ difficult for White to prevent Black
tle more of what Nixon called "peace from gaining a secure hold on this out­
at the centre". Both souls are enjoying post. We will see how relevant this
the party, but Black longs for White's square is in the discussion of the .i.c4
visibility, and White for Black's self­ Exchange which follows, but first l
possession. Nonetheless, they must would briefly like to consider the fol­
suppress their mutual admiration as lowing important game:
66 UNDERSTANDING THE GR 0NFELD

Game 13 1 1 . . .h6 12 h3 ! is good for White.


Karpov - Kasparov 12 h3 i..d7 13 l:tb1
New York/Lyons Wch (1 7) 1990 13 l:td1 ! ?.
13... l:tc8! 14 tLlf3!?
1 d4 tLlf6 2 c4 g6 3 tLlc3 d5 4 cxd5 14 l:txb7? tLlxd4 1 5 i..xd4 i..xd4 1 6
tLlxd5 5 e4 tLlxc3 6 bxc3 i..g7 7 i..e3 �xd4 l:tc1 + ! 17 �d2 :d1+ ! ! 1 8 �xd1
c5 8 'li'd2 0-0 9 tLlf3 i..g4 (D) i.a4+ (Karpov) is a thoroughly im­
This is a very classical way to play pressive variation which highlights
against the white centre, but it seems White's lag in development.
to me that White's position is just too 14... l005 ! 15 i..d3
harmonious in what follows. I think it 15 i..e2 !?.
needs to be disturbed with an early 15...i.e6!
. . .'li'a5 . Still, if you don't feel the same "The black pieces have securely
fastened onto the c4 point. It is a rule
in many Griinfeld variations that the
domination of c4, in the absence of or­
w ganic pawn weaknesses, guarantees
Black counterplay." - Karpov.
16 0-0 i.c4
The position is now equal accord­
ing to Karpov, but recent games have
suggested that Black does not have
enough play against the white centre.
Note that the tempting 16 . . . tLlc4 is
rather ill-conceived because after 1 7
i.. xc4 i.xc4 1 8 l:tfc 1 White will con­
tinue by exchanging dark-squared
way, this is a good way to play against bishops, when the remaining black
the i.e3 lines if, for example, you are bishop won't do very much on c4.
fed up of playing endgames. Black can 17 l:tfd1
also try lines with . . . cxd4 and . . . b6, 17 d5 !? - Seirawan.
which are playable, especially if White 17 ... b5?! (D)
'wastes' a move with l:tc 1 , but gener­ A very instructive mistake by the
ally give White a slight edge as there world champion. Karpov now says:
are no problems holding the centre. "This might seem to be quite in order;
10 tLlg5!? Black strengthens his hold on c4. But
An important concept. If White in doing so, he commits a major posi­
played h3 before Black developed the tional error; from now on, the queen­
bishop, Black would play something side pawn-chain becomes vulnerable
more active than . . .i.d7. and causes him a great deal of worry.
10 ...cxd4 11 cxd4 tLlc6 The modest 1 7 ... b6! would have been
THE ANCHOR 67

more appropriate." Moreover, Seira­ 24 lL!xd2


...

wan suggests that 17 ... .i.xd3 1 8 'ii'xd3 Black could have defended more
e6 would have been OK for Black but stubbornly beginning with 24 ...h6 ! ?
in my experience such positions tend but White is clearly better in any case.
to be surprisingly pleasant for White. 25 .i.xd2! .l:tc8 26 l:tc6! (D)

w B

18 .i.g5! A devastating blow for Black and a


The threat is not only 19 .i.xc4 lL!xc4 good warning for future exponents of
20 'ii'b4 lL!d6 2 1 e5, but also in some the Griinfeld; when you think you are
variations .i.xe7, deflecting the black safely contesting the c-file, take a good
queen. look around for the availability of
l8. .a6 19 J:tbcl ! ?
. White's entry squares.
1 9 .l:tdc l ! ? (Karpov) 19 ....i.xd3 20 26....i.e5
l:txc8 'ii'x c8 2 1 1!fxd3 'i!fb7 22 a4! b4 Karpov refers to the following beau­
23 J.d2. tiful but forcing continuation as "a
l9. ..i.xd3
. simple win for White": 26 ... ltxc6 27
19 .. Jie8 ! ? looks more accurate, but dxc6 'ii'c7 (27 . . .'ii'xc6 28 'it'd8+ .i.f8
I suspect Kasparov had not yet seen 29 .i.h6) 28 'ii'd7 .i.e5 29 .i.h6 1i'xd7
Karpov's crucial 26th move. 30 cxd7 i.c7 3 1 e5 ! a5 3 2 �fl b4 3 3
20 .l:txc8 �xc8 21 il'xd3 .l:te8?! �e2 a4 34 �d3 .i.d8 35 ..t.>c4 .i.a5 36
This is a sign that Black is beginning h4 'ifr>h8 37 .i.f8.
to feel uncomfortable but 2 l . . .'ii'b7 22 27 .i.c3!
a4 b4 and 21 . . . 'ii'd7 22 'ii'a3 both dem­ Fantastic judgement; the major-piece
onstrate White's superiority. ending is losing for Black.
22 ltcl �b7 23 dS lLlc4 24 lL!d2! 27...i.b8
"A key factor in White's overall 27 ...:l:txc6 28 dxc6 'ii'c7 29 .i.xe5
strategy. Evicting the last piece from 'fixeS 30 'ii'd8+ 9itg7 3 1 c7 'ii'a l + 3 2
c4, he seizes the vital file." - Karpov. �h2 'ii'e5+ 3 3 g3 'ii'b2 34 9itg2.
68 UNDERSTANDING THE GRONFEW

28 'ii'd4 f6 29 .ta5! i.d6 30 _.c3 the bishop on this square. It looks very
liteS 31 a3! loose to me somehow and is extremely
"Why hurry? The fruit will ripen of vulnerable to attack by the black pieces.
its own accord" - vintage K.arpov. Indeed, I feel that the bishop on c4 is
31...�g7 32 g3 .te5 33 'ifcS h5 34 floating somehow, as if it is not prop­
i.c7 +- i.a1 35 .tf4 'ifd7 36 ltc7 'iVdS erly anchored into the white position.
37 d6! However, considering the chess giants
"The death agony of the black who have used it to devastating effect
pieces, suffocating on the edge of the it would be extremely pompous of me
board, now commences." - Karpov. to treat this move with anything other
37...g5 38 d7 .:rs 39 .td2 .i.e5 40 than a great deal of respect.
11tb7 1-0 Moreover, Botvinnik and Estrin re­
40. . . h4 41 .ta5 ! 'ilr'xa5 42 'ilr'xe7+ fer to this as "the most active continu­
�g6 (42 . . .ltf7 43 'ilr'xf7 +-) 43 ation", which suggests that Black has
'iih 7+! �xh7 44 d8'ii' +-. to play very actively in reply.
A beautiful paradox; to win the black It is also worth noting that the world
queen, White must sacrifice his own ! number three (July 1 998 1ist) Vladimir
Kramnik recently used this line almost
Game 14 exclusively to try to break down Shi­
Van Wely - Nijboer rov's Griinfeld in their recent ten-game
Dutch Ch (Rotterdam) 1 998 match in Spain. He was unsuccessful,
and we can learn a great deal from
1 d4 �f6 2 c4 g6 3 �c3 d5 4 cxd5 these games (included here) which are
�xd5 5 e4 �xc3 6 bxc3 .i.g7 7 i.c4 at the forefront of the theory of this
(D) line.
7 ... c5 8 �e2
This mode of development is de­
signed primarily to prevent an annoy­
ing pin on the knight on f3 and in some
lines White can start a dangerous at­
tack against Black's f7 point by pushing
the white f-pawn to f5 and combining
the c4-bishop and the fl -rook. A fur­
ther reason to respect White's set-up is
that it was suggested by no less than
Alexander Alekhine back in 1 924 !
8 ...0-0
8 .ltJc6 9 i.e3 cxd4 10 cxd4 'ilr'a5+
..

enjoyed a brief spell of popularity re­


Personally, I have always felt there cently but notably it was not ventured
is something a little odd about putting by Shirov, who must have been glad,
THE ANCHOR 69

because Kramnik later displayed the so provokes f3. This weakens White' s
fruits of his preparation for this line second rank (often a crucial detail if
against Svidler in Tilburg 1 998 : 1 1 Black's counterplay relies on a major
.i.d2'ifd8 ( l l . . .'iWhS ! ? may have some piece penetrating to this rank) and pro­
mileage, but it looks a little bombastic vides important sources of counter­
to me and I suspect White will soon play on the a7-g1 diagonal .
find a convincing reply) 1 2 d5 ! �e5 Adorjan and Dory recommend the
1 3 .i.c3 0-0 14 .ib3 'i!i'b6 15 f4 �g4 alternative 10 . . . 'ifc7. I used to be im­
1 6 .id4 'ifaS+ 1 7 'ii'd2 'ii'xd2+ 1 8 pressed by the idea of sneakily trying
�xd2 e5 ? ! 19 h3 ! exd4 20 hxg4 g5 2 1 to win the bishop on c4 with the black
g3 ! .i.xg4 2 2 e 5 .i.xe2 2 3 �xe2 l;fc8 queen by taking lots of times on d4
24 l:l.ad1 l:l.c3 25 l:f.d3 ! l:ac8 26 d6 bi and I also liked the variations that they
27 l:f.xc3 dxc3 28 e6! �f8 29 e7+ Cifr>e8 presented in the book so much that I
30 .i.xf7+ and B lack resigned since it played this way for a while.
is fair to say that on this occasion However, I soon realized that Black
Svidler did not create sufficient coun­ didn't really directly threaten anything
terplay against the white centre. since White could flick in a .i.xf7+ if
9 0-0 �c6 10 .ie3 (D) Black tried taking twice on d4. As I
grew up I also began to feel less com­
fortable with the other main idea of
.. Ji'c7, to play ... .l:td8, since I ' m not
B happy about weakening my f7 point;
if nothing else it seems to vindicate the
bishop's decision to ' float' on c4.
More particularly, I don't think
Black's chances are fully adequate in
the line beginning with 1 1 l:.c ll4d8 12
.i.f4 ! 'fid7 13 d5. If the knight goes to
a5 White seems to have a fairly com­
fortable space advantage and after
1 3 . . �e5 14 J.xe5 i.xe5 15 f4 J.g7 I
.

am generally distrustful of Black's po­


10... .ig4 sition but have a particular dislike of
After years of avoiding the issue, I 16 'lid3 ! ? a6 17 .i.b3 b5 1 8 c4 ! , as in
have to come to accept that there is Nenashev-Liss, Groningen 1994, which
good reason for this being the main looks at least a little uncomfortable for
line. First of all it develops Black's Black.
only undeveloped minor piece and I had hoped to avoid a discussion of
makes way for a rook to come to c8. the Seville Variation that follows by
Secondly, it immediately applies pres­ suggesting that IO .. �aS I I J.d3 i.g4
.

sure to the white centre and in doing would transpose to the main line, but
70 UNDERSTANDING THE GR ONFELD

then as none of my sources explained


it for me I finally had to admit that 1 2
.:t e l ! is much better than 1 2 f3 and
since Black cannot win the d4-pawn
or make use of the c4 point there is
good reason to think that White is much
better, especially considering the forth­
coming f3 and d5 , which will seize a
considerable amount of space.
11 f3 lLJa5
It would seem that it is more accu­
rate to delay the capture on d4 since
this discourages the annoying devia­
tions with .td5 or l':.c 1, which are pawn which has little chance of being
promising if Black first exchanges on a passed pawn. In this case it is worth
d4. imagining the white position without
12 .txf7+ the g2-pawn or the g4-pawn. In the
Since the popularity of this move former case White's king is exposed
can be attributed to Karpov, it is par­ and in the latter Black does not have to
ticularly instructive to hear what he worry about the king being cramped
thinks of the following positions: "The or the bishop being shut in on g7 by
pawn-structure that now arises gives White pushing a pawn to g5 . Normally
White every reason to count on the ini­ when one side has an extra pawn the
tiative, besides which he has an extra technique for exploiting the lead in
pawn. But then again, the position is material involves exchanging lots of
highly dynamic and may very well pieces and winning a technical posi­
suit the taste of the player of the black tion with an extra unit; king and pawn
pieces." endgames tend to be especially ap­
1 2 .td5 J.d7 1 3 l':.bl 'flc7 14 .tf4 pealing !
'flc8 is thought to be comfortable for Ironically, Black would rarely have
Black: 15 dxc5 e6 1 6 .tb3 .tb5 gave much to fear in a king and pawn end­
Black good play in Ramma-Sakaev, game here as the extra g-pawn has no
USSR 1988. function in making a passed pawn - nor
12...:xf7 13 fxg4 :xn+ 14 �xn would three extra g-pawns for that mat­
(D) ter ! However, in many endgames, in­
1 4 'flxfl ? ! ll'lc4 15 'flf3 'flb6 ! in­ cluding some king and pawn endings,
tending . . . 'flb2 is the important forc­ the extra pawn is useful in that it is one
ing sequence which obliges White to more pawn to be captured in cases
misplace his king. where Black seeks counterplay on the
It takes a lot of practical experience kings ide, which could be an important
to appreciate the value of an extra 'waste' of Black's time. Moreover, the
THE ANCHOR 71

extra g-pawn makes it very unlikely "unpromising". This was probably the
that White will be placed in zugzwang World Champion' s instinctive reac­
at any stage because it will be easier tion, which is encouraging for expo­
for White to 'pass' with a neutral pawn nents of the black side of this line.
move. Hence the extra pawn does mat­ Nevertheless, in the post-match duel
ter, but not in the sense that an extra which follows, Kasp;p-ov was thor­
pawn normally matters ! oughly routed, and I use this game as a
Black should therefore be careful model example to show that no matter
about notions of seeking 'compensa­ how promising Black' s light-square
tion' for the pawn because he does not counterplay may look, it does not bite
need to transform things drastically to on anything in particular and this
have sufficient play. The awkward game suggests that Black's prospects
placement of the white pieces, the c4- are dim unless he can somehow use
square and the somewhat brittle white his g7-bishop: 14 . . .'i\fd6 15 e5 ! f!i'd5
centre (especially e4) is sufficient in 16 .tf2 .!:td8 (D).
this sense. What has interested me in
the evolution of this line is the way in
which Black has realized that it is
probably not a good idea to Ululk in
terms of exploiting White's light-square
weaknesses by forcing the pawns onto
dark squares since this makes Black's
bishop much more "bad" than White's,
as we will see below.
Karpov's comments are again very
revealing: "Let me emphasize that the
main feature of the position is not the
extra pawn; the freedom of Black's
game compensates for this minor defi­
cit. White's basic plan is to block up 17 ika4 ! ? b6 18 ifc2 ! (now there
the enemy bishop on g7, by means of are some lines in which the black queen
the pawn-chain c3-d4-e5-g5 . Black comes to c4 and the knight goes back
will rel y on tactical devices to enable to c6 where it is more vulnerable and
his bishop to escape on the h6-c1 diag­ White can gain a useful tempo with
onal." f!i'e4) 18 ....l:tf8 ? ! 19 �g1 1i'c4 20 'ilfd2 !
14...cxd4! ("White continues the plan of restrict­
Following the 1 987 Seville World ing the bishop's mobility" - Karpov)
Championship Match, after which the 20 . .'iie6 21 h3 lLlc4 22 ikg5 ! h6 23
.

variation is named, Kasparov, accord­ 'fic l 'ii'f7 24 j.g3 g5 25 'fkc2 'ilfd5 26


ing to Karpov, stated that the plan cho­ j_f2 b5 27 �g3 l:.f7 28 l:.el b4 29
sen by White with 1 2 j.xf7+ was 'ti'g6 �f8 30 �e4 ltxf2 3 1 'ifr>xf2 bxc3
72 UNDERSTANDING THE GR ONFELD

32 'it'f5+ 'iit g8 33 'it'c8+ 'iti>h7 34 'it'xc5 since the tension in the centre and
'it't7+ 35 'iit g 1 c2 36 lLlg3 i.f8 37 lLlf5 kingside no longer predominates.
'iitg 8 3 8 l:tc l 1-0 Karpov-Kasparov, 16 d5
Belfort 1988. "Black's pieces never Black is in no way worse if White
succeeded in breaking free" - Karpov. does not close the centre: 1 6 dxe5
15 cxd4 eS! (D) i.xe5 17 'it'xd8+ l:.xd8 18 l:.c1 lLlc6
1 9 g3 l:.d3 20 i.f4 i.d4 ! ? gave Black
equal prospects in Seirawan-Olafsson,
Reykjavik 1990. 1 6 l:.c1 'Wd7 ! 17 dxe5
w 'it'xd 1+ 18 l:.xd1 ltJc4 19 i.f2 i.xe5 is
also comfortable for Black.
16...ltJc4 17 'it'd3! ?
At the moment this appears to be
White's only try for an advantage but
we can learn something about it from
considering the alternative 17 i.f2
'ii'f6 1 8 'iitg 1 l:.f8 1 9 'it'e1 i.h6. Black
is already very active, and has ideas of
... i.d2 and ... lLle3 . I guess white play­
ers switched from this line because
A paradoxical move, popularized they didn't like being so passive so
by Ivanchuk. Black voluntarily gives early. 20 ltJg3 'it'a6 and now:
White a protected passed pawn, more a) 21 'it'e2? loses to 2 1 . . .l:.xf2! 22
space (not the same thing as a 'space 'iitxf2 i.e3+.
advantage' - it could be argued that b) 21 h3 l:.xf2 22 'iitxf2 'ii' b6+ 23
White has over-extended here) and by �fl liJd2+ 24 'iite2 'ii'e 3+ 25 'iitd 1
fixing a centre pawn on a dark square 'ii'd 3 ! 26 'ii'e2 'ii'd4 is easily winning
seemingly gives himself a 'bad' bishop. for Black.
Funnily enough, the move is designed c) 2 1 lLlfl liJb2 ! 22 i.h4 liJd3 ! 23
to increase the scope of the g7-bishop, 'ii'c 3 lLlf4 ! 24 'ii'e 1 lLle2+! 25 'iith 1
not diminish it! The black bishop now lLlc 1 ! 26 lLlg3 liJd3 ! 27 'ii'b 1 i.e3 28
has access to the f8-a3 diagonal and h3 i.d4 29 i.e7 l:.c8 30 'ii'b 3 l:.c3 3 1
stabilizing the centre gives the black 'ii'b 1 l:.c l + 32 'ii' xc 1 ltJxc 1 33 l:.xc 1
knight a secure blockading post on d6. 'ii'xa2 34 :.n b5 35 i.f8 i.e3 36 d6
Moreover, the white e4-pawn is now i.f4 37 i.e7 'ii'd2 38 l:.f3 'iitf7 0- 1
vulnerable to lateral attack and the Morot-Martin, carr. 1990. I have in­
white knight, no longer seeking the e4 cluded this game mainly because I
spot, finds it difficult to play an active wanted you to share my admiration for
role. Furthermore, once the centre sta­ the war dance by the black knight.
bilizes, Black's queenside majority be­ d) 21 caith1 'ii'a4 (2 l .. .'ii'a3 ! ? also
comes a relevant factor in the position looks promising) and then (D):
THE ANCHOR 73

with tempo) 24 llfb3 (presumably not


forced, but bow else is Black to be pre­
vented from playing ...lt}d6 with com­
plete control?) 24 . . .1bb3 (24 ... 'tfd7 ! ?
25 .i.xa7 i s difficult t o assess, but
24 ...'ii'a6 ! ? looks highly promising)
25 axb3 lt)d2 "with counterplay" -
Stohl. There are many possibilities in
this position so it is understandable
that he did not go any deeper with his
analysis. At any rate, I think it is clear
that Black is not worse' here, e .g. 26
�e2 ! ? .i.g5 ! ? 27 l:xa7 lt}xe4 28 l:xb7
d l ) 22 .i.g1 ! and here: l:c2 29 ll'lg3 ll'lxg3+ 30 hxg3 .:td2 !
d 1 1 ) 22 . . . b6 23 'ifc3 .:Z.f7 24 .:Z.b1 leads to a peculiar position where I
J.d2 25 'W'd3 'ifxa2? ! 26 d6! ltJxd6 27 would prefer to be Black. The tripled
'ifxd6 'ifxbl 28 't!fxd2 a5? 29 'ifd8+ g-pawns are as ridiculous as they look,
�g7 30 'ifg5 h6 3 1 'ihe5+ �h7 32 the white king is caged and whereas
h3 ! .:Z.d7? 3 3 ltJhS and White won in the black pawn will reach e3 at least, it
Seirawan-Popovic, Manila IZ 1 990 - is much more difficult to advance the
this is a classic example of what to white pawns. Yes, Black is two pawns
avoid. down, but this is one of many exam­
d l 2) 22 . . . l:.c8! is Stohl's ,._gges­ ples in this line where quality is more
tion and I think it is a good one. After important than quantity.
White tidies up the kingside there is d2) After 22 'We2 b6 23 h4 the fol­
very little for the rook to do on the f­ lowing two games are model perfor­
file and since Black wants to play mances for Black:
... ltJd6 it would seem that it is much d2 1 ) 23 ....i.f4 24 ll'lfl lt}d6 25 .Uel
more useful to prepare this with ... l:c8, l:c8 26 g3 l:c2 27 'fi'f3 'il'xa2 28 'ot?gl
which improves an important piece, J.h6 29 g5 .i.g7 30 �e3 l:c7 3 1 lt:}g4
than with . b6, which does little to en­
.. l:tf7 32 'ife3 'i'c2 33 h5 ! lLlc4 34 'i'c l
hance Black's scope of ideas. 23 't!fc3 !? 'iVxcl 35 l:xcl gxh5 36 l:xc4 hxg4 37
(White definitely wants to stop . . .lbd6 l:tc8+ J.f8 38 .tel �g7 39 J.c3 .id6
if possible, since then all of Black's 40 l:tc6 J.c5+ 4 1 �g2 l%f2+ 42 �h l
pieces would be optimally placed; I J.d4 43 .t b4 .:n 44 l%e6 :b7 45 .:tc6
am pleased to say that I don' t see a a5 46 d6 axb4 ! ! and Black went on to
particul arly useful alternative move win in Ki.Georgiev-Ivanchuk, Reggio
for White) 23 ....i.f4 ! (with the pawn Emilia 1 989/90.
on b6 and rook on f8 White could now d22) 23 ...lU4 !? 24 .tel J.f8 25 :c1
play ltJe2 but here this could be an­ b5 26 l:tc3 .te7 27 h5 'ifa6 28 hxg6
swered by ... ltJd6 hitting the queen bxg6 29 lbf5 gxf5 30 gxf5 'ifh6+ 3 1
74 UNDERSTANDING THE GR ONFEW

l:th3 'it'g5 32 d6 .txd6 33 'iid3 </i;g7 34 Nenashev' s comment was "Another


.td2 lt:Jxd2 35 'iixd6 :n + 36 'iitth2 attacking move, after which it will be
'iWf4+ 37 l:tg3+ 'iix g3+ 0- 1 Ftacnik­ difficult to find a sensible plan. Not
Kudrin, Reno 1991. without reason did Karpov so like
Returning to the position after 17 playing this variation - it is hard for
'iid3 (D) : Black to find a target to attack." This
last point is particularly pertinent
when Black exchanges on e3 since it
seems that although the remaining
B pieces can be activated, Black is left
with little dynamism, and White has
no organic weaknesses. 19 h3 (White
has some promising alternatives: 1 9
'iig3 and 1 9 </i;g1 ! ? 'iixg4 20 l:tc1 .th6
21 'iixh6 'iWxe2 22 h3 !) and now:
a) 19 . . ..th6 20 'iWd3 l:tf8+ 21 </i;g1
'iWf2+ (it looks pretty good at this
point, but perhaps Black is just thrash­
ing around) and then (D):

17 b5!?
...

Considering Morot-Martin above,


it is hardly surprising that Black wants
to keep this knight on c4. Moreover, it
is rather counter-intuitive to my mind
that Black should give White a pro­
tected passed d-pawn and then ex­
change the piece which would be such
an effective blockader. Indeed, I was
quite surprised that Shirov chose to
exchange on e3 in his match against
Kramnik and less surprised that Kram­
nik and Dolmatov suggest 1 7 . . . l:tc8 ! ?
in their notes i n lnformator 72. It a1) 22 �h 1 'iWe3 (22 ....te3 ? ! 23 d6
would seem that all three of Black's l:tf3 24 lt:Jg1) 23 'iixe3 .txe3 24 l:td1
choices provide adequate chances here (24 lt:Jg1 .txg1 25 'it>xg1 l:.c8 forces a
but personally I think 17 . . . b5 makes draw - Salov) 24 . ..l:t2 25 lZ'lgl <j;f7 26
the best use of Black's resources. l:.d3 .tb6 (26. . . .td4! deserved serious
17 . . . lZ'lxe3+ ("In my view, a rash attention "in order to have an impetu­
decision" - GM Alexander Nena­ ous pawn on b5" - Salov; Kramnik
shev) 18 'iixe3 and now after 18 ... 'iWh4 now gives 27 l:.f3+ a question mark
THE ANCHOR 75

and cites the variation 27.. Jbf3 28


.!Dxf3 b5 29 .!Dxd4 exd4 30 �g1 b4 3 1
� a5 32 q.,e2 a4 3 3 �d3 a3 ! 34 'itc4
d3, winning for Black) 27 l:tf3+ 'it>e7
28 l:txf2 i.xf2 29 .!Df3 'iii>d6 30 g3
("Here Vladimir must have calculated
something like 30 .!Dg5 b5 3 1 lDt7+
'iii>c5 32 lDxe5 Wd4 33 ltJc6+ 'it>xe4 34
d6 i.b6 35 d7 aS 36 d8'ii' i.xd8 37
lbxd8 �d5 38 lDb7 a4 39 �g 1 �c6 40
.!Dd8+ �d5 4 1 .!Db7 �c6 with a repeti­
tion" - Salov) 30 . . . i.x.g3 3 1 �g2 i.f4
32 �f2 �c5 3 3 'itre2 b5 34 �d3 I/z-1h
Kramnik-Shirov, eazorla wee (3) 18 g5
1 998. Obviously this is not forced, but I
a2) 22 �h2 ! ? may well be a signif­ feel generally very comfortable about
icant improvement. 22 . . . i.e3 23 d6 the black position here.
l:tf3 24 'ii'd5+ ! transposes to a position 1 8 'it>g1 ! ? ltJxe3 ! ? 1 9 'ifx.e3 i.f8 ! ?
which Nenashev says "would have con­ 20 l:l.c l 1i'b6 ! 2 1 'i'xb6 axb6 2 2 llc2
cluded dismally [for Black]". Salov i.c5+ 23 �fl l:ta4 24 ltJc3 (24 l£Jg3
doesn't seem to have any recommen­ <;f.;>f7 !) 24 . . .l:tc4 is a sample variation
dation for Black, while Kramnik and against a plausible alternative but I
Dolmatov are conspicuously silent on suspect the future of the Seville Varia­
the matter. tion will stand or fall by whether White
b) 1 9... b6 weakens the light squares has a promising continuation on his
according to Nenashev, but he refers to eighteenth move.
the above lines with .. .i.t." as "empty
. 18...i.f8 19 lbgl .!Dxe3+!
threats". 20 �g1 i.f8 21 'it>h 1 i.c5 22 Now there is a concrete follow-up
'ii'd3 'ii' f6 23 .!Dg1 'ii'f2 24 lDf3 i.d6 25 to this move which changes the nature
'ii'a6 l:tf8 26 .!Dg5 'it'e3 27 lDe6 'if'c3 28 of the position.
l:tg1 l:tf7 29 lDg5 l:te7 30 l:tfl 'if'c2 3 1 20 'iVxe3 'iVb6!
lbe6 h 6 32 l:tf8+ Wh7 33 �h2 l:tg7 34 Very instructive; a resource which
l:ld8 i.e7 35 l:l.d7 'ii'xe4 36 'ii'b7 'ti'b4 makes good sense of choosing 17 ...b5
37 d6 1 -0 Nenashev-eonquest, Gron­ ahead of 17 ...:cs.
ingen 1 997 is another demonstration 21 'iVc3
of the dangers present for Black. I sus­ 2 1 1i'xb6 axb6 22 .!Df3 i.cS ! is pre­
pect it will soon become clear that it is sumably the idea. Black looks better
better for Black not to take on e3 so here; among other things he has the
early. crude threat of ...b4-b3.
Returning to the position after 21 ... b4 22 �c4 i.d6 23 �e2 a5 24
17 ... b5 (D): ltJh3
76 UNDERSTANDING THE GR ONFELD

This looks too ambitious, but it may 9 i.e3 .!Dc6 10 l:tcl !? was popular
be completely forced. in the early 1990s. White wants to
24 .!Df3 a4 intending ... lt.a5-c5 looks hold the centre and checkmate Black
like the reason that White felt com­ on the kingside, beginning with h4-h5.
pelled to manoeuvre the knight to­ However, this system seems to have
wards d3. been almost completely de-fanged by
24 a4 25 .!Df2 'ifd8!
... 10... cxd4 1 1 cxd4 'ii'a 5+ 12 'ii?f l 'Wa3 !
Attacking g5 and preparing ... lt.c8. (D).
26 'ifc1 lt.c8 27 'ii'd2 l:tc4!
Now all of Black's pieces are work­
ing well.
28 �1 'iff8 29 'ife2 i.c5 30 'iff3 w
i.d4 31 l:td1 l:tc2
Black has made full use of all his re­
sources. His bishop on d4 is supreme
and the queenside majority has made
its presence felt.
32 .!Dg4 'i¥xf3+ 33 gxf3 'ii?f8!
Sensibly using all the pieces; it ap­
pears that the success or failure of this
line for Black often hinges on the pos­
sibility of blocking this pawn with the
king while the other pieces do some­ A wonderfully subtle move devised
thing active. by GM llya Gurevich. The black queen
34 d6 'it>e8 35 f4 b3 36 axb3 axb3 frees a5 for the knight and stares at the
37 fxe5 b2 38 .!Df6+ 'ii?f7 39 d7 i.b6 bishop on e3 in order to intimidate the
0-1 f-pawn, which normally likes to make
White's centre may look imposing, room for the king at this stage but no
but as is often the case in the Griinfeld, longer feels free to move. Perhaps the
Black has found adequate counterplay queen also feels that displacing the
and in this particular position the king was a sufficiently large achieve­
threat of . . �te l means that the b-pawn
. ment to warrant simple recentraliza­
cannot be stopped. tion to the d6-square. Now:
a) 13 'ii'b3 ! ? is the main response. I
Game 1 5 think Black can take on b3 and have
Kramnik - Shirov fair endgame chances but it is more
eazorla wee ( 1) 1998 fun for Black to try 13 ...'ii'd 6! 14 i.d5 !?
(14 e5 'ir'd8 is unproblematic, as is 14
1 d4 .!Df6 2 c4 g6 3 .!Dc3 d5 4 cxd5 'i'c3 i.e6 ! ) 14 . . . .!Da5 ! was Atalik­
.!Dxd5 5 e4 .!Dxc3 6 bxc3 i.g7 7 i.c4 Rotsagov, Cappelle Ia Grande 1 997.
0-0 8 ttJe2 c5 9 0-0 15 'ir'b5 'ii'd8 ! would now have given
THE ANCHOR 77

Black good chances in an unclear po­ This is the main move, but there are
sition. 1 6 l:tcS ! ? i.d7 ! 17 �xa5 b6 1 8 two significant alternatives:
'ti'd2 bxc5 19 .1xa8 cxd4 ! 2 0 .1xd4 a) 14 d5. This double-edged move
.1xd4 21 'ii'xd4 �xa8 22 f3 i.b5 23 involves White sacrificing an exchange
�f2 l:td8 is slightly better for B lack for control of the dark squares and
according to deep analysis by RotSa­ kingside attacking chances. It is inter­
gov and Atalik. esting to compare the views of
b) 1 3 'ii'd2 :td8 ! 14 d5 liJe5 1 5 Bronstein and Karpov on this move.
i.bS b 6 t o b e followed b y . . . .1a6 was The former world championship chal­
clearly better for Black in Ftacnik­ lenger (in The Sorcerer's Apprentice,
I.Gurevich, Biel IZ 1993. 1995) highlights the distance of the
c) 13 h4 .1g4 ! is the key point of aS-knight from the kingside and says
Black's idea. "we will play 14 d5 as after 14 . . ..1xa1
d) 1 3 l:.c3 'ir'd6 14 f4 e5 ! destroys 1 5 'ii'x al f6 Black will be totally pas­
the white centre. sive and White's pieces can use their
It is also worth noting that after 9 fantasy and knowledge to create a
.1e3 lDc6, the crude 10 h4? is met by strong offensive."
10 . . .cxd4 1 1 cxd4 'it'd6 ! threatening Karpov simply says (in Beating the
. . 'ti'b4+, which again highlights the
. Grunfeld, 1 992): "The once fashion­
precarious position of the bishop on able Sokolsky Attack, 14 d5 .ixa1 15
c4. After 12 l:tc1 :td8 1 3 d5 lUeS 14 'ii'x a1 f6, has practically fallen into
'ii'b 3 i.d7 Black was clearly better in disuse. Black is the exchange up and
the game Naranja-Portisch, Siegen OL can extricate himself without too much
1970. difficulty."
9 lDc6 10 .1e3 i.g4 1 1 f3 lDa5 12
... Your author feels that both state­
i.d3 cxd4 13 cxd4 .1e6 (D) ments are fair. In �'ct, I feel that it sim­
ply depends on the abilities of the
players who are contesting from this
position. Most grandmasters would
w align themselves with Karpov here,
but Bronstein's comments are more
pertinent at cl u b level where the initia­
tive tends to be of more value than ma­
terial. What follows is by no means a
comprehensive survey of this position,
but since most readers will want to
know how to play as Black here, I have
included several examples which show
how to fight off the white initiative and
eventually triumph with the extra ma­
14 :tel terial. Sometimes it is also possible to
78 UNDERSTANDING THE GR ONFELD

return the material in exchange for horrendous endgame for Black! My


some time to bust up the centre or thanks go to 1M Malcolm Pein for help­
seize the c-file, etc. Please note that ing me to get this clear in my head, and
there is absolutely no need to try to advising me that Black had good pros­
memorize what follows. I do suggest, pects if he just hangs on to the extra
however, that you build up your confi­ exchange.
dence by getting a feeling for how to a12) 16 ...%:te8 ! 17 �h1 (D) (17 l:tb1
play the black position. 14 . . ..txa 1 15 a6 18 'it'd4 .tf7 19 f4 l:c8 20 f5 b5 21
'it'xal f6 (D) and now: fxg6 hxg6 22 a4 ll:lc4 23 axb5 axb5 24
�xb5 ll:le5 is slightly better for Black
according to Karpov) and now:

al) 1 6 .th6 and then:


al l ) Lalic suggests that here Black
should consider returning the material a121) 17 ... .td7 1 8 e5 %:tc8 1 9 ll:lf4
with 1 6 . . ..id7 17 .ixf8 'it'b6+ and re­ ll:lc4 20 e6 (this looks like a mistake as
capturing on f8. My first thought was it relieves the pressure on f6 and gives
that this would save me and my read­ Black the d6-square; 20 %:te1 ll:lxe5 21
ers a lot of work because 16 .th6 is not l:xe5 fxe5 22 'it'xe5?? l:c 1 + is also
the only move after 15 . . .£6 and yet good for Black, but keeping the ten­
surely it would be if Black played sion with 20 .txc4 %bc4 21 h3 leaves
15 ... .id7 instead. I think this is an im­ the position fairly unclear) 20 ... .ta4
portant point, but it forced me to exam­ 21 lDxg6 hxg6 22 .txg6 lDe5 ! (bring­
ine LaJic's suggestion in more detail ing back the reserves; after 22...'it'xd5
and I discovered that I didn't like the 23 'il'e l ! 'it'e5 24 .tf7+ �h7 25 'it'h4
look of 18 'it'd4 ! (Lalic gives only 18 White's minor pieces are somewhat
ll:ld4 !?) 1 8 . . .'it'xd4+ 1 9 ll:lxd4 'itxf8 more effective than Black's !) 23 .ie4
20 :c 1 %:tc8 2 1 l1xc8+ .txc8 22 f4 ! , (23 .txe8 gives Black less to worry
which looks like best play for both about) 23 ...'it'a5 (preventing 1We1 ) 24
sides but also looks like a truly 'it'd4 (the queen is seeking the route
THE ANCHOR 79

f2-g3; 24 Wb2 !? Korchnoi) 24 . . .l::tc4


25 'iif2 lb:e4 26 fxe4 'iic3 (covering
g3) 27 h3 (27 'iixa7 leaves Black with w
a development advantage) 27 . . . 'ii"d 3
28 'iWf5 (28 :te l intending :te3 is pos­
sible - White still has need of the g3-
square, e.g. 28 .. Jlc8 29 :te3 'iid 1 + 30
�h2 "ii'h 5 3 1 l%g3+ �h7 32 i.f4)
28 . . . :cs 29 d6 'iixd6 30 i.f4 i.e8 3 1
I:.b 1 'iid3 32 :tb3 'Wxb3 0-1 Christian­
sen-Korchnoi, Reggio Emilia 1987/8.
a1 22) With 17 . . a6 ! ? Black wants
.

to use his bishop to defend the kingside


but first has to prevent i.b5 winning relieve the tension by giving some ma­
back the exchange. This is an important terial back: 19 ... ..tf7 ! ? 20 i.xg6 i.xg6
idea to be aware of but it is rather time­ 21 l:.xd8 llaxd8 22 exf6 exf6 23 i.xa7
consuming so may only hold up if �c6 24 i.c5 llfe8, when personally I
White takes time out with 'it>h I . IS 'iie1 prefer Black because White's bishop
..tf7 ! 19 1i'g3 ( 1 9 i.d2 ! ? b6 20 ..txa5 will find it difficult to have any major
bxa5 21 lt:ld4) I 9...'iid 6 20 f4 I:.ac8 21 influence, e.g. 25 lL!e4 .1xe4 26 fxe4
h4 'it>h8 22 %tf3 :tgS 23 'Wei �c4 24 �g7!) 1 8 ... 'i'xd5 19 fxe7 (19 i.e4 'i'd6
'iic 3 lDe3 25 'ili'b2 liJg4 26 e5 fxe5 27 is just clearly better for Black since
i.g5 i.xd5 28 :lg3 ..te6 29 �gl 'ti'd4 White will have no compensation for
30 'iWxd4 exd4 3 I i.xe7 :tge8 32 i.b4 the exchange) 1 9 . . Jbf3 ! is now win­
lt:Jt2+ 3 3 �h2 lt:lxd3 34 l:txd3 i.xa2 ning for Black.
35 liJf3 �g8 36 �xd4 l:tcd8 37 'itrg3 a22) 17 lt:lf4 'i�Vb8 ! (it is well worth
i.c4 38 lld2 lle3+ 0- 1 Drentchev­ knowing of this manoeuvre) 18 'ir"c3
Macieja, Rimavska Sobota 1992. b6 1 9 ..ta6 'i'd6 20 lDd3 i.cS 21 ..tb5
a2) 16 :tbl ! ? i.d7 (D) and here: i.b7 22 lDf4 llfc8 23 'iid 3 a6 24 i.a4
a2 1 ) 17 e5 ..tc6 ! ! (this move, dis­ b5 was clearly better for Black in Niko­
covered by GM Chuchelov, was actu­ lac-Hort, Amsterdam 1978.
ally quite central to the demise of the a23) 1 7 ..th6 :n 18 e5 .tc6 ! ? 1 9
line beginning with 14 d5 at the high­ e 6 :tg7 20 dxc6 'tli'xd3 2 1 cxb7 lDxb7
est levels; prior to this game Black had 22 ltJf4 'ii'e 3+ 23 �h1 ltc8 ! ? is fairly
tended to capture on e5 and White had unexplored but somehow I don' t feel
good compensation) 1 8 exf6? ( 1 8 that Black should be worse. The fol­
dxc6 'i'xd3 ; 1 8 ll:if4 g5 ! 1 9 dxc6 gx.f4; lowing are just some ideas I found
l 8 i.e4 f5 !; 1 8 lDc3 ! ? i.xd5 I 9 lld l is which may be quite important. 24 .:tel
White's best hope according to Lalic, "ii"c3 ! ? (24 ...'ii'd2 25 lldl 'i'e3 is a draw
but I am also unconvinced and this - and perhaps a safer way to do it!) 25
may be a good moment for Black to 'i'xc3 %txc3 26 i.xg7 (26 1:tb1 �d8 27
80 UNDERSTANDING THE GRONFELD

llld5 l:td3) 26 . . .<iti>xg7 27 liJd5 ltc5 !


(trying t o play on in the hope that e6
will be weak) 28 lll xe7 �f8 29 l:tbl
t0d6 ! traps the knight.
a3) 16 .td2 .tf7 17 'ii'e l lllc 6! 1 8
.th6 'ii'b6+ 1 9 �h l llle5 20 -tbl l:.fc8
2 1 h3 .te8 22 .td2 lllc4 23 .tc3 llla3
24 .td3 'ir'e3 ! 25 'ir'dl .tb5 ! 26 .txb5
lllxb5 27 .tal l:tc7 28 l:.el l:tac8 29 a4
l:tc2 ! 30 axb5 l:.d2 3 1 'ir'bl l:txe2 32
l:tgl l:tcc2 33 .tb2 'ir'b3 0-1 Thorbergs­
son-Gligoric, Reykjavik 1964. Another
model game: Black used the c-flle well
and exchanged off White's dangerous "when Black gives back the exchange
pieces. but repulses White's attack with the
a4) 1 6 �hl !'? l:tc8 17 .th6 l:.e8 18 likely outcome of a draw", is a reason­
g4 .td7 ! (keeping f7 for the king) 1 9 able line and fair assessment by Lalic,
g 5 lllc4 20 .txc4 l:txc4 2 1 gxf6 exf6 but here we can maybe improve for
22 lll f4 �f7 23 llld3 'ii'a5 24 'it'b2 Black with a suggestion of former world
'ii'c 3 25 'ifbl ffc2 26 e5 ffxbl 27 e6+ champion Euwe, which I found in an
.txe6 28 dxe6+ l:txe6 29 l:txbl b6 (a older source, The Grunfeld Defence
very solid transformation by GM Gav­ by Botvinnik and Estrin: 17 ...'ii'd7 ! (to
rikov; White has many weak pawns and improve the scope of the f8-rook) 18
the rooks are more effective than the mi­ .tb5 'it'd6 gives Black "good chances
nor pieces, which have nothing to at­ of successful defence" - Euwe.
tack) 30 .tf4 l:.e2 3 1 .tg3 l:.xa2 32 lllf2 a6) 16 W'd4 .tf7 17 .th6 l:te8 18
l:.d4 33 l:.cl l:.d7 34 llle4 �g7 35 .tel .tb5 e5 1 9 W'f2 l:.e7 20 .te3 l:.c8 !
f5 36 lDg5 l:.e2 37 �gl h6 38 liJh3 g5 (material for time) 21 .txa7 lDc4 22
39 lllf2 l:.e6 40 �fl a5 41 l:.c8 a4 42 .tc5 l:.ec7 23 .tb4 .te8! 24 lDc3 llld 6!
.tb4 �g6 43 l:tg8+ �h7 44 l:.c8 l:td4 (forcing exchanges) 25 .txe8 'it'xe8
45 l:.c7+ �g6 46 i.c3 l:.d5 47 .tb4 b5 26 W'b6 lllf7 27 'ir'e3 �g7 28 l:.d 1
48 .tc3 l:.dd6 0-1 Geller-Gavrikov, llld6 29 l:.d3 'it'd? 30 h3 lllb5 ! (more
USSR Ch 1985. exchanges) 3 I lllxb5 'it'xb5 32 a3 l:r.c2
a5) Lalic suggests that 16 'ir'bl !? is 33 d6 'i'd7 34 f4 l:.e8 35 fxe5 l:.xe5 36
well worth investigating and I think l:.d4 b5 37 .td2 l:.c4! (still more ex­
he is right. Considering the line-up of changes !) 38 l:.xc4 bxc4 39 W'd4 l:r.e6
queen and bishop against g6 I think 40 .tb4 c3 41 'ii'xc3 lbe4 42 'i'c5 g5 !
16 ... .tf7 ! (D), bolstering the kingside, (counterplay in the kingside) 43 'i!Vd5
is almost certainly best. l:te5 44 'ii'd l 'iti>g6 45 �h2 h5 46 a4
Then after 17 t0d4, 17 ...l:.c8 1 8 l:te8 47 .ta5 �g7 48 .tb6 g4 49 hxg4
W'b4 b 6 19 .th6 l:.e8 20 .tb5 W'd6, hxg4 50 W'd4 �g6 51 a5 f5 52 a6 l:te4
THE ANCHOR 81

5 3 'ii'd5 'Wh7+ 54 �g1 g 3 55 �fl ltld4 is defmitely not what we're look­
'it'h1 + 0- 1 Gligoric-Portisch, Nice OL ing for, but 20. . . exd5 2 1 :IxcS 'ii'x cS
1 974. A highly thematic, model game 22 'iWxa5 dxe4 23 J.xe4 leads to a po­
for B lack in this line. sition not at all untypical of the Griin­
If it makes you feel any better about feld. The minor pieces find it difficult
this amorphous haze of variations to attack anything and the black queen,
('a1 ' - 'a6'), your author is also some� rook and bishop have more than enough
what bewildered, but I am also very open lines to share amongst them­
comfortable with Black's prospects selves. Black also has good chances to
generally. create a passed pawn on the queenside
b) 14 'ii'a4 is White's second alter­ and a2 can become weak. However,
native and it is also by no means venom­ White controls a lot of squares and
less. 1 4 . . . a6 1 5 d5 i.d7 ( 1 5 . .. b5 ! ?) 1 6 threatens 'ii'b6 followed by j,b? so
'ii'b4 b5 ! (D) is a fairly common se­ Black has to act fast. 23 . . .'�c4 ! ? looks
quence; I prefer to gain space on the like a good way to start. I think Black
queenside and play against the centre is at least no worse - note how annoy­
than grab material and defend. Be­ ing it is for White that the pawn is on
sides, there's been enough of that for f3 !
one chapter! b2) After 1 7 l:tac l we have two
games that suggest that Black has good
prospects. 1 7 . . . e6 1 8 dxe6 _txe6 1 9
l:tfd 1 l:tc8 2 0 .tc5 lDc6 2 1 'iVa3 lDe5 !
and now:
b2 1 ) 22 .txb5 axb5 ! 23 :Ixd8
:l'.fxd8 24 f4 lDc4 25 '1Wb4 .:ct2 26 f5
gxfS 27 exf5 .td5 28 'ii'xb5 l:xe2 29
.tf2 .l:d2 30 a4 i.d4! 3 1 j,xd4 .l:xg2+
32 �h 1 i.a8 ! 33 h4 .l:[c2+ 34 'ito>g l
lhc 1+ 3 5 'iti> f2 t2Jd6 36 'ii'e5 :t8c2+ 37
'it g3 .l:.g2+ 38 'iti>f4 0- 1 Nenashev­
Krasenkov, USSR Army Ch 1 987.
b22) 22 i.xf8 (an attempt to im­
prove by Nenashev, who does a good
bl) 17 l:tad 1 ! ? has not been tried to job of bringing out the best in the Griin­
my knowledge. After 1 7 .. .l:lc8, I was feld in both these games) 22 . . . ..txf8 23
going to stop and say that the idea of l:.xc8 1i'xc8 24 'ii'b2 1i'c5+ 25 'ito>h l
. . . lbc4 gives Black a good position, l2Jxf3 ! ! (a stunning conception) 26 liJf4
but then I noticed the switch-back 1 8 (26 gxf3 1i'f2 27 'i'f6 i.h3 28 l:tg1
:Ic l ! ? e 6 1 9 :Ixc8 i.xc8 20 .l:rc l !, try­ i.e? ! 29 'I'Wf4 i.d6! forces a win)
ing to highlight the over-loaded nature 26 . . . l2Jxh2 27 lLlxe6 'ft'h5 28 liJf4
of the black queen. Then 20. . . l2Jb7 2 1 'i'xd 1 + 29 �xh2 i.h6 30 {)d5 'llt'x d3
82 UNDERSTANDING THE GRONFELD

3 1 'lieS 'ir'a3 32 0.e7+ 'it>f8 33 0.d5 of the c4-square) 1 6 f5 b5 17 e5 fol­


'it>g8 34 0.f6+ 'it>h8 112-112 Nenashev­ lows Nenashev-Notkin, St Petersburg
Chuchelov, Novosibirsk 1 989. 1995 and now 17 ... 0.c4 ! , decentraliz­
14 ..ixa2! (D)
... ing the knight, is the best way to start
the distractions. 1 8 ..ig5 0.b2 1 9 'ii'd2
0.xd3 20 'ilr'xd3 ..ic4 21 l:txc4 bxc4 22
'Wxc4 li'd7 is given by Notkin. Black
will meet the consistently crude f6
with ...l:tfc8 and ... ..if8, which will be
winning: 23 f6 exf6 24 exf6 l:tfc8 ! .
15 ..ib3! (D)
...

Absolutely forced in view of the


positional threat of d5, but this is al­
ways a tasty cookie.
15 'ii'a4
15 d5 ! ? is thought to be past its sell­
by date. 1 5 .....ib3 ! 16 'ii'e 1 e6 17 'ir'b4
exd5 1 8 l:tc5 ..ic4 19 ..ixc4 0.xc4 20
l:txd5 'ilr'xd5 ! 21 exd5 0.xe3 followed I think this definitely poses more
by ... 0.xd5 gives Black a clear advan­ problems for White than the more
tage due to the passed a-pawn and the compliant 1 5 . . . ..ie6. The point is that
weakened squares around the white d4-d5 is an integral part of White's
king. strategy and Black prefers to have the
15 f4 ! ? may well be the instinctive bishop outside the pawn-chain, attack­
choice of aggressive club players but it ing the centre from behind and prevent­
is too crude to be effective. Black's ing White's king's rook from taking
problems lie in the centre, and on the up its optimal post on d 1 . It is also use­
queenside, where his pieces are some­ ful to force the white queen to b4 so
what entangled. It makes some sense that Black can be assured of the defen­
to take advantage of their absence sive resource ... 'ii'd 6.
from the kingside, but the c4-square is 16 'ir'b4
once again a crucial anchor for Black 16 'Wa3 ! ? has not been tried to my
which allows him to chisel away at the knowledge but since White doesn't
white centre. 15 ... a6 ! (forcing control seem to threaten ..id2 in view of the
THE ANCHOR 83

weakness on d4, it doesn' t look like


anything to worry about.
16 ... b6 17 .tgS w
17 l:tc3 ! ? (Timman's novelties tend
to be very dangerous, but on this occa­
sion Black has everything covered)
17 ....te6 1 8 .tg5 ( 1 8 l:tfc l 'ii'd 6! is a
classic and fully adequate rebuttal; 18
.tf4 ! ? is an attempt to prevent Black's
main defensive resource and the posi­
tion remains complex after 18 . . .l:tc8
1 9 l:tfc l l:txc3 20 l:txc3 .td7 21 .tc7
'ii'e8 - Timman) 18 . . . l:te8 ! ( 1 8 . . . f6? !
19 .tf4 would be an improved version ts .tr4
of what we've just considered) 19 18 .th4 ! ? was played in Kramnik­
.tb5 .td7 20 .ta6?? (missing a crush- Shirov, eazorla wee (5) 1998. "This
, ing tactical blow; 20 .txd7 'ii'xd7 21 stunning novelty [ 1 8 .tf4 was played
l:tfc 1 l:tad8! is equal according to in the first game] is the best demon­
Timman) 20 ...�c6 2 1 'ii'c4 b5 ! ! 22 stration of the advantages of a sado­
'ii'c 5 (22 .txb5 �a5 ! 23 'ii'a4 .txb5 24 masochistic approach to chess. It had
'ii'xb5 .txd4+ 25 �xd4 'ti'xd4+ 26 an immediate devastating effect on
l:te3 �c4 27 'ii'a4 'ii'c 5 ! ) 22 . . .'ii'b6 23 Alexei's self-composure. Almost with­
'ii'x b6 axb6 24 .tb7 �xd4 25 �c l out thinking he blitzed out the follow­
l:ta7 26 .td5 �e6 27 .td2 .txc3 28 ing moves . . . 1 8 . . .'ii'd 6 19 'ii'xd6 exd6
.txc3 �c5 29 .ta2 .te6 30 .tb1 l:td8 20 d5 f5? (many publications have
0- 1 Timman-Hellers, Malmo 1 997. rightfully pointed out that almost any
After 1 7 d5 'ii'd6 ! 18 .td2? ! ( 1 8 other move would have been better;
'ii'xd6 exd6 19 .ta6 .ta4! is unclear ac­ the objective evaluation of the move
cording to Anand) 18 ...l:tfd8 ! (a strong 1 8 .th4 may be inferred from the fact
move, preparing the central ...e6 break) that Kramnik didn 't give it a second
19 'ti'xd6 ( 1 9 $.a6 'ii'xb4 20 .txb4 e6 ! try in the match)." - Valery Salov. In­
21 .te7 l:td7 22 d6 .te5 23 .tb5 .txd6! deed, 20 ... l:tac8 21 .ta6 l:tc5 is given
·· 24 .txd7 .txe7 is a typical exchange by Kramnik and Dolmatov in /nfor­
sacrifice which is favourable for Black) mator; I presume the idea is that 22
1 9 . . . exd6 20 .tg5 l:tdc8 2 1 .ta6 l:tc5 ! .tf2 .tc4 ! ? holds things together for
Black is a clear pawn up and has defi­ Black: 23 .txc5 .txa6 24 .txd6 .txe2
nitely won the opening battle, Yusu­ 25 .txf8 .txf8 leads to a strange posi­
pov-Anand, Wijk aan Zee et (2) 1 994. tion which offers chances to both
17...f6! (D) sides. I think I would rather be Black
Preparing a little nest for the bishop because his king is well-placed to deal
on f7 . with the white pawns and it seems that
84 UNDERSTANDING THE GR ONFELD

White will only be able to cause trou­ 21 l:le8! 22 .l:lfdl "ffle7 23 ikxe7
...

ble with one rook, not two, viz. 26 :Xe7 24 ltJc6 llJxc6 25 llxc6 (D)
l:lf2! ? .tc4! keeping the rooks out,
looks much better for Black.
By the way, I didn' t want to inter­
rupt Salov's eloquence, but you should B
know that 1 8 . . . .tf7 ! ? 1 9 d5 'ti'd6 20
'ilfxd6 exd6 also looks playable for
Black.
The game continued 21 exf5 gxf5
(21 ....txd5 ! ?) 22 tiJg3 ! .tb2 23 lill.f5
.tc4 ! ! . There is not too much to say
about this move and what follows
from it. I strongly advise you to get to
grips with this game from another
source but I don't want to trivialize
Shirov's truly fantastic defensive play lfl. lh.

with superficial snippets. The game The decision to agree a draw has
was eventually drawn on move 65 in more to do with this being the first
what was perhaps the hardest fought match game (avoiding losing is the
game of the match. priority) than the position on the board,
18 .te3 .tt7 was originally given as which offers Black some chances to
unclear by Anand in his annotations to make use of the extra pawn. Salov gives
his game against Yusupov above and I 25 . . . f5 ! 26 .tg5 l:le5 27 l:lc7 fxe4 28
don't have anything significant to add lldd7 lhg5 29 l:txf7 .td4+ 30 �fl
to that, except that 19 .ta6 'ii'd6 looks exf3 31 .tc4 fxg2+ 32 �e2 "and White
like a likely continuation and I like miraculously holds on".
the fact that Black has an extra pawn
while all his minor pieces are secure. Conclusion
18...e5! 1) The c4-square is a key strategic
Of course, given the chance, Black point in the Exchange Variation of the
should destroy White's centre. Griinfeld and Black can use it as an an­
19 .te3 exd4 20 llJxd4 .tf7! chor to hold on to White's position.
Black's play makes a coherent im­ 2) The main line with . . . .tg4 and
pression. Probably White now has . . ltJa5 is the most reliable way to meet
.

slightly less than full compensation the Exchange Variation with .tc4.
for the pawn. Neither the Seville Variation nor the
21 .ta6 forcing lines where Black takes mate­
21 .l:lfdl l:le8 22 .tb5 'ii'e 7! is an rial and defends look problematic at
important detail. present.
7 D rawn Endgames?

"Our lives are frittered away by detail . . Simplify, simplify." - Henry David
.

Thoreau

It is widely thought to be unavoidably strong players are endgame players" -


true that playing the Grtinfeld neces­ and he was a prominent exponent of
sarily involves incorporating some the Griinfeld!
drawn, or at least drawish endgame Indeed, if you are aghast at the very
lines into your repertoire. thought of exchanging queens then I
I think this is a misconception. fear you are missing out, or at the very
Firstly, in most cases the lines referred least you are probably looking at the
to are late middlegames rather than wrong opening ! To my mind the late
endgames, which means that to begin middlegame and endgame stages are
with only the queens and perhaps one by no means boring and include some
pair of knights have been exchanged. of the most profound and beautiful
Secondly, more often than not these ideas in chess. In fact, I find these
lines are only superficially drawish and stages are generally far more engaging
there tends to be ample scope for both than the latest theoretical developments,
players to outplay the opponent. It is so perhaps I could be accused of writ­
also fully possible have a Griinfeld rep­ ing the wrong book!
ertoire which largely steers clear of Of course I don' t quite see it this
such lines, but I suspect this involves way. In fact I feel that trying to sever
playing some inferior positions. the links between the different stages
Also, at the risk of antagonizing my of the game is contrived and mislead­
reader, almost all the players I con­ ing. Most people buying an opening
sider to be "strong" can be classed as book will have competitive success as
"endgame players" to an extent. This their ultimate motivation so I consider
is mainly because you are considerably it the author's duty to examine and ex­
more powerful in the middlegame if plain typical middlegame and end­
you are confident of transforming ad­ game positions in as much (if not
vantages and disadvantages into more more) detail than the opening stage for
manageable forms in the endgame. In they will generally be at least as im­
fact, I have it on good authority that portant to the outcome of the game, if
one of the world's strongest players not more. This is difficult, because it
(now retired from chess), GM Gata can involve teaching chess generally
Kamsky, went further and said: "All rather than a particular opening. Still, I
86 UNDERSTANDING THE GRONFELD

suspect that most readers appreciate


the effort. In any case, I find that well­
played endgames are every bit as w
much the 'spirit of the Griinfeld' as the
dashing, firework-inducing post-open­
ing explosions that are commonly
thought to be the opening's essence.
Finally, I hope this doesn't discour­
age you. That was not my aim. I accept
that many readers will have a different
view of what is valuable in chess or
necessary for a whole-hearted appre­
ciation of the game. Still, I have striven
to be honest elsewhere in the book and has good chances of maintaining an
my considered opinion is that if you edge here and Black' s play is much
are not currently interested in the latter less combative than that the critical
stages of the game then you have a lines in Chapter 9.
fantastic opportunity to enhance your 10 0-0
understanding and joy of chess more 1 0 h4 ! ? i.. g4 ! ? 1 1 �fl !? is GM
than you can currently know. You sim­ Cebalo's idea, when l l . ..cxd4 1 2 cxd4
ply have to open your mind to these ll'lc6 ! seems to give Black a good game.
positions. It is a small but magnificent 10 ...i..b7 1 1 ii'd3
step. Please give it a try. 1 1 e5? ! cxd4 1 2 cxd4 i..dS ! 1 3 'ii'a4
ll'lc6 1 4 i..e3 'ii'd7 1 5 'ii'a3 and now:
Game 16 a) I suspect 15 . . . e6?! would be a
Gretarsson - Dvoirys fairly typical mistake in this sort of po­
Leeuwarden 1995 sition. It is important to secure firm
control of d5 in such positions but ... e6
1 d4 ll'lf6 2 c4 g6 3 ll'lc3 d5 4 ll'lf3 should only be played if necessary
i..g7 5 cxd5 ll'lxd5 6 e4 ll'lxc3 7 bxc3 since otherwise it just weakens the f6-
c5 8 .Z:.b1 0-0 9 i..e2 b6!? (D) and d6-squares and the crucial . . . f6
A sensible move which blunts the break becomes double-edged. More­
rook on bl and prepares to pressurize over, if White plays h4 in such posi­
the centre with a double fianchetto. I tions it is very tempting to cement the
like this move and have played it my­ kingside with ... h5 but usually this is a
self several times. If you have confi­ mistake since it gifts White the g5-
dence in your abilities to outplay your square and Black's kingside pawns
opponents from unbalanced positions lose their flexibility; normally it is
in which you have more experience best to meet h4 with ... h6.
then I whole-heartedly recommend it. b) 15 . . . f6 ! 1 6 exf6 exf6 (it's very
However, I should say that I feel White difficult for White to find a good plan)
DRAWN ENDGAMES ? 87

17 Ilfd1 l:tad8 1 8 l:tbc1 'ffd 6! 19 '1Wa4 white queen cannot tuck itself quite so
:n ! 20 h4 l:iJe7 21 hS lt:JfS 22 hxg6 comfortably on e3 since this will now
hxg6 23 l:tc3 i.f8! 24 i.c4 &i:Je7 ! 25 block the c l -bishop. Hence, I recom­
'ffc2 l:th7 26 'il'e4 i.xc4 27 .:.xc4 mend 1 2 . . . cxd4 1 3 cxd4 i.a6 ! ? 14
'itdS ! 28 'i'xd5+ &i:Jxd5 gave Black a 'ii'e3 'ii'd7 ! . The queen has her sights
clear endgame advantage in Michela­ set on the influential a4-square and an­
kis-Rowson, Erevan OL 1996. swers to the call of the f8-rook, who is
l l e6! ? (D)
... now less concerned about i.a3. I'm
There are various ways of playing not sure how often this exact position
this position with . . . i.a6 and . . .'ii'd7 has occurred but my gut feeling is that
and while they may be reasonable from Black can hold his own here, e.g. 1 5
a theoretical perspective, I have al­ d S exd5 1 6 exd5? :le8 ! .
ways found them rather artificial. c) 1 2 i.g5 i s the most frequently
played move and it demands consider­
able accuracy on Black's part. 12 ...'it'd6
looks like the best move to me, but
w some strong players have tried to play
with the queen on c7. I don't like this
idea so much because opening the c­
file is an important resource for Black,
and I don't want my queen being given
the eye by a white rook on c 1 . 13 'it'e3
(a tidy move, keeping the pieces flexi­
ble to wait for Black to play his hand)
13 ...l:tc8 ! (it is rather peculiar to play
this before developing the b8-knight
or taking on d4 but it is good to pre­
12 J.f4?! vent the exchange of dark-squared
This is definitely not the most test­ bishops and helpful to clear the f8-
ing but if such a natural-looking move square for the black queen so that she
is already a mistake, it suggests that has a comfortable resting place from a
Black's position is quite promising. white rook on d1) 14 l:tfdl (D) and
Alternatively: then:
a) 12 dxc5? ! 'ii'xd3 13 J.xd3 lbd7 c1) Normally Black plays 14 ...cxd4
is better for Black as White's pawns 1 5 cxd4 <Lld7 ( 1 5 ... �c6 16 h4 ! 'ii'f8 17
are very sickly and his pieces are not d5 !) but it seems to me that 16 J.bS is
· much better. now seriously annoying, and more so
b) 1 2 ltd1 !? is a tricky move to since I think it's the only seriously an­
face since the c 1-bishop is ready to re­ noying move. After 1 6 ... i.c6 1 7 i.a6
act to the placement of Black's pieces. l:te8 18 :de l ! the c-file is a major fea­
However, the drawback is that the ture of the position and the bishop on
88 UNDERSTANDING THE GRONFEW

c21 2) 16 dxc5 'ii'xc5 holds to­


gether nicely for Black.
B c213) 16 i.xc6 'ihc6 17 d5 exd5
1 8 exd5 1i'a4 leaves Black very well
coordinated.
c22) 15 dxc5 1i'c7 shows a typical
theme. In all such lines it is important
to realize that, other things being equal,
White emerging with an extra queen­
side pawn will almost always be coun­
ter-balanced by Black's open lines for
all his pieces and the ease with which
White's c- and a-pawns can be at­
c6 is very loose. If Black can take on tacked compared to the sturdiness of
d4 and play . . .'ii'f8 his position tends the b6-pawn.
to be quite comfortable because he' s 12...cxd4 13 cxd4 lbc6!
very flexibly placed to meet White' s Yes, I know I just said that this
main ideas and has plenty of prospects knight tends to be more comfortable
for counterplay. Note that although the on d7 in these lines, but Black has a
black knight is more actively placed particular idea in mind.
on c6 it is also much less secure and 14 l:.fd1 lbxd4!
does not make a particularly logical A sweet tactic which leaves Black
pair with the fianchetto of the light­ with a comfortable advantage.
squared bishop. Indeed one of the main 15 lLlxd4 e5 16 i.e3 exd4 17 i.xd4
benefits of putting the knight on d7 i.xd4 18 'ir'xd4 'ii'xd4 19 l:.xd4 (D)
here is the idea of playing . . . lbf6 to
create an annoyance against e4. It is
also worth knowing that one of
White' s main ideas here is to soften up B
the black kingside by pushing the h­
pawn and it is in Black' s interest to be
ready to meet h5 with . . . h6 and . . . g5,
which tends to give White fewer at­
tacking threats than other ideas . Hope­
fully the following will now speak for
itself:
c2) 14 . . .lLld7 ! ? (this is my own
idea) and now:
c2 1 ) 15 i.b5 i.c6 and then:
c2 1 1 ) 16 i.a6 l:.e8 looks playable The following endgame is played
for Black. so smoothly by Black that it is difficult
DRA WN ENDGAMES? 89

for me to say anything that is not self­ and it will be a sizeable one if White
evident. However, you are probably cannot bring the king to the queenside.
aware by now that I prefer to risk say­ Thisjs by no means an easy task since
ing too much than too little and I can­ it is difficult to avoid the exchange of
not emphasize enough how beneficial rooks in the process. White has to be
it is for the Griinfeld player to have a ready to meet . . . i.e6 with i.xe6 fol­
good feeling for such endgames. In­ lowed by l:.d8 so it would seem that
deed, at international level I would say White could try 28 h4 ! ? (a useful
more; that it is important for Black to move - if the black rook takes on g2,
enjoy playing such positions! h2 won't be attacked) 28 ...i.e6 (28. .h5 .

Of course the advantage lies in the is more precise, but after 29 g3 the same
position of the kings. The a2-pawn is ideas apply, although White should
not a serious weakness in such a posi­ refrain from playing f4) 29 i.xe6
tion and the queenside majority is only 'iii>xe6 (29 . . .fxe6 30 .l:td l ! intending
a greater asset than the kingside ma­ 'iii>f4-e5 looks OK for White) 30 l:ld8
jority because both kings are on the l:.b7 3 1 .l:ta8 b4 32 axb4 axb4 33 �d2
kingside. Indeed, if White performed b3 34 'iti>cl .:tc7+ ! 35 �b2 1:.c2+ 36
some sort of celestial castling here and �xb3 .l:txg2. Black is still better, but I
ended up with the king on al then think White has made a favourable
Black would have little to be excited transformation.
about. The rest of the game vividly 28...i.e6 29 i.xe6 'it>xe6 30 1:.d5?
demonstrates that White's problem is This active-looking move may be
that Black's potential passed pawn is the decisive mistake.
much more dangerous than White's. 30 Ab2 .:.b7 3 1 �d4 is more con­
19 Jtfd8 20 1:.bd1 Axd4 21 l:.xd4
.• sistent and still offers some drawing
�f8! chances. The white rook is passive,
Centralizing the king is useful in however, and Black still has many
preventing White's counterplay and ways to improve his position, e.g.
supporting the black pieces. 3 l . . .'it>d6 32 'iii>c 3 'iti>c6!? 33 l:.d2 lld7.
22 f3 �e7 23 i.c4 i.c6 30...l:lb7 31 f4 b4 32 axb4 axb4 33
Simply intending to advance the Ud2
pawns. White must have miscalculated; at
24 �f2 b5 25 i.b3 aS 26 a3 l:.a7! least I presume he hadn't intended to
The seed of the first transition: blockade this pawn with his rook.
Black prepares to exchange bishops 33 ... b3 34 .l:tb2 .l:tb4! (D)
and so remove the main blockader on I suspect that White's position is
the queenside. now beyond repair. It seems there is no
27 �e3 i.d7 28 1:.d2? constructive way to change the posi­
White is dithering and soon throws tion without dropping too much mate­
away his remaining drawing chances. rial, while Black has a very clear plan
Clearly B lack has some advantage to create a weakness on the kingside,
9() UNDERSTANDING THE GRONFELD

Game 1 7
Hillarp Persson - Rowson
Edinburgh (2) 1 997

1 d4 liJf6 2 c4 g6 3 liJc3 dS 4 cxdS


liJxdS 5 e4 ltJxc3 6 bxc3 cS! ?
More often than not this move­
order has no significance, but if White
intends to put a bishop on e3 or b5,
then there are additional options.
7 i.e3 cxd4 8 cxd4 eS!? (D)

and this will decisively over-stretch


the white forces. w
35 g3 f6 36 <;itd2
36 h4! ? looks more tenacious.
36...g5 37 fxgS fxgS 38 'it>c3 l:.b8!
39 'it>d4 g4!
A classic demonstration of the
'principle of two weaknesses' - the
black b-pawn is so strong that it con­
stitutes a 'weakness' in White's posi­
tion, but it is only by creating a second
weakness (h2) that Black can infiltrate
decisively. An unusual idea and an excellent
40 'it>e3 surprise weapon. The undeveloped
40 e5 l:.b7 ! is a painful zugzwang nature of White's kingside means that
for White. he has some difficulty dealing with
40 ...<;ite5 41 l:.b1 b2 42 'it>d3 hS 43 checks on the a5-e1 diagonal and in
'it>c2 'it>xe4 44 l:.e1+ most lines this enables Black to break
At last White manages to make the up White's imposing centre.
rook active and use the king as a block­ 9 liJf3
ader, but Black has made too many This is not the most testing move.
gains and now has a tactical win. Others:
44 ...'it>f3 45 'it>b1 'it>g2 46 lle2+ a) 9 dxe5 WaS+ lO i.d2 'ilfxe5 1 1
�g1 47 l:.d2 llbS! i.d3 i.g7 12 llb1 ltJc6 1 3 t0f3 We?
A pleasingly solid move with which 14 0-0 0-0 is comfortable for Black.
to force White's resignation. Black's b) 9 i.b5+ and now:
threat of ...l:.f5-f2 is unstoppable. b1) 9 ... lbc6 was played in L.B .Han­
0-1 sen-Djuric, Bled 1 99 1 : 1 0 'i!ia4 ( 1 0
DRA WN ENDGAMES? 91

:lb 1 ! looks much more testing to me) 13 . . . li:id7 14 0-0 llJb6 15 .i.b3 .i.d7 1 6
1 0. . . .i.d7 1 1 d5 li:ib4?! ( 1 1 . . .1Wa5+ ! 1 2 a4 ! .
'ikxa5 lbxa5 1 3 l:!.b 1 .i.xb5 14 lh:b5 14 'i'f4
b6 leads to an endgame where I feel I 1 4 0-0 l:he4 leaves White frus­
would rather be Black since it will be trated. The solid 14 f3 is probably best
easy to coordinate quickly, securely met with 14 . 'ib6 15 0-0 ltk6 1 6
. .

blockade the d-pawn and look forward l:!.fd l ..te6 !, which appears t o equal­
to using the a- and b-pawns at a later ize.
stage) 1 2 li:if3 f6 1 3 l:!.b l . White held a 14 ... :te7! 15 l:!.d1 li'a5+ 16 r;t>n
clear advantage and won convincingly 'ilr'c7!
in only 22 moves. It is useful to displace the white
I suspect this game put Black off king but Black lags in development so
playing this line but on seeing this immediately trying to exploit this is
game for the first time I felt there was mistaken. l 6 . . . llJc6 17 li:ixc6 bxc6 18
much still to be explored. 'it'f6 1Wc7 19 .i.xf7+ ! is a case in point.
b2) 9 . . ..i.d7 ! ? is dismissed by Ftac­ 17 'tlfxc7 l:!.xc7
nik with the line 1 0 .i.xd7+ lt:lxd7 1 1 Now we have an endgame not dis­
d5 with a slight advantage to White. similar to Game 16. If Black can fully
One of my discoveries in this line was mobilize safely then he will have good
that this was a sloppy assessment as long-term prospects, though the posi­
now Black can play the almost forcing tion is equal at this stage.
l l . . . .i.b4+ 1 2 .ll d 2? ! �h4 ! , which I 18 ..tdS .id7 19 <t>e2 l0a6 20 l:i.cl
can assure you is not to White 's ad­ 20 l:i.bl intending lbb5 was worth
vantage. To be honest though, I sus­ considering. However, since the bishop
pect that 1 1 l:!.b1 l causes Black some works better when pawns are on both
opening problems here, although White sides of the board and White is never
is only slightly better so it may be likely to do better than liquidate the
worth taking this risk if you think your queenside, the best White could do
opponents will make an error earlier. here would be to achieve .i.+4.0, vs
c) 9 :lb1 ! ? may also put Black's lO+ 3.0, on the same side, which tends
opening idea in jeopardy. I knew of the to be drawn anyway. So, not only does
potential problems when I ventured Black have little to fear, but it is fully
8 ..e5 so I hope this game serves as en­
. possible to approach the position more
couragement to those who occasion­ positively and play for a win by even­
ally like to take a little risk in the open­ tually creating and nurturing a passed
ing. pawn on the queenside.
9 . .i.b4+ 10 ..td2 ..txd2+ 11 'ilr'xd2
.. 20 ....l:f.ac8 21 l:!.xc7 l:ixc7 (D)
exd4 12 lt:Jxd4 0-0 13 ..tc4 l:re8! 22 l:.b1?!
It is important for Black to keep on Starting a plan h e wasn' t commit­
playing actively since insipid play will ted to finishing. Exchanging one pair
certainly give White the advantage: of rooks makes good sense because
92 UNDERSTANDING THE GR ONFELD

23 lDbS i.xbS+ 24 l:.xb5 l:.c2+ 25


'it>e3 lDc7.
23 'it>f8 24 h4! ?
.•.

24 lDb5 i.xbS 2 5 l:txbS �e7 i s very


comfortable for Black.
24 h5! 25 f4? ! l:.cS!
.•.

Preventing fS and preparing to ex­


change pieces.
26 l:.cl?
A clear sign that things have gone
wrong but also a bad mistake; with the
kingside structure compromised White
had to keep rooks on.
the centralized king becomes more of 26 l:.fl was better, when 26 . . . lDc7
an asset than a liability. But now 27 i.b3 lDbS retains a slight edge. In
White must find a plan and stick to it. saying all this, it was not too late for
22 h4 ! ? immediately was possible but White to cut his losses with 26 lDb3
after 22 . . . h5 White should be advised l:.c7 27 ll)ct4 tkS, etc. Black can try to
to play with a great deal of vigour be­ play on for a win here with 26 . . .l:.c8
cause now it is more difficult to create intending 27 i.b7 l:.d8 28 .txa6 i.bS+
a passed pawn on the kingside. This is 29 'it>e3 l:.d3+! but 28 �e3 here leaves
especially true if White continues with Black in a bit of a muddle.
23 f4, which absolutely commits White 26 ... l:.xcl 27 'it>xcl �e7 28 �d2
to keeping the pieces on the board; in tDc7 29 i.b3 lDe6
the king and pawn endgame B lack has This is a critical moment where only
one unit holding up two, i.e. hS vs h4 an acute sense of danger will keep
and g2, and will therefore win with White in the game.
his 'extra' queenside pawn. However, 30 i.xe6?
White is not obliged to exchange pieces The first of two major errors by
and Black must concentrate on ward­ White. The passive 30 lDe2 keeps
ing off White' s initiative. This I in­ Black's advantage at a minimum and
tended to do by 23 ... lDb4 24 i.b3 30 �e3 lDxd4 3 1 'it>xd4 i.e6 32 i.dS !
l:.cS ! and ... lDc6. These considerations also makes a draw the most likely re­
led me to believe that Tiger should sult.
have played something like 22 �d2 30...i.xe6 31 lDxe6??
and offered a draw. However, there is 3 1 a3 �d6 ! 32 �c3 �cS gives Black
no immediate reason for Black to ac­ an active king and looks fairly grim for
cept the offer because White is the White, but was forced nonetheless.
only side likely to be in any long-term 3l ...�xe6 32 'it>c3 �d6 33 �c4 a6
danger. The placement of the kings means
22...b6 23 'iti>d2 that the exploitation of the outside
DRA WN ENDGAMES? 93

passed pawn is not a trivial matter but Game 1 8


all the variations demonstrate the sim­ Hillarp Persson - Rowson
ple principle in such positions - that Edinburgh (4) 1997
the outside passed pawn acts as a de­
coy to the white king. This allows, in 1 d4 �f6 2 c4 g6 3 �c3 dS 4 cxdS
principle, Black to attack the white �xdS S e4 �xc3 6 bxc3 c5 7 i.e3
kingside pawns before White can de­ i.g7 8 'ifd2 ii'aS 9 tlJf3 0-0 (D)
fend them.
34 Wd4
34 g3 ! ? b5+ (34. . . �c6 35 'iti>d4 in­
tending c;t>e5-f6 complicates matters) w
35 Wb4 Wc6 36 WaS Wb7 and now if
White could play h3 and g4 the situa­
tion would not be so clear; indeed the
placement of the kings would cause
serious problems for Black ! However,
being unable to create a passed pawn
in the normal manner means that
White runs out of moves: 37 f5 gxf5 !
38 exf5 f6 !? 39 a3 Wa7 40 g4 hxg4 4 1
h5 g 3 and, after both pawns promote,
44 ..1i'el# is checkmate.
. It is well worth obliging White to
34 b5 35 eS+ 'iti>c6 36 'iti>e4 aS 37
... spend a move with his rook before
fS b4 38 g4 capturing on d4.
A desperate bid to create a passed 10 l:.c1
pawn. The calmer alternatives are no This move gives White's d-pawn
better: some options, principally by means of
a) 38 e6 gxf5+. It is important that advancing to d5 ; otherwise Black
this gives check. would quickly apply unbearable pres­
b) 38 fxg6 fxg6 39 e6 a4 ! ? (the al­ sure on d4.
ternative 39 .. .'�d6 40 Wd4 �xe6 4 1 10...cxd4 11 cxd4 'ifxd2+ 12 �xd2
�c5 is far too thought-provoking) 40 1 2 �xd2 ! ? is a major alternative,
e7 Wd7 41 c;t>d3 c;t>xe7 42 'it>c4 b3 43 against which I suggest 12 ... e6 re­
axb3 axb3 44 c;t>xb3 We6 45 Wc3 Wf5 straining the centre and after 1 3 tLlb3,
46 Wd3 'it;>g4 47 '1Pe2 �xh4 48 Wf2 13 . . . b6 ! restraining the knight and
Wg4 is an uncomplicated affair. preparing to complete development.
38 bxg4 39 e6 gxf5+ 40 WeS fxe6
.•. Then:
.0-1 a) 14 .ib5 .ib7 1 5 f3 l:.c8 !? 1 6
It is a cruel fact that an eventual ltxc8+ .txc8 1 7 �f2 i.d7 1 8 ne l l
...'ft'al + will pick up the hopeful queen 'itf8 ! 1 9 .if4 (19 .ixd7 �xd7 is just
on h8. equal since the white rook doesn't
94 UNDERSTANDING THE GRONFELD

cause any lasting problems on the sev­


enth rank) 1 9 ... e5 ! 20 dxe5 (20 j_c4
exf4 2 1 j_d5 llic6 22 j_xc6 j_xc6 23 w
lhc6 a5 !) 20. . . j_xb5 2 1 :c8+ 'i;;e7
looks all right for Black, e.g. 22 :g8
j_f8 23 j_g5+ 'liteS 24 j_h6 llid7.
b) 14 j_d3 ! ? is more common, and
now I suggest 14 . . .j_a6 ! is the best
way to relieve Black's congestion. 1 5
�e2 j_xd3+ 1 6 'iit xd3 llia6 i s equal,
but to highlight my point about win­
ning such positions I advise you to
consider the following game: 17 a3
%:tfd8 1 8 l:.c4 j_f8 19 a4 .l:tab8 20 'it>e2 13 l:.c7
f6 ! (making room for the king; the d4- 13 j_b5 j_d7 ! (the only move which
point is securely defended so there is I feel equalizes without any difficulty;
no harm in blocking this diagonal) 21 13 ... j_g4 and 13 . . .ltJc6 are also play­
.:tal j_d6 22 h3 rj;f7 23 a5? (a bad able for those seeking more complex
move, but I have found that when play) 14 j_xd7 llixd7 15 l:.c7 ltJe5 ! is
playing such endgames the player who given as equal by Fta�nik, but Black
is more at ease with the position will has to play a few more accurate moves
tend to make fewer mistakes; lvan­ to equalize completely: 16 llixe5 j_xe5
chuk has mobilized well, and I guess 17 l:.xe7 j_xd4 1 8 l:.xb7 is a case in
White just couldn't handle the ten­ point, because it seems to me that only
sion) 23 ...b5 24 l:.c3 �e8 25 .l:tdl llib4 18 ... l:.ac8! will do. Then 1 9 J.xd4
26 llic5 .l:tdc8 27 d5 exd5 28 exd5 a6! l:.xd4+ 20 �e3 l:.a4 21 l:.al J:[c3+ 22
(it is impressive that Black feels so se­ '1Pf4 :ca3 23 :b2 h5 ! gives White
cure about leaving the knight stranded fantastic opportunities to over-press,
on b4) 29 llie4 (Black was intending to while Black has very few chances to
double rooks on the c-file) 29 . . . :xc3 lose!
30 llixc3 f5 3 1 j_b6 .l%c8 32 llibl 13 �el !? is playable, but that's
.l:tc2+ 33 rj;f3 j_c5 34 :d2 .l:tc 1 35 about all that can be said in its favour.
llia3 'i;;d7 0- 1 , Stone-Ivanchuk, New 13 ... lLlc6 14 dS e6 (D)
York Open 1 988. White has been 15 j_g5
completely outplayed from a level 1 5 llig5 and now:
endgame and decided it was time to a) Ftacnik suggests that White's
resign. 15th move is mistaken on account of
12 l:.d8! (D)
... 15 . . . J.e5 16 J:[xf7 h6, which he gives
The most flexible move; Black im­ as winning for Black. However, it
mediately confronts the awkward po­ looks to me like 17 llixe6 is actually
sition of the king on d2. much better for White since most lines
DRAWN ENDGAMES? 95

18 �g5 .i.e5 1 9 cxb7 R.xb7 20 IIxb7


llac8+ 2 1 .i.c4 llxc4+ 22 'iitb l was a
better try, but obviously Black still has
the better chances.
18...gxf3 19 cxb7 R.h6+! 20 'iitc2
In view of 20 �b1 .:tb8 2 1 l:lxc8
lhb7+ 22 �al .i.g7+ 23 eS .i.xe5#,
White must wander with his king.
20....txb7 21 .i.xe6+ �h8 22 .:txb7
fxg2 23 ltg1 ::td2+ 24 'iitb 3 lbf2
I think this is the deepest I have ever
gone with Griinfeld preparation. Ftac­
nik suggests that Black has an edge
leave him with three pawns and an in­ here, but both players felt that White
destructible centre in return for the was totally lost.
piece. 25 e5 .:td8!
b) 1 5 ... exd5 ! looks like a more Using all the pieces. This game is a
healthy approach; after 16 �xf7 l:d7 ! good example of the dangers present
17 llxd7 .i.xd7, 1 8 exd5 �xf7 1 9 for White's centralized king in these
dxc6 j,xc6 2 0 .i.c4+ �e8 i s fine for late middlegames.
Black so 1 8 tiJd6 ! so is the only way 26 .i.d7 i.g7! 27 R.c6
for White to try for an edge. However 27 e6 .:tb2+ 28 �a4 :l:txb7 29 e7
this is very risky since 1 8 ... .i.e6 ! 1 9 l:tbxd7 was an important sequence to
ltJxb7 .:tb8 20 �d6 l:.b2+ looks fan­ see.
tastic for Black. 27 ... .txe5 28 l:xg2 l:td3+
1S ...f6 16 �cl fxgS! Perhaps I missed a mating sequence
This may have been a novelty at the around here, but I was quite content
time, but I was following Ftacnik's about safely winning three pawns !
analysis based on his game as Black 29 �c4 .:l:tc3+ 30 �bS a6+ 31 �as
against Kotlyar in Reno 1991, which .:ta3+ 32 �b4 .i.d6+ 33 �c4 ltxg2 34
went 16 . . .exd5 17 exdS �b4 1 8 i.c4! .i.xg2 ltxa2 35 .i.c6 .i.xh2 36 'it;dS
b5 19 .i.b3 fxgS 20 d6+ �h8 2 1 �xg5 l:.e2 37 ::ta7 aS 38 R.d7 lte5+ 39 'iitd6
llld 3+ 22 �bl .!DeS 23 f4 lbc4 24 'lt;g7 40 .i.e6+ �h6 41 'iite7 'iit gS 42
.!Df7+ and White had the better of the �f7 �h4 43 l:.a6 g5 0-1
complications.
17 dxc6 g4! Game 1 9
An important move which my op­ Yusupov Khalifman
-

ponent had misunderstood. 17 . . . bxc6 Ubeda 1997


1 8 .i.c4 g4 19 ltJg5 .i.e5 20 llxc8 ! is a
different matter entirely. 1 d4 lDf6 2 c4 g6 3 ltJc3 dS 4 cxdS
18 .i.c4?! ltJxdS 5 e4 �xc3 6 bxc3 .i.g7 7 .i.e3
96 UNDERSTANDING THE GRONFELD

c5 8 1i'd2 cxd4 9 cxd4 ltJc6 10 .::td 1


1Wa5 1 1 1Wxa5 l2Jxa5 12 i.d3 0-0 13
l2Je2 i.d7 14 l:.b1 ! B
This concrete move carries the an­
noying threat of i.d2 and so forces a
significant weakness in Black's queen­
side.
14 ... b6 15 'it>d2!
Naturally, the king should be kept
in the centre. White can use the c-file
to exchange at least one pair of rooks
so the king is not in any particular dan­
ger.
15 ....::tfc8 16 i.a6! him to create play on both sides of the
A tangible reward for White's 14th board and his active king prevents any
move. Black will now be seriously in­ counterplay against the centre. More­
convenienced as he tries to challenge over, the a7-pawn is rather weak; in­
for the c-file. deed much weaker than the pawn on
16 ....::td8 a2!
1 6 . . .ltJc4+? loses material after 17 So where did Black go wrong? I
�d3 . think the opening line is probably not
17 .::thcl i.c8 18 i.d3! the best and is largely to blame, but
White has more space so it makes secondly Khalifman seemed to be
sense to make Black work hard to ex­ playing without any particular pur­
change pieces. pose and probably under-estimated
18 ... i.b7 19 .l:tc7 .::tac8 20 .l:tbc1 the dangers in a position he seemed to
l:txc7 21 .l:txc7 l:.c8! embrace freely. Note that this position
Black takes advantage of the fact is very different to the last two end­
that White cannot capture on e7 with­ games because then Black had some
out allowing serious counterplay. counterplay, or was less pressurized
22 l:.xc8+! because there had been an early ex­
22 .::txe7 i.f8 23 .l:te5 is possible, change of centre pawns.
but 23 . . . i.b4+ 24 '1t>dl i.d6 25 .l:tb5 23 ...l2Jc6 24 ltJb5 i.a6 25 'it>c3!
i.a6 26 l:.b3 is not easy to see and Again Yusupov opts to keep con­
Black has other ways of trying to un­ trol. 25 lLlxa7 i.xd3 26 ltJxc6 i.xe4 27
settle White. ltJxe7 + 'ii?f8 28 lbc8 i.xg2 29 l2Jxb6 is
22...i.xc8 23 l2Jc3 (D) needlessly unaesthetic and offers Black
Yusupov's moves, combined with good counter-chances.
his notes in lnformator, strongly sug­ 25...'it>f8 26 a4! ?
gest that White has a clear advantage I ' m sure Yusupov wanted to play
here. White's advantage in space allows 26 g4 here, but although he doesn't
DRAWN ENDGAMES? 97

mention it I suspect he wanted to crudely winning a queenside pawn or


avoid 26 ... f5 ! ?, which would at least queening a passed d-pawn. Indeed,
be unsettling for White. White needs to find a way to over­
26 .i.b7
••• stretch the black defences and this will
26 ... h5 !, to prevent White's next, probably require that White creates a
was a better way to defend. Indeed, I weakn.ess in the black kingside. Be­
advise all Griinfeld players to be atten­ lieve it or not, one of the ideas of g4 is
tive to the importance of this move in to make the black h- and f-pawns
such endgames. long-term vulnerabilities, as we see in
27 g4! (D) the game. If Black could simply lift
the h-pawns from the board, his de­
fence would be eased considerably,
which is why 26 . . . h5 would have
helped a lot.
27 ... �e8 28 .1c4 tl:ib8 29 'itd3 a6
Black cannot avoid having some
weakness on the queenside, and now
White switches attention from a7 to
b6.
30 liJc7+ 'at>d8 31 tl:id5 tt:ld7 32
lDb4!
A rewarding dance; now White at­
tacks f7 and a6 so Black has to make a
major compromise.
I'm not at all surprised that Yusu­ 32 ... a5 33 .idS!
pov gives an unexplained exclamation Not only has Yusupov achieved a
mark here. This move is a very signifi­ 'one unit holding up two' situation on
cant gain for White in such endgames the queenside, but he has also created
but it's also the type of move which is major light-square entry points there,
obvious to some and unappreciated which are made all the more accessi­
by others. I suspect the best way to ble by the exchange of light-squared
look at it is to consider that the win­ bishops.
ning strategy in such positions nor­ 33 ... .1xd5 34 tlJxd5 e6 35 lDc3
mally involves using the extra space to <3ic7 36 lDb5+ �c6 37 �c4 .i.f8 38
push Black's pieces onto sub-optimal .i.f4 .1b4 39 f3 j.f8 40 d5+
squares and so the more imposing Notice how thoroughly this move
White's space advantage is, the more was prepared; Black was offered no
difficult Black will find it to place his chances for counterplay.
pieces in such a way so as to prevent 40 gS ! ? and 40 .i.d6 ! ? are also pos­
infiltration. Moreover, it is unlikely that sible but I think the transition which
White will be able to win the game by follows is the most convincing.
98 UNDERSTANDING THE GRONFELD

40 ..exd5+ 41 exd5+ �b7 42 l'Dd6+!


.

i.xd6 43 i.xd6
The bishop dominates the knight and
White has given Black weaknesses on
both sides of the board.
43 ...g5
The only move, as White threatened
to put Black in zugzwang by playing
g5.
44 i.g3
White intends to put the king on b5,
the pawn on d6 and the bishop on d4
which, if allowed, would be enough to
force Black into zugzwang. This line has been out of fashion
44 ... tt:lf6 45 i.e5 tt:ld7 46 .td4 rlitc7 ever since White discovered how diffi­
47 'it>b5 f6 cult it was for Black in the sharper
47 . . . 'iti>d6 48 i.xb6 tt:lxb6 49 'ot>xb6 lines with 1 1 i.d2. Nonetheless, I am
'iitxd5 50 'it>xa5 'it>c5 5 1 'iit a6 �c6 52 somewhat surprised that it is not tried
a5 f6 53 rlita7 'iitc7 54 a6 h6 55 h3 ! in­ more often, for Black has to be fairly
structively shows the benefit of stor­ accurate to secure equality. Moreover,
ing up pawn move passes for important at club level the uninitiated may well
transformations such as this. remember 8 .l:tbl but when confronted
48 i.f2 �d6 49 i.xb6 tt:le5 50 with 1 0 . . .'it'a5+ would perhaps be re­
i.xa5 tt:lxf3 51 i.c3 1-0 luctant to lose the a2-pawn. Once
A beautifulJy controlled game by again the absence of queens does not
Yusupov against a world-class grand­ make the position in any sense 'draw­
master. This should serve as a warning ish ' ; there is as much scope here to
that Black should not be complacent outwit your opponent as there is in any
in Exchange Griinfeld endgames and other position.
is also a demonstration of how com­ 12... b6!
pletely useless the 'queenside major­ Many sources recommend 12 . . .e6
ity' can be shown to be. but it seems to me that it is probably a
little overambitious to play . . . e6 and
Game 20 ... b6 when White has a significant lead
Hertneck Kasparov
- in development. It looks better to con­
Munich 1994 nect the rooks and allow White to ad­
vance in the centre with the aim of
1 d4 tt:lf6 2 c4 g6 3 tt:lc3 d5 4 cxd5 quickly undermining it before a grip is
tt:lxd5 5 e4 tt:lxc3 6 bxc3 i.g7 7 tt:lf3 established. Furthermore, Kasparov
c5 8 .l:tbl 0-0 9 i.e2 cxd4 10 cxd4 played 1 2 . . .e6 against Karpov in one
't!Va5+ 11 't!Vd2 'li'xd2+ 12 i.xd2 (D) of the Seville world championship
DRAWN ENDGAMES? 99

match g ames ( 1 987) but now prefers 13 llla6! (D)


...

t
the immediate 1 2 . . . b6. I suspect this One of my firSt ever Griinfelds wen
5 �xe 2
may be in view of the line l 2 ... e6 1 3 1 3 ...i.a6?! 14 l:lcl ! .i.xe2 1
0-0 b 6 1 4 l:tbcl ! i.b7 1 5 i.b4 l:td8 1 6 tlJa6 1 6 l:lc4 and I was already in big
i.bS ! , which leaves White with an en­ trouble sinc e I had failed to challenge
during initiative. Then 16 ...i.a6 17 a4 the c-file or attack the centre. This was
i.xb5 1 8 axb5 a6 is often given as an important lesson to learn, for, like
equal, but 1 9 bxa6 lZ:lxa6 20 i.c3 looks many other players, I was rather hung
somewhat unpleasant for Black, mainly up on the idea that a queenside major­
in view of his weak b-pawn. ity was a winning asset in the end­
13 dS!? game.
I think this is the critical test. The
following three lines should give you
some feel for these positions. Ba­
sically, it tends to be a good idea for w
· Black to exchange some pieces, cen­
tralize the king and hit the centre with
... e6 or ... fS whenever possible.
a) 13 0-0 i.b7 1 4 d5 l:.c8 t ? was
Judit Polgar's interpretation against
· Piket, Madrid 1 997. The idea is to be
able to protect the e-pawn with the
black king. That game continued 1 5
i.b4 � 1 6 l.tfd1 iZ:la6 1 7 i.xa6 i.xa6
1 8 e5 i.e2. Now Piket played the
over-hasty 19 d6? ( 1 9 l:lel is approxi­ 14 i.e3
mately equal) and after 1 9 . . .i. xd 1 20 14 i.b 5 ! ? ..tb7 15 0-0 tZk5 16 l:tfe l
dxe7+ �e8 2 1 lhd1 he had probably l:.fc 8 ! 1 7 i.b4 l:1c7! 1 8 a4 fS ! gave
missed that Black could exchange Black good counterplay in Zimmer­
k
rooks by 2 l . ..i.h6!, after which Black man-Nadanian, Katowice 1992 - Blac
won quickly. will have a ragged pawn -structure but
b) 1 3 i.d3 :ld8 14 i.e3 tiJc6 1 5 d5 very active pieces and White will be
e6! 16 i.gS f6 gave Black a slight plus left without a centre .
in Novik-Lputian, Kharkov 1 985. 14...f5!?
c) 13 :lcl i.b7 1 4 d5 �6 1 5 i.g5 The World Champion uses a highly
had
J:lfc 8 ! 16 0-0 �f8 1 7 e5 h6 1 8 i.h4 g5 aggr essive approach, which he
19 i.g3 l:txcl 20 :Z.xc l lllc 5 21 d6 l:td8 presu mably prepared thoroughly. The
was equal in Pavlovic-Mikhalchishin, alternative 14 . . .i.c3+ ! ? also appears
Trnava 1988; Black is well coordi­ prom ising for Black: 1 5 i.d2 i.xd 2+
nated and White's centre is not threat­ 1 6 lllx d2 tlJc5 1 7 f3 e6.
ening. 15 eS
100 UNDERSTANDING THE GR ONFELD

There is no obvious improvement �b5+ �d8 25 :dt dxe5 26 �c3


but now White's lead in development :xc3!
has become a lag! Keeping total control.
15...f4! (D) 27 �xc3+ <t;e7 28 .!Dg5 :cS+ 29
<t;b3 �c2+ 0-1
Kasparov did not play this endgame
like a man who was resigned to a draw
w by any means. There was easily enough
tension in the position to create prob­
lems for Grandmaster Hertneck.

Conclusion
1 ) Most of the so-called 'drawish
endgames' offer plenty of scope to out­
play your opponent with either colour.
2) Be wary of the notion that the
queenside majority is necessarily an ad­
vantage. As with most positional gen­
Kasparov hits hard before White eralizations, it is less important than
gets time to mobilize fully. which side is controlling the game.
16 �d4 �f5! 17 :ct .!Db4! 3) It tends to be easier to make use
Every move carries a big threat. of the queenside majority when the
18 �c4 tDci3+ 19 �d2 black e-pawn has been exchanged for
1 9 �xd3 �xd3 looks equally hope­ the white d-pawn. This is probably be­
less for White; his centre will collapse cause Black's king has better access to
and Black will be left with an extra the queenside but also because White's
pawn and the two bishops. extra space is less imposing, which
19 ....!Dxcl 20 :xc1 :res 21 d6+ makes it more difficult for White to
�f8 22 .!Dg5 exd6 23 .!Dxh7+ 'iii>e8 24 dictate events.
8 11Check ! "

"Many people would sooner die than think. Infact they do. " - Bertrand Russell

Game 21 the queen: 7 . . . lL!d7 8 lL!f3 0-0 9 J.. g5


Salov - Leko h6 10 i.e3 c5 1 1 l:c 1 e5 ! gave Black
Belgrade 1 996 good play in Deze-Koful, Pula 1989.
7 i.a3 is a simple move directed
1 d4 lLlf6 2 c4 g6 3 lL!c3 d5 4 cxd5 against . . . c5. This is a perfectly re­
lL!xd5 5 e4 lL!xc3 6 bxc3 J..g7 (D) spectable aim, and a good argument
for playing 6 . . .c5 before ... J..g7. How­
ever, although the move is not at all
bad, it is no serious threat to Black if
it's taken seriously. 7 . . . lL!d7 (a nice
cosy-looking move but it is fully pos­
sible to play with an early ... b6 in­
stead) 8 ltlf3 c5 ! (Black threatens
...cxd4 and ...'tWaS+ so it's worth doing
this before castling since then White
would have time for J..e2 and 0-0) 9
't't'b3 0-0 10 l1d 1 cxd4 1 1 cxd4 ltlf6 !
12 J..d3 J..g4 ! is a powerfully thematic
way to continue. Now 13 'tixb7 J..x£3
14 gxf3 'tixd4 15 0-0 'tieS 1 6 J.. xe7
7 J..b5+ .l:fb8 gives Black excellent chances
7 'tia4+ ! ? is a less dangerous check against the white king.
for Black because it doesn't aid White's 7 ...J..d7! ?
development. However, Black should 7 ... c6 8 J..a4 i s much more fashion-
play carefully against such moves be­ able and probably a more critical test
cause White is probably not yet worse of White's opening idea. However, I
and so any early notions of 'punish­ think that 7 . . . J..d7 is fully playable,
ment' would probably be misguided. and teaches us more about typical
That's not to say you need to be theo­ Griinfeld positions. It also contains
retically armed to the teeth, but just very similar ideas to Game 16, so
': that you should pay attention to details these games are worth studying to­
,
and not be complacent. Here is one gether. However, I would like to draw
way to exploit the off-side nature of your attention to an article by Timman
102 UNDERSTANDING THE GRONFELD

in New in Chess magazine no. 3, 1 998,


in which he discusses 8 ...0-0 9 liJe2 c5
10 0-0 liJc6 1 1 i.e3 tiJaS ! ?. This was
the approach by taken by S vidler and
Kasparov against Topalov in Linares
1 998 and now after 1 2 l:.b1 Timman
says that 1 2 ... b6 is "The normal move
every experienced Griinfeld player
would play without much thought.
That White can win a pawn with 1 3
dxc5 should not worry Black. I t i s one
of the strategic characteristics of the
Griinfeld that Black can allow cap­
tures on c5 and b6, as this gives White advantage but Black is very solid and
weak a- and c-pawns, which will find is quite flexibly placed while exerting
themselves under considerable pres­ a reasonable amount of pressure in the
sure, because Black controls these two centre.
half-open lines." 13 i.gS!?
My first thought is that there is a This is the most popular move but
certain logic to Black's opening play White has important alternatives:
which highlights that White's bishop a) 1 3 i.f4? ! - it seems that the
on a4 does not control c4. Secondly, bishop is rarely well placed here in
you can see several examples of Tim­ these exchange structures. It tends not
man's sentiments throughout this book to do terribly much to disturb Black
(e.g. Game 16) but you might be more and is vulnerable to the . . .e5 break. Af­
willing to believe this higher author­ ter 1 3 . . .ttJd7 14 l:.ac 1 (14 i.d6 l:.e8 1 5
ity ! An important variation is now e5 tiJb6! and 1 4 'i*'e3 tiJf6 1 5 ttJd 2 "fie?
13 . . . i.a6! 14 i.b5 i.xb5 15 l:.xb5 ltJc4 are no problem for Black) 14 ... tiJf6 15
1 6 i.g5 'i*'c7 ! 17 'i*'a4 tiJaS 1 8 Wa3 tiJd2 We7 16 We3 l:i.fd8 Black has
We5 ! which "solves Black's positional equalized, but it is well worth playing
problems" according to Timman. through the following rout to appreci­
If 1 2 dxc5 ! ? Black can equalize ate the potential energy in the black
with 1 2...tiJc4 ! 13 'i*'xd8 l:.xd8 14 i.g5 position. 17 i.e5 i.f8 !? (I like this
i.d7 ! 1 5 .ib3 ltJa5 ! , when 1 6 i.xe7 idea a lot: Black intends to play . . .tiJd7
l:.e8 17 i.d6 l:.xe4 18 tiJd4 tiJxb3 1 9 without exchanging bishops but also
axb3 i.xd4 was agreed drawn in has the idea of controlling the a3 -f8
Topalov-Kasparov, Linares 1 998. diagonal and possibly exchanging
8 i.e2 cS 9 tiJf3 cxd4 10 cxd4 i.c6 queens on a3 at a later stage) 18 tiJb3
1 1 'ii'd3 0-0 12 0-0 e6! (D) tiJd7 1 9 i.f4 Wa3 ! 20 l:.fd 1 l:te8 ! 2 1
The generic position for this line. l:.c2 e5 ! 2 2 dxe5 ltJxe5 2 3 f3 f5 24
White has the typical central space 'i*'c3 i.g7 25 i.c 1 ? ! We7 26 f4 i.xe4 !
"CHECK! " 103

27 fxe5 .i.xc2 28 'ii'xc2 :ac8 29 .i.c4+ 1 6 ltab 1 .i.b5 ( 1 6 ...l:.d8 ! ? may be an


'it>h8 30 :ds 'ii'h4 ! 3 1 lbd2 l::t xe5 32 important improvement) 17 l:.b4 'i'a6
g3 'fie? 0-1 Beliavsky-Ivanchuk, Dort­ 1 8 l::tfb 1 .i.xc4 1 9 l::txc4 lbc6 20 l::tc c1
mund 1 995. After 33 l:txe5 'fixeS 'i'xd3 21 .i.xd3 .i.xd4 22 l::txb7 lbe5
White cannot avoid the loss of a piece. 23 .i.e2 ltab8 and I had a little initia­
b) 1 3 l:b1 ! ? is an annoying move tive but White had good long-term
which is designed, primarily, to pre­ prospects due to his two bishops.
vent ...lbd7. 1 3 ... a6 ! ? now seems best, 13...'ii'd6!?
as suggested by Ivanchuk. On the one Leko thinks that 13 . . .'ii'a5 may be
hand it weakens the black queenside, an improvement, but I don't think
but . . . .i.b5 and . . . b5 can be useful re­ Black has any serious problems in any
sources. The game is likely to con­ case.
tinue 14 .i.g5 'fld6 15 'ii'e3 with very 14 'ii'e3
similar themes to those in the game. According to Leko, White now has
Note that 1 3 ... lbd7? 14 .i.a3 l::te8 15 a small but enduring advantage since it
d5 ! is a severe blow for Black, but is difficult for Black to find co,unter­
1 3 .. J�e8 ! ? looks worth considering. play. I suspect he may have been un­
c) 13 .i.a3 l:te8 14 lbe5 ! ? was duly influenced by the outcome of this
played against your author by T.Balogh game, however, and I think his play
at the world junior championship in over the next few moves can be tight­
1997. I considered the ending after ex­ ened up considerably.
changing on e5 and d3 but I didn' t like 14 ...lbd7
the look of it for Black due to White's 14 . . . l:.e8 ! ? may be worth playing
massive space advantage and the scope first, so as to answer h4 with ...'i'f8 .
of his two bishops. However, I should The main idea of this manoeuvre is to
have considered 14 . . ..i.xe5 1 5 dxe5 answer h4-h5 with . . . h6 ! and . . . g5,
lbd7 !? since it would seem that the closing the kingside. Moreover, the
black queen is a little more useful than black pieces are well enough placed
White's. 1 6 .i.d6 'ii'a5 17 'ii'd4 ! ( 1 7 f4 (queen on f8, rook on e8 and knight on
lbc5 ! ) 1 7 . . . l:tec8 leaves the position d7) to consider the .. .f5 break, often in
fairly unclear, but Black has to play conjunction with . . . h6 and ... g5 . Of
purposefully (for example, exchange course, such exposure should not be
rooks or light-squared bishops) or else undertaken lightly.
he will be slowly strangled on the dark 15 l::tac1 l::tfe8 16 l::tfe1 (D)
squares. Of course, if Black can ex­ 16 ...l::tac8
change off White's dark-squared bishop None of the commentators said
he has an obvious structural advan­ anything of this move, but I feel it is
tage. I played 14 . . .'ii'a5 !?, which is too automatic.
very ambitious because White has 1 6 . . . 'ii'f8 ! looks more purposeful
dangerous ideas of lbc4-d6. The game to me because now Black plans the
continued 1 5 lbc4 'ii'a4 ( 1 5 . . .'ii'a6 ! ?) annoying . . . ll'lf6 and 17 .tf4 e5 ! is
104 UNDERSTANDING THE GR ONFELD

Black has ideas of ... f5 . However, it


looks like White already has good
control of the game in any case.
20 i.eS!
A strong move, which tactically de­
fends the e-pawn and so ties Black
down.
20 .lled8
..

20 ...i.a4 ! ? looks a bit random, but


Black has some thought-provoking
designs on the c2-square and looks
flexible enough to deal with White's
main ideas.
possible since there is no h6-pawn en 21 'ii'f4! ? 'ii'e7 22 l:.c3! ./t:JhS 23
prise. Note however, that . . . ./t:Jf6 can Wi'e3 li:)f6 24 Wi'f4 li:)h5 25 'iWcl! i.xeS
sometimes be met by tt:Je5 !, which may As I've said before, this change in
tactically defend the e-pawn. Also, structure invariably favours the side
16 ...i.f8 !? should be considered. who has control of the game, which in
At any rate, I don't think that ...l:ac8 this case is clearly White, who has
was a priority at this stage. good chances of targeting Black's weak
17 h4! spots on h6, f6, d6 and a7. However,
GM Movsesian makes the point 25 ...lDf6 26 i.b5 ! again pin-points the
that White will have to transform play drawback of playing . . ..J:ac8.
from the centre to the flanks to win 26 dxeS �h7 27 't!l'e3?!
and so it helps to provoke some weak­ After the game, Leko pointed out
nesses on the kingside. that White missed the fairly devastat­
1 7 .'iWf8!
.. ing idea of 27 li:)h2 intending li:)g4.
17 ...i.f8 ! ?, a la I vanchuk, may also Black cannot take on h4 due to g4 and
be worth considering, e.g. 1 8 i.f4 l:.h3.
'ir'a3 . 27...b6?!
18 i.fl! This effectively forces Black to ex­
The sharp variations seem to be in change rooks.
Black's favour: 18 h5 h6 1 9 hxg6 hxg5 27 ... a6! was better, when it is not
20 ./t:Jxg5 fxg6 2 1 'ir'h3 'ii'f4 ! 22 't!l'h7+ obvious how White retains the advan­
(22 ./t:Jxe6 'ii'h6 !) 22 . . .�f8 23 'iWxg6 tage: 28 l:.ec l 't!l'd7 29 l:.d3 (29 i.e2
i.xd4 ! . lbg7 30 l:.d3 't!l'c7 3 1 lbd4 'W'xe5 32
18 b6!
••• lDxc6 bxc6 33 :xd8 :xd8 34 i.xa6 is
18 ...lili6 is strongly met by 1 9 lDe5 ! . similar) 29 ...'ifc7 30 lbd4 'ifxe5 3 1
1 9 i.f4 ./t:Jf6 ./t:Jxc6 bxc6 32 :xd8 l:.xd8 33 i.xa6
1 9 ...�h7 ! ? is suggested by Leko. It lDf6 34 f3 with approximate equality.
does look more flexible, and maybe Another benefit of playing these lines
"CHECK! " 105

with ...i.d7-c6 is that Black's position


is very resilient.
28 .:eel i.b7 29 l:xe8 l:xe8 w
29 . . . i. xc8 30 g3 is clearly better for
White.
30 l:xc8 i.xe8 31 g3 li'Jg7 32 ti'Jd2!
The knight is aiming at the d6-
square.
32 ... ti'Je8 33 'iid 4! 'iid7 34 1i'b4
<ltg7 35 i.bS! \i'd8 36 i.xe8!
A well-judged transition.
36...1Wxe8 (D)
A position well worth avoiding.
The queen and knight tend to cooper­ Black' s. Salov is renowned for his
ate much better than queen and bishop iron technique and since the position
because they can combine long-range is no longer heavily thematic from
and short-range effectiveness. More­ Black ' s point of view, I will give the
over, the weakened dark squares on d6 remaining moves without comment.
and f6 provide excellent anchorage for 37 l.Dc4 tfc6 38 �6 �cl+ 39
the knight, whereas the bishop has lit­ <ith2! .id7 40 '1Wb3! fS!? 41 exf6+
tle to do. It is especially important that <itxf6 42 1i'f3+ <iteS 43 ti'Jf7+ <itd4 44
White has an extra kingside pawn be­ 1Wf6+ �xe4 45 1Wxg6+ <itd4 46 �g7+
cause this provides safety for his own <ite4 47 ti'Jd6+ 'itrf3 48 1r'xd7 <itxf2 49
king while effectively suffocating 'iif7+ 1-0
9 The Ca ke and the Cookie

" We fail far more often by timidity than by over-daring." - David Grayson

I had great difficulty in writing this


chapter, so please don' t be discour­
aged if you have some difficulty in B
reading it! It is certainly quite dense
analytically and you will have to wade
through several variations and cross
reference considerably if you want to
make full sense of what follows. Still,
I trust that if you take time to do so, the
rewards will be plentiful since for sev­
eral years now the line we are about to
consider has been thought to be the
main line and critical test of the
Gri.infeld. This is a remarkably effective move
In fact, Grandmaster Mikhalchishin which was almost considered a refuta­
recently wrote that 80% of games in tion of the Gri.infeld in the 1980s and
the Gri.infeld are now played in the early 1 990s. It doesn't directly aid
following variation. I suspect this sta­ White's development and does not
tistic refers to a doctored sample of look like a nightmare-inducing scary
games between grandmasters in recent monster by any means. Yet, its popu­
years, but even so it suggests that this larity persists and it is now the main
line is considered to be the main test­ battleground between top-class grand­
ing ground for the very conception of masters. Indeed, since Black has be­
the opening, so it is worth knowing at gun to find ways to neutralize this
least a little of what follows! approach, I think it is no coincidence
that Kasparov has once again brought
Game 22 the Gri.infeld back to the forefront of
Kramnik - Kasparov his repertoire and many GMs like
Linares 1 998 Sutovsky, Polgar and Shirov seem to
have converted to the Gri.infeld from
1 lt.Jf3 cS 2 c4 lt.Jf6 3 lt.Jc3 dS 4 cxdS the King's Indian.
lt.Jxd5 5 d4 lt.Jxc3 6 bxc3 g6 7 e4 J.. g7 But what's all the fuss about; why is
8 1%bl (D) this little side-shuffle such a big deal?
THE CAKE AND THE COOKIE 101

And why did it take Black so long compensation for the exchange but
to find effective antidotes? clearly it is not more than enough.
By this stage in the book you will b) 9 i.e3 i.. g4 ! (Hint hint !) 10 e5
no doubt be aware that Black's open­ 0-0 1 1 0-0 cxd4 1 2 cxd4 1i'd7 13 'ii'd2
ing strategy tends to be successful .l:.fd8 14 .l:.fd 1 l:tac8 leaves Black with
only when White is not given a free the better chances since the centre is
hand to dominate the centre and switch no longer flexible and White has no
play to the wings at will. Indeed, we obvious plan.
have seen that it is imperative to keep White is seeking to develop his
on attacking the centre almost as if one knight on f3, where it bolsters the d4
were persistently trying to break down point and also controls e5. The bishop
a door. is well placed on e2 since it is not as
I think of 8 .l:.bl as being a prophy­ vulnerable to attack as it is on c4, and
lactic measure directed against Black's on d3 it is somewhat clumsy and may
forthcoming onslaught. Indeed, "Paul block an important defender of d4.
the wannabe chess player", whom I In life we learn that we cannot have
mentioned earlier, referred to 8 .l:tb1 as a cake and eat it for the simple reason
"consolidatory". that once we have eaten it we no lon­
To make sense of this it helps to ger have it, except perhaps in a less
consider the following variations after picturesque form inside of ourselves.
8 i.e2 lbc6 ! (D): In chess, it seems to me that the diffi­
culty lies in having a cake without let­
ting your opponent take it away from
you, for then it would surely be eaten
w and you wouldn't have it in any shape
or form.
The above lines demonstrate that
White cannot have his proverbial cake
in the centre without offering Black at
least a nibble. Black obviously wants
his fair share and will seek it out with
. . . ltJc6 and . . . i.g4. Although Black
has other ways of developing ( . . . b6
and ...i.b7 or ...ltJd7 and ...e5) there is
no other way to confront White's
a) 9 d5 i.xc3+ 10 i.d2 .txa1 ! 'ideal' set-up. Hence, knowing that the
(Hint hint! ) 1 1 'i!Vxa1 ltJd4 1 2 ltJxd4 desirable set-up cannot be achieved
cxd4 1 3 'ii'xd4 0-0 14 0-0 ( 1 4 i.h6 immediately, White seeks a way to pre­
'ifa5+ 15 �fl f6) 14 . . .f6 15 .tc4 ( 1 5 vent Black's main sources of counter­
e 5 fxe5 1 6 1i'xe5 1i'd6 !) 15 . . . i.d7 16 play. l:tb1 discourages . . . i.g4 due to
.l:.b1 b5 1 7 i.b3 a5 gives White some the attack on b7 and discourages
108 UNDERSTANDING THE GR ONFELD

... lDc6 since after d5 hitting the knight here in Game 16. However, I am about
and gaining central space Black can to recommend an approach which
only take a pawn on c3 while losing seeks to ignore the 'cake' in the centre
some time; he cannot also take a rook that White sought to have with l:tb 1 . I
on al to make the long journey more am willing to accept that it is now dif­
worthwhile. ficult for Black to eat White's central
So, White is seeking the ideal cen­ cake without choking and so this is a
tre with pawns on e4 and d4 supported rare occasion where I feel that Black is
by the knight on f3 and ' tidy' bishop best advised, at least for a few moves,
on e2. .J:lbl effectively prevents Black's to decline to fight in the centre. This is
primary sources of counterplay and so not a complete admission of defeat,
a sustained assault against the white however, for as White jealously guards
centre becomes very difficult. We his cake, Black can grab an important
have seen that counterplay against the cookie.
centre is essential for success on the 9 ... cxd4 10 cxd4 'ii'a5+ 11 �d2
black side of the Griinfeld and now we For 1 1 'ffd2 see Game 20.
see the problem with .l:tbl . l l ...'flxa2!
8 ...0-0 Yum, yum. The black queen can
Black is well advised to castle here rightly be proud of this sweet little har­
since, if nothing else, in the sharp lines vest for now there are two connected
which follow . . .0-0 is more useful to passed pawns on the queenside, aspir­
Black than �e2 is to White. ing one day to go on similarly extrava­
9 �e2 (D) gant excursions.
12 0-0 (D)

This position is now a fairly major


cross-roads. We were given a taster of Many Griinfeld players have spent
9 . . . lDc6 in Game 7 and I suggested hours trying to fathom the mysteries
that 9 . . . b6 is a playable alternative of this position and no one yet seems
THE CAKE AND THE COOKIE 109

to know who is better here. To the un­ have confidence in B lack' s chances. It
initiated it seems somewhat aston­ may look like White has a huge lead in
ishing that Black has won this vital time, but both bishops are quite pas­
pawn, has two glorious passers and sive and to do any damage they will
now has the move to boot. Indeed, GM have to move again. Moreover, it i s
Jon Speelman once remarked that al­ Black' s move, and this presents a
though he knew that this was a major chance to catch up in development.
battlefield among top GMs, he was 2) Black has difficulty catching up
rather perplexed as to why Black would in development(!)
ever be considered to be in danger. He The light-squared bishop cannot be
had no particular theory in mind but moved without leaving b7 en prise and
just found it rather incredible that the knight cannot rest on c6 for White
White could muster enough counter­ will certainly play d5 and pertinently
play to justify losing such a pawn, ask where it is going next.
never mind put Black in danger. I 3) Black cannot push the a- or b­
think this would probably be the feel­ pawn veryfar without creating signifi­
ing of many strong players who are cant weaknesses on the queenside.
unfamiliar with this line, so let's try to It takes a long time for these pawns
be as clear as possible as to what to influence events and since White
would attract white players to this po­ has good control of the game there is a
sition: significant danger of Black creating
1) White has a large lead in devel­ major holes in his position as the
opment. pawns try to advance. For example af­
Former world champion Capablanca ter ... aS, b5 and b6 can be important
wrote that "If as a result of the capture outposts for the white pieces.
[of material offered in the opening] 4) Black 's kingside is poorly de­
full development will be retarded fended.
more than two moves, then it is doubt­ Since exchanging the king's knight
ful whether the capture should be at move five, Black has had no time to
made." Significantly, he then adds: "It bring reinforcements to the aid of his
might be risked with the white pieces king. A clobbering checkmate on h7 is
but never with the black pieces, except unlikely but f7 and e7 are both sensi­
on very rare occasions." Finally he tive spots offering a close-range shot
says: "No definite rule can be given on at the king and these squares are often
such matters". I would say that Black's targeted by the white bishops.
development is retarded by about 1 .7 5) Black 's queen is cut offfrom the
moves or thereabouts (chess is not an rest of her forces.
exact science ! ) . At any rate I don't It now seems a little ironic that I re­
think it's more than two moves and fer to White's queen in Chapter 1 2 as
I' m sure that if Capablanca saw this "The Eager Lady" since clearly there
position for the first time he would are few better examples of eagerness
110 UNDERSTANDING THE GR ONFELD

than Black's queen on a2 ! If Black is ''This is clearly the best way to play
not very careful, the queen can quickly against the l:tbI line" according to GM
be in danger of being trapped, but Peter Wells, who has a fantastic score
more commonly the absence of sup­ on the white side of this line and is an
port from other pieces can give White unlikely character to have ulterior mo­
the irritating option of a perpetual at­ tives in making such a statement!
tack on the black queen. Black has many alternatives at this
6) White 's potential passed d­ point and considering them may help
pawn is closer to the queening square to bring this important move into per­
than either of Black's passed pawns. spective.
Delroy is once again a key player in a) 12 . . . b6 !'? (D) is a very grounded
White's strategy and since many vari­ approach.
ations involve Black exchanging the
e7-pawn for the e4-pawn, he can
quickly become of decisive impor­
tance, whereas the a- and b-pawns are
more likely to be residually important
in that their presence is felt more in­
tensely as pieces are exchanged.
7) White 's central control offers
prospects for play on all sectors of the
board, whereas Black will have diffi­
culty creating any substantial threats
for a number of moves.
White's lead in time grants an early
initiative and yet Black has no way of
knowing where White will want to Black wants to develop the c8-
strike, because Black's lack of mobili­ bishop without losing one of his trea­
zation makes him somewhat vulnera­ sured pawn duo. However, I can't help
ble all over. but feel that it's asking a little bit much
Sounds pretty bad? Well, if it were of the black position and is too slow to
White's move I suspect that it would divert Whhe. from pushing his initia­
be extremely serious for Black, but tive into more concrete form. The most
just before White settles down to an 'a recent high-level clash, lvanchuk­
la carte' approach from the 'seven­ Svidler, Linares 1998 seemed to con­
point plan' mentioned above, Black cur with this view: 13 'ii'c l .tb7 14
has a chance to consolidate the mate­ .tc4 'ii'a4 15 .tb5 'iWa2 1 6 .tc4 'iWa4
rial gain or reassert the combative 17 .tb5 Wa2 1 8 l:lel ! (the other reason
spirit which brought him to the posi­ I don't like ...b6 is that it allows a
tion we are now considering: three-fold repetition, but Ivanchuk is
12 .tg4!
... also about to demonstrate that White
THE CAKE AND THE COOKIE 111

has no need of this) 18 ... Ac8 19 'ii'd l


e6 2 0 h4 ! (note that White' s pressure
is revealed very gradually; the danger
in some lines with ...'ii'xa2 is that
Black's lack of central control often
simply means that he doesn't have an
active plan) 20. . . h5 (although it is not
immediately obvious, this is a major
positional concession for now Black
cannot move any kingside pawns with­
out creating major weaknesses) 21
'ii'e2 lUc6 22 ..ic4 11'a4 23 l:tal 'ii'c2 24
..td3 (White has used the stranded
black queen to reorganize his position important than an extra queenside
and now sets about creating concrete pawn.
threats) 24 ... 'ir'b2 25 l:ta4 ! (threaten­ c) 12 ... �7 ! ? looks rather awkward
ing to trap the queen with l:tb 1 ) 25 . . . bS in that jtblocks the c8-bishop and does
26 ..ixbS .:td8 27 ..tgS 'ii'xe2 28 ..txe2 nothi�g to undermine White's centre.
lld7 29 Ab 1 ! . I vanchuk has cleverly However, it is heading for an excellent
managed to manipulate the tactics and square on b6 which will prevent the
win his material back without losing annoying recurrence of ..ic4 hitting
control. His superior pawn-structure, the black queen and it will allow Black
extra space and active pieces give him to develop his c8-bishop without ced­
a clear plus and Svidler was forced to ing a pawn or weakening the queen­
resign thirty moves later. side. At present this move is looking
b) 1 2 ...'ii'e6 ! ? (D) loses even more rather respectable theoretically. Al­
time with the queen, who may have though I don't feel as comfortable
sobered up and realized that her eager­ with it as I do with the main recom­
ness was out of place. mendation, I am aware that some of
As we've just seen, it is not enough the lines with 1 2 ... ..ig4 are genuinely
.
simply to mobilize and defend against 'drawish' and so I will now give a syn­
the immediate threats, for White has opsis of the important lines, allowing
enough trumps to maintain the initia­ you at least some choice against what
tive over a long period. 13 'iic2 'it'c6 is after all considered the critical test
14 'ii'd 3 'it'd6 I S ..ib4 'it'd8 16 d5 ! l2Ja6 of the Griinfeld. 13 ..ib4 is invariably
17 ..ia3 b6 1 8 'ii'e3 lUc5 1 9 .l:I.fd l ..ig4 played, so as to apply immediate pres­
20 eS .:tc8 2 1 h3 ..txf3 22 ..ixf3, as in sure while Black is taking so much
Gelfand-Kamsky, Tilburg 1 990, is time to mobilize. Fortunately for Black,
comfortably better for White and is 1 3 ...llJb6 (D) is still possible:
another example showing that domi­ cl) 14 lbl 'llr'e6 15 'ilfbl (15 'ii'c2! ?)
nation in the centre tends to be more 15 ... ..id7 16 .l:I.a5 looks rather like
112 UNDERSTANDING THE GRONFELD

move from being effectively mobi­


lized it is becoming clear that while
the white position looks imposing,
Black' s position is not easy to crack)
1 9 'ili'e4 ! ? liJa7 ! (note that e7 cannot be
taken due to the 'restricting rook' on
a5 being en prise) 20 ltfa 1 (20 ltaa 1 ! ?
liJb5 21 'ii'h4 ltfc8 ! ? looks unclear)
20 . . . l:tac8 ! (White was threatening
.txe7 and .tcS, but, having carefully
defended up to now, Black correctly
decides that it is time to seek some ac­
tivity and so seizes the c-file and al­
White is turning the screw but al­ lows White to take the e-pawn so that
though it is hard to deny that White the other rook may also be active;
has some pressure, it is far from clear 20 . . JHe8 21 .tc5 "i!id8 22 "i!ie3 lDb5
if it is more important than Black's ex­ 23 .ib6 'iWb8 24 h4 ! with complete
tra pawn, which shows little sign of control for White, was the alternative;
leaving the black position. 1 6 . . .lDc8 ! if you do choose to play 12 ... lDd7 it is
now looks like the best move since the important to have a good sense of
c-file is of little use to Black at present when defending stops and counter­
and, having fulfilled its role in allow­ attacking begins) 21 .txe7 ltfe8 22
ing Black to complete development .tgS .tfS 23 'iWf4 and now in Zim­
without dropping the queenside, it falls merman-Behl, Budapest 1 996 Black
back to give the black queen an es­ played 23 . . . ltc2 with an equal but
cape-square on b6, contemplates com­ complex position according to Behl.
ing to d6 and frees the black b-pawn, c2) 14 "i!id3 ! ? .te6 ! ? 15 ltal ( 1 5
which may be needed as a defusing d5? lDxd5 16 exdS .tfS i s a neat trick
decoy if things get a little hot. Now: which White should avoid; 1 5 lDd2
c 1 1 ) 17 lbes .te8 ! 18 .ta3 b5 ! 1 9 %Hd8 16 dS .txdS ! 17 exdS lDxd5 ! ,
.txbS .txeS 2 0 .txe8 .ixd4 (another leaving White with no defence to
idea is 20. . . .tc7 !?) 2 1 'ii'b 7 liJb6 22 . . . liJb4 or . . . liJf4, is also one to remem­
.ibS is given as equal by GM Khal­ ber) 15 . . . 'iWc4 ! ? (15 . . .'ii'b 3 is also pos­
ifman. sible) 16 .txe7 'fixd3 17 .txd3 ltfe8
c l 2) 17 d5 'ii'b6 1 8 e5 (it looks like 1 8 .ic5 .ic4 1 9 .ixc4 lDxc4 20 ltfc 1
a great day out for the white pieces but b6 ! 2 1 l:.xc4 bxc5 22 :xeS ltxe4 with
Black's position is very resilient, and equality is a line given by GM Gavri­
he still has an extra pawn) 1 8 ...a6! (a kov, and looks reasonable to me.
rather cheeky way to get the coordina­ c3) 14 lDeS (D) is thought to be
tion going; now that the queenside is critical. Now Black has two possibili­
completely secure and Black is one ties:
· THE CAKE AND THE COOKIE 113

If you've been reading GM Jim


Plaskett's Playing to Win every day
B for the last decade then it's worth tak­
ing a closer look at 9 . . .b6!? for it is an
occupational hazard of playing mega­
sharply as Black that White can some­
times steer the game towards drawish
pastures.
d) 12 . . . i.d7 ! ? is another suspi­
cious-looking move which does little
to challenge the centre. The main idea
is to have . . . i.a4 as a useful resource
in some lines and . . . i.c6 is often im­
c3 1 ) It seems as though 14 .. .f6 may portant after .:xb7. I suspect, however,
equalize here but that also leads to that 1 3 l:xb7 l:tc8 14 .i.f4 ! intending
drawish endgames. lLle5 will put this idea out of business.
c32) 14 . . . .i.d7 ! ? is a relatively un­ e) 12 ... lLla6 ? ! . I can see little or no
explored move, and a way of main­ merit in this idea; in fact I doubt if
taining the tension. The only games I there is an idea. Indeed, I have reason
have seen with this move so far have to believe that the player responsible
continued 1 5 ltJxd7 ltJxd7 16 .i.b5 for bringing this move to public atten­
.:fd8 17 .i.xe7 .:e8 18 i.c5 ltJxc5 1 9 tion, Turkey' s GM Suat Atalik, only
.i.xe8 ltJxe4, when Black has won a played the move as some sort of re­
second pawn for the exchange and has ward to a friend who gave him a 085
a good game. disk as a gift, since this disk showed
Please consider that these lines are that l2 . . .lLla6 was the only non-losing
by no means an exhaustive treatment move which had not played in this po­
of 12 . . . ltJd7. It is offered as a tense al­ sition ! I admire Atalik's courage and
ternative to 1 2 . . . i.g4, which your au­ creativity in playing such a shocking
thor considers to be a more reliable, if move against world-class Grandmas­
not better, move. If you are a card­ ter Lembit Oil (Szeged 1 997) and in
carrying pawn-grabber who likes to case I sound unduly scathing I should
cling to material then I recommend it back up my words with moves: 1 3
as there is no obvious line which gives 'We l 'We6 14 l:te1 'iVd6 i s given in
White the advantage or in which a Atalik's notes in lnformator 71 but
draw is immediately forced, but if you now 1 5 .i.f4 'ii'd 8 16 .i.xa6 bxa6 17 d5
are pleased to equalize with Black and (with the idea of 1Wc6) is a fairly
prefer positions which are not fraught forced sequence which looks very un­
with danger while giving White plenty pleasant for Black.
of chance to go wrong then I strongly All of the above approaches have
advise you stick with 12 . . . i.g4. afforded White good chances for an
114 UNDERSTANDING THE GR ONFELD

opening advantage and it took Black a


long time to realize that clinging on to
the extra pawn was not the key to suc­
cess.
t) 12 ... a5 ! ? is a different approach
entirely and much more combative in
nature than those we have just consid­
ered. This move seems to acknowl­
edge that it is difficult for Black to
develop actively and also that merely
completing development does not al­
ways fully offset White's central con­
trol. The idea of the move seems to be
that Black's best plan is to push the a­ material and defending, Black tries to
pawn as far as it will go as quickly as trade off his gain in material for the
possible so as to divert White's atten­ loss of time incurred in gaining it, and
tion from the centre. The key thread of hopes that the resulting positions will
the variations is seen when White tries still be rich in complexity and suffi­
to trap the black queen as in other lines ciently unclear so as to give White
but the proximity of the a-pawn to the plenty of chances to go wrong.
queening square often allows a queen 13 .ig5 ! ?
sacrifice to help force the pawn through. This i s one o f the two main tries for
This approach has yet to be conclu­ White here, the other being ! 3 i.e3,
sively refuted despite appearing at the which we will examine in the next
highest level. I have played it myself game. It is at least a little bizarre that
with some success but am now highly this move doesn't actually immedi­
suspicious due to the number of ex­ ately threaten .ixe7 due to . . . l:.e8 and
ceedingly threatening lines and one . . . l:txe4, and yet it is still considered
variation in particular which I suspect very dangerous for Black. It is even
will be ultimately unanswerable for more bizarre that despite the bishop on
Black. g5 being a bit of a charlatan, Black's
Returning to the position after best reply appears to be 13 . . . h6, en­
12 ...i.g4 (D): couraging it to go to a more 'honest'
So perhaps now we can appreciate square. Therefore, it seems that the
the attraction of 12 ... i.g4. It is the best way to overcome this confusion is
only reliable move in the position to view 1 3 J.g5 as White's most active
which both catches up in development way of defending d4 and . . .h6 as a way
and quickly applies pressure to the of forcing the bishop to a less desir­
white centre. In this respect it is very able square before something funny
much in the counter-attacking spirit happens and the capture on e7 does
of the opening. Rather than taking actually become a serious threat.
THE CAKE AND THE COOKIE 115

Two lesser moves: later . . . g5 or . . . e5 and will allow the


a) 1 3 l:txb7 i.xf3 14 i.xf3 i.xd4 black knight to sit more comfortably
15 e5 ( 1 5 .tb4 ltJc6! is an important on e5 (no imminent f4) it is likely that
move suggested by Lalic: 16 e5 ltJxb4 the bishop will go to e3 as in this
17 l:r.xb4 i.xe5 18 i.xa8 .:txa8 leaves game, or h4 as in Game 24. In both
Black with the lion's share of the win­ cases the bishop has influence on only
ning chances) 15 . . . ltJa6 16 l:r.b5 l:.ad8 one of the two above-mentioned diag­
17 .:taS 'ii'e 6 1 8 tl'e2 ltJcS was much onals and so the inclusion of ... h6 can •

better for Black in Sandstrom-Khen­ be considered useful for Black.


kin, Stockholm 1 990. That said, there is scope for alterna­
b) 13 d5 ltJd71 feels good for Black tives here and I would like to draw
since all his pieces are effectively mo­ yow attention to 1 3 ...'it'e6 !? in partic­
bilized and the a-pawn is raring to go. ular (which I am not recommending
14 .:txb7 .:tfb8 1 5 'il'b1 'ii'x b1 16 l:tfxb1 here but will help us to make sense of
.:txb7 17 l:txb7 ltJc5 1 8 l:r.xe7 i.f8 was my recommendation against 13 . . . h6
at least equal fo'r Black in S .lvanov­ 14 i.h4). Now:
Lukin, St Petersburg 1992. a) 14 d5 ! is very much the critical
Returning to the position after 1 3 test and although Black has some tac­
i.g5 (D): tical resowces to hold the position to­
gether, it really does seem that he is
teetering on the brink. 1 4 . . . 'i!Vxe4 1 5
.:txb7 ( 1 5 'it'd2 i s also possible, and
B now GM Sakaev gives 1 5 . . . a5 1 6 l:r.xb7
f6 17 i.e3, when White undoubtedly
has compensation for the material and
Black's position is by no means har­
monious) 15 . . . i.e6 16 .l:.b5 i.f5 17
liJd2 'il'e5 1 8 ltJc4 'ilic7 19 d6 exd6 20
ltJxd6 is a line given by Azmaipar­
ashvili in his notes to the game Garcia
Ilundain-Azmaiparashvili, Parnplona
1 99617. Black's position resembles a
minefield here and it looks like it's
13 h6! ?
... not difficult for White at least to bail
O n g 5 the bishop has influence on out by winning the a-pawn at some
the h4-d8 and h6-c1 diagonals and point.
since i.xe7 does not appear to be a b) 14 h3 ! ? is slightly more modest
threat it is a good idea to force the but after 14 . . . i.xf3 15 i. xf3 the posi­
bishop to commit itself to a square tion is not without dangers for Black
where it will have less scope. Since 14 since it will not be easy for him to
i.f4 would leave it vulnerable to a complete his development and White
116 UNDERSTANDING THE GRONFELD

still has two bishops and an imposing Rather than 1 4. . .b6? ! . Just as with
centre which is difficult to attack. I 1 3 .i.e3, it seems that it is incongruent
suspect B lack is fully OK here but we for Black to play . . . .i.g4 with the in­
will discuss this sort of position in tention of giving up his light-squared
more detail in Game 24. bishop and then weaken the queenside
14 .i.e3 light squares in this manner. It is also
White hopes that provoking . . .h6 rather greedy since Black is still seri­
will be useful for tying down the g7- ously lagging in development.
bishop to the defence of the h6-pawn.
Also, it is not so unusual for White's
bishop to find itself on the a2-g8 diag­
onal in this line (often after d5-d6) and w
so it can be annoying for Black that
White can sometimes attack the g6-
pawn which would then be en prise
since it is no longer defended from h7
and the f7-pawn is pinned to the king.
The reason that the inclusion of these
moves is not so obviously a good idea
is that there are actualJy some lines
where White later wants to put the
bishop back on g5 with a 'genuine' at­
tack on e7, and sometimes after White Now that Black has actively de­
plays d5, . . . g5 can be a useful way for ployed all his pieces and has his king
Black to attempt to control some dark in safety it is possible to say that the
squares. I honestly don't know if it is opening phase has been completed
better for White to provoke . . .h6 and I and Black, having pressure on the
think it will be some time before it is centre and still being a pawn up, has
obvious to anyone. conducted the opening successfully.
14 .i.xe7 .l:e8 15 l1xb7 and now Indeed, if you are a bit of a 'theory­
15 . . . lDc6, as in Kramnik-Kasparov, phobe' this is quite a reasonable ap­
Novgorod 1 996, is fully adequate, but proach to take, and if you feel you
15 . . . lDd7 !? is my recommendation - I have understood the material so far
always like to keep my pieces protect­ you can be satisfied that you've
ing each other as far as possible and I learned how to play the opening and
don' t see any obvious improvement consider the following lines as being
for White on 1 6 .i.b4 %be4 17 l:te1 full of instructive middlegame themes
.i.xf3 18 .i.xf3 l:txd4, which was better which will help you understand how
for Black in Hultin-Ernst, Gausdal to play this type of position.
1 99 1 . For 'theoryphiles' the situation is
14 tDc6 (D)
•.• quite different for in a sense the theory
THE CAKE AND THE COOKIE 117

of this particular line is just beginning. b l l) 1 8 . . . e6 1 9 e5 !? is given as


There is some difficulty in grasping slightly better for White by Sakaev. At
what follows because in almost all first I didn't believe this since there
lines there will be a sister variation seems to be very little wrong with the
(see next game) with the black h-pawn black position and d4 looks every bit
one square back. I' II try to keep you on as weak as a7 . Yet it is well worth
the right track theoretically while making the effort to try to understand
striving to make sense of what follows why White is better here; the follow- .
in a conceptual way. ing continuation may help: 19 . . . lDe7
15 d5 (Black's biggest problem is the imme­
Or: diate threat to this knight, which defi­
a) 15 h3 is far too tame: 15 . . . ..txf3 nitely needs to find a secure post where
1 6 ..txf3 ..txd4 ! is a powerful response it won ' t be easily harassed; d5 is the
since 1 7 ..txd4 .l:fd8 1 8 l:a1 'ltc4 1 9 obvious spot, but it seems that Black
l:.a4 lDb4 seems to hold the extra ma­ does not have enough time to get there
terial. and keep the queens on the board) 20
b) 1 5 lhb7 .:ab8 ! ? (it seems best ifa1 ! (exchanging queens makes it
to use a rook to challenge the.b7-rook easier to mobilize the white rook and
and it doesn't matter which; if Black attack the a7-pawn) 20. . . l:.b2 21 '1Wxa2
puts a rook on d8 instead then both l:txa2 22 g4 ! (preventing . . . lDfS, which
sides will have an active rook; White's would otherwise stabilize the posi­
on b7 and Black's on d8, but by forc­ tion). Now White intends to bring the
ing this exchange Black's remaining rook round behind the black position
rook will be much more active than and has an enduring endgame advan­
the white rook on fl) 1 6 l:.xb8 ltxb8 tage primarily due to the lack of an­
17 h3 (D) and now: chorage for the black knight and
White's two bishops. This is only a
sample line of course but I was in­
trigued by GM Sakaev's assessment
B since I allowed something very similar
against GM Peter Wells, as we'll see
in the next game, and I did not suspect
that I would really be worse in such
positions.
b l 2) l 8 .. J:td8 19 d5 lDe5 20 'Wc l !
(gaining a vital tempo on h6; this pre­
vents Black from exercising . . .lDc4 ! ,
which would b e enough to equalize as
we shall see in the following game)
20 .. .'�h7 2 1 'fic7 ltd7 22 it'c8 'fic4 23
b1) 1 7 . . . ..txf3 1 8 ..txf3 and then: 'ii'e 8 ! was clearly better for White in
118 UNDERSTANDING THE GRONFELD

the game Gelfand-Kamsky, Dos Her­


manas 1995. Note that Gelfand did not
fear the 'threat' of . . .tt:Jxf3 since
Black's e5-knight is, at least tempo­
rarily, more important to the position
than the bishop on f3 and Black is not
well enough coordinated to generate
serious kingside threats.
b2) 17 . . . ..td7 ! . When the pawn is
on h6, Black does best to retreat to d7
but when the pawn is on h7 it is better
to take on f3. This is connected to
White's idea of playing 'ilt'c 1 , which
hits the h6-pawn and threatens to infil­ relatively forcing sequence which
trate on the c-file or possibly take an leaves the h6-pawn en prise at the end.
unprotected knight on c6. However, Other moves:
this explanation only fully makes a) 15 . . . tt:Ja5?! is now considered
sense when you have seen the varia­ inaccurate, primarily due to 1 6 ..tc5
tions. 1 8 d5 ( 1 8 ..td3 tt:Jb4 1 9 'Wb1 a5 .i.f6 ( 1 6 ....i.xf3 17 .i.xf3 ltfe8 was
was· fully equal in San Segundo-Az­ shown to be too passive after 1 8 l:te1
maiparashvili, Madrid 1996) 18 ... tLle5 b6 19 lle2 'ilt'c4 20 llc2 'ilt'a4 21 ..txe7!
1 9 ..tf4 'ilt'b2 20 'ilt'c l g5 ! shows one in Scherbakov-Vorontsov, Kurgan
positive side of having played ... h6 1995) 17 e5 ! ..txe5 1 8 l:lb4 ..txf3 19
and was good enough to equalize ..txf3 llae8 20 .i.e3 tLlc4 2 1 ..txh6
completely in Gelfand-J.Polgar, Nov­ tLld6 22 ..txf8 .:xf8 (22 .. .'�xf8 ! ?) 23
gorod 1 996. Note that without this h4 ! , when Black's weakened kingside
move Black would be clearly worse meant that his compensation for the
due primarily to the weakness of the exchange was not fully adequate in
a7- and e7-pawns. Kramnik-Anand, Dos Herrnanas 1996.
Returning to the position after 15 Note however, that this game was
d5 (D): very important theoretically because
lS ... tlJeS! ? Black's idea was holding up in numer­
This i s probably the best move in ous games prior to this one. It does not
the given position and it's good to take a genius to realize that in this case
know that Kasparov seems to think so Black benefits considerably from hav­
too. The variations suggest that this is ing not played . . . h6 since without the
connected to the pawn being on h6 so weakened kingside White would have
that after a later . . .e6 is met by d6, no good plan.
White will not have a deadly follow up b) 15 ... ..txf3 !?. I don't fully under­
with ..tg5-e7. Moreover, if Black tries stand why this move hasn't been
to put his knight on the wing there is a played more often, since as we' ll see
THE CAKE AND THE COOKIE 119

in the next game, it is thought to be Perhaps Kramnik's move-order was


more accurate than . . .l0e5 when the designed to tease Kasparov with the
pawn is on h7 and yet I think that the possibility of 19 f4 !?, as suggested by
reasons for this have been somewhat Azmaiparashvili. However, it looks to
confused over time. me like Black has little to fear after
b 1 ) Presumably, 16 gxf3 liJaS is 1 9 ... lZJc4.
unproblematic. 19 d6 (D)
b2) 1 6 ..txf3 ll:Je5 and then:
b2 1 ) 17 ..tc5 ..tf6 1 8 l:txb7 l:tfb8
19 ..txe7 lhb7 20 ..txf6 1.:te8 would be
analogous to Krasenkov-Azmaipar­
ashvili, Erevan OL 1996 . There now
seems to be no way to exploit the pres­
ence of the pawn on h6, e.g. 2 1 'i'c l
'i'b2 ! (or 2 1 ...�h7); 2 1 ..txe5 l:txe5 22
'i'c 1 but then 22 . . . '>ii> g7 keeps every­
thing covered.
b22) 1 7 ..te2 l0c4 ! and now White
would like to be able to play 1 8 ..tg5
but is well-advised not to.
b23) After 17 llxb7, 17 ... e6?! would
be a mistake because of the powerful 19 .'Vi'aS! !
..

18 'ike2 ! but 1 7 ...aS ! ?, analogous to This was th e dextrous move which


Bacrot-lllescas, looks every bit as con­ brought the 1 2 .....tg4 line back to life.
vincing with the pawn on h6. It immediately led to a draw in Lau­
16 l:txb7 tier-lllescas, Wijk aan Zee 1 997 after
There appears to be no good alter­ 20 ..td2 'ili'a2 2 1 i.e3 'ili'a5 22 ..td2
native. 'ti'a2 23 ..te3.
1 6 l:te1 ! ? has not been tried but I Obviously White was impressed by
suspect it makes ·less sense when Black Black's idea and wisely decided not to
hasn't played ... e6; 1 6.....txf3 17 gxf3 engage in battle without the theoreti­
lZ'lc4 ! ? appears a reasonable response. cal ammunition which Black obvi­
16...e6! ously had on his side. The point of this
Even in such sharp lines, the basic baffling retreat is simply to highlight
principle of undermining the white the fact that White's queen is some­
centre still applies. what over-loaded and so prevent White
17 l:tel ! ? from playing the move he obviously
Although w e soon transpose, 17 d6 wants to play. So, 20 f4 l:txd6 ! is, of
l:tfd8 1 8 l:te1 ..txf3 19 gxf3 is a more course, the crucial point.
common move-order. Those unfamiliar with the line may
17 ..txf3 18 gxf3 l:tfd8
•.. then wonder why Black doesn't play
120 UNDERSTANDING THE GR ONFELD

19 . . . 'ilia3 with the same idea and the and a beautiful demonstration of the
reason was seen in Gelfand-Kamsky, rewards of having an active queen.
Dos Hermanas 1996: 20 f4 .l:.xd6 2 1 21. 'i1Va2!
..

'it'c 1 ! ! 'i\Vxc 1 2 2 .l:.xc 1 lt:lc6 2 3 e5 lt:ld4 Now if White plays f4, Black sim­
24 .l:.cc7 ! ! lt:lxe2+ 25 ..t>fl .!:tdd8 26 ply captures with the knight on d7 and
.l:.xf7 ..ih8 27 'itxe2, when White went if White is insistent he will have to
on to win the endgame. Note that drop the bishop on e2.
Gelfand has more experience in this 22 l:tel �a5!
line of the Griinfeld than anyone and The d-pawn is one square further
yet recently preferred 14 ..ih4 ! ?, as on, but the same principle applies.
we'll see in Game 24. 23 l:.fl
This suggests to me that he re­ 23 'itfl lllxf3 24 i.xf3 'i1Va6+ 25
spected Illescas's idea, and this is good 'it?g1 'i1Vxb7 26 e5 'i\Vc7 27 ..ixa8 l:txa8
news for Black. is a long line given as unclear by
20 .:.nt Kasparov. Delroy is by no means a
This is White's latest try for an ad­ timid character but Black is a pawn up
vantage but it seems that Black is and has the safer king.
holding fort. The following notes are 23 .'ika2!
..

based around Kasparov's in Informa­ I'm sure you are tired of the exclams,
tor 72. but I trust the point is now clear.
20 ..if8! (D)
... 24 ..ib5 a6 (D)

w w

It is absolutely crucial that White is 25 ..id4


not given time to play f4. Or:
21 d7! a) 25 f4 axb5 26 fxe5 'i\Va6 27 l:.c7
The line 2 1 l:tb5? 'ilia2 22 .:txe5? b4 is another unclear line. In such po­
..ixd6 23 .l:.b5 i.xh2+ 24 'itxh2 l:txd1 sitions Jon Speelman's quotation from
25 ..ixd 1 'i\Vc4 ! is vintage Kasparov, Chapter 3 is particularly pertinent. I
THE CAKE AND THE COOKIE 121

would rather be Black here for I feel In both these lines we see the signif­
that as long as sufficient caution is ex­ icance of White's lack of a king shield,
ercised so as not to allow Delroy to and in both cases this is the crucial fac­
touch down, White's position, partic­ tor which allows Black to draw.
ularly because of his draughty king, is
much more difficult to play.
b) 25 .ia4 l2Jxf3+ and now:
bl) 26 'ii?g2 was recently tried by
Swiss theoretician Yannick Pelletier
as White against Griinfeld expert GM
Igor Stohl, which made me wonder if
Kasparov's analysis left something
important unsaid.
b l l ) However, even Stohl seemed
to get lost in Kasparov's jungle-like
haze of variations and now played what
seems to be the inferior 26 . . . l2Jg5 ? ! ,
and after 2 7 'i'c2 ! ii'a3 28 Z:d l White
was in control of the game. 2S....ig7
bl2) So we don't know what Pelle­ Because Delroy will seek corona­
tier had in mind within or after another tion on a dark square it is better to get
of Kasparov 's unclear lines, 26...l2Jh4+! rid of White's dark-squared bishop.
(removing the king from the protec­ 25 ...axb5? 26 .ixe5 'f:.a7? 27 .ic7 lbb7
tion of the fl -rook so that . . .ii'c4 can­ 28 .ixd8 1i'a7 29 .ib6 is winning for
not be met by 1Wc2) 27 �hl 'i'c4 28 f3 White. Kramnik now played. . .
.ie7 29 .ib6 Z:f8 . I guess it's fair to 26 .ixeS 1h. -1h.
say that the chances of the reader 26 f4 axb5 27 fxe5 1Wa6 28 Z:c7 b4
reaching such a position are fairly obviously did not appeal to White and
slim, but for the sake of completeness after the move played Black cannot or­
I should also say that I don't see a ganize himself sufficiently to get an
problem with Kasparov's analysis and attack going on the white king, e.g.
again in the final position I like the 26 ... i.xe5 27 .ic6 a5 28 'f:.b5 'f:.a6 29
fact that Black has an extra pawn and l:txe5 (29 lWe i ? ! .id4) 29 . . . l:txc6 30
that his king is safer. 'ir'al is equal.
b2) 26 1Wxf3 is also possible and
appears rather drawish: 26 . . . 1Wxa4 27 Game 23
Z:d l (27 e5 .:.ab8 28 Z:xb8 .:.xb8 29 Krasenkow - Leko
'ifd l 'ii'h4 30 i.a7 Z:d8 3 1 i.b6 l:txd7 Madrid 1 998
with equality) 27 . . .'ifc6 28 l:tb6 (28
.id4 .ig7) 28 ... 1Wc7 29 e5 ltxd7 ! again 1 d4 l2Jf6 2 c4 g6 3 l2Jc3 dS 4 cxdS
with equality. ltJxdS 5 e4 l2Jxc3 6 bxc3 .ig7 7 l2Jf3
122 UNDERSTANDING THE GRONFEW

cS 8 l:tb 1 0-0 9 .te2 cxd4 10 cxd4 e5 ! , a Ia Sakaev, i s a better try for


..WaS+ 11 .i.d2 'i¥xa2 12 0-0 .i.g4 13 White) 1 8 ...llle5 :
.i.e3!? lllc6 (D) al) Peter now played 1 9 .i.g5,
which was probably too aggressive,
since after 19 ... h6! 20 .i.e7 l:tb2 ! 21 d6
l:.d2 22 'ii'b l 'ir'a4 ! 23 ifb8+ �h7 24
w 'file? 'ii'd4 ! I had dealt with Delroy in
an extremely active manner and only
great ingenuity now kept White in the
game.
a2) It's well worth being aware of
the following line, which is an easy
draw for Black when the pawn is on h2
but problematic when on h3: 19 dxe6
'ii'xe6 20 .i.xa7 li:lxf3+ 21 'ii'xf3 l:.e8
22 l:.el f5 . White can now try 23 'i¥e3
fxe4 24 f3, which at least causes some
14 d5 suffering. If you're willing to bend the
14 l:.xb7 again has some sting, but rules a little and put the white h-pawn
in this case it doesn't make much dif­ back on h2 we can now follow Cher­
ference where the h-pawn is. I still nin-Azmaiparashvili, Portoroz Vidmar
think it makes good sense to swap off mem 1 996: 24 . . .'ii'c4 ! 25 fxe4 l:.e7 26
White's active rook by 14 . . . l:.ab8 15 r.th l l:.f7 27 h3( !) l:.fl + 28 l:.xfl
l:.xb8 ( 1 5 l:.c7 l:.fc8 16 l:.xc8+ l:.xc8 is 'ir'xfl + 29 'ir'gl 'ii'd3 30 'ir'el .i.c3 3 1
not likely to make much difference 'ii'e3 'ii'b l + 32 'ii'g l 1h-1h. This game
since the black rook normally slides to began with 14 d5 .i.xf3 1 5 .i.xf3 li:le5
d8 in any case) 15 ... l:.xb8 1 6 h3 .i.xf3 ! 16 l:.xb7 e6, so it may not seem very
(this time the capture is well advised relevant, but such a variation is fairly
since after 16 . . . .td7 Black does not thematic and may help you to under­
have the crucial . . . g5 resource that we stand otherwise confusing moves and
saw in note 'b2' to White's 15th move comments.
in Game 22; from White's point of b) 17 ... l:.d8 ! (this looks highly reli­
view, facing this capture is less pleas­ able for Black) 18 d5 (the main point of
ant since there is no h6-pawn to help ... :td8 is to force this move) 18 . . .llle5
gain the tempo that allowed infiltra­ 1 9 'ii'c l !? (so far this has been the only
tion in Gelfand-Kamsky also given move tried, but clearly it is less obvi­
above) 17 .i.xf3 and here: ously the correct move without the
a) I tried to keep my rook on the pawn being on h6; 19 We2 ! ? is a plau­
open b-file by 17 . . . e6 against GM sible improvement but as long as
Peter Wells, London 1998 but this is Black does not make an unnecessary
bad for two reasons. After 18 d5 ( 1 8 captur� there should be no problem:
THE CAKE AND THE COOKIE 123

1 9 . . . 'i!Va3 ! looks best, protecting a7 Black's last move protects the b7-
and intending to bring a rook to b2 - I pawn. Still, White has various danger­
suspect that Black has nothing to fear ous approaches here so Black should
here) 1 9 . . . �c4! 20 i.g5 (20 i.xa7 ? ! tread carefully.
'i!Vxa7 2 1 'ir'xc4 i.d4 22 'ir'e2 .l:tb8 is, if Other ideas:
anything, slightly better for Black, who a) f4 . . . lt:Je5? ! is now thought to be
can attack f2 while White can only de­ inaccurate due to 15 .l:txb7 e6 1 6 d6
fend; 20 i.f4 a5 ! ? is also promising .l:tfd8 17 i.g5 !, which again shows why
for Black) 20....1:te8 (20 ... i.f6?! would it matters so much where the black h­
be bad here due to 21 i.xf6 exf6 22 pawn resides. 17 . . . i.xf3 1 8 gxf3 f6
'ir'c3 �e5 23 .l:tal 'ir'c4 24 'ir'xc4 �xc4 ( 1 8 .. Jhd6? 1 9 'ir'xd6 'ir'xe2 20 .l:tb8+
25 .l:txa7) 2 1 .!:tel (2 1 i.g4 'ifa4 ! 22 l:.xb8 21 'ir'xb8+ i.f8 22 'i!Vxe5) 1 9
i.h6 i.xh6 23 'i!Vxh6 lt:Je5 is comfort­ i.e3 was clearly better for White in
ably equal) 2 l . . .e6! (it's a good time to San Segundo-de Ia Villa, Mondariz
hit the centre since 2 l ...a5 22 .l:te2 1 997.
ii'b3 23 .l:tc2 allows White to establish b) 14 . . . .1:tfd 8 ! ? is also possible, but
control) 22 .l:te2 'ir'b3 23 dxe6 llxe6 very risky. 15 l:.xb7 e6 16 .l:tc7 i.xf3
was now equal in Khalifman-Stohl, 17 gxf3 lt:Jb4 18 i.g5 exd5 1 9 i.xd8
Bundesliga 1997. .l:txd8 gave Black excellent compensa­
Returning to the position after 14 tion in Sakaev-Tseshkovsky, Yugosla­
d5 (D): via 1 997 but I think there is plenty of
scope to improve White's play.
c) 14 ... i.xf3 ! ? (the main approach
of top GMs recently but to my mind it
B seems less combative than 14 . . . lt:Ja5)
15 i.xf3 ll:Je5 and then:
c l ) 16 l:.xb7 and now:
e l l ) Note that 16 . . . e6 17 'ir'e2 ! is
very good for White since Black nei­
ther wants to enter the endgame nor to
give up his excellent knight for the
muffled bishop on f3, while if the
queen leaves the a2-g8 diagonal White
will probably capture on e6 and then
play i.g4.
14 �a5!?
... c l 2) 16 ... a5 ! ! (D) is another of
Although this was bad in the last Illescas's crucial novelties and it was
game, I think it is fully playable with enough to equalize against Bacrot in
the pawn on h7 . I like the fact that Pamplona 1997/8.
White's central pawns have been After 17 l:.xe7 a4 ! GM Illescas uses
forced to lose some flexibility and that the 'compensation for the material' '
124 UNDERSTANDING THE GRVNFELD

by GM Khuzman, is a good example


of what to avoid as Black, for White
has complete control of the game) 18
i.xe7 ! lDxe4 1 9 i.f3 ltJd2 20 't!i'e2!
.l:tfe8 21 d6 ltJxf3+ 22 'i!fxf3 i.f8 23
l:r.xb7 was significantly better for White
in Krarnnik-Topalov, Linares 1 998.
Returning to the position after
1 4 . . . ltJa5 (D) :

symbol in his lnformator annotations


but I would certainly say that Black' s
position is easier to play. Following
18 i.d4 (it is important to fight for this
diagonal since otherwise the a-pawn
and g7-bishop have an excellent part­
nership to deliver the pawn all the way
to a 1 ) Black now played 1 8 ... ltJxf3+,
which was presumably part of his
preparation since the game now
seemed to head inexorably towards a 15 i.cS
draw after 1 9 gxf3 i.xd4 20 'ii'xd4 a3 This follows the recipe for the anal­
2 1 �g2 'W�Vb2! 22 't!i'xb2 axb2 23 .l:tb 1 ogous position with the pawn on h6
.l:ttb8 24 d6 'it>f8 25 .l:tc7 .l:ta1 26 .l:txb2 but Black's resources seem fully ade­
.l:txb2 27 .l:tc8+ �g7 28 d7 .l:td2 29 quate.
d8't!i' .l:txd8 30 .l:txd8 with a drawn rook a) 1 5 l:lb4 ! ? aims to take the c4-
endgame. However, 18 ....l:tfe8 !? would square away tram the black knight and
have been a perfectly reasonable way to gain a tempo on the g4-bishop when
to play for a win since White seems to playing e5 . To my knowledge this has
be obliged to try 1 9 .l:txe8+ .l:txe8 20 not been tried at the highest level. Pre­
't!i'a l (20 i.e2? ! .l:tc8 ! 2 1 f4? .l:tc2 !) sumably Black can take advantage of
20 . . . 't!i'c4 ! with a very tense position the fact that the bishop on g7 is not
and chances for both sides. 'chained' to the h-pawn. 1 5 ... i.c3 16
c2) 16 i.e2! seems to be a good l:ta4 �b2 leads to a tense position, but
move here but only because 16 ...ltJc4 it seems like Black has everything
allows 17 i.g5 ! ltJd6 ( 17 ...l:lfe8 is too covered.
passive: 1 8 lhb7 ltJd6 1 9 l:lb4 ! a5 20 b) 1 5 i.g5 !? takes advantage of the
.l:ta4 1ifb2 2 1 i.e 1 ! , as recommended absence of the h6-pawn and was
THE CAKE AND THE COOKIE 125

recently played by Krarnnik. 1 5 . . .'il'a3 17 ... .txf3 18 .txf3 llae8! (D)


(the sober-looking 15 .. J:tfe8 is met by An important move.
the annoying 16 .tb5) 1 6 .id2 .tc3 17 18 . . . .tf6? is shown to be careless
.i c l 'il'd6 (attacking the rook with by 1 9 l:ta4 'il'b3 20 l:ha5 'i!Yxd 1 2 1
17 ... 'il'a2 ! ? may be an improvement; l:txd1 b6 2 2 d6 ! .
at any rate, Black's moves do not look
particularly well-considered around
about here) 1 8 e5 'il'd7 ( 1 8 . . .'i't'd8 ! ?
severs the connection of the rooks but
the queen is less vulnerable to e5-e6
tricks on d8 and protecting the knight
on aS would prevent White's follow­
ing sequence since Black would then
be threatening to win the e5-pawn) 1 9
.i d2 .ixf3 2 0 .i xf3 .i xd2 21 'iWxd2
ltJc4 22 'il'e2 b5 23 e6 1ll'd6 24 exf7+
rj;g7 25 l:txb5 ltJe5 26 .ie4 l:txf7 27
l:ta5 gave a little something to White
in Krarnnik-lvanchuk, Monaco Am­
ber rapid 1 998. Clearly the time-limit 1 9 .ixa7
influenced lvanchuk' s play and it 19 l:ta4 ? ! 'i¥b3 20 .ixa7 (20 l:txa5
seems that there is considerable scope 'i¥xd1 2 1 l:txd1 b6 is clearly better for
for improvement in Black' s play. Black, who will have the better of the
15 .if6
•.. opposite-colour bishops and a useful
Defending the pawn and preparing extra pawn) 20 . . . b6 21 1lVxb3 ltJxb3 22
to attack the c5-bishop. .i xb6 ltJd2 also gives Black an excel­
16 e5 lent endgame since White's remaining
The only dangerous move. pawns are very weak.
16 ... .ixe5 17 l:t b4! 1 9 .te3 no longer makes sense since
Obliging Black to exchange on f3 there is nothing on h6 to attack. Black
while preparing to threaten l:ta4. could then play 19 . . . ltJc4 20 i.. h6 ltJd6
17 h3 is obviously less dangerous 2 1 .i xf8 l:txf8 and in this position I
and although 17 ...l:tfd8 ! ? is now pos­ would even say that Black is winning
sible, there is nothing wrong with since in the long term White has no
17 . . . .txf3 1 8 .txf3 l:.ae8 ! since after answer to a gradual advance of the a­
19 d6 exd6 20 .td5 ltJc4 White would and b-pawns.
like to play 21 'il'g4 and have a double 19... b5! (D)
threat on c4 and g6 but since the pawn Taking the a4-square from the rook;
is on h7 and not h6, Black could sim­ after this move White has to struggle
ply take on c5 with a safe king and to equalize.
some extra pawns. 20 l:txb5
126 UNDERSTANDING THE GR ONFELD

and the f2-square being a little sensi­


tive.
w Leko probes well, but Krasenkow
defends calmly.
23 'ii'e2 i.d6 24 l:tbb1 l:tc3 25 g3
ltfc8 26 l:tb2 'tlfd4 27 l:td2 'ii'f6 28
iLe4 h5 29 h4 l:t8c4 30 l:.d3 l:txd3 31
'il'xd3 l:.c3 32 'ii'd2 iLb4 33 'iWe2 i.c5
34 �g2 �g7 35 ltd1 'ife5 36 i.f3
'iWxe2 37 i.xe2 l:.c2 38 'it>fl \itlf6 39
:d3 �e5 40 ltf3 f5 41 i.b5 i.d4 42
i.e8 �f6 43 iLd7 lfz.lh.

20 i.d4 i.xd4 2 1 'itxd4 ltJb7 ! 7 is Game 24


certainly no worse for Black, while 20 Gelfand - Shirov
'ii'e 2 'li'xe2 2 1 i.xe2 ltJc4 should be a Polanica Zdroj Rubinstein mem / 998
draw, but of course Black could claim
that d5 is a relevant weakness. 1 d4 ltJf6 2 lbf3 g6 3 c4 iLg7 4 lbc3
20 .. . ltJc4 21 'ife2?! dS 5 cxd5 lbxd5 6 e4 lbxc3 7 bxc3 c5
This is a slight technical mistake. 8 l:tb1 0-0 9 i.e2 cxd4 10 cxd4 'ira5+
2 1 i.c5 lUd2 would have made it eas­ 11 i.d2 'iWxa2 12 0-0 iLg4 13 i.gS h6
ier for White to demonstrate complete 14 i.h4!? (D)
equality.
21 ...'ifxa7 22 'fixc4 (D)

In one way it seems strange to re­


tain the bishop on this diagonal w here
22...l:tc8 it doesn ' t yet threaten to capture the
Black now has a slight edge on the e7-pawn and can be shunted away with
basis of his bishop being more active ... g5 as soon as it does. Yet, at the time
THE CAKE AND THE COOKIE 127

of writing, this move appears to be the a) 14 . . . .l:td8 ! ? was GM Illescas's


sternest test of B lack' s opening idea. solution when confronted with 14 i..h4
We have seen in the other lines that e7 by Anand in Madrid 1 998. This move
is often Black's Achilles Heel and so it makes more sense to me than 14 . . . a5
makes sense for the bishop ' s eyes to because Black is attacking the centre,
be trained on this spot. Indeed, if we but it would seem that the following
assume Black will have to play ... g5 sequence is almost forced: 1 5 d5 gS
then it is fair to say that this doesn't 1 6 i.g3 b6 17 .l:te1 ! (threatening 1 8
harmonize well with the bishop being tL:lxgS ! ) 17 . . .i.. xf3 1 8 i.. xf3 tLld7 1 9 e5
on g4 since Black will not want to and while Black is not doing as badly
weaken the kingside light squares as some commentators have claimed,
even more by exchanging his light­ he had clearly lost the opening battle.
squared bishop and we will soon see I was intrigued to see Anand trying
that the bishop on g4 is also a tactical 14 .th4 because when I first decided
liability. to play the . . .'iha2 and . . . .tg4 line I
14 a5!?
... was impressed by the following idea...
This has been the proposed solution b) 14 ... g5 ! ? (D) makes some sense
by GMs Shirov and Sokolov but it since Black can follow up by attacking
doesn't feel right to me at all and the the centre without worrying about the
beautiful game we are about to see e7-pawn.
partially confirms this feeling. Con­
sidering that Black will soon be forced
to play . . . g5, I am uncomfortable with
Black's kingside being so weak when
there is little counterplay against the
white centre. The lines with 1 2 . . . aS
tend to work well only when Black
can somehow support the a-pawn with
the g7-bishop. Moreover, in these vari­
ations the black king is completely
safe and the battle lies on the centre
and on the queenside where Black is
not numerically inferior, and where the
black queen can make her presence
felt. Since it now seems that Black has 1 5 i..g 3 tL:lc6 (the consistent move)
little chance of undermining White's 16 dS l:rad8 (actively mobilizing all
centre it is unwise to engage in a the forces, and preparing a central
kingside vs queenside battle because pawn-break) 17 .l:txb7 fS ! ? (this was
in such battles the side with greater all suggested in the notes to the game
central control tends to win. Chernin-J.Horvath, Hungarian Ch
Other moves: 1 992 where Black suffered after 17 ... e6
128 UNDERSTANDING THE GRONFELD

1 8 .ic7 ! ) . I was completely satisfied of ... .ixf3. This was the acute obser­
with Black's prospects after 17 . . . f5 vation of GM Jon Speelman when we
until I saw the Anand game, which were discussing his analysis of Anand­
suggested that he had also seen these Illescas in The Observer. This insight
notes to Chernin-Horvath but had pre­ was stated rather casually, but it seems
pared some improvement. I suspect to be profoundly important theoreti­
that his idea was 18 dxc6 ! ? l:xd l 1 9 cally and only makes good sense when
�xd l ! , which seems to put Black i n a you have acquainted yourself with the
rather difficult situation since it is un­ reasons for rejecting 1 3 .ig5 'i'Ve6 as
likely that B lack can avoid the ex­ considered in Game 22.
change of queenside pawns and then c l ) 15 d5 'i'Vxe4 is no longer a
we will have a situation with pawns on problem since after 16 .:.Xb7 or 16 'i'Vd2
one side (probably an extra one for Black can safely take on f3 and h4 so
White) where the number of pieces White has to try a different approach.
tends to be more important than the c2) 15 .:.xb7 at the very least al­
type of pieces and Black's queen will lows 1 5 . . . 'i'Vxe4 16 .:.xe7 'i'Vd5 with a
be reduced to a purely defensive role. clear advantage to Black. The bishop
A sample variation: 19 ...'it'a6! ? 20 exf5 on h4 is now badly misplaced since it
'ifxc6 2 1 .:.xa7 .ixf5 22 l:be7 with a is needed to defend White's d-pawn.
slight but enduring advantage to White. c3) 15 h3 ! ? is a very reasonable try
c) All things considered, I suggest for White. This was played in Kom­
that 14 ...'i'Ve6 ! ? (D) may be the most ljenovic-D.Sanchez, San Sebastian
effective antidote to 14 ..ih4. 1993, a game cited by Lalic, who bases
upon it a claim that Black is likely to
remain a "solid pawn up". However, it
feels to me that the position where
w Lalic stops is by no means 'solid' for
Black. I am not saying this to gripe,
but just to suggest that although this
game eventually clarified in Black's
favour, it seemed to me that the posi­
tion was somewhat precarious for a
number of moves, so it is well worth
considering earlier improvements for
Black. Play continued 1 5 . . . �xf3 1 6
�xf3 'iid7 (this one i s O K i t feels
-

good to keep the queenside pawns in­


The inclusion of . . . h6 and .ih4 tact; Black would generally like to
means that whenever the black queen meet d5 with ... 'i'Vd6 and . . . ltJd7 in an
takes on e4 it will be indirectly attack­ effort to establish a dark-square block­
ing the bishop on h4 through the threat ade but I don't see any convincing way
THE CAKE AND THE COOKIE 129

to avoid losing this tempo with the White here) 1 9 e5 e6! 20 l:lfd1 (20
queen) 1 7 d5 and Black's next move, �e3 !?) 20 ... exd5 21 i.xd5 (21 llxd5 !?)
17 ... lDa6 ! ?, is definitely on trial, on 2 1 ...'ii'f5 22 ..te7 (22 l:lb5 ! ?) 22... l:.fc8
the charge of not contributing to the 23 'ii'e3 lDa4 24 e6 lDc3 25 ext7+ 'it>h7
restraint of White's centre. It deserves a 26 ..te6 lDxd 1 27 l:txd 1 'ii'c 2 28 .:tn
fair hearing, however, because Black l:lc7 and Black was in control.
needs to complete his development Returning to the position aften
before White generates serious threats, 14 .. a5 (D):
.

and the c5-square is by no means a


useless post for the knight. However, I
think Black may also consider a se­
quence of moves leading to the domi­ w
nation of the central dark squares even
at the expense of the b-pawn, which is
a luxury compared to the necessity of
combating the white centre . . . . ..te5,
. . . g5, .. .'ii'd 6 and . . .lDd7 can all con­
tribute to the cause, but one problem is
that White can attack the knight on d7
with .:txb7 and i.g4 and so the block­
ade could look rather brittle if Black
is not careful with the move-order.
17 . . ...te5 ! ? is one way to do it, since 15 l:txb7 g5 16 ..tg3 a4 17 h4 a3 18
after 18 i.g4 'ii'd6 19 l:.xb7 g5 20 i.g3 hxg5 hxg5 19 .:tc7!
i.xg3 21 fxg3 a5 the position is un­ Up to now the players had been
clear but it doesn' t feel like Black following Lautier-I.Sokolov, Malmo
should be worse, e.g. 22 't!i'f3 lDa6 23 1 998, which was eventually a draw af­
i.h5 f5 !? 24 exf5 lDc5 25 l:.b5 lDd7 ! ? ter 19 l::tb 5.
or 22 'iii'd4 lDc6 ! . This looks like a prepared novelty
Following 17 . . .lDa6, Komljenovic­ by Gelfand, and as so often happens
D.Sanchez went on 18 �e2 lDc5 ? ! (al­ after good preparation, you are in­
lowing the following pawn advance spired to honour your opening work
seems somewhat criminal to my mind with a fantastic game thereafter. Since
so I may have to sentence this one; this game needn't concern us too
1 8 . . . ..te5 ! ? looks like a promising al­ much theoretically I will keep the
ternative: 1 9 i.g4 'ii'd6 20 l:.xb7 { 20 comments brief, but if I were ever to
f4 ! ? ..txf4 2 1 ..txe7 i.h2+ 22 �h 1 seek out a model white 'antidote' to
'ii'xe7 23 'it>xh2 'ii'e5+ } 20... g5 21 i.g3 the brilliance shown by Fischer in
{ 21 lld7 'ii'f6 } 2 l ...i.xg3 22 fxg3 lDc5 Game 1 then I think this would be a
looks very good for Black and I don't very likely candidate.
see any obvious improvement for 19 lDa6
.••
130 UNDERSTANDING THE GR ONFELD

This may be Black's big mistake 23 .txd7 24 ttJxgS


...

since I suspect Shirov had missed White threatens mate in two.


White's stunning 23rd move. In say­ 24 'ikb6
...

ing that, I see no obvious improve­ This seems to be the only move as
ment since 19 . . .lbd7 ! ? 20 l:tc2 'ii' b3 21 24 . . . .th6 25 .te5+ .tg7 26 'ii'h5# is
tLlxg5 .txe2 22 l:.xe2 ! simply wins a checkmate.
pawn. White keeps control in the end­ 25 .te6! ! (D)
game because Black's lack of central
pressure means that he cannot force
the a-pawn through. 19 ... 'ifb2 ! ? might
be playable, though. B
20 l:.xe7 1i'b2
It seems logical to attack the centre
while making way for the a-pawn but
this allows a brilliant sequence which
will be remembered for a long time to
come.
2l .tc4!
Presumably Shirov though he had
prevented this with his last move.
21 ...1i'b4
The rook on e7 is trapped while the Another beauty : the bishop blocks
queen attacks two pieces. the sixth rank and White again threat­
22 .txf7+ 'ith8 23 l:.d7! ! (D) ens 'ii'h5+.
25...'ii'x e6
There is nothing better. Although
Black will almost have material equal­
ity now, his lack of foot soldiers af­
fords his pieces no anchorage and the
white queen is not averse to relieving
them of their suffering. The following
analysis are the main lines taken from
GM Luc Winants's commentary to this
game in Chess Planet:
a) 25 ....i.xd4 26 'il'h5+ 'itg7 27 e5 !
closes the net with decisive effect.
b) 25 ... .te8 26 'itg4 and now both
26 ...l:.f6 27 .te5 l:be6 28 tLlf7+! and
A stunning conception from Boris 26 . . . .txd4 27 'ili'h4+ �g7 28 'ii' h7+
Gelfand; the g4-bishop is decoyed �f6 29 e5+ .txe5 (29 ... �xg5 30 'itg7+
from its diagonal. .tg6 3 1 .th4+ �f4 32 'Wxg6 'itxe5 33
THE CAKE AND THE COOKIE 131

i..g3+ l:[f4 34 i..xf4+ 'ifi>xf4 35 'iif5#) 37 gxh3? gives Black good drawing
30 'ii'f5+ <tre7 3 1 'ii'xe5 1i'c5 32 .td5+ chances, e.g. 37 ...:gg2 38 :bl l%h2+
'ifi>d7 33 lt:)e6 are completely decisive. 39 'ifii'g l :ag2+ 40 'ifii' fl :a2 41 f5
26 till:e6 i..xe6 27 i..e5 ! (D) .tb5+ 42 l:xb5 :al+ 43 'ill'e 1 l:l.h1+.
37...tt:lg5 38 f6 J:[g6 39 C7 1-0

Conclusion
1) 8 :b1 is dangerous because it is
difficult for Black to prevent White
achieving an ideal central set-up with
the knight on f3 and bishop on e2.
2) The line with 10 ...'ii'a5+ fol­
lowed by taking on a2 and playing
12 . . . .tg4 is the most convincing an­
swer to this idea. It directly exploits
the weakness of the a2-pawn and im­
mediately applies pressure to the cen­
tre.
Removing the black king's main 3) Against 13 i.e3 Black does best
defender. to play 13 ... lt:)c6 14 d5 lt:)a5 because
21...:r1 White's most threatening ideas are
27 . . .i..xe5 28 'ii'h 5+. less problematic when there is no
28 'ill'h5+ ..t>g8 29 ii'g6! .td7 pawn on h6 to defend.
29 ...i..b3 30 i..xg7 l:l.xg7 31 'ill' b6 4) Against 13 i..g 5 Black does best
.tf7 32 'Wb7 graphically illustrates to play 13 ...h6 to limit the scope of the
the power of the white queen. bishop. After 14 .te3 lt:)c6 1 5 d5,
30 .txg7 :Xg7 31 "ii'd6 15 ...lt:)e5 is thought best because now
Threatening 'ii'xd5 and 'i*'xa3. the h6-pawn would be a problem if
31...'ifii'h7 32 'i!Vxa3! Black played 15 . . . lba5 but it is now
I am sure the loss of this pawn did useful for preventing the recurrence of
not please Shirov because Black no i..g5 . 15 ....txf3 ! ? may also be good,
longer has counterplay against the and has been less thoroughly analysed.
gradual advance of the white pawns. 5) After 14 i..h4 ! ?, 14 ... 'ii'e6! ap­
32 ... lt:)c7 33 "ii'e3 lbe6 34 d5 lbg5 pears to be adequate for Black but has
35 f4 lbh3+ 36 'ifi>hl :a2 37 rs not yet been thoroughly tested.
1 0 Del roy's G ra n ite Statue

"A genius! For thirty-seven years I've practisedfourteen hours a day, and now
they call me a genius!" - Pablo Saraste, Spanish Violinist and Composer ( 1 844-
1908) on being hailed as a genius by a critic

granite to flesh in seconds and has


been known to run all the way to d8
before the tourists can finish taking
their photographs.
These structures can arise from var­
ious lines where White captures on d5
but doesn't play e4:
1 ) 4 cxd5 lt:ixd5 5 'ii'b 3 llJxc3 6
bxc3 c5 7 e3 with . . . cxd4, cxd4 hap­
pening at later stage;
2) 4 llJf3 i.g7 5 e3 0-0 6 cxd5
lt:ixd5 7 i.c4 llJxc3 8 bxc3 c5, etc.;
and also
3) some g3 Jines.
In Chapter 3 we observed that However, this structure most often
Delroy can be both a fearsome beast arises from the i.g5 Jines where
and a frightened bunny. White retreats the bishop to f4 after
Indeed, I have come to consider . ..lbe4. The venom in this approach
Delroy 's character sufficiently rich has been demonstrated by Grand­
and diverse to build a statue in his hon­ masters Yusupov, Bareev and Zviagin­
our. This statue is on d4 and is firmly tsev to name but a few. The venom is
supported by the scaffolding built on by no means the type to kill you in
the f2-e3 pawn-chain. However you seven seconds but it can kill you
have conceived of Delroy up to now, nonetheless and usually it is slow and
form this image on granite because in painfu�: If you are wondering how
the examples we are about to consider something made of granite can pro­
he is indeed like a rock, standing frrm duce venom, just imagine your most
in the centre of the board and giving feared serpent sliding around the
Black no chance to run away with him. statue's neck, visible only to those
Indeed, if anyone is going to run, it is who believe. The death toll is usually
Delroy, who often transforms from very high because black players don't
DELROY'S GRANITE STATUE 133

realize they have been bitten until it is


too late. The following two games
demonstrate this, and thereafter we w
will concentrate on vital de-fanging
techniques.

'

The absence of central


counterplay

Game 25
Bareev - Dvoirys
Kiev 1996
the centre it would seem that there is
1 d4 �f6 2 c4 g6 3 ltlc3 d5 4 .tg5 no obvious antidote to Black's long­
�e4 5 .tr4 ltlxc3 6 bxc3 i.g7 7 e3 c5 term plan of creating a passed pawn on
8 �f3 �6 9 cxdS the queenside, and surely we are al­
9 .l:tbl ! ? has also been tried by lowed to say that White's a-pawn is a
Bareev (also after 8 . . .0-0) but it seems little bit weak.
that Black has no theoretical prob­ I'll certainly grant that, but the only
lems if we follow Bareev-Beliavsky, piece ever likely to threaten the a-pawn
Linares 1 992: 9 ...cxd4 10 cxd4 0-0 1 1 is the black queen, which will almost
Wa4 ! ? ( l l .te2 dxc4 ! 1 2 .txc4 �a5 ! certainly be needed to hold Black's
1 3 .td3 .te6 gives Black a good posi­ central squares. Indeed, things are
tion since he can use c4 as a base for generally not so rosy for Black. Firstly
queenside counterplay: 14 We2 a6 !) we must acknowledge that White oc­
l l . . . .td7 ! 1 2 'ir"a3 (12 .l:txb7 e5 !) cupies and controls the centre to a
12....tg4 ! , when Black is aggressively greater extent than Black, and sec­
using his development lead to attack ondly we must compare the bishops,
White's centre and already has an edge. which is often a good way to begin to
9 'ii'xd5 10 .te2 cxd4 11 cxd4 0-0
.•. evaluate a position. Clearly the bishop
12 0-0 b6?! on g3 is fairly satisfied with his work
I recommend 1 2 ... .tf5 ! in Game on the h2-b8 diagonal, which helps re­
27. strain the ...e5 pawn-break and target
13 �d2 .tb7 14 .tf3 'ii'd7 15 .l:tcl c7 for future entry by a major piece. It
ltla5 16 .txb7 ltlxb7 17 .tg3 .:.res (D) also has some ideas of attacking e7 on
It would seem that Black has little the h4-d8 diagonal or maybe exchang­
to complain about, here. For starters ing off Black's sole defender on the
Delroy is positively tame and the c-file kingside when the time is right. The
is comfortably contested. Moreover, if bishop on g7, however, has no obvious
White's not going to threaten Black in role to play and effectively bites the
134 UNDERSTANDING THE GR ONFELD

granite on d4 which is no doubt a 18 lhcl!?


...

highly unpleasant experience. In fact, Black decides to exchange rooks .


the crux of the matter is that Black has If he were not a strong grandmaster
lost the battle for the centre and is in with considerable experience in the
danger of drifting into a position with­ Griinfeld I would have suspected
out a plan. Dvoirys's decision of being a big stra­
The absence of central pressure al­ tegic error.
lows White considerable ' scope for Firstly, hindsight will tell us that the
manoeuvre and possibilities to play on resulting positions without rooks fa­
the wings, particularly on the kingside vour White.
in this position because Black's knight Secondly, Black did not need to
does not have a good route over there hurry with this idea for he actually
and if it were to try passing through d6 controls the 'levers' of the c-file in the
White would almost certainly take it sense that White can only choose to
off, leaving active queen and knight exchange one rook but Black can ex­
against queen and passive bishop. Of change one and then challenge on the
course Black is not losing here by any c-file again. It is a well-known chess
means but I suspect many Griinfeld principle that tension tends to benefit
players would feel very confident here the side which can release it because it
as Black, and this is definitely mis­ provides the advantage of always hav­
guided. Black has to realize that some­ ing an extra choice which your oppo­
thing has gone wrong with the opening nent doesn't have.
and put the defensive hat on. It results here from Black control­
18 �f3 ! (D) ling c8 but White not controlling c 1,
which is a common feature of these
lines. White's main chance to change
this is lL!b3 and since the knight on b7
B looks sub-optimal anyway it is well
worth considering...
a) 1 8 . . . lL!a5, which also frees the
black queen to harass the white a­
pawn. However, after 19 lLib3 ! ? lL!xb3
( 1 9 ... lL!c4 20 l:.xc4 ! ; 19 ...1i'a4?! 20
lL!xa5 �xa5 21 1i'b7 ! ) 20 axb3 it is
still not plain sailing for Black: 20 ... a5
21 d5 ! intending l:.c6 is better for
White, as is 20 ...e6 2 1 l:.c4 ! . 20... l:.xc1
21 l:.xc 1 l:.c8 22 l:.xc8+ 1i'xc8 23 h4 !
The queen sniffs the c6-square while is also better for White because it's
announcing her presence on the king­ very difficult to create a passed pawn
side. on the queenside and the g7-bishop is
DELROY'S GRANITE STATUE 135

still choked up. Basically, White has a This seems reasonable for the knight
space advantage and his pieces have looks like an under-achiever and it is
more scope. unlikely that it had better prospects on
b) 1 8 . . . b5 ! ? is a fairly chunky d8. Still, it would seem that b7 may in
move and makes some sense of the fact be the knight's best square at the
black set-up. The knight on b7 does a moment and.so Black should have pre­
good job of guarding the c5-square ferred a waiting move like 2 1 . . .h6.
and now White's idea of tLlc4-e5 has Note that 2 l . . .'il'c 1+ 22 ct>h2! 'ii'xd2
been scuppered it is not obvious what 23 'ilr'xb7 'ii'xa2 24 'il'xe7 leaves the
White is doing. That said, Black is not black king feeling somewhat intimi­
completely out of th� woods after 1 9 dated by White's aggressive feminin­
tLlb3 since 1 9 . . . a5 20 tLlc5 tLlxc5 2 1 ity.
.l:xc5 ! (21 dxc5? 'Wc6! is better for 22 tLle4 (D)
Black) 2 l . . ..l:xc5 22 'ifxa8+ .l:c8 23
'ili'xa5 wins a pawn.
c) 18 ...e5? 19 tLlc4 ! exd4 20 llk5 is
very powerful for White. B
d) 1 8 ...tLlc5 1 9 dxc5 'ili'xd2 20 'Wb7 !
is not even a sandwich, never mind a
picnic for Black.
So probably Dvoirys felt that on
this occasion the tension on the c-file
was not so favourable after all since
Black couldn't extract any benefit from
it.
19 lbcl .:tc8 20 lbc8+ 'Wxc8 21 h4!
You wouldn ' t have thought that
Black's kingside felt particularly threat­ Here we have the flrst whiff of some
ened at this point, but that's mainly be­ threats; tLlg5 is in the air and Delroy is
cause it's not. Yet. beginning to warm up.
The point is that White's sturdy 22 h6!?
•..

centre gives him control of the game Again it would be all to easy to crit­
and so by softening up the kingside icize this move but tLlg5 really would
Bareev is merely trying to discourage be a bit too close to the goal and I don't
Black from travelling too far away see any way of catching White off­
from his king while he probes and side. Moreover, I don't see any way to
presses and generally looks around. Of transform the disadvantage:
course, at the risk of being mundane, I a) 22 ...'il'c6 is answered by 23 d5!
suppose he also wanted to avoid being 'il'xd5? 24 lLlf6+.
back-rank mated. b) 22 . . .'ii'f5 is a reasonable try, as
21 tiJaS
... the endgame may well be tenable after
136 UNDERSTANDING THE GRONFEW

23 'iixf5 gxf5 24 liJc3 liJc6. However, 26 1i'd5!


I suspect such an exchange would be White's infiltration is painfully slow
unduly kind to Black and so I prefer but Black still hasn't found counter­
23 �f4 ! , when Black is left with all play. Note that White's three pieces
his old problems. are a cohesive, centrally focused group
c) Perhaps 22 ...h5 should be con­ while Black's forces are scattered and
sidered, when .. .'iWg4 looks like an ineffective.
idea so White would probably try 23 26....if6 27 h5! g5 28 i.c7
liJgS, which obliges 23 . . .i.f6!?. White A peculiar square, but it's good
is still much better but at least Black's enough.
position is not getting any worse in a 28...ll:�b4 29 1i'd7 1i'xa2
hurry, e.g. 24 .ie5? ! .ixg5 25 hxgS Black finally whips off the weakie,
'iic 6! . but the decentralization of queen and
23 �f4!? knight is too high a price.
A very patient way to continue the 30 e4! (D)
attack; Bareev will push the h-pawn
only when he is fully ready.
23...1t'cl+?
This looks like it doesn' t help the B
black cause; indeed I suspect it's the
decisive mistake. Black's main prob­
lem at the moment is his lack of an­
chorage in the centre and since . . .e6
weakens d6 and f6 Black has to hold
fort with his queen and knight. I won­
der then if Black shouldn'tjust do very
little and try not to make any conces­
sions. 23 ... liJb7 !? looks like a reason­
able attempt in this respect. White is
unlikely to cause damage with Delroy Fantastic timing by Bareev, who has
as long as the knight remains control­ used his centre as a strength without
ling d6 and it's not clear if White has ever allowing it to be a source for black
what it takes to checkmate the black counterplay. Clearly Black's king is in
king. Of course this suggests that Black serious danger now and I don't see any
erred on move 2 1 but this was proba­ defence to the following brutal on­
bly a good moment to forgive and for­ slaught.
get. 30 ...1i'e6 31 1i'd8+ �h7 32 d5!
24 �b2 Wt'c2 25 liJg3! liJc6 "He's alive, ... alive! !"
25 ...1i'c6 ! ? 26 d5 looks fully justi­ 32 .. .'iWg4 33 1i'f8 liJd3 34 'ifxf7+
fied for White, who is ready for fur­ 'iPh8 35 Wt'f8+ �h7 36 1i'f7+ �b8 37
ther advances in the centre. e5! liJxeS 38 .ixeS ixe5 39 1i'f8+
DELROY'S GRANITE STATUE 137

�h7 40 'ii'xe7+ i.g7 41 d6! 'ii'b 4 42 to be inadequate once again because


'ii'e6 'iVd4 43 d7 ! i.f6 44 'ii'f7 + 'iti>b8 of White's formidable central control
45 ii'e8+ 'iti>b7 46 ll:Je4! 1-0 and the inability of the g7 -bishop to
A controlled and powerful display contribute to the struggle. I will just
by Bareev, who brilliantly highlighted give the moves with brief comments,
the dangers which Black faces when which I f�el tell a similar story to the
he doesn't have central counterplay. previous game:
1S... ll:Jb4
Game 26 15 ... e5 16 dxe5 ll:Jxe5 17 i.xe5 i.xe5
Ruban Dvoirys
- 1 8 l:.fdl 'fr'e6 1 9 ll:Jxe5 'ii'xe5 20 l:.acl
Russian Ch 1996 is a significant plus for White.
16 1i'a4 aS 17 a3 bS 18 1i'd1 ll:Ja6
1 d4 ll:Jf6 2 c4 g6 3 ll:Jc3 dS 4 ll:Jf3 19 1i'd2 b4 20 axb4 ll:Jxb4
i.g7 5 i.gS ll:Je4 6 i.f4 ll:Jxc3 7 bxc3 Black's play has looked very pur­
cS 8 e3 ltJc6 poseful but in reality he has just given
For 8 ...0-0! see Game 27. himself a weakness. What follows is a
9 cxdS ii'xdS 10 -te2 good lesson in showing that however
10 'ii' b3 ! ?. much advantage you think you have
10 ... cxd4 11 cxd4 0-0 12 0-0 b6?! on a wing, the side who controls the
13 'fi'a4!? i.b7 14 i.a6 i.xa6 1S 'ii'xa6 centre invariably controls the game.
(D) The main problem is that White's
bishop can attack the a-pawn while
Black's bishop can't really defend it
for fear of the weakness of the king­
B side.
21 -tc7! ll:Jc6 22 l:.fcl l:.a6 23 1i'c2!
:ra8 24 'ii'a4 e6 25 h3 'ii'd7 26 .tg3
l:.b6 27 .:c4 'ii'b 7 28 .:act :aa6 29
.td6! i.f8 30 i.xf8 �xf8 31 tbgS
l:.b4 32 'ii'al ! h6 33 ll:Jh7+ �g7 34
dS+ �xh7 35 dxc6 1i'c8 36 c7 :xc4
37 l:.xc4 .:a7 38 'ii'e S! a4 39 'Wi'cS .:as
40 'ii'e7 'iti>g7 41 l:.f4 1-0

The . . . e7-e5 pawn-break


After roughly the same opening
Dvoirys finds himself in a similar situ­ Of course the most substantial way to
ation. Probably having appreciated the dismantle Delroy's statue (and kill the
dangers of running out of ideas, he snake) is to remove the ct4-pawn by
quicldy finds an active plan which means of the break ...e7-e5. White
looks initially promising but is shown usually fights hard to prevent this, but
138 UNDERSTANDING THE GRONFELD

as we are about to see, this break can this line is by no means the whole
be incredibly powerful if Black can story because if nothing else Black
make it work. can try 1 l . ..e5 !?, which is much less
compliant and more in the spirit of the
Game 27 Griinfeld. It seems to me that this
Hertneck - Anand move equalizes and it's well worth un­
Munich 1996 derstanding something about the re­
sulting positions. 1 2 .ixe5 .ixe5 1 3
1 d4 liJf6 2 c4 g6 3 ltJc3 dS 4 i.gS dxe5 ltJc6 14 a3 ltJxeS 1 5 .ie2 looks
ltJe4 5 i.f4 liJxc3 6 bxc3 i.g7 7 e3 (D) like a plausible continuation. White
obviously wants to play lllf3 and take
back on f3 with the bishop unless
Black unwisely allows the knight to
B hop to the d4-square. In such positions
the position of the kings and White's
plan of a minority attack potentially
make Black's queenside very weak so
Black is well advised not to play pas­
sively as White would then have good
chances of creating a queenside weak­
ness, winning it and then pressing
with the extra kingside pawn.
GM Keith Arkell has practically
made a living out of such strategies
7 c5!
... and I assure you that Black has to
I suggest that it is best to attack the think carefully here. Even if you are
centre immediately and generally to somewhat bored by such positions, it
meet White's cxd5 with the tit-for­ is all too easy to lose them by thinking
tat-like ... cxd4; only after White has that they are easy to play. 1 5 . . ..tf5 ? !
played cxd4 should you recapture 1 6 liJf3 liJd3+ 17 i.xd3 i.xd3 i s a
with the queen on d5 . The point is that case in point. This may look like a try
when White plays 'iWb3 Black is nor­ to play for the advantage of bishop
mally obliged to capture on b3 and if against knight in an open position but
Black hasn't yet taken on d4 White White's knight is unassailable on d4
can achieve a favourable endgame by and Black's bishop has nothing to at­
taking back on d4 with the e-pawn, tack. Moreover, White's prospects for
which would be generally undesirable queenside pressure remain, and Black
without the queen exchange. has no counterplay. Instead of such a
7 ..0-0 8 cxd5 1i'xd5 9 1i'b3 1i'a5 10
. blind transformation, we should ask:
1i'b4 1i'xb4 1 1 cxb4 c6 is slightly better what is positive about the black posi­
for White according to GM Ernst but tion? The queenside majority? No ! As
DELROY'S GRANITE STATUE 139

I've just explained, B lack's potential b) 9 'iVb3 !? has not been tried to
problem is that his queenside majority my knowledge but it would seem that
is very susceptible to attack. Black's White has good chances for an edge
lead in development is significant, here and this is why Black should pre-
however, and so I like 1 5 . . . a5 f 16 b5 fer 8 ...cxd4 ! .
..i.d7 !, which disrupts White' s smooth 8 0-o-9 cxd.S
...

development plan and seems to offer 9 :b1 is likely to transpose to the


Black good chances since ... c6 is on note to White's 9th in Game 25, but 9
the cards. I mention this to highlight .ie2 ! ? is an important alternative. If
once again the importance of under­ Black is not careful he can fall under a
standing Griinfeld endgames well, but slight disadvantage, as suggested in the
of course from a theoretical perspec­ game Portisch-Kramnik below. The
tive I would definitely advise avoiding reason that this Exchange Slav line is
this and sticking with Anand' s chosen unlikely to be a direct transposition is
move-order. that the Griinfeld player has the bene­
Returning to the position after fit of the tension between c5 and d4.
7...c5 (D): This is in his favour because in most
cases it is only in Black's interest to re­
lease it. Moreover, White normally
castles before playing c4 in the Ex-
_change Slav line so Black can consider
taking advantage of White's central­
ized king. I have two suggestions here
after 9 ... dxc4 1 0 ..i.xc4:
a) 1 0 .. Jifa5 !? 1 1 0-0 li)d? as in
Gofshtein-Kozul, Zagreb 1993.
b) Or my own idea: ·10 ...lbc6 1 1
0-0 lLla5 1 2 ..i.e2 b6 !?. Note that 1 3
dxc5?! i s not dangerous o n account of
1 3 ....id7.
9 cxd4 10 cxd4 'ii'xd5 1 1 ..i.e2
...

8 liJf3 tt::lc6 12 0-0 ..i.fS! (D)


Or 8 cxd5 'iixd5 (8 ...cxd4 ! 9 cxd4 I prefer this move to . . . b6 for two
1Wxd5) and now: main reasons: ( 1 ) it doesn't weaken
a) 9 1Wf3 is a creative effort to the queenside or the knight on c6; (2)
achieve a small endgame plus but it controls b1 and so prevents White
White's coordination is found wanting putting a rook there.
after 9 . . . 1Wd8 ! , e.g. 10 .ib5+ liJd7 1 1 l3 1Wa4
li)e2 cxd4! 12 exd4 ( 1 2 cxd4 'iVa5+) Alternatively:
1 2... 0-0, when Black has an excellent a) 1 3 'iVb3 has been tried by Hun­
position. garian GM Varga, who seems to love
140 UNDERSTANDING THE GRONFEW

1996 now continued 1 3 . . . l:tad8? and


after 14 lLlxf5 'ii'xf5 15 ..tc7 ! White
w was clearly better. However, I think it
is better to play 1 3 . . . ..te6. Then 14
..tf3 !? looks like the most obvious fol­
low up, but after 14 . . . 'ii'a5 1 5 d5 ( 1 5
.l:tb l ! ? ..tc4 ! ? 16 l:t e 1 ..ta6 i s obvi­
ously not conclusive but I figure if
Black can hold things together, White
will have serious coordination prob­
lems on the kingside) 15 ... .l:tad8 16 e4
f5 ! Black's forces are much the more
coherent and 17 �d2 'it'a3 doesn't
playing Griinfeld endgames for White. change anything. Note that these two
However, although untried thus far, moves, . . . l:i.ad8 combined with . . . f5,
1 3 ...�e6 ! looks like a very effective are a common tactical theme in the
remedy because 14 'ii'xb7 lZ:lxd4 15 Grtinfeld, which shows another good
'ii'xd5 lZ:lxe2+ 16 �hl ..txd5 is not reason why Black' s king' s rook is of­
great for White, but then neither is ten best left on f8. Still, I suspect
anything else since when Black gets Zviagintsev may have intended 14
the bishop to d5 he will have a very ac­ .l::.b l !?, when Black can't play 14 . . . g5
tive position in the endgame (as long in view of 15 l:tb5 . However, I now
as he endeavours to involve the g7- like the calm retreat 14 ... 'ii'd7 ! ? when
bishop !). a2 is en prise, . . . lZ:la5-c4 is possible,
b) 13 l:tc 1 was played by Anand White's h4-knight is poor and 15 'iWa4?
himself in the Wall Street Blitz tourna­ lZ:lxd4 is simply a sign of the times. If
ment against GM Patrick Wolff. That that all seems too sharp, Zviagintsev­
game continued 1 3 ...'ii'xa2 14 d5 l:tfd8 Leko, Tilburg 1998 saw 13 . . ...tc8 ! ? 14
1 5 �c4 'ii'a5 16 'ii'b 3 lZ:lb4 17 d6 and 'ii'a4 ( 14 lZ:lf3 repeats) 14 ... lZ:lxd4 ! ? 15
Black was in deep trouble since 17 ... e6 exd4 'iWe4 16 lZ:lxg6 hxg6 17 ..te3 �g4!,
1 8 e4 ! is a problem. However, I sus­ when Black was definitely not worse.
pect Anand was just being practical be­ 13 '1i'a5! (D)
...

cause it seems to me that 14 . . . l:tad8! It may surprise you to see Anand


(not weakening f7) 1 5 ..tc4 'li'a3 ! moving his centralized queen to offer
(leaving a5 for the knight) suggests herself in exchange for White's less
that White's position has run out of obviously useful lady. Still, this move
steam. can be seen as Anand's acute recogni­
c) 1 3 ll:lh4 ! ? was tried by a leading tion of the threat of .l:tac 1-c5, which
exponent of this system for White and would be very disruptive, and Black
so it deserves to be taken seriously. also has some hopes of using the c4-
Zviagintsev-Kosebay, Iraklion ECC square after the queen exchange.
DELROY'S GRANITE STATUE 14.
...

{ protecting b7 and f7 } 2 1 l:tab1 1i'a


22 'tWb3 exd4 23 exd4 �xd4 24 lLlxd
'ft'xg5 is an instructive line highlight
ing Black' s superior coordination
18 ...�e4 19 lLld2 e5 ! (this central blm
is even more effective considerin1
White' s gratuitous weakening of th1
kingside; 20 lLlxe4 exf4 21 l:tabl 'tWe'
22 �f3 would now leave Black ide
ally placed to attack White' s tende
centre) 20 �g5 (White was probabl�
relying on this, but most Grtinfel<
players have a strong sense of the im
14 'it'xa5 portance of the centre and here, hav·
14 'iWb3 ? ! was the choice of GM ing won the battle in the centre, it is m
Paul van der Sterren in his game surprise that Black can afford to sacri·
against GM Khuzman from Wijk aan fice material to help to win the game:
Zee 1 993 but after 14 ...'ft'b4 ! Black al­ 20... exd4 ! ! 21 l:tc4 (2 1 lLlxe4 dxe3 2�
ready had a good game. Obviously �d3 �xal 23 l:txa1 lLle5 wins, and sc
this assessment calls GM Varga's idea does 21 �xd8 l:xd8 ! 22 l:tc4 'iib2 23
of 13 'ft'b3 into question but I think it li'c 1 dxe3 24 'iixb2 �xb2 25 l:td1 lbd4;
is fair to say that Black already has 2 l ...'iib2 22 l:tacl dxe3 23 �xe3 �dS
some advantage because White has no 24 l:t4c2 'li'e5 25 'tWfl li'f6 26 �c4 lLlb4
queenside pressure and it is difficultto 27 l:tc3 lLlxa2. The force of Black's
deal with the threat of ... 'ft'xb3 fol­ central onslaught now caused the strong
lowed by . . . lLlb4. Play continued 15 Dutch GM to resign.
l:tfc 1 l:tac8 ! (it is sometimes better to 14 lLlxa5 (D)
...

put the other rook on this square but


here this would lose: 1 5 . . J:Hc8? 1 6
l:txc6 !) 16 h 3 (a useful move, but obvi­
ously an encouraging sign for Black w
because it suggests that White has no
particular plan) 16 . . . a6 ! (on the other
hand this move contains the clear idea
of . . . li'xb3 and . . . lLlb4) 17 'iid 1 l:fd8 !
(preparing . . .e5) 18 g4? (White's play
seems rather disjointed; 1 8 1i'fl , try­
ing to prevent ...e5, was necessary,
when 18 ...'iWa5 !?, preparing . . . e5 and
...lLlb4, looks like an interesting try; 1 8
�d3 �xd3 19 'tWxd3 e 5 2 0 �g5 l:td7 !
142 UNDERSTANDING THE GR ONFELD

ts :ret Confused? You should be. Anand is


Most sources claim that the posi­ strong enough to see beyond positional
tion is now equal but I think this as­ generalities and will already have been
sessment is called into question by the thinking in concrete terms about the
current game. next few moves. Given enough time,
1 5 J.c7 ! ? is no better since al­ Black would like to play something
though 1 5 ... b6? ! is undesirable (it al­ like ...J:.fd8, ...J.f8 and ... e6 perhaps
ways gives White the annoying option followed by ...J.a3 . Since White can-
of J.a6 to challenge for the c-file and not afford to cede the c-file and cannot
just generally weakens the queenside), use bl it seems that he will have to do
Black can play 1 5 . . . lDc6, which is something creative with his minor
fully adequate since Black will proba­ pieces. What might this be? White's
bly follow up with . . .::tfc8 and dispel opening strategy is based around the
the wayward bishop on c7. Note that passivity of the g7-bishop and so he is
it's generally OK to weaken f7 after unlikely to want to exchange it off
the queens are exchanged and since with J.e5. Moreover, it doesn't hurt
there is usually little for a rook to do Black positionally to play .. .f6 here;
on the d-file the optimal squares for indeed it just helps to control the cen­
the rooks tend to be on the queenside, tre since his bishop is doing little on
where they can use the c-file or help g7 anyway and will probably want to
with the pawn majority. Moreover, it is re-route to the f8-a3 diagonal. Hence
useful to free the f8-square for Black's ..tg5 is also not a problem. The light­
king or bishop so unless Black thinks squared bishop has nowhere to go and
an early ... e5 is on the cards it is more so that leaves the knight. It has no
useful to have the second rook (i.e. the prospects on e5 but may want to come
one not on c8) on a8 rather than f8 . to b3 to relieve the tension on the
1S :ac8! (D)
... queenside and by coming to d2 White
frees f3 for the bishop. When it starts
its journey it will weaken the e5-
square, giving Black some chances to
w play ... e5 with the aid of . . .lDc6, but if
White's bishop is on f3, the b7-pawn
will be en prise when Black recaptures
with the knight on e5. In this case he
won't want a rook stuck on a8, but
rather in a safe place with prospects to
come to d8 or c8 at a later stage. Hence
.. Jlac8 was preferable to . . .::tfc8 in
this case, but only because Black was
thinking concretely and aiming for
. . .e5.
DELROY'S GRANITE STATUE 143

16 lLld2
I made this sound like White's only
move, which of course it is not. If I put w
my objective hat on, it seems that White
can probably come close to equalizing
· with 16 l:lc7 ! l:txc7 17 i.xc7 l0c6 1 8
l:tcl although after 1 8 ...�b4 !? I think I
would rather be Black as I need not
rush into exchanging rooks, and White
has some coordination problems.
16...lLlc6! (D)

White's position is in disarray and


the d3-square is especially tender.
Indeed, ...lLld3 threatens to win the ex­
change and White has no good de­
fence. Note the explosion of energy
which can result from a successful
pawn-break and note how attentive
Anand was to the details needed to
make this work effectively.
20 e4 i.e6 21 i.xe5 i.xe5 22 lLlf3
.ixa1 23 l:lxa1 l:ld7 24 i.c6 l:tc7 25
i.d5 1Uc8 0-1
A touch of class. Anand realizes The exchange of rooks leaves White
that the knight is no longer optimal on hopelessly lost.
a5 and so re-centralizes while high­
lighting White's lack of central con­ The c4-square
trol. Not only does Black threaten ... e5
but ... lLlb4 is also in the �- So we now know that one of Black's
17 i.f3 strategic aims is to exercise the pawn­
17 l0f3 is met by 17 . . lLlb4! , but 17
. break . . . e7-e5, but White doesn't al­
lLlc4 ! ? looks like a better move since ways allow this and so it's good to
17 ... b5 1 8 l0e5 l0xe5 19 dxe5 is not know that Black has other ways of
especially clear. However, 1 7 . lLlb4
.. playing. As is often the case in the
still looks fairly devilish. Griin feld, one of the main sources for
17 ... eS! 18 dxe5 lLlxe5 19 i.xb7 Black's counterplay is the c4-square.
Thankfully there isn't a black rook Firm control of this point will tend to
on a8. grant Black good play since it is usu­
19...l:lcd8! (D) ally synonymous with central stability,
144 UNDERSTANDING THE GRONFELD

a secure queenside and prospects to all difficult to find a direct transposi­


advance the queenside pawns in safety. tion from the Grtinfeld.
It is also important to know that a 14...a6! ?
knight on c4 makes a good contribu­ Kramnik's play i n this game makes
tion to controlling the e5-square with­ a deep impression and this is because
out the lingering annoyance of Delroy every move seems to have been very
messing it about, as he would if the carefully considered . The immediate
knight were on c6. The following game 14 . lba5 would be the instinctive
..

should help to highlight these points. choice of most players but 1 5 ..i.d3
..i.xd3 1 6 1i'xd3 1i'd7 1 7 1i'a3 ! is a very
Game 28 logical continuation which annoys
Portisch Kramnik
- Black by disallowing ...lbc4 due to a7
Biel /Z 1993 being en prise. Also, . . . b5 is now a
possibility in several positions.
1 d4 d5 2 c4 c6 3 cxd5 cxd5 4 lDf3 15 h3?
lbf6 5 lbc3 lbc6 6 ..i.f4 lbe4!? 7 e3 Portisch plays a surprisingly vague
lbxc3 8 bxc3 g6! 9 .te2 .tg7 1 0 0-0 move which hands the initiative to
0-0 11 c4 dxc4 12 .txc4 .trs Black. It is useful to prevent . . . .tg4
1 2 . . a6 ! ? and 12 . . ..tg4 ! ? are other
. and give the king a breathing space on
possibilities. h2 but it is more important to appreci­
13 l:tcl l:tc8 14 'iVe2 (D) ate Black's intentions and be particu­
larly alert to the potential weakness of
the c4-square.
1 5 l:tfd l is slightly more useful but
it wouldn't prevent the strategy em­
ployed by Black in the game.
1 5 d5 ! is much more testing. Al­
though it is good news for Black that
the g7-bishop can breathe more deeply,
it is also true that this is a good answer
to the question posed by . . . a6, i.e. what
are you doing? Portisch evaded the
question, but this move does not. In­
deed White has good chances of ob­
taining an advantage now and although
Purists may object to the inclusion it is not very relevant to us theoreti­
of this game, which actually arrived cally, it should serve as a reminder not
from an Exchange Slav, but I have to be too fixed in one's strategic con­
found no better game to show how ceptions. Normally White wants to up­
Black can use the c4-square to great hold Delroy's statue but occasionally
effect in these structures and it is not at Delroy likes to remind people that he
DELROY'S GRANITE STATUE 14�

is also alive in the flesh. 15 . . ltJa5 1 6


. more or less rules out any queensidt
e4 i s simply better for White, who has play by White. The a2-pawn is a littlt
won the centtal battle. l5 ... b5 !? is pos­ weak in some lines and the c-file i!
sible, though, when 16 dxc6 bxc4 17 only ever likely to be useful to Black
e4 .( 17 c7 'iVd3) 1 7 ... ..te6 is just un­ since White has nothing to attack in
clear but 16 ..tb3 ! ltJa5 17 e4 is again the black position and therefore no
better for White due to his central con­ reason to be excited by prospects of
trol. infiltration on c7. The only plan for
15.. .ltJa5! 16 ..td3 White involves trying to push the cen­
Of course, without the centre mobi­ tre pawns but of course this will reacti­
lized 16 ..tb3?! ltJxb3 1 7 axb3 '1Wd5 ! is vate the g7-bishop and may leave
not good news for White. White with too much territory to de­
16.....txd3 17 �xd3 'ii'd7 18 nc3 fend. Moreover, note that c3 is also
18 e4 11'a4 gives good counterplay potentially weak and is not particu­
on the centre and queenside, while 1 8 larly difficult for Black to access. In­
'ii'a3 ltJc4 1 9 'ii'b4 ( 19 'it'b3 b5 is deed, although it' s not obvious here,
slightly better for Black) 19 ... b5 20 a4 one of Black's main plans is to bring
liJb6 21 axb5 l0d5 will give Black a the knight to d5 to try to win the c-file
small structural advantage. by forcing rook exchanges.
18...b5! (D) 19 l:Ucl
White must avoid 19 lta3? lbc4! 20
lba6? 'iVb7.
On the other hand, 19 l:!:xc8 ! ? ltxc8
w 20 'it'a3 'ti'd8 21 e4 is probably White's
best continuation at this point; it is
given without comment by Kramnik.
It undoubtedly loosens the centre, and
allows the bishop on g7 to start his
warm-up exercises after a long period
on the bench, but at least White is do­
ing something to prevent Black from
completely taking control of the game.
Indeed, ..td2 is suddenly an annoying
threat. 2 1 . . ..:c4 ! ? is now worthy of at­
Black is now slightly bett& accord­ tention. It's not easy to find another
ing to Kramnik. good move for Black here but I like
The knight on c4 will be a fantastic this one since it solves the problem of
piece, spreading its would-be Pegasus defending a6 actively while allowing
wings to the b6-d5 route and e5-square. for ... lbc4. It's a somewhat paradoxi­
Black's queenside majority is solid, cal move considering its aim but it's
and a good long-term asset which the type of thinking required to maintain
146 UNDERSTANDING THE GRONFELD

the initiative in such positions. Of demise. In other words, Portisch doesn't


course the rook is destined for a4, know what to 'do' in a strategic sense
from where it will laterally attack the so he 'does' something to pass the
centre; it' s good on c8 in general but time. Instead:
B lack has a particular problem to a) 22 e4 ?! l:txc7 23 i.xc7 (23 l:lxc7?
solve and I think this is the way to do lbd5) 23 ...l:tc8 24 i.f4 l:lxcl + 25 i.xcl
it. Then 22 i.d2 l:ta4 23 i.xa5 Iha5 �c6 (25 . . . f5 ! ?) 26 i.f4 e6 intending
24 'ii'b3 l:ta4 looks slightly better for ... a5 and . . . b4 is very good for Black.
Black. b) 22 lbg5 'ii'f5 23 g4? l:txc7 24
19 lbc4 20 'ii'e2
... l:lxc7 fi'bl + 25 'it>g2 lbd5 is also strong
Or: for Black
a) 20 lbd2 e5 ! (a major benefit of c) 22 i.e5 ! ? was still White's best
having a knight on c4) 21 dxe5 'ii'xd3 chance.
22 lhd3 lbxe5 23 l:hc8 l:txc8 is 22.. lbd5 23 .l:t7c5
.

clearly better for Black, who can be 23 .!:txc8 l:hc8 24 .!:txc8+ 'fixc8 25
proud of his queen side pawn majority e4 lbc3 is heavy-duty infiltration.
on this occasion. 23 ..h6
.

b) 20 e4 f5 ! is also an important A tidy move, giving the king a


one to consider: especially with the cushion to rest his head on h7 .
light-squared bishops exchanged, this 24 .th4 b4! (D)
is a great way to gain central squares.
20 lbb6!
...

Very controlled. Kramnik avoids


20 ... e6 21 a4 ! . w
21 l:tc7?!
This is only superficially active
since Black has no weaknesses to at­
tack. Perhaps White should have tried
2 1 i.e5 ! ? because in this particular
context the f4-bishop is no better than
its counterpart, which at least always
has the long-term prospect of being
liberated with an eventual . . . e5. The
f4-bishop, however, seems completely
without a role here and that's mainly Kramnik moves in for the con­
because Black is in complete control trolled finale. It is distressing for White
of the queenside. that things looked bleak when the
21...'ii'e6 22 i.g5?! knight was on c4 and now look
White's moves resonate a dull bleaker as it heads for c3. Goodness
scratching sound suggesting a semi­ knows what will happen if it ever ar­
conscious awareness of his imminent rives on c2!
DELROY'S GRANITE STATUE 147

25 'ii'b2 The only move.


25 1Wc4 l:txc5 26 'i'xc5 (26 dxc5 28.. a5!
.

lbc3 27 1Wxe6 fxe6 28 l:tc2 g5 29 .tg3 It's time.


l:tc8) 26 ...lbc3 27 ltc2 't!Ve4 ! ? shows 29 'ii'b 3?!
the extent of Kramnik's control. 29 lLld2! was slightly more stub­
2S ... lDc3 26 J:.xc8 .:txc8 27 <Ji>hl born but Black would still find a way
(D) of liberating his bishop, and in all
probability this would break White's
fragile position.
29 ... •xb3 30 axb3 g5
Closing the channel to e7 and open­
ing a window for the king.
3l .tg3 a4! (D)
Black's play has been beautifully
thematic and he is now completely
winning.

27...<Ji>h7!!
It must be a particularly fine cush­
ion for the king to demand two excla­
mation marks for his arrival on it, or
perhaps just a vain king. Of course the
point is to play . . .lba4 without allow­
ing a check as the rook is lifted from
c8, an ugly affair which would no
doubt be an indignity to His Majesty.
Still, it is beautiful that such a distant 32 lbd2
and quiet move on the kingside can 32 bxa4 b3 33 lDd2 b2 34 l:tel lbxa4.
have such a devastating effect on the 32 . a3
. .

queenside. It is also a wonderfully re­ That is one big pawn.


plete semi-echo of White's last move. 33 llcl
27 . . .aS is also good, if obvious, but 3 3 lbc4 ltxc4 34 bxc4 a2.
White has some chances after 28 a3 ! 33. .e5!
.

lLla4 29 .:txc8+ 1Wxc8 30 1Wb3 ..We i + The patient bishop has his moment
3 1 'it>h2 'ii'x a3 32 'ti'dS ! with counter­ after all, but White's main problem is
play. the prospect of the opening of the d­
28 J:.al file.
148 UNDERSTANDING THE GRONFELD

34 dS Kramnik's play in this game is total.


34 .i.xe5 .i.xe5 35 dxe5 l:.d8 36 39 l:.xa2 l:.xa2 40 .i.xd6 l:.xf2 41
ltJc4 l:.d l+ 37 l:.xdl tt'lxdl . i.xb4 l:.fi+ 42 'iitb2 l:.b1 0-1
34 ... a2 35 l:.a1 e4!
For me this is the sweetest moment Conclusion
of a beautiful game. There is material 1) The ' granite statue' structures
equality but all of Black's pieces are are very deceptive and Black can eas­
vastly superior to their counterparts ily fall into a planless position without
and Alfred is singing while the white seeming to do much wrong. The main
rook holds his head in despair. difficulty is that the white centre re­
36 d6 l:.a8 37 lbc4 stricts the g7-bishop and makes it dif­
37 d7 l:.d8 - harmony. ficult for Black to achieve central
37. tt'lb5 38 .i.eS tt::lxd6!
.. counterplay.
Words are measly things at mo­ 2) In most cases B lack has to strive
ments like this, but in case you hadn't for the ... e5 break or the occupation of
already noticed, my admiration for the c4-square.
1 1 A Pint of Ca rlsberg

" Wink a t small faults, for you have great ones yourself." - Scottish Proverb

The Carlsbad Structure pawn, but the closed nature of the po­
sition can be unsettling since most of
the lines you will be used to examin­
ing tend to be rather more fluid, and
offer more pawn-breaks. Indeed, since
the centre is fairly locked, piece-play
will be predominant. It is true that
Black has the . . . c5 break available,
which can often be supported with
...b6 and this is particularly important
in some of the e3 lines. In such cases
Black may end up with hanging pawns
on c5 and d5, which could be a weak­
ness or a strength depending on who
has the initiative. It is also true that
Black can consider . . . f5-f4 to under­
This pawn configuration has been mine White's centre. Normally this is
called the Carlsbad structure and often double-edged in such structures be­
arises from the .i.g5 and e3 lines of cause the king can feel a worrying
the Gri.infeld. It is actually far more draught descending from the a2-g8
common to find this structure in the and a l -h8 diagonals, but unlike most
Exchange Variation of the Queen's lines of the QGD Black has a Griinfeld
Gambit Declined, however, so I can bishop to guard the king. Moreover, in
only assume that the structure's name the .i.g5 main line this bishop has no
was derived from someone spotting opponent and so any opening of the
Carl playing a sly QGD, and then tell­ position tends to favour B lack. It is
ing him off for not playing the Griin­ true once again that White has the pos­
feld. At any rate, I think we should sibility of f3 and e4, but considering
stop criticizing and start encouraging. the pressure that the g7-bishop would
In fact, I decided to buy Carl a pint, then exert on d4, this is rare.
hence the title of this chapter. More commonly White will push
A Gtiinfeld lover will not be shocked his a- and b-pawn to instigate a minor­
to find that White has an extra centre ity attack on the black queenside.
ISO UNDERSTANDING THE GR ONFELD

Those unfamiliar with such an idea


should just try to find a way in which
Black can set up the queenside pawn­
structure without allowing White' s
queenside pawns to create a weakness
eventually. There isn't a way. Other
things being equal, White will advance
the b-pawn until there is a weakness
on the half-open c-file and if the b­
pawn is captured then there will be a
weak pawn on the b-file and on d5. It
is also worth noting that White's king
is comforted by having an extra pawn
to defend it. This may sound some­ has exchanged his dark-squared bishop
what abstract but is a very real consid­ for a black knight and seeks to show
eration since the logical counter to that in the resulting position the locked
White's minority attack would be a pawn-structure makes his e2-bishop
similar idea with .. .f5-f4 but then, as­ 'good' and will suit the knights better
suming both sides have castled king­ than the black bishops. He also hopes
side, this would leave Black with only that his extra central pawn may be a
two pawns to shield his king com­ long-term strategic asset and will seek
pared to three for White. These are all to use his queenside minority to create
important truths which will be at least a weakness in Black's queenside
partly verified in the games to follow. structure while striving to keep his
Still, I remember hearing the bad lion king safe and the centre closed. This
in The Lion King say that "Truth is in line tends to appeal to players who dis­
the eye of the beholder" and I behold like being confronted with activity
that in such structures the placement when they are White and seek to nur­
of the pieces is of greater significance ture small advantages while being as
than any pawn-breaks. safe as possible. However, while it is
true that White has a slightly better
pawn-structure, I think such positions
Sa mple l ine and Ideas are generally favourable to Black in
for White the Gri.infeld. The following diagram
helps to illustrate Black' s prospects.
1 d4 lllf6 2 c4 g6 3 l2Jc3 d5 4 l2Jf3
.tg7 5 .tgS l2Je4 6 cxdS lllxgS 7 Ideas for Black
lllxgS e6 8 l2Jf3 exdS 9 e3 0-0 10 .te2
.:te8 11 0-0 (D) I think Black's given piece configura­
Some standard theoretical moves tion is more or less optimal for the
lead to the diagram position. White quiet variation of the .tg5 line, and I
A PINT OF CARLSBERG 151

c-file and therefore makes it almost


impossible for White to attack the c­
pawn and secondly because the piece
sacrifice . . . ll'lxe3 is often a very real
possibility. Such a combination often
results in Black earning three pawns
(12, e3 and d4) for his sacrificed piece
and a persistent initiative which is of­
ten unbearable for White, who cannot
offer resistance to Black's dark-squared
bishop.
Although the diagram is a rather
one-sided show, it is worth noting that
am trying to demonstrate the principal White can often block out the a3-f8 di­
means of defending against White's agonal by placing a knight on the out­
minority attack on the queenside while post on cS. This is another drawback
preparing counterplay on the kingside. of playing . . .bS but in general the
Please note that Black should be knight on cS looks a lot better than it
very careful about the timing of ...bS actually is, because it can serve merely
as a response to b4. From a purely to obstruct White's efforts to attack
structural point of view it is lunacy of the c6-pawn.
course because it presents an outpost It is also worth being alert to the se­
on cS and fixes a backward pawn on an quence whereby White plays b4, Black
open file. However, considering that plays . . . bS and if White anticipates
White's queenside attack tends to be a ...tllb6-c4 he may choose to play a4 to
prelude to piece infiltration, Black is immediately attack bS. Now capturing
really just acknowledging that this on a4 would lose control so Black has
opening line obliges him to accept a to plan . . . bS in such a way that he can
weak queenside pawn in some shape either maintain his pawn on bS with
or form and does so while simulta­ . . . a6 (which sometimes allows a4-a5)
neously refusing to allow White the or else play . . . aS ! at this moment,
piece activity that he seeks on that side whereupon the a- and b-pawns will be
of the board. Principally, one should head-to-head and concrete calculation
only meet b4 with ... bS if there is a will be needed to determine who gains
concrete follow-up planned, i.e . ...a7- control of the queenside.
a5 and/or ... ll'lb6-c4. In the first case With regard to the bishops, note
the hunter may become the hunted as that it is often useful for Black to put
a3 (often played to support b4) can be his bishop on f5 to control b 1, which is
weaker than c6. In the second case, the where White would often wish to
knight on c4 is really very annoying place his queen's rook to support his
for White: firstly because it blocks the queenside advance. In saying that,
152 UNDERSTANDING THE GRONFELD

circumstances often do not permit


B lack to meet b4 with . . .b5 and, in
these cases it is possible to play the B
knight to c4 in any case, though this
will usually require the support of a
bishop on e6.
The ' exclusive' bishop does not al­
ways go to d6, but it often finds itself
restricted on g7 where it bites into
White's solid centre, so it's worth
knowing that it has the option of re­
routing to d6 where it can influence
both sides of the board.
As for the rooks, it seems it is often to the d5-pawn and therefore an at­
good to have one for defensive and tempt by White to develop with gain
counter-attacking purposes on the of time. Not uncommonly for the
queenside and another to support Grtinfeld, it also features White devel­
Black's kingside pressure. The queen oping his queenside before his king­
tends to be comfortable on the central side. Black has three main ways to
e7-square but sometimes comes to d6 'defend' against the threat to d5 with­
to defend c6 and attack b4 or possibly out losing time with a passive move
go to h4 to frighten the white king. like ...c6.
Considering this, White will some­ s ltJe4
...

times seek to defend his king with h3 I feel this is the most reliable reac­
or g 3 and in these cases it is often pos­ tion because it does not release the
sible to chisel the pawn on g3 or fix the tension too early and does not oblige
dark squares on the kingside (after h3) Black to sacrifice material before
with ...h5 and . . .h4. completing development, as the alter­
natives tend to do. On a more celestial
level, we might say that this knight i s
Carl's bad in the i.g5 living out its destiny; dying young a s it
variation does so often in the Grtinfeld, so that
his comrades may live.
Game 29 5 ...c5 ! ? is also possible and has
Franco - lllescas been favoured by none less than GM
Spanish Cht (Ponferrada) 1997 Peter Svidler. The main justification
of the move lies in the line 6 ..i.xf6
1 d4 ltJf6 2 ltJ£3 g6 3 c4 ..i.g7 4 ltJc3 ..i.xf6 7 ltJxd5 ..i.g7 8 e3 ltJc6, when
dS S ..i.gS (D) Black threatens to play . .. e6 and win
I have always seen this move (with back the d4-pawn while retaining
or without ltJf3) as an immediate threat dark-square control. However, I suggest
A PINT OF CARLSBERG 153

that you only play it if you think Black idea tends to be that since ... b6 weak­
can generate enough compensation ens some queenside light squares and
after 6 dxc5 _.aS 7 cxd5 lt:Je4 (7 ... �d5 the a4-e8 diagonal, the queen 'covers'
8 'i!Vxd5 .txc3+ 9 .id2 is good for so that nothing nasty happens as the
White - see the note to Black' s 5th bishop gets dressed. Lautier-Ivanchuk,
move in Game 33) 8 i.d2 tbxd2 9 Terrassa 1991 is of interest: 10 e3 .ta6
'i!Vxd2 tba6 10 e3 tbxc5 1 1 .ib5+, 1 1 'ii'b 3 .txfl 12 �xfl 0-0 1 3 'iti>e2
which I'm far from sure he can. (White wants to play l:.hdl and 'iti>fl to
5 . . .dxc4 can also become very connect rooks and secure his king)
sharp, but it seems to me that the lines 13 ...c5 14 dxc5?! tba6! (D).
beginning with 6 e4 c5 7 d5 b5 8 d6 !
are favourable to White.
6 cxd5
6 .tf4 is not particularly distinctive
with the knight on f3; see Chapter 10.
6 .ih4 is not thought to be danger­
ous for Black, primarily because of
6... tbxc3 7 bxc3 dxc4 ! (D) when it's
worth knowing something of the fol­
lowing:

w
This is a particularly good example
of a theme we have already consid­
ered. When Black supports the . . .c5
break with ... b6 White sometimes cap­
tures on c5 with the aim of attacking
Black's c5-pawn and using the b- and
d-files if Black recaptures. However,
as we see in this game, this attempted
transformation can rebound on White
if Black refuses to be materialistic.
a) 8 'i!Va4+ is an attempt to win the By attacking c5 (e.g . . . .'ii'c 7, . . .tbd7,
pawn back, but this runs into 8 ...'i!Vd7 ! . . . tba6) Black threatens to recapture
9 'i!Vxc4 b6! when the bishop can come on c5 and restore material equality
to a6 and Black will be able to play while gaining a structural advantage.
...c5. Note that this idea of ... 'ii'd7 and Therefore White is obliged to be con­
. . . .tb7 or . . . .ta6 is a recurring theme sistent and take on b6 as well. Not
in many lines of the Griinfeld. The only does this venture lead to the
154 UNDERSTANDING THE GR ONFELD

complete collapse of White' s centre Black should be very careful over the
and lose a lot of time but it also opens next few moves. Moreover, playing
up the c- and a-files for Black's rooks, ... dxc4 and ... b5 is fairly particular to
gives Black various parking spaces on this variation of i.g5 and should not
the queenside and allows the g7-bishop be mixed up with similar lines. Firstly,
to take a deep breath on the a 1 -h8 di­ don't do it if the knight is still on g1
agonal. since 'Wif3 ! (usually after exchanging
Such a theme can also occur if the on b5) can cause the rook on a8 to
pawn is still on b7 and White captures tremble and secondly don't do it if the
on c5. If it is difficult to win this pawn bishop goes back to f4 since if nothing
back it is often worth considering ... b6 else B lack often has to resort to play­
as a positional pawn sacrifice to free ing ....l:r.a7 to keep the queenside intact,
the black pieces. and if White were then simply to cap­
The game continued 15 l:r.hd1 'Wic7 ture the knight on b8, this would not
1 6 cxb6 axb6 1 7 a4 lDc5 1 8 'Wib4 .l:ra5 be a good day out. 10 i.e2 a6 1 1 lDd2
19 i.g3 e5 ! (blocking in the bishop on 0-0 12 i.f3 l:r.a7 1 3 0-0 i.f5 (this was
g7 but blocking out both of White 's Kasparov' s approach; he wants to pro­
minor pieces and exerting even more voke e4 to block out the bishop on f3
control over the centre) 20 lDd2 l:Ua8 or else plant his own bishop on the
21 lDc4 lDxa4 ! 22 'itt f l i.f8 23 lDd6 d3-square) 14 .l:r.e 1 ( 1 4 e4 i.c8 ! 1 5 e5
lDxc3 24 l:r.ac 1 .l:r.c5 25 .l:r.d3 lDe4 ! and i.e6) 14 ...i.d3 15 lDb3 (this is some­
Ivanchuk's powerful play obliged what annoying since White can force a
Lautier to resign. draw if he wishes; if you find this un­
b) 8 e3 b5 9 a4 c6 (D) is considered acceptable I recommend looking at
a relatively safe pawn-grab for Black. ways of playing with ... i.b7 and ...lDd7
earlier, which might also be playable
for Black; however, the world cham­
pion' s openings are usually very well
considered so try to be as objective as
possible when looking for alterna­
tives ; it might be that a draw is best
play for both sides - moreover, White
may well not be satisfied with a draw,
as was the case here) 15 ...i.f5 16 lDd2
( 1 6 lDc5 lDd7 ! is simply better for
Black) 16 ...i.d3 17 g4? (White should
have taken the draw) 17 . . . .l:r.c7 ! 1 8
lDb3 cxb3 19 'Wixd3 c5 ! 2 0 i.g3 e5 ! 2 1
axb5 c 4 was winning for Black in
However, there is no denying that Sorin-Kasparov, Buenos Aires simul
White can generate some initiative so 1997.
A PINT OF CARLSBERG 155

6 'i!r'c 1 always struck me as being An important double attack on d5


profoundly artificial but more the lat­ and g5 which tends to ensure material
ter than the former. After 6 ...h6 ! White equality. I have always been suspi­
will be entering a normal line .i.f4 or cious of the more aggressive lines like
.i.h4 line with his queen on an unusual 7 . . .e5 , 7 . . .c6 and 7 . . .0-0 though all
square. Bear in mind, though, that have been ventured' by strong players.
White is probably not (yet!) worse and 8 .!Df3
so Black should pay attention to the This is the least threatening of
nuances which the white player will White's eighth move possibilities.
probably be more aware of. In particu­ a) 8 'i!r'a4+ is especially challeng­
lar it will be difficult to castle now. I'm ing and Black really has to be on his
not going to give variations because toes. S . c6! (S . . .i.d7 9 'it'b3 'itxg5 10
.. .

the line is very rare and more impor­ 'iixb7 0-0 1 1 'i'xa8 .txd4 12 e3 'ireS
tantly it is good to get into the habit of 1 3 l:r.cl exd5 14 'ii'b7 lbc6 15 .!De2! and
trusting your openings and not relax­ now Burgess indicates 1 5 ... i.xb2 ! ,
ing when you find yourself with a po­ e.g. 16 l:r.xc6 .i.xc6 1 7 'i!r'xc6 d4, a s not
sition where an author has told you at all clear; while this is fertile ground
that you are OK. In other words let go for research, I don't trust the line for
of your chequered security blanket. I Black) 9 dxc6 ltJxc6 1 0 ltJf3 i.d7 ! (D)
for one have no idea of the theory in and then:
this position but I'm comfortable
enough with the Griinfeld to know that
thoughtful play will ensure Black his
full share of the chances.
Returning to the position after 6
cxd5 (D):

a1) 1 1 0-0-0?! is probably too am­


bitious if Black is energetic enough:
1 1 . .. b5 ! (not 1 1 . . .0-0 12 e3 b5 1 3
.txb5) 1 2 lDxb5 (this seems forced,
for example 12 'ii'c2 l:r.c8 or 1 2 'ii'b 3
lDa5 13 'ii'b4 i.f8 ! trapping the queen)
6 .!Dxg5 7 .!Dxg5 e6
.•. 1 2 . . 0-0 1 3 'ii'a3 'ii b 8 ! (not 1 3 . . .'ti'b6
.
156 UNDERSTANDING THE GRONFELD

because then a later ltlc3-a4 would 19 \\Ve l l:td8+ 20 lLld2 'ifxa2 is an at­
gain important time for White) 14 e3 tempt to go down fighting, which I
l:tc8 1 5 ltlc3 a5 gave Black excellent was hoping would be playable, but
counterplay in Cebalo-Lalic, Zagreb clearly there' s not enough compensa­
1993 . tion.
a2) 1 1 lldl \\fb6 12 'ifb3 ltlxd4 1 3 a3 3) 12 ... ltlxd4 1 3 0-0-0 l:td8 !
'ifxb6 ltlxf3+ i s also fine for Black. ( 1 3 . . . 0-0-0 14 ltlxd4 i.c6 15 e3 e5 1 6
a3) 1 1 'ifd l ! is a very good test of ltlxc6 ltxd2 1 7 ltle7+ 'itid7 1 8 l:txd2+
Black's resources . 1 l . . .'ifb6 1 2 \\fd2 'itixe7 19 lLld5+) 14 ltlxd4 i.c6 1 5 e3
(D) obliges Black to capture the d­ e5 1 6 \\Vel ! exd4 17 exd4+ 'itif8 1 8 d5
pawn: i.xd5 ! (if you are desperate to play for
a win, 1 8...i.d7 gives some dark-square
compensation for the pawn) 1 9 .l:.xd5
l:txd5 20 'ife7+ ! (20 ltlxd5 'ifxb2+ 2 1
'itid 1 'ifb1 + 2 2 'itie2 \\fb5+ wins for
Black) 20 . . .'itixe7 2 1 ltlxd5+ 'itid6 22
ltlxb6 axb6 112-112 Shirov-0stenstad,
Gaus,dal 199 1 .
You may well find that last line ex­
tremely baffling and it is also disap­
pointing that such a dazzling flurry
fizzles out to a draw. Though analysis
does suggest that this was best play af­
ter 1 1 \\fd 1 it is dissatisfying to feel
that a move like 8 \\fa4+ can 'kill' the
a3 1 ) Hartston (1970) suggests (by game in this way. I have never liked
transposition) that 12 ...0-0 leaves Black having 'dead draws ' anywhere in my
with good play for the pawn, citing black repertoire mainly because I don't
Blagidze-Gurgenidze, Tbilisi 1959, accept that Black should necessarily
which continued 13 e3 e5 14 d5 lLld4 ! content himself with a draw. I just
"with a fine game for Black". Initially, don't think we know enough about
I found this very encouraging because chess to have reached that conclusion
Black could do with some new(!) ideas yet. Of course 'living draws' are an­
against 8 \\Va4+. I haven't been able to other matter and if you can find an
find this game in any of my sources, equal position with just a little bit of
but I would like to know if Black has a tension there is still a chance of out­
convincing continuation after 15 i.e2, witting your opponent. If you are up
because your author hasn't found one. against a weaker opponent who bangs
a32) 12 . . . i.xd4 13 0-0-0 i.xc3 14 out the theory to reach this position I
'ifxd7+ 'itif8 15 \\fd6+ 'itig7 1 6 bxc3 can only suggest that you play on from
llhd8 17 'ifa3 ltxd l + 18 'itixd l \\fb1+ the final position. You still have about
A PINT OF CARLSBERG 157

thirteen units as well as your active to be fully adequate in any case. After
king and there are many pawns to be 1 1 h4, l l ...h6 1 2 lDf3 (in passing, I
won. should mention that 1 2 lLlxd5 has been
b) 8 'ft'd2 is also dangerous and the tried here, but I don't think it' s sound:
theory of this line is currently moving 1 2 . . . �xg5 1 3 'ft'e5 l::th7 14 hxg5 llJc6
quite rapidly. I don't like the unaes­ 1 5 'ft'e4 �f5 16 'ti'f3 ltjxd4 17 'ii'a3+
thetic 8 . . .,th6 9 f4 for either side and Wg7 1 8 tLle3 hxg5 ! ? ( 1 8 ... '1Wxg5 ! ?) 19
it seems that 8 . . . h6 9 li:)h3 exd5 10 l::txh7+ 'ifi>xh7 20 0-0-0 'ii'f6 2 1 'Wc3 c5
'ft'e3+, to be followed by tLlf4, is prob­ 22 tiJxf5 'ir'xf5 23 e3 lDc6 gave Black
ably not an improvement on the main a clear advantage in Skembris-Smej­
lines. Therefore I am recommending kal, Thessaloniki OL 1 988) 12 .. .'�g7
8 . . .exd5 , which normally leads to a (D) feels to me like the best way to be­
sharp position after 9 'ft'e3+ 'it>f8 1 0 gin development because the king def­
'ii'f4 (D), when the stakes are already initely belongs on g7, the knight is
extremely high. much less thre.atening on f3 and at this
stage it is unclear where the other black
pieces should go. Indeed, the main
danger for Black is an early e4 so he
B should be wary of spending precious
time on luxuries like . . . c6 unless he
can be confident that the position is
sufficiently stabilized.

bl) For a while it was thought that


10 .. .'ii'f6 was the answer to White's
early aggression but now it seems that
1 1 'ft'xc7 tLla6 12 'ft'g3 tiJb4 1 3 :tel ! is
probably better for White, for example
1 3 ... �f5 14 e3 tLlc2+? ! 1 5 l:lxc2!
�xc2 1 6 tiJxd5 'ft'c6 1 7 ttlb4 'ii'a4 1 8
'ft'd6+ 'it>g8 1 9 ..i.c4 with a winning In the following variations there are
position for White, Peng Zhaoqin­ a number of transpositions but I draw
Arakhamia, Groningen worn Ct 1997. your attention particularly to White's
b2) So I recommend that Black re­ plans of e4 and g4 and Black's plan of
turns to the older 1 o. ...tf6, which seems
. .. .c5 and the manoeuvre ... 'ir'd8-b8.
158 UNDERSTANDING THE GR ONFELD

b2 1 ) 1 3 e3 .te6 14 .td3 seems highlights the fact that White's king is


unthreatening but Black should be at­ also by no means fortified. The fol­
tentive since 14 ...c6? ! 15 'ir'g3 ! ? to be lowing line is indicative of B lack' s
followed by t"Oe2-f4 looks annoying. I initiative: 18 .tb5 .td5 ! 19 dxc5 .txe4
think Black should play the flexible 20 1:.xd7 (20 'ir'xe4 ltJxc5) 20...'ir'a5 21
14 . . . liJd7 and now the time-consum­ 'ii'xe4 (21 :.xt7+? <J;xt7 22 ltJe5+
ing 15 'ir'g3 is met by 15 . . .c5 ! since �e7 !) 2 1 .. .'ir'xb5 22 l'hb7 'ir'xc5+ 23
White's queen no longer controls d4, �b l . Black now has a slight advan­
while 15 0-0 gives Black time for tage - superior minor piece and safer
15 . . . c6 16 'ir'g3 'ir'b8 ! . This idea of king .
. . . 'ir'b8 is a crucial defensive idea in b222) 14 e3 and now:
many lines. Note that Black's trump­ b222 1 ) The immediate 14 . . .c5 ap­
card is the two bishops, which can pears to lead to a draw after 1 5 dxc5
only be used safely when the king is 'W"a5 16 ltJd4 'ir'xc5 17 .td3 ltJc6 1 8
secure. Of course the black king feels ltJxe6+ fxe6 19 'ir'g4 .txc3 with a per­
much more secure with the queens off. petual. Note that White cannot escape
b22) 1 3 0-0-0 .te6 ! (D) has been here with 20 'ir'xg6+ �f8 21 bxc3
played and suggested by the Russian 'ir'xc3+ 22 �bl 'ir'b4+ 23 �c2 due to
grandmaster Epishin. 23 ... liJd4+! 24 exd4 l:c8+.
It is generally thought that the side
with the two bishops should open the
position to their benefit but not every­
w one remembers the fine-print which
suggests that one should do so very
gradually. The rationale is that to ac­
quire the two bishops one often has to
lose some time and it is unwise to
open the position before you are fully
developed. Of course from a theoreti­
cal perspective this sharp line is quite
satisfactory, but I liked B lack's set­
up before the fireworks and I even pre­
fer to be Black in such positions be­
b22 1 ) The main idea is that after cause it is easy for White to run out of
14 e4 dxe4 1 5 ltJxe4 Black can safely steam whereas Black always has the
play 1 5 . . ..txa2 ! as after the thematic two bishops as a long-term asset and
1 6 g4 liJd7 1 7 .td3 there is 17 . . . c5 ! ! . knowing this often causes White to
It's very important that Black has this overpress at an early stage.
move since White's forces were be­ b2222) 14 ... liJd7 ! ? is a very solid
ginning to loom large on the kingside approach, and I think it is preferable.
and this is the only move which 15 g4 (don't panic - Black has lots of
A PINT OF CARLSBERG 159

good defenders on the kingside and


White finds it difficult to dent B lack' s
position due to the absence of his dark­
squared bishop) 1 5 . . . .ie7 ! and here:
b2222 1 ) 1 6 'ii'g3 (if this is neces­
sary then we are definitely on the right
track). After 1 6 ... .id6 17 1Wg2 c6 I
slightly prefer Black. A good follow­
up would involve trying to highlight
the absence of White's dark-squared
bishop with ...We7 and pushing the a­
pawn towards a3.
b22222) ECO claims that Chand­
ler suggests 16 e4 ! ?, which is certainly It is largely a matter of taste whether
more threatening but I can't help but or not to prevent an early b4 with . a5.
..

feel that Black is very solid here while Since opening the centre would be
White has a very draughty position and playing into the hands of Black's two
a significant bishop deficit. 1 6 ... tLlf6 ! ? bishops, it seems fair to say that the
looks like one o f many good replies. queenside minority attack is White's
b223) 14 g4 c5 ! . Here it's slightly only long-term plan. We have seen
different because Black is meeting a that playing b4 a move earlier suffers
flank attack with a counter on the cen­ from some tactical problems so we
tre. It is also possible to play more sol­ could also say that preventing it now
idly but this active approach seems to effectively puts a strategic strait-jacket
ensure a good position for Black, and on White, who would be without his
White cannot cop out with a forced main plan, and we would therefore have
draw ! A possible continuation is 15 e3 completely de-fanged White's system.
tLlc6 1 6 .id3 cxd4 17 exd4 'iWb8 ! . Of course it is not that easy because
8 exd5 (D)
..• White can usually find a way to play
9 e3 b4 eventually, usually with the aid of
The immediate 9 b4 runs into the tLlel -d3. For this reason, there is a lot
disruptive 9 ... 'iWd6! , for example 10 a3 to be said for allowing an early b4 with
(10 'iWb3 tLlc6 ! ; 10 l:.bl .if5 ! ) 10... 0-0 the aim of quickly exploiting the
( 1 0 . a5 ! ?) 1 1 e3 c6 1 2 .ie2 .if5 1 3
.. weakness on c4. Perhaps your choice
0-0 tLld7 14 tLla4 a5 1 5 'iWb3 b 5 16 should depend on the temperament of
tLlc5 a4 17 'iWc3 tLlb6! . This instructive you and your opponent; some players
sequence comes from the game Seira­ may foam at the mouth and lose the
wan-Kasparov, Dubai OL 1986 where plot if you strive to prevent b4, others
Black equalized comfortably but later may get carried away on the queenside
over-pressed and lost. and get mated if you simply let him
9 0-0
..• get on with it. I have included more
160 UN.DERSTANDING THE GRONFELD

examples than normal to help you get


a feel for these positions and make up
your own mind. B
9 ... a5 10 i.e2 0-0 1 1 0-0 l:te8 12 a3
i.f8 ! shows the alternative plan, and
now:
a) 13 l2Jel c6 14 lZ'ld3 i.d6 15 b4 ? !
(once again White weakens c4 prema­
turely; a little more patience would keep
the position approximately equal, e.g.
15 l2Ja4 ! ? i.f5 16 i.g4 ! ?) 15 ...1We7 16
1Wb3 b5 !? 17 l:tfe1 (this is a little aim­
less; to understand these positions it is
important to be as objective as possi­ There is also less danger to White if
ble so we should look at some alterna­ the position opens up at any stage be­
tives; 17 l2Jc5 doesn't change much cause Black has only one bishop. Al­
compared to the game but since White though this is sound reasoning, it is
should know that Black wants to put also true that exchanging these bish­
his knight on c4 he should find a way ops further weakens the c4-square and
of discouraging this; after 17 l:tfc l ! ?, so perhaps it depends on whether Black
17 . . .l2Jd7 1 8 lZ'ld 1 ! ? and 17 . . . i.f5 1 8 can safely occupy this square before
bxa5 l:.X a5 1 9 lZ'lb4 are lines showing White effectively mobilizes the mi­
that White does not have to play so as nority attack. In this given example
always to allow thematic black victo­ we see that White's queenside turned
ries in this line !) 1 7 ... i.f5 1 8 l2Jc5 out to be too weak but nonetheless I
l2Jd7 1 9 i.fl l2Jb6 20 bxa5 ? ! l2Jc4 2 1 think that Keith' s observation is a
a4 b4 ! 2 2 i.xc4 bxc3 2 3 i.fl (23 i.d3 good rule of thumb which is at least
i.xc5 24 i.xf5 i.xd4 ! ) 23 . . . i.xc5 24 partly supported by the extravagant
dxc5 'ii'xc5 gave Black a winning ad­ lengths that world-class GM Vagan­
vantage in Kakageldiev-I.Gurevich, ian went to exchange these bishops in
Biel IZ 1993. this game.
b) 1 3 l2Je5 ! ? c6 14 i.g4 (D). In this particular case I suppose
GM Keith Arkell once told me that White simply lost too much time in the
the exchange of light-squared bishops process but perhaps this suggests why
in such positions tends to favour Black rarely plays . . . i.g4 when the
White. I think the idea is that if Black knight is on f3 . 1t is clever to try to pro­
is left with just two minor pieces to at­ voke the weakening h3 before putting
tack the kingside then the threats can the bishop on, say, f5, but if White just
be adequately dealt with, whereas it is plays lZ'le1 at some stage then Black is
difficult for Black to prevent a weak­ effectively obliged to exchange these
ness on the queenside in the long term. bishops and, it seems to me, this
A PINT OF CARLSBERG 161

generally favours White. 14 ...i.d6 1 5 strong initiative in the centre and the
i.xc8 'fi'xc8 16 tiJd3 lDd7 1 7 iVf3 'ir'd8 kingside and so White could have used
1 8 b4? ! t2Jb6 19 lLlc5 ilc7 20 h3 lLlc4 this move to better effect) 19 ...'iWg5 20
gave Black the advantage in Vaganian­ .Q)cS? (much too ambitious; 20 liJd1
Wolff, New York 1990; White lost too intending lZJ3b2 was passive but pref­
much time exchanging bishops and erable) 20 ... .Q)xe3 ! 2 1 fxe3 l:.xe3 22
then weakened c4 prematurely. l:.d2 1Wh4 23 l:.fd1 i.h6 24 i.fl i.f4
10 b4 c6 11 l:.cl (D) 25 g3 l:.xg3 26 'ir'b2 i.g4 27 l:.d3 l:.f3
This may look a little automatic, but 28 1'fg2 l:tf2 and the former British
it is actually a fairly concrete move, Champion now had to resign.
which aims to threaten b5 without al­
lowing . . . c5 as a response.
1 1 i.e2 i.e6 1 2 0-0 l0d7 13 lLle1 a6
14 l2Jd3 'ir'e7 was the beginning of the B
game Ward-Shashikiran, British Ch
(Torquay) 1998. It seems that B lack
was very familiar with our stem game
since he played quickly and confi­
dently and landed a similarly decisive
sacrifice on e3. 1 5 ifb3 (since 1 5
.Q)c5 ! ? lL!b6 1 6 lD3a4 lL!c4 17 i.xc4
dxc4 1 8 lLlb6 .:adS 1 9 'ir'c l seems to
win the c4-pawn I presume the idea is
15 ...lL!xc5 16 bxc5 l:.ae8 to be followed
by . . . i.c8 if necessary; although we ll ... a6! ?
have a classic case of 'one unit hold­ The disadvantage o f 1 1 llcl i s that
ing up two' on the queenside { c5 vs c6 now after a4 and . . . b5 Black can take
and b7 } it will be almost impossible with the a-pawn and seize the open a­
for White to break through there and file.
in the meantime all of Black's pieces 12 .te2 'flie7 13 'ii b 3 i.e6 14 0-0
are performing important roles and .Q)d7 IS a4 l:.fe8 16 .!Uel
there is a clear plan involving . . .f5-f4 16 aS ! ?, cutting out the knight's
which will begin to undermine White's route to c4, is a reasonable idea and
pawn-chain and create threats on the may be a good way of giving Black a
kingside) 1 S ... .!Ub6 1 6 a4 ( 1 6 lLlc5 ! ?) guilt trip over putting 'the wrong rook'
16 ....!Uc4 17 l:.a2 i.f5 1 8 'iti>h1 l:.fe8 1 9 on e8. Probably it wasn't the wrong
aS ! ? (note that this way o f fixing the rook in general since on a8 the rook
queenside is only a problem for Black discouraged White's main idea of
if White can effectively use the b6- playing b5 but now B lack's best move
and c5-squares and then eventually here is probably 1 6 . . . llf8 ! and then
open the centre; as it is, Black has a ... l:.ae8 and ... fS.
162 UNDERSTANDING THE GR ONFELD

16 ...lLlb6 17 lLld3 lLlc4 18 l:.fe1 White was probably despairing at


.if5 19 lLlb2 (D) the lack of an answer to all of Black's
threats when he realized that . . . l:.xg3
was also a threat and decided to stop
the clocks.

Carl's bad in the Quiet


System
Game 30
Gligoric - Botvinnik
Moscow Chigorin mem 1947

1 d4 lLlf6 2 c4 g6 3 lLlc3 d5 4 tLlf3


White can also enter the quiet sys­
Begging for it. tem with 4 e3, which allows for the
19 ... lLlxe3! 20 .id3 1i'g5 21 fxe3 distinctive 4 . . . .ig7 5 'ifb3 e6 6 'ifa3 ! ?
llxe3 attempting to stop Black castling. In
Only two pawns at the moment, but my opinion this approach is underesti­
d4 is terminally weak and White's king­ mated and Black now has to play very
side is lacking defenders. carefully to gain his full share of the
22 .ixf5 .ixd4 23 'ii'h 1 .:.ae8! 24 chances. 6 ...lDc6 (6 ...'ife7?! would give
:n White a clear advantage after 7 'ifxe7+
24 .:.xe3 1i'xe3. �xe7 8 cxd5 exd5 9 b 3 ! , when not
24 gxf5 (D)
•.. only does White have the central pre­
dominance of pawns, but Black has
trouble coordinating) 7 lLlf3 lLle7 ! ap­
pears to be the best first step. A logical
continuation is then 8 .ie2 0-0 9 0-0
b6 10 .id2 .ib7 1 1 l:tfdl lLle4, when
Black can enter the middlegame with
confidence. However, I recommend
taking a thorough look at this line gen­
erally because although White's set­
up is rather tame, it is very difficult to
achieve active play for Black and there
is a delicate balance to be struck be­
tween manoeuvring patiently and strik­
ing at the centre when expedient.
25 e3 'ii'e4 0-1 4 .ig7 5 e3 0-0 (D)
..•
A PINT OF CARLSBERG 163

This is the starting position for the force the weakening on b3 since com­
main line of the quiet system. White bined with the weakness on d3 the
has many options at this stage and in bishop is virtually forced to stay on c4
each case I will give only a taster of where it is tactically vulnerable once
how Black should react since good Black plays . . . .l:tc8) 10 . . . Jlf5 1 1 0-0
opening moves will come naturally as l:f.c8 12 'i!Ve2 �fe4 with more than
your general understanding of the open­ enough play for the pawn.
ing increases. There also seems to be d) 6 b4 b6! 7 'it'b3 c5 ! 8 bxc5 bxc5
little point in memorizing a lot of moves 9 cxd5 �a6 10 Jle2 .:.b8 1 1 'it'a4 lLlb4
in a relatively non-theoretical position. 1 2 0-0 liJfxd5 and again Black has a
Remember, you must challenge good position.
White's centre: Notice that the quiet system is best
6 'ii'b3 met by extremely energetic measures;
Or: Black should be willing to sacrifice a
a) 6 cxd5 �xd5 7 Jlc4 �xc3 8 pawn to break up the centre and then
bxc3 c5 9 0-0 'tlt'c7 ! 10 'il'e2 b6 ! ?. use the activity gained to win the ma­
b) 6 Jle2 c5 ! 7 0-0 (after 7 dxc5 terial back while maintaining the ini­
dxc4 ! 8 'it'xd8 lhd8 9 Jlxc4 �bd7 10 tiative. It is also possible to play more
c6 bxc6, despite the structure it is compliantly with ... c6 or . . . e6 but then
Black who is better here since he can you are accepting that White has supe­
use the new-found open lines to attack rior central control, and there is no
the white queenside) 7 ... cxd4 8 exd4 need to; it is much more annoying for
�c6 and now the most critical is 9 White to hit the centre immediately.
Jlg5 ! ? dxc4 10 d5 lDa.s 1 1 b4 cxb3 12 Remember if your opponent plays
axb3 Jld7 ! (D) (an important tactic to these lines he probably wants a quiet
preserve the knight) 13 b4 l:f.c8. life, so it's best to make as much noise
c) 6 Jld2 c5 ! 7 dxc5 �a6 8 cxd5 as possible !
�xeS 9 Jlc4 a6 ! 10 a4 (it's good to 6...e6
164 UNDERSTANDING THE GR ONFELD

OK, it's hardly a ghettoblaster of a is actually about equal but I always


move but in this particular line it is prefer to play B lack in such positions
forced. The good news for Black is that as White' s pieces are somewhat claus­
the queen has had to misplace itself to trophobic. Indeed their lack of breath
cause this sober move and Black still is causing them to gasp and stumble
has good chances of hitting the centre on each other' s toes while Black' s
with ... b6 and ... c5. bishops look positively serene and are
7 .td2 b6 8 l:r.cl .ib7 ideally poised for the . . . c6-c5 break,
8 ... c5 ! ? - Boleslavsky. after which they will both be perfectly
9 cxd5 exd.S 10 .ie2 c6 directed towards the centre. It is inter­
A very solid move. Botvinnik had esting to see how the drunken B ot­
probably studied these middlegames vinnik manoeuvres since clearly it was
in detail and simply wants to reach a important for him to have all his pieces
position he understands. fully ready for this break; in particular
Note, however, that with this aim in he wanted to remove his queen from
mind I O... �bd7?! is inaccurate due to the line of the white rook on d l .
1 1 �b5 !? c6 (l l ...c5 !?) 1 2 �d6. 13 .tel
1 1 0-0 �bd7 12 l:r.fdl l:r.e8 (D) White is playing with great reten­
tion but bear in mind that he is now
fully ready for 'ii'c2 and b4 with queen­
side play so Black should take precau­
w tions. It is well worth noting that
Botvinnik did not hurry with . . . �e4
since White would certainly have
taken on e4 before Black could play
.. .f5 (to take back with the f-pawn) and
this would certainly ease White's po­
sition much more than Black's, e.g.
1 3 ... �?! 14 �xe4 dxe4 15 lt:Jd2 �f6
1 6 �c4 �5 17 �a5 ! .
13 ..if8!?
...

I guess this is directed against the


So here we are, Botvinnik has been above-mentioned plan. If White now
caught red-handed drinking a pint of shuffled his king backwards and for­
Carlsberg. wards Black would probably play
Indeed, there is no denying that we . .. ..td6, ... 'ti'e7, ... l:r.ad8 and then . . . c5,
have all the classic symptoms; Black so White strikes on the idea of playing
has ideas of . . .c5, ... tbe4 and possibly e4 with �d2 and ..tf3 and Botvinnik
... .if8-d6 while White is solidly placed plays to prevent this instead.
and fully prepared for any of Mikhail's 14 �d2 l:r.e6 15 .tf3 'ti'e7 16 �e2
notorious drunken banter. The position .ih6 17 �f4 l:r.d6 18 00 aS!
A PINT OF CARLSBERG 165

A healthy gain in space and the best A good defensive move, the fantas­
way of preventing .tb4. tic knight on c5 has to be dislodged.
19 tllg3 c5! (D) 24 axb4 25 .txb4 :ds 26 'ilfe2
...

'ir'd7 21 rs :eS 28 .-r3 gxfS!


Like a drunken man grabbing a
penny, Botvinnik grabs a pawn.
29 tlle2 h6!
Instructive - he wants to put the
king on a light square where it's safer
than it would be on h8.
30 tllf4 :deS 31 h3 .:.cs?
I guess he just had one too many;
this blunder completely spoils his pre­
vious efforts. Earlier in the evening
I'm sure he would not have 'unpro­
tected' his rook on e5.
3 l . . .'li>h7 looks like an improve­
Good timing by Botvinnik, who has ment. Now the barman calls for last
seen through his inebriation to a con­ orders as the game is rushed towards a
crete slight advantage. draw.
20 dxc5 lbxc5 21 'ii'c2 .txf4! 22 32 'ir'g3+ 'iti>b7 33 lbh5! lbxh5 34
exf4 d4 'ir'xe5 lLld3 35 l:txd3 :xc1 + 36 �h2
The passed d-pawn is well sutr :c4 37 .td6 '1We6 38 l:txd4 :xd4 39
ported by Black's centralized forces. 'ir'xd4 'ir'xa2 40 'ilfxb6 'li"e6 41 'ilfd4
23 .txb7 'ii'xb7 24 b4! (D) lbf6 1/z-112

Conclusion
1 ) Other things being equal, the
Carlsbad structure favours White, so
Black has to play very purposefully to
attain his full share of the chances.
2) In the tLI£3, .i.g5 systems, Black
should be very attentive to the timing
and effectiveness of White's minority
attack.
3) In the Quiet system Black should
generally play as actively as possible
but in the 'W'b3 lines Black does well to
combine patient manoeuvring and a
timely ...c5 break.
1 2 The Eager Lady

"Somewhere on this globe, every ten seconds, there is a woman giving birth to a
child. She must be found and stopped." - Sam Stevenson

We will now turn our attention to one Game 3 1


of White's most dangerous approaches I . Farago - Djuric
which is a fundamental test of the Griin­ Saint Vincent 1998
feld in the sense that White quickly
gains seemingly indisputable central 1 d4 g6 2 c4 lt:lf6 3 lt:lc3 d5 (D)
control. It is not at all simple for Black
to generate sufficient counterplay be­
fore White consolidates the position
with a significant advantage in space.
After an early 'Wb3 the white queen
often acts as an excellent guardian of
the central squares and also makes way
for a rook to come to d l , further bol­
stering the centre.
I always like to think of the follow­
ing lines in terms of the white queen
being informed of her army's predica­
ment in the centre of the battlefield
and then rushing to its service with
great haste and determination. Indeed, 4 ltJr3
although this line is generally called 4 'ii'b3 ! ?. It is quite rare for the lady
the Russian System due to its adoption to display maximum eagerness in this
by leading Russian players over several manner and Black has no particular
decades, I prefer to call it the Eager problems if he doesn't try too hard to
Lady Variation, for most variations re­ punish her. 4...dxc4 5 Wxc4 .i.g7 ! (some
volve around the question of whether sources have recommended 5 . . . .i.e6 ! ?
the queen's early adventures can be but I think White i s at least no worse
justified by Black's central counter­ after this and so it seems unnecessary
play being stifled or whether the lady to kick up a fuss and get confused over
was just a little too eager and will be a rarely played move-order) and now:
pounced on by her enemies in the op­ a) 6 .i.f4 c6 7 �f3 (7 l:tdl ?! 'iWa5 8
posing side. ..td2 'ii'b6 9 .tel ..tf5 was slightly
UNDERSTANDING THE GR ONFELD 167

better for Black in Euwe-Alekhine, Lady Variation' but in a game from St


The Hague Wch (4) 1935; note the Petersburg 1993 he was placed under
way that Alekhine wrestled central early pressure by Griinfeld expert Pe­
control away from White by using his ter Svidler: 8 nd 1 lLJd7 ! 9 lt:Jf3 lt:lb6
slight lead in development to create 10 'ii'c5 �g4 1 1 d5 �xf3 12 gxf3 lt:le5
early threats to the white queen) 1 3 �e2 'i!id6! 14 'ii'e 3 f5 ! . Yakovich
7 . . .0-0 and now White now has noth­ now began to play very well and the
ing better than 8 e4, when 8 . . . b5 9 game was a draw, but Svidler' s open­
'iib 3 (9 '*d3 '*a5 ! 10 �e2 b4 l l lLJd l ing play makes a powerful impres­
c5 ! is good for Black) 9 . . .�e6 ! (D) is sion.
Kasparov' s recommendation. To be fair to the lady, 8 lLJf3 would
now be the main line which we will
shortly consider.
As far as I am aware, Svidler has
w never played . . . lt:lc6 in the main line
and has always preferred the Hungar­
ian line with an early . . . a6. I think it is
very likely that he had little theoretical
knowledge of the intricacies of what
would occur there if White had indeed
transposed at this point. However, his
understanding of the nature of the
Grii nfeld is so acute that I suspect that
this wouldn't have worried him at all.
He would simply have realized that he
Black's main idea here is to com­ had to find a way to fight for the cen­
bine the moves . .'i'a5 , . . .�e6 and
. tre, have known the common themes
. . . b5-b4 so as to prevent White from and proceeded to play chess .
stabilizing the centre. It is important to A final point: 8 d5 e5 ! is an impor­
get the move-order right in order to tant motif to be aware of in the Griin­
force the queen to c2 so as to have the feld, and after 9 �e3 lLJd4! 10 �xd4?
threat of ...a5 and . . . b4-b3 giving
... exd4 1 1 'ii'xd4 lLJxe4 ! 12 't!Vxe4 .:le8
check and attacking the white queen. White is losing. These tactical points
9 . . .'i'a5 therefore seems inaccurate are also prevalent in the King's Indian
due to 10 �d3 ! �e6 1 1 'i'd 1 ! , as in and are a vital source of counterplay
Miles-Kasparov, Basle (2) 1986. for Black.
b) 6 e4 0-0 7 �f4 ! ? lLJc6 ! is an­ 4 �g7 5 ._b3 dxc4!
...

other of Svidler's key antidotes to It is better to open up lines to attack


Grtinfeld sub-variations. Russian GM the centre and further expose the queen
Yuri Yakovich is currently the main rather than holding on to the d5 point
exponent of the 'Extremely Eager with 5 ... c6, which does not harmonize
168 THE EAGER LADY

well with the g7-bishop's designs on to remove the white queen from a
d4. somewhat shaky post. Of course it is
6 'Wxc4 0-0 7 e4 (D) annoying that it restricts the . . . c5
break on c4, but it is also vulnerable to
... c!Df6-d7-b6, ... lL!c6-a5 or sometimes
. . . c!Dc6-e5. Indeed, bearing in mind
B this last manoeuvre, it appears that if
B lack is given the choice of forcing
d4-d5 or e4-e5 it would seem that it is
generally better to do the former. Then
Black has two serious pawn-breaks
with . . .c6 and . . .e6 whereas after e4-e5
the bishop on g7 is restricted and the
rather awkward .. .f6 break often weak­
ens the black king. Of course there is
the small matter of the d5-square after
White plays e5 but throughout this
This is the starting point for what is book we have seen that this is not al­
commonly known as the Russian vari­ ways such a blessing for Black, and
ation (for 7 .if4 c6! 8 e4, see note 'a' this is especially so if Black has weak­
to White's 4th move above). White has ened his queenside with ... b5.
spent two tempi with the queen in or­ Considering this, it makes more
der to secure the centre and hold off an sense to me to attack d4 and provoke
early . . .c5 break. Black has numerous d5 than attack e4 and force e5 . Fur­
ways to fight for the centre, all of thermore, the . . . c5 break is not neces­
which have a logic of their own. sarily the best way to attack the centre
a) 7 ... a6! ? has been popularized by here because the eager lady has made
several Hungarian players. The idea is way for a rook to go to d l and in the
to hit the queen with ... b5, thus remov­ event of an early ...c5 the black queen
ing it from control of c5 and often al­ on d8 will often grudgingly have to
lowing Black to exercise the break move. I'm not saying that the Hun­
. . . c7-c5 . Moreover, Black has the op­ garian System is bad, but just that it
tion of developing the bishop at b7 to doesn't make good sense to me.
attack e4. The slight drawback of the b) 7 . . .tZ'la6 ! ? (D) is very respect­
move is that Black gains time with able theoretically and was originally
pawns rather than pieces. Hence, al­ going to be my main recommenda­
though I was inspired by this move tion.
when it was recommended in Winning However, I have little new to add to
With the Grunfeld several years ago, to the established theory and in the time
my mind it now seems rather counter­ it took me to realize this, I also real­
intuitive effectively to take two moves ized that Black really has to be armed
UNDERSTANDING THE GR ONFELD 1 69

after 8 'iWb3 ! I haven' t seen a way for


Black to equalize.
w d) 7 ... lLlfd7 ! ? seems a little intro­
spective, but it does overlap with my
main recommendation and in the pro­
cess of discarding it I discovered one
important idea contained in a line
given by Suetin: 8 i.e3 lLlb6 9 'ilfb3
lbc6 1 0 d5 ltJe5 1 1 ltJxe5 i.xe5 1 2
0-0-0! ? c6 ! ? with the idea that 1 3 dxc6
'f!ic7 14 cxb7 i.xb7 gives Black excel­
lent counterplay for the sacrificed
pawn. This is relevant to what follows
with copious amounts of theoretical and hopefully also a good example of
knowledge because the resulting posi­ not sticking so tightly to your main
tions tend to be very sharp and not at repertoire that you miss important
all easy to understand conceptually. ideas which are available for 'export­
Of course the idea behind the move is ing' .
to defy White' s strategy and play a e) 7 . . .i.g4 !? (D) is the classical ap­
quick . . . c5. In most cases White will proach, endorsed by none less than
play d4-d5 and after ... e6 Delroy will Fischer, Smyslov and Kasparov.
be armed and dangerous but poten­
tially quite vulnerable. The a6-knight
can be a very bad piece but can also be
a useful blockader if it ever manages w
to reach d6 via e8. This knight can also
spring to life via b4, or c5 if the white
queen is somehow forced to move. If
this move appeals to you more than
my main recommendation, then I sug­
gest that LaliC's recent coverage in
The Griinfeldfor the Attacking Player
is an excellent place to start.
c) 7 . . .c6 ! ? is similar to 7 . . .a6 but
tends to signal that ... b5 will be sup­
ported with . . . a5 rather than ...c5. It is Black simply develops a piece and
perhaps the most passive of Black's undermines the main defender of
seventh moves and unless the queen­ White's d4 point. The pressure on this
side play becomes ferocious very square is often increased by ... ltJc6 or
quickly it seems that there is insuffi­ the manoeuvre ... lLlf6-d7-b6, which
cient pressure on the centre. Moreover, has the added bonus of nudging away
1 70 THE EAGER LADY

the white queen. Such is the simple be most in accordance with the de­
logic and obvious harmony of this ap­ mands of the position. As I ' ve said, it
proach that any author would have to makes some sense for Black to be fo­
have a very good reason for warning cusing his efforts on encouraging
against it. In this case I suggest that 8 White to play d4-d5 rather than e4-e5
i.e3 tiJfd7 9 0-0-0 ! is better for White. and a good way to do so is to exert
The main reason is that White's centre pressure on d4. Also, we have seen that
is secure and it remains difficult for the break . . . c7-c5 is by no means the
Black to execute the breaks . . . c5 or most logical approach to combat the
. . . e5 due to the relation between the eager lady and so temporarily block­
rook on dl and the queen on d8. More­ ing the c-pawn in this manner does lit­
over, the g4-bishop's raison d 'etre is tle harm. Moreover, by keeping the
to capture the prisoner on f3 but in the bishop on c8 Black has kept g4 avail­
process (after . . ...ixf3, gxf3) White is able to the f6-knight and so effectively
presented with attacking chances on prevents the idea of ..ie3 and 0-0-0,
the kingside and if Black pushes the which can occur after . . ...ig4. Plus, as
queenside pawns to generate counter­ well as retaining the option of .....tg4,
play he will often create light-square Black often prefers . . . tbf6-d7-b6 fol-
weaknesses which can be 'inspected' lowed by . . . f5 or sometimes . . .e5 (with
by White' s unopposed light-squared the idea of meeting d5 with . . . tbd4 if
bishop. Most of these ideas are illus­ White doesn't have sufficient control
trated in the documented theory and of d4 ). So, my feeling is that since
they are sufficient for me to steer you Black has to commit himself on move
in a different direction. seven, this is the best way to commit
...7 tbc6!? (D) yourself as flexibly as possible ! Finally,
Black develops a piece and immedi­
ately targets the centre without tinker­
ing around the edges.
w If my broad-brush reasoning doesn't
convince you then I hope that the fol­
lowing variations will.
8 ..ie2
From a theoretical standpoint, this
is definitely the critical test, but White
has several alternatives of which
Black ought to be aware:
a) 8 d5 ? ! is the crudest attempt to
gain an advantage. The following game
not only shows that Black is fully OK
I whole-heartedly recommend this but is also a model of why Black often
move, which I have come to believe to has an edge in symmetrical Griinfeld
UNDERSTANDING THE GR ONFELD 1 71

endgames when the bishop on g7 is .i.e2 lllb4 1 2 0-0 c6 1 3 llle4 .i.f5 1 4


'scopeful' and White ' s d3-square is .!Ufd2 lll6d5 1 5 lllg 3 .i.e6 1 6 a4 (this
weak: 8 . . .llla5 9 'Wd3 c6 10 dxc6 ( 1 0 looks like an unforced error but Black
b4 ? lllxe4 ! ) 10. . .lllxc6 1 1 'ii"xd8 l:.xd8 threatened to take on e3 and a2 and
1 2 .i.e2 b6 1 3 0-0 .i.b7 14 .i.f4 lllb4 White needs the a3-square for the
1 5 a3?! llld 3 1 6 .i.xd3 l:.xd3 1 7 l::tfe 1 rook) 1 6 ... lll xe3 ! (Black gives up an
llld7 1 8 l:.ac 1 lllc5 19 l:.e2 l:.ad8 20 excellent knight for a passive bishop
.i.e5 .i.h6 2 1 l:.b 1· lllxe4 ! 22 lllxe4 but also frees d5 for his 'superfluous'
l:.d 1+ 23 l:.xd1 l:.xd 1 + 24 llle 1 .i.a6 b4-knight and correctly assesses that
25 lllc 3 l:.a1 and White resigned in the counterplay on e3 will be consid­
Hemdl-J.Horvath, Austrian Cht 1996n erable; such an exchange is not always
since 26 'ifi>fl .i.d2 is beautifully deci­ a good idea for Black, but here the
sive. Of course White's play was com­ timing is perfect) 1 7 fxe3 .i.h6! (re­
pliant to say the least but hopefully member me?) 1 8 l:.a3 llld5 1 9 l:.f3
this is another example of my point .i.g4 20 :f2 .!Uxe3 ! was better for
that many Griinfeld endgames are Black in V.Milov-Ma.Tseitlin, Tel­
only superficially equal. Aviv 1994. Although both sides played
b) 8 e5 ! ? (D) is a much better move fairly sensibly, it is important to know
since it is more difficult to break down that White's moves were by no means
the white centre. forced and so it would be unwise to
write off the early e5 as a mistake. It
does seem that Black is under no im­
mediate pressure and can count on a
promising middlegame, but blocking
out the pressure on d4 when there is no
imminent . . . c5 break makes good
sense for White and I advise black
players to be wary of writing off a line
just because it has yet to pose theoreti­
cal problems.
c) 8 .i.f4 has been played at least
twice by renowned theoretician Grand­
master M.Gurevich. Again I think
Black is fully OK but the position is
Still, Black has the . . . c5 and ... f6 not without dangers for Black by any
breaks in the long term and can imme­ means. 8 . . . lllh 5 ! (attacking d4 with
diately set about gaining fum control gain of time, but now White can place
of the crucial d5 point: 8 ...llld7 9 .i.e3 his bishop where he originally would
.!Ub6 1 0 1i'c5 ( 1 0 1i'b3 .i.e6 1 1 'ifd 1 have liked to) 9 .i.e3 .i.g4 ! (consis­
.i.c4 ! ?) 10 . . . a5 ! (gaining space and tently knocking on d4's door) and now
indirectly seeking the d5-square) 1 1 (D):
1 72 THE EAGER LADY

Kralove 1 9 8 1 . She had to stay by the


side of the cornered rook so that
.. .'it'xe4 could be answered by ..Wxa8
or 't!Vxb8. However, there is ample op­
portunity for Black to vary and it is
worth acquainting yourself with my
suggested alternatives.
c3) 10 l:td1 ?! �xf3 1 1 gxf3 e5, etc.
c4) 10 e5 ! ? was described by
M.Gurevich as "an ambitious attempt
to take advantage of the placement of
the knight on h5". 10 ...�xf3 1 1 gxf3
e6 12 h4 (D).
c l ) 10 d5 �a5 (not 10 ...�xf3? 1 1
dxc6) followed by ...c6 is fine for
Black. Note the general rule that when
White has not played �e2 Black is
ill-advised to try to take on f3 fol­
lowed by . . .�e5.
c2) 10 0-0-0!? i.xf3 (the most the­
matic move in that Black seizes lots of
dark squares, but if you enjoy compli­
cations you might consider 10 . . .e5 1 1
d5 llxl4 12 �xd4 �xdl 1 3 �db5 �g4
14 h3 �d7 15 �xc7 l:tc8 16 d6 �c6
17 �c5 �f6, which was unclear in
Nogueiras-Olafsson, Wijk aan Zee
1987) 1 1 gxf3 e5 1 2 d5 (12 dxe5 ..Wh4 ! Note that it is imperative to stop
1 3 e6 �e5 14 exf7+ l:txf7 1 5 ..Wb3 c6 Black playing . . .1Wh4 as then Black's
should be fairly familiar to you by pieces would be optimally placed and
now; Black has good chances due to the knight on h5 would be comfort­
his grip on e5 and f4) 1 2 ... �d4 1 3 f4 ! ably over-protected.
(White must try to shake Black's grip) c4 1 ) 1 2 . . .We7 ! ? was now played
1 3 . . . �f3 ( 1 3 ...1i'h4 !? 14 fxe5 { 14 f5 in Gurevich-Zagorskis, Bonn 1 996.
c6 } 1 4 ... �f3 appears promising for Black's idea is to play ...Wb4 so as to
Black) 1 4 f5 1i'h4 ( 1 4 ... �d4 ! ? 1 5 f4 exchange queens and hence be some­
�h6 is extremely cheeky but looks what relieved of the cramped nature
rather strong) 15 hxg6 fxg6 16 Wxc7 of the position. Black equalized and
l:tfc8 17 ..Wxb7 :tabS 18 Wxa7 l:ta8 1 9 drew but only after making several dif­
..Wb7 led to perpetual teasing o f the ficult decisions thereafter. I wonder if
eager lady in Lebredo-Jansa, Hradec it's not possible to be more ambitious
UNDERSTANDING THE GRONFELD 1 73

as Black because, apart from the vul­


nerable nature of the knight on h5,
there is not much wrong with the black
position. Indeed, the knights gener­
ally have better prospects than bish­
ops in such semi-blocked positions
and White's structure is vulnerable in
the long term.
c42) 1 2 ... lbe7 ! ? looks like a rea­
sonable attempt to improve since, given
time to play . . . c6 and . . .lbd5, Black
will have excellent prospects whereas
White doesn't seem to have anything
immediate. Note that playing . . . lbd5 d1) 1 1 e5 is met by 1 l ...f4 ! . Note
before . . . c6 is rarely a good idea in that this tends to be a good idea only
such structures since White should when it interferes with White's natu­
capture on d5 and the change in struc­ ral piece placement; otherwise it just
ture tends to favour White due to the gifts White the e4-square. 12 �d2 a5 !
prospects of opening the black king­ (gaining space and creating the possi­
side with the white f-pawns. 13 �e2 bility of ...lbb4) 13 �d3 ? ! lbd7 ! . This
lDf5 14 f4 lbhg3 ! is better for Black, last move is a tactical shot rather than
while 13 �h3 lbf5 14 �xf5 gxf5 a positional manoeuvre and White
doesn't seem to offer any particular now had big problems due to his loose
knock-out to compensate for White's bishop on d3 in Zakharov-Ghinda,
long-term positional problems; the Pernik 1982.
pawns on d4 and h4 are both weak and d2) l l l:.d1 fxe4 ! (1 1 . ..f4? 12 �c 1
Black's f-pawns are actually 'better' would now be no inconvenience to
than White's in that one of them con­ White and is simply anti-positional
trols an important central square while because it relieves the pressure on
the other offers a useful pawn-break. White's centre) 12 lbe5 ! (watch out
d) 8 h3, preventing ...�g4, is rather for this sort of thing - it is a symptom
coy and unthreatening but again Black of White's early queen sortie that the
has to play energetically and hit the black queen is distantly confronted by
centre before White fully mobilizes. a white rook on d 1 ; 12 lbxe4 �e6
8 . . . lbd7 ! ? is a good reply because gives Black an ideal position for this
Black can now play a plan involving a line; a lead in development, active
quick ... f5, which renders h3 some­ pieces and pressure on the centre)
what irrelevant. 9 �e3 lbb6 10 'ii'c 5 12 ... 'ii'd 6 1 3 lbxc6 bxc6 1 4 lbxe4
( 10 'ii'd3 f5 ! is already favourable to 'iie6 ! (more ambitious than 14 ...'ii'd5
Black due to the annoying idea of but I think Black is solid enough to get
. . . lbb4) 10 ... f5 ! (D) and then: away with the following pawn-grab)
1 74 THE EAGER LADY

15 i.d3 'ii'xa2 16 0-0 'We6 17 l:.c 1 Black recaptures with the c-pawn,
i.d7 18 'ir'c2 i.e8 19 lbc5 'it'd6 20 when Black' s pieces are well placed
i.e4 lbd5 was the continuation of for an attack on the white queenside.
Suba-Ghinda, Bucharest 1 98 1 . I think 8 lbd7!?
...

Black is slightly better now although At this point I am recommending


earlier improvements for White are two continuations for Black. This is
not inconceivable. often a sign that the author is some­
e) 8 i.e3 lbg4 ! is one of the main how uncomfortable with a given rec­
points of Black's move-order but again onunendation but here I genuinely
I advise against complacency here think that both approaches are accept­
since Black has to follow up accu­ able. I have discovered important re­
rately to gain the advantage to which it sources for Black in both lines and yet
is thought he is now theoretically enti­ I know that I am not omniscient and
tled. 9 0-0-0 lbxe3 10 fxe3 e5 ! is actu­ suspect that the "il'b3 line will remain a
ally given as unclear in ECO but this popular choice for White regardless of
seems a little unkind to Black in my a good move here, or a novelty there.
opinion since White's centre is very Hence I think it is important to have as
shaky and there is no desirable way to deep an awareness of Black's re­
relieve the tension. (Note that instead sources as you possibly can.
10 ...i.h6?! 1 1 d5 i.xe3+ 12 'itbl gives My alternative suggestion is 8 ...i.g4
White a dangerous initiative and is an (D), which, if it came to the crunch, I
example of the dangers present in guess I would recommend ahead of
thinking that the position will play it­ 8 ... lbd7 at this point in time.
self.)
f) 8 i.g5 ! ? is almost unknown but
appears to be a reasonable try for
White. 8 . . . h6 ! ? (8 . . . i.g4 ! ? 9 d5 lba5 w
also looks reasonable) suggests itself,
so as to encourage the bishop to lose
touch with the queenside. 9 i.h4 (9
i.xf6 ! ?) 9 . . .i.g4 10 d5 lba5 1 1 "il'b4
i.xf3 1 2 gxf3 b6 ( 1 2 . . .c6 ! ?) 1 3 i.b5
a6 14 i.a4 'ir'd6 ! gave Black good
middlegame chances in Guseinov­
Zagorskis, Pardubice 1 995. We have
already seen this queen confrontation
in Yakovich-Svidler above, and in­
deed it is often the most effective way To be honest, this is just your author
to deal with the eager lady; Black ef­ writing under the protection of his
fectively says : "Pick on someone your chequered security blanket. The move
own size !" If White captures on d6, has a surer footing theoretically and
UNDERSTANDING THE GRONFELD 1 75

leads to positions which have been White cannot adequately stop Black's
played and analysed deeply for both plan of now playing ... b5 and ... c5, af­
sides by strong GMs. However, I can­ ter which Black's fantastic knight and
not emphasize enough how important mobile queenside will be the most im­
it is to broaden your horizons and truly portant factors in the position. 1 3 0-0
hope that you will make up your own (13 a4 b5 ! doesn't help) 13 ...b5 14 'ii'd3
mind having looked at both lines. ( 14 'ticS? lieS ! and . . . �f8) 14 . . .c5 ! is
a) 9 �e3 was the choice of no less the most obvious follow-up and now it
a player than Karpov in the first game is not at all clear how White should
of his match with Kamsky in Elista combat Black's play. 15 dxc6?? liJf3+
1 996. It seems to my mind, however, is certainly not the way but nor is 1 5
that by allowing Black to carry on the a4 c4 16 'ii'd2 b4 1 7 liJa2 liJxe4 1 8
crusade against d4 White has much 'Wxb4 ii'xd5, s o it seems to me that
less chance of causing problems than Black will be given time to bring his
in the lines we are about to consider in knight from f6 to c5 or d6, which will
'b'. 9 ... �xf3 and now: lead to an exceedingly comfortable
a1) 1 0 gxf3 e5 ! 1 1 dxe5 ( 1 1 d5 middlegame.
liJd4 already looks better for Black) b) 9 d5 (D) is critical:
l l . ..liJxe5 12 'ii'd4 ! ? (in such struc­
tures White's main problem tends to
be the safety of his king and so it is a
good idea to exchange the queens) B
12 .. .'ii' xd4 1 3 �xd4 liJc6! 14 �e3
llfd8 gives Black a very comfortable
endgame but it was also possible to
decline the exchange of queens with a
double-edged middlegame instead.
a2) 10 �xf3 e5 1 1 d5 liJd4 12 �d 1
follows the aforementioned match­
game. Kamsky played 12 ... b5 !? and
although after 1 3 liJxb5 liJxe4 he was
not yet worse, he went on to lose due
to the weakness of his light squares. I bl) 9 . . .�xf3 is not the best re­
suspect Black can seek to punish sponse. As far as I can tell, after 10
White for the time lost in keeping the gxf3 ! Black has no good way to equal­
bishop-pair and the central space ad­ ize because this early capture gives
vantage. Both 1 2 ...c6 and 12 ... liJe8 are White important information to help
promising in this respect but I think him decide where to put his queen. For
the strongest move in this position is example:
the subtle 12 ...a6 !?, as originally sug­ bl l ) 10 ...liJe5 1 1 11t'b3 ! controls d5
gested by Krogius. It seems to me that and pressurizes b7.
1 76 THE EAGER LADY

b12) 10 . . .lDa5 1 1 'li'd3 ! is now a ... lDd7-e5-c4, ...'ti'd7-f5 and ...l:.fc8.


good square because 1 l ...c6 12 b4 wins The important thing is to keep guard
for White. over the c6-square and prevent a4
b2) I thus recommend 9 ...lDa5 ! (D), (which can now be met by ... b4); hav­
which gives White a choice of three ing given White the two bishops it is
moves: important to keep them under control !
b22) 10 '1Wa4 .i.xf3 (don't forget to
play this first! 10 . . . c6 I I e5 ! wins a
piece for White) 1 1 .i.xf3 ( 1 1 gxf3 c6
is better for Black since 12 b4? lDxd5 !
is deadly) l l ...c6 (D) and now:

b2 1 ) 10 'ti'd3 ! ? c6! seems to equal­


ize immediately but the position is still
very complex strategically and Black
has to play the next few moves very
actively to keep the balance. 1 1 h3
(spending an important tempo on b221) 12 dxc6?! is much too com­
making Black execute the capture he pliant since White's bishop-pair have
set out to play, but there is no obvi­ little to latch onto and Black's pieces
ously good alternative; for example have excellent anchorage in the cen­
1 1 b4? cxd5 12 bxa5 lDxe4 ! is in tre, with particular inclinations to­
Black's favour) 1 1 . . ..i.xf3 12 1Wxf3 wards the d4 point. After 12 . . . �xc6
(12 .i.xf3 ? ! cxd5 1 3 exd5 �c6 ! com­ 1 3 .ie3 �e5 (13 .. .'ili'a5 !?; 1 3 . . . �d7 ! ?)
pletely solves Black's problems and 14 i.e2 a6 ! 15 'ii' b 3 b5 16 0-0 't!t'b8
makes Delroy much more of a weak­ Black was comfortably equal in Lima­
ness than a strength) 1 2...cxd5 1 3 exd5 Kouatly, Manila OL 1 992 and fol­
a6 14 0-0 b5 15 l:.dl �b7 16 .i.e3 fol­ lowed up with . . . l:.c8 and . . . e6, when
lows Bronstein-I.Sokolov, Pan�evo ...lt:x:4 became a major idea.
1 987. Now 1 6 ...�d6 1 7 1i'f4 l:.b8 ! It may seem surprising that Black is
would have left White's bishops some­ so comfortable in a symmetrical open
what mute while giving Black active position where White has two bishops.
possibilities, for example ... 'iia 5, . . . b4, This is mainly due to White's pawn on
UNDERSTANDING THE GRONFEW 1 77

e4, which not only restricts White's harmony of the pieces, but that may be
unopposed light-squared bishop but pushing our luck!
also gives Black prospects for counter­ b23) 10 'ifb4. I think that the above
play on the weakened squares on the variation with . . . bS is probably why
d-file. Russian GM Bareev, brought up in
b222) 1 2 0-0 ! ? is thought to be the Soviet school of chess, prefers to
better for White but I don't understand play the queen to b4. Indeed, I suspect
why nobody has now followed the that this variation is the critical test of
suggestion of Botvinnik and played 9 ..tg4. 10 ....txf3 is again worth play­
..

12 ...b5 ! 13 'ifb4 (little room for quib­ ing before White catches you out with
bling there; 1 3 'ii'd 1 b4 14 lLla4 cxd5 e5. 1 1 .txf3 ( 1 1 gxf3 c6 offers less
15 exd5 llc8 seems to be fully ade­ than nothing for White) 1 l . ..c6! (if the
quate for Black) 1 3 ... a6 14 lld1 (14 following play seems too protracted
a4? c5 ! 15 'i!fxc5 lLlb3 is not ideal for for your liking, then the crazy gambit
White; 14 .te3 lLld7 doesn't seem dis­ 1 1 . . .c5 ! ? 1 2 'iWxc5 lLld7 13 �4 l:tc8
tinct) 14 . . .lLld7 15 .te3 Ac8 (D). offers Black excellent practical pros­
pects and is commended to club play­
ers looking for some excitement with
the eager lady; however, White has no
real weaknesses to attack and sti1J has
the centre and the two bishops so I
would be very surprised if this idea
withstands the test of time) and then:
b23 1 ) 1 2 .ie3 cxd5 1 3 exd5 (D)
and here:

Botvinnik stops here and says that


the position is equal. I am truly aston­
ished that this idea has not caught on
since both the source and content of
the idea are brimming with quality.
Now the threat of ...c5 obliges 1 6 dxc6
lLlxc6 17 _.b3, when Lalic's sugges­
tion of 17 ...e6 followed by ... 'ike7 looks
at least equal for Black. Actually, I
think Black may already be better b23 1 1) 1 3 ...o!De8 14 lDb5 ! lDd6 15
here because of the greater scope and llc 1 b6 1 6 lLlxd6 exd6 1 7 'ikbS ! gives
1 78 THE EAGER LADY

us a classic case of what Black should prospects if he quickly tries to exploit


be trying to avoid. White has more the temporary disorder in White's po­
space, two bishops, and firm control sition) 13 . . . l:.c8 ! 14 l:te 1 l:te8 (this is
of the c-file. Indeed, I suspect that not exactly spirited, but sometimes
Black is positionally lost. It is impera­ you just have to play the best move at
tive for Black to avoid such passivity a particular moment, even if it is not in
and quickly make use of the c-file and accordance with your general inten­
c4-square even if it means garnbiting tions) 15 .i.e3 'Llc4! (15 ...b6?! intend­
the a7 -pawn. ing ...'Llc4 gives White enough time to
b23 1 2) 1 3 . . . l:.c8 ! . Although there get his ship in order: 1 6 l:tad 1 'Llc4 17
is no immediate pressure on the black .i.e 1 - in such a position White would
position it is important to play actively again have some advantage since be­
because there is a very real possibility ing completely mobilized and having
of White cutting out Black's counter­ the 'underbelly' on b2 protected offers
play and using his space advantage Black little dynamism and therefore
and two bishops to cause Black no end White's 'static' advantages are likely
of grief. 14 .i.xa7 'Llc4 15 0-0 'Lld2 16 to be the more significant) 16 .i.xa7 b6
l:.fd 1 l:.c4 17 'ir'b6 'Llxf3+ 1 8 gxf3 (16 ...'Lld7 ! ? is mentioned by B areev in
'ir'c8 1 9 l:.d4 'Llh5 20 l:hc4 1i'xc4 21 lnjormator 72 and most of the follow­
'ir'e3 .i.xc3 22 bxc3 was now agreed ing is based on his notes; I see no need
drawn in Farago-J.Horvath, Hungar­ for an extensive analysis of such posi­
ian Ch 1 99 1 but obviously this is a tions but I have looked at this game
premature cessation. From a practical quite closely since it seems to be a
point of view I would definitely prefer fairly typical game for this line; of
Black due to the relative safety of the course you don't need to worry about
kings. learning the variations, as long as you
b232) 1 2 0-0 cxd5 ( 1 2 . . . 'ir'b6 ! ? 1 3 realize that generally speaking in this
'ir'a4 'Lld7 1 4 .i.e3 'ii'xb2 15 l:.fc 1 .i.xc3 line, Black is seeking to change the
1 6 l:.ab 1 b5 17 l:.xb2 bxa4 1 8 l:.xc3 position and White is seeking to pre­
cxd5 19 exd5 l:.ac8 20 l:tbc2 'Llb6 also serve it, but once White takes the bait
turned out OK for Black in Babula­ on a7 Black tends to take advantage of
Mirumian, Czech Cht 1 997 and know­ the bishop' s absence from d2 to play
ing something of Mirumian's play I . . .'Lld2 and then mess up White' s king­
suspect this idea was well prepared) side with ...'Llxf3) and then (D):
1 3 exd5 (blockading Delroy with b2321) 17 b3 lDd2 18 .i.xb6 'Llxf3+
. . . 'Lle8-d6 may look like a good plan 1 9 gxf3 'ii'd7 gives Black excellent
for Black now but it is actually too de­ compensation for the two-pawn defi­
fensive in nature; Black should not be cit; from here on in, Black would be
seeking to consolidate because the well advised to forget that the a- and
static features of the position favour b-files exist and White will then be
White; however, Black has excellent over-burdened because whereas Black
UNDERSTANDING THE GRONFELD 1 79

Bareev-Ivanchuk, Elista 1 998. Bar­


eev's notes suggest that what happened
next was perfectly natural but person­
ally I think we've already moved be­
y ond the twilight zone: 23 �xf6+ (23
�xg5 ltxc2 24 d6 e5!) 23 . . .'ii'xf6! 24
:txc8 Jlxh4 25 :txe8+ rj;g7 26 :te4
112- 1/z. 26 . . .'ii'xb6 27 :txh4 'iWxb2 28
rj;g2 'iWxa2 29 :txe7 li'xd5 is equal.
Now we return to the position after
8 ... �7 (D):

can focus all his energies on 75% of


the board, White has to spread his at­
tention over all 64 squares - I am
partly joking of course, but I would
imagine that this would be something
like the approach taken by a practical
player like GM Julian Hodgson, whom
I suspect would much rather have the
black pieces here.
b2322) 17 Jle2 �xd5 1 8 �xd5
'ii'xd5 1 9 ltad I 'ii' b7 is about equal but
Black may claim a niggle in the result­
ing opposite-bishop position due to 9 Jle3
the extra unit for his king's pawn This is a sign that White is willing
shield. to enter the main ... Jlg4 lines by trans­
b2323) 17 ltad1 �d7 just looks position even though the bishop is
good for Black since there the bishop committed to e2. From a theoretical
on a7 has little chance of parole. standpoint this is already a minor suc­
b2324) 17 ltac l Jlh6 ( 1 7 . . .�d7 1 8 cess for Black but I also think that
�a4 ! leads to an advantage for White) Black now has promising ideas which
1 8 ltc2 ( 1 8 ltcd l 'ii'c7 ! ? 1 9 �b5 'ii'c5 are unique to 7 ... �c6.
interestingly highlights the fact that 9 d5 !? is thought to be White's most
Black's h6-bishop has his finger on the threatening move at this juncture but
pulse of the c-file while White's a7- this is relatively uncharted territory
bishop may not have a pulse for much and I think Black's resources have
longer) 1 8 . . . �d2 1 9 Jlxb6 �xf3+ 20 been underestimated. Now 9 . . . llJce5
gxf3 'tir'd7 2 1 'ii'h4 'ii'f5 22 �e4 -'.g5 ! I O �xe5 �xeS 1 1 'tir'b3 e6 1 2 0-0 is an
is the truly bizarre sequence from almost unquestioned sequence which
180 THE EAGER LADY

leads to an advantage for White.


Black's position is not so bad but the
knight on e5 is actually a little awk­ w
ward in that it blocks the g7-bishop
and the e-file and does nothing to un­
dermine the white centre. Indeed, it
doesn 't take long to realize that Black
would much rather have this knight on
b6, where it would attack d5 without
interfering with the rest of B lack' s
forces. The closest recognition of this
idea that I could find came from ECO,
which gives the following line based
on Farago's comments to the game 2) 12 a4 c6 ! is also fine.
Farago-Goormachtigh, Brussels 1 986: 3) So considering the ECO line, it
9 ... lt:lb6?! 10 'i'ib3 lbd4 l l it:lxd4 .txd4 seemed that 12 ..ih6 would be critical.
1 2 .th6 .tg7 1 3 ..ixg7 �xg7 14 0-0! 12 ... l:te8 ! is a fully adequate response,
e6 15 l:tad1 exd5 16 exd5 .td7 1 7 however, since the placement of the
lt:le4 ! , and now White i s said to be bishops on h6 and e5 provides Black
clearly better. There is much to be said significant tactical resources:
about this line. For starters, Black's 3 1 ) 13 0-0 e6 threatens . . ..txh2+
sixteenth move looks needlessly co­ and busts up the white centre.
operative and so Black's disadvantage 32) 1 3 f4 e6 ! is an even more en­
should not be so great. More impor­ couraging line since 14 fxe5 ii'h4+ is
tantly, 10 ...lt:le5 is not even mentioned. better for Black and 14 ..ig5 .tf6 is
It occurred to me that it was only the fully OK.
exposure of the bishop on d4 that This brings us to White's prophy­
obliged Black to play 12 . . ...ig7 rather lactic measures:
than 12 ... l:te8, which would then have 33) 13 l:td 1 ii'd6 ! ? (targeting h2
run into 1 3 0-0-0 .txf2 14 e5 ! . The and f4 and preparing ... e6; 1 3 ... c6 !? 14
dark-squared bishop is Black's best dxc6 'iic7 may also be good enough)
piece and exchanging it off this early 14 lt:lb5 'ii'f6 may look somewhat
is definitely undesirable, while ...l:te8 awkward for Black but at this point I
is a useful preparation for ... e6. think White has no fresh ideas and
Hence (somewhat carelessly) I set Black is about to seize the initiative.
about analysing the position after 9 d5 34) 13 0-0-0 looks very much like
lt:lb6 10 ii'b3 lt:le5 1 1 lt:lxe5 ..ixe5 (D) the acid test but then I remembered
and I liked what I saw, as can be seen the above-mentioned idea given by
from the following variations: Suetin: 1 3 . . .c6 ! 14 dxc6 'flc7, when I
1) 12 0-0 e6 looks totally unprob­ am very keen indeed on Black's pros­
lematic. pects.
UNDERSTANDING THE GRONFELD 181

At this stage I thought I had made a Black' s .. .f5 pawn-break gains in


rather important discovery but as I strength.
checked from the beginning I real­ a) 1 1 0-0 li)b6 12 1i'd3 ( 1 2 1i'b3 e6
ized that the main difference between as above) and now both 12 . . .f5 ! ? and
. . . li)e5 and ... lbd4 was that after the 1 2...e6!? look adequate.
former White was not compelled to b) 1 1 f4 .i.g7 12 0-0 c6 !? ( 12 ...li)b6
exchange knights and so I was ex­ and . . .e6 is also reasonable) 1 3 dxc6
tremely disappointed to discover that li)b6 !? ( 1 3 ...1i'b6+ 14 'iii'h 1 bxc6 1 5
10 . . .li)e5 ! ? 1 1 0-0! e6 12 .i.f4 ! was e5 ! may give White some advantage)
definitely advantageous to White be­ 14 cxb7 .i.xb7 15 1i'b3 1i'd4+ 16 'iPh 1
cause the position after 12 ...li)xf3+ 1 3 l::ac8 is just one way of demonstrating
.i.xf3 exd5 14 exd5 is virtually forced Black's prospects if White pushes one
and now White is fully and effectively pawn too many. The given position
mobilized while Delroy cannot be eas­ looks rather favourable for Black, for
ily restrained. example 1 7 e5 g5 ! 18 fxg5 .i.xe5 with
Fortunately, for both reader and dangerous kingside threats.
author, the above ideas are not ren­ c) 1 1 .i.h6 li)b6 12 'ili'd3 ( 12 1i'b3
dered useless for it seems to me that l::e8 - as above) 12 ... l::e 8 13 0-0-0 c6!
after 9 d5 Black can try 9 . . . li)ce5 1 0 (13 ... 'ii'd6 ! ?) 14 dxc6 1i'c7 is not quite
li)xe5 (obliged since 1 0 'ii'b 3 li)c5 fol­ as good as it was with the queen on b3
lowed by ... f5 is ferociously active) because the e4-pawn is protected and
1 0 . .ixe5 !? (D) seeking to transpose
.. ... .ie6 is less threatening, but still
into the above-mentioned lines. seems to offer Black enough play for
the pawn. I am sure you will realize
that these lines are by no means ex­
haustive but it certainly seems to me
that Black has reasonable prospects
after 9 d5.
9 lt)b6 10 'ticS (D)
...

10 li)d7!?
...

As far as I know, this was Djuric's


novelty played for the first time in this
game. It seems that White now has to
acquiesce to a repetition or else allow
the freeing move ... e7-e5. From a the­
oretical perspective this completely
vindicates Black's opening strategy
I suspect this is possible because in but I am also pleased to say that Black
most cases if White wants to differ he can play for more than a draw here
will have to try 'ili'd3, when the queen without being sucked into too much of
is not particularly well-placed and the theory from the ....i.g4 line.
182 THE EAGER LADY

he can' t here because Rlack would


capture on g2. Hence, the most perti­
B nent question here inquires as to the
strength of 15 �f3.
However, whether we feel suffi­
ciently trigger-happy to mangle the
whole position with · an unclear ex­
change sacrifice on f3, or would rather
go for the armchair and slippers ap­
proach by taking on c5 followed by
... liJdS, I am happy with the black po­
sition in either case.
11 "ii'c4 lLlb6 12 "ii'c5 lLld7 13 "ii'd5
"10 ... f5? ! 1 1l:t d l !" is all GM Suetin 1 3 "ii'a3 e5 1 also looks comfortable
has to say in The Complete Grunfeld for Black.
(Batsford, 1 99 1 ) and Lalic and ECO 13...e5!
imply that Black is obliged to trans­ Black is happy to play this move as
pose to the Smyslov Variation with long as White cannot play d5 while
1 0 . . . �g4 but it seems to me that covering d4.
1 0... f5 1 ? is in fact a very reasonable 14 lldl exd4 15 t'Oxd4 ltlxd4 16
approach, especially if we consider �xd4 c6 17 "ii'd6 �xd4 18 llxd4
that it worked very well when White "ii'b6 19 lld2 tOes 20 o-o �e6 21
had played h3 instead of �e2 because :Cd1
in that case the bishop wanted to go to After . . . aS followed by . . . llae8 and
d3 in any case and now after the most . . . �c8 I think I would rather be Black
natural sequence of moves it is irritat­ but considering Black's early play I
ing for White that g2 in en prise. Let suspect he was not averse to sharing
us continue the analysis of Suetin's the point on this occasion.
'line' : 1 1 . . .fxe4 1 2 �5 (1 2 d5 exf3 1 3 lf2·1h.
dxc6 fxg2 ! 14 llg1 'ii'e8 ; 1 2 lLlxe4
�e6 is again fully comfortable for Conclusion
Black because it's the eager lady that 7 . . . lLlc6 is a relatively unexplored
is stunting the prospects of the eager antidote to the 1i'b3 line which seems
knight on e4) 1 2 . . . "ii'd 6 l 3 lLlxc6 bxc6 to have been under-estimated.
14 lLlxe4 'ii'd5 . In the analogous posi­ The critical line is 8 �e2, after
tion with the bishop on f1 and pawn on which 8 . . . �g4 ! ? is standard and reli­
h3 White would play lLlc3 now and able, while 8 . . . t'Od7 appears to be
force a levelish endgame, but of course promising.
1 3 Hyd ra

"The nature of God is a circle in which the centre is everywhere and the circum­
ference is nowhere. " - St Anselm

According to Greek Mythology, the that any particular line is extremely


Hydra was a many-headed water-snake good for White, but just that White has
of the Lernaean Marshes in Argolis. It a vast array of promising approaches
was variously reputed to have one and Black usually has to react differ­
hundred heads, or fifty, or nine. It was ently to all of them ! I am not blessed
one the twelve labours of Hercules to with the company of a charioteer, but I
kill it, and, as soon as he struck off one have tried to slay this monster without
of its heads, two shot up in his place ! allowing too many heads to shoot up
The monster was eventually destroyed and bewilder you. Moreover, before
by Hercules with the assistance of his jumping in to slay the Hydra, I have
charioteer, who applied burning brands included the following diagrams to
to its wounds as soon as each head was help you understand your challenge a
severed by its master. little better.
Your author could do with the
strength of Hercules now, for of all the The d3-square
lines in the Griinfeld, I consider the
systems with �f4 to be by far the most
"Hydra-headed". I'm not sure if the
feeling is shared by other exponents of
the opening, but to my mind there
seems to be a never-ending stream of
ideas for White which can be slain
individually without too much diffi­
culty, but together form a formidable
monster which never seems to sleep.
Indeed, according to GM Paul van
der Sterren, a group of Dutch corre­
spondence players from the 1 970s and
1980s called themselves the "Anti­
Griinfeld Club" and yet relied almost One of the key strategic features of
exclusively on the systems with �f4. the �f4 lines is the long-term weak­
The problem for black players is not ness of the d3-square caused by White
184 UNDERSTANDING THE GR ONFELD

playing c4 and e3 and then allowing an annoying drawing sequence with


the centre to open. Black' s pieces are ltJb5 or ltJd5-c7 attacking the rook and
often ideally placed to exploit this if it has to move to b8 then the knight
weaknesses but White has go badly moves away attacking the rook with
astray to allow early infiltration. Still, the bishop. Assuming that Black can­
there is no similar weakness in the not play . . .e5 safely, White can then
black position and so, as the position effectively force a draw by perpetu­
simplifies, Black can sometimes claim ally attacking the rook, so watch out
a slight advantage due to his prospects for that one too.
for using this square. A knight on d3 As for f7, White's bishop on b3 is
can be particularly devastating, as we ideally poised to cause some damage
can observe in the game Lautier­ on this square, often in conjunction
lvanchuk included below. with ltJf3-e5. Indeed, White some­
times gives up these minor pieces for
rook and pawn in the hope of generat­
Sensitive sq uares for ing a quick attack; an example is given
Black in note 'b2' to White's 15th move.
As . . .i.e6 is rarely possible early
on, and ...e6 is not a move you gener-
ally want to play, it is advisable to be
very cautious about playing . . .l:.f8-d8.
You may think that your rooks are op­
timal on d8 and c8 but while you are
thinking this White will probably have
taken your f7-pawn and be thinking
about how to mate you. Note the tactic
in the suggestion against 1 2 . . .'ii'a6 in
the main line below as a warning.

The Sacrifice on c6
The c7 and f7 points can be thought Once Black has strengthened his f7-
of as sensitive teeth in need of Sensa­ and c7-squares he still has to be atten­
dyne toothpaste. Black's early open­ tive to ways for White to break in to
ing problems are usually associated the position when he might do some­
with these squares and so it's impor­ thing cruel, like holding down ice
tant to keep it tight at the back early on cream on Black's front teeth. One way
to avoid a nasty ltJb5-c7 hitting the he may try to do this is by chopping off
rook or i.f4-c7 embarrassing the Black's key knight on c6 (see diagram
queen. Note that when the black on following page). This piece is a vi­
bishop is on c8 White sometimes has tal defender of the e7- and e5-squares
HYDRA 185

relationship between these bishops is


very much like that between master
and slave. Whereas 'master morality'
is fundamentally a morality of self­
affirmation on the part of the power­
ful, 'slave morality' is a reactive mo­
rality originating in resentment of the
powerful on the part of the powerless.
Of course the black bishop is the
master and the white bishop is the
slave. Although both bishops are re­
stricted, White cannot readily alter the
status quo whereas Black not only has
so Black has to be careful that his po· the option of re-routing to other diago­
sition doesn ' t totally collapse as the nals but more importantly holds the
crusader on d5 trots onto the e7 -square power to 'free' both bishops with
and then possibly the c6-square with ...e5-e4. At this point all shackles will
tempo when a5 and e5 will be en prise. be broken. Since White rarely has time
Rather than get into a flap about this, to re-route his own bishop or safely
Black sometimes does well just to al­ fight for his freedom with e4 or f4, the
low it and can often emerge with a new power to free the bishops generally
but stable position of the like we' ll rests entirely in Black's domain.
discuss in note 'a' to White' s 1 5th.
Game 32
Master a nd Slave Lukacs - Ftalnik
Stara Zagora Z 1990

1 d4 lDf6 2 c4 g6 3 lDc3 d5 4 .if4 (D)

Nietzsche's views on slave morality


can help us here because I think the
186 UNDERSTANDING THE GRONFELD

Sharp and polished, this snake has piece while his kingside is still at
teeth. I consider these teeth sufficiently home? Firstly I should say that these
threatening to cover the theory of this move-orders can only be fully under­
line with close attention to detail for stood as part of a whole but in a more
this is the only way we can be sure that general sense we could say that
we will not be torn to shreds while we White's opening strategy is simply to
look for hidden cavities. Indeed, un­ complete development with his bishop
derstanding move-orders, and lots of actively placed on f4, eyeing the pawn
them, is sadly unavoidable at this junc­ on c7, and hoping to have a quiet life
ture. The only recurring theme is that with e3, liJf3, .te2 and 0-0, when he
White's bishop starts on f4 in all of would have the advantage of a little
what follows and Black has to be at­ more central space and control and
tentive to the weakness of his c7- good chances for play on the queen­
point. The annoyance starts with the side. Indeed, this is the resume of what
realization that White can play e3, would happen if Black did play qui­
lDf3 and l:.c 1 in various different or­ etly with ... 0-0 and, say . . . c6. But why
ders and Black is ill-advised to react in now l:.c 1 and not later?
the same way to all of them. To keep Well, considering what White is
confusion to a minimum, I have con­ seeking, Black is unlikely to concur,
centrated mainly on the lines that I and as we will soon see his active
consider to be best for Black, explain­ plans include playing ... c5 or some­
ing in each case why I feel the given times taking on c4 (often both). That
move is most in accordance with the considered, White wants to tidy up his
demands of the position without refer­ queenside to discourage Black from
ring extensively to distracting alterna­ such activity, in the hope that he will
tives. So we are not about to look at a compliantly grant White his slight ad­
synopsis of the theory for both sides vantage. We will see the genera) idea
but rather have a succinct account of behind Black's . . . c5 in a moment, but
why I consider the Hydra's heads to be for now it is worth knowing a general
ultimately unintimidating. rule that I would like to propose,
4 .ig7
...
which says that if White plays l:.c l , it
OK, that was an easy one; you play is largely directed against an early
this after 4 lDf3 as well. . . . c5 and therefore Black should be
5 e3 wary of playing this before being as
This is a relatively sober move and ready as his opponent surely is. If you
the starting point for the main lines. are still confused then I'm not sur­
5 l:.cl is our first major off-shoot. prised, but these move-orders will
So what is White playing for? If Black only be comprehensible once we have
just castled White couldn't yet take some understanding of the variations.
the c7-pawn without losing the d4- Black should continue with 5 . . .lDh5 ! ?
pawn, so why would he move a major (D).
HYDRA 187

d ) 6 �e5?! �xe5 7 dxe5 d4 ! .


The following are serious attempts
to gain the advantage:
e) 6 �d2 c5 ! (now that Black has
relieved the pressure on c7 he puts in
his claim for the d4-square; the fol­
lowing is based on analysis by Stohl) 7
e3 (7 dxc5 d4 and 7 cxd5 cxd4 8 lLlb5
lLla6 are both fine for Black) 7 . . . cxd48
exd4 dxc4 ! (it is also possible to play
8 . . . lLlc6, when White would capture
on d5 with the pawn; this knight has
good prospects on the d7-b6 route,
Actually, I'm not joking. This cheeky however, and White will now be forced
move is not exactly a recurring theme to lose some time defending his d­
so it's worth convincing yourself that pawn) 9 �xc4 0-0 ! (the d-pawn was
it makes good sense in this particular too hot to handle) 10 d5 lLld7 1 1 lLlf3
position. We already know what White a6 1 2 a4 b5 ! (note this idea is not un­
is seeking, and we know that he's try­ common in the Griinfeld; Black is still
ing to stop Black gaining active play. 5 fighting for the centre by opening new
llc1 was something of a liberty in this lines for his pieces) 1 3 axb5 lLlb6 14
respect and this move immediately b3 axb5 15 lLlxb5 lLlxd5 . I prefer
highlights why. White's fifth move Black here because his king has an ex­
was a clever prophylactic measure but tra pawn to shield it and the g7 -bishop
it did little to contribute directly to the is in its prime.
fight for the centre and did nothing to f) 6 �g5 ! (the critical test of
bolster White's shaky d4-square. So in 5 ... lLlh5) 6 ... h6 ! (D).
the absence of lLlf3 or e3 White is im­
mediately confronted by the looseness
of his jaw; particularly on d4 and f4. If
White 's knight were on f3 the un­ w
pleasant -'.e5 would be possible but
now White has an early question to an­
swer.
Firstly, four lines are good for
Black, who can make good use of the
dark squares:
a) 6 e3?! lLlxf4 7 exf4 dxc4.
b) 6 _.d2?! lLlxf4 7 'it'xf4 dxc4.
c) 6 �g3 lLlxg3 7 hxg3 dxc4 8 e3
0-0 9 �xc4 c5 ! .
188 UNDERSTANDING THE GR ONFELD

We will soon see that it is good for


Black to control gS so that a bishop
can later rest safely on e6. It is also
good to keep annoying White and not
let him settle down. Now:
fl ) 7 .id2 is best met by 7 . . . dxc4 ! .
Hang on, why did w e play . . .c S when
the bishop went to d2 immediately but
not when . . . h6 was provoked? Well,
7 . . . cS is also possible here but after
opening the centre, Black's king will
seek refuge on the kingside and then his
structure there looks a little draughty.
This would not seem at all abstract if bishops raging on the open board' or
White had a bishop on the a2-g8 diag­ something similar, but in this case I
onal and then could somehow chop off can assure you that the structural dam­
the g6-pawn, but more concretely we age would be considerable. Therefore
could say that the lines with . . . cS are it' s better just to bring the horse back
generally unclear while now, in the into the fray.
knowledge that our bishop will be se­ You do not have to worry about re­
cure on e6, we are simply trying to win membering all the intricacies of what
a pawn ! 8 e3 .ie6 9 lt:\f3 c6 (now if the follows. Most of these moves will be
pawn were on h7 White would have understandable when you consider
the annoying 1 0 lt:\gS) 10 lt:\e4 .idS 1 1 that both sides are wrestling for con­
'ilr'c2 bS 12 lt:lcS .ixf3 ! (I always enjoy trol of the centre. I have included these
mangling these pawns). Now after 1 3 lines to help elucidate the point that
gx£3 lt:\d7 the position is unclear but I every move tends to be important in
would prefer to be Black since there is the Griinfeld and to show why it is
a pawn for collateral if things go necessary to be attentive at the cross­
wrong, and I am much closer to being over between opening and middle­
fully mobilized. game.
f2) 7 .ih4 ! is more testing. Black f2 1 ) Note that White cannot win
once more has a choice between 7 ...cS the pawn back with 10 'i\Va4+? due to
and 7 . . . dxc4 and again I think that the 10 . . . c6, when 1 1 .txc4 bS probably
inclusion of . . .h6 makes the latter the wasn't on White's menu.
better of the two. 7 ... dxc4 8 e3 .te6 9 f22) However, White can try the
.ie2 lt:\f6 ! (D). deceptively simple 10 .ixf6 ! ?, possi­
I reiterate my advice about not bly with ideas of 10 . . ..txf6 1 1 lt:\e4
being too hot-headed when playing .ig7 1 2 lt:lcS .idS 1 3 e4 .tc6 14 dS,
the Griinfeld. You may want to let but Black can foil all of this by means
White take on h5 so that can have 'two of 10 . . . exf6 ! when his 'new f-pawn'
HYDRA 189

can help to attack White' s centre with clearly better for White) 14 bxc3 ( 14
. . . fS. 'W'xc3 ! ? .i.d5 1S 0-0 .!Od7 1 6 b3 �xeS
f23) 10 ./Df3 c6 (to control d5 and 17 fxe5 cxb3 1 8 axb3 0-0 19 .i.f3 g5
prepare ... bS) 1 1 �eS (if 1 1 0-0, then 20 i.g3 l:tc8 is a thematic line given
l l . . .tiJbd7 ! preventing White's desire by Leko; Black is still a pawn up but
to plant his knight on e5 - Black will White has a certain amount of control)
castle next move and have a good 14 . . .i.dS 1S li'c2 ! (I admire the way
game; note that the e5-square is virtu­ both players played this game because
ally an outpost now due to the fact that clearly they had a strong sense of how
it is difficult for Black to play both an easy it is to make a small mistake and
early . . .h6 and a later . . . f6; 1 2 tOeS cede control of the game to the oppo­
�xeS 1 3 dxe5 liJd5 ! would now be fa­ nent; I S 0-0? ! �d7 ! gives Black
vourable for Black) 1 l ...bS 12 f4 tiJd5 enough time to control the vital e4-
(D). square) 1S . . . .i.f6 ! 1 6 .i.f2 i. xg2 ! (al­
lowing e4 would leave Black without
any good plans but . . .i.f6 had to be
played first to prevent any nasties on
the g6-square) 17 l:tg1 'ii'd5 1 8 lhg2 !
(White had no choice but to bail out)
1 8 .. .'i'xg2 1 9 i.f3 'ii'h 3 20 .ig4 'l'g2
2 1 .i.f3 'ii'h3 22 i.g4 'l'g2 (and nor did
Black since 22 ... 'ii'xh2 23 We2 ! .ih4
24 :n .i.xf2 25 l:xf2 'ii'h4 26 f5 gS 27
f6 is intimidating, to say the least). So
after 23 i.f3 1h-1h both sides could be
happy with a well-fought game; this
was the course of Dreev-Leko, Wijk
aan Zee 1996. If it bothers you that
In such positions White's compen­ best play seems to lead to a forced
sation consists largely of playing b3 at draw then feel free to look at earlier al­
some stage and then trying to win the ternatives. Personally, I don't think
backward pawn on c6. The following I'll ever have this exact position in my
lines are indicative of the dynamic entire lifetime !
equilibrium: f232) 1 3 i.f2 ! ? is also suggested
f23 1 ) 1 3 'ii'd2 liJxc3 ! (note that by Leko and if you consider the previ­
White was threatening to put his ous line carefully you will see why it is
knight on c5 and then play e4, begin­ potentially dangerous. 1 4 W is now
ning with 14 liJe4, so Black stops this a positional threat and if White ever
- and not a moment too soon; such is plays li'c2 there will be a threat of
the precarious balance of the position �xg6 without allowing the defensive
that 1 3 . . .0-0?! 14 �e4 ! already looks retort of ... i.f6 ! that we have just seen.
190 UNDERSTANDING THE GRONFELD

I would imagine the critical line would favourable activity like we saw in the
now be something like 1 3 ...4Jb6 ! ? (it notes to Game 1 . 6 .txb8? ! l:txb8 7
is important to try to compete for con­ 'ffa4+ .td7 8 'ffxa7 is an ill-considered
trol of the c5-square) 1 4 lDe4 lD6d7 ! pawn-grab which is not likely to work
1 5 b3 lDxe5 16 fxe5 cxb3 17 axb3 considering the tension in the centre.
.td5. All these lines seem very un­ 8 ...cxd4 9 'ffxd4 0-0 1 0 cxd5 'ff a5 1 1
clear, but if B lack is attentive he has 'il'd2 b5 ! 12 .td3 b4 1 3 lDce2 'ffxd5
good chances of making his extra was better for Black in Donner-Ghe­
pawn count in the end. orghiu, Amsterdam 1969.
s .. .cS! (D) 6...'ffaS ! (D)

So, no more knights on the rim for At this point I would like to express
the time being. B lack can also castle my gratitude to a Scottish contempo­
here but I think this unnecessarily rary, David McLaughlin, who was ini­
gives White several alternatives. In tially responsible for my interest in the
particular, White could then seriously Grtinfeld and should therefore be held
consider capturing the c7 -pawn after accountable for all the mistakes in this
exchanging on d5 or play 6 l:tc 1 , when book! I was playing in the Scottish
Black's . . . c5 break becomes far more Under- 12 championships at the time
complicated. Basically, since . . . c5 is and I was told about the opening just
Black's most thematic way to fight for before I was due to play a west of
the centre I think you should play it as Scotland junior called Andrew Davies
soon as you feel you can safely and be­ in the next round after lunch. David
fore it is somehow prevented. I can as­ suggested that I played this opening
sure you that it is safe here ! and proceeded to demonstrate the first
6 dxcS four moves without comment. I pro­
There is no good alternative here. tested that White must have fourth
If Black captures on d4 he will have move alternatives but I was assured
HYDRA 191

that Andrew always put his bishop on and after 8 i.xc4, continue with
f4 and told to pay attention. There fol­ 8 .. . 0-0! (then 9 ltJf3 transposes to the
lowed the sequence leading to the dia­ main game). I should explain that llcl
gram at which point I knew I was on to is normally a concealed threat to win
a good thing. I leant over to take on d5, material so if Black had castled in­
at which point David pre-empted the stead of capturing on c4, White would
completion of the capture by putting take on d5 and Black only has enough
the knight on e4 and saying something initiative to win back one pawn but not
about "crashing in on c3" which I two. I should also draw your attention
found rather exciting. A few crisps to the potential dangers (to Black) of
later the clocks had started and sure White playing lt:Jb5 at some point after
enough the bishop came to f4, but Black relieves the queen from pinning
strangely I seem to remember that I the knight. Indeed, 8 .. .'i!i'xc5? 9 lt:Jb5 !
never plucked up the courage to play is already very bad news for Black,
. . . c5. The game was a draw in the end who has serious concerns on c7 and n.
but I had found a friend in the 9 . .'ii'b4+ 1 0 �fl doesn't help much
.

Griinfeld and it has been a loyal one as was shown by the one of the world's
ever since. I tell this story to highlight top grandmasters losing his queen af­
that "crashing in on c3", is indeed a ter 1 0 ... 0-0 1 1 a3 �xb2 1 2 l:tbl . White
key factor in the position and a reason then mopped up convincingly in
why White often likes to have his rook Leitao-Van Wely, Antwerp 1998.
on c l . From these observations we can in­
7 lt:Jf3 fer the following:
Although we soon reach the main 1) l:tc1 tends to be a signal for
line of the ..i.f4 systems, this is a Black to capture on c4.
slightly peculiar move-order. Black 2) Black should not take the pawn
could now rise to White's bait with back on c5 until after he has castled.
7 . . . lt:Je4 though after 8 ..ie5 ! lt:Jxc3 9 I would also like to add a third,
�d2 ! ..i.xe5 10 lt:Jxe5 f6 l l lt:Jf3 dxc4 which is that castling and taking on c5
1 2 llc l ! White is certainly not worse. are priorities and so they should be
Note that this .,d2 pinning operation generally be played before ... t:Dc6.
is a central pillar in White's system Now I would like to have a look at
and should always be borne in mind (D) (after 7 l:tc l dxc4 8 ..ixc4
9 lt:Je2
when you think you are "crashing 0-0), which I think most sources have
through on c3". massively underestimated.
There are a number of very impor­ By placing the knight on this square
tant alternatives to consider: the whole character of the position is
a) I promised to try to keep the different from the main lines. White
move-orders simple so I'll simply say has ideas of lt:Jg3-e4 when the queen is
that White normally prefers to play 7 on c5, he is better placed to deal with
llc1, when Black should reply 7 ... dxc4 ! . . . e5 and, perhaps most importantly, it
192 UNDERSTANDING THE GRONFELD

rook on c 1 . Furthermore, the f7 and c7


points are still very sensitive. If you're
thinking of packing the whole thing in
right now then think again because al­
though White's pieces are well placed
to cause an early accident, they don't
really target anything important in the
long term. Black's g7-bishop is supe­
rior in this respect, targeting White's
queenside, and he will rarely be un­
der-employed on this diagonal. Also,
White's d3-square is a long-term weak­
ness which will obviously be quite im­
is very difficult to find a secure post portant if Black can soak up the early
for Black's light-squared bishop which pressure and seize the initiative. White
can be readily hassled on f5 or g4 with may also have to lose a little time later
a mixture of f3 and e4 or ll:lg3. On the on to guard against a back-ranker, and
other hand, the knight exerts less in­ finally it is not always a bad thing to
fluence over the centre and Black's lag a little in development because you
queen can sometimes snuggle up on retain important flexibility, as we are
the h4-square, nestled in by the white about to see.
knight on g3, which will be close but Play continues 9 . 'i!hc5 1 0 'ii b 3
..

distant. Indeed this knight on e2 is not (this is another point behind lbe2
obviously on a particularly good route. though it is not immediately obvious
It is true that it is useful for recaptur­ why White prefers to retreat the
ing on f4 if Black plays . . .ll:lh5 but on bishop when the knight is on f3 , and
f3 it threatens to jump into e5 to attack we'll consider this in a moment; in­
f7, and somehow I' m less edgy about stead 10 tt:lb5 'iib4+ 1 1 �fl tt:la6 looks
it jumping to g3. fine for Black) and now:
Still, I think this may well be the al) ECO now suggests 10. . .'iia5 1 1
shape of things to come in this line for 0-0 lL!bd7 1 2 .l:fd l lLlc5 1 3 'iib5 'iixb5
I have found that there are problems 14 lL!xb5 .i.e6, when it gives a few
with all the conventional recommen­ lines reaching equality but to my mind
dations for Black. To a large extent Black is teetering somewhere not far
you'll have to take my word for that from the brink: 1 5 .i.e5 ( 1 5 li1c7 .i.xc4
one, but it shouldn't really be that 16 .l:xc4 .l:fd8 ! ) 15 . . . .i.xc4 16 J:r.xc4
shocking; White's lead in develop­ lL!e6 17 f3 a6 1 8 �7 ! ? ( 1 8 ll:lbd4
ment is not so great but Black moves l:.fd8 is given as equal) is not at all
the queen twice early on and then pleasant for Black: 18 . . ..1:ac8 1 9 .l:dc l
quickly has to move it again to get out lL!xc7 20 .i.xf6 ! .i.xf6 2 1 .l:xc7 .l:xc7
of the line of frre of White's excellent 22 .l:xc7 is by no means forced, but
HYDRA 193

White has the type of enduring advan­ the moves that would feel natural to
tage which seems to be quite a consis­ most players.
tent outcome of Black' s passive a3) 10 . . . 'ii' h5 ! ? (D) is my tentative
approach. solution.
a2) Also, the lines beginning with
l O. . .ltJc6 l l lDb5 ! are very dangerous
for Black. (If White castled here I sus­
pect Black is fully OK after l l ...'ii' h5
so you could consider returning to
9 . . ltJc6 ! ? with the idea of 10 0-0
.

'Wxc5 1 1 'Wb3 1Wh5 though I suspect


l l lDb5 here is not a toothless wonder,
hence my suggested move-order.)
l l . . .'ii'h5 is now virtually forced. At
this point the discovery of Daniela
Nutu Gajic of Australia is stunningly
bad news for Black: 1 2 ltJg3 ! 1Wh4 1 3
ltJc7 g5 ( 1 3 . . .e 5 leads to very sharp
play, but after a great deal of analysis, You may feel peeved that our queen­
I do not believe it is adequate) 14 side family are in their beds while the
liJf5 ! ! (D). queen goes hunting all by herself, but
it's really not that simple. To my mind
they are two problems here. The first
is that Black has to develop and the
second is that it's not easy to do so
while defending against White's prin­
cipal threats: 0-0, llfdl and ltJd5 and
also the more scary threat of ltJb5-c7.
Now:
a3 l ) 1 1 ltJb5 is now comfortably
met by l l . . .lDa6.
a32) 1 1 0-0 ltJc6 looks quite comfy
for Black since . . . ltJa5 is a positional
threat that's not easy to meet, e.g. 12
tiJb5 ltJa5 1 3 1i'b4 ltJxc4 1 4 ltJg3 1i'h4
In all lines Black is losing material 15 l:.xc4 ltJd5 holds it all together. So I
for insufficient compensation. This is hope that's settled for now, although I
indeed a beautiful discovery for White, suspect it won't be the end of the mat­
so thanks for that Daniela, but it is ter.
very serious from our point of view b) 7 1Wa4+ ! ? is not a simple affair
because it doesn't allow Black to play either but with accurate play I think
194 UNDERSTANDING THE GRONFELD

White cannot justify the time lost in the Black' s greater central control, two
queen exchange and has little chance bishops and better structure mean that
of obtaining any advantage. 7 .. .'ii'xa4 his long-term prospects must be pre­
8 tlJxa4 ..id7 ! is currently thought to ferred.
be the most accurate and after 9 tlJc3, b2) 1 0 tlJxe4 dxe4 1 1 0-0-0 tZJa6
9 tZJe4 ! (D) is a wonderfully disrup­
... gives Black a huge advantage pri­
tive move, championed by Peter Svid­ marily due to White's exposed king,
ler. Black's space advantage and the weak
d3-square.
b3) 10 tlJxd5 tlJa6 and then:
b3 1 ) 1 1 l:b1 ..if5 ! is another of
w Svidler's mysterious unclear lines.
b3 1 1 ) At frrst I was worried by 1 2
g4 ! ? but 12 . . . ..ixg4 1 3 f3 i.f5 does not
seem worse for Black.
b3 1 2) 12 i.d3 is a rather more seri­
ous attempt. White is two pawns up af­
ter all so Black has to keep on kicking
somehow. 12 ...liJexc5 1 3 ..ixf5 gxf5
14 b4 ! tlJd3+ 15 �e2 does not seem
adequate in this respect so I wonder if
Svidler's idea is 12 . . .�axc5 13 tlJc7+
Then: �f8, which does indeed seem to put
b 1 ) 10 tlJge2 is best answered by White in a quandary. As far as I can
1 0. . .tlJxc5 ! , when 1 1 tlJxd5 tlJd3+ 12 tell Black is better here.
�d2 tlJxf2 1 3 tlJc7+ �d8 14 tlJxa8 b32) 1 1 f3 has been the choice of
e5 ! 15 ..ig5+ f6 is given as unclear by all grandmasters playing the white side
Svidler who helpfully points out that so far. After the obligatory 1 1 ...tlJexc5,
the knight on a8 is by no means a na­ there is:
tive. I quibble with the assessment b32 1 ) 12 ..ig5 J.xb2 1 3 l:b1 f6! is
though, and since 16 ..ih4 tlJxh1 now about equal because both sides will
gives Black an important . . . g5 re­ have messed up their structures. Per­
source to prevent the imminent loss of sonally I slightly prefer Black, though,
the knight on h l , I presume White has because the bishop is less restricted
to try 16 l:gl . Now I like the idea of and the knights have more anchorage.
maintaining my pawns intact with b322) 12 l:b1 !? was also men­
1 6 . . . tlJe4+ 17 �c2 tlJxg5 and at this tioned by Svidler and has recently
point further analysis seems unneces­ been tested in two games by Novikov.
sary. As long as Black is not impatient Svidler gave 12 . . .e6! 1 3 �c7+ �xc7
about winning the knight on a8, there 14 i.. xc7 lLla4 ! as unclear but now
is no way for it to get out and so Novikov has tried to prove something
HYDRA 195

for White with the sweet idea of 1 5 much more testing: 23 l:.xb8 l:.xb8 24
.id6 lDxb2 16 .ia3 . This i s undoubt­ lDb5 l:tb7 ! (slow - but Black' s initia­
edly clever but Sutovsky was up to the tive is unlikely to net more than two
challenge in a recent game from Kosz­ pawns so he has to hold on to his a­
alin 1 998: 16 ... �a4 17 l:txb7 .if8 ! pawn even if it allows White to almost
(D). catch up in development) 25 ..ti'd2 �c5
26 'ii;l c2 a6 27 �c3 .ia4+! 28 lDxa4
lDxa4 29 c5 J:lb2+! 30 �c 1 l:ta2 shows
the extent of White's disarray.
w b323) 12 0-0-0 was Van Wely's
choice but obviously Black now has
good chances to attack the white king.
12 . . . e6 ! 13 �c7+ ( 1 3 �c3 .ixc3 in­
tending . . . e5 and ....ie6 is at least
equal for Black; after 14 bxc3 f6 !
Black reclaims some dark squares and
will continue with . . . e5 and . . . .ie6)
13 ...lDxc7 14 .ixc7 l:tc8 15 .id6 b5 !
(it's important to strike while the iron
is hot; indeed, a cold iron is not much
A deep and beautiful move by the use to anyone) 16 b3 (this seems to be
former World Junior Champion. The White's only move, since Black had
bishop was virtually redundant on the various threats involving . . . �a4)
traditional diagonal so it exchanges it­ 16 ... bxc4 17 .ixc4 �a4 ! 18 l:td2 (again
self for White's best minor piece and it's good to see White being forced to
allows the black king to stand proudly play an 'only' move; 1 8 ... .ib5 was the
on e7 . Play continued 18 .ixf8 l:.xf8 principal threat) 1 8... .ib5 1 9 l:tc2 .ixc4
19 lDe2 �e7 (he could also have tried 20 bxc4 �d7 (finally the rooks are
19 ... lDc5, when 20 l:tc7 �a6 at least connected; the only question now, as it
shows us that we are on the right lines, often is in the Griinfeld, is whether
though of course Black is right to play Black can win the material back while
for a win) 20 �d4 lDc5 21 l:tb4 l:tfb8 keeping some initiative) 21 c5 (a safer
22 a3 ! (Novikov has defended well, way to neutralize the pressure was 2 1
but experienced Griinfelders will know .ia3 l:.c6 22 �e2 l:thc8 23 l:.d l +,
that only Black can win from such po­ when after 23 .. .<�'e8 White should be
sitions because White's pieces are in­ able to hold as long as he avoids 24
effective and the queenside pawns are l:t�6? .if8) 2 1 . ..l:tc6 22 lDe2. Svidler
weak) and now the hasty 22 ... a5 ? ! al­ was probably quite happy with this
lowed White to hold on for a draw by theoretical victory and agreed to a
using the b5-square with 23 l:txb8 draw here but he could have tried for a
.:.Xb8 24 lDb5. Instead 22 ...lDa6! looks more tangible victory with 22... lDxc5 ! ,
196 UNDERSTANDING THE GRONFELD

when Black has some winning pros­ looks very good for Black despite the
pects in the resulting endgame with material deficit; 8 lDf3 0-0 intending
rook and bishop against rook and ...lDa6 also looks promising for Black's
knight. position is bursting with dynamic en­
c) 7 _.b3 ! ? (D) has been played a ergy here) 8 ...dxc4 9 i.xc4 0-0 10 lDf3
few times and has increased in popu­ lba6 1 1 0-0 .!Z:Jxc5 1 2 _.c2 b5 ! 1 3 i.d5
larity after being suggested in Shere­ l:ac8 14 a3 i.f5 15 _.d2 l0d3 1 6 i.xf6
shevsky's excellent book The Soviet .txf6 17 lDe4 'ii'xd2 1 8 lDxf6+ exf6
Chess Conveyor. 1 9 lDxd2 :fd8 20 e4 i.e6 21 i.xe6
fxe6 22 .!Z:lf3 e5 ! . Although it looks like
Lautier was definitely caught off-guard
in the opening, I admire the energy
B with which Ivanchuk played this game.
He now has a clear endgame advan­
tage and went on to win forty moves
later.
d) Finally we have White's crudest
approach: 7 cxd5 .!Z:lxd5 ! (7 . . . .!Z:le4?! 8
llc 1 .!Z:lxc3 9 11t'd2) 8 'it'xd5 i.xc3+ 9
bxc3 'ii'x c3+ 10 �e2 _.xa1 1 1 .te5 ! .
This is the point of White's play but it
is now thought to be asking a little too
much after 1 1 . . .'ii' b1 ! 12 i.xh8 i.e6 1 3
The main idea is to exchange queens 'ii'd 3 (stopping . . . i.c4+) 1 3 . . . .-xa2+
with _.b5+ while avoiding the time­ 14 �f3 f6 !, when White's bishop is ei­
loss involved in 7 1Wa4+. There are ther trapped or takes so long to get out
many adequate replies to be found in that Black generates a huge initiative.
standard sources, but I am particularly Note that after 1 5 i.g7 ! it is best to
impressed by the vintage Grtinfeld play 15 . . . llJd7 ! so as to take on c5 with
performance given by Black in Lau­ tempo. This line may look annoyingly
tier-Ivanchuk, Monaco Amber rapid complex but it's really quite straight­
1 998, which began with the combative forward when you consider it a move
7 . . .i.d7 ! ? stopping White's main idea. at a time.
Of course, we shouldn't think that the Returning to the position after 7
players are necessarily following care­ ll)f3 (D):
fully prepared home analysis. I'm sure 7 0-0!
...

White's play can be improved on but Note that Black follows the given
Black's general conception looks very guidelines.
sound indeed. 8 i.e5 ! ? (presumably 8 s :ct dxc4!
'it'xb7 0-0! is the idea, when 9 _.xa8 8 . . . .!Z:le4 is a major alternative here
i.c6 10 'it'xb8 :xb8 1 1 i.xb8 lt:Je4 but it is definitely more risky for Black
HYDRA 197

a) 1 2 lL!d2 b5 13 b3 lL!d5 14 lbxd5


'ii'xd5 15 bxc4 'ii'xg2 will lead to
Black being rewarded for his efforts
with an extra pawn.
b) 1 2 b3 1i'a5+ 13 'ii'd2 1i'xd2+ 14
lt)xd2 .td3 I5 lt)xa8 l2Jd5 1 6 tiJc7 l:lc8
1 7 lt:lf3 lt:lxf4 18 exf4 i.b2 19 �d2
.txc 1 + 20 l:.xc1 �e4 gives Black a
highly favourable endgame due to the
fact that White is obliged to play 2 1
lt)e1 to avoid horrific structural dam­
age and then Black still has the slightly
better structure and advantage of bishop
and much more difficult to explain in for knight in an open position.
conceptual terms. c) 12 lt)xa8 does not seem to be
9 i.xc4 'ii'xc5 10 .i.b3 documented, but 12 . . . tt:xi5 looks good
Few players flinch before playing for Black, e.g. 1 3 b3 .tc3+!.
this move but I wonder what would 10 .'ii'a5 (D)
..

happen after 10 'ii' b3 !?. The queen can also go to h5 but


Ah ha! This question highlights an­ there is less chance of it being ex­
other distinct feature of placing the changed on a5 and for various reasons
knight on e2; the rook on c 1 is pro­ . . . 'ir'a5 has a better theoretical reputa­
tected ! This is actually very relevant tion.
since now, with the knight on f3, Black However, 10 . . . lt)c6 is also fully
can play IO ...lbc6 I l ll:lb5 .i.e6!, when playable and may be preferred by
White is even in some danger due to players who like to procrastinate.
the threat of . . . lt)a5 .
10 'ii'e 2 .i.g4 ! is already comfort­
able for Black as it always tends to be
when White allows this pin.
1 0 ll:lb5 ! ? .i.e6 ! is quite compli­
cated but seems to be better for Black.
Don't try too hard to remember the
following lines; just try to understand
them and know that you have good
chances after 1 O ...�e6 - in other words
trust yourself to find good moves at
the board. 1 1 tiJc7 ( 1 1 �xe6 'ii'xb5 12
�b3 lt)c6 is excellent for Black due to
his lead in development and scope for
his pieces) l l ...�xc4 and now: 11 0-0 lt:lc6
198 UNDERSTANDING THE GR ONFELD

I toyed with the idea of suggesting


1 1 . ..lt:la6 ! ? with the idea of ... lt:lc5 but
although White has no clear refutation
I couldn't get round the feeling that
it's better to put this knight on a secure
post after one move than a loose post
after two.
12 h3
This is not forced but it helps to pre­
vent . . ..i.g4 and gives White's bishop a
retreat on h2. The benefit of White
playing this move is shown by 12 _.e2
lt:lh5 ! 1 3 .i.g5 .i.g4 14 .i.h4 ..b4 ! ,
which i s a n instructive sequence giv­ that in such positions White has to
ing Black full equality. play with considerable energy to avoid
1 2 lt:lg5 is a little scary but all is being worse. I guess we can just say
well after 12 ... h6 1 3 lt:lge4 lt:lh5 !, Tuk­ that Black's forces are somewhat more
makov-Stein, USSR Ch 1970. harmonious and that now the pressure
12 .i.f5
... on c7 and f7 has been relieved Black
Again I was seeking an alternative can turn his thoughts from survival to
to the tried and tested lines and I was trying to gain the upper hand. Indeed,
particularly interested by 1 2 . . ...a6 !?, these warblings are partly confirmed
immediately highlighting the weak­ by the line 14 lt:lxe4 .i.xe4 15 lLld2
ness on d3 I mentioned earlier. It seems, .i.d5, which is of course more equal
however, that GM Jonathan Levitt's than anything else, but I'd rather be
idea of 1 3 e4 ! l:[d8 14 ii'c2 ! is defi­ Black because my pieces are slightly
nitely a little something for White and more useful and I have a potential en­
would quickly be a lot more if Black try point on d3. It may sound like I'm
ventured 14... lt:lb4 15 .i.xf7+. clutching at straws but from personal
13 'il'e2 experience I can assure you that strong
1 3 lt:ld4? ! .i.d7 14 'ilt'e2 lt:lxd4 15 GMs like Jon Speelman would be in
exd4 e6 1eft White struggling to equal­ no hurry to halve out in such positions.
ize in the game Petursson-Ivanchuk, Later on it may be possible to shut the
Reggio Emilia 1989/90. f4-bishop out of the game with the
13...lt:le4 (D) space-gaining . . . e5 for example, or
Black's last two moves make a happy perhaps push the a- and b-pawns up
pair and I'm glad that we are begin­ the board to pressurize the white queen­
ning to see that Black has a well­ side. Moreover, the black queen can
coordinated position once he avoids sit looking rather pretty on e6 after an
the early pitfalls. It's difficult to pin­ exchange of bishops whereas White's
point exactly why but it seems to me queen is less likely to find a role.
HYDRA 199

14 �d5!
This is the best move and the only
remaining venom in White's system
lies in the fangs of this knight.
14 �b5?! is shown to be the equiva­
lent of a pretentious grass snake after
14 ... e5 1 5 .i.h2 a6 1 6 lDa3 lDc5 17 e4
lbxb3 1 8 axb3 .i.e6 19 lDc4 'ii'b5, when
Black was better in Miralles-Pelletier,
Swiss Cht 1996.
14...e5!
Both dark-squared bishops are
placed in quarantine, but Black is nor­
mally the one who decides when they for several years and when I asked him
get out. about this position he said that he
15 .i.h2 thought it was simply a matter of taste
This is not a terribly exciting move which side to prefer here but he was
but it remains the main line since Black fairly comfortable playing White be­
seems to have largely solved his prob­ cause "Even if things go a bit wrong
lems against the main alternatives: you always have a few tricks". To my
a) 15 l:txc6 ! ? is somewhat fright­ mind these words are particularly per­
ening to the uninitiated, especially in tinent as it does indeed seem that White
view of the fact that it was played in is rather dependent on the residual ini­
Karpov-Kasparov, London/Leningrad tiative that this flurry has generated.
Web ( 1 1 ) 1 986. However, Black has Concrete analysis suggests no immi­
had plenty of time to come up with nent demise for Black and so person­
good defences and it seems that it is ally I am inclined to prefer Black's
definitely best simply to take this rook prospects here, though if I were anno­
before it does any further damage: tating for /nformator I would choose
l 5 ... bxc6! l 6 lDe7+ �h8 17 lDxc6 ( 17 to slap on the unclear symbol. The
lbxe5 .i.xe5 1 8 lDxc6 'ii'd2! 19 .i.xe5+ main reason I think Black has an 'un­
f6 wins material for Black) 17 . . . 'ii'b6 clear advantage' is that there are pawns
1 8 lbcxe5 .i.e6 ! (D). on both sides of the board. This suits
If what I've said so far makes sense, rooks particularly well since they can
then the assessment of this position is quickly shift from one side of the board
fairly critical for the appraisal of my to the other. In the given position all
suggested remedy to 4 .i.f4. White has of Black's pieces have considerable
two pawns for the exchange and some scope and reasonable prospects to at­
pieces loitering with intent around the tack the white queenside pawns. A lit­
black king. GM Jonathan Levitt has tle thought experiment might get to
played this line against the Griinfeld the point.
200 UNDERSTANDING THE GR ONFELD

If we could sneak a black pawn resulting position doesn't seem un­


onto the e7 -square there would be no clear to me at all; after 2 1 ltJe5 <t>g8
question as to his advantage and yet if White's pressure on f7 is now persis­
we take it off we are told that the posi­ tent and it's much easier for White to
tion is unclear. One of the reasons for stabilize the queenside. Indeed, such a
this is that Black's king has slightly position should definitely be avoided
less to shield it, but, more pertinently, for Black. It' s a different story, how­
this pawn 's absence reduces Black's ever, after 19 ...'ii'a6 ! , which looks
winning chances in an exchange-up much better. I would definitely prefer
ending. Even if all the queenside to be Black here.
pawns are eliminated, White has fair a2) 19 'ii'c2 i.xb3 20 'ii'xe4 i.e6
drawing chances with four pawns and the position looks very secure for
against three on the kingside. Still, this Black.
is what Black should aim for; rook and a3) 19 i.xe6 'ii'xe6 20 'ii'c2 lDf6 21
three pawns against bishop and four 'ii'a4 ltJd5 22 i.g3 and then 22 ...liJb6?!
pawns offers good winning chances, 23 Wa6 'ii'd5 24 b3 �g8 25 .l:.c l l:tfe8?
for example. Of course White has 26 e4 ! 'ii'xe4 27 lDxf7, as in Meins­
moves too, but there is very little to Lagunow, Berlin 1 993 is a very good
latch onto in the black position. example of what Black should be
'Tricks' on the kingside are definitely avoiding. Allowing the queen to sit on
on White's agenda, but I don't see any a6 seems to favour White because it
coherent long-term attacking plan for restricts the rook on aS. Weakening
White if Black is careful, while the f7 with ... .l:.e8 was foolhardy while
achievabie aim of exchanging pieces White's initiative was still bubbling.
and Hoovering the queenside is a Moreover, Black should have im­
much more tangible prospect: proved his king much earlier while
al) 19 lL!c4 and now 19 . . . i.xc4? keeping his strong knight in the cen­
20 i.xc4 ltJc5 (as I've said, Black has tre: 22 .. .'�g8! 23 .l:.c 1 aS ! ? is a much
to be careful not to bite too soon since better interpretation of Black's possi­
White does have some initiative; in bilities. Note that 24 .l:.c6 11i'e8 is not a
this respect Black should definitely problem; White will soon be pushed
avoid 20 ... 'ii'xb2 2 1 'ii'xb2 i.xb2 22 back. As I've said, it is very difficult
.l:bl i.g7 23 i.d5 :ae8 24 :b7) is for White to carve his way into the
given by Karpov with the claim that empty spaces in Black's position - f7
the position is unclear in Beating the is the only targetable weakness and it
Grunfeld ( 1992), but I don't under­ can be securely defended.
stand what he's playing at. If Black b) 15 i.g5 ? ! (D).
can't take this pawn on b2 then he This has effectively been refuted by
shouldn't be in a rush to exchange his 1 5 ...ltJxg5 ( 1 5 ...ltJc5 ! ? also looks OK
sturdy defender on e6 for the somewhat for Black) 1 6 ltJxg5 1i'd8 ! ( l 6...h6? 17
floating knight on c4. Furthermore, the l:lxc6! is best avoided) removing the
HYDRA 201

After 1 6 i.c4 e4 I already prefer


Black. Indeed it seems a reasonable
B generalization to say that if Black can
achieve . . . e5-e4 in this line while
keeping control then the opening will
have been a success. Of course, the
danger lies in freeing the bishop on h2
so Black has to be sure that White
can't land any hits on d6 or c7 in the
near future. Lalic now gives 17 �h4
..i.e6 18 i.d6 i.xd5 ! 1 9 i.xd5 lbd3 20
i.xf8 'Wxd5 ! 2 1 i.xg7 �xc1 22 .:.xci
'itxg7, which he assesses as approxi­
main danger and covering important mately equal. I have no quibble with
dark squares. Then: the line but I would have thought that
b1) 17 �f3 ? ! (much too compli­ Black is substantially better due to his
ant) 17 . . . e4 ! (gaining space and giving extra space and the poor position of
birth to a beautiful baby on g7) 1 8 the white knight.
�h2 i.e6! (undermining White's best
piece and neutralizing any potential
threats to f7) 19 'Wb5 a6! (removing
threats to the b7-pawn; White cannot B
take immediately due to ... �a5) 20
'Wc5 �e5, centralizing the knight and
heading for the d3-square, gave Black
a clear positional advantage in Lev­
Alterman, Israel 1992.
b2) The only way to test Black's
resources is 17 �xf7 ! ? .:.xf7 1 8 ltJc3
'1Wd3 ! ?, which is very sharp but if
Black follows up carefully he has
good chances of nurturing his slight
material advantage. l6 . .:.ad8!
. .

lS...�cS!? An important move which prevents


I think this is probably best at this White from gaining total control. The
juncture and has been approved of by following show the dangers facing
GM Ftacnik, who has no doubt ana­ Black against less combative play:
lysed the position quite deeply. a) 16 . . . i.xe4 17 .:.xc5 i.xf3 1 8
16 e4!? (D) 'ii'e3 i.h6? 1 9 'Wxh6 winning.
I think White has to try this if he b) 16 . . .i.e6 17 i.c4 intending a3
wants any advantage. leaves Black without counterplay.
202 UNDERSTANDING THE GR ONFEW

c) 1 6 . . . lt:Jxb3 1 7 axb3 ..te6 1 8 .:tal knock-out and so Black will eventu­


1r'c5 19 :te l 1r'd6 20 l:tdl 1r'b8 21 b4 ally round up the bad b-pawns and,
also gives White a sizeable initiative. dare I say it, win the game) 1 9 ... lt:Jxb3
d) 1 6 . . .lt:Jxe4 ! ? is slightly different, 20 axb3 l:tfe8 2 1 b4 ir'xb4 22 ..txe5
however, and may also be playable for 11'xe7 23 ..txg7+ �xg7 24 1r'xe7 l:txe7
Black. It depends on how you assess gives Black a small advantage in the
17 g4 lt:Jc5 18 .:.xc5 1r'xc5 19 gxf5 gxf5, rook ending after 25 fxg6 hxg6! (D).
when Black has big ideas like . . . e4 and
. . . tt:Jd4. At first I thought that 20 1r'e3 ! ?
intending 20. . .1r'xe3 2 1 fxe3 nipped it
in the bud, but I don't see a particu­
larly good follow-up after 20 . . . 1r'd6.
Since Black is comfortable in the main
game there is no good reason to try to
fathom this, but bear it in mind if you
think White missed a good chance in
the game.
17 �e3?!
What follows is mainly my insight
into Ftacnik's analysis given in Infor­
mator.
a) 17 ..tc4 simply loses a pawn af­ This is a good example of why a
ter 17 . . . ..txe4 1 8 b4 lt:Jxb4 1 9 lt:Jxb4 'queenside majority' can be a mean­
..txf3 20 1r'xf3 1r'xb4. ingful feature of a position and is a
b) 17 exf5 lt:Jxb3 1 8 .:.xc6 ( 1 8 axb3 fairly common type of Griinfeld end­
1r'xd5 is clearly better for Black due to game. Both sides can create a passed
his extra central control and better pawn, but whereas Black's king is per­
pawn-structure) 1 8 . . .1r'xd5 1 9 f6 lt:Jd4 fectly placed eventually to greet a
20 lt:Jxd4 exd4 21 fxg7 .:.fe8 is a some­ passed white h-pawn, Black's passed
what hairy experience but Black has it queenside pawn will be a long way from
all covered and will emerge with extra White's king. Therefore a white rook
material. will have to deal with the oncoming
c) 17 lt:Jxe5 lt:Jxe5 18 lt:Je7+ �h8 threat, in most cases from a sub­
19 exf5 (19 ..txe5 ..txe5 20 exf5 lt:Jxb3 optimal position. Moreover, White's
2 1 axb3 ..tf6 22 fxg6 hxg6 23 l:tc4 b-pawn is a little weak and Black's
1r'd2 24 1r'e4 .:.d7 is an especially in­ king is more active.
structive sequence because White re­ d) 17 l:txc5 1r'xc5 1 8 exf5 l:txd5 19
mains a pawn up but Black has ..txd5 1r'xd5 20 .:.d 1 lt:Jd4 is slightly
complete control and White will now better for Black. Ironically, Delroy has
have to give up his knight for two switched sides after 2 1 lt:Jxd4 exd4,
pawns but will not have a kingside when White doesn't have a good way
HYDRA 203

to blockade on d3 and will have to be White's main source of trickery in


weaken the queenside with a3 or b3, this line. If you keep an eye on thi s
giving Black important entry points. there are good chances of being better,
e) 17 l:tfd 1 ! ? appears to be the crit­ but if you forget about it things can
ical test of Black's opening moves so I quickly tum sour.
include the following for instruction 19 l:tc5 •xeS 20 i¥xc5 ltxdS (D)
and theoretical significance: 17 ... .i.xe4
(17 . . .lLlxe4 18 g4 lLlcS 19 l:txcS 'ii' xcS
20 gxfS gxfS 2 1 lL'lh4 lL'ld4 22 ltxd4 !
leaves White with a disgraceful num­
ber of minor pieces and a dangerous
kingside attack) 18 AxeS .i.xf3 19 'il'e3
.i.xdl 20 l:txa5 and now 20. . . .i.xb3 is
the 'official' move, but 20... lLlxa5 is a
major alternative, and seems to give
Black more winning prospects: 2 1
.i.xd l (Editor 's note: 2 1 lL'le7+ �h8
22 .i-dS might be more genuinely un­
cl�ar) 2 1 . . .l:txdS 22 .i.f3 ltbS 23 b3 is
given as unclear by Ftacnik but I'm
very confused by this because Black The position has stabilized and we
has two rooks and a pawn for the are well and truly out of theoretical
queen and the bishop on h2 is still re­ country in every respect, so sit back
stricted - maybe Ftacnik is a two bish­ and enjoy the show. Material is level
ops maniac or something. Indeed, if I but White will have problems with his
know anything about chess I know that b-pawns and the h2- bishop remains
Black is better here; 23 ...lLlc6 looks much less happy than the bishop on g7,
like the best way to begin. In fact I'm so which holds the key to the lock on eS .
sure that Black is in control here that I 21 .,c4?!
won't bother giving Ftacnik's analysis 21 1i'e3 was better, to avoid the man­
of 20 . . . .i.xb3 which apparently leads gled pawns, but Black is still clearly
to an equal position after another better after 2 l . . ..i.xf3 22 'ii'xf3 l:.fd8
seven complex moves. intending . . . l:td3.
17...lLlxb3 18 axb3 21.. ..i.xf3 22 gxf3 l:.fd8 23 .i.g3
18 l:txc6 l:txdS ! 19 exdS bxc6 20 The rest of the game is probably a
axb3 e4 ! allows the sleeping monster little marred by time-trouble errors so
on g7 to awaken with considerable ef­ I'll just give the moves. It is obvious
fect. that Black is substantially better and
18....i.xe4 has no weaknesses but he made a mis­
18 . . . .i.e6 1 9 l:txc6 ! is worth men- guided transition and somehow White's
tioning because this capture tends to slippery queen allowed him to escape:
204 UNDERSTANDING THE GRONFELD

23 :d2 24 WbS! tt:ld4 25 Wxb7


••• pressure on d4 and open the e4-square
tt:le2+?! 26 Wg2 tt:lxg3 27 Wxg3 .ib6 and hl-a8 diagonal for White's pieces.
28 Wxa7 :xb2 29 Wb6 l:[d3 30 l:la1 These manoeuvres are contingent
�g7! 31 :a6 .ig5 32 Wc7?! .if4+ 33 on Black playing ... e6 rather than ... e5,
�g2 :dd2 34 Wb6 1h-lf1 which may change things considerably
There is much to be played for after at an early stage. The piece paths are
34 . . .�h6 ! ? but I guess both players similar, however, and Black should be
were so short of time that further play particularly alert to the white knight
may have stretched the meaning of the trooping over to g3 to confront the black
word 'random' , and so they agreed to horse on h5, which rarely wants to ex­
split the point. change on g3 because this would con­
siderably improve White's structure.

The exchange of bishop Game 33


for knight on f3 Beliavsky - Leko
Dortmund 1 998

1 d4 tt:lf6 2 c4 g6 3 tt:lc3 d5 4 tt:lf3


.ig7 5 .if4 (D)

These positions are highly unbal­


anced with White's central space and
two bishops contending with Black's
better structure and possibilities for
kingside play. Given the chance, White 5...0-0!
normally seeks to play f3-f4 and then Simply having a knight on f3 in­
place his queen on f3 to support the stead of a pawn on e3 makes a big dif­
kingside. In the meantime Black may ference as to what is required of Black.
play . . . e6 to hold back the centre and The reason I suggest that you tuck
place his own queen on h4 to pressur­ your king away here is that grabbing
ize f4. White may also block the cen­ the c7-pawn would now involve more
tre with e4-e5, which will relieve the risk to White because he doesn't have
HYDRA 205

lLle2-c3 and 'iff3 resources and more pawn due to his massive lead in devel­
importantly the following line, which opment.
shows a concrete difference in having 6 e3 c5 ! 7 dxc5 'fi'aS does not differ
not played e3, is a theoretical stum­ from the previous game but 7 ... ltle4 ! ?
bling block at present: 5 ...c5 6 dxc5 is a major alternative for Griinfeld 'ano­
'l'a5 7 cxd5 ltlxd5 8 'l'xd5 ..txc3+ 9 raks' to investigate .
..td2 ! (note that this retreat would be 6 dxc4! (D)
...

highly illegal if White's pawn were on Once again it is best to view an


e3) 9 ... ..te6 (9 .....txd2+ lO 'Wxd2 ii'xc5 early ltc 1 as a warning not to play
1 1 .:te l 'iff5 12 lLld4 'ifd7 1 3 'ifh6 is ... c5. Since 6 ...lbh5 7 ..te5 ! looks
good for White since Black has seri­ highly irritating that leaves only the
ous coordination problems and weak­ game continuation as an active means
ened dark squares on the kingside) I 0 to combat the white centre.
'l'xb7 �xd2+ 1 1 tlJxd2 0-0 12 b4 !
'l'a4 13 e3 ! worked well in Van Wely­
Kamsky, Groningen 1995 and changed
the assessment of this line, which had
previously been thought to be better
for Black. White has to develop, but
previously always put the pawn on e4,
which created unnecessary weaknesses
and restricted the queen' s choice of re­
treat, thus giving Black enough initia­
tive for his two-pawn deficit. This
simple and compact pawn move, how­
ever, leaves Black struggling to gener­
ate enough activity and so far nobody
has found an answer for B lack. I have 7 e4
tried but failed; believe me when I tell 7 e3 is much less threatening and
you that I would have liked to keep the Black can secure a good game with
theory simple and then say that ..tf4 7 . . ...te6 ! . 8 lLlg5 ! ? is now the only
could be answered by .....tg7 followed danger move (8 lbd2 c5 ! 9 dxc5 ltlbd7
by . . . c5 regardless, but it just ain' t and 8 lDe5 c5 ! are fully OK for Black),
true. Sadly, move-orders are of crucial when after 8 ... ..td5 9 e4 h6 10 exd5
importance in this sharp line and it hxg5 1 1 ..txg5 lbxd5 1 2 ..txc4 lLlb6
definitely requires more concrete the­ 1 3 ..tb3 lbc6 White is relying on the
oretical knowledge than most. bishop-pair and prospects for opening
6 .:tel the black kingside with the h-pawn,
6 cxd5 lLlxd5 7 lLlxd5 'fi'xd5 8 but the d-pawn is very weak and
..txc7 tDc6 9 e3 ..t f5 gives Black more Black's knights are well enough an­
than enough compensation for the chored to secure a good game. 1 4 ll�
206 UNDERSTANDING THE GR UNFELD

lt:Jd4 15 0-0 �d7 to be followed by spot, and the rest of gang will join in
.. JHe8 and ....:tad8 looks comfortable depending on circumstances. I think
and note that there' s always a bail-out Black can also take on f3 first but then
option of taking on b3, c3 and then d5. White can try some peculiar gambit
14 lt:Je2 a5 ! 15 a4 .l:i.c8 !? 16 0-0 lt:Jxd4 lines by taking with the queen - this
is also no problem for Black. move-order helps to discourage them.
A guideline worth mentioning is It' s also possible to play with the sys­
that when White plays e3, ... i.g4 is tem of development devised by Smys­
not likely to apply serious pressure on lov, i.e . . . . tbfd7 and . . . tbb6, but if
d4 and so it is generally better to put White is going to have doubled f­
the bishop on e6 to protect c4. If White pawns this knight looks much more
plays e4, however, the bishop will not useful on h5 than b6.
be secure on e6 and so Black is better 9 i.e3 .i.xf3 10 gxf3 (D)
off freely donating his extra pawn and 10 �xf3 ! ? does not convince me
concentrate on attacking the centre after 10 . . . i.xd4 1 1 g4 tbg7 1 2 .l:i.d 1
with ... .i.g4. l0c6 but I'm not sure why Leko didn't
7 ... i.g4! completely side-step this mess with
I have never fully trusted 7 ...b5 and 8 ... i.xf3, when 9 �xf3 tbc6 ! ? 10 d5
although it is hot theory at the moment tbd4 1 1 �d3 tbd7 12 0-0 c5 gives
it is definitely less trustworthy than Black good play and was recom­
the game continuation, which attacks mended by his former trainer Andras
the centre in a more classical manner. Adorjan in Winning With the Griinfeld
That's probably the feeling of Leko (1987).
too, who was after all the first expo­
nent of 7 . . . b5 and is now playing
7 . . ..i.g4.
8 i.xc4 B
8 i.e3 ! ? doesn't seem to be men­
tioned anywhere but it's not totally
obvious what Black should play. How­
ever, 8 . . . c5 9 d5 �a5 ! looks like a
good answer.
8 ...tbh5
You may have hoped we'd seen the
last of this move but here it is again.
Black's opening strategy involves tak­
ing the horse on f3 and forcing White
to have doubled f-pawns, placing one 10 e5! ?
...

knight securely on the kingside where I think this move effectively neu­
it cannot be readily harassed, keeping tralizes White's opening system. Black
the bishop trained on the sensitive d4 immediately strikes at the centre and
HYDRA 207

highlights the weakness on f4 before


White can prevent this by playing f4. I
also think the black position is fully
playable after 10 ... e6, which also looks
sound and keeps lots of tension in the
position. I will include both systems
since the theory of this line is rela­
tively undeveloped. Now White may
continue:
a) 1 1 lbe2 'ili'f6 ! ? 12 lbg3 lLlf4 13
\i'd2 lbg2+ 1 4 'it>e2 lbxe3 15 fxe3 c5 !
is a quaint but relevant sequence from
the game Nogueiras-Timman, Mont­
pellier Ct 1985, which continued 16 positional threat of lbg3 but White
dS exd5 17 �xdS lbd7, when Black also has ideas of �b5, or a3 followed
had good chances in a complex posi­ by i.d3-e4. After 14 ... �h6 15 l:tg 1
tion. lbg7 16 �bS lbb4 17 l:hc7 Black
b) 11 eS ! ? lbd7 ! 12 lbe4 c5 ! 1 3 played 17 . . . tbd5 but after 18 l::txb7
lbxc5 tbxc5 1 4 dxcS �xeS 1 5 'ili'xd8 lbxe3 19 ii'xe3 tbf5 20 'iWe4 there was
l1fxd8 16 b4 lLlf4 leaves an unusual not enough counterplay for the mate­
endgame where I think I'd rather be rial and White went on to win. At first
Black because of the pawn-structure. I thought Black' s 15th move was an
Note that Black did not try to blockade error but then I realized that there was
on dS and attack on d4 but immedi­ no obvious alternative ( 1 5 ...tbe7?? 1 6
ately dissolved the centre. Since Black l:tg4 ! �xh2 1 7 'it>d2 +-). I think that
does not have a light-squared bishop, a the real culprit is Black' s 17th move,
blockade on dS is never likely to be and I recommend 17 . . . a6 ! (D) as an
particularly secure and if Black played improvement.
coyly with ... c6 then he has to contend
with lbe4-g3 or lbe4 and �g5 .
c) 1 1 f4 'ii'h4 ! (the queen is ideally
placed here; attacking f4 and clearing
d8 for a rook) 12 'iVf3 lbc6 13 tbe2
l::tad8 (D) and now:
c l ) 14 eS ! ? was Van Wely's choice
against R6t�agov at the Erevan Olym­
piad 1996. Now Black has to think
very carefully about White's inten­
tions if he wants to secure a good
middlegame. The pressure . against d4
prevents White from exercising the
208 UNDERSTANDING THE GRONFELD

White's opening strategy has been 1 1 d5 ? ! is very anti-positional be­


rather ambitious; the king on e1 is by cause the closed centre restricts White's
no means totally comfortable and the bishops and gives Black a secure out­
white rooks are disconnected. The fol­ post on f4.
lowing variations look quite promis­
ing for Black:
e l l) 1 8 ..ic4 b5 1 9 ..ib3 �3+ 20
�fl ll:lxb2 2 1 'ii'g3 ll:lf5 :;:.
c l 2) 18 ..td7 'ii'e7 1 9 f5 ll:lxf5 20
..ixh6 ll:lxh6 21 'ii'f6 'ii'xf6 22 exf6
ll:lf5 :;:.
c 1 3 ) 1 8 :g4 'ii'xh2 1 9 :g1 'ii'h5 20
'ii'xh5 ll:lxh5 2 1 ..td7 b5 and again
Black has a slight advantage.
c2) 14 :d 1 is more common, and
now I recommend 14 ... a6 ! ?. After this
solid move, intending to double on the
d-file with 15 ... :d7, I think Black has
his full share of the chances. Instead l l.....txeS
GM Krasenkow opted for 14 . . . ll:la5 ? ! 1 l . . .'ii'h4 ! ? is well worth a try if you
15 ..id3 c5 in the game Dreev-Krasen­ are feeling bold, especially at club
kow, Kazan 1 997 but since White's d4 level. After 12 e6 fxe6 1 3 ..txe6+ �h8
point was rather tense and this move Black definitely has some dark-square
opens the position for the two bishops, compensation and White now has to be
I suspect we won't see a re-run of this very careful. Black has ideas of ...lZ:lc6-
particular way of playing. 16 dxc5 e5, . . . ..ie5 and ...ll:lf4 and White's king
..txb2 17 0-0 ! ? e5 1 8 f5 ! was then very looks like he's up a certain place with­
good for White, who went on to win a out the necessary implement. With
fine game. This is a further example of Black's knight still on b8 it looks a lit­
what I said earlier about controlling tle hard to believe somehow but now
the centre. Before . ltJaS and ...c5 Black
.. White really has to play a good move
had excellent central control and I don't or Black's initiative will just grow and
think he needed to change the nature grow.
of the position to have a good game. One of the reasons I am suspicious
Sometimes it is betterjust to have pres­ is that Israeli GM V.Mikhalevski
sure on the centre and think of how to played this against GM Kraidman in
increase it rather than blowing the cen­ 1 997 and won convincingly, but then
tre apart prematurely, which can make preferred 1 l . . . ..ixe5 1 2 'ii'xd8 :xd8
your pieces less purposeful and is of­ against GM Greenfeld in 1998. In it­
ten a relief to White. self this is no good reason to be dis­
1 1 dxe5 (D) couraged because there could be all
HYDRA 209

sorts of personal or political shenani­ 12 'ii'xd8


gans going on, but it does suggest that 1 2 'ii'b 3 ! ? is a suggestion of Gipslis
this ' secret circle' knows something in ECO but no analysis is given. I sus­
about this line and it's sure to come pect Black should continue the ener­
out eventually. getic play with 1 2 ... lbc6, when 1 3
Kraidman-V.Mikhalevski, Givatayim 1Wxb7 'ii'f6 looks rather good for Black
Dov Porath mem 1997 now continued and so does 13 .:d1 't'if6 - so until fur­
14 lbd5 lbc6 15 J.g4 lbf6 16 lbxf6 ther tests I can't be sure that this wasn't
J.xf6 17 .l:c5 .l:ad8 1 8 l:tdS lbeS 19 a case of a random hand in a post­
.l:xd8 .l:xd8 20 ii'e2 J.g7 21 0-0 .l:f8 mortem finding its way into ECO.
22 h3 h5 23 f4 hxg4 24 fxe5 ltf3 and 12 :Xd8 (D)
...

White's resignation topped a very good


advertisement for this system. Alter­
natives include 14 J.g4!? lbc6 15
i.xh5 ii'xh5 16 f4 ii'h3, when Black is w
better (White has too many tactical
problems) and 14 1Wd5 ! ? (intending
.tg5 trapping the queen) 14... .l:xf3 15
1Wxb7 .l:xe3+ 1 6 ll:ie2 ltxe2+ 17 'it>xe2
lbf4+ 1 8 �fl lbxe6 19 'ii'xa8 'ii'd 8,
when I don't think Black is worse;
White will always have problems with
his king.
Your author is somewhat unsure of
what to say at this point. I can't find a
concrete refutation of Black's concep­ It would seem that this endgame of­
tion and if this does turn out to be good fers Black full equality and because it
then the opening line favoured by GMs is also asymmetric and full of possibil­
like B eliavsky, Dreev and Van Wely is ities for creativity, Black's opening
called into question because the posi­ play can be considered a success.
tion after 1 1 ... 1Wh4 is virtually forced White's two bishops are sufficient
after 7 e4. As the line beginning with 6 compensation for his bad structure but
l:tc 1 is in such a state of flux at the mo­ I like the fact that Black has no tangi­
ment I thus have to apologize for pre­ ble weaknesses to attack. White does
senting three different alternative ways have various ways to try to increase
of playing the opening. All the lines the pressure, but it is easier for White
are very different and fascinating in to go wrong because without his two
their own way and looking at them all bishops there is npthing particularly
will enrich your understanding of the positive about his position and so, while
Griinfeld, but basically I suggest you White has the obscure aim o f 'apply­
pick whatever tickles your fancy. ing pressure with the two bishops' ,
210 UNDERSTANDING THE GRONFELD

Black has a more concrete aim of try­ 14 ...ltJd4!


ing to exchange one off. They say that Keeping control of the game; if
the stronger you become, the more White could play f4, e5 and ltJg3 Black
you appreciate bishops over knights, would be seriously worse. 14 ....txb2?!
which I think is very true. Hence loses control of the game after 15 l:.b1
world-class GMs may think they have .ta3 16 l:.xb7 since l6 ... ltJa5 17 l:.xc7
a little something for White here, but it .td6 1 8 .txf7+ seems to be favour­
is imperceptible for most players, who able for White: 1 8 . . .�f8 ( 1 8 .. .'itg7 1 9
would find Black's position easier to l:.fc 1 ) 1 9 l:.fc 1 ! .
handle. 15 lDxd4 .txd4 16 .tdS .txe3
13 ltJe2 Not without good reason is Peter
After 1 3 0-0, 1 3 . . .ltJd7 intending Leko nicknamed 'The Equalizer' .
. . .c6 and . . . ltJf8-e6 has been Black's Those who are less partial to drawing
general approach so far but I don't see might consider 16 ... .te5 ! ? here since
anything wrong with the much more 17 .txb7 l:r.ab8 18 .td5 l:r.xb2 1 9 .txa7
chunky 1 3 . . . ltJc6 since 14 .td5 ltJd4 lDf4 seems to give chances to both
(14 ...lDb4 ! ?; 14 ... lDf4 ! ?) 15 .txd4 (15 sides.
�g2 c6) 1 5 ... .txd4 1 6 lDb5 .te5 17 fxe3 c6 18 .tb3 l:.d2! 19 l:.f2
(16 ... c6! ?) 17 lDxc7 l:tac8 18 lDb5 (18 ltad8 20 l::tc2 (D)
lDe6 1:txc1 19 lDxd8 .txh2+) 18 .. J:txc1
19 l:.xc l a6 20 ltJc3 lDf4 looks fully
playable for Black.
13...ltJc6 14 0-0 (D)
14 f4 .txb2 15 l:.b1 .ta3 16 l:.xb7
l:.ab8 17 l:.xb8 l:r.xb8 looks good for
Black since . . . lba5 is very effective if
White castles.

Without rooks Black might even


have a slight advantage as he could then
safely centralize his king and push the
queenside pawns without fear of king
safety or pawn weaknesses. Hence
White is willing to exchange one rook
but not two, but there is still nothing
wrong with the black position.
HYDRA 211

20 .. Jbc2 21 :xc2 �f8 22 �f2


�e7 23 �e2 !iJg7 24 eS !iJe6 25 f4 f6!
(D)
Giving the king some room. Leko
knows that White can't push his passed
e-pawn without creating weaknesses.
26 exf6+ <it>xf6 27 h4 ![Jg7 28 e4
!iJe6 29 �e3 :dt! 30 i.xe6 lf2-112
White stops himself from over­
pressing just in time. The resulting
rook endgame is equal and although
either side can try to win, it could not
be done without serious risk of losing.
different types of reaction to moves
Conclusion which look very similar. However,
The lines with i.f4 are generally very there is no particular theoretical dan­
dangerous for Black, mainly because ger for Black and so a well-prepared
slight move-order nuances oblige player has good chances in this line.
1 4 The S i l ent Co rridor

"Silence is sometimes the severest criticism." - Buxton

always rather scared me and here is


The adva ntage of the
why :
first move? ! It would seem that structural asym­
metry is one of the main attractions of
the Griinfeld. I guess one reason for
this is that as the position becomes
more unbalanced, the extra half-move
which is thought to grant White some
initiative in the opening phase be­
comes progressively less tangible.
That's not to say that White doesn' t
have a n opening initiative against the
Griinfeld, but just that it is much more
challenging to identify it in concrete
form than it is in, say, the Petroff or the
Advance French.
Now, to my mind the fianchetto
Most Griinfeld positions are rather lines of the Griinfeld are testing for
fluid, with lots of open lines and diag­ Black precisely because White more
onals. Over time, I have realized that a or less copies Black while retaining
particularly favourable feature of such the initiative which many think is
open positions from Black's point of gifted to White by the rules of the
view is that the g7-bishop is generally game. In the diagram we see this being
the best minor piece on the board. Of manifested as White applying pres­
course this is controversial, but in any sure to the centre before Black. The
case I am quite sure that this is not presence of other pieces usually
true of the fianchetto variations. In­ obliges Black to 'defend' the central
deed, in such lines there tends to be a d5 point with . . . c6 or to 'give way' to
spookily static mirror image on the g­ the d-pawn by taking on c4 . This is
file for several moves which silently ball park for the Griinfeld, but the dif­
overlooks various noisy events in the ference here is that Black's Ace on g7
centre. To be honest, this aspect has is fully matched by the bishop on g2.
THE SILENT CORRIDOR 213

Perhaps it is such thoughts that have


led many strong players to bow to
White's extra move in the fianchetto
lines and play the solid variations
which bolster d5 with ... c6. There nor­
mally follows an exchange on d5,
when the main question again revolves
around whether Black can fully neu­
tralize the pressure created by White's
extra half-move. Even if this is possi­
ble, and from a theoretical standpoint
it probably is, then Black can rarely
hope to achieve more than an equal
position with a locked central struc­ which many players would not be pre­
ture. It is rather easy and rather obvi­ pared to enter as White.
ous to say that these types of positions 3....i.g7
are not attuned to the spirit of the 3 ... d5 is likely to transpose.
Griinfeld, but it is much more difficult 4 .i.g2 d5!?
to suggest convincing alternatives. I Conventional wisdom suggests that
am going to try, since if nothing else I this move gives White the advantage,
have never been fully convinced that it but I've always thought it's best to steer
is a disadvantage to be Black in a chess clear of conventional wisdom; it just
game, and it would not astonish me if brings you down.
several years from now a computer 4 ...c6 5 lLlf3 d5 is a much more solid
program were to discover that White continuation, but considerably less ex­
is in some sort of zugzwang on the citing for Black.
very first move. 5 cxd5 lDxd5 6 e4!
Definitely the most testing move.
Game 34 Note that it is rare for White to combine
Rogozenko - Fta�nik a kingside fianchetto with a knight on
Hamburg Ch 1998 c3 because when Black captures on c3
and plays . . .c5 White will generally
1 d4 lLlf6 2 c4 g6 3 g3 (D) have a weakened light-square complex,
This is the most annoying move­ especially on the queenside where the
order for a Griinfeld player to face, light-squared bishop no longer acts as
since by not committing his knights guardian of c4. Hence, 6 lLlc3 (or 3
White keeps important options open. lLlc3 d5 4 cxd5 lDxd5 5 g3 J.g7 6 J.g2,
However, it may comfort you to know etc.) 6 ...lLlxc3 7 bxc3 c5 (D) is proba­
that it is quite rarely played because bly comfortable for Black but line 'a'
3 ... c5 !? would now take the game into is not unproblematic and should be
a strange Benoni, Benko or English considered carefully.
214 UNDERSTANDING THE GR ONFEW

For a long time it was thought that a2) 9 d5 is rarely a good idea for
White did best to play e3 and lbe2, White in such positions because al­
bolstering the centre and not blocking though blocking the g2-bishop is for­
the bishop on g2, but then it became givable when there is pressure on the
clear that White's pieces didn't coor­ queenside, for example on a backward
dinate particularly well and the dark­ c7-pawn, it doesn't make good sense
squared bishop struggled to find a here at all. Indeed, I suspect Black
role. does best to ignore the material here
a) 8 llJf3 is therefore thought to be and play 9 . .llJa5 ! possibly with a slight
.

the most dangerous approach here and edge already since it is not all obvious
usually involves the plan of recaptur­ how to make sense of the white posi­
ing on d4 with the knight or taking on tion.
c5 and playing llJd4 with consider­ a3) 9 .i.e3 (the only dangerous try)
able queenside pressure; .i.e3 normally 9 . . 0-0 (it would be great to avoid the
.

forms an important part of these plans. following with some early ...'ii'a5
Then 8 . . . llJc6! (D) looks more accu­ trick, but I don't see it since White is
rate than castling immediately since always recapturing on d4 with the
then White can play a line with taking knight and castling as soon as possi­
on c5 and after . . ..i.xc3, the bishop on ble) 10 0-0 cxd4 (this looks fully ade­
c 1 can sometimes make a non-stop quate to me, but if you disagree, it is
journey to h6, which is probably worth worth knowing of the following in­
avoiding. Now: structive sequence from Lj ubojevic­
a1 ) 9 e3 is very passive; Black Timman, Brussels 1987: 10 . . . .i.e6 1 1
should castle and then find a way to 'it'a4 cxd4 1 2 lbxd4 ll'lxd4 1 3 .i.xd4
tidy up his queenside before messing .i.xd4 14 cxd4 .i.d5 15 e4 .i.c6 1 6
up White's ! . . ..i.e6-c4, ...llc8, ...'it'a5- 'it'b4 'ii'd6 ! 17 'it'b2 { 17 'ii'xd6 ! ? exd6
a6, ...lba5-c4 and sometimes ... e7-e5 1 8 llfc 1 ! looks to me like a reasonable
are all common themes. try for the advantage because the idea
THE SILENT CORRIDOR 215

of i.h3 makes it difficult for Black to b3) 1 1 i.a3 'ii'a5 ! 12 'ii'b 3 _.a6 ! 13
contest the c-file } 17 . . .e6 with an lbf4 b6 ! 14 llfel lba5 1 5 'ii'd 1 lbc4 1 6
equal position which presents winning i.c l 'ii'a4 ! with advantage to Black,
chances to both sides) 1 1 lbxd4 ( 1 1 Geller-Bronstein, Amsterdam Ct 1956.
cxd4 .te6 leaves Black in control) I strongly advise you to play over that
l l ...lba5 (l l . . .i.d7 ! ?) and now: last sequence several times, consider­
a3 1 ) 12 l:lbl lbc4 13 .te l e5 14 ing White's options and Black's re­
lbb5 a6 ( 14 . . ...e7 ! ?) 15 'ii'xd8 llxd8 sponses; it contains many vintage
16 lbc7 .:.a7 ! 17 i.g5 f6 18 .i.d5+ �h8 Griinfeld ideas and will repay your
1 9 .txc4 fxg5 20 :.fdl I:tf8 21 .:.b6 e4 scrutiny more than my explanation.
22 i.e6 .txc3 23 .txc8 llxc8 24 l:td7 6 lbb6 7 lbe2! (D)
...

i.a5 25 lle6 .txc7 26 .:.ee7 b5 is a


drawn line given with little comment
by Romanishin, but there is scope for
improvement by both sides here. B
a32) 12 _.c l ! has been suggested
as an improvement by Romanishin as
a way to justify White's damaged
structure and is the only unresolved
problem for Black in this line. Then
12 ...lbc4 13 .:.dl lbxe3 14 1i'xe3 does
look rather harmonious for White. But
I don' t see a problem for Black after
12 . . . .td7 ! . Black intends .. :iflc7 and
. . .l:tac8 and it looks to me like every­
thing is under control. It is this sequence of moves which
b) 8 e3 lbc6! (again there is no is thought to prevent serim1s counter­
hurry to castle; it's more important to play against White's centre. The un­
neutralize the g2-bishop) 9 lbe2 .id7 ! derlying idea is that if Black plays
10 0-0 l:lc8 ! is tidy. The following give ...lbc6 White will push to d5 and then
some idea as to how Black should play if Black wants space for his pieces he
when the centre remains tense: will have to break with . . . e6 or . . . c6,
bl) l l .td2 0-0 12 I:tcl lba.s 1 3 lbf4 when White generally just leaves the
i.c6 14 .ih3 l:lb8 15 c4 e5 1 6 'ii'e l d-pawn and carries on developing. In
lbxc4 ! 17 lbe6 lbxd2! with advantage most cases, White will remain with a
to Black, Gilb.Garcia-Smyslov, Ha­ strong clamping pawn on d5 and Black
vana Capablanca mem 1962. can only remove it very slowly and in
b2) 1 1 a4 lba5 12 e4 0-0 13 d5 e6 doing so allows the white bishop on g2
14 l:la2 exd5 15 exd5 l:le8 gives Black to become a major player against the
a well-coordinated position, Gligoric­ black queenside. Something similar
Korchnoi, Yugoslavia-USSR 1967. applies to the breaks . . .c5 and ...e5
216 UNDERSTANDING THE GR ONFELD

where the pawn on d5 will only be dis­


lodged by presenting White with a
strong passed d-pawn, whole-heartedly
supported by the bishop on g2.
7 e5!
...

Although I would freely attribute an


exclam to this move, it is worth know­
ing that Anand has also done so, when
annotating a crucial victory against
Romanishin in 1 993. Smyslov and Bot­
vinnik have played this way too, as
have Miles and Krasenkow more re­
cently, and now we are about to con­
sider a game played by Griinfeld guru, and gives Black a very free game, with
Ftal!:nik, in 1 998. a rather useful queenside majority, it
You can probably tell that your au­ is particularly bad if it allows the
thor is a little insecure about what fol­ white king to be displaced on d l , so
lows, which I am, but only a little. perhaps that accounts for the chosen
Although this whole line has a slightly move-order. Black should also be at­
dubious theoretical heritage for Black, tentive to the disruptive idea of a4,
there is no obvious way for White to which is usually just met comfortably
get an advantage against careful play, with a5 but sometimes relevantly
...

and the endorsement by the aforemen­ weakens the b6-knight. There was
tioned players ought to give at least a also one game with 'itb3 and h4 when
little encouragement. Moreover, the Black castled before playing ...c6; none
main reason I prefer ... e5 to ...c5 is that of this should really concern you, but
whereas the queenside majority Black I'm just saying, be careful !
achieves in the ... c5 lines does nothing 10 �bc3
to stifle the g2-bishop, Black's king­ 1 0 �c3 is an excellent choice
side majority in the positions we are when Black has played . . .c5 followed
about to consider can often cut the by ...e6 because the idea of a4 and
g2-bishop off completely, which can � is much more dangerous, but here
have repercussions for the proud, but it doesn't give Black so much cause
lone d-pawn. for concern, as these variations sug­
8 dS c6 9 0-0 0-0 (D) gest: 10 ... cxd5 1 1 exd5 i.f5 (placing
I don't think it matters a great deal the bishop here makes quite good
whether Black castles before playing sense in this case because it can some­
...e5 and there are no major distrac­ times remove the bl -knight and White
tions up to this point. However, it's is less likely to want to continue with
worth knowing that although taking b3 and i.a3, which can be annoying,
on e5 is generally a bad idea for White as we'll see below) 12 a4 1i'd7 ! ?
THE SILENT CORRIDOR 217

(holding back ideas ofh3 and g4; note


that White's kingside is more vulnera­
ble than usual since both the knights
are trying to find work on the other
flank; 1 2 ... lt::la6 1 3 lt::la3 l:.c8 14 g4 ! ?
.i.d7 15 lt::lab5 l:.c4 16 h3 h5 1 7 g5 .i.f5
1 8 a5 ltJc8 1 9 d6 was a less controlled
but more exciting approach, Djuric­
David, Frankfurt 1 998) 1 3 l:.e1 lDa6
14 a5 lDc4 15 lt::le4 .i.xe4 ! 16 l:.xe4
.l:.ac8 17 .l:.e 1 lt::lc5 1 8 lDc3 f5 19 .i.fl
lt::ld6 20 .i.d2 e4 was Fedorowicz­
Wolff, New York 1990. I have always
been impressed by the way GM Pat­ a) 1 1 ...lt::lc4 looks fairly logical be­
rick Wolff coordinates his pieces, and cause it is very important to restrain
this was no exception. the d-pawn before it does any damage
lO cxdS
..• or White gets ideas of pushing it to d6
It may well be a good idea to play and following up with lt::lb5-c7 or
10 ... lDa6 ! ? in this position. Experi­ something similarly sinister. However,
enced players will then play 1 1 b3 and this horse is absolutely tired out and
you can transpose to the game while could do with a rest. It seems more of a
avoiding the unclear consequences of priority to get the queenside pieces go­
12 d6. Also, White taking on d5 with ing. Indeed, 1 2 lDe4! .i.f5 ( 1 2 .. .f5 13
the knight is not a problem - Black can lDg5 ! - Black is not sufficiently devel­
either take it and have less of a space oped to deal with such a blow) 1 3
disadvantage, or leave it and claim lD2c3! .i.xe4 14 lDxe4 lDd6 15 �g5 f6
equality. Less experienced players 1 6 lDxd6 'iixd6 17 .i.e3 left the queen
could conceivably misassess 1 1 dxc6 with the burden of blockading and
bxc6, which may seem to give White White now had a substantial advan­
an edge on account of Black's broken tage in StAhlberg-Smyslov, Budapest
structure, but actually gives Black some Ct 1950.
advantage due to his prospects for b) l l .. ..i.f5 and now:
queenside pressure and the superior bl) 12 lt::le4? ! .i.xe4 ! 13 .i.xe4 lt::lc4 !
scope of the black knights. is an improvement on line 'a' for
11 exdS (D) Black and was played in Romanishin­
1 1 lDxd5 lt::lc6 is absolutely fine for Anand, New York PCA Ct (7) 1 993. It
Black. is an important sequence to under­
l l lt::la6 !
••• stand because Black's position in
This looks like the best move but it these lines will only be tenable if
has taken a long time for this to be­ Delroy can be kept under lock and key
come clear. Others: and Black can eventually make good
218 UNDERSTANDING THE GRONFEW

use of the kingside majority. Ideally 12 b3!?


the d-pawn should be blockaded by a It is very likely that this is White's
knight on d6 so this capture on e4 best move. As far as I can tell, the only
makes good sense when White cannot serious alternative is 1 2 d6 ! ?, which
yet recapture with the other knight. feels both threatening and premature.
The game continued 14 1!fb3 l0d6 15 1 2...l0c5 1 3 .i.e3 l0e6 14 b3 f5 ! ?
i.g2 lbd7, when Black had a solid and ( 1 4. . .l0d4 i s given by Stohl; White
harmonious position and went on win. emerges with some advantage) 1 5 f4
b2) However, 12 b3 ! makes it much e4 was agreed drawn in Lipka-Banas,
more difficult for Black to harmonize Slovakian Cht 1 995. This is interest­
his forces and the bishop on f5 doesn't ing for two reasons. Firstly the result
look quite right when White doesn't was probably motivated by match
immediately give it the chance to make considerations since it looks to me like
itself useful. There are many depress­ Black is firmly in control in the final
ing examples showing that the black position. Secondly, Banas and Fta�nik
position just doesn't quite make sense are both strong Slovakian players
of itself, and you will find this if you playing the same opening. I suspect
play around with the position for a they have done some work on this line,
while, bearing in mind White's ideas and I suspect they think that Black is
of a4-a5, i.a3, d6, l0d5, l0b5-c7, h3 OK.
and g4, l:.cl , etc. The main problem in 12 f5!
...

all of the games with 1 1 . . . i.f5 1 2 b3 Black's play is very logical because
was that Black desperately needed to just as White's bishop seeks to renounce
create counterplay with ... f7-f5 but the its influence on the kingside, Black
bishop kept getting in the way. steps up the pressure there and pays
Returning to the position after particular homage to the f4-square. It
1 1 ...l0a6 (D): is also true that the advance of Black's
f-pawn is particularly troubling due to
the placement of the knight on e2; in­
deed ... f4-f3 is now looming.
13 a4!? (D)
A principled reaction; White is just
in time to stop Black gaining complete
control.
13 i.a3 l:.f7 ! ? to my knowledge has
not yet been tried. It's also possible to
put the rook on e8 but this looks awk­
ward and White has various ways to
gain an advantage. I always like to sec­
ond-guess Delroy's intentions, even if
rather distant, and I don't like the idea
THE SILENT CORRIDOR 219

of him landing on d7 with a tempo on


the rook. I also like the fact that the
b7-pawn is defended by an active
piece. 14 d6 .ie6 now looks comfort­
able for Black since Delroy will be se­
curely blockaded, e.g. 15 lLld5 lLlxd5
16 .ixd5 ft'e8 ! ? to be followed by
. . .l:.ad8 and possibly . . ..if8.

17 lL!d4
17 bxa7 ? is definitely too greedy as
Black's counterplay after 17 . . ..ig4 !
will be absolutely deadly.
17...hS!?
Maybe 17 . . . fixb6 1 8 .ie3 fid8 was
even stronger since White can no lon­
ger meet . . . fid7 in the same way.
18 h3 fixb6 19 i.e3 ft'd8! 20 1i'e2
13 f4!
.•. 'ii'd 7!? 21 l:.h1 'ii'f7 22 l:.ad1 1fl-lf2
It's important to get on with it. Black is definitely not worse.
1 3 . . . .id7 14 .ia3 l:.f7 15 a5 tLlc8 1 6
d 6 shows the penalty for overt caution. Game 35
14 aS Cvitan Kozul
-

14 gxf4? exf4 15 .ixf4 �xc3 1 6 Reggio Emilia 199314


lL!xc3 l:.xf4.
14...f3! 1 lLlf3 lLlf6 2 c4 g6 3 g3 i.g7 4 .ig2 d5
Ftacnik tends to check his openings S cxd5 lL!xdS 6 d4 lL!b6! (D)
very thoroughly, so I suspect that this At this point I am going to give the
is still preparation. theoryphobes the benefit of the doubt
15 axb6 fxg2 16 'iti>xg2 e4! (D) and assume that the reader will be keen
Targeting the weakened light squares on avoiding as much theory as possible.
on the kingside and preventing White Firstly, it is worth knowing that 1
from shutting out the bishop with d4 lLlf6 2 c4 g6 3 lLlf3 .ig7 4 g3 d5 5
lbe4. From here on the moves are cxd5 lLlxd5 6 i.g2 lL!b6 would be a
much less forced and forcing but at more typical move-order and secondly
any rate Black can be fully satisfied 6 . . .0-0 7 0-0 tLlc6 8 lL!c3 lL!b6 is more
with the outcome of the opening. orthodox.
220 UNDERSTANDING THE GR ONFELD

w w

From an objective standpoint I don't 8 0-0 ! ? is a sharp alternative which


think there is anything wrong with allows Black the chance to be coura­
castling early but 9 d5 ! ? is definitely a geous and take the d-pawn: 8 ....!Dxd4 9
nuisance. Not only is it quite danger­ ltJxd4 'ii'xd4 (9 ... i.xd4 seems Jess ac­
ous and theory-compelling for Black, curate: 10 ltJb5 i.e5 1 1 'ii'x d8+ �xd8
but it is rare that Black can do more 12 :%.dl+!? ltJd7 1 3 i.e3 a6 14 ltJa7 c6
than achieve fairly sterile equality, and 15 :d2 �c7 16 :c 1 ltJbS 17 b4
that tends to be when things go well! looked rather threatening in Krogius­
7 ltJc3 Ma.Tseitlin, USSR 1 97 1 ) and now:
7 a4 ! ? is also noteworthy. Then a) 10 'ii'xd4 i.xd4 1 1 ltJb5 i.e5 12
7 . . . a5 ! looks best, and now White has i.f4 (slightly counter-intuitive, but
to show that something has been Black is just one move from consoli­
gained in return for ceding Black the dating) 1 2 . . .i.xf4 1 3 gxf4 �d8 ! ?
b4-square. 8 lOc3 ltJc6 9 0-0 0-0 ! . The ( 1 3 . . .0-0 14 ltJxc7 :%.b8 is equal, though
inclusion of a4 and . . . a5 would defi­ when the position stabilizes, Black
nitely favour White if Black took on could strive for a niggle due to White's
d4 but now the d5 lines Black was kingside structure) 1 4 :tfd 1 + ltJd7 is
seeking to avoid are no longer danger­ undoubtedly risky for Black in the
ous as the knight can safely go to b4. short term, but White needs to play
10 i.f4 was now tried by Ruck against something very creative to counter
Pelletier at the Mitropa Cup (Buk) Black's unravelling plan of . . . c6 and
1996, when 10 . . .ltJxd4 ( 1 0. . . i.e6!?) . . .�c7 since there are no tangible
1 1 .!Dxd4 e5 ! ? 12 ltJdb5 was unclear. weaknesses in Black's position and it
7 ltJc6 (D)
... is a very healthy extra pawn. One in­
8 e3 teresting try I found for White was 15
This is the move that Black's move­ a4 ! ? c6 1 6 a5 cxb5 17 a6, which is by
order is designed to force but in saying no means conclusive or unavoidable
that, please note that it is not forced! but I think it's the sort of thing White
THE SILENT CORRIDOR 221

has to try. Indeed, in general I suspect 1 1 . . .c!bxa4 ! is the main idea and now
that White is struggling to find enough 12 'ii'xa4 (after 12 c!bxc7+ 'ifxc7 1 3
compensation for the pawn. 'ii'xa4+ .i.d7 White needs a big hit, but
b) 10 c!bb5 (D) is by far the most I don ' t see it, e.g. 14 i.f4 .i.xa4 1 5
dangerous move and leaves Black .i.xc7 .i.c6) 1 2. . ..i.d7 1 3 .i.xb7 .i.xb5
with an important choice. 14 i.e3 (14 'ir'a5 llb8 15 .i.e3 'ii'f5 16
.i.f3 a6! 17 'ii'xc7 0-0 1 8 'ii'xe7 i.xb2
19 l:tad1 'iff6 ! ? gave Black a chunky
endgame advantage in Grabarczyk­
B Kempinski, Polish Ch 1 996) 14 ....i.xa4
15 i.xc5 l:tb8 16 .i.f3 .i.b3 and now
17 .i.xa7 lld8 18 .i.c6+ �f8 19 .i.c5
.i.f6 20 l:ta7 �g7 and 17 .i.c6+ �ffl 1 8
llxa7 .i.e5 both result i n equal end­
games according to Beliavsky and
Mikhalchishin. While these endings
are not riveting, they are not dead
draws either.
c) 10 a4 ! ? 'it'xd1 1 1 llxd1 c6 12 a5
c!bc4 1 3 a6 0-0 14 axb7 .i.xb7 15 l:td7
b l ) 10 ...'ii'xd 1 ? !!!? 1 1 llxd 1 .i.e5 i.c8 16 llxe7 llb8 17 :.lexa7 i.e6 led
1 2 a4 ! ? (12 .i.f4 is equal) encourages to a draw in the game Davies-Liss, Is­
Black to think about the difference be­ rael 1994. 10. a6, 10 ...0-0, l l ...i.xc3
..

tween taking and being taken. White's and 13 . . .c!bb6 all look like possible im­
extra tempo (lid 1 ) might make all the provements for Black.
difference between an unclear sacri­ 8 ... 0-0! 9 0-0 (D)
fice and a dangerous initiative but I have omitted the lines where
again it's by no means certain that White delays castling or puts his
White has a concrete breakthrough. queen's knight somewhere other than
b2) 10 . . .'ii'c4 is the main move, but c3. They are not at all threatening, and
if the analysis of Hungary's IM Robert I'm sure you can work them out for
Ruck in Informator 72 is correct (and I yourselves!
think it largely is) then the black posi­ 9. .:.te8!
.

tion is more unstable than was previ­ An important and instructive wait­
ously thought. l l a4 ! 0-0 1 2 b3 'tig4 ing move. The key to success in this
1 3 .i.e3 .i.xa1 14 'ii'x al c6 1 5 c!bc7 line is to realize that there is no need to
.i.f5 16 a5 ! was at least a little better attack the centre immediately because
for White in Ruck-Fogarasi, Hungary White's position is actually quite pas­
1998. sive, and usually only springs to life
b3) 10. . . 'ii'c5 ! ? looks like a prom­ when Black plays ... e5. Of course this
ising alternative. 1 1 a4 (1 1 'iVb3 .i.d7 !) pawn-break is very much on the cards,
222 UNDERSTANDING THE GRONFELD

B w

but it would seem that Black can make good prospects. There are various
more purposeful waiting moves than off-shoots now, but remembering to
White and so . . . e5 should be delayed keep Delroy in check and carefully
until you feel that you cannot improve considering your piece coordination
your position by any other means. should keep you on the right track: 15
The immediate 9 ... e5 offers White b3 lbd6 1 6 .i.b2 .i.d7 17 lbe3 f5 18
good chances for an advantage: 1 0 d5 .:e1 h5 !? 19 a4 a5 ! ?. This is quite un­
lba5 (1 0. . . e4 ! ? has been suggested by usual for this variation, and is only ad­
GM Adorjan amongst others but I visable when Black has good control
think Black is struggling to equalize of b5. In any case I like the black posi­
after 1 1 dxc6 'ir'xd 1 1 2 lbxd 1 ! exf3 1 3 tion here and there followed a draw in
.i.xf3 bxc6 14 .i.d2) 1 1 e4 c 6 1 2 .i.g5 Kharitonov-Lputian, Simferopol 1988.
f6 13 .i.e3 cxd5 14 .i.xb6! _.xb6 1 5 b2) 1 2 lbc2?1 is an inaccurate
lbxd5 _.d8 1 6 l:.c 1 was very comfort­ move-order in view of 12 . . .e4 ! , when
able for White in the game Baburin­ Ko�ul gave another model performance
Pfibyl, Liechtenstein 1996. for Black in this line against Mikhal­
10 l:.el!? chishin, Portoro� 1996: 1 3 lbxe4 lbxd5
Alternatively: 14 lbd4 lbc4 ! (not an obvious move,
a) 10 'ir'e2 e5 ! gives Black no prob­ but it is important to bring the knight
lems. back into the fray) 15 b3?! lbe5 16
b) 10 lbe1 !? e5! (there is nothing .i.b2 _.e7 17 Wd2 lld8 ! 1 8 llac 1 lbb4
to be gained by further delay since 19 f4 lbg4 ! 20 h3 lbh6 ! 2 1 a3 lbd5 22
White was threatening to take control llfe1 .i.xh3 ! and Black won twelve
with lbd3) 1 1 d5 lba5 (D) and then: moves later.
b 1 ) 1 2 e4 c6 ! 1 3 lbc2 ( 1 3 a4 ! ? c) 10 d5 obliges Black to play very
cxd5 1 4 exd5 looks fairly unclear, but accurately, but ought not to cause any
maybe now Black can try 14 ... e4 ! ?) serious problems. 10 . . . lba5 1 1 lbd4
1 3 ...cxd5 14 exd5 lbac4 ! offers Black .i.d7 (D) and now:
THE SILENT CORRIDOR 223

Returning to the position after 10


l:.el (D):
w

c l ) 12 �b3 ! ? �xb3 1 3 axb3 c6 is


fine for Black.
c2) 12 b4 �ac4 1 3 a4 ( 1 3 h3 ! ? c6
14 dxc6 i.xc6 15 i.xc6 bxc6 16 l:.bl 10 h6!?
...

1Wc8 17 1Wg4 e6 18 h4 c5 19 bxc5 10 . . . a5 ! ? is more common, but I


"ii'xc5 20 �e4 't!i'd5 2 1 "ii'f3 f5 22 �g5 think Kozul understands these posi­
iixf3 23 �gxf3 e5 24 �b5 e4 was a tions very well so I suspect we should
very instructive sequence which turned respect his choice. It is very useful to
out well for Black in Razuvaev-Timo­ give the black king some extra breath­
shchenko, USSR Cht 1988. Once ing space and a good idea to cover g5
again, Black had a slightly crippled since White may want to use this
pawn-structure but more than suffi­ square after ... e5, d5 and e4 and more
cient dynamism) 1 3 ... a5 ! 14 b5 'i'c8 ! generally Black might want to play an
1 5 l:.el i.h3 1 6 i.h l 't!i'g4 ! was a little early ... i.e6, possibly intending ...'W'c8
better for Black in Portisch-Kasparov, and ...i.h3. Smejkal-Howell, 2nd Bun-
Reykjavik 1 986. White has lots of desliga 1 994 is a model example of
space, but Black's forces are much how to play the black position when
better coordinated. White plays insipidly: 1 1 �a4 �xa4
c3) 12 'i'c2 ! ? 't!i'c8 1 3 a4 c5 ! 14 12 'ifxa4 e5 ! 13 �xe5 �xe5 1 4 dxe5
�b3 �xb3 15 'ii'xb3 c4 16 1Wc2 i.h3 i.xe5 15 l:.d l 1We7 1 6 i.d2 i.d7 17
17 e4 i.xg2 18 �xg2 e6 ! was com­ "ii'c2 i.f5 ! (provoking e4 to block out
fortable for Black in Csom-Ftacnik, the g2-bishop and give Black some
Debrecen 1 989. useful squares on the queenside) 18 e4
c4) 12 e4 c6 13 b3 cxd5 14 exd5 i.g4 19 l:.dcl l:.ed8! 20 i.c3 c6 2 1 h3
l:.c8 gives Black a good position since i.xc3 22 1Wxc3 i.e6 23 a3 a4 ! (provid­
White finds it difficult to counter the ing an anchor for the bishop on b3) 24
threat of a knight sacrifice on c4, or h4 i.b3 25 l:.el c5 ! (this game is an­
...e6 detonating the centre. other example of the benefits of the
224 UNDERSTANDING THE GRONFELD

queenside majority when White no 12 1i'e2 a4!?


longer has central domination; the Black's play is very patient and cre­
main benefit of having the potential ative; soon we will see another idea
passed pawn on the queenside is that behind the advance of this a-pawn.
whereas Black can 'push for a passer' 13 l:.d1 .i.e6! 14 ltJd2
at little risk, White has to expose his 1 4 d5 tt::lxd5 15 tt::lx d5 .i.xd5 16 e4
king to do likewise) 26 e5 l:.d4 (a tan­ .i.c4! wins for Black.
gible reward for Black's seventeenth 14...l:.aS! (D)
move) 27 l:.ac 1 l:c8 28 h5 b6 ! (im­
pressively solid; Black' s patience is
soon rewarded by White' s impa­
tience) 29 hxg6 hxg6 30 e6? (it is dif­ w
ficult to suggest a good plan for White
since Black is in total control and was
threatening to infiltrate slowly on the
d-file; still, White could have tried to
hold the position together with 1:te3
and maybe .i.f3 and �g2) 30 . . . .i.xe6
3 1 .i.h3 l:.d6 32 .i.xe6 l:.xe6 33 l:.xe6
'i'xe6 34 l:.e l 'i'd6 35 l:.e4 l:.d8 36
�h2 b5 37 l:.h4 f6 38 ..e3 g5 39 l:.e4
�t7 40 ..f3 Wd l ! (Howell displays
excellent technique: carefully prevent­ An impressive conception. Black is
ing counterplay but confidently trans­ optimizing every single piece in prep­
forming his advantage) 41 1/t'xd l l:.xdl aration for the central break.
42 l:.e2 g4 ! (gaining space and fixing 15 tt::lde4 WeB!
the white pawns) 43 �g2 l:.d3 44 �fl Ducking the concealed challenge of
l:.d 1 + 45 �g2 l:.d3 46 �fl �g6 47 White's d l -rook and gaining an im­
�e l �f5 48 l:.e8 c4 49 l:.e7 l:.b3 50 portant tempo.
l:.e2 b4 ! 5 1 axb4 c3 ! 0- 1 . A pleasing 16 �h2 .i.c4! 17 Wc2 eS! !
finale. If White takes on a3 Black ex­ These exclamation marks are in
changes rooks and queens the a-pawn. honour of the timing, which is abso­
11 h3! ? lutely perfect. Black is fully mobi­
I guess White was concerned about lized, and White is in disarray.
the idea of ... .i.e6, ...Wc8 and ... .i.h3. 18 dxeS tt::lb4! 19 ,.d2 l:.axeS!
There are many other moves in this Centralization!
position, but none of them significantly 20 f4 l:.Se7 21 tt::lcS l:.xe3!
alter the character of the position. A winning combination, which had
l l ... aS! to be carefully calculated.
Gaining space and planning to probe 22 Wxe3 1:txe3 23 .i.xe3 tt::lc2 24
the white queenside at a later stage. tt::lxb7 tt::ld 7! 25 l:xd7 Wxd7 26 J:[dl
THE SILENT CORRIDOR 225

'ill'e6 27 .i.f2 .i.xc3! 28 bxc3 'i1Ve2 29 structure but White's space advantage
ltd8+ �h7 30 �gl lbe1 31 lbcs 00+ is more significant since Black has to
0-1 find room for another minor piece.
A powerful display by Kozul, and a 7 . . .lba6 8 lbxc4 c5 gives Black
good advert for Black's chances in this good chances of equalizing but leads
line. to much less engaging positions than
those we consider in the main game.
Game 36 8 lbxc4 .i.e6 9 b3 .i.d5
Speelman - Nunn 9 . ."il'c8 !?.
.

London 1986 10 .i.b2 aS (D)

1 d4 lbf6 2 lbf3 g6 3 g3 .i.g7 4 .i.g2


0-0
Or 4 ...d5 5 0-0 (5 c4 dxc4 ! ) 5 ...0-0 6 w
c4 dxc4.
5 0-0 d5 6 c4 dxc4!?
6 ...ltk6 !? is also playable here, but
then you have to be equipped for 7
cxd5 lbxd5 8 lbc3 lbb6 9 d5 .
Bearing in mind the lines I have
recommended, I should also mention
that it is important to take on c4 before
castling to prevent this line. This will
almost always transpose, and there is
nothing to be feared by an early 1Wa4+, This is the generic position for this
against which Black should play line. White has a space advantage and
... lbfd7, etc. Black will find it difficult to engineer
7 lba3 pawn-breaks to fight against the d4
This is by far the most common point. However, Black has a strong
move. grip on the central light squares and all
7 'i!Va4 lbc6 8 "fl'xc4 lbd7 will give of Black's pieces are reasonably con­
Black a very comfortable position, not tent. The rook on f8 hopes to come to
dissimilar to those we are about to d8 (when the queen finds a role) or
consider. maybe stay where it is if ...f5 is appro­
7 ...lbc6!? priate. The queen often goes to e6 via
I am recommending this solid move, c8 or a7 via b8. The aS-rook has its
which I find much easier to under­ hands full supporting the a-pawn, but
stand than 7 . . . c3 8 bxc3 c5 . I have al­ has been known to find time to come
ways felt this is a favourable version to a6 and have a look around. In doing
of the variations where White com­ so, a8 can be used by the queen to add
bines lbc3 with g3. We have the same further support to the ... a5-a4 push and
226 UNDERSTANDING THE GR ONFEW

Korchnoi once played ...l1a6 followed to a head eventually, and then the side
by . . .lt:la7-b5, which was a good laugh that has manoeuvred more purpose­
if nothing else . . . .lt:lf6-d6 is not un­ fully will tend to come off best. I hope
common and this knight can also come you won't feel mesmerized by the
to e4 to have a little taste of White' s number of games I have added, it' s
territory. Moreover, . . . h6 is usually a just that it' s the type of line where
useful move, particularly in conjunc­ playing over games is the best way to
tion with pushing the g-pawn to g4 to get a feeling for the positional nu­
fight for light squares or playing . . . f5 ances.
to gain further control of the centre. ll l:cl!?
So, hopefully you won't run out of This is a perfectly natural move, but
ideas ! One of the biggest problems in at the time of writing, it is more fash­
such positions is playing without pur­ ionable for White to hold back the
pose. This is easy to do when you black a-pawn:
don't have the liberating pawn-breaks a) 1 1 a4 ! ? (D) and now:
that you normally do in the Grii nfeld.
You will have noticed that almost all
the above-mentioned manoeuvres take
place within Black's half of the board B
and you may well wonder what White
will be doing in the meantime.
Normally White plays e3 followed by
'ii'e 2 and puts the rooks on d 1 and c l .
Sometimes White decides to hold off
Black's queenside play with a2-a4 or
a2-a3, which discourages . . . a4 due to
the reply b4. Black should be particu­
larly alert to White moving a knight to
e5 , which can be quite disruptive if
Black gets a little over-zealous in his a1) 1 1 . . .e6 12 l:c 1 l:a6 1 3 e3 'ii'b8
manoeuvring ideas. That said, it is im­ 14 i.a3 l:d8 15 l:e1 l:a8 16 i.fl b6 17
portant to realize that if Black lets 'ii'e2 lt:lb4 1 8 lt:lfe5 c5 1 9 dxc5 bxc5
White take on c6 and recaptures with If2-lh Spassky-Bronstein, USSR Ch
the b-pawn, the open lines on the queen­ (Leningrad) 1 963 is a good example
side tend to compensate fully for the of how this line has been played at the
structural damage. Black should also highest level but to my mind Black's
be attentive to the idea of lt:lc4-e3, play in the following game was more
which can force the bishop to go to a thematic:
somewhat less stable square on e4. a2) 1 1 ...'ii'c8 12 e3 l:d8 13 'ii'e 2 h6
Although this line does require 14 .l:.fd 1 'ii'e6 15 l:.ac l liJh7 1 6 liJe1
rather a lot of patience, things do come i.xg2 17 lt:lxg2 lt:lg5 18 h4 ltJe4 1 9
THE SILENT CORRIDOR 227

lt::lf4 'ii'f5 20 'ii'f3 h5 21 �g2 l:.d7 22 any rate, White ' s reaction is very con­
lt::ld3 e6 23 'ii'xf5 exf5 24 f3 lt::ld6 25 vincing) 1 3 e3 lt::lb5 14 a4 lt::ld6 15
lOdeS lt::lxc4 26 lt::lxc4 lt::lb4 27 i.c3 'it'e2 c6 16 .:tfd1 'ii'c 8 17 ..ia3 'ike6 18
lt::ld5 and now Black had a very com­ lt::lfe5 i.xg2 1 9 �xg2 i.h6 20 ll'ld3
fortable endgame in Mojzis-Kleberc, lt::ld7 21 'ii'f3 .:taa8 22 lt::lf4 'ii'f6 23 d5
Czech Cht 1998. Note that there is no lt::lxc4 24 bxc4 c5 25 'ti'e4. Black has
rush for the c6-knight to jump to b4 ; been outplayed and is now worse, but
this square will be available for a long nonetheless he forced White's resig­
time and it is also important to keep nation in just 39 moves in Van der
the e5-square covered. Sterren-Korchnoi, Antwerp 1997.
Other instructive examples include: b) 1 1 . . .a4 ! ? is actually the main
b) 1 1 lt::le3 ! ? i.e4 12 lt::le5 i.xg2 1 3 line, but again I would advise keeping
�xg2 lt::ld5 ! 1 4 'ii'c 1 lt::lxe3+ 15 'ii'xe3 this move on the back-burner.
i.xe5 16 dxe5 'ii'd5+ 17 'ii'f3 l:.fd8 12 a3 l:.d8 13 e3 'iVe6 (D)
P.Nikolic-Popovic, Vrsac 198 1 . I pre­
fer Black here, although GM Nikolic
has shown himself to be quite partial
to these structures for White. w
c) l l lt::lfe5 i.xg2 1 2 ..t>xg2 a4 ! ? 1 3
f3 lt::la5 14 e4 lt::ld7 1 5 lt::lxa5 .l:xa5 1 6
lt::lc4 l:.a6 17 b4 lt::lb6 1 8 lt::l a3 e 6 1 9
'ii'e2 'i!ie7 2 0 i. c 3 :ld8 2 1 J::tfd 1 :ld7
22 l:.d3 .l:.a8 23 .:tad1 .l:.ad8 24 'ii'e3
'ii'e8 25 'it'g5 h6 26 'it'e3 'ii'e7 27 i.e1
.l:.d6 28 'ii'g 1 'it'd7 29 i.f2 'ii'e8 30 i.e3
.l:6d7 3 1 'ii'f2 l:.d6 32 'ii'b2 f5 33 'it'e2
g5 34 i.f2 fxe4 35 fxe4 'ii'g 6. All the
heavy manoeuvring has left Black
with the more comfortable position. In 14 'ir'c2
the game Mikhalevski-Dvoirys, Beer­ Or:
sheba 1997, Black went on to win an a) 14 lt::lg5? ! 'i1Vf5 (or 14 ...'ir'g4)
instructive bishop endgame fifty-two doesn't get White anywhere.
moves later. b) 14 'it'e2 h6 15 :lfd 1 lt::le8 ! ? (cov­
l l .'iVc8
.. ering e5 and heading for d6) 16 lt::le 1
As far as I can tell, it is better not to (16 i.fl !? is less cooperative, but
wear out the black a-pawn. I prefer to Black still has control of the game)
keep the tension in Black's position. 1 6 . . . i.xg2 1 7 lt::lx g2 g5 ! (preventing
That said, there are many alternatives lt::lf4 and preparing to grip some light
here: squares with ... g4) 1 8 'ii'f3 lt::lf6 ! (the
a) 1 1 . ..l:.a6 1 2 a3 lt::la7 (I suspect position has changed - the knight .is
that this is a little too adventurous; at again useful on the kingside) 19 lt::lc I
228 UNDERSTANDING THE GR VNFELD

lC!e4 20 lC!d3 g4! 2 1 11i'e2 11i'f5 22 lDf4 Black is now well coordinated and
lC!g5 23 lCid2 e5 ! 24 :c5 .i.f8 25 .U.b5 it is fully possible to play on by gradu­
11i'c2! (this is invasive, and worse, it' s ally pushing the kingside pawns.
impolite) 26 lC!c4 lCif3+ 27 �fl 11i'e4 !
28 11i'd3 lCixh2+ 29 �e l lDf3+ 30 'it>e2 Conclusion
lC!cxd4+ (crunch!) 0- 1 Dokuchaev­ This chapter has considered three dif­
Lukin, Russian Cht (Kazan) 1995 - a ferent ways for White to play the
model game and a powerful interpre­ fianchetto system and I have recom­
tation of Black's position. White didn' t mended three different responses:
seem to d o much wrong, but was 1) Capture on d5 and play e4 ;
crushed nonetheless. break with ...e 5 followed b y ...c6.
14...lC!e4!? 2) Capture on d5 in conjunction
This is not the only way to play with lCif3 ; delay castling and be pa­
Black's position, but Nunn's follow­ tient with . . .e5 .
up is worth seeing, because it leaves 3) Allow Black to capture on c4;
White with little to do. play ... lC!c6 and ... .i.e6-d5 and ma­
15 :ret f5 16 :e2 .,,, lfl.lh. noeuvre purposefully.
Afterthou g hts

"Only one man understood me, and he didn 't understand me." - Hegel (on his
death bed)

I should say that I don't understand him, but that seems quite reasonable in the
circumstances. At any rate, I wanted to close the book on a thought-provoking note
rather than a hard-edged move or comment, which I always found a little imper­
sonal.
Hopefully, you have found some value in this book and feel that you are now
more closely acquainted with the Griinfeld. If you are not the type who reads
from start to finish, then I trust you will find it a good research base. In closing, I
wonder if I have answered the question set in the first chapter.
Not fully, I suspect, but on reading the following in Robert Pirsig's fantasti­
cally challenging book, ULA, I realized that this aim was largely unachievable in
any case:

"Different metaphysical ways of dividing up reality have, over the centuries,


tended to fan out into a structure that resembles a book on chess openings. If you
say that the world is 'one', then somebody can ask, 'Then why does it look like
more than one?' And if you answer that it is due to faulty perception, he can ask,
'How do you know which perception is faulty and which is real?' . Then you have
to answer that, and so on.
"Trying to create a perfect metaphysics is like trying to create a perfect chess
strategy, one that will win every time. You can't do it. It's out of the range of hu­
man capability. No matter what position you take on a metaphysical question,
someone will always start asking questions that will lead to more positions that
lead to more questions in this endless intellectual chess game. The game is sup­
posed to stop when it is agreed that a particular line of reasoning is illogical. This
is supposed to be similar to checkmate. But conflicting positions go on for centu­
ries without any such checkmate being agreed upon ... "

All you can do is play the moves which you think are best. It is healthy to ap­
preciate that your 'best' will never be conclusive.
S u m m a ry of Recom mended
Repertoi re

The following is, I hope, a user­ B) Systems with �b3


friendly supplement to the index. 4 tiJf3 i4.g7 5 'ti'b3 ; I argue that
Having advised the reader not to 5 . . .dxc4 6 'ii'xc4 0-0 7 e4 tDc6 ! ? is
stick too tightly to any particular lines, under-rated. See Chapter 12.
this small section should be consid­
ered only as a minimalist guide for pil­ C) Systems with i4.f4
grims. The journey is yours. It is good 4 i4.f4 i4.g7 : 5 l:c 1 tiJh5 ! , 5 e3 c5 !
to wonder and wander. My role is to and 5 tiJf3 0-0! are all discussed in
remind you of the path. Chapter 1 3 .

A) Exchange variations D) Systems with i4.g5


After 4 cxd5 tDxd5 5 e4 tDxc3 6 Main lines with ... tiJe4; see Chap­
bxc3, 6 ...i4.g7 is the tidiest move­ ters 10 and 1 1 , espechlly Games 27
order. Then there are four main con­ and 29.
tinuations:
7 i4.c4 (Classical main line) 7 ...c5 8 E) g3 Lines
tDe2 ttJc6 9 i4.e3 0-0 10 0-0 i4.g4 ! 1 1 You'll probably be pleased to hear
f3 tiJa5 ! - see Chapter 6. that I'm not recommending the turgid
7 i4.b5+ i4.d7 ! ? - see Chapter 8 and variations with . . . c6 followed by . . . d5 .
Game 4. All g3 lines are discussed in Chapter
7 i4.e3 c5 8 'ii'd2 'ifaS! - see Games 14.
5 and 1 8, but check the index for other
related references to i4.e3. F) Side-steps
7 tiJf3 c5 8 l:bl. I suggest follow­ Chapter 4 includes my recommen­
ing the critical path currently tread by dations against the infamous 4 cxd5 5
the world's best: 8 ... 0-0 9 i4.e2 cxd4 tlJxd5 5 ttJa4!? see Game 1 2, to­
-

10 cxd4 'ii'a5+ 1 1 i4.d2 'ii'xa2 12 0-0 gether with 3 f3! ? (Game 10) and 4
i4.g4 ! - see Chapter 9. cxdS tiJxdS 5 il.dl!? (Game 1 1 ).
G runfeld Qu iz

I think we all have a tendency to misassess the extent of our knowledge and abili­
ties. Whether you want to do the following tests before, during, or after reading
the book is entirely your own choice, but in any case it seems to me that the fol­
lowing ten positions should give you at least some insight into your understand­
ing of the opening. In the solutions (on pages 234-6) I refer to relevant back-up
material from the book, which may help you to bridge any gaps that you have
suddenly noticed in your understanding.

2
B

Rowson - Gonnally S. Ivanov - V. Mikhalevski


London 1997 Beersheba 1998

What is your evaluation of the posi­ White's last move was 1 3 i.a3-c l .
tion? Black now played 25 . . .'�e8. What are White's two most dangerous
What do you think White played now? ideas in this position?
How should Black have prevented Black played 13 ... l:tc8. Why was this
this? a mistake? What should Black have
played? '
232 UNDERSTANDING THE GRONFELD

3
B

Piket - Korchnoi
Wijk aan Zee 1990

How do you evaluate the position? Black's b-pawn is under attack, but
What is the best way for Black to deal White's king looks a little uncomfort­
with the threat to the b-pawn? able. 15 . . .'ii'c l +, 1 5 ... b6 and 1 5 ... lt:Jc6
are the main choices; which should
Black choose?

Komarov - Karasev
Leningrad 1 989

Who is better? Black played 1 8 ... a5 What is the best way for Black to
with the idea 19 :.xb6 a4 20 .i.c3 :.cs ! . complete his development?
Is this tactically/strategically sound?
What should White's 19th move be?
Did Black have a better 18th move?
GR ONFELD QUIZ 233

Douven - Ghinda Stohl - Krasenkow


Hamburg 1984 Bundesliga 1997

Although Black seems to be a se­ White seems to have a harmonious


cure pawn up, White is well coordi­ position and good prospects of gener­
nated and threatens some serious an­ ating some initiative with ideas like
noyance with l:.a6. What should Black 'ikb3, tL:lh4, ..tg5, tL:le5, etc . How did
do about this? (Are you sure?) Black take control of the game?

What is best thing about the black Which variation do you think gave
position? How might White intend to rise to this position? Who is better, and
undermine this feature? What should why? What would you recommend for
Black do about it? Black here?
Solutions

1 ) The position is approximately S.Ivanov then gives 14 .i.e3 .l:ac8 15


equal. Black's sturdy queenside for­ d5 exd5 1 6 exd5 tt:le5, when Black is
mation makes it difficult for White to preswnably doing quite well. 13 ... l2Jd7
do anything constructive . White does also appears playable, when Black
have chances to play on both sides of threatens to take on d4 and then e4.
the board however, and the extra space 13....1:cS?
makes White's position somewhat I hope Chapter 3 convinced you
easier to play. This was borne out by that you have be a little more attentive
the game continuation: to Delroy's intentions.
25 �eS?!
•.. 14 d5!
Not the most accurate move, be­ Of course !
cause it gives White a chance to in­ 14 ... exd5 15 exd5 ir'd6 16 tt:lg5! b6
crease his space advantage. 25 . . .h5 ! 17 tt:lxf7! �xf7 1S .i.f4! ir'd7 19 d6+
was better. Then White might try to 'it>f8 20 .l:fe1 .:es 21 ir'xeS+ ,.xeS
improve the knight with 26 tt:lbl ! ? in­ White now played 22 .l:xe8+ and
tending tt:ld2-b3, targeting the queen­ won twenty moves later, but 22 d7 !
side and overprotecting d4, but Black would have been mur:h more elegant:
has no real targets to attack. 22... tt:lxd7 (22...ir'xd7 23 .:xd7 tt:lxd7
26 g4! e5? 27 d5 .i.f8 2S g5! .i.c5 24 .i.d6#) 23 .i.d6+ ir'e7 24 .l:xe7 +-.
29 .i.d2! �e7 30 �e2 tt:lb6 31 tt:ld1! (See Chapter 3 generally, and look
..tcS? ! 32 ..ta5! .i.g4+ 33 f3 .i.d7 34 at Games 16 and 2 1 .)
tt:le3 �d6 35 tt:lc2 .i.cS 36 .i.e1 ! tt:la4
37 tt:lb4 .i.d4 3S .i.c2! .i.d7 39 ..txa4 3) Black has some advantage since
bxa4 40 tt:ld3! ..tb5 41 .i.b4+ 'it>d7 42 White's forces are uncoordinated and
�d2 .i.xd3 43 �d3 .i.g1 44 h3 ..tb6 Delroy is more of a weakness than a
45 .i.d2 idS 46 �c4 .i.e7 47 .i.c3 1-0 strength. However, the passive 16 . . .b6
(See Chapter 7, especially Game would leave Black's queen stranded
1 9.) and the position would become un­
clear. Korchnoi played more power­
2) White threatens not only to fully:
thrust Delroy into the heart of Black's 16...ir'b6! 17 ir'a3
position, but to soften up Black's 1 7 'Wxb6 axb6 is slightly better for
kingside with h4-h5 . Black needs to Black according to Korchnoi. The
create counterplay quickly and the best black rook suddenly has lots of possi­
way to do this seems to be 1 3 . . . tt:lc6. bilities on the a-file and it's difficult
SOLUTIONS 235

for White to attack b6 because Black (See Chapter 9, especially pages


controls b l . 109- 14.)
1 7. . .i.f8 1 8 llcd1 .td6 19 b3 a 6 20
i.h6 'ilc7 21 'ilcl ..d7 ll i.f4 i.e4 5) 15...lDc6!
23 lDg5 b5 24 i.xd6 •xd6 25 tDxe4 Developing with tempo and refus­
lDxe4 26 i.d3 c4 27 .txe4 :Xe4 ing to allow White to settle down.
Black was now finnly in control After 15 . . . b6? ! 16 0-0, White's ex­
and went on to win. (See Chapter 3, tra space and development grant him a
especially Game 5.) slight advantage.
15 . . .\\Vc l+ is not so bad for Black
4) The position is unclear. Black's but the queen looks a little lonely and
position is very compact but I think her lack of support means that this ex­
White has full compensation for the cursion is unproblematic for White.
pawn because all of his pieces are ac­ 16 'ii'd 1 1ooks best, when White seems
tively placed, while Black has some to have a small advantage, for example
difficulties developing and Black's 16 ... 'ii'f4 17 "fi'd2! .
kingside is somewhat vulnerable (it is 16 'ii'c3
not difficult for White to exchange off After 1 6 llxb7, 1 6 . . . 'ii'c 8 ! intend­
the only kingside defender with i.c3 ). ing . . . lDa5 is winning for Black, but
18...a5?! 16 . . . 'fi'a5+ 17 'fi'c3 is much less clear.
The given variation does hold to­ 16 ... l:.ac8 17 l:.c4 'ii'b6 18 0-0 l:r.fd8
gether tactically but from a strategic Black now had a clear advantage
point of view this move is much too and went on to create his very own
ambitious. 1 8 . . .'ii' b7 ! ? intending ei- Delroy, which left White in disarray:
ther . . . lDa6 or ... lDd7 leads to a tense 19 l:.d1 l:.xd1 + 20 i.xd1 l:.d8 21
position where White has lots of ways i.e2 e5 22 h3 lDd4! 23 lDxd4 exd4 24
to proceed but Black looks solid. 'ild2 i.xe2 25 'iixe2 'fi'a5! 26 'fidl d3
19 i.c3! 27 a4 d2 28 b4 'ii'e5 29 b5 lie6 30
Ignoring the bait and suddenly re­ l:.b4 'ila2 31 ct;b2 'ii'a3 32 llc4 'itd3
minding Black that his king is rather 0-1
lonely. There follows a classic demon­ (Perhaps look again at Chapter 2.)
stration of the maxim that the player
who controls the centre, controls the 6) 15.. .'il'a4!
game. The queen laterally attacks the white
19 ... i.xc3 20 l:txc3 a4 21 'ile3! llc8 centre and makes way for the knight to
22 'ilb6! f6 23 lbc8+ ..xeS 24 lDd4 come to d7. 15 . . .lDc6 1 6 d5 ! is un­
'ilf8 25 'ilcl 'ile8 26 tDe6 lDa6 27 pleasant for Black.
:Xb6 a3 28 'iib6 'tif7 29 'ilcl 'ite8 30 16 l:.d2 lDd7 17 i.d1?! 1Wa5 18-
llbl! llb8 31 :at 'ila4? 32 'ilh6 ct;r7 i.b3 l:.ac8 19 l:.fd1
33 'iixh7+ 'it>e8 34 'ilg8+ �d7 35 Both sides are mobilized but Black's
'ilxb8 1-0 forces are more purposefully placed.
236 UNDERSTANDING THE GRONFELD

19 ...g5! 20 �g3 lDf6 21 d5 9) 10...�c2!


2 1 e5 ltJd5 gives Black total control An important move, which disrupts
of the game. This explains White's de­ White's coordination and allows Black
cision to sacrifice material. to gain a finn grip on the central
21. ..exd5 22 e5 l:lfeS 23 h3 l:.c3 24 squares. Other lines seem to give White
1:td3 lDe4 25 �h2 1:txd3 26 1i'xd3 a slight edge, e.g. IO . . . lDb6 I I 'ii'b3
lDc5 27 1i'f5 �e6 I 2 1i'c2 �f5 I 3 e4 �g4 1 4 b3 ;!;.
Black is now clearly better and went 11 l:lel
on to win a fine game. (See Chapter 8, I I l:ld2 is very awkward: after
and Game 16.) I I ...lDb6 I2 'ii'c5 lbe4 Black is at least
slightly better.
7) 25...lDxd4! 26 exd4 l l ... lDb6 12 1i'c5 lDe4! 13 lDxe4
Or 26 1i'xc8 lDxf3+ 27 gxf3 l:lxc8. �xe4 14 l:.dl l:.e8!? 15 �f4 lDd5 16
26...1i'xc5 27 dxc5 �xal 0-1 lDe5 �xg2 17 �xg2 lDxf4+ 18 gxf4
Many of you will have seen this far, e6
but the combination is only completely The minor-piece exchanges have
convincing when you see 28 l:.xal f4 left Black without any spatial difficul­
winning a piece. (Just a general ties. Black's bishop has better long­
Griinfeld tactic ! ) term prospects than the knight and
White's king is a little draughty. White
8) 16 lDb6!
.•. resigned on move 4 1 . (Chapter I4, es­
The pawns on b4 and c4 (especially) pecially Game 36.)
are Black's main assets and give him
good prospects on the queenside. IO) Those who'jJaid close attention
However, this duo could quickly come to Chapter I I will realize that this po­
under heavy fire after lDd2 and 1i'e2. sition arose from note 'b' to White' s
In his notes to this game, Nesis em­ 8th move i n Game 2 9 . Black i s better
phasizes that all of Black's prospects because of the two bishops, and the
are connected to maintaining the pawn possibility of immediately neutraliz­
on c4. Thus I6 . . . lDxb5 I7 axb5 lDb6 ing White's attacking plans on the
1 8 lDd2 would be better for White. kingside.
The game continued: 17 1i'b8! 18 1i'd2
.•.

17 1i'e2 �a6! 18 lDd2 �xb51 19 The queen exchange would give


axb5 :c8! Black a clear endgame advantage;
Black is very persistent in his aim. White has to worry about the weak­
20 l:.xa5 lDxd5 21 l:.a4 lDxe3 22 nesses on the kingside and d4.
fxe3 b3 23 �bl 1i'b6 24 l:.a6 1i'c5 25 18 1i'd6 19 g5 hxg5 20 hxgS �e7
.•.

lbd6 1i'xd6 26 lDxc4 1i'c5 21 lDh4 l:.h7! 22 lDf3 l:.ah8 23 l:.hgl


Black is clearly better and went on a6! ?
to win. (See Chapter 3 generally, and Black has complete control and
particularly note a2 on page I75.)
' ' went on to win. (See pages I57-9.)
I ndex of Variations

Page references and cross-references are shown in italic.

1 d4 �f6 i.e3 0-0 8 f4) 8 ...ltX6 (8 . .e5 48) 9


.

2 c4 0-0-0 (9 :td l 48): 9 ...e5 49; 9 . .f5 50


.

2 �f3 g6 3 g3 (3 c4 - 2 c4 g6 3 �f3) 3 g3 i.g7 (3 ... d5 213; 3 ... c5 213) 4


3 ...i.g7 4 i.g2 d5 5 0-0 (or 5 c4 dxc4 6 i.g2 d5 5 cxd5 �xd5:
0-0 0-0) 5 . .0-0 6 c4 dxc4 - 2 c4 g6 3
. a) 6 �f3 - 3 �f3 i.g7 4 g3 d5 5
�f3 i.g7 4 g3 d5 5 i.g2 dxc4 6 0-0 cxd5 �5 6 i.g2
0-0 b) 6 ltX3 �xc3 7 bxc3 c5 213
2 ... g6 (D) c) 6 e4 �b6 7 �e2 c5 216
3 ... i.g7
3 ... d5?! 63
4 g3
4 �c3 d5 3 liJc3 d5 4 liJj3 i.g 7
-

4 i.f4 0-0 5 �c3 d5 (5 ...c5 15) 4 -

�f3 i.g7 5 i.j4


4 •.. d5
Now:
a) 5 i.g2 dxc4 6 0-0 0-0 7 �a3 (7
'ii'a4 225) 7 . .�c6 (7 ... c3 225) 8 �xc4
.

i.e6 225
b) 5 cxd5 �xd5 6 i.g2 �b6 (6 . .0-0 .

220) 7 �c3 (7 a4 220) 7 . . .ltJc6 8 e3 (8


0-0 �xd4 220) 8 0-0 221
...

Now:
A: Without 3 lDc3 B)
B : 3 lDc3 dS without 4 ffi or 4 cxdS 3 �3 dS
C: 3 �c3 d5 4 �f3 4 i.f4
D: 3 �c3 dS 4 cxdS Or:
a) 4 'ii'a4+ 64
A) b) 4 h4 c5 64
3 �f3 c) 4 g4 dxc4 64
3 f3 d5 4 cxd5 lDxd5 5 e4 �b6 6 d) 4 f3 c5 63
�c3 i.g7 7 i.e3 0-0 8 'ii'd2 (8 f4 - 4 e) 4 e3 i.g7 5 Wb3 (5 liJf3 - 4 lbf3
cxd5 liJxd5 5 i.d2 i.g 7 6 e4 liJb6 7 i.g7 5 e3) 5 ...e6 6 'ii'a3 162
238 UNDERSTANDING THE GR ONFELD

f) 4 'ili'b3 dxc4 5 'ili'xc4 i.g7: 8 . . ltJe4 196


.

fl) 6 i.f4 c6 7 liJf3 (7 l:.d 1 166) 9 i.xc4 �xeS


7 .. 0-0 167
. 10 i.b3
f2) 6 e4 0-0 7 i.f4 (7 ltJf3 - 4 ltJf3 1 0 'ilb3 197
i.g7 5 �b3 dxc4 6 'ikxc4 0-0 7 e4) 10 . .
. �aS
7 . . .ltJc6 167 1 1 0-0 ltJc6 1 98
g) 4 i.g5 lDe4 5 i.f4 (5 ltJxe4? ! 40;
5 cxd5 40; 5 i.h4 40) 5 ...ltJxc3 6 bxc3 C)
i.g7 (6 ...dxc4 7 e4 40) 7 e3 c5 (7 . .0-0 . 3 ltJc3 d5
8 cxd5 'ikxd5 9 'ili'b3 138) and now: 4 ltJf3 i.g7 (D)
g1) 8 cxd5 cxd4 (8 .. .'ihd5 139) 9
cxd4 'it'xd5 10 liJf3 0-0 8 ltJf3 0-0 9
-

cxd5 cxd4 10 cxd4 'ikxd5


g2) 8 ltJf3:
g21) 8 . ltJc6 9 cxd5 (9 l:.b1 cxd4 10
. .

cxd4 0-0 133) 9 . . .'ifxd5 10 i.e2 cxd4


1 1 cxd4 0-0 8 0-0 9 cxd5 cxd4 10
- ...

cxd4 'ikxd5 11 i.e2 ltJc6


g22) 8 . 0-0 9 cxd5 (9 l:.b1 cxd4 10
..

cxd4 ltJc6 133; 9 i.e2 139) 9 . . cxd4 1 0


.

cxd4 'ikxd5 11 i.e2 ltJc6 1 2 0-0:


1 2 ... b6?! 133; 1 2. . . i.f5 139
4 ... i.g7
5 e3
5 ltJf3 - 4 liJf3 i.g7 5 i.J4 5 'ft3
5 l:tc 1 ltJh5 186 Or:
5 . . . cS a) 5 e3 0-0 6 'ilb3 (6 cxd5 163; 6
6 dxcS ..WaS i.e2 c5 1 63; 6 i.d2 c5 163; 6 b4 b6
7 ltJf3 163) 6 . .e6 163
.

7 cxd5 ltJxd5 196 b) 5 'ika4+ i.d7 6 'iWb3 dxc4 7 'ili'xc4


7 'ikb3 i.d7 196 0-0 8 e4 b5 18
7 'ifa4+ 'it'xa4 8 ltJxa4 i.d7 9 ltJc3 c) 5 cxd5 ltJxd5 6 e4 (6 'ifb3 64; 6
ltJe4 194 'ifa4+ 64) 6... ltJxc3 7 bxc3 - 4 cxd5
7 l:.c 1 dxc4 8 i.xc4 0-0 (8 . . 'ifxc5? . ltJxd5 5 e4 ltJxc3 6 bxc3 i.g7 7 ltJf3
191): d) 5 i.f4 0-0 and now:
a) 9 ltJf3 7 ltJf3 0-0 8 l:.cJ dxc4 9
- d 1 ) 6 cxd5 205
Lc4 d2) 6 e3 c5 7 dxc5 'ifa5 - 4 i.J4 i.g7
b) 9 liJe2 1 91 5 e3 c5 6 dxc5 'ika5 7 ltJf3 0-0
7 . . . 0·0 d3) 6 'ifb3 c6 (6 ... dxc4 7 'ikxc4 c6 -
7 ... lDe4 191 4 'ikb3 dxc4 5 'it'xc4 i.g7 6 i./4 c6 7
8 :ct dxc4 ltJf3 0-0) 7 l:l.d 1 dxc4 8 'ifxc4 1 6
INDEX OF VARIATIONS 239

d4) 6 .:tel dxc4 (6 ...lLlh5? ! 205) 7 e4 5 'ii'a4+ 64


(7 e3 i.e6 205) 7 ...i.g4 206 5 h4 c5 64
e) 5 i.g5 lbe4 (5 ...c5 152; 5 ... dxc4 5 g3 ..tg7 6 i.g2 - 3 g3 ..i.g7 4 ..i.g2
153) 6 cxd5 (6 i.f4 lLlxc3 7 bxc3 c5 8 d5 5 cxd5 �d5 6 lbc3
e3 - 4 ..i.g5 lbe4 5 ..i.J4 �c3 6 bxc3 5 lLlf3 i.g7 6 e4 (6 lba4 56) 6 ... lbxc3
..i.g7 7 e3 c5 8 lbf3; 6 i.h4 lLlxc3 7 7 bxc3 -5 e4 �c3 6 bxc3 ..i.g7 7 lbf3
bxc3 dxc4 /53; 6 'ii'c l 155) 6 ...lbxg5 5 i.d2 i.g7 6 e4 lbb6 7 i.e3 0-0 8
7 lLlxg5 e6: i.e2 (8 f4 52) 8 ... lbc6 52
el) 8 'ila4+ 155 5 lba4 e5 (5 ...i.f5 57; 5 ...lLlf6 57) 6
e2) 8 W!r'd2 exd5 9 'ir'e3+ 'it>f8 1 0 'ilf4 dxe5 (6 e4 59) 6 ... i.b4+ 7 i.d2 lbe3
/57 59
e3) 8 lbf3 exd5 9 e3 (9 b4 159) 5 ... lbxc3
9 . . 0-0 (9 ...a5 10 i.e2 0-0 1 1 0-0 l:.e8
. 6 bxc3 i.g7
12 a3 i.f8 160) 10 b4 ( 10 i.eH te8 1 1 6 ... c5 :
0-0 150) 1 0... c6 1 1 l::tc 1 ( l l i.e2 161) a) 7 i.b5+ i.d7 8 i.e2 (8 i.xd7+
l l . ..a6 161 'ii'xd7 9 lbf3 25) 8 ... ..tg7 9 lLlf3 102
5
••• dxc4 b) 7 i.e3 cxd4 (7 ...i.g7 - 6... ..i.g7 7
6 'i1Vxc4 0-0 ..i.e3 c5) 8 cxd4 e5 90
7 e4 c) 7 lbf3 i.g7 - 6 . . ..tg7
.

7 i.f4 c6 - 4 'il'b3 dxc4 5 'iVxc4 0-0 6 Now (after 6 ... ..tg7):


..i.J4 c6 7 lbf3 Dl : 7 i.c4
7 ... lbc6 D2: 7 i.e3
1 .. a6 168
. D3: 7 lLlf3
1 ... lLla6 168
7 . . . c6 /69 Others:
7 .....tg4 169 7 'ir'a4+ 101
8 i.e2 7 i.a3 101
8 d5 1 70 7 i.b5+ i.d7 (7 ... c6 8 i.a4 101) 8
8 e5 1 71 i.e2 (8 i.xd7+ 'ilxd7 9 lLlf3 c5 25)
8 h3 lbd7 1 73 8 ... c5 9 lbf3 102
8 i.e3 lbg4 1 74
8 ..tg5 1 74 Dl)
8 i.f4 lLlh5 9 i.e3 i.g4 1 71 7 i.e3 . c5
Now (after 8 i.e2): 7 ... ..td7? 22
8 ... ..tg4 1 74; 8 . . .lbd7 1 79 8 'ii'd2 'it'a5
8 .. 0-0: 9 .:tc 1 33; 9 lbf3 - 7 lLlf3 c5 8
.

D) i.e3 0-0 9 'ii'd2


3 lbc3 d5 8 ... cxd4 9 cxd4 lbc6 1 0 n� 1 W!r'a5 96
4 cxd5 lLlxdS 9 .:tbl
5 e4 9 lLlf3 - 7 lbf3 c5 8 ..i.e3 'ii'a5 9 'il'd2
5 'ii'b3 64 9 .
.. b6
240 UNDERSTANDING THE GRONFELD

9 . . a6 29
. f4 82) 15 ...i.b3 82
9 ...cxd4 10 cxd4 'iixd2+ 1 1 �xd2 29
10 i.b5+ D3)
w :bs 29 7 ltJfJ c5
10 . . . i.d7 8 :b1
Now: 8 i.e2 l0c6 107
1 1 i.d3 29 8 i.b5+ i.d7 (8 ... l2Jc6 25) 9 i.xd7+
1 1 i.e2: 1 1 . ..0-0 31; 1 l ...i.c6 31 (9 i.e2 - 7 i. b5 + i.d7 8 i.e2 c5 9
l0j3) 9 .. .'i'xd7 25
D2) 8 i.e3 :
7 i.c4 c5 a) 8 0-0 9 'ii'd2 i.g4 (9 . . .'ifa5 -
...

7 . . . 0-0: 8... 'ii'a5) 10 l0g5 66


a) 8 i.e3 lbc6 (8 ...c5 - 7... c5) 9 l0f3 b) 8 ...'ii'a5 9 'i'd2 0-0 10 :c1 (10
43 :b1 lbc6 34) 10... cxd4 ( 1 0... l0d7 35)
b) 8 l0e2 l2Jc6 (8 ...c5 - 7... c5) 9 0-0: 1 1 cxd4 'ii'xd2+ 1 2 l0xd2 ( 1 2 �xd2
9 . . . b6 43; 9 ...e5 43 :dB 94) 12 ... e6 93
8 l0e2 0·0 8 ... 0-0
8 . . .l2Jc6 9 i.e3 cxd4 (9 ...0-0 - 9 i.e2 cxd4
8. . . 0-0) 10 cxd4 'iia5+ 68 9 ... b6 86
9 0-0 9 ...l0c6 10 d5 tOes (10...i.xc3+ 37)
9 .i.e3 l0c6 1 0 :c1 ( 10 0-0 - 9 0-0) 1 1 l0xe5 .i.xe5 12 'i'd2 37
10 ...cxd4 1 1 cxd4 'iia5+ 1 2 �fl 'iia3 10 cxd4 ii'aS+
76 11 i.d2
9
... l0c6 1 1 'ii'd2 'ii'xd2+ 12 i.xd2 98
10 i.e3 i.g4 11 . .
. ii'xa2
10 ... l0a5 1 1 i.d3 .i.g4 69 12 0-0 i.g4
IO .. 'ifc7 1 1 :c 1 :d8 12 i.f4 69
. 12 ...b6 J JO
1 1 f3 l0a5 12 . . ...We6 1 1 1
12 i.d3 1 2 . . .l0d7 I l l
12 i.d5 70 1 2... i.d7 113
1 2 .i.xf7+ :xf7 1 3 fxg4 :xfl+ 14 12 ...l0a6 113
�xfl (14 'ifxfl 70) 14 ...cxd4 (14 .. .'ti'd6 12 ... a5 114
71) 1 5 cxd4 e5 72 Now (after 1 2 ...i.g4):
12 ... cxd4 13 :xb7 1 15
13 cxd4 i.e6 1 3 d5 115
Now: 1 3 i.e3 tbc6 122
14 'iia4 a6 15 d5 i.d7 16 'ii'b4 b5 81 1 3 i.g5 h6 (13 ...'ii'e6 115) 14 i.h4
14 d5 i.xa1 15 'ii'x a1 f6 78 (14 i.e3 lbc6 1 16): 14 ... :d8 127;
14 :c1 i.xa2 1 5 'ii'a4 (15 d5 82; 15 14 ... g5 127; 1 4 ...a5 127; 14 ...'ii'e6 128