Sunteți pe pagina 1din 330
David Vigorito Challenging the Nimzo-Indian QUALITY CHESS g % Challenging the Nimzo-Indian David Vigorito Quality Chess Challenging the Nimzo-Indian First edition 2007 by Quality Chess Europe AB Second print 2008 by Quality Chess UK LLP Copyright © 2007 The right of David Vigorito to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by them in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, electrostatic, magnetic tape, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior permission of the publisher. All sales or enquiries should be directed to: Quality Chess UK LLP 20 Balvie Road, Miingavie, Glasgow, G62 7TA, United Kingdom e-mail: info@qualitychessbooks,com website: Distributed in US and Canada by SCB Distributors, Gardena California Distributed in Europe with assistance from Sunrise Handicrafts, Poland. Edited by John Shaw Typeset: Jacob Aagaard Cover Design: Ari Ziegier Printed in Estonia by Tailinna Raamatutrikikoja LLC ISBN 10: 91-976005-5-5 ISBN 13: 978-91-976005-5-2 For My Parents RNA WR eS Ree eee eRe eee KE SoOMBUANRHNE OD CONTENTS List of Symbols Bibliography How this book came to be Chapter overview and recommendations Endgame Variation Avoiding the Endgame The Old Variation Bareev Variation Sokolov Variation Rozentalis Variation and 7...c5 Dutch and Vitolinsh Variations Central Variation: Main Line Central Variation: Deviations Zurich Variation and Black’s rare 4° moves Romanishin: 6.e3 Romanishin: 6.3 Accelerated PCA Variation Exchange Variation PCA Variation Romanishin Gambit and Short Variation Adams Variation Modern Variation Knight Hop Macieja Variation Deviations after 4...c5 Index of Main Lines List of symbols 1-0 Yo (ch) (iat) (oh () XQRPUD HL HL Ht ee we FT Cheek A strong move A brilliant move An interesting move A dubious move A mistake A blunder ‘The only move White won ‘The game was drawn Black won Championship Interzonal Olympiad n® match game ‘With a winning advantage for White With a large advantage for White ‘With a small advantage for White With equal play With unclear play With a small advantage for Black. With a iarge advantage for Black ‘With a winning advantage for Black ‘With compensation for the sactificed material With an attack Wich an initiative With counterplay Better is Worse is With the idea With a development advantage Weakness Bibliography: Books: Albure, Dzindzichashvili, Perelsbteya: Chess Openings for Black, Explained CIRC, 2005 Cox: Starving Out: 1d! Everyman, 2006 Deating. Play she Nimeo-tndian Everyman, 2005 Dlugy: Nimzo-lndian with 482 The Classical Variation Chess Enterprises, 1990 Emms: Easy Guide 10 the Nimzo-Indian Cadogan, 1998 Ecos, Ward, Palliser: Dangerous Weapons: The Nimzo-Indian Garahit, 2006 Kramnik & Damsky: Knamnit: My life and games Everyman, 2000 Lalic: Clasieal Nimzo-Indian Everyman, 2001 Palliser: Tango! A Dynamic Answer to 1 dé Everyman, 2005 Shirov: Fire on Board Pare Ll: 1997-2004 Everyman, 2005 Sokolov, {: Nimzo-Indian Defence: Classical Variation Cadogan, 1995 Sokolov, 1: £32-39 Chess Informant, 1997 Periodicais: Chess Informant through Volume 95 New in Chess Magazine through issue no. 7, 2006 New in Chess Yearbook through Volume 80 Electronic Resources; ChessBase Magazine through issue no, 112 MegaBase 2006-12-02 Neven: Classical Nimzo-Indian 4.@ic2 ChessBase, 2005, CD-Rom ‘The Week in Chess through issu no. 628 How this book came to be... In che late 1990's I was ptimatily a 1.d4 playes | preferred many of the most principled opening lines, such as the 4.8c2 Nimzo-Indian, the 8.8b1 Griinfeld, and the Bayonet Attack of the King’s Indian, Information was not as teadily available back then, however, and as T was not keeping up with theoretical developments, I soon made a switch, Viadimit Kramnik was ftequently playing 1.236 in those days, and I realized I could still play many 1.d4 openings by employing this move order, 1.263 worked quite well against certain players, Many people were not prepaced for the move and it allowed me to use vatious move-otdet eticks both in queen's pawn openings and certain lines of the English Opening, Essentially, I was able to achieve my IM title with very lietle study by employing 1.4% against untitled players. In early 2005 the deficiencies of 1.63 started to sink in, If Black plays classical systems such as the Queen’s Gambit Accepted, the Queen’s Gambit Declined, the Stay, and che Nimzo/ ‘Queen's Indian, then 1.43 has left White with limited options, There ate also many lines of the Symmetrical English that are quite satisfactory for Black, Not surptisingly, strong players were hardly aken aback by 1.2163 and they would often respond t...d5. After 2.d4 25 3.c4 Black hhas much less to worry about than after a “pute” .d4 move order, For example, in the Queen's Gambir Accepted, one of White’s sharpest tries is 1.44 d5 2.64 dxe4 3.64, In the Queen’s Gambit Declined, the Exchange Variation is one of White's most principled tries, and the most dangerous move-order for Black is 1.d4 d5 2.4 26 3.23 DE 4.cxdS exdS 5.khg5. The delay in development of White's king’ knight makes it mote difficule for Black to find a post fot his c8-bishop, and ‘White may also play Age? ar some point, intending #2-£3. So what does all this have to do with the 4,f¥c2 Nimzo-Indian? Well, if you want to play 1.44, then one of the first chings you must ask yourself is “What to do abour the Nimzo?” If you play 3.8 then Black will have several solid options, such as 3...d5 leading again to various Queen's Gambits, the Queen's Indian 3...6, and the Bogo-Indian 3...b4t. Black can also play 3...c5, as after 4.d5 d6 5.23 exdS 6.cxdS 96 Black has avoided several of White's more dangerous systems, again because of the early development of White’s knight to £3. So let’s just allow the Nimzo! fam well aware thas most Nimzo-Indian players are happy to see 3.4c3 because the Nimze-Indian is generally more interesting than the Queen’s Gambit Declined or the Queen's Indian. “fhe same could be said about 3.¢4 in the Queen's Gambit Accepted: it is an interesting line. For a while it seemed to me that White should not allow Black to play theit favourite systems. Then it occurred to me that the Nimzo-Indian is popular because iris @ dynamic and rich opening, Why would I want to avoid thar? If | have White, I should strive for the maximum advantage our of the opening. I mean, how much can one really get against the Lasker or Furtakower variations of the Queen's Gambit Declined? Please allow me to return once again £0 2005. } realized that | must start ptepating to dump 1.2 in favour of 1.4. In the summer I qualified co play in che U.S. Closed Championship and | was determined co not only play 1.d4, but also co avoid losing with White, 1 did not have such a great tournament, but did achieve my humble goals. I felt that by playing 14303 against grandmastets 1 was already conceding my chances for not only an advantage, but an interesting game. J arm aware that this is a bit of an overstatement, but I do feel that by only playing 1.263 1 was missing our on a loc of interesting chess, 8 Challenging the Nimzo-Indian ‘Once I had decided thar | muse retutn to 1.44, I quickly decided to play the Nimzo-Indian with ‘White. 4,8%c2 had always been my favourite line. White avoids doubled pawns and prepares 5.23 to get the bishop pair, 4.%c2 has also been « consistent choice of grandmasters for ewo decades. There are many typical themes in the 4.2 Nimzo-Indian, such as White's bishop pait, Black's lead in development, etc. Instead of writing a long introduction demonstrating these themes, I have decided to let the games within the book ilustrare the themes. I have also chosen not to dwell on the history of the line, ‘This has all been covered before, and although 4,c2 is sometimes referred co as the “Capablanca Variation” I do not see how this is relevant to today’s tournament players. If player wanes to study the 4.842 Nimzo-Indian, he should look at the modern experts on the line. There are many, and the list has some pretty good players: Kramnik, Kasparov, Karpov (isn't that enough already}, Ivan Sokolov, Mikhail Gurevich, Seirawan, and Bareev are its greatest exponents, while players such as Topaloy, Anand, Shirov, Ivanchuk, Van Wely, Aronian, Gelfand, Korchnoi, Dreev, Kiril Georgiev, Khalifman, Beliavsky, Onischuk, Sasikiran, Lautier, Shipov, and Nakamura have also often played it. Actually, the only elite grandmasters who have not employed 4.We2 are “t.e4 - only” players such as Svidler and Leko. Thave a reasonable chess library, so | started to scan my bookshelves looking for a recent work on 4,842, To my surprise, there was very litde to look at, Dlugy and Ivan Sokolov are both strong grandmasters and big expects on 4.82 and they both wrote books on the opening. However Diugy’s book was written in 1990 and Sokoloy’s is from 1995. Despite their value, these books were clearly dated. Sokolevs 1997 ECO monograph has tons of information. It is still useful, especially for old lines that have seen few developments. Unforrunately this book has zero prose, in addition to being rather out of date, The most recent book | could find was from 2001 and it was written by Lalic. This book had some good things in ic as well, but it really only covered lines that were fashionable and it ignored some major variations completely. By 2005, the lines ir covered were not $0 fashionable, so T had very little to go on The bulk of what had been written in the last fow years on 4.82 had actually been written for Black, The Nimzo-Indian is a very popular opening, so in a way this was not so surprising. Although many of these books were quite good, they were of limited use to me because they only covered certain variations and were often biased rowards Black. Many modern professionals do not use chess books too much, especially che younger generarion. “They have been raised on computers and prefer to use large databases for their research. I, for one, have always loved chess books. The information has been sotted, there are explanations, and Fean study chess almost anywhere, Honestly, I was very surprised that there was so lite current literature on 4.Wic2, especially considering thai it is the mest popular variation against che most popular Black defence to 1.d4. Once [ realized that | would have to do my 4.82 Nimzo-lndian study “on my own”, ir occurred to me that { might want to write ir all down, Tn the autumn of 2005, 1 was talking 10 Jacob Aagaard and I roid him abour my project. I was basically writing this book for myself, but because of the lack of 4.Wic2 literature on the market, I thought there may be others like me who may want ro learn more about this incewesting opening. The result is this book, Many people were a great help eo me while I was writing this book. First 1 would like to thank Jacob Aagaard for giving me the op pottunity to write it and helping me with the format of the book. He also displayed tremendous patience with my computer “skills”, especially at the outset of the project, 1 would also like ro thank Vasik Rajlich for keeping me updated with the latest versions of his program Rybka (versions 2.1 and 2.2), which were used along with Fritz 9 co check many complicated variations. Many thanks go out to John Shaw, John Donaldson, Joc Fang, and especially Jim Rizzitano and Dean Ippolito for their help at various stages in the preparation of this work. Chapter overview and recommendations: 1.d4 Df6 2.4 6 3.03 Bb4 4.2 1) Endgame Variation: 4...0-0 5.03 Sxc3+ 6.ixc3 b6 7.2g5 2b7 8.63 main line ‘The endgame that atises after 8,..h6 9.Bb4 d5 10.e3 Dbd7 11cxd$ Dxd5 12.-Bnd8 Bxc3 13.24 BAS 14.82 is seill popular and very important. Recent times have seen White play other systems, aot because the endgame is so easy for Black, but because other possibilities ate also intetesting and offer some ptomise to White. This line is still a good choice if you want a safe line where you can hope to squeeze a litrle bit. 2) Avoiding the Endgame: 4...0-0 5.43 Buc3t 6.Yxc3 b6 7.4ig5 2b7 8.8 deviations If White wants to play 8.£3, he still has some chances te avoid the endgame. Unfortunately most of these deviations ate pretty harmless, This chapter is still very important because Black has several ways to avoid the endgame. The good news is chat if Black varies from Chapter 1, White has good chances of getting an advantage. 3) The Old Vasiation: 4.,.0-0 5.23 Sxc3t 6. Waxed b6 7.2g5 &b7 8.03 469.5 ‘This old variation is not considered to be very dangerous. It is not completely harmless however, and the theory is still important. A study of this chapter will help one understand the struggle of White's bishop pait and space vs. Blacks lead in development and methods of achieving counterplay. 4 Barcev Variation: 4,.0-0 5.23 Rxc3t 6.Hxc3 b6 7.Lig5 £b7 8.<3 d69.De2 Bareev's system is a very modern variation. It is an ambitious system which is still very populas, and it is currently White’ top choice against 4..0-0, 5) Sokolov Variation: 4.,0-0 5.23 fac3t 6, Buc3 b6 7.2g5 257 8.08, “This fine was introduced by Ivan Sokolov. White intends co place his knight on d2. While this system probably does not give White much chance of achieving an advantage, the positions that arise are almost always interesting. 0 Challenging the Nimzo-Indian 6) Rorentalis Variation and 7...c5: 4..0-0 5.03 Bxc3f 6.¥incS b6 7.095 ~7...others In this chapcer we look at the populac alvernatives to 7... .LUb7, which are 7... a6 and 7...c5. White has good chances of achieving some advantage against either move, but it is nor so simple and these lines should not he neglected. 7) Dutch and Vitolinsh Variations: 4...0-0 5.03 &xc3t 6.8xc3 ~ 6...others Here we cover the ambitious lunge 6...@e4 and Vitolinsh’s gambit 6...b5. Ide not think Black can casily claim equality in either line, but his play is very aggressive and White should be well prepared. 8) Central Variation: Main Line: 4...0-0 5.e4 45 5.e4 was ignored by theory for a long rime and it is noc very well covered in chess liceracure, The play can become very sharp. After 5...d5, however, [believe that Black is doing quite well. Emms once said that the more he looked a¢ this line, the more he liked it for Whice. Unforcunately, my feelings are rather the opposite and I think that Black has good chances if he knows his stuff. 9) Central Variation: Deviations: 4...0-0 5.e4 ~ 5.others If, for whatever reason, Black is unhappy with 5...d5, he can play 5...c5 o£ 5...d6. If you want to employ 5.¢4 as White, you must know these lines as well. The good news is Whice has a better chance of fighting for an advantage in the lines given in this chaprec 10) Zurich Variation (4...2c6) and Black’s rare 4th moves ‘The Zurich variation, as 4...206 is called, is a solid line for Black, Although White has good chances of securing a theoretical advancage, the struggle in che middlegame is much more likely co be decermined by ability rather chan by knowledge of long variations. For that reason, this system is popular at club level, In this chapter I discuss the lines chat I chink give White the bese chance of fighting for a tangible initiative, 14) Romanishin: 6.c3: 4...d5 5.cad5 Wxd5 6.¢3 4...d5 is the move | would choose for Black. Ie is solid but also allows Black the chance to stir up trouble. This chapter looks at Romanishin’s 5... Wxd5, The simple move 6.e3 has developed a large body of theory, bue I chink White has very little chance to achieve anything here. 12) Romanishin: 6.003: 4...d5 5.ccd5 Weds 6.063 “The best response to 5... Wrd5 is 6.D£3. After 6...8865, the best move is the obvious 78x65, which gives White a small edge in an interesting endgame. If White avoids this with cicher 7.81 ot 7.4b3 Black can already chink abour taking over che initiative 13) Accelerated PCA Variation: 4..d5 5.cxd5 exd5 6.8085 «5 Black can also play 5...exd5. This can lead ro complications which are discussed in Chapeer 15. If Black wants to reach these positions while avoiding the fixed pawn structure of Chaprer 14, he can play 6....5. ‘This used to be a sideline but this move-order has become popular. 14) Exchange Variation: 4...d5 5.ccd5 exd5 6.2g5 h6 7 2.xi6 By caking on f6, White removes a lot of the dynamism from the position. This used co be considered a safe method of playing for a small edge. Although it is still not too dangerous theoretically, che positions that arise are not as dull as many believe. ‘Chapter overview and recommendations u 15) PCA Variation: 4...d5 S.ced5 cxd5 6.8095 86 7.2h4 This is one of the sharpest fines of the whole 4.¥%c2 Nimzo-Indian, Often both kings are in some danger, Although the theory hes not been rotally resolved, many of the complications chat arise in this chapter lead ro a draw. There are still things to be discovered here, but at the moment Black is doing fine. For this reason 1 prefer 5.43 as covered in Chapters 16-18. 16) Romanishin Gambit and Shore Variation: 4..d5 5.23 Sixc3t 6.lixc3 ~ 6...others “This chapter introduces the shatp 5.a3. White refuses to make any positional concessions and grabs she ewo bishops. If Black wants to avoid the bulk of theory which is covered in Chaprets t7 and 18, this is the place to look, 17) Adams Variation: 4...45 $.a3 &xc3+ 6.Hxe3 Det 7.We2 -7...0thers ‘This chapter covers 7...e5 and 7...4c6, There is less to learn here than in Chapter 18, and while these systems are interesting, White has good chances of gerting an edge. 18) Modern Variation: 4...45 5.03 Sxc3t 6.Hxcd Det 7 We2 cS ‘The 7...c5 variation can be considered the main line of 5.23. White has a choice of how to play. He can steer the game towards quiet positions, or he can grab a pawn and provoke a sharp battle across the whole board. 19) Knight Hop: 4...c5 S.ducS Da6 ‘The uncompromising 5...2a6 has had bouts of popularity. Black bets everything on piece activity and hopes to chase White's queen around. This line can lead to exciting chess, If White knows his stuf? and plays to control the position instead of grabbing material, he has good chances for an advantage. 20) Macieja Variation: 4...c5 5.dxc5 0-0 6.23 2xc5 7.D65 b6 This solid system of development has been popularised by Macicja. Black develops naturally and can often achieve a very comfortable hedgehog:-type position. White must play very deliberately to achieve anything, 21) Deviations after 4. 5 §.dxcS — 5...others Something of an “odds and ends” chapter, here we look at less common Black $* moves as well as an old “equalizing variation”. Many of the lines are quite tricky, so White should be well aware of these less common systems. Chapter 1 Endgame Variation 1.d4 D6 2.c4 6 3.03 Abs 4.2 0-0 5.23 Qxc3t 6.8xc3 b6 7.Sg5 &b7 8.63 b6 9.Rh4 45 10.03 Dbd7 ti cd5 Duds 12.fxd8 Qxc3 13.2b4 Dds 14.2.2 ‘This endgame is one of the main theoretical positions of the 4.84/c2. Nimzo-Indian. White hopes to eventually make something of his bishop pair while Black counts on his superior development to give him enough counterplay to hold che balance. If White is able co carch up in development without making serious concessions, the bishop pair will give him a pleasant and long-lasting advantage. Black has two principled approaches in this position. He can try to slow White down with ...f5 to make €3-e4 difficult for White to play (Game 4}. This usually leads co a slow manoeuvring game. The other option is to quickly open the position with ...c5, when Black hopes that his lead in development will allow him to either seize the Initiative or force White to part with one of his bishops (Games 1-3). This line is Blick’s main theoresical recommendation against 8.3 and it is considered to be quite solid for Black. Despice this fact, many players will stil go inco chis endgame with White in an attempt to win, and regular practitioners include Kramnik, Bareev, M. Gurevich, and I. Sokolov. Game 1 Kramnik—Leke Dormnund 2006 1.d4 BMG 2.06 6 3.Dc3 Rb4 4.82 0-0 Casting immediately is Black’s most flexible move and ic is the most popular response to 4.82. We will foaus on White’s ovo most ambitious methods of play: 5.03 Gxc3t 6.Yxc3 intending 6...b6 7.2g5 as well as the modern 5.04. While 4...0-0 is very solid, it is also the variation where Black must be ready for the greatest number of responses from White. The lines examined for White here take up about a third of che book, but Black muse also be ready for a few other variations, These lines are not “4 Challenging the Nimzo-Indian held to be terribly dangerous for Black, but he still must be ready for them. They include: a) 5.26 5) Ses ©) 5.23 Bxc3t 6. Wxc3 b6 7. Ab? 8.93 4) 5.03 Sxcdt 6 Wxcd b6 7.013 Bb7 8.63 ‘These methods of play are not very popular fot White, bur they are cerainly playable, and the fatter fine has expetienced some popularity of late. These lines are not considered to be the most dangerous, bur there is still quire a bit to know and are worth consideting éf you plan to play 4...0-0 as Black 5.03 Bxc3t 6.Bac3 b6 7.295 267 8.63 ‘This is White's most ambitious approach and it has been the most popular move over the last decade. White simply wants 10 take over the censre with €2-e4, 8.13 was White's primary weapon against 4.,.0-0 foc along time, bur recently White has often tried to got more complicated positions with other moves which are covered later. Nevertheless, 8.£3 fs still a very important variation in the 4.82 Nimzo. 8...h6 Black throws in this move before playing _d5, Playing 8.,.h6 gives the black king a litle room and more importantly it gives Black the possibility of playing ...g5 im many positions, Black can also play 8...d6, allowing White to play e4, This approach is covered in Game 9, 9.8h4 45 10.03 ‘White maintains the tension fora move, 10.63 helps White’s development and forces Black to commit one of his pieces. The immediate iO.cxd5 opens the ¢-file for Black and is considered somewhat premature, Nevertheless, is is playable, and it is covered in Game 8 10...Dbd7 “This is the most natural developing move. The tricky 10. Be8 is investigated in Game 7. Lexd5S Because attacking White’ centre with ...<5 and ...24c6 bas been ruled out, White is fess afraid of opening the position. The alternatives are discussed in Game 6, 1h. ind St “This acrive reply is consistently played by the world’s top players. Black is willing to go inro an endgame where White has nwo bishops because he will have a substantial lead in development. “The recapture J1..exd5 is somewhar passive and is considered in Game 5. 12.8xd8 2xc3 13.2h4 “This is by far the most common, but White can play other moves as well: a) 13.bxc3 gives up the bishop pair for no reason. 13... 2fxd8 is fine for Black. b) 13.&xc7 looks tempzing, but ir gives Whire nothing after 13...d5 14.8f4 (14.8d6 Exe3 14,.3{d8! intending ...g5 or .. Axfd followed by .. DEG. White will not be able ro held onto his extra pawn. Endgame Variation 5 ¢) 13.2672 is a very interesting Gnesse. ‘This is played very rarely, bur alter 13,..2fe8 14.2h4 @d5 15.82 ic is difficult for Black co exploit the extra move, and by luting the rook to 8. White avoids cettain fines. “The move ...f5 is less effective and alto che ..2\f4 plan of Game 2 , Sokolov ~ Cu, Hansen) is fess effective because the rook has been lured from £8. White can also hope to exploir the ¢8-rook’s position by playing a quick &b3. Usually Biack will respond Be&- 8 transposing to normal lines with both sides having played an exera move, Black can try: 1) 15...f5 is less effective here than in Game 4 (Lautier ~‘Timman) because the f5-pawn will be weak after White plays £43, so e6-e5 will be harder to achieve. Black would tather have his rooks on e8 and £8. After 16.843 c5 17.22 ‘White develops easily and maintains a slight advantage, 2) 15...c5 is an attempt to take advantage of Black’s extra move ...He8, but after 16.04 exd4 17,0-0-0! {we will see this idea again) ‘White leaves the efile and will regain the pawn, 17...0 {or 17.2516 18.Axds Ded 19,238) 18.8xd4 Bad8 oceurted in $. Shipov ~ Stefansson, Las Vegas 1999. Shipow gives 19.23 De6 20.Bh3 De5 21bS c6 22.804 Bich 23.4F24, <3) 15...05 16e4 Qe7 17.@e2 is similar to the main game. White has avoided the complications of Game 2 (1. Sckolov ~ Cu. Hansen) because Black's sacrificial play there will not work with Black's rook on e8, White could also play 16..2b5, when 16... Bed8 transposes to Game 3 (Kramnik — Kasparov), 13.00d5 14.202 65 “This is the most popular move, especially at high levels, Black opens up the position and the play becomes very concrete, Black trusts in his lead in development and does nor fear White's e3-e4, White must often simplify to catch up in development and the position may become very drawish. The alternative is the blockading 14,,.85, which is considered in Game 4, After 14....c5, White bas main two tries: 15.e4, which we examine here and in Game 2, and 15,2b5, which we will look ar in Game 3. instead 15.02 is rather passive, After 15...65 White has tied: a) Y6.dxe5 @xc5 17.Bd4 BacB4 (17...25 or 17.052 18. DixfS BxfS 19.04 HEY 20.cxd$ Sxd5 are both fine for Black) 18.b4! 02 19.Dxf5, 2yb3 20,8b1 left White a pawn up in Vera — Onischuk, Montreal 2003, b) 16.0-6-0 Hack 17.dxcS Bxcd 18.261 Hfd§ 19.8 gi cS ie is difficule for White to develop. 20.2c1 Ded! 21. heed Bed] 22. Red Bd 23,8xd! fixct? Golod — Kasimdzhanoy, Mainz (rapid) 2006, Black has the beter pawa sttuetute and more space. 1.04 White “punishes” Black for omitting ..5 and forces him to make an immediate decision with his d5-knight. The f1-bishop stays at home until its best square can be determined. Black has an important choice to make. He can phy the solid 15...e7, which is exainined here, or he can play the ambitious lunge 15...@£4, which is examined in Game 2, The alternative 15...8546 gives Black limited chanoss for counterplay. The Knight has litde to do on {6 after 16.22. 15...Be7 “This is the most solid way for Black to play. “The knight simply retreats and can go to 6 £0 pressure d4 if needed, Black also reserves the option of hitting White's ceatce with ...15. 16.Be2 16 Challenging the Nimzo-Indian White avoids simplifications, ie is worth mentioning that this was the final round of the tournament and Kramnik needed a win t0 tie for first. While this endgame is widely regarded as close to equal, the chances fie with White and top players still choose this variation as a winning attempt. ‘White can also try for a small edge with 16.8b5. Black has tried: a) 16.6 allows White to maintain his 17.432 and them al) 17... BfC8 18.0-0 cad 19. Pxdd Bc5 was M. Gurevich ~ Polugaevsky, New York 1989, Here 20.Bad1 looks a little better for White, a2) 17...a6 18.8d3 BAS 19.0-0-0 oxdd 20.Bxd4 Bxd4 21.8xd4 Be5 22.8c2 Sack 23.03 Be6 24.8xd8t Sxd8 25.8d1 xd? 26.dxdit M. Gurevich - Lue, Essen 2001. White can look forward to squeezing Black with his bishop pair and space advantage. b) 16.,.Bc6 17.2xc6 Qxc6 18,e2 and now: DE) 18.cxd4 19.Axd4 Budd 20.4 Bac 21.d2 @cS 22.Bxcd Bach was Topalov - Leko, Cannes 2002. Emms suggests 21.Bdl Bfd8 22.234. 62} £8... fd8 19,0-0-0 exdd 20,Axd4 QdeS 21,.Gb! Gelfand - Leko, Wijk aan Zee 2002. White does not have much, but having the bishop always gives some hope in the endgame, 16.,.Bac8 Alternatives: a) 16,..BEd8 17.0-0-0 Bob 18.dxc5 (18.45% exd5 19.exd5 is ambitious but double-edged) 18..Dxc5 19.shxcS Exdit 20.daxdi bxcS 21.8c3 Qid4 and Black was okay in Bareev ~ Onischuk, Moscow 2002. White could also try 17.2d1 as played in the main game. b) 16...26 17.0-0-0 (17.dxc5 Dac 18.AxcS bxcS= N. Pedersen - Gerzhoy, Budapest 2002) 17.6 18.dxe5 Bxc5 19.Dc3 SxFl 20.Hhxf Bfd8 21.dvc2 cbf 22.b4% M, Gurevich - Van det Stricht, Merz 2004, These types of endings are unpleasant to play for Black White has space, a bishop, and a more active king. Black will always have a little concern with his somewhat vulnerable queenside pawns. IAS odd 18.Bxd4 DS 19-Bdl RB 20.803 20.8ixcS Bd lf 21.doxdl BxcS gives White nothing: 20..8xd1} 21.dexdt 05 Black gains space and prepares ...2ie6 and «BG to hop to d4. Black could consider 21...65 22.exf5 DufS to try to generace some activity, but Leko was understandably hesicane about creating pawn weaknesses, ‘This was Bareev's suggested improvement on his game with Almas, which went 22,82 Bad 23.0d2 £5! 2exfS 4 25.604 Bxedt 26.663 Axc3 27.hxc3 BAST 28.bb4 @x6 when Black was fine because of his active pieces and White’ sligbtly shaky king in Bareev ~ Z. Almasi, Monaco (blindfold) 2003, 22...De6 23.82 Deb 24.0b2 LB 24... Dodd 25 fd 3 DE4 26. Sxf4 ex fh 27. BALE is given by Kramnik, Black has trouble getting the knight to e5. After 27.206 28,045 White shreatens Qxf4 as well as b4-b5 followed by Bert 25.204 Not 25,843 D4 26.2x04 exfd and the knight happily hops to e5 when Black is fine. 25..ded4 26. 2x06 White makes this exchange now because 26.822 a6 with the idea ...2c4 is fine for Black. Even though White is conceding one Endgame Variation v7 of his bishops, he is able to maintain a slight initiative by pressuring Black’s queenside pawas. 26...xe6 27.Db5 BaB Black hopes to activate his bishop with 28, a6 29.23 Set, 28.24 Gaining more space and giving White's knight the a3-square to prevent Black's hishop manoeuvre. Despite the simplifications and opposite-coloured bishops, White maintains a slight edge due to his space advantage and the potentially vulnerable black queenside. White's bishop is able to pressure the pawns at a7 and 16 while Black’s bishop does not do much of anything, Black is still very solid, but White can probe a bit and Black has no counterplay, Kramnik uses these factors to press Black, and Leko gradually cracks under the strain, 28... B26 29.243 Bebe Kramnikcindicates tharBlack’s best chance was 29,..83, This looks risky, as the black bishop is cut off Kramnik gives 30-Hd 1 Hd8 31.thc3 Be? 32.Exd8f @xdB 33.Dc4 £6 34.4. This should still be a draw but White can press a bit. 30.b5 Bb7 31.Bcl Buel 32.bxct the7 33.05! ‘White creates a passed pawn, 33...bxa5 34.fxa7 “The passed b-pawn will cost Black a piece. He must get counterplay on the kingside and hope that he can eliminate White's remaining pawns, 34.5 35.0x85 Dk4 36.g3 Dh3 37.24 Digs 38.2\xa5 a5? In time pressure Leko makes the final miscake. After 38,..2xf3 39.cd2 White tries co gain time by threatening to play h4 (after 39.b6 216 40,67 xb7 41.2xb7 Sxf5 White will have trouble defending his pawns) 39...02f6 40,423 Bab 41.b6 BxfS 42.67 kxb7 43.2xb7 heed Black still has drawing chances, 39.6 Dad3 40.43 gs 41.57 Qxb7 42,2xb7 Bxh3 43.6 hd7 44.03 “Trapping the black knight 44.267 45.5 96 46.fxg6 BK 47 Sxh6 hxg6 48.23 10 Conclusions: H1cxd5 Qxd5 12Bxd8 Bxcd 13.0h4 Bd5 14.8F2 cS 15.04 De7 is Black's most solid fine in this ending, White can play either 16.8b5 of 16.8e2. Both moves give ‘White chances co play for a small edge in the endgame with little risk, Game 2 L Sokolov — Cu. Hansen Maimo 200% Ld4 ONG 2.c4 6 3.Dc3 bs 4.82 0..0 5.23 Sxc3t 6. Wied b6 7.035 2b7 8.63 h6 9.bh4 5 10.03 Dbd7 11 xd Dxd5 12.0xd8 Oxc3 13.Ohé Bd5 14.882 c5 15.04 DG 18 Challenging the Nimzo-Indian ‘This is the sharpest try. Black atcemprs co diseur White's natural development by putting pressure on g2. If White plays g3, the long diagonal will be weakened and Black can strike quickly with ..£5. 16.2b5 ‘This is the most ambitious move. White develops with tempo by hitting the d?-knight and will follow with @e2. If Black caprures on g2 his knight will find itself trapped. White has a couple of solid alternatives: a) 16.841 cxdd 17.Bxd4 5 18.83 Bids 19.Me2 Be6 20.4cl BeS 21.b3 Bac® 22.Bad8t Bd 23.2e4 4-Y2 Bareev ~ Bologan, ‘Wijk aan Zee 2004, b}) 16.8e3! ts the best way to avoid the complications of the main game. 16...4ig6 and. then: bt) 17.0-0-0 was tried in Fridman — Z. Almasi, Bundesliga 2005. Here Black should play 17..cxd4 18.0xd4 (18.Exd4 Ac5=) 18,..Hac8t 19.c0b] Hfde with equality. 2) 17.Ded 15 18.ex85 exfS 19.0-0-0 Bac8 20.862 Ba 21.Dc3 xf 228hcA AE 23.dac5 Dyed 24 Sxc$ brc5 25.93 ¥4-¥4 Bareev ~ Kramnik, Wijk aan Zee 2004. 03) 17.Bdl cxd4 18.Bxd4 AdeS 19.0h3 Hac 20.83 HB 21.Be2 Bed t 22.bxd1 Ded 23.fixcd Sxc4 24.che2 6 25.Bd1 gave White a tiny edge in Kramnik - Naiditsch, Dortmund 2003. Black is almost equal, bur White's space and active rook mean that the opposite-coloured bishops do not ensure an automatic draw for Black. 16... Rad8? Black is ready for complications because the alternatives give White a simple edge due to the bishop pair: 4) 16D 17.8e2 xe? 18 xed xd 19.dxd4t M. Gurevich ~ Van der Wiel, Antwerp 1993, b) 16..Hfd8 17,202 Sxe2 18.chxe2 odd 19.Qxc4d Brunner ~ Z, Almasi, Horgen 1995. 17.De2 17.53? weakens White's position too much on the kingside. 17..Qg6 188d) 65! 19.exf5 exf5# Jelen ~ Onischuk, Vienna 1996. Itis very difficult for White to develop. 17.2ag3'? was suggested by 1. Sokolov. After 17...g5 White can either caprure on (4 or play 18.83¢2 with hopes for a small edge, 17...Dxg2tt Again 17...Axe2 18.sbxe2 is no challenge to ‘White. 180A ‘The critical position. 19.45! ‘White must close the long diagonal. 19.0xg2? xed gives Black 2 much stronger attack, 19...exd5 This is playable but the alternatives look even better: a) 19...fre4 20.dxe6 and now: a1) 20...Bxf3?!21.wbxg2 White appears to walk a tightrope but emerges from the complications with the beer chances. White's chrears are stronger than Black’s discovered checks: 213 22.hh4 DG (22.95 23.Ehd) BRE 24.83 Bett 25.thg3 exhdt 26.bxh4+-Goled) 23.Bhd1! Hd2 (23...Bf4t 24.231) 24.degt+ a2) 20..exf3! 21.23 White threatens exd7 as well as e6-e7. 21.266! 22.e7 Hd2 23.ex/88F Sbxf8 with uemendous complications in Voyna ~ Runting, cot. 2001. Black is a took down but the position is far from easy to figure our, ever fora computer! Endgame Variation 19 b) 19...a69? is also inceresting, White has: bi) 20.dxe6 axbS 21¢7 does not work cur for White because 21...fred 22exd8H Bxds 23, fred B68! when 24,coxg? loses to 24... xedt 25.chgl (25,thg3 BG) 25,.Sxhl. 52) 20. Rxd7 Bxd7 and here: 21) 21.Gxg?2 fed 22.fred exdS does nor solve White's problems. 22) 21.€5 Fixd5 22.dixg? B43 23) 21 exf5 Sxd5 22.cbxg? def 23.0g) eS and instead of 24.43? Hxf3'-+ Doric — Zorko, Kostrena 2004, White should play 24.h4 with an unclear position. White is all tied up, but is still a piece up and can hope co untangle. 20.exd5 Bxd52t After chis White gets a clear advancage. A bercer ery was 20,..@e5 23.dxg2 Bxd5 22.Bhd 1 Bxdi 23. Bxd) Sxf3t 24. g5, when Black is active, although Whire’ extra piece should still mean more in the long run, Zl. dug2 De5 22.Dgi g5 23.Hel Dgs Abt White opens the position and activates all of his pieces. 24...g4 25.5 Df4t 26.2g3 Deb 27.Bh4 ‘The extra bishop means more than Black's pawns and Whire cakes over the initiative, Also strong is 27.2ie5 as indicated hy 1. Sokolov, 27. Mp5 28.203 Bxf3 29.Dx63! White gives back some material to simplify and exploit his hishop pair on an open board. 29...Qx63 30.Bhhi Qxel 31.Exel ft 32.hxf4 Bd4 33.80 cd 34.bxge Ob7 35.had a6 36.Rc2t wg7 37.hg3 Bes 3806 Heb 39.865 Be8 40.8glt 6 A1Bed 14 Conclusions: H.cxdS Dxd3 12. Bxd8 Dxc3 13.h4 Dds 14.82 c5 15.4 Af remains a playable option, ‘The complications arising from 16.865 HadB 17.Be2 Oxg2t 18.081 19.d5 are quite playable after either 19... fred or 19.,.a6, White can avoid all of chis with 16.8e3 2)p6 17.HdI. This may be objectively strongest although White will not get more than a tiny edge in the endgame, Game 3 Kramnik - London (8) 2000 1.d4 O66 2.04 06 3.83 Bb4 4.2 0-0 5.03 Sxc3t 6.Yxc3 h6 7.295 2b7 8.63 b6 9.0h4 45 10.c3 Dbd7 11.cxdS DxdS 12.4xd8 Qxcd 13.2h4 Dd 14.220 cS 15.8h5 White avoids making more pawn moves and prefers co develop a piece wich tempo by attacking the d7-knight. This was quite popular for a while, bue after Kasparov's play in chis game White has preferred the more direct 15.04 of the previous swo games. 20 Challenging the Nimzo-Indian 15... Bfds “This is the most logical move, Alternatives: a) 15..Had8 is less logical after having played 5 because Black will soon want a rook on. the e-file. 16. Be2 (instead 16.04 ALS vransposes to Game 2 [, Sokolov ~ Cu, Hansen) 16...cxd4 17.@xdé 26 18.Ae2t b} 15...25f6 is a bit passive, bur is playable. Afier 16.82 a6 17.fa4 White was slightly becter after both 17...b$ 18.8c2 cxd4 19x04 Bac8 20.0--0--0 Liubojevic~ Kramnik, Monaco (rapid) 1997, and 17...axd4 18.Bxd4 BS 19.f2c? Kramnik ~ Adams, Linares 1999. Tnstead 16. e2 gives Black liede rouble afte 16...cxd4 17. Dxd4 and here: a) 17..,8c5 18,0-0 (18.b4!? is more testing) 18,.Bc7 19.804 65 20D LaG 21.2xa6 DixaG 22.Be7¢ BB 23.96 Reb 24b4 Be6 25.bxcS x6 26.cxb6 axh6= Topalov ~ Kramnik, Monte Carlo (rapid) 1998. b) 17...a6! 18.he2 (18.Ra4 Bac8 also left Black very active in Adland — Jenni, Charleville 2000) 18...BacB Already White must play with care. 198d (£9.0-0e5 20.365 8e2) 19. DeS= S. Shipov ~ Tonow, Russia (ch) 2001, Black is very active, 16,27? ‘A strong novelty prepared by Kasparov. Black sacrifices a pawn to use his lead in development. “The alternative is 16..De7. White can play: a) 17.Be2 cad4! 184xd4 a6 19.22 (19.bxd7 Exd7 is harmless) 19.5 20.b4 Bad 21.0-0 5 22.Db3 Oc3 23.2fe1 De? 24,2xe2 Bd6 25.8d2 Y-Y Anand ~ Karpov, Monte Carlo (rapid) 1999, b} 17.8xd7? is consistent and compares favourably with the pawa grab of the main game as the e-file is now blocked by Black's knight. After 17..ixd7 18.dxc5 £3 19.cxb6 it is not clear that Black can get enough play for the pawn, 17 .Sixd7 Instead 17.Qa4# cxd4 1B.Oxd4 05 19.4¢3 2yc6 feaves Black way ahead in development. 17..8xd7 18.dxc5 £5 Black opens up the position for his bercer developed pieces. Whites king is nor too comfortable in the centre. 19.cxb6 After 19.exf5 ext5 White's king is nor secure. 19.€5 is the latest attempt to squeeze something from the position, bar Black’s activiry always gives him enough play. Black hast a) 19...Bd5P 20.cxb6 (20.Be2 bxeS 21.Zct DaG is at least equal for Black) 20. Exes 24De2 Gab! (21, axb6?! 22.2dé! Bb$ 23.0- 08) 22.0-0-0 AdS (22, .&ine2? loses to 23.bsc? xd] 24.Exd] Bd5 25.Hxd5 exd5 26.hxa"+-) 23.Dd4 axb6 is unclear. b) 19...buc5! leaves White with nothing: bi) 20.fxc5 BdS 21 Bel (21.86? 2b5= and Endgame Varlatton a 24.b4 BxeSt 22.0072 Bd5= are not a problem fot Black) 2)...BxeSt 22.0f2 Bd5= b2) 20.8c1 and here: b21) 20..€d5 21.Dh3 gS 22.8xc5 gf 23.xgd fxgt 24.882 64 25.Bgit Golod — Pilgaard, Ubeda 2001. 622) 20...Qa6! is fine for Black, because 21.Sxc5 can be met by 21...2e8 22.3 (22.b4 2yxc5 23.Bxc5 HucS 24,bxc5 BSF} 22... Brel} 23.8xcl &c5 with a scrong initiative. 19...axb6 20.4e2 The alternatives also give Black enough play: a) 20.c5 Ba5 21.£g3 Kad gives Black a strong initiative, b) 20.8xb6 fred 21 fxed Rxed 22.08 DdS 23.8c5 Bb7 wins back che pawn, ¢) 20.81 Bxdit 2L.Gxdi fed 22. fred Axed 23.063 is equal. 20...fced 21 fred fixed 22.00 After this White ends up a little wore. Alternatives leave she endgame unclear: a) 22.43 fing? 238g BF 24.Bg3 Bd 25.Bxb6 Dd5 26.Oxd5 exdS was given by Kasparov. b) 22.8xb6 Dd5 23.8c5 xg? 24.Fg1 2h3 was suggested by Shipov, 22Hd2 23,03 Bb7 24.64 HB 25.822 Bax? 26.Mxa2 245 27.244 Bas 28.203 Black has the initiative and White muse be careful. Kramnik chooses to give up 4 pawn to simplify into a rook and opposice-coloured bishop ending that he is confident he can draw. 28.883 g5 29.Dc3 D4 30.8c3 Bxad 31.23 |®h3t 32.GF1 is more passive but should hold as well, 28...xc3 29.Sixc3 Bxa3 30.244 b5 31.844 31...8d37! Both Kasparov and Kramnik indicate 3L.NS! (to stop Bed) 32.4 h4 33.g5 Ba? 34Huhd Be2t 35.041 BxgS as Black's best winning attempt. 32.8ig4 gS 33.b4 GET 34.hugS hugs 35.012 Bazt 35..g6 was the last chance to play on although White should hold. 36.3! White forces off the rocks. The ensuing ‘opposite-coloured bishop ending is drawn, 36...Hixg? 37 Bug? Bug? 38.865 Black will not be able to break the dark-squared blockade of White's king and bishop. hr Condusions: After 1l.cxdS Axd5 12.2xd8 Quod 13.8h4 DdS 14.82 cS 15.8b5 Bids 16.04 Kasparov’ novelty 16...2c7! gives Black fine play. Because of this, White players realized that 15.2b5 leaves little chance of fighting for the initiative and attention switched to che direct 15.04. 2 Challenging the Nimzo-Indian Game 4 Lautier ~Timman Wijle aan Zee (8) 1994 1.44 D6 2.04 06 3.213 Bb4 4.We2 0-0 5.03 Rixc3t 6.Bixc3 b6 7.2g5 Sb? 8.6 h6 9.Rh4 d5 10,63 Dbd7 11.cxd5 Dad5 12.Sxd8 Dac3 13.fth4 Dd5 14.80 5 ‘This move is not very popular at the highest level now, with most grandmasters preferring the more forcing 14...c3. With 14...f5, Black restrains White's ¢3-¢4 and hopes to gain counterplay with ..¢5 and either exdé oF ..c4, This apptoach keeps pieces on the board and gives Black betret winning chanazs than 14,..5, bur it also entails more strategic risks because White has a free hand in the manner in which he wishes to deploy his pieces. Despite ies Jack of cutrent popularity among grandmastets, I still chink this is a valid approach fot Black 18.865. White develops with tempo by atcacking the d7-knight and provokes Black into closing che long diagonal. This is the most ambitious move, but other bishop moves have been tried as well: a} 15.3 allows Black co execute his main idea: 15...€5 16.2¢2 Bae8 17.0-0 and Black can play: al) 17.04 8.fxe4 fred 19.804 D716 20.De3 Ph7 21.Dxd5 Bxd5 22 Be2+ Dautov ~ fbragimoy, Bad Wiessee 2001. Black is solid but Whise’s bishop pair still gives him long- term chances, a2) 17...cxd4 18.exd4 7f6 19.5 fet £4 was about equal in Salov - Anand, Paris 1991. Black is active and White's £2-bishop is very passive, b) 15.2c4 is also popular. Black is solid bur White’ bishop pair gives him slightly bereer chances and Black always seems a lirrie bit shy of equality. Some examples bi) 15.02h7 16.e2 €5 17.Sck Back 18.0-02 Korchnoi ~ Burnett, Montreal 2004. 2) 15...Hac8 16.Be2 c5 17.265 Black has tried: 623) 17...HET 18.0-0 a6 19.2d3 b5 20.Bact 4 21c2 eS 22dxeS DxeS 23.81 Bes 24,&c3 @xc3 25.bxc3t M, Gurevich ~ Karpov, Linares 1991. b22) 17...8c6 [8faG BS 19.8d3 bS 2.dxc5 Axed 21.Rc2 Bad 22.b3 Dacd was Luz ~ Sax, Germany 1993. [ Sokolov gives 23.@xc3 Hxcd 24.tbd2 Bbc8 25.Hheld. The bishop pair again gives a smalt but stable edge. 15...06 16.04 ‘The alternative is 16.83 ¢5 (16.05 17. De2 Eac8 18.0-0 c4 19.8.c2é is given by Alterman) 17.Be2 Fae 18.0-0 (18.Ect exd4 19.end4 2766 20.0-0 Be? was okay for Black in Piker ~ Katpov, Monaco 1999) when Black can play: a} 18...04 19.fred fred 20.8e4 and here: al) 20...b5 21.8xd$+ (or 21.863 &h7 22,Baclt) 21,,.cxdS 22Hfct BeB 23.21f42 is given by Airetman, It is not much bur White's bishop has more scope, a2) 20.0716 21.43 Sc8B 22.04 Gh7 23.8xd5 DudS 24.Bfel Be6 25.Hacl BFS 26.d2g34 Alrerman — Psakhis, Israel (ch) 1994, b) [S..exd4 1exd4 (4 20.8fel D7lG= is similar to Piket ~ Kacpov above and is solid enough for Black. 16.65 Previously Timman tried 16...b52! bur chis is too loosening. 17.8c2 b4 (17.0706 18.6412) 18.c2 bxa3 19.8xa3 Q7b6 20.8b3 a5 21.2! Lautier ~ Timman, Wijk aan Zee (6) 1994. White has the bishop pair and the better pawn structure, Endgame Variation B 17,Be2 Zae8 18.0-0-0 ‘White gets his king away ftom the e-file and activates his took immediately on the d-file. Other moves will face Black with fewer problems: 2) 18,0-0 allows Black to equalize easily: 18,,.exd4 19.2ixd4 Dxe3 20.8fel 4 21.Bxc6 Gxc6 22. Dxe6 BeS= b} 18.242 White's king does nor feel very comfortable here, ‘Timman suggests 18...2¢7 with the idea ...c5. 18.04 This time grabbing the e}-pawn with 1B..cxd4 19.Oxd4 Dxed 20. fxe3 Bxe3 gives White a strong initiative after 21.@b3t @h8. 22,02! DEG 23, Oxf Be? 24 helt, 19.3 B76 19... ixc3!? looks strange, bur might not be stupid. After 20.bxc3 (Ahlander ~ Z. Almasi, Malmo 1994) Black should play 20..cxf3 2igxl3 bS 22.8b3t Wh8 as indicated by Almasi. Black will play ...c5 with counterplay on the long diagonal, 20.Bhei Bes 20..g5 21.82 hg7 was solid enough for Black in Palo ~ Schandorff, Denmark 2003. 21.Dxd5 cxd5t After 21.,.xd5 22 fred fed 23.223 White's bishop becomes vety strong, 22. Rd? LeG 23.8b3 Bb5 24.Bet 24. hed 24,..a5 is suggested by Timman, with the idea 25.893 Bcd 26.2c2 Bob 27.265 BRB, bur White could try 25.24”, 25.Qah a5? 25,243 is the best try 1 still prefer White after 26.223 {nor 26.c6 cd) because of the bishop pair and possibility of pressuting the d5-pawn after playing 8g3-e5 26.531 White gains contro! af ¢4 with tempo. 26...843 27.206 Whire threatens p3-<5 when it will be difficult for Black to save his d5-pawn, Timman tries to complicate masters. 27 Sich Bad BAI 29.Le6 Bok 30.bxe4t Exc6 31 .cxd5 Exct 32.Hxct Duds 33.2¢3 mw Challenging the Nimeo-Indian White's control of the c-file gives him an. enduring edge, despite Black's well-placed knight. Timman defends well. 33..Rd8 34805 hS 35.63 Ef7 36.86 Bd7 37.BcB Ve? 38.Rel Ads 39.86 Bas 40.84 he? 41.Bo6 Ht7 42,62 Bd7 43.04 ds 44.chd2 Hd7 45.88 Db4 46.24 hag’ 47 dungd g6 48.fred fuxed 49.BhB DG 50.27 hg? 51.Bc8 De7 52.Re5¢ HE 53.Bc1 heb 54.0F1 dS 55.263 BEY 56.8d8 Bd7 $7.Bg8 Ae? 58.8b8 Ads 59.8c8 Be7 60.2b8 Ads 61.88 Another possibility was 61.2h8 7 62 Bh7} Heb C3BKG BE 6425 He7 G5.Bh4 heb 66.xe4 HS 67.Sh4 hxgs 68 AB! khS 69.2d3 Db4t 70.cheA as given by Timman, White maintains some winning chances, GL..GI7 62.808 hes 63.2g3 ht7 64.2b8 he7 65.Rg8 DE 66.Rc8 De7 67.8b8 Dds 68.Bh8 he7 69.Rc8 LE7 70.Le5 Ne7 TL Lick he6 72.807 D8 a | ae ra a 73.BcAth 73.8g3! DeT 74.84 DdS 75.264 \Li7 76.25! (Timman) Black is in zugewang. 76...2g7 allows 77 Be6 and 76...2c? is met by 77.Bd6, 73 B45! Black intends ...b5 w activate his rook. 74.5203 bS 75.axbS Hxb5 76,8xa5 De7 Despite the pawn deficit Black is active enough to draw. 77Bad DdSt 78.Re4 Bb2 79.833 He2t 80.2c3 Axe3t 81.063 Bg? 82-HaGt OE 83.Ba7t heb 84.8464 O7 85.Ra7t eb we Conclusions: After 13.0h4 Qd5 14.82 the blockading move 14...f5 leads to an endgame where the lack of immediate conflict gives both sides some Aexibility. Most grandmasters prefer the long-term potential of White's bishop pair, but this variation gives both sides the chance 10 outmanoeuvre their opponent Chapter Conclusions: The endgame variation of 8 £3 allows White to play for a very small edge with minimal risks, These lines are common at grandmaster level where a draw with Black is usually an acceptable result, but most players would rather play something that can give Black some winning chances as well.