89%(9)89% au considerat acest document util (9 voturi)

824 vizualizări420 paginiThe creativity
of Eduard Gufeld was multi-faceted, and his literary activity was only the visible part of his chess ‘iceberg’. Brilliant games with famous contemporaries, numerous lectures, adorned by his inimitable humour, extensive game commentaries, marked by a deep and pedagogical talent, with the years were compiled into books.

Oct 18, 2018

© © All Rights Reserved

PDF, TXT sau citiți online pe Scribd

The creativity
of Eduard Gufeld was multi-faceted, and his literary activity was only the visible part of his chess ‘iceberg’. Brilliant games with famous contemporaries, numerous lectures, adorned by his inimitable humour, extensive game commentaries, marked by a deep and pedagogical talent, with the years were compiled into books.

© All Rights Reserved

89%(9)89% au considerat acest document util (9 voturi)

824 vizualizări420 paginiThe creativity
of Eduard Gufeld was multi-faceted, and his literary activity was only the visible part of his chess ‘iceberg’. Brilliant games with famous contemporaries, numerous lectures, adorned by his inimitable humour, extensive game commentaries, marked by a deep and pedagogical talent, with the years were compiled into books.

© All Rights Reserved

Sunteți pe pagina 1din 420

Title Page

Garry Kasparov. Through the prism of time

Oleg Stetsko. My friend Eduard Gufeld

Part 1. A Lifetime of the King’s Indian

Sämisch Variation

My Main Variation

Sämisch with Bg5

Classical Variation

7.d5

7.Be3

Averbakh Variation

Deviations from the Averbakh Variation

Bishop Fianchetto

Attack on the centre – 7...e5

The centre is not closed

Closed centre

Yugoslav Variation

Four Pawns Attack

Résumé

Part 2. Games by present-day romantics

Sämisch Variation

Classical Variation

7.0-0

Games 80-88

Games 89-98

7.d5

7.Be3

Averbakh Variation

Deviations from the Averbakh Variation

Bishop Fianchetto

Four Pawns Attack

Gufeld’s opponents

Index of variations

Russian Chess House

ISBN 978-5-946-93360-5

This book can be ordered directly from the publisher at the website:

www.chessm.com

Garry Kasparov

Chess players as a people are both distinctive and diverse. The unique individuality of each of them is something that

we accept. However, this uniqueness does not always manifest itself.

Ask any player to name his best game, and you will almost certainly hear the standard phrase: ‘I haven’t played it

yet!’ This is how they all reply, with the exception of one player. On hearing such a question, Eduard Gufeld would

merely shake his head and look at the questioner with a certain regret. And moments later, animatedly gesticulating and

not sparing words, he would begin describing his ‘immortal’ game, which in his opinion eclipsed all other masterpieces

created throughout the history of chess.

Yes, this game, lovingly called the ‘Mona Lisa’ by its creator, has made the rounds of nearly all chess publications

in the world, without losing its genuine brilliance. Even now, after an analysis of the Bagirov-Gufeld game, the depth

and richness of modern chess becomes closer and more understandable. And since a chess player is characterised above

all by what he creates, this game says more about grandmaster Gufeld than any weighty tome.

But, of course, Gufeld’s contribution to chess is not restricted to one game. Not even to many other fine games, to

which any player would happily give his name. I have in mind the ideas which Eduard Efimovich put into effect

throughout his chess career. There were a great many of them, but it is sufficient to look through a few games played by

Gufeld with Black for one to be immediately struck by the grandmaster’s ‘idée fixe’ – a fanatical belief in the all-

powerful dark-square bishop, developed on the long diagonal. The notorious ‘Gufeld bishop’ has long been derided by

chess players, but tell me, please, who can boast such a constant love for the King’s Indian Defence? His faithfulness to

this sharp opening, the nuances of which, by his own expression, he sensed with his finger-tips, was something he

proclaimed all his life. Gufeld was rightly regarded as one of the best experts in the world on this dynamic opening.

However, a view expressed from this angle merely skates on the surface, without touching on the essence of one of

the few chess romantics. But after all, behind all the ‘eccentricities’, full of humour, commentaries and witty remarks

(often made even during a game!) was concealed a boundless devotion to chess, a sincere belief in the inexhaustible

nature of chess, and a constant striving for beauty and harmony in his games. And while Gufeld’s chess career was not

adorned by a continuous stream of victories, his play helps us to open more widely the door to the immense land named

CHESS.

Oleg Stetsko

It is well known that the measure of a person’s creativity is what he leaves when he departs from this life. The creativity

of Eduard Gufeld was multi-faceted, and his literary activity was only the visible part of his chess ‘iceberg’. Brilliant

games with famous contemporaries, numerous lectures, adorned by his inimitable humour, extensive game

commentaries, marked by a deep and pedagogical talent, with the years were compiled into books. The last of these is

now before you, dear reader. Unfortunately, the author was not in fact destined to see it. It is in the nature of an ode to

the King’s Indian Defence, to which he was faithful all his life: Gufeld sums up half a century’s experience of

employing this sharp opening, on which he was rightly considered an expert.

Gufeld developed his mastery during the post-war era, a difficult one for our country. But, despite the dire

economic situation in the Soviet Union, as one of the fields of human culture chess was given state support and enjoyed

great popularity. As with most of his contemporaries, Eduard’s chess talent was polished in the system of junior

competitions. He reached the master level only at the age of 22 (rather late by present-day standards, but at that time it

was far harder to obtain the master title), but at the very first attempt he broke through to the final tournament of the

26th USSR Championship. The post-war generation regarded the 1950s and 1960s as a kind of chess renaissance, and it

was no accident that the world arena was illuminated by the names of Soviet grandmasters, born in the pre-war years –

Tal, Petrosian, Spassky, Korchnoi, Stein, Polugaevsky… To break through into the USSR championship finals with

these players participating, one had to possess an outstanding chess strength. Gufeld achieved this on eight occasions.

At that unforgettable time, in the system of competitions for the championship of the Armed Forces of the country,

our chess paths crossed and with the years they grew into friendship, and then into a creative collaboration. And despite

the fact that after the break-up of the Soviet Union we ended up in different countries, in those difficult 1990s we

jointly wrote several books. In October 1997 at Gufeld’s invitation I visited him in Kiev, to where he travelled every

year to see his mother Eva Yuryevna. Seeing me off at the station, Edik shared a dream: ‘If you were to undertake to

prepare a book on the King’s Indian Defence based on my games. That would be a monument…’ Gufeld had reasons

for pessimism – his thirst for activity did not found an outlet: ‘I can’t live in Tbilisi – everything has been plundered,

and in Kiev there is altogether no chess life…’ We discussed the structure of the book: ‘Take the annotated games from

My Life in Chess (Edik was very proud of his biography, published in the USA in 1994) and add games published later

in the 64 magazine. For the selection of the remaining material I give you carte blanche.’ Edik did not keep his games,

and I had to do a lot of digging about in periodicals to create a complete picture. In short, there was plenty to discuss by

telephone, especially after Gufeld’s world-wide wanderings finally led him to the USA. In 1998 I happened to visit

Edik’s apartment in Los Angeles, a kind of ‘long box’ with a single window, combining in a strange manner the

bathroom, living space and kitchen. On the second floor of this block there was also a small room. A few chess boards

and portraits of the world champions (as in the USSR Central Chess Club) proclaimed the ‘Eduard Gufeld Chess

Academy’…

In 2000 the English publishing house Batsford brought out our book The Art of the King’s Indian, which elicited a

positive response from readers. Eduard was burning with a desire to publish it in Russia. But he wanted to create

something new. After all, that book was based only on Gufeld’s main weapon – the concept of counterplay with the

development of the knight on c6. For the Russian edition I suggested that it should be radically revised and that he

should share his experience of playing his favourite opening in a book entitled A Lifetime of the King’s Indian. Edik

was delighted! He not only approved the idea, but also considered it necessary to reinforce the theme of his conception

(knight on c6) in a separate section of the book with examples by the most prestigious modern King’s Indian players,

by selecting the best of the games played during the past two decades.

Edik phoned me nearly every morning: one felt that, cut off from the atmosphere of his native chess world, he was

missing contact in Russian. I received such a call on 12 September 2002, the day after the conclusion of the ‘Match of

the new century’ between teams from Russian and the strongest players in the world. I was late for a meeting at the

publishing office of the 64 magazine, and I asked him: ‘Phone tomorrow, and I’ll tell you in more detail.’ The

following day there was no call. The indefatigable chess devotee had suffered a severe stroke, from which he did not

recover…

Part 1

Eduard Gufeld

PREFACE

For a long time I have been wanting to annotate a game, in such a way as to create a little textbook on chess, to implant

in the fabric of a specific encounter some general rules of play. However, realising that it is not possible to encompass

the unbounded, I will try to do this at least for the opening stage of the game. But first a brief introduction.

Yes, chess is a battle; as the 11th world champion Bobby Fischer expressed it – ‘total war’. But, on the other hand,

this splendid game, in my opinion, completely replaces war. For a long time I have felt the urge to suggest to the FIDE

President that he should conduct a world championship – among military leaders. Perhaps then they would think better

of it and put an end to the arms race? At any event, an ancient Indian legend about the origin of chess runs as follows:

when the wife of some restless rajah grew tired of endless wars, with the help of her retinue she devised such a

fascinating game, that her master forgot about everything in the world, and in those regions a lasting peace was

established. This game was chess – ‘this wonderful and fervent world’! A world of art, in which apart from the fight,

beauty is also valued. And in this world, where there is also a portion of my work, for half a century an honourable

place has been occupied by the King’s Indian Defence.

Like it or not, the author of an opening book cannot be absolutely objective. This applies especially to systems and

variations which he often employs in his games. The main idea of the King’s Indian Defence (or more precisely, the

King’s Indian Attack!) is a battle against White’s pawn centre with pieces, which must have the timely support of pawn

counters. The King’s Indian Defence is an asymmetric opening! Black’s strategy is based on disrupting the opponent’s

plans, and at the same time at an early stage of the opening Black tries to implement his own plan of counterplay. For

this reason the King’s Indian Defence should be studied exclusively as a transition process from opening to

middlegame. Hence a large part of this book comprises games which enable this link to be traced.

The opening in chess is a preparation for battle, the mobilisation of the pieces towards the centre. Towards the

centre, since from here there is an excellent view of all the squares on the battlefield. And the player who is better

prepared, who is better mobilised, is the one who has the better chances of winning. It can happen, of course, that a

game is also won by other means, but we will talk about the scientific approach to chess.

Much of what is done in the opening is subject to strictly defined rules. Here chess has the appearance of a science.

But if the game were only a sum of rules, it would long since have disappeared, died off: everyone would study these

rules, rigorously follow them and that, strictly speaking, would be the end of the matter. The point is that, by following

the rules, we achieve our aim only in 80 cases out of 100, and the 20% comprise exceptions, i.e. those mysterious cases

when the general rules suddenly prove to be ineffective. And, by contrast, if a player plays contrary to the rules, I will

guarantee that 80% of his moves will be mistakes.

The conclusion is simple: you must know the rules very well, to be able to find the exceptions! It is in this, and only

this, that I see the scientific aspect of chess. Let us try to put forward, at the least, two rules. As has already been said,

the first precept of the opening is the rapid mobilisation of the pieces towards the centre. The second, closely linked

with it, is the occupation of the centre with pawns (and, of course, opposing this by the opponent). Of course, in itself

the existence of a pawn centre (say, a pair of pawns on d4 and e4) does not promise any material benefits, and does not

create any threats. But it hinders the opponent from carrying out the first precept, i.e. developing his pieces towards the

centre. The pawns cramp the opponent’s forces, and deprive the enemy pieces of convenient central squares. And now

let us see how these rules apply in a specific opening – the King’s Indian Defence.

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7

What has occurred in the initial moves? How have the two opening precepts been applied? White has clearly made

more progress in occupying the centre with pawns, but Black is ahead of him in the development of the forces. Here it

is like communicating vessels: one vessel is filled, and the other is drained by the same amount. You gain in one, and

lose in the other.

4.e4 d6

What should be the further actions of the warring sides? Logic suggests: since Black is allowing his opponent to

occupy the centre with pawns, subsequently he should make every effort to destroy it. In turn, White will aim to

maintain his pawn centre and catch up with Black in development. We will examine the most popular plan of further

action, in which White sets about developing his pieces.

5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be2 e5

The best counterattack is a blow at the centre! The most vulnerable object there is the d4-pawn, and it is against it

that the blow is struck. Now (if the harmless 7.de5 de5 8.Nxe5 Nxe4 is disregarded) White faces a choice: to close the

centre with 7.d5, creating the grounds for further attacks on it by f7-f5 and c7-c6, or retain the tension. Let us suppose

that he chooses the latter.

7.0-0 Nc6

Black continues the attack on the d4-pawn, forcing White nevertheless to close the centre. The battle begins...

But what if White prefers a plan of piece pressure on the central squares?

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 0-0 5.Nc3 d6 6.Nf3.

White completes his kingside development, and for Black, in order to attack the pawn centre with e7-e5, it only

remains to make a preparatory move such as 6...Nbd7, which initially was considered the main move. But while White

has not expanded his pawn bridgehead, Black can also develop his knight in a more active position.

6...Nc6

With this move, without giving up the attack with the e-pawn, Black expands his range of options. In addition,

6...Nc6 is a kind of provocation: Black has though invites the d4-pawn to attack the knight. However, after 7.d5 Na5

White is forced to defend his c4-pawn, and after 8...c5 (to safeguard the knight) Black gains the possibility of attacking

not only the d5-pawn by e7-e6, but also the queenside – a7-a6, Ra8-b8 and b7-b5. As a result he achieves his main aim:

he opens lines for a counterattack.

Even more arguments can be put forward for the knight development at c6 when White chooses the Sämisch

Variation 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 0-0 6.Be3, which implies the evacuation of the king to the

queenside. After 6...Nc6 7.Qd2 (here if 7.d5 there follows 7...Ne5!, and Black undermines the centre with c7-c6) 7...a6

8.0-0-0 Rb8 followed by b7-b5, the target of the counterattack becomes the king. Now the rather strange move 6...Nc6

becomes quite understandable. Black not only follows the precept (he develops a piece towards the centre), but he also

anticipates the further development of events.

Thus gradually, using specific examples, we have come to the idea of developing the knight on c6. But this idea can

be regarded in a much wider context. In the present book the theme of the knight development at c6 (in front of the c7-

pawn) is also considered as a universal measure against other systems of development by White. I have tried to

summarise my many years of experience in the King’s Indian Defence, on the basis of which I have concluded that this

is the best way of solving the problem of the queen’s knight (and in this opening such a problem undoubtedly exists).

SÄMISCH VARIATION

Chess is a type of creative activity, lying at the junction of science, art and sport. I am convinced that any situations

on the chess board are generated not only by the will of the player; there are also deep causes, reflecting the connection

of chess with themes or other trends in culture, science and art. A reflection of this process was seen in one of the deep

opening conceptions of the 20th century – the Sämisch Variation.

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3

This set-up is distinguished by the geometrically clear line along which White erects his pawns on c4, d4, e4 and

f3, by a striving for the solidity of the entire construction, which is achieved by placing the pieces immediately behind

this chain, sensibly and purposefully: there is a clear plan for seizing the centre and, on the basis of this, an attack on

the kingside. According to the idea of the variation’s author Friedrich Sämisch, after 5...0-0 6.Be3 and Qd1-d2 White

prepares queenside castling and attacks on the kingside, which has been weakened by the move g7-g6, with g2-g4, h2-

h4-h5xg6, Be3-h6 and Nc3-d5, trying to eliminate the king’s defenders. Later, taking account of counterplay found by

Black, they also began practising other plans.

At the same time White’s construction seems rather unwieldy, breaking the laws of harmony in the development of

the pieces. Does it not resemble architectural constructions in the style of rationalism and constructivism, which

dominated in those years. Sämisch, that chess Le Corbusier, in the same spirit also created his own set-up against the

Nimzo-Indian Defence, erecting a powerful pawn armada in the centre: c3, c4, d4, e4.

Years passed, constructivism in art became dated, and the popularity of the Sämisch Variation in the Nimzo-Indian

Defence fell sharply. I am convinced that in time the same fate will also befall his variation in the King’s Indian

Defence. Our descendents will look at games played with the Sämisch Variation with the sort of smile with which, in

our era of light metals, plastics and glass, we look at the unwieldy concrete monsters of the 1920s. To us these

constructions seem deprived of harmony of form, lacking air and light. It seems to me that constructions on the chess

board in the style of Sämisch are equally unidirectional. And if, dear reader, you don’t agree with me regarding my

assessment of the move 5.f3, which is fundamental to the Sämisch Variation, I suggest you ask the opinion of the

knight on g1...

THE SEARCH FOR A REPLY

But let us turn to an examination of this variation. 5...0-0 6.Be3 is also the main continuation today. Later 6.Bg5

was also added. Initially, in the period of striving for classical methods of play, 6...e5 was considered the orthodox

reply. 7.d5 led to a closed pawn structure, in which, under the cover of his c4-d5-e4 pawn chain, White castled long

with prospects of an attack on the kingside by the advance of the h- and g-pawns. Black’s most common reply was

7...Nh5 with the idea of quickly playing f7-f5, which would neutralise White’s plans on the kingside. Then White also

began choosing the plan of developing without closing the centre – 7.Nge2, to which Black usually replied 7...c6,

intending the preparation of d6-d5.

Later other methods of play for Black also appeared, involving the preparation of a flank attack on the centre by c7-

c5, such as 6...Nbd7 and 6...b6. In addition, 6...c6 and 6...a6, preparing b7-b5, were played. But, in my view, the height

of King’s Indian thinking became the move 6...Nc6, by which the knight not only attacks the d4-point, but also aids the

attack on the c4-pawn after a7-a6 and b7-b5.

I had to pass through all the development stages of the Sämisch Variation. And like most young pioneers, I began

with the classical approach. I remember my game with Bronstein, the sorcerer of the King’s Indian Defence, to which

he remained faithful all his life. I was impatient to find out how with White ‘cunning Devik’ would counter his

favourite weapon. This nickname was popular in those years, when in literally every game David Ionovich would

display paradoxical, unexpected ideas. In an interview on the eve of his 75th birthday, Bronstein said shrewdly: ‘I lost a

mass of King’s Indians with White, since I didn’t want to show how to win against my defence’. But in 1961 there was

no reason for him to be shrewd...

№ 1. D.Bronstein – E.Gufeld

28th USSR Championship

Moscow 1961

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 0-0 6.Be3 e5 7.Nge2

Bronstein always had his own opinion about all the openings, and often they were perfectly justified. However,

since he had already employed the move 7.Nge2, to some extent I was prepared for it. Mentally, at least.

7...c6 8.Qc2

But here, I have to admit, I was rather expecting 8.Qd2, as not long before this game Bronstein had played against

Sakharov in the USSR Team Championship. Black, who was then my compatriot, responded quite sharply – 8...ed4

9.Nxd4 d5 10.cd5 cd5 11.e5 Ne8 12.f4 f6 and, on encountering Bronstein’s ‘revelation’ 13.Bb5!, he failed to cope with

the subtleties of the position and soon found himself lost. Further researches on this topic were tersely expressed in a

line of the Yugoslav Encyclopaedia of Chess Openings (henceforth we will call it the Encyclopaedia): 13...fe5 14.fe5

Bxe5 15.Nf3 Bg7 16.Qxd5+ Qxd5 17.Nxd5 with a verdict by Geller, promising Black serious difficulties. Therefore

after 8.Qd2 the main continuation is considered to be 8...Nbd7, not unnecessarily conceding the centre.

8...Nbd7 9.0-0-0 Qe7!

One of my patents in the King’s Indian Defence. Long ago I came to the conclusion that in many variations the

queen is best placed on this square. In particular, in the event of a breakthrough by the opponent on the h-file, after

h5xg6 and f7xg6 it defends the h7-pawn, so that the exchange of the g7-bishop and the eviction of the f6-knight are not

dangerous for Black. There is also a more obvious idea: the queen moves away from the ‘sights’ of the rook on d1.

Finally, in chess strategy there is the problem of choice. Where will the queen be most comfortably placed? Of course,

at a5, will say anyone who likes attacking. Let us see: 9...Qa5 10.Kb1 a6 11.Nc1 b5 12.Nb3!, and the queen has to

return empty-handed.

10.g4 a6

White now had grounds for continuing the race with h2-h4, but Bronstein took a different decision.

11.d5

The closing of the centre looks more convincing with the queen on d2. In the given instance the opening of the c-

file gives Black an additional chance.

11...cd5!

Here in the calculations it was essential not to overlook possibilities such as 12.g5. If Black were forced to move

his knight, the invasion 13.Nxd5 would be unpleasant for him. But I noticed in time a clever counter-stroke – 12...d4!

13.gf6 Nxf6, and Black has no reason for complaint.

12.cd5 b5 13.Ng3 Nc5

14.b4!

Only in this way is it possible to parry Black’s growing initiative on the queenside, which in the event of 14.h4 Bd7

15.Kb1 Rfc8 16.Qd2 Rab8 could have become dangerous. Now Black faces a difficult problem. The natural retreat of

the knight to d7 did not appeal to me: the knight takes away this square from the bishop, and it cannot immediately be

transferred to b6. True, White has seriously weakened his king’s defences, but this is a general consideration. And in

concrete terms, while Black is regrouping for an attack, White will have time not only to consolidate, but also to seize

control of the c-file himself. On the other hand, White’s actions cannot be deemed completely justified, since up till

now Black has played logically. Why then should White have an advantage?

14...Na4!

The right answer to all the questions. Black is obliged to sacrifice a pawn, if he wants to demonstrate the

correctness of his strategy. This is a typically positional sacrifice, the consequences of which do not lend themselves to

precise calculation.

15.Nxa4 ba4 16.g5 Ne8 17.h4

Bronstein declines the sacrifice – and probably, wrongly so. Of course, Black has compensation – free development

aimed at the queenside, and therefore White has to devote his attention to this wing, to the detriment of his play on the

kingside. For the moment Black cannot hope for anything more, since the opponent’s inaccuracies have not been so

significant. After declining the sacrifice, White faces the same problems, but with material equal.

17...Bd7 18.Kb2 Rc8 19.Qd2

Why not 19.Qh2, threatening h4-h5 with an attack on h7? Yes, but this is an illusory threat. I have already

explained the ideas of the queen move to e7. Here is an illustration: 19...Nc7 20.h5 Bh8! 21.hg6 fg6, and the h7-pawn

is defended. Therefore the white queen does better to stay close to its king.

19...Nc7 20.h5 Rb8

21.Ka3!

Bronstein positions his king originally, imparting an unusual pattern to the game. Of course, 21.Ka1 was safer, but

psychologically White’s move was justified – it disturbed me. Therefore, while considering my further course of action,

I decided to employ a well-known procedure – a pseudo-repetition of moves. This procedure (which, incidentally, is

perfectly correct) is effective in cases when one can force a repetition of moves two times, and on the third deviate and

continue active play. With what aim is this procedure employed? Usually in time-trouble, to gain time on the clock and

bring the time control move closer. With us, it is true, there was no time-trouble, and theoretically Bronstein was closer

to it than I was.

The first aim of my pseudo-repetition was in fact that Bronstein should think for longer. And he had plenty to think

about. At that time David Ionovich often complained that, even in superior positions, young masters would sometimes

avoid a fight against grandmasters using any chance opportunity, in order to ‘snatch’ a half point. Here he may have

gained the impression that I did in fact want to avoid playing on.

The second aim was to demoralise my opponent somewhat: reflecting by habit during the game on extraneous

topics and grieving over the ‘cowardice’ of young masters, he might well relax. Then my decision to avoid the draw

would be a good psychological move.

21...Bb5 22.Bh3 Bd7 23.Bf1

Bravo! The procedure worked, exceeding all expectations. Bronstein spent some twenty minutes on his obvious

replies: later this waste of valuable time would tell. But when I made my next move with exaggerated determination,

from my opponent’s changed expression I realised that the arrow had struck its target.

23...Rb7

23...Nb5+ 24.Bxb5 Rxb5 followed by Rf8-b8 was better. I thought that it was all the same how I doubled rooks on

the b-file, but it turns out to be not so. On the way it was useful to get rid of the knight.

24.Rc1 Rfb8

Consistent, but underestimating the opponent’s cunning. It was not too late for 24...Nb5+, even with the loss of a

tempo.

25.Rxc7!

This is what Bronstein had prepared! The exchange sacrifice enables White to parry the immediate threats and gain

counter-chances. Again a fierce struggle flares up, aggravated by approaching time-trouble.

25...Rxc7 26.Bxa6

Now the king is well placed at a3, and Black is deprived of the important resource a6-a5. In such situations one has

to be able to readjust in good time and find new guidelines. The immediate task is to parry White’s temporary threats,

after which the phase of converting the material advantage will begin.

26...Qe8 27.hg6 hg6 28.Rc1 Rxc1 29.Qxc1 Bb5 30.Bxb5 Qxb5 31.Bd2 Bf8 32.Qc6 Qd3+ 33.Qc3 Qa6 34.Qc6

Qa7

The problem is complicated by the fact that Black has to avoid the exchange of queens, since then the a4-pawn

would be lost. However, even with the queens on the pawn may fall, but at the cost of ‘denuding’ the white king. The

battle becomes fierce – every move counts.

35.Ne2!

The knight heads for the a4-pawn, for the sake of which White is ready to give up his f3-pawn.

35...Qf2 36.Qc4! Qxf3+

The culminating point. I was expecting the logical 37.Nc3, to which I was intending to reply 37...Qh3 followed by

38...Rc8: White picks up the a4-pawn, but he has to parry tactical threats. However, this prospect did not appeal to

Bronstein, and he preferred to capture the pawn immediately. I can imagine how sick of it he must have been, and how

long he had been dreaming of getting rid of it, if at the first opportunity he could not refrain from eliminating it.

37.Kxa4? Ra8+ 38.Kb5 Qf2!!

This modest one-square queen move was overlooked or underestimated by Bronstein.

A well-known chess anecdote comes to mind: about a hundred years ago some lady, on accidentally finding herself

at a chess tournament and seeing how after half a hour’s thought a master moved his queen to a neighbouring square,

expressed her surprise: ‘What a long time to think for such a short move!’ In contrast to that master, I hardly thought

about my move – there was no time.

39.a4 Rb8+ 40.Kc6 Qb6+ 41.Kd7 Rd8 mate!

Rarely is one so fortunate – to announce a ‘natural mate’ to a famous grandmaster in an important tournament

game.

№ 2. L.Shamkovich – E.Gufeld

Leningrad 1967

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 0-0 6.Be3 e5 7.d5

White immediately closes the centre, and Black’s most logical reaction is to attack it with f7-f5.

7...Nh5 8.Qd2 f5 9.0-0-0

An old continuation. Nowadays White often hides his intentions with 9.Nge2. However, in the event of 9...a6

10.ef5 gf5 11.0-0-0 b5 this leads to the same position as in the game.

9...a6

In the 1960s one still heard echoes of the famous 1953 Candidates Tournament in Zurich, where the topic of the

‘bad’ bishop was discussed – 9...f4 10.Bf2 Bf6. Gufeld-Liberzon (34th USSR Championship, Tbilisi 1966-67)

continued 11.Qe1 Nd7 12.g4 Ng7 13.h4 Be7 14.Kb1 h6 15.Nge2 c5 16.g5 h5 17.Nc1 a6 18.Bh3 Nb6 with equal

chances. Even today this idea is of interest, and it has to be said that during the intervening decades White has not made

any great advances in the development of this variation. For example, in Ivanchuk-Gurevich (Linares 1991) instead of

16.g5 White preferred 16.a3?!, and after 16...a6 17.Nc1 Ne8 18.Bd3 b5!? 19.cb5 Nc7 20.h5 g5 he did not achieve

anything significant.

In recent times Black has more often preferred 9...Nd7. It should be mentioned that here too after 10.ef5 gf5 he has

good play; for example, if 11.Bd3 Nc5 12.Bc2 he has 12...Qh4!?. 10.Bd3 causes Black more problems.

10.ef5

After this exchange Black has sufficient counterplay. 10.Bd3 is more forceful, when 10...Nd7 11.Nge2 b5 is

possible, and if 12.ef5 Black can interpose 12...bc4 13.Bb1 gf5 with double-edged play.

10...gf5 11.Nge2

A prophylactic development plan also comes into consideration: 11.Kb1 Nd7 12.Nge2 (if 12.Bd3 there is the

typical King’s Indian idea 12...e4!? 13.fe4 f4 14.Bf2 Ne5, and the knight at e5 occupies an excellent observation point)

12...Ndf6. From the old games one recalls the Chekhover-Tolush encounter from the 14th USSR Championship,

Moscow 1945, where after 13.Nc1 Bd7 14.Bd3 Qe8 15.Bc2 b5 16.c5 b4 17.N3e2 f4 18.Bf2 e4 Black carried out the

thematic breakthrough in the centre. Note of it was made by Botvinnik himself, who for the return match for the world

championship with Tal in 1961 prepared 13.Ng3, and after 13...Qe8 14.Bd3 Nxg3 15.hg3 he launched an attack on the

king. But subsequently the improvement 13...f4! 14.Nxh5 fe3 15.Nxf6+ Qxf6 was found, and in connection with the

subsequent e5-e4 breakthrough Black has good counterplay.

11...b5 12.Ng3 Nf6

Of course, not 12...Nxg3? 13.hg3, which is to White’s advantage.

13.Bg5

The exchange of the dark-square bishops is not in the spirit of the position: 13.Bh6?! f4! 14.Bxg7 Kxg7 15.Nge4

b4 16.Ne2 (16.Nxf6? bc3 17.Nh5+ Kh6 leads to the loss of a piece) 16...Nxe4 17.fe4 a5, and Black’s chances are to be

preferred.

13...b4

It is amusing that in the 62nd volume of Informator (1994) this move is given as a novelty. But there is nothing

new under the sun. In Averbakh-Gulko (USSR 1970) Black preferred 13...Qe8 and after 14.h4 b4 15.Nce2 a5 16.h5

Na6 17.Kb1 a4 18.Re1 a3 19.b3 with 19...Qf7! he could have gained excellent play. Apparently, White should accept

the pawn sacrifice – 14.cb5 ab5 15.Bxb5 Qg6 16.Bd3.

Even so, in view of the difficulties that Black encountered in the present game, 13...bc4!? 14.Bxc4 Qe8 comes into

consideration.

14.Nce2

This is stronger than 14.Nb1 Qe8 15.Qxb4, as played in Timman-Topalov at the 1994 Olympiad in Moscow.

14...Qe8

Black sacrifices a pawn, hoping to exploit the b-file.

15.Qxb4 Qg6

If 15...h6 there is the good reply 16.Bh4 a5 17.Qd2 Na6 18.Nc3 with the better game for White.

16.Qd2 Nbd7 17.Nc3 Rb8 18.Bd3 Nc5

Apparently Black should have decided on 18...e4, which would have been justified after 19.Bc2?! Ne5 or 19.fe4

Nxe4 20.Ngxe4 fe4 21.Nxe4 Rxb2 22.Qe3 Qh5 23.Rd2 Rxd2 24.Qxd2 Ne5, when he has the advantage. And yet, after

19.Be2! Ne5 20.Rhf1 White’s chances are better.

19.Bc2 Bd7 20.Be3

20...Rb4!?

The best practical chance. Realising that he is in a bind after 20...Rb6 21.Rhe1 Rfb8 22.b3 (for example: 22...Nh5

23.Nxh5 Qxh5 24.Qf2 Bh6 25.f4 etc.), Black provokes the events which occurred in the game.

21.Nce4?!

White succumbs to the provocation. The rigorous 21.b3! Rfb8 22.Rhe1 with the threat of Bxc5 would have cooled

Black’s ardour and condemned him to a difficult defence.

21...Rxc4 22.Nxc5 dc5 23.Qd3 Rxc2+ 24.Qxc2 f4 25.Qxg6 hg6 26.Bxc5 fg3 27.Bxf8 Bxf8 28.hg3 Bb5 29.Rhe1

Bd6

The forcing operation has concluded in a rare endgame, where three minor pieces quite confidently oppose a pair of

rooks.

30.g4 Kg7 31.g3 Kh6 32.b3 Kg5 33.a4 Be8 34.Re3 Bf7 35.Rde1 Nd7

Of course, the pawn could have been taken with 35...Nxd5, when nothing better for White is apparent than standing

firm with 36.Rd3, which is apparently sufficient for a draw. But in time-trouble he succumbs to another provocation.

36.f4+?

This new transformation of the material balance leads to defeat. White should have settled on 36.Rd1!? Nf6

37.Kb2, and since 37...Bxd5 38.Rde1 Bb7? does not work because of 39.Rxe5+! Bxe5+ 40.Rxe5+ Kh6 41.g5+, Black

would have had to restrict himself to 38...Nd7.

36...ef4 37.Re7 Bxe7 38.gf4+

Of course, not 38.Rxe7? because of 38...fg3! and wins.

38...Kxf4

Not 38...Kf6? 39.g5+.

39.Rxe7 Ne5 40.Rxc7 Bxd5 41.Kc2?

White should have created a passed pawn by 41.Ra7 Bxb3 42.Rxa6, endeavouring then to activate the king as much

as possible: 42...Kxg4 43.Kd2 Kf4 44.Kc3 Bd5 45.Kd4 although even this would hardly have saved him.

41...Nc6! 42.Kc3 a5 43.Rd7 Bf3 44.Rf7+ Kxg4 45.Kd2 g5 46.Ke3 Bd5 47.Rb7 Nd4 48.Rb8 Nxb3 White

resigned.

***

However, it was not in the classical sphere that my interests lay, although the path to my later interpretation of the

Sämisch Variation was a very thorny one. For a long time my attention was focused on the move 6...b6, which became

popular in the late 1950s. From 1960 it became the arena of my conflict with Lev Polugaevsky. This confrontation

continued for a whole 13 years.

At that time Polugaevsky was famed for his skill in playing the King’s Indian with White. Here we were always on

opposite sides of the barricade! Each of us upheld his creative views, and when it happened that one employed a

prepared idea, the game would acquire theoretical importance. As a rule, the author of the novelty would land the

opponent such a strong blow, that for months or even years the latter would be unable to find an antidote. But then –

again success! One of us would find the desired antidote and arrive for the next encounter with something weighty ‘up

his sleeve’.

But let us return to the crux of the variation 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 0-0 6.Be3 b6

The modest pawn move is the prelude to a broad strategic plan of campaign against the formidable Sämisch set-up.

At first sight, Black is simply intending to develop his bishop at b7. But this is only at first sight. The fianchetto of the

queen’s bishop is only a small detail of Black’s conception, his main plan being to advance c7-c5. If then d4-d5, it

means that Black has managed to force the closing of the centre without cramping his g7-bishop by e7-e5. This would

not concern White, had he not already defined his opening plans with f2-f3. Let us imagine that this move has not yet

been made. Then White plays Ng1-f3, Bf1-e2 and 0-0 and he prepares the e4-e5 breakthrough. But – the pawn is

already at f3, White’s entire dark-square periphery is weakened, the knight is unable to fight for the e5-point, and the

attack on the king is also disrupted, since while White is drawing up his army under the cover of the g- and h-pawns,

Black has time to mount a powerful counter-offensive in the centre and on the queenside.

Such is the basic outline of Black’s concept, if after c7-c5 White immediately replies d4-d5. But what if he retains

the tension in the centre, which is also in the spirit of the Sämisch Variation? Then another feature of Black’s plan is

revealed: he has not yet played Nb8-d7, and the knight can effectively join the fight for the centre by Nb8-c6! And if

White again does not play d4-d5, then by e7-e5! Black seizes control of the d4-point.

№ 3. L.Polugaevsky – E.Gufeld

USSR Championship Semi-Final

Vilnius 1960

Already then I often resorted to this seemingly insignificant transposition of moves. We will talk at the appropriate

time about the concept of this idea, but for the moment I will mention only that in those years this was a way of fighting

against the Sämisch Variation. The point is that if 5.f3 Black gains an additional resource in the form of the pawn

sacrifice 5...c5!? 6.dc5 b6, promising him ample counterplay.

For example, Rabar-Gufeld (Baku 1964) continued 7.Be3 bc5 8.Bxc5 Nc6 9.Qd2 Rb8 10.Rc1 Re8 11.b3 Bb7

12.Nh3 d6 13.Bf2 e6 14.Be2 d5 15.ed5 ed5 16.cd5 Nb4, and Black gained good counterplay for the pawn.

Soon in Bobotsov-Stefanov (Bulgarian Championship 1965) White demonstrated a more accurate continuation,

which to this day is given in the Encyclopaedia as best: 7.cb6 Qxb6 8.Nh3!? (in the event of 8.e5 Ne8 9.f4 Black

attacks the white centre by 9...d6 10.Nf3 Nc6 and gains excellent counterplay) 8...Nc6 9.Nf2 e6 10.Be2 Ba6 11.0-0

Rfd8 12.Kh1 d5 13.cd5 ed5 14.ed5 Bxe2 15.Qxe2 Nxd5 16.Nfe4, and White has the better chances. But who knows,

this was a long time ago and perhaps someone already has an idea up their sleeve, which would demonstrate the

opposite. After all, chess fashion is so changeable!

However, if White insists on the Sämisch Variation, he can make the transposition of moves which occurred in the

game.

5.Be3 d6 6.f3 b6 7.Bd3!

This move was first employed by Bronstein in his game against Lutikov from the 26th USSR Championship in

1959. Today this move is merely a sideline in theory, but at the time it became the prelude to a strong blow against

Black’s plan. The unsuspecting Lutikov replied 7...c5, which was answered by the thunderous 8.e5!! The two

exclamation marks reflect not only the strength of the move, but also the surprise effect. It suddenly transpired that here

was another important line in the King’s Indian Defence, which had not previously occurred to anyone. After 8...Ne8

9.Be4 Nc7 10.Bxa8 Nxa8 White is the exchange up with the better position.

Therefore Polugaevsky was extremely surprised when I suddenly dared to employ this dubious variation, and he

gave me an inquiring look: surely I hadn’t forgotten that game, the course of which we had observed together?

However, there followed the unexpected...

7...a6!

The birth of a new variation in the King’s Indian Defence has come to pass. The effect of the novelty exceeded all

my expectations. White’s hopes of winning the rook at a8 are dashed, since the a7-square has been vacated for it. And

in itself the move a7-a6 is useful for Black, who has been dreaming of gaining an opportunity for b6-b5.

On failing to find an antidote at the board, Polugaevsky became rattled and subsequently he played as though

doomed. At any event, it was not often that I was able to defeat a grandmaster of his class with Black in 30 moves.

8.Nge2 c5 9.d5?!

Submissively allowing Black to carry out all the ideas of the variation.

9...e6!

An additional resource, which is especially effective when f2-f3 has been played.

10.0-0 ed5 11.ed5

There can be no question of 11.cd5 in view of 11...b5. As we see, the move a7-a6 has come in useful.

11...Nbd7 12.Bc2

Vladas Mikenas recommended 12.Bg5 Ne5 13.Ne4.

12...Re8 13.Qd2 b5!

After this thematic undermining move White’s position collapses like a house of cards.

14.cb5 ab5 15.Ng3 b4 16.Nce2 Nb6 17.Bg5 Ba6 18.Rfe1 Qd7 19.Be4 Bc4! 20.b3 Bxe2 21.Qxe2 Nxe4 22.fe4

Nxd5!

Already the game is effectively decided. The white flag could have been raised, but Polugaevsky decided on this

only 8 moves later.

23.Qd2 Nc3 24.Qd3 Qg4 25.Bd2 Nxe4 26.Nxe4 Bxa1 27.h3 Qf5 28.g4 Qe5 29.Qf3 Qd4+ 30.Kg2 d5 White

resigned.

But at that time I was profoundly mistaken in naively assuming that after this game the problems with the move

7...a6 were exhausted. In January of the following year, 1961, the final of the 28th USSR Championship began in

Moscow. I prepared for the tournament with Leonid Stein, we did not rule out the possibility of Polugaevsky preparing

something against 7...a6, and we decided beforehand that against him we would play only our favourite King’s Indian.

But the pairings proved a disappointment: I was paired with White against Polugaevsky. But he was paired against

Stein in the very first round.

Naturally, Lev was true to himself: 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 0-0 5.Be3 d6 6.f3 b6 7.Bd3, and with interest

(and anxiety) I followed the development of events. Stein played 7...a6, when we were expecting 8.d5, which after the

Vilnius catastrophe had brought Polugaevsky success in several games, and against which we had prepared suitable

counterplay. But there followed 8.Nge2 c5, and here Polugaevsky produced 9.e5!. The surprise was undoubtedly

intended for me, but since he had Black against me it was the innocent Stein who suffered the vengeance. However,

why ‘innocent’? The future hero of the championship suffered because he had trusted my opening plan, without

investigating all its subtleties.

Polugaevsky’s blow looks similar to the one struck by Bronstein in his game with Lutikov. However, here the long

light-square diagonal is of secondary importance, and White’s main aim is to seize space in the centre. Indeed, after

9...de5 10.de5 Nfd7 11.Be4 Ra7 12.f4! Black’s position is unpromising, and 7...a6 proves to be a waste of a tempo.

Therefore Stein preferred to reply 9...Nfd7 immediately, but then there followed 10.ed6 ed6 11.0-0 Nc6. Here White

retreated his bishop with 12.Bc2 Bb7 13.Qd2 Nf6 14.Rad1, and it transpired that Black had no way of countering the

opponent’s powerful pressure in the centre. The tactical attempt 14...cd4 15.Nxd4 Ne5 16.b3 d5 was refuted by

17.Bh6! Rc8 18.Bxg7 Kxg7 19.Qg5 Nc6 20.Nf5+ Kh8 21.Nxd5 Nxd5 22.Qh6!. White soon won, and my curiosity

was satisfied for free. Regarding this Stein had his own opinion.

But already then the problem for me was obvious: the variation had a flaw. A new stage of seeking improvements

for Black began.

A whole decade passed. And then in 1971, at the USSR Team Championship in Rostov-on-Don, Kapengut, to the

amazement of his opponent Tukmakov, chose the variation that had seemingly been rejected for ever: 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6

3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 0-0 6.Be3 b6 7.Bd3 a6 8.Nge2 c5 9.e5, but here he retreated with 9...Ne8.

Watching the game, I involuntarily asked myself: what does this change? – after 10.ed6 ed6 11.0-0 a similar

position is reached, and it is not clear that the knight is any better placed at e8.

10.ed6 Nxd6!

This is why the knight retreated to e8! The pawn sacrifice cuts the Gordian knot, in which the black pieces were

entangled.

11.dc5 bc5 12.Bxc5

White accepts the sacrifice. Of course, this is the critical continuation. But perhaps it would have been more

sensible to decline it by 12.0-0!. For example: 12...Be6 13.b3 Nd7 14.Rc1 Qa5 15.Na4 with the threat of 16.Nf4, or

12...Nd7 13.b3 Qa5 (13...Bb7 14.Rc1) 14.Rc1 Ne5 15.Nd5 with the better pawn structure (two pawn islands for White

against three for Black).

12...Nd7 13.Bf2

13.Bxd6? ed6 would be positional capitulation, when Black is already threatening 14...Qb6!

13...Ne5 14.c5 Nxd3+ 15.Qxd3 Bf5 16.Qd5 Be6 17.Qd1 Nc4! 18.Qxd8 Rfxd8 19.b3 Nb2 20.0-0 Rd2 21.Rac1

Bf5 22.g4 Bd7.

Here the players unexpectedly agreed a draw. In my opinion, Kapengut displayed excessive caution. I would have

played on.

As it later transpired, at that time we were all suffering from a lack of information. It turned out that 10...Nxd6! had

been employed by Kapengut back in the 1968 Belorussian Championship, and in a game with none other than

Boleslavsky! It had even been published in his monograph on the King’s Indian Defence, published in East Germany in

1969.

It was now my turn to end the protracted waiting, and to measure my strength against Polugaevsky in this variation.

№ 4. L.Polugaevsky – E.Gufeld

USSR Team Championship

Moscow 1972

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 0-0 5.Be3 d6 6.f3 b6 7.Bd3 a6 8.Nge2 c5 9.e5 Ne8 10.ed6 Nxd6 11.dc5 bc5

12.Bxc5 Nd7 13.Bf2 Ne5 14.b3 Nb5 15.Be4

Here in the aforementioned Boleslavsky-Kapengut game a draw was agreed, and in his monograph Boleslavsky

showed that after 15...Nxc3 16.Nxc3 Nd3+ 17.Qxd3 Qxd3 18.Bxd3 Bxc3+ 19.Ke2 Bxa1 20.Be4 Rb8 21.Rxa1, which

in his opinion is the best continuation for both sides, White has sufficient compensation for the exchange, but not more.

Polugaevsky played on, having apparently prepared some improvement for White. But I was on the alert and after

15...Nxc3 16.Nxc3,

instead of Boleslavsky’s recommendation 16...Nd3+, I found an opportunity to add fuel to the fire.

16...Bf5!

Black not only rejects the win of the exchange, but even sacrifices the exchange himself. True, 17.Bxa8 Nd3+

looks unattractive for White. In general, the check on d3 is now strongly threatened. White must urgently decide on the

position of his king.

17.Ke2

I would have preferred 17.0-0.

17...Qa5 18.Bxf5?

18.Be1 was more sensible. The Vilnius situation repeated itself, and again, on encountering an opening surprise,

Polugaevsky does not immediately come to his senses...

18...gf5 19.Nd5 e6 20.Bb6 Qa3!

Black has the better game.

21.Ne3 Nc6 22.Rb1 Rfd8!

Once again offering an exchange sacrifice, this time for the dark-square bishop. For the moment Black does not pay

any attention to trifles such as the a2-pawn: 22...Qxa2+ 23.Qc2 Qa3 24.Kf1 would have allowed White to defend. But

now in the event of 23.Bxd8 Rxd8 24.Qe1 Qxa2+ 25.Kf1 Bc3 26.Qc1 Rd2! the black pieces would burst into the heart

of the opponent’s position.

23.Qc1 Qxa2+ 24.Qc2 Qa3 25.Rhd1 Rxd1 26.Qxd1 Qb4

After the successful attack Black needs to consolidate.

27.c5 Ne5 28.Kf2 Qb5 29.Qe2

Black has regained the sacrificed pawn, while retaining the initiative. White has to fight for equality, which would

be best aided by 29.Nc4. But Polugaevsky, upset by the outcome of the opening, does not display resilience and

overlooks the variation 29...Nd3+ 30.Kf1 Bd4!, setting him difficult problems. But I was tempted by another

possibility.

29...Nd7 30.Qxb5 ab5 31.Rd1 Nxb6 32.cb6 Rb8

Also winning a pawn, but now the limited material allows White to mount a lengthy resistance.

33.b7 Rxb7 34.Rd8+ Bf8 35.Ke2 Kg7 36.Nc2 Be7 37.Rc8 b4 38.Rc4 Kf6 39.f4 h5 40.g3 Bd6 41.Rc6 Ke7

42.Rc4 Kd7 43.Ke3 Rb8 44.Nd4 f6 45.Kf3 Rb6 46.h3 Be7 47.g4 hg4+ 48.hg4 fg4+ 49.Kxg4 f5+ 50.Kh5 Ra6

51.Nc2 Rb6 52.Nd4 Bd6 53.Kg5 Ra6 54.Nb5 Be7+ 55.Kg6 Rc6!

This stage of the game looks frankly tedious, but here interesting tactical nuances again come to the fore. For

example, if 56.Rxc6 Kxc6 57.Kf7, then 57...Bc5!, unexpectedly trapping the knight.

56.Rd4+ Ke8 57.Rd1 Rc2 58.Nd6+ Kf8 59.Nf7

If 59.Nc4 I would have replied 59...Rc3.

59...Rg2+ 60.Ng5 Bxg5 61.fg5 Ke7 62.Rd3

The battle has livened up, and to convert his advantage Black has to find some study-like subtleties.

62...Rf2!!

Sacrificing the b4-pawn, to clear the way for his passed pawns.

63.Rd4 e5 64.Rxb4 e4 65.Rb5 Ke6 66.Rb6+ Ke5 67.Rb5+ Ke6 68.Rb6+ Ke7 69.Rb5 Kd6! 70.Kf6 e3 71.g6

If 71.Re5, then 71...f4! is unpleasant.

71...Rg2!! 72.Rb6+ Kd5 73.Rb5+ Kd4 74.Rb4+ Kd3 75.Kxf5 e2 76.Re4 Rg5+

This is the point of the combination.

77.Kxg5 Kxe4 78.g7 e1Q 79.g8Q Qg1+ White resigned.

Soon Polugaevsky enlisted the help of Vladimir Bagirov, who in those years was his trainer. Our new meeting, this

time by ‘proxy’, took place very soon.

№ 5. V.Bagirov – E.Gufeld

USSR Championship Semi-Final

Tbilisi 1973

1.d4 g6 2.c4 Bg7 3.Nc3 d6 4.e4 Nf6 5.f3 0-0 6.Be3 b6 7.Bd3 a6 8.Nge2 c5 9.e5

A slight digression. A year earlier, at the USSR Championship Semi-Final in Chelyabinsk, in his game with me

Valery Zilbershtein restricted himself to 9.0-0, and after 9...Nc6 (the Encyclopaedia considers only 9...Nbd7) 10.d5

Ne5 11.b3 e6 it transpired that the ‘undermining operation’ was no less effective than in 1960 against Polugaevsky.

The game continued 12.Bc2 b5! 13.cb5 (if 13.de6 Bxe6 14.cb5 ab5 15.Nxb5 there would have followed 15...d5

16.Bxc5 de4!) 13...ed5 14.ed5 ab5 15.Nxb5 Ba6 16.Nec3 Re8 17.Re1 Qa5 18.a4 c4, and Black obtained good play.

9...Ne8

10.Be4!

This exclamation mark is attached by Bagirov (for whom read Polugaevsky), annotating this game in the 16th

volume of the Yugoslav Informator. Incidentally, it is curious that Bagirov assesses the position after 10.ed6? Nxd6!

11.dc5 bc5 12.Bxc5 Nd7 13.Bf2 Ne5 as more promising for Black. Thus it could be concluded that subsequently

Polugaevsky would not proceed along this path.

10...Ra7 11.dc5 bc5 12.Bxc5 Rd7 13.Be3 Bb7 14.Bxb7

The interesting pawn sacrifice 14.e6 was made in K.Georgiev-Cvitan (San Bernardino 1987): 14...fe6 15.Nd4 Bxd4

16.Bxd4 (weaker is 16.Qxd4?! d5 17.cd5 ed5, when Black has the advantage) 16...d5 17.cd5 ed5 18.Bc2 e5 19.Bc5!,

and White retained the initiative. 16...e5 followed by Ne8-f6 looks sounder.

14...Rxb7 15.Qd2 Bxe5 16.Rd1 Nc6 17.0-0 Qa5 18.b3 Nc7 19.Na4

White has not achieved anything from the opening and he goes into an endgame. The attempt to develop an

initiative by a pawn sacrifice – 19.f4 Bg7 20.f5 gf5 21.Bh6 Qc5+ might have backfired on him.

19...Qxd2 20.Rxd2 Ne6 21.f4 Bg7

The opening discussion has led to a rather tedious endgame. But in this development of events there is also some

philosophy. Black has carried out the main idea of the variation – his bishop has become master of the long diagonal.

22.Rfd1 Rc8 23.Kf2

White brings his king towards the centre (which is useful in the endgame), having realised that it is unrealistic to try

and install his knight at d5. If 23.Nac3 or 23.Nec3 there could also have followed 23...f5 and then Kf7.

23...f5 24.g3 Kf7 25.Ng1

A loss of time. 25.Nb6 was better, transferring the knight to d5.

25...Nb8 26.Kg2 Nd7 27.Ne2 Ndc5 28.Bxc5 Nxc5 29.Nxc5 Rxc5 30.Rd5 Rbc7 31.Kf3 Ke6 32.Ke3 Kd7

33.R1d3 Bf8 34.Rxc5 Rxc5 35.Rd5 Bg7

The bishop returns to its native diagonal, after which Black can drive back the rook. In the event of 35...Kc6

36.Nc3 Bg7 Black would have achieved the exchange of rooks: 37.Rxc5+ dc5 (37...Kxc5?! 38.Nd5 is better for White)

followed by e7-e5, obtaining the better endgame. But 36.Nd4+ was also possible.

36.Rxc5?

An unfortunate exchange, after which White has to fight for a draw. He should have retreated with 36.Rd1.

36...dc5 37.Nc1 Kd6 38.Nd3 a5 39.Kf3 e5 40.fe5+ Bxe5

Black’s readiness to play a pawn endgame just before the adjournment is a demonstration of strength!

41.h3 Bd4 42.h4 Ke6 43.Nf4+ Ke5 44.Nd3+ Kf6 45.Kf4 h6 46.Kf3 g5 47.hg5+ hg5 48.Ke2

48...Be5

As Bagirov showed, White would have been caused the greatest problems by an outflanking king manoeuvre,

enabling Black to create a passed pawn: 48...Kg6 49.Kf3 Kh5 50.Ne1 g4+ 51.Kg2 (apparently it is also possible to

play 51.Kf4 Kg6 52.Nd3 Kf6, and here not 53.Ne1?? because of 53...Bc3 with a threat of mate, but 53.a3! with the

idea of giving up the knight for the a5- and c5-pawns) 51...Be3 52.Nd3 Kg5 53.Kf1 f4 54.gf4+ Kf5 55.Kg2! Ke4

56.Ne5! Kxf4, but here too the knight successfully opposes the bishop – 57.Nc6! Bd2 58.Nd8 Ke5 59.Nb7! with the

principal idea of giving up the knight for the c5- and a5-pawns. For example: 59...Kd4 60.Kg3 Bb4 61.a3! (61.Kxg4

Kc3 is possible, and now not 62.a3? Kxb3! 63.ab4 Kxb4, which may lead to defeat, but 62.Kf5 Kb2 63.Ke5 Kxa2

64.Kd5 Kxb3 65.Nxa5+) 61...Bxa3 62.Nxa5 and Na5-b7xc5.

49.Kf3 Bd6 50.Kf2 Kg6 51.Kg2 Kh5 52.Kf3 g4+ 53.Kg2 Kg6 54.Kf2 Kf6 55.Kg2 Draw.

Even so, I have to say frankly: the character of the position reached in this game did not satisfy me – it was just too

dry. True, in the critical duel with Polugaevsky we ended up quits.

The following year Polugaevsky won an opening duel in this variation against Rashkovsky (Sochi 1974), who after

1.c4 g6 2.e4 Bg7 3.d4 d6 4.Nc3 Nf6 5.f3 0-0 6.Be3 b6 7.Bd3 a6 8.Nge2 c5 9.e5 retreated his knight ‘а la Stein’

9...Nfd7 and after 10.ed6 employed the novelty 10...cd4! 11.Nxd4 (weaker is 11.de7 Qxe7 12.Nd5 Qc5 13.Bg5 Nc6

with the better chances for Black) 11...Nc5 12.de7 Qxe7 13.Nd5 Qe5 14.f4 Qd6 15.0-0, and Black gained a promising

position.

However, Naum played badly – 15...Bb7? 16.Bc2 Bxd5 17.cd5 Qxd5 18.Nf5!, after which Polugaevsky gained an

advantage and won the game. Nevertheless, in later meetings with me and other King’s Indian players he avoided a

discussion in the Sämisch Variation.

Perhaps he was impressed by Dorfman-Rashkovsky (Volgodonsk 1981), where in the diagram position Naum

demonstrated a significant improvement: 15...Re8! 16.Bf2 (stronger is 16.Nc2! Nxd3 17.Qxd3 Bf5 18.Qd2 Nd7, but

here too Black’s initiative compensates for the sacrificed pawn) 16...Bb7 17.Rc1 Nbd7! 18.b4 Nxd3 19.Qxd3 b5, and

Black completely held the initiative.

As regards the modern theory of this variation, after 9...Nfd7 the 1998 Yugoslav Encyclopaedia recommends

10.Be4 Ra7 11.dc5, giving some preference to White after both 11...Nxc5 12.ed6, and 11...dc5 12.f4.

The problems experienced by Black against the e4-e5 advance suggested to analysts the idea after 7.Bd3 of saving

a tempo on 7...а6 in favour of the retreat 7...Nfd7. But while Black is spending time coordinating his group of pieces,

White gains the opportunity to complete his development and retain control of the centre – 8.Nge2 c5 9.Bc2 Nc6 10.d5

Nb4 11.Bb3.

To conclude the 6...b6 theme, the reader has the right to ask a rhetorical question: why after 7.Bd3 are such

unaesthetic continuations as 7...a6 or 7...Nfd7 needed; wouldn’t it be simpler to make the obvious developing move

7...Bb7 ? What can be said here? A genuine King’s Indian player never makes such a move with an easy heart. After

all, the light-square bishop does Black very important service on the c8-h3 diagonal: there it controls the important key

square f5, if necessary it supports the g6-g5-g4 advance, and from d7 – also the thematic thrust b7-b5. And what can

the bishop do on b7, where it runs up against the pawn ‘block’ e4-f3-g2, which if necessary can be strengthened by d4-

d5 ? Will not a tempo then have to be lost, by returning the bishop to c8?

Naturally, the most logical move is to shut off the bishop with 8.Nge2 c5 9.d5, after which Black cannot get by

without 9...e6.

What should White do? After 10.0-0 ed5 11.ed5 Ne8! followed by Ne8-c7 Black succeeds in preparing b6-b5,

utilising the services of the bishop, which keeps the d5-pawn under fire in the event of the reply c4xb5.

Incidentally, 10.0-0 was played in Spassky-Gufeld from the 31st USSR Championship, Leningrad 1963, where I

replied 10...Nbd7. There followed: 11.Bg5 ed5 12.Nxd5? (this allows Black to get rid of his ‘bad’ bishop, but after the

‘conceptual’ 12.ed5 h6 13.Bh4 Ne5 Black maintains the balance; for example, the game Ghitescu-Fischer, Zagreb

1970, continued 14.f4 Nxd3 15.Qxd3 Qd7 16.Bxf6 Bxf6 17.f5 g5 18.Qh3 Be5! with sharp play, but apparently things

are more difficult for Black after 12.cd5) 12...Bxd5 13.cd5 a6 14.Rc1 (14.a4 b5! 15.ab5 Qb6 16.Kh1 ab5 is clearly to

Black’s advantage) 14...b5 15.b3 Re8 16.Qd2 Qb6 17.Kh1 Rac8 18.Rfe1 Ne5 19.Bb1 b4 20.Ng3 c4, and the play

developed in Black’s favour. But I think that this game was overlooked by the theoreticians, because on the very next

move I blundered – 21.Be3 c3?? (after 21...Qb5 followed by a5-a4 Black retains the advantage) 22.Qxc3 and saw my

hopes dashed.

It later transpired that after 10.0-0 ed5 Black has more difficult problems to solve after the capture 11.cd5. The

weapon 10.Bg5! was also found, and now in the event of 10...ed5 11.ed5 Black does not have the retreat 11...Ne8, but

without the manoeuvre of the knight to c7 it is difficult to make the b6-b5 advance. For example: 11...Nbd7 12.b3! Ne5

13.Bc2 a6 14.a4!.

MY MAIN VARIATION

When I had gone through all the development stages of the Sämisch Variation, I realised that the most flexible

weapon against it was the plan associated with 6...Nc6!.

A little in the way of explanation. The ambitious knight development is in the nature of a provocation: in the event

of the ‘obvious’ 7.d5 Ne5 Black is ready to open lines in the centre with e7-e6 or c7-c6. White is unlikely to decide on

such play. At the same time, from c6 the knight not only attacks the d4-point, but also assists the attack on the c4-pawn

after a7-a6 and b7-b5. And the opening of a ‘second front’ compels White to divert a part of his forces away from

operations on the kingside. This argument allows 6...Nc6 to be regarded as one of the most modern ways of fighting

against the pawn centre. It remains to add that it was this move that served me faithfully throughout my chess career,

and this constancy was rewarded by Providence. It was with this development that I was able to play my ‘immortal

game’. With it I invite the reader into the world of this variation.

№ 6. V.Bagirov – E.Gufeld

Kirovabad 1973

Every person is born with the pre-requisites to be a genius. But only with a few is it achieved. And the remainder?

It’s a matter of luck. With some their genius is asleep all their life. Others are more fortunate. Rouget de Lisle wrote

‘La Marseillaise’ at the right moment and at the right time, and became, as Stefan Zweig expressed it, a genius of one

night. I was also fortunate: if there is a chess genius in me, it awoke that evening when I played Vladimir Bagirov.

1.d4 g6 2.c4 Bg7 3.Nc3 d6 4.e4 Nf6 5.f3 0-0 6.Be3 Nc6 7.Nge2

The most flexible system of development. White fully reinforces his centre with pieces, and apart from queenside

castling he can also carry out the plan involving the switching of this knight to the queenside: Ne2-c1-b3.

7...Rb8

Before beginning operations in the centre (e7-e5), it is advisable by b7-b5 to seize space on the queenside, for

where the white king is aiming.

The move order beginning with the rook was introduced into tournament play by Igor Zaitsev. The point of it is that

in the variation 8.Nc1 e5 9.d5 Nd4 10.Nb3 c5 11.dc6 bc6 Black prepares in good time for the opening of the b-file.

Even so, 7...a6 is more often played, and only after 8.Qd2 – 8...Rb8, completing preparations for b7-b5. In the

present game this would have merely led to a transposition of moves, but in the event of 8.a3 a6 9.b4 the rook stands

better at a8, since after a possible b7-b5 the a-file is opened.

8.Qd2 a6 9.Bh6

Bagirov laughs: ‘You only have to exchange the g7-bishop, and Gufeld is disarmed!’ Incidentally, in this joke there

is a considerable portion of truth. But here the loss of my favourite bishop did not distress me. White loses precious

time, and his attack on the kingside, while strategically quite well-founded, is tactically too late, since Black has time to

create threats on the other side of the board.

In those years theory recommended 9.Nc1, taking play into the main line of the variation. I have a rather different

view on the character of the position. Besides, in practice it is sometimes difficult to decide which is the main line, and

which is a secondary one. It was not without reason that two major experts on the King’s Indian Defence, Geller and

Petrosian, made a particular note of this game.

9...b5

Later I came to the conclusion that it was stronger to counterattack immediately in the centre after diverting the

queen – 9...Bxh6 10.Qxh6 e5.

10.h4 e5 11.Bxg7 Kxg7 12.h5

It is sometimes said that compared with the 19th century we play in a more practical and rational manner, and that

there is a lack of spectacular sacrifices. There is no doubt that now we play quite differently, more strictly, objectively

meeting the demands of the position. But it can happen that the position demands sacrifices. White was the first to

attack, but in a difficult situation I was able to carry out a counterattack, where I was just one tempo ahead. For the sake

of winning this tempo, abundant gifts were offered.

12...Kh8

The acceptance of the sacrifice by 12...Nxh5 13.g4 Nf4 14.Nxf4 ef4 15.cb5 ab5 16.Bxb5 Ne7 17.Qxf4 Ng8 18.0-

0-0 would have led to a lost position for Black.

But Geller also thought that the king move was bad, and he suggested 12...bc4 13.Nd5 (White does not achieve his

aim by 13.hg6 fg6 14.Qh6+ Kg8 15.Nf4 ef4 16.Bxc4+ Kh8 17.Nd5 Nh5 or 15.Nd5 Rf7 with advantage to Black)

13...Nxd5 14.hg6 (after 14.ed5 Nb4 15.Ng3 Bf5! 16.Bxc4 c6 Black’s position is preferable) 14...Nf4 (sharp play

results from 14...Nf6 15.Qh6+ Kg8 16.g7 Re8 17.Ng3 ed4 18.Nh5 Nxh5 19.Qxh5 Kxg7, but not 19.Rxh5? Bf5!

20.Rxf5 Re6, and Black retains a material advantage) 15.Nxf4 ef4 16.Qxf4 hg6 17.Qh6+ Kf6 18.Qh4+ Kg7 19.Qh6+

Kf6 with a draw.

These variations are certainly very interesting. But it seems to me that 12...Kh8 is not such a bad move. The

divergence of our assessments is caused by the fact that, in Geller’s opinion, White could later have gained an

advantage. I will endeavour to convince the reader that this is not so.

To complete the picture I should mention that 15 years later this position also attracted the 10th world champion

Boris Spassky, who preferred 12...Nxd4. But this activity also has its drawbacks. And although in the game Ker-

Spassky (Wellington 1988) after 13.Nxd4 ed4 14.Nd5 c5 15.hg6 fg6 16.Qh6+ Kf7 17.Nxf6 Qxf6 18.Qxh7+ Qg7

19.cb5 ab5 20.a4 ba4 21.Rxa4? Qxh7 22.Rxh7+ Kf6 Black managed to defend, White could have prolonged the king’s

sufferings by playing 21.Bc4+! Kf6 22.Qh2.

13.Nd5!

The correct strategy. The threat is 14.Nxf6 and 15.d5, after which the attack will develop of its own accord. What

to do? Moves such as 13...Ne8 are too passive. And in such situations delay is fatal.

13...bc4!

To justify his preceding play, Black has to allow the opponent’s attack. But White still needs to bring up his rook

from a1. It is against this that the counterplay on the queenside is aimed.

14.hg6 fg6 15.Qh6

Now a quiet life cannot be expected, but who wouldn’t have made such a menacing incursion? It seems incredible,

but it is this move that loses White the minimal advantage he is supposed to have in the opening.

In the light of further developments, 15.Nxf6 Qxf6 16.d5 looks steadier, with a complicated positional battle. But

to choose this continuation White has at some moment to turn away from the storming of the kingside, which is so

tempting and seemingly promises a quick success.

15...Nh5!

The only argument, but a quite adequate one, which cannot be said about 15...Rf7? in view of 16.Qxg6 Qg8

17.Qxf6+!. True, even now the position seems dangerous for Black.

A few months later, when our players were flying to Brazil to the Interzonal Tournament, as an exercise I suggested

that they should analyse this position. The discussion was truly a high-level one, and not only because the plane was

flying over the Atlantic Ocean at a height of 12,000 metres. On the earth one would hardly be fortunate enough to

organise a discussion with the participation of Smyslov, Keres, Bronstein, Geller, Polugaevsky and other notable

players. Nearly all of them attacked Black’s position. After flying a quarter of the way round the globe, I managed to

uphold my assessment: the chances are equal.

16.g4

Geller recommended 16.0-0-0 Nxd4 17.Rxd4 ed4 18.Nef4! Rxf4 (if 18...Rg8, then 19.g4 Rg7 20.gh5 g5 21.Ng6+

Kg8 22.Bxc4 Be6 23.Nge7+ Rxe7 24.Nxe7+ and wins) 19.Nxf4 Qg8 20.Nxg6+ Qxg6 21.Qf8+ Qg8 22.Qxg8+ Kxg8

23.Bxc4+ Kg7 24.Rxh5 c6 25.Rg5+ with advantage to White.

After seeing this analysis, I suggested a different solution: 16.0-0-0 Rf7! 17.g4 Nf6 18.Qxg6 Qg8! 19.Qxg8+ Nxg8

with roughly equal chances. Here is an illustration: 20.Rh3 a5! 21.Ne3 Ba6 22.d5 Nb4 23.Nc3 Nd3+ 24.Bxd3 cd3

25.b3 Ne7 26.Kd2 Ng6 27.Nf5 Nf4 etc.

Of course, it is not possible to exhaust this position with variations, but later it would seem that Geller agreed with

my arguments, and in his book on the King’s Indian Defence (1980) he removed the question mark from 12...Kh8.

16...Rxb2!

Sacrifices are in the offing. As yet this is not a counterattack, but merely counterplay, diverting White’s attention.

17.gh5 g5

Chess is an amazing game! Look at the position. The opponent is a piece up and he has serious threats on the

kingside. And yet Black is able to balance on the tight-rope. How can this be explained? It is all a question of the

centre, on the stability of which the outcome of many games depends. Thus here Black succeeds in attacking the base

of the pawn centre, destroying it and thereby devaluing the opponent’s material advantage.

18.Rg1 g4!

The situation has become extremely tense. The white king is also under fire. Bagirov takes the correct decision.

19.0-0-0 Rxa2

20.Nef4

Of course, if White had been able to foresee the further development of events, he would have chosen one of the

spectacular continuations from the mass of variations. In human form they can be presented as follows: 20.de5 Nxe5

21.Nef4 Kg8! 22.Ng6 hg6 23.hg6 Qd7 24.Rh1 Ra1+ 25.Kb2 Qb5+ 26.Kxa1 Qa4+ 27.Kb2 Qb3+ 28.Kc1 Qa3+

29.Kc2 (29.Kd2? Qb2+) 29...Qb3+ 30.Kc1 with a draw.

An even more amazing draw results after the problem-like 20.Bh3!! Rxe2 21.Bxg4 Rf7! 22.Bxc8 Qxc8 23.Nf6!

Qb8! 24.Rg8+ Qxg8 25.Nxg8 Nb4! 26.Rd2 Re1+ 27.Rd1 (not 27.Kb2? Rxf3!, when 28...Rb3 mate is threatened)

27...Re2.

20...ef4 21.Nxf4?!!

Geller thought that here too White could have punished his opponent for 12...Kh8, this time by 21.Bxc4, but in

analysis I was also able to defend this position: 21...Ra1+ 22.Kb2 Rxd1 23.Rxd1 Rg8! 24.Nf6 (if 24.Nxf4, then

24...Qg5!) 24...Rg7 25.Bg8! Qe7 26.Bxh7 Rxh7 27.Nxh7 Qxh7 28.Qf8+ Qg8 29.Qh6+ with a draw.

Why, apart from the question mark to 21.Nxf4, do I also attach two exclamation marks? It is my gratitude, (and, I

hope, that of all chess lovers) to Bagirov for his co-authorship in the creation of a chess masterpiece. Now Black

succeeds in creating a dangerous counterattack in which he is just one tempo ahead.

21...Rxf4 22.Qxf4

White again has a material advantage, but his immediate threats have been parried. To renew the attack, he has to

play his bishop to c4, capture the pawn on g4 and move his rook to f1. Thus Black has three tempi in reserve. How

should they be used? If 22...Ra1+ 23.Kd2 c3+ 24.Ke1 Rxd1+ 25.Kxd1 Nxd4, then 26.Bc4! with the initiative for

White. This is due to the fact that Black is trying to attack with minimal forces, forgetting about his reserves. And so –

all forces to the support of the rook!

22...c3!

An example of how a knowledge of general principles and methods eases the calculation of variations. When a

rook is cutting off the king on the penultimate rank, the pattern of its coordination with a pawn and knight (Nc6-b4)

immediately comes to mind. Although this threat is parried, the c3-pawn remains like a bayonet, pressed against the

white king’s throat.

23.Bc4

It looked tempting to play 23.Qf7 Nb4 24.Bd3 Ra1+ 25.Bb1 c2 26.Kb2 cd1=Q 27.Rxd1 and wins. But by

25...Be6! 26.Qxe6 Qg5+ I would have been able to mate the opponent’s king.

23...Ra3!

The most difficult move in the game, and perhaps in my life!

23...Ra4 suggests itself, since in such cases one wants to do everything with gain of tempo. But after the calm reply

24.Bb3! Black’s offensive peters out. For example: 24...Ra3 25.Kc2 Be6 26.d5! Nb4+ 27.Kxc3, and it is now White

who is winning. In the summer of 1987, chatting with Alexander Beliavsky, I was again obliged to uphold my point of

view, since my colleague tried to demonstrate that 23...Ra4 leads to an advantage for Black. Our discussion revolved

around the position arising after 24.Bb3 Nxd4. But after 25.Rxd4 Rxd4 (25...Ra1+ 26.Kc2 Rxg1 27.Qe5+!) 26.fg4

White’s threats along the open files are rather dangerous. 23...Ra1+ 24.Kc2 Nxd4+ 25.Rxd4 Rxg1 26.Qe5+! leads to a

similar course.

After 23...Ra3 the key to the position is the f3-pawn. A possible variation is 24.Rg2 Nb4 25.Kb1 c2+ 26.Rxc2 Rxf3

with advantage to Black.

24.fg4

Here if 24.Kb1 Black does not play 24...Nb4?, after which White wins by 25.Rdf1 Be6 26.Bxe6 Nd3 27.Qf7 Qb8+

28.Bb3 Rxb3+ 29.Kc2 Nb4+ 30.Kd1!, but 24...Be6! with the decisive threat of 25...Qb8+. If 24.Rdf1, then 24...Nxd4

is good.

The value of this game is increased by the fact that White does not proceed submissively to the slaughter, but offers

a tenacious, resourceful resistance, setting his opponent one obstacle after another. Thus here, by giving up part of his

extra material, Bagirov parries the immediate threats to his king, and for an instant the attacking pieces lose their

coordination. This forces Black to make heroic efforts.

24...Nb4 25.Kb1!

It only remains for White to make one move, to again begin threatening the enemy king. For the sake of this he is

ready to go the whole hog: 25...c2+ 26.Kb2 cd1=Q 27.Rxd1, and Black, who is a piece up, loses, since against 28.Rf1!

(or 28.Kxa3) there is no defence.

25...Be6!!

Looking through the subsequent variations, I suddenly sensed that the pieces on the board were flashing as in a

kaleidoscope. Strangely enough, this image, vividly reflecting the law of the coordination of forces in chess, helped me

in my further actions. One piece makes way for another, in its place comes a third – and so on right to the creation of

the concluding picture. The outwardly chaotic movements in fact follow a strict schedule, and the pieces arrive at the

required point more accurately than trains at their designated station.

26.Bxe6 Nd3!!

To open the way for the queen onto the decisive b8-b1 highway, on each move Black sacrifices a piece. It appears

that 26...Nd5 also leads to this goal, but after 27.ed5! the king unexpectedly slips away from disaster along the newly-

opened b1-f5 pathway.

27.Qf7

Erecting new barriers in the opponent’s path. In the event of 27.Rxd3 there is a quick mate: 27...Qb8+ 28.Kc2

Qb2+ 29.Kd1 Ra1+.

27...Qb8+ 28.Bb3 Rxb3+ 29.Kc2

Here it is, the loss of coordination in Bagirov’s attacking ranks! The white king is surrounded, but it still has to be

forced to capitulate. For such an important operation Black’s advanced forces are insufficiently strong. He cannot get

by without the artillery. But how to bring it within range?

29...Nb4+!

The only decisive move.

30.Kxb3

30.Kc1 Rb1+! 31.Kxb1 Nd5+ 32.Kc2 Qb2+ would have led to the same finish. Here Black gives mate no later

than the eighth move. In distant romantic times, when it was customary to respect your opponent’s endeavours, they

allowed a combination to be concluded right to a mating finish. If the game had been played in the 19th century, the

commander of the black pieces could have said: ‘I announce mate not later that the eighth move!’ And White would

have had to drink the cup to the last drop. Now times are different. Mate in a few moves is not announced, but carried

out until the moment when the opponent ‘smudges’ the picture by resigning the game.

30...Nd5+! 31.Kc2 Qb2+ 32.Kd3 Qb5+!

White resigned in view of 33.Kc2 Qe2+ 34.Kb3 Qb2+ 35.Kc4 Qb5 mate.

Every artist dreams of creating his Mona Lisa, every player of playing his ‘immortal’ game. No game has brought

me such satisfaction as this one. To this day I feel happy when I remember it. Then all the competitive failures are

forgotten, and their remains only the joy of a fulfilled dream.

№ 7. S.Gligoric – E.Gufeld

Belgrade-Moscow Match

Belgrade 1974

The Yugoslav grandmaster’s choice of the Sämisch Variation came as a surprise to me. The point is that Gligoric

constantly plays the King’s Indian Defence with Black, and he himself often has to fight against this set-up.

5...0-0 6.Be3 Nc6 7.Nge2 Rb8 8.Qd2 a6

In one of my games with Polugaevsky (Riga 1975) I chose 8...Re8 with the intention of playing 9...e5, but when

Lev replied 9.Rb1 I nevertheless switched to 9...a6. After 10.b4 b5!? an interesting fight developed: 11.cb5 ab5 12.d5

Ne5 13.Nd4 Bd7 14.Ncxb5 (in the event of 14.Bxb5 Bxb5 15.Ncxb5 Nc4 the activity of the knight fully compensates

for the sacrificed pawn, while if 14.Ndxb5 I was also intending to play 14...e6) 14...e6 15.de6 fe6 16.Be2 Nxf3+?!

(16...d5 is more natural, with double-edged play) 17.gf3 e5 18.0-0 ed4 19.Nxd4 d5? (19...Kh8 was essential) 20.ed5

Nxd5 21.Bc4 Re5 22.f4 Rh5 23.f5 c6 24.b5!, and Black ended up with a broken position.

9.a4

Svetozar radically prevents b7-b5, thereby admitting the psychological effect of this counterattacking idea. But this

move is not in the spirit of the variation: White’s front becomes over-extended, and Black’s counterattack on the

queenside merely gains in strength.

9...e5

A counter-stroke, which together with the following knight manoeuvre enables Black to equalise completely.

10.d5 Na5

Of course, not 10...Ne7 11.c5, when the initiative is fully on White’s side.

11.Nc1 c5 12.Rb1

Opening lines by 12.dc6 bc6 would be playing into Black’s hands.

12...b6 13.b4 cb4

Not 13...Nb7 14.a5.

14.Rxb4 Nd7 15.Be2 Nc5 16.0-0 f5

The regrouping 16...Qc7, 17...Bd7 and Rf8-c8 also came into consideration, keeping f7-f5 in reserve.

17.Qe1

White does not have time to switch his knight to b4, since if 17.N1a2 there follows 17...Nab3 and Nb3-d4. But, as

it transpires, the move made is superfluous. 17.Bxc5 dc5 18.Rb1 Qh4 19.d6 was possibly stronger.

17...Bd7 18.Qd1

18...Qh4

By developing pressure on e4, Black pursues a double aim: either to force the capture on f5, which after g6xf5 will

give him an obvious advantage, or to exchange on e4 himself, giving White an additional pawn weakness. However,

18...Bf6 19.Qd2 f4 20.Bf2 Bh4 also looks quite good.

19.Bf2 Qg5 20.Nd3 Bh6 21.Qb1!

Excellent! Despite Black’s apparent activity, there is no real way for him to gain an advantage: if 21...Qd2 there

follows 22.Be1 Qe3+ 23.Bf2 etc.

21...fe4 22.Nxe4

Of course, not 22.Nxc5 ef3.

22...Nxe4 23.fe4 Rbc8

The tempting 23...Bh3 would not have achieved its aim because of 24.Ne1.

24.Qa2!

Gligoric accurately neutralises Black’s initiative, and I think that, had it not been for impending time-trouble, the

game would have been destined to end peacefully.

24...Qd2 25.Rb2

A mistake. In the event of 25.Qxd2 Bxd2 26.Rxb6 Nxc4 27.Rxa6 Ra8 28.Rxa8 Rxa8 29.Nc5 White would have

easily made a draw.

25...Qg5

25...Qc3! was more energetic.

26.Rc2

White overrates his position. He should have persisted with 26.Rb4.

26...Nb7 27.Bxb6

A time-trouble mistake. Any prophylactic move, 27.Kh1, for example, was better.

27...Nc5!

The dark-square bishop is cut off from the kingside, and White quickly perishes.

28.Bxc5

28.Nxc5 was more resilient, simultaneously setting a piquant trap: 28...Qe3+ 29.Kh1 Qxe2? 30.Rg1!, and it is

White who wins. But to be fair, we should mention that after 29...dc5 his position would have remained hopeless.

28...dc5 29.Kh1 Qe3 30.Rcc1 Qxe4 31.Rxf8+ Rxf8 32.Re1 Bh3 33.Rg1 Be3 White resigned.

№ 8. A.Lutikov – E.Gufeld

USSR Championship Semi-Final

Krasnoyarsk 1980

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 0-0 6.Be3 Nc6 7.Qd2 a6 8.Nge2 Rb8 9.d5

This advance is premature, since Black can more quickly launch an attack on the rigid pawn chain in other ways –

by attacking the d5-pawn.

9...Na5

This idea, gaining a tempo for the creation of counterplay on the queenside, is one that I resorted to many times in

my games, although in the given specific situation (e7-e5 has not been played) 9...Ne5 10.Ng3 c6 would also seem to

be possible, not fearing 11.f4 Neg4 with double-edged play.

10.Ng3 c5 11.Rc1

11.Be2 followed by kingside castling was rather more accurate.

11...Bd7

11...e6 also came into consideration.

12.Bd3 b5 13.b3 bc4?!

This untimely exchange makes it easier for White to plan his play. 13...e6 was stronger.

14.bc4 Rb4 15.Nd1 Qb6 16.0-0 Rb8

Black has carried out his plan, and all his pieces are actively placed, but for the moment they are firing into empty

space. White’s threats on the kingside look more real.

17.Bh6 Bh8

Such a reaction is at the level of my subconscious.

18.Nf5! Qd8 19.Qg5

After 19.Qf4? a pawn would have been lost: 19...Bxf5 20.ef5 Nxd5.

19...Ra4 20.f4?!

Anatoly Lutikov was well known for his sharp attacking style, but in launching an attack he apparently

underestimated Black’s possibilities of counterplay. He should first have defended the pawn by 20.Rf2.

20...Rxa2 21.e5

21...Rd2!

Black seizes the initiative. If 22.ef6 there follows 22...Bxf6 23.Qg3 Rxd3 24.Nxe7+ Qxe7 25.Qxd3 Bd4+ 26.Kh1

Bf5, and the bishops dominate on the important diagonals.

22.Nf2 Rxd3! 23.Nxe7+

Or 23.Nxd3 Bxf5 24.ef6 Bxf6 25.Qg3 Nb3, and the knight establishes itself at d4.

23...Qxe7 24.Nxd3 Nxc4!

The decisive stroke.

25.Rxc4

If 25.ef6, then, for example. 25...Bxf6 26.Qg3 Bh4 27.Qf3 Ne3 would have been decisive.

25...Bb5 26.Rc3

If 26.Rb1 Black wins by 26...Re8!.

26...Nxd5 27.Qxe7 Nxe7 28.Re1 Nf5 29.Bg5 Re8

Despite being the exchange up, White’s position is critical. Because of the pin, the e5-pawn cannot be held.

30.Kf2 de5 31.fe5 c4 32.g4 cd3 33.gf5 Bxe5 34.Rxe5 Rxe5 35.Rc8+ Re8 36.Rxe8+ Bxe8 37.f6 Bb5 38.Bh6

White’s hopes based on the opposite-colour bishops and the blockade of the black king prove unjustified, since the

white king is forced to rush across to the a-pawn.

38...a5 39.Ke3 a4 40.Kd2 a3 41.Kc3 Bc4 42.h4 a2 43.Kb2 g5! 44.Bxg5 h5 White resigned.

№ 9. A.Beliavsky – E.Gufeld

USSR Spartakiad

Moscow 1979

Since the time when the closed games appeared in the opening repertoire of the Lvov grandmaster, for a good

fifteen years his main weapon against the King’s Indian Defence was usually the Sämisch Variation.

5...0-0 6.Be3 Nc6 7.Nge2 Rb8 8.Qd2 a6 9.Nc1

White signifies his striving for a positional game. In those years the Encyclopaedia gave preference to this move

above all others. It is still fashionable today and it successfully competes with the active 9.h4.

Why does White rarely decide on the seemingly obvious move 9.0-0-0 ? The point is that then Black is the first to

begin an attack on the king – 9...b5!. Moreover, after 10.h4 he is by no means obliged to make the currently standard

blockading move 10...h5. He can also play in the ‘old-fashioned’ way – 10...e5 11.d5 Na5 12.Ng3, and here there is a

choice between 12...bc4 and 12...b4. I tried the latter in a game with Knaak (Jurmala 1978). There followed 13.Nb1 c6

14.dc6 b3 15.a3 Be6 16.Qxd6, and here I wrongly avoided the exchange of queens, by playing 16...Qc8?, as after

17.c7! Black’s position became difficult. After the correct 16...Qxd6 17.Rxd6 Bxc4 18.c7 Rbc8 it would have been

easier to hold on – 19.Bb6 Bxf1 20.Bxa5 Bxg2 21.Rg1 Bxf3 etc.

9...e5 10.Nb3

Here my opponent demonstrated his independence, since at that time preference was given to 10.d5 Nd4 11.N1e2

(nowadays these continuations are considered roughly equivalent).

10...ed4

Opening the diagonal to the great satisfaction of the bishop on g7.

11.Nxd4

11...Ne5

The Encyclopaedia considers the main continuation to be 11...Nxd4 12.Bxd4 Be6 13.Be2 c6, and although the

knight’s place has been taken by the powerful bishop, Black has sufficient counterplay in connection with b7-b5.

12.Be2?!

The first critical moment. 12.Rd1 is considered better, so as not to allow c7-c5.

Now, however, things are somewhat easier for me: I have the opportunity of following a quite unexplored path, laid

long ago by Lajos Portisch.

12...c5! 13.Nc2 Be6 14.b3

White is obliged to think about defence, which his c4-pawn requires.

14...Qa5!

Black also has to display a certain caution. 14...b5 suggests itself, but as yet White’s position is not so bad that such

sharp means can be permitted. At one time I analysed the variation 15.cb5 ab5 16.Nxb5 d5 17.Bxc5 de4 18.Bxf8 Qxf8

19.Qd6, but I failed to find sufficient compensation for the sacrifice.

15.0-0 b5 16.cb5 ab5

Hanging over White’s position is the constant threat of b5-b4 followed by c5-c4 or d6-d5.

17.Rfd1!

Beliavsky takes measures against Black’s incipient initiative. If 17...b4 18.Na4 c4 he was planning 19.Nd4, when

19...c3 20.Qc2 is not dangerous for White, since he has a2-a3 in reserve.

17...Rfe8

During the game this move very much appealed to me in view of the Re8-Be3 ‘X-ray’. However, analysis showed

that this was a purely theoretical consideration without any concrete variations. Now by 18.Nd5! White could have

forced simplifying exchanges. Therefore 17...Ned7! was preferable, not only opening the diagonal of the bishop on g7,

but also supporting the c5-pawn in advance.

18.Bf2

By avoiding 18.Nd5, White displays excessive optimism. The idea of the move in the game is not to move the

bishop away from the rook’s ‘rays’ – for the moment the dose of ‘radiation’ is only slight. It is simply that White

vacates the e3-square for his knight, since from there it will be able to control the important d5 and c4 points. And the

fact that these points are extremely important is indicated, for example, by the following variation: 18.Rac1 b4 19.Na4

c4 20.Rb1 (not good now is 20.Nd4 cb3 21.ab3 Bxb3!) 20...d5! 21.ed5 Bxd5, and the game is opened to Black’s

advantage. But if the knight goes to e3, in the event of b5-b4 there will be the good reply Nc3-d5.

However, although the knight is only one step from e3, time for this will not in fact be found.

18...Ned7!

This knight retreat is made on specific grounds: Black does not allow 19.Nd5, but himself threatens 19...d5!, and if

20.ed5, then 20...Nxd5!. For example: 21.Nxd5 Qxd2 22.Rxd2 Bxd5, which is advantageous to Black.

Another idea of this flexible move is that after White’s planned 19.Ne3 there can follow either 19...Ng4! 20.Rac1

Nxf2 21.Kxf2 Bh6, or 19...b4 20.Ncd5 (20.Na4 d5! 21.ed5 Nxd5) 20...Bxd5 21.ed5 Bh6 with the threat of Nd7-

b6xd5!. Therefore White has to move his rook from a1, which weakens not only the a2-pawn, but also the entire

queenside.

19.Rac1

Would not 19.Rab1 have been better? As it soon transpires, the b3-pawn needs support. However, if 19.Rab1 there

is the strong reply 19...b4 20.Na4 (20.Nd5 Bxd5 21.ed5 Qxa2 is bad for White) 20...d5!. For example: 21.ed5 Bxd5

22.Ne3 Bh6!, or 22.Bf1 Bc6 or 22.Na3 Rxe2!.

But what if Black now plays 19...b4 20.Na4 d5 ? Then there follows 21.ed5 Bxd5 22.Ne1!, and the rook on c1 does

White valuable service (say, 22...Rbc8 23.Bc4! and then Ne1-d3).

Here I spent a long time considering another possibility: 19...b4 20.Na4 c4!, with threats on the queenside. In this

case 21.Nd4 cb3 22.ab3 Bxb3 23.Nxb3 Qxa4 is unacceptable for White. However, in reply to 21.Rb1! at the board I

was unable to discover a clear way of converting my advantage:

a) 21...cb3 22.ab3 Bxb3 23.Rxb3 Qxa4 24.Rxb4, re-establishing material equality;

b) 21...c3 22.Qxd6, and the protected passed pawn does not compensate for the pawn given up, while later White

plans a2-a3;

c) 21...d5 22.ed5 (bad is 22.Nd4 cb3!) 22...Bxd5 23.bc4 Qxa4 24.cd5 Qxa2 25.Rxb4 Rxb4 26.Nxb4, and 26...Rxe2

does not work, since Black simply loses the exchange;

d) 21...d5 22.ed5 c3! 23.Qc1 Bxd5 24.Bf1 Bc6 (24...Bf8 also deserves consideration) 25.a3 ba3 26.Qxa3 Bf8

27.Qa1!, and White’s position, despite its unprepossessing appearance, is not without defensive resources.

Nevertheless, as analysis showed, this variation was objectively the strongest for Black, although it possibly would not

have given a decisive advantage.

During the game I was striving to extract the maximum possible from the position. As a result I conceived a multi-

move combination, which gave a clear advantage in all variations – apart from two.

19...Ng4?!

Objectively this is not as strong as the already considered 19...b4 20.Na4 c4 21.Rb1 d5!. With correct defence

White could now have achieved an acceptable game. But this was found only in later analysis, and for its practical

effectiveness I have also given the move an exclamation mark. After all, in the event of 19...b4 White might possibly

have saved the game, whereas the move played sets him problems that at the board he was unable to solve.

20.Be1

The exchange sacrifice could have been accepted: 20.Nxb5! Rxb5 (20...Qxd2 21.Rxd2 Bh6 22.Be1! Bxd2 23.Bxd2

Nge5 24.Nxd6! is worse for Black) 21.Bxb5 Qxb5 22.fg4 Nf6 23.Qxd6. Although Black has a strong initiative,

White’s material advantage is apparently sufficient for him not to lose if he defends accurately.

20...b4

Of course, nothing was given by 20...Bh6 21.Qxd6! Bxc1 22.Rxc1 Ngf6 (22...Nge5 23.f4 Rb6 24.Qc7 or 23...Ng4

24.f5 gf5 25.ef5 Bxf5 26.Bxg4 Bxg4 27.Qg3 is even worse) 23.Na4 b4 24.Ne3, when the initiative passes to White.

21.Na4?

The decisive mistake. It was this move that I was hoping for when I played 19...Ng4?!. The subtle point of the

position is that if Black had played 19...b4, the knight move to a4 would have enabled White to defend, whereas

20.Nd5 would have lost. But now it is the other way round. Only 21.Nd5 would have saved White: because his knight

at g4 is en prise, Black does not have time to capture on a2, and this tempo allows White to consolidate. For example:

21...Bxd5 (if 21...Ngf6 or 21...Nge5, then 22.a3! is possible, getting rid of the problems on the queenside) 22.Qxd5

Ngf6 (if 22...Nge5 again there follows 23.a3!, and also nothing is given by the piece sacrifice 22...Qxa2 because of

23.fg4 Nf6 24.Qxd6 Nxe4 25.Qd3) 23.Qxd6 Qxa2 24.Bc4, when White’s position is by no means worse.

Beliavsky’s mistake can be explained mainly from the psychological viewpoint. It was apparently lodged in his

sub-conscious that after b5-b4 he had to play his knight not to d5, but to a4. Alexander made the move without delving

into the details of the new situation.

21...c4! 22.Rb1

Other continuations also fail to save White:

a) 22.fg4 cb3 23.ab3 Bxb3 24.Qxd6 Bxa4 25.Bxb4 Qa7+ 26.Kh1 Bf8 – Black wins a piece;

b) 22.Qxd6 Be5 23.Bxb4 Rxb4 24.Qxb4 Qa7+! with mate;

c) 22.Nxb4 cb3 23.ab3 Bxb3 24.Nc6 Qxa4 25.Nxb8 Qa7+ 26.Kh1 Qxb8 27.fg4 Bxd1 28.Rxd1 Rxe4, and Black

remains a pawn up, since 29.Qxd6? Qxd6 30.Rxd6 Rxe2 costs White even more dearly;

d) 22.Bxc4 Bxc4 23.fg4 Bb5 (23...Nf6! is also not bad) 24.Qxd6 Bxa4 25.ba4 (25.Bxb4? Qa7+ 26.Kh1 Re6!, and

Black retains the piece) 25...Nf6! 26.Bxb4 Qxa4 27.a3 Nxg4!, and if 28.Qf4, then 28...Qa7+ 29.Kf1 Rxe4!.

Thus the weakening of the g1-a7 diagonal is the weight that tips the scales in Black’s favour. And after the

continuation in the game?

22...c3 23.Qxd6 Qa7+!

The same motifs, but in a different formulation.

24.Kh1 Nf2+ 25.Bxf2 Qxf2

Black is threatening not only the bishop, but also the king in view of 26...Be5 and 27...Qh4.

26.Qd3! Nc5! 27.Nxc5 Qxc5

Only now can the combination be considered completed, since the assessment of the position is no longer in doubt:

White’s queenside cannot be defended.

28.Qe3

There is no adequate defence against the threat of doubling rooks on the a-file.

28...Qxe3 29.Nxe3 Ra8 30.Ra1

White would have lost even more quickly after 30.Bb5 Reb8 31.Ba4 Rxa4!.

30...Ra5 31.Bc4 c2 32.Nxc2 Bxc4!

In the event of 32...Bxa1 33.Bxe6! White can still resist. But now he could have resigned.

33.Rac1

White also loses after 33.bc4 Bxa1 34.Rxa1 b3 35.ab3 Rxa1+ 36.Nxa1 Rd8.

33...Be6 34.Nxb4 Rea8 35.h3 Bf8 36.Nd5 Rxa2 37.Nc7 Bxb3! 38.Rd3 Ra1 White resigned.

№ 10. A.Ker – E.Gufeld

Wellington 1988

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 0-0 6.Be3 Nc6 7.Nge2 a6 8.Qd2 Rb8 9.Nc1 e5 10.Nb3 ed4 11.Nxd4

Nxd4 12.Bxd4 Be6 13.Be2 c6

Black follows the main line of the Encyclopaedia and prepares, depending on circumstances, the undermining ...b7-

b5 or ...d6-d5. The latter is quite effective when White delays castling, for example in the event of 14.a4 – 14...d5!

15.cd5 cd5 16.e5 Nd7 17.f4 f6 18.ef6 Nxf6, and Black equalised (Beliavsky-Nunn, Reykjavik 1988).

14.0-0 b5 15.cb5

Here my opponent diverged from the Encyclopaedia, which considers only 15.b3 bc4 (15...c5 16.Be3 irreparably

weakens the d6-pawn, which may be picked up in the event of 16...b4 17.Na4 Nd7 18.Qxd6!) 16.bc4. But although

White continues to control the central area, Black retains sufficient resources for putting pressure on it. For example,

16...Qa5 17.Rac1 Rfd8 18.Kh1 c5 19.Be3 Qa3 20.Rc2 Nd7 21.f4 Nb6 (Hjartarson-Nunn, Rotterdam 1989), or 16...c5

17.Be3 Nd7 18.Rab1 Qa5 (Petursson-Timoshchenko, Moscow 1989).

After the exchange on b5 Black has an easier game.

15...ab5 16.Rfc1

If 16.b3, then 16...Qe7 or 16...Qa5!? is again possible.

16...Qe7

Of course, 16...b4 17.Nd1 c5 is also possible, but after 18.Bf2 White clears the way for his knight (Nd1-e3) to the

d5-square.

17.a3 Rfd8

Black is preparing to demolish White’s bastions in the centre by ...d6-d5.

18.b4 Rbc8

Bringing up the reserves before the break in the centre. The immediate 18...d5 19.e5 Nd7 was also tempting, when

if 20.Qe3 there is the tactical solution 20...Nxe5! 21.Bxe5 d4 22.Qf4 Bxe5 23.Qxe5 dc3 with good play, but after 20.f4

things are not so clear. Sometimes it can be useful to allow a less skilful opponent the opportunity to commit himself.

19.Nd1?!

Which is what happens. White decides to warn the opponent about his weak pawn on c6. But this is of no

importance, since the pawn is not easy to approach, and the withdrawal of the knight from the centre makes the ...d6-d5

break more effective.

19...d5 20.e5 Nd7 21.Qe3 Re8

With the idea of 22...Bf5 23.g4 Bxe5!.

22.Rc3?!

In supporting his queen, White puts this rook on a bad square, since it creates the preconditions for the ...d5-d4

advance.

22...Bf5 23.f4

It transpires that the bishop on f5 cannot be driven away by 23.g4 in view of tactical possibilities such as 23...Bxe5

24.Bxe5 Qxe5 25.gf5 d4 or 23...Nxe5!? 24.gf5 Qh4! with dangerous threats.

23...f6! 24.ef6 Bxf6 25.Bxf6

25.Qxe7? fails to the interposition 25...Bxd4+.

25...Qxf6

Now the aim of 23...f6 becomes clear. Black has opened up his e8-rook opposite the opponent’s queen and cleared

the way for his d4-pawn.

26.Qf2 d4!

Not only vacating a square for the knight, but also creating an outpost for it to invade at c3 or e3.

27.Rcc1 Nb6 28.Nb2 Nd5 29.g3 Nc3

Both sides were already short of time, and the last move is typical in such a situation.

30.Bd3?

An oversight in a difficult position. 30.Bf3 was essential.

30...Bxd3 31.Nxd3 Ne2+ 32.Kg2 Nxc1 33.Rxc1 Qe6.

After the centralisation of the queen, the game quickly concludes.

34.Ne5 Red8 35.Qd2 Qd5+ 36.Kg1 c5 37.bc5 Rxc5 38.Rd1 d3 39.Qe3 Rc2 40.Rd2 Rxd2 41.Qxd2 Kg7 42.Kf2

Qc5+ White resigned.

Wellington 1988

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 0-0 6.Be3 Nc6 7.Nge2 a6 8.Qd2 Rb8 9.Nc1 e5 10.d5

Along with 10.Nb3, one of the main continuations in this variation.

10...Nd4

11.N1e2

There is also the reserve line 11.Nb3. In this case it is not so easy for Black to decide on 11...c5, since here after

12.dc6 because of the weakness of the d5-point the capture 12...Nxc6 looks less logical compared with the variation

which occurred in the game, and he is forced to sacrifice a pawn after 12...bc6 13.Nxd4 ed4 14.Bxd4, which is not to

everyone’s taste.

11...c5

I did not want to exchange knights, and I decided to trust the Encyclopaedia recommendation, although I think that

11...Nxe2 12.Bxe2 Nh5 is in no way worse. Now in the event of 13.0-0 f5 14.c5 Nf6 15.Qc2 f4 16.Bf2 g5 Black’s

attack on the kingside is more dangerous than White’s initiative on the queenside, since 17.Na4 is parried by 17...b5!,

when the moves ...a7-a6 and ...Rb8 prove very useful! After 13.0-0-0 also good is 13...f5 14.c5 f4 15.Bf2 Bf6! with the

idea of ...Bh4, and if 16.h4, then 16...Ng3! is possible.

12.dc6 Nxc6

The pawn on d6 is not such a perceptible weakness as it may seem at first sight, since in return Black gains active

piece play.

13.Rd1

Perhaps the immediate 13.Nd5 b5 14.Nec3 was more accurate.

In the event of 13.Nc1 Be6 14.Nb3 Black can sacrifice a pawn: 14...Na5!? 15.Nxa5 Qxa5 16.Qxd6 b5 with

sufficient compensation thanks to the activity of his pieces.

13...Be6 14.Nd5

14...b5!

Black lengthens the diagonal of his light-square bishop. This innovation of mine changes the evaluation of the

variation, in which 14...Nd7 would have left White with some advantage.

15.cb5 ab5 16.Nxf6+ Bxf6

After 16...Qxf6?? 17.Bg5 the queen is trapped.

17.g3 Bxa2 18.Qxd6

18...Bb3!?

The tempting attack 18...Qa5+? 19.Bd2 Qb6 20.Qxf6 Nb4 fails after 21.Bg5!. 18...Nd4? 19.Qxd8 Rfxd8 20.Nxd4

ed4 21.Bf4 Rbc8 22.Bd3 Bc4 23.Ke2 is also in White’s favour.

19.Qxd8 Rfxd8

After the less obvious 19...Bxd8! Black’s chances would have been preferable.

20.Rxd8+ Bxd8 21.Nc1 Bc4 22.Kf2 Nb4?!

Here too Black could again have gained an advantage by 22...Nd4.

23.Bh3!

Completing her development and equalising.

23...Nc2 24.Bc5 Bb6 25.Bxb6 Rxb6 26.b3

White forces the exchange of the second pair of bishops.

26...Be6 27.Bxe6 Rxe6 28.Rd1 Nd4 29.Ne2

The clearest way to a draw.

29...Nxb3 30.Rb1 Draw.

Los Angeles 1987

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 0-0 6.Be3 Nc6 7.Nge2 Rb8 8.Qd2 a6 9.Bh6

Before storming the kingside by h2-h4-h5, White ‘unplugs’ the g7-square. In recent times this manoeuvre has been

employed after 9.h4 h5 10.0-0-0 b5 – 11.Bh6, reaching a popular position which is examined below in the Mestel-

Gufeld game.

9...Bxh6!

This is stronger than 9...b5. By diverting the queen to h6, Black prepares e7-e5.

10.Qxh6 e5

Counterplay in the centre is the most effective measure against a flank attack – this is the classical view.

11.d5

The main continuation, according to the Encyclopaedia, is 11.0-0-0 b5 12.h4. Razuvaev-Gufeld (Tbilisi 1973)

continued 12...Kh8 13.Nd5 Ng8 14.Qd2 bc4 15.de5 Nxe5 16.Nec3 Nf6 17.h5 (17.f4 is more promising) 17...Nxd5

18.hg6 fg6 19.Nxd5 Be6 20.Bxc4 Rf7 21.Bb3 c6 22.f4 cd5 23.fe5 de5 24.Bxd5 Bxd5 25.Qxd5 Qg5+ 26.Qd2 Qg4.

Draw.

Later it was decided that it is better for Black to relieve the situation in the centre immediately – 12...ed4 13.Nxd4

Nxd4 14.Rxd4 Qe7 or 12...bc4 13.h5 Qe7 14.g4 ed4 15.Nxd4 Nxd4 16.Rxd4 Be6. In both cases Black retains roughly

equal chances.

11...Na5

This move to the edge of the board is more in the spirit of the flank attack than the obvious 11...Nd4, after which

the simple 12.0-0-0 c5 13.dc6 Nxe2+ 14.Bxe2 bc6 15.Qd2 is possible, with pressure on the weak d6-pawn.

12.Ng3 c5

13.b4 was threatened.

13.h4 Bd7

Black is sure that his queenside attack will get there first, otherwise he could have nipped in the bud White’s play

on the kingside: 13...Kh8 14.h5 Ng8 15.Qd2 g5.

14.h5 b5 15.cb5

White should not have given the opponent a mobile pawn pair. 15.0-0-0 was safer, although here too after the

capture on c4 Black’s chances are better.

15...ab5 16.Nd1

This retreat shows that the threats along the h-file are only seemingly powerful, and that the attack needs

reinforcements. But, as in the well-known song, ‘the road is long and distant’.

16...Kh8!

With the idea of carrying out the manoeuvre given in the note to Black’s 13th move.

17.hg6 fg6 18.Nf2

Of course, 18.Qxg6? is not possible because of 18...Rg8.

18...Rf7 19.Nh3 Bxh3

Before launching operations on the queenside, Black eliminates this knight, which guarantees him a quiet life on

the kingside.

20.Rxh3 Rg7! 21.Be2 c4

The pawn makes way for the knight, preparing the manoeuvre Na5-b7-c5, after which it will be possible to attack

the a2-pawn (Ra8 with the threat of Nb3).

22.0-0-0

Development is completed, although, of course, the white king cannot feel safe. But perhaps White was hoping to

extract something from the tripling of his heavy pieces on the h-file?

22...b4 23.Rdh1 b3

The start of the decisive attack.

24.a3 c3 25.Bd3

Things are no easier after 25.bc3 b2+ 26.Kb1 Rb3.

25...Rc8!

While White’s heavy artillery is merely idling, Black’s attacking forces are gathering strength.

26.Qg5 Nc4! 27.Rh6 Nxb2 28.Ba6 Ra8 29.Rxg6 Rxg6 30.Qxg6 Rxa6 White resigned.

We will now examine a few games where White deviates from the main line 7.Nge2 a6 8.Qd2.

Seattle 1989

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 0-0 6.Be3 Nc6 7.Nge2 a6 8.d5

After the early closing of the centre it is easier for Black to gain counterplay, since, without fixing the pawn chains,

he can undermine the advanced pawn.

8...Ne5

In the centre the knight feels quite secure, whereas the d5-pawn becomes a target.

9.Ng3 c6 10.a4

White prevents the advance of the b-pawn, which could have followed after the placid 10.Be2? b5 11.cb5 ab5

12.dc6 b4, when Black already stands better.

After the tempting 10.f4 there could have followed 10...Neg4 11.Bg1 cd5, and now if 12.h3?! Black can interpose

12...d4! 13.Bxd4 e5 14.fe5 Nxe5, when the knight triumphantly returns to e5. Of course, 12.cd5 is stronger, with

complicated play.

10...cd5

If 10...Qa5, then 11.Ra3! is good.

11.cd5 e6

As before the d5-pawn has no peace.

12.Be2 ed5 13.ed5 Re8 14.Qd2

Not only defending the bishop on e3, but also threatening to fix the queenside weaknesses by a4-a5. In the event of

14.Bd4?! the d5-pawn comes under attack: 14...Qa5! 15.Qb3 Nd3+ 16.Kf1 Nb4.

14...Qa5!

An improvement compared with Seirawan-Nunn (Brussels 1988), where after 14...Qe7?! 15.Kf2 Black failed to

solve his opening problems. Black harmoniously develops his queenside pieces. He brings out his queen to a5, its

‘lawful’ square in such situations, leaving control of the c-file to a rook.

Nunn recommends 14...Qc7!? 15.0-0 Nc4 16.Bxc4 Qxc4 17.Nge4 Nxe4 18.Nxe4 Qb3! 19.Bd4! Qxd5 20.Rfd1

Qxd4+ 21.Qxd4 Bxd4+ 22.Rxd4 Re7 23.Nxd6 with equal chances.

15.0-0 Bd7

16.b4!?

Seirawan is concerned about a possible Black initiative after Rac8, and he himself provokes a crisis on the

queenside, although it is clear that he cannot hope to gain an advantage.

16...Qxb4 17.Rab1 Qh4! 18.Nge4

18.Bg5 can be met by 18...Nc4.

18...Nxe4 19.Nxe4 Ng4! 20.fg4

If 20.Bf4 I was intending to reply 20...Nf6!.

20...Rxe4 21.Bf3

Of course, 21.Bg5? is not possible because of 21...Rxe2, but now Black gains an opportunity to force a draw.

21...Rxe3! 22.Qxe3 Be5 23.g3 Bxg3 24.hg3 Qxg3+ 25.Kh1 Qh3+ Draw.

New York 1989

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 0-0 6.Be3 Nc6 7.Nge2 a6 8.a3

White plans to expand the offensive front by advancing his b-pawn. However, in so doing he falls behind in

development, which allows Black to begin counterplay against the advanced pawns.

8...Bd7 9.b4

9...e5!

Black follows the classical rule: the best measure against a flank attack is a counter-blow in the centre.

The alternative is ‘buffer’ play involving b7-b5. However, this is unfavourable immediately because of the loss of a

pawn: 9...b5 10.cb5 ab5 11.d5 Ne5 12.Nd4 Nc4 13.Bxc4 bc4 14.Qe2. Therefore Black makes the preparatory move

9...Qb8 and after 10.Nc1 – 10...b5. Now in the event of 11.Nb3 there is an interesting knight sacrifice: 11...bc4

12.Bxc4 Nxb4! 13.ab4 Qxb4 14.Qd3 d5!, and since White cannot disentangle his knot of minor pieces without losing

something, he is forced to return one of them – 15.Nc5 (if 15.ed5?! there follows 15...Bf5!) 15...dc4 16.Qc2 Bc6.

Therefore he first plays 11.cb5 ab5, and then 12.Nb3 e5 13.d5 Ne7 14.Bd3 (or 14.Be2 Rd8 15.0-0 c6 with equality)

14...Nh5 15.g3 f5 16.Qe2 fe4 17.fe4 c6 with double-edged play (Nenashev-Golubev, Alushta 1994).

10.d5 Ne7 11.Nc1

11.Qd2!? also came into consideration.

11...Nh5 12.Nb3 f5 13.Qd2 Kh8!

A typical procedure in this type of position: the king vacates a square for the manoeuvre Ne7-g8-f6, while the

second knight aims for f4.

14.0-0-0 Ng8 15.Bd3 Ngf6 16.Kb1 fe4!

The logic of this ‘illogical’ move is not the conceding of the central square after 17.Nxe4, but the diversion of the

knight from c3 in connection with 17...b5!, dislodging the ‘ground’ from under the d5-pawn.

17.Bxe4 Nxe4 18.fe4 Qh4!

The outcome of the operation begun with 16...f3 is control of the kingside.

19.Rdf1 Kg8

Of course, not 19...Rxf1+ 20.Rxf1 Qxh2?! because of 21.Rf7. But now this is threatened.

20.h3 b6 21.Ka2 Qg3! 22.Rfg1?!

White should not have lifted his control of the f-file. The immediate 22.Nc1 was better.

22...Rf7 23.Nc1 Nf4 24.Rf1?

An admission that his 22nd move was faulty. 24.Bf2 Qg5 25.Nd3 was more resilient.

24...Nxg2 25.Rxf7 Kxf7 26.Bf2 Qf3 27.Rf1 Bxh3, and soon White resigned.

Hastings 1986/87

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 0-0 6.Be3 Nc6 7.Qd2

White does not waste time on the development of his king’s knight, but hurries to castle long. With regard to this,

Black has no reason to try and reinvent the wheel.

7...a6 8.0-0-0

In my imagination pieces talk to one another during a chess game. Someone with perfect chess pitch will

undoubtedly hear the white king announcing: ‘I declare war!’ At that same moment another association occurred to me,

one that did not go unnoticed by Maya Chiburdanidze, who was playing on an adjacent board. After the game I

revealed the secret. Picture from the side the players in this game. My opponent – young, likeable, invariably correct,

rather lean, wearing big glasses, and weighing barely 50 kilos, throws down the gauntlet to a super-heavyweight!

8...b5!

The challenge is accepted! This pawn sacrifice, aimed at seizing the initiative, was a novelty at that time. The main

continuations were considered to be 8...Rb8 and 8...Bd7 followed by the traditional 9...e5. Well, such alternatives are

quite logical and ensure Black good chances, but, considering that White has decided on the position of his king, the

move in the game is more vigorous.

9.cb5?!

This voluntary opening of the queenside can hardly be recommended, but the quiet development 9.Nge2 also does

not promise a quiet life in view of the possible 9...e5 10.d5 Na5, when Black has a fine game.

In this position it is more logical to exchange the dark-square bishops – 9.Bh6 e5 10.Bxg7 Kxg7 11.de5 Nxe5

12.f4 Nxc4 13.Bxc4 bc4 14.e5 Nd7 15.ed6 cd6 (15...Nf6!?=) 16.Ne4 (16.Qxd6 Rb8 17.Nf3 Qb6=) 16...Qc7=

(Fernandez Garcia-Vallejo, Dos Hermanas 2002), or after the inclusion of the moves 9.h4 h5, and now 10.Bh6 e5

11.Nge2 bc4 12.g4 Bxh6 (12...hg4?! 13.h5 is dangerous) 13.Qxh6 Bxg4! with counterplay for Black (Dolmatov-

Thorsteins, Polanica Zdroj 1987).

9...ab5 10.Bxb5 Na5!

It is quite possible that before this game the possibility of the pawn sacrifice on b5 was considered, but not in

connection with 10...Na5. The idea of this move is to fight for the strategically important c4-point. 10...Bd7 seems

insufficiently active, for example, 11.Nge2 Na5 12.Bd3!.

11.Nge2

The attempt to prevent the game continuation 11...Ba6 by 11.Qe2 looks unaesthetic. This idea can be reinforced by

the variation 11...c6 12.Bd3 Qb6 with the idea of Bc8-a6 and d6-d5, exercising control over the c4-point. If 11.Bh6

there again can follow 11...c6 12.Bxg7 Kxg7 13.Bd3 Qb6!, building up the threats.

11...Ba6 12.Bxa6 Rxa6 13.Qd3 Qa8 14.Kb1

A number of prophylactic moves are required, in order that Black’s initiative should not grow into an attack.

14...Rb8 15.Bc1

Black’s direct threats have been temporarily parried. But remember the motives of the pawn sacrifice and the battle

for the strategic height c4. The moves e7-e6 and d6-d5 followed by the knight leap to c4 look logical. Note the change

in Black’s pawn structure in the centre, during which the bishop on g7 remains in its place but gains in strength.

15...e6!! 16.h4!

Petursson rightly assumes that the best form of defence is attack.

16...d5 17.h5

Of course, after 17.e5 Nd7 followed by c7-c5 Black’s attack would have developed unhindered.

17...Nc4

The acceptance of the Greek gift by 17...Nxh5 was not even considered.

18.hg6 hg6 19.b3!

This move, provoking a crisis and obliging White to skirt the edge of a precipice, is the strongest.

White undoubtedly has an objective advantage, associated with the right of the first move. Therefore, if as the result

of an opening experiment Black succeeds in equalising, he can be regarded as the winner of the theoretical duel.

Perpetual check after 19...Rxb3+ 20.ab3 Ra1+ 21.Kc2 Ra2+ 22.Kb1 Ra1+ or 22.Nxa2 Qxa2+ 23.Kc3 Qa1+ 24.Kc2

(24.Kb4?? Qa5 mate) 24...Qa2+ can be considered a plus for Black. But I decided to pour fuel on the fire.

19...c5!

There are many threats, 20...Na3+ 21.Bxa3 c4!, for example.

20.dc5!

The only move, as it is not hard to see.

20...Nd7!

Again Black could have forced a draw by 20...Rxb3+ 21.ab3 Ra1+ 22.Kc2 Ra2+ 23.Kb1! Ra1+.

21.ed5 ed5!

Once again rejecting Rxb3+.

22.Qxd5!

Again the only move. The dangers of White’s position are indicated by the following variation: 22.Nxd5 Nxc5!

23.Qxc4 Rxb3+ 24.ab3 Ra1+ 25.Kc2 Qa2+ and wins.

The battle has reached its height. White has a big material advantage, and he is threatening to exchange the queens.

22...Rxb3+ 23.ab3!

White had a second possibility – 23.Kc2. In this case Black had a pleasant choice:

a) 23...Ne3+!? 24.Bxe3 (but not 24.Kxb3?? Qb8+ and wins) 24...Rxa2+ 25.Kxb3 Qa3+ 26.Kc4 Qa6+ 27.Kb3 (but

not 27.Nb5?? Qa4+ 28.Kd3 Qc2 mate) 27...Qa3+ with a draw;

b) 23...Rb2+! 24.Bxb2 Ne3+ 25.Kb1 Nxd5 26.Rxd5 Ne5! (but not 26...Nf8 27.Rhd1 Ne6 28.Nf4 with advantage

to White) 27.Rhd1 Nc6! 28.g4 (Black is also better after 28.Nc1 Qe8! 29.Nb3 Ra8) 28...Qb8! 29.Nc1 Ra8! 30.Nb3

Qe8, and Black has the better chances.

23...Ra1+ 24.Kc2

24...Rxc1+!

Many moves earlier, when I launched into the maelstrom of complications, for a long time I was unable to find a

satisfactory continuation after 25.Kd3!? (curiously, as an experiment I invited chess playing colleagues to solve this

position and ascertained that the correct reply is not obvious). It is probable that here the laws of psychology apply. The

simple solution leading to the goal is the last to be considered sub-consciously or it is altogether rejected as illogical. So

what is the point?

There is another phenomenon which I have observed here: in the given instance the finding of the correct solution

is inversely proportional to the strength of the player... Here it is: 25...Qxd5+ 26.Nxd5 Nxc5 mate!

What is paradoxical about this simple solution? It is that strong players develop certain stereotypes: when

conducting an attack with sacrifice of material you should avoid piece exchanges.

25.Nxc1

Again the only move. In the event of 25.Kxc1 Black wins by 25...Qa3+ 26.Kc2 Ne3+.

25...Ne3+ 26.Kb1 Nxd5 27.Rxd5 Bxc3 28.Rxd7

It is as though a tornado has swept over the board, carrying away the recent heroes of this unusual encounter.

28...Qa3! 29.Kc2 Qxc5 30.Rhd1?

The storm has died down. Let us try to assess the position calmly. Material is roughly equal, but Black still holds

the initiative. White should be thinking in terms of drawing the game. Therefore 30.Rh4!? was essential, leaving White

the possibility of creating an impregnable fortress after 30...Qf2+ 31.Kxc3 Qxh4.

30...Bf6+?

This game had a wide press: it was published with annotations in the Yugoslav Informator and in a number of chess

publications in other countries. It also found its way into the London Times with comments by the English grandmaster

Raymond Keene. And what is surprising is this: neither I, nor Keene, nor any of the other commentators saw that which

was noticed by one meticulous newspaper reader, who reported his discovery to the editor. What was it that transpired?

By continuing 30...Bd4+ Black would have won. This move by the bishop, heroically disrupting the coordination of

the two rooks, which are far superior to it in strength, showed how easy it can sometimes be (as in life) to disrupt

customarily established links. Why did it not immediately occur to me? Because I could not allow a situation in which

my favourite piece – the bishop – could end up ‘between two millstones’.

Black wins after both 31.Kd3 Qf5+ 32.Kc4 Qxd7 33.Rxd4 Qc6+ and 31.Kb1 Qf5+ 32.Rd3 Qxd7 33.Ne2, and

now either 33...Qb5 or 33...Qf5.

31.Kb1 Qc3 32.R7d2 Kg7

There was a tempting opportunity to drive the king out of its shelter. For example, 32...Qa1+ 33.Kc2 Qb2+ 34.Kd3

Qc3+ 35.Ke2. However, here too the attempt to increase the advantage significantly would not have succeeded:

35...Bg5 36.Nd3! Qxb3 (36...Bxd2 37.Rxd2 Qxb3 would have led only to a moral advantage) 37.f4.

33.f4?

The character of this mistake is explained by the lengthy pressure to which my opponent has been subjected. It was

curious that in the course of our subsequent analysis Petursson passionately tried to demonstrate that the position was

one of zugzwang and there was no other continuation. Looking at the game retrospectively, it can be said that 5.f3

deprived White of the advantage of the first move, and 33.f4 placed him on the verge of defeat. Meanwhile, White had

the only acceptable move 33.Ra2!, after which it is practically impossible for Black to improve his position.

33...Qa1+ 34.Kc2 Qc3+ 35.Kb1 Qa1+

Black was in slight time-trouble.

36.Kc2 Qb2+ 37.Kd3 Qd4+ 38.Kc2 Qb2+ 39.Kd3 Qd4+ 40.Kc2 Qxf4

With the loss of this pawn White’s position has sharply deteriorated.

41.Kb1

41...Qg4?

The conversion of Black’s advantage involves the careful advance of his kingside pawns to f4 and g4. The logical

continuation here was 41...Qe5 followed by g6-g5, Kg7-g6, Bf6-g7, f7-f5, Bg7-f6, g5-g4 and f5-f4.

This tense game was resumed after a few hours, allotted for dinner and a short rest. Unfortunately, I spent the

greater part of this time on dinner. The further course of the game, where I had every chance of winning, graphically

confirms the scientifically-based conclusions of how difficult it is to play after a hearty meal.

42.Rf1! Qe4+ 43.Rc2 g5 44.Rf3 g4 45.Rd3 Qe5 46.Ra2 Bg5 47.Rc2 Bf6 48.Ra2 Bg5 49.Rc2 Qf5 50.Rdc3 Qf1

51.g3! Bf6 52.Rc4 Qf3 53.Rf4! Qxg3 54.Rcc4 Qh2 55.Rxg4+ Kh6 56.Rc2 Qe5 57.Ra4!

In time-trouble I missed this move.

57...Bg5 58.Rac4 Bf6 Draw.

Sämisch with Bg5

№ 16. V.Kotronias – E.Gufeld

Athens 1985

This thrust hinders e7-e5. The bishop move to g5 also includes something of a provocation: White aims to induce

h7-h6, in order to retreat the bishop to e3, and then gain a tempo for the attack by Qd1-d2. But here another chess rule

comes into force: don’t move pawns where you are weak! The g-pawn has already advanced, and any new pawn

advance will merely make it easier for the opponent to open lines, and will weaken the shelter of your king.

But does any attention have to be paid to a bishop which for the moment is not threatening anything? And what

then should be Black’s plan of defence? First of all, it should be realised that an attempt to construct a Mannerheim

Line, i.e. erect an impregnable defence, is the surest way to lose. Sooner or later things may conclude with the complete

suffocation of your forces. Therefore the best defence is counterattack. It is clear that a counterattack is also an attempt

to open lines. But where? Best of all in the centre, at the opponent’s most vulnerable point!

6...Nc6

The question arises: would it not be better to employ the infantry for attacking the d4-point – 6...c5 7.d5 e6 8.Qd2

ed5 ? Then 9.cd5 leads to a Modern Benoni position, where White blocks the d-file and finds useful employment for his

queen’s bishop, although here too Black has a reasonable game. Often they take on d5 with the knight, but it seems to

me that in this case Black’s piece play in connection with a pawn offensive on the queenside is highly effective. Here is

an example: 9.Nxd5 Be6 10.Ne2 Bxd5 11.cd5 Nbd7 (weaker is 11...h6 12.Be3) 12.Nc3 a6 13.a4 Qc7 14.Be2 c4 15.0-

0 b5! 16.ab5 ab5 17.Be3 (or 17.b4 cb3! 18.Nxb5 Qb7! with counterplay) 17...Qb7 18.Rfb1!? Rxa1 19.Rxa1 b4 with a

complicated game (Yusupov-Gelfand, Moscow 1992).

But what can be done: chess, like much in life, is subject to fashion, and here it coincides with my tastes – I am a

staunch supporter of the developing move 6...Nc6. And this is natural: if White does not pay attention to the d4-point, it

must be put under attack.

7.Nge2

As in the event of 6.Be3, this is both development and prophylaxis. With the bishop on g5 the d4-point is more

vulnerable and the need to defend it is greater, since after 7.Qd2 e5 8.d5 Nd4 the enemy knight reaches a height from

which it surveys the entire position. Now if 9.Nge2 there follows 9...c5! with the intention of a7-a6, Ra8-b8 and b7-b5,

while if 10.dc6 bc6, and the exchange on d4 is only to Black’s advantage.

7...a6!

I like this move. It is in accordance with the spirit of chess, since it sets in motion the latent spring of a

counterattack by b7-b5 with threats both to the c4-point, and to the centre (in the event of b5-b4). This counterplay of

Black’s is no weaker than White’s attack on the kingside.

In view of the pin on the knight, 7...e5 is not in the spirit of the position. After 8.d5 Ne7 9.Ng3 h5 10.Be2 White

stands better.

8.Qd2 Bd7

Black can also develop in other ways, say, 8...Rb8 or 8...Re8. This question is no longer so critical. The main thing

is that Black has a choice of active plans, which is mainly the consequence of White’s over-committing move f2-f3.

9.h4

One of the thematic continuations in this variation: the pawn thrust is supported by the active bishop. This

essentially signals the start of military action.

9...h5.

Again the same line of maximum activity. To allow the white pawn to advance to h5 is dangerous, and now for the

preparation of g2-g4 White has to spent several precious tempi, which Black can use for the development of his forces.

A sharp move-by-move battle commences.

10.Qe3

Prophylaxis against e7-e5, since after queenside castling the opposition of the rook on d1 and queen on d8 is to

White’s advantage. After 10.0-0-0 there can follow 10...b5, and if 11.Nd5 – 11...bc4 12.Nxf6+? ef6, and after f6-f5

Black has the better prospects.

10...b5 11.0-0-0 Na5 12.Nf4 Nh7

The black knights act somewhat contrary to the rules, which do not recommend that they stand on the edge of the

board. This decentralisation involves a risk, but here it is justified by considerations that are no less important: from

these supposedly awkward positions the knights create threats to the opponent’s fighting units!

13.e5 Nxg5

Why not 13...f6 ? Because the bishop sells its life too dearly: 14.ef6 ef6 15.Nxg6 fg5 16.Ne7+ Kf7 17.Bd3!. Such

variations do not even warrant consideration.

14.hg5 c5

Black has fully developed his forces and is ready for a fight on any part of the board. White can no longer delay, as

otherwise his ranks will break up of their own accord.

15.dc5 Bxe5!

Of course, not 15...de5 16.Nfd5!.

Here Black’s position also seems not without its dangers in view of the possible 16.g4. How then should he defend?

I have invited many masters and grandmasters to solve this problem, offering each of them ten attempts. If in one of

them the correct move for Black was found, I would lose the bet. I can say that hardly anyone managed to find the

correct solution at the first attempt. Continuations such as h6, h4, b4 and others, equally obvious, are the ones which

mainly suggest themselves, but they play into White’s hands. When I played 15...Bxe5, I had in mind a far from

obvious reply – 16.g4 Rc8!!. The idea is after 17.gh5 Rxc5! to create counterplay against the white king. All the

variations are favourable for Black, whose pieces participate both in attack, and in defence. It is true that his king too

comes under fire, but it can successfully defend itself.

I would like to regard the move 16...Rc8 as my distinctive chess photo-portrait. I have been playing like this all my

life. Sometimes I may not see everything and I make an aggressive move where the position demands defence or

waiting, but in 80% of cases my decision is justified, since it is in accordance with the call: ‘Attack!’. I will give one of

the variations: 17.gh5 Rxc5 18.hg6 Nxc4 19.Bxc4 Rxc4 20.gf7+ Rxf7 – the position is in favour of Black.

16.Nfd5!

A strong move, posing Black new problems. The threat is f3-f4, which instantly demands that attention be switched

from the wings to the centre, where the main conflict develops.

16...Re8?!

This move seems logical, since it parries White’s threat, defends the e7-pawn, and includes the rook in the central

zone. But it has the defect of weakening the f7-point, which, apparently, could have told in the game. Therefore

16...Be6! came into consideration. Here Black would have been quite alright.

17.g4!

Now the pretty move 17...Rc8 will not do: 18.gh5 Rxc5 19.hg6 Nxc4 20.Bxc4 Rxc4 21.gf7+, and Black has to

capture with his king (not the rook), setting off on a dangerous journey.

17...hg4 18.cd6 ed6

The critical position, on the solution of which the fate of the game depends. White could have played 19.Ne4! with

the threat of a check on f6, and what then could Black do? There is no time for the prophylactic 19...Bf5 in view of

20.Ndf6+ Bxf6 21.gf6!, with the decisive threat 22.Rh8+! Kxh8 23.Qh6+ and mate next move. It is true that Black also

has other attempts – 19...Rc8 20.Ndf6+ Kg7 21.Rh7+ Kf8 22.Rxd6! Nxc4 23.Bxc4 Rxc4+ 24.Kb1 Bxd6 25.Nxd6!, or

19...Kf8 20.Ndf6 Qc7 21.Rh8+ Kg7 22.Rh7+ Kf8 23.f4 Nxc4 24.Bxc4 Qxc4+ 25.Kb1, and in each case White wins.

Or 19...Re6 20.Ndf6+ Rxf6 21.gf6 Bxf6 22.Rxd6, and Black is in trouble. 19...Kg7 is not possible – 20.f4!.

One can also look for other defensive resources for Black. But can they prove successful?

19.f4?

White follows his plan, which proves to be faulty.

19...Bg7 20.Ne4

Now this is too late, since on e4 the knight is no longer supported by the pawn, from g7 the bishop firmly defends

its king, and the rook is operating on the e-file. It turns out that Black has latent and highly effective counterplay.

20...Bc6!

The ‘trademark’ move 20...Rc8 was also possible. For example, 21.Ndf6+ Bxf6 22.Nxf6+ Qxf6 23.Qxe8+ Bxe8

24.gf6 Nxc4 25.Bxc4 Rxc4+ 26.Kb1 Bc6 is to Black’s advantage.

21.Nef6+ Kf8

The immediate 21...Qxf6 was also possible, but I did not yet fully appreciate this possibility. On the contrary,

21...Bxf6 was not possible because of 22.Qxe8+, and if 22...Bxe8, then 23.Nxf6+ Qxf6 24.gf6 Bc6 25.Rh2! with an

obvious advantage to White, while after 23...Kf8 there follows 24.Rh8+ Ke7 25.Re1 mate!

22.Nh7+ Kg8 23.Ndf6+

Forcing Black to make the correct move.

23...Qxf6! 24.Nxf6+ Bxf6 25.Qa3

In this situation 25.Qb6 came into consideration, in order after 25...Bd8 to divert the bishop from the vital diagonal.

For example, 26.Qg1 Bxh1 27.Qxh1 Rc8; however, here too Black has a comfortable game. Now it is even more

comfortable.

25...Bg7 26.Rh2

26.Rg1 was possibly better, but, of course, this would not have fundamentally changed the assessment of the

position.

26...Nxc4 27.Bxc4 bc4 28.Qg3

It is surprising, but the queen is unable to fight successfully against the two bishops and the g-pawn. The point is

that Black’s forces are excellently coordinated, and the same cannot be said about White’s.

28...Bf3 29.Rxd6

29...c3!

The triumph of Black’s strategy. White has an arithmetic advantage, but how superior in activity are the nominally

weaker black forces! Especially formidable is my ‘trademark’ bishop on g7 – it alone is worth the enemy queen, and it

is not surprising that White hurries to restrain it at any price...

30.Rf6

But now the white king is driven into the open field. Therefore 30.b4 was more resilient, although even then Black

would have retained every chance of winning.

30...cb2+ 31.Rxb2 Red8!

Signalling the start of the mating attack. Not surprisingly, the g7-bishop disdainfully rejects the offered rook.

32.f5 Rd1+ 33.Kc2 Rc8+ 34.Kb3 Rd3+ 35.Kb4

If 35.Ka4, then 35...Bc6+ is decisive.

35...Bf8+! White resigned.

To my regret, the opponent did not allow me the opportunity to demonstrate an attractive mate: 36.Ka5 Ra3+

37.Kb6 Bc5 mate!

Hastings 1986/87

1.c4 g6 2.e4 Bg7 3.d4 d6 4.Nc3 Nf6 5.f3 0-0 6.Bg5 Nc6 7.Nge2 a6 8.Qd2 Rb8 9.h4

In this version too the pawn thrust is a drastic measure. Since Black cannot allow h4-h5, his reply is forced.

9...h5!

One of those instances when an exception to the rule applies. Of course, the move h7-h5 does not strengthen the

king’s defences, but it enables Black to gain precious time for mounting a counter-offensive.

10.0-0-0

There is no longer any better shelter available to the white king. After 10.Nd5 attempting to strengthen the

influence of the bishop on g5, Black can counter with 10...b5 11.Bxf6 ef6 12.cb5 ab5 13.Rc1 Ne7, obtaining good play.

He can also retreat 10...Nh7, not fearing the exchange 11.Bh6 Bxh6 12.Qxh6 e6 13.Ne3 b5!, when again Black

successfully counterattacks (Piket-Nijboer, Groningen 1992).

If 10.Bh6 Black can play, as in the game, 10...b5. In the famous Spassky-Fischer rematch (Sveti Stefan/Belgrade

1992) Fischer preferred 10...e5, and after 11.Bxg7 Kxg7 12.d5 Ne7 13.Ng3! Black began to experience difficulties.

10...b5 11.Bh6

It should be mentioned that this bishop manoeuvre can also be carried out after the classical development 6.Be3.

White’s desire to exchange the king’s important defender is quite understandable and it fits in with his aggressive plan.

However, against this move there are two serious objections:

a) Loss of time. White exchanges his bishop in two steps (Bc1-g5 and Bg5-h6), for a piece which has made only

one move (Bf8-g7). A trifle, it would seem. But if a chess game of 40 moves in length is compared with a human life

lasting 80 years, then this lost of a tempo is equivalent to two years of this life!

b) Exchange of a ‘good’ bishop for a ‘bad’ one. It was Botvinnik who divided all strategic factors into permanent

and temporary, attaching more importance to permanent factors. Relating to them is one of the key concepts of chess

strategy – that of ‘bad’ and ‘good’ bishops. When exchanging pieces, one must always look at their difference in

quality. Let us decide which of the bishops is ‘better’ – g5 or g7?

In the endgame it is quite easy to decide to what extent your bishop is ‘bad’ or ‘good’: it is sufficient to see whether

it is running up against its own pawns. In the opening and the middlegame things are more complicated, and the only

sure guide, in my view, is the pawn structure in the centre. More precisely, the placing of the d- and e-pawns – and only

them!

Whereas someone may have doubts about the virtues of the bishop on g5 (with pawns on d4 and e4), about the

bishop on g7 (with pawns on d6 and e7) it can definitely be said that it will be ‘bad’. Remember that Black allowed his

opponent to seize the centre and he played Nb8-c6 in order sooner or later to strike at the centre with e7-e5 and (what

can be done!) block the path of his own bishop. With the exchange of the bishop this only drawback is removed, and

therefore now is the time for this reply.

11...e5!

Here, with the bishop on g5, there would have instantly followed d4-d5. But now after 12.Bxg7 Kxg7 the move

13.d5 involves many positional discomforts. In particular, White himself is left with a ‘bad’ bishop on f1 (his pawns are

on the light squares d5 and e4), whereas the bishop on c8 is very ‘good’ (with pawns on d6 and e5). Besides, after

13...Na5! White would appear to be forced to block the path of his g-pawn by 14.Ng3, when his attacking potential is

sharply reduced.

In passing it should be mentioned that in such positions (after d4-d5) the retreat of the knight to e7 is extremely

bad. Here, restricted by the e4-pawn, it has no future and only gets in the way of the other pieces, causing confusion in

its own ranks (incidentally, in the game something similar occurs with the knight on e2).

12.Bxg7

At the time this exchange was considered to be the best reply. But Black also has to reckon with 12.Nd5, as

Hummel played against me (Germany 1998). 13.Nxf6+ Qxf6 14.Bg5 is threatened – measures have to be taken. I

responded badly – 12...Bxh6?! (12...Re8!? came into consideration) 13.Qxh6 bc4, and after 14.g4! Nxd4? 15.Nxd4 ed4

16.gh5 Nxh5 17.Bxc4 c6 18.Rdg1! I came under a strong attack. Instead of 14...Nxd4? it was possible to defend with

14...Nxd5! 15.ed5 Nb4 16.Nc3 ed4! (after 16...hg4 17.de5 de5 White would have continued the attack by 18.Bxc4!

with the threat of 19.h5) 17.Rxd4 Qf6 18.Qf4 Qxf4+ 19.Rxf4 Nd3+ 20.Bxd3 cd3.

12...Kxg7 13.de5

If 13.Nd5 there would have followed 13...bc4 with the threat of a counterattack, and White has to reckon with this.

13...de5

Solozhenkin-Schmidt (Katowice 1991) went 13...Nxe5 14.Nd4 (or 14.cb5 ab5 15.Nf4 c5!?) 14...b4 15.Nd5 c5

16.Nb3 Nxd5 17.Qxd5 Be6! with equal chances.

14.Qg5

All in the same spirit of direct aggression. But 14.Qe3 Qe7 15.Nd5 Nxd5 16.cd5 Na5 17.Nc3 was objectively

stronger.

14...Qe7

15.Nd5

This obvious thrust allows Black to seize the initiative. But the reckless 15.g4? hg4 16.h5 would have encountered

a ‘cold shower’ – 16...Nh7!, and if 17.Qd2 Qg5, when White’s position begins to crack up.

15.Ng3! was stronger: 15...bc4 (15...b4?! 16.Nd5 Nxd5 17.Nxh5+ Kh7 18.ed5 gh5 19.dc6 Qxg5+ 20.hg5 Kg6

21.Rd5 favours White, Van Buskirk-Gufeld, USA 1999) 16.Nd5 (if 16.Bxc4 there can follow 16...Qb4 17.Bb3 Nd4)

16...Nxd5 17.Nxh5+ Kg8 18.ed5 Qb4 (after the queen exchange 18...Qxg5 19.hg5 gh5 20.dc6 Be6 21.Rxh5 White has

the better endgame) 19.Nf6+ Kg7 20.Nh5+, and White forces a draw.

15...Nxd5 16.ed5?!

A very interesting, but questionable move. It should not be thought that the grandmaster was unaware that the

‘crude’ 16.cd5 was sounder. Mestel saw that after this Black had two promising possibilities:

a) 16...Qxg5+ 17.hg5 Na5 18.Nc3 Nb7 followed by Nb7-d6 and the preparation of c7-c6;

b) 16...f6 17.Qd2 Nd8 followed by Nd8-f7, Rf8-d8, Bc8-d7, Ra8-c8 and c7-c6.

Therefore he gives up the important f5-point, but makes a desperate attempt to at least somehow activate his ill-

starred bishop, relying on the tactical resources of the position.

Now a gripping duel of the two knights begins. The dream of Black’s is to reach d4. The white knight waits until its

opponent moves from c6, when White will at least be able to open the way for his bishop.

16...f6

The only move. In the event of 16...Qxg5+? 17.hg5 the black knight has to retreat and the advantage is now with

White: he has the e4-point at his disposal, and the e5-pawn, cut off from base, is weak.

17.Qd2

This reply is practically forced. After 17.Qe3? Na5! White is unable to coordinate his forces and he comes under a

swift attack. But now where can the black knight go?

17...Rd8!

This pin is the leitmotif of Black’s entire strategy! His knight continues the fight for the key height: if 18.Nc3 there

follows the enormously strong 18...Nd4! (followed by the preparation of c7-c6). It turns out that White is quite unable

to complete his kingside development. Perhaps move the queen? But 18.Qe3 is bad in view of 18...Na5, and 18.Qc2 or

18.Qc3 because of 18...Nb4. There only remains 18.Qe1!?.

Stop! Here the moment has come for a detailed calculation of variations. Up till now Black has largely been guided

by the general laws of chess, by a theoretical understanding of the problems arising, but now the time has come to

prove his case with specific ‘digital’ computations. And if this should occur, a kind of unity of theory and practice will

prevail on the board. As Fischer said, the true beauty of chess lies in the analysis of its variations!

And so, 18.Qe1!?. Of course, 18...Na7 19.Nc3 bc4 20.Bxc4 Nb5 is possible, with quite good counterplay, but this

really is too passive. It is far more energetic to sacrifice the knight – 18...Qc5!!. It transpires that after 19.dc6 White is

let down by his undeveloped kingside: 19...Qe3+ 20.Kb1 (20.Rd2 bc4 with the threat of 21...Rxb2 and 21...c3! 22.bc3

Bf5 with unavoidable mate on b1) 20...bc4 (20...Bf5+ 21.Ka1 bc4 probably comes to the same thing) 21.Ka1 (21.Ng3

Qa3!; after 21.Nc3 there is the decisive 21...Rxd1+ 22.Qxd1 Qxc3, while if 21.Rxd8 – 21...Bf5+ 22.Ka1 Rxd8 with

complete stalemate!) 21...Bf5 22.Ng3 Rxd1+ 23.Qxd1 Rd8 24.Nxf5+ gf5 25.Qb1 c3 26.Bxa6 (if 26.b3, then 26...c2

27.Qxc2 Qe1+) 26...Rd2 27.Qg1 (White is also defenceless after 27.b3 Qd4 28.Qg1 Qb4) 27...cb2+ 28.Kb1 Qc3, and

Black wins.

The knight cannot be taken, but 19.Nc3 Nd4! 20.Ne4 is also ruinous, since the knight on d4 is far more secure than

its white opponent (and in addition it is in the opponent’s half of the board). But since this is so, White must urgently

undertake something.

18.g4!

Mestel also affirms his faith in the principle ‘the best defence is a counterattack’. The move in the game logically

follows from White’s entire preceding play, and, of course, I expected it. Two or three moves (g4xh5, Rh1-g1 etc.) and

Black’s position will collapse of its own accord (here we see the belated consequences of the move h7-h5!).

18...bc4!

Never give up the initiative for the sake of material. Especially since during the game I thought that 18...hg4 would

simply lose to 19.h5 g5 20.Qc2?! gf3 21.Ng3. True, later I realised that after 21...Nd4! 22.Qg6+ Kh8 the white h-pawn

screens the black king and there is nothing terrible.

After 18...hg4 I was also concerned about 19.fg4 (with the threat of 20.g5 and h4-h5) 19...Bxg4 20.Bh3, but this is

refuted by 20...Bxh3 21.Rxh3 Qc5!. 20.Rg1 also looked dangerous: 20...f5 21.Qe3! Na5 22.Nd4 Rb6! 23.Re1

23...Nxc4 24.Bxc4 bc4 25.Ne6+ with an attack. But here 23...Re8! is stronger.

However, after lengthy analysis it transpired that intuition – the very basis of chess skill – did not let me down.

Instead of 22.Nd4 there is the far more unpleasant 22.Nf4!, in order to use the c-pawn as a battering-ram. Now

22...Bxd1 23.Rxg6+ Kh7 24.Re6 Qxh4 (if 24...Qf7, then 25.Qxe5 Re8 26.Bd3) 25.Qxe5 is bad for Black, as is

22...Nxc4 23.Bxc4 bc4 24.Ne6+ Kh7 25.Qxe5 Re8 26.Rxg4! fg4 27.h5 – in both cases with an irresistible attack.

There only remains 22...Rb6, but then 23.c5! Rf6 24.Re1 Re8 25.h5 g5, and White has a choice between the simple

26.Nh3 and the more vigorous 26.Rxg4 fg4 27.Ne6+ Rxe6 28.de6 Qxe6 29.Qxg5+ Kh8 30.Bd3 – in either event Black

is lost.

It is possible that some defender would nevertheless have captured on g4 in the hope of parrying the opponent’s

numerous threats and converting the material advantage. But you should always trust your own intuition, and I sensed:

here something is not right! Imagine that you are receiving serve in tennis. The ball flies long and it appears that it must

be out. But suppose it isn’t? Overcoming your doubts, with a powerful stroke (18...bc4!) you take the play into your

own hands!

19.Nc3

The reply 19.gh5 demanded careful analysis. After this I was intending 19...Nb4 (with the threat of 20...Nd3+)

20.Nc3 Bf5 21.Bxc4 (21.hg6 fails to 21...Rxd5 22.Nxd5? Nxa2 mate!) 21...Qc5.

Now how should White continue? In the event of 22.Qe2 Bd3! 23.Bxd3 Nxa2+ 24.Kc2 Rxb2+! 25.Kxb2 Qxc3+

26.Kxa2 Rb8 27.Bb5 (if 27.Qd2, then 27...Qb3+ 28.Ka1 Qa3+ 29.Qa2 Qc3+) 27...Qa5+ 28.Kb3 Rxb5+ 29.Qxb5

Qxb5+ Black achieves a winning endgame.

But what if 22.b3!?. This move gave me sleepless nights for a whole month: it is clear that Black stands well, but

where is the win? I agonised and suffered for a long time, but I believed that, as in a good algebraic problem, it should

all tally. Waking up one morning and glancing once more at the position, I could not believe my eyes: it turns out that

there is the altogether simple move 22...Nxd5!!. If now 23.Nxd5, then 23...Qxc4+! (24.bc4 Rb1 mate), while after

23.Bxd5 Black wins by 23...Rxd5.

In the event of 23.Ne4 general exchanges occur: 23...Bxe4 24.fe4 Ne3 25.Qxd8 Rxd8 26.Rxd8 Nxc4 27.bc4

Qxc4+ 28.Kb2 Qxe4 29.Rg1 Qe2+ and 30...Qxh5 with a won endgame for Black.

My joy was short-lived: I promptly replaced 22.b3 with 22.Bb3 and sank into thought – for a further two months! It

suddenly transpired that after 22.Bb3 Nd3+ 23.Kb1 not one of the discovered checks wins. There are many tempting

combinations, but nothing more than perpetual check is apparent. For example: 23...Rxb3 (23...Nf2+ 24.Bc2!) 24.ab3

Nb4+ 25.Ka1 Qa5+ 26.Na4 Nc2+ etc.

You can imagine what happiness I experienced on discovering the murderously strong ‘quiet’ move 22...a5!!. The

threat is 23...a4 24.Bxa4 Nxa2 mate. The only defence is 23.Qe2 a4 24.Bc4 – and now 24...Bd3!!. This resembles the

combination with the 22.Qe2 variation, but the motif is different: there Black made use of the a5-square and the a-file,

whereas here it is the energised rook’s pawn, which acts as a kind of battering-ram. After 25.Bxd3 Nxa2+ 26.Kc2 a3!

(but not the old ‘prescription’ 26...Rxb2+? 27.Kxb2 Qxc3+ 28.Kxa2 Rb8 because of 29.Rb1!) 27.Rb1 Rxb2+! 28.Rxb2

Qxc3+ 29.Kb1 ab2 30.Qc2 Rb8 White’s position is completely hopeless, and he can resign with a clear conscience.

These later discoveries afforded me enormous creative satisfaction, since what I value above all in chess is the

completeness of an artistic work. However, let us return to the game. Mestel’s move 19.Nc3 also demanded extremely

accurate calculation.

19...hg4!

Many magazines, in which this game was published, considered a transposition of moves to be possible – 19...Nd4.

In fact after this there is the splendid move 20.Qg2!, changing the entire picture. So that 19...hg4! is the only acceptable

solution.

20.Bxc4

The most serious attention had to be devoted to the main threat 20.h5!? g5 21.Qc2. The same double attack: White

is threatening both the capture on c6, and an unpleasant visit by the queen to the black king’s mansion. But... 21...Nd4!

22.Qg6+ Kf8 23.d6 (23.Bxc4 Qg7!) 23...cd6 24.h6 (if 24.Rxd4 ed4 25.Bxc4, then 25...Qg7) 24...Bf5 25.h7 (the only

chance) 25...Bxg6 26.h8Q+ Kf7 27.Bxc4+ d5 28.Bxd5+ Rxd5! 29.Qxb8 Ne2+! 30.Nxe2 Qc5+ 31.Nc3 Qe3+, and

mate next move. The entire variation had to be calculated when playing 19...hg4!, since if there is no mate, than Black

has to resign.

After 20.Bxc4 the tempo of White’s attack slows sharply, and his position collapses like a house of cards.

20...Nd4

The knight’s dream has come true: with decisive effect it invades on the central square.

21.fg4 Bxg4 22.Rdf1 Rb4! 23.h5

A desperate attempt somehow to complicate Black’s task. Both 23.b3 Rxc4 24.bc4 Rb8 and 23.Bxa6 Rdb8 24.b3

Rxb3 were also hopeless.

23...Rxc4 24.hg6 Rxc3+! 25.Qxc3

If 25.bc3 Black would have won by 25...Qa3+ 26.Qb2 (or 26.Kb1 Rb8+ 27.Ka1 Nb3+) 26...Ne2+ 27.Kc2 Qxb2+

28.Kxb2 Ng3.

25...Ne2+ 26.Kc2 Nxc3 27.Rh7+ Kxg6 White resigned.

After 28.Rxe7 Nxd5 his rook is trapped. The game was judged to be the best in the tournament.

Los Angeles 1998

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 0-0 6.Bg5 Nc6 7.Qd2 a6 8.Nge2 Rb8 9.Rc1

A new attempt to exploit the bishop on g5. While making a useful move, White prevents b7-b5. Here too 9.d5 is

premature. After the best reply, in my opinion, 9...Na5! 10.Nd4 c5 11.Nc2 Bd7 the black pieces are fully prepared for

undermining activity: if 12.Na3, then 12...e6! is strong, while in other cases there follows b7-b5. For example,

Yusupov-Kovalev (Germany 1992) continued 12.Rc1 b5 13.b3 bc4 14.bc4 Bc8 (it was also possible for Black to

consolidate his hold on the b-file, by playing 14...Rb2 followed by Qd8-c7 and Rf8-b8) 15.Bh6 Bxh6 16.Qxh6 e5!, and

Black achieved a good game. 9...Ne5 also has its virtues.

9...Bd7 10.d5

Another fashionable continuation is 10.b3.

10...Na5!

I became convinced of the virtues of this move back in 1980 in a game with Lutikov. At a5 the knight is not only

more securely placed than at e5, but Black also gains a tempo for setting up counterplay on the queenside. This

conviction is also confirmed by the experience with 10...Ne5, where after 11.b3 Black has to reckon with the threat of

f3-f4:

a) 11...Nh5 12.Ng3! (for the moment 12.f4 will not do because of 12...h6 13.Bh4 Nxf4!) 12...f5 13.Nxh5 gh5

14.Be2 Ng6 15.ef5 Bxf5 16.0-0 Qd7 17.Ne4 h4 18.Bd3 e5 19.g4!, and, by securing the post for his knight on e4,

White gained the advantage (Dreev-Mukhitdinov, St. Petersburg 1993);

b) 11...b5 12.f4 Neg4 (after 12...b4?! 13.fe5 bc3 14.Nxc3 de5 15.Be2 c5 16.h4 h5 17.d6! White develops strong

pressure in the centre, Razuvaev-Yuneev, Yerevan 1996) 13.Ng3 h6 14.Bh4 Nh7 15.h3 Ngf6 16.Bd3 e5 17.fe5 de5

18.Nge2 c6 19.Bf2, and White’s chances are better (Dreev-Golubev, Alushta 1994).

11.Nd4

Also after 11.Ng3 Black has the good reply 11...c5! (if 11...b5 there can follow 12.cb5 ab5 13.b4 with somewhat

the better chances for White) 12.Bd3 b5.

11...c5 12.dc6 bc6 13.b3 c5

Black has completely solved his opening problems. Note how harmoniously his pieces are operating on the

queenside. With the last move Black fixes his control of the d4-square, planning to delegate his knight on a5 to go

there. Another promising plan was 13...Nb7!? 14.Be2 Nc5 15.0-0 a5, intending a5-a4.

14.Nc2 Nc6 15.Be2 Ne8!?

The second knight also has its eye on the d4-point after Nc7-e6-d4.

16.Nd5 f6 17.Bh4

After 17.Bh6 e6 18.Bxg7 Kxg7 19.Nde3 e5 Black controls the d4-point even without the aid of his bishop.

17...e6 18.Nde3

18...Bh6!

The ubiquitous bishop switches to play on the neighbouring diagonal. Black’s position is already preferable.

19.0-0 e5 20.Bg3 Nd4 21.f4 Nc7

This move allows White to exchange his ‘bad’ bishop. But 21...Nxe2+ 22.Qxe2 Nc7 23.Rcd1 also has its

drawbacks.

22.Bg4 Bc6 23.Qd3 Nce6 24.Bxe6+! Nxe6 25.Nd5 Kg7 26.Nce3 ef4 27.Bxf4 Nxf4 28.Nxf4 Bxf4 29.Rxf4 Qe7

The two sides have exchanged pawn weaknesses. The e4-pawn is opposed by the one on d6, but King’s Indian

experience shows that the latter is not easily approached.

30.Rd1 Rbd8 31.Nd5 Qe5 32.Rf2 Rf7 33.Rfd2 a5 34.Nc3 Ra7 35.Qg3

Concerned about Black’s growing initiative on the queenside and trying to weaken the defence of the d6-pawn,

White goes in for extreme measures – he worsens his pawn structure.

35...Qxg3 36.hg3 Rad7 37.a4?!

An unjustified weakening of the b3-pawn. Essential was 37.Kf2 Kf7 38.Ke3 Ke6 with roughly equal chances.

37...Kf7 38.Kf2 Ke6 39.Ke3 Ke5

After the departure of the queens, the king takes command of the black forces.

40.Rd3 Rb8

41.Nb5?

Amazing! Forcing exchanges, White voluntarily goes into a bad endgame. Meanwhile, he had available an

unexpected resource: to exploit, strangely enough, the active position of the enemy king – 41.Nd5!? Rdb7 42.b4!. After

blocking the third rank, White is ready to imprison the black monarch in the event of 42...ab4?? 43.Nf4, when Black

would have to sacrifice the exchange – 42...Rxb4 43.Nxb4 Rxb4 44.Rxd6 Bxe4, although for sufficient compensation.

41...Bxe4 42.Rxd6 Rxd6 43.Rxd6 Bxg2

Black’s advantage lies not so much in his extra pawn, as in the superiority over the knight of his bishop, which is

ready to support the potential outside passed pawn on the kingside.

44.Rd7?!

44.Ra6 Ra8 45.Na7!? was more resilient, and if 45...Rb8 46.Nb5.

44...Rb7 45.Rd8 Bc6 46.Rc8 Rb6 47.Rc7 h5 48.Ra7 g5 49.Rxa5 f5!

49...h4?! 50.gh4 gh4 was premature in view of 51.Nd4! Kd6 52.Nf5+, when the knight is in just the right place.

50.Ra7

If 50.Nd4 there would have followed 50...f4+ 51.gf4+ gf4+ 52.Kd3 Be4+ 53.Kc3 Kd6.

50...Rb7 51.Ra6

After the exchange of rooks 51.Rxb7 Bxb7 White’s position is hopeless.

51...Be4 52.Rh6 Rd7!

By this pawn sacrifice Black coordinates the actions of his rook and bishop, creating something resembling a

‘windmill’.

53.Rxh5 Rd3+ 54.Kf2 Rf3+ 55.Kg2 Rxb3+ 56.Kf2 g4 57.Rh8 Rf3+ 58.Kg2 Ra3+ 59.Kf2 Rxa4 60.Re8+ Kf6

61.Nd6 Ra2+ 62.Ke1 Bf3 63.Rc8 f4 White resigned.

CLASSICAL VARIATION

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be2 e5

is called the Classical Variation. It is characterised by the classical principles of development: the pawn on e4 is

opposed by the pawn on e5, and both sides develop their kingside without delay

White has set up a pawn centre, and after 7.0-0 Black faces a dilemma – whether to bring out his knight to d7 or c6.

Which development is preferable? Of course, this is a matter of taste. As for myself, on the basis of my many years’

experience I have come to the conclusion that in the Classical Variation the universal move 7...Nc6 is the most

effective weapon. At one time this was a revelation to me. Time puts everything in its place, and the evolution of the

queen knight’s development from d7 to c6 (and effectively, after d4-d5, to e7) has its logic. The commentary made by

Vladimir Kramnik to one of his games is instructive: ‘I remember a well-known rule: when two knights are linked, for

example, at d7 and f6, they are less manoeuvrable, and it looks better with the queen’s knight on e7’. A kind of axiom

for the development of the knights in the King’s Indian Defence! It is no accident that, along with the development of

the main line of the Classical Variation with 7.0-0 Nc6, in recent times White has employed plans where he prevents

the development of the knight at c6 either radically – 7.d5, or indirectly – 7.Be3.

7.0-0

According to my conception of creating counterplay, after 7.0-0 the best reply is 7...Nc6.

In this way the knight acts most effectively on the centre and forces White to close it – 8.d5 Ne7, leading to the

basic position of the variation, which first occurred in the game Taimanov-Aronin in 1952 at the 20th USSR

Championship.

Let us consider the features of the resulting position. With the centre blocked, the plans for the two sides are

determined by the pawn structure. White’s chances lie in creating an attack on the queenside: the development of his

initiative is associated with the advance c4-c5, the opening of the c-file, and the subsequent use of it to invade the

opponent’s position. Black’s chances lie in an attack on the kingside. It involves the pawn offensive f7-f5-f4 followed

by g6-g5-g4, and in some cases g4-g3.

White’s range of moves is very broad. Apart from 9.b4, he also has the preparatory moves 9.Ne1, 9.Bd2 and

9.Nd2.

28th USSR Championship

Moscow 1961

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Be2 0-0 6.Nf3 e5 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7

Since in the 1960s Mark Taimanov and I frequently crossed paths in the USSR Championships, an encounter in the

Classical Variation was pre-ordained, and on my part it showed considerable boldness to decide on this step against the

founder of the variation, who in those years played it in simply virtuoso fashion.

Of course, I knew Taimanov’s games from the 1952 USSR Championship against Aronin and Bronstein. In them

Taimanov played 9.Ne1, vacating the f3-square for the pawn, and brought out his bishop to e3. But ten years later his

priorities had become different, and I would hardly have decided on such a committing step, had I not had in reserve

some ideas developed together with Leonid Stein.

9.b4

At that time this pawn thrust was Taimanov’s favourite. Still fresh in the memory was an interesting game he

played in 1960 at the tournament in Santa Fe against Gligoric. Of course, we had thoroughly analysed it, as well as

some other games. We came to the conclusion that White’s swift pawn offensive should be met by immediate action on

the opposite side of the board.

9...Nh5

Black’s main reply. But often he defers this counterattack on the kingside and first engages in prophylaxis – 9...a5,

preventing in good time the c4-c5 breakthrough. Then White usually replaces his b4-pawn with his bishop – 10.Ba3.

10.g3

Before advancing the c-pawn White prevents the knight move to f4, from where it attacks the bishop on e2. In

recent times he has more often played 10.Re1, vacating the f1-square for the bishop.

10...f5 11.Ng5

It was because of this possibility that at the time Black’s plan was considered rather risky: the visit of the knight to

e6 will hardly occur in a spirit of mutual understanding, and the light-square bishop will have to be given up for it.

The time has come to reveal one of my little creative secrets (now there is no longer any point in concealing it). The

g7-bishop has long been written about as the ‘Gufeld bishop’. And many opponents have instinctively tried to separate

me and my friend, sometimes even to the detriment of their position. They did not know that I had also concluded a

secret alliance with the light-square bishop, without which in the King’s Indian Defence things are often more difficult

for Black, than without its famous colleague.

Thus, perhaps it is simpler to retreat 11.Nd2 ? Hardly. Black will feel far more carefree. For example, Yudovich-

Gufeld (Moscow 1966) continued 11...Nf6 12.f3 Bh6! (don’t let anyone say that I find it hard to part with my favourite

piece) 13.Nb3 Bxc1 14.Rxc1 f4 15.g4 g5 16.c5 Ng6 17.a4 h5 18.h3 Rf7 19.Kf2 Nh4 20.Qd3 hg4 21.hg4 Bxg4!, and

Black was ahead in the development of his initiative. Of course, 12.c5 was more vigorous, but after 12...f4 13.Nc4 Bh3

14.Re1 Nc8! Black would have launched an attack on the kingside.

11...Nf6 12.f3

The pawn has to be supported, since if 12.ef5 there can follow 12...Nxf5! and the knight goes to d4.

12...f4

In the aforementioned Taimanov-Gligoric game, after 12...h6 13.Ne6 Bxe6 14.de6 c6 15.b5! White seized the

initiative on the queenside. Since Stein and I did not see where Black’s play could be improved, we decided on another

continuation.

But since that time much water has flowed under the bridge, and apart from the natural move 12...f4 in recent times

12...c6 and 12...Kh8 have been practised.

13.b5

Nowadays the prophylactic 13.Kg2 is more often preferred, and to a considerable extent this is the result of our

experience. But at that time b4-b5 looked very attractive. White prevents c7-c6 and develops his offensive on the

queenside. The disadvantage of it is that it does not create any concrete threats, and Black gains a tempo to create

counterplay. The whole question is how effective this play is. Until our game it was thought that White had nothing to

fear, which was why Taimanov so confidently went in for this position. If only he knew what an original combination

Leonid Stein had devised! If only... But then this pretty game would not have occurred.

13...fg3 14.hg3 Nh5

How should the g3-pawn now be defended? Anyway you like, it would seem. Say, 15.Qe1. In this case, however,

15...c6 16.bc6 bc6 is possible, and there appears to be nothing better than 17.Kg2, in order to prepare the h3-square for

the knight. After all, here the invasion at e6 is no longer so clear, as with the queen on d1.

The thought suggests itself: is it not simpler to play the king immediately to g2? That is what Taimanov did.

15.Kg2?

Nevertheless, 15.Qe1 should have been played, to forestall Black’s stunning combination. The variation given in

the previous note would have led to roughly equal play. Now, however, White’s position is safer only in appearance.

15...Nf4+!!

A textbook example of a purely positional piece sacrifice. The price for the knight is considerable: the white king is

deprived of its pawn barrier, and the black pieces become active. Is this sufficient? Stein did not harbour any doubts

about this. Neither did I.

16.gf4 ef4

What is threatened? In particular, clearly, the capture of the knight on c3, and if it is defended, then a discovery by

the knight on e7. For example: 17.Bd2 Nf5! or 17.Qe1 Nxd5!. Therefore White is practically forced to give up a

second pawn, in order to free the e4-point for his pieces.

17.e5 Bxe5 18.Nge4 Nf5

Threatening 19...Bxc3 20.Nxc3 Qg5+.

19.Rg1 Ng3! 20.Bd2 Bxc3 21.Bxc3 Nxe4 22.fe4 Qg5+!

An accurate continuation of the attack. During the game many thought that 22...f3+ would have been stronger, with

the idea of 23.Bxf3 Qg5+ 24.Kf2 Bg4, and if 25.Rxg4 Qxg4 26.Ke3, then 26...Qf4+ 27.Kf2 Rf7 with the decisive

threat 28...Raf8. However, in analysis after the game it quickly transpired that instead of 25.Rxg4 it is possible to play

25.Rg3!. Then nothing is given by either 25...Bxf3 26.Rxg5 Bxd1+ 27.Ke3, or 25...Qh4 26.Kg2! (to say nothing of

25...Rf7? 26.Qd4!).

True, here too there is a favourable continuation: 25...Rxf3+! 26.Qxf3 Rf8, obtaining queen and pawn for two

rooks. But here exchanges would have occurred, weakening Black’s assault.

23.Kf1 Bh3+

A rather rare instance when in the King’s Indian Defence the leading role is played not by the dark-square bishop,

but by the light-square one.

24.Kf2 Qh4+ 25.Kf3 Qh5+ 26.Kf2 Qh4+

By no means with the intention of giving perpetual check. On the threshold of time-trouble it is useful to bring the

control move closer, without spending time in thought.

27.Kf3 g5! 28.Bf1 g4+ 29.Ke2 f3+ 30.Kd3 g3 31.Bxh3 Qxh3

The forcing play has finally come to an end, and it is possible to take stock. White has retained his extra piece,

which occupies a very attractive position on the long diagonal, and his king has moved away from the direct threats.

This is all very well, but how is White to stop the opponent’s pair of passed pawns? If he does not create any real

counterplay, he will have to give up a rook for one of the pawns.

32.Qd2

For the first time in the entire game White creates a threat, and what a threat: virtually a mating attack! Black has to

look for moves combining attack and defence.

32...Qg4 33.Qf2 g2

The passed pawns are now firmly blockaded, but a third infantryman is about to be sent to their aid. How can its

advance be countered? The e4-pawn may also come under attack.

34.Rae1

White could have tried to regroup with 34.Qd4 Qg6 35.Be1 Rae8 36.Bf2 Rf4 37.Rae1, but then his forces are tied

down and the advance of the h-pawn is decisive.

34...Rae8!

There is no need to hurry with the advance of the pawn. It is useful first for Black to complete his development, at

the same time preventing active possibilities for the opponent such as e4-e5.

35.Kc2 Rf4 36.Kb3 Rfxe4 37.Rxe4 Rxe4 38.Qxa7 Qg6 39.Qf2 Qg4

Again repeating moves to gain on the clock in time-trouble.

40.Qa7 Re8 41.Be1

In trying to erect a barrier in front of the pawns, White abandons his king to its fate.

41...Qe4 42.Bf2 Qd3+ 43.Kb4 Qd2+ 44.Kb3 b6! White resigned.

As you can guess, it was Leonid Stein who congratulated me most warmly and sincerely on this win. I, in turn,

thanked him for his creative collaboration. To be honest, it was rather a pity that his clever discovery bore fruit for me

alone. But it so happened that justice was done.

This occurred 8 years later at the USSR Team Championship in Grozny. At that time I was making my debut for

the Georgian team, and Stein and I found ourselves on opposite sides of the chess board. And in the Ukraine-Georgia

match the game Stein-Gufeld occurred. Of course, we played a King’s Indian Defence, and up to the 13th move we

repeated my game with Taimanov (I invite the reader to return to the corresponding diagram). Here Leonid deviated

from the source game by playing 13.c5, whereas as a matter of principle I followed the classic example: 13...fg3 14.hg3

Nh5 15.Qe1 (again a small difference – Stein had taken account of Taimanov’s mistake) 15...Nf4?.

Alas, in the given situation this sacrifice is not so effective, since the knight on c3 is defended. I should have

restricted myself to 15...c6, whereas now after 16.gf4 ef4 17.Rf2! Bd4 18.Kh1 Nf5 19.ef5 Qxg5 20.Rg2 Qxf5

(20...Qh6+ 21.Rh2 Qg7 22.Bd2 Bxf5 was more resilient, with some initiative) 21.Bd2 Bd7 22.Ne4 White repelled the

attack, retaining a material advantage. On the 30th move it was now my turn to congratulate Stein. It so happened that

in this game I as though involuntarily showed my gratitude for his help in the win over Taimanov. But the biggest

winner was opening theory, which was enriched with two valuable games.

As for the evaluation of 13.c5, Black could have played more strongly. For example, simply 13...h6 14.Ne6 Bxe6

15.de6 d5!.

Tbilisi 1983

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Be2 0-0 6.Nf3 e5 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.b4 Nh5 10.c5

In this pawn structure, according to Nimzowitsch’s terminology, White has a qualitative majority on the queenside.

Therefore the desire to set about converting it is quite natural. In addition, the c-pawn vacates the c4-square for the

knight. However, Black too gains the opportunity to play his knight to an active position.

10...Nf4

In planning this move, Black can show cunning by first making the useful move 10...h6, although after 11.Nd2 Nf4

12.Nc4 White includes his knight in the attack on the queenside, and now after the exchange 12...Nxe2+ 13.Qxe2 f5

14.f3 f4 15.a4! g5 16.Ba3 Rf6 17.b5 Ng6 18.b6! his attack clearly gets there first (Gurevich-Gelfand, Belgrade 1991).

12...f5 13.f3 g5 is more logical, when Black holds his own in the race: 14.Ba3 (if 14.Be3 there can follow 14...Neg6

15.cd6 cd6 16.Nb5 Nh4) 14...Rf6 15.Rc1 Rg6 16.Nb5. Here in Tukmakov-Reinderman (Antwerp 1993) Black rushed

with 16...g4?, and after 17.fg4! fe4 18.Ne3! his attack came to a standstill. As was shown by Tukmakov, 16...a6 was

correct, not fearing 17.Nxc7 Qxc7 18.cd6, since 18...Rxd6 19.b5 Rd7! 20.d6 Qd8 21.de7 Rxd1 22.Rfxd1! Nxe2+

23.Kf2 Qe8 24.Rd8 Bd7 gives Black opportunities for counterplay. Apparently the immediate 10...f5 is also possible,

and if ‘Taimanov-style’ 11.Ng5, then 11...Nf4 12.Bc4 h6! 13.Ne6 Bxe6 14.de6 fe4 15.g3 Nh5 16.Be3 Nf6 with good

play for Black.

11.Bxf4

If White avoids the exchange of this bishop by 11.Bc4 he has to reckon with 11...Bg4 12.h3 Bh5 13.Re1 g5, when

Black is threatening the pawn attack g5-g4 or f7-f5. But now Black’s dark-square bishop becomes active, which is to

the liking of any King’s Indian player.

11...ef4 12.Rc1

White gets out of the pin and in the future he can use his rook on the c-file. If 12.Qd2 Black can exchange the

knight on f3: 12...Bg4 13.Rac1 Bxf3 14.Bxf3 g5, and after 15...Ng6 he creates dangerous threats on the kingside. He

can also carry out the same manoeuvre after 12.Qb3.

12...h6

Black prepares an attack on the kingside. The undermining move 12...a5 is also useful:

a) 13.a3 ab4 14.ab4 f5 (if Black defends the f4-pawn – 14...h6, then after 15.Qd2 g5 16.Ra1! White develops his

initiative on the queenside) 15.Re1 Bxc3 16.Rxc3 fe4 17.Ng5 f3 18.gf3 ef3 19.Bxf3 Nf5 with equal chances

(Tukmakov-Smirin, Burgas 1993);

b) 13.Nb5 ab4 14.cd6 cd6 15.Qd2 Bg4! 16.Rc7 Bxf3 17.Bxf3 Be5 18.Rxb7 Qa5 19.Nd4 Qxa2 20.Qxa2 Rxa2

21.Rxb4, and play went into a roughly equal endgame (Kamsky-Kasparov, New York 1994).

13.a4

White intends a4-a5. Another possibility involves transferring the knight to the queenside – 13.Nd2 g5. Beliavsky-

Romero Holmes (Leon 1994) continued 14.Bh5 c6 15.Nb3 cd5?! 16.ed5 a5 17.Nb5 a4 18.Na5 and White gained an

advantage, but 15...dc5 16.bc5 cd5 17.ed5 Bxc3 18.Rxc3 Qxd5 was stronger, although, of course, White has

compensation for the pawn. 14.Nc4 a6 15.Na4 Ng6 (with the idea of Ng6-e5) 16.cd6 cd6 17.Nab6 Rb8 18.Bg4 comes

into consideration, when White’s position is preferable.

13...g5 14.h3 Ng6 15.cd6

15.a5 Re8 16.Nd2 is weaker in view of 16...Bxc3! (after 16...Ne5 17.cd6 cd6 18.Nb5! the advantage is with White)

17.Rxc3 Qf6 18.Qc2 Ne5 with equal chances. After 15.Nb5 there can follow 15...a6 16.Nbd4 Re8, and if 17.Rc4 Rxe4!

18.Ne6 Rxe6 19.de6 Bxe6 with sufficient compensation for the exchange.

15...cd6 16.Nb5 Ne5 17.Nfd4

The exchange of knights favours Black, since after 17.Nxe5 Bxe5 he is in a good position to storm the enemy

king’s fortress.

17...Qf6 18.Bh5

An interesting idea. White does not allow the black queen to go to the important g6-point.

18...Bd7 19.Qb3 a6 20.Nc7 Rab8

In the event of 20...Rac8 White would have had an interesting possibility, involving 21.Nde6!?.

21.Rfd1

For an instant the knights have lost their coordination (the knight at d4 has been deprived of the support of its

colleague), and the direct attack on the queenside proves unsuccessful: 21.b5?! Nd3!, while in the event of 21.Nde6 the

simplest is 21...Rfc8 22.Nxg7 Kxg7 with equal chances.

21...Kh8 22.b5 g4! 23.hg4 Nxg4

It becomes evident that, playing on both wings, Black is ahead of his opponent in the creation of threats. Thus if

24.Nce6 he has the strong move 24...Nxf2!, which also follows after 24.Nde6 – 24...Nxf2! 25.Nxf8 Rxf8, and Black

has a strong initiative.

24.Nf3 Rg8

The attempt to win the bishop by 24...Qe7 (with the intention of playing 25...Nf6) does not work because of

25.Ne6! Nf6 26.Nxf8 Rxf8 27.ba6 ba6 28.Rc7 Nxh5 29.Qb7 Nf6 30.Re1, and it is not easy for Black to coordinate his

pieces. But 24...Ne5 was possible.

25.Ne6!

The only move in this complicated situation.

25...Nxf2 26.Kxf2 fe6 27.Rc7!

Again the best decision. If 27.Bg4 there is the strong reply 27...ed5! 28.Bxd7 de4.

27...Be8 28.Bxe8 Rbxe8 29.de6

Due to shortage of time the events now take on a rather kaleidoscopic character.

29...Rxe6 30.Qd3 ab5 31.ab5 Qg6 32.Nh4

32...Qg4?

After gaining a marked advantage, I begin playing give-away chess. 32...Qh5 33.Nf5 Rg6 would have led to a

position with pretty combinative possibilities: 34.Qf3 Qh2!. Now 35...Rxg2+ 36.Qxg2 Bd4+ is threatened. If 35.Rg1

there is 35...Rg3, while in the event of 35.Rxg7 R8xg7 36.Nxg7 Black wins by 36...Rg3!.

Let us also consider 34.Ne7. After 34...Rg3 35.Qd5 there is the decisive 35...Rxg2+ 36.Kxg2 Qe2+ 37.Kh1 Qf3+

38.Kh2 Qg3+ 39.Kh1 Qh3+ 40.Kg1 Bd4 mate. Instead of 35.Qd5, 35.Qc4 is more cunning. Now only a draw results

from 35...Rxg2+ 36.Kxg2 Qg4+ 37.Kf2 Qg3+ 38.Ke2 Qe3+ 39.Kf1 Qf3+ 40.Ke1 Qe3+ 41.Kf1 (but not 41.Qe2??

Bc3+ and 42...Rg1 mate). But here too there is a wonderful move, leading to a win – 35...d5!!, for example: 36.Qxd5

Rxg2+, 36.Rxd5 Qh1, or 36.Nxd5 Rxg2+ 37.Kxg2 Bd4+.

The only continuation after 32...Qh5 33.Nf5 Rg6 was 34.Rxg7 R8xg7 35.Nxg7 Kxg7, when Black is a pawn up.

But now there begins a ‘performance’, which does not require any commentary.

33.Nf5 Bf6? 34.Qf3 Bh4+?? 35.Kf1 Rxe4?? 36.Nxh4 Qxh4 37.Qxe4 Qh1+ 38.Kf2 Qh4+ 39.Kg1 f3?? 40.Qh7

mate.

Helsinki 1992

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be2 e5 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.b4 Nh5 10.c5 Nf4 11.Bxf4 ef4

12.Qb3

A comparatively rare continuation. White leaves his rooks a choice of squares.

12...Bg4

It is considered important to exchange this knight, which is aiming for c4. But 12...h6 13.Rad1 g5 is also possible.

In Stickler-Uhlmann (Germany 1992) White tried to break through in the centre: (if Black has to reckon with the pawn

sacrifice , when White gains control of the central squares) , and Black achieved good play.

13.Rad1 Bxf3! 14.Bxf3 g5 15.Bh5 Ng6 16.Bxg6 hg6

After the exchange of three sets of minor pieces the superiority of the King’s Indian bishop over the knight gives

Black the advantage, although the limited amount of remaining forces allow White to defend.

17.Nb5 Re8 18.Rfe1 a6

The knight should not have been encouraged to move to a better position. The immediate 18...g4 was more

accurate.

19.Na3! g4 20.Nc4 Be5 21.f3 Qh4 22.fg4 Qxg4

The impulsive 22...f3? 23.Qxf3 Bxh2+ 24.Kf1 favours White.

23.Rf1 Re7

23...Kg7!? came into consideration, aiming at the h-pawn after Ra8-h8.

24.Qf3 Qxf3

If Black avoids the exchange by 24...Qg5?! he has to reckon with 25.cd6 cd6 26.Nxe5 de5 (26...Qxe5 27.Qxf4)

27.Rc1.

25.gf3 Kg7 26.Kg2 Rh8 27.Rf2

27.Na5 is parried by 27...Bc3!.

27...Rh5 28.Rc2

28...Re8

How shaky the boundary is between ‘better’ and ‘worse’! It only requires Black to delay, and White succeeds in

exploiting the c-file. 28...Kf6!? 29.cd6 cd6 30.Nb6 g5 was more active, aiming for the opening of the g-file.

29.Kh1 Reh8 30.Nxe5 Rxe5 31.cd6 cd6 32.Rc7 Reh5 33.Rd2 Kf6!

Vigilance, first and foremost! After direct play against the f3-pawn Black would have lost his b7- and a6-pawns:

33...Rh3 34.Rf2 Rg3 35.Rxb7 Rhh3 36.Rb6 Rxf3 37.Rxf3 Rxf3 38.Rxa6.

34.Rxb7 Rh3 35.Rf2 g5! 36.Kg1

In the attack on the weak pawns the black king becomes a real force. For example, 36.Rd7 Ke5 37.Rxf7 Kd4 or

36.Rb6 Ke5 37.Rxa6 g4. However, now too the black monarch demonstrates its ambitions, sending the bold infantry on

ahead.

36...g4! 37.fg4 f3 38.Rc7

Urgently to the rescue! The game concludes peacefully to the satisfaction of both sides.

38...R8h4 39.g5+! Kg6! 40.Rc3 Rf4 41.a4 Kxg5 42.b5 ab5 43.ab5 Rxe4 44.Rcxf3

Draw.

Baku 1980

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.d4 0-0 6.Be2 e5 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.Bd2

Today this continuation occurs much more rarely than others, but a quarter of a century ago it was quite popular. As

also in other cases, the impetus was given to it by Mark Taimanov, who made it his main weapon in his 1971

Candidates match with Robert Fischer in Vancouver.

White completes his development and, by vacating a square for his rook, retains the option of both a pawn, and a

piece offensive on the queenside.

9...Nh5

An active continuation, which practically forces White to weaken his kingside by 10.g3. Fischer preferred 9...Ne8

and after 10.Rc1 f5 he successfully countered Taimanov’s attack on the queenside. In the 1st game of the match

Taimanov played 11.ef5?! gf5 12.Ng5, and after 12...h6 13.Ne6 Bxe6 14.de6 Qc8 15.Qb3 c6 White ended up in an

inferior position. In the 3rd game Taimanov preferred 11.Qb3, and after 11...b6 12.ef5 gf5 13.Ng5 Nf6 14.f4 h6 15.fe5

de5 16.c5!? Nfxd5 a complicated battle developed.

Later it was pinpointed that the immediate 11.Ng5 h6 12.Ne6 Bxe6 13.de6 Qc8 14.Qb3 is stronger, when White

stands better. Therefore after 10.Rc1 Black began closing the queenside immediately – 10...c5. For example, Ribli-

Torre (Alicante 1983) continued 10.Rc1 c5 11.dc6 with equal chances.

9...Nd7 also occurs, but in this case Black weakens his e6-point, after 10.b4 f5 11.Ng5 the knight has to return with

11...Nf6 12.f3 Nh5 13.g3, and the play develops somewhat to White’s advantage.

10.g3

White prevents the knight from penetrating to f4. The other main continuation is 10.Rc1.

10...f5

A resolute move, supported by tactics. After 10...c6?! White is the first to seize the initiative: 11.Rc1 f5 12.dc6 bc6

13.c5!.

11.ef5

11.Ng5 is not dangerous: 11...Nf6 12.f3 c6 13.Qb3 h6 14.Ne6 Bxe6 15.de6 Qc8, and the knight’s journey comes

to an end.

11...Nxf5

Black does not fear 12.g4? in view of 12...Nd4! 13.gh5 Nxe2+ 14.Qxe2 Bg4, and the material is regained with

interest.

12.Ne4

It is useful to occupy this central point with sights set on g5. In Eingorn-A.Kuzmin (58th USSR Championship,

Moscow 1991) there followed 12.Bd3 Nf6 13.Ng5 Nd4 14.f3 c6 15.Kg2 Bd7 16.Nge4 Nxe4 17.Bxe4 c5 with good

play for Black.

12...Nf6 13.Bg5

Understandably, White wants to retain his knight on e4, agreeing even to grant Black the advantage of the two

bishops. However, if 13.Bd3, then 13...Bh6 is possible.

13...h6 14.Bxf6 Bxf6 15.Bd3 Bg7 16.h4

If 16.Kg2 there would have followed the same reply.

16...c6!

The character of the position lends itself to activity by Black on the kingside involving g6-g5-g4. However, White

too will not stand still and he will prepare an attack on the queenside with c4-c5. Therefore, by undermining the centre,

Black forestalls this possibility and expands the scope of his queen, since in the absence of White’s dark-square bishop

its influence on the dark squares is most effective from the queenside. The earlier 16...b6 17.Kg2 Bb7, attempting to

exploit the long diagonal, is less effective and leaves White with the better chances.

17.Kg2 Bd7 18.Qd2 cd5 19.cd5 Qb6 20.Rad1

20.Rac1 is more thematic, when counterplay on the c-file will help to neutralise Black’s pressure on the f-file.

20...Rf7 21.Bb1?! Raf8 22.g4?!

A second poor move in succession. Even for the sake of driving away the active knight, White should not have

weakened his f4-point, which now becomes an outpost for Black’s attack.

22...Ne7 23.Nh2 Bb5!

This is where the drawbacks to White’s unthematic play on moves 21 and 22 are revealed. Now if 24.Bd3 there can

follow 24...Nxd5! 25.Bxb5 Nf4+ 26.Kg1 Qxb5 27.Nxd6 Qc6 with a double threat: mate and a pin on the knight after

Rf7-d7.

24.Rg1

Apparently White should have sacrificed the exchange, but strengthened his position in the centre – 24.f3, since

after the fall of the d5-pawn his king also becomes vulnerable.

24...Bc4 25.h5 Bxd5 26.f3 g5

The f4-square will not run away, whereas after the immediate 26...Rf4 White can ‘revive himself’ with 27.g5!?.

27.b3 Rf4 28.Rgf1 Rd8! 29.Rfe1 Bf7 30.Nf1 d5

The time has come for the central pawns, under the cover of which the black pieces display their power.

31.Ne3 Nc6 32.Ng3 e4! 33.Nef5

The exchange 33.fe de would have opened new breaches in White’s position.

33...Rxf3 34.Nxg7 Kxg7 35.Qb2+ Kg8 36.Nf5 Rxf5! 37.gf5 Qc7!

Although he is the exchange up, White’s ‘bare’ king is in a sorry state, which can best be shown by the advance of

the central pawn pair. But first it is necessary to prevent the invasion of the white queen at f6, which is rather

unpleasant in the event of 37...Bxh5?!.

38.Qf6?!

An impulsive move in time-trouble. However, even without this White is doomed.

38...Rd6 39.Qc3 Bxh5 40.Rd2 Bf3+ 41.Kf1 Qf7

With the win of the f5-pawn the avalanche of black pawns becomes irresistible.

42.Qc5 Rd7 43.Rh2 Kg7 44.Re3 Ne5 45.Qd4 Qf6 46.Rd2 Qxf5 47.Ke1 Qf6 48.Rc3 Bg4 White resigned.

№ 23. L.Polugaevsky – E.Gufeld

Sochi 1981

1.c4 g6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Be2 0-0 6.Nf3 e5 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.Ne1

The aim of the Nf3-e1-d3 manoeuvre is to intensify the pressure on c5. In addition, in view of Black’s forthcoming

pawn attack f7-f5-f4 the useful defensive move f2-f3 becomes possible.

9...Nd7

After 9...Ne8 one of the defences of the e5-point is removed and, along with the traditional plan of an attack on the

queenside by 10.Be3 f5 11.f3 f4 12.Bf2 g5 13.c5, White can attack the e-pawn immediately by 10.f4, or after the

preparatory 10.Nd3. However, despite 9...Nd7 being the generally-accepted move, modern theory also has no claims

against 9...Ne8.

10.Nd3

With this move White decides on the development of his bishop at d2.

10...f5 11.Bd2 Nf6 12.f3

Polugaevsky had adopted this variation not long before our game. It brought him a series of convincing wins, for

example in his quarter-final Candidates match with Tal in 1980. The forcing play after 12...f4 13.c5, where White

develops a swift attack on the queenside, had been thoroughly studied by my opponent. As for the present time, the

games and researches on this theme have grown into an entire monograph.

12...Kh8

I did not want to engage in a preparation dispute with Polugaevsky, and I preferred a little-studied continuation.

Two decades later I can add that my intuition did not let me down – even today the Encyclopaedia considers this move

to be perfectly sound.

13.g4

No, this is not an attempt to seize the initiative, but rather a striving to transfer the defence of the wing to more

forward positions. The idea of the move is to block the kingside; for example, , and all the black pieces are

immobilised, whereas White’s initiative on the queenside develops of its own accord (the exchange on e4 or g4 is also

incorrect). But this diversion on the kingside allows Black the opportunity to initiate play on the queenside.

After the inclusion of 13.a4 a5! and now 14.g4 again 14...c6!? is possible. In Kozul-Gufeld (Tbilisi 1988) I

preferred 14...c5 15.Rf2 b6 16.h4 Ra7 17.Rh2 Kg8 18.h5, and here 18...f4 would have given good play. The exchange

of the dark-square bishops could also have been considered – 17...Neg8!? 18.h5 gh5 19.gf5 Bh6.

7.d5

After 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be2 e5 White often plays 7.d5, preventing Black from

developing his knight at c6.

The closing of the centre by White determines the further course of action. The central pawn structure looks ideal

for him to make an attack on the queenside. However, after such an early stabilisation of the centre Black gains the

opportunity to create counterplay on the opposite side of the board. Moreover, he can temporarily use the c5-point for

his knight, to forestall White’s attack on the queenside and prepare his traditional f7-f5 break. For this reason the early

advance of the d-pawn can be regarded as something of an achievement for Black. And, above all, psychologically,

since White avoids engaging in a critical discussion in the extremely complicated Taimanov-Aronin variation.

In specific terms, Black can carry out his plan by erecting a barrier on the queenside with 7...a5 (sometimes 7...c5 is

played). Also, Black often begins with the development of his knight 7...Nbd7. After this a radical way of opposing

Black’s counterplay is the Petrosian Variation, characterised by the move 8.Bg5. After creating a pin, White succeeds

in switching his knight via Nf3-d2 to the queenside for an attack.

At the dawn of this variation, in the 1950s and 1960s, the direct 7...Nh5 was also played (incidentally, this move

rules out the pin at g5). Theory condemned it at that time, mainly on the basis of a game of mine with Tigran Petrosian.

Since an echo of it unexpectedly resounded several decades later, I consider it useful to acquaint the reader with its

history.

In 1994, in an article entitled ‘The riddle of bad bishops’ (to demonstrate the concept of the ‘bad bishop’ it was

usually the custom to chose the ‘King’s Indian’ bishop on g7) Boris Gulko analysed an old game of mine with

Petrosian, which was annotated in his time by his trainer Isaak Boleslavsky. Apparently based on the result of the game,

Boleslavsky incorrectly judged the character of the play to be in White’s favour. And you can imagine my feelings

when I saw the same fundamental mistake in Gulko’s conclusions.

27th USSR Championship

Leningrad 1960

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be2 e5 7.d5 Nh5

The closing of the centre clearly assumes that Black will aim for f7-f5, but in the given position this obvious move

is not the best. Black is unable to play f7-f5 without making positional concessions. But I did not want to play on

Petrosian’s ‘home ground’ (7...Nbd7 8.Bg5).

8.g3 Na6

If 8...f5?! there follows simply 9.ef5, when 9...gf5? 10.Nxe5 is not possible, nor is 9...Bxf5 because of 10.Ng5.

Petrosian-I.Zaitsev (Moscow 1966) continued 9...Qf6 10.Ng5! Qxf5 11.0-0 Nf6 12.f3, and White established one of

his pieces on e4.

After 8...a5 it is possible, as in the game, to reply 9.Nd2 Nf6 10.h4.

9.Nd2 Nf6 10.h4

‘An important link in White’s plan. Now if 10...Bh6, with the aim of exchanging the dark-square bishops, there

follows 11.h5, and Black is in trouble. In addition, the threat of the pawn’s further advance forces Black for a long time

to give up the move f7-f5’, writes Boleslavsky. And yet, since White has not completed his development, to me Black’s

problems seem to be exaggerated.

10...c6 11.Nb3 Nc7 12.Bg5

12...cd5

‘Despite the fact that this move clarifies the situation in the centre, I am inclined to regard it as the decisive

mistake’, writes Gulko. It is amazing how readily the well-known grandmaster passes a verdict on a thematic opening

exchange!

13.cd5 h6 14.Bxf6?

None of my ‘correspondence’ opponents commented on this exchange, which has the aim of leaving Black with a

‘bad’ bishop. For the sake of this White does not spare his ‘good’ bishop. This reminds me of the story of a man who

decided to tear out his eye, so that his mother-in-law’s son-in-law should be one-eyed. I think that Petrosian, who had a

good sense of humour, would not be offended by me making such a comparison.

14...Qxf6 15.Bg4?

A serious mistake, which Gulko furnishes with an exclamation mark (it is amusing that the Encyclopaedia also

assesses 15.Bg4 positively).

The only way to cast doubts on Black’s strategy was by continuing 15.h5!, since 15...g5 would transform the g7-

bishop into something altogether unutterable. Therefore I would have been forced to allow a weakening of my kingside

pawns and to open the h-file for White. But even in this case after 15...Qg5 16.hg6 f5!? Black’s prospects are by no

means worse. Now, however, his position is simply preferable.

15...h5 16.Bxc8 Raxc8 17.Qe2 Bh6

According to Gulko, this bishop ‘does not attack anything and does not participate in any activity’. In fact it is

controlling the c1-square – a staging post for the concentration of heavy pieces on the c-file, the control of which

bewitched me.

18.Na5 Rb8 19.0-0

19...Rfc8?

My main mistake in this game was my routine approach. The plan of concentrating the rooks on the c-file is

unpromising. Here Boris was absolutely right – I should have immediately begun play on the kingside, which has been

abandoned by the entire white army: 19...Qe7, then Nc7-e8-g7 and f7-f5 followed possibly by f5-f4, g6-g5 and so on.

After the disappearance of both white bishops, the advanced position of the infantrymen, called on to defend their king,

is simply bad. This plan looks so tempting, that I am still surprised at how timid I was then. It is interesting that Gulko,

while pointing out the correct plan for Black, comes to an incorrect conclusion about White having the advantage.

While I was marking time, Petrosian gave me an object-lesson on the theme that time in chess, as in life, is

irreversible. His genius was revealed in the fact that he avoided the ‘mined’ square c1 (a2-a4, b2-b3, Ra1-a2-c2, Rf1-

b1-b2) and succeeded in setting up a decisive bind on the queenside. Such a plan was hard to find and highly instructive.

‘Iron Tigran’ simply reduced the board to seven ranks, after which it transpired that my bishop was indeed firing into

empty space.

20.a4 Qd8 21.Nc4 Ne8 22.Ra2 Qc7

Here and over the next few moves, although with a loss of time, I should have played my knight to g7 and rook to

f8 for the preparation of f7-f5, since waiting play does not promise Black anything. But, unfortunately, I reverted to the

correct plan only when it was too late.

23.b3 Qd7 24.Kg2 Rc5 25.Rb1 Rcc8 26.Rc2 Nc7 27.Rbb2 Rf8 28.b4 Ne8 29.a5 Ng7

30.a6! ba6

30...b6 was also inadequate: 31.Na3 f5 32.Ncb5 f4 33.Rb3.

31.Na5 f5 32.Nc6 Rbe8 33.Nb1 Kh7 34.Rb3 fe4 35.Qxe4 Rf5 36.Ra3 Qb7 37.Nc3 Ref8 38.Qc4

Vacating the central point for the knight.

38...Rf3 39.Rxa6 Be3

An attempt to confuse matters, to which Tigran simply does not pay any attention.

40.Ne4 Bh6 41.Rxa7 Qb6 Black resigned.

USSR 1975

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be2 e5 7.d5 Nbd7

Along with 7....a5, for a long time this was considered the main way of developing. In recent times 7...Na6 has also

been added.

8.0-0

White adheres to classical development principles: after taking up position on the kingside, he intends to attack on

the queenside.

8...Nc5 9.Qc2 a5 10.Bg5

The most active move. The 10.Nd2 manoeuvre, with the aim of exchanging the knight on c5, went out of use after

Geller’s recommendation 10...Bh6! – White cannot avoid the exchange of the dark-square bishops, and 11.Nb3 Bxc1

12.Raxc1 Nfd7 13.Nd2 f5 gives Black excellent counterplay.

10...h6 11.Be3

11.Bh4 g5 12.Bg3 Nh5 leads to a position from the Petrosian Variation, but in a situation more favourable for

Black, since White’s queen is not controlling the h5-square.

11...Nh5

The pawn structure demands f7-f5 of Black, and this move is fully in the spirit of the position. However, the knight

can also be used for countering the bishop on e3 – 11...Ng4, not fearing 12.Bxc5 dc5 13.h3 Nf6 14.Nxe5 in view of

14...Nxd5 15.cd5 Bxe5 16.f4 Bd4+ 17.Kh2 g5 18.e5 gf4 19.Qe4 Qe7 20.e6 fe6 21.Bc4 Bd7 22.Ne2 b5!, when Black

maintains the balance (Ruban-Oll, USSR 1984).

With the same ideas, first 11...b6 is more often played, waiting for 12.Nd2, and here 12...Bg4 is possible with the

idea after 13.f3 Bd7 of provoking a further weakening of the kingside by Nf6-h5, or else 12...Ng4, forcing the

exchange of the light-square bishop.

12.g3

If 12.Qd2 Black can sacrifice a pawn by 12...Nf4!? 13.Bxf4 ef4 14.Qxf4 f5, advantageously opening the position.

12...b6

For the moment 12...f5? does not work because of 13.Nh4, and Black loses material: 13...Nf4 14.Bxf4 ef4

15.Nxg6. The continuation 12...Bh3 13.Rfe1 b6 14.Nd2 leads to a transposition of moves.

13.Nd2 Bh3 14.Rfe1 Qd7

14...f5 is also possible, since Black is not in danger of conceding the e4-square: 15.ef5 Bxf5 16.Nde4 Nxe4

17.Nxe4 Nf6 etc.

15.b3

After the exchange of both bishops – 15.Bxh5 gh5 16.Bxc5 bc5 17.Nf3 f5 Black’s control of the light squares fully

compensates for his pawn weaknesses. But perhaps White did not have anything better?

15...Rae8 16.a3 f5

17.f3

The battle has entered the decisive phase, and White is forced to admit that Black has taken the initiative, since

after the exchange of the pawn centre for a piece centre – 17.ef5 Bxf5 18.Nde4 Nxe4 19.Nxe4 he has to reckon with

19...Nf4!.

It would also be rash to part with the dark-square bishop: 17.Bxc5 bc5, and if 18.ef5 Black has the reply 18...e4!

with an attractive mate after 19.fg6? Rxf2! 20.Kxf2 Bd4 mate!

17...f4

The consequence of this opening of the game cannot be predicted without a thorough analysis, especially since

Black is having to battle on both wings.

18.Bf2 fg3 19.hg3 Qe7

19...Qd8!? was essential, leaving the knight the option of retreating to d7.

20.Kh2 Bc8 21.Nb5

If 21.b4 there is the retreat 21...Nd7.

21...g5?!

An impulsive move. It was not so difficult to find 21...Qd7 22.Bf1 a4!, and now after the best 23.ba4 (after 23.b4

Nb3 24.Nxb3 Rxf3 White’s position collapses) the move 23...g5 gains in strength.

22.b4 Nb7 23.Kg2 g4?

In the heat of the battle I found it hard to drag my attention away from the g-pawn. 23...Rf7 looks more

circumspect.

24.fg4 Nf6 25.Qd1 Qf7

Black should have gone the whole hog – 25...h5! 26.gh5 Bh6 27.Bf3 Qg7, when his piece pressure on the kingside

compensates for the lost pawns. Now White could have blocked it, but fate decreed otherwise...

26.Bg1?

A strange decision, to put it mildly. White shuts his bishop out of the game, instead of placing it on the vitally

important c1-h6 diagonal. 26.Be3 Qg6 27.g5! was significantly stronger, and if 27...Nxe4, then after 28.Bd3 Bf5

29.g4! he has a serious advantage. Black could play differently – 27...hg5, but after 28.Nxc7 White’s position is quite

tenable. Now events quickly unfold to Black’s advantage.

26...h5! 27.gh5 Qd7 28.g4 Nxh5!

No sooner has White got ready to oppose the black pieces, when he receives a blow on the same critical h5-square.

29.Na7

White tries to destroy the queen + bishop battery, but it is already too late.

29...Nf4+ 30.Kg3

No better is 30.Kh1 Qe7 31.Nxc8 Qh4+ 32.Bh2 Nh3 with decisive threats.

30...Bf6!

With the intention of ‘luring out’ the king – 31...Bh4+!.

31.Bf1 Qh7 32.Nf3 Bxg4! 33.Kxg4 Qg6+ White resigned.

Tbilisi 1985

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Be2 0-0 6.Nf3 e5 7.d5 Na6 8.0-0

The attempt to switch to the Petrosian Variation with 8.Bg5 is usually parried by the counterattack 8...h6 9.Bh4 g5

10.Bg3 Nh5 11.h4 Nxg3 (or 11...g4 12.Nh2 Nxg3 13.fg3 h5) 12.fg3 gh4 13.Nxh4 Qg5 with a perfectly good game for

Black.

If 8.Be3 there can follow 8...Ng4 9.Bg5 f6 10.Bh4 Nh6 11.Nd2 Qe8 12.g4 f5 or 12...c5!? with complicated play.

8...Nc5 9.Qc2 a5 10.Bg5 h6 11.Be3 b6

Before playing Nf6-h5, Black makes a useful waiting move, and since White has nothing better than the move in

the game, he is able to provoke a weakening of White’s kingside.

12.Nd2

After 12.Ne1 the knight does not control the e4-square, and f7-f5 becomes more effective: 12...Ne8 13.Nd3 f5

14.Nxc5 dc5!?, and after playing his knight to d6 Black has a good game.

12...Bg4

12...Ng4 forces the exchange of the light-square bishop by 13.Bxg4 Bxg4, but then in preparing f7-f5 Black has to

decide what to do with his bishop on g4.

13.f3

If 13.Qd1 Black can reply 13...h5 14.h3 Bd7 followed by a standard manoeuvre in this type of position: Nf6-h7

and Bg7-f6-g5 with the exchange of the dark-square bishops.

13...Bd7 14.Rfe1

White prepares for Black’s counterplay – Nf6-h5 and f7-f5. The attempt to prevent it with 14.g4 can be met by

14...h5 15.h3 Nh7! with the idea of exchanging the dark-square bishops after Bg7-f6-g5, giving equal chances.

In recent times the main continuation has become 14.b3.

14...Nh5 15.g3 f5 16.ef5 gf5 17.f4

White’s last two moves are a standard way of countering f7-f5.

17...Qe8?!

Black carries out his plan too straightforwardly, failing to take account of White’s counterplay (note his possible

21st move). The consolidating 17...Nf6!? came into consideration, not fearing the doubling of the pawns after 18.fe5

de5 19.Bxc5 bc5, since it is not so easy to get at the c5-pawn, while the g7-bishop, in the absence of its opposite

number, gives Black quite good counterplay. Here is a possible continuation: 20.Nb3 Qe7 21.Bf3 e4 22.Qf2 (weak is

22.a4?! c6! 23.Rad1 cd5 24.cd5 c4 25.Nd4 Qc5 with advantage to Black) 22...Ng4!? 23.Bxg4 fg4 24.Rxe4 (not

24.Qe3? a4 25.Nxc5 Rf3) 24...Rxf2 25.Rxe7 Rxb2 26.Nd1 (26.Rxd7?! Bxc3 27.Rd1 Re8 favours Black) 26...Rc2

27.Ne3 Re2, and Black retains defensive resources in the endgame.

18.fe5 de5 19.Bxc5 bc5 20.Nb3 f4 21.Qd1?!

A careless move, after which Black’s counterplay is revealed in all its colours, whereas after 21.Ne4! a quite

different life would have awaited him.

21...Nf6! 22.Bd3

If 22.Nxc5 I was intending 22...fg3 23.hg3 Qg6 24.Qd3 (not 24.Kg2 Ng4) 24...Bf5 25.Qe3 Rae8 with sufficient

compensation for the pawn. For example, if 26.Bd3?!, then 26...e4 is possible, and 27.Bxe4? is bad because of

27...Nxe4 28.N3xe4 Re5, when White cannot escape from the pin.

22...Ng4!

‘I’m coming to get you!’ 22...fg3 23.hg3 Qe7 24.Qe2 a4 25.Nd2 Rab8 was a more modest continuation.

23.Ne4

At last the knight occupies its ‘lawful’ place, but it is already too late. If 23.gf4 there would have followed 23...Qh5

24.Qe2 ef4. Now the march of the c-pawn is decisive.

23...Qh5 24.Re2

White is forced to give up the exchange, since the consequences of 24.Qd2 f3 25.Rf1 f2+ are even worse.

24...f3 25.Rf2 Nxf2 26.Nxf2 e4!

26...Ba4!? 27.Qe1 Bxb3 28.ab3 Rf7 looks more subtle, and now if 29.Rxa5? Black wins by 29...Rxa5 30.Qxa5 e4

31.Bxe4 Bd4. However, after 29.Be4! things are not so clear.

27.Bxe4 Ba4 28.d6 c6 29.Qd2 Bxb3 30.ab3 Bd4! 31.Bxc6

The threat of Qh5-h3 could have been parried by 31.Kh1, but then Black would have continued the attack with

31...Rae8 32.d7 Re7 33.Rf1 Rxd7 34.Bxc6 Rg7.

31...Qh3 32.Bd5+ Rf7!

Emphasising the hopelessness of White’s position.

33.Bxf3 Rxf3 34.Qxd4 Rxg3+ 35.hg3 Qxg3+ 36.Kh1 Qf3+ White resigned.

Belgrade 1988

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.d4 g6 3.c4 Bg7 4.Nc3 0-0 5.e4 d6 6.Be2 e5 7.d5 Nbd7 8.Bg5

The Petrosian Variation, with which White forestalls Black’s counterplay on the kingside and prepares the

manoeuvre Nf3-d2 for an attack on the queenside.

8...h6 9.Bh4 g5

This radical way of countering the pin on the f6-knight leads to a weakening of the king’s defences. 9...Re8 10.0-0

Nf8 is also possible with the idea of 11.Ne1 g5 12.Bg3 Ng6, but after 13.Nc2 White’s chances are nevertheless

preferable.

10.Bg3 Nh5

11.h4

Only in this way can White retain the initiative. In the event of 11.0-0 Nf4 12.Ne1 it evaporates. Stein-Gufeld (28th

USSR Championship, Moscow 1961) continued 12...Nf6 13.Nc2 Kh8 14.h3 Nxe2+ 15.Qxe2 g4 16.Bh4 gh3 17.g3

Qd7 18.f3 Ng8 19.g4 Ne7 20.Qh2 Ng6 21.Qxh3 Nxh4 22.Qxh4 Qd8 23.Qh5 Qf6 24.Ne3 Qg6 25.Qh3 f5 with equal

chances.

The problem of the f5-square can also be solved by 12...Nxe2+ 13.Qxe2 f5 14.ef5 Nf6 15.Nf3 Bxf5 with equality

(Wexler-Fischer, Mar del Plata 1960).

11...g4

The exchange 11...Nxg3 12.fg3 g4 transposes, whereas 12...gh4 13.Nxh4 Qg5 14.Bg4! concedes the f5-point to

White, which gives him the advantage.

12.Nh2

Also possible is 12.Nd2 f5 13.ef5 Ndf6 14.Bxg4 Nxg3 15.fg3 Nxg4 16.Qxg4 Bxf5 17.Qe2 e4 18.0-0 Qd7 19.Qe3

c5 20.dc6 bc6 21.Nb3 c5 22.Rad1 Qe6 23.Nd5 with somewhat the better chances for White (Hort-Vogt, Leipzig 1973).

12...Nxg3

The alternative is 12...f5 13.ef5 Nc5 14.0-0 Bxf5 15.Nxg4 (if 15.Bxg4 there can follow 15...Nxg3 16.fg3 Bd3!

with double-edged play) 15...Nxg3 16.fg3 e4 17.Qd2 Bxg4 18.Bxg4, when White retains somewhat the better chances

(Bukic-Gligoric, Budva 1967).

13.fg3 h5 14.0-0

A complicated position, in which theory gives some preference to White, in particular in view of the weakness of

the f5-point, since Black has to reckon with the possible knight manoeuvre Nh2-f1-e3-f5.

14...Bh6

Black activates his bishop, vacating the g7-square for his knight, from where it will cover the weak f5-point. It

should be mentioned that before our game this manoeuvre had already been employed for two decades.

The Encyclopaedia recommendation 14...a5 15.Bd3 (if 15.Rf5, then 15...Nf6 is possible) 15...Nc5 16.Qe2 is

advantageous to White. He transfers his knight via f1 to e3, and his control of f5 guarantees him a slight but enduring

advantage.

The attempt to cut the Gordian knot by 14...f5 does not give equality. An example is provided by Kramnik-

Kasparov (Linares 1994), which is examined in the second part of the book.

15.Bxg4

By sacrificing a piece White is not taking any particular risk, but also as a defensive resource Black gains the

opportunity to return it at an appropriate moment.

Positional strategy looks more solid: 15.Bd3 Nc5 16.Bc2 a5 17.Qe2 f6 18.Rf2, and the threat of transferring the

knight from h2 to e3 gives White the better chances (Hort-Janosevic, Wijk aan Zee 1970).

15...hg4 16.Nxg4 Bg7 17.Ne3

The source game Heyns-Bouaziz (Olympiad, Lugano 1968) continued 17.Qf3 f5 18.ef5 Nc5? (18...Nf6 was more

circumspect), and here 19.f6! Bxg4 20.Qxg4 Rxf6 21.b4 Nd7 22.Ne4 would have tipped the scales in White’s favour.

17...c6 18.Nf5 Nf6 19.g4

19...cd5?

This intermediate exchange is parried by an intermediate move! Black should have completed his development

with 19...Bd7, not fearing 20.g5 Nh7, when his position is not easy to breach.

20.g5! Nxe4 21.Nxd5

With the appearance of the knight on d5, the defensive problems have become more difficult.

21...Bxf5 22.Rxf5 Rc8!?

The rook urgently rushes to assist (23.Qg4? Rxc4). After the passive 22...f6 23.Qg4 Black might not be able to hold

on.

23.Qe2!

This brilliant combination of attack and prophylaxis is tactically based on the inadequate covering of the black

king. Black is forced to return the piece. After more ‘grounded’ moves Black would have had a defence: 23.Qd3 Nc5

24.Qg3 Ne4 or 23.b3 Rc5, intending to eliminate the knight on d5.

23...Ng3 24.Qg4 Rxc4

If 24...Nxf5 White wins by 25.Nf6+! Kh8 (or 25...Bxf6 26.gf6+ Kh8 27.Qxf5) 26.Qxf5 Bxf6 27.gf6 Qb6+

28.Kh1 Qe3 (28...Rfd8 loses to 29.Qg5!) 29.Qh5+ Kg8 30.Qg4+.

25.Qxg3

After 25.Qxc4? Nxf5 26.Qg4 Ne7! Black would have remained a piece up. But with the white queen diverted from

the h5-square, he is amazingly able to hold on.

25...Rd4 26.Nf6+ Kh8

By this point the two players were in serious time-trouble.

27.Raf1 Qb6 28.Nd7! Rg4+ 29.Nxb6 Rxg3 30.Nd7 Rc8 31.Rxf7?!

With his flag about to fall, White captures everything going. After 31.Kh2! Black would have remained a pawn

down in a far more difficult situation. Now, however, the activity of his rooks increases significantly.

31...Rg4 32.Nf6 Rxh4 33.Rxb7 a5 34.g3 Rb4 35.Ra7 Rxb2 36.Rf2

White cannot allow the doubling of rooks on the second rank, but now a drawn rook endgame is reached.

36...Rxf2 37.Kxf2 Bxf6 38.gf6 Rf8 39.Rxa5 Rxf6+ 40.Ke3 Kg7 41.a4 Kg6 42.Ke4 Rf1!

The rook must be active.

43.Rd5 Re1+ 44.Kf3 Kf5 45.Rxd6 Rf1+ 46.Kg2 Ra1 47.Ra6 Ra2+ Draw.

USSR 1981

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be2 e5 7.d5 a5

This move hinders White’s play on the queenside.

8.0-0

In modern practice a different move order is preferred: 8.Bg5 h6 9.Bh4 Na6, and now 10.Nd2 Qe8 11.0-0 Nh7

leads to a position from the game, which White can avoid by the exchange 11.Bxf6 Bxf6 12.Bg4 Bxg4 13.Qxg4. After

10.Nd2 the activation of the dark-square bishop comes into consideration – 10...h5 11.0-0 Bh6. Now in the event of

12.f3 Be3+ 13.Kh1 g5 14.Bf2 Bxf2 15.Rxf2 h4 16.Nf1 Nc5 Black obtains a promising position.

8...Na6 9.Bg5 h6 10.Bh4 Qe8

The queen moves out of the pin. In the event of the radical 10...g5 11.Bg3 Nh5 the light squares are weakened too

much.

11.Nd2

After 11.Ne1 the knight loses control of the e4-point, which Black can immediately exploit, as shown by

Polugaevsky-Bukic (Skopje 1971): 11...g5 12.Bg3 Nxe4! 13.Nxe4 f5 14.Bh5 Qe7 15.f3 fe4 16.fe4 Rxf1+ 17.Kxf1

Nc5 18.Qe2 g4! 19.Bxg4 Bxg4 20.Qxg4 Qg5, with a draw. Karpov considers this decision to be premature, since after

the queen exchange 21.Qxg5 hg5 22.Nf3 the endgame is slightly preferable for White. However, the quiet 11...Bd7

also looks quite good: 12.Nd3 Nh7 13.f3 h5 14.Bf2 b6 15.a3 Nc5 16.Nxc5 bc5 17.a4 Bh6 18.Nb5 Qd8 with equal

chances (Polugaevsky-Cvitan, Sarajevo 1987).

11...Nh7

A typical idea in this type of position. Since the h5-square is under control, hindering f7-f5 (because of the

exchange e4xf5), the knight moves to a reserve square, clearing the way for the f-pawn.

12.a3 Bd7

The main continuation, after which one of the modern tabiyas of the Classical Variation is reached.

The obvious 12...f5 has not been popular since the game Veingold-Kasparov (USSR 1979): 13.ef5 Bxf513...gf5!?

14.Bh5 Qd7 with the idea of Nh7-f6 has not been tried in practice) 14.g4 Bd7 15.Nde4, and White gained an enduring

advantage thanks to his firm control of the e4-point. But, apparently, all is not clear here, if in an important game

against Kramnik from the final match of the 1995 Grand Prix Tournament in Paris Kasparov again ventured 12...f5.

White chose a different plan: 13.f3 Bd7 14.b4! ab4 15.ab4 Nxb4 16.Qb3 c5 17.dc6 Nxc6 18.c5+ Kh8 19.cd6 Nd4

20.Qxb7 Rb8, and now 21.Qa7! (the game went 21.Qa6?! Rc8 22.Bc4 Rc6, and Black regained the pawn) would have

obliged Black to solve difficult problems.

13.Nb5

In recent times this thrust has occurred comparatively rarely, since it does not promise White anything special: the

knight cannot be maintained in its active position.

The Encyclopaedia considers the main continuation to be 13.b3 h5 (13...f5 14.ef5 gf5 15.Bh5 Qc8 16.Be7 Re8

17.Bxe8 Qxe8 18.Bh4 e4 is also played, when Black has adequate compensation for the exchange) 14.f3 Bh6. One of

the first games on this theme was Petrosian-Stein (Moscow 1967): 15.Bf2 Qe7 16.Qc2 h4 17.Rfd1 f5 18.Rab1 Qg5,

where Black easily maintained the balance. Recently White has preferred to move his king – 15.Kh1, which transposes

into the fashionable continuation 13.Kh1 h5 14.f3 Bh6 15.b3 – the latest word in the modern technique of prophylaxis.

13...h5

A typical idea in the given situation – Black activates his dark-square bishop.

14.f3 Bh6 15.b3

White was apparently afraid of 15.Bf2 Bxd2 16.Qxd2 a4, but after the exchange of the dark-square bishops Black

does not experience any problems.

Illescas-Gelfand (Wijk aan Zee 1993) went 15.Qc2 f5 16.ef5 gf5 17.Kh1 Nf6 18.Rad1 Nxd5 19.Nxd6 cd6 20.cd5

b5?! 21.Nb3!, and White gained the advantage. Illescas thinks that Black could have maintained the balance by

20...Nc5! 21.b3 b5! 22.b4 ab4 23.ab4 Na4 24.Qc7 Ra6.

15...Be3+

Black can also consider 15...f5!? 16.ef5 gf5 17.f4 Nf6! (17...Bxf4?! 18.Bxh5 favours White) 18.Bxf6 Rxf6

19.Bxh5 Qe7, when the activity of his pieces, supported by the advantage of two bishops, fully compensates for the

sacrificed pawn.

16.Bf2

If 16.Kh1 Black could have begun a pawn offensive: 16...g5 17.Bf2 Bxf2 18.Rxf2 f5.

16...Bxf2+ 17.Rxf2 Qe7 18.Rb1 Nf6

After the exchanging operation it is useful to consolidate the position.

19.Nf1 h4 20.Qd2?!

A futile waste of time. 20.b4 was more accurate, not allowing the knight to go to c5.

20...Bxb5 21.cb5 Nc5

22.b4?!

This allows a simple combination, giving Black a slight (half a pawn) material advantage. White should have

restricted himself to 22.Qe3, although after 22...a4 23.b4 Nb3 followed by Nb3-d4 Black’s position is preferable.

22...ab4 23.ab4 Ncxe4!

The knight is not obliged to retreat.

24.fe4 Nxe4 25.Qe3 Nxf2 26.Qxf2 Ra2

After the exchanging operation and the invasion of the second rank with his rook, apart from a slight material

advantage Black has also gained an obvious positional advantage, which subsequently I was able to convert.

7.Be3

Apart from play with a closed centre, in the Classical Variation 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0

6.Be2 e5 White can give the battle a completely different character with 7.Be3.

By saving a tempo on castling, White to some extent neutralises the move 7...Nc6, since now after 8.d5 Ne7 he

succeeds in carrying out the useful knight manoeuvre 9.Nd2 with his bishop on e3, and in the event of 9...Nd7 10.b4 f5

11.f3 Nf6 12.c5 Rf7 13.Nc4 he makes progress in the development of his initiative.

However, the presence of the bishop on e3 nevertheless allows Black to play Nb8-c6 after first driving away the

bishop – 7...Ng4 8.Bg5 f6 9.Bh4, although after the retreat 9.Bc1 it is more difficult to do this. Therefore in recent

times the knight thrust has been carried out after the preparatory 7...h6 (preventing a possible Be3-g5) 8.0-0 Ng4. The

plan of preparing d6-d5 also occurs, which is possible after 7...ed4 or 7...c6.

In my youth, when I was studying various paths in the King’s Indian Defence, I liked the solid move 7...Qe7,

which is still topical today.

Tbilisi 1967

1.c4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.d4 Bg7 4.Nc3 0-0 5.e4 d6 6.Be2 e5 7.Be3 Qe7

At that time I already had my opinion about the development of the queen on e7, which I considered best in semi-

open positions. Black intends to capture on d4 and he forces White to resolve the pawn tension in the centre.

8.0-0

My friend’s creative spirit prevails over dry pragmatism, and he sacrifices a pawn. Stein had a sceptical regard for

the closing of the centre by 8.d5, since 8...Ng4 merely gains in strength: 9.Bg5 f6 10.Bh4 h5!? 11.Nd2 Nh6 12.f3 Nd7

13.b4 Nf7 14.Nb3 Bh6!, and Black achieved a good game (Tukmakov-Stein, 39th USSR Championship, Leningrad

1971). Of more modern examples I can give the game Ivanchuk-Ehlvest (55th USSR Championship, Moscow 1988),

where after 10...Nh6 11.Nd2 a5 12.a3 Bd7! 13.b4?! (13.b3 is more circumspect) 13...g5 14.Bg3 f5 15.ef5 (if 15.f3

there would have followed 15...g4 with the idea of Qg5) 15...ab4 16.f6 Bxf6 17.ab4 Rxa1 18.Qxa1 e4! Black seized the

initiative.

Nowadays theory gives preference to the simplifying 8.de5 de5 9.Nd5. For example, the 3rd game of the 1990

Karpov-Kasparov world championship match (New York/Lyons) continued 9...Qd8 10.Bc5 Nxe4 11.Be7 Qd7 12.Bxf8

Kxf8 13.Qc2 (if 13.Qd3, then 13...Nd6! 14.Qa3 Nc6 15.Rd1 Nd4! is good, with double-edged play) 13...Nc5 14.Rd1

Nc6! 15.0-0 Ne6! 16.Nb6 ab6 17.Rxd7 Bxd7 with a small advantage for White.

Even so, the pawn sacrifice is questionable. It is no accident that as yet no one has ventured to repeat it. Possibly,

our game seemed convincing.

8...Nxe4!

In the event of 8...ed4 9.Bxd4 Nxe4 10.Bxg7 Kxg7 11.Nd5 Qd8 12.Qd4+ Nf6 Black has to reckon with the pin,

which is confirmed, for example, by the following variation: 13.Ng5 Nd7 14.Ne4 Re8 15.Bd3 Re5 16.f4 Re8 17.Rae1.

9.Nxe4 ed4 10.Nxd4 Qxe4 11.Nb5

A responsible move, opening the diagonal of the g7-bishop. More interesting was 11.Re1!? Re8 12.Qd2 Qe7

(12...Nc6? is weak because of 13.Bf3) 13.Bf3, and the pressure of the white pieces compensates for the sacrificed

pawn.

11...Na6 12.Bf3

The immediate 12.Nxa7 looks risky not only because of 12...Rxa7!? 13.Bxa7 b6 14.Bf3 (otherwise 14...Qb7)

14...Qxc4 with sufficient compensation for the exchange. Even stronger is 12...Bf5! 13.Bf3 (or 13.Qd2 Qc2!?)

13...Qxc4 14.Bd5 Qd3 15.Bxb7 Bxb2 with advantage to Black.

12...Qxc4 13.Nxa7 Nc5

The simple-minded 13...Bxb2?! 14.Rb1 Be5 15.Nxc8 Raxc8 16.Bd5 Qh4 17.g3 Qh3 18.Bxb7 would have led to an

advantage for White.

14.Nxc8 Raxc8 15.Rc1

15...Qb4

Black plays cautiously, and gradually White compensates for the consequences of his opening romanticism.

15...Qxa2 should have been played, and now 16.b4 Ne6 17.Bxb7 Rb8 18.Bd5 Qa3 or 16.Bxc5 dc5 17.Bxb7 Rcd8

leaves Black with the better chances.

16.b3 Ne6

After 16...Rfe8 17.Rc4 Qa5 18.Bxc5 (not 18.b4? because of 18...Qa6) 18...dc5 19.Bxb7 Rcd8 the appearance of the

notorious opposite-colour bishops would have given the position drawing tendencies.

17.Rc4 Qb5 18.Qd2 Rb8 19.Rb4 Qa6

Of course, not 19...Qa5, since after 20.Rxb7 White simplifies the position. But now he forces a draw by repetition.

20.Ra4 Qb5 21.Rb4 Qa6 22.Ra4 Qb5 23.Rb4 Qa6 Draw.

Jurmala 1978

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be2 e5 7.Be3 Ng4

This reaction to the bishop’s development is considered the most critical.

8.Bg5 f6 9.Bc1 Nc6

This variation became a topic of discussion in the Kamsky-van der Sterren Candidates match (Wijk aan Zee 1994).

10.h3

More critical, of course, is 10.d5 Ne7 11.h3 (in the event of 11.Nd2 Nh6 12.b4 f5 13.f3 Kh8 followed by Nh6-g8,

Bg7-h6 and Qd8-h4 Black obtains adequate counterplay) 11...Nh6 12.h4, and White retains the initiative.

10...ed4

Thanks to this intermediate move, the knight is not obliged to retreat to h6, after which Black has to reckon with

11.g4.

11.Nxd4 Nge5

After the exchange 11...Nxd4 12.hg4 (also after 12.Qxd4 Ne5 13.Qd5+ Kh8 14.Be3 White has a slight spatial

advantage) 12...Nxe2 13.Qxe2 White’s chances are preferable, since now 13...f5 14.gf5 gf5 15.Bh6! exposes the black

king too much.

12.Nxc6

In the event of 12.Be3 the reply 12...f5! is very effective.

12...bc6

After the knight capture 12...Nxc6 13.0-0 f5 14.ef5 Bxf5 15.Be3 White controls the important d5-point and retains

some pressure in the centre.

13.f4 Nd7

After 13...Nf7 Black has to reckon with c4-c5.

14.0-0 Rb8!

An important move in the creation of pressure on the queenside. Black is not afraid of 15.Qa4?! in view of

15...Nc5, when 16.Qxa7? is not possible because of the loss of the queen after 16...Ba6. 16.Qxc6 Bb7 is also

unfavourable for White.

15.Qc2 f5

A timely activation of the King’s Indian bishop, whereas after 15...Nc5 16.Be3 f5 there is the reply 17.e5.

16.ef5 gf5 17.Be3 c5

As a result the c5- and f5-pawns are controlling e4 and d4, and Black only has to concern himself with the d5-point.

18.Rae1

18...Qh4?

A typical positional mistake. It was psychologically difficult to part with my favourite piece, but 18...Bxc3!

19.Qxc3 Qf6, eliminating the main ‘enemy’ in the fight for the d5-point, would have guaranteed Black good play.

19.Bd3 Nf6 20.b3 Nh5?

20...Qh5, not conceding the centre, was better, although after 21.Nb5 Rb7 22.Bf2 White retains an advantage.

21.Nd5 Qd8 22.Bf2 Kh8 23.Qd1

If 23.Qe2?! Nf6 24.Ne7 there is 24...Re8.

23...c6 24.Qxh5 cd5 25.cd5 Qf6

Black’s positional errors have cost him a pawn, but he has managed to activate his queen.

26.Kh2 Bd7 27.Bh4 Qd4

It should be mentioned that the complicated battle had demanded of my opponent a large expenditure not only of

energy, but also of time. By this point he was already in time-trouble and so subsequently he gradually lost his

advantage. However, my play was also not the best.

28.Qf3 Bf6 29.Bxf6+ Qxf6 30.Qd1 a5 31.Qa1 Qxa1 32.Rxa1 a4?!

This move should have been delayed until better times and 32...Kg7 preferred.

33.Bc4 Kg7 34.Rfe1 Kf6

35.Re3?!

In time-trouble White misses the opportunity for 35.ba4! Rb4 36.Bb5!, when the rook ending is obviously in his

favour. But now, after the exchange of a pair of rooks, things are much easier for Black.

35...Rfe8 36.Rae1 Rxe3 37.Rxe3 a3

Excessively optimistic. With a material deficit in the endgame, it was most logical to reduce the material by the

exchange 37...ab3.

38.Kg3 Rg8+ 39.Kf2 h5?!

39...h6 was more accurate, not creating any unnecessary weaknesses.

40.Rg3 Rxg3?

A mistake on the last move before the time control. After 40...Rh8 it is not easy to breach Black’s position.

41.Kxg3 Be8 42.Kf2 h4 43.Ke3 Ke7 44.Kd2 Kd8 45.Kc3 Kc7 46.b4 Kb6 47.Kb3 cb4 48.Kxb4 Bd7 49.Be2?!

Fighting against ghosts. White did not have to fear 49.Kxa3 Kc5 50.Kb3 Kd4 in view of 51.Kb4 followed by Bc4-

b3 and a2-a4.

49...Bc8 50.Bf3?

My opponent still does not see the manoeuvre given above and he misses his chance. He should have repeated the

position – 50.Bc4.

50...Ba6! 51.Kxa3 Kc5 52.Kb2 Kd4

In this situation, compared with the missed opportunity on the 49th move, White’s bishop is much more passively

placed and it is unable to help his passed pawn.

53.a4 Ke3 54.Kc3 Kxf4 55.Kb4 Kg3 56.Ka5 Bf1

Black forcibly transposes into a drawn queen endgame.

57.Kb6 Bxg2 58.Bxg2 Kxg2 59.a5 f4 60.a6 f3 61.a7 f2 62.a8=Q f1=Q 63.Qg8+ Kh2 64.Qe6 Qxh3 65.Qxd6+

Qg3 66.Qc5 Draw.

AVERBAKH VARIATION

The system of development 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Be2 0-0 6.Bg5 bears the name of Yuri

Averbakh, who was the first to employ it in 1954. The basic aim of developing the bishops in this order is to hinder

Black’s counterplay involving e7-e5 and f7-f5.

A slight digression. As an ‘honoured King’s Indian player’ I have to admit that there are creator variations and

destroyer variations. Among the latter is the Averbakh Variation, in which White aims to suppress Black’s initiative,

acting in accordance with the saying: ‘I don’t want it, but you can’t have it’. Black has no obvious weaknesses, nor any

active play. But such a method of play is suitable only for the ‘demolishing’ of inexperienced King’s Indian players.

The most active plans for Black involve 6...c5, where after 7.d5 e6 followed by the exchange on d5 (8.de6 Bxe6

9.Nf3 Nc6 10.0-0 Nd4! with the idea of 11.Nxd4?! cd4 12.Qxd4 Nxe4! is unfavourable for White) the play is similar

to that in the Modern Benoni.

But usually Black first drives away the bishop – 6...h6 7.Be3 c5.

By the will of Providence my first examiner in the Averbakh Variation was Lev Polugaevsky, one of the greatest

experts on the King’s Indian Defence.

34th USSR Championship

Tbilisi 1966/67

One of the main continuations: Black immediately attacks the centre.

In my games with Polugaevsky I also tried the plan with e7-e5: 6...Nbd7 7.Qd2 e5. And although the

Encyclopaedia considers it to be perfectly safe, from my own experience I know how difficult it is playing under the

pin of the bishop on g5. Polugaevsky-Gufeld (37th USSR Championship, Moscow 1969) continued 8.Nf3 c6 9.Rd1!

Qb6 (it is simpler to adopt the generally-accepted set-up: 9...ed4 10.Nxd4 Re8 11.f3 a5 12.0-0 a4 13.Rfe1 Qa5 etc.)

10.0-0 Re8 (here too 10...ed should have been played, since now White closes the centre, after which the queen on b6

and rook on e8 are out of play) 11.d5 cd5 12.cd5 Nc5 13.Qc2 Bd7 (13...Bg4!? was stronger) 14.Nd2 Rec8?! (and here

14...h6 15.Be3 Ng4 was stronger) 15.Qb1 h6 16.Be3 Qd8 17.Rc1 Ng4? (17...Ne8 was correct) 18.Bxg4 Bxg4 19.Nc4,

and White had an obvious positional advantage.

7.d5

A more critical move than 7.dc5.

7...e6

This undermining of the centre is conceptual in character: since White has delayed castling, it is useful to open the

e-file. However, the experience of this type of position indicates that Black encounters problems. Therefore it was later

established that e7-e6 is more logical after the preparatory 7...h6, clarifying the position of the bishop. For those who

like sharp play one can suggest the gambit line 7...b5 8.cb5 a6 9.a4 Qa5 10.Bd2, where Black is balancing on a knife-

edge.

8.Qd2

White supports the position of his bishop on g5.

8...ed5 9.ed5 Re8 10.Nf3 Bg4 11.0-0 Nbd7 12.h3 Bxf3 13.Bxf3 a6

In Polugaevsky-Gligoric (Skopje 1968) 13...Qb6 was played, but after 14.Qc2 a6 15.Bd2 Re7 16.Rae1 Rxe1

17.Rxe1 Re8 18.Rf1 Qd8 the queen was forced to return, and by 19.a4 White gained a small but enduring advantage.

14.a4 Qc7

If 14...Qa5 there can follow 15.Qc2 Re7 16.Bd2 Qc7 17.Rae1, and White’s position is preferable.

15.Qc2

A more natural position for the queen. In this type of position there is always a question over the advisability of

15.a5. This move has not only pluses (the weakness of the b6-point), but also minuses (the weakness of the a5-pawn

and the possibility at an appropriate moment of opening the b-file by b7-b6). Who can best deal with this is a thorny

question. In this respect the game Kaidanov-Kamsky (USA Championship 1993) is of interest: 15.a5 h5 16.Qc2 Nh7

17.Bd2 h4?! 18.Be2 Bd4 19.Kh2 Rab8 20.Ra3, and White achieved the better game.

15...Re7

15...h5!? 16.Rae1 Rxe1 17.Rxe1 Re8 came into consideration, maintaining equality.

16.Rae1 Rae8 17.Rxe7 Rxe7

It has to be said that playing such positions is psychologically unpleasant. Despite the exchange of rooks, Black has

not equalised, since in White’s position there are no targets for creating counterplay (thus, for the moment the natural

advance b7-b5 remains only a dream). And at the same time White has resources for developing his initiative, which

Polugaevsky skilfully exploits.

18.Be2

18.b3 Re8 19.Bd1, preparing the advance of the f-pawn, was also interesting.

18...h6 19.Bd2 Ne8 20.g4!

Having restricted Black on the queenside, White begins an offensive on the kingside.

20...Ndf6 21.f4 Qd7 22.Qd3 b6 23.Qf3 Qb7

Black is preparing b6-b5, and therefore it is useful to keep the d5-pawn under control.

24.Bd3 Nc7

A typical breakthrough for such a pawn structure, expanding the scope of the dark-square bishop.

26...b5 27.cb5?!

Up to here White has forcefully carried out his plan, but here he loses the thread. His attack could have been

continued with 27.fg6 bc4 28.Bxg5!. Now, however, his pawn centre collapses, and Black gains powerful counterplay.

27...c4! 28.Bb1

In the tempo play White does not want to lose his influence on the b1-h7 diagonal.

28...Ncxd5 29.fg6 ab5 30.Nxb5 Qb6+ 31.Qf2 Re2!

The roles have been reversed, and after the invasion of the rook the initiative has passed to Black. Now it becomes

apparent that the conceding of the centre by 27.cb was incorrect.

32.gf7+ Kf8 33.Qxb6 Nxb6 34.Bc3?

Suddenly finding himself in the role of defender, and also seriously short of time, Polugaevsky becomes rattled. In

time-trouble, if there are no obvious counter-arguments, it is worth grabbing material – in this case the g5-pawn. Now it

is destined to play an important role in the attack.

34...Nbd5! 35.Bd4 Nf4

Even the absence of the queens does not save the white king from threats.

36.Nxd6 N6h5 37.Bc5?

Both flags could have fallen at any moment, and Polugaevsky overlooks a mate. It was essential to bring up

reserves to the defence: 37.Bxg7+ Kxg7 38.Bf5.

37...Rg2+

I still regret that I did not give another mate: 37...Nxh3+! 38.Kh1 Ng3.

38.Kh1 Ng3 mate!

At that time in cinematography the method of filming with a ‘hidden camera’ was very fashionable. Naturally, we

did not suspect that our game was being filmed from behind the stage on which we were playing. Later this episode

found its way into a documentary film on chess with a screenplay by Mikhail Beilin. A unique picture was obtained: at

that moment Polugaevsky’s hair literally stood on end!

33rd USSR Championship

Tallinn 1965

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 d6 4.Nc3 g6 5.e4 Bg7 6.Be2 0-0 7.Bg5 e6 8.Qd2 ed5 9.ed5

One of the transformations of modern chameleon openings. A game from the Modern Benoni (the position after

9.cd pertains to it) has transposed into a position from the Averbakh Variation of the King’s Indian Defence.

9...Qb6

The queen moves out of the pin and attacks the b2-pawn. 9...Re8 is considered the main continuation.

10.Nf3

As became known after the game Borisenko-Boleslavsky (Moscow 1956), after 10.0-0-0 Re8 11.Bd3 a6 12.h3 Qa5

13.Nf3 b5 Black has excellent play.

10...Bf5

10...Bg4 11.0-0 Nbd7 is considered safer, although even here after 12.Rac1 Rae8 13.h3 Bf5 14.Rfe1 White’s

chances are preferable.

11.Nh4!

White prepares to meet the knight advance in the proper way. After the slow 11.0-0 Ne4 12.Nxe4 Bxe4 13.Rae1!

Nd7! Black successfully completes his development, since the attempt to trap his bishop – 14.Nh4 does not work in

view of 14...Qxb2 15.Qf4 Qe5.

11...Ne4?!

This leads almost by force to a difficult endgame; 11...Bg4 is safer.

12.Nxe4 Bxe4 13.f3!

The drawbacks to 13.0-0-0 were disclosed by Tal: 13...Na6 14.f3 Nb4!.

13...Qxb2 14.Rc1 h6

Otherwise the bishop would have had to retreat to f5, after which its exchange would have led to broken pawns on

the kingside.

15.Bxh6 Qxd2+ 16.Bxd2 Bf6 17.g3

This is stronger than 17.fe4 Bxh4+ 18.g3 Bf6.

17...g5

Boleslavsky-Bandelo (Minsk 1970/71) went 17...Bxh4 18.gh4 Bf5 19.Bf4 with the significant advantage of the two

bishops.

18.fe4 gh4 19.Bf4

19...Nd7!?

By this pawn sacrifice Black eliminates the advantage of the two bishops and activates his knight.

20.Bxd6 Rfe8 21.Bd3 Be5 22.Bxe5 Nxe5 23.Ke2 hg3 24.Rcg1 Rad8 25.Rxg3+ Kf8 26.Rb1 b6 27.h4 Rd6 28.h5

Rh6 29.Rg5

29.Rh1 was more accurate, not fearing 29...f5 30.Rh4 Nxd3 31.Rxd3 Rxe4+ 32.Rxe4 fe4 33.Rh3, when White has

two passed pawns.

29...f6 30.Rf5?!

White should have played 30.Rf1! and if 30...Nf7 – 31.Rg6.

30...Nf7 31.Rbf1 Ke7

32.Ke3

Here White had an interesting opportunity to sharpen the play by an exchange sacrifice: 32.e5!? Nxe5 33.Rxe5+

fe5 34.Bg6. However, by playing 34...Rg8 (not 34...Rf8? because of 35.d6+), Black returns the exchange and

transposes into a drawn rook endgame.

32...Nd6 33.R5f4 Rg8 34.Be2 Rg3+ 35.Kf2 Ra3 36.Rg1 Rxa2 37.e5 fe5 38.Rg7+ Ke8 39.Rg8+ Ke7 Draw.

USSR Spartakiad

Moscow 1983

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Be2 0-0 6.Bg5 c5 7.d5 h6

By driving away the bishop, Black forces White to decide on its position. The slight drawback to 7...h6 – a certain

weakening of his kingside – is not so significant.

8.Be3

If the bishop retreats 8.Bh4 it does not take part in play on the queenside, and after 8...a6 9.a4 Qa5 the e4-pawn

becomes more vulnerable. 10.Qd2?! suggests itself, but in Kristinsson-F.Olafsson (Reykjavik 1966) there followed

10...Nbd7 11.Nf3, and Black destroyed the white fortifications using a well-known method: 11...b5! 12.cb5 ab5

13.Bxb5 Nxe4! 14.Nxe4 Qxb5!. The immediate 10...b5!? 11.cb5 ab5 12.Bxb5 Qb4! 13.f3 Ba6 is also possible, with

good counterplay for the sacrificed pawn.

The Encyclopaedia recommends 10.Bd3, but here too the e4-pawn is vulnerable, as shown by Mirkovic-Poluljahov

(Yugoslavia 1996): 10...g5 11.Bg3 Nxe4!? 12.Bxe4 Bxc3+ 13.bc3 Qxc3+ 14.Kf1 f5 15.Ne2! Qf6 16.Bc2! f4 17.Ra3

fg3 18.Rf3 Qg7 19.Rxf8+ Kxf8 20.Nxg3 with sharp play.

8...e6 9.h3

Safeguarding the bishop’s post on e3.

9...ed5 10.ed5 Re8

The provocative move 10...Bf5 is examined in Hort-J.Polgar (Munich 1991).

11.Nf3

11.Qd2 Kh7 12.Bd3!? also comes into consideration, preventing the development of the bishop on f5. After 12...a6

13.a4 Nbd7 14.Nf3 Ne5 15.Nxe5 Rxe5 16.0-0 Nh5 17.Rae1 White gained a slight advantage in Beliavsky-Vogt

(Sukhumi 1970). It would also be interesting to test 12...Na6.

In the 3rd game of the Spassky-J.Polgar match (Budapest 1993) after 11.Qd2 Black sacrificed a pawn: 11...a6?

12.Bxh6 Bxh6 13.Qxh6 b5 14.Nf3, and although after 14...Qe7 15.Ng5! Bf5 16.g4! Bd3 17.0-0-0 Bxe2 18.Rhe1 she

regained it, she ended up in an inferior position.

11...Bf5!

It is important to take control of the e4-point.

12.g4

With this energetic move White tries to retain the initiative, since after 12.0-0 Ne4 13.Nxe4 Bxe4 Black would

have equalised. If 12.Qd2 I was intending to play 12...Ne4! 13.Nxe4 Bxe4, and in the event of 14.Bxh6?! Bxh6

15.Qxh6 Bxf3 16.gf3 Black has the better chances.

12...Be4 13.Qd2 Nbd7 14.0-0

14.0-0-0!? also came into consideration.

14...Bxf3!

After 14...h5 15.Ng5 the bishop could have been in danger.

15.Bxf3 h5! 16.g5

If 16.gh5, then 16...Ne5 17.Be2 Nxh5, and 18.Bxh5 is bad in view of 18...Nxc4.

16...Nh7 17.Kh1

17...Bxc3!

One of the most difficult exchanges for me.

18.bc3 Ne5 19.Be2 Qd7 20.Kh2 Qf5

But not 20...Qa4? 21.Qd1.

21.f4

White is obliged to force events in view of the threat of 21...Qe4. 21.f3 will not do – Black doubles rooks on the e-

file and the white bishops, deprived of support, prove helpless.

21...Qe4! 22.Rae1

After 22.fe5 Qxe5+ Black would have captured the ‘fatter’ e3-bishop, or the light-square one in more favourable

circumstances after 23.Bf4 Qxe2+ 24.Rf2 Qxd2 25.Rxd2 Rad8.

22...Nxc4 23.Bxc4 Qxc4 24.Bf2

White’s idea is to build up an attack on the kingside, after opening the f-file by f4-f5. Incidentally, while Lputian

was considering the situation, I went into the press bar for a cup of coffee, where I met a friend of mine, the writer

Alexander Kiknadze. He reproachfully shook his head: what have you done with your knight? So as not to disappoint

him, I began urgently releasing my knight from the enclosure.

24...Nf8 25.Bg3 Rad8

Not 25...Nd7? 26.f5.

26.h4

But now if 26.f5 there follows 26...h4! 27.Bf4 gf5 and Nf8-g6.

26...Nd7 27.f5 Rxe1! 28.Qxe1

Or 28.Rxe1 Ne5!.

28...Ne5 29.fg6 fg6

Not 29...Nxg6 30.Rxf7!

30.Rf6!

The best practical chance.

30...Qxa2+!

After 30...Qxd5 I calculated the variation 31.Bxe5 Qxe5+ 32.Qxe5 de5 33.Rxg6+ Kf7 34.Rh6 Kg7 35.Rxh5 Re8

and realised that it would lead to a draw: 36.Kg3 b5 37.Kf3 a5 38.Ke4 b4 39.cb4 cb4 40.Rh6!.

31.Kg1 Qxd5 32.Qb1! Qd3

Black was short of time for thought. Instead of 32...Qd3 he could have played 32...Rd7. But I did not see that in the

variation 33.Bxe5 Qxe5 34.Qxg6+ Rg7 35.Qxh5 Black could capture the rook – 35...Qxf6. And after 35.Qh6 Qe1+

and 36...Qxh4 things are bad for White.

33.Qxd3 Nxd3 34.Rxg6+ Kf7 35.Rh6

After making this move, in a quiet, conspiratorial voice Smbat offered a draw. I had about a minute and a half for

the moves to the time control, and this diplomatic trick had a kind of paralysing effect on me. I have great respect for

my talented colleague, and I decided that his offer must signify that I was missing something. For about a minute I

searched for this ‘something’, but after failing to find it I glanced at my rising flag and concluded peace. Meanwhile,

natural moves would have led to a simple win: 35...a5 36.Rh7+ (36.Rxh5 b5) 36...Kg8 37.Rxb7 Ra8 38.Bxd6 a4 39.Rb1

a3 40.Ra1 a2 41.Kf1 Ra6 42.Bg3 (42.Be7 Re6) 42...Nc1 etc.

Draw.

USA 1995

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 0-0 5.Be2 d6 6.Bg5 c5 7.d5 h6 8.Bf4

Initially it was thought that, by retreating to f4, White prevents 8...e6, but this is not so: 9.de6 Bxe6 10.Bxd6 Re8

11.Nf3 Qb6 12.Bxb8 (12.e5 is not dangerous: 12...Nfd7 13.Nb5 Nc6 14.Bc7 Qa6, and Black is not worse) 12...Raxb8

13.Qc2 Nh5 14.g3 Bxc3+ (also possible is 14...Bh3 15.Nd2 f5 16.Bxh5 gh5 17.0-0-0 fe4 18.Ndxe4 Bf5! with

complicated play, Piket-van Wely, Wijk aan Zee 1997; 15...Nf6 is safer) 15.Qxc3 (weaker is 15.bc3 Bg4 16.h3 Bxf3

17.Bxf3 Qe6 18.0-0-0 b5! 19.Rhe1 b4! with the better prospects for Black, Yermolinsky-Kindermann, Groningen

1997) 15...Bh3 16.e5 Bg2 17.Rg1 Bxf3 18.Bxf3 Qd6 with equal chances (Tukmakov-Gufeld, Moscow 1983). It

remains to add that 8.Bf4 also does not rule out the following queen sortie.

8...Qa5

The game Tukmakov-Gufeld (USSR 1981) went 8...Qb6 9.Qd2 Kh7 10.h4 e6 11.de6 Bxe6 12.Nf3 (12.h5 can be

met by 12...g5 13.Bxd6 Rd8 with sharp play) 12...Ne8 (12...Nc6 is weaker because of 13.Ng5+! hg5 14.hg5+ Kg8

15.gf6 with advantage to White) 13.0-0 Nc6 14.Rab1 Nf6 15.Nd5 Bxd5 16.ed5 Nd4 17.Nxd4 cd4 18.Bd3 a5 19.b4

Rfd8 20.ba5 Qxa5 21.Qxa5 Rxa5 22.Rxb7, and White had somewhat the better endgame.

9.Bd2 e6 10.Nf3 ed5 11.ed5

For the given variation the play is taking the usual course. The idea of 11.ed is to restrict Black’s possibilities as

much as possible. If Black plays passively, White will develop his pieces and launch a typical attack on the queenside

with a2-a3 and b2-b4. Here he has a spatial advantage, and in many cases the endgame is rather difficult for Black.

If Black tries to build up an attack on the kingside, White sets up the pawn barrier f4, g4, h3, restricting the

mobility of the opponent’s pieces, and at the same time he tries to increase his advantage on the queenside. Sometimes

in these variations White also crosses the demarcation line on the kingside, by preparing f4-f5.

11...Bf5

For those who like to develop their bishop on g4, I can draw their attention to the game Uhlmann-Andersson

(Olympiad, Skopje 1972): 11...a6 12.a4 Qc7 13.0-0 Bg4 14.a5 Nbd7 15.h3 Bxf3 16.Bxf3 Rfe8 17.Qa4 Ne5 18.Be2,

with the initiative for White.

12.Nh4

White’s reaction is fully justified. If he does not respond to the bishop on f5, Black will play Nf6-e4, exchange

knights and gain play on the kingside. But note that the knight on h4 is temporarily out of play.

12...Bd7 13.Qc1 Kh7 14.0-0 Qd8 15.g3 Bh3

Now Black can naturally complete the mobilisation of his forces. The bishop at d7 was depriving the b8-knight of

its only appropriate square, since its development via a6 is unpromising.

16.Re1 Nbd7

Black has solved all his opening problems.

17.Qc2 Re8 18.Bf1 Bxf1 19.Rxf1

The actions that now begin are almost forced. Perhaps 19.Rxe8 and 20.Kxf1 should have been preferred, but if

events had gone badly for White, the commentator would have written that possibly 19.Rxf1 should have been

preferred. It is hard to guess correctly. The position is roughly equal, but at that point it seemed to me to be more

promising for Black.

19...Ne5 20.b3 Qd7

The black queen indicates its desire to penetrate into the enemy camp via the slightly weakened light squares.

21.Kg2

White is forced to enlist his king to parry the opponent’s threats.

21...b5!

A traditional counterblow at a seemingly solidly defended point. It underlines Black’s aggressive ambitions and can

be regarded as a formal declaration of war.

22.cb5

If 22.Nxb5 I was planning 22...Nxd5 23.Rad1 Nc7 with a good position.

22...Qb7.

In order to attack, all the pieces must be brought into play. The only good orchestra is one in which all the

instruments are playing!

23.Kg1.

Back, into safety... Of course, I cannot now regain the sacrificed pawn by 23...Nxd5 because of 24.Qe4.

23...c4

Black is hoping to use the d3-square for his knight. But the main idea is to open the c-file, since, after all, the

queen’s rook is undeveloped. And its ‘request’ to join the battle was heard.

24.Be3 Rac8 25.Rad1 cb3 26.Qxb3 Rc4! 27.Bd4 Rec8

How should this situation be assessed? Operating with variations is pointless. I intuitively sensed that I had full

compensation for the sacrificed pawn.

28.b6

Kaidanov senses that Black’s initiative is becoming dangerous, and he decides to give back the pawn, in order to

change the course of events.

28...ab6 29.Nb5 Qd7 30.f4

General considerations make way for specific calculation. Yes, sometimes a chess game can be divided into parts.

For half of the game, good players (excuse me, that I regard myself as one) rely on understanding. Manoeuvring takes

place, often not demanding deep and accurate calculation. But a moment always arrives, when the course of the battle

begins to dictate something different.

30...Neg4!

A critical moment. There was also the tempting 30...Qh3, but I did not like 31.fe5 de5 and the counter-sacrifice

32.Rxf6! Bxf6 33.Qf3. As yet there are no real grounds for such an aggressive queen sortie.

31.Nf3

The main move that had to be calculated was 31.h3. Note that all retreats of the knight on g4 are cut off. Here it has

crossed the threshold of self-preservation, in order to give the ‘green light’ for an attack by all the black pieces.

The question arises: how to get the best price for the knight? The first thing that comes to mind is 31...Rc2, but here

not everything is clear: 32.hg4 Qxg4 33.Qf3 Qh3 34.Rf2 Ng4 35.Rg2, and Black’s attack comes to a standstill. No

ways of increasing the pressure are apparent. All the pieces are operating to the maximum, but the fly-wheel does not

turn.

Sacrificing the knight by 31...Ne3 is far more effective. Now after 32.Qxe3 Qxb5 Black has a clear positional

advantage. In the event of 32.Bxe3 Qxh3 it would appear that White experiences significant problems. At any event,

after the game Kaidanov confirmed that he did not see any possibility of defending this position. Meanwhile, I was

beginning to concern myself over the fate of the knight.

31...h5

The prospect of the knight manoeuvre Ng4-h6-f5 is an excellent one, but ‘on the other hand’ the need to defend the

king arises: a secure shelter for it has to be chosen. There was another way of relieving concern about the fate of the

knight – 31...Ne4. Why did I reject it? I should remind the reader that in the majority of cases a player holding the

initiative should avoid piece exchanges. And it was this thought that forced me to reject 31...Ne4, although objectively

it was the best move. After 31...Ne4 only White has to think about how to equalise, whereas after 31...h5 this is now a

problem for Black. Especially since the irrational pawn thrust could have led to wild complications.

32.Rfe1 Nh6 33.Ng5+ Kg8

34.Ne6?

This move suggests itself, since the white queen and black king are on the same a2-g8 diagonal, and if it should be

opened, the d5-pawn will become dangerous. And yet, as soon becomes clear, the knight thrust is faulty.

White also had the manoeuvre 34.Bxf6 Bxf6 35.Ne4. But I did not attach particular importance to it, since I had

long since come to the conviction that in most cases a bishop is stronger than a knight, and such exchanges on the part

of the opponent always came as a surprise to me. Meanwhile, this would have led to a quite different picture. After the

bishop retreat 35...Bg7 36.Nbxd6 the knights are now coordinating, and Black has only one way of retaining the

initiative – 36...Rc3! 37.Nxc3 Rxc3. Here White has a choice between 38.Qxb6 and 38.Qb4. Black’s response is

identical – 38...Rc2. Let us see what can happen.

а) 38.Qxb6 Rc2 39.Qb8+ Bf8 (the only move; after 39...Kh7 40.Ne4 Black cannot penetrate to the desired h3-

square) 40.Re8 Qh3, and now there is the following unusual draw: 41.Rxf8+ Kg7 42.Ne8+ Kxf8 43.Qd6+ Kg8 (the

knight on e8 is immune) 44.Nf6+ Kg7 45.Ne8+;

b) 38.Qb4 Rc2 39.Qe4 (after 39.Re8+? Kh7 40.Qe4 Rxa2 41.Nc4 Qh3 Black even wins) 39...Qc7! 40.Qe8+

(40.Ne8 Qc5+ 41.Qe3 Qc4! 42.Nxg7 Ng4! leads to an advantage for Black) 40...Kh7 41.Ne4 Ng4 42.Re2 (or

42.Ng5+ Kh6 43.Nxf7+ Kh7) 42...Qc4! 43.Rde1 Kh6!, and again nothing is clear.

So, let us sum up. 34.Ne6 must be considered a mistake by White. Its origin can be explained. In severe time-

trouble my opponent carried out a pretty incursion. A risk? Yes, but a justifiable one. Kaidanov did not exchange bishop

for knight, believing that one cannot leave Gufeld’s dark-square g7-bishop without an opponent.

34...fe6 35.de6 Qe7 36.Bxf6 Bxf6 37.Nxd6 Rc3! 38.Qb1

38.Nxc8 Qc5+ does not allow White any saving chances.

38...Rc2! 39.Qxb6

Here too 39.Nxc8 Qc5+ would have led to a win for Black.

39...R8c6 40.Qb8+ Kh7 41.f5

White also fails to save the game with 41.Ne4 Rxe6 42.Nxf6+ Qxf6 43.Rd7+ Nf7, or 41.Ne8 Rxe6.

41...gf5 White resigned.

USSR 1981

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Be2 0-0 6.Bg5 c5 7.dc5

Of course, this continuation is less critical than 7.d5.

7...Qa5 8.Bd2

The threat of Nf6xe4 can also be parried by 8.Qd2, but after 8...dc5 the game is equal. Black need not fear 9.e5

Rd8 10.Qe3 Ng4 11.Bxg4 Bxg4 12.h3 Be6 13.Bxe7 Re8 14.Qxc5 Qxc5 15.Bxc5 Nd7, when in Prins-Geller

(Amsterdam 1954) he easily restored material equality.

8.cd6 Nxe4 9.de7 Re8 is advantageous to Black.

8...dc5

Also possible is 8...Qxc5 9.Nf3 Bg4 10.Be3 (also after 10.0-0 Bxf3 11.Bxf3 Nc6 the game is equal) 10...Qa5 11.0-

0 Nc6 with equal chances.

9.e5 Nfd7

It should be mentioned that, in contrast to the variation with the inclusion of 6...h6, the knight does not have the

retreat square h7, but there is also not that weakening of the kingside which calls into question the possibility of the

undermining move f7-f6.

10.f4 Nc6 11.Nf3

11...f6

A typical idea in this type of position. It is important for Black to open the diagonal for the g7-bishop.

12.ef6

White is practically forced into this exchange, since his initiative after 12.e6 is only temporary and it quickly comes

to a standstill: 12...Ndb8 13.Na4 (13.Nd5 Qd8 14.f5 gf5 15.Nf4 Nd4 is advantageous to Black) 13...Qc7 14.Nxc5 b6.

Black regains the pawn in favourable circumstances.

12...Nxf6

12...ef6 is more passive.

13.0-0 Kh8

Ubilava-Gufeld (USSR 1981) continued 13...Bf5 14.Nd5 Qd8 15.Bc3 Qd6 16.Be5 Qd8 17.Nxf6+ ef6 18.Bd6 Re8

19.Bxc5 Qxd1 20.Bxd1 Bd3 21.Rf2 Bxc4 22.Rc1 Draw.

14.Ne5 Nd4

After 14...Bf5 15.Nxc6 bc6 the prospects are unclear.

15.Bd3

It was not bad to exchange the centralised knight immediately: 15.Nb5!? Nxe2+ 16.Qxe2.

15...Bf5 16.Ne2?!

16.Nb5 Qd8 17.Bc3 was necessary.

16...Qd8 17.Bc3

17...Ng4!

Black eliminates White’s only active piece and seizes the initiative.

18.Bxd4 Bxd3! 19.Qxd3 Nxe5 20.fe5 Rxf1+ 21.Rxf1 cd4

The exchanging operation has come to an end, and to maintain equality White has to play accurately.

22.Rf7!

Black’s active play has demanded of White not only great accuracy in the exchange of blows, but it has also denied

him the right to waiting tactics. For example, after the prosaic 22.Qxd4 there would have followed 22...Qc7!, when

Black regains the pawn, obtaining an active bishop. With a rook on the 7th rank one can always expect surprises.

22...Qa5 23.e6 Bf6

Not allowing White additional chances after 23...Qxa2 24.Rxe7 Qa1+ 25.Kf2 Rf8+ 26.Rf7. But White finds

another resource.

24.Nf4!

Accuracy to the end! By creating the threat of a knight sacrifice on g6, White obliges Black to force a draw.

24...Qe1+ 25.Qf1 Qe3+ 26.Qf2

Of course, not 26.Kh1 because of 26...d3.

26...Qc1+ 27.Qf1 Qe3+ 28.Qf2 Draw.

Camaguey 1974

A conceptual move. Before playing c7-c5, Black invites his opponent to decide on the position of his bishop.

7.Be3

After provoking a weakening of the king’s defences, the bishop returns to a natural position.

If 7.Bf4 there can follow 7...Nc6 with the idea of 8.d5 e5! 9.Be3 Nd4!? 10.Bxd4 ed4 11.Qxd4 Re8 with good

counterplay.

After 7.Bh4 the bishop is not participating in the play on the queenside, which allows Black to carry out the pawn

offensive 7...c5 8.d5 a6 9.f3 b5!.

7...c5

The most energetic way of attacking the centre.

Here the ‘trademark’ move 7...Nc6?! is no longer favourable. Gufeld-Lerner (USSR 1982) continued 8.d5 Ne5

9.h3 c6 10.Nf3 Nxf3+ 11.Bxf3 cd5 12.cd5 b5?! (with the naпve hope of 13.Nxb5 Qa5+ 14.Nc3 Ba6, but White simply

ignores the pawn thrust; 12...Bd7 with the idea of Rfc8 was more solid) 13.0-0 Bd7 14.Qd2 Kh7 15.Ne2 Qb8 16.Rac1

Qb7 17.Nd4 Rac8 18.Qa5! with advantage to White, since Black’s b5- and a7-pawns and the c6-point are weak, which

tells in the variation 18...a6?! 19.Nc6! Rfe8 20.Na7!.

In the event of 7...e5 8.d5 Nbd7 9.Qd2 White retains somewhat the better chances:

a) 9...h5 10.f3 Ne8 11.g4 f5 12.gf5 gf5 13.ef5 Nb6 14.Bg5 Qd7 15.Nh3 Qxf5 16.Nf2 c6 17.0-0-0 with the better

chances for White (Seirawan-Nunn, Olympiad, Lucerne 1982);

b) 9...Nc5 10.f3 a5 11.Bd1 Nh5 12.Nge2 f5 13.Bc2 Qh4+ 14.Bf2 Qg5 15.Rg1! Nf6 (weaker is 15...Nf4 16.Ng3!

h5 17.Be3! h4 18.Nxf5! gf5 19.g3, when White gains the advantage – A.Petrosian) 16.Ng3! f4 17.Nge2, and after

restricting Black’s play on the kingside, White has the more promising position (A.Petrosian-Shirov, Daugavpils 1989).

8.dc5

This exchange allows Black to develop his pieces harmoniously. Of course, 8.d5 e6 9.h3 is more critical, leading to

a position considered in the Lputian-Gufeld game (Moscow 1983).

8...Qa5 9.Qd2

Defending against the threat of Nf6xe4 with a simultaneous attack on the h6-pawn. It is risky to play 9.cd6 Nxe4

10.de7 Re8 with a strong initiative for Black.

The alternative is 9.Bd2 Qxc5 with a perfectly good game for Black.

9...dc5 10.Bxh6

10...Bxh6

An automatic reply. The rook could have been brought into play with gain of tempo: 10...Rd8 11.Qe3 Bxh6

12.Qxh6 Nxe4 13.Rc1 Nc6, and the black pieces become very active, whereas White’s attack requires time. Seirawan-

Timman (Tilburg 1990) went 14.Nf3 Nd4 15.h4 (if 15.0-0, then 15...Nxe2+ 16.Nxe2 Bg4 is possible) 15...Nxe2, and

here, instead of 16.Ng5? Nf6 17.Kxe2 Bf5, after which Black parried the threats, Seirawan indicates a way to continue

the attack: 16.h5! g5! 17.Nxg5 Nf6 18.Kxe2, although its consequences demand a thorough analysis of Black’s

possible replies 18...Qb6, 18...Bf5, 18...Qa6 and 18...Qb4.

11.Qxh6 Nxe4 12.Rc1 Nc6

Black’s position is now preferable. The white king has been detained in the centre, and the black knights on e4 and

d4 will be very active. Of course, the queen on h6 is well placed, but it cannot achieve anything on its own.

13.g4?!

Surely White wasn’t hoping to include his rook in the attack along the third rank? It was more realistic to stick to

the plan given in the previous note.

13...Rd8 14.Nh3 Nd4 15.Bd1 Nf6! 16.Ng5 Ne6!

The mobility of the black cavalry is impressive: the knights harmoniously retreat – and disclose the weakness of the

opponent’s rear.

17.h4 Nf8!

It unexpectedly transpires that the queen is trapped (18...Rxd1+ followed by Nf6xg4 is threatened), and to save it

White is forced to give up material. Garcia is not satisfied with a ‘prosaic’ way such as 18.Rg1 Rxd1+ 19.Rxd1 Nxg4

20.Rxg4 Bxg4, and he finds the best practical chance – he sacrifices his queen.

18.h5! Rxd1+ 19.Rxd1 Nxg4 20.Qxf8+ Kxf8 21.hg6 f6?

A mistake, after which it is Black who has to think about how to save the game. Of course, 21...fg6 should have

been played.

22.Rd8+ Kg7?!

It was simpler to return the queen – 22...Qxd8 23.Rh8+ Kg7 24.Rxd8 with new material gains: 24...fg5 25.Nd5 b6

26.Nc7 (after 26.Nxe7 Bb7 27.Rd7 Bf3 Black keeps his extra piece) 26...Rb8 27.Na6 Bxa6 28.Rxb8 Ne5 29.Ra8 Nc6

etc.

23.Rh7+ Kxg6 24.Rg8+ Kf5 25.Nf3 Kf4!

The king not only finds peace on the territory of its opposite number, but it is also ready to lead the attack.

26.Nd2 Ne5! 27.Nd5+ Kf5 28.Ke2

Black gains a respite, since White has to reckon with the threat of Ne5-f3+ (after 28.Nxe7+ Ke6).

28...Nc6 29.a3 b6!

Black decides to give up his rook for the sake of consolidating his scattered pieces.

30.Nc7 Nd4+ 31.Ke3 Ke5!

His Majesty personally leads the black army!

32.Nxa8 Nf5+ 33.Ke2 Bb7 34.Nc7 Qa4 35.Rh5 Qc2

Materially White is alright. But now the inactive black queen invades the enemy camp and it should be able to

overcome the opponent’s scattered forces. However, this still requires a considerable length of time.

36.Rd8 Kf4 37.Ne6+ Kg4

Now 38...Bf3+ is threatened, and White is forced to give up the exchange.

38.Rxf5

The only practical chance of achieving coordination with the knight.

38...Kxf5 39.Ng7+ Kg6 40.Rd7 Kxg7?

A familiar phenomenon: a mistake on the last move before the time control. After the interposition of 40...Ba6

White’s resistance would have been much shorter.

41.Rxe7+ Kg6 42.Rxb7 Qxb2 43.Rxa7 Kf5 44.Rb7 Kf4

45.Re7

White moves his rook closer to his king, hoping to create a ‘fortress’, since Black has reserves for strengthening his

position in the form of f6-f5 and b6-b5.

45...Qxa3 46.Re3 Qa7 47.Rb3 f5 48.Rf3+

White has succeeded in setting up a defensive wall along the third rank, and it is not easy to breach this fortress.

48...Ke5 49.Re3+ Kf6 50.Rb3 Qb7 51.Ke1 Kg5 52.Kd1 f4 53.Ke2 Kg4 54.Kd1

White can only stick to waiting tactics.

54...Qc6 55.Kc1 Qg6 56.Kd1 Kh4 57.Nf3+ Kh5 58.Nd2 Kg4 59.Kc1 Kf5 60.Kc2 Ke5+

The king check enables the queen to penetrate into the rear.

61.Rd3 Ke6 62.Kc3 Qg1 63.f3

Black has managed to open the ‘floodgate’ in order to penetrate into White’s position, but it is not in fact required,

as the game concludes more quickly.

63...Qc1+ 64.Kb3 Kf7 65.Ne4 Qb1+ 66.Kc3 Qb4+ 67.Kc2 Qxc4+ White resigned.

Kirovabad 1973

A slight deviation from the theme. Although in this game the bishop was not developed at g5, the resulting position

differs from one reached in the Averbakh Variation – 6.Bg5 h6 7.Be3 – only in the absence of the pawn on h6.

6...c5!

Also with the bishop on e3 this is the most energetic way of attacking the centre, since in the event of 7.dc5 Qa5

8.cd6 Nxe4 9.de7 Re8 10.Kf1 Nxc3 11.bc3 Nc6 the black pieces become very active.

7.d5

If 7.e5 Black can exchange the queens by 7...de5 8.de5 Qxd1+ (Miles-van der Wiel, Groningen 1994, went

8...Nfd7 9.f4 f6 10.ef6 ef6 11.Nf3 Re8 12.Kf2 Na6 13.Re1 Qe7 14.Bd3 Nb6 15.a3 Bg4 with chances for both sides)

9.Rxd1 Ng4 10.Bxc5 Nxe5 11.Nd5 Nbc6 with an equal endgame.

7...b5

A pawn sacrifice in the style of the Benko Gambit. In return Black gains a lead in development and sets up pressure

on the half-open a- and b-files. The alternative is 7...e6.

8.cb5 a6 9.ba6

If 9.a4 I would also have continued 9...Qa5.

9...Qa5 10.Bd2

10.Qd2!? came into consideration.

10...Bxa6 11.Nf3?!

A careless move, after which White is unable to castle. 11.Qc2 is correct, intending 11...Bxe2 12.Ngxe2, while if

11...Qb4, then 12.a3 is possible.

11...Qb4!

An important resource in this type of position: by attacking the e4-pawn, the queen moves with gain of tempo to a

more active square.

12.Qc2

If 12.e5 there can follow 12...Ne4 13.Bxa6 Nxa6 14.Qc2 Nxd2 15.Qxd2 Qc4.

12...Bxe2 13.Kxe2 Na6

Taking into account the ‘centralised’ king, 13...e6!?, aiming for the opening of the centre, should have been more

carefully studied.

14.a3

As a result of his inaccurate play in the opening, White is already experiencing serious difficulties. The attempt to

evacuate the king does not work: 14.Rhe1 Qc4+ 15.Qd3 Qxd3+ 16.Kxd3 Nb4+ 17.Ke2 Nc2.

14...Qc4+ 15.Qd3 Qb3! 16.Rhc1 c4 17.Qc2 Nc5

18.Nd4 Qb6

18...Qb7, intending e7-e6, deserved consideration.

19.Be3 Ng4!

A cavalry attack, dislodging the support from under the centralised knight on d4. The e7-e5 break is threatened.

20.Ncb5

Intending if 20...e5 to reply 21.de6 fe6 22.Qxc4. But 20.Rd1 was nevertheless better.

20...Nd3 21.Qxc4?!

Here too 21.Rd1 was more resilient.

21...Nxc1+ 22.Rxc1 Nxe3 23.fe3 Bxd4 24.ed4 Rfb8!

After the heavy artillery has been brought up, loss of material is inevitable.

25.a4 Qa6!

This manoeuvre restricts White.

26.b3 Rc8 27.Nc7 Qb7 28.Qc6

The threat of 28...Qa7 has to be parried.

28...Qxb3!

While avoiding the false trails 28...Ra7? 29.Nb5! Rxc6 30.dc6 or 28...Qxc6? 29.Rxc6 Ra7 30.Nb5, the queen

gathers a rich harvest of pawns.

29.Nxa8 Qb2+ 30.Kd1 Qxd4+ 31.Ke2 Qxe4+ 32.Kd2 Qf4+ 33.Kd3 Rxc6 34.Rxc6 Qxa4 35.Nb6 Qa2 White

resigned.

DEVIATIONS FROM THE AVERBAKH VARIATION

In this section we will consider possible deviations from the Averbakh Variation, where White begins with the

development of his dark-square bishop, retaining the option of developing his light-square bishop more actively.

Odessa 1962

This position can arise not only from the Modern Benoni, as occurred in the game, but also in the King’s Indian

Defence (for example, after 6...0-0 7.Be2 e6). But White has other plans – he develops his bishop at d3 and transposes

into a variation studied by Bulgarian players.

6...h6 7.Bh4 Qa5

Exploiting the fact that the bishop has abandoned the queenside, Black creates counterplay here. 7...g5 8.Bg3 is

more in accordance with present-day styles, and if 8...Qa5, as shown by Minev, White retains somewhat the better

chances after 9.Qd2 Nh5 10.Be2 Nxg3 11.hg3 a6 12.Nf3 Nd7 13.0-0 Rb8 14.a4.

8.Bd3 Nbd7 9.f4 0-0 10.Ne2 b5

With this pawn sacrifice, which is typical in such positions, Black simultaneously opens lines for his rooks, breaks

up the white centre, and obtains the possibility of pressing on b2.

11.cb5 a6 12.ba6 c4

Taking account of the fact that it is unfavourable to capture the pawn in view of Nf6xe4, Black vacates the c5-

square for his knight and creates a strong point at d3.

13.Bc2 Nc5 14.0-0 Bxa6 15.e5 de5 16.fe5 Ng4 17.Bxe7 Bxe5!

In such positions the dark-square bishop is no weaker than a rook. If 18.Bxf8 there follows 18...Rxf8 with a

powerful initiative.

18.Ng3 Ne3 19.Qe2 Bd4 20.Kh1

White, in turn, offers an exchange sacrifice, in order to get rid of the dangerous newcomer on e3.

20...Qb6!

Black is not tempted by the win of material and he aims at the important strongpoint on b2.

21.Nge4 Nxe4

21...Nd3 was dangerous in view of 22.Nf6+ and 23.Nd7.

22.Bxe4 Nxf1 23.Rxf1 Rab8

24.d6!

The passed pawn, supported by the bishops, causes Black considerable anxiety.

24...Qxb2 25.Qxb2 Rxb2 26.d7

The alternative was 26.Nd5 Rfb8 27.d7 f5 or 27.Nf6+ Bxf6 28.Bxf6 Rd2 with a decisive advantage.

26...Bxc3 27.Bxf8

27.Bd5 Rd2 28.Rxf7 did not work after 28...Rd8!.

27...Rd2 28.Bxh6 Rxd7

The complications have come to an end. Black has gained a strategic victory: he has eliminated the main enemy –

the passed d7-pawn, and restored material equality.

29.Bc1 Bd2 30.Bxd2 Rxd2 31.h3 f5!

By forcing the bishop to abandon the b1-h7 diagonal, Black ensures the advance of his passed pawn.

32.Bc6 c3 33.Rc1 c2 34.Kh2 Bd3 35.Bf3

35...Rd1 was threatened.

35...Bc4 36.Bc6

The pawn cannot be stopped, since if 36.a3 or 36.a4 there follows 36...Bb3 and 37...Rd1.

36...Bxa2 37.Ba4 Bb1 38.Kg3 Kg7 39.h4 Kf6 40.Kf3 Ke5 41.Re1+ Kd4 42.g4 Rd3+ 43.Kf4 Re3! White

resigned.

Hastings 1994/95

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 0-0 5.Bg5 c5 6.d5 h6 7.Bf4 d6 8.Qd2

8.Be2 leads to one of the branches of the Averbakh Variation.

8...g5!?

Black immediately takes the opportunity to exchange the dark-square bishop. Experience shows that the resulting

weakening of the kingside is not easy to exploit.

9.Bg3 Nh5 10.Bd3 e6 11.Nge2

11...f5

It was also possible to exchange first on d5.

12.ef5 ef5 13.f4!? Nxg3 14.Nxg3

In the event of 14.hg3? g4! the strategic virtues of Black’s position are obvious: it is hard for White to do anything

active, whereas Black can prepare an attack on the queenside: Nb8-a6-c7, Bc8-d7, Qd8-f6, Ra8-b8, a7-a6 and b7-b5.

14...Qe8+ 15.Kd1?!

White prematurely determines the position of his king. Apparently he did not like the position after 15.Be2 gf4

16.Qxf4, and he decided to avoid the pin, but he could have tried the sharp continuation 16.Nh5!? f3 17.Nxg7 fg2

18.Rg1 Kxg7 19.Rxg2+ Kh7.

15...gf4 16.Qxf4

16...Nd7!

In an open position and with the enemy king insecure, a ‘trifle’ such as a pawn is a small price for the development

of the pieces.

17.Nxf5

White goes in for mass exchanges, since in the event of 17.Qxd6 Ne5 the further development of events is

completely unpredictable.

17...Ne5 18.Nxg7 Rxf4 19.Nxe8 Nxd3 20.Kd2 Nxb2 21.Nxd6 Rd4+!

It is important to interpose this check.

22.Kc2 Nxc4 23.Nxc4 Rxc4 24.Rhf1 b5! 25.Kb2

The game has gone into an endgame favourable for Black, but there are few serious grounds for playing for a win.

25...Rb4+ 26.Kc2 Rc4 27.Kb2 Rb4+ 28.Kc2 Rc4 Draw.

Hastings 1994/95

Reckoning that, after the game with Parker, Conquest could have prepared for our game, I decided to change

tactics. In my time I wrote a book about the Benko Gambit, and I decided to follow some of its ideas.

7.Qd2

White prevents the bishop from being driven away.

7...b5!?

This pawn sacrifice for the sake of the initiative on the queenside is fully in the spirit of the Benko Gambit.

8.cb5

In the event of 8.Bxf6 ef6 9.Nxb5 f5 Black’s position is the more promising.

8...a6

9.h4?!

It is easier for me to criticise this move, after my opponent himself did this after the game! More natural is 9.Nf3

Qa5 10.b6 (or 10.ba6 Bxa6 11.Bxa6 Qxa6! with good counterplay) 10...Nbd7 11.Bd3 Nxb6 12.0-0 Bg4 with

complicated play (Yusupov-Balashov, Moscow 1983).

9...Qa5! 10.b6

One of the radical ways of avoiding the opening of lines on the queenside. In the event of 10.h5 there can follow

10...ab5, and if 11.Bxb5, then 11...Nxe4. After 10.ba6 I was intending to reply 10...Nbd7.

10...Nbd7 11.Nf3 Nxb6 12.Bd3 Bg4

It now transpires that 9.h4 was an empty shot.

13.Kf1?!

Giving up castling is a dubious decision. More solid was 13.Nh2 Bd7 14.0-0 Na4 15.Nxa4 Qxd2 16.Bxd2 Bxa4

17.Rac1 Bb5, when Black feels quite comfortable.

13...Na4

After White’s poor 13th move the game is strategically won for Black, and the irrepressible b8-knight continues its

jumps.

14.e5

This is the same as trying to extinguish a fire with petrol! After 14.Nxa4 Qxa4 15.b3 Nxe4! Black stands clearly

better, of course, but the opportunities for resisting are not yet exhausted. Now White’s game quickly goes downhill.

14...Bxf3! 15.ef6 ef6 16.Bf4 Bh5!

Of course, not 16...Nxc3?? 17.gf3.

17.Bxd6

If 17.f3 there would have followed 17...f5.

17...Rfd8 18.Bf4 f5 19.Nxa4 Qxa4 20.d6 Rab8

20...c4 suggests itself, but after 21.Qc2! White would gain something of a respite. Now, however, the black rooks

and bishops control all the main lines on the board.

21.Rb1 Qxa2 22.Qc2 Rb4 23.Bd2 Rd4 White resigned.

London 1994

Does this move meet the demands of the rapid mobilisation of the forces? Definitely not. It is a purely prophylactic

measure. And when White, who has the right of the first move, delays, I consider that Black has the right to fight for

the initiative with an energetic flank diversion.

6...c5 7.d5 b5

Although the solid 7...e6 is more often employed, the pawn sacrifice is quite logical in a position where White’s

development is retarded.

8.cb5 a6 9.a4 h6

The main line involves 9...Qa5 10.Bd2 ab5 11.Bxb5 Ba6 12.Ra3 Nbd7 13.Nf3 Bxb5 14.Nxb5 Qb6. For example,

Yermolinsky-Gufeld (USA 1999) continued 15.0-0 e6 16.de6 fe6 17.Qc2 d5 18.ed5 ed5 19.b4 Rfc8 with double-edged

play. 15.Qc2 e6 16.de6 fe6 17.e5!? also comes into consideration.

But in this game I decided to try a new idea and first push back the bishop. In this case White’s choice of variations

is narrowed somewhat.

10.Be3 Qa5 11.Bd2 e6! 12.Bd3

Here is one of the consequences of 9...h6. If White chooses 12.Nf3, then after 12...ed5 13.Nxd5 Qd8 he is denied

the move Bg5, which is possible after 9...Qa5.

12...ab5 13.Nxb5

If 13.Bxb5 I was intending to play 13...Na6.

13...Qb6 14.de6 Bxe6 15.Nf3

15.a5!? Qc6 16.Nc3 d5 17.ed5 Nxd5 18.Nf3 Rd8 19.Qe2 came into consideration, with a somewhat better

situation than in the game.

15...d5 16.ed5 Nxd5 17.0-0 Nc6 18.Qc1 Na5!

For the sacrificed pawn Black has excellent play: his bishops are raking the queenside, and his knights are

threatening to invade at b4 and b3, which is possible, for example, after 19.Bxh6.

19.Ra3 Kh7 20.Re1 Nb4 21.Be4 Nb3 22.Qb1

In the event of 22.Qd1 Nxd2 23.Bxa8 Nc4 24.Be4 Rd8 25.Qe2 Nxa3 26.ba3 Nc6 Black succeeds in consolidating

his forces. His passed c-pawn is well supported by the bishops, whereas for the moment White’s doubled a-pawns are

out of play.

22...Nxd2 23.Nxd2 Rad8 24.Nf1

24.Nf3 is more active, but here too after 24...Rd7 25.Qc1 Rfd8 Black is alright.

24...Rfe8 25.Rae3 c4 26.Rg3

26...f5

26...Bd7! is stronger, and since White cannot retreat 27.Nc3? because of 27...f5, Black regains the pawn – 27.Rge3

f5! 28.Bc2 Bxb5 29.ab5 Qxb5, retaining all the advantages of his position.

27.Bc2 Bf7 28.Rge3 Rxe3 29.Rxe3 Nd5 30.Re1 Qf6

30...Be8!? came into consideration, intending to restore material equality, since in the event of 31.Na3 Bd4 32.Re2

Nf4 the black pieces become very active.

31.Nc3 Nf4

But here it was no longer worth activating White’s heavy pieces, despite the regaining of the pawn: 31...Nxc3

32.bc3 Qxc3 33.Re7 Qf6 34.Qb7.

32.Ne3 Qg5 33.h4?

In time-trouble, and also tired after being under constant pressure, my opponent fails to find a way of defending the

h3-pawn. Indeed 33.Kh2?! would not have relieved his sufferings after 33...Rd2 34.Ncd1 Be5, but the cool-headed

33.Kf1!?, although it would have allowed Black to continue his attack – 33...Bd4 34.Ncd1 Bd5 35.g3 Qh5, would

nevertheless have offered hopes of a defence.

33...Qxh4 34.g3 Qg5 35.Bxf5 gf5 36.Qxf5+ Qxf5 37.Nxf5 Bxc3 38.bc3 Nd5 39.Rc1 Kg6 40.Nh4+ Kf6 41.Nf3

Ra8 42.Nd2 Rxa4 43.f4 Bg6 44.Nf3 Ra2 45.Ne5 Bd3 White resigned.

Las Vegas 2001

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 0-0 5.Bg5 c5 6.d5 d6 7.h3

I am sceptical about moves such as h2-h3 and a2-a3 in the opening stage of the game. I like to compare a chess

battle with military doctrine, and I can’t help remarking that the conducting of fighting action implies the rapid

mobilisation of the forces, where prophylaxis is a secondary feature. But moves such as h2-h3 and a2-a3 do not

mobilise the forces – they are prophylactic. And if White is forced to make them already in the opening stage, it means

that the very conception of the opening is bad. After all, in the initial position White has the right of the first move. If

you look at the situation from the position of a football supporter, the advantage of the first move is equivalent to

playing on your home ground in a match between two teams of equal strength.

Therefore a loss of time on prophylactic moves in the opening stage of a game makes it easier for Black to equalise.

But an equal position is by no means the same as a drawn position. The psychological effect achieved by equalising is

akin to gaining an advantage. I would venture to express a paradoxical thought: if Black achieves an equal position, his

position is better. In my opinion, such a strategy when playing Black is adopted by Anatoly Karpov.

But in the given situation the move 7.h3 is practically forced, if White does not want to allow the development of

the bishop at g4 followed by Nb8-d7.

7...e6 8.Bd3

This position can also be reached in the Modern Benoni – 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 d6 4.Nc3 g6 5.e4 Bg7 6.h3 0-0

7.Bd3 e6 8.Bg5.

8...ed5 9.cd5

In my opinion, the development of the bishop on g5 is more justified after 9.ed5 Re8+ 10.Nge2 followed by f2-f4.

9...Re8 10.Nf3 c4! 11.Bc2 b5 12.a3

This move is thought to radically ‘kill’ the opponent’s counterplay. By preventing the advance of the b-pawn (12.0-

0 b4 13.Ne2 h6 14.Bxf6 Qxf6 15.Ned4 a5 promises Black too easy a life), White creates a kind of ‘Mannerheim Line’.

12...a5!

I was very happy with the discovery (at the board!) of this move – the Encyclopaedia recommends 12...Na6 13.0-0

Nc5, attacking the e4-pawn. With the temporary pawn sacrifice Black smashes the ‘Mannerheim Line’, since White has

to reckon with the threat of Bc8-a6 followed by b5-b4. Alas, as it later transpired, I was not the first to discover this

idea.

13.Nxb5 Qb6

The virtues of the a7-a5 idea are apparent: the queen moves with gain of tempo to an active position, effectively

forcing the exchange of its opposite number.

14.Qd4!

In the event of 14.Nc3 Qxb2 15.Na4 Black can sacrifice his queen 15...Qxa1!? (15...Nxe4?! 16.Nxb2 Nc3+

17.Kd2 Nxd1 is weaker in view of 18.Nxc4!, and now 18...Nxf2 19.Rhe1 or 18...Bxa1 19.Nxd6 leads to an advantage

for White) 16.Qxa1 Nxe4 17.Nd4 Nxg5+ 18.Kf1 Nd7 with sufficient material compensation.

14...Qxd4

14...Qxb5?, as in Chernin-Marin (Budapest 1993), is much less successful. After 15.Bxf6 Bxf6 16.Qxf6 Nd7

17.Qd4 White’s control of the a1-h8 diagonal secures him an advantage.

15.Nfxd4 Nxe4 16.Be3 Na6

It was possible to win a pawn by 16...Bxd4 17.Nxd4 Nf6 18.Nb5 Nxd5, but how could Gufeld part with his

‘Gufeld bishop’?

17.0-0-0 Bf8 18.Rhe1

18.Nc6, vacating d4 for the rook, looks more ambitious. For example, Skembris-Velimirovic (Bor 1997) continued

18...Bd7 19.Bxe4 Rxe4 20.Nc3 Ree8 21.Rd4, and White won the c4-pawn, although Black had some compensation.

18...Bd7 19.Kb1 Nec5

The more pretentious 19...Rab8!? also came into consideration.

20.Bf4 Nb7 21.Rxe8 Rxe8 Draw.

Grozny 1969

In those years this move order was often employed by ex-world champion Vasily Smyslov. Before supporting his

d4-pawn, White brings out his bishop to an active position, retaining his dynamic pawn centre.

5...c5 6.e3

After this quiet development Black has a wider choice of possibilities than after 6.d5.

6...Qa5

This move is not considered in the opening Encyclopaedia, although it is obviously logical – Black is threatening

Nf6-e4.

6...d6 7.Be2 is regarded as the main continuation:

a) 7...h6 8.Bh4 Bf5 (in Smyslov-Tal, 41st USSR Championship, Moscow 1973, there followed 8...g5 9.Bg3 Nh5

10.Qc2?! g4 11.Nh4 cd4 12.ed4 Nc6 13.d5 Nd4, and Black seized the initiative; 10.d5 or 10.0-0 was better) 9.0-0

Nbd7 10.d5 (or 10.Rc1 Ne4 11.Nxe4 Bxe4 12.Nd2 g5! with counterplay for Black) 10...Qb6 11.b3 (after 11.Na4 Qa5

12.Nd2 Nb6 13.Nc3 Qb4 Black’s chances are preferable, Pachman-Smyslov, Amsterdam 1994) 11...g5 12.Bg3 Ne4

13.Nxe4 Bxe4 with equal chances;

b) 7...cd4!? 8.ed4 (8.Nxd4!? is stronger) 8...h6 9.Bf4 Bf5 10.0-0 Ne4 11.Nxe4 Bxe4 12.Qd2 g5 13.Be3 e6!, and

Black’s position is preferable (Smyslov-Epishin, Rostov-on-Don 1993).

It is interesting to note that after 6...cd4 7.ed4 d5 the King’s Indian Defence would have been miraculously

transformed into one of the variations of the Panov Attack in the Caro-Kann Defence, where Black has quite good

prospects. For example, Lputian-Gufeld (USSR 1981) continued 8.Bxf6 Bxf6 9.Nxd5 (weaker is 9.cd5 e6!) 9...Bg7

10.Ne3 Qa5+ (10...Nc6! was even stronger) 11.Qd2 Qxd2+ 12.Kxd2 Rd8 13.Bd3?! (13.Rd1 was correct) 13...Nc6

14.Nc2 Bg4 15.d5 Bxf3 16.gf3 Ne5 17.Be2 e6 18.Ne3 ed5 19.cd5 Bh6, and Black achieved a favourable endgame.

7.Qd2 cd4 8.ed4 e6!?

With the intention by d7-d5 of taking play into a favourable line of the Grьnfeld Defence. Naturally, this does not

satisfy White.

9.Qf4

Smyslov-Gufeld (34th USSR Championship, Tbilisi 1966/67) went 9.a3 Nc6 (if 9...d5 the reply 10.b4 is

unpleasant) 10.d5! ed5 11.cd5 Re8+ 12.Be2 Ne7 13.Rd1 d6 14.0-0, and my exchange sacrifice 14...Nexd5 15.Nxd5

Qxd5 16.Qxd5 Nxd5 17.Bb5 Be6 18.Bxe8 Rxe8 19.Rfe1 proved favourable to White.

9...Nh5 10.Qh4 Nc6 11.0-0-0?!

The impulsive 11.g4? is parried by 11...Nxd4!. But with Black’s bishop, knight and queen all aiming at the

queenside, only a great optimist would castle here. 11.Be3 was sounder, after which I was also intending to reply

11...f5.

11...f5!

Black ensures the safety of his kingside, where White’s main forces are playing the role of observers, and then

switches to an attack on the enemy king.

12.Be2 a6 13.Bd2 b5 14.a3 b4! 15.Na2 Bf6 16.Ng5

If 16.Qh3 there would have followed 16...Rb8.

16...Nxd4?!

It was hard to refrain from this pawn capture, which also includes the knight in the attack, but 16...f4! would have

been much stronger.

17.Bxh5 Nb3+ 18.Kc2

If 18.Kb1 Black wins by 18...Qe5.

18...Qa4 19.Nxb4?

This leads to the loss of a piece. It was essential to play 19.Kb1, after which I would have played 19...h6!.

19...Nxd2+ 20.Kxd2 h6 21.f4 gh5 22.Qxh5 hg5 23.fg5 Bg7 24.g6 Re8

The game is practically decided, and Black only has to survive a ‘desperation attack’.

25.h4 Rb8 26.Qh7+ Kf8 27.h5 Rxb4!

Now the king on d2 remains one-to-one with Black’s attacking forces.

28.ab4 Qxb4+ 29.Ke3 Qc5+ 30.Kd2 Qf2+ 31.Kd3 Bb7 32.c5 Be4+ White resigned.

Hawaii 1998

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.Nf3 0-0 5.Bg5 c5 6.d5

I was expecting 6.e3, which Gulko had employed in many of his games.

6...d6 7.Nd2

This is not as good as 7.e3 or 7.e4. But when such a strong player as Gulko makes a move, you always know that

behind this move there are interesting ideas.

7...h6

I ask the dark-square bishop: what are you doing on my ‘King’s Indian’ territory? The move 7.Nd2 is justified only

if I play 7...e6 8.e3 ed5 9.cd5, which signifies a transition into the Modern Benoni: there the knight obtains the

excellent square c4. But I was intending to play the King’s Indian Defence!

8.Bh4 Qb6! 9.Rb1

The alternative was 9.Qc2. Now White’s intentions become clear: his king will remain in the centre, which

involves a great risk, or will castle on the kingside.

9...g5

I am not afraid of this weakening move, since I realise that the white king will be in great danger if it remains in the

centre. The alternative is 9...Nbd7.

10.Bg3 Nh5 11.e3

If White plays 11.e4, this will be very pleasant for Black, since 11...Nxg3 12.hg3 f5 proves even more effective.

11...Nxg3 12.hg3 f5

I think that here too Black’s chances are preferable, as I am threatening the further advance of my f-pawn. Weak is

12...Bf5? 13.e4 Bh7 14.g4, when White stands better.

13.f4

In my opinion, the best reply. The attack 13.Qh5 is ineffective – 13...Nd7 14.Bd3 Nf6 15.Qg6 Ng4 favours Black.

13...gf4

The bishops whisper to me that they need an open position (13...g4?! 14.Bd3 favours White).

14.gf4 Nd7?

The knight heads for g4. Meanwhile, 14...e5! suggested itself. How could I miss such a logical move, opening the

centre, where the white king is? After 15.fe5 (weaker is 15.de6 Bxe6) 15...de5 16.e4 Na6 or 16...Qg6 the position

would have remained double-edged.

15.g4! Nf6!?

Of course, not 15...fg4 16.Qxg4 Nf6 17.Qg6 with an obvious advantage to White.

16.g5?!

This allows the knight to occupy an active position. Stronger was 16.gf5 Bxf5 17.e4!, forcing Black to declare his

intentions. In the event of 17...Nxe4 18.Ndxe4 Bxe4 19.Nxe4 Rxf4 20.Bd3 Raf8 21.Kd2 Qd8 22.Ng3! White covers

the vulnerable squares, retaining a material advantage.

16...hg5

16...Ng4 17.gh6 Bf6 also came into consideration, when the h-pawn can be used to cover the black king.

17.fg5 Ng4 18.Qf3

A great philosopher once said that life is a game, and that the only game is real life. That is how it is with chess. In

it, as in life, there is a place for humour. After Gulko played 18.Qf3, I was slightly vexed. After all, according to my

strict, ‘religious’ chess upbringing, the king in the opening resembles an infant, which needs protecting and, of course,

should be pampered by castling. But then another thought occurred to me: Possibly in chess there is a new rule’. I asked

myself: ‘Is it possible that Gulko has moved his rook to b1, and then his queen to f3, with the deep intention, for the

first time in chess history, of castling short on the long side?’ From the further development of events, the reader can

see that it would have been better for me if Boris had indeed succumbed to the same illusion.

18...Rf7!

An accurate move, which gives Black the advantage. I wanted to complete my development with 18...Bd7, but in

this case after 19.Qh3 Rf7 20.Ne2 I am forced to sacrifice 20...f4 21.Nxf4 Rxf4 22.ef4 Re8 23.Be2!, when the play is

not so clear.

19.Qg3

19...e5??

White is intending to play his knight to f4, in order to continue the attack, and I react too impulsively. This move

would have been strong on my part five moves earlier.

The saying goes: ‘Better late than never!’, but in the given instance I would have preferred better never than late.

Here 19...Ne5!? was interesting, with the idea of Bc8-d7, Ra8-e8 and e7-e6 or Bc8-d7, a7-a6, Qb6-a5 and b7-b5, to

which White would probably have replied 20.Be2. But even stronger is 19...e6! 20.Be2 Qd8! (the queen has played its

part at b6 and now it moves to the other side of the board) 21.Rh5 Be5! (weak is 21...Qf8? 22.Bxg4 fg4 23.Ke2 ed5

24.Nxd5 Bf5 25.Rbh1 or 21...e5 22.e4 f4 23.Qh4 Ne3 24.Kf2, and in both cases Black stands badly) 22.Qh3 Qf8

23.g6 (or 23.Nf3 Bxc3+! 24.bc3 Qg7 25.Kd2 Nf2) 23...Re7 24.Nf3 Bg7 25.Kd2 Bd7 26.Rh1 Qf6 27.Ng5 Nf2, and

Black wins.

20.e4! f4?

White is better, and there were no grounds for such ‘activity’. I should have reconciled myself to 20...fe4

21.Ndxe4.

21.Qh4 Ne3 22.Nf3 Bg4

The only way of prolonging the resistance was 22...Nxf1 23.Qh7+ Kf8 24.Rxf1 Qb4 (or 24...Qd8 25.Rg1! a6

26.Nh4 Bd7 27.Ng6+ Ke8 28.Qg8+ Bf8 29.Nxf8 Rxf8 30.Qg6+, and White wins) 25.Nh4 Qxc4 26.Ng6+ Ke8

27.Qg8+ Bf8 28.Rh1 Qd3 29.Nxf8 Qg3+ (29...Rxf8 30.Qg6+) 30.Kd1 Bg4+ 31.Kc2 Qf2+ 32.Kb3 c4+ 33.Ka3 Qc5+

34.b4 cb3+ 35.Kb2, and the sensible checks come to an end.

23.Qh7+ Kf8 24.Nh4 Nxf1 25.Ng6+ Ke8 26.Qg8+ Bf8 27.Rh8 Qc7 28.Nxf8 Rg7 29.Ne6+ Rxg8 30.Rxg8+

Black resigned.

BISHOP FIANCHETTO

This variation with the basic move order 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 0-0 5.Nf3 d6 6.0-0 is one of the most

versatile and dangerous ways of opposing the King’s Indian Defence. By the fianchetto of his bishop White takes aim

at the queenside, controls the central squares e4 and d5, and securely reinforces his king’s position.

Before beginning an examination of this variation, I should like to warn the reader: if desired, he need not devote

particular attention to a study of it. If Black is not too attached to the King’s Indian Defence, without particular

detriment he can avoid the variation with the bishop fianchetto, by transposing, for example, into the Grьnfeld Defence.

But a genuine King’s Indian player should not be afraid of ghosts. Even so, which method of development can be

recommended against the bishop fianchetto? It has to be admitted that the problem of developing the queen’s knight is

effectively the main one in the King’s Indian Defence. Many years’ experience has convinced me that, if there is a

choice, then here (as also in other variations) Black can employ the universal move 6...Nc6! (the exclamation mark is

my assessment of the move), when the knight is attacking the d4-point. In other words, the knight immediately takes

the bull by the horns.

Black is not afraid about the future of his knight after 7.d5, since after 7...Na5 8.Nbd2 c5 it takes part in

counterplay on the queenside. The same theme (pressure on the d4-point) is pursued by the Yugoslav Variation 6...c5,

where after 7.Nc3 Nc6 8.d5 Na5 a similar position arises.

Apart from this main continuation, White can retain the pawn tension in the centre and plan play on the queenside

with the support of his g2-bishop.

After 6...Nc6 7.Nc3 the main continuations are considered to be 7...Bf5, 7...e5 and 7...a6.

After 7...Bg4 8.d5 Na5 9.Nd2 c5 10.h3 Bd7 11.Qc2 Black’s possibilities are restricted compared with other

continuations (for example, after 11...e5 12.de6 Bxe6 13.b3 White builds up pressure in the centre: Bc1-b2, Ra1-d1 and

so on).

CONTROL OF e4

(1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 0-0 5.Nf3 d6 6.0-0 Nc6 7.Nc3)

7...Bf5

A specific approach to the given variation. Black puts piece pressure on the centre. He takes control of the e4-point

and in a number of lines he occupies it with his knight. I was one of the first to employ this move in the 1960s.

Periodically I have also employed it recently.

33rd USSR Championship

Tallinn 1965

1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 g6 3.d4 Bg7 4.g3 0-0 5.Bg2 d6 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.0-0 Bf5 8.Nh4

At that time White was still seeking ways of playing against 7...Bf5, and Korchnoi did not choose the best.

Although White drives back the bishop, the position of the knight on the edge of the board is advantageous to Black.

But the employment of this manoeuvre cannot be considered accidental. Korchnoi did not see any real achievements for

White in the theoretical paths of that time – 8.d5 Na5 9.Nd4 Bd7 10.b3 c5 11.dc6 bc6. And this was not without

reason: soon I was able to demonstrate the drawbacks to this plan in my game with Gideon Barcza, which is examined

below.

If the bishop is driven away with the e4-pawn after 8.Ne1 Qc8 9.e4 Bh3, the prospect of his g2-bishop being

exchanged did not appeal to Korchnoi, although objectively it should be mentioned that by playing 10.f4 Bxg2

11.Kxg2 e5 12.d5 Nd4 13.fe5 de5 14.Bg5 White retains some initiative.

8...Bd7

Here I was expecting the natural 9.e4, when after 9...e5 Black gains control of the d4-point. For example, Csom-

Gufeld (Cienfuegos 1984) continued 10.d5 Nd4 11.Be3 (in the event of 11.f4 c6 12.f5 cd5 13.cd5 b5 Black develops an

initiative on the queenside) 11...c5! (sacrificing a pawn, Black frees his ‘trademark’ bishop with maximum effect)

12.dc6 bc6 13.Bxd4 ed4 14.Qxd4 Nd5 15.Qd3 Nxc3 16.bc3. Draw.

White’s reply surprised, but did not dishearten me.

9.f4?

A serious mistake, after which Black seizes the initiative. 9.d5 Na5 10.b3 was correct.

9...Na5 10.Qd3 c5 11.d5?!

‘Another error. At the board I did not risk playing 11.e3 because of 11...cd4 12.ed4 Qb6 or 12...e5, and Black’s

tactical threats look serious. In fact, White has sufficient resources for defence and counterattack. For example: 12...e5

13.fe5 de5 14.Bg5! h6 15.Bxf6 Bxf6 16.Nxg6!, and White wins.’ (Korchnoi)

11...a6 12.b3 b5 13.Bd2 Rb8

‘13...b4 looked tempting, but after 14.Nd1 Black would have been unable to extract any benefit from the

undefended rook on a1: 14...Nxd5 costs the exchange after 15.Rc1, while the exchange of the f6-knight for the bishop

on d2 (14...Ne4) is also unfavourable for Black.’ (Korchnoi)

14.Rac1 Qc7 15.e4 bc4 16.bc4 Rb2 17.Nf3 Rfb8 18.Rfe1 Bg4!

‘This position is not easy to assess. Black has occupied the only open file and tied down White’s forces to the

defence of his queenside pawns. White’s pieces are centralised, but it is difficult for him to find a promising plan.

White’s main trump is the badly placed black knight on a5. After the correct 19.Re2!, forestalling the threat of Bxf3

followed by Nxc4, White would probably have succeeded in neutralising the opponent’s initiative and gradually

equalising. White’s next move is premature and should have led to a difficult game.’ (Korchnoi)

19.e5? Ne8 20.e6

20...f5?

‘A strategic blunder, after which Black’s game goes downhill. The correct 20...fe6! 21.de6 Bxf3 22.Bxf3 Nxc4

23.Qxc4 Rxd2 24.Qxa6 Bd4+ 25.Kh1 Bxc3 26.Rxc3 Rbb2 would have given Black good winning chances.’

(Korchnoi)

21.Re2 Nf6 22.h3 Bh5 23.Be1 Rxe2 24.Qxe2 Ne8?

‘24...Rb4 25.Nd1 Ra4 26.Ne3 Ra3 was more resilient, but here too after 27.Rc3 White would have retained the

pluses of his position – the more pieces that are exchanged, the more obvious is the bad position of the knight on a5.’

(Korchnoi)

25.Nd1 Bd4+ 26.Kh1 Nf6 27.Qc2 Bxf3 28.Bxf3 Qb6 29.Qd3 Kg7 30.Nc3 Qb4

This attempt to create a fortress by sacrificing the queen proves futile.

31.Rb1 Bxc3 32.Rxb4 cb4 33.Bxc3 bc3 34.c5!

By sacrificing two pawns White takes away the defence of the f6-knight.

34...dc5 35.d6 ed6 36.Qxc3 Rb1+ 37.Kg2 Nb7 38.g4 Black resigne.

Leningrad 1967

1.Nf3 g6 2.d4 Nf6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 0-0 5.0-0 d6 6.c4 Nc6 7.Nc3 Bf5 8.d5

Of course, this is the most critical move, but White does not associate it with the best plan.

At that time the idea of allowing the knight invasion on e4 was also tested – 8.b3 Ne4. Krogius-Gufeld (34th USSR

Championship, Tbilisi 1966/67) continued 9.Bb2 Nxc3 10.Bxc3 Be4 11.Qd2 e5 (nowadays 11...d5 is more often

played) 12.d5 (12.de5 de5 13.Rad1 Qe7 leads to equal play) 12...Ne7 13.Ne1 (if 13.Rac1, then 13...Nf5 is good)

13...Bxg2 14.Nxg2 Qd7 15.e4 f5 16.ef5 (16.f3 Rf7 17.Rae1 is more cunning, and if 17...fe4, then 18.Rxe4! Nf5 19.f4

with the initiative) 16...gf5 17.f4 Ng6 18.Rae1 Rae8 19.a4. Draw.

Of the modern paths in this variation, 9.Nd5!? can be mentioned. For example, in Cvitan-Smirin (Tilburg 1993)

after 9...Bd7 10.Bb2 f5 11.e3 a6 12.Rc1 b5 13.Nd2 Ng5 14.Qe2 b4 15.c5 White retained some initiative.

8...Na5

9.Nd4

White pushes back the bishop. 9.Nd2 also occurs, in order after 9...c5 to gain a tempo by 10.e4. But Black can play

more strongly – 9...c6!, and the bishop on f5 is in the right place, depriving the rook of the b1-square, which tells in the

line 10.b4 Nxd5 11.cd5 Bxc3, although after 12.e4 White has compensation for the pawn.

White also achieves nothing after 10.e4 Bg4 11.f3 (weaker is 11.Qc2 cd5 12.cd5 Rc8 13.Re1 b5, when Black

already has the initiative, Yusupov-Gulko, Reykjavik 1990) 11...Bd7. The game is equal.

After the conceding of the centre by 10.dc6 bc6 11.e4 Bg4 12.Qc2 Rb8 (if 12...Rc8 there is 13.b4) 13.a3 c5 Black

also has good play.

9...Bd7

9...Ne4? 10.Nxf5 gf5 11.Qd3 is clearly in White’s favour.

10.b3 c5 11.dc6

Without this exchange it is not easy for White to display any activity. If 11.Nc2 Black follows the generally

accepted set-up 11...a6 12.Rb1 Qc7 (12...b5?! is premature in view of 13.cb5 ab5 14.b4, when Black ended up in an

inferior position, Chiburdanidze-Malisauskas, Tallinn 1997) 13.Qd3 Rab8 14.Bd2 b5. The game is equal (Udovcic-

Westerinen, Leningrad 1967).

11...bc6

Also possible is 11...Nxc6 12.e3 Qa5 13.Bb2 Rac8 14.Qe2 a6 15.Rac1 Rfe8! 16.Nxc6 Bxc6 17.e4 Nd7, when

Black’s chances are not worse (Akopian-Poluljahov, Russia 1993). One of the counterplay ideas is 18...b5!.

12.Bb2 Rb8 13.Qd2

Defending against the threat of 13...Nxc4. If 13.Rb1 there could have followed 13...c5 14.Nc2 Qc8 or 14...Nc6

with complicated play.

13...c5 14.Ndb5 Nc6

The knight returns to its ‘lawful’ square c6 (is this not the triumph of the move 6...Nc6 ?), and Black’s pieces are

harmoniously placed for the coming battle.

15.Nd5 Nxd5 16.Bxg7 Kxg7 17.Bxd5 Nb4!

Exploiting a favourable circumstance, with a temporary pawn sacrifice Black exchanges the most active white

piece.

18.Nxa7 Nxd5 19.Qxd5 Qc7 20.Nb5 Bxb5 21.cb5 Rxb5

With material equal, Black’s prospects are preferable thanks to the possibility of pressure on the half-open a- and b-

files.

22.Rfc1 Qb7 23.Qd2

White should have exchanged queens, since although he would have had to go totally onto the defensive, the

drawing tendencies of rook endings are well known.

23...Ra8 24.Rc3 Kg8 25.Rac1 Ra3 26.R1c2 Rba5 27.Rb2?!

White defends passively, whereas with 27.Rc4!? he could have reminded Black that his position also contains

vulnerable points: if 27...Qa7 there follows 28.Rh4 with the threat of Qd2-h6.

27...Qb4 28.Rcc2 Qxd2 29.Rxd2

29...f5!

Black increases his advantage. The f-pawn coordinates with the c-pawn in an unusual tandem, ensuring control

over the important central squares.

30.Kf1 Kf7 31.Ke1 Ra6 32.Kd1

White is counting on the resilience of his position, which should nevertheless have been reinforced by 32.f4,

restricting the opponent’s possibilities.

32...e5 33.Kc1 Ke6 34.Rdc2 R6a5 35.Kb1 Rb5 36.Rc3 d5!

The storm clouds are gathering.

37.Rbc2 Kd6 38.Kb2?

Depressed by the ‘trench’ warfare, Barcza hopes to break out with his rooks. He should have been patient and

continued to hold his ground – 38.Rb2.

38...Rba5 39.b4?

As is well known, in bad positions it is easier to go wrong. It was not yet too late to retreat 39.Kb1.

39...Rxa2+ 40.Kc1 Rxc2+ 41.Rxc2 cb4 42.Kb1 b3

With the penetration of the rook onto the ‘refreshment stall’, the game concludes quickly.

43.Rc3 Ra2 44.Rxb3 Rxe2 45.Rb7 Rxf2 46.Rxh7 e4 47.Kc1 e3 48.Kd1 d4 White resigned.

Los Angeles 1996

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.g3 g6 3.Bg2 Bg7 4.0-0 0-0 5.c4 d6 6.Nc3 Nc6 7.d4 Bf5

Even after 30 years, true love never grows old!

8.d5 Na5 9.Nd4 Bd7 10.Qd3 c5 11.Nc2

After 11.Nb3 a sacrifice in the style of the Benko Gambit is possible: 11...b5!? 12.Nxa5 Qxa5 13.Nxb5 Bxb5

14.cb5 a6 15.ba6 Rfb8 16.Bd2 Qxa6, and the pressure of the heavy pieces on the a- and b-files fully compensates for

the sacrificed pawn (Cuellar-Stein, Interzonal Tournament, Sousse 1967).

11...a6 12.b3 b5

This pawn sacrifice is simply basic in this type of position and it does not demand any deep calculation – Black’s

counterplay is too obvious.

13.Rb1

A cautious move. After the acceptance of the sacrifice by 13.cb5 ab5 14.Nxb5 White has to reckon with 14...Ng4

15.Nc3 c4! 16.bc4, and here both 16...Ne5 17.Qd1 Nexc4 and the immediate 16...Nxc4 give Black active piece play.

13...Rb8 14.Bd2

14...e6!

This undermining move is closely linked with b7-b5. White’s centre crumbles, and, as is well known, in the King’s

Indian Defence it is not at all easy for him to exploit the backward d6-pawn.

15.de6 Bxe6 16.Ne3

The exchange of the c4-pawn also leads to an equal game: 16.cb5 ab5 17.b4 Nc4.

16...Re8 17.Rfd1 bc4

17...Ng4!? 18.Nxg4 Bxg4 19.h3 Bf5 20.e4 Be6 also came into consideration, with the idea of exploiting the

weakening of the d4-point by the knight manoeuvre Na5-c6-d4.

18.bc4 Rxb1 19.Rxb1 Nxc4!?

This tactical stroke, based on geometric motifs, discloses the drawbacks to the placing of the white pieces.

20.Nxc4 d5 21.Bg5!

The only move to maintain the balance.

21...dc4 22.Qxd8 Rxd8 23.Ne4

23...c3!

This game illustrates the importance of studying chess information. Up to here Leski had followed my game with

Vaulin (Alushta 1993), which went 23...Nxe4 24.Bxd8 Nc3 25.Rb8 h5 26.Bf6+ Kh7 27.Bxc3 Bxc3 28.Be4, and here

instead of the terrible 28...Bf5?? I was obliged to play 28...Bb4 with a decent position. After the game Vaulin drew my

attention to the possibility of 23...c3!, which was reported in Informator Volume 57. Leski had apparently not seen it,

and he did not respond in the best way.

24.Nxc3?!

Vaulin’s suggestion was stronger: 24.Nxf6+ Bxf6 25.Bxf6 c2 26.Rf1 Rd1 27.Bg5 Bxa2 or 27...Bc4 with roughly

equal chances.

24...h6 25.Bf4 Nh5 26.Bc7 Rd2 27.Ne4 Draw.

Unfortunately, only after the game did I realise that after 27...Rc2 Black had every reason to play on.

ATTACK ON THE CENTRE

(1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 0-0 5.Nf3 d6 6.0-0 Nc6 7.Nc3)

7...e5

Since White offers Black a choice of plan, the advance of the e-pawn is the most consistent way of attacking d4.

Now, after the critical reply 8.d5, Black usually retreats with 8...Ne7. A position from the Yugoslav Variation arises

after 8...Na5 9.Nd2 c5, but Black also has to reckon with the possible exchange 10.dc6 Nxc6 11.Nde4 Ne8, when

White’s chances are preferable.

USSR Team Championship

Moscow 1972

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.g3 g6 3.Bg2 Bg7 4.0-0 0-0 5.c4 d6 6.d4 Nc6 7.Nc3 e5 8.d5

White cannot hope for anything by exchanging on e5: 8.de5 Nxe5 (or 8...de5 9.Bg5 Be6 with equal chances)

9.Nxe5 de5 10.Qxd8 Rxd8 with an equal endgame. For example, Adorjan-J.Polgar (Budapest 1993) continued 11.Bg5

Rd4 12.Nd5 Nxd5 13.cd5 e4 14.Rfd1 Bf5 15.Rxd4 Bxd4, and Black maintained the balance.

8...Ne7 9.c5

This advance is dictated by the pawn structure, in which White, using Nimzowitsch’s terminology, has a

‘qualitative pawn majority’ on the queenside. The only question is: would it not be better first to reinforce the centre by

9.e4 ? In our time this has become White’s main continuation.

The tactical justification of 9.c5 is 9...dc5 10.Nxe5 Nfxd5 11.Nxd5 Bxe5 12.Bg5 f6 13.Bxf6!.

9...e4

With the aid of his e-pawn Black tries temporarily to cut off the g2-bishop from the defence of the d5-pawn.

The main continuation is considered to be 9...Ne8 10.cd6:

a) 10...cd6 (now the d6-pawn may become a target) 11.a4 (or 11.Qb3 h6 12.e4 f5 13.ef5 gf5 14.Nd2 Ng6 15.Nc4

Rf7 16.a4 Bf8 17.Bd2 with somewhat the better chances for White, Vaganian-Stein, 38th USSR Championship, Riga

1970) 11...h6 12.Nd2 f5 13.Nc4 g5 14.Bd2 f4 15.Ne4 Nf5 16.e3 Nf6 17.Bb4, and White’s chances are better

(Romanishin-Grьnberg, Dresden 1988);

b) 10...Nxd6 11.Qb3 h6 12.Rd1 (or 12.Nd2 Nef5 13.e3 h5 14.h4 g5 15.hg5 Qxg5 16.Nf3 Qg4 with equal chances,

Portisch-J.Polgar, Monaco 1994) 12...f5 13.Be3 Bd7 14.Bc5 b6 15.Ba3 Nec8 16.e4 f4 17.Ne2 g5 with complicated

play (Lutz-Gelfand, Munich 1993).

10.cd6

Later I came to the conclusion that 10.Ng5 is stronger, when after 10...dc5 the following forcing variation is

possible: 11.Ngxe4 Nexd5 12.Nxd5 Nxd5 13.Bg5 f6 14.Qxd5+ Qxd5 15.Nxf6+ Bxf6 16.Bxd5+ Kg7 17.Bxf6+ Rxf6

18.Rac1, and White retains pressure in the centre.

10...Qxd6! 11.Ng5

11.Bf4 is not good because of 11...Qb4.

11...Nfxd5!

This is stronger than 11...Nexd5 12.Ngxe4 Qe5 13.Nxf6+ Nxf6 14.Bf4 Qa5 15.Qa4 Qxa4 16.Nxa4 c6 with

equality (Furman-Gufeld, Kiev 1963).

12.Ngxe4 Qe5 13.Nxd5?!

13.Bd2 is stronger.

13...Nxd5

Black’s position is already slightly preferable.

14.Qb3

The exchanging combination 14.Qxd5 Qxd5 15.Nf6+ Bxf6 16.Bxd5 c6 would have left Black with a small

advantage in the endgame.

14...c6 15.Re1 a5! 16.Nc5?!

A poor decision.

16...Nb4!

Black’s pressure on the queenside grows, and it is difficult for White to complete the mobilisation of his pieces.

17.a3

In the event of 17.Nd3 Black faces a pleasant choice between the simple 17...Nxd3 18.Qxd3 Be6 and the more

impressive 17...Be6!.

17...Qxc5 18.ab4 Be6!

This intermediate move wrecks White’s plans.

19.bc5

Forced, since after 19.Qxe6 Qxb4 two of White’s major pieces are simultaneously under attack.

19...Bxb3

Material is equal and each player has two bishops. But here the ‘advantage of the two bishops’ is clearly on Black’s

side: his bishops paralyse the entire white army.

20.e4 a4 21.e5

An attempt to block the ‘Gufeld bishop’.

21...Rfe8 22.Bf4

The centre also cannot be held by 22.f4 f6 23.Be4 fe5 24.f5 gf5 25.Bxf5 e4!, when my trademark bishop joins the

attack.

22...Ra5 23.Rac1 Bf8

The mopping-up begins.

24.Be3 Rxe5 25.Bd2 Raxc5 26.Bc3 Rxe1+ 27.Rxe1 a3 28.Bb4 a2 White resigned.

After 29.Bxc5 Bxc5 the manoeuvre Bc5-d4xb2 cannot be prevented.

Odessa 1968

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 0-0 5.0-0 d6 6.c4 Nc6 7.Nc3 e5 8.d5 Ne7 9.e4

9...Nd7

The virtue of this move is the additional control of c5, despite the fact that in the preparation of f7-f5 the bishop at

c8 is blocked and control of the e6-point is removed.

After the retreat 9...Ne8 there is the good reply 10.b4 (10.Ne1 f5 11.Nd3 Nf6 leads to a position from the game)

10...f5 11.Ng5 with a promising position. For example, Dautov-Kupreichik (Germany 1993) continued 11...h6 12.Ne6

Bxe6 13.de6 fe4 (13...c6 14.c5 is in White’s favour) 14.b5! a6 15.ba6 Rxa6 16.Rb1 b6 17.Bxe4 Nf6 18.Bg2 with

somewhat the better chances for White.

During recent times this variation has been studied in such depth, that a place for the f6-knight has also been found

at g8. This plan has been chosen in a number of games by Judit Polgar. Here, for example, is her game with Karpov

(Dos Hermanas 1995): 9...Kh8 10.Ne1 Nfg8 11.Nd3 f5 12.f4 ef4 13.Nxf4 Nf6 14.ef5 Nxf5 15.Kh1 Re8 16.a4! (if

16.Bd2, then 16...Nd4! with the idea of Bf5 is strong) 16...a5 17.Ra3, and here, by sacrificing a pawn with 17...Ne3!?

18.Bxe3 Rxe3, Black could have defended.

10.Ne1

A fashionable continuation, employed by the present-day champions. White plays his knight to d3, from where it

supports the c4-c5 advance and vacates the f3-square for the pawn.

10...f5 11.Nd3 Nf6

This is stronger than the timid 11...h6?! 12.f4 Kh7 13.Bd2 fe4 14.Nxe4 Nf5 15.Kh1 ef4 16.Nxf4 Ne5 17.Rc1 c5,

and here in Botvinnik-Schmid (Hamburg 1965) 18.dc6 bc6 19.Re1 would have led to an advantage for White.

12.f3

A passive move. There is no point in White supporting the e4-pawn, since after its capture a piece will be

established on e4. The modern continuation is 12.Bg5.

12...h6 13.Kh1

In the event of 13.Nf2 f4! 14.Bd2 g5 15.g4 Ng6 Black has a strong attack.

13...g5!

The pawn clears the way for the queen to the kingside. Black need not fear the vacating of the e4-point for a white

knight, since in his case his knight will gain access to the important d4-point.

14.ef5 Nxf5 15.Nf2 Qe8 16.Nce4 Qg6 17.Qd3 Bd7

Black’s achievements in the opening are obvious. The d4-square is in his possession, and he has good chances of

developing an attack against the enemy king.

18.Bd2 Nxe4 19.Nxe4 Rf7

Black doubles rooks with the aim of intensifying the pressure on f3.

20.Rf2 Raf8 21.Raf1 Nd4!

White cannot tolerate such an aggressive knight for long, and this means that he will have to concede the advantage

of the two bishops.

22.Be3 Bf5 23.Kg1 h5! 24.Bxd4 ed4 25.Re2 g4!

The pawn support of the e4-square is undermined, after which Black assails this fortified point with all available

forces.

26.f4 Re7 27.Rfe1 Rfe8 28.b4 c6!

White has managed to survive the frontal attack on his knight, but after the opening of the c-file Black expands the

attacking front.

29.b5 cd5 30.cd5 Kf8 31.a4 b6 32.Kf2 h4 33.Kg1 h3 34.Bh1 Rc8

The black pieces unexpectedly find a way to invade on the queenside.

35.Qa3

35...d3!

A thematic stroke! Black opens the diagonal for his bishop and lures the queen to d3, maintaining the pin on the

knight.

36.Qxd3 Rc3 37.Qd1 Rc4

Now, when the frontal attack has been reinforced from the side, the knight is forced to retreat.

38.Nf2 Rec7?

A blunder. After 38...Bc2! White loses material.

39.Be4!

White exchanges his passive bishop for the opponent’s active knight, sharply changing the course of the battle.

39...Bc3 40.Bxf5 Qxf5 41.Re8+ Kf7

42.Ne4!

In surprising fashion White creates threats to the opponent’s king, and Black is forced to mobilise all his reserves to

save the game. In the event of 42.Nxg4?! he could still have played for a win: 42...Qg6! 43.R8e6 Bxe1! 44.Nh6+ Kg7!

45.Rxg6+ Kxg6 46.Qg4+ Kxh6 47.Qxh3+ Kg7!

42...Rxe4! 43.R1xe4 Be5 44.Qd3 Rc3

Of course, not 44...Kxe8 because of 45.Rxe5+.

45.R8xe5!

Taking the game into a drawn queen ending. Black cannot avoid perpetual check.

45...de5 46.Qxc3 Qxe4 47.Qc7+ Kg6 48.Qd6+ Kf7 49.Qe6+ Kf8 50.Qf6+ Kg8 51.Qd8+ Kf7 Draw.

Sometimes, depending on tournament considerations, apart from my main move 1.e2-e4 I employ the Rйti

Opening. The drawback to this variation in my opening repertoire is the need sometimes to battle against myself. When

in such a situation I look at a bishop on g7, an inner voice suggests: ‘my bishop – my enemy’.

Jurmala 1978

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 0-0 5.0-0 d6

With this move order Black can ‘obscure’ matters with 5...c5, in order after 6.d4 to play 6...Nc6, inviting the

Yugoslav Variation of the King’s Indian Defence, or remaining within the English Opening after 6...cd.

6.d4 Nc6

This is the consequence of that ‘negative’ experience, when I am obliged to fight against the plan with my

trademark development of the knight.

7.Nc3 e5 8.d5 Ne7 9.e4 Nd7 10.b4

White chooses the plan of a pawn attack on the queenside.

10...a5

11.ba5

After this capture, all the same White has to spend time on developing his bishop, and Black carries out f7-f5 in a

more favourable situation.

11.Ba3 ab4 12.Bxb4 is considered best, when the bishop is quickly included in preparing the advance of the c-

pawn. The only way for Black to counter White’s initiative is with energetic counterplay. Usually an attempt to erect

barricades on the queenside firmly hands the initiative to White. For example, Gufeld-Dvoretsky (Zonal Tournament,

Vilnius 1975) went 12...b6 13.a4 Nc5 14.a5 Ba6 15.ab6 cb6 16.Qe2 Qc7 17.Ra3 Bb7 18.Nb5 Qd7 19.Rfa1 Bh6 20.h4

Rxa3 21.Rxa3 f5 22.Ng5 Bxg5 23.hg5 fe4 24.Bxc5 bc5 25.Bxe4, and White’s control of the a-file gave him the

advantage.

Stronger is 12...Bh6, with which Black activates his bishop and takes control of g5. But here too White keeps the

initiative. Here is one of the possible plans: 13.a4 f5 14.a5 Kh8 15.Nd2 Ng8 16.ef5 (if 16.Nb3, then 16...fe4 17.Nxe4

Ndf6 is possible) 16...gf5 17.Na4 with the idea of c4-c5 and Nd2-c4.

11...Rxa5 12.Nd2

White continues preparing c4-c5, for which he transfers his knight to b3. The attempt to solve this idea with his

bishop – 12.a4 Kh8 13.Ba3 Bh6 14.Nd2 f5 15.Bb4 Ra6 – allows Black to use his queen’s rook more actively compared

with the plan give in the previous note: 16.a5 Rf7 17.Nb3 Nf6 18.ef5 gf5 19.c5 Ng6 20.Re1 f4, and Black developed

active counterplay (Tukmakov-Loginov, USSR 1988).

12...Nc5 13.Nb3 Nxb3 14.Qxb3 f5 15.Bd2 b6 16.a4

16.f3!? also came into consideration, freeing the knight from the need to defend the e4-point. After the attempt to

increase the pressure on it by switching the knight to f6 – 16...Kh8 17.Nb5 Ra6 18.a4 Ng8 19.a5 White’s attack on the

queenside gets there first.

16...fe4! 17.Nxe4 Ra6

18.c5!

A positional pawn sacrifice, supported by tactics. White’s aim is to break up the opponent’s pawns. It becomes

apparent why nowadays Black often resorts to prophylaxis with the early withdrawal of his king to h8.

18...bc5 19.Nxc5 dc5 20.d6+ Kh8 21.de7 Qxe7 22.Qc4 Re6 23.Qe4!

In the philosophical sense, using the queen as a blockader is an inexcusable luxury: it is just too vulnerable. But in

the given specific instance the advance of the e-pawn cannot be allowed.

23...Ba6 24.Rfc1 Rd8 25.Be3 Bd3 26.Bxc5! Qf7

Black had reasons for avoiding the exchange of queens – 26...Bxe4 27.Bxe7 Rxe7 28.Bxe4, transposing into an

ending with opposite-colour bishops, where the enemy bishop supports the passed a-pawn.

27.Qb7 e4 28.Ra3 Ba6 29.Qb4 Qf5 30.Re3 Bd3 31.a5 Rde8 32.h4

For an understanding of the subsequent manoeuvres, it is important to appreciate the features of the pawn islands,

where it is not only their number that is significant, but also the potential weakness of the a1-h8 and a2-g8 diagonals,

adjacent to the black king.

32...Qd5 33.Ree1 Ra6 34.Be3 Qxa5

A practically forced exchange, since all the same White was threatening to win the c-pawn. But without the queens,

Black’s rear becomes vulnerable.

35.Qxa5 Rxa5 36.Rxc7 Ra1?!

Dubious. It was better to aim for the exchange of the more active rook after 36...Rae5 and 37...Ree7. However, it is

already hard to offer Black any good advice.

37.Rxa1 Bxa1 38.Bh6!

The black king becomes a prisoner in its own kingdom, and the rook cannot leave the 8th rank.

38...Kg8 39.Bh3 Bf6 40.Bd7 Ra8

40...Re7?? would have led to a cooperative mate after 41.Rc8+ Kf7 42.Rf8.

41.Be6+ Kh8 42.Bd5 Rd8 43.Rf7 Bd4 44.Kg2 Bb2 45.g4 Bd4?

Black misses a chance to prevent the opening of the h-file by 45...Be2! 46.g5 Bf3+.

46.g5 Be5 47.Re7 Bc3 48.Kg3 Bd4 49.Kf4 Rb8 50.Be6 Rd8 51.h5 Bc2

If 51...gh5, then 52.Bf5 is decisive.

52.Rc7 Bd3 53.hg6 hg6 54.Bf7 Bb6 55.Rc1?

I am impatient to give mate. 55.Rb7! was more ‘methodical’.

55...Ra8?

55...Rb8! 56.Rh1 Bc7+ 57.Ke3 Rb1 was the only way to avoid the mating attack.

56.Rh1

With the irresistible threat of Bh6-f8 mate!

56...Bc7+ 57.Ke3 Bb6+ 58.Kd2 Black resigned.

THE FLANK ATTACK 7...a6

(1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 0-0 5.Nf3 d6 6.0-0 Nc6 7.Nc3)

7...a6

This continuation, known in theory as the Panno Variation, has the aim of preparing the flank attack b7-b5. After

the rook moves to b8 the action of the g2-bishop against the queenside is unimportant.

White employs two main methods of play:

a) he avoids d4-d5, aiming to retain a mobile pawn centre;

b) he closes the pawn centre with d4-d5.

If White chooses the plan without the closing of the centre, then for the preparation of e2-e4 (or for the

development Bc1-e3) he must play 8.h3 to prevent Bc8-g4, intensifying the attack on d4 (Diagram).

Here, for the preparation of b7-b5, Black’s main continuation is 8...Rb8. The same aim is served by the bishop

development 8...Bd7.

USSR Championship Semi-Final

Krasnoyarsk 1980

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 0-0 5.Nc3 d6 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.h3 a6 8.0-0 Rb8

An important link in Black’s plan for the preparation of b7-b5.

With the same aim 8...Bd7 9.e4 e5 10.Be3 is also played. Here are some possibilities:

a) 10...ed4 11.Nxd4 Re8 12.Rc1 Nxd4 13.Bxd4 c5 14.Be3 Bc6 15.f3 b5 16.b3 b4 17.Ne2 a5 18.Rc2 Qc7 19.Rd2

Red8 20.Qc2 a4 with complicated play (van Wely-Fedorov, Wijk aan Zee 2001);

b) 10...b5 11.de5 (if 11.d5, then 11...Nd4!? 12.Nxd4 ed4 13.Qxd4 Qc8 14.h4 Ng4 15.Qd2 b4 is possible, with

quite good counterplay) 11...Nxe5 12.Nxe5 de5 13.Qc2 c6 14.Rfd1, and White’s position is slightly preferable.

8...e5 9.d5 Ne7 10.e4 leads to a position similar to the main variation, but with the addition of the moves h2-h3 and

a7-a6. A game Gufeld-Suetin (USSR 1973) continued: 10...c5 11.dc6?! bc6 12.c5 d5 13.Nxe5 Nxe4 14.Nxe4 Bxe5

15.Nd6 Nf5 16.Nxc8 Qxc8 17.Rb1 a5 18.h4 Qc7 19.Qd3 Rfe8 20.Bg5 Nd4 with equal chances. Of course, after the

conceding of the centre White can hardly hope for an advantage. 11.a4 Bd7 12.Ne1 Ne8 13.Nd3 f5 14.f4 is more

logical, with an enduring initiative for White. But Black too is not obliged to play 10...c5. 10...Ne8 or 10...Nd7

followed by f7-f5 is safer, aiming for familiar sort of play.

9.Qc2

A favourite continuation of Gennady Kuzmin in the 1980s.

The plan with piece pressure on the queenside with the participation of the rook on c1 is more justified: 9.Be3 b5

10.Nd2 (for the moment it is premature to play 10.cb5 ab5 11.Rc1 Bd7 12.d5 Na5, and Black maintains the balance)

10...Bd7 (in the event of 10...Bb7 White closes the centre, and the bishop merely hinders the development of Black’s

counterplay: 11.d5! Ne5 12.b3 c5 13.Rc1 Qa5 14.a4 ba4 15.Nxa4 e6 16.Nf3! Nxf3+ 17.Bxf3 ed5 18.b4! with

advantage, Vyzhmanavin-G.Kuzmin, Norilsk 1987) 11.Rc1 e5 (or 11...Na5 12.cb5 ab5 13.b4 Nc4 14.Nxc4 bc4 15.b5

d5 16.a4 with somewhat the better chances for White) 12.de5 Nxe5 13.cb5 ab5 14.b3 Re8 15.Nde4, and White’s

position is preferable (Mikhalchishin-Gleizerov, Pavlodar 1987). Therefore it makes sense to defer b7-b5 until a more

appropriate moment and to try 9...e6 10.Rc1 Ne7 11.Qd2 Nf5 with unexplored play.

9...Na5!

A fresh idea for those times, which I also frequently employed later. Black voluntarily move his knight to the wing

for the sake of attacking a specific target – the c4-pawn.

The pawn attack 9...b5 10.cb5 ab5 is also possible, when the pawn sacrifice 11.Nxb5 is supported by tactics:

11...Nb4 12.Qc4 Nxa2 13.Nxc7 Nxc1 14.Rfxc1 Rxb2 15.Ra8 Bh6 16.e3 Qd7, and Black defended (G.Kuzmin-

Tseshkovsky, USSR 1980).

Play in the centre is less promising: 9...Bd7 10.e4 e5 11.de5 Nxe5 12.Nxe5 de5 13.Be3 Be6 14.b3 c6 15.Rac1, and

White’s chances are preferable (G.Kuzmin – Tukmakov, USSR 1980).

10.Nd5 b5 11.Nxf6+ Bxf6 12.cb5 ab5 13.Bh6 Re8 14.Rac1 c6

Black’s pawn structure is highly durable and dynamic. If he should succeed in achieving the piece arrangement

Qc7, Bd7 and Rfe8, the c6-c5 advance will become quite effective. Therefore White begins opposing this plan.

15.Nd2!

White takes control of c4 and threatens 16.b4, which would follow after 15...Bxd4.

15...b4 16.e3 Ba6

16...Qb6 was more flexible.

17.Rfd1

17.Rfe1 was more accurate.

17...Qb6

It only remains to complete the last link in the plan – 18...Rec8, and everything will be ready for the c6-c5 advance,

but White is on the alert.

18.h4 Be2!

Suppressing White’s initiative – if 18...Rec8 he was intending 19.Bh3! Rc7 20.h5 – Black switches his bishop to the

kingside.

19.Re1 Bg4

A dynamically balanced position has arisen. The pressure on the c6-pawn is compensated by Black’s possible

counterplay involving the expansion of his dark-square bishop’s scope by e7-e5 or c6-c5. Only a suicide could venture

20.Bxc6 Rbc8 21.d5, with the weakening of the light-square periphery.

20.Qa4

Approaching the c6-pawn from the side. In the event of 20.Nc4 Nxc4 21.Qxc4 Bd7 Black not only rids himself of

his badly placed knight, but prepares a counterattack in the centre. For example, 22.h5 d5! 23.Qc2 e5.

20...Rec8

With the idea of 21...Be6 and 22...c5.

21.a3! Be6 22.ab4

Of course, it was not in order to restrict his own queen after 22.Ra1? b3! that White embarked on his flank

operation.

22...Qxb4 23.Qxb4 Rxb4 24.Ra1 Nb3

24...Rxb2?! was weaker because of 25.Ne4.

25.Nxb3 Rxb3

25...Bxb3? loses a pawn in view of 26.Bxc6.

26.Ra7 Rxb2?

Black is in a hurry to win material. 26...c5 was more effective, including the dark-square bishop in the play in the

event of 27.dc5 dc5 or 27.d5 Bf5 28.e4 Bg4.

27.Rea1 d5 Draw.

Could Black have achieved the desired activity with 27...c5 ? Unfortunately, no. After 28.d5 Bf5 29.e4 Bg4 30.f3

c4 31.Kh1 Bd4 32.Rxe7 he would have lost a pawn. And after the text move a position with roughly equal chances is

reached.

There was a time when the phrase ‘Yefim Geller is playing’ was a synonym for mastery of the highest standard.

For nearly half a century he performed on the chess stage. When speaking about Geller’s heritage, particular mention

should be made of his contribution to the King’s Indian Defence. It was no accident that Mikhail Botvinnik, who was

not very generous with his compliments, once commented: ‘Before Geller we did not really understand the King’s

Indian’. And his successor on the chess throne, Tigran Petrosian, had a high regard for the strength of Geller, who often

‘obtained satisfaction’ from ‘iron Tigran’. And yet it is well known how uncompromising Petrosian was with the white

pieces, especially against devotees of the King’s Indian Defence. You can verify this from my bitter experience.

However, by the time of the following encounter, for a long time Geller had been upholding only White’s position,

and around the age of 50 he stopped playing the King’s Indian as Black. The point was that he began experiencing

problems with the knight on d7 and, as a convinced classical player, he could not bring himself to bring out his knight

in front of his pawn – at c6.

USSR 1981

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.g3 0-0 5.Bg2 d6 6.d4 Nc6 7.0-0 a6 8.h3 Rb8 9.e4

The idea of this move is not only the occupation of the centre, but also the immediate e4-e5 advance.

9...b5

Black tries to get his blow in first. He has to play energetically, to avoid ending up in a cramped position. Of

course, he could have prevented the advance of the e-pawn with the radical 9...e5, but after 10.Be3 ed4 11.Nxd4 Bd7

12.Nxc6 Bxc6 13.Qc2 followed by Ra1-d1 White stands better.

The same aim is pursued by 9...Nd7, but here too White creates piece pressure: 10.Be3 Na5 (if 10...b5, then 11.cb5

ab5 12.Qc1! e5 13.Rd1 is good) 11.b3 b5 12.cb5 ab5 13.Rc1 (if 13.Qd2, then 13...c5!? is possible) 13...b4 14.Nd5 e6

15.Nf4, and White’s chances are preferable (Hübner-J.Polgar, Dortmund 1997).

10.e5

10...Nd7

The Encyclopaedia also considers it possible for Black to transpose into an endgame: 10...de5 11.de5 Qxd1

12.Rxd1 Nd7, not fearing 13.e6 fe6 14.cb5 ab5:

a) 15.Be3 b4 16.Na4 Nce5 17.Nd4 Nb6 18.Nxb6 Rxb6 19.Rac1 Rd6 with active play for Black (Nikolic-Zapata,

Interzonal Tournament, Tunis 1985);

b) 15.Bf4 Nde5 (15...b4 16.Na4 Nb6 is also possible) 16.Ne1 (16.Nxe5 Nxe5 17.Rac1 c5 leads to equal play)

16...Nb4 17.a3 Na6 18.Rac1 Nc4 with equal chances (Vaganian-Sax, Lucerne 1985).

11.e6

A new idea by Geller. What else does White have? The exchanges 11.cb5 ab5 12.ed6 cd6 must be deemed poor, as

White is now obliged to fight for equality, as shown by my game against another brilliant expert on the King’s Indian

Defence, Leonid Stein, at a tournament in Moscow in 1969. I was playing Black – 13.Bg5 h6 14.Be3 b4 15.Nd5 Bb7

16.Rc1 e6 17.Nf4 Ne7 and I achieved an excellent game.

11.Ng5 suggests itself, with the threats of 12.Bxc6 and 12.e6, but it allows Black quite good counter-chances –

11...Nxd4 12.Qxd4 Nxe5 13.Qh4 h6 14.Nge4 e6! 15.Qxd8 Rxd8 with an unclear position (Geller) or 11...de5 12.Bxc6

ed4.

11...fe6 12.d5 ed5!?

Weaker is 12...Na5 13.cb5 ed5 14.Nd4 Nf6 15.Nxd5 ab5 16.Bd2! with advantage to White (Geller-Chiburdanidze,

Moscow 1981), but 12...Nce5 13.Nd4 Nb6 is possible. Marin-Milov (Batumi 1999) continued: 14.cb5 ed5 15.f4 c5

16.bc6 Nf7 17.f5! gf5 18.Nxd5 Nxd5 19.Bxd5 Bxd4+ 20.Qxd4 e6 21.Bg2, and White, with his pair of active bishops

and passed pawn, had the better chances.

13.cd5

Avoiding the trap 13.Qxd5+? e6 14.Qxc6? Bb7, and the queen is caught.

13...Na5 14.Nd4 Ne5

The positions of both knights are not too secure, but here Black’s strategy is supported by tactics (if 15.f4 there

follows 15...c5!).

15.b4

A responsible move, creating tactical opportunities for Black on the a1-h8 diagonal. Lajos Portisch, a zealous

observer of the laws of positional play, prefers 15.Nce2 Bd7 16.Nf4 followed by the invasion of the knight on e6.

15...Nac4 16.f4

This move suggests itself, but it does not take Black’s tactical resources into account. The play would have been

more tedious after 16.Nce2 Bd7 17.Nf4 or 16.Rb1.

16...c5!

It transpires that the knight is not obliged to retreat and Black can get rid of his backward pawn.

17.dc6 Nxc6 18.Nxc6

If 18.Bxc6 there would also have followed 18...Qb6, although without check, but with a dangerous pin.

18...Qb6+ 19.Kh2 Bxc3 20.Nxe7+ Kh8 21.Nxc8

21.Nd5 Qd4 22.Nxc3 Qxc3 23.Rb1 Bb7 leads to a roughly equal position.

21...Rbxc8 22.Rb1 Rce8

It is this rook that should occupy the e-file, since if 22...Rfe8 White has 23.f5!. In general, the position can be

assessed as roughly equal.

23.Rb3 Bg7 24.Rd3 a5!

If 24...Re7 there would have followed 25.Re1!.

25.ba5 Qxa5 26.a3 Re7 27.Rd5 Rfe8

Black intensifies the pressure, whereas 27...Ne3 would have led to simplification.

28.f5 Re1?!

A typical time-trouble decision. When there is little time for thought, it is hard to refrain from such a showy

invasion of the opponent’s rear, specially if this creates threats to the king. The straightforward 28...gf was simpler and

stronger.

29.Qd3!

The only move, but an adequate one. Naturally, my highly experienced opponent did not fall for the impulsive

29.Rxe1? Rxe1 30.Qc2 Qb6, when Black is ‘merely’ threatening mate.

29...Ne5

If 29...Rxf1 there would have followed 30.Qxf1! with the double threat of 31.Qc4 and 31.f6.

30.Rxe1

Making use of the fact that the black rooks are disconnected, White exchanges one of them, exploiting the pin on

the knight. The alternative 30.Qxb5 Qxb5 31.Rxb5 Rxf1 32.Bxf1 Nf3+ 33.Kg2 Nd4 would have led to a slight

advantage for White.

30...Qxe1 31.Qxb5 Rc8

After 31...Rf8, fortunately for White, he can offer to go into an endgame with 32.Qf1!.

32.Bf4 gf5 33.Rxd6

33...Ng6!

Sacrificing another pawn in order to activate the forces to the maximum – 34.Qxf5 Rf8.

34.Qd5 Qe7!

The only correct move. 34...Nxf4?? was not possible because of 35.Rd8+. Now, however, the fighting resources are

exhausted.

35.Bd2 Be5 36.Rd7 Qxa3 37.Rd8+ Rxd8 38.Qxd8+ Qf8 Draw.

Hastings 1994/95

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.c4 Bg7 4.g3 0-0 5.Bg2 d6 6.0-0 Nc6 7.Nc3 a6 8.h3 Rb8 9.e4 b5 10.cb5

After this premature conceding of the c4-point White can hardly hope to gain an advantage. The immediate 10.e5 is

more logical.

10...ab5 11.e5

As in the previous game, White begins forcing play, since after the quiet 11.Be3 b4 12.Nd5 Nxe4 Black is alright.

11...Nd7!

This move came as a surprise to Arkell, since it was not mentioned in theory. Most books recommend 11...de5

12.de5 Qxd1 13.Rxd1 Nd7 14.e6, but I don’t like playing with such a ‘sea’ of pawn islands. The choice of opening

repertoire is a matter of taste, but my position is the following: show me someone’s opening repertoire, and I will reveal

to you the character of that person.

As regards the information given in present-day opening books, I employed the move 11...Nd7 a quarter of a

century earlier in the game Stein-Gufeld (Moscow 1969), which after 12.ed6 cd6 13.Bg5 h6 14.Be3 b4 15.Nd5 Bb7

16.Rc1 e6 17.Nf4 Ne7 18.Bd2 Nf5 19.Ne2 Qb6 20.Rc4 Qa6 ended in a draw.

12.Ng5

This is better than 12.e6 fe6 13.Ng5 Nxd4 14.Be3 h6. Here I spent half an hour, trying to remember what I had

prepared against this move 30 years earlier. Meanwhile, the spectators were wondering whether I had made a mistake

in my favourite King’s Indian Defence.

12...Bb7!

The idea of a piece sacrifice is in the air, but for the moment it is insufficiently justified. Thus in the event of

12...Nxd4 13.Qxd4 Nxe5 14.Qd1 Black does not have full compensation. And another form of the sacrifice, carried

out in the game Nikolic-Nunn (Wijk aan Zee 1982) – 12...de5 13.Bxc6 ed4 14.Nxb5 Rb6 15.Na7 h6 16.Nf3 Ba6

17.Re1 Nb8 18.Be4 Qd7 19.b3 also did not bring Black complete satisfaction. Therefore if he is going to sacrifice

something, he should at least continue his development.

13.e6 Nxd4

A positional sacrifice, the compensation for which is a very strong centre.

14.Bxb7

Possibly it would have been better to retain the bishops.

14...Rxb7 15.ed7

After 15.ef7+ Kh8 16.Be3 e5 17.Bxd4 Qxg5 Black has a good game.

15...Qxd7 16.a4

The position is quite complicated, it is impossible to calculate all the variations, and so I rely on my intuition. And

intuition and experience suggest that Black has sufficient compensation.

16...ba4 17.Rxa4 c5 18.Nf3

18...e5!

Now the knight on d4 resembles a dive-bomber, accompanied by two fighter aircraft on c5 and e5. At the same

time the ‘aggressive’ 18...Qxh3?! would have handed White the advantage after 19.Nxd4 cd4 20.Rxd4! Bxd4 21.Qxd4.

19.h4 h6

19...Qc6 was more energetic, and after 20.Nxd4 cd4 21.Ne2 d3 22.Nc3 e4 the central pawns advance with the

momentum of a moving locomotive.

20.Nxd4 cd4 21.Ne2

The alternative 21.Nd5 Qb5 22.Nb4 Rc8 was hardly any better for White.

21...f5 22.b4 f4!

In the psychological sense it was possibly better to develop the initiative by 22...d3 23.Nc3 e4, but here Black also

has definite problems, associated with the weakness of the 6th rank.

23.Nxf4!

One virtue of an extra piece is the possibility of returning it for definite benefits, especially as 23.gf4 d3 24.Ng3 ef4

25.Ne4 f3 is clearly in Black’s favour.

23...ef4 24.Bxf4 d5! 25.Qb3 Rc8?!

25...Qb5! 26.Rc1 (or 26.Re1 Qc4) 26...Re8 would have led to a positional advantage. 25...d3 with the idea of

26...Rxf4! was also interesting.

26.Ra6 Kh7 27.Rd6 Qf7

After 27...Qb5? 28.Rxd5 Qxb4 29.Qxb4 Rxb4 30.Rd7 Black might even lose.

28.Qxd5 Qxd5 29.Rxd5 Rc4!

Not 29...Rxb4? 30.Rd7 Rb5 31.Re1!, when Black has to deal with two rooks on the 7th rank.

30.Bd2

Weaker was 30.Bd6?! Rd7 31.Rc5 Rxb4.

30...Rc2 31.Rd1 Re7 32.Be1 Rb2 33.Kf1 Kg8 34.Rd6 Kf7 35.Bd2 Be5 36.Rc6 Re6 37.Rc5

White also achieves nothing with the exchange of rooks: 37.Rxe6 Kxe6 38.Bxh6 Rxb4.

37...Bg7 38.Kg2 h5 39.b5 Be5

39...Bf6 with the idea of Re6-b6 was more accurate. However, it was also not too late for this on the next move, but

I lacked that vital second.

40.Rd5

At this point the flag on Black’s clock fell, and I lost the game on time.

After 40...Bf6 a draw would have been the rightful outcome.

Closed centre

It is no accident that some books call 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 0-0 5.Nf3 d6 6.0-0 Nc6 7.Nc3 a6 the

‘modern game’. It is modern both in the direct, and the figurative sense, since it reflects modern tendencies in the

opening. The idea of it is disclosed after the closing of the centre 8.d5 Na5 9.Nd2 c5 followed by b7-b5.

After the earlier closing of the centre by 7.d5 Na5 8.Nfd2 c5 9.Nc3 Black has the possibility of play with 9...a6 and

9...e5.

Kirovabad 1973

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.g3 g6 3.Bg2 Bg7 4.0-0 0-0 5.c4 d6 6.Nc3 Nc6 7.d4 a6 8.d5 Na5 9.Nd2 c5 10.Qc2

The knight on c3 has to be defended before the dark-square bishop is developed. In addition, at c2 the queen

prepares the development of the bishop at b2, from where it counters the bishop on g7. Later, as the variation evolved,

they also began employing 10.Rb1 (White prepares for the possible opening of the b-file after b7-b5) 10...Rb8 11.b3 b5

12.Bb2, which has its subtleties. For example, in the event of 12...Bd7 13.Qc2 Black cannot play 13...e6?!, which leads

to the loss of a pawn, as is shown in the note to Black’s 13th move.

10...Rb8 11.b3 b5 12.Bb2

Nowadays this has become one of the most popular tabiyas in the variation with the bishop fianchetto.

12...e6

In recent years Black has more often played 12...Bh6, provoking 13.f4; after 13...bc4 14.bc4 e5 the position is

opened, and the b8-rook and dark-square bishop become very active – in particular, the motif of the exchange sacrifice

becomes topical.

13.Rab1

White defends his bishop in the event of the b-file being opened.

The relieving of the pawn tension with the exchange of the bishop on g7 – 13.de6 fe6 14.cb5 ab5 15.Nce4 Nxe4

16.Bxg7 (or 16.Nxe4 Bxb2 17.Qxb2 Bb7) 16...Nxd2 17.Bxf8 Nxf1 18.Bh6 Nxh2 19.Qc3! e5 does not pose Black any

particular problems.

13...ed5

The position of the knight on a5 creates certain tactical motifs. For example, after the bishop development 13...Bd7

an exchanging mechanism, typical of this type of pawn structure, goes into operation: 14.de6 fe6 15.cb5 ab5 16.Nce4

Nxe4 17.Bxg7 Kxg7 18.Nxe4 Bc6 19.Qc3+ Kg8 20.Nxd6, and White wins a pawn.

With the exchange on d5 two pairs of minor pieces are exchanged, which makes it hard for Black to create

counterplay. Things are not changed by the inclusion of 13...bc4 14.bc4 ed5 15.Nxd5! Nxd5 16.Bxd5 Bb7 17.Bxg7

Kxg7 18.Qc3+, when as a result Black is effectively playing without his knight on a5. Instead of the capture on d5,

14...Nd7!? comes into consideration, although here too after 15.e4 White’s chances are preferable.

In Spassky-Ivkov (Santa Monica 1966) Black preferred to retain the pawn tension: 13...Re8 14.e4 Bd7 15.Rfe1

Bh6, but after 16.de6 Bxe6 17.Nd5 White’s position was nevertheless better.

14.Nxd5 Nxd5 15.cd5 Rb7 16.Bxg7 Kxg7 17.e4 Re8 18.f4 Rbe7 19.Rbe1

White has a spatial advantage and chances of converting it. If 19...Qb6 there follows 20.h4 c4+ 21.Kh2.

19...f6 20.h3 Nb7 21.Nf3 Qc7 22.g4

Signalling the start of an attack on the king.

22...Nd8 23.g5 fg5 24.Nxg5 h6

In the event of 24...Nf7 White would have broken through in the centre – 25.Qc3+ Kg8 26.Nxf7 Rxf7 27.e5 and

gained an obvious advantage.

25.Nf3 Nf7 26.Qc3+ Kh7 27.Qf6!

The queen has become very active. The e4-pawn is taboo (27...Rxe4? 28.Rxe4 Rxe4 29.Nh4), and at the same time

e4-e5 is threatened. Black has to do something active.

27...c4 28.bc4 bc4 29.Qd4!

Centralising the queen with an attack on the c-pawn, which is cut off from base. 29.e5? did not work because of

29...de5 30.fe5 Nxe5 31.Rxe5 Rxe5 32.d6 Qc5+ 33.Kh2 Rf5, when White has achieved nothing.

29...c3 30.Re3 c2 31.Rc3 Qb8 32.Ne1!

From here the knight is not only attacking the pawn, but it can also be switched to a better position.

32...Qb2 33.Nxc2

33.Nd3! Qxa2 34.Rc1 was more accurate, capturing the pawn with the rook, while the knight supports the advance

of the e-pawn.

33...Qxa2 34.Nb4

34.Qf6!? Qb2 35.Rff3 came into consideration.

34...Qb2 35.Nc6?

Ultra-optimistic! White overlooks a tactical stroke by his opponent. 35.Nd3 was essential.

35...Rxe4! 36.Bxe4 Rxe4 37.Qxe4

37.Qf6 did not work in view of 37...Nh8!.

37...Qxc3 38.Qf3 Qf6 39.Kh2 h5 40.Qe3 Bd7

For the sacrificed exchange Black has definite compensation in the form of White’s broken pawn structure. Here

40...h4!? came into consideration.

41.Nd4! Nh6 42.Ra1!

By the return of his errant knight White has reinforced the approaches to his position and included his rook in the

play. Of course, it is not the matter of the a6-pawn, but the possibility of breaking into the opponent’s rear.

42...Nf5 43.Nxf5

The tactical justification of this exchange is 43...Qxa1? 44.Qe7+.

43...Qxf5 44.Rxa6 Qxd5 45.Ra7 Qf7 46.h4!

Since Black is practically in zugzwang, it is useful to improve the position of the h-pawn.

46...Qg7 47.Rb7 Kh8 48.Kg3

In the event of 48.Qa7? Qe7! Black’s game is markedly activated.

48...Qf7

It was hardly correct to concede the long diagonal; 48...Kg8 really was better.

49.Qd4+ Kg8 50.Qxd6 Qe6 51.Qxe6+ Bxe6 52.Kf2

After the exchange of queens the game passes into the technical phase, and the king hurries to coordinate with the

rook.

52...Bf7 53.Ke3 Kg7 54.Rb6 Bd5 55.Kd4 Ba2 56.Ke5 Bc4 57.Rb7+ Kh6 58.Kf6

The king is aiming for g5.

58...Bd5 59.Rb8 Kh7 60.Kg5 Black resigned.

Los Angeles 1997

1.Nf3 g6 2.c4 Bg7 3.Nc3 d6 4.d4 Nf6 5.g3 0-0 6.Bg2 Nc6 7.d5 Na5 8.Nd2 c5 9.Qc2

9.0-0 would have transposed into a position from the Yugoslav Variation, examined below. Blatny is hoping to

exploit the tempo saved by not castling to develop his initiative on the queenside. However, in this closed position the

tempo is of no great significance.

9...e5 10.a3 b6 11.b4 Nb7 12.Nb3

Up to now White has followed a well-trodden path, but here instead of 12.Rb1 or 12.Bb2 he prefers to intensify the

pressure on c5 (in a number of cases an exchange there is possible, followed by the occupation of the b-file). The logic

of this manoeuvre is also revealed after the exchange 12...cb4?! 13.ab4 Bd7 14.c5 – the knight is in the right place.

12...Nd7

This retreat, which was judged to be a novelty, is a response to Blatny’s claim to the c5-point, and is fully in

accordance with the main theme of Black’s counterplay. Usually Black preferred to prepare f7-f5 by 12...Ne8 or

12...Ng4.

13.e4 f5 14.ef5 gf5 15.0-0 e4!?

This shows the additional possibilities for the knight on d7, from where it can go to e5. From e8 (with the same

move order) it could only go to f6, which is also not bad.

16.Bb2 Ne5 17.Ne2 Bd7

The bishop would not be averse to moving to a4, and White is practically forced to close the queenside.

18.b5 Qf6 19.Bc3

Parrying the threat of 19...Nf3+. If 19.Rab1 I was intending 19...a6!, eliminating all White’s hopes on the queenside

associated with a3-a4-a5.

19...Nd8 20.Nd2 Qh6!

If 20...Ndf7?! there could have followed 21.f4, restricting this knight. But now this move would weaken the e3-

square.

21.Nf4 Ndf7 22.f3!

A timely undermining move.

22...Rae8?!

Black prevents 23.fe4? in view of 23...Ng4, but even so this is a loss of time. It was better to immediately bring the

second knight to e5: 22...ef3 23.Nxf3 Nxf3+ 24.Bxf3 Ne5, retaining the initiative. Now White gains a respite.

23.Rae1 ef3 24.Nxf3 Nxf3+ 25.Bxf3 Ne5 26.Bh5! Ng6 27.Rxe8

27.Bxg7 Qxg7 28.Ne6 Bxe6 29.de6 Qf6 30.Bf3 f4 leads to an intricate position.

27...Rxe8 28.Bd2 Bd4+ 29.Kh1

29...Be3!

In the battle for the weak e3-point Black is even prepared to exchange his active bishop. If he ‘runs away’ from the

d2-bishop – 29...Qg7, then after 30.Ne6! Bxe6 31.de6 Rxe6 32.Qxf5 he is forced to concede the initiative to White.

30.Bxe3 Rxe3 31.Qc1!

The bishop is replaced by the queen, but this opposition is no longer so dangerous.

31...Re5 32.Bf3

It was possible to win a pawn – 32.Nxg6 Qxc1 33.Rxc1 hg6 34.Bxg6 Kg7, but then Black’s control of the e-file

would be more than sufficient compensation.

32...Nxf4 33.gf4 Re7 34.Rg1+ Rg7 35.Re1

White has even managed to wrest the e-file from Black, but this is temporary.

35...Qf6 36.Qe3 Kf8 37.Bh5 Re7 38.Qxe7+ Qxe7 39.Rxe7 Kxe7 40.Kg2 Draw.

YUGOSLAV VARIATION

(1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nf3 Bg7 4.g3 0-0 5.Bg2 d6 6.0-0)

In the system with the bishop fianchetto, the attack on the centre with 6...c5, which has been given the name of the

Yugoslav Variation, can be recommended along with 6...Nc6. This move order, where a pawn attack on the centre

precedes the development of the knight, was given its name thanks to the efforts of Yugoslav players in the 1950s.

For a time Black leaves his e7-pawn at home and strikes a blow at the centre from the other side, thereby trying to

increase the scope of his bishop on g7.

If White tries to retain the maintain the tension in the centre with 7.Nc3, Black increases the pressure on d4 –

7...Nc6, after which the closing of the centre by 8.d5 Na5 9.Nd2 transposes into positions arising after the move order

6...Nc6 7.d5 Na5 8.Nfd2 c5 9.Nc3.

If instead White immediately closes the centre with 7.d5, then Black has a choice. With 7...b5!? he can switch to a

very sharp line of the Benko Gambit or he can continue in the style of the Benoni Defence – Nb8-a6, b7-b6, Bc8-b7

and Na6-c7.

And, finally, the exchange in the centre is possible – 7.dc5 dc5, although White can hardly hope for an advantage in

this symmetric position.

Yugoslavia v. USSR

Tuzla 1979

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nf3 Bg7 4.g3 0-0 5.Bg2 d6 6.0-0 c5 7.Nc3

The main continuation, with which White offers his opponent the option of deciding on the central formation.

A plan employed by Oleg Romanishin also comes into consideration – 7.b3 Nc6 (7...cd4 8.Nxd4 Nc6 is also

possible, since the acceptance of the pawn sacrifice 9.Nxc6 bc6 10.Bxc6 Bh3! is advantageous to Black) 8.Bb2 cd4

9.Nxd4 Bd7 10.Nc3 Nxd4 11.Qxd4 Bc6 12.Nd5 Bxd5 13.Bxd5! Ne8 (in Romanishin-Gufeld, Tbilisi 1988, my

decision to retain my favourite piece with 13...Qa5?! brought a mass of problems after 14.Bc3 Qc7 15.Rac1) 14.Qd2

Bxb2 15.Qxb2 Rb8 16.Rfd1 Qb6 17.Bf3 Nf6, and although White holds the initiative, Black’s position is solid enough

(Romanishin-Rashkovsky, Lvov 1981).

7...Nc6

Apart from this obvious move, the exchange 7...cd4 8.Nxd4 is also of interest in connection with a pawn sacrifice:

8...Nc6!? 9.Nxc6 bc6 10.Bxc6 Rb8 11.Bg2 Qa5 12.Nb5 (if 12.Qc2, then 12...Be6 13.b3 d5 is possible) 12...Bb7

(12...Be6!? also comes into consideration) 13.Bxb7 Rxb7 14.Bd2 Qa6 15.Bc3 Rc8 with active piece play.

8.d5

The critical move – the knight is driven to the edge of the board.

8...Na5 9.Nd2 e5

By closing the centre, Black signifies his priorities in the centre and on the kingside. At the same time he is ready to

defend on the queenside, where in this closed position the knight on a5 plays a far from minor role.

Another plan involves a counterattack in the centre and on the queenside with the undermining of the pawn chain

by e7-e6 and b7-b5. Usually it begins with 9...a6, and the character of the play is examined in detail in the game

Gufeld-Rashkovsky (Kirovabad 1973).

Sometimes Black varies his move order, not hurrying to disclose his intentions. Interesting in this respect is 9...Rb8

10.Qc2 e6!? 11.Rb1 (if 11.de6, then 11...Bxe6! 12.b3 d5 is good, when Black’s chances are already preferable) 11...ed5

12.cd5 Re8 13.e4 Bd7, and Black, while retaining pressure on the centre, is ready for play on the queenside with b7-b5

(Balogh-Istratescu, Krynica 1998).

10.e4

This move has contradictory assessments. Yefim Geller employed it regularly, hoping that f7-f5 would turn out in

favour of White, since on the decisive part of the battlefield he has one piece more. Mark Taimanov, by contrast, thinks

one should not make it easier for the opponent to exploit a resource which the latter considers basic. He recommends

10.a3 b6 (10...Qc7?! will not do in view of 11.b4! cb4 12.ab4 Nxc4 13.Nb5 Qb6 14.Nxc4 Qxb5 15.Nxd6 Qxb4

16.Ba3 Qg4 17.Nb5 with an obvious advantage to White) 11.b4 Nb7 12.Bb2 (or 12.Rb1) 12...Ng4 (if 12...Ne8 White

erects the same barricade) 13.h3 Nh6 14.e3! f5 15.f4 with complicated play.

In general, it is possible to disregard the offside knight on a5 and continue developing with 10.b3, controlling the

centre with the e3- and f4-pawns, as in the previous variation. In this respect the game Beliavsky-Kasparov (Linares

1994) is instructive.

10...Ng4

This is considered the main move as regards the preparation of f7-f5, Black not being concerned about his knight

being driven back to h6. But 10...Ne8 is also possible, after which in Smejkal-Hьbner (Interzonal Tournament,

Leningrad 1973) Black was able to demonstrate a good method of counterplay: 11.b3 a6 12.Bb2 Rb8! (this is more

flexible than 12...Bd7, which is fully in accordance with my conception, that in this type of position the queen’s bishop

can take part in the play even from its initial square) 13.Qc2 f5 14.ef5 gf5 15.Rae1 b5 16.Nd1 Rb7! (this is where the

delay in developing the light-square bishop is exploited – the rook comes into play, aided by the exchange of dark-

square bishops initiated by White) 17.f4 e4 18.Bxg7 Rxg7, and Black has the better prospects: he is ready for play on

both wings – with h7-h5 and b5-b4, whereas White is forced to wait.

Taimanov considers 11.a3 b6 12.b4 Nb7 to be more promising for White, emphasising his priorities on the

queenside.

11.h3

Geller recommends 11.b3 f5 12.ef5 gf5, but now if 13.h3 the knight can retreat to its ‘native’ territory – 13...Nf6,

and after 14.Bb2 a6 15.Qc2 Rb8 Black prepares b7-b5 in a more favourable situation than with the knight on h6.

11...Nh6 12.b3 f5

Play on the queenside is also possible: 12...a6 13.Bb2 Rb8 followed by b7-b5.

13.ef5 gf5 14.Bb2 Bd7 15.Qc2

White’s plan is to provoke a crisis on the e5-square after moving his queen’s rook to e1 and his knight from c3 to

e2, and playing f2-f4. Since the exchange on f4 is unfavourable for Black on account of the resulting chronic weakness

on f5, he must be prepared for the e5-e4 advance.

15...a6

As an antidote to White’s plan 15...b6 16.Ne2 Qc7 17.f4 Rae8 looks more logical, although after 18.Rae1 White’s

chances are still preferable (Vaganian-Spassky, Tilburg 1983).

16.Rae1 Qg5!

16...b5 also came into consideration, but Black prefers to activate his queen.

17.Ne2

17...Rae8?!

A mechanical move, after which the play turns in White’s favour. Since, with the exception of the knight on a5,

Black’s pieces are actively placed, it was essential to prepare for f2-f4 with 17...Qg6, intending 18.f4 e4, after which

Black has a reasonable game.

18.Bc3 b6 19.f4 ef4?

The e5-point should not have been conceded. It was essential to retreat with 19...Qg6.

20.Nf3!

It was this intermediate move that I overlooked. Now in the event of 20...Qg6 21.Nxf4 the move 21...Qxg3 is not

possible on account of the loss of the queen after 22.Nh5. The queen has to retreat to its initial position, which

conclusively hands the initiative to White.

20...Qd8 21.Bxg7

The right order. In the event of 21.Nxf4?! Bxc3 22.Qxc3 Qf6 Black would have become active.

21...Kxg7 22.Nxf4 Kg8 23.Nh5!

Preventing 23...Qf6. Black’s position becomes very difficult.

23...Rxe1 24.Rxe1 Re8

Also after 24...Be8 25.Nf4 Bf7 26.Qc3! things are bad for Black, who is playing without his knight on a5.

25.Qc3 Rxe1+ 26.Qxe1

Not allowing Black any chances of becoming active, which are possible after 26.Nxe1 Qe7.

26...Kf8 27.Qc3 Qe7 28.h4 Ng8 29.Ng5 h6 30.Nf4 Qe8 31.Nge6+ Bxe6

Black is also lost after 31...Ke7 32.Qe3!.

32.de6 Nc6 33.Bxc6 Qxc6 34.Ng6+ Ke8 35.Qh8 Black resigned.

Nikolaev 1981

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.c4 Bg7 4.g3 0-0 5.Bg2 d6 6.0-0 c5 7.dc5

The idea of this exchange in the Yugoslav Variation belongs to Miguel Najdorf. White hopes to exploit the extra

tempo in a symmetric position, but in the absence of any weaknesses for Black this is not easily done.

7...dc5

8.Qxd8

Najdorf usually preferred 8.Ne5, preventing the development of the knight at c6. For example, Najdorf-

Boleslavsky (Candidates Tournament, Zurich 1953) continued 8...Qc7 9.Nd3 Nc6 10.Nc3 Bf5 11.Bf4 Qa5 12.Bd2

Bxd3 13.ed3 Qc7 14.Be3, and White had the advantage of the two bishops in this open position. In my game with

Whiteley in Hastings 1988/89 I improved Black’s play: 9...Be6!? 10.Qb3 Nc6 11.Nxc5 Bg4 12.Qxb7 Qxb7 13.Nxb7

Nd4 14.Nc3 Nxe2+ 15.Nxe2 Bxe2 16.Re1 Bxc4 17.Rxe7 Nd5 18.Rd7 Nb6 19.Rd1 Be2, but although Black had

obvious activity for the pawn, I had to work pretty hard to gain a draw.

In time it was established that a strong reply to 8.Ne5 is 8...Nfd7, exchanging the active knight: 9.Nxd7 Nxd7

10.Nc3 Ne5. In Szabolcsi-Nagy (Hungary 1988) after 11.Qb3 Black sacrificed his queen – 11...Qd4 12.Bd5 e6 13.Be3

ed5 14.Bxd4 dc4 15.Qb5 cd4 16.Nd5 Be6 17.Nc7 Bd7 18.Qxb7 Rab8 19.Qxa7 Rxb2 20.Nd5 Bh3 21.Rfe1 d3 and

developed a strong attack.

8.Nc3 is considered the main continuation.

8...Rxd8 9.Ne5

Without the queens, Najdorf’s idea is ineffective.

9...Ne8

With gain of tempo Black transfers his knight to d6, at the same time activating his bishop on g7. 9...Nfd7 looks

rather artificial, although it ‘works’ in the event of the automatic 10.Nd3, to which in Bronstein-A.Kuzmin (Moscow

1982) Black replied with the unprejudiced 10...Nc6! and after 11.Bxc6 bc6 12.Nd2 Nb6 13.a4 Rd4 he achieved

excellent play. Even so, after the simple 10.Nxd7 Nxd7 11.Rd1 White’s position is better.

10.Nd3

10...Na6!

An interesting alternative was seen in Vaganian-Kasparov (Moscow 1981): 10...Nd6 11.Nxc5 Nc6! 12.Na3 Rb8!

13.Na4 (13.Re1!? came into consideration, after which Kasparov recommends 13...Na5 or 13...b6) 13...Be6 14.Bf4

Rbc8 15.Rac1 Nd4 16.Rfe1 b5! (after 16...Bxc4?! 17.Nxc4 Rxc4 18.Nc3 White’s position is preferable) 17.Bxd6! Rxd6

18.Nxb5 Nxb5 19.cb5 Rxc1 20.Rxc1 Rd2 21.Bf3 Bxb2. Draw.

The decision to defend the pawn relieves me of the need to play at such an energetic level, typical of Kasparov.

11.Nc3 Nd6

Of course, even for the sake of a pawn I could not venture 11...Bxc3?! 12.bc3 Nd6 13.Bf4!, since the bishop pair

would have raked Black’s most important communication lines.

12.Nd5 Kf8! 13.Ne3

The knight is forced to retreat, thereby emphasising the unpromising nature of White’s plan. With the pawn

structure symmetric, Black’s pieces are more active: whereas he can exchange White’s long-range bishop, the latter has

no such opportunity.

13...Rb8

The best way of developing the second bishop.

14.Bd2 b6 15.Rab1 Bb7 16.Bxb7 Rxb7

Black’s position is already preferable. His minor pieces are far more harmoniously placed than the opposing group,

but, based on tournament considerations, we agreed a draw.

Hastings 1986/87

1.c4 g6 2.Nf3 Bg7 3.d4 Nf6 4.g3 0-0 5.Bg2 d6 6.0-0 c5 7.Nc3 Nc6 8.dc5

Adorjan avoids the critical line 8.d5 Na5, hoping to bring the King’s Indian player down to earth in a symmetric

position.

8...dc5

9.Bf4

White chooses the plan of piece pressure on the opponent’s queenside, intending a possible Nf3-е5.

9.Be3 Be6 10.Qa4 is more often employed, and since in a symmetric position the advantage of the first move is

always important, now is the time to avoid the symmetry by 10...Nd4!.

9...Nh5

At that time it was considered useful to drive the bishop from its active position. Indeed, to the active 9...Nd4 there

is the good reply 10.Be5! Nc6 11.Qxd8 Rxd8 12.Bc7 Rf8 13.Ne5 Nd4 14.Nd3 Nd7 15.Rfd1 Re8 16.Rac1 a6 17.e3

Ne6 18.Nd5, and White’s position is preferable (Ribli-Gligoric, Linares 1981).

If 9...Be6 Black has to reckon with 10.Ne5!. Now the mass exchanges 10...Nxe5 11.Bxe5 Nd7 12.Bxg7 Kxg7

13.Bxb7 Rb8 14.Bd5 Bxd5 15.Qxd5 Rxb2 16.Rfd1 lead to an obvious advantage for White. But later a more forceful

response was found for Black – 10...Na5 (the knight attacks the c4-pawn, gaining a tempo for including the b7-bishop

in the play) 11.Qc2 (if 11.Qa4 there follows 11...Nd7 12.Nxd7 Bxd7, and the queen has to retreat) 11...Nh5 12.Rad1

Qe8 13.Nd5 Nxf4 14.gf4 Rc8 with double-edged play (Tukmakov-Spraggett, Bern 1995).

10.Be3 Nd4

It is hard to resist the temptation to establish the knight on the central square. After 10...Qa5 in Bareev-Kovalev

(Olympiad, Moscow 1994) there followed 11.Nd2! (with the idea of playing the knight to b3 with gain of tempo)

11...Rd8 12.Nd5 Bxb2? (stronger is 12...Be6 13.Nb3 Qa6 14.Qc1, although here too White is better) 13.Nb3 Qa6

14.Nxe7+ with advantage to White.

11.Nd2

White avoids the exchanges that are possible after 11.Qd2 Bg4 12.Rad1 Bxf3 13.Bxf3 Nxf3+ 14.ef3 Qxd2

15.Rxd2 Bxc3 16.bc3 b6 17.Rd7 Rfe8 with an equal endgame. 11.Qc1 Qa5 (or 11...Bg4 12.Rd1) 12.Re1 Be6 13.Bd2

Qd8 14.b3 is stronger, although one can only talk of a symbolic advantage for White.

11...Rb8

Black is preoccupied with the problem of his light-square bishop, since after the direct 11...Bf5 he has to reckon

with 12.h3. With the text move he prepares a pawn sacrifice, relying on the power of his ‘trademark’ bishop, which is

left without an opponent.

12.Nb3

12...b6! 13.Bxd4

Now the g7-bishop becomes master of the long diagonal.

13...cd4 14.Nb5 Bb7 15.N5xd4

In the event of 15.Bxb7 Rxb7 the pawn capture 16.N5xd4? is not possible on account of the pin 16...Rd7.

15...Bxg2 16.Kxg2 Rc8! Draw.

Black has sufficient compensation, and therefore the offer to begin peace negotiations was accepted. Thus the c4-

pawn cannot be defended by 17.Rc1 in view of 17...Rxc4! 18.Rxc4 Qd5+. If 17.Qd3 I would have played 17...Qd7!

18.Rfd1 Qa4.

FOUR PAWNS ATTACK

Over a period of many years the sharp Four Pawns Attack 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f4 enjoyed an

indifferent reputation. To a large extent the viewpoint expressed in a remark by the famous wit Savielly Tartakower

applies to it: ‘Not death in the centre, but death to the centre’.

This aggressive variation was first played more than a hundred years ago in the game English-Tarrasch (Hamburg

1885). However, despite its venerable age, the Four Pawns Attack, which leads to extremely sharp positions, is one of

the least explored variations of the King’s Indian Defence.

Here White makes his intentions very clear. With the aim of gaining a spatial advantage, from the very start of the

game he occupies the centre. Practice has shown that the most effective counterplay for Black is an immediate attack on

the powerful enemy centre by c7-c5 or e7-e5.

In our time the most popular continuation is 5...c5 with two main branches: 6.dc5, where the position becomes

semi-open, and 6.d5, where White retains his pawn centre. In the latter case 6...0-0 7.Nf3 leads to a position which can

also arise from the Modern Benoni Defence after the move order:

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 d6 4.Nc3 g6 5.e4 Bg7 6.f4 0-0 7.Nf3.

7...e6 is considered the main move, and after 8.Be2 ed5 9.ed5 one of the basic positions of the Four Pawns Attack

is reached (the position after the capture 9.cd5 relates to the Modern Benoni).

But also quite popular is the pawn sacrifice 7...b5, where Black aims for play in the spirit of the Benko Gambit.

31st USSR Championship

Leningrad 1963

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f4 0-0 6.Nf3 c5 7.d5

The most critical continuation. The alternative is 7.dc5.

7...e6 8.Be2 ed5 9.cd5

It is not my fault that, after playing the King’s Indian Defence, I have ended up in a position which is listed under

the Modern Benoni. Such are the paradoxes of the current classification of the openings. The ‘lawful’ line would have

been continued by the capture with the other pawn – 9.ed5.

Nevertheless, I think that it will be interesting for the reader to examine the character of the play with the pawn

sacrifice b7-b5, which has much in common with the ‘Benko-like’ sacrifice 7...b5, some examples of which will be

found below.

9...b5!?

Here the main continuations are considered to be 9...Re8 and 9...Bg4. But the pawn sacrifice, based on the

insecurity of White’s pawn centre, also has its logical justification. Black is threatening to drive away the c3-knight,

and White is lured into tempo play.

10.e5

After the direct 10.Bxb5 there would have followed 10...Nxe4 11.Nxe4 Qa5+ 12.Kf2 (weaker is 12.Nc3? Bxc3+

13.bc3 Qxb5) 12...Qxb5 13.Nxd6 Qa6 with good play for Black.

10...de5

The d5/e5 pawn pair is not only a strength, but also a weakness. In this respect 10...Nfd7, played in the game

Lautier-Rogers (Olympiad, Yerevan 1996), looks less logical. There followed 11.Bxb5 de5 12.0-0 Qb6 13.a4 ef4

14.Bxf4 a6 15.a5 Qb7 16.Bxd7 Nxd7 17.Qd2 Nf6 18.Be5!, when White controls the situation in the centre.

11.fe5 Ng4 12.Bg5

In the event of 12.Bf4 Nd7 13.e6 fe6 the bishop is under attack, and White is practically forced to part with his

pawn centre: 14.de6 Rxf4 15.Qd5 Kh8 16.Qxa8 Nb6 17.Qxa7 Bxe6 18.0-0 Ne3 19.Rf2 b4 20.Nb5 Rf7 21.Qa5 Qb8

22.Re1 Bd5, when the activity of the black pieces more than compensates for the loss of the exchange (Keres-Spassky,

Riga 1965).

12...Qb6 13.0-0

Ivo Nei played the opening quickly and, it must be assumed, deliberately went in for this position.

13...c4+

After 13...Nxe5 14.Nxe5 Bxe5 15.Be7 Nd7 16.d6 Bb7 17.Nd5 White’s chances are preferable (Gorelov-

Vasyukov, Moscow 1981).

14.Kh1 Nxe5

It is best to capture the pawn immediately, as otherwise after 14...Nd7 it has to be reckoned with: 15.e6 fe6 16.de6

Ndf6 17.e7 Re8 18.Qd4 Bd7, and here in Kaidanov-Gleizerov (USSR 1986) White could have gone into a better

endgame – 19.Qxb6 ab6 20.Nd4.

Of course, not 14...Nf2+? because of 15.Rxf2 Qxf2 16.Ne4 with an irresistible attack.

15.Be7

This is probably the whole point of the variation chosen by White. Indeed, had Black been forced to play 15...Re8,

he would have ended up in a very difficult position. For example, 16.d6 Bb7 17.Nd5 Bxd5 18.Qxd5 Nbd7 19.Nxe5

Nxe5 20.a4!.

15...Nbd7 16.d6

For the moment White decides not to win the exchange. After 16.Bxf8 Kxf8, in my view, Black has sufficient

compensation for the small material deficit.

16...Bb7 17.Nd5 Bxd5

I thought for a long time over this move – I really didn’t want to part with my strong bishop.

But 17...Qc5 did not appeal to me because of the following continuation: 18.Nxe5 Nxe5 19.d7!? (19.Nf6+ Bxf6

20.Bxf6 Rad8 21.Be7 Rfe8 with an excellent game) 19...Qxd5 20.Qxd5 Bxd5 21.Bxf8 Kxf8 22.Rad1 Nd3 23.Bxd3

Be6 24.Be4 Rd8 25.Rd2, and it is unclear whether Black can win (at this point I judged my position to be better).

18.Qxd5 Ng4 19.a4

Probably the best move.

19...Nf2+ 20.Rxf2

Although after 20.Kg1 there is no possibility of giving a smothered mate, the threat of a discovered check is quite

unpleasant.

20...Qxf2 21.Bxf8 Rxf8 22.Qxb5 Qxe2 23.Qxd7 Qxb2 24.Re1

A rather interesting position. The impression is that the c-pawn should decide the outcome, but its immediate

advance does not give anything: 24...c3? 25.Qxa7 c2 26.Qc5 Bh6 27.Ng5!.

Black drew up the following plan for converting his advantage. Since White’s counterplay is associated with his d-

pawn, it is essential for its queening square to be controlled by the black pieces. For this the bishop should stand on f6,

and the queen on the d-file, and at the very first opportunity the a-pawn must be moved to where it is no longer

attacked.

24...Bc3!

Before carrying out my idea, it is useful to drive the rook off the open file.

25.Rf1 Qe2 26.Rg1 a5 27.Qc7 Qd3 28.d7 Bf6 29.Re1 Kg7!

This move is directed against the threat of 30.Re8. If 29...c3, then after 30.Re8 it is not possible to play 30...Qf1+

31.Ng1 Bd4 because of 32.Rxf8+ Kg7 33.Rxf7+!.

30.h3 c3 31.Re8 c2 32.Qc5 Rg8

This is the whole point of the manoeuvre beginning with 29...Kg7.

33.Qc8

In time-trouble White chooses the natural continuation and allows Black to conclude the game spectacularly. True,

even after the better 33.Rc8 Rd8! White’s position would have been difficult.

33...Qf1+ 34.Kh2

After 34.Ng1 c1Q 35.Rxg8+ Kh6 36.Qf8+ Kg5 the king escapes from the checks.

34...Be5+! 35.Rxe5

Or 35.Nxe5 Qf4+ 36.g3 Qd2+ 37.Kg1 c1Q+.

35...c1=Q 36.Qxg8+ Kxg8 37.d8=Q+ Kg7 38.Qd4 Qcc4 39.Qxc4 Qxc4 40.Rxa5 Qc7+ White resigned.

Budapest 1970

As you see, here too Black can economise on the move 5...d6.

6.d5 b5

To assert that b7-b5 is a new move in the given position would be rather risky. When I showed this game to Lajos

Portisch, he exclaimed: ‘My brother will be pleased to know that he has found a follower!’ True, he added that Ferenc

first played 6...d6 7.Be2 and only then 7...b5.

Apart from occupying the centre with pawns, no less a role, and possibly a greater one, is played by the rapid

mobilisation of the forces. I will disclose a little professional secret: if I am unable to make an exact assessment of an

opening position, I count the number of developed pieces for myself and for the opponent. In the given instance the

black pieces are better mobilised, and I decided to embark on active play.

7.e5

It is hard to refrain from such a tempting continuation, but it is wrong to begin a pawn offensive with development

incomplete. 7.cb5 is more sensible, after which I was intending to play 7...a6, temporarily managing without d7-d6.

7...Ne8 8.Nxb5

It was to avoid spoiling his pawn chain that White played 7.e5.

8...d6 9.Nf3 Nd7!

Attacking the centre with 9...Bg4 seemed less convincing to me in view of 10.Be2.

10.e6?

Probably this is already a serious mistake. 10.ed6 should have been played. It is possible that my opponent did not

like the position after 10...a6 11.Nc3 Nxd6, while 11.Nc7 could have been met by 11...Rb8 12.Nxe8 Rxe8 with a

powerful initiative for Black.

10...fe6 11.Ng5 Ndf6 12.de6 Bb7 13.Bd3 d5

Of course, there was no point in calculating the variations with the regaining of the pawn. Black’s entire strategy is

directed towards the rapid mobilisation of his forces.

14.0-0 Qb6 15.Qe2 dc4 16.Bxc4 a6 17.Nc3 Nd6 18.Be3 Nxc4 19.Qxc4 Qxb2

Despite its apparent simplicity (mate on g2 is threatened), this move demanded accurate calculation.

20.Bf2!

Much weaker was 20.Nf3? Ng4 or 20.Ne2 Bd5 21.Qd3 c4 etc.

20...Qb4

Less convincing was 20...Ng4 21.Rab1 Qxc3 22.Qxc3 Bxc3 23.Rxb7 Nxf2 24.Kxf2 Rxf4+ 25.Ke2 Rxf1 26.Kxf1,

when White can successfully defend. Black rejected the tempting 20...Nh5 in view of 21.Rab1 Qxc3 22.Qxc3 Bxc3

23.Rxb7 Nxf4 24.g3!, and nothing decisive is apparent.

21.Qxc5

After 21.Qxb4 cb4 White’s position is hopeless.

21...Qxf4

22.Bg3

It was necessary to weigh up the consequences of 22.Qxe7, after which I had prepared 22...Ng4! (weaker is

22...Bxg2 23.Kxg2 Qxg5+ 24.Bg3) 23.g3 Qd4!. Now if 24.Bxd4 there follows 24...Bxd4+ 25.Rf2 Bxf2+ 26.Kf1 Bc5+

and Black wins. But if the queen is not taken, there is no defence against 24...Rxf2, for example: 24.Rad1 Rxf2 25.Rxd4

Rg2+ 26.Kh1 Rxh2+ 27.Kg1 Rh1 mate.

22...Nd7!

Now this spectacular move is decisive. The difficulty in finding it was purely psychological: all the time Black has

been seeking ways to launch a mating attack, and suddenly he switches to positional play.

23.Bxf4

A more tenacious resistance could have been offered by 23.Rxf4 Nxc5 24.Rc4.

23...Nxc5 24.Bd2 Rfd8 25.Be3

Also in the event of 25.Be1 (25.Rad1 Rxd2) 25...Nd3 26.Bd2 Nb4 loss of material is unavoidable.

25...Bxc3 26.Bxc5

26.Rac1? was bad in view of 26...Na4.

26...Rd2 27.Nf3 Bxf3 28.gf3 Bxa1 29.Rxa1 Re2 30.Bxe7 Rxe6 31.Bc5 Rc8 32.Bf2 Rc2 33.a4 Ree2 34.Bg3 Ra2

White resigned.

USSR 1981

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f4 0-0 6.Nf3 c5 7.d5 b5

This pawn sacrifice along the lines of the Benko Gambit is no less justified in this situation. Black undermines the

white pawn bastions in the centre, quickly mobilises his queenside pieces and sets up pressure on the a- and b-files –

these factors are quite sufficient compensation for the pawn.

8.cb5 a6 9.a4! e6

This undermining of the centre is one of the classical continuations in the Benko Gambit.

10.de6

It is also possible not to concede the centre – 10.Be2 ab5 11.Bxb5. Now 11...Ba6 can be met by 12.Bxa6 Nxa6

13.de6 fe6 14.0-0 d5 15.e5 with the better prospects for White. 11...ed5 gives the play a different direction. For

example, events took an interesting course in Piskov-Savon (Norilsk 1987): 12.e5!? (12.ed5 Na6 13.0-0 Nb4 leads only

to equality) 12...Ne8!? (12...de5 13.fe5 Ng4 14.Qxd5 Qxd5 15.Nxd5 Nxe5 is simpler, with slightly the better endgame

for White) 13.Nxd5 Bb7 14.Bc4 Nc6 15.Be3 de5 16.Bxc5 Nd6 17.Ne7+ Nxe7 18.Qxd6 Bxf3 19.gf3 Nf5 20.Qxd8

Rfxd8, and White retained some advantage.

10...Bxe6

After 10...fe6?! 11.e5 Nh5 (or 11...Ne8 12.Ne4) 12.Qxd6 Qxd6 13.ed6 Nxf4 14.Be3 Black’s pawns are broken,

which gives White an advantage in the endgame.

11.Be2

11.e5 is over-forcing: 11...de5 12.Qxd8 Rxd8 13.fe5 Ng4 14.Bf4 Nd7, leading to the disappearance of White’s

pawn centre, although in Karasev-Yuferov (USSR 1977) after 15.Be2 ab5 16.Nxb5 Ngxe5 17.Nxe5 Bxe5 18.Bxe5

Nxe5 19.Nc7 Rab8 20.Nxe6 fe6 21.Ra2 he obtained slightly the better endgame.

11...ab5 12.Bxb5 Na6

Of course, Black’s plans include relieving himself of the backward d6-pawn. The immediate 12...d5 is also

possible. For example, Gorelov-Belov (Moscow 1984) continued: 13.ed5 Nxd5 14.Nxd5 Bxd5 15.0-0 Nc6 16.Kh1 (if,

16.Be3 then 16...c4! 17.Qd2 Bxf3 18.Rxf3 Nd4 is good, with equal chances) 16...Bxf3 17.Qxf3 Nd4 18.Qd3 Nxb5

19.Qxb5 Qe7 20.Qc4. Draw.

But after 12...d5 I did not like 13.e5 Ne8 14.0-0, and so I decided to defer this break until I had completed my

development.

13.0-0 Nb4

This is more energetic than 13...Nc7, which occurred in S.Ivanov-Kupreichik (Leningrad 1989), where after

14.Bd3 Qb8 15.e5 de5 16.Nxe5 White gained the initiative.

14.Kh1

It is useful to move the king off the diagonal, on which the enemy queen is bound to appear. Black is also prepared

for more forceful play:

a) 14.e5 de5 15.Qxd8 Rfxd8 16.fe5 Ng4 takes the game into a slightly better ending for White;

b) 14.f5 gf5 15.ef5 Bxf5 16.Nh4 and here along with 16...Bg4 Black can also consider 16...Bc2!? 17.Qf3 Ne4!?.

14...Qb6 15.Qe2 d5

Black has carried out his plan. His pieces are actively placed and are aiming at the queenside, and he has obvious

compensation for the pawn.

16.ed5

After 16.e5 Ne8 17.Bd2 Nc7 Black has adequate counterplay.

16...Nfxd5 17.Ne5 Rfd8

To a certain extent a routine move, although also a logical one. 17...Ne7!? came into consideration, with the idea of

playing the knight via f5 to d4. This could have been carried out, for example, as follows: 18.Nd7 Bxd7 19.Bxd7 Nec6

20.f5 Nd4, and Black has quite good counterplay. Now, however, White exchanges this knight, after which the passed

a-pawn gains in strength.

18.Nxd5 Nxd5

The assessment is not changed by 18...Bxd5 19.Be3 Rac8 20.a5. The advantage is with White.

19.a5! Qc7 20.Bd2 Nb4

If 20...Ne7, then 21.a6! is good.

21.a6

This move looks more logical after the preparatory exchange 21.Bxb4!? cb4 22.Rac1 Qd6 (the exchange sacrifice

22...Qxa5 23.Nc6 Qa2 24.Nxd8 Rxd8 25.Rf2 is inadequate) 23.a6!. Now, however, Black ties the queen to the a6-

pawn, and in order to breath life into it White has to go into a heavy piece ending.

21...Qb6! 22.Bxb4 cb4 23.Bc6

If 23.Nc6 there can follow 23...Bd7! 24.Ne7+ Kf8 25.Bxd7 Rxd7 26.Rfe1, and White’s advantage is reduced to the

minimum.

23...Ra7 24.Bb7 Bxe5

Things are not changed by 24...Bd5 25.Bxd5 Rxd5 26.Rfc1 Bxe5 27.fe5 Qe6 (of course, not 27...Ra5?! 28.Rxa5

Qxa5 because of 29.e6) 28.Re1.

25.fe5 Bd5 26.Bxd5

If 26.Rf6 Black would have sacrificed his queen – 26...Qxb7 27.ab7 Rxa1+ 28.Rf1 Rxf1+ 29.Qxf1 Bxb7, retaining

hopes of saving the game.

26...Rxd5

The game has gone into a heavy piece ending, but the a6- and e5-pawns have become targets (for example, 27.Rf6

Qd4 etc.), and skilful manoeuvring is required of White to demonstrate his advantage.

27.h3 Qe6!

It is important to block the e6-pawn (27...Ra5? 28.e6).

28.Rfe1 b3 29.Ra3 Kg7 30.Ra4

30.Qc4? is bad in view of 30...Rd1 31.Qe4 Rxe1+ 32.Qxe1 Rxa6.

30...h5 31.Kh2 Qd7 32.Rf4

After 32.Qc4 Rd2 33.Qxb3 Qc6 White loses his a6-pawn.

32...Rd2

33.Qf3

The tempting 33.Rxf7+ Kxf7 (33...Qxf7 34.Qxd2 Rxa6 is weaker in view of 35.Qc3, retaining an advantage)

34.e6+ Ke7 35.ed7+ Rxe2 36.Rxe2+ Kxd7 37.Re3 Rxa6 38.Rxb3 leads to a rook endgame with drawing chances for

Black.

33...Rxa6 34.Qxb3?!

White could have forced Black to lift the blockade on e6 after 34.Rf1 Ra7, but now in reply to 35.e6 Black switches

to a pin on the b8-h2 diagonal – 35...Qd6! 36.Qe3 (nothing is given by 36.ef7 Rxf7) 36...Re7. The queen sacrifice after

37.Qc3+ Kh7 38.ef7 Rxf7 39.Qxd2 Qxd2 40.Rxf7+ Kh6 is unlikely to be effective. I doubt whether the rooks can

overcome the queen.

34...Re6?

It was stronger to centralise the queen – 34...Qd5! 35.Qg3 Ra7 36.Rf2 (if 36.b4? there is 36...Raa2) 36...Rxf2

37.Qxf2 Ra6, and Black defends in a more favourable situation.

35.Ref1 Re7 36.Qc3

The breakthrough 36.e6!? was possible, of course, but after 36...fe6 37.Qb8 Kh7 38.Qf8 Rg7 nothing decisive is

apparent.

36...Qd3?

At this point we were in severe time-trouble, and I was ready for the long-awaited reply 37.e6+, which immediately

followed. Meanwhile, White could have won with the simple 37.Rxf7+! Rxf7 38.e6+ Qxc3 39.Rxf7+ Kg8 40.bc3.

After 36...Rd3! 37.Qe1 Rd5 it would not have been easy for White to demonstrate his advantage.

37.e6+? Qxc3 38.Rxf7+ Kh6! 39.bc3 Rxe6 40.R1f2 Ree2 41.Rxe2 Rxe2

Black has got off lightly. And who hasn’t managed to save a rook endgame a pawn down?

42.h4

After 42.c4 the king breaks free – 42...Kg5 43.c5 Rc2 44.Rc7, and the blockade 44...h4 becomes a weapon for

Black: 45.c6 Kf6 46.Rc8 g5 and a draw is not far off.

42...Rc2

42...Re4! 43.Kh3 Rc4 44.Rf3 g5 was simpler.

43.Rc7 Rc1 44.Kg3 Rc2 45.Kf3

White is threatening the regrouping Rc5, g2-g3, Ke3-d3 and Rg5 when he is bound to win, but a surprise awaits

him.

45...g5!!

A brilliant sacrifice, giving Black a ‘second wind’. The h5-pawn becomes an antipode to the passed c-pawn.

46.Rc6+ Kh7 47.hg5 Kg7 48.g3 Rc1 49.c4 Rc2 50.Ke4 Rc3 51.Kf4 Rc1

Extreme accuracy is necessary in the defence. For example, after the careless 51...Kh7? Black would have lost:

52.Kf5 Rf3+ 53.Ke4 Rxg3 54.Rh6+.

52.Kf5 Rf1+ 53.Ke5 Re1+ 54.Kd5 Rd1+ 55.Kc5 Re1!

If 55...Rf1 White wins by 56.Rf6.

56.Rd6?!

56.Kb6! Rb1+ 57.Ka6 Ra1+ 58.Kb7 Ra3 59.c5 was more forceful, when Black would have had to find the only

move 59...Rc3! (he loses after 59...Rxg3? 60.Rb6 h4 61.c6 h3 62.c7 h2 63.c8=Q h1=Q+ 64.Kb8 Rf3 65.Qb7+) 60.Kc8

Rc2 61.Kd7 Rc3! 62.Rc8 Rxg3, and he should he able to save the game.

56...Re3 57.Kb6 Rxg3 58.c5 h4 59.c6 h3??

The second time-trouble had its adverse effect on this difficult endgame. The h-pawn could have been advanced

only after the preparatory 59...Rb3+! 60.Kc7 (or 60.Kc5 h3 61.Rh6 Rc3+), and now 60...h3! 61.Rh6 Rd3 62.Kc8 Rc3

63.c7 Rd3 is sufficient for a draw.

60.c7 Rb3+ 61.Kc6 h2 62.Rd1 Rd3 63.c8=Q Black resigned.

Los Angeles 1987

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f4 0-0 6.Nf3 c5 7.d5 b5 8.cb5 a6 9.ba6

Not the best reaction, after which it is easier for Black to put his plans into effect. 9.a4 is considered the main

continuation.

9...Qa5 10.Bd2

In the event of 10.Qd2 Bxa6 Black need not fear the advance of the e-pawn: 11.e5 Nfd7 12.e6 fe6 13.Ng5 Bxf1

14.Rxf1 e5, and the exchange sacrifice is insufficient.

10...Bxa6 11.Bxa6 Qxa6!? 12.Qe2

12...Nfd7!

Strangely enough, this move was overlooked by the theoreticians, who considered only the game Karasev-

Vasyukov (USSR 1974): 12...Nbd7 13.Qxa6 Rxa6 14.0-0 Rb8, where Black has some compensation for the pawn.

The knight retreat is stronger, since it not only activates the bishop on g7, but also uses the knights more

harmoniously, and, after all, this is a constant problem in the King’s Indian Defence.

13.Qxa6 Nxa6 14.Ke2 Nb6 15.b3

15...f5!

Emphasising the weakness of the d5-pawn, since if 16.e5 there follows 16...Nb4. Now White’s centre collapses like

a house of cards.

16.Ng5 fe4 17.Ne6

Realising that 17.Ngxe4 Nb4 leads to the loss of a pawn, White decides at least to deprive Black of his attacking

dark-square bishop.

17...Bxc3 18.Bxc3 Rf5

This accurate outflanking manoeuvre leads not only the win of the d5-pawn, but also to an invasion of the

opponent’s position.

19.g4 Rxd5 20.f5

With the naпve hope of trapping the rook (20...gf5 21.Nf4), but Black pays no attention to such pin-pricks.

20...Rd3 21.Rac1 Nd5 22.Ba1 Nab4

The triumph of the black cavalry! Now White’s queenside cannot be defended.

23.a4 Rxb3 24.fg6 Rxa4 25.gh7+ Kxh7 26.Rhd1 Na2 27.Rc2 Nac3+ White resigned.

Jurmala 1978

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 d6 4.Nc3 g6 5.e4 Bg7 6.f4 0-0 7.Bd3

The main continuation 7.Nf3 e6 occurs more often.

7...e6 8.de6

An original decision. Usually the development of the bishop at d3 is linked with 8.Nge2, and now after 8...ed5

9.ed5 Bg4 (9...Nh5!? 10.0-0 f5 is also interesting) 10.0-0 Nbd7 11.Qc2 Nh5 12.h3 Qh4! Black has an excellent game.

8...Bxe6

A slight surprise. The Encyclopaedia considers the main continuation to be 8...fe6 9.Nge2, when Black has a ‘little

centre’ d6-e6. Its drawback – the backward pawn pair – is compensated by the possibility of establishing control over

the d4-square. Here are a couple of examples from modern practice:

a) 9...Nc6 10.0-0 a6 (the immediate 10...Nd4 11.Nxd4 cd4 12.Ne2 Qb6 is also possible, with equal chances)

11.Ng3 Rb8 12.a4 Nd4 13.Be3 Bd7 with a reasonable game for Black (McMahon-Gufeld, London 1995);

b) 9...e5 10.f5 (if 10.0-0, then 10...ef4 11.Bxf4 Nh5 is possible) 10...gf5 11.ef5 d5 12.cd5 e4 13.Bc2 c4 14.0-0 Na6

15.Ng3 Nb4 16.Bg5, and Black is in difficulties (Peev-Bologan, Moldova 1997).

9.f5

White cannot delay, as otherwise Black will gain counter-chances in the centre.

9...Bd7

The attempt to get rid of the backward d6-pawn by 9...Bc8 10.Nge2 gf5 11.ef5 d5 12.cd5 Nxd5 13.0-0 Nb4

(parrying the threat of 14.Nxd5 Qxd5 15.f6) 14.Be4 allows White to establish piece control over the centre.

10.Nf3 Nc6

10...gf5?! is weaker in view of 11.0-0! fe4 12.Nxe4 Nxe4 13.Bxe4, when White’s pieces are very active. Apart

from the text move, 10...Bc6 followed by Nb8-d7 is also possible.

11.0-0 Ng4

Black is aiming to establish a piece on e5 (as in the main lines of the King’s Indian Defence, the weakness of the

backward d6-pawn is insignificant), since after 11...Ne5 12.Nxe5 de5 13.Be3 Qe7 14.Nd5 the position becomes stable

and favourable for White, and in the event of the knight on d5 being exchanged, its place will be taken by a passed

pawn.

Lein-Polugaevsky (Sochi 1976) went 11...Re8 12.Bg5 h6 13.Bf4 gf5 14.ef5 Ne5 15.Qd2 Kh7 16.Rae1 Bc6!?

17.Nxe5 de5 18.Bxe5 Qd7!, and although Black has some compensation for the pawn, White’s chances are preferable.

12.Nd5

If 12.Bg5 there would have followed 12...f6 13.Bf4 Nce5 with complicated play.

12...Nb4!

The strong centralised knight must be exchanged. The symmetrical placing of the black knights creates an artistic

impression. The exchange 12...Nd4 13.h3 Nxf3+ 14.Qxf3 Ne5 15.Qg3 leads to an advantage for White.

13.Kh1

If 13.h3 there would have followed 13...Ne5 14.Nxe5 Bxe5 15.Bf4 Nxd5!? (not 15...Qh4?! 16.Qd2 Nxd5 17.ed5

with advantage to White) 16.ed5 Qf6 with double-edged play.

13...Nxd5 14.ed5 Re8

The opening battle has gone in favour of Black. 14...Qe8?! 15.Bf4 Ne3 16.Qd2 Nxf1 17.Rxf1 would have led to an

unclear position.

15.Bg5 Qa5!

This is the best square for the queen. The attempt to win a pawn is unsuccessful: 15...Qb6 16.Qd2 (16.Nd2!? Ne3

17.Qf3 Nxf1 18.Rxf1 is also interesting) 16...Qxb2 17.Qxb2 Bxb2 18.Rab1 Bg7 19.Rxb7 Bc8 20.Rc7, and White’s

advantage is obvious. 15...Bf6 16.Qd2 Bxg5 17.Nxg5 Ne3 is also dubious in view of 18.Nxf7!?.

16.Qc1

If 16.Bd2, then 16...Qb6 is good.

16...b5!

At the very first opportunity Black undermines the centre and opens up the game on the queenside.

17.Qf4

White’s threats on the kingside look very dangerous; however, as the game shows, he should have considered

17.b3, endeavouring to neutralise Black’s counterplay.

17...bc4 18.Qxd6

After the bishop retreat 18.Bc2 both 18...Re2 and 18...Ne3 are strong.

18...Bb5

After 18...cd3? 19.Qxd7 White’s threats are too serious.

19.fg6

If 19.a4 there would have followed 19...cd3 (19...Ba6? 20.fg6 fg6 21.Bxg6!) 20.ab5 Qxb5 with some advantage.

19...fg6 20.Bxg6! hg6!

The acceptance of the sacrifice is the best solution. After the queen exchange 20...Qb6 21.Qxb6 ab6 22.Bxe8 Rxe8

the position is unclear.

21.Qxg6

21...Qa6!

Only with this by no means obvious move it is possible to parry White’s attack and retain a material advantage. It is

essential to control the d3-point!

22.d6 c3 23.Rae1

Now the point of the move 21...Qa6! becomes understandable. After 23.Bh6 Nxh6 24.Ng5 Bd3! Black wins.

23...Qxa2! 24.Be7

If 24.Bh6 I had prepared the queen retreat 24...Qf7!, and after 25.Qxg4 Bxf1 Black wins.

24...Bxf1 25.Rxf1

Again 25.Ng5 is parried by 25...Bd3!.

25...Qc4 26.Re1 Nf2+ 27.Kg1 Qf7

27...Qg4! 28.Ng5 Nh3+ was more accurate, immediately concluding the game.

28.Qc2

White also loses after the queen exchange 28.Qxf7+ Kxf7 29.Kxf2 cb2.

28...Nh3+ 29.Kh1 cb2 30.Nh4 Nf2+ 31.Kg1 Bd4 32.Nf5 Nd3+ 33.Kh1 Qxf5 White resigned.

RÉSUMÉ

For half a century I have felt tied to the King’s Indian chariot, and this slavery is a voluntary one. This is a case

when you begin to love your chains, since I am convinced that the King’s Indian’s virtues outweigh its defects. But

delving into its secrets demands considerable effort. And on the basis of my own experience I can say: the King’s

Indian Defence, like no other opening, is one that you must not only know, but also understand and sense with the tips

of your fingers! In other words, you play by science, but achieve by practice.

During the years of its existence the King’s Indian Defence has had to endure numerous flights and falls, numerous

re-evaluations. How many times has it been ‘refuted’? Exactly the same number that it has been rehabilitated! All these

‘passions’ have brought me both victories and defeats, sometimes rather painful ones. And if sometimes I had to endure

another crisis for years, I would merely plunge more deeply into the quiet of my home laboratory, patiently seek new

paths and, as a rule, find them.

The store of new paths is inexhaustible. As an example, I would like to draw your attention to one of the early

positions, arising after 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 0-0!.

It is no accident that I have attached an exclamation mark to this last move. As the attentive reader may have

noticed, throughout my King’s Indian life I have often castled before playing d7-d6. There is a deep point involved

here. The effect of the seemingly innocent transposition of moves is not so much to narrow White’s options, as to

expand Black’s choice. To some extent, early castling is also provocative. By allowing 5.e5, Black draws the enemy

fire. After all, a hasty attack has not only positive factors, but also negative ones, and in my opinion such a drastic

measure is like a stick with two ends, one of which – that of Black – may prove more weighty.

Psychologically it is not easy to cross the demarcation line. There is a logic to this. It is my conviction that chess is

close to the military doctrine of preparing and conducting battles. By luring the enemy into your territory, I make him

more vulnerable not only from the standpoint of military actions, but also for a kind of guerrilla warfare. A breakaway

aggressor is easier to defeat on your own territory! The experience of wars on Russian territory confirms my thought.

You have doubts about this? Then what do you say regarding the game Letelier-Fischer, played in 1960 at the

Olympiad in Leipzig, where the opponent of the future world champion ventured 5.e5?!. There followed 5...Ne8 6.f4

d6! 7.Be3 c5! 8.dc5 Nc6 9.ed6 ed6 10.Ne4 Bf5!, and of White’s centre only ruins remained, with a growing Black

initiative.

If supporters of standard set-ups do not intend to refute Black’s castling with the impulsive 5.e5, but are hoping for

an advantage by playing along familiar lines, they have to think carefully over their choice of move, to avoid finding

their plans upset. I do not intend to give a mass of variations, but I am convinced that, compared with the standard

4...d6, White’s options are narrowed, whereas Black’s are widened to some extent. I will only indicate the main

directions.

Against any reply by White, as a universal measure one can suggest the counter-stroke 5...c5. If White tries to

transpose into the Sämisch Variation with 5.f3, then after 5...c5 he faces a choice. If 6.dc5 there is the promising pawn

sacrifice 6...b6!. If 6.Nge2 there can follow 6...cd4 7.Nxd4 Nc6 8.Be3 Qb6, after which 9.Qd2?! is bad because of

9...Nxd4 10.Bxd4 Nxe4!. In the event of 6.Be2 White also has to reckon with 6...cd4 7.Nxd4 Nc6, when he finds

himself in a Sicilian Defence (Maroczy Variation). The most natural reply 6.d5 d6 leads to a Modern Benoni structure.

The same thing awaits White if he tries for an advantage along the lines of the Classical Variation 5.Nf3 c5 6.d5 or

in the variation 5.Bg5 c5 6.d5. I can imagine that structures arising in the Four Pawns Attack – 5.f4 c5 6.d5 d6, where

White has to reckon with the pawn sacrifice b7-b5 in the spirit of the Benko Gambit, will also not be to everyone’s

taste.

Also interesting are Black’s options involving 5...c6 followed by d7-d5, reaching a position in the spirit of the

Grünfeld Defence.

In short, the white player has plenty to think about in reply to 4...0-0!, and I am convinced that this is a move of the

future. I think that in the new age of the King’s Indian Defence it will be a worthy rival to the historically usual 4...d6.

Part 2

Oleg Stetsko

At the present time the King’s Indian Defence is enjoying a genuine renaissance. Among its supporters are not only

‘life-long’ devotees, but also representatives of the chess elite, such as Kasparov, Shirov, Gelfand, Topalov, Kamsky

and Judit Polgar. Bobby Fischer also relived the good old days, by employing his favourite King’s Indian in his 1992

match against Spassky. Of the new generation of grandmasters, the King’s Indian Defence is constantly played by

Teimour Radjabov, who obtains excellent results with it. It is sufficient to recall his achievement at the 2007 super-

tournament in Wijk aan Zee: his 41/2 points in five games was the best advertisement for the prospects of this

aggressive opening in the 21st century.

Of course, within the framework of a chess biography it is not possible for even such a convinced King’s Indian

player as Gufeld to encompass such a multi-faceted opening. Therefore, following the format of the book, I have

selected material taking account of Gufeld’s preferences: the development of Black’s queen’s knight on c6 and other

continuations involving an attack on the d4-pawn. This is the theme covered by this selection of the most significant

games of the past two decades, played by the leading experts on the King’s Indian Defence.

SÄMISCH VARIATION

№ 68. A.Beliavsky – G.Kasparov

Linares 1993

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 0-0 6.Be3 e5 7.Nge2 c6 8.Qd2 Nbd7 9.0-0-0

White removes his king from the centre and, given the opportunity, he will not be averse to deriving benefit from

his pressure on the d-file.

9...a6

Black prepares a pawn offensive. In this respect 9...Qa5?! 10.Kb1 b5 is ineffective, since it is parried by the

standard idea 11.cb5 cb5 12.Nd5, forcing the exchange of queens: 12...Qxd2 13.Ne7+ Kh8 14.Rxd2, and here after

14...Bb7 White gains an advantage by 15.d5! Rae8 16.Nc6 with the idea of Na5.

10.Bh6

White aims to block the h7-pawn, in order to carry out the h2-h4-h5 attack with every comfort. 10.h4 b5 11.h5 Qa5

12.Bh6 Bxh6 leads to a position which occurred in the game. I should mention in passing that after the blocking move

10...h5 White can switch to positional lines: 11.de5 de5 (in the event of 11...Nxe5 12.Nf4 the d6-pawn is weak) 12.Na4

Qe7 13.c5, fixing the weak points b6 and d6.

More common is 10.Kb1, with which White takes his king to a safe position and vacates the c1-square for his

knight. After 10...b5 11.Nc1 (if 11.c5, then 11...b4 12.Na4 d5! is possible) a critical position of this variation is

reached.

11...Re8, which initially was considered the main move, has practically gone out of use on account of the simple

12.de5 de5 13.Nb3, when Black has practically no counterplay. Therefore this move is made after the preparatory

11...ed4 12.Bxd4 – 12...Re8. Other continuations also occur. For example, Kramnik-Kasparov (Linares 1993) went

12...b4 13.Na4 c5 14.Bxf6 Bxf6 15.Qxd6 Be7 16.Qg3 Bh4 17.Qh3 Be7 18.Qg3 Bh4 19.Qh3. Draw.

11...bc4 12.Bxc4 (in the event of 12.de5 Nxe5 13.Qxd6 Qa5 followed by Bc8-e6 Black has sufficient

compensation for the pawn) is also played, and here Kramnik recommends 12...d5! 13.Bb3 ed4 14.Bxd4 de4 15.Nxe4

Nxe4 16.fe4 with somewhat the better chances for White.

The game continuation allows the queen to be drawn away from the centre, making it easier for Black to create

counterplay.

10...Bxh6 11.Qxh6 b5 12.h4 Qa5 13.h5

There begins a race, typical of this variation, where a tempo is sometimes more important than a pawn. After half-

measures such as 13.a3 Rb8 14.h5 b4 15.Nb1 ba3 16.Nxa3 Rb3! Black’s counterattack may become dangerous.

13...b4 14.Nb1 Qxa2

In the given situation the queen is not a lone attacker – the knight is ready to come to its aid.

15.Ng3

Two years later, in a game against Dolmatov (Novosibirsk 1995), Beliavsky employed the more dangerous

15.Rd2!, and after 15...Qxc4+?! 16.Rc2 Qe6 17.g4 Qe7, as Beliavsky pointed out, instead of 18.Ng3?! ed4! 19.g5

Ng4! 20.fg4 Ne5, which led to an advantage for Black, White could have developed a strong attack with the

preparatory 18.g5! Nxh5 19.Ng3 f5 20.Nxh5 gh5 21.Bc4+ Kh8 22.Rxh5 Qg7 23.Rch2 etc. However, by acting ‘а la

Kasparov’ 15...Nb6 16.c5 Nc4, Black would nevertheless have had sufficient play (17.cd6 Na5!).

15...Nb6

The knight can also be included in the attack via c5 after 15...ed4, and now in the event of 16.Rxd4 Nc5 17.Rxd6

Nb3+ 18.Kc2 Na1+ 19.Kc1 Nb3+ Black gives perpetual check. 16.Qg5 looks more dangerous, but, as Beliavsky

points out, by vacating a path for his king Black holds the position – 16...Re8 17.Nf5 Nc5! 18.Qxf6 Bxf5 19.h6 Nb3+

20.Kc2 Na1+, and if White persists with 21.Kd3?, then after 21...Qb3+ 22.Nc3 Kf8 he is in danger of losing.

16.c5! Nc4 17.Rd2

17...Na5

In Beliavsky-Timman (Linares 1991) Black was tempted into winning the exchange – 17...Nxd2? 18.Nxd2 Qa1+

19.Nb1 Be6, which turned out to be a decisive mistake, since his counterplay quickly evaporated, and White’s initiative

proved very dangerous. Beliavsky gives as best 20.Bc4! Rae8 (20...Bxc4? is bad because of 21.Nf5!; 20...Rfe8 21.cd6

Qa5 is also insufficient in view of 22.Nf5!) 21.cd6 Qa5 22.d7 Re7 23.Nf5 Bxf5 24.ef5 Rxd7 (or 24...ed4 25.hg6 Qxf5

26.Qxf8+) 25.hg6 Qd8 26.de5 with a winning position.

18.cd6 Nb3+ 19.Kc2 Na1+ 20.Kc1 Nb3+ 21.Kc2 Na1+ 22.Kc1 Draw.

Amsterdam 1996

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 0-0 6.Be3 e5 7.Nge2 c6 8.Qd2 Nbd7 9.d5

This continuation has the aim of stabilising the pawn structure in the centre before initiating an attack on the

kingside.

9...cd5 10.cd5

It is not possible to derive any benefit from the backward d6-pawn after 10.Nxd5 Nxd5 11.Qxd5. For example,

Shirov-Kamsky (Buenos Aires 1993) continued 11...Nb6 12.Qb5 Bh6 13.Bf2 Be6 14.Nc3 Qc7 15.b3 (the second

invasion at d5 is advantageous only to Black) 15...Nd7! 16.Rd1 a6 17.Qb4 Nc5 18.Be2, and here, according to analysis

by Shirov, Black would have maintained the balance by 18...b5! 19.Nd5 Bxd5 20.cd5 f5.

10...a6 11.g4

White prepares to play his knight to g3. The immediate 11.Ng3 is parried by 11...h5. In Arbakov-Kasparov (Paris

1994) after 12.Bd3 b5 13.0-0 h4 14.Nge2 Nh5 Black achieved good play.

11...h5!

This move, first suggested by Geller, pursues not only blockading ideas, but also prevents the knight manoeuvre to

g3, on which there follows h5-h4. In Karpov-Kamsky (Linares 1993) Black undertook the wing attack 11...b5 12.Ng3

Nc5 13.b4 Na4 14.Nxa4 ba4 and after 15.b5 he sacrificed a piece with 15...Bxg4!? (otherwise after 15...ab5 16.Bxb5

Bd7 17.Bxd7 Nxd7 18.0-0 White would have gained an enduring advantage) 16.fg4 Nxg4 17.Bg5 f6 18.h3 fg5 19.hg4

Rf3 20.Ne2 ab5 21.Bg2, but he did not gain full compensation.

12.h3

In the event of 12.g5 Nh7, by undermining the g5-pawn with f7-f6 Black opens the f-file and achieves good play.

For example, Karpov-Topalov (Varna 1995) continued 13.Rg1 f6 14.gf6 Rxf6! 15.0-0-0 b5 16.b3 Nb6 with

complicated play. 13.Nc1 f6 14.gf6 Bxf6 15.Qg2 Bh4+ is also unclear.

12...Nh7

12...b5 13.Bg5 is also played. Ivanchuk-Kasparov (Dos Hermanas 1996) went 13...Qa5 14.Nd1 b4 (the queen

exchange 14...Qxd2+ 15.Kxd2 Nc5 leads to an equal endgame) 15.Ng3 Nh7 16.gh5 Nxg5 17.Qxg5 Bf6 18.Qh6 Bg7

19.Qg5 Bf6 20.Qh6 Bg7. Draw. After retreating his knight, Black intends by 13...h4 to block the kingside, since White

can hardly be satisfied with 13.gh5 Qh4+ 14.Bf2 Qxh5 15.Bg2 Bh6.

13.Rg1

Threatening to capture on h5. For example: 13...b5?! 14.gh5 Qh4+ 15.Ng3 Ndf6 16.h6!, and the advantage is with

White.

13...h4 14.Nc1

White probes Black’s weaknesses on the queenside: if 14...b5 15.Nb3 Nb6 there follows 16.Na5. In the event of

14.0-0-0 b5 Black has promising play.

14...Kh8 15.Nb3 Bf6

15...f5 16.ef5 gf5 is contrary to Black’s conception, directed at blocking the kingside, and he aims for the

advantageous exchange of the dark-square bishops. Understandably, White prevents this.

16.g5 Be7

A pawn is lost after 16...Bg7?! 17.Qf2.

17.0-0-0 f6!

True to his energetic style of play, Kasparov does not wait for the opening of the position after f3-f4 but himself

opens the f-file.

18.gf6 Rxf6 19.Be2 Qf8 20.Kb1

Despite all Black’s efforts, White’s position is preferable: Black’s g6-pawn is weak and he constantly has to reckon

with f3-f4. By moving his king, White plans to play his knight to d3 and carry out this advance with every comfort.

However, in his analysis Timman recommends 20.Rdf1!?, so as in the event of 20...g5 21.Bxg5 Nxg5 22.Rxg5

(22.Qxg5 does not work because of 22...Qh6) 22...Rh6 to play 23.f4! in a more favourable situation.

20...g5 21.Bxg5 Nxg5 22.Qxg5 Rf7

If 22...Rh6, then 23.Qg2! with the threat of f3-f4 is unpleasant.

23.Qd2 Rh7 24.Nc1 Nc5

A loss of time, giving White an important tempo for the preparation of f3-f4, which, however, he does not exploit.

24...Nb6 followed by Bc8-d7 came into consideration.

25.b4 Nd7

26.Rdf1?!

As Timman points out, stronger was 26.Nd3 Nb6 (or 26...Qh6 27.f4 ef4 28.Nxf4 Ne5 29.Bh5! Bf6 30.Qf2,

intending Nf4-g6 with an attack) 27.f4 Nc4 28.Qc1 Bd7 29.fe5 Nxe5 (if 29...de5, then 30.d6! is unpleasant, vacating

the d5-square for the knight: 30...Nxd6 31.Nxe5 Be8 32.Nd5 or 30...Bxd6 31.Nc5 Bxc5 32.bc5 Be6 33.Nd5 with an

obvious advantage to White in both cases) 30.Nxe5 de5 31.d6! Bxd6 32.Bc4 Bxb4 33.Nd5 Bc5 34.Rg6!, and White

breaks into the opponent’s rear.

26...Qh6! 27.Qxh6 Rxh6 28.Nd3 Nb6 29.Nf2

After the exchange of queens the effectiveness of 29.f4 is clearly reduced: 29...Bxh3 30.Rf3 Bd7 31.fe5 Nc4!.

29...Bd7 30.Ng4 Rh7 31.f4 Rc8 32.Kb2 ef4 33.Rxf4 Bg5 34.Rf3 Bd2!

After the dark-square bishop has been left without a rival, the pawn deficit is of no fundamental importance.

35.Kc2 Bxg4 36.Rxg4 Be1 37.Rg1 Bg3 38.Kb3 Rhc7 39.Nd1 a5?

This activity places Black virtually on the verge of defeat, whereas after the natural 39...Nc4 40.Bxc4 Rxc4 41.Rc3

b5 he would not have been in any danger.

40.ba5 Nd7 41.Rf5!

This is what Black overlooked. Rf5-h5+ followed by the capture of the h4-pawn is threatened.

41...Kg7 42.Rh5

According to analysis by Timman, White misses a chance to develop his initiative: 42.Rg5+! Kf6 43.Rg4 Ke5

44.Rf1 Kd4 45.e5+ Ke5 46.Kb4! Rf8 47.Rxf8 Be1+ 48.Kb3 Nxf8 49.Bf3 followed by Rg4-e4. Now, however, the

king leaves the ‘dead’ zone, and White cannot hope for anything.

42...Kf6 43.Rf1+ Kg6 44.Rg1 Kf6 45.Rf1+ Draw.

Moscow (Olympiad) 1994

1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 g6 3.e4 d6 4.d4 Bg7 5.f3 0-0 6.Be3 e5 7.d5 Nh5 8.Qd2 f5 9.0-0-0 a6 10.ef5

In recent times White has more often played 10.Bd3, after which 10...Nd7 is possible, preparing the wing attack

b7-b5. The play takes on a different character after 10...c5 11.dc6 Nxc6 (11...bc6? is bad on account of 12.c5 d5

13.Bc4). Karpov-Kasparov (New York/Lyon 1990) continued 12.Nd5 Be6 13.Bb6 Qd7 14.Ne2 Rac8 15.Kb1 Qf7

16.Rhe1, and White’s chances were slightly preferable.

10...gf5 11.Nge2

If 11.Nh3, then 11...Nd7 is possible, with the idea after 12.g4 of sacrificing a pawn – 12...fg4 13.fg4 Nf4! 14.Nxf4

ef4 15.Bxf4 Ne5, obtaining compensation in the form of the powerful knight. More cautious is 12.Kb1 Rb8 13.Rg1 e4

14.g4 fg4 15.fg4 Nhf6 16.Be2 (16.g5! is stronger) 16...Ne5 with the better position for White (Vyzhmanavin-

Zakharevich, St. Petersburg 1996).

After 11.Nh3 also possible is 11...b5.

11...b5 12.Ng3 Nf6 13.Bg5 b4

Consideration should be given to 13...bc4!? 14.Nh5 (or 14.Bxc4 Qe8) 14...Bh8 15.g4 fg4 16.fg4 Qe8, forcing

White to decide about the knight on f6. For example, after 17.Bxf6 Bxf6 18.h3 Bh4!? 19.Bxc4 Qg6 20.Bd3 Bg5 Black

maintains the balance.

14.Nb1 Qe8

It is not in the spirit of the King’s Indian to defend such a pawn – 14...a5, since White provokes a crisis on the f5-

square: 15.Bd3 f4 16.Bxf6 Bxf6 17.Ne4, after which his control of e4 ensures an advantage.

15.Qxb4 h6

Before beginning play on the queenside, it is useful to drive away the bishop.

16.Bd2

The bishop would have stood more actively on h4.

16...a5 17.Qa3 Na6 18.Nc3

The capture of the a5-pawn would have completely handed the initiative to Black: 18.Bxa5?! (18.Qxa5? is even

worse: 18...Bd7 19.Qc3 Nc5 20.Na3 e4 etc.) 18...f4 19.Ne2 (or 19.Ne4 Nxe4 20.fe4 Bg4 21.Re1 Nc5 with excellent

play for Black) 19...Nc5 20.Nd2 c6 21.dc6 Qxc6 22.Nc3 Nb7 23.Nb3 Be6 24.Qb4 Rfc8, and now if 25.Bd3 Black

breaks through with 25...d5.

18...Bd7 19.Bd3 Qg6 20.Bb1 Nb4! 21.Rhg1

White defends the g2-pawn. The queenside diversion 21.Nb5 Rfc8 22.Bxb4 ab4 23.Qxb4 leaves the dark-square

bishop on g7 without an opponent, which can be exploited by the energetic 23...h5!.

21...h5! 22.Nge2 Qf7 23.Ng3

Such static play plays into the hands of Black, who has prepared for c7-c6 (for example, after 23.h3). The energetic

23.g4 hg4 24.fg4 fg4 25.Ng3 came into consideration, with chances for both sides.

23...Nh7 24.Nb5

This sortie does not achieve its aim and, moreover, it assists Black’s c7-c6. Consideration should have been given

to 24.Rge1 Rfb8 25.f4 (25.Nf1 is insufficient in view of 25...c6 26.Ne3 f4), although here too after 25...e4 26.Be3 c6

27.dc6 Bxc6 28.Bd4 (28.Rxd6?! is risky because of 28...h4 29.Nge2 Bf8 with the better chances for Black) 28...Bf8

Black retains sufficient counterplay.

24...Rfc8 25.Qb3 Bf8

26.a3?

Of course, White would like to get rid of the annoying knight, but Black simply ignores this move. Also insufficient

is 26.Bxb4 ab4 27.Bd3 (after 27.Qxb4 the dark-square bishop becomes active: 27...Bh6+ 28.Kc2 Be3) 27...h4 28.Ne2

c6, and Black undermines the centre.

Apparently, White should have restricted himself to 26.Rge1 c6 27.dc6 Nxc6 28.f4, although here too after 28...a4

29.Qd3 e4 Black has active counterplay.

26...c6! 27.Nc3

The knight is also taboo after 27.dc6 Rxc6! 28.ab4 Rxc4+ 29.Nc3 (29.Bc3 Bxb5) 29...ab4.

27...cd5 28.cd5 Rab8! 29.ab4 ab4 30.Qc2 bc3 31.bc3

If 31.Bxc3, then 31...Bh6+ is decisive.

31...Rc4 32.Qd3 Ra4 33.Be3

White also fails to save the game after 33.Be1 Ra1 34.Kd2 Rb2+ 35.Bc2 Raa2 36.Rc1 Bh6+.

33...f4 34.Qxh7+ Qxh7 35.Bxh7+ Kxh7

White has managed to eliminate the queens, but not Black’s attack.

36.Ne4 Ra1+ 37.Kd2 Rb2+ 38.Kd3 Bb5+ 39.c4 Ra3+ 40.Nc3 Be8! White resigned.

The attack by the bishop after 41.c5 Bb5+ or 41.Bd2 Bg6+ cannot be parried.

Linares 1992

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 0-0 6.Be3 e5 7.d5 Nh5 8.Qd2 f5 9.0-0-0 Nd7 10.Bd3 Nc5

Strangely enough, this natural move rarely occurs, but the fact that it is made by the world champion is an

indication of its soundness. Before this 10...fe4 and 10...Ndf6 were played. Here are some examples:

a) Arbakov-Sakaev (Mainz 1995): 10...fe4 11.Nxe4 Nf4 12.Bf1!? (in the event of 12.Bc2 Nf6 13.g3 N4h5 the

game is equal) 12...Nf6 13.Nc3 a6 14.Nge2 Nxe2+ 15.Bxe2 Bd7 16.Kb1 Qe8 17.Bd3 c6 18.dc6 (after 18.Bc2 c5

19.h4 b5 20.g4 e4 Black has sufficient counterplay) 18...bc6 19.Bc2 Be6 20.Qxd6 Bxc4 21.Ne4!, and White retained

some advantage;

b) Kir.Georgiev-Uhlmann (Dortmund 1991): 10...Ndf6 11.ef5 gf5 12.Nge2 Kh8 13.Bg5 Qe8 14.Rhe1 Bd7 15.Nd4

Qc8 16.Nc2 a6 17.Kb1 Rb8 18.c5 dxc5 19.Rxe5 b5! with sharp play.

11.Bc2 a6

The provocative 11...Bd7 is interesting, with the aim after 12.b4 Na6 13.a3 of becoming active on the kingside –

13...fe4! 14.fe4 Bg4 15.Nge2 Nf4. But after 12.ef5 gf5 13.Nge2 or 13.Nh3 White’s chances are nevertheless

preferable.

12.Nge2 b5 13.b4

The alternative 13.cb5!? ab5 14.Bxc5 dc5 15.Nxb5 is still to be tested.

13...Nd7

White is at a cross roads. Apart from the move in the game, 14.ef5!? gf5 15.Ng3 or 14.c5!? comes into

consideration.

14.cb5 ab5

15.Nxb5!

Play against the weakness of the c6-point is more real than the raid by the black rook.

15...Rxa2 16.Nec3 Ra8 17.Kb2 Ndf6

In Kasimdzhanov-Poldauf Germany 1999) Black tried changing the move order with 17...fe4 18.fe4 Ndf6, but this

did not relieve his defensive problems: 19.h3 Rb8 20.Kb3 Ng3 21.Na7 (White has to throw caution to the winds, since

if 21.Rhe1 there is the diverting 21...Ngxe4!) 21...Nxh1 (a hasty move, leading to a strategic bind; after the

interposition 21...c5! 22.dc6 Nxh1 23.Qxd6! Qxd6 24.Rxd6 Ne8 25.Rd1 Be6+ 26.Ka4 Ng3 27.b5 Nf1 28.Bc5 Rf7 and

29...Bf8 the pair of passed pawns is neutralised) 22.Nc6 Qe8 23.Nxb8 Ng3 24.Nc6. White has a real positional

advantage.

18.Na7 fe4 19.Nc6 Qd7 20.g4

Timman begins a forcing manoeuvre, but he does not take into account all the nuances of the position. The sound

20.Bxe4!? would have guaranteed White some advantage.

20...Nf4 21.g5 N6xd5! 22.Nxd5 Nd3+!

An important interposition, which White had apparently not taken into account. Otherwise after 22...ef3 23.Nxf4

ef4+ 24.Bd4 Black suffers loss of material.

23.Bxd3?

Timman was clearly rattled. As Kasparov pointed out, after 23.Kb1! Rxf3 24.Rhf1 Rxf1 25.Rxf1 Black would have

had to solve some difficult problems. Here, for example, is a possible continuation: 25...Bb7 26.Nf6+! Bxf6 27.Bb3+!

(an important interposition, driving the king away from the potential passed pawn on f6; after 27.gf6 Qf7! Black has

the advantage) 27...Kh8 28.gf6 Qh3! (weaker is 28...Bxc6 29.Bh6 d5 30.f7, when the pawn cannot be stopped) 29.Rc1!

Nxc1 30.Qxc1 Ba6! 31.f7 Qxh2! with an unclear position.

23...ed3 24.Nce7+?

This loses quickly, although even after the better 24.Rc1 Bb7 25.b5 e4+ 26.Kb3 Rxf3 White’s position is hopeless.

24...Kh8 25.Nxc8 e4+ White resigned.

Lucerne 1997

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 0-0 6.Be3 a6 7.Bd3 b6 8.Nge2 c5

By a transposition of moves a well-known position has arisen, one in which in their time Gufeld and Polugaevsky

had a discussion.

9.e5 Nfd7 10.ed6

It looks more promising to play 10.Be4 Ra7 11.dc5 dc5 (if 11...Nxc5, then 12.ed6 ed6 13.0-0 Re8 is possible) 12.f4

Bb7 13.Bxb7 Rxb7 14.Qd5 with some positional advantage for White.

10...ed6

The Encyclopaedia considers 10...cd to be more promising.

11.0-0 Nc6 12.Be4

Leonid Stein retreated his bishop to c2.

12...Bb7 13.Qd2 Nf6 14.Bxc6

This exchange was effectively pre-determined by White’s 12th move.

14...Bxc6 15.Rad1 Re8

15...Qe7 also came into consideration, removing the queen from the X-ray of the rook on d1.

16.Bh6 b5 17.Bxg7 Kxg7 18.Ng3

Unpromising is 18.d5 Bb7 19.b3 b4 20.Na4 Bc8, when Black stands better.

18...bc4 19.dc5 d5

20.Qg5?!

The threat of Ng3-f5 is easily parried. Larry Christiansen recommends 20.Nce4!, which is tactically justified by the

fact that 20...de4 is not possible in view of 21.Nf5+!. After 20...Nxe4 21.fe4 Re5 22.Qc3 f6 23.ed5 Bxd5 24.Rfe1

Rxe1+ 25.Qxe1 Ra7 26.Qd2 Rd7 27.Ne4 the knight penetrates to d6, guaranteeing White an advantage in view of the

weakness of the c4-pawn and Black’s kingside. Now, however, Black’s prospects are more cheerful.

20...Qc8 21.Rd4?!

This direct attack is unreal and it involves a loss of time. The logical 21.Rfe1 Rxe1+ 22.Rxe1 h6 23.Qd2 Qd7

would have led to a roughly equal position.

21...h6!

Nipping White’s hopes in the bud. If he desired, Black could have forced the exchange of queens, by playing

21...Qe6 followed by Qe7-e3.

22.Qd2 Qe6

Nothing is given by 22...Bb7 23.Na4 Qc6 24.b3, but the preparatory 22...Rb8 came into consideration, preventing

b2-b3, and if 23.Rh4, then 23...g5 24.Rd4 Qe6.

23.b4 cb3 24.ab3 a5!

Black fixes the weak pawns on b3 and c5.

25.Nge2

White switches his attention to the d5-pawn: Ne2-f4 is threatened. The attempt to attack the a5-pawn after 25.Na4

Nd7 26.Ra1 Reb8 27.Rd3 Qf6 leads to equality.

25...Rab8

Black methodically improves the placing of his pieces. 25...Qe7 26.Rc1 a4!? 27.ba4 Qxc5 28.Nxd5 Rxe2! 29.Rxc5

Rxd2 30.Rxd2 Bxd5 31.a5 leads to an endgame where Black is nominally half a pawn up, but the presence of the

outside passed pawn makes a draw likely.

26.Rb1?

What is this: an oversight or grasping at a chance opportunity? White should have relieved the situation with

26.Nf4 Qe3+ 27.Qxe3 Rxe3 28.Nfxd5 Nxd5 29.Nxd5 Rexb3, retaining an equal game. 26.Ra1, attacking the a5-pawn,

was also not bad.

26...Qe7

Now White loses a pawn.

27.Rh4 Qxc5+ 28.Nd4 g5

Disregarding White’s threat, as otherwise Black would have defended his h6-pawn.

29.Rxh6

It is too late to go back, since after 29.Rh3 Bd7 30.g4 Rb4 things are bad for White.

29...Kxh6

Black is a rook up and he merely has to show some patience in anticipation of White’s capitulation. But the

subsequent events defy a logical explanation.

30.Rc1 Rb4

30...Bd7 31.Ne4 Nxe4 32.fe4 Qb6 was simpler, reducing White’s resources to the minimum.

31.Nb5

31...Rxb5

This is sufficient to obtain an advantage. The queen could have been saved with the help of tactics: 31...Re2!?

32.Qd1 (after 32.Rxc5 Rxd2 33.Rxc6 Kg6 one of the knights has to be given up) 32...Rxd4 33.Nxd4 Re1+ 34.Qxe1

Qxd4+ 35.Kh1 Qb6, but compared with an extra rook this is rather little.

32.Rxc5 Rxc5 33.h4 Re5

33...Nh7! 34.hg5+ Kg6 was stronger.

34.hg5+ Rxg5 35.Nf5+ Kh5 36.Qf4 d4 37.Ne7!

Threatening mate from h2. In a critical situation White does not lose his presence of mind, but the same cannot be

said about Black.

37...Ng4?

After 37...Rg6 38.g4+ Nxg4 39.Nxg6 Bxf3! Black would have retained a small material advantage. But now it is

all over.

38.fg4+ Rxg4 39.Qxf7+ Kg5 40.Qg6+ Kf4 41.Qd6+ Ke3 42.Qxc5 Black resigned.

Linares 1990

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 0-0 6.Be3 Nc6 7.Qd2 a6 8.Nge2 Rb8 9.Nc1 e5 10.Nb3 ed4 11.Nxd4

Ne5 12.Rd1 c6 13.Be2 b5!

According to Beliavsky, Kasparov prepared this variation for one of his world championship matches.

14.cb5

White must prevent b5-b4, after which his control of d5 is weakened, and Black may be able to hope for the freeing

advance d6-d5.

14...ab5 15.b4 c5 16.Nc2

In the event of 16.bc5 b4 17.Na4 Qa5 18.Nb6 dc5 19.Nxc8 cd4 20.Ne7+ Kh8 21.Bxd4 Rfd8 Black seizes the

initiative (Kasparov).

16...cb4 17.Nxb4 Be6 18.0-0

It was not worth ‘nudging’ the knight by 18.f4 for the sake of winning the exchange – 18...Nc4 19.Bxc4 Bxc4

20.Nc6 Qe8 21.Nxb8, since after the interposition of 21...b4 Black’s bishop pair would have become too active.

Therefore White castles, rightly assuming that Black will have sufficient problems with his weak d6-pawn.

18...Qa5 19.Qxd6

For the pawn White is ready to suffer a slight initiative for Black, rather than play an unpromising endgame after

19.Nbd5 Nxd5 20.Nxd5 Qxd2 21.Rxd2 Nc4 22.Bxc4 bc4 23.Rc1 Bxd5 24.Rxd5 c3 25.Bd4 Rfc8.

19...Nc4

Of course, not 19...Rfd8? because of 20.Bb6!.

20.Bxc4 bc4 21.Nc6

If 21.Rb1 there could have followed 21...Qa3! 22.Qd2 Rxb4 23.Bc5 Rb2! 24.Qe3 Ng4 25.Bxa3 Nxe3 26.Bxb2

Nxf1 27.Rxf1 f5, and Black has sufficient compensation for the pawn.

21...Qxc3 22.Bd4

22...Nxe4!

Black’s play is based on this tactical possibility. Now in the event of 23.fe4 Bxd4+ 24.Qxd4 Qxd4+ 25.Nxd4 Bg4

26.Rc1 Rfd8 he has a favourable endgame.

23.Bxc3 Nxd6 24.Bxg7 Kxg7 25.Nxb8 Nf5

It is as though a tornado has swept over the board, and the game has gone into a complicated ending, where, despite

the loss of the exchange, the passed c-pawn leaves Black with saving chances. The intention to support it looks natural.

26.Nd7 Rc8

In Beliavsky-Loginov (Azov 1991) Black played more strongly: 26...Ra8 27.Nc5 Rxa2 28.Rf2 Ra7 29.Nxe6+ fe6

30.Re2 Kf6 31.Re4 Ra6 32.Rde1 Rc6 33.Kf2 c3 34.Rc1 Ne7 35.h4 Nd5, and the centralised knight together with the

passed c3-pawn were not inferior in value to a rook.

27.Nb6 Rc6

28.Rb1?

As Kasparov shows, White should have played 28.Na4 c3! (in the event of 28...Ne3 29.Nc3 the passed a-pawn

becomes dangerous) 29.Rd3! c2 30.Rc3 Ra6 31.Nc5 Rxa2 32.Rc1 Nd4 33.Kf2 Rb2 34.Nd3! (34.Ke3 Rb1 35.Nd3 Bf5

36.Kxd4 Bxd3 leads to a draw) 34...Rb8! (if 34...Rb1 there follows 35.R3xc2) 35.Ke3 Nf5+ 36.Kd2 Nd4 37.Nc5

Nb3+ 38.Nxb3 Bxb3. Here there is a win by 39.Rd3! Kf6 (or 39...Ba4 40.Rd4 Bb3 41.Kc3 with the threat of 42.Rb4)

40.Rd4 Ke5 41.Re4+ Kd5 42.Kc3 Kc5 43.Re5+ Kd6 44.Ra5 h5 45.Ra3, and the c2-pawn is lost.

28...c3 29.Rb4 Bxa2 30.Rc1 c2 31.Kf2 h5! 32.Ke2 Be6 33.Kd2 Rd6+ 34.Kxc2?

34.Ke2 was essential. This mistake, which places Beliavsky on the verge of defeat, is explained by a time

scramble. But Black soon returns the favour.

34...Ne3+ 35.Kb2 Nxg2

If 35...Rd2+? 36.Kc3 Rxg2 White saves himself with 37.Rb2.

36.Nc4

36...Rd3?

One good turn deserves another. There was a win by 36...Rd5! 37.Nb6 Rd2+ 38.Rc2 Rxc2+ 39.Kxc2 Ne1+ 40.Kd1

Nxf3 41.Rb2 g5 (Kasparov).

37.Ne5 Re3 38.Re4 Kf6 39.Rxe3 Nxe3 40.Nd3 Bd5 41.Ne1 Draw.

Groningen 1995

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 0-0 6.Be3 Nc6 7.Nge2 a6 8.Qd2 Rb8 9.Nc1 e5 10.d5 Nd4 11.N1e2

Nxe2

11...c5 involves the pawn sacrifice 12.dc6 bc6 13.Nxd4 ed4 14.Bxd4, and it is unclear whether Black has sufficient

compensation:

a) 14...Qa5 15.Rc1 Rd8 16.Be2 Be6 17.0-0 Qb4! 18.b3 d5 with double-edged play (Am.Rodriguez-G.Kuzmin,

Minsk 1982);

b) 14...Re8 15.Be2 d5 16.cd5 Rb4 (weaker is 16...cd5 17.e5 Nd7 18.f4 with advantage to White, Atalik-Golubev,

Bucharest 1996) 17.Bc5 Nxe4 18.fe4 Bxc3 19.Qxc3 Rbxe4 20.0-0 Rxe2 21.dc6 Qg5, and here in Ehlvest-Smirin (USA

2003) with 22.Rf2 White could have parried the threats to his king, while having a dangerous passed pawn on c6 (if

22...Bh3, then 23.Bf8! is unpleasant, threatening mate on g7).

12.Bxe2 Nh5 13.0-0-0 f5 14.Kb1

14.g3 also comes into consideration, not allowing the knight to go to f4, since in the event of 14...f4?! 15.Bf2 White

is threatening to block the kingside with g3-g4 and switch to play on the queenside (involving the preparation of c4-c5).

14...Nf4 15.Bf1

For a long time White has not accepted the Greek gift on f4.

15...b6 16.g3 Nh5 17.Be2

One of the typical ideas, 17.ef5 gf5 18.f4 Nf6, also leaves Black certain possibilities. For the moment White is

threatening 18.f4.

17...Nf6

A fight begins for the e4-point. In the event of the preparatory 17...fe4 18.Nxe4 Nf6 White maintains his control of

this point – 19.Bg5 Qe8 (19...Bf5 20.Bd3) 20.Bxf6! and retains an advantage.

18.Bg5 Qe8 19.Bd3

Karpov recommends 19.Rdf1!?, when 19...fe4 20.Bxf6! is again unfavourable for Black, since he loses after

20...ef3 21.Bxg7 fe2 22.Rxf8+.

19...fe4 20.Nxe4

Here 20.Bxf6 is parried tactically – 20...ed3!.

20...Nxe4 21.Bxe4 Bf5 22.Qe2! Bxe4+ 23.fe4 Qf7 24.Rhf1 Qd7 25.g4 Rxf1 26.Rxf1 Rf8 27.h3 h6

The battle for the e4-point has concluded with mass exchanges, but White has retained a minimal advantage thanks

to his better bishop. The battle now switches to the f-file, where Black would not be averse also to an exchange of rooks

– 27...Rxf1+ 28.Qxf1, but he is unable to exchange the queens, since he has to keep an eye on the c7-pawn (28...h6

does not help – 29.Bh4!). But now if 28.Bh4 there is the diverting manoeuvre 28...Rf4!, and in the event of 29.Bg3

Rxf1+ 30.Qxf1 Qf7 Black achieves his aim.

28.Rxf8+ Bxf8

Of course, not 28...Kxf8? 29.Qf3+! Ke8 30.Bh4!, when the advantage is still with White.

29.Bd2

The Karpov of the 1990s was just as strong in technical positions as in his best years. This is indicated both by the

timely exchange of rooks, and the battle for the preparation of c4-c5. In the event of 29.Be3 Kg7 the 30.c5?! break is

parried by 30...Qa4.

29...Kg7 30.c5! dc5

Black is forced to agree to a worsening of his pawn structure. Clearly, 30...bc5 31.Qxa6 is not good, allowing

White an outside passed a-pawn. And if 30...Qa4 Karpov gives two advantageous continuations for White:

a) 31.c6!? Be7 32.Bc3 Bg5 33.a3! with the threat of Kb1-a2 and b2-b3;

b) 31.cb6 cb6 32.b3 Qd4 33.Qe3 Qxe3 34.Bxe3 b5 35.Kc2 Be7 36.Kc3 with the threat of a breakthrough on the

queenside.

31.Qxa6 h5

31...c6? 32.Bc3 cd5 33.Bxe5+ and 34.Qxb6 would have been suicidal.

32.Qe2 hg4 33.Qxg4

Perhaps the queens should have been retained – 33.hg, since now it is easier for Black to maintain a passive stance.

33...Qxg4 34.hg4 Kf7 35.a4 Ke8 36.a5 Kd7 37.ab6 cb6 38.Bc3

In the event of 38.b4 c4 39.b5 Bc5 Black ‘plugs’ all the holes.

38...Bd6

If 38...Kd6 White breaks through with 39.b4 c4 40.b5 Kc5 41.Bxe5, creating a pair of connected passed pawns.

39.b4!

An excellent temporary pawn sacrifice. Since Black cannot go into a pawn endgame (White has a protected passed

pawn on d5), he is forced to play a bishop ending with several pawn islands.

39...cb4

After 39...c4 40.b5 Ke7 41.Kc2 Kf6 42.Bd2 Bc5 43.Kc3 the pawn is lost.

40.Bd2 Kc7 41.Kc2 b5 42.Kb3 Kd7 43.Bxb4 Bc7 44.Bc3 Bd6 45.Bb2 b4 46.Bc1 Bc5 47.Bd2 Bg1 48.Kxb4

White has won a pawn, but its conversion is by no means easy.

48...Bf2 49.Kc4 Bg1 50.Kd3 Bc5 51.Be3 Be7 52.Kc4

52...Ba3?

This allows the bishop to be driven to a passive position. According to analysis by Karpov, after 52...Bh4 53.Bc5

Bg5 54.d6 Kc6 55.d7 Bd8 56.Bb4 Kxd7 57.Kd5 Bf6 58.Bc3 Bg7 59.Bxe5 Bh6 White strengthens the position of his

king, but at the cost of a reduction in the pawn material, which leaves Black definite saving chances.

53.Bd2!

Cutting off the path of the enemy bishop into White’s rear.

53...Be7 54.Bc3 Bd6

In the event of 54...Bf6 55.g5! Bg7 56.Bb4 the black bishop is trapped, and an outflanking manoeuvre by the white

king is decisive.

55.Bb4 Bb8 56.Kb5 Ba7

After 56...Bc7 57.d6 Bxd6 58.Bxd6 Kxd6 59.g5 White wins the pawn endgame.

57.Bc5 Bb8 58.d6! Black resigned.

Dubai 2002

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 0-0 6.Be3 Nc6 7.Nge2 a6 8.Qd2 Rb8 9.Nc1 e5 10.d5 Nd4 11.Nb3

Nxb3 12.ab3 c5 13.g4

After 13.b4 cb4 14.Na4 b5 15.cb5 ab5 16.Qxb4 Ne8 (16...Nd7 also comes into consideration) Black has good

counterplay associated with the threat of Bg7-h6.

13...Ne8

Black prepares the traditional f7-f5. In Karpov-Xie Jun (China 2000) Black played 13...h5 14.h3 Nh7, and after

15.gh5 Qh4+ 16.Qf2 Qxf2+ 17.Kxf2 play went into a favourable endgame for White: 17...gh5 18.Bd3 h4 19.Ke2 Kh8

20.b4! cb4 21.Na4 Rg8 (21...b5 22.cb5 ab5 23.Nb6 also favours White) 22.Bb6! Bd7 23.Bc7 Rbe8 (or 23...b5 24.Bxd6

ba4 25.Bxb8 Rxb8 26.c5) 24.Nb6! with the advantage.

14.h4 f5 15.ef5 gf5

16.g5!?

Playing for the seizure of the e4-square, typical of this type of position, with 16.gf5 Bxf5 17.Bg5 Qc7 18.Ne4 is

parried by 18...Nf6 19.Nxf6+ Bxf6 20.Bh6 Rf7 21.0-0-0 Kh8.

16...b5! 17.f4!

Capturing the pawn with 17.cb5? ab5 18.Bxb5 allows Black to make a break in the centre – 18...f4! 19.Bg1 e4

20.Bc4 e3.

17...bc4 18.bc4 Rf7!

A subtle manoeuvre – Black doubles rooks on the b-file.

19.Be2 Rfb7 20.Ra2 Rb4! 21.0-0 Qb6 22.fe5! Rxb2!?

An important transposition of moves. In the event of 22...Bxe5 23.Nd1! White exchanges his passive knight for the

active bishop: 23...Bxb2 24.Nxb2 Rxb2 25.Rxb2 Qxb2 26.Qxb2 Rxb2 27.Bh5! Ng7 28.Bf3, retaining, thanks to his

bishop pair, sufficient compensation for the pawn (Istratescu).

23.Rxb2 Qxb2 24.Bh5! Bxe5

In the event of 24...Qxd2 25.Bxd2 Kf8 26.e6 Bd4+ 27.Kh1 Ng7 28.Bg4 White wins a pawn, not leaving Black any

chances.

25.Qxb2 Rxb2 26.Nd1! Rb4 27.Bxe8 Rxc4

Despite the loss of a piece, Black retains counterplay thanks to his passed a-pawn. For example, after the natural

28.Bf2 Rg4+ 29.Kh1 a5 30.Ne3 Rb4 31.Rc1 Bd4 he is threatening to regain the piece by 32...Bxe3 33.Bxe3 Re4.

28.Nf2! Rxh4?!

As Istratescu showed, the preparatory 28...Kf8! 29.Bc6 and now 29...Rxh4 was stronger, although here too after

30.Rb1 Rb4 (if 30...f4? there follows 31.Bxc5! dc5 32.Re1) 31.Re1 with the threats of Bxc5 and Nd3 it is not easy for

Black to defend.

29.Rb1 Kf8

29...Rb4 30.Rxb4 cb4 31.Ba4 Bb7 32.Nd3 Bc3 33.Nf4 a5 was more resilient.

30.Rb8 Kxe8 31.Rxc8+ Kd7

Or 31...Kf7 32.Rc6! a5 33.Kg2.

32.Rf8!

By forcing the advance of the f-pawn, White shuts the enemy rook out of the game.

32...f4 33.Bd2 c4 34.Kg2! c3 35.Bc1 c2

35...Rh5 36.Rg8 a5 was stronger.

36.Rf7+ Kc8 37.Nd3 Rh5

37...Rg4+ 38.Kf3 Rxg5 39.Rxh7 Rg3+ 40.Ke4 leads to a position from the game.

38.Kf3 Rxg5 39.Rxh7 Rg3+ 40.Ke4 f3! 41.Be3!

The careless 41.Rf7? Rg4+ 42.Kxf3 Rd4 allows Black to win the last white pawn.

41...f2 42.Rh1 Bb2 43.Rf1!

43...Kd7?

This leads to a quick finish, in a situation where Black could have promoted one of his passed pawns by 43...Ba3

44.Rxf2 Rxe3+! 45.Kxe3 c1=Q+ 46.Nxc1 Bxc1+, reaching an ending with rook and pawn against bishop and two

pawns, demanding painstaking work by White to convert his advantage. Istratescu gives the following approximate

variation: 47.Kd3! Kb7 (47...Ba3? 48.Ra2) 48.Rc2 Ba3 49.Rc6! Bc5 50.Kc4 Ka7 51.Kb3 a5 52.Ka4 Bb4 53.Kb5 Kb7

54.Rc2 etc.

44.Nxb2 Rg1 45.Rxf2 c1=Q 46.Bxc1 Rxc1 47.Rf7+ Black resigned.

8th match game, Sveti-Stefan/Belgrade 1992

It was pleasant to note that, even 20 years later, ex-world champion Robert Fischer was still faithful to the King’s

Indian Defence.

4.e4 d6 5.f3 0-0 6.Be3 Nc6 7.Nge2 a6 8.Qd2

Later Spassky switched to 8.h4 h5 9.Nc1. And whereas in the 28th game Fischer played the old-fashioned 9...e5

10.d5 Nd4 11.Nb3 Nxb3 12.Qxb3 and experienced opening problems, in the 30th game he demonstrated a

fundamentally new plan – 9...Nd7 10.Nb3 a5! and obtained good play.

8...Rb8 9.h4

A popular continuation. White is threatening to break up the enemy king’s defences by a frontal attack.

9...h5

The most radical way of countering White’s flank attack. 9...b5 also occurs, but after 10.h5 it involves a definite

risk:

a) 10...bc4 11.g4! Bxg4 12.fg4 Nxg4 13.0-0-0!, and Black did not gain compensation for the piece (Kasparov-

Spassky, Niksic 1983);

b) 10...e5 11.d5 Na5 12.Ng3 bc4 13.0-0-0 Rb4 14.Bh6! Bxh6 15.Qxh6 Qe7 (Kasparov considers 15...Kh8! to be

best) 16.Be2 Bd7 17.Nf1! Rfb8 (17...Nxh5 18.g4 Nf6 19.Ng3 would be suicidal) 18.Rd2 c5?! (18...Be8 19.g4)

19.Bd1! (for the moment 19.g4 is premature because of 19...Ba4! followed by Qe7-b7) 19...Ne8 20.hg6 fg6 21.g4!

Qg7 22.g5! with a strong attack for White (Kasparov-Loginov, Olympiad, Manila 1992).

10.Bh6

The main continuation here is 10.0-0-0.

Reverting to the plan 10.Nc1 e5 11.d5 Nd4 12.N1e2 with the inclusion of the h-pawn moves is more likely to

favour Black, since the weakness of the h4-pawn may tell in the variation 12...c5 13.dc6 bc6 14.Nxd4 ed4 15.Bxd4 Re8

16.Be2 d5. Interesting in this respect isthe game Ernst-Carlson (Stockholm 1994), which continued 17.cd5 Rb4! (if

17...cd5?!, then 18.e5 Nd7 19.f4 is unpleasant) 18.Bc5 Nxe4! 19.fe4 Bxc3 20.Qxc3 Rbxe4 21.0-0-0 (or 21.0-0 Rxe2

22.dc6 Qxh4) 21...Rxe2 22.d6 Bf5 23.Rhe1 Qxh4 24.Rxe2 Rxe2 25.d7 Qf4+ 26.Be3 Qxe3+ 27.Qxe3 Rc2+. Draw.

Events in Lautier-Smirin (Greece 2003) developed in similar vein – 17.e5 c5 18.Bxc5 Nd7 19.Bd6 Nxe5 20.Bxb8

Nxc4 21.Qc1 Bf5. Draw.

If 10.Nd5 there can follow 10...b5 11.cb5 ab5 12.Rc1 Bd7 13.Nxf6+ Bxf6 14.g4 hg4 15.fg4 e5 16.d5 Nd4 with

roughly equal chances.

10...e5

In recent times normally Black has first played 10...Bxh6 11.Qxh6 and then 11...e5.

11.Bxg7 Kxg7 12.d5 Ne7 13.Ng3!

Hindering b7-b5, which Black could have played after 13.0-0-0.

13...c6 14.dc6 Nxc6!

The decision of a true King’s Indian player – Black agrees to a backward d6-pawn for the sake of active piece play.

After 14...bc6 15.0-0-0 Qb6 Black is able to carry out the d6-d5 idea only in the event of 16.Na4?! Qb4 17.Qxb4 Rxb4

18.b3 d5. But after 16.c5!? he has to reckon with more serious positional defects in his position: 16...dc5 17.Na4 Qb4

18.Qc2, and White’s chances are preferable.

15.0-0-0 Be6 16.Kb1!

If 16.Qxd6 there can follow 16...Qb6 17.Qd2 Nd4 or 16. ...Qa5 with active piece play for the pawn.

16...Ne8

If 16...Qa5 Black has to reckon with 17.Nf5+!.

17.Nd5 b5 18.Ne3

The immediate 18.Rc1 was stronger, as is indicated by Spassky’s 21st move.

18...Rh8!

After ending up in a difficult situation, Fischer displays amazing tenacity, neutralising White’s plans involving g2-

g4.

19.Rc1 Qb6 20.Bd3 Nd4 21.Nd5 Qa7

The closing of the centre by 21...Bxd5 22.cd5 is in favour of White.

22.Nf1! Nf6

In the event of 22...bc4 23.Bxc4 Nf6 Black’s position is less solid and apart from 24.Nfe3 he has to reckon with

24.Nxf6 Kxf6 25.Bxe6.

23.Nfe3

After the tempting opening of the position by 23.Nxf6 Kxf6 24.c5 Black retreats with 24...Kg7 and after 25.cd6

Qd7 he regains the pawn, getting rid of his d6-weakness free of charge.

23...Bxd5 24.cd5 Rbc8 25.Rcf1!

White is preparing to open lines by g2-g4, and therefore it is useful to retain the rooks.

25...Qe7 26.g4 Nd7 27.g5 Kf8?!

‘Where is the king heading? It’s a great secret!’ Fischer takes it on a route which could have had unpleasant

consequences. Black stands worse, and passive play merely urges White to seek an active plan with the opening of the

play by f3-f4. Therefore 27...Rcf8! with the idea of f7-f6 was in the spirit of the position. For example: 28.f4!? ef4

29.Rxf4 Qe5 30.Rhf1 f6, and Black is not worse.

28.Rf2 Ke8 29.Bf1

The bishop is switched to an active position, joining the battle for the c-file, but 29.Rhf1 also came into

consideration.

29...Nc5 30.Bh3

30.Bg2 was nevertheless more solid, defending the e4-pawn, after which f3-f4 becomes a reality: 30...Rf8 31.f4 ef4

32.Rxf4 Qe5 33.Rhf1, and Black has problems.

30...Rc7 31.Rc1

‘When I put down my rook on c1, I immediately saw the knight stroke. I knew what a “killer” instinct Bobby has

and that, of course, he would not miss this good opportunity to finish me off. Later that evening Yuri Balashov showed

me what was possibly the best defence – queen to c2.’ (Spassky)

It was also not yet too late to revert to the idea of 31.Bg2.

After missing the stroke on b3, Spassky could not pull himself together and he lost quickly. Of course, when short

of time it is not easy to find the move 33.Qc2, placing the queen en prise. This chance was also not mentioned by the

commentators at that time, but apparently it too would not have solved White’s problems: 33...Rxc2 34.Rfxc2 Nxc1

35.Rc8+ Qd8 36.Rxd8+ (or 36.Kxc1 Rf8! followed by 37...f6) 36...Kxd8 37.Kxc1 Rf8! 38.Kd1 f6 39.gf6 Rxf6 40.Ke2

Rf7, and White has to keep an eye on the h4-pawn and reckon with the threat of Rf7-c7 followed by Ke7-f6 and g6-g5

(Kupreichik and Seirawan).

Computer analysis by the program ‘Deep Thought’ considers the best to be 33.Qc3! Nxc1! 34.Qa3 b4 35.Qa4+

Kf8 36.Bf1 b3 (or 36...Kg7 37.Rc2 Rxc2 38.Nxc2 f6) 37.Nc4 f6!, but such positions with material inequality are not

easy to assess.

33...Nxd2+ 34.Rxd2 Kf8 35.Rxa6 Ra7 36.Rc6 Kg7 37.Bf1 Ra1+! 38.Kxa1 Qa7+ 39.Kb1 Qxe3 40.Kc2 b4

White resigned.

Oxford 1998

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 0-0 6.Nge2 Nc6 7.Be3 a6 8.Qd2 Rb8 9.h4 h5 10.0-0-0 b5

11.Bh6

The drawbacks to this move are described in detail in the game Mestel-Gufeld (Hastings 1986/87). But also after

other continuations Black successfully counterattacks. Here are some examples from the games of one of the brightest

King’s Indian players – Boris Gelfand.

a) 11.Nd5 bc4 12.Nxf6+ (if 12.Bh6, then 12...Nxd5 13.ed5 Nb4 14.Nc3 c6! is good) 12...Bxf6 13.g4 Nb4 14.Nc3

c5 15.Bxc4 cd4 16.Bxd4 Qc7 17.Bb3 Be6 18.Bxf6 Bxb3 19.ab3 ef6 20.gh5 Qa5! with chances for both sides (Oll-

Gelfand, USSR 1984);

b) 11.Nf4 bc4 12.Bxc4 e5 13.de5 Nxe5 14.Bb3 Qe8! 15.Kb1 a5 16.Bd4 Nfd7 17.Nfd5 c6 18.Ne3 Ba6! 19.Bxe5

Bxe5 20.g4 (20.Bc4 Qc8 21.g4 Rb4! 22.Bxa6 Qxa6 also favours Black) 20...d5!! 21.gh5 Nc5 22.Ng4? (better is

22.hg6 Nxb3 23.ab3 Rxb3, although here too Black’s threats are dangerous) 22...Bd3+ 23.Bc2 d4! 24.Nd5 Bxc2+

25.Qxc2 cd5 26.Qxc5 Rxb2+!, and Black won (Dydyshko-Gelfand, Minsk 1986).

11...e5

Black also has good counterplay after 11...Bxh6 12.Qxh6 e5:

a) 13.g4 bc4 14.Ng3 Bxg4 15.Bxc4 Bxf3 16.Qxg6+ Kh8 17.Qh6+ Nh7 18.Nxh5 Rg8 19.Rhg1 Qf8, and Black

defended successfully (Lerner-Watson, Moscow 1985);

b) 13.d5 Na5 14.Ng3 bc4 15.Be2 Rb4 16.Nf1 Bd7 17.Ne3 (17.Rd2!? Qb8 18.f4! is stronger, and in the event of

18...ef4 19.Qxf4 Ng4 20.Bxg4 Bxg4 21.Ne3 Bd7 22.g4 White successfully counterattacks; he is also in no danger after

18...Qb6 19.f5 Rb8 20.fg6 Rxb2 21.gf7+ Kxf7 22.Bxh5+ Nxh5 23.Qxh5+) 17...Qb8 18.Rd2 Qb6 19.Nf5? (White

should have gone onto the defensive with 19.Ned1 Rb8 20.Rc2!? – Fedorov) 19...Bxf5 20.ef5 Rb8, and Black got his

attack in first (Muir-Fedorov, Batumi 1999);

c) 13.c5 ed4 14.Nxd4 Nxd4 15.Rxd4 b4 16.Nd5 Nxd5 17.Rxd5 Be6 with roughly equal chances (Enriquez-Ibarra,

corr. 2004/05);

d) 13.Nd5!? bc4 14.g4! Nxd5! (it is bad to capture on d4 – 14...ed4? 15.gh5 Nxh5 16.Rg1 Ne5 17.Nxd4 or

14...Nxd4? 15.Nxd4 ed4 16.gh5 Nxh5 17.Bxc4 with the threat of 18.Rg1) 15.ed5 Nb4 16.Nc3 ed4!? (after 16...hg4

17.de5 de5 White continues his attack with 18.Bxc4!, threatening 19.h5, but not 18.h5?! immediately because of

18...g5) 17.Rxd4 Qf6 18.Qf4 Qxf4+ 19.Rxf4 Nd3+ 20.Bxd3 cd3 with an equal endgame (Stetsko).

12.Bxg7 Kxg7 13.Nd5

Mestel played 13.de5.

13...bc4

Black has carried out his minimum program, by activating his rook on b8.

14.Nxf6

Was it worth activating the knight only to exchange it? The retreat 14.Ne3 was also interesting, for example:

14...a5 15.d5! (weaker is 15.Nxc4?! Ba6, and now it is risky to play 16.Nxa5 Nb4 17.Ng3 Bxf1 18.Rhxf1 c5 19.de5

Qxa5 20.ef6+ Kh7 21.a3 Na2+ 22.Kc2 Qa4+ 23.Kb1 Qxa3 with a dangerous attack for Black, but also after 16.de5

Bxc4 17.ef6+ Qxf6 18.Nc3 Be6 Black has the better chances) 15...Nb4 16.Nc3 Nd3+ 17.Bxd3 cd3 18.Qxd3, and

White’s position is the more promising.

14...Qxf6 15.d5 Na7

15...Ne7 16.Nc3 Rb4 17.a3 Rb6 18.Bxc4 Bd7 came into consideration.

16.Nc3 Nb5 17.Bxc4 Qe7

Black prepares the freeing advance c7-c5. A.Schneider-Kahn (Budapest 1993) continued 17...Bd7 18.Bxb5 Bxb5

19.Kb1 Rb7 20.Rc1 Rfb8 with roughly equal chances.

18.Ne2 Rd8 19.Qe3 c5 20.dc6 Qc7

21.Bd5

This attempt to derive benefit from the c6-pawn does not achieve its aim. The modest 21.Kb1 Qxc6 22.Rc1 Qc5

23.Qxc5 dc5 24.Bxb5 Rxb5 25.Nc3 Ra5 26.Rhd1 Rd4 27.Ne2 Rxd1 28.Rxd1 Be6 29.Nc3 came into consideration,

obtaining the better endgame.

21...Bd7 22.Kb1 Bxc6 23.Rc1 Na7 24.Rc2

The attempt to fight for the d5-point with 24.Nc3 Qb7 25.b3 Nb5 26.Bxc6 Qxc6 27.Nd5 is parried by perpetual

check: 27...Na3+ 28.Ka1 (28.Kb2 Nc4+) 28...Nc2+ 29.Kb1 Na3+.

24...Qb7 25.Bb3 a5 26.Nc3 Rdc8 27.Rhc1 Qd7 28.Bc4 Ba8 Draw.

White could have fought for the initiative by playing 29.Be2 with the idea of g2-g4.

Rogaska Slatina 2011

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 0-0 6.Be3 c5 7.Nge2

It has long been known that in the exchange variation 7.dc5 dc5 8.Bxc5 Nc6 9.Qxd8 Rxd8 Black has sufficient

counterplay for the pawn.

1) 10.Rd1 Rxd1+ 11.Nxd1 Nd7! 12.Ba3 a5 13.Ne3 Nb4 14.Nh3 Nc5 15.Nf2 e6 16.Be2 b6 17.Nfd1 Nxa2 18.Nc2

Ba6 19.Bxc5 bc5 20.Na3 Nc1 21.Nb5 Rb8µ Razuvaev-Shirov, Germany 1991;

2) 10.Ba3 e6 11.Nge2 b6 12.Na4 Bh6 13.Rd1 Ba6 14.Nec3 Nd4! 15.Bd3 Nh5! 16.Kf2 (16.b3 Nf4µ) 16...Nf4

17.Bb1! Bxc4 18.Be7 Rd7 19.Bf6 Bg7= Ivanchuk-Gelfand, Reggio Emilia 1991;

3) 10.Nge2 Nd7 11.Be3 Nde5 12.Nf4 b6 13.Rc1 e6 14.Be2 Ba6 15.b3 Nb4 16.0-0 Ned3 17.Nxd3 Nxd3 18.Rcd1

Nb4 19.Rxd8+ Rxd8 20.Rc1 Bxc3 21.Rxc3 Nxa2 22.Rc2 Nb4 23.Rc1 Rd7 24.Kf2² Vitiugov-Khismatullin, Russian

Championship, Moscow 2010.

7...Nc6 8.d5

Sometimes 8.Qd2 is included. For example, Kramnik-Gelfand, Linares 1993, continued 8...Qa5 9.d5 Ne5 10.Nc1

a6 11.Be2 Bd7 12.a4 Qb4 13.b3 e6 14.N1a2 Qa5 15.de6 Bxe6 16.Qxd6 Nfd7 17.Kf2 Nc6, and Black had sufficient

compensation for the pawn.

8...Ne5 9.Ng3

A fashionable variation in recent years. In preparation for Black’s counterplay in a structure typical of the Benoni

Defence (after e7-e6), White switches his knight to the kingside, where it may assist the attack and help in defence.

9...h5

In the Benoni-style continuation 9...a6 10.a4 e6 11.Be2 ed5 12.cd5 Black has a choice between play on the

queenside and on the kingside.

1) 12...Bd7 13.h3 b5 14.f4 Nc4 15.Bxc4 bxc4 16.0-0 Rb8 17.e5 Ne8 18.Qd2 Qc8 19.Rae1 de5 20.fe5 Bxe5

21.Nge4 f5 22.Nxc5 with complicated play, Tomashevsky-Inarkiev, Moscow 2008;

2) 12...h5 13.0-0 Nh7 14.Qd2 h4 15.Nh1 f5 16.Nf2 Bd7 17.ef5 gf5 18.Nh3 Ng6 19.Nf4 Nxf4 (19...Re8 20.Ne6

Bxe6 21.de6 Nhf8 22.Bc4 Nxe6 23.Rad1² Tomashevsky) 20.Bxf4 Qf6 21.Kh1 Rae8 22.a5 Rf7 23.Bc4 Rfe7 24.Rac1

Kh8 25.b3 Qg6 26.Rce1² Tomashevsky-Khairullin, Moscow 2009.

With 9...h5 Black anticipates е7-е6, while simultaneously opposing f4, which is possible after 9...e6 10.Be2 a6?!

11.f4! Neg4 12.Bxg4 Nxg4 13.Qxg4 ed5 14.Qf3 d4 15.Bd2 dc3 16.Bxc3 b5 17.0-0 bc4 18.Rad1 Rb8 19.e5 with

advantage to White, Mikhalchishin-Bologan, Olympiad, Bled 2002. Instead of 10...a6?! Black can follow the traditional

path with 10...ed5 11.cd5 and here he can manage without 11...a6, by playing 11...h5. For example, Tomashevsky-

Khairullin, Rijeka 2010, continued 12.0-0 Nh7 13.Qd2 h4 14.Nh1 f5 15.Nf2 Bd7 16.a4 Qf6 17.ef5 gf5 18.Nh3 Ng6

19.f4 a6 20.Bf2 Rae8 21.Kh1 Rf7 22.a5 Rfe7 23.Bh5 Nhf8 24.Rg1 Bh6 25.g3, when White opens the g-file with the

better game.

10.Be2 h4 11.Nf1 e6 12.f4

12...Neg4

A temporary piece sacrifice, typical of this variation.

13.Bxg4

The logical consequence of 12.f4. If 13.Bg1 there would have followed 13...ed5 14.cd5 b5.

13...Nxg4 14.Qxg4 ed5 15.f5!

It was this move that White was preparing when he chose 12.f4. After 15.Qf3 d4 16.Bd2 dc3 17.Bxc3 Bxc3+

18.Qxc3 Re8 Black has an easy game.

15...d4 16.Nd5

There is no other way – 16.Bd2 dc3 17.Bxc3 Bxc3+ 18.bc3 Re8 leads to the break-up of White’s pawns.

16...de3 17.Nfxe3

17.0-0-0 e2 18.Qxe2 Re8 19.fg6 fg6 20.Qd3 also comes into consideration – Mikhalchishin.

17...Bxb2

Illogical is 17...Qa5+ 18.b4 Qd8 19.0-0, when Black faces the same dilemma of whether to play 19...Bxa1 or

19...Bd4 20.Rad1.

18.0-0!

After the pawn, White also sacrifices the exchange, obtaining in return a blockading knight on d5.

18...Bxa1

Even at a glance it is apparent that White has sufficient compensation – the black king’s pawn screen really is too

compromised. 18...Bd4 looks more logical, retaining control of the dark squares and aiming for counterplay on the

queenside, for example: 19.Rad1 Rb8 (not 19...Bd7?! 20.Rf3 Re8 21.Rh3 or 19...Kg7?! 20.Qf4 g5 21.f6+ Kh6) 20.Rf3

b5 21.Kh1 Bxe3!? (21...Re8 22.Rh3) 22.Nxe3 bc4 23.Nxc4 Rb4! 24.Rc3 Qf6 25.Rcc1 Ba6.

19.Rxa1 Kg7

The quiet development of the bishop is not possible: 19...Bd7 20.Qf4! (threatening an invasion on h6) 20...g5

21.Qxd6 f6 22.Ng4 Kg7 23.Ndxf6!.

20.Rf1!

Including the last reserves in the attack. It only remains to move the queen out of the pin (for the moment 20.f6+? is

not good because of 20...Qxf6).

20...Rh8

After 20...Bd7 21.Qf4 g5 both 22.Qxd6 and 22.f6+ Kh6 23.Qf3 are possible‚ continuing the attack.

21.Qf4 g5

Black has to try and prevent the exposure of his king. 21...gf5 22.ef5 Kf8 23.Re1 with the threat of 24.f6 is too

dangerous.

22.Qf3

Another way of continuing the attack is possible: 22.f6+ Kh6 23.Qf3 Be6 24.Ng4+ Kh7 25.Ne7, threatening e5

and Qe4+.

22...f6 23.Ng4 Rf8 24.Qe3! Bd7

25.Ndxf6!

A spectacular finish, with some quiet moves just before the final curtain!

25...Rxf6 26.Qxg5+ Kf7 27.e5! de5 28.Rd1 Rxf5 29.Nh6+ Kf8 30.Qg8+ Ke7 31.Qh7+ Black resigned.

Wijk aan Zee 2011

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 0-0 6.Nge2 c5 7.Be3 Nc6 8.d5 Ne5 9.Ng3 h5 10.Be2 h4 11.Nf1 e6

12.Nd2

With the black pawn on h4, the 12.f4 thrust is ineffective – 12...Neg4 13.Bxg4 Nxg4 14.Qxg4 ed5 15.Qf3 d4

16.Bd2 dc3 17.Bxc3 Bxc3+ 18.Qxc3 Re8, and White has problems with the defence of his e4-pawn.

12...ed5 13.cd5

13...a6

In Ponomariov-Carlsen, Medias 2010, Black sacrificed a pawn: 13...Bd7 14.0-0 b5 15.Nxb5 Bxb5 16.Bxb5 Rb8

17.a4 Nh5 18.f4! Nd7 19.Qg4, but he did not obtain sufficient compensation.

In order to change the course of events, Carlsen went in for a bluff: 19...a6 20.Bxa6 Rxb2 21.Rab1 Rxd2!? 22.Bxd2

Bd4+, which unexpectedly worked – 23.Rf2? Bxf2+ 24.Kxf2 Ndf6 25.Qf3 Qe8!, and Black regained the pawn.

Meanwhile, as Nielsen points out, the cool-headed 23.Kh1 Ndf6 24.Qf3 Ng3+ 25.hg3 hg3 26.Be1! would have

enabled White to neutralise Black’s main trump, involving the threat of Kg7 and Rh8+. After 26...Nxe4 27.Bxg3

Nxg3+ 28.Qxg3 Kg7 29.Rf2! for the conversion of his material advantage White only needs to consolidate his forces.

Here is an approximate variation: 29...Qa8 30.Bc4 Qxa4 31.Rc1 Rh8+ 32.Kg1 Rb8 33.Qd3 Rb2 34.Qxd4+ cd4

35.Rxb2, and White must win.

14.a4 Bd7 15.a5

An attempt to set up a bind on the queenside. The alternative was 15.0-0 b5 (Black cannot delay, as otherwise

White will play h2-h3 followed by f3-f4) 16.ab5 ab5 17.Rxa8 (17.Bxb5 is also interesting) 17...Qxa8 18.Bxb5 (weaker

is 18.Nxb5 Bxb5 19.Bxb5 Rb8) 18...Bxb5 19.Nxb5 Qa6 20.Nc3 Rb8, and for the sacrificed pawn Black has pressure

on the a- and b-files, typical of this type of position, Psakhis-Piket, Amsterdam II 1990. In Vyzhmanavin-J.Polgar,

Groningen 1993, White preferred to pick up the h4-pawn – 18.h3 c4 19.Qe1 b4 20.Nd1 Qa2 21.Qxh4 Ba4, but here too

Black has sufficient compensation.

15...b5 16.ab6 Qxb6 17.Ra2 Qb4 18.0-0 Bb5 19.Kh1 Rfb8

20.f4

White goes in for a forcing variation with the win of the queen for two rooks. In the event of 20.Qe1 h3 21.g3 Nfd7

22.f4 Black has sufficient counterplay on the queenside: 22...Nd3! 23.Qa1 a5 (23...c4!?) 24.Nxb5 Qxb5 25.Qb1 c4

26.Nxc4 Nxb2=.

20...Nc4 21.Bxc4 Bxc4 22.Ra4 Bxf1 23.Rxb4 cb4 24.Na4

Weaker is 24.Qxf1?! bc3 25.bc3 a5!, when the passed pawn demands constant surveillance.

24...Bd3

24...Bb5 25.Nb6 Ra7 was sounder, and if 26.e5 de5 27.fe5 Nd7, then the knight has to return – 28.Nbc4, since

28.Nxd7 Rxd7 favours Black.

25.Nb6 Rxb6

Here in the event of 25...Ra7 26.e5 dxe5 27.fxe5 Nd7 28.Nbc4 Rab7 29.Bf4 the white pieces are more active.

26.Bxb6 Bxe4

26...Rc8 27.Qf3 Bb5 was stronger.

27.Nxe4 Nxe4 28.Qe1 f5 29.Qxb4 Rc8 30.Bc7!

30...Re8?

This move allows the king to leave the danger zone, which would not have been possible after 30...Bd4!. Opening

an escape square does not help – 31.h3 Ng3+ 32.Kh2 Nf1+, and it is risky to play 31.g4?! h3 32.gf5 gf5; for example,

White loses after 33.Qxd4? Rxc7 or 33.Qb7 Nf2+ 34.Kg1 Ng4+ and 35...Re8.

31.Kg1 Kh7 32.Kf1

Now that the king is not under threat, the game passes into a technical phase, which does not require any

commentary.

32...Rc8 33.Qb7 Re8 34.Ba5 Kh6 35.Be1 h3 36.gh3 Nc5 37.Qc6 Re3 38.Bf2 Rf3 39.Kg2 Rxf2+ 40.Kxf2 Bxb2

41.Kf3 Ne4 42.Qxa6 Bf6 43.Qb7 Black resigned.

CLASSICAL VARIATION

7.0-0

Moscow (Olympiad) 1994

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be2 e5 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.b4 Nh5 10.g3 f5 11.Ng5 Nf6

12.f3 f4 13.Kg2

Since it is practically impossible to manage without this move, in recent times White has preferred to make it

immediately.

13...Nh5

Black continues the pressure on the kingside. After 13...a5 14.ba5 Rxa5 the play takes on a quite different

character: 15.Qb3! Ne8 16.Bd2 Ra8 17.c5 Kh8 18.cd6 Nxd6 19.Ne6 Bxe6 20.de6 Nc6 21.Nd5 Re8, and Black has an

impregnable position (Lobron-Gelfand, Munich 1992).

14.c5

White plays to get his attack in first. But perhaps it made sense to rid himself of the headache involving his g3-

pawn, by playing 14.g4. In the later game van Wely-Zapata (Matanzas 1995) there followed 14...Bf6 15.Ne6 Bxe6

16.de6 Ng7 17.c5 Kh8 18.cd6 cd6 (18...Qxd6 19.Bc4 Qxb4 20.Qb3 favours White) 19.Nb5 Nc8 20.Bc4 Re8 21.Bd5,

and here Black could have won the e6-pawn by 21...Qe7!, but the weakness of the a2-g8 diagonal gives White

sufficient compensation.

14...fg3 15.hg3

15...Nf4+!

The experience of the previous generation in action! The reader is again given a spectacular demonstration of the

seriousness of Black’s counterplay. In this situation the combination is based on the fact that the knights on c3 and g5

are undefended.

16.gf4 ef4 17.Qe1 Nf5

As van Wely shows, after 17...Bxc3 18.Qh4 (if 18.Qxc3 there is 18...Nf5) 18...h5 19.Bxf4 Black would have had

to assess the consequences of capturing the rook on a1 – 19...Nxd5 20.Bc4 Bxa1 21.Bxd5+ Kg7 22.Rxa1 Qf6 23.Be3

Qxa1 24.Qf2 etc., but if he declines the sacrifice by 19...Bxb4 20.cd6 cd6 or 20...Bxd6!? his position is not easy to

breach.

18.Bxf4 Bxc3 19.Qxc3 Nh4+ 20.Kf2

The only move. If 20.Kg3? all the same there would have followed 20...Rxf4! 21.Kxf4 Ng2+! 22.Kg3 Qxg5+ with

an irresistible attack.

20...Rxf4 21.Ne6 Bxe6 22.de6 Qe7

The pawn has to be blockaded, since after the desired 22...Qg5 there could have followed 23.e7 Qxe7 24.Bc4+.

23.cd6 cd6 24.Rac1 Raf8 25.Ke1

If 25.Qc7 Black can play 25...Qf6, threatening the sacrifice 26...Rxf3+.

25...b5!

With this flank move Black takes control of the c4-point, intending to pick up the e6-pawn.

26.Qb3 R4f6 27.Rc6 Kg7 28.Kd2 h5 29.Qd5 Rxe6 30.Qxb5 Re5?!

An impulsive decision, allowing White to create threats to the king and to seize the initiative. The logical course of

events would have been 30...Ng2 followed by Ng2-f4 and h5-h4.

31.Qc4

31...Qg5+?

Over-optimistic! 31...d5 suggests itself, and in order not to allow 32...de White has only one move – 32.Qc3.

32.Kc3 Ng2 33.Qd4 Nf4 34.Bc4 d5

This move is now too late and it leads to the loss of a pawn.

35.Rg1! Qe7 36.ed5 Kh6 37.Kb3 a5 38.d6 Qf6 39.Rc5!

Dispelling Black’s last illusions.

39...a4+ 40.Kxa4 Ra8+ 41.Kb3 Ne6 42.Qxe5 Qxf3+ 43.Kb2 Qf2+ 44.Be2 Black resigned.

Biel GM 2012

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be2 e5 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.b4 Nh5 10.g3

This, the main continuation in this variation, which dates back to the game Taimanov-Gligoric, Santa Fe 1960, has

been overshadowed by the development of 10.Re1, but through the efforts of Loek van Wely it still remains in regular

tournament practice.

10...f5 11.Ng5 Nf6 12.f3 f4 13.b5

In anticipation of the inevitable Ne6, White acts against c7-c6, a universal procedure for Black in this variation.

13...fg3

13...Ne8 14.Ne6 Bxe6 15.de6 c6 comes into consideration.

14.hg3 h6 15.Ne6 Bxe6 16.de6 Qc8 17.Nd5 Qxe6 18.Nxc7 Qh3 19.Rf2!

19...Rac8

Bacrot decides against 19...Nxe4, which van Wely has played in a number of games with alternating success

1) van Wely-Degraeve, Mondariz Balneario (Zonal) 2000: 20.Rh2 Qd7 21.Nxa8 Nxg3 22.Bxh6 Bxh6 23.Rxh6

Kg7 24.Rh2 Nef5!, and here, instead of 25.Kf2? Rxa8, stronger was 25.Qd5! Rxa8 26.Rd1²;

2) van Wely-Radjabov, Dresden (Olympiad) 2008: 20.fe4 Rxf2 21.Kxf2 Rf8+ 22.Ke3 Qxg3+ 23.Kd2 Rf2 24.Ne8.

24...h5 25.Nxg7 Kxg7 26.Qb3 Qg2 27.Qe3 Ng8 28.c5! dc5 (28...Nf6 29.cd6 Nxe4+ 30.Kd3 is better for White)

29.Bb2, and here, instead of 29...Qh2? 30.Re1 with an obvious advantage for White, stronger was 29...Nf6 30.Re1 Ng4

31.Qd3 h4, advancing the h-pawn (van Wely). A year later, in van Wely-Stellwagen, Amsterdam 2009, Black prepared

the surprise 24...Qf3! 25.Nxd6 Bf6, and after 26.c5? he struck a fearful blow – 26...Nd5!! 27.ed5 e4!, which decided

the game. But 26.Qe1, vacating d1 for the king, was stronger, when no real ways for Black to continue the attack are

apparent. For example: 26...Rh2 27.c5 Nd5 28.ed5 Qxd5+ (here 28...e4 is no longer so effective, since after 29.Kd1

Qg2 30.Be3 Bxa1 31.c6 White obtains a new queen) 29.Kc3 Qd4+ (29...e4+? 30.Kb4Q) 30.Kb3 Qxa1 31.Bc4+ Kh7

32.Bd2 Qd4 33.Ne4 Bg7 34.Bc3, and White has completely consolidated his pieces.

20.Rh2!

After 20.Qxd6 Black forces a draw: 20...Nxe4 21.fe4 Qxg3+ 22.Rg2 Qe1+ 23.Kh2 Qh4+.

20...Qxg3+ 21.Rg2 Qh3

21...Qh4? allows 22.Ne6 with an amusing trapping of the queen in the event of 22...Nh5 23.Bg5! hg5 24.Rg4, but

also after 22...Rf7 23.Rh2 Qg3+ 24.Kh1 Nh5 25.Be3 in view of the threat of Bf2 it cannot be saved.

22.Qxd6 Rf7!

A useful move, retaining the options of Nf5 and Nh5, which for the moment do not work because of the exchange

of queens: 22...Nh5 23.Qe6+ Qxe6 24.Nxe6 Rf6 25.Nxg7 Kxg7 26.Bb2, transposing into a superior endgame.

23.c5 Nf5

Van Wely-Golubev, Romania 2000, continued 23...Bf8? 24.Ne6 Nxe4 25.Qxe5 Nc3 26.Bc4 Qh4 27.Qxc3 1–0.

23...Nxe4 24.fxe4 Qc3 does not work because of 25.Bb2! Qxb2 26.Rd1, when the manoeuvre Bg4-e6 decides the

game (Giri).

24.ef5 Rfxc7 25.Be3!?

Anish Giri’s home preparation – showing how deeply this variation has been studied.

25...Qxf5?!

An inaccuracy. As shown by Giri, here 25...Kh8! was better, when after 26.Bxh6 it is now good to play 26...Qxf5

27.Bd3 e4 28.fe4 Qxc5+ 29.Qxc5 Rxc5 30.Rxg6 Bxh6 31.Rxh6+ Kg7 with real drawing chances.

26.Rf1! Bf8?

Black allows an important intermediate move, after which he ends up by force in a difficult endgame. Meanwhile,

by playing 26...Kh8 or 26...Kh7, he would have retained defensive resources. For example, if after 26...Kh7 White

plays 27.Bd3, then Black has the resource 27...e4 28.fe4 Qh3 29.Rg3 Qh4, and there does not appear to be anything

better than 30.Qf4 Qxf4 31.Bxf4 Rxc5 32.Rxg6 (or 32.Bxh6 Bxh6 33.Rxf6 Rg5 with hopes thanks to the opposite-

colour bishops) 32...Nd7 33.Bxh6 Bxh6 34.Rxh6+ Kg7 35.Rh3 Rg5+ 36.Kf2 Rc3 with counterplay for Black.

27.Bd3! e4 28.fe4 Qxf1+

29.Bxf1?!

29.Kxf1!, bringing the king towards the centre, is stronger, when after 29...Bxd6 30.cd6 White wins:

1) 30...Rc3 31.Rxg6+! Kf7 32.e5! Rxd3 33.Rxf6+ Ke8 34.Re6+! Kf7 35.Re7+ Kg6 36.Ke2 etc.;

2) 30...Rc1+ 31.Bxc1 Rxc1+ 32.Ke2 Kf7 (with the idea of blocking the passed pawns after 33.e5 Nd7). But this is

countered by a purely computer manoeuvre: 33.Kd2! Rc5 34.Ke3 Rc1 35.Be2!! (preventing the pin on the king, which

is possible after 35.e5 Nd7 36.Kd4 Rd1), and Black is in zugzwang – after 35...Nd7 36.Kd4 the pawns are irresistible

(variations by Giri).

29...Bxd6 30.cd6 Rc3?

Why allow the strengthening of the pawn duo, and with gain of tempo? However, to find a defence is not easy. For

example, Black loses after 30...Rf7 31.Rxg6+ Rg7 32.Rxg7+ Kxg7 33.e5 Nd5 34.Bh3! Rf8 (34...Ra8 35.Bd4Q)

35.Bxa7. Even so, there was still a practical chance: 30...Rd7! 31.e5 g5!!, giving up the knight for the passed pawns.

After 32.ef6 Rxd6 33.Bxa7 Rxf6 (if 33...b6, then 34.Re2 followed by Bg2) in view of the restricted pawn material it is

not easy to win this endgame (if at all possible).

31.Bd4 Rf3 32.e5! Rf4

Black loses by force after 32...Rc1 33.Rxg6+ Kh7 34.Rxf6 Rcxf1+ 35.Kg2 Rxf6 36.ef6 Rf4 37.Bc5! Rxf6 38.d7

Rg6+ 39.Kf3 Rg8 40.Be7 Kg6 41.Ke4.

33.Bb2!

The game is decided. The pawn pair can be stopped only at the cost of great loss of material.

33...Nh7 34.e6

The alternative 34.d7 Rcf8 35.e6 Ng5 36.e7 was equally pleasant for White.

34...Ng5 35.Rxg5! hg5 36.d7 Rg4+ 37.Bg2 Black resigned.

Moscow 2012

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.d4 0-0 6.Be2 e5 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.b4 Nh5 10.g3 f5 11.Ng5 Nf6

12.Bf3!?

A new idea by Vladimir Kramnik in this variation. White defends the e4-pawn with his bishop, which can be

moved to g2. As Kramnik points out, the move 12.Bf3 is tactically supported by the fact that after the critical 12...h6

13.Ne6 Bxe6 14.de6 Qc8 15.Nd5 Nexd5 16.ed5 e4 17.Be2 Nxd5 18.Qxd5 Bxa1 19.e7+ Rf7 20.c5 Black retains

chances for a draw, but to gain it he has to work very hard. The main continuations are 12.Re1 and 12.f3.

12...c6

A typical reaction in the variation with Ng5. Black prepares to meet Ne6 in the best circumstances.

13.Bg2

The logical sequel to the previous move. Kramnik-Giri, Hoogeveen 2011, went 13.Ba3 cd5 14.ed5!? (14.cd5 h6)

14...e4 15.Be2! (this retreat is linked with White’s previous move; nothing is given by 15.Bg2 h6 16.Ne6 Bxe6 17.de6

d5!=) 15...Ne8 16.Rc1 (if 16.Qb3!? White has to reckon with 16...Nxd5!? 17.Nxd5 Qxg5 18.c5! Be6).

16...h6?! (stronger is 16...Bf6! 17.Ne6 Bxe6 18.de6 Qc8 19.c5 Qxe6 20.cd6 Nxd6 21.Nb5, and here, apart from

21...Nf7 22.Bc4 Qb6 23.Nd6 Rad8 or 21...Rfd8, Black can sacrifice his queen for three minor pieces: 21...Nxb5

22.Bc4 Qxc4 23.Rxc4 Nxa3 24.Rc7 b5! with excellent prospects) 17.Ne6 Bxe6 18.de6 Nc7? 19.b5 with advantage to

White. As shown by Giri, after 18...Qc8! 19.Nd5 Qxe6 20.Nf4! Qf7 21.b5 Kh7 22.c5 d5 23.c6 bc6 24.bc6 Nc7

25.Bxe7 Qxe7 26.Nxd5 Nxd5 27.Qxd5 White’s advantage would have been insignificant.

An original path was also possible: 13...h6 14.Ne6 Bxe6 15.de6 fe4 16.Nxe4 Nxe4 17.Bxe4 d5 18.cd5 cd5 with

variations given by Anish Giri:

1) 19.Bg2 e4 20.b5 (20.Rc1 b5!) 20...Bxa1 21.Qxa1 Rc8! 22.Qd4 Rc2! 23.Bb2 Rxb2 24.Qxb2 Qd6 25.Qd4 Qxe6

26.Qxa7=;

2) 19.b5 de4 20.Qxd8 Rfxd8 21.Bxe7 Re8 22.Bc5 Rxe6=.

13...h6

Here after 13...cd5 14.ed5 e4, in contrast to the variation with 12...h6, White can play 15.Qb3, preparing c4-c5.

14.Ne6 Bxe6 15.de6

15...Nxe4

Black cannot manage without the exchange on e4, since otherwise the e6-pawn cannot be approached, but in this

case White can seize control of the key e4-point, which is important in this type of position. If 15...fe4 White can

continue 16.b5!, as in the game. Now after 16...d5 (why otherwise did Black play 12...c6 ?) there can follow 17.cd5 cd5

18.Ba3 Re8 19.Qb3 Rc8 (if 19...Nf5, then 20.e7! Nxe7 21.Rad1 is good, and after the exchange on е7 White captures

the d5- and e4-pawns, winning the strategic battle for the e4-point) 20.Rac1 and Rfd1 with unpleasant pressure on the

d5-pawn. 16...Qc8 17.bc6 bc6 18.Qxd6 Nf5 19.Qc5 Qxe6 20.Nxe4 has a similar positional drawback. But waiting

moves such as 15...Ne8 or 15...Rc8 also leave the initiative with White.

16.Nxe4 fe4 17.b5!

An accurate move – the e4-pawn will wait. By forcing Black to defend his queenside, White neutralises his plans

on the kingside and takes the game along strictly positional lines.

17...Rf6

If 17...d5 there would have followed 18.Ba3.

18.Bxe4 Rxe6

Despite his extra pawn, Black faces a difficult defence. The advantage of the two bishops in an open position plus

the obvious weakness of Black’s light squares are serious arguments. The bishop on e4 is especially strong.

19.Qa4

By attacking the c6-pawn, White provokes 19...d5. 19.Rb1 also came into consideration, and if 19...d5, then 20.cd5

cd5 21.Qb3 followed by Rd1 and Ba3.

19...d5 20.Rd1

20.cd5 cd5 21.Rd1 Kh7 was more accurate, reaching a position which occurred in the game, since now, according

to Kramnik, with 20...d4 Black could have set White more difficult problems.

20...Kh7 21.cd5 cd5 22.Qb3

22...Rb6?!

Not so much a loss of time, as a strategic concession in the centre, leading to defeat. More logical, at the least, was

22...Rf6 23.Ba3, but here too the pressure on the d5-pawn cannot be withstood. As shown by Kramnik, the

counterattacking attempt 23...Qb6 comes to nothing after 24.Bxe7! Qxf2+ 25.Kh1 de4 26.Bxf6 Qxf6 27.Rf1, while

23...d4 is a serious strategic concession – in the position with opposite-colour bishops, the light-square bishop is

obviously stronger. An approximate variation is 24.Bxb7 Rb8 25.Be4 a6 26.Bxe7 Qxe7 27.a4 Rfb6 28.Rdb1, although

Black still retains some practical chances. In Kramnik’s opinion, Black’s best was 22...Qc8, although after 23.Bxd5

Nxd5 24.Rxd5 e4 25.Rb1 here too the advantage is with White, who can intensify the pressure after Be3, Rc1 or Rad1.

23.a4 a6 24.Ba3 ab5

The only chance of a defence was the purely computer manoeuvre 24...Qe8 25.Bc5 ab5 26.Bxb6 ba4 followed by

the capture of the bishop on e4.

25.Bxe7 Qxe7 26.Rxd5

26...b4

It is hard to believe in a defence such as 26...Ra5, after which both rooks are pinned, especially since the black king

is also in need of defence. For example: 27.h4 Qf6 (27...h5? 28.Qd1!Q) 28.h5 ba4 29.Qc2 Rxd5 30.hg6+ Kh8 31.Bxd5

Rd6 (31...Qxg6?? 32.Qc8+) 32.Bxb7.

27.a5 Qf7 28.h4! h5 29.Qd1 Black resigned.

Novgorod 1997

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.d4 0-0 6.Be2 e5 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.b4 Nh5 10.Re1

An admission of the seriousness of Black’s counterplay after 10.g3. The rook makes way for the bishop, and g2-g3

is deferred until better times.

10...Nf4 11.Bf1

11...a5

Modern methods of playing King’s Indian positions are not restricted to direct attacks, dictated by the features of

the pawn formation. Often, before launching an attack on the kingside, Black first makes himself as secure as possible

on the queenside, at which White’s forces are aimed. This is the aim served by this flank pawn advance, including the

rook in the play.

As regards the special features of this position, with the knight on f4 those who prefer immediate play on the

kingside have to reckon not only with c4-c5, but also with the possible exchange of the knight followed by the e4-e5

break. This is seen in the event of the thematic 11...f5 12.Bxf4 ef4 13.e5 de5 14.Nxe5, when after Qd1-d2 and Ra1-d1

White sets up a heavy-piece grouping on the central files.

Therefore first they prefer to defend the knight on f4 and begin with 11...h6 12.c5 (the 7th game of the Karpov-

Kamsky FIDE world championship match, Elista 1996, continued 12.Nd2 a5 13.ba5 Rxa5 14.Nb3 Ra8 15.c5 f5 16.cd6

cd6 17.Nd2! g5 18.Rb1 g4 19.Qb3, and White’s chances were better) 12...g5 13.Nd2 f5 14.g3! Nfg6 15.a4 f4 16.Nc4,

and Black ended up in a difficult position (Anand-Almasi, Groningen 1997). 15...fe4 16.Ndxe4 Nf5 was stronger,

although here too, after supporting his knight on e4 with 17.Bg2, White stands better (Anand).

12.ba5 Rxa5 13.Nd2

If 13.a4 it looks quite good to reply 13...f5 (13...c5 leads to some advantage for White after 14.Rb1 h6 15.Nd2 Ra6

16.Nb3 g5 17.a5 f5 18.g3 Nfg6 19.ef5, I.Sokolov-Glek, Wijk aan Zee 1997) 14.Ra3 (14.Nd2!? g5 15.g3! Nfg6 16.ef5

Nxf5 17.Nde4 came into consideration) 14...h6 15.ef5 Nxf5 16.Ne4 g5 17.g3 Ng6 with chances for both sides

(Bareev-Spasov, Olympiad, Elista 1998).

13...c5 14.a4 Ra6 15.Ra3

15...g5

The world champion sacrifices a pawn in the hope of exploiting the weakening of the light squares in the

opponent’s position. After the preparatory 15...h6 16.Nb5 g5 (in Topalov-Nijboer, Wijk aan Zee 1998, Black played

the weaker 16...Bd7 17.g3 Nh5 18.Bb2, and White gained the advantage) 17.g3 Nfg6 18.Be2 f5 19.ef5 Black has to

reckon with the weakening of the light squares now in his own position, although, of course, White’s advantage is

minimal.

16.g3

A responsible decision: Kramnik accepts the challenge. But, taking into account the course of the game, he himself

recommends 16.Nb5. In the event of 16...g4?! it is now good to play 17.g3 Nh3+ 18.Bxh3 , opening up the game to his

advantage. But, of course, Black need not rush and he can play 16...h6 or even 16...f5.

16...Nh3+ 17.Bxh3 Bxh3 18.Qh5 Qd7

It stands to reason that it would be senseless to cut off the bishop by 18...g4? if only because of 19.Nf3 followed by

Nf3-h4-f5.

19.Qxg5

Kramnik rejected the attempt to trap the bishop by 19.f3 g4 20.Nd1 because of Black’s possible counterplay after

20...f5! 21.Nf2 (not 21.Ne3? gf3! 22.Qxh3 f2+!) 21...Rxa4.

19...h6

Apparently the immediate 19...f5 was also possible.

20.Qe3 f5 21.Qe2 f4

The attempt to establish the knight on d4 after 21...fe4 22.Ndxe4 Nf5 leads to its exchange – 23.Nb5! Nd4

24.Nxd4 ed4 25.Qh5 Bg4 26.Qh4, and the white pieces become very active (Kramnik).

22.Nb5 Kh7

This allows White to advantageously open the g-file, after which it transpires that he is attacking on that part of the

board where Black normally takes the offensive. Therefore 22...Ng6 was more accurate, defending the f4-pawn with

the knight.

23.gf4 ef4

This is stronger than 23...Rxf4, since at least the dark-square bishop is activated.

24.Kh1 Bg4 25.Nf3!

The pin after 25.f3 Bh5 is by no means better for White, and the prospects of his rooks are significantly reduced.

25...Ng6 26.Rg1

Indirectly defending against the pin in view of the possible 27.Ng5+.

26...Bxf3+?

This exchange, for the sake of possessing the ‘eternal’ e5-point, unties White’s hands, and his heavy pieces launch

an attack on the king. The threatened check on g5 could have been avoided by the prophylactic 26...Kh8!, since 27.Bb2

can be met by 27...Rg8 or even 27...Bxb2 28.Qxb2+ Kh7, when White still has concerns over his knight on f3.

27.Qxf3 Ne5 28.Qh5 Qf7

Of course, for the sake of a pawn (28...Nxc4) Black cannot allow a linear attack by the heavy pieces – 29.Qg6+

Kg8 30.Rh3.

29.Qh3!

Nevertheless! This threatens by 30.Bb2 conclusively (and for free) to tie down the black pieces.

29...Nxc4 30.Rf3 Be5

If 30...Qe7 there can follow 31.Qe6! Qxe6 32.de6, and in view of the threat of Nb5-c7 the passed e-pawn becomes

dangerous.

31.Nc7!

Exploiting the theme of diversion (the knight cannot be taken because of the linear mate after the queen sacrifice on

h6), White transfers his knight to e6.

31...Rxa4 32.Bxf4! Black resigned.

Linares 1998

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.d4 0-0 6.Be2 e5 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.b4 Nh5 10.Re1 f5

The most logical follow-up to 9...Nh5.

11.Ng5

The critical continuation. The knight aims for the weak e6-point, where White is ready to sacrifice a pawn for the

sake of increasing the activity of his pieces.

For an assessment of the retreat 11.Nd2 the game Gelfand-Shirov (Wijk aan Zee 1998) is instructive: 11...Nf6

12.c5 Bh6 13.Bd3 fe4 14.Ndxe4 Nxe4 15.Bxe4 Bxc1 16.Rxc1 Nf5 17.Qd2 Nd4 18.Ne2 Nxe2+ 19.Rxe2 Bf5 20.f3

Qf6 21.Rc4. Draw.

If immediately 11.c5, the knight goes to f4 in a more favourable situation: 11...fe4 12.Nxe4 Nf4 13.Bxf4 Rxf4

14.Nfd2 dc5 15.Bc4 Kh8 16.Nxc5 Nxd5 17.Nde4 c6 18.b5 Rf8 and Black is not worse (Kramnik-Gelfand, Novgorod

1996).

11...Nf6

Kramnik and Shirov also held a dialogue on the continuation 11...Nf4 12.Bxf4 ef4 13.Rc1 Bf6 14.Ne6 Bxe6

15.de6 Bxc3 16.Rxc3 fe4. Here in Tilburg 1997 Kramnik retreated 17.Bf1, and after 17...e3 18.fe3 fe3 19.Rcxe3 c6

20.Qd2! d5 21.cd5 cd5 22.Qd4! White gained the better chances, but in analysis it was established that the inclusion of

19...a5!? 20.b5 before 20...c6 would have ensured equality. At the tournament in Monaco 1998 Kramnik employed the

improvement 17.Bg4 Nc6 (here 17...a5 18.b5 is now in favour of White) 18.Rxe4 Ne5 19.g3 and achieved somewhat

the better game.

12.Bf3

From here the bishop supports the e4-point in the event of the exchange f5xe4, while after 12...h6?! 13.Ne6 Bxe6

14.de6 it comes into play on the long h1-a8 diagonal. For example, after 14...Nc6 15.ef5 gf5 16.b5 Nd4 17.Bxb7 Rb8

18.Bd5 White gains the advantage.

12...c6

The exchange 12...fe4 13.Ncxe4 Nf5 14.Bb2 favours White.

13.Be3

The bishop aims at the queenside.

13...cd5

Shirov takes account of the game Kramnik-Nijboer (Wijk aan Zee 1998), where after 13...h6 14.Ne6 Bxe6 15.de6

g5 16.ef5! Nxf5 17.Qd3 Nxe3 18.Rxe3 Qe7 19.Rd1 White gained the better position, and before ‘urging’ the knight to

e6 he somewhat relieves the situation in the centre.

The play favours White after the preparatory driving back of the bishop: 13...f4 14.Bc1. For example, 14...h6

15.Ne6 Bxe6 16.de6 Nc8 17.b5! Qe8 18.bc6 bc6 19.c5 Qxe6 20.Ba3 dc5 21.Na4! Nb6 22.Nxc5 Qf7 23.Qc1!, and in

view of the threatened Bd1-b3 White gained the advantage (Kramnik-Gelfand, Belgrade 1997).

14.cd5 h6 15.Ne6 Bxe6 16.de6 fe4

16...f4 should also have been considered.

17.Nxe4 Nxe4 18.Bxe4 d5 19.Bc2

19.Bc5 de4 20.Qxd8 Rfxd8 21.Bxe7 is also possible, with somewhat the better endgame for White.

A year earlier, also in Linares, this position was reached in the Kramnik-J.Polgar game. Black began advancing her

central pawns: 19...e4?! 20.Rc1 d4?! 21.Bd2 e3 (21...d3 22.Bb3 also favours White) 22.fe3 d3 23.Bb3 Qd6 24.Qg4 Be5

25.Rf1! Bxh2+ 26.Kh1 Qg3 27.Qd4 and was left empty-handed. Annotating this game, Kramnik recommended

19...b6, which Shirov decided to try.

19...b6 20.Qg4 Rf6

20...e4 21.Rad1 Qc7 22.Bb3 Rf5 looks more energetic, with the threat of invading with the queen on c3.

21.Bb3

White sacrifices his e6-pawn, counting on the activity of his light-square bishop.

21...Qd6 22.Rad1 Rd8 23.b5!

Not only to blockade the a7-b6 pawn pair, but also to expand the scope of his own pieces.

23...Qxe6 24.Qxe6+

The decision to go into a promising endgame is more in the style of an experienced veteran, than a young

contender. In the ‘Veterans v. Youth’ match-tournament, held at roughly the same time in Cannes, the 75-year-old

Gligoric preferred to retain his queen against Nataf – 24.Qa4, and after 24...Rd7 25.f4! e4?! (25...ef4 was essential)

26.Bc1! Qf5 27.Qxe4 White’s strategy proved justified.

24...Rxe6

25.Bc1!

The bishop is switched to a more active position on the a3-f8 diagonal, after which Black has problems with the

defence of his d5-pawn. It becomes clear that, despite being a pawn down, the endgame is favourable for White.

25...Kf7 26.Ba3 e4

Black is ready to part with his central pawns for the sake of activating his bishop.

27.g3 Rd7 28.Bxe7 Kxe7 29.Rxd5 Rxd5 30.Bxd5 Bc3 31.Re2

The e4-pawn will not run away, and with rooks on the board the notorious ‘drawing guarantee’ of opposite-colour

bishops does not apply.

31...Re5 32.Bxe4 g5 33.a4 Kd6 34.Kg2 Kc5

In view of the possibility of White acquiring a passed f-pawn, it would be better to keep the king closer to it.

35.f4 gf4 36.gf4 Re6 37.Kf3 Rd6 38.Kg4

This allows the exchange of rooks, after which Black’s problems are eased. After 38.Bf5 Rd2 39.Re7 Rxh2 40.Rxa7

things would have been more difficult for Shirov.

38...Rd2 39.Rg2

39.Bf3 Rxe2 40.Bxe2 was more cunning, when Black would have had to find 40...Kd5! 41.Kh5 Ke4! (Dolmatov).

39...Kd4 40.Bc6 Rxg2+ 41.Bxg2 Bd2 42.Bf3 Bc1 43.Bd1 Bd2 44.Bc2 Bc1 45.f5 Ke5 46.Kh5 Kf6 Draw.

Istanbul (Olympiad) 2000

1.c4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.d4 0-0 6.Be2 e5 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.b4 Nh5 10.Re1 f5 11.Ng5 Nf6

12.Bf3 c6 13.b5 cd5 14.cd5 h6 15.Ne6 Bxe6 16.de6 Rc8 17.Qb3?!

Surprising though it may seem, the logical rook move caught the Bulgarian grandmaster unawares (before this

16...fe4 had been played). His reply allows Black to seize the initiative. Apparently White did not like 17.Bb2! because

of 17...fe4 (17...Qb6 is parried by 18.ef5 gf5 19.a4 d5 20.Ba3 Qxe6 21.Bxe7 Qxe7 22.Nxd5 with the better game for

White) 18.Nxe4 Nxe4 followed by d6-d5. But, as Ponomariov points out, White could sacrifice the exchange by

19.Rxe4! d5 20.Rxe5 Bxe5 21.Bxe5, when the pair of active bishops plus the insecure black king are sufficient

compensation.

17...d5! 18.Nxd5

Relying on the mobility of the d5-e6 pawn tandem, but White overlooks the opponent’s reply on the 20th move.

The lesser evil was 18.ed5 e4 19.d6 Qxd6 20.Ba3 Qc7 21.Be2, although here too after 21...Ng4 Black’s initiative is

quite unpleasant.

18...Nfxd5 19.ed5 e4 20.d6 Rc3!

Apparently White was only expecting 20...Qxd6 21.Ba3 with an advantage.

21.Ba3

The alternative 21.de7 Qxe7 22.Qa4 ef3 23.Bb2 is also favourable for Black.

21...Rxb3 22.de7!

The only way! After 22.ab3? Qa5 23.de7 Re8 White cannot hold on.

22...Rxa3 23.ed8=Q Rxd8 24.Rad1

24...Bf6?

This throws away the advantage. By stopping the e6-pawn, Black would also have managed to capture the a2-pawn

– 24...Re8 25.Be2 Bc3 26.Rf1 Rxa2. Now, however, the capture on a2 will be impossible on account of e6-e7, when

one of the rooks is lost.

25.Be2 Kf8 26.Rxd8+ Bxd8 27.Rd1 Bg5 28.Bc4

Everything is defended, and the worst is over for White.

28...Rc3 29.Bb3 Rc1 30.Rxc1 Bxc1 Draw.

Linares 2004

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Be2 0-0 6.Nf3 e5 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.b4 Nh5 10.Re1 f5 11.Ng5 Nf6

12.Bf3 c6 13.Bb2

Bareev-Radjabov (Sarajevo 2003) went 13.Rb1 h6 14.Ne6 Bxe6 15.de6 fe4 16.Nxe4 Nxe4 17.Bxe4 d5 18.Bc2

Qd6 19.Qg4 h5 (19...Rf6!? 20.Bb2 h5 21.c5 Qxe6 22.Qg5 e4 is also interesting – Bareev) 20.Qh3 e4 with complicated

play.

13...h6 14.Ne6 Bxe6 15.de6 fe4

16.Nxe4

An alternative is 16.Bxe4 d5 (the preparatory 16...Qb6 followed by 17...d5 also comes into consideration,

exploiting the fact that 17.Qxd6? is not possible on account of 17...Qxf2+!) 17.Bd3 [17.cd5 cd5 18.Bc2 Qd6 19.Bb3!

Qxe6 (19...Rad8!?) 20.Na4 e4 (21.Nc5 should have been prevented by 20...Nd7, and now after 21.Qd2 e4 22.Bxg7

Kxg7 23.Rad1 Nf6 24.Nc5 Qb6 25.f3 Kh7 Black has a more favourable position than in the game – Tukmakov)

21.Nc5 Qf5 22.f3 with the initiative for White, Tukmakov-Hulak, Croatia 1996] 17...e4 18.Bf1 Qb6 19.Rb1 Nh5! with

the initiative on the kingside (Bareev-Radjabov, Enghien les Bains 2003).

16...Nxe4 17.Rxe4 d5 18.cd5 cd5 19.Rxe5

The exchange sacrifice suggests itself – the bishop on the long diagonal is no weaker than a rook.

19...Bxe5 20.Bxe5 Qb6 21.Bb2!

Morgado-Covanec (corr. 2004) continued 21.Qd2 Qxe6 22.Re1 Rxf3! 23.gf3 Nf5 24.Bf4 Qf7 25.Rd1 g5 26.Bg3

d4 with equal chances.

21...Kh7

21...Qxe6?! was bad because of 22.Qd4, but 21...Rad8 22.Qd2 d4 23.Re1 Rf6 24.Bg4 h5 25.Bxh5 Rxe6 came into

consideration, with approximate equality.

22.Qe2 d4

22...Qxb4? 23.Qe5 Rg8 24.Rc1 was dangerous for Black.

23.h4!

White prepares the opening of the b1-h7 diagonal.

23...Rf6 24.Re1 Qxb4 25.a3!

A far-sighted move: White frees his queen from having to guard his bishops (Rxf3 is a constant threat). In the event

of 25.Rd1!? Rd8 26.h5! Qb6!? (after 26...gh5 27.Qd3+! Ng6 28.Ba3 Qb6 29.e7 Re8 30.Bxh5 Qa5 31.g4 or 26...Qc5

27.Be4! Kg8 28.Bxg6! Nxg6 29.hg6 Qe7 30.Bxd4 Rxe6 31.Qc4! b5 32.Qb3 it is not easy for Black to disentangle

himself) 27.hg6+ Kg7!? 28.Bg4 Qc5 Black holds the position (variations by Shirov).

25...Qd6 26.h5 Raf8

26...Rd8!? 27.Bxb7 gh5 28.Bf3 Qb6 came into consideration with the idea of Rd8-d6, while if 29.Bxh5 Black

counterattacks with 29...d3 30.Qe4+ Rf5.

27.Qe4

If 27.Qc4 there can follow 27...Rxf3! 28.gf3 gh5! 29.Bxd4 b6 30.Bc3 Qd5, exchanging the queens (Shirov).

27...Nc6!

It is important to defend the d4-pawn, which is blocking the long diagonal. After 27...Rd8 28.hg6+ Nxg6 29.Bh5!

Qc6 30.Bxd4 or 27...Re8 28.Qxd4 Qxd4 29.Bxd4 the bishops successfully coordinate with the e6-pawn.

28.hg6+ Kg7

29.Bc1!

The bishop is switched to another attacking diagonal.

29...Qe7

In the event of 29...h5 30.Bxh5 Rh8 31.e7 Re8 32.Bh6+! Kxh6 33.g7 Qxe7 34.Bxe8 Qxe4 35.Rxe4 Kxg7 White

has the better endgame.

30.Bxh6+! Kxh6 31.Qh4+ Kxg6 32.Bxc6!

Nothing is given by 32.Be4+ Rf5 33.Qg4+ Qg5.

32...bc6 33.Re5 Qxe6?!

Stronger is 33...Rxe6! 34.Qh5+ Kg7 35.Rg5+ Qxg5 36.Qxg5+ Rg6 37.Qe5+ Kg8 38.Qxd4 Rf7, giving up the

queen in far better circumstances (Shirov).

34.Rxe6 Rxe6 35.Qg4+! Kf7 36.Qxd4 a6

The pawn could have been defended by playing 36...Ke8, but after 37.g4 Rf7 38.f4 the king is clearly in the wrong

place.

37.g4 Rg8 38.f3 Rf6

38...Rg5 39.Qa7+ Kf6 40.Qxa6 Rd5 41.Kf2 comes to roughly the same thing.

39.Kf2 Re8 40.Qc4+ Kg7 41.Qxa6 Ref8 42.Qd3 c5 43.a4 Ra8 44.Qc3 Kg6 45.Qxc5 Rfa6 46.Kg3 Rxa4

The resulting endgame is hopeless for Black, since the pawns harmoniously advance.

47.Qd6+ Kf7 48.g5! R8a6 49.Qd7+ Kg6 50.f4 Ra1 51.Qd3+ Kg7 52.Qd4+ Kg8 53.Kg4 R1a2 54.Qd8+ Kg7

55.Qc7+ Kg8 56.f5 Ra7 57.Qd8+ Kg7 58.f6+ Kh7 59.Qd3+ Kh8 60.Kf5 Ra8 61.Qh3+ Kg8 62.Kg6 R2a7 63.Qe6+

Kf8 64.Qd6+ Kg8 65.Qd5+ Kh8 66.Qh1+ Black resigned.

Wijk aan Zee 2003

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Be2 0-0 6.Nf3 e5 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.b4 Nh5 10.Re1 f5 11.Ng5 Nf6

12.f3

12...Nh5

The knight manoeuvre to f4 is natural in such a structure. 12...c6 is also logical. For example, Bareev-Topalov

(Dortmund 2002) continued 13.Kh1 h6 14.Ne6 Bxe6 15.de6 Ne8 16.Qb3 Nc7 17.c5 d5 18.ed5 cd5 19.Bb2 Qe8! (if

19...Nxe6 there follows 20.Nxd5) 20.Rad1 Rd8 with double-edged play.

In recent times the useful prophylactic move 12...Kh8, examined in the next game, has also been in fashion.

13.c5 Nf4 14.Bc4 Kh8 15.Rb1

If 15.g3, then 15...h6 is possible.

15...a6

15...a5 is also interesting.

16.Kh1 h6 17.Ne6 Nxe6 18.de6 Nc6

If 18...Rf6 there can follow 19.Qb3 Nc6 20.Nd5 Rf8 21.Qc3 fe4 22.fe4 Bxe6 23.Nxc7 Bxc4 24.Nxa8 Bxa2

25.Rb2 with the better prospects for White (Bareev).

19.b5?!

Bareev thinks that it was stronger first to include 19.ef5! gf5 and only then play 20.b5.

19...Nd4 20.ba6 ba6 21.Ba3 Re8

After the natural 21...Bxe6 22.Bxe6 Nxe6 23.cd6 cd6 24.Bxd6 Re8 25.ef5 Nd4 26.f6 Qxf6 27.Ne4 White retains

an advantage thanks to the powerful knight on e4 plus Black’s weakened pawn structure.

22.Bd5

22...c6

Bareev gives 22...Ra7!? 23.Rb8 Nxe6 as better, but here too after 24.c6 Nf4 25.Bc1 Nxd5 26.Nxd5 or 24.Bxe6

Rxe6 25.Qd5 Re8 26.Rd1 White retains an advantage.

23.cd6 Bxe6

If 23...cd5 there follows 24.e7.

24.Bxe6 Rxe6 25.Bc5 Nb5 26.Qb3 Qe8 27.Red1! Rd8 28.Nxb5 ab5 29.a4 ba4 30.Qxa4 Bf8 31.d7 Qf7 32.Qa5

Black resigned.

Wijk aan Zee 2007

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be2 e5 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.b4 Nh5 10.Re1 f5 11.Ng5 Nf6

12.f3 Kh8

A useful prophylactic king move. After the invasion of the knight on e6 and the opening of the a2-g8 diagonal after

its exchange, leaving the king on g8 has its dangers.

13.Ne6

Other continuations have also occurred:

a) 13.Rb1 h6 14.Ne6 Bxe6 15.de6 fe4 16.fe4 Nc6 17.Nd5 Ng8!? 18.Bd3!? Nd4 19.Qg4 g5! (if 19...c6?!, then

20.Qxg6 cd5 21.ed5 Nf6 22.Rf1 is possible, threatening not only Rxf6, but also Bxh6; therefore Black is forced to

exchange the queens – 20...Qe8 21.Qxe8 Raxe8 22.Ne3 Rxe6 23.b5, reconciling himself to an inferior endgame)

20.Qh3 c6 21.Ne3 Qf6 22.Ng4 Qe7 23.Be3 Nxe6 with excellent play for Black (Ponomariov-Radjabov, Wijk aan Zee

2003);

b) 13.c5 h6! 14.Ne6 Bxe6 15.de6 d5! 16.ed5 Nfxd5 17.Nxd5 Qxd5! (weaker is 17...Nxd5 18.Qb3! c6 19.Bc4 with

the initiative for White – Avrukh) 18.Qxd5 Nxd5 19.Bc4! Nxb4 20.Rb1 Nc6! with equal chances (Rechlis-Avrukh,

Israel 2003);

c) 13.Be3 Nh5 14.Rc1 Nf4 15.Bf1 h6 16.Bxf4 ef4 17.Ne6 Bxe6 18.de6, and here in Farago-Hazai (Hungary 2003)

18...c6!? would have maintained equality.

13...Bxe6 14.de6 Nh5

By threatening the invasion on f4, Radjabov pins his hopes on f5-f4. He thereby admits the faultiness of the

exchange 14...fe4 15.fe4 Nc6 in his game with van Wely in the 2005 World Cup in Khanty-Mansiysk, where he

suffered a defeat. The game continued 16.Nd5 Nxe4 17.Bf3 Nf6 18.b5 Nxd5 19.bc6 Nb6 20.cb7 Rb8 21.c5 e4

22.Rxe4 dc5 23.Qxd8 Rfxd8 24.Bg5 Re8 25.Rd1 Bd4+ 26.Rexd4 cd4 27.e7, and despite Black’s exchange advantage it

is time for him to resign.

15.g3 Bf6 16.c5 f4!

After temporarily blocking the kingside, Black can deal with the e6-pawn, intending a knight invasion on the

central d4-point.

17.Kg2

An attempt to improve White’s play, taking into account the experience of the game van Wely-Radjabov played

earlier in the tournament, which continued 17.g4 Ng7 18.Bc4 Nc6 19.cd6 cd6 20.Ne2 (in Bakre-A.Kuzmin, Dubai

2002, White preferred 20.Nb5, but after 20...Nxe6! 21.Qxd6? Qb6+ 22.Kg2 Bh4 23.Re2 Rad8 24.Qxe6 Rf6 he lost his

queen) 20...Rc8 21.Bd5 Nxb4!? (Black prefers the initiative with the creation of an echo pawn on e3, rather than an

attack on the e6-pawn – 21...Qb6+ 22.Kg2 Rfe8 23.Qb3 Nd8, which is also not bad) 22.Rb1 Nc2 23.Rf1 b6 24.Rb2

Ne3 25.Bxe3 fe3 26.Qb3 Bg5 27.Nc3 Rc5 28.Na4 Rc7 29.Nc3 Qc8 30.Nb5 Rc1 31.Rb1 (the situation is not changed

by 31.Nxd6 Qc5 32.Rxc1 Qxc1+ 33.Kg2 Rxf3! with a decisive attack for Black) 31...Rxf1+ 32.Rxf1 Qc5 33.Kg2 Rc8.

The triumph of Black’s strategy – the invasion of his pieces on the c-file is unavoidable.

17...Nc6 18.cd6

It is hard to resist the creation of a backward pawn, but 18.Bc4 also came into consideration, supporting the pawn

on e6. For example: 18...dc5 19.bc5 (or 19.Qxd8 Raxd8 20.bc5 Ng7 21.Rb1 Na5 22.Bd5 c6 23.Ba3 Rb8 with the idea

of 24.Bb4 cd5 25.ed5 Nc4) 19...Qe7 20.Nd5 Qxe6 21.g4 Ng7 22.Nb6 Qe7 23.Nxa8 Rxa8 24.Qb3, and, in contrast to

the game, Black still has to demonstrate that he has compensation for the loss of the exchange.

18...cd6 19.Nd5 Nd4 20.Bb2 Nxe6 21.g4 Nhg7 22.Nxf6 Rxf6 23.Qd5

White has full compensation for the pawn in connection with the weakness of the d6-pawn and the possibility of

play on the c-file. However, he has to reckon with Black’s counterplay on the kingside.

23...Qe7

The active 23...Qb6 24.Red1 Rd8 (it is risky to play 24...Qxb4 25.Rab1 Nc7 26.Qd3 Qa4 27.Ba3) 25.Qb5 Qxb5

(25...Qe3 26.Kf1 Rf7 27.Rd3 favours White) 26.Bxb5 would have led to the exchange of queens with White retaining

his main assets, which was contrary to Radjabov’s aggressive style.

24.Red1 Rd8 25.Qa5

White weakens the c6-square for the invasion of his rook, but even so this is a definite loss of time, which is so

important in the dynamic play typical of the King’s Indian Defence. 25.Rac1!? Rff8 26.Kh1 was more natural,

intending 26...h5 27.gh5 gh5 28.Rg1.

25...b6 26.Qd5 Rff8 27.Rac1 h5!

While White has been standing still, Black has launched an attack on the kingside.

28.gh5

28...Qh4!

All in the same style of maximum activity, not fearing ghosts. Also possible is 28...gh5 29.Rc6 Rg8 30.Kf1 Kh7 (or

30...Qh4 31.Rxd6 Rxd6 32.Qxd6 Qxh2, and now after 33.Bxe5? Qh1+ 34.Kf2 Qh2+ 35.Ke1 Qh4+ 36.Kf1 Kh7

Black’s attack is very dangerous in view of the threatened inclusion of the knight by Ne6-g5, but 33.Qxe5! practically

forces him to agree to perpetual check: 33...Qh1+ 34.Kf2 Qh2+ 35.Ke1 Qg1+ 36.Kd2 Qe3+) 31.Rxd6 Nd4 32.Rxd4!

ed4 33.e5 Nf5 34.Bd3 Rxd6! (34...Qg5 35.Bxd4 Qg2+ 36.Ke1 Qh1+ 37.Ke2 Rg2+ 38.Bf2 favours White) 35.ed6

Rg1+ 36.Kxg1 Qe3+ 37.Kg2 Qd2+ 38.Kg1 Qe3+, forcing a draw by perpetual check.

29.Rc6

White is unruffled, whereas it was time he was concerned about his own king: 29.h6 Qxh6 30.Rg1 Ng5 31.Kh1.

29...g5 30.Rxd6?

Missing the last chance to bring up reserves to the defence of the king – 30.h6 Qxh6 31.Kh1 g4 32.Rg1.

30...g4!

With the terrible threat of Qh3+ and g4-g3, since 31.fg4 is not possible on account of 31...f3+ 32.Bxf3 Nf4+. Now

White cannot parry the attack without losing material.

31.Rxe6 Rxd5 32.Rh6+ Kg8 33.Bc4 gf3+ 34.Kh1 Nxh5

Black goes in for a forcing variation with the win of the exchange. The computer prefers to win the queen: 34...Qh3

35.Bxd5+ Rf7 36.Rg6 f2 37.Rg2 Qd3 38.Rxd3 f1=Q+ 39.Rg1 Qxd3 40.h6 Kh7 41.Bxf7 Qxe4+ 42.Rg2 Kxh6.

35.Rg1+ Ng3+ 36.Rxg3+ fg3 37.Rxh4 g2+ 38.Kg1 f2+ 39.Kxg2 f1=Q+ 40.Bxf1 Rd2+ 41.Kg3 Rxb2 42.Bc4+

Kg7 43.Bb3

43.Rh5 Rxb4 44.Bd5 was more resilient.

43...Rb1 44.Kg2 Rc8 45.Kf3 Rc3+ 46.Kg4 Rf1 47.Kh5 Kf6 White resigned.

№ 89. L.van Wely – A.Fedorov

European Team Championship

Leon 2001

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be2 e5 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.b4 Nh5 10.Re1 a5 11.ba5 Rxa5

If 11...f5, then here too 12.Nd2 is good, switching the knight to b3 with gain of tempo in the event of 12...Rxa5. In

Kantsler-Smirin (Givatayim 1998) Black sacrificed a pawn – 12...Nf4 13.Nb3 Nxe2+ 14.Rxe2 f4 15.Rc2 f3 16.gf3 h6

17.c5, but did not gain full compensation.

12.Nd2 Nf4 13.Bf1 c5 14.a4 Nh5

The main continuation is considered to be 14...Ra6 15.Ra3, where in the game Kramnik-Kasparov (Novgorod 1997;

№ 79), Black sacrificed a pawn with 15...g5 and gained compensation.

15.Ra3 Nf6 16.Nb5

16...Ne8

The knight stands more actively at d7, from where it hinders White’s plan involving c4-c5. This would have been

achieved after 16...Ra6 17.Bb2 Nd7, and now if 18.g3, then 18...f5 is possible.

17.Bb2 f5 18.f4!?

The position is ripe for decisive action, and White breaks through in the centre, removing the support from the c5-

pawn. However, in this way he also allows the opponent some play. Now, in contrast to a number of positions in the

Classical Variation, the dark-square bishop is no longer shut in on g7.

18...ef4 19.e5 de5 20.Bxe5 Bxe5 21.Rxe5 g5

Following White’s example, Black clears the 6th rank for the switching of his rook to the kingside. After the

blockading 21...Nd6 he has to reckon with 22.Qe1 Rf7 23.Nb3 Ra8 24.Nxc5 Nxb5 25.cb5 Qd6 26.Rc3 Nxd5 27.Bc4

Nxc3 28.Qxc3, when the raking fire along adjacent diagonals by bishop and queen more than compensates for the

sacrificed exchange.

22.Nb3 Ra6 23.Nxc5 Rh6 24.d6

This move imparts a forcing character to the play. After the solid 24.Rd3!? Ng6 25.Ne6 Bxe6 26.Rxe6 it is more

difficult for Black to achieve counterplay.

24...Nxd6 25.Rd3 Rff6 26.a5

26...g4!

The motto of a true King’s Indian player: attack above all else! Fedorov does not restrict himself to the prophylactic

26...Kf8 (which is also interesting), intending b7-b6.

27.Na4 f3 28.c5 Nc6!

Black is already closing up on the king. White only needs to delay with 29.Red5?, when there follows a crushing

blow – 29...Rxh2! 30.Kxh2 (it is not possible to escape from the annoying rook: if 30.Nxd6 Black had prepared

30...Rh1+! 31.Kxh1 Rh6+ 32.Kg1 g3 when mate is not far off) 30...Rh6+ 31.Kg1 Rh1+ 32.Kxh1 Qh4+ 33.Kg1 f2

mate! White has to throw caution to the winds.

29.Rxd6 Rxd6 30.Nxd6 Nxe5 31.Qd5+ Re6 32.Nb6 fg2

After 32...Bd7 the exchange 33.Nxd7 Qxd7 followed by 34.Bb5 Qe7 35.Nxf5 Qf7 36.Nd4 f2+ 37.Kf1 Re7

38.Nf5 Re6 39.Nd4 leads only to a draw. But 33.Nxb7! is good, and if 33...Qe7, then 34.Nxd7 Qxd7 35.Bc4 wins.

33...Qg5! 34.Nxd7 Qe3+ 35.Kh1 fg2+ 36.Qxg2 Nxd7 is stronger, although after 37.a6 Qc1 38.a7 Qa1 39.Na5 play

transposes into an endgame favourable for White.

33.Kxg2 Qh4!

This is more vigorous than 33...Bd7 34.Nxb7 Qxb6 35.cb6 Bc6 36.Qxc6 Rxc6, since on the threshold of time-

trouble it is not easy to assess the consequences of play against a formidable pair of passed pawns.

34.Nbxc8 Qh3+ 35.Kf2

35...Qxh2+?!

In the heat of the battle Black misses a draw, which would have been achieved by 35...g3+! 36.Ke2 Qg4+ 37.Kd2

Qf4+ 38.Kc2 Qa4+ 39.Kb2 Qb4+.

36.Bg2 Qf4+?

The last chance was 36...Nd3+! 37.Qxd3 Qf4+ 38.Kg1 Qc1+ 39.Bf1 Qxc5+ 40.Kg2 Kf8! 41.Qxf5+ Qxf5

42.Nxf5 Re5 43.Ncd6 Rxa5, when although White has three minor pieces for a rook, the lack of pawns causes him

definite problems.

37.Ke2 Qh6 38.Qxe6+ Qxe6 39.Bd5 Black resigned.

Wijk aan Zee 1999

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be2 e5 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.b4 a5

Black includes his rook in the play.

10.Ba3

From this square the bishop supports the c4-c5 advance. Things are easier for Black in the event of 10.ba5 Rxa5

(after 10...c5 11.Bd2 Rxa5 12.Qc2 h6 13.Ne1 Ra6 14.Rb1 Nd7 15.Nd3 f5 16.f3 White stands better) 11.Nd2 c5

12.Nb5 (or 12.Nb3 Ra6 13.a4 Nd7 14.Bd2 f5 with chances for both sides) 12...Ra6 13.Bb2 Nd7 14.a4 Bh6 15.Ra3 f5

with active counterplay for Black (Skembris-Nikolaidis, Greece 1996).

10...Nd7

With this knight retreat Black takes control of the c5-point – the target of White’s attack. Subsequently a kind of

castling of the knights, typical of such positions, often occurs: the king’s knight jumps to the queenside, and the queen’s

knight, in turn, to the kingside. The corresponding routes are Ng8-f6-d7-c5 and Nb8-c6-e7-g8-f6. In the abstract sense

these routes can be performed far more economically, but in reality the King’s Indian knights have to he used

productively – such is the logic of the Classical Variation.

Black can also prevent the c4-c5 advance by 10...ab4 11.Bxb4 b6, with the intention of retreating his knight to e8.

For example, Gelfand-Istratescu (Olympiad, Yerevan 1996) continued 12.a4 Ne8 13.Nd2 f5 (it was more logical to

begin with counterplay on the queenside: 13...c5!? 14.dc6 Nxc6 15.Ba3 Nc7 16.Nb3 Nd4, when Black retains

adequate counterplay) 14.Qb3 Kh8 15.a5! c5 16.ab6! (a positional piece sacrifice – the presence of the b6 pawn

prevents Black from disentangling his clump of pieces, squeezed onto the back ranks) 16...Rxa1 17.Rxa1 cb6?! (Black

should have restricted himself to 17...Qxb6 18.Ba5 Qxb3 19.Nxb3, when White is slightly better) 18.Qxb4 Bb7

19.Nb3 Nc8 20.Na5 with an unpleasant initiative for White.

11.ba5 Rxa5 12.Bb4 Ra8

The same position often arises after the 11th move, if Black first exchanges 10...ab4 11.Bxb4 and plays 11...Nd7,

which changes the move numeration in the examples considered below.

13.a4 Bh6

13...Nc5 has also occurred: 14.Nd2 (insufficient is 14.Bxc5 dc5 15.a5 Bd7, when Black has an impregnable

position) 14...Bd7 15.a5 Nc8 16.Nb3 Qe7, and here in Petrosian-Stein (37th USSR Championship, Moscow 1969)

instead of 17.Bf3 b6 White would also have retained somewhat the better chances with 17.f3.

14.a5 f5 15.Bd3

An alternative is 15.Nd2 Nf6 16.c5 (after 16.ef5 Nxf5 17.c5 Nd4 the game is level) 16...Bxd2 17.Qxd2 Nxe4

18.Nxe4 fe4 19.Bc3 Nf5 20.Ra4 Qh4 21.cd6 cd6 22.f4 e3 23.Qd1 Bd7, and Black maintains the balance (Babula-

Istratescu, Krynica 1998).

15...Kh8

Students of the Classical Variation will possibly have noticed that Black quite often makes this move at an early

stage of the game. The point of it is that the king vacates a square for the e7-knight to manoeuvre via g8 to f6.

With other continuations Black has not managed to maintain the balance. For example, after 15...Nf6 White seizes

the initiative by 16.c5 fe4 17.Nxe4. The attempt at a pawn offensive on the kingside comes to nothing: 15...Rf7?!

16.Qb3 g5 17.Rfd1 g4 18.Nd2 b6 19.Nb5 ba5 20.Qa2 Nc5 21.Bxc5 dc5 22.Nb3 f4 23.Nxc5, and White’s attack on the

queenside gets there first (van Wely-Piket, Monaco 1997).

16.Nd2 Ng8

16...Rf6 was tried in two Kramnik-Topalov games, which continued 17.Na4 Rf7 18.c5 dc5 19.Bc3 fe4 20.Bxe4

Nf5 21.Nc4. In Las Palmas 1996 Topalov retreated with 21...Bg7, but after 22.Bxf5 Rxf5 23.d6 he failed to equalise.

But in Dortmund 1997 he improved with 21...Nd6 22.Nxe5 Nxe5 23.Bxe5 Bg7 and achieved a perfectly good game.

17.Re1

A new idea for that time. 17.Nb3 or 17.Qc2 was more often played.

17...Rf7

Black has to take care of the f5-pawn.

18.Nb5

18.Qc2 followed by 19.Rad1 looks stronger. In this case Black has more problems controlling the targets of

White’s attack – c5 and f5.

18...Ra6 19.Qc2 Ndf6

Indirectly defending the f5-pawn (20.ef5 gf5 21.Bxf5 Nxd5!).

20.c5 fe4 21.Bxe4 Bd7

Ivanchuk avoids accepting the pawn sacrifice after 21...dc5 22.Qxc5 (22.Bxc5 Nxe4 23.Nxe4 Qxd5 24.Rad1 Qc6

is unclear, but the simple 22.Bc3 is also possible) 22...Bf8 23.Qc4 Nxe4 24.Nxe4 Bxb4 25.Qxb4 Qxd5 26.Rad1. One

can trust his intuition – the position is opened up and the white pieces become too active.

22.Nc3 Bf5 23.Bxf5 gf5 24.Nc4 Ne7 25.cd6 cd6 26.Nb5 Ne8 27.Red1

27.Nb6 was more active, shutting the rook at a6 out of the game, after which sooner or later it would have to be

sacrificed on b6.

27...f4?!

Black’s pawn sacrifice proves ineffective; 27...Rg7 followed by Ne7-g6 looks more natural.

28.Ra3

Here also it was not yet too late for 28.Nb6.

28...f3 29.Rxf3 Rxf3 30.gf3 Qd7

31.Nbxd6!

An exchanging operation, based on the strength of the passed d-pawn.

31...Nxd6 32.Bxd6 Rxd6 33.Nxd6 Qxd6 34.Qb2?!

This natural desire to put the b7- and e5-pawns under fire proves insufficient to retain the advantage, which, as van

Wely shows, could have been achieved by the more subtle 34.Qb1! (preventing the activation of the queen by Qd6-

g6+) 34...Qd7 35.Qb6 Bg5 36.Qe6 Qxe6 37.de6 Nc6 38.Rd7 Kg8 39.f4! etc.

34...Qg6+ 35.Kf1 Qf5 36.d6 Qxf3!

Setting up the drawing mechanism Qf3-Qh1-Qe4.

37.Qxe5+ Bg7 38.de7 Qxd1+ 39.Kg2 Draw.

White cannot avoid the perpetual check after 39...Qg4+, since 40.Qg3?? loses the e7-pawn to 40...Qe4+.

№ 91. J.Piket – B.Gelfand

Dos Hermanas 1995

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be2 e5 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.Bd2 Nh5 10.Rc1

A consistent manoeuvre: White completes the development of his pieces.

10...h6

A fashionable plan. Black prevents Nf3-g5 and prepares an attack on the kingside with his g- and h-pawns. But as

yet there are no convincing arguments against 10...f5:

a) 11.ef5 Nxf5 12.Ne4 (12.g3! is stronger, with chances for both sides) 12...Nf4 13.Re1 Nxe2+ 14.Qxe2 b6 15.b4

h6, and Black achieved good play (Taimanov-Spassky, 41st USSR Championship, Moscow 1973);

b) 11.Ng5 (this is considered best) 11...Nf4 12.Bxf4 ef4 13.Bf3 fe4 14.Bxe4 Nf5 15.Ne6 Bxe6 16.de6 c6 17.Re1

Qe7, and Black has a perfectly good game (Korchnoi-Spraggett, Candidates Tournament, Montpellier 1985).

11.Re1 Nf4

The blockading move 11...c5 also comes into consideration, for example: 12.g3 b6 13.a3 f5 14.Nh4 Nf6 15.ef5 g5

16.Ng6 Nxg6 17.fg6 Bf5 with equal chances (Vaganian-Piket, Groningen 1993).

12.Bf1 g5

Not only with the aim of an attack, but vacating a square for the second knight.

13.h4 g4!

This is more vigorous than 13...gh4, played in Geller-van Wely (Tilburg 1993), where after 14.Nxh4 f5 15.g3 the

knight was forced to retreat: 15...Nfg6 16.Nxg6 Nxg6 17.ef5 Bxf5 18.Ne4 Ne7!, although here too the play is double-

edged.

14.Nh2 h5 15.c5

If 15.g3 the knight does not have to retreat; 15...Neg6! is stronger.

15...dc5 16.Be3 Neg6

If 16...b6, then 17.b4 is possible.

17.Bxc5 Re8 18.g3

18...a6!

Emphasising the invulnerability of the knight on f4, since in the event of 19.gf4 ef4 20.Bd4 Qxh4 Black’s attack is

too strong.

19.Qb3 b6 20.Be3

If 20.Ba3, then 20...Bh6 is possible with the threat of the knight sacrifice on h4.

20...Bf8 21.Nd1!

A subtle manoeuvre: the knight is aiming to take control of the weak f5-point, which becomes clear in the variation

21...Bd6 22.Bd2 f5 23.Ne3.

21...Bd7 22.Bd2 Bc5 23.Ne3 a5?!

Careless play, since now White could have gained a serious initiative by an exchange sacrifice: 24.Rxc5 bc5 25.Rc1

Qe7 26.Qa3. Therefore 23...Bd4!? came into consideration.

24.a4?! Qf6 25.Rxc5

Here this sacrifice is not so effective, since it allows Black to make use of the b-file.

25...bc5 26.Rc1 Reb8 27.Qa3

27...Kh7?

Apparently Black overestimates his possibilities. A counter exchange sacrifice came into consideration – 27...Rb4!

28.Bxb4 ab4 29.Qb3 Bxa4 30.Qc4 Ra5! with equal play.

28.Rxc5 Rb7 29.Qc3!

Forcing Black to watch out for the threat of capturing on f4.

29...Bxa4

Preventing 30.gf4 for the moment in view of the possible 30...Rb3!.

30.Rxc7 Rb3 31.Qc1 Be8?

Such a timid move is hard to explain. After 31...Nxh4 32.gh4 g3 33.fg3 Rg8 the situation is not so clear as after

White’s next move.

32.Nf5!

Now the threat of capturing the knight becomes real, and Black is forced to open the floodgates on the kingside.

32...Nxd5 33.Bg5 Qe6 34.Bc4 Nxc7 35.Bxe6 Nxe6 36.Bf6

In view of the mate threat Black is forced to suffer further losses.

36...Ngf4 37.gf4 Nxf4 38.Kh1 Ra6 39.Bxe5 Nd3 40.Qg5 Black resigned.

Tilburg 1989

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.c4 Bg7 4.Nc3 0-0 5.e4 d6 6.Be2 e5 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.Ne1 Nd7 10.Be3 f5 11.f3 f4

12.Bf2 g5 13.b4

The staunchest supporter of this continuation in the late 1980s was Jeroen Piket. It was supplanted by the plan

beginning with 13.Rc1. Apparently a far from minor role was played by the fact that in the race beginning with 13.b4

the stake was too high – the king.

13...Nf6 14.c5 Ng6 15.cd6

If White refrains from this exchange – 15.Rc1 Rf7 16.a4, then after 16...Bf8 the bishop is included in the defence of

the d6-pawn. For example, 17.cd6 Bxd6 18.Nd3 h5 19.Nc5 Rg7 20.Ne6 Bxe6 21.de6 Qe7! 22.Nd5! Nxd5 23.ed5

Bxb4 24.Qb3 with double-edged play, where the e6-pawn fully compensates for the material deficit (Tukmakov-Atalik,

Tilburg 1993).

Sometimes 15.a4 is played immediately, and if Black ignores White’s intentions, he risks coming under a bind.

Thus in Korchnoi-Xie Jun (Marbella 1999) Black chose 15...h5 and after 16.c6! Bh6 (if 16...bc6, then 17.Bc4! is

unpleasant) 17.b5 she encountered problems. Apparently the most radical reaction to 15.a4 is 15...a5.

15...cd6 16.Rc1 Rf7 17.a4

17...Bf8

The most consistent: the bishop makes way for the rook. After 17...h5 18.a5 Black is forced to slow down –

18...Bd7 (after 18...g4? 19.Nb5 he loses the a7-pawn without compensation, e.g. Piket-Pieterse, Hilversum 1988), and

White gets in first with his play on the queenside: 19.Nb5 Bxb5 20.Bxb5 g4 21.Kh1!? g3 22.Bg1 gh2 23.Bf2 h4

(23...a6 24.Ba4 h4 is more accurate, but here after 25.Bb6 White is better) 24.Kxh2 Nh5 25.a6! b6 26.Nd3 with

advantage to White (Weiss Nowack-Pieterse, Berlin 1989).

The prophylactic 17...b6 also does not solve Black’s problems, since after 18.a5! White merely expands his

bridgehead on the queenside: 18...ba5 19.ba5 h5 (after 19...Qxa5 20.Nb5 Qd8 21.Qc2! White breaks through on the

queenside) 20.Nb5 g4 21.Rc6 g3 22.hg3 fg3 23.Bxg3 Ne8 24.Nd3 Rb8 (24...Bh6!? is more cunning) 25.f4!

(unexpectedly activating the bishop – the capture on h5 is threatened) 25...h4 26.Bh2 Rxb5 27.Bh5 Rf6 28.fe5 Rxf1+

29.Qxf1 Nh8 30.e6 with a winning position for White (Piket-Nijboer, Dutch Championship 1989).

18.a5 Bd7! 19.Nb5?!

Of course, in play on opposite wings the value of every tempo is great. Piket launches an attack, but the world

champion has penetrated more deeply into the secrets of the position. The threat of the g-pawn’s advance demanded

prophylaxis – 19.Kh1!? Rg7. It is not so easy for Black to approach the king, whereas White has fairly clear play on the

queenside: 20.Bb5 (after 20.Nb5 Bxb5! 21.Bxb5 g4 Black’s attack is more real) 20...g4 (it was possible to avoid the

exchange of White’s ‘bad’ bishop – 20...Bc8!?) 21.Bxd7 Qxd7 22.fg4 (22.Nd3!? was stronger) 22...Nxg4 23.Nf3, and

although White’s chances look slightly preferable, Black has adequate counterplay (D.Gurevich-Grünberg, New York

1991).

19...g4! 20.Nc7?!

Persistence, worthy of a better application. But, having begun, Piket continues in the same vein. Of course, after

ordering his knight to break into the opponent’s rear, it was hard to reconcile himself to the prosaic 20.fg4!? Nxe4. And

this at a time when for Kasparov everything was already clear!

In passing it should be mentioned that the ‘pawn-grabbing’ 20.Nxa7?! is also not in the spirit of the position, since

after 20...g3! 21.Bb6 (in the event of 21.hg3 fg3 22.Bb6 Qe7 apart from anything there is the additional threat of Nxd5)

the bishop is tied to the defence of the knight. This allows Black to build up a strong attack: 21...Qe7 22.Nb5 (if 22.h3?

there follows 22...Bxh3! 23.gh3 Qd7) 22...Nh5.

20...g3! 21.Nxa8?

Kasparov thinks that it is more logical to capture the rook after simplification on g3: 21.hg3 fg3 22.Bxg3, but after

22...Bh6! 23.Nxa8 Nh5 Black’s attack is very strong:

a) 24.Bh2 Be3+ 25.Rf2 Qh4 26.Nd3 Ngf4;

b) 24.Bf2 Ngf4 25.Nd3 Rg7 26.Nxf4 Bxf4 27.g4! Bxc1 28.Qxc1 Nf4 29.Qe3 h5!, and the advantage is with

Black.

21...Nh5! 22.Kh1

There is nothing else – 22.Bxa7 Qh4 23.h3 Bxh3 24.gh3 Qxh3 leads to mate.

22...gf2 23.Rxf2 Ng3+ 24.Kg1 Qxa8 25.Bc4 a6 26.Qd3?

Piket is completely demoralised. Of course, 26.hg3 fg3 27.Rb2 is bad because of 27...Qd8 28.Kf1 Bh6 29.Ke2

Qg5, but why not ‘dig his heels in’ with 26.Nd3!, and if 26...Qa7 27.Qd2 ?

26...Qa7 27.b5 ab5 28.Bxb5 Nh1! White resigned.

The knight manoeuvre resembles passing an ice-hockey puck from behind the goal.

№ 93. J.Piket – G.Kasparov

Linares 1997

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be2 e5 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.Ne1 Nd7 10.Be3 f5 11.f3 f4

12.Bf2 g5 13.Rc1 Ng6 14.c5 Nxc5 15.b4 Na6 16.Nd3!?

White stabilises the situation in the centre, not hurrying to regain the pawn. Nc3-b5 is kept in reserve!

16...h5

Piket-Ivanchuk (Wijk aan Zee 1999) continued 16...Rf7 17.Nb5 Bd7 18.a4 Qe8! 19.Nb2 (if 19.Rc3, then 19...h5

20.Qb3 g4 is possible) 19...Qb8 20.Qc2, and here, as shown by Piket, 20...Bxb5 21.ab5 Nxb4 22.Qb3 a5 would have

maintained the balance.

17.Nb5 Bd7 18.a4 Bh6

The plan with the preparation of c7-c6 also came into consideration – 18...Rf7 and 19...Bf8 with the aim of

supporting the d6-pawn.

19.Rc3 b6

A radical way of defending the a7-pawn. In the event of 19...Qb8 the clump of black pieces in the corner does not

look very productive, and White could exploit this by switching his knight from b5 to a5 after 20.Na3!, threatening b4-

b5.

In Korchnoi-Cvitan (Pula 1997) Black returned the pawn – 19...Rf7 20.Nxa7 and developed an imitative on the

kingside: 20...Rg7 21.Nb5 Nf8 22.h3 Nh7 23.Be1 Nf6 24.Nf2 Nxb4 25.Rxc7 Na6 26.Rxb7 Nc5 27.Rc7 g4 28.hg4 hg4

29.fg4 Nfxe4 with roughly equal chances.

20.Be1!

The pattern of the position has taken shape: Black has a weak pawn on c7, which he intends to compensate with the

g5-g4 pawn storm. White prevents this, by playing his knight to f2.

20...Rf7

Defending the a6-knight by 20...Bc8 would have meant ‘freezing’ several pieces on the queenside. Such a way of

playing is not in the style of the world champion. Kasparov prefers to return the pawn and his pieces become active.

21.Nf2 Nh4 22.Nxd6 cd6 23.Bxa6 Qe8! 24.Qe2

White ignores 24...Bxa4?, intending 25.b5, but a surprise awaits him.

24...g4!

A breakthrough at the seemingly most defended point, but, unfortunately, the attacking idea was not logically

developed.

25.fg4

25...Rg7?

As Kasparov showed, Black could have sacrificed his knight: 25...Nxg2!! 26.Kxg2 hg4 27.Qc2 (27.Kh1? would

have been met with 27...f3 28.Qc2 g3 29.hg3 Be3! followed by Rf7-h7 and Qe8-h5) 27...Rh7!. Black is threatening an

attack with his heavy pieces on the h-file (here 27...f3+ no longer works because of 28.Kg1), and White is forced to

return the piece: 28.Nh1 Qh5 29.Ng3 fg3 30.Bxg3 with unclear consequences.

Now, however, White succeeds in erecting a barrier, and Black is unable to gain compensation for the sacrificed

pawn.

26.h3 Qg6 27.Bb5! Bxb5 28.ab5 Rf8 29.Nd1

Despite the complete mobilisation of all the forces on the kingside, it is not easy to breach White’s position,

whereas Black’s queenside weaknesses are of a permanent nature.

29...hg4?!

The champion follows the ‘sacrificial’ course, hoping for an attack on the g2-point, although he should have

restricted himself to 29...Qg5.

30.Bxh4 f3 31.Qc2 gh3 32.g3??

The devil isn’t so black as he is painted!

White relieves the attack on g2, but overlooks Black’s answering resource. The simple 32.Rfxf3 Qxg2+ 33.Qxg2

Rxg2+ 34.Kh1 would have left Black a piece down.

32...Rf4! 33.Ne3?

From the frying-pan, into the fire! In defending against 33...Rxh4 (34.Nf5), Piket underestimates another threat. He

should have gone totally onto the defensive: 33.Rfxf3 Rxh4 34.Nf2 h2+ 35.Kh1.

33...Rxe4! 34.Nf5?! Qxf5 35.Rcxf3 Qg4 36.Kh1

It transpires that although 36.Rf8+ Kh7 37.Re1 leads to the win of the exchange – 37...Qxh4 38.Qxe4+ Qxe4

39.Rxe4, it does not save White after 39...Rxg3+ 40.Kh2 Rb3! with the unpleasant threat Bh6-f4.

36...Rf4! 37.R3f2 Rxf2 38.Rxf2 e4! 39.Rf6 e3 40.Re6 Qf3+

As Piket showed, after 40...Rc7! 41.Rg6+ Bg7 42.Rxg4 Rxc2 43.Bf6 e2 44.Rxg7+ Kf8 White would have been

unable to avoid defeat, but such manoeuvres are not easy to calculate on the last move before the time control.

41.Kg1 Rf7 42.Qg6+ Bg7 43.Re8+ Rf8 44.Rxf8+ Kxf8

If 44...Qxf8 White would have defended with 45.Qe6+ Qf7 46.Qxe3 Qxd5 47.Qe2! followed by Kh2. But now he

finds a curious perpetual check.

45.Be7+! Kg8 46.Qe6+ Qf7 47.Qc8+ Bf8 48.Qg4+ Bg7 49.Qc8+ Kh7 50.Qxh3+ Bh6 51.Bg5 Qf2+ Draw.

Tilburg 1993

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be2 e5 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.Nd2 c6

This move, undermining the centre, can transpose with 9...c5, where Black can capture en passant.

10.dc6

Black also has to be prepared for this exchange when he plays 9...c5.

If he tries to retain the tension in the centre, White has to reckon with a possible expansion of the undermining

bridgehead. Thus to 10.b4 there is the good reply 10...a5!, after which an interesting discussion was held between

Shirov and Lanka:

a) 11.ba5 Qxa5 12.Qc2 c5 13.Nb3 Qd8 14.a4 (or 14.f4 ef4 15.Bxf4 h6! 16.Rae1 g5 with double-edged play,

Shirov-Lanka, Riga 1988) 14...Nd7! 15.Be3 f5 16.f3 f4 17.Bf2 g5 18.a5 h5 19.Na4 Kh8 20.Rfb1 Rg8 21.Qb2 Ng6,

and here in Shirov-Lanka (Riga 1989) according to analysis by Shirov the strongest 22.Naxc5! dc5 23.Nxc5 Nxc5

24.Bxc5 g4 25.Qb6! would have given compensation for the sacrificed piece;

b) 11.dc6 ab4 12.cb7 Bxb7 13.Nd5 Nexd5 14.cd5 Nd7! 15.Qb3 Nc5! 16.Qxb4 Ra4 17.Qb1 Qa8, and Black seized

the initiative (Shirov-Lanka, Riga 1989).

If 10.Rb1 there can follow 10...b5! 11.dc6 b4 12.Nd5 Nxc6 13.Nxf6+ Bxf6 14.Nf3 Bg4 15.Be3 Bxf3 16.Bxf3

Nd4, and Black equalised (Gligoric-A.Kuzmin, Moscow 1989).

10...bc6 11.b4

The idea of attacking the centre comes into consideration: 11.Nb3 Be6 (in the event of 11...d5 after exchanges on

d5 White plays Be2-f3, gaining an advantage) 12.f4.

11...d5 12.a4

White creates a compact pawn mass on the queenside.

12...Nh5

Seeing as the white pieces are somewhat underdeveloped, Black sacrifices a pawn, aiming to open up the position

still further.

Ftacnik-Lanka (Germany 1994) went 12...g5 13.cd5 cd5 14.ed5 Nfxd5 15.Nxd5 Nxd5 16.Ne4, and after the

incautious 16...g4? (16...Nf4 was more natural) 17.Bg5 f6 18.Bc4 White gained an advantage.

13.ed5

If the sacrifice is accepted, then after 13.Bxh5 gh5 14.Qxh5 f5 15.ed5 cd5 16.cd5 Nxd5 17.Nxd5 Qxd5 18.Ra3 f4!

Black obtains an aggressive e- and f-pawn pair (Shirov).

13...cd5 14.cd5 Bb7 15.d6!

White returns the pawn, taking play into a favourable endgame, where he can hope to create an outside passed

pawn on the queenside.

15...Qxd6 16.Nde4 Qxd1

Otherwise after 17.Bxh5 Black will no longer have sufficient compensation for the sacrificed pawn.

17.Rxd1 Nf5?

A tactical oversight. Black should have consolidated his position by bringing back his knight with 17...Nf6.

18.Nc5 e4 19.Ra3 Rac8 20.g4 a5

The inclusion of 20...Nd4 21.gh5 a5 does not ease the situation: 22.Nxb7 ab4 23.Ra2 etc.

21.Nxb7 ab4 22.Rb3 Nd4 23.Rxb4 Rxc3 24.Rbxd4 Bxd4 25.gh5 Rc2 26.Kf1

The superiority of the minor pieces over the rook is reinforced, in particular, by the passed a-pawn.

26...Ra8! 27.a5 Be5! 28.a6

The h-pawn should first have been safeguarded – 28.h3. But, strangely enough, later too Ivanchuk stubbornly

disregards this move.

28...f5 29.Be3

Here also it was not too late for 29.h3.

29...Rxe2

Shirov prefers to play with a piece less, rather than tie down his forces to the passed pawn.

30.Kxe2 Rxa6 31.Rd8+?!

White is carried away by cleaning out Black’s rear, leaving the h2-pawn unattended.

31...Kf7 32.Rd7+ Kf6 33.Rxh7 Ra2+ 34.Bd2 gh5 35.Nc5

Of course, not 35.Rxh5?? because of 35...Bf4, but here there was a last opportunity to play 35.h3, although no

longer in such a favourable situation: 35...Bf4 36.Rd7 Bxd2 37.Rxd2 Ra3.

35...Bxh2 36.Rxh5 Bg1!

An unexpected resource: White cannot avoid the loss of his last pawn.

37.Nb3 f4 38.Kd1

If 38.Kf1 there would have followed 38...e3.

38...Bxf2 39.Bxf4 e3 40.Bxe3 Draw.

Manila (Olympiad) 1992

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be2 e5 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.Nd2 c5 10.Rb1

White avoids capturing en passant and prepares the advance of his b-pawn.

10...Ne8

This is considered the main continuation.

11.b4 b6 12.bc5 bc5

After 12...dc5 13.a4 White’s chances are better.

13.Nb3

In the 1970s White preferred to bring out his queen first – 13.Qa4 f5 14.Nb3. But instead of 13...f5 there is the

interesting idea of exchanging the dark-square bishop (it is unlikely that Eduard Gufeld would have approved of it) –

13...Bh6!? 14.Nb3 Bxc1. Beliavsky-Fedorov (Istanbul 2003) continued 15.Rbxc1 a5 16.f4 ef4 17.Rxf4 Bd7 18.Qa3 a4!

19.Nd2 g5 20.Rf2 Ng6, and Black’s control of e5 and f4 gave him good play.

13...f5

The natural sequel to 10...Ne8, but in view of the problems arising after the pin 14.Bg5, some experts on this

variation do not hurry with f7-f5 before the development of the c1-bishop, and make the useful move 13...Kh8!?. For

example: 14.Bd2 f5 15.f3 (if 15.Nb5 there is the good reply 15...fe4! 16.Ba5 Qd7 17.Nd2 Qf5! 18.Nc3 Nf6 with equal

chances, Shirov-Lanka, Val Maubuee 1990) 15...f4 16.Nb5 h5 17.Ba5 Qd7 18.Nc1 Ng8 19.Qa4 Rf7 20.Nd3 g5 with

sufficient counterplay for Black (Chernin-Belotti, Reggio Emilia 1994/95).

14.Bg5!

A rather unpleasant pin, since Black has to reckon with the threat of 15.Na5.

14.f3, is also possible, when 14...f4?! is premature, since after 15.Qe1 g5 16.g4 Black is forced to exchange on g3

with the better chances for White. Therefore it is more sensible to make the useful move 14...Kh8, vacating a square for

the knight on e7.

14...Bf6

Of the other ways of combating the pin, the following should be mentioned:

a) 14...h6 (this radical attempt does not relieve Black’s problems, since all the same the knight penetrates to c6)

15.Bxe7 Qxe7 16.Na5 Nf6 17.Nc6 Qd7 (17...Qe8 is a loss of time because of 18.Nb5) 18.f3 h5! 19.Qe1 Bh6 20.Bd1

Ba6 21.Ba4 Qh7! 22.Bb5 Bc8 23.Rb3 h4, and here in Hertneck-Wahls (Munich 1991), as shown by Hertneck, White

could have retained the initiative by 24.Ra3 a6 25.Ba4 Bf4 26.Bc2! with the idea of Na4;

b) 14...Nf6 (this allows the opening of the position by means of a tactical stroke, based on the rook at a8 being

unprotected) 15.Nxc5! dc5 16.d6 Be6 17.de7 Qxe7 18.f3! Rab8 19.Nd5 Qf7 20.Be3 Rxb1 21.Qxb1 Rc8 22.Qb5 Bf8

23.Qa6! with a serious positional advantage for White (Shirov-Zarnicki, Timisoara 1988).

15.Bd2 Kh8 16.f3

16.Nb5! Ng8 17.Na5 Bd7 18.Bf3! is more energetic, when White stands better (Kishnev-Hausrath, Dortmund

1993).

16...Ng8 17.Na4?!

Black would have had more difficult problems to solve after 17.Qc1. Now he exchanges his passive bishop and

activates his queen.

17...Bg5!

A typical idea in this type of pawn structure.

18.Bxg5 Qxg5 19.Qc1 Qh5!

Black has no reason to exchange his active queen.

20.Qe1 Qh6 21.Qc3

The exchange should again have been offered by 21.Qc1, since if 21...f4 the blockading 22.g4 is possible. Now,

however, the initiative passes to Black.

21...Nef6! 22.ef5 Bxf5 23.Rbe1 Rae8 24.Nb2 Nh5 25.Nd1 Nf4 26.Ne3 Nf6 27.g3

27...Ne4?!

This combination proves to be sufficient only for the forcing of a draw. 27...Nh3+ 28.Kg2 Ng5 was stronger,

retaining attacking chances.

28.fe4 Nh3+ 29.Kh1

The only move. White would have lost after 29.Kg2? Bxe4+ 30.Bf3 Rxf3! 31.Rxf3 Ng5.

29...Bxe4+ 30.Ng2 Nf2+ 31.Kg1 Nh3+ 32.Kh1 Rf2 33.Rxf2 Nxf2+ 34.Kg1 Nh3+ 35.Kh1 Rf8 36.Rf1 Nf2+

37.Kg1 Nh3+ 38.Kh1 Rxf1+ 39.Bxf1 Qf8 40.Qe1 Draw.

Plovdiv 2003

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be2 e5 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.Nd2 a5

Black hinders b2-b4, hoping to exploit the opening of the a-file (after a2-a3 and b2-b4) for his rook on a8.

10.a3

The alternative is 10.Rb1 Bd7 11.b3 Ne8 12.a3 f5 13.b4 (or 13.f3 Nf6 14.b4 ab4 15.ab4 c6 16.dc6 Nxc6 17.Nb5

Be6 18.Qc2 Qe7 with complicated play, Chuchelov-Nunn, Leeuwarden 1995) 13...ab4 14.ab4 Nf6 15.c5 fe4 16.Ndxe4

Nf5 17.Bg5 h6 18.Nxf6+ Bxf6 19.Bd2 (or 19.Bxf6 Qxf6 20.Ne4 Qf7) 19...Bg7 20.Bd3 Qe7 with equality (Ftacnik-

J.Polgar, Olympiad, Bled 2002).

10...Nd7

In the event of 10...Ne8 11.Rb1 f5 12.f3 (12.b4 ab4 13.ab4 Nf6 14.c5 followed by f2-f3 and Nd2-c4 is good)

12...g5 13.b4 ab4 14.ab4 f4 15.c5 h5 16.Nc4 White carries out the main strategic idea of the 9.Nd2 manoeuvre and

firmly holds the initiative (Beliavsky-Kis, Minneapolis 2005).

11.Rb1 f5 12.b4 Kh8 13.f3

13.Qc2 has also occurred: 13...Nf6 (or 13...Ng8 14.ef5 gf5 15.f4 ab4 16.ab4 ef4 17.Nf3 Ndf6 18.Bd3 with the

better chances for White) 14.f3 c6 with double-edged play.

13...ab4 14.ab4 c6 15.Kh1!

A useful prophylactic move.

15...Nf6 16.Nb3 cd5

In the event of 16...f4 17.dc6 bc6 18.b5 White gets there first with his attack on the queenside. For example,

Beliavsky-Enders (Germany 2004) continued 18...d5 19.Nc5! Rb8 20.Ba3 d4 21.N3a4 Ne8 22.Na6! Ra8? 23.Bxe7

Qxe7 24.Nb6, and Black resigned.

17.cd5 f4

18.Nb5

In Beliavsky-Vajda (Hungary 2004) White preferred to complete his development – 18.Bd2, and after 18...g5 he

attacked with 19.Na5 Nh5 (or 19...h5 20.Nc4 g4 21.Ra1) 20.Be1 Rf6 21.Nc4 Bd7 22.Bf2 Nc8 23.Ra1 Rxa1?!

(23...Rb8 was correct) 24.Qxa1, making obvious progress on the queenside.

18...g5 19.Qc2 Ne8 20.Bd2 Bd7 21.Ra1 Rc8 22.Qb1 h5 23.Na7! Ra8 24.b5 g4

If 24...Qb6, then 25.Qa2 followed by Qa5 is good.

25.Ba5 b6

This leads to a weakening of the c6-square, which is immediately occupied by the white knight. But for a King’s

Indian player to agree to a cramped position such as 25...Qb8 26.Bb6 Nf6 27.Rc1 would be equivalent to admitting the

failure of his attack on the king.

26.Be1 g3 27.hg3 Ng6 28.Nc6 Rxa1 29.Qxa1 Qg5

30.Qc1!

White’s advantage is obvious: he is threatening by Nb8 to exchange the defender of the c6-point, and Black is

unable to approach the white king.

30...Nf6 31.gf4 ef4

31...Nxf4? loses the knight after 32.g3.

32.Nbd4

32.Qa3! was even stronger.

32...h4 33.Ne6 Bxe6 34.de6 Nh5

34...d5 came into consideration.

35.Rf2 Ng3+ 36.Kh2 Nxe2 37.Rxe2 Qxb5 38.Rc2!?

Forestalling a pin on the knight. In the event of 38.Rd2 Rc8 39.Rxd6 h3 40.Qc2 (40.Bc3 Qg5) 40...Qh5 Black

would again harass the king.

38...Re8 39.Qd1! h3

Capturing the pawn 39...Rxe6 would have led to the exchange of the ‘trademark’ bishop – 40.Nd4 Bxd4 41.Qxd4+.

40.Qd5 Qxd5 41.ed5 hg2 42.Kxg2

This does not lose the advantage, but 42.Rxg2 Kh7 43.Kh3 followed by Kg4 was much stronger.

42...Kh7 43.Ra2 Ne5

44.Nxe5?!

44.Ra7! suggests itself, and after the knight exchange 44...Nxc6 45.dc6 the passed pawns are bound to decide the

game: 45...Kg6 46.Rd7 Rxe6 47.Bc3!!.

44...Bxe5 45.Ra6 Rb8 46.Kh3?

This throws away the fruits of White’s efforts. He should have brought his king to the centre: 46.Kf1 Kg6 47.Ke2

b5 48.Bb4 Kf6 49.Kd3 Rb7 50.Ra8, continuing to build on his positional advantage.

46...Kg6 47.Kg4 b5 48.Bb4 Kf6 49.Ra7 Rg8+ 50.Kh4 Rh8+ 51.Kg4 Rg8+ 52.Kh3 Rg3+ 53.Kh2 Rxf3 54.Rf7+

Kg6 55.Rf8 Bf6 56.Bxd6 Rd3 57.e7 Bxe7 58.Bxe7 Rxd5, and on the 111th move the game ended in a draw.

Poikovsky 2004

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Be2 0-0 6.0-0 e5 7.d4 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.Nd2 a5 10.a3 Bd7

After completing his development, Black plans to undermine the centre.

11.b3

White also plays 11.Rb1 a4 12.b4 ab3 13.Nxb3 c5 (M.Gurevich-Baklan, Deizisau 2005, continued 13...b6 14.Ra1

Qe8 15.Be3 Kh8 16.Nd2 Nfg8 17.a4 Bh6 18.Bxh6 Nxh6 19.a5 Nc8?, and here 20.a6! would have led to an advantage

for White) 14.dc6 Bxc6 15.Qd3 Ne8 (White has the advantage after 15...Nh5 16.Bxh5 gh5 17.Rd1 f5 18.Bg5! –

Sakaev) 16.Rd1 f5 17.f3 Kh8 18.a4 b6 19.Be3 Nc8 20.c5 bc5 21.Nxc5 Qe7 22.Na6 Nf6 23.Ra1 Bb7 24.Nb4, and after

securing control of d5, White has the better chances (Sakaev-Baklan, Panormo 2001).

11...c6

Other continuations also occur:

a) 11...Ne8 12.Rb1 f5 13.f3 Nf6 14.b4 ab4 15.ab4 c6 16.dc6 Nxc6 17.Nb5 Be6 18.Qc2 Qe7 with complicated play

(Chuchelov-Nunn, Leeuwarden 1995);

b) 11...Nc8 12.Bb2 c5 13.f4 ef4 14.Rxf4 Be8 (a passive move, but if 14...Bh6 White can sacrifice the exchange –

15.Qf1! Bxf4 16.Qxf4; consideration should be given to 14...Qe7!? 15.Qf1 Ne8 16.Nd1 with unclear play –

Beliavsky) 15.Rf1 Qe7 16.Kh1 Nd7 17.Nf3 Ncb6 18.Qd2 Ne5 19.a4! Nxf3 20.gf3! f5?! (premature activity; 20...Qh4

21.f4 Bd7 is more flexible) 21.ef5! Rxf5 22.Bd3 with advantage to White (Beliavsky-David, Olympiad, Bled 2002).

12.Bb2

There is the interesting manoeuvre 12.Ra2 c5 13.Rb2 Ne8 14.b4 ab4 15.ab4 b6 16.bc5 bc5 17.Qb3 Nc8 18.Nf3 h6

(preparing f7-f5, after which there could have followed 19.Ng5) 19.g3!? Nc7 (if 19...f5, then 20.Nh4 Ne7 21.Qb6 is

possible – Gurevich) 20.Ra2 with the initiative for White (M.Gurevich-Kritz, Metz 2004).

12...Qb6

The blockading 12...c5 13.Nb5 does not prevent White from playing b3-b4:

a) 13...Nc8 14.g3 (14.b4 ab4 15.ab4 Rxa1 16.Bxa1 cb4 17.Qc2 Bh6! – Beliavsky) 14...Bh3 15.Re1 Bh6! 16.Bf1

Bd7 17.Bc3 Ne8 18.b4 ab4 19.ab4 Rxa1 20.Qxa1 with advantage to White (Beliavsky-Djukic, Portoroz 2005);

b) 13...Ne8 14.b4 (14.f4?! is premature: 14...Bxb5 15.cb5 ef4 16.Bxg7 Nxg7 17.Rxf4 g5 with good play for Black,

Gelfand-Shirov, Horgen 1994) 14...b6 15.bc5 bc5 16.f4 ef4 17.Bxg7 Nxg7 18.Rxf4 g5 19.Rf2 Ng6 20.Qb3 Qe7 with

roughly equal chances (Sakaev-Nevednichy, Olympiad, Elista 1998).

13.dc6 bc6 14.Na4 Qc7 15.c5 d5 16.Nb6 Rad8

The rook is switched to support the pawn centre, but consideration should have been given to 16...Ra7 17.f4

(17.ed5 cd5 18.b4 Be6 19.Nb3 ab4 20.ab4 Rxa1 21.Qxa1 d4 favours Black) 17...Nxe4 18.Nxe4 de4 19.Bxe5 Bxe5

20.fe5 Nf5 21.Qd2 Be6, when Black maintains the balance (Zviagintsev).

17.Bc3! Nxe4?!

17...Be6! was in the spirit of the preceding play: 18.Bxa5 Qa7 19.ed5 (after 19.Bc3 the capture 19...Nxe4 gains in

strength) 19...Nfxd5 20.Nbc4 Rd7, and the activity of the black pieces fully compensates for the sacrificed pawn.

18.Nxe4 de4 19.Bxa5 Nf5

Black sacrifices the exchange, counting on the activity of his centralised pieces, but consideration should have been

given to 19...Bg4! 20.Qe1 Bxe2 21.Nd5 (21.Qxe2 Qa7 22.b4 Rd4 or 21.Nc4 Qd7 22.Qxe2 Qd3 leads to an equal

game) 21...Qb7 22.Nxe7+ Kh8 23.Nxc6 Qxc6 24.Qxe2 Rd3 25.b4 f5 with sharp play.

20.Nc4 Qb8 21.Bxd8 Rxd8

22.b4?

The simplification after 22.Nd6 Be6 23.Bc4 Nxd6 24.cd6 Rxd6 25.Qc2 Bd5 26.a4 would have led to an advantage

for White (Zviagintsev).

22...Be6 23.Qe1

In the event of 23.Nd6 Nxd6 24.cd6 Rxd6 25.Qc2 Bd5 26.Rad1 or 23...Bf8 24.Qc2 Bxd6 25.cd6 Bd5 26.Qc5 Nd4

27.Rae1 Black’s centralised pieces give him definite compensation for the exchange.

23...Nd4 24.Na5

Here 24.Nd6 is now dubious, since after 24...Nc2 25.Qc3 Nxa1 26.Rxa1 Bd5 27.Bc4 Bf8 28.Bxd5 cd5 White has

nothing better than to force a draw: 29.Qxe5 Bg7 30.Qxd5 Bxa1 31.Qxf7+ Kh8 32.Qe7 Rf8 33.Nf7+ Kg8 34.Nh6+.

24...Qc8 25.Rd1

This routine move gives Black time to sharply activate his forces. Stronger was 25.Bc4 Bf5 (if 25...Nc2 White

gains an advantage both with the sharp 26.Bxe6 Qxe6 27.Rd1!, and the positional 26.Qxe4 Nxa1 27.Rxa1 Bxc4

28.Nxc4) 26.Qc1, retaining the better chances.

25...Bh6! 26.Kh1

Now 26.Bc4 is too late – 26...Bxc4 27.Nxc4 Nf3+! 28.gf3 Rxd1 29.Qxd1 Qh3 30.Nxe5 Bf4, and White has to

‘run’ for a draw: 31.Qd8+ Kg7 32.Ng4 ef3 33.Qd4+ Kg8 34.Nf6+ Kf8 35.Nxh7+ Kg8 (Zviagintsev).

26...Bf4

27.a4?

This delay allows Black to set up an attacking piece grouping. If White was intending Bc4, he should have played

this immediately – 27.Bc4 Bg4 28.f3 ef3 29.g3 Bh3 30.Rf2 Bg2+ 31.Kg1 Qg4 32.Qe4 Bh3 33.Nxc6 Nxc6 34.Rxd8+

Nxd8, when the attack is parried and White potentially has three connected passed pawns (Zviagintsev).

27...Bd5! 28.Bc4

28.Nc4 e3 29.f3 Qf5 30.g3 was more cautious, when Black can force a draw by perpetual check: 30...Nc2 31.Qc3

Bxg3 32.hg3 Qh3+ 33.Kg1 Qxg3+ 34.Kh1 or retreat with 30...Bh6.

28...Nf3! 29.Qe2

If 29.Qc3 there follows 29...Bxh2! with the threats of Bf4 and Qg4, and if 30.Rxd5 cd5 31.Be2 Black wins by

31...d4 32.Qa3 d3.

29...Nxh2

If 29...Bxh2?! White defends with 30.Bxd5 cd5 31.Rd3! ed3 32.Qxf3 Bf4 33.Qxd3.

30.Bxd5 cd5 31.f3 Nxf1 32.Rxf1 e3 33.c6

White also loses after 33.Qd3 e4 34.fe4 Qg4 or 33.Rd1 Qf5.

33...d4 34.Rd1 Bg3 35.f4 e4 36.Nb3 d3 37.Qxe3 Qg4 38.Rb1 Qh4+ 39.Kg1 Qh2+ 40.Kf1 Qh1+ 41.Qg1 e3!

42.Qxh1 e2+ 43.Kg1 d2 White resigned.

Rogaska Slatina 2011

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be2 e5 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.Nd2 a5 10.a3 Nd7 11.Rb1 f5

12.b4 Kh8 13.f3 ab4 14.ab4 c6

15.Kh1

This prophylactic move, removing the king from the a7-g1 diagonal, was introduced and is regularly played by

Alexander Beliavsky.

15...Nf6 16.Nb3 cd5 17.cd5 f4

Apart from this traditional way of attacking on the kingside, the positional manoeuvre 17...Neg8 also occurs, with

the aim of exchanging the ‘bad’ dark-square bishop via h6. However, this takes time, and allows White to develop his

initiative on the queenside. Beliavsky-Rudolf, Ohrid 2009, continued 18.Be3 Bh6 19.Bxh6 (after 19.Qd2, apart from

19...Bxe3 20.Qxe3 Nh5, White has to reckon with the tactical solution 19...Nxe4!? 20.fe4 f4 21.Bg1 f3) 19...Nxh6

20.Qd2 Nf7, and here instead of 21.Ra1 Rxa1 22.Rxa1 fe4 23.Nxe4 Nxe4 24.fe4 Qh4 with counterplay for Black,

21.Na5 was stronger, retaining the initiative. The immediate 18.Na5!? also came into consideration, aiming to save a

tempo in the event of 18...Bh6 19.Bxh6 Nxh6 20.Qd2 Nf7 21.Ra1². After 18...Nh5 there is the good reply 19.Nc4, and

if 19...Bh6 20.Nb5 Ra6, then 21.Qc2, intensifying the pressure.

18.Na5

18.Nb5 – Beliavsky-Radjabov, Plovdiv 2003.

18...Nh5 19.Qe1

White not only takes control of the g3-square, the traditional altar for the sacrifice of the knight, but he is also ready

after Na5-c4 to support the knight from f2.

19...Bf6 20.Nc4

20...Nf5?!

Realising that after the passive 20...Ng8 21.Qf2 Bh4 (21...Nh6 is more flexible, but not very comforting after

22.Bb2 Nf7 23.Qb6) 22.Qb6 the play is all one way (here one can’t help remembering the subtle observation of Eduard

Gufeld, that in the King’s Indian Defence it is useful to exchange one of the knights!), Black decides on a desperate

step, hoping nevertheless to break through to the g3-square.

21.ef5 Bh4

This is better than 21...Bxf5 22.Ne4! Bh4 23.Qd2!.

22.Qd1 Ng3+ 23.Kg1

It stands to reason that one will consider hara-kiri: 23.hg3 Bxg3. But although Black has achieved his aim, the

maximum that he gains from the knight raid to g3 is the partial restoration of the material deficit thanks to the exchange

of it for the rook on f1. It is clear that, with such a pawn structure, this is advantageous to the possessor of the minor

pieces.

23...Bxf5

24.Bd3

The battle for the key e4-point is more important than saving the exchange.

24...Rc8 25.Rb3

A typical manoeuvre in this type of position – the rook covers its pieces. 25.Rf2 is weaker, since after 25...Bxd3

26.Qxd3 Nf5 27.Rc2 Nd4 the knight becomes very active and Qc7 is now threatened.

25...Rxc4!?

Of course, one has to admire Nisipeanu’s resourcefulness, but it is not possible to breach White’s defences. As for

the ‘tedious’ 25...Bxd3 26.Qxd3 Nxf1 27.Kxf1 Qc7, after 28.Nd2 and Nde4 Black’s resignation is only a question of

time.

26.Bxc4 Qb6+ 27.Rf2 Rc8 28.Na4!

While the knight on g3 is passively contemplating events, the mobility of the white knight produces real dividends.

28...Qa7 29.Nc5!

The game is decided.

29...Nh5

After 29...dc5 30.hg3 Bxg3 31.b5 Black can only await the denouement on the a1-h8 diagonal.

30.Rd2

30.Re2 was stronger, but the move played is good enough to win.

30...b5 31.Ra3

It was possible to capture the pawn – 31.Bxb5, and if 31...dc5, then 32.Kh1.

31...Qb8 32.Bd3 dc5 33.Bxf5 gf5 34.bc5 b4 35.Ra1 Rxc5 36.Bb2 Bd8 37.Ra6 Kg8 38.Qa4 Rb5 39.Ra8 Qb6+

40.Kf1 Black resigned.

7.d5

Linares 1994

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.d4 0-0 6.Be2 e5 7.d5 Nbd7 8.Bg5 h6 9.Bh4 g5

This radical way of dealing with the pin on the f6-knight is Black’s most modern weapon against this set-up.

10.Bg3 Nh5 11.h4 g4 12.Nh2 Nxg3 13.fg3 h5 14.0-0 f5

Strangely enough, this thematic undermining move occurred for the first time in the present game. Before this they

all played 14...Bh6.

15.ef5

15.Rxf5!? is also interesting.

15...Nc5 16.b4 e4 17.Rc1

17.Qd2!? also came into consideration.

17...Nd3 18.Bxd3 ed3

19.f6!

A subtle move, preventing the capture with the bishop after 19.Qxd3?! Qf6.

19...Rxf6 20.Qxd3 Qf8 21.Nb5

The extra pawn is of no particular importance, whereas the bishop pair is ready to become active. Therefore White

aims to switch his knight to d4, from where it controls the important squares e6 and f5. In the event of the obvious

21.Ne4 Black centralises his forces – 21...Rxf1+ 22.Nxf1 Bf5 23.Ne3 Bxe4 24.Qxe4 Re8 and can look to the future

with optimism.

21...Bf5 22.Rxf5! Rxf5 23.Nxc7 Rc8 24.Ne6 Qf6 25.Nf1

With his knight on e6 White has sufficient compensation for the exchange and he can think about the pawn advance

c4-c5. But first he must include his second knight in the game. If 25.Rf1 Kasparov was intending to advantageously

return the exchange: 25...Rf8! 26.Nxf8 Qd4+ 27.Qxd4 Bxd4+ 28.Kh1 Rxf8 with the prospect of a raid by the king into

the centre.

25...Re5!

Black prepares the exchange of queens, to neutralise the threat of c4-c5 in the endgame.

26.Rd1

If 26.c5 there would not have followed 26...Qf5?! 27.Qxf5 Rxf5 in view of 28.Rd1, when the pawns are safe, but

26...Rxe6! 27.de6 Qd4+ 28.Qxd4 Bxd4+ 29.Kh2 dc5, when the advantage is with Black.

26...Qf5

Otherwise the support of the c4-c5 advance is too strong.

27.Qxf5 Rxf5 28.c5 Bf8

Of course, not 28...dc5? because of 29.d6, but Black is forced to restrict the bishop’s ambitions, since in the event

of 28...Be5 29.Ne3 Rf7 30.Kh2 the knight moves with gain of tempo to c4.

29.Ne3 Rf6

White’s last two moves are inseparably linked. He is planning to support his knight with 32.Re1, after which the

passed d-pawn will be given the green light. Therefore Black should have played 31...Re8 with the threat of returning

the exchange, since if 32.Re1 there can follow 32...Rf5 33.Rd1 Rf6. After the attempt to play for a win by 32.Nf4, apart

from the exchange sacrifice 32...Re4 33.d6 Rfxf4! 34.gf4 Rxc4 35.d7 Be7 36.d8=Q+ Bxd8 37.Rxd8+ Kf7, transposing

into an equal rook endgame, Black also has the blockading 32...Bd6!? 33.Nxh5 Rh6 34.Nf4 Re4 (Kramnik).

After his next ‘blank’ move Black ends up in a difficult situation.

31...Bh6? 32.Re1 Re8 33.Re5

This is where the weakness of the g4- and h5-pawns tells. They fall prey to the rook.

33...Re7 34.Rxh5 Ref7 35.Kh2 Bc1 36.Re5 Rf1 37.Re4 Rd1 38.Rxg4+ Kh7?

After this move the king comes under a mating attack. 38...Kh8 39.Re4 Rxd5 40.Ne5 Rf6 was the only way to

parry the direct threats, but 41.Nf3 followed by g4-g5 would have left White with winning chances.

39.Ne5 Re7 40.Nf8+ Black resigned.

Linares 1994

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.d4 0-0 6.Be2 e5 7.d5 a5 8.Bg5 h6 9.Bh4 Na6 10.0-0

In recent times they have begun playing 10.Nd2 Qe8 11.Bxf6 (11.0-0 Nh7 leads to a position from the game)

11...Bxf6 12.Bg4 Bxg4 13.Qxg4, also exchanging the ‘bad’ bishop. But the simplification of the position also makes

things easier for Black. For example, Gershon-Belov (Kavala 2004) continued 13...Bg5!? 14.Nf3 Bd8 15.0-0 h5

16.Qh3 c6 17.Rad1 Qe7 with roughly equal chances.

10...Qe8 11.Nd2 Nh7 12.a3 Bd7 13.Kh1

In modern practice White invariably plays this prophylactic move and he often prefers to make it immediately.

13...h5 14.f3

14...Bh6

Also possible is 14...Bf6 15.Bxf6 (in the event of 15.Bf2 Bg5 16.b3 c5 the bishop is switched to an active position)

15...Nxf6 16.b3 Qe7 17.Qe1 Kg7 18.Qf2?! (18.h4!) 18...h4!, and Black obtained excellent play (Gulko-Kasparov,

Novgorod 1995).

15.b3 Be3

The preparatory 15...Qb8 has also occurred, with the idea after 16.Qc2 Be3 of becoming established on the a7-g1

diagonal: 17.Rae1 (Shirov-J.Polgar, Madrid 1994, continued 17.Bf2 Qa7 18.Bxe3 Qxe3 19.f4 ef4 20.Rae1 Qc5 21.Qc1

Qd4 22.Rxf4 Rae8 23.Rff1 Qg7, and Black was slightly better) 17...Qa7 18.Nd1 Bc5 19.Qc1 Rae8 20.Bd3! c6

21.Nb1!, and after the switching of his knight to c3 White stood better (Kramnik-Nunn, Germany 1994).

16.Qc2

After 16.Rb1 in Illescas-Gelfand (Linares 1994) Black replied 16...c6 17.Bf2 Bxf2 18.Rxf2 Qd8 and achieved

equal play. Of Black’s other possibilities, mention can be made of 16...f5 17.b4 f4 and 16...Bc5.

16...f5 17.ef5 gf5

In the event of 17...Bxf5 18.Bd3 White occupies the e4-point.

18.Bf2 Bxf2 19.Rxf2 Nf6 20.Rg1

20...Kh8

Despite apparently standing well, Black must be vigilant. If 20...Qg6? there follows 21.g4!, while in the event of

20...c6 21.Bd3! e4 22.fe4 Ng4 White gains an advantage by 23.Re2. However, on the long diagonal too the king will

not feel secure.

21.Qb2

Intending if 21...c6 to play 22.f4, reminding Black of the weakness of his king’s defences.

21...Nc5 22.b4 ab4 23.ab4 Na4 24.Nxa4 Rxa4 25.Bd1 Ra8 26.f4 ef4 27.Re2

Of course, not 27.Rxf4? Qe5.

27...Qg6

Since it is not easy to hold the f4-pawn, perhaps Black should have restricted himself to 27...Qf7!? 28.Qd4 (or

28.Rge1 Rae8! 29.Rxe8 Rxe8 30.Rxe8+ Bxe8, when 31.Bxh5? is bad because of 31...Qe7!), intending 28...Qg7

29.Qxf4 b5!? with chances for both sides (Gelfand). However, Black is not in a hurry to part with the pawn and if

28.Qd4 he intends to play 28...Qh6.

28.Re7 Rf7 29.Rxf7 Qxf7 30.Qd4

If 30.Bxh5?! White has to reckon with 30...Qg7 31.Bf3 Ng4.

30...Qg7 31.Qxf4

31...Kh7?!

In this situation too 31...b5! was strong: 32.c5 dc5 (risky is 32...Nxd5 33.Qf3 c6 34.cd6, when White supports his

passed d6-pawn by the manoeuvre Nd2-b3) 33.bc5 (33.Qxc7 cb4) 33...Nxd5 34.Qf3 c6 35.Qxh5+ Qh7 with adequate

counterplay (Gelfand).

32.Re1?!

White misses an opportunity to eliminate Black’s main resource by 32.b5! (with the threat of b5-b6), when after

32...b6 33.Re1 he retains an advantage.

32...Ra1 33.h3

Here too it was not yet too late for 33.b5.

33...b5!

Now the worst for Black is over.

34.Kh2

After 34.c5 dc5 35.bc5 Nxd5 36.Qf3 c6 Black successfully defends.

34...bc4 35.Nxc4

If 35.Qxc4?, then 35...Ba4 36.Nb3 Ne4 is unpleasant.

35...Nxd5 36.Qh4 Nf6

36...Qh6 is also good, with the idea of exchanging queens by 37...Qf4+.

37.Bxh5 Rxe1 38.Be2+! Qh6 39.Qxe1 Ne4 40.Bf3 Qf4+ 41.Kg1 Be6 Draw.

Ischia 1995

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be2 Na6 7.0-0 e5 8.d5 Nc5 9.Qc2 a5 10.Bg5

By transposition of moves a structure from the Petrosian Variation has been reached.

10...h6 11.Be3 b6 12.Nd2

12...Bg4

It is possible to gain the advantage of the two bishops – 12...Ng4 13.Bxg4 Bxg4, and although the light-square

bishop is not too well placed, Black has sufficient opportunities for developing counterplay:

a) 14.a3 Na6 (after 14...Bd7 15.b4 Nb7 16.Nb3 f5 17.ef5 gf5 18.f4 White’s chances are better) 15.Rab1 f5! (after

the bishop retreat 15...Bd7 16.b4 ab4 17.ab4 f5 18.ef5! gf5 19.f4 White retains the initiative) 16.f3 (or 16.ef5 gf5 17.f4

e4 with chances for both sides) 16...Bh5 17.b4 ab4 18.ab4 f4 19.Bf2 g5 with complicated play (Gavrikov-Kozul, Biel

1991);

b) 14.b3 f5 15.f3 Bh5 16.a3 f4 17.Bf2 Na6 18.Qb2 g5 19.b4 g4 20.fg4 Bxg4 21.Nf3 Bf6 22.Kh1 Kh7 23.Rab1

Rg8 24.Bg1 Qd7 with double-edged play (Miladinovic-Topalov, Olympiad, Elista 1998).

13.f3

Sometimes White prevents the switching of the knight to h5 by playing 13.h3 Bd7 14.b3 Nh7 15.Rae1, and now

after 15...f5 16.ef5 gf5 17.f4 he does indeed retain the better prospects. But in Zilberman-Smirin (Tel Aviv 1999) Black

demonstrated an interesting manoeuvre: 15...Qh4! 16.Nf3 Qe7 17.Nd2 Qh4 18.Nf3 Qe7 19.Nd2, and here Smirin

declined the draw – 19...Ng5!? 20.f3 f5 21.ef5 gf5 22.f4 ef4 23.Bxf4 Rae8! and obtained good play.

13...Bd7 14.b3

This is considered the main continuation.

14...Nh5 15.Rfe1

15...Bf6!

An excellent pawn sacrifice, securing Black control over the important and weakened g1-a7 diagonal. Up till then

he had usually played the standard 15...Nf4 16.Bf1 f5 17.a3 fe4 18.Ncxe4 Nxe4 19.Nxe4 and now 19...Bf5 or 19...g5.

16.Bxh6 Bg5 17.Bxg5

Forced, since in the event of 17.Bxf8? Be3+ 18.Kh1 (or 18.Kf1 Qh4 19.Nd1 Ng3+) 18...Ng3+! 19.hg3 Qxf8

Black creates decisive threats on the h-file.

17...Qxg5 18.Nf1

If 18.Bf1, then 18...Nf4 followed by Kg8-g7 is possible, with an attack by the heavy artillery on the h-file.

18...f5 19.ef5

If 19.Qc1 Black would have continued the attack by 19...Nf4 20.g3 Nh3+ 21.Kg2 f4.

19...gf5 20.a3 a4!

This response to the preparation of b3-b4 is typical of such a construction.

21.b4 Nb3 22.Ra2 Rf7

The queen and the knight on b3 completely control White’s dark-square periphery. For example, it is not possible

to exchange the knight by 23.Nd2 on account of 23...Nf4 24.g3 Nd4, when Black builds up the threats.

23.g3 Kh8!

Including the second rook in the attack.

24.Bd1 Rg8 25.Qb1 Qh4?!

It was stronger to retain the knight by 25...Nd4, preparing f5-f4.

26.Bxb3 ab3

Nothing is given by 26...Qd4+ 27.Kh1, since in the event of 27...Qxc3? 28.Re3 Qd4 29.Rd2 the queen is lost.

27.Rg2

White goes totally onto the defensive, whereas after 27.Qxb3? f4 his defences would have collapsed.

27...Qd4+ 28.Re3 f4 29.Ne2 Qxc4 30.gf4

White would have lost after 30.Qxb3 Qa6 31.gf4 Rxg2+ 32.Kxg2 ef4 33.Re4 Nf6! 34.Qb2 Rg7+.

30...Rxg2+ 31.Kxg2 ef4 32.Re4

Also after 32.Qxb3 Rg7+ 33.Kh1 Qa6 34.Re4 Nf6 White loses material.

32...Qxd5 33.Kf2 Qg5?!

Smirin considers the strongest to be 33...c5! 34.Nc3 Qg5 35.Qxb3 Rg7 36.Ke1 Qh4+.

34.Ke1 Nf6 35.Qb2 Kg8 36.Rxf4 Bb5 37.Nfg3 Bxe2 38.Nxe2 Re7!

Now also on its initial square the king will not find peace.

39.Qxb3+ Kg7 40.Rc4 Qg1+ 41.Kd2 Qxh2 42.Qd3

42...c5!

With the creation of a central pawn pair the game quickly comes to an end.

43.Rc1 Kf7 44.bc5 bc5 45.a4

If 45.Re1, then 45...d5 is decisive.

45...Re5! 46.Qb5 Qf2 47.Rc3 d5 White resigned.

Yugoslavia 1995

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be2 e5 7.d5 a5 8.h3

This continuation is regularly employed by Zviagintsev. White prepares the retreat of his bishop to e3, which is not

possible after 8.Bg5 h6 9.Be3 because of 9...Ng4. In addition, in the plan with queenside castling the pawn on h3

assists the attack with g2-g4. It is not easy for Black to find an antidote.

8...Nh5

It is unfavourable to allow the pin on the knight, as is shown by Poluljahov-Beliavsky (Yugoslavia 1994), where

after 8...Na6 9.Bg5 Black encountered problems: 9...Nc5 10.Nd2 c6 11.0-0 Qe8 12.b3 Bd7 13.a3 cd5 14.cd5 b5 15.b4

ab4 16.ab4 Na4 17.Ra3 (also after 17.Nxa4 ba4 18.Qc2 Bb5 19.Bxb5 Qxb5 20.Rfb1 Rfc8 21.Qd1 Rc3 22.Qf1 Qd3

23.Qxd3 Rxd3 24.b5 the advantage is with White – Beliavsky) 17...Nxc3 18.Rxc3 h6 19.Rc7 Nh7 20.Be3, and White’s

position is better.

In Zviagintsev-Beliavsky (Budva 1995) Black avoided the pin by the retreat 8...Nfd7, after which White gained a

dangerous attack on the kingside – 9.h4! f5 10.h5 Nf6 (10...f4 11.hg6 hg6 12.g3 g5 13.Nh2 favours White) 11.hg6 hg6

12.Bg5 Na6 13.Nd2 Nc5 14.Nb3 b6 15.Nxc5 bc5 16.ef5! Bxf5 (things are no easier after 16...gf5 17.Bh5! with the

threat of Bg6) 17.g4 Bd7 18.Qd3 Qe8, and here with 19.Ne4! White could have consolidated his advantage.

The objective of the more active move 8...Nh5 is to provoke the weakening 9.g3, after which kingside castling

becomes problematic. Only, Black should not rush with 9...f5?! – after all, White has not castled and he can provoke a

weakening of the b1-h7 diagonal by 10.ef5 gf5 11.Ng5! Nf6 12.g4!. Therefore after 9.g3 for the moment Black can

switch to the queenside, by playing 9...Na6 followed by c7-c6, which may prove very opportune in the event of White

castling queenside.

9.Nd2

This knight retreat can be considered a plus for Black, since with the bishop on e3 it would look much better.

9...Nf4 10.Bf1 Na6 11.g3 Nh5 12.Nb3

In the event of 12.Be2 in this time Isaak Boleslavsky recommended 12...Nc5 13.Bxh5 Nd3+ 14.Kf1 gh5 15.Qxh5

f5, but White could decline the pawn sacrifice by 13.Nb3! and obtain the better game. Therefore it is sounder to retreat

with 12...Nf6 (intending c7-c6).

12...c6

The alternative is 12...f5.

13.Be3 Bd7 14.a4

In view of the threat of a5-a4 White is forced to weaken his queenside.

14...Nb4

Now 15...f5 is on the agenda, only if 16.ef5 Black will now capture with the bishop – 16...Bxf5 with the threat of

Bf5-c2.

15.Rc1

15...Qe7!

A subtle move. Now in the event of 16.Bg2 f5 17.ef5 Nf4! the knight comes more effectively into play.

16.c5 cd5 17.cd6 Qd8

White’s attack achieves its aim only in the event of 17...Qxd6? 18.Bc5 Qf6 19.Nxa5! Rxa5 20.Bxb4.

18.Nxd5

After 18.ed5 b6 19.Bb5 Rb8 20.Bxd7 Qxd7 21.Nb5 Nf6 22.Rc7 Qf5 the initiative passes to Black.

18...Nxd5 19.Qxd5 Nf6 20.Qd3 Bxa4 21.Nc5

With his king insecure, this type of activity adds to White’s problems. 21.Bg2 Bxb3 22.Qxb3 Qxd6 23.0-0 was

more simple, when the advantage of the two bishops compensates to some extent for the lost pawn.

21...Bc6 22.Bg2 Qb8!

It is easy to overlook such a move. It transpires that the d6-pawn is doomed. If 23.0-0 there follows 23...Rd8

24.Rfd1 Bf8.

23.f4 Nh5 24.Bf3 Rd8 25.Bxh5 Rxd6 26.Qc4 gh5 27.0-0

27...Qe8

White has finally castled, but with his pawn defences weakened. True, for the moment the direct 27...Rg6 is

premature, since White can meet it with the vigorous 28.f5! Rxg3+ 29.Kf2 h4 30.Rg1, gaining counterplay. Therefore

Black brings his queen to the defence of the f7-pawn and at the same time threatens 28...Bb5, winning the exchange.

28.fe5 Rg6 29.Rf5 Bxe5

Stronger was 29...b6 30.Nb3 (if 30.Nd3 there follows 30...b5 31.Qd4 Rd8 32.Qc3 Bxe4) 30...Bd7 31.Rxh5 Rxg3+

32.Kf2 Rg6 33.Bf4 Be6 34.Qd3 Rd8 35.Qe3 Qb5, winning the b2-pawn and obtaining two connected passed pawns on

the queenside.

30.g4 hg4 31.h4 Rd8 32.h5 Rgd6 33.Qe2 Kh8 34.Qxg4 f6?

There was a simpler win by 34...b6 35.Nb3 Bxe4 36.Rxe5 Qxe5 37.Bf4 Qg7 38.Qxg7+ Kxg7 39.Bxd6 Rxd6

(Beliavsky).

35.Bf4

35...Qg8?!

Transposing into an endgame with extra material is a panacea against time-trouble surprises, but 35...Bd4+ 36.Kh2

Bxc5 37.Rfxc5 Qxe4 would have been a more logical finish, and in view of the threat of 38...Rg8 White suffers further

losses.

36.Qxg8+ Rxg8+ 37.Kf2 Bxf4 38.Rxf4 b6 39.Nb3 Be8 40.Rc4 Bxh5 41.Nd4 Bg6 42.Nf3 Re8 43.Nh4 Kg8

44.Rc7 Rde6!

After the win of a third pawn by 44...Bxe4 45.Rg4+ Kf8 46.Rgg7 the white rooks command the 7th rank, while in

the event of 45...Kh8 46.Rxe4! Rxe4 47.Rc8+ Kg7 48.Nf5+ Kg6 49.Nxd6 White even wins the knight, but after

49...Rd4 he loses his past pawn.

45.Nxg6 hg6 46.Kf3 R8e7 47.Rc8+ Kg7 48.Rh4 Re8 49.Rc7+ R6e7 50.Rc6 g5 White resigned.

7.Bе3

Wijk aan Zee 1994

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be2 e5 7.Be3 Ng4 8.Bg5 f6 9.Bc1 Nc6

A conceptual move, from Eduard Gufeld’s point of view, but it allows d4-d5, and therefore in recent times Black

has more often preferred f7-f5:

a) 9...f5 10.h3?! (Reshevsky-R.Byrne, Chicago 1973, continued 10.Bg5 Qe8 11.de5 Nxe5 12.Nxe5 Qxe5 13.ef5

Qxf5 14.Be3 with roughly equal play) 10...Nxf2! 11.Kxf2 fe4 12.Nxe4 Qh4+ 13.Kg1 Qxe4 14.d5 Bf5, and Black

gained an advantage (Ivanchuk-Bologan, Edmonton 2005);

b) 9...ed4 10.Nxd4 f5 11.h3 (or 11.0-0 fe4 12.Bxg4 Bxg4 13.Qxg4 Bxd4 14.Nd5 Rf5 15.Be3 Bg7 with an equal

game, Kruppa-Fedorov, Dubai 2004) 11...Ne5 12.ef5 gf5 13.0-0 f4 14.Nd5 Ng6 15.h4 Be5 16.Bg4 Nc6 17.Nxc6 bc6

18.h5 f3 19.Bxf3 Qh4 20.g3 Bxg3 21.fg3 Qxg3+ 22.Kh1 Qh3+ 23.Kg1 Qg3+. Draw (Ivanchuk-Radjabov,

Gothenburg 2005).

10.0-0

The following line looks more critical: 10.d5 Ne7 (in Yevseev-Dautov, St. Petersburg 2005, Black played 10...Nd4

11.Nxd4 ed4 12.Nb5 f5 13.0-0! Bd7 14.ef5 gf5 15.Bf4!, and White’s chances proved better) 11.h3 Nh6 12.h4 with the

initiative for White.

Now if 12...f5 there is the unpleasant reply 13.Ng5. For example, Damljanovic-Antic (Yugoslav Championship

1999) continued 13...Ng4?! (Black should have reconciled himself to 13...fe4 14.g4 c6 or 14.Ncxe4 Nhf5, conceding

the e4-square, but retaining possibilities of counterplay) 14.Bxg4 fg4 15.Be3 Rf6 16.c5 Bh6 17.Qb3 Bxg5 18.hg5 with

a positional advantage for White (note the restricted manoeuvrability of the knight on e7 – a typical problem in the

Classical Variation). Apparently it is more accurate to play 12...Nf7 (taking control of g5) 13.h5, but here too after

13...f5 14.hg6 Nxg6 15.Qc2! White’s chances are clearly better, after both 15...Nf4 16.Bxf4 ef4 17.ef5 Qf6 18.Rh5,

and 15...f4 16.Bd2 c5 17.0-0-0 (Gavrilov). Sounder is 13...g5 14.Be3 (14.Nd2 f5) 14...h6 (14...c5!?) 15.Nd2 f5.

10...f5

Of the possible continuations, Kamsky chooses the sharpest. 10...ed4 and 10...Nh6 are also played.

11.Bg5

Now after the closing of the centre 11.d5 Ne7 12.Ng5 Nf6 Black’s pieces are far more harmoniously placed

(compared with the variation 10.d5 Ne7 11.h3 Nh6): 13.ef5 gf5 (13...Nxf5 14.Bd3 Nd4 15.Ne2 Nf5 16.Ng3 c6 is also

possible, with equal chances, Farago-J.Polgar, Hungarian Championship 1991) 14.f4 e4 15.Be3 h6 16.Ne6 Bxe6

17.de6 c6 18.Kh1 Kh7 19.g4 Nxg4! 20.Bxg4 fg4 (the preparatory 20...Bxc3!? 21.bc3 fg4 22.Qb1 d5 came into

consideration, with double-edged play) 21.Nxe4 Nf5 22.Bf2 d5 23.Nc5 with somewhat the better chances for White

(L.Hansen-Jakobsen, Denmark 1991).

11...Bf6

The alternative is 11...Qe8 12.Nd5 (weaker is 12.de5 de5 13.h3 Nf6 14.Bd3 Be6 15.Re1 Qf7 16.c5 Nd7 17.Bb5

Nd4! with advantage to Black, I.Sokolov-Shirov, Las Vegas 1999) 12...Qf7 (12...Rf7 is also possible) 13.de5 de5 (after

13...Ngxe5 14.ef5 Bxf5 15.Qd2 Rae8 16.Rae1 White’s chances are better, San Segundo-Topalov, Madrid 1997) 14.Bd2

Nf6 15.Ng5 Qd7 16.ef5 gf5 17.f4 e4 with equal chances (Vera-van Wely, Matanzas 1994).

12.Bxf6 Nxf6 13.ef5

Portisch-Kasparov (Linares 1990) went 13.de5 de5 14.Qxd8 Rxd8 15.Nd5 (if 15.ef5 there follows 15...e4!)

15...Nxe4! 16.Nxc7 Rb8 with equal play.

13...Bxf5

After the plausible 13...gf5 Black has to reckon with the possible transition into an endgame with hanging pawns:

14.de5 de5 15.Qxd8 Rxd8 16.Nd5!, which is to White’s advantage. But now in the event of 14.de5 de5 15.Nd5 e4!

16.Nh4 Nd4 the initiative would pass to Black.

14.d5

In such a situation the closing of the centre is not dangerous for Black, who has both carried out f7-f5, and

exchanged his ‘bad’ (in a number of closed positions) bishop on g7.

Kasparov recommends 14.Qd2 and if 14...Ne4 – 15.Nxe4 Bxe4 16.de5 de5 17.Qe3.

14...Ne7 15.Ng5 h6

In inviting the exchange of the knight on e6, Black counts on winning the breakaway pawn. Before this 15...c6 was

played, when after 16.Bd3! White is threatening to become established on e4. Rajkovic-Nunn (Germany 1990)

continued 16...Bg4 17.Qd2 Qb6 18.h3 Bd7 19.dc6 bc6 (19...Nxc6! was stronger) 20.Rae1! with advantage to White.

16.Ne6 Bxe6 17.de6 Nf5

17...Kg7 was more solid, defending the weak pawns.

18.Bd3 Nd4

After Black’s inaccuracy on the 17th move there was no choice. White was threatening 19.Bxf5 gf 20.Qf3, and if

18...Qc8 or 18...Qe8, then 19.Nd5 is unpleasant.

19.f4?!

Van der Sterren aims to open up the game, but he overrates his position. 19.Bxg6 Nxe6 20.Nd5 was safer.

19...Kg7 20.Qe1 Nxe6 21.Qg3

21...g5

By the rules of chess strategy one should not move a pawn in front of the king, when it is under attack, but here this

is forced. 21...Nxf4? would have lost to 22.Rxf4 ef4 23.Qxg6+ Kh8 24.Qxh6+ Kg8 25.Nd5, while if 21...e4?! Kamsky

was afraid of 22.f5! Ng5 23.Nxe4.

22.fe5?

In the heat of the attack White underestimates Black’s 23rd move. He should have played 22.fg5 hg5 23.Bf5, when

there appears to be nothing better than to repeat the position: 23...Nh5 24.Qg4 Nf6 25.Qg3 Nh5.

22...de5 23.Qxe5?!

23.Rad1 was more cunning, when 23...Nf4 was now quite good.

23...Qxd3!

When he captured the pawn, White was apparently hoping to continue the attack after 23...Nf4 with the sacrifice

24.Rxf4! gf4 25.Qf5 Qe8 26.Rf1, but Black followed the advice of Botvinnik – to make simple moves.

24.Qxe6

Here 24.Rad1 would no longer have saved White: 24...Qxc4 25.Rd7+ Kg6 26.Qf5+ Kh5, and material is lost.

24...Rae8 25.Qf5 Ne4! White resigned.

Elista (Olympiad) 1998

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be2 e5 7.Be3 Ng4 8.Bg5 f6 9.Bh4

This bishop move looks more critical, compared with the retreat to its initial position.

9...Nc6 10.d5 Ne7 11.Nd2 h5

11...Nh6 12.f3 is more often played:

a) 12...g5 13.Bf2 f5 14.c5 Ng6 15.g3 (if 15.0-0 Black attacks following a well-known plan: 15...Nf4 16.cd6 cd6

17.Nc4 Rf6! 18.a4 Rg6 19.ef5 Nxf5 20.Bd3 Rh6!, Shipov-Pavlovic, Athens 1997) 15...g4 16.fg4 f4!? (after 16...Nxg4

17.Bxg4 fg4 18.Nc4! White stands better, Ehlvest-van Wely, Groningen 1993) 17.cd6 cd6 18.Nc4 Qf6! with chances

for both sides (Kiselev-Poluljahov, Russian Championship 1994);

b) 12...c5 13.Rb1 (13.dc6 bc6 14.b4 Be6 15.Nb3 Nf7 16.Bf2 f5 with equal chances, Gavrikov-Nemet, Swiss

Championship 1997) 13...a5! (13...Nf7 14.0-0 f5 15.b4 b6 16.a4 Gelfand-Nataf, Cannes 2002) 14.a3 g5 15.Bf2 f5

16.b4 ab4 17.ab4 b6 18.0-0 Ng6 19.g3 g4?! (19...f4 20.g4 Nf7 21.Rb2 comes into consideration, with complicated play

– Bologan) 20.ef5 Bxf5 21.Nde4 gf3 22.Bxf3, and White’s control of e4 guarantees him a slight but enduring

advantage (Gelfand-Bologan, Olympiad, Calvia 2004).

12.h3

If 12.0-0, then 12...c5 is good.

12...Nh6 13.g4

After 13.0-0 c5 14.Rb1 Bd7 15.b4 cb4 16.Rxb4 b6 Black’s chances are not worse.

13...hg4 14.hg4 Nf7 15.Nf1

After 15.Qb3 in a game against Ehlvest (Calcutta 1999) Fedorov played 15...c5, preparing the sacrifice of his b7-

pawn (after 16...Bd7).

15...c5 16.Ne3 Bd7 17.Bd3 Qa5?!

Here this is ineffective. Black should have restricted himself to 17...Nc8, intending 18...Bh6.

18.Nc2 a6?!

This plan leads nowhere. Since the idea of advancing b7-b5 is unreal, the queen should have been brought back,

without waiting for the advance of the a-pawn.

19.a4! Nc8 20.f3 Qd8 21.a5 Bh6

Black has reverted to the correct course, but at the cost of positional concessions.

22.Bf2 Kg7 23.Kf1 Rh8 24.Ne2

24.Kg2 Ne7 25.b4 was stronger, retaining the better chances.

24...Ne7 25.Ng3 Qc7 26.b4 Bf4 27.Kg2 Rxh1 28.Qxh1 Rh8 29.Qb1

After losing control of the h-file, White should have been more circumspect and kept his queen closer to the king –

29.Qg1.

29...Qc8 30.Ne3

Unexpectedly the roles have been reversed. Black has activated his pieces, and White has to reckon with the threat

of the bishop sacrifice on g4.

30...Ng5 31.bc5

31...Rh3!

A surprise! If 32.cd6 there follows 32...Qh8 33.Qg1 Bxg3 34.Bxg3 Rxg3+! 35.Kxg3 Qh3+ with a decisive attack.

32.Be2 Qh8 33.Qg1 dc5 34.Rb1 Bc8 35.Rd1

Underestimating Black’s threats. White should have concerned himself with his king: 35.Nef1 Ng8 36.Bxc5, and

now, as shown by Fedorov, the attack 36...Rxg3+ 37.Nxg3 Qh3+ 38.Kf2 Qh4 39.Qg2 Bxg3+ 40.Qxg3 Nh3+ is

sufficient only for a draw, but 36...Nh6!? with the threats of 37...Ng4 and 37...f5 comes into consideration.

35...Ng8 36.d6 Bd7 37.Nd5?

37.Nef1 was essential.

37...Nh6 38.Rb1

38...Nxg4!

Black assails the exposed king with all his forces. If 39.fg4 there follows 39...Rxg3+!.

39.Nxf4 ef4 40.fg4 fg3 41.Bxg3 Rxg3+ 42.Kxg3 Qh3+ 43.Kf2 Nxe4+ 44.Ke1 Qc3+ 45.Kf1 Nd2+ 46.Kf2 Qd4+

47.Kg3 Qe5+ 48.Kf2 Qf4+ 49.Ke1 Nxb1 50.Qxc5 Qg3+ White resigned.

Morelia/Linares 2006

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be2 e5 7.Be3 Ng4 8.Bg5 f6 9.Bh4 g5 10.Bg3 Nh6 11.d5

11.h3 also occurs (preventing g5-g4, which is possible after 11.c5 – 11...g4! 12.Nh4 Nc6 13.cd6 cd6 14.d5 Nd4

15.0-0 f5, and Black carries out his main counterplay idea) and now 11...Nc6 (or 11...Nd7 12.d5 f5 13.ef5 Nc5 14.Nd2

Bxf5 15.0-0 e4 with double-edged play, Onischuk-Smirin, Russia 2003) 12.de5 (if 12.d5 Black can sacrifice a pawn

with 12...Nd4 13.Nxd4 ed4 14.Qxd4 f5 15.Qd2 f4 16.Bh2 Be5, followed by c7-c5, gaining sufficient compensation)

12...de5 (weaker is 12...fe5?! 13.c5! Nf7 14.cd6 cd6 15.Bc4 with advantage to White) 13.0-0 Be6, and Black maintains

the balance.

After the exchange 11.de5 de5 Black has easy play. For example, Motylev-Radjabov (Wijk aan Zee 2007)

continued 12.Qd5+ Kh8 13.0-0-0 Qe7 14.Qa5 c6 15.Nd2 b6 16.Qa4 Bd7 17.f3 c5 18.Qa3 Nc6 19.Nd5 Qf7 20.Bd3

Be6 21.h3 f5 22.Nb1 Nd4 23.Nbc3 Rfd8 24.Be1 f4, and although the position would appear to be symmetric, thanks to

his spatial advantage on the kingside Black has the better chances.

11...Nd7

The immediate 11...f5 is also played: 12.ef5 g4 13.Nd2 Bxf5 14.Nf1 (14.Nde4 Nd7 15.Bd3, retaining control of

e4, is good) 14...Nd7 15.Ne3 e4 16.0-0 Nc5 17.Rc1 a5 18.Nxg4 Nxg4 19.Bxg4 Qg5 20.Bxf5 Rxf5 21.Qc2 e3 22.Rce1

(Black has more problems after 22.fe3 Qxe3+ 23.Bf2 Qd3 24.Rfd1 Qxc2 25.Rxc2) 22...ef2+ 23.Bxf2 Raf8, and the

activity of the black pieces compensates for the sacrificed pawn (Roiz-Radjabov, Saint Vincent 2005).

12.Nd2 f5

13.ef5

A thematic move – White frees the key e4-point for his pieces. 13.f3, intending an attack on the queenside with c4-

c5, also occurs. But Black can neutralise this threat with a counter advance of his c-pawn – 13...Nf6 14.h3 fe4 (in giving

up the e4-point, Black counts on his control of d4, but the immediate 14...c5 is also possible, as in Bacrot-Radjabov,

Morelia/Linares 2006, which continued 15.Bf2 f4 16.a3 Nf7 17.b4 b6 18.Qb3 h5 19.0-0-0 Bd7 20.Kc2, draw)

15.Ndxe4 Nf5 16.Bf2 Nxe4 17.Nxe4 c5 18.Qd2?! (stronger is 18.dc6 bc6 19.Qd2 d5 20.cd5 cd5 21.Nc5 Nd4

22.Bxd4 ed4, maintaining parity – Bologan) 18...h6 19.0-0-0 (19.0-0 Nd4) 19...a6 20.g4 Nh4 (if 20...Nd4 there would

have followed 21.h4) 21.Bxh4 gh4 22.Bd3 Rf4, and Black obtained the better position: White’s kingside is blockaded,

whereas Black can prepare an attack on the queenside with b7-b5 (Huzman-Bologan, Moscow 2006).

13...Nf6 14.Nde4

Kramnik-Radjabov (Wijk aan Zee 2007) continued 14.Bd3 Nxf5 15.Nde4 Bh6 16.0-0 Kh8 17.c5 g4 18.Nxf6 Qxf6

19.Nb5 Qe7 20.Qe2 Bg7 21.cd6 cd6 22.Qxg4 Nxg3 23.Qxg3 Bd7, and here after the best move 24.Qe3! Black would

have had to demonstrate that he had sufficient compensation for the sacrificed pawn.

14...Nxe4 15.Nxe4 Bxf5 16.Bd3 g4

After 16...c5 17.0-0 Bg6 18.f3 Nf5 19.Bf2 Nd4 20.Be3 (20.Qd2?! Rxf3! 21.Be3 Rxf1+ 22.Rxf1 g4) Black has

problems with the defence of his d6- and g5-pawns. The situation is not changed by 20...g4 21.fg4 Rxf1+ 22.Qxf1 Qe7

23.Qe1 Rf8 24.h3 with an extra pawn for White.

17.0-0 Qe8 18.c5 Qg6 19.Re1 Nf7 20.Bh4 Rae8

In the event of 20...dc5 21.Nxc5 e4 (or 21...Nd6 22.Bxf5 Rxf5 23.Rc1) 22.Bxe4 Nd6 23.Bxf5 Nxf5 24.Bg3 the

position is opened to White’s advantage, and Black is saddled with an additional weakness – the e6-square.

21.Rc1 dc5 22.Rxc5

If 22.Nxc5 White has to reckon with 22...e4.

22...Nd6 23.Qa4 Bxe4 24.Bxe4 Qh6 25.Bg3 Qd2 26.Rcc1

In the event of 26.Rd1 Qg5 27.Rxc7 h5 Black begins a pawn offensive against the king.

26...Re7 27.h4

After the queen exchange 27.Qc2 Qxc2 28.Rxc2 Nxe4 29.Rxe4 Rd7 the weak e5- and d5-pawns balance each

other.

27...Qxb2 28.Qd1 Qxa2 29.h5 Nxe4 30.Rxe4 Qa6 31.Qb3

31.Rxg4 Kh8 32.Rgc4 also came into consideration.

31...Kh8 32.Rce1 Qb6 33.Rb4 Qc5 34.Rxb7 Ref7 35.Rb5 Qd6 36.Qc4 Rf5 37.Qxg4 Qh6 38.Rb8! Rxf2

39.Rxf8+

Stronger was 39.Bxf2! Rxb8 40.Bxa7 Rg8 41.Be3 Qd6 42.Qe4 with the threats of Rf1 and Rc1.

39...Rxf8 40.Rxe5 Qd6

Things are also difficult for Black after 40...Rg8 41.Qe2 (weaker is 41.Qf4 a5 42.Qf7 a4) 41...a5 42.Kh2 Rf8

43.Re6 Qg5 44.Re8 or 40...Qf6 41.Re4.

41.Rf5 Qe7 42.Rxf8+ Bxf8 43.Bf2 h6 44.Qd4+ Kg8 45.Qc4 Qf7 46.Bxa7

46...Bg7

After 46...c6 47.Qg4+ Bg7 48.Be3 Qxd5 49.Bxh6 Qd4+ 50.Qxd4 Bxd4+ 51.Kf1 Black can exchange the queens,

but with the risk of losing the bishop endgame, since the white king can approach the c-pawn via the centre.

47.Be3 Kh8 48.Bd4 Bxd4+ 49.Qxd4+ Kh7 50.Qe5 Qg7 51.Qf5+ Kh8 52.Kh2 Qe7 53.Kh3 Qd6 54.Qf7 Qe5

55.g3 Qe4 56.Qf1

Simpler was 56.Qf4 Qxd5 57.Qxh6+ Kg8, reaching more quickly a position from the game.

56...Kh7 57.Qd1 Qe5

The best place for the queen is the e4-square, and therefore 57...Kh8! was stronger.

58.Qf3 Kg7 59.Qg4+ Kh8 60.Qg6 Qxd5 61.Qxh6+ Kg8 62.Qg6+ Kh8 63.Qf6+ Kh7 64.Kh4 Qe4+

Things are not changed by 64...Qh1+ 65.Kg5 Qc1+ 66.Qf4 Qc5+ 67.Kh4 Qc6 68.g4.

65.g4 Qe1+ 66.Kg5 Qd2+ 67.Qf4 Qd8+ 68.Kf5 Qf8+ 69.Ke4 Qb4+ 70.Kf3 Qc3+ 71.Qe3 Qf6+ 72.Kg3 Qd6+

73.Kh4

73...c5

It is not possible to halt the g-pawn: 73...Qh2+ 74.Qh3 Qf2+ 75.Qg3 Qf6+ 76.g5 Qd4+ 77.Kh3 Qd7+ 78.Qg4

Qd3+ 79.Kh4 c5 80.g6+ Kg7 81.h6+ Kxh6 82.Qh5+ Kg7 83.Qh7+ Kf6 84.Qf7+ Ke5 85.g7, and White wins by

removing his king from checks on the first rank.

74.g5 Qh2+ 75.Kg4 Qg2+ 76.Kf5 Qd5+ 77.Kf6 Qd6+ 78.Qe6 Qd4+ 79.Ke7 Black resigned.

Hyderabad 2002

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be2 e5 7.Be3 h6

The trend of the times. Black prepares Nf6-g4, preventing the reply Be3-g5.

8.0-0 Ng4 9.Bc1 Nc6 10.d5 Ne7 11.Ne1 f5 12.Bxg4 fg4 13.Be3 g5

The alternative is 13...c5, blocking the queenside attack. For example, Shipov-Ponkratov (Russia 1995) continued

14.dc6 bc6 15.Nc2 Be6 16.Qd2 Bxc4 17.Rfd1 Nc8 18.Bxh6 Bxh6 19.Qxh6 Qf6 20.Qd2 Rb8 21.Ne3 Be6 with

complicated play.

14.c5 Ng6 15.Rc1 Rf7 16.cd6 cd6 17.a4 Bf8

The attempt to prevent Nb5 leads to a weakening of the b6-square – 17...a6 18.Nc2! Bd7 19.Na3 Rc8 20.b3 h5

21.Nc4 with the better chances for White (Antic-Markovic, Serbia 2003).

18.Nb5 Bd7 19.b3!

Nothing is given by 19.Nxa7 Qa5 20.Nb5 Qxa4 21.Qxa4 Rxa4 22.Nc3 Rc4.

19...Nf4

20.Nd3

Here 20.Nxa7! is now good: 20...Qa5 21.Nb5 Bxb5 22.ab5 Qxb5 (22...h5 23.f3!) 23.Bxf4! Rxf4 24.Rc4, and in the

event of 24...Ra3 25.Nd3 Rf7 (weaker is 25...Rxb3 26.Nxf4 Qxc4 27.Nh5) 26.Rc3 h5 27.h3 Black experiences

problems with the weakness of the light squares.

20...Bxb5! 21.ab5 Qd7 22.Nb2 Qxb5 23.Nc4 h5 24.Ra1 a6 25.f3?!

This merely assists Black’s attack on the kingside. 25.Ra5 Qd7 26.Nb6 Qd8 27.Ra4 suggests itself, switching the

rook to c4.

25...gf3 26.Rxf3 g4 27.Rf1 Be7

28.Ra5?

White overlooks the diverting move 28...Qxb3!, but Black also does not notice it. It was essential to exchange the

dangerous knight: 28.Bxf4 Rxf4 (if 28...ef4 there follows 29.e5) 29.Rxf4 ef4, although it is not easy to open the position

by e4-e5. For example: 30.e5 de5 31.d6 Qc5+ 32.Kh1 Bf8 with the threat of Qd4, or 30.Kh1 Rf8 (30...Bf6 31.Rc1 Qb4

32.e5 de5 33.d6) 31.e5 de5 32.d6 Bd8 33.Qd3 Kg7, and White does not have compensation for the pawn.

28...Qd7? 29.Nb6 Qc7 30.Ra1 Raf8 31.Rc1

31...Bg5!

By exploiting the weakness of the first rank (32.Rxc7 Ne2+), Black includes his queen in the attack.

32.Qd2 Qe7 33.Rfe1 Qf6 34.Rc8 Ne2+ White resigned.

AVERBAKH VARIATION

№ 107. V.Hort – J.Polgar

Munich 1991

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Be2 0-0 6.Bg5 c5 7.d5 h6 8.Be3 e6 9.h3 ed5 10.ed5 Bf5 11.g4 Bc8

12.Qd2

12...b5!?

An interesting pawn sacrifice, provoked by White’s retarded development. If 12...Kh7 White could play 13.a4.

13.Bxh6

If 13.cb5 there can follow 13...Kh7 14.Nf3 a6 with sharp play, where the weakness of White’s pawn structure is

bound to tell.

13...b4 14.Bxg7 Kxg7

Of course, not 14...bc3?? 15.Qh6!.

15.Nd1 Ne4 16.Qf4 Re8!

The activity of the black pieces fully compensates for the sacrificed pawn.

17.h4

If 17.Ne3 Black can fix the kingside pawns with the resolute 17...g5! 18.Qh2 (if 18.Qf3?! White has to reckon with

18...b3! 19.ab3 Qb6!) 18...b3! 19.ab3 Na6 with counterplay (Hort).

17...Qf6!

Showing a deep penetration into the position. After the exchange of White’s queen, his only active piece, the

weaknesses of his pawn structure become more apparent.

18.Qxf6+ Nxf6 19.f3 Nbd7 20.Nf2

20.Rh2! was stronger.

20...Ba6?!

Gufeld used to say to his pupils: in semi-open positions the queen’s bishop standing on its original square is a

developed piece. Here, after moving to a6, this bishop ends up in a ‘cul-de-sac’. 20...a5 suggests itself, after which

Black’s position looks clearly preferable.

21.b3 Re3

21...Re7 was more accurate.

22.Nd1 Re5 23.Rh2 Rae8

A routine move. Black is unable to derive anything from control of the e-file, apart from exchanges. The queen’s

rook would have come into play without moving from its position after the advance of the a-pawn, which would have

been prepared by 23...Bb7. Black did not immediately find this plan.

24.Kf1 R8e7

This was also a good time for 24...Bb7.

25.Rc1 Re8 26.Rc2 Bb7

At last!

27.Nh3 a5 28.Nf4 Nb6 29.Nf2 a4

After the preparatory 29...Ra8 Black could have avoided the need to sacrifice material, since if 30.g5 there is

30...Ne8.

30.g5

30...Nfxd5

Practically forced. If 30...Nfd7, then 31.Ne4 Nc8 32.Bd3, and Black has to passively observe White’s attack after

h4-h5. An exchange sacrifice also does not help – 31...Rxe4 32.fe4 Rxe4 33.Rf2, and Black is again at an impasse.

31.cd5 ab3 32.ab3 Nxd5 33.Nxd5 Bxd5 34.Ng4

With gain of tempo White prevents the rook invasion on e3, which is possible in the event of 34.Rb2.

34...Rf5?!

‘It never rains but it pours’. According to analysis by Hort, Black should have continued the sacrificial course:

34...Bxb3! 35.Rb2 Rxe2! 36.Rbxe2 Bc4 37.Nf6 Bxe2+ 38.Rxe2 Rb8 39.Nd5 c4 40.Rb2, although two pawns for a

piece is not enough.

35.Nf6 Re3 36.Nxd5 Rxd5 37.Rb2 Rde5 38.Rf2 f6 39.gf6+

39.f4! R5e4 40.Bc4 was stronger.

39...Kxf6 40.Kg2 Rh5 41.Rd2 Rxb3 42.Rxd6+ Ke5 43.Rc6 Kd5 44.Bb5! Rxh4 45.Rxg6 Re3 46.Kg3 Rd4 47.Rc2!

White blocks the c-pawn (47...c4? 48.Rg5+), and the attempt to unblock it leads to new losses.

47...Rc3? 48.Rh2 Black resigned.

To avoid a linear mate the d4-square has to be vacated, but then the rook is lost.

Elista (Olympiad) 1998

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Be2 0-0 6.Bg5 h6 7.Be3 c5 8.dc5

This exchange allows Black to develop his pieces harmoniously, and therefore 8.d5 is considered the main

continuation.

8.e5 leads to the exchange of queens: 8...de5 9.de5 Qxd1+ 10.Rxd1, when the e5-pawn is in need of defence. To

avoid ending up in an inferior position, White has to play accurately. For example, 10...Ng4 11.Bxc5 Nxe5 12.Nd5 (in

the event of 12.Bxe7 Re8 the absence of castling tells: after the bishop moves the c4-pawn is lost, while if 13.Nd5, then

13...Be6 is possible) 12...Nbc6 13.f4 (13.Nf3 Be6 14.b3 Rfd8 also leads to an equal game) 13...Ng4 14.Bf3 Bf5

15.Ne2 Rfd8 16.Ng3 (or 16.h3 Nf6 17.Ng3 Bc2! 18.Rd2 Bb1 19.b3 Nxd5 20.cd5 Bc3 with equal chances, Bareev-

Yurtaev, 1990) 16...e6 17.h3 Nf6 18.Ne7+ Nxe7 19.Bxe7 Rxd1+ 20.Kxd1 Bb1 21.b3 Re8 with equal play (Bareev-

Bologan, Poikovsky 2006).

8...Qa5 9.Bd2 dc5?!

After this recapture White has more chances than Black of deriving benefit from the d-file, since now for a long

time the g7-bishop is shut out of play. Stronger and more logical is 9...Qxc5 10.Nf3 Bg4 11.Be3 (the bishop shuttle

Be3-d2-e3 looks somewhat artificial, but the d2-square has to be vacated for the queen or knight) 11...Qa5 12.Nd2 (or

12.0-0 Bxf3 13.Bxf3 Nbd7 with equal chances) 12...Bxe2 13.Qxe2 Nfd7 14.Rc1 Rc8 15.0-0 Nc6 16.Rfd1 h5 17.a3

Qa6! with a perfectly good game for Black (Gulko-Ivanchuk, Interzonal Tournament, Biel 1993).

10.e5 Nh7

One of the virtues of 6...h6 is that the knight gains the opportunity to retreat to h7. In the event of 10...Nfd7 11.f4

Nc6 12.Nf3 the attempt to activate the g7-bishop by 12...f6 is risky in view of the excessive weakening of the king’s

defences. After 13.Nh4 Kh7 14.e6! White gains the advantage.

11.f4 Nc6 12.Nf3 Bf5

Yurtaev recommended this move some ten years before the present game. But, in view of the development of

events, perhaps 12...f6 was preferable?

13.0-0 Rad8 14.Qe1

Sometimes a threat is stronger than its execution and it is more useful to hold back the knight move to d5 until

better times. After 14.Nd5 Qa6 followed by e7-e6 the knight is forced to retreat.

14...Rd7 15.Qf2 Qd8 16.Be3

16...Nd4

Black has managed to complete his development and even take control of the d-file, but nevertheless his position is

inferior, since in the event of 16...b6 17.Rfd1 the d-file passes into White’s possession. The placing of Black’s kingside

pieces is also unenviable: they are out of play. The exchange of a pair of minor pieces does not change the evaluation.

17.Rfd1 Nxe2+ 18.Qxe2 b6 19.Rxd7 Qxd7 20.Rd1 Qb7 21.Qd2

21.h3! is more forceful, depriving the f5-bishop of the g4-square.

21...Re8

Black vacates a square for his knight, intending the manoeuvre Nh7-f8-e6.

22.Qd5 Qc8

Of course, not 22...Qxd5? 23.cd5, coming under a complete bind.

23.Nb5

With the aim of provoking a weakening of the queenside – 23...a6 24.Nc3 with the threat of breaking it up by Nc3-

a4 and b2-b4.

23...Be6 24.Qd3 Bg4! 25.Kf2

25...g5!

It is not in Yurtaev’s style to play defensively, and with an energetic counterattack he forces Beliavsky to go in for

a risky king raid in order to retain his advantage.

26.h3 Bxf3 27.Kxf3 gf4 28.Bxf4 Nf8

After the plausible 28...Ng5+ 29.Bxg5 hg5 30.Qe4 White maintains his hold on the centre.

29.Kg3

A cunning move. If 29...Ne6 White was intending 30.Qf5!.

29...Ng6 30.Qe4 Nxf4 31.Kxf4!

‘Once more unto the breach!’

31...a6 32.Nc3 e6 33.Rd6 f6?!

It was very hard to resist the temptation to make this advance, about which Black has been dreaming for the last 20

moves, but, as Beliavsky shows, he should have restricted himself to 33...Qc7 and if 34.Qc6, then 34...Qe7, keeping f7-

f6 in reserve.

34.Qc6! fe5+ 35.Ke3 Qxc6 36.Rxc6

The game has gone into an endgame favourable for White, where it is hard for Black to oppose the expansion of the

white rook, commanding the sixth rank.

36...e4

This move is dear to the heart of any King’s Indian player, since it activates the bishop on g7. Alas, it is too late...

But also after 36...Rb8 37.Rxe6 Kf7 38.Rc6 and 39.Nd5 Black cannot hope for anything.

37.Rxb6 Bxc3 38.bc3 Kf7 39.Kxe4 Kf6

Black retains some illusory chances in the rook endgame: 40.Rxa6?, and after 40...Rb8! his rook becomes active.

But White creates a promising passed pawn.

40.Rc6! Rd8 41.Rxc5 Rd2 42.g4 Re2+ 43.Kd3 Rxa2 44.Rh5 a5 45.c5 a4

After 45...Kg6 the c6-pawn cannot be stopped, but now Black has to deal with a pair of passed pawns.

46.Rxh6+ Ke7 47.Rh7+ Kd8 48.Kc4 a3 49.Kb3 Ra1 50.g5 a2 51.h4 Black resigned.

DЕVIATIONS FROM THE AVERBAKH VARIATION

№ 109. J.Ehlvest – G.Kasparov

Horgen 1995

Black can switch to Benko Gambit lines with 6...b5 7.cb5, an idea which was also tried by Gufeld (cf. Game №

45). In recent times 7.Nxb5 has also been played, with the following almost forced variation: 7...Ne4 8.Bc1 a6 9.Na3

Qa5+ 10.Nd2 e6, where after 11.g3 Black has problems:

a) 11...Bb7 12.Bg2 ed5 13.cd5 Bxd5 14.0-0 Qb4 15.Nc2 Qb7 16.Ne3 Bc6 17.Ndc4 Nf6, and here instead of

18.Na5 Qb5 19.Nxc6 Nxc6 with equal chances (Tikhonov-Teterev, Minsk 2006), 18.Nd6!? Qc7 19.Nec4, blocking

the queenside pawns, looks more critical;

b) 11...ed5 12.Bg2 Nxd2 13.Bxd2 Qd8 14.cd5 a5 (in the event of 14...Bxb2 15.Nc4 Bxa1 16.Qxa1 White has more

than sufficient compensation for the exchange) 15.Bc3 d6 16.0-0 Ba6 17.Qd2 Bxc3 18.bc3 Nd7 19.Rab1 f5 20.Nb5

Ne5, and here in Navara-Radjabov (Wijk aan Zee 2007) instead of 21.e4?! Nc4 with an excellent game for Black,

21.a4 would have retained an advantage.

7.Nd2

In Conquest-Gufeld, Hastings 1994/95 (№ 44) White prevented the driving away of his bishop with 7.Qd2.

7...h6 8.Bh4 a6

Black prepares a pawn offensive on the queenside, but a diversion on the kingside has also been tried: 8...g5 9.Bg3

Nh5 10.e3 Nxg3 11.hg3 Bf5 12.e4 Bh7 13.Bd3 e6 14.Nf1 ed5 15.ed5 f5 16.Ne3 Qe7 17.Qc2 Nd7 18.g4! f4 19.Bxh7+

Kh8 20.Bf5 fe3 21.0-0-0 ef2 22.Qxf2 Ne5, reaching a position with chances for both sides (Glek-Wahls, Germany

1995).

9.e4

Black’s intentions can be categorically forestalled by 9.a4, but this is practically unexplored in view of the rarity of

this way of developing.

9...b5

Now if 10.cb5 Black can continue his ‘undermining’ activity with 10...e6. It should be mentioned that the

consequences of such a sacrificial theme do not usually lend themselves to evaluation. Only one thing is clear – a sharp,

dynamic position is reached, which is fully in accordance with the world champion’s style. The fact that Ehlvest agrees

with this is apparent from his reply.

10.Be2 b4 11.Na4 Nh7

Black prepares the manoeuvre of his second knight to the kingside.

The alternative 11...Bd7 12.Rb1 followed by 13.b3 would practically force Black into making the exchange

13...Bxa4 14.ba4, after which White could prepare the opening of the b-file with a2-a3.

12.0-0 Nd7 13.Qc2 g5 14.Bg3 Ne5 15.Rae1 a5

The immediate 15...Ng6 was more forceful, saving a tempo and leaving White with the problem of his ‘Tarrasch

knight’, standing on the edge of the board.

16.Nf3 Ng6

17.e5!?

An interesting pawn sacrifice with the aim of exploiting the weakening of the black king’s defences. The b1-h7

diagonal is opened, and White threatens 18.Bd3. However, he is practically playing a piece down (the knight at a4 is

offside) and his action can hardly hope for success.

17...g4 18.Nh4 Nxe5 19.Nf5 Bxf5 20.Qxf5 Qc8!

By the threat of the f7-f5-f4 advance Black forces his opponent into further exchanges.

21.Qxc8 Raxc8 22.Bxe5 de5

22...Bxe5 was more logical, seeing that White would have to spend several tempi bringing his knight at a4 into

play.

23.Bxg4 f5 24.Bd1 Ng5 25.f3 Nf7

Black switches his knight to the natural blockading square d6. In the event of 25...e4 26.h4 Bd4+ 27.Kh1 Nf7? he

would have come under an unpleasant pin: 28.fe4 fe4 29.Bg4 Rc6 30.Be6, and therefore he would have had to play

27...Nh7, but then after 28.fe4 fe4 29.Bg4 the knight is little better than its opposite number on a4.

26.Bc2 Nd6 27.b3

27...e4! 28.g3

Of course, the e4-pawn is taboo (28.fe4 fe4 29.Bxe4?? Bd4+), but consideration should have been given to 28.Kf2

Bd4+ 29.Ke2, bringing the king to the centre of events.

28...Bd4+ 29.Kg2 e3 30.f4 Rfe8 31.Re2 Rb8 32.Kf3 e6 33.de6 Rxe6 34.Rg2!

The only way of gaining counterplay by preparing g3-g4.

34...h5 35.Ke2 Kf7 36.h3 Rg6 37.Rfg1 Rg7 38.Bd3 Rbg8 39.Nb6

After 28 moves of enforced idleness, the knight finally moves out of the enclosure.

39...h4!?

Without waiting for the reinforcement Ke2-f3, Black himself provokes a crisis involving g3-g4.

40.g4 fg4 41.Rxg4

In the event of 41.hg4? h3! 42.Rh2 Rxg4 43.Rxg4 Rxg4 44.Kf3 Rg1 the rook breaks dramatically into the

opponent’s rear.

41...Rxg4 42.hg4

The second rook cannot be exchanged – 42.Rxg4? Rxg4 43.hg4 h3, since then White cannot cope with the two

widely separated passed pawns: 44.Kf3 h2 45.Kg2 Ne4 46.Nd5 Nc3 47.Nxc3 bc3 etc.

42...h3 43.g5 Rh8 44.Nd5 h2 45.Rh1

Despite the passivity of White’s rook, his f4-g5 pawn pair, supported by the active minor pieces, blocks the entries

into his position.

45...Ke6 46.Nc7+ Kd7 47.Nd5 Ke6 48.Nc7+ Kd7 Draw.

Berlin 1997

The idea of 5.h3, developed more than half a century ago by Vladimir Makogonov, is to oppose f7-f5 with g2-g4

followed by Ng1-e2-g3. However, in contrast to the author’s idea, who linked the move 5.h3 with the development of

the bishop on e3 (here it is defended against Nf6-g4), nowadays they prefer to develop the bishop ‘Petrosian-style’ with

quite good results. For example, Vladimir Bagirov (in his own words) ‘milked’ this variation for decades. In recent

times it has been successfully employed by Beliavsky and Chernin.

6...c5 7.d5 b5

A popular pawn sacrifice in the spirit of the Benko Gambit.

8.cb5 a6 9.a4 Qa5 10.Bd2 ab5

Another popular continuation is 10...e6 11.Nf3 ed5 12.Nxd5 Qd8 13.Bg5 (in the game Bates-Gufeld, London

1994, Black excluded this possibility with 7...h6) 13...Bb7 14.Bc4 ab5 15.Bxb5 (if 15.ab5 White has to reckon with an

attack on the e4-pawn: 15...Rxa1 16.Qxa1 Re8) 15...Bxd5 16.ed5 Qe7+ 17.Kf1 (if 17.Be3 there can follow 17...Na6

18.0-0 Nb4 19.Bc4 Qb7) 17...h6 18.Bxf6 Qxf6 19.Rb1 Na6 20.g3 (the presence of opposite-colour bishops allows

Black to fight in the future for a draw; in this respect 20.Bxa6!? Rxa6 21.b3, intending to play the knight to c4, came

into consideration) 20...Nc7 21.Bc6 Rab8 22.b3, and White stands better (Dreev-Rashkovsky, Maikop 1998).

10...Qb4 can be ignored by White – 11.Bd3!, developing his knight at e2 or f3 according to taste.

11.Bxb5 Ba6

11...Na6 12.Nf3 Nb4 13.0-0 Ba6 is also played, after which 14.Ra3 is good, when White aims to establish his

knight on c4, fixing the c5-d6 Benoni structure. For example, in Parker-Gretarsson (Duisburg 1992) after 14...Ne8

15.Be1 Nc7 16.Nd2 Qb6 17.Nc4 White gained an advantage.

12.Nge2

12.Ra3 Nbd7 also occurs, when there can follow 13.Nge2 Ne5 14.0-0 or 13.Nf3 Bxb5 14.Nxb5 Qb6 15.Qc2 e6

16.de6 fe6 17.e5!, and in both cases White’s chances are better.

12...Qb4

A double attack on the b2- and e4-pawns, which cannot be defended by the queen, since if 13.Qc2? there follows

13...Bxb5. Even so, invading with the queen into a clump of white pieces is a risky venture – how many queens in such

situations have failed to escape! It is safer to play 12...Nbd7 13.0-0 Ne5 14.Qc2 Qb6 15.b3, and although it is not easy

to breach White’s ranks, Black does have compensation for the pawn.

13.f3 c4 14.Nd4 Qxb2

Having begun, Black has to continue in the same vein. But White is already waiting for the aggressor on b2.

15.Ra2!

White sets about trapping the queen! This move is more accurate than 15.Nc2 Bxb5 16.Rb1 Qxb1 17.Qxb1 Bxa4,

when Black has compensation for the queen.

15...Qb4 16.e5! Nxd5

After 16...de5 17.Ne4 Nxd5 18.Bxb4 Nxb4 19.Ne6! there is not full compensation for the queen.

17.Nxd5 Qc5 18.Nc6?!

As was shown by Mikhalevski, a worthy conclusion to the chase would have been 18.Nf5!! gf5 (18...Bxb5

19.Nfxe7+ Kh8 20.Be3) 19.Be3 Qxe3+ 20.Nxe3 Bxb5 21.Qd5. Now, however, the queen escapes.

18...Nxc6 19.Bxc6!

If 19.Be3? Black has 19...Nd4! 20.Nxe7+ Kh8 21.Bxd4 Qb4+ 22.Rd2 c3!, and the play develops in his favour.

19...Rae8

Forced (19...Bxe5 20.Be3).

20.Bxe8 Qxd5 21.Bxf7+

A time-trouble inaccuracy. Black would have been set more difficult problems by 21.Bc3!?. Now in the event of

21...Qxd1+ 22.Kxd1 Rxe8 23.Re1 White has the better endgame. But, by playing 21...Qc5! 22.Bxf7+ Rxf7 23.Re2

Bxe5 24.Bxe5 de5, Black would have nevertheless held the position.

21...Qxf7 22.Bc3! Bxe5

22...Qf4 would have maintained the tension.

23.Bxe5

23...c3?

A mistake, ruining the fruits of Black’s defence, which he could have counted on by playing 23...Qe6! 24.Qd4 de5

25.Qe3 (after 25.Qc3 e4 26.Re2 Qb6 27.Rb2 Qe6 White is obliged to repeat moves) 25...c3!? 26.Rc2 e4 27.Rxc3 Qa2

28.Qd2 Qxa4, and the worst for him is over.

24.Rc2 Qe6 25.Qd4 Rf5 26.Kf2 Rxe5

Black also loses after 26...Qxe5 27.Qxe5 Rxe5 28.Rxc3 Re2+ 29.Kg3 Ra2 30.Re1 Kf7 31.Rc7.

27.Qxc3 Rc5 28.Qd2 Rd5 29.Qb4 Bd3 30.Rd2 Qe5 31.Re1 Qg5 32.h4 Qf6 33.Rxd3 Black resigned.

Chania 1993

1.c4 g6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.h3 0-0 6.Bg5 c5 7.d5 e6 8.Nf3

Another move order is more often employed – 8.Bd3 ed5 9.cd5 Re8, and now White has a choice between 10.Nf3

and 10.Nge2.

8...ed5 9.cd5 Re8 10.Bd3

In opening classification for some reason this position is listed as a variation of the Modern Benoni, although it is

perfectly natural for the King’s Indian Defence.

10...h6

Black’s plan involves the c5-c4 advance, and the question arises – is it advantageous to push back the bishop from

g5 or not? After all, after 10...c4 11.Bc2 b5 12.a3 Black retains the option of developing his queen at b6.

The main continuation is 12...Na6 (12...a5 13.Nxb5 Qb6 14.Qd4 Qxd4 15.Nfxd4 Nxe4 16.Be3 leads to an

endgame, where Black has certain problems with the defence of the c4- and a5-pawns) 13.0-0 Nc5 14.Re1 Qb6!:

a) 15.Qd2 a5 16.e5 de5 17.Nxe5 Bf5 18.Bxf5 Nb3 19.Qf4 Nxa1 20.Be6! with the initiative for White

(Rogozenco-Marin, Bucharest 1993);

b) 15.e5 de5 16.Nxe5 Bb7 17.Qf3 h6 18.Bf4 (18.Bh4 Ncd7! favours Black) 18...a5! 19.Rad1, and here in Chernin-

Gi.Hernandez (Philadelphia 1998) instead of 19...Rac8?! 20.Re3! with an active position for White, stronger was

19...b4! 20.Na4 Qb5 21.Nxc5 Qxc5 22.Be3! (weaker is 22.Bxh6? Bxd5 23.Qf4 Nh5!) 22...Qb5 23.a4 Qa6 24.Bf4

Rac8! with complicated play (Hernandez).

11.Be3 c4

A basic move for Black: the pawn vacates a square for the knight, but 11...Bd7 12.0-0 b5 is also interesting.

J.Ivanov-Zontakh (Belgrade 1993) continued 13.Nxb5 Nxe4 14.Nd2 a6 15.Nc3? (15.Nxe4!? Bxb5 16.Nc3 would have

led to equal play) 15...Nxc3 16.bc3 Bxc3 17.Bxh6 Qh4 18.Rc1 Bd4 19.Be3 Bxh3, and Black developed a dangerous

initiative.

12.Bc2 b5 13.a3 a5!? 14.Nxb5 Nxe4

Here is the reply to the question regarding the advisability of 10...h6. With the bishop on e3 the queen cannot go to

b6, and therefore White has more grounds for fighting for an advantage, since it is more difficult for Black to defend

his c4- and d6-pawns.

15.0-0

The attempt to win the c4-pawn – 15.Bxe4 Rxe4 16.Nd2 meets with a tactical refutation: 16...Rxe3+! 17.fe3 Qh4+

18.Kf1 Bxb2, and White has more than sufficient compensation for the sacrificed exchange.

15...Ba6

Here 15...Bxb2 is no longer appropriate because of 16.Bxh6 Bxa1 17.Qxa1 and Black feels uncomfortable without

his dark-square bishop.

16.Nfd4 Nc5

17.a4

The preparatory 17.Qd2! was stronger (attacking the h6-pawn and bringing the queen closer to the a5- and c4-

pawns) 17...Kh7, and now after 18.a4 it is more difficult for Black to defend:

a) 18...Qb6 19.Qc3 Bxb5 20.ab5 Bxd4?! 21.Bxd4 with domination on the long diagonal;

b) 18...Bb7 19.Rfe1 Qb6 (19...Bxd5? is bad because of 20.Nf5!) 20.Bf4, and Black has to restrict himself to an

unpromising defence;

c) 18...Ne4 19.Bxe4 Rxe4 20.Qc2 Qe7 (20...Qh4? leads to loss of material after an unexpected stroke on the theme

of diversion: 21.Bg5!! hg5 22.Nf3 Qf4 23.Qxe4) 21.Rad1 f5 (21...Bxb5 22.ab5 Nd7 23.Nc6 gives White an

advantage) 22.Nc3 Rxe3 23.fe3 Qxe3+ 24.Qf2, and Black does not have compensation for the lost exchange;

d) 18...Bxb5 19.ab5 (also possible is 19.Nxb5 Bxb2 20.Bxh6!? Bxa1 21.Rxa1 with the initiative for the sacrificed

exchange) 19...Nbd7 20.Nc6 Qb6 21.Rxa5 Rxa5 22.Qxa5 Qxa5 (after 22...Bxb2 the c4-pawn is lost – 23.Qb4 Bg7

24.Qxc4) 23.Nxa5 Nb6 24.b4 Ncd7 25.Nb7 Nxd5 26.Nxd6 Nxe3 27.fe3 Rxe3 28.Rxf7, and White retains a material

advantage.

17...Bxb5 18.ab5 Nbd7 19.Qd2 a4!

19...Qh4 20.Nf3 Qh5 21.Rxa5 Rxa5 22.Qxa5 Bxb2 23.Rd1 would have led to stabilisation in the centre with some

advantage for White.

20.Ra3

The pawn capture 20.Bxh6 Bxh6 21.Qxh6 disrupts the coordination of the forces, and Black is able to

counterattack against White’s weaknesses: 21...Qf6 22.Qd2 Nb6 23.Rfe1 Rxe1+ 24.Rxe1 Nd3 25.Re4 Nxb2 26.Rf4

Qe5 27.Nc6 c3 28.Qc1 Qe2.

20...Qf6 21.Rc3 Nb6

22.Nc6?!

On c6 the knight is out of play, which Black could have exploited by the energetic 22...Qh4! 23.Bd4 Nb3 24.Bxb3

Bxd4 25.Qxd4 Qxd4 26.Nxd4 ab3. Consideration should have been given to 22.Nf3!? Qe7 (if 22...Ra5? there follows

23.Bd4 Qd8 24.Bxg7 Kxg7 25.Nd4 with an obvious advantage, while if 22...Qd8, then 23.Bxh6! is possible, with a

dangerous initiative) 23.Bxh6!? Bxc3 24.Qxc3 f5 25.Rd1 Ne4 26.Qd4, and White’s chances are better in view of

Black’s weakened pawn structure. However, Black is captivated by a faulty idea.

22...Rxe3? 23.fe3 Qh4 24.Rf4!

Apparently Black underestimated or overlooked this intermediate move, and he was counting only on 24.Nd4 Nb3

25.Bxb3 ab3, where he has sufficient compensation for the exchange.

24...Bxc3 25.Qxc3 Nxd5 26.Rxh4 Nxc3 27.bc3 a3 28.Bb1 a2 29.Bxa2 Rxa2 30.Rxc4 Na4 31.Rxa4 Rxa4 32.b6

Ra1+ 33.Kh2 Black resigned.

Wijk aan Zee 2007

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.h3 0-0 6.Bg5 c5 7.d5 e6 8.Bd3 ed5 9.cd5 Re8 10.Nge2 Nbd7 11.0-0 h6

A useful move, clarifying the position of the bishop in anticipation of Qd1-d2. Also possible is the inclusion of

11...a6 12.a4 and now 12...h6:

a) 13.Be3 Ne5 14.Bc2 Rb8 15.Qc1 h5 16.Bg5 c4 17.Qf4 with the better game for White (Korchnoi-Kamsky,

Interzonal Tournament, Biel 1993);

b) 13.Bh4 g5!? (or 13...Qc7 14.f4 c4 15.Bc2 Rb8 followed by b7-b5) 14.Bg3 c4 15.Bc2 Nc5 16.f3 Nh5 17.Bf2

Nf4 18.Nxf4 gf4 19.Qd2 Qg5 20.h4 Qe5 with double-edged play (Atalik-Velimirovic, Ulcinj 1998).

12.Be3 Ne5

Managing without a7-a6, Black could play 12...b5!?, indirectly attacking the e4-pawn, but after 13.Nxb5 Nxe4

14.Bxe4 Rxe4 15.Nxd6 Rb4 16.a3! Rxb2 17.Nc4 Rbb8 18.Rc1 the g7-bishop is firing into empty space, and the placing

of the rooks on a8 and b8 is rather artificial.

13.a4

By blocking the b-pawn, White does not object to the exchange of his light-square bishop, which also cannot be

avoided after 13.Bb5 Bd7 14.Bxd7 Qxd7 with good play for Black. 13...Ned7 or 13...Nfd7 with the idea of a7-a6 is

also possible.

13...Nxd3 14.Qxd3 b6

Showing a deep penetration into the position. Black reinforces his queenside in the event of the b2-b4 attack,

inviting White to disclose his plans. After 14...Nd7 15.Qd2 Kh7 16.f4 his flank attack could have proved more real

than in the game.

15.Ng3

Ponomariov follows the standard plan, intending the typical attack 16.f4 (the immediate 15.f4 did not work because

of 15...Nxe4! 16.Nxe4 Qe7) with the threat of 17.e5 de5 18.f5 followed by Nc3-e4. However, Topalov has prepared a

subtle antidote. 15.f3 followed by 16.Qd2 looks the optimal continuation for the Benoni structure.

15...Nh7!

An important prophylactic move, forestalling White’s central attack. Black could not have prevented it by 15...h5

(with the idea of 16.f4? h4) because of 16.Bg5.

It is curious that the further plans for both sides involve attempts to seize the initiative on the kingside.

16.f4 h5

Now this move is possible, since if 17.e5 there follows 17...h4 18.Nge4 Bf5, forcing White to relieve the pawn

tension in the centre. However, now White breaks up the king’s pawn defences.

17.f5 h4

By attacking the knight, Black forestalls the threat to his g6-pawn after 18.fg6 fg6 19.e5. Apparently 17...Be5 is

also possible, provoking White into 18.Bf4 Bd4+ 19.Kh1 g5 20.Be3 h4 21.Nge2 Be5, when the kingside is not opened

up, which eases Black’s defence. But White could first exchange on g6 – 18.fg6 fg6 19.Bf4, obtaining the same

structure as in the game after 19...Bd4+ 20.Kh1 h4 21.Nge2 Bg7 22.Rf2 g5 23.Bd2.

18.fg6

In the event of 18.Nge2 gf5! 19.ef5 Ba6! 20.Qxa6 Rxe3 Black eliminates the important dark-square bishop, after

which his bishop has no rival on the dark squares.

18...fg6 19.Nge2

19...g5!

A strong move, demonstrating Black’s counter-ambitions on the kingside. Initially the g-pawn restricts the knight

on e2, and then it opens up the kingside, expanding the scope of his light-square bishop.

20.Rf2 a6 21.Raf1 Ra7 22.Nb1!

‘Despite what computer programs say, I very much like this move. It is a very good decision in a difficult position’

(Topalov). Indeed, the key square in the position is e5, and the knight is transferred to c4, making way for the other

knight on c3.

22...g4

Topalov does not deviate from the general course of opening the position (accepting the bait on b2 by 22...Bxb2?!

23.Nec3 Bxc3 24.Nxc3 Rg7 25.Bc1 merely creates problems in defending the a1-h8 diagonal). He could have

prevented the ‘doubling’ of knights by the manoeuvre 22...a5 23.Nec3 (23.Nd2? Ba6 24.Nc4 Bxb2 leads to the loss of

a pawn) 23...Ba6, but after 24.Nb5 Rae7 25.Nd2 Bxb2 26.Nc4 Bg7 27.e5 White would have developed a dangerous

initiative. True, here too, instead of 23...Ba6, Black could continue play on the kingside – 23...Be5! 24.Nd2 Bg3 or

24...Rg7 (variations by Topalov).

23.hg4 Bxg4 24.Nd2 Bxb2

Black is ready to part with his ‘trademark’ bishop, inviting White to demonstrate his compensation for the pawn.

After all, in a potential endgame the two passed c- and b-pawns may have their say. After the attempt to blockade the

e5-point – 24...Nf8!? 25.Nf3 Ng6 26.Bg5 Ne5 27.Nxe5 Qxg5 28.Nxg4 Qxg4 29.Rf4 Qg5 30.Qf3 White would have

set up a dangerous heavy-piece battery on the f-file.

25.Nc3 Rg7 26.Nc4

After 26.Ndb1 the bishop would have moved to a1.

26...Bxc3 27.Qxc3

27...Bh5!

A subtle move, after which it transpires that White’s strategy has come to a standstill. The capture 27...Rxe4?

would have weakened the back rank: after 28.Bh6 Rg6 29.Qd3! (this is stronger than 29.Rf8+ Nxf8 30.Rxf8+ Qxf8

31.Bxf8 Be2!, which favours Black) 29...Qe8 30.Rf8+ White would have won the queen in a favourable situation

(variations by Topalov).

28.Bf4

In a difficult situation Ponomariov ‘bluffs’, demonstrating after 28...Rxe4 his intention to fight for a draw –

29.Bxd6 Rxc4 30.Qxc4 Qxd6 31.Qxa6 Ng5 32.Qc8 Kh7 33.Qf5+ Qg6 34.Rb2, and White neutralises the superiority

of the two minor pieces over the rook. However, his idea is deeper than this.

The tempo play could have been continued: 28.Rf5!? Be2 (in the event of 28...Rxe4? 29.Rxh5 Qe8 30.Bh6 Reg4

31.Bxg7 Qxh5 32.Nxd6 Rxg7 33.Nf5 Rf7 34.Qe5 Nf6 35.Qe6 Black is practically in zugzwang) 29.R1f2 Bxc4

30.Qxc4 with the idea of the e4-e5 break. For example: 30...b5 (30...h3 31.e5!) 31.ab5 ab5 32.Qd3 c4 33.Qb1 h3

34.R5f4 Rg3 35.R4f3, putting up a resilient defence.

28...Rxe4 29.Ne3

‘Ponomariov demonstrates a good feeling for dynamics. The two extra pawns on the queenside are neutralised by

the presence of the queens, the opposite-colour bishops, and the open position of the black king’ (Topalov). White is

threatening Ne3-f5 and Bf4-h6. Black’s reply is essentially forced.

29...Qf6 30.Qc2?!

Naturally, after the exchange 30.Qxf6 Nxf6 31.Bxd6 Rxe3 32.Rxf6 the opposite-colour bishops do not guarantee a

draw. But White could have carried out his idea by sacrificing a third pawn – 30.Qd3!? Rxa4 (weaker is 30...Qg6

31.Qxa6 Rf7 32.Qxb6 Rfxf4 33.Rxf4 Rxe3 34.Qd8+ Re8 35.Qxh4, when White is alright) 31.Nf5 Bg6 32.Qd1, and

both rooks are attacked.

30...Bg6 31.Ng4

If 31.Bh6 Black wins by 31...Rxe3 32.Rxf6 (32.Qc1 Rc3!, 32.Qd2 Rd3!) 32...Bxc2 33.Bxe3 Nxf6 34.Rxf6 Be4,

gaining a decisive material advantage.

31...Qd4 32.Nh6+ Kh8 33.Bc1 Re1 34.Qd2

The queen sacrifice 34.Rxe1 Bxc2 35.Re8+ Nf8 36.Rxf8+ Kh7 would not have left White any hopes.

34...Rxf1+ 35.Kxf1 Bd3+ 36.Kg1 Ng5!

With the threat of 37...Nf3+, parrying the threat of 37.Bb2.

37.Kh2 Ne4!

The dynamics of the position are such that in the event of 37...Qe5+?! Black’s attack could have rebounded:

38.Rf4! with the threat of 39.Bb2.

38.Rf8+ Kh7 39.Qf4 Nc3!

A triumphal completion of the knight raid Nh7-g5-e4-c3! White is forced to exchange the queens, with a hopeless

endgame.

40.Qxd4 cd4 41.Nf7 Ne4 42.Bb2

The alternative 42.Rh8+ Kg6 43.Nxd6 Nxd6 44.Rh6+ Kf5 45.Rxd6 Be4 was in no way better.

42...Bf1 43.Rh8+ Kg6 44.Rxh4 Kxf7 45.Rf4+ Kg8 46.Rxf1 Rh7+ 47.Kg1 d3 48.Rd1 Rh1+ 49.Kxh1 Nf2+

50.Kg1 Nxd1 51.Bc1 Nb2 52.Kf2 Nxa4 53.Bf4 Nc3 54.Kf3 a5 55.Bd2 Nb1 56.Bf4 a4 57.Bxd6 d2 58.Ke2 Nc3+

White resigned.

Cacak 1996

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.h3 0-0 6.Bg5 c5 7.d5 a6

Those who like sharp play usually decide on 7...b5 without preparation. But since White’s reply is obvious, 7...e6 is

nevertheless more flexible.

8.a4 e6

If 8...Qa5 there can follow 9.Bd2 e6 10.Bd3 Re8 11.Nge2 Qc7 12.0-0 ed5 13.ed5 Nbd7 14.f4 b6, and here in

Dokhoian-Skembris (Yugoslavia 1994) White would have retained the better chances by 15.g4!?.

9.Bd3 ed5 10.cd5

10...Re8

Black follows the classical course, but he does this in a risky way. Other plans are also employed, where Black

aims for immediate counterplay on the queenside after 10...Qc7 11.Nf3:

a) 11...Nbd7 12.0-0 (or 12.Nd2 Rb8 13.0-0 Re8 14.Rc1 h6 15.Be3 Qd8 16.f4 b5 17.ab5 ab5 18.Qf3 b4 with

complicated play, Dreev-Kozak, Elista 1998) 12...Rb8 13.Re1 c4 14.Bf1 b5 15.ab5 ab5 16.b4 cb3 17.Nxb5 Qb6 18.Rb1

Nc5 19.Nd2 Ba6 20.Nxb3 Bxb5 21.Nxc5 Qxc5 22.Be3 Qa3 23.Rxb5 Rxb5 24.Bxb5 Nxe4 with complete equality

(Lukov-Tal, Tbilisi 1988);

b) 11...c4 12.Bc2 Nbd7 13.0-0 Re8 14.Re1 b6 15.Rc1 Bb7 16.Bb1 Rac8 17.Bf4 (or 17.Nd2 Ne5!) 17...Qb8 18.b4

cb3 19.Qxb3 Nc5! 20.Qxb6 Nfd7 21.Qb4 a5 22.Qa3 Ba6 23.Nd1 Qb6, and Black has sufficient compensation for the

pawn (Bareev-Cvitan, Tilburg 1993).

11.Nf3 Qb6

A responsible move, since the experience of the attack on the b2-pawn has many times proved adverse in the most

varied situations.

The traditional way is 11...c4 12.Bc2 Nbd7 13.0-0 Qc7 14.Re1 b6 15.Qd2 Bb7 16.Be3 Rac8 17.Bd4 Qb8 18.b4

cb3 19.Bxb3 Qc7, and Black maintained the balance (Poluljahov-W.Schmidt, Koszalin 1997).

12.0-0!

White sacrifices a pawn, but the simple 12.Qc2 was also possible.

12...Qxb2 13.Rc1 Nbd7

The immediate retreat 13...Qb6 14.Nd2 Qc7 15.Nc4 also does not ease the situation for Black.

14.Nd2 Qb6 15.Nc4 Qc7 16.f4 Nb6 17.e5! Nxc4 18.Bxc4 de5 19.d6 Qd8 20.Nd5

White’s pieces arrive in the centre as though by schedule.

20...e4

White is two pawns down, and he has to make a choice: win the exchange – 21.Nc7 Bd7 22.Nxa8 Qxa8 or a piece

– 21.d7 Bxd7 22.Nxf6+ Bxf6 23.Bxf6 Qxf6 24.Qxd7 Re7 25.Qd5 Qd4+. But in neither case does he gain a clear

advantage, since his main trump – the pin on the f6-knight – is sold too cheaply. So that the pin should be exploited to

maximum effect, the sacrifice of a third pawn is required.

21.Qb3!

The start of an introductory manoeuvre: White creates a threat to the f7-pawn.

21...Be6 22.d7! Bxd7

Also in the event of 22...Rf8 White has a practically forced win: 23.Nxf6+ Bxf6 24.Bxe6 fe6 25.Qxe6+ Kg7

26.Rxc5 Bxg5 27.fg5 Rxf1+ 28.Kxf1 Qf8+ 29.Qf6+ Qxf6+ 30.gf6+ Kxf6 31.Rc8.

23.Rcd1! Re6 24.f5 gf5 25.Rxf5

Now for the pin White obtains the maximum price.

25...e3 26.Nxf6+ Rxf6 27.Rfd5!

The final touch, crowning the manoeuvre begun with 21.Qb3.

27...b5 28.Rxd7 Qe8 29.ab5 ab5 30.Qxb5 e2 31.Bxe2 Black resigned.

BISHOP FIANCHETTO

№ 114. G.Kasparov– V.Ivanchuk

Riga 1995

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 0-0 5.Nc3 d6 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.0-0 e5 8.d5 Ne7 9.e4 Ne8 10.Ne1

The alternative is 10.b4 f5 11.Ng5.

10...f5 11.Nd3 Nf6 12.Bg5

12...h6

After 12...fe4 13.Nxe4 the central e4-point is in White’s possession, which gives him a slight but enduring

advantage. If 13...Nxe4 14.Bxe4 Bh3 White simply moves his rook – 15.Re1. In Karpov-J.Polgar (Las Palmas 1994)

Black played 13...Nf5 14.Re1! h6 15.Nxf6+ Bxf6 16.Bd2, but here too White stood better.

13.Bxf6

13.Bd2 Kh7 14.f4 also comes into consideration.

13...Rxf6

13...Bxf6 is weaker, for example: 14.f4 ef4 15.Nxf4 Be5 16.ef5 Bxf5 17.Qd2 c6 18.Kh1 Qb6 19.Rae1 with

advantage to White in view of the weakness of the e6-point (Karpov-Gelfand, Dos Hermanas 1994). Dautov

recommends 17...Qd7!?, not fearing 18.Ne6 Bxe6 19.de6 Qxe6 20.Nd5 in view of the possible exchange sacrifice

20...c6! 21.Nc7 Qxc4 22.Nxa8 Qd4+! 23.Qxd4 Bxd4+ 24.Kh1 Rxa8 25.Rad1 Be5 with sufficient compensation.

18.Rae1 is stronger, retaining somewhat the better chances.

14.f4 ef4 15.Nxf4 Kh7

It is useful also to take a look at the game Huzman-Nijboer (Amsterdam 1994): 15...c6 16.Kh1 Rf7 17.Qd2 Be5

18.Nd3 (18.ef4! is stronger) 18...Bg7 19.Nf4 Be5 20.Nd3 Bg7. Draw.

16.Qd3 Rf8

16...c6!? comes into consideration.

17.Rae1 Be5 18.ef5 Nxf5

If 18...Bxf5 both 19.Qe3 and 19.Be4 are possible, and further piece exchanges merely increase White’s advantage,

with his control of e4.

19.Kh1 Qf6

20.c5!

20.g4 suggests itself, with the idea of 20...Nh4 21.Ne6. But Black is not obliged to move his king, and can play

20...Qh4 21.gf5 Bxf4 22.fg6+ Kg7. While loosening the support of the bishop on e5, White maintains this threat,

which can be carried out in the event of 20...dc5? 21.g4! Bxf4 22.Rxf4.

20...Qg7

It is useful to remove the queen from its opposition with the rook, especially since the passive development

20...Bd7?! runs into 21.c6! bc6 22.dc6 Be8 23.Ncd5, and after 23...Qf7 24.Nxc7 Qxc7 25.Ne6 White gains an

advantage.

21.cd6 cd6 22.Ne6 Bxe6 23.de6 Rac8

Allowing the invasion of the knight on d5. In this respect fewer problems would have been caused by 23...Rae8

24.Bd5.

24.Nd5! Ne7

Black has to reckon with the e6-pawn (24...Bxb2? 25.e7 Rfe8 26.Rxf5! gf5 27.Qxf5+ Kh8 28.Qxc8, and White

wins). Or 24...Rce8 25.Rc1 Rxe6? 26.Rc7 with advantage.

25.Ne3

White should not have given up the b2-pawn, since after 25.b3 all the same Black would have to reckon with the

threatened manoeuvre Ne3-c4, and after the exchange of the knight, the bishop would become established on d5.

25...Bxb2 26.Rxf8 Qxf8

Realising that 26...Rxf8 27.Qxd6 is unpromising for him, Ivanchuk sets a trap, into which the world champion

unexpectedly falls.

27.Rf1?!

The simple 27.Qxd6 would have retained an advantage, since now 27...Rc1 28.Rxc1 Bxc1 29.Nd5 Bg5 30.h4 Bf6

31.Qc7 does not ease Black’s position. Now he escapes from the vice.

27...Rc1! 28.Nd1 Bf6 29.Qxd6 Kg7

The difference between this position and the one examined in the note to White’s 27th move is that Black has

retained his active rook.

30.Bxb7 Nf5 31.Qxf8+ Kxf8 32.g4 Nd6 33.Rxf6+

In the event of 33.Bd5 Ke7 34.Kg2 Nb5 the knight begins eyeing the e6-pawn (Nb5-c7 is threatened).

33...Kg7 34.Rf1 Nxb7 35.Rf7+ Kg8 36.Rxb7 Rxd1+ 37.Kg2 Re1

38.Rxa7

This allows Black to transpose into a theoretically drawn endgame, whereas after 38.e7 the well-known classic

saying ‘all rook endgames are drawn’ would still have had to be demonstrated. We will merely give a few guidelines

from an interesting analysis by Rustem Dautov:

a) 38...Kf7? (this voluntary surrender of the pawn leads to a lost endgame) 39.Rxa7 Re2+ 40.Kg3 g5 41.a4 Rb2

42.a5 Rb3+ 43.Kf2 Rb2+ 44.Ke3 Rxh2 45.a6 Ra2 46.Ra8! Kxe7 47.a7, and after 48.Rh8 White wins;

b) 38...a6 39.Kf2 Re5 40.Rb8+ Kf7 41.e8=Q+ Rxe8 42.Rxe8 Kxe8 43.Ke3 Ke7 44.Kd4 Kd6 45.a3, and White has

a significantly better pawn endgame;

c) 38...a5 39.Kf2 Re5 40.Rb8+ Kf7 41.e8=Q+ Rxe8 42.Rxe8 Kxe8 43.Ke3 Ke7!, and in the resulting pawn

endgame Black retains drawing chances thanks to the important resource 44...Kf6 after 44.Kd4 or 44.a4.

38...Rxe6 39.a4

If 39.h4, then 39...h5 is possible.

The resulting rook endgame is drawn, since the fact that the black king is cut off on the back rank is compensated

by the white king being cut off along the e-file.

39...Re2+ 40.Kg3 g5 41.h4

After the advance of the a-pawn the following drawing mechanism goes into operation: 41.a5 Re3+ 42.Kf2 Re5

43.a6 Re6 44.Ra8+ Kg7 45.a7 Ra6, and White is at a standstill.

41...Re3+ 42.Kf2 Re4 43.Kf3 Rf4+ 44.Kg3 h5!

The resourceful Ivanchuk is true to himself, although the neutral 44...Kh8 was also sufficient for a draw.

45.gh5 Rxh4 46.a5 Rxh5 47.a6 Rh6

The essence of the position has not changed – from being cut off vertically, the white king is now cut off

horizontally.

48.Kg4 Rc6 49.Kxg5 Rb6 50.Kf5 Rc6 51.Ke5 Rb6 52.Kd5 Rf6 53.Kc4 Rf4+ Draw.

№ 115. Kir.Georgiev – T.Radjabov

Sarajevo 2002

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nf3 Bg7 4.g3 0-0 5.Bg2 d6 6.0-0 Nc6 7.Nc3 a6 8.b3

This development plan with the following knight move was introduced by Oleg Romanishin, and was directed in

particular against b7-b5.

8...Rb8 9.Nd5

9...Nh5

Black avoids the exchange of knights, which is possible after other continuations:

a) 9...b5?! (with the position being half-open, this pawn trust weakens squares on the c-file) 10.Nxf6+ Bxf6 11.Bh6

Re8 12.Rc1 bc4?! (better was 12...Bd7 13.Qd2) 13.Rxc4 Bd7 14.Qd2 with an attack on the queenside after the doubling

of rooks (Romanishin-Kveynis, Gothenburg 1994);

b) 9...Nxd5?! 10.cd5 Nb4 11.e4 and the knight at b4 is out of play; Romanishin-Kantsler, Tbilisi 1986, continued

11...f5 12.Ng5 fe4 13.Bxe4 c6? (13...Bf5 was correct) 14.Nxh7! Kxh7 15.Qh5+ Kg8 16.Bxg6 Rf6 17.Qh7+ Kf8

18.Bh6 Rxg6, and here after 19.Qh8+ Kf7 20.Qxd8 Rxh6 21.Qb6 White would have won the queen for insufficient

compensation;

c) 9...e6 10.Nxf6+ Qxf6 11.Bb2 (or 11.Bg5 Qf5 12.Be3 e5 13.Qd2 with sharp play; Timman-Fedorov, World

Championship, Las Vegas 1999, continued 13...Qh5 14.d5 Ne7 15.Ng5 h6 16.Ne4 b6 17.h4 Kh7 18.Rad1 Ng8 19.b4

Bf5 20.f3 Bxe4 21.fe4 Qg4 22.Kh2 Nf6 23.Qd3, and here instead of 23...a5?, which allowed White to surround the

queen after 24.Rxf6! Bxf6 25.Bh3 Qh5 26.Bf2, Black should have played 23...Qd7 with chances for both sides)

11...Qe7 12.e4 e5 13.d5 Nd8 14.Qd2 f5 15.ef5 Bxf5 (15...gf5!? 16.Rae1 f4 17.gf4 Bh6 18.Ng5 Qf6 came into

consideration, with unclear play – Romanishin) 16.Nh4 Bd7 17.f4 Nf7 18.Rae1, and White’s position is preferable

(Romanishin-Atalik, Bled 2000).

10.Bb2 e6 11.Nc3

Other knight retreats have also occurred:

a) 11.Nf4 Nxf4 12.gf4 b5 13.Rc1 Ne7! 14.Qd2 Bb7 with roughly equal chances (Schwartzman-Istratescu,

Bucharest 1994);

b) 11.Ne3 f5 12.Qd2 (in Romanishin-Pavlovic, Linares 1996, White played the weaker 12.Qc1?! Ne7 13.Re1 b5

14.Nf1 bc4 15.Qxc4 Nd5 16.e4? Ndf4! 17.gf4 fe4 18.N3d2 Nxf4 19.Ng3, and here, instead of 19...Nd3?! 20.Rxe4!

Nxb2 21.Qc2 d5 22.Re5! with equal chances, stronger was 19...d5! 20.Qc2 Nd3 21.Re2 Nxb2 22.Qxb2 c5, when

Black would have won a third pawn while retaining his powerful dark-square bishop – Pavlovic; instead of 16.e4?

correct was 16.Qc2) 12...Ne7 13.Rac1 b6 14.c5! dc5 15.Rfd1! f4 (or 15...cd4 16.Bxd4 Bxd4 17.Nxd4 e5 18.Nc6 Nxc6

19.Rxc6 Qxd2 20.Rxd2 with the better endgame for White – Akopian) 16.Ng4 cd4 17.Bxd4 e5 18.Ngxe5 c5 19.Bc3,

and White’s chances are better (Akopian-Bologan, Olympiad, Elista 1998).

11...b5 12.d5

The opening of the c-file was more in accordance with White’s opening idea – 12.cb5 ab5 13.Rc1. For example,

Romanishin-Nijboer (Essen 2001) continued 13...b4 14.Na4 Na5 15.Qc2 Ba6 16.Rfe1 c6 17.e4 Bb5 18.e5 Bxa4 19.ba4

d5 20.a3 Bh6 21.ab4 Nc4 (simpler was 21...Bxc1!? 22.Qxc1 Rxb4 23.Ba3 Rxa4, returning the exchange, but not

23...Rc4? on account of the attack 24.Qh6 f6 25.g4 Ng7 26.ef6 Qxf6 27.Bxf8 Kxf8 28.Ne5 Kg8 29.Rb1 Qd8

30.Nxc4, when Black loses the exchange) 22.Bc3! Bxc1 23.Qxc1 f6 24.a5 with the better chances for White.

12...Ne7

12...Na5 also occurs, but against White’s central strategy this knight remains off-side. For example, Ehlvest-

Bologan (Stratton Mountain 1999) continued: 13.de6 Bxe6 (weaker is 13...fe6 14.c5 dc5 15.Qc1 with the better game

for White) 14.cb5 ab5 15.Qc2 Nf6 16.Ng5 (16.Nd4!? also comes into consideration) 16...Bf5! 17.e4 Bd7, and here

18.Nf3! (in the game 18.Rad1?! b4 19.Ne2 Re8 was played, and Black equalised) 18...Re8 19.Rfe1 b4 20.Nd5 would

have given White the better game (Ehlvest).

13.de6 Bxe6 14.cb5 ab5 15.Qd2 b4

In a blitz game Ivanchuk-Radjabov (Dubai 2002) Black played 15...Nf6 16.Ng5 Bf5 and maintained the balance.

16.Ne4 Bxb2 17.Qxb2 Bd5 18.Ned2

18...f5

Black takes the e4-point under control, but he could also have played on the d4-point – 18...c5 19.e4 Be6 20.Rad1

Nc6 21.Rfe1 Re8 22.e5 de5 23.Ne4 Qb6 24.Nd6 Red8 25.Nxe5 Nd4 with equal chances (Radjabov).

19.Rfd1 Nf6 20.Rac1 Qd7

20...c5 21.Nc4 Qd7 came into consideration, with complicated play.

21.Nc4 Ne4 22.Ne3 Ba8 23.a3 Nc3 24.Rd2 Ne4 25.Rdd1 Nc3 26.Re1 Ne4 27.Nc2

A careless move, allowing Black to seize the initiative. White should have stuck to waiting tactics – 27.Red1.

27...ba3 28.Qxa3 Nd5 29.b4 Rfe8 30.Nfd4 c5! 31.Bxe4 Rxe4 32.bc5 dc5 33.Qxc5 f4! 34.Ra1!? fg3 35.hg3

35...Nf4! 36.Qa7

Nothing is given by 36.Ra7 Qh3 37.gf4 Rxf4, when White has only one way to avoid mate – 38.Rg7+! Kxg7

(38...Kh8 39.Rxh7+ Kxh7 40.Qc7+) 39.Qe5+ Rf6 40.Ne6+ Qxe6 41.Qxb8 Qc6, but he remains in an inferior position.

36...Nh3+ 37.Kf1 Rf8! 38.Nf3

If 38.f3 Black wins by 38...Qd6!.

38...Bb7! 39.Qa2+

A typical time-trouble way of parrying an attack by simplifying the position, in a situation where it is easy to

overlook a tactical stroke. For example: 39.Qb6? Nf4 40.Ng5 (40.gf4 Qh3+ 41.Kg1 Rfxf4) 40...Re5 41.gf4 Rxg5. But

there was also the solid move 39.Ne3.

39...Bd5 40.Qa7 Qxa7

Or 40...Bb7 41.Qa2+.

41.Rxa7 Bc4 42.Kg2 Bxe2 43.Rxe2!

After 43.Ncd4 Bxf3+ 44.Nxf3 Rxe1 45.Nxe1 Nxf2, in contrast to the game, White’s defence would have been

complicated by the presence on the board of a pair of knights.

43...Rxe2 44.Ncd4 Rxf2+ 45.Kxh3 R2xf3 46.Nxf3 Rxf3 47.Kg2

A theoretically drawn endgame has been reached.

47...Rf7 48.Ra6 Kg7 49.g4 g5 50.Kg3 h6 51.Ra4 Rb7 52.Ra6 Re7 53.Kf3 Rf7+ 54.Kg3 Rf6 55.Ra7+ Kg6 56.Kg2

Rb6 57.Ra5 Kf6 58.Kg3 Ke6 Draw.

Baden-Baden 1992

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nf3 Bg7 4.g3 0-0 5.Bg2 d6 6.0-0 Nc6 7.Nc3 a6 8.d5 Na5 9.Nd2 c5 10.Qc2

Sometimes White tries to economise on the queen development in favour of the prophylactic rook move 10.Rb1!?,

in anticipation of the opening of the b-file after 10...Rb8 11.b3 b5 12.Bb2.

This position is worth dwelling on in more detail. Black has several logical continuations, but everywhere he

encounters definite difficulties:

а) 12...bc4 13.bc4 Bh6! (with the threat of winning the c4-pawn after the capture of the knight on d2; weaker is

13...e6 14.Ba1 Rb4 15.a3 Rxb1 16.Qxb1 ed5 17.Nxd5 Bf5 18.Qb2 Nh5 19.Qc1 Nf6 20.Bc3!, when Black has

problems with his knight on c5, Vaganian-van der Wiel, Interzonal Tournament, Biel 1985) 14.Ba1 Bf5! (after

14...Bxd2 15.Qxd2 Nxc4 16.Qf4 Rxb1 17.Rxb1 White has compensation for the pawn) 15.e4 Bg4 16.f3 Be3+ 17.Kh1

Bd7 18.h3! (preventing Nf6-g4 in the event of f3-f4) 18...Bxd2 19.Qxd2 Nxc4 20.Qe2 Na3 21.Rbd1!?, and thanks to

the weakness of the a1-h8 diagonal White has sufficient compensation for the sacrificed pawn (Matlak-Kulchevsky,

corr. 1990);

b) 12...e5 13.de6! (13.Qc2 Bf5 14.Nce4 Nxe4 15.Bxe4 Bd7 followed by f7-f5 leads to double-edged play) 13...fe6

14.Nde4! bc4 15.Nxd6 cb3 16.ab3 Rxb3 17.Na4 Qc7? (17...c4! was essential) 18.Rc1 with advantage to White

(Yusupov-Kindermann, Germany 1998);

c) 12...Bd7 13.Qc2, and again 13...e5 is unfavourable in view of 14.de6 fe6 15.cb5 ab5 16.Nce4, reaching a

position examined in the note to Black’s 13th move in Gufeld-Rashkovsky (Kirovabad 1973; № 58).

10...Rb8 11.b3 b5 12.Bb2

12.Rb1 is also played, with the idea after 12...e5 of attacking the b5-pawn – 13.cb5 ab5 14.b4 cb4 (weaker is

14...Bf5? 15.e4 cb4 16.Rxb4 Bd7 17.Qb1 Qe8 18.Bf3! Bh6, and here in Cvitan-Shirov, Sarajevo 2002, 19.Be2 would

have led to an advantage for White) 15.Rxb4 Ba6:

a) 16.Bb2 Qc7 17.Qb1 Bh6 18.Nde4! Nxe4 19.Nxe4 Nc4 20.Bc1 Bg7 21.Nc3 f5! 22.Nxb5 Qc5 23.a4 e4 24.Bf4!

with advantage to White (Tukmakov-Shaked, Biel 1995);

b) 16.Ba3 Qd7 17.Qb1! Rb7 18.Rc1 Rfb8 19.e3 Nc4? (19...Ne8 20.Bf1 Nc7) 20.Nxc4 bc4 21.Rxb7 Rxb7 22.Qc2

with advantage to White in view of the weakness of the c4-pawn (Rogozenco-Nevednichy, Bucharest 1995).

12...Bh6 13.f4

Black was threatening to exchange on d2 and win the c4-pawn. After its exchange 13.cb5 ab5 14.e4 Ba6 the

activity of the black bishops would increase. But now comes a break in the centre.

13...bc4 14.bc4 e5 15.de6

It is not possible to keep the dark-square bishop shut in by 15.Rae1, since after 15...ef4 16.gf4 Nh5! 17.e3 Bg7! the

bishop provokes a weakening of White’s pawns and then returns to the long diagonal, with a good game for Black

(Osnos-Suetin, Tbilisi 1967).

If 15.Rab1 there is the same manoeuvre 15...ef4 16.gf4 Nh5!? 17.e3 Bf5 or 16...Re8 with pressure on the e-file.

15...Bxe6 16.Nd5

With the hope after 16...Bg7 17.Bc3! of occupying the b-file.

16...Rxb2!

In its time this exchange sacrifice threw supporters of this variation into disarray. Now it is considered virtually

standard.

Other attempts have also been made: 16...Bxd5 17.cd5 Ng4 18.Nb3 f5! 19.h3 Nf6 20.Nd2, and here in Stohl-

Kindermann (Dortmund 1991) instead of 20...Nh5? 21.Kh2, which favoured White, 20...Re8 21.Bf3 Bg7 22.Bc3 Re3!

would have maintained the balance.

17.Qxb2 Bg7 18.Qc1

If 18.Qc2 there can follow 18...Nxd5 19.cd5 Bxa1 20.Rxa1 Qf6 with roughly equal chances, whereas now after the

same manoeuvre the queen cannot go to f6, and after e2-e4 White gains the advantage.

If the queen moves to the edge of the board – 18.Qa3 Black can win a pawn: 18...Nxc4 19.Nxc4 Nxd5 20.Rac1

Nb4 21.Kh1 d5 22.Ne5 (22.Nb2 Qd6 leads to equal play, Hübner-Nunn, Wijk aan Zee 1982) 22...Bxe5 (22...Qd6 is

also not bad) 23.fe5 Qb6 24.Qb2 Qa7! with sufficient compensation for the sacrificed exchange (I.Cosma-Nevednichy,

Bucharest 1994).

18...Bxd5 19.cd5

After the exchange 19.Bxd5 Nxd5 20.cd5 the b7-bishop is included in the play.

In Stohl-Babula (Czechia 1996) after 20...Bd4+ 21.Kh1 Qa8 22.e4 Black could have played 22...Bxa1! 23.Qxa1 f5

24.Qc3 fe4 25.Qxa5 Qxd5, when the mobile central pawns compensate for the sacrificed knight.

It is also possible not to rush to regain the exchange: 20...Qe7! 21.Rb1 Qxe2, retaining great activity for the pieces

(Stohl-Kindermann, Germany 1997).

19...Ng4 20.Rb1 Bd4+ 21.Kh1 Ne3

After 21...Nf2+ 22.Rxf2 Bxf2 23.Nf3 followed by 24.e4 White threatens a breakthrough in the centre.

22.Qa3 Re8

After the regaining of the exchange – 22...Nxf1 23.Bxf1 Re8 24.e4 the position is simplified, but the main

deficiency of the variation is also revealed – Black practically has to play without his knight on a5.

23.Qd3 Qa8!

A rare instance when from deep in the rear the queen displays such great activity. If 24.Rf3?! there follows

24...Nxg2 25.Kxg2 Qxd5.

24.Bf3 Nxf1 25.Nxf1

25...Qa7

Opposite-colour bishops are a drawing indicator only in the endgame. But when there are heavy pieces on the

board, the active side’s bishop, which has no opponent, usually imparts additional dynamism to the attack. Black

should have exchanged White’s only active piece, as occurred in Alonso-de la Paz (Cuba 1994): 25...Rb8! 26.Rxb8+

Qxb8 27.e3 (or 27.Qxa6 Qb1 28.Kg2 c4!) 27...Bf6! 28.Qxa6 Qb1 29.Kg1 c4!, when the passed pawn is very

dangerous.

26.Nd2 Re3 27.Qc2 f5?

For an instant Black leaves his knight at a5 unattended, and the initiative passes completely to White. The threat of

Qc2-a4 should have been forestalled by 27...Ra3 or 27...Qd7, when although White is more actively placed, there is

still all to play for.

28.Qa4 Qc7

29.g4!

After this it transpires that the black king is insecure. The opening of the g-file is threatened.

29...fg4 30.Bxg4 Kg7 31.Nf3 Bf6 32.Be6

Black’s defence is easier after 32.Ng5 Bxg5 33.fg5 Qe7.

32...c4 33.f5! Rxe2

A raid by the c-pawn would have caused White more problems: 33...c3 34.fg6 c2 (34...hg6 allows a mating attack

by 35.Rg1 c2 36.Qe8) 35.Rc1 Rxe2 36.gh7, but not for long, since the king is bare!

34.Rg1 Rf2?

Black overlooks the crisis on the g6-square. True, 34...Qd8! 35.fg6 h6 would merely have prolonged the resistance.

35.Qe8! Black resigned.

Israel 2001

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 0-0 5.0-0 d6 6.d4 Nc6 7.Nc3 a6 8.d5 Na5 9.Nd2 c5 10.Qc2 Rb8 11.b3 b5

12.Bb2 bc4 13.bc4 Bh6

14.Ncb1

This manoeuvre was introduced by Suetin. White defends his c4-pawn (Bxd2 was threatened) and intends to play

his bishop to c3.

14...Bd7

14...e5 15.Bc3 Qc7 16.Na3 Rb4! is also possible (Psakhis). If 16.Qa4 Black sacrifices a pawn by 16...Nb7

17.Qxa6 Qe7 with the idea after Bg4, Ra8 and Rf8-b8 of obtaining active counterplay.

15.Bc3 e5

Initially the main continuation was considered to be 15...Qc7, intending if 16.Na3 the exchange sacrifice 16...Rb4!.

Later this became the standard reaction to the appearance of the knight on a3. Csom-Suetin (Ljubljana/Portoroz 1973)

continued 16.h3 Bg7 17.e4 e5 18.Qd3 (18.f4 Nh5!) 18...Nh5 19.Na3 f5 with sharp play.

16.Na3 Rb4 17.Bxb4

In the source game Udovcic-Suetin (Leningrad 1967) White declined the exchange sacrifice – 17.e3, and after

17...Ra4 he ended up in an inferior position.

17...cb4 18.Nab1 Qc7

Weaker is 18...Qb6?! 19.Nb3 Nb7 20.N1d2 Rc8 21.a3! with advantage to White (Petrosian-Toran, Bamberg

1968).

19.e3 Rc8

19...Bf5! is stronger, as played in Timman-Kasparov (Tilburg 1981), which continued 20.Ne4 Bxe4 21.Bxe4 Nb7?

22.Nd2 Nc5 23.Bg2 Rb8 24.Rfb1 with advantage to White. But later it was established that instead of 21...Nb7? it was

stronger to play 21...Nxe4! 22.Qxe4 f5 23.Qc2 Qxc4 24.Rc1 Qxd5 25.Nd2 f4 with good compensation for the

exchange (Andrea-Lotti, corr. 1985).

20.a3!

It is important to eliminate the b-pawn, as otherwise it is hard to disentangle the clump of pieces on the queenside.

But this move required accurate calculation, since White voluntarily allows his heavy pieces to be pinned. Jurek-

Maiwald (Ischia 1994) continued 20.Rc1 Qb6 21.Qd3 Bg7 22.Nb3 e4 23.Qd4 Nxd5 24.Qxd5 Nxb3 25.ab3 Bxa1, and

Black equalised.

20...b3 21.Nxb3!

After 21.Qc3 Rb8 22.a4 (preventing Ba4) 22...Qb6 White cannot count on anything.

21...Ba4 22.N1d2 Nxb3 23.Nxb3 Rb8 24.Rab1 Qb6 25.Rb2

The indirect defence of the knight relies on this pin. In the event of 25.Nd4?! Bxc2 26.Rxb6 Rxb6 27.Nxc2 Rb2

28.Nb4 Ng4! the activity of the black pieces more than compensates for the lost pawn (Psakhis).

25...Ng4?

This allows White to unpin his queen with gain of tempo, whereas the opponent cannot unpin his queen without

losing material. The logical follow-up to the preceding play was 25...Bxb3! 26.Rfb1 Bxc2 27.Rxb6 Ra8! (27...Rd8

28.Rc1 Bd3 29.c5 and 27...Rxb6 28.Rxb6 Bf8 29.c5! favour White) 28.Rc1 (after 28.R1b2 Ba4 29.Rxd6 Nd7 30.Rb7

Nc5 31.Rb1 Bf8 Black blocks the pawn pair of passed pawns) 28...Ba4 29.Rxd6 Nd7 30.c5 Bf8 31.Rxd7 Bxd7 32.d6

Rd8 33.c6 Bxc6 34.Rxc6 Rxd6, transposing into an equal endgame (Psakhis).

26.Qe2! Nxe3 27.fe3 Bxb3

After the queen exchange 27...Qxe3+ 28.Qxe3 Bxe3+ 29.Kh1 Rxb3 30.Rxb3 Bxb3 31.Rf3 it is pointless playing on

a rook down.

28.Rfb1 Bxe3+ 29.Kh1 Bd4

30.c5!

This breakthrough, which has the aim of obtaining a passed pawn, quickly decides the game. In the event of the

direct 30.Rxb3? Qxb3 31.Rxb3 Rxb3 32.a4 a5 Black would still have had some illusions.

30...Bxc5

In the main variation 30...dc5 31.Rxb3 Qxb3 32.Rxb3 Rxb3 33.d6 Rb1+ 34.Bf1 Rb6 35.d7 Rd6 36.Qxa6! Black

loses his rook.

31.Qd3! Bc4 32.Rxb6 Rxb6 33.Qd1 Rxb1 34.Qxb1 Bxa3 35.Qb8+ Kg7 36.Qb7 Bc5 37.g4!

Black is counting on his passed a-pawn, but he is unable to parry the threats to his king.

37...Bd3 38.g5 a5 39.h4 a4 40.Bh3! Kf8

After the bishop exchange 40...Bf5 41.Bxf5 gf5 42.Qd7 the a-pawn is lost.

41.Qa8+ Kg7 42.Qxa4 h6 43.Be6! hg5 44.hg5 Black resigned.

Linares 1994

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.g3 c5 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.Bg2 0-0 6.0-0 d6 7.Nc3 Nc6 8.d5 Na5 9.Nd2 e5 10.b3

One of White’s conceptions in this position is to pay no attention to the off-side knight on a5, but to try and exploit

its inactivity to create a numerical advantage on other parts of the board. However, as they say, there’s many a slip

between the cup and the lip.

10...Bd7

After 10...Ne8 (intending 11.Bb2 f5 with the threat of e5-e4) White usually plays 11.e4 f5 12.ef5 gf5 13.Bb2.

11.Bb2 Ng4 12.h3 Nh6 13.e3

White chooses the plan of blockading the f5-pawn. Here 13.e4 f5 14.ef5 g5 15.Qc2 followed by f2-f4 is more often

played.

13...f5 14.f4 a6 15.Qc2 b5 16.Nd1

By the manoeuvre Nd1-f2-d3 White is aiming to provoke a crisis on e5. 16.Rae1 is also possible, but in this case

Black advances with queenside pawns with gain of tempo: 16...b4 17.Nd1 Nb7 and then a6-a5-a4.

16...Rb8 17.Bc3!

A useful move, removing the bishop from the X-ray attack by the rook, since after exchanges on c4 White has to

reckon with the threat of the exchange sacrifice on b2. For the moment 17.fe5 de5 is premature, as it frees the important

blockading square d6 for one of the black knights.

17...Re8

In the event of 17...b4 18.Bb2 the a-file may be opened after a2-a3.

18.Rb1

This ‘mysterious’ rook move secures opposition on the b-file (in the event of the exchange on c4), which allows the

Nd1-f2 manoeuvre to be carried out in a more favourable situation.

18...Nf7

One of the constant problems for Black in this variation is how to bring into play his knights, which are condemned

to wandering about in the rear in search of a worthy post. For the moment their paths intersect at d8.

19.Nf2

19...ef4

The position is very complicated – no piece has yet been exchanged and Black has to keep a constant eye on his

knight at a5. For example, after the inclusion of the exchange on c4 – 19...bc4 20.bc4 Rxb1 21.Rxb1 ef4 22.ef4 the

active 22...Re3 puts the a5-knight under threat after 23.Bxg7 Kxg7 24.Nf1.

20.ef4 Re3 21.Bxg7 Kxg7 22.Rfe1!

The position of the knight on a5 is also bad for the reason that a queen check on c3 is constantly threatened. But for

this the rook on e3 must be eliminated.

22...Rxe1+

It is not possible to maintain the rook on e3, since if 22...Qe7 there follows 23.Nf3 with the threat of 24.Rxe3 Qxe3

25.Re1. Also 22...Rxg3 does not work because of the loss of the exchange – 23.Nf1.

23.Rxe1 Qf6

It is important to occupy the long diagonal, since in the event of 23...bc4? this will be done by White: 24.Qc3+

Kg8 25.bc4. But now this exchange is threatened.

24.cb5

It is not possible to drive back the queen by the advance of the g-pawn – 24.g4 bc4 25.g5, since Black interposes

25...Qd4 26.Nf3 cb3.

24...ab5 25.b4 cb4 26.Qc7 Qd8 27.Qxd8 Rxd8 28.Nd3 Rc8 29.Nxb4 Kf6 30.Kf2 Nd8 31.Bf1

After 31.g4 Rc3 (31...fg4? is bad because of 32.Ne4+ Kg7 33.Nxd6 Rc7 34.hg4 with advantage to White) 32.g5+

Kf7 33.Bf1 Ndb7 Black has nothing to fear.

31...Ndb7 32.Re3 h6 33.Re1

A tacit peace offer.

33...g5 34.Re3 Rc7 35.Re1 Rc8 36.Re3 Rc7 37.h4 g4 38.Re1 Rc3 39.Re3 Rc1 40.Re1 Rc3 41.Re3 Draw.

Torshavn 2000

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 0-0 5.0-0 d6 6.c4 c5 7.dc5 dc5 8.Nc3 Nc6 9.Be3 Be6

Sometimes Black avoids the symmetry by 9...Qa5.

Now nothing is given by 10.Qa4 Qxa4 11.Nxa4 b6 12.Rad1 Bb7, or the knight thrust 10.Nd5 e6 11.Bd2 Qd8

12.Nc3 Nd4, or 10.Bd2 Bf5 11.Nd5 Qd8 12.Nh4 Bg4 13.h3 Bd7 14.Bc3 e5, where Black easily maintains the balance.

The most promising is considered to be 10.Qb3 (White prevents the development of the bishop) 10...Ng4 11.Bf4:

a) 11...Nd4 12.Nxd4 cd4 13.Nd5 e5 14.Bg5 f6 15.Bc1 Kh8 16.Rd1 f5 17.Bd2 Qd8 18.Bb4 Rf7 19.e3, and by

undermining the centre White gained the advantage (A.Petrosian-Ghinda, Bagneux 1981);

b) 11...e5 12.Bd2 f5 13.e4 Nf6 (13...Nd4 14.Qd1 Qd8 15.Nd5 fe4 16.Ng5 e3 17.fe3 Rxf1+ 18.Bxf1 Qxg5 19.ed4

Qh5 20.h3 e4 also comes into consideration, sacrificing a piece for two pawns: now after 21.hg4 Bxg4 22.Qc2 Bf3

23.Bg2 Bxg2 24.Kxg2 Qf3+ Black can force a draw, while if 21.Bc3 Qg5 22.hg4 Bxg4 he has good counterplay –

Stetsko) 14.Rfe1! (fighting for an important point) 14...Qd8 15.Rad1 (15.Bg5 h6 16.Rad1 Qe8 17.Be3! Nd4 18.Bxd4

cd4 19.Nd5 fe4 20.Nxf6+ Bxf6 21.Rxe4 Bf5 22.Ree1 is more energetic, and after playing his knight to e4 White gains

the advantage – Epishin) 15...fe4 16.Nxe4 Nxe4 17.Rxe4, and White’s position is preferable (Epishin-Spraggett,

Manresa 1995).

10.Qa4

Nothing is given by 10.Bxc5 Qa5! (10...Bxc4? is bad, since after 11.Nd4! Nxd4 12.Bxd4 Black has problems with

his b7-pawn) 11.Ba3 Bxc4.

10...Nd4

In a symmetric position the advantage of the first move is always important, and here Black can no longer maintain

the symmetry – 10...Qa5?! 11.Qxa5 Nxa5 12.Bxc5 Nxc4 13.Ng5, and the advantage is with White.

10...Nd4 is considered a sound way of fighting for equality. The following knight retreat is insufficiently explored:

10...Nd7 11.Rad1 Qc8 (11...Qb6 12.Ng5!?) 12.Nd5 Re8 (if 12...Bxb2, then 13.Qxc6! bc6 14.Nxe7+ Kg7 15.Nxc8

Rfxc8 16.Ng5 Bf5 17.Ne4 Bxe4 18.Bxe4 is strong, gaining the advantage of the two bishops) 13.Rd2 Nb6 (13...Bg4!?

came into consideration, with the idea of exchanging the bishop followed by e7-e6) 14.Qb5 Nd4! 15.Bxd4 (or 15.Nxd4

cd4 16.Nxb6 ab6 17.Bxd4 Rd8 18.Rfd1 Bxd4 19.Rxd4 Rxd4 20.Rxd4, and now if 20...Rxa2 White attacks by 21.h4

Qc5 22.Rd8+ Kg7 23.Qe8 Ra1+ 24.Kh2 Qxf2 25.Qf8+ Kf6 26.Qh8+ Kf5 27.Rd4, weaving a mating net, but after

20...Qc5! 21.Rd2 Rxa2 the game is equal – Stetsko) 15...cd4 16.Nxd4 Qxc4, and Black maintains the balance

(Mikhalchishin-Velimirovic, Sarajevo 1985).

11.Rad1

11.Bxd4 cd4 12.Nb5 Nd7 13.Nfxd4 Nb6 leads to an equal game.

11...Bd7

Weaker is 11...Ng4 12.Bxd4 cd4 13.Nd5 Bxd5 14.cd5 Qxd5 15.h3 Ne5 16.Nxd4 Qc4 17.Qa3 with the better

position for White (Vaganian-Mestel, London 1986).

12.Qa3 Nc2 13.Qxc5 b6 14.Qg5 h6 15.Qh4

Or 15.Qf4 g5 16.Qe5 Rc8, and Black maintained the balance (K.Grigorian-Kasparov, USSR 1981).

15...Nxe3 16.fe3

16...Qc7

White has won a pawn, but it is doubled, and the pair of active bishops fully compensates for the material deficit.

Black could also have considered 16...g5 17.Qd4 Bc6 (if 17...Qc7? he has to reckon with 18.Nxg5! hg5 19.Bxa8

Rxa8 20.Nd5!) 18.Ne5 Bxg2 19.Kxg2 Qc7 with the threat of Rfd8.

17.Qf4 Rac8 18.Qxc7

After 18.b3 a6 19.a4 Rfd8 all the same White cannot avoid the exchange of queens.

18...Rxc7 19.b3 a6!? 20.a4

In the event of 20.Ne5 Be6 21.Rd3 Rfc8! 22.a4 Bf5 23.e4 Nxe4 24.Bxe4 Bxe4 25.Nxe4 Bxe5 Black regains the

pawn with full equality (Ponomariov).

20...e6 21.Rd3 Bc8

21...Rfc8 22.Rfd1 Kf8 was more natural, bringing the king to the centre.

22.Ne5 Nd5

23.cd5

If 23.Nxd5 ed5 Ponomariov gives 24.Nxf7 dc4 25.bc4 as being best, but after 25...Rfxf7! (other replies lead to an

advantage for White) 26.Rd8+ Bf8 27.Bd5 Bf5! (with the idea of Kg7 and Bc5) the pair of bishops counters the rook.

For example: 28.e4 Bh3 29.Rxf7 Rxf7 30.Ra8 Kg7 31.Bxf7 Bc5+ 32.Kh1 Kxf7.

23...Bxe5 24.Ne4 ed5 25.Rxd5

25.Nf6+!? Bxf6 26.Rxf6 Be6 27.Bxd5 Kg7 28.Rf4 Bxd5 29.Rxd5 Re8 30.Kf2 came into consideration, not

hurrying to part with the extra pawn – (Ponomariov).

25...Re8

25...f6 was also possible.

26.Nd6 Bxd6 27.Rxd6 Rxe3 28.Bd5 Kg7

More vigorous was 28...Bb7!? 29.Kf2 (29.Bc4 b5 30.ab5 ab5 31.Bxb5 Rxb3) 29...Rec3 30.Bxb7 Rxb7 with an

equal rook endgame.

29.Rxb6 Rxe2 30.Rbf6 Draw.

FOUR PAWNS ATTACK

№ 120. G.Bagaturov – A.Shirov

USSR 1989

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f4 0-0 6.Nf3 c5 7.d5 e6 8.Be2 ed5 9.ed5

9...a6

With this pawn structure Black also has other ways of achieving a good game:

a) 9...Bf5 10.0-0 Re8 11.Bd3 Qd7 12.h3 (or 12.Qc2 Na6 13.a3 Nc7 14.Bxf5 gf5 15.Bd2 b5 16.cb5 Ncxd5 17.Nh4

Nxc3 18.Bxc3 Re4 with chances for both sides – Vaisser) 12...Na6 13.a3 Nc7 14.g4 Bxg4! 15.hg4 Qxg4+ 16.Kh2

Qh5+ 17.Kg2 Qg4+ 18.Kh2 b5!, and Black’s attack fully compensates for the sacrificed piece (Conquest-Mestel,

Hastings 1986/87);

b) 9...Nh5 10.0-0 Bxc3 11.bc3 f5 12.Ng5 Ng7 13.Bf3 Nd7 14.Re1 Nf6 15.Rb1 Re8 16.Rxe8+ Qxe8 17.Rb2 Bd7

18.Rxb7 Rb8 19.Rxb8 Qxb8. The game is level (Forintos-Gligoric, Ljubljana 1969).

As regards the pawn sacrifice 9...b5, here it is ineffective – after 10.cb5 a6 11.a4 Black is unable to gain full

compensation.

10.0-0

If 10.a4 Black can revert to the theme of 10...Nh5.

10...b5!

A typical pawn sacrifice for the initiative. Black opens the b-file and frees squares for the development of his

pieces.

11.cb5 ab5 12.Bxb5 Na6 13.Re1 Nc7 14.Bc4

In the event of 14.Bc6 Black exchanges this bishop after 14...Rb8 and 15...Bb7.

14...Rb8 15.a3!?

White is considering the switching of his queen’s rook to e2.

15...Re8 16.Ra2 Rxe1+ 17.Qxe1

White is unable to save a tempo (for the defence of the d5-pawn) by 17.Nxe1 Nd7 18.Na4 Na8!, when after

playing his knight to b6 Black achieves the maximum activity for all his pieces.

17...Bb7 18.Qd1 Nd7 19.Na4 Nf6 20.Nc3 Nd7 21.Na4 Qe8?!

Black’s moral success is obvious: White is agreeable to a draw. But Shirov does not decline the draw in the best

way. He should still have played 21...Na8! with the switching of his knight to b6.

22.b3!

Following the intended plan. If 22.Qd3 Shirov gives the pretty variation 22...Nxd5!! 23.Bxd5 Bd4+! 24.Nxd4

Qe1+ 25.Qf1 Qxf1+ 26.Kxf1 Bxd5 27.Nc6 (White loses after 27.Nc3 Bxa2 28.Nc6 Rb6 29.Ne7+ Kf8 30.Nc8 Rc6

31.Na7 Ra6) 27...Bxc6 28.Nc3 d5, and Black gains the advantage.

22...Qe4 23.Re2 Qf5 24.Re7

24...Nxd5!?

This interesting queen sacrifice enables Black to greatly sharpen the position.

25.Bd3

If 25.Rxd7 Shirov was intending 25...Qxd7 26.Bxd5 Bxd5 27.Qxd5 Qe6!, when Black is not worse.

25...Nxe7 26.Bxf5 Nxf5 27.Bb2 Nf6!

It is important to retain the dark-square bishop.

28.Nb6 h5 29.Nc4 Ba8!

29...d5 was premature in view of 30.Na5 Ba8 31.Be5 Rb5 32.b4! cb4 33.Qa4 Rc5 34.Nb3 Rc8 35.ab4 with

advantage to White (Shirov).

30.Ng5 d5 31.Ne5 d4! 32.Qe2?

After 32.Nexf7 Bd5 33.Ne5 White would have retained a promising position. Now, however, Black’s initiative

becomes irreversible.

32...Bd5 33.Qa6?! Rxb3 34.Qc8+ Bf8 35.Qd8 Rxb2 36.Qxf6 Be7 37.Qa6 Rxg2+ 38.Kf1 Ne3+ 39.Ke1 Nc2+

40.Kd1 Ne3+ 41.Ke1 c4 White resigned.

Belgrade 1997

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f4 0-0 6.Nf3 c5 7.d5 b5 8.cb5 a6 9.a4 ab5

Black cannot derive anything significant from the pin 9...Qa5 10.Bd2 Qb4 11.Bd3 c4 12.Bc2 Qc5 13.Qe2 ab5

14.Be3 (14.Nxb5? is bad because of 14...Nxe4!, while if 14.e5 Black should apparently play 14...Ng4!?, since if he

concedes the centre with 14...de5?! 15.fe5 Nfd7 16.Be3 Qb4 17.Bd4 ba4 18.0-0 Nc5 19.e6! White makes a decisive

breakthrough, Glek-Yanvarev, USSR 1989) 14...Qb4 15.0-0 ba4 16.e5, and White firmly holds the initiative (Glek-

Sorin, Odessa 1989).

10.Bxb5 Ba6 11.Bd2

After 11.Rb1 Bxb5 12.ab5 Nbd7 13.0-0 Nb6 Black has sufficient compensation for the pawn.

11...Bxb5 12.ab5 Rxa1 13.Qxa1 Qb6

In Rausis-Lanka (Germany 1998) Black preferred 13...Nbd7 14.0-0 Nb6 and after 15.Qe1 he parried the attack on

his king: 15...Qd7 16.Qh4 Qg4 17.Qxg4 Nxg4 18.h3 Nf6 19.Ra1 Rb8 20.Ra7 Kf8, retaining equality.

14.0-0 Nbd7

Weaker is 14...Ne8 15.Qe1 Nc7 16.Qh4 Nxb5 17.Nxb5 Qxb5 18.Qxe7, when White gains the advantage

(Nogueiras-Sax, Graz 1984).

15.Qe1!

A multi-purpose move. White prepares to advance his pawn and at the same time plans to switch his queen to the

kingside.

15...Qb7 16.e5

White is at a crossroads and of two tempting continuations he chooses a pawn sacrifice. After the game Lautier

changed his opinion and suggested that the attack 16.Qh4! would have been better, with the approximate continuation

16...e6 17.de6 fe6 18.Ng5 Re8 19.e5 de5 20.Nce4. But a real assessment of this idea can only be given by a practical

testing.

16...Nxd5

In the event of 16...de5 17.fe5 Nxd5 18.e6 N7b6 19.ef7+ Rxf7 20.Qe6 the position is more open and White has an

enduring initiative.

17.e6 N7b6

18.ef7+

Lautier considers a promising possibility to be 18.f5!? gf5 19.Ng5 f6! 20.Nxh7 Kxh7 21.Qh4+ Kg8 22.Rf3 Qc8,

when White has a choice between 23.Rg3 Qxe6 24.Rxg7+ Kxg7 25.Qh6+ Kf7 26.Qh5+ and 23.Rh3 Qxe6 24.Qh7+

Kf7 25.Qh5+, in both cases with a real initiative.

18...Rxf7 19.Ng5 Bd4+

It is useful to activate the bishop with gain of tempo.

20.Kh1 Rf5?!

The queen should not have been allowed to go to e6. After 20...Rf6 21.Qe4 Qa8 22.f5 the initiative is still with

White, of course, but nothing significant is apparent.

21.Qe6+ Kh8

If 21...Kg7 Black has to reckon with 22.Qe4 with the threat of Ng5-e6.

22.Nf7+ Kg7 23.Nd8 Qa8 24.Nc6 Qg8?

An unfortunate queen exchange, after which the passed b-pawn unexpectedly shows its teeth. Playing the queen to

f8 after the preparatory 24...Bxc3 looks more active.

25.Qxg8+ Kxg8 26.Nxd5 Nxd5 27.b6 Nxb6 28.Nxe7+ Kf7 29.Nxf5 gf5 30.Bc3 Ke6 31.Re1+?!

Play has gone into an endgame where White’s exchange advantage should bring him a win, and 31.Bxd4 cd4

32.Kg1 was logical. ‘Urging’ the black king into the centre is contrary to the rules of endgame play, especially since in

this specific case the king is effectively an extra piece.

31...Kd5 32.g4?!

This reversion to sharp play is unjustified, since Black is able to block the passed pawn. Here too 32.Bxd4 was

possible.

32...fg4 33.f5 Nd7 34.Re7 Nf6 35.Kg2 h5! 36.Kg3 Ne4+! 37.Rxe4

After 37.Kf4?! Nxc3 38.bc3 Bxc3 39.Kg5 c4 Black is not in danger of losing.

37...Kxe4 38.f6 Bxf6

In the event of 38...Be3? 39.Kh4 Black loses his kingside pawns without any compensation.

39.Bxf6 d5!

40.Kh4?!

Now the d-pawn will cost White his bishop. As Lautier showed, the saving of the game would have demanded far

more effort after 40.b3! d4. Here are the main variations:

a) 41.Be7 d3 42.Bg5 Kd4! 43.Bd2 Ke4 44.Kh4 Kf3 45.Bc1 Ke2 46.Kxh5 d2 47.Bxd2 Kxd2 48.Kxg4 Kc3 49.h4

Kxb3, and the pawns queen simultaneously;

b) 41.Kf2 Kd3 42.Be7 h4! 43.Ke1 g3! 44.h3 (or 44.hg3 hg3 45.Bxc5 g2 46.Kf2 Kc3 47.b4 d3) 44...g2! 45.Kf2

Kc2 46.Bxc5 d3 47.Be3 Kxb3 48.Kxg2 Kc2 49.Kf3 d2 50.Bxd2 Kxd2 51.Kg4 Ke3 52.Kxh4 Kf4 with a blockade of

the king.

40...d4! 41.Kxh5 Kf3 42.Kg5 d3 43.Bc3 c4! 44.Kf5 Ke2 45.Kxg4 Draw.

Linares 1994

1.c4 g6 2.e4 Bg7 3.d4 d6 4.Nc3 Nf6 5.f4 0-0 6.Nf3 c5 7.dc5

White is aiming for a semi-open position, reckoning to gain time for development after Black’s standard

manoeuvre Qd8-a5xc5.

7...Qa5

Apparently 7...dc5 8.Qxd8 Rxd8 9.e5 Ne8 followed by Nb8-c6 is also possible.

8.Bd3

The capture 8.cd6?! Nxe4 9.de7 Re8 is too risky to be recommended, since White is obviously behind in

development.

8...Qxc5 9.Qe2 Bg4

Black more often begins with 9...Nc6.

10.Be3 Qa5

The most usual queen move. After 10...Qh5 11.0-0 Nc6 12.h3 Black is practically forced to concede the advantage

of the two bishops – 12...Bxf3 13.Rxf3, although after 13...Nd7 he has quite good practical chances.

11.0-0 Nc6

12.Rac1

12.h3 involves a loss of time. After 12...Bxf3 13.Rxf3 Nd7 with the threats of Nd7-c5 and Bg7xc3 Black seizes the

initiative.

12...Nd7

Note should be made of the typical knight manoeuvre in such positions – Nf6-d7-c5, which enables the g7-bishop

to be included in the play and the d3-bishop attacked.

13.Qf2

If 13.Qd2, then 13...Bxf3 14.Rxf3 Nc5 or 14...Bd4 is possible.

13...Bxf3 14.gf3

The capture with the queen 14.Qxf3 Bxc3 15.Rxc3 Qxa2 involves the loss of a pawn, although White has

compensation in view of a possible attack on the kingside.

14...Nc5 15.Bb1 Na4!

Black exchanges the important knight, expanding the activity of his pieces on the queenside.

16.Nxa4 Qxa4 17.b3 Qa3 18.c5

After the opening of the position it is easier for White to exploit the advantage of the two bishops.

18...dc5 19.Bxc5 Qxc5! 20.Rxc5 Bd4 21.Rd1 Bxf2+ 22.Kxf2 Rfd8 23.Rcd5 e6 24.Rxd8+ Rxd8 25.Rxd8+ Nxd8

The light skirmish has concluded with a roughly equal endgame.

26.Ke3 Kf8 27.f5?!

This attempt to get rid of the doubled pawn leads to conceding the d4-square to the knight, which is to Black’s

advantage.

27...e5! 28.f4 f6 29.fe5 fe5 30.fg6 hg6 31.h4 Kg7

31...Ke7! was stronger.

32.Kd3!

The king is aiming for d5.

32...Kf6

Sergey Makarychev points out the possibility of an attack on the h4-pawn: 32...Kh6 33.Kc4 Kh5 34.Kd5 Nc6

35.b4! a6 36.a3 Kxh4 37.Bd3 g5 38.Kd6 g4 39.Be2 Nd4!, and White is forced to give up his bishop, which, however,

is sufficient for a draw, since a mutual elimination of pawns occurs.

33.Kc4 Ke6 34.Kc5 b6+! 35.Kb5 Kd6 36.b4 Kc7 37.a4 Ne6 38.Ba2 Nd4+ 39.Ka6 Kb8 40.Bf7 Nf3 41.Bxg6

Nxh4 42.Bf7 Nf3 43.a5 ba5 44.ba5 Draw.

Gufeld’s Opponents (Part 1)

(Figures indicate game numbers)

Adorjan – 62

Antoshin – 32

Arkell – 57

Atalik – 24, 25

Azmaiparashvili – 30

Bagirov – 5, 6

Barcza – 50

Bates – 45

Beliavsky – 9

Blatny – 59

Bronstein – 1

Browne – 14, 27

Conquest – 44

Garcia, G. – 40

Geller – 56

Gligoric – 7

Gorelov – 65

Gulko – 48

Henley – 20

Ivkov – 31

Kaidanov – 38

Ker – 10

Kolarov – 53

Korchnoi – 49

Kotronias – 16

Kuzmin, G. – 55

Lanka – 67

Leski – 51

Lputian – 37

Lutikov – 8

Mestel – 17

Minev – 42

Nei – 63

Parker – 43

Petkevich – 29

Petrosian, Т. – 28

Peturin – 12

Petursson – 15

Pigusov – 61

Polgar, Zsu. – 11

Polugaevsky – 3, 4, 23, 35, 36

Pribyl – 64

Rashkovsky – 58

Sahovic – 34

Seirawan – 13

Shamkovich – 2

Sherbakov – 26

Shneider – 21

Stein – 33

Taimanov – 19

Tegsuren – 18

Vaganian – 52

Vogt – 22

Vukic – 60

Westerinen – 54

Yermolinsky – 46

Zaichik – 39

Zaitsev, I. – 47

Zilberberg – 66

Zilberman – 41

Azmaiparashvili – Fedorov 104

Baburin – Ponomariov 119

Bagaturov – Shirov 120

Bareev – Radjabov 87

Beliavsky – Kasparov 68, 73, 118

– Radjabov 96

– Strikovic 113

– Yurtaev 108

Christiansen – Temirbaev 72

Ehlvest – Kasparov 109

Georgiev, Kir. – Ponomariov 85

– Radjabov 115

Giri – Bacrot 81

Hort – Polgar 107

Ibragimov – Bosboom 111

Istratescu – Fedorov 75

Ivanchuk – Shirov 94

Kamsky – Yurtaev 95

Karpov – Hansen, C. 74

Kasimdzhanov – Nisipeanu 98

Kasparov– Ivanchuk 114

Kramnik – Gelfand 100

– Grischuk 82

– Kasparov 83, 99

– Shirov 84

Lautier – Shirov 121

Malakhov – Zviagintsev 97

Mikhalevski – Rashkovsky 110

Naumkin – Smirin 101

Piket – Gelfand 91

– Kasparov 92, 93

Ponomariov – Grischuk 79

– Topalov 112

Psakhis – Avrukh 117

Rowson – Nunn 77

Sasikiran – Kasimdzhanov 106

Shirov – Radjabov 86, 88

Spassky – Fischer 76

Timman – Kasparov 69, 71

– Topalov 70

Tomashevsky – Ponomariov ....78

Topalov – Kasparov 122

van der Sterren – Kamsky 103

van Wely – Cvitan 80

– Fedorov 89

– Ivanchuk 90

Yusupov – Kindermann 116

Zviagintsev – Beliavsky 102

Index of Variations

(Figures indicate game numbers)

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

6...e5

7.Nge2 1, 68, 69

7.d5 2, 70, 71

6...b6 3, 4, 5, 72

6...Nc6

7.Nge2 a6 8.Qd2 Rb8

9.a4 7

9.d5 8

9.Nc1 e5 10.Nb3 9, 10, 73

10.d5 11, 74, 75

9.Bh6 6, 12

9.h4 76, 77

8.d5 13

8.a3 14

7.Qd2 a6 8.0-0-0 15

6...c5 78, 79

6.Bg5 Nc6 16, 17, 18

Classical Variation

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be2 e5

7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7

9.b4

9...Nh5 10.g3 19, 80, 81, 82

10.c5 20, 21

10.Re1 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89

9...a5 90

9.Bd2 Nh5 10.g3 22

10.Rc1 91

9.Ne1 Nd7 10.Nd3 23

10.Be3 24, 25, 92, 93

9.Nd2

9...c6 94

9...c5 26, 27, 95

9...a5 96, 97, 98

7.d5

7...Nh5 28

7...Nbd7 8.Bg5 Nc5 9.Qc2 a5 10.0-0 29, 30, 101

8...h6 9.Bh4 g5 10.Bg3 Nh5 31, 99

7...a5 8.Bg5 h6 9.Bh4 Na6 10.0-0 Qe8 32, 100

8.h3 102

7.Be3

7...Qe7 33

7...Ng4 8.Bg5 f6

9.Bc1 Nc6 34, 103

9.Bh4 104, 105

7...h6 106

Variations with the development of the bishop on g5

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Be2 0-0 6.Bg5 c5 7.d5

7...e6 35, 36

7...h6 37, 38, 107

7.dc 39

6...h6 7.Be3 c5 8.dc 40, 108

6.Be3 c5 7.d5 b5 41

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Bg5 c5 6.d5 42, 43, 44

5.h3 0-0 6.Bg5 c5 7.d5

7...b5 45, 46, 110

7...e6 111, 112

7...a6 113

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.Nf3 0-0 5.Bg5 c5 47, 48, 109

Variations with the bishop fianchetto on g2

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.g3 0-0 5.Bg2 d6 6.Nf3

6...Nc6 7.0-0

7...Bf5 49, 50, 51

7...e5 52, 53, 54, 114

7...a6 55, 56, 57, 115

7.d5 Na5 8.Nd2 c5 9.0-0

9...a6 58, 116, 117

9...e5 118

9.Qc2 e5 59

6...c5 7.Nc3 Nc6 8.d5 60

7.dc 61, 62, 119

Four Pawns Attack

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f4 0-0 6.Nf3 c5 7.d5

7...e6 8.Be2 ed 9.cd 63

9.ed 120

7...b5 65, 66, 121

7.dc 122

6.Bd3 c5 7.d5 e6 8.de 67

4...0-0 5.f4 c5 6.d5 b5 64

## Mult mai mult decât documente.

Descoperiți tot ce are Scribd de oferit, inclusiv cărți și cărți audio de la editori majori.

Anulați oricând.