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ie. © Grandmaster Repertoire Lubomir a renter men Fd Tired of bad positions? Try the main lines! QUALITY CHESS g 4 The Sicilian Defence By Lubomir Ftacnik S Quality Chess www.qualitychess.co.uk t edition 2010 by Quality Chess UK Led. Copyright © 2010 Lubomir Ftacnik Grandmaster Repertoire 6 - The Sicilian Defence All rights reserved, No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored ina retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, electrostatic, magnetic cape, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior permission of the publisher. Paperback ISBN 978-1-906552-08-4 Hardcover ISBN 978-1-906552-07-7 All sales or enquiries should be directed to Quality Chess UK Led, 20 Balvie Road, Milngavie, Glasgow G62 7TA, United Kingdom Phone +44 141 227 6771 e-mail: info@qualitychess.co.uk website: www.qualityehess.co.uk Distributed in US and Canada by SCB Distributors, Gardena, California, US ‘winw.scbdistribucors.com Distributed in Rese of the World by Quality Chess UK Lid through Sunrise Handicrafts, Smyczkowa 4/98, 20-844 Lublin, Poland ‘Typeset by Jacob Aaguard Proofreading and computer checking by Colin McNab ‘Addicional analysis by Jacob Aageard and Christoph Tiemann, Edited by Andrew Greet Cover design by Adamson Design Printed in Estonia by Tallinna Raamatutriikikoja LLC. Series Foreword Creating the Grandmaster Repertoire series seemed a natural idea. ‘There is a glut of opening books at the Starting Out level. These books have certainly been refreshing, but they have almost completely replaced high-level opening books. As chess fans, -we Felt we were missing out, and because we can, we decided 0 do something about it. The books in the Grandmaster Repertoire series are written by grandmasters, edited by gtandmasteis, and will certainly be read by grandmasters. This does not mean that players who are not grandmasters cannot read them, We have worked hard to make our books clear in their presentation and to make it possible for the readers to decide the depth t0 which they want co study them. When we were young and trying to be up-and-coming, we understood that you do not have to remember everything in an opening book in ordet to use it. Iris our hope that those readers who find this repertoire too extensive and detailed, will ignore many of the details. Even now that we are grandmasters, we see the bolded moves as what we want to memorize, and the notes as explanations and illustrations. It is our conviction that you will eventually be more successful by playing che main lines, simply because they are based on better moves. Instinctively most players know this, but they fear losing to a prepared line and thus turn to unambitious systems, or unhealthy surprises. The opponent will not be able to use his preparation but, sadly, will not need it. These sidelines generally end in uninspiring positions almost automatically. Possibly the main reason why high-level opening books have disappeared is the rise of databases. It has been assumed that there is no point in having traditional opening books anymore, as you can look icall up in che database. Some rather lazy authors have a system: collect a few hundred games from the database, give Erite a few moments, then hit Print, Such books add nothing to chess literature. We have seen enough of them and have never wanted to add to that pile. In these days of multi-million game databases, we all have access to information, what is lacking is understanding. In the Grandmaster Repertoire series, very strong players will share their understanding and suggest strong new moves that are in no one else's database. ‘We are: excited about this series and hope that the reader will share some of that excitement, John Shaw & Jacob Aagaatd Quality Chess Contents Key to symbols used & Bibliography From Russia Sicily with Love - Inttoduction Minor Systems Pandora's (Chess) Box - Miscellaneous 2nd moves Some Like It Hot - The Motta Gambit Forrest Guinp - The ¢3-Vatiation Closed Systems Up Close(d) and Personal - Without g3 A Bridge ‘Too Far - 3.¢3 Anti-Open Systems Fight Club - Various Blade Runner - 3.8b5¢ ‘The Last Samurai - 4.Wied4 Minor Open Lines ‘The Misfits - 6th Move Sidelines Sideways - 6.3 ‘The Karate Kid - 6.h3 Pulp Fietion - 6.f4 The Rock - 6.802 Midnight Express - 6.2e4 2m) 37 67 85 101 119 133 149 161 175 183 207 251 English Attack 15. The English Patient - 6.2¢3 ¢5 16 Predator - Perenyi Attack: 6.2¢3 6 7.64 17 Four Weddings and a Funeral - 6.863 c6 7.8 Classic Main Line 21 License to Kill - 6.825 €6 22 Blood Diamond - 6.825 Dbd7 Variation index 285 323 333 379 405 420 Key to symbols used $ Whites slightly beter EB Black is slightly better = White is better + Black is becter t= White has a decisive advantage Black has a decisive advantage equality with compensation with counterplay unclear ath match game aweak move ablunder a good move an excellent move amove worth considering amove of doubtful value mate Bibliography ‘Aagaard and Shaw (Editors): Expert o. she Sicilian (2nd Edicion), Quality Chess 2006 Arizmendi and Moreno: Mastering the Najdorf, Gambit 2004 Emms: Play the Nojdorf: Scheveningen Style, Everyman 2003 Emms and Palliser: Daragerous Weapons: The Sicilian, Everyman 2006 Emms, Palliser and Wells: Dangerous Weapons: Ansi-Sicilians, Everyman 2009 Georgiev and Kolev: The Sharpest Sicilian, Chess Stars 2007 Greet: Starting Our: The Accelerated Dragon, Everyman 2008 Lund: Rook ax. Tivo Minor Pieces, Quality Chess 2005 ighting the Ansi-Sicilians, Everyman 2007 Rizzitano: Play the Najdorf Sicilian, Gambit 2010 Rogozenko: Anti-Sicilians: A Guide for Black, Gambit 2003 Sammalvuo: The English Artack, Gambit 2004 Periodicals hess Informant Chesspublishing com New In Chess Magazine ‘New In Chess Yearbooks TWIC Megabase Corr. Database Introduction From Russie-Sicily with Love First I would like to express my gratitude to the reader for opening this book on the Sicilian Defence, Credit muse go 00 the Quality Chess team and their excellent authors whose efforts resulted in the creation of a real buzz abour the Grandmaster Repertoire series. To follow in the footsteps of the previous titles made for a daunting challenge and I hope that the presenc books, the sixth volume in the series, will ive up ro the readers’ high expeccations. ‘The unparalleled popularity of the Sicilian bas led to the creation of an entite chess galaxy that is too vast for even the best and brightest minds to comprehend fully. Each player chooses his Kan, Sveshnikoy, Dragon or other pet variation, around which he creates his own Sicilian world. My own modest expertise lies in the domains of the Najdorf and Scheveningen systems, which | have been playing and studying over the past two decades, ‘The Scheveningen system represents a kind of foundational cove, from which virtaally all knowledge about thematic Sicilian structures and plans can be traced. Although the official subject of this book is the Najdorf variation, the two systems share many common themes and can often transpose to one another. In cercain places, such as Chapters 12 and 13 (which deal with the variations 6.F4 and 6,82 respectively), the decision to recommend the response 6...e6, instead of equally valid alternatives such a 6..c5, was influenced by my fondness for the Scheveningen set-up. I make no apologies for this, as | believe thac an author can make che most useful contribution when writing about his own areas of expertise. Ac the end of the day this repertoire book is about cherry-picking the best and brightest ideas from the enormous jungle of variations available. In same sense the repertoire is notable not only for the recommendations that were included, buc also for the attractive ones chae (sometimes after agonizing deliberations) did not malke the final cut. The whole Sicilian Defence creates something of a ‘winewin’ situation, in the sense that the unbalanced positions often result in bloodshed for ne side or the other. In some variations Black may have to defend for a while, but it rarely kills his chances for a subsequent counterattack and ultimate success Thave tried co address all che most imporcant ideas in every chapter, but practice will inevitably bring some new challenges, so please be prepared for some surprises. Nobody can foresee the Future — it is often difficult enough to ‘predict’ the past (just ask any decent historian). Thave often hankered for a bit of calour in our seemingly dey, black and white world of technical annotations, symbols and diagrams. Asa young man I came across a game that is played in social situations, involving association with the names of films. Movies can often be symbolic, full of Cultural references and associative bridges ~ evoking colours and emotions unlike any other form 8 Introduction of media, I hope for some readers the chapter titles will evoke some positive feelings and help co place the struggle to master chess into a broader perspective ‘This entire project has at times threatened 0 pull me down and drag me under the deep waters of endless lines and multiplying ideas. I am greatly indebted for the help and encouragement of John Shaw, Jacob Aagaard and Andrew Greet of Quality Chess. The love, care and understanding of my wife Katarina went so far that she is happy to be woven becween the lines appreciate the attention of any reader who glances beyond this preface. The main rule of the survival guide in Black's Sicilian galaxy is to Die Anodher Day — be prepared to go under at any moment, but try to resist and stzike back. The final (or should chat be Fata?) attraction of the Sicilian is the faer that itis truly dangerous — for both sides! Lubomir Fracnik Bratislava, June 2010 Minor Systems Pandora's (Chess) Box - Miscellaneous 2nd moves Variation Index let Te5 A) 2.Ba3" B) 2.63 De6 3.262 5 Bi) 4.804 B2) 4.865 ©) 2.b4 cxb4 Cl) 3.d4 C2) 3.862 C3) 3.93 D) 2.43 d5!2 Di) 3.2d2 D2) 3.exd5, E) 2.Dez Af6 3.Abe3 d5 4.exd5 Axd5 5.Axd5 Wxd5 El) 6.23 E2) 6.44 ¥)2g3 A) nove to 3.03 C2) after 9.04 F) nore 10 9.942 10 12 13 15. 15 16 17 19 19 a 2 23 2B 25 abedete 14..b61N 10 Minor Systems a b ede f g h “They say that a happy ending makes earlier troubles fade avray, but what should we do about a scary beginning? The present chapter, featuring chess horrors ofall imaginable forms vwas impossible to avoids it isa «rue Pandora’s box of manifold troubles Caissa is storing for her devoted followers. Fortunately, most of these sidelines are not so dangerous and in comparison. with the sharpest and most complicated Sicilian variations they lack some sparicle, Nevertheless we should still eake some time to find out how best to greet these exotic visitors In this Chapter we will consider the following moves: A) 2,a312, B) 2.b3, C) 2.b4, D) 2.43, E) 2.2e2 and F) 2.g3. A) 2.30 This kinky idea came into the limelight at the end of 2005 after Zvjaginsev used ir three times in the Russian Championship, defeating Khalifman and drawing with Dreev and Morylev. Many games later, one has to admit that ic is much more sensible than an initial glance might suggest. 2g Black can play just about anything, but the text move is logical as it avoids creating any kind of weakness that the a3-knight may exploit. 3.3 Once again White can play just about anything, so we will imic ourselves to a couple of instructive examples to show how the game might develop, 3.g3 Gg7 4.092 Deb 5.43 do 6.14 Of 7.263 0-0 8.0-0 Bb8 9.2ic4 bS 10.2e3 Ags 11.25 (11.861 b4 12.2\c4 WeFF) 11...06 12.203 b4 13.82 a5¢ Whites knight has used an extraordinary amount of time to reach 2 normal square, Zvjaginsev - Kobalia, Novokuznetsk 2008. 3.f4 O97 4. DB Ac6 5.8b5 OF 6.8xc6 bxc6 This is the more ambitious recapture, although the alterative can also lead to interesting play: 6..dx06 7.43 0-0 8.0-0 b5 9.Hcl Ba6 10.8d2N (10.c5 @d57 Popelyshey — Viliavin, Moscow 2007) 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 abe d 10...Axed!? (10..d7=)_11.8a5! Yes 12.Whe4 Bxb2 13.5 Wd7 14.Bacl Oxad 15.De5 Was} 16.Yixd4 oxd4 17.Dxc6 Bes 18.Dxd4 The explosive sequence has only resulted in equality. 7.43 0-0 Chapter 1 - Miscellaneous 2nd moves rr Also ptomising is 7...d5 8.05 g4 9.h3 Qh6 10.g4 £6 11 exh exf6 12, We2t £7 13.0-0 He8r Black has the more position, and the slight compromising of his pawn structure is of litele consequence. 8.0-0 Bb8 9.fel dé 10.Wh4 Dd7 11.5 6 12,8ad8 Bxd8 13.fxe6 fre6 14.04 5. 15.Qa5 Bb6F Black’s position is already slightly more pleasant, Popelyshev — Arakelov, Kostroma 2008. Bung? HRY RD 426 Alternatives are possible, but there is no particularly convincing way 10 make use of the position of the knight on 23 4.f4 c6 5.03 d5 6.063 6 7.Re2 Dge7 8.0-0 0-0 with equal chances, 4.d4 cxd4 S.cxd4 46 (Also interesting is 5.517 G.exdS Df6 7.8b5t Dbd7 8.d6 0-0 9.dxe7 Wxe7# 10.8e2 Hd8 11.0-0 Bc5 when Black can claim sufficient compensation for the missing pawn.) 6h3 @f6 7.243 0-0 8.26 06 9.0-0 €5 10.d5 This position was reached in Papa — Wirthensoha, Switzerland 2007, and here I suggest 10...b4N 11.8b1 Ba6 12.Le3 b6 with roughly equal chances. Black has a solid position wich enough scope for counterplay. 4... D6 Black should wait for che most suirable foment before developing the other knight. After 4..0f6 5.05 Bd5 6.d4 cxdd 7.Bxddt Db6 8.Wh4 White had slightly easier play in Shabalov — Izoria, Philadelphia 2006. 5.44 ‘This seems like the most natural move. 5.£b5 DI 6.e5!N ‘This energetic move has not yet been tested. 6.43 0-0 7.0-0 d5 is at least equal for Black. 6.245 7.d4 exd4 8.83 Or 8.cxd4 0-0 with equality. 8...De7 9.cxd4 AxbS 10.Axb5 26 11.23 do ‘The position is equal although White must play carefully, lest che lighesquared bishop eventually achieve his “15 minutes of fame. Smend4 G.cxdd DiG 7.d5 DbE 8.d30 8.la4 a5 9c? Dyed} 10.xe2 0-0 imending ..d6 was equal in Hole — Belakesletten, e-mail 2006, 8...0-0 9.0-0 Dxd3N 12 ‘Minor Systems Eliminating the opponents bishops is usually a good policy for Sicilian players, and the present case is no exception. Nevertheless Black was alo okay after 9..d6 10.204 Sef 11.b3 Sxf3 12. Wxf3 Bc8, Zvjaginsey — Bocharoy, Tomsk 2006. 10,Wxd3 d6 11.83 87 Black has already equalized comfortably. B) 2.b3 Black may sleep soundly in the knowledge that the system with fiancheuo of the bishop to b2 is not going to refute the Sicilian, At the same time the idea is certainly not completely stupid, and has been used with success by some strong players including Shore 2.86 3.862 5, Nw RU A ow abede ‘The advance of the pawn to e5 isa provoca- tive, yet entirely sound strategy, as the proud bishop is now biting into granite. We will con- sider ewo main moves for White: B1) 4.204 and B2) 4.85. 4 iat ‘This pawn sacrifice has been White's most popular choice, but 1 do nat believe ie to be a really serious option. Black should simply accept the gift and develop naturally: Iwill not mention every possible White continuation, juse offer a few illustrative lines. 4..exf4 5. DF3 B66 6.05 BhS 6...2d5 is also okay, but I prefer not to obstruce the d-pawn. The knight is far from dim on h5. 7-Be2 dS 8.0-0 96 9.06 tried to improve White's play with 9.2ic3N, but after 9..d4 10.Me4 Be7 11.Ael BFS 12.8xh5 Sxe4 13.8 Sxf3 14.0xf3 p54 ‘White remains a pawn down, and che bishop on b2 is still a miserable piece. 9... Bg? 10.8xg7 Bing? 11 .exf7t cox? 12. Bel Deb 13.d3 y7t Black remained a pawn up in Romanov ~ Kurnosov, Minsk 2006. In the event of: 14. Dxfd Dxfd 15.8x64 WAG Black keeps a clear advantage, thanks co his better mobilization. Bi) 4.8c4 This is a sensible plan. White plays to control the light squares that were weakened by Blacks last move, The b2-bishop is still bad, but ‘White hopes to prepare f2-f4 after completing development and castling. If Black reacts too passively then he might end up in a difficult position, but if he plays accurately then he should be fine 4,6 5.43 16 6.23 KR wR OS @ Chapter 1 - Miscellaneous 2nd moves 13 Guo Be7 Another decent approach is 6..a6 7.a& £6 8.2ge? Bg7 9.0-0 0-0 10.h3 Bb8 11.F6 ex 12.8xt4 Bd7 13.8cl (13.8b12 Ades 14.A\ce2 Bd7 looks about equal) 13...Ade5 14.2d5 Sd7 15.Wd2 Wg5% Black's position ‘was somewhat more pleasant in Kosten — V. Rajlich, Internet 2006. 7.Dge2 0-0 8.0-0 Leb! Black wastes no time in fighting for the central squares. Instead the following encounter illustrates the potential dangers: 8.26 9.04 Odd 10.h3 B06 11.6 Od7 12.5. Bxct 13.duc4 295 14.9d5 Af6 15.Dec3 with a stable advantage for White, Shore ~ Prasad, ‘Mumbai 2004. Of 9, We2 was played in Gelashvili - Gabrielian, Gyumri 2008, and now I suggest 9. .dSIN. ‘This central break solves all Black’s problems. l0.exd5 @xd5 11Axd5 Sxd5 12.4 Bf Black is holding his own in the centre with full, equality. 9... Algal? ‘This must be better than the cooperative Susexf4 10.Axf4 Wd7 11.2cd5 with some initiative for White, Shengelia ~ D, Eggleston, Banyoles 2007. 10.Wd2 exfs Hee Rea © 11, Oxf White does not gain much from 11.2d5 252 (L18g5 is also fine) 12h4 (12.93: Bxd5! 13.00d5 Add 14.Bxd4 B16 15.¢f8 cxd4 16.fxgs Be5 is dangerous for White) TWBxdS 13.ecd5 Deed 14hxgs Sxg5 £4 WA6 with equal chances. 12xe4 12bxed B66 13.Dfe2 dé 14.Bab1 &g5 15.2F4 Was: Black’s active piece play was enough to balance his opponent’s central majority, Blazeka ~ Idani, Kemer 2009. B2) 4.8b5 HP eR UaAde D4 There is nothing much wrong with allowing, doubled c-pawns, but perhaps out of general principle I prefer to prevent White’ idea and break a certain opening principle, S.ftod Ac firse glance the following alternative does not look like « serious option for White: 5nd? exd4 However, Black will need to play wich a certain amount of care as he is behind in development. 6.23 AiG 7.0-0 26 8.843 Was 9:63 decd 10.Axc3 Sb4t “4 Minor Systems ‘This looks better than 10...fa3 11.04 d6 12.0d5 Qxd5 13.8xd5 0-0 14.d4# The bishop on d5 shines brightly. 11. Wer Or Ibkcd Bxc3 12.dxe3 Wes 13.d3 (13.24 b6 14.d3 Bb7-) 13..b5 14.8d5 xd5 15.exd5 f= Black will soon catch up. on development and then enjoy a healthy position, 11...d6 12.23 Bxc3 13.dxc3 0-0 14.22 Be6 15.Bfel Back 16.04 Qd7 Black has obtained comfortable equality, ‘Wohl - Palac, Metz 2001 RR wb RAD ow San Should the reader feel more adventurous he might wish to consider the following daring queen foray, which. is. intended to detive some benefit from the pesky knight on d4, (Disclaimer: This would be done on the teaders’ own risk!) 5 clltgSI? 6.diad4 ‘This looks more critical than 6.92FL B16 7.263 Wh5 8.21c3 2d61? 9.h4 a6, 6... Hilxg? 7.885 7B Wsf3 82x23 exdd 9.0-0 Se7 leaves White wich insufficient compensation. So far we have been following the game Gelashvili ~ ‘Thoma, Panormo 2001, which did not continue in a pleasant way for Black, So I found an interesting new idea: 7.A6RN ‘The game continued 7...Ah6 8. Wrest SB 9.203 Wich! 10.63 Wg? 11.21c3 do 12.5 with a dangerous initiative for White. 8.Sxf7t 8x5}! thd8 9.8c3 Wehl tums out badly for Whire, Compared with the aforementioned game, the black knight is mach better on {6 than h6. 8...2d8 9G Hf. 10.xf3 exd4 11 2xe5 B46 12.6 Dined 13.Hg1= We ive waked & somenbae inepaler queenless position, with approximately balanced chances. 6.23 Be7 ‘The position is essentially the same as line BI, except for the inclusion of the ‘free’ move . Deb6-d4, 7. Dge2 0-0 8.d3 BS Playing for ..b5 is the most natural way to utilize the knight's presence on d4, 90-0 White can also try 9.24 a6 10.25, although in this case the a-pawn might become a target. Play continues 10..d6 11.Wd2 Bc6 12.845 Drid5 13.8xd5 Leb 140-0 Bxd5 15.exd5 Dd4 16.f4 Bf6 with roughly even chances, although White may have to be slightly more careful due to his pawn weaknesses, Gclashvili = Najer; Panormo 2001. Chapter 1 - Miscellaneous 2nd moves 6 9..d6 10.04 a6 HN BR HO Las? White pushes his a-pawn inco a precarious position in order to preveat ..b5 for good. ‘Another possibility is 11.4 &g4 12.h3 847 13.a5 We7 14.842 h6 with mutual chances. UDe6 12.0d5 Oxd5 13.8xd5 DxaS 14.44 B66 15.23 15.fce5 Bxe5 16.Bxe5 dxeS 17.d2 b6 18.b4 cxb4 19.¥xb4 Se6 looks abour equal. White has enough positional compensation for the sacrificed pawn, but not more, 15...b6 16.8xa5 bxa5 17.5 2d7 18.3 g6 19.4 bh ‘We have been following the game Ivanisevie = Fercec, Ljubljana 2005. The position is complex and difficult for both sides. White seemis to have good positional compensation, although it should be remembered that only one of his pieces can occupy the d5-square. Black, on the other hand, can hope to activate his bishop pair in the long run. In the game the second player eventually prevailed after a tough fight ©) 2.b4 exbd HN Yew DA ab ¢ @ ic ‘The Sicilian is often associated with pawn sacrifices. This one is earlier than most, and is not considered theoretically promising aldsough Black should play cautiously and treat it with respect. We will consider three options for White: Cl) 3.44, C2) 3.2b2 and C3) 3.a3. C1) 3.d4 Dfot 3ad5 is not a bad move and should probably give Black some advantage, but I believe the text to be slightly more accurate, 4203 D6 5.De2 ‘White struggles to find a set-up that could justify his sacrificed pawn. For instance: 5.5 Ads 6.Bed eG 7.D3 d6 8.0-0 Se7 9123 dxe5 10.dxe5 was Schneider — Schenk, Germany 2004, and now Black could have secured a clear advantage with the simple 10...0-0N. 5.21B d5 6.5 De4 7.0-0 8g4 8.8206 9.Wer ig5 10.2ibd? Be7 was also clearly better for Black in Philippe — Lerner, Metz. 1996. 5.nd6 6.0-0 g6t The bishop will be well placed on g7, and the solid fianchet‘o formation will bolster the kingside againse any attacking ideas. 16 “Minos Systems HNO RUA @ abede 7.Dd2 Bg7 8.£4 0-0 9.8h1 Se4 10.2b2 @d7 11.0 D5 12.8b1 Bxd3 13.8xd3 dst ‘White is not only a pawn down, but also overexposed in the centre and generally in deep trouble, Jurkovic ~ Dyoirys, Oberwart 1999. C2) 3.2b2 D6 fog h Just as in the previous line, I believe this to be slightly more accurate than the immediate central strike with 3..d5. 45 After 4.ic4 Black should not hesitate to enter the complications with 4...2xe4 5.Gxf77 xt? 6.57 gs 7.WdSt e6 8. xed MeG-9.213 d5 10,2 Se7 when he was already much better in Rogers ~ Hocksema, Groningen 1991 4,045 Ce 5.8 ‘The evaluation is not changed by: 5.4 Db6 6.863 26 7.03 Compared with the previous nore, GM Rogers had a mare favourable experience on the black side of this opening in the same tournament after 7.44 d5 S.exd6 Bxd6 98S B06 10.Me2 Ld5 11.8xd5 xd5 12.Mhad5 Bixd5 13.0-0 Ba5 14.20d2 Bes> Houtman — Rogers, Gr 7.06 8.axb4 Sxb4 9.023 Lexd6 &xd6r White remained apawn down with normuch to show for i, Cierny = Lane, Topolcianky 1994, 5.Dc6 6.03 06 Also promising is 6..d6!N for instance: 7.Acd BbG 8.863 25 9.0-0 a4 10.822 06 L1exd6 Wxd6 12.axb4 Qxb4F White will struggle to get anything real for che missing pawn. Tuaxh4 Sxb4 8.c3 £e7 9.c4 ‘This was Baumert — Kovalev, Berlin 1993, and now I suggest: Chapter 1 - Miscellaneous 2nd moves 7 He eR UO Wo 9... db4IN ‘This looks stronger than the game continuation of 9..f4 10.g3 Qg6 11.822 0-0 12.0-0 d6 13.exd6 &xd6 14.44 when White had reasonable compensation, 10.23 0-0 11.25 a6 12.902 Bb8 13.2d6 £65 Black's position remains solid, and as long as he stays alert he will have good chances to make his extra pawn count in the long run. C3) 3.03 d5! ‘his has for a long time been known as an effective response to Whites plan. 4uexd5 Bxd5 5.083 The simple wap of S.axb4?? WeSt has embarrassed a few Wing Gambit practitioners over the years 505, The solid 5...c6 is a reasonable alternative, but the text is more ambitious. G.axb4 6A ‘This has not been the most common move, but it requires accurate handling from Black 6, Heb, think this is the best square for the queen, 7.442 ‘This is the critical continuation, secking to blast open as many lines as possible. 147 8.202 d3t Ic is important to play chis here in order to disrupt the harmony of White's position before he can castle. 9.Mxd3 BK 10.0-0 Iaxb4 This position was reached in Shirazi — ‘Tregubov, Livry Gagran (rapid) 2009, and here [ found an improvement for Black: te Qc6 11.Hel Be7 12adixbAlN ‘The game continuation of 12...xb4? 13.Wd2 0-0 14.2f1 Wd6 15.Exe7! Wxe7 16.223 gave Black sctious problems. 13.82 0-07 18 Minor Systerns White will have a hard time demonstrating compensation for the missing pawn 6..8xb4 7.03 7.23 x23 followed by give White much, Tod The point of this slightly unusual move is to defend the c7-square. The obvious 7...8¢7 B.Da3 Do 9.Db5 ds 10.44 exd4 1.8/4 bP 12.Dc7 Bb8 13.Bxd4 Bd7 is playable for Black but nor so pleasant in practice. Ac6 does not 8.33 Deb Also possible is 8..,.Df6 9.0b5 2c6 10.421 (Better was 10.8c4N, although afier 10,..2ett 11 We2 Wae2} 12.dexe2 &b8 13.095 Sp4t 14.68 Bh5 15.43 6 Black has no: worties at all.) 10...M§e6 11.2xd6+ Wad6 12.243 Wey 13.e2 ef 14.495 h6 15.5h3 Lexh3 16.gxh3 0-0-0 And Black was already clearly better in Greie ~ Malpas, Australia 1997. 9.8.04 ‘White needs something crisper than either of the following moves: 9.2b5 £b8 10.Ba4 D ge7 11. 2c4 Wed 12.hF1 Wg6 13.44 0-0 14.d5 Ed87 Rombaldoni = Miladinovic, Assisi 2003. 9.24 Sc7 10,23 Wd8 11.84 ef 12.Dg1 BeS 13.823 Dxcd 14.Axc4 ALG White was struggling for compensation in Balakanova ~ Chernenko, Pavlodar 2008 9..Wekt 10.862 Lalko considered the untested: 10.8f12N Be4 Black can alo try 10..h6? 11d4 2g4 12.265 with a very lively game. U2gse is is perhaps the most accurate. 11...8xd1 leads to 2 roughly level ending after 12.Sxf7t Be7 13. Oxe4 Bxa3 14 Sxa3t SSxf7 15 BxdI b6. Blacke can even try the surprising 11...Wd342 12.8xd3 ded] 13.Db5 Hd8 14.DxdGt Bxd6 15.265 with complex play, 124 Wxgs! 13.8xg5 Sxd1 14.065 Sbs 15.2xd1 a6 White has a hard time demonstrating compensation. \ge? is looks like the most natural move, although the following game showed another way to deal with Whites activity: 10..&6 11. Ded Be7 12.d4 exd4 13.cxd4 Be6 14.8e3 Dge7 15.0-0 Bd8 16.223 Bb6 17.a4 0-0 18.De5 WEE 19.Dxc6 bxc6F Bronstein — ‘Comp Chess Master 4000, The Hague 1995 Chapter 1 - Miscellaneous 2nd moves 19 Hee Ro a © BO we BOG by Sr os UAct After 11.065 &b8 12.44 exd4 13.Bbxd4 Dxd4 14.cxd4 0-0 15.0-0 Wd5 16.8c1 2d6 17.2b1 Qd7 18.843 8c6 19.864 WhS Black was a pawn up for not much, WindPower — ‘Taka, Internet 2007. Even on the Intemec this gambit is ineffective! 11...2c7 12.223 0-0 13.0-0 Se6 14.0g5 Wg6 15.2\xe6 red 16.Wb3 Babs 17.21 Bfds ‘White kepr some positional compensation, which gave him reasonable chances to equalize in Haub - Lukoy, Giessen 1994, D) 2.43 This is a modest move, although unlike some others at least it does not lose a pawn! Jokes aside, there is nothing much wrong with the text move and White may have ideas such as playing a Closed Sicilian set-up without committing the knight to <3. 2...d52 I rather like this energetic response. In fact, I decided to make it a theme for the present chapter to play energetically with ..d5 whenever White played quictly enough to allow it. aib ec d ¢€ 7 We will now consider two main options: Di) 3.242 and D2) 3.exd5. OF course, there are other playable moves and it would be pointless to:analyse every one of them in deal. In most.cases Black can simply develop his pieces in anormal fashion to obtain a comfortable game. One point, worth mentioning briefly, is that he should normally resist the temptation to exchange on e4 and dl in the early stages, as the pawn structure with e4 versus ¢5 with an open defile favours White slightly. gh D1) 3.0d2 Ac 4.93 White elects to play a King’s Indian Defence with an extra tempo. 4.46 Another playable setup is 4..c6 5.892 96 6.A\gf3 £¢7 7.0-0 Dge?, but that is a difference story. 5.892 96 ‘The fiancheteo system is one of White’ best choices against the standard King’s Indian, and is one of those lines that can be played a tempo down without any severe drawbacks, as long as vwe avoid any really sharp variations L will mention one other line, which might appeal to creative players: 20 Minor Systems 5.26 6.4 e52N ‘This surprising move looks really interesting, as White is not ideally placed to deal with « quick opening of the centre. 7.Bgh3 ext 8 gxFl 7 9.0-0 0-0F The position of the first player is more dangerous than it may appear at first glance. 6.Dgh3 Ir looks too risky for White to play 6.4? ded 7.dxed 5 8.Dg exl 9.gxf4 D5 10.2b3 Wad1 + 11.sbxd1 b6 12.c5 Se4 with unpleasant pressure for Black, Movsesan — Kamsky; Moscow 2008. 6.n8g7 7:0-0.0-0 ‘We have reached a well-known King’s Indian position, which you can find analysed in great derail in the second of Boris Aveukh’s 1.44 volumes in the same Grandmaster. Repertoire series. Of course it is not as much fun to play a tempo down, but even with this liability Black’ position is quite alright. Re RU aro 8.8e1 ‘Another option 1& 8.c3 05 J think Black should take some space in the centre, In the event of 8..Bc7 9.Bel 6 10.We2 b6. TLE deed 12.dxe4 8b7 13.65 Dd5 14.h4 a5 15.21h2 a4, Movsziszian — Ianchuk, Calatrava 2007, 16.2\g4N= Black might have to endure some nervous moments on the kingside. 9.Yb3 dxedl? Iewould bea bit too risky to try and mainain’ the big centre while playing a tempo down. ‘This exchanging move may not be the most ambitious attempt for an advantage in the position with reversed colours, but it is enough for comfortable equality here. 10.dxe4 ho! Te is useful to prevent White's mninor pieces feom gaining access to g5. 11.Bel We7 12.0 Be6 13.tc2 Bf 8 1 6 5 4 3 2 1 Dna “The start of a dubious plan. Still, even after the more sensible 14.%1e3 Hd6 15.842 Bad& 16.fed1 b5 Black has the more comfortable position. 14,04! 19.4 23 White had a difficult position and wene on to lose badly in Fedoroy ~ Moysestan, Las ‘Vegas (4.5) rapid 1999. 8...h6 9.03 €5 Withour che queen on b3 Black is less exposed to immediate tactical threats, so he can maintain che central tension for a litde longer. 10-exd5 Chapter 1 - Miscellaneous 2nd moves 2 Opening the centre must be the critical test of Black’s play. Otherwise, depending on Whites nexe move, Black might exchange on 4, advance with ...d4 (when the rook on el would be misplaced), or continue developing with ..Be6. 10..xd5, RNB RUD a & 11Wade This is perhaps che most aggressive way for White to try and exploit his extra tempo. Another possibility is 11.c4 He8 12.24 b6 13. DA2 Be6 14.2e4 WeF 15.25 Hed8 16, Bad Hab8 17.axb6 axb6 18.4b5 h7 19.h4 Bd7 20.83 fe6 wich equal chances, Bologan — Ruck, Mainz. 2007. 1L...e7 12. edt If Black is allowed to complete development with ...2e6 and ...Had8 then he will almost always stand better, The text move wins pawn, bur Black obtains decent compensation. 12...R06 13.Wxc5 Bfd8 14.Wa3 b5! Taking the a4-square away ftom White’ queen. 15.B\c4 BR 16.05 BES 17.44 exd4 18,2)xd4 Wb6 19.b4 HR eR oY ow 19... 0dxbat Regaining the pawn. 20.exb4 White is certainly not helped by: 20.Dx652! Bcd 21.Wa6 Wrab 22,0xa6 Qxcl 23.2xc6 Bac8t 20...Dxd4 21.8b2 Back After some exciting complications the position is now equal, Nisipeanu ~ Volokicin, Istanbul 2003. D2) 3.exd5 Hxd5 “The gambic approach with 3../DM6 4.c4 6 is possible, bue | do not see much point in it, as Black will mainly be playing to regain his pawn rather than truly Fighting for che initiative ‘The present position can be compared with the line 1.44 d6 2.4 5 3,003 exd4 4,Bxd4, ‘Once again Black is playing a known opening with reversed colours and a rempo down, but it is not a situation in which a single tempo is likely to make a huge difference. 4.3 Bds Another possibility is 4..18d72, intending to develop the bishop on b7, but I choose to focus on the text move instead, 2 Minor Systems 5.3 rR eR UN aAr|® a Sc D6 The most common approach has been 5..d7. Contesting the hl-a8 diagonal is an attractive idea, but it seems a little artificial and 1 think White has good chances to obtain. an edge, for instance: 6.262 Lcé 7.3 M6 8.0-0 6 9.82 Be7 10.8d1 0-0 This position. was reached in Kuang Yinghui - Ju, Jinan 2005, and now afterthe naruaral 11.d4N Obd7 12.BF4 cxd4 13.Dxd4 Sxg? 14.Oxg2 a6E Black has no weaknesses, but White has more active pieces and controls the centre 6.292 06 7.Df3 Dob 8.0-0 2e7 9.84 0-0 10.45, Another sensible continuation is 10.Bel ©d5 1LAxd5 exd5 12.805 BeG 13,.Dxc6 bxc6 with equality, Zaynard — Schmid, Austria 2008. HRP eREar ow 10...Ab4 10...2d42N also looks like a reasonable move. 11 Bet 1 1.g4 Dfd5 12.893 £6 13.2c4 $47 14 Dxd 5 Dxd5 15.°Be2 BeB 16.24 18 was equal in Zalsic ~ Barloy, Tivat 1995. 1L..AbdS 12.842 Axc3 13.bxc3 Adz 14.2c4 Db6 15,Ha5 Bbs 16.Hb1 Bde 17.44 This was Vesselovsky — Ostroweld, Prydele Mistek 1997, and now I suggest: 17..887N Blacks position is fine. ) 2.202 This is a flexible approach. White intends to waie before deciding whether to keep the position closed with d3 or revert back to an Open Sicilian wich 44, 2... 66 3.Dbe3 d51 This cuts across White's plan. Onee again we are playing the desired ..d5 break. 4exd5 Ic is not so logical for White to play 4.e5 Ded 5.£4, as the knight belongs on {3 in this structure. One high level game continued 5.h5. (Black can also consider 5..e6 6.h3 Dh6 7.F2 Aco 8.94 Le7 with at least equal chances.) 6.d4 e6 7.3 Dh6 8.803 Of5 9.22 Deb 10dxcS Wad 11.Wd3 Bxc5 12.fxc5, ‘Wxe5 13.0-0-0 Sd7 14.3 h4F Black keeps a very comfortable French-type position, Jobava —Sutovsky, Moscow 2007. 4...Bxd5 5.Oxd5 After 5.¢3 Dic6 6.8g2 Axc3 7.Axc3 g6 8.43 £g7 9.2.c4 cf Black equalizes e: Chapter 1 - Miscellaneous 2nd moves 2B ‘White also achieves nothing with 5.44 Qxc3 G.bxc3 exd4 7.cxd4 g6 8.g3 Was! Ie is not quite the same type of fianchetto for both sides. 9.8g1 g7 10.292 ‘This was Kurnosov — Simon, Cappelle la Grande 2006, and here perhaps the simplest continuation would have been 10...d72N 11.863 0-0 12.Wd2 Deor when White will sorely miss his ability to castle on the kingside, Sontixd5 a 3 pee eG a ee abedef ‘We will consider E1) 6,4c3 and E2) 6.44, Et) 6.Ac3 Best 7.22 gh ‘The queen exchange brings White nothing 7.We2 Wxe2f 8.8xe2 Deb 9.0d5 S27 10.63 6 11.23 Bc7 12.862 S47 Having solved the problem of his temporarily misplaced king, Black is absolutely fine. Fong 8.6312 This is the most ambitious move, hoping to keep more complexicy in the position by avoiding exchanges. Other continuations such as 8.0-0 Sxe2 9.Bxe2 Deb, or 8.d3 Deb 9.83 Bxe? 10. Ye? e6, lead co equal play. BndBf5 9.0-0 Ac6 10.8b5 Be8 11.43 AL...c6N This seems like the most natural choice to me, although there is also nothing wrong with 11...Wd4F 12.Gh1 26 13.8xc6t Bxc6 14.212 Wd7 15.b3 e6 16.8b2 {6 17.\g3 Be6 18.f4 &e7 with balanced chances, Dzindzichashvili — Browne, Chicago 1982. 12.Bc1 We7 13.0d5 Wd8 14.23 Bg6 15.842 Be7 Black has no problems whatsoever: 2) 6.d4 e5t This radical action may seem surprising, bat the slower approach is not fally satisfactory. After 6...2c67-2e3! exd4 8.@)xd4.2d7 9.065! Twas unable to find a path to equality. ER wR wo 3 & 24 Minor Systems T.dxeS. ‘We should also consider the gambit: TAR Hee ROO ae ‘This is an interesting idea, although i will be testing Black’s nerves more than his actual position, as the latter is absolutely fine. Taulltxdd 8.863 There is also 8.2b5t 2d7 9.le2 Deo 10.0-0 0-0-0 11.Bd1 Wy4 12.8xc6 Wxe2 13.2xb7} Gxb7 14. Axe? Be7 15.803 BASE ‘The game Keres — Filip, Helsinki 1952,.was agreed drawn here, but Black’s bishop pair gives him a definite advantage, 8..WdI} 9 Zxd1 26 10.De4 Dd7 11.865 11.Dg5 25 12.2b5 (6 13.Ae4 Bred 14. fxd?} cbf was a bir beer for Black in Kupreichik - Vaulin, St Petersburg 2008. After the text move, the game Grigoriants ~ Vorobiov, Moscow 2007, was agreed drawn. ‘The continuation might have been: 11.26 12.2xd7} Bxd7 13.8xc5 R65 14.8088 hx 8 ‘The position is equal, although if Black is feeling ambitious he’ mighe try to make something of his superior minor piece. Tanixe5 8.3 In also checked the following untested line: 8.42 We7 9.0262 Dc6 10.83 Bd7 11.245 Wd6 12.23 0-0-0 13.4 g6 14.Wd3 Ber 15.Wa3 (5.AbGt thc? 16,Wad6t dexd6 17.Bd1t Sd4 18.2xd7 Bxd7 is equal) 15..b6 16.8d1 b8 17.2¢2 Bhe8 with level chances, as Black manages to bring his pieces into play in time, be7 Deb 9.8F4 WES also looks fine, for instance: 10.Wa4 2e7 11.0-0-0 0-0 12.83 BS 13.593 Bg6 14.8c2 Bad8 with easy equality. = NW EUD YO Po eee gh 9.8.64 WIG 10.863 0-0 11. Df4 Bd8 12.0d5 Bes 13.2xc7t Bxe7 ‘fier a logical sequence White has acquired a cwo-bishop advantage, bus lost some time. 14,8h5 b6! Exchanging one half of the bishop tandem is the Best way to plevent aay future problems 15.82 a6 16.846 16.813 2b7 17.0-0 &xf3 18. Bxf3 2d7 does not change the evaluation. 16...B\xa6 17.0-0 De7 18.Bfel De6= ‘These moves were played in Sepp — Fressinet, Gothenburg 2005. Black's knight has found an ideal home, and in the present situation itisno worse than the enemy bishop. Therefore the chances are equal, Chapter I - Miscellaneous 2nd moves 25 F) 2.g3 d5! Once again we are wasting no time in fighting for the centre. This is considered to be Black's most principled reaction to White's unusual second move. Buexd5 3.d3 is noc ridiculous, but is hardly chreatening either. ‘There is nothing much wrong with exchanging the queens off, although it is pethaps even more promising to play 3..2c6 intending to develop in similar fashion to line Di above, while retaining the option of simplifying wich ...dxe4 depending on how White plays. 3. dS 4.8 Sgt This is seldom seen, and with good reason, 5.2106 6.h3 B65 7.213 WAT 8.g4 Bo6 9.43 co 9.5 isalso not bad, bue | prefer the texé. 10.863 D6 11.84d2 Qd5 12.0-0-0 0-0-0 13.Qb1 Be7 14.xds White is not helped by: 14.e4 We7 15.h4 WG 16.2)fg5 hO 17.h5 hxg5 18.hxg6 > This position was reached in the game Yudasin ~ Milman, New York 2003, and here Black should have played: 14... hed SN In the game Black took with the pawn, which Ido not understand. The text move keeps his queen and rook happy on the d-file 15.83 SF Black dominates the centre and his chances are to be preferred. S.ollteGtl This is an importance move, taking the opportunity to disrups White’ development, 6281 6.We2t is toothless. 6... Hxe2t 7.Sixe2 B06 8.c3 e5 9.h3 B65 10.g4 (Bd7 11.423 This was Petrov — Seeman, Tallinn 2001, and now ic looks interesting for Black to try 11...n5!2N (The game continuation of 11...f6 12.d3 0-0-0 was equal, bur Black can try for more.) 12.g5 Be6 13.43 0-0-0 14.03 Dige7 15.h4 Q5.£xc5 Bd5 16.83 BE5%) 15...Bd5 16.804 g6 17.8f3 Gg7F Black controls the centre, 60 itis White who must ery co fight for equaliy. 6...c6 7.b3 BhS 8.d3 ‘We should also consider an alternative that might lead to an unusual tactical motif, 8.23 ‘The point is seen after: 8.7 9e5? 26 Minor Systems The quict 9.43 reaches the nore to White's ninth move below. QuBxdl 10.Oxd7 Sxc2 11.Oxc5 0-0-0 12.b4! White needs to generate some activity, otherwise he will stand worse on account of his isolated d-pawn. 12...06 13.Axb7 Sxb7 14.b5 Dge7 15.823 &b6 16.bxc6 Axc6 17.2xf8 Bhxf8 18.2) After 18.8xc6 Gxc6 19.Bcl Sd3y che first player will struggle to hold the endgame. 18..Ad4 This was Mozes — Loginov, Budapest 1990. Black maintains slightly better chances thanks to his superior structute, His king is slightly exposed, but on the other hand it could become extremely active in the event of a few more piece exchanges. 8...Hd7_ The queen retreats 10 clear the path of the pawn. ae Ne RU Dao 9.gAtt This is White's most ambitious approach. Eliminacinganenemy bishop isanachieyemenc, although the drawback is that it costs time and creates weaknesses. OF course we should also check a few other options as well. 9.8\c3 6 10.8 G6 I1e4 Bg6 12.%c5 ‘Dre5 13.dxe5 Bd6 14. Wed 0-0-08 This aggressive choice works well, although ic was also quite alright to play more solidly with 14..8x05 15.Wxe5 EcB 16.2 0-0 17.8gi Wd4 18. Bel Bxe5 19.Bxe5 of 20,h4 6 with equality, Chandler — Hibner, Wijk aan Zee 1982. 15.24 Bxe5 16.Wxes Wd4 17.893 eR Oe V7.nch! This’ dynamic move presents White with difficult problems. 18.265 I also considered 18.2651? h5!. Ir would be 100 risky to open the ¢-file just now. 19.95 (or 19.25 Wc5 20.g5 h4 21. Wea Oh5 22. xed Wrod 23.ducd a6z) 19..De8 20.dxch h4F Neither king is ideally situated, bur Black's forces have the:edge in coordination, 18..lHc5 19.dxo4 ed 20.8xe4 xe4 21.Eh2 a6 22,@)a3 Hd2= ‘We have been following the game Short ~ Chandler, Dortmund 1983. Black has more than enough play for a pawn, and White was unable to hold the position. 9.203 This is a sensible move, heading for e4 and possibly °5. 9...0€6 10.2c4 £6 Covering e5 is the natural choice. In Karjakin — Grischuk, Moscow 2009, Black was successful with 10, 246, but I do not see any reason for Black to relinquish the bishop pair just now. Chapter 1 - Miscellaneous 2nd moves 7 11.2c3 8d8 12.a4 Another game continued 12.g4 B67 13.24 b6 14.Me2 Age7 15.84 AdS 16.893 Be7 Black succeeded in organizing his pic harmoniously and obtained the prospects, Flower ~ Aseev, London 1994, 12...d4 13,8xd4 cxdd 14 Bel ‘This position was reached in Sepp —Yakovich, Leeuwarden 1993. Here I found a natural improvement for Black. eces 14,..bGIN_ In the game Black played 14..’e7?, almost certainly overlooking the strong reply 15.51, forcing 15...8xf3 16.xf3 b6 17.Mbs he7 18.2 Dd5 19.Bhel= Without the light-squared bishop Black was facing a rough defensive task. 15.hg1 Oh6 16.32 Opening the position carries certain risks when playing against qwo bishops, but if White does not do something active Black’s position will juse get stronger and stconger: 16...dxc3 17.bxc3 &c5 18.44 Se7 Black can look to the farure with optimism. The e6-pawn may be slightly weak, but it can casily be defended and the bishop pair provides excellent long-term prospects, 9...8g6 10.Dh4 6 11.Dxg6 White is not obliged to make this exchange immediately, but i is doubtful that he has anything to gain from postponing it. Another game continued 11.33 $e7 12,xg6 xg6 13.24 O16 14.24 (14.064 Ad5 15.863 f5!F) 14...8d5 15.8d2 g5! Black follows 2 simple and efficient suavegy: keep the centre closed and increase his control over the dack squares. 16.a5 Hd8 17.c3 (17 Bed 0-0 18.492 £55) 17...g6 18.tfe2 bf8 19.824 che7 Borh sides have certain advantages, but overall Black’s Kingside control gave him the better prospects in King ~ Sveshnikov, Neu Isenburg 1992. 11...hxg6 12.2\c3 Af6 13.23 Be7 White would lilke to generate some activity for his two bishops, but is hampered by the position of his king, which makes it hard to Connect the rooks and coordinate his army, 14.2ck ‘This bas been the most popular move, although we will consider a few other options as well, 14.2¢1 does not seem to have been tried. Play might continue 14.234 15,04 2d8 16.h4 €5 17.25 @h5 with equal chances. 14.h42 White hopes to find a role for the rook on the hefile, cither by pushing the hepawn further of swinging the rook via h3. 14,,.0d4 15.04 8d8 16.8h3 <8 Black sensibly opts for a kind of artificial castling, leaving his rook on the vital hile, 17g] b6 18. Bel bg8 19.63 ‘These: moves were played in Hort — Ribli, Baden-Baden 1992, and here I think Black could have played more energetically with: 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1